Photo: 33d Fighter Wing
It’s supposed to be the future of American air combat power, but the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Fighter may as well be called the “flying problem child.”It’s had issues with its software, which Air Force Maj. Gen. Christopher Bogdan has called “the gorilla in the room.” Then there are the issues with the complex helmet system the pilot wears, not to mention the enormous cost, which the Economist places at $382 billion.
That makes it the most expensive military project ever.
CNBC now reports stealth coatings on the plane, that make it invisible to enemy radar, are peeling off while one of the three F-35 models has begun showing cracks under its fuselage.
In an 18-page report to Congress, the much delayed and over-budget program is said to show a “lack of maturity.”
The aircraft which has been under development for over a decade, has undergone 20,000 tests of its capabilities. That would be comforting, if the report didn’t also mention that there were almost 40,000 more to go.
The massive program will undergo even more scrutiny as the military deals with massive budget cuts scheduled for March 1st.
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