An F-35B prepares for take off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp
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F-35 demonstrates short take-off and landing capability

The UK is about to commit to the F-35 fighter project, a US-led effort to produce 3,000 aircraft which is set to cost more than £600bn globally.

The initial UK order for 14 F-35Bs will, with support costs added, cost about £2.5bn, Newsnight has learned.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said it was an expensive plane, but one with an "incredible capability".

But critics have questioned Ministry of Defence suggestions that the jets will be combat capable by 2018.

Watch an F-35B warplane demonstrate its short take-off and vertical landing capability.

Watch the Philip Hammond interview and the F-35 film in full on Newsnight on Tuesday 11 February at 22:30 GMT on BBC Two and afterwards on the BBC iPlayer and Newsnight website.

  • 11 Feb 2014
  • From the section UK
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