Tags: Donald Trump | pentagon | fighter jet | f-35 | donald trump

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program General Hits Back at Trump Comments

Image: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program General Hits Back at Trump Comments

An F-35 performs as part of the Heritage Flight Team over Lake Michigan during at the 2016 Chicago Air and Water Show in Chicago, IL. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

By    |   Monday, 19 Dec 2016 09:39 PM

The Pentagon general in charge of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program said Monday that President-elect Donald Trump was wrong when he said the project is "out of control."

All it needs, Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan said, is some more money.

The saga began last week when Trump tweeted this about the program:

 

 

Bogdan took over the project in 2012. He spoke with Defense One about Trump's remarks.

"This program is not out of control," he said.

The U.S. military plans to purchase nearly 2,500 of the fighter jets, but the program is still in its testing phase and has been plagued by delays and high costs. Bogdan said he needs more funding to complete the testing, which he estimates will be completed by the end of February 2018.

The Pentagon, Defense One reports, thinks testing might not finish until May of that year.

The U.S. had originally planned to wrap up this phase of the project by the end of October 2017. The Pentagon now needs as much as $532 million more.

"If anybody would have told us in 2011 that we'd be within a few months and a couple of hundred million dollars of a $13 billion re-baseline, we'd all have slapped the table and said: 'We'd take it,'" Bogdan told the website.

Bogdan added that he believes his team will have a meeting with Trump soon to brief the incoming administration on the project. Several other countries have placed orders for the jet, and a few are in the testing phase. Italy and Israel have taken delivery of completed F-35 aircraft.

The New York Times reported last week that 204 jets have been built for the U.S. thus far, and $100 billion has been spent on the project. The jets are touted as the most technologically advanced in the world, and they cost somewhere from around $100 million to more than $130 million, depending on the model.

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The Pentagon general in charge of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program said Monday that President-elect Donald Trump was wrong when he said the project is out of control.
pentagon, fighter jet, f-35, donald trump
352
2016-39-19
Monday, 19 Dec 2016 09:39 PM
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