REPORT: F-35, Thunder without Lightning

Home / / REPORT: F-35, Thunder without Lightning

REPORT: F-35, Thunder without Lightning

Thunder without Lightning: The High Costs and Limited Benefits of the F-35 Program

Policy Report by Bill French
August 2015

The National Security Network (NSN) is pleased to release a new policy report, Thunder without Lightning: The High Costs and Limited Benefits of the F-35. According to our analysis, the F-35 lacks the capabilities to execute its primary mission, and costs too much relative to its predecessors. The Department of Defense should examine ways to reduce its commitment to this albatross of an acquisition program.

To read the full report, click here.

From the report:

“To perform against near-peer adversaries, the F-35 will have to be capable of executing a range of missions, from defeating enemy aircraft to penetrating enemy air defenses to strike surface targets. But the F-35 will struggle to effectively perform these missions due to shortcomings in its design and program requirements, despite costing between three and nine times more than the 4th-generation aircraft it is designed to replace.

The F-35 will find itself outmaneuvered, outgunned, out of range, and visible to enemy sensors. Going forward, full investment in the F-35 would be to place a bad trillion-dollar bet on the future of airpower based on flawed assumptions and an underperforming aircraft. To avoid such a catastrophic outcome, Congress and DOD should begin the process of considering alternatives to a large-scale commitment to the F-35. Staying the present course may needlessly gamble away a sizable margin of American airpower at great expense and unnecessary risk to American lives.”

To read the full report, click here.

In the News

  • NSN Policy Report in Stars and Stripes, 8/11/2015
  • NSN Policy Report in The Diplomat, 8/11/2015
  • NSN Policy Report Mentioned in the Early Bird Brief, 8/12/2015
  • Bill French Discusses NSN F-35 Report on The Zero Hour, 8/14/2015
Photo Credit: Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates tours the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter production facility, U.S. Public Domain [8/31/2009]

Receive the NSN Update

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 28: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives to testify at a hearing before the  House Foreign Affairs Committee July 28, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee is reviewing the proposed Iran nuclear agreement. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)Capture