Day by Day

Saturday, February 27, 2021

The F-35 needs to be scrapped

 Bring back production of the F-22 in the meantime while you go back to the drawing board.

In spite of its advanced technology and cutting-edge capabilities, the latest stealth fighter suffers from structural flaws and slew of challenges.

Most recent among them is a structural engine flaw and shortage in its production.

The F-35’s engine problem is partly based in not being able to deliver them for maintenance as fast as needed, in addition to a problem with the heat coating on its rotor blades which shortens engine lifespan considerably.

Defense News described it as a “serious readiness problem”, suggesting that as soon as 2022, nearly 5 to 6 per ent of the F-35 fleet could be effectively grounded as it waits for engine replacements.

Another challenge is the plane’s software. Most modern fighter jets have between 1 to 2 million lines of code in their software. The F-35 averages 8 million lines of code in its software, and it’s suffering from a bug problem.

To fix this, the US Department of Defense is asking three American universities to help figure it out.

The fighter jet also suffers from a slightly embarrassing touchscreen problem. After making the switch from hard flipped switches to touch screens, pilots report that unlike a physical switch that you’re confident has been activated, touch screens in the plane don’t work 20 percent of the time says one F-35 pilot. 

One of my acquaintances happens to work on F-35s, and he was recently deployed to the ME with his squad.  To say the planes had issues would be an understatement.  The plane is a money suck that doesn't work.  It needs to be scrapped.


Deserttrek said...

Everything I have read agrees with the assessment, especially Aviations Week's reporting. One thing I remember is GE trying to enter into an alternative engine competition which was shut down by the pentagon and Pratt.
The Air Force now wants an updated F-16 and F-15. Maybe the pentagon geniuses need to see what Israel did to their F-35 since they are flying a different software version

Hoss said...

Why shouldn't the AF brass be any less inept than the Navy brass who gave us the Zumwalt, LCS and the Ford. Or the Army brass who still after 2 decades cant find an upgrade to the Bradley. And the Marine brass who got rid of tanks as well as cut back on artillery,both are great freinds of ground troops. Every government agency that we rely on is incompetent. Every single one.

Ragin' Dave said...

Hoss - in order to make General, you have to be a politician. That sums up the Pentagon procurement in a nutshell.

Angus McThag said...

While we're being down on the Lightning II/III I think we need to recall we've been here before.

The insane rate of progress in the '50's and '60's gave us some planes based on ideas that didn't work out, but still advanced the state of the art.

Like the F-101 Voodoo.

The real problem isn't the F-35 per se. It's that it's got too many advances in one program. Any one of which would be a nightmare, all of them in the same plane? Ugh.

What I fervently hope is, if we decide to start over, we've learned from the mistakes.

But I also notice that when Lockmart is involved, it's always insanely expensive and corrupt. I'm not saying Boeing would be better, but we haven't bought a new design from them lately.