Another F-35 Setback

The F-35 is unable to fly within 25 miles of a thunderstorm because engineers believe it could explode if struck by lightning.

January 22, 2013
Manufacturing Group
Industry News

The storm restriction will not be lifted until an oxygen gauge in the fuel tank is redesigned in all F-35s.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program has experienced setbacks since 2000 when the first concept designs by Boeing, and winning contractor Lockheed Martin, were scaled back due to cost overruns and development delays. Current estimates place the cost of operating the projected U.S. fleet of F-35s at about $1 trillion over the five decades it's expected to serve the Navy, Air Force, and Marines.

This most recent development is mentioned in the Pentagon's 2012 Operational Test and Evaluation report that annually examines developing defense programs until they reach full production.

The section on the F-35 doesn't mention the critical fuel problem until the second page where it seems to have been known about since 2009.

From the DoD report:

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