F-35 cuts 'could slash US budget': report

Washington DC
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The US government could save about $58 billion by slashing four major aerospace and defence accounts, a presidential commission advises in a draft proposal released on 10 November.

Cancelling Lockheed Martin's short take-off and vertical landing F-35B (below) would save $41 billion alone, the panel says. By substituting Lockheed F-16s and Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornets for F-35A/Cs, the Department of Defense would save another $9.5 billion, it says.

 
© Lockheed Martin

The panel has also proposed terminating plans to buy 288 Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotors, replacing them with Sikorsky MH-60s costing $1.1 billion less.

Finally, NASA should eliminate funding for commercial spaceflight, saving $1.2 billion, it suggests. The final report of the deficit reduction commission is due on 1 December. The proposals from the bipartisan panel are non-binding.