The office of the US Defense Department responsible for the F-35 project has been criticized by government regulators because it has delayed the repair of the key defects of the F-35 fighter. In a recent annual report, the GAO said that by January, as the world's most expensive weapon project, F-35 had 966 "open defects". According to the current plan of the Ministry of defense, 180 of these defects are not resolved before mass production.
Mass production plan
The mass production plan requires that Lockheed Martin produce at least 77 F-35 fighters every year in the next 12 years. In the next 6 years and 2023, output will reach a peak, that is, 105 frames per year, with an annual cost of $13 billion 400 million. The report points out that the Department of defense needs to repair these defects before mass production. And the mass production stage is also the most profitable stage for Loma company.
The F-35 fighter project is up to US $406 billion 500 million. As the next generation fighter, its 17 year development phase will end this year. In September, the project will undergo a 1 year high intensity combat test. The test has been delayed for a year than expected.
The F-35 project has made progress last year. However, in the process of rushing to the finish line, some decisions of the project will have an impact on the performance, reliability and maintainability of F-35 in the future.
GAO divides the defects into 2 types. The first type is: defects that will affect aircraft safety or other major requirements. The second type is: it will hinder the smooth implementation of the task. In the GAO report, there are 111 1 types of defects and 855 2 types of defects. The report says that if the reliability requirements are not met, the military will accept a fighter with poor reliability, long maintenance time and high cost. The project has been questioned for a long time due to capital investment. Therefore, ensuring the reliability of each aircraft is essential.
Helmet display problem
One of the 1 defects that must be repaired is the helmet mounted display system that provides the information required by the pilot. Although there is no safety problem in daytime and nighttime navigation, the dark green background light on the helmet will reduce the pilot's ability to detect visual signals. A new light-emitting diode display system and upgrading software are being developed to solve the problem, according to people.
According to the relevant personage, suggestions for GAO have taken action to meet the requirements of reliability and maintainability. Officials hope that F-35 can complete the repair of key defects before testing. At the end of the test, The Pentagon will reexamine the mass production decision of the F-35 fighter, including the assessment of the still existing defects and the extension of the improvement plan.
Defects that must be repaired
According to the mail, as of February this year, the number of unresolved defects has reached 995, while only 47 of the 276 defects that need to be repaired are actually in progress.
A large number of unresolved defects may have a cumulative impact on the combat capability of F-35, and the extent of impact will be determined in the test. Only after the test is completed can the Ministry of defense obtain accurate information to clarify the actual combat capability of F-35. A spokesman for Roma also said the company is working closely with the joint project office to optimize and amend these defects to ensure that the company can continue to deliver the world's most advanced fighter. In addition to these defects, GAO also highlighted the progress made in the engine and its engine production. (authorship: Defense Science and technology important news / Li Xiang)
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