Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My swan song

As you’ve probably noticed, my blogging effort here has slowed down considerably.

There’s a reason for that. To borrow from “Top Gun”, it looks like the F-35 program is past the "danger zone".

That’s where a program such as the F-35 is in danger of being cancelled or drastically cut back to a dangerous point - dangerous for our military and our country. The original impetus for me doing this blog was watching what happened to the F-22 program. It concerned me deeply.

Our air power is aging, we were seeing the emergence of a new level of aviation technology that is critical to our future and decisions were made to curtail a program that would keep us on the cutting edge of that technology and almost guarantee our ability to establish air superiority if not air dominance in future conflicts. This blog was my small attempt to try to avoid a repeat of what happened to the F-22 program. I wanted to try to help ensure, given the volume of critical press when I started this, that the good news got through as well.

So I concentrated on publishing what some would call “fan boy” posts in which I tried to tell the other side of the story, or simply made sure articles which were good news for the program, but mostly ignored by the critics, got some exposure.

The full production of F-35 in combination with those F-22s we have will likely give us the ability to continue to enjoy air superiority, perhaps not as robust as I’d prefer, but robust enough. And given the outstanding year the F-35 program had in 2013, I feel confident that the program is on the right track. I’m of the opinion it will continue to do well and deliver an aircraft that will fulfill all of its promise.

I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read the blog and comment over these past few years. However this will be my last post. I wish the F-35 program well and to our future F-35 pilots, may you always have clear skies and a tailwind.



  1. I'll certainly miss coming here, and you took a lot of stuff on, so I felt I didn't have to. Thanks!

    (I think the danger zone will be 'past' in about 3 years)

  2. The real danger zone for the F-35 pilots will be at war against more capable Chinese or Russian 4+ Gen Fighters.

  3. I have been impressed by the consistently and astuteness of your posts over the years. Best of luck Graff with all your future endeavors.

  4. Thanks for your efforts. I enjoyed the group coming after you (led by AXE as I recall) for supposedly 'astro-turfing' (whatever that is). :-) I thought you were more ASTRO-Boy than turfer. But that's me. Cheers.

  5. Not exactly sure why you feel the F-35 program is out of the "danger zone." Technically speaking, its software is still behind schedule, and its development is not where the program wants it to be. The cost curve is flattening out at a level above what is needed - since FY2013, year to year decreases will be in the low single digits, and the F135 price is pretty much set where it is going to stay until inflation causes it to rise. European allies are delaying and decreasing orders due mostly to higher than expected costs, and overall reduced defense spending - which will also negatively affect US orders. But it been fun reading your blog, and trying to figure out who you work for!

  6. Have you seen this... http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/23/us-usa-lockheed-fighter-idUSBREA0M1L920140123

    I would personally suggest you keep going for 1 more year, or maybe even until the marines IOC....

    2014 will be an extremely important test year, with the C making carrier landings at sea.

    If the F-35 can get through 2014 like it did in 2013, then it will be golden. However, the Bill Sweetmans of the world will be shitting all over it until 2015. Your blog was a very useful source of counterarguments and positivity.

    I hope you can reconsider your decision, and if you do decide to return, then a slower update rate of say 2-4 articles/ news items a month would be ok.

    If not, then thanks for the blog. It was a good read.

    1. I suspect that he not only saw the Reuters' article, but that he also knew it was coming before we saw it. Therefore the swan song as the JSF acquisition malpractice program dies.

      Next will come Gilmore's test report that will clearly show that the F-35 didn't "get through 2013."

  7. No problem, the F-35 can wait another decade to resolve it's issues. Until then the Avenger combined with actual manned airplanes can win any war.


  8. www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvHlW1h_0XQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  9. www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF7RQ50gwFY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  10. I advise you close your comments after you delete the little know-nothing trolls now dumping links to drivel on your site.


  11. Thanks for the great info. Here you can take a look at some great F-35 JSF photos:

    F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Pictures

  12. Hello,

    This blog was discontinued because the little Gripen ate the F-35 monstroity! In the near future we will see (Sea) Gripen conquer Denmark, Holland, Italy, Slovakia Serbia, the US light fighter and advanced trainer markets, etc. The Swedes will also make large in-roads on other continents, possible Canada, Mexico, South-Eastern Asia, South America.

    There will be very few countries who are willing to cull their golden calf just to pay for heavy twinjets or a single-pipe on steroids F-35 at the 1 million USD / 1 kN price tag. Even if the USA export-embargoes the Gripen's parts (engine, missiles) to suppress SAAB, the mil-aviation sales will go to light jetfighters like the FC-1/JF-17 by CH/PK.

    The F-35 program will end up being America's SDI, just like the original SDI programme forced the USSR spend herself to bankruptcy. Considering the JSF design is derived from the Yak-141, one could call it due revenge from Brezhnev!