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Freeze F35, Fund Lockheed Martin for Fusion Reactor and Maglev/High-Speed Rail

Lockheed Martin makes an obscene $59 billion/year in total military systems revenue; the Department of Defense pays out $12 billion annually for one weapon for which Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor, the nuclear first-strike capable F35 fighter-bomber. Lockheed Martin is reportedly paid $117 million per F35 plane. Some 450 F35s have been delivered, for $50 billion in taxpayer funds. About 2,500 more F35s are planned.

If production of the F35 first-strike fighter-bomber were stopped, part of the $12 billion a year the Pentagon spends on it would go to investments in development of prototype fusion power reactors, and a nationwide high-speed rail/maglev transport system.

Lockheed Martin developed the Compact Fusion Reactor (CFR), a small, high-beta, superconducting-magnet reactor design known as a magnetic mirror type, beginning in 2011 at its “Skunk Works” experimental site in Palmdale, California. Progress on the CFR was reported through 2019. After that, either the project was shut down, or it was continued under the secrecy for which the “Skunk Works” is well known.

Earlier in this century, Lockheed Martin partnered with Transrapid International (a joint venture between Germany’s Siemens and ThyssenKrupp) in a project to develop magnetic-levitation rail lines in the United States. What has happened?

In a contrast in values, the United States pays $12 billion or more annually for F35 fighter-bombers; it just managed a $46 million Department of Energy grant to three national lab consortia for fusion R&D.