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Lockheed F-35’s Tally of Flaws Tops 800 as ‘New Issues’ Surface

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet remains marred by more than 800 unresolved software and hardware deficiencies of varying severity that could undercut readiness, missions or maintenance, according to updated statistics released Tuesday by the Pentagon’s testing office and Congress’s watchdog agency. ( More...

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Ren Babcock 7
Good thing the revamped F-15 is starting to fly. It certainly isn't as sophisticated as the F-35 but it is pretty darn capable on it's own with the upgrades.
mike moseley 0
and more expensive to boot! What a deal for the American taxpayers.
The F-15EXs are actually more expensive than the new block of the F-35.
However the F-15's cost less per hour to fly than the F-35 and will have a longer life. Our military leaders wanted more and more from the 35 which is one of the reasons it has taken so long to reach full operation capability (of what was promised), the other major reason is the parts break down too quickly and replacing them is an expensive and time challenging process.
2sheds 5
A complex piece of aeronautical equipment designed by a congressional committee to satisfy their respective constituencies. Doomed to this fate from the beginning. We're not talking requirements creep here, we're talking requirements explosions on a thermonuclear scale.
Compare with another company product - SR-71 - that was a point design with no more than 10 customer contacts. I was going to say you could count them on 2 hands and IIRC it was a 1-hand customer count. And, they were competent aerospace experts not political weasels.
As a former Lockheed employee in another, very distant arm of the company I never wanted to get close to this as the politics were just too stinky and sticky.
I have friends who worked on the F22 and then the F35 who said they tried to solve/avoid on the F35 some of the problems they had on the F22. For one, a lot of the electronics boxes on the F22 was designed using active components (ICs, etc.) that were on sundown lists before the plane flew. Switching parts, boards, boxes, etc., is harder than it looks and anybody who thinks it's easy is either stupid or needs professional help.
The low observable requirement really complicates lots of stuff - sometimes by orders of magnitude. Switch-mode PSs used to convert voltages are RFI noisy as hell and that noise sneaks out all over the place often despite herculean efforts making the plane a flying RF source that is easy to find and, obviously, shoot at.
It's really a marvel that it flies at all.
mike moseley 0
Having been an electrical/software engineer on one of the teams developing avionics systems for the F-35, rest assured the components and development processes used in the design were state of the art for the early 2000's. Future proofing was integral to the design knowing that technological capabilities were progressing at light speed and would need to be incorporated many times during the aircraft's lifetime . F-35 is a beast of a weapons platform, not a pure dog fight fighter like F-16 or any other 4th gen fighter in the US arsenal. It has it's problems for sure but give the platform time, one day it will prove it's worth, particularly while operating with the new UCAV platforms(drones) being developed. As an advanced adversary, I wouldn't want to take on a flight of F-35's integrated with a pack of drones.
Tom Bruce 3
given it 15+ years...need more time???
2sheds 1
We need strong leadership in Washington to tell Lockheed Martin to fix it or scrap it. We don’t need an over priced, do everything, plane that can’t do anything.
And the Air Force wanted to replace the A10 with the F35 for ground support.
Doug Haviland 1
And look at what they’ve given us. Gen Mark Miley.
Leo Cotnoir 5
This article and the ones above it about production problems with the B787 illustrate the price we are paying for the consolidation of the U.S. aerospace and defense industry. The lack of competition has allowed the accountants to squeeze engineering excellence out of these companies in pursuit of higher profits. It is time for a Teddy Roosevelt-style trust busting to restore the industry. Lockheed Martin and Boeing, in particular, must be broken up. They are running American aerospace into the ground.
2sheds 2
LM, Boeing, and Northrup Grumman (the big 3) merged because of the intense pressure to adopt solutions that no single supplier could meet.
(IMHO, I don't think the big 3 are running American aerospace into the ground as much as Wall St.)
I joined Lockheed when we were a unsophisticated aerospace company and had a bunch of aerospace engineers in top management.
Lockheed went bankrupt.
Although the engineers knew fancy arithmetic, they didn't know modern finance. (I'm being a bit silly/naive here but we were so small I would see the eventual president of the whole company - Vance Coffman - walking through the halls and call him by name, and, I recall him knowing my name.)
I don't pretend to know how to solve the problem(s) but aerospace economics are far more complicated than a simplistic "break them up" solution.
For every problem like this there is simple solution which is completely wrong and likely more harmful than the original state.
none Whynot 3
God no. Whatcha need is less governmental involvement in this market.
PIECE OF CRAP ... hopefully CANADA will never ever buy these fugly plane's..
Eddie Moran 0
Yeah, they will. As soon as they open their border so they can fly em home.
SkyAware123 2
A substantial amount is grounded due to lack of engines. They wear out at a much faster rate than anticipated. They should have kept producing the f22
Fazal Khan 2
"Problems will be fixed", Mo money ... It's been the story of F-35, is there an end in sight ...
C172Rpilot 3
Only 800! That is quite remarkable considering the complexity and sophistication of this aircraft....people think it's just another fighter....but it's anything but another fighter. Along with her sister - the F-22, they have no equal. This article is just fluff...something else of the MSM to complain about.
While I agree with you about the level of complexity and sophistication, which also implies there will be SOME unavoidable problems due to pushing frontiers, on the other hand, those suckers ain't cheap at all. What you're saying is very akin to someone spending a boatload of money for a Bugatti Veyron (which is a technology and performance tour-de-force) and be told by the dealer/company "sorry, we still haven't worked out the bugs so hush and just grin and bear it". I don't know about you but personally, but if I was a consumer who spend a ton of money for something unique/phenomenal/whatever, my expectations would be a lot higher regarding quality and/or lack of any problems, vs getting something less capable but cheaper; I would expect (and live with) a few problems or inconveniences for a $50K car, but I wouldn't be thrilled if I had the same issues with a $1 mil car for example.
Greg S -3
That comparison has is not valid. The primary mission of all top military assets is to fit into an integrated warfighter role and hold certain adversary assets at risk. We are talking here about deterring nuclear attack from China and Russia first and foremost. The fact that there are problems with the aircraft is far less important than the fact that it normally does exactly what it was supposed to do. Thus even an aircraft full of problems and with only 80% availability can still achieve 100% of its deterrence effect.
Norm Dutot 3
80% = 100% ?? LOL
none Whynot 0
It may seem a funny dynamic, but if you think about it, if you were the enemy would you gamble that the jets you are coming up against are the ones who are not capable? I sure wouldn't. Also you wouldn't send all PMC jets up at the same time unless those jets compliment each other.
s s 2
Lockheed is headed in the right direction with all its recent diversity training and newfound wokeness. Thumbs up, Lockheed!
mike moseley -2
non - diversity and un-wokness didn't work. maybe moving to a 21 century workforce will help.
Anybody remember the original Robocop? OCP manufactured the ED-109 with the premise that they had replacement parts contracts that were worth $ Billions $ so "who cares if it works?"
That's where we are with the F35
TJ Kozma 1
Your tax dollars at work
Rick VanSice 1
Sure seems as if we move forward in design/engineering/releasing new fighters, more and more issues crop up. Likely because of backdoor politics / deals, pushing to get the thing in service before it can be thoroughly tested and vetted causing even more issues and lengthy delays. Sure don't seem to hear of this kind of trouble with Russian, French, or Italian jets.
Tom Bruce 1
15+ years and still problems?? This was supposed to be a light fighter to replace the F16...but when the AF figured out they weren't gonna get anything else for awhile they loaded it up with pie-the-sky untested systems..
... and, I'd bet the Chinese and Russians know everything they need to know about after 15+ years....
john fiore 1
So this is what the taxpayers get for bailing out this bankrupt company in 1971....
Here we go with an airplane that no one can love. These things are laughable for combat. Does not one thing well. A generic trash can.
This article appears to come from the jealous naysaying type. Problems will be fixed.
Tom Bruce 1
15+ years...and still problems?


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