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F-35s Struggle To Fly! Frustrated South Korea Says Its US-Origin Stealth Fighters Marred By Defects

HydraChess

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F-35s Struggle To Fly! Frustrated South Korea Says Its US-Origin Stealth Fighters Marred By Defects​


By Ashish Dangwal

October 4, 2022

South Korea’s F-35 stealth fighter jets, which it touts as a critical component in deterring North Korean threats, appear to be experiencing severe maintenance challenges.

On October 4, a South Korean lawmaker stated that the nation’s F-35A fighters were labeled as operationally unready 234 times over 18 months ending in June because of malfunctions.

The ruling People Power Party’s Rep Shin Won-sik presented Air Force data to demonstrate the issues the South Korean Air Force is encountering in making F-35s fully operational. He mentioned that the fighters were grounded 172 times during the timeframe.

He also noted 62 cases where the jets could fly but couldn’t complete specific missions. Shin revealed the information, highlighting the need for the South Korean military to exert significant effort in introducing and maintaining such cutting-edge weaponry.

“Grounded fifth-generation fighters could carry out missions for only 12 days on average last year and 11 days in the first half of this year,” Yonhap reported. In contrast, throughout the course of the 18 months, the older generation aircraft F-4E and F-5 were grounded 26 and 28 times, respectively.

However, the South Korean Air Force stated that the F-35As achieved their goal operation rate of 75%, which indicates that sustaining the readiness posture was not a problem.

The service admitted difficulties obtaining parts for defects in the newly launched model. It further noted that it would work to obtain them as soon as possible from the manufacturer.

It is important to remember that Australia made headlines when it intended to spend an astounding AUD14.6 billion ($10.87 billion) to maintain its Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fleet until 2053.

In February 2022, official records showed that Australia’s F-35A fighter would spend less time in the air than previously anticipated. That sparked a national debate about the Royal Australian Air Force’s capability and viability.

The F-35s were in the design stage when Australia agreed in 2002 to purchase up to 100 aircraft. This commitment was driven by the US government and defense giant Lockheed Martin. Similarly, the US Air Force worries that its outdated F-35s are now nothing more than pricey training aircraft.

In 2021, the US Air Force’s deputy chief of staff, Lt. Gen. S Clinton Hinote, voiced significant reservations about the outdated software, noting, “the block that is coming off the line right now is not a block that I feel good about going up against China and Russia.”

He said that a war scenario focusing on the possibility of safeguarding Taiwan from Chinese air attack proved that “every [F-35] that rolls off the line today is a fighter that we wouldn’t even bother putting into these scenarios.”

South Korea F-35 Fighter Jets

In 2014, South Korea ordered 40 F-35A planes for the Air Force under a $6.4 billion contract. Like the US Air Force, the South Korean Air Force operates the F-35A, with the first plane supplied by the manufacturer in 2018.

In January 2022, the nation finished the deployment of 40 F-35As. In March 2022, South Korea announced that Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighter planes purchased from the United States are operational.

In July, F-35 stealth fighter jets from the US and South Korea collaborated during a 10-day drill designed to warn North Korea for the first time.

The 17th Fighter Wing of the South Korean Air Force operates the F-35 out of Cheongju Air Base. However, the development comes when North Korea is carrying out a series of missile tests, threatening South Korea.

The F-35s fleet of South Korea performed an “elephant walk” on March 25, the day after Pyongyang conducted one of its missile launches, in a show of force. In July, South Korea announced its desire to acquire additional 20 F-35A fighter planes by 2028 to strengthen its aerial strike capabilities.

This choice appears to have been made in response to concerns about Pyongyang’s aggressive military buildup and expanding missile arsenal.

“Using the F-35A stealth fighters, the invisible power capable of stealth infiltration and precise striking, we will achieve an overwhelming strategic victory and maintain a full military posture that will deter further actions by North Korea,” then-Defense Minister Suh Wook said during the elephant walk.

Nonetheless, given North Korea’s increasingly hostile posture, the current information on the South Korean Air Force’s F-35s is concerning.

Meanwhile, how many export customers J-31 has?
 

A.P. Richelieu

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They can loiter in an area and direct any weapon fire from anything (Ship, other aircraft and so on) on basically anything within its range.

Much like the Gripen from 1996, LOL.

25466906-1CE5-4DB5-84FB-FD47FE8790F7.jpeg
 
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Leishangthem

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The F 35 sales to US allies(more like vassals )is the highest level of open fraud-like sales exhibition the world have ever seen.

The US successfully duped, coerced, and cajoled their neo-colonies and occupied subjects to invest and buy their biggest money-laundering project in the name of mutual defense under the alliance. The US left no choice for the likes of S. Korea,other than buy into the F35 in the name of the alliance,under US pressure.
 

gambit

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The F 35 sales to US allies(more like vassals )is the highest level of open fraud-like sales exhibition the world have ever seen.

The US successfully duped, coerced, and cajoled their neo-colonies and occupied subjects to invest and buy their biggest money-laundering project in the name of mutual defense under the alliance. The US left no choice for the likes of S. Korea,other than buy into the F35 in the name of the alliance,under US pressure.
Jealous?
 

Goritoes

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F-35 is one of the best fighter in the world, seriously couple of crashes makes them believe otherwise ? Like Seriously ?
 

Metal 0-1

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The F 35 sales to US allies(more like vassals )is the highest level of open fraud-like sales exhibition the world have ever seen.

The US successfully duped, coerced, and cajoled their neo-colonies and occupied subjects to invest and buy their biggest money-laundering project in the name of mutual defense under the alliance. The US left no choice for the likes of S. Korea,other than buy into the F35 in the name of the alliance,under US pressure.
Cope and Seethe
 

aviator_fan

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With the US permission (centrally controlled from the USA) required to even start the engine of this jet, definitely Turkey has been saved even from this point alone provided her major bone of contention is with Greece, France etc....

3 decades with the engineering R&D has taught me one thing: Murphy's Law! You ignore something during development, and it returns with vengeance later to bite you big time....

For a reason TAI is building up a pool of 10K engineers for its TFX project. They have set up one of the most extensive and exhaustive automated testing system to test each component in all plausible permutation and combination with others. Even the delegations from Boeing and Airbus have become impressed with this meticulous set-up...
Defense autonomy is a fair point to make in terms not relying on a weapon systems whose use can be tightly controlled. I respect that. The point I was arguing against was 'F-35 is a bad fighter and so Turkey got saved'. Thats an emotional comment from OP and not a factual one
 

Hakikat ve Hikmet

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Defense autonomy is a fair point to make in terms not relying on a weapon systems whose use can be tightly controlled. I respect that. The point I was arguing against was 'F-35 is a bad fighter and so Turkey got saved'. Thats an emotional comment from OP and not a factual one
They have played with the Hak of Turkey, so the Ilahi La'net is befalling on this jet....
 

Beast

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the f-35 is a brand new, high tech fighter, the only reason you get to hear about its flaws is these governments hold others accountable publicly, for all we know this could be happening with the j-20 etc, we will never hear about it
You are so naive to think that crashed can be hide with nowadays plenty of cell phone camera and fast uploading of news.

And we are even talking about a land based fighter plane which unlikely to crashed in deep open ocean which incident can be conceal.

More like you are a sourgrape that J-20 has a perfect record so far compare to F-35.

will the chinese govt publicly report major issues with their platforms?
Now u start to change subject. And you think US will be truthful in all their report? This news is reported by south Korea which is of cos no interest to save face for USA.
 

aviator_fan

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The F 35 sales to US allies(more like vassals )is the highest level of open fraud-like sales exhibition the world have ever seen.

The US successfully duped, coerced, and cajoled their neo-colonies and occupied subjects to invest and buy their biggest money-laundering project in the name of mutual defense under the alliance. The US left no choice for the likes of S. Korea,other than buy into the F35 in the name of the alliance,under US pressure.
I don't know which country you are from but you seem to be ignorant and ill informed. Your hatred of politics and US dominance aside, this thread is about F-35 performance.

The F-35 is the latest of aircraft lines introduced by the US and then its allies. Interoperability leads to better operations as allies. Those in NATO, and those outside.

F-104, F-4 Phantom, F-16, and now F-35. If you take the F-16 as an example, Israel and Pakistan both shot down a large number (together total of 75+) Soviet made aircraft without losing any.

That is the track record and precedence set that F-35 replicates. I don't believe your flag representing India is accurate. While Indians on this forum tend to disagree with others, but they still come with facts for their argument. Not worthless emotions with no knowledge of military or aircraft history.
 

dbc

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You are so naive to think that crashed can be hide with nowadays plenty of cell phone camera and fast uploading of news.

And we are even talking about a land based fighter plane which unlikely to crashed in deep open ocean which incident can be conceal.

More like you are a sourgrape that J-20 has a perfect record so far compare to F-35.


Now u start to change subject. And you think US will be truthful in all their report? This news is reported by south Korea which is of cos no interest to save face for USA.
what a silly post... so the Indian Tejas has never crashed does that mean it's better than the J-10? :lol:

Also there are plenty of reports published by the GAO about the F-35 like this one. The fact that you can't find such about the J-20 doesn't mean the J-20 is free of all defects. It means you will discover these defects when the J-20 fails in battle.


Finally as of October 2022 840 F-35's have been built and is being operated by more than a dozen nations around the world. While the J-20's perform slow lazy 8's around its own airfield. It's really hard to crash when you aren't pushing the boundaries of your platform.
 

Hamartia Antidote

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But the US now seems to be conquered by a primitive culture dedicated to jungle freedom rather than hard work, and their workforce are no longer Anglo Saxon in both appearance and culture.

:rolleyes1:

Listen it is really a German culture in the US not an Anglo-Saxon one. You guys really have a complete Anglo-Saxon fetish because they were big in Asia and you think the same is here in the US.

The Germans are the ones known for engineering and design not the British. The white people in the US are mostly Germans not British. Yes before 1776 (total population only 2.5 million) the British Anglo-Saxons were a big percent of the population but after that it nosedived as the loyalist British left and the rest of the Europeans flocked over to this new non-British country that opened itself up to immigration by the 10's of millions. Meanwhile the British population was not exactly eager to emigrate to a new country that basically kicked them out. So they were not flooding over post 1776 like other countries.
 
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jhungary

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:rolleyes1:

Listen it is really a German culture in the US not an Anglo-Saxon one. You guys really have a complete Anglo-Saxon fetish because they were big in Asia and you think the same is here in the US.

The Germans are the ones known for engineering and design not the British. The white people in the US are mostly Germans not British. Yes before 1776 (total population only 2.5 million) the British Anglo-Saxons were a big percent of the population but after that it nosedived as the loyalist British left and the rest of the Europeans flocked over to this new non-British country that opened itself up to immigration by the 10's of millions. Meanwhile the British population was not exactly eager to emigrate to a new country that basically kicked them out. So they were not flooding over post 1776 like other countries.
That mostly because they don't know what other lineage of white people other than Anglo-Saxon. Hence all white people are Anglo-Saxon......

My wife laughed out very loud on this one...She's white, but not Anglo-Saxon.....in fact if I remember correctly, her ancestors were slaughtered by the Anglo-Saxon in Europe.
 

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