Magazine article National Defense

Marines Have No Plans to Replace Joint Strike Fighter, If Postponed

Magazine article National Defense

Marines Have No Plans to Replace Joint Strike Fighter, If Postponed

Article excerpt

The Marine Corps expect to have its first squadron of Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) ready for combat by 2010. But if the program were delayed, there are not plans to substitute JSF with any interim platforms, said a senior Marine official. The JSF program is expected to enter production in 2006 and deliver variants for the Air Force, the Navy, the Marine Corps and the U.K. Royal Navy.

While the Navy probably would rely on the F/A-18E/F in the event of a JSF delay, the Marine Corps would not be interested in the E/F, because it is not a short-takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft. "The E/F doesn't fit that bill," said the official.

The Corps, he added, "will continue to press for JSF" to be delivered on time because the existing fleet of STOVL platforms, the Harriers, are aging.

Marine Brig. Gen. Tony Corwin, a legislative assistant to the commandant, said that even though he is not aware of any current delays in the JSF programs, the Corps would have to "take it in stride" and continue to rely on the existing "legacy systems."

The upshot, he explained, is that "every year that you continue to deal with your legacy systems, the more you become concerned with repairs and spares," Corwin explained. …

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