Dec 14 2011

JSF - Pentagon confirms: “Serious design problems”

Gepubliceerd door om 18:13 onder Aanschaf JSF

Washington - This morning, three publications reported more (and important) information about a report submitted to Acting Acquisition Czar Robert Kendall in November about the F-35.

This “Quick Look Report” was previously reported by Bloomberg News (Tony Capaccio). Today’s articles expand the coverage of the contents of the report. These articles by Jason Sherman and colleagues at Inside Defense, Bill Sweetman of the Ares Defense Technology Blog, and Bob Cox at the Fort Worth Star Telegram are below.

The new revelations are numerous and significant enough to call into question whether F-35 production should be suspended–if not terminated–even in the minds of today’s senior managers in the Pentagon.

The revelations include, but are not limited to “unsatisfactory progress and the likelihood of severe operational impacts for survivability, lethality, air vehicle performance, and employment.”

Performance vis-├á-vis so called “legacy” aircraft is seriously questioned, and the individual deficiencies are sometimes so remarkable as to call into question the competence of the designers at Lockheed-Martin, to say nothing of the cost to repair the deficiencies.

For example, the naval variant is now incapable of landing or carriers due to the inability of the arresting hook to capture an arresting cable on the carrier deck. And, there are more hard to conceive deficiencies, including airframe buffeting at different angles of attack.

Moreover, as the report points out, these problems are appearing only after the easy phases of the test flights. The more exacting/demanding test flights are yet to even start. What unpleasant surprises do they hold?

The report frequently repeats the assertion that nothing so serious was found to “preclude further production.”

Read the report and decide for yourself if the report supports that conclusion, or actually the reverse. In fact, the oft-repeated assurance that nothing too serious is uncovered was, in fact, added on by some in a rather pathetic attempt to convert this report into mush.

Source: Center for Defense Information.

Thanks to POGO, find the full report at:
US Department of Defense; 29-nov-2011; F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Concurrency Quick Look Review

Other sources:
Aviation Week - Bill Sweetman - 13-dec-2011; “JSF - What’s really happening”

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