U.S., U.K. Are Likely To End Clash That's Marred Fighter-Jet Project

December 12th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: U.S., U.K. Are Likely To End Clash That's Marred Fighter-Jet Project

Wall Street Journal
December 12, 2006
Pg. 8

By Jonathan Karp and Daniel Michaels
As Lockheed Martin Corp. prepares its newest fighter jet for its maiden flight this week, the U.S. and Britain are moving toward resolving disputes, raising the likelihood Britain will stay in the $276 billion program, a person familiar with the matter said.
A formal agreement committing Britain to buy the jet, known as the Joint Strike Fighter, could be announced as soon as today after Pentagon talks between senior U.S. and British defense officials, the person said. London has threatened to pull out of the nine-nation JSF program unless Washington shared classified information about the plane's stealth technology and computer-software codes. Britain, which already has invested $2 billion in the JSF, has said it needs access to these technologies in order to operate and maintain the JSF without U.S. help.
An agreement with Britain would remove a shadow over the JSF, which has been in development for a decade and is billed as a model of international cooperation. A withdrawal by Washington's closest ally would have tarnished the program and scotched billions of dollars in sales, since Britain has been expected to be the plane's biggest foreign buyer.
Months of brinkmanship are culminating because the program faces a year-end deadline for completing a memorandum of understanding in which each country declares how many planes it will buy and signs a long-term agreement for maintaining and upgrading the aircraft. The Netherlands and Canada have signed the memorandum. Australia is to sign it today in Washington, a JSF program spokeswoman said. Italy, Turkey, Norway and Denmark haven't set dates. Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England today is to meet British Minister for Defence Procurement Paul Drayson, who this year aired London's grievances while testifying at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
A Pentagon spokesman would only confirm today's meeting. Tom Jurkowsky, spokesman for Lockheed, the prime contractor for the JSF, said the company "believes that the U.S. and British governments have made excellent progress with respect to technology-transfer issues since President Bush and Prime Minister Blair met on this issue earlier this year. The two governments continue to work this issue very closely, and we remain confident we will reach a positive resolution."
December 12th, 2006  

Topic: Joint Strike Fighter deal agreed

The US has agreed to reveal to the UK technical details of the Joint Strike Fighter, satisfying UK demands before committing to the £140bn project. Defence chiefs had been under pressure not to commit to the project unless the US released details to allow the UK to operate the jets independently.

A memorandum of understanding with the US has now been signed allowing the programme's next stage to go ahead. The dispute had threatened to end UK plans to buy 150 of the aircraft.

December 12th, 2006  
Its no longer called the Joint Strike Fighter, it is now officially called the "Lighting ll"

And yes, that is true, the British are going to still purchase the Multirole aircraft, capable of both air to ground, and air to air missions, and can shift mission prority in flight on combat sortie.

Pretty cool huh?

Any way, I know the over 260 billion program is alot, but, the aircraft itself, is very affordable for a fith generation aircraft.
December 13th, 2006  
$260 billion is a big price tag for the program, but it will be money well spent in the long run for all parties involved.

Similar Topics
JF-17 Vs LCA Tejas
House Votes to Let Allies Buy Top U.S. Fighter
U.S. Commanders Advance Plan To Beef Up Training Of Iraqi Army
Was Lee Whi-So killed by the U.S Government?
Shaking hands with Sadam Hussein