Critics of the F-35B would be ‘silenced very quickly’ if they realised how powerful the aircraft were according to Squadron Leader Andy Edgell.
It’s no secret that the F-35 has had severe cost and schedule issues. The F-35 programme has gone through serious teething problems, problems also experienced by the majority of complex aircraft flying today such as the F-15, Typhoon or any other modern combat jet.
The biggest issue for the project continues to be the fact it is the most expensive military weapons system in history owing to the sheer scope of the programme but that being said, aircraft costs are now coming down and will soon be similar to the cost of many aircraft it’s replacing.
Today the programme is maturing rapidly, right now much of the activity around the jet is dealing with software bugs and testing to validate the software, with most of the physical testing being to do with weapons integration and the gradual scaling up of capabilities that comes with each new software block.
Squadron Leader Andy Edgell said:
“It would be utterly nonsensical to not purchase and design and develop the F-35 and have it as our core staple ingredient forming our airpower.
It is an incredibly, incredibly powerful aircraft and I am not talking about thrust, the capabilities it brings to the battle space – it is incredibly powerful.
The disappointing thing is I can’t share all the details… I do think a lot of the critics would be quietened very quickly.
You very quickly realise when flying the F-35 that is an enjoyable task when you come back to the aircraft carrier. Flying the Harrier back to the carrier, now that was a handful.”
Earlier in the month he said:
“She’s marvellous. She has an incredible amount of thrust but it’s more than just brawn that makes her so fantastic to fly – it’s the brains behind her as well.
She’s a masterful piece of engineering and it makes her so effortless to fly. It’s impossible not to be exhilarated every time. She’s a beast when you want her to be and tame when you need her to be. She’s beautiful.
The launch of the F35s from the HMS Queen Elizabeth is a once in a generation historical event. To be the first to fly off the carrier, to have a front row seat, would be an absolute privilege. It wouldn’t just be about the pilot – there are hundreds of people who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to make this happen and the honour will be theirs too.”