The key piece for me is "Bring back to the deck' capability dictated a reduction in the size of the weapons bay" showing exactly how going for VSTOL has crippled the performance of this (F35B) aircraft let alone its saunter time in any air defence role, exposing the unwisdom of not going for a proper aircraft carrier at the huge price they are.
Re: Defence Mngmnt: "Why The UK Needs The Joint Strike Fight
The US just re-examined the costs and they're up $54 billion on the April figures.
By Bob Cox | The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The total cost of the F-35 joint strike fighter program will be far higher than estimated just a few months ago, the Pentagon confirmed Tuesday, but a report sent to Congress says the next-generation warplane must be continued because it is vital to national security.
Pentagon analysts now estimate that the cost to the U.S. of developing the F-35 and buying 2,443 combat-ready jets could total $382 billion through 2036.
That compares with an estimated price tag of $328 billion reported to Congress just two months ago and is more than double the original estimate of $178 billion when the program was launched in 2001.
The latest estimate, prepared by a team of independent Pentagon cost estimators, was included in a report that Ashton Carter, undersecretary of defense for weapons acquisition, was required to prepare for Congress to justify continuing the F-35 program.