China: British F-35 crashed after trying to intercept a Russian Su-30

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BEIJING, ($1=6.39 Chinese Yuans) – A new version of the crashed British stealth fighter of the fifth-generation F-35 has been launched by the Chinese side, through publications in some local media. According to a military expert quoted by the Chinese portal Sohu, the British pilot before crashing his F-35 made repeated attempts to intercept a Russian Su-30 fighter jet, which flew from the airbase of the Russian Air Force in Syria – Khmeimim.

BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that on November 17, a British fighter jet from HMS Queen Elizabeth crashed between the coasts of Cyprus and Egypt at around 10:00 am local time. The pilot managed to eject and was successfully put on board the British aircraft carrier.

Chinese journalists claim that this F-35 tried to “catch up” with the Russian Su-30. “The British pilot tried to intercept the Russian Sukhoi Su-30, but for some reason, the fighter suddenly lost control and crashed into the sea. Defense Minister Wallace himself indirectly confirmed these figures, saying a total of 30 attempts had been made to intercept Russian planes as NATO ships returned from the Pacific to Europe via the Mediterranean,” Sohu said in a statement.

According to the Chinese edition, this is the reason why London did not comment in detail on the incident, as it will prove that the F-35 “is banally unsuitable for air combat.” Russia also declined to comment on Ben Wallace’s statement about provocative flights by Russian SCC fighters.

What do the British say?

There is still no official statement from the British Ministry of Defense on the causes of the incident. However, a version appeared in the British media The Sun and The Telegraph that the cause of the incident was a “rain cover”.

Dealing with what caused the F-35B crash, the British media outlet The Sun reports that it may have been a “cheap plastic cover” that was left on during the take-off. According to The Sun, the sailors saw a red cover floating in the sea after the stealth jet splashed into the Mediterranean.

  • A source said: “They knew almost right away.
  • “The covers and engine blanks are supposed to be removed before flight.
  • “The ground crew do it and they are incredibly strict.
  • “Then the pilot walks round.”
  • The Navy pilot tried to abort take-off but ran out of runway so had to eject.

If confirmed, the crash of the F-35B would have been caused by a catastrophic chain of failures [by more than one person] in following the standard taxi and take-off procedures, which will certainly include multiple visual checks of the actual removal of the air intake covers and safety pins [which are in red color and have the usual “Remove Before Flight” sign to attract the attention and prevent this kind of incidents].

What did Ben Wallace say?

In the aftermath of the mishap, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, as quoted by BBC’s Defense Correspondent Jonathan Beale, provided some further details, saying that the F-35 ditched soon after taking off from the aircraft carrier and that operational and training flights onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth were continuing despite the incident [a sign that the root cause of the crash was probably immediately known and, importantly, not pointing to a technical glitch/failure].

Indeed, the flying activity was not halted and the F-35Bs, including those of the U.S. Marine Corps and the Italian Air Force and Navy, could take part in a joint exercise off the coast of Italy that included cross deck operations.

What is Happening with Stealthy F-35?

In November 2019, 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 diffense news.

The 13 disadvantages include:

  • Problems with information transfer. Many countries around the world and F-35 customers, complain about the fact that this information is not classified and is also obtained in the US, which prevents these countries from keeping their secrets.
  • Problems with spare parts available. It turns out that what is supposed to exist in a warehouse as a spare part does not always exist at all, and results in the failure of flights or missions.
  • The cabin of the F-35 is not properly constructed and leads to the so-called pilot barotrauma. This barotrauma causes pain in the ears and nose of the pilot.
  • If the weather is cold, for example, minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit, the computer will make the wrong conclusion and report that the batteries are damaged, often resulting in interruption of missions.
  • If the F-35 flies at supersonic speed, it causes extensive damage to the walls of the aircraft – blisters, cracks and damage to the wall integrity.
  • After performing certain maneuvers, the F-35B and F-35C pilots are not always able to fully control the pitch, roll and yawn of the aircraft.
  • If the F-35A and F-35B blow off a landing tire, the impact could also pull out both hydraulic lines and risk losing the aircraft.
  • The specially designed helmet sometimes shows the so-called. “green glow” on the helmet monitor, which blurs the overall graphics and picture and causes problems both in piloting and landing.
  • Optical sensors and night vision sights often render green streaks when the starlight is low.
  • The specially designed sea or water search radar does not give an overall picture, but a very small part, which often makes it difficult for pilots to find and land on an aircraft carrier in the ocean.
  • Lack of traction in the engines if the aircraft is flown vertically on a hot day. The difficult landing is dictated by the fact that the jet of air is not maintained at acceptable limits.

The corrosion problem

There is another serious problem with intergranular corrosion that was spotted and identified by the Australian Air Force earlier this year.

BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that on May 2019 the Australian defence officials have been urged to consider round-the-clock dehumidification systems at an Air Forcebase near Newcastle to curb the corrosion risk for its fleet of Joint Strike Fighter jets.

Auditing and consulting firm KPMG was tasked with doing a report on the “intergranular corrosion mitigation options” for the 72 F-35A fighter jets, bought by the Australian Defence Force for $17 billion. Concerns over the risk of metal stress and cracking were raised in 2017, the year before the next-generation fighters were due to come to Australia.

The FOI report obtained by the ABC said of the three bases where the jets would be based, only Williamtown, near Newcastle, had been identified as having potential problems. The risk is posed by salt and other climatic conditions.

What`s intergranular corrosion?

Intergranular corrosion occurs as a chemical reaction between metal and the environment.

“It can degrade the material properties causing stress cracking and cause tensile stress which can impact adjacent components”, the report said.

The report points to Aluminium Alloy 7085, used in the construction of the F-35 — the first time the material had been used in widespread production of a military aircraft.

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