The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has been going in development for over ten years backed up by a steady stream of money. Its design requirement (JORD) being locked 11 years ago in 2000 makes the F-35 by-definition; obsolete. This is like getting the initial work on the Brewster Buffalo done in 1935 with hopes of having it fully operational by 1955.
The F-35s full flight envelop has not been explored after all this time. The sensor helmet doesn’t work. There are mountains of software to get done. Weapons clearance is in its infancy. Not one has dropped. The design and production learning curve are not mature. What aircraft will arrive at Eglin Air Force Base soon to train pilots will not be capable of much more than performing an equal number of talk-offs and landings. No one really knows what this massive program will cost. We will not be buying several thousand of this aircraft.
Yet, Congress is told that there are no alternatives.
This is a clear deception.
And, Congress is being blamed unfairly for not wanting to hand a bunch of money over to build hundreds of mistake-jets.
Lockmart has released this F-35 pork map. (H/T-DOD Buzz). It shows each state’s contribution of work-share to the F-35 program. Almost every state except a small handful are involved. One U.S. Territory (Puerto Rico) has work-share too.
With all the lobbying for an obsolete product we don’t need, what you have here (because of multiple deceptions by multiple people) amounts to just cause for the Rico Statute.
On the other hand; with all those states, you also have what will be a massive class action lawsuit when the too-big-to-fail program gets cancelled in a most spectacular fashion. It will be the mother of all lawfare.
The much-often delayed Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) might be performed in several months time. Will it be delayed again? Given what we know already, the results of this board (pencil-whipped or otherwise) may be difficult to take seriously. Does anyone believe that it will recommend that we do anything but keep kicking the can down the road?