To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the estimated cost of the F-35 fighter was when the Government placed its order for the aircraft.
When the Ministry of Defence placed its order for the procurement and support of 48 F-35 aircraft in 2001, the total approved budget for the UK F-35 programme was £9.1 billion out to 2026-27. The programme remains within its budget. F-35 aircraft are procured in lots, the costs of which are individually negotiated by the F-35 Joint Program Office on behalf of the partner nations. The UK's first aircraft was delivered in 2012 and the cost was $161 million. The Joint Program Office is continuing to drive down overall programme costs through improved effectiveness and efficiency, which is demonstrated by a 25% reduction in aircraft flyaway costs since 2012.