The F-35 initially met with some turbulence. The project was slow to get airborne. When it went over budget, and way past the intended schedule, the F-35 began to seem like one of those good ideas that might never become a reality. But some of the plane’s biggest critics now believe that the F-35 is indeed the stealth jet of the future.
The F-35’s weapons capability has slowly been getting the public recognition it deserves. In a recent weapons test at Patuxent River Navy Base, the stealth fighter showed that it could do just about anything – including firing an AIM 9x air-to-air missile while inverted.
“This unique missile launch is a situation we don’t expect a pilot to be in very often,” read a recent press release. In fact, fighter jets shooting missiles while inverted is nothing new. According to Business Insider, fighter jets have had the capabilities to fire missiles inverted for decades. But the F-35’s advanced technologies ensure the plane is highly responsive to all of the pilot’s needs.
When Lockheed Martin started its development of the F-35, the stealth jet was promised to revolutionize air combat. But instead, the F-35 ended up getting embarrassed by a plane that was made in the 1970s, the F-16, in a mock dog-fighting event.
That incident only gave more fuel to the fire for those who were calling for the cancellation of the advanced fighter jet project.
At the time, President-elect Donald Trump even tweeted his criticism of the F-35, writing: “The F-35 program and cost are out of control.”
As of now, it seems that most of the the doubters have been won over. The stealth plane’s planning segment may have been exaggerated, and it could have been done in a more timely manner, but the F-35 has been inching closer and closer to the point where it can reach its full combat readiness.
“We want to provide the maximum capability of the F-35 to the fleet to get them where they need to be for training and operational use,” said James Shepherd, the flight test engineer for the missile test. “This will ensure we meet our promises to deliver the most advanced fifth-generation fighter in the world.”
h/t Business Insider