August 5, 2016

PROCUREMENT: Operational Assessment of the F-35A.

It’s late and it cost too much, but it’s finally getting there:

The F-35A Lightning II’s sensors, stealth, and overall capability have been defended by the government and industry, while pundits and politicians have concentrated on developmental issues, cost overruns, and maneuverability limitations. The F-35A is a generational leap beyond other multirole fighters, and thanks to concurrent development, its technology will be the freshest ever fielded. Its performance in an air-to-surface (attack) mode has been well accepted, but many have questioned the Lightning II’s performance in aerial combat. Only the pilots who have flown the fighter actually know how well the Air Force version of the F-35 can perform, and the 31 who were surveyed for this paper expressed a high degree of confidence in this extraordinary fighter.

My father-in-law flew F-4s over Vietnam and F-16s over Europe and the Middle East says there’s “no question” which plane he’d prefer to fly today.

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