Monday Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan countered President-elect Trump’s tweet from a week ago and defended the F-35 program as being critical to the security of the United States and its allies.

President-elect Trump had stated in a tweet that he feels “the F-35 program and cost is out of control.” Well, General Bogdan who is in charge of the F-35 program has a very different opinion.

F-35 Lightning II instructor pilots conduct aerial refueling
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. John R. Nimmo, Sr.

Speaking to reporters the General stated that he hopes to have the opportunity to talk directly with the new Trump administration and explain how a once beleaguered program is now on budget and on schedule. He also said he appreciates that the incoming administration is trying to save taxpayers money and get better value out of military programs.

“There is a perception that this program is out of control. Given the opportunity, I would like to try to explain to the new administration that this is a vastly different program from 2011 on,” Bogdan said Dec. 19 in Arlington. “I will just lay the facts out on the table and then let them make their own judgements, because I don’t think the program cost-wise is out of control, nor do I think it’s out of control schedule-wise.”

“Since 2011 we have basically been on schedule, since 2011 we have basically been on budget, we are delivering now today 50-plus airplanes a year that when in the hands of the warfighter make a huge, huge difference,” Bogdan said. – Aviation Week

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Countries around the world are also starting to accept delivery of F-35’s including Israel which just received their first two aircraft. The F-35 program has been called the most expensive in United States military history.

Featured Image U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika