From: Winnipeg, MB
This article does not even mention the F-35's latest whoops, that being the "stealth" coating on the airframe, tends to "burn off" during sustained supersonic flight.
Thus is the pilot wants to remain stealthy, the can not fly supersonic for more than two minutes at a time!
This plane reminds me so much of Robert McNamara's TFX, the F-111.
Another not so brilliant "one plane to do everything for both the Navy and the Air Force" kind of thing.
The F-35 attempts to do everything for the Navy, the Air Force and the Marines!
A now retired friend who was stationed at Eglin AFB, where they test this kind of stuff, was involved with simulated dog fights against the F-35 about 4 years ago.
Even the "old" F-16 was better in the traditional Dog Fight, and the F-15 and F-22 could run rings around it.
And, the F-35 is intended to replace all three!
This ground has been covered before. The F-35 was never designed to be the fastest or most agile, it was designed for stealth and superior avionics to target enemies before they were even aware of its presence. Like every recent successful major weapon system it will have its teething issues and eventually get to a fully operational state. Only then in the crucible of combat will we find out how good or bad it is.
And I recall exactly the same gnashing of teeth over the F-117 Stealth Fighter when it came out - until Desert Storm proved it could take down air defences ahead of the main air strikes. Ditto on the B-2.
Though the Bf-110 was supposed to be the super fighter of the Luftwaffe. In 1940 the top fighter pilots were slotted into Bf-110 units. As a day fighter against single engine interceptors they proved to be a major disappointment. They did do well against heavy bombers with no fighter escort and as night fighters, but they were originally intended to be bomber escorts.
The Sgt York anti-aircraft system was touted as the big next gen AA vehicle for the US Army, it failed miserably.
Sometimes the problems get worked out and sometimes they don't. Time will tell.
Exactly what I meant with the "crucible of combat" comment.
Overall, I was just saying "The pundits who complain about things not being perfect don't really know how useful the weapons system will be either."
My only concern with our (Western) development of new weapons is that the military and government experts and budget authorities have gotten too close to the industrial system to maintain their "military and government" objectivity. Sometimes choices are made based on the jobs and investment the manufacturer promises rather than expected effectiveness of the weapon system.
I get the pressures on governments to do things like "create jobs" but once they show that they are determined not to let a big strategic industry fail, that industry can jack up prices without real justification. I think WWII was a special war because patriotism was part of the drive to develop the best weapons, moreso than the profit motive. People bought bonds with modest rates of return because they believed in the war effort and their country.
No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth