Skip to comments.Lockheed could accommodate UK reversal on F-35 variant
Posted on 03/13/2012 5:36:34 PM PDT by U-238
A possible UK decision to reverse a variant switch on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would not cause a problem for Lockheed Martin, according to one of the company's senior programme officials.
Speculation has mounted over recent weeks that the UK government could backtrack on its decision to shift its interest in the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B to the C-model carrier variant. The move was included as part of its Strategic Defence and Security Review of late 2010, but has prompted concerns over the costs involved with modifying the Royal Navy's future Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers with the required launch catapults and arrestor gear.
While deferring any comment on the likelihood of a reversal of the decision to the company's UK customer, Lockheed vice-president F-35 programme integration and business development Stephen O'Bryan says: "We have the [production] capacity if the UK went B. We are agnostic on the platform and our supply chain could handle a switch back."
In a statement, the UK Ministry of Defence says it is currently finalising its budget for 2012-13 and balancing its equipment plan. "As part of this process we are reviewing all programmes, including elements of the carrier strike programme, to validate costs and ensure risks are properly managed," it says.
Defence secretary Philip Hammond will announce the outcome of this process before Parliament's Easter recess starts on 27 March, but the MoD says the government remains committed to fielding a new carrier strike capability as part of its "Future Force 2020" plans.
(Excerpt) Read more at flightglobal.com ...
those design reviews can be brutal affairs.
It might be easier just to wait for the Chinese summary.
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