Maj Gen Charles Davis has famously accused Boeing of spreading “lies and half-truths” about the F-35, the program he happens to own. Now, Davis also thinks the Aussies and the Center for Defense Information may be on a (larger, perhaps) conspiracy to thwart a pending batch of contract signings.
I am reminded of an old saying: You’re not paranoid. They really are out to get you.
Here’s my news story:
LockheedMartin and the US Department of Defense are attacking the motivationbehind a recent barrage of criticism aimed at the basic combatabilities of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Such”false claims” published in separate reports a few days apart havebecome a significant business risk for the programme, said Maj GenCharles Davis, chief of the F-35 joint programme office.
Eachof the eight international partners must make acquisition decisions forthe F-35 within the next year, said Tom Burbage, a Lockheed vicepresident.
Some of partners, including
and The Netherlands, face controversial decisions within the next four months. Meanwhile, Norway has also launched a process to begin buying at least 25 F-35s in 2009. Israel
The frequency and timing of the published attacks, as well as their “completely” errant content, prompted
to suspect foul-play. Davis
“It’s disappointing and I guess not surprising that these articles come when they do,”
told reporters on 19 September. “When articles show up that are just flat false there’s go to be a reason for that.” Davis
declined an opportunity to specify the source of the attacks, sayingonly that there is “money involved and companies involved”. Davis
accused Boeing outright of spreading lies and half-truths about theF-35 in order to bolster the international sales campaign for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.He specifically called out Boeing for publicly predicting future costoverruns and delays for the F-35. Boeing responded: “People withgreater insight [into the F-35 programme] than I are looking at theofferings available. Let people draw their own conclusions about why.” Davis
Morerecently, a commentary written by Pierre Sprey, widely considered theconceptual father of the Lockheed F-16, claimed the F-35 would be anaerodynamic “dog” and outclassed in combat by the fighters it isreplacing.
shot back that the F-35′s turn-rate and manoeuvring is no differentthan the F-16, and the latter has stealth and far more advanced sensorfusion capability. Davis
Anotherarticle appearing in the Australian press claimed the F-35 was “clubbedlike a baby seal” in a classified US Air Force exercise.
replied that the “basic wargame did not even involve an air-to-airscenario.” Some “excursion” scenarios did involve F-22s, but the F-35was mentioned only tangentially. Davis
“Howthat got translated into ‘clubbed like a baby seal’ I have no ideaother than somebody used a comment made in the room or in a dinner thatnight and brought that back to Australia,” Davis said.