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Monday, January 10, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Gates orders freeze on production of JSF F-35B

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered the suspension of production for one variant of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).


Gates, citing the need to cut the Defense Department budget, said the decision would suspend plans to manufacture the short take-off and vertical landing variant of JSF, called the F-35B.

"If we cannot fix this variant during this time frame and get it back on track in terms of performance, cost and schedule, then I believe it should be canceled," Gates said.

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A spokesman for Lockheed Martin told that production of the F-35B would continue but at a reduced rate. Gates said in a meeting with reporters on Jan. 6 in reference to the F-35B that "the plan is to — what we will do in 2012 is keep the production rate at the same level as FY '11. So 32 aircraft."

Officials acknowledged that the decision would significantly hamper plans by Israel and Turkey to acquire JSF fleets, Middle East Newsline reported. Israel has sought up to 75 F-35s and Turkey at least 100 of the stealth aircraft.

Turkey, a partner in the JSF program, has not yet ordered the F-35. In September, Israel signed a Letter of Offer and Agreement for 20 JSF aircraft for an estimated $2.7 billion. The Israel Air Force has expressed interest in procuring the F-35B.

Israel's ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, said the Jewish state has sought to acquire another 20-25 aircraft from Lockheed Martin. But officials said the freeze in JSF production would not enable Israel to order a second squadron of the fifth-generation fighter.

Officials said at least one Gulf Cooperation Council state has been considering JSF. They said Qatar was briefed on the F-35 program in 2010 as part of the emirate's intention to modernize its air force.


The U.S. military can just wait and purchase it from the Chinese in a few years.

Michael C      11:51 a.m. / Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This guy(Gates) scares me to death...canceled the Raptor and now this?! China is on the rise there building there own stealth fighters and Russia has one of their own....Russia has showed what happens when America fails to act when Russia picks on smaller countries...China is much more dangerous then Russia...and here we are cutting our military spending and cutting military systems like missle defense when China is building more missiles and helping counties like Iran and North Korea build their own missiles.

Scott      9:46 a.m. / Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This is curious in what Robert Gates has been up to, as I know personally that the X-35 excelled in the B version and is one of the major factors in it being chosen over the Blimpy or Boeing competitor. For those who do not deal with these issues, the Joint Strike Fighter was a "cost cutting" design which was supposed to incorporate in one fighter the carrier, Harrier and long runway fighters. It is a remarkable aircraft which hinges on a massive metal gasket machined out one piece of stock. It is in the center of the aircraft and to this the nose and tail are bolted. Version A is the normal runway fighter. B is the Harrier type verticle lift fight which the massive engines engage a central fan for lifting the aircraft and the C is for carrier missions as it has a tail hook. The I version is the Israeli fighter in which they will incorporate their electronics piggyback on the American systems. The Boeing Blimpy in tests would backfire in the vertical landing as the air would under some close quarter circumstances blow out the jet engine like a candle, which is extremely dangerous. That is the reason for Gates to now cite the B as having problems when the X-35 passed this test is curious. This is not a mater of economics, but a matter of this entire fighter system is now failed according to Gates as this is what the Marines and British would have deployed for their close quarter and short deck carrier launches. To cancel this is to undermine the entire purpose of this "cost saving" fighter as it obliterates it's 3rd leg on which it stands in Harrier mode. To not comprehend this, is to miss the entire point of the fighter. While the 35 utilizes a high speed shaft running off it's supersonic engines to run the lift fan, the Boeing used the rotational nozzles of the Harrier and had problems with backfires. Gates though only cancels the Jewish and Turkish contracts, while the British F-35B with the Marines then get their jets? Is this now Obama regime policy to tell the world that American technology is bogus in playing political games, which endangers American security and American jobs, as the fact is Turkey is one contract away from signing MIG contracts. Either one deals with foreign policy on merits or one has no foreign policy. One does not keep canceling weapons systems as it makes American weaponry untrustworthy which opens America for attack. Let us no forget that Gates and Obama wiped out the F 22 fighter which is exactly what American allies needed for this 35 which now Gates is saying is not dependable. This kind of "defense" is what brought on Pearl Harbor and 9 11. Robert Gates and Barack Hussein Obama both need a nice Chicago suburb mayorship to be installed in like Rahm Emanuel for the sake of American security, and in this case, Israeli security.

Lame Cherry      9:17 p.m. / Monday, January 10, 2011

No worries... The F-35 will be a money-maker for the US Government so Gate's decisions will eventually be overturned by the finance guys who see lots of $ signs. Want confirmation?... look at all the money the government has made selling F-16's to governments around the world over the past 4,400 deliveries.

Connolly      1:51 p.m. / Monday, January 10, 2011

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