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Are F-35s fit for combat? Pentagon doesn't know

The Pentagon's testing office questioned the strategy and legality of buying the fighters in bulk ( More...

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Perhaps things should happen the old way. Layout the specs, builders build to the spec and don't get paid until the job is done. Mission creep is a well known problem in the military, and constant changes to the specs is mission creep in a different light. Manufacturers won't add do-dads if they are on the hook for the cost if the do-dads fail.
Greg Zelna 3
I'm not sure if mission creep is the culprit necessarily. I do recall articles indicating several times where performance specs have been relaxed since the plane wasn't able to achieve them (little stuff, like climb rate, Turn and G-Force, speed,- you know stuff fighters don't have to worry about -note sarc). Its more like 'mission descope'.... Cant meet the performance specs, well then simply lower the specs ! I wish programs I'd been on over the past 30+ years had that luxury. Generally we have had our feet held to the fire for each and every aspect of the system's performance we'd signed up for (and usually even a bit more, the mission creep to which you speak).
joel wiley 4
Whatever it takes to get the generals' retirement job with LM cinched.
Jeff Beard 3
Sounds like aircraft affirmative action.
Dr. Gilmore has been arguing the value of developmental testing for years. Once systems become operational problems are a lot more expensive to fix.
jbqwik 3
Not to mention the bully pulpit sales job they jammed our allies with.
The foreign sales aspect could well be the overarching reason this fiasco will not be terminated.
joel wiley 3
How does that old salt go? "The first thing to do when you find you have dug yourself into a hole is STOP DIGGING".
bbabis 2
So right!! Our current crew though thinks that you can dig yourself out of a hole and put enough perfume on a turd to make it smell good.
joel wiley 2
I think it has been that way since the invention of perfume.
Dennis Noah 3
An elephant is the result of a government committee formed to design a horse.
patrick baker 4
stop this madness right now , dead in it's tracks. Time to clean-sheet another attempt to make the next generation fighter/full employment machine for the aerospace industry. Yes there are jobs in nearly every state- smart planning by both the military and the contractor, but this f35 is inadequate and we can not have that. No more money into this, and do not accept any aircraft that is deficient. The russians will wait until we are in possession of the better next aircraft before they create any major mischief. SURE...
patrick baker 2
the enormity of this mistake is clear to all that can see and think and be honest. This is not the aircraft worthy of the money and the trust of any allied pilot strapping in to go and fly this in real world situations. These f35 Turd Birds are going to get our guys killed in a dustup with anything the Russians care to challenge them with. Assuming the f35 can launch in sufficient numbers to present a challenge. Dispatch reliability rates not withstanding. These should have been built as two seaters and Lockheed Martin executives should have to fly backseated in them. 2500 f35's , 2500 executives, billions of dollars. what a waste
With the money spent so far we could have blackened the skies with existing models.
jbqwik 2
I think we all saw this going downhill at an early point. For me the handwriting started with the refusal for engine competition. There is a lot of not-so-obvious ramifications there. But the political arm twisting had already been done, the AF brass convinced they could pull it off.
I do see some positives: New technologies that got funded, a realization for oversight, and a humbled AF with a more focused plan.
I think now we need to support it <gasp!>, get behind this turd and try to move it along as fast as possible. Ugh never thought I'd say that (nurse, get me another beer)
Nothing is free in life, though I'd say we way overpaid for this experience.
Marillyn A. Hewson CEO of LM had her compensation to $34 million. She's a LM lifer who's never had a job outside the defense cartel. This salary was a jump from 27 million. For starters, the Pentagon should make her termination a condition to any further work with LM.
Cal Keegan 3
The lack of straight up dogfight testing with current-generation aircraft, the rigging of such testing to favor the F-35 and the pushing out of the testing to years in the future are all facets of DOD circling the wagons to make sure the aircraft is built in large numbers no matter what.

The poor performance of the aircraft resulting from the hodge podge multi-service, multi-role design requirements should come as no surprise to anyone who witnessed the shortcomings of the F4 Phantom or the F-111 -- the military should have known this more thoroughly and keenly than anyone else -- yet, here it is, and if they have their way, this heinously expensive flying boat anchor will be tormenting us and helping to drain our bank accounts for decades to come.
btweston 3
Brilliant. Well, as long as we cut welfare and education funding, right?
Tom DiSarlo 4
The US spends an unconscionable amount of money on welfare and education, and gets virtually no value for our taxpayer dollars. These areas are not the province of the Federal Government. While I am no fan of the F-35, believing that the POTUS committed one of his many treasonous acts in cancelling the F-22, the US Constitution primarily tasks the Government in general and the President in particular with the defense of the nation. QED.
bbabis 2
The answer: NO!!!!

The DOD states that the F-35 is ok for combat as long as enemy fighters are no where around. If there is a possibility of enemy fighters then the F-35 must have support aircraft. Is that what $400+ billion gets us? And that includes only the costs we know about. This may already be, but certainly will be a trillion+ boondoggle if the plug is not pulled.
744pnf 1
Less expensive to cancel the program now for that DOG.


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