Tuesday, December 19, 2017

UK's Ministry of Defence refuses to disclose how much the F-35 costs!

via The Telegraph
he Government’s failure to disclose how much Britain’s new stealth jets will cost is unacceptable and risks undermining public confidence in the programme, MPs are warning.

The multi-billion pound scheme to buy F-35 Lightning II jump jets is the UK’s second largest weapons programme, but the MOD has refused to tell Parliament how much they will cost.

A Commons defence select committee report has said the MOD’s response is “wholly unacceptable” and demanded six monthly updates on the programme to buy the Lockheed Martin jets.
Julian Lewis MP, chairman of the committee said: “There has been an unacceptable lack of transparency from the MoD and Lockheed Martin which risks undermining public confidence in the programme.

“F-35 is a major investment for the UK and we want it to succeed for the good of this country’s security.

"However, it is precisely because this project is so important that it must be subjected to the closest possible scrutiny.”

MOD officials repeatedly failed to give the committee the full cost of each aircraft, including spares, upgrades and retrofits.
Story here. 

Read it and weep F-35 fanboys.

While the US Dept of Defense can play games with the costs of the F-35 with budget tricks and tout jobs in the UK its a bit more complicated.

They have a robust defense media.

Instead of lawyers debating various legalism to get the plane across the finish line, in the UK they have accountants that are ready to pour over every line in the budget.

In short?

Wave the flag, trot out a few pilots and generals (to impress the ladies and the idiots that are dazzled by stars and images of Tom Cruise in Top Gun), and play with the numbers a bit (along with a huge dose of paid off Congress Critters) and you could sell bricks as a hypersonic airplane and many would still believe.

In the UK?

Not so fucking much.  Add the foul mood (that I didn't see coming) because of Brexit and the belt tightening that is resulting from that move and it is entirely possible that the F-35 buy that the UK had programmed will indeed be cut from 138 down to 48.

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