The Pentagon admitted that the fifth-generation fighter-bomber F-35 is not ready not only for combat missions - it is not ready at all
What just did not happen. And now the trouble is completely - it refuses to pick up not only that to fly - to take off in cold weather. The Department of Defense Testing and Evaluation Department of the United States presented a report that was published on 6 in March, although it was brought to the attention of the US Congress in February. According to the results of research and testing fighter can not operate normally. Serious problems with the view from the cockpit were revealed (which is interesting, why it became clear only now ?!), permanent equipment failures were detected at temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius and many other shortcomings.
According to the information presented in the report, the F-35 has the worst view from the cockpit of all the aircraft in service with the US Air Force. The creators of the fighter claimed that the innovative display helmet would allow the pilot to "see through the cockpit." But real flights have clearly demonstrated that it is impossible to do without a regular review, and the new fighter is too small.
One of the pilots involved in the trials said that in the event of close combat with the use of F-35 guns, "they will always be shot down." Different pilots expressed the opinion that insufficient review does not allow the use of the F-35 for full-fledged training of pilots.
The report revealed a number of critical flaws, including potential failures of the ejection system on first-series aircraft, lack of protection against lightning and problems with the interface of the control system, which, as noted in the report, “does not give confidence that the pilot will be able to safely perform critical operations” .
According to the authors of the report, the plane can be used to train pilots-cadets to take off, land, and fly as part of a link with other F-35 and F-16 during the day in clear weather, but it is not suitable for combat exercises. At the same time, it is noted that the trainee can safely control the aircraft only in subsonic mode (according to the calculated characteristics, it must reach speeds in 1,6 mach, 1900 km / h).
Problems with a computerized helmet were the main cause of most of the interrupted F-35 takeoffs. Experts have identified other problems with the reliability and maintainability of the aircraft. For example, it turned out that the plane should be kept in a heated hangar, because at temperatures below -15 degrees Celsius, the F-35 computer systems repeatedly refused to start due to the fact that the power control unit was not designed for cold.
"The incompleteness of the aircraft, the need to constantly choose workarounds for the flight procedures and the extremely limited capabilities of the internal systems do not allow us to evaluate the suitability of the F-35 for training as part of a squadron (squadron) and participation in battles," the report concludes.
The F-35 fighter as an alternative to the more expensive fifth-generation fighter project, the F-22, has been developed by Lockheed Martin since 2001. The first flight of this fighter made in 2006 year. The US plans to put it into service in the 2016 year and purchase at least 600 units. The US military wants to replace the obsolete combat aircraft A-10 "Thunderbolt", F-16, AV-8b "Harrier" and F / a-18.
In fact, the Americans put on one horse, trying to replace the aircraft of completely different types and purposes with one universal machine in three versions. An almost impossible task, which has been repeatedly written here (for example -"The plane is good. Only he is afraid to fly" и "Not a plane. Testers found a lot of problems with the F-35 fighter"). The results of such an adventure were obvious 3-4 a year ago. First of all, the impossibility of creating an effective universal and fabulous value.
As a result, military observers have to admit that the F-35 is the most expensive rearmament program history USA. The cost of one aircraft is from 197 to 237 million dollars (initially 80-90 million was planned). However, it turned out that, despite the money spent, the fighter does not meet the stated characteristics. Also this aircraft was pursued by technical problems. For example, at the end of February 2013, a crack was discovered in the turbine blades of one of the aircraft’s engines, due to which the F-35 test flights were interrupted for a week.
In any case, the US Air Force now does not have to choose. Despite punitive measures in relation to Lockheed-Martin (at the beginning of the year, the US Department of Defense punished the corporation with the 600 million dollar premium, which it kept for delaying the program), the dismissal of Pentagon officials, the growing awareness that the plane was losing and “golden”, there are no other options. The old F-15 and F-16 will soon be massively written off, and will not fly on anything. Therefore, the plans will be shipped, but the F-35 will be brought to the series.
PSIsrael buys these planes only because, under the terms of American economic assistance, it must spend it on American weapons. In fact, so much American weapons Israel simply does not need, and it has to buy goods only nominally for military purposes, for example, food for the military.