The F-35 program, which has a huge $1.5 billion price tag, has been repeatedly criticized for a series of failures that continue to plague the jet years after it was deployed in various branches of the US military. UU In 2015
The 65th United States Air Force Aggressor Squadron with location at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada “will soon” use older versions of the fifth generation of the US F-35 fighter aircraft to simulate the more Modern Russian and Chinese fighter jets Su-57 and J-20, respectively, reports the website Military.com.
“We are talking about the first F-35, so to take them to the standards of Block 4 [software configuration], it would take about $ 15 million per piece to modernize them. Instead, we can use them as aggressors pretty well. We have to be able to simulate a high-level adversary, and this is a fairly profitable way to do it,”Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told the news agency.
Military.com also stressed that the fifth generation of Su-57 and J-20 are pushing the United States “in the competition to own the best fifth-generation fighters in the world.”
But it seems that it can be a complicated task due to a wide range of problems related to the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, which was described by the Business Insider Pentagon correspondent Ryan Pickerell as the most problematic defense project that is being developed. for the US Army UU.
Last month, the Government Accountability Office estimated that between May and November of last year, only 27 percent of the F-35 aircraft in the arsenal of the US military. UU He was able to perform missions during the period, while almost 30 percent of the aircraft could not fly. entirely due to the shortage of parts.
Previously, the Government Oversight Project, another US watchdog, complained that the F-35 version for the US Navy was not close to operational, was not prepared to “face current threats or future “and was potentially dangerous to the personnel who operated the aircraft.
Meanwhile, the Nellis Air Force Base in the US UU He recently released images of the first flight of one of his F-16 fighter jets that sport the “Phantom” paint scheme that imitates that of the Russian Su-57 fighter.
It is not clear how the fourth-generation F-16C will be able to simulate all the advanced capabilities of the fifth-generation Su-57, since the Russian fighter plane is covered with a special paint to prevent the detection of radars, whose composition has never been revealed.
Painting aircraft to look like possible Russian, Chinese, Iranian or other adversaries is not uncommon for the US Air Force. UU, Which has accumulated a large number of such aircraft in scattered bases in Alaska, Nevada, Virginia and Florida since the end of the Cold War.