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David Axe, editor of the well-regarded online warfighting journal War is Boring, has obtained an unclassified but internal five-page brief from a former F-35 Joint Strike Fighter test pilot. The unnamed pilot blasts the military’s latest and “greatest” jet fighter’s ability to do, well, anything:
The F-35 jockey tried to target the F-16 with the stealth jet’s 25-millimeter cannon, but the smaller F-16 easily dodged. “Instead of catching the bandit off-guard by rapidly pull aft to achieve lead, the nose rate was slow, allowing him to easily time his jink prior to a gun solution,” the JSF pilot complained.
And when the pilot of the F-16 turned the tables on the F-35, maneuvering to put the stealth plane in his own gunsight, the JSF jockey found he couldn’t maneuver out of the way, owing to a “lack of nose rate.”