I woke up today to more bad news on the F-35. I know a lot of people who visit this stream think I have it out for the F-35. The reality is I do not. The B model does some pretty amazing things and avionics are mind-blowing across the variant types. What I do bash is a stupid philosophy that spawned this program and the fact that it’s a consolation prize compared to the F-22 and so on…. But what I hate the most of all is that the professionals who we pay to protect us from lapses in defense capability and cost overruns CHOSE to accept a test flight schedule, production plan, and cost estimates that were so outrageously unrealistic and without precedent that it’s almost laughable if it were not so sad. Do I blame Lockheed, NO, not really. Don’t hate the player hate the game and the total lack of rules put forward by the referee of that game.
Let me ask you one question that will really tell the story of how ridiculous and possibly corrupt this program truly is: If you were creating a widget, and you had a drawing of this widget on paper, WOULD YOU, WITH YOUR OWN MONEY start mass producing this widget without ever testing and evaluating the widget in a prototype form? ABSOLUTLEY NOT RIGHT?!?!! The problem is it’s not their (Lockheed’s) money at risk, its the taxpayers, so why not build a weapon system idea that is so MASSIVE and EXPENSIVE that it is too big to fail and slam it down the DoD’s throats? The only downside is some possible bad press when your original proposal turns out to be TOTAL FICTION. The upside is billions and billions and BILLIONS of profits over the 35+ year life of the bloated program that monopolizes an industry of immense strategic importance. And remember that the geniuses at the Pentagon and congress actually INVITED this monopoly to happen. Sickening.
So how could defense officials, from generals to the civilian leadership ever believe, or should I say fully buy into, projections that were so phony few “on the outside” ever thought they would be remotely achievable?!??! This question MUST BE ASKED and an answer must be found so that we never get stuck in this ridiculous situation again.
Here is the link to my alternative to the F-35, it’s truly fascinating how much cash this one-size-fits-all boondoggle sucks out of the DoD’s budget, remember commonality only makes sense when the fleet is affordable to procure and operate, otherwise it costs much more than a mixed fleet with focused capabilities: