The Government Accountability Office put out a report earlier this month purporting to show that the F-35 fighter costs more to operate and sustain than U.S. military services can afford to pay. Somehow, though, the report failed to mention that F-35 is already more reliable and maintainable than the aircraft it will be replacing–not to mention more effective at executing key missions. This is just the latest in a long series of GAO products criticizing the most successful military aircraft development program in modern times, and like past such efforts it is destined to be proven wrong. Over time current supply chain issues will be resolved, the proficiency of military maintainers will improve, data will be more effectively utilized, costs will be better captured, and the Pentagon will learn the virtues of performance-based logistics. In other words, the affordability problems F-35 appears to be facing will gradually be ameliorated. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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