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The F35: 17 years in development, massively over budget, nowhere near ready

The American people were assured the new jet would enter service in 2008 and be a high-performance replacement for the military’s aging airframes while only costing between $40 million and $50 million. Successful money trough. Military capability not so much. ( More...

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Ken Hardy 16
Lockheed and the DoD should be ashamed of trying to keep promising the public that the F-35 is the aircraft to take us through the 21 century, it is one of those programs that just keeps adding bells and whistles to make up for the bells and whistles that don't work. Lockheed and the Air Force has screwed this up big time yet no one will lose their job or their rank by defending this turkey, the costs to keep it flying during its proposed life will be astronomical. A updated version of the FA-18 Super Hornet would have done 90% of what the F-35 claims to do.
brent young 15
And the SR71 went from a napkin drawing to production in 18 months. Where politicians get involved, it goes south.
Dave Mathes 1
...don't forget the slide rules...
joel wiley 2
... and pocket protectors.
electroman00 -2
Yeah lets blame the polititians for it the mentality !!

The Gov laid out the specs and the people didn't get it done !!

But then again the people voted a criminal to the what else is new !!
Jesse Carroll 0
"But then again the people voted a criminal to the what else is new" !!
What???????? I thought Hillary was still just a crook! Did she win?
electroman00 -1
I thought Hillary was still just a crook!

Do you have any PROOF !!

Course have a Benghazi...lmao !!
Coalora 11
As an A/V-8B replacement it's an amazing aircraft. Had they kept it that way, it would be well into service by now. However, deciding to make it the replacement for the A/V-8B, F/A-18, F-16, A-10, and every other aircraft they can think of was very poor planning. It's like Robert McNamara was in charge of aircraft procurement, tricking us with a "jack-of-all-trades" plane once again.
patrick baker 26
one engine only- bad idea from the start. Very large technological leaps- great for the american spirit of 'we can do this', not so great for those who fund those delusions. The laughable attempts to sell this turkey as an A10 replacement. no guns, no loiter time, no ability to operate safely at the same working altitudes that the A10 so successfully does. An aircraft so complex that makes dispatch reliability a fools dream. The F35 is immune against cancellation, for components come from all parts of the country. Does it feel like a bad decision kept alive despite overwhelming reasons to kill it off and start over, clean sheet?
LW P 5
Hold on to your butt (and wallet) because now they're talking about a B-52 replacement that's going to be just as much a boondoggle.
Coalora 8
Heh, we'll be using the B-52 for 100 more years at this rate. There will be news fluff pieces about a family that has had four generations of servicemen flying the same B-52H.
Russ Hodes 1
The buff's a tired lot - a franken-bomber mismatch of unforgiving compromises.
Ken Lane 1
The B-1 is just as effective. Why not keep it going since it has much newer airframes?

The B-2 is out there as well though with less range and lower weapons load.

I love the Buff but it doesn't make sense to keep the tired, old airframes going.
Rob Palmer 3
Sounds like recession economics. Good thing we didn't have this lead time in WW II. Any way we could go back to P-38s and Mustangs? They were a lot cheaper as well.
The idea was a bad one from the very beginning.
linbb 0
Just like the TFX was and the C5A project that somewhat lead to Boeings 747 due to the design challenge and who got the C5 contract.
Shenghao Han 10
Yes, but F-35 program really yields zero commercially viable technology. Airlines don't need stealth or VTOL or single engine reliability.
The only thing that might have use for us is that fancy VR helmet
LW P 1
You could argue that more reliable engines would be applicable to the civilian market. It's a stretch, though.
Will the F-35 be the first front line fighter aircraft to be replaced by it's successor BEFORE achieving full, complete operational capability??? Absolute joke of a program
Thomas Cain 5
It's looking more like it may be the first front line fighter aircraft to be replaced by it's predecessor...
joel wiley 2
That assumes it WILL achieve full, complete, operational capability.
F-35 in Russian is 'цель '
skylab72 2
More like "Легкая цель"
Ken Lane 7
They blow money by the millions on something like this while cancelling the A-6 when it was a much more effective bomber. We don't need fighters as much as we used to. The F-18 would suffice as would the F-22.

They also killed the S-3 leaving no carrier-based anti-submarine platform. The SH-3 range is too short as is the land-based P-8.

Meanwhile, Russia is building up its sub fleet as is China and North Korea is a couple boats into building theirs.. with planned nuclear weapons capability.
jet4ang 5
Try billions!
There is a CV-based ASW platform: the MH-60R
Dave Mathes 1
...I still have heartburn on the demise of the Intruder...
Colin Seftel 12
In the UK, the two largest and most expensive warships in the history of the Royal Navy, the aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales were designed exclusively to carry F-35Bs. However due to delays with the aircraft, the Queen Elizabeth is now just a very pricey helicopter carrier.
Ken Lane 2
Did you guys kidnap some of our military purchase oversight congress critters?

Those with big dreams using other people's money and not a lick of common sense?
MultiComm 1
What is needed for this aircraft to operate on a warship that would require special design?
Colin Seftel 3
The other way around Spencer. These carriers were designed for STOVL aircraft only. They have no catapult or arrestor gear.
MultiComm 1
Sorry that is what I meant. What was required by the ship design. I see. Thanks
Rob Palmer 0
England's punishment for being on the other side during the American Revolution?
paul gilpin 1
it appears they are punishing each other as well as theirselves.
Robert Hirst 15
Yes, but the project provides industrial welfare to businesses in nearly every state. Congress critters can't help but love this.
Brain Rippin 5
This sounds the "Committee" that was trying to build a thoroughbred race horse and ended up with a Camel
joel wiley 7
Except that at least the camel still ended up with 4 legs.
I expect nothing less from government in the 21st Century ...

Government is an old Indian word for, "Massively over budget".
joel wiley 2
Is there even a word in Lakota for 'budget'?
Rob Palmer 2
That old? Possible adversaries must know all about it by now. Possibly tech knowledge gained can be applied to a new model. This has become kinda like yesterday's love affair.
Keith Small 2
Scams every where ,good I wish I was a crooked basterd ugh ...omg
This project sounds like another Osprey!
Ken Lane 1
It finally turned out well after substantial problems but still not nearly as expensive outside the cost of lives.
skylab72 1
The Osprey ist ein wunderkind compared to the F-35.
skylab72 2
This thread has wandered all over and the end result is muddy. I would therefore like to make two simple points.

1) The problems of governance in controlling military procurement for the U.S. Military are many and multi faceted, BUT the end results have been mixed. There have been BOTH six hundred dollar toilet seats when over-site grew lax, and brand new nine week miracle weapons delivered to troops in combat for a small "bonus" on an existing supply contract when vendors "step up". So while procurement management has a seriously poor track record on this project, procurement management IS NOT the root cause of problems with the F-35 project.

2) The concept of a "multi-role military aircraft" has some compelling arguments in it's favor. Specialization for warriors is sometimes a path to irrelevance. But the key issue in the world of aeronautical engineering is not whether to extract the maximum performance envelope from each new design but how to maximize the number of OPTIMIZED performance parameters in the WHOLE design. There are ALWAYS trade-offs, and they are not simple choices, but a complex multidimensional balancing act. Only occasionally can balancing be made easier by the addition of more money!
The ROOT cause of the F-35 debacle is the concept of "multi-role aircraft" being stretched way past the breaking point. You see I am a dedicated user of a multi-tool. I got my first Boy Scout knife in 1955, and I rarely go anywhere without my Leatherman. But yokel, offer me a boy-scout sword, and I will laugh in your face.
The F-35 is a boy scout sword.
M20ExecDriver 2
We lost the experienced boomer engineers and designers and got the junior engineers brought up on video games and smart phones. That way labor costs are down, the CEOs get a good return on their stock options and the taxpayer picks up the tab.
Tom Bruce 2
yep sadly the Russians and Chinese probably have all the info they need to defeat it by now...
James Wall 2
Seems like a lot of money and time to develop a hobby aircraft. Let's hope they get this thing working soon so it can become an effective combat aircraft.
After many years and many planes with the same problem, you would think common sense would not allow the AirForce to be involved in anything.They just don't have enough intelligent or scrupulous people to be making these decisions.
Ed Crist 4
Well, this is obviously a fake news story. I just heard our esteemed great leader blathering the other day about what a magnificent outstanding fighter this plane was. The best greatest ever. So, I will hold my judgment until I get the real facts from Fox News. The only true source of information. Them being fair and balanced and all.
skylab72 1
Naturally suspicious of a "non-profit" focused on "government over-sight". Where do they get their funding? What is their political affiliation? What is their end-goal? Any group that goes to the trouble that they have to develop and grow has an agenda - What's theirs? Russia?
ReverendLee 5
The US DoD's Department of Testing & Evaluation(DoT&E) says the F-35 is a steaming pile.

It has said it every year since the program's inception. It is over budget, the gun doesn't work, the payload is laughable, the ejection seat can kill the pilot, it has too few engines, the vertical stabilizer tends to crack at the base, the lifting fan can't operate in cold weather, the helmet sights don't line up with the real world, the helmet is too heavy (the solution to this problem is GENIUS! Stow the second visor in the cockpit and swap them when needed. The problem? The cockpit doesn't have any room in it to stow the visor.), the software is not secure and is vulnerable to hacking (and has been STOLEN at least once), the EU partners will not have access to their own computer programs for the purposes of diagnosing problems, one of the bulkheads is developing cracks at twice the rate predicted...

Or you could, you know, read the official report.

TL;DR: The F-35 is an unworkable hunk of junk that is being parts sourced from every state in the union, and several partner countries, and though it doesn't work, "It is too big to fail"™.
skylab72 1
PORK for every congressional district.
joel wiley 3
That is certainly a good question which might be asked of any 'report'.
Here is a link to their 2016 annual report which includes a donor list:
btweston -5
You’re trolling, right?
TechnoDan -1
Don't argue with the guy, just call him a "troll" and you've won. Great work there.
electroman00 1
No worries !!

We won't need a F35 anyway...

Trump Invited Vladimir Putin to the White House, Says Kremlin... so the two buddies will just forget about fighting and we can scrap all our military...melt it all down and build walls and Casinos with tRump flashing signs on the top !!

Trump also enacted legislation to require all new parents to name their children boy or girl...

Donald J Trump

And they will be serial number tattooed on their arms !!

Heil !!
Matt Lacey 1
DoD and NASA need to take technology development out of operational procurements. Develop the technology off to the side and then integrate it. Buy operational systems on fixed-price contracts. The contractor understands which technology is ready for low-risk integration.
skylab72 1
Matt, to one degree or another they do. That is what DARPA is all about. There are other agencies that attempt that sort of segregation as well. Back in the late 70s and early 80s Adm. Willoughby USN Procurement Officer "ran a tight ship" in part, using that concept. The resistance is from Eisenhower's "military industrial complex" simply because "cost+" spells profit$.
skylab72 1
Oh, and if Ike's MIC does not ring a bell, view Eisenhower's farewell address on UTube...
Chris B 1
Memo to Air Force
CC Pentagon.
Adopt the KISS principle.
Thank you
Your taxpayer dollar.
joel wiley 1
With the current and projected debt, that is your grandchildren's dollar.
victorbravo77 1
Join the NAVY
"17 years and over $133 billion" WHAT IF that money had been put into cancer research? How much better would our lives be!
Bring back the Tom-cat!
Kevin Keswick 1
The Russian S400 air defense systems makes the F35 (and probably the F22) obsolete as this video perfectly illustrates:

The S400 is in operation not only with Russia but with China and Iran - in the instance of Iran if Israel and the U.S. decide to go to war with Iran their F35's will have a tough time getting past the S400 and many if not most will be blown out of the skyy. The S400 is the most advanced and capable air defense system in the world in fact NATO "partner" Turkey wants to acquire the S400 as does so-called U.S. "ally" Saudi Arabia" - they recognize the S400 is light years ahead of the U.S. Patriot Missile System. As great as the S400 is Russia is testing a newer system - the S500 - that will make the S400 look like a relic (BTW it was an older S300 that blew the Israeli F16 out of the sky a few months ago)

Aside from missile systems - Russia has developed - for a tiny fraction of the cost of the F35 - fourth and fifth generation fighters that outperform the F35 and F22 in almost every aspect. The fifth generation SU-57 is already deployed in Syria giving Russia and Syria air superiority in that region over anything that the U.S. or Israel has.

In conclusion what is the F35 good for? It is only good for attacking banana republics that do not have the latest in Russian air defense technology - i.e. the F35 is WORTHLESS!
Dave Mathes 1
...what a waste.... :-(
Too late to stop. Old data as the production is now meeting requirements. Threat is different. Units are now serving in combat. A10s debate is an old one and so is the aircraft all 250+ of them which are not survivable in the threat environments the National Security Strategy defines. You can't have everything you want. So you work with what you have. Alternative is not stop the programs and get more soldiers. There are not as you say overwhelming reasons to stop the program. You can't win high threat fights with 1980s aircraft. And you can't win with no new aircraft which is where we will be as older aircraft age out. Buy new or prepare to depot and mod like the B-52. Ever flown a 40 year old aircraft? You don't in the commercial world so why would you find that idea acceptable for combat aircraft?
skylab72 2
Define "high threat fight". To a veteran of both real combat and years "behind the wall" in the defense industry, your boogy-man mumbo jumbo rings hollow. Any good gambler knows you MUST fold and withdraw from the game to avoid throwing good money after bad. The whole "we've come too far argument" is giving weight to a false premise.
BA's B747 fleet are getting neat the 40 year mark and look to be in service for years to come
skylab72 1
??? wrong squawk?
ken young 1
Meanwhile the F-22 , superior aircraft in all respects was scrapped. Presumably in deference to political concerns.
Recently the DoD/Lockheed announce a sale of a double handful of these F35 to..........hold on, SOUTH KOREA ! Hope they don't read the article that was attached here..........
craigbell1941 1
Bring back the P38 Lightning and the P51 Mustang. Wing and a prayer!! and you could build 100 for the price of one F35.
paul gilpin 0
not with this congress.
That's what happens when a committee (well known for designing the camel) decides to build an aircraft that is all things to all men.
joel wiley 1
That's what happens when the only pork-barrel available is with the pentagon, and you have to get a supplier in most congressional districts to get the votes to subsidize the main vendors.
ian mcdonell 1
Hi James - what a classic saying - I have copied it and will make it my new guideline for living - thanks mate
joel wiley 1
I keep wondering about all the avionics and computer systems- of the component resistors, capacitors, transistors and the like on all the boards, how many are made in America? From where do they come in time of war when replacements are neeeded?
Rob Palmer 2
I used to be a projectionist in Washington, and one man I worked with was a projectionist during WW II at a small newsreel theater downtown, which has since been converted to regular films. Funny story from him: By late 1942 all the carbons (for arc lights) had been used up, and since whey had always been imported from Germany, we had to start making them here for movies to keep operating during the war. Until we learned how to make them properly, however, this showed on the screen with flickering bluish and brownish black and white pictures until we finally got our act together, and removed the impurities in the graphite. Now they are mostly of better quality, made by Union Carbide; we are ready for the next war.
James Simms 0
Snoopy' Sopwith Camel could probably shoot it down w/ease. More reliable, too.
James Simms 0
Really wish the 187th Fighter Wing of the AL ANG had passed on this turd.
James Simms 5
German have a name for it: Eierlegende Wollmilchsau

Or the "Egg laying, wool bearing, milk giving, pig"
belzybob 1
sehr gut!
btweston -4
What do the Germans call a person who keeps replying to their own comments?
Dave Mathes 3
Hank Ortega 0
Neither the Blue Angels nor the Thunderbirds are flying this POS. That should tell you something.
CapVazquez 3
The Blue Angels never flew the F-14, nor the Thunderbirds the F-15 and they were not “POS”, so that tell us nothing.
skylab72 1
See comment below - Demo teams have to cost justify just like everybody, so they fly "the most economical aircraft with required performance." The F-35 needs all the bashing it can get but stick to the facts.
This is a government project. Stop quibbling about costs and schedules.
tpmorrow -2
I stopped reading when I reached the line " one of the aircrafts the F-35 was designed to...".
Was this article written by a native English speaker? If yes, he/she need to get a grip on corrrect English. If no, it's worth reading only with a grain of salt.
Dave Mathes 1
...and you're fluent in how many languages?...

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

joel wiley 7
The gravy train had already left the station by the time Obama was elected. You can fault him for not putting the program out of its (and our) misery.
victorbravo77 3
It's always Obama's fault.
electroman00 1
>>>>The real problem with this plane is, that it was ultimately developed during Obama’s presidency.

What a total F'ing idiot...

Just nothing more or better to say about that line of bullpoo !!

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Dave Mathes 1
..what version of 'call of duty' are you playing?...they CAN and CAN'T be seen, that makes a lotta' sense!...
electroman00 1
Percy...from one ear to the other...LMAO


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