Monday, March 8, 2010

New Issue Brief on the Alternate Engine

Defense analyst Loren Thompson has posted a new issue brief on the Joint Strike Fighter today noting that the "the key to its success is holding down the cost of the fighters so that all potential users can afford to buy them."

Thompson says a major obstacle to keeping costs down is the billion alternate engine program that has been added by Congress that both the Bush and Obama administrations have found to be a waste of money. According to the brief, the DoD will have to spend a minimum of $2.9 billion beyond what has already been spent to finish developing the engine even though it will have no net financial benefit.

The issue brief also takes a clear eyed look at the so-called "non-financial" benefits offered by alternate engine proponents and finds them lacking.

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