The Pentagon wants a half-billion more dollars for the F-35
Defense officials at the Pentagon say they need up to $500 million more to finish the development phase for the F-35, the troubled fifth-generation fighter that’s already gone 50% over its original budget.
The F-35 program office requested the money last month to the Defense Acquisition Board, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the news Wednesday. The call for additional funds is pretty familiar at this point, since the program — known as the Joint Strike Fighter since it will be used by the Navy, Marines, and Air Force — has been plagued by lengthy delays and enormous cost overruns.
Its overall lifetime budget has ballooned to more than $1.5 trillion, making it the most expensive weapons system ever built by the US.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has in the past called those cost overruns a “disgrace.”
“It has been both a scandal and a tragedy with respect to cost, schedule, and performance,” he said in April.
Rising costs haven’t been the only problem of note for the F-35. The jet has had plenty of incidents while being built, such as electrical problems, major issues with its software, and problems related to its advanced helmet system.
Just four months ago, the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester wrote in a memo the F-35 program was “not on a path toward success but instead on a path toward failing to deliver.”
Still, the Air Force and Marines have both declared the fighter “combat ready” and have begun integrating it into their squadrons. The military has only taken delivery of about 180 of the aircraft from Lockheed Martin so far, though it plans to buy more than 2,400.
The fighter, which features stealth and advanced electronic attack and communications systems, is a project with roots going back to the late 1990s. Lockheed won the contract for the fighter in 2001.
“Strong national security is an expensive endeavor but the existing concerns with the F-35 make calls for even more money harder to green light,” said Joe Kaspar, chief of staff for Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
“And the Pentagon never seems to be able to help its case on the F-35. Technical superiority is not cheap, but whether or not costs can be driven down is something Congress must look at it before throwing more money in the Pentagon’s direction.”
- Trump will reportedly skip visiting the DMZ amid high tensions with North Korea and fears for his safety
- John Kelly says Robert E. Lee was an 'honorable man,' blames Civil War on lack of 'compromise'
- Mattis explains how the US would respond if North Korea launched a nuclear missile at America
- A tunnel collapsed at a North Korean nuclear test site, reportedly killing 200 people
- Heroin is driving a sinister trend in Afghanistan
- 2 Navy SEALs are 'persons of interest' after Green Beret strangled and killed in Mali
Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter .
A Vietnam veteran returned a library book after 52 years
A Marine deployed to a recon battalion in Vietnam wanted a perspective on the locals. So he checked a book out from the base library... for half a century.
This musician made a music video with the SEAL who killed bin Laden
Tim Montana is a musician with a “rip-roaring, swamp’rockin’ vibe” — and he’s just getting started. The coolest thing about him? He loves helping vets.
This is what the Army's 'Iron Men of Metz' and Attila the Hun have in common
The Iron Men of Metz did what only Attila the Hun could do some 1,500 years before: capture the heavily fortified city of Metz and force the enemy out.
5 terribly hilarious gifts to scuff up a basic trainee
Why not show that you truly care about your young recruit by also helping their trainers mess with them? Get in on the fun! Be creative.
The MARSOC driving course is not like your typical day at the DMV
These Marines continuously train to keep their skills sharp and take pride in being the best at all ends of the spectrum — including tactical driving.
7 more phrases old school veterans can't stop saying — and we love it
We love our old-school veterans that don't have a problem speaking their minds. They have some humorous sayings that we still use to this day.
This Army nurse's epic fight for a memorial for women Vietnam veterans
Some 11,000 women served in Vietnam, many as nurses and many under hostile fire. They had to fight to have their memorial built on the National Mall.
5 tips to prepare potential boots to join the military
No matter which branch you're thinking of joining, these mental and physical tips will help you be ready for when you're staring at a smoky bear hat.
6 reasons the Air Force wants to get its hands on Russian DNA
Ankle bone connected to the shin bone, shin bone connected to the knee bone, knee bone connected to a Russian, Air Force wants to get his genome.