DoD report: Value of F-35 student training is limited (DOCUMENT)

f35 nwfdn
FILE PHOTO / Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Monday, March 18, 2013 at 12:35 PM.

A recent Defense Department analysis has reported that there is limited use to training students on the F-35 fighter jet because it is still in development and substantially limited in capability.

Student pilots officially began training at Eglin Air Force base this year.

The report provides a snapshot of what the military’s newest and most-expensive fighter jet is capable of — but mostly what it’s not — 12 years after work on the program began. It also points to several potential safety and procedural issues with the aircraft, including lack of radar capability and deficiencies in the oft-lauded and highly expensive helmet-mounted visual displays.

Read a copy of the report for yourself.

Air Force and F-35 program officials say the program is designed so that pilot training develops along with the aircraft, and that the training is valuable to the progression of the program. They noted that when the Air Force evaluated the training at Eglin last fall, it found no critical problems that would deter training from continuing.

Four test pilots were followed through the program between September and November to determine whether the school was ready for its first official class.

The Air Force gave it the go-ahead in December.



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