The Sunday Times has reported that the UK is likely only to purchase 48 F-35B jets, down from 138.
An excerpt from this article states.
“An order for 90 more F-35 Lightning combat jets is to be cancelled in favour of the Tempest fighter, built in Lancashire, while 24 older Typhoon fighters will be retired early. Whole fleets of aircraft will be taken out of service as drones become ever more common.”
You can read more by visiting the original source here.
You can also read more about Tempest by visting the link below.
This reported F-35B order isn’t entirely unexpected, whilst speaking to the Public Accounts Committee,the MoD’s Permanent Secretary Sir Stephen Lovegrove said:
“Things change in the course of these very long-term programmes. Different capabilities come along that render things that you have yet to buy possibly obsolete or perhaps you need fewer of them or the threats change.”
The final details of this will be revealed on March the 16th in the Integrated Review.
The ‘Integrated Review’, to give it its full title the ‘Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy’ is effectively a defence review.
According to a Ministry of Defence announcement:
“General Sir Nick Carter has been central to setting the vision for our future armed forces. The Prime Minister has asked General Carter to remain in post to ensure continuity and stability while the conclusions of the Integrated Review are implemented following the £24.1-billion settlement for defence announced last year.
The Integrated Review will be published on 16 of March and the Defence Command Paper will be published on 22 of March. The selection of General Carter’s successor as Chief of the Defence Staff will begin in the autumn.”
The review was previously described by Boris Johnson as the largest review of its kind since the Cold War and will be published later this month.