Skip to main content

Joint Strike Fighter

Volume 554: debated on Monday 26 November 2012

The UK took delivery of its first joint strike fighter aircraft in July and its second in October, both of which are both operating from Eglin air force base in Florida, where they are undergoing operational testing. A third aircraft is due in the second quarter of 2013. Decisions on the overall order for joint strike fighters will not be made until the strategic defence and security review in 2015.

When will the Minister be able to tell the House precisely how much the Government’s U-turn to procure the F-35B rather than the F-35C, which the SDSR committed to, will cost the taxpayer?

The hon. Lady should recognise that the decision to change the configuration of the aircraft carriers and the aircraft operating on them will save the taxpayer money.

The previous Government entered into the joint strike fighter agreement without securing the source access code to allow British manufacturers to make British products for our planes without having to go via the American prime contractor. Will the Minister update the House on what progress has been made in acquiring the very important source data?

My hon. Friend is well aware that the arrangements entered into whereby the UK became a tier-1 partner in the JSF programme mean that 15% of the aircraft’s components are manufactured in this country, securing more than 25,000 jobs.