F-35 Pilots Are Mostly Not Allowed to Fire 25mm Gun and It is Inaccurate When Used

Nextbigfuture has covered the massive amounts of problems with the F-35 Stealth fighters. There will be trillions of dollars wasted on 2000-3000 F-35 jets.

This is not a blogger griping about some perceived issues. This is early release information from the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s director for operational test and evaluation (DOT&E), Robert Behler.

The previous 2018 test and evaluation report is here.

This is government auditors and testers telling the taxpayer how bad things are with a $428 billion program. Basic capabilities for a military plane would be to have guns that are accurate. Another basic would not have cracks on gun mounts that so bad that the pilots are told to pretty much never shoot the guns. These problems go along with a still-growing list of software problems.

The F-35 was supposed to be a more affordable option than the F-22. The F-35 will be as expensive or more expensive than the F-22s. The F-35s are less capable than the F-22. We could have paid less for F-22s and got more.

There are comparisons of the F-22 versus the F-35. The F-22 has higher per unit costs but they only bought about 200 of them. The unit cost of the F-22 would have come down, just as the unit cost of the F-35 started high but came down some. The F-35 will have extra costs because all of the software and hardware problems.

The F-35 is a Lockheed Martin product. How have the two main airplane providers for the US Lockheed Martin and Boeing fallen so far? It seems if you are not accountable for delivering over-priced crappy products and lemons then you will deliver crappy products and lemons.

There should be hearings and accountability on these issues. The US has the technological capability to build quality planes and affordable military systems. However, we would have to switch to companies under the guidance of Elon Musk or other technologists.

By late September 2019, 490 F-35s had been delivered and will require extensive retrofitting. The testing office said those planes were equipped with six different versions of software, with another on the way. There are now about 1,000 planes will be in the hands of the U.S. and foreign militaries.

The 25mm gun on Air Force models of the Joint Strike Fighter has “unacceptable” accuracy in hitting ground targets and is mounted in housing that’s cracking.

The gun mounts cracking is forcing the Air Force to restrict the gun’s use. The program office has “made progress with changes to gun installation” to improve accuracy but they haven’t been tested yet, according to the report.

Let me emphasize that F-35 pilots are mostly not permitted to use the 25mm gun and if they do use then it will be highly inaccurate.

The US Air Force has tried to claim that the F-35 could replace the A-10 Warthog for close air support. Close air support would need the 25 mm gun.

* Annual Pentagon testing report also finds 873 software issues
* It cites 13 ‘must-fix’ items before $22 billion upgrade phase

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