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Bullet Hell

The US’s $428 Billion F-35 Fighter Jet Can’t Even Shoot a Target

__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Robots & Machines
Alexander Cook/U.S. Air Force

Performance Review

The Defense Department recently conducted its annual assessment of Lockheed Martin’s progress on the F-35 fighter jet, and the results are abysmal.

The plane has 873 distinct software flaws, according to Bloomberg, and the accuracy of one version of its 25mm gun was deemed “unacceptable,” per the Defense Departments’ testing office. Basically, the futuristic fighter plane is a horrible shot — more bad news for the program, which has already cost $428 billion in taxpayer funds.

Bug Swap

The dismal assessment will delay the jet further, as its testing period has now been extended through at least October.

“Although the program office is working to fix deficiencies, new discoveries are still being made, resulting in only a minor decrease in the overall number,” reads the Defense Department’s assessment, per Bloomberg.

Scatter Shot

Of the three models of the F-35, two have acceptable accuracy, Bloomberg reports. The versions made for the Navy and Marine Corps both have an externally-mounted 25mm gun, but the Air Force’s model has an internal mounting.

That mounting, per Bloomberg, has been cracking, rendering the gun unreliable and practically unusable — eliminating a key function of any fighter jet.

READ MORE: F-35’s Gun That Can’t Shoot Straight Adds to Its Roster of Flaws [Bloomberg]

More on the F-35: US Military’s Trillion-Dollar F-35 Fighter Jet Is Almost Unflyable