The world's most expensive airplane, the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), may get its wings clipped as Congressional budget cutters and President Obama set their sights on slashing military spending, according to the New York Times.
The vertical-take off super-sonic fighter jet, entering its 12th year in development and still beset by mechanical and software problems, carries an estimated $1 trillion price tag for its 50-year lifetime. That's enough money to purchase all the goods and services produced by Australia in a single year, according to a 2009 mint.com report.
The Department of Defense faces $55 billion in cuts, 10% of defense spending, if the fiscal cliff follows through at the end of the year. On top of that, the military is growing concerned the fighter may be too advanced for minor conflicts, and outperformed by long-range aircraft designed to counter a growing China.
The military is spending billions to extend the lives of older fighters as a consequence of JSF delays. The Pentagon and contractor Lockheed Martin are trading barbs for growing costs and program setbacks.Via the New York Times