Project Overview

The Joint Strike Fighter, also called the F-35, is one of the largest and most globalized weapons program in modern history. Eight U.S. allies – Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and the United Kingdom – joined the F-35 program by contributing funds toward its development in the early 2000s. Each of these states is expected to purchase the state-of-the-art jet, but the recent years have shown that the F-35 has established itself as a hotly contested political issue. The proponents of the purchase cite modernization, defence industry benefits, and “interoperability” with U.S. armed forces, while its opponents see the new plane as a budgetary nightmare.

With the financial support of the CIPS and the Queen’s University Center for International and Defence Policy, the project seeks to analyze the international dimensions of the F-35 project as well as build upon and advance the burgeoning literature on the globalization of defence industry and its place in the emerging structure of international politics. Two sets of question are examined in particular:

1) Why and how did the U.S. government enter into international partnerships on this weapons program? Conversely, why and how did the partner states decide to become partners?

2) What states are best integrated in U.S. defence industry and what impact does this integration have on their foreign and defence policies? What is the future of U.S. defence industry as a source of American power in the world?


  • Srdjan Vucetic, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa
  • Kim Richard Nossal, Department of Political Studies, Queen’s University


  • Workshop held at the University of Ottawa on September 30, 2011
  • Book Project


Themed journal issue: The International Politics of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, International Journal, Winter 2012-2013