The F-35 is a turkey. So says Pierre Sprey, co-designer of the F-16, in an interview with CBC-TV's public affairs programme The Fifth Estate. In Mr. Sprey's not-so-humble opinion, the F-35 is an inherently terrible airplane, built for what was a dumb idea to begin with. He predicts that the plane will fail time and time again. Cost of failure? A trillion bucks. Here's the video.
Walt feels compelled, in the interests of fairness, to tell you how to find a detailed rebuttal. Tyler Rogoway is a self-styled defence journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com. In "Pierre Sprey's Anti-F-35 Diatribe is Half Brilliant and Half Bullshit", he says that Pierre Sprey's comments are... what the title says.
Walt's conclusion if that the F-35 may... may make sense for the USAF, but not for the RCAF. It is the Canadian government's proposed purchase of the "turkey" that spurred the interview with Mr. Sprey. The major problem, from a Canadian point of view, is that the F-35 has only one engine, like the ill-fated F-104/CF-104 "Widow-maker".
Three or four other types were (supposedly) considered by the Canadian Defence Ministry. All of them had two engines, like the CF-18 Hornet which the F-35 is supposed to replace. One engine may be enough for missions in America or Europe or even the Middle East [Really??!! Ed.], where, in the event of engine failure, a place to land won't be that far away. But in the barren wastes of the Great White North, if you lose your only engine, you'll be polar bear food. That's all ye know and all ye need to know.
Thanks and a right proper salute to Agent 34 who sent us the link.