New British jets can’t land on aircraft carriers

January 16th, 2012 - 7:46 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 16 (IANS) Fifty new fighter jets bought by Britain from US at a cost of five billion pounds (over $7 billion) cannot land on aircraft carriers because of a faulty hook that snags the war planes.

The 50 Joint Strike Fighter jets were bought by the Royal Navy from US defence contractor Lockheed Martin, The Sun reported.

The jets have a hook underneath which catches a wire on the ship’s deck to stop them when they land.

But papers leaked from the Pentagon said the hook was too close to the jet’s wheels to work. Eight simulated landings have been carried out, and they all reportedly failed.

The aircraft would now need a major redesigning or could even be scrapped.

The daily said the defence ministry’s aircraft carrier replacement programme has been rocked by catastrophes.

The National Audit Office said the cost of two ships could reach 10 billion pounds.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth will not enter service till 2020, while the HMS Prince of Wales is scheduled to enter a year later.

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