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Pentagon, Lockheed rebut F-35 fighter jet critics
- Subject: Pentagon, Lockheed rebut F-35 fighter jet critics
- From: rossana <rossana at comodinoposta.org>
- Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2008 00:09:40 +0200
- User-agent: Thunderbird 22.214.171.124 (Windows/20080914)
Già il GAO pubblicò una relazione sfavorevole al JSF, ora ne arrivano
altre (oltre quelle della Rand che poi smentisce).
Storia del programma più costoso degli Stati Uniti. (a cui l'Italia dà
Nell'articolo qui sotto si dice che l'F-35 durante delle simulazioni
virtuali (Wargame di Pacific Vision ) avrebbe mostrato prestazioni
inferiori nel combattimento con caccia come i Su-30. L'Australia ne
sarebbe rimasta allarmata perchè sarebbe una possibile acquirente. Il
Generale responsabile del Pentagono per il programma JSF Charles R.
Davis, smentisce in una teleconferenza organizzata insieme alla
Lockheed, le affermazioni dei russi (che hanno utilizzato il wargame)
affermando che la simulazione si basava su dati travisati.
Ma secondo Pierre Sprey, ex-ufficiale del Pentagono coinvolto nella
progettazione dell’F-16 e Winslow Wheeler, analista del Center for
Defense Information, l’aereo sarebbe sovrappeso, con un motore
sottopotenziato, trasporta troppe poche armi, non è in grado di
supportare adeguatamente le truppe al suolo essendo troppo veloce per
ingaggiare bersagli tattici al suolo in attività CAS, troppo fragile per
fronteggiare fuoco da terra e con troppa poca autonomia per sorvolare la
zona d’operazioni per periodi prolungati.
Di fatto la risposta dell'azienda alle critiche è che le prestazioni
sono pari a quelle degli EFA europei. E allora? Perchè l'Italia li vuole
addirittura entrambi in un periodo di grave crisi economica?
Pentagon, Lockheed rebut F-35 fighter jet critics
By Jim Wolf
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin Corp , its
largest supplier, sought on Friday to shoot down criticism of their $299
billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the costliest planned U.S.
arms buy ever.
Published reports that Russian-built Sukhoi fighter jets thrashed the
F-35 in simulated dogfights last month are "just flat false," Air Force
Maj. Gen. Charles Davis, the Pentagon official in charge of the program,
said in a teleconference hastily called by Lockheed to rebut negative
publicity at a critical juncture for the program.
Development of the family of radar-evading, multi-role, single engine
F-35 fighters was co-financed by Britain, Italy, the Netherlands,
Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway.
Each of these countries is within a couple of months to a couple of
years of making F-35 procurement decisions, and some people with
unspecified "agendas" may be maneuvering, Davis said.
F-35 competitors include Saab's, Gripen, the Dassault, Rafale, MiG-35
and Sukhoi Su-35, and the Eurofighter Typhoon, made by a consortium of
British, German, Italian and Spanish companies.
The West Australian newspaper reported earlier this month that F-35s had
been "clubbed like baby seals" by simulated Sukhois at war games in
Hawaii last month.
Tom Burbage, general manager of the F-35 program for Lockheed Martin,
said in the teleconference, "We've been able to put the issue in
Australia to bed." He said Australia's prime minister had been among
those troubled by the report.
Davis countered that the exercise at issue, Pacific Vision 2008, did not
even address air-to-air combat effectiveness, dealing instead with
logistics issues around the Pacific Rim.
Citing U.S. Air Force analyses, he said the F-35 is at least 400 percent
more effective in air-to-air combat capability than the best fighters
currently available in the international market, including Sukhois.
Davis and Burbage also took aim at a highly critical guest column in the
September 10 issue of Jane's Defence Weekly, a trade publication, by
industry-watchers Winston Wheeler and Pierre Sprey, who helped shape
Lockheed's F-16 fighter.
Wheeler and Sprey tarred the F-35 as a "dog," calling it overweight,
underpowered and, with a payload of only two 2,000-pound bombs in its
bomb bay, "hardly a first-class bomber either."
As a close-support attack aircraft, they wrote it is too fast to see the
tactical targets it is shooting at; too delicate and flammable to
withstand ground fire; and lacking the "endurance" to loiter usefully
over friendly ground forces for sustained periods.
In a rebuttal statement, Lockheed said the F-35 was a "racehorse, not a
'dog'," with unprecedented combat advantages, including the most
powerful engine ever installed in a fighter.
The first F-35, a conventional take-off and landing version, began its
flight testing program on December 15, 2006.
After the June 11 maiden flight of a short take-off, vertical landing
model, the Pentagon's top arms buyer, John Young, said the program was
more mature than comparable ones at this stage of development "in terms
of quality, software, testing and manufacturing readiness."
Lockheed's chief F-35 subcontractors are Northrop Grumman Corp and BAE
Systems Plc . Two rival, interchangeable F-35 engines are under
development. One is built by United Technologies Corp's, Pratt & Whitney
unit; the other by a team of General Electric Co and Rolls-Royce Group Plc .
The United States currently plans to buy a total of 2,443 F-35 models --
including 1,763 for the U.S. Air Force and 680 for the Marine Corps and
Navy together. It is the costliest U.S. arms program ever at a projected
Hundreds of others may be sold overseas to replace a range of fighters,
including Lockheed F-16s and Boeing Co, F-18s.
Davis has said the F-35 is on course to become a $1 trillion venture
worldwide through 2065, when the last scheduled to be built would reach
the end of its projected service life.
One trillion dollars is "what it costs to develop, buy, upgrade, sustain
and fly more than 3,000 airplanes through their entire scheduled life
cycle," he told Reuters in July, referring to the projected world fleet.