The US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, beset by problems and setbacks since its inception back in 2001, has run into yet another problem with some of its on-board software.
At more than a trillion dollars and what sometimes seems like a trillion glitches, and a trillion bad headlines, the latest issue with the F-35’s software has been found in the software responsible for the Radar it uses.
The solution however is quite simple and straightforward, and one that IT Support staff have relied upon for years to solve problems in first line troubleshooting: Turning it off, and then on again.
In the latest publicly released report on the joint strike fighter, US Air Force major general Jeffrey Harrigian states that:
“What would happen is they’d get a signal that says either a radar degrade or a radar fail—something that would force us to restart the radar.”
The latest report into the troubled development of the new fighter jet has been described as damning, listing as it does a multitude of deficiencies that seem to routinely being found as development of the fighter plane creeps ever closer to deployment.
Many of the failures causing headaches for the US military and its designers is the fact that many of the issues are primarily due to buggy software.
Not as crazy as it sounds
It really isn’t.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, built by Lockheed Martin, is currently one of the most advanced and heavily software-driven warplanes ever designed and built. It is therefore also one of the most complicated and difficult IT projects ever undertaken. But it’s not just the software and onboard computer systems that Lockheed Martin have struggled with.
The plane has also struggled with its apparent vulnerability to lightning strikes, landing gear issues, weight issues, and bomb bay door faults, depending on climatic issues in the hotter areas of the world.
The F-35 has yet to undertake any serious cyber security testing, something that could be a real possibility with cyber warfare an increasing threat across the world. something that has caused concern among buyers who have the joint strike fighter on back order, including branches of the US military, and the United Kingdom
The latest Pentagon report quoted above stated that glitches were found…
“…in fusion, electronic warfare, and weapons employment result in ambiguous threat displays, limited ability to respond to threats, and a requirement for off-board sources to provide accurate coordinates for precision attack.”
Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Keith Joiner, the man responsible for the final evaluation for procurement by the Australian Defence Force, said that “the only system that has done cyber security, vulnerability and penetration testing is the logistics software. So ordering spares. And it didn’t go very well.”