The F-22 Raptor has one million lines of code in its software. The F-35 has eight million lines of code. That alone brings with it a unique set of challenges. The men and women who fly this airplane shouldn’t have to worry about their state-of-the-art APG-81 AESA radar rebooting in flight–especially in the middle of combat. Some say this particular issue will significantly delay the full operational capability declaration of the aircraft, perhaps even by a year. We can only hope this will not be the case.
Radar software being tested for the F-35 stealth fighter jet made by Lockheed Martin Corp is not stable enough, Pentagon officials said in a written statement at a U.S. House Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday.
The issue caused sensors to restart once every four hours of flying due to the timing of software messages from the sensors to the main F-35 fusion computer and the aim was to improve this to one in every eight to 10 flying hours, the statement said.
Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester, said the program would not be ready for operational testing until mid-2018, a year later than expected, due to delays in completion of the jet’s software and other issues. He said more than 300 planes would have been produced by the end of fiscal 2017, when that testing is now due to start.