The problem with the cab lights F-35 arose because of the desire to save
The problem with the cockpit lights of the unobtrusive F-35 fighters (“Military Review” previously wrote about this) arose because of the desire of the program office to save money by using cheaper materials. This writes the publication Breaking Defense, with reference to the spokesman for the project JFS Brandy Sheep.
The F-35 program office is experiencing problems associated with both the production of individual elements of the aircraft and the supply of spare parts. In 2019, the program was to reach 80% combat readiness. At the moment, the project management claims that the majority of F-35 units have reached 60% of combat readiness, some reach 70%. However, the "devil is hidden" in the wording, and in fact the combat readiness is much lower. One of the problems that prevent the program from achieving its goals is the loss of the stealth cabin's lantern.
Cabin F-35 - a complex multi-layer design. Some of the layers are responsible for ensuring that the aircraft’s hood has the same low-profile properties as the entire structure. Most of the lanterns meet the required specifications. However, a number of them began to lose their properties after only a couple of hundred hours of flying time.The problem is because of the desire to save
The problem is caused by the detachment of part of the coating. The question does not affect the airworthiness of the flashlight or aircraft, but the loss of stealth puts the entire fighter at risk. As it turned out, the problem was in the money. More precisely, in an attempt to save.
The cause of the detachment of the coating was the sealant. When analyzing the problem, it turned out that the material originally certified for the project was replaced in 2015 with a different, cheaper one. After the problem was discovered and identified, the program office returned to the former supplier, more expensive - but more reliable. Now all cab lights subtle fighters come with a better sealant. It is expected that due to this step the number of early delaminations in the F-35 will decrease.
In addition, the government is preparing to certify coverage from another supplier. All the necessary contracts have been concluded, and tests are being carried out on compatibility of the new cover with the lantern of the F-35. Verification of technical specifications and compatibility testing of a cap from a new supplier with ejection seats is ongoing and is expected to continue until the first quarter of 2020.
Thanks to these steps, the program management expects an improvement in the supply of spare parts. The office expects to reach the expected target of 80% combat readiness in 2020.