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The loss of the major partner in the F-35 program could be a death blow

The beleaguered F-35 Lightning II program keeps taking blows. Two partner countries, Canada and Italy, are now indicating the possibility of cutting orders for the F-35. Each time a partner nation slashes its orders, the price goes up for each jet purchased by other partner countries.

In April of 2012, the Canadian defense minister landed in hot water over allegations of not sharing information on expected costs the F-35 program. Canadian defense minister Peter MacKay admitted in April that he knew the fighter program could cost Canada as much as $25 billion. That price is billions of dollars more than Canadian officials publicly acknowledged.

At the time, Canadian lawmakers put a cap on spending for the F-35 program and this week more rumors have surfaced suggesting that Canada could drop the F-35 program entirely. While Canadian officials have dismissed any reports that it is planning to cancel the purchase of 65 F-35 fighters, some have gone on record saying that they were reconsidering the program and might compete the contract to replace Canada's aging CF-18 fighters.

Boeing, on the other hand, continues to lobby Canada to cancel orders for the F-35 and purchased the F/A-18 Super Hornet.

At the same time word that a leading Prime Minister candidate in Italy might trim F-35 purchases if elected to office. Italian Prime Minister candidate Pier Luigi Bersani is the man many expect to win the PM election in Italy. He said on time TV, "I would consider a relaxing, a reduction of the commitment to the F-35 and military spending."

Pentagon leaders continue to support existing U.S. orders for the F-35. U.S. leaders do say that they can afford to make cuts far in the future to keep near and mid-term production volume up. However, other countries don't have that luxury.

"The key point is that this doesn't just impact DoD, but it impacts all the partners," said Mark Gunzinger, of the CSBA, on potential cuts to international orders.

Britain is the largest international customer planning to purchase 138 F-35 fighters. However, British officials have previously suggested that they could reduce that number.

Source: Defense News

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About F-35
By Tupoun on 12/10/2012 10:53:55 AM , Rating: 1
I think this video and Australian concerns for the price and ability of this plane tells everything.

Stealth capability of the Export version of F-35 is on "level 3". It means it's the same level as the Su, Eurofighter (Typhoon) and others have. USA do not provide there partners with the same air plane as they keep it home for themselves.

Please try ignore the urges to comment, that what is made in Russia is "crap" (I am not From Russia ;)).

RE: About F-35
By Kefner on 12/10/12, Rating: 0
RE: About F-35
By Tupoun on 12/10/2012 11:54:45 AM , Rating: 2
Well ... the trouble is, that when the US partners were signing those treaties, the US side claimed, that they are selling them planes with maximum stealth capability. They never mentioned, that they will keep all the "Level 5" stealth airplanes only for the need of the USA and that a maximum stealth capability of the plane intended for the export (means for their partners) will be set only to "Level 3" (maximum EXPORT stealth capability).

Of course this later caused a big upheaval in Australia and Europe when some American general (can't remember the name) unwittingly disclosed the truth ... because why would they (Italy, Britain and many others) buy an airplane, which has the same stealth ability as Eurofighter (or others), but lacks everything else and is outmatched in all tasks by it (fighting capabilities, range ... etc.)? Not mentioning the price.

Of course even under these circumstances they will buy it in the end ... it's called politics and ... bribes were already spent.

And you know what? Even US pilots call F-35 the "Lorry". Take bomb, try to deliver the bomb, but for god's sake please ... do not engage any combat in this.

Your comment is utterly childish.

RE: About F-35
By Spuke on 12/10/2012 12:35:02 PM , Rating: 2
Of course this later caused a big upheaval in Australia and Europe when some American general (can't remember the name) unwittingly disclosed the truth ...
Doubt he did that by accident. The US military plays politics too.

RE: About F-35
By Kefner on 12/10/2012 2:41:28 PM , Rating: 2
Telling them to build their own is childish??? Only childish thing is your name calling. You know, the way you make your point on the playground.

RE: About F-35
By sorry dog on 12/10/2012 10:38:24 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like an amateur video by a Sukhio fan.

I'm un-trusting of anyone that is so sure in their opinion absent any significant support rational, either for or against.

Only thing us common folks can really know right now is the plane is damned we hope the plane can do everything they say it do.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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