Quoting full time internet trolls such as Don Bacon. Now this has to be a first, even for you
On the ejection seat issue (or rather the ejection seat + HMD + Pilot) this is a known risk with all ejection systems + HMD combos due to the latter adding aditional bulk over and above the baseline helmet. The Navy assumes the same with JHMCS and their standard Hornet/SH ejection system (I' have posted technical papers to that end before). Ejecting form an aircraft that is capable of high Gs and speed always comes with a risk no matter which ejection system, helmet or aircraft combo you look at. Scientifically, you test to measure the risk and deem it either acceptable, or unacceptable. When the lightweight pilot risk was evaluated it was deemed unacceptable below a weight class (less than 60 kg for pilot) and hence a restriction was put in place which only effected one service (USN and USMC pilots can't fly fighters below 60 kg anyways) and actually just one pilot in that service. Once the modifications were tested this restriction was lifted but the risk across the envelope and weight classes does not go away, it always stays but is deemed acceptable. There is no helmet+ejection system combo that is "No Risk". Simply put, ejecting from an aircraft involves risk.
The F-35's seat is designed around weight standards, no fighter ejection system till now has been, and the AF lifted the restrictions after careful analysis of the risk. The weight restrictions that led to modifications that they are talking about only apply to one service (no international customer or USN and USMC pilots are allowed to fly at those weights) and even they do not have any pilot at the lowest end of that margin. The modifications to the seat itself, will be completed in the next months on most of the AF aircraft, even though no pilot meets that criteria yet. And no, no one will die because of this but plenty of sensationalism will be floated around by the likes of Bacon and Brigannti out with an agenda. At least we know who the latter is (known shill for French wares) , the former is an anonymous internet troll.EDIT
: Regarding the point Phillip made in the Vik thread about modifications and "go to war" configurations. Here is what the F-35 bed down looks like by end of next year (annotated graphic below). The bases with a green star are the ones that will house operational "Go to War" units, while the ones with red circles are training, test, and tactics units for either the US services or a mix of US and international customers (mostly Luke).
The plans for COMBAT USAF UNITS is to finish deliveries of the 70+ F-35As at Hill AFB Utah (which will happen by end of next year), and then begin delivering operational aircraft meant for Eielson AFB in Alaska which will get just a little over 50 aircraft. Then they will begin supplying operational squadrons out at RAF Lakenheath which will house 48 F-35As. Both Alaska and the UK base should begin getting deliveries between the 2019 - 2020 period. Additional operational bases beyond these three will be decided shortly.
There is also an ANG unit up in Vermont that will get operational aircraft delivered to it within the same window. The USMC and USN stand up "Operational Units" are also identified here (plus aircraft in Japan). The first USMC squadron to have declared IOC is in 2B configuration, and will be transitioning through the depot to get the appropriate hardware changes so that it can get full 3F capability. That cycle will be based on ops tempo demands since those jets are doing quite a bit of flying of late given the situation in the Pacific.
But, that is the only operational set of aircraft that are currently out in the US services without Tech Refresh 2 hardware changes..the USAF which has bulk of the operational aircraft delivered, made it a point to only IOC once the hardware portion of block 3 changes were incorporated into their aircraft so for them, moving to 3F simply is a wait for all variants of the software build to be cleared for fleet release. This has started happening (see article linked below) and will progressively, over the next few months (by early to mid 2018) conclude the entire 3F build minus a few things they defer to later in the year. http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your- ... -squadron/
Now to the training, test and tactics units: A portion of these aircraft are in 2B configuration since they were delivered long ago when production was still at TR-1. Some of these are to be upgraded to 3F over the next few months, starting with the units headed for Operational Test and Evaluation. Some if not most of them also have "concurrency changes" that are to be applied to them at the depot. Things as minor as changing wires on some, to as major as replacing parts that have been modified through the testing and feedback process. Each batch has lesser and lesser of these changes but there are a high number of per aircraft changes in pre LRIP-5 jets which are a fraction of the overall fleet. Others that have been conducting DT work will NEVER be converted since they will either be retired, or kept aside for current and future test needs as the program transitions to follow on development. This leaves aircraft currently with the USAF training and tactics squadrons that are likely also in 2B configuration which the USAF has to develop a plan for bringing up to the standard of the current operational fleet.
This is a financial decision for them, but keep in mind the "Operational Fleet Standard" is dynamic, as there will be a Tech-Refresh-3, hardware change associated with early Block 4, and another Tech Refresh later with block 5. Simply put, the program since day one planned a tic-tock refresh cycle with critical hardware and software upgrades. On the F-22, and even the F-16, they maintained a small subset of the training and tactics fleet at a baseline standard to avoid costs every time the ops aircraft were upgraded to a higher capability. They may decide to do the same here as well but keep in mind that these aircraft ARE NOT OPERATIONAL and these units are not COMBAT CODED.The USAF/ANG Aircraft out at Hill, Eielson, Lakenheath, and Burlington DO HAVE (in case of Hill's aircraft), or will have (future deliveries to Hill and other bases) TR-2 hardware from the time these units declared IOC.
. These are the only combat coded units with the service. These units have since day 1 (when they went operational) had the ability to go to war in an IOC configuration, and will shortly get FOC standard software build.
Bottom line, unlike the F-22, or even F-15, this is a very large program at a production rate that has not been seen in the west since the F-16 ramp up. There were a little over 100 aircraft in 2014/15, and there will be over 1000 aircraft flying worldwide by 2023. This has an impact on expectations for thing such as pilot training, maintainer training, weapons school units, and tactics development. They front loaded a lot of this infrastructure in anticipation of this ramp up which is now happening with the surge in production. Contracted lot sizes are approaching the triple digits. You need a large infrastructure to train, and equip such an aggressive ramp up. Those are not combat coded units, and they are focused at pilot training, testing or other tasks. Would you like each and every one of them to be combat coded? Possibly, but I think it is a Nice to Have vs a Must Have, at least in the short-medium term.
Having front loaded a lot of the non combat units, the USAF is now buying roughly (+/- 5%) 4 dozen F-35As a year until the middle of the next decade when they expect to get up closer to 60. Those are almost all headed to combat coded squadrons.