The Joint Strike Fighter purchase: Someone must have been smoking one

By | | comments |

The Joint Strike Fighter is "flying dog meat", writes Sydney bureau chief and military buff Ross Jones, and anyone who goes near this lemon has rocks in their heads. 

Anyone who goes near the Joint Strike Fighter has rocks in their heads.

It’s the Liberals, I rest my case.

These things aren’t going to keep us safe from anybody. The word Joint in the JSF of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II means just that. Not single strike fighter — a joint strike fighter. It needs another aircraft to protect its lumbering airframe, packed to the gunwhales with 8 million code lines of stuff — too slow to turn and too slow to run.

Put these things up against a new Russian Sukhoi or a Chinese Chengdu J-20 Black Eagle without air cover and they’re toast.

It's like no-one recalls the Fokker Scourge of 1915.

And all that packing in of equipment fills its porcine airframe so there is absolutely no room for development; what you see is what you get for yonks.

Remember the Zero?

It cut allied aircraft to bits in the first few years of the war, especially the stupendously stupid Boomerang, manufactured by the Commonweath Aircraft Factory and completely outclassed from the off.

But the Americans designed and built improved aircraft, while the Japanese did not — under pressure as they were. As a consequence, the Zero became obsolete and was shown to be no more than the flying fuel tank with guns that it was.

The lesson is glaringly obvious. Why then, commit to something so inflexible?

The JSF program has been beset by delay after delay, by cost increase after cost increase. It has tied up the American aviation business and retarded the development of new aircraft capable of standing a chance against the best the Russians and the Chinese have to offer.

The F-22 Raptor, with which the JSF was originally designed to work in unison, was put out of production because of the JSF program’s muddled priorities. The F-22 was an air superiority fighter, the JSF is not and so is flying dog meat.

$12.4 billion on this lemon, while the budget axe falls. Co-payments, retire at 70, welfare to the poor — we all need to put our shoulder to the budget wheel to pay for this thing.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

Monthly Donation


Single Donation


Join Newsletter

Please fill the text in this image in the field below to assist us in eliminating spam

Recent articles by Ross Jones
Nazis, booze and politics don't mix

What is the connection between parliamentary booze and Nazis?  
Wagyu beef all the way as Gina fuels Ashby's election bid

The grift party might just have hit a rich new vein.  
Albo knows the price of yum cha in Marrickville

Sydney in early January is a pretty relaxed place, even for the Prime Minister.  
Join the conversation
comments powered by Disqus

Support Fearless Journalism

If you got something from this article, please consider making a one-off donation to support fearless journalism.

Single Donation


Support IAIndependent Australia

Subscribe to IA and investigate Australia today.

Close Subscribe Donate