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Boeing, Lockheed in Winner-Take-All Jet Test

September 07, 2000|Associated Press

In the battle of the future fighter jets, the U.S. Air Force said two competing designs of the next-generation Joint Strike Fighter will be tested side-by-side before a $220-billion contract is awarded to the maker of one of the models. The full-size prototype aircraft--one developed by Boeing Co., the other by Lockheed Martin Corp.--will be based at opposite ends of a large hangar but will be tested by separate teams of pilots, mechanics and technicians. After the yearlong program at Edwards Air Force Base and at a Navy base in Maryland, British and U.S. defense officials will decide whether Lockheed or Boeing will be granted the winner-take-all fighter contract. Production of the first 3,000 planes is expected to begin in 2007. They will replace fighters in the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marines, as well as Britain's Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

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