Too Big to Fail?

The F-35 program, despite cost overruns and schedule delays, cannot fail, said House Armed Service Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) on Thursday. There is no “option of saying ‘OK, never mind, we don’t need this plane anymore,’” he told reporters during a morning breakfast meeting in Washington D.C. “We have to learn the lessons of why it has taken longer and cost more than we expected,” but the program must move ahead, because “not only the United States, but many of our allies, are dependent on the F-35 being successful.” The chairman also acknowledged that the F-35 is not the first or only program to face bumps in its acquisition, but he said all of the programs have come with lessons that need to be learned.