Burrito of Peace wrote on Feb 28, 2021, 15:21:
Jivaro, I agree with you which is why I brought up the 1.5 trillion dollar boondoggle that is the F-35 program. It's an utterly unnecessary waste that does not, and will not, deliver what was promised and it ended up being rather underwhelming in every role it was designed to fill. So much so that the USN is looking for a replacement for it within the next decade while also doing its best to extend the life of the F/A-18E/F. A nearly 30 year old airframe at this point (it will hit the 30 year milestone in 2023).
Imagine what that 1.5 trillion dollars could have gone toward. Healthcare, infrastructure, revitalizing our beyond poorly funded education system. a forced upgrade to our national broadband infrastructure, etc.
So first of all, $1.5T is the estimated amount of the program over 60 years. The vast majority of that money hasn't even been spent, and may never be spent. The military is looking to reduce its total buys of F-35 and may be building an inexpensive "Gen-5-minus" aircraft without the expensive radar absorbing material that drives the per-hour flight cost of the aircraft so high. They're not going to get rid of their F-35s, but they realize the planes are so effective and make older and more basic aircraft more effective, that they may not need as many as they thought.
Second, costs are coming down. The current flyaway cost for an F-35A is about $80M, which is the same as a new previous-gen F-15EX. And LockMart is working on reducing per-hour costs as well. And while readiness rates for the aircraft are at only about 70%, and parts acquisition has been a challenge, these are solvable issues.
Third, the technology of the aircraft is a game changer. It absolutely dominates other aircraft in exercises, racking up 20-1 or 15-1 kill ratios
. And pilots love it
. Continuous software updates exploit the excellent hardware set and improve its performance. And that hardware/software combo allows each F-35 to perform its own electronic warfare and airborne early warning functions basically eliminating the need for those dedicated aircraft.
Yes, it had a troubled and expensive development cycle with lots of issues. However, most of those have been solved. Basically, there's nothing else like it in the world right now, and nothing that can compete with it outside of our own F-22.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC