Martin made an important stride towards proving the financial burden of its
F-35 program is worthwhile, when it recently delivered a production jet at
Eglin Air Force Base. The private contractor believes the F-35 will help
modernize the U.S. military, and help allies keep their airspace safe (for a
The F-35 model Eglin took delivery of was the F-35 Lightning II model, and the
jet requires a traditional takeoff and landing. Eglin first expected to receive
the fighter in November, but design and engineering issues forced a delay until
"We're incredibly proud of our government/industry team whose steadfast
dedication to this program led to the successful delivery of AF-9
today,” noted Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin F-35 program manager. "The
exceptional capabilities of this 5th generation fighter are now in the very
capable hands of the men and women of the 33rd Fighter Wing who are ushering in
a new era of F-35 training. We look forward to delivering our full complement
of F-35s to the Emerald Coast in the months and years ahead.”
The F-35's introduction at Eglin AFB has led to excitement in the region, with
base officials anxiously waiting since late 2009.
Even though Eglin personnel had to wait longer than expected, preparation work
continued in simulators and in classrooms. Flight operators are now trying to
figure out how to split up flight and training time among an anxious staff
hoping to jump into the cockpit and have wrench time with the aircraft.
The F-35 Lightning II and other variations of the pricey fighter jet will be
utilized by the Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, and several other allied
Despite being a program with extremely high hopes, the F-35 has endured a bumpy
road as budget issues and continued delays plague the military. Lockheed
recently told the Senate Armed Services Committee that some models will cost a
whopping $771 million per aircraft -- with a $264M down payment requested to the
To make matters worse, necessary F-22 upgrades also are overbudget, and U.S. lawmakers are
growing tired of Lockheed Martin's development issues.
quote: What's ugly is that the F-35 sacrifices everything that makes a good fighter (range, speed, armaments, maneuverability) for the supposed 5'th Generation stealth advantage, when in fact, it's not as stealthy as the F-22 and it's "advantage" is nearly negated by more advanced detection systems.
quote: It just so happened that during the A-10s conception, soldiers on the ground were expected to defend against Soviet tanks, hence the reason for the GAU-30 in the A-10. In fact, I would argue that the Avenger is a CAS weapon with anti-armor capability, rather than an anti-armor weapon that has proved useful for CAS.
quote: For straight up anti-armor, not CAS, a flight of F-15Es carrying eight GBU-12s each is arguably a more reliable, efficient and survivable solution than a flight of A-10s (i.e. "Tank Plinking").
quote: Well I was pretty much with you until this. How can you argue that, I mean really. A CAS weapon with anti armor abilities? Bull! You don't wrap a plane around a cannon capable of penetrating main tank armor with a depleted uranium slug and call it a "CAS" weapon that just happens to have anti-armor capabilities. Come on, what are you trying to spin here?
quote: Too fast and not nearly maneuverable enough down low at those speeds. Tanks aren't always sitting out in an open field. To kill a tank, especially dug in ones, you first have to SEE the tanks. Tanks usually aren't alone either, you also have to engage support vehicles and anti-aircraft defenses. That's where the A-10 comes in.
quote: In short, how can the A-10 possibly be better in a straight up anti-armor role (non-CAS)? It is more vulnerable to AA defenses and enemy fighters, and carries less anti-tank munitions than the F-15E.
quote: In comparison, A-10s did some daytime SCUD hunting but spent the majority of its time hunting tanks over Kuwait/Basra. That's one reason why A-10s scored more anti-armor kills.
quote: You gave up trying to argue that a 30mm cannon can reliably penetrate the armor of enemy tanks, so I guess I should credit you for progress.
quote: I really don't get your hostile resistance to the notion that the F-15E can be a better anti-armor platform than the A-10 in a non-CAS role.
quote: Uhhh duh? Maybe because the A-10 was specifically designed and equipped to hunt tanks? It's not a coincidence that the A-10 gets the nod anytime we need a strike against enemy armor. If you were correct, we would have used F-15's exclusively.
quote: Only in the front. Guess what? Tank treads aren't armored. And every A-10 jockey knows the rear of a tank is the sweet spot. The armor is thinner and the engine and fuel are there too. Claiming the 30mm cannon with depleted uranium penetrates and exploding rounds cannot decimate tanks is hilarious. Truly ignorant.
quote: Anti-Armor is part of CAS! Read the links in my post below. Both of yall are correct about some aspects of the A-10 role, but yall are hoplessly fixed on different aspects.
quote: You just want to keep diminishing the A-10's anti-tank specialty in an effort to convince us it's a "close air support" craft exclusively. Keep dreaming. For CAS it doesn't need that uber cannon, it's such overkill.
quote: less programs = less contracts = less profits = less room for competitors = less need for competition = companies merge = less competition for future contracts = higher costs for future contracts = fewer programs put up for bid = fewer programs =....
quote: So what you're saying is, money has been arbitrarily funneled into a smaller and smaller number of contracts to larger and large companies. I wonder what mechanism drove that?