Military Admits Trillion Dollar F-35 Program is a Failure

f-35By Joshua Krause

For over a decade the US military has spent $1.5 trillion dollars to create an all-purpose fighter jet that would replace their diverse fleet of warplanes. It’s a project that has been rife with criticism for being grossly over budget and delayed for years, not to mention the fact that the plane is riddled with technical flaws and lacks maneuverability (most recently, it was revealed that the F-35 has a faulty radar that needs to be frequently restarted). And each of these problem prone aircraft cost 3 to 5 times as much to manufacture as older fighter jets, like the F-15 and F-16.

Now officials with the Pentagon are admitting that this massive boondoggle is a total bust. One official admitted that to replace the Air Force’s entire fleet, which was the original intention of the F-35 program, they would have eliminate a fifth of their squadrons to afford it. Two generals said that the whole idea of an all-purpose aircraft was flawed from the start, and the Pentagon is already planning a 6th generation fighter jet to replace the F-35.

To maintain any semblance of air superiority, the military will be forced to maintain their older weapon systems alongside the F-35 until a replacement is made, which is the ultimate proof that the concept of an all-purpose fighter jet is a complete failure. By the time the next generation fighter is in production, which is expected by the year 2040, our fleet of F-15s and F-16s will be 70 years old and completely outclassed by Chinese and Russian aircraft.

What’s worse is that even though the military hates this plane, they can’t scrap the project. Too much money has been spent to back out now, which you might recognize as the same logical fallacy that keeps compulsive gamblers from walking away from slot machines.

In addition to this, over 1,300 suppliers employing 133,000 people in 45 states, are responsible for building the F-35. This means that most members of Congress will be unwilling to vote down the project, for fear of killing jobs in their districts. So for the next few decades, the military is stuck with this faulty aircraft, and the taxpayers are stuck with the bill.

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Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.

  • 1angrywhitemale

    Will you all stop with the “has spent $1.5 trillion” routine? You damage your credibility by starting with such hyperbole. The $1.5 trillion is the estimated full lifetime cost of the program if the planned buy of 2,443 is carried out—which of course will not happen. Less than $100 billion has been spent so far—an enormous amount for a horrible weapon system. It’s difficult not to laugh at you when you cannot get such a basic fact straight.

    • oldwoman

      I’m sorry, but reports were that close to $300 billion had been spent almost two years ago, and that over $400 billion had been spent about a year ago. So, unless the pentagon obtained a massive mail–in rebate sometime in the last year, you are 100%, totally wrong–and kind of a jerk besides.

      • 1angrywhitemale

        You’re actually standing by that opening statement? Even your too-high numbers contradict it! Are you drinking too much fluoridated water? On Drugs? According to DoD, $8.3 billion was budgeted for FY 2015, which was the highest spending year up til then. Since the F-35 has been in development & production for about 20 years, then the cumulative total is less than $150 billion. That’s far less than your numbers, and 10% of the figure so cavalierly tossed out in the article. I hope your job doesn’t involve logic or math.

        • oldwoman

          I hope yours doesn’t involve reading. The reports are numerous and on quite different news sites–everything from think progress to CNN to the fiscal times. And they’re all consistent with a progression of spending to last year’s reported numbers of $400 billion.

          • 1angrywhitemale

            You’re really pretty hopeless! All the references to $400 billion are about the total estimated or projected R&D plus production costs, not about what’s been spent so far. Again, I’ll refer you to the 20 years to date and that most of those years we were spending under $5 billion per year. Do you need a calculator for that? So you’re illogical, unable to read for comprehension, innumerate, and stubborn to boot—that makes you a perfect progressive and an ideal government employee.

          • oldwoman

            Perhaps you’re a bit unclear on what “spending” is. I have a post pending that has several links to articles explaining it, but in the meantime, the Pentagon has either paid outright, or committed (legally) to buy (so far) over $400 billion worth (not counting cost overruns) of these POS planes. That’s called a “debt” dear. Whether they have actually PAID yet or not, they have SPENT the money. Just as when you buy a car on credit for $10k, you have SPENT $10K, not the $249 down that you handed the dealer. If I’m wrong, of course, the budgetary woes of millions of people who bought pizzas and Lululemon leggings on their credit cards and the United States and its trillions in “national debt” are no problem at all–POOF–they haven’t paid the bill yet, so they haven’t “spent” too much after all.

          • tiger

            One might add that the Pentagon’s official spending is a mystery. Remember that Rumsfeld announced the day before 9/11 that he’d “lost” $2.3 trillion from the DoD budget! All records conveniently destroyed.
            Regardless, the F35 is a lemon. Should have bought the Su35, superior machine and only ~$50 million, drive away.

          • 1angrywhitemale

            Yep, really interesting that the Pentagon’s Accounting section was destroyed the day after Rummy’s disclosure! And, yes, the 35 is a total POS plane. While there’s no way America would buy a Russian plane, the Aussies would be well advised to consider it. I hope Trudeau follows through on his campaign pledge to kill the 35 for Canada. The US could do with a far smaller air force if we gave up our penchant for expeditionary warfare, which is the only type of war for which a tactical aircraft is suited. I think it was a mistake to curtail the F-22 and proceed with the 35. And now DoD wants to build a new long-range bomber, continue the 35, and is now talking about a brand new sixth generation fighter! None of this will happen, since we’re headed for economic collapse.

          • 1angrywhitemale

            Then you don’t understand how the military buys its equipment. Aircraft are purchased in lots: the Air Force places a hard contract for a certain number of planes—usually one year at a time, with an add’l amount of $ to buy long lead time components for the next year or two’s expected buys. DoD can cancel future years’ planned purchases at any time, and does so from time to time. There’s often a contract cancellation penalty involved to cover the contractor’s exposure. This is not at all the same as what happens when you or I buy a car, which is one item and one contract. The $400 billion frequently mentioned is the estimated cost of all R&D plus all the “planned” aircraft to be built, which I believe still stands at about 2,443. At the low rates expected now, that would take another 25-30 years. Of course, that won’t happen: we’ll never approach that number of aircraft. So, you see, most of that $400 billion hasn’t yet been obligated, quite unlike the national debt which has already been spent. Lockheed Martin would like you to see it as you suggested, but that’s not how military procurement works. And don’t get me started on our official debt versus the “off the books” unfunded liabilities.

      • A guy from Ukraine

        Don’t worry, folks! You don’t live in Russia after all where they have to invest mindfully every single dollar of the country’s limited reserves. The Federal Reserve, the real Owner of the american federal government, will be there to help your american government out with all of that futile expenditure. They have created trillions upon trillions of dollars ouf of the thin air, so they will just issue a couple more trillions, if need be. Who cares? The american supremacy will stand tall and remain unchallenged!

        • Brett

          Yes and the people will repay that money that never existed in the first place. Have to hand it to them, they sure are running a great scam, the fed…

  • Harlow

    In order for the elites to continue to rob and steal your money, they have to come up with programs like this to deceive you and make you feel like you can sleep at night because they are on your side. Many contend that this could not be further from the truth.

    • They kept saying for years that Chemical Laser Weapons development was not working. Then they “scrapped” the research.

      Right after that Navy destroyers started replacing phalanx guns with Chemical Lasers.

      Whatever the government says…
      …the exact opposite is probably closer to the truth. Never believe the government.

      Peace from Canada

  • Undecider

    This is coming from the same people who want one government for all, one banking system for all, one race to inhabit the planet, on and on. Centralization and unification has it’s place. But it’s not always the case.

  • 1angrywhitemale

    This all speaks to the poor quality of reporting, especially re the military. The total amount funded for the F-35 for FY 2015 was about $6.4 billion. There’s unfortunately a typical conflation of “planned” or “expected” and “actual appropriated” money, especially on left-leaning sources. I’m searching for the cumulative total from DoD, which I’m sure will show under $150 billion actually spent or appropriated so far. Remember that they’re still “planning” to buy 2,443 planes, and fewer than 200 have been purchased so far. I don’t understand why today’s reporters are such math idiots. Unless there’s a massive “shadow” budget, the references you cited are wildly off the mark so far as actual spent or appropriated is concerned.

    • oldwoman

      I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to learn that this “news,” like much of it, is inaccurate or an outright lie. However, I also wouldn’t be surprised to learn that what the government claims to have spent (in whatever sense of the word) is a lie as well. In any event, whether they’ve “spent” it, “paid” it, or just committed to pay it, I don’t notice the ivory tower crowd in any hurry to repudiate it and stop spending, paying or committing, and so we (lucky us) get to pay for this POS til long after the cows come home. And given the lack of anything useful to show for it, I’d say that a few court-martials and some fraud trials would probably be the appropriate remedy.

  • Oh not today

    Aside from the amount of money spent on this boondoggle, come on, the real problem is the damn thing doesn’t work. And never will. You can argue the “true” costs all you like (and have) but for one, they aren’t done wasting money on it yet so you’re arguing a running total that as an undisputed fact no one finds acceptable as is, and two, whatever the costs may be, they discuss eliminating or cutting back OTHER planes which do work, and that’s insane. That’s a problem. Like, i still can’t f’ing believe they want/wanted to scrap the A10. That’s just one example of how the cost of this awful “plane” is not just too much, but hazardous to the military overall. Its never going to work at all, but somehow still manages to do a LOT of damage…to our side.
    If anyone cares. It’s not like they aren’t being used as mercs anyway. So there’s that.

  • Vic Pittman

    Perhaps the CEO and thirty or so of the top execs of Lockheed-Martin should be arrested and held until all the bugs are worked out …in the meantime, they get not one more dollar. The pirates of old actually had to work to plunder…nowadays, you just get a govt. contract….

  • Black Swan

    Return the investment back to the Taxpayers, fraud vitiates all contracts!

  • John Cook

    The point is moot anyway – the future of jet fighters is not in manned aircraft. The fighting capacity is totally limited by the G-forces the pilot can sustain and a robot aircraft, designed from the start as such will always outperform any manned competitor. They should scrap this boondoggle, sue the contractors to extinction and build a small incredibly quick and agile robot platform to replace the very concept of the Top Gun style fighter jet. They always had a component of ‘big boys toys’ about them anyway – time to drop the fantasy and get real.

  • Almostnuts

    The Chinese have an exact duplicate, buy theirs.

    • Seimisi Robert Stone

      The Chinese ones will be better.

  • Doug Stevens

    I don’t think the F35 was ever, really, commissioned as a “fighter plane”.
    The hover capability makes it ideal for attacking lightly armoured, mobile ground targets. It is to be deployed specifically in third world countries against rabble armies trying to protect their countries’ sovereignty against American and Nato Invasion forces – ahead of GMO and toxic medical corporate enforcement.

  • T.J . Antipodes

    This post just gave the Russian weapons industry a boost, simple excellent planes like the Sukhoi T27,33 and 34 ( fighter/bomber) 35, let alone the new T-50. Add the TU-160 supersonic bomber that is truly supersonic. We have not even got to what MIG offers.

    I vote a bit to the right of centre, If you want someone to actually look into this waste I think Bernie is the best bet. Donald will have you on the ground in Syria or where ever in war you cannot afford to be in.

    No sector has the right to rip off a country like Defence and Homeland security does.

    All this money could go to infrastructure, roads and health. Stop them thieving and make the right choice in 2016

  • WarOnCommonSense

    The F-35 is A stealth fighter who can’t drop its primary weapon from a stealth configuration. a CAS asset to expensive to risk in a CAS mission, with a gun without working software. The official F-35 salute is Ctrl+Alt+Delete, and because it’s engines kept melting the deck, it’s support carrier had to be rebuilt and can only launch 2 planes at a time now.

    And we need this advanced attack aircraft to do what? Blow up scruffy looking guys on camels in the middle of a god forsaken desert? Great plan, those camels have really good radar systems…

    • Pacemaker4

      dont forget that you need to Ctrl+Alt+Delete the radar once every 10mins.

  • Martbigee

    Over a trillion dollars…wasted…yet no one gets the boot. No one gets the blame…and no one lost his/her seat in out congress. What a colossal joke!

  • My reason don’t like F-35 are

    1. too expensive

    2. too slow, not maneuverable

    3. It has single engine

    4. can’t defense itself, can’t dogfight

    5. too weak, not thermophilic, not stand the rain

    6. don’t worth

    7. can’t protect any infantry on the ground too.

    8. don’t complete

  • Seimisi Robert Stone

    I wonder how the common people who work and make a living from this fallacy feel in reading about this bonzi fighter .

  • Aldous Huxley

    Haha, nice story. The plane is a front for secret projects. Do you think they just burned the money? Hilarious that in their outrage, everyone just buys that they are incompetent and doesn’t look deeper.

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