F-35 Fighter Jet Hits Turbulence in Congress | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

F-35 Fighter Jet Hits Turbulence in Congress 

Vermonters who think the Vermont Air National Guard's future is tied to us all getting warm and fuzzy about basing F-35 fighter jets in South Burlington should take a closer look at the project's flight plan through congressional airspace. 

Last night, PBS "NewsHour" devoted nearly 10 minutes of the show to the growing congressional dogfight over what they're calling the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program. Apparently, the F-35 is facing serious cost overruns — from $59 million to $112 million per plane —  production delays, and other technical problems. Senate Democrat Claire McCaskill, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, referred to the project as "too big to fail" just as taxpayer "push money across the table." Hmm, when have we heard THAT phrase before?

Things aren't looking especially rosy on the technical side of things, either. In February, Defense Secretary Robert Gates fired the F-35's program manager. According to NewsHour's Kwame Holman who reported the story, a General Accounting Office report on the F-35s noted that "hot exhaust may damage runways and flight decks on ships, and heat buildup inside the aircraft may impede its ability to operate in hot environments." Great news if we go to war with Iceland or Norway. But for use in our current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, or future wars in Iran, Yemen or Pakistan? Not so much. 

Still, BTV wouldn't have to worry about icing on the runway anymore... 

One or more images has been removed from this article. For further information, contact web@sevendaysvt.com.
Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags: ,

More By This Author

About The Author

Ken Picard

Ken Picard

Ken Picard has been a Seven Days staff writer since 2002. He has won numerous awards for his work, including the Vermont Press Association's 2005 Mavis Doyle award, a general excellence prize for reporters.


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation