If you want to chop down a tree, you get an axe, right? What if you need to hammer in a nail? You'd get yourself a hammer. Of course, if you're a government contractor, you could spend $300 billion to design a tool that's an axe on one end of the handle and a hammer on the other. Is it going to do either job particularly well? No, but in theory, it's cheaper to buy an axehammer than it is to buy an axe and a hammer. See what I'm getting at?
The same concept applies to the JSF. Google "F-14 Tomcat" and "A-10 Warthog". Take a look at those two planes, maybe spend a couple of minutes reading up on what they were designed to do. The F-35 is supposed to play a part in replacing both of them. You can throw all the money and technology you want at an aircraft (and the government certainly has), but the mission requirements are just too divergent for it to ever be a solution that satisfies everyone. Right now, I think it'd be a stretch to say that it's satisfying anyone.
I am aware of the Warthog. I built model planes as a kid and had 4 of them. I suppose my confusion lies in the idea that I I thought the attempt was to replace three jets of similar style to the F-14, F-16 etc.. and just add enough utility that all branches would could use it. I mean what kind of fighter can house the cannon in the front of the warthog or the amount of armament it can carry on the wings?
The argument against F-16s is that they're a 40-year-old platform. Never mind that they're a 40-year-old platform that can still kick the crap out of anything today, but, you know...
The JSF's problem, imo, is that it's designed to do too much. It's supposed to replace the USAF's F-16s (meaning it needs to be an air superiority fighter with ground attack capability), the Marines' AV-8B Harriers (meaning it needs strong ground attack capability with vertical takeoff and landing) and to help replace several Navy aircraft with varying missions (meaning it needs to take off and land from carriers).
You can make minor tweaks here and there, for example, a weaker landing gear on the USAF version since it won't be slamming into moving target runways at 160 kts. or an auxiliary lift jet in the Marines' version, but at the end of the day, you're trying to build a single airframe that can be the best air superiority fighter in the world, one of the best light bombers in the world, and one of the best forward air support aircraft in the world. If you're keeping track at home, that means that the same aircraft has to be able to do the jobs of the F-14 Tomcat and the A-10 Warthog. Find me two more dissimilar combat aircraft in the world. I triple-dog-dare you.
Optimization for multiple roles means superiority in none. It's the same reason that you don't ask one player to be your starting running back, your kicker and your free safety, no matter how good that player is in all three roles. If you have a running back that can play some safety and be an emergency fill-in, cool, but you don't sign a running back expecting him to be your top safety as well.
The F-35 is a story of compromises (and going back and reading about its history is actually someplace between funny and sad), and when you make too many compromises, mediocrity is the result. I wouldn't be shocked if, ultimately, one or more of the F-35 variants ends up on the scrap heap as a result. No one person or party is to blame. Trying to fill three completely different jobs with one airframe was a terrible idea from the start, and now we're seeing what happens when a bean-counter walks into the room and asks if we could save some money by designing one aircraft instead of three.
Hmmm.... I guess I still just don't understand why superior tech and weaponry in a superior air frame is not enough or doable? I will take your word for it.
Hasn't the JSF program been little more than an utter debacle for a decade now? I mean, Lockheed doesn't care. They just say, "Oops, found another problem. It'll cost an extra $100M to fix," and Uncle Sam hands them a check.
Such is life when you try to try to fill three completely different missions with one aircraft that isn't optimized for any of them.
I don't claim to be an expert in any field necessary to understand this but, I do wonder how hard it has to be to develop a jet that can maneuver, fire rockets, fire bombs and land on a carrier.... Those are the requirements right? Or is there another function I am missing? I am truly interested in this.
In addition, couldn't they just fully upgrade all the tech and roll out new F-16's if they are still the top dogs?
I work on Prius's all the time. They're not bad cars for flat Florida but I wouldn't dare imagine taking one into the mountains or snow. I've worked on all the generations the whole battery thing is overblown only had to replace one battery ever it was a 10 year old model and it ran about 2500 installed.
Any car getting better then 40mpg is good these days. Heck I know a few guys that have a Prius to get to work (it's normal to have to drive 80-100 miles one way from putnam county for work) and have a truck around their property. I drive my Mazda 3 ( roughly 33 mpg ) to and from work ( 70 mile round trip) and leave my silverado at home.
The best hybrid is still the Prius despite all the stereotyping it gets. There really isn't anything close. All the new Hondas and Toyota are taking 0w20 so the maintane is pretty much the same across the board. Just you'll use less gas with the Prius over an accord or Camry
False, they are only the stupid choices made by un-intelligent proggies.