|Look, It's a Turkey - Sitting in Front of a Turkey|
The way things are going, the F-35 may save Canada from getting F-35'd. Every couple of weeks I Google F-35 to harvest the latest litany of gaffes, setbacks and blunders surrounding Lockheed's vaunted Joint Strike Fighter.
The U.S. is watching potential foreign orders turn all wobbly. The Pentagon is counting on those sales to keep its own unit costs for the F-35 in some manageable range. Already the Pentagon has cut the number of F-35s it'll buy but that was in order to keep the overall cost from bursting through projected costs. In other words, it will buy fewer airframes but at greater unit cost - standard Pentagon sleight of hand.
So, how desperate is the Pentagon to flog the F-35 overseas? Plenty desperate as India recently discovered. The US offered the fighter to the Indian Air Force. The offer was said to reflect America's new defence partnership with India. But, when Indian authorities looked into what was behind the unsolicited American offer they discovered the real reason was panic over collapsing overseas sales. The Pentagon wanted Indian orders to bolster the programme.
"...the analysts' "discovery" is that the US has desperately sought Indian participation in the JSF's development as the program faces unaffordable rising costs, with a price tag estimated at $150 million per aircraft. In sum, the JSF has become a white elephant and, hopefully, cross breeding it with the Indian black elephant might just about make its uncertain progeny probably airworthy as a beast of burden.
"The tragi-comic episode exposes an aspect of the US-India "partnership" hardly glimpsed by Indian pundits, namely, the desperate need for the US to conjure up an ideology-driven relationship that enables it in real terms to boost its exports to the Indian markets - the latter being one of the few world markets today enjoying growth prospects of around 7-8% in its gross domestic product (GDP)."
Meanwhile The Guardian reports that the US Marine Corps, scheduled to be a big buyer of the F-35, has inked a deal to acquire all of Britain's now mothballed, second generation Harrier jump jets.