F-35s On Budget Chopping Block

Hungry budget cutters are eyeing some tasty targets at the Pentagon.
Specifically: two of the largest weapons contracts ever awarded by the Pentagon.

The Joint Strike Fighter program is building 2,500 high-tech warplanes and could cost more than $1 trillion. The program would build F-35s, which are the same jets the Navy is considering placing at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock.

The Navy has said it could put as many as eleven F-35 squadrons at Cherry Point, while other squadrons would go to the base in Beaufort, S.C. New squadrons of fighter jets would bring a significant economic impact to any military base and surrounding town.

The Government Accountability Office, in a report Thursday, says costs for the Joint Strike Fighter Program and the Army's Future Combat Systems are likely to balloon because the technology is not fully proven. The Army's vision of high-tech, interconnected battlefield equipment has a $158-billion pricetag.

The military is under pressure to cut costs as the government devotes trillions of dollars toward righting the economy. The Obama
administration has promised a rigorous review of weapons programs
with a view toward making sure their technology is proven before
they go into production.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by pee dee Location: jacksonville on Mar 16, 2009 at 05:52 AM
    Our tax dollars are being used to bailout AIG who is giving billions of it to European banks and millions to its corporate execs in bonus payouts. We have thrown 170 BILLION dollars at a company that lost 61 BILLION last quarter. How do we pay for it? Oh I get it, let's cancel a 158 BILLION defense contract, that was also a joint program with our allies, so we can bailout AIG. "Change you can bellieve in" should be altered to "Change you can't comprehend".
  • by Wolfgang Location: Chocowinity,NC on Mar 14, 2009 at 09:30 AM
    Next Obama is going to take away the Army's M16's, and give them cotton balls to defend themselves with.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2009 at 05:27 AM
    Good. The end of another instrument of death.
  • by Barry on Mar 13, 2009 at 04:00 PM
    I think this is a brilliant move. China and Russia are flexing, North Korea ispanning a "satellite" i.e. missile launch, Iran is a threat, afghanistan is going bad so it is only obvious that we cut funding for advance fighter jets in this time of world peace. When this country is attacked again, I hope all the voters of King Husseign of illinois will remember they had a part in it. Wake me in 2012
  • by Anonymous on Mar 13, 2009 at 02:53 PM
    did obama's wife tell the people in n.c. last week that we were to lose more jobs , NO just thanks for your vote , 2012 it will be change allright ,just watch !!
  • by Mr. Blount on Mar 13, 2009 at 01:30 PM
    Just one more sign that national defense is not a priority for this admininstration. Maybe we can bring some P-51's out of mothballs if we get attacked. Oh, that's right we wont get attacked anymore because we are now friends with every nation. Detant', and all that. Chinese vessels harrass our warship last week in international waters off the chinese coast, so SecState Clinton is going to apoligize to THEM. We now have leaders that are Wooses, and all the other nations are laughing. Dont think that wont be exploited.
  • by pee dee Location: jacksonville on Mar 13, 2009 at 09:33 AM
    By saying I agree, I meant I agree with Tommy, not with cutting the defense budget.
  • by pee dee Location: jacksonville on Mar 13, 2009 at 08:19 AM
    I agree! I read that the program employs 120,000 people in 48 states. Lets invest billions into bailing out people who's eyes were bigger than their pockets in the housing market and let national defense go to pot while Iran develops nuclear weapons and North Korea develops a long range missile that can reach America. While we are at it lets throw in doing away with a missile shield in Europe if Russia will help mediate. Oh right, we already threw that one at Russia and they laughed in our face.
  • by tommy on Mar 13, 2009 at 06:13 AM
    A: the overall cost over the lifespan of this jet will be more economical than current fleet of aircraft. It puts a common airframe across all branches of military, replacing a hodge-podge of older, outdated, mix of various different aircraft that all need different parts for maintenance. B: This does provide jobs to people. Isn't that the goal of this administration. Or do only building roads (which are highly needed, b/c I can't seem to get to where i want to go now) and building Ted Kennedy museums (b/c we all really need that) the only jobs that count? C: Obama has already spent a Billion dollars an hour since being in office, why stop now? Especially since this is a program that has been funded and in the works for the past 10 or so years.
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