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"Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the watch-your-six-and-stay-frosty dept.

The Military 184

Graculus writes with news that the so called "magic helmets" for the controversial F-35 are ready for action. This week, Lockheed Martin officially took delivery of a key part of the F-35 fighter's combat functionality—the pilot's helmet. The most expensive and complicated piece of headgear ever constructed, the F-35 Gen III Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) is one of the multipurpose fighter's most critical systems, and it's essential to delivering a fully combat-ready version of the fighter to the Marine Corps, the Navy, and the Air Force. But it almost didn't make the cut because of software problems and side effects akin to those affecting 3D virtual reality headsets.

Built by Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems International (a joint venture between Rockwell Collins and the Israeli defense company Elbit Systems), the HMDS goes way beyond previous augmented reality displays embedded in pilots' helmets. In addition to providing the navigational and targeting information typically shown in a combat aircraft's heads-up display, the HMDS also includes aspects of virtual reality, allowing a pilot to look through the plane. Using a collection of six high-definition video and infrared cameras on the fighter's exterior called the Distributed Aperture System (DAS), the display extends vision a full 360 degrees around the aircraft from within the cockpit. The helmet is also equipped with night vision capabilities via an infrared sensor that projects imagery inside the facemask

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fuck this category (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47526491)

srlsy

Cost (2)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 3 months ago | (#47526495)

FTA:

The helmet runs for about $600,000, which doesn't include software integration with the aircraft’s systems.

Re:Cost (2)

oobayly (1056050) | about 3 months ago | (#47526789)

Don't worry, it'll come down in price:

The helmet runs for about $600,000, ... But Lockheed Martin hopes the cost will drop as production ramps up.

Yup, I can see production really ramping up for the F-35. Like most things in life, it's possibly to build something to do everything, just don't be upset when it does everything badly.

Re:Cost (0)

peragrin (659227) | about 3 months ago | (#47527089)

The F-16 was overpriced for its time. The F-15 took years to work out the bugs. The f-16 was designedin the 70's. Continuing to use70's tech is stupid. Do you still drive a 70's car?

Re:Cost (4, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | about 3 months ago | (#47527207)

Do you still drive a 70's car?

If the price of a new car was $180M, I would definitely stick with my trusty 70s car.

Re:Cost (2)

timeOday (582209) | about 3 months ago | (#47527601)

Then I suggest you not enter any races in which the loser will die.

Re:Cost (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527699)

Races are a voluntary event just like air battles.

The USA is not currently in danger of being invaded and does not currently need a $1 trillion fighter jet. We could have instead used this period of relative calm to assess our needs in a 5th generation fighter and been smart about designing and manufacturing it.

Instead, we immediately handed over an unbelievably high sum of money to the first defense contractor who shit something out in powerpoint. Then we repeatedly shoved more and more money into their hands as they came back with 'issues' to be solved.

Re:Cost (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#47528219)

Then I suggest you not enter any races in which the loser will die.

I would suggest that you give more thought to 'races' where outnumbering the opponent and firing anti-aircraft weapons at them from the ground is acceptable...

Even if we suspect that a nasty shooting war with a modern adversary is in the cards, it's a bit of a problem that our current next generation super plane costs so much that we'll necessarily have them in quite limited numbers and be unwilling and (in a conflict of any nontrivial size or duration) unable to expose them to serious risks.

This is especially bad if they turn out to be seriously vulnerable to any missile system developed that isn't ruinously expensive per shot or a closely held secret used only by somebody's elite guard. Obviously the cost of pilots means that the US isn't going to be doing many aerial human wave attacks (short of a WWII-style mobilization); but we certainly aren't going to be fielding larger air forces, or ones better able to resupply after losses, because our fancy aircraft cost north of $100 million a pop.

Re:Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528333)

well, we may lose the war, but at least the shareholders will be happy. . .

Re:Cost (2)

pesho (843750) | about 3 months ago | (#47527753)

Oh we are using the car analogy, aren't we? Well let's see... If my brand new 21st century car has the same speed, larger turning radius, shorter range, smaller trunk, costs 10 times more to buy and is more expensive to run.... yes I would stick to my 70's car. F35 is akin to the German Tiger and Panter tanks in WWII. They were technical marvels. Could destroy any tank on such distance that the opposition wouldn't know what hit them. But it didn't matter, because for every Tiger produced there were ~30 shermans and even more T34's. The tigers were scary but at the end they got swarmed and wiped out. The same will happen with the F35's in a real shooting war with a capable opponent. F35 is supposed to be stealthy, but it isn't. It can be picked on a longer wavelength radars. It will be picked by any country that has integrated air defence system. Its main advantage is its ability to integrate sensor information from multiple sources. But this does not warrant building a hugely expensive fighter from scratch. Put the same system on an F18 and F16 and you will have even more capable fighter.

Re:Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528171)

Supposed to be stealthy? I don't doubt that in the future someone will figure out how to see through their stealth. The very first F117 jets used in the first Iraq were stealthy enough to get through Iraq's integrated air defenses with little trouble. And Iraq's air defense systems were the best you could buy from Russia. And you need to define "capable opponent". Would this capable opponent have the same stealth capabilities? I mean you are claiming the F35 would be detected so wouldn't that make any opponent also detectable even if they do have stealth? During training of the F-22 the only way they could have a fair air combat test was to put it against F-15's with 1-5 odds. Do you really think they have not tested the F35 against the US and Canadian air defense systems?

Re:Cost (0)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 3 months ago | (#47528571)

We plan to buy roughly 2,400 of them, plus our allies are buying a whole bunch, so they will hardly be outnumbered by the enemy the way Tiger and Panther were. Also, it is not about speed and maneuverability, its about combination of sensor fusion and advanced networking to maximize situation awareness, also combined with denying the enemy the same through stealth and most advanced electronic warfare ever built into a fighter.

Situational awareness is what warfare is about. Think about how US infantry in Iraq routinely routed Iraqis in ground battles and city fighting especially at night with 10-1 or better ratio. Are US soldiers 10 times faster than Iraqis or is AR-15 10 times better than AK-47? No, it's the fact that our guys from the command down to squad level knew where they were and where the enemy was and they could choose the time and place of engagement and the enemy had no clue what was going on that made all the difference. Night vision equipment made more difference than guns.

I think building this from the ground up sets us up better for the next 50 years than trying to hang more and more stuff off the existing platforms. Now, was it worth this much money. Idk, maybe not, maybe something else could have been built that wasn't quite so expensive but its kinda too late now.

Re:Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528169)

Yeah, it'll come down in price once we start selling it to every other country in the world to justify us spending even more money to 'keep our advantage'

Re:Cost (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 3 months ago | (#47527695)

FTA:

The helmet runs for about $600,000, which doesn't include software integration with the aircraft’s systems.

How would you like to be the first guy to drop one of these... you know it's going to happen...

Re:Cost (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#47528223)

On the plus side, they might actually survive that. If memory serves aircraft helmets (while probably not as concerned with ballistics as infantry ones) are supposed to at least not endanger the pilot, and ideally to protect him, during fairly violent maneuvers like ejection.

That said, I wouldn't want to be the lucky guy who gets to find out.

Re:Cost (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47528517)

lol we still have pilots who actually sit in planes? lol.

Re:Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528657)

Of course. You can't just have a remote controlled fleet. You're going to need planes flown by people who can make decisions in absence of contact with command for whatever reason. (communication jamming, command got blown up, etc)

Re:Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527933)

Better collaborate with those gaming console makers and start mass production.

Elmer Fudd (5, Funny)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 3 months ago | (#47526513)

Spear and magic helllllemt!

Re:Elmer Fudd (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 3 months ago | (#47526981)

Spear and magic helllllemt!

For those under 30 who might not get the reference: What's Opera, Doc? [imdb.com] , 1957

Re:Elmer Fudd (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about 3 months ago | (#47528261)

I'm in my 20s and I saw that cartoon a hundred times as a kid. It's probably still being shown.

Re:Elmer Fudd (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 3 months ago | (#47526999)

Brilliant [youtube.com] .

Re:Elmer Fudd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527241)

Headline: "...magic helmet..." Click, CTRL-F, "spear". Thank you for being proactive.

Re:Elmer Fudd (1)

Tiger Smile (78220) | about 3 months ago | (#47527995)

Sorry, the spear is going to cost extra.

Re:Elmer Fudd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528519)

I wonder if you can see yourself naked if looking down with the helmet.. The plane stripping feature takes a whole new turn.

Outstanding... (4, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 3 months ago | (#47526531)

Now all we need is a functional aircraft...

Re:Outstanding... (1)

CanadianMacFan (1900244) | about 3 months ago | (#47526993)

That's what I thought when the UK announced their new aircraft carrier recently.

Re:Outstanding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527057)

What makes you think that the helmet is functional yet?

Re:Outstanding... (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 3 months ago | (#47527407)

It will likely be one.

Re:Outstanding... (1)

msauve (701917) | about 3 months ago | (#47528451)

Unfortunately, we're paying for many more than one.

Re:Outstanding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527605)

Why is this comment modded up? All three models are in LRIP and flying.

You've been fooled! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47526537)

King Obama and the military industrial complex have their dicks planted firmly in your ass.

Re:You've been fooled! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47526609)

Modded down by a sympathizer with the war mongering aristocracy.

no, just people (1)

publiclurker (952615) | about 3 months ago | (#47526683)

that do not believe in suffering bigoted fools lightly.

Re:no, just people (2, Insightful)

Tailhook (98486) | about 3 months ago | (#47526793)

bigoted

"King Obama" is racist? Fuck you and your race card.

Watch the F-35 get blown out of the skies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47526539)

By a dedicated but somewhat mass produced Russian missile, should a major conflict arise.

Re:Watch the F-35 get blown out of the skies (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47526645)

Yeah, maybe, but ours has a MAGIC HELMET!

Re:Watch the F-35 get blown out of the skies (3, Interesting)

sribe (304414) | about 3 months ago | (#47526733)

Why? What evidence or precedent do you have for that statement? When in recent history have our planes been blown out of the sky by Russian-produced missiles?

Re:Watch the F-35 get blown out of the skies (2)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47526771)

because the russian missiles worked so well in iraq in 1990 and 2003?

F-35 + electronic warfare will destroy the russian missile batteries

Re:Watch the F-35 get blown out of the skies (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 3 months ago | (#47526949)

Iraq did not have the Archer (R-73) or Adder (R-77) all aspect missiles available. Had they had those on Su-27 or Mig-29 platforms the result might have been a lot different.

Re:Watch the F-35 get blown out of the skies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528241)

I wish you people would make up your minds.

First, it's a pointless, dick-waving waste of time to design and build this plane, because there are no threats and there is nothing for this plane to fight against.

Then, it's a laughable joke because every country in the world is flying planes designed in the 1970's and 1980's that will easily best it in aerial combat, despite it being designed with an 30 extra years of technological advantage.

Re:Watch the F-35 get blown out of the skies (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 3 months ago | (#47526959)

Also most of their airforce was composed of utterly obsolete Mig-21s.

Re:Watch the F-35 get blown out of the skies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528381)

Well, the SA 11 has proven VERY effective against civilian planes!

Re:Watch the F-35 get blown out of the skies (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 3 months ago | (#47528703)

Serbia managed to wipe out an F-117 with late 50's soviet SAM S-125.

Maybe iraq army was inept.

Re:Watch the F-35 get blown out of the skies (1)

Gareth Iwan Fairclough (2831535) | about 3 months ago | (#47526945)

By a dedicated but somewhat mass produced Russian missile, should a major conflict arise.

Or the dozen "good enough" fighter jets that swarm it.

Re: Watch the F-35 get blown out of the skies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527289)

If you think US jets are likely to be outnumbered 12 to 1, you may want to look at how rediculous their military budget is.

Re: Watch the F-35 get blown out of the skies (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about 3 months ago | (#47528285)

You might want to look at how many F-35s are actually being ordered. They could very well be outnumbered 12 to 1 in a given engagement with, for example, China or Russia.

Re: Watch the F-35 get blown out of the skies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528529)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

If China, Russia, and India all teamed up they'd field about 2/3 to 3/4 the number of fighter aircraft that the US military is capable of fielding. That's not going to turn into a "12 to 1 advantage" for any other country in the reasonable, foreseeable future.

Even against Russia or China, we could simply park naval forces offshore, and simply shoot down anything they try to fly around, while bombarding their airfields and other strategic sites with cruise missiles and JDAMs.

Would a fight against Russia or China be bloody, and costly, since they're pretty well equipped and modern? Sure - and for that reason, it's very unlikely to ever happen - both sides know they have a lot to lose. But would they EVER have a scenario where they outnumber our aircraft 12 to 1? No. No. No.

What obscene prices... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47526557)

$ 600.000,00 for a fucking helmet ? What's next, $ 200.000,00 for a toilet seat ?

Re:What obscene prices... (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | about 3 months ago | (#47526585)

Yes but the toilet seat has downward facing fricking lasers that scan your "bodily output" to provide full medical tri-corder capability. A bargain at twice the price.

Re:What obscene prices... (1)

XanC (644172) | about 3 months ago | (#47526689)

You've got your period and comma keycaps swapped. Or you're European, I guess. Either way, it doesn't make sense to write numbers that way.

Re:What obscene prices... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527077)

You've got your period and comma keycaps swapped. Or you're European, I guess. Either way, it doesn't make sense to write numbers that way.

I'm a European and post on /. . Is that a problem ?
Our decimal separator is the , (even my HP calculator (USA made) allows , or . decimal separator).

Re:What obscene prices... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528167)

$ 600.000,00 for a fucking helmet ?

To be fair, half of that is for the paperwork that goes with it.

Is this the same Lockheed Martin... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47526583)

that's embroiled in the Social Security IT boondoggle?!?

It's boondoggles all the way down!!!

Re:Is this the same Lockheed Martin... (1)

GenaTrius (3644889) | about 3 months ago | (#47526853)

Lockheed Martin is a major defense contractor. They do damn near everything. They're practically a part of the government. Military-industrial complex and all that.

Re:Is this the same Lockheed Martin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527319)

Boondoggle is such a stupid word. I wish people would quit using it.

Bugs... (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 3 months ago | (#47526591)

Does this thing acutally work or is it as bugridden as the rest of the F-35? I sure would not want to be sitting in an F-35 when the rendering software has a buffering issue or just plain segfaults in the middle of a dogfight.

Re:Bugs... (4, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | about 3 months ago | (#47526677)

Not sure it'll see many dogfights in any case. I'm told that the F35 is the largest, heaviest fighter with an airframe that produces the most drag, that the US has ever produced, and the huge engine that makes it fly puts out a very clear heat signature without providing much range, speed or maneuverability. It's been described as "can't run, can't fight, can't hide", and missions assume that older fighters go ahead and clean up the resistance so the F35 can complete its mission unchallenged. So, I'd imagine that if the F35 finds itself in a dogfight, something has gone very wrong with the mission.

Re:Bugs... (1)

pkinetics (549289) | about 3 months ago | (#47526697)

Another flying bus!!! So much for Col John Boyd and the E-M modeling...

History, we don't need to learn no history!

Re:Bugs... (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47526795)

the AWACS are there to guide the F-35 to kill enough aircraft first so there is no dog fight

I'm curious (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about 3 months ago | (#47526817)

What was wrong with the F-22 that the F-35 was going to fix?

Re:I'm curious (3, Informative)

roc97007 (608802) | about 3 months ago | (#47526903)

What was wrong with the F-22 that the F-35 was going to fix?

I am out of my element a bit here, but my understanding is that the F22 is an air superiority fighter only, whereas the F35 was supposed to be a multirole aircraft (air-to-air and air-to-ground) with (optional) VTOL features, (which no version of the F22 has) all in the same airframe. It was supposed to be the Windows 8 of fighter aircraft, a single airframe to take the place of a bunch of other craft.

...and apparently, it works about as well as you would expect of those types of solutions...

And, it was (giggle) supposed to (snerk) be (Bwaaaa haa haaa) affordable. Sorry, I can't say that with a straight face.

Re:I'm curious (1)

Gareth Iwan Fairclough (2831535) | about 3 months ago | (#47526969)

What was wrong with the F-22 that the F-35 was going to fix?

I am out of my element a bit here, but my understanding is that the F22 is an air superiority fighter only, whereas the F35 was supposed to be a multirole aircraft (air-to-air and air-to-ground) with (optional) VTOL features, (which no version of the F22 has) all in the same airframe. It was supposed to be the Windows 8 of fighter aircraft, a single airframe to take the place of a bunch of other craft.

...and apparently, it works about as well as you would expect of those types of solutions...

And, it was (giggle) supposed to (snerk) be (Bwaaaa haa haaa) affordable. Sorry, I can't say that with a straight face.

Pretty much. It has similarities to the relationship between the F-15 and F-16 development projects. One was built to do one thing, the other was built as a response to it when it started getting out of control. A kind of "Little and large" relationship. Though now the f35 has gotten out of control...sheesh :(

Re:I'm curious (2)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 3 months ago | (#47528173)

What was wrong with the F-22 that the F-35 was going to fix?

I am out of my element a bit here, but my understanding is that the F22 is an air superiority fighter only, whereas the F35 was supposed to be a multirole aircraft (air-to-air and air-to-ground) with (optional) VTOL features, (which no version of the F22 has) all in the same airframe. It was supposed to be the Windows 8 of fighter aircraft, a single airframe to take the place of a bunch of other craft.

...and apparently, it works about as well as you would expect of those types of solutions...

And, it was (giggle) supposed to (snerk) be (Bwaaaa haa haaa) affordable. Sorry, I can't say that with a straight face.

So, it's a flying Swiss Army Knife. Sure, it has a spork, scissors, tweezers, a nail file, a screwdriver, and a dozen other tools and perhaps even a knife in there somewhere for good measure but it sucks as any of them.

Re:I'm curious (1)

Guy From V (1453391) | about 3 months ago | (#47526907)

Cost.

Re:I'm curious (1)

CanadianMacFan (1900244) | about 3 months ago | (#47526979)

The F-22 is the special fighter with all of the extras that the US is keeping for just itself while the F-35 is able to be exported to other countries.

Re:I'm curious (1)

jkmartin (816458) | about 3 months ago | (#47527001)

There is a PBS Nova documentary (Battle of the X Planes) that explains that if you took fighter development and acquisition costs and graphed it out that in 50 years you would be spending the entire defense budget on 1 plane. The Air Force would fly the plane 4 days a week, the Navy 3 days a week, and the Marines could have it once every 4 years on leap day.

The F-35 was supposed to address the soaring costs by use of a fairly standard airframe and parts across 3 distinct users. The F-35 would also provide more of a ground attack capability than the F-22 and be available for export.

Needless to say the project hasn't gone as envisioned and the F-35 is likely to be the last manned fighter aircraft we ever build. If we weren't already $100s of billions into the process it would probably be better to forget the whole thing and focus on mission-specific drones rather than an unaffordable plane that does nothing particularly well.

Re:I'm curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527101)

If we weren't already $100s of billions into the process it would probably be better to forget the whole thing and focus on mission-specific drones rather than an unaffordable plane that does nothing particularly well.

That is the fallacy of sunk costs. There is nothing you can do to get the money or time (or whatever it is) back. You just need to decide if what is left in the project is worth the additional cost. Sometimes, even when you are 99% done, it is better to walk away than to throw good after bad. Many boondoggles arose and arise out of that fallacious thinking.

Re:I'm curious (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 3 months ago | (#47527015)

The F-35 was supposed to be cheaper and sold to US partners. Sort of like the F-16.

It turns out it is costing more per plane than the F-22 however.

Re:I'm curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527113)

The F-35 was supposed to be cheaper and sold to US partners. Sort of like the F-16.

It turns out it is costing more per plane than the F-22 however.

More like the flying coffin F-104 Starfighter.

Re:I'm curious (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 3 months ago | (#47527177)

The F-104 Starfighter was supposed to be a cheap Mach 2 fighter. It was precisely that. It was also designed in record time with nothing but drafting boards and sliderules. It was just accident prone. The F-35 has taken forever to develop, costs more than an F-22 per unit, is slower than the F-104 Starfighter from the 1950s. It uses less fuel and has more advanced weapons. That is about it.

Re:Bugs... (2)

Guy From V (1453391) | about 3 months ago | (#47526839)

It depends on what role they want the F-35 to play, I've seen that it was designed alternatively either as a fighter or multirole aircraft. As a swing-role or multirole craft this could easily dominate. As a fighter, that is harder to see for the very reasons you brought up...size, drag etc...but the stealth and electronic warfare packages, which I assume this helmet plays a major role in monitoring and interfacing, might be a trump card that overcomes it's deficiencies in air-to-air and air superiority combat.

Re:Bugs... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 3 months ago | (#47526971)

About the ECM, the story is that the F35 only has effective ECM in the same frequency range that it's own radar uses -- effectively limiting it to C band. It has stealth features, but they are largely negated by the heat put out by that huge engine. These two weaknesses sum up the "can't hide" part of the F35's deficiencies.

Mind you, I've been out of the war toys business for many years. I only know what I've read. But it's not promising.

Re:Bugs... (1)

Guy From V (1453391) | about 3 months ago | (#47527167)

Lol, nice. Can it, at least, maybe use the EC to mask it's own signature it's putting out? That would be like covering up your own footsteps by yelling I guess, heh.

Re:Bugs... (3, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about 3 months ago | (#47527513)

I'm told that the F35 is the largest, heaviest fighter with an airframe that produces the most drag, that the US has ever produced...

And where did you hear it? According to wikipedia:

Wingspan:
F35: 35'
F14: 64' / 38' (swept)
F15: 42'
F16: 32'
F18 C/D: 40'

Empty Weight
F35: 29,000 lb
F14: 43,700 lb
F15: 28,000 lb
F16: 18,900 lb
F18: 23,000 lb

Combat radius (internal stores)
F35: 600 nm
F14: 500 nm
F15: 1000 nm
F16: 340 nm
F18: 400 nm

Of what can be verified, none of what you heard is correct...

Re:Bugs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528101)

But with a magic helmet, at least the pilot will see it coming :-)

Re:Bugs... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 3 months ago | (#47526687)

It's not bug-ridden, it's handy-capable.

Re:Bugs... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 months ago | (#47526705)

Can you call them "bugs" when they were specific design specifications?

The F-35 is a $300billion dollar abomination. Earlier today, there was a story about a $300million dollar IT mess in federal government and there were howls of outrage.

This useless plane is 1000 times more expensive and unlike the IT mess, the plane's "bugs" are there by design.

Re:Bugs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47526911)

The F-15 development started 47 years ago in the late 60's and has been incrementally upgraded over it's entire life cycle which technically means the jet is still in development. Development for the F-22 started 33 years ago. So a few bugs and some unexpected problems are to be expected. The F-35 is most likely the last manned jet fighter that will be built. The air frames and engines in the new generation of fighters are already able to deliver more performance than a human pilot can ever take advantage of. The pilots of these jets are becoming glorified computer operators and that can already be handled remotely. Unless they can come up with some counter mass or anti-gravity technology they have hit the proverbial brick wall when trying to increase performance. For now they will just have to be satisfied with development of cool technology like the helmet the article mentions.

Re:Bugs... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 3 months ago | (#47527049)

I would not bet on it being the last fighter. There are already proposals for a 6th generation fighter floating around such as the Boeing F/A-XX.

The pilots have g-limits but it is certainly possible to increase speed or reduce fuel consumption.

Re:Bugs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528561)

Remote control is not useful in every situation. Many countries have anti satellite weapons and jammers...

I knew a former Lockheed employee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47526629)

He showed me a couple of bits of company culture:

Lockheed Salute - A shrug
Lockheed working gloves - puts hands in pockets

Universal antipathy (1)

Tailhook (98486) | about 3 months ago | (#47526641)

Check out the groupthink.

Re:Universal antipathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527883)

Little known fact: the helmet is cursed and gives -8 to Charisma along with the +4 to Perception.

Re:Universal antipathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527983)

Check out the hundreds of billions of military-industrial compork.

There's still one thing missing (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 3 months ago | (#47526723)

Now that we have the Magic Helmet, is somebody going to develop the spear [wikipedia.org] that's supposed to go with it?

I can build lots of drones for $300B USD (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47526797)

Leave the pilot on the ground and you won't need a fancy helmet.

Re:I can build lots of drones for $300B USD (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 3 months ago | (#47527577)

Leave the pilot on the ground and you won't need a fancy helmet.

If you plan to use it as a fighter you will certainly need the "fancy" helmet.

Re:I can build lots of drones for $300B USD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527851)

Good luck building a fighter capable drone without the latency dude.

Once you crack that particular problem, fill in your application for a guaranteed Nobel Prize, because you will have to come up with some nobel worthy technologies to fix that particular problem.

Two words (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 3 months ago | (#47528471)

Falcon brain.

.

Sensory overload? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527067)

This sounds like a clear example of sensory overload. Such systems take a lot of time to adapt to, and many cannot cope with it. Sigh - "it seemed like such a good idea at the time"...

How long till it's hacked in combat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527561)

"These are not the targets you are looking for, nothing to see here, move along"

I can let him borrow my Rift (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527687)

And here I am all feeling smug for having a more kick ass experience than him. Pfft! He can fly a plane while I fly my VR spaceship around the moon while watching Lara Croft to strut around naked next to me. On second thought... Maybe I don't want to let him borrow my Oculus Rift.

Pretty cool video showing the helmet in operation (4, Informative)

Goldenhawk (242867) | about 3 months ago | (#47527805)

This video
  http://www.c-span.org/video/?c... [c-span.org]
shows the symbology and operation of the helmet as a reporter wears it. It's expensive, yes, but it's revolutionary.

If this helmet is that great (2)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about 3 months ago | (#47528039)

Why wouldn't you pretty much use this in every fighter plane we use. (I mean besides having to come up with upgraded electronics for the F-15, F-16, F-18, ETC) Why tie it to the F-35?

Israeli defense company (2, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 months ago | (#47528137)

An Israeli defense company, eh?

Well, no one is quite the expert at mass murder that the Israelis are, as they're proving in Gaza right now by butchering 4 civilians for every enemy "soldier" that they kill.

Can you imagine the uproar if 80% of those killed in Afghanistan by US forces were civilians?

Re:Israeli defense company (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528409)

Well, no one is quite the expert at mass murder that the Israelis are, as they're proving in Gaza right now by butchering 4 civilians for every enemy "soldier" that they kill.

The Israelis are fighting an enemy that intends to destroy Israel and kill as many Jews as possible. The Hamas Covenant [wikipedia.org] says (exact quote from the English translation): There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. [yale.edu]

Hamas has repeatedly fired rockets and artillery shells into Israel, indiscriminately trying to maim and kill anyone in Israel. Hamas started this, not Israel.

Israel has been dropping leaflets: "Get out of here, we will be attacking the area soon." They have telephoned houses and sent texts: "Get out of the area, it's not safe." They have dropped non-exploding payloads on buildings before dropping the bombs.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/07/14/video-this-is-what-an-israeli-roof-knock-looks-like/ [washingtonpost.com]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/israeli-troops-raid-rocket-launching-sites-in-gaza-as-residents-are-urged-to-evacuate/2014/07/13/4c1a0528-0a68-11e4-bbf1-cc51275e7f8f_story.html [washingtonpost.com]

Hamas has been using schools, churches, hospitals, and people's houses to store weapons or launch rocket attacks.

Given all of the above, there is total moral clarity here. Hamas literally wants to destroy Israel, started the conflict, and endangered its own people; Israel has repeatedly shown that they would be willing to accept a two-state solution, but Hamas will only accept a one-state solution, i.e. Israel destroyed and that land part of Palestine.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-moral-clarity-in-gaza/2014/07/17/0adabe0c-0de4-11e4-8c9a-923ecc0c7d23_story.html [washingtonpost.com]

http://online.wsj.com/articles/israel-expands-ground-operation-in-gaza-1405836870 [wsj.com]

So, yes, it's true that Israel has not managed to fight a war with no collateral damage. But what would you have them do?

How patient would you be if someone was shooting rockets that were falling in your home town, and from time to time some innocent person (possibly a child) was maimed or killed? How long would you let that go on?

I am grateful that my own decisions (and especially my mistakes) don't have life-or-death consequences. I don't envy the leaders of Israel, deciding how to handle an implacable enemy that uses the innocent as human shields.

It's great that... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528155)

We're allowing genocidal Israel, masters of killing people, to work on our most advanced fighter plane so we can also kill more people.

Bad Plane (2)

Chris L. Mason (3425) | about 3 months ago | (#47528675)

This plane is an ef'ing joke, at least from my perspective as Canadian ex-military. Does not operate well in cold weather, and has only one engine. If you lose an engine while patrolling the arctic, you go down. This is an overpriced, overcomplicated piece of shit. Our government has produced at least two reports that have stated that this is an inappropriate and overpriced solution for what we need, yet regardless the federal government (across two parties) seems to keep trying to back it, and even now, another report is surfacing suggesting this might change.

Small, stupid suggestion: Screw this boondoggle, and pay Canadian companies to produce a world-class, well-designed and actually useful aircraft to replace the well-performing, but old, CF-18s. And if the US doesn't like it, too bad.

Add to that special helmets? By a country engaged in war-crimes and atrocities? Yeah, that will sell it.

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