F-35 Japan conceptWASHINGTON: The Government Accountability Office, Congress’ watchdog, says the Pentagon will have to sharply increase annual funding for the Joint Strike Fighter should projected software delays persist.

Here’s the rub in this latest GAO report. It’s based on the director of Operational Test and Evaluations finding that the program won’t be able to make up lost time and deliver planes to the Marines on time. The Marines have already said they do not think the delivery of planes ready to go to war, known as Initial Operational Capability, will be affected by the software problems. Since software is so important to all of the the F-35′s three versions, the plane cannot handle some weapons considered crucial unless the right software version has been loaded.

One of the key software problem areas is the F-35′s Autonomic Logistics Information System, which monitors the plane’s systems and is crucial to managing its repairs and maintenance. If ALIS cannot be fixed quickly, that may delay the Marine’s IOC.

The most intriguing part of the GAO report is its estimate that the annual costs for the F-35 could rise to as much as $15 billion.

“To execute the program as planned, the Department of Defense (DOD) will have to increase funds steeply over the next 5 years and sustain an average of $12.6 billion per year through 2037; for several years, funding requirements will peak at around $15 billion. Annual funding of this magnitude clearly poses long-term affordability risks given the current fiscal environment,” the authors note with some understatement.

Lt Gen Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer, issued this statement: “There were no surprises in this report and all of the items mentioned were well-known to us, the F-35 international partners and our industry team.

“Software continues to remain our number one technical risk on the program and we have instituted disciplined systems engineering processes to address the complexity of writing, testing and integrating software.”

Bogdan said the program is “working relentlessly to reduce this risk…” The JPO, he went on, “remains confident about delivering the F-35′s initial warfighting capability to the U.S. Marine Corps in 2015 and to the U.S. Air Force in 2016. The aircraft’s full warfighting capability is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2018. There is more risk to that delivery schedule because it is naturally dependent upon the successful delivery of the previous software releases.”

The program office has surprised critics several times in the last two years, fixing problems for lower costs and more quickly than projected. We’ll have to see how well the OT&E projection stands up. Software problems, as many DoD programs have demonstrated over the last five years, can easily spin out of control.

 

Comments

  • Gary Church

    I would think that the brakes would get slammed on this unbelievable rip-off but after the V-22 proved that making a part in every congressional district makes a program invincible, I guess the scam will succeed.

    Can any warping of the imagination allow someone to actually believe that this thing can possibly be worth that much money? It has become bizarre beyond belief.

    IRST technology is just one of several ways to defeat stealth. The F-35 is already obsolete. Theft of tax dollars on a scale the boggles the imagination.

  • Gary Church

    They should at least drop the lift-fan version; that rube goldberg contraption is never going to work right.

    Is it really too late to just go with what makes sense?;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_F-15SE_Silent_Eagle

    Manned fighters are on the way out; we may as well keep building an improved version of the one we have now till it is over.

    • AdamD

      Don’t forget the block 70 F-16 to go along with it.

      • Mike

        Amen…

    • http://ndp.ca joudoos

      Like AAM’s were the future of dogfighting back in the 60′s?
      Drones will be an adjuct , not a replacement.
      Remember how we were all going to have flying cars?

      • Gary Church

        Back in the 60′s? Drones will be the replacement. This is the 21st century…….Moore’s law has consequences.

        • http://ndp.ca joudoos

          Sure it is , but Moore’s law is not Newton first law , hence the flying cars not darting around everywhere.
          Apply Moore’s law to the flight controls of the flying car and we would be flying to Mars already after dropping the kids at school.

          • Gary Church

            You are getting processing speed mixed up with physics. Apply Moores law to propulsion and we would be going to Mars. Apply it to flight controls and you have…..drones.

  • TerryTee

    The “Junk Strike Fighter” software problems are just beginning , think MS “Vista” and how well it worked with older hardware and technology. Then remember most of our current weapon systems were designed to work with the older teen series aircraft. It’s going to get real ugly, real fast.

    • SS BdM Fuhress ‘Savannah

      Well it if has Vista and they got Picture Publishing program you just got to do some wrinkles to work that in. You take Adobe program and put the picture in it to add stuff to your pics then come back to Picture it ( which you are comfortable and like but the Tech people say no, upgrade) and work with the picture. Now you can’t try to save it in Picture or the program closes so you just check out of the program and it will ask if you want to save and you can do it that way. I would think software on a super-duper fighter would have a few more Kinks in it to overcome? Now let’s talk about getting the morphed version of Panzer General 2 to play on Windows 7? My 9 campaigns await me. Me super-duper fighter is the Reichwind ( JU-388) , super-duper bomber the Reichbatt (B-2) as in me Avatar there and also the Vixen ( Arado E 555 ). You do need to control the air in a war but think missiles is the way to go. This fighter will see the enemy on radar and shoot a missile to kill it. Anything the fighter could see I would think a cheap drone could see. The level of our young playing video games I would think could run with anybody. Tech has done the soldier in if you can afford the Tech? Does anybody know the benefit of the slant on the tail there, not at a straight angle? Did the gull wings of the German Stuka and the Corsair have a benefit as far as aerodynamics?

  • Gary Church

    So where are all the junk strike fighter fans? Why are there no comments expressing righteous indignation at any criticism of their sacred flying pork monster? Could it be that 15 billion a year is such an outrageous figure that there can be no excuse? I guess it is better to just remain silent and depend on the V-22 trick; a part made in every congressional district means it cannot be canceled. The aerospace industry mergers are all paying off now big time- the most expensive defense program in history!
    What a scam.

    • Mike

      The silence is deafening… Not to worry, when Lockheed-Martin reviews this blog, they sill send a bunch of employees to try to rebut your comments… Incidentally, back on that A-10 thread, I shared some of my experiences with those Jatto Tubes. You might enjoy!… :(

      • Gary Church

        Thanks Mike:)

    • SMSgt Mac

      I imagine the Joint Strike Fighter ‘fans’ got past the red-meat headline, read the article and then decided they didn’t have a problem with it.
      GAO regurgitates DOT&E and CAPE gruel, Program and Services STILL disagree with the DOT&E software schedule appraisal. Got it. Next?
      Where the GAO goes off on its own is where it is weakest though. For example, on page Page 15 we find ‘all variants are tracking closely to their reliability plan’, then later, the GAO spins a might fine strawman about an O&M cost disaster if the reliability objectives aren’t met, while barely acknowledging there aren’t enough operating hours to make a call either way. Yep. the GAO report is a total yawner.
      BTW: Colin may want to check this Gary Church’s data against the more erudite and civilized one we read earlier.

      • Gary Church

        Oh, I am the same erudite and civilized Gary; I am just saying stuff you do not like now. The V-22 is the example this program is following. Not even Dick Cheney could kill that monstrosity. Now the same scam (a part made in every congressional district) is succeeding with this money maker. Too much money for something that will get shot down. This is probably the wake up call that the days of manned combat aircraft are over; we should kill this thing and build drones instead wasting billions (actually, a TRILLION DOLLARS over the next half century). Got it?

        • http://www.breakingdefense.com/ Colin Clark

          The V-22 works. It cost way too much too develop and we started working on technologies that were nowhere near ready far too early so it cost a bomb to get it fight. (Yes, that sounds a lot like the F-35 and many in the Air Force and Marines would agree with that assessment of the JSF.) But the Osprey is a relatively new airplane in a fleet that is approaching senility. It works. It;s the safest airplane in the Navy/Marine Corps fleet. It does things no other aircraft can. The same will be, I predict, true of the F-35. The C-17 took a hell of a lot of dough to get right and it’s only a transport. Global weapons systems are not cheap. They never will be. Look at the enormous increase in China’s “official” defense budget as they start to build aircraft carriers and their own attempt at an F-35, the J-20. These things cost.

          • Gary Church

            I have to disagree Colin, it does not do what a helicopter does very well at all. Every thing I have read and hear about it’s ability to hoist, sling load, land and operate in dusty and high environments, it’s maintenance problems, and the characteristics of it’s systems indicate it is a loser. I won’t go into the way it folds up and its hydraulic and airframe characteristics because only a mechanic that has worked on other aircraft would understand what a nightmare they are. The simple argument is it goes faster than a helicopter and for this hugely hyped advantage it sacrifices everything else. I worked and flew on rescue helicopters for a large part of my career so I know a little about this outside of the canned P.R. cover story that is always repeated concerning this aircraft. It cannot fly above bad weather like a cargo plane because it is not pressurized and cannot even auto-rotate in an emergency like a helicopter. It cannot mount weapons like a helicopter, it has nowhere near the performance of a comparably powered cargo plane, and on and on. For the money and maintenance costs per hour it is a failure. So while it may “work”, it is not worth what little it can do.

          • Gary Church

            And while the C-17 is a very expensive aircraft, I have flown on them a half a dozen times and talked to the crews and they seem to be worth the money. They are amazing machines.

          • bridgebuilder78

            Mr. Clark, the J-20 is not an attempt at an ‘F-35′; it’s an attempt at an F-22.

            The Chinese know the JSF is a lemon, and they are not stupid enough to duplicate it.

  • Carter Lee

    Ah, once upon a time there were real men flying real airplanes!

    • Paul de Foucaud

      And now looking like the Rafale combat proven !

    • Mike

      Might I add that a lot of those Spitfires were flown by volunteer American pilots whose numbers kept the balance from being tipped… If we’d have lost Britain we’d have been screwed….

      • Carter Lee

        There were only seven American pilots that served during the Battle of Britain when the supply of pilots was the most critical. Billy Fisk being the most famous and the first American pilot (he claimed he was Canadian) killed in the war.

        The American Eagle Squadron (actually three squadrons) came later and was not available for operations until 1941 when the German invasion threat was nullified by the invasion of Russia. Almost all these lads went to Canada and enlisted in the RCAF first before moving on to the UK

        The reason for the small numbers was not a lack of volunteers but the Neutrality Acts that prohibited US citizens serving in foreign forces and US Ambassador to the UK Joe Kennedy who worked
        to stop Americans from aiding Britain.

        • Mike

          My British Grandparents who lived close to those RAF bases in the South told me stories of how desperate the Battle of Britain was… They told of how, when all seemed lost a trickle of American/Canadian RAF pilots began flowing into those RAF bases… The Germans thought they were getting close to wiping the RAF out of the skies, except those Spitfires and Hurricanes kept coming up again and again and finally they gave up and turned East, one of their greatest mistakes, thank God… And you are right, Kennedy’s deep seated Bias darn near cost us Britain as a launching pad… :(

      • SS BdM Fuhress ‘Savannah

        Nah attrition wins Wars. The way we might have lost would have been if the Germans had used the Russians in the Ukraine and made friends with them. And also if they had not got that ideal the war was over so put the projects back as the ME 262. I can’t see anybody winning a war then or now if bombers are overhead, people under those bombs stand very little chance. Again though you have to be able to do attrition until those bombers basically fly un-opposed day in and day out over your homeland. ” And news today, the 8th USAAF of SS Amerika has bombed the West Coast for the 16th day in a row. The end is near for the old guard ( Eisenhower, Patton, McAuthur, the others ) and the Fuhress Savannah in Richmond will soon be receiving the delegates from the West Coast to sign the terms of surrender. Hail to Richmond. Hail to the Fuhress. Peace at last, peace at last”! Future foretold?

        • Mike

          Comment after you’ve taken your meds, aye?

          • SS BdM Fuhress ‘Savannah

            Gee aint you heard Blue and Red States, shop locally and stuff. The only meds I got are ‘Forget her pills’ but I am not taking them to remind me of her. Well off to make some breakfast Mike, feed the 30 or so cats then down to the court-house to tell them I have talked to the lawyers to work on getting that old BOA credit card payed off before I have to go to court. And your day Mike?

    • SS BdM Fuhress ‘Savannah

      That aint the Luftwaffe’s Eric Hartmann’s plane. That was a good fighter though.

  • CharleyA

    I’m not exactly sure which issued were totally fixed, faster and cheaper than predicted – certainly not the HMS (all they did was cancel the alternate BAE helmet – not fix all its problems, yet.) The program office has predicted that operating costs were going to come in lower, but that estimate was based on changed assumptions, and other analyses have not supported the new numbers, yet (CAPE is publicly quiet.) The redesigned tail hook system successfully grabbed the wire during both roll in and fly in tests – on land, but hasn’t done the same on a rolling, pitching deck, yet.

  • Ttrexxx

    Who cares unless we are going to war in the near future…lol

    • SS BdM Fuhress ‘Savannah

      Well there is something across this planet called currency. A lot of people can do with just enough and some people have to have all they can get even if those that can do with just enough have none. And those people ( the All ) will start a war. Laugh out Loud all you want, it is coming!

  • Ttrexxx

    You can’t find a 777…WTF…this is about getting cash and jobs for Washington congress members…

    • Mike

      You’ve never been out in the Southern Indian Ocean, have you…. :(

      As for Defense spending, I say horsecrap, as it is about keeping the latest malcontent in a box…. Ever spend any time in uniform? Ever get a good look at the capabilities of those who’d just as soon own us? Think our great life is free? Geeezzz… :(

    • http://www.breakingdefense.com/ Colin Clark

      Finding a single aircraft whose pilot has turned off all transponders when that plane is far out of US radar contact, and which did NOT explode (our satellites told us that) is incredibly difficult when that aircraft flies unexpectedly off course outside of North American air space. You’ve seen how competent the Malaysian authorities are and the world was depending on them to track the plane.

  • Mike

    We care because you never know when the hammer will drop again… Better to be prepared. WW-ll and Korea taught us that…Currently we are only a heartbeat away thanks to old mid-life crisis Vlad dreaming of the old Soviet Union days… Suddenly it is 1939 all over again… :(

    • SS BdM Fuhress ‘Savannah

      Side with Hitler this time?

      • Mike

        Actually it was 1938 and it was called the Sudetenland…..Hopefully, you might see an analogy with our current problem brought by old Vlad, aye?.

        • SS BdM Fuhress ‘Savannah

          I see a money problem across the Globe and the Elite thinking of ways to stay Elite, that’s has World War written all over it.

  • MindWatcher

    Why did we have to buy a plane who is not ready to fly or do anything until years in the future? Who are the stupid people who “forced” buying these pieces of metal if our Servicemen cannot even shoot a bullet or be ready to engage enemy planes during a war fighting situation; for instance in the Ukraine? Buy more F-15s or F-16s instead. The military leadership at the Pentagon does not have the brains anymore in reaching a consensus about anything….and the White House just cancel program after program to appease the F…..Russians taking over the Crimea and who knows what else… Call a teacher from a Central Middle School and let her decide what is best for this country, you idiots…….

    • Mike

      Sadly, you do have a point there MindWatcher…..

  • Adam

    Too bad the F-22 was “too expensive”….oh wait..

  • cg

    Our obsession with ever more sophisticated weapons will be our downfall. Of course we don’t want to fly bi-planes but if this keeps going we will end up with a few techno wonder fighters that don’t work well and we will get the crap beat out of us in the next war. Where is the wisdom in the DOD????

  • marxestlennonist

    Are they running windows 8?

  • omegatalon

    The software that runs the F-35 is what makes the jet so flexible and powerful; thus the OS needed to bring all systems of the F-35 is critical; but maybe they can try to integrate everything in stages and get the jet flying without any long delay.

    • PolicyWonk

      The software, with its many millions of lines of code, is also its Achilles Heel.

      • Gary Church

        It sounds to me like the computer is what flies this aircraft. The sensors see everything and put it in the pilots helmet display. I have to ask the question; “Why does it need a pilot?” We might as well pay a fraction of the price for a drone.

        • http://ndp.ca joudoos

          As a surgery trainee I heard the same arguments about “remote surgery” and “robot” surgeons.
          Despite some high profile “look at me on Discover Channel” attempts it has proved to be bollocks.
          I am comfortable with my day job.
          I have never flown but I sincerely doubt that the computer or remote controls give you the same sensitivity and rsponse time as a jet fighter pilot.
          Remember how we were all going to have flying cars?
          I still think the F35 is garbage , though. I wouldn’t want to use a piece of equipment designed by a committee of 500 non- doctors on your appendix , I am sure the pilots feel the same about the F35!

          • Gary Church

            Pilots want to fly and suck up to whoever has the keys. And jet fighters are now all fly by wire and so unstable a human pilot could not control them; the computers feed hundreds of inputs into the flight controls per second. All the fantastic maneuvers we see nowadays are the pilot just doing what a drone operator does except they are in the cockpit instead of on the ground. Likewise the radar and infra-red sensors the pilot uses are fed into their helmet and heads up displays in the cockpit and the same inputs are fed to a drone operator.
            Flying is not surgery and cars are not airplanes. Drones are taking over and our military can adapt or be defeated.
            Welcome to the 21st century.

  • Darth

    The reason that people who are actually informed about the F-35 aren’t “expressing righteous indignation at any criticism” is because of the old adage… “Don’t argue with an idiot, because they’ll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

    • Mike

      Is that because they are employees on both sides who have a stake (and a job) in this project? Have we ever had such cost overruns and completion date extensions before? I personally look forward to this baby getting into a real dog fight or firefight before we invest considerable sums, just in case it isn’t worth spit in combat… I’m reminded of the “junk” M-16 and we are still stuck with that pee shooter that is not much help when you are going up against an enemy with a 7.62!… :(

      • Gary Church

        I think the parallels we should be examining are profound and date back centuries Mike. Gunpowder vs. armored knights being the best one in this case. Computers and detection technology have come so far in such a short time that no one wants to accept that we are looking at a new paradigm, sea change, whatever you want to call it. That the last half century has not seen the most spectacular results with SAMs and drones is disguising and obscuring what has happened in just the last ten years in the world of technology. Microchips and sensors have improved to the point where expending such vast resources on trying to keep the knight in the cockpit alive is just not going to work. The serfs with the muskets are going to blow them out of the saddle. It is time to mass produce those muskets; drones and missiles are what is going to keep the U.S. in charge of this planet and blowing hundreds of billions on legacy systems like fighter planes is going to end our dominance IMO.

    • Gary Church

      The idiot will just repeat his first comment to the dark lord of the sith;
      IRST technology is just one of several ways to defeat stealth. The F-35 is already obsolete.

      • Uniform223

        Not that I am an F-35 proponent or opponent… but… prove it.

        • Gary Church

          The Eurofighter Typhoon’s PIRATE IRST can detect subsonic fighters from 90 km from front and 145 km from rear[14

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infra-red_search_and_track

          http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-10/01/radar-detects-stealth-aircraft

          http://www.businessinsider.com/quantum-imaging-university-of-rochester-radar-stealth-f-35-fifth-generation-2012-12

          And….as a breaking defense article noted in 2012: No less a figure than the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, a submariner, wrote in the nation’s most prestigious naval publication, the Proceedings of the US Naval Institute that “sensors will start to circumvent stealth” in the future.

          http://breakingdefense.com/2012/11/will-stealth-survive-as-sensors-improve-f-35-jammers-at-stake/

          • Uniform223

            IRSTs are passive at best and though the ranges sound good, in actual practice… those distances close fast during a merge. An IRST would be best if looking directly at the heat bloom of the exhaust when looked at from behind. At that point your positioning is either perfect or by coincidence lucky. Much like the last link you posted they propose a very good question. Who can still get off the first shot? You might be able to see and detect but can you target it? Can you get an effectively engages that target?

            Say your aircraft was able to use their IRSTs effectively to detect and track said F-22 or F-35s from 90km and beyond, that is still BVR ranges. At those ranges only radar guided missiles can engages. At that point said aircraft need to turn on their radars and to make any kind of effective attempt to engages said F-22 or F-35. At that point what ever element of surprise you had on the F-22/35 goes away. Their passive systems will be able to pick up incoming active radars alerting the pilots to possible danger and effectively vector to engage or defend against said threat. Mind you the further you are away from a VLO/LO aircraft, the less likely traditional radars will be able to work effectively. As far as I know the F-22 and F-35s are the ONLY aircraft with LPI AESA radars.

            ( Realistically 1v1 is never an actual engagement. Though for the sake of debate lets just go with it. ) So now the F-35s sensors has just picked up an active radar signal trying to target it. Lighting pilot turns to meet said threat head on coming to a merge. While the attacking aircraft can still see the F-35 through its IRST, the radar still can’t give proper fire solution. At that point the F-35′s radar and IRST can seek track and give effective engagement allowing the F-35 the first shot. ( then at that point its how good are the pilots and their use of countermeasures ) To quote the last article…

            “Just because you can see someone now doesn’t mean you can kill them”

            In what real sense is the F-35 obsolete? If the F-35 along with other LO/VLO designs and those designs were replacing previous NON stealth designs, then what would be effective? People who always go on about dumping the F-35 and using that money to improve upon existing platforms that the F-35 was designed to replace. What to them would be an effective platform if stealth aircraft are already considered obsolete? To try and go back to non stealthy aircraft and say simply improving them becomes pretty moot if stealth aircraft already exceed performance of previous aircraft.

            I always hear and read a lot of comments about UAVs. Though UAVs have been have been successful in recent campaigns they are still lacking. People always speculate about autonomous UCAVs carrying out future missions. Sounds great but Physicist Michio Kaku explains that even now with all of our best computers and robots, their “intelligence” is that of an insect ( if that ). You might be able to pre-program a mission into a drone but can that drone, on its own; react effectively to rapidly changing conditions. In a realistic sense, no. So a fully autonomous drone is still a very long ways off. The one thing that all drones lack over current manned aircraft is called… battle space awareness. A pilot in a cockpit knows more about what is going on than an operator in a box looking at a screen. Also a pilot in a cockpit can react faster than an operator in a Air Conditioned box.

            So far ( as far as I know and has read it ) anything meant to counter stealth is still so far theoretical.

            An old but still relevant article.

            http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/1999/February%201999/0299radar.aspx

          • Gary Church

            1. “-passive at best and though the ranges sound good-”
            Passive is best and the ranges are good. It works at any angle, not just behind, so paragraph one is invalid.

            2, “-from 90km and beyond, that is still BVR ranges-”
            That’s right, and you seem to think that changes something. 15 billion a year for an airplane with a fancy radar you can stick on a drone is no argument; paragraph two invalid.

            3. “While the attacking aircraft can still see the F-35 through its IRST, the radar still can’t give proper fire solution.”
            Heat seeking missiles don’t need radar and can now engage head on. That’s right, they have not been tail chase only for a quarter century. Paragraph three invalid.

            4. “-improving them becomes pretty moot if stealth aircraft already exceed performance of previous aircraft.”
            Performance means they work first. The F-22 is a different airplane with very powerful engines; paragraph four waaaay invalid!

            5. “-a fully autonomous drone is still a very long ways off-”
            Who said anything about an autonomous drone?
            As for, “a pilot in a cockpit can react faster than an operator in a Air Conditioned box”, the opposite is true. Now you are making stuff up.

            And last, “anything meant to counter stealth is still so far theoretical.” IRST is not theoretical- it has been evolving since the 1960′s and is operational and in service. Unlike the F-35.

          • Unifrom223

            Point 1. Most IRSTs ( with exception of F-35s DAS and possibly PAKFA ) are for the most part forward looking and are traditionally used best at closer ranges. Yes they may be able to look further NOW but can you still engage at those ranges? F-22s and F-35s do have some minor IR mitigating designs such as special coatings in the paint and active cooling measures. Do they hide the heat bloom of the exhaust… no. With IRSTs you still need a good source to look at. If your IRST is only “forward” facing as we see in current Rafale, EF2000, Migs and Sukhois… ( think 3 dimensional ) you need to be facing your aircraft in the general direction of where you suspect that stealth aircraft is. If an aircraft ( stealth or no stealth ) is outside an area or angle where your IRST can look, then that system can’t help you. This link note worthy to your claim though.
            http://theaviationist.com/2014/02/21/red-force-exposed-nellis/
            Though note that this is a possible tactic in the future in which VLO/LO aircraft could face, it hasn’t been fully tested or perfected. Its effectiveness against stealth aircraft remains to be seen.

            Points 2 and 3. Name an IR seeker missile that can track and engage effectively at 90km and beyond? The Sidewinder ( or IR seeker missile comparable to the AIM-9 ) ranges are still considered close range, 5 to 20 miles ( 20 mile pushing the absolute limit of effective weapons engagement envelope as I am told from sources ). The AIM9X, European ASRAAM, and Russian Archers ( or any variants of ) still cant engage as far as radar guided missiles. Yes modern IR seeking missiles can engage at targets coming into the merge from the front. Though IR seeking missiles work BEST when tracking the heat bloom of an aircraft’s exhaust. Though at that point stealth aircraft designs go out the window and you get into a close in dog fight ( note the word close ). The trick is surviving long enough ( against stealth or non stealth ) to get there.

            Point 4. Performance of fighter aircraft are ever evolving. The standards of a fighter aircraft change with every generation. Simply saying, “Does it work” isn’t good enough. If you want something that works than have a air force comprised of piston powered aircraft. We know they work. The real question in performance and evaluation of any future aircraft isn’t just physical any more. We’re now at the point in fighter development where the software, systems, and avionics is now part of the equation of what dictates a performing fighter aircraft. Does the F-16 and 18 work… yes. The real question is how will they work in the future. How well will they work against current and foreseeable threats?

            Point 5. I proposed the issue of unmanned combat systems. Many people say that the F-22 and F-35 are going to be the last manned aircraft. Many people propose that we should scrap the F-35 and invest in unmanned systems. I was merely pointing out that currently and in the near future that isn’t a real possibility. For now and for the foreseeable future unmanned systems are merely supplementary. Eventually we’ll have have fully autonomous systems fighting but not anytime soon.

            The last point. I never said that IRST is theoretical. I was merely stating the tactics and means in which to properly and effectively engages modern and future stealth aircraft is.
            The F-35 is just like any developing aircraft. Do you honestly think that EVERY aircraft before the F-35 was built perfect? A USN aircraft that went on to be considered the most deadly and well built fighter interceptor to date crashed on its 2nd flight and both crew members were killed. I’m am not so naive to think that the F-35 is perfect and isn’t having its problems. As I originally stated I am not for or against the F-35. I do realize the fact that the F-35 will be part of the face strategy of future western air power despite my personal opinions against.

          • Gary Church

            Not an F-35 proponent huh? Hah
            Find someone else to argue with; I am sure you can crank out endless paragraphs of technobabble.

          • http://ndp.ca joudoos

            Well , hopefully we don’t attack Brussels or we will be f%^ed

  • herkey

    dump the damn thing!

  • http://ndp.ca joudoos

    Imagine flying in combat and at the moment critique getting a BSOD or “wait a few minutes while Windows looks for the error” message.
    I am sure the pilots must be overjoyed.
    At least it will give them time to unstrqp themselves , turn around , kneel on their parachute and check their six over the helpful hump of hardware Lockheed placed behind them.

  • Gary Church

    Does anyone realize the 15 billion dollars is close to the entire budget of NASA? That we were launching space shuttles with that much money? And now we are spending it on trying to fix a poorly designed single engine tactical aircraft? This is insane- and the public is so dum’d down they do not even get it. Unbelievable.