Military Review

"Possible explosion near a thunderstorm": defect found on Dutch F-35 fighters

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A series of technical problems continues to haunt the American F-35 Lightning II fighter, which is positioned by the United States as the undisputed leader among the same type of aircraft.


This time, on the F-35A machines belonging to the Netherlands Air Force, damage to the pipes that make up the onboard inert gas generation system (OBIGGS) in the fuel tank was found. This was announced by the kingdom's military in a press release on September 18.

Previously, a similar problem was found on four (non-Dutch) aircraft. As a result, all countries operating the F-35A were advised to avoid flying near thunderstorms and to protect aircraft on the ground with shelters or lightning rods. This information is contained in the 21st Annual Progress Report on the VF-35 program, published last week.

The OBIGGS system is designed to minimize the risk of explosion of fuel vapors, such as in the event of a lightning strike. Damage to the pipes in it can leave fuel tanks vulnerable. After the discovery of the defect on the first aircraft, checks began on other machines, including the Dutch F-35A.

The Netherlands currently has 12 F-35 fighters, 4 of which are stationed at Leeuwarden AFB, the remaining 8 are in the United States for pilot training.
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  1. Free wind
    Free wind 22 September 2020 04: 55
    -10 qualifying.
    Well, not a fighter, but a fighter-bomber. There may have been hits, but there were no disasters.
    1. sir.jonn
      sir.jonn 22 September 2020 06: 41
      13
      Quote: Free Wind
      Well, not a fighter, but a fighter-bomber. There may have been hits, but there were no disasters.

      An under-fighter and a non-bomber.
    2. figwam
      figwam 22 September 2020 06: 45
      +9
      it was recommended to avoid flying near thunderstorms and to protect aircraft on the ground with shelters or lightning rods.

      Is it possible to fight on it? Although this is probably the next stage of the problems of this underplane.
      1. neri73-r
        neri73-r 22 September 2020 10: 21
        +4
        Yes, okay, good plane. For them. It suits us. He cannot fly everywhere, with height, with thunderstorms, with problems with rain. The main thing is that everything is fine with the price (transcendental) and with the demand everything is fine (but where will they go). In general everything is good. For us.
    3. Nadrub
      Nadrub 22 September 2020 20: 07
      -1
      Have you had any accidents?
      No, what?
      There will be ..... :)
  2. Victor_B
    Victor_B 22 September 2020 05: 50
    +6
    Unlucky Penguin apparatus!
    Trouble does not leave him.
    They've already built a hell of a lot and shoved a bunch of allies, but never brought them to full combat readiness.
    In general, a stupid Penguin timidly hides a fat body ...
  3. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 22 September 2020 06: 26
    +5
    all countries operating the F-35A were advised to avoid flying near thunderstorms and to protect aircraft on the ground with shelters or lightning rods
    What recommendations will be received upon detection of the next technical problem? The Americans have achieved the main thing - they are selling these aircraft to many countries, receiving a lot of money. Well, technical problems, by and large, let those who exploit them (including the US Air Force) worry.
  4. Lord_Bran
    Lord_Bran 22 September 2020 07: 16
    +2
    It has never happened before, and now - again.
    To be honest, it’s interesting: when will there be news that these unique and unparalleled most breakthrough aircraft are better not to be lifted into the air at all, stored in a warm and dry place and not turned over, because they are fragile?
  5. NDR-791
    NDR-791 22 September 2020 07: 45
    -1
    damage was found to pipes that make up the onboard inert gas generation system
    Kapets !!! It is not destiny to change the tubes at the nitrogen station !!! Only hide in shelters and ground, but deeper, deeper !!! By the way, a good recommendation is to drive them into the bunker and chain them. laughing
  6. A. Privalov
    A. Privalov 22 September 2020 08: 45
    +2
    I do not have the most recent data at hand, but judging by not very old publications, it would not be a great exaggeration to say that more than 550 F-35 aircraft are currently produced (134 in 2019), they are located at 21 bases in eight countries of operators. around the world, more than 1000 pilots and about 9000 technicians have been trained, the total flight time of the F-35 exceeded 250 thousand hours. It is this massiveness that allows you to identify any design flaws, carefully study and find technical solutions to eliminate them.
    A dozen different-colored prototypes of the main competitor of this device in no way can give its designers and manufacturers a clear picture of the real situation regarding problems and bottlenecks in the design. It is possible that it is for this reason that not a single serial copy has been released to this day.
    1. Souchastnik
      Souchastnik 22 September 2020 13: 45
      +1
      It is this massiveness that allows you to identify any design flaws, carefully study and find technical solutions to eliminate them.

      Absolutely agree. But all this should be followed by revision, leading to the elimination of the deficiency, and not the imposition of operational restrictions.
      And it’s like in a joke about a doctor and a grandmother with a bad back. That's how grandmother and walk (bent over with cancer).
  7. APASUS
    APASUS 22 September 2020 10: 08
    0
    Again they drive the F-35, it is the best and cannot break down. These are all envious laughing laughing laughing
  8. RealPilot
    RealPilot 22 September 2020 15: 04
    0
    To scold an adversary is a sweet thing! But seriously, the composite glider was made for this, so as not to reflect the microwave radiation of the radar.
    And lightning is just a powerful electric discharge, of the same electromagnetic nature, but, of course, with a different spectrum. And they pierce, naturally! Ditching the Faraday cage is not free.

    That is, American designers faced a natural phenomenon from the same category with which they wanted to fight. Moreover, with more powerful and destructive. Here, one cannot be without the other. Here either make everything from metal and forget about stealth, or run from thunderstorms like from fire!
  9. _Ugene_
    _Ugene_ 22 September 2020 18: 56
    0
    despite all the shortcomings, the aircraft is developing and is already quite combat-ready, you should not pour mud on it out of envy for every slightest reason, I hope our Ministry of Defense realistically evaluates the threats
  10. svan26
    svan26 23 September 2020 17: 19
    0
    it is necessary to recommend the chain for the arch of static and grounding. They say it helps.