back to article F-35s failed 'scramble test' because of buggy software

The F-35 warplane still needs reboots to get the aircraft airborne, a US Senate committee has heard, and troubling problems persist in the project's security. US Department of Defence director of operational test and evaluation J Michael Gilmore's latest evaluation of the project is in this written evidence (PDF) to the US …

  1. Magani
    Mushroom

    Bureaucratic obfuscation?

    "...achieving one “stability event” every 15 hours. "

    Umm, to a mere mortal like yours truly, I read this as being that it managed to be stable once every 15 hours.

    Shirley this might be better termed an 'instability event'? However, reading the test results to date, it might really be that it manages to get airborne once every 15 hours.

    Tell me again why Australia is participating in this farce? With the capability so far demonstrated, even our trans-Tasman cousins could overfly us with impunity with a flight of Plastic Parrots (CT/4 Airtrainers).

    1. DougS Silver badge

      This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

      Make a crappy plane that's sold all over the world, with plans undoubtedly stolen by the Russians and Chinese. Then the F22 that actually works and is superior to the F35 in every way, that we don't sell to anyone, is still king of the skies! Well, unless China stole the plans for it, too.

      1. Mark 65 Silver badge

        Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

        Whilst on paper the F22 is king of the skies it's not really proven in combat against leading edge aircraft. I'd say the US isn't so certain about air superiority against anyone but stone throwing desert dwellers.

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

          > I'd say the US isn't so certain about air superiority against anyone but stone throwing desert dwellers.

          Anybody that has a chance of matching the US in the skies already has ICBMs. Drones will rule the skies about the time the F35 becomes truly combat ready as well.

          1. MrXavia

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            >Drones will rule the skies about the time the F35 becomes truly combat ready as well.

            Completely agree, look at taranis, and the french version... they will produce combat ready drones before the F35 is ready...

            That is what I think is the secret plan for the aircraft carriers.. don't buy many F35's, just load up the decks with drones! still need the support crews, still need the pilots, but you don't loose the pilots when the drones get shot down, or a 'software failure' brings it down!

            1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
              Boffin

              @Mr Xavia...Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

              You do realize that there is more software involved in a drone than in a fighter jet right?

              If the US can't get the software right for a jet, what makes you think that they can fix a drone?

              Also food for thought.

              Remember the F-4 Phantom?

              Maybe it was before your time.

              The Air Force decided that air to air combat would use missiles and would occur at ranges before guns would be effective. So the F-4 had no guns, just missile rails and rocket pods....

              Then Viet Nam hit. the long story short... a gun pod was created ASAP.

              Got the point?

              1. asdf Silver badge

                Re: @Mr Xavia...This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

                >You do realize that there is more software involved in a drone than in a fighter jet right?

                Yes of course.

                >If the US can't get the software right for a jet, what makes you think that they can fix a drone?

                What makes you think it will be the US AF that gets it right? Some countries defense contractors and employees are actually required to be competent (some countries might actually for example hold a billion dollar failed virtual fence against Boeing). If the F35 has proven anything its that even nearly infinite resources can't polish a turd.

                1. Triggerfish

                  Re: @Mr Xavia...This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

                  >If the US can't get the software right for a jet, what makes you think that they can fix a drone?

                  What if the drones are designed more simply? If they are cheap enough and no living pilots, why not throw up a swarm? You lose a lot maybe but if you take the enemies pilots down you're on a winner.

                2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

                  Re: @Mr Xavia...This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

                  "What makes you think it will be the US AF that gets it right? Some countries defense contractors and employees are actually required to be competent (some countries might actually for example hold a billion dollar failed virtual fence against Boeing). If the F35 has proven anything its that even nearly infinite resources can't polish a turd."

                  I wonder if you realize who are the defense contractors working on the F-35.

                  And if we look at what the EU has put together over the years... it makes the F-35 look like a wonder plane.

                  The issue is that the current school of Agile development doesn't work well when it comes to building

          2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            FAIL

            @asdf .... Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            One would think that drones would be superior.

            However, there is this thing called c.

            Its a silly little constant that represents the speed of light and its a nasty little constant that means that when you take the man out of the loop and make him a remote pilot... sitting halfway around the world, you have a delay that while flying a surveillance drone, may not be much of an issue, it would mean life or death in an air to air fight.

            Then there's putting a pilot in theater but not in the aircraft. You have other issues like radio jammers...

            The point is that it will take a while for the AI to replace a pilot. Not to mention that your drone will end up costing more than putting a man in the machine.

          3. Triggerfish

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            Wasn't there an Australian defence report, where they simmed current airforce with F35's versus the Chinese? I seem to remember AWACs, Airborne Tankers had a life span in a few minutes, and then it came down to you only have so many aircraft, and threfore missiles versus a horde of Chinese aircraft, scale that up with drones as well.

          4. SpammFreeEmail

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            Air combat drones before 2022.

            Very very likely.....and will kill pretty much any pilot driven aircraft soon after.

        2. HildyJ
          Facepalm

          Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

          It's not about air superiority, it's about budget. The F-35 program will gradually be shut down (with no blame) and the next generation, even better, Top Gun fighter will start development. The promised cost reduction over the F-35 will vanish before the first prototype and by the first flight test overruns will be estimated at 90% (because 100% looks bad on paper). It's problems will never be solved either.

          Sometimes one wishes for a Russian solution - shoot the military project manager and vanish some culpable civilian contractors.

          As far as "air superiority", stand-off munitions can clear the skies far better and cheaper than pilots. Unfortunately, they don't make for heroic movies or inspiring recruiting ads.

        3. Bloakey1

          Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

          <snip>

          " I'd say the US isn't so certain about air superiority against anyone but stone throwing desert dwellers."

          Having said that, the sons of the desert are very good with unorthodox weapons such as RPG 2s, RPG7s and various other projectiles that one would not necessarily consider as anti aircraft weapons.

          Do not forget that a suicide bomber is just a smart bomb made flesh. Different technologies but similar results.

          1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            Ahem. The Sons of the Desert is the international Laurel & Hardy appreciation society.

            Also, I think that suicide bombers classify as 'not-so-smart-bombs'.

      2. asdf Silver badge

        Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

        F22 isn't good for say close air support. The F35 was supposed to be a jack of all trades but its just a trillion dollar albatross empathizing why the Air Force is irrelevant these days (another great thing given to us by the cold war) and should be folded back in the Army where it belongs. Yes other services were involved as well but its the AF that is king of lobbying for pork projects and the one service that doesn't need to be standalone.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

          While the F22 isn't a close support A/C, I note that the life of the A-10 has been extended, surprisingly. The AF loves fighters, ICBM's and close support.... not at all. If it weren't for certain political types and the Army/Marines howling, the AF would have been out of the close support business back in the 60's. But, they didn't want the other services to get some of the pork or control. God forbid, they might have done a better job than the AF.

          The F-35 is destined to be a very expensive laughing stock around the world.

          1. TimeMaster T

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            "The F-35 is destined to be a very expensive laughing stock around the world."

            Don't you mean

            "The F-35 is a laughing stock around the world."

          2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            Close support is a mission the Air Fraud generals hate because it reminds them they exist to protect the army and navy. It and air superiority are the only two missions that ever mattered. Strategic bombing w/o nukes has been very expensive and not particularly effective.

            <snark> It does not matter the country, air fraud general is a synonym for traitor.</snark>

            1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
              Black Helicopters

              @yank ...Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

              Strategic bombing is a joke because the WH doesn't want collateral damage.

              Guess what? In war, shit happens. That means collateral damage happens.

              The Russians using dumb bombs were more effective than the Americans in their Syrian campaign. Costs a lot less considering that a dumb bomb is cheaper than a smart bomb.

              Were the Americans to bring in the BUFFs and carpet bomb the enemy strongholds... you will see hell on earth looks like. And the US could do this if they didn't care about the human shields used by ISIS/ISIL.

              This is a major difference between Russian and US policy planning.

              1. asdf Silver badge

                Re: @yank ...This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

                >This is a major difference between Russian and US policy planning.

                Yeah internal opposition to policies in the US don't wind up with rare fatal isotopes in their blood.

          3. Denarius Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            indeed Mark. I also note that updated versions of the F15 are being offered.. If Cold War era fighters are being offered as cheaper alternatives, what does that say about insiders hope of making the F35 workable .

            A-10 life extension being pushed for, F15, F16 and F18 developments being developed by manufacturers all indicate a widespread scepticism about the new albatross. How about an updated YF12 dropping kinetic weapons at Mach 3 as was suggested once ?

          4. JLV Silver badge

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            Heh heh, you're only laughing if your country isn't buying that shit buzzard.

            Fails in fighter-intent aircraft happen. See P37, Typhoon, F106/104/111... Some of those achieved brilliant service in other roles (Typhoon). But it still required the acquiring nation to do a Plan B and use another fighter design.

            The F35 has that ugly stink of gangrene all over it. The diff is a) no one in charge is owning up to the mess and b) it doesn't look like it will be usable in _any_ role. Save perhaps as the VTOL version which caused the whole mess.

          5. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            "I note that the life of the A-10 has been extended"

            It has now.

        2. Crazy Operations Guy

          Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

          "should be folded back in the Army where it belongs"

          If you're folding anything, then everything should be shuffled so there is a Navy, an Army, and an Air force. It it moves on Air, it goes to the Air Force; if it moves on water, Navy; if it moves on dirt, Army. There is no reason why every service needs planes, especially since all the services have their own weird planes that aren't compatible with those of any other service. All of the services also have special forces divisions for some reason. And there is also the redundancy between the Army and the Marine Corps.

          Really, everything should be shuffled so that we end up with 4 services: Air Force, Army, Navy, and Special Operations (SpecOPs divisions, cyber warfare, space, etc)

          1. TimeMaster T

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            Fun fact about the USA. The original Constitution only authorized the Navy/Marines, it forbid a standing Army and of course the Air Force wasn't even imagined.

            A Civil war, some amendments and technological advancements later and the USA now has everything their Founding Fathers didn't think a good country should have.

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          3. asdf Silver badge

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            > There is no reason why every service needs planes,

            Except for the fact that historically the Navy pilots have been the best (that whole having to take off and land on carriers thing). Naval aviation is just as much about the naval as the aviation which is why they have their own planes. The Air Farce obviously takes off and lands on land which is why they are the Army Air Corp. As for redundancy between Marines and Army all I will say is somebody has to be able to deploy in 48 hours with lighter gear and fight the battle and somebody needs weeks to deploy with heavy gear often not needed, always fighting the last war, botch it, and have the Marines fix it anyway (cough Fallujah). As for the Army Air Corp's other mission based on what a half ass job the Air Force has done with the ICBM crews lately (see cheating scandal, and drug dealer ring) they should be fine under the Army.

            1. asdf Silver badge

              Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

              Ok so the Army and Marines thing wasn't fair (am biased lets say) but I stand by the Army Air Corp idea so they understand their place instead of simply as poorly ran pork factory.

            2. RPF

              Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

              I hate to burst your bubble. but land-based aviation is inherently more capable than naval, since it is not limited to a short runway (or need the strengthening/equipment for carrier ops).

              You don't see many B-1s, B-2s or B-52s on carriers, for instance.

              1. SpammFreeEmail

                Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doolittle_Raid

                'nuff said........

                anyway what the frack is a strategic nuclear bomber doing retasked to close ground support......get real.

                1. asdf Silver badge

                  Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

                  >https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doolittle_Raid

                  >'nuff said........

                  James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle (December 14, 1896 – September 27, 1993) was a reserve officer in the United States Army Air Corps,

                  Ok again what about this raid says we have to have a stand alone Air Force? Oh yeah because its still 1964 and we are still fighting the cold war.

              2. asdf Silver badge

                Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

                >I hate to burst your bubble. but land-based aviation is inherently more capable than naval, since it is not limited to a short runway (or need the strengthening/equipment for carrier ops).

                Which is why we still need the Army Air Corp. The Army I guarantee can handle all the strategic roles of the Air Farce for a hell of lot less pork.

                1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
                  Boffin

                  @ASDF ...Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

                  The Army Air Corp is the USAF. Don't you know your US and World History from the 20th Century?

                  Post WW II the army air corps became the USAF and the Army was left with rotary aircraft.

                  1. asdf Silver badge

                    Re: @ASDF ...This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

                    No actually the Air Force came into existence at the start of WW2. Probably made sense at the time due to facing an immediate existential threat from nearly equals (often better) in technology and more so after WW2 when aircraft was the only game in town for delivering strategic nuclear weapons. That was a very long time ago though. My whole premise is the Air Force is run by incompetent shit birds and exists today solely as pork trough for the Pentagon, defense contractors and their lackey enablers in Congress. They are a relic of the cold war and what value they do bring to the modern battle field with the goat herder foes we face today would be enhanced under Army leadership thus my premise for them to be once again the Army Air Corp. Granted we may face more capable foes in the future but again my belief those foes will have ICBMs and or drones (or swarms of) at least as combat efficient as this shitty aircraft means the Air Force will probably just embarrass themselves or be irrelevant anyway. The days of massive manned dog fights are over. More likely our hypothetical advanced technological foe will just make our crappy electrical grid shit itself anyway and wtfpwn all the SCADA devices we have put out on the internet for convenience.

                    1. asdf Silver badge

                      Re: @ASDF ...This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

                      If we were going to bring the hurt on an advanced foe would probably be using ICBMs (in extreme cases) or cruise missiles launched from ships, subs or perhaps aircraft (likely off a carrier) but even if it needs be aircraft off land the Army could handle that.

          4. Lapun Mankimasta

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            "everything should be shuffled so that we end up with 4 services"

            You need to work out the purpose of the various services and their machinery. Eg, what are naval ships used for? Troop transport? Guarding the shipping lanes? Intercepting an adversary's fleet? shipping? Likewise, the Army - are you aiming to prevent an opponent's army from invading? Or just keeping them on their toes? Air Force? What's its purpose? Pounding an enemy's industries ie strategic bombing? (Good luck when your adversary doesn't have any heavy industries.) Close air support? Maritime patrol? Maritime strike? Denial of air support ie air superiority?

            The F-35 seems to me like someone never bothered to ask those questions of it, and in consequence no one bothered to answer them.

            1. Vic

              Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

              The F-35 seems to me like someone never bothered to ask those questions of it

              I disagree.

              Someone quite clearly asked those questions - and the response was along the lines of "yes, that will do for starters"...

              Vic.

          5. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            Boffin

            @Crazy ops guy ... Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            Please don't give up your day job.

            Army / Marines both need close air support as well as rapid deployment capabilities and rapid extraction capabilities.

            So you have helicopters, Ospreys, and the Marines have jump jets and Naval jets.

            Navy requires air support to protect the ships. Maybe you didn't learn your lessons from a certain WW I pilot who bombed some old ships to prove a point and pushed for the creation of the aircraft carrier?

            No?

            Please learn your military history before making such daft statements.

          6. SolidSquid

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            Unfortunately the politics don't really work out if you try and do that. The Army has been hugely reliant on the A-10 for ground support (given it has significantly heavier armour than any helicopter so can do low pass attack runs with minimal risk), but the Air Force has been trying to get it scrapped for decades because it doesn't fit what they see as their remit (air-to-air combat) and they think it's too old a design to be useable, instead wanting to scrap it and funnel the money from it into even more work on the F-35 (which has ended up not being finished anywhere near as early as it would have needed to be to take the place of the A-10)

          7. Alistair Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            @COG

            Somewhere, sometime, I think there is a military like that. Dunno why that military keeps whupping us ass in the war games.

            <the one with the maple leaf please>

          8. DoctorNine

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            The Marines would like to have a word with you in private, out back.

            And it's not 'Shazam!'

          9. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            "If you're folding anything, then everything should be shuffled"

            Take a look at how many military forces the USA has, none of whom talk to each other if they can avoid it and not counting the subunits within each one (who also don't talk to each other).

            $HINT: It's a lot more than 3

            At some point the whole mess is going to collapse simply because the GDP spend on military systems is unsustainable.

        3. weegie38

          Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

          IIRC the US Marines are really to blame for the F-35 being a dog, since they weren't going to buy into the JSF project unless it had V/Stol capability?

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority V/STOL

            V/STOL is a mature technology, been done successfully since the 60s

            Great technology for smaller carriers

          2. asdf Silver badge

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            >IIRC the US Marines are really to blame for the F-35 being a dog,

            Actually whomever thought one airframe could handle all services should be the ones shot (looks like as usual it was a merger of several small clusterfscks into one giant clusterfsk to make it easy for the pork politicians). Still even on the V/Stol stuff you can't totally blame the Marines.

            In 1992, the Marine Corps and Air Force agreed to jointly develop the Common Affordable Lightweight Fighter, also known as Advanced Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (ASTOVL).

            The JSF program was the result of the merger of the Common Affordable Lightweight Fighter (CALF) and Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) projects.

          3. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            IIRC the US Marines are really to blame for the F-35 being a dog, since they weren't going to buy into the JSF project unless it had V/Stol capability?

            I'm thinking that they never figured that someone in DoD would say...."Ok.. we'll do that, and how many would you like?".

        4. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @asdf ... Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

          The Air Force and Pentagon is being run by a bunch of bean counters who look at the logistics and costs of running a fleet of aircraft.

          Specialty role fighters cost more to maintain because your maintenance crew has to be trained specifically for each weapon system as well as the parts are not interchangeable. So the idea is to find an aircraft that can do multiple missions.

          The other issue is that when you put a specialty role aircraft in theater, you also need another specialty aircraft to maintain control of the airspace. (e.g. the A-10 needs someone to watch the skies above it.)

          Seems that they didn't learn their lessons from world war II. P-47 Thunderbolt vs P-51 Mustang in a ground support role. P-51 was an overall air superiority fighter yet the P-47 could take more abuse and provide better air support of ground troops.

          The F-22 is the best plane on paper because its a generation ahead of the competition. The Russians aren't going to put their aircraft up against it any time soon and they won't sell their latest tech to a third world nation any time soon.

          The F-22 was used for air strikes in Syria. I don't know what they learned from that experience....

          1. asdf Silver badge

            Re: @asdf ... This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

            >The Air Force and Pentagon is being run by a bunch of bean counters who look at the logistics and costs of running a fleet of aircraft.

            Then they have failed epically at their jobs as this will be a case study for how not to do a weapon system for a very long time. As much as I do blame the AF and the Pentagon a clusterfsck this epic takes a significant number of elected ass clowns to pull off.

      3. x 7 Silver badge

        Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

        "Well, unless China stole the plans for it, too"

        of course they did.....

        1. Crazy Operations Guy

          "Well, unless China stole the plans for it, too"

          Stole, I wouldn't be surprised if all the parts for the damned things -came from- China but got "Made in USA" stamp put on it when got over here.

        2. Triggerfish

          Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

          Dunno what you are talking about, I have never looked at the new fighter jets being developed for the Chinese airforce and thought hmmn that airframe looks familar.

      4. Smooth Newt Silver badge
        Alert

        The F-35 warplane still needs reboots to get the aircraft airborne

        It could be worse - at least it doesn't need reboots to keep the aircraft airborne. Hopefully.

      5. Denarius Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: This is how the US is preserving its air superiority

        The F22 has a Chinese made equivalent with moniker of F20. Its engines are not as powerful or reliable, but the Russians may be able to help there for a suitable big fee if the next engine development models aren't up to scratch.

        What is significant is how the merkin strategy and the rest of the advanced aviation world diverge. Could be a rerun of Korean atrial combat initial stuffup. Merkins think long range weapons, advanced radar and small numbers of bomb trucks will win day. Every one else is building lots of very highly manoeuvrable aircraft with not much effort in stealth. Chinese do have a stealth fighter under development and flying. It does not break Area Rule so it may perform quite well.

        It is _very_ significant that Chinese and Russians have been doing a lot of aircraft search radar development to "spot" stealth planes. No doubt Russian cold war era Woodpecker OTH radar will be renovated and updated.making even F22 vulnerable. Is this why merkins are working on a B3 ?

        Time for Oz to dump merkin make work toys, buy some Sukhois fitted with Israeli weapons, decent radar control and abandon the expensive dangerous and futile "US alliance". More than overdue for Oz to pull trousers up and stand straight, not bent over as has been defence posture since 1/1/1901

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bureaucratic obfuscation?

      > "...achieving one “stability event” every 15 hours. "

      I think this translates to "on average, one blue-screen-of-death every 15 hours".

      1. cyberdemon
        Facepalm

        Stability Event

        > I think this translates to "on average, one blue-screen-of-death every 15 hours".

        Funny.. The way I read it was "on average, one BSOD-free bootup every 15 hours"

        I thought the whole idea of super-expensive "military grade" (lol) software was that it is supposed to be deterministic!

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Stability Event

          The f18 is superior in every way simply because it works. It is carrier capable, intercept or strike. Proven capability etc. I imagine the pork bartel potential is low though now.

        2. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Stability Event

          Better off with the f18 hornet/super hornet. Carrier capable, intercept or strike, proven to work. Problem is, i bet the pork barrel potential is quite low with them.

          1. Linker3000

            Re: Stability Event

            Whoa, your post had 1 stability event in 2. That's awesome!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Stability Event

            "Carrier-grade" aircraft? Must be good then!

        3. Denarius Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Stability Event

          Indeed. What happened to QNX or the realtime VXWorks thats good enough for Mars Rovers. Unbelievable that mere OS can crash easily n this day and age. What was the point of ADA again ? They couldn't be using Java, surely ?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Stability Event

            Why do you assume that VxWorks or QNX would be any more reliable or secure? These were not designed with security in mind and not even particularly reliability. They had a hard job trying to persuade the world that they could approach the 99.999% reliability they claim, which is a long way from civil aviation, or even your traffic lights.

            Most of JSF is written C++, purely due to perceived availability of programmers, because that should reduce the pressure on salaries. More programmers with C++ on CV than Ada equals more competition for the work, so lower cost to employ, simples. But even if you had an infinitely secure and reliable RTOS, you still need the applications to have correct behaviour.

    3. sawatts

      Re: Bureaucratic obfuscation?

      "...achieving one “stability event” every 15 hours. "

      Translation: On average a pilot will get 15 hours flight time before the plane kills them.

      1. Vic

        Re: Bureaucratic obfuscation?

        Translation: On average a pilot will get 15 hours flight time before the plane kills them.

        That's actually not a problem for the F-35.

        Given the rate at which it burns fuel, you'll have exhausted your entire GDP long before that 15 hours has passed.

        Vic.

    4. Denarius Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Bureaucratic obfuscation?

      all that can be said is

      Win95, come back, all is forgiven... My coats the one with blue rectangles

  2. Fraggle850

    We really shouldn't have decommissioned the Harrier and Ark Royal

    This is the same advanced warplane that lost a dogfight to an F16? And now it seems it may struggle in EMF-messy environments? And, IIRC, we've bet the farm on this for our naval strike capability? Suspect we'd have lost the Falklands if it happened today.

    1. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Re: We really shouldn't have decommissioned the Harrier and Ark Royal

      I'd suspect F35 or not that would happen. We have plane-less carriers and destroyers that lacked armaments for a period of time. More of a Heath Robinson navy these days. We'd fight on a best endeavours basis.

    2. Keith Glass

      Re: We really shouldn't have decommissioned the Harrier and Ark Royal

      Besides, how EVER will we beat the Tadpoles without Ark Royal ???

      (if you don't get it, go to your local Amazon site and search on "Ark Royal")

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: We really shouldn't have decommissioned the Harrier and Ark Royal

      You have missed the biggest reason.

      The software stability is the least of the F35 zingers. The biggest zinger is the fact that its misssion control and planning software is integrated with its spares supply and is a USA only system hosted in the USA. Mil-Cloud based maintenance and mission planning software

      Now the really interesting question is - How the hell can this be an export model? How the hell can for example Queen Lizzy enter combat if it does not have parts, logistics and mission planning software for its fighter wing as it sits with someone else?

      1. Crazy Operations Guy

        Re: We really shouldn't have decommissioned the Harrier and Ark Royal

        Or the fact that the helmet is so heavy that if the pilot ever attempted to eject, it'd snap their neck like a piece of dry pasta...

    4. kmac499

      Re: We really shouldn't have decommissioned the Harrier and Ark Royal

      Well In a few years time we'll have the F35s with the type 45 destroyers. So as long as the Argies give us a phone call to say reboot your planes and ships now we're on our way, everything should be hunky dory. Good job MoD procurement.

      (BTW the Type 45s have a nasty habit of tripping their main "fuseboxes" if you turn all their kit on at once.)

  3. HKmk23

    OMG

    Are these things going to carry nukes?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Are these things going to carry nukes?"

      Probably not for long.

      Wear your mushroom with pride.

    2. HkraM

      Re: OMG

      But they won't be flying with them by the sound of it.

  4. 0laf Silver badge
    Linux

    Gives a new take to the "blue screen of death".

    Just waiting on the first reports of pilots putting Mint or Slackware on their F35s

  5. thexfile

    The F-35A is just a money pit with no bottom.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      >The F-35A is just a money pit with no bottom.

      It's certainly not a warplane.

      Meanwhile, China has successfully tested a hypersonic cruise missile.

      China Successfully Tests Hypersonic Weapon System

      The US needs to get its STEM and military contracting shit together.

      It's taking technological superiority for granted in a world where it just isn't realistic to do that any more.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        China and Russian hypersonic gliders

        China Successfully Tests Hypersonic Weapon System

        Different cattle of fish. That and its Russian Bulava equivalent are the result of George Shrub pulling out USA out of the missile defense treaties as well as deploying anti-ICBM interceptors next to Russian (in Poland) and Chinese borders.

        US expected both Russia and China to invest into maneuvering re-entry vehicles resulting in an arms race which USA was projected to win based on improvements to anti-ICBM missiles and control software.

        Well, wrong - neither one took the bait. They both invested into hypersonic glider warheads instead which will enter the atmosphere outside the AEGIS and other anti-ICBM system defence perimeter and go for the kill on a glide trajectory.

        This nullifies pretty much all investment USA has thrown into this area after Shrub reopened this arms race and in fact puts both of them ahead by 5-10 years.

    2. Vic

      The F-35A is just a money pit with no bottom.

      It does, however, have one positive thing in its favour.

      It's better than the F-35B...

      Vic.

  6. frank ly Silver badge

    Mayday! I have flight stability and weapons arming problems!

    Have you tried turning it off and then on again?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Mayday! I have flight stability and weapons arming problems!

      POTD

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Mayday! I have flight stability and weapons arming problems!

        Wait till they start getting the 'upgrade to windows 10' on the HUD mid engagement.

    2. seacook

      Re: Mayday! I have flight stability and weapons arming problems!

      Need to eject. My glide time is 10 minutes less than the required time for reboot!!

      1. Sebastian A

        Re: Mayday! I have flight stability and weapons arming problems!

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe it's stable without the computer systems. It cannot glide under manual control.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Mayday! I have flight stability and weapons arming problems!

          Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe it's stable without the computer systems. It cannot glide under manual control.

          It's still a "glide". Much like that of a brick but without the gracefulness.

  7. redpawn Silver badge

    Windows For Warplanes?

    Sign up to be an alpha test pilot and fly the newest and greatest. Experience the newest features first. Help your nation produce the best warplanes in the world. USA USA USA!

  8. waldo kitty
    Boffin

    five nines...

    looks like five nines is a pretty long way off still...

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: five nines...

      I think they're still working on one nine.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: five nines...

        I think they're still working on one

        FTFY

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: five nines...

          Unless it's "Nein! Nein! Nein! Nein! Nein!!!"

          I think they have reached that point

    2. Snapper

      Re: five nines...

      Nine fives?

      1. DocJames

        Re: five nines...

        I think it refers to the number of nines in the reliability/uptime stats.

        1 9 = 90% reliable

        2 9s = 99%

        3 9s = 99.9%

        etc

    3. Vic

      Re: five nines...

      looks like five nines is a pretty long way off still...

      Nah. You just need to line up five aircraft on the tarmac so that their nines join up...

      Vic.

  9. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    For Sale

    I know where I can get my hands on a stash of old Vampires, Venoms and Hunters, if the Navy are interested.

    Guaranteed no software/firmware issues.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: For Sale

      Fairy Swordfish, can actually land on carriers, proven in combat and the only software issue is the stuffing coming out.

  10. zebm

    Send in the drones

    Is the plane purposely useless to persuade re-equipment with drones?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Send in the drones

      The other way around... The AF doesn't like drones as they don't need "real" pilots. But, the procurement types seemed to have gone overboard on wishes and expectations. Multi-role anything isn't always the best idea. Look at flying cars, cars that go in the water like a boat for good examples.

      Aircraft that are good at air superiority really suck at close support. No armor, no loiter time, no large capacity for armament, and too fast. I really wish someone would get a clue that a "jack of all trades" aircraft isn't going to work well.

      1. glen waverley

        Re: Send in the drones

        Mark 85 "Aircraft that are good at air superiority really suck at close support. No armor, no loiter time, no large capacity for armament, and too fast."

        I once heard a story about a drug runner frequently bringing large amounts of weed into NT from possibly PNG in the early 1980s. He was using a Cessna or similar, and landing on old WW2 airstrips which were pretty common along the Stuart Hwy in the NT back then, from where goods could be conveniently loaded onto a truck.

        Police had word of his runs and wanted surveillance, hopefully to grab him on the ground. RAAF got the job but only had F111s available. Job consisted of F111 at its slowest overflying Cessna which was not going anywhere its fastest, turning around to get behind Cessna, overflying again, and so on. Natch, the runner worked out what was going on and managed to time his landing for a turnback. Landed, got his gear onto a truck, job over.

  11. asdf Silver badge

    fscking F35

    If the government wants to have a trillion dollar jobs program fine (not really with our debt but don't mind that man behind the curtain) but could we at least get some new infrastructure out of it? Our current stuff is falling apart.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: fscking F35

      Have you forgotten that anything to actually benefit the average person is socialist commie-nism?

  12. Christian Berger Silver badge

    I think there is a wonderfull message behind this

    I mean I always wonder where the really good people work. The people who have understood how to solve problems.

    At least now I know they don't work for such companies. It's good to hear that they are not dedicating their minds on how to kill people more efficiently. I cannot tell whether that's because of choice or because they have been driven out by really bad management, but at least they don't seem to work there.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: I think there is a wonderfull message behind this

      >It's good to hear that they are not dedicating their minds on how to kill people more efficiently.

      No they are all on Wall St. inventing complex derivatives to hide money from regulators and share holders. Too big to fail baby.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think there is a wonderfull message behind this

      Bjarne Stroustrup, inventor of C++ and inspiration for many software engineers across the world, is afaik, a lead engineer on this project. Take from that what you will.

      1. Roberto99

        Re: I think there is a wonderfull message behind this

        "lead engineer"... not exaaaactly, rather he wrote the coding standards (decent ones, from what I gather) for the project:

        http://www.stroustrup.com/JSF-AV-rules.pdf

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I think there is a wonderfull message behind this

          I stand corrected, thanks. Based on listening to his talks etc I had the impression he had actually been involved in the implementation of some of the F-35 systems.

        2. MacroRodent Silver badge

          Re: I think there is a wonderfull message behind this

          So it is written in C++. That explains it...

          (C++ is one of my least favourite languages: combines all the pitfalls of C with several of its own, pretends to offer higher-level abstractions, which however cannot be protected by the language, and are easily broken by accident.)

        3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          WTF?

          Re: I think there is a wonderfull message behind this

          "lead engineer"... not exaaaactly, rather he wrote the coding standards (decent ones, from what I gather) for the project:

          http://www.stroustrup.com/JSF-AV-rules.pdf

          141 f**king pages.

          WTF?

        4. roytrubshaw
          Coat

          Re: I think there is a wonderfull message behind this

          "http://www.stroustrup.com/JSF-AV-rules.pdf"

          Bloody hell! 221 Rules (plus a few extra .1 versions)!

          Is it irony on Bjarne's part that there are more "rules" than the maximum number of lines of code allowed in a function or method?

          Good grief it's a wonder that any software has been developed at all.

          1. Simon Harris Silver badge

            Re: I think there is a wonderfull message behind this

            I only read through the first 60 or so, but those seemed quite sensible, and many of them can be enforced by compiler settings or could be tested with automated tools to check for compliance.

          2. Paul Smith

            Re: I think there is a wonderfull message behind this

            "Good grief it's a wonder that any software has been developed at all."

            Haven't you been paying attention? No working software has been developed at all.

            Google 'Bjarne Stroustrup interview' for a really entertaining and informative read, and although it is claimed that the interview was a spoof, I would suggest the the progress of the F35 software suite proves otherwise.

  13. Gene Cash Silver badge

    "troubling problems persist in the project's security"

    Actually, go ahead and sell it straight to China. It'll set 'em back 10 years.

  14. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Facepalm

    God Bless America!!

    We can still doggle boons better than any other nation on Earth!

    (Well, the Chinese building that vacant city out in the middle of the Gobi Desert might give us a run for our money)

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: God Bless America!!

      Yeah but the Chinese at least didn't borrow the money to do that (I think). Our pivot to China was a big fail because first rule of war is don't borrow money from the country you want to go to war with. Second rule is don't go to war with the country that makes all your stuff. Makes your tough guy posture look pretty p_ssy.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: God Bless America!!

        Do you think it's not being leveraged for all it's worth in China? When the big bang finally happens it will be big enough to make a new universe.

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: God Bless America!!

          >Do you think it's not being leveraged for all it's worth in China?

          Pretty sure most of that debt is Chinese though. Yeah its going to fsck them over hard as well as the whole world's economy wait what as the point again?

  15. Huns n Hoses

    I know nothing about F35's, nor the software they run

    But shouldn't they just cave in and upgrade to Windows 10?

    1. raving angry loony

      Re: I know nothing about F35's, nor the software they run

      The pauses and failures in the startup sequence are possibly the Microsoft spamware demanding that they upgrade.

  16. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Somebody didn't read 'Superiority'...

    Well, *somebody* at F-35 HQ didn't read 'Superiority', by Arthur C. Clarke.

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, George Santayana (circa 1905).

    Those who don't read Science Fiction fail to avoid the obviously-predictable dumb mistakes in the first place, Me (just now).

    1. Chris King Silver badge

      Re: Somebody didn't read 'Superiority'...

      "Those who fail to read Dilbert are doomed to repeat it" - no idea who said it originally, but they said it a good few years ago.

  17. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    Operational delays

    After the collapse of communism and the liaison of former Eastern European armed forces with NATO, one former East German military officer was asked if he thought that the Soviet Union could have won a war in Europe. "Of course," he said "you would all be showing one another Powerpoint presentations while we got on with the invasion."

    Seemingly reboot is the new Powerpoint.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Operational delays

      >Soviet Union could have won a war in Europe.

      Yeah but they would just now be able to occupy it. Pretty amazing how many in the 1960s US defense establishment not only accepted a nuclear war was imminent but were almost looking forward to it.Mr. Vice President, Mr. Secretary, the missiles are flying Hallelujah. Hallelujah

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Operational delays

        Although on recent evidence, they may have aimed at Europe - but would probably have hit Canada

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: Operational delays

          Blame Canada. Never forgive never forget.

  18. ma1010 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Yes Senator, we have now reached one 9 of uptime!

    Of course that means 1 and 9, so about 19%. Or maybe 1.9%. Or was that .19%? Something like that, anyhow.

    Paris 'cause she's smarter than the crooks who are in charge of this inanity. They can't even seem to PRETEND to be providing a useful service here. The clowns who call with the "This is MS Technical Support, and Your Windows has a Virus, but WE CAN HELP!" scam manage a much more convincing job of pretending to do something useful.

  19. wolfetone Silver badge

    Someone is looking at the F-14 Tomcat's, then looking back at the F-35 monstrosity and is wondering where it all went wrong.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      two words

      Bet the time line coincides with Baby Boomers entering management.

      1. Driver's Door

        Re: two words

        Your nasty & unnecessary comment missed by at least a generation. The baby boomers entered management sometime from mid 70's to the early 80's which covers the time from early introduction of the F-14 to the middle of its life.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

          Re: two words

          So, generation X?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: two words

          Nah Gen X is just now entering upper management roles and will design the next generation (if there is one). The Boomers maybe can take credit for the production of the F-14 but not its design. They own the JSF design and are still most of the politicians that have sunk money into it.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      @Wolftone

      "Someone is looking at the F-14 Tomcat's, then looking back at the F-35 monstrosity and is wondering where it all went wrong.

      Well the F14 was built by Grumman in NY state.

      The F35 is built by LM Corp. The ba**ard child of a myriad of mergers in the US aerospace industry sanctioned (and I'm fairly sure encouraged) by the DoD to create a "national champion" because of fears individually they couldn't complete in the world arms sales market.

      Much like what was BAe System was created by active encouragement of the MoD in the UK.

      It's no surprise how well these companies like to work together.

  20. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    Contractor companies

    Sometimes it seems the customer/contractor model needs a major reset.

    Like, hire a bright professor and some of his better students. Even if the total job is 1000 man years, you will get a useful prototype out of them. Most contractors can follow a prototype but are incapable of original design.

    1. PNGuinn Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Contractor companies

      Some decades of moons ago, just before the iron curtain came tumbling down a then successful defence company in sunny southern county recently mentioned on el Reg decided that it would be a good wheeze to flog a HF frequency hopping radio system around the 3rd world (to the sort of countries that could barely afford the paper for an outside bog, let alone overpriced combat gear - but uk foreign aid was more generous than, and if your neighbour's just got it ...) Think of a black rectangular finned ally hedgehog and you've got some idea of the thing.

      Well, the 100W HF amplifier was designed by an old, experienced, cynical RF engineer. It was, well, bulletproof in every war. Met it's specs easily over the full military temperature / humidity ranges etc easily.

      The built in power supply boards were designed by a bunch of young inexperienced apprentoids. Worked fine at room temperature ...

      My guess with this flying turd the apprentoids were in charge of the project?

  21. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    My dad keeps telling me about planes you allegedly could just start, and then fly them for a couple of hours. Does anybody know whether that's really true?

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      atcsnwt, "My dad..."

      Avro Arrow (late-1950s) - The specification allowed five minutes from engine start to reaching 50,000 ft and Mach 1.5.

      1. Snafu1

        Obligatory EE Lightning one-upmanship post here

      2. raving angry loony

        Ah, so that's probably another reason the USA demanded the project be disbanded, and the Canadian government of the day (that bastard Diefenbaker) gladly acquiesced. The only place Canadian scientists and engineers are allowed to work effectively is American companies and organizations.

        I guess they're afraid that if Canadians are allowed to actually do something useful they'll burn down the White House. AGAIN.

    2. Vic

      My dad keeps telling me about planes you allegedly could just start, and then fly them for a couple of hours. Does anybody know whether that's really true?

      :-)

      Vulcans on QRA were pretty good for a quick scramble - they would be airborne within two minutes. Not too shabby for a 4-engine bomber...

      Vic.

  22. Paul Renault

    Try turning it off and …

    ...and leave it off?

    Too obvious?

  23. asdf Silver badge

    When greed is a virtue encouraged by society

    Guess this also helps explain why our space program looks so impressive if you follow the time arrow back to Apollo. Too many people with their hands out to get anything done right.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Q: What do you call a sheep with 5 legs? A: A horse that was designed by a committee/

    Q: What do you call a jet-fighter that needs rebooting and suffers bleu screens of death? A: Joint Srike by Wire.

  25. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Buy a Sukhoi Su-27 Flankers

    Maybe they should buy a Sukhoi Su-27 Flankers from the Russian Federation and copy the Avionics.

  26. jake Silver badge

    Dumbasses.

    Manglement can't write code. This is a fact.

    They should get out of the way, and allow folks with clues about writing code to actually get it done.

    EOF

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Dumbasses.

      The key question is get what done which is also the answer in this case.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @asdf (was: Re: Dumbasses.)

        "The key question is get what done which is also the answer in this case."

        Is English your second language asdf? Please find a translator, I'm intrigued, you might actually have a serious point there!

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: @asdf (was: Dumbasses.)

          >>"The key question is get what done which is also the answer in this case."

          >Is English your second language asdf? Please find a translator, I'm intrigued, you might actually have a serious point there!

          Others spell it out for me but basically it boils down to you seem to be saying quick go get the requirements while I start coding.

          1. jake Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: @asdf (was: Dumbasses.)

            I'm not against you, asdf, just wondering where you are coming from.

            Beer?

    2. Driver's Door

      Re: Dumbasses.

      True and from experience I can tell you that you can't write good code unless the spec is clear, complete, correct & unambiguous.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dumbasses.

        True and from experience I can tell you that you can't write good code unless the spec is clear, complete, correct & unambiguous.

        .. which is exactly where IMHO the problem lies. The first thing that happens in such a project is to produce a spec that is deficient enough to yield lots of change control because that's where the money is recovered that was lost by being the lowest bidder during procurement..

      2. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

        Re: Dumbasses.

        @Driver's Door

        When I tried to get specs corrected during review, before coding, I was told by management to stop holding up progress on the workplan.

  27. Crazy Operations Guy

    They control the hardware

    So how is it possible to screw up software that badly? Every aspect of the craft is controlled by a single company, and there are only three variants. Operating System developers somehow manage to get their code to run on an uncountable number of permutations of hardware and environments, so how is that very highly paid developers that have access to full documentation fuck up so badly...

    1. Driver's Door

      Re: They control the hardware

      1. Do they demand all code meet adequate coding standards?

      2. Do they require all software modules to meet specific documentation standards?

      3. Are the testing requirements sufficient? When they run the test suite, what percentage of the software actually get executed? It is amazing how often the software test suite does not execute some of the error handling code.

      4. Are the specs any good? If there are requirements that are ill-defined or not defined at all, I can guarantee that different people will interpret them differently. Example - the NASA Mars lander that was lost because one group interpreted the unit for distance be feet while the other group assumed that the unit was meters. Oops.

      5. With a software project as enormous as this, program management becomes absolutely critical. The programmer is totally dependent on the spec being clear, correct & unambiguous because they may not know or have access to the person writing the modules that connect to their module.

    2. Tuomas Hosia

      Re: They control the hardware

      This is what happens when the project size exceeds the capability of the company/management to manage a project.

      Add some random cost cutting within company to increase profits (competent people tend to be expensive) and you'll get the picture.

      But one thing is sure: LM is making record profits from this project. In the end, that's the only thing that matters for LM.

  28. tempemeaty
    Facepalm

    I can only imagine...

    ...that Russia is laughing at the District of Columbias' corrupt and bureaucratic incompetence that allowed this over teched boondoggle and how far behind it's gotten them. It's a "Money-Pit" with wings.

  29. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Sounds familiar

    Luke, you have switched off your targeting computer.

    Yes, I just need to reboot, hit f8, restart in safe mode ....

  30. RedneckMother

    Mayhaps...

    It could be someone else has made a similar post... TL;DR, it's "late" here, etc, etc.

    WTF? Who wrote this "software"? Microsoft?

    Just send me a bit of money (say, 10%) of what's been spent... I can "not deliver" with the best of them, and I'll quickly bow out (and retire in a manner to which I would like to be accustomed).

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing new here

    this is what happens when you try to make a jack of all trades fighter plane and design it by committee to fit all branches of service. We did this with the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II back in the late 50's and 60's. we even go super dumb and didn't even put guns on it to begin with, just missiles. no amount of technology will ever solve this problem. you cannot take an inferior design, throw some software update at it and make it better aircraft. the truth is there is no money in building fighter planes, the money is in developing them, producing just enough to make the taxpayers feel like ley got something out of it to justify the initial cash outlay (F22), or make the project so expensive that it will eventual be canceled (F35).

  32. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    WTF?

    Seriously?!?!?

    Apart from the virtual "see-through-your-plane" helmet software, which is kinda new (but not in itself a terribly hard problem), the rest of the F-35's systems should be pretty simple as it's nothing new. Artificial stability? Been done for years, indeed it was trialed in the '80s (BAe Jaguar ACT flew with "relaxed stability" in 1981, IIRC). Weapons launched from internal bays at supersonic speeds? F-22 got that covered. AESA radar is pretty old hat too. Integrated coms with encrypted links to external sources? The old Tornado ADV could manage that. And even the VTOL bits are not exactly ground-breaking (even the Ruskies managed it with the Yak-36 and -38). I suspect the issue is someone had the "bright idea" of ignoring decades of avionics development by actual avionics engineers and decided to hire some whizz kid programmers with zero experience in the field. Lockheed Martin are making themselves look seriously incompetent.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously?!?!?

      " Lockheed Martin are making themselves look seriously incompetent."

      Yes, but the money will flow and profits are high, so who cares? The real profit is made in design phase.

      Also one failed project doesn't mean a thing to Pentagon: LM will not be excluded from future projects.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seriously?!?!?

        Also one failed project doesn't mean a thing to Pentagon: LM will not be excluded from future projects.

        That. In a nutshell, that is theproblem, right there. No consequences.

    2. Vic

      Re: Seriously?!?!?

      the virtual "see-through-your-plane" helmet software, which is kinda new (but not in itself a terribly hard problem

      I did some work with a company in Kent that did something similar.

      That was 30 years ago...

      Vic.

  33. Lapun Mankimasta

    And the reason/s why the f-35 can't be simply cancelled, as it should be?

    Lockheed's got parts manufacturers in as many of the 50 states as it can, so effectively they've bought out Congress. And they've got most of the Western and West-aligned powers signed up to buy it.

    Wish their product matched the standard of their advertising.

  34. StaudN
    Trollface

    Look on the bright side...

    Just think of the savings they'll make on IT support staff for the planes... "Have you tried switching your aircraft on and off sir?"

  35. Keith Oborn

    Plus ca Change

    Two stories from 30-odd years ago:

    1: I worked on a naval missile targeting radar. Spec called for target acquisition within one second of missile coming over ships horizon. That was achieved. Trouble was, it overheated so couldn't be run continuously. It took 20 minutes to start up. Captain to enemy: "Hold on, we aren't ready yet. Wait, wait, OK, you can shoot now--"

    2: Colleague worked on the Titan ICBM system. By the time the deployment was complete they reckoned they could get 5% of the missiles off the pad in an emergency. You know the sort of emergency--.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Plus ca Change

      "1: I worked on a naval missile targeting radar. Spec called for target acquisition within one second of missile coming over ships horizon. That was achieved. Trouble was, it overheated so couldn't be run continuously. It took 20 minutes to start up. Captain to enemy: "Hold on, we aren't ready yet. Wait, wait, OK, you can shoot now--""

      I actually worked on a feasibility study for a system that would pulse a target acquisition system and calculate how long it could safely wait before the next pulse, to prevent overheating. The bit slice processor looked like real fun to work with, especially as it too had to power up and down frequently. It followed a little panic in the South Atlantic. But someone assured the MoD that the French hadn't sold Exocets to anybody else who might conceivably be an enemy, so it was cancelled.

  36. goodjudge

    Where's Lester...

    ... to tell us that Buy American is always best?

  37. sikejsudjek

    In the past the military industrial complex needed wars to generate income. Now they can make money producing equipment that is so unreliable they dare not start a war and actually use it. Plus the US has shale oil.

    The world is becoming a more peaceful place.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I told you ..

    .. they should have used the ENTERPRISE version of Windows. All it takes is a pilot accepting the Win 10 upgrade from the GWX prompt and they're down for hours - or even forever.

    On a more serious note: given the shocking fortune this software costs, how the flaming forklifts can it still be this bad?

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: I told you .. they should have used the ENTERPRISE version of Windows

      I didn't know Windows 95 had an Enterprise version.

  39. Locky Silver badge

    Clearly Typhoons don't have this problem

    They almost blow my windows out last night

    1. Vic

      Re: Clearly Typhoons don't have this problem

      They almost blow my windows out last night

      Someone at Air France is in trouble...

      But Typhoon is a one-trick pony, so there's a much higher chance of getting it working. Multi-role is much harder.

      That said, even TSR2 wasn't plagued by the sort of problems that F-35 has.

      Vic.

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: Clearly Typhoons don't have this problem

        "That said, even TSR2 wasn't plagued by the sort of problems that F-35 has."

        Oh yeah? I worked with someone who worked on the TSR2. Apparently a major problem with the avionics was any kind of debugging because the moment you put most of the boards on an extender, they overheated. Now imagine someone trying to attach scope probes to a board while a high speed fan blew air over it at 50lfpm.

        He described the avionics as "over-ambitious".

        1. Vic

          Re: Clearly Typhoons don't have this problem

          "That said, even TSR2 wasn't plagued by the sort of problems that F-35 has."

          Oh yeah?

          Yeah.

          TSR2 had many, many problems - which was why I mentioned it. But it didn't have five out of six aircraft unable to fly during a test...

          He described the avionics as "over-ambitious".

          The whole aircraft was over-ambitious; it is an object lesson in why dumping every rôle you can think of into an aeroplane does not generally make for a useful plane. But the F-35 team had a dentist's appointment that day, and didn't catch up for homework like they were told to.

          Lots of great aviation expertise came out of the TSR2 project. But no[1] planes.

          Vic.

          [1] There were, of course, developments based on what was learnt. But those were not TSR2s.

          1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

            Re: Clearly Typhoons don't have this problem

            " ...it is an object lesson in why dumping every rôle you can think of into an aeroplane does not generally make for a useful plane."

            I thought that lesson was already taught by the F-104G...

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Clearly Typhoons don't have this problem

              >I thought that lesson was already taught by the F-104G..

              A ground attack fighter with a downward firing ejector seat, and a barely subsonic stall speed - what could possibly go wrong ?

  40. Børge Nøst

    BSOD

    BSOD - Blue Sky of Death

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: BSOD

      "BSOD - Blue Sky of Death"

      I suggest more like "Brown surface of death", because the sky isn't so much the problem, it's what is underneath it.

  41. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Could this be a legitimate use case for systemd?

  42. grumpy-old-person

    John Boyd

    Read "Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War" and you will understand.

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