Spain denies interest in F-35

Spain denies interest F35
Lockheed Martin F-35A fifth-gen combat aircraft.

Spain has no plans to purchase Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets and remains committed to the European FCAS fighter program, a Spanish Defense Ministry spokeswoman told Reuters Tuesday.

"The Spanish government has no budget to enter into any other jet project in addition to the one that is already in place. We rule out entering the F35 project. Our investment commitment is in the FCAS," the officer said.

The statement comes after the post of Janes on November 3 about Madrid's interest in buying the Lightening II. The news was subsequently posted by many other media as well, it appeared reliable as Janes had referred to a Lockheed Martin source.

Spain's sudden interest in the F-35 had however raised some doubts as the nation is involved in the French and German-led FCAS program and is looking to gain an equal partner role. The purchase of the US stealth fighter would not have favored Madrid's relations with Paris and Berlin.

This statement probably also marks the end of the fixed-wing combat component of the Spanish Navy, without the introduction of the F-35B it will remain without fighter aircraft as soon as the Harrier jump jets are decommissioned.

Jane's article also reported about the Czech Republic's interest in the F-35, we feel we can deny it even without official statements from Prague.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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