Lockheed-Martin's schedule delays with its new F-35 fighter may lead Australia to turn once again to Boeing to fill a potential gap in its defenses.
An Australian newspaper reports that the Australian government is considering buying 18 additional F/A18F Super Hornet fighter jets from Boeing to keep Australia’s defenses up to standard while it waits for F-35 Joint Strike Fighters from Lockheed-Martin. The purchase, worth $1.6 billion, would be in addition to 24 Super Hornets that Australia has already ordered from Boeing.
Lockheed-Martin’s F-35 program is behind schedule and is likely to suffer further delays, a U.S. government report says.
Boeing and Lockheed competed early in the last decade to build the Joint Strike Fighter. Lockheed won. The F-35 is designed to serve three roles: conventional land-based fighter, aircraft carrier-based fighter and short-takeoff-and-landing aircraft for unprepared fields. Three models of the basic F-35 are being built to satisfy those three requirements.