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Pentagon Plans to Buy 2,400 F-35s Despite Many Critics

Pentagon Plans to Buy 2,400 F-35s Despite Many Critics
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By    |   Tuesday, 20 February 2018 03:38 PM

Despite its many critics, the U.S. military plans in the next quarter century to buy more than 2,400 F-35 joint strike fighters, the most expensive weapons program in Pentagon history, the Washington Examiner reported on Tuesday.

This includes a request for $10.7 billion to buy 77 planes next year, on top of the 70 ordered this year, and 74 last year.

Since its inception in the late 1990s, the price tag has skyrocketed from an extremely over-optimistic estimate of $40 million per plane to more than $100 million, with projected costs topping $1 trillion to keep it flying over its projected 60-year lifespan.

Loren Thompson, chief operating officer of the nonprofit Lexington Institute, a Washington think tank that gets some of its funding from Lockheed Martin, which produces the F-35, insists that "The F-35 is a remarkably successful program. It has met all of its requirement for stealth and provides superior situational awareness." Thompson added that "This is a jet that is more survivable than any fighter in history, and it can do more things than anything we are flying today."

But just last month the Pentagon issued a scathing report that said half of the F-35 fleet already delivered has been grounded due to technical problems, according to RT.

"This program is deeply troubled," Dan Grazier, a senior military fellow with the Project on Government Oversight, told the Examiner. "This program was deeply flawed from the very beginning. There were some really bad assumptions that were made, and some really bad decisions that were made before the contract was even awarded."

Backers of the plane say critics miss the big picture that the F-35 is not only a plane, but a whole system of systems.

"One of the things that the F-35 brings is the ability to link other things together, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told the Examiner. "And so, it is a node on the network. It is the quarterback of the fight."

While the Pentagon admits that delays and cost overruns were out of control half a decade ago, it insists the plane is now on track to be a game changer.

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Despite its many critics, the U.S. military plans in the next quarter century to buy more than 2,400 F-35 joint strike fighters, the most expensive weapons program in Pentagon history, the Washington Examiner reported on Tuesday.
us, pentagon, f-35, critics, weapons
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2018-38-20
Tuesday, 20 February 2018 03:38 PM
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