This morning just before 9a.m., the president-elect lashed out at the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program on Twitter, promising to change the game after he enters office.
Trump did not clearly state what he planned to do after he becomes president, the tweet sent ripples across the defense community and had an immediate impact on the stock market value of Lockheed Martin Corp., the manufacturer of the F-35.
Within hours of the tweet, the company’s stock had dropped more than 4 percent, multiple outlets reported, for a loss in value of more than $4 billion so far.
The F-35 program and cost is out of control. Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2016
In 2015, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James had admitted to a wide range of past and present problems with the F-35 while maintaining that the fifth-general will eventually guarantee the U.S. continued air supremacy over rivals.
* Report says F35 is visible to enemy sensors which is a big problem for a stealth fighter
* This visible problem is combined with admitted fighting problems
* Software and cost problems remain unresolved
In 2016, there was a 16 page defense department memo states that the F35 is not combat ready and is not on track for combat readiness. It was a memo for the undersecretary of the department of defense and was issued from the Pentagon’s top testing official. It based largely upon the Air Force’s own test data and showed that the declarations of combat readiness were wildly premature.
– F35 is NOT effective for missions and currently fielded threats
– F-35s are flying only one sortie every five days
– software is crashing in general under 8 hours of flight time
– cannot properly track and accurately shoot targets
– limited numbers of weapons
– high fuel burn rate, so has short duration time for missions
– sensor fusion problems can cause pilots to see double and see false objects
The Air Force and the Joint Program Office want to ramp up production and simultaneously slow-rolling future testing of the F-35. Gilmore reports that “plans and support for preparing for adequate IOT and E have stagnated.” The US will buy more planes and not put the resources, time or money to make them fully combat ready.
The F-35 program has derailed to the point where it “is actually not on a path toward success, but instead on a path toward failing to deliver the full Block 3F capabilities for which the Department is paying almost $400 billion.”
Trump’s tweet on the F-35 comes six days after he targeted defense giant Boeing in a tweet about costs for Air Force One, the president’s private plane.
Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2016
Lockheed Martin officials have said they plan to respond to Trump’s tweet about the F-35 later today.
Simulation show the Swedish Gripen E fighter shooting down the best Russian Su-35 fighter at almost the same rate that the F-22 does. The Gripen E is estimated to be able to shoot down 1.6 Su-35s for every Gripen E lost, the F-22 is slightly better at 2.0 Su-35s shot down per F-22 lost. In turn the Su-35 is better than the F-35, shooting down 2.4 F-35s for each Su-35 shot down. The Su-35 slaughters the F-18 Super Hornet at the rate of eight to one,
Turning, and carrying a gun, remains as important as it has ever been. Most missiles miss in combat and the fighter aircraft will go on to the merge. Assuming that pilot skill is equal, a 2° per second advantage in sustained turn rate will enable the more agile fighter to dominate the engagement. A high instantaneous turn rate is vital in being able to dodge the air-to-air missiles in the first place. The aircraft on the upper right quadrant of the graph will have a higher survival rate. The ones on the lower left quadrant will produce more widows.
The Gripen E has a U.S.-made engine, the GE F414, which is also the engine of the F-18 Super Hornet. The Swedish Air Force is buying its Gripen Es for $43 million per copy, less than one third of the price of the F-35. Its operating cost per hour is less than a tenth of that of the F-35’s.
It is designed to carry more weapons further, and to track multiple threats using the latest type of radar.
Weapons include guided glide bombs, long-range air-to-air missiles and heavy anti-ship armaments.
It also has a 27 mm Mauser BK27 gun, which can be used in air-to-surface attacks against land and sea targets.
Like others in the range, the Gripen E has a delta wing and fly-by-wire flight avionics.
The aircraft’s sensors include an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST), Electronic Warfare (EW) suite and data link technology.