Again I want to point out something that flies in the face of what some critics claim would be sufficient for our future - 4th generation plus aircraft. Why is it that nations whose future may depend on their aircraft choice of the future - such as Israel, Singapore and Japan - have chosen the F-35?
Japan's highest-ranking uniformed officer said on Wednesday that Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighters were the best choice for the nation's future operational needs as Tokyo wrestles with tensions with China and increasingly belligerent North Korea.So evaluating the "various candidates", Japan's highest ranking officer and former F-15 pilot finds the F-35 the fighter of choice.
The vote of confidence in the state-of-the-art U.S. warplane comes amid reports that some nations that have placed orders for the F-35s are reconsidering their plans.
Shigeru Iwasaki, chief of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces' Joint Staff, also said advancement of North Korea's arms technology in a series of nuclear and missile tests posed a serious threat to Japan, but its missile defense system should provide the country with sufficient protection.
"When I was the head of the air force, I spearheaded the decision (to procure F-35s). Or, rather, we drew up a plan, which was then approved by defense minister," said Iwasaki, a veteran fighter pilot who used to fly F-15s, Japan's current mainstay combat aeroplane. "There were various candidates. But I still believe the F-35 is the best fighter, when we think about Japan's future national security," he said in an interview with Reuters.
Again, putting this in the context of my question above, why, if what the critics claim is true, wouldn't these nations opt for the critic's choice?
I pointed out one reason on Monday. The other reason is they seem to "get it" when it comes to what the advanced capabilities the F-35 will bring to their defense forces and how those capabilities will be a game changer.
The critics? Not so much.