Report: F-35 failed ‘real-world operational’ tests for deployment

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An F-35B Lightning II conducts vertical takeoff flight operations aboard the USS Wasp in May. /U.S. Navy Photo/Spc. William Tonacchio

 

Tests of the F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter jet in May revealed serious operational deficiencies, according to a Pentagon report.

In another major setback for the $400 billion Joint Strike Fighter project, the report said that the F-35s launched from a U.S. Marine Corps amphibious assault ship were unreliable and failed to carry any weapons.

A recent memo from the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), released in a report by the nonpartisan government watchdog group Project on Government Oversight (POGO) contradicts the Marine Corps’ assessment that its version of the F-35 was combat-ready.

“Aircraft reliability was poor enough that it was difficult for the Marines to keep more than two or three of the six embarked jets in a flyable status on any given day,” the report, drafted in July, said.

According to the report, the six F-35Bs used in the demonstration, referred to by the Marines as Operational Test 1, failed to achieve the number of required flight hours necessary to be declared combat-ready and the DOT&E found the trials, “did not — and could not — demonstrate that Block 2B F-35B is operationally effective or suitable for use in any type of limited combat operation, or that it was ready for real-world operational deployments, given the way the event was structured.”

Full article: Report: F-35 failed ‘real-world operational’ tests for deployment (World Tribune)

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