Another F-35 problem leaves B-52 bombers unprotected by the Russian fighters

AMSTERDAM, (BM) – There has been almost no month in the last two years in which no other absurd problem has arisen in the greatest pride of American military aeronautical engineering – the fifth-generation F-35 stealth fighter.

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As learned, media from Europe and Asia have already commented on the inability of the Dutch Air Force’s F-35A to meet its obligations to guard the US Air Force’s B-52 bomber during an exercise in late August due to bad weather and a thunderstorm.

According to Sidney Planckman, a spokesman for the Dutch Air Force and a press release issued by him, it is clear that the F-35A was supposed to perform the escort escort and guard the American bombers during the Allied Sky maneuvers.

The inability of the Dutch fighters to be lifted into the air and to perform the task was explained by the military with the thunderstorm time during the exercises. According to military experts, the reason is due to the OBIGGS system (air conditioning inert system – ed.), Which during lightning does not function according to its original parameters and as it was designed.

This decision taken by the Dutch military is due to previous incidents that they found in this system during similar flights at similar times. Therefore, to protect expensive equipment, experts have recommended that the F-35A perform combat missions or exercises at a time when there is no likelihood of lightning or thunderstorms.

It should be noted that a similar statement was made by European military experts in the United States in 2018, when similar tests and night time US experts revealed this weakness, but then the Pentagon funded an additional update and the fighters were modified. It is not clear whether this update concerned the US military or Washington’s foreign partners, but judging by the statements of the Dutch military, the US has made the update only for their Air Force.

The military has already commented on the situation with the inability to fly F-35 during thunderstorms as absurd, mainly due to the fact that even civil and military aviation has lightning protection systems, which allows them to fly in all weather conditions.

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Experts explain that these planes have electric chargers that aim to divert electricity into the air by deactivating the phenomenon.

After all, the fact that the “invisible” F-35 fighter cannot fly in such bad weather significantly limits its combat capabilities and power, both to the US Air Force and its partners.

At the same time, taking this incident with the Dutch fighters, the Russian media did not fail to ridicule their American counterparts, as a number of Russian online sites described as disastrous the news that the F-35 could not function properly in thunderstorms. “The Su-27 and Su-30 will tear apart the F-35 at such a time, and we don’t even need to lift our fifth-generation Su-57 fighter,” are the most frequent comments from Russian journalists and bloggers.

Their comparison and conclusion is based on the following fact – under equal combat conditions, Russian aircraft will cope with American ones, as the latter remain defenseless.

However, the problems of the F-35 are not accidental or isolated cases. Already last year, on November 18 the Pentagon was complaining of damages and defects, which are already starting to happen frequently. According to military analysts at the Pentagon, the F-35 has for a long time not responded to the military capabilities set and the objectives for their implementation.

The source of this information is Bloomberg’s US edition and a statement by Robert Becler, responsible for US weapons testing. According to him, planes are failing more often than acceptable and maintenance costs are increasing significantly.

Increasing support costs are cited by increasing threats from Russia and China, as well as from Islamic terrorist groups. At least such an explanation was given some time ago by US President Donald Trump. In the middle of this year, even a secret report with 13 major problems of the F-35 was leaked, to which the US government apparently did not pay much attention. This report also came from the US and was published by us and the US edition of DefenseNews.

Read more: F-35 vs. Su-35 – who is better and who will win in a modern air battle?


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