Mark Thompson over at Time Magazine has a pretty damn good writeup on the F-35 program and its many flaws. He is one of the only mainstream journalists who understands how the very concept, not just the jet, have failed on a large-scale, especially in light of our future strategy in focused on the Pacific and regarding the blooming of unmanned air combat technologies. Please have a read, rarely do I actually endorse major exposes on this topic as often they are factually inaccurate or miss some of the most important aspects of this complex issue.,9171,2136312-1,00.html

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  1. Charley A says:

    I beleive the author is Mark Thompson, not Thomas.

  2. P.O. Patron says:

    It seems that history does repeat itself. In the 1960’s we had the TFX or as it was later known as the F-111. It was made by General Dynamics [the predecessor to Lockheed’s Fort Worth facility]. It was supposed to be a joint aircraft to suit the needs of the Navy and the Air Force. It did neither. The one bright spot out of the TFX program was the F-14 Tomcat manufactured by Grumman. Perhaps, the DOD should look again at the F-14 proposed 21st Century upgraded versions. The proposed upgrades were uncermoniously abandoned after the first Gulf war by then DOD Sec. Cheney.

    Maybe the military-industrial complex should again revisit the re-opening of the F-14 production line and the continued manufacture of the F-15E’s solving two problems, Navy fighter/air superiority aircraft and Air Force fighter/bomber aircraft.


  3. Alex says:

    Sadly, I don’t see this article as the triumph of investigative journalism that others do. If anything, this article reminds me of the CBS exposé on 60 Minutes declaring both the M-1 Abrams and F-16 programs a huge waste of taxpayer money. Like this article, those 60 Minutes pieces proclaimed that niether the M-1 or F-16 would perform at needed levels. The track record of both those platforms points to the flaw in thinking by 60 Minutes.

    Mark Thompson’s response to Loren Thompson’s blog reply was very unprofessional as well. Putting a mask on Loren Thompson’s photo, resorting to name calling, then calling an unsigned Aviation Week article that was clearly written by Bill Sweetman smacks of bias.

    Personally, I would never endorse a piece like this.

  4. Amicus Curiae says:

    Just because Mr. Thompson has picked up some reasonable arguments to kill an ongoing defense procurement does not mean I am going to encourage him with praise on this piece. Time magazine will always oppose big ticket military procurements. Time is a useless source for decision making information.

  5. says:

    Charley- thanks brother, my mistake.
    PO Patron- there are some real similarities here between the two programs and such, although putting the F-14 in production is not the answer sadly. The answer is more Supers with major enhancements and UCAVs as far as the USN goes.
    Alex- Sure it is not as in depth as what you find here or on a few other sites but how could it be, the audience would tune out. Almost all my arguments (years and years old now) are in there so not endorsing it would be kinda strange on my end. It lacks solutions which I cannot fault as I think this is beyond the author’s expertise. If you do not like the author I understand, but I am sticking to what was written, which was clear and valid in my opinion.
    Amicus- Why not? If its a valid piece why dislike it? Just curious? So because Time’s history is not to your liking you expel anything that is produced from there? It’s strange how folks jump on me for sourcing from one outlet or another. No way to make everyone happy I guess. I think it is a great piece that the average American can understand and digest.

  6. Glen Towler says:

    I agree I have seen and tweeted this article and this is why I like Time magazine so much explains in great detail what a huge waste of money the F35 is and it looks like it will many years before it works properly.

  7. George Wilson says:

    One of the biggest expenses and delays in the software was the hacking of LockMart’s software sites bythe Chinese. Cost was estimated at over 2-billion to unravel. This needs to be brought out and hammered. If you need that much code, why do you need a human up front?
    Good for TIME otherwise. Too bad no one reads it. Good for you to republish the article. The whole thing is an outrage. Time to get on John Batchelor and talk about the cost, hacking, etc. Maybe he can get his WSJ friends to start pushing to bring it under control/cancel it/start a crash program for a better alternative a la F-14.

  8. Amicus Curiae says:

    “If its a valid piece why dislike it?”
    Because he had ten years to do some research and reveal some actual journalism skils. Now, when it is too late to matter, he is critical? I am suspicious of his motives, and those of the Time organization, so I don’t want to help them.

    “Just curious? So because Time’s history is not to your liking you expel anything that is produced from there?”
    For the past 20 years Time has managed to mess up its reporting. So what, if on occasion, the random article hits the truth. Mostly, the articles are toned to the editors wishes, no matter what the facts say. I can’t trust them to reveal an honest picture from which to make decisions. So, I discount everything as having some part in an unseen agenda. Sourcing Time is like sourcing Wikipedia. If some of the facts are very important to their argument, you better check them out. In the F-35 case, I am in an unusual position, because I want to believe them and can easily be manipulated. I think it is a dangerous Trojan Horse scenario. That’s all. It reveals something about myself, not you.

    “It’s strange how folks jump on me for sourcing from one outlet or another. No way to make everyone happy I guess.”
    I certainly do not want you to change your approach. That’s what makes the world go round.

  9. Mitchell Fuller says:

    Drones are not the future for F/As, as sentinel landing in Iran shows, whether it malfunctioned or was hacked is a moot point it is still in their hands with a lot of Russian and Chinese hands now on it too.

    A man in the machine with advanced sensors, a gun, and advanced missiles / bombs is the future of F/As. And give it range.

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