Ground Hog Day: De-Bugging the F-35

It seems the F-35 fighter; aka the most expensive weapons system ever, hasn’t been in the news too often lately. And most of the news out that is out there is awful, according to reports in early February. If or when the jet fighters do fly on a regular basis, at some point in the future some will be used by the Vermont Air National Guard and based at the Burlington airport. This is over objections from residents in nearby towns over possible noise levels during take-off and landings — so, here’s a heads up for Vermonters. f-35model

If you care to read more details, that can be done here. But these three descriptive headlines provide a more than adequate, quick summary: The Version That the Marines Are Using Is Very Buggy;  ALIS [Autonomic Logistics Information System] Is Still Terrible, Perhaps Even Getting Worse; and my favorite,  Lockouts, Confusion, etc.

From Lockouts,Confusion,etc.:

  • The F-35 fails to detect if it’s been flying too fast or what effect that might have. “The Integrated Exceedance Management System, designed to assess and report whether the aircraft exceeded limitations during flight, failed to function properly.”
  • The plane “randomly prevented user logins into ALIS.
  • The plane doesn’t know how broken parts are: “The maintenance action severity code functionality…designed to automatically assign severity codes to work orders as maintenance personnel create them—did not work correctly.”
  • The plane’s crews need to phone Lockheed Martin tech support because the plane can’t handle the data it needs to process in order to run missions. “Managing data loads associated with mission planning required extensive contractor support.”

I think it was on Ground Hog Day that the Pentagon’s office of testing’s recent evaluations made their way into the news. So if the report sees its shadow and tax money is allowed to flow on and on, there will likely be six more months of testing for the most expensive weapons system ever. One does wonder how many crashes and injured or killed pilots will it take to ground this hog.

 

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