Aug 16, 2015
US Navy considers reduced annual F-35C buy
Naval Air Forces commander says the current plan is to purchase around 20 carrier variants per year in the 2020s, but depending on the resources available, annual output could fall to anywhere between 12 and 20 aircraft.
The admiral had two charts with him at the forum, one showing an annual buy of 12 C-models per year through the 2020s and one charting a buy rate of 20. The navy’s latest five-year spending plan shows production peaking at 12 in 2020 as it works toward a total purchase of 369 aircraft to replace its legacy fleet of Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornets.
Talk of decreased production rate comes just one month after incoming chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Gen Joseph Dunford told lawmakers the Pentagon was reviewing how many F-35s it should purchase given new defence strategic guidance and budget pressures, casting doubt about the current requirement for 2,443 aircraft, which was set about two decades ago.