via AOL Breaking Defense...
Then the committee asks Dunford if he supports the requirement for 2,443 Joint Strike Fighters.That bad week for the F-35 is turning into a terrible month.
The prospective chairman calls the F-35 a “vital component of our effort to ensure the Joint Force maintains dominance in the air.” But there is a big but. He discloses that the requirement for the size of the fleet is being reviewed: “Given the evolving defense strategy and the latest Defense Planning Guidance, we are presently taking the newest strategic foundation and analyzing whether 2,443 aircraft is the correct number. Until the analysis is complete, we need to pursue the current scheduled quantity buy to preclude creating an overall near-term tactical fighter shortfall.”
(A source close to the program was comfortable with the need for review and said nothing has changed strategically enough to change the need for 2,443 planes.)
Something evil is brewing in the Pentagon.
They keep talking about "the new defense strategy". The Army justified the cuts based on that strategy.
All talk about ending sequestration has ended.
The Pentagon's bluff has been called, the accountants are out for blood and the pet project is finally about to get taken down to the river and held under.
My prediction (yeah and I have to say it...AOL is what I call a PRO F-35 publication) is that the program takes at least a 500 plane reduction. That should jack up the price quite a bit...They're gonna sweeten the pot for Lockheed by pushing forward the block buy plan but that isn't gonna work because the plane isn't ready.
The pain train is leaving the station. First stop? Ft. Worth.