Meet the Lockheed F-35 Stealth Fighter's Dirty Little Secret
"The Air Force's F-35A, the Marines' F-35B and the Navy's F-35C should, in all fairness, be the F-35, F-36 and F-37."
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November 25, 2018 - by David Axe for NationalInterest.org
If the military and lawmakers had recognized then what they admit now — that the JSF is three different planes — the government could have awarded three separate contracts to potentially three different contractors, thus preventing the current fighter monopoly and encouraging diversity and competition within the U.S. aerospace industry.
No, the Joint Strike Fighter is actually three different plane designs sharing a basic cockpit, engine and software and a logistical network. The Air Force's F-35A, the Marines' F-35B and the Navy's F-35C should, in all fairness, be the F-35, F-36 and F-37.
"Despite aspirations for a joint aircraft, the F-35A, F-35B and F-35C are essentially three distinct aircraft, with significantly different missions and capability requirements," the Senate stated in its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017.
The Senate's assertion comes just three months after U.S. Air Force lieutenant general Christopher Bogdan, head of the JSF program office, told a seminar audience that the three F-35 models are only 20- to 25-percent common, mainly in their cockpits
It's "almost like three separate production lines,"...