Press reports on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) have tended to downplay how much progress the program has made on multiple fronts, including on lowering those costs and the contribution that the JSF is already making to U.S. national security, as well as that of allies and partners. The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps have all declared the F-35 to be operational, as have a number of foreign operators, including the U.K., Israel and, most recently, South Korea. To date, both the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps, plus the Israeli Air Force, have employed their F-35s in combat. Without question, the JSF program continues to face challenges. But it also is making enormous progress. The program is delivering aircraft, expanding capabilities and improving sustainment. Overall, the F-35 is a success story that keeps getting better. I have written more on the JSF’s progress here.
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