Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Lieutenant General Mark Poffley, deputy chief of the UK defence staff, says cuts in the F-35 a reality of the world we live in...

One of the UK’s most senior military chiefs has suggested that Britain may cut the number of F-35 combat jets it buys in the future as pressure grows on its defence budget.

Despite a commitment to buy 138 F-35B Lightning II fighter jets from the US manufacturer Lockheed Martin, Lieutenant General Mark Poffley, deputy chief of the UK defence staff, told MPs on Tuesday that he was “sympathetic” to the idea that the overall number could eventually fall.

“That’s the reality of the world we are living in,” added Lt Gn Poffley.
Earlier Stephen Lovegrove, the most senior civil servant at the Ministry of Defence, revealed that the cost of an initial tranche of 48 F-35s could rise from £9.1bn in 2025 to £13bn in 2048.

These aren't just trial balloons.  This is the plan.  Since we had MP's come on the record stating that they would not tolerate any more cuts to the Royal Marines and amphibious forces, the stage has been set for drastic cuts to the F-35.

One news article compared the fate of the F-35 to what was seen with the Type 45 Destroyer.  They wanted 12 but bought half that number.  Reportedly that's what's being talked about behind closed doors with the F-35...a buy of less than half the programmed number.

The stark reality for the F-35 fan base, Lockheed Martin and the Program Office?  That first tranche of 48 might be all the Brits can afford.

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