Last month, the US Department of Defense formally decreed that a decision on full-rate production of the F-35 jet is on indefinite hold due to technical challenges and the impact of COVID19.
The news of the US Air Force launching a study to develop a new fighter jet, more suitable for a “low-end fight” than the expensive F-35, sparked outrage online after a Forbes article described the report as “a tacit admission” that the fifth-gen fighter had failed.
Brown also pointed at the complicated and expensive design of F-35 fighters, comparing the jet to an expensive sportscar: “You don’t drive your Ferrari to work every day, you only drive it on Sundays. This is our ‘high end’ [fighter], we want to make sure we don’t use it all for the low-end fight … We don’t want to burn up capability now and wish we had it later.”
This caused an outrage online after Forbes called the news of the USAF developing another fighter jet an admission that the F-35 programme was a failure by Pentagon, saying that the costly F-35 since its very outset had been intended to replace the ageing F-16.
The United States currently has two models of fifth-gen fighter jets on duty: the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II, which is actually a family of similar multirole combat aircraft. The F-22 jet, being designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, has seen its production cut due to high costs and lack of air-to-air missions. The F-35 was…