Wrong. The reality is that for the third straight year flight tests are ahead of schedule, the cost to build each plane is falling fast, and international partners are so enthused that new customers are getting in line for the F-35 on a regular basis (South Korea will be next). So how come you don’t know any of this? The reason you don’t know it is that political appointees have decided they can score points with Congress by attacking their own program, and national media always lead with the most sensational information.
For instance, Pentagon officials recently disclosed that the cost of building and operating the F-35 had risen to $1.5 trillion — without mentioning that a third of that total is unprovable estimates of future inflation and two-thirds of supposed increases from the program baseline reflect changes in how costs are calculated rather than real increases. Officials also didn’t mention it would cost two or three times more to stick with the current fleet of fighters, given the cost of maintaining aging aircraft. Most news accounts just cited the trillion-dollar price-tag, preferring to stick with the “troubled program” theme. Easy to write, no thinking required.
There’s another side to this story, and it’s mostly positive. It helps explain why none of the three services receiving the plane is going to cancel its version and why none of the allies who signed on to the program when economies were stronger is now going to back out. F-35 is well on its way to being the most capable, cost-effective tactical aircraft in the history of warfare, and you can see that fact clearly reflected in how the flight-test program is progressing, the production cost is falling, and other countries are jockeying to get the plane.
full article here:
Pentagon's Best-Kept Secret: F-35 Fighter Is Progressing Nicely - Forbes