World

May 10, 2012

U.K. reverses decision on JSF jet deal

by David Stringer
Associated Press

Britain’s defense secretary is ditching proposals to buy a particular type of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter – reverting to an original plan previously criticized by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Defense Secretary Philip Hammond told lawmakers May 10 that Britain would no longer purchase F-35c variants of the Lockheed Martin fighter jet because the cost of modifications to ships needed to accommodate the plane would be about $3.2 billion.

The jet’s design – which does not include vertical take-off and landing – means aircraft carriers would need to be fitted with catapults and arrester gears.

Hammond said Britain would instead purchase F-35B jump jets, which don’t require modifications to ships and are compatible with U.S., French and Italian vessels.

That option was championed by Britain’s previous Labour Party government, but dumped by Cameron after he took office in 2010. At the time, Cameron said the F-35C model was “more capable, less expensive, has a longer range and carries more weapons.”

“The facts have changed and therefore so too must our approach,” Hammond told lawmakers. “This government will not blindly pursue projects and ignore cost growth and delays.”

Work on planned modifications had already cost between $65 million and $81 million, and there could be further exit payments to contractors in the United States, Hammond’s ministry acknowledged.

“It is as incoherent as it is ludicrous,” Labour’s defense spokesman, legislator Jim Murphy said. “The prime minister’s decisions have cost British time, British money, British talent and British prestige.”

He said the policy reversal was a “personal humiliation for David Cameron.”

Britain’s defence ministry said a decision on how many F-35 jets will be purchased will be made in 2015. The country’s military expects to receive its first Joint Strike Fighter jets in 2018.

Australia, Canada, Turkey, Italy, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands are all also involved in the Joint Strike Fighter program, which has been troubled by cost hikes and delivery delays.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 19, 2014

News: McKeon on broader military authorization: Anything can ‘fail or pass’ - Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said if Congress returns after the midterm elections to weigh a broader military authorization for the battle against Islamic State, it might not pass. Defense contractor gets 7 years for giving secrets...
 
 

News Briefs September 19, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,203 As of Sept. 16, 2014, at least 2,203 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,823 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 

Pratt & Whitney, U.S. Air Force complete qualification for F135 engine testing

Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. , together with its U.S. Air Force partner at the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., celebrated another significant milestone qualification for F135 engine testing at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. OC-ALC which in addition to engine testing is also qualified to perform...
 

 
Navy photograph

Triton has first cross-country flight from Palmdale

Northrop Grumman photograph The MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System takes off from Northrop Grummanís Palmdale, Calif., facility Sept. 17 for its first cross-country flight to Naval Air Station Patuxent, River, Md. PALMDALE,...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

AFRL commander describes Air Force’s technology vision

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello takes a question from an audience member after discussing Air Force Research Laboratory breakthrough technologies during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>