Robertjb, in ViveleCanada.ca, writes that the F-35 may never fly.
That’s because the US has realised, (or at least the pragmatic elements of the military has), that the US military much completely transform to using non petroleum fuels by 2040. That would dramatically shorten the shelf life of the F-35, making the F-35 progamme ill advised.
Defence Today notes that a “single sortie unrefuelled for an F/A-18, F-111 or F-35 typically requires a cruise fuel burn of around 6,000 to 7,000 lb/hr. Or about 2.7 tonnes to 3.2 tonnes/hour.
Clearly F-35’s need very frequent mid air refueling, which means that the consumption of the refueling airplane needs to be added to it. Or they must fly very short sorties.
As oil becomes in short supply, and prices rise, it will become increasingly difficult to finance an F-35 fleet.