McCain urges U.S. to think about F-35 jet alternatives.

The U.S. Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter…

The U.S. Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, the F-35C, conducts a test flight over the Chesapeake Bay near Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland Feb. 11, 2011. Lt. Cmdr. Eric “Magic” Buus flew the F-35C for two hours, checking instruments that will measure structural loads on the airframe during flight maneuvers. The F-35C is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for greater control when operating in the demanding carrier take-off and landing environment. (U.S. Navy photo by Lockheed Martin Corp./Released)

U.S. Senator John McCain suggested Thursday that the Defense Department mull possible alternatives to Lockheed Martin Corp’s (LMT.N) F-35 fighter program if its rising costs could not be contained.

McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, referred to the program as “incredibly troubled” and a “train wreck.” He said Lockheed has done an “abysmal job” at containing cost overruns and urged that the company absorb at least some of them. ‘

Source: Jim Wolf, Editing by Gerald E. McCormick for Reuters.

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  • Dieselpusher

    We need to cancel this program and bring back cheaper but many many more aircraft like the F-14. Update the systems with the newer technology but buy more at less cost. We are running out of aircraft due to 2 wars and constant operations since 9/11. We couldn’t sustain a real war against China or North Korea as we would take way too many losses then we could replace the loss aircraft. Been in naval aviation business for over 43 years and we are now going the way we did after Vietnam. Hollow military services due to government being bankrupt and allowing too many contractor companies bleed our congressman for money.

  • Jake

    WHATEVER YOU DO, DONT CUT IT!!!! I have a great personal interest in this program to help me get a decent job here at Eglin AFB, home to the 33rd Fighter Wing’s air education program for the F-35. Every branch of service slated to fly the plane will receive primary training here to be qualified, and Eglin is already restructuring to receive the aircraft from Lockheed once they arrive. Jobs are tight, and this may be our only hope!!!!

  • CK

    McCain is an idiot. The F-35 program will be worth the costs and the capabilities it provides will be a huge asset to us and our allies. Force projection, that’s the name of the game.

  • Jeff

    …Just like the F22 they wait till things actually start shaping up to criticize and contemplate killing it. There is too much riding on this program to kill it. Too many allies are relying on this and with out the high numerical purchase it will sink to a cost effectiveness worse than the the F22.

    Food for thought… if all that money spent on a second engine had instead been spent on fixing the rest of the program, would we be better off?