If one listened only to the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), it would be easy to conclude that the F-35 is a failed program. Yet, at the same time that DOT&E warns of continuing challenges to the Joint Strike Fighter, substantial progress is being made. Both the Air Force and Marine Corps have declared Initial Operating Capability for the A and B variants, respectfully. Just this month, the Air Force demonstrated the ability to operate the F-35A with a wide range of payloads. It is time for DOT&E to stop being the voice of gloom on what is clearly a maturing and increasingly successful program. I have written in depth on this issue for National Interest here.
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