Skip to content
Subscriber Only

F-35’s Image as $428 Billion Bundle of Flaws Improved by Fixes

  • Top dangers to pilots resolved as are 90% of top mission risks
  • GAO analyst says Pentagon focused on what most needed fixing
A U.S. Marine Corps. F-35B Lightning II fighter jet performs a maneuver at the Singapore Airshow on Feb. 9.
A U.S. Marine Corps. F-35B Lightning II fighter jet performs a maneuver at the Singapore Airshow on Feb. 9.Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

The F-35 fighter jet is starting to outlive its reputation as a $428 billion bundle of flawed hardware and buggy software: Lockheed Martin Corp. and the military have eliminated all of the deficiencies believed to endanger pilots and about 90% of other serious flaws that could hamper missions.

That’s down from 111 “Category 1” safety-of-flight and mission-impeding deficiencies in January 2018, according to Defense Department data compiled by the Government Accountability Office.