Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the F-35 joint strike fighter jet will be battle-ready.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how the capabilities of the F-35 joint strike fighter will differ from those of the Harrier.
Thomas Docherty: In October 2010 the Prime Minister said that switching to the F-35C would increase operability with the French carrier. Given that the French do not have the right weapons, that their pilots would not be trained on the F-35, and that the F-35 could not land or take off on the Charles de Gaulle, what exactly did the Prime Minister mean?
Philip Dunne: All aircraft variants of F-35 are currently within the development test phase of the overall programme. The aim of the development test phase is to reveal issues through testing so that solutions can be developed in order to deliver a capable aircraft to the armed forces. A planned element of the development test programme is laboratory-based fatigue and durability testing of the aircraft...
Tobias Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent reports he has received on the safety of the F-35 fuel tank.
Philip Dunne: All aircraft variants of F-35 are currently within the development test phase of the overall programme. The aim of the development test phase is to reveal issues through testing so that solutions can be developed in order to deliver a safe and capable aircraft to the armed forces. In each case, issues reported have been investigated and solutions are being developed.
Mark Francois: The investigation into the fueldraulic fault on the F-35B has revealed a manufacturing quality control discrepancy. Out of tolerance units have been removed from aircraft and returned to the F-35 propulsion system prime contractor for replacement. Corrective actions to improve quality control processes and ensure part integrity have been instituted by the contractor. Ground testing of the...
Lord Moonie: To ask Her Majesty's Government what agreements they have put in place with the Government of the United States for consultations on the costs and scope of future upgrades within the Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) programme.
Philip Dunne: There have been no cancellations of orders for the F-35B, or any cancelled orders of the F-35C on the UK F-35 programme as a result of the 2010 strategic defence and security review (SDSR) decision or the subsequent reversal of this decision. Before the SDSR, the Ministry of Defence had ordered three F-35B aircraft. Two have been delivered and the third will be delivered this year.
Peter Luff: I am grateful for the opportunity to debate the draft design and technology curriculum and to hear the Minister’s response. I shall sum up the issues that are worrying people in three themes, which an academic suggested to me. The first is that there is a narrowing of focus. The draft programme of study for design and technology returns to a 1950s DIY curriculum with an emphasis on basic...
Ben Wallace: People used to say that England’s bread hung by Lancashire’s thread. In this debate, I want to focus on some of the good news on the rebalancing of the economy. The news has not been all bad, and, despite the economic circumstances, my constituents and the people of Lancashire have a good track record of rebuilding and moving forward and of expanding exports and manufacturing....
Lord Craig of Radley: My Lords, the gracious Speech barely touches on defence. Only “strengthening the Reserve Forces” and improving, “the way this country procures defence equipment”, get a mention. There is little else. Why indeed, is “this country” rather than “my Government” or even “my Ministers” given the task of improving procurement? It is tempting to consider, pace the other place, an...
Philip Dunne: Aircraft within the F-35 programme are ordered annually. To date, the Ministry of Defence has procured three aircraft spread over two annual contracts. We intend to order the fourth F-35B aircraft in the next annual production contract later this year.
Philip Dunne: The final fleet size for the F-35B will not be determined before the next Strategic Defence and Security Review at the earliest. The F-35B is expected to enter service with an initial operating capability from land in 2016, and an initial operating capability from sea in 2018. Unit costs for the whole F-35 fleet cannot be estimated until the total fleet size is determined.
Philip Dunne: Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) is a core funded programme and is not included in the Single Integrated Capability Priority list. A decision on F-35 aircraft numbers will not be made until after the next Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2015.
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British (a) civilian and (b) service personnel are involved in the F-35 pilot and maintainer training at Eglin US Air Force Base.
Lord Astor of Hever: We intend to establish an Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) for the F-35B aircraft. Approval for an OCU will be considered by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Investment Approvals Committee as part of the forthcoming main gate decision in autumn 2013. The business case for the forthcoming main gate investment decision will consider a number of options for conducting conversion training on the...
Philip Dunne: The current weapons within the UK inventory that will be able to be used on the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) are a combination of internal and external loads consisting of: Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM); Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM); Paveway IV. Future integration of weapons from the UK inventory is subject to negotiation and agreement with the F-35 programme.
Sheryll Murray: I understand that a Fleet Air Arm pilot recently landed an F-35 on an American aircraft carrier. Will my right hon. Friend please confirm that, and also update the House on the implications of any effect last Thursday’s vote had on training with the Americans?
Kevan Jones: It would be interesting to see how a GoCo would react to the NAO report about the change in the F-35 decision.