Seventy-Eight Years of Jet Fighters
On Aug. 27, 1939, a stubby-winged airplane made of unpainted steel alloy took off over Germany and soared into history. Instead of a pointy propeller hub in the nose, the Heinkel 178 had an open-mouthed turbojet intake, making it the first operational jet-powered aircraft. The He 178 could only... Read more
With the F-35, Industry Is Holding Taxpayers Hostage
An October 2017 Government Accountability Office report details problems the services are having keeping the F-35 stealth fighter fleet ready for combat. One problem it highlighted was that, at a time when the Pentagon is desperate to ramp up production of new aircraft, the services have to wait an... Read more
108 U.S F-35s Won’t Be Combat-Capable
The new F-35 program executive officer, U.S. Navy vice admiral Mat Winter, said his office is exploring the option of leaving 108 aircraft in their current state because the funds to upgrade them to the fully combat-capable configuration would threaten the Air Force’s plans to ramp up production in... Read more
The U.S. Congress Is Trying to Give the F-35 a Pass For All Its Problems
The $700-billion defense authorization bill for 2018 contains a number of provisions that are likely to increase the risk of cost overruns for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and undermine the ability of Pentagon officials and Congress to assess the combat suitability of new weapon systems in the... Read more
It’s Better When F-35s and Super Hornets Work Together
In June, the U.S. Navy released a budget allocating $264.9 million towards upgrading its roughly 600 F/A-18E and F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler fighters to the new Block III standard, which includes some of the enhancements proposed for the Advanced Super Hornet. This is intended to coincide with... Read more
Watch F-35 Stealth Fighters Tear Up the ‘Mach Loop’
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has flown through Wales’ world-famous “Mach Loop” low-flying area for the first time. The impressive display occurred one year after the bigger F-22 Raptor first performed the same feat. The video clip below shows an F-35A Lightning IIs threading the iconic mountain range on... Read more
The F-35 Just Got $1.7 Billion More Expensive
The F-35 is even further behind schedule and more over budget than other watchdog agencies have reported. A new Government Accountability Office report finds the troubled program will need an additional $1.7 billion and another year just to finish its already 16-year-long production process. The GAO echoed much of... Read more
Spy Planes Tagged Along as U.S. Air Force F-35s Flew Near Russia
On April 25, 2017, two U.S. Air Force F-35 stealth fighters paid a quick visit to Estonia. And they weren’t alone. Besides the usual KC-135 tanker, a surprising three surveillance planes accompanied the F-35s — an RC-135U and two RC-135Ws. The F-35As belonged to the 34th Fighter Squadron from... Read more
The F-35 Is a $1.4-Trillion National Disaster
The F-35 still has a long way to go before it will be ready for combat. That was the parting message of Michael Gilmore, the now-retired Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, in his last annual report. The Joint Strike Fighter Program has already consumed more than $100 billion... Read more
Trump’s F-35 ‘Deal’ Is Unlikely to Result in Real Savings
On Jan. 30, Pres. Donald Trump announced a “deal” with Lockheed Martin to reportedly trim $600 million from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s final price tag. But it was immediately unclear whether the arrangement involved any real savings. “Although this appears to be a victory for those concerned about out-of-control... Read more