An F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, approaches Edwards Air Force Base in California in May 2010. Canada's plans to buy 65 of the planes is on hold. Recently a USAF General said the plane is irrelevant when not accompanied on missions by the F-22
Photo Credit: Tom Reynolds/Lockheed Martin Corp./Reuters

Another strike against the Joint Strike Fighter

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Canada’s intended purchase of 65 of the US-designed F-35 JSF- Joint Strike Fighter jet has long been a source of controversy over both the excessive cost and whether it even suits Canada’s needs.

Some critics point out that Canada’s long-gone CF-105 Avro Arrow- scrapped itself in extreme controversy in 1959, could fly faster and farther than the F-35.

Concerns over costs, delays, and performance capabilities, has led several countries to reduce or delay their orders for the controversial fighter

Now Canadian critics of the plan to buy the F-35 as a replacement for ageing CF-18’s have been handed a new argument against the expensive purchase.

“Without the upgraded F-22, the F-35 fleet will be frankly, irrelevant”

A US General has recently said the stealth fighter is limited in what it can do and actually needs to be accompanied on missions by another model fighter, the F-22.

Gen. Michael Hostage is  head of air combat command in the U.S.  and spoke in an interview with the Air Force Times published in February. While he said the F-35 is still critical for the future of that country’s air force, he said the F-35 needs to work hand-in-hand with the F-22.

“The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform,” Hostage said. “It needs the F-22.”  He added, “Without the upgraded F-22, the F-35 fleet will be frankly, irrelevant”

Those comments echo other concerns that the F-35 is mainly designed to strike ground targets and is not well suited to interceptions and air-to-air combat.

Canada’s Department of National Defence  originally said the jets would cost $14.7 billion, but the Parliamentary Budget Officer later said  the price would be more like $29 billion.

Due to severe criticism of the contract procedure  for the purchase of the F-35, the whole procurement process is under review.  It has not been decided yet whether to proceed with the F-35 deal, or re-open the bidding to other manufacturers.

The F-22 Raptor and F-35 are both made by Lockheed-Martin. However, it calls the F-22 “the world’s most advanced fighter” and the US bans foreign sales of this aircraft.

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One comment on “Another strike against the Joint Strike Fighter
  1. Avatar Edward Schweikert says:

    With the Russian-Ukrainian encounter, governments will find the money/resources to buy the airplane.