19 January 2013

When You Don't Meet Performance Targets………

The Department of Defense lowers the target:
The US Department of Defense is lowering the performance bar for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter according to a new report by the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E).

The specifications for all three variants pertaining to transonic acceleration and sustained turn rates have been reduced. Worst hit in terms of acceleration is the US Navy's F-35C carrier-based model.

"The program announced an intention to change performance specifications for the F-35C, reducing turn performance from 5.1 to 5.0 sustained g's and increasing the time for acceleration from 0.8 Mach to 1.2 Mach by at least 43 seconds," reads the report prepared by J Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon's DOT&E. "These changes were due to the results of air vehicle performance and flying qualities evaluations."

The US Air Force F-35A's time has slipped by eight seconds while the US Marine Corps short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B's time has slipped by 16 seconds. However, turn rates for both the A and B models have been impacted more severely than the USN variant. Sustained turning performance for the F-35B is being reduced from 5G to 4.5G while the F-35A sinks from 5.3G to 4.6G according to the report.
They also have issues with the horizontal tails getting too hot and delaminating, buffet/wing drop issues, and the they still do not have the helmet mounted display working properly.

And let's not get started on the software.

This continues to be a clusterf%$#, but with hundreds of billions already invested already, no one is willing to bite the bullet and walk away.

They will continue to throw good money after bad.


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