Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The F-35 Still Grounded

The decision to ground all F-35 fighters at the Luke Air Force Base in Arizona was extended indefinitely, as special teams of experts struggled to figure out what caused multiple incidents of pilots reporting oxygen deprivation.

How many years and how many billions have been poured into this fiasco?
The decision affects only the 55 jets assigned to Luke, the Air Force’s principal training site for F-35 pilots, as well as for pilots and maintenance crews from Australia, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Norway.

F-35 squadrons at Hill AFB in Utah, Eglin AFB in Florida, Edwards AFB in California and Nellis AFB in Nevada are still flying, according to the Air Force.


Touted as the fifth-generation fighter jet with a modular design, the F-35 comes in three variants. The F-35A is the Air Force model, designed for conventional runways and declared combat-ready in August 2016.

The US Marine Corps variant, F-35B, was the first to be declared operationally capable. Lockheed is still working on the F-35C, intended to operate from US Navy carriers.

Over 220 operational F-35s have been built and delivered to US and allied militaries. The planes have collectively flown more than 95,000 flying hours, according to Reuters, but the plane has not yet seen combat.

Critics of the jet have pointed to its astronomical price tag and unsatisfactory performance compared to dedicated older aircraft models, which the Pentagon aims to retire once all F-35 versions become fully operational.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

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