Monday, October 05, 2015


For non-military types: the F-35 basically comes in three variants: the F-35A with conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL), the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL), and the F-35C with carrier-based Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR).

The F-35 A is the type the Belgian Air Force needs to replace its ageing F-16 fleet, originally 132 strong, now down, alas, to a paltry 54 planes. Count on the socialists and greens to champion thirty year old designs such as the Gripen, the F-18 or the Rafale - provided you could force them somehow to buy any fighter at all, cause what they really would like to do is abolish the entire Army, Navy and Air Force and with the money thus freed heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelppppppp them poor black people still suffering from colonialism and racism.

No, the F-35 is nearing maturity. Seven years too late, but let it be that way. Unlike the USN's LCS, there's no turning back. Now the type must live up to its promises, and it's got a far better chance at that than the Little Crappy Ship which is basically dead in the water already - no pun intended. Heck, the only other type that would, imho, be a serious contender, is the Eurofighter Typhoon but even that one is 4 1/2 generation at best.

Nope, it's got to be the Lightning II to equip the BAF in the future. Most scenarios plan a replacement fleet of 35 units.


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