F-35’s total system performance was a serious mistake – Kendall

The US Air Force’s Next Generation Air Dominance [NGAD] is a project that will have to avoid the mistakes made in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. This was said on Monday by Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall. He used the word “abuses” referring to the mistakes made with the F-35.

F-35's total system performance was a serious mistake - Kendall
Photo credit: USAF

According to Cundle, one of the abuses committed with the F-35 was that the US government had less than expected involvement in the program. He said it was the F-35’s total system performance that was the mistake that was made.

In simpler words – it is about the intellectual property of the aircraft. Today, intellectual property in the production of the F-35 is a “troubleshooting point”. Kendall explained that he has spent years fighting to overcome abuses in F-35 production.

One of the first steps to overcome the “trouble spot” has already been taken. In 2024, NGAD is not included in the budget of the fiscal year, which will allow the continuation of work on engineering and technological activities. This will delay any deliveries, thus keeping suppliers away from the project. I.e. according to Kendall, the longer the suppliers are away from the NGAD project, the better for the project itself.

Is this the secret NGAD fighter jet of the US? Probably not
Photo credit: Twitter

At this time, NGAD remains a top-secret program. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that an invitation was issued last week. This invitation initiated the selection of a source to be the main player in the NGAD program.

Another “f-35 mistake” can also be avoided. According to Kendall, today’s technologies are much more advanced – we are talking about model-based engineering and digital design. This will not only keep the Air Force closer to the project but also significantly reduce the cost the government has spent on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

According to sources, the Pentagon will want to own at least 50% of the value of NGAD, as well as the rights to it. Thus, other participants will fully and freely compete for the remaining 50% or less.

There will now be six air-to-air missiles in the F-35 'belly'
Photo credit: Aviation Week

The old warhorses

Kendall anticipates that the NGAD will be operational later this decade. The sixth-generation aircraft calls into question the fate of older aircraft that are part of the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps inventory.

Kendall describes a process of replacing “the old with the new” as the transition from a wooden to an iron ship. The old aircraft will still remain in service. But today the enemy uses more modern and sophisticated weapons, which the old planes would have a hard time countering.

NGAD is simply bound to happen, the Air Force secretary said, “especially as we face China’s no-access/area-denial strategy.”


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