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The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter invaluable to our military

Let there be no doubt. The F-35 cannot be replaced. That is why Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin should support funding the project. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley recently called a new long-range bomber "essential" and said there is "no alternative" to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as he pledged to protect some major weapons programs from defense spending cuts. Pointing to a fighter fleet that is on average 22 years old and a tanker force with an average age of 49 years, Donley used a speech to the Air Force Association to lay down markers on spending needs. "Simply put, there is no alternative to the F-35 program," Donley said of this advanced fighter jet. "It must succeed." The $382 billion program is designed to replace older fighter jets for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps over the next 30 years.


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