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Rick Scott lobbies Obama administration to sell F-16s to Taiwan; why not write about fully-funding the F-35?

By on August 7, 2011

Citing Florida’s dismal unemployment rate, Gov. Rick Scott recently wrote to President Obama asking the federal government to accept Taiwan’s request to buy F-16 C/D jet fighters as soon as possible.

“The sale and manufacturing of F-16 aircraft by Lockheed Martin supports hundreds of skilled jobs in Florida. The sale of these aircraft will save 477 direct jobs and 1,446 indirect jobs in Florida,” said Gov. Scott in the letter dated on Aug. 2.

Gov. Scott’s letter also ventrured into the world of geo-politics, citing the 2010 United States Defense Intelligence Agency’s assessment on Taiwan defense capabilities that showed “a clear need for improved aircraft for Taiwanese defense.”

At the end of the letter, Scott made clear that although the unemployment rate in Florida is at its lowest point since 2009, 10.6 percent, or 980,000 out-of-work Floridians, is still too high.  Scott did not miss the opportunity to needle Obama over the closing of the Space Shuttle Program which has killed many high-paying jobs in the state.

Now, if only Rick Scott would write another letter, this one expressing support for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.  After all, full-funding for the F-35′s budget could make a real difference in Florida’s unemployment rate.

And if Scott wished to venture again into geopolitics, perhaps he could discuss the fact that the Chinese and Russians have introduced developmental aircraft prototypes that signify both capabilities and intentions to enter the stealth aircraft game.

The F-35 is really the key to meeting the combat challenges posed by the evolution of foreign capabilities. What is lost on most analysts is that the F-35 is not solely about air combat it is about combat.
The F-35 is the first aircraft in history which can see 360 degrees around itself more than 800 miles and has integrated combat systems to manage that combat space. It is about a system not a platform. The F-35 as a combat system is about the central role of maintenance, upgrading, deployment readiness, development synergies provided by common software for upgrades and development. It is a system.
Maybe I should just write the letter for Gov. Scott?

Information from news channel ‘Focus Taiwan’ and the military blog ‘Second Act’ was used in this post.

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