UK to spend £2.5bn on F-35 fighters
12 February 2014 Last updated at 10:42 GMT
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 the F-35B 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.
BBC Newsnight's diplomatic and defence editor Mark Urban reports.