The horror of the Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) disaster looks like it is going to be uncovered in the UK rather than Australia. But, as the facts become known in Britain, even the most dimwitted of Australian politicians will understand that we have a deep problem.
However, the British Joint Strike Fighter crisis is actually worse than Australia. Nevertheless, like Australia, the British Parliament has been grossly misled about the costs involved.
The British politicians have been told that each Joint Strike Fighter will cost between £77 million and £100 million. Thanks to research work by Deborah Haynes, the defence editor of The Times, the British learned that the cost of the aircraft was actually more than £150 million.
Naturally, all the usual suspects said the journalist was wrong. But the British National Audit Office has had a good look at the real JSF costs. They estimate that by March 2021, the UK will have outlaid £5.8 billion on 21 JSF aircraft — a total of £276 million per aircraft.
But then there are extras which take the total cost to £7 billion for the 21 JSF or a total cost per aircraft of £333 million — that’s more than $US400 million and about twice The Times’ estimate, which did not include all the ancillary requirements.
And, of course, the British National Audit Office calculations made complete rubbish of the official statements to the British Parliament. Like the British parliament, the Australian parliament has also been misled with ridiculously low estimates that don’t cover the total costs.
Even if you take out the necessary add ons, the UK audit office estimate of $US300 million per aircraft is more than three times what the Australian parliament thinks it is paying. Indeed, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said last month the per plane price had dropped to below $US100 million. While it’s true that the British version of the JSF is more costly than the Australian version, the difference is relatively minor. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on The Australian website.