I've said for several years that the F-35 Lightning II aircraft program is nothing more or less than a boondoggle, and should be terminated at once. Here are some of my previous articles about it.
Now the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) has produced one of the most sweeping condemnations of the program I've ever read. Its introduction reads:
Inside-the-Beltway wisdom holds that the $1.4 trillion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program is too big to cancel and on the road to recovery. But the latest report from the Defense Department’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) provides a litany of reasons that conventional wisdom should be considered politically driven propaganda. The press has already reported flawed software that hinders the ability of the plane to employ weapons, communicate information, and detect threats; maintenance problems so severe that the F-35 has an “overdependence” on contractor maintainers and “unacceptable workarounds” (behind paywall) and is only able to fly twice a week; and a high-rate, premature production schedule that ignores whether the program has demonstrated essential combat capabilities or proven it’s safe to fly. All of these problems are increasing costs and risks to the program. Yet rather than slow down production to focus resources on fixing these critical problems, Congress used the year-end continuing resolution omnibus appropriations bill—termed the “cromnibus”—to add 4 additional planes to the 34 Department of Defense (DoD) budgeted for Fiscal Year 2015. The original FY2016 plan significantly increased the buy to 55, and now the program office is further accelerating its purchase of these troubled planes to buy 57 instead.
At some point, the inherent flaws and escalating costs of a program become so great that even a system with massive political buy-in reaches a tipping point. The problems described in the DOT&E report show that the F-35 has reached a stage where it is now obvious that the never-ending stream of partial fixes, software patches, and ad hoc workarounds are inadequate to deliver combat-worthy, survivable, and readily employable aircraft. This year’s DOT&E report also demonstrates that in an effort to maintain the political momentum of the F-35, its program office is not beneath misrepresenting critically important characteristics of the system.
In sum, the old problems are not going away, new issues are arising, and some problems may be getting worse.
There's much more at the link.
The F-35 program is the biggest boondoggle I've ever heard of. It's long gone time it was axed. Unfortunately, our spineless politicians have been bought off with jobs at companies in their district (Lockheed Martin has taken great care to spread the work on the project through as many congressional districts as possible). The 'fix' is in, and we, the taxpayers of America, are the ones who are being shafted. Is there no-one who'll stand up and call this turkey what it really is, and kill it before it's too late?