F-35 Problems Persist
The Marine Corps version of the F-35 might only last 25 percent of its presumed life expectancy according to a Pentagon report obtained by Bloomberg. The news service is reporting the short takeoff-vertical landing F-35B may only last 2,100 hours instead of the projected life limit of 8,000 hours. At a unit cost of about $252.3 million that works out to more than $120,000 an hour. It also means that the first B models will hit their best before date in 2026, just 10 years after entry to service. That’s only one issue in a long list of expensive deficiencies chronicled in the report on the F-35 program as a whole.
The Pentagon says the aircraft is “well below” its projected 80 percent dispatch rate, its computers are vulnerable to hacking and the planes take longer to fix than expected. The onboard maintenance diagnostic tool doesn’t work properly and there are “pervasive problems with data integrity.” It also notes the gun used in the Air Force model of the F-35 isn’t accurate enough for air-to-ground use.