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Report Argues That The F-35 Is Totally Inferior To Foreign Fighters

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Jonah Bennett Contributor

A new report released by the National Security Network argues that the F-35 is ultimately inferior relative to foreign fighters and even older aircraft models in the U.S. arsenal.

As the most expensive weapons program in Pentagon history, at an estimated cost of $1.4 trillion, the F-35 has attracted a significant amount of both praise and negative attention. Gen. Joseph Dunford recently stated that while he’ll consider reviewing the total number of F-35s that the DOD is planning to purchase, the overall program will be left intact, dimming the hopes of some critics who think that the program should be scrapped.

But the evidence against the F-35 continues to pile up. This latest report by researchers Bill French and Daniel Edgren finds that the aircraft is lacking in terms of maneuverability, payload range and stealth, meaning that the “the F-35 is more likely to find itself outmaneuvered, outgunned, out of range, and visible to enemy sensors in contingencies against near-pear militaries.”

The F-35, according to French, fails to match the Russian aircraft MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker. First, the F-35 is inferior on wing loading. Second, it features lower maximum speeds. In a simulation conducted by the RAND Corporation, more than two F-35s were downed for every Chinese-made Su-35 taken out.

“To perform against near-peer adversaries, the F-35 will have to be capable of executing a range of missions, from defeating enemy aircraft to penetrating enemy air defenses to strike surface targets,” French argued in the report.

“But the F-35 will struggle to effectively perform these missions due to shortcomings in its design and program requirements, despite costing between three and nine times more than the 4th -generation aircraft it is designed to replace.”

Aside from foreign aircraft is the classic comparison between the F-35 and the A-10. The authors point out that the A-10 will always be superior to the F-35 in terms of close air support. A recently leaked memo from a test pilot found that the F-35 lost out against the older F-16 model in a dogfighting scenario, where it was painfully obvious that the F-35 did not deliver on aerodynamic performance.

After 14 years of development and a series of rigorous tests to assess readiness, the F-35B, the version of the F-35 designed specifically for the Marine Corps, finally reached combat status a couple of weeks ago, receiving praise from observers and the Department of Defense. But critics have pointed out that the first squadron technically won’t deploy to Iwakuni, Japan, until 2017. (RELATED: F-35B Is Now Combat Ready For Marine Corps)

For other variants of the aircraft, defense contractor Lockheed Martin is still trying to iron out software defects.

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