F-35A (airforce HTO-HL) Will be in small operational testing with the people who will actualy fly them.
Posted by Wickedpinto on February 21, 2011
This is good news, though some of the article says that they are fast tracking. Maybe because of some of the eeorish (likely rightly placed but they might prove us wrong) of Xbrad, Mesa and I not trusting the rosy promises of the plain being fully functional, especially the naval versions. Just last year, it looked like the ’35 would have been drawn out for another 2 years, moving fleet inventories from 2014, to 2016, all while cutting off funding to the f-22, I still think that was a mistake, but I’m affraid of heights, I just read reviews.
the ’22 has approximately the same airframe as the ’35, as I understand it, and economies of scale would drive prices down as long as there is enough cross production of basic parts, and while 500 is a solid number for a complete fleet, most nations don’t have the land mass, or the international obligations that the US has. Stopping at 500, sounds short of ideal, since it would increase maintenance and replacement costs across all US theaters of guardianship.
But overall, good news if it follows through, and wasn’t fast tracked irresponsibly.