Pentagon seeks to cut F-35s, other equipment to pay for Trump’s border wall

Defense News: WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is seeking to divert $3.8 billion, largely from its fiscal 2020 weapons procurement budget, in order to fund President Donald Trump’s border wall, according to a reprogramming request to congress obtained by Defense News.

Among the victims of the cuts: a mass of aircraft purchases including F-35 joint strike fighters, C-130J cargo aircraft, MQ-9 Reaper drones and P-8 maritime surveillance planes, as well as ground vehicles and naval priorities — choices that drew quick, bipartisan condemnation from key defense lawmakers as reports of the plan filtered out Thursday.

Overall, the plan would shift $2.202 billion in FY20 defense appropriations and $1.629 billion in FY20 overseas contingency operations funding towards the wall, a key priority from president Donald Trump ahead of the November presidential elections.

Air Force and Navy aviation spending takes the brunt of the cuts proposed by the Pentagon, with aircraft procurement going down by $558 million for Navy and Marine Corps and $861 million for the Air Force. Importantly, all of the funding decreases target items that were specifically added by Congress during the budgeting process, which could incur rancor from lawmakers. more

SNIP: So what? Isn’t the border of our country a defense system, too?

26 Comments on Pentagon seeks to cut F-35s, other equipment to pay for Trump’s border wall

  1. The Wall is the best money the government can spend. Not only are illegal aliens responsible for 9-10,000 deaths each year (from murder to drunk driving) but costs the taxpayers over $100 billion each year in spending.

  2. I have heard many conflicting views about the cost vs reward of the F-35.

    It would be nice if there was some definitive real info to scrutinise rather that, “trust us, it will work, and nothing is better than it except the f-22 which we no longer make.”

  3. The cost of F-35s has dropped in recent years and will continue to drop as more are built.
    The cost of illegal immigration will also drop with the construction of a big beautiful wall.

  4. Kcir, the F-35 is by far the most capable fighter aircraft as well as the least expensive western option. It is the F-16 of the first half of the 21st century.

    I would also take an F-35 over the F-22 in air combat. I think it is likely the F-35 detects the F-22 before the other way around. It has superior and more sensor options. In addition, the F-35 has more options to target weapons on the F-22 (a real problem for 4th gen aircraft) than the F-22 has on the F-35.

  5. I imagine they do this as a sort of punch in the face to Trump (and Congress) for daring to interfere with the use of their excess funding any way they feel like using it and without any real oversight or outside direction involved.

    There is no bureaucracy more firmly entrenched than the military.

  6. Cut the federal budget back to bare essentials. Pay down the debt. Shut down Dept. of Indoctrination, Propaganda, and Re-Education.

  7. And an AMRAAM is faster than both. The AMRAAM can easily target the F-16. It is doubtful it can target the F-35.

  8. Major Mal Function

    I know a DCMA guy that was in charge of QC on a lot of that air frame. They just moved him state side. He doesn’t think the plane will last long.
    Also, about 85% of that airframe is machined in Europe and Turkey. Very little of it is actually manufactured here in the U.S.
    Work share programs at work.

  9. Correction: the F-35 has already completed 3X lifetime durability testing.

    The F-35A vastly exceeded the requirement by completing three full life times of testing, or a simulated 24,000 hours, which gives the program confidence in a potential service-life increase.

  10. Corporate welfare for Boeing. Their military, civilian and now space programs are all in sad shape. The F-15 can carry a lot of weapons but is obsolete as an air combat platform.

  11. Everyone I talk to says the F35 has big time reliability issues.

    Depends on which block. The first aircraft (block 2 HW and SW, training only) have problems with spare parts. The current block 3 (the majority of airframes) do not. The bock 2 aircraft will have to upgraded (to block 4?) or be relegated to training only.

  12. ” Their military, civilian and now space programs are all in sad shape.”

    On that we can agree. Thanks to Barry. The harm he did to our defense industry will probably take 20 years to recover from.
    People don’t realize the amount of R & D the major defense contractors are normally involved in. It all came to a stop under Obama.

  13. From 2 years ago:
    Out of the Air Force’s 130 total F-35As, 100 are on the older Block 2B software suite and have a mission capable rate in the “low 40” percent, Lt. Gen. Jerry Harris, the deputy chief of staff for strategic plans, programs, and requirements said at a House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land subcommittee hearing. The rest are in the upgraded Block 3I and 3F software suites, with these running a mission capable rate in the “60 to 70” percentage range, Harris said. This includes the operational F-35As that are deployed to Kadena AB, Japan, from Hill AFB, Utah. These are running a mission capable rate “above 70” percent during the deployment.

  14. If we have a country rotting from within, F-35s won’t be much use for anything, except enriching swamp contractors and the congressmen they pay off.

    The integrity of our nation comes from cohesion WITHIN, not from an overpriced, overhyped jet, limited in numbers, that will all wind up being shot down in a short time, leaving our Air Force decimated.

    Maxine waters, alexandra cortez, rashida tlaib, omar, obama, pelosi etc: these are tumors rotting the core of our nation. They are F-35s of sort, being used to attack US.

  15. What I have hear that is negative:
    1 engine (1 = None, 2 equals 1 credo) always have a backup
    It can’t take a punch like an A-10 so no low down & dirty get close to the marines on the ground.
    Lack of speed compared to F-15, F16
    Multi role so very adaptable but not superior in any 1 area (esp ACM)

    Very adaptable software
    “Gods Eye View” cockpit & helmet”
    Extreme integration on electronic battlefield
    shared platforms with nato

    I am no expert, at all!

    I still remember when the F-4 Phantom was originally produced without a cannon/machine gun because the age of missiles arrived only to panic retrofit in Vietnam because of something called reality.

    I sincerely hope it is capable because a HUGE amount of confidence has been put in it.

    Not by Canada by the way. Prime minister Fuck Tard cancelled it and bought a few OLD Australian F-18 as a stop gap since cancelling F-35.

    I personally am very interested in the “Silent Eagle” F-15 with 2 engines as Canada is very large physically and in the north you are no where near help if your engine takes a shit.



    When that money trough gets low, the pigs start to oink pretty loud.

    Cancelled contracts
    District jobs lose money
    Lobbyists start to get ornery
    Congress starts to ask questions
    Re-election donations start to shrink
    Military industrial complex starts to get upset
    Perpetual war mongers start to wonder if they will be able to play war properly without extra funding.

    ALL troops, equipment, and funding should be diverted from the mid-east to our southern border.

  17. Kcir,

    Engines 1 vs 2: Too much is made of it. F-16 has better engine reliability than the 2 engined F-18. Turbines are so reliable these days that barring ingesting a flock of birds, the engine will last the life of the aircraft.

    It can’t take a punch like an A-10: No aircraft can take a punch from a 200 pound battlefield AA missiles like TOR. If a fighter is below 10,000 ft or strafing, then he is doing something very wrong or desperate and will get shot down. Even if the A-10 does survive a Manpad, it is out of the war for 6 months or more. Drop a boms or missiles from outside antiaircraft range. Stay high, stay hidden, stay alive.

    Lack of speed: Fastest air combat ever was mach 1.4. F-35 can do mach 1.6+ and 9G fully combat loaded. Most aircraft can’t due to drag and load limits from fuel tanks and weapons. What would you rather do, broadcast your location for everyone to see in afterburner or stay quiet and hidden and ambush tail on fire guy?

    I personally am very interested in the “Silent Eagle” F-15: It doesn’t exist and will never exist. It was a Boeing/MacDac bait and switch to try to keep their fighter division alive after losing with their F-32. Canada can’t afford to pay for its development and would still be obsolete compared to 5th gen.

    Bottom line is that if you are detected and tracked on the modern battlefield, you will die because some weapon will sent against you. That’s why stealth and sensors (detecting them first) is so important and where the F-35 truly shines.

  18. Salute to Maj Mal Function on the issues.

    Nothing like listening to an evident expert.

    Reminds me of a brother of mine that was a re-fueler in Viet Nam.

  19. Thanks!

    Can you send that on to Prime Minister Shit-for-Brains for me?

    He is currently out of the country in Africa lobbying for a temporary position on the UN security counsel rather than buying our boys ANY jets.

    The last I read was that we only have 77 F-18s in total. (received 1982-1988’s but upgraded)

    The conservatives had ordered the F-35 but the Liberals put the final nail in the coffin after years of political backlash.

    Personally I like the F-35 but there is a lot of murmurs about the Saab Grippen. In these assholes minds, there is nothing quite as good as buying from a “nuetral” “feminist” country separated by an ocean to keep the parts supply chain as shitty as possible.

    My thoughts are to buy from our largest trading partner who is on the same continent as us and who we fight along side with.

    If they really can’t get their shit together, It has been mentioned that they could piggyback a super hornet order with other users as a reasonable stop gap. Boeing really has tried to be accommodating with little luck so far.


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