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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 149-07
February 07, 2007

Defense Department And Italy Sign Joint Strike Fighter Agreement

    The Department of Defense announced today that Italy has signed the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) production, sustainment, and follow-on development (PSFD) memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will govern the cooperative program arrangements for the next phase of the Joint Strike Fighter program.

    In the Feb 7 ceremony in the Pentagon Under Secretary of State for Defense Giovanni Forcieri added his signature to the agreement already signed by the United States, The Netherlands, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Norway. The United States was represented by Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England.

    This MOU provides a framework for future program efforts in production and beyond, and will extend cooperation beyond the current system development and demonstration agreement between the United States and the other eight JSF partner nations. The remaining partner nation, Denmark, is expected to sign the JSF PSFD MOU by the end of February 2007.

    The Joint Strike Fighter is the largest DoD acquisition program to date. The F-35 Lightning II is a supersonic, multi-role, stealth fighter designed to replace a wide range of existing aircraft. Three versions of the aircraft will be built: a conventional-takeoff-and-landing variant, an aircraft-carrier version and a short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing version.

    In addition to preparing for future production and sustainment activities, F-35 Lightning II development efforts are ongoing. The first JSF system development and demonstration test aircraft has already successfully flown seven test flights

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