Rep. John Conyers (D-MI-14) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN-5) have put forth an amendment to HR 4320, the FY13 National Defense Authorization Bill, that is attempting to terminate the F-35B aircraft program.
This amendment, #103, is opposed by the Department of Defense, the Marine Corps, the Navy and the Air Force.
The F-35B Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant is a revolutionary 5th Generation stealth fighter capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings in combat deployments aboard amphibious assault ships and in austere conditions ashore. It will replace the Marine Corps’ current aging fleet of AV-8B Harriers and F/A-18A-D Hornets, providing them with a much more capable tactical fighter force that meets the future threats facing our nation.
The F-35B is critical to our future national security and is urgently needed by the Marine Corps and our international partners. Terminating this variant will also impact the over 127,000 workers supporting the F-35 program nationally.