This is a post about the incredibly lax security of the US government and its western allies in guarding their military secrets. China seems to be especially able to steal military secrets with impunity via cyberhacking attacks. The links below describe China’s recent ability to successfully hack the supposedly secret plans for the F-35 warplane. The F-35 is a joint project of several nations, and this latest Chinese hacking attack stole secrets for the F-35 from a British military contractor working on the project.
The first link mentions another Chinese hacking attack on the F-35’s plans was accomplished in 2009. One wonders how many other successful Chinese hacking attacks have been carried out besides these two attacks which were acknowledged in the public media. I could not find a link to an “Inside China” article by Miles Wu in the Washington Times National Weekly Edition dated March 26, 2012, but his column cited this same story and revealed that the Chinese hacking effort is so successful that “Chinese hackers actually sat in on what were supposed to have been secure, on-line program progress conferences [for the F-35].” It is amazing how incompetent that western nations are at securing their own military secrets. Who is guarding the electronic websites of the Western nations? The Keystone Cops?
The first link reports that the cost of the F-35 has now risen to a breathtaking $205,300,000 per plane in US dollars. As I noted in a previous post, the advanced (and already in production) F-22 Raptor warplane project was cancelled by President Obama’s administration when the costs reached the area of $140,000,000 per plane, but that price now looks like a bargain compared to the F-35!. It is obvious common sense that, given current realities, the wisest and most cost-effective decision would be to cancel the F-35 program (except for the naval variant) and simply restart the F-22 production line. However, common sense seems to be in very such short supply in Washington, DC lately.
Chinese spies have been regularly stealing the F-35’s construction plans (and are even sitting in on “secret” computerized conference updates on the F-35). The USA and its partners are bogged down in endless delays, cost overruns, and bureaucratic slowdowns inevitably caused when several nations have a piece of the overall project. Given China’s success at stealing the F-35’s plans and the fact that China has no labor union issues, environmental impact statements or OSHA work rules to slow down its efforts, I wonder if the first nation to build the F-35 will be…China. Maybe they will call it the J-35.