Pentagon: F-35 Can Achieve Missile Defense Capability if More Money Spent

April 16, 2018


Speaking to lawmakers from the Senate appropriations subcommittee on defense this week, MDA director Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves said that pending funding for a ballistic missile defense interceptor, the F-35 would gain the capability to shoot down enemy strategic missiles.

Greaves noted that the new capability for the F-35 would be “if not a game changer, then a significant contributor to future ballistic missile defense.” According to the MDA head, his agency sees the F-35 as one alternative to the “classic missile defense system” such as the Patriot, THAAD or the US’s Ground-Based Interceptor system.

F-35 developer and manufacturer Lockheed Martin has been promoting the plane as a possible nuke interceptor for years, but officials at the Pentagon previously declined to offer a timeframe on how long it would take to make this happen, or its cost…

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