The Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning is the do-it-all jet with a reputation that it just can’t shake off. The universal fighter jet seeks to replace all other existing aircraft but it just can’t seem to get the bugs out of its system. Despite these development problems, there is one nation that has stepped forward to replace their entire Air Force with F-35s, Australia.
Officials from the Australian Air Force have announced that they will be phasing out their jets and replacing them with F-35s. The first two F-35s will be delivered to Australia in 2018 and by 2025 their entire Air Force will consist of the Fifth-Generation fighter jet.
“[Australia] a committed high-tech ally of the United States. We can prosecute our shared interests together.”
– Air Marshal Leo Davies (Center for Strategic and International Studies)
Not everyone is thrilled with the decision to move forward with the F-35. Several defense analysts objected to the purchase at an Australian senate inquiry investigation claiming it to be a Ponzi cash grab.
“When the product fails, recruit as many clients as you can, promote the product as loudly as you can, keep the cash flowing for as long as the market remains blind to its failure.”
– Peter Goon (Air Power Australia Founder)
Overhauling the Australian Air Force with 72 F-35s is expected to cost $17 billion over the next eight years. Where do you stand on the issue? Is Australia making a bold move by being the first in line or are they in the wrong?