The UK has signed a multi-billion pound contract that will double its F-35 fleet, the country’s defense secretary has announced. The offer will dsicover Britain own 35 stealth jets by the ultimate end of 2022.
Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed that the united kingdom has ordered 17 new F-35B aircraft which is delivered between 2020 and 2022. Overall, Britain has focused on buying 138 aircraft on the full life of this program.
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“I’m delighted to verify that people are doubling how big is our F-35 force right into a formidable fleet of 35 stealth fighters. That is another massive order in the largest defense program ever sold,” Williamson said.
He continued to tout the move to be “good news” for the British economy, as British companies are building 15 percent by value of most F-35s planned for production approximately, which amounts to 255 altogether. THE UNITED STATES makes the F-35 company Lockheed Martin, however the UK’s BAE Systems is really a contractor on the project.
“It really is projected that around £35 billion (US$ 44.8 billion) will undoubtedly be contributed to the united kingdom economy through the F-35 program, with around 25,000 British jobs being supported also,” the statement from the British government reads.
The UK may be the largest operator of F-35s beyond your United States. The announcement comes as existing British F-35B aircraft are planing a trip to the united states on the HMS Queen Elizabeth currently, where they shall be a part of flying trials.
Meanwhile, F-35s aren’t the only real new additions the British military is seeking to acquire, according to the anti-drone campaign group Drone Wars UK, which recently claimed the federal government has been funding research on autonomous &ldquo secretly;killer robot” drones. The Ministry of Defense, however, has denied there are plans to build up any operational systems that could operate without input from humans.
The purchase comes just five months after hawkish British MPs recommended the federal government increase its defense spending, citing so-called ‘Russian threats’ because the reason behind it. They pointed to outdated vehicle and artillery mounted anti-tank weapons which put the British Army “at serious threat of being outgunned by its Russian counterpart.”
However, not many people are convinced that increased military spending may be the answer. Following MPs recommendations, Lord Gen Nick Houghton, who was simply chief of defense staff until 2016, said in June that the united kingdom needed to create a tough decision between losing its global standing as a respected military power or increasing its shelling out for defense.
“We’ve slightly deluded the general public a defence is had by us programme which insiders know is unaffordable. We are somewhat living a lie. And we stand at a strategic we&rsquo and crossroads;ve surely got to come off the fence some way. It may be the united kingdom should cease to become a global world military power,” he said.
The recommendations by MPs came just fourteen days following the US urged Britain to improve its military spending, hinting that when it didn’t achieve this France could overtake the united kingdom as America’s “partner of choice” in world affairs.
However, any close partnership between your US and France seems extremely difficult now, after French President Emmanuel Macron pushed for a European army to safeguard the continent from famous brands the united states, Russia, and China. That comment resulted in US President Donald Trump taking aim at his French counterpart, pointing to his “suprisingly low approval rating” and reminding him that the united states wasn’t France’s enemy during World War I or World War II.
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