UK Faces Hundreds of Millions of Hidden F-35 Costs

Ministry of Defence Facing 'Hundreds of Millions In Hidden Costs' for New Fighter Jets (excerpt)

The Ministry of Defence is facing hundreds of millions of pounds in “hidden costs” for the RAF's new generation warplane that will be unable to fly properly due to defence cuts, it has been reported.

The Times said that it had carried out an investigation which had identified a catalogue of problems with the US-built F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

Manufacturer Lockheed Martin has said the aircraft will cost the UK between £77 million and £100 million each.

However, The Times said the true cost of the jets delivered this year will be more than £150 million each to cover “extras” such as software upgrades and spare parts.

Among the problems which the paper said it had identified were:

-- An inability by the “stealth” F-35 to transmit data to British ships and older aircraft without revealing its position;

-- The aircraft’s software system is vulnerable to cyber attack and cannot be tested independently by the UK;

-- Weak broadband on the Royal Navy’s principal aircraft carrier is hampering the jet’s abilities;

-- The department responsible for the computer networks essential to the aircraft’s operation needs to find savings of £400 million this year.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that all the issues raised had been reported in the past and were under “active management” by the Joint Strike Fighter joint programme office and the MoD. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Telegraph website.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: We could not link to the original stories because The Times website is behind a paywall.)


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