Loren B. Thompson of the Lexington Institute didn’t much care for our F-35 story last week. On his Early Warning blog, he calls it a “misleading” and “sloppy” story that left out all the positive news about the $396 billion program.
Unfortunately, a growing number of Pentagon officials acknowledge the Defense Department can’t afford the full 2,457-plane buy, regardless of Thompson’s (no relation) view of the program.
Beyond that, they argue a mixture of F-35s and existing warplanes is sufficient, the tri-service approach failed, the program has been mismanaged for close to a decade, and that its costs-performance tradeoff is heading in the wrong direction.
But don’t take our word for it: take it from this editorial last fall in Aviation Week magazine, the bible of the aerospace trade and a firm supporter of the defense industry.
Just not as much a supporter as the Lexington Institute, which gets a “significant” chunk of its $2.5 million in annual funding from defense contractors.