“I want us to stop throwing our money into this particular bottomless hole.” This is how the Democratic representative from Washington, and also chairman of the Armed Services Committee of the Lower House of the US Congress, Adam Smith, spoke about Lockheed Martin's F35 combat aircraft program . He added that beyond the prohibitive costs of this program, the F35 added little to American military capabilities, due to its very complex maintenance and low availability. According to him, it is now necessary to better distribute US air power across several complementary attack and fighter aircraft, ranging from modernized 4th generation aircraft , such as the F15EX, to 6th generation aircraft, such as the NGAD program.
This is the third questioning in a few weeks of the Lockheed-Martin program from official sources in the United States, after the scathing observation made by the director of acquisition of the US Air Force of the Trump administration, Will Roper, and by the US Air Force General Staff which declared that it was considering the design of a more economical intermediate generation aircraft to replace its F16s, rather than acquiring the F35A as has been planned for a decade for that. The US Air Force then hastened to correct that for the moment, nothing had changed in its objectives for acquiring the stealth aircraft, probably to avoid a vast pushback from potential foreign buyers. But clearly, the future of the F35 program is now more compromised.
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