December 2, 2015 / 2:56 PM / 4 years ago

Pentagon eyes possible cut to F-35 production in FY17 budget

WASHINGTON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - The Pentagon’s fiscal 2017 budget plan may slow production of key weapons programs, including Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter jet, in order to meet budget caps imposed by an agreement with Congress, the Pentagon’s chief arms buyer said Wednesday.

Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told reporters after a speech at an industry conference that the new radar-evading F-35 fighter was the Defense Department’s “most cutting-edge capability,” but other priorities needed funding as well.

“Dollar for dollar it probably gives us more combat capability than any other investment that we’re making, but we’ve got a lot of other things that we need to do as well,” he said. “It’s not entirely fenced.” Kendall gave no details on the likely scope of the expected cuts in production of the F-35 fighter jet, which is already cleared for combat use by the Marine Corps.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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