The F-35B STOVL variant of the Joint Strike Fighter comes off of it:
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Friday cleared a path for the Marine Corps’s version of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 stealth fighter jet, removing the beleaguered program from “probation” after he said sufficient progress was made to address technical problems.
Officials said Mr. Panetta’s decision shows the overall F-35 program remains a top priority investment for the U.S. to counter rising powers, particularly China, despite growing pressure on the Pentagon budget.
“We are and we have to remain the strongest military in the world. We are not going to back off from our position,” Mr. Panetta said in announcing the decision. “If we are going to be a world leader, we have got to maintain our military power.”
The announcement was a boost to Lockheed Martin and to the $382 billion Joint Strike Fighter program, which has been beset by cost overruns and development delays. The program is the Pentagon’s costliest weapons program.
Now we get to play the “cut objective inventory and watch unit costs spiral unaffordably” game.
Just you watch.