Is the Joint Strike Fighter really in QDR trouble, or is talk of major cuts some kind of evil Pentagon negotiating ploy? These days, you can get arguments for either position. One straw in the wind, however, is a recent interview given by Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program manager. He confirmed in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram story his concern about a possible DOD “agenda” to scrap one of the three F-35 variants. He added that he didn’t know what was going to happen in the end. Sounds ominous to us.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.