F-35 Still Has Safety and Basic Performance Problems and Big Cost Problems

The F-35 sill has problems that create risks for pilot safety and vastly limits its ability to perform its basic missions.

* F-35B and F-35C pilots have limitations on airspeed to avoid damage to the F-35’s airframe or stealth coating.
* Cockpit pressure spikes cause “excruciating” ear and sinus pain.
* Issues with the helmet-mounted display and night vision camera that contribute to the difficulty of landing the F-35C on an aircraft carrier.

The yearly Lockheed Martin production rate will increase from the 91 jets in 2018 to over 160 by 2023.

Supersonic flight in excess of Mach 1.2 can cause structural damage and blistering to the stealth coating of the F-35B and F-35C.

After doing certain maneuvers, F-35B and F-35C pilots are not always able to completely control the aircraft’s pitch, roll and yaw.

These problems and several others will not be fixed before the planes go into higher volume production.

23 aircraft in the test fleet achieved a fully mission capable rate of 8.7 percent in June 2019. This means 2 out of 23 planes were fully mission capable at any one time. Since the beginning of operational testing in December 2018, the fleet has had an average fully mission capable rate of just 11 percent. The average is 3 out of 23 planes were mission ready.

The US Air Force, Navy and Marines can’t independently perform many of the most basic maintenance functions on the F-35 and must instead rely on civilian contractors. Lockheed Martin currently receives $2 billion a year to keep the fleet of approximately 400 aircraft flying. The annual operating cost for each F-35 is $5 million.

The cost projections stating $80 million per plane costs are accounting tricks. The real costs are well over $100 million.

POGO.org reported that fifty out of 128 retired military officers who supported buying more F-35s had financial benefits for supporting the F-35.

SOURCES- Defense News, POGO
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

38 thoughts on “F-35 Still Has Safety and Basic Performance Problems and Big Cost Problems”

  1. I have a lot of respect for Russian missile design. Very impressive considering budget comparisons between our two nations. It does cost a buttload of money to remain competetive, and it does not take very long to fall behind your peers. I hope our new acquisition strategy fixes some of the problems with our weapons development.
    We also lack political fortitude, and poor decisions are made for personal political gain, but at the moment I think we are catching up and pulling ahead in most respects.

  2. Depends highly on contract stipulations. You can have a serious enough failure to meet contract requirements that you spin off a delta contract letter to address the design fixes.

  3. Stealth is obsolete?
    Surely it’s more nuanced than that. May be obsolete against peer adversaries, but the don’t want to fight their peers, and they still want superiority over the less-capable nations, hence the apparent contradiction of continuing investment in something said to be obsolete.

  4. Hate to burst the anti-F-35 bubble here, but every plane in existence has airspeed limits. We used to limit the F-111 to 1.2 as well because it would rip the paint off the frame and pushing the highest speeds would melt the leading edges. Had a crew do just that one time on a functional check flight out of depot… Now, in wartime, crew has to do what it has to do to, so we expect those issues, but not in peacetime.

  5. A blogger that constantly dumps dirt on superior US weapons and lavishes praises on inferior Chinese weapons. That should be a food for thought.

  6. F-35 will only prove its worth when the rubber meets the road. Until then it will be a boondoggle. I am confident that as long as we finish the program, we will be rewarded with a fine platform. Continual improvements will keep it at the top of the food chain for decades. Not bad for an international Swiss Army aircraft.
    To bad we did not make more F-22s. They would complement each other very well. But with the new development framework, we may have even better Air Superiority Fighters just around the corner.

  7. What happened with that AI pilot, Brian wrote several years ago? If those money were spent on autopiloting software properly, they would have even better results than Tesla with their car. Isn’t driving on a road more difficult?

  8. I do believe it makes him a blogger who writes about technology.

    F35 is badly over budget and won’t perform near what is wanted for a few years. It is however an excellent platform for air power and once we spend another half trillion over the next decade it will be an absolutely incredible jet.

    But lets not sugar coat it- we are spending sums of money that make SLS pale in comparison. It was late, heavy, slow, and over budget. This is unfortunately par for the course for every military project.

  9. In the media there are positive and negative news about F35. A large portion of the negative is paid by our enemies propaganda.
    Brian Wang publishes ONLY negative news sprinkled with his own negative views. What does that make Brian? You make your own conclusions.

  10. Lol. Telling the truth about the F35 makes you a Russian according to some. Those people should rather spend their time thinking about how to complete their basic education.

  11. I happen to live near Eglin and have actually spoken to a few F-35 pilots. I’ve heard nothing but praise from them so I’ll take everything else with a healthy pinch of salt.

    There are tremendous disinformation campaigns underway around the world:

    -Russia touts benefits of networked VHF radar, says stealth is obsolete, proceeds with development SU-57.
    -China touts quantum radar, says stealth is obsolete, proceeds with development, proceeds with J-20 and FC-31.
    -German defense contractor claims it tracked an F-35, fails to mention that F-35 had radar reflectors installed.

    Things like cabin pressurization systems are touted as “unfixable” even though said system isn’t integral to the design of the aircraft and said systems have been buggy in fighters for over 50 years.

  12. Unstoppable Stealth: 31 Pilots Told Us 9 Things They Love About the F-35 Fighter
    They all loved it. And here’s why.
    The National Interest magazine

  13. F-35 Readiness Rates Soar, From 55% To 73%; Price Drops 12.8%
    The readiness rates were revealed this morning during a press briefing at the Pentagon to announce final agreement on the largest procurement in American history: the $34 billion purchase of 478 F-35s in Lots 12-14.

  14. Igor, 78 million is what is BS. Brian is absolutely right. These planes will end up costing over 100 million each. How much do you think the contractor is going to charge Uncle Sam for fixings the problems. If that’s even possible. We will get charged for the attempt to fix anyways.

  15. Nope not them it will be the ground troops that get ripped to pieces while they wait for the F35 go and get another missile. Then when congress does a dog and pony show investigation no one is held accountable.

  16. B.S. Brian stop lying. In the newest contract for 488 F35s the cost has fallen by 13% to 78 mill per plane.

Comments are closed.