Despite F-22 choking its pilots – issue that may not have been solved even now – and F-35 having more problems than all European armaments programmes put together, US Department of Defense has decided that work should begin on a new stealth aircraft. It is easy to understand why – with F-22 out of production, and F-35 facing massive cuts in orders, US military aviation giants – Lockheed Martin, and Boeing – are desperate to find a new cow to milk. Ever since General Dynamics and Northrop Grumann have stopped producing fighter aircraft, these two firms have had free rein of US aviation industry. That situation has resulted in averagely effective and cripplingly expensive F-22, and utterly ineffective but almost-as-expensive F-35.
That decision comes in face of proposed budgetary cuts, and may indeed be a way for armaments industry to make cuts irrelevant, by inducing cost overruns that will have to be paid by taxpayers. While it certainly is useful for keeping industry going, it is hard to see why next platform has to be LO or VLO, as neither F-22 or F-35 are more advanced or more useful than their European counterparts.
Contrary to the claims in the article, F-35 is anything but high-performance aircraft. It is low-performance fighter/bomber/AWACS mix that does many things, but none well. However, as F-35 has harmed defense industry of US alleged allies – in reality, occupied countries – only high-performance fighters in production in these countries are French Dassault Rafale and multinational Eurofighter Typhoon, latter of whom is suffering cuts due to budgetary reductions as well as US diplomatic pressure aimed at making room for low-performance gold-plated F-35 bomber.