McCain says fighter program is scandal, tragedy

Posted at 8:43 AM, Apr 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-26 11:43:50-04

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee says the record and performance of the most expensive weapons program in U.S. military history has been a scandal and a tragedy.

Senator John McCain of Arizona delivered a withering critique of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at a committee hearing Tuesday.

The Pentagon plans to spend close to $400 billion to buy nearly 2,500 F-35s for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The budget request for fiscal year 2017 includes $8.3 billion to buy 63 aircraft.

McCain says the aircraft's development schedule has stretched to 15 years, deliveries of the F-35 have been delayed, and costs have skyrocketed.

McCain also says he's disturbed that it costs $70 million annually to run the office that oversees the F-35 program.