Letter to the Editor: Progress on the F-35 Fighter Jet
“Rough Ride for the F-35” (editorial, July 28) did not mention why the F-35 fighter jet matters to national security or the significant progress we have made toward delivering software that will enable the Marines to declare Initial Operating Capability in 2015 and the Air Force to do the same in 2016 — progress recognized in many of the reports you cite.
Additionally, 65 percent of flight testing has been completed, and the program is on track to finish development by 2017. The F-35 fleet has flown more than 18,000 hours, 107 aircraft have been delivered, and aircraft cost has dropped by 55 percent.
Our responsibility is to provide the most advanced and affordable multirole fighter to our war fighters. We have no intention of relenting in this critical pursuit, especially when the imperative of maintaining future air dominance cannot be accomplished by buying more fourth-generation aircraft, as your editorial imprudently suggests.
The war fighters who protect our freedoms deserve the best, and the F-35 will deliver decisive advantages over any potential adversary for decades to come.
V.P. and General Manager
F-35 Program, Lockheed Martin
Fort Worth, July 31, 2014