• 15 MAR 15
    • 0

    Off topic: America’s F-35 Joint Strike fighter. The worst plane ever but Australia still wants them.

    PREVIOUSLY: In April 2014 the Australian Abbott government gave its approval for the purchase of 58 additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) at a cost of $12.4 billion – making it the nation’s most expensive Defence asset. The extra aircraft is supposed to bring Australia’s total Joint Strike Fighter force to 72 aircraft, with the first of them to enter service in 2020.

    See the ABC news spin on this here.

    See my 2014 blog posting on this here

    Now here is the latest on Americas worst war plane ever – and the price just keeps getting bigger and bigger and no-one in the Australian government is questioning this monumental waste of taxpayer’s money……

    Don
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    From the Was is Boring blog, March 15, 2015:

    F-35 Still Years Away From Being Ready for Combat

    by MANDY SMITHBERGER

    Excerpt
    The F-35 continues to fail the most basic requirements for combat aircraft and common sense. Despite reforms, the F-35 continues to be unaffordable, its engines continue to be susceptible to fire, and the Pentagon continues to misrepresent its performance.

    Below are just a few of the issues identified in a recent report from the Defense Department’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation:

    The Joint Program Office, led by Lt. Gen. Bogdan, is re-categorizing or failing to count aircraft failures to try to boost maintainability and reliability statistics.Testing is continuing to reveal the need for more tests, but the majority of the fixes for capability deficiencies being discovered are being deferred to later blocks rather than being resolved.

    The F-35 has a significant risk of fire due to extensive fuel tank vulnerability, lightning vulnerability, and an OBIGGS system unable to sufficiently reduce fire-sustaining oxygen, despite redesigns.

    Wing drop concerns are still not resolved after six years, and may only be mitigated or solved at the expense of combat maneuverability and stealth.

    The June engine problems are seriously impeding or preventing the completion of key test points, including ensuring that the F-35B delivered to the Marine Corps for IOC meets critical safety requirements—no redesign, schedule, or cost estimate for a long-term fix has been defined yet, thereby further impeding g-testing.

    Even in its third iteration, the F-35’s helmet continues to show high false-alarm rates and computer stability concerns, seriously reducing pilots’ situational awareness and endangering their lives in combat.

    The number of Block 2B’s already limited combat capabilities being deferred to later blocks means that the Marine Corps’ fiscal year 2015 IOC squadron will be even less combat capable than originally planned.

    ALIS software failures continue to impede operation, mission planning, and maintenance of the F-35, forcing the services to be overly reliant on contractors and “unacceptable workarounds.”

    Deficiencies in Block 2B software, and deferring those capabilities to later blocks, is undermining combat suitability for all three variants of the F-35.

    The program’s attempts to save money now by reducing test points and deferring crucial combat capabilities will result in costly retrofits and fixes later down the line, creating a future unaffordable bow wave that, based on F-22 experience, will add at least an additional $67 billion in acquisition costs.

    Low availability and reliability of the F-35 is driven by inherent design problems that are only becoming more obvious and difficult to fix.

    The F-35 is years away from being ready for initial operational capability. To send this airplane on a combat deployment, or to declare it ready to be sent, as early as the Marines’ 2015 or the Air Force’s 2016 IOC dates, is a politically driven and irresponsible mistake.

    SNIP

    Read the full article here

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