Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:32 am

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:22 pm

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

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

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

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

...

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

Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:50 pm

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:45 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:53 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:29 pm

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:03 am

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

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


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

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:18 pm

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

Poland cleared to buy F-35 fleet

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

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

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

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

...

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

Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:25 pm

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

New Carriers Sparking Royal Navy Renaissance

...

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

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

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

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

Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:11 am

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

MBDA WORKING ON NEW SPEAR-EW ELECTRONIC WARFARE WEAPON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:12 pm

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

Is the F-35 program a waste of money?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The reality is it’s too early to tell.

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

...

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

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

Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:36 pm

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

Lockheed To Migrate F-35 Backbone To Cloud Architecture

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


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

Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:16 am

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

Poland cleared to buy F-35 fleet

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:25 am

Nomadd wrote:
$6.5 billion for 32 planes?


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

As an example the DSCA notification for Slovakia for the F-16V sale was US$2.91 billion but the final negotiated contract price was US$1.8 billion. Similarly Bulgaria was US$1.67 billion at notification and US$1.2 billion at signature. The price comes down the more aircraft you acquire because the fixed prices in the contract are spread across more airframes.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:37 am

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

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

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

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


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

Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:37 am

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

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

Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:01 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image

Image
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:43 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sustainment costs consume about 70 percent of Pentagon weapons spending.

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

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

Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:45 am

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

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

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

...

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

Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:54 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:37 am

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:36 am

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

Lockheed Martin Prepared to Enhance F-35 Targeting Capability

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

...

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

...

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

Image
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:58 am

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

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

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

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

...

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

Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:04 am

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

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

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

Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:54 am

ssteve wrote:

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



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

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