via Washington Post.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter,the $400 billion futuristic jet program that so many love tohate, found itself, once again, in the crosshairs this week whenWow!
a popular military blog published a report from a test pilot who
apparently found its performance less than stellar.
"Test pilot admits the F-35 can't dogfight," read the
headline in War is Boring. "New stealth fighter is dead meat in
air battle."By now, after years of media beating up the most expensive
weapons program in the history of the U.S. military, the
Pentagon's joint program office and Lockheed Martin, the prime
contractor, have well-oiled media response teams that are quick
to rush to the plane's defense. And they wasted no time as the
War is Boring report gained traction in military circles.
("Meet the most fascinating part of the F-35: the $400,000
In an e-mail to reporters Wednesday morning, they said the
report "did not tell the entire story" of the test dogfight
between an F-35 and an F-16 this year because the F-35 was not
equipped with many of the features that gives it an advantage.
But they did not dispute the authenticity of the pilot's remarks,
and said they were investigating how the report, marked "For
Official Use Only," was leaked.
The Pentagon did NOT dispute the authenticity of the report! Additionally, (and I blame idiot reporters that don't know shit about defense issues for this) no one confronted the SPIN MASTERS with information from that report. The F-16 was flying in "degraded" condition and still beat the shit out of the F-35! What systems will give the F-35 an advantage that they're hanging their hat on?
This program would be canceled in a sane universe.
But the really galling thing is that instead of working to fix the problems with the airplane (if they can be fixed...something I seriously doubt), the Pentagon instead throws down the gauntlet to public knowledge and shoots a shot across the bow of truth tellers.
They're gonna investigate the leak! A substandard airplane that is costing billions and they're more worried about a leak than the performance of the airplane.