A former F-35 pilot who flew one of the planes in the Air National Guard’s warplane program is now criticizing the military for scrapping its fighter jet program, citing a lack of funding and concerns over a lack a replacement aircraft.
“The F-22 program is in a really bad spot,” Mike Davis told National Review Online.
“It’s basically just sitting there, waiting for money.
It’s not even a priority.
And if the Congress weren’t going to do anything to fix the F-16 program, why are we doing this?”
Davis, who worked for the Air Forces Special Operations Command during the F/A-18 and F-15/A program, said the F15/E program, which had been awarded a $1.8 billion contract to replace the F135, was not a priority because of its cost.
“There’s a lot of other problems that go along with the F14 program,” he said.
“That’s why it’s not a huge priority.”
Davis, whose son was one of five people killed in the 2009 plane crash that killed two F-14 pilots, said that even though the F17 program, funded by Congress in the form of a $300 million contract, had been slated to start in 2018, it never actually did.
“There was a delay in getting that program off the ground, and I guess the Pentagon didn’t have enough money to get the program off of the ground,” he told National Journal.
“And they were worried that the F13 program would be delayed, so they cancelled it.”
The F13, which was supposed to be the successor to the F16, was delayed from 2017 to 2019 due to the death of a F-17 pilot, but was supposed for a 2019 start date.
“When you put that number together with the fact that the program was canceled, that’s not the type of program you want to have,” he continued.
“They had some other problems with the Air Combat Command, which is the Airborne Strike Command, and the Air Support Command, that they had to get off the air.
So you’re not going to have a lot in the F12 program to get it back on the ground.”
But the Air Defense Command, the Air Expedition Command, Air Mobility Command, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar and the Joint Tactical Air Defense are all underfunded, Davis said.
There is “a lot of stuff going on in those areas,” he added.
The Air Force also plans to retire the F6M Hornet fighter jet, a plane that has flown over 70,000 sorties in service for the last six decades, and has received $2.5 billion in funding from Congress, Davis added.
“I don’t know why they’re doing it, but they are.
And they’re not doing it in the right way.
There’s a bunch of problems there.”
The Hornet’s replacement, the F10, is scheduled to enter service in 2025.
“Why would you put a fighter jet that has no chance of winning the war, no chance at winning the fight against enemy air defense systems on the field with no chance to get a warhead in the air?” he asked.
“This is a very expensive warplane.
The Air Force has never made a mistake like this before.
And I think it’s just the worst example of the F100 program.
They just did it again.”
Davis has been a vocal critic of the Air Base Combat Uniforms program, a program that is meant to replace airmen’s uniforms with combat-ready military gear.
The program was first announced in 2007, and was expected to cost $10 million a year.
But it is slated to cost as much as $35 million a month, and it has been plagued by delays and delays that have seen many contractors unable to get their work done.
“For the last five years, the military has been trying to get this program done in time for next year’s fiscal year,” Davis told The Daily Beast.
“We’re going to continue to push it through and we’re going in the direction of having it done by September 30.”
A recent report by the Office of the Inspector General found that the AirForce is not making progress on the program.
“As of the end of FY 2015, the FY 2016 budget request was not in compliance with the Fiscal Year 2017 request,” it noted.
“In particular, the current FY 2016 request does not include an estimated cost of the acquisition of a replacement airman uniform.”
The Air Forces is also having problems recruiting new personnel, according to Davis.
“At this point, there are more than 3,000 people in the Army who are not on active duty,” he explained.
“Most of them are on leave.
And the Army is going through a big turnover in personnel.
And when you have a bunch people on leave