C4ISR

McCain blasts F-35 acquisition plan

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called DOD’s relationship with F-35 fighter contractor Lockheed Martin “one of the great national scandals” during a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, reported Military.com.

Along with a “chaotic” program budget, McCain cited repeated cost overruns during F-35 production that “have made it worse than a disgrace.” The senator called the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter the government’s first trillion dollar acquisition program.

McCain’s comments follow a $99 million contract modification awarded to Lockheed Martin on Sept. 18 for 19 A-model F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters. The new units will be added to the 71 contracted for by the Air Force in July. An agreement between Lockheed Martin and DOD was touted as delivering a 4 percent cost reduction over fifth low-rate initial production phase, while LRIP 7 showed an additional 8 percent reduction, according to IHS Jane’s 360.

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