Lockheed Martin, the builder of the F-35 fighter, believes the problems associated with its performance are resolvable – and that the company and the Pentagon are well on its way to achieving better performance.
“We are confident in the F-35’s transformational capability that continues to be through the steady progress in development, production and sustainment operations,” company spokeswoman Carolyn Nelson said in a statement that was published by Bloomberg Jan. 25.
Lockheed’s response follows a Pentagon report that criticizes the F-35 program’s shaky performance record, and little evidence that the plane’s reliability would improve sufficiently in the foreseeable future. At any given time, the report stated, only half of the F-35 fleet is ready to fly. Bloomberg also quotes Pentagon officials as being unhappy with the plane’s $406.5 billion price tag and $1.2 trillion cost associated with supporting it through 2070 – by far the highest such cost in history.