Apparently, F22 Raptors had difficulty crossing the International Date Line recently, all their navigation etc computers crashed.
Here’s a quote, supposedly from a cnn transcript of a broadcast earlier today :
You want everything to go right with the frontline fighter. $125, 135 Million a copy. The F-22 raptor is our frontline fighter, air defense, air superiority, and it can drop bombs. It is stealthy and fast. You want it to go right. On the international deployment to the pacific, it didn’t. At the international date line, whoops. All systems dumped. When i say all systems I mean all systems, navigation, part of the communications, fuel systems, and they were — they could have been in real trouble. They were with their tankers. The tankers — tried to reset their systems. Couldn’t get them reset. Tankers brought them back to Hawaii. This could have been real serious. Certainly could have been real serious if the weather had been bad. Turned out okay. Fixed in 48 hours. It was a computer glitch in the millions of lines of code; somebody made an error in a couple lines of the code and everything goes.
A comment from the slashdot article
Re:I have worked on Commecial and DoD avionics
by nonsequitor (893813) on Sunday February 25, @11:36PM (#18149088)
I too have worked as a contractor doing avionics work. What really surprises me in all of this is that there was no hardware watchdog, or way to reset the box on the way back. I used to work on multi-function displays, ADIs, HSIs, TCAS, etc… The adage goes that no information is better than old information so after going blank, it should have come back up in less than a minute. The fact that the failure state entered by crossing the dateline was persistent after a reboot is criminal negligence, these are people’s lives here. Pilots have breakers for everything, they would have cut power and restored it after exhausting all other options, the fact it still was not operational says a lot, none of it good.
You’d think this sort of thing would have been found in simulations first. Even running production avionics with faked gps inputs etc would have been sufficient. Just you wait until Jack Bauer gets to the bottom of this one . . . (Come on, it’s GOT to be the plot of next season’s 24, no?)