Sending Office: Honorable John B. Larson
Sent By:
Srdan.Banjac@mail.house.gov

Support the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and over 170,000 American workers in FY19

DUE ON MARCH 26th

Current signers: Rooney, Larson, Sessions, Neal, Veasey, Chris Collins, DeLauro, Esty, Jones, Blum, Pascrell  

Dear Colleague:

As we develop the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 National Defense authorization and appropriations bills, we urge you join us and support increased production and continued investment in the F-35 program. As we face increasingly advanced global threats, it’s critical
that we continue to increase F-35 production – our nation’s only 5th generation stealth aircraft – in order to reduce overall program costs and ensure the United States maintains its competitive edge.

We specifically request support for a total of 93 F-35s in the Fiscal Year 2019 Defense authorization and appropriations bills, which would represent an increase of 16 aircraft over the President’s Budget Request. It is also vital to invest in Production
Non-Recurring tooling to enable the program to finally reach full rate production, and fund the spare parts and reparability needed to sufficiently support the number of aircraft operating today and in the future. Continued commitment to the F-35 is essential
to meet the growing global threat, but the program also contributes to our national economy by supporting more than 1,400 suppliers and more than 170,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country.  This adds up to more than a $24 billion annual economic
impact across 46 states and Puerto Rico.

Thank you for your continued support of the F-35 program and if you would like to sign onto the below letter, please contact Ethan Abner in Congressman Rooney’s office or Serj
Banjac
 in Congressman Larson’s office.

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Rooney                                       John B. Larson

Member of Congress                                   Member of Congress

 

LETTER TEXT

March XX, 2018

 

The Honorable Mac Thornberry                      The Honorable Kay Granger

Chairman                                                          Chairwoman

House Armed Service Committee                    House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee

2216 Rayburn House Office Building              H-405, The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515                                    Washington, DC 20515

           

The Honorable Adam Smith                             The Honorable Peter Visclosky

Ranking Member                                              Ranking Member

House Armed Services Committee                   House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee

2216 Rayburn House Office Building               H-405, The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515                                     Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chair and Ranking Member:

As you consider the Fiscal Year 2019 defense authorization and appropriations bills, we strongly urge your continued support for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. As you well know, our nation’s adversaries continue to develop and improve their own stealth
fighters and advanced surface-to-air missile systems. As we face increasingly advanced global threats, it’s critical that we continue to increase F-35 production – our nation’s only 5th generation stealth aircraft – in order to reduce overall program
costs and ensure the United States maintains its competitive edge.

Current Department of Defense (DoD) force structure plans leave the Services with a capability gap that 4th Generation, or legacy, aircraft cannot fulfill. Investing in advanced procurement of F-35 aircraft will allow us to meet our warfighters’
critical capability requirements in the near future and over the long-term. Not only does the F-35 program deliver air superiority for the United States and its key allies, it also bolsters our domestic economy by supporting more than 1,400 suppliers and more
than 170,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country.

Therefore, we are specifically requesting your support for a total of 93 F-35 aircraft in the Fiscal Year 2019 defense authorization and appropriations bills, which is an increase of 16 aircraft over the President’s budget request. The President’s budget
includes funding for 77 F-35s, which translates to 48 F-35As, 20 F-35Bs and 9 F-35Cs; however, it is vitally important for Congress to provide authorization and funding for 54 F-35As (+6), 24 F-35Bs (+4), and 15 F-35Cs (+6) in Fiscal Year 2019. This increase
in production would continue to restore previously-planned F-35 procurement rate negatively impacted by the 2011 budget caps on defense spending. We also request your support for a $328 million investment in Production Non-Recurring tooling to ensure that
we’re prepared to achieve the planned full rate of production of 80 F-35As, 24 F-35Bs and 24 F-35Cs in 2021. An additional $98.4 million could further accelerate the F-35C to 30 aircraft per year by 2022. Finally, we believe additional funds are needed for
the spare parts and reparability programs in order to sufficiently support the number of aircraft operating today and those that are expected to operate in the future.    

F-35 unit costs have come down more than 60 percent since the procurement of the first production aircraft more than 11 years ago and the program is on track to achieve a $79 million F-35A, per plane cost, in 2020. To reach these costs savings and to maintain
future air superiority, it is critical that we increase F-35 production and provide the necessary infrastructure investments in the upcoming defense authorization and appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2019.

Thank you for your continued support of the F-35 program and for your leadership.

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Rooney                                       John B. Larson

Member of Congress                                   Member of Congress

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