f-35

We love jet fighters, we fly them, and one of the greatest of all time is the F-35. Implemented with all forces, stealthy and truly able, the F-35 is one of those aircraft any pilot would dream of flying. However, a new report tends to demonstrate that the F-35 has a few problems, 719 to be precise… A recent report from the Pentagon’s internal watchdog reveals that the next gen fighter jet is plagued with hundreds of issues. The Defense Department’s Inspector General conducted a series of quality assurance assessments that found the Joint Program Office and Defense Contract Management Agency performed “inadequate oversight,” failing to adhere to widely adopted quality management protocols while losing control of contractors that have already sunk an estimated$400 billion taxpayer dollars into what is the most expensive weapons system ever developed by the U.S. government. The IG’s 126-page report concluded that prime contractor Lockheed Martin and its subcontractors Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, L-3 Display Systems, Honeywell Aerospace and United Technologies Corporation “did not follow disciplined AS9100 Quality Management System practices,” citing 363 findings, which documented 719 issues that could “adversely affect aircraft performance, reliability, maintainability, and ultimately cost.”

Among the numerous oversight shortcomings, the IG found that JPO failed to:
• Ensure that Lockheed Martin and its subcontractors were applying rigor to design, manufacturing, and quality assurance processes.
• Flow down critical safety item requirements.
• Ensure that Lockheed Martin flowed down quality assurance and technical requirements to subcontractors.
• Establish an effective quality assurance organization.
• Ensure that the Defense Contract Management Agency perform adequate quality assurance oversight.
• In addition, the Defense Contract Management Agency did not sufficiently perform Government quality assurance oversight of F-35 contractors.

The F-35 is going to be the real backbone of the US Defense in the near future. This is the most expensive weapons program, and there is a reason for this. The F-35 is key for the US to remain ahead of adversaries, in the sky, but also in the technological race. Testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Defense, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III said air superiority is critical to the nation’s security and how the U.S. military plans to fight. “The air superiority this nation has enjoyed for 60 years is not an accident and gaining and maintaining it is not easy,” Welsh said. “It requires trained proficient and ready Airmen and it requires credible, capable and technologically superior aircraft. I believe the F-35 is essential to ensuring we can provide that air superiority in the future.” The F-35 is an unprecedented fifth generation fighter combining stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully integrated sensors and network enabled operations, and state-of-the-art avionics. However, design issues and production costs have put the F-35 program in real jeopardy. Welsh said America needs the F-35 to stay a step ahead and to “make sure the future fight is an away game and to minimize our risk to our ground forces when conflict inevitably does occur.” “The F-35 is the only real, viable option to form the backbone of our future fighter fleet,” he said. “The F-35 remains the best platform to address the proliferation of highly capable integrated air defenses and new air-to-air threats.” One thing is sure, the F-35 is a real beauty.

It was the talk of the month, when the F-35 lightning II was grounded because of cracked blade. Now the grounding has been lifted, and it seems this is good news. The Defense Department lifted its grounding of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter after analysis concluded that a cracked turbine blade in an engine on a single plane resulted from overuse in test operations, according to an official with the F-35 Joint Program Office. In an email statement, the official, Kyra Hawn, said engineers have so far discovered no other cracks in inspections of the other engines, and no engine redesign was needed. “This decision concludes a cautionary flight suspension that began on Feb. 21 after a 0.6-inch crack was found on a third stage turbine blade of a test aircraft at the Edwards Air Force Base, (Calif.,) F-35 Integrated Test Facility during a routine inspection,” Hawn said. The blade also underwent comprehensive tests at the Pratt and Whitney facility in Middletown, Conn., she added. The engine in question, she explained, is part of the F-35 test aircraft fleet and had been operated for extended time in the high-temperature environment in its mission to expand the F-35 flight envelope. “Prolonged exposure to high levels of heat and other operational stressors on this specific engine were determined to be the cause of the crack,” Hawn said. Within the current DOD inventory, 17 F-35s are employed in test and development at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., and Edwards Air Force Base. The remaining aircraft are assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla, and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., and comprise the initial F-35 training fleet. The problem remains quite serious though. This problem is causing a serious impact on the entire US army as all aircrafts are grounded. Fortunately, the F-35 is still undergoing testing, but this demonstrates how an incident or flaw could potentially ground an entire fleet. As aircrafts are designed to the needs of each air force in a same mold, a flaw could potentially damage the entire aerial force. This is quite serious. And the timing is not good either, after China announced the development of its own jet fighter, but more importantly purchasing Sukhoi jet fighters, which apparently do not have a problem. There is a noticeable trend here that tech, and power that goes with it, is shifting to the East.

China unveiled its latest jet fighter, the J-31 Falcon Eagle which looks remarkably like earlier models of a twin-engine variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. We would not think for minute that China would copy… This is the second fighter unveiled to the public, after the J-20 Black Eagle stealth fighter, built by Chengdu Aircraft. “ The design is stunningly like the F-35. Reports of Chinese industrial espionage related to the JSF give this aircraft added interest. Built by Shenyang Aircraft, little is known of the Falcon Eagle’s true capabilities beyond analysis of the photos.

“The rear section of the Chinese aircraft, however, shows little LO [low observable] design, though this may reflect its developmental nature,” Barrie said. “Signature management is also about a great deal more than basic shaping, with materials technology and emission control in terms of radio frequency and infrared also significant. The extent or limit to which China has developed already the requisite technologies to address these areas remains an area of conjecture.” Chinese-language media outlets indicate the fighter might serve on China’s future aircraft carrier fleet. China has one carrier-borne fighter in development, the Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark.

The United Kingdom accepted the first international Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft in a ceremony today with senior representatives of the U.K. Ministry of Defence and the U.S. Department of Defense. The Right Honourable Philip Hammond, U.K. Secretary of State for Defence, and Mr. Frank Kendall, U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, represented their governments. “We are here to celebrate an important ‘first’ among so many milestones associated with the F-35 program,” said Bob Stevens, Lockheed Martin chairman and chief executive officer. “It’s fitting that our first delivery to an international partner is to the United Kingdom, because without sustained British innovation over many generations, we would not have an event to celebrate today.”

The U.K. was the first of eight international partners to join the F-35 program and plans to acquire the F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Headquartered in the U.K., BAE Systems brings a rich heritage of capabilities to the F-35 program, including short takeoff and vertical landing experience, advanced lean manufacturing, flight testing and air systems sustainment, and is responsible for the F-35’s aft fuselage, fuel system, crew escape and life support systems. The U.K. will play a vital role in the F-35’s global production, follow-on development and sustainment over the next 40 years, bringing strong economic benefits to the country.

The future of Dutch plans to buy dozens of JSF fighter jets is in doubt on Tuesday after it emerged a majority of MPs think the agreement should be scrapped. Labour MP Angelien Eijsink said on Tuesday her party will enter a motion in parliament to cancel the JSF jet fighter project, according to media reports.. With Labour joining in calls for the project to be cancelled, there is now a parliamentary majority going into a debate on the subject on Thursday. The Socialist party, anti-immigration PVV, left-wing Liberals D66 and green party GroenLinks all said earlier they want the project stopped. The small ChristenUnie will introduce a motion for a far-reaching investigation into the cost of the project and how many jobs will lost if it is cancelled. This notion of ditiching the F-35 jet fighter purchase agreement casts light  about the terrible financial difficulties european economies are into, and need to focus on primary added value spending to regain growtth in their countries. If this decsion was to pass, this could lead the way for other countries that have placed orders and are in financial dire to renogociate or simply cancel their previous agreements.

Norway places firm order for the F-35

Norwegian Defence Minister Espen Barth Eide said the decision to move forward came after U.S. authorities confirmed their support to integrate a joint strike missile developed by the Norwegian conglomerate Kongsberg Gruppen ASA into the F-35 aircraft. The two aircraft authorized today are expected to be joined by a second pair in 2016, and will be based in the United States as part of a joint partner training centre. They are to be followed by up to 48 additional aircraft from 2017 that are to be based at Ørland Main Air Station in central Norway.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability. The F-35 has three main models; the F-35A is a conventional takeoff and landing variant, the F-35B is a short take off and vertical-landing variant, and the F-35C is a carrier-based variant.

f-35 jet fighter

The F-35 is descended from the X-35, the product of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. JSF development is being principally funded by the United States, with the United Kingdom and other partner governments providing additional funding. The partner nations are either NATO members or close U.S. allies. It is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin. The F-35 took its first flight on 15 December 2006.

The United States intends to buy a total of 2,443 aircraft to provide the bulk of its tactical airpower for the US Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy over the coming decades. The United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, Israel and Japan all will equip their air and/or naval forces with the F-35.