So while I’m busy editing To Slip the Surly Bonds‘ entries, here’s something else for your reading pleasure:
Note that his opinions and experiences with naysaying the airframe reflect many of my own with regards to the F-35. (Neither the author’s opinions nor mine reflect official DoD policy. Nor do they mirror those of our respective services or the U.S. government.)
As I’ve mentioned before, very early on in the F-35’s development someone in the other services should’ve said, “Fine, let’s give the Marines’ their jump fighter (or seriously modify the AV-8), and everyone else who needs a power projection platform will take this in a different direction.” For various reasons (to include the foolish belief that, after the Cold War, great power conflicts were a dead issue) this was not done–and now all the armed services have a fighter that is more F-105/F-111 than, say, F-16. That’s…that’s not good, and I’m glad to see purchasing additional F-15 platforms is being vehemently discussed. I’d prefer they were F-22s, but the Eagle‘s inherent growth abilities continue to provide dividends.
Big picture, it’s probably time to also consider augmenting our current heavy bomber fleet with something off the shelf. How many cruise missiles can you fit into a Boeing 767? I don’t know, but maybe that’s something Congress should direct the Air Force think about.