F-35B grounded, Lockheed responds to DOT&E report

This has not been a good couple of weeks for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Late last week, the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) released his annual report. The F-35 section highlighted myriad problems. Then, a couple of days ago on the 16th, an F-35B at Eglin AFB, Florida, suffered a fueldraulic line failure which led the Joint Program Office to order that variant grounded. That line was connected to an actuator which moves the short take-off vertical landing aircraft’s nozzle.

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8268959529_94a6e5c743_oZ2.jpgMeanwhile, Lockheed responded to the DOT&E report on Wednesday. The company’s Steve O’Bryan addressed pretty much every problem item identified in the report.

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8268913661_590516f74b_ov-2.jpgOne thing not in the story is the F-35′s vital helmet mounted display. O’Bryan said that he couldn’t directly address the current issues with the helmet. But he did say that we can expect an announcement from the F-35 JPO within the next two months about where the program is on fixing the helmet. The only thing he is able to say is that a new ISIE-11 night vision camera will be cut into production in LRIP 7–which VSI had told me earlier is hoped will remedy night vision acuity problems. The ISIE-11 will be replacing the older ISIE-10 camera that is on the current jets.

This video was produced by the Naval Air Systems Command–looks like someone wanted to try out all the features on their shiny new copy of Final Cut or Avid.

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