Is the Pentagon Wasting Hundreds of Billions of Dollars on the F-35?

01/06/14 Robert Lorei
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Tags: F-35, Lockheed Martin, Winslow Wheeler, Project on Government oversight, wasteful military spending, wmnf, Rob Lorei


Winslow Wheeler

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Good morning- welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei.

The most expensive military plane ever built- is still not ready for prime time. The hi-tech warplane is supposed to serve as the backbone of the future US fighter fleet. The plane—already 10 years behind schedule and 100 percent over budget—has cost taxpayers nearly $400 billion dollars, and will eventually cost $1.5 trillion. The costly plane – some of which are already deployed at Eglin Air Force Base in the Panhandle--has difficulty performing at night or in bad weather—and the rules under which it can fly are severly restricted. It’s never flown in a combat mission. The F-35 is plagued with many other problems- including criticism from fighter pilots who say the plane will be vulnerable in dogfights. Florida is one of 46 states and Puerto Rico with military contractors participating in the F-35 program. According to the Tampa Tribune- 15 of 240 employees at Lockheed Martin's Pinellas County plant are involved in making canopies under a current $6 million contract, but as deliveries ramp up, that could grow to more than 100 local jobs.

We’re joined now by Winslow Wheeler who is the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project – part of the Project on Government Oversight in Washington DC.

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