F-35: Crash was Inevitable

The F-35 does not work and is far from working,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, June 7, 2016

On its way to elusive military superiority, the U.S. has squandered trillions on shoddy weapons.

But thanks to the Pentagon’s vast coverup machinery, corruption of our Sonderführers, strong narrative control via highly skilled PR people, a hopelessly lazy electorate and a supine Congress, the incompetence of America’s Military-Industrial Complex has not been adequately exposed to average Joes and Janes, who in their blissful ignorance, are still proud of the U.S. military.

F-35 FighterF-35 Fighter Jet – Controversial

Let me give you one example of monumental incompetence of the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex.

America will spend nearly $400 billion to develop and add the long-delayed F-35 fighter jets to its defense fleet (costs are double the original estimate).

An additional $1 trillion in operational expenses over the life of these aircraft takes the F-35 project’s total cost to $1.4 trillion.

Each plane costs $112 million, or, maybe, more if you factor in the padding and inevitable cost escalation of defense projects.

F-35: First of Many Crashes?

The F-35 project has been nothing but a litany of problems from the get-go.

A F-35B fighter jet crashed while flying over South Carolina on September 28, 2018.[1]

Details behind the crash are still hush-hush but I suspect it will be the first of many crashes of this shoddy fighter jet.

Before that there was talk of engine problems and the entire fleet has been grounded three times over a 17-month period.

In March 2016, software problems were affecting the F-35’s radar stability. Apparently, the shoddy software is causing the radar to degrade or fail forcing the pilot to restart the radar.[2]

“The F-35 does not work and is far from working,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a parliamentary debate on June 7, 2016.

Canada canceled plans to buy 65 F-35 jets prompting a warning from manufacturer Lockheed Martin to move those jobs elsewhere.[3]

In more bad news for the F-35, problems have cropped up with pilot ejection seats that could break the neck of pilots weighing under 136 pounds. In July 2016, the U.S. Air Force was considering certifying an alternate supplier for the ejection seat (the new seat is United Technologies’ ACE 5 design).[4]

Also, the crucial Block-3F software for the F-35 is far from being ready.

The U.S. military is just playing dangerously stupid games (it watered down requirements for the plane) by declaring the F-35 ready for operational combat although it really is not. It will be several years before these suckers will be “really” ready for deployment in a battlefield scenario.

Making a mockery of the F-35’s combat-readiness, the U.S. Air Force was forced to ground 15 F-35A jets in mid-September 2016 due to “peeling and crumbling” of the insulation inside the fuel tanks. The insulation issues affected 57 F-35 jets in all including 42 in production. Lockheed Martin blamed a sub-contractor for the problem.[5]

F-35: In Flames

On September 23, 2016, an F-35 jet caught fire at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho before takeoff.

This was the second occasion an F-35 went up in flames. The earlier incident happened in 2014.

In December 2016, the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation Michael Gilmore mentioned 276 deficiencies in the F-35’s combat performance as “critical to correct.” In a response to Senator John McCain’s questions on the F-35, Gilmore wrote, “Deficiencies continue to be discovered at a rate of about 20 per month, and many more will undoubtedly be discovered before and during IOT&E [Initial Operational Test and Evaluation].[6]

Even with the highly risky, truncated testing schedule of the F-35, Gilmore does not expect the joint strike fighter to have full combat capability until late 2018 or early 2019.

Given its many crippling defects and the incompetence of its developers, I do not expect the F-35 to be fully combat ready before 2022.

Despite its several serious problems, the F-35 still enjoys plenty of political support because the crappy fighter jet project employs 133,000 Sonderkommandos in the U.S.

Following strong criticism from Donald Trump about the F-35 project’s cost, on January 27, 2017, new Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered a review of the joint strike fighter to identify opportunities to significantly lower its cost.

Mattis also ordered a study to examine whether the non-stealth F/A-18 Super Hornet could be upgraded as a less-costly version of the F-35C (Navy version of F-35).

F-35: New Problems

OMG, the problems with the F-35 are never-ending.

In mid-2017, the U.S. Air Force grounded 55 F-35A Lightning II fighter jets at the Luke Air Force Base in Arizona because pilots were experiencing oxygen deprivation while operating the aircraft.[7]

At least five F-35 pilots are known to have reported to their superiors that they experienced hypoxia-like symptoms. Fortunately for these pilots, the backup oxygen system worked and they were able to land these suckers.

It seems cancellation of the F-35 flights impacts 49 pilots who were training to operate the problems-plagued fighter jet.

“The 56th Fighter Wing will continue their pause in local F-35A flying to coordinate analysis and communication between pilots, maintainers, medical professionals and a team of military and industry experts. This coordination will include technical analysis of the physiological incidents to date and discussions on possible risk mitigation options to enable a return to flying operations,” the U.S. Air Force said in a statement on June 12, 2017.

Karma Gospel Notes

[1] First F-35 fighter jet crash: Mystery fault forces pilot to eject over South Carolina, by Chiara Giordano, The Independent, September 29, 2018
[2] F-35 Radar System has Bug That Requires Hard Reboot in Fight, by Sean Gallagher, ArsTechnica, March 10, 2016; The F-35: Still Failing to Impress, by Dan Grazier & Mandy Smithberger, Project On Government Oversight, March 7, 2016; F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program, U.S. Senate hearing before Committee on Armed Services, Washington D.C., April 26, 2016
[3] For Canada scrapping F-35 purchase, read No Done Deals: F-35 Picks Up Buyers, But Global Dominance is Elusive, Defense News, July 11, 2016; F-35’s Rejection Would Cost Canada 10,000 Jobs, Lockheed Martin Warns, by Daniel Tencer, Huffington Post, July 11, 2016; Lockheed Goes on the Offensive in Canada’s F-35 Debate, Defense News, June 15, 2016
[4] Martin-Baker, JPO Push Back at F-35 Ejection Seat Concerns, by Aaron Mehta, Defense News, July 5, 2016
[5] Air Force Grounds 15 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters Because of ‘Peeling and Crumbling’ Insulation, by Christian Davenport, Washington Post, September 16, 2016
[6] Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, FY 2016 Annual Report, December 2016 (Released to Congress on January 10, 2017), see section on F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
[7] Luke Air Force Base Extends Cancellation of F-35 Operations, by Valerie Insinna, Defense Times, June 12, 2017

For more examples of shoddy and wasteful expenditure (running into billions) at the U.S. Military, read the chapter on Monumental Incompetence in Karma Gospel – Soul of America (available on Amazon.com)

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