Carmen Group is spearheading the lobbying push for Lockheed Martin’s controversial F-35 fighter jet program.
Critics have long attacked the F-35 as a financial boondoggle riddled with cost overruns.
The late Senator John McCain, who chaired the Armed Services Committee, branded the F-35 program as a “poster child for acquisition malpractice.”
The Pentagon announced June 11 that it reached a deal with Lockheed Martin to buy 470 F-35 jets for the Air Force, Navy, Marines and allied militaries for $34B.
If the “handshake deal” is finalized in August, it would be the “largest procurement in the history of the DoD,” according to vice admiral Mathias Winter, F-35 program executive.
The Pentagon claims bulk purchase of the plane decreases average unit cost by about 15 percent and represents the “best value for our warfighter and taxpayer, incentivizes the industry to continuously improve their performance and achieves the lowest F-35 unit prices per aircraft to date,” according to an email that Winter sent to the media.
Carmen Group chief David Carmen leads the F-35 team with executive managing director Dal Harper and Gary Hoitsma, ex-press secretary for Oklahoma Republican Senator James Inhofe.