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Australia reviews timetable for buying 12 F-35s

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia is reviewing its timetable for buying 12 of the troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighters between 2015 and 2017 after the Unites States announced a rethink of its own purchase schedule for the futuristic warplanes.

Australia is a funding partner in developing the JSF, which the U.S. Defense Department describes as the largest fighter aircraft program in history.

Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith said Monday that Australia is only contractually obligated to take delivery of two of the warplanes. They will be based in the United States and be available from 2014 for training Australian pilots.

Smith says Australia is reconsidering its schedule of buying another 12 during the following three years.

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