Thursday, April 12, 2012

F-35 is healthy for our defense

F-35 Lightning II
Unlike health care, our military is sanctioned by the United States Constitution. And the social convention that protecting citizens (or subjects) is one of the fundamental duties of government goes back to at least the Middle Ages.

So the Huffington Post piece entitled The F-35 vs. Healthcare naturally caught my eye--since I wrote about the F-35 Lightning II, a fifth-generation fighter, last week.

The article's author, Reese Schonfeld, attacks the fighter because of its cost, but being weak and prone to attack can end up being almost infinitely expensive.

And money spent on the F-35 isn't being sucked up by the stratosphere. There are over 1,300 suppliers for the jets in 47 states and Puerto Rico. Jobs? Over 127,000 indirect and direct jobs--and the economic impact of the fighter is estimated to have been $12.6 billion for last year. Economies of scale can bring the cost of the F-35 down--for instance, building more than 200 a year. And the operations and support costs of the legacy fleet of planes--the F-16, F-18, A-10 and AV-8B--would be four times the O&S costs of the F-35 through 2065.

Back to defense: Resurgent China and Russia are investing in their own fifth-generation stealth fighters.

Related post:

Pentagon's odd selling points for a fighter, the F-35 Lightning II, a jet it needs

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