For nearly 80 years, the United Kingdom and United States have shared a “special relationship” – a partnership rooted in shared values, shared history, and shared interests. No programme better exemplifies this relationship than the F-35, say Lockheed in a news release on their website.

Before the F-35 even took its first flight, the United Kingdom had signed on as a key partner – the only international partner to be designated ‘Tier One’, having been involved in development activities since at least 1985.

Lockheed say that the Tier One partnership means that “the UK had exclusive influence on the design of the aircraft and will build 15% by value of all the 3,000-plus F-35 aircraft produced”.

This work on the F-35 programme generates significant economic growth for the UK, say Lockheed.

“In 2020, Lockheed Martin commissioned KPMG to conduct a study to understand better just how large the economic impact of the F-35 programme is in the U.K. Findings from the study estimate £40.6 billion in gross value added (GVA) for the U.K. economy and more than 20,000 jobs over the time period from 2007 to 2038. For every £1 of GVA generated from activity through the programme, an additional £326 is generated through wider economic activity. The study also found that the jobs created by the programme are more productive than others – they have an average GVA of £88,049, which is more than the averages for both the defence sector and national full-time employment.

The largest share of these jobs is concentrated in the North West.  The jobs have been supported by £3.6 billion of knowledge transfer and training, including in stealth technologies and digital manufacturing, and a capital investment programme worth over £600 million.”

“When you think of more than 20,000 jobs created – that’s a large number of workers who are then going out into the economy and spending the money they’ve earned,” said Adam Clink, Lockheed Martin U.K.’s Head of Carrier Strike. Clink formerly served in the Royal Navy as a pilot and later as Deputy Commander of the U.K.’s F-35 Lightning Force.

“The investments made, the jobs created – all of these aspects of the F-35 programme make it an absolute engine for economic growth,” Clink explained.

The majority of the GVA from the F-35 programme – approximately 43% – is concentrated in the North West of England. Another 10% will benefit the South East of England, and 9% both in the South West of England and in London. The remaining 29% of total GVA will be generated across the other eight regions of the U.K.

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maurice10
maurice10
7 months ago

Brilliant news, now let’s do the same with the new M1 MBT, no if’s or buts.

Callum
Callum
7 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

Why would we want M1 exactly? It’s not any better suited to future warfare requirements than C2, it’s illogical to go through the expense of converting to basically an equivalent platform.

I fully believe the tank still has a vital role on the battlefield, but our next MBT is going to need to be so different to existing platforms that buying an upgraded Abrams would be one of the biggest wastes of money since the calling the T45 at 6 hulls

John Clark
John Clark
7 months ago
Reply to  Callum

If, big ‘if’, MBT’s survive the Defence review Callum, then taking the latest version of the M1 makes sense on so many levels. It means new or refurbished tanks at bargain prices, leveraging into the huge US support network and being fully integrated into the the US order of battle, when the next bun fight occurs…. It also means we can get on board with Uncle Sam’s next generation MBT, with some UK industrial input…. The Army is going to be poor relation in funding for the next decade, so it best not fritter money away on unaffordable Euro tank… Read more »

Mark F
Mark F
7 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

The problem is the Army is not top priority. Why? Its simple our the potential threat is China / Russia its maritime and both nations are flexing thier muscles at sea as part of claiming superior strength. I believe the up coming defence review of the UK will reflect this, more emphasis on flexible specialist forces of marines and army short notice able to deploy as a hard hitting light force you only have to look at how the RMs are evolving and may have stolen a march on the army, its known as Littoral at the moment. Let’s be… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark F

Agree to a point Mark, but let me assure you a “hard hitting light force” is still light, and doesnt not have a combat sustainability, regardless of the entry platforms and operational theatre. You are correct, we should priotise the RN and then the RAF, but we still need a capable armoured formation, able to dpeloy and operate for sustained periods, able to give, and sustain losses. To take ground can be easy, to hold ground is harder. Armour is needed and the RMs need the continued capabilty to deploy armour, in support of their operations. Yes we have new… Read more »

Callum
Callum
7 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Pretty much none of that is actually valid. “New or refurbished tanks at bargain prices” still means spending billions on a current-gen platform that’s provides no meaningful advantage but would require a complete overhaul of logistics and training, plus buying additional spares and ammunition. All for a reasonably low-volume purchase of a stopgap. Buying the Abrams has no impact on whether we participate in the US Army’s future tank programme. Why would it? In any case, we have considerably different requirements than the US, and if we don’t develop our own then the European programme is likely to be a… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
7 months ago
Reply to  Callum

I disagree Callum … Two things, first ‘if’ UK MBT’s survive, then we have the choice of upgrading Chally 2 or replacing it. I’ll guarantee the upgrade will cost as much as replacement with the latest spec M1 variant… The CH2 upgrade will be a torturous affair, costing ‘way more’ than planned and ready for service years late. The European effort will be horrendously expensive with only 600 ish tanks ordered in total and will turn into a fight for workshare and face continued calls for cancellation from the Germans.. Export sales will be all but impossible, as the ticket… Read more »

BB85
BB85
7 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Yeah it will be interesting to see what the UK does. Upgrading the C2 means replacing just about everything apart from the Hull so brand new Leopard A7s or M1A3s or whatever they are called are probably cheaper, less risky and can be delivered much more quickly. It would be a brave politician though to replace British tanks with foreign ones though. I personally would do it along with scrapping warrior and ordering extra boxer with the saved 1bn that was due to be spent on them. That way we have new kit that will carry us through the next… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
7 months ago
Reply to  BB85

I agree BB85, it’s the logical decision, but politics will get involved and money will be chucked away…….

Our defence budget is far from small, but somehow what should be sensible procurement decisions, based purely on frontline requirements, always seems to go via governmental constituencies re-election chances and via the DTI.

I’m all for inward defence investment, but only when it makes sense, ie project Tempest for example.

Airborne
Airborne
7 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Mate spot on, scrap the Warrior upgrade, replace the 432 sheds still knocking about with the best of the Warrior hulls and put the 40mm CTC onto Boxer. But we then need to think about a platform to ensure we keep an Armoured formation alive! The Strike abortion needs sorting out and the 40mm on the boxer will start to give it some kinetic effect, and then use some of that money to get some other Boxer varients, priotise Mortar, then direct fire, then Arty. Pricey yes, but essential. What do you reckon we should replace the Warrior with though,… Read more »

Callum
Callum
7 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Seeing as we’ve already got Ajax, what about a variant of that to keep costs down? There are several options within the broader family. We’re already procuring the Ares APC variant, which is basically just a turretless Ajax with space for 8 troops (better than Warrior in that regard, but no main gun). Alternatively, General Dynamics has developed a dedicated IFV variant called Griffin III for the US Bradley replacement. It’s well armed and protected, with a 50mm gun and Iron Fist APS, but it only has space for 6 fully equipped troops. Given the choice, I’d rather downsize back… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
7 months ago
Reply to  Callum

Best to keep with the Ajax variants mate, my thoughts exactly, keep the same vehicle, Ares will be ideal, and come up with a plan for a cost effective turret.

Callum
Callum
7 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Should’ve specified, Griffin III is a development of Ajax, so it would enjoy many of the benefits of commonality with the rest of the family.

I’m not sure to what extent a turret for Area would be possible. The transport capacity comes from removing Ajax’s turret, so it’s likely to be restricted to a remote weapon system on the roof.

Regardless of which one option we prefer, there are several very attractive options out there, assuming IFVs are considered worthwhile

Callum
Callum
7 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

The expected cost for the upgrade programme for Challenger 2, from what I can find, is around £650mn. That’s £2.86mn per tank for the full 227, or £4.4mn for the rumoured cuts down to 148 tanks. The M1A2 has a cost today of more than $9.7mn, or almost exactly £7mn per tank. That’s based on the value given on Wikipedia and the predicted cost for a Taiwanese purchase of 108 tanks, both adjusted for inflation. Obviously that’s rough, and it could change massively depending on what additional FMS taxes or bulk discounts we’d get. Regardless, buying the latest Abrams is… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

I think we have to make clear that at least in major assets we not simply be a minor partner or customer for European combined programmes. If we can’t produce them ourselves then look for alternative collaborators inside or outside of Europe or buy off the shelf from US or other suppliers. Done sensibly and with competent negotiators we can increase the presence of the likes of GD in Britain and investing whereas being minor collaborators or customers even if up front costs look cheaper will only cost us dearly in terms of capabilities, skills and investment and risk cutting… Read more »

Jon
Jon
7 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Euro Tank is a bad apple. 2 countries with totally different tank ideas Only have to look at every project Germany involved in.

maurice10
maurice10
7 months ago
Reply to  Callum

Hello Callum, I’m not talking about the current M1 but the all-new replacement, which has been called ‘The New M1.’ It probably now has its own designation but getting involved with that programme could pay dividends for UK industry? The UK variant would need a diesel engine option or a hybrid combination. Apologies for the confusion.

Callum
Callum
7 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

Ah, my bad, I assumed you were referring to the latest M1A2 version (SEP v4 I think). There isn’t actually a replacement programme active yet, just several different studies under names like Optionally Manned Tank and Next Generation Combat Vehicle. Unfortunately, because the future of the tank is so uncertain at this time, getting involved with the US programme is too risky. This isn’t the F-35 programme, with a clear set of parameters (even if compromises were made), because no one can agree on what size it should even be. Do we want a tank we can fit two of… Read more »

Ron
Ron
7 months ago
Reply to  Callum

Callum, in many ways I agree with your comments on the MBT. I have often asked myself which country would the UK face alone with large MBTs. Possibly it is time for the British Army to rethink its needs, possibly re-equipped into a rapid reaction highly mobile strike force. This could be used as a stand alone army to face second and third tier nations or as the recce force for the large armoured divs of the US army when facing a first tier. It comes down to the question what does an Island nation need, does it need MBTs,… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
7 months ago
Reply to  Ron

The problem with the faster/lighter “medium ” tank concept is still the weight or amount of armour required. The Russian 2A82-1M 125mm tank gun is a 56 calibre length barrel (7000mm) that has a higher muzzle velocity than the famed Rh120mm L55 gun of the Leopard 2s. This gun when using APFSDS rounds has a published RHA 30 degree angle penetration of between 850 to 1000mm. Even the Challenger 2’s Dorchester may struggle against this. This gun is fitted to the T14 Armata, but is also being fitted to the T90. Russia will be producing T14s, but not in the… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
7 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Your post highlights exactly why we need to decide what we need a “tank” to do on the battlefield. If we expect it to directly pursue, confront and fight other MBTs while potentially taking hits then we will just create ever larger, heavier, more expensive platforms, that will be difficult to deploy to and use in eastern Europe, or most other places frankly. Even then, there are no guarantees that the platform will survive in sufficient numbers in a battle of attrition. $20-25M MBT anyone? https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/iav-2021-rafael-details-challenges-of-defeating-apfsds-long-rod-penetrators-with-aps If on the other hand we look at 105mm and/or 120mm as “just” fire… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 months ago

If on the other hand we look at 105mm and/or 120mm as “just” fire support weapons”

GHF, could we see a return of the Panzerjager concept?

Easier to build than a Tank and deadly in the defence against them.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 months ago

Sorry also just saw your Assault Gun comment. Ha! Return of the Stug!

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
7 months ago

Hi Daniele. It seems like there is increasing interest in assault guns for multiple reasons, either wheeled or tracked … but with a turret that rotates! So perhaps not quite the WWII model 😉 The US Army is currently in the evaluation phase of the Mobile Protected Firepower program for the infantry. The GDLS proposal is using an Ajax platform with Abrams turret and fire control system; it doesn’t seem like the army have decided yet on 105mm or 120mm. A modern assault gun might disable or even destroy a modern MBT, but it will have to see the MBT… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
7 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Top response, mine will be simpler Davey. No matter what “light forces” are available, what they are expected to do, light is light, shit bust! Armour is needed to provide the kinetic punch, the combat sustainability, the morale factor for FFs and the credibility factor. And as you know mate, once a capbility is gone, its unlikley to ever be gotten back. We need armour, both heavy Brigades and a light Armour with a decent, at least 105mm DF weapon.

Martyn Parker
Martyn Parker
7 months ago
Reply to  Callum

We would be better off teaming up with the Poles and the South Koreans for next gen MBT, we can bring the tech they can bring the numbers

Callum
Callum
7 months ago
Reply to  Martyn Parker

I’d include the Italians in that list as well. By and large, they’ve been reliable defence industrial partners

Jon
Jon
7 months ago
Reply to  Callum

Latest document seen is to planned upgrade of 50% of the chall2 force to a a agreed standard as a MBT say a Chall4 as a priority with a cost of £3m per unit The best of the remaining hulls upgraded on a slow roll out contract to a Chall3 standard @£2m to take the MBT to 2035. Warrior is at risk as is it required.

Mark F
Mark F
7 months ago

The benefits for the USMC, RAF AND Royal Navy are obvious to the military planners on both sides of the pond also I might add is that the Australians are aboard too ‘ excuse the pun’
We will see how this comes to fruition when the QE battle group deploys to the Pacific. Im also aware the Japanese are very keen on the forth comming deployment. The Chinese have a choice of course it should be interesting as the message has been sent loud and clear. Let’s hope our leaders when the time comes act like sensible adults.

John Clark
John Clark
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark F

Absolutely Mark, the QE’s are a godsend for Uncle Sam, carrier strike by proxy and just for once, someone else is footing the bill!

The USMC will effectively have more F35B’s than viable platforms and we have purpose built carriers, a happy coincidence and happy days all round!

One other useful spin off is that the QE’s will likely be so useful to the Americans, that they will keep considerable pressure on any future UK government to keep both ships fully operational, in short notice deployable condition and upgraded…

George Royce
George Royce
7 months ago

Utter bollocks. We need our systems i.e. Paveway IV, meteor missile and Spear 3 to all be adapted quickly so we don’t just have jets which buzz another force but actually have teeth. But oh wait, the Americans need their priorities fulfilled first even though it was billed as a ‘global’ and ‘joint’ project. It’s the same old same, military industrial complex getting their big fat payouts for semi-grade work.

The F-35 is an example of this so-called “special relationship” as about as much as the TSR-2 is.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 months ago
Reply to  George Royce

“The F-35 is an example of this so-called “special relationship” as about as much as the TSR-2 is” Not quite George, IMHO. For an example of the UK/USA SR regards aviation you need to look beyond and before the F35 and the exchange of aerospace high technology such as stealth between the two countries. The BAES SPS ( Special Projects Site ) at Warton, at which the MoD are also involved, typifies this. ( On Google Earth look at the southern end of the airfield to see the SPS. ) Some of what they are doing regarding stealth sees the… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
7 months ago

I would separate a UK-US special relationship from Lockheed’s appropriation of it for commercial purposes. IMO the F-35B is a necessary aircraft for the UK and we do (and will) get significant economic benefits from the programme. But the Lockheed PR is just lobbying, presumably because they are concerned there may be cuts in the UK purchase, perhaps in favour of funding the Tempest program. They are also being disingenuous, by implying that the UK received Tier 1 status because of the relationship. My understanding is that the UK is only a Tier 1 partner because we stumped up the… Read more »

John Stott
John Stott
7 months ago
Reply to  George Royce

Agree totally. US companies dining out on British taxpayers money is nothing new. Elements of our society cannot forget “empire” and think new dawn is upon us. As always, Britain will be a US poodle until we have politicians who stand up for reality. Democrats back in power mean one thing, more wars. We will quite happily roll over and do as “the complex” dictates.

John Clark
John Clark
7 months ago
Reply to  John Stott

John, if the result of US companies, dining out on British Tax payers money results in excellent products like the AH64E at bargain prices, please do commence the fleecing! Britain a US poodle? A bit strong John, we have been reliant on the US defence complex (in one way or another) for 80 years. That’s a simple fact. The whole Western World is dependent on the US defence umbrella. What’s your alternative? Re-join the EU and become an EU poodle again, buy lesser quality EU defence products like Tiger, a helicopter so good the Australians have given up on it… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
7 months ago
Reply to  John Stott

Whats this got to do with Empire?? Regardless of the political effect, our relationship with the yanks has ensured we have some of the best and most modern capabilites in Europe, fully supported and on many occasions very fast into service. With defence, the end does justify the means.

Martyn Parker
Martyn Parker
7 months ago
Reply to  George Royce

Unfortunately once Replica was put to bed the F-35 became the only game in town, you can thank Tony Blair for that, all the bleating in the world wont change this, same with the STOVL QE class, this is where we are currently at, we need to make the most of the F-35 project, we should buy just enough to equip the QE’s and move any savings in to the Tempest project and if our politicians have any sense it will contain no American tech, they are not reliable project partners, I actually question whether they are reliable military partners… Read more »

Geoff
Geoff
7 months ago

This special relation works only when the US want it to. LeMay refused Penney an observer seat on EnolaGay and Bockscar despite the Tube Alloys project solving some issues in Manhattan. It goes back that far. Dont get me started on TSR2…

Geoff
Geoff
7 months ago
Reply to  Geoff

And werent RollsRoyce booted out of the F35 programme as a second source engine ?

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
7 months ago
Reply to  Geoff
George Royce
George Royce
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Indeed, the F-136 was a RR project with another American company I think. I’m not surprised the F-35 engine wears out, as it was never designed to be in a single-engined fighter. It’s basically a modified F119 from the F22 raptor. It was never meant to haul the weight of a fighter jet, by itself like the RR pegasus was.

George Royce
George Royce
7 months ago
Reply to  Geoff

Hear hear.

America is not an ally, we’re just a gateway into Europe for them. The sooner people actually just wake up to that, the more honest our conversations can be.

John Clark
John Clark
7 months ago
Reply to  George Royce

So what should our strategic position be then George, if we turned out back on the US?

Jon
Jon
7 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

A happy one. There going to be fighting each other for the next 4 years

John Clark
John Clark
7 months ago
Reply to  Geoff

Geoff, we are a junior partner for the US, but so is everyone else, not really seeing the alternative strategy for the UK here? The Americans paid a ‘huge price’ in the lives of its young generations fighting to liberate Europe, they could have just as easily ignored Nazi occupied Europe and focused on Japan. Simple fact, without US intervention in WW2, we would (at best) have had to come to cease fire terms with Hitler… Without Uncle Sam providing the huge bulk of NATO military power, the outcome of the Cold war could well have been quite different! TSR2,… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
7 months ago

I regard F-35 as a work in progress. The early ones were expensive dogs. Each new lot gets better (& cheaper, though not as cheap as the hype). Block 4 software with the engine upgrade, will be a fine aircraft. It still needs saddle or drop tanks to be developed for it.
I would still like the RAF to get 27 (like Denmark) or 32 (like Poland) F-35A, to carry the heavier weapons, internally, that are beyond the F-35Bs capabilities. So 2000lb class bunker busters, AARGM-ER, NSM/JSM, B61-12. Base them at Leeming.

Andy a
Andy a
7 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Let’s not go over the f35a again it means 2 sets of training, weapons parts, pilots and study showed rather than save money it would cost us more ie
Look at countries like austria and there eurofighter because they have no economy of scale. More of one type you have the cheaper it gets.

Geoff
Geoff
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

The Eurofighter is totally unsuitable for Austria and came about as some BS European Unity thing combined with bribe money. Its embarassing seeing an Austrian Eurofighter poncing around with one of their 25 IRIS-Ts when compared to how RAF planes are loaded for bear. They also only currently have 10-11 qualified pilots for 15 airframes…
I expect Austria will buy low-hour ex-Swedish early-version Gripens, once the Eurofighters are transferred to Indonesia.

John Clark
John Clark
7 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I agree with the prognosis on the F35, while it’s a shame that the F136 was cancelled
(the UK could have carried on its development, but elected not too), block 4 will be an amazing asset.

The F135 is a powerful engine 40,000lb of thrust in reheat, so certainly not a slouch and further development will improve life and fuel efficiency.

It’s a maturing asset.

I don’t think split fleets are the way to go though, a total buy of about 90 B models would be prudent….

John Hartley
John Hartley
7 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Italy & Japan have ordered mixed fleets of F-35A & B, so I do not see why it would be so impossible for Britain. Israel, Australia, South Korea, Singapore have also thought about mixed fleets of F-35A & B, though whether they will ever happen is another matter. Turkey was planning a mixed fleet of F35A & B, but then fell out with Trump & the F-35 got sanctioned. Scrapping the Tornado fleet without replacement, has left the RAF short of combat jets. F-35B only makes sense on carriers. Once you have enough for the carriers, then F-35A makes more… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
7 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

No no no FFS dont mix models, we will have less of both and simply reduce the effective numbers. Thats a political game they like to do, “look what we have”, its chuff, mixing the models will simply ensure more cost and less effect. Any extra money should be spent on upgrading as many airframes as possible to bloc 4. Cheers mate.

John Hartley
John Hartley
7 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

But the F-35B is a one trick pony. No point having more of them if they cannot reach the target, or carry a wide range of weapons, that the F-35A can. Again, if Italy, Japan & perhaps other nations can run mixed fleets, why is it so impossible for us?

John Clark
John Clark
7 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I can see what you mean John, but unlike Italy, the UK already has a capable multi roll asset in its Typhoon.

The F35B is still a capable asset, it’s range is not dissimilar to the retired GR4.

Weapon fits like Spear3 and meteor, plus the range of Paveway weapons hardly makes it a one trick pony.

Any buy of F35A will simply kill Tempest stone dead, though, should that project be cancelled, then an F35A purchase will step right into the gap!

John Hartley
John Hartley
7 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Rubbish. The time between a small F-35A purchase & Tempest going into service will be at least 15 years. Tempest will replace Typhoon. The RAF is short of fast jets now. F-35A is being configured with SEAD, Anti ship, bunker busters, tactical nukes, all at others expense. A small RAF buy (27?) gets us those capabilities without having to shell out integrating weapons ourselves.

Peter S
Peter S
7 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

The UK F35 purchase plan was a successor to Joint Force Harrier, which was simply a nice name for cutting the Sea Harrier. The F35b is a logical purchase for the RN but not really for the RAF. It seems increasingly likely the UK order will top out at @70. So assign them all to RN and beef up the RAF with another 50/70 Typhoon. RN F35bs would still be available when stealth is critical and an increased Typhoon fleet would give us both enhanced air defence and strike power.

Airborne
Airborne
7 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Not realy mate. But regardless of our opinons on the actual asset, if we do go for a small buy of As, say 27 like you suggest, that means maybe 9-12 routine available and deployable. To small a buy to be worthy of the second logistic and repair chain required. Would we like more of most of our assets, yes of course, but such a small buy would be negligable in the scheme of things, especialy as the RAF have Typhoon already. Methinks the RAF are now looking forward to Tempest and as ever, money will be very tight. Cheers.

John Hartley
John Hartley
7 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Has Typhoon an anti ship missile? Or a tactical nuke? Or SEAD? Or heavy bunker busters? Of course we could add them, but the integration costs would be huge. Denmark is buying 27 F-35A. Are they idiots? Given the timeframe from demonstrator to service for Typhoon, Tempest is very unlikely before 2040. We have a fast jet gap now. Then there is staying credible with the Americans on future projects if we do not keep (at least loosely) to our commitment to 138 F-35. 76 F-35B + 27 F-35A = 103 F-35, which puts us over the ton. We might… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
7 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I think you are overestimating our ability to pay for these extras. The F35 run will finish about 60-72 airframes shit bust, not 138. And the Danish military have questioned such a small buy of 27, stating it is bare minimum for QRA leaving just 4 airframes for deployment. Their head sheds aren’t happy, look it up. Mate we used to have lots of various assets but harping on about what we did have doesn’t matter any longer, it’s what we can get with the cash and will available, and any military professional knows buying any assets in small numbers… Read more »