Trump may try more competition for military hardware?

NY Times:

Trump Pits Boeing Against Lockheed to Cut Costs of New Fighter Jets

Donald J. Trump’s post on Twitter suggested that Boeing’s pitch may have swayed him to buy more of its F-18s over Lockheed Martin’s F-35s.
I guess he is looking to add some of the electronics of the F-35 to the F-18.  The F-18 would still not be a stealthy fighter, although it might be more maneuverable.  I think one of the main reasons the F-35 costs are so high is that the anticipated savings of having the F-35 structured for several different missions and take off and landing modes proved illusory.  Whenever you try to make a machine do too many things it becomes less able in some of its primary missions.

For example, it is not going to be as good a close air support aircraft as the A-10.  It is unlikely to be as agile a fighter aircraft as the F-16.  On the other hand, those planes do not have the stealthy characteristics of the F-35, nor the ability to detect and engage advisories "over the horizon."

To use a sailboat as an example, some boats are built for racing and some for cruising.  There is also a group that falls under the category of racer-cruiser.  In a heads up race, the racing boat will usually defeat the cruiser and the racer cruiser.  But it will note be as comfortable for a leisurely trip to visit islands.

War is Boring has a good analysis of the problem of stopping the F-35 "juggernaut."


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