By Clay Dillow
March 10, 2016
The Air Force wants to declare the problem-prone fighter ready for combat later this year.
The U.S. Air Force plans to declare its first batch of Lockheed Martin-built F-35 Lightning II fighter jets ready for initial combat duties as early as August of this year. But a scathing new report from the Pentagon office in charge of testing and evaluating U.S. military weapons systems suggests that America’s fifth-generation, all-purpose combat jet is anything but ready for combat.
The Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) report cites a myriad of problems with the F-35, spanning design issues that negatively impact its aerodynamics in flight to countless software bugs buried in the F-35’s eight million lines of code. (The 24 million lines of code running the F-35’s maintenance and logistics software on the ground? Also buggy.)