Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:45 am

Continued opposition to the F-35 being based in Vermont with the ANG. The discussion as moved now to the role of nuclear delivery likely in the hope of generating more public interest in the debate. I’m not aware of any intention for the 158th Fighter Wing to have the nuclear role when they transition to the F-35 starting in Sep this year although I suppose that F-35s based there may receive updates to accommodate nuclear payloads when the F-35 is certified for it.

New F-35 Opposition Group Highlights Jet’s Nuclear Capability

A newly formed group is raising alarms about the planned basing of the F-35 fighter jet at the Vermont Air Guard base in Burlington. Citizens Against Nuclear Bombers in Vermont is holding meetings across the state to discuss what they say is the likelihood the planes will carry nuclear weapons.

Citizens Against Nuclear Bombers in Vermont formed earlier this year following the Department of Defense public release of the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review. Leadership Committee member and retired Air Force Colonel Roseanne Greco is an opponent of basing the F-35 fighter jets in Burlington. She says anti-F-35 and anti-nuclear advocates created the group after reading in the report that the Pentagon designated the F-35 as nuclear capable. “There are quite a few of our aircraft that are nuclear capable. In fact the F-16 was nuclear capable but there’s a difference in being nuclear capable and actually being included in the war planning for a nuclear war. One of the scariest things about the F-35 is that they designed a nuclear bomb specifically for the F-35.”

...

https://www.wamc.org/post/new-f-35-oppo ... capability

More at the link.
 
Pavlakakos
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:07 am

Ozair wrote:
The F-35 Plays Starring Role In Exercise “INIOCHOS 2019” in Greece


More interesting though is the fact that Israelis and Emiratis do joint exercises. :shock:
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:22 am

Pavlakakos wrote:
Ozair wrote:
The F-35 Plays Starring Role In Exercise “INIOCHOS 2019” in Greece


More interesting though is the fact that Israelis and Emiratis do joint exercises. :shock:

Both attended the same Red flag in 2016 so it should not be a surprise they attended the Greek exercise when the other was present as the precedent had already been established.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:32 am

This bloomberg article seems to have misinterpreted the cost data. Blk 4 hasn’t increased in price by US$22 billion but the overall cost to sustain the fleet, as well as keep the production line open for the duration has increased due to inflation and extension and change to the delivery and operating schedule.

Lockheed's Costly F-35 to Be Billions Costlier, Pentagon Finds

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet, the world’s costliest weapons program, just got even costlier.

The estimated total price for research and procurement has increased by $22 billion in current dollars adjusted for inflation, according to the Pentagon’s latest annual cost assessment of major projects. The estimate for operating and supporting the fleet of fighters over more than six decades grew by almost $73 billion to $1.196 trillion.

The increase to $428.4 billion from $406.2 billion in acquisition costs, about a 5.5 percent increase, isn’t due to poor performance, delays or excessive costs for labor or materials, according to the Defense Department’s latest Selected Acquisition Report sent to Congress last week and obtained by Bloomberg News.

Instead, the increase reflects for the first time the current cost estimates for a major set of upgrades planned in coming “Block 4” modifications, according to the report.

“Ensuring our Block 4 efforts are captured in our acquisition baseline and now in our SAR help us to provide full transparency and status on our F-35 modernization progress,” the Pentagon’s F-35 program office said in an emailed statement.

“The F-35 program remains within all cost, schedule and performance thresholds and continues to make steady progress,” the program office said in its statement. The office “is committed to the delivery of cost-effective warfighting capability across all areas of the program.”

But the long-range cost estimate for operating the fleet from 2011 to 2077 was problematic even before the latest independent Pentagon cost projection of an increase to $1.196 trillion. By contrast, the F-35 program office’s latest estimate declined by about $8.5 billion to $1 trillion.

...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... agon-finds

More at the link.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:40 am

Continued attempts to reduce the sustainment cost and improve the availability of the F-35. The PBLs seem like a good method to incentive the supplier base.

Lockheed tries reducing F-35 costs with new supplier contracts

Lockheed Martin is trying to improve F-35 Lightning II parts inventories and reduce sustainment costs by signing more long-term Performance Based Logistics (PBL) contracts and Master Repair Agreements (MRA) with suppliers.

The manufacturer previously had signed one-year contracts with its suppliers, but says recently awarded multi-year PBLs allow companies to make longer-term investments to reduce costs and become more efficient. The company also established 12 MRAs with key suppliers, which it hopes will improve repair capacity and speed.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... er-457615/

More at the link.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:05 am

No surprise that LM is keen for the USAF to increase their yearly buy, not only to reduce the overall acquisition price and make the aircraft more affordable for export customers but it would also likely head off competition from the F-15EX.

The US Air Force, not Turkey, is frustrating Lockheed execs on the F-35 program

Turkey’s purchase of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 is in jeopardy due to its order of a Russian air defense system, but Lockheed executives on Tuesday appeared unruffled by the dispute.

Rather, they signaled that an inconsistent demand by the U.S. military — particularly the Air Force — is a bigger long-term concern.

During an April 23 earnings call, one Wall Street analyst asked how Lockheed is dealing with shifts in the F-35 production rate caused by fluctuations in U.S. demand and the uncertainty of future orders with Turkey, Canada and Italy.

Turkey has ignored pleas from NATO to scrap its deal with the S-400 surface-to-air missile system, and the Trump administration could soon face a decision on whether to remove Turkey from the joint strike fighter program.

Lockheed Chief Executive Marillyn Hewson did not mention Turkey by name, but responded that decisions about Turkish participation in the program remain with the U.S. government.

“I suppose the JPO [F-35 joint program office] will have to figure out how they manage what aircraft they buy at what point in time, as countries look at their procurement decisions or as things change among some of the partners that we have,” she said. “But I think they’re managing that risk quite well and the demand is very strong.”

Lockheed Chief Financial Officer Ken Possenriede noted the small size of foreign contracts.

Turkey is “an important ally of ours, a least today,” he said, but the country plans to buy only eight aircraft per lot over the upcoming block buy, which spans lots 12 through 14. Lockheed is hopeful that Italy will sustain its interest in the program, but Possenriede noted that its buy is “not a material number of aircraft.” Meanwhile, Canada is still not yet under contract for the F-35, but plans to start a new fighter competition as soon as next month.

“I think the frustrating piece for us is the United States Air Force and we’ll continue working with our customer and with representatives in the government on what’s the right path forward there,” Possenriede said.
...

https://www.defensenews.com/industry/20 ... 5-program/

More at the link.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:41 am

First aircraft for Belgium based in Belgium expected in 2025 and it looks like they will be based in two locations.

Belgium expects first F-35s in 2025

The first four Belgian F-35A Joint Strike Fighters will arrive at Florennes in 2025, Belgian Foreign and Defence Minister Didier Reynders announced during a visit to the airbase on 18 April.

The Belgian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on its website on 19 April that EUR300 million (USD337 million) would be invested at Florennes and Kleine Brogel, where the aircraft will be based.

The ministry added that the first Belgian MQ-9B SkyGuardian medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles would arrive in Florennes in 2023.

...

https://www.janes.com/article/88029/bel ... 5s-in-2025

More at the link.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:45 pm

Spares were a serious issue last year as per the GAO report. This years things are looking better and the continued upgrade and build of more jets to Blk 3F standard is also reducing the need for older parts.

Government watchdog finds more problems with F-35’s spare parts pipeline

Only about half of the F-35s worldwide were ready to fly during an eight-month period in 2018, with the wait for spare parts keeping jets on the ground nearly 30 percent of the time, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office.

Over the past several years, the Defense Department has sought to improve mission capable rates by making improvements to the way it and F-35 contractor Lockheed Martin order, stockpile and repair spare parts. However, GAO’s findings imply that the situation may have gotten worse.

The GAO’s report, released April 25, investigated how spare parts shortages impacted F-35 availability and mission capable rates in 2018, with most data gathered between a May and November sustainment contract period.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/04 ... -pipeline/

More at the link.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:52 pm

A second F-35 squadron has been stood up by the Israeli Air Force and will receive future deliveries of aircraft over the next couple of years.

ISRAEL AIR FORCE OPENS SECOND F-35 SQUADRON

The Israeli Air Force opened a second squadron of F-35 stealth fighter jets, The Jerusalem Post learned on Thursday.

The squadron will be called “Defenders of the South.”

Built by Lockheed Martin, the jets have an extremely low radar signature allowing the jet to operate undetected deep inside enemy territory as well as evade advanced missile defense systems like the S-300 and S-400 missile defense systems, which have been deployed in countries such as Syria.

With close air-support capabilities and a massive array of sensors, pilots of the stealth jet have an unparalleled access to information while in the air.

The Israel Air Force currently has 14 F-35 Adir aircraft and is expected to receive a total of 50 planes to make two full squadrons by 2024.

With a need to keep ahead of increased threats in the Middle East, the Israeli Air Force is set to decide within the coming months to place orders on several new aircraft to upgrade its ageing squadrons.

The IAF is also now considering whether to purchase an additional 25 F-35s to give the Jewish state a total of 75 stealth fighter jets.

...

https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Israe ... ron-587891

More at the link.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:15 pm

Some info released on the briefing given to Trump in 2016. This info has been publically available for a while now but the slide provides it in context.

This Air Force slide shows how the F-35 became a bottomless money pit from which there is no escape

President Donald Trump spent a good chunk of time in the run-up to taking office dissing the freakishly-expensive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program as a complete and utter money suck.

Now we know why: Military briefing slides shown to then-president-elect Trump in December 2016 offer one of the most blunt Pentagon assessments of the notoriously unreliable aircraft in recent memory.

The briefing slides, obtained by The War Zone through the Freedom of Information Act, were shown to Trump by F-35 Joint Program Office chief U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan on Dec. 21, 2016, just over a week after the president-elect slammed program costs as "out of control" on Twitter.

...

https://taskandpurpose.com/f-35-trump-briefing-slides

More at the link.

The slide in question.

Image
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:20 pm

F-35 work is a major reason for an increase in NG revenue. No surprise given how much involvement they have in the program and the increase in production this and future years.

F-35 work boosts Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems' revenue

Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems business segment saw first quarter 2019 revenue increase 7% year-on-year to about $3.5 billion, partly due to more F-35 work.

More revenue from the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, restricted programmes (presumably including development work on the B-21 stealth bomber), and the MQ-4C Triton unmanned air vehicle (UAV) also helped the company’s sales grow.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ms-457703/

More at the link.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:28 pm

The only two non US appearances by the USAF F-35 demo will be in Canada with the first confirmed for Sep 6-8 in Ottawa.

F-35 Demonstration Team coming to Aero Gatineau-Ottawa air show

The U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team is now confirmed as coming to the Aero Gatineau-Ottawa 2019 air show. The team will be conducting only two displays outside the U.S. this year. The Aero Gatineau-Ottawa air show runs Sept. 6-8.

The RCAF Snowbirds and the CF-18 Hornet Demo team will also be at the show among other attractions.

In addition on Aug. 13 the Royal Air Force nine plane precision aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, will be coming to Gatineau-Ottawa for the first performance of their six-week North American tour, Aero Gatineau-Ottawa air show organizers point out.

Defence Watch will update with details as they become available.

The second location outside the U.S. for the USAF F-35A Demonstration Team will be in Bagotville, Quebec. The team will be at the Spectacle Aerien International de Bagotville which takes place June 22-23.

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national ... a-air-show
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:32 am

No surprise on this announcement given the success the system has had in trials to date. I expect at some point it will also transition to the SH fleet and every other aircraft that is used on US carriers. Interesting as well to see the foreign interest in the system and even from the USAF who are investigating its use for deployed operations.

ANALYSIS: US Navy precision landing system to enter production

The US Navy (USN) is preparing to place an order for Raytheon's Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS), to be manufactured and installed on all of its aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships.

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) on 25 March approved production of the system, which is installed on all three variants of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, and should sign a contract with the Raytheon at the beginning of May. This will launch serial production of the technology, says Raytheon and lead to JPALS being installed on 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and eight amphibious assault ships, with the first units expected to be delivered some time in 2020.

JPALS is a differential, GPS-based precision landing system that guides aircraft to land on carrier or assault vessel decks. The navigation equipment is used by the F-35 and will be installed on the in-development Boeing MQ-25A Stingray unmanned in-flight refuelling vehicle, while other USN aircraft will continue to use the service's existing tactical air navigation system.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... er-457458/

More at the link.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:38 pm

LM are getting the lobbying going in an effort to increase US domestic orders and the production rate.

Lockheed’s ‘Mad Al’ Rallies Retired Navy Admirals for F-35 Bid

Citing the threat of cuts by the Pentagon, Lockheed Martin Corp. officials are pressing retired Navy admirals and Air Force generals to sign letters of support asking lawmakers to add more F-35 jets to the Trump administration’s 2020 budget proposal.

“Right now, DOD is slowing F-35 production at the very time it should be accelerating the program,” Allen Myers, Lockheed’s vice president for Navy and Coast Guard programs, wrote in an April 22 email to a group of retired admirals.

While it’s a common tactic in Washington for advocates of a particular issue, especially in the national security world, to release letters of support signed by retired generals or admirals, it’s less common to see the behind-the-scenes solicitations for that support. Using a nickname from his days as a naval aviator, Myers, himself a retired admiral, signed the message with “Fight to Fly, Mad Al.”

“Congress is fully supportive of the program and poised to push up procurement,” Myers added. “Please help me show them they are doing the right thing for our Nation.”

2020 Budget
The call for help comes after President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget requested 78 of the next-generation stealth fighters, six less than originally planned. Myers said it’s a mistake to pull back on the Pentagon’s largest weapons program.

“Costs are dramatically dropping with procurement costs falling BELOW $80 million for the F-35A and flying hour costs nearly on par with 4th generation aircraft and a pathway to even lower costs,” he wrote. “Despite the bright state of the program,” the Pentagon is limiting Navy Department purchases to “30 F-35Bs/F-35Cs a year, and USAF to 48 F-35As a year,” wrote Myers, citing different versions of the jet built for U.S. and allied forces.

Left unsaid were ongoing delivery delays, reliability woes, increased support cost estimates and spare parts shortages that have beset the warplane.

...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... r-f-35-bid

More at the link.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:44 pm

Some rational discussion and commentary on the implausible argument about the Vermont ANG and nuclear weapons being deployed on the impending F-35s

Margolis: Nuclear foes off target on threat from F-35

Right to Burlington. Peace-loving, healthy (11th healthiest in the country, says Wallethub), unpolluted (cleanest air of any city, says American Lung Association), educated, politically liberal Burlington is about to become Ground Zero in the impending nuclear war.

The city “would automatically become a target in the event of war … because nuclear weapons strategy is to target delivery vehicles (bombers, not the bombs).”

Those delivery vehicles – F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters – will be assigned to the 158th Fighter Wing of the Vermont Air National Guard, based at the Burlington Airport, scheduled to arrive in September.

So says Citizens Against Nuclear Bombers in Vermont (CANBVT), a new (and, it seems, hastily assembled) organization led by some prominent and impressive people: ice cream maven Ben Cohen, former State Sen. Peter Galbraith, writer Bill McKibben, and more.

Its web site went up early this month featuring a photo of Hiroshima after the atomic bomb struck in 1945. It warned that President Donald Trump “wants our Vermont National Guard to host USA’s newest nuclear bomber.”

In the face of this threat, CANBVT proposed action. The website announced that “there is a resolution in the State House to reject the basing of any part of a new nuclear weapons system in Vermont,” and claimed that “the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons starts in Vermont.”

Talk about delusions of grandeur. An uprising in l’il ole Vermont will abolish nuclear weapons?

Not hardly. Not to mention that when the website appeared no such resolution had been filed in the Legislature, and would not be for two weeks. Or that nuclear weapons are not coming to Burlington.

Not now. Not in the near future. Quite likely not ever. No need to duck after all.

As a VTDigger.org fact-check on April 10 made clear, the F-35s that will be assigned to the Vermont Guard will not be capable of carrying nuclear weapons. One day, some specially configured F-35s might be able to handle nukes, but there would be no point in stationing them here.

“If we were to use F-35s with nuclear weapons, they would be the ones based in Europe, where we have about 150 bombs in NATO countries,” said Lisbeth Gronlund, a senior scientist at the Global Security Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

That’s because in the unlikely event of nuclear war, that war would be with Russia, the only unfriendly country that has much of a nuclear arsenal. F-35s parked on European runways could reach Russia. There are U.S.-based bombers – the B-2, the B-52, the impending B-21 – that can deliver nuclear weapons to Russia (or China). The F-35 – a fighter jet – is not one of them.

“The F-35s don’t have enough range,” Gronlund said.

Dan Grazier, a defense researcher for the Project on Government Oversight, agreed.

“It would not make a whole lot sense to strap a nuclear bomb or two into a plane in the U.S.,” he said.

Besides, as Gronlund noted, “there is no facility for keeping nuclear weapons at the Air Force base there (in Burlington).”

...

https://vtdigger.org/2019/04/29/margoli ... reat-f-35/

More at the link.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed May 01, 2019 12:28 am

First USAF air strike conducted by the F-35A:

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/04 ... time-ever/

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force has finally flown its variant of the F-35 in combat, using two of the aircraft to take out an ISIS tunnel network and weapons cache in Iraq on April 30.

Tuesday’s airstrikes — the first U.S. use of the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing model at war — follow the combat employment Israel Defense Forces’ F-35As in May 2018 and U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35Bs in September 2018.

According to U.S. Air Forces Central Command, the airstrike occurred at Wadi Ashai, in northeast Iraq. An April 24 news release from U.S. Central Command stated that ISIS fighters “have been attempting to move munitions, equipment and personnel” to Wadi Ashai in order to “set conditions for their resurgence,” prompting a counter-offensive by Iraqi Security Forces and supported by Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.

“The F-35As conducted the airstrike using a Joint Direct Attack Munition to strike an entrenched Daesh tunnel network and weapons cache deep in the Hamrin Mountains, a location able to threaten friendly forces,” stated the AFCENT release, which used an alternative name for ISIS.

Further information about the event, including whether the strikes were successful, was not made available in the release.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu May 02, 2019 2:22 am

Great news on the ability to carry six AIM-120s internally. This should improve the A2A abilities of the jet and gives some additional flexibility to the weapons loads the jet will deploy with in the future, noting that this is a LM designed and paid for system so almost certainly have to be acquired by the program or individually acquired by respective operators, as with any other weapon and racks.

Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

The builder of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter has designed a new weapons rack to enable the aircraft to carry two more missiles internally.

The new rack, called Sidekick, enables each of the two weapons bays of the Air Force F-35A and Navy carrier-capable F-35C to carry three AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) instead of the current two, for a total of six internally carried AMRAAMs.

Speaking May 1 to reporters at a Lockheed Martin media briefing, a company F-35 test pilot, Tony ‘Brick’ Wilson, said the rack was developed entirely with company internal research and development funds.

The rack is not compatible with the vertical lift Marine Corps F-35B version, which has smaller weapons bay.

The F-35 can carry more AMRAAMs on external pylons, but Wilson pointed out that carrying two more internally preserves the stealth characteristics of the F-35.

“The extra missiles add a little weight but are not adding extra drag,” Wilson said.

Wilson also said the company is working on integrating hypersonic weapons capability on the F-35.

He also said the company, working with the Air Force Research Lab, has developed and installed on the F-35A — six years ahead of schedule — the Auto Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS).

The AGCAS has “saved eight pilots’ lives,” Wilson said. He said the AGCAS will be installed later on the F-35B and on the F-35C in 2021.

https://seapowermagazine.org/lockheed-d ... x-shooter/
 
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Nomadd
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu May 02, 2019 7:50 am

Ozair wrote:
Great news on the ability to carry six AIM-120s internally. This should improve the A2A abilities of the jet and gives some additional flexibility to the weapons loads the jet will deploy with in the future, noting that this is a LM designed and paid for system so almost certainly have to be acquired by the program or individually acquired by respective operators, as with any other weapon and racks.

Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

The builder of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter has designed a new weapons rack to enable the aircraft to carry two more missiles internally.

The new rack, called Sidekick, enables each of the two weapons bays of the Air Force F-35A and Navy carrier-capable F-35C to carry three AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) instead of the current two, for a total of six internally carried AMRAAMs.

Speaking May 1 to reporters at a Lockheed Martin media briefing, a company F-35 test pilot, Tony ‘Brick’ Wilson, said the rack was developed entirely with company internal research and development funds.

The rack is not compatible with the vertical lift Marine Corps F-35B version, which has smaller weapons bay.

The F-35 can carry more AMRAAMs on external pylons, but Wilson pointed out that carrying two more internally preserves the stealth characteristics of the F-35.

“The extra missiles add a little weight but are not adding extra drag,” Wilson said.

Wilson also said the company is working on integrating hypersonic weapons capability on the F-35.

He also said the company, working with the Air Force Research Lab, has developed and installed on the F-35A — six years ahead of schedule — the Auto Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS).

The AGCAS has “saved eight pilots’ lives,” Wilson said. He said the AGCAS will be installed later on the F-35B and on the F-35C in 2021.

https://seapowermagazine.org/lockheed-d ... x-shooter/

Good to see Lockheed taking the initiative and risk. Spending your own dime to develop and propose something to the government shows something I was starting to think was gone forever.
 
Pavlakakos
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu May 02, 2019 6:24 pm

A Greek website (most of them have daily reports on the Turkish S400 spat) says that according to its sources, a compromise has been reached between US and Turkey, in such a way that both sides can claim "diplomatic victory" and don't appear to back down.

Key points:
Turkey gets the S400, for which it has already paid a significant amount, but deploys them in Azerbaijan or Qatar.
The US gets assurances that the system won't interfere in any way on any NATO activities and Turkey keeps its place in the F35 order and co-production.

Link (greek only):
https://www.onalert.gr/kosmos/tourkia/s-400-ta-vriskoyn-tramp-kai-erntogan/344023/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu May 02, 2019 11:43 pm

Pavlakakos wrote:
A Greek website (most of them have daily reports on the Turkish S400 spat) says that according to its sources, a compromise has been reached between US and Turkey, in such a way that both sides can claim "diplomatic victory" and don't appear to back down.

Key points:
Turkey gets the S400, for which it has already paid a significant amount, but deploys them in Azerbaijan or Qatar.
The US gets assurances that the system won't interfere in any way on any NATO activities and Turkey keeps its place in the F35 order and co-production.

Link (greek only):
https://www.onalert.gr/kosmos/tourkia/s-400-ta-vriskoyn-tramp-kai-erntogan/344023/


Thanks for posting. An interesting compromise if true. I’m not sure what the point would be of Turkey acquiring the S-400 and then operating it in another country but it also isn’t unheard of to do that with Singapore and Taiwan coming to mind (noting their specific use cases and reasons for that decision).
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue May 07, 2019 9:44 pm

Not sure what to make of this report. I would have thought that the aluminium parts would have been coated to prevent corrosion, especially given the commonality between the CTOL and the other primarily maritime operated variants.

F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at Williamtown RAAF base susceptible to 'intergranular corrosion', KPMG report finds

Australian defence officials have been urged to consider round-the-clock dehumidification systems at an Air Force base near Newcastle to curb the corrosion risk for its fleet of Joint Strike Fighter jets.

Key points:
A KPMG report shows corrosion risks from salt to 72 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at the Williamtown RAAF base
The report warns aluminium parts are susceptible, and recommends full-time dehumidification
The fighters are the largest acquisition in the Air Force's history, costing $17 billion
Auditing and consulting firm KPMG was tasked with doing a report on the "intergranular corrosion mitigation options" for the 72 F-35A fighter jets, bought by the Australian Defence Force for $17 billion.

Concerns over the risk of metal stress and cracking were raised in 2017, the year before the next-generation fighters were due to come to Australia.

The FOI report obtained by the ABC said of the three bases where the jets would be based, only Williamtown, near Newcastle, had been identified as having potential problems.

The risk is posed by salt and other climatic conditions.

...

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-07/ ... n/11085220
 
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Nomadd
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed May 08, 2019 5:04 am

Ozair wrote:
Not sure what to make of this report. I would have thought that the aluminium parts would have been coated to prevent corrosion, especially given the commonality between the CTOL and the other primarily maritime operated variants.

F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at Williamtown RAAF base susceptible to 'intergranular corrosion', KPMG report finds

Australian defence officials have been urged to consider round-the-clock dehumidification systems at an Air Force base near Newcastle to curb the corrosion risk for its fleet of Joint Strike Fighter jets.

Key points:
A KPMG report shows corrosion risks from salt to 72 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at the Williamtown RAAF base
The report warns aluminium parts are susceptible, and recommends full-time dehumidification
The fighters are the largest acquisition in the Air Force's history, costing $17 billion
Auditing and consulting firm KPMG was tasked with doing a report on the "intergranular corrosion mitigation options" for the 72 F-35A fighter jets, bought by the Australian Defence Force for $17 billion.

Concerns over the risk of metal stress and cracking were raised in 2017, the year before the next-generation fighters were due to come to Australia.

The FOI report obtained by the ABC said of the three bases where the jets would be based, only Williamtown, near Newcastle, had been identified as having potential problems.

The risk is posed by salt and other climatic conditions.

...

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-07/ ... n/11085220

That report sounds like something somebody came up with by using Google. Nothing really specific to the F-35 except a vague reference to 7085 being "reported to have increased susceptibility to intergranular corrosion"
 
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Mortyman
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed May 08, 2019 6:59 am

3 new F-35A for the Royal Norwegian air force arrived in Norway yesterday evening. Norway now has 12 in Norway and another 7 in the USA for training of pilots.
 
steman
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed May 08, 2019 7:48 am

Would it be possible to have a tally of how many F-35s have been delivered to which customers? A bit like the threads on production and deliveries in the civil aviation forum.
It probably cannot be very accurate/updated because not all Air Forces disclose such informations but one could roughly know how many are in service.
I think the Italian Air Force has about 10, including 1 or 2 F-35B.
Not idea how many Bs has the RAF received so far. What about The Netherlands, Israel, South Korea, Japan and other customers?
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed May 08, 2019 10:47 am

steman wrote:
Would it be possible to have a tally of how many F-35s have been delivered to which customers? A bit like the threads on production and deliveries in the civil aviation forum.
It probably cannot be very accurate/updated because not all Air Forces disclose such informations but one could roughly know how many are in service.
I think the Italian Air Force has about 10, including 1 or 2 F-35B.
Not idea how many Bs has the RAF received so far. What about The Netherlands, Israel, South Korea, Japan and other customers?

This website has the number delivered as well as serials.

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

I think it might be a month or two behind but more than good enough.
 
morrisond
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri May 10, 2019 12:40 am

Canada is changing it's rules to allow the F-35 to be part of the competition again

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national ... w-f-35-bid
 
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Spacepope
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat May 11, 2019 12:43 pm

F-35 aggressor squadron formed. Interesting paint job, very Chinese. https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-air-f ... ssion=true
The last of the famous international playboys
 
Planeflyer
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat May 11, 2019 10:41 pm

Spacepope wrote:
F-35 aggressor squadron formed. Interesting paint job, very Chinese. https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-air-f ... ssion=true


Anyone have any info about just how badly 4 th gen aggressor units are being mauled by newbies in 5 th gen ac?
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat May 11, 2019 11:18 pm

Spacepope wrote:
F-35 aggressor squadron formed. Interesting paint job, very Chinese. https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-air-f ... ssion=true

That is a good use of the early airframes, I believe these will come from Lots 3 to 5.

I expect there won't be a paint job to them but it will be interesting to see how they change or alter the airframe's RCS to replicate different threat platforms. Perhaps varying sizes or selective use of the luneburg lenses or external pylons noting the jet is already being configured to have internal ACMI so won't need to carry that pod external. It will also make a significant different to the persistence of Red Air at Flag, the F-35 will have significantly more fuel than comparable red air platforms and will be able to regenerate over a longer period, thereby providing a longer and more realistic threat for participating F-35s.
 
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Spacepope
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun May 12, 2019 12:08 am

Ozair wrote:
Spacepope wrote:
F-35 aggressor squadron formed. Interesting paint job, very Chinese. https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-air-f ... ssion=true

That is a good use of the early airframes, I believe these will come from Lots 3 to 5.

I expect there won't be a paint job to them but it will be interesting to see how they change or alter the airframe's RCS to replicate different threat platforms. Perhaps varying sizes or selective use of the luneburg lenses or external pylons noting the jet is already being configured to have internal ACMI so won't need to carry that pod external. It will also make a significant different to the persistence of Red Air at Flag, the F-35 will have significantly more fuel than comparable red air platforms and will be able to regenerate over a longer period, thereby providing a longer and more realistic threat for participating F-35s.


The article shows a photo of an F-35A painted up like a J-31.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun May 12, 2019 12:16 am

Spacepope wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Spacepope wrote:
F-35 aggressor squadron formed. Interesting paint job, very Chinese. https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-air-f ... ssion=true

That is a good use of the early airframes, I believe these will come from Lots 3 to 5.

I expect there won't be a paint job to them but it will be interesting to see how they change or alter the airframe's RCS to replicate different threat platforms. Perhaps varying sizes or selective use of the luneburg lenses or external pylons noting the jet is already being configured to have internal ACMI so won't need to carry that pod external. It will also make a significant different to the persistence of Red Air at Flag, the F-35 will have significantly more fuel than comparable red air platforms and will be able to regenerate over a longer period, thereby providing a longer and more realistic threat for participating F-35s.


The article shows a photo of an F-35A painted up like a J-31.

It is an artist's impression, no F-35 has been painted in adversary colours. As per the article the aircraft aren't available until 2022.
 
Planeflyer
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun May 12, 2019 4:09 am

Ozair wrote:
Spacepope wrote:
F-35 aggressor squadron formed. Interesting paint job, very Chinese. https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-air-f ... ssion=true

That is a good use of the early airframes, I believe these will come from Lots 3 to 5.

I expect there won't be a paint job to them but it will be interesting to see how they change or alter the airframe's RCS to replicate different threat platforms. Perhaps varying sizes or selective use of the luneburg lenses or external pylons noting the jet is already being configured to have internal ACMI so won't need to carry that pod external. It will also make a significant different to the persistence of Red Air at Flag, the F-35 will have significantly more fuel than comparable red air platforms and will be able to regenerate over a longer period, thereby providing a longer and more realistic threat for participating F-35s.


Agree fully, practice hard play easy.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun May 12, 2019 9:45 pm

Confirmation of what was clearly the cause of the incident.

Defective fuel tube caused September F-35 crash in South Carolina: report

A failed fuel tube caused the first crash of an F-35 jet in September of last year, U.S. government investigators said in a report issued this week.

“An investigation determined a manufacturing defect caused an engine fuel tube to rupture during flight, resulting in a loss of power to the engine,” the Government Accountability Office said in a report issued this week.

In September, a U.S. military F-35B crashed near the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina. The pilot ejected safely.

...

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKCN1SH0G9
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun May 12, 2019 9:49 pm

Contract signature for Lot 12 is expected in the next few months. While the US hasn’t entered into a block buy yet other partner and FMS customers see the first block buy starting in Lot 12. The US, as the article suggests, may enter into a block buy from Lot 15.

Pentagon acquisition boss offers timeline, cost details for next F-35 contract

The next deal between the U.S. government and F-35 fighter jet manufacturer Lockheed Martin is expected to be finalized by July, potentially putting the contract announcement around the time of a major annual air show.

“We continue to negotiate, and in fact we are hoping to wrap up here very shortly,” Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official, said about the Lot 12 negotiations during a Friday briefing with reporters. “We would like to have a contract award in the June/July time frame.”

That time frame could match up with the Paris Air Show, held this year June 17-23. The event is set to be one of the largest global air shows for 2019. It is common for the Pentagon to announce an initial agreement before contracts are signed, and many of the F-35 partners are expected to be in attendance at the event.

The Lot 11 agreement brought the price per F-35A down to less than $90 million for the first time, and Lord expressed her belief that costs should continue to go down in Lot 12.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/05 ... head-says/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun May 12, 2019 10:02 pm

Video from inside the cockpit of the USAF F-35 demo team.

F-35 Demo Like You've Never Seen

Take a ride in the cockpit with Capt. Andrew "Dojo" Olson during this exclusive never before seen footage of the all-new F-35 Demonstration. Full-length video coming soon.

U.S. Air Force Video by Senior Airman Alexander Cook

https://www.military.com/video/f-35-dem ... never-seen
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun May 12, 2019 10:31 pm

The UK will go to sea in 2021 with a USMC F-35B and a UK F-35B squadron. Be interesting to see if the USMC adopt the SVRL while they operate from the QE.

A US Marine Corps F-35 squadron will make history by deploying aboard a foreign aircraft carrier

A US Marine Corps F-35 squadron plans to deploy aboard the British Royal Navy’s new flagship, the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

“It’s going to be a wonderful new way – and I will offer, potentially a new norm – of doing coalition combined allied operations with a maritime partner,” Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder, the head of Marine Corps aviation, said at this week’s Sea-Air-Space conference outside Washington, DC, according to Military.com.

A yet-to-be-identified Marine Corps squadron is expected to deploy aboard the foreign carrier in 2021.

...

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/us-f ... ?r=US&IR=T
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun May 12, 2019 10:51 pm

Norway will shortly move the F-35 to its alert mission. The fleet has bene building steadily but I wasn’t expecting this so early given Norway still hasn’t officially gone IOC yet.

'You Haven't Seen Us:' Norway Kicks Tires on Stealthy F-35s as First Exercise Begins

The Royal Norwegian Air Force is gearing up to use its F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for its alert mission, intercepting incoming Russian aircraft as they fly into Norwegian airspace.

Before that happens, Norwegian pilots want to train alongside the U.S. Air Force, and will do so in the next few weeks as the biennial Arctic Challenge exercise kicks off in the high north, the term used for the region encompassing the Nordic countries and the Arctic, according to officials in the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It will mark Norway's first major exercise for its F-35A variant.

"The U.S. Air Force is a huge reinforcement or potential. We are not enough," said Svein Efjestad, policy director for the department for security and policy operations at Norway's Ministry of Defense.

Efjestad said that pairing with the U.S. in the exercise will bring volume, "tactical training" and advancement.

...

https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... rence.html

Does this tongue in cheek comment in the article from the Norwegians impact the Finnish competition at all ;)

Lately "we tease the Finns and the Swedes with our activity, saying, you've [missed it] because you haven't seen us," the defense official said.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun May 12, 2019 11:04 pm

A good opportunity to increase the number of F-35 training spots every year by housing an additional squadron at Eglin, especially given it now has unused F-35 facilities.

Eglin is top contender to house new Air Force F-35 training squadron

With the Navy moving its F-35 fighter jet pilot training away from Eglin Air Force Base later this month, the Air Force announced Thursday that it hopes to bring an additional training squadron to the Panhandle base.

The Navy will finish moving its 15 F-35C aircraft from Eglin to Naval Air Station Lemoore in California by June 1. In 2014, the Marine Corps moved its 20 F-35B aircraft from Eglin to Marine Corps Air Station Beufort in South Carolina.

Lena Lopez, a spokeswoman for Eglin's 33rd Fighter Wing, said the moves have left Eglin with just 26 of the advanced, stealth fighter jets. The base is authorized to house 59 F-35s she said.

But the Air Force announced Thursday that Eglin is the leading contender to house a new Air Force pilot training squadron with 24 F-35s.

"The addition of another 24 F-35s would allow us to take advantage of freed up facilities here that are specifically built to accommodate the F-35 and increase Air Force F-35 pilot production all while staying under the number of F-35s authorized by Eglin," Lopez said.

...

https://www.pnj.com/story/news/military ... 162555001/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon May 13, 2019 2:40 am

The first work from the Mat Hatter program has started to show up. While neither of these Apps work with ALIS they identify some pain points for the maintainers and hopefully speed the maintenance process. It will be good to see what else the Mad Hatters come up with to fix ALIS and hopefully remove as much of the woeful ALIS code as possible.

Mad Hatter Begins Delivering Apps to F-35 Flightline

Mad Hatter, the Air Force-led software coding effort tackling the F-35’s troubled Autonomic Logistics Information System, delivered its initial applications to the flightline at Nellis AFB, Nev., last week, a service official said May 9.

“The first two applications that we fielded don’t interact with ALIS,” Steve Wert, the Air Force’s digital program executive officer, said at a National Defense Industrial Association conference. “They are separate applications that help the maintainers do things that they were doing outside of ALIS anyway. They were using Excel spreadsheets and handwritten notes and then having to re-enter those things. … They were pain points.”

Future applications will work directly with ALIS itself, Wert said. The Air Force’s Kessel Run coding team is collaborating on Mad Hatter with fighter jet manufacturer Lockheed Martin, the F-35 Joint Program Office, and Silicon Valley-based Pivotal, which helps the Air Force learn agile software development.

Wert noted more blue suit agile software development groups are popping up around the country, including Bespin at Maxwell AFB, Ala., for business and enterprise systems, LevelUP for Unified Platform development, Rogue Blue at Offutt AFB, Neb., for US Strategic Command software systems, two at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, and revamped Software Engineering Groups at major depots in Utah, Georgia, and Oklahoma.

PEO Digital is also planning its own iterations of the Air Force’s recent Pitch Day. One in July will focus on finding new product teams, tools, and processes for the Boston-based Kessel Run, while another on July 17 will seek out payloads and signature identification systems for unmanned aircraft.

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

Mon May 13, 2019 4:25 am

morrisond wrote:
Canada is changing it's rules to allow the F-35 to be part of the competition again

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national ... w-f-35-bid


Honestly...its like dealing with a child with hurt feelings. Let's just cut them off from the jet. They clearly want it, but don't want to admit it. They're already reaping industrial benefits from the F-35!

I'd just refuse any US aircraft to Canada. Let them soak up the high priced 4th gen offerings...
 
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Nomadd
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon May 13, 2019 7:10 am

checksixx wrote:
morrisond wrote:
Canada is changing it's rules to allow the F-35 to be part of the competition again

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national ... w-f-35-bid


Honestly...its like dealing with a child with hurt feelings. Let's just cut them off from the jet. They clearly want it, but don't want to admit it. They're already reaping industrial benefits from the F-35!

I'd just refuse any US aircraft to Canada. Let them soak up the high priced 4th gen offerings...

Talk about sounding like a child with hurt feelings... How about dealing with the situation intelligently?
 
checksixx
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon May 13, 2019 11:20 pm

Nomadd wrote:
checksixx wrote:
morrisond wrote:
Canada is changing it's rules to allow the F-35 to be part of the competition again

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national ... w-f-35-bid


Honestly...its like dealing with a child with hurt feelings. Let's just cut them off from the jet. They clearly want it, but don't want to admit it. They're already reaping industrial benefits from the F-35!

I'd just refuse any US aircraft to Canada. Let them soak up the high priced 4th gen offerings...

Talk about sounding like a child with hurt feelings... How about dealing with the situation intelligently?


LoL...whatever dude. You must be Canadian. You clearly don't get it, and thats okay because you have to live with that. You also must not have followed any of this drama over the years. Hence the reason you don't get it. Good luck.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue May 14, 2019 1:52 am

Not much actual substance to the article…

The F-35 Isn't Just 'Stealthy': Here's How Its Electronic Warfare System Gives It An Edge

The F-35 fighter is the enabler of American air dominance through mid-century. It will provide the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps with combat aircraft that can survive in places where no legacy fighters would be safe, collect information crucial to joint operations, and suppress threats that might otherwise preclude victory.

Despite the program’s importance, though, many politicians, pundits and even some senior military officers don’t understand key features of the F-35. For example, although the fighter is frequently described as “stealthy”—invisible to detection or tracking by radar and other sensors—public reference is seldom made to its electronic warfare capabilities.

That’s understandable, because release of details about the F-35 electronic warfare (EW) system is carefully controlled. However, it is the synergy of an integrated stealth design with the world’s most advanced EW architecture that makes F-35 the most survivable combat aircraft ever built. So you can’t fully understand the F-35 value proposition unless you have some grasp of the plane’s electronic warfare capabilities.

I have business ties of one sort or another to several of the biggest contractors involved in the F-35 program including airframe integrator Lockheed Martin, engine provider Pratt & Whitney, and electronic warfare lead BAE Systems. And yet, two decades after the fighter was first conceived, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I have ever had a serious conversation about the on-board EW suite. The industry team doesn’t like to talk about it in public, and neither does the government.

...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthomp ... ed6aac4382

More at the link.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed May 15, 2019 12:53 am

Very comprehensive report from the Heritage Foundation on the current state of the F-35 program and some very clear recommendations available below. Clearly the USAF has a lot of confidence in the aircraft, as do the aircrew.

The F-35A Fighter Is the Most Dominant and Lethal Multi-Role Weapons System in the World: Now Is the Time to Ramp Up Production

The U.S. Air Force’s first F-35A fighter wing is now fully operational.
The road to this point has been filled with insights on the aircraft, simulator, maintenance and logistical support, and operations that will apply to any service or nation flying the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). This assessment is based on interviews with 30 F-35A combat pilots as well as senior operations and maintenance leaders at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. It follows a similar assessment from 2016 of 31 other highly experienced former fourth-generation fighter pilots, who were then flying the F-35A at two other Air Force locations. The collective perspectives confirm that, while the JSF is still several years away from realizing its full potential, even now, the F-35A is the most dominant and lethal multi-role aircraft in the world.

...

https://www.heritage.org/sites/default/ ... BG3406.pdf

Some interesting comments in the document,

Fighter pilots currently flying the jet believe the latest software update brought full warfighting capabilities to the F-35A and that it is virtually undefeatable. They rate the F-35A’s handling and dogfighting characteristics above that of their previous jets.


Air Force strategic plan execution to rapidly build maintenance experience and prepare for the expansion of the F-35A community has been exceptional. Now, the defense industry and the government must improve maintenance, supply, and scheduling


The recommendations from the report are the following,

The U.S. Congress should fund and authorize the Air Force to purchase 72 F-35As in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2020, and 360 over the Five-Year Defense Plan (FYDP).

The Department of Defense should approve full-rate production of the F-35A, and move to field the F-35A as rapidly as possible. The DOD should forego the acquisition of fourth-generation F-15EX fighters, and acquire 72 F-35As in 2020, while also funding the associated spare parts accounts.


The F-35 Joint Program Office should:

Repair the visual challenges and conflicts within the HMDS as an urgent operational requirement.

Elevate the requirement for and adequately fund a robust embedded training suite of capabilities within the F-35. That suite should include user-friendly software that has a selection of both canned (pre-programmed) and tailorable mission scenarios, and a level of fidelity that allows multi-ship F-35A packages to find, fix, sort, and target layered SAM systems that are pulled from the jet’s threat library.

Install concurrent software updates for the F-35A simulator in line with those made to the aircraft.

More rapidly improve F-35A Distributed Mission Training to increase the number of simulators connected through the Distributed Mission Training System to the standard number of aircraft in an LFE package.

Improve user transparency of its global parts supply system for the F-35A, accelerate the delivery of those parts, provide users with visibility of those parts as they are in transit, and bring delivery schedules for those parts up to modern-day global-supply-chain-management standards.

Increase the number of personnel dedicated to resolving maintenance action requests (ARs) and the number of teams it makes available for on-site troubleshooting.

Increase parts availability and maintenance visibility into parts sourcing, improve scheduling, and rapidly increase the joint technical data available to maintenance personnel.


The Air Force should:

Increase the average number of sorties for line fighter pilot wingmen, flight leads, and instructors to a minimum of three flights in the aircraft a week to grow or sustain their skill sets, as well as grow the F-35A experience
level with the CAF. In order to accomplish that, it should institute aggressive flying-hour contracts in all wings operating at or above IOC to grow the breadth of fighter and maintenance experience as rapidly as possible.

Segregate the costs associated with overloading unit maintenance manning for the sake of expediting the spin-up of future F-35A bed-down locations, and exclude those costs from F-35A O&M cost calculations.


Conclusion

The Joint Strike Fighter program has endured its share of growing pains, but the F-35A is now fully operational, and those flying the jet have complete confidence in its ability to operate in and around the most intense threat environments in the world. While it will take several more years before the jet, its simulators, maintenance, and logistical support fully realize their potential, the technical issues that limited the early operational employment of the JSF have been overcome, and there is no doubt in the minds of those flying the F-35A at Hill AFB that, even now, this is the most dominant and lethal multi-role weapons system in the world. It is time to field this game-changing weapons system as rapidly as possible.
 
Planeflyer
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed May 15, 2019 4:05 am

Ozair wrote:
Very comprehensive report from the Heritage Foundation on the current state of the F-35 program and some very clear recommendations available below. Clearly the USAF has a lot of confidence in the aircraft, as do the aircrew.

The F-35A Fighter Is the Most Dominant and Lethal Multi-Role Weapons System in the West orld: Now Is the Time to Ramp Up Production

The U.S. Air Force’s first F-35A fighter wing is now fully operational.
The road to this point has been filled with insights on the aircraft, simulator, maintenance and logistical support, and operations that will apply to any service or nation flying the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). This assessment is based on interviews with 30 F-35A combat pilots as well as senior operations and maintenance leaders at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. It follows a similar assessment from 2016 of 31 other highly experienced former fourth-generation fighter pilots, who were then flying the F-35A at two other Air Force locations. The collective perspectives confirm that, while the JSF is still several years away from realizing its full potential, even now, the F-35A is the most dominant and lethal multi-role aircraft in the world.

...

https://www.heritage.org/sites/default/ ... BG3406.pdf

Some interesting comments in the document,

Fighter pilots currently flying the jet believe the latest software update brought full warfighting capabilities to the F-35A and that it is virtually undefeatable. They rate the F-35A’s handling and dogfighting characteristics above that of their previous jets.


Air Force strategic plan execution to rapidly build maintenance experience and prepare for the expansion of the F-35A community has been exceptional. Now, the defense industry and the government must improve maintenance, supply, and scheduling


The recommendations from the report are the following,

The U.S. Congress should fund and authorize the Air Force to purchase 72 F-35As in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2020, and 360 over the Five-Year Defense Plan (FYDP).

The Department of Defense should approve full-rate production of the F-35A, and move to field the F-35A as rapidly as possible. The DOD should forego the acquisition of fourth-generation F-15EX fighters, and acquire 72 F-35As in 2020, while also funding the associated spare parts accounts.


The F-35 Joint Program Office should:

Repair the visual challenges and conflicts within the HMDS as an urgent operational requirement.

Elevate the requirement for and adequately fund a robust embedded training suite of capabilities within the F-35. That suite should include user-friendly software that has a selection of both canned (pre-programmed) and tailorable mission scenarios, and a level of fidelity that allows multi-ship F-35A packages to find, fix, sort, and target layered SAM systems that are pulled from the jet’s threat library.

Install concurrent software updates for the F-35A simulator in line with those made to the aircraft.

More rapidly improve F-35A Distributed Mission Training to increase the number of simulators connected through the Distributed Mission Training System to the standard number of aircraft in an LFE package.

Improve user transparency of its global parts supply system for the F-35A, accelerate the delivery of those parts, provide users with visibility of those parts as they are in transit, and bring delivery schedules for those parts up to modern-day global-supply-chain-management standards.

Increase the number of personnel dedicated to resolving maintenance action requests (ARs) and the number of teams it makes available for on-site troubleshooting.

Increase parts availability and maintenance visibility into parts sourcing, improve scheduling, and rapidly increase the joint technical data available to maintenance personnel.


The Air Force should:

Increase the average number of sorties for line fighter pilot wingmen, flight leads, and instructors to a minimum of three flights in the aircraft a week to grow or sustain their skill sets, as well as grow the F-35A experience
level with the CAF. In order to accomplish that, it should institute aggressive flying-hour contracts in all wings operating at or above IOC to grow the breadth of fighter and maintenance experience as rapidly as possible.

Segregate the costs associated with overloading unit maintenance manning for the sake of expediting the spin-up of future F-35A bed-down locations, and exclude those costs from F-35A O&M cost calculations.


Conclusion

The Joint Strike Fighter program has endured its share of growing pains, but the F-35A is now fully operational, and those flying the jet have complete confidence in its ability to operate in and around the most intense threat environments in the world. While it will take several more years before the jet, its simulators, maintenance, and logistical support fully realize their potential, the technical issues that limited the early operational employment of the JSF have been overcome, and there is no doubt in the minds of those flying the F-35A at Hill AFB that, even now, this is the most dominant and lethal multi-role weapons system in the world. It is time to field this game-changing weapons system as rapidly as possible.


It seems as if the program is finally delivering on promises. I hope the DOD has learned what went wrong early on so corrective action can occur.

Hopefully the RD costs can be spread over other programs.
 
Ozair
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: F-35 news thread

Wed May 15, 2019 10:09 pm

A bird strike in Japan. Damage to the aircraft, and obviously bird..., but no injuries to the pilot.

An Ordinary Bird Brings Down the World's Most Advanced Warplane

A collision between a bird and a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter caused more than two million dollars in damage and grounded the jet until repairs are completed. The pilot of the aircraft, based in Japan, was not injured, but the incident highlights how even the most high tech aircraft can be instantly crippled—sometimes with fatal consequences—by a simple collision with wildlife.

The incident took place on May 7th and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni. The fighter, assigned to the Japan-based Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, collided with a bird on takeoff. According to Military.com the pilot was uninjured and able to safely taxi the aircraft off the runway. Although exact details of the damage were not released the incident was classified “Class A” by military authorities, which means at least $2 million in property damage was sustained by the $120 million F-35B fighter bomber.

...

https://www.popularmechanics.com/milita ... -35-birds/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri May 17, 2019 12:12 pm

Auto-GCAS has been cleared for use on the F-35. If you get a chance I recommend reading the article and watching the video of the F-16 where Auto-GCAS saved the pilot's life. He went to 8.4G and suffered G-loc but the aircraft recovered for him.

F-35 ground collision avoidance system is recommended for fielding

The 412th Test Wing at Edwards AFB, California, has published the technical report on the Lockheed Martin F-35’s new Automatic Ground and Collision Avoidance System (Auto-GCAS) and has recommended it for fielding.

Auto-GCAS is designed to prevent controlled flight into terrain mishaps by executing an automatic recovery maneuver when impact with the ground is imminent. It accomplishes this feat through a predicted trajectory, based on GPS positioning and system altitude, which is compared with an onboard Digital Terrain Database.

Once the program recognizes the aircraft is likely to crash, it prompts the pilot to evade either a ground crash or a controlled flight into terrain situation. If no action is taken, Auto-GCAS assumes temporary control, engaging an autopilot maneuver to roll the aircraft upright and initiate a 5g pull, diverting the plane and pilot out of harm’s way. After putting the plane on a safe trajectory, the system returns aircraft control to the pilot.

...

https://combataircraft.keypublishing.co ... -fielding/
 
art
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 11:46 am

Re: F-35 news thread

Fri May 17, 2019 1:53 pm

Unease as Norway Admits F-35 Bill May Prove Too Large for Armed Forces to Handle

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... udget.html
 
Ozair
Topic Author
Posts: 3790
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: F-35 news thread

Tue May 21, 2019 12:13 am

Makes sense to push out the spares to alternate providers if the current arrangements aren’t working. Will be interesting to see how LM responds to this. Taking funds away though doesn't exactly help the short term fleet readiness prospects.

F-35 Spare Parts Funding at Risk as Pentagon Seeks Data Rights

The House panel that approves defense spending intends to withhold half of next year’s funding for F-35 spare parts until the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin Corp. agree on the sale of technical data for spare parts to improve the tracking of items and allow purchases from other suppliers.

Struggling to resolve spare parts shortages and bottlenecks for the fighter plane worldwide, the Defense Department this month requested that Lockheed offer a proposal to sell it cost and technical data rights to the parts. That would give the Pentagon the ability to seek its own suppliers for parts or even produce some at its maintenance depots.

But the panel said the department has yet to hear back from Lockheed, the No. 1 U.S. defense contractor.

With the issue unresolved, the House Appropriations Defense subcommittee said it will only allow spending of $364 million of $728 million requested for Navy and Marine Corps jet parts in fiscal year 2020 until the Pentagon has “received an adequate cost proposal” from Lockheed.

“I assume Lockheed Martin will fight this as consensus growth expectations for the company include a healthy increase in revenues from sustaining the F-35 fleet,” said Byron Callan, a defense analyst with Capital Alpha Partners. “If the government gets data rights they can compete spares and software or do some of this at their own depots and software labs.”

The F-35 parts restriction is in a report by the panel expected to be released on Monday. It was included in a draft obtained by Bloomberg Government.

The Pentagon’s inability to provide adequate spare parts for the F-35 has hamstrung the jet’s operations around the world, the Government Accountability Office reported last month. With a backlog of 4,300 parts for F-35s, the supply chain issues meant that the planes couldn’t fly almost 30% of the time during a seven-month period last year, according to the GAO.

...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ata-rights
 
GDB
Posts: 13178
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: F-35 news thread

Tue May 21, 2019 6:02 pm

First UK F-35B overseas deployment, to Cyprus.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y93Vn633z-M

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