- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The U.S. Air Force’s much-maligned F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has yet another software problem that requires pilots to reset the radar system by shutting it off and turning it back on again.

The F-35 program has been consistently dogged by software problems, driving the cost up to roughly $400 billion for the first 2,457 planes. The cost is expected to surpass $1 trillion over the course of the program’s 55-year life cycle.

There already had been a slew of previously reported problems with the plane — including vulnerability to lightning strikes, weight issues and a complete lack of cybersecurity testing. The glitch with the radar, which appeared late last year, potentially hinders the jet’s performance against less advanced fighter jets, The Guardian reported.

“What would happen is they’d get a signal that says wither a radar degrade or a radar fail — something that would force us to restart the radar,” U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian told analyst group IHS Jane’s.

He said Lockheed Martin has “discovered the root cause, and now they’re in the process of making sure they take that solution and run it through the [software testing] lab.”



Most of the problems seem to be related to the F-35’s advanced software rather than the actual hardware or military-related components of the jet.

A recent Pentagon report found severe limitations in “fusion, electronic warfare and weapons employment result in ambiguous threat displays, limited ability to respond to threats, and a requirement for off-board sources to provide accurate coordinates for precision attack,” Gizmodo reported.

The bug fixes for the planes are expected to be delivered to the Air Force by the end of March.

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