David Axe at the blog War is Boring reportedly obtained an Official Use Only report from an Edwards AFB Test Pilot decrying the inability of his F-35 to best the older F-16 it is supposedly intended to replace:
“The evaluation focused on the overall effectiveness of the aircraft in performing various specified maneuvers in a dynamic environment,” the F-35 tester wrote. “This consisted of traditional Basic Fighter Maneuvers in offensive, defensive and neutral setups at altitudes ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 feet…”
“Even with the limited F-16 target configuration, the F-35A remained at a distinct energy disadvantage for every engagement,” the pilot reported.
One potentially saving grace not explicitly described in the blog is the precise type of BFM the two were flying. The blog reported: Read more