F-35 Fighter Transforming Defense Industry Says Retiring Chief
March 26, 2013
The retiring chief of the trouble-plagued F-35 Joint Strike Fighter says he remains bullish about the hi-tech war plane, with costs soon to be further reduced as production takes off, and believes the program will transform the aerospace industry.
Tom Burbage, a former Navy test pilot and general manager of the F-35 program since its inception 12 years ago, said the $396 billion weapons program, which will create a supersonic, single-engine fighter jet for use by the United States and its allies, still made strategic sense.
Mounting budget pressures and escalating threats made the coalition and joint-service warfare of the F-35 fighter more important than ever, Burbage, a top executive with manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp, said on Tuesday.