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
Bomb-Sniffing Elephants Are Just One Example of Pentagon Waste
From spending $150 million on private villas for a handful of personnel in Afghanistan to blowing $2.7 billion on an air surveillance balloon that doesn’t work, the latest revelations of waste at the Pentagon are just the most recent howlers in a long line of similar stories stretching back... Read more
Why the F-35 Might Not Suck
Long-time readers of War Is Boring know where we stand on Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter. The F-35 loses in dogfights, is billions of dollars over budget and just catches fire sometimes. This week on War College, Andrea Shalal, Reuters’ longtime aerospace correspondent, gives a counterpoint to the show’s very... Read more
Damn, the F-35’s Upgrades Are Expensive
The Government Accountability Office is voicing opposition to the Pentagon’s plan to manage the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s Block 4 upgrade as a continuation of the existing program. The planned upgrade — which is expected to cost more than $3 billion — is large enough to qualify... Read more
U.S. General Admits F-35 Is Actually Three Separate Airplanes
The whole idea behind the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was for it to be, you know, joint. That is to say, the same basic plane would work for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and foreign countries. Lockheed Martin is designing the F-35 to meet all the... Read more
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Is Still a Huge Mess
The U.S. Director of Operational Test and Evaluation — DOT&E — recently released a scathing assessment of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program as part of his annual report. Buried inside 48 pages of highly technical language is a gripping story of mismanagement, delayed tests, serious safety issues, a... Read more
History’s Most Software-Dependent Warplane Hasn’t Been Properly Cyber-Tested
Prominent members of the Australian military establishment are worried — to say the least — about their country’s plan to acquire 72 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters from the United States. That’s the subject of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s latest Background Briefing program: The man who until a year ago... Read more
Norwegian Pilot: Yes, the F-35 Can Dogfight
In June 2015, War Is Boring summarized a leaked official test report detailing a mock dogfight between a U.S. Air Force F-35 stealth fighter and an F-16, one of the planes the new F-35 is supposed to replace. The dogfight did not go well for the F-35, which couldn’t... Read more
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