Is there a vast (Hornet wing?) conspiracy against F-35? Maj Gen Davis thinks so!


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:

F-35 programme officials bash critics, suspect hidden agenda

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 Norway and The Netherlands, face controversial decisions within the next four months. Meanwhile, Israel has also launched a process to begin buying at least 25 F-35s in 2009.

The frequency and timing of the published attacks, as well as their “completely” errant content, prompted Davis to suspect foul-play.

“It’s disappointing and I guess not surprising that these articles come when they do,” Davis told reporters on 19 September. “When articles show up that are just flat false there’s go to be a reason for that.”

Davisdeclined an opportunity to specify the source of the attacks, sayingonly that there is “money involved and companies involved”.

In July, Davisaccused 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.”

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.

Davisshot 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.

Anotherarticle appearing in the Australian press claimed the F-35 was “clubbedlike a baby seal” in a classified US Air Force exercise.

Davisreplied 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.

“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.


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6 Responses to Is there a vast (Hornet wing?) conspiracy against F-35? Maj Gen Davis thinks so!

  1. Steve R ( Lightnings Rule ! ) 24 September, 2008 at 1:25 am #

    This has really blown up in Oz – - – -current national Broadcaster radio headline states – - -” Cant turn – -Cant climb – - Cant Run – - – F35 Debacle – - – !!! .

    Australian Defence purchasing has a very chequered history starting with Wirraway in 1937-8 ( This was an Australianised Harvard – -supposed to beat the Zero – - right through the Meteor ( Supposed to beat the Mig15 ) – - so the F35 ( !!! ) is causing a deal of concern amongst Commentators particularly at A$16 Bn a throw .

    Perhaps if we must buy USA rejects ( Seems talking Sukhoi or MIG is blasphemy and we already have the F18 ( King of the short range bottle rockets )), without taking on the Eurofighter – - perhaps we can get a package of Refurb F15′s when the US Air Force has finished with them ?? at least the bill will be smaller and the spares are assured .

  2. Stephen Trimble 24 September, 2008 at 2:09 am #

    I’ll have to look up the stories in the Australian press. I was aware of the baby seals story, but haven’t looked to see if it was picked up. Why do I get the impression that what Australia really wants is the F-22?

  3. airplanejim 24 September, 2008 at 6:24 am #

    Dear General it sounds to me like the Aussies are concerned about their purchase. Where is your proof that Boeing has anything to do with the revelations. We realize your next star depends on the F-35 program success. Could that be at the heart of your complaints when more bad news comes out about the F-35. The thing is an economic bust with big overruns and delays. Show your sources or shut your trap.

  4. Prom 24 September, 2008 at 12:26 pm #

    Seems talking Sukhoi or MIG is blasphemy

    no buying them is just stupid!
    basically the philosophy behind these planes and the way thing are done in a western military are quit differrent.
    Not to say that with western tech like the Su-30MKI(dor Indian, witch is the best Flanker out there) it would be one hell of a plane.

  5. alfred 25 August, 2009 at 1:29 am #

    Old thread, but I’ll just finish it.

    Boeing has made excellent aircraft in the past, most notably the WWII and coldwar bomber aircraft! Boeing however is politicians whore and a thug when it comes to honest cpitilism! Lockheed is one of the more honest in American military aviation(especially Skunkworks!) Northrop had an F-16 beater with their yf-17(I can’t concieve why the hell USAF picked the yf-16 over the yf-17) the f/a-18(coming from the yf-17) is a dog, and the “superbug” is an even worse POS!!! An absolute travesty that the Navy dumped the F-14 turkey for the superbug!! To hell with the F/A-18E. Hey Oz, you should buy up our f-14d!!! You’ll have twice the range as that POS superhornet!!

  6. Ebony Albrough 24 July, 2010 at 2:43 am #

    Technology is getting more amazing as time passes. I cant wait to see whats being created 10 years down the road. Electronics have been devolping at such a rapid rate. Noone can expect whats coming next.

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