00:00 GMT +330 March 2017
    F-35 100th flight

    Putting Out Fires: F-35 Blaze Caused by Fuel Around the Tailpipe

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    Military & Intelligence
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    The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is the most expensive weapons program in US military history, and now another technical issue has been identified leading the jet to catch fire prior to a training mission near Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

    "[Investigators] are calling it a tailpipe fire," Brig. Gen Scott Pleus, director of the F-35 integration program at the Air Force, said regarding a September, 2016, F-35 fire. Fuel collected near the back of the airplane and ignited before the plane took off, he noted.

    Engine mishaps and faulty cooling wires are just two in a long list of woes for the F-35, but the latest problems indicate an entirely new defect, unrelated to the aircraft’s previous failures. The saga of F-35 technicians putting out one fire after another carries on, almost as if by tradition.  

    An F-35 fire in October 2016 led US military services to indefinitely ground over a dozen of the fighter jets. The faulty coolant system that caused the October incident, was, Pleus noted, a matter of human error. "They put the wrong insulation in," Pleus added, referring to the subcontractor tasked with the installation, whose name has has not been disclosed by military officials. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to be shocked that a simple loose bracket could lead to potential fire damage of the jets, which generate around $100 million in revenue apiece for the publicly-traded, defense multinational corporation Lockheed Martin.

    The $1.45 trillion projected to be spent over the lifecycle of the F-35 has been hailed as an upgrade over the F-16, as one of just two operational fifth-generation fighters, alongside the F-22 Raptor. But the program, which has received more funding than the US development of the atomic bomb, has no shortage of critics.

    In 11 days, President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in, ushering in a new era of how the US buys weapons, planes, and much more. Harnessing Twitter, Trump’s tweet disparaging Boeing over "out of control" costs to build a 747 airliner to be fitted for service as a new Air Force One sent the company’s stock plummeting almost five percent, before rebounding later that day. Trump, a self-branded "dealmaker," met with top executives of Boeing and Lockheed Martin at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, just days before Christmas. "It’s a dance, you know," Trump told reporters in between meetings. While he did not commit to any concrete results, he did say that F-35 costs will be lowered and that "we’re going to do it beautifully." 

    Trump, alongside almost every US lawmaker, has complained about the cost of the F-35 program. Following meetings with Boeing and Lockheed executives, Trump stated that he would request that Boeing produce a proposal for a "comparable" F/A-18 Super Hornet due to “the tremendous cost and cost overruns” associated with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

    Trump’s tweet seems to align with a strategy detailed by the Congressional Budget Office recommending that adding high-tech versions of older F-16s and F/A-18s could reduce costs 29 percent over the next ten years. 


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    F-35 II Joint Strike Fighter Program, Pentagon, Lockheed Martin, Donald Trump, Scott Pleus, Idaho
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    • avatar
      Trump's going after that piece of junk after he gets in. Good.
    • avatar
      and then there's the peace and quiet of the trolls resting when yet another 'accident' occurs...
    • avatar
      Lol. Flying coffin.
      Hope the terrorist American government buys thousands of them.
    • Jeffrey Spinner
      First, TY for showing the REAL price of these flying bricks at almost $1,500,000,000,000.
      Second, Trump will cut the cost of the plane, but it'll be as useful as the F22...useless.
    • Capt'nSkippy !!!
      They could be real useful for kamikaze or suicide missions?!!
    • avatar
      More $ for F35=less $ for wars :)
    • jande.jande
      flying bathtub.
    • avatar
      F-35 as the latest promo video from manufacturer details is a target acquisition command and fire centre it can both identify targets and collect and coordinate targets identified by other sources in a fire control area link with Aegis firing station within range and relay data with instructions to fire.

      In other words it does the job of a special forces target acquisition party behind enemy lines hence the requirement for stealth features.
      Of course it does a lot more than a target spotter can do! its real persona is as a joint power house for smaller nations who can act as though they are a super power.

      With this knowledge it connects with Obama's aggressive stance to place Aegis in Poland and Romania and heavily provoke around Russian and Iranian waters as the system is powerless if Aegis stations and ships are not within striking range.

      The other major flaw of the plane is that its stealth has been countered by advanced radar planes and missiles developed whilst the F-35 was delayed nearly a decade making it effectively a 'lame duck' to any advanced nation with Russian standards in Radar and missiles not withstanding it needs extensive escort by fighters to protect the plane which means stealth which is an absolute requirement for operational success is non-existent.

      It would be a absolute BS sham to continue with the plane it is a Dodo a dinosaur only good to attack third world countries.
    • avatar
      A hammer cost $200 dollars, a toilet seat cost $1,000, etc.
    • avatar
      So in about a year we can all look back on these post and lol! The F-35 will dominate the skies of the 21st century
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