The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a poorly designed warplane that the company manages to sell through brilliant marketing and political clout, says defense analyst Pierre Sprey. Each one bought is a strike to a nation’s airpower.
Sprey, a longtime critic of the F-35, helped design F-15 Eagle for McDonnell Douglas. He shared with RT why he believes the Lockheed Martin is a bad bargain for customers.
RT: So, could you tell us why the F-35 has sparked so much criticism? It seems to be multirole: close support, air-to-air, bombing, reconnaissance. So it all looks very strong…
Pierre Sprey: The criticism is highly justified. The airplane was indeed sold to do close support, deep strike bombing and air-to-air. It is in fact is extraordinarily ineffective at all three. It is a very badly designed airplane because it was started with the very bad mission specification many-many years ago – ancient years ago.