Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

The F-35 Has Big Radar Problems and the Fix Is Hilarious

Illustration for article titled The F-35 Has Big Radar Problems and the Fix Is Hilarious

Now, more than $1 trillion into its development, the F-35 aircraft is experiencing glitches with its radar systems. US Air Force major general Jeffrey Harrigian explained the problem in an IHS Jane report: “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.”


So basically you have to reboot the radar every now and again. That seems like a pretty big problem on such an expensive plane! It could also hinder its performance against less intelligent, older aircrafts.

The radar bug (and its suggested fix) is startling, but not that unexpected. The Pentagon released a damning report last month listing the unbelievable amount of deficiencies found in the troubled fighter jet. The Pentagon report laid out dozens of problems facing the F-35 in all variants, many of which were caused by software failures.


The bugs 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.” In short, the F-35 was rendered useless because of software bugs. And now the creators have yet another bug to fix.

Meanwhile, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is becoming the most expensive military blunders of all time. Flight performance remains still a major concern, and many of the computers that affect how the aircraft flies are regularly being updated. Unfortunately for anyone that wants to see this jet takeoff for combat, the plane has yet to be tested for resistance to hacking. So the problematic program is hardly out of the woods now.

[IHS Jane]

Image: AP


Contact the author at


Share This Story

Get our newsletter



Just dropping by for my usual plug about how the F-35 money could have been spent to put us on Mars. $1 trillion is about an order of magnitude greater than what was spent on Apollo in its heyday years.