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$400 Billion Turkey Won’t Fly

Written by Gary North on March 16, 2015

Turkeys don’t fly. Neither does the F-35.

This boondoggle is great for the military-industrial complex, but bad for taxpayers.

Which nation’s air force is in a position to challenge existing American planes? None.

Which nation is developing fighter jets and the aircraft carriers required to deliver them? The Pentagon never says.

What is the strategic function militarily of a jet in the age of unstoppable ICBM’s and cheap biological weapons?

Is ISIS in a position to counter existing American jets?  With what?

Nevertheless, we get this. . . .

The Pentagon’s embattled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter continues to be plagued with so many problems that it can’t even pass the most basic requirements needed to fly in combat, despite soaring roughly $170 billion over budget. 

As the most expensive weapons program in the Pentagon’s history, the $400 billion and counting F-35 is supposed to be unlike any other fighter jet—with high-tech computer capabilities that can identify a combatant plane at warp speed. However, major design flaws and test failures have placed the program under serious scrutiny for years—with auditors constantly questioning whether the jet will ever actually get off the ground, no matter how much money is thrown at it.

Last year, military officials faulted contractors for all of the mistakes. Contractors claimed they had corrected the issues and that there wouldn’t be more costly problems down the road. 

During an interview on 60 MinutesAir Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, who is in charge of the program, said, “Long gone is the time when we will continue to pay for mistake after mistake after mistakeLockheed Martin doesn’t get paid their profit unless each and every airplane meets each station on time with the right quality.” 

However, a new progress report from the Defense Department casts serious doubts on the progress of the program. 

The DOD’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation cites everything from computer system malfunctions to flaws with its basic design—it even found that the jet is vulnerable to engine fires because of the way it’s built. 

A separate report from Military.com unearthed another embarrassing issue with the jet that suggests it won’t take off on time. 

The “precision-guided Small Diameter Bomb II doesn’t even fit on the Marine’s version of the jet,” according to Military.com. On top of that, the software needed to operate the top close-air support bomb won’t even be operational until 2022, inspectors said.

The Defense Department’s report also suggested that the program’s office isn’t accurately recording the jet’s problems. 

(To read even more, click the link.)

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