Saturday, May 5, 2012

Give these blogs a look

Over the years there have been a few blogs which have consistently tried to sort through the nonsense put out by the critics of the F-35 as well as critics in the defense media.

It is a thankless, but necessary job.  As mentioned, much of the criticism is hyped and over-stated, but the casual reader wouldn't know that without someone else speaking out and laying out facts that counter the narrative of those who have decided the F-35 is not worth the effort.

One is SNAFU!.  Any person with time in the military will know what the acronym means and certainly the military has its share of those sorts of situations.  But despite the howling and gnashing of teeth by the critics the F-35 isn't one of them.  Solomon over at SNAFU! continuously calls the critics out when they launch their attacks on the aircraft.  He also covers "all things military", which makes for some very informative and entertaining reading.

Another must read is Elements of Power, where SMSgt Mac does outstanding work taking on the critic's arguments and defeating them in detail.  One of my favorite series of posts are those in which he likens the development and deployment of the B-52 (now 60 years old) to the F-35 asking what the fate of the B-52 would be if it was developed in the climate of criticism the F-35 must endure.  You'll easily identify the critics in this parody that very much hits the nail on the head.  Part 1, part 2 and part 3.  His incisive wit, outstanding research, command of the facts and devastating logic make a dog's breakfast of most of the critic's arguments.

Does the F-35 program have problems?  Of course, but then what developmental aircraft doesn't?  In the history of aircraft development, I don't know of one that sailed through without any problems (although at least one factually challenged critic has tried to pretend they have).

Rarely do those who criticize the program ever note things such as the fact that the program exceeded its cumulative 2011 flight test goals a month early and is ahead of plan for 2012.   Or that the F-35B was taken off probation and completed initial sea trials in fall of 2011 aboard the USS WASP doing a total of 72 Short Take-Offs (STOs) and 72 Vertical Landings (VLs) were completed during a 19 day period at sea.

That's significant progress.

The promise of the aircraft is it will be a game changer.  And it will also increase our technological edge over competitors and thereby continue our 60 year tradition of owning the skies over the battlefield regardless of the enemy and their sophistication.

That is critical point often lost in the criticism we see aimed at the program.

If you need a reality check when you see the usual stuff from the usual suspects, I'd suggest you drop by those two blogs.  I'm sure one of us will be addressing the newest bit of hyperbole from the critics.  And, as always, drop by here as well.


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