There are no political wolves moving to sink their teeth into the Pentagon’s F-35 fighter program, despite a speckled past, says one veteran US senator.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who has seen political pressure doom many US weapon programs, sees “basically fairly strong support” for the Lockheed Martin-made F-35.
He did offer a qualifier, saying he expects that support to remain intact as long as there is “no major disruption.”
The F-35 program is the most expensive in Pentagon history, and has been plagued by poor management, developmental problems and other mishaps for years. Most recently, the fleet was grounded for several weeks following an engine fire.
Over breakfast Tuesday with reporters, Levin acknowledged the initiative has “had some bumps” but he said the “further along it gets,” the stronger the political support on Capitol Hill will become.
What’s more, he said, the closer to completion the program becomes, the more invested the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps become.
And that, Levin said, for a major weapons program “is a plus.”
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