via War is Boring.
Reasoning that they couldn’t afford the Super Hornet and the JSF, the Marines decided to operate their existing F/A-18s, AV-8B Harriers and EA-6B Prowlers without replacement until the F-35 was ready. In short, the Marines bet their whole tactical aviation future on the JSF.WIB just looks at this from the viewpoint of the aviation side of the house. But what about the greater Marine Corps?
It was a bad bet. Design, management and quality-control problems delayed the F-35’s service debut by nearly a decade, forcing older planes to serve even longer than the Marines had planned. Moreover, the JSF’s problems added tens of millions of dollars to the cost of each JSF, compelling the military to cut maintenance funds in order to avoid huge spikes in overall budgets.
I forgot the readers name but he told me that the USMC depends on aviation to provide 70% of its fires!
If the F-35 does not live up to its billing as the premier fighter of the next couple of decades (much less till 2070) then the USMC just hazarded its ground forces in a fight against a near peer opponent.
Next we have to look at the costs of the plane. We're putting aircraft into service that are AT BEST minimally capable. They're obviously undeployable and will not gain many of the weapon systems that are currently carried by our legacy planes till after 2020. How much will the upgrades cost to get the planes we're rushing into service up to that spec? How long will those planes be out of service while they're upgraded?
War is Boring looked at the gamble on not buying Super Hornets but this is a bigger deal than even they're acknowledging.
The F-35 could very well be responsible for putting people in body bags...unfortunately they'll be members of our own Ground Combat Element and not the enemy.