03:19 GMT +325 June 2017
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    While the delays, malfunctions and costs of the F-35 fighter jet pile higher and higher, the main contractors for the notoriously over-budget and overdue program threw record amounts of money towards politicians in 2014.

    After Shocking Failures, F-35 Could be Long Gone by New Defense Chief

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    The world’s most advanced and expensive multi-role fighter program could come short of the US Department of Defense (DOD) and Pentagon hopes, as years of weak development saw cost overruns and perpetual delays.

    Problems with design and computer systems made the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program even more frustrating; for thirteen years Pentagon has defended its position on the F-35, but it looks like now could be the right time to shift priorities.

    Let's look the truth in the eye:  the overall cost of developing and purchasing the jets amounts to $400 billion while operating and maintenance costs are skyrocketing upwards of $1.5 trillion. And why have we not seen any positive outcomes yet?

    The Lockheed-Martin F-35 was billed as the US Department of Defense's "focal point for defining affordable next generation strike aircraft weapon systems for the Navy, Air Force, Marines, and our allies."

    Moreover,the most expensive weapon in history lost to a 1970s-designed F-16 during a mock aerial dogfight last January.

    The Pentagon claimed that they would need exactly 2,443 combat F-35s, plus 14 development aircraft, to restrain and battle with potential military rivals like China. The question asks itself: the US, country with alternate number enemies from without, which sees threats lurking in almost from every corner, shouldn't it reconsider the role F-35 plays in its defense?

    Marine Corps commandant General Joseph F. Dunford, the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff nominee, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the F-35 development and purchasing plan is under review.

    "Until the analysis is complete, we need to pursue the current scheduled quantity (2,443 aircraft) buy to preclude creating an overall near-term tactical fighter shortfall," said Dunford.

    "The jet fighter lacks the sensors, weapons and speed that allow a warplane to reliably detect and shoot down other planes in combat. At least not compared to modern Chinese- and Russian-made jets - the planes the F-35 is most likely to face in battle in some future war," said War is Boring report.

    Recently the Australian military canceled plans to purchase the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter landing aircraft.

    The United Kingdom's former defense chief, Nick Harvey, criticized the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, saying "You could argue it was already one of the biggest white elephants in history a long time ago."

    US military and intelligence officials expressed concern over Russia's PAK-FA fighter jet noting "It has greater agility with its combination of thrust vectoring, all moving tail surfaces, and excellent aerodynamic design, than does the F-35."

    Related:

    Up and Away! F-35 Performs Ski Jump Launch
    Lockheed Martin Awarded $1Bln to Build F-35 Jets for Production Testing
    F-35 Jet, New Destroyer Evaluation Disputes Cost US Hundreds of Millions
    Finally Ready to Fly? Beleaguered F-35 May Make Its Debut This Summer
    Tags:
    US Department of Defense (DoD), F-35 II Joint Strike Fighter Program, military, defense, F-35 fighter jet, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pentagon, United States
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