November 10, 2017 / 1:54 PM / 3 years ago

United States discussing sale of F-35s to partners, U.S. official says in UAE

The F-35 fighter aircraft is seen at Lockheed Martin's production plant in Fort Worth, Texas August 31, 2009. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United States is in talks to sell F-35 fighter jets to partner nations, a senior U.S. military official said on Friday during a visit to the United Arab Emirates, without giving details.

U.S. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Stephen Wilson was responding to a reporter’s question about the possibility of selling advanced jets to the UAE.

“Specifically with the F-35s, we look at all of our partners and nations and allies and their requirements and here in the Gulf they share many of the same adversaries and challenges,” Wilson said.

“So we look to provide capabilities. So discussion is ongoing now with the new administration on selling F-35s to partner nations that need them, that require them.”

He added, “They’ve started the process. Now with that you need discussion bilaterally between nations ... so further things on that will have to come from the UAE.”

The F-35 is made by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), with companies including Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N), United Technologies Corp’s (UTX.N) Pratt & Whitney and BAE Systems Plc (BAES.L) also involved.

Reporting by Noah Browning; Writing by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Susan Fenton and Edmund Blair

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