Glitches found in F-35 software that would cause systems to reboot have now been fixed.
IHS Jane’s reported earlier in the year that an issue arose in late 2015 with the F-35’s AN/APG-81 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system, built by Northrop Grumman. The software planned to be used in the F-35A when the US Air Force declares its “initial operational capability” had a major flaw.
Air Force F-35 Integration Office Director Major General Jeffrey Harrigian told Jane’s the flaw relates to:
“radar stability—the radar’s ability to stay up and running. What would happen is they’d get a signal that says either a radar degrade or a radar fail—something that would force us to restart the radar.”
The problem is believed to lie with software Block 3i, the jets’ systems would shut down about once every three or four hours and have to be rebooted. This effect is reportedly caused by a timing misalignment of the software of the sensors and the software in the F-35’s main computer cores.
F-35 PEO Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan told US lawmakers:
“We’ve seen stability problems with our block 3i software, however we believe we’ve identified the root cause of these problems and tested solutions in lab and in flight test and are now completing our flight test with these solutions, our initial indications of these flight testing are positive and we’ve see software stability improve to two to three times better than what we’ve seen in the past. By the end of this month I am encouraged that we will have enough data to consider this problem and issue closed.”
The Joint Program Office and F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin identified the root cause, incorporated a fix, and have nearly finished flight tests of the updated software, JPO chief Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan told reporters on Tuesday.