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WASHINGTON— The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee says he will oppose the Pentagon's request to use money from other defense accounts to cover cost overruns on the next generation fighter jet.
The Pentagon is asking Congress to approve a shift of $264 million for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The Pentagon also told the committee it will need an additional $496 million. The overall cost for 2,400 aircraft for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps has jumped from $233 billion to $385 billion.
Sen. John McCain called the cost overruns unacceptable. He and the committee's chairman, Sen. Carl Levin, sent a letter to Pentagon chief Leon Panetta asking how the department will ensure taxpayers don't pay for it.