The Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) phase is a critical period in a military capability’s development. And the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (known as the Lightning II) exhibited a vulnerability to, wait for it, lightning. . .
War News Updates posted a picture of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter along with the depressing story of its spiraling costs. It truly is a poor example of wise defense procurement.
And adding insult to injury, the Department of Defense’s own Inspector General (IG) says that the program cannot be audited. Really? We are the United Sates, not 1962 Soviet Union. We can and should audit this project.
Did we try to answer eveyone’s needs with one program:
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the white whale of the Defense Department — a stealth jet designed to work for all branches of the armed forces — but at a total cost of $1.5 trillion, it’s also a program that analysts say is an epic boondoggle that neither. . .
Who made the decision to procure one airframe with all the services involved? The Navy and Marine Corps variant will need sturdier landing mechanisms (or vertical landing capability) and two engines for long sea transits. Should one engine fail, there must be a backup.
And the Air Force bird will require. . . I am not sure. Perhaps I can’t see beyond the Department of the Navy. But that is just it, who cares what the Air Force needs; let them design their own plane. Too many cooks spoil the Navy Bean Soup.
I’ll bet we could have done it for less than $1.5 trillion. $1.5 TRILLION!