Aviation Week & Space Technology

Podcast: F-35 And The Future Of U.S. Airpower

Discuss this Video 124

on Feb 22, 2017

So to summarise: out of date, can't fly, can't fight (to win), doesn't integrate with current systems, more money needs to be spent to make it relevant, even more money to "upgrade" the useless aircraft already built and we continue to rely on legacy aircraft that it's supposed to replace.

on Feb 23, 2017

I am French. I do not understand this campaign against the F 35. Do you think the Brits, the Israelis, the Danes, the Norwegians are so dumb as to buy the F35 ?
Also, and I do not understand why the USA procure so many fighters, attack airplanes etc...let the Europeans pay for their defense.

on Feb 23, 2017

It's all about the waste, inefficiency, deception and downright lies just to keep a bloated program going when it should have been terminated long ago. As to your question, yes, they are. Agree with your comment regarding Europe. They have the Union and want to benefit from a common market but refuse to accept responsibility for their own collective defense.

on Feb 23, 2017

Jean, there are many answers to your first question, all correct to some degree. However, the one I believe is most accurate:

Non-Americans tend to have a much higher trust in their politicians and governments than most Americans do, thus the lack serious, organised opposition.

on Feb 23, 2017

They buy it for political reasons. In the case of the F-16, it was useless to the Israelis until they tore out all the electronics they didn't need. Then they hug ejector racks on the wings, and it became a vary capable aircraft.

The F-35 was only designed initiall as a STOVL aircraft to replace the AV-8.

on Feb 23, 2017

They do not buy it for "political" reasons. They buy it because it is going to revolutionize air combat.

The Israelis insisted on some of their own electronics long before the F-35 even flew. They do that to maintain a domestic avionics industry, which they consider vital to national security. It also makes sure that Israeli F-35s will be unique electronically, which makes it less likely that their enemies will gain an advantage.

The F-35 has always been able to carry weapons externally, this was not some Israeli project.

The F-35 was not initially a STOVL aircraft, it was designed with 3 versions from practically the beginning.

Are you trying to see how many errors you can make in a single post?

on Mar 7, 2017

It was reported today by Agence France Presse that the F-35 was first used in battle a couple days ago, by the Israelis.

The Israelis entered Syrian airspace, took out a Russian S-300 SAM radar and launchers in Damascus, then proceeded to their primary target which was - and I LOVE the irony in this - a Syrian warehouse full of Russian Pantsir S SAM launchers staged for transport to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The primary target warehouse and all the Pantsirs within was destroyed. And Hezbollah has been fully deprived of its brand new SAM system.

Then, on the way back out of Syria, the Israeli F-35 pilots low level buzzed Bashir Assad's personal residence .. in a great big fat juicy eff you!

The F-35 can't fight, huh, Tommy ... isn't that what you wrote? Better crack open another bottle of vodka and start crying Russian tears yet again.

Oh, and by the way, the Israelis didn't even receive their F-35s until a few months ago, at the end of 2016. Considering that the Syrians and Hezbollah had been bragging that their new Pantsir SAM launchers, supported by the Russian S-300 radars, were going to completely deprive Israel of the use of Lebanese airspace, it seems that the Israelis got their "useless" F-35s none too soon.

on Feb 23, 2017

LOL, once again FALSE on all counts.... really were do you guys get your ideas from.

on Feb 27, 2017

The "useless" unmodified Netz (AKA unmodified F-16 Fighting Falcon Block 10) a) blew up a certain Nuclear reactor in Iraq, operation Opera, b) shot down 33 Syrian fighter jets over the Bekaa Valley, c) flew thousands of combat missions, d) was praised to the skies by the IDF/AF. All of this in the first two years of service with the IDF/AF.
The F-35 was not designed "initiall as a STOVL aircraft to replace the AV-8"

on Feb 23, 2017

I think the campaign against the F35 has more to do with how the Air Force has advertised its capabilities in order to justify the ridiculously high costs over runs. The F35 has been hailed as the supreme 5th generation fighter. Originally it was designed to work in unison with a large fleet of F-22's, F-15 Strike Eagles and other offensive assets. There has even been ridiculous arguments that the F-35 should be the replacement for the A-10. Anyone with even basic knowledge of the F35 knows that it cannot replace all of the above aircraft. If you have had a chance to listen to the podcast, the experts really give a decent overview of what the F-35 will ultimately be capable of doing and what it won't really be capable of doing. As long as stealth is relevant, the F-35, with its advanced sensors, data and weapons management systems will be a very good tool among other tools. If we had the budget, we could put all the the F-35's sensors and systems into the F-15, F-22, F-16 and yes even the A-10. Heck, we could even install the systems on the B1, and B2. The point I'm trying to make is, the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corp, will need more than just the F-35 to truly be effective. Without going into the old battle about the A-10 . . . I can guarantee the F-35 cannot replace the A-10 without some important capabilities being lost. Yes, it has a limited bomb payload that can be used, but once thats gone, the aircraft becomes a very expensive form of AWACS. As far as European countries purchasing the F-35. Its a good move but again, there will be some level of vulnerability if the F-35 has to go up against large numbers of 4.5 gen russian aircraft. For example, the Israelis will not get rid of their F-15's, nor all of their F-16 when the F-35 fully operational. The Brits have the Typhoon that can operate as an interceptor and benefit from teaming up with the F-35. Ultimately, a lot of blame can be placed on Lockheed Martin because it has really done a terrible job delivering this aircraft with the promised capabilities on time and on budget. The US has a $20,000,000,000,000 trillion dollar debt and is running $290,000,000,000 to $350,000,000,000 billion dollar trade deficits. We are going to have to be a great deal more careful how we spend our money while somehow delivering larger numbers of truly capable aircraft and weapons systems.

on Feb 24, 2017

"$20,000,000,000,000 trillion dollar debt and is running $290,000,000,000 to $350,000,000,000 billion dollar trade deficits".
Boy, with math/English skills like yours, you must be an accountant working for Lockheed.

on Feb 24, 2017

jeanwiev@gmail.com
"I am French. I do not understand this campaign against the F 35. Do you think the Brits, the Israelis, the Danes, the Norwegians are so dumb as to buy the F35 ?
Also, and I do not understand why the USA procure so many fighters, attack airplanes etc...let the Europeans pay for their defense"
=> Jean, the couperet (of the guillotine) just felt! Israel is pulling out! There will only be the order of 17 adding to the 2 they already received as the contract is already signed but NO MORE!

Norwegians were into buying Gripen but were strongly pressured, read more about it :
defenseissues.net/2012/11/03/on-f-35-export-success/

Singapore is also pulling out.
This isn't a campaign, it's just that 1st, reports of tests by the very official DOT&E campaign of serious tests, 10 years after the 1st flight simply prove that the project is HOPELESS.
You can read some comments here about the 2016 annual report, there is also a link to the full test that you can read by yourself, it begins on p.75 of the pdf.
defenseissues.net/2017/01/14/the-2016-dote-report-on-the-f-35-david-archibald/

Now, the commercial methods used to armbind the decision of MANY governments, using lies, diplomatic pressure, bringing forward some alleged discriminative concept of a so called 5th generation of aircraft while it never existed and the passive stealth was already outdated in... 1943!
Actually, it works ONLY over X-band and 60% of S-band radar waves.
You end with a F-35 that actually totally underperforms in ALL domains and BTW, isn't more stealth than a Rafale, in fact, with its active-stealth systems and not only over radar waves but also over IR ranges, a Rafale ends more stealth than F-35 and being much smaller and colder than a F-22, if you add ECM etc, a F-22 will be locked much sooner by a Rafale's IRST than it'll be able to lock its radar and would there be IRST, neither F-22 or F-35 would lock first on anything smaller and colder.

All those who understand how aircraft work and BTW, know about LM records (F-104 AKA the Flying Coffin or Widow Maker, the Lockheed bribery scandal, etc etc), have seen it coming a long way and since the beginning! Actually, had Lockheed stuck to the original project they bought from Yakovlev, the original Yak-43 would have been very likely as potent as a F-15 while being VSTOL and had the passive stealth and weapons bays.
Just think about this : ANY COMPETITION HAS BEEN AVOIDED!

"Also, and I do not understand why the USA procure so many fighters, attack airplanes etc"
=> Imperialism. The 1st business of USA is simply war!

"The F-35 was only designed initiall as a STOVL aircraft to replace the AV-8."
=> Actually, it was designed to replace the ill-fated Yak-38 and, as the Harrier would be in need in replacement, LM got in touch with Yakovlev in 1991 Strangely, "someone" had already managed to scrap the BAe P.1214/P.1216 projects, destined to replace the Harrier, was scrapped in 1988. The 1st Yak-141 prototype flew in 1987, how surprising...

" If we had the budget, we could put all the the F-35's sensors and systems into the F-15, F-22, F-16 and yes even the A-10. Heck, we could even install the systems on the B1, and B2."
=> The little problem is that these sensors are far to work great, see DOT&E report! With an IRST not better than a 1971 YOV-10D, you know...

"the aircraft becomes a very expensive form of AWACS."
=> Only on advertisings... And... Who says radar during a combat mission, has for an answer "anti-radiation missile"...

" As far as European countries purchasing the F-35. Its a good move but again"
=> SURELY NOT! First we already do better! And the worst issue is the ALIS logistics system that would ALLOW WASHINGTON TO COMPLETELY GROUND THE EUROPEAN F-35 AT WILL, LEAVING ALL THOSE WHO BOUGHT THESE FLYING ANVILS AT THE MERCY OF A FOREIGN POWER! THIS CAN'T BE TOLERATED!
NONETHELESS, F-35 will need either Rafale or Typhoon as an escort and if you've got a Rafale, F-35 is useless!
Now, even F-35B can be scraped i.e. for the Brits or other with small VSTOL aircraft carriers : Rafale was tested STOBAR-OK in 2012. Brit carriers were conceived by French DCNS with modular capability so being able to be made STOLV, STOBAR or CATOBAR. Moreover, if the former engines limited the payload to 5400kg in STOBAR config, the new ones allow to take off fully loaded. The cost to add an angled deck to Cavour or Juan Carlos I will be much cheaper than buying F-35B for a much better aircraft in the end! Actually, Dassault could even consider resurecting the Bréguet 941 for 'em, maybe in a dual engine version or 4 engines in concentric contra-rotative propellers. These would end having smth like Hawkeye/Greyhound/Osprey available for much cheaper and with modern materials, payload should increase to 10-12t. the B.941 could take off in 185m and land in 120m from an airstrip as slow as 90km/h so substract the speed of the carrier...

"if the F-35 has to go up against large numbers of 4.5 gen russian aircraft."
=> If the Mig-35 has its IRST upgraded to the same the PAK/FA has, both F-35 and F-22 are screwed.

"The US has a $20,000,000,000,000 trillion dollar debt and is running $290,000,000,000 to $350,000,000,000 billion dollar trade deficits."
=> This you don't understand as USA also leases money! AND USA receives more interest from the money they lease than the interests of the debt! And it's 20 trillions and 350 billions ;)

on Feb 24, 2017

Your and Tommy's logic is perfect, it is time to end the waste of money on the military. Since you have clearly proven that every military acquisition is a failure, just shut it all down. You show that the weapons don't work, so what the point in having any weapons at all? Restore some P-51s and call it good. They worked in 1943, by your logic they will work perfectly well now because you don't believe any of these new fangled weapons are useful.

on Mar 7, 2017

Well, at least you've figured out what Tommy and his boss man Comrade Vlad Putin want us all to think. Just disarm boys, it's useless, resistance is futile.

Says the man running the worlds most effed up dysfunctional kleptocracy that isn't but a tiny shadow of the much larger but equally dysfunctional Soviet system that Putin used to serve in the KGB.

on Feb 24, 2017

I'm beginning to think that this is the big plan, jeanwiev. We just make a fighter that can't fly, can't fight, and is out of date before it goes into service... AND THEN - and then, the Europeans will have to stop relying on the supplement of US money to them (Through NATO), and help themselves and fully fund their own militarys. Then we'll build a better fighter. We have to wean the suckers somehow, right? What a masterful plan this is! (very tongue in cheek here)

on Feb 24, 2017

I agree. Scandinavians are very pragmatic. And Israel faces existential threats. They would not buy anyhing but the best possible option they can get their hands on.

on Feb 26, 2017

I totally agree with jeanwiev's comments albeit there is freedom of speech. This campaign has been overshot lacking common & technical sense make people in aerospace industry and aviation professionals look like idiots and insulting our intelligence.

on Feb 23, 2017

To summarize, Tommy, you're lying again. Every single thing you write is a lie.

on Feb 23, 2017

Your comments are spot on.
Amazon has a verified purchase tag to give added credence to opinion etc. Perhaps this forum should ask "were you ever in the aerospace business? If so, for how long, what did you achieve and at what level in a company did you work" before being allowed to post anything, let alone uninformed nonsense steeped in vitriol and hyerbole.
This magazine is a serious publications for aviation professionals.......the forum should be the place for equally serious discussion.

on Feb 23, 2017

Hear, hear, Mk6hunter!

Too many crackpots and idiots in these forums who know nothing about aerospace.

on Feb 23, 2017

mk6hunter

Great idea - how would you implement it and how would you verify what people say about themselves?

Then, when you had the correct information, how would you decide who can comment on what?

Unfortunately, the daily F-35 article has become click bait for AvWeek and there's a lot more signal than noise in the comments (and even the articles).

on Feb 24, 2017

"...decide who can comment on what"

START WITH simply restricting *all* comments to paid AW&ST subscribers!
I suppose Penton is data mining from those "free registrations", but it sure as hell is insulting and annoying to us loyal subscribers (in my case decades).

AAAS is doing the same "open to the public" letters on Science online, and it about has me ready to resign my membership.

"Your free registration will also allow you to comment on any article posted "

on Feb 24, 2017

mk6hunter - perhaps we will have a lot of father and son combos that will answer - I (we) worked on the F-35. After all it's development program is beginning to go trans-generational now!

on Feb 23, 2017

Well said Tommy. The F-35 is O er priced and not a great plane for mission. Lockheed has made billions off this program that has been poorly run, billions over budget and years behind schedule.

on Feb 23, 2017

Wow, "cant fly"... you must have some super-secret information the rest of the World has not been told... oddly I saw one fly just yesterday. I guess they must have grounded them since then huh?

on Feb 24, 2017

Well , 15-to-1 kill ratio is not bad at all, unless the USAF is outright lying about everything. F 35 seems to perform better and better evereyday. It's flight envelope is being increased incrementally.

theaviationist.com/2017/02/05/f-35s-kill-ratio-with-aggressors-stands-at-151-during-red-flag-17-1-most-probably-thanks-to-the-supporting-f-22/

on Feb 24, 2017

You have been listening to the wrong people. It integrates perfectly with older US aircraft and at red flag 2017 while being flown by rookies it had a 145-7 record against enemy aircraft in 4G planes flown by experienced pilots. The F35 also had 0 losses against sam missiles which in previous red flags had 100% success against 4G aircraft.

So get your facts right before making noise.

on Feb 27, 2017

I agree. Start the F-22 line back up for air superiority, and upgrade lesser airframes with avionics or start production again of F/A-18, F-16, A-10, F-15. Nobody has beat these fighters yet. Why reinvent the wheel every time? More bang for your buck with existing designs.

on Feb 23, 2017

The Daily F-35 Bash!

This seems little but a sluggish, rambling, audio reprise of yesterday's bash.

Why is this new propaganda campaign being done? After years of "F-35 Walks on Water and Saves Souls" why the shift in coverage to rapid fire negative?

The software development of the F-35 is lagging. What is new?

If you want an aircraft on time, at cost and to specification do not contract with Lockheed-Martin, or allow the USAF to manage the program. USAF/Lockheed botched the F-22 and LM was given the F-35 contract anyhow. What would any sane person think was going to happen?

Tomorrow in Aviation Week & F-35 Bash: "F-35 Incapable of Space Flight; necessary software not available until Block 6.66!"

The day after tomorrow? "Rump twitters buy of Boeing F8B fighters, jets are losers bigly! We need props."

Then the podcast of a speaker phone intercept, revealing smacking noises, followed by the sound Boeing CEO rising from his knees, chanting reverential praises.

on Feb 23, 2017

Are you really that dumb? Who is this Rump you speak of? With that kind thinking the liberals in this country will have us back in the stone age faster than you can say HRC.

on Feb 23, 2017

You know, I am not a professional in the aviation/engineering field. However I have been reading this magazine for years, including in it's previous format as Space & Technology. I can't speak to the technical aspects of the conversations much but I can say that many others, besides all you professionals, have an interest in the topics covered here. Furthermore, we also pay a LOT of tax money that goes to your industry. So get off your "high horse" when people question how OUR money is being spent. Both LIBERALS and CONSERVATIVES are concerned about value for money.

on Feb 23, 2017

I was in Naval Aviation when the Military decided to pass on the F-20, even though it clearly surpassed the others it was pitted against. The main reason seemed to be that it was developed by Northrup without a Pentagon Sponsor, and was deemed too good to allow it to be sold to ANY foreign Government. Northrup lost a lot of money and prestige on the plane. That seems to have been a message to the Industry, don't offer us anything we haven't written a major RFQ for.

on Feb 24, 2017

And guess what happened abut the sales of F-16 while well, when F-16 ended to fight Mirage-2000 and F-16 was downed...
The F-104 was forced on NATO over Mirage, when they served in Vietnam, they were proved absolutely irrelevant and where sent packing.
F-4 didn't performed that great against the Migs. When Mirage III faced Arab Migs, Migs fell en masse from the sky, thus F-104 was advertised as THE best aircraft on Earth ;)

on Feb 24, 2017

What a strange take on history...

on Feb 23, 2017

and here we go again. quite frankly I think I'll put my faith in the 200+ pilots and the aircrew who have recently done red flag 17 over seat warmers on a magazine

on Feb 23, 2017

Then I wouldn't put any faith in what you have to say.

The F-35 is so highly politicized that any officer given the privilege to sit in the cockpit is going to know that it would be career suicide to say anything negative about the jet.

"So Capt. Rogers, you don't feel the F-35 is a capable warplane? Well, you'll be happy to know that you'll now be flying these Dewitt F-47B combat administration centres - these desks, I mean combat administration centres, have been supporting officers such as yourself in peacetime, training and war since 1943."

on Feb 27, 2017

So, your view is that Captain Rogers would prefer to fly a crappy aircraft into combat and die, rather than risk losing a promotion?

Why doesn't Captain Rogers transfer to another aircraft? Why would anyone choose to fly the F-35? Is every F-35 pilot trying to transfer to a different aircraft?

What about the hundreds of pilots -- some of 'em F-35 pilots -- who leave the Air Force each year? Why don't they speak up for the nation defense?

How about the 12-15 foreign militaries that are buying or considering buying the F-35? Why don't their pilots report that it is crappy? Why don't their generals say "no?"

This must be truly massive conspiracy among thousands of pilots and ground personal to protect LM.

on Feb 23, 2017

The time and money it takes to get one of our "state of the art" fighters in the air is ridiculous. It is going to bite us in the ass if we can't produce a advanced fighter jet faster.
Just saying..

on Feb 23, 2017

State of the art? Most of the tech in the aircraft is already dated, before it's even flown one mission in anger.

on Feb 23, 2017

FALSE AGAIN! The very reason for the program delays and cost overruns you trolls spew off about are because the aircraft is being developed using "concurrent Engineering". All technology, radar, stealth and sensors and state of the art and fresh. Once again you prove you are a lying troll.

on Feb 24, 2017

Yak-141 already flew in 1987 and had Lockheed stuck to the Yak-43 blue prints, the aircraft would be working well with fly characteristics similar to F-15 for 10-15 year...

on Feb 24, 2017

Again with the fantasies.

on Feb 23, 2017

As the late, great senator Everett Dirksen from Illinois said back in the '60s......."A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking real money."

on Feb 23, 2017

Senator DIrksens own staff has done extensive research, and have not found any attribution; he once told a constituent "Oh, I never said that. A newspaper fella misquoted me once, and I thought it sounded so good that I never bothered to deny it."

on Feb 23, 2017

As an avid fan of the great Ev Dirksen in the 1960s I have to equivocate.

He claimed he did say "a billion here a billion there." He claimed the pretty soon it adds up to real money" was added by a reporter. It was so agreeable he never denied it.

Ev had a great sense of humor and loquacious speaking style which masked a shrewd political ability which was a match for Lyndon Johnson at the height of his power.

Lyndon gets credit for passing what most Republicans had stood for since the Civil war, the civil rights act and the voting rights act; but Lyndon could not have passed them without the votes Dirksen delivered. Dirksen took such care to distribute the votes across Republican senators that none were estranged from defecting southern democrats or populist and reactionary Republicans.

The fortunes of the Republican party were never as foreboding during my lifetime than after the 1964 elections, yet Ev Dirksen and Jerry Ford, were far more capable and productive for the party than the purported "leadership" of the feeble McConnel and maladroit Ryan.

on Feb 23, 2017

Block 3F needs to be fully flown and air craft modified to complete all the missions this block offers. Full funding on time is critical to meet timelines. Retrofit is expensive at depot level. This is not an open software to easily add capability! Total reload is required.

on Feb 23, 2017

No, it's not full funding that is critical to meeting timelines. What's needed is capable managers, engineers and technicians. Most of all, congressmen with the stomach to say enough is enough when required and terminate programs for lack of performance or achievement.

on Feb 23, 2017

I actually somewhat agree with tommy naysayer on this one. Full funding is only useful if the funds are being well spent, on wise objectives. That said, the time to cancel the f35 program was about 6 years ago. The lrip structure rather than testbeds and full production was pretty stupid as far as i can tell. There is such a thing as getting a program near to completion and then canceling it after having spent all the money on development but gotten no true benefit from that sunk cost. That is the point we are at now. The f35, from all the reports I have read, is late, isnt quite as capable in some areas due to that lateness and b version design compromises, but because of its other advances is still 90 percent of the plane we want. Based on real exercises like red flag that train our servicemen in their use and help them develop tactics that will allow them to win wars with them, the f35 has done well even if you dig into the reports and ignore the glaring 17-1 k-d ratios on the headlines. They provide many capabilities for our forces that we didnt have before, despite them not being the silver bullet they are sometimes billed as.

on Feb 23, 2017

Tommy what do you do for a living? Whatever it is I'm willing to bet if there were idiots calling for it to be shutdown over outside views of performance you would not be there screaming it with them.

on Feb 23, 2017

George Soros pays him 50 cents a post.

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