Finally, US realises its Joint Strike Fighter a dud

Finally, US realises its Joint Strike Fighter a dud. By Robert Gottliebsen.

He starts off with the lead facts in David Archibald’s article, posted two days on the WR:

Accordingly the US Air Force Warfighting Integration Capability office now recommends that the future US fleet of F-35s should be reduced from 1763 to 1050. That’s a way of adjusting for a failure but not officially announcing it.

By contrast Christopher Miller, who was acting US secretary of defence from November 9 2020 to January 20 2021, pulled no punches and declared the JSF/F-35 “a piece of shit”. I am grateful to David Archibald writing in the Wentworth magazine for the above information. …

F-35 rejected as “a piece of shit” by US Secretary of Defence

(Btw, I wonder if Gottliebsen misreported the name of the “Wentworth Report” as the “Wentworth magazine” because we are on the naughty list, for noting that the recent US election was probably stolen? At Gottliebsen’s newspaper, The Australian, questioning the US election result is apparently forbidden. Last time Gottliebsen acknowledged us, he did it correctly. Hmmm.)

Australia’s defence procurement went south after it became politicized by a minister seeking short term political advantage:

Sadly we also know the JSF/F-35 is not an isolated mistake and we have made a series of other blunders, led by the tragic $220 billion plus submarine adventure. At least with the JSF America was in favour of the aircraft, but on the submarine issue they think we are mad. …

How on earth did we get into this mess? Back in the post-World War II 20th century, we had a superb defence equipment operation.

Then, in 1999, the then secretary of defence Paul Barratt and his defence equipment chief Gary Jones fell out with the then defence minister John Moore. It appears Barratt was an enthusiast for the Collins class submarine whereas Moore saw its failure as a political tool to attack former defence minister Kim Beazley.

Barratt and Jones were sacked but they were right — the Collins class submarine had some early problems but ended up being a superb submarine.

The sacking of two of Australia’s best public servants over such an issue sent a chilling message through the whole defence establishment. Future defence ministers now had far more power but in the 20 years that followed we have had 10 defence ministers. The superb team that Barratt built up scattered.

Many of those who made later equipment decisions had good battle experience but not were not project engineers and were easily misled. And once they made a decision they would never retreat even when it was clear they were wrong.