The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is possibly one of the most useless jets and biggest waste of taxpayer money ever conceived by the US military. In fact, according to Pierre Sprey, one of the three men that created the F-16, the point of this plane is "to spend money." He clarifies, "that is the mission of the airplane, is for the US Congress to send money to Lockheed [Martin]."
The airplane is a gross example of exorbitant spending on an overblown military budget. Three different services have had their hands in what this airplane is supposed to do (the US Air Force, Navy and Marines) and as a result, it is overloaded and does nothing well. It's too bulky to function as an air-to-air combat jet, can't function in support due to its lack of fuel and is "inherently a terrible airplane," says Sprey, "because it's an airplane built for a dumb idea. As soon as you go to design a multi-mission airplane, you're sunk."
He explains that when a plane tries to do too much, it does nothing well.
So the military has spent nearly $400 billion dollars on the development of this monster with little to show for it. It is unable to fire its own gun until 2019 due to software issues, has a stealth mechanism that is easily detectable by 70 year-old radar and has been grounded 13 times in the last 9 years due to take-off issues. Even if the firing software is available in 2019, which is a generous estimate, it will not be able to carry sufficient ammunition.
In a simulated air battle with China, the plane was rated "double-inferior," and it was documented that it "can't turn, can't climb, can't run."
If not scrapped, the jet is expected to cost us $1.45 trillion.
The argument then becomes "what do we do with that money instead?"
If the F-35 is scrapped and we return our tax money to a functioning purpose, we can spend $62 billion a year and provide free college education across the country for the next 23 years.
Is this even a debate?
Here is the jaw dropping interview with Sprey, where he derides the uselessness of the F-35.