A welcome decision made back in 2008 to purchase U.S.-made Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jets no longer appears very attractive in 2016 – and Israel is considering backtracking on it.Do you still believe the Deputy Commandant for Aviation when he says that the F-35 is fully combat capable right now? Do you still think that the USMC has a squadron of airplanes ready to go to war and win?
So say Israeli government sources quoted by Middle East Newsline (MENL).
For one thing, the much-touted JSF has some inherent flaws, such as inadequate range, weapons payload and stealth capability. In addition, the Americans refuse to share the JSF source code with Israel. Israel would not be able to modify the platform to fit its needs, and would have to send damaged engines to Turkey or the U.S. for repairs.
According to the sources, some Israeli Cabinet members say the state-of-the-art version of the F-35 jet is outright "flawed." Israel could find itself "increasingly dependent" on a fighter-jet that has been rejected by most NATO air forces, the sources say.
Until the JSF reaches its full potential, a highly-placed source said, "we will have dozens of very expensive aircraft with limited capabilities."
The F-35 isn't ready and if all the initiatives (like the mini-missiles to replace the AIM-120) are any indication, it never will be.