Friday, September 14, 2012

Boeing Exec trash talks F-35

There are a couple of rules of thumb that one should understand if they're going to try and denigrate their competition. One, make sure you're not living in a glass house when you throw the stones. And two, make sure you know what you're talking about.

In both cases, a Boeing executive ignored those rules of thumb to take a few shots at his competitor's airplane, namely the F-35.

Chris Chadwick, president of Boeing Military Aircraft division, met with reporters recently at the Boeing headquarters.

"The F-35 continues to delay and delay", he told them.

Right. Old news. As has been pointed out here, the testing that is now going on is ahead of schedule and has been for quite some time. That was a valid point a year or so ago. Now it just sounds like uniformed sour grapes.

Then there was this:

"Yes, the F-35 has all-aspect stealth, but that is used in a relatively small part of the combat envelope."

Really, sir? This is a Joint STRIKE fighter, that's understood right? Which means a large portion of its future missions will be penetrating hostile enemy airspace and engaging targets deep in enemy territory. That won't be a "relatively small part" of its "combat envelope", it will, in fact, be a rather large part of it. Especially if that enemy has sophisticated air defenses. If so, stealth becomes a very important tool that pushes up the chances of mission success in contested airspace much higher than if one is having to try it in an F/A 18.

This video (no sound) will give you an idea of the point:

Which radar cross-section would you prefer? If the situation doesn't demand stealth, then you can make just as much of a gun truck of the F-35 as you can the F/A 18. But you can't make an F/A 18 stealthy, can you?

Finally, Chadwick launches this little goodie:
In a clear signal to F-18 supporters in the Navy, Chadwick added this barb: "With the F-35 continuing to have technical difficulties and to continue slipping to the right, they have to make sure they have the right capability for the men and women who go in harms way."
Of course it's always nice to talk rubbish about a competitor and forget all the "technical difficulties" the aircraft that's being touted by the critic had during it's birthing process isn't it? Not to mention the time it took to correct those problems. It's a pity a sharp reporter didn't ask Chadwick how long it took Boeing to rectify the "falling leaf" problem heritage F/A 18s suffered.



  1. "Yes, the F-35 has all-aspect stealth, but that is used in a relatively small part of the combat envelope."

    What he completely ignores is that the "small part" he is referring to is the part where the enemy is trying to find you and kill you.

  2. The real problem is that no one has explained how the F35 maximizes the use of stealth UAVs. The F35 has become ridiculously expensive. We should be tasking away as many roles as we can to unmanned platforms.

  3. When I start seeing reports like this, I really start to wonder about this aircraft.

    F-35 Report Warns of Visibility Risks, Other Dangers|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

  4. I agree with Elective Affinities.There are so many questions in my mind too. In the meantime you can have a look at some great F-35 photos :

    F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Pictures