US News Warplane faces 'tech problems and cost blowout'

09:40  17 july  2017
09:40  17 july  2017 Source:   Sky News

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Image: The F-35 Lightning fighter jet is said to have been plagued with issues.

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An F-35 Lightning fighter jet © Getty An F-35 Lightning fighter jet The RAF's new generation warplane will reportedly be unable to fly properly due to defence cuts. 

The US-built F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is plagued by a long list of problems, leaving the Ministry of Defence facing millions of pounds of hidden costs, according to a report by The Times.

The UK is paying between £77m and £100m for each of the planes, according to manufacturer Lockheed Martin, but the newspaper reports the true cost of each jet delivered this year will be more than £150m.

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The growth in price tag can be blamed on "extras" such as software upgrades and spare parts.

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According to the newspaper's investigation, the plane's other problems include:

:: It cannot transmit data to British ships and older aircraft without giving away its position

:: It is hampered by the weak broadband on the Royal Navy's main aircraft carrier

:: Its software system is vulnerable to cyberattack

In addition, the planes receive essential computer networks from a department that has been told to find savings of £400m this year.

An MoD spokesperson insisted the jets were still the "world's most advanced", adding: "Whether operating from land or with the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers as a central component of the UK's Carrier strike capability, they will ensure a formidable fighting force.

"We are committed to the F-35 programme, which is on time, within costs and offers the best capability for our Armed Forces."

The MoD added that it did not recognise the £150m figure quoted by the newspaper and asserted the programme was "wholly with its cost approval".

Coveney's 17 flights on government jets cost €344,000 .
Minister Simon Coveney's flights on government jets cost a combined total of around €344,000 over five years, with destinations including Beirut, Algiers, Brussels and Berlin. Mr Coveney's use of the Ministerial Air Transport Service (MATS) is at the centre of controversy after it emerged he personally called an Air Corps pilot to ask why a helicopter flight he planned to take to his native Cork was cancelled.An analysis of flight records published by the Department of Defence shows Mr Coveney availed of the jets on offer to government ministers on 17 occasions between 2011 and 2015.

Source: http://uk.pressfrom.com/news/world/us-news/-186057-warplane-faces-tech-problems-and-cost-blowout/

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