Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Davis, head of the multinational F-35 stealth fighter program, minced no words in criticizing Boeing executives for what he alleges are disingenuous attacks by the aerospace giant on the F-35. Flight reported July 14 that Davis claims Boeing is “spreading lies and half-truths” about the health of the F-35 program in a “desperate and disgraceful” attempt to bolster sales of its own forth-generation F/A-18E/F multirole fighter at the expense of the fifth-generation F-35’s international sales. Davis cited recent articles in the US and international press that quoted Boeing executives forecasting delays and significant additional cost spikes for the F-35 as the cause of his irritation, according to Flight. A Boeing official defended the company’s performance record on the F/A-18E/F program to date and the international interest it has spawned, but told the magazine that he was unaware of the specific comments that triggered Davis’ outburst. Davis earlier this year came out strongly in rebuking the analysis of the Government Accountability Office that prophesized an increase in F-35 program overall costs by $38 billion when subsequent DOD estimates showed that they actually decreased by nearly one billion dollars.
The White House announced its United States Space Priorities Framework in a document released concurrently with Vice President Kamala Harris' first National Space Council meeting. Listed among five U.S. priorities is to “defend its national security interests from the growing scope and scale of space and counterspace threats.”