Is the F-35 a Failure?

Has the US Air Force admitted the F-35 programme is a failure? A report in Airforce Mag suggests the F-35 programme has failed to achieve its goals. 

It also says the USAF need a next-generation (sixth generation aircraft) fighter.

According to the chief of staff General Charles Q. Brown USAF also needs a new, “5th-generation minus / 4.5th-generation aircraft.” 

Brown acknowledged some recent issues with the F-35 and suggested one potential solution was to fly the plane less often.

Reviewing foreign arms sales made by the Donald Trump administration, President Joe Biden has suspended a $23 billion sale of F-35s to the UAE. Yeah, that was a political decision.

Perhaps it is a good thing for the UAE the Biden administration is stalling the sale. It could save them more money in terms of repairs and replacement of the F-35.

Nevertheless, Brown says, “I want to moderate how much we’re using those aircraft.”

“You don’t drive your Ferrari to work every day, you only drive it on Sundays. This is our high end, we want to make sure we don’t use it all for the low-end fight… We don’t want to burn up capability now and wish we had it later.”

That is true for non-conflict days but if there is a war and the US is involved in the war, would the F-35 be useful?

The F-35 was built to replace a range of older aircraft. It is the product of a joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.

The programme is a multi-national development effort between the United States, the UK, and multiple other partner nations. 

The plan was to create a single aircraft that could replace a wide range of air, ground, and strike fighter capabilities.


But since its creation, the F-35 has a mission capable rate of 69 per cent which is below the 80 per cent benchmark set by the military. 

Only 36 per cent of the F-35 fleet is available for any required mission, well below the required 50 per cent standard. 

it also has faster than expected engine wear, transparency delamination of the cockpit, and unspecified problems with the F-35’s power module. 

Reports say there are many problems with the F-35 that it is very difficult to summarize.

Extreme Tech listed some of them:

Pilot blackouts, premature part failures, software development disasters to the possibility that firing the main gun can crack the plane

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