It has been a long and expensive wait, but Britain has now been handed its first Joint Strike Fighter jet, also known as the F-35.
Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond flew out in person to the searing heat of Fort Worth, Texas, for the official handover ceremony from its US manufacturer Lockheed Martin.
He says it is “the best warplane money can buy”. But it is an eye-watering sum – the current cost of each jet is more than £100m.
After watching Britain’s first F-35 take to the skies, Mr Hammond said “this is money well spent”.
He said it would give the RAF and Royal Navy “a world class fighting capability” with the ability to “project power” off the two new aircraft carriers now under construction, anywhere in the world.
Hammond, stop the warmongering. The UK is not a “world power” any more, and we shouldn’t be pretending we are. What is this “power” you want to project anyway? Planning on attacking Iran on the coat tails of the US are we?
Anyway, £100 million pounds for one plane, for an aircraft carrier we haven’t finished yet. I’m not sure we can afford a second plane, so I propose the RAF and Royal Navy sort out a time share on the one we have got. The US military-industrial complex must be rubbing its hands with glee.