Pentagon's head tester has concerns over F-35 fighter jet

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Pentagon's Head Tester Has Concerns Over F-35 Fighter Jet

Apparently the U.S. military's development of the F-35 fighter jet is hitting some turbulence. At least that's what the Pentagon's head weapons tester Michael Gilmore said in a memo that Bloomberg obtained.

The F-35, sometimes called the "most expensive weapon ever built," will have different versions for the U.S. Navy, Marines and Air Force. It's meant to replace older jets.

Both the Air Force and the Marines have approved their models for combat — but only in limited use. There's still two more years before the F-35 will go into its final test phase and then an additional year until it could go into mass production.

By that time, the Pentagon will have put $400 billion into the project. But according to Gilmore, the project is at a "substantial risk" of not meeting that timeline due to a handful of problems, including the lack of a working gun.

The Bloomberg report is just the latest in a project that's been plagued by problems, ranging from software malfunctions to tires that couldn't handle the force of a landing.

"It's the wave of the future, and it's where we need to go in terms of fighting tomorrow's war," Maj. Jayson Rickard said.

The Department of Defense has admitted to challenges with the jet's development in the past. In February, the department cited over 400 problems with the jets, but said that number actually wasn't that high for this type of project. And some officials have said some of the jets could potentially be deployed within a year.

See photos of other F-35 fighter jets below:

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F-35 Fighter Jets
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F-35 Fighter Jets
Lt. Col. George Watkins, the 34th Fighter Squadron commander, drops a GBU-12 laser-guided bomb from an F-35A Lightning II at the Utah Test and Training Range Feb. 25, 2016. The 34th FS is the Air Force's first combat unit to employ munitions from the F-35A. (US Air Force photo/Jim Haseltine)

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Kalsbeek and Airman Juan Rivas, both 34th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew members, prepare to equip an F-35A Lightning II with a GBU-12 laser-guided bomb at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Feb. 23, 2016. (US Air Force photo/Jim Haseltine)

Airman Juan Rivas, Senior Airman Darion White and Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Kalsbeek, all 34th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew members, prepare to equip an F-35A Lightning II with a GBU-12 laser-guided bomb at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Feb. 23, 2016 (US Air Force photo/Jim Haseltine)
An F-16, below, escorts two F-35 jets, above, after arriving at it new operational base Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, at Hill Air Force Base, in northern Utah. Two F-35 jets touched down Wednesday afternoon at the base, about 20 miles north of Salt Lake City. A total of 72 of the fighter jets and their pilots will be permanently based in Utah. The Air Force says the F-35s are replacing the older F-16 with greater speed and combat range and lower maintenance costs due to a computerized self-test system.(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Two F-35 jets arrive at it's new operational base Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, at Hill Air Force Base, in northern Utah. Two F-35 jets touched down Wednesday afternoon at the base, about 20 miles north of Salt Lake City. A total of 72 of the fighter jets and their pilots will be permanently based in Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
An F-35 jet arrives at it new operational base Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, at Hill Air Force Base, in northern Utah. Two F-35 jets touched down Wednesday afternoon at the base, about 20 miles north of Salt Lake City. A total of 72 of the fighter jets and their pilots will be permanently based in Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
An F-35 jet sits on the tarmac at its new operational base Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, at Hill Air Force Base, in northern Utah. Two F-35 jets touched down Wednesday afternoon at the base, about 20 miles north of Salt Lake City. A total of 72 of the fighter jets and their pilots will be permanently based in Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
An F-35 arrives at it new operational base Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, at Hill Air Force Base, in northern Utah. Two F-35 jets touched down Wednesday afternoon at the base, about 20 miles north of Salt Lake City. A total of 72 of the fighter jets and their pilots will be permanently based in Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II lifts off during testing at Edwards Air Force Base on March 19, 2013. The F-35 is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability. The numerous decals fixed to the side of the jet are used to monitor flight and payload performance by video during testing. (Photo by Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Lockheed Martin Corp. security guards stand in front of a new stealth fighter, known as the F-35 or Joint Strike Fighter, before a news conference after the plane's first flight in Fort Worth, Texas, Friday, Dec. 15, 2006. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
FILE - This undated file photo provided by Northrop Grumman Corp., shows a pre-production model of a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Israel's defense ministry said Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, that it will purchase 14 next-generation F-35 fighter jets for approximately $3 billion adding to the fleet of 19 U.S-made jets it already purchased in 2010. Israel plans for the stealth jet to replace its fleet of F-16 warplanes and maintain its aerial dominance in the region. (AP Photo/Northrop Grumman, File) NO SALES
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