Print 46 comment(s) - last by EricMartello.. on Jan 23 at 12:45 PM

Reducing the aircraft's weight by 11 pounds has made it more vulnerable

An attempt at cutting the weight of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has made it more vulnerable to lightning and enemy attacks, says a new report.

The report, conducted by the Pentagon's Operational Test and Evaluation office (OT&E), found that shedding a few pounds from Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (also known as Lightning II) has made the aircraft 25 percent more vulnerable in certain dangerous situations.

The Lightning II lost two safety features in 2008, including the PAO shutoff valve and the fueldraulic system. The PAO shutoff valve weighed 2 pounds and the fueldraulic system weighed 9 pounds, bringing the grand total to an 11 pound weight loss.

However, the new report from OT&E suggests that getting rid of the PAO shutoff valve could lead to a rupture below the cockpit and ridding the fueldraulic system increases the chance of a sustained fire if exposed.

Test flights found that the Lightning II cannot be within 25 miles of known lightning conditions due to a poor design of the On-Board Intert Gas Generating System. This feature makes sure there are correct oxygen levels in the fuel tank.

“The program’s most recent vulnerability assessment showed that the removal of fueldraulic fuses, the PAO shutoff valve and the dry bay fire suppression, also removed in 2008, results in the F-35 not meeting the Operational Requirements Document (ORD) requirement to have a vulnerability posture better than analogous legacy aircraft,” officials wrote in the report.

The report also found cracks in the F-35A's right wing and right engine as well as the F-35B's bulkhead flange.

“Lockheed Martin believes the program is demonstrating exceptional stability, certainly significantly greater than any legacy aircraft development program, which is a primary measure for DT&E,” said Laura Siebert, a Lockheed spokeswoman. “Each year, as issues are discovered in test, our flight test team identifies additional test objectives that can be accomplished while we resolve the issues discovered.

“From an Operational Test and Evaluation perspective, we fully expect to deliver a qualified product to OT&E as scheduled. We appreciate the feedback from the OT&E community on what remains to be demonstrated over the next three years leading up to the OT&E phase of the program."

Last March, it was announced that the lifetime cost of the Lightning II is $1.45 trillion.

Source: Defense News

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Boodoggle
By muy on 1/16/2013 2:07:54 PM , Rating: 3
hm, how many P51 at modern production price could one make (in china or india ofc) for the price of one f35 ?

let's change the rules of the game from 1 vs 1 to xx budget vs same budget and see where americas high tech toys end up. according to those rules, ww2 hardware might outperform 21st centuary hardware. i wonder if a f35 even has enough weaponry to shoot it's equivalent in budget out of the air.

RE: Boodoggle
By FaaR on 1/16/2013 2:42:21 PM , Rating: 1
i wonder if a f35 even has enough weaponry to shoot it's equivalent in budget out of the air.

Without a doubt it could not, especially assuming the P51 could be cost-reduced and brought up to modern production levels of efficiency and automation, but the scenario is a completely pointless thought exercise since a P51 is hopelessly, hilarously obsolete in this day and age.

You simply couldn't accomplish with a swarm of WWII-era P51s that you can with just one F35...

RE: Boodoggle
By Rukkian on 1/16/2013 3:23:18 PM , Rating: 2
Add in the pilots of all of that swarm, and have fun with that. While the plane itself maybe cheaper, the pilots would probably 10000x more expensive as it would be kamikase missions.

RE: Boodoggle
By inighthawki on 1/16/2013 4:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe we should modifythe scenario. Instead of simply being:
1 F35
xx P51s

we should make it:

1 F35 with xx pilots
xx P51s with 1 pilot each

(anduse our imagination tobelieve that xx pilots could fit in a single F35 :))

Now suddenly theres a huge difference in value.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki