The Canadians plan
to buy 80 F-35 conventional-take-off-and-landing aircraft to
replace their CF-18 aircraft. Canada already spent U.S. $150
million and committed to further $150 in the recent signature.
The U.K. invested U.S.$ 2 billion in the program;
the funding increase required by the new commitment is £34
Million ($66.8 million). According to U.K. Defence Minister
Lord Drayson, the UK continued support for the program was depended
on U.S. assurances that the UK will gain operational sovereignty
over its F-35 aircraft. "I have today received the necessary
assurances from the US on technology transfer to allow me to
sign the MoU 3." Said Lord Drayson. 'Operational sovereignty'
will enable the UK to maintain control over essential aspects
of the aircraft including certification, integration and support
through the service lifetime of the platform. Britain is expected
to buy 150 short take-off and landing variants to replace its
Harriers. The aircraft will be used on the future aircraft carriers
to be operated by the Royal Navy.
he Netherlands and Australia have also signed
the PSFD MoU. The four remaining Partners (Italy, Turkey, Denmark
and Norway) in the Systems Development and Demonstration (SDD)
phase are expected to sign the MoU in the next few months. Other
international partners interested in the program include Singapore
The JSF/F-35 will be the single largest fighter aircraft program
of the first half of the twenty-first century; current plans
call for building more than 2,400 F-35 aircraft by 2027 with
a total estimated program value in excess of US$276 billion.
Photo: Lockheed Martin F-35 JSF Seen on one of the recent taxi
tests, preparing for its first flight (Photo: Lockheed Martin)