10:14 GMT +326 March 2017
Live
    F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter

    Australia Refuses to Buy F-35B for Its Military

    © REUTERS/ US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Handout
    Asia & Pacific
    Get short URL
    185571434

    Australia has scrapped plans to purchase F-35B fighter jets for the two largest ships in its Navy after it was found that the ships would require extensive modifications which were deemed to be too costly.

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot wanted to put short-take-off and vertical-landing F-35Bs – made by American defense contractor Lockheed Martin – on the decks of the Navy's two 27,000-ton troop transport assault ships.

    To accommodate the aircraft, defense officials said, the ships would require extensive modifications, including new radar systems, instrument landing systems, heat-resistant decking, restructuring of fuel storage and fuel lines, and storage hangars.

    The two assault ships, as they are now, are designed to carry helicopters.

    "There were just too many technical difficulties involved in modifying a ship which takes helicopters to take fighter jets and it is also very expensive," one source told the Australian Financial Review. "You can safely say it has been dropped."

    Australia therefore will only operate the standard F-35A variant, of which 72 are on order and two are currently used for training in the United States. The first Royal Australian Air Force pilots are learning to fly the F-35A at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

    The recently commissioned HMAS Canberra and soon-to-be delivered HMAS Adelaide are likely to be primarily used to transport troops and equipment to war or disaster zones.

    At a total cost of more than $1 trillion – with a 't' – the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive weapons program in the Pentagon’s history. Moreover, the program has been plagued by multiple delays and cost overruns.

    The US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps – along with the militaries of more than a dozen US allies – are counting on the stealth fighter to replace aircraft currently in service and take over a number of missions.

    Tags:
    F-35 II Joint Strike Fighter Program, F-35 fighter jet, F-35, Lockheed Martin, Australian Navy, United States, Australia
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment

    All comments

    • avatar
      megargy
      F-35 is a fly turd that can't fight - F-16 beats them in dog fights !

      Abbot might be a fool but he ain't totally stupid
    • sophm0e38in reply tomegargy(Show commentHide comment)
      megargy, I watched footage of that man Abbot eating a raw onion! I think he's totally stupid and the U.S. needs money and has plenty of options to get it from Australia.
    Show new comments (0)