There are voices in the U.S. Airforce’s top echelons telling a story of fading glory for the F35 platform that was supposed to replace the hundreds of the aging F16 platform that is too old to upgrade with all the latest technology.
The F35 platform cost is about $100M a piece and generally considered prohibitively costly, adding very high maintenance costs and frequency on top of that. It’s out of reach for most budget-conscious national airforces.
Lockheed Martin and the U.S. airforce have spent over 20 years of research and development on the project at a considerable cost for both parties.
Could the U.S.’s hard sell of the platform be based on the simple fact that they need to recoup the costs while looking for better alternatives, leaving their partner nations stuck with an elephant in their budgets?
Reading articles such as “The U.S. Air Force Just Admitted The F-35 Stealth Fighter Has Failed” — by Forbes sure gives that impression.
Most nations’ airforces need a new 5th gen light fighter platform, and there are quite a few alternatives out there that will suit the price-performance target a lot better than the F35 platform.
Time to look elsewhere.