When it comes to the F-35 you can find a camp of you liking, dig in it at shoot the other side.
Think what you want but this aircraft brings a lot of emotions to the table. There are a lot of lovers, haters, advocates… you know what I mean. The JSF is the crown joule in Lockheed Martins portfolio. It will also be a money making machine. When it comes to big money many people start to look at you hands and start pointing fingers. I’m not saying that there is something wrong with the program or that everything is OK. It has it’s problems.
That is certain. If you want to read more about them go here, here and here. You can also listen to Aviation Week’s Check Six podcast (two episodes in July). This is a great listen. They have brought the two camps to the table. There is an experienced pilot who flew the F-35 whit his mantra that this is a great airplane and an aviation expert with his mantra that points to some serious hiccups in the program and is basing is claims on official reports and analysis. You can decide yourself which side makes more credible arguments.
Let’s move on and not get into the battle between the lovers and haters and take a fresh look. Well fresh from my perspective that is. A while a go I have watched a great movie “The Pentagon Wars” describing the Bradley carrier story. War is Boring wrote a piece about it. While this is not a documentary movie it made my brain rolling…
What if it was a bit similar as with the Bradley? What if at some point Pentagon started to smack at F-35 new ideas, equipment, systems you name it? Lockheed Martin is a very experienced aircraft manufacturer with a great expertise in fighter aircraft. It also has a ton of other companies working on the F-35. Such big delays within the original framework are hard to believe. Of course some guilt might be in the Lockheed camp but what if it was like with the Bradley? Scary thought but the more I think about it the more it sounds reasonable. The F-35 will eventually “get there” but it might take a bit longer than everyone has expected in the beginning. What’s your take on it?