UK's fighter jet can't fly in bad weather

The UK's new £150m F-35 stealth fighter jet - also known as the Joint Strike Fighter or Lightning II - could be delayed after concern its fuel tanks could explode if hit by lightening.

The F35, ordered from the US, was supposed to enter UK service in 2018. The bottom line? The world's most sophisticated fighter jet now can't fly in bad weather.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%


Grounded

There are two variants, 'B' and 'C', of the F-35. Britain is getting the 'B' version which has a reduced weapons payload but is able to take off vertically. However new data released by the Pentagon's Operational Test and Evaluation Office reveals more on-going concerns.

"Examinations by the United States Air Force and the Lockheed Martin," the Telegraph reports, "the aircraft's manufacturer, also discovered a handful of cracks in the tested aircraft, including on the right wing and right engine of the F-35A variant, and on another part of the F-35B variant."

Either way, it looks that the jet - it can fly as fast as 1,300mph and is supposedly invisible to radar - could see considerable (and expensive) design changes. Money, again, is a considerable concern. The total cost of running the jet for 30 years could be as much as £625 billion.

Massive running costs

So far the MoD has plans to spend more than £250bn on this jet in total. But the running costs are intergalactic. Several countries have already pulled out of buying the jet on cost grounds, including Canada. Italy has also slashed the numbers of the F-35 it had planned to take. However, such costs will also support many jobs in the UK.

The other issue is whether such a jet is still strategically really needed. If, for example, decades of war are now being forecast fighting Islamic insurgents across Africa - from Algeria to Nigeria to Somalia - how much importance will fixed wing UK aviation defence matter in the future compared with the past? And at what cost to taxpayers?

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UK's fighter jet can't fly in bad weather

Wal-Mart Stores, or Walmart, is an American retailer that runs chains of discount department and warehouse stores around the world.

The company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962, incorporated on October 31, 1969, and first traded on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. It is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas and has around 8,500 stores in 15 countries, under 55 different names.

Royal Dutch Shell, more commonly known as Shell, is a global oil and gas company headquartered in Holland, but with its registered office in London.

With operations in more than 90 countries, it is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

Exxon Mobil Corporation, or ExxonMobil, is an American oil and gas corporation formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas.

With 37 oil refineries in 21 countries, Exxon Mobil Corporation is the largest refiner in the world.

BP is yet another global oil and gas company, this time headquartered in London. It has operations in more than 80 countries, produces about 3.8 million barrels of oil per day and has 22,400 service stations worldwide.

The name BP is derived from the initials of one of the company's former legal names, British Petroleum.

Sinopec Group is one of the major petroleum companies in China, headquartered in Beijing.

Its business includes oil and gas exploration as well as the production and sales of petrochemicals and chemical fibres.

China National Petroleum Corporation is a state-owned fuel-producing corporation and the largest integrated oil and gas company in China. It has its headquarters in Beijing.

CNPC - the parent company of PetroChina - was created in 17 September 1988 when the government decided to disband the Ministry of Petroleum and create a state owned company to handle all Petroleum activities in China.

State Grid Corporation of China is the largest electric power transmission and distribution company in China, once again headquartered in Beijing.

It has subsidiaries in Northern China, Northeastern China, Eastern China, Middle China and Northwestern China.

Toyota Motor Corporation, more commonly known simply as Toyota, is a multinational automaker headquartered in Toyota, Japan.

The company was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937 as a spinoff from his father's company Toyota Industries. Its brands include Toyota, Lexus and Daihatsu.

Japan Post Holdings is a state-owned Japanese company that deals with mail delivery and financial services.

It is headquartered in Tokyo and was founded on January 23, 2006.

Chevron Corporation is an American energy company headquartered in San Ramon, California.

It is active in more than 180 countries and is engaged in every aspect of the oil, gas, and geothermal energy industries, including exploration and production, and power generation.

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