According to Bloomberg, “Yesterday’s action exempts the funds from the across-the- board spending reductions known as sequestration that take effect today because Pentagon officials have said contracts with obligated dollars won’t be cut or terminated.”
The money is a down payment so that Lockheed can continue to build F-35 Jets, “the Pentagon’s most expensive program,” according to the New York Times.This represents the 8th contract for F-35’s.
This contract comes shortly after the Pentagon lifted its grounding of the fleet of 65, F-35 jets already in operation.
The Pentagon grounded the jets Feb. 22 after a crack was found in one of the engine blades during a routine inspection, according to a Department of Defense(DoD) press release.
According to About.com, “the F-35 Lightning II – also known as the Joint Strike Fighter – is a combination stealth bomber and fighter jet that promises to revolutionize the future of air combat.”
The DoD is committed to continued production of the F-35. “As part of the defense strategy that the United States went through and has put in place, we have made very clear that we are 100 percent committed to the development of the F-35,” Defense secretary Leon Panetta said in a press release Mar. 2012.
According to Bloomberg, today’s “agreement by the Pentagon and Lockheed underscores their shared commitment to continued development of the costliest U.S. weapon system.”
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