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posted by cmn32480 on Thursday March 24 2016, @08:57AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the flushing-your-tax-dollars dept.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II multirole fighter plane has numerous software and hardware flaws. So many, in fact, that it won't be ready to deploy before 2019:

The F-35 multirole fighter won't be close to ready before 2019, the US House Armed Services Committee was told on Wednesday. The aircraft, which is supposed to reinvigorate the American military's air power, is suffering numerous problems, largely down to flaws in the F-35's operating system. These include straightforward code crashes, having to reboot the radar every four hours, and serious security holes in the code.

Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation, reported that the latest F-35 operating system has 931 open, documented deficiencies, 158 of which are Category 1 – classified as those that could cause death, severe injury, or severe illness. "The limited and incomplete F-35 cybersecurity testing accomplished to date has nonetheless revealed deficiencies that cannot be ignored," Gilmore said in his testimony [PDF]. "Cybersecurity testing on the next increment of ALIS [Autonomic Logistics Information System] – version 2.0.2 – is planned for this fall, but may need to be delayed because the program may not be able to resolve some key deficiencies and complete content development and fielding as scheduled."

He reported that around 60 per cent of aircraft used for testing were grounded due to software problems. He cited one four-aircraft exercise that had to be cancelled after two of the four aircraft aborted "due to avionics stability problems during startup."


Original Submission

Related Stories

F-35s Continue to Have Problems, Acquisition Costs Increase 37 comments

Testing Director says the expensive F-35s are not combat-ready, unreliable, and components need redesign

Overall fleet-wide monthly availability rates remain around 50 percent, a condition that has existed with no significant improvement since October 2014, despite the increasing number of new aircraft. One notable trend is an increase in the percentage of the fleet that cannot fly while awaiting replacement parts – indicated by the Not Mission Capable due to Supply rate.

[...] Total acquisition costs for Lockheed Martin Corp.'s next-generation fighter may rise about 7 percent to $406.5 billion, according to figures in a document known as a Selected Acquisition Report. That's a reversal after several years of estimates that had declined to $379 billion recently from a previous high of $398.5 billion in early 2014.

$122 billion has been spent on the F35 program up until the end of 2017. $10-15 billion will be spent each year through 2022. This is detailed in a 100 page F-35 spending summary report.

FY17 DOD PROGRAMS: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

Related: The F-35 Fighter Plane Is Even More of a Mess Than You Thought
The F-35: A Gold-Plated Turkey
Flawed and Potentially Deadly F-35 Fighters Won't be Ready Before 2019
Lockheed Martin Negotiating $37 Billion F-35 Deal
Does China's J-20 Rival Other Stealth Fighters?


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @09:14AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @09:14AM (#322462)

    Open-source it and helpful super-geniuses from everywhere will fix everything for free. Just upload to GitHub and start accepting pull requests. Some of those pull requests might even compile.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @09:17AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @09:17AM (#322464)

      Open-source it and helpful super-geniuses from everywhere will fix everything for free.

      I hear the Chinese are pretty good of understanding the code base.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @09:24AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @09:24AM (#322465)

        I hear the Chinese are pretty good of understanding the code base.

        They have had access to it for years already so they should be. No need to github for them.

    • (Score: 1, Redundant) by c0lo on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:09AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:09AM (#322476) Journal
      Do they code it in JS, PHP or Perl?
      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by shrewdsheep on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:34AM

        by shrewdsheep (5215) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:34AM (#322482)

        To deliver the most modern experience they started the base libraries Java (back when they started in 2000), the next years for the middle layer indeed they used PHP, then they had to use Go to allow for multi-tasking (first you had to put the engine into standby to switch gears). The head-up display is coded right now in Swift, well, to swiftly finish the job.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Thursday March 24 2016, @11:48AM

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 24 2016, @11:48AM (#322492) Journal
          Let me guess... the coding for the weapon system is covered in... Rust?
          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @12:46PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @12:46PM (#322503)

            Damn, beat me to it.

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by deimtee on Thursday March 24 2016, @01:09PM

            by deimtee (3272) on Thursday March 24 2016, @01:09PM (#322510) Journal

            You are all wrong. The whole thing is obviously coded in Python. There was even a movie about it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0417148/ [imdb.com]

            --
            No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
    • (Score: 2) by driverless on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:09PM

      by driverless (4770) on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:09PM (#322528)

      The aircraft, which is supposed to reinvigorate the American military's air power, is suffering numerous problems, largely down to flaws in the F-35's operating system.

      Well at least we now know which government department is still paying Microsoft for extended support for Windows XP.

  • (Score: 1) by anubi on Thursday March 24 2016, @09:26AM

    by anubi (2828) on Thursday March 24 2016, @09:26AM (#322466) Journal

    I have seen way too many things that were so simple, but grew to be so damned complex that no-one understood the thing enough to make it work.

    --
    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @11:06AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @11:06AM (#322487)

      Too many companies wanting to participate in the project... each wanting their share of the profit. Complex, expensive and the tax payer pays!

    • (Score: 1) by Skittles on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:25PM

      by Skittles (1651) on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:25PM (#322535)

      This project was never simple

      • (Score: 1) by anubi on Saturday March 26 2016, @04:54AM

        by anubi (2828) on Saturday March 26 2016, @04:54AM (#323170) Journal

        Its got too much like out tax codes... by now they are so complex even the IRS can't seem to understand it either.

        I am having the same conniptions trying to figure out an HMI. Many years ago, I was involved in a MODBUS PLD implementation in an oil refinery. I am revisiting that now as I am attempting to use a modern Human-Machine-Interface panel as a "pushbutton replacer" for Arduino. I want all the functions of a traditional switchboard panel - knobs, meters, buttons, indicator lights, switches, graphs, and the like, but I don't want to do all the metalwork or mess with all those mechanical parts... I wanna use a touch panel and simply draw the graphics and functionality I want.

        I really do not need a real mechanical d'arsonval meter to display fuel level, but I would love to have the number presented to me graphically.
        My old Modbus was so simple. I would have simply instantiated meters, switches, whatever, given them an address, then written or read data to/from that address. BOOL's and INT16's. The HMI would have either returned the state of switches, or displayed the data given as numerical text, meter, bar, graph, whatever. The new ones are so damned complicated I am just about ready to abandon the whole shebang. Why does everybody have to use a different protocol? By God, Modbus was open source! ( Don't answer that... I already know... copyright workarounds and attempts to lock in customers by keeping them ignorant - deliberately - by confuscated codes ).

        --
        "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 2) by gnuman on Friday March 25 2016, @04:55AM

      by gnuman (5013) on Friday March 25 2016, @04:55AM (#322777)

      Yes, but F-35 is the US Armed Forces "Fighter 2.0, time to get it right" version. That's why it is a completely disaster.

  • (Score: 2, Redundant) by c0lo on Thursday March 24 2016, @09:37AM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 24 2016, @09:37AM (#322468) Journal

    If only they'd be able to just fly and be a bit less expensive, maybe they'd be fit for kamikaze volunteers?

    No, I know... sell them to ISIS.
    (but then again, what if they manage to fix the problems? After all, it's only software bugs, they may subcontract to India).

    I don't know, I don't know anymore.

    (grin)

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MostCynical on Thursday March 24 2016, @09:58AM

    by MostCynical (2589) on Thursday March 24 2016, @09:58AM (#322474) Journal

    I'm not sure when Australia signed on to buy lots of these (and to keep paying til something gets delivered, likely around 2025)
    VTOL was ruled out
    http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread209322/pg1 [abovetopsecret.com]
    Then "stealth" turned out to mean "no one with an old radar can see it"
    Now it can't even fly.

    How did they get planes like the B2 so right, and this.. so wrong?

    --
    "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Bot on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:19AM

    by Bot (3902) on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:19AM (#322478) Journal

    CEO: "Of course it is deadly, it is a damn weapon."
    AF General: "The weapon is supposed to be deadly for the enemy, not for our own!"
    CEO: "Our own? I don't get it, what do you mean by that?"

    This is what MBA degrees do to CEOs.

    /bait

    --
    Account abandoned.
  • (Score: 4, Funny) by geb on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:55AM

    by geb (529) on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:55AM (#322485)

    At the start of the cold war, when the military industrial complex was in its infancy, US military spending increased massively and its citizens were worried about how the US would afford it.

    The budgets got increased regardless of the concerns, mainly because the USSR was a big obvious genuine threat, and so everybody got to see how this big experiment in military stimulus spending would work.

    It turned out pretty well. A lot of the spending was on very basic stuff - construction of bases, carpentry, simple metalwork, welding, pouring concrete. It was all work using transferrable talents, so the military could employ hundreds of thousands of ordinary workers. The pay mostly went straight back into the wider economy, and the work left all the contractors in a good position to perform other useful civilian jobs afterwards. It was expensive, but the money all stayed in circulation inside the country.

    Fast forward a few decades, and exactly the same military stimulus thinking is going on. It has been formalised for so long that it can't easily be stopped, but the work being done is vastly different. Boots-on-the-ground wars take money outside the country, unlike cold wars where most of the spending is at home. The tech level of combat has changed, so that a bricklayer can't help you win a war anymore. Money goes to huge companies, instead of day labourers. The money doesn't return any more.

    There is one obvious conclusion to take from this, one change that makes everything right once more: advanced multi-role strike fighters should be made out of wood and concrete.

    • (Score: 2) by driverless on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:18PM

      by driverless (4770) on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:18PM (#322531)

      The tech level of combat has changed, so that a bricklayer can't help you win a war anymore.

      He can if he's in the forces opposing the US. Heck, an illiterate camel herder can help you win there. Take enough of the infidels with you when you promote yourself to glory and eventually they give up and go home.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Thexalon on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:57PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:57PM (#322546)

      Fast forward a few decades, and exactly the same military stimulus thinking is going on. It has been formalised for so long that it can't easily be stopped, but the work being done is vastly different. Boots-on-the-ground wars take money outside the country, unlike cold wars where most of the spending is at home. The tech level of combat has changed, so that a bricklayer can't help you win a war anymore. Money goes to huge companies, instead of day labourers. The money doesn't return any more.

      And more to the point, Dwight Eisenhower (a guy who knew a thing or two about how the military works) was warning us all about this in 1960, when he first used the term "military-industrial complex".

      The problem, though, isn't that the tech level of combat changed - wood and concrete still help a lot, and are still a major part of military spending. No, what's changed is the corruption level, to the point where the Pentagon recently spent $43 million on a gas station [reuters.com], and cannot account for $8.5 trillion [yahoo.com] (to give an idea of how staggeringly huge that number is, it equals about half of the current US GNP and about 40% of the US national debt). The F-35 is another perfect example of this, since it was supposed to be done several years ago and cost about 1/3 of what it's currently slated to cost.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Thursday March 24 2016, @05:09PM

        by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Thursday March 24 2016, @05:09PM (#322584)

        And more to the point, Dwight Eisenhower (a guy who knew a thing or two about how the military works) was warning us all about this in 1960, when he first used the term "military-industrial complex".

        After spending 8 years fueling the industry he meekly spoke out against it on his way out of town.

        What happened is that WWII opened the eyes of our industrial leaders as to the vast amount of profit in modern wars. The "cold war", the China lobby and limited wars like Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan in essence are simply a means to keep cashing in, the longer and more protracted, the less likely a solution, all the better...

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @12:36PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @12:36PM (#322499)

    Take the F14-F18, mod it with up to date equipment, a more powerful engine, improved avionics, improved aerodynamics. It'll last another 50 years and cost 1/10 the budget of the F'd-35.

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:01PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:01PM (#322525)

      This is basically what the entire rest of the western world sans U.S., Russia, and China is doing.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 1) by guizzy on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:07PM

      by guizzy (5021) on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:07PM (#322527)

      They have. It's called the Super Hornet.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:29PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:29PM (#322537)

        Just to kick the F35 program in the balls harder, they were bought after the F-35 program was getting bogged down but are already in operational squadrons in the US Navy...not sure if the entire development program post dates the F-35 but I wouldn't find it hard to believe.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @06:34PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @06:34PM (#322617)

      You need at least three planes, probably four. The F-16 is a great light fighter and is relatively cheap to build and, crucially, cheap to operate. Cheap to operate means your pilots get more time in the air training and can probably beat less experienced pilots in "better" aircraft. The F-15 is faster, has longer range, big payload. It's an excellent air-superiority and strike fighter. The A-10 is the best ground attack aircraft in the world. The Navy needs the F-18, and a dozen other specialized aircraft in small numbers.

      There's just no way one aircraft can do all of those things, or even 3; not well, anyway--and not as cheaply as having three separate programs. And given that most of the work is already done on those aircraft, all that would be needed would be refits and upgrades, it comes out much more cost effective.

      But that was never the point of the F-35. It's a huge waste of money, by design. It moves the pork around quite effectively.

    • (Score: 1) by cmdrklarg on Thursday March 24 2016, @06:56PM

      by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 24 2016, @06:56PM (#322621)

      Since when is spending less money the goal?

      --
      Dealing out the agony within
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2016, @12:14AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2016, @12:14AM (#322701)

      It'll last another 50 years and cost 1/10 the budget...

      Therein lies the answer to your question.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bradley13 on Thursday March 24 2016, @12:54PM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 24 2016, @12:54PM (#322507) Homepage Journal

    The plane itself will be obsolete before it's finished. The development contract started in 1996, meaning that the design and much of the technology is already 20 years old.

    At a unit cost of $100 million, the USAF will be unwilling to risk these planes in dangerous missions, such as close air support. Anyway, it was never more than a fantasy that the same airframe can support both high speed aerial combat and low-n-slow battlefield support.

    All of which matters not at all. The real program goals have been - and continue to be - achieved. The distribution of pork to all the right Congressional districts, plus the lucrative revolving door for high level executives.

    Just one minor example: Maj. Gen Heinz was fired as F35 program director, because he failed to hide the excessive fees he was awarding to Lockheed. [reuters.com] No worries, he is now chief operating officer of IBC Advanced Alloys [ibcadvancedalloys.com], which is a significant subcontractor on the F35 program [ibcadvancedalloys.com]. This kind of revolving-door corruption goes on all through the defense industry.
    I do understand that someone working in an industry will remain in the industry when they change jobs. However, remaining within the same program should be absolutely prohibited, at least for government employees.

    (Note: this comment was originally posted to the wrong article)

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Thursday March 24 2016, @01:13PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday March 24 2016, @01:13PM (#322511) Journal

      (Note: this comment was originally posted to the wrong article)

      Missing links:

      For next time, download and run my extension from sig, use the "Quote This" button on the post (seen if comment is displayed in full initially), then copy and paste, and remove the blockquote.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2016, @01:30AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2016, @01:30AM (#322728)

        Another something that can do that (including other sites) is SeaMonkey Navigator, the browser from the SeaMonkey suite.

        Mark the text, right-click, and select View Selection Source.
        A small[1] window will pop up with the good stuff.

        [1] I keep mine in the non-maximized state.
        It remembers the state from the previous time that window was closed.

        As SeaMonkey also includes an HTML Editor, alternately, you can drag & drop the highlighted text into that and click Source (Code View), down in the corner.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday March 25 2016, @01:36AM

          by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday March 25 2016, @01:36AM (#322733) Journal

          The selection source will include the redundant [domain.com], which could be tedious to remove.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2016, @02:03AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2016, @02:03AM (#322736)

            Did I forget to mention that I also have NukeAnything Enhanced installed.
            Mark pretty much anything and tell it "be gone".

            Tedious? That could be.
            Again, SeaMonkey's thingie works on -all- sites.

            -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 2) by JeanCroix on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:24PM

      by JeanCroix (573) on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:24PM (#322534)

      The plane itself will be obsolete before it's finished. The development contract started in 1996, meaning that the design and much of the technology is already 20 years old.

      The higher the technology, the longer the development cycle. And the longer the development cycle, the more likely that the government will have to update its requirements, which ends up lengthening the development cycle, ad nauseum. Especially during peacetime. Contrast this with the dawn of military aviation during WWI - development cycles lasted on the order of months, and a new design would be in the sky within a year.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Spook brat on Thursday March 24 2016, @03:15PM

      by Spook brat (775) on Thursday March 24 2016, @03:15PM (#322553)

      Anyway, it was never more than a fantasy that the same airframe can support both high speed aerial combat and low-n-slow battlefield support.

      The fantasy is that there could ever be a replacement for the A-10 Thunderbolt program. [wikipedia.org] The Air Force high command hates it, preferring flashier and faster strike fighters - the quip goes that instead of an air speed instrument the A-10's cockpit gets a calendar. This is an unfortunate attitude, since the A-10 is arguably the best Close Air Support platform ever put in the sky. [popularmechanics.com]

      The Air Force brass want to divest itself of the A-10 so badly that they recently sent a report to Congress blatantly mischaracterizing the A-10's fratricide and civilian casualty risk. [jqpublicblog.com] The report takes lying with statistics to an art form. They have gone so far as to tell their subordinates that reporting accurate info on the A-10's capabilities to Congress constitutes treason.

      Fortunately, even if the Air Force decides it doesn't want to fly the A-10 anymore, there's another solution: the Army can reinstate its fixed-wing Air Corps and fly the platform itself. This option has ended the argument several times in the past already, and it seems the Air Force's pride is injured less by flying slowly than by letting Army personnel fly fixed-wing aircraft.

      --
      Travel the galaxy! Meet fascinating life forms... And kill them [schlockmercenary.com]
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by rts008 on Thursday March 24 2016, @04:07PM

        by rts008 (3001) on Thursday March 24 2016, @04:07PM (#322564)

        I find your comment very interesting.

        I have been saying for years(two decades worth, at least), that as an enemy combatant, my worst nightmare would be getting targeted by a 'Warthog' or 'Apache'(AH-64). With my Murphy-infested luck, it would most likely involve BOTH....*sigh*

        I find it telling that the initial fanfare[1], the astoundingly excellent service record, and the aircraft AND pilot survivability rate for the A-10 matches it's service record...and now the Top Brass is crying about how outdated it is, despite it's continued successes.

        It does not matter that we are spending almost as much per year on our military as the rest of the world combined, if this kind of crap(F-35) is what we are buying.

        [1] Heck, they even went so far as honoring the A-10 with the official designation of "Thunderbolt", of WWII P-47 'Flying Jug' fame. And it turns out the Warthog has not only lived up to the name, but added to it.

      • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:44PM

        by RamiK (1813) on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:44PM (#322688)

        Why are you playing into the Airforce's outdated debate points? Drones do everything an airforce was ever meant to do. They can boom and fight enemy boomers autonomously without reliance on satellite targeting or communication already.

        The Army and USMC use some harriers for ground support but their own reports suggested helicopters work just as well. The rest of the Navy doesn't need VTOL since they figured out safe and fast carrier takeoff and landing using automatic carrier landing system decades ago.

        Really, even if the F35 was perfectly operational and quarter price, it would still be the equivalent of the cavalry charge facing the machine gun. An obsolete design that can be countered or substituted by a ~50k$ drone.

        --
        compiling...
        • (Score: 2) by Spook brat on Friday March 25 2016, @03:23PM

          by Spook brat (775) on Friday March 25 2016, @03:23PM (#322925)

          Drones do everything an airforce was ever meant to do. They can boom and fight enemy boomers autonomously without reliance on satellite targeting or communication already.

          I think I'm having a Poe's Law moment; you're either trolling or misinformed, and I'm not certain which. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and a straight answer just in case; I like assuming the best about people.

          Why are you playing into the Airforce's outdated debate points?

          Why does the Air Force keep parroting these same tired arguments? Trust me, I'd love to let this drop; it's the Air Force that keeps bringing it up in perjurious testimony to the U.S. Congress.

          The Army and USMC use some harriers for ground support but their own reports suggested helicopters work just as well.

          You are mistaken on this point. The AH-64 attack helicopter is a great platform, but is essentially defenseless in contested air space. It relies on stealth to avoid enemy aircraft, by which I mean literally staying hidden in trees/behind hills (it is not considered a "stealth" platform technologically). Like any other helicopter, any damage to engine or rotor is incapacitating; in contrast the A-10 can lose 1/2 of it's tail, 1/4 of its wingspan, and an engine while still remaining operational. If you need close air support in contested air space you don't call an Apache, you call a Warthog. Remember that it's the Army demanding that the A-10 program continue; if the Apache was good enough at the CAS role to replace the Warthog then they'd stop making mission requests to the Air Force for it.

          Really, even if the F35 was perfectly operational and quarter price, it would still be the equivalent of the cavalry charge facing the machine gun. An obsolete design that can be countered or substituted by a ~50k$ drone.

          You have far too much faith in the air-to-air capabilities of UCAVs; real life isn't like what they show in Hollywood. [imdb.com] The global community is still struggling with the ethics of allowing armed combat drones autonomy and clearance to fire independently; neither the United States [wikipedia.org] nor anyone else in the world [wikipedia.org] has an autonomous AI-driven air-to-air strike drone, and those that can carry anti-air missiles cost significantly more than $US 50k (closer to $2 million [wikipedia.org]). A hellfire missile by itself costs $70k, so unless your concept for an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle is a low-speed kinetic strike munition your budget is blown on ammunition alone.

          I agree that someday in the future Moore's Law will let us put a robotic brain into a cheap airframe that will (if deployed in large numbers) pose a significant threat to a high-tech fighter airplane. This is inevitable, and will be a great battlefield equalizer when it comes. This is a terrific argument for abandoning the F-35 and supporting development of less costly, more reliable aircraft. It is not an argument for dropping the A-10 platform, however, and won't be until we get much better at building combat drones.

          --
          Travel the galaxy! Meet fascinating life forms... And kill them [schlockmercenary.com]
          • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday March 27 2016, @04:48AM

            by RamiK (1813) on Sunday March 27 2016, @04:48AM (#323467)

            I think I'm having a Poe's Law moment; you're either trolling or misinformed...

            Note I said meant to do... Not does. NORAD's patrols are already done by autonomous planes anyhow they just didn't arm them to appease the legislators. In the Airforce's defense, in 2015 they trained more drone operators than pilots so they at least aren't in complete denial.

            Air Force that keeps bringing it up in perjurious testimony to the U.S. Congress.

            And they'll keep doing so since they have a monopoly on the data. For every report they publicly disclose, they classify 10 more with lies, damn lies and statistics and present those in close hearings. So, they say the same nonsense, you argue a fact based on a report, they say, "hey, we have new data, but it classified so the public will have to leave the court room" and then they just lie and lie and lie without any fact checking possible.

            You are mistaken on this point...

            First off, that's neither my personal opinion nor the report's point. Their claim was that the current generation of surface-to-air missiles that proliferated in the middle-east and Afghanistan can target anything low-altitude, slow-flying, circumventing any "stealth" claims, so prolonged close air support itself is losing viability. That's to say, the A10 could still workout since it drops it's loads \ clears it's barrels in a fly-run and circles back home so it might be less vulnerable... Or not. Really, that not what the report, or my point, was about. It was about harriers and helicopters not taking heat nor pulling off stealth... It wasn't a procurement report, it was an operational review recommending less reliance on air support while focusing on maintaining support lines... Real We Were Soldiers vibe with artillery and mortars subsection and everything.

            neither the United States nor anyone else in the world has an autonomous AI-driven air-to-air strike drone

            They're called missiles. Seriously now, the distinction is trivial. The tech been there for at least a decade. If you can make an autonomous surveillance drone, you can add a radar to identify anything big that isn't carrying a transponder and release a missile. Hypothetically, someone like NORAD could even deploy surveillance drones like these while making sure patrols are cut in half so there's always enough on board fuel for a kamikaze run if they can't scramble a jet fast enough... It doesn't even have to be autonomous, the operator hitting enter is enough to pass the legal restrictions.

            Overall, the F35 vs. A10 debates are reminiscent of the battleships vs. dreadnoughts debates post WW1's German U-boat campaign. A typical preparing-for-the-previous-war deadlock.
            It's not that I don't agree the A10 has it's uses, or that it will continue to have it's uses for decades to come. It's just that I don't think it's at all relevant to the current\future of the F35. While the A10 will slowly phase out as more surface-to-air missiles and air-to-air drones get introduced over the years, or not, the F35 won't even have that to say for itself. If drones aren't already there, they will be before the F35 ever reaches anything remotely reminiscent of justifiable by strategic, economic, or really any measure.

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            compiling...
            • (Score: 2) by Spook brat on Monday March 28 2016, @04:08PM

              by Spook brat (775) on Monday March 28 2016, @04:08PM (#323946)

              Glad I gave you the benefit of the doubt, you seem sincere here.

              Do you have a link to the report you're referencing? I'd really like it read it, it sounds like good analysis. I think I'll need that for context to understand where you're coming from in this conversation. If the prolonged close air support mission is just evaporating in the real battlefield, that changes the discussion significantly.

              I think we're still talking past each other a bit, and ending up in violent agreement :) I think the F-35 should never have had CAS as a mission requirement, and that's turning it into a poorly-built multitool that will never do any of its many jobs as well as purpose-built platforms will do at their only job. And while we may disagree about the modern cost/availability of practical combat drones, their future adoption in warfighting is inevitable. It's just a matter of time, time which the F-35 is spending far too much of on the drawing boards and not enough in the air.

              Eventually the F-35 will be facing swarms of (relatively) low-cost adversaries and not have enough bullets to intercept them all before being shot down. At ~100M/F-35 that's not a high bar to clear; 50x $2M armed drones (available today) would certainly fit that bill. So, agreed, obsolete before manufacture. Good job, USAF.

              --
              Travel the galaxy! Meet fascinating life forms... And kill them [schlockmercenary.com]
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tibman on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:22PM

    by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:22PM (#322532)

    7% Assembly, 5% Ada 83, 35% C++, and 53% C. The language doesn't make the code well written. I know a lot of people like to equate language to quality. But who is writing the code is what controls the quality. 100K lines of assembly seems like they are just begging for trouble. There better be thousands of automated tests covering and exercising that assembly because it's probably all critical code. Using pilots as your QA team is extreme negligence.

    If Toyota made a car where the speedometer randomly quick working until you restarted(rebooted) and that was only one of over 900 issues then no sane person would buy that car. It would probably be illegal to even drive it if you were crazy enough to try. If your computer's display stopped working every 4 hours and you had to restart your machine to get it back then you would have thrown that computer out the window after two weeks of use. If that was only 1 of 900 issues then it would be known by history as the worst computer ever made. Anyways, i'll stop now : )

    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/9827176/what-is-the-predominant-programming-language-used-for-the-f35-lightning-ii-aircr [stackoverflow.com]

    --
    SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @03:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @03:40PM (#322561)

      For the time and price I would expected all the source code to have been written in native binary.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2016, @02:19AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2016, @02:19AM (#322740)

      Protip: If you make a new device, or piece of hardware, you will end up writing some assembly to interface with the C code, fool.

      • (Score: 2) by tibman on Friday March 25 2016, @03:45AM

        by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 25 2016, @03:45AM (#322761)

        Read my post. Wrap it in tests. The issue here isn't the fact that they have so much assembly. It's that the code is extremely buggy!

        --
        SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
    • (Score: 1) by Viadd on Saturday March 26 2016, @05:53PM

      by Viadd (1777) on Saturday March 26 2016, @05:53PM (#323353)

      Stranger that you suggest Toyota [edn.com] is any better. [cmu.edu]

      Maybe they just need to remove the F-35's floor mats.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:30PM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Thursday March 24 2016, @02:30PM (#322538) Homepage Journal

    Lockheed ran an advertisement during the first Democratic candidate's debate that claimed that the F-35 was ready for deployment. Could that be regarded as unlawful false advertising? How about securities fraud - the ad was obviously intended to pump up its stock price.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 2) by Bot on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:48PM

      by Bot (3902) on Thursday March 24 2016, @10:48PM (#322692) Journal

      Trial = closing the barn door after the cows escaped.
      Make a law that says: whatever you sell to the government, you are obliged to test drive yourself. If you are too old, you will go as passenger with your firstborn.
      And that is not valid for the CEO only, but for the persons who own the company. If the persons are untraceable, you cannot do business with that company, especially for arms.

      --
      Account abandoned.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @03:33PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @03:33PM (#322559)

    Why don't they make a non-stealth fighter that can out-fly everything else because it's designed for performance instead of stealth? New detection tech is making radar obsolete anyhow. In some situations you will need performance more than stealth.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @06:55PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @06:55PM (#322620)

      Anything with a human pilot in it is a sitting duck for a missile, unless it has suitable countermeasures. Missiles can turn at 100 gees or more, pilots are limited to less than 10(?) g for short maneuvers.

    • (Score: 2) by zeigerpuppy on Friday March 25 2016, @05:52AM

      by zeigerpuppy (1298) on Friday March 25 2016, @05:52AM (#322794)

      That would be the Su-35.
      There's a reason that Indonesia and others are picking them over the alternatives.

  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday March 24 2016, @04:26PM

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Thursday March 24 2016, @04:26PM (#322574) Journal

    This reminds me of a short story, by whom I forget (I want to say Clarke) about a hypothetical future bunch of discount-Brand not-Nazis whose military invented some sort of devastating antimatter weapon, the "sphere of annihilation." They sunk so much into it that in the end they had no bread and butter planes, tanks, artillery, etc. and were soundly defeated by their opponents with equipment that was technically 50+ years behind them. IIRC it was told from the PoV of one of thr top commanders and ended with something like "If you keep me in the same cell as the son of a bitch who invented the Sphere I am going to choke him out."

    --
    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by PinkyGigglebrain on Thursday March 24 2016, @05:35PM

      by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Thursday March 24 2016, @05:35PM (#322593)

      Authur C. Clark, "Superiority"

      Enjoy:
      http://www.mayofamily.com/RLM/txt_Clarke_Superiority.html [mayofamily.com]

      --
      "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
      • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday March 24 2016, @08:13PM

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Thursday March 24 2016, @08:13PM (#322647) Journal

        Bingo! That's the one! THAT is the story that taught me "never let the perfect become the enemy of the good" and "it's not stupid if it works."

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 1) by anubi on Friday March 25 2016, @03:55AM

        by anubi (2828) on Friday March 25 2016, @03:55AM (#322762) Journal

        Quite an interesting read... thanks for the link!

        --
        "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @06:06PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2016, @06:06PM (#322606)

    They're fucking fighers after all.