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Joint Strike Fighter

Volume 407: debated on Friday 20 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much money has been allocated by his Department for the Joint Strike Fighter; how much he expects this programme to cost; and when he expects to make a full financial commitment. [119186]

Funding is allocated for in-year expenditure only. Provision for future years' expenditure is made in the annually revised Equipment Plan. In the case of Joint Strike Fighter, the allocation for equipment procurement for 2003–2004 is £138 million. We currently anticipate that the procurement cost of the Joint Strike Fighter programme will be up to £10 billion dependent on the number of aircraft acquired and how they are supported. Full financial commitment is not anticipated before 2006.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment has been made of the minimum number of joint strike fighter ASTOVL variants below which purchase by the UK would no longer be financially viable. [119493]

None. Our current planning assumption is to acquire up to 150 short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the joint strike fighter (JSF) to meet our future joint combat aircraft (FJCA) requirement. But no decision has yet been taken and final numbers will depend on the outcome of on-going work to confirm future United Kingdom fast jet requirements. The estimated cost of acquiring 150 STOVL JSF is taken into account in the Department's forward resource plans.