The other day Panetta failed to highlight the significant troubles with the F-35 when meeting with a valued friend, Italy. Instead he just said the U.S. is "committed".
This kind of misleading behaviour to our allies has been going on for years.
In today's industry news, the U.S. Industry is misleading S. Korea. Again:
"Because the very low observable stealth F-35 can penetrate heavily defended airspace, it provides Korea with proactive strategic deterrence - the ability to hold strategic targets of interest at risk 24/7, despite the air defence systems that are in place to protect those assets," the company adds. "From an air-to-air perspective, the F-35 provides Korea with significantly advanced capability over any other fourth-generation fighter, and ensures Korea will be able to deter current and future threat systems."
Doubtful since the the aircraft was never designed to do such a thing. And is of course, in serious program management trouble for non-performance.
The Joint Strike Fighter concept was created in the 1990's. An era where the arrogance of some in the U.S. could see themselves as the only super-power into the future.
Threats would be broken down countries that needed an occasional beat-up by a U.S. lead, joint coalition force.
The Joint Strike Fighter was meant for those needs. It was to be affordable, allies would use the same aircraft and have enough export-stealth quality to survive against legacy air defenses composed mostly of old Soviet gear. Allied Force in 1999 being one example that was a great sales brochure for industry of why the Joint Strike Fighter was needed.
Allegedly anyway, since today's aircraft can take down such a threat with J-series weapons (JDAM, JSOW, JASSM) and have no trouble at all. Back then, only a few aircraft types carried such weapons. Today, just about all aircraft can.
Big threats? That is the job of the F-22, which by the way (with fubars along the way) has met it most of its requirements.
While the F-35 has not, and is unlikely to do so.
More about how things haven't worked out so well: A Pacific Rim arms race with modern gear, a declining management competence across the D.C. civilian and military leadership, industry and greed have produced failed weapons programs that will not be able to fight their way out of a paper bag. The Stryker, Littoral Combat Ship and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to name a few. They can only contribute to losing battles and bankrupting treasuries.
In the good-old-days, the goal was to keep deterrence against the Soviet threat; with some fraud along the way. Today, the game is not valued deterrence. The game is only fraud.
On a large scale.
Now, the U.S. government is dead broke and will say anything to cheat valued allies and the U.S. taxpayer out of their money.
Someday, this military, industrial-congressional-complex will collapse under the weight of all of the dishonesty and ill-will it has generated.
For now, the lie that is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, is the most notorious of these bad trends.