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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Nomadd
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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.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:37 am

Looks like the USMC is going to shift some of the F-35B deliveries to F-35Cs to better support the carrier air wings. The USN is likely to be short on their goal of an F-35C squadron on every aircraft carrier by 2030, hence the USMC will swap out more F-35Bs for Cs to bolster the carriers. The current USMC split is 353 F-35Bs and 67 F-35Cs. Given the USMC only operates just over a hundred AV-8Bs today while operating 260 classic Hornets it is easy to see why the split may be changed. The Cs can still operate from land bases while also capable of operating from the USN carriers. The C is also longer ranged and has a larger internal payload, both reasonable trade-offs.

I expect the ratio of Bee to Cee will probably end up two thirds Bees to one third Cees, so approx 277 B models and 143 C models. With that fleet there is still ample Bees to support the gator navy while also bolstering the USN carriers.

Marine Corps Set To Revise Order Split Between F-35Bs And F-35Cs

The U.S. Marine Corps is poised to reshuffle planned fleets of Lockheed Martin F-35Bs and F-35Cs for the third time in a decade, in response to a fundamental shift in the service’s operational philosophy that could affect acquisition priorities across the aviation branch. Marine and Navy officials are renegotiating the terms of a tactical aircraft (TacAir) integration (TAI) agreement, with a clear mandate from newly appointed Marines Commandant Gen. David Berger, which favors less ...


https://aviationweek.com/defense/marine ... and-f-35cs
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:37 am

I wonder if there's been any work on operating Bs on the US CATOBAR carriers.

Sure it wouldn't be a regular thing. But I can imagine how it'd be a nice to have. And they have the deck space to do rolling take offs and the SRVL.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:01 am

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
I wonder if there's been any work on operating Bs on the US CATOBAR carriers.

Sure it wouldn't be a regular thing. But I can imagine how it'd be a nice to have. And they have the deck space to do rolling take offs and the SRVL.

No reason it cannot be done but I don’t believe any specific work has been undertaken to do it. The major issue would be the deck coating in specific spots being modified to handle the exhaust with a vertical landing but that is likely being done to allow for sustained CMV-22 ops anyway.

The USMC have operated Harriers off USN big decks previously, https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the-t ... 1692022146 but is appears that it hasn’t been done for at least 25 years.

The USMC doesn’t do SVRL today and as far as I am aware have no plans for it. Same in that they don’t operate with a ski jump as other nations do. Perhaps after the first marine F-35B squadron deploys on the QE in 2021 they will see the value of one or both of those and make the transition?

A couple of images on the AV-8As operating off the Roosevelt,

Image

Image
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:43 am

Good to see LM are willing to put their money on the line for the sustainment contracts. It makes sense to move these to longer term and also put the onus, and subsequent costs for failing to deliver, on LM. It could certainly have a positive impact on aircraft availability as well as parts availability through the future and motivate LM to get ALIS to work as intended.

Extra-Long Sustainment Contracts Are Lockheed’s Latest Bid to Cut F-35 Costs

Lockheed Martin is pitching the Pentagon on a new idea for reducing the cost of the F-35 combat jet: sign a five-year maintenance deal instead of negotiating a new contract every year. There’s also a performance-based twist: the company would provide enough spare parts to keep 80 percent of the world’s F-35s battle-ready — or face penalties.

Currently, Lockheed and the Pentagon’s F-35 program office negotiate new deals every year to maintain the hundreds of F-35s flown by U.S. and allied forces. The negotiations often take most of the year and by the time a contract is signed, it’s time to begin negotiating the next one.

Lockheed officials pitched the idea of a longer-term contract to Pentagon acquisition leaders over the summer in a 25-page white paper, said Ken Merchant, Lockheed’s vice president for F-35 sustainment, said in a Monday interview at the Air Force Association’s annual Air, Space & Cyber conference.

“It’s a commitment on the company’s part to a five-year deal and it would bring along the partners as well as the supply chain and allow us all to establish long-term arrangements with our vendor base,” Merchant said. “If we had a five-year deal where folks could could bank on having a certain level of money coming into their activities and be able to work long-term arrangements with the vendor base, everybody benefits from that.”

Asked about Lockheed’s proposal on Monday, spokespeople for Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord and Navy acquisition chief James Guerts had no immediate comment.

The Pentagon currently pays Lockheed more than $2 billion per year to sustain about 400 jets, or roughly $5 million per jet per year. But within four years, the global fleet is expected to reach nearly 1,200 aircraft as production ramps up.

Lockheed estimates that the tab for the five-year arrangement could come to $15 billion, and that it would save the Pentagon a total of $1 billion.

Company officials figure that both sides will do better with the half-decade-long deal, which will allow the aircraft maker to lock in longer-lead parts contracts and assure its suppliers of steady work at known prices. Lockheed also says that if the Pentagon signs the deal, the company will immediately invest $1.5 billion to buy parts, sign long-lead contracts, and improve the F-35’s ALIS logistics/maintenance software.

And Lockheed say the arrangement would require the company to make sure 80 percent of the fleet is always mission-ready.

Fewer than half of the Air Force F-35s were deemed mission-ready in 2018, according to Air Force Times. Those numbers have improved this year, particularly for jets deployed overseas. Last year, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis ordered the military services to boost fighter readiness to 80 percent.

Finally, Lockheed’s proposal includes a vow to reduce the cost per flying hour from the current $44,000 — for an Air Force F-35A in 2018 — to about $25,000. Company officials say they would absorb the risk.

“We are accepting a lot of the risk in the deal,” Merchant said.

The number of F-35 flown by the U.S. and allies is projected to triple in the next four years, from roughly 400 to nearly 1,200 jets.

“That growth is going to lead to a step function in flying hours and we’ve got to be prepared for that,” Merchant said.

Sustainment costs consume about 70 percent of Pentagon weapons spending.

“This is our opportunity to stand behind [our] product from the sustainment perspective,” he said.

https://www.defenseone.com/business/201 ... ef=d-river
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:45 am

Extending on the work already done to share F-35 sensor data with other platforms in the battlespace. Missile defence seems an area where the stealth and persistence of the F-35 combined with its advanced sensors will really benefit.

Missile Launch Detected by F-35 Provide Early Warning for Ballistic Missile Intercept Test

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, the Missile Defense Agency, and the U.S. Air Force successfully connected an F-35, U-2 and a ground station in a ground-breaking test demonstrating a secure distribution of sensitive information across multiple platforms, facilitating true multi-domain operation. During the demonstration, called Project Riot, an F-35 detected a missile launch at long range, using standard onboard sensors. It then shared that information through the U-2 gateway, providing an early warning to an air defense center on the ground, enabling the commander to quickly make the decision to target the threat. This level of connectivity reduces the data-to-decision timeline from minutes to seconds, a necessary precondition in fighting near-peer adversaries and advanced threats.

...

https://defense-update.com/20190916_project_riot.html
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:54 am

An appealing system for those planning to operate the F-35 from austere locations. Being able to be very precise on landing, as well as use the automated landing features that JPALS brings, should reduce risk and accidents in these locations.

In Less Than 90 Minutes Raytheon’s F-35 Precision GPS Landing System Can Be Set Up Anywhere

A Raytheon Company team recently conducted a rapid set up demonstration of a land-based expeditionary version of its Joint Precision Approach and Landing System to a group of global military officials at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD. JPALS is a GPS-based precision landing system that guides aircraft to precision landings in all weather and surfaces conditions.

“The entire system was fully operational in 70 minutes on Day One and 50 minutes on Day Two,” said Matt Gilligan, vice president at Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business. “Raytheon is offering the U.S. and its allies fast and accurate precision landing systems that support operations from bare-base locations.”

During the demonstration, military officials from all four services, as well as representatives from Japan, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, and Italy, watched multiple F-35Cs land on the same designated runway landing point every time over the course of six different approaches.

This was the second proof-of-concept event in 2019 showing how F-35s can use a reconfigured mobile version of JPALS to support landings in austere environments.

https://scitechdaily.com/in-less-than-9 ... -anywhere/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:37 am

Good to see tech upgrades coming to the NVG systems on the helmet and aircraft.

Elbit Systems Says It Will Use Harris Night Vision Technology to Enhance F-35 HMDS

Elbit Systems of America will use cutting-edge image amplification technology, acquired through its purchase of Roanoke,Va.-based Harris Night Vision, to develop new capabilities for the F-35 Helmet Mounted Display System, the company said Sept. 16.

“We are working with our partners, Rockwell Collins, to enhance the capabilities of the HMDS,” said Ranaan Horowitz, president and CEO of Elbit Systems of America, on a press call announcing the Harris Night Vision acquisition. Elbit was testing several technologies for improved night vision for the high-tech helmet, he added, including the image amplification tubes made at the Harris production facility in Roanoke. “We are open to other technologies. We will choose the one that offers the best capabilities for the warfighter,” Horowitz added, “But we have great hopes” for the Harris technology.

The HMDS currently has two night vision cameras: one mounted on the helmet and the other on the aircraft itself. “We want to bring that night vision capability to the most advanced level possible” with newly emerging technologies like those developed by Harris, Horowitz said. He added the company hopes to offer the new capabilities to F-35 customers in “a couple, three years,” following extensive testing, including in-flight trials.

...

http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... -HMDS.aspx
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:36 am

An impressive change to EOTS if it goes ahead. Potentially while reducing operating cost I expect it comes with a higher acquisition cost and may therefore be why it hasn’t been adopted formally yet.

Lockheed Martin Prepared to Enhance F-35 Targeting Capability

Lockheed Martin said today it has developed an advanced version of the Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) used in the F-35 Lightning II. The Advanced EOTS offers higher resolution and improved multi-spectral sensing. The development was funded through internal investment and was vetted through Operational Analysis against the most demanding F-35 missions. The Advanced EOTS includes a larger aperture and provides pilots with multi-spectral sensing options such as high-resolution Mid-Wave IR, Short-Wave IR and Near IR. Utilizing the same volume and weight, Advanced EOTS is effortless to integrate into the F-35 Lightning II with the “plug and play” feature.

...

According to the company, the new system provides higher performance at lower operating cost, compared to the EOTS currently used with the F-35. With increased reliability and reduced costs per operating hour, Advanced EOTS is expected to save more than a billion US$ for users over the system’s life span.

...

https://defense-update.com/20190917_aeots.html

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:58 am

No threat to F-35A procurement as the USAF moves forwards with its DCS plan. Given the number of legacy platforms still present and the unknown cost associated with the DCS plan I can see why the F-35 is safe for at least the next 10 years. Hopefully we see an increased production rate from 2023 that allows the USAF to modernise quicker.

US Air Force will maintain F-35 buy as it pursues Digital Century Series

Key Points
The US Air Force will maintain its current F-35A buy as it starts to experiment with its new approach to acquisition, called the Digital Century Series
The F-35A will be fielded through approximately 2040, so a retired pilot believes the USAF must act fast if it wants to avoid a gap between fighters
The US Air Force (USAF) will maintain its Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme of record of 1,763 aircraft as it pursues its futuristic Digital Century Series (DCS) next-generation acquisition effort, according to the air force’s acquisition boss.

Will Roper, assistant secretary of the USAF for acquisition, technology, and logistics (AT&L), told reporters on 16 September that the DCS will be a software-focused approach to acquisition.

...

https://www.janes.com/article/91350/afa ... ury-series
 
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ssteve
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:04 am

The first national guard F-35s are due to arrive at BTV Burlington, Vermont Sep. 19 2019. The base has seen $117M in improvements since sending off the F-16s.

Thanks are due to Senator Leahy, who put his thumb on the scales of this basing decision. In thanks his office has seen sit-ins recently, with the opposition recently bouncing between "they're noisier than F-16s" to "they're nuclear capable" to "they might use afterburners."

There are no recent good longform articles on this, so just google the various crap if you want confirmation of any of the above. :D
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:54 am

ssteve wrote:

There are no recent good longform articles on this, so just google the various crap if you want confirmation of any of the above. :D



I was holding off posting anything until the aircraft actually arrive but there are plenty of hysteria articles around for reading if people are interested. The same issues are also now happening at Madison who I also think won’t be successful at preventing the aircraft from operating there.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:18 pm

Vermont ANG has now landed...

Image

Some rather amusing comments on twitter about the arrival, https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/sto ... 972001/#//
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:32 pm

Good to see more training going on at Eielson before more F-35s arrive permanently next year. Interesting that Australia is using their jets based at Luke to fly up for exercises and then send them back to Luke again afterwards. Makes sense instead of flying them from Australia and back again. I expect a number of the other partners who are contributing aircraft to the Luke Training units are or will do a similar thing.

F-35’s from Luke Air Force Base in Arizona fly at Eielson

Seven American F-35's along with three from Australia have been flying up at Eielson for the past couple weeks. Assistant Director of Operations with the 61st Fighter Squadron, Major Fernando Perez says their pilots are flying at Eielson for a few reasons, “what we're doing is basically validating that Eielson Air Force Base can fly a large number of F-35's out of the base, also validating that we can operate in a joint environment with our Australian partners in the pacific theatre of operation against the advanced threats that are here at Eielson with the aggressors and all the emitters on the range," said Perez.

...

https://www.webcenter11.com/content/new ... 46041.html

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:47 pm

Interesting that the F-35 is being considered to replace one of the last USAF Active duty F-15C units. Makes sense given the number of F-35s that Japan will be acquiring in the future to also base a USAF squadron in Japan.

New jets being considered at Kadena air base

The commander of the US Pacific Air Forces says discussions are underway on replacing fighter jets at a US air base in Japan's southwestern prefecture of Okinawa with F-35 stealth fighters or other new aircraft.

Speaking to NHK and other media outlets in Washington on Wednesday, General Charles Brown said F-15 jets currently deployed at the US Kadena Air Base are showing their age.

He said there is an ongoing discussion in the US Air Force on whether to replace the jets with F-35s or new F-16s, as part of future planning. He says he is waiting for a decision.



https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190919_20/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:27 pm

I believe these upgrades are beyond the Growth Option One and Two already identified by P&W for the F135. I expect this will incorporate more of the AETP work done. The intent by P&W has to be to prevent the GE AETP XA100 from winning a spot on the airframe by continuing to bring in enough technology to make the F135 at least competitive.

Using one of the new AETP proposals would likely require some airframe modification so scaling that technology where possible for the current airframe likely brings some improved engine efficiencies while reducing complexity of integration and reducing sustainment costs.

Pratt & Whitney Defining F-35 Engine Upgrade Package

Pratt & Whitney is defining a new engine upgrade option for F-35s delivered starting after 2026, says Matthew Bromberg, president of Military Engines. The upgrades, the details of which will be defined in about six months, are focused on improvements to the fan and the engine accessories, Bromberg told Aerospace DAILY during a Sept. 17 interview on the sidelines of the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference. The intent is to deliver options for improving thrust ...


https://aviationweek.com/defense/pratt- ... de-package
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:24 pm

Continued desire to leverage the capabilities of the F-35 for situational awareness.

Navy Considering Marine CAC2S System for Amphibs to Exploit Strike Fighter’s Capabilities

Navy officials said the service is considering installing a modern Marine Corps command and control system on large-deck amphibious assault ships.

“The Navy is looking to purchase CAC2S [Common Aviation Command and Control System] and put those on L-class ships so that they can do some of the same things we do on L-class ships the CAC2S can pull down off an F-35. It will help build situational awareness for the SWOs [surface warfare officers] on the ship,” said Col. Kurt Schiller, director, Air Combat Element/Maritime Expeditionary Warfare Division in the Capabilities Development Directorate, speaking at a panel discussion sponsored by the Amphibious Warfare Industrial Base Coalition at the Modern Day Marine expo at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.

...

https://seapowermagazine.org/navy-consi ... abilities/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:16 am

A short notice tasking that has allowed the 33rd fighter wing to demonstrate good flexibility with respect to new munitions and the F-35.

33rd Fighter Wing fires live AIM-9X missiles for first time

For the first time, Airmen from the 33rd Fighter Wing fired AIM-9X missiles from F-35A Lightning II Sept. 17-19 at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, during exercise Combat Archer.

“The 33rd Fighter Wing is crossing another important milestone this week as we take on a short notice Weapons Standardization and Evaluation Program tasking to load, carry and fire seven AIM-9X missiles in support of Combat Archer,” said Chief Master Sgt. John Lang, 33rd FW weapons manager.

Loading live missiles doesn’t happen often at this training wing, and it was the first time some Airmen were able to participate in a live load. Combat Archer brings the unique experience of being able to load live munitions outside of actual combat.

“When the opportunity was presented, both operations and maintenance eagerly accepted the challenge, even though the unit had not previously exercised this capability and didn’t have the usual six-months advanced notice,” Lang said.

...

https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display ... irst-time/

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:25 am

Italy has deployed the F-35 to a NATO Air Policing mission. Good to see this occur and hopefully puts to rest those who believe the Italians will only be using the F-35 for the A2G role.

First Among All The Partner Nations, Italy Deploys F-35s To Iceland For NATO Air Policing Mission

The Italian F-35A Lightning II stealth jets belonging to the 13° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 32° Stormo (Wing) will take over the Icelandic Air Policing mission, saveguarding Iceland’s airspace in the next weeks.

The Italian aircraft, that have already deploed to Keflavik International Airport, from their homebase at Amendola AB in southeastern Italy, will start flying familiarisation sorties in the next few days. After achieving the NATO certification they will start QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duties.

It’s the second time this year the Italians support the Icelandic Air Policing mission (the fifth in total) and the very first with the 5th Generation aircraft. Noteworthy, the Italian Air Force is the first partner nation to deploy the Joint Strike Fighter on a NATO mission.

At the time of writing there are no other official statements than that released a few days ago by the Icelandic Coast Guard, announcing the deployment of the six jets and about 140 supporting personnel, as well as members of the NATO Combined Air Operations Center Uedem (Germany).

The F-35s, were accompanied by a KC-767A tanker, a C-130J and a P-72A Maritime Patrol Aircraft, according to data collected from flight tracking websites.

...

https://theaviationist.com/2019/09/25/f ... g-mission/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:17 pm

An Australian focused analysis of how suitable the F-35 is to the continent of Australia. While there is a map displayed, and linked below, that covers the six primary operating bases the RAAF would use in the event of a conflict it uses an incorrect range and some poor assumptions.

The F-35 in an A2A config, including combat time in a standard high altitude engagement sequence, has a combat radius closer to 1400kms. This is significantly longer than the suggested 1000kms in the article. While the article doesn’t address A2A refuelling, until apparently the next instalment, it is well worth considering the future of a RAAF force that likely would comprise both the KC-30 and drone tankers. A more interesting metric to review might be the projected range of loyal wingman concepts which will be important force multipliers for future warfare concepts. Additionally factoring in Growth Option One and Two for the F135, promising increased thrust and reduced fuel burn with option one available from 2020, also increases range and capability of the aircraft.

The other interesting factor to consider is that no other current in production fighter airframe has a longer range with payload and sensor capability than the F-35. In that context, what else could the RAAF acquyire that could better meet their requirements?

Projecting power with the F-35 (part 1): How far can it go?

One of the ironies of the current debate about how Australia should adjust its military strategy in light of the changing great-power balance in the Indo-Pacific is that many of the participants—regardless of their views on the future of US military power—make similar recommendations, namely, that Australia should seek greater defence self-reliance.

This would be achieved by capability solutions based largely on ‘more of the same’. That is, to meet an increasingly uncertain strategic environment, our future force structure should be built around more of the things we already have, or are getting, such as F-35A joint strike fighters and submarines (even if some advocate different submarines from the ones we’ll eventually get under the current plan).

So it’s important to understand those systems and their limitations to see what additional capability more of them would provide. Since Australia and its region are geographically far-flung, and we have only a small number of military assets, we’ll focus on their ability to maintain a presence over large distances. The key question is, to what extent do the capabilities the Australian Defence Force is acquiring enable Australia to project power and what would further enhance that power projection?

We’ll start with the F-35A. Defence is in the process of acquiring 72, with potentially some more down the track. The F-35A is now a very capable aircraft, but it still faces the old problem that, no matter how good a military platform is, it can’t be in two places at once. And due to the inherent limitations of fighter aircraft, there are a lot of places they can’t be at any time.

...

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/proje ... can-it-go/

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:30 pm

IAI is a significant partner for delivery of airframe components and the delivery of 100 wings for the program, as well as the potential for 800 to be delivered by 2034, is impressive and shows why Israeli companies have on significant work on the program.

IAI Delivers 100th F-35 Wing to Lockheed Martin

Israel Aerospace Industries IAI at a ceremony held at the company’s wing assembly line, with presence of the respective representatives of Lockheed Martin' management, MOD representatives, SIBAT and The Industrial Cooperation Authority at the Ministry of Economy and Industry.

The wings manufacturing center of IAI’s aviation division was established in November 2014, and benefits from a strong international reputation thanks to extensive know-how and experience in making wings for the F-16 and T-38. The center is now expected to manufacture above 800 F35 wings by 2034. On Dec.2018, IAI inaugurated an innovative line for production of F-35 wing skins, expanding the collaboration between the two companies.

...

https://www.aviationpros.com/engines-co ... eed-martin
 
angad84
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:05 am

Ozair wrote:
... it is well worth considering the future of a RAAF force that likely would comprise both the KC-30 and drone tankers...


Drone tankers? Is that roadmapped or an assumption based on logical next steps in tanking?

Cheers
A
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:38 am

angad84 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
... it is well worth considering the future of a RAAF force that likely would comprise both the KC-30 and drone tankers...


Drone tankers? Is that roadmapped or an assumption based on logical next steps in tanking?

Cheers
A

Assumption. The RAAF is already acquiring Tritons and is investing in the loyal wingman concept. The next logical step is a drone tanking capability which should be straight forward to adopt and the RAAF will have established the ops and information architecture to run large drone operations.

What form that comes in will be interesting to see noting the F-35A is boom refueled (although a probe can be fit as the space is reserved for it).
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:12 pm

The F-35 is likely to be late finishing IOT&E. While this was always a possibility due to the late start it appears that what is holding up the completion is the Joint Simulation Environment. Essentially it is too difficult to test the full range of F-35 capabilities on a range so the simulation environment is required to allow this to occur. The big issue with late IOT&E is how this may impact the decision to go to full rate production. If the JSE is the only test section remaining I expect the decision will be made to move forward with FRP while not having technically completed the test phase.

F-35 Testing Delays Continue, Even as Aircraft Has Made Its Combat Debut

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will not complete its already-delayed formal operational test phase this fall because of a setback in the testing process, according to a source close to the program.

While the F-35 Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) was supposed to be complete by late summer, a source with knowledge of its development said the testing is still incomplete due to an unfinished phase known as the Joint Simulation Environment.

The JSE simulations project characteristics such as weather, geography and range, allowing test pilots to prove the aircraft's "full capabilities against the full range of required threats and scenarios," according to a 2015 Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E) report.

The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO), in coordination with the Defense Department, confirmed that the Joint Simulation Environment testing phase is still being worked through, but could not provide a timeline for its completion.

"This final phase of IOT&E will occur when the JSE is ready to adequately complete the testing," DoD spokesman Air Force Lt. Col Mike Andrews said in a statement Wednesday. "The JSE is required to adequately perform F-35 IOT&E against modern adversary aircraft and dense ground threats in realistic scenarios."

...

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

Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:22 pm

Appears that Congress has approved the F-35 sale to Poland and Poland expects the price to be closer to US$4 billion and not the US$6.5 billion as indicated on the DSCA notice.

US approves sale of 32 new F-35 jets to Poland

The US Congress has approved the sale of 32 new F-35 fighter jets to Poland, Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Friday.

“The US Congress has approved selling 32 new F-35 jets to Poland,” Blaszczak wrote on Twitter.

“This is one of the last steps prior to signing the contract, but this is not the end of our work yet. We will be conducting negotiations firmly in order to secure the best price,” the minister added.

Blaszczak has expressed hope previously that the final price for the sale will be much lower than the initially negotiated $6.5 billion, and instead will be closer to the price that Belgium paid for its 32 F-35 fighter jets — just over $4 billion.

...

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/us ... to-poland/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:05 pm

Will be a lot of 5th gen aircraft flying around Europe in ten years time. If Finland and the Swiss order then I expect those jets will come from the Italian FACO which will also make Italian Industry very happy.

500+ F-35s will be deployed in Europe in 10 years, Lockheed Martin predicts

Lockheed Martin believes by 2030 there will be more than 500 F-35s deployed in Europe – more than there are Eurofighters currently in operation worldwide.
“With Finland, Poland and Switzerland evaluating the airplane right now that could be a number that is approaching 700 airplanes by that same timeframe,” said Steve Over, director of F-35 international business development. “We are in dialogue with almost every free country around the world.”

The F-35 is Europe’s only option for a younger stealth fighter: the Dassault-Airbus Future Combat Air System project remains two decades away and the UK’s Tempest is planned to come only a few years earlier, in 2035.

Douglas Barrie, senior fellow for military aerospace at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said: “[The F-35 is] the youngest of the aircraft in the competition in design terms, so that has to be an advantage,” he says. “The challenge to the competitors is that they have an upgrade path which keeps their platform relevant and combat capable.”

“The only surprise for me would be if the F-35 didn’t make any more sales in Europe. It’s not a question of if, but a question of when. In many ways, it’s the competitor to beat,” he added. “That’s not to say it’s always going to win.”

High demand for F-35s in Europe would be a major boost for the UK defence industry, which manufactures 15% of the parts for the programme.

...

https://www.pesmedia.com/lockheed-marti ... -industry/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:07 pm

Australia is keen to increase their workshare in the JSF industrial program especially as Turkish companies have work withdrawn. If Canada choses a different aircraft then there should be additional high value work available.

Aust to lobby US for more defence jobs

Federal Defence Minister Melissa Price hopes to secure more Australian jobs in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

Ms Price will visit the United States, where she will spruik Australia's defence industry and what it has to offer to production programs, such as the F-35 and Triton aircraft.

The trip follows Turkish suppliers pulling out of the production program. Ms Price believes Australia can pick up the slack with the help of 11 companies.

Ms Price will meet with Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Ellen Lord as well as representatives from aerospace companies Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

"My visit supports and contributes to the next 100 years of co-operation between Australia and the US, in which our defence industrial relationship will continue to play a crucial role," she said.

https://thewest.com.au/politics/aust-to ... -s-1970545
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:57 am

I’m still very sceptical of this claim especially as the passive system was using ADS-B transponders to correlate tracks.

Stealthy no more? A German radar vendor says it tracked the F-35 jet in 2018 — from a pony farm

In the illustrious history of the F-35 fighter jet, add a pony farm outside Berlin as the place where one company claims the plane’s stealth cover was blown.

The story that follows is a snapshot in the cat-and-mouse game between combat aircraft — designed to be undetectable by radar — and sensor makers seeking to undo that advantage. In the case of the F-35, the promise of invisibility to radar is so pronounced that it has colored much of the jet's employment doctrine, lending an air of invincibility to the weapon: The enemy never saw it coming.

But technology leaps only last so long, and Russia and China are known to be working on technology aimed at nixing whatever leg up NATO countries have tried to build for themselves.

Now, German radar-maker Hensoldt claims to have tracked two F-35s for 150 kilometers following the 2018 Berlin Air Show in Germany in late April of that year. The company’s passive radar system, named TwInvis, is but one of an emerging generation of sensors and processors so sensitive and powerful that it promises to find previously undetectable activities in a given airspace.

...

Camped out amid equines, engineers got word from the Schönefeld tower about when the F-35s were slated to take off. Once the planes were airborne, the company says it started tracking them and collecting data, using signals from the planes’ ADS-B transponders to correlate the passive sensor readings.

Hensoldt previously said its passive-radar detection works regardless of whether the targeted aircraft has radar reflectors (so-called Luneburg lenses) installed. Those features — little knobs on the roots of the F-35 wings — can be seen in photos released by the U.S. Defense Department on the occasion of the journey to Berlin.
The reflectors are often mounted on the stealthy aircraft to make them visible to local air traffic authorities during friendly missions, like air show appearances. They artificially create a radar cross section in the frequency bands in which airspace-deconfliction radars operate so that traditional, defense radar systems know what they are dealing with.
According to a source close to the program, Luneburg lenses mounted on the departing F-35s would make it a certainty that the jets can be tracked, suggesting that the situation would be different without the reflectors installed.
“When the F-35 is not flying operational missions that require stealth — for example, at air shows, ferry flights or training — they ensure air traffic controllers and others are able to track their flight to manage air space safety,” Lockheed spokesman Michael Friedman wrote in a statement to Defense News. “The Air Force can best address questions related to their F-35s participation at the Berlin Air Show.”


https://www.c4isrnet.com/intel-geoint/s ... pony-farm/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:04 pm

A lot of engines....

Pratt and Whitney awarded $2.19B for F-35 engines

Pratt & Whitney has been awarded more than $2 billion in a contract modification to a previously awarded contract for F-35 strike fighter jet propulsion system.

The $2.1B contract, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, calls for the production and delivery of F135 propulsion systems for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jet, including 112 F135-PW-100s for the Air Force, 46 F135-PW-600s for the Marine Corps, and 25 F-135-PW-100s for the Navy.

The company also will deliver non-U.S. Department of Defense participants and foreign military sales customers with long lead components, parts and materials associated with 129 F135-PW-100s and 19 F135-PW-600s propulsion systems under the contract modification.

...

https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2019/1 ... 569946503/
 
steman
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:18 am

Ozair wrote:
Italy has deployed the F-35 to a NATO Air Policing mission. Good to see this occur and hopefully puts to rest those who believe the Italians will only be using the F-35 for the A2G role.

First Among All The Partner Nations, Italy Deploys F-35s To Iceland For NATO Air Policing Mission

The Italian F-35A Lightning II stealth jets belonging to the 13° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 32° Stormo (Wing) will take over the Icelandic Air Policing mission, saveguarding Iceland’s airspace in the next weeks.

The Italian aircraft, that have already deploed to Keflavik International Airport, from their homebase at Amendola AB in southeastern Italy, will start flying familiarisation sorties in the next few days. After achieving the NATO certification they will start QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duties.

It’s the second time this year the Italians support the Icelandic Air Policing mission (the fifth in total) and the very first with the 5th Generation aircraft. Noteworthy, the Italian Air Force is the first partner nation to deploy the Joint Strike Fighter on a NATO mission.

At the time of writing there are no other official statements than that released a few days ago by the Icelandic Coast Guard, announcing the deployment of the six jets and about 140 supporting personnel, as well as members of the NATO Combined Air Operations Center Uedem (Germany).

The F-35s, were accompanied by a KC-767A tanker, a C-130J and a P-72A Maritime Patrol Aircraft, according to data collected from flight tracking websites.

...

https://theaviationist.com/2019/09/25/f ... g-mission/



The Italian Air Forces has logged a lot of "firsts" with the F-35 so far (I recall one among others, first transatlantic crossing of an F-35) and they show that they are putting the machine to good use, but with 6 examples deployed in Iceland, albeit for only few weeks, there will be very few left in Country. Italy is procuring the F-35 at a very slow pace and so far only about 10 have been delivered whereas other nations, even with smaller overall orders (Norway for example) have already gotten more.

Moreover, it seems like the F-35A could again be included in the evaluation for the replacement of the German Air Force Torndados. If I find a source I´ll post it.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:47 am

steman wrote:
The Italian Air Forces has logged a lot of "firsts" with the F-35 so far (I recall one among others, first transatlantic crossing of an F-35) and they show that they are putting the machine to good use, but with 6 examples deployed in Iceland, albeit for only few weeks, there will be very few left in Country. Italy is procuring the F-35 at a very slow pace and so far only about 10 have been delivered whereas other nations, even with smaller overall orders (Norway for example) have already gotten more.

The difference for Italian slow orders is they also have additional aircraft they can use. Using Norway in your example only operated the F-16 and the F-35 is replacing that aircraft entirely. As such in transitioning they can undertake a more rapid timeframe to replace their whole fleet. Italy continues to operate the Tornado and AMX and slowly replace these with the F-35, and also has a large fleet of Eurofighters, so there isn’t the necessity, nor the cost saving, of replacing a single type fleet as quick as possible.

steman wrote:
Moreover, it seems like the F-35A could again be included in the evaluation for the replacement of the German Air Force Tornados. If I find a source I´ll post it.

Interesting, would be very keen to see this.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:20 pm

Italians are up and running in Iceland earlier than expected. Shows the proficiency of the Italian Air Force and their growing maturity with the F-35

The Italians have been declared ready to carry out the mission and have started their QRA duties in Iceland.

The TFA (Task Force Air) 32nd Wing at Keflavik, Iceland, that includes the Task Group Lightning alongside technical and logistics teams as well as a group of Air Defense controllers has achieved the FOC (Final Operational Capability) for NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing.

The certification, that came two days ahead of schedule, means the six Italian F-35 Lightning II aircraft have already started providing QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duties, working with the controllers at the Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem, Germany and the Control and Reporting Centre at Keflavik, Iceland.

...

https://theaviationist.com/2019/10/04/t ... -airspace/

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Planeflyer
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:58 pm

Ozair wrote:
I’m still very sceptical of this claim especially as the passive system was using ADS-B transponders to correlate tracks.

Stealthy no more? A German radar vendor says it tracked the F-35 jet in 2018 — from a pony farm

In the illustrious history of the F-35 fighter jet, add a pony farm outside Berlin as the place where one company claims the plane’s stealth cover was blown.

The story that follows is a snapshot in the cat-and-mouse game between combat aircraft — designed to be undetectable by radar — and sensor makers seeking to undo that advantage. In the case of the F-35, the promise of invisibility to radar is so pronounced that it has colored much of the jet's employment doctrine, lending an air of invincibility to the weapon: The enemy never saw it coming.

But technology leaps only last so long, and Russia and China are known to be working on technology aimed at nixing whatever leg up NATO countries have tried to build for themselves.

Now, German radar-maker Hensoldt claims to have tracked two F-35s for 150 kilometers following the 2018 Berlin Air Show in Germany in late April of that year. The company’s passive radar system, named TwInvis, is but one of an emerging generation of sensors and processors so sensitive and powerful that it promises to find previously undetectable activities in a given airspace.

...

Camped out amid equines, engineers got word from the Schönefeld tower about when the F-35s were slated to take off. Once the planes were airborne, the company says it started tracking them and collecting data, using signals from the planes’ ADS-B transponders to correlate the passive sensor readings.

Hensoldt previously said its passive-radar detection works regardless of whether the targeted aircraft has radar reflectors (so-called Luneburg lenses) installed. Those features — little knobs on the roots of the F-35 wings — can be seen in photos released by the U.S. Defense Department on the occasion of the journey to Berlin.
The reflectors are often mounted on the stealthy aircraft to make them visible to local air traffic authorities during friendly missions, like air show appearances. They artificially create a radar cross section in the frequency bands in which airspace-deconfliction radars operate so that traditional, defense radar systems know what they are dealing with.
According to a source close to the program, Luneburg lenses mounted on the departing F-35s would make it a certainty that the jets can be tracked, suggesting that the situation would be different without the reflectors installed.
“When the F-35 is not flying operational missions that require stealth — for example, at air shows, ferry flights or training — they ensure air traffic controllers and others are able to track their flight to manage air space safety,” Lockheed spokesman Michael Friedman wrote in a statement to Defense News. “The Air Force can best address questions related to their F-35s participation at the Berlin Air Show.”


https://www.c4isrnet.com/intel-geoint/s ... pony-farm/


Meanwhile, every nation is trying to build stealth aircraft. Telling.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:06 am

The latest edition of Combat Aircraft Magazine has the following roadmap for USN/USMC use of the F-35C. The USMC and the USN are essentially sharing the F-35C production and standing up a squadron every other year. The issue of a faster ramp up appears to reside with training and all units currently planned to move through VFA-125.

What this means is that some USMC squadrons will operate the legacy Hornet until approx. 2027 at which point remaining USMC Hornet squadrons will transition to the F-35B.

NAVY F-35C ROADMAP REVEALED

“Following much speculation, and set against the wider politics of the F-35 program in terms of trained personnel, mission capable aircraft and delivery rates, the US Navy has unveiled its current planning for the F-35C variant as it integrates further with the fleet and its carrier air wings.

With VFA-147 ‘Argonauts’ preparing to commence work-ups with Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2) for a cruise in USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in 2021, the US Marine Corps’ VMFA-314 ‘Black Knights’ finally began training with VFA-125 ‘Rough Raiders’ at NAS Lemoore, California, on September 9. The squadron, which will initially receive 10 aircraft from the F-35 Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) batch 12, will be assigned to CVW-17, which itself is currently attached to USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). VMFA-314 will also become the first F-35C squadron to be based at MCAS Miramar.

Next through the classrooms of VFA-125 will be VFA-97 ‘Warhawks’, which should become operational with Lot 13 standard F-35Cs in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 before moving to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, in FY 2024 to join CVW-5 which, by then, will have been reunited with USS George Washington (CVN 73). Meanwhile, another USMC squadron (VMA-311 ‘Tomcats’ currently flying the AV-8B Harrier II from MCAS Yuma) will have transitioned to the Lightning II and will move to Miramar. The F-35C fleet as a whole will receive weapons upgrades around this time, including provision for the second-generation Small Diameter Bomb and an upgraded AIM-9X Sidewinder missile.

VFA-115 ‘Eagles’ will exchange its F/A-18Es for Lot 17 F-35Cs to become operational in FY 2025, followed the next year (and stand by for confusion here) by VMFA-115 ‘Silver Eagles’, which will finally relinquish its F/A-18 Hornets at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina. Fiscal Year 2027 will herald the arrival of Lot 19 F-35Cs, which will be issued to VFA-151 ‘Vigilantes’, while Lot 20 machines will be flown by VMFA-251 ‘Thunderbolts’, which will become the second Beaufort based F-35C squadron in FY 2028. This timeframe should see some 200 F-35C airframes in the navy/marine corps inventory, with the LRIP aircraft likely to be subject to upgrades in plans yet to be funded or revealed publicly.

With the majority of the F-35C fleet units on the Pacific coast, from this it seems logical to assume that the first Atlantic Fleet deployment by the F-35C will be conducted by one of the Beaufort squadrons.”

Combat Aircraft Magazine Vol.20 No.11
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:15 am

The USMC has massed F-35Bs onto the USS America to test its aviation capabilities and open up the amphib for use as a light carrier should the need arise.

Marine’s newest F-35B turns amphibious assault ship into light aircraft carrier

The United States Marine Corps fighter attack squadron made history when its dozen new supersonic-capable F-35B Lightning II stealth jets landed on the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during routine training in the Eastern Pacific.

F-35B jets with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), completed a new milestone and confirmed its ability to turn amphibious assault ship into a light aircraft carrier.

3rd MAW demonstrated its capable of conducting missions across the range of military operations and showed that future air wing of amphibious assault ships will be far more versatile.

America is the fourth ship named “America” and the first ship of its class, replacing the Tarawa class of amphibious assault ships. It is optimized for aviation, and is capable of supporting the tiltrotor MV-22 Osprey and the Navy’s newest F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.

...

https://defence-blog.com/news/marines-n ... rrier.html

Some good images of the deployment.

Image

Image

Image
 
HaveBlue
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:36 pm

Ozair wrote:
The USMC has massed F-35Bs onto the USS America to test its aviation capabilities and open up the amphib for use as a light carrier should the need arise.

Marine’s newest F-35B turns amphibious assault ship into light aircraft carrier

The United States Marine Corps fighter attack squadron made history when its dozen new supersonic-capable F-35B Lightning II stealth jets landed on the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during routine training in the Eastern Pacific.

F-35B jets with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), completed a new milestone and confirmed its ability to turn amphibious assault ship into a light aircraft carrier.

3rd MAW demonstrated its capable of conducting missions across the range of military operations and showed that future air wing of amphibious assault ships will be far more versatile.

America is the fourth ship named “America” and the first ship of its class, replacing the Tarawa class of amphibious assault ships. It is optimized for aviation, and is capable of supporting the tiltrotor MV-22 Osprey and the Navy’s newest F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.

...

https://defence-blog.com/news/marines-n ... rrier.html

Some good images of the deployment.

Image

Image

Image


The pictures don't show, the host does not allow hotlinking of photos. Just an fyi.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:25 pm

Good to see continued progress on the warehousing issue. Better tracking of the F-35 parts, as identified in an earlier report this year, will improve the program and sustainment long term.

DLA preparing to assume warehousing for some F-35 spare parts

The Defense Logistics Agency is partnering with U.S. Transportation Command and the F-35 Joint Program Office to establish processes aimed at expanding support to the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. The effort will leverage DLA’s global supply chain capabilities to improve F-35 readiness as it assumes storage responsibility in January.

The F-35 Joint Program Office designated DLA in December as the Product Support Provider for North American Regional Warehousing, as well as PSP for Global Transportation and Distribution in partnership with USTRANSCOM.

DLA’s new role in F-35 support will increase the Defense Department’s visibility of F-35 spare parts inventory as DoD works to decrease sustainment costs and improve readiness, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, director of DLA Logistics Operations’ Sustainment Solutions Division.

...

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/346529/dl ... pare-parts

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