Stealth fighters hit by software crash

A software glitch regarding the change in longitude from W179.99 degrees to E180 forced 12 United States Air Force F-22A Raptor stealth fighters to cancel their first overseas flight. The jets were flying from Hawaii to Japan when they were forced to turn back using only visual contact with their tankers after the onboard navigation, communications and fuel systems crashed as the planes crossed the International Date Line. Because of "operational security reasons" the USAF refused to specify the cause of the issue saying only that the aircraft "experienced a software problem involving the navigation system en route from Hickam to Kadena". The $125m planes, the most expensive fighters ever built, returned safely, but the situation may have been disastrous had they not been with their tankers or had the weather not been on their side.

Link: Forum Discussion (Thanks JorgeIvan)
News source: vnunet

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billyea said,
It's not Windows, it's probably a custom coded OS.

i believe they are all refering to the whole "Windows for Warships" thing.

yeah, i think it was that 2003 or the newly designed longhorn that ms is praising so much ... so many lines of code (in the order of gazillion lines of code) and yet no1 could forsee this little problem ... as the guy above said ... who needs terrorism, all u need to do is say we are in 2008 and the plane .. wham ... MIA

Windows for Stealth Fighters!

I recommend waiting until service pack 1, or at least a few months until they iron the bugs out before using this version of Windows.

El Sid said,
Windows for Stealth Fighters!

I recommend waiting until service pack 1, or at least a few months until they iron the bugs out before using this version of Windows.

hahah, funny, but these systems are home made by the people who make the plane itself.

Someone's going to get their ass beat. When you deal with that sort of thing, you make damn sure you code your **** properly. Period.

Jeremy of Many said,
Someone's going to get their ass beat. When you deal with that sort of thing, you make damn sure you code your **** properly. Period.

Sorry but you're completely wrong in your comment.

You obviously have no clue about what you're talking about. People were designing these jets years ago. They're considered brand new because we're now officially flying them when honestly they've been around in building and testing periods for years. The original people who wrote the code for couldn't have known that years from that point there would be a change in longitude from W179.99 degrees to E180 that would cause a software crash.

You need to know what you're talking about before you post anything. I recommend looking up what all goes into designing and building fighter jets and how long it actually takes. Look at the F-117 Stealth fighter. They started designing that jet back in the early to mid 1970's and it never became public until 1988/89.

The F-22A Raptors are the successors to the F-117's. They probably started designing and building those in mid 80's to early 90's and they've only been flying them the last couple years. Once our military actually gets these jets, believe it or not they're actually considered old technology even with how advanced they are. Think of what we're building right now that won't be seen for 10 more years.

NightmarE D said,

Sorry but you're completely wrong in your comment.

You obviously have no clue about what you're talking about. People were designing these jets years ago. They're considered brand new because we're now officially flying them when honestly they've been around in building and testing periods for years. The original people who wrote the code for couldn't have known that years from that point there would be a change in longitude from W179.99 degrees to E180 that would cause a software crash.


Sorry, but that's crap too. Mission critical software (as employed by computers aboard fighters, spacecraft etc.) undergoes rigorous testing procedures to try and make it fall over or even give a single slightly erroneous response.
First off, if someone writing navigation software doesn't know that W179.99 + 0.01 = E180 they should go flip burgers as that has been known since longitude was invented. Secondly, the testers should get a kicking for also not knowing this fundamental fact and testing for it. They had long enough before the software was marked gold.