When you're looking to part with tens of billions of dollars for an aircraft you'll be relying on for thirty years in service, it's best to get something with some real shelf-life. And that's not the F35, joint strike fighter.
The F35 sacrifices everything that makes a great fighter - range, payload, agility - for a supposed huge advantage in stealth, that is to say, invisibility. Of course "stealth" is a relative term. Stealthy, compared to what? Stealthy, under what circumstances? Stealthy, for how long?
News Alert! America's brass have informed Congress they're "discouraged" to discover that their country's lead in stealth technology is "eroding more quickly than anticipated."
USAF general Herbert Carlisle warned, "Over time I believe we will still maintain an advantage, but I think our advantage will be a shorter period of time."
"I don't see us maintaining an advantage for as long, as I think other nations will continue to gain that technology," he said.
Another witness, USMC general Terry Robling said the answer to the Russian and Chinese stealth fighters now under development will be the next generation of American aircraft at the "next level."
It's beginning to sound that the F35 really isn't a long-term option. In fact it sounds like we're spending an enormous amount of money to acquire a paltry number of marginally performing aircraft that stands to be overtaken by superior technology fairly early in its projected service life. This is the sort of result you can expect when you're making your decisions ideologically.
Meanwhile, American warhawk, Senator John McCain, dismayed by latest figures on the skyrocketing costs to maintain the F35, suggests it's time for a rethink.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, "It seems to me [prudent that] we at least begin considering alternatives."
The reason some in the Senate want to start looking for alternatives is the report published last week showing the costs to maintain the F-35 through 2065 spiraling to $1 trillion.
...Procurement Chief Ashton Carter said, "Over the lifetime of this program, the decade or so, the per-aircraft cost of the 2,443 aircraft has doubled in real terms. That's what it's going to cost if we keep doing what we're doing. That's unacceptable. That's unaffordable."