Australian member of parliament (MP) Dennis Jensen has challenged Air Vice Marshall John Harvey to a public debate about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Jensen’s gesture came after a week of sparring with Marshall over the F-35′s capabilities in dueling press releases.
The anti-F-35 Jensen re-opened the debate by publishing a commentary on 7 January, attacking the viability of all three fundamental JSF selling points: price, stealth and networking.
In short, the JSF is an expensive aircraft, with very limitedaerodynamic performance compared to legacy fighters, let alone otheradvanced fighters. The stealthiness of the aircraft has been shown,with hard numbers, to be poor compared to real stealth aircraft, andits much vaunted networking capability further degrades this. (Read full commentary)
The next day, Harvey published a two-page rebuttal on the Defence Materiel Organization’s web site.
Dr Jensen makes a large number of incorrect judgments about the capability and cost of the JSF. It is the JSF’s combination of stealth, advanced situation awareness and affordability that make it so attractive to the nine JSF partner nations and many other nations that are looking to acquire it. (Read full rebuttal)
That provoked a re-rebuttal from Jensen on Friday (continue reading), as well as an invitation to the aforementioned public debate about Australia’s planned $100 billion investment in F-35 program.
Regardless of the specific points made by either side, there is perhaps no country in the 11-nation partnership enjoying such a public and informed debate about its F-35 investment.