Fighter jet production to continue despite gloom

Fighter jet production to continue despite gloom

Fighter jet production to continue despite gloom

Updated 19 December 2011, 12:54 AEDT

The company building a controversial Joint Strike Fighter warplane for Australia says the project will continue even if the Australian government pulls out of the deal.

The federal government will decide next year whether to buy 100 of the planes for close to $AUS16 billion.

They are being built by Lockheed Martin in conjunction with several partners, including the Australian Defence Force.

Tom Burbage from Lockheed Martin says he is worried about the potential impact the global financial crisis will have on defence budgets around the world.

But he says the project will continue even if the Australian government decides against buying the planes.

"If you want me to be ready to produce your airplanes I've got a plan to build them," he said.

"If you tell me later on you don't want them, I'll find some way else to accommodate them in order to be ready to build airplanes and make the investments required and have the capacity online".