United States has not offered F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to India: Pentagon

Press Trust of India has quoted Pentagon spokesperson Commander Leslie Hullryde confirming that, contrary to press reports, the United States has not made available Lockheed Martin's advanced, fifth generation fighter jet F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters to India.

However, it was noted that should India express an interest, the United States would submit technical information and initiate a discussion.

"Should India indicate interest in purchasing the JSF, the United States would be prepared to provide information on the JSF and its requirements (infrastructure, security, etc) to support India's future planning"

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability. The F-35 has three main models; one is a conventional takeoff and landing variant, the second is a short take off and vertical-landing variant, and the third is a carrier-based variant.

The F-35 is descended from the X-35, the product of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. JSF development is being principally funded by the United States, with the United Kingdom and other partner governments providing additional funding. The partner nations are either NATO members or close U.S. allies. It is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin. The F-35 took its first flight on 15 December 2006.