Pentagon defends $1 trillion fighter jet fleet

Samuel King Jr./AP

The Pentagon insisted Monday that funding for 2,443 new radar-evading F-35 fighter jets is crucial, despite the fleet’s steep price tag of $1 trillion over the next 50 years.

“It is needed to address projected future threats,” Lt. Col. Melinda Morgan, Defense Department spokeswoman, said of the fleet of Joint Strike Fighters. “Current systems can’t do the same job for less.”

Reuters reported the cost estimate Monday, saying Pentagon officials are analyzing how to bring down the expenses, and added the figure is derived from preliminary flight data from the still-in-development war plane, which is being built by Lockheed Martin Corp.

Defense reaffirmed its commitment to the program after reviewing it during the fiscal 2013 budget process, according to Morgan. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta previously announced on Jan. 26 that the department had slowed the pace of F-35 procurement “to be able to complete more testing and allow for developmental changes before we buy in significant quantities. We want to make sure before we go into full production that we are ready."

Lt. Gen. Terry Robling, deputy Marine Corps commandant for aviation, told Reuters that costs are expected to go down by 2016, once the military finishes retrofitting already produced planes to fix problems discovered during concurrent development testing. If costs don’t decrease enough, Reuters said, the Pentagon will have to take other thrifty measures, which could include reduced flight time and purchasing fewer planes.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.