The engine of an F-35C was damaged while receiving fuel from an F/A-18F Super Hornet, US Navy officials have confirmed.

It is understood that debris from an aerial refuelling basket was ingested into the F-35Cs engine intake, resulting in the damage, US Naval Air Forces Atlantic spokesman Cmdr. Dave Hecht said on Tuesday to press.

According to USNI, damage to the F-35C was reported as a Class A mishap – the most serious type for a military aircraft. An incident is classified as Class A when an aircraft suffers more than $2 million in damage, is totally destroyed or involves a serious or fatal injury to the aircrew.

“The damage to the F-35 was above the $2 million threshold. A new F135 engine for the JSF costs about $14 million, according to the most recent contract award to engine builder Pratt & Whitney.”

According to Cmdr. Ron Flanders, a spokesman for US Naval Air Forces:

“During the refueling, part of the refueling basket broke off, and that debris was ingested into the engine of the F-35.”

The basket is part of the appendage that extends out from the Super Hornet to refuel receiving aircraft, Flanders said. It is understood that this is relatively common in the fleet.

The US Navy expects to achieve initial operational capability for the F-35C in February 2019.

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expat
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expat

This is why the US navy took some convincing on the F35 due to its single engine.

‘It is understood that this is relatively common in the fleet.’ Not sure what this means, if it means ingestion of the basket is common then it only a matter of time before they lose an entire a/f.

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

It’s been well documented as this article clearly suggests and also reflects your comments expat.
https://sputniknews.com/military/201806071065203231-f35-bad-weather-vulnerabilities/

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Here is another article which shows the problems faced when refueling the F35
https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a27261/perils-of-f-35-flight-testing/

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Nigel – Forgive me but this is just you making a mountain out of a mole hill to suit your anti-F-35 agenda. That GIF shows the boom operator lifting the boom before it separates from the probe breaking the tip as designed in the process. It also demonstrates the dangers of attaching fixed length of drogue hose to the end of an under fuselage fixed boom system when they work better from variable drum mounted hoses out in less turbulent air under wing tips. Indeed your article says it is a test carried out by test pilots and… Read more »

expat
Guest
expat

Nigel – I do think the F35B is a good aircraft if you compare it to the Harrier then the UK is getting quite a shift in capability, clearly the refuelling is a concern but it did not stop the UK F35s crossing the Atlantic with numerous refuels in flight. I think the biggest mistake of the program was making one size fits all. The costs saving of using a single airframe have not be realised. The US navy needed a twin engine F18 replacement and the US and other air forces needed an F16 replacement, the f22 should have… Read more »

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins
Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) – No they didn’t Nigel. So a pilot had a couple of goes at a basket. So what? Not a fault in the F-35 at all. Go check how often a Tonka or a Tiffy has two or more goes… I have responded to this exaggeration of yours below in more detail to cover your wider comments but the refuelling probe is made by Cobham in the UK. It is deliberately designed to sheer safely at a given stress. Added to that it is almost identical to that fitted to the Typhoon. Should we not buy any more… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

A very good question Chris. Should we update the USAF that this is in fact meant to happen? or is it simply an issue with the F35? “Newly Identified Technical Risks Aerial refueling probes: The F-35B and F-35C variants use a “hose and drogue” system where an aerial refueling tanker aircraft extends a long, flexible refueling hose and a parachute-like metal basket that provides stability, and the receiving aircraft then connects to the drogue basket with its extendable refueling probe, as shown in figure 10. From April 2014 to August 2017, 21 incidents have occurred where the F-35’s aerial refueling… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Nigel – I am really disappointed you are pursuing this blind alley of argument. Did you not read your own link from Rogoway? Did you not read my link? I even quoted it in text on here. And forgive me stating the obvious the USAF do not operate Probe & Drogue refuelling on their F-35As – Its boom refuelled. So your point was? We do not need to ‘update the USAF’ at all because they already know what Cobham were asked to deliver. And did you never think that in testing they deliberately ‘test’ when tips break off… Read more »

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

Thankfully the pilot and aircraft returned safely.

fearlesstunafish
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fearlesstunafish

i’m sorry, but quoting sputnik news? that’s like quoting the daily mail…. plus given you’ve had a go at the f35 on numerous previous articles, even when it wasn’t even part of the article anyone could see you leap on this…. fact is it sucked a basket through its engine from the sounds of it….that’s not gonna do any airplane any favors!

but hey, if it keeps you happy….

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Try this fearlesstunafish As a UK taxpayer, I do not wish to be paying for an aircraft in large numbers (138) which will be of little value after 2030 and will not be fully operational until 2025 when we can be investing in upgrading Typhoon now and looking at Tempest/Taranis for our future capability. “Here’s what the new DOTE, Robert Behler, says about the F-35 Joint Strike fighter in his office’s latest annual report: F-35B Tires The heaviest of the three aircraft, the F-35B, didn’t only shake apart under stress-testing more quickly than the other two aircraft (see below), but,… Read more »

Robert Blay
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Robert Blay

The F35 will be in service for at least 35-40 years, so it will be very useful past 2030.

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

In which case why is there so much concern by senior US military officials about Chinese and Russian technology being able to defeat it after 2030? “The U.S. Air Force is finalizing technology requirements for a new fighter jet to enter service sometime in the 2030s. Known as “Penetrating Counter Air,” the new fighter will replace the F-22 Raptor and maintain American air superiority in future conflicts. The sixth=generation fighter will incorporate a number of new technologies that for now exist only on the drawing board. Citing the existence of advanced Russian weapons such as the S-400 air defense missile… Read more »

Lee1
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Lee1

@Nigel Collins. There is concern about the ability of the Russians and Chinese technology defeating all military assets in the future. That is how a military thinks and rightly so. The F35 is an astonishing aircraft with amazing capabilities. However it is not infallible and is not expected to be so. Look at the Challenger 2 tank. It is amazing. One sat there being fired at for an hour by anti-tank missiles, rpgs small arms fire etc before being rescued fixed (in a very small amount of time) and put back into action. However one drove over a large IED… Read more »

fearlesstunafish
Guest
fearlesstunafish

i have read more or less everything you’ve linked too already, and yes, the f35 has issues, just like every other new modern combat aircraft in history, but honestly at this point its too big to fail, and you can moan all you want, but given the weight behind the program the issues will be worked out eventually…. and given your want to not unnecessarily waste taxpayer money, surely you should at least be glad that were holding off on buying ours until the worst of the issues are resolved, as opposed to going all in immediately like the mass… Read more »

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

I have a distinct feeling that @Nigel is either a bot or a troll… or both. The @Nigel Collins bot simply exists to post rubbish about the F35 program probably because Russia has not proper stealth jet of its own.

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

Please don’t ever quote Putins personal news channel when you want to appear respectable…

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

Come back with some useful answers to the questions posed in these factual US based articles on the ability of this aircraft Lee 1 instead of making yourself sound like an idiot.

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

If I were a Russian bot Lee 1, the last thing I would be pointing out are the endless shortfalls of the F35 documented by the Pentagon, DOD, DOT&E, Senior US military officials and respected news outlets. Or are you saying these are Russians as well?

Come back with facts not fiction.

Steve M
Guest
Steve M

Here’s a fact: https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a21098498/f-35-problems-fix-before-production/

The Pentagon has agreed to fix cat 1 and 2 deficiencies before full production.

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

Lol…. That is precisely what Russian bots do! Along with spreading news from Sputnik and RT… You seem to completely overlook that all large complex military projects have issues and all have long term plans for functionality. Typhoon had issues, Our carriers are having some issues, Astutes had issues, Tornado had issues. You simply can’t build such complex projects without issues. Also it is very common for block 1 aircraft to have missing features and for the subsequent blocks to have various upgrades and fixes. It is also common for the block 1 aircraft to be subsequently brought up to… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Nigel – referencing the particular Tyler Rogoway link to which you refer his report actually makes no criticism of the F-35B refuelling as such. Neither does it say (as you infer) that the UK aircraft had ‘issues’ while transiting to the UK. One pilot had a couple of dabs at a basket. Happens every day and twice on Sundays with this type of refuelling system and no one but you thinks its a problem. Rogoway doesn’t either. He makes clear that probes breaking off has been a deliberate design feature to err on the side of safety in… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

As posted above to your comments Chris, “A very good question Chris. Should we update the USAF that this is in fact meant to happen? or is it simply an issue with the F35? Newly Identified Technical Risks Aerial refueling probes: The F-35B and F-35C variants use a “hose and drogue” system where an aerial refueling tanker aircraft extends a long, flexible refueling hose and a parachute-like metal basket that provides stability, and the receiving aircraft then connects to the drogue basket with its extendable refueling probe, as shown in figure 10. From April 2014 to August 2017, 21 incidents… Read more »

antidote
Guest
antidote

Very true! Although this isn’t a comment on what Nigel was saying.

I’ve just been watching some propaganda tv. It showed Putin addressing a load of men infront of a load of tanks at Vostok 2018 and then went back to the studio for a discussion along the lines of, “The Americans wouldn’t like to face this” and the “UK has always had it easy in the World Wars because it’s an island nation”.

The inferiority complex of Putin and his gang has no limits. It’s hilarious to watch.

antidote
Guest
antidote

And now they are showing the two Salisbury killers and making them look like angels and nothing more than tourists. And much of the Russian public laps it all up and believes it. But it’s really nothing more than, “Look here West, here are your two killers and you can’t touch them”.

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

Indeed. They are somehow trying to say they came to London, 2 days later went all the way to Salisbury to look at the cathedral and then decided that it was too cold and wet so came back to London and left for Russia the same day! That sounds like a strange thing for tourists to do…

antidote
Guest
antidote

And I can already tell you Russia’s next step: the two killers will be given medals at some Kremlin ceremony for serving the motherland and then given places in the Duma (Russian parliament) or maybe even tv shows. At the very least they will appear on tv shows putting their false and concocted side of the story. And the public will again lap it up.

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

More reason to add to the UK defence and security budget antidote in far greater amounts.

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) – As we speak I suspect the lads in Hereford are planning their next gig to re-acquaint said Russians with Salisbury …

antidote
Guest
antidote

Agreed. I think the size of MI6 for example is way too small. The Russian G.U. (still known usually as the GRU) has 10s of thousands of people working in it and even has its own special forces attached to it.

As much as cooperation is good with partners, we have to make sure we can defend ourselves and hit back on our own if need be. When push comes to shove will our current partners really go all out for us?

Chris H – I hope so! I don’t see it happening though. But I really hope so.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Antidote I thought the Russian equivalent of SIS was the FSB. GRU was an arm of the old KGB.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Chris I very much doubt it.

I’d imagine the SAS have their hands full in the Middle East and on standby in the UK.

The RRW that support SIS I doubt conduct operations on Russian soil.

antidote
Guest
antidote

DM – The KGB acted as both an internal and external security agency. When the USSR collapsed the KGB was then eventually superseeded by the FSB and the SVR. The FSB is the internal security service, i.e. like our MI5. Although it has a wide-ranging remit. The SVR is the foreign intelligence service and works together with the G.U. (which as I stated earlier is often still known as the GRU). The former is more for civilian linked spheres of activiity and the latter is military in nature. These organisations are very large, unlike ours, ie the FSB alone has… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Thank’s antidote happy to be corrected I didn’t realise FSB was internal only.

Fascinating stuff.

antidote
Guest
antidote

Also, unlike our security services, all Russian security services are considered military services, but this dosen’t mean they are under the control of the Russian Ministry of Defence.

Elliott
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Elliott

A note the FSB while mostly internal will conduct external operations such as electronic surveillance and counter-intelligence (if the operation began in Russia itself).

Ian
Guest
Ian

Maybe it’s time to invest in a fail-safe hose/basket system, or at least reposition the male reciever probe.

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Ian – Why? Because F-18s are trailing crap baskets that haven’t been maintained properly?

IknowNothing
Guest
IknowNothing

Bet that livened up the F35 pilot’s day!

P tattersall
Guest
P tattersall

Bloody it takes a tiny teething problem what all new aircraft suffer and the Russian trolls are out in force typical.

P tattersall
Guest
P tattersall

Ppl on this site talk like they know how the F35 been built and all its secrets unfortunately nobody who post on this page know nothing about the plane a little knowledge is dangerous . More world class design boffins on this site i don’t know why they don’t employ you to build it

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I think people should all be very careful with accusations of being Bots and Russian and all the rest just because opinions differ.

Agree plenty of other programs had problems.

My main issue with F35 is not the capability itself but it’s cost, how many we will buy, and how their purchase impacts other assets.

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Thank you Daniele,
I found a breakdown here but nobody really seems to know the actual cost.

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/feature/5/191396/cost-of-f_35-block-4-upgrade-quadruples-but-may-not-suffice.html

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins
Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I believe we will not order a full 138.

And if it means saving tens of billions of other assets from cuts now insead of committing to aeroplanes that don’t exist yet I’m happy with that.

Let’s get enough F35 for the carriers to surge if necessary then either save the money for other things or get more Typhoon.

That suggestion is growing on me.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Having said that I’ve finally joined the ranks of the accused myself on the Ukraine thread!

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

LOL

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Can any of the F35 experts on the forum please tell me which has the longer range, the B or C variant? Thank you in advance comrades.
https://taskandpurpose.com/navys-f-35-strike-radars-already-date-new-report-says/

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Comrades. Stop taking the ****!

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) I am not biting at the Bot comments here Nigel as I don’t like it when things get personal. However can you as an F-35 expert (in your own opinion) please tell me how you land an F-35C or F-35A in a car park, forest clearing, football stadium or on a carrier with no CATOBAR? All the above having been done over 48 years ago by the Harrier – the F-35B is a 5th Gen Harrier .. so maybe compare like for like? Only the US Navy and USMC will buy the F-35C but more countries are buying… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Can you show me where i’ve said i’m an expert on the F35 please Chris? I thought we were purchasing them to land on the carriers not at White Hart Lane, but I’ll keep an eye out. I’ll also remember not to park in Waitrose on Saturday too just in case! In relation to CATOBAR it’s something we will need sooner rather than later as common sense dictates, you don’t place all your eggs in one basket (F35) particularly when it’s a long way from being fully operational and of any real use. In relation to profits, given the fact… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Nigel – I have fully responded to all your posts where needed. 5 in total and 2 others. Please read back. As regards your humorous image of an F-35 landing at White Hart Lane? Well at least it could while the two others couldn’t thus proving my point. Harriers used a football stadium in Gulf War I as it happens. Don’t forget a Harrier won the trans Atlantic race in May 1969 by taking off from RAF ST Pancras and landing in New York Basin 40 years before Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger tried it! The probe ‘breaking’ is as… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

“Well you say there are 1,000 defects and you will find some random link as you always do” June 2018 United States Government Accountability Office Report to Congressional Committees After 17 years in development? “As of January 2018, the F-35 program had 966 open deficiencies—111 category 1 and 855 category 2. At least 25 category 1 deficiencies and 165 category 2 deficiencies will not be resolved before full-rate production.” “Conclusions: Over the past year, DOD has made progress in completing the F-35 development program. However, in its rush to cross the finish line, the program has made some decisions that… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Janes Defence
March 2018

The Pentagon is facing a major potential F-35 Block 4/C2D2 cost increase
This could add between USD6.9 billion and USD12.5 billion more to the Pentagon’s most expensive platform.

The Pentagon is facing a cost increase for what was known as Block 4 modernisation of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) ranging between USD6.9 billion and USD12.5 billion, according to a key lawmaker and a Defense Department official.

Subcommittee Ranking Member Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts said the total cost for C2D2 could reach USD16.4 billion through FY 2024

https://www.janes.com/article/78443/pentagon-faces-major-cost-increase-on-f-35-block-4-modernisation.

And somebody has to pay for it.

expat
Guest
expat

Nigel – this is all water under the bridge, there no other way forward other than the F35B for the UK. Any new airframe is a decade away at least. We could go CATOBAR and buy F18s or Rafale’s but that money would be better invested in our own 6th Gen airframe. You can point to new tech from potential peer adversaries negating stealth but ask this, why do Russia and China as well as allies such as Korea, Japan, Turkey, France, Germany have stealth designs in production or on the table if the tech is outdated? Because its not.… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Nigel – And back on the subject of this article you have added nothing to show any major fault at all. Having two dabs at a basket isn’t ‘an issue’ as you alleged with our own F-35s. And you have failed to repsond to my many links to show the stres point of the Cobham delivered refuelling probe has been set low for a reason. All you have done is copy / pasted mostly the same things over and again and mostly nothing to do with refuelling. And when I tried to explain your difficulty in this topic… Read more »

David E Flandry
Guest
David E Flandry

Omigod! Damage during refueling, never happened in history of air -air refueling, ever!
Obsolete, huge waste, social needs, militarism, pretentious, admirals egos, Russia no threat, …babble, babble , babble……