Wednesday, January 9, 2013

F-35: Critics provide contextless arguments

When it comes to the F 35, there's one thing you can count on like sunrise in the east. A certain critic is going to make groundless and misinformed accusations regardless of the facts.
Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter aircraft is an under-performing plane, according to Winslow Wheeler, Director of the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information, a part of the Project on Government Oversight.

According to Wheeler, the F-35 is a mediocre aircraft because its “varied requirements force it to make compromises” and says that the aircraft should be boxed. Wheeler alleges that “manufacturer Lockheed Martin used a pricing vocabulary that masked the exorbitant costs”. “There is only one thing to do with the F-35: Junk it.

America’s air forces deserve a much better aircraft, and the taxpayers deserve a much cheaper one. The dustbin awaits,” he told news website Foreign Policy. While not as expensive as F-22 Raptors, which cost upwards of $678 million apiece, the F-35 is the most expensive weapons program, with the total cost to buy and operate all F-35’s estimated to be more than $1.5 trillion, according to Foreign Policy.
Locked in old thinking and studiously blind to the aircraft's advanced capabilities, Wheeler is sure that the aircraft must be "mediocre" because it has so many roles - without a scintilla of evidence to support his claim.

He also loves to trot out the trillion dollar cost without ever giving a context. Of course the context as the trillion dollars will be spent over 55 year and includes every cost associated with operating the  F-35 to include basing and pilot salaries. Wheeler likes to use this figure to claim that the aircraft is the most expensive Defense Department program in history without ever pointing out the fact it is also the first program in Defense Department history to be costed out over 55 years.

And of course, Wheeler's reputation is based in being an "budget hawk", so there are few Defense Department programs he likes.

New year, same old tired song,

@Graff48099375

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