US allies pay $1B for new F-35’s computer – twice as planned

WASHINGTON — More than 1 billion US dollars will have to pay the American allies for the development of a new computer in the cockpit of the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter. The originally planned $712 million has already increased by another $239 million today. This generated additional costs of $680 million. This was written on December 9 by the economic publication Bloomberg.

The sale of 35 F-35 stealth fighters to Germany is in progress
Photo credit: Pixabay

In addition to the price skyrocketing, the delivery of the new fighters will also slow down. It is the first aircraft with modernized software. Thus, if the F-35 Joint Program Office’s report set July 2023 as the final delivery date for the first modernized F-35, now the deadline has been extended by several months.

This means that, in addition to the US government, allied countries operating the F-35 will have to pay a higher price for an upgrade, or purchase, than previously planned.

The price of the F-35 is constantly increasing. In 2001, Lockheed Martin announced that $233 billion would be needed for the project. Then the price reached 398 billion US dollars somewhere towards the bottom of the new decade. One year later, in 2021, the F-35 project has already reached $412 billion.

Against all this, only weeks ago Australian journalists were criticizing Australia’s choice to purchase F-35s years ago. An investigation showed that the aircraft did not meet the requirements. I.e. the price continues to rise, at the expense of a “false” operational range, high maintenance costs, about 20% fewer flying hours, and more downtime in repair or upgrade workshops.

The report also shows that the aircraft cannot fly at the maximum speed specified by the manufacturer. What’s more, this speed is reached in just 90 seconds. Australia says that in a war with China, the F-35 cannot even reach China without refueling at least once in the air, which means increased fuel consumption.

Some German military experts, as well as specialists from Germany’s arms industry, have also criticized the purchase of the F-35, calling it a “mistake”. Not yet produced and not yet arrived in Germany, the German nuclear carriers in the future increased their price by two billion dollars.

Against the background of all this, Berlin is about to create an internal problem by making it clear that Germany will not make any investment support in the maintenance of the missile launchers, which further infuriated the German arms industry.

The F-35 has had problems for years. A report nearly two years ago listed more than 800 technical problems in the plane’s structure and operation. And if more than 90% of them are easily fixable, they may even have already been corrected, some 13 problems are still not clear if they have been solved. These 13 problems included material problems during high speed, problems with the cockpit computer, the radar display, the pilot’s helmet, and more.

Shocking photos: US F-35C Lightning II jets covered in rust
Photo credit: Twitter

But it’s not just that. The $412 billion US project, which was draining from the budgets of the allies, was covered in rust. In January, we showed photos of the naval version of the F-35 on a US aircraft carrier. The hull of the F-35 was rusted. The Pentagon could not deny the pictures, therefore Pentagon spokesman Joe DellaVedova said the rust was caused by a manufacturing error by arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin, with all models being affected. “It’ll be “fixed” in new batches of F35s,” he said at the time.

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