LONDON, March 20 (UPI) -- The British Ministry of Defense has placed its first order for the Lockheed Martin-built Joint Strike Fighter aircraft for testing by the Royal Air Force.
John Hutton, British defense secretary, announced the purchase of three of the Joint Strike Fighters. The testing of the next-generation fighter aircraft, designed with advanced sensors and stealth capabilities, is part of an effort to replace the capability provided by the Joint Force Harrier aircraft.
"The Joint Strike Fighter will form an essential part of our future combat air capability," Hutton said in a statement.
"By purchasing three aircraft for testing, we will secure access to the development of the program. Working alongside their U.S. colleagues, our pilots will gain an unrivaled understanding of this awesome aircraft and its capabilities."