"The U.S. Marine Corps is looking forward to demonstrating the capabilities of the F-35B Lightning II in the skies over the United Kingdom this July," Deputy Commandant for Aviation Lieutenant General Jon Davis said in statement to Reuters.Everytime Davis makes a statement I get the sleazy car salesman vibe instead of hard charging Marine Corps Officer I've come to expect and probably take for granted (well...used to take for granted).
Davis said a joint U.S. Marine Corps and UK detachment would use the flights to validate overseas deployment activities and prove program interoperability. The Pentagon's F-35 program office and Lockheed would support the work, he said.
The British defense ministry had no immediate comment.
One of the sources said Britain planned to send at least one of the four F-35 jets it has already received to the air shows. The British jets are currently training in the United States.
More troubling than the outright lie that this will "validate overseas deployment activities and program interoperability" is the fact that the Deputy Commandant is using the hard won reputation of the Marine Corps to keep this substandard airplane program going.
Modest proposal. We should abolish the position of Deputy Commandant for Aviation. Its a fluff position that serves no purpose. We need to streamline the chain of command. A Commandant and then an Assistant. That's it. We've seen what happens when a mafia inside an organization gains prominence that runs counter to the larger purpose of the group.
Amos, Dunford and Neller. They will be seen as the architects of the demise of the Air Ground Combat Team by pushing an air centric Marine Corps. When it becomes obvious to the uninformed I'll proudly proclaim I TOLD YOU SO!
Oh and while Davis is pushing these happy happy news articles to his handpicked puppets in the media, other MSM news sources are coming around to the reality of this airplane.
via Yahoo from the New York Times...
Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II fighter jet is the most expensive military weapons system ever developed. Total costs are projected to exceed $1 trillion by the time the U.S. military has purchased a full fleet, currently estimated at 2,400 planes. Originally slated to go into full-scale production in 2012, the F-35 has run into a seemingly endless series of technical delays and cost overruns, and now full production of 100 planes a year isn't expected to begin until 2019.And then this from the Daily Caller...
So restarting the F-22 production line to make good the fighter aircraft shortfall is not the ideal solution. Arguably the cost of the F-22 has wiped out half of the U.S. fighter fleet even before the Russians or Chinese have had a chance to attack it. Simply due to its cost, what was to be a 750-strong fleet stalled at 187 aircraft; of that number, only 123 are ‘combat-coded.’ After the 63 percent availability figure, that means that there is one modern fighter per every 4.1 million Americans. Of course that is not enough. The U.S. Air Force isconsidering buying more F-16 and F-15 fighters. That is not a solution either. As General Mike Hostage, former commander of Air Combat Command said,“If you gave me all the money I needed to refurbish the F-15 and the F-16 fleets, they would still become tactically obsolete by the middle of the next decade. Our adversaries are building fleets that will overmatch our legacy fleet, no matter what I do, by the middle of the next decade.”Why do I link these two articles? I believe that the Program Office is VERY sensitive to outside criticism. Additionally I believe that this well timed announcement from Davis was designed to change the optics on the plane. The visuals of a failed program hang like skunk stink in the woods. This announcement is a little Right Guard sprayed into the air to hide the funk.
It won't work though. When right wing news site Daily Caller and left of center New York Times comes out swinging then something bad is brewing for the future of this airplane. Cuts are coming....and I couldn't be happier.