RT reports today that Britain will press ahead with a $196 billion (£150 billion) deal to buy 138 F-35 fighter jets despite serious concerns over virtually every aspect of their capability. The “5th generation” warplanes will operate from Britain’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and have been touted as a keystone of future UK air and maritime power. However, according to aviation expert Pierre Sprey, the aircraft are beset by an “unbelievably abnormal” number of issues.
Appearing in an interview with The Fifth Estate, defense analyst Pierre Sprey said, “The F-35 was born of an exceptionally dumb, kind of piece of, air force PR spin.” He added, “The mission of the airplane was to be half of what the air force called the high/low mix.” Explaining the high/low mix, Mr. Sprey said, “There’s supposed to be one super expensive, supposedly super capable fighter, the F-22, and then a cheaper fighter which you’re supposed to be able to buy a lot, that would do everything else, beyond air to air, that was the F-35.” He went on to say this idea goes back to the 1970s with the F-15 and F-16. The F-15 being the larger and more expensive aircraft and the F-16 which is less than half the size and half the cost.
Calling the F-35 a “Turkey”, Mr. Sprey said that the F-35 was an inherently terrible airplane. He went on to say, “As soon as you go to design a multi-mission airplane, you’re sunk. As soon as you make the airplane do close support, air-to-air, deep interdiction bombing, and to carry a long laundry list of technology as long as my arm, you’re sunk, you’ll never get a good airplane out of that, you’ll get a clooge (i.e. not fully functional or buggy), that will fail time and time again.” According to the report, Mr. Sprey also said, “Maneuverability is appallingly bad. It has terrific problems trying to fly fast at low altitude. It overheats, and when you detect the overheating, you have to open the bomb bay doors to cool the missiles that are inside.”
RT report found here.
Video from The Fifth Estate found here.