The Shambolic F-35 Will Cost the Empire $1.5 Trillion and That’s a Good Thing
The Empire probably can't reform itself but maybe it can bankrupt itself — the heroic F-35 is sure doing its part
“The F-35 wouldn’t just be shared across the branches of the U.S. military,” wrote Popular Mechanics in July. “It was to be shared around the world. A coalition of ‘partner nations’ would not only fly and produce the aircraft but support it worldwide.” Allied nations – excuse me, customers – lined up to be a part of the bold new future represented by Lockheed Martin’s newest and stealthiest brainchild.
It did not take long for a series of fantastically pricey problems to pile up. The production plan had the planes being built before all the highly technical, often brand-new systems had been tested. When these began failing, fixing them in aircraft that had already come off the production line rapidly turned the program into a financial sinkhole.
The eight million lines of code that make up the software controlling vital elements like the aft tails, electronic warfare systems and flight control were bursting with bugs and subject to malicious hacks. The helmets were too big. The ejection seats didn’t work. The four-piece wings met with assembly difficulties and the supporting bulkheads suffered from structural fatigue. The plane itself was 2,000 pounds too heavy.
Perhaps most significantly, the F-35 was deadly — and not just for the so-called “enemy.” According to the Pentagon’s lead weapons tester in 2016, the F-35 suffered from a litany of software and structural issues that “may cause death, severe injury, or severe occupational illness,” among other problems. All in all, the tester found more than 90 different ways the aircraft would be unable to complete its missions.