This is news from 16/9/2012:
In short, 6 Harrier jets were destroyed and 2 damaged in Taliban attack. It drives home the point that air bases are bound to be attacked, and aircraft are bound to be attacked, regardless of type of war waged.
F-35 is supposed to replace Harrier. But when we compare them, F-35 costs 200 million USD per aircraft, whereas Harrier costs 30 million USD per aircraft. If these aircraft were F-35s, total damage would have exceeded 1 billion USD – not to mention health and environmental damage from toxic stealth coatings. Attack was done by 15 insurgents; what would have happened against well-trained spec ops team?
In any war, aircraft are bound to be destroyed – in air, and on the ground. Yet F-35s are simply to expensive and complicated to replace, not in small part thanks to their stealth coatings.