The Pentagon's most expensive fighter F-35B is "incapable" of carrying the military's highly advanced bombs because of a design flaw, the joint program office confirmed this week.
The F-35B's internal weapons bay is too small for a Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) load, according to Inside Defense report.
The F-35 in general and the F-35B in particular has been plagued by massive cost overruns and delays. Joe DellaVedova a spokesman for the F-35 program was quoted as saying by Inside Defense last week that changes are being made to the jet, so it can be released on schedule.
Though it's mandated that Lockheed Martin’s F-35B jet holds eight SDB IIs in the bay, only four reportedly fit, besides it is considered troublesome to get off the ground.
The fighter program will cost about $590 billion over the next decade. The F-35B is one of three variants of the F-35 program and features a lift fan that will allow it to make short takeoffs and vertical landings - like a helicopter.
Lockheed Martin will likely get the alterations contract down the line in 2015. “This is not a new issue to us,” DellaVedova added. “The fit issues have been known and documented and there were larger and more substantial modifications needed to support SDB II that has already been incorporated into production F-35 aircraft. These minor or remaining changes were put on hold until the aircraft reached a sufficient level of maturity to ensure that the needed changes would not adversely impact any ongoing SDB [II] developments.”
The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program office so far has not publicly recognized problems - and that eight internal and 16 external SDB IIs are in fact meant to go on the F-35B.
Raytheon is responsible for the development of SDB II bomb. The company said in its website, SDB II can fly more than 45 miles to strike mobile targets, reducing aircrews’ time in harm's way.
The weapon's small size allows fewer aircraft to take out the same number of targets as previous, larger weapons that required multiple jets. SDB II's size has broader implications for the war fighter and taxpayers, as it means fewer attacks with less time spent flying dangerous missions.
The SDB II can employ a number of techniques that includes imaging infrared, laser, and radar homing - to hit targets, the company says. The SDB II weapons system is accommodated by both the F-35A - the Air Force version - and F-35C - the US Navy version, company executive Jeff White told Inside Defense.
“I think it's just the B. When we did our fit checks on the JSF, the A and the C basically had the same bay”, White added. 353 F-35Bs are being bought by the United States Marines Corp and about 17,000 weapons will come from the US Air Force's SDB II program.
Israeli Defense Ministry announced Sunday that it has signed a $2.82 billion deal to procure 14 additional F-35 fighter jets from the US
Northrop Grumman has recently supplied the 1,000th AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS) sensor for integration on the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. The six infrared DAS sensors on the F-35 provide full spherical situational awareness to the pilot, day and night
Rolls-Royce has won a contract worth $442 million for initial production of 17 lift systems to be used in a US fighter jet, F-35B. Rolls-Royce said on Monday it agreed the contracts with Pratt & Witney, which builds the engine for the jet, in a deal which complied with a plan to reduce the cost of building the aircraft, according to Reuters
Chinese hackers stole 50 terabytes of US classified data related to technical details of the F-35 aircraft, classified documents released by US whistle-blower, Edward Snowden have revealed. The claim was promptly denied by the China
Fokker announced Tuesday that it has signed an agreement worth $10 million with Lockheed Martin for delivering the Flaperons and Outboard Leading Edge Flaps(OELF) on the next batches of F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. The F-35's Flaperons are 3 metre long flaps on the wing trailing edges and the OLEF are flaps on the wing leading edges, both vital for the controllability of the aircraft
The US State Department has approved a possible sale to Australia of GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb Increment II (SDB II) for US$815 million. The proposed sale of SDB II supports and complements the ongoing sale of the F-35A to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)
The US Air Force completed a series of wind tunnel tests of Raytheon-built Small Diameter Bomb II with F-35 the Joint Strike Fighter. SDB II can destroy moving targets in all weather conditions at ranges greater than 40 miles
The US Department of Defense has extended testing to debug software flaws that must be fixed before the first F-35 is fully integrated into service. The Marine Corps expects its version of the F-35, the costliest U
The first F-35 A Lightning II fighter built outside the US rolled out of Cameri Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility in Italy, Lockheed Martin said in a press release Thursday. The roll-out marks the first F-35A assembled internationally and the first of eight aircraft currently being assembled in Italy
Kitron will develop a test program set (TPS) for evaluating and troubleshooting F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft avionics under a four-year development contract awarded by Northrop Grumman Corporation. Kitron was selected as an international source for TPS equipment, which consists of complex Interface Test Assemblies that work with the LM-STAR test system developed by Lockheed Martin
Mitsubishi SpaceJet Delivery Could be Delayed by a Year
Pakistan Army Gets New EW, Ground Surveillance Radar Facility
Nearly 3 Dozen US Personnel Diagnosed with Brain Injury Post Iran Strike
Longbow to Support Apache's Fire Control Radars of S.Korea, Taiwan, Saudi, UAE,...
Algeria In Talks With Russia for a Dozen Su-57 Jets
Junked Railway Rake Mistook for Indian ICBM
France “Obstructing” Turkey-Eurosam Missile Defence System Project: Turkish Official
Turkey All But Gives up on F-35 Jet Deal, Seeks Alternatives
Several joint production and direct procurement programs could be halted if the US and Europe carry through with their threat...
Sanctions-hit Iran has found ingenious ways to develop military hardware
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly permeating the defence industry to aid and improve human decision-making
Upgrade of Russias Sukhoi Su-30SM fighters to equip them with armaments, radar, sensors and engines from the more powerful Su-35...
US companies sanctioned by China for supplying weapons to Taiwan may be denied rare earth elements (REEs), which have critical...
While the US F-35 stealth aircraft has become one the fastest selling fighter jets in the world aircraft market, thanks...