Busting 5 Myths About The F-35

Busting 5 Myths About The F-35 | World War Wings Videos

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In this post, we’ll be busting some myths about the highly capable yet extremely controversial F-35:

Myth 5: All the F-35 does is crash

F-35s seem as though they often crash since there are a lot of them in the skies on any given day. The truth is, it’s the safest modern fighter ever built. 

Looking back at the crash data of the jet during its first 12 years of service as compared to the A-10, F-15, F-16, or F-22, you’ll find that the F-35 has a significantly better track record. Today, the F-5 loss rate is about 1%.

Myth 4: F-35s are just too expensive to operate

F-35s cost an average of about $67,000 per hour to operate. However, Lockheed Martin and the USAF are trying to drive the figure down to afford to operate as many F-35 as the Air Force intends to buy. 

As early as 2023, that operating cost had been reduced by more than 80%, down to right around $28,000 per hour. 

Myth 3: It loses ‘dogfights’ to 4th Gen Fighters

This stemmed from an article wherein an F-35a lost a dogfight against an F-16. However, it was later revealed that the F-35 used was an earlier model and thus didn’t have a vast majority of combat systems F-35s fly with today. Today’s F-35s don’t have limitations and are far more capable. 


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Myth 2: The US already spent $1.7 trillion on the jets and is still trying to work out problems

This isn’t the case. $1.7 trillion is the estimated total program cost including research, development, acquisition, sustainment, and maintenance for the next 50 years. In other words, it’s the estimated cost for the entire lifetime of the F-35 program. 

Myth 1: You can’t keep F-35s in the air

It’s also claimed that the jet has an abysmal readiness rate with so many parts backlogged waiting for repair, with the US turning to contractors instead of doing the repairs in-house. 

While there is some truth to that, it’s worth mentioning that the F-35 repair depot is still under construction and expected to be completed in 2027. At this point, the plane’s readiness rates are expected to jump comparable with the F-15 and the F-16. 

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