Understanding the F-35 Program

Ambitious plans by the Department of Defense (DoD) to modernize the U.S. military’s defense systems may soon hit a crossroads. Spending for large-scale projects like Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program and the Air Force’s T-X program will peak in the early 2020s, according to Todd Harrison, Director of Defense Budget Analysis and the Aerospace Security Project at CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies). Mounting costs and complex logistical requirements threaten to slow these programs to a halt. Todd Harrison sits down with GLG to discuss the F-35 program, military spending, and the relationship between DoD and defense contractors.

CSIS’s Todd Harrison is an expert on space systems, air power, and defense funding issues. He is a frequent writer and commentator on military and defense issues. He teaches classes on military space systems and the defense budget at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies as well as a class on the defense budget at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Harrison is a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing, and a member of the Defense News Advisory Board.

Prior to joining CSIS, Harrison was a senior fellow for defense budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He previously worked at Booz Allen Hamilton as well as a startup called AeroAstro Inc. Harrison served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He is also a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with both a B.S. and an M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics.