Would It Reduce Cost?

Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) does not believe the advantages of having an alternate F-35 engine outweigh the need to keep the Joint Strike Fighter cost in line and the program on schedule. Lieberman had support from JSF partner country—Australia. Rear Adm. Raydon W. Gates, head of the Australian Defense Staff in Washington, told the committee that his country’s highest priority is to maintain cost, schedule, and capability targets. “Affordability is a key project goal,” said Gates. He wants the Pentagon’s assurance, though, that cutting the F136 engine will keep the project on track and produce real cost savings in the aircraft’s production run.