May 3, 2012 2:01 AM
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - Australia has delayed by two years the delivery of 12 of the troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighters from the United States as a cost-cutting measure.
Defense Minister Stephen Smith said Thursday that delaying the delivery of advanced warplanes to 2019 would save the government 1.6 billion Australian dollars ($1.6 billion) over the next four years.
Australia contractually obligated to take delivery of only two of the warplanes. They will be based in the United States and be available from 2014 for training Australian pilots.
Australia is delaying delivery of another 12 planes it had planned to get by 2017.