F-35 fighter jet remains plagued by ‘deficiencies’: Pentagon

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… from Press TV,  Tehran 

[ Editor’s Note: Yes, I know this is an old story, but with an important new twist, in that the continued deficiencies of the F-35 are detailed by the Pentagon’s own testing expert. This is no anti-war, America haters bashing the program. For the program to be stopped from more billions being wasted on this disaster, it will take a coalition of inside and outside people to do it.

And work needs to get started, scrapping what we have, and frankly trying to copy what the Russian have, if they can do it — a modular build where upgrades, especially hardware, can be added later without a ground-up rebuild, which the defense contractors prefer, as it is hugely more expensiveJim W. Dean ]

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– First published  …  February 05,  2016

The US Defense Department has warned that the highly advanced F-35 fighter jet remains plagued by dangerous problems that will further complicate the most expensive weapons project in history.

The report, which was prepared by Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation, raises serious questions about whether the US military should risk committing itself to buying billions of dollars of the F-35s before they have demonstrated they are fit for combat.

The fifth-generation stealth warplanes, which are being built in three different versions by Lockheed Martin Corp, will form the backbone of the us military’s future fighter fleet.

In the latest blow to the program, engineers uncovered numerous technical problems during extensive testing of the newest versions of the F-35, the Pentagon report found, adding to a list of issues including software bugs, technical glitches and cost overruns.

“Unless remedied, these deficiencies will translate into significant limitations for the F-35 in combat against existing threats,” the report said.

The report also found that the F-35’s ejection seats could kill pilots who weighed less than 136 pounds (62 kg).

“Testing showed that the ejection seat rotates backwards after ejection. This results in the pilot’s neck becoming extended, as the head moves behind the shoulders in a ‘chin up’ position,” the report states.

Pentagon officials have acknowledged that a decision at the outset to start building the fighter jet before testing was finished has caused difficulties, including repeated repairs, redesign work, slowing down production and raising costs.

The F-35 is the highest costing weapon in history, with an estimated overall cost of $1.3 trillion. The Pentagon plans to purchase a total of 2,443 of the jets.

Nine other countries, including Britain, Canada, Italy and Turkey are helping pay for the jet’s development and are buying hundreds of the jets.

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Despite being the most expensive weapons project in history, the highly advanced F-35 American fighter jet is less capable than some of Russia’s warplanes, a former official at the US Defense Department says.

“We’re seeing the Russian Sukhoi 34 (35) is far more capable in terms of tactical capabilities than the F-35,” said Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst at the Pentagon.

“They’ve discovered the stealth capability of the F-35 is not foolproof, that there are radar systems being incorporated in other aircraft… that can actually pick up the stealth-like aircraft,” Maloof told Press TV on Sunday.

According to some Western news organizations, Russia’s Sukhoi Su-35 is considered as the most dangerous fighter jet in the world today, without taking into account the US fifth-generation warplane F-22 Raptor, which contains technology from the F-35.

The US Defense Department has warned that the F-35 fighter program, which is undergoing final development, remains plagued by dangerous problems.

The report, prepared by the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation, raises serious questions about whether the US military should risk committing itself to buying billions of dollars of the F-35s before they have demonstrated they are fit for combat.

The fifth-generation stealth warplanes, which are being built in three different versions by Lockheed Martin Corp, will form the backbone of the us military’s future fighter fleet.

Pentagon officials have acknowledged that a decision at the outset to start building the fighter jet before testing was finished has caused difficulties, including repeated repairs, redesign work, slowing down production and raising costs.

The F-35 is the highest costing weapon in history, with an estimated overall cost of $1.3 trillion. The Pentagon plans to purchase a total of 2,443 of the jets. Nine other countries, including Britain, Canada, Italy and Turkey are helping pay for the jet’s development and are buying hundreds of the jets.

“The cost overruns on this are stunning,” Maloof said. “One person I’ve spoken to about the F-35 has said it’s so bad and so serious…that our allies may actually resort to other capabilities because they now lack air superiority.”

“He doesn’t rule out the possibility they may look into other methods of weapons of mass destruction as an alternative because will not have that air superiority that they were banking on when they invested in the F-35,” Maloof added.

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