US Top Lawmaker Calls F-35’ Rathole,’

US Top Lawmaker Calls F-35’ Rathole,’
US Top Lawmaker Calls F-35’ Rathole,’
US Top Lawmaker Calls F-35’ Rathole,’

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is under the scope of the House Armed Services Committee. The Democratic chairman of the House Armed Services Committee called the Lockheed Martin-produced F-35 Joint Strike Fighter a “rathole” in a virtual event with the Brookings Institution on Friday. He suggested the US should consider whether to “cut its losses” by investing in a range of competing fighter jets.



“What does the F-35 give us?” asked Smith, “Is there a way to cut our losses? Is there a way to not keep spending so much money for such a low capability? Because the sustainment costs are brutal.”

US Top Lawmaker Calls F-35’ Rathole,’

The F-35 program’s total cost has been projected at more than $1 trillion over a 50-year service lifetime. While Smith acknowledged that Congress can’t ditch the program, he wants the Pentagon to restrain its reliance on the fifth-generation platform.

“What I’m going to try to do is figure out how we can get a mix of fighter attack aircraft that’s the most cost-effective -- bottom line,” he said.

“It will replace 90% of fighter aircraft,” he said, as reported by The Washington Business Journal. “It’s going forward. There’s no scenario where we’d scrap it at this point.”

Rep. Adam Smith represents the Seattle-area district, which depends heavily on Boeing for jobs and investment.

US Top Lawmaker Calls F-35’ Rathole,’