Britain won't decide on F-35 fighter numbers till 2015

By REUTERS
February 7, 2012 14:26

 
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LONDON - Britain has deferred to 2015 a firm commitment on how many Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets it will buy, adding to uncertainties over the multinational program which has recently been questioned in the US Congress.

"We will not make final decisions on the overall number of aircraft we will order before the next planned Strategic Defence Review (in 2015)," a Ministry of Defence MoD spokeswoman said on Tuesday, adding an initial order would be placed next year.

The F-35 project ranks as the most expensive US arms program but has been criticized for cost overruns at a time when next week's US fiscal 2013 budget plan is expected to postpone funding for 179 warplanes until after 2017 - a move that has prompted international partners to question their own procurement plans.

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