Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) bluntly stated during his House Armed Services air and land forces panel hearing April 22, 2010, that it's "quite possible" the F-35 delivery schedule "will slip again" and "even more possible" program cost will go higher, forcing the Pentagon to buy fewer aircraft. He declared, "It strikes me as sort of crying out for a Plan B." Testifying at the hearing on Guard and Reserve equipment issues, Lt. Gen. Harry Wyatt, Air National Guard director, acknowledged that ANG has some of the oldest fighters, making its fleet recapitalization "a little more imminent" than for the active force and said, "It is essential that the [F-35] program as restructured stay on target." Here, an F-16C assigned to the Wisconsin ANG's 115th Fighter Wing soars over the Florida skies May 2, 2009, during an aerial refueling mission.
US Air Force photo by MSgt. Dan Richardson
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