Here’s What You Need To Remember: While the F-35 continues to be an advanced fighter jet, there are times when it is clear that upgrading an old war bird like the B-52 is often a lot easier than working out the bugs in what should be a state-of-the-art fighter jet.
Introduced in the 1950s, the B-52 Stratofortress has remained in service thanks in part to the numerous upgrades it has received over the years. In fact, because it was introduced before the days of advanced computers, the B-52 has actually been at times much easier to update than more modern aircraft.
By contrast, the U.S. military’s highly advanced F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which was developed with the latest and greatest aviation computer systems and software, has had no shortage of problems and bugs to work out, while upgrades have been anything but easy.
Since its introduction, the F-35s ground-based ALIS logistical system, intended to streamline reporting and implement predictive maintenance, has for years remained buggy to the point of “dysfunctionality” – requiring constant manual inputs and workarounds when automated systems failed to do what they were supposed to do.
The problem with software has been so great that earlier this year, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) even warned that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, despite producing more aircraft and at negotiated lower prices in 2019, is not meeting the standards that the aircraft’s customers might have expected.
The good news is that the F-35’s next tech upgrade could address many of the issues, but the bad news is that it could also just add billions more to the cost of the aircraft Ars Technica reported this week.
Third Time’s the Charm:
The Tech Refresh 3 program for the fifth-generation stealth fighter will include an upgrade of
By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) – Intel Corp on Friday said that it has won a second-phase contract in a project aimed at helping the U.S. military make more advanced semiconductors within the United States.
Under the project, Intel will help the military develop prototypes of chips using its semiconductor packaging technology at factories in Arizona and Oregon. The packaging technology allows pieces of chips called “chiplets” from different providers to be combined into one package, helping cram more features into a smaller finished product while lowering its power consumption.
Intel declined to disclose a dollar figure for its portion of the contract, which is being overseen by the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division. Intel won part of the first phase of the contract in 2019.
Intel’s work with the Defense Department comes as U.S. officials focus on boosting domestic semiconductor manufacturing in response to the rise of China as a strategic competitor. About 75% of the world’s chipmaking capacity is in Asia, with many of the most advanced plants in Taiwan and Korea, within the reach of the Chinese and North Korean militaries.
“I think one of the areas where we can have the most impact on China broadly is re-shoring microelectronics,” Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee in a hearing on Thursday.
Intel is one of three companies in the world that can make highly advanced computer chips. The other two – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd – have packaging technology similar to Intel’s.
But Intel has been working on the technology longer and can perform the work in the United States, which the other two cannot, said Dan Hutcheson, chief executive officer of VLSI Research.
“There’s no one else with the mix of technology