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David's Top JCOC Experiences, No. 8: Up Close and Personal With an F-35 Lightning II

By Motley Fool Staff – Updated Oct 3, 2016 at 5:36PM

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The Joint Strike Fighter is the most advanced stealth fighter jet in the United States' arsenal -- or anyone’s.

The Joint Civilian Orientation Conference is designed to give non-military members a deeper understanding of what the U.S. Armed Forces do and what they are -- their capabilities, culture, history, and more. It's a fascinating program, and David Gardner wants to share with his listeners a few things he learned from it. In this segment of the Rule Breaker Investing podcast, he considers the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, a massively expensive and somewhat controversial piece of combat hardware.

A transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on Aug. 24, 2016.

David Gardner: No. 8: Number eight was getting to be up close to an F-35. Now the F-35 is the latest, greatest single-seat, single-engine stealth fighter jet (strike jet -- I think I have some of my terms right here) that is being deployed and tested right now by both the Air Force and the Navy. This is a very expensive plane. Each one of these planes costs about $100 million of your and my money if you're a U.S. taxpayer. And the overall program costs about $1.5 trillion. That's estimated through the year 2070.

This is really the newest stuff and something that will be around for a long time as these programs tend to last. And just being up close to one was a real highlight. They're smaller than I thought. Just for a single pilot. But these are jets that play many different roles. And while I didn't have an opportunity to ride in this particular aircraft, I'll be mentioning a bit later some of the others I did get to ride in.

I was highly enamored of it, and clearly both the Air Force and the Navy are really excited about this aircraft. It was cool to see the F-35 Lightning II (I think that's the official name that Lockheed Martin has put on this jet). And I'll mention a little later one other experience I had with it. 

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