Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: Is This Thing A Lemon?

Some time ago, someone asked me to take a look at the new US Lockheed Martin designed and built Joint Strike Fighter, the F35, that many in the criminal US Government have haled as being the fighter plane of the future, and have decided to replace almost the entire existing inventory of US fighter planes with.  I periodically have read the reports in major online publications, and have looked at the aeronautics of this so called "fighter plane" and I am not impressed... In fact, I am deeply concerned that the American public has been forced to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on what is basically a "lemon".   Therefore, for this article, I will give my take on what I see could be one of the biggest military boondoggles of all time....

I just came across an article from Vanity Fair online, at www.vanityfair.com, in its Politics section, that is quite long and covers in great detail some of the problems and concerns about this F35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).  This article is quite long, but does make for some very interesting reading, and therefore I have the link here for everyone to see for themselves:


I do have my concerns about the massive investment that the American government has been making into this aircraft, and I will list those here...

- This plane is supposed to be "stealthy" and "invisible" to other aircraft and radar systems.. But recent evidence has shown that most of the "stealth" capabilities that this plane is supposed to have are already both known to the Russians and the Chinese, and they have already solved the problem of seeing and thus targeting this aircraft through all of its stated "stealth" capabilities.    Basically, the F35 is no longer "stealthy" as proclaimed....

- There have been disturbing reports that this aircraft is difficult to fly at night..  That to me is ridiculous enough, but there have also been reports that it also may be impossible to fly in rainy weather as well!   Remind me again what good is a combat aircraft if it can only fly on clear, sunny days?

- The vertical takeoff and landing capabilities of this aircraft have shown already to hinder this aircraft's performance.   The idea of VTOL (Vertical Takeoff Or Landing) was made famous by the British Harrier "jump jet" developed in the 1960's, but with VTOL comes limited firepower and range of any aircraft.   Over a decade now, and the VTOL problems have not been solved in this aircraft's design..... There is also the major problem of weight, because the mechanisms for VTOL adds considerable weight to the aircraft, and therefore hinders both its speed, agility, and its combat performance.   What is also amazing is that the newest Chinese "joint strike aircraft" which amazingly looks similar to the F35, has NO VTOL technology onboard, and thus can pack more weaponry and has a greater speed and range than the F35 itself!  Have the Chinese engineers discovered the primary weakness of the F35 and removed it from their own designs?

- There have been recent reports of the F35 having a massive "blind spot" directly behind the pilot cockpit that will make the aircraft a sitting duck in direct air to air dogfights..... Again, how could the designers of this aircraft overlooked this horrible flaw?    Basically, we now have a "fighter" that will be slowed down due to its burden of VTOL, and thus fly slower than aircraft it is supposed to combat.. And on top of that, enemy fighters may exploit the blind spot flaw and simply get behind the F35 and blow it out of the sky!

There are other terrible design flaws in this aircraft that I have not noted here.... Lets just say that what we do have here in my own opinion is a disaster that American and allied nations will regret flying.

It also annoys me that the Canadian government here has decided on replacing its aging fleet of F18A combat aircraft with this massively overpriced lemon.  The cost alone of this JSF will mean that Canada will have a fleet of at most.... 30-40  of these horrible machines.  It is bad enough that this small number is totally inadequate to provide proper air cover for a nation of over 3.8 million square miles, but the Canadian military will see the major inadequacies of this so called "Joint Strike Fighter" if this aircraft is committed to combat.   My advice to the Canadian people is for them to demand an immediate halt to this purchase of these massively overpriced and under performing aircraft.... Canada could do itself better by looking elsewhere for replacement of its aging F18 Hornet fleet...I would even suggest the government in Ottawa stop with this idea of always having to purchase "American" aircraft, and look elsewhere.... Europe, or even Russia for examples!

It is a fact that many of the former US combat aircraft, such as the F14 Tomcat, also had design flaws and serious problems that were rectified over the years....My concern is that the US and other nations have now committed themselves to replacement of entire fleets of combat aircraft with this one machine that has severe problems that have not yet been rectified.

I know that with this article, I may have opened up much criticisms of my personal views on this so called "fighter" aircraft.... But I will call a spade a spade, and from what I have read over the last few years, we are definitely looking at a real lemon that will be outmatched if ever used in a combat role.   Considering the massive cost overruns and major problems that seem to be endless with this aircraft, most nations would be better off to stay away from the F35, period.

More to come


1 comment:

Imran Sohel said...

A fighter aircraft is a forces aircraft designed primarily designed for air-to-air combat opposed to other aircraft,[1] having the status of conflicting to bombers and attack aircraft, whose key mission is to attack ground targets. The hallmarks of a fighter are its hurry, maneuverability, and insignificant size next of kin to other combat aircraft.