The German Air Force has sent the U.S. military a written request for classified data regarding the Lockheed Martin (LMT - Get Report) F-35 fighter jet as the nation readies to replace its current fleet of warplanes, Reuters reports.

The application is viewed as surprising seeing as how Germany is one of four nations that developed the fourth-generation Eurofighter Typhoon built by Airbus (EADSY)  as well as Britain's BAE Systems (BAESY) and Leonardo of Italy.

The letter sent by the German Air Force states that the German government has yet to procure an authorized program and is not committed to any particular aircraft to replace its current fleet.

It added that the defense ministry would carry out "an in-depth evaluation of market available solutions, including the F-35, later this year," with a formal "letter of request" to be issued in coming months.

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