BY DAN GRAZIER
JUNE 08, 2023
The Air Force’s top civilian leader says the F-35 program taught everyone how not to buy a fighter jet and vows not to repeat the mistakes that turned history’s most expensive weapon program into an absolute boondoggle. While it is refreshing to hear an official acknowledge some of the fundamental problems with the F-35 program, no one at the top levels wants to acknowledge all of them. Even worse, none seem willing to question the basic premise of a manned fighter in the age of long-range precision fires and integrated air defense networks.
Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall says the government will acquire the intellectual property for the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) fighter when the service awards a development contract for the program in 2024. This seems to be the biggest lesson learned by the government from the F-35 program: Pentagon officials had failed to include the transfer of the intellectual property from Lockheed Martin as part of the original 2001 development contract, a failure that has led to a series of problems ever since.[FULL ARTICLE]