by Ryan Maass
Washington (UPI) Oct 5, 2015
U.S. lawmakers and defense officials are concerned as more tests on the F-35 joint-strike fighter reveal more complications than they thought.
Defense News reports the concerns stem from the testing of the new Martin-Baker US16E ejection seat system, which, testers discovered, may put pilots at risk of fatal injury. During the tests, ejections performed during low-speed flights showed test dummies snapping their necks.
Test results revealed that when lighter pilots are operating the F-35, the Martin-Baker seats rotate too much. The U.S. military now prohibits pilots weighting under 136 pounds from operating the F-35.
In response to the potentially grim test results, some lawmakers are calling for increased oversight of the joint-strike fighter program. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said the Pentagon is erroneously rushing the program.
"We're seeing these flight restrictions because the F-35's ejector seats weren't tested to the level they would be on a normal aircraft," the congresswoman said. "This is yet another example of the kind of procurement malpractice we should be avoiding."
The F-35 continues to amass mixed reactions and skepticism as more governments move to procure the aircraft.The ejection seat issue is just the latest setback for the F-35. Pentagon officials stated the joint-strike fighter was not yet "combat ready" in September, despite Marine Corps testing officials claiming the opposite.
The F-35 is Lockheed Martin's winning design of the Joint Strike Fighter program, which Vanity Fair called the most expensive military weapons system in history.
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|