UK signs up for next phase of Joint Strike Fighter programme

Defence Minister Lord Drayson has signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the next phase of the Joint Strike Fighter programme, the government has announced.

Lord Drayson signed the MoU following a meeting with US Deputy Secretary of Defence Gordon England in Washington D.C.

JSF is a stealthy, multi-role combat aircraft, which will be a key component of the UK's expeditionary capability, operating from the future carriers, for decades to come.

The MoU sets out the framework for purchasing JSF and supporting and upgrading it through life. It also provides for the pooling of the partner nations' collective buying power in a common support solution, and of their resources and technology in follow-on development. It does not, however, formally commit the UK to buying any aircraft. The UK's increase in financial commitment at this stage is £34 million.

UK companies are closely involved with the programme - over 100 companies have already won development contracts and will now be able to compete for work in the next phase. The expected value of work for the UK is over $29 billion.

Lord Drayson said: "After an excellent meeting with Gordon England, I am delighted to be able to sign this MoU which will take the UK into the next phase of the JSF programme. I have always been clear that the UK would only sign if we were satisfied that we would have operation sovereignty over our aircraft. I have today received the necessary assurances from the US on technology transfer to allow me to sign the MoU.

"This signature reflects our continuing commitment to providing our Armed Forces with battle-winning equipment; to procuring and supporting that equipment in the most cost-effective way; and to enhancing the UK's ability to operate effectively with our international partners."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

07 January 2008
Prevention Better Than Cure Says PM
NHS patients will no longer have to 'be sick' to be 'treated', as new plans for the first national health screening programme have revealed. The initiative aims to detect early signs of the top killer diseases and take preventative action, before the patient-in-waiting becomes ill.
19 March 2009
Striking A Deal: UK Purchases Supersonic Stealth Jets
On a visit to Washington, Defence Secretary John Hutton has announced the decision to purchase three Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) test aircraft - the UK's next generation of supersonic stealth fast jets. This deal marks a significant milestone in the UK's commitment to the Joint Strike Fighter project.
13 January 2006
£100M combat training system for Navy
Defence Procurement Minister Lord Drayson has announced a £100 million contract for advanced computerised training systems for the Royal Navy. The Maritime Composite Training System will help the Royal Navy maximise the combat effectiveness of existing major surface warships, as well as future Type 45 destroyers.
30 May 2005
‘Robots’ to be used to track sea mines
A fleet of high-tech unmanned underwater ‘robots’ are to be used by the Royal Navy in order to help track down deadly sea mines. It will be the first time the Royal Navy has had an unmanned underwater vehicle capable of detecting shallow water mines. The job was traditionally carried out by naval divers.
14 March 2012
Refusal To Transport Lab Animals "Choking Off" Medical Research
A former science minister has warned that vital medical research is being “choked off” by airlines and ferry companies refusing to carry animals into the country for testing.