is the most expensive aircraft ever produced
Or maybe not. In the early-mid '70s the flyaway cost of F-14s was about 20-22 M USD / airframe. Comparing to this price it is quite close the flyaway cost of F-35 if you calculate with inflation rate. This is amlost 100 M US/airframe. Ouch...
Part of the problem is that F-35 is going through production and design cycles simultaneously (whereas previous aircraft took twenty years to be designed and twenty to be produced, F-35 is going to be produced and designed for twenty years) in an attempt to lower costs. This results in numerous rebuilds of the early F-35s to correct serious design flaws (notably, the USAF and USN have both stripped their F-35s down to the landing gear to put in bulkheads or something) which only adds fuel to the fire (too soon?).
Additionally, the role F-35 was designed to operate as (interdiction against Soviet/WP ground forces) has been called obsolete, and reality seems to show that this role is no longer necessary and currently legacy aircraft like F-16 perform it adequately against modern non-state actors. Whether this will be necessary or not is questionable given the outcomes of Irak and Afghanistan.
Aham... Do you have sight in the future...? Just because in latest decades only COIN wars were typical for US and for many nations this does not mean that the future can mean only this. Considering this "vision" only COIN AC - Super Tucano and similar stuff - would be neccessary except air poilicy which requires a supersonic fighter...
There are approximately two revolutionary systems in F-35: Stealth and its sensors. One of these is considered unimportant or even obsolete, given the rapid advances in threat technology. The other is the primary contributor to the high unit cost of F-35.
Stealth never be obsolete because simply provides always much less detection range comparing to conventional AC... You know I have to say simply lack of funds leadted to current situtions. There are two types of air force in the world. The first type can buy stealth airframes and the rest developed an ideology why is "bad / obsolete / unnecessary" the stealth technology while they even tried to reduce the RCS of their AC as possible. It is quite funny isn't it. I think here about Rafale and France.
A potential future for F-35 is that the USAF procures ~80 airframes, the USN procures 0 in favour of X-47B and continued F/A-18E/Fs, and the USMC procures ~200 F-35Bs and -Cs to operate for the Navy. In this future, the F-35 will be used solely for its design role: interdiction of high value targets. Essentially F-117's role, but capable of self-defence and multirole capability.
No offense, but at this point I have to laugh.... You are just dreaming about what you wish to see but the reality is not based on your dreams...
There was an interesting article describing that one, as it also considered that LM's T-50 be used as a replacement for F-16 given its similar capability.
Similar does not mean equal...
1) Please take into account the US military budget during F-14's lifetime. It grew, substantially, and was much higher than it is today at the lowest point:
Current American defence spending is on a downward spiral, and expected to be about 3% of the GNP in 2020. Yes, the USAF could afford all 1,800 F-35s, theoretically (and easily, mind) but not with the current or projected budget! This is lower than at any time during the Cold War. Please don't try to make such asinine comparisons, because the USSR is gone and the PRC is a very poor substitute.
2) Do you have reason to believe that the USAF will be involved in a serious Pacific War in the very near future given its economic interdependence on trade with the United States? No? Good, because that's what everyone else sees too.
That hasn't stopped the USN from intending to keep legacy aircraft.
3) You don't know how stealth works. It depends on many factors, some of the important ones for radars is physical size, along with aspect presented, frequency of radar, etc.
Aircraft like F-117, F-22 and F-35 will all be vulnerable to low frequency radars because of this. Future radars will incorporate low band frequencies and advances in computers will make this far more capable than it is today, or in the past.
Passive stealth is good for one generation of radars, typically.
F-22 is also stealthier than F-35, given its all-aspect design. That isn't to say that F-35 is useless, but its stealth capability is touted as being something it isn't by some netizens, when in fact it's perhaps the least important of the three major advances in the design of the aircraft.
Rafale is not a LO aircraft, neither is F/A-18E. Sorry, try again.
4) It's ok, I've already laughed at your posts.
It isn't a dream, it's actually happening. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/ ... 6420140304http://www.janes.com/article/33007/usn- ... 47b-trials
5) Do you have an actual rebuttal or are you just going to continue saying vague statements without any substance? I can do that too:
Similar is close enough...
F-15 in US inventory are not "perfectly fine", they are quite literally falling apart in mid-air.
Just because happened with one airframe in 2007? Have you read the report of that case? The airframe was badly manufactured and even with much less structural strenght - because of lack of enogh thick material in airframe - was able to fly for decades as other F-15s in the fleet. The whole fighter F-15 fleet was checked and only some other airframe suffered from this error and only fighter variants because F-15E has different redesigned airframe..
You are simply an ignorant troll... I'm quite sure in that.
Yes, more vague half-rememberings of news articles and Wikipedia. Anyway, what had happened was that the longerons in the one hundred and sixty or so airframes suffered from typical manufacturing quality failures (who knows what it was in the specific crash incident, maybe metallurgical content or something, it varied between the airframes), which normally wouldn't have resulted in such catastrophic failures. You see, because by this time the USAF was supposed to have replaced its inventory of F-15s with ATF!
If you want to disagree that this is a serious cause of alarm for USAF's stockpile of F-15A/C aircraft, you're free to. Just know that is extremely dishonest and the USAF would personally disagree with that sentiment. In fact, they would disagree so much they are operating half as many aircraft as they did pre-2008.
re: Troll thing: Good thing that isn't evidence, or even a solid indicator of such!
Anyway, F-35's high cost is compromising the capability of NATO air forces given the budget climate. While you could return to the 1980s era of high military spending and afford every F-35 being produced, and the F-22s, this is not viable. Fiscal solutions, at the moment, are the top priority. Experience for the last fifty years of Western armies is that they will be involved in COIN more often than HIC, and that any high intensity combat will be fought against legacy IADS such as the JNA and Irakis.
It's quite impossible for there to be a conflict between the PRC and USA directly, given that the former has no capability to attack US allies and is significantly weaker militarily than the USA. If you think that is realistic, you should probably read a newspaper and make note of mentioning of "Ukraine" and "Russian Federation" as separate states.
F-35 is going to end up being a significant money sink for the USAF, reducing its inventory of attack aircraft from 1,800 to about 600 or less, given current budgets.
Honestly, it would be a lot better to procure maybe 60 F-35s to replace the Tonopah Wing, and then look into T-X derivatives for replacing F-16 since the USAF has stated it has no intentions of acquiring F-16E/F. F-35 is simply too much for NATO countries in the current budget climate. Something cheaper than F-16 would allow replacement of more aircraft, while preserving a similar capability level in air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, a near identical strike radius, and be able to serve as a trainer aircraft for ATF/JSF pilots.
The downsides might be manning requirements, since you'd need twice as many aircrew unless a single seat derivative of T-X is built.
All said and done, buying aircraft with money that doesn't exist isn't very sound. The USAF doesn't have the money to acquire 1,800 F-35s, and it didn't even have the money to acquire 750 F-22s. The orders will be cut short, the USAF will likely be significantly downsized and prepared for a Pacific focus, and USAFE might shrink even further or disbanded altogether.
I suppose that's a good idea in your eyes, though. Wishy-washy military infatuation dreams of aviation engineers are always better than the economic reality, clearly.
"If only those damned politicians (who are in a cabal for ruining EVERYTHING) had increased defence spending!"