This just posted by Congressional Quarterly:
An internal Pentagon oversight board has found that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is two years behind the publicly announced schedule, say multiple congressional aides familiar with the findings, sparking a sharp response from those invested in the debate over the F-22.
As Congress has debated the future of the F-22 fighter program, lawmakers have used the promise of the F-35 plane’s completion as a key plank in their argument that the F-22 line could be ended without a significant risk to national security.
Now, senators and aides are lamenting that the Pentagon oversight panel’s more pessimistic view on the F-35 program was not publicly released during the F-22 debate and are calling for more open disclosure of the problems with the development of the F-35.
Late Thursday, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss issued this statement:
“It’s disturbing that this was known inside the Pentagon as the debate over the F-22 was occurring, and as the Department of Defense disseminated information that cast the F-35 in an extremely positive light.
“Those responsible for major weapons decisions at the Pentagon obviously knew last week that there was significant disagreement regarding the F-35’s schedule, and Pentagon leadership did not convey this to Congress in their letters about the F-22 vote.
“Without question, had senators known this information, it would have been much harder for the administration to twist arms to vote against the F-22.”
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