The Government Accountability Office has released its latest annual report on the F-35 fighter acquisition program, pursuant to direction by Congress. It is titled “F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: Cost Growth and Schedule Delays Continue,” so casual observers can be excused for assuming it is highly critical. It actually isn’t: the report acknowledges early on that the cost of the program has remained relatively stable since 2012, and that the pricetag to produce each fighter is falling steadily. More importantly, the three issues it identifies for extended discussion hardly rise to the level of true problems once you read the explanatory text. The simple truth is that the F-35 acquisition effort no longer faces major problems. The program is a smashing success, which explains why Switzerland, Finland, Canada and Germany have all decided to buy the F-35 in the last year. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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