The national media have recently rediscovered that the F-35 fighter is the Pentagon’s costliest weapons program, and with herd-like predictability indulged in a feeding frenzy of misinformation. One account of the program’s cost to date from a usually respected outlet exaggerated the amount by 1000%. Beyond cost, a series of other canards are being aired, beginning with the complaint that after 20 years, the fighter is still not in full-rate production. Actually, over 600 have been delivered and the fighter is being operated by ten military forces around the world. The only reason it is not officially in “full-rate production” is a delay by the government in running complex simulations of aircraft performance due to the global pandemic. But we already know the F-35 will do well given its performance in military exercises where it defeats adversary aircraft at a rate of better than 20-to-1. F-35 is the most lethal, versatile, survivable tactical aircraft ever built–even if much of the national media don’t seem to know it. I have written a commentary for The National Interest here.
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