The Pentagon has established a “red team” to address considerable shortcomings with the F-35C, the carrier-based naval variant of the most expensive weapons project in history.
The F-35, subject to cost overruns and delays throughout its production, reached an initial state of military readiness with its Air Force and Marine variants in 2016, but the Navy’s variant lags behind in part due to an issue with its nose gear during catapult-assisted takeoffs from aircraft carriers, Inside Defense uncovered on Wednesday.
Essentially the problem, detailed in a Navy report with data dating back to 2014, deals with rough takeoffs that hurt and disorient pilots at the critical moment when they’re taking off from a carrier.
The Pentagon’s red team found the problem was due to several factors central to the plane’s design, and recommended several fixes that will take several months to several years to fully fix. The report states that long term actions to address the problem will not take place until 2019, at which point they’ll take 12-36 months to implement.