The Pentagon’s plan to purchase nearly 2,500 F-35 fighter jets has been called into question by Senate Armed Services Chairman, John McCain.
Sen. McCain recently came out in defense of his decision requiring the Pentagon to re-evaluate their F-35 fighter jet purchase plan.
Throughout this questioning, the Pentagon remains steadfast in their stance. The plan to purchase the 2,443 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin has remained consistent despite the fact that the price for these jets have dramatically increased over the last thirty years. The pricing increase is significantly higher than the original cost and the production has been delayed now for multiple years.
Sen. McCain inserted a provision into this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, which will require the Pentagon to re-examine the number of F-35 fighter jets that need to be purchased. Sen. McCain hopes that this provision will require the Pentagon to re-evaluate or draft an entirely new number of jets that need to be purchased.
“Under the original plan, 1,013 [F-35 fighter jets] were supposed to be delivered through the fiscal year of 2016…actual deliveries [came in at] 179,” Sen. McCain said in a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. “That leaves well over 2,000 to complete the program of record. That means you would have to purchase 100 F-35’s per year for more than 20 yeas at a cost of $10 [billion] to $12 billion a year. That seems unlikely, and all that assumes that the F-35 will provide the necessary capability for the next 20 years.”
McCain also stated that he is not in opposition of purchasing all of the F-35’s, but he is demanding to know the current thought process.