Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft

Defence written question – answered on 24th January 2013.

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Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood Conservative, Bournemouth East

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent reports he has received on the safety of the F-35 fuel tank.

Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

As part of its ongoing procurement programme and the Development Test programme, the UK receives constant updates on the safety of the F-35 fuel tank design. With personnel embedded within the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme, this is part of the daily work.

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.

The JSF programme is currently carrying out tests on the effects of lightning on the F-35 fuel tank to ensure the aircraft is appropriately equipped to fly in all weathers.

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