Cutting whole U.S. Navy buy of F-35s would hurt: top officer

WASHINGTON Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:20am EDT

U.S. Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Jonathan Greenert (L) inspects a guard of honour during his ceremonial reception in New Delhi April 23, 2012. REUTERS/B Mathur

U.S. Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Jonathan Greenert (L) inspects a guard of honour during his ceremonial reception in New Delhi April 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/B Mathur

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy's top officer on Tuesday underscored his commitment to the C-model, or carrier variant, of Lockheed Martin Corp's (LMT.N) F-35 fighter jet, saying it would be "detrimental" if the Navy decided not to buy any of the new radar-evading plans.

But Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert left the door open for possible adjustments in the Navy's planned purchase of 260 jets, saying that the Navy was just "getting into the discussion" about how many of the new F-35s the Navy would need, and when.

Lockheed is building three models of the F-35 for three U.S. military branches and eight partner countries that helped fund the plane's development: Britain, Australia, Italy, Turkey, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Canada. But rising costs, schedule delays and mounting budget pressures have forced some of the potential buyers to rethink their plans.

(Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (5)
fingerlakes54 wrote:
Well no doubt the Navy will need them at some point, but the cost is just too high. Perhaps if Lockheed would lower it’s price the Navy could buy the amount they asked for.

Mar 12, 2013 10:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
pavoter1946 wrote:
Detrimental? Sure, they want to dangle the newest toy for recruiting pilots, to fly planes for wars that will never be fought against enemies that do not exist.

Since the plane is way over cost, ask the Navy what they are willing to give up to get the plane? Which new Navy toy will they stop asking for? The new Littoral combat ships?

How many of the F-35 Edsels will they want?

Mar 12, 2013 11:25am EDT  --  Report as abuse
MattManhorne wrote:
The F-35 is a complete waste of time and money and is a piece of junk… It is 7 years behind schedule, way over budget, plagued with problems, cannot preform efficiently all the tasks it was said to be able to preform, and not as stealthy as it is being made out to be. But the military has put all it eggs into this one basket with no backup plan for this POS aircraft so they will have to spend the insane money for it and design a replacement.

Mar 12, 2013 11:29am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.