F-35s Grounded After Another Technical Difficulty
August 4, 2011 7:27 AM
comment(s) - last by
(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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RE: If I Were Them
8/4/2011 9:00:14 AM
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
8/4/2011 3:57:09 PM
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.
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