| The F-35 program is nearly a decade behind schedule, and has failed to meet many of its design requirements. It's also become the most expensive defense program in world history, at around US$1.5 trillion before the fighter is phased out in 2070. The unit cost per airplane, above $100 million, is roughly twice what was promised.|
Essentially, the Pentagon has declared the F-35 'too big to fail.'
|A key reason the F-35 doesn't possess the world-beating air-to-air prowess promised, and is likely not even adequate when compared with its current adversaries, is that it was designed first and foremost to be a stealthy airplane. This requirement has taken precedence over maneuverability and virtually everything else. The F-35 is designed to be stealthy primarily in the X-band, the radar frequency range most commonly used for targeting in air-to-air combat. In other radar frequencies, the F-35 is not nearly so stealthy, making it vulnerable to being tracked and shot down using current weapons.|