WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Gov. Laura Kelly has sent letters urging members of Congress to support Kansas aviation and F-35 fighter jet production.

FILE — In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, a U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II aircraft assigned to the 34th Fighter Squadron departs from a KC-10 Extender aircraft after receiving fuel over Poland, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

Kelly requested the chairpersons and ranking members of the U.S. House and Senate Armed Services Committees and Defense Appropriations Subcommittees support the president’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request for 83 F-35 fighter jets and at least six additional aircraft.

The program supports nearly 5,000 direct and indirect jobs in Kansas and has an annual economic impact of more than $541 million. Kelly said there are 37 F-35 supplier locations in the state.

“Enhancing F-35 production is important to Kansas’ future as it generates economic opportunities for our residents and supports American national security,” Kelly wrote. “The combined benefits of job creation, defense modernization, and our state’s aviation expertise make the F-35 program valuable for Kansas and the United States.”

You can read Kelly’s full letter by clicking here.