At an estimated lifetime development, production, operational and maintenance cost of $2 trillion or more (adjusted for inflation), the F-35 perhaps most of all symbolizes notorious Pentagon waste, fraud and abuse – ripping off taxpayers, using the nation’s resources irresponsibly, at the expense of vital homeland needs.
Pentagon hype calls the F-35 “a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment” – for Army, Navy and Marine Corps use, as well as for selected allies.
After a decade of development and limited production, it still doesn’t work as intended. In service since the 1970s, the F-16 outclasses it. In simulated dogfights, an F-35 test pilot called it “at a distinct energy disadvantage.”