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The F-35 Fighter Aircraft: A Staggering Doomed Mess
America's new F-35 Lightening aircraft is an great example of a mess. The first flight of a prototype was in 2006, yet, it is still NOT in production and over 2400 of them are to be built and bought. In February 2011, the Pentagon put a price of $207.6 million for each of the 32 aircraft to be acquired in 2012. But, the F-35 has been one snafu after another in perfecting this this 5th generation fighter.
According to the most recent budget report, the cost of the 2400 aircraft will be $1 trillion! What kind of number is this??? The previous estimate was a cheap $331 billion!
There has been so many mechanical problems it i mind numbing. Most of those are fixed, however, now the problem is the software used in the aircraft. The problem is so serious that if the code cannot be done, the aircraft is doomed. How much code? Try 10 million lines of software source code. The officer in charge of getting this done has stated, " it scares the hell out of me". Oracle was suppose to have its portion of the code done by Oct. 2013 after spending $1 billion already. Now, the company wants another billion dollars just to get to one-quarter functionality by 2020! Huh? You mean, by 2020, only one-fourth of their portion of the code will done? But, will it work as planned? No bugs? Right!
Many countries counting on buying the F-35 now have said it is too expensive to buy and maintain, if and when, production starts. They are considering other options. As of 2013, 187 have been built and all must not be refitted for a variety of reasons and defects. Lockheed, the company making them, now has laid off workers. Testing the F-35 is suppose to end in 2016. The US Air Force and Lockheed have become and odd couple. The USAF blames Lockheed for the cost overruns and Lockheed blames the USAF for their planning and development of the aircraft's systems and what they want it do to.
Regardless, it is a boondoggle that both parties are stuck with.