Friday, March 31, 2017

Air Force secretary nominee backs stealth of F-35 jets | TheHill

Air Force secretary nominee backs stealth of F-35 jets | TheHill: The Air Force secretary nominee on Thursday all but canceled out President Trump’s previous threats to replace the Lockheed Martin-made F-35 with Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, saying the Boeing jet didn’t have a needed stealth capability.

Former Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) told the Senate Armed Services Committee she believed that the Air Force could not give F-18 fighter jets the same stealth capabilities the F-35 already holds.

“I don’t think you can do [that] with an F-18 or an F-15 or an F-16, to give it stealth capability retroactively,” she told lawmakers during her nomination hearing.

Wilson was responding to questions from Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), who asked if it would be a fair fight with potential adversaries “if we souped-up an F-18 versus move forward with F-35s?”

Trump in December criticized the F-35 costs as “out of control,” and wrote on Twitter that he had asked Boeing to price out a competitive alternative with its F/A-18.