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The US army is not lacking in capability... you have an excess of it!

What you'll earn by having this probably-prototype put into production is tons of valuable data about what works in production, what to improve, what components fails first, how that single-airframe stuff can be made cheaper and more reliable etc. Based on this data nobody else will have, engineers will be able to design weapon systems (think even ML-asysted design based of v2.0 based on telemetric data gathered over decades etc.) nobody else will be able to compete with even if F-35 is a flop. I imagine this is why people fret about the Turkey thing, all this is about the data (that you wouldn't want Russian systems to get a copy of) not about the flying brick.

Overall, putting boring reliable tech in production does not generate much useful data. Putting unreliable prototypes does. And it's all about techno-military supremacy long-term game here, not losing or winning one little war in a country you don't care about.

Now about the pilots and soldiers... yeah, you're doing R&D in "production" (where "production" == "warfare" here), (the wrong) people will be killed, there will be a blood price paid for all this technological advancement, but in the end you'll benefit from it.

...only thing I find slightly horrifying is that this mindset (of "screw the 'client', let'd do some R&D in production to get unique insights and special competitive advantage from it" - that has already sipped into commercial hardware and software for a long time btw), creates an incentive to "gather more and better data" and when this translate to "wage more war" it doesn't bode well...

One major difference between the F-35 and other programs is that it is as close to an aircraft-as-a-service model as you get. You never really own the software and data, only the hardware. And even there requirements Lockheed imposes are crazy high.

And regarding the stealth and other tech stuff, well, I'm not sure about that. During the last ILA the F-35 didn't fly because some company, Hensold if I remember well, had some fancy new radar tech on-site. They only flew when the radar was removed from the premises, even then rumor at the time was Hensold could pinpoint the F-35 reasonably well.

If you ask me, the F-35 was a shot at a NATO monopoly on combat aircraft including a decade long support market and de-facto last word on operations regardless of operator. Seems it didn't work out as planned so far with Germany and France as well as the UK looking at home-grown Gen5+ fighters.

Good points above about lack of reliability and wasteful spending. I also agree with this comment, although it’s incredibly expensive (imagine what the Valley could do with $1.5 trillion) the data is hard to put a price on and keeps us out in front of potential future enemies.

> imagine what the Valley could do with $1.5 trillion

More Javascript frameworks and misused machine learning?

leftpad as a service

> imagine what the Valley could do with $1.5 trillion

They could finally build some high-density apartment buildings ;-)

Local long time residents would set themselves on fire before allowing that to happen. Some residents still championing for a return of the orchards.

The valley San Jose is located in really is lovely underneath it all. We paved paradise, and put in a parking lot.

> tons of valuable data [that] nobody else will have

Good luck keeping it secure!

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