F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter JSF, also called the Lighting II, is a new strike fighter being procured in different versions by the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy. The F-35 program is the Department of Defenses DODs largest weapon procurement program in terms of total estimated acquisition cost. Current DOD plans call for acquiring a total of 2,456 JSFs for the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy at an estimated total acquisition cost as of December 31, 2007 of about 246 billion in constant i.e., inflation-adjusted FY2009 dollars. Procurement of F-35s began in FY2007. Hundreds of additional F-35s are to be purchased by several U.S. allies. The administrations proposed FY2010 defense budget requests a total of about 10.4 billion in Air Force and Navy research and development funding and procurement funding for the F-35 program, including about 3.6 billion in Air Force and Navy research and development funding and about 6.8 billion in Air Force and Navy procurement funding. The proposed FY2010 budget would fund the procurement of 10 F-35As for the Air Force, 16 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps, and four F-35Cs for the Navy. The administrations proposed FY2010 defense budget also proposes to terminate the F-35 alternate engine program, which is intended to develop the General ElectricRolls-Royce F136 engine as an alternative to the Pratt and Whitney F135 engine that currently powers the F-35. The George W. Bush administration proposed terminating the alternate engine program in FY2007, FY2008, and FY2009, but Congress rejected these proposals and each year provided funding for the programs continuation.