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Armed Forces: F35 Aircraft

Volume 705: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What discussions they have held with United States officials and industry about reductions in uptake of F-35 aeroplanes by (a) the United States Air Force, (b) the United States Navy, (c) the United States Marine Corps, (d) the Royal Air Force, and (e) the Royal Navy. [HL5931]

We have regular discussions with our US counterparts and have been made aware of the United States decision to reduce the US commitment in the 2009 production contract by two jets, one for the United States Air Force and one for the United States Marine Corps. Any implications to the United Kingdom have been taken into account and our programme continues to remain affordable.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What United Kingdom-mandated systems will be fitted to F-35 aircraft for United Kingdom use; and what are the additional costs of qualifying such equipment. [HL5932]

UK specific requirements for JSF are contained within the expenditure approved in 2001 for the UK's participation in the JSF system development and demonstration phase. As well as ensuring that JSF is fully integrated with key UK platforms such as CVF, UK specific requirements embedded in JSF include ASRAAM and Paveway IV.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What consideration they have given to the August 2008 RAND Corporation briefing on Pacific Vision and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies report America's Self-destroying Air Power in respect of the ability of the F-35 aircraft to meet the United Kingdom's strategic and tactical requirements. [HL5934]

The August 2008 RAND brief focused on basing and force structure vulnerabilities in a hypothetical threat environment rather than comparing the fighting qualities of particular aircraft. The outcome of the brief does not affect the UK's commitment to the JSF programme.