F-35 analysis lousy
Regarding the column “Big-budget F-35 ‘can't turn, can't climb, can't run'” by David Axe, national security editor at Medium.com: Mr. Axe clearly has one to grind.
This entire column is based on one cleverly dramatic quote, not actual test data. This kind of stone-throwing by a non-aviator, non-engineer really boils me. It's grossly simplistic solipsism to say that if something is expensive and part of the Department of Defense, it must perforce be a stupid purchase. Axe adds enough qualifiers in his text to cover his delicate sensibility, but this column is a waste of ink.
While in the Navy, I flew an A-7 Corsair — an absolute slug of a single-engine airplane — for over 2,000 flight hours and hundreds of carrier landings. It was grossly underpowered with a notoriously unreliable engine. Yet it was a hugely successful machine in the only place where it counts: actual combat. The A-7 proved itself in Vietnam, Libya, Grenada, Lebanon and even the first Gulf War.
How did we ever survive without some “analyst” telling the world about all its faults? We learned the airplane and played its strengths against the enemy's weaknesses. Based on what I read in the column, the RAND Corp. “study” was most likely a simple graph-versus-graph comparison of the F-35 and a number of nominally comparable Chinese fighters. It is a lousy analysis.
The writer is a retired Navy fighter pilot.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Trophy shot trumps learning
- EPA not the problem
- Speak up on illegals
- Law applies to drillers, too
- The real big spenders
- Can’t go it alone
- EPA impoverishing seniors
- Give thanks for vets
- Quarantine quandary
- Voting insanity
- On right track