The Russian state-controlled online magazine Sputnik News quoted Sprey as saying : 

“ The F-35 is so bad it is absolutely hopeless when pitted against modern aircraft. In fact, it would be ripped to shreds even by the antiquated MiG-21…"

A Russian Su-35 can see F-35 all right !

" The US’ fifth generation F-35 stealth fighter is too expensive and will become less and less invisible as new and more sophisticated radars come along, Russian military expert Dmitry Drozdenko told “Sputnik”.

Pierre Sprey's opinion (summary)


  1. The do-everything, ‘Swiss knife' of airplanes is like a screwdriver and a saw and a hammer all combined into one, and obviously it doesn't do any of those three very well. Multi-mission airplanes never do.

  2. The plane suffers in its deep strike bombing role "because of its stealth," the F-35s can carry two bombs" due to the necessity of storing the weapons inside its internal bomb bay to maintain stealth capabilities — " a ludicrous payload."

  3. Compared to the F-16 or A-10 (in both of whose operational roles it is marketed to operate) the F-35 as overweight and dangerous, “ It’s as if Detroit suddenly put out a car with lighter fluid in the radiator and gasoline in the hydraulic brake lines: That’s how unsafe this plane is…" and " full of bugs”. 

  4. Close Air Support should be the Air Force's most important mission and the USAF has been trying to retire the A-10 for years simply because it does not want the CAS mission

  5. In the close air support role, the F-35 is a poor A-10 replacement as it flies too fast for pilots to spot targets with their eyeball and lacks maneuverability at low speeds. It lacks the necessary radios, cannot survive small arms fire (or anti-aircraft guns) and has poor loiter time.

  6. This airplane was supposed to do close [air] support…,  when that airplane tries to get in close — which it has to, to really distinguish friend from foe … it will get shot to pieces. So it can't do it, and that means it's going to be trying to distinguish friend from foe over imperfect video links and stuff like that from 15 or 20,000 feet, and Americans will die."

Pierre Sprey's opinion (summary)

  1. The reason for both the high cost and the low quality of the plane's parts is the way the procurement system operates.

  2. The fundamental reason" the US military continues to use the F-35, despite its numerous shortcomings compared to the warplanes it was due to replace, is the flawed — I should say corrupted — acquisition process that unfortunately now is running acquisition in the Pentagon.

  3. The fundamental problem is very simple: we let Air Force and Navy and Army and Marine generals go to work for contractors who are building weapons that these generals have had influence over while they were on active duty. It's gotten so bad that close to 90 percent of generals involved with air, either with helicopters or Air Force fighters
    or Marine or Navy fighters, go to work for contractors when they retire.

  4. As long as we as a nation permit that to continue, we will never have decent, effective air power. It's impossible when those kind of incentives are operating with that kind of huge money."

The critics argue the physics of its design compromise classic aerodynamic principles in the name of stealth, which they say make it bad at dogfighting, because it lacks agility; at bombing, because it lacks payload; and at close air support, because it lacks the A-10‘s ability to go in low and slow.

I got a little bit more out of the military public affairs types on the recent “ combat debut ” of the F-35B in Afghanistan, and it turns out the $115 million  stealth aircraft was used to obliterate a static cache of enemy weaponry.

“ I grew up flying fighters,” says Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force Chief of Staff, "and I will tell you, when I see the F-35, I don’t see a fighter. I see a computer that happens to fly."
                                                                                                                                              Hackers may fly it adequately …


An other old and wise man advise

Pierre Sprey,
assistant to the Secretary of Defense, former defense analyst, (member of the 1970 F-16 fighter mafia under John Boyd and Harry Hillaker), considered to be one of the fathers of the F-16 and A-10 fighter jets program.

… and an old Belgian F-16 mafia member completely baffled with the Belgian choice : "ME"



I * met them at General Dynamics Fort Worth in 1976.

I had just burned my Belgian wings in favor of the F-16. (That was in spite of the Belgian airstaff pro DASSAULT commitment …)

I did not choose "American" because it was American but because the F-16 was in all respects superior to its competitors. John and Harry must turn in their grave at the thought of his successor …

Fortunately a member of their mafia Pierre Sprey dares to tell the truth about this questionable choice : the F-35 …

It seems to me to have said it for a long time in my articles "DOGFIGHT" - Who is still listening to the words of an old "wise (?)"

Thanks to Sprey, I look less ridiculous.                                      

John Boyd

Harry Hillaker

* André Richir was : Chief Test Pilot. Executive Director General Dynamics. Is, 88 years old…