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Sun Aug 3, 2014, 08:26 AM

How DODís $1.5 Trillion F-35 Broke the Air Force

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101883138



How DODís $1.5 Trillion F-35 Broke the Air Force
David Francis
Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 8:35 AM ET
Fiscal Times

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive, and possible the most error ridden, project in the history of the United States military. But DOD has sunk so much money into the F-35 ó which is expected to cost $1.5 trillion over the 55-year life of the program ó that the Pentagon deemed it "too big to fail" in 2010.

~snip~

The F-35 isn't mentioned by name in the forecast, but the program's greasy fingerprints are all over it. The Air Force is apparently concerned that it is pricing itself out of the weapons market because it is spending so much time and money on large programs.

~snip~

More than anything, the shift in strategy is an indictment of the way that the Air Force and the rest of DOD have been doing business for years. The F-35 has come to symbolize all that's wrong with American defense spending: uncontrolled bloat, unaccountable manufacturers (in this case, Lockheed Martin), and an internal Pentagon culture that cannot adequately track taxpayer dollars.

It's no small irony that on the same day the change in Air Force strategy was revealed, Winslow Wheeler, a staff member at the Project On Government Oversight and a long-time critic of the F-35 program, reported that American taxpayers will pay between will pay between $148 million and $337 million per jet in 2015, depending on the model.

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