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Revealed Air Force Slide Show Details Extent of F-35 Problems

Revealed Air Force Slide Show Details Extent of F-35 Problems

An F-35B fighter jet lands at Luke Air Force Base in Goodyear, Ariz. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 April 2019 05:04 PM

Military briefing slides shown to then-president-elect Donald Trump in December 2016 provided a blunt Pentagon assessment of the unreliable and expensive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, The War Zone reported on Wednesday.

The briefing slides were made available to The War Zone through the Freedom of Information Act and help explain why Trump focused a good deal of time on criticizing the excessive costs of the program during the transition period before he entered the White House.

The slides, shown to Trump by F-35 Joint Program Office chief U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, asserted that the "big, complicated" F-35 is "critical to U.S. and allied air dominance for the next 50 years," but admitted the program was finding it "difficult to overcome a troubled past" and was 6.5 years behind schedule and $13.5 billion over budget.

A day after that briefing, Trump threatened to change the Pentagon’s attention to Boeing's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet if Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-35, couldn't get the cost of the airframe under better control.

However, the situation has not improved much since then, with the Pentagon's 2018 report on the F-35 released in January showing serious and ongoing reliability problems, with "no improving trend" among the number of aircraft available for training and combat missions.

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Military briefing slides shown to then-president-elect Donald Trump in December 2016 provided a blunt Pentagon assessment of the unreliable and expensive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, The War Zone reported on Wednesday.
f35, trump, pentagon, aircraft, foia, trump
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2019-04-24
Wednesday, 24 April 2019 05:04 PM
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