Wednesday, March 26, 2014

US, allies may buy more than 3,100 F-35 jets

WASHINGTON — The United States and its allies plan to buy more than 3,100 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter warplanes in the coming years. Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for the US$392 billion (S$497 billion) weapons programme, is developing three variations for the US military services and eight partner countries that helped fund the plane’s development — Britain, Australia, Italy, Turkey, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Canada.
South Korea this week said it would join the two countries outside the group, Israel and Japan, that have placed orders for the jet. Singapore and Belgium are among other countries that have expressed interest.

The conventional landing A-model will be used by the US Air Force and most allies, revealed data provided by Lockheed Martin and defence officials in the US and other purchasing countries. The B-model, which can take off from shorter runways and land like a helicopter, will be used by the US Marine Corps, Italy and Britain, while the C-model, or carrier variant, will be used by the US Navy and Marine Corps.

The US is buying more than 2,400 F-35s. Outside of the US, the biggest buyer is the United Kingdom, which plans to buy a total of 138 F-35 B-models. Britain has so far committed to buying 48 of the new planes and is expected to announce plans for the next 14 jets soon. It has already received three jets.

Italy initially planned to buy 131 F-35 fighters, but curtailed its order to 90 jets in 2012. It is now slated to buy 60 F-35A models and 30 F-35Bs, but budget pressures may force another reduction of up to half of the remaining jets.

Other major buyers include the Netherlands (37 jets and possibly more later), Turkey (100), Australia (100), Norway (52), Denmark (possibly 30) and Israel (19, with future orders of up to 75).

Japan announced in December 2011 that it was ordering 42 F-35 A-model jets and may order more in the coming years.
South Korea this week confirmed its plans to buy F-35A jets to replace its ageing F-4s. Sources familiar with its plans said the government plans to spend around 7.34 trillion won (S$8.6 billion) for 40 F-35 jets. REUTERS


1 comment :

  1. The U.S. wants its allies to spend more on defense. Here’s how much they’re shelling out....

    The United States has long urged its allies -- particularly European governments -- to spend a greater share of their budgets on defense. American officials have warned that defense cuts in recent years by many members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have created a two-tiered system in which some nations are freeloading off of those that continue to invest heavily in defense.

    Several capitals have done little more than pay lip service to warnings from Washington, which continues to spend approximately 4 percent of its gross domestic product on defense. The United States has shouldered a higher share of NATO’s defense expenditures in recent years. According to NATO’s 2013 annual report, Washington was paying 73 percent of the alliance’s defense expenditures, up from 68 percent in 2007.

    NATO leaders have demanded that members spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense, but several have struggled to meet that threshold. Currently, few European countries are meeting that benchmark. By way of comparison, Russia spends 4.5 of its GDP on defense...........


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