Jun 17

From the article:

“The system is totally broken and everybody knows it”
– Sherman Mullin, retired former Lockheed F-22 program chief

The F-35 is also a total disaster:

- Test Pilots: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Blind Spot Will Get It ‘Gunned Every Time’

- Pentagon Grounds F-35 Fighter Jet Fleet After Engine Crack Found

- F-35 (Ironically Known As ‘Lightning II’) Fatal Flaw: Lightning!

- Trillion-Dollar F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Jet Has Thirteen Expensive New Flaws


Delays, technical glitches and huge cost overruns in the Air Force’s F-22 fighter jet program highlight the Pentagon’s broken procurement process.


A Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor in flight during flight tests. (Lockheed Martin)

- F-22 program produces few planes, soaring costs (LA Times, June 16, 2013):

When the U.S. sought to assure Asian allies that it would defend them against potential aggression by North Korea this spring, the Pentagon deployed its top-of-the-line jet fighter, the F-22 Raptor.

But only two of the jets were sent screaming through the skies south of Seoul.

That token show of American force was a stark reminder that the U.S. may have few F-22s to spare. Alarmed by soaring costs, the Defense Department shut down production last year after spending $67.3 billion on just 188 planes — leaving the Air Force to rely mainly on its fleet of 30-year-old conventional fighters.

“People around the world aren’t dumb,” said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita). “They see what we have. They recognize that our forces have been severely depleted.”

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Feb 26


An F-22 takes off on a training flight last month. Photo: Air Force

- Air Force to Stealth Fighter Pilots: Get Used to Coughing Fits (Wired, Feb 25, 2013):

The Air Force has some bad news for the pilots of its F-22 Raptor stealth fighters: Your planes are going to make you feel crappy and there’s not much anyone can do about it. And the message to the maintainers of the radar-evading jet is even more depressing. Any illness they feel from working around the Raptor is apparently all in their heads, according to the Air Force.

Those admissions, buried in newly released Congressional records, represent the latest twist in the years-long saga of the F-22′s faulty oxygen system, which since at least 2008 has been choking pilots, leading to confusion, memory loss and blackouts — combined known as hypoxia — that may have contributed to at least one fatal crash. Ground crews have also reported growing sick while working around F-22s whose engines are running.

The Air Force claims its has a handle on the in-flight blackouts. All 180 or so F-22s are having faulty filters removed and new backup oxygen generators installed. There have also been changes to the G-suits pilots wear. But the Air Force says the alterations won’t do anything to fix the so-called “Raptor cough,” a chronic condition afflicting almost all F-22 pilots.

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May 05

- Air Force pilots refuse to fly F-22 over safety fears (AFP, May 5, 2012):

WASHINGTON — Two F-22 pilots say they have stopped flying the US Air Force’s most advanced fighter jet because of safety fears over the aircraft’s oxygen system, according to a CBS television “60 Minutes” report.

The F-22 Raptor was grounded last year after a spate of incidents with pilots suffering dizzy spells and blackouts in the air. The plane was cleared for flying in September 2011 but engineers are still trying to solve what appears to be a problem with the jet’s oxygen supply.

The pilots, Major Jeremy Gordon and Captain Josh Wilson, told the “60 Minutes” program they stopped flying in January, citing safety concerns over a lack of oxygen.

Asked if he believes the jet is safe, Gordon said: “I’m not comfortable answering that question. I’m not comfortable flying in the F-22 right now,” according to excerpts from the interview, due to be aired on Sunday.

“The onset of (hypoxia) is insidious. Some pilots will go the entire mission, land and not know anything went wrong,” Gordon is quoted as saying.

The two pilots, who both served in the Iraq war, have sought legal protection as “whistleblowers” from a Republican lawmaker from Illinois, Adam Kinzinger.

The pilots were from the Air National Guard, officials said.

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