Britain’s New F-35B Stealth Fighter Jet is NOT a Waste of Money, says the RAF’s Top Test Pilot
Critics of the new multimillion pound fighter jets would be silenced 'very quickly' if they realised how powerful the new planes were, Britain's leading test pilot has claimed.
State-of-the-art F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jets will undertake missions from HMS Queen Elizabeth, the new £3 billion aircraft carrier which is due to become operational by 2020.
Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Andy Edgell spoke out to defend the jet at the unveiling of a new state of the art £2m flight simulator where pilots will train before the first F-35B's operate from Queen Elizabeth at the end of 2018.
Some experts have criticised the capabilities of the F-35, arguing that its performance does not exceed that of existing fighters such as the F/A-18 Hornet- especially when the F-35Bs exorbitant £150m price tag it is considered.
'It would be utterly nonsensical to not purchase and design and develop the F-35 and have it as our core staple ingredient forming our airpower,' he told the Press Association.
'It is an incredibly, incredibly powerful aircraft and I am not talking about thrust, the capabilities it brings to the battle space - it is incredibly powerful.
'The disappointing thing is I can't share all the details... I do think a lot of the critics would be quietened very quickly.'