The US military's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft is proving to be a pain in the neck in more ways than one. Not only did the Pentagon spend almost $400 billion to buy 2,400 aircraft - about twice as much as it cost to put a man on the moon - the F-35 program is 7 years behind schedule and $163 billion over budget. This at a time when cuts in the defense budget are forcing the Pentagon to shrink the size of the military. CBS 60 Minutes took a closer look at the troubled fighter plane a few months back, but their rebroadcast on Sunday evening seems like as good a reason as any to revisit one of the biggest ongoing budget debacles in U.S. military memory. David Martin gets an inside look at what makes the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter the most expensive weapons system in history.
And when can we expect airstrikes on their mansions in Westchester and "beach cottages" in the Hamptons? Can they do precision strikes on their gated communities within urban areas? Can the weapons in their package penetrate your standard panic room armor? Do they have air-to-ship missiles that can take out yachts?
This is the real set of requirements for the next generation of fighter jets. Or perhaps the next generation of DIY drones built by a bunch of pissed off geeks. Either works for me.