‘Don’t expect more money’ for additional F-35s in FY22, lawmakers tell an embattled Lockheed | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

‘Don’t expect more money’ for additional F-35s in FY22, lawmakers tell an embattled Lockheed

Two influential Democrat lawmakers warned on Thursday that they will not support boosting the number of Lockheed Martin-made F-35 joint strike fighters in the upcoming fiscal 2022 budget unless the program makes headway in addressing a laundry list of problems.

“If this program continues to fail to significantly control and reduce actual and projected sustainment costs, we may need to invest in other, more affordable programs and backfill an operational shortfall of potentially over 800 tactical fighters,” said Rep. Donald Norcross, D-N.J., who chairs the House Armed Services Committee’s tactical air and land subcommittee.

“Given the overall affordability concerns that exist within the program, I would not support any requests for additional aircraft beyond what is contained in this year’s president’s budget request,” he said during a hearing on the F-35.

Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., who leads HASC’s readiness subcommittee, doubled down on Norcross’s vow to fight adding extra F-35s to the FY22 budget.

“The program is over budget. It fails to deliver on promised capabilities. And its mission capability rates do not even begin to meet the service thresholds,” Garamendi said. “Industry’s solution to many of these problems is simply to ask the taxpayers to throw money at the problem. That will not happen. The easy days of the past are over.”

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