With tensions running high between the United States and Russia, President Barack Obama’s Pentagon recently admitted something about their new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that has Putin celebrating with his finest vodka.
On Sept. 15, at a conference in Maryland, the F-35 was described as not being as maneuverable as its predecessors by Gen. Herbert Carlisle, head of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command.
In other words, it can’t dogfight.
According to The Daily Beast, Air Combat Command spokesman Col. Edward Sholtis said, “The F-35 wasn’t optimized for dogfighting maneuvers.”
Obama’s top Air Force brass have certainly changed their tune on the phenomenally expensive fighter jet from previous years.
Government memos leaked in June indicated that the F-35 lost multiple trial dogfights against the reliable and much older F-16.
So in response to the backlash and rumors surrounding the new fighter jet, Obama’s officials essentially sent the message that it’s okay, because the F-35 wouldn’t even need to engage in dogfights anyway, claiming the future of air warfare would be longer range using advanced electronics.
The disappointing news of the F-35’s lack of dogfighting prowess comes at a time when both China and Russia have reportedly invested heavily into producing advanced dogfighting fighter jets.