Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:32 am

Good news on the ALIS work being done by the Mad Hatter team. Frustrating that ALIS has gotten to this point though, you would think LM would have built ALIS modular enough to make the app transition reasonably smooth.

Net Assessment Comes To DNI; Roper Says F-35’s ALIS Makes Progress

...

In other news, the head of Air Force acquisition, Will Roper, told me that the attempt to rebuild F-35’s maintenance and mission planning system known as ALIS as a cluster of apps is “going well, actually.”

However, the nascent effort is still an experiment at Nellis AFB run by software team known as Mad Hatter. The next step is, Roper said, for the Navy to decide if Mad Hatter should continue to work on what may become a substantial rebuild of ALIS, which has become perhaps the most troubled part of the F-35 program. That decision will be up to the Navy’s James Geurts, assistant secretary for research, development and acquisition, who now has acquisition authority for the F-35.

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/09/net ... -progress/

Apparently ALIS being used on the USS Wasp...
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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:22 pm

Israeli companies have done very well out of the F-35 program so far. Will be interesting to see in a few years when export is opened up to Middle Eastern countries if any modifications are made to the supplier base for those specific sales contracts.

Procurement in Israel for F-35 deal reaches $1.75b

Israeli companies last year had over $500 million in sales to US F-35 stealth fighter developer and manufacturer Lockheed Martin, according to periodic data compiled by the Ministry of Defense Directorate of Production and Procurement and obtained by "Globes."

According to these figures, Lockheed Martin's procurement from industrial companies in Israel has totaled $1.75 billion since the first stealth fighter deal was signed in 2010. The Ministry of Defense expects this figure to exceed $2 billion by the end of this year. With the help of professional staff in the Ministry of Defense, the extent of the existing contracts with Lockheed Martin is set to expand, and new contracts related to the F-35 aircraft plan are slated for signing. "We hope to exceed the $2 billion mark in the coming year in this matter," Directorate of Production and Procurement director Avi Dadon said.

...

https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-proc ... 1001299905
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:50 pm

Not sure what has prompted this move other than perhaps an easier location to practise the demo against Luke which has a lot of student aircrew.

Air Force F-35A demo team to move from Glendale base to Utah

The Air Force is moving its demonstration team for the F-35A fighter jet from Luke Air Force Base in Glendale to Hill Air Force Base in northern Utah.

The single-jet demonstration team conducts flights at airshows to display the capabilities of the F-35A, a relatively new aircraft now entering operational service in significant numbers.

Officials said the team will be assigned to Hill beginning with the 2020 airshow season when it will conduct approximately 20 performances between March and November.

...

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/lo ... 248387001/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:45 pm

I don’t agree with the author that the F-35 hasn’t had any chaff to date, more likely that it has been using existing chaff with the customised F-35 specific chaff still in development and expected in that 2020 timeframe.

The F-35A Is Set To Finally Get Chaff Countermeasures To Confuse Enemy Radars

U.S. Air Force is hoping to integrate a new, advanced chaff countermeasure onto its F-35A Joint Strike Fighters next year, according to a report. The cartridges, which release radar reflective material to blind and confuse enemy aircraft and air defenses, are a staple across many of the service's other combat aircraft, but have been curiously absent from the stealthy F-35's otherwise extensive defensive suite.

Aviation Week's Defense Editor Steve Trimble, a good friend of The War Zone, was first to spot the detail on Sept. 9, 2019. The Air Force included the information about the new chaff cartridge, known presently as the ARM-210, in a draft environmental impact statement, dated August 2019, regarding the basing of F-35s at various Air National Guard facilities. The report includes a host of information on how the aircraft might impact their surrounding environments, including the potential release of countermeasures, such as infrared decoy flares and chaff.

"The ARM-210 chaff proposed for use by the F-35A is currently unavailable and undergoing operational testing," according to the environmental review. "It is expected to be available for use in 2020."

It is unclear whether this applies to the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B or U.S. Navy F-35C variants, as well, or any of the three variants in service with foreign air forces. The F-35's use or potential use of chaff has long been something of a debate, in general. Recent U.S. military budget documents and other sources make no mention of it among the aircraft's expendable countermeasures – flares and towed decoys – which had suggested that it was, indeed, a capability the Joint Strike Fighter lacked and might not necessarily have needed given its stealthy design.

...

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... -next-year

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:53 pm

First Dutch F-35 assembled in Italy has made its first flight. It is the first of 29 Italian assembled F-35s for the Netherlands.

First Dutch F-35A Assembled In Italy Makes Maiden Flight

The first Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35A built by the Final Assembly and Check-Out (FACO) at Cameri, in northwestern Italy, made its first flight earlier today.

The Italian FACO, a 101-acre facility including 22 buildings and more than one million square feet of covered work space, housing 11 assembly stations, and five maintenance, repair, overhaul, and upgrade bays, is owned by the Italian Ministry of Defense and is operated by Leonardo in conjunction with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. According to Lockheed, 800 skilled personnel are engaged in full assembly of the Conventional Take-off/Landing F-35A and F-35B aircraft variants and is also producing 835 F-35A full wing sets to support all customers in the program. It has the only F-35B production capability outside the United States and was selected in December 2014 as the European F-35 airframe Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade center for the entire European region.

AN-9 (F-009) is the ninth of the Netherlands’ 37 F-35A CTOL (Conventional Take Off and Landing) stealth jets on order. The aircraft will undertake test and acceptance flights in Italy before being delivered to the RNlAF at Leeuwarden Air Base next month.

The first eight F-35As are being assembled at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth facility in the U.S. with two F-35s already used for testing at Edwards AFB, California, and the rest destined to Luke Air Force Base for pilot training.

29 F-35A jets for the Royal Netherlands Air Force will be built at Cameri that has already assembled the F-35As for the Italian Air Force and the first F-35Bs for the Italian Navy (out of 60 CTOL and 30 STOVL procured by the Italian MoD).

...

https://theaviationist.com/2019/09/09/f ... en-flight/

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:29 pm

USAF F-35A is involved in this operation to drop a significant tonnage on bombs on a small island on the Tigris river.

US drops 80,000 pounds of bombs to clear ISIS from Iraqi island

U.S. and Iraqi forces on Tuesday dropped 36,000 kg (80,000 pounds) of ordnance on an island along the Tigris river occupied by Islamic State fighters, the U.S.-led Coalition said.

U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle and F-35A Lightning II aircraft alongside Iraqi air force aircraft bombed Qanus island in Saladin province overnight in an operation to destroy a major ISIS transit hub from Syria and the Jazeera desert into Mosul, Makhmour and Kirkuk in Iraq, CJTF-OIR said on September 10.

Qanus island is near the U.S. forward operating base in Qayyarah.

...

https://thedefensepost.com/2019/09/10/u ... anus-isis/

The article also had this night tanking shot over an undisclosed Middle Eastern location.
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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:03 am

Ozair wrote:
USAF F-35A is involved in this operation to drop a significant tonnage on bombs on a small island on the Tigris river.

US drops 80,000 pounds of bombs to clear ISIS from Iraqi island

U.S. and Iraqi forces on Tuesday dropped 36,000 kg (80,000 pounds) of ordnance on an island along the Tigris river occupied by Islamic State fighters, the U.S.-led Coalition said.

U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle and F-35A Lightning II aircraft alongside Iraqi air force aircraft bombed Qanus island in Saladin province overnight in an operation to destroy a major ISIS transit hub from Syria and the Jazeera desert into Mosul, Makhmour and Kirkuk in Iraq, CJTF-OIR said on September 10.

Qanus island is near the U.S. forward operating base in Qayyarah.

...

https://thedefensepost.com/2019/09/10/u ... anus-isis/

The article also had this night tanking shot over an undisclosed Middle Eastern location.


Fox news have a video up of the attack. Below is an image and shows some impressive precision bombing with perhaps 25+ impact points.

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:18 pm

First big step covered for Poland, I expect there may be an announcement either late this year or early next year on an actual sale.

Poland cleared to buy F-35 fleet

The U.S. State Department has OK’d Poland to buy the F-35, America’s most advanced fighter, setting up the country as the newest customer for the fifth-generation jet.

The proposed order covers 32 of the conventional-takeoff-and-landing F-35A variants, with an estimated price tag of $6.5 billion, according to a Wednesday announcement on the website of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. As with all DSCA notifications, quantities and dollar figures can change during negotiations.

While Congress can still act to block the sale, it’s expected to run smoothly through Capitol Hill.

“This proposed sale of F-35s will provide Poland with a credible defense capability to deter aggression in the region and ensure interoperability with U.S. forces,” the DSCA announcement reads. “The proposed sale will augment Poland’s operational aircraft inventory and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability.”

...

https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... -35-fleet/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:25 pm

The UK are really grasping onto the QE class and F-35 combination as a means to transform how they fight a naval conflict going forward. An interesting suggestion that the F-35 may be able to launch ship based SAMs on targets the pilot identifies and prosecutes. The USN is already doing a similar thing with SM-6.

New Carriers Sparking Royal Navy Renaissance

...

Air Commodore Paul Godfrey (Royal Air Force), the head of Carrier Enabled Power Projection, said that F-35Bs could be armed with next-generation smart weapons such MBDA’s SPEAR Cap 3 (Selective Precision Effects At Range, Capability 3) standoff air-to-surface missile.

However, the aircraft’s advanced sensors and networked data links meant the pilot would not be limited to his own weapons payload, but could also, for instance, launch Aster anti-air missiles from the silo of a Type 45 destroyer.

“The F-35 pilot will have more situational awareness than any pilot in history. How will we let him use that knowledge? There’s a need to re-write the rules of engagement. We’re at the start of that process,” Godfrey said.
“I’ve now got the full might of a maritime task group available to me. F-35 is the catalyst for transformation in the maritime domain.”

https://news.usni.org/2019/09/11/dsei-n ... enaissance
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:11 am

While not exclusively an F-35 weapon the evolution of SPEAR is already pretty impressive. I expect MDBA will see significant export sales from this weapon and the meteor for the F-35.

MBDA WORKING ON NEW SPEAR-EW ELECTRONIC WARFARE WEAPON

MBDA has been awarded a contract to demonstrate SPEAR-EW, a new electronic warfare version of the SPEAR weapon system family on order for the Royal Air Force (RAF).

SPEAR-EW is being developed by MBDA in partnership with Leonardo to complete a wide range of Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) missions, under a Technical Demonstration Programme (TDP) contract awarded by Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S). SPEAR-EW will integrate a cutting-edge miniaturised EW payload from Leonardo, which will act as a stand-in jammer to greatly increase the survivability of RAF aircraft and suppress enemy air defences, acting as a significant force multiplier.

Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “These state-of-the-art electronic jammers will confuse our adversaries and keep our pilots safer than ever in the air. Paired with the devastating power of precision Brimstone and Meteor missiles, our world-class F-35 and Typhoon jets will continue to rule the skies in the years to come.”

Mike Mew, MBDA UK Director of Sales and Business Development, said: “SPEAR-EW is a revolutionary new capability that, alongside the existing SPEAR3 weapon, marks a fundamental change in the ability of friendly air forces to conduct their missions despite the presence of enemy air defences. Our vision for SPEAR is to create a swarm of networked weapons able to saturate and neutralise the most sophisticated air defences. Adding SPEAR-EW to the family alongside our existing SPEAR strike missile demonstrates the principle of introducing complementary variants to the SPEAR family that will add significant capability and force multiplication without the need to repeat the platform integration. We have an exciting roadmap of variants, spirals and technology insertions in the pipeline to further enhance the family as we move forward.”

The core of SPEAR-EW’s payload is Leonardo’s advanced, miniaturised Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) technology, which offers the most advanced and future-proof electronic jamming and deception available on the market today.

The new SPEAR-EW will complement the SPEAR network enabled miniature cruise missile, which is designed to precisely engage long range, mobile, fleeting and re-locatable targets in all weathers, day or night, in the presence of countermeasures, obscurants and camouflage, while ensuring a safe stand-off range between the aircraft and enemy air defences. Powered by a turbojet engine the SPEAR missile offers over double the range, and a far more flexible operating envelope, when compared to a conventional glide weapon. SPEAR-EW utilises this long endurance through its capacity to be launched at enhanced stand-off ranges and loiter while carrying out its jamming mission.

The compact size of the SPEAR family allows four weapons to be carried internally in each of the two internal weapons bay of the F-35, or three per station on the Eurofighter Typhoon. SPEAR-EW will keep the same form and fit as the baseline SPEAR to enable a single integration pathway and launcher solution.

SPEAR family complements MBDA’s wider portfolio of strike weapons, filling the gap between the large and very-long range Storm Shadow deep strike missile and the highly accurate Brimstone close-air-support missile.

The SPEAR weapons system also recently completed a set of ground trials and fit-checks of a loaded three-pack SPEAR launcher onto a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft. The work was undertaken by a joint engineering team from MBDA, BAE Systems, and the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), and took place at BAE Systems’ flight test site in Warton, Lancashire.

https://www.mbda-systems.com/press-releases/17630/

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:12 pm

A reasonable blog about the F-35 although I continue to be amazed how easy it is to mis-interpret the financial cost involved with the platform. In this case the assertion is that the US$319 on procurement has already bene spent when that is clearly not the case. Those procurement dollars cover the 2447 aircraft to be manufactured out to 2043, so far only 350 or so (and the more expensive end of the acquisition given the production ramp up) have been manufactured to US forces.

Is the F-35 program a waste of money?

The F-35 Lightning II is an impressive 5th Generation fighter. Press releases on the platform have covered both the technological sophistication of the aircraft and the seemingly unimaginable expense of producing and maintaining the multirole fighter.

In a recent conversation with a colleague, I was amazed to hear that in his opinion, the cost represented an enormous waste of resources. His position was a surprise to me; however, it wasn’t without merit. In all fairness, the price tag is steep, and to date, the aircraft has had limited use in combat.

According to the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, the current standard unit price for the F-35A variant, including aircraft, engine, and fee is $89.2 million. Other variations of the platform are even more expensive with the unit cost of the F- 35B at $115.5 million. Some estimates of the total cost for the program are as high as $1.508 trillion. It should be noted this estimate assumes a service life for the aircraft through 2070 and is represented in 2070 dollars. Even so, that is still a lot of money.

Research, Development, Test and Engineering totaled $55.1 billion. Procurement was a staggering $319.1 billion. Military Construction (MILCON) was an additional $4.8 billion. These figures represent a sizeable investment before the aircraft could even prove its worth.

The F-35 wasn’t employed in combat operations until May 2018 when the Israeli Air Force announced the use of the platform during two attack missions. Since then it has been used by the U.S., U.K., and Israel a handful of times in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in Syria, primarily against Islamic State targets, a reasonably limited record given the aircraft first flew in late 2006.

With all due respect to my colleague, I can see how the cost and limited use thus far could look like a massive waste of taxpayer dollars.

The reality is it’s too early to tell.

There are three key reasons I believe this to be the case. First, the F-35 will replace numerous older aircraft. Second, the capabilities of the F-35 far surpass current 4th Generation platforms. Finally, the estimated service life through 2070 leaves many years for possible combat use to occur.

...

https://thedefensepost.com/2019/09/12/f ... t-opinion/

Nice shot of the aircraft at a Canadian airshow.
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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:36 pm

The move to cloud may allow the system to be more reliable as well as additional redundancy. Hopefully this move is being made with consideration to the work being done by the USAF Mad Hatter team.

Lockheed To Migrate F-35 Backbone To Cloud Architecture

Lockheed Martin intends to migrate its F-35 digital support backbone, the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), to a native-cloud architecture by year’s end and field it in 2020. A joint government and industry team tested an early version of the new framework in both lab and flight test environments in May, company spokesman Mike Friedman said in a Sept. 11 statement to Aerospace DAILY. “By moving all ALIS applications to a cloud-native, open architecture, we can ...


https://aviationweek.com/defense/lockhe ... chitecture
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:16 am

Ozair wrote:
First big step covered for Poland, I expect there may be an announcement either late this year or early next year on an actual sale.

Poland cleared to buy F-35 fleet

The U.S. State Department has OK’d Poland to buy the F-35, America’s most advanced fighter, setting up the country as the newest customer for the fifth-generation jet.

The proposed order covers 32 of the conventional-takeoff-and-landing F-35A variants, with an estimated price tag of $6.5 billion, according to a Wednesday announcement on the website of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. As with all DSCA notifications, quantities and dollar figures can change during negotiations.

While Congress can still act to block the sale, it’s expected to run smoothly through Capitol Hill.

“This proposed sale of F-35s will provide Poland with a credible defense capability to deter aggression in the region and ensure interoperability with U.S. forces,” the DSCA announcement reads. “The proposed sale will augment Poland’s operational aircraft inventory and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability.”

...

https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... -35-fleet/

$6.5 billion for 32 planes?
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:25 am

Nomadd wrote:
$6.5 billion for 32 planes?


That is the DSCA declared cost, it isn’t what Poland will pay. I expect with a weapons/spares package and some support the end cost will likely be in the US$3.7 to 4 billion range.

As an example the DSCA notification for Slovakia for the F-16V sale was US$2.91 billion but the final negotiated contract price was US$1.8 billion. Similarly Bulgaria was US$1.67 billion at notification and US$1.2 billion at signature. The price comes down the more aircraft you acquire because the fixed prices in the contract are spread across more airframes.

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