Quantcast

F-35 program too big to fail - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

F-35 program too big to fail

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

This week, Sen. Patrick Leahy wrote to a constituent, expressing concern with the cost of the military's newest fighter jet: the F-35.

The program is projected to cost $400 billion -- double the 2001 projection. It has also run into several production and technical delays since Congress first ordered the plane in the mid-90's.

In the letter, Leahy wrote: "The F-35 program has been poorly managed and is a textbook example of how not to buy military equipment." He said he would like to halt the program, but doesn't believe the bulk of Congress would agree, and therefore still supports stationing a fleet of the super-planes in Vermont.

"I'm confident that the contractor will get there and that we'll get an F-35 that is capable and meets the defense needs of our nation," said Vermont's new Adjutant General, Steven Cray.
Cray said he believes the planes will touchdown at Burlington International by 2020. And he said he's glad to hear the Senator still backs the plane. "They're very expensive, very complicated systems," he said.

Stephen Pomeroy is a former Naval Aviator and is Associate Director of the School of Business and Management at Norwich University.

He said almost every military plane commissioned by the Defense Department since 1970 has come in significantly over budget. "We build airplanes in the Department of Defense the way Stutz built motor cars -- they're not in business any longer," he said.

Pomeroy said cost overruns are largely due to custom specifications and inherent hurdles in creating novel technology. The F-35 is designed to replace more than five planes across multiple military branches -- and near the end of their service lives. "If the United States is going to build a manned fighter aircraft, this is probably the best choice they have for now," he said. "If you think the world is going to be at peace perpetually, then we probably don't need it."

Politically, de-commissioning the plane would be nearly impossible. Production is spread over 45 states and is projected to employ more than 250,000 people.

Local opponents of the plane have said the jets could create an unhealthy environment for those who live near the airport, because the F-35 is louder than the current crop of F-16s.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • 4 indicted in ransacked NH grave case

    4 indicted in ransacked NH grave case

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:01:27 GMT
    Four people accused of taking part in ransacking the grave of a New Hampshire businessman who died in 2004 have been indicted.
    Four people accused of taking part in ransacking the grave of a New Hampshire businessman who died in 2004 have been indicted.
  • Car crashes into garage

    Car crashes into garage

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:27 AM EDT2014-07-24 13:27:45 GMT
    A car crashed into a garage in Waterford Wednesday, causing extensive damage.
    A car crashed into a garage in Waterford Wednesday, causing extensive damage.
  • Police calls down in Rutland

    Police calls down in Rutland

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:04 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:04:19 GMT
    Rutland police say a study found the number of calls for service in the Vermont city dropped almost 25 percent in the first six months of this year compared to 2013.
    Rutland police say a study found the number of calls for service in the Vermont city dropped almost 25 percent in the first six months of this year compared to 2013.
  • Vermont sees revenue forecast downgrade

    Vermont sees revenue forecast downgrade

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:12:25 GMT
    Vermont's revenues are not growing as fast as expected, and Gov. Peter Shumlin says he's asking state agency chiefs to recommend a round of budget cuts.
    Vermont's revenues are not growing as fast as expected, and Gov. Peter Shumlin says he's asking state agency chiefs to recommend a round of budget cuts.
  • Arguments heard on Vt. forest wind project

    Arguments heard on Vt. forest wind project

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:41 AM EDT2014-07-24 13:41:56 GMT
    A federal judge has listened to arguments challenging a 15-tubine wind project authorized in the Green Mountain National Forest.
    A federal judge has listened to arguments challenging a 15-tubine wind project authorized in the Green Mountain National Forest.
  • Vermont governor to announce brownfields grants

    Vermont governor to announce brownfields grants

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:58 AM EDT2014-07-24 13:58:58 GMT
    Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is going to be announcing what his office is calling a major community development block grant in Barre.
    Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is going to be announcing what his office is calling a major community development block grant in Barre.
  • NY board to weigh rules for workers who get tips

    NY board to weigh rules for workers who get tips

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:34 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:34:12 GMT
    New York plans to hold public hearings on regulations governing service workers who get tips and have base pay lower than the state's hourly minimum wage.
    New York plans to hold public hearings on regulations governing service workers who get tips and have base pay lower than the state's hourly minimum wage.
  • Elevated bacteria levels in some swimming holes

    Elevated bacteria levels in some swimming holes

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:45 AM EDT2014-07-24 13:45:28 GMT
    Officials say high bacteria levels in some southeast Vermont swimming holes could be attributed to heavy rainfall.
    Officials say high bacteria levels in some southeast Vermont swimming holes could be attributed to heavy rainfall.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.