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F’d: How the U.S. and Its Allies Got Stuck with the World’s Worst New Warplane — War is Boring — Medium


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From tweet by Ian Andrew Bell @ianb

‘Can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run’<The F-35's inferiority became glaringly obvious five years ago in a computer simulation run by John Stillion and Harold Scott Perdue, two analysts at RAND, a think tank in Santa Monica, California. Founded in 1948, RAND maintains close ties to the Air Force. The air arm provides classified data, and in return RAND games out possible war scenarios for government planners.

In Stillion and Perdue’s August 2008 war simulation, a massive Chinese air and naval force bore down on Beijing’s longtime rival Taiwan amid rising tensions in the western Pacific. A sudden Chinese missile barrage wiped out the tiny, outdated Taiwanese air force, leaving American jet fighters based in Japan and Guam to do battle with Beijing’s own planes and, hopefully, forestall a bloody invasion.

In the scenario, 72 Chinese jets patrolled the Taiwan Strait. Just 26 American warplanes — the survivors of a second missile barrage targeting their airfields — were able to intercept them, including 10 twin-engine F-22 stealth fighters that quickly fired off all their missiles.

That left 16 of the smaller, single-engine F-35s to do battle with the Chinese. As they began exchanging fire with the enemy jets within the mathematical models of the mock conflict, the results were shocking.

America’s newest stealth warplane and the planned mainstay of the future Air Force and the air arms of the Navy and Marine Corps, was no match for Chinese warplanes. Despite their vaunted ability to evade detection by radar, the JSFs were blown out of the sky. “The F-35 is double-inferior,” Stillion and Perdue moaned in their written summary of the war game, later leaked to the press.>

"Double-inferior" is my new product fail adjective.

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