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Thomas Gibson 2016-10-31
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Lockheed Martin, designers of the super-expensive F-35 fighter jet, is working on a system claimed to reassure foreign customers that the US won't be able to read their pilots' personal data.

According to Flight Global, Lockheed Martin is working on a sovereign data gateway SDG to reassure F-35 customers that the US won't be reading every single detail of what they do with their jets after they've been delivered.

The SDG's existence was revealed in an update posted to the US Federal Business Opportunities website, which is password protected.

The F-35's ALIS Autonomic Logistics Information System keeps track of a wealth of data about each and every F-35, from the health of the aircraft's flight systems to pilots' flight plans and more.

The idea of ALIS is that it automatically orders spare parts, reminds maintainers when life-limited components need replacing and gives air forces an overview of their aircraft.

Other nations buying the F-35 include the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia, Israel, Canada, Norway, South Korea, Denmark, Italy, Japan – and Turkey.

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0
Jermaine Dusenbery 2016-09-25
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The US Air Force says a strong tailwind is behind the runway fire that's grounded yet another of its F-35 fighter aircraft.

The F-35 caught fire while getting ready to fly an exercise from Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho.

It was one of seven at the base for surface-to-air training.

The fire happened while the pilot was starting the F-35; the pilot exited the aircraft while it was extinguished, and the US Air Force reports there were no injuries.

While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Aviation Week says initial assessments point to a tailpipe fire due to strong tailwinds as the engine was starting .

If accurate, that would point to an aborted start that left too much unburned fuel in the exhaust duct.

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0
James Taylor 2017-01-12
img

And local sysadmins left to reset ground crews' 'dealer module' Toughbooks

Key software for the troubled F-35 fighter jet has been repeatedly delayed, causing problems for the British armed forces as they wait for Americans to iron out the bugs.

The F-35 s Autonomic Logistics Information System ALIS is the heart of the support offering bundled with the F-35 by its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin.

The latest version of ALIS – version 2.0.2 – has been delayed by at least six months and counting, according to the US Department of Defense s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation DOT , and units are instead stuck with version 2.0.1.3.

It has yet to successfully complete testing and likely will not be fielded until early 2017, according to the F-35 section of DOT s annual report PDF, 62 pages to the US Congress.

Although the release version of ALIS is intended to be version 3, with various beta releases bringing incremental extra capabilities until the release of v3, delays in ALIS 2.0.2 development have also delayed the development of ALIS 3.0, said DOT This, warned the director, would result in key functionality being released as updates to v3.0 instead of being baked into the final software package deployed to F-35 customers – including the UK.

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0
Malcolm Vanderveen 2016-06-03
img

What if tank crews could see through the heavily armored walls of their vehicle?

Related: The Sea Wasp will be a potent threat to terrorists and their underwater bombs

The concept with the tank is the same – but on the ground.

Personnel have to contend with both the noise and the limited visibility typical of highly armored vehicles.

Since seeing outside the vehicle can be tough, egress can be a particularly dangerous moment.

In addition to displaying the positions of friendly forces, BattleView can do lots of other helpful things.

Ballet dancer turned defense specialist Allison Barrie has traveled around the world covering the military, terrorism, weapons advancements and life on the front line.

collect
0
Kenneth Mulcahy 2018-04-23
img

+Comment Uncle Sam has raised the possibility of sanctions against Turkey for buying Russian anti-aircraft missile systems – putting the UK's supply of overhauled F-35 fighter jet engines at risk.

US government official Aaron Wess Mitchell threatened action if the Middle Eastern/ European nation completed its purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft defence systems, according to Flight Global, which reported the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs as saying during a US Congress session:

Ankara claims to have agreed to purchase the Russian S-400 missile system, which could potentially lead to sanctions under section 231 [of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act] and adversely impact Turkey's participation in the F-35 programme.

This is because Turkey is an F-35 customer.

Testing F-35s against a Russian-made air defence system inevitably raises fears that vital information on neutralising the F-35 threat would then be handed to the Russians on a plate.

Turkey is a vital NATO ally: it has the ability to bottle up Russia's southern naval fleet in the event of WWIII breaking out by closing the Bosphorus, the strait between Europe and the Middle East.

collect
0
Donald Ellison 2016-09-18
img

18 Sep 2016 at 22:16, Richard Chirgwin

The ready for combat F-35 has run into headwinds again, with 15 of the F-35A variant grounded in America because cooling line insulation is cracking up.

Various reports state that the problem is non-conforming insulation in lines carrying coolant in the plane's wings.

The F-35 passes its poly-alpha-olefin PAO coolant through the fuel tanks to chill it.

During maintenance, the insulation around PAO lines was found to be peeling and crumbling , and leaving residue in the tanks.

So far, 13 aircraft belonging to the US Air Force have been grounded, and two more belonging to Norway.

collect
0
Timothy Corn 2017-01-30
img

Donald Trump has been notoriously tough on military contractor Lockheed Martin during his presidential run and subsequent victory, and the F-35 fighter jet program has found itself in his crosshairs on more than one occasion.

Speaking with small business leaders on Monday, Trump changed his tone while claiming that the plane is great and that he singlehandedly brought the cost of the hardware down by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Back in reality, it turns out his self-congratulations are unwarranted, as he had virtually nothing to do with the recent price drop of the jets.

In the Monday meeting, Trump alleged that he s cutting the price of their planes by a lot, and that his administration has somehow whipped Lockheed into shape, ending what Trump described as great delays, about seven years of delays, and tremendous cost overruns.

We ve got that program really, really now in good shape, so I m very proud of that, the President added.

However, as Defense One reports, the cost of the F-35 program has been steadily declining for at least the past half decade, and that since Lockheed restructured its F-35 efforts, things have been going rather smoothly.

collect
0
Thomas Gibson 2016-08-03
img

It's got dodgy radar, relies on an insecure database, boasts a buggy operating system, and a laser targeting system that can't be used for training in the UK, but the United States Air Force is satisfied that the F-35A fighter is ready for combat.

So said Gen. Hawk Carlisle, the commander of Air Combat Command, on August second.

Carlisle said the F-35A has passed all tests and is ready to rumble, should anyone choose to take on the billion-dollar planes.

Chief of staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein weighed in on the US Air Force's canned statement, declaring the plan is ready to deploy and strike well-defended targets anywhere on Earth.

The 34th Fighter Squadron of the 388th Fighter Wing, based at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is now operating the plane.

The United Kingdom and Australia also plan to deploy the aircraft, once satisfied it's ready for action.

collect
0
Dana Millard 2018-06-01
img

ALIS logistics software woes continue at US-UK training unit

Delayed upgrades to F-35 fighter jets along with bespoke logistics software that displays spare part lead times in years are keeping some aircraft grounded, according to a report from the US air force station where the core of Britain's future F-35 operators are being trained.

Lockheed Martin's Autonomous Logistics Information Software (ALIS), an integral part of the F-35 "system" that monitors aircraft health and orders new spare parts as and when required, is allegedly giving part lead times of up to "a couple years out", according to one Sgt "Pedro", quoted by American website Defense News*.

While Defence News reported that "the system can reprioritize parts, so sometimes maintainers can actually receive a part as quickly as three to five days even if a longer date is projected", Pedro then went on to say that jets are still cannibalised for urgently needed spares – not an uncommon practice in any large organisation with lots of complex equipment with a high required availability rate, but still showing that end users need to work around the USP of a software-based just-in-time logistics system.

The American base where all this goes on, US Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina, is home to the joint US-UK F-35B training squadron, known as VMFAT-501.

The squadron has 30 jets on charge: 19 American and 11 British.

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0
John Feeney 2017-06-22

Flying the F-35B Lightning II: Britain's pilots take to the skies with the RAF's newest jet

collect
0
Matthew Hansen 2017-12-21
img

Plus: Naval overstretch means the flag isn't flying overseas for Christmas

The British government has refused to say how much new F-35 fighter jets will cost the nation – as it emerges that no fighting ships of the Royal Navy will be in foreign waters during the festive period.

The House of Commons' Defence Committee, formed of MPs who supposedly scrutinise the Ministry of Defence's activities, asked the question – and specifically asked for the cost per aircraft including spares, upgrades and retrofits.

The MoD did not answer, according to reports of the committee's session earlier this week – while refusing to give even broad-brush cost estimates for the British F-35 programme beyond the year 2026.

Previously it emerged that F-35Bs for Britain would cost around $123m each, not including spares and so on.

While the MoD is publicly committed to buying 138 F-35s, it has been ambivalent over whether it intends to buy all B-model F-35s, optimised for short takeoffs and vertical landings as required to operate from Britain's two new aircraft carriers, or the A model, which is a conventional land-based jet fighter.

collect
0
Barry Polanco 2018-01-30
img

The software, identified by its Block number, has so far been through tens of iterations, with Block 3F – the latest version – having been through more than 30 versions by autumn last year.

“As of late October 2017, the program was preparing a second version of Block 3FR6.3 (3FR6.32), the 31st version of Block 3F, software as it continues work to resolve key remaining deficiencies,” said DOTE in its annual report, which was published late last week.

“The [F-35] program is using test point data from older versions of software to sign off capability specifications and justify baseline test point deletions, even though the old data may no longer be representative of the latest version of Block 3F software.”

The DOTE report continued: “The ‘final’ Block 3FR6.3 software for SDD was released in October 2017, but this planned final version has already been superseded by two additional software updates; more software patches will likely be needed as the program continues to work ongoing problems with weapons and avionics.”

Can’t talk to bombs, can’t properly use decades-old missiles

Britain’s 14 F-35Bs are all thought to be running Block 3F software of various sub-versions.

collect
0
Debra Simonds 2018-06-14
img

73-year-old taken in by counter-terror cops – report

A former Rolls-Royce engineer has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of breaching the Official Secrets Act by allegedly handing British F-35 engine secrets to China.

Rolls-Royce's one-time chief combustion technologist Bryn Jones, 73, was arrested at his Derbyshire, UK, home by the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command on Tuesday.

MI5 is said to have received intelligence that "classified defence information" may have been passed to China as part of a plot involving Jones.

Jones was apprehended during an "ultra discreet" police operation that included a search of a nearby office.

The Sun reported that the engineer, who left Rolls-Royce in 2003 for academic and consultancy roles, had 40 years' experience "in the development of new combustion technology for aero gas turbines and aero derivative engines".

collect
0
Wayne Chapple 2018-01-23
img

Exec tells us they're knocking 14% off the price by 2020

Lockheed Martin aims to knock 14 per cent off the cost of Britain's F-35B fighter jets over the next couple of years, the firm's director of business development told The Register.

At a press event in London last week, Steve Over told us: "We're currently negotiating [production] lots 12, 13 and 14 to get costs down.

F-35s are ordered by a US government agency, the F-35 Joint Project Office, which formally places the orders with the company on behalf of both the American armed forces and foreign customers including the UK.

While production lots 12-14 have already been awarded to Lockheed Martin, officials are still haggling over the price of each supersonic stealth fighter.

The F-35B will be the only fighter jet capable of flying from Britain's Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

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0
Raymond Maxwell 2018-02-16
img

Instead the British government is lobbying Belgium to buy 34 British-built Eurofighter Typhoons.

Belgium is in the middle of a major revamp of its air force and is planning to replace the ageing F-16 fighter fleet, which were designed and built in the US.

Britain's BAE Systems manufactures the Typhoon jets, while the UK-based entity of European multinational missile builder MBDA makes most of the weaponry used by the Typhoon in Royal Air Force service.

Air Vice Marshal Keith Bethell, the director of combat air kit in the MoD's equipment arm, said in a canned quote:

"Our world-class Typhoon has led the way in combat air power and this demonstrates the continued confidence in the capability the Typhoon has to offer.

With more than 20,000 flying hours on global operations to date, the Typhoon offers unparalleled reliability and proven interoperability with our allies."

collect
0
John Salmi 2016-12-13
img

The power of the president elect to shake things up was amply demonstrated on Monday morning – when a single tweet knocked more than $2bn off the valuation of Lockheed Martin, the maker of the F‑35 fighter jet.

Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military and other purchases after January 20th," tweeted The Donald at 0826 PT 1626 UTC, 1126 EST .

Within moments, Lockheed's share price was tumbling.

The results of all that money have been mixed – the F‑35 has been grounded by software and hardware issues, is massively delayed, has helmets so bulky they can break a pilot's neck, and may be worse in a dogfight than an aircraft that's 20 years older than it.

The immense cost has been a talking point of the program for years, however politicians have generally steered clear of serious criticism in public.

But Trump went in with both feet and in four hours the stock price of Lockheed Martin was down 3 per cent.

collect
0
Thomas Gibson 2016-10-31
img

Lockheed Martin, designers of the super-expensive F-35 fighter jet, is working on a system claimed to reassure foreign customers that the US won't be able to read their pilots' personal data.

According to Flight Global, Lockheed Martin is working on a sovereign data gateway SDG to reassure F-35 customers that the US won't be reading every single detail of what they do with their jets after they've been delivered.

The SDG's existence was revealed in an update posted to the US Federal Business Opportunities website, which is password protected.

The F-35's ALIS Autonomic Logistics Information System keeps track of a wealth of data about each and every F-35, from the health of the aircraft's flight systems to pilots' flight plans and more.

The idea of ALIS is that it automatically orders spare parts, reminds maintainers when life-limited components need replacing and gives air forces an overview of their aircraft.

Other nations buying the F-35 include the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia, Israel, Canada, Norway, South Korea, Denmark, Italy, Japan – and Turkey.

James Taylor 2017-01-12
img

And local sysadmins left to reset ground crews' 'dealer module' Toughbooks

Key software for the troubled F-35 fighter jet has been repeatedly delayed, causing problems for the British armed forces as they wait for Americans to iron out the bugs.

The F-35 s Autonomic Logistics Information System ALIS is the heart of the support offering bundled with the F-35 by its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin.

The latest version of ALIS – version 2.0.2 – has been delayed by at least six months and counting, according to the US Department of Defense s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation DOT , and units are instead stuck with version 2.0.1.3.

It has yet to successfully complete testing and likely will not be fielded until early 2017, according to the F-35 section of DOT s annual report PDF, 62 pages to the US Congress.

Although the release version of ALIS is intended to be version 3, with various beta releases bringing incremental extra capabilities until the release of v3, delays in ALIS 2.0.2 development have also delayed the development of ALIS 3.0, said DOT This, warned the director, would result in key functionality being released as updates to v3.0 instead of being baked into the final software package deployed to F-35 customers – including the UK.

Kenneth Mulcahy 2018-04-23
img

+Comment Uncle Sam has raised the possibility of sanctions against Turkey for buying Russian anti-aircraft missile systems – putting the UK's supply of overhauled F-35 fighter jet engines at risk.

US government official Aaron Wess Mitchell threatened action if the Middle Eastern/ European nation completed its purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft defence systems, according to Flight Global, which reported the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs as saying during a US Congress session:

Ankara claims to have agreed to purchase the Russian S-400 missile system, which could potentially lead to sanctions under section 231 [of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act] and adversely impact Turkey's participation in the F-35 programme.

This is because Turkey is an F-35 customer.

Testing F-35s against a Russian-made air defence system inevitably raises fears that vital information on neutralising the F-35 threat would then be handed to the Russians on a plate.

Turkey is a vital NATO ally: it has the ability to bottle up Russia's southern naval fleet in the event of WWIII breaking out by closing the Bosphorus, the strait between Europe and the Middle East.

Timothy Corn 2017-01-30
img

Donald Trump has been notoriously tough on military contractor Lockheed Martin during his presidential run and subsequent victory, and the F-35 fighter jet program has found itself in his crosshairs on more than one occasion.

Speaking with small business leaders on Monday, Trump changed his tone while claiming that the plane is great and that he singlehandedly brought the cost of the hardware down by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Back in reality, it turns out his self-congratulations are unwarranted, as he had virtually nothing to do with the recent price drop of the jets.

In the Monday meeting, Trump alleged that he s cutting the price of their planes by a lot, and that his administration has somehow whipped Lockheed into shape, ending what Trump described as great delays, about seven years of delays, and tremendous cost overruns.

We ve got that program really, really now in good shape, so I m very proud of that, the President added.

However, as Defense One reports, the cost of the F-35 program has been steadily declining for at least the past half decade, and that since Lockheed restructured its F-35 efforts, things have been going rather smoothly.

Dana Millard 2018-06-01
img

ALIS logistics software woes continue at US-UK training unit

Delayed upgrades to F-35 fighter jets along with bespoke logistics software that displays spare part lead times in years are keeping some aircraft grounded, according to a report from the US air force station where the core of Britain's future F-35 operators are being trained.

Lockheed Martin's Autonomous Logistics Information Software (ALIS), an integral part of the F-35 "system" that monitors aircraft health and orders new spare parts as and when required, is allegedly giving part lead times of up to "a couple years out", according to one Sgt "Pedro", quoted by American website Defense News*.

While Defence News reported that "the system can reprioritize parts, so sometimes maintainers can actually receive a part as quickly as three to five days even if a longer date is projected", Pedro then went on to say that jets are still cannibalised for urgently needed spares – not an uncommon practice in any large organisation with lots of complex equipment with a high required availability rate, but still showing that end users need to work around the USP of a software-based just-in-time logistics system.

The American base where all this goes on, US Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina, is home to the joint US-UK F-35B training squadron, known as VMFAT-501.

The squadron has 30 jets on charge: 19 American and 11 British.

Matthew Hansen 2017-12-21
img

Plus: Naval overstretch means the flag isn't flying overseas for Christmas

The British government has refused to say how much new F-35 fighter jets will cost the nation – as it emerges that no fighting ships of the Royal Navy will be in foreign waters during the festive period.

The House of Commons' Defence Committee, formed of MPs who supposedly scrutinise the Ministry of Defence's activities, asked the question – and specifically asked for the cost per aircraft including spares, upgrades and retrofits.

The MoD did not answer, according to reports of the committee's session earlier this week – while refusing to give even broad-brush cost estimates for the British F-35 programme beyond the year 2026.

Previously it emerged that F-35Bs for Britain would cost around $123m each, not including spares and so on.

While the MoD is publicly committed to buying 138 F-35s, it has been ambivalent over whether it intends to buy all B-model F-35s, optimised for short takeoffs and vertical landings as required to operate from Britain's two new aircraft carriers, or the A model, which is a conventional land-based jet fighter.

Debra Simonds 2018-06-14
img

73-year-old taken in by counter-terror cops – report

A former Rolls-Royce engineer has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of breaching the Official Secrets Act by allegedly handing British F-35 engine secrets to China.

Rolls-Royce's one-time chief combustion technologist Bryn Jones, 73, was arrested at his Derbyshire, UK, home by the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command on Tuesday.

MI5 is said to have received intelligence that "classified defence information" may have been passed to China as part of a plot involving Jones.

Jones was apprehended during an "ultra discreet" police operation that included a search of a nearby office.

The Sun reported that the engineer, who left Rolls-Royce in 2003 for academic and consultancy roles, had 40 years' experience "in the development of new combustion technology for aero gas turbines and aero derivative engines".

Raymond Maxwell 2018-02-16
img

Instead the British government is lobbying Belgium to buy 34 British-built Eurofighter Typhoons.

Belgium is in the middle of a major revamp of its air force and is planning to replace the ageing F-16 fighter fleet, which were designed and built in the US.

Britain's BAE Systems manufactures the Typhoon jets, while the UK-based entity of European multinational missile builder MBDA makes most of the weaponry used by the Typhoon in Royal Air Force service.

Air Vice Marshal Keith Bethell, the director of combat air kit in the MoD's equipment arm, said in a canned quote:

"Our world-class Typhoon has led the way in combat air power and this demonstrates the continued confidence in the capability the Typhoon has to offer.

With more than 20,000 flying hours on global operations to date, the Typhoon offers unparalleled reliability and proven interoperability with our allies."

Jermaine Dusenbery 2016-09-25
img

The US Air Force says a strong tailwind is behind the runway fire that's grounded yet another of its F-35 fighter aircraft.

The F-35 caught fire while getting ready to fly an exercise from Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho.

It was one of seven at the base for surface-to-air training.

The fire happened while the pilot was starting the F-35; the pilot exited the aircraft while it was extinguished, and the US Air Force reports there were no injuries.

While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Aviation Week says initial assessments point to a tailpipe fire due to strong tailwinds as the engine was starting .

If accurate, that would point to an aborted start that left too much unburned fuel in the exhaust duct.

Malcolm Vanderveen 2016-06-03
img

What if tank crews could see through the heavily armored walls of their vehicle?

Related: The Sea Wasp will be a potent threat to terrorists and their underwater bombs

The concept with the tank is the same – but on the ground.

Personnel have to contend with both the noise and the limited visibility typical of highly armored vehicles.

Since seeing outside the vehicle can be tough, egress can be a particularly dangerous moment.

In addition to displaying the positions of friendly forces, BattleView can do lots of other helpful things.

Ballet dancer turned defense specialist Allison Barrie has traveled around the world covering the military, terrorism, weapons advancements and life on the front line.

Donald Ellison 2016-09-18
img

18 Sep 2016 at 22:16, Richard Chirgwin

The ready for combat F-35 has run into headwinds again, with 15 of the F-35A variant grounded in America because cooling line insulation is cracking up.

Various reports state that the problem is non-conforming insulation in lines carrying coolant in the plane's wings.

The F-35 passes its poly-alpha-olefin PAO coolant through the fuel tanks to chill it.

During maintenance, the insulation around PAO lines was found to be peeling and crumbling , and leaving residue in the tanks.

So far, 13 aircraft belonging to the US Air Force have been grounded, and two more belonging to Norway.

Thomas Gibson 2016-08-03
img

It's got dodgy radar, relies on an insecure database, boasts a buggy operating system, and a laser targeting system that can't be used for training in the UK, but the United States Air Force is satisfied that the F-35A fighter is ready for combat.

So said Gen. Hawk Carlisle, the commander of Air Combat Command, on August second.

Carlisle said the F-35A has passed all tests and is ready to rumble, should anyone choose to take on the billion-dollar planes.

Chief of staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein weighed in on the US Air Force's canned statement, declaring the plan is ready to deploy and strike well-defended targets anywhere on Earth.

The 34th Fighter Squadron of the 388th Fighter Wing, based at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is now operating the plane.

The United Kingdom and Australia also plan to deploy the aircraft, once satisfied it's ready for action.

John Feeney 2017-06-22

Flying the F-35B Lightning II: Britain's pilots take to the skies with the RAF's newest jet

Barry Polanco 2018-01-30
img

The software, identified by its Block number, has so far been through tens of iterations, with Block 3F – the latest version – having been through more than 30 versions by autumn last year.

“As of late October 2017, the program was preparing a second version of Block 3FR6.3 (3FR6.32), the 31st version of Block 3F, software as it continues work to resolve key remaining deficiencies,” said DOTE in its annual report, which was published late last week.

“The [F-35] program is using test point data from older versions of software to sign off capability specifications and justify baseline test point deletions, even though the old data may no longer be representative of the latest version of Block 3F software.”

The DOTE report continued: “The ‘final’ Block 3FR6.3 software for SDD was released in October 2017, but this planned final version has already been superseded by two additional software updates; more software patches will likely be needed as the program continues to work ongoing problems with weapons and avionics.”

Can’t talk to bombs, can’t properly use decades-old missiles

Britain’s 14 F-35Bs are all thought to be running Block 3F software of various sub-versions.

Wayne Chapple 2018-01-23
img

Exec tells us they're knocking 14% off the price by 2020

Lockheed Martin aims to knock 14 per cent off the cost of Britain's F-35B fighter jets over the next couple of years, the firm's director of business development told The Register.

At a press event in London last week, Steve Over told us: "We're currently negotiating [production] lots 12, 13 and 14 to get costs down.

F-35s are ordered by a US government agency, the F-35 Joint Project Office, which formally places the orders with the company on behalf of both the American armed forces and foreign customers including the UK.

While production lots 12-14 have already been awarded to Lockheed Martin, officials are still haggling over the price of each supersonic stealth fighter.

The F-35B will be the only fighter jet capable of flying from Britain's Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

John Salmi 2016-12-13
img

The power of the president elect to shake things up was amply demonstrated on Monday morning – when a single tweet knocked more than $2bn off the valuation of Lockheed Martin, the maker of the F‑35 fighter jet.

Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military and other purchases after January 20th," tweeted The Donald at 0826 PT 1626 UTC, 1126 EST .

Within moments, Lockheed's share price was tumbling.

The results of all that money have been mixed – the F‑35 has been grounded by software and hardware issues, is massively delayed, has helmets so bulky they can break a pilot's neck, and may be worse in a dogfight than an aircraft that's 20 years older than it.

The immense cost has been a talking point of the program for years, however politicians have generally steered clear of serious criticism in public.

But Trump went in with both feet and in four hours the stock price of Lockheed Martin was down 3 per cent.