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Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Gerhard Meyer

F35 - Is this the most expensive white elephant in military history?

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There are the massive overruns of the budget, the huge problems with the Vertical take-off and landing (VTOL)  B version and also the aircraft carrier model, the C version. Can one really design an aircraft as a full blown fighter, a ground attacker, and flying from an aircraft carrier? I read the article just now with interest, but somehow I am just not convinced. I get the thinking behind the multirole version F15E, also the full blown fighter F22. I get the idea behind the F16 and 18. I don't understand the thinking with the F35. How will the A model perform against a fifth generation Sukhoi Su-57? How will it perform against a the 4th Generation Sukhoi Su-35, the Chinese J11, and dare i say the much smaller JAS Gripen 39? The guys at Lockheed Martin are very smart, I believe that. I don't get this plane. Not a pilot, but if you placed the F35 and a F15 in front of me I know which one I'd choose. I saw what the IDF can do with a F15.

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"Can one really design an aircraft as a full blown fighter, a ground attacker and flying from an aircraft carrier?".

It has been done: witness the F-4 Phantom, and the FA-18 Super Hornet.

Still, I support your advocacy for the SAAB JAS Gripen- superb aircraft.

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