Skip to comments.Asia's F-35 buyers forced to wait as China seeks edge
Posted on 03/21/2013 1:26:07 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Asia's F-35 buyers forced to wait as China seeks edge
(Reuters) - The Pentagon's F-35 warplane is giving U.S. allies in Asia a headache as they look to replace ageing jets with a cutting edge aircraft now likely to be at least seven years late in offering a strategic deterrent to China.
The $400 billion weapons project has suffered technical faults, delays, cost overruns and now U.S. budget cuts that could force Washington to scale back its own purchases.
At the same time, China's soaring defense spending is rapidly eroding the advantage in technology, particularly in air power, that Washington and some of its regional allies have had over the People's Liberation Army (PLA) since the 1950s.
China is also flight testing two stealth fighters, the J-20 and the J-31, although they are not expected to enter service until the end of the decade at the earliest, military aviation experts said.
"It's an open question as to how advanced and sophisticated they actually are," said Andrew Davies, a senior strategy analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, referring to the Chinese fighters.
"But having said that, they make life more difficult for existing types, so the F-35 becomes more important."
The F-35 is the costliest weapons program in history. Lockheed Martin Corp is the prime contractor. Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, makes the engine.
Australia has ordered 100 F-35s, although defense analysts say it might buy only 50 to 70 given Canberra is expected to decide in June to double its fleet of 24 Boeing Co F/A-18 Super Hornets. That would prevent a frontline gap until the F-35 is delivered later in the decade.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Three F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (rear to front) AF-2, AF-3 and AF-4, can be seen flying over Edwards Air Force Base in this December 10, 2011 handout photo provided by Lockheed Martin.
Credit: Reuters/Lockheed Martin/Darin Russell/Handout
The F-35 is a small utility attack aircraft. It isn’t an air dominance fighter like the F-22 or even the F-15, so I don’t know what Asia is expecting out of the Lightning II.
Will it ever be delivered? 7 years late? Whats that make 30 years to develop this plane?
I’m not sure I would call it a small utility attack a/c but if anyone cares here’s a nice comparison between the F-22 & F-35:
More, for some of the sub-systems in the F-35.
It’s time everyone admit that the program is a failure, dump the resources they’d spend into hardware they can a) afford and b) acquire now, and do their fleet upgrades on their schedule.
The fact that we’d offer the F-35 and never the A-10 says a lot about the A-10!
They definitely need to think about “Re-Branding” this mess.
Maybe the F-400B for the $400 billion they rat holed.
The Eurofighter, the Rafale, and the Raptor have all been in service for years and all are still developing their avionics mission systems. It’s the way these programs go.
Well, they did name the program “Joint Strike Fighter.”
They’re evolving their avionics. They have flying, serviceable aircraft right now.
The F-35 is still trying to get their first round of testing done... without delivering to customers on-time, on-budget or with the parameters specified in the contracts.
One day, “conservatives” who are not engineers but who can count money, will realize that I’m not wrong on this. This project has all the hallmarks of failed, large-budget engineering projects.
Japan, Korea, Taiwan, all have fairly sophisticated electronics industries, so why are they relying on manned aircraft, when they can probably make some extremely fast and maneuverable drones that can function autonomously if jammed.