From: Grapevine, TX
People that want to hate on the F-35 will do so...
Likewise people who want to blindly worship the F-35 will do so...
I'm very much on the fence wrt the F-35. I personally find the F-35 defenders to be as tedious as the F-35 detractors on several military discussion boards (or blogs...) Fanboys gonna fanboy.
And in the end it is hard to tell who is right and who is wrong.
Well, I think there are legitimate concerns. Production has taken way too long, and software seems overly complicated in that releases are getting pushed back several years. That to me is a big deal because each release of that software adds more capability. If LM could get their act to together and get builds out on time or early so we could see things like the JSM, Meteor, JSOW and SDBIIs released in say, 2018 instead of 2022 - that would be a good thing. Problem is, the signal to noise ratio is too high on a lot of the news so it's harder to pull out the good info from people going on and on about the gun or how one of the initial air frames off the assembly line "lost" a dog fight. Analysis on things like fuel load, software rev, etc. would have been great to see.
But, IMO, all this doesn't matter because the US is faced with several options. 1) Buy more 4th gen fighters like strike eagles and super hornets and throw away all the money we spent on F-35 and F-22 program or 2) double down on the program and stick with the project buy. Given current political events, I'm sure there's a number of people who would like to see 300+ F-22s, but we don't have that because we were too short sighted to see five years down the road where surprise surprise, the same prime couldn't deliver the product as promised and world peers would continue pursuing their interests which don't align with ours.
Sorry, end rant
I'm not going to say LM has been perfect at every opportunity, but before we lay all the blame in one place, don't forget there's two other major partners, myriad smaller partners.... And over it all there's a several-hundred person (possibly more, it's freakin huge) Program Office that has had a say in every decision since 2002.