«A thousand defects». Half of the F-35 is not ready for battle, said at the Pentagon

CC BY 2.0 / Heath Cajandig / F-35Американский the F-35. Archival photo.«A thousand defects». Half of the F-35 is not ready for battle, said at the PentagonCC BY 2.0 / Heath Cajandig / F-35

All efforts to increase the reliability of the F-35 aircraft has been stalled due to numerous problems, writes Bloomberg, citing a report prepared by the Pentagon.

The share of battle-ready aircraft is at about 50%, and it is not possible to significantly increase from October 2014, despite growth in the number of F-35, says in the report of the head of the Pentagon’s military testing Robert Beler.

Improved version of the software for a fighter was already appeared 31 times, but some key flaws are still not fixed, the report said. In total, currently not fixed in the order of thousands of various defects of the F-35, which can affect the efficiency of its combat use.

For example, aircraft modifications F-35B for the marine Corps and F-35C for aircraft carriers can not be refilled in the air. Technical defects affect the missile launch AIM-120 «air — air» and reset ammunition «air — ground». Display in the pilot’s helmet that displays flight data and goals does not work correctly, and imperfect diagnostic system detects «cracks» of the systems that are actually functioning properly.

In order to finalize spanning 16 years of the development phase of the F-35, the aircraft must pass rigorous military tests that have fallen behind already for the year. In addition, they are unlikely to be completed before December 2019, the authors of the document.

The Pentagon also stated the need to reduce the cost of the program. The American defense Ministry intends to accelerate production of the F-35, although still not corrected the problem identified at the current stage of testing, said Bloomberg.

F-35 Lightning II — the second serial fighter of the fifth generation after the F-22 Raptor. The program to build the F-35 has cost the United States approximately half a trillion dollars. The aircraft was regularly criticized, including by President Donald trump. It was repeatedly reported various technical problems. So, in October of last year it became known that many pilots experience symptoms of oxygen starvation, and in November of last year the Pentagon for 30 days has frozen the program of equipment of Armed forces F-35 after fighters found rust.