The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is the most expensive procurement program in Pentagon history. It’s been plagued by schedule delays, gross cost overruns, and a slew of underwhelming performance reviews. Last month the Air Force declared its variant “ready for combat,” and most press reports lauded this as a signal that the program had turned a corner. But a memo issued from the Pentagon’s top testing official, based largely upon the Air Force’s own test data, showed that the Air Force’s declaration was wildly premature.
So, let me get this straight. The Pentagon is crying bloody murder about a sequester it's had well over an entire year to prepare for. Yet, in spite of the coming money crunch and impending doom on Wednesday out came this little goodie about the F-22 Raptor:
"Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (FA8611-13-D-2850) with a ceiling of $6,900,000,000 for F-22 modernization."
There are few things cooler than a fighter jet. Growing up, I was fascinated by, and proud of, all sorts of things about the US Military but, being a kid, few things drew my attention as did it's fighter jets. And for good reason. Be it the F-14, F-15, or F-16 each were world class and top of the line aircraft (and even today the A-10 is the best of its kind). Sure each had its teething problems, but these were resolved; and to this day the latter two are still ranked amongst the world's best and most popular aircraft.
Long time readers of this website will know that I have had, and continue
Last week the US Air Force announced, as part of a proposed series of budget cuts, that it was planning on cutting five squadrons of what has been perhaps the most useful manned aircraft in the Air Force's inventory over the past three decades: the A-10 Thunderbolt II. In turn, only one F-15 and one F-16 squadron would be cut even though our military hasn't faced seriously contested airspace at virtually any point this century.
What's more, neither the F-15 or F-16 have proven themselves as effective, including in terms of cost, as the A-10 in the role of providing close air support (CAS)