Proposed F-35 Cuts Could Put Program at Risk

Late yesterday afternoon, news broke that a presidentially-mandated panel is recommending the military slash numerous big-ticket weapons programs, including the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, as part of an overall proposal aimed at dramatically reining-in government costs.

The panel calls for the Air Force and Navy to half their planned F-35A and C-model buys through 2015 and for the Marines to completely lose their short takeoff and vertical landing F-35B.  The greatly reduced numbers of JSFs would be supplemented by purchase of “new” F-16s for the Air Force and F/A-18EF Super Hornet buys for the Navy.

These recommendations fly in the face of all the planning done by the Air Force officials in recent years who have put all their eggs in the F-35 basket and refused to consider buying new versions of F-16s or F-15s. Navy officials seem to have hedged their bets a little by recently buying an mix of 124 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers to offset a looming fighter gap.  Obviously, the Marines would be in the toughest spot if the recommendations become reality with their aging fleet of F/A-18 Hornets, AV-8B Harriers and EA-6B Prowlers that are all supposed to be replaced by the F-35B.

All of this begs the question; if (and it’s a big, big if) these cuts are approved by decision-makers will they throw the F-35 into the death spiral that program-watchers have warned about for years? Reduced buys mean cost hikes which in-turn lead to more reduced buys from international partners, etc.

Teal Group Aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia sees all of this as a “seriously worst-case scenario, but it’s a dire prospect.”

If this nightmare scenario for the F-35 does come to fruition, the fate of the program could indeed hang on the international partners’ resolve to stick with it, according to the analyst.  

“If it went ahead (I doubt it, but you can’t write off the possibility) then much would come down to the international partners,” Aboulafia said.  “If they kept the faith, the program could keep costs from skyrocketing, and avoid a death spiral.  If they don’t, the program would definitely be at risk.  However, eliminating the B version would also save development and production costs, and probably keep the program from following the F-22 death spiral model.”

Other proposed weapons cuts include: Capping the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor by at 288 aircraft instead of buying the planned 458, eliminating the Marines’ amphibious Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle and canceling the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the Joint Tactical Radio and the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle.

— John Reed

  • Excimer

    Does anyone have an answer for why the F35A/C is not production ready by now?

  • zivbnd

    I hate to admit it, but in this day and age, and budget, most of those cuts seem to make sense. But you can’t allow the F35 to just die, you can slow the acquisition if it doesn’t drive the partners out of the agreement due to cost over runs, but cutting the amount of V22’s isn’t a huge deal. It isn’t like you only have 183 of them or something, like the F22. The EFV, JLTV and the Ground Combat Vehicle all would be great to have, but we just don’t have the money. We have a huge s*** sandwich to eat, and everyone has to take a large bite.

  • brian

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the reduced buy F35’s ended up costing the same amount or more per unit as the F22’s. Every time they try to save money through modifying late game it always ends up costing the same or a lot more. Maybe they just cancel it and build more F22’s and let the navy buy more existing platforms. Then we would know what we would be paying for and the F22 unit cost would just keep dropping to more acceptable levels.

    But as long as we are talking about cutting military expenses, there is one wing that would have huge dividends to get rid of, Air Force 1 & 2. think of all the savings from having the president fly jet blue!

  • chaos0xomega

    I fully support this. F-15s and 16s (lets get some new A-10s too…) are good enough to be our run-of-the-mill fighter aircraft. We don’t NEED an all stealth air force/navy. Gulf War Iraq (theoretically speaking) had one of the best air defense systems possible in place, look what we accomplished w/ less than 100 stealth aircraft total….

    • STemplar

      If the X45/47 works out, and it seems to be on track, I really don’t see the need for the C model at all. F-18s will do everything we need from the carriers with the X45/47 providing long legs and penetrating Day 1 strike ability.

      We certainly don’t need stealth for the US air sovereignty mission, but, the distributed aperture sensor system on the F35 certainly is a potent homeland defense capability for missile detection. In addition the A model unit costs are coming in around the cost of an advanced block F-16.

      That being said far fewer are needed than the 1700 buy and they know it.

  • R.G.

    Don’t Mcdonald Douglas and Lockeed both have Gen 4.5 fighters in heavily upgraded F-15s and F-16s with advanced systems and stealth characteristics? I agree with Chaos, lets for the time being field some new Falcons and Eagles, and hell yeah to more warthogs. I can’t think of a more effective airframe then the A-10, given our most recent military operations.

    No one is gonna put any plane in the Air in the next 15 years that our current Raptor Fleet can’t mop the floor with anyway.

    • Brian

      There is a big difference between something designed to be stealthy and something that has stealth tacked on later. In the later case its more of a sales gimmick then a real feature. In modern air combat operating stealth aircraft operate with impunity where 4 and 4.5 generation fighters dare not go.

      People say that stealth aircraft are too costly when compared to the price tag of the last generation of fighters. I say that modern 5th generation fighters are not only cheap, but ridiculously cheap.
      - You can do a greater variety of missions with just one platform
      - each mission takes a fraction of the planes and personnel prior mission took
      - you can take on entire wings of non stealth aircraft
      the list goes on and on

      the issues I have with the F35 is that it costs about the same as the F22 (After everything is said and done) will take too long to come into service.
      Looking at the F35 Variants
      B - the only one with a unique capability, VTOL
      A - Costs same/more than F22
      C - Exists for UK’s carriers but will no longer be needed since England will not have carriers.

      You could make the case for an A variant since it can be used by our carriers, but quite frankly, couldn’t we get a navalized F22 in the same time period if not shorter?

      • Jacob

        Even so, aren’t 4.5 generation fighters capable of handling most foreseeable threats? In Desert Storm, Saddam had a pretty formidable air defense network as well, but we easily dismantled it. A lot of our potential adversaries are still fielding Cold War planes and SAMs from the 70’s, with maybe limited numbers of S-300’s or Su-27’s.

        If nothing else, we can use F-22’s and F-35’s the same way we did with the F-117….send them in first to knock down the air defenses. Once that’s been done then our bomb trucks (Super Hornets, Strike Eagles) move in to do their job.

  • john

    Keep the F-35A, but halve the numbers to be built, scrap the B&C Models, build new A10’s & F-22’s to fill the cap.
    Rationalise the US Army and USMC AFV & LTV programmes into joint programmes.
    Scrap the US Navy’s LCS programme and buy a new, off-shelf, Frigate and Corvette class like the German MEKO class designs. In fact start talking to your NATO partners about joint projects that are affordable.

    • Belesari

      The problem with that john is that different Navies have different priorities and different missions.

      German ships for example operate on very short cruises and there design reflects this.

      I think if we want to build ships with others it would be best to go with Korea and Japan and maybe India.

      Most of Nato seems to be in chaos and isnt really sure whether we will accually have a point to the Nato alliance.

      I think NATO much like the UN has gotten corrupted (in the case of the UN) or reduced and hamstrung (in the case of NATO) to be pretty much just a show of unity, without any real back up.

  • Stan

    There should never have been a STOVL version of the JSF. The JSF could have been so much better if it wasn’t crippled from the outset to include a STOVL version. The Brits realize this now the Marines should follow their lead and drop the STOVL version.

    • Mastro

      The STOVL was the lodestone dragging the whole program down. Canceling those versions would be a bitter irony.

      A straight F16 replacement would have probably saved billions- but no- now we have an overweight monster.

    • Adrian_Wainer

      British Prime Minister David Cameron is in an Axis with Islamonazis, Islamofascists and Arab racial supremacists and as such his motivation for defense policy decisions, should be regarded with extreme suspicion, as to the legitimacy of his intent.

      • john

        What a total load of absolute rubbish you are pandering.

  • STemplar

    I’d say cut the B and C. The A model is furthest along, and is the cheapest per unit. The USMC is going to have to give up something and it seems like STOVL would be easy enough. They can still operate F-18s from carriers. The USN can do just fine with Hornets, new stand off weapons like the new cruise missile option being discussed, along with the X-45/47 programs will give them the strike capacity they need. The USAF never needed 1700 A models and it knows it. That’s a 1 to 1 replacement of F-16s and they admit that simply isn’t necessary.

  • William C.

    More F-16s, more F-15s? What about F-22s which are far more capable than either?! If we are going to buy any F-35s we might as well buy them in bulk as planned! Stupid suggestions from this “presidential panel” as usual.

  • Adrian_Wainer

    I don’t trust Obama on the F-35, he may try to destroy the F-35B to deny small countries a carrier aircraft, so as to disadvantage them in their efforts to counter a PRC threat to their maritime links and he may try to destroy the F-35 program completely, in an attempt to destroy Israel by denying it a new generation replacement for the the F-16.

    • quibbler

      This is far worse. The motivation behind this cut is to eliminate as many low-cost stealth fighters from NATO allies as possible. One wonders what the motivation is of a leader who discloses previously classified nuclear arsenal numbers and then proceeds to hack the most damning aircraft to the former eastern block allies. (The F-22 is for us, the F-35 is for our allies.)

      • john

        Unfortunately, Europe can’t afford to buy the variant, it is too expensive.

  • Jerry

    I wonder how many jobs (current and future) will be lost if these programs are axed. People keep forgetting that defense industry is one of the few that can’t really be outsourced, and that a lot of people’s livelihood depend on it.

  • Donnell

    I think that the Irony of this story is that the presidential panel that recommended all of these government cuts will go un-done with the exception of the cuts in the defense budget. Which is always the case in D.C. There pat projects will not get touched and the military will bear the brunt of the government cuts as always and the budget deficite will remain un-changed. Then there will be some type of international crisis and the military will be need, but unable to perform the mission properly because of cuts against it.

  • Maxtrue…

    In the end, cutting the F-35B means losing the one variant that makes sense. As others, like Eric Palmer has said over and over, this was bound to happen.

    Keep making at least 50 more F-22 or F-22B modified as possible with the latest tech. Take some pressure off the F-35. Keep A-10s up longer and remission some of the Lancers. We are seeing strategy failure here. Perhaps failures that were intended…..

    And I detect that this is mostly WH driven. Crank up the spending and cry deficits to force a reduced weapons program. Burn the F-22 (while most predicted the result) and then Burn the F-35B.

    Gee, maybe the F-117s were up and flying for a reason…….

    Perhaps the Republicans can put some sense back in procurement strategy….

    • STemplar

      The A10s are already going to be flying through the entire buy of F35s. They aren’t due to be retired until 2029 now.

  • Mat

    To little to late ,B model influenced the whole design of the F-35 the A/C model arbo both handicapped by it.
    A/C compromise design should have been made so one version with minor equipment changes would do ,F4 and F18 have navy legs and still preform for the Air force .

    Jerry defense industry can be outsourced as any thing else can and most of the world’s armies do it.Its not alwas rational to developt stuff from scratch if a better product is already on the market at competitive price..

    • Jerry

      Only countries without the technical know how and infrastructure rely on outsourcing the majority of their defense industry, and end up being dependent on the people they are buying from. US is currently a supplier of defense tech, which not only benefit our allies but also bring in jobs to pay hard working Americans working on the system.

      And just where are we going to get off the shelf 5th gen aircraft from anyways? Wait for Russia and China to catch up in technology so we can buy it from them?

      • mat

        Not in general but on case to case basis ,example antiship missle development is one are where some alies have much better technology than US ,naval guns is also such an area and in fact most are italian , IFV is another such case courently Bradley is teh oldes IFV around and programs to replace it have failed after lost of money spent for no resoult at least teh new proposals are base on the Puma the best IFV nowdays .And on teh otehr has its quiet funny that US can sell stuff to the nato partnes but they can barely sell anything in to US without goin in partnership wisth some LM or Northrop

        • ano8

          Wow another one that want our defense industry in China

    • Riceball

      The Air Force doesn’t fly the F-18, after the F-4 was retired the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps no longer had any aircraft in common. Still, the idea is sound, they should have only developed an A & C models with as much commonality as possible like it was with the F-4, and develop a Harrier replacement separately. Or instead of developing a Harrier replacement allow the Corps to look abroad for a STOL capable aircraft to replace the Harrier with.

      • Mat

        Not us AF but may other AF fly F18 and F4 and have no carriers at all.As you suggested harrier should upgraded or a direct replacment found now the F35 has a huge trunk behind the pilot because of the B versions need for the fan ,i think there are many alterations to general design to get compromises working ,that is probably why you have the most powerfull single engine fighter that can’t super cruise and only manages mach 1.4 or something like it,B model doesn’t even have a Gun because of the weight,and both A/C have very limited ammo for the gun

  • FtD

    Ditch F35 as whole then resume F22 production with possibility of navelising for carrier op. + continue cranking out F16 & A10 for mopping up what F22 left off.
    imo, F35 is designed to be the work horse of the air force structure but the price it carries has become too expensive to be shot down or damaged over F16/A10…

  • nonito d. cabato

    from my point of view, its better to buy new fighter than using the old airframe coz they are maintenance nightmare and costs more to maintain and the airframe is past its operating hour buy 24 F-22 block 35 increment 3.3 version for every 24 units you buy, mothball 80 units of legacy fighter USAF have no needs for the A version, bu the B version for close air support for the navy cancel the C, buy the navalized F-22, hell there might be better materials lighter and strong that they are using NOW for the marines, buy the B version in the future there not be airfields to take off for bombing use long range bomber to bomb the shit of the bastard, airframe become expensive because politician meddle the requirement many revision

    i think they forgotten what happen during world war 2, with obsolete fighter, they git their ass kick in the pacific where zero run circles with the obsolete fighter DO YOU WANT IT TO HAPPEN AGAIN!

    • FtD

      i’m thinking the F22 / B2 will go in first to clean up enemy’s air & AA assets then the legacy will go in as bomb trucks & you’ll only need small number F22 for escorts & patrol…..

    • Burt Way

      Hey look at actual Naval combat kills for Zero vs. Wildcat. It was a draw. The Zero was more manueverable but fell aprt like a politicians campaign promises.

  • dreifma

    All of this cutting of the F-22, F-35, V-22, Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle et al in favor of further builds of the F15, 16, 18 and A10 with a few extra F22’s thrown in makes me think. What would the American people be saying if we dropped building the new Hybrids, all electrics and super efficient conventionals because they were too expensive. We would have to continue to use 1970, 80 and 90 designs because we can update them and throw in a smattering of new techology cars to get the job done. That is increase mileage, room in the vehicle, reliability, extend time between servicing etc. Can you imagine the outrage of the American people and our export markets. Now convert not getting the mission done due to a lack of stealth, speed, range, extended time between servicing etc.. Any adversary would laugh at our total lack of credibility.

    • FtD

      But when the price of the planes the forces are buy not your average GM, Ford, Honda but Ferrari, Rolls price bracket, then i’m not sure how the government can afford those expenditures when the country’s economy isn’t in good shape either.
      Sure, Americans can be outraged but what can be done? Print some more money to cover the cost blowouts?

  • Justin H

    When the cost of something grows by more than 50% I think its time to cut the number of planned purchases by at least 25%. But now Boeing can re-push their Gen 4.75 stealthy Super Hornet. Either that or we willl see the real rise of the UCAVs now.

  • @Earlydawn

    The B gotta go. Is there even a market beyond the USMC anymore? The thing is over-engineered for the CAS role anyway.

    • Riceball

      You’re forgetting that it’s VSTOL capable because it’s designed to be a Harrier replacement and thus must be able to fly off the deck of an LPH, LPD, etc. It’s not meant to be a conventional carrier aircraft or something to fly from a nice long airfield, if there were some way to make an F-25 A or C capable of at least STOL then I’m sure the Corps would love to hear about it as would Lockheed/Martin too I’m sure.

      • Maxtrue

        Given the wars the DOD envisions, the F-35B was a brilliant idea. The tactical possibilities are significant. The other models were supposed to replace other air craft roles including the F-22, but we see that that can’t be true. Just compare the capabilities. Nor can the F-35 match A-10s in sustaining ground fire or even matching the projected maintenance hours..

        It is as though Gates wanted to kill the F-22 which he claimed had no real role and old technology. He often suggested the F-35 had super cruise which it does not. Then it seems Gates intentionally ignored the projected economics of the F-35 perhaps knowing that later on, budget cuts would shelf the F-35 too. Remember, if Congress listened to Palmer who argued Gates was ignoring the real comparisons between the F-22 and the F-35 physically and economically, they likely would not have shut down the F-22. Congress was lied to…

        Now all of the worries are coming true….

        F-35 needed the F-22’s superior software. It is over-budget. Our allies have cut orders mostly because the F-35 isn’t what was advertised. Russia will produce the Pak-Fa and then has been “drones can do it”, but several things have questioned that theory as US soldiers risk lives to retrieve downed drones which cannot penetrate defense, carry as much payload, orchestrate operations and defend against enemy air craft like real fighters….

        Next move? WH tell us they will build a 6th generation….lol Looks like an F-35 with the tail fins cut off…lol

        I repeat, that even in the Clinton camp during the primary came the suggestion that an Obama WH would spend a fortune on domestic bailouts and eventually claim deficits would restrict DOD budget and operations abroad, “Hey, it’s not what I WANT, but what I HAVE to do.”

        This seems to be happening giving adversaries time to catch up either by R&D or theft.

        If Republicans do nothing to change this, how are they not just like the Democrats?

        What say you Mr. Paul and Mr. Demint?

      • STemplar

        It’s STOVL, not VSTOL, it can’t operate from an LPD, it needs some runway, very short, but some runway to take off, it only lands vertical.

  • Lightning Rod

    This is an ugly story. The last JSF PM was fired because of cost and management issues. They brought in a three star to get the program squared away and they said it was the last time they would be re-baslining. Would expect a report out soon to say it is going to cost even more money and take more time to get the production aircraft out the door. We have sunk a lot of US and foreign money into this program. It is an exorbitant jobs program that will be sucking up the resources for a lot of other defense programs if it continues in full. Probably best in the long run to build more F-16’s and F-18’s, have a smaller JSF A and C fleet and go to unmanned for the future.

  • john

    The whole programme should be cancelled in my opinion, it has become too expensive and was over complicated to start with, three variants each with a different method of taking off and landing, it was just asking for this kind of trouble. The problem is that it has gone too far and too many jobs are dependant on it, so it should be rationalised instead.
    The version that should be kept is the Alpha variant, cut the numbers to be built by at least 60%, just enough to replace the F-16 in the USAF.
    Put the A-10 back into production, but with a new engine to replace the ones in service with both the AF and the National Guard. Also buy suffiecient F-15SL’s to double the Strike Eagle Force until the new Boeing NGAD Fighter comes into service with both the AF and Navy.
    Build more Super Hornets to replace the remaing Hornets in service with the Navy, and to replace the F-15C’s and F-16 in service the National Guard as well. As for the USMC, they should buy sufficient F/A-18F’s to replace their D’s, but buy the Saab Grippen NG to replace both the Harrier and F/A-18C’s, the aircraft was designed for Expeditionary Operations from rough fields and can be adapted for use from Carriers.

    • Riceball

      You know, you’re the first one so far to propose an actual solution for replacing Harriers & legacy Hornets if the F-35B were to be canceled. My question is whether the Grippen NG can operate off of the deck of an amphib which doesn’t catapults for take off and arresting wires for landing. If it can then it would probably be an ideal candidate for replacing the Harrier & legacy Hornets with something besides the F-35B. But given the whole protectionist an “Buy American” sentiments when it comes to defense procurements in this country this would probably not happen even if they were to cancel the F-35B and the Grippen NG could fly and land on an amphib. People screamed pretty loudly when it came to Northrop Grumman/EADS being initially chosen to make the next generation tanker I can only imagine how much louder it would be for something like a strike fighter.

      • STemplar

        The A10s arent going anywhere. They are going though a SLEP right now and will be in service until 2029. The only platform the F35 is currently slated to replace is the F16s and F15Cs. We decided to keep the Strike Eagles, the A10s, and retired the F117s before the F35 was anywhere near production. When you look at the numbers of the F16 replacements it is a 1 for 1 at the moment and that is non sense and the USAF knows it. The current inventory of F16s wasn’t put in place with the notion of PGMs let alone AESA and the DAS system on the F35. They know they don’t need anywhere near 1700 to accomplish the same missions easily.

  • blight

    Better question:

    We need an aircraft that can operate from LPD, etc. Does it have to be a VTOL jet? If the Marines believe in Tiltrotor, might they lean towards an Osprey CAS aircraft?

    Agreed, divorce the VTOL from the JSF program if it can save JSF. Allow the designs to diverge from here on out to save both programs. Reduced parts commonality is still a better position than we are in now, and having two new craft is better than none.

  • William C.

    The F-35B is the core of the program. Like it or not the design of the STOVL variant had a major impact on the design of the other variants, and it is likely the CTOL and CV aircraft would have been more capable if STOVL wasn’t a goal of the JSF program. Cut the F-35B and you might as well start at back at square one.

    Personally a part of me has always liked the STOVL concept. However while we have indeed operated Harriers off smaller ships, have they ever been deployed at FARPs closer to the front?

  • charles222

    If anything, amphibs are more vulnerable because they HAVE to get reasonably close to shore…carriers don’t have that issue.

    As for the other cancellations floated in this thread:

    -Don’t really see how the MATV doesn’t fulfill the JLTV program. Axe JLTV, along with GCV, as the M1A3 is already undergoing design and the Bradley is still unmatched by any other IFV.

    -Marine JSF honestly needs to go bye-bye. Either compensate by buying more AH-1Zs, or register that the F/A18E is perfectly acceptable and can be flown off of a Navy carrier, which is almost always gonna be around your ESG anyway.

    • William C.

      MATV is similar to the screwed up specifications JLTV currently have, but isn’t the JLTV we SHOULD have. JLTV needs a review to ensure it isn’t just another MRAP.

      The Bradley is a decent IFV but we can do much better in this day and age. Time for a clean sheet of paper in my opinion. The Abrams certainly has enough life left in it for a M1A3 upgrade, but even while we do this we should still be developing new technologies and concepts.

      From what I have gathered the Marines like having the capability the Harrier provides, I strongly want to see the F-35 succeed and be what it promises to be, but if the F-35B is canceled, we should go to a new design for a USAF/USN F-16 and F/A-18 replacement.

  • Boogel

    I haven’t seen it yet but I’m waiting for it. At some point one of these panels is going to recommend scrapping the Marines altogether. The Corp hasn’t done themselves any favors by taking on so many traditional Army roles. I’m sure there are wonks that see the Marines as a second string Army with too many expensive toys. Someone is going to commission a report that will list all the savings to the tax payers by just having the Army do it all.

    • William C.

      “America doesn’t need a Marine Corp, America wants a Marine Corp.”

      And if we don’t it is a certain sign we are on the path to self-destruction. Losing that capability would be criminal.

  • Justin H

    Even though LM screwed this up, they do have a cool VTOL UCAV called Various that would be great for the Marines. Look up the video on YouTube.

    • john

      Didn’t I see this UCAV on that Vin Diesel film Babylon AD. Seriously though, although the V/STOL is out of the 1950’s, it might work.

  • Tim

    I’ve said it before but the f22 and f35 are a leap

    too far in terms of tech and are going to be superseded by UCAVS by the time they get these hanger queens anywhere near acceptable operational standards .

    I guarantee that if the f22 was deployed in a proper

    Air war now the plane would be working no where near lockheed’s claims .

    It’s a joke and a sick joke on the US taxpayer .

    The Eurofighter us at least operational with a bunch

    of airforces and does exactly what is was supposed to .

    Lickheeds like the bankers on Wall St are the true enemies of the US military .

  • William C.

    They aren’t a leap too far and there is no way UCAVs which at best only have Sidewinders and Stingers for self-defense will be replacing manned aircraft anytime soon.

  • blight

    If the Marines are really interested in CAS, does it have to be in the form of a VTOL fighter jet?

    If you’re in the tiltrotor game you may as well go double or nothing. Similarity of platforms isn’t a bad thing either, and the Marines already have with Huey & Cobra. Caveat is that a tiltrotor gunship is going to be even slower in arriving than VTOL JSF; but if they cut loose SVTOL JSF and leave it to die, this will free the Marines to reconsider just what they really need for CAS.

  • JDSillig

    The US congress seems to have plenty of money to give Israel 20 F35’s for free and is already offering to give them an additional 20 more, all at the US taxpayers expense.

    It seems to me that US taxpayer’s money would be better used to buy every single US pilot the newest and most capable fighter we can afford long before a single dime is spent on giving them away to Israel for free, but I guess our so-called elected representatives put the safety and lives of our own pilots second to those of Israel.


    looooooooooo at USA’s debt. lol. lol. lol.

  • bill

    Obviously most people here don’t or have not worked on a Lockheed built Aircraft. If you did you would never recommend buying another aircraft from them again, they build junk. They do it so they can bleed the government dry and believe their good at it. I was told their company moto is Promise Everything Proved Nothing. That statement is very accurate.

  • Guest

    They should take away the whole thing from Lockheed Martin and give it to Northrop Grumman. The whole problem here is Lockheed and always has been.

  • Jude
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