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 November 24, 2014

News: Hagel said to be stepping down as defense chief under pressure - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises. Afghan mission for U.S....
 
 

News Briefs November 24, 2014

Fog forces five U.S. choppers to land in Polish field Officials say that that fog forced five U.S. Army helicopters to make an emergency landing in a Polish field and spend the night there, the second such incident since September. The U.S. Army said 15 soldiers were moving equipment to their base in Germany Nov....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

Navy’s first F-35C squadron surpasses 1,000 flight hours

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. An F-35C Lightning II aircraft piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, flies the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier va...
 

 
boeing-SC-787

Boeing South Carolina begins final assembly of its first 787-9 Dreamliner

Boeing has started final assembly of the 787-9 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility. The team began joining large fuselage sections of the newest 787 Nov. 22 on schedule, a proud milestone for the South Carolina team and a...
 
 
Lockheed Martin image

Ball Aerospace equips Orion mission with key avionics, antenna hardware

Lockheed Martin image Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is providing the phased array antennas and flight test cameras to prime contractor Lockheed Martin for Orion’s Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), which is an u...
 
 

Salina, Kansas, recalls anniversary of shuttered base

It has been 50 years this month since the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base was closing rattled Salina residents. The Salina Journal, which carried news of the closure in its Nov. 19, 1964, editions, reported that the economic disaster then spared no part of the community – real estate, retail, civic involvement, church attendance,...
 




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>