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.
(Score: 3, Interesting) by Angry Jesus on Monday June 02 2014, @05:32PM
> Are they going to replace the need for conventional aircraft in the next 10-20 years? I say no.
That's mostly because all of the planes in service today will still be in service 20 years down the line.
Sure, it is a combination of factors. But inertia is the biggest one. There are a lot less airplanes in service than there are cars and they last a lot longer too which translates into slower change.
> I don't see the same advances for UAV's (I don't read much about this, so I could be missing something). The only production models I have seen are small light weight models
You'll note that there is also no such thing as a production autonomous car, even google's soon to be on the road bubblecars are still just testers. But the stuff that is production - auto-follow cruise control, automatic braking, stay-in-lane, etc all have equivalents on airplanes that have been in use for decades.
As for test vehicles, here's one: http://www.baesystems.com/magazine/BAES_051920/look-no-hands [baesystems.com]