- Myths about modern warfare such as - "we thought missiles were good enough back in the 60's! But then we kept getting shot down in Vietnam so we
added a gun". In reality what solved problems in Vietnam was better pilot training and better maintenance, the Navy which did not add a gun actually
had a better loss ratio than the Air Force, who did add a gun. In reality, the biggest factor in who won an engagement in the Vietnam war was actually
situational awareness, which the F-35 excels at, while denying this to the adversary. Sometimes these myths go back to WW2, as if german tanks were
somehow relevant to modern fighter jets.
- Difference of opinion.
- Big numbers about cost scare people. In reality, operating the majority of the fighter fleet for the worlds largest military out past 2070, in
then-year dollars, is going to be freaking expensive. F-35 or not.
In all, the mistakes of the F-35 (or rather JSF) program should not be repeated.
The video is
former leader of the JSF program talking about it in retrospect. I think most of what he says would actually be agreed upon by critics and advocates
My own opinion is that the F-35 is one hell of an aircraft:
It places emphasis on aspects which are important to warfighting in the 21st century while placing much less emphasis on characteristics that are not.
In this respect it could be considered more 5th generation than the F-22, despite lacking supercruise. Further, while the program is about 15 years
old at this point, I think some aspects of the concept are more relevant and important than anyone originally realized. 5th generation aircraft, for
example, make 4th generation aircraft more lethal, which make 5 generation aircraft more lethal - they do this through stealth allowing them to get
close to the adversary, advanced avionics to detect the adversary and fuse the information from multiple sensors, then advanced datalinks to send this
to the rest of the combined force.
It's not "that" expensive compared to advanced 4th generation aircraft and is likely to be similar in cost to the advanced Super Hornet. Development
cost has mostly already been spent, never going to get that money back, we can only look at the way-ahead.
A different 5th generation aircraft other than the F-35 would be ready too late, better to go with a 5.5th generation aircraft or 6th generation in 15
or more years. Love it or hate it, the F-35 is the only kid on the block.
Follow on modernization will continue for decades, keeping it relevant to the fight. Increased internal A2A carriage is being investigated, as are new
more powerful and fuel efficient engines.
Despite compromises in a tri-service design, I think it's unlikely the USMC would get a STOVL 5th generation aircraft at all if it were not for the
International aspect of the program means allies of the US will be operating a common aircraft for decades to come.
I also see no reason why the USAF in particular needs so many different kinds of aircraft. Why does it need the A-10, F-16, F-15? Why do all of these
and each subfleet need a direct replacement? The A-10 has been retrofitted with more advanced avionics, meaning it now often drops bombs from medium
altitude like everything else does. What does a upgraded F-15 offer that a upgraded F-16 doesn't? Maybe it's a bit faster, carries a bit more, and
goes a bit further? So what! You now have the opportunity for new dedicated, non-multirole, niche aircraft to enable the F-35, rather than direct
replacements for existing aircraft.
I think it's impossible and a stupid idea that the F-35 will ever make up all (except the F-22) of the US fighter fleet as originally envisaged -
that's a pipe dream. Instead you have a new high-low mix of F-35 (high) with 4th generation fighters (low). With a new system(s)-of-systems approach
to augment the F-35 far into the future.
I think the problems will eventually be fixed and the early 2020's will be the years of the F-35. And according to the latest SAR, Block 3F (fully
developed F-35 allowing full capability) is only weeks away, so parts of IOT&E can finally start and will be completed within 2-3 years.
Despite the failures in the original concept, original timeline, and original cost, surprisingly the world has progressed into a world that the F-35,
as delivered, not as envisaged, will be capable, relevant, and cost effective. Continuing, albeit with caution, is the best option.
But do not ever repeat this debacle. It should have been better than it was and to some extent we got lucky. Or maybe I have drunk too much
edit on 22/7/17 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)