Thursday, July 12, 2018

The F-35 vs. A-10 Warthog Face-off Is a Total Sham. Here's Why. --- via The National Interest Blog....

via National Interest...
They want their largest and highest-priority weapons buy, the  troubled, $400-billion F-35  multi-mission fighter, to quickly replace the A-10 they’ve been  trying to get rid of  for over two decades. The now-former Pentagon weapons testing director, J. Michael Gilmore,  said in 2016  that a fly-off would be the only way to determine how well the F-35 could perform the close-air-support role compared to the A-10—or whether the F-35 could perform that role at all.

The testing office and the various service testing agencies had already meticulously planned comparative tests to pit the F-35 against the A-10, F-16, and the F-18, because the F-35 program is contractually required to show better mission effectiveness than each of the legacy aircraft it is to replace.

In other words, the test was designed by someone with a vested financial interest in the F-35 program, rather than by people whose primary interest is its performance in combat.

Many Air Force leaders  strenuously objected to the fly-off , claiming that the F-35 would perform the mission differently so it wouldn’t be fair to compare its performance to the A-10. These tests are only happening now—albeit in an inadequate form—because Congress mandated them  nearly three years ago .

The Senate  established strict criteria  and specific scenarios for the tests. These include demonstrating the F-35’s ability to visually identify friendly forces and the enemy target in both day and night scenarios, to loiter over the target for an extended time, and to destroy targets without a joint terminal attack controller directing the strike.
The Congressionally-approved plan includes a schedule for tests and funding for elaborate tactical test ranges with combat-realistic, hard-to-find targets defended by carefully simulated missile and gun defenses, and appropriate ground-control teams for the close-support portion of the test scenarios. Testing to date has revealed the  F-35 is incapable  of performing most of the functions required for an acceptable close-support aircraft, and it seems unlikely the criteria outlined by Congress and testing officials would have produced the results Air Force leaders wanted.

Designed to mislead

Air Force leaders came up with a simple solution to this dilemma. They are staging an unpublicized, quickie test on existing training ranges, creating unrealistic scenarios that presuppose an ignorant and inert enemy force, writing ground rules for the tests that make the F-35 look good—and they got the new testing director, the retired Air Force general Robert Behler, to approve all of it.
Story here. 

This program, its supporters, the military brass and Lockheed Martin are all fraudulent, liars and will get people killed.

From my chair this is damning and discouraging.

I don't care about Marine Air wanting to go play fleet defense with the Navy.  I don't care about Marine Air wanting to go play air superiority and deep strike with the Air Force.  I don't care about any of that.

I do care about the plane's ability to support the Ground Combat Element of the US Marine Corps and if needed provide assistance to Army units caught in a fight and even our allies.

But the people supporting this travesty don't.

The fact that the plane is substandard means nothing to them.

There is a special place in hell for this type of dishonesty.  I hope they enjoy their new spot while future Marines are suffering for their hubris.

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