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Need for new F-15s reflects F-35 catastrophe

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The biggest acquisition disaster in the Pentagon’s history shows no sign of abating.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the poster child for ineptitude and inefficiency in defense procurement, has been in development for nearly 18 years and is eight years behind schedule. The total acquisition costs of the fifth-generation aircraft now exceed $428 billion, nearly double the initial estimate of $233 billion. The lifetime operation and maintenance costs of the most expensive weapon system in history will total approximately $1.2 trillion.

Thanks to the massive delays, the fourth-generation aircraft the JSF was intended to replace have reached the end of their service lives. The A-10, AV-8B, F-15C/D, F-16, and F/A-18, were all supposed to be in the boneyard, the Department of Defense’s (DOD) version of an old folk’s home, yet they still........

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