Defense spending has been spiraling out of control at over $500 Billion annually….thanks to Lobbyists (Lockheed Martin) who spend over $100 million on Congress. That’s how the Government works.
Anyway let’s talk about the new 5th gen fighter…the F-35 Lightning II. Originally the request from the military was for a 5th gen fighter for $35 million a piece. Well… now that they are in production the cost comes out to around $135 million a piece. Gee what happened??? Oh and yes they are still going to go ahead and order 2,400 F-35 fighters too. This is ridiculous pork belly spending. The F-35 project went out of control and nobody did anything or even cared. The F-22 was supposedly canceled because it was $150 million per plane and that was too much. Really???
So why does the U.S. need a new 5th gen fighter? We are told to “rule our airspace”. If we don’t top other fighters then we will loose our air superiority. If this is true then why do we still use the AH-64 Apache helicopter? It’s design is over 30 years old. Yet it is still being manufactured today.
In today’s air combat, missiles are the main armament and are super sophisticated. Some air to air missiles can track and strike targets out at 100 miles. There is no visual at 100 miles. So with that being said, how maneuverable does the fighter aircraft need to be??? Air combat 2014 is… launch a missile first or deploy counter measures to avoid being hit. I don’t see any dogfights this day and age. Oh and Stealth technology is not what you are being told.
The F-22 and most likely the F-35 are maintenance dogs. For every hour in the air they require 20-30 hours of maintenance. The more sophistication, the less reliability. Systems fail frequently on these planes. So we’ll have less reliable planes in the air to protect us. Great!
The smart plan would have been to take one of our current fighters like the F-16 or F-18 and upgrade it with stealth and weapon systems. Pilots already have a lot of experience flying combat missions in these. Spend money on missiles so you can take out enemy planes before they see you. This is intelligent spending. But congress doesn’t do that. They do what the lobbyist want and print more money.
Bottom line….a $300,000 missile can take out a $100 million plane…get the picture?