December 15, 2016
A Bill Of Goods?
Lockheed Martin announces that they are working to get the cost of the F35 Lightning DOWN to 80 million per plane.
80 Million per plane?!
Lets look at that for a moment.
The F35 Lightning ll is the JSF or Joint Strike Fighter. This means that 3 branches of the US military, Air Force, Navy and Marines will be using this platform. However, the 3 branches are all expecting varying versions to suit their needs.
For example, the Air Force has no need for incredibly strong landing gear with a tail hook. The Marines need something that can land on a dime, and the Air Force wants air superiority.
What they all are sold on is stealth.
The F35 is billed as a stealth platform. This means that the Russian S300 and S400 anti-aircraft missile systems should be nullified, right?
Not so fast.
Look at this photo...what do you see?
This is a photo of Israels new F35. It is clean...meaning no external weapons. So in this configuration, its stealthy.
Look at this.
Notice the external hard points...not stealthy. So no external fuel tanks, missiles, bombs, targeting pods etc.
What CAN the F35 carry and still maintain its stealthy profile?
Yup. 100 million a copy, and it carries two internal bombs, and maybe a couple of missiles.
So when President Elect Trump came out and was critical of the F35 program, he got pushed back as it is "a large employer."
The military complex hasn't argued that the Lightning is a bad ass Sukoi buster, or its a tank killer, or will make the S400 obsolete...no their argument is that is a jobs program.
Do we need jobs? Absolutely
We also need our aging F16, Harrier and F/A18's to be replaced.
I sure hope that the brainy guys know what they are doing with this. I also think that Trump is right in calling out Lockheed Martin. We need to have our military contractors to held accountable for our monies spent.
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