Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:55 pm

Another example of cost being removed from the program. Good to see things like 3D printing are having an impact here.

F-35 countdown: Lower simulator cost to support pilot training and mission readiness

Lockheed Martin has announced a price reduction for the F-35’s Full Mission Simulator (FMS) by US$3 million per unit, enabling F-35 pilots to get combat and mission ready quicker and cheaper, as production costs drop for both the airframe and support infrastructure.

To date, more than 700 pilots have completed training in the FMS. Comprised of 15 simulators, the low rate initial production (LRIP) 11 generates about $45 million savings for the F-35 program.

F-35 production teams at Lockheed Martin Training and Logistics Solutions (TLS) achieved these unit price reductions through several measures, including:

Executing long-term supply chain contracts and employing automation on the production line; and
Leveraging advanced manufacturing techniques, highlighted by the integration of 3D printed simulator parts including component housings and brackets.
Amy Gowder, TLS vice president and general manager, said, "We're serious about driving out costs and excited to generate continued production savings across all our programs using advanced manufacturing."

The F-35 FMS provides pilots with a 360-degree visual display system, which accurately represents all the sensors and weapons fitted to the F-35 and uses the same software as the aircraft, the system can be uniquely configured to train pilots on all three variants of the F-35:

F-35A (CTOL): The conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variant, to be operated by Australia, the US, Japan, Korea and a number of other allies;
F-35B (STOVL): The short take-off, vertical landing (STOVL) variant, to be operated by the US, UK, Italy and Japan; and
F-35C: The aircraft carrier variant designed to take-off from US Navy aircraft carriers and land using trap mechanisms on the deck of the vessels.
The FMS provides an affordable training option for F-35 pilots and commanders, with pilots completing roughly half of their initial qualification flights in the FMS, while after graduation, pilots remain in a continuous learning environment with access to training courseware as part of the FMS suite in order to maintain and enhance skill proficiency and combat readiness.

"In addition to our production savings, we're investing more than $30 million through 2020 to reduce F-35 training sustainment costs while increasing concurrency and capability," Gowder said.

The $30 million sustainment investment includes:

Modernising the virtual training environment based on emerging threats and needs of F-35 operators;

Reducing costs by infusing new technologies to shrink hardware and software footprints in the computing and visual infrastructure, automating support tasks and reducing manpower support requirements; and
Driving continuous concurrency between the training system and the F-35 aircraft.

The F-35 Training System supports continuation, upgrade and mission rehearsal training for qualified F-35 pilots. While the high-fidelity of the F-35 FMS allows pilots to split their training regimes 50/50, with 50 per cent of their training hours logged in the actual aircraft and 50 per cent of their training hours logged in the FMS.

F-35 training milestones for 2019 include the initial distributed mission training (DMT) capability and Block 4 training system upgrades. DMT allows physically separated aviators to train together and enables interoperability with fourth-generation platforms in a virtual environment.

The F-35 FMS serves as one of three individual training components for the F-35 platform, which include:

F-35 FMS The primary, high-fidelity training simulator;
Deployable Mission Rehearsal Trainer (DMRT): Designed to be placed onboard aircraft carriers and deployed austere sites to provide continuation and mission rehearsal training; and
Mission Rehearsal Trainer (MRT): A small footprint trainer that shares common hardware and software systems with the FMS, but incorporates a limited visual display system.

https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/strik ... -readiness
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:57 pm

On track for 91 deliveries this year.

Lockheed on track to deliver 91 F-35 jets in 2018

Presenting at the Credit Suisse Industrials Conference, CEO Marillyn Hewson said Lockheed Martin (LMT +0.2%) is on track to deliver 91 F-35 jets in 2018 and has delivered more than 330 of the fighters to date.

While the F-35 program represents the company's largest growth prospect, Hewson also sees an opportunity in the F-16 program.

She further noted that current backlog ensures 2020 sales growth regardless of the U.S. defense budget and said Lockheed has a strong offering for the Army's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft contract.

https://seekingalpha.com/news/3412816-l ... -jets-2018
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:01 am

An 87.5% availability for the recent deployment to Europe is impressive and should only increase as more Blk 3F jets enter the fleet and maintenance practises, and especially spares availability, increases. Valid claims by Lord and Winter on reducing sustainment costs and doing this is obviously in LM's benefit as it increases to export potential for the aircraft.

DoD Acquisition Chief Presses For More F-35s In The Air

The top Pentagon buyer said today the operating cost for the F-35 has to come down at the same time that mission capable rates must ramp up by double-digits. And it needs to happen in less than a year.

“Cost per flight hour needs to come down to fourth-generation [aircraft] levels and the availability needs to come up to 80 percent,” Ellen Lord told the Association of Old Crows electronic warfare conference this morning.

F-35 program head Vice Adm. Mat Winter, said in October that the crucial operating costs of the F-35 dropped significantly in 2017. The costs of operating the F-35 fleet dropped by $1.1 million “per tail per year across the fleet” and cited “a reduction of $12,000 per flight hour across the fleet.”

It was the latest in a long line of calls from Lord and other Pentagon officials to slash F-35 operating costs while the Air Force and Navy continue to spend tens of billions to buy more aircraft. The latest available data has the F-35 hanging around at about 55 percent availability, making Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ Pentagon-wide call for most fighters to hit the 80 percent mark by next September a tall order. But Lord said she can get it done.

However, there is a very wide spread in readiness rates for the F-35 fleet, depending on when they were built. Generally speaking, the older an F-35 is, the lower its readiness rates. During the first F-35 deployment to Europe last year, Air Force F-35As from the 34th Fighter Squadron deployed to RAF Lakenheath in the U.K. in April and later flew to Estonia and Bulgaria. “Our overall mission capable rate for this F-35 deployment (to the U.K., Estonia and Bulgaria) was 87.5 percent,” Col. David Lyons, the 388th Fighter Wing commander, told reporters. “And my current rate for my F-16s that are doing great work in Spain is 75 percent.”

In September, Mattis signed an order demanding that availability rates for the Air Force and Navy’s F-35, F-22, F-16 and F-18 inventories reach 80 percent in an attempt to blunt the slow slide in readiness seen in recent years.

The F-35s per flight hour operating costs have already fallen and are edging closer to those of of F-16, according to Air Force officials. At the Farnborough Air Show in July, Lockheed Martin executives said they believe they can reduce operation and maintenance costs by 38 percent over the next decade.

But no matter how much it might cost to fly, the F-35’s mission will remain the same: crunch massive amounts of data while finding ways to operate alongside multiple fighter platforms that don’t share its technical prowess and design billed as a “flying computer.”

Lord said that will require upgrades to older, 4th generation aircraft so they can share data and keep up with the F-35. In addition to sharing the F-35s much better situational awareness, it also means the 4th gen planes can use the F-35s much better targeting data.

“Electronic warfare is essential to the F-35. We need to make sure we are survivable in A2AD environments which are becoming more and more prevalent,” she said. “So we need to decide how we take that fifth gen capability and mix it with fourth gen capability.”

Overall, “we see the electromagnetic spectrum as a critical warfighting space, and therefore we’ve prioritized it.”

Lord also disclosed that Mattis has signed an order outlining how the Pentagon generates and consumes data, but the details are classified.

https://breakingdefense.com/2018/11/dod ... n-the-air/
 
GDB
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:56 pm

RAF F-35B's take part in their first exercise, on multinational level too. Along with RAF Typhoons, French AF Rafale's and USAF F-15E's, with AAR from a RAF Voyager;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFonEBlEbXo
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:35 am

Still up in the air how this is going to go. Some possible scenarios remain

- Turkeys gets no F-35s in Turkey but gets S400
- Turkey gets all jets and S400
- Turkey gets a good deal on Patriot, drops S400 and gets F-35
- Turkey is kicked out of JSF Industrial program and gets no jets


Is the Pentagon report to US Congress on Turkey's F-35 bid misleading?

In a report to the US Congress, the Pentagon says it will reassess Turkey’s participation in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program, citing Ankara's recent agreement with Moscow to procure S-400 missile system.

Turkey has invested more than $1.25 billion in the F-35 program since 2002 and it should have received 100 F-35 fighter planes this year. But the Trump administration postponed the crucial delivery for the second time in August.

The JSF program is the world’s most expensive arms project to date and Turkey is a key producer of the F-35 manufacturing parts for all variants and customers.

“The Administration will reassess Turkey’s continued participation as one of eight partner nations should they continue with their purchase of the S-400,” said the Pentagon report. TRT World has a copy of the report.

The report's 'executive summary' says that US may impose sanctions on Turkey if the S-400 deal moves ahead.

At the same time, the report has also praised Turkey for being NATO's “productive military partner in many areas.”

“The US Government has made clear to the Turkish Government that purchasing the S-400 would have unavoidable negative consequences for US-Turkey bilateral relations, as well as Turkey’s role in NATO,” the summary said.

Despite offering a repeated criticism of Turkish purchase of the S-400s, the report has still maintained that Ankara has legitimate concerns, seeking a missile system in the face of “growing regional security threats” coming from its politically unstable southern neighbours.

The report has also acknowledged Turkey’s frustration “with its protracted, decade-long search for an air and missile defense system.” It eventually led the country to buy “the S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Russia in July 2017,” the report conceded.

Notwithstanding the critical language of the Pentagon report, sources in Turkish defense ministry told TRT World that the US will ultimately deliver the promised F-35s because “F-35s, which will replace F-16s, have an utmost importance for Turkey’s Air Force.”

There are “no significant risks” for fighter jets’ being part of Turkish military inventory, one of the sources said.

“Higher-ups have figured out the issues surrounding the deal,” an official in the ministry said.

Turkey’s seek for missile system

Located between Europe and the Middle East, Turkey has long searched for a powerful anti-aircraft system to defend its geopolitically sensitive borders against various threats stemming from its western and eastern flanks.

On the western front, Turkey has disagreements with Greece over the delimitation of the Aegean continental shelf and other border issues has often caused tensions between the two countries.

On the southeastern flank, where ongoing civil war in Syria and instability in Iraq following the US invasion, Turkey has been dealing with several security threats, mostly coming from the PKK, which is considered to be a terror group by the US, EU and Turkey. The PKK and its affiliates are also present in northern parts of Syria and Iraq.

For Turkey, it was significant to purchase Russian S-400s since the US did not provide the Patriot missile system to Turkey on agreeable terms, despite Ankara's repeated requests.

The initial delivery of S-400 missile defense system is expected in July 2019.

“The current deal is a done deal. I cannot cancel it,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, referring to the S-400 purchase. However, he still indicated that Turkey was still keen on making more defense purchases from its NATO allies.

Beyond Turkey’s disagreement with US on S-400s, Ankara has other political issues with Washington, primarily in northern Syria.

Despite Turkey’s strong opposition, US continues to support the YPG, which is a Syrian wing of the PKK. Turkey has produced compelling evidence to prove the two organisations worked together but Washington has been denying any possible linkage.

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/is-th ... ding-22066
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:44 am

GDB wrote:
RAF F-35B's take part in their first exercise, on multinational level too. Along with RAF Typhoons, French AF Rafale's and USAF F-15E's, with AAR from a RAF Voyager;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFonEBlEbXo

Great video, thanks for posting.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:07 am

The Italian Air Force has declared IOC for the F-35.

Congratulazioni! The @ItalianAirForce's F-35As are operations ready! With the declaration of Initial Operating Capability, Italy becomes the first European nation and international partner to declare IOC and certify readiness for allied operations.

https://twitter.com/thef35/status/1068568091150479360

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:22 am

Puff piece about the F-35s arriving in Australia shortly.

Controversial $125 million F35 stealth fighter jets to touch down in Australia

Back in 1985, the Royal Australian Air Force’s newest fighter planes, the F18s, were leaving Lemoore military airbase in California on their delivery flight to Australia.

My report from the scene spoke of the long record-breaking flight ahead to Williamtown, near Newcastle, and the excitement in Australia that a new generation plane was about to arrive.

Fast forward 33 years to now, and I find myself at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix, Arizona.

Here at Luke there’s the same excitement as there was at Lemoore all those years ago. A new generation of RAAF crews making final preparations for the F18’s replacement, the F35A, to fly – yes, again – to Williamtown.

The F35s have been a while coming and not without plenty of controversy. Now this week the first two RAAF F35s are headed for their new home in Australia.

Australia is eventually getting 72 F35s over the next five years and at $125 million each, Australia gets what is considered the most lethal warplane ever built.

It is almost undetectable by radar. It flies at one-and-a-half times the speed of sound. A lethal killing machine.

Wing Commander Darren Clare is one of the two Aussie pilots taking these first single seater F35s to their new home base.

"It's absolutely a flying computer. A computer pretending to be an airplane," Clare said.

Over the years since 2002 various Australian government ministers fended off criticism that the joint strike fighter purchase was an expensive mistake. The pain continued for years. It was way behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget.

Slowly, Lockheed Martin sorted out the bugs and the F35 is set to become the workhorse of more than a dozen air forces around the world.

The government’s purchase agreement included 15 Australian companies being contributors to the project.

Sections of the vertical tails of the aircraft are manufactured in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales, the weapon adaptors in Queensland and engine parts are made in Western Australia.

"There are Australian components in every F35,” Billie Flynn, the F35s legendary test pilot, said.

“So, it’s not just the 330 aircraft that have been built to date. It is 3000 or more aircraft that we will build over its lifetime.

“That is an astonishing investment in Australian industry now and into the future."

The F35 in Australia is expected to create hundreds of more jobs.

We were given a tour of the Lockheed Martin production line in Fort Worth, Texas and up close, no matter where you look on the completed F35s you won't see the guns, the cameras or the antennas.

They are all there but embedded inside what is a very deadly aircraft – and the ultimate stealth fighter.

"With the F18s the bombs, the missiles and the long-range fuel tanks sit on the outside of the plane,” said Mr Flynn.

“But with the F35, all that is internal and as far as radar is concerned it means the pilot and his plane are almost invisible.

“He or she flies with absolute impunity knowing that the enemy will be unable to detect him."

Mr Flynn makes an important point: as far as the aircraft designers are concerned there is one thing that matters above all else.

"It takes three years to build a fighter jet. It takes 26 years to build a fighter pilot,” he said.

“What we care about, as parents, is that we are going to send our sons and daughters into harm’s way and what matters to us is that those men and women flying those fighter planes are coming home every single day."

The two F35s will spend several days making a relatively slow trip to Australia touching down in Hawaii and Guam as well as air to air refueling.

They will land in Brisbane on December 10 before moving on to the F35 home base in Williamtown.

https://www.9news.com.au/2018/12/02/04/ ... -newcastle

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:25 am

Some work awarded to LM as the USN prepares to declare IOC early next year.

Lockheed Martin to study U.S. Navy F-35 operational capability

The U.S. Navy is awarding Lockheed Martin $18.5 million for program-related and logistical work on the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

The modification of a previously awarded contract calls for analysis of the F-35's ability to accomplish its mission regarding participant requirements, such as the U.S. military and other nations either directly involved in the program or as outside buyers.

The analysis will include studying cost and weight reductions and simulations of the aircraft's performance. The contract is expected to run through December 2019 with funds to be obligated upon each contract order.

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is a 5th generation multi-role stealth fighter aircraft slated to replace most of the U.S. fighter fleet and supplement other nations participating in the program.

Over 320 aircraft have been delivered to the U.S. and partner nations, and planned buys are expected to boost that number by hundreds over the next several years.

Long-term production plans call for nearly 3,000 planes to be built for the U.S. military and approved foreign buyers.

F-35A Air Force and Marine Corps vertical takeoff and landing B models have already reached initial operational capability with several U.S. squadrons deployed with the USS Wasp and USS Essex amphibious assault carriers, in Japan and the Middle East.

Although lingering, unresolved software issues have left the planes without their full capabilities, the Department of Defense has said deployed planes are ready for combat.

The Navy F-35C designed for large Nimitz-class and Ford-class fleet carriers is expected to become fully operational sometime next year, according to the F-35 Joint Program Office.

https://www.upi.com/Lockheed-Martin-to- ... 543599646/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:31 am

Sputnik with some scare mongering...

British Navy and Air Force Face Off in Dispute Over New F-35 Jets – Reports

After several years without a functional aircraft carrier, Britain introduced the HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Royal Navy in December 2017 and the HMS Prince of Wales is expected in 2020; the UK is in the process of acquiring 48 US F-35B naval jets for their flight decks. However, the Royal Air Force is interested in growing its own fleet.

Two sources close to the Royal Navy have said that senior Royal Air Force officers are privately pushing for the UK to purchase F-35A Lockheed Martin supersonic jets, which are incapable of taking off from aircraft carriers, rather than some of the 48 F-35 Lightning II jets it has ordered that can operate from ships at sea, Sky News reported.

The sources said that any cut from the order for next generation F-35B aircraft, which will be able to take off and land on the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, would be a huge mistake, as it would redistribute the planes the £3bn carriers will be equipped to carry in the coming years.

The source outlined that the Royal Navy officials are in fury over the wish of Royal Air Force to put “its self-serving agenda above what is best for the nation”, calling the whole situation “an absolute disgrace” which “should not be allowed to happen”.

The UK Ministry of Defence told Sky News that its policy for the first 48 F-35 jets remained unchanged. More than a third of the warplanes have already been delivered, and the rest are expected to be delivered and operational by 2025. Overall the UK plans to purchase a total of 138 of the Lockheed Martin aircraft, without stating which variant, over the lifetime of the US-led programme, Sky News reported.

Royal Air Force officials dismissed all claims, calling the rumours “ill-informed”.

However, the sources told Sky News that a final decision on the last batch of 13 jets out of the first 48 does not formally have to be made until the end of next year, adding that the decision to switch to the land-variant F-35A warplanes would enrage the US, who had helped the UK rebuild its ability to launch such warships after the UK armed forces were forced to put carrier-operations on hold in 2010 to save money.

“If the British turn up to an operational theatre without combat aircraft it will completely undermine their military capability. To the US this is a really big deal. If the RAF go for the A variant at the expense of the carriers, which is effectively what they are saying, this will be perceived by the US as a major betrayal,” the source said, cited by Sky News.

Senior officers in the RAF are understood to be keen for a mix of carrier-capable and land-based F-35s among whatever number is ultimately purchased. They note that the A-model, which costs less than its £90 mln carrier-equipped twin, can fly further and carry more weapons. However, senior experts from the UK's Defence Analysis journal noted that under current circumstances the UK cannot afford two different F-35 fleets.

The sources also outlined that RAF officers want to buy land-based F-35s among whatever number is ultimately purchased because they do not want to have their future tied to operating aircraft from the sea.

https://sputniknews.com/military/201812 ... f-35-jets/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:36 am

While the three F-35 operating services will be happy with this appointment I think the USAF will be most happy. They have been keen to increase production and this will likely see Congress fund additional F-35s each year.

F-35 program gets champion in top GOP slot on House Appropriations panel

The Pentagon’s F-35 fighter jet program may be set for a good 2019 on Capitol Hill.

One of its top proponents, Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, has been picked by her party as the new ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee, which will hold the purse strings when it comes to future purchases of the pricey jets.

The Republican Steering Committee elected her for the spot on Thursday as its most senior member and current chairman on Appropriations, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., is set to retire.

“The hard work to reform the committee begins today,” Granger said in a statement following the vote.

Lockheed Martin has a mile-long assembly plant for the F-35 jets in Fort Worth that is in Granger’s district. Earlier this year the congresswoman, who is serving as the chairwoman of the Appropriations defense subcommittee, spearheaded $9.3 billion in funding to buy 93 of the aircraft.

That was 16 more of the aircraft, which cost about $89 million apiece, than the military had requested this year. The program is the most expensive in Pentagon history and is the flagship profit center for Lockheed, one of the biggest U.S. defense contractors.

Granger’s party was unable to hold the House majority in the midterm elections. But the ascent to the top Republican spot on the committee puts Granger in a powerful position to push more F-35 purchases as Congress begins a fight over whether to pump up the defense budget again in 2019 by tens of billions of dollars.

Meanwhile, Democrats will take the House majority in January and Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., who has advocated for timely funding of the Pentagon, will ascend to Appropriations Committee chair.

It will be the first time in history that the powerful committee has been led by two women, according to the Washington Post.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/poli ... ions-panel
 
bigjku
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:45 pm

Ozair wrote:
Sputnik with some scare mongering...

British Navy and Air Force Face Off in Dispute Over New F-35 Jets – Reports

After several years without a functional aircraft carrier, Britain introduced the HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Royal Navy in December 2017 and the HMS Prince of Wales is expected in 2020; the UK is in the process of acquiring 48 US F-35B naval jets for their flight decks. However, the Royal Air Force is interested in growing its own fleet.

Two sources close to the Royal Navy have said that senior Royal Air Force officers are privately pushing for the UK to purchase F-35A Lockheed Martin supersonic jets, which are incapable of taking off from aircraft carriers, rather than some of the 48 F-35 Lightning II jets it has ordered that can operate from ships at sea, Sky News reported.

The sources said that any cut from the order for next generation F-35B aircraft, which will be able to take off and land on the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, would be a huge mistake, as it would redistribute the planes the £3bn carriers will be equipped to carry in the coming years.

The source outlined that the Royal Navy officials are in fury over the wish of Royal Air Force to put “its self-serving agenda above what is best for the nation”, calling the whole situation “an absolute disgrace” which “should not be allowed to happen”.

The UK Ministry of Defence told Sky News that its policy for the first 48 F-35 jets remained unchanged. More than a third of the warplanes have already been delivered, and the rest are expected to be delivered and operational by 2025. Overall the UK plans to purchase a total of 138 of the Lockheed Martin aircraft, without stating which variant, over the lifetime of the US-led programme, Sky News reported.

Royal Air Force officials dismissed all claims, calling the rumours “ill-informed”.

However, the sources told Sky News that a final decision on the last batch of 13 jets out of the first 48 does not formally have to be made until the end of next year, adding that the decision to switch to the land-variant F-35A warplanes would enrage the US, who had helped the UK rebuild its ability to launch such warships after the UK armed forces were forced to put carrier-operations on hold in 2010 to save money.

“If the British turn up to an operational theatre without combat aircraft it will completely undermine their military capability. To the US this is a really big deal. If the RAF go for the A variant at the expense of the carriers, which is effectively what they are saying, this will be perceived by the US as a major betrayal,” the source said, cited by Sky News.

Senior officers in the RAF are understood to be keen for a mix of carrier-capable and land-based F-35s among whatever number is ultimately purchased. They note that the A-model, which costs less than its £90 mln carrier-equipped twin, can fly further and carry more weapons. However, senior experts from the UK's Defence Analysis journal noted that under current circumstances the UK cannot afford two different F-35 fleets.

The sources also outlined that RAF officers want to buy land-based F-35s among whatever number is ultimately purchased because they do not want to have their future tied to operating aircraft from the sea.

https://sputniknews.com/military/201812 ... f-35-jets/


The British acquisition plans have been baffling for years. Buy enough F-35B to run bot carriers fill up plus train. Give them to the navy.

If the Air Force wants F-35a then have them scrap their Eurofighters for them. Given how limited the Uk defense budget is save money going to one type and move on. Eurofighters time has passed and that should be recognized. Sad that it happened only a few years after it entered service but such is life.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:32 pm

An opinion piece on US Turkish relations with references to the F-35.

Curtains open for second act in F-35 crisis with Washington

You would remember.

Last summer just before American Pastor Andrew Brunson’s case turned into one of the greatest dramas in the history of Turkish-American relations, one other interrelated crisis was looming on the delivery of the first two F-35 fighter jets to Turkey. The Congress, which had stepped in to lock the delivery of the F-35s until Ankara releases Pastor Brunson and halts the purchase of Russian S-400s, managed to place the fate of the F-35s in a critical document like the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2019.

However, the efforts of Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, yielded to a softer language in the final version of the defense policy bill. Mattis persuaded the senators to drop provisions that would prohibit transfers of F-35s to Turkey until the Pentagon develops a plan to remove Turkey from the program. He did so by arguing that throwing Turkey out of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program would cost a fortune to the United States and the administration had reasons to believe their diplomatic pressure campaign against Ankara might eventually work.

This is indeed a key element that shapes the mindset of the U.S. national security officials. Despite high-level statements from Ankara that the agreement to purchase S-400s signed in 2017 with Moscow is a done deal and it is irreversible, the U.S. side has confidence that the Turkish government can still be persuaded to change its mind. Turkey’s last-minute withdrawal from a Chinese deal to purchase HQ-9 missiles in 2015, Americans believe, was the result of a successful diplomatic pressure campaign from Washington that lasted for two years.

A classified report on the current state of relations with Ankara as required in the 2019 defense bill was submitted to the Congress a few weeks ago by Secretary Mattis. Amid criticism from senators for keeping the document ‘classified’, a two-page summary of the report was cleared for open publication on Nov. 26.

There is nothing surprising in the report in the sense that underlines the conclusion of the acquisition of the S-400s by Ankara would risk the Turkish participation in the F-35 JSF program, jeopardize other potential future U.S. arms transfers to Turkey or invoke potential sanctions against Turkish defense sector. We heard exactly the same arguments time and again from the U.S. officials since the beginning of the year, so as the members of the Erdoğan government.

Though, it is crucial that the report confirmed an alternative Patriot package has been developed by the Trump administration to strike a change of heart in Ankara. In fact, with this report Mattis once again asked help from lawmakers to pursue a great bargain with the Turks in the coming weeks. Because everybody in Washington knows that chances for Ankara to walk away from the S-400s deal with Russian President Putin is zero, unless there is some sort of a congressional guarantee for those Patriots.

How the Trump administration would ensure a congressional guarantee for a new Patriot deal given the steam against President Erdoğan’s at the Hill for drifting the country away from democracy remains a mystery.

Furthermore, the Pentagon report makes it clear that if Turkey goes ahead with the actual deployment of the S-400 batteries the programs that would be affected would not be limited to the F-35s and Patriots. Some other U.S. equipment like CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters and UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters, some of which are currently in use by the Turkish armed forces, are too listed. More importantly F-16s are among the named.

As far as I could gather from open sources Turkey purchased a sum of two hundred seventy F-16 planes since 1988. However, the current inventory of F-16s in Turkey is around two hundred forty. Turkey has lost nearly thirty of its F-16 fleet in accidents most of which were due to metal fatigue. Thus the modernization of Turkey’s F-16 fleet is of critical importance considering the central role Fighting Falcons play in Turkey’s military operations in Syria as well as against the outlawed PKK inside its own borders.

And now the Pentagon names F-16s among the U.S. equipment in Turkey, acquisition of which might be affected by the purchase of Russian S-400s. Just like we saw in the recent case of Greece, modernization of F-16s requires a new agreement with the United States.

Certainly we might expect the Trump administration try countering any possible radical steps by the Congress with a motivation for punishing Erdoğan and his government. It will not be for the Congress but for the State Department to announce whether Turkey will be subject sanctions under Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) if S-400s were to be deployed on Turkish soil. However, it will probably not be possible for President Trump to completely ignore the Congress on such a critical file: a NATO ally purchasing high-end Russian defense equipment.

Last week’s senate vote, which paved the way for legislation to withdraw American support for a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen despite counter efforts from Trump’s cabinet, demonstrated that Capitol Hill can seriously force the President’s hand in key foreign policy issues. Though, Ankara still seems to be placing all their bets on Trump. Godspeed.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinio ... ton-139382
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:36 pm

Some Directed Energy Weapon info with the F-35 being a good candidate for the weapons.

Air Force Lasers: "Speed of Light to the Fight in 2020"

Drones& Lasers

The Air Force will one day fire high-tech laser weapons from drones and fighter jets to destroy high-value targets, conduct precision strikes and incinerate enemy locations from the sky.

The first airborne tests are expected to take place by 2021, Air Force officials have said. The developmental efforts are focused on increasing the power, precision and guidance of existing laser weapon applications with the hope of moving from 10-kilowatts up to 100 kilowatts. Air Force weapons developers are also working on the guidance mechanisms to enable laser weapons to stay on-track on a particular target.

Air Force leaders have said that the service plans to begin firing laser weapons from larger platforms such as C-17s and C-130s until technological miniaturization efforts can configure the weapon to fire from fighter jets such as an F-15, F-16 or F-35. Given the state of current technology, cargo planes are better equipped in the short term to transport the requisite amount of mobile on-board power needed for airborne lasers.

The Air Force Research Laboratory is already working on a program to develop laser weapons for drones and manned aircraft to arm air platforms by the mid-2020s. When it comes to drone-fired lasers, there does not yet appear to be a timetable for when they would be operational weapons - however weapons technology of this kind is moving quickly.

Future laser weapons could substantially complement existing ordnance or drone-fired weapons such as a Hellfire missile. Laser weapons allow for an alternative method of destroying targets, rapid succession of fire, reduced expenditure of dollars and, quite possibly, increased precision, service officials have explained. For instance, a key advantage of using laser weapons would include an ability to melt or incinerate an incoming missile or enemy target without necessarily causing an explosion.

A 2016 Air Force Research Laboratory report, called "Speed of Light to the Fight by 2020," details how laser weapons can be used to deliver "scalable" effects. These include ways a 30kW laser can create "denial, degradation, disruption and destruction from UAS (drones) to small boats at a range of several kilometers," the report states.

"More powerful lasers have counter-air, counter-ground, and counter-sea applications against a host of hardened military equipment and vehicles at significant range," the AFRL report writes.

A Congressional Research Service report from earlier this year on Directed Energy Programs, also details some of the key advantages and limitations of fast-evolving laser weapons.

“DE (directed energy) could be used as both a sensor and a weapon, thereby shortening the sensor-to-shooter timeline to seconds. This means that U.S. weapon systems could conduct multiple engagements against a target before an adversary could respond,” the Congressional report states.

Lasers also bring the substantial advantage of staying ahead of the “cost curve,” making them easier to use repeatedly. In many instances, low-cost lasers could destroy targets instead of expensive interceptor missiles. Furthermore, mobile-power technology, targeting algorithms, beam control and thermal management technologies are all progressing quickly, a scenario which increases prospects for successful laser applications.

At the same time, the Congressional report also points out some basic constraints or challenges associated with laser weapons. Laser weapons can suffer from “beam attenuation, limited range and an ability to be employed against non-line-of-sight targets,” the report says.

The AFRL report reinforces this, explaining that laser weapons need to enable precise timing, tracking and pointing amidst the aero-mechanical jitter induced by vibrations during flight.

The essay also mentions the importance of engineering light-weight exportable electrical power sufficient to support a fighter-jet mounted weapon. Temperature, the report says, is also of great significance.

"System temperature much be controlled via the dissipation of wast, heat and high-speed aerodynamic flow must be mitigated to avoid aero-optical disturbances," the AFRL document writes.

Ground testing of a laser weapon called the High Energy Laser, or HEL, has been underway at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., service officials said. The High Energy Laser tests are being conducted by the Air Force Directed Energy Directorate, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico.

The service is now pursuing two concurrent laser-weapons programs; the Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) is designed to prepare airborne lasers and the Demonstrator Laser Weapon System (DLWS) is geared toward ground-fired weapons.

Given the complexity of laser weapons integration, the AFRL report details a three-pronged approach to development; the phased approach begins with subsystems engineering, then moves toward low-power laser testing and them conduct extensive air and ground tests.

Another advantage of lasers is an ability to use a much more extended magazine for weapons. Instead of flying with six or seven missiles on or in an aircraft, a directed energy weapons system could fire thousands of shots using a single gallon of jet fuel, Air Force experts explained.

"The total number of shots they can fire is limited only by the fuel available to drive the electrical power source," the AFRL report says.

https://defensemaven.io/warriormaven/ai ... X1EDsE7dw/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:38 pm

F135 related contract award for continued maintenance support.

United Technologies contracted for F-35 engine logistics support

The Pentagon has awarded the United Technologies subsidiary Pratt & Whitney Military Engines a $399.8 million contract for the F-35's F135 engine for both domestic and foreign partners on the program.

The contract modification applies to the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, domestic contractors, partner nations and Foreign Military Sales.

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is a fifth generation multi-role stealth platform expected to replace most of the U.S. military's fighter fleets and operate in support of other aircraft.

Over 320 aircraft have been delivered to the U.S. and partner nations, with the planned buys expected to boost that number by hundreds over the next several years..

Long-term production plans call for several thousand planes to be built for the U.S. military and approved foreign buyers.

The Air Force's F-35A and Marine Corps' vertical takeoff and landing F-35B have already reached initial operational capability, with several U.S. squadrons deployed on the USS Wasp and USS Essex amphibious assault carriers, Japan and the Middle East. The F-35 Joint Program Office has said the deployed F-35's are ready for combat.

The Navy F-35C, designed for large Nimitz-class and Ford-class fleet carriers, is expected to become fully operational sometime next year, according to JPO.

https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2018/1 ... 543863008/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:50 pm

bigjku wrote:
The British acquisition plans have been baffling for years. Buy enough F-35B to run bot carriers fill up plus train. Give them to the navy.

If the Air Force wants F-35a then have them scrap their Eurofighters for them. Given how limited the Uk defense budget is save money going to one type and move on. Eurofighters time has passed and that should be recognized. Sad that it happened only a few years after it entered service but such is life.

I’ve always felt that 138 F-35B was too many for the UK while numerous posters on here have indicated that the UK was unlikely, even if they actually ordered all 138, to operate them all at the same time. In that context I agree with the suggestions that the fleet could be split into two variants, especially as the acquisition and operating costs of the A model are significantly less than the Bee. Perhaps a 90/50 split would provide enough Bee models (90) for the carriers and enough spare airframes to train aircrew while 50 A models would be enough for three squadrons.

The Eurofighter isn’t going anywhere but the Tranche One fleet, while it got a recent extended lease of life, would be the obvious candidates to go early and be replaced by the F-35A. I have a feeling though the RAF wants both…
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:46 pm

Some more info from a senior USAF Officer on F-35 capabilities.

JSF as a node for distributed lethality and situational awareness

The F-35’s network-centric capabilities will reshape the way the ADF identifies, categorises and prosecutes actions against targets, with the F-35 as a central node in a system-of-systems.

For the F-35, the aircraft's mission systems refer to the various pieces of operating software, avionics, integrated electronic sensors, displays and communications systems that not only collect and distribute data with both the pilot and other friendly aircraft, they also enable the F-35 to act as a node within a broader system-of-systems.

This capability is supported by six individual components that, when used in combination with one another, enable the F-35 to enter hostile airspace, collect and disseminate complex data and targeting information, and transmit it to a range of sensor and 'shooting' units across the air, land and sea domains.

Major General Carl Schaefer of the US Air Force, formerly of the Joint Strike Fighter Integration Office, said, "The F-35 brings an unprecedented sensor fusion with the radar and its optical capabilities, its data link capabilities and its radar warning receiver capabilities. It's going to be our multi-role fighter for the Air Force and provide close-air support missions, offensive counter air, defensive counter air, suppression of enemy air defences and the destruction of enemy air defences."

These six individual components are made up of:

Active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar: The F-35's Northrop Grumman-designed AN/APG-81 AESA radar enables pilots to effectively engage air and ground targets at long range, while supporting improved situational awareness. The solid-state technology and elimination of mechanical moving parts enable the AESA radar to surpass current standards for systems reliability.

Meanwhile, the radar system also features a "replaceable assemblies" design for faster, easier repairs or upgrades to hardware and software modules. For these reasons, AESA life-cycle costs are expected to be significantly lower than those of MSAs. The active arrays on the F-35 should have almost twice the expected life of the physical airframe.

Distributed aperture system (DAS): Also designed by Northrop Grumman, the AN/AAS-37 electro-optical DAS provides the F-35 with a 360-degree, spherical situational awareness system. This gives the pilot high resolution, real-time imagery to their helmet from six infrared cameras mounted around the body of the aircraft, allowing the pilot to see the environment around them, day or night.

Additionally, the DAS is integrated as part of the broader systems, enabling the aircraft to analyse threats and alert the pilot. In the case of multiple threats, DAS is able to identify the highest value targets and recommend the order in which to deal with each threat.

This 'data fusion' affords F-35 pilots with a significant advantage over adversaries by simplifying, analysing and managing complex information for the pilot, who must quickly evaluate a complex range of options in a hostile, tactical air combat environment.

DAS serves a number of specialised roles, including:

Missile detection and tracking;
Launch point detection;
Situational awareness IRST and cueing;
Weapons support;
Day/night navigation;
Fire control capability; and
Precision tracking of wingmen/friendly aircraft for tactical manoeuvring.
Electro-optical targeting system (EOTS): Designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the F-35's EOTS is the world's first and only sensor to combine forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and infrared search and track (IRST) capability. F-35's EOTS is designed to maintain the airframe's low observability profiling and ensure aerodynamic performance.

The high-performance, lightweight, multi-function system enhances F-35 pilots’ situational awareness and provides precision air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting capabilities, supporting the aircraft's role as a 'strike' fighter.

Communications, navigation and identification (CNI) avionics system: The integrated CNI system is developed by Northrop Grumman and provides F-35 pilots with the capability of more than 27 separate avionics functions.

The CNI system utilises software-defined radio technology and allows for simultaneous operation of multiple critical functions, such as identification friend or foe, precision navigation, and various voice and data communications, while greatly reducing size, weight and power demands.

Helmet mounted display systems: Supports the delivery of key data and sensor information to the pilot, enabling the pilot to see airspeed, heading, altitude, targeting information and warnings, all projected on the helmet’s visor, rather than on a traditional heads-up display on the canopy widescreen.

The real-time imagery provided by the DAS enables the pilot to 'look through' the aircraft, allowing the pilot to see the entire environment around the aircraft. Additionally, the helmet provides pilots with infrared night vision through the use of an integrated camera, making images in total darkness look exactly like what they would see in daylight.

Each of these individual components feeds into a broader system of sensor fusion.

Sensor fusion: Enables pilots to draw on information from all of the above mentioned components, to establish a single, integrated picture of the battlespace. A core component of sensor fusion is the immediate data shearing capabilities of the F-35, which ensures that all of the information gathered is then automatically shared with other pilots and command and control operating centres on their network using the most modern, secure and low-observable data links.

Maintaining datalink and information security is supported by the introduction of the multi-function advanced data link (MADL), which enables pilots to share data with other strike aircraft as well as other airborne, surface and ground-based platforms required to perform assigned missions.

The ability to transmit both complex intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data and targeting information enables Army, Navy and other Air Force assets for appropriate tasking by a 'shooter' platform.

This 'node' capability is described best by Commander Air Combat Group, Air Commodore Mike Kitcher, who told Defence Connect, "Integrating the F-35 goes beyond just the pilot and aircrew training across the technology, it involves integrating the F-35 with the Air Force's other key platforms like the E-7A Wedgetails, our Super Hornets and Growlers and KC-30As. Furthermore, it includes integrating the aircraft into systems like the Poseidon and the Triton, which is where we start to see a web of systems created."

This is reinforced by Major General Gus McLachlan, Commander Forces Command, who described the role of the F-35 as part of the broader 'joint force' ADF from an Army perspective, saying, "It is Army's response to the ADF's journey to develop an internet of things (IoT) approach to data gathering nodes across the services, like Navy's AWDs and Air Force's F-35s, and then Army being able to provide a shooting solution, should it be required."

The F-35 and its diverse range of capabilities will radically change the options available to Australia's strategic decision makers, enabling a tailored, adaptable and high-capability response to a variety of threats, well into the 2040s.

https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/strik ... -awareness
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:51 pm

Who would ever think David Axe could write an article on the F-35 using outdated cost fighures and essentially blaming the F-35 for Trump's policies in South Korea...

The Big Problem With That Big Air Force F-35 Elephant Walk

On Nov. 19, 2018, two U.S. Air Force wings in Utah launched thirty-five F-35 stealth fighters in a short span of time.

The Air Force lauded the display as evidence of America’s overwhelming military might. At least one critic dismissed it as a publicity stunt.

In fact, there’s one region where mass-takeoffs are an important military procedure: the Korean Peninsula. Ironically, that’s the one region where the Trump administration is deliberately limiting the flying branch’s authority to organize large-scale warplane-launches.

The November group-takeoff, which the Air Force calls an “elephant walk,” involved F-35As from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill Air Force Base. The active-duty 388th and reserve 419th train Air Force F-35 pilots.

The 388th’s 34th Fighter Squadron, whose F-35s have the latest Block 3F software, also has a front-line role. In late 2017, it became the first Air Force F-35 unit to deploy overseas, to Japan.

At the time of the elephant walk—the first for the F-35—the Utah wings possessed around forty F-35s. The wings are on track to receive a combined seventy-two F-35s by 2019.

The Hill stealth fighters took off one at a time in roughly 30-second intervals. In just a few minutes, the wings launched as many F-35 sorties as they normally do in a full day of routine training.

“Exercising with multiple squadrons of F-35s can demonstrate our ability to defeat potential adversaries wherever they may arise,” Maj. Caleb Guthmann, the 34th Fighter Squadron’s assistant director of operations, said in a statement .

But Valerie Insinna, a reporter for Defense News, echoed a more cynical sentiment when, on Twitter, she described the elephant walk as “cool” but “very choreographed.”

“Call me when they fix all the ALIS problems and then we’ll talk,” Insinna added, referring to the F-35’s buggy Autonomic Logistics Information System, a computer network for the type’s maintainers.

In a March 2018 congressional hearing, Lt. Gen. Jerry Harris, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for plans, programs and requirements, said it cost around $50,000 to fly one F-35 for an hour. That’s roughly twice what an F-16 costs for an hour in the air.

In fact, elephant walks significantly contribute to the readiness of American and allied squadrons in South Korea and nearby countries.

In the event of war with North Korea, U.S. and allied forces plan to quickly target the roughly 13,000 artillery pieces that Pyongyang has massed along the Korean demilitarized zone. In the early hours of a war, that artillery likely would bombard Seoul, which lies just 25 miles south of the DMZ.

“A serious, credible threat to 25 million [Republic of Korea] citizens and approximately 150,000 U.S. citizens living in the [Greater Seoul Metropolitan Area] is also posed from its long-range artillery,” U.S. Army general Vincent Brooks, head of U.S. Forces Korea, told a U.S. Senate committee in March 2018.

The Air Force maintains three F-16 squadrons and an A-10 squadron in South Korea and two F-15 squadrons in Japan. Additional squadrons, almost certainly including F-35 units, would join them during a crisis. An air campaign targeting North Korea would require 2,000 sorties per day, U.S. military officials told Air Force magazine.

By comparison, the allied air war over Iraq and Kuwait in January 1991 averaged 1,200 strike sorties per day, according to statistics compiled by David Deptula, a former Air Force general who is now an analyst for the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies in Virginia. The U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria averaged just fifteen strikes per day, according to Deptula.

The roughly 100 U.S. F-16s and A-10s in South Korea and Japan—and any F-35s that deployed in time for the first day of fighting—likely would be the first to hit North Korean artillery. And they’d have to launch fast to save lives in Seoul.

There is a reason that the 7th Air Force in South Korea and Japan has organized more elephant walks than most Air Force commands have done. “The threat here on the peninsula is very real, and countering that threat needs to be in the forefront of our minds,” Col. William D. Betts, then-commander of the 51st Fighter Wing in South Korea, said in 2017.

But the Korea elephant walk is an endangered species. The 7th Air Force has conducted most of its mass-takeoffs, which require intensive planning and maintenance efforts, under the auspices of the annual Vigilante Ace exercise.

In 2018 the Trump administration suspended Vigilant Ace as a concession to North Korea, hoping that Pyongyang in turn would suspend its nuclear-weapons program. North Korea has continued to develop its nukes.

The Air Force organized elephant walks in South Korea in 2016 and 2017 but not in 2018. The suspension of large-scale exercises with South Korea hasn’t created “immediate” concerns about combat-readiness, Pacific Air Forces commander Gen. Charles Brown said in November 2018. But it could cause “difficulties” if it continues.

There’s nothing preventing Air Force squadrons that aren’t in South Korea, including Hill’s F-35 units, from practicing mass takeoffs. These same squadrons might deploy to the Korean Peninsula during wartime, in which case their elephant walks would amount to more than an expensive public relations exercise.

They’d be prepared for the kind of sudden, overwhelming violence a new Korean war would require .

https://taskandpurpose.com/air-force-f- ... alk-photo/

A good rear view of the F-35 elephant walk though...

Image
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:58 pm

Some info on what the impact to the F-35 program would be if Turkey was politically removed from the partnership.

No ‘devastating impact’ to F-35 industrial base if Turkey removed from program, says US Air Force official

A potential decision by the United States to remove Turkey from the F-35 program over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system may have only minimal impact on the fighter jet’s industrial base, a senior U.s. Air Force official said Tuesday.

President Donald Trump has yet to determine what steps the Defense Department may take if Turkey moves forward with the S-400 buy. However, Heidi Grant, the Air Force’s deputy undersecretary for international affairs, said Pentagon analysis shows there won’t be a catastrophe if Turkey is forced from the program.

“While it will have some impact on the F-35 program, I don’t think it’s going to be any type of devastating impact if … there’s a policy decision that they are no longer a partner,” Grant told reporters in a Dec. 4 roundtable interview just weeks before she puts a cap on a 16-year career with the Air Force.

On Jan. 7, Grant will take over as head of the Defense Technology Security Administration, the Defense Department’s lead agency for ensuring that sales of weapon systems to foreign nations will not endanger U.S. technological advantages. As director of DTSA, Grant said she expects to play “an even more active role” on the question of whether to export the F-35 to Turkey.

Some lawmakers are concerned that — should Ankara move forward with its purchase of the S-400 — Russia could build back doors into the anti-aircraft system that allows it to glean classified information about NATO capabilities like the F-35.

In its most recent defense policy bill, Congress included language that prohibits Turkey from taking hold of its F-35s until the Pentagon delivered on Turkey’s role in the program and potential risks posed by a Turkish S-400.

The unclassified summary of the report, obtained last week by Bloomberg, restated that Turkey may face expulsion from the F-35 program if the S-400 deal goes through.

That outcome could influence the U.S. government’s relationship with other partner nations that have also signed on to buy the S-400, such as India or Qatar.

Turkey is set to buy 100 Joint Strike Fighters over the course of the program, and its first F-35 pilots have already begun training alongside U.S. pilots at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. Turkish companies play a key industrial role in the program as one of the producers of the center fuselage and the maker of the cockpit display.

Grant said she was unaware how long it would take to replace Turkey’s contributions to the F-35 program or what proposed solutions the Trump administration is offering to the country.

But she fears it may be too late at this point to persuade the Turkish government to abandon the S-400 deal.

“It is what it is at this point. If they’ve made up their mind already, they’re a sovereign nation — to buy another country’s system, we’re going to have to work through those policy issues,” she said. “But what I’d like to do when I get over there [to DTSA] is [figure out] how do we avoid even getting to that point and make sure that U.S. is the partner of choice.

"Did we do enough work up front to try to prevent it? I know a lot of work was done, but I think there's been a lot of learning from this on the risks of not being the partner of choice."\

Turkish officials have remained adamant that the country will buy the S-400. In October, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar expressed disappointment with U.S. and European air defense system offerings and said that Turkey may receive the S-400 as early as fall 2019.

Despite political friction between the United States and Turkey, the relationship between the countries’ militaries continues to be solid, Grant said.

“Like any country, we’re going to have what I consider policy ups and downs, leadership changes at the political level that can change a relationship. But as far as the mil-to-mil relationship right now, it remains strong. They’ve been an F-35 partner since 2002, and a significant industrial-base [partner].”

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/12 ... cial-says/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:02 pm

Danish and Dutch crews start their training shortly at Luke AFB as part of a new USAF squadron, the same as has been done with other partner and FMS sale initial training.

Luke AFB stands up F-35 squadron for Netherlands, Denmark's F-35 training

The 308th Fighter Squadron was stood up in a ceremony at Luke Air Force Base on Nov. 30th as part of a F-35 training unit for the Netherlands and Denmark.

Squadron operations will begin this month, according to the Air Force.

Luke is the primary training center for F-35 operators with the 308th being the fourth squadron to come online at the base.

"The 308th FS is the fourth F-35 squadron at Luke, but the most important part of this activation is that we will be with two partner nations," Lt. Col. Robert Miller, commander of the 308th FS, said in a press release. "In a few weeks, the Dutch will start their F-35 training followed by the Danes."

Denmark plans to acquire 27 of the F-35A conventional take-off stealth planes, with active service beginning in 2022. The Netherlands plans to purchase 37 of the planes, but is open to more to replace their F-16 fleet.

Denmark and the Netherlands are both partners in the Joint Strike Fighter program.The F-35A is the standard land-based model of the aircraft and has greater maneuverability then the B and C variants. The initial training program at Luke will last over two years, the Air Force said.

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is a fifth generation multi-role stealth fighter, which will replace much of the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps current air superiority and attack planes. It will also be exported to approved allies across the world, with many participants already having received its first purchases of the fighter for testing.

The F-35 is expected to enter full service over the next several years with the U.S. and allied nations, with some squadrons already partly operational and forward deployed.

https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2018/1 ... 543940265/
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:01 pm

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FR3FNHO/re ... TF8&btkr=1

This probably has been reviewed before, but I'll and my 2 cents. It is $5.95 on Amazon Kindle version. Lots of information, lots of pictures and diagrams. Probably a little out of date by now. Writer is obviously a fan, maybe a little to much so. Kindle Version: a little awkwardly transitioned from book version. Lots of fs turn into other characters. The chapter on the 737 F-35 trainer/tester is utterly unreadable with missing words, lines, and maybe paragraphs. But if you want to read a short book on this well worth the $5.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:06 pm

Some parts of this article is valid criticism of the RAAF and Aus DoD but I can also understand their position, which is similar to what the British went through recently as well, regarding waiting for contracts and long term support agreements to be signed before they commit to an annual maintenance cost for the aircraft.

Defence doesn't know cost of maintaining new F-35 fighter jets

The Defence Department doesn't know how much it will cost to maintain its new multibillion dollar fleet of warplanes as officials wait for United States-based support to become ready.

Days before the first two of Australia's F-35 Joint Strike Fighters are due to land in Williamtown, NSW, the national auditor has found the price tag for keeping them in the air won't be known before 2020.

Defence also failed in three years to provide annual updates to the government on the purchase, despite directions, and had committed $266.3 million in spending without first telling the prime minister and finance minister as required.

Australia is purchasing the new fleet from the US to replace its ageing F-18 Hornets, and the federal government is directing more than $20 billion towards buying the planes and maintaining them until 2025. The federal government doesn't yet know the final cost of the purchase as the complex project, involving multiple partner nations, takes shape.

This year the Defence Department estimated Australia will pay an average of $115.7 million for each of its aircraft.

The federal audit office, in a report tabled in parliament on Wednesday, said the government decided to purchase the planes using rough estimates of the cost to maintain them, ignoring Defence Department guidelines for approving major spending, and against the findings of previous reviews and audits.

Defence is waiting for a maintenance program centred in the United States, and relying on US government contracts with weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin and aerospace firm Pratt and Whitney, to progress before it can better calculate the costs.

In December 2020, after which the department may be able to advise the government of the planes' maintenance costs, Australia expects to have 30 Joint Strike Fighters and one operational squadron of at least 12. It plans to purchase 72 in total.

A review board convened by Defence in October 2018 raised problems with the maintenance program intended to support the F-35s, saying it was "immature" and faced a number of challenges.

It raised fears about the level of funding for operating and supporting the Joint Strike Fighters.

"The funds required for sustainment, even for the next few years, have yet to be quantified or allocated," it said.

Sourcing funds for the fleet by 2023 and beyond could be a major challenge, particularly if those costs were not contained through savings expected from having a global network of maintenance.

Australia will rely on the global maintenance network for parts and upkeep for the new warplanes, and will be a regional hub for maintaining and warehousing F-35s - a role with costs unknown when the purchase was approved in 2014, and that have added to financial pressures.

As it relied on a US-centred, multi-nation maintenance program, the Defence Department was constrained in managing risks, including access to spare parts, the audit report said.

Defence was managing the risks coming with this arrangement, as well as the cost pressures of establishing Australia as a regional maintenance and warehousing hub for the Joint Strike Fighters.

In response to the audit report, Defence secretary Greg Moriarty and Defence Force chief Angus Campbell said the department would return after 2020 to the government knowing the fleet's costs through to its planned withdrawal date.

They admitted the department had not updated cabinet in 2015 and 2016 but said it had made improvements that would prevent a repeat of the failures.

F-35s will perform air combat, bombing and surveillance for Australia's military, and of more than 3000 aircraft to be built for nine participating partner nations, the US will keep about 75 per cent. Defence has described the build as one of the most technologically advanced and complex ever undertaken in defence aviation.

The Defence Department is building infrastructure for Australia's share of the aircraft and has prioritised construction at their main operating base at Williamtown before the first two new planes arrive. Budget pressures have forced it to delay work at other bases, and work at Williamtown and another air force base at Tindal in the Northern Territory is $44 million over the approved budget.

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal ... 50keq.html
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:30 pm

Seems as good a place as any to host the HSPI organisation.

Air Force selects Wright-Patterson AFB to host F-35 support organization

The Air Force selected Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, as the preferred location for the F-35 Lightning II Hybrid Product Support Integrator organization which supports the entire F-35 enterprise to include joint and international partners.

Air Force officials said Robins AFB, Georgia, was named as a reasonable alternative.

"Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has the trained acquisition professionals with the right fighter aircraft experience to run this organization for DOD’s Joint Program Office," said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. "We expect this experience to help us drive down F-35 sustainment costs as we build a more lethal and ready Air Force."

The current F-35 HPSI organization was established in 2016 in Crystal City, Virginia, at the F-35 Joint Program Office. HPSI supports a global fleet of more than 340 aircraft and when it moves to its new location will be led by the Air Force with a workforce from the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, international partners and industry. The organization will be directly accountable to the product support manager within the F-35 Joint Program Office.

This organization is an integral part of maintaining and prolonging operations of the global F-35 fleet.

The F-35 HPSI's primary role is to integrate support across the supply chain, maintenance, sustainment engineering, logistics information technology and training disciplines. It delivers global support for fielded F-35s while preparing for future force expansion.

For example, when the Autonomic Logistics Information System, or ALIS, recognizes that an F-35 requires a part replacement, HPSI locates and ships the part to the unit.

The combination of government and industry professionals working collaboratively will ensure HPSI has a performance-based focus on F-35 fleet users, while driving down costs.

"This is an important step in driving sustainment costs down as more of our allies and partners join us," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. "I continue to hear from my fellow air chiefs that they are not integrating the F-35 into their Air Force. They are integrating their Air Force into the F-35! Product support integration ensures this quarterback of the joint team has everything in the locker room needed to hit the field and win."

The Air Force will now conduct the requisite environmental analysis. The final basing decision will be made by the secretary of the Air Force after the analysis is complete.

https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display ... anization/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:44 pm

Ozair wrote:
Some parts of this article is valid criticism of the RAAF and Aus DoD but I can also understand their position, which is similar to what the British went through recently as well, regarding waiting for contracts and long term support agreements to be signed before they commit to an annual maintenance cost for the aircraft.

Defence doesn't know cost of maintaining new F-35 fighter jets

The Defence Department doesn't know how much it will cost to maintain its new multibillion dollar fleet of warplanes as officials wait for United States-based support to become ready.

Days before the first two of Australia's F-35 Joint Strike Fighters are due to land in Williamtown, NSW, the national auditor has found the price tag for keeping them in the air won't be known before 2020.

Defence also failed in three years to provide annual updates to the government on the purchase, despite directions, and had committed $266.3 million in spending without first telling the prime minister and finance minister as required.

Australia is purchasing the new fleet from the US to replace its ageing F-18 Hornets, and the federal government is directing more than $20 billion towards buying the planes and maintaining them until 2025. The federal government doesn't yet know the final cost of the purchase as the complex project, involving multiple partner nations, takes shape.

This year the Defence Department estimated Australia will pay an average of $115.7 million for each of its aircraft.

The federal audit office, in a report tabled in parliament on Wednesday, said the government decided to purchase the planes using rough estimates of the cost to maintain them, ignoring Defence Department guidelines for approving major spending, and against the findings of previous reviews and audits.

Defence is waiting for a maintenance program centred in the United States, and relying on US government contracts with weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin and aerospace firm Pratt and Whitney, to progress before it can better calculate the costs.

In December 2020, after which the department may be able to advise the government of the planes' maintenance costs, Australia expects to have 30 Joint Strike Fighters and one operational squadron of at least 12. It plans to purchase 72 in total.

A review board convened by Defence in October 2018 raised problems with the maintenance program intended to support the F-35s, saying it was "immature" and faced a number of challenges.

It raised fears about the level of funding for operating and supporting the Joint Strike Fighters.

"The funds required for sustainment, even for the next few years, have yet to be quantified or allocated," it said.

Sourcing funds for the fleet by 2023 and beyond could be a major challenge, particularly if those costs were not contained through savings expected from having a global network of maintenance.

Australia will rely on the global maintenance network for parts and upkeep for the new warplanes, and will be a regional hub for maintaining and warehousing F-35s - a role with costs unknown when the purchase was approved in 2014, and that have added to financial pressures.

As it relied on a US-centred, multi-nation maintenance program, the Defence Department was constrained in managing risks, including access to spare parts, the audit report said.

Defence was managing the risks coming with this arrangement, as well as the cost pressures of establishing Australia as a regional maintenance and warehousing hub for the Joint Strike Fighters.

In response to the audit report, Defence secretary Greg Moriarty and Defence Force chief Angus Campbell said the department would return after 2020 to the government knowing the fleet's costs through to its planned withdrawal date.

They admitted the department had not updated cabinet in 2015 and 2016 but said it had made improvements that would prevent a repeat of the failures.

F-35s will perform air combat, bombing and surveillance for Australia's military, and of more than 3000 aircraft to be built for nine participating partner nations, the US will keep about 75 per cent. Defence has described the build as one of the most technologically advanced and complex ever undertaken in defence aviation.

The Defence Department is building infrastructure for Australia's share of the aircraft and has prioritised construction at their main operating base at Williamtown before the first two new planes arrive. Budget pressures have forced it to delay work at other bases, and work at Williamtown and another air force base at Tindal in the Northern Territory is $44 million over the approved budget.

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal ... 50keq.html


The ANAO report from which the news article above was derived.

https://www.anao.gov.au/sites/default/f ... 019_14.pdf
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:32 pm

Another image of the F-35B landing on the QE. Amazing how high in the water the QE is.

Image
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:28 pm

Some info on how AI is going to hopefully influence and speed up the process for the creation and maintenance of mission Data Files and will hopefully push ALIS even further than it already is.

The F-35 Is About to Get A Lot Smarter

War in the 21st century runs on data, a lot of it in the case of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Mission Data Files that inform F-35 deployments and missions can take up to 18 months to compile, bringing in info on everything from enemy radar and anti-aircraft missiles to waveforms and cyber weapons. Now the Pentagon has hired a California company to shrink that compilation time to just one month, using artificial intelligence.

The company, C3, sees itself as a sort of AI tailor, stitching together different methodologies — from simple machine learning to more sophisticated deep learning—and combining heterogeneous forms of data that don’t play well together—from images to diagnostic valuations to text—into products that are specific to the problem. Some might be heavier on deep learning, some on machine, in which case the company works to accelerate the laborious task of data labeling.

They’ve been quietly doing business with the Defense Department for 15 months, after an initial outreach from the Defense Innovation Unit. Already they’re involved in nine projects, mostly related to predictive maintenance for aircraft such as the E-3 Sentry AWACS, the C-5 Galaxy, the F-16, and soon, the F-35, predicting when a part or computer system might fail on the basis of weather, deployment, mission, the age and condition of its components, and so forth.

Of course, the F-35 already has an onboard diagnostic system, the Autonomic Logistics Information System, or ALIS. Nikhil Krishnan, C3’s vice president for products, said their software won’t replace ALIS, or anything that Lockheed Martin or its F-35 subcontractors have already built. Instead, it aims to combine information from those sources to create a better, fuller picture of what’s going on with the plane.

Beside ALIS, Krishnan said, C3’s software will devour “operational data, sorties, it could include weather, the history of the part, was there repair work done on it before? We’re really on a higher level than any of these subsystems, including ALIS.” The hope is to be able to preposition parts and maintainers to make fast repairs or modifications not only in response to what the plane has been through but, perhaps, what it’s about to go through as well.

All that is separate from C3’s work on Mission Date File optimization, which is set to complete development next summer. The file serves as a sort of threat library. “It’s the data on board that proactively notifies the pilot of the aircraft of upcoming threats. The problem today is that it takes way too long to actually generate that Mission Data File. We can apply the data aggregation capabilities that C3 has and AI to make that process an order of magnitude faster so the data are more current,” said Edward Abbo, C3’s President and CTO.

The process today is heavily manual, largely because the data sources and types are so diverse. “The analyst today would have to go data source by data source and then, within data source, data field by data field, looking, for instance, to see if this database here has this field for an object in the theatre,” explained Krishnan. Much of the data is highly unstructured, such as comments in text, that software doesn’t work well with. The hope is to automate the process of looking through sources and present the operator with a list of problems, such as potential discrepancies in the intelligence, and recommendations.

The company is also developing a new AI-based tool for gathering intelligence on potential targets. It’s similar to what Google was doing for the Pentagon under Project Maven, but with a boost. Whereas the focus of Maven was applying AI to recognizing objects in images, the new project, in development, would integrate a variety of data from diverse sources to construct a fuller picture, similar to the way the brain works to combine sensory input with lived experience and intuition in order to create an understanding of what’s going on.

“Let’s say you’re looking for a Toyota Corolla on the freeway [and] you have streaming video. We’re doing two things, analyzing the video for object identification and classification and then the second is contextualizing that information,” said Abbo. “Was a Toyota Corolla spotted by someone else five minutes ago?… That information can be added to the fact that you just spotted that Toyota Corolla now, and you can determine it’s the same one based on speed or other factors.” The objective is predictive battlefield tracking. Right now, battle field tracking is “a very isolated set of observations if you will. But if you could aggregate those observations together you would have a much better sense of predicting where someone might be going.”

Abbo wouldn’t say what branch or service of the military hired C3 for the intelligence project, but the effort bears a lot of resemblance to what Google and others were doing with the special operations community.

Of course, one thing that the company can’t solve for is the bigger problems confronting officials looking to more fully embrace AI for defense and intelligence. Neural networks often outperform machine learning solutions but are more difficult to explain for legal and policy purposes. The second is the data integrity problem, where bad data can throw off good models and skew results, a life-or-death situation in the case of military intelligence.

Fixing that remains very much a human problem.

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2 ... er/153338/
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:31 pm

Given IOT&E has been going now for a couple of months this formal start seems redundant...

16 Months Late, F-35 Starts Key Tests: IOT&E

The F-35 program office announced today the aircraft had finally reached its initial operational test & evaluation phase, which is expected to wrap up next September. That’s three months behind previous projections for mid-summer — the result of the program’s first crash (fortunately non-fatal) and a subsequent grounding — and 16 months behind the original testing plan from 2012.

The announcement means the Air Force, Navy, and Marines will begin testing all three F-35 variants under realistic combat conditions to determine their suitability for combat, followed by a decision to begin full rate production at the end of 2019. The Pentagon did allow the program office to start some of the testing early, including cold-weather testing, weapons demonstrations, and other activities earlier this year.

“Start of formal operational testing is a milestone more than 18 years in the making,” Vice Adm. Mat Winter, F-35 Program executive officer, said in a statement.

There are over 340 F-35s are already operating from 15 US and allies bases around the globe as the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin continue to work on resolving a list of problem and deficiencies that continue to plague the program, many in the plane’s incredibly complex software.

This fall, the UK landed its first F-35B aboard its newest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, a ship built specifically to operate the F-35.

The top Pentagon buyer Ellen Lord said recently the operating cost for the F-35 has to come down while mission capable rates must ramp up by double-digits. And it needs to happen next year.

“Cost per flight hour needs to come down to fourth-generation [aircraft] levels and the availability needs to come up to 80 percent,” Ellen Lord told the Association of Old Crows electronic warfare conference last month. Head of the F-35 program head Vice Adm. Mat Winter, said in October that the crucial operating costs of the F-35 dropped significantly in 2017. The costs of operating the F-35 fleet dropped by $1.1 million “per tail per year across the fleet” and cited “a reduction of $12,000 per flight hour across the fleet.”

https://breakingdefense.com/2018/12/16- ... ests-iote/
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:54 am

Some interesting work being done at Miramar to maintain energy security. Also interesting that the F-35B uses 150% of the energy of the legacy Hornet. Makes sense given the increased electrical architecture used in the jet and the trend was that the legacy Hornet used 150% of the energy required for the aircraft it replaced.

Marine Corps Officials Look to Micro-Grid to Help Offset Hike in F-35 Energy Costs

The F-35 Lightning II jet will hike Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar’s utility costs by 150 percent compared to legacy F/A-18 Hornets, an expense driven by greater power requirements to maintain and operate the highly complex, fifth-generation aircraft, a senior official told a group of energy officials.

But an expanding micro-grid and alternative energy projects could take a bite out of that bigger bill when the F-35 comes online by 2020, Col. Charles B. Dockery, the MCAS Miramar commander, said at a briefing Dec 3.

“We know already our F-35 hangars are burning about 150 percent more energy than the standard Hornet or Harrier hangar that I grew up in, so that’s a concern,” he told California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission members who joined state, city and energy firm representatives for a two-day conference at the San Diego base.

Existing, older hangars can’t fully support the modern, multimission joint strike fighter, which requires hangars with upgraded electrical support. The Marine Corps is in the process of retrofitting, building or planning for hangars to support the F-35 at its fixed-wing air stations, including Yuma MCAS, Arizona, and Beaufort MCAS, South Carolina, that house the first F-35 operational and fleet replacement squadrons.

The F-35’s advanced electronics, navigation, avionics, communications and weapons systems are designed to be a leap in technology and combat power, but the jet is a power hog of sorts when grounded. Compared to legacy aircraft, it draws on more power for maintenance checks, repairs and operations when on the apron or inside hangars, so these must have the proper electrical connections, data networks, communications links, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in aircraft bays.

“There’s infrastructure that is required to do some specific maintenance on the lift fan of the aircraft or [that] it requires conditioned air as part of that process,” Dockery said, in response to a question about the F-35’s increased power support requirement.

“This is a story that’s going on across the Navy as we try and rise to this new global power competition,” said John A. Kliem, a retired captain and civil engineer and executive director of the Navy’s Resilient Energy Program Office.

Miramar’s first F-35 hangar is currently under construction and is slated for completion in late 2019. It’s one of nine construction projects planned at the air station to support the F-35.

The Marine Corps is buying the single-seat F-35 Lightning II — the F-35B with short-takeoff-and-landing capability and the F-35C for land and shipboard operations — to replace its fleet of Hornets, AV-8B Harriers and EA-6B Prowler jets. So far, the Marine Corps has two F-35 squadrons based at Yuma MCAS and another squadron at Iwakuni MCAS, Japan.

The first F-35C and F-35B jets are scheduled to arrive at Miramar starting in 2020, with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 transitioning from the F/A-18 Hornet to the F-35C and VMFA-225 from its twin-seat F/A-18D Hornets to the F-35B, according to the 2018 Marine Aviation Plan.

Dockery, a veteran F/A-18 naval flight officer, said energy costs for 2020 “is always in the back of my mind.” It’s among several energy-related and budgetary challenges the air station faces as it looks to stay capable, relevant and modernized to support operational forces.

Two-thirds of the Marine Corps and Navy’s air-to-air and air-to-ground and live-fire training ranges are located within one flight’s distance from Miramar, located in northern San Diego. That location makes Miramar critical to support military training and project joint forces across the Indo-Pacific region. “We help 3rd MAW [Marine Aircraft Wing] project their aircraft ... so they can maintain their ready and lethal force to deploy,” he said.

Just last year, utility costs forced Miramar, headquarters of the 3rd MAW, to shift $1.5 million to cover its utility budget, Dockery said. “I don’t see that changing through FY19.”

To add to that worry, expected cuts coming in the next Department of Defense’s budget, as well as shrinking Navy capital funding, could lead to more belt-tightening moves in the fiscal 2020 budget. That outlook may worsen in the face of likely higher energy costs, a trend of climbing rates that affect all military installations. This is compounded by aging installation infrastructure.

“We haven’t seen a lot of spending increases on the installation side,” said Dockery. “We are constantly almost doing triage to make sure we are fixing the right things on time.”

But Miramar officials hope that the Navy and Marine Corps’ investments in renewable, “green” energy innovations, along with more efficient fossil-fuel systems, will offset rising costs, including tapping into landfill gases for electricity and beefing up its micro-grid.

“We have some opportunities out there ... that’s not only going to keep my costs down but is also going to make me energy resilient,” Dockery said.

A $20 million investment by the Defense Department is helping help shore up that resiliency, officials say.

In recent years, Miramar demonstrated a micro-grid to help find ways for installations to become more energy efficient and build energy resiliency to reduce costs and enable continued operations when the power grid goes down.

“If everything goes dark, I need something I can turn on right now,” Dockery said.

Miramar already buys 3.2 megawatts of electricity — one megawatt is enough to power 750 to 1,000 homes — from San Diego Gas & Electric, the local utility provider. A backup power plant will provide to up 7 megawatts of power from four diesel and natural-gas generators to power the air station’s flightline and more than 100 buildings nearby.

“So when SDG&E goes dark, I’m still launching and recovering airplanes,” said Dockery.

This year, Miramar received a $5 million California Energy Commission grant to store up to 3 megawatts of energy in the installation micro-grid with backup batteries.

By next year, Miramar will draw from a mix of energy sources, including electricity and natural gas from the regional power grid; electricity generated by solar and methane gas from the adjacent San Diego landfill and integrated into the air station’s micro-grid; and a building-level, $3 million micro-grid project with a large solar array and batteries to power the station’s Energy & Water Operations Center building off-grid, or in “island mode.” The Marine Corps also is boosting its collection and use of reclaimed water, which reduces the amount of pricier potable water that Miramar purchases, and a water project agreement with the city of San Diego is expected to improve water quality and water resiliency at Miramar, officials said.

“Resilience is a solution that involves all of it,” Mick Wasco, Miramar’s energy program manager, said in a briefing to the group.

“We had the renewables, but we had to bring in conventional power to make it all work,” he added. The addition of battery storage also will help provide “power quality” and consistent demand, filling in as needed with fluctuations in available renewable-power generation, he noted.

Lt. Col. Brandon Newell, who heads innovation projects for Marine Corps Installations-West, said the goal is to shore up critical infrastructure when most needed.

“Our vision — our aspiration — for resiliency for installations is that we can go 14 days, no matter what happens external to the base, (and) that energy, water, communications, food and logistics can support the mission that’s required of that base,” Newell said.

The Marine Corps also is boosting its collection and use of reclaimed water, which reduces the amount of pricier potable water that Miramar purchases, and a water project agreement with the city of San Diego is expected to improve water quality and water resiliency at Miramar, officials said.

“This is really a cool thing; the whole Navy is excited,” Kliem told the group, noting Miramar is the first DoD installation to sign an IGSA, or intergovernmental support agreement, with localities — it’s a congressional authority — to help build energy resiliency. “There’s a lot of things that can be done with this once we break the code on how to do this.”

http://seapowermagazine.org/stories/20181207-grid.html
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:30 pm

Interesting move to consolidate the F-22 at other bases and replace it at Tyndall with the F-35. Also seems the right time given how much of the infrastructure at Tyndall needs to be repaired they may as well upgrade it in preparation for the arrival of the F-35.

Air Force proposes to base F-35s at Tyndall, supplemental funds needed to build advanced fighter base

Following the damage to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, caused by Hurricane Michael, the Air Force is recommending that Congress use supplemental funding for rebuilding the base to prepare to receive the F-35 Lightning II fighter at the north Florida installation.

The Air Force has done a preliminary evaluation to confirm Tyndall AFB can accommodate up to three F-35 squadrons. The operational F-22 Raptors formerly at Tyndall AFB can also be accommodated at other operational bases increasing the squadron size from 21 to 24 assigned aircraft.

If this decision is approved and supplemental funds to rebuild the base are appropriated, F-35s could be based at Tyndall AFB beginning in 2023. Basing already announced in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin will not be affected by this decision.

"We have recommended that the best path forward to increase readiness and use money wisely is to consolidate the operational F-22s formerly at Tyndall in Alaska, Hawaii and Virginia, and make the decision now to put the next three squadrons of F-35s beyond those for which we have already made decisions at Tyndall," said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson.

"We are talking with Congressional leaders about this plan and will need their help with the supplemental funding needed to restore the base," she added.

On Oct. 10, Hurricane Michael tore through the gulf coast causing catastrophic damage to the region and damaging 95 percent of the buildings at Tyndall AFB. The base's hangars and flight operations buildings suffered some of the greatest damage from the storm passing directly overhead.

Before the storm, Tyndall AFB was home to the 325th Fighter Wing--comprised of two F-22 squadrons. One was operational and one was training. The base also hosts the 1st Air Force, the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group, and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center.

More than 2,000 personnel have since returned to the base and the Air Force intends to keep the testing, air operations center, and civil engineer missions at Tyndall AFB. The recommendation announced today only affects the operational fighter flying mission at the base.

On Oct. 25, Vice President Mike Pence assessed the damage to the base and reassured Florida's panhandle community of the base's importance to the nation.

"We will rebuild Tyndall Air Force Base," Pence said.

Tyndall AFB's access to 130,000 square miles of airspace over the Gulf of Mexico is very valuable for military training.

"We have been given a chance to use this current challenge as an opportunity to further improve our lethality and readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy," said Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein.

The move would provide benefits across the service's fifth generation fighter operations. Basing F-35s at Tyndall AFB in the wake of hurricane damage allows the Air Force to use recovery funds to re-build the base in a tailored way to accommodate the unique needs of the F-35.

The Air Force will conduct a formal process to determine the best location for the F-22 training squadron currently displaced to Eglin AFB, Florida.

The consolidation will drive efficiencies which Air Force officials expect to increase the F-22's readiness rate and address key recommendations from a recent Government Accountability Office report that identified small unit size as one of the challenges with F-22 readiness.

"The F-35 is a game-changer with its unprecedented combination of lethality, survivability, and adaptability," Goldfein said. "Bringing this new mission to Tyndall ensures that the U.S Air Force is ready to dominate in any conflict."

The Air Force will comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and other regulatory and planning processes.

https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display ... -to-build/
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:47 am

Daily Mail but in the interests of posting articles and commentary that cover both positive and negative aspects of the program. Apparently one scratch can give the jet the same RCS as a 747… :roll:

Hi-tech coating which makes RAF's new £100million F-35 fighter jets 'invisible' to enemy radar is wearing off more quickly than expected

A problem with Britain's new £100 million F-35 fighter jet is leaving it susceptible to enemies and making it as visible on their radar as a 747.

The single-engine jet was given a coating which makes it 'invisible' to enemy radar, but it is wearing off quicker than expected with RAF chiefs saying they have to replace it after every flight.

RAF sources are now saying scratches are delaying the jets getting put into operational service when they get shipped from US manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

The Maryland-based company have acknowledged the defects in the coating, called LO or Low Observable, that makes it hard for enemy radars to pick up the jets.

They also made it clear that the coating does have to be replaced but not at the frequency that the RAF are dealing with.

Speaking to reporters at Lockheed's media day on Monday, Jeff Babione acknowledged that they were having a problem with the material.

'It's not a human problem; that's just the result of our ability. We're approaching the limits of our ability to build some of these things from precise-enough technology,' Babione said in reaction to unprecedented orders for the jet.

Babione did admit that human error can sometimes hamper the jets, which are in a way very delicate, with even just a small scratch possibly proving deadly.

Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-35, have acknowledged defects in the coating

'On the other hand, we inadvertently scratch the coating system, and we have to repaint it. Or when the mechanics spray the airplane [with LO coating], not all of it is robotically sprayed. There's some overspray, and they have to go clean that,' he said.

An RAF source told The Express: This situation obviously has to be rectified before the plane enters operational service.'

The source also told the paper that defence secretary Gavin Williamson and RAF Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen have always known about the issue.

The worrying news comes as Britain signed a deal to double its F35 fleet by 2022 but the Lockheed Martin boss assured journalists that perfecting the special coating is 'a huge, huge priority.'

The multi-million-pound contract signed will see the UK own 35 stealth jets by end of 2022 with Britain manufacturing 15% of the overall global order for 255 aircraft.

A company spokesman for Lockheed Martin told The Express that the coating is proving to be a significant success because of its practical strong points of speed and low cost.

Despite this, Air Commodore Andrew Lambert, a former director of defence studies said: 'Lockheed Martin just say it's better now, but it takes just one scratch to give the fighter jet the same radar profile as a 747, then you may as well not be bothering.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... ected.html
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:59 am

Ozair wrote:
Daily Mail but in the interests of posting articles and commentary that cover both positive and negative aspects of the program. Apparently one scratch can give the jet the same RCS as a 747… :roll:

Hi-tech coating which makes RAF's new £100million F-35 fighter jets 'invisible' to enemy radar is wearing off more quickly than expected

A problem with Britain's new £100 million F-35 fighter jet is leaving it susceptible to enemies and making it as visible on their radar as a 747.

The single-engine jet was given a coating which makes it 'invisible' to enemy radar, but it is wearing off quicker than expected with RAF chiefs saying they have to replace it after every flight.

RAF sources are now saying scratches are delaying the jets getting put into operational service when they get shipped from US manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

The Maryland-based company have acknowledged the defects in the coating, called LO or Low Observable, that makes it hard for enemy radars to pick up the jets.

They also made it clear that the coating does have to be replaced but not at the frequency that the RAF are dealing with.

Speaking to reporters at Lockheed's media day on Monday, Jeff Babione acknowledged that they were having a problem with the material.

'It's not a human problem; that's just the result of our ability. We're approaching the limits of our ability to build some of these things from precise-enough technology,' Babione said in reaction to unprecedented orders for the jet.

Babione did admit that human error can sometimes hamper the jets, which are in a way very delicate, with even just a small scratch possibly proving deadly.

Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-35, have acknowledged defects in the coating

'On the other hand, we inadvertently scratch the coating system, and we have to repaint it. Or when the mechanics spray the airplane [with LO coating], not all of it is robotically sprayed. There's some overspray, and they have to go clean that,' he said.

An RAF source told The Express: This situation obviously has to be rectified before the plane enters operational service.'

The source also told the paper that defence secretary Gavin Williamson and RAF Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen have always known about the issue.

The worrying news comes as Britain signed a deal to double its F35 fleet by 2022 but the Lockheed Martin boss assured journalists that perfecting the special coating is 'a huge, huge priority.'

The multi-million-pound contract signed will see the UK own 35 stealth jets by end of 2022 with Britain manufacturing 15% of the overall global order for 255 aircraft.

A company spokesman for Lockheed Martin told The Express that the coating is proving to be a significant success because of its practical strong points of speed and low cost.

Despite this, Air Commodore Andrew Lambert, a former director of defence studies said: 'Lockheed Martin just say it's better now, but it takes just one scratch to give the fighter jet the same radar profile as a 747, then you may as well not be bothering.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... ected.html



Fascinating, proof once again that RF physics is very unforgiving.
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:33 pm

Australian F-35As arrive home down under

The first Lockheed Martin F-35As to be permanently based in Australia have arrived at the Royal Australian Air Force's Williamtown base in New South Wales.

Bearing the registrations A35-009 and A35-010, the pair reached their new home after a ferry flight across the Pacific from Luke AFB in Arizona, says defence minister Christopher Pyne.

“This is the most advanced, multi-role stealth fighter in the world,” says Pyne. “It will deliver next generation capability benefits and provide a major boost to our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The Joint Strike Fighter can get closer to threats undetected; find, engage and jam electronic signals from targets; and share information with other platforms.”

The pair are part of an overall acquisition of 72 F-35As for Australia, valued at A$17 billion ($12 billion), and have been assigned to the air force's 3 Sqn. Ultimately, F-35As will operate from the service's bases at Williamtown and Tindal, Northern Territory.

The RAAF aims to achieve initial operating capability with the type in December 2020. This milestone will include the availability of weapons such as the Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, Boeing JDAMs and small diameter bombs, and the fighter's internal 25mm cannon.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that Australia has taken delivery of 10 F-35As. Most of these are now serving with an international training school at Luke AFB.

This is not the first time the F-35A has been in Australia. The type also visited Airshow Australia at Avalon, Queensland in early 2017.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... er-454261/

Image

Image
 
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Mortyman
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:05 pm

Norwegian F-16AM's, F-16BM's and F-35A's did formation flying over Norway today. It's an annual Christmas thing:

https://www.facebook.com/Luftforsvaret/ ... 618334640/
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:06 pm

Planeflyer wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Daily Mail but in the interests of posting articles and commentary that cover both positive and negative aspects of the program. Apparently one scratch can give the jet the same RCS as a 747… :roll:

Hi-tech coating which makes RAF's new £100million F-35 fighter jets 'invisible' to enemy radar is wearing off more quickly than expected

A problem with Britain's new £100 million F-35 fighter jet is leaving it susceptible to enemies and making it as visible on their radar as a 747.

The single-engine jet was given a coating which makes it 'invisible' to enemy radar, but it is wearing off quicker than expected with RAF chiefs saying they have to replace it after every flight.

RAF sources are now saying scratches are delaying the jets getting put into operational service when they get shipped from US manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

The Maryland-based company have acknowledged the defects in the coating, called LO or Low Observable, that makes it hard for enemy radars to pick up the jets.

They also made it clear that the coating does have to be replaced but not at the frequency that the RAF are dealing with.

Speaking to reporters at Lockheed's media day on Monday, Jeff Babione acknowledged that they were having a problem with the material.

'It's not a human problem; that's just the result of our ability. We're approaching the limits of our ability to build some of these things from precise-enough technology,' Babione said in reaction to unprecedented orders for the jet.

Babione did admit that human error can sometimes hamper the jets, which are in a way very delicate, with even just a small scratch possibly proving deadly.

Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-35, have acknowledged defects in the coating

'On the other hand, we inadvertently scratch the coating system, and we have to repaint it. Or when the mechanics spray the airplane [with LO coating], not all of it is robotically sprayed. There's some overspray, and they have to go clean that,' he said.

An RAF source told The Express: This situation obviously has to be rectified before the plane enters operational service.'

The source also told the paper that defence secretary Gavin Williamson and RAF Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen have always known about the issue.

The worrying news comes as Britain signed a deal to double its F35 fleet by 2022 but the Lockheed Martin boss assured journalists that perfecting the special coating is 'a huge, huge priority.'

The multi-million-pound contract signed will see the UK own 35 stealth jets by end of 2022 with Britain manufacturing 15% of the overall global order for 255 aircraft.

A company spokesman for Lockheed Martin told The Express that the coating is proving to be a significant success because of its practical strong points of speed and low cost.

Despite this, Air Commodore Andrew Lambert, a former director of defence studies said: 'Lockheed Martin just say it's better now, but it takes just one scratch to give the fighter jet the same radar profile as a 747, then you may as well not be bothering.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... ected.html



Fascinating, proof once again that RF physics is very unforgiving.

To a very small degree. There are a couple of things we know about the LO coating. First that most of the LO features are baked into the skin of the jet and actually improve over time as the skin smooths. Second that the aircraft also receives an LO paint job which covers additional areas. This is the area that is likely scratched and one of the areas that LM has struggled with, as per this article I quoted earlier in the year,

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/03 ... ad-states/

But the sky is not falling in just yet. There are means to fix the issues and I have quoted multiple articles that talk about the method and tools available to fix the LO coating on jets deployed in the field. Clearly LM needs to lift their game when it comes to paint application but take the Daily Mail sensationalism out of the article and all is not as bad as they would have you believe. Multiple JPO staff and LM execs have highlighted that the reductions in LO maintenance on the F-35 is one of the great successes of the program and clearly the reduced LO sustainment costs compared to the F-22 and other LO designs demonstrate this. I expect that once this is overcome the sustainemnt costs will likely drop below F-16 levels as the rest of the jet has been tuned very well to lower those costs and the LO stuff is what is initially keeping it higher.

I do agree though, to get the orders of magnitude reductions that the F-35 achieves takes some precise application and attention.
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:26 pm

Ozair wrote:
Daily Mail but in the interests of posting articles and commentary that cover both positive and negative aspects of the program. Apparently one scratch can give the jet the same RCS as a 747… :roll:

Hi-tech coating which makes RAF's new £100million F-35 fighter jets 'invisible' to enemy radar is wearing off more quickly than expected

Despite this, Air Commodore Andrew Lambert, a former director of defence studies said: 'Lockheed Martin just say it's better now, but it takes just one scratch to give the fighter jet the same radar profile as a 747, then you may as well not be bothering.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... ected.html

I actually met a flat Earther in Dresden a few months ago. He also insisted I was Jeff Bridges and bought me drinks, so I pretended to listen.
It's good to know that an Air Commadore and former director of defence studies is a complete idiot.
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:46 pm

Nomadd wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Daily Mail but in the interests of posting articles and commentary that cover both positive and negative aspects of the program. Apparently one scratch can give the jet the same RCS as a 747… :roll:

Hi-tech coating which makes RAF's new £100million F-35 fighter jets 'invisible' to enemy radar is wearing off more quickly than expected

Despite this, Air Commodore Andrew Lambert, a former director of defence studies said: 'Lockheed Martin just say it's better now, but it takes just one scratch to give the fighter jet the same radar profile as a 747, then you may as well not be bothering.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... ected.html

I actually met a flat Earther in Dresden a few months ago. He also insisted I was Jeff Bridges and bought me drinks, so I pretended to listen.
It's good to know that an Air Commadore and former director of defence studies is a complete idiot.

He should know better given his operational and educational background,

Air Commodore Andrew Lambert attended Wellington College and the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell. After flying training as a navigator, he was posted to Phantoms and served on Nos 54, 31 and 23 Squadrons, in Ground-Attack, Strike and Air Defense roles. In 1978 he was awarded the Nicolson Trophy as the best Qualified Weapons Instructor student, and in 1979 he was co-author of a paper on “Mixed Fighter Forces” which won the Wilkinson Battle of Britain Memorial Sword. As a Squadron Leader in 1981, he served on No 23 Squadron as the Weapons Leader, and then as Flight Commander in the Falkland Islands. On return to the UK he commanded the Phantom Weapons Instructor School, and was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air. He attended the RAF Staff College in 1986. As a Wing Commander he served in the Plans Branch at HQ Strike Command where he participated in the UK battle study for Operation Granby (Operation Desert Shield/Storm).

After conversion to the F3 Tornado, in June 1991, he returned again to No 23 Squadron, this time as Squadron Commander. After commanding the squadron on operations over Bosnia (Operation Deny Flight), he undertook an M Phil course in International Relations at Cambridge University. From 1994 -1997 he was the Director of Defense Studies for the RAF. In August 1997 he was appointed Air Commander and Chief of Staff, British Forces Falkland Islands. After a further period at Downing College, researching Coercion, he served as Commander British Forces Warden during the SAM and AAA attacks by Iraqi forces from February to August 1999. After a short period in the MOD he was Deputy Commander NATO Air Operations, Norway, from March 2000 to September 2001, before returning to the UK as Assistant Commandant (Air) and Director of Training and Education at the Joint Services Command and Staff College. He retired from the RAF on 12 October 2003 and now lectures widely on History and Air Power matters.

He is the RAF’s Spokesman on the United Kingdom National Defense Association, and is a member of the UKNDA Board of Directors. He is a late Fellow Commoner of Downing College, Cambridge, a Member of the Royal Institute of Navigation, and a member of the Royal United Services Institute. He has published a number of monographs, particularly on the Psychological Impact of Air Power and on Coercion. Air Cdre Lambert holds the position of Honorary Chairman as wel as a permanent member of the Board of Directors of ERPIC.

https://erpic.org/programs/regional-security/

I expect he read some material a few years ago and is now entrenched in his mindset but could also see the F-35 as encroaching on his Tornado. In my experience not all star ranked officers are the cream of their respective categories...
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:47 pm

An article from the head of the JPO on the F-35 and expectations for the year ahead.

Head of F-35 Joint Program Office: Stealth fighter enters the new year in midst of a growing phase

As the “quarterback for the joint force,” the F-35 provides new transformational capabilities that will fundamentally change the way our nation’s military operates around the globe. More than a fighter jet, the F-35’s ability to collect, analyze and share data is a powerful force multiplier that enhances all airborne, sea and ground-based assets in the battlespace, while ensuring our war fighters can execute their mission and return home safe. With stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35 is the most lethal, survivable, connected and interoperable fighter aircraft ever built.

The F-35 program plays a central role in our National Defense Strategy, which calls for building a more lethal joint force, strengthening global alliances and reforming business practices to enhance affordability. The F-35 weapons system is a multimission, next-generation strike fighter that provides our war fighters unmatched, game-changing technology in the domains of sensor fusion, stealth and interoperability. The unique F-35 partnership brings together three U.S. services (the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy) with our eight partner nations (the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway), and four Foreign Military Sales customers (Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Belgium) — each of whom are integral to the planning and execution of the complete F-35 program.

The F-35’s projected service life extends out for more than 50 years (2070), and to ensure the aircraft remains combat-ready and ahead of adversaries, the enterprise will continually deliver enhanced capability to the war fighter with a focus on affordability and speed.

Outlook 2019: World leaders and analysts speak on the state of global security and the defense industry

The F-35 Joint Program Office’s strategic focus remains on accountable affordability and timely delivery of required capabilities. To that end, the JPO is leading a continued transformation of the F-35 enterprise from a developmental and initial production environment to a full-rate production and continuous modernization environment, while sustaining the substantial growing global operations.

In 2018, the F-35 program completed the most comprehensive, rigorous and safest developmental flight test program in aviation history. More than 9,200 sorties, 17,000 flight hours and 65,000 test points were achieved to verify the design, durability, software, sensors, weapons capability and performance for all three F-35 variants. In 2019, F-35 flight testing continues in support of phased capability improvements and modernization of the F-35 air system. This agile framework, known as “continuous capability development and delivery,” provides timely, affordable, incremental war-fighting capability improvements to maintain air dominance against evolving threats to the United States and our allies.

More than 340 F-35s are currently in the global fleet, and by the end of 2019 there will be almost 500 air systems delivered. Production ramp-up will continue as operational testing concludes in the summer of 2019 and the program enters a full-rate production decision in the fall. To prepare for this major production ramp, production experts from across the United States government are working with our industry partners to lean out production process flow, increase production quality, and deliver parts on time and at reduced cost. To achieve these efficiencies, the program has incorporated a number of performance initiatives and incentives across the entire supply chain to support F-35 production lines in Italy, Japan and the United States.

Driving down cost is critical to the success of this program, and for the 11th consecutive year, the cost of an F-35A was lowered. The Lot 11 F-35A unit price, including aircraft, engine and fee, is $89.2 million; this represents a 5.4 percent reduction from previous lot aircraft. Unit cost for the F-35B and F-35C went down to their lowest costs to date. As production ramps up, we are working with industry to drive further cost reductions. We are on track to reduce the cost of the F-35A to less than $80 million by 2020 — which is equal to or less than legacy aircraft, while providing a major leap in war-fighting capability.

F-35 global alliances and capabilities continue to grow. By the end of 2018, the United Kingdom and Italy will declare initial operational capability with their F-35B and F-35A aircraft, respectively. In 2019, the Netherlands, Turkey and Korea will receive their first aircraft arrivals in country. Additionally, the U.S. Navy, Norway, Japan and Korea are planning to declare initial operational capability in 2019. These major milestones require measured levels of sustainment, availability and operational readiness for the F-35 fleet. We are in the midst of a major growing phase in the program, as our three U.S. services, six of our eight current partners and three of our four FMS teammates will be operating aircraft in country by 2021.

To support the F-35 global fleet and the secretary of defense’s directive to attain an 80 percent mission-capability rate by the end of 2019, government, international allies and industry representatives are increasing spare part supplies, accelerating depot activations, and implementing reliability and maintainability improvement plans to ensure maintainers get the parts they need, when they need them, to sustain F-35s more efficiently. To speed up repairs and lower costs, we are leveraging government capabilities at fleet readiness and air logistics centers, and we are empowering flight line workers with greater authority to streamline standard maintenance actions. These combined sustainment and logistic actions and initiatives will improve overall F-35 readiness for the war fighter.

The year 2018 has been a very good one, with 2019 poised to surpass those accomplishments. However, the challenges to affordability and timely capability delivery remain. The threats and adversaries we face today are more complex and advanced than ever before. The F-35’s success is of vital importance to our national security.

The F-35 forms the backbone of U.S. air combat superiority for decades to come. It enhances our international alliances and is a linchpin for future coalition operations. It is a big, complex, rapidly growing and accelerating program that is moving in the right direction. Our steadfast focus is on the continued advancement, development, delivery and sustainment of an affordable, global F-35 weapons system that supports the peace and, if called upon to do so, swiftly and decisively wins the fight every time.

Vice Adm. Mat Winter is the program executive officer for the U.S.-led F-35 Joint Program Office.

https://www.defensenews.com/outlook/201 ... ing-phase/
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:02 am

I'd suggest this move is part of the USN declaring IOC with the F-35C next year as per the current schedule and this re-aligns some units and concentrates USN F-35C operations going forward.

Navy F-35 unit at Eglin to be deactivated

The Navy’s F-35C squadron at Eglin Air Force Base is being deactivated, as its personnel and aircraft are slated to be combined with a second squadron at a Naval Air Station in California.

The move is being made at the request of the commanders of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and the Naval Air Force, according to a Navy announcement.

The squadron, VFA-101, better known as the “Grim Reapers,” has been at Eglin since 2011, where it has trained pilots and maintenance personnel for the F-35C. The F-35C is the “carrier variant” of the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter jet, designed specifically for operating from aircraft carriers.

The transition of the Grim Reapers from Eglin to Naval Air Station Lemoore, about 35 miles south of Fresno in California’s Central Valley, is scheduled to be completed by July 1 of next year, according to an announcement from the Pentagon office of the Chief of Naval Operations. The move is designed to consolidate the Navy’s F-35C pilot and maintenance training operations, according to the announcement.

According to a Dec. 8 story on the Navy Times website, the consolidation of VFA-101 and the VFA-125 “Rough Raiders” is coming as the Navy works to establish its first operational F-35C squadron. Current plans call for that squadron’s initial deployment to come in 2021, aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

A phone call to a Navy public affairs office was not immediately returned on Monday, but Naval Air Forces spokesman Lt. Travis Callaghan told Navy Times that the Navy “is moving forward with the deactivation of VFA-101 at Eglin AFB next year, and the re-alignment of F-35C assets into Strike Fighter Squadrons ... while transitioning Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet squadrons to the F-35C Lightning II.”

https://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/20181 ... eactivated
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:32 am

Nomadd wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Daily Mail but in the interests of posting articles and commentary that cover both positive and negative aspects of the program. Apparently one scratch can give the jet the same RCS as a 747… :roll:

Hi-tech coating which makes RAF's new £100million F-35 fighter jets 'invisible' to enemy radar is wearing off more quickly than expected

Despite this, Air Commodore Andrew Lambert, a former director of defence studies said: 'Lockheed Martin just say it's better now, but it takes just one scratch to give the fighter jet the same radar profile as a 747, then you may as well not be bothering.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... ected.html

I actually met a flat Earther in Dresden a few months ago. He also insisted I was Jeff Bridges and bought me drinks, so I pretended to listen.
It's good to know that an Air Commadore and former director of defence studies is a complete idiot.



He does not be a complete idiot to not understand LO coatings or even LO period. There are probably less than 100 or few hundred people that do.

For most problem sets, 4 th derivative metrics are trivial issues but for not for LO.

He could be otherwise very capable and know very little about LO. It is that much a paradigm shift.
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:45 am

Ozair wrote:
Japan looking to establish their first squadron shortly and especially topical in light of the recent reports of intent to increase their order.

Japan prepares to stand up first F-35 operational unit

Japan has graduated its first locally trained class of five F-35 pilots and is on track to make its first unit operational, according to a senior official with Japan’s F-35 program.

Joel Malone told Defense News at the Japan International Aerospace Exhibition in Tokyo that the Japan Air Self-Defense Force is continuing to train more pilots, maintainers and other support personnel on the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

F-35 jets with the JASDF are assigned to the Rinji F-35 Hkoutai, a temporary JASDF unit. Following the training of five more pilots and the delivery of more F-35s, the aircraft will be transferred to the JASDF’s 302 Hikoutai, which will retire its McDonnell Douglas/Mistubishi F-4EJ Kai Phantom IIs and move from Hyakuri, north of Tokyo, to Misawa in March 2019.

Japan initially trained a cadre of F-35 pilots and personnel with the 944th Operations Group and four of the JASDF’s aircraft at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The Japanese F-35s spent 18 months training at Luke AFB before returning earlier this year to Misawa, located at the northern part of Japan’s main island of Honshu.

Japan’s current program of record is for 42 F-35As. Malone declined to comment on reports that Japan is seeking up to 100 more F-35s, telling Defense News that it was “more appropriate for the Ministry of Defense and the JASDF air staff to comment on that.”

The media reports, quoting unnamed Japanese defense officials, said these included the F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variant similar to those operated by the U.S. Marines in Japan.

Japan previously studied the possibility of converting its Izumo-class helicopter destroyers to enable it to operate the F-35B, with a report released by its Defense Ministry in April 2018 concluding that was possible. However, there has been no formal announcement about intentions or plans to do so.

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... onal-unit/


Here's that formal announcement regarding the Izumo that everyone was waiting for: https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Japan-to-convert-helicopter-carrier-Izumo-into-aircraft-carrier
"Remember, no matter where you go... there you are." -- Buckaroo Banzai
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:09 pm

Planeflyer wrote:
Nomadd wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Daily Mail but in the interests of posting articles and commentary that cover both positive and negative aspects of the program. Apparently one scratch can give the jet the same RCS as a 747… :roll:

Hi-tech coating which makes RAF's new £100million F-35 fighter jets 'invisible' to enemy radar is wearing off more quickly than expected


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... ected.html

I actually met a flat Earther in Dresden a few months ago. He also insisted I was Jeff Bridges and bought me drinks, so I pretended to listen.
It's good to know that an Air Commadore and former director of defence studies is a complete idiot.



He does not be a complete idiot to not understand LO coatings or even LO period. There are probably less than 100 or few hundred people that do.

For most problem sets, 4 th derivative metrics are trivial issues but for not for LO.

He could be otherwise very capable and know very little about LO. It is that much a paradigm shift.

We're not talking about a Masters degree in LO coatings here. We're talking about spending 30 minutes researching a subject before making claims and pronouncements meant to affect national defense policy. "Complete idiot" is being polite. Spouting nonsense like this from a serious position of authority should be criminal.
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:27 pm

LAXPAX wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Japan looking to establish their first squadron shortly and especially topical in light of the recent reports of intent to increase their order.

Japan prepares to stand up first F-35 operational unit

Japan has graduated its first locally trained class of five F-35 pilots and is on track to make its first unit operational, according to a senior official with Japan’s F-35 program.

Joel Malone told Defense News at the Japan International Aerospace Exhibition in Tokyo that the Japan Air Self-Defense Force is continuing to train more pilots, maintainers and other support personnel on the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

F-35 jets with the JASDF are assigned to the Rinji F-35 Hkoutai, a temporary JASDF unit. Following the training of five more pilots and the delivery of more F-35s, the aircraft will be transferred to the JASDF’s 302 Hikoutai, which will retire its McDonnell Douglas/Mistubishi F-4EJ Kai Phantom IIs and move from Hyakuri, north of Tokyo, to Misawa in March 2019.

Japan initially trained a cadre of F-35 pilots and personnel with the 944th Operations Group and four of the JASDF’s aircraft at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The Japanese F-35s spent 18 months training at Luke AFB before returning earlier this year to Misawa, located at the northern part of Japan’s main island of Honshu.

Japan’s current program of record is for 42 F-35As. Malone declined to comment on reports that Japan is seeking up to 100 more F-35s, telling Defense News that it was “more appropriate for the Ministry of Defense and the JASDF air staff to comment on that.”

The media reports, quoting unnamed Japanese defense officials, said these included the F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variant similar to those operated by the U.S. Marines in Japan.

Japan previously studied the possibility of converting its Izumo-class helicopter destroyers to enable it to operate the F-35B, with a report released by its Defense Ministry in April 2018 concluding that was possible. However, there has been no formal announcement about intentions or plans to do so.

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... onal-unit/


Here's that formal announcement regarding the Izumo that everyone was waiting for: https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Japan-to-convert-helicopter-carrier-Izumo-into-aircraft-carrier

Thanks for posting, I find it really interesting that Japan have used the term “Aircraft Carrier” after resisting that name for so long with other designs including the Izumo.


Nomadd wrote:
Planeflyer wrote:
Nomadd wrote:
I actually met a flat Earther in Dresden a few months ago. He also insisted I was Jeff Bridges and bought me drinks, so I pretended to listen.
It's good to know that an Air Commadore and former director of defence studies is a complete idiot.



He does not be a complete idiot to not understand LO coatings or even LO period. There are probably less than 100 or few hundred people that do.

For most problem sets, 4 th derivative metrics are trivial issues but for not for LO.

He could be otherwise very capable and know very little about LO. It is that much a paradigm shift.

We're not talking about a Masters degree in LO coatings here. We're talking about spending 30 minutes researching a subject before making claims and pronouncements meant to affect national defense policy. "Complete idiot" is being polite. Spouting nonsense like this from a serious position of authority should be criminal.

Agree, he clearly has enough education to make an informed comment but chose not to.
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:37 pm

Info on one of the tests being conducted for IOT&E.

31st TES begins F-35 Initial Operational Test and Evaluation

The 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron kicked off the Defense Department’s F-35 Lightning II Initial Operational Test and Evaluation with a large force employment sortie from Edwards AFB, California, Dec. 5.

“The sorties consisted of seven F-35s performing both offensive counter air, suppression of enemy air defenses and air attack operations. This marks an important milestone for the F-35 program,” said Lt. Col. Nicholas Ihde, 31st TES commander.

During the IOT&E phase, the 31st TES F-35 pilots will fly more than 30 missions designed to fully evaluate the complete air system as well as identify technical and operational areas for improvement.

“These unique flights place the aircraft in realistic combat conditions with our joint and coalition partners to determine the operational effectiveness and suitability for the warfighter,” Ihde said.

The 31st TES has 10 F-35 pilots, 145 maintainer’s and 11 engineers to bring the F-35 program through this phase. If they discover an issue they will work with the director of operational test and evaluation, Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office to address it before going out to the fleet.

“As the conduit between developmental test flights and combat missions it is our duty to ensure this aircraft fulfills the need of the warfighter, (major command), and the American public," Ihde said. "We must guarantee that we hand the Combat Air Force a product that has been tested with rigor and is ironed out. An advantage the 31st TES possesses is pilot experience. Most of the pilots have over 1,500 flight hours in various fighter aircraft and previous operational test backgrounds lending vast experiences fall back on and reference in order to make this jet the best it can be.”

The completion of F-35 IOT&E will aid the Navy in an initial operating capability decision and will help inform full rate production for the DoD in the future.

https://www.edwards.af.mil/News/Article ... valuation/
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:57 pm

Very interesting on how much weight is saved from going with an internal system albeit with some good design work required to handle heat.

Leonardo solves overheating issue with internal F-35 training system

Leonardo solved an overheating issue with its miniaturised P5 Combat Training System (CTS) internal subsystem on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) by installing a radiator with the liquid coolant down the middle.

Chris Lettiere, Leonardo's vice-president for engineering, told Jane's on 11 December that the repacking of the pod into an internal form factor for the F-35 was a challenging redesign and repacking effort. The baseline externally carried podded system is about 63.5 kg and 76.2 m 3 , while the F-35 variant is an internally mounted unit one-quarter the size and weight of the podded system.

https://www.janes.com/article/85174/leo ... ing-system
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:20 pm

Makes sense not only from the supplier risk perspective but also to push LM for further cost reduction. Certainly relevant for when full rate production is approved.

Pentagon seeks better insight into F-35 sub-tier suppliers

Key Points
- The Pentagon is seeking better insight into F-35 sub-tier suppliers
- It is likely that the Pentagon is looking for vulnerability points or perhaps more accurate pricing

The Pentagon is seeking a better understanding of the risks presented by key components and organisations in the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) sustainment supply chain that could have an impact on overall programme cost, schedule, and performance.

The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) relies heavily on Lockheed Martin and F135 engine developer Pratt & Whitney to provide insight into sustainment supply chain risks for the air system.

https://www.janes.com/article/85171/pen ... -suppliers
 
Ozair
Topic Author
Posts: 3108
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:15 am

Thought I would post some additional photos taken from the RAAF website. https://images.airforce.gov.au/fotoweb/ ... &sa=yyy?q=

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For those not familiar with Australian squadrons the below image has 77SQN, 75SQN and 2OCU with Hornets while 3SQN is the first to convert to the F-35.

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A more secure parking area now compared to the previous setup.

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Ozair
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:09 am

USN continues to work through the steps required for declaring IOC early next year.

Navy’s Operational F-35C Squadron Declared ‘Safe for Flight;’ Can Prepare for Evaluations, IOC

The Navy’s first F-35C operational squadron completed its carrier qualifications and was deemed “safe for flight” – the final step in the squadron’s transition from the F/A-18E Super Hornet to the F35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, and an important step in the journey towards reaching initial operational capability.

The “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 completed their carrier qualifications today aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and can now independently conduct flight operations as a squadron, without the assistance and oversight from a fleet replacement squadron.

The “safe for flight” designation means a squadron has the right personnel and equipment, as well as maintenance and safety programs, in place to support itself in conducting routine flight operations. The squadron must also be in physical custody of at least 30 percent of its assigned aircraft and, in the case of new F-35 squadrons, have the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) management system installed and operating.

“Since we returned from deployment last December, our team has been driving toward fully bringing this platform online for the Navy,” VFA-147 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Patrick Corrigan said in a news release.
“As the Argonauts close out 2018 and the final stages of our safe-for-flight certification, we continue to exhibit the relentless drive required to meet transition goals and milestones. With this certification, we are announcing that we have the right skills, training and people to take this mission and execute it, to its fullest potential.”

With the ability to operate independently, the squadron will now continue to train and prepare for upcoming operational tests meant to lead to a February 2019 initial operational capability declaration.

“We eagerly look forward to declaring IOC and integrating the F-35C into the Carrier Strike Group. This aircraft is a key component to maintaining the U.S. Navy’s dominance anywhere in the world,” Joint Strike Fighter Wing Commander Capt. Max McCoy said in the news release.
“VFA-147 continues to accomplish significant milestones, advancing this program closer to its ultimate goal of integrating the F-35C into the Fleet. The exceptional performance of the squadron throughout the entire transition process is a testament to the hard-working Sailors who make the U.S. Navy F-35C program a reality.”

https://news.usni.org/2018/12/12/navys- ... ations-ioc

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estorilm
Posts: 462
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:07 am

Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:49 pm

Ozair wrote:
Thought I would post some additional photos taken from the RAAF website. https://images.airforce.gov.au/fotoweb/ ... &sa=yyy?q=

Image

For those not familiar with Australian squadrons the below image has 77SQN, 75SQN and 2OCU with Hornets while 3SQN is the first to convert to the F-35.

Image

A more secure parking area now compared to the previous setup.

Image

I think it's interesting how easily all of the F-35's tip surfaces generate vorticies - even during low-G maneuvers. I'm sure there's an extremely technical reason for this due to some of the most advanced 3D aero/fluid design and testing seen on a fighter, but it's really interesting to see, especially when it's flying the same profiles and maneuvers as aircraft next to it (which obviously don't exhibit the same tendency).
 
petertenthije
Posts: 3617
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 10:00 pm

Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:39 pm

According to de Telegraaf the Netherlands have commited to increase their JSF order of 37 planes with roughly 15 more.

https://www.telegraaf.nl/nieuws/2918995 ... raaljagers
Attamottamotta!
 
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Dutchy
Posts: 7093
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:25 am

Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:25 pm

petertenthije wrote:
According to de Telegraaf the Netherlands have commited to increase their JSF order of 37 planes with roughly 15 more.

https://www.telegraaf.nl/nieuws/2918995 ... raaljagers


That is a bit over-optimistic, in the spring we will know more ;)
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!

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