ANALYST EXPOSES F-35 AS ‘DISASTROUS, COSTLY’ U.S. WARPLANE
Lucian K. Truscott has exposed the F-35 strategic jet program for the US Air Force, Navy and Marines as expensive at $100-million apiece and ran up expenses at $500 million thus far and may end up with a $2-trillion bill over the life of the plane “and yet it can’t be flow safely.”
Truscott made the trenchant comment in his February 27, 2021 (February 28, 2021, in Manila) essay for Salon, and said the plane spends more time in the hangar rather than in the sky, a testimony to the inefficient development of a warplane that was designed like a Swiss Army Knife that serves a variety of functions.
Unlike the F-16, which was developed in the mid-1970s and is considered an all-around killing machine, the F-35 is hardly a supersonic plane, with pilots cautioned to fly faster only for “emergency use,” and its missile arsenal is limited and can only be fired from the air.
Its touchscreen switches don’t work 20 percent of the time, its stealth coating peels off, allowing radars to detect the planes, the plane’s rotor blades also fall off, leaving 6 percent of the F-35 fleet parked on the tarmac at any given time, awaiting not just engine repairs, but total replacement.
Worse, the canopy through which pilots look and see enemy aircraft, "delaminate" at inappropriate times, making flying the things dangerous if not impossible.
The F-35s of the Marines had to shed off armaments to enable the plane to secure vertical takeoffs and landings on Marine vessels, all because the warplane had to, had a big flap under the engine to divert thrust, thus shunting off missiles.
For two years, Truscott added, the tail hooks of the US Navy F-35s failed to work, puzzling admirals and flight crews alike. He said all things considered, the F-16s, F-18s and F-22s are much better warplanes than the F-35, which some US Navy brass described as a “Ferrari” that you don’t use daily, or an admiral on sickbay 80 percent of the time.