United States Air Force may reduce F-35 purchases

The United States Air Force may have to reduce the amount of F-35s it buys over the next 10 years as aircraft research and procurement threatens to overwhelm an already tight military budget, according to a Congressional research report released earlier this week. The Air Force is looking at the possibility of cutting back on the 60 F-35 purchases a year that are currently proposed over the next decade.

The current Air Force budget through 2020 is $72.7 billion and is meant to cover costs of nine aircraft programs. Forty-two percent of that will be spent exclusively on the F-35. While it was not immediately known how many aircraft the Air Force will cut annually from the proposed 60, a reduction of 10 per year over the next five years would represent a saving of around $5 billion, provided the price of the aircraft remains around $100 million each, according to a Bloomberg report Monday that cited the confidential Congressional report.

US Defense Spending: Amid Tight Military Budget, Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Military Purchases May Need To Be Reduced