Aaron Mehta talks about all the issues with the F-35 fighter jet, a plane that has been in development for 20 years and still can’t do many of the things it was designed for. Mehta describes his long investigation into the F-35 project, which upon initial release had 13 “category 1” deficiencies, which are problems that could result in the death of the pilot or loss of the airplane. Some of these deficiencies have been fixed or “downgraded,” but serious questions remain about the F-35’s safety for its intended uses. Mehta also explains the ways the project was made politically untouchable from the very beginning by distributing the manufacture of its components among 48 states and many foreign countries. Now a project that produces planes that basically don’t work can never be dismantled.
Discussed on the show:
- “Five F-35 issues have been downgraded, but they remain unsolved” (Defense News)
- “The Pentagon has cut the number of serious F-35 technical flaws in half” (Defense News)
- “The Pentagon is battling the clock to fix serious, unreported F-35 problems” (Defense News)
Aaron Mehta is Deputy Editor and Senior Pentagon Correspondent at Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Department of Defense and its international partners. Follow him on Twitter @AaronMehta.
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