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Pentagon tries to quiet speculation on F35 Joint Stirke Fighter
There were some national headlines last week about possible delays in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.
It now seems the Pentagon is trying to quiet that speculation.
Laura Hussey "Because the F35 is a brand new jet, every pilot that comes here has to learn how to fly it, including the new wing commander, that's him getting back from his last check-ride"
Col Canterbury "This airplane is a game changer. This airplane is revolutionary"
Pilots like Colonel Todd Canterbury say the F35 is truly the next generation fighter jet.
Col Canterbury "When it reaches it's full-up capability, the ability to talk to my wingmen over the horizon, and to distribute that information to the ground warfighter is going to be a game changer"
Changing the game doesn't come cheap.
Depending on whether you factor in start-up costs, the price tag for an F-35 ranges from 70 million dollars to 122 million.
Mark Knorr/FWB "What jet isn't expensive, according to the government"
Last week the Wall Street Journal said one cost-saving option proposed by a Pentagon Task Force was to slow down F35 production.
Douglas Walker/FWB "This country needs all the defense we can get. We don't need any less defense, we need more defense"
Almost immediately a Pentagon source told another publication there are no immediate plans to scale back production.
Even the Wall Street Journal article said senior advisers are against a slowdown.
Mark Knorr/FWB "You just can't put a price on freedom"
At Eglin Air Force Base, the wing commander says there's nothing slow about their pace.
Col. Todd Canterbury/33rd Fighter Wing "Eglin is full speed ahead. We just reached our third UK aircraft last week, we brought in two Navy aircraft. So we are fully on our way to our 59 aircraft authorized for Eglin"
Laura Hussey "Because F35 simulator training is so advanced, it only takes six rides in the jet to get a pilot qualified."