An article by Zachary B. Wolf on CNN discusses the F-35 program and highlights the recent incident of a fighter jet going missing near Charleston, South Carolina. The F-35 program has gained notoriety due to its exorbitant cost, with each aircraft approximately costing $100 million and the overall program estimated at $1.7 trillion. These figures raise concerns about the feasibility and management of such an expensive venture, especially given noteworthy issues like losing track of jets. The program has been criticized as a “boondoggle” due to delays, overspending, and operational challenges.
The F-35 is a stealth fighter designed to evade enemy detection and is highly praised by pilots for its capabilities. However, there are numerous problems associated with the program, including difficulties in obtaining spare parts, the need for frequent repairs, and dependence on contractors, which limit the opportunity for flights. The Government Accountability Office has reported that the F-35 program is more than a decade behind schedule and exceeds cost estimates by $183 billion. Experts attribute these shortcomings primarily to the ambitious goal of developing one aircraft that can fulfill various mission requirements, a goal that has been deemed unrealistic in practice.
Despite the criticisms and setbacks, the F-35 program continues to attract international customers, including US allies who remain interested in purchasing from Lockheed Martin. This suggests a certain level of trust in the company’s ability to address the issues and deliver an efficient multi-role aircraft in the long term.
This article is 85% likely to be factual news based on my current analysis.