On the Record

Whatever you’ve read recently about the defeat of 5th-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighters by 4th-generation Russian fighters during a simulated combat exercise in Hawaii, don’t believe it. That’s the word of F-35 program executive officer Maj. Gen. Charles Davis in a Lockheed Martin release. The pseudo news apparently has made the rounds, such as in this Sydney Morning Herald report that captures anti-JSF sentiment. Davis declared, “The reports are completely false and misleading and have absolutely no basis in fact.” Davis said that all analysis to date shows “the F-35 enjoys a significant Combat Loss Exchange Ratio advantage over the current and future air-to-air threats, to include Sukhois [Russian fighters].” He went on to say that the wargame mentioned in the various news reports did “not even address air-to-air combat effectiveness,” instead it was a table-top exercise focused on basing and force-structure vulnerabilities. The Lockheed release provides a run-down of facts refuting anti-F-35 claims.