Prioritize purchasing F-16s and F/A-18 aircraft instead of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters
The problems with the F-35 program are well-known, and there are various options both for controlling costs currently and for moving forward. One option would decrease the cost of replacing DoD’s older fighter aircraft while still providing new F-16s and F/A-18s by canceling future purchases. The previously purchased F-35's could still be utilized, but the scheduled purchase of F-35s in later years could be frozen until the development of the aircrafts are improved and made more cost-effective. Even if Congress is not willing to adopt this extensive a proposal, lawmakers should look for any options to control costs and ensure future acquisitions are need-based. The F-35 is notoriously behind schedule and over budget, and according to a recent report, the Navy’s version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has received "unacceptably low" evaluations of its combat readiness. Lawmakers can save money by pursuing options for scaling back acquisitions until the aircraft is ready and needed for current conflicts.