Incompatible with aircraft carriers: the US military faces an unpleasant F-35 problem

During the operation of F-35 fighters, it turned out that they are not compatible with most American aircraft carriers. This is mainly due to the lack of the necessary communication facilities on the ships and the appropriate level of maintenance for the use of these aircraft. The specialized edition of Navy Matters writes about this strange problem of the American Navy.

So, the F-35 in the deck version (F-35C) is poorly compatible with the first US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier of the Gerald F. Ford class. Without the necessary data processing capabilities, the aircraft is not able to transmit the necessary information to the combat control system and the ship simply cannot use it. Fortunately, the Gerald F. Ford is the only aircraft carrier to have the crane equipment for delivering F-35 engines to the deck, while other ships are unable to do so. It got to the point that they had to use the MV-22 tiltrotor to replace the fighter's engine.

Helicopter carriers are also not capable of proper compatibility with the F-35, since during the short takeoff of a fighter, the decks of ships are heated by its exhaust gases and become unusable.

Of the 11 American aircraft carriers and 33 landing craft, only 4 ships can adequately interact with the F-35B.

The necessary improvements and modifications to such warships to be properly compatible with the F-35 will require a lot of painstaking work and millions of dollars, which should be added to the already high cost of building and operating multi-role fighters.

If the war started today, America would have only four amphibious assault ships ready to use the F-35.

- the author of the article notes with regret.

Thus, the F-35 proved to be too complex a flying combat vehicle to be adequately suited to the desired level of cooperation with aircraft carriers, and this problem turned out to be much more frustrating than previously thought.

In pursuit of large, super-expensive toys, we ignore such prosaic things as interoperability and the infrastructure necessary for the full operation of these same toys.

- states Navy Matters.

When the F-35Cs enter service with the US Navy, the number of their squadrons will decrease from 12 to 10. That is, the already insufficient fleet of fighters will be reduced even more.
  • Photos used: Tomás Del Coro /
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 10 December 2020 10: 14
    What a nightmare they have.
    The oldest aircraft carrier does not have super-modern electronics, it is difficult to change engines for aircraft directly on aircraft carriers, and only 4 aircraft carriers have an expensive built-in vertical take-off coating, and the rest, in the old fashion, are cheap, with a takeoff ...
    How will they live then ???

    Now it is as if gasoline is giving ...
  2. Bulanov Offline Bulanov
    Bulanov (Vladimir) 10 December 2020 10: 16
    In today's global war, an aircraft carrier is just a good target for missiles. These ships are only suitable for cleaning up the native population in militarily underdeveloped countries. So they still apply. It's like the cavalry in World War 2 against tanks. There were some successes, but this is an exception to the rule.
    1. boriz Offline boriz
      boriz (boriz) 10 December 2020 11: 03
      It's like the cavalry in World War 2 against tanks. There were some successes, but this is an exception to the rule.

      Yes, no one allowed cavalry directly onto the tanks. This is a myth debunked long ago. In WWII, the cavalry was constantly growing in numbers both among us and among the Germans. Horses were used as vehicles. They usually did not participate in the battle. Such an economy class motorized infantry.
      In fact, the cavalry even had some advantages, since did not depend on the supply of fuels and lubricants, and hay is easier to find. When surrounded, the horse units had greater autonomy. Horses (when supported) can be eaten.
      1. Bulanov Offline Bulanov
        Bulanov (Vladimir) 10 December 2020 11: 39
        Well, no one will eat the aircraft carrier. Is it really worth exchanging scrap metal for bread?
    2. Ibuprofen Offline Ibuprofen
      Ibuprofen (Novel) 11 December 2020 13: 49
      Quote: Bulanov
      In modern global war

      There will be no global war. Elites of different highly developed countries will always agree. Look, even with a fat man from Korea we agreed.
      All sorts of "coercive operations" remain for all less developed countries, and this is where the aircraft carriers come in handy.
  3. boriz Offline boriz
    boriz (boriz) 10 December 2020 11: 42
    Another cherry on the cake. And if you take into account that it is modifications B and C that are forbidden to fly at a speed of more than 1M, then the eroplane turns out to be completely weird.
    Rhetorical question: what place did you think? And the unforgettable Zadornov before my eyes.
    By the way, this is another argument to the long-standing dispute about the need for testing in real combat conditions. It is there that such bloopers emerge, there is no time to bend in front of high-ranking stripe-mongers tied to the military-industrial complex. It is necessary to complete the task and, if possible, survive. And if you survived, but did not fulfill, you must have an iron rationale. The same Fu 35 participated in the exercises, so why did this moment surface after so many years? It is clear why - the generals paid by Lockheed. The company has a long history of corruption. For example, in Japan, the case of bribes of Prime Minister Tanaka from Lockheed has continued since 1972. to 1996 (when Tanaka died).
  4. Alexander Lepeshka (Alexander Lepeshka) 15 December 2020 04: 22
    There were mediocrities who made decisions. Where the cavalry packed the German tanks. Where in 20 minutes the Germans put it down from machine guns.