back to article Easy-to-hack combat systems, years-old flaws and a massive bill – yup, that's America's F-35

The F-35 aircraft remains woefully unprepared against malware infections and other cyber-attacks, according to POGO – the respected non-profit watchdog Project on Government Oversight. Dubbed the most expensive weapon system in history, the beleaguered fighter jet is plagued with problems, including a lack of protection …

  1. IceC0ld Bronze badge

    Easy to hack ...................

    hopefully, we will have a fully developed software suite for when the F35 takes to the skies as a fully formed defender of the free ......................

    apparently it will be delivered to said airframe whilst airborne, by herds of flying pigs :oP

    got to admit, I hadn't thought about the inherent hackability of all things nowadays in relation to the armed forces, was kind of hopeful that as the beastie carries rather a large amount of ordinance at tremendous cost, that someone would have put in the hours to make it both servicable AND secure

    maybe we need to start genetically altering a few pigs ready for the future upgrades ...........................................

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Easy to hack ...................

      The sad truth that everyone with so much invested here is trying hard not to recognise is, the entire genre of things called "fighter jets" is rapidly obsolescing.

      As the Gatwick episode showed so poignantly, drones are the new rulers of the sky - and fighters are basically powerless against them. What price "air supremacy", if you can't stop the major threat that comes that way?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Easy to hack ...................

        Who are those stakeholders though?

        For the defence firms a new arms race in drones is perfect because it exonerates them from having to maintain crumbling old tech and gives them high margin new stuff to hawk.

        Pilots will still have a job (but a much safer one) until or unless AI really gets scary.

        Politicians can bestow jobs and contracts while receiving a fresh round of pork in return, all in the name of maintaining military readiness.

        This story is individually embarrassing because the specific plane is markedly worse than its much less expensive counterparts. It’s actually a good thing for the stakeholders if the solution is ‘Jets are the past. We need to move on to drones.’

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Easy to hack ...................

        drones are the new rulers of the sky - and fighters are basically powerless against them

        History called...

        "It’s always been thought that many of Cleopatra and Mark Antony’s ships were bigger than Octavian’s – and were therefore less manoeuvrable."

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: Ships

          Octavia (later Augustus) won. The civil war was like Brexit. Invoked without a plan. They assassinated Julius because they wanted the old Republic and not an Emperor. They had no plan about the next stage. So Octavia won and as Augustus became the first real Emperor as Julius, while naming himself Caesar, didn't really become Emperor.

          Also: England vs Princess / Queen O'Malley. Grianne / Grace usually won. Very large galleys with sails, but English ships needed wind and to avoid inshore. Grainne sailed to Greenwich to visit Queen Elizabeth I in her galley. She got to go home too. Side Note: This was the reign when the idea of the British Empire was invented though the 1st successful American colony wasn't until a few years after her death. Also both ladies born and died about the same time. Elizabeth was the first ruler to consolidate control over Ireland. Grianne / Grace is usually called a Princess, but by Celtic traditions she was probably the last regional ruler (King / Queen = ri / rigan, the High King, the ard ri was never a ruler in the Scottish or English sense of a king).

          England vs Armada. Though English had standardised canon/shot and weather helped. Spaniards had too tall / large ships, too many sizes of canon.

          1. ragnar

            Re: Ships

            Octavian, by the way. Octavia was his sister.

            1. Mage Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: Ships

              Typo ... missed the key!

    2. VikiAi Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Easy to hack ...................

      "got to admit, I hadn't thought about the inherent hackability of all things nowadays in relation to the armed forces"

      Neither did the armed forces or their contractors, it would seem! :-/

      Color me a luminescent shade of surprised and put me in the sun!

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Easy to hack ...................

      One would think that any thing inside the aircraft that communicates to the outside world would be encrypted with at minimum a max of 24 between key changes. Hell, we were doing that in Vietnam with comms, certain NAV systems and IFF. I've heard that GPS (US version) has encrypted channels so they can't be fiddled with. But, given the nature of design by committee, I can believe that someone left out the "encrypt" all external comms part.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Easy to hack ...................

        I have to say I don't think we should be sharing Intel with countries that have such insecure systems. They should be pressured into removing them from their core military infrastructure.

        We should also setup independent oversight to go through their code line by line looking for other security problems.....

      2. hoola

        Re: Easy to hack ...................

        Nah, you ask too much, it is probably all over http and if they used https then the certificates on some obscure piece of code will expire and it will stop flying.

        What could possible go wrong.........

    4. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Easy to hack ...................

      Never mind. By the time the F-35 enters UK service Capita will be in charge of maintenance. Since the aircraft will never actually leave the ground we won't worry too much about the software.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: Easy to hack ...................

        'By the time the F-35 enters UK service'

        So 10 Jan this year then?

      2. HarryBl

        Re: Easy to hack ...................

        "Since the aircraft will never actually leave the ground "

        Does that exclude the 300 that have already been delivered as of June last year?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Easy to hack ...................

          @HarryBl

          For those with an impaired sense of humour, macjules comment was a joke.

          Does someone really have to explain irony to the Yanks, every single time?

          1. HarryBl

            Re: Easy to hack ...................

            I don't know. I'm British and it didn't sound like a joke to me. It just sounded like the usual uninformed bullshit that passes for fact round here.

            Perhaps you ought to read the results of this years Red Flag

            https://theaviationist.com/2019/02/16/the-first-reports-of-how-the-f-35-strutted-its-stuff-in-dogfights-against-aggressors-at-red-flag-are-starting-to-emerge/

            1. lostsomehwere
              Go

              Re: Easy to hack ...................

              That was a very interesting link that paints a very different picture

            2. macjules Silver badge

              Re: Easy to hack ...................

              1) The comment was aimed at MoD/Capita and not at the excellent F-35.

              2) With a 20:1 kill ratio I expect by now that HM Treasury is already reassessing how many F-35's they can cull from the order against the total airworthiness of the Russian air force (and of course the French Force de Frappe).

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Easy to hack ...................

              @HaryBI

              It must me a pretty incredible aircraft considering that it was an " 'exponentially more challenging' Red Flag, according to the article you linked to.

              With claims like that, you know the rest of the conclusions are rock solid ;)

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Easy to hack ...................

              @HarryBI

              That's why I said impaired sense of humour.

              And re:"It just sounded like the usual uninformed bullshit that passes for fact round here." Yet you carry on reading it regardless... You should pop over to the Daily Express or Daily Wail / Fail / Mail - you can get even more rubbish there.

    5. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Re: Easy to hack ...................

      Well the cleanup of the pigs is in hand. CRISPR was recently used to disable on board viruses in the pig genome*. Which should mean no nasty surprises as the winged ones interface with the airframe ;-)

      *IRL to make it safer to use pig organs in organ transplants in humans. Worries over porcine endogenous retroviruses have inhibited such development.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Easy to hack ...................

      The F-35 is not only easy to hack, apparently, it's also a plane which simply isn't a effective as it should be against the new generation of Russian fighters and defence systems. India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others are realising that.

  2. Kev99 Bronze badge

    I learned one reason why the F-35 is such a money pit. The three versions of the plane share about 25% of their parts. Everything else is unique to each version. I still think it would have been faster, cheaper and better to build one version for the navy and have the arresting gear on a modular package that could be added or removed as needed. Actually, during the War, the F4U Corsair was used by both the Navy & Marines. The Marines would often just remove the tail hooks.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      The F35 is a perfect example of an airplane designed by committee, where "no" was never said to any suggestion on their wish list.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        I recently came across the movie "The Pentagon wars" covering the development of the Bradley fighting vehicle. I'm just not sure how much of it is actually fiction...

      2. Trollslayer Silver badge

        Something to consider - easier to get spares when you are thousands of miles from home.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Well... they wanted one airplane that does everything. They got it on paper as "F-35". What they needed was 3 different airplanes do to the operational constraints. DoD really seems to be run by muppets. I'm happy got away from the defense industry when I did several decades ago.

      1. A.P. Veening

        Muppets

        "DoD really seems to be run by muppets."

        Now you are really insulting to muppets.

      2. dajames Silver badge

        DoD really seems to be run by muppets.

        If "muppet" is the word for someone who works to transfer tax dollars to private defense contractors in whose business they have a vested interest then I think you've nailed it!

    3. LDS Silver badge

      The Navy used Grumman F6F Hellcats far more than the F4U because the latter had gear issues on deck landings (IIRC was too stiff or something alike). Anyway, the F4U was designed for Navy needs too. Still both types were never used by the Army that preferred P-38. P-40, P-47 and P-51. The Navy preferred radial engines because they could bring you back with more damages, especially since they weren't liquid cooled - even if the plane aerodynamics was less efficient.

      The only fighter/bomber plane that was used by Navy, Marines and Air Force, and wasn't a dud - was the F-4 Phantom. But it was designed for the Navy and without attempting to be a "cheap" alternative to a more expensive plane. Air Force had to use it when it discovered that its F-104, 105 and 106 weren't up to the task.

      Anyway a naval plane has different needs - not only the hook - it needs sea corrosion-resistant materials, a gear able to sustain deck landings, etc. - which may increase costs and/or weight.

      The F-35 tries to be too many airplanes in a single one - and that's very difficult to achieve, and many "cost savings ideas" usually are found to be not realizable as soon as the plane is built.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        F4U also had the slight issue that the pilot was so far from the nose you couldn't see the carrier on finals. The RN actually took it to sea before the USN as a) they were desperate for modern fighters and b) they'd already mastered the curved final approach with the Seafire as that had the same problem.

        The USAF did also use the originally designed for the USN A-7 Corsair, although the USMC didn't going for the Harrier instead. In the UK the RN and RAF both used the Buccaneer, Harrier, Phantom, and Venom.

      2. Sanguma

        Rule seems to be

        you design for one thing primarily - air-superiority with Spitfire, Corsair, FW-190, Mustang, Zero, bombing with Ju-88, Mosquito etc - and if you have excess power left over, you use the airframe for other jobs.

        You can't get a silk purse out of a sow's ear, and designing an airframe to do two things equally well, just doesn't work - designing an airframe's a work of compromise anyway, and sacrificing performance at any point is going to cost heaps.

  3. KBeee
    Joke

    My God!

    Have these people learned NOTHING from the documentary "Independance Day"?

    1. jonathan keith

      Or, indeed, from the television documentary series "Battlestar Galactica"? *

      * The later version - there's conclusive proof that much of the footage used in the earlier, discredited series was faked.

    2. TimeMaster T
      Mushroom

      Battlestar Gallactica

      I would think the reboot of BSG would be a better cautionary tail to point at.

      Pretty much the entire Colonial fleet gets wiped out because all the high tech networked and interconnected flight systems on just about every military craft from Battlestars to recon ships gets remotely hacked and shutdown by the Cylons. Then nuked while floating dead in space.

  4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    A sporting chance

    The f-35 was widely ridiculed as being a supersonic super advanced air superiority fighter necessary to take on th air aces of America's enemies, ISIS, Al Queda, the next muslim country that discovers oil and any south American country that doesn't import enough F150s.

    By allowing these supersonic-fighter-poor but hacker-rich enemies a way to hit back they are just giving them a fair do - well played America

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: A sporting chance

      It's also hailed as being a "one plane does it all". Well maybe it does but doing any one thing well is the problem. The lessons learned in WWI and WWII about aircraft and mission types has been forgotten.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: A sporting chance

        It runs on the XINU principle - do everything and all of it badly.

        1. Joe W
          Pint

          Re: A sporting chance

          "XINU"

          Have one of these - - - >

      2. LDS Silver badge

        Re: A sporting chance

        Don't forget Korea and Vietnam...

      3. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: A sporting chance

        'The lessons learned in WWI and WWII about aircraft and mission types has been forgotten.'

        On the flip side since then there have been many successful aircraft that combined the fighter and bomber roles. E.g. F-4, F/A-18, F-14 (once they remembered the software was in there), F-16 etc.

        Plus there were several aircraft in WW2 that performed fighter and bomber roles, e.g. the F4U and F6F, hell even the Seafire could dabble in bombing and reconnaissance.

  5. Lexeus

    Talk about double standards.....

    In the past Army systems were wide open to attack..... if you could connect to them. No one cared.

    Nowadays they are being judged by a new generation of internet security standards with an assumption that they will default to the most secure system design possible.

    Given that one of the main advances in the F35 is it's networked capabilities, this is just impossible. Only systems such as those used in nuclear reactors are truly ultra secure, rightfully so..... achieved by not have an external network connection, an air-gap, and even then there have been reports of USB sticks being plugged in on computers and infecting networks, that's how israel apparently got iran's uranium purification out of action.

    What use is a secure fighter jet if they haven't even made it work right yet? Get your priorities right.

    1. Jimmy2Cows

      Re: What use is a secure fighter jet if they haven't even made it work right yet?

      You know it's possible to design for and build both at the same time, right?

      In fact, to get the thing working right they have to be done simultaneously. Can't really bolt security on afterward. Well you could, but it usually ends up a half-arsed clusterfuck.

      1. hoola

        Re: What use is a secure fighter jet if they haven't even made it work right yet?

        Surely it is not a difficult concept to air-gap an aeroplane!

        1. dajames Silver badge

          Re: What use is a secure fighter jet if they haven't even made it work right yet?

          Surely it is not a difficult concept to air-gap an aeroplane!

          You'd think ... thing is, though, it seems to be a USP of the F35 that it is NOT air-gapped.

      2. EnviableOne Bronze badge

        Re: What use is a secure fighter jet if they haven't even made it work right yet?

        Security By Design and Default, makes everyone better

        1. A.P. Veening

          Re: What use is a secure fighter jet if they haven't even made it work right yet?

          "Security By Design and Default"

          I am pretty sure it is better than security by Dassault ;)

  6. steviebuk Silver badge

    Makes me think of...

    ...The Pentagon Wars. In fact it seems exactly the same.

  7. Kabukiwookie

    Sunken cost fallacy

    And nobody's backing down and wants to call this flying gilded death trap a failure. Hey, it's only tax money.

    At least someone will be able to buy their second or third yacht, so some of that tax money may still eventually trickle down.

    1. DCFusor Silver badge

      Re: Sunken cost fallacy

      Everyone seems almost deliberately arguing things that while true, utterly miss the point.

      It's a jobs program for the MIC. It's pork to hand out for congressmen. Nothing else matters, it doesn't need to work or be on time - that would reduce the effectiveness of the original purpose.

      It took quite a fight to force the AF to keep the A-10 - whose pilots never have to buy their own drinks if ground pounders are around. For a reason - low and slow lets them hit the bad guys and not the good guys.

      Even if it worked, the F35 would suck at close air support - a mission the AF hates to admit is required, as they hate to admit they alone can't win conflicts. Those other missions they think they have for it are better done with other airframes already.

      There is no point in stealth if you have to go low and slow to ID the target. It's not invisible at that point. All it can do is deliver limited ordnance and run away fast. Running away - now that's what the AF wants! Along with too much money, of course.

      That would be if it worked. But see above - no one wants that except a few foreign customers duped into the program.

  8. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Honest Truth .... in Current Cyberwar Warefare Operations.

    When IT and AI is a turkey shoot* there will be myriad new killing fields.

    amanfromMars [1903181624] replying to Solosides who commented on https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-28/china-reportedly-offers-major-concessions-technology-transfers-cloud-computing

    Solosides,

    Many will tell you … deposit money into any current or savings account and the banks will presume and assume it to be rightfully theirs to do with as they wish.

    And the System does not disavow them of that outrageous theft/perverse misappropriation.

    It is a fact, nothing valuable is safe from capture and exploitation. Therefore, peddlers of security who would be crazy enough to promise anyone anything otherwise are no more than simple hucksters, fraudulent trading? [emphasis added for El Regers]

    And grossly unethically too. It is difficult to not conclude they be designedly and decidedly parasitic.

    * ...... A turkey shoot is an opportunity for an individual or a party to take advantage of a situation very easily.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    F-35.11.363

    Systems hot!

    Fire when ready.....

    [PLEASE WAIT, UPDATES BEING APPLIED, BE READY FOR A COMPLETE SYSTEM REBOOT]

    .................

  10. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Arthur C Clarke's "Superiority" strikes again.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Perfect example.

  11. Chris G Silver badge

    'Lockheed designed it this way'

    Designed to be an ongoing gravy train until the end of piloted war planes I assume?

    Web browser reporting sounds like IoTof the skies with the same inherent dangers as the rest of IoT but with the potential to be carrying nukes.

    I once saw a poster in a German mess bearing the message ' Would you like a Lockheed Starfighter? Buy a farm and wait!'

    It may be time to run an updated version ready for when F-35s are a regular thing in the sky, if ever.

  12. Sir Adam-All
    Mushroom

    surely, just enable Windows Defender :)

    1. fobobob
      Trollface

      Was thinking Kaspersky Antivirus

  13. Peter Ford

    the most expensive weapon system in history?

    What, more than the B1B, or the B2?

    Wow.

    1. Ian Emery Silver badge

      Re: the most expensive weapon system in history?

      If I remember correctly, the cost of the F35 is measured in Space Shuttles.

    2. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: the most expensive weapon system in history?

      "What, more than the B1B, or the B2?"

      Per unit, no. Arguably the Manhattan project would win on that front. But for the project as a whole it's insanely expensive - where things like the B-2 have a unit cost in the billions, the whole project still only goes into the tens of billions. The F-35 is projected to cost in the trillions once operation and maintenance are considered. The problem isn't that the F-35 is expensive, it's that it's expensive for something intended to be a workhorse purchased and used in large numbers - a B-2 costs over $2 billion but there are only 20 of them; an F-35 only costs around $100 million, but there are planned to be somewhere over 3000 of them. And while a B-2 is expensive to maintain, they don't actually get used much. On the other hand, an F-15K actually costs about the same as an F-35, but the F-15 costs far less to keep it running.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: the most expensive weapon system in history?

        'On the other hand, an F-15K actually costs about the same as an F-35, but the F-15 costs far less to keep it running.'

        It's actually not that much less. F-35A is ~$29,500 an hour, F-15C is ~$24,000 an hour. Not sure about the K but it's not going to be that much less, and the F-35 is still in the developing stage where the F-15 is in the mature stage where they've used experience to lower the costs.

        https://www.businessinsider.com/price-military-aircraft-per-flight-hour-2016-8?r=US&IR=T#f-15c-6

        I've seen other lists that include the V-22 and that's more like $80,000 an hour vs $7,000 for a C-130.

  14. Thunderpants
    Joke

    I take it they won't be installing Kaspersky AV/anti-Malware software to protect the F35 then? ;-)

  15. Nolveys Silver badge
    Windows

    One flaw, identified in 2012, would incorrectly report aircraft as unfit for service,

    Flaw, eh?

  16. Simon B-52

    What shall we do with a . . . . .

    Future Target Tug perhaps?

    There's historical precedent, and it even allows the plane to remain in production:

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

    How fab is that trough-a-teers?

    Alternatively, we could arrange for them to be given away to our enemies, possibly via a helpful third party, to avoid arousing too much suspicion. Then whenever international tension rises, release a flood of vulnerabilities even (hell, why not) nicely written exploit code.

    Only one thing shines out clearly, given the unholy conjunction of arms manufacture, complex networked systems and real time operating requirement. Can you guess what it is?

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: What shall we do with a . . . . .

      I'll admit I did not read the whole article, but one line early on struck me:

      "The Defiant found use in gunnery training"

      I'd love to know if the people being trained were actually _in_ the Defiant, or were trying to shoot it down.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: What shall we do with a . . . . .

        'I'd love to know if the people being trained were actually _in_ the Defiant, or were trying to shoot it down.'

        Sweat the assets, both at the same time.

  17. steelpillow Silver badge
    Devil

    When does the hacking start?

    Given these things are so hackable, it cannot be beyond the wit of man nor woman in the enemy camp to poison the system with rootkits and trojans during peacetime. If a hot war breaks out, you just fire up your F-35 app and click "ATTACK THE WHITE HOUSE".

    Usefully, this technique also applies to autonomous drones and, with a little hooking into a flight sim and Google Maps, even the hijacking of ground-controlled drones.

    Now, let me think, who has thriving malware, flight sim and mobile app industries?

    And who is not routinely running comprehensive malware checks on their aircraft?

  18. Andy00ff00

    Errrr

    <quote>“A successful attack on one of the systems the weapon depends on can potentially limit the weapon’s effectiveness, prevent it from achieving its mission, or even cause physical damage and loss of life,” said the GAO team. </quote>

  19. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    "a lack of protection against software nasties that would cripple its critical systems"

    is reported as a result of ingrained, piss-poor software engineering practices on a massively expensive scale. But, not to worry, there will probably be security updates for those nations that buy and rely on those things that fly fast, are intrinsically explody and somewhat life-threatening.

    Yet when a Chinese company appears to have "piss poor software engineering practices" but apparently opens it's code so those problems can be identified and addressed, it's state-sponsored security holes and hardware must be ripped out in case Jimmy can't download his film over Netflix on 5G ...

    What's good for one ... start ripping that F35 flight software out ...

  20. Roger Kynaston

    port 80 or 443?

    >(ALIS) – a network of on-board gear, and ground-based web-browser-accessed systems

    That said any death tech that doesn't work means it won't be used for killing anyone which is a bit of a plus really.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: port 80 or 443?

      Step one: First gain access to the ALIS

      Is this available to your typical (UK-based) teenager deciding to take a look at a US military system using well known credentials...

      AsideL I use UK-based as we don't hear about US-based teenagers pulling off the same trick...

  21. emmanuel goldstein
    FAIL

    Just read the full POGO report...

    and immediately felt very depressed, then happy because I don't pay tax in the US, then almost cried when I realised how deeply the UK has committed to this expensive piece of shit. Un-fucking-believable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just read the full POGO report...

      It's what poodles do :/

  22. jtaylor

    No surprise

    POGO has railed against the F-35 since forever. They have some valid criticisms, but also a consistent stand against the project. I rely on them to report one side of the matter, not an overview.

    In other news, TIGHAR has almost found Amelia Earhart. Again.

  23. M7S

    Not even learning from recent IT hist

    I seem to recall something, not long ago, about a car ?Chrysler/Jeep? being “taken over” remotely, possibly via the entertainment system and braking being applied (not by the driver). I’d provide the links but now if I had time, but think there was a recall affecting large numbers of cars in the US. Perhaps a copy of El Reg’s articles and useful comments appended by readers could be forwarded to those making this technological mess, and perhaps also to any sensible military or political leaders with some power of oversight.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Not even learning from recent IT hist

      It's not even the plane that is insecure.

      This is the entire supply chain.

      The aircraft avionics can be super cyber ninja proof but if the engines wont start because the maintenance server is DDOSed or hackers manage to reroute a vital part from one of the 97 suppliers in 52 states the plane is just as useless as if it was blown up.

  24. SNAFUology
    Angel

    Pyric Victory

    "Dubbed the most expensive weapon system in history"

    JSF35 Lightning (because of how quick you spend your money)

    The Abrams tank had $600.00 bolts, identical to those available at the local hardware for $6.00, US Army didn't notice for years.

    I smiled at these SNAFUs as all this expense could limit the WAR that they could make.

    The sinews of WAR infinite Money. (a little less infinite then is a good thing)

    1. Trollslayer Silver badge

      Re: Pyric Victory

      Check the specifications - the ones for the Abrahams will survive shock from the tank getting hit a lot better and be a more precise fit.

  25. Sanguma
    Alert

    no one reads military history, it seems ...

    How do you make a weapon system obsolete? Get something that does the same only cheaper. Then profit!!!

    HMS Dreadnought - all big guns, except for a few anti-torpedo boat guns, and a smooth-running steam turbine engine setup that cost less to run and delivered more power continuously for longer. Outgunned all other battleships, outran all other battleships; they were instantaneously obsolete.

    You have an insanely expensive aircraft, you have amazingly insecure command and control computerized electronics systems, you have an insane system of command and control over the software - software patents and a punitive copyright regime combined with braindead arrogance and sit-on-your-hands-twiddling-your-thumbs (because it gets you off) bureaucratic uselessness, combined with a blame anyone and everyone else attitude ...

    All that some putative opponent - say China, or Brazil, or Iran, needs to do, is come up with something that actually works, and there's no contest. Or at the very least, a Battle-of-Jutland showing, where the RN shells were heavier than the German Imperial Kriegsmarine ones, but failed twice as often ...

    Happy happy joy joy!

  26. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    This is supposed to replace the Warthog

    Yep, A10 beloved by US ground troops and armour because it can hang on close to the action and respond quickly to changing threats.

    Apparently the F35 is supposed to sit above and track targets by radar then drop guided weapons into the middle of a firefight missing the friendlies.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No doubt GCHQ will be insisting the software vulnerabilities are fixed

    Having identified them as a threat to UK security.

    Oh, sorry wrong thread.

  28. devTrail

    The Saudi model

    It's done on purpose, they'll use the vulnerabilities to extend the Saudi model. The vassal state drops the bomb and takes the blame, the US decides when and where the bombs must be dropped.

  29. DaveB

    Top Gun

    "I have a tone I am going to take a shot"

    Weapons system:- "Your software licence has expired, please contact support"......."Have a nice day!"

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Absolutely not.

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