21.12.16

U.S Air Force General Responds to Trump's F-35 Criticisms

In a media briefing on Monday, the U.S. Air Force General in charge of the F-35 program disputed President-elect Donald Trump’s assertions that F-35 spending should be cut. According to Lt. Gen. Bogdan, since the program was revamped to address its flaws in 2011, the F-35 program has been without major delays or cost overruns. “Our job is to give the new administration the good, the bad, and the ugly about this program,” he said. “I’m not a salesman for the F-35,” Bogdan went on, before noting there are no alternatives with equal capabilities to replace the F-35 for the U.S. and its allies.
The Cipher Take: The F-35 has already cost $400 billion, nearly twice its original estimated price tag. That being said, the 2011 cost cutting measures mentioned by Bogdan are paying off. The unit cost is down to $102 million and will drop to $85 million by 2018. While Trump’s desire to cut costs in the Pentagon are valid, the F-35 is an outdated example. Much of the price tag was spent on R&D, and cuts to the program at this point would need to present a viable alternative to the F-35.

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