Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:07 am

Singapore is still committed to the F-35.

Ng Eng Hen confident that technical glitches in F-35 fighter jet ‘will be solved’ before delivery to Singapore

Glitches in the F-35 will be fixed before the stealth fighter jet is delivered to Singapore, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Friday (Jun 28).

Singapore announced in January that it had identified the F-35 as the replacement for its ageing F-16s. In March, Dr Ng revealed that it would first buy four of the jets for complete testing, with the option of another eight.

Singapore has also put in a Letter of Request to the US government to purchase the F-35s, Dr Ng added, kick-starting the process for US foreign military sales.

But Defense News reported in June that the F-35 continues to be marred by technical glitches that, if left unfixed, could risk pilot safety and the jet’s ability to accomplish its mission.

...


Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/si ... d-11675070
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:22 pm

Must be frustrating that P&W cannot deliver the engines on time. They have had enough notice of increasing production that this shouldn't be an issue today but the contract management agency isn't confident Pratt will be able to deliver. Perhaps this is the prime reason the F136 should have continued.

United Technologies’ F-35 Engines Chronically Late, Pentagon Says

United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney unit is chronically late delivering engines for the Pentagon’s costliest program, the F-35, raising questions about whether the company is ready for a surge to full-rate production scheduled for next year.

Pratt remains under a previously unreported “Corrective Action Request” from the Defense Contract Management Agency that cites “poor delivery performance” on its current batch of engines for the fighter jet, including for the most complicated version used by the Marine Corps and the U.K. for vertical takeoffs and landings.

...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... tagon-says
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:26 pm

A good find to improve both efficiency and safety while hot turning the jets. Hot turning really helps to generate the number of sorties required for training and proficiency.

Gunfighters use 1950s tech on F-35 for a huge win

‘Things aren’t made the way they used to be’ is a sentiment often tossed around when a new car or appliance breaks down. Even with all the new inventions and integrated technology there’s something to be said about the simplicity of an original design. Mountain Home Air Force Base members are learning this lesson firsthand.

Airmen from the 366th Logistics Readiness Squadron, also known as Gunfighters, are the first in the Air Force to perform hot-pit refueling on F-35 Lightning II’s with a Type 1 hydrant system from the 1950s and hose cart from the 1970s.

A hot-pit is when a plane lands, refuels then takes off again without turning off the engine, explains Senior Airman Christian Cook, 366th LRS fuels operator. The typical refueling procedure consists of landing, turning off the engine and a laundry list of to-do’s.

...

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

Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:30 pm

An interesting insight into how Israel may be using the F-35.

Lockheed Martin chief: F-35 critical against Hezbollah rockets

Lockheed Martin chairman, president, and CEO Marillyn Hewson heaped praise yesterday on the F-35 stealth combat aircraft that the Israel Air Force (IAF) is in the process of commissioning. Speaking at the Herzliya Conference, Hewson said, "The F-35 is particularly critical to countering Hezbollah’s vast rocket threat through rapid identification and prioritization of targets for the IAF." Hewson cited the aircraft's ability to penetrate enemy airspace without detection and destroy ground-to-air threats, allowing other F-35s to follow up carrying large weapons payloads.

...

https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-lock ... 1001291834
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:43 pm

An interesting follow up to the story last year about whether the F-35 had overflown Iranian airspace. Perhaps more truth than we thought to the story.

IRIAF Commander reportedly fired after he kept secret that Israeli F-35 stealth fighters had violated Iran Airspace

Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) commander Brigadier General Farzad Ismaili, who had been in office since 2010, has been fired by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after he kept secret that Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-35 stealth fighters had violated Iran’s airspace, the Kuwaiti daily Al Jarida reported on Saturday.

The newspaper emphasized that it was the original media source that exposed the Israeli raids, which had taken place in March 2018. Al Jarida cited senior Iranian military who said that only following its March report did the intelligence services of the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian intelligence ministry begin to investigate the case, under Khamenei’s direct orders.

...

https://theaviationgeekclub.com/iriaf-c ... -airspace/
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:42 pm

This could be a reason the F-`15EX is being bought. If the F135 engine is seriously late for prior year production can they up their deliveries, probably not.

Ozair wrote:
Must be frustrating that P&W cannot deliver the engines on time. They have had enough notice of increasing production that this shouldn't be an issue today but the contract management agency isn't confident Pratt will be able to deliver. Perhaps this is the prime reason the F136 should have continued.

United Technologies’ F-35 Engines Chronically Late, Pentagon Says

United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney unit is chronically late delivering engines for the Pentagon’s costliest program, the F-35, raising questions about whether the company is ready for a surge to full-rate production scheduled for next year.

Pratt remains under a previously unreported “Corrective Action Request” from the Defense Contract Management Agency that cites “poor delivery performance” on its current batch of engines for the fighter jet, including for the most complicated version used by the Marine Corps and the U.K. for vertical takeoffs and landings.

...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... tagon-says
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:52 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
This could be a reason the F-`15EX is being bought. If the F135 engine is seriously late for prior year production can they up their deliveries, probably not.

Ozair wrote:
Must be frustrating that P&W cannot deliver the engines on time. They have had enough notice of increasing production that this shouldn't be an issue today but the contract management agency isn't confident Pratt will be able to deliver. Perhaps this is the prime reason the F136 should have continued.

United Technologies’ F-35 Engines Chronically Late, Pentagon Says

United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney unit is chronically late delivering engines for the Pentagon’s costliest program, the F-35, raising questions about whether the company is ready for a surge to full-rate production scheduled for next year.

Pratt remains under a previously unreported “Corrective Action Request” from the Defense Contract Management Agency that cites “poor delivery performance” on its current batch of engines for the fighter jet, including for the most complicated version used by the Marine Corps and the U.K. for vertical takeoffs and landings.

...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... tagon-says

Possible but the F-15x acquisition is more likely about near time capability, availability and cost of conversion etc than a specific supplier issue.

I expect Pratt will overcome the issues and they need to as prpduction increases to 130+ next year.
 
estorilm
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:05 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
This could be a reason the F-`15EX is being bought. If the F135 engine is seriously late for prior year production can they up their deliveries, probably not.

Ozair wrote:
Must be frustrating that P&W cannot deliver the engines on time. They have had enough notice of increasing production that this shouldn't be an issue today but the contract management agency isn't confident Pratt will be able to deliver. Perhaps this is the prime reason the F136 should have continued.

United Technologies’ F-35 Engines Chronically Late, Pentagon Says

United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney unit is chronically late delivering engines for the Pentagon’s costliest program, the F-35, raising questions about whether the company is ready for a surge to full-rate production scheduled for next year.

Pratt remains under a previously unreported “Corrective Action Request” from the Defense Contract Management Agency that cites “poor delivery performance” on its current batch of engines for the fighter jet, including for the most complicated version used by the Marine Corps and the U.K. for vertical takeoffs and landings.

...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... tagon-says

I doubt it played any role at all - in the time it takes the first F-15X to be designed, built, tested, and operational (3 years? 5?) how many additional F-35s will we have? By that date, I'm positive P&W can achieve whatever output they'd like, and we'll still be building additional F-35's faster than however many F-15X's will be rolling off the line. :(
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:59 pm

Interesting image of an F-35C just at the point it reaches supersonic speed.

Check Out This Photo Of An F-35C Flying Transonic With Visible Schlieren Shock Waves

The photograph in this post shows a U.S. Navy Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) “Salty Dogs” during a test flight. Released by the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, the image was taken as the stealth aircraft, carrying external AIM-9X Sidewinder AAMs (Air-to-Air Missiles), flies transonic: indeed, what makes the shot particularly interesting are the schlieren shock waves that flight test photographers captured as the JSF transitioned from sub-sonic to supersonic.

Schlieren imagery is a modern version of a 150-year-old German photography technique, used to visualize supersonic flow phenomena: a clear understanding of the location and strength of shock waves is essential for determining aerodynamic performance of aircraft flying at supersonic speed in different configurations, for improving performance as well as designing future jets.

“Schlieren imaging reveals shock waves due to air density gradient and the accompanying change in refractive index,” says the NASA website that published an extensive article about this particular kind of photography few years ago. “This typically requires the use of fairly complex optics and a bright light source, and until recently most of the available schlieren imagery of airplanes was obtained from scale model testing in wind tunnels. Acquiring schlieren images of an aircraft in flight is much more challenging. Ground-based systems, using the sun as a light source, have produced good results but because of the distances involved did not have the desired spatial resolution to resolve small-scale shock structures near the aircraft.”

...

https://theaviationist.com/2019/07/09/c ... ock-waves/

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:38 pm

Some really interesting info in the below article, I recommend reading it directly. The interoperability between the partners is impressive and using F-35 takes it to a higher level than previous aircraft.

Three Nations Take Part In International F-35 Operations Over Southern Italy

On Jul. 2, 2019, Amendola Air Base, in southeastern Italy, home of the 13° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 32° Stormo (Wing), the first Italian Air Force unit equipped with the F-35 Lightning II stealth aircraft since 2016, hosted what has been unofficially dubbed an international F-35 training day, that saw the involvement of both the 617 Sqn “Dambusters” of the Royal Air Force, flying the F-35B STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter; and the 421st FS (Fighter Squadron) of the U.S. Air Force, the newest fighter squadron in the Air Force to stand up the F-35A about 6 months ago.

...

“This is also an example of the flexibility of the F-35 program: foreign nations aircraft can deploy here at Amendola and get the operational and logistical support they need to operate. The infrastructures were born with this embedded ability to support partner air forces F-35s. This is also the first time we cooperate with the F-35B,” Marzinotto commented.

...

Today we carried out a tactical mission that would have been impossible to fly with any previous generation aircraft that easily and that quickly,” said Maj. Maurizio De Guida, commander of the 13° Gruppo. “We were on the same MADL chain and I realized only after landing that I had flown a mission alongside an F-35B when I’ve seen their test of the flight controls that is different from ours. While airborne we were flying the same aircraft, in a complex mission with an amazing ease”.

...

https://theaviationist.com/2019/07/04/t ... ern-italy/

Image

I don't really like the angle of this shot, gives the F-35 a very squat nose.
Image
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:30 pm

North Korea are apparently terrified of the "invisible lethal weapon"...

North Korea calls South Korea's F-35 jet purchases 'extremely dangerous action'

South Korea’s acquisition of American F-35 stealth fighter jets will force North Korea to develop and test “special armaments” to destroy the new weapons, North Korea’s state media said on Thursday, citing a government researcher.

South Korean authorities are “impudent and pitiful” for “talking loudly about reconciliation and cooperation between the north and the south” while buying more weapons from the United States, an unnamed policy research director at the Institute for American Studies of North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement carried by state news agency KCNA.

“There is no room for doubt that the delivery of ‘F-35A’, which is also called an ‘invisible lethal weapon’, is aimed at securing military supremacy over the neighboring countries in the region and especially opening a ‘gate’ to invading the north in time of emergency on the Korean peninsula,” the statement said.

“We, on our part, have no other choice but to develop and test the special armaments to completely destroy the lethal weapons reinforced in south Korea.”

...

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nort ... SKCN1U60BJ
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:27 am

The F-35 portions of the the below article by Ash Carter on his time with the US DoD.

How We Tamed the F-35’s Spiraling Costs — and Created a Model for Controlling Waste

...

The poster child for poor program management in recent Pentagon history was the F-35 joint strike fighter (JSF). In 2009, when I became the “acquisition czar,” development of the plane was taking twice as long, and costing twice as much, as it was supposed to. The entire effort – and thus America’s air superiority for decades to come – was in jeopardy.

Righting the jet fighter began with a frank conversation. I called the contractor into my office to discuss the program on a Saturday morning – a clear signal of my annoyance. Seeing his nonchalance about cost and schedule overruns, I walked out of the meeting. I quickly fired the Pentagon program manager and revoked $416 million of the contractor’s fee. I then removed the more complex Marine Corps version of JSF from the critical path so the easier Air Force and Navy versions could go forward.

But the critical step was not to confront but to align the Pentagon’s incentives with those of industry to control costs in production. Nearly 2,500 of these planes were to be built for the U.S. military and more than 1,000 for allies, so costs had to be controlled. To do that, we developed a contract in which the company could keep half of every million dollars saved under the agreed target cost; the other half was returned to the Treasury. On the other hand, for every $1 million over cost, the contractor was responsible for half – and the full amount for any overrun exceeding 20 percent.

This structure got taxpayers and contractors working toward the same purposes. The result? JSF production costs at last began to level off and then decrease. Our military got game-changing technology and our economy got critical exports. The JSF may well be the last manned fighter jet ever built. But it will dominate the U.S. arsenal and the global marketplace for several decades.

...

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2019/0 ... te/158344/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:00 am

Interesting change with Gen Fick being an Engineer by trade and not aircrew although he has spent some time working with experimental/test aircraft. He is the first non-aviator to be head of the program in quite a while.

F-35 Program Leadership Changes as Turkey’s Future in Program Uncertain

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program’s civilian and military management are in the midst of a changeover just as government officials from the U.S. and partner countries are considering ejecting Turkey from involvement in the aircraft’s manufacture and deployment.

Last week, Air Force Lt. Gen. Eric Fick relieved Vice Adm. Mat Winter as the F-35 program manager. With the program manager position switching from the Navy to the Air Force, the F-35 program’s civilian service acquisition executive also switched from the Air Force to the Navy. James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, is now overseeing the program.

“I look forward to taking an active role as the service acquisition executive for the F-35 and working with Eric and his team, those in the department, international partners and Congress to deliver and sustain this lethal capability our military needs to compete and win,” Geurts said in a statement.

...

https://news.usni.org/2019/07/15/f-35-p ... -uncertain
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:06 am

RAF Lakenheath works continues to prepare for the arrival of 48 USAF F-35A aircraft in 2021.

Construction of first permanent US F-35 campus in Europe begins at Lakenheath

A $205 million construction project to prepare RAF Lakenheath for the arrival of two squadrons of U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II fighter jets in 2021 officially got underway Monday.

The commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe - U.S. Air Forces Africa, Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, and other dignitaries plunged shovels into dirt at what will become the first permanent site for U.S. F-35s in Europe.

...

https://www.stripes.com/news/constructi ... h-1.590422
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:15 am

The Norwegian-Italy reprogramming lab has been officially opened at Eglin AFB. I expect the Norwegians and Italians will end up doing some other partner MDF work here as well.

Mission Data System Files for Core Allies: The Norwegian-Italian Reprogramming F-35 Lab

The NIRL provides Norway and Italy F-35 mission data files used to assess what threats to search for and when, enabling the 5th generation fighter to decipher and control the battlespace.

A ceremony was held at the end of June 2019, opening the new facility.

...

https://sldinfo.com/2019/07/mission-dat ... -f-35-lab/

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:21 pm

In a First, an F-35 Pilot Is Joining the Navy's Blue Angels Demonstration Team

The Blue Angels team has its first F-35B pilot, but he won't be flying the Joint Strike Fighter jet in any upcoming air shows.

Marine Maj. Frank Zastoupil is one of eight officers recently selected to join the Blue Angels 2020 demonstration team. Zastoupil, who's currently assigned to the "Warlords" of the South Carolina-based Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, will be one of the F/A-18 demonstration pilots, Navy officials announced Monday.

"This is the first [pilot] we've had that's been permanently attached to an F-35 squadron," Chief Petty Officer Chad Pritt, the Blue Angels' public affairs chief, told Military.com.

Navy Lt. Julius Bratton, a Hornet pilot with the "Gladiators" of Strike Fighter Squadron 106, was also selected to join the F/A-18 demonstration team.

...

https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... -team.html
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:24 pm

Got to be frustrating for the program that these small issues with the supply base continue to prevent the jet reaching the readiness goal. Hopefully this gets sorted ASAP.

Esper: F-35 Won’t Hit 80% Readiness, Cites Stealth Parts

Presumptive Defense Secretary Mark Esper says flatly the F-35 “is not expected” to meet the 80 percent readiness goal set for it this year because of problems with a cockpit part that improves stealth performance.

“Transparency (canopy) supply shortages continue to be the main obstacle to achieving this. We are seeking additional sources to fix unserviceable canopies,” Esper said in response to written questions from the Senate Armed Services Committe (SASC).

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) mentioned the canopy issue in a recent report, calling it a “special coating on the F-35 canopy that enables the aircraft to maintain its stealth.” That, the congressional watchdog said. “failed more frequently than expected” so F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin went looking for more manufactures to produce enough canopies to meet demands. GAO also said the F-35 program was considering a new design.

...

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/07/esp ... lth-parts/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:13 pm

The below article struggles with the logic of what is actually happening and is making claims that aren’t substantiated by the reports it tries to reference. Given the aircraft is performing for the US Military and partners in conflict today I counter that the author is blowing this out of proportion.

The F-35 Has Been a Mess. Is Our Military Aviation Dominance in Trouble?

Today, Le Bourget is home to the Paris Air Show, the largest event of its kind anywhere in the world – the most prestigious gathering of designers and builders of aircraft, aeroengine, avionics, radar, etc. who all want to show their wares and attract new customers. But the latest installment, which took place in late June, demonstrated that pole position of the U.S. in the aviation industry is fading.

In 2017, a Lockheed Martin (LM) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Le Bourget for the first time and made an impressive display. But it made no return appearance this year. Its absence was conspicuous because several hundred of these fighters have already been built for and delivered to existing customers, plus the aircraft is now being considered for procurement by Switzerland, Finland and Poland – in addition to the U.K. and the several other European partners that are already committed to the F-35.

...

https://thebulwark.com/the-f-35-has-bee ... n-trouble/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:56 pm

With the arrival of 207sqn the UK will now train all F-35 aircrew locally.

Second Lightning Fighter Jet Squadron Arrives In The UK

A second training squadron of state-of-the-art F-35 Lightning jets arrived at RAF Marham on Tuesday.

The arrival of 207 Squadron will see all training on the next-generation jet conducted in the UK for the first time.

Six of the cutting-edge aircraft took the 10-hour flight from MCAS Beaufort in South Carolina.

...

Since 2013, RAF and Royal Navy personnel have trained alongside US Marine Corps counterparts at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort.

207 Squadron will formally stand up on 1 August 2019 and the first F-35 pilot course at RAF Marham is due to commence in early September.

https://www.forces.net/news/second-ligh ... arrives-uk
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:02 am

1000 pilots have gone through the process for fitting of F-35 flight equipment via the PFF.

Survitec Pilot Fit Facility reaches milestone

Survitec’s work on the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme has reached a new milestone, with the 1000th pilot fitted out using the Pilot Fit Facility (PFF) introduced specifically to support F-35 Pilot Flight Equipment.

Each F-35 pilot undergoes an extensive fitting process with the PFF, which uses anthropometric data to ensure all equipment and clothing is designed according to the pilot’s exact dimensions.

This enables all sleeved and sleeveless flight jackets, anti-G garments, lightweight coveralls, cold water immersion suits, chemical and biological protection suits, thermal protective layers to be exactly fitted to provide the highest level of protection during flight operations.

Once measurements have been taken, a fit validation is accomplished using established size roll of each garment from a predicted sizing matrix. Once a fit validation is complete the teams at the production facility in Ohio manufacture the bespoke equipment.

Survitec then integrates the fully kitted-out pilot with a F-35 ejection seat to ensure all gear is fitted correctly and works without impediment to flight operations. The kit is fitted accurately and safety to protect the pilot in the event of an emergency ejection from the aircraft.

The PFF has been rolled out at Beaufort MCAS in South Carolina, Luke AFB in Arizona and Lemoore NAS in California. Three more PFFs are scheduled to open mid-2020.

https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/mil- ... milestone/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:37 am

Eielson will have 48 F-35A based there from 2021. Flying the aircraft in that cold air has got to be a great experience.

Eielson hosts Arctic Lightning Airshow, first in over a decade

Eielson hosted the 2019 Arctic Lightning Airshow July 13, 2019, the first airshow to be hosted here in more than 10 years.

More than 12,000 attendees had a unique opportunity to see both of the U.S. Air Force’s 5th generation aircraft, with demonstrations by the Air Force F-35 Demonstration Team and 3rd Wing’s F-22 Raptors. Other acts included the Pacific Air Forces F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, the T-33 Acemaker and the Alaska Air National Guard 168th Air Refueling Wing’s KC-135 Stratotanker.

...

https://www.eielson.af.mil/News/Article ... -a-decade/

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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:25 am

The Dutch Air Force will get an extra 8 or 9 F-35's. Money has been made available. This is part of the ongoing effort to get the Military up to strength again. Probably an extra 6 will be ordered in due time to get an extra sq of 15 operational.

Interview with the minister in Dutch
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:55 pm

Dutchy wrote:
The Dutch Air Force will get an extra 8 or 9 F-35's. Money has been made available. This is part of the ongoing effort to get the Military up to strength again. Probably an extra 6 will be ordered in due time to get an extra sq of 15 operational.

Interview with the minister in Dutch

Good news!
 
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Dutchy
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:18 pm

Only 37+9 = 46 F-35's for the Netherlands, we ordered 213 F-16's once 8-)
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:37 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Only 37+9 = 46 F-35's for the Netherlands, we ordered 213 F-16's once 8-)

Sure but the Netherlands was also spending near or over 3% of GDP on defence then, today it is less than 1.25%, was lower than 1.2% from 2013-2017 and they haven't spend above 1.5% since 1999. If you essentially tripled the military budget you would likely be able to reach similar force levels.
 
mats01776
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:20 pm

News item regarding Turkey's expulsion from the F35 program.

Turkey officially kicked out of F-35 program, costing US half a billion dollars

July 17, 2019 By: Aaron Mehta

WASHINGTON — The U.S. has removed Turkey from the F-35 joint strike fighter program, and Turkey will lose its production work on the jet by March 2020, following its acceptance of the S-400 Russian-made air defense system last Friday.
However, a top Pentagon official would not close the door on Turkey rejoining the program in some form, should it reverse the decision to buy the S-400.

The White House issued a statement Wednesday confirming the move, which Washington had threatened for months.


https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/07/17/turkey-officially-kicked-out-of-f-35-program/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:18 am

This is interesting additional contract work for LM. Looks like the USAF/USN are keen for a heavier weapon to be carried internally for the F-35. I’m not aware of any current heavier weapon that would fit within the internal bay of the F-35A/C so likely a new weapon is being developed and internal carriage is favoured. At a guess it would likely be a JDAM based weapon that is perhaps 3000 to 4000 lbs in weight and has a hardened penetrator for deeply buried targets. Makes sense to use an F-35 to deliver this type of ordnance since it would likely be able to penetrate deep into enemy territory and deliver the munition without being detected.

Navy Taps Lockheed to Develop F-35 Fuselage Structure Modifications

Lockheed Martin has secured a three-year, $34.7M undefinitized contract from the U.S. Navy to create an engineering change proposal for F-35 fighter jets that will allow the aircraft to carry heavy weaponry.

According to a Department of Defense notice posted Thursday, Lockheed’s engineering modifications will allow transport of heavy weaponry through the production of structurally enhanced bulkheads within the fuselages of F-35A and F-35C combat aircraft.

The Naval Air Systems Command will obligate at the time of award $10M in fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds from the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps as well as non-DoD entities.

Work under the cost-plus-incentive-fee award is expected to take place in Fort Worth, Texas through July 2022.

https://blog.executivebiz.com/2019/07/n ... fications/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:02 am

Good to see some actual numbers behind the 80% mission capable target. Looks like a few units such as the 33rd are very close to the target. I expect the continued reduction of the early LRIP jets will also make a significant difference to the mission capable rate and allow the US to push above that 80% mark.

Eglin AFB F-35s Hit Their Highest Mission-Capable Rate

In April, the 33rd -- a graduate flying and maintenance training wing -- posted a 77.1% mission-capable rate for the 33 F-35s on its flight line, according to Lt. Savannah Stephens, the wing's public affairs officer. That's the highest mission-capable rate achieved by the wing since August of 2016, when the Air Force declared initial operational capability status had been reached for the F-35A, the Air Force's version of the jet.


For June, the 33rd Fighter Wing's F-35 mission-capable rate was down just slightly, to 76.8%, according to Stephens.

"Our trend over the last year has been getting closer and closer to the 80% mark, and that is a huge win for our wing," Stephens said in an email. "We're at the highest MC (mission-capable) rates we've ever had."

...

Stephens said Wednesday that the supply issues that had affected Eglin's F-35 operations have eased in recent months.

"We're doing what we can and turning jets," said Stephens, referencing the cycle of getting jets' maintenance needs addressed and returning them to service.

But Stephens also cautioned that when the deadline for 80% mission capability arrives, Eglin might not meet that goal. There are a number of reasons for that, including routine maintenance scheduling that might keep a number of F-35s out of the sky, she said.

The 80% mission-capable target was set by former Defense Secretary James Mattis last September, when the mission-capable rate for the Air Force's F-35s was at 54.7%.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... -rate.html
 
Planeflyer
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:38 pm

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... gh-459570/

My small contribution to ozair’s excellent work.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:54 pm

Gen Goldfein’s comments are obviously based around the continuing presence of NATO at Incirlik. I haven’t seen anything to say otherwise but the base is probably a pawn in future discussions between the US and Turkey.

Will US F-35s ever operate from Turkey? The US Air Force’s top general won’t rule it out.

...

But U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein said the service has not imposed restrictions that would prohibit stealth aircraft like the F-35 from operating from Incirlik Air Base, which is a key launching point for U.S. air assets in southern Turkey.

“What I would say is we would do an assessment of the threat; and based on the intelligence assessment of the threat, we would make a decision based on everything in the world when we fly,” he said.

“I don’t want to potentially tie, right now, a blanket operational assessment with a technological assessment,” he said. “ ‘Does this mean you’re never going to fly F-35s in Turkey?’ I can’t commit that because I don’t have an assessment of the threat and where it is in real time. And I’m going to make a decision in real time, as I do every other time.”

...

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/a-moder ... le-it-out/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:56 am

One of the growing number of unmanned loyal wingman dev programs that is beginning. I expect this will be the new battleground for exports over the next twenty years and it will be interesting to see how the capability is differentiated from the manned platforms operating them. These systems will also change tactics and perhaps also lead to an increase in the acquisition of surface to air systems to defeat.

I expect the F-35 to be the primary platform to operate these systems for the US/UK/RAAF etc (who are all funding/developing their own loyal wingman programs).


Dstl developing unmanned aircraft for the RAF

The UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is developing unmanned aircraft for the Royal Air Force (RAF) as part of a joint-venture with the RAF Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO).

Dstl is developing Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft (LANCA), under the name ‘Project Mosquito’, to deploy with advanced fighter jets like the Lockheed Martin F-35, Eurofighter Typhoon and the future Tempest air system.

Dstl project lead for LANCA, Peter Stockel, told Air Force Technology: “The game-changing aspect of this has to be the aim to deliver useful combat air capability much more quickly and at a significantly lower cost.”

...

https://www.airforce-technology.com/new ... r-the-raf/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:04 am

Looks like South Korea is keen to follow Japan and operate the F-35B from a new vessel.

South Korea to build ship for short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing aircraft

South Korea is to launch a new version of a large-deck landing ship from which short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing aircraft can operate by the late 2020s, amid naval buildups in China and Japan.

The decision was made during a July 12 meeting of top brass presided over by Gen. Park Han-ki, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Anti-Japanese sentiment in South Korea is gaining traction over Tokyo’s export restrictions on high-tech materials to South Korea.

...

South Korea bought 40 F-35As for its Air Force in 2014 for $6.75 billion, and 20 more could be purchased as part of midterm arms-buildup plans. In tandem with the light aircraft carrier plan, the military is considering buying 20 more F-35Bs, a defense procurement source said.

“A pilot study on the purchase of F-35Bs is being conducted by a state-funded research institute. The study results are to be released as early as September,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The study weighs in on two options to replace the order of F-35As with F-35Bs, and buy 20 more F-35s additionally.”

The new carrier is expected to hold 16 STOVL aircraft, 3,000 marines and 20 armored vehicles, according to the source. The LPH-II is expected to have a ski jump-style launch ramp.

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/ ... IW5yOg4UUE
 
ThePointblank
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:20 am

Ozair wrote:
Looks like South Korea is keen to follow Japan and operate the F-35B from a new vessel.

South Korea to build ship for short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing aircraft

South Korea is to launch a new version of a large-deck landing ship from which short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing aircraft can operate by the late 2020s, amid naval buildups in China and Japan.

The decision was made during a July 12 meeting of top brass presided over by Gen. Park Han-ki, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Anti-Japanese sentiment in South Korea is gaining traction over Tokyo’s export restrictions on high-tech materials to South Korea.

...

South Korea bought 40 F-35As for its Air Force in 2014 for $6.75 billion, and 20 more could be purchased as part of midterm arms-buildup plans. In tandem with the light aircraft carrier plan, the military is considering buying 20 more F-35Bs, a defense procurement source said.

“A pilot study on the purchase of F-35Bs is being conducted by a state-funded research institute. The study results are to be released as early as September,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The study weighs in on two options to replace the order of F-35As with F-35Bs, and buy 20 more F-35s additionally.”

The new carrier is expected to hold 16 STOVL aircraft, 3,000 marines and 20 armored vehicles, according to the source. The LPH-II is expected to have a ski jump-style launch ramp.

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/ ... IW5yOg4UUE

I remember a lot of chatter very early on that the F-35B might lead to a boom in countries deciding to operate small STOVL carriers because of how easy the F-35B can do STOVL and the fact that it can share the same supply chain and training requirements as the F-35A. We are starting to see countries exploring it.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:43 am

ThePointblank wrote:
I remember a lot of chatter very early on that the F-35B might lead to a boom in countries deciding to operate small STOVL carriers because of how easy the F-35B can do STOVL and the fact that it can share the same supply chain and training requirements as the F-35A. We are starting to see countries exploring it.

Agree for some countries the F-35B is certainly playing a role. Japan and South Korea are the obvious examples, Turkey as well before the removal from the program. I don’t see Thailand reactivating their small carrier to operate the F-35B nor likely Australia using their LHDs for that purpose anytime soon though.

The pther angle is UCAVs as another major reason for the increased interest in these vessels. All of a sudden the ability to launch and recover not just manned aircraft but large and long ranged unmanned aircraft (which may in some ways be easier) will open up even 2nd and 3rd tier navies to capabilities previously restricted to the big players at a reduced cost.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:35 pm

Ozair wrote:
This is interesting additional contract work for LM. Looks like the USAF/USN are keen for a heavier weapon to be carried internally for the F-35. I’m not aware of any current heavier weapon that would fit within the internal bay of the F-35A/C so likely a new weapon is being developed and internal carriage is favoured. At a guess it would likely be a JDAM based weapon that is perhaps 3000 to 4000 lbs in weight and has a hardened penetrator for deeply buried targets. Makes sense to use an F-35 to deliver this type of ordnance since it would likely be able to penetrate deep into enemy territory and deliver the munition without being detected.

Navy Taps Lockheed to Develop F-35 Fuselage Structure Modifications

Lockheed Martin has secured a three-year, $34.7M undefinitized contract from the U.S. Navy to create an engineering change proposal for F-35 fighter jets that will allow the aircraft to carry heavy weaponry.

According to a Department of Defense notice posted Thursday, Lockheed’s engineering modifications will allow transport of heavy weaponry through the production of structurally enhanced bulkheads within the fuselages of F-35A and F-35C combat aircraft.

The Naval Air Systems Command will obligate at the time of award $10M in fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds from the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps as well as non-DoD entities.

Work under the cost-plus-incentive-fee award is expected to take place in Fort Worth, Texas through July 2022.

https://blog.executivebiz.com/2019/07/n ... fications/


Avweek is reporting that this modification is for an ARM, assume AARGM-ER, and the internal carriage of six AAMs.

F-35 Mod Adds New Missiles To Weapons Bay

Lockheed Martin will modify the F-35 weapons bay to accommodate a very long-range, anti-radiation missile and support a potential future upgrade to carry up to six air-to-air missiles internally, a source close to the program says. The U.S. Defense Department awarded Lockheed Martin a $34.7 million contract on July 18 to complete the weapons bay modifications by July 2022. The contract announcement released by the Pentagon specifically calls for altering the portion of the Station 425 ...


https://aviationweek.com/awindefense/f- ... eapons-bay
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:56 pm

Info on the canopy issue is available at the below link.

In brief the issue is due to a change of sealant back in 2015. The new material is now identified as not as good, but was cheaper, than the previous. They have gone back to the previous sealant and expect the issue prevalence to reduce. They have also identified a second vendor to conduct repair work and hence the number of canopies available will increase quickly.

Additionally, LM expect 80% availability in 2020 based on the improving canopy issue and increased number of spares available to the fleet.

F-35 Canopy: New Glue, New Supplier May Boost Readiness

The government office that runs the F-35 program says the plane should meet the mandated readiness rate of 80 percent by 2020 if the problems with the plane’s canopies and spare parts shortages can be fixed.

As we reported last week, the presumptive Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, said in his written answers to the Senate Armed Services Committee that the F-35 would not meet the 80 percent readiness rate because, primarily, of problems with the canopies. Here’s a shortened version of the email exchange I had with Brandi Schiff, the F-35 program spokeswoman:

...

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/07/f-3 ... readiness/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:09 am

USAF F-35s land in Poland to conduct the Rapid Forge Exercise. The Hill AFB guys are certainly getting around.

Poland and the F-35: First F-35s Land in Poland as Part of Rapid Forge Exercise

Four U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft, deployed from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, landed at Powidz Air Base, Poland, July, 16, 2019.

This is the first time that U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft have landed in Poland.

With the arrival in an exercise in Poland of F-35s, clearly the question is as well of not only the acquisition by Poland of F-35s, but building the infrastructure for operating F-35s and shaping an infrastructure to facilitate as well allied operations of the F-35 fleet operating by both the United States and allies in Europe and the Middle East.

...

https://sldinfo.com/2019/07/poland-and- ... -exercise/

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:11 am

Makes sense that Industry is not responsible for political decisions made that impact the program.

DOD To Compensate F-35 Suppliers For Turkey Costs

The U.S. government will compensate F-35 suppliers for any financial costs caused by the expulsion of Turkey from the program, a Lockheed Martin executive says. “If there is any harm to industry, we will be compensated for that,” says Kenneth Possenriede, Lockheed’s chief financial officer, speaking to analysts on a July 23 earnings call. The Pentagon announced a decision on July 16 to ban Turkey’s government and industry from the F-35 program over deliveries ...

https://aviationweek.com/awindefense/do ... rkey-costs
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:59 am

The Vermont ANG continues the process to transition from the F-16 to the F-35. Looks like they have removed all F-16 inventory before bringing in the first F-35 specific equipment.

Vt. ANG prepares for F-35 arrival

Airmen across the 158th Fighter Wing gathered at the 158th Logistics Readiness Squadron traffic management office to assist with the landmark induction of support equipment for the F-35 Lightning II mission. Aspects of data compliance and inventory procedural guidance are some of the required tasks in efforts to effectively support the Vermont Air National Guard’s new mission in the upcoming months.

The partnership between the 158th FW consists of the visiting staff from BAE Systems, Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation and Pratt & Whitney aerospace company who are assisting members through the technical phases of induction. Vermont Airmen saw the vast majority of this phase in the process to completion July 17 following the divesting process, in which the last of the F-16 Fighting Falcon equipment was shipped off-station the week prior.

...

https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display ... 5-arrival/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:02 am

As part of Rapid Forge the F-35s have stopped not only in Poland as per the previous linked article but first visits to Estonia and Latvia as well.
U.S. F-35, F-15 aircraft are forward deploying to NATO allies bases

A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lighting II and F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jets are forward deploying to bases in the territory of NATO allies in order to enhance readiness and improve interoperability as part of Operation Rapid Forge.

According to a news release put out by U.S. Air Forces Europe, Rapid Forge is a U.S. Air Forces in Europe-sponsored training event designed to enhance interoperability with NATO allies and partners, improve readiness and sharpen operational capabilities.

Fighter and mobility aircraft again deployed to bases in Poland, Latvia and Estonia today as part of the exercise.

...

https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-f-35- ... bases.html
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:47 am

A really great enhancement for the aircraft and fantastic that they have bene able to bring it forward in the schedule so much. Unfortunately too late for the pilot of the Japanese F-35A that crashed but hopefully a way to avoid those future incidents, save lives as well as airframes.

USAF F-35As gain safety feature seven years early

Lockheed Martin F-35As operated by the US Air Force have started to receive a ground collision avoidance system seven years ahead of schedule.

Integration of the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto-GCAS) onto A-model aircraft has begun, the F-35 Joint Program Office has confirmed.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ly-459889/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:19 pm

I can see both sides of this. Japan will likely become the second largest by number operator of the F-35 and it makes sense to them to go through this process and allow them to influence future requirements as well as receive industrial share. It also makes sense to deny Japan entry into the program because the existing nations have been at it awhile and rightly feel they deserve the opportunity for their respective industries to benefit from the program now it is stable and successful.

If Japan had requested this in 2014/15, right when the program had some high profile speedbumps, they probably would have been successful but I think it is beyond that now.

Japan wants to be an official F-35 partner. The Pentagon plans to say no.

Japan has formally expressed interest in joining the F-35 program as a full partner, but the Pentagon plans to shoot down that request, Defense News has learned.

Sources say Japan’s request to join the partnership creates major political headaches for the Pentagon, with fears it would cause new tensions among the international production base for the joint strike fighter and open the door for other customer nations to demand a greater role in future capability development.

In a June 18 letter from Japan’s Ministry of Defense to Pentagon acquisition head Ellen Lord, obtained by Defense News, Atsuo Suzuki, director general for the Bureau of Defense Buildup Planning, formally requests information on how Japan could move from being a customer of the F-35 to a full-fledged member of the industrial base consortium.

“I believe becoming a partner country in F-35 program is an option,” the letter reads. “I would like to have your thoughts on whether or not Japan has a possibility to be a partner country in the first place. Also, I would like you to provide the Ministry of Defense with detailed information about the responsibilities and rights of a partner country, as well as cost sharing and conditions such as the approval process and the required period.”

“We would like to make a final decision whether we could proceed to become a partner country by thoroughly examining the rights and obligations associated with becoming a partner country based on the terms and conditions you would provide,” the letter concludes.

Lord, the Pentagon acquisition head, is scheduled to meet with Japanese officials this week, and the question of membership is expected to come up. But Tokyo won’t like the answer.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia ... to-say-no/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:22 pm

Australia is now training F-35 aircrew locally with the first two conducting their first flights just a couple of weeks ago.

First Australian-trained F-35 pilots take flight

The first two Royal Australian Air Force pilots to complete the Australian F-35A Joint Strike Fighter transition course have flown in the aircraft for the first time.

The two pilots conducted their first F-35A training mission two weeks ago at RAAF Base Williamtown, after undertaking an intensive, two-month academic and simulator training program at the base's Integrated Training Centre.

Squadron Leader William Grady, a former F-22 exchange pilot, said the transition course has been tailored to leverage previous fighter experience.

“The F-35A training is unique in that there is no two-seat variant to aid airborne instruction,” SQNLDR Grady said.

“As a result, we do comparatively more simulator training before flying for the first time.

“It has been an intensive few months, but I’m happy to say the training is first class."

...

https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/strik ... ake-flight

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:25 pm

The Vermont ANG F-35 issue seems to have lowered in prominence now that it is certain the aircraft are arriving. The issue will now become one of minimising the impact the aircraft will have on local residences.

Ahead of F-35s, questions about who will foot the bill for soundproofing

ess than two months before a fleet of F-35s arrive at Vermont’s Air National Guard base, officials from South Burlington and Winooski believe that Burlington should continue to shoulder the financial burden of mitigating dangerous noise for the 2,640 homes expected to be newly impacted by the arrival of the next-generation fighter jet.

Yet as a new noise mitigation program comes to fruition — and recently released noise maps show a tripling of affected homes — Burlington officials have made no concrete promises to continue this financial support once the F-35s touch down.

...

https://vtdigger.org/2019/07/29/ahead-o ... dproofing/

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:38 pm

Some F-35 specific comments amongst a range of others from the new commander of the 53rd Wing.

Eglin’s new 53rd Wing commander talks about testing mission

With regard to a specific weapons system, there has been a lot of reporting about the new F-35 fighter jet, in terms of challenges facing that program such as spare parts issues. Is the F-35 a problematic aircraft in terms of operational testing?

“I would say that it’s not been difficult to operationally test the F-35. One of the neat things is that the F-35 is kind of like the iPhone. It’s a piece of hardware, but what makes it amazing are the apps, or that software, that goes into it. Because it’s a very software-centric aircraft, as we discover things, we’re able to produce new mission data files that update the software, and we can evolve it very quickly.

Any new, very expensive, weapons system program is always going to be controversial. The F-35 has had a lot of controversy about it ... but I will tell you that having integrated with, and flown alongside F-35s, and having lots of friends that flew F-15s with me who have transitioned to the F-35, that it is a vastly capable aircraft.”


https://www.crestviewbulletin.com/news/ ... ng-mission
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:18 pm

The following was briefed at a recent conference and I thought worth posting in the F-35 news folder given the MADL content.

https://www.airpower.org.uk/wp-content/ ... ILSON.pptx

Interesting to see how MADL is expected to evolve, with increase use from space based assets and the advantages this will provide, as well as flowing down to be present on weapon data-links.

An interesting graphic on SpaceMADL is within the ppt above.
 
Runway28L
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:34 pm

Is this the first frame for the 158th Fighter Wing (Vermont ANG)? Aircraft had its first flight earlier today.

http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-database/F ... file/9288/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:26 am

An article covering how the DoD can overcome the spares issue for respective aircraft, which includes the F-35 as well as the F-16, F-18 and F-22 fleets. Years of under investment in spares and depot maintenance is primarily to blame for the legacy fleets with the production ramp up and uncertainty on future orders the main issues for the F-35.

Why DoD should ‘hedge’ its approach to meet F-35 sustainment needs

Where’s a spare part when you need it? For the Department of Defense, that’s the multibillion-dollar question looming over the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 30 percent of F-35 aircraft were grounded awaiting replacement parts between May and November 2018 — three times the accepted program target rate. “Specifically,” GAO’s April 2019 report states, “the F-35 supply chain does not have enough spare parts available to keep aircraft flying enough of the time necessary to meet warfighter requirements.”
This situation can be traced to the predictive modeling that underlies how DoD and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) calculate target availability for spare parts. These models are fed forecasts that, while trustworthy in some contexts, are ill-equipped for the volatility that effects DoD operations. Contingency operations, continuing resolutions, and disruptions within the global supply chain (such as Turkey’s tenuous supplier status) unduly impact the demand for parts — sending the most sophisticated forecasts askew.
Unstable demand puts OEMs in a position of producing parts only when other, more certain production priorities can accommodate it. This leaves DoD with lead times of months or even years for certain parts. Long lead times make forecasts even more unreliable.



https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/201 ... ent-needs/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:29 am

Runway28L wrote:
Is this the first frame for the 158th Fighter Wing (Vermont ANG)? Aircraft had its first flight earlier today.

http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-database/F ... file/9288/

Probably is, well found!
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:08 pm

Good to see the testing continuing to ensure this defect is remediated.

Joint testing clears F-35B/C for night refueling

The F-35 Lightning II program recently completed testing on an improved lighting assembly with the KC-135 that will enable the Navy and Marine Corps F-35 variants to refuel behind the tanker at night. Flight testing of the redesigned light, which attaches to a refueling probe, was led by the Patuxent River Naval Air Station test team and supported by the team at Edwards Air Force Base.

The test evolution demonstrated teamwork across three services and two test units located on opposite coasts, all focused on quickly evaluating this lighting fix under specific nighttime conditions to ensure that F-35 operators can expand their night refueling operations to include all configurations of the KC-135.

The purpose of the probe light on Navy and Marine aircraft is to illuminate the refueling receptacle, or “basket,” to ensure that the F-35 pilot can see adequately and make contact to begin refueling. However, the existing lighting design made it difficult for the KC-135 boom operator to see the silhouette of the F-35. Under the Air Force requirement, the boom operator monitors refueling operations and helps the F-35 pilot maintain safe separation from the refueling boom. One of the redesign’s objectives is to ensure better visibility for the KC-135 boom operator.

“The current probe light was too bright, blinding the KC-135 aerial refueling boom operators,” said Michael McGee, 418th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS), aerial refueling project manager at Edwards AFB. “The new light was designed to be less bright, but still bright enough for the F-35 pilot to see clearly.”

...

https://www.dcmilitary.com/tester/tenan ... 3abad.html

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