via The Disaffected Lib.
The authoritative military journal, Janes, reports that Lockheed's overdue, overpriced and under-performing F-35 Wunderjet is already encountering problems with obsolescence.Interesting.
The United States has embarked on a technology refresh development track for the electronic warfare (EW) module of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to overcome obsolescence issues before the system has even made it into service.This has seen the US Naval Air Systems Command place a USD149 million contract to Lockheed Martin, as a modification to a previous advanced acquisition deal and covers the "redesign and qualification of replacement F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Electronic Warfare system components due to current diminishing manufacturing sources".
This is consistent with the criticism recently leveled by Aviation Week's Bill Sweetman that the endless delays in getting the F-35 deployed have played into its main adversaries' hands, allowing them to develop technologies to counter the airplane long before it even enters service.
This airplane has been in development/production for over 10 years now. A quick comparison to the Marine Personnel Carrier which the Marine Corps is delaying for approx a decade (if we're lucky) shows that Marine officials believe that the tech will have dramatically improved in that time frame and all current competitors will not be valid.
What happens when it comes to aviation?
A look at the F-16V tells a bit of the story. AESA radar, big displays, more powerful engine...its getting close to having everything the F-35 has except for stealth.
What does the F-16V have that the F-35 doesn't? Better agility, faster acceleration, better low speed handling and if properly equipped with conformal fuel tanks---range that gets you close to what we're seeing out of the F-35. Plus its cheaper and more maintenance friendly.
Oh and keep an eye on the maintenance part of this fellas. If the USAF is an example and if the complete buy of F-35's is authorized then you're going to see Air Wings bigger than Infantry Regiment (personnel wise).
Obsolete, killing the Marine Corps budget and changing our doctrine instead of augmenting it. Why do we need the F-35 again?