February 14, 2012. David Pugliese - Defence Watch
Italy has confirmed it will cut the number of F-35 jets it is buying.
Defence Minister Giampaolo Di Paola confirmed the cuts on Tuesday but declined to give specifics.
Italian media are now reporting the F-35 order will drop from 131 to below 100 but there is no confirmation of that.
“The F-35 was revised like all the other weapons programmes,” Di Paola told journalists after a Cabinet meeting that approved the military spending plan. He will give further details on Wednesday.
The F-35 “is still an important commitment” for the country’s defence system, he added.
More from Reuters news service:
In 2002 Italy said it would order 131 supersonic warplanes by 2018, but since the start of 2012 Di Paola has repeatedly said he was reviewing the programme as part of Prime Minister Mario Monti’s austerity plan to shore up public accounts.
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