Lawmakers Want Backup Plan After Carter Calls JSF Costs ‘Unaffordable’
The Pentagon’s top arms buyer this week called current cost projections for the Joint Strike Fighter “unaffordable,” triggering a bipartisan group of senators to demand a Defense Department contingency plan for how tactical air forces would be modernized should the F-35 program collapse under the weight of its forecasted $1.3 trillion price tag.
The United States intends to buy a total of 2,443 F35 aircraft. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability. The F-35 has three main models; one is a conventional takeoff and landing variant, the second is a short take off and vertical-landing variant, and the third is a carrier-based variant.