With a price tag of around $400 billion, the F-35 is the costliest weapon in U.S. history; the idea that the severely delayed procurement effort suffered another technical glitch on a support system many believed was safe set off alarm bells on Capitol Hill, even among the fighter’s supporters.
The Defense Department’s multi-billion dollar F-35 Joint Strike Fighter effort has hit a new snag, and it’s one that could take anywhere from a year to 18 months to fix, according to the program’s chief.
Earlier this month Defense News reported the Pentagon had learned the fifth-generation airplane’s ejection seat could cause fatal whiplash for pilots weighing under 136, despite the fact that the seat was designed to handle any pilot weighing between 103 and 245 pounds.
The discovery prompted the Pentagon to restrict any pilot that weighs less than 136 pounds from flying the aircraft until a solution was found.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the head of the F-35 program office, told House lawmakers on Wednesday that officials are using “known fixes” to remedy the problem, though they’ll take some time to implement.
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