Carrier-based fighter F-35C Lightning II version of the aircraft with short takeoff and vertical landing F-35B will not be able to complete a long supersonic flight. As writes Defense News, the management of the joint programmes of the Ministry of defense, responsible among other things for the project F-35, introduced this limitation because of the number of design errors in the design of the fighter, the correction of which will require substantial investment and long time.
In 2019 the us military is conducting tests of the F-35, has published a report according to which after a long flight at supersonic speed radar absorbing coating in the rear fuselage swelled and was flaking off, making the plane more visible to radar. In addition, testers found that due to overheating may occur deformation or damage to the tail boom. Finally, due to overheating when flying at supersonic speed can fail transmitting-receiving module of a radar antenna review rear hemisphere.
Military in cooperation with the developers studied the possibility of correcting the deficiencies. As noted by Defense News, in December of 2019 the military decided not to correct the revealed shortcomings. The fact that the redesign and additional testing of the tail parts of the airframe of the F-35B/C would require serious funding and long term. Military experts came to the conclusion that the detected during testing, defects are not have a serious effect on the combat capabilities of the F-35.
In manual flight on the F-35 was amended, according to which the duration of supersonic flight version of the F-35B and F-35C are limited now. It should be noted that originally the F-35 was designed for cruising supersonic flight. This means that it was initially planned that the aircraft will be able to perform supersonic flight, the duration of which is limited only by fuel supply. The regular version of the F-35 — F-35A — the restrictions do not apply. This aircraft is in service with the U.S. air force.
Maximum takeoff weight the F-35 with a length of 15.4 meters and a wingspan of 10.7 meter is 27.3 tons. The plane can reach speeds up to 1.9 thousand kilometers per hour, a combat range of 845 miles. The F-35 can carry missiles and bombs, and air guns up to a total weight of 8.1 tonnes and 6.8 tonnes for the six underwing hardpoints and 1.3 tons on pylons in two internal weapons bays.