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January 24, 2014 11:36 am

Report: Technical Malfunctions Delaying Israel Air Force’s Use of New F-35 Fighter Jet

avatar by Gidon Ben-Zvi

An F-35 stealth jet on a test flight. Photo: Wikipedia.

Due to a series of technical failures, Israel’s receipt of new Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets is expected to be delayed, Israeli daily Walla reported on Thursday.

A report that was recently made public by The U.S. Department of Defense, said the F-35 has been plagued by software problems and issues related to performance and reliability, Walla said. As a result, the jet fighter’s incorporation into the U.S. Marine Corps has also been pushed back 13 months, according to the report.

In October 2010, Israel finalized a deal for the acquisition of 19 F-35 aircraft for 2.75 billion dollars. Originally, the plan was for the jets to be delivered to the Israel Air Force in 2015, Walla said.

The F -35 boasts a wing span of over 10 meters, a carrying capacity of 14 tons and a cruising range of more than 1,600 km.

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This week’s announcement is not the first time that Lockheed Martin’s newest model fighter jet has faced glitches. According to Israeli daily Ma’ariv, in October 2013 the Pentagon discovered over 300 defects related to the production process of the F-35. At the time, the Pentagon published a report saying that these issues could well impair the fighter plane’s very ability to perform, Ma’ariv said.

A year ago, the Pentagon published another report that described a flight test conducted on the F-35 in which the test pilots reported that the aircraft had serious bugs in its field of vision, radar system, touch screen system and the functionality of the pilot’s helmets.

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