If you are going to miss a much-heralded debut with your most important international customer and industrial partner, you had better have something good to offer up instead. The Joint Strike Fighter program office and F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin think they do: an initiative to drive down the cost of the expensive, stealthy fighter. While that might mollify a customer familiar with the vagaries of combat-aircraft development, it did not to ease the frustration of a tax-paying ...

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