En hemmelig Pentagon-rapport, som flere medier har fået fingre i, afslører, at JSF’eren har i alt 13 designmæssige problembørn. Otte ”major risks” og fem ”minor risks”. Rapporten advarer om, at de værste problemer muligvis ikke er kendte endnu og at det under alle omstændigheder vil tage flere år at fixe de nuværende problemer. Derfor bør Pentagon bremse kraftigt ned for indkøbet af jets parallelt med udviklingen af flyet.

Et af de otte alvorlige problemer er hemmeligstemplet i rapporten. Så her kan potentielt ligge en meget stor forsinkende faktor. De øvrige er ifølge avisen Star Telegram blandt andet:

* Worse than predicted buffeting of the aircraft in high speed and maneuvering modes with the most stringent testing in combat-like situations yet to be done. The result is already seen and predicted further accelerated wear and tear on the aircraft, cracks in the structural frame.

* The high tech helmet-mounted-display that is supposed to allow the pilot to be aware of potential threats and attack targets at night or in bad weather performs badly and its night vision capability is far less than existing systems used by pilots in existing aircraft. The buffeting of the aircraft in flight makes the helmet-mounted-display problems worse.

* The integrated power package that provides backup electrical power, controls much of the aircraft’s avionics and the primary oxygen supply and cockpit pressurization has proven horribly unreliable.

* The tailhook arrester on the F-35C for carrier landings failed in every test to catch the arresting cables that yank jets to a halt. A new tailhook design is beign readied for testing early next year but the report suggests that the problem may lie with the basic design of the aircraft itself and fixing it could require a major redesign of the F-35C structure.

Læs hele rapporten her.

PS: Meget tyder på at Japan på fredag vælger at købe JSF’eren. Måske de lige skulle køre rapporten en tur gennem Google Translate og tage læsebrillerne på.

 

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