16 Feb 2012

Jet order reduced by Italy

9:46 am on 16 February 2012

Italy is cutting an order for combat jets by more than 30% as part of national austerity measures.

Defence Minister Giampaolo Di Paola says the air force will buy 90 F-35 aircraft made by Lockheed Martin. The original order was for 131 jets.

That should save Italy 5 billion euros ($US6.6 billion) from the original price of 15 billion euros.

The BBC reports it was one of several measures announced by the defence minister to reduce spending.

The number of military and civilian personnel will be cut by 20% and almost a third of military bases will be closed or sold over the next five years.