Today, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England and United Kingdom Minister for Defence Procurement Lord Drayson signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to begin future cooperation in the production, sustainment, and follow-on development (PSFD) phase of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.
The United Kingdom joins Canada, the Netherlands and the United States as the fourth nation to sign the JSF PSFD MOU. Australia also signed on Dec. 12 in a separate ceremony. Denmark, Italy, Norway, and Turkey are scheduled to sign in the near future. This new MOU will expand cooperation among the nine JSF partner nations beyond the ongoing JSF system development and demonstration phase, providing a framework for future JSF Program efforts in production and beyond.
The United Kingdom was the first JSF partner, and is committing over $2 billion dollars to the development phase of the overall JSF program. The U.K. plans to acquire up to 150 short take-off and vertical landing versions of the JSF, and will participate with the U.S. in the JSF aircraft’s operational test and evaluation prior to achievement of initial operational capability early in the next decade.
The United Kingdom’s signature of the PSFD MOU will continue to strengthen the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, not only in terms of providing air dominance, but also interoperability, defense transformation, modernization, cost reduction, acquisition excellence, and best possible use of the nations’ respective industrial bases.
Joint Strike Fighter, as the largest ever U.S. DoD acquisition program, continues to set new standards in development of manufacturing technologies, acquisition and business practices, technology transfer, and export licensing. The first test aircraft is on-track for first flight this week. The JSF Program is providing great opportunities for partner industries through the best value model – selecting manufacturers and maintainers based on a combination of quality, price, and timeliness.
Once the JSF PSFD MOU signing process is completed, the partners will cooperatively develop, produce, test, train and operate a Lightning II JSF Air System that will enhance the interoperability, survivability, and affordability of our future forces. Continued U.K. participation reinforces the longstanding and close relationship between the U.S. and U.K. Armed Forces, providing a solid foundation for future air operations with other allied and friendly nations in a joint and coalition environment.