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Thread by @MikeRoach3: "This is the U.S.'s Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the next generation of American fighter jets. It has been in development since 1992. A […]"

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This is the U.S.'s Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the next generation of American fighter jets. It has been in development since 1992. All told the program is slated to cost upwards of a trillion dollars.

And it is one of the most colossal pieces of shit ever created.
The F-35 is supposed to replace the F-16 and the A-10 (the Skydive and Powerglide planes.) Like the A-10 it's supposed to be a fighter and a bomber, and is supposed to be able to carry a bunch more bombs than the F-22 (Starscream from the movies.)
It's also supposed to be a single plane shared between the Marines, Air Force, and Navy. This is where the problems start.
See, they also wanted it to be a stealth plane (Trump famously claimed it was invisible,) and the Marines wanted it to have VTOL engines to take off from ships. It's also loaded down with a bunch General wowing bells and whistles like touchscreens and VR helmets.
In order to have all this, the F-35 is incredibly heavy. So heavy, in fact, that they had to cut a bunch of features, including mandatory fire safety equipment, reinforcements, and even bolts, substituting glue for them.

The plane is literally glued together.
In order to have stealth capabilities, the plane is painted with a special, incredibly expensive paint. This paint peels off if the plane is in an area with more than 0% humidity, so the planes have to be kept in expensive climate-controlled hangars.
Every time they're flown, they have to be repainted. And because the F-35's fuel is heat sensitive, EVERY TRUCK THAT CARRIES IT ALSO has to be painted with a special heat-resistant paint.

rt.com/usa/212815-f35…
VTOL takes a huge amount of fuel, and the F-35 didn't have room for enough of it. So extra fuel tanks and the VTOL engine were put behind the pilot...in place of the extra oxygen tanks. And it still wasn't enough; the F-35 can either fly, or vertically take off, but can't do both
If the VTOL feature is used, the plane has to be refueled immediately in midair.

And remember how I said stuff was behind the pilot? That means the pilot can't see behind them. There's special cameras outside the plane hooked into the sci-fi VR helmet to let the pilot see.
If the firmware in the helmet or touchscreen controls crashes (which has happened in test flights,) the pilot has to lean around in order to actually see around the cockpit. Worse, there's been times where the OXYGEN STOPS WORKING.
Because this system is digital, it's also prone to bugs- meaning your vision can get scrambled, you can start seeing double, or it can start targeting things that aren't there. And because there's a super-scifi target sharing system, these bugs are made worse by every other plane
There was an issue at one point where the F-35 engines got so hot that it'd melt the paint off the tail of the jet.

Under certain weather conditions, the external cameras fog up with humidity, forcing the pilots to fly right next to targets in order to actually aim at them.
this plane will cost over a trillion dollars
"It famously lost in mock aerial combat within visual range (WVR), where its radar stealth is of no advantage, to an F-16 in early 2015, one of the planes the F-35 is supposed to replace as an aerial fighter. The F-35 lost repeatedly in air-to-air maneuvering"
"despite the fact that the test was rigged in its favor because the F-16 employed was the heavier two-seater version and was further loaded down with heavy, drag-inducing external fuel tanks to hinder its maneuverability."
OVER A TRILLION DOLLARS
If the plane tries to TURN, it can crash.

"One such problem is known as wing drop, where the jet’s wingtip suddenly dips during a tight turn, something that can cause the aircraft to spin and potentially crash."
Some generals, by the way, don't want this. There's a lot of them who just want more F-22s and A-10s. The kind of warfare the US does doesn't really include dogfights anymore, but it seems like a lot of the higher-ups have Top Gun fantasies.
The Air Force actually got caught taking existing A-10s, chopping them up, and reporting them as destroyed. Because it's a support plane, and the Air Force doesn't believe in "support."

medium.com/war-is-boring/…
And the thing is- it can't even dogfight.

medium.com/war-is-boring/…
"The F-35 was flying “clean,” with no weapons in its bomb bay or under its wings and fuselage. The F-16, by contrast, was hauling two bulky underwing drop tanks, putting the older jet at an aerodynamic disadvantage."
"But the JSF’s advantage didn’t actually help in the end. The stealth fighter proved too sluggish to reliably defeat the F-16, even with the F-16 lugging extra fuel tanks. “...the F-35A remained at a distinct energy disadvantage for every engagement,” the pilot reported."
By the way, the F-35A is the Air Force plane. AKA, the good one. The F-35B is the Marine one with the VTOL parts, and it's exponentially worse. The C is the Navy one.
"And to add insult to injury, the JSF flier discovered he couldn’t even ... move his head inside the radar-evading jet’s cramped cockpit. “The helmet was too large for the space inside the canopy to adequately see behind the aircraft.” That allowed the F-16 to sneak up on him"
Lockheed has also been pitching a special combat-focused "Beast Mode," that can hold missiles than the normal configuration. By all accounts they are straight up lying about this.

sputniknews.com/military/20171…
as an aside, there's an f-35 Transformer and he looks exactly as pathetic as you'd imagine.
"my instincts tell me life shouldn't be so horrible"
"The Pentagon's report found that lightweight pilots had a 23% chance of being killed and 100% chance of being injured by the ejection process."

cnn.com/2017/05/15/pol…
100% chance of injury, and a 1 in 4 chance of having your neck fucking snapped
Yeah, I think this is the gist of why the A-10 is resented by the Air Force. If you read that article about how they're dismantling A-10s, they talk a lot about Air Force culture and how the A-10 is more of a "grunt" plane than a hotshot cowboy fighter.

They go so far as to accuse people who see the Air Force's duty as supporting ground troops, rather than being badass strikers who swoop in to heroically take out the enemy, of treason
The other thing about the F35 is that its intended to be sold to all our allies, which is why it was such a huge contract for Lockheed. When you sell a military vehicle, youre not just selling the vehicle itself- youre selling parts, repairs, etc for the lifetime of that vehicle.
Another thing about the F-35 is that, like many military vehicles, has its manufacturing spread all over the country- hell, it's spread all over the world. Nobody wants to make cuts to it because everybody's getting jobs or cash from it.
It's also intended to be THE plane for a bunch of our allies; orders have already come in from countries like Australia, the UK, and Israel, and they can't actually make the plane less shitty because those orders have to be filled.
So what are we doing? WHY SELLING DLC OF COURSE!

thetimes.co.uk/article/uk-fac…
This is why I mentioned Service Costs: we're getting countries to invest in the Joint Strike Fighter program, then nickle and diming them after the fact. The planes are a fucking money sink.
The thing is, Russia and China have their own competitors to the JSF- and they're leaner, cheaper, and more specialized. So while all the rich countries in the west are working with the bloated barely-functional golden turds of the JSF,

businessinsider.com/f-35-vs-j-20-j…
Russia and China's allies are going to have planes that can be easily serviced and don't break down in the rain, suffocate you, or crush your skull into toothpaste against the cockpit ceiling. And, presumably, are capable of fucking turning.
Good breakdown of the actual problems with the F-35. Source: ausairpower.net/jsf.html
While you're here, let me plug this excellent short video series on capitalism.

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