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Larson Leads Letter with Record Support for F-35

March 18, 2020
Press Release

Hartford, CT – Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01), a co-chair of the Congressional Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Caucus, announced record support for the F-35 Program for the second year in the row, with 130 bipartisan signatories for the FY2021 appropriations and authorization letter. The letter requests funding for 98 F-35 fighters and continued investment in the F-35 program.

“I am incredibly proud of the overwhelming and unprecedented bipartisan support the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has received. As global threats continue to increase, it is imperative that we continue to support our nation’s only 5th generation fighter. The F-35 is of vital importance to the national security of the United States and our allies.  The program is also an incredible success story of American ingenuity. In the First District alone, the F-35 program now supports more than 7,000 jobs and has a total economic impact of nearly $800,000,000,” said Larson.

Last year, the JSF Caucus Co-Chairs led the FY20 funding request letter with 103 bipartisan signatories.  The F-35 aircraft costs have come down more than 70 percent since the procurement of the first production aircraft more than 13 years ago and the Fiscal Year 2020 cost of F-35As has dropped to $77.9 million per aircraft. The F-35 program contributes to our national economy by supporting more than 1,800 suppliers and more than 254,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country. This adds up to more than a $49 billion annual economic impact across 48 states and Puerto Rico.

 

The full letter can be found here and below.

 

March 17, 2020

 

 

The Honorable Adam Smith                            The Honorable Peter J. Visclosky

Chairman                                                          Chairman

House Armed Service Committee                    House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee

2216 Rayburn House Office Building              H-405, The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515                                    Washington, DC 20515

    

The Honorable Mac Thornberry                      The Honorable Ken Calvert

Ranking Member                                              Ranking Member

House Armed Services Committee                  House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee

2216 Rayburn House Office Building              H-405, The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515                                    Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairmen and Ranking Members:

 

As you consider the Fiscal Year 2021 defense authorization and appropriations bills, we strongly urge your continued support for the F-35 Lightning II program.  As you well know, our adversaries continue to advance surface-to-air missile systems and develop their own stealth fighters.  It is essential that we continue to increase production of our nation’s only 5th generation stealth fighter in order to ensure the United States maintains air dominance and to further reduce overall program costs.

The F-35 is the most advanced fighter in the world and is exceeding operational expectations.  The three U.S. Services and our allies are now flying more than 500 aircraft at 23 locations around the world.  The program is beginning to show maturity and warrants continued support. 

In fact, as global threats continue to rise, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Fiscal Year 2021 budget request, which includes funding for 79 F-35s (48 F-35As, 10 F-35Bs and 21 F-35Cs) - 19 less than Congress appropriated in Fiscal Year 2020 - leaves the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps with a capability gap that 4th Generation, or legacy, aircraft cannot fulfill.  To reach the minimum 50% ratio of 5th Generation and 4th Generation fighters in the timeframe required to meet the threat, the U.S. must acquire F-35s in much larger quantities.  Not only does the F-35 program deliver air superiority for the United States and its key allies, it also bolsters our domestic economy by supporting more than 1,800 suppliers and more than 254,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country. 

Therefore, we are requesting your support for a total of 98 F-35 aircraft in the Fiscal Year 2021 defense authorization and appropriations bills, which is an increase of 19 aircraft over the President’s budget request.  This request supports the Air Force and Navy Unfunded Requirements.  It is vitally important for Congress to provide authorization and funding for 60 F-35As (+12), 12 F-35Bs (+2), and 26 F-35Cs (+5) in Fiscal Year 2021.  This increase in procurement will restore previously planned F-35 production rates negatively impacted by the sequestration era budget caps resulting from the Budget Control Act.  

Additional funding is needed to address readiness, enhance aircraft availability, and most importantly accelerate compliance with the DoD 80% Mission Capable Mandate.  Specifically, additional funding is needed for spare parts and depot level repair capability to meet the required availability rates and accelerate the stand-up of mandated, organic government repair capabilities.  In addition, adequate investments in the Reliability and Maintainability Improvement Program will not only increase readiness but also bring costs down for years to come over the life of the aircraft.  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.

We also urge you to fully fund the President’s budget request for modernization efforts, known as Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2), and as funds are available, accelerate integration of the Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) on to the F-35.  C2D2 is critical to meeting the evolving threat in the mid-2020s and into the 2030s.  Full funding is needed for the delivery of new weapons and critical capabilities necessary to keep the F-35 ahead of our adversaries.  F-35 modernization is crucial for 4th generation aircraft systems, which are increasingly vulnerable and reliant on 5th generation production.  

The F-35 aircraft costs have come down more than 70 percent since the procurement of the first production aircraft more than 13 years ago; in fact, in Fiscal Year 2020, an F-35A costs $77.9 million.  To maintain these costs savings and to ensure future air dominance, it is critical that we increase F-35 production and provide the necessary program investments in the upcoming defense authorization and appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2021.

Thank you for your continued support of the F-35 program and for your leadership.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

                  John B. Larson                                                                           Martha Roby

             Member of Congress                                                                Member of Congress

                                                                                                                        

      

 

               Marc A. Veasey                                                                          Michael R. Turner

             Member of Congress                                                                  Member of Congress  

 

 

 

 

FY21 F-35 Co-Signatories

 

  1. Rep. Colin Z. Allred (TX-32)
  2. Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36)
  3. Rep. Jim Banks (IN-03)
  4. Rep. Jack Bergman (MI-01)
  5. Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-01)
  6. Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. GA-02)
  7. Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-08)
  8. Rep. Anthony Brindisi (NY-22)
  9. Rep. Anthony G. Brown (MD-04)
  10. Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26)
  11. Rep. Larry Bucshon (IN-08)
  12. Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
  13. Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-01)
  14. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (CA-29)
  15. Rep. André Carson (IN-07)
  16. Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (GA-01)
  17. Rep. Steve Chabot (OH-01)
  18. Rep. Gilbert Ray Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39)
  19. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05)
  20. Rep. Doug Collins (GA-09)
  21. Rep. Paul Cook (CA-08)
  22. Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02)
  23. Rep. TJ Cox (CA-21)
  24. Rep. Jason Crow (CO-06)
  25. Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01)
  26. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-03)
  27. Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-19)
  28. Rep. Val Butler Demings (FL-10)
  29. Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-03)
  30. Rep. Neal P. Dunn (FL-02)
  31. Rep. Tom Emmer (MN-06)
  32. Rep. Veronica Escobar (TX-16)
  33. Rep. Ron Estes (KS-04)
  34. Rep. A. Drew Ferguson, IV (GA-03)
  35. Rep. Abby Finkenauer (IA-01)
  36. Rep. Brian K. Fitzpatrick (PA-01)
  37. Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17)
  38. Rep. Matt Geatz (FL-01)
  39. Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07)
  40. Rep. Greg Gianforte (MT-At Large)
  41. Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-07)
  42. Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01)
  43. Rep. Jared Golden (ME-02)
  44. Rep. Vincente Gonzalez (TX-15)
  45. Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón (PR)
  46. Rep. Lance Gooden (TX-05)
  47. Rep. Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04)
  48. Rep. Tom Graves (GA-14)
  49. Rep. Michael Guest (MS-03)
  50. Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20)
  51. Rep. Jahana Hayes (CT-05)
  52. Rep. Jody B. Hice (GA-10)
  53. Rep. James A. Himes (CT-04)
  54. Rep. George Holding (NC-02)
  55. Rep. Kendra S. Horn (OK-05)
  56. Rep. Steven Horsford (NV-04)
  57. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)
  58. Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-06)
  59. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)
  60. Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04)
  61. Rep. John Katko (NY-24)
  62. Rep. William R. Keating (MA-09)
  63. Rep. Trent Kelly (MS-01)
  64. Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-03)
  65. Rep. Peter T. King (NY-02)
  66. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL-16)
  67. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08)
  68. Rep. Ann M. Kuster (NH-02)
  69. Rep. Dough LaMalfa (CA-01)
  70. Rep. Conor Lamb (PA-17)
  71. Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
  72. Rep. Al Lawson, Jr. (FL-05)
  73. Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03)
  74. Rep. Debbie Lesko (AZ-08)
  75. Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49
  76. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (GA-11)
  77. Rep. Alan S. Lowenthal (CA-47
  78. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03)
  79. Rep. Elaine G. Luria (VA-02)
  80. Rep. Kenny Marchant (TX-24)
  81. Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-04)
  82. Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06)
  83. Rep. Michael T. McCaul (TX-10)
  84. Rep. A. Donald McEachin (VA-04)
  85. Rep. Alexander X. Mooney (WV-02)
  86. Rep. Gregory F. Murphy, M.D. (NC-03)
  87. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07)
  88. Rep. Richard E. Neal (MA-01)
  89. Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-05)
  90. Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22)
  91. Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20)
  92. Rep. Chris Pappas (NH-01)
  93. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09)
  94. Rep. Greg Pence (IN-06)
  95. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
  96. Rep. Scott H. Peters (CA-52)
  97. Rep. Bill Posey (FL-08)
  98. Rep. John Ratcliffe (TX-04)
  99. Rep. Kathleen M. Rice (NY-04)
  100. Rep. David Rouzer (NC-07)
  101. Rep. Bradley S. Schneider (IL-10)
  102. Rep. David Schweikert (AZ-06)
  103. Rep. David Scott (GA-13)
  104. Rep. Terri A. Sewell (AL-07)
  105. Rep. Brad Sherman (CA-30)
  106. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08)
  107. Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09)
  108. Rep. Ross Spano (FL-15)
  109. Rep. Greg Stanton (AZ-09)
  110. Rep. Pete Stauber (MN-08)
  111. Rep. Glenn Thompson (PA-15)
  112. Rep. William R. Timmons, IV (SC-04)
  113. Rep. Scott R. Tipton (CO-03)
  114. Rep. Dina Titus (NV-01)
  115. Rep. David J. Trone (MD-06)
  116. Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (NJ-02)
  117. Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51)
  118. Rep. Filemon Vela (TX-34)
  119. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02)
  120. Rep. Brad R. Wenstrup (OH-02)
  121. Rep. Roger Williams (TX-25)
  122. Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02)
  123. Rep. Robert J. Wittman (VA-01)
  124. Rep. Rob Woodall (GA-07)
  125. Rep. Ron Wright (TX-06)
  126. Rep. Don Young (AK-At Large)

 

 

 

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