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Rising cost of F 35 jets a concern

May 26, 2011, Halifax - Defence Minister Peter MacKay says he's concerned that a top Pentagon official is warning that the cost of building the F-35 fighter jet has become "unaffordable'' and must be reviewed.


May 26, 2011
By The Canadian Press

The Conservative government says it plans to spend $9 billion to buy 65 Joint Strike Fighters from Lockheed Martin, but the Pentagon has been issuing repeated warnings that the price of the jets
continues to climb.

MacKay, in Halifax to show off a trial version of the military's new Cyclone helicopter, says his concern about the warnings is tempered by the fact that Canada is not purchasing the more expensive marine version of the aircraft, which is capable of vertical takeoffs and landings.

He says much of the Pentagon's criticism of the aircraft has focused on that model, not the standard version Canada plans to buy.

Last Friday, the Pentagon's top acquisition official, Ashton Carter, said that over the lifetime of the F-35 program, the per-aircraft cost of the 2,443 aircraft the U.S. wants has doubled in real terms.

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He says that makes the program unacceptable and unaffordable.