Does the political power of the F-35 program make it unshakeable?

In recent weeks, the F-35 program had undergone the wrath of some American parliamentarians, who reproached him its excessive priceIncluding in terms of maintenance, and its lack of reliability and availability. For his part, the Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, General Brown, had himself announced that it might be preferable for the US air force to develop a new device that is less technologically advanced but less advanced. expensive and more reliable than the F35 to replace the F-16 fleet currently in service, knowing that the current costs surrounding the F-35 program would not allow the USAF to acquire and operate the 1700+ aircraft initially planned. Finally, from a purely operational point of view, American general officers commanding certain theaters of operation, particularly in the Pacific, are increasingly worried about maintenance constraints and especially about the aircraft's limited range of action in the face of the distances American aircraft will have to face in order to fulfill their missions.

This combination of reservations and mistrust surrounding this program has certainly put the US Defense Industry on alert, and in particular the two industrial giants participating in the program, the aircraft manufacturer Lockheed-Martin and the engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, very little inclined to make the weapons about a program which should bring them, over its entire lifespan, more than $ 1.600 billion. This is the reason, for the past few weeks, we have witnessed an intense communication campaign in the American media, and in particular the defense media, to present the apparatus and the program under better auspices. But if the American public opinion, like that of the acquired and potential customers of the plane, is important and is the object of a real attention on the part of the American industrialists, this is nothing compared to the operations of pressure. and lobbying initiated towards the military on the one hand, and American parliamentarians on the other.

By evoking the possibility of a new aircraft to replace the F16s of the US Air Force, General Brown triggered great concern among manufacturers, leading to an intense communication campaign in the American media, specialized or not.

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