Print 26 comment(s) - last by michael67.. on Aug 6 at 3:48 AM

  (Source: Lockheed Martin)
The F-35 has suffered yet another technical failure, with another air-fleet temporarily grounded

The U.S. military and Lockheed Martin have grounded their F-35 fleet and launched an internal investigation into the matter, after a test flight at Edwards Air Force Base led to a power failure.

The Pentagon's F-35 Joint Program Office noted this was a precautionary move, with an unknown date on when the temporary suspension will be lifted.

Pentagon spokespeople confirmed all 20 F-35 aircraft will remain grounded until a more permanent solution can be made. The issue was expressively found inside the F-35's Integrated Power Package, which is responsible for starting the aircraft's engine.

"Once the facts are understood, a determination will be made when to lift the suspension and begin ground and flight operations," according to the JPO.

Since October 2010, there have been issues with the entire F-35 fleet being grounded at least three times for safety and mechanical issues.

The F-35 was grounded after a previous software glitch, along with previous electrical issues that have occasionally popped up along development lines. US lawmakers continue to grow tired of waiting for Lockheed Martin to push F-35 production while also increasing the price tag of the overall project.

It wasn't too long ago when the Pentagon pushed for added F-35 costs, even though the request seemed unlikely. In spite of the technological advantage of the current F-35 over other military aircraft, there have been recent grumblings related to the actual effectiveness of such air superiority. Even so, the first F-35 production jets were recently delivered at Eglin Air Force Base, which created excitement in the region.

Over the next 20 years, almost 2,500 models will be purchased by the United States -- for at least $382 billion -- while eight partner countries want to purchase an additional 750 F-35 aircraft.  It's possible added orders could be placed 

The longevity of the Lockheed F-35 program will depend on how quickly the US contractor is able to fix these continued problems. Partner nations can choose from Boeing, Russian-made aircraft, and a Eurofighter developed by several different nations, if Lockheed Martin continues to struggle.

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If I Were Them
By Sazabi19 on 8/4/2011 7:58:32 AM , Rating: 2
I think I would choose another platform.

RE: If I Were Them
By jeepga on 8/4/2011 8:30:50 AM , Rating: 1
I think I would choose another contractor .


RE: If I Were Them
By Natch on 8/4/2011 8:36:31 AM , Rating: 4
Makes you wonder how many people at the Pentagon are thinking, "Maybe we should have gone with Boeing's design?"

RE: If I Were Them
By Samus on 8/4/2011 1:10:28 PM , Rating: 2
If it ain't a Boing, it ain't going.

RE: If I Were Them
By michael67 on 8/4/11, Rating: -1
RE: If I Were Them
By michael67 on 8/4/11, Rating: -1
RE: If I Were Them
By ajfink on 8/4/2011 9:13:18 AM , Rating: 2
Their problem isn't so much their uselessness (and we should all be thankful that, at the moment, they are rather useless) - it's how much money has been poured and continues to be poured into the programs. The Pentagon has horrible contracting regulations when it comes to actually looking into the costs that contractors tack on through subcontractors et al. Since things are getting a little tighter in the wallet there, it seems they are finally changing this, but it's probably too late for the F-35.

As for the F-22, build 'em.

RE: If I Were Them
By espaghetti on 8/4/2011 3:54:02 PM , Rating: 1
I've seen the F-22 perform at an air show at Rickenbacker Airfield.
The pilot was performing maneuvers that an F-14 only dreams of thanks to thrust vectoring.
Broke my heart actually.

RE: If I Were Them
By Smilin on 8/4/2011 4:12:00 PM , Rating: 5
A tractor trailer can pull maneuvers that an F-14 can only dream of.

RE: If I Were Them
By 91TTZ on 8/4/2011 11:39:35 AM , Rating: 3
Before I watch that, please tell me that it isn't Carlo Copp. Whenever I see something from Australia it's always that guy saying the same exact thing.

RE: If I Were Them
By hduser on 8/4/2011 1:40:38 PM , Rating: 3
Seemed like a video plug for the Russian fighter. 1/2 was spend bad mouthing the F-35 and the last half was Top Gun-Russian Style.

RE: If I Were Them
By espaghetti on 8/4/2011 3:55:11 PM , Rating: 2
So it couldn't possibly be propaganda?

RE: If I Were Them
By michael67 on 8/6/2011 3:48:04 AM , Rating: 2
Ofc not :)

Just like Lockheed Martin would also never make a promotion film that is less then true full ^_^

RE: If I Were Them
By inperfectdarkness on 8/4/2011 1:19:08 PM , Rating: 2
the t-50, like all of sukhoi's offerings, are air superiority fighters. the f-22 already fills that role.

what we need is a multi-role fighter; and the size thereof is much more similar to the mig-29.

for what it's worth, multi-role fighters usually don't stack up as well against air-superiority fighters; it kinda goes without saying. i'd honestly be surprised to see f-16's do very well against su-30mkk's; and i'd be equally surprised to see f-35's do very well against pak-fa's or j-12's.

f-35's are a great jet to conduct strike missions, mop-up defenses, provide point defense, or lower-threat escort missions.

when you need to take out the crak jets, you send in raptors.

f22's been in service for years. f35 is nearly to unit operational status. pak-fa & j-12 are still in development.

RE: If I Were Them
By Flunk on 8/4/2011 9:00:14 AM , Rating: 2
It's a little late now isn't it? It's all well and good to say that but they'd have to pay for development all over again, even at a great price that's far more than finishing off the run of F-35s.

This is something they need to think about for the next generation of military hardware, and it seems like they are. Some of the newer equipment is actually going to be in use before the F-35s are.

RE: If I Were Them
By Iaiken on 8/4/2011 3:57:09 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed. The government has two crappy choices before it.

1. Continue to throw good money after bad.
2. Start over and incur the same sort of waste all over again.

Oh well...

Normal For a New Aircraft
By DougF on 8/4/2011 8:53:19 AM , Rating: 5
So far, this is just normal ops. The F-15s and 16s were grounded numerous times in their early history, too. I cannot even begin to count the number of emergency action time compliance technical orders I had to fix on the F-15 in the early 80's. And the bastards who issued them ALWAYS did it on a Friday afternoon, ruining our weekends so flying could resume on Monday morning.

These things usually take a couple of days to sort out, then back to flying ops and/or implement some kind of workaround until the permanent fix comes through. The really interesting question is: "Why is it taking so long to fix the OBOGS* problem on the F-22s?"

*On Board Oxygen Generation System--replaces lox bottles.

RE: Normal For a New Aircraft
By DanNeely on 8/4/2011 9:16:44 AM , Rating: 2
Yup. A big part of it now is that enough data to know if something is a random problem in a component of a single aircraft or a design flaw affecting the component in all of them doesn't exist so each problem has to be treated as the latter.

By bug77 on 8/4/2011 5:55:00 PM , Rating: 2
Oxygen failure on one plane? Ground the fleet.
Power issues on another one? Ground them again.

While I understand the need for safety, these are fighter jets after all. They're not supposed to be as safe a family minivan.

RE: Again?
By Amiga500 on 8/5/2011 2:58:55 AM , Rating: 2
There are 187 F-22s.

There are under a 1/10th of that number of F-35s.

Why destroy them in accidents if you don't need to fly them?

I don't think you quite understand the gravity of this F-35 failure. There are a number of functions combined in this IPP - key one being the ACM, or thing that provides air to the pilot. It goes, he dies, aircraft lost.

Additionally, you'll be getting sued by the families of the resultant dead F-22 and F-35 pilots. How much budget ya got?

RE: Again?
By bug77 on 8/5/2011 8:35:29 AM , Rating: 2
There are a number of functions combined in this IPP - key one being the ACM, or thing that provides air to the pilot. It goes, he dies, aircraft lost.

Not really. It goes, pilot looses altitude, oxygen comes back, problem solved. But by grounding the whole fleet, you loose numerous flight-hours that could potentially reveal other problems.

Same sh!t.
By Amiga500 on 8/4/2011 7:55:31 AM , Rating: 4
Different month.

No point in bothering to consider this thing in any depth any longer - people have entrenched positions and are not going to change them irrespective of facts.

By Autisticgramma on 8/4/2011 3:33:35 PM , Rating: 2
We need a new awards process. I say similar to DARPAs x-prize. Whats wrong with an engine designed by lockheed and the air foil by Boeing. Competition is good, cooperation on certain things will be better. Its apparent that companies can't deliver a whole product to the military, with out major issues.
The whole thing smells like rotten bacon from the ole pok' barrel.
How many college educations could have been funded by this one project?

Are they rea#!$ stealthy?
By kep55 on 8/4/2011 5:45:48 PM , Rating: 2
Let's see. The stealthy F-117 was shot down over Serbia using old tech. I wonder just how stealthy these planes are against all types of radar? Not every country is using the latest and greatest. I read once that a very large number of countries are still using Soviet radars from the fifties and sixties. They could just go build Horton Ho 229 at 1/10 the cost and be just as stealthy I'm sure.

F 35
By USAF VET on 8/4/2011 8:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
Remember when congress wanted to cancel the F 18 project? They said it cost too much and it has short legs. They also complained that it would be obsolete by the time it was operational. Well today it it the navies front line fighter. Once again the experts in congress know how to delay a project and increase the cost.

Nothing to see here, move along.
By cjc1103 on 8/5/2011 9:04:09 AM , Rating: 2
Flight test programs are supposed to find any glitches and problems, and they do. This is normal, you can't design a complex system like a fighter jet without encountering some problems, and the problems found so far in the F-35 program have been relatively minor. Actually it's amazing the F-35 hasn't encountered any major problems, like a structural weakness, or like the A380 debacle where the wiring harnesses in two sections of fuselage made in different countries did not match up. So they will fix the problem and move on.

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