FRANKFURT, March 6 (Reuters) - German defence and automotive group Rheinmetall said on Monday it had booked a $6.5 million U.S. Air Force contract to supply ammunition for the F-35 multi-role fighter, adding that further orders were likely to follow.
* The contract comprises the supply of several ten thousand rounds in four lots, with delivery starting in December 2017, Rheinmetall said in a statement.
* The ammunition is Rheinmetall’s new 25mm x 137 Frangible Armour Piercing (FAP), which it developed for, and in cooperation with, NATO air forces flying the F-35.
* It said further major orders could be expected since the U.S. Air Force was procuring a large number of F-35s and numerous other nations including Britain, Italy and Denmark had also chosen the aircraft.
* The ammunition ordered by the U.S. Air Force will be made at Rheinmetall Switzerland, the group said, but added that it planned to have assembly for possible follow-up contracts done by a joint venture in the United States.
* Other potential customers will be supplied from locations belonging to Rheinmetall Waffe Munition Schweiz AG, it said. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Jason Neely)