Thursday, May 26, 2022
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First image emerges of F35 jet as it was reclaimed from the sea after crashing into Mediterranean

The availability of the RAF’s new, US-built F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter in July 2021  marked a unusual second of celebration in what has been a troubled challenge.

The ‘fifth know-how’ fighter aircraft is the world’s costliest weapons system, though costs have lastly stabilised at an eye-watering $406billion.

Producer Lockheed-Martin agreed to cap costs after US President Donald Trump criticised the challenge and even tweeted help for a rival aircraft. 

Britain is presently launched into a £9.1billion programme to purchase 48 of the F-35s, from American aviation large Lockheed Martin, by 2025.

One of the first 4 F-35B Lightning II aircraft arrives at RAF Marham in Norfolk on June 6, 2018

America enticed its Nato and totally different allies into sharing the worth of the aircraft by offering enter into manufacture and 15 per cent of each one is comprised of parts from British corporations whereas some of the jets shall be made in Italy.

However the planes have been tormented by an inventory of points which have despatched costs hovering.

There are fears about shortcomings in the technical methods underpinning the new know-how of battle planes will go away them unable to carry out appropriately.

The true worth of the British planes delivered this yr is estimated to be over £150million each to cowl ‘extras’ such as software program upgrades and spare parts.

There are moreover issues airplane’s software program system is weak to cyber-attack and may’t be examined independently by the UK.

The weak broadband on the Royal Navy’s principal aircraft supplier HMS Queen Elizabeth may also be hampering the jet’s abilities.


The problems is not going to be helped by the division answerable for the laptop networks essential to the aircraft’s operation desires to look out monetary financial savings of £400 million this yr.

The research into the costs and totally different points prompted the Defence Choose Committee to launch an inquiry into the challenge.

It reprimanded the Ministry of Defence for conserving parliament and the public in the darkish about the costs.

The MoD has thus far refused to supply the estimated worth to the UK of purchasing for the F-35, previous referring to a Nationwide Audit Workplace which used the £9.1billion decide.

MPs talked about ‘it is simply not acceptable for the MoD to refuse to speak in confidence to parliament and the public its estimates for the complete worth of the programme’.



Although the worth of the F-35 has been the focus of consideration, there have moreover been embarrassing research of operational shortcomings rising from the United States.

In a mock air battle in 2015, the modern airplane was defeated by an older know-how F-16, a airplane designed in the Seventies.

In 2020 Pentagon checks found 276 completely totally different faults in jet’s battle system.

They included the 25mm cannon vibrating excessively and points with the he aircraft’s ‘digital actuality’ helmet

Overheating, premature placed on of parts in the vertical tails and vulnerability to fireplace have been moreover found to be factors.

The US Air Power briefly grounded dozens its F-35 stealth fighters whereas it investigated an oxygen present downside.

The Marine Corps, who moreover perform the similar F-35B model the UK has purchased, was pressured to ground its planes after flaws have been current in the  laptop system.

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