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Japan has selected Lockheed Martin [LMT]'s F-35 as its next generation fighter, giving the beleaguered Joint Strike Fighter program a major boost and an opening to additional foreign sales.
The Japanese Defense Ministry announced recently that F-35 Lightening II had won the competition over Boeing's [BA] F/A-18 and Eurofighter's Typhoon. Lockheed Martin will build 42 of the planes with delivery starting in 2016 at a unit cost of 9 billion yen ($115 million), including spare parts.
Japan's purchase of the multi-role stealth fighter further tightens military relations with the United States, which envisions the F-35 as its main fighter jet of the future. It will …