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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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More overpriced trash
By seraphim1982 on 12/10/2012 11:00:51 AM , Rating: 1
F35 is overpriced trash, which doesn't even meet the requirements we (Canadians) were looking for in fighter planes in the first place. We were looking primarily for interceptors that can also operate in cold temperatures. There are MANY other cheaper PROVEN options, that would be a definite improvement over the current CF18.

Why the hell do we need a stealth plane if we aren't planning to attack people?

Biggest waste of money.....




RE: More overpriced trash
By Spuke on 12/10/2012 12:37:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why the hell do we need a stealth plane if we aren't planning to attack people? Biggest waste of money.....
I agree and I don't even think we (US) needs it either. But then I don't think we should be using our military to protect other countries (Japan is exempted for now). Let them protect themselves.


RE: More overpriced trash
By fredgiblet on 12/10/2012 4:05:09 PM , Rating: 4
Stealth is valuable to interceptors as well.


RE: More overpriced trash
By Captain Orgazmo on 12/10/2012 5:15:46 PM , Rating: 3
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

The F-35 may not be ideal for the geography of Canada, but name a current fighter that is (and that we can buy -- F-22 is not for sale). Most of the effectiveness of a fighter plane is achieved when it is not a smoking crater, so stealth capabilities are very important in modern BVR (beyond visual range) engagements. What's the point of having an air force if it would just be shot down in minutes in a real war.

If you think war cannot come, then no point arguing with idiots.


RE: More overpriced trash
By Jeffk464 on 12/10/2012 5:43:15 PM , Rating: 2
I know where these countries can buy a T50 stealth fighter for a relative bargain. You just need to refit them to fire NATO ordinance.


RE: More overpriced trash
By sorry dog on 12/10/2012 10:12:00 PM , Rating: 2
you must be referring to the two flying demo models that don't have the planned avionics or engines in them yet...so you wouldn't have to re-fit the ordinance...you just have to fit it in the first place.

...and fix the structural cracks.

...or you can wait for Russia to finish doing that in 5 years...and then wait for production to ramp up...and then get in line after Russia's and India's orders.


RE: More overpriced trash
By Jeffk464 on 12/10/2012 5:47:59 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Why the hell do we need a stealth plane if we aren't planning to attack people?


First to see, first to shoot is the big winner for stealth technology. An F22 can have a missile flying towards it adversary before the adversary knows there is even a threat.


"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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