Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:31 pm

The USMC continues to impress with their leverage of the F-35B and amphibious operations. Interesting point in the article that the AH-1Zs usually deploy off the LPDs when within an expeditionary Strike Group and not the LHAs.

Marines AH-1Z Gets Boost from F-35B Pairing

United States Marine Corps aviation in the Pacific is taking full advantage of the Bell AH-1Z Viper’s capabilities, and its new pairing with the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II.

In a media visit to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA)-169 in MCAS Futenma, Okinawa, Captain Daniel Kelly, AH-1Z pilot and the unit’s flight line officer in charge, told AIN that the introduction of the F-35B to the Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) gives the ability for the jets to jam and neutralize radar threats, giving the helicopters a higher survivability, and allowing them to perform their escort and close air support tasks. The powerful avionics of the F-35 are also able to oversee the battle and “manage” the helicopter assets below them. Moreover, the greater range of the F-35 compared with the AV-8B Harrier II means that the amphibious assault ship can be located at a greater stand-off range before deploying helicopters and amphibious vehicles.

Kelly also noted that the Viper’s Target Sight System (TSS) is “incredibly important,” and could provide target designation for the F-35 up to a 10-digit grid accuracy, which gives the jet the ability to release its munition from above thick cloud cover. While currently there is no datalink between the two platforms, Link 16 is expected to be integrated into the Viper by FY22/23 under the H-1 upgrade program, along with Digital Integrated Full Motion Video data transfer capability.

...

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... 5b-pairing
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:32 pm

HaveBlue wrote:

The pictures don't show, the host does not allow hotlinking of photos. Just an fyi.

Yeah figured that but too late to edit now. Below is one of the graphics from a different site.

Image
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:46 pm

Italy have confirmed they will be taking the number of jets expected and will be funding the F-35 program as per their obligations. I expect the potential industrial work from the Swiss and Finnish competitions would also help to cement ongoing Italian participation.

Italy to go ahead with its F-35 fighter jet program -minister

Italy Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini said on Wednesday that the government intends to confirm its F-35 fighter jet investment program.

“Renewing our fleet is a need that cannot be postponed,” Guerini, a member of the ruling Democratic Party (PD), said in an interview with Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera.

“I can assure you that Italy’s participation in the F-35 program meets the objectives of effectiveness and efficiency of the military instrument,” he said.

Luigi Di Maio, leader of the co-ruling 5-Star Movement, said last year that F-35 fighter jets were not a priority for the country and that the program had to be reviewed in 2019.

https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/p ... m-minister
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:49 pm

Sustainment contract for F135 support and potentially long term depot level work on the airframe.

F-35s to undergo depot maintenance by United Technologies

The Pratt & Whitney division of United Technologies Corp. (UTC) was awarded a potential four-year, $325.2 million contract for aircraft maintenance equipment for the F-35 fighter aircraft. The contract, announced by the Defense Department, calls for UTC to provide material and support equipment for depot maintenance facilities, as well as non-recurring sustainment activities, supplies, services, and planning for depot activations.

...

http://mil-embedded.com/news/f-35s-to-u ... hnologies/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:55 pm

The next phase of sea trials for the UK F-35s is going to continue in the next few weeks. Last year’s trials were very successful so it will be interesting to see what else they test in this phase and how much of the testing is revealed to the public.

British F-35Bs Leave For HMS Queen Elizabeth Flight Trials

British F-35B jets have left the UK to undergo landmark tests with the aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The £3.1 billion warship is currently off the east coast of the United States, where it is preparing to welcome British Lightnings on its flight deck for the first time.

The carrier left the UK in August to begin its part in Westlant 19.

Aircraft and pilots from 617 Squadron left RAF Marham in Norfolk for the US.

The pilots will be in the air for between nine and 10 hours and will first fly into Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina.

The aircraft will then fly and land on board HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Wing Commander John Butcher, Officer Commanding 617 Squadron, told Forces News it is a "huge moment".

"It marks a new chapter for 617 Squadron as we start our journey towards carrier operations," he said.

"I wouldn't say there's a specific wait of expectation but there is an air of excitement.

"We've got personnel here on 617 Squadron from the Royal Air Force and from the Royal Navy and on both sides of the service, we are looking forward to working alongside the carrier.

"That is the future of the Lightening force - we are, longer-term, to provide combat capability from the land or from the sea and this is the start of that journey."

...

https://www.forces.net/news/british-f-3 ... ght-trials
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:38 pm

Another top up, this time from South Korea who will look to acquire an additional 20 aircraft above the 40 they currently operate. I expect this won’t be the last acquisition of South Korea. Some suggestion was made in the article that the Bee would be acquired but it looks like it will initially be A models and the potential for a Bee acquisition that can operate from a South Korean naval vessel still a possibility in the future once a vessel is in the build phase.

South Korea to buy 20 more F-35 jets

South Korea will begin the second phase of its plan to acquire stealthy fighter jets, code-named F-X III, by acquiring 20 more F-35s, the country’s arms procurement agency has confirmed.

The Asian economic power had ordered 40 F-35As for Air Force operations under a 2014 deal worth about $6.4 billion, with the delivery of the fifth-generation fighters starting earlier this year.

“The government is preparing to launch the second phase of the F-X III in 2021 for the five years to come,” the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, or DAPA, said in a report to the National Assembly on Oct. 7. About $3.3 billion will go toward buying the additional Lockheed Martin-made aircraft, the report noted.

Which F-35 variant is under consideration has been a point of debate here, though multiple defense sources say the government will buy the F-35A rather than the "B" variant because of the former’s short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing capability. The STOVL ability allows the aircraft to take off and land from South Korea’s new large-deck landing ship planned for deployment in the 2030s.

“The state-funded Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, or KIDA, has concluded a study on the additional acquisition of F-35 aircraft, and the study is to suggest the introduction of more F-35As be more feasible,” a source at the Ministry of National Defense told Defense News on the condition of anonymity.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia ... f-35-jets/
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:15 am

It seems like there are F-35 orders every couple of months, the backlog looks quite good.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:59 pm

Apparently the reliability of the drag chute isn't as expected and a redesign has been going on with a new design to be tested next year. Norway require it but it will not prevent their declaration of IOC later this year.

Some other interesting comments on their use of the F-35, with the statement below that they find it better handling than the F-16 on slippery airfields. Also the article goes into a lot of detail on what Norway will be doing to stand the F-35 capability up including taking over Iceland Air Policing in March 2020 while transitioning QRA to the F-35 by 2022.

Norway’s F-35s have a problem with a unique piece of gear

Norway’s F-35s have a unique feature that distinguishes them from other countries’ version of the joint strike fighter: a drag chute that is used to slow the landing of the jet in icy conditions.

However, the the drag chute is failing more than expected and the Royal Norwegian Air Force is working with the Pentagon to fix the issue before next winter.

“It’s not working the way we expected, and they are working on reconfiguring this capability,” Norwegian air chief Brig. Gen. Tonje Skinnarland said in an exclusive interview with Defense News on Thursday.

“That said, our experience operating the F-35 on slippery airfields is that it’s more safe and easier than with the F-16s,” she added. “With the stability of the [F-35] aircraft, it’s easier to take off and land on slippery airfields. … It’s performing extremely well.”

The F-35’s drag chute is mounted as a removable pod between the aircraft’s vertical stabilizers, according to Lockheed Martin. Activating a switch will open the pod doors and release the drag chute — a Kevlar parachute that creates drag on the aircraft, helping it to slow down more quickly in icy, high-wind conditions.

Norway has a reliability requirement of no more than one failed drag chute opening per 10,000 uses, the F-35 Joint Program Office said in a statement to Defense News. Flight testing in 2018, as well as subsequent uses of the drag chute by Norway, have made clear that the current drag chute is not meeting that standard, necessitating a number of design modifications to the pilot chute and parachute deployment bag.

“A prototype incorporating many of these changes was validated by the Norwegian Air Force at Ørland [Main Air Station, in Norway] earlier this year, and that design is now being formalized,” F-35 JPO spokesperson Brandi Schiff stated. “These technical changes will be tested and confirmed through a combination of ground and flight testing through February 2020. ...The JPO anticipates delivering the first compliant parachutes in early Summer 2020.”

...

https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... e-of-gear/

An old photo of drag chute testing.
Image
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:01 am

The 356th SQN has stood up in preparation for the first F-35 to arrive next year.

Eielson reactivates fighter squadron ahead of F-35′s arrival

In preparation for the arrival of the first of its F-35s next spring, Eielson Air Force Base has reactivated the 356th Fighter Squadron and named its new commander.

Lt. Col. James Christensen will lead the 356th, the first of two combat fighter squadrons coming to the base, according to an Oct. 10 news release. The first of 54 F-35 Lightning IIs is scheduled to arrive in April 2020, with the rest following over two years. A number of personnel dedicated to the F-35s have already arrived.

...

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your ... s-arrival/

A good image of some of the cold weather and airbase testing that occurred last year.
Image
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:34 pm

Some really impressive images of the F-35 flying over Iceland. I like The Aviationist as a news site, they stick to the facts and appeal to the traditional aviation side.

Up Close And Personal With The F-35s Securing The NATO Skies Over Iceland

From Oct. 2, 2019, the skies over Iceland are secured by the F-35A Lightning II aircraft belonging to the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force). As part of TFA (Task Force Air) 32nd Wing (that includes the Task Group Lightning alongside technical and logistics teams as well as a group of Air Defense controllers) the stealth jets provide QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duties from Keflavik International Airport, Iceland, working with the controllers at the Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem, Germany and the Control and Reporting Centre at Keflavik.

Given its unique strategic geographical location near the Arctic region and since Iceland doesn’t have the necessary capability of its own, NATO Allies, in conjunction with the Icelandic authorities, have agreed to maintain a periodic presence of NATO fighter aircraft at Keflavik to help keep Icelandic airspace safe and secure. The mission is carried out by fighter aircraft from Allied nations that typically deploy to KIA (Keflavik International Airport) for rotations lasting around three to four weeks, three times a year.

...

https://theaviationist.com/2019/10/14/u ... r-iceland/

Image

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:15 pm

UK F-35s have landed on the QE for the first time compared to the USMC and dedicated development aircraft that had undertaken the landing trials last year. An interesting comment by the RAF Wing Commander, who conducted his first ever landing on an aircraft carrier with the first UK F-35B to land on the QE.

RAF pilot's admission after landing first UK F-35 jet on Royal Navy carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth


The RAF pilot tasked with landing the first of the UK's £78million F-35 Lightning jets on the Royal Navy's new £3.2bn aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth has admitted he had never landed a plane on an aircraft carrier before.
Flown by Royal Navy and Royal Air Force pilots, the Lightning jets have embarked on the 65,000 tonne carrier to conduct operational trials off the East Coast of the USA.
This follows successful developmental trials last year with US Lightning jets, where forces conducted 500 take offs and landings over their 11-week period at sea.
These trials are aimed at ‘end-to-end’ testing of the aircraft and personnel to ensure the aircraft are compatible with the carrier. The tests involve mission planning, arming the aircraft using the ship’s Highly Automated Weapon Handling System, flying missions and debriefing on completion.
They will be led by the joint Royal Navy - Royal Air Force 17 Test and Evaluation Squadron from the Air Warfare Centre. The Squadron will be operating alongside personnel and aircraft from the UK Lightning Force, based out of RAF Marham.

...

First to land onboard, Wing Commander Adam Curd, Royal Air Force, said: "This is the first time I have landed onboard an aircraft carrier – for it to be HMS Queen Elizabeth, and in an aircraft as amazing as a UK Lightning, is quite something.




https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/u ... ng-3425242


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Planeflyer
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:45 am

Cool update. Nice first!
 
GDB
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:22 am

Some footage of those UK owned F-35's landing on QE;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNYkbqFseYw

Nice to see some 'traditions' being maintained, some of the RAF Harrier GR.3 pilots sent to war in 1982, from HMS Hermes, some of their pilots had never landed (or seen up close) a carrier prior to that.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:54 pm

GDB wrote:
Some footage of those UK owned F-35's landing on QE;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNYkbqFseYw

Nice to see some 'traditions' being maintained, some of the RAF Harrier GR.3 pilots sent to war in 1982, from HMS Hermes, some of their pilots had never landed (or seen up close) a carrier prior to that.

Great link, thanks for posting.

Some additional still shots here as well,
https://www.forces.net/services/navy/we ... heir-glory

A couple I like,

Image

Image
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:08 pm

Some commentary from Hill based F-35 units on how the sustainment of the F-35 is progressing. As expected as more of the latest block aircraft hit the operational units the readiness is improving. The early build and upgraded jets likely remain a drag on the program and I could see at some point the US will retire or sell the early production models as they did with F-16s.

US Air Force to maximise F-35 operational and mission readiness capabilities

Colonel Steven Behmer, 388th Fighter Wing Commander, said, "We’re focused on maintaining and improving every aspect of readiness – training, manning, and developing our people and tactics to meet current threats. Our maintainers are doing a great job providing the sorties we need to do just that."

Those successes can be attributed to several factors, from the accelerating experience levels of the maintainers, to rebounds in the supply process.

...

Chief Master Sergeant Trey Munn, 388th MXG chief enlisted manager, explained, "A lot of the time people’s perceptions and expectations of the program are influenced by stale data, old, inaccurate information. A really good example is the [Autonomic Logistics Information System]. There are definitely applications within ALIS that still need to be addressed, but the prognostic health management system and joint technical data are great examples of where ALIS, on the whole, has improved and we’ve improved."

Colonel Michael Miles, 388th Maintenance Group Commander, said the jet’s prognostics health management system can detect problems before they fail and allow maintainers to prioritise workload.

...

The newest batch of jets from Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, production facility are also reflected in the improvements.

"We’re not seeing the same problem parts and issues that we did in the past. Problems sent in from the field are being addressed and solutions are woven into the production line. I like the trajectory we’re currently on. There have been some valleys, but our overall experience shows we’re on a readiness incline," COL Miles explained.

...

https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/strik ... pabilities

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:29 pm

Some interesting comments from Billy Flynn regarding the impact new young pilots have on the F-35 program and how rapidly they take to the new systems. I had seen similar reports from early days on the F-22, when the first group of aircrew to transition directly to the jet from training quickly starting using the jet in different ways to the old hands.

I can also see how a generation of new aircrew who have grown up with smart phones and a big data world grasp the concepts and information flows quicker and with more adaptability. May not make them better at BVR or tactics initially but would likely help with their SA.

Advanced computer games generation setting new fighter pilot standards

Young pilots, straight out of flight school, are adapting much more rapidly to the latest, most high-technology, fighter jets, known as Fifth Generation (5th Gen) designs, than veteran fighter pilots with many years' experience. This was highlighted by Lockheed Martin F-35 test pilot Billie Flynn on the first day of the 2019 Aeronautical Society of South Africa conference, in Pretoria on Wednesday.

There are currently only two 5th Gen fighter types in operational service today, all American designs. They are the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor supersonic air dominance fighter, and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II multirole fighter. The best known (but by no means only) characteristic of 5th Gen combat aircraft is their use of very low visibility technologies -- popularly called stealth.

They also make use of advanced avionics, cockpits and flying helmets. Flying such aircraft is very different to flying 4th generation fighters. Flynn described the F-35 as being, "by any standard, supremely advanced". While the F-22 is operated only by the US, the F-35 is already in operational service with eight nations, while more have it on order.

The young people now graduating as fighter pilots in these eight countries have grown up with digital technology, computers, the Internet, and complex computer games. This experience is proving invaluable in mastering the advanced systems of the F-35.

These young pilots are proving to be much better at flying and fighting the F-35 than veteran pilots are. "They are quicker, more adaptable, than we would give them credit for," he highlighted.

As a result, the US Marine Corps has changed its fighter pilot training syllabus. The effect is to remove the traditional strict tactical hierarchy of flight leader, section leader, and (junior) wingmen (one wingman for each of the leaders). The young (formerly "junior") pilots are much more familiar with the technological concepts employed by the F-35 than the older pilots are. Thus, the younger pilots have valuable inputs to make during an operation, and the more senior pilots have to take them seriously. The US Air Force is following suit.

Moreover, these young pilots are actively pushing the development of the F-35's systems, Flynn reported. They are demanding more and more functionality from the aircraft's systems.

http://m.engineeringnews.co.za/article/ ... 2019-10-16
 
GDB
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:03 pm

Nice pics of the QE.
Here's a slo-mo take off;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM3qQUVGN5s
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:24 pm

GDB wrote:
Nice pics of the QE.
Here's a slo-mo take off;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM3qQUVGN5s

Interesting video.

This shot is the first I have seen, probably lots a more out there, of the aircraft inside the lower deck hanger.

Image

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