The fact that we are still throwing money at this lemon has to be the biggest scandal in DC
F-35 Burns on Runway During Testing
Troubles never seem to end for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Not yet fully operational, the nuclear-capable fighter-bomber recently had different test versions either leak oil in flight or burst into flames on takeoff.
The F-35 is the world’s most expensive weapons system – $400 billion and counting. The estimated lifetime cost of this military-industrial project is $1.5 trillion. The F-35 is already close to a decade behind schedule and its cost is already more than twice the original estimate. The Pentagon has lowered its performance specs and it’s still years from being operational.
On June 22, at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, an F-35A was taking off on a routine training flight when the tail of the plane burst into flame. The pilot aborted the takeoff and escaped from the cockpit. A ground crew extinguished the fire with foam. There were no injuries, but the $100 million plane was possibly destroyed, according to officials.
All twenty-six F-35s at Eglin were grounded after the fire, while the Air Force tried to figure out why the plane had ignited. Air Force spokesperson Lt. Hope Cronin called the fire “significant,” but the cause is yet unknown. F-35s at other bases continue to fly.
Earlier this month, on June 13, the entire F-35 fleet (more then 100 planes at this point) was grounded because an F-35 was leaking oil in flight. The Air Force, the Marines, and the Navy each have a variation of the F-35 that range in estimated cost from $98 million (Air Force) to $104 million (Marines) to $124 million (Navy).
If this is not the biggest boondoggle in history it has to be close. We should accept the 400 billion wasted dollars and abandon this absurd failure before we lose more money. If Lockheed Martin goes broke in the process so be it.