backtop


Print 157 comment(s) - last by daily.. on Mar 9 at 1:33 PM

Six Lockheed F-22 Raptors have Y2K-esque glitch of their own over the Pacific

Lockheed’s F-22 Raptor is the most advanced fighter in the world with its stealth capabilities, advanced radar, state of the art weapons systems and ultra-efficient turbofans which allow the F-22 to "supercruise" at supersonic speeds without an afterburner. The Raptor has gone up against the best that the US Air Force and Navy has to offer taking out F-15s, F-16s and F/A-18 Super Hornets during simulated war games in Alaska. The Raptor-led "Blue Air" team was able to rack up an impressive 241-to-2 kill ratio during the exercise against the "Red Air" threat -- the two kills on the blue team were from the 30-year old F-15 teammates and not the new Raptors.

But while the simulated war games were a somewhat easy feat for the Raptor, something more mundane was able to cripple six aircraft on a 12 to 15 hours flight from Hawaii to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. The U.S. Air Force's mighty Raptor was felled by the International Date Line (IDL).

When the group of Raptors crossed over the IDL, multiple computer systems crashed on the planes. Everything from fuel subsystems, to navigation and partial communications were completely taken offline. Numerous attempts were made to "reboot" the systems to no avail.

Luckily for the Raptors, there were no weather issues that day so visibility was not a problem. Also, the Raptors had their refueling tankers as guide dogs to "carry" them back to safety. "They needed help. Had they gotten separated from their tankers or had the weather been bad, they had no attitude reference. They had no communications or navigation," said Retired Air Force Major General Don Shepperd. "They would have turned around and probably could have found the Hawaiian Islands. But if the weather had been bad on approach, there could have been real trouble.”

"The tankers brought them back to Hawaii. This could have been real serious. It certainly could have been real serious if the weather had been bad," Shepperd continued. "It turned out OK. It was fixed in 48 hours. It was a computer glitch in the millions of lines of code, somebody made an error in a couple lines of the code and everything goes."

Luckily for the pilots behind the controls of the Raptors, they were not involved in a combat situation. Had they been, it could have been a disastrous folly by the U.S. Air Force to have to admit that their aircraft which cost $125+ million USD apiece were knocked out of the sky due to a few lines of computer code. "And luckily this time we found out about it before combat. We got it fixed with tiger teams in about 48 hours and the airplanes were flying again, completed their deployment. But this could have been real serious in combat," said Shepperd.



Comments     Threshold


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

...
By h0kiez on 2/26/2007 10:54:34 AM , Rating: -1
they had no attitude reference

A l titude?




RE: ...
By Scabies on 2/26/2007 10:56:34 AM , Rating: 2
yes, and im sure the air war skirmish was not in askala, unless thats some place in the New Mexico / Idaho desert.
Alaska, mayhaps?


RE: ...
By Scabies on 2/26/2007 10:58:14 AM , Rating: 2
But then again, due to the lack of instruments, attitude could be very important...? Perhaps its attitude/altitude,all-of-the-above-and-belowitude


RE: ...
RE: ...
By TomZ on 2/26/2007 11:37:07 AM , Rating: 5
The morale of the story is, if you read something that doesn't make sense to you, use google to quickly find out if it is a mistake/typo or just something that is beyond your current knowledge. I have learned a lot this way.


RE: ...
By brinox on 2/26/2007 11:03:13 AM , Rating: 2
as brandon hill posted, atitude refers to the aircraft's orientation about the horizon, specifically pitch and roll angles.

altitude is the distance separating the aircraft from sea-level which is a function of atitude and time (to be technically in-line)


RE: ...
By Brassbullet on 2/26/2007 2:20:01 PM , Rating: 2
No, attitude is a word, and a very important one if you happen to be a pilot. My guess is you aren't and don't know what you are talking about.

Although altitude is also important to know, attitude, especially in poor weather, can be especially hard to judge without instruments. You may think you are flying level but in reality are rapidly approaching the ground. When that ground is an ocean like in this case, it can be hard to seperate ground from cloud, and you might not realize you are flying towards it until it is to late.

The increasing amount of consumer computer tech in military hardware may very well lead to a whole new era of electronic warfare. Imagine a virus that would open the weapon bay doors on an F-22 exposing you to enemy radar or such, it is a big concern, and, as this situation demonstrates, although the US military goes to great lengths to lock down its systems, mistakes can and will lead to exploits.


“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki