Monday 20 Aug 2018 | 06:58 | SYDNEY
Monday 20 Aug 2018 | 06:58 | SYDNEY

More JSF storm clouds


Sam Roggeveen


11 November 2008 09:01

Things are looking crook for Australia's Joint Strike Fighter purchase when even the vice-president of Lockheed Martin, the company making the plane, is talking down its sales prospects here. Chief of Defence Force Angus Houston sounds a little pessimistic too. Meanwhile, in Washington, this report about unsustainable US weapons programs only speculates about the future of JSF, but it adds to a gloomy picture.

And remember, as Rory argued recently, the number of JSFs bought by the US and other countries is critical for Australia. Even if our defence budget passes through the financial storm unscathed (and who thinks that's likely?), others won't be as lucky. That means other air forces will buy fewer aircraft, pushing up the per-unit cost to us.

I hope to get some answers on these and many other questions when I interview Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon tomorrow. A full recording of that interview, and one with opposition defence spokesman David Johnston, will be posted on The Interpreter later in the week.