The US Air Force has just admitted that their F-35 Stealth Fighter Jet Program has failed. The program resulted in a remarkable increase in weight and the F-35 plane now started weighing 25 tons.
With the objective of replacing Cold War-vintage F-16s fighter planes, the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown Jr. envisioned to create an affordable and sophisticated fleet.
New fleet could be a combination of expensive “fifth-generation” F-22s and F-35s and inexpensive “fifth-generation-minus” jets.
The lightweight F-35 fighter planes have been undergoing the process of upgrade and making it equipped with all the latest technology.
However, it resulted in a remarkable increase in its weight. The F-35 plane now started weighing 25 tons. Now, the U.S. Air Force is looking for such a fighter jet that is lighter and loaded with the latest technology.
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F-35 costs around $100 million and its maintenance is also an expensive affair.
In the F-35's case, it's like the sunk cost fallacy was (literally) weaponized into the boondoggle that keeps on giving. https://t.co/JUXf9d9F6g— Bret Weinstein (@BretWeinstein) February 24, 2021
As per Dan Ward, “The F-35 is not a low-cost, lightweight fighter.” Dan Ward has formerly served as Air Force program manager.
Dan Ward said, “You don’t drive your Ferrari to work every day, you only drive it on Sundays. This is our ‘high end’ [fighter], we want to make sure we don’t use it all for the low-end fight.” He added, “I want to moderate how much we’re using those aircraft.”
As of now the Air Force uses F-16s as low-end fighter planes for day-to-day operations. They have around 1000 F-16s but they are considered old now.
The former top acquisition official of the U.S. Air Force, Will Roper, suggested getting some new F-16s. But it was not accepted by Brown.
Brown further stated that it is really difficult to upgrade F-16s and therefore instead of getting new F-16s, it would be a wise decision to go for new low end fighters.
The idea behind getting 1800 F-35s was to replace F-16s and A-10s. The latter two constituted the lower end of low-high fighter mix, whereas the high-end included F-22s powered by 180 twin-engines.
However, the main purpose behind getting F-35s was not served.
“They tried to make the F-35 do too much,” said Dan Grazier, an analyst with the Project on Government Oversight in Washington, D.C.
The Pentagon leaders have hinted that the Air Force and Navy may get the bigger share of the U.S. Military’s annual budget which is roughly $700-billion.