DearColleague.us

Letter

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

Support the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program and over 220,000 American workers in FY20

DEADLINE – FRIDAY, MARCH 29th 

Current cosigners (57): Babin, R. Bishop, Brindisi, Brown, Brownley, Byrne, Carson, E. Carter, Chabot, Cleaver, C. Collins, D. Collins, Cook, DeLauro, Delgado, Dunn, Fitzpatrick, Gaetz, Gallego, González Colón, Gooden, Hastings, K. Hill,
Himes, Hunter, H. Johnson, Katko, T. Kelly, P. King, Kinzinger, Lamborn, Lesko, Lowenthal, Neal, Norman, Olson, Panetta, Pascrell, Pence, Perlmutter, Peters, Posey, D. Scott, Sewell, Soto, Spano, Stanton, Stauber, G. Thompson, Timmons, Tipton, Van Drew, Vela,
Wenstrup, Williams, Wright, Young

Dear Colleague:

As we develop the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 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 102 F-35s in the Fiscal Year 2020 Defense authorization and appropriations bills, which would represent an increase of 24 aircraft over the President’s Budget Request. We also urge you to fully fund for modernization
efforts known as Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2), which is critical to meeting the evolving threat in the mid-2020s and into the 2030s. 

The F-35 aircraft costs have come down more than 60 percent since the procurement of the first production aircraft more than 12 years ago and the Fiscal Year 2020 F-35As under consideration in this budget request will cost approximately $80 million per aircraft. 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 220,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country. This adds up to more
than a $44.2 billion annual economic impact across 45 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 Serj Banjac in Congressman Larson’s office, David
Allen
 in Congresswoman Roby’s office, Luke Dube in Congressman Veasey’s office, or Michael Calcagni in Congressman Turner’s office.

Sincerely,

John B. Larson                                               Martha Roby

Co-Chair, JSF Caucus                                   Co-Chair, JSF Caucus

 

Marc A. Veasey                                               Michael R. Turner                  

Co-Chair, JSF Caucus                                    Co-Chair, JSF Caucus

 

 

 

LETTER TEXT

 

The Honorable Adam Smith                            The Honorable Peter J. Visclosky

Chairman                                                         Chairman

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 Mac Thornberry                      The Honorable Ken Calvert

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 2020 defense authorization and appropriations bills, we strongly urge your continued support for the F-35 Lightning II program.  As you well know, our adversaries continue to advance surface-to-air missile systems and develop
their own stealth fighters. It is essential that we continue to increase production of our nation’s only 5th generation stealth aircraft in order to ensure the United States maintains air dominance and to further reduce overall program costs.

The F-35 is the most advanced fighter in the world and is exceeding operational expectations.  The F-35A reportedly logged a 28:1 lethality ratio at the Air Force’s recent Red Flag exercise in Nevada, Marine F-35Bs just returned from their first successful
combat deployment in South Central Asia and the Middle East, and the Navy just declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the F-35C at the end of February.  The three US Services and our allies are now flying more than 370 aircraft at 16 locations around
the world.  The program is at an important crossroads and warrants continued support. 

In fact, as global threats continue to raise, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Fiscal Year 2020 budget request, which includes funding for 78 F-35s (48 F-35As, 10 F-35Bs and 20 F-35Cs) – 15 less than Congress appropriated in Fiscal Year 2019 – leaves the
Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps with a capability gap that 4th Generation, or legacy, aircraft cannot fulfill. To reach the minimum 50% ratio of 5th Generation and 4th Generation fighters in the timeframe required to meet the threat, the U.S. must acquire
F-35s in much larger quantities.  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 1,500 suppliers and more than 194,000 direct and indirect jobs
across the country.

Therefore, we are requesting your support for a total of 102 F-35 aircraft in the Fiscal Year 2020 defense authorization and appropriations bills, which is an increase of 24 aircraft over the President’s budget request.  It is vitally important for Congress
to provide authorization and funding for 60 F-35As (+12), 22 F-35Bs (+12), and 20 F-35Cs in Fiscal Year 2020.  This increase in procurement will restore previously-planned F-35 production rates negatively impacted by the sequestration era budget caps resulting
from the Budget Control Act.  

Additional funding is needed to address readiness, enhance aircraft availability, and most importantly accelerate compliance with the DoD 80% Mission Capable Mandate.  Specifically, additional funding is needed for spare parts and depot level repair capability
to meet the required availability rates and accelerate the stand-up repair process of mandated organic government repair capabilities.

We also urge you to fully fund the President’s budget request for modernization efforts known as Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2).  C2D2 is critical to meeting the evolving threat in the mid-2020s and into the 2030s.  Full funding is
needed for the delivery of new weapons and critical capabilities necessary to keep the F-35 ahead of our adversaries.  F-35 modernization is crucial for 4th generation aircraft systems, which are increasingly vulnerable and reliant on 5th generation production.
 

The F-35 aircraft costs have come down more than 60 percent since the procurement of the first production aircraft more than 12 years ago and the Fiscal Year 2020 F-35As under consideration in this budget request will cost approximately $80 million per aircraft. 
To maintain these costs savings and to ensure future air dominance, it is critical that we increase F-35 production and provide the necessary program investments in the upcoming defense authorization and appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2020.

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

Sincerely,

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