Needed, One Crystal Ball:

Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne told lawmakers last week that the Pentagon’s arguments for not sustaining a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter “revolve around economics” and models that “do not contemplate this fighter being in service for 50 years.” Wynne reiterated his preference—established when he was in DOD acquisition, technology, and logistics—for an alternate engine. He confessed that he doesn’t know how long the F-35 will be in service, but then who could have forecast that the F-15 and F-16 would serve for 50 years. His final comment before the Senate Appropriations defense panel: “There is something to additional reliability.”