The UK has ringfenced specific funding for the purchase of 74 F-35 jets, as confirmed by James Cartlidge, Minister of State for Defence Procurement, in his communication with Jeremy Quin MP, Chair of the House of Commons Defence Committee.

He stated:

“Following the successful stand up of 809NAS in December 2023, Force growth will continue to mature and build our frontline squadrons’ capabilities out to December 2025. Force growth remains an actively managed issue. We have already implemented the first increased recruitment of the required engineering workforce across the RN and RAF. The Operational Conversion Unit continues to graduate F-35B pilots into the Force at a sufficient rate. Additionally, the Force has trained a new tactical weapons instructor and 6 flying instructors, which has provided additional instructor depth. However, Lockheed Martin has currently suspended aircraft release post-production as they have experienced software instability during developmental testing of Technical Refresh 3, the next pan-platform software upgrade. We are aware of the current short-term delays to UK aircraft deliveries. At this time, it is not assessed to impact the scheduled FOC declaration at the end of 2025.

Beyond FOC, deliveries of ‘Tranche 2’ will start and the next significant operational capability development will occur towards the end of the decade, with UK weapons

(METEOR and SPEAR 3) being fielded on the UK’s front-line. UK and JPO negotiations regarding the ‘Tranche 2’ buy of a further 27 F-35 aircraft are going well. This next procurement phase is expected to complete the internal approvals process during summer 2024. It will realise our long-term ambition to deepen Carrier Enabled Power Projection capability and will bring the UK fleet up to 74 aircraft, allowing us to create a third front line squadron by 2033. Funding for this next phase has been ringfenced under an approved ABC Option.”

The United Kingdom has also, it appears, signalled a reaffirmation of its commitment to procure 138 F-35B aircraft, as per the original plan laid out in the early stages of the programme. In a recent parliamentary exchange, James Cartlidge, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, provided a detailed response regarding the UK’s commitment to the F-35 programme.

On 5th February 2024, he stated:

“All Partner Nations place orders for F-35 through the Joint Program Office in low-rate initial production Lots. The average time between the multi-national orders being placed for each Lot and deliveries to customer nations is between two to four years.

For details of United Kingdom delivery timescales from Lot 3 to Lot 14, I refer the right hon. Member to the answer that Baroness Goldie gave to the Noble Lord, Lord Moonie on 4 November 2019 to Question HL520, which remains extant. The multi-national order for low-rate initial production Lots 15-17 was placed in early 2023, which set delivery timescales of a further thirteen UK F-35B aircraft out to 2025.

The UK remains committed to 138 aircraft through the life of the programme. However, no contracts have been placed by any nation beyond production Lot 17. Precise details of delivery timescales for subsequent production Lots will be taken at the appropriate time, as part of the wider multi-national orders. This ensures the most appropriate capability and the best value for money.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Grinch
Grinch
15 days ago

Good news for once

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
15 days ago

Ring fenced until the next government changes it.

Mark B
Mark B
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

At best we are moving towards a cold war scenario. I would expect the US to be pushing NATO to increase the minimum defence spend towards 2.5% (maybe 3.0%) by 2030-2035. Labour would look decidedly weak if it undermined that.

Jim
Jim
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

The US does not have a lot of credibility to push anyone in NATO on funding at the moment. Too many dead Ukrainians in fox holes waiting for artillery support for that.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

The weird thing is that NATO post-USSR as a concept is completely dependent on the Europeans not spending 2%.
Afterall if they did they’d have a far more powerful combined military than Russia and no need to play sidekick to the USA.

Andrew D
Andrew D
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

IT’S looking like Ukraine going on the back foot sadly , now that Ammunition and weapons running out 😞 🇺🇦

Pongoglo
Pongoglo
14 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Agreed – the Republican party has blood on its hands. Hopefully though this will provide the wake-up call as regards Defence that Europe so badly needs. In the mean time however our 🇺🇦friend are out of ammo and losing ground . 👎

Expat
Expat
12 days ago
Reply to  Pongoglo

So not a mention of Germany who underfunded its own defence for how long, did very well out of it to. Had countries like Germany spent 2% plus there would be more for Ukraine today.

Derek
Derek
11 days ago
Reply to  Pongoglo

… and the Democrats have blood on their hands. They refuse to put forward a straightforward, resupply based bill that could be bi-partisan and instead they add in other clauses covering climate change and other woke agenda items the Republicans oppose. The Republicans either vote for the Bill entire or get blamed for Ukrainians dying. It is dirty politics at its best and sadly you fell for it.

Expat
Expat
12 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Isn’t that US’s point, we relied on them too much on the US had we had decades of 2% plus spending in Europe the US would have less of a burden on them. Germany for one did very well out of underfunding its own defence, off loading its secuirty to the US tax payer.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Much though I would like to agree with you the likelihood of Labour getting to 3 per cent is 0 per cent. I doubt they’ll even try to get to 2.5.

lonpfrb
lonpfrb
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Why wouldn’t the TUC strongly support skilled UK jobs in aircraft manufacturing, maintenance and consumables including the currently inadequate ammunition production?

Obviously all of that has a deep supply chain and tax basis that’s in the UK national interest.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
15 days ago
Reply to  lonpfrb

Time will tell.

Mark B
Mark B
12 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

The mood music coming from Labour suggests they will commit to Tory spending (in the first parliament as per Blair) so in theory if the Tories commit to 2.5% or 3% then Labour will meekly follow.

Expat
Expat
12 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

2 or 3 % is irrelevant, If you growth GDP per capita we’ll have more money for defence but we will not need to provide more for services as the propulation won’t be increasing. Growing GDP by adding people is a busted flush, you get some tax but you need more infrastructure and services so there’s no net gain and as it take time for those tax £ to acculuate enough to build an extra school room or hospital ward the only way is to fund the infrastructure up front with borrowing (which makes it more expensive)and whilst is all… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
12 days ago
Reply to  Expat

😂Try removing the hysteria about increased GDP due to population growth and replace it with productivity and recalculate.

Expat
Expat
11 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

It’s hardly hysteria, the OBR have said population growth to drive GDP does work. GDP per capita increase will always provide better living standards than GDP driven by increasing population, always has always will.

Increasing loads on infrastructure actually decreases GDP per capita, example a lorry now takes 20 minutes more to travel A to B due to increasing traffic, That’s 20 minutes of unproductive time, now apply that to the 100k of lorries on the road daily. Pretty basic stuff really.

Last edited 11 days ago by Expat
Mark B
Mark B
11 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Expat the OBR are a bunch of civil servants who know little if anything about business otherwise they would be in it making their fortunes rather than working 9-5 (if that) manipulating spread sheets.Sure injecting new workers into an economy which is short of workers can increase GDP however so can getting the existing workers to work more efficiently which is a far better way of improving GDP. It also means you don’t put further stress on the country but requiring extra housing, extra doctors, hospitals, retirement homes and so on. Lorry drivers is a daft measure of productivity as… Read more »

Expat
Expat
11 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

So it appears we’re in agreement I used lorry drivers as a simple example as is a very obvious case when you see how many are stuck in jams every day, not a hugely productive job by some measures but the volume of them is quite high. If course there’s higher value added jobs i could have used. But yes agree we should be excelerating the use of autonomous vehicles and tge most obvious example is trains. The retail drivers to do other jobs. Problem is with the OBR is a government has to listen to them, or they risk… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
11 days ago
Reply to  Expat

The benefit of the OBR is that it gives everyone the same independent set of figures. This doesn’t stop any Government from introducing any policy providing they have the all important support in parliament. Liz failed to anticipate that the markets would freak out and that many of the MPs that inhabit the commons didn’t have the backbone to support their leaders (any of them). But then that is democracy.

Expat
Expat
10 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

But it was also comments from the OBR that contibuted to freaked the markets as they claimed Trusses budget would have left a black hole in the economy with tax cuts. But the OBR is also criticise for not allowing for the positive impacts of cutting taxes. To be clear I’m not going to argue the pros and cons of low taxes.

Mark B
Mark B
10 days ago
Reply to  Expat

The markets know that given favourable circumstances reducing taxes can be favourable – I just don’t think that the markets thought that the timing, global circumstances etc. were favourable and the OBR picked up on that. Truss was trying to recreate the effect that lowering taxes had for Maggie without doing any of the work. Not a winning formula as she found out.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
11 days ago
Reply to  Expat

The problem is that the population is increasing, including a lot of non productive people through immigartion. If we carry on the way we are services like the NHS are going to go bankrupt. Both parties have thrown money at it and it still doesn’t work.

Expat
Expat
11 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Geoff it’s not so much migrants aren’t unproductive just in many cases the contribution to the economy doesn’t match the the cost of services that need to be provided, we’re currently borrowing to pay for services and theres no free capacity in the service. We need more wealthy migration, someone with say 10m in the bank will send their kid to private schools and use private medical but will pay far more than they consume back through tax

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
10 days ago
Reply to  Expat

I think that’s “nail on head” E. The population has gone up by ten million in the last 25 years and an awful lot of the immigration has been, if you’ll excuse the phrase, lower end. Families joining the worker who may already be here, asylum seekers, refuges, students and estimates of tens of thousands of illegals. Probably nothing wrong with the vast majority of the people but they are a drain on resources. Talking about the NHS in particular the budget there has gone from £130 billion to £180 billion in the same period, not counting the Covid money… Read more »

Expat
Expat
10 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

And we seem intent on putting off wealthy migration into the country. I’m a socialist but not a labour or tory voter because labour do class politics where as I believe in supporting wealth and making more money so we have more to share amongst the existing population. We have the top 1% paying 30% of tax, Labour will say that shows how unequal things are and that 1% should pay more, where I would say triple that 1% to 3% by attracting wealth and give more back to the rest of us and/or elevate public services. The political class… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
9 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Outdated ideology irs right. I have seen this merry go round of policies three times now at least starting in the seventies. MT had some ideas that did make a difference, so did TB. Neither of them got it all right by any means but comparitve to what seemed then like crisp decision making today it’s like walking around in slush. Nobody seems to know what to do. The Tories are totally confused and Labour are led by envy. Realistically the NHS has had i, so as you say it’s a question of time. I wonder whether part of the… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
11 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Both would be good to see. 🙄

Expat
Expat
12 days ago
Reply to  lonpfrb

TUC wouldn’t care what work comes their way, if Labour pushed offshore wind work to shipyards instead of ships the TUC wouldn’t give a flying….

DB
DB
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

As they’ve been cut off at the knees re the ‘tax cut t’other week, they won’t even be able to try.

Scrapps was rightly derided by his own Cons when he kept bullsh!tting about the 2.5% aspiration cobblers.

In fact Francois stated that Dedence had been cut by the Cons. So, shall we leave party politics at the school gate?

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
15 days ago
Reply to  DB

By all means leave politics out. If you had read my post properly and read what I’ve been saying for months about both political parties you would have noticed that I didn’t mention any one particular party. You’re the one who mentioned the Cons. Perhaps you should leave party politics at the school railings.🤔

DB
DB
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Fail. Please re-read your post and show again 😉

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
15 days ago
Reply to  DB

Yep. Got me . I did say Labour in that post but only because I was responding to Mark B’s mention of Labour and I don’t see anybody going to 3 per cent.🙄

DB
DB
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

No worries Geoff, we’re on the same side.

Defence is in a world of pain and a paracetamol is not going to help.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
15 days ago
Reply to  DB

👍In a world where we throw money at almost everyhting other than defence your analogy is a very good one. The tens of billions wasted every year is heart breaking.

Expat
Expat
12 days ago
Reply to  DB

Labour can always raise taxes to pay more into defence or they can cut elsewhere, its their choice. I’m no fan of the Tories but to say Labour can’t make changes because of Tory policy is, well obsurd, the reason we vote for a change in goverment is for change of policy. If Labour don’t have the balls to make tough choices to raise defence spending then why vote for them, may as well vote for the Greens 😀

DB
DB
12 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Baiting comment. Poor effort, total fail.

Expat
Expat
11 days ago
Reply to  DB

Explain why it’s a baiting comment it’s factual the government of the day has the ability to craft its own policies and make it’s own budget decisions.

As I don’t support either party it’s I’m not looking for an argument, just stating facts and the fundamentals of our political system. Please except my sincere apologies if this upsets you.

DB
DB
11 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Because at the moment Labour have a reputation as a bad manager of public finances. Rachel Reeves, as a former Bank of England, has sought to assuage such fears on public finance, as such, in the first term Labour are constrained by the finances. Could the finances be changed overnight? No, but if you take the railways, there are massive savings to be made and make a significant dent on £8Bn/year subsidy. However, the big one is the NHS and Jonathan can answer that one. My two penneth is that National Insurance should not be scrapped but linked, hypothecated, to… Read more »

Expat
Expat
11 days ago
Reply to  DB

So you agree. Labour when they get in power can make changes, you’re suggesting some yourself. Constraining public finance are a political choice, Tories made the same choice when they came to power a sighted the previous government as the cause. Seems to be the go to for our political class tbh. Labour can choose to raise more tax also again it’s a political choice not to, the OBR is more supportive of tax rises than cuts and if they go after the top few % it’s unlikely to be a vote looser. I would be all for a tax… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
10 days ago
Reply to  Expat

A Government with sufficient votes can do what it likes obviously. The problem is that if Labour say they will match the Tory spending plans they have half a chance of actually getting into power in the first place.

Expat
Expat
10 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

I would say distancing itself for any Tory plans would be a vote winner. But here’s the stark reality, the biggest impacts on the UK economy have been external, and with it Labour has pretty much supported the government line and in some cases called for more. Covid for instance was a huge inflation driver, shut down the economy so you restrict supply then pump in money so theres a surplus of cash, excess of money over goods = inflation. Labour called for more money and longer lockdowns which would have made the looming inflation post crisis worse. Now I’m… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
9 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Distancing from Tory policies will only attract votes you already have. Kier knows the battle is for the floating voters. That is the difference between winning and losing. Personally I thought the Ukraine conflict and the oil and gas price hikes was the source of the major inflationary pressures. Covid was effectively a war and took exceptional spending – the enemy might not have been conventional but the effect was the same.

I’m a floating voter and will vote for the party which is making the most sense at the time.

Expat
Expat
9 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Ukraine was another factor but again there no difference between Labour and Tories on Ukraine both support the war. Labour never highlighted energy as a concern in backing Ukraine. The only brought it up when prices actually rose and used it as political collateral. So again we would have been in the same position with Labour government. They will have hammered big oil more with taxes, again a sensationalist policy as energy prices have now dropped and the 10s of billions energy companies make are made outside the UK and untaxable by the UK government, They really don’t harp on… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
9 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Actually the Labour attitude especially in the run up to the Ukraine war is one of my particular gripes with Kier. Those who had an interest in Defence matters were being kept up to date with the Russian preparations and were even privy to the Russian plans being leaked to defence experts and any of the media which would listen. Keir kept the focus firmly on party gate which to me is putting party politics before country. The issue with oil & gas seems simple to me. Over the next 26 years the UK wants to transition away from oil… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
10 days ago
Reply to  DB

How it was originally you mean. It don’t think the plan is to scrap NI but to merge it with normal taxation. I’m not sure it’s a great plan to have two taxes – one for the stuff we like and one for the stuff we like less😀

DB
DB
10 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

I know but, EVERYONE, loves the NHS and thinks more and more money should be thrown at it… until they realise just how much, this will always be an issue and Defence will suffer for it.

I suggest people should truly understand how much their triple lock pensions and NHS treatment really cost the actual taxpayers.

Increase the Defence budget to 3% NOW! Let fatties, druggies, transits etc al fund their own treatments! We are in a Munich Beir Kellar, right?

😉

Mark B
Mark B
10 days ago
Reply to  DB

😂As a concept the NHS is great. It just needs to be run properly (easier said than done) and we need to control the services it provides. We need some breakthroughs on diseases like cancer & dementia. Also we need to give people more control over when they want to slip off this mortal coil. We can’t keep people alive forever.
The biggest problem is people are not debating this stuff down the Beir Kellar – they are typing on their keyboards giving themselves RSI.

Expat
Expat
10 days ago
Reply to  DB

Anyone with a HMRC account can see how much it costs them, trouble is a huge part of the population don’t do a tax retrun and another ever increasing portion aren’t paying any tax, instead are a receipient of monies from the government. So it would be better if their was one tax then put the % split in the payslip. Welfare and Health costs me 40% of my contributions. But here’s the thing people bang on about austerity and how it cost lives but with 12% of my taxes on debt surely raining in Debt significantly and rapidly would… Read more »

DB
DB
9 days ago
Reply to  Expat

That’s a thought provoking reply ex-pat, I’d agree that national debt has to be zeroed.

The problem with debt is that it keeps increasing and concurrently, becomes more expensive. Spiral of doom.

I’d still agree to disagree that Pensions, NHS and dentistry should under NI.

The NHS needs reform and they have been put on a pedestal that can’t be touched; only when people pay taxes and understand that the monolithic, trustee overweight, NHS, must be reformedm

Expat
Expat
9 days ago
Reply to  DB

Tbh, I’ve never thought much about tax and NI before the recent debate on it. For me it’s all just tax and money the government gets to do good and bad with. And its a mute point Labour are the next government so its staying. But I would like to more people made aware of how their money is spent. Unfortunately the NHS will probably drag us under. There’s talk of taxation on private medical bills to further fund the NHS and exclude more people from using private health care. Of course that will impact the sacrifices and savers in… Read more »

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Read the poll on the front of the Daily Mail today, Conservatives are the least trusted party on defence and thought of as the party most likely to cut defence spending further.

Who do you Trust on Defence?
Conservatives 23%, Labour 34%, Both 14%, Neither 21%, D/K 6%

Do you associate the Conservative Party with increasing or decreasing defence spending?
Increase 26%, Decrease 28%, Neither 26%, D/K 20%

Do you think the government is spending enough on defence?
Too little 40%, too much 9%, right amount 34%, D/K 17%

Last edited 15 days ago by Watcherzero
ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

If you think that’s odd, I get feedback data from You.gov and it tends to explain why Labour may be making a lot of noise about Defence. It was based on how people voted in the last General Election and do they see Increased Defence spending as a higher priority than Welfare or Tax cuts. OA 53% for, Tory voters 51%, Labour 56%. However that GE saw a massive swing in the traditional Labour Heartlands on the back of Brexit so the true figure for future Labour voters may be far higher. Which may just explain why Labour are really… Read more »

DB
DB
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Thanks for that snippet Rodders.

Expat
Expat
12 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I think both parties just follow the mood music tbh.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
15 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Can’t say I’m surprised. The government is probably the least trusted on just about every thing. I’ll believe it’s going to get better for our armed forces when it gets better.

Lee John fursman
Lee John fursman
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Don’t worry everybody we’ll have another squadron of aircraft in about ten years. Let’s hope the rest of the world can wait…

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
14 days ago

As quick as that?😉

Expat
Expat
9 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

The daily mail also publish a poll saying Tory voters were more likely to to sign up than Labour voters. So oddly if polls are to be believed Labour are better for defence but those who vote for them are less likely to serve .
Polls go figure 🤔

Mark B
Mark B
15 days ago

Has this not always been the plan. The F35 has thus far not been the mature aircraft we were looking for. When LM get their act together they will be selling the F35 left right and centre. I would not be surprised if we buy more than 138. The only way we were ever going to buy less would be if Tempest came in ahead of schedule or LM took forever to get the F35 to an acceptable place.

Order of the Ditch
Order of the Ditch
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Buying more than 138 would be the death of Tempest, so never going to happen.
Yes we haven’t ordered many F35s so far but considering we were the only Tier 1 partner we have been shafted. Very little of each jet is made in the UK, we didn’t even get the engine maintenance contract. UK weapons fit has been very slow whilst Israel has been given software access and able to integrate many of their own systems into the jet.
This should be the last American fast jet we ever buy.

Chris
Chris
15 days ago

Good luck with that. If you think this is an expensive project, try standing one up on its own (tempest). The UK will have to find tens if not hundreds of billions.

The UK has a firm order for 48 jets. That’s it. There is no reason for the US to bend over backwards for a “tier1 partner” when it’s 5th place in Europe alone for firm orders.

Last edited 15 days ago by Chris
ABCRodney
ABCRodney
14 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Of which only 43 are operationally usable add the 27 extra and we have 70 airframes. Apply 66% rule for maintenance leaves just 47 deployable, which numbers wise isn’t a lot but is actually a very useful and capable force.
My concern is that at some point we need to upgrade all the 43 original ones to Block 4 and that will reduce numbers.

Louis
Louis
13 days ago

What? 15% of every F35 is built in the UK, LM recently announced that number was now a lot higher, although they didn’t say by how much. We are the only Tier 1 partner, and have say 18% of the build work, but have ordered only 48 F35s. There has never been another military programme in the whole world, that lets a country get nearly a fifth of the workshare, but only have like 2% of the orders for the aircraft. It has never happened, and probably will never happen again. It is the better workshare than what we got… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
11 days ago
Reply to  Louis

👍Exactly!

Mark B
Mark B
12 days ago

We have 15%. It is only 85% American. We committed to this mainly to replace Harrier and see if the US could play nicely with us. The US and LM need to look up the definition of partner. Still this is all water under the bridge.

Order of the Ditch
Order of the Ditch
12 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Unfortunately that isn’t 100% true. 15% of each is made by UK companies, but that includes US divisions of UK companies. 15% of each jet isn’t made in the UK, which is the important bit – keeping the jobs and skills alive here

Mark B
Mark B
12 days ago

Not sure we are that worried about skilled jobs in the UK. It’s not like we have 3 million unemployed anymore. Also replacements for F35 etc. are problably going to require vast amounts of new tech which the UK are well placed to provide. High skilled economy is what we are aiming for after all.

Meirion X
Meirion X
11 days ago

Nonsense again, rear fuselage is made in Walton Lancashire!

Order of the Ditch
Order of the Ditch
11 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

I never said it wasn’t. The fact remains less than 15% of each F35 is made in the UK, as the 15% workshare includes bits made in US factories owned by BAE and RR.
As a Tier 1 partner we were shafted and building the rear fuselage isn’t enough.
For example RR fanlift on the B variant is made in the US.

Louis
Louis
11 days ago

That is not true. 15% made in the UK is 15% made in the UK and does not include parts made in the US, that number is even higher now.

As a tier 1 partner we have shafted the US by only ordering 48 F35s which is less than a dozen other countries.

Meirion X
Meirion X
11 days ago

“Very little of each jet is made in the UK…”

Not true, the rear fuselage of the F-35b is manufactured in the UK!

“…whilst Israel has been given software access and able to integrate many of their own systems into the jet…”

The UK’s MoD has the same rights as a Tier 1 Partner, as the Israeli’s to modify software of F-35b, it is just the UK’s MoD that does not want to make any modifications, or it will keep any changes quite.

Last edited 11 days ago by Meirion X
Chris
Chris
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

The F-35 is mature, it is selling left and right. The UK isn’t buying it because it has no money.

Mark B
Mark B
12 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Nonsense. The F35 should be living up to expectations with software updates allowing the use of virtually any weapon coming more rapidly than patches from Microsoft.😂

Pete ( the original from years ago)
Pete ( the original from years ago)
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Buying 138 was not meant to be across the life of a 40 year program.138 was the operational volume planned to be procured to replace some 330+ then (2001) operational Tornado GR’s, SHAR and Harrier GRs that were to be phased out.

MT1
MT1
14 days ago

F35 was never intended to replace Tornado, 138 was for 3 RAF and 2 FAA Squadron. Tornado was to be replaced by FOAS (or something) that was eventually cancelled several years after our involvement in F35 began. Tornado left service without replacement.

Pete ( the original from years ago)
Pete ( the original from years ago)
14 days ago
Reply to  MT1

Oh yes it was. I vividly recall the program objectives, especially at the time of F35 selection in 2001 at the end of the fly-off period. F35 was to replace Harrier GR, Tornado GR4 and SHAR fleets.

Life of project concept is a political spin concept over the last 15 years.

Irony is 31 years after jsf project started the f35 in uk mode still doesn’t have a true deep strike capability…but the AD focused eurofighter has evolved into a good strike platform.

Louis
Louis
13 days ago

Originally, EAP was going to replace Jaguar, Buccaneer, F4 and finally Tornado ADV. At the end of the Cold War EAP was delayed and later became Eurofighter. By that point Buccaneer and F4 were already gone so Typhoon became a replacement for Tornado ADV alone, and Jaguar left service with no replacement. FOAS was launched in 1995 to replace Tornado, one year later FCBA was launched to replace Sea Harrier. In 2001 FCBA became FJCA, to replace Harrier GR7 as well, and that same year JSF/F35 was selected. FOAS was ongoing, and became DPOC in 2005. DPOC was cancelled in… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
12 days ago

Maybe Pete however the F35 is late and is not living upto expections. It is perhaps for the UK to push ahead with Tempest and other projects to cover the UK ( and new partner) requirements. Depending on how these projects go will identify the future kit in the inventory.

Meirion X
Meirion X
12 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

The Israeli’s would tell you differently! They just used F-35A’s to bomb an Iranian embassy!

Mark B
Mark B
12 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Using their own ordinance probably whilst we wait for Block IV.

James
James
15 days ago

75 jets lol They should order the entirety of the original numbers which it’s self was not that high for a country the size of the UK.

lonpfrb
lonpfrb
15 days ago
Reply to  James

Because of the difference between low rate production and serial production it would not be in the national interest to take the pressure off LM by ordering everything now.
I suspect that the JPO would have the same view for best taxpayer value so not welcome any blank cheques from buyer nations. Just because Saudi could, doesn’t make it best practice..

DP
DP
15 days ago

I wonder what the 3rd operational squadron that stands up in 2033 might be? When the Tranche1 Typhoons go will that mean a Squadron or two disband, in which case, which ones do we think and will the 3rd F35 squadron simply be one of these?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago

Great now where are the extra Typhoons to actually defend the country ? We need at least 36 Tranche 4.

Sorry but in full Oliver Twist mode ☹️

DB
DB
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

If thou art on Faceache, search for Michelle Scrogham, go on, her sincerity will make your sides split from laughter.

There she is spouting off about AUKUS, SSN and SSBN, the same person who got me banned from the Labour Party when I had the temerity to suggest she didn’t know the difference between an SSN and SSBN and then stated the conversation had never happened.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  DB

Finally looked her up mate.

Andrew D
Andrew D
15 days ago

Fair enough ,bit of good news but really need to get extra Typhoons T4s has T1s going in 2025 😕

Expat
Expat
12 days ago

I do wonder if a lot of this news is so the Tories get it out there now so when they are in opposition they can go on the attack when the cuts happens. Seems to be a lot of reafirming position on various capabilities atm, some of which are still in early stages and would probably cut if by some miracle the Tories win. I’ve said this before, the best thing the Tories could do for the defence of this country is order kit now on robust contracts forcing Labour to honor the commitments and fund it. Kinda a… Read more »

DB
DB
11 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Agree with that Expat, I’ll take 4*T26 B3.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
11 days ago

Now all we need is for Hank the yank to get them built 🤬🤬🤬