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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.
The latest report on the F-35 program by Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E), spotlights growing problems with late software deliveries for the stealthy fighter.
Software releases in 2012, the report says, ran late as compared to the schedule adopted after the 2010 technical baseline review, which was carried out in part to correct optimistic projections made before that date. (The program’s leaders had underestimated the amount of regression testing — tests to make sure that changes had not induced problems in previously tested functions — and overestimated test rates and productivity.)
Block 1 software is not complete. Lot 2 and Lot 3 aircraft have been delivered “with major variances against the expected capabilities,” the report says.
Originally posted by Dispo
I suppose this doesn't really matter to us brits, we were supposed to be buying about 120 of them, now we're only buying 50, which we'll mothball (because we have no carriers) until we get coerced in to another joint-buy system.
Originally posted by PW229
. Technically the Royal Navy already have 1 F-35B delivered (in July 2012) but it is continuing its testing in the US (not sure if it's at Pax River or Eglin though, SME might know?).
Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by maintainright
They are being delivered. There are four or five combat coded aircraft at Yuma MCAS (not that they could fly in combat if they wanted to). You can actually fix a buffet problem with a fairly minor change to the airfoils if you do it right. The F-15 originally had straight horizontal stabilizers, but when they flew it they had a flutter issue. They cut the sawtooth out of the leading edge, and it went away, and we have the look we have now. It might be as simple as that.
Originally posted by Orwells Ghost
Zaphod, hypothetically speaking, if the F35 program turns out to be a total write-off, what's the USAF and Navy's next move?