Mabbamam August 2, 2016 11:36 PM Seen some pass overs of the f35. It was cool seeing them. They banked right over me and I could def tell it was the f35. About 2 years ago. Glad they have a new and approved platform. mhpr262 August 3, 2016 12:48 AM The political pressure to have this plane finally declared "ready" must have been immense, after all the horrific delays and cost overruns. Hopefully they didn't take any shortcuts. GabrielRoman August 3, 2016 02:24 AM Awesome...A billion dollars later and this state of the misconcieved art can shoot down a 1960's designed F4 drone, which was piloted by remote control, and the F35 only missed once. Cost of the drone in todays $, doesn't matter...A billion dollar project will never stop an ideological idiot with a suicide vest. It will not deter todays war tactics by extremists. Never could , never will. And to bargain lives on the past ISR history of the USAF, blowing up a mosque or/and a hospital will be the likely threat. Lockheed will continue high profits, while the magical Jet will attend airshows and awe those in attendance, unless those in attendance are slaughtered by a 21 year old with $100 worth of explosives. Looks nice on an Officers OPR, doesn't deter todays enemy. kmccune August 3, 2016 08:05 AM Wonder how it would do in "Top Gun "? teeduke August 3, 2016 09:14 AM Gabriel—Gripe all you want about costly weaponry, but the reality is that one never knows where the next threat is likely to come from. Welcome to asymmetrical warfare. ChrisOLeary August 3, 2016 02:23 PM Launching a missile from an external rail isn't exactly stealthy. And despite what some say, I'm not convinced this thing will be any good in a dogfight. ArnoldTaube August 3, 2016 04:49 PM I believe short-cuts were taken. You should notice that the AIM-9X was not launched from the stealthy internal weapons bay. It was launched from a traditional under-wing, and radar-visible, pylon.I also question if the current F-35 pilots are really being trained in ground support. I believe I remember reading that it will be several years until the F-35 is certified to drop/fire the munitions that are needed to be really effective in that mission. While strafing the ground with the 25mm cannon qualifies as ground support, there is only so much you can destroy with the limited number of rounds the F-35 can carry. For ground support you also need to be able to use something that makes reasonably big booms. LukeMcNeilage August 5, 2016 06:16 AM Seriously.... combat ready, by launching a 1978 designed self guiding missile from and wing mount and shooting down a Drone. I could do that with a Cessna.But the Australian Government (thanks Tony) wants to continue this $24 Billion "Frog in a Well".I'd like to see what the F-35 does against a Drone with an AIM-9X and then see how Combat Ready it is. Arthur Hu August 5, 2016 01:46 PM Combat ready with Sidewinder which basically means the pilot can hear the growl once the sidewinder sees a target and lights the missle, which passively guides itself to heat signature with no help from launching aircraft which could be an OV-10 which my old Revell model was optimistically equipped with, or an A-10. Gun and sighting system (there is no physical gunsight or HUD, it is all project onto the helmet) will be working by 2017, at least against ground targets. I haven't seen a date for a radar-ranging gunsight similar to those pioneered by the F-86 (and later copied by Soviets in MiG-17 and used against F-4C Phantoms which lacked a radar gunsight because they were designed without an internal gun) . Stradric August 9, 2016 02:02 PM According to wikipedia, this program will have cost taxpayers 1.5 trillion dollars by 2020. With about 136 million tax returns in the US, that's $11k per taxpayer.