|Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 46):|
I would debate the WVR note, but the F-35B is a superior aircraft in every way compared to the Harrier.
One would hope so with a more than 40 year gap between the basic design of them both!
So the F-35B has had design and development problems? Considering what it has to do it's hardly surprising?
Not the only project where the original cost and timescales were way optimistic, in fact, that's the norm.
With an inevitable DoD budget crunch coming, I'd say that the F-35B is the only way the USMC
can stay in the fast jet game.
As noted, the conventional fleet just duplicates the USN
, with all the costs that brings.
For the 'specialised' CAS
role that USMC
Hornets apparently do, what's wrong in having Marine specialists in the rear seat of a USN
F-18F? Operating from the same decks after all.
Plus there are the intra service politics, opponents of Marine aviation, whether they include F-35B or not in the viewpoint, can point to the very long V-22 development, the (cancelled now I think) new amphibious vehicle that drank $ but was to put it mildly, troubled. Then there are the separate fleets of UH-1 and AH
-1 developments, years ago both the UH-60 and AH
-64 could have been modded for shipborne ops, given how long and late the latest developments of the AH
-1 and UH-1 have turned out, probably would have cheaper too.
Still leaving a soon to be unique fleet - if not already - within the US services, now the USAF
and Army have or soon will phase out their versions of these legacy types, with again, all the costs that involves.
The others might say 'enough of the special treatment for the USA's smallest service', whether that is fair comment or not, it will have resonance.
Do weapons and other procurements take second place to maintaining the established order of things?
So the USMC
might feel that 'something has to give', to justify fast jets at all, they'll have to cite the unique nature of the F-35B, the fast reaction from littoral amphibious ships, the rapidly of establishing strips for it ashore.
Given the choice between a F-35B only fast jet fleet eventually, or maybe no jets at all, the USMC
are likely to push for F-35B retention even if it means 'sacrificing' the CTOL jets.