Ziggy: Time to Cancel the F-35

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This article was originally published by Zbigniew Mazurak on March 7 and subsequently posted on on April 1, 2013.


In the plane’s cockpit, visibility to the rear is poor (practically nonexistent), visibility with the JSF’s HMD helmet is also disastrously poor, and just recently, the engine suffered a turbine crack.

The DOTE and test pilots have written that as a result, the F-35 will be outclassed in air combat every time because of poor visibility for the pilot (i.e. the pilot will have good visibility only straight ahead). Even vision to the sides will be poor. As a result, the plane will succumb in air to air combat (at least in Within Visual Range combat) every time, for all-around vision is a non-negotiable requirement for this regime of combat. In simple English, F-35 pilots won’t be able to see what’s around them, only what’s in front of them.

This adds to the F-35′s many other design flaws:

In short, the F-35 is one of the worst combat aircraft ever designed by anyone. It’s an utter waste of money. Until last year, I believed that the F-35 could still be salvaged and fixed, that its problems could and would be solved. But by now, it’s clear that they can’t. The F-35 is only going to get more expensive going forward.

Moreover, the F-35 has already become operationally obsolete long before it has entered service. It was NEVER designed to do air to air combat or to eliminate enemy air defenses. Instead, it was designed to pound enemy ground armies and their associated short-range air defense systems like the Tunguska (SA-19 Grison), a la the Cold War and Operation Desert Storm. But this kind of warfare will likely never be fought again – massed ground armies lost their appeal after the Coalition pounded Saddam’s massed ground armies during Operation Desert Storm.

After the DOD certified the F-35 following its Nunn-McCurdy breach, it re-validated the F-35′s 2000 Joint Operational Requirements Document (JORD), even though the JORD itself is obsolete. The JORD speaks of a world without the S-300, the S-400, the S-500, the HQ-9, the Su-35, the PAKFA, the J-20, and the J-31. In other words, the F-35 is not designed for the real world. It’s already obsolete now – and will be even more obsolete by the time it enters service (if it does).

The only Western (not just American – WESTERN) fighter capable of defeating all enemy air defense systems and fighters (including those listed above) is the F-22 Raptor, or to be more precise, evolved and enhanced variants of this aircraft.

No other American fighter stands any chance in a confrontation with any of the systems listed above, be it the F-35, the F-15, the F-16, the Harrier, the Bug, or the Super Bug.

So what should the three services involved in the F-35 do? That’s simple. Cancel the F-35 completely and:

All of this would cost a lot less than sticking with the F-35 program and procuring useless, expensive F-35 aircraft that will only get American pilots killed.

The opinions expressed by Ziggy’s Defense Blog do not necessarily reflect those of 

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