New year, same headlines when it comes to the beleaguered F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. This time it’s a Pentagon report listing 276 “deficiencies in combat performance”, which is kind of exactly what its meant to be able to do. The report, by the Pentagon’s outgoing director of combat testing Michael Gilmore, is damning, and it is estimated it will cost half a billion dollars to extend the August 2017 Initial Operational Test and Evaluation deadline. Australia has committed to purchasing 72 of the planes, but Donald Trump is making it look less and less likely the US wants them at all.

Peter Fray

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