Witnesses Question Tacair Plans

Both the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and F-22A programs were in the crosshairs of a Senate Armed Services subcommittee on Tuesday afternoon. A GAO representative decried the lack of an “executable business case” for the Raptor with the 198-airplane gap between what the Air Force will buy and what it says it needs and offered a similar view of the JSF acquisition plan to buy before completing testing. A Congressional Research Service analyst questioned—as have lawmakers—whether the decision to eliminate an alternate engine for the JSF was “based on its merits” or on “tradeoffs in a budget cutting process.” Christopher Bolkcom of the CRS noted that if an engine problem should surface in the future, the entire fleet could be grounded.