U.K. F-35 Switch
defense minister Phillip Hammond is slated to announce Thursday that the United
Kingdom will drop plans to buy the F-35C aircraft-carrier variant of the Joint
Strike Fighter and opt instead for the F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing
variant, according to published reports. The Daily Telegraph reported
Wednesday that Hammond "will claim the decision will save hundreds of millions
of pounds" and help the U.K. military. The potential for such a switch had been
widely reported in recent weeks as British officials grew concerned about the
cost of converting one of the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers to handle the
F-35's carrier variant.
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