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Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Page: 7926

Defence

(Question No. 2078)


Senator Johnston asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 20 August 2012:

As at 30 June 2012:

(1) With reference to the acquisition of the first 14 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft:

(a) what is the expected expenditure on the acquisition; and

(b) what is to be supplied as equipment, supporting systems, weapons, services or infrastructure to the Australian Defence Force (ADF)?

(2) When will these first 14 F-35 JSF aircraft:

(a) be delivered;

(b) become fully operational; and

(c) what is the estimated through-life support and operating costs for these aircraft over an expected 30 year period of operation.?

(3) When will the remaining 86 F-35 JSF be purchased (as referenced in the Defence White Paper 2009 , p. 78, paragraph 9.60, 'The Government has decided that it will acquire around 100 F-35 JSF, along with supporting systems and weapons. The first stage of this acquisition will acquire three operational squadrons comprising not fewer than 72 aircraft')?

(4) With reference to the acquisition of the remaining 86 F-35 JSF aircraft:

(a) what is the expected expenditure on the acquisition;

(b   what will be supplied as equipment, supporting systems, weapons, services or infrastructure to the ADF;

(c) when will the aircraft be delivered;

(d) when will they become fully operational; (e) where will the JSF squadrons be based, and when; and

(e) what is the estimated through-life support and operating costs over an expected 30 year period of operation?

(5) What savings would be made by cancelling the purchase of 24 F-35 JSF aircraft and purchasing 24 Super Hornets?


Senator Bob Carr: The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) (a) The average cost for the first 14 F-35s is expected to be about US$100 million each (2012 prices).

(b) (2), (3), (4) and (5)

These questions have been previously answered through Parliamentary Senate Question on Notice No. 1621 on 18 June 2012.