|Defense officials say they need up to $500 million more to finish the development phase for the F-35, the troubled fifth-generation fighter that's already gone 50% over its original budget. The Joint Strike Fighter has been plagued by lengthy delays and enormous cost overruns.|
Its overall lifetime budget has ballooned to more than $1.5 trillion, making it the most expensive weapons system ever built by the US. Sen. John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has called the cost overruns a disgrace. "It has been both a scandal and a tragedy with respect to cost, schedule and performance," he said in April.