by Phil Hingston
The Australian Government has committed the Australian taxpayers to purchase lots of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning “Joint Strike Fighters” for many billions of dollars. How many and how much? Let’s just say LOTS!
Initially we ordered a dozen or so, but that number has climbed to over 70 in 2016. Each jet costs around US$100 million, (AUD$130 million) for a total outlay of approximately $17 to $24 BILLION, depending on which report one believes.
The F-35 Lightning “Joint Strike Fighter” is a sexy name. It sounds impressive. It’s a 5th Generation fighting machine. There seems to be just one major problem.
Actually it doesn’t work at all, and apart from the massive cost, our young, highly trained fighter pilots might end up practicing emergency evacuation procedures under extreme duress more than doing any harm to incoming aerial invaders !
A quick online search reveals dozens of articles and reports highly critical of the F-35 Lightning:
“It’s too slow”, “it can’t fight, can’t run and can’t hide”, “its gun doesn’t work”, “it’s not stealthy enough”, “it can’t carry enough missiles”, “pilots have poor rear visibility”, “engineering and design flaws too numerous to detail”, “it chokes out its’ pilots in a steep climb”, “it’s way too expensive”…. and sometimes, it just blows itself up and burns.
Sputnik News reported on the 26th of September, 2016 that Japan received its first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Given that one of the Pentagon’s own models caught fire on the very same day, can Tokyo expect similar setbacks?
This is a flawed weapons system, no doubt about it!
Then why have the Australian taxpayers been saddled with a $24 Billion lemon??
Surely our military decision makers and advisors must realise the folly of committing to such an expensive and ineffective acquisition program. Surely! Especially when the Australian Government has already run up a staggering $772 Billion in Total Government Debt since the Rudd/Gillard team took over.
And with a little more inquiry, the answer soon becomes clear. Crystal Clear!
The Revolving Door
Enter the Revolving Door — the magical door which revolves between big business and big government.
Which Australian diplomat has just been appointed to the Lockheed Martin Board?? None other than our former Ambassador to the US, The Hon. Kim Christian Beazley AC.
Lockheed Martin announced the appointment in June, 2016:
“Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and Australian Ambassador to the United States of America, The Hon Kim Beazley AC, has been appointed to the Lockheed Martin Australia Board.
“…we are thrilled he has accepted this appointment.”
Lucky him! Lucky us!
Photo credits: the jet: Sputnicknews.com the accident: Businessinsider.com Kim Beazley: Couriermail.com