F-35’s Nuclear Weapons Upgrade Delayed as Program Costs Top $1.6 Trillion | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

F-35’s Nuclear Weapons Upgrade Delayed as Program Costs Top $1.6 Trillion

The F-35 Lightning II’s Block 4 upgrade, which will allow the stealth aircraft to carry nuclear weapons, has been delayed by at least nine months. The F-35 is slated to become the primary nuclear strike aircraft for several US allies. Meanwhile, costs for the program have soared above $1.6 trillion.

According to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a congressional watchdog agency, the F-35’s planned Block 4 upgrade has been delayed by nine months, pushing the plane’s full-rate production decision back to sometime between September 2020 and March 2021.

While Block 4 will integrate a number of new weapons into the F-35’s repertoire, such as Naval Strike Missile, the Meteor and SPEAR missiles and several laser-guided bombs, by far the most consequential weapon is the B61 nuclear gravity bomb, which is small enough to fit inside the F-35’s internal weapons bay.

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