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.


 
 

 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Marines investigate corporal who vanished in Iraq U.S. Marine Corp officers are launching a formal investigation into whether a Lebanese-American Marine deserted his unit in Iraq or later after returning to the United States. A spokesman for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune said July 24 that Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun is being...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin OíShea

U.S. Forces display military might at Farnborough

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin O’Shea Capt. Tom Meyers discusses the F-15E Strike Eagle’s capabilities with spectators July 17, 2014, at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Public access was granted ...
 
 
raptors4

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 

 
lm-kmax

Lockheed Martin’s unmanned cargo helicopter team returns from deployment

After lifting more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo and conducting thousands of delivery missions for the U.S. Marine Corps, the Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace Corporation K-MAX cargo unmanned aircraft system has returned ...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 Fighting Falcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat scenario...
 
 
Image courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Satellite study reveals parched U.S. West using up underground water

Image courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation The Colorado River Basin lost nearly 53 million acre feet of freshwater over the past nine years, according to a new study based on data from NASA’s GRACE mission. This is almost d...
 




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>