Podcast: The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter may be the future, but is that a good thing?

July 28, 2015
Participants: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Joseph Trevithick

Nothing that’s made out of metal is sexier than a fighter jet. Rounded or angular, the shape is always sleek —¬†OK, not the F-117 Nighthawk, but the exception proves the rule. The F-4 Phantom, the F-14 Tomcat, the F-15 Eagle, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F-22 Raptor. Ferrari tries, but these are the real deal.

Now, the latest and most expensive is the F-35 Lightning II. It’s beautiful to look at and comes in three variants, including one that can take off and land vertically. It’s packed with technology, including a virtual-reality headset that allows pilots to “see” through the fuselage. Or at least it’s supposed to, when it’s ready.

But it’s not clear when the helmet will be ready, or when pilots will be able to use the onboard machine gun properly, or just how much each plane will cost when everything is said and done. The overall program is expected to cost at least $1 trillion. This week’s War College podcast examines the current state of the F-35 and its future.

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For more on this subject, check out:

Read for yourself – The F-35’s damning dogfighting report

Joint Program Office response to “War is Boring” blog

Pentagon’s big budget F-35 fighter ‘can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run’

9 comments

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Boondoggle. This plane has already cost more than the Panama Canal, Hoover Dam… and World War II.

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

A single Marine F-35B aircraft costs 248 million dollars. That’s literally worth more than its weight in gold. And its software is older than Windows Vista. The planes are not yet operable. Boeing says to make them operable…. they need more money.

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

Lockheed rather. Boeing is supplying the tankers is supplying the tankers in a separate contract, which these things can’t fly without :)

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

The F-35 is a huge toilet for US taxpayer money.

Posted by personne | Report as abusive

A stealth version of the Russian Yak-141 …

Posted by Macedonian | Report as abusive

I wonder every thing of US is unipolar,why this one is joint?! (I just read US(Without EU) put more sanctions on Russia/Ukraine)

Posted by gentalman | Report as abusive

Stealth version of the Russian Yak 141.

Posted by Macedonian | Report as abusive

F35 is modernized version of the Russian Yak 141.

Posted by Macedonian | Report as abusive

These guys have no credibility. Comparing an A-10 to an F-35 is bs.

Posted by Bookfan | Report as abusive