Jaime Gracia

The Pentagon will notify Congress within the next several days that costs for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter have ballooned more than 50 percent since the program began in 2001, senior defense officials told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday.

The cost increase means the Pentagon’s largest program will breach the 1982 Nunn-McCurdy cost-control law, triggering a congressional review and forcing the Pentagon to prove the program is critical to national security to protect the Lockheed Martin Corp. fighter from termination.

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Highlighting that acquisition is a life-cycle activity, which includes contract performance, contract administration, and those technical and management functions related to outcomes.