The F-35B has been troubled by "problems with its stealth coating, sustained supersonic flight, helmet-mounted display, excessive vibration from its cannon, and even vulnerability to being hit by lightning and the US could just use AV-8Bs instead. The F-35 program costs a whopping 406.5 Billion USD and a single F-35 costs 79.2 Million USD while the AV-8B costs 23-30 Million USD which is a significantly lower price for a somewhat better aircraft. Although the AV-8B is a 50 year old aircraft it does not face the problems that the F-35B has even though it may be time to upgrade maybe the AV-8B just needs to have a new paintjob and a few upgrades.

Now I do address the fact that In terms of avionics, the F-35 truly is unparalleled. The fighter has the most advanced sensor suite of any jet in history, including the Distributed Aperture System (DAS), the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS and advanced electronic warfare capabilities. But I do think we could take all of this and redesign the Harrier instead of starting from scratch and having to go through the growing pains of the F-35B.

The F-35 Lighting II is the most popular fifth-generation fighter jet in the skies today. Its technological edge and capabilities are mainly why the aircraft is so highly sought after by many countries. After all, the stealth aircraft is the most advanced fighter jet to take to the skies operationally while we could just take the stealth paint put it on a Harrier give the Harrier new engines and boom the problems are solved.

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    $\begingroup$ I assume you're referring to the F-35B specifically, as like the Harrier it has V/STOL capabilities. Apart from that and being western-built and capable of ground attack, they don't really have much in common (the F-35 is supersonic, stealthy, and much more capable as a fighter, then there's the fact it's 30 year's more modern) $\endgroup$
    – Chris H
    Commented Apr 26 at 14:21
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    $\begingroup$ "while we could just take the stealth paint put it on a Harrier give the Harrier new engines and boom the problems are solved." - It doesn't work like that. $\endgroup$
    – WPNSGuy
    Commented Apr 26 at 17:05
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    $\begingroup$ You paint your Ford station wagon red, you change the badge and boom! you get a Ferrari, problem solved 👍 $\endgroup$
    – sophit
    Commented Apr 26 at 17:07

1 Answer 1


As always, with every high performance aircraft in the history of every...growing pains. Problems that will (hopefully/probably) be fixed.

The Av-8B is a 50 year old design. Time to upgrade.

Given the mindset in the question, we probably should have stopped development with the F-4 versions.

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    $\begingroup$ Why stop there? Why even go with the F-4 when the Panther worked well enough... Or the Hellcat... $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Commented Apr 26 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ @jwenting - I was going to say Mustang, but thats a bit of a stretch. $\endgroup$
    – WPNSGuy
    Commented Apr 26 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ The design is 60 years old plus if you count the Hawker XV-6A Kestrel which first flew 7 March 1964, and was derived from the Hawker P.1127 which first flew 11 November 1960, and whose design process started in 1957, 67 years ago (in 2024). $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30 at 8:59

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