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Singapore 'seriously evaluating' future F-35 jet purchase - Lockheed executive

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of an Airbus A400M aircraft during the 52nd Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, June 21, 2017. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The Singapore government is "seriously evaluating" a future purchase of F-35 jets, the head of Lockheed Martin Corp's international business said on Thursday.

"They, I think, are seriously evaluating the F-35, as well as other platforms I'm sure," Lockheed International Executive Vice President Rick Edwards told Reuters at the Singapore Airshow. "When they are ready we will respond."

He said initial discussions with the government centred on the F-35B version short take-off and landing variant, which he described as "a nice fit for a smaller land-constrained environment".

A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B is on display at the island nation's airshow.

Singapore Chief of Air Force Mervyn Tan said the country was studying the F-35 as part of its long-term planning, the Straits Times reported on Monday.

Other F-35 customers in Asia include Australia, Japan and South Korea.

(Reporting by Jamie Freed)