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F-35 software block and high-tech helmet still pose challenges

After years of delays and running over budget, officials are finally reporting some good news on the F-35 Lightning II program. Back in May, the program had reportedly reduced its costs by $4.5 billion. Key Pentagon officials have stated the F-35 project is now on target despite key milestones that must still be met.

The announcement came when Pentagon officials addressed the Senate panel this week.

“On the whole, the F-35 design today is much more stable [than in previous years],” Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee.

Kendall also stated that the F-35 program would be ready for an increase in production during the fiscal 2015 budget. However, he did add that deadlines for software blocks and the special high-tech helmet required to support the F-35 technology suite still pose challenges.


“There are a number of technical issues that need to be resolved,” Kendall said, including the tail hook for the Navy’s F-35C carrier variant that will undergo testing within the next few months.

Senator Dick Durbin, D-III, who chairs the subcommittee, said, "I think that this project is stronger today than it’s been. I think a fifth-generation aircraft is needed for our future, and I think we made mistakes along the way in the acquisition process. I hope today’s hearing will help us learn from those mistakes."

Supporters of the F-35 program still believe the aircraft is critical to allowing the U.S. to maintain air superiority. Maintaining air superiority is even more important with new fifth-generation aircraft emerging from countries such as China. The Chinese have been showing off a stealth fighter called the J-20 over the last year.

Source: Defense News



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RE: Bollocks!
By toffty on 6/20/2013 1:21:06 PM , Rating: 4
Just add a GAU-8/A Avenger 30mm guns to the front and it's the A-10's replacement!

Fire one bullet a minute MIGHT allow the F-35 to continue flight - assuming the gun didn't rip itself from the fuselage.

Or how about this: We attach the GAU-8/A to the back of the plane and have it fire backward. So AFTER the F-35 buzzes a tank it can fill the tank full of lead as it quickly accelerates away!

http://what-if.xkcd.com/21/


RE: Bollocks!
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/20/2013 1:33:00 PM , Rating: 5
The F-35 can't replace the A-10 in its role as a close support platform. The F-35 simply flies way too fast. The A-10 is more or less a flying tank, and it is slow, giving it impressive loiter time when dealing with ground targets. There was a theory that the Apache would take over that role but then we realized any idiot with an AK-47 could shoot it down. The A-10 can be shot to pieces and STILL fly home.


RE: Bollocks!
By toffty on 6/20/2013 2:50:27 PM , Rating: 2
Please note: My above post was completely sarcastic.

I completely agree with you.


RE: Bollocks!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/20/2013 4:07:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The F-35 can't replace the A-10 in its role as a close support platform.


Well the VTOL variant could. You know...hypothetically.


RE: Bollocks!
By Calin on 6/21/2013 3:38:57 AM , Rating: 2
The gun from the A-10 has higher reverse thrust (recoil when firing) than its engines have forward thrust.


RE: Bollocks!
By toffty on 6/21/2013 12:02:26 PM , Rating: 3
Why I said, "Fire one bullet a minute MIGHT allow the F-35 to continue flight - assuming the gun didn't rip itself from the fuselage."

See the link to the xkcd "What-If". It discusses this very fact.


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