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LO coatings responsible for half of F-35 defects

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posted on Mar, 5 2018 @ 09:31 PM
Lockheed has come out and said that half of the defects on F-35s being delivered are quality escapes involving the LO coating on the aircraft. The issues range from installing panels with minor damage, to over spraying of coatings.

In September, deliveries were temporarily halted when it was found that certain holes didn't have primer sprayed in them as required. This could have allowed corrosion later in the aircraft life cycle.

posted on Mar, 5 2018 @ 09:41 PM
It is still Lockheads problem, they are selling the aircraft to our military. They get paid, they are responsible for the finished product and should be settling disputes with our government. Passing the buck to a sub does not releave them of their liability, they should have been inspecting this stuff all along.

posted on Mar, 5 2018 @ 09:45 PM
a reply to: rickymouse

They aren't passing it to a sub though. If the sub sends them parts that need to be reworked, that delays the delivery of that airframe while it's fixed, or later airframes since that part gets shifted to another airframe, and another part is installed.

Yes, Lockheed is responsible, but so is the sub. If they're contracted to deliver certain parts, they need to live up to that. Lockheed is taking responsibility and solving the issues. Some of them are Lockheed issues, such as spraying the coating on, and some are the sub contracted company.
edit on 3/5/2018 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 5 2018 @ 10:26 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

That makes total sense though. It's probably the hardest part to get right and it has to have the most attention to detail.

posted on Mar, 5 2018 @ 11:36 PM
Its a process problem.Someone is missing a few steps in between countersinking and assembly.Ben Rich needs to go back and kick some butt.

posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 01:26 AM
That's a pretty sad state of things when you consider that for a long time, military and aviation engineering has been the pinnacle of human achievement. In the past if you wanted to see engineering done right, you just had to look at military aircraft. Particularly American ones.

posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 02:05 AM
Who's building these things? Trotter's Independent Traders?

I don't know what it means to prime the holes of a state of the art fighter jet, but for 100 million each, you'd think they could spray some holes.

Fingers crossed for luminous fighters.

posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 04:27 AM
It only takes one guy on a shift to spray or drill a batch wrong and you have accounted for many of those defects.

Plus as you are delivering production aircraft during testing the minor problems are exaggerated.

Don't think that because the F-35 costs more the quality of the subcontractors goes up, I have mates who work on coatings for many projects and they get paid sh1t, what probably makes that 500 part a 5000 dollar part is the stealth coating, not the guy drilling holes and putting on generic primer. If they don't read the card, they probably don't even know/care what aircraft its from, their hourly rate is the same.

posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 05:51 AM
a reply to: BrianFlanders

RAM coatings are extremely difficult to work with. Getting them right 100% of the time is not going to happen. They delivered 66 aircraft last year, each one with a few hundred panels, plus the airframe without panels that had to be done perfectly. And they're increasing production rates. They're bound to have some quality escapes that need rework.

posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 05:53 AM
a reply to: SlowNail

That's why they're called quality escapes. They happen on every program. Hell, the 787 was horrifying for what slipped through on the early program. They'll never hit 100% perfect, but they'll work improvements into the supply chain and get close.

posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 06:11 AM

originally posted by: SlowNail
Who's building these things? Trotter's Independent Traders?

I don't know what it means to prime the holes of a state of the art fighter jet, but for 100 million each, you'd think they could spray some holes.

Fingers crossed for luminous fighters.

Zaphod58 hates me to utter a disparaging word on the F-35, I think he takes it personally ... I want our pilots to fight and survive, for the next war may not give us enough time to play catch-up..

The Russians can field 7 of their stealth aircraft for the cost of one F-35. Their SU-57 is still not finished and is still waiting on upgrades and possibly newer engines.. Latest news I have heard the new engine has been installed in a few test bed aircraft..

We in America do not get the bang for the buck other countries like China or Russia does. AND even after we spend a friggen fortune there are still big bad bugs that...... with just another few million or billion and a few software upgrades in the next few years it will be one humdinger (sarc).. The F-35 maybe superior to anything around however, with radar and missile improvements plus a one against seven numerical advantage...... I really am glad I will not be in the cockpit in a real war... The F-35 was sold on the idea it would replace the F-15, F-16, the A-10 and no telling what else.. which is B.S. for the foreseeable future IMO

Israel did a strike in Syria on October 17, 2017... The Syrian air defense said one of their S-200 missiles damaged an Israeli F-35.... Israel countered and said one of their F-35s was damaged by a bird strike... Who are you going to believe...? Either way the Israeli strike force was fired upon; think about it !! Maybe the S-200s were intended for the accompanying F-16s and the F-35 just got hit by flying debris ?

Plenty of stories on both sides of that argument...The S-200 is no where near the capability of the advanced Russian S-400 missile but if the story is true, the S-200 and the ground radar is "Good Enough" ! Russians are now starting the S-500 system so no telling what its capabilities will actually be ?

Bottom line for me unless I am a defense contractor with no conscience the USA gets ripped off with every purchase form the MIC contractors..

posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 06:13 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58 long as they own the issue and use what they learn to refine process, you cant ask much more.

posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 06:29 AM
a reply to: 727Sky

No, I have issue with people using blatant propaganda, and years old information to disparage programs, like nothing will change.

So, the Syrians are going to tell the absolute truth now? Seriously? I don't believe for a minute that Israeli will either, but their side makes a lot more sense. The first F-35s had arrived in Israel mere weeks before and they weren't declared operational until December, well after this strike. There was zero reason for them to have used an F-35 when they had been doing just fine with their F-15s and F-16s on previous strikes against the same weapons.

You say we don't get the same bang for our buck, but I'd say getting our aircraft and pilots back is getting more bang for our buck. We could probably build dozens of lower tech aircraft for the same price, and lose dozens of them on every strike if we went to war. It's about survivability.

How about doing some actual research instead of resorting to hyperbole. The current cost of the F-35A is $94.6M, and dropping. The Su-57 is estimated between $50-100M. It's not a VLO platform, doesn't have the sensor fusion, engine reliability, and more that the F-35 sees. The F-35 takes the place of multiple aircraft, including battlefield support aircraft.
edit on 3/6/2018 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 06:31 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58

Ummm...over spraying of coatings...holes not primed...?

Isn't that just a software glitch in the coatings robot's...?

Please don't tell me this is human error...beyond a programming aspect...

Why not just use dip tanks to apply the coatings to these panels..?


posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 06:32 AM
a reply to: YouSir

You can't just dip RAM coatings. It needs to be sprayed on and some of the spraying needs to be done by people with spray guns.

posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 07:18 AM
a reply to: 727Sky

The Russians can field 7 of their stealth aircraft for the cost of one F-35.

Let's compare the Su-57 and F-35 shall we. Bear in mind I don't know as much about the Su-57 as I do about the F-35, this will cause me to miss aspects of the Su-57 I was not aware of.

- 28,999 lb empty weight
- Single engine
- Gun
- One AESA Radar array
- Integrated IRST system
- Extremely advanced Missile Approach Warning System
- Advanced Datalinks
- Extremely advanced HMDS
- Production rate for 2018 will be at least 90 aircraft, with full rate production at 160 aircraft per year. 280 have been delivered so far.

- 39,680 lb empty weight
- Two engine
- Gun
- Three AESA Radar arrays
- Two Electronic Warfare arrays
- Integrated IRST
- Missile Approach Warning System
- Advanced Datalinks
- Advanced HMDS
- LO
- Production rate will probably be less than a dozen aircraft per year. Only 12 exist so far since first flight in 2010.

The Su-57 is a bigger aircraft than the F-35, with more equipment. It will burn more fuel than the F-35. The F-35 will be produced in huge numbers, with huge economies of scale, the Su-57 won't be. In fact, there are 23 times more F-35s than Su-57s, and the majority of those Su-57s are prototypes. If you count Su-57s in the or close to the final configuration, the figure is more like 140 times as many F-35s as Su-57s. The only way the Su-57 can ever be cheaper than the F-35 is because it's made in a place with low wages or if quality is sacrificed. It's simple common sense. This is like arguing that a tank costs more than a SUV, it should be understandable to small children, I don't know why it isn't. Even if the Su-57 is cheaper than the F-35, bear in mind that Russia has a GDP smaller than Italy.

Russia also has one fighter aircraft manufacturer. A monopoly. Do you really think they do not rip off the Russian taxpayer?

The figures Zaphod posted indicate the Su-57 is somewhat less to somewhat more expensive than the F-35, despite being made in a country with a per capita GDP which is 17% that of the United States. The american aircraft that is more similar in size and role to the Su-57, the F-22, was about 70% to 90% more expensive than the F-35. Anyway, usually people are proud of building things in America. Do you advocate for outsourcing manufacturing to China? Do you favor outsourcing defense manufacturing to China or Russia?

If you want I can actually explain why the Su-57 probably is a good aircraft and why it's dangerous and I will do so without reposting propaganda.

We in America do not get the bang for the buck other countries like China or Russia does. AND even after we spend a friggen fortune there are still big bad bugs that...... with just another few million or billion and a few software upgrades in the next few years it will be one humdinger (sarc)..

When operators from the United States have flown Soviet Aircraft, often their opinions are not flattering. The Mig-23 was initially thought of by the west as being a cheap, mass-produced mini F-14. When they actually few it out of Tonopah Test Range they discovered that it was a dog, to the extent that it was practically unusable in combat. It was also dangerous and killed several american pilots, uncontrollable roll at high speeds, a tendency for the air intakes to 'un-start' leading to loss of control, or if the throttle was pulled back too quickly at high speed, the engine would explode, the fix was to basically prevent the aircraft from decelerating quickly from high speed.

They found the Mig-17 was an excellent aircraft for its time, albeit it has dangerous roll characteristics which killed an american pilot. The Mig-21 was also an excellent plane, I don't think I've heard a bad thing about it. One interesting aspect was Soviet canopy's were more clear than american ones, but didn't last as long - they figured this out after the canopy caved in on a pilot.

Read the book Red Eagles: America's Secret MiGs. Of course, in this case the Americans lacked soviet expertise in operating the aircraft, so it was much more dangerous.

More recently Americans have flown the Mig-29 and they generally said it was a great aircraft, with less polish than american fighters, and outdated avionics. The IRST was described as being useless but the helmet mounted targeting system was fantastic. Note that in the article the author does say negative things about the F-35, but since the same author has changed his position.

The takeaway is that the Soviets were on planet earth, and had to deal with the same issues that the Americans did. To believe anything different is to believe in fairy tales. This was actually the entire point of Constant Peg, to expose this to american fighter pilots. Unfortunately the US does not have access to the most modern Russian fighters, but there's no reason this should have changed.
edit on 6/3/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 07:34 AM
Regarding the Syrian issue:

1. Israel only declared the F-35 operational in December 2017. This was the plan for several years. Therefore at the time of this alleged shoot-down, there was absolutely no way the F-35 was operational.
2. Israeli pilots had never flown the F-35 until about 12 months ago.
3. The S-200 has a huge missile. If it hit an F-35, there would be no F-35 left.

The real issue here is that:
- You come into this thread pretending to be on our side. "I want the best for our pilots etc".
- Then repeat several incorrect arguments about cost, you should know better.
- Then post propaganda from South Front which can essentially be described as a Russian propaganda tool. It focuses on Russians in Ukraine and later Syria.
- Then you suggest that "both sides of the argument have good points" to put doubt into the topic - a common tactic of Russian trolls. Their side has no point to be made. You're also concern trolling which is also a common tactic, by pretending to be on our side but really not.

This is literally how democracies die. You're repeating propaganda.

If Americans want to spend less on defense, reign in your foreign policy and counter threats with an asymmetric approach. Russia for example employs hybrid warfare. Whereas the typical american approach would be to simply build a better conventional army, bomb them, and sanction them. The F-35 and F-22 programs are extensions of this and have done it very well, despite numbers being cut to the F-22, and the F-35 not even being in full-rate-production yet, you have built 40 times more 5th generation fighters than Russia, but you're complaining of needing to catch up and seem to be worried about numerical disadvantage. Remember, America keeps Putin up at night.

Hybrid warfare is a military strategy that employs political warfare and blends conventional warfare, irregular warfare and cyberwarfare with other influencing methods, such as fake news, diplomacy and foreign electoral intervention.[1][2] By combining kinetic operations with subversive efforts, the aggressor intends to avoid attribution or retribution.

In other news...:

F-35 Finally Can Use All Its Weapons In Combat

The newest U.S. Air Force F-35s, both stateside at Hill AFB, Utah, and overseas in the Pacific, finally can employ the stealth fighter’s full suite of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons in combat.


This milestone gives the Block 3F-configured F-35As assigned to the 34th Fighter Squadron stationed at Hill and those forward-deployed to Kadena Air Base, Japan—on North Korea’s doorstep—some lethal capabilities. The aircraft now can fire Raytheon’s short-range AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, the GAU-22 25mm gun, and Boeing’s precision-guided Small Diameter Bomb, all while flying up to 9Gs at 1.6 Mach.


Meanwhile, the U.S. Marine Corps short takeoff, vertical-landing F-35B and U.S. Navy F-35C carrier variant configured with the 3F software will be able to deploy with their full operational capability in May and June, respectively, F-35 Program Executive Officer (PEO) Vice Adm. Mat Winter said during a Feb. 28 media roundtable. For the F-35Cs, this means the aircraft will be able to deploy Raytheon’s AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) in combat and fly to 1.3 Mach.

Furthermore, Lockheed Picks Raytheon For F-35 DAS Upgrade.

This also means full flight envelope, full sensor fusion, external stores carriage, and other improvements.
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posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 10:28 AM
It boggles my mind how something like this could happen with such a large manufacturer. These are the kind of things you'd screw up if you were building it out of your garage. Didn't they put the wrong color lights on it at one point, unapproved by FAA?

posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 10:49 AM
a reply to: face23785

Again, look at the 787, and the debacle that was early production. They actually got fuselage sections that had the fasteners installed backwards. They were getting sections that were so screwed up they wound up taking over the company making them and putting their own management in place to fix it.

It doesn't matter what size company it is, as long as people are involved in some step (down to programing the robots, mistakes will be made, some of them big ones.

posted on Mar, 6 2018 @ 11:10 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58

is it the environments they are flying in? i found it strange they were adding stuff F-18's for LO' they were testing it before applying it to whole airframes

its not like a paint and i think people forget that. There is ALLOT that goes into LO's(well true ones) not farite paint

but the primer mistakes seem sloppy.

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