The BBC is reporting a purchase of 14 new F35 aircraft by the MOD. A few interesting points in this article.Firstly the purchase price of the aircraft is understood do be GBP 59 million which is a major reduction over our first three aircraft at GBP 154 million.
Secondly in an attempt to grab the headlines the BBC as with every other media outlet continues to make up figures for the purchase price by lumping in expected support costs as well which, is how a purchase for GBP 826 million becomes GBP 2.5 billion. Seeing this headline I thought this was the announcement for the full 48 aircraft not just the 14 we were already aware of.
The question is why do media outlets feel its acceptable to slap 30 years worth of support contracts onto an initial price for military equipment.
** BEGIN RANT**
Imagine the cost of HS2 is we slapped 30 years worth of staff and maintenance cost’s onto the project or the cost of a MRI scanner if treated in the same way. In the past politicians and civil servants were guilty of this as a big headline figure was better to get the press to report it and it looked like government was doing a good job by spending money,but I feel the media are continuing to pedal these figures on their own and trying to turn a positive news story of reduced cost of F35 into a negative one of military spending too much money in a time of austerity.
I work in the financial industry (obviously the source of all evil in the world) and if I made a claim to a client and exaggerated something by three fold I could not only be fined but could possibly go to jail, yet our media who claim they are the only industry in the UK that cannot be regulated are frequently able to exaggerate claims to try and make news.
I know this is a little off topic however I believe the media or at least parts of it are convincing the public both in the UK and in other countries of the military frivolously spending money well poor hospitals and schools go with out when indeed nothing could be further from the truth.
** END RANT**
If these figures are accurate I think its welcome news that F35B cost’s are already down to GBP 59 million even though the aircraft is still in low rate initial production. Hopefully this can lead to a bigger purchase in future.