Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Pentagon is losing patience on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Development longer than expected the helmet prevents the Department of Defense to begin operational testing phase of their future hunter.

Problems accrue to the United States and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the new fighter army built by Lockheed Martin and expected to quickly replace the aging fleet of Boeing F/A-18 Hornets.

September 7, Pentagon officials were forced to postpone the phase of operational testing of the F-35, as it was programmed. Blame the ongoing challenges faced by high-tech helmet for future pilots, which is part of the defense systems of the machine.

Developed by Vision Systems International, a joint venture between Elbit Imaging Israeli and American Rockwell Collins, the helmet should allow users to see the data of the aircraft from all sensors, including floor and walls.

U.S. Marines body, the first to receive the jets in the United States, hoping to start using them this year, but many restructuring program led to postpone the date of delivery of the F-35 for several months.

The manufacturer Lockheed Martin has even announced that it appeals to another contractor, BAE Systems, to work on a replacement helmet in case the VSI fails to meet its deadlines.

A lot of frustration at the head of the Department of Defense

"These types of challenges are normal in a development program" was justified Steve O'Bryan, vice president of Lockheed Martin for the F-35 JSF from Reuters.

If flight tests seem to be going as planned regardless of the problems encountered in the development of the helmet, the American defense officials at the Pentagon are losing patience, according to sources familiar with the matter interviewed by Reuters.

"They expect more progress in the development process of the aircraft. Ago a lot of frustration at the head of the department of defense because it is not fast enough," said one source.

In recent years, the F-35 JSF program has become the most expensive military aircraft in history. In April 2012, the services of the U.S. Department of Defense issued an estimate of the overall cost of the program over a period of 55 years from 1550 billion.

An estimate based on a sale of 2,443 aircraft for the armed forces of the United States, of which 396 billion dollars for development costs only.

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