Sen. Lindsey Graham expressed confidence that Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort will receive five squadrons of F-35B aircraft by 2015.
Having worked with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, I give great credence to his announcement that there would be at least a two-year delay to correct "technical problems" with the F-35B.
The original cost of each fighter has doubled to $100 million. The model for the Marines might need to be redesigned, and The New York Times reported Gates was placing that model "on the equivalent of a two-year probation."
Due either to technical complexity or budget considerations, I think the F-35B will be either canceled or the numbers ordered severely reduced. The United Kingdom already canceled its order.
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If the F-35B does not work out, the Marine Corps has choices:
I assume, if the F-35B is canceled or its numbers reduced, our chamber of commerce would lobby for F-35Cs to replace our current F-18s.
Charlie DavisFripp Island