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Congressional Joint Strike Fighter Group Expresses Support for Additional F-35 Funding

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A bipartisan group of lawmakers are calling on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to approve funding for 98 F-35 aircraft in the fiscal year 2021 defense policy bill to support readiness and aircraft availability goals.

The office of Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., said Wednesday that the co-chairs of the Joint Strike Fighter Caucus and 126 bipartisan signatories are also requesting funding for “continued investment in the F-35 program.”

Larson, along with Reps. Martha Roby, R-Ala., Marc Veasey, D-Texas, and Michael Turner, R-Ohio, said in the letter that funding is needed to support the production of spare parts and depot-level maintenance efforts to meet availability requirements. The F-35 program will also drive the U.S. economy and support over 1,800 suppliers as well as 254,000 jobs across the country, the letter states.

“Lastly, we believe a long-term, outcome-based sustainment contract will guarantee performance metrics at a fixed-price — a win-win for our men and women in uniform and the American taxpayers,” the co-chairs noted.

Other efforts outlined in the President’s budget request that require approval include the Continuous Capability Development and Delivery modernization effort and Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile program to support the F-35.