MISFIRE: The latest thing to go wrong with the $1.5 trillion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program: a night-vision camera in the plane’s $400,000 helmet failed during Marine pilot’s test flight aboard the amphibious assault ship America in November. The test pilot was unable to see the ship’s deck as he landed, so he had to dead-reckon where he was above the ship. A spokesman for the Joint Program Office said solutions for the defect will be tested this fall, but given the severity of the problem and the potential for disaster until it is fixed, the Defense Department and prime contractor Lockheed Martin would be well advised to hit the afterburner on a solution.

Medals & Misfires is a new opinion feature from the Military Times editorial staff. Medals signify a job well done. Misfires signify a major blunder.

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