so reading my weeking dose of flight international there is a lovely full page bit of how bad the F-35 is becoming (okay, it is more about how the permformance targets have been lowered)
The F-35 is only capable of a turn performance of 4.6g down from 5g, which was downgraded from the plan of a 6g plane(which is less than an F-4, Mirage IIIE,or a Mig-17)
lIt is also slower in acceleration tests from mach 0.8 to 1.2 than planned (it is now 43 secs, which worse than an F-4, Mirage IIIE or Mig-17
It also has a much lower top speed than say Mirage IIIE, a plane that we retired from the RAAF in 1988, and it is slower again than our current main aircraft the F/A-18
n fact, compared to our first supersonic fighter (the Mirage), the F-35 has less range, it is slower, it is less agile at most heights, all of which mean it has less survivability (in fact due to the low weapons volume it can take, the chances of it surviving a visual fight with three 4th gen fighters is pretty poor, oh and stealth will not save it, currently JORN (our over the horision radar system) can spot one of these pretty easy, sure it has a little trouble tracking it, but more than enough to narrow down an area and get fighter in visual range, pretty sure other countries will be able to do the same) but more to the point it would mean the the tankers (needed to support the F-35) would also be exposed or require more assets to protect it
so, in light that we are clearly not getting the aircraft that we have paid for/invested in, and more and more it is appearing like a lame duck in any sort of air space that isn't already controlled (by allies) is it time to pull the plug? (as a defence fighter it isn't ideal, and any of our current/past fast jet would do a better job)
Other countries are looking a pulling out of the program, and should that happen the cost to procure the planes will go further and further up, and it would cost more to pull out the later we leave it.