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During the 2000s, the U.S. Air Force awarded a contract to a consortium of defense contractors to replace America’s aging fighter jet fleet with the F-35. Since then, this fighter aircraft has been in development, with the first flight taking place in 2006. However, the first airplanes are not scheduled for service until 2015 and 2016, depending on the branch of the U.S. military. Why has Congress done relatively little regarding the repeated cost overruns and technical delays of this program? Where are components for this airplane constructed? Why do you think that these components are built in so many states and congressional districts?

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