Machinists Urge House Support of Increased F-35 Production

The IAM urges the U.S. House to restore the previously planned production rate for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

The President’s proposed budget includes funding for only thirty-four F-35s – eight less than previously planned because of sequestration. Four aircraft each were cut from the Air Force and Navy requests. As a result, for the sixth consecutive year, production of these vital aircraft has essentially remained flat at approximately 30 aircraft per year.  

“I am writing to strongly urge your support for adding four Air Force F-35As and four Navy F-35Cs in the FY 2015 defense bills,” wrote IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger in a recent letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House Armed Services Committee and House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. “Built by IAM members, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is our nation’s only 5th Generation stealth aircraft currently in production and is the key to future air superiority for all three U.S. Services and our most important allies across the globe.”

Buffenbarger points to the significant progress made in reducing unit costs, as well as the benefits to the U.S. economy each year.

“During this time of sluggish economic growth, the beneficial economic effects of the F-35 program cannot be overstated,” said Buffenbarger. “The F-35 program supports more than 129,000 high-skill American jobs at approximately 1,200 suppliers across the nation; this results in an annual economic impact to the U.S. of over $17.5 billion. Importantly, these numbers are expected to increase as production increases in the coming years.”

For a complete view of the letter, click here.