Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:06 pm

Auto-GCAs is now being tested. This is a good example of a technology that was introduced early onto the platform and will hopefully save lives.

F-35 Tests Out Tech that Keeps Pilots from Crashing Into the Ground

A technology that can help prevent pilots from colliding with the ground has begun its initial testing on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The Air Force variant of the fifth-generation jet has begun flying with the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System, known as Auto-GCAS, in recent tests at Edwards Air Force Base, California, the Air Force said in a news release. The 461st Flight Test Squadron recently began test flights to see if Auto-GCAS remained compatible with the other computer systems on board the Lockheed Martin-made aircraft.

"Auto-GCAS saves lives, it's been proven in the F-16 and the F-22," Lt. Col. Tucker Hamilton, F-35 Integrated Test Force director and 461st commander, said in the release. "We've been able to be an advocate to the warfighter, and the F-35 enterprise as a whole, to get them to accelerate implementation of F-35 Auto-GCAS by about seven years."

Auto-GCAS was developed in the 1990s, but early versions had data issues. It was re-engineered between 2003 and 2010, and by 2016, it had been installed on more than 600 F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, "resulting in three confirmed reports that Auto-GCAS saved both the pilot and aircraft," according to the Air Force.

The service at the time said Auto-GCAS would not only save lives, but also "upward of 14 aircraft, and more than $530 million over the projected remaining service life of the F-16 inventory alone."

To date, the system has been credited with saving the lives of seven pilots in six different aircraft.

Auto-GCAS uses various sensors that monitor how the aircraft is performing and whether the pilot is still in control of the aircraft. If a pilot loses consciousness, Auto GCAS kicks in. The sensors that feed into the system take into consideration the terrain below, the aircraft's trajectory and speed and the human inputs, or lack thereof, to calculate how to best recover the jet and bring it back down safely, or return it to a smooth trajectory, the release said.

"This technology is the stepping stone to increased combat capability via a fully capable combat autopilot that will be able to execute tactical maneuvers to defeat inbound kinetic and non-kinetic threats and maximize lethality through precise weapon employment," added Lt. Col. Raven LeClair, a test pilot with the 461st, in a statement.

In January, Vice Adm. Mat Winter, head of the F-35 Joint Program Office, said the Auto-GCAS system was coming roughly five years earlier than originally planned.

"Expediting this lifesaving technology into the F-35 fleet by 2019 is estimated to prevent the loss of three aircraft, and more importantly, save the lives of three pilots," Winter said in a news release. "Over the service life of the F-35 fleet, having Auto-GCAS is estimated to prevent more than 26 ground collisions from happening."

Pilots themselves have helped speed that process along, according to Lockheed officials.

"The implementation of it is going faster than we thought [it would]," said Greg Ulmer, vice president for the Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft production business.

Ulmer said the expedited timeline is due to the fact that Lockheed began an "agile construct" where an operator -- such as a pilot -- is "embedded as part of the development team."

"So we've seen some strong performance in that regard in Auto-GCAS in particular," Ulmer told Military.com in September.

But it's not a foolproof solution for an in-flight emergency, Hamilton said.

"The pilot cannot use Auto-GCAS as a crutch," he said. "It's very important they do everything in their power to execute the mission without relying on any safety net to protect them. They've got to execute not thinking it's there, they should execute with that mindset. And then if it saves them, it saves them."

Hamilton stressed that it's better to be over-prepared in any case.

"It is our responsibility to use the technology to be able to bring [pilots] home every day, that's something they deserve and it's something we have the capability to provide," Hamilton said.

https://www.military.com/dodbuzz/2018/1 ... round.html
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:13 pm

Some may remember that the Pentagon was required to deliver a report within ~100 days on Turkey and the F-35. That has now been delivered so will see what flows out of this with respect to Turkey continuing in the program.

Pentagon report on Turkey's F-35 program delivered to Congress

The U.S. Defense Department has delivered a report to Congress detailing implications of Turkey receiving 100 F-35 fighter jets, five people familiar with the report said, removing a key hurdle to concluding the deal.

Turkey’s planned purchase of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system has raised concerns in the West, since it could be used to give Moscow deep insight into the vulnerabilities of the most advanced U.S. warplane at a time of tension between the two powers, experts have said.

Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s chief arms buyer, told Reuters in an interview that Turkey’s plans to buy the S-400 system were “extremely problematical” and numerous U.S. officials had discussed the issue with Ankara, but there were no signs that Turkey had changed its mind about buying the Russian system.

The United States has for years offered Turkey an alternative missile defense system - the Patriot missile defense system built by Raytheon Co and operated by other NATO allies. However, a sale has proven elusive amid cost and technology transfer issues.

Lord said the report to Congress “just lays out the facts of where we are,” rather than offering firm recommendations, but she declined to provide details.

“We need to work with Congress to decide where we go on that. There will be a strong partnership with Congress, and until we’ve discussed the issue with them...,” Lord told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a NATO industry conference in Berlin earlier this week.

Turkey last month said it was moving ahead with the controversial S-400 procurement and expected to begin installing the surface-to-air missile systems in October 2019.

The United States has repeatedly warned Turkey that going through with the purchase of S-400s could result in Washington imposing sanctions and halting other weapons deals, such as the F-35, but Ankara has pressed on with the Russian transaction.

Turkey is due to receive its third and fourth jets in March next year. Its pilots are receiving training on the first two aircraft at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. The earliest the first aircraft could leave the United States is next summer, although it may take longer than that.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turk ... SKCN1NK33T
 
vr773
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:34 am

Ozair wrote:
A very poorly sourced and factually inaccurate opinion piece from the Washington Examiner.

The F-35, the great white whale of defense waste

Despite the pronouncements of the White House, wasteful government spending is endemic and shows no signs of abating anytime soon. The military, which accounts for half of all federal spending, is not immune. While the media like to remind people of the Pentagon spending $435 for a hammer or $640 for a toilet seat, accounts of true billion-dollar boondoggles often go virtually ignored.

More expensive and potentially deadlier than a hammer or toilet seat are the myriad problems associated with the F-35 fighter jet program. The latest chapter in the saga of the F-35 boondoggle is a recent crash in South Carolina due to yet another malfunctioning Pratt & Whitney engine. It caused the military to temporarily ground all of the Pentagon’s costliest planes.

After a recent fleet-wide inspection, the Pentagon cleared more than 80 percent of the fleet to resume flying, even though questions abound as to why these issues continue to occur with such frequency. F-35 deployment exercises continue unabated, with F-35 Joint Program Office spokesman Joe DellaVedova bizarrely claiming that "Aircraft deployed are ready for combat."

Continued research suggests that the F-35’s issues stem from failed contracting and appropriation practices which, for the sake of fairness to taxpayers, should be learned from and significantly reformed.

For many years, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance has listed funding for additional F-35s as earmarks not requested by the Department of Defense. Other taxpayer and good government groups have also considered the F-35 to be one of the most egregious examples of pork-barrel projects in the federal budget.

The late Sen. John McCain once called the F-35 “a scandal and a tragedy with respect to cost, schedule, and performance.”

Former Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James once stated that “the biggest lesson I have learned from the F-35 is never again should we be flying an aircraft while we’re building it.”

They’re right. While recent spending bills included brow-raising line items involving the F-35, such as $1.3 billion for 13 additional aircraft in the last two years, it’s clear that this cronyist project was wasteful from the very start of production.

The jet’s development, which has already cost $400 billion, has been specially crafted in a way to spread the government’s money around to special interests.

A 2013 expose of the F-35’s problems, written by Vanity Fair’s Adam Ciralsky, noted that this “politically engineered” program was "designed to spread money so far and so wide — at last count, among some 1,400 separate subcontractors, strategically dispersed among key congressional districts — that no matter how many cost overruns, blown deadlines, or serious design flaws, it would be immune to termination.”

And when policymakers give money to those who are well-connected instead of those who are best suited for the job, they have to be prepared for the chaos and cost overruns that come with it.

For example, the engine malfunction that led to the recent F-35 crash was not the first engine problem the jet has had. Throughout the last several years, Pratt & Whitney has had to investigate claims of excessive vibrations and uneven cooling, as well as issues with its combustor, oil seal, and knife-edge seal. Everyone from the FAA to European regulators have gotten involved, and the engines’ problem-ridden past has created significant delays in jet production at a time when demand has reached an all-time high.

Thanks to ineffective and ostensibly well-connected contractors like this one, the F-35 has been in development for nearly 17 years and is seven years behind schedule, all while total acquisition costs have surpassed $406 billion — nearly double the initial estimate of $233 billion.

Things will only get worse if the status quo continues unabated. An April 2015 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that operation and maintenance costs for the most expensive weapon system in history will reach $1 trillion.

Federal appropriations and acquisition leaders should wake up and realize that America’s national defense is too critical to design based on political clout rather than strict utility, efficiency, and merit. The failures and problems that cronyism have wrought are bringing us to the brink of a major national security crisis — one that is unacceptable to anyone not living in the D.C. bubble.

For these reasons and more, Congress should think of the hardworking American citizens that are footing the bill and begin putting country over politics.

The failed status quo has gone on for long enough.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opin ... ense-waste
'

What I found interesting in the article and what was new to me is the reference to Adam Ciralsky's Vanity Fair piece where he argues that "1,400 separate subcontractors" have been "strategically dispersed among key congressional districts." These are the kind of political conflicts of interest that always seem to be among the causes of cost overruns in these large-scale military projects and the F-35 development/production doesn't seem to be immune to that either.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:15 am

vr773 wrote:

What I found interesting in the article and what was new to me is the reference to Adam Ciralsky's Vanity Fair piece where he argues that "1,400 separate subcontractors" have been "strategically dispersed among key congressional districts." These are the kind of political conflicts of interest that always seem to be among the causes of cost overruns in these large-scale military projects and the F-35 development/production doesn't seem to be immune to that either.

I'm not sure why you think that is news, this has been known for the last 10+ years. It is the way US programs ensure that production lasts as long as it can. The same thing happened with the F-22, with Super Hornet, with the B737 etc.

If you're really interested you can review the list of suppliers available for the F-35 here, http://www.airframer.com/aircraft_detai ... l=F-35_JSF and you can even compare it to the Super Hornet here, http://www.airframer.com/aircraft_detai ... r%20Hornet You could also review the Eurofighter, http://www.airframer.com/aircraft_detai ... er_Typhoon

The F-35 has approx 350 suppliers worldwide which makes sense given the size of the program and the number of aircraft in production, the Super Hornet has 175, the Eurofighter has 144, the B737 has over 400 and the B787 460+.

If your interested in the global supply network, have a read of the following https://www.slideshare.net/andycosterto ... lideshow=1 which is the Economic Development Council brief given by the then Program Executive Officer. Slide eight shows the various companies, and locations, that were identified in 2008 to work on the program.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:36 am

The UK continues to be indecisive on which variant they will go for in the future. The total number isn't in doubt but they plan to decide on whether to reduce the number of Bee and buy the A model.

UK to decide Lightning variant at SDSR, to deploy STOVL F-35B 'off-strip'

The UK is likely to decide on the final composition of its Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning force at the next Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) expected in 2020, a senior military official said on 14 November.

Speaking at the IQPC International Fighter Conference in Berlin, Air Commodore David Bradshaw, Lightning Force Commander and Tornado Force Commander, said that, while no official announcement has been made, it is his opinion that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will use the SDSR to decide if the UK will continue to buy the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B to add to the 48 already procured, or if it will instead decide to fulfil its outstanding commitment of 90 aircraft with the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35A.

"The next SDSR defence review, whenever that might be, is when I would expect a decision to be made, but it is something that we can't leave for too long as the programme begins to ramp up as we move on from the initial 48 [STOVL] aircraft," Air Cdr Bradshaw told Jane's .

While based out of Royal Air Force (RAF) Marham in southern England, the UK's Lightning fleet is currently owned and operated by the RAF and the Royal Navy (RN) with pilots and maintainers from both services set to field the aircraft from land bases and aboard the two new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers as a joint force.

Air Cdre Bradshaw was unsure what effect procuring the land-based F-35A might have on this joint concept of operations, but he did note that there should be no reason to transfer the F-35Bs solely to the RN as the flexibility the aircraft provides is also of value to the RAF.

https://www.janes.com/article/84593/uk- ... -off-strip

It would be a shame to lower the number of Bee given the Carriers coming along but I wouldn't be surprised if perhaps the last 90 is split, perhaps 30-60 Bee to A. That provides enough airframes for the carriers and a true Tornado replacement strike aircraft for dedicated RAF operations.
 
vr773
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:05 pm

Ozair wrote:
vr773 wrote:

What I found interesting in the article and what was new to me is the reference to Adam Ciralsky's Vanity Fair piece where he argues that "1,400 separate subcontractors" have been "strategically dispersed among key congressional districts." These are the kind of political conflicts of interest that always seem to be among the causes of cost overruns in these large-scale military projects and the F-35 development/production doesn't seem to be immune to that either.

I'm not sure why you think that is news, this has been known for the last 10+ years. ...


I wasn't aware for the past 10+ years that there is quality reporting on LM strategically choosing suppliers in order to gain political capital. It's normal to suspect this but I didn't know about the article to which the article that you posted linked to. I find it interesting because it can provide part of the explanation why the project has been kept alive all those years despite all its shortcoming and cost issues.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:27 am

vr773 wrote:

I wasn't aware for the past 10+ years that there is quality reporting on LM strategically choosing suppliers in order to gain political capital. It's normal to suspect this but I didn't know about the article to which the article that you posted linked to. I find it interesting because it can provide part of the explanation why the project has been kept alive all those years despite all its shortcoming and cost issues.

See that is the difference. What you could have taken from my last post was that a national and global supply chain was needed to meet the manufacturing, cost and political constraints of the program.

As for the shortcoming and cost issues, every program has them including every single military fighter aircraft developed for the last 30 years. The irony is that the F-35 has actually come out better than comparable programs, including Eurofighter and Rafale, as evidenced by the numbers I have posted here multiple times.
 
giblets
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:11 am

Ozair wrote:
The UK continues to be indecisive on which variant they will go for in the future. The total number isn't in doubt but they plan to decide on whether to reduce the number of Bee and buy the A model.

UK to decide Lightning variant at SDSR, to deploy STOVL F-35B 'off-strip'



It would be a shame to lower the number of Bee given the Carriers coming along but I wouldn't be surprised if perhaps the last 90 is split, perhaps 30-60 Bee to A. That provides enough airframes for the carriers and a true Tornado replacement strike aircraft for dedicated RAF operations.


There is another thread on here with a 'proposed' f35D, think that would actually be a pretty good option for the RAF who want a strike aircraft, it seems that the main issue against the B is the lack of range, having a version with the 'c' wing and no fold would give a great fuel capacity and range.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
giblets
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:03 am

Ozair wrote:
The UK continues to be indecisive on which variant they will go for in the future. The total number isn't in doubt but they plan to decide on whether to reduce the number of Bee and buy the A model.

UK to decide Lightning variant at SDSR, to deploy STOVL F-35B 'off-strip'



It would be a shame to lower the number of Bee given the Carriers coming along but I wouldn't be surprised if perhaps the last 90 is split, perhaps 30-60 Bee to A. That provides enough airframes for the carriers and a true Tornado replacement strike aircraft for dedicated RAF operations.


There is another thread on here with a 'proposed' f35D, think that would actually be a pretty good option for the RAF who want a strike aircraft, it seems that the main issue against the B is the lack of range, having a version with the 'c' wing and no fold would give a great fuel capacity and range.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:48 am

giblets wrote:
Ozair wrote:
The UK continues to be indecisive on which variant they will go for in the future. The total number isn't in doubt but they plan to decide on whether to reduce the number of Bee and buy the A model.

UK to decide Lightning variant at SDSR, to deploy STOVL F-35B 'off-strip'



It would be a shame to lower the number of Bee given the Carriers coming along but I wouldn't be surprised if perhaps the last 90 is split, perhaps 30-60 Bee to A. That provides enough airframes for the carriers and a true Tornado replacement strike aircraft for dedicated RAF operations.


There is another thread on here with a 'proposed' f35D, think that would actually be a pretty good option for the RAF who want a strike aircraft, it seems that the main issue against the B is the lack of range, having a version with the 'c' wing and no fold would give a great fuel capacity and range.

While the additional range a larger wing would provide may be of interest I would suggest the main purpose of going for the A model is simply cost. The A model is approximately $89 million for Lot 11 aircraft and only getting lower. The same Lot 11 sees an F-35b at approximately $115 million. Over 60 to 90 aircraft that is $1.5 to 1.8 billion dollars saved. Operating cost would be a lot less as well so you could see why it would be attractive...

But there is always trade off. After spending 8 billion building two aircraft carriers it would seem strange to limit the number of aircraft that could/will operate from them.
 
GDB
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:38 pm

Ozair wrote:
giblets wrote:
Ozair wrote:
The UK continues to be indecisive on which variant they will go for in the future. The total number isn't in doubt but they plan to decide on whether to reduce the number of Bee and buy the A model.

UK to decide Lightning variant at SDSR, to deploy STOVL F-35B 'off-strip'



It would be a shame to lower the number of Bee given the Carriers coming along but I wouldn't be surprised if perhaps the last 90 is split, perhaps 30-60 Bee to A. That provides enough airframes for the carriers and a true Tornado replacement strike aircraft for dedicated RAF operations.


There is another thread on here with a 'proposed' f35D, think that would actually be a pretty good option for the RAF who want a strike aircraft, it seems that the main issue against the B is the lack of range, having a version with the 'c' wing and no fold would give a great fuel capacity and range.

While the additional range a larger wing would provide may be of interest I would suggest the main purpose of going for the A model is simply cost. The A model is approximately $89 million for Lot 11 aircraft and only getting lower. The same Lot 11 sees an F-35b at approximately $115 million. Over 60 to 90 aircraft that is $1.5 to 1.8 billion dollars saved. Operating cost would be a lot less as well so you could see why it would be attractive...

But there is always trade off. After spending 8 billion building two aircraft carriers it would seem strange to limit the number of aircraft that could/will operate from them.


Back in July, at the RAF100 event in Horse Guards Parade, along with the historic and some current RAF types, there was a full size F-35B mock up with a LM rep to answer questions.
I posed the same question to the LM rep, about splitting the order, with later batches being perhaps a F-35A(UK), mods would of course include the F-35B's AAR system to name an obvious one.
He reckoned that around 60-80 F-35B's would be sufficient for the carriers, allowing for training, attrition, maintenance etc and how much land based deployments the RAF did. The LM rep also pointed out the lower costs of buying and owning the F-35A.
I asked whether such an idea was being pitched to the MoD, the reply, 'you might think that, I couldn't possibly comment!'
 
giblets
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:17 pm

Out of interest, what are the training similarities between the different versions, how long would it take a pilot to convert between the different versions?!


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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:17 pm

giblets wrote:
Out of interest, what are the training similarities between the different versions, how long would it take a pilot to convert between the different versions?!

That is a good question that I don't have an answer to but would be very interested to know. As a first thought given how easy the aircraft is to fly, based on the feedback from just about every pilot who has converted onto the jet, I would say it wouldn't be very much.
 
texl1649
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:02 pm

I’d imagine the vtol procedures/capabilities are pretty different/unique, even coming from Harriers. Carrier training would also, if I had to guess, quite different from conventional operations, and I’m not sure a common training program would make sense for any operators, unless a split British/Australian buy were to happen for their respective Air Forces.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:02 pm

texl1649 wrote:
I’d imagine the vtol procedures/capabilities are pretty different/unique, even coming from Harriers. Carrier training would also, if I had to guess, quite different from conventional operations, and I’m not sure a common training program would make sense for any operators, unless a split British/Australian buy were to happen for their respective Air Forces.


While landing the F-35B is unique to Harriers it has gone from difficult to very easy. Some comments on landing vertically and what is required.

Performing a vertical landing on the B variant, which uses a lift fan and swivelling nozzle, is just as simple. “We have a lot of automation that makes life really easy in STOVL (short take-off/vertical landing),” Hattendorf said.
Comparing it to the STOVL-capable Harrier jet, which uses bleed air to land vertically, Hattendorf added: “Harrier pilots must use a lot of effort and bandwidth from their brains.”
The veteran pilot, who’s flown more than 50 types of aircraft in his life, makes the F-35 sound like an aviator’s dream. “This is the easiest aircraft I’ve ever flown in my life.”


https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/si ... e-10821506

So, what is the F-35B like to fly? Thanks to the pioneering work of UK's DERA (now DSTL/QinetiQ) VAAC Harrier testbeds and test pilots like Justin Paines and John Farley in developing advanced FBW software for VTOL aircraft – it is extremely simple. Whereas the Jedi-like skills are needed to control the Harrier in the hover requires movement of throttle, nozzle control and stick and has been likened to 'balancing on the top of a pencil while needing three hands', the F-35B’s fly-by-wire controls are just a sidestick and throttle HOTAS - with the flight computers doing all the hard work. (It is noteworthy that the UK is the only country after the US to have its own lines of code in in the F-35 software).
To assist pilots coming into land, there are two velocity vectors - a traditional one, and a ship-shaped one - showing where the ship will be. The ship’s speed is also entered into the flight management computer via the touchscreen display.
Approaching the ship from behind at around 170kt and 500ft, once at 200ft the pilot hits the 'brake' deceleration button and the aircraft begins slowing and transitioning to a hover, with the LiftFan engaging and the rear nozzle swivelling down for vertical flight. Once slowed down, the pilot can swing to the left side of the ship. The aircraft's flight computers now cleverly match the ship's speed, with the pilot pushing forward on the control sidestick (or inceptor) to go down. At 100ft and about a wingspan across from the deck, the pilot is thus ready to transition sideways over the deck, with fine hovering control being provided by the moving rear nozzle, LiftFan and the STOVL roll jets at the tips of the wings. At this point, with the flight controls engaged and the aircraft happily matching speed with the ship, the pilot can even take his (or her) hands off the controls - a move that would most likely be suicidal in the Harrier for the average squadron pilot.
Hitting another thumb switch on the HOTAS throttle engages a translational controller mode, enabling the pilot to slide across in the hover and line up with the centreline. Once in position – it is a case of pushing forward on the sidestick to a software-controlled stop to descend and put the aircraft firmly on the deck. At this point, control of the engine thrust and vertical motion has passed to the right hand, rather than the left hand - which on the first occasion is slightly disconcerting to push full forward on what is normally a pitch control, some 50ft above a deck.
Those raised on Call of Duty Xbox controllers will have no problems. Feet on the brakes and the aircraft lands itself. Effectively with these flight controls you are flying an aeroplane that cannot stall and where intuitive pull back/go up and push forward/go down still work - even when hovering. Says BAE: "The control philosophy is such that the left-hand commands go-faster / go-slower whilst the right-hand commands the aircraft to go-up / go-down and go-left / go-right. Each hand commands a response in the same axis in both wing-borne and jet-borne flight." It is not quite the 'take me home and land the aircraft automatically coffee bar button' that legendary Harrier test pilot John Farley often joked about as something that a future VTOL fighter would need, but it is close.

https://www.aerosociety.com/news/uk-f-3 ... ch-to-qec/

Above is the standard VL procedure. The UK are obviously testing the SRVL and have already landed the aircraft using that technique on the QE.

Other than VL and SRVL the jet essentially feels and performs very very similar to the other variants. By my reading of the above the ability to vertically land the jet is a simple procedure that should be very easy to learn with the benefit that the simulator has an exceptionally accurate representation of the action.
 
Planeflyer
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:27 am

I’d be surprised if we don’t see many more air forces adopting b models. Airfields like 4 th gen AC won’t last long in contested environments.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:38 am

giblets wrote:
There is another thread on here with a 'proposed' f35D, think that would actually be a pretty good option for the RAF who want a strike aircraft, it seems that the main issue against the B is the lack of range, having a version with the 'c' wing and no fold would give a great fuel capacity and range.

That F-35D proposal was for a faster supercruising version of the F-35 with equal range. Mainly to fill the air dominance role and the Japanese requirement for a hybrid aircraft with performance getting closer to the F-22.

A long range strike version lets call it the the F-35E would be a more simple version to make. Take the F-35C and simply fit a wing with equal area but without the folding mechanism. You wouldn't even need fuselage stretch the wing could simply be made thicker to increase fuel capacity and hit any range requirement required. Transonic drag would take a big hit the thicker the wing got. 1000nm range would be conservative estimate while still maintaining a supersonic dash capability. The F-35C landing gear is extremely strong to handle carrier landings so for a land based version it should be able to handle 40,000kg takeoff weights. Empty weight might rise to 17T but fuel capacity couls increase by as much as 50%.

It would be a good replacement for the F-15E in 15-20 years time. I'm definitely not the first person to suggest this. I've seen it a dozen times on various forums
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:24 pm

An impressive image below and hopefully gives an idea of how quickly production is now ramping up and aircraft are being pushed to units.

Image

According to the Hill Air Force Base FB page this is happening now: F-35A pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wing prepare for takeoff as part of a combat power exercise happening now the airbase in Utah.

We can count as many as 35 F-35 Lightning II aircraft taxiing as part of what is usually dubbed an “Elephant Walk”.

During Elephant Walk exercises military aircraft (usually fully armed – but in the case of the F-35, the aircraft might carry some air-to-air missiles and bombs inside the weapons bays) taxi in close formation or in sequence right before a minimum interval takeoff and, depending on the purpose of the training event they then either take off or taxi back to the apron.

The exercise aims to confirm their ability to quickly employ a large force of jets against air and ground targets, and demonstrate the readiness and lethality of the F-35 Lightning II. As the first combat-ready F-35 units in the Air Force, the 388th and 419th FWs are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.

The 388th Fighter Wing and its Reserve associate 419th Fighter Wing, are the F-35 units that met or surpassed the list of criteria to be considered “combat ready” with the Lightning II back in 2016.

The first squadron declared to be operational (i.e. achieved the IOC) was the 34th Fighter Squadron that was required to have at least 12 airframes ready for deployment operating as a basic close air support and air interdiction and limited SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) platform. Along with other personnel, maintenance and support requirements the Air Force squadron was also expected to ensure that enough pilots are combat ready, and pass proper examination: as of Jul. 27, 2016, when IOC was declared, 21 pilots and 12 F-35A airframes could be deployed in theater. Based on the photographs, the combined 388th and 419th FW have now more than 30 stealth aircraft ready for combat operations.

https://theaviationist.com/2018/11/19/3 ... -hill-afb/
 
itchief
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:50 pm

Wow, that is 4+ Billion dollars sitting in that picture.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:01 pm

itchief wrote:
Wow, that is 4+ Billion dollars sitting in that picture.

Well that is the buy price but of course we know that the minute the car leaves the lot the value is reduced ;)

Seriously, that is an aspect I hadn't considered and the jets sitting there essentially represent the future fast jet Air Forces of either Belgium or the Netherlands. I think that is pretty imposing given the capability present.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:32 pm

Some info on the digital process of the F-35 manufacturing and supply chain.

Industry 4.0: The Case of the F-35

Because the F-35 has been built from the outset on a digital thread production approach and foundation, the program can incorporate, and contribute to a broader set of industrial transformations, known as Industry 4.0.

In other words, the F-35 can produce an innovative combat aircraft but it is part of a much broader industrial transformation process designed to be able to leverage that transformation process.

It is a two way street.

The F-35 approach enables Industry 4.0 in the defense domain but also draws from a much broader industrial transformation process as well.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Bauernhansl, director of Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, provides a perspective on the advance of digitalization and the changing face of production in the context of Industry 4.0.

There are many different interpretations of Industrie 4.0. Professor Bauernhansl, what’s your view?

Industrie 4.0 is about complete digital connectivity: between the means of production; their virtual representations, or digital twins; and the employees involved in that process.

This facilitates revolutionary developments in production operations by allowing highly qualified, flexible workers to collaborate with intelligent cyber-physical systems in smart processes.

While Industrie 4.0 has not yet found its way into all companies, it is a trend that’s being talked about throughout Germany, and we expect this to trigger a revolutionary shift in the way we approach value creation – a fourth industrial revolution. 1

The digital thread production approach of the F-35 program is congruent with the trend lines associated with Industry 4.0.

During my most recent discussion with Don Kinard, Senior Fellow for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Production, he underscored how important developments in Industry 4.0 were for the evolution of F-35 production processes.

This discussion took place in October 2018.

In effect, the F-35 as a military aircraft has a very different approach to what the supply chain actually means compared to a legacy production military combat aircraft.

It is not just about what the production of the aircraft; it is about the evolution of the aircraft and its sustainment in a dynamic feedback process.

It is a software upgradeable aircraft produced and maintained through a digital process.

As Kinard explained the approach as applied to F-35 production:

“We are shifting significantly from manual collection of data to automated data which allows us to see the entire production process.

“And that allows us not simply to capture and automate descriptive data but apply analytics to derive predictive and prescriptive information as well.

“We increasingly will be able to see into the field supply chain requirements and combine this with the demand side from operations.

“The supply chain with regard to a production process is largely stable but the demand side from the field is not so predictable and as we can get greater understanding of both demand sides and combine them, we can get better understanding and control of the broader supply chain process.

“And this ability will go up as we marry the enterprise systems, including ALIS (the sustainment digital system) with our ERP, our PLM, and our MES systems to create the future vision for the Intelligent Enterprise.

“Industry 4.0 for us is about automating all of the data in the factory as well as enterprise data such as cost, quality, and schedule performance.

“And it is about automated data as I said not just for descriptive data but prescriptive data as well.

“And we will then be able to look at demand fluctuations across the board to manage the supply chain.”

In a recent paper which he delivered at a 2018 Aviation Technology, Integration and Operations Conference, Kinard provided an overview on digital thread and advanced manufacturing used in the F-35 manufacturing process

The F-35’s development and early production benefitted significantly from the phased adoption of a digital thread philosophy. Designers produced 3-D solid models, constructed them to support factory automation, and facilitated their consumption by downstream manufacturing and sustainment functions.

Recently, technology has allowed the rapid validation of as-designed to as-built configuration verification through the use of laser scanning and structured light technologies.

The term digital thread was reportedly coined by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Lockheed Martin during the early days of F-35 development.

Dr. Kinard defines it as the “creation, use, and reuse of the 3-D models by engineering and downstream functions, including manufacturing and sustainment.”

Phase 1
In Phase 1 of the digital thread implementation, engineering produced exact 3-D engineering models and 2-D drawings. Partner and supplier models, 3-D tool designs, drawings, specifications, and related analysis data, were released into a common product life-cycle management system for accessibility and configuration integration. Manufacturing produced 3-D models for tools and factory layouts that improved facilities development and installation.

For many of the airframe parts, engineering was able to produce reduced-dimension drawings that decreased engineering costs and facilitated supplier NC machining. Fiber placement was used for composites based on the digital thread. Coordinate-measurement machines’ inspection points were programmed directly into the solid models since the solids contained the master engineering data.

These models also supported the supportable low observable structures processes…involving the machining of the IML/OML and cured laminate compensation.

3-D models were used for virtual mockups, manufacturing, and sustainment simulations. Significant successes of the 3-D solids led to large reductions in the quantities of engineering and tooling changes. Solid models reduced engineering changes, compared to historical numbers, because of the ability to provide accurate surfaces and improved integration between parts.

Because of solid model engineering and solid model tooling, Lockheed Martin was able to reduce tool design changes due to tool interferences with released parts. Interferences between parts were also reduced, compared to non-solid model programs, and suppliers were able to produce and validate machined parts to the released solid model masters. These improvements were especially important to the F-35 because there were three variants to design.

Assembly interface control drawings, typical of legacy programs, were not required because the solid models facilitated coordination among partners and suppliers.

Virtual manufacturing simulations, encouraged by the digital thread technology, turned out to be time consuming and expensive, so only a few areas were even attempted. This is one area requiring tool development for future programs. Physical mockups were used for specific bays depending on complexity. Sustainment engineering was able to use virtual reality helmets to assist in simulating maintenance actions with the completed 3-D engineering models.

The digital thread allowed significant increases in producibility and variation management analysis during the F-35 SDD program.

Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing was introduced on the F-35, and variation management analysis was performed by manufacturing engineering. This included using specialized 3-D software to perform complex assembly variation studies. Critical installations were identified, followed by the collection of process capabilities facilitating the variation studies and the creation of variation management documents containing assembly datum schemes.

Variation analysis led ultimately to the definition of engineering tolerances that were flowed into the models, drawings, and tooling, and to the identification of key characteristics (KCs).

A KC is a feature of a material, process, or part (including assemblies) whose variation within the specified tolerance significantly influences product fit, performance, service life, or manufacturability. The F-35 identified many KCs early on, but would likely revise selections for future programs.

KC selections should be made with the understanding that their selection will drive costs into the production system. They will have this effect by requiring the development and imposition of KC management plans, the formal collection of data by fabricators and assemblers, and reporting and analysis of deliverables. KCs should only be selected under certain conditions. Plans must first be in place to alter the engineering or manufacturing build-to-packages (BTP) designs.

Similarly, requirements must first be identified and implemented to better control or take advantage of the variation reduction. KCs that simply accentuate but do not drive changes to engineering accept/reject criteria or BTPs are not KCs.

For example, KCs were put on the diameters of holes on previous programs, but there was never a plan to change the tolerances. As such, these should not have been regarded as KCs.

Phase 2
Phase 2 of the digital thread transformation is about constructing the engineering data to support factory automation. Examples are automated drilling and robotic coatings applications. Automated drilling is used by all the F-35 partners, and we drill 20 percent of the total holes using automation. This includes 80 percent of the accessible OML holes. Automated drilling is about four times faster than manual drilling and its quality is nearly perfect, with remarkable repeatability.

Lockheed Martin uses automated drilling for the wing boxes, forward fuselage skins, and upper skin to center wing skins. We also use it for the center wing at Marietta, Georgia. Northrop Grumman uses a metrology-assisted robot to drill the narrow inlets on the F-35. BAE Systems drills its empennage skins and structure separately using its high-precision machining centers. This is a remarkable feat of high-precision machining, considering the bolt-to-hole tolerances it requires. There is a plan in place to implement even more automated drilling in the future as part of the continual effort to drive costs down and improve quality.

Other automation used for the F-35 include fiber placement technology, which Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and other suppliers use to lay up complex inlets, nacelles, and large wing parts. Recently BAE Systems also introduced a robot to countersink its composite skins.

Phase 3
Phase 3 provides the digital thread directly to the mechanics to create such products as work instruction graphics. These graphics were facilitated by the 3-D solid models, which can be used to create graphics through visualization software tools. Ideally, they would visually instruct mechanics on the floor or maintainers in the field and reduce the time it takes them to understand their tasks. However, for production this intended benefit on the floor ended up being very difficult to maintain. This was because graphics are static images that are incapable of affordably being updated as engineering or manufacturing changes. For the F-35 program specifically, with concurrent engineering and manufacturing development, graphics must frequently be updated to accommodate a steep initial learning curve and significant engineering, tooling, and planning changes.

An unexpected factor in this process was the impact of flow-to to-takt manufacturing on graphics creation. As the takt time (production rate) changed, new tool positions were added and hours per unit decreased. As a result, the manufacturing sequencing needed to be adjusted constantly by breaking up planning cards and redoing graphics. In an effort to circumvent static graphics costs, graphics can be made available on the factory floor. This is done by granting the mechanics access to the visualization tools from their work terminals. Harness installations are a good example of how this can work because harness routings are especially difficult to understand from a 2-D drawing. Early in SDD, large television monitors were placed in some of the work areas, and the mechanics used these until experience was gained with the installations.

Another downside of graphics is that the mechanics typically only need them for a short time. Despite this, however, graphics do help mechanics who are new to the F-35 program during ramp-up to full-rate production. Recently, movies of the critical installations were produced that could be accessed as needed through the electronic work instruction terminals that mechanics use on the floor.

One of the unique ways for mechanics to use the digital thread is through optical projection technology.

Mechanics can use this to visually project work instructions directly onto the aircraft. For example, fastener locations and part numbers are projected onto the inlets being built at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta facility. The conventional procedure requires mechanics to look at drawings and write down part numbers and inlet locations to do their work. With the digital thread’s procedure, mechanics can instead view the projected instructions while performing their work.

Continuing work is being done to capture the actual fastener grip during automated drilling operations. This information will be used to eliminate grip validation time and support fastener projection. In addition, it will be used to kit, clean, and promote fasteners and deliver these to the point of use. This is also a great example of how IoT, the Internet of things can connect the equipment on the floor with the internet for cost savings and efficiency.

An additional example of Phase 3 is the technology for laser ply projection in the composites shop. This was one of the first Phase 3 digital thread technologies used in the aerospace industry. Bulkhead marking was initiated on the F-35 where ink jet markings for bracket locations were printed directly onto large bulkheads. This saved span and costs and eliminated thousands of tools that had to be designed and maintained.

The production of tools for the mechanics and sustainment modifications using additive manufacturing is another digital thread success.

Lockheed Martin has produced more than 5,000 tools for the floor and field using fused deposition modeling (FDM) of polymers. FDM provides a fast, low-cost approach to producing temporary tools (temporary because of the FDM material’s durability issues) to assist the mechanics. The development of more durable FDM materials continues in the industry. The objective is to enable producing permanent tooling and replacing more expensive metal, fiberglass, and other typical hole-drilling tooling.

Phase 4
Phase 4 of the digital thread is the validation of engineering as-designed to the as-built structure using advanced noncontact metrology techniques, including laser scanning and structured light. This technology can identify deviations from engineering early in the build or fabrication process and rapidly correct them, reducing cost by stopping defects from traveling downstream.

A truly revolutionary technology, it may eventually replace coordinate measuring machine inspections and become a requirement for suppliers prior to shipping parts, tools, and equipment.

Additively manufactured tools configured to mimic various F-35 weapons normally take about a full shift to be installed and pass clearance checks. Now, a laser can scan the bays and compare the as-built aircraft to the engineering models, which only takes a few hours.

As another example, when there is a fit problem with a tube on the floor, the cause is not readily apparent. The tube could be bad, the bracket location could be incorrect, or there might be a problem with the structure. To overcome the problem, the tube can be brought to a scanner and rapidly validated, or equipment can be brought to the aircraft to have the brackets and structure checked.

Current scanning technologies typically depend on targets being placed on the aircraft or parts.

However, this will eventually be replaced by feature-based recognition as the digital thread connections to the 3-D scanner technology matures. This scanning technology can also replace the thousands of the manual mismatch, gap, and flushness measurements required today.

Further, it can inspect detail parts, tooling, and assemblies on a first-article basis today. Identifying defects during first-article inspections will significantly reduce the cost and flatten the learning curve for concurrently developed products like military aircraft. Early identification will also reduce the recurring cost for measurements. In the future, the use of 3-D non-contact metrology for recurring real-time validations in an assembly, as well as for supplier acceptance, may become routine.

Applying the digital thread on the F-35 program has brought significant benefits, including the:

1) development of the BTPs(build to packages including engineering models and drawings, specifications, tool designs, and work instructions),

2) use of automation to reduce touch labor and improve quality,

3) integration of the digital thread on the factory floor, and

4) opportunity to validate the configuration using digital thread technologies (e.g., laser scanning and structured light).

There has been an explosion of digital technologies in the past five years and a tremendous amount of continued development in the industry.

In that paper, Kinard went on to add insights with regard to Industry 4.0 and the way ahead for the F-35 program.

Industry is recognizing that the data in IT systems can provide tactical insight to drive efficiency in operations. It can also lower support costs for data collection, analysis, and performance visibility and transparency. The connected enterprise depicted in the figure below is the key to enterprise efficiency.

It improves the integration of systems data, facilitates automated data collection and dashboard metrics, and supports descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. It also connects factory equipment with the IT systems, driving efficient usage and secure data transfer.

Data security is one of the enabling technologies for the connected enterprise. This revolution is in its early stages but will rapidly drive industry to become more efficient in above-the-factory-floor functions.

Further, it will provide needed insight for continued productivity gains on the factory floor and in the supply base.

Lockheed Martin has already deployed a phone/computer application for aircraft on the production floor. It provides information about locations, schedule performance, part shortage, non-conformances, and other factors for every aircraft and component in work.

This pertains to not only those in the Fort Worth factory but also the aircraft and components in Italy and Japan. The application is being combined with a factory-wide part kit and tool radio frequency identification system (RFID). Ultimately, it will be able to automate updates of each aircraft on monitors located at each tool position with status and performance data.

Put in other words, a key way to understand the supply chain or the manufacturing support base is to see it from several optics.

The first optic is to see it from a more traditional supply chain perspective. Who are the major suppliers to the core sections of the aircraft assembled in Texas, Japan and Italy?

The second optic is to see it from a sustainability perspective whereby the performance of the parts in the field drive performance evaluations of the parts being supplied worldwide.

Performance can drive decisions with regard to global suppliers and lead to decisions to add global providers or shift from one provider to another.

The third optic is to look at the underlying man-machine providers for building the aircraft.

Here there is a broad participation of global producers for machines, tools and technologies, which can be folded into the production process.

Also, because of the digital nature of the production and sustainment process, commercial companies, which produce digital tools and capabilities, can be ported into the production and sustainment process as well.

At each level there are a variety of providers of parts, tools and capabilities to the production and sustainment process, much broader than if one simply stays at the level of the first optic.

For example, Fraunhofer which is a key player in Industry 4.0, is a part of the supply chain for the F-35 in terms of the third optic.

It is a whole new world for military aircraft production and sustainment. But the new world is a challenge to the acquisition, modernization and sustainment bureaucracies.

While they remain largely stove piped; the F-35 is not.

https://sldinfo.com/2018/11/industry-4- ... -the-f-35/

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:38 pm

RAF Lakenheath prepares for the arrival of the F-35.

DIO awards $205m contract to prepare RAF Lakenheath for U.S. F-35 fighter jets

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has awarded a contract worth $205 million (£160 million) to Kier VolkerFitzpatrick to deliver infrastructure to ready Royal Air Force (RAF) Lakenheath for two squadrons of U.S. F-35 fighter jets.

The Suffolk airbase will be the first permanent international site for US Air Force F-35s in Europe and continues the base’s long and proud history of supporting US Air Force capability in the UK.

Co-locating U.S. and UK F-35 capability in the UK will help strengthen the historic military ties between the two nations as well, as the partnership between the RAF and US Air Forces.

The contract awarded to Kier VolkerFitzpatrick includes the construction of a flight simulator facility, a maintenance unit, new hangars and storage facilities.

The flight simulator will have the capacity to link to other simulators used by UK pilots across the UK and beyond, allowing expertise to be shared and pilots from the UK and US to train together on a regular basis.

At the height of construction, it is expected that there will be up to 700 contractors on site. The investment will also provide wider benefits to the local economy with over 1,000 personnel and family members living at the base.

MOD is also working closely with Forest Heath District Council and Kier VolkerFitzpatrick to ensure that the opportunities to create employment and training are maximised to ensure they last beyond the end of construction.

A ceremony, attended by representatives from DIO, US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa (USAFE- AFAFRICA), Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC), Kier VolkerFitzpatrick and Forest Heath District Council, was held at the base to celebrate the award of the contract.

https://defence-blog.com/news/dio-award ... -jets.html

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:31 pm

Probably quite unusual to land the aircraft approaching the carrier from the front instead of the rear but good to see the UK are testing these types of issues. Looks like there weren't any problems with it other than somewhat disconcerting for the pilot.

HMS Queen Elizabeth: 'Bizarre' wrong-way landing as F-35 fighter jet sets down on £3bn carrier

A PILOT has carried out a 'bizarre' landing backwards on HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The Portsmouth-based £3bn aircraft carrier tested the manoeuvre as it approaches the end of nine weeks of jet trials.

RAF test pilot Squadron Leader Andy Edgell carried out the landing, which saw him fly the F-35 Lightning facing the stern of the boat, bring it to a hover and then bringing it down, slip across the flight deck and then bring it down on the carrier.

Squadron Leader Edgell said: 'It was briefly bizarre to bear down on the ship and see the waves parting on the bow as you fly an approach aft facing.

'It was also a unique opportunity fly towards the ship, stare at the bridge, and wonder what the captain is thinking.'

Once on the landing spot the rest of the manoeuvre is almost identical to a routine landing, the navy said.

Squadron Leader Edgell said 'the aircraft handled beautifully'.

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/defen ... -1-8711206
 
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SamYeager2016
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:27 pm

Ozair wrote:
Probably quite unusual to land the aircraft approaching the carrier from the front instead of the rear but good to see the UK are testing these types of issues. Looks like there weren't any problems with it other than somewhat disconcerting for the pilot.

The obvious question has to be did the US do similar tests and if not, why not?
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:26 am

SamYeager2016 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Probably quite unusual to land the aircraft approaching the carrier from the front instead of the rear but good to see the UK are testing these types of issues. Looks like there weren't any problems with it other than somewhat disconcerting for the pilot.

The obvious question has to be did the US do similar tests and if not, why not?

Not sure whether they have done it or not, I haven’t seen it reported but that certainly doesn’t mean they didn’t try it.

Saying that I wonder if anyone ever tried this with a Harrier? Probably not given the far more difficult landing technique required and the Harrier didn’t have the ability to automatically match their speed to the boat.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:29 am

Some more F-35 training info about the use of VR courseware.

F-35 countdown: Fifth-gen training VR for the future fighter

Virtual reality (VR) is now reshaping the training environment for Australia’s F-35, enabling improved aircraft familiarisation and task training for Air Force ground crews prior to the wide-spread roll out of the fifth-generation platform. 

KBRwyle has developed training programs for pilots and maintainers for the F-35 Program as part of the Northrop Grumman-managed global training and courseware development capability since 2005.

Since its inception, the courseware and training program included six organisations, of which KBRwyle was the only one outside the US. As the F-35 program has matured and the number of organisations providing these services has reduced, KBRwyle has continued to provide training and courseware services for the program.

"Leveraging over a decade’s experience developing F-35 courseware, for the international JSF community, KBRwyle has created virtual reality demonstrators for the platform. These include a ‘familiarisation’ component, that could be used for those working ‘around’ the F-35. It helps to understand scale, size and the features of the aircraft," Michael Hardy, general manager – modelling, simulation and training at KBRwyle, explained.

"A ‘virtual part-task trainer’ has also been developed to demonstrate how VR can be used to create a highly immersive training environment and experience. This is a fifth-generation training capability for a fifth-generation platform."

The virtual reality course ware is broken up into two unique aspects with specialised focuses supporting the long-term role of Air Force support crew, including: 

F-35 aircraft familiarisation:
Aircraft safety: Focuses on improving aircraft safety, enabling the user to move around the aircraft and interact with the various areas on the aircraft. The VR system also enables the user to familiarise themselves with the danger zones associated with the F-35 platform and obtain additional system information within the VR environment. 

F-35 part task trainer: 
Standard - aircraft operation: Enables the user to work around the aircraft and directly interact with aircraft systems. Crew not proficient in system operation are stepped through the process and instructed through all the warnings, safety precautions and procedures required. For crew who are are proficient, the system access short cuts are provided through the interactive VR environment. 

Advanced - aircraft examination: Users can examine the aircraft, its individual systems, system operation and components using different menu functions and interactions within the VR environment. This is accomplished by modifying the VR environment. This allows detailed examination of the aircraft and its individual systems using rotation, slice, exploded views, cross sections and ghosting tools. 

"The VR demonstrator, like the courseware, was developed in Australia by the Australian team at KBRwyle’s Canberra facility. This is also the Augmented and Virtual Reality Centre of Excellence for KBR, globally, across multiple sectors including defence, infrastructure and resources," Hardy said. 

F-35 original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Lockheed Martin has also seen other aspects of KBRwyle's training capability through the development of the F-35 Maintainer Virtual Reality Demonstrator, which has been demonstrated to Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems in Orlando, Lockheed Martin Aerospace in Fort Worth and Lockheed Martin Australia in Canberra. 

KBRwyle developed the VR prototype to support higher capacity training of F-35 support crew. The prototype was developed in less than a month using the company's Canberra-based technical team, demonstrating the depth of expertise in its Australian capability.
Hardy went further, saying, "The Australian KBRwyle team also runs the global Community of Practice for those VR technologies, drawing in experiences from across the world."

The global nature of the F-35 program has enabled KBR's training capability to help transform Australian industry through the global collaboration used to support the training program developed by KBRwyle. The company has been committed to the F-35 program since joining in 2005, and sent its staff to the US to attend the program’s familiarisation course in 2008 and again in 2015.

KBRwyle brought this knowledge back to Australia and has utilised it to further enhance its delivery to the F-35 program. This has also enabled KBRwyle to expand its training offerings for other ADF programs, including: 

Training design, development and delivery for acquisition and sustainment of the ARH Tiger helicopter;
Development of the ARH Virtual Avionics Systems Trainer; 
Development of the MRH-90 Virtual Systems Trainer;
Development of the Landing Helicopter Dock Ship Walk-Through Computer Model; and
The development of LHD training and the ongoing delivery. 

"KBRwyle creates virtual training systems for clients. Increasingly, those solutions include augmented and virtual realities. There is potential for the F-35 VR Demonstrator to become part of the Joint Program Office’s range of fifth-generation training products," said Hardy. 

https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/strik ... re-fighter
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:31 am

I believe some of the processors used on the jet are coming to end of life hence the contract award.

Lockheed tapped to mitigate F-35 processor obsolescence

Lockheed Martin is being contracted to mitigate the upcoming obsolescence of F-35 JSF essential semiconductors. Awarded by the Naval Air Systems Command, the $41.5 million firm-fixed-price delivery order provides for procurement of new Xilinx and Intel-Altera field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). An FPGA is an integrated circuit designed to be configured by a customer or a designer after manufacturing. They are configurable computer processors with large amounts of logic gates and RAM blocks to implement complex digital computations. The devices can carry out any logical function similar to an application-specific integrated circuit. The F-35s communication, navigation, and identification friend or foe (IFF) avionics rely on FPGAs, as do other critical electronic subsystems aboard the advanced fighter aircraft. The contract combines purchases for the US Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, as well as to FMS customers. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in February 2019.

https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/lo ... an-041101/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:28 am

Training systems for all F-35s except Israel and integrated internally to avoid compromising the stealth characteristics.

Cubic begins equipping 500 more F-35s with integrated air combat training system

Cubic has awarded the first contract related to equipping a second batch of 500 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft with its P5 Combat Training System (P5CTS).

Global Defense has contracted Leonardo to integrate the internal subsystems of its integrated air combat training system aboard 500 JSFs, bringing to 1,000 the number of aircraft fitted. Under the contract, announced on 19 November, the P5CTS internal subsystems will be delivered to Cubic over the next four years as part of Lockheed Martin's F-35 production lots 12-14.

The US military currently uses the P5CTS as its programme of record instructional aid, giving it a real-time breakdown of the scenarios being run and the missions being flown through the live monitoring and recorded mission data of air-to-air, air-to-ground, and surface-to-air training scenarios for real-time training and post-mission analysis.

While current fourth-generation aircraft carry an external pod, the airborne sub-system for the F-35 is internalised and integral to the aircraft to maintain the platform's stealth characteristics (all F-35 customers except Israel, which has its own system, will use this).

https://www.janes.com/article/84704/cub ... ing-system

For interest, does anyone know what System Israel uses when they train at Red Flag and other joint activities?
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:02 am

A couple of tweets and images covering the QE trials.

We have just dispatched the last #F35 for 2018.
202 takeoffs
187 vertical landings,
15 SRVL’s including the Worlds first 75 hours in the air & 54 Training Weapons dropped A monumental year for Carrier Strike supported by our closest ally.
Bring on 2019! #F35onDeck

https://twitter.com/HMSQnlz/status/1064599045434429440

"Jane’s was told that flight testing achieved all of the DT-1/DT-2 threshold requirements, and a significant portion of the threshold and objective requirements originally planned for next year’s DT3 phase. "

https://twitter.com/MIL_STD/status/1064964912752013314

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Also an image of the F-35B landing against the ships direction of motion.

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And some videos of some of the trials,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzkehnT ... e=youtu.be

A seriously short take off run! https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... GkJAEC3y-A

I also like this shot more for the Zumwalt Class than the QE.

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texl1649
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:52 pm

 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:54 pm

The GBU-49 made its way onto the platform due to the need for a A2G moving target capability.

388th FW drops GBU-49 in combat training

The 388th Fighter Wing’s 34th Fighter Squadron recently returned from a weapons evaluation exercise at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where they employed the GBU-49 for the first time in F-35A Lightning II combat training.

The GBU-49 is a laser and GPS guided bomb that can be used in a variety of conditions against many types of moving or stationary targets.

“It’s a really flexible weapon. It was reliable, accurate, and effective,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Johnston. “Like any new weapon, what we learned, and what we will learn as we continue to train with the GBU-49, will directly impact our tactics and will make the F-35A even more lethal.”

During the weapon’s exercise, Combat Hammer, teams assessed the readiness of Hill’s weapons crews, maintainers, and pilots as they built, loaded and employed the F-35As weapons.

“Combat Hammer validates our tactics, techniques and procedures and builds the confidence in our Airmen that we are ready for our wartime mission,” Johnston said.

While the pilots have been training to employ the GBU-49 in the F-35A flight simulators at Hill AFB, they learned a lot while flying in this Combat Hammer, said Lt. Col. Michael Albrecht, 388th Fighter Wing director of staff.

“In a normal Hammer, you’ve dropped these weapons a hundred times in live training and you’re validating the process,” Albrecht said. “This was our first time with this particular weapon. The pilots communicated well, and every day shared things from sortie to sortie that refined our tactics.”

Local training on the Utah Test and Training Range with live and inert GBU-49s will begin soon.

Hill AFB is slated to be home to three F-35 fighter squadrons with a total of 78 aircraft by the end of 2019. The active duty 388th FW and Air Force Reserve 419th FW will fly and maintain the jets in a Total Force partnership, which capitalizes on the strength of both components.

https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display ... -training/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:28 pm

The value of a large user community as seen with the F-16, F-4 and even the F-15/18 is the opportunity to get together like this and share operational and training lessons.

International F-35 Conference

Studying the fifth generation: this week, an international F-35 user group was held in Israel. Dozens of participants arrived from around the world in order to share ideas and discuss modes of operation

For the first time in Israel: last week (Thursday), the annual F-35 user group came to an end after two intense days of mutual studying and discourse. Dozens of participants arrived from the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands in order to share ideas regarding the world's most advanced fifth-generation aircraft.

"We are very happy to host the third international user group led by the USAFE (United States Air Force Europe) – being a part of this community is a great honor. The F-35 isn't just an aircraft, it's an entirely new operational concept", emphasized Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar, Head of the IAF Headquarters. "The reason we hold this yearly conference isn't just in order to learn about the aircraft, but also in order to see the differences in operation between the various air forces, share ideas and see how the F-35 can serve any need".

Dynamic Aircraft

The conference commenced with a day focusing on discourse. They discussed the status of the F-35 in each of the respective countries as well as its technical issues and possible solutions. "At the beginning of this year, our leadership decided that we need to have a division in charge of collaboration with countries which have the F-35 aircraft", elaborated Col. Howke, a representative of the USAF Europe HQ. "The aircraft provides significant advantages, whether through its low-observable nature or its high avionic capabilities. It's a dynamic aircraft, and discussing it as a forum is beneficial for all involved".

The following day, the user group arrived at Nevatim AFB – home to the 140th ("Golden Eagle") Squadron which has operated the "Adir" (F-35I) aircraft since its arrival in Israel two years ago. "The IAF has 12 'Adir' aircraft, dozens of pilots, 60 technicians and four simulators. The air force faces numerous operational topics, and our goal is to qualify the pilots and provide them with the operational capabilities which will allow them to handle the challenges of the Middle East", said Brig. Gen. Eyal Grinboim, Commander of Nevatim AFB.

Discussing Future Pilots

After learning about the IAF, the 140th Squadron and the "Adir" Division, the participants moved onto the "Adir" pilot instruction center, where they experienced simulators and the IAF's growing instruction division.

A main point of discussion was the future training of fifth-generation pilots. In most of the countries which operate the F-35, the pilots arrive at their squadron right after concluding their training at the academy. In contrast, the IAF's "Adir" pilots are mostly ranked Captain and Major, having been trained in the Flight Academy and gained operational experience in fourth-generation aircraft – only after several years did they undergo conversion to the new aircraft.

"Training an 'Adir' pilot takes between four and six months. We take fourth-generation pilots and teach them the new systems, missions and capabilities", elaborated Maj. G', commander of the instruction center. "Our hopes for the future are that fifth-generation pilots will come straight from the Flight Academy, but the gap between the Flight Academy and the 'Adir' aircraft is still big".

Changing the Game

The conference may have ended, but the participants left wanting more. As more countries are due to join the work group over the coming years and the IAF continues to grow, it is certain that the fourth work group is just around the corner.

"Most of our discourse is pilot-to-pilot. The more tricks I have in my tool bag, as well as experiences - whether my own or someone else's - these will help me analyze the situation and make choices that I haven’t thought of before", concluded Col. Howke. "We realize that this aircraft is capable of more than any other aircraft before – it's truly a game changer. The capabilities are unprecedented. It starts from the intel, goes through command & control and the mission command, and to the execution of any type of attack you might have to go.

“This is where the conference's importance lies – it allows fifth-generation pilots to take off on the mission with a better understanding of their situation".

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... rence.html
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:25 pm

Some additional containers designed and developed in Australia to support deployed F-35 operations.

Defence takes delivery of F-35 cabins

The first two of fifteen F-35A deployable cabins have been delivered to the ADF, marking an important milestone in the Australian JSF program.

The Deployable Duty Facility (DDF) cabins are an essential component of the deployable information systems capability for the F-35, and are now undertaking fit-out at RAAF Base Williamtown.

“The deployable cabins are an evolutionary development and play a critical role in operating and maintaining Australia’s F-35 fleet whether from their home base or deployed further afield," Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Australia Vince Di Pietro said.

“When operating the F-35, off-board information systems are required to operate seamlessly in operational scenarios, and these Australian built and designed cabins make this possible,” Di Pietro explained.

“The standard ISO sized cabins meet the highest-level specifications for transport by air, land or sea, security and sustainment and their digital systems are optimised for ADF operations."

Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne said the Commonwealth’s formal acceptance of the deployable facilities was an important milestone for the full operation of RAAF’s F-35A aircraft.

“The deployable cabins are a critical part of operating and maintaining the Air Force’s new fighter aircraft, whenever they are deployed away from their future homes at RAAF Bases Williamtown and Tindal,” Minister Pyne said.

“All 15 deployable cabins will provide transportable, secure workspaces for personnel to support operations and maintenance activities as part of the future networked ADF.

“What we delivered together was not just a secure environment for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter pilots to be briefed in; we delivered a real example of the federal government’s vision for Australia’s defence industry and its jobs and growth commitment to the country,” Jeff Phillips, Managing Director of Varley Group, said.

“The project was delivered on-time, using a local innovative engineering design and manufacturing, with Australian steel, using local Hunter workers.”

“With Lockheed Martin Australia's investment in this project, 40 new Varley Group jobs have been created over the life of the project, including two apprentices and another 50 local jobs downstream in the supply chain.”

http://www.australiandefence.com.au/new ... -35-cabins
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:41 pm

Some interesting commentary from a Canadian Radio Station on Norway's use of the F-35 and how this could apply to Canada.

Norway’s experience with F-35 fighter jets offers lesson for Canada

As the federal government embarks on a much delayed and criticized quest to find a replacement for its ageing fleet of CF-18 Hornet fighter jets, Norway’s saga with the acquisition of F-35 stealth fighters offers Canada a valuable lesson.

The search for a replacement for CF-18 got a new urgency Tuesday after a blistering report by Canada’s auditor general, who lambasted the Liberal government’s handling of the file that could have serious implications for Ottawa’s ability to fulfill its NATO and NORAD obligations.

Just like Ottawa, Oslo was one of the first NATO countries to show interest in the new stealth multirole fighters developed by U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin.

In June 2009, the Norwegian Parliament decided that the F-35A Lightning II would replace its current fleet of F-16 fighter jets. Unlike Ottawa, despite strong internal opposition, Oslo saw things through.

By 2025, Norway hopes to have a fleet of 52 F-35s.​

Norwegian authorities were hoping to showcase their newest and most expensive defence acquisition in the country’s history at a massive display of NATO’s military might during the official launch of Trident Juncture 2018 exercise on Oct. 30.

But much to the chagrin of dozens of journalists, NATO officials and dignitaries that had assembled on the shores of the Trondheim Fjord in central Norway to watch the display of land, sea and air power, the Norwegian F-35s never showed up.

Lt.-Col. Stale Nymoen, commander of the 332 Squadron of the Royal Norwegian Air Force and one of the first Norwegian pilots to learn to fly the F-35s, said strong crosswinds at the Ørland Air Base forced officials to cancel the planned overflight.

The cancellation of the overflight on an otherwise perfect autumn day had nothing to do with the jet’s capabilities, Nymoen said.

“Seen from my perspective, it’s one of the best fighter aircraft out there,” Nymoen told a roomful of journalists during a briefing at the Ørland Air Base in central Norway earlier this month.

But it has taken even experienced pilots like him years to learn to fly the new fighter jets and, just as importantly, unlearn old habits, Nymoen said.

Norway received its first four F-35s in January of 2017. But all of them were stationed at the Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona, where Norwegian, U.S. and Italian pilots trained on the new aircraft.

It wasn’t until November of 2017 that the stealth fighter jets actually arrived for service in Norway, at the Ørland Air Base, which is going through a massive infrastructure upgrade to house the new planes.

Operating and flying them in Norway with its harsh North Atlantic and Arctic climate is a whole new experience, Nymoen said.

“What is different from Luke when we train to operate the aircraft here is temperatures, winter, icy and slippery runways, winds,” Nymoen said. “Those are conditions that we don’t necessarily get to train for when we’re training in the United States.”

And the Norwegian air force is taking a very cautious approach to avoid any accidents, he said.

“We have to learn to crawl before we can walk, and we have to learn to walk before we can run,” Nymoen said.

The first squadron of F-35s is expected to reach initial operational capability in 2019 and full operational capability only in 2025, eight years after the aircraft were delivered to Norway.

This timeline would also apply to Canada, if Lockheed Martin were to emerge as the winner of the competition to buy 98 advanced aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force announced by the Liberal government last December.

The list of eligible suppliers identified by the federal government also includes France’s Dassault Aviation, Sweden’s SAAB, the U.K.’s Airbus Defense and Space, and the U.S. defence and aerospace giant Boeing.

If the federal government manages to stick to its timetable, a contract award is anticipated in 2022 and the first replacement aircraft delivered in 2025.

This means that the current fleet of Canadian CF-18s and the 18 additional second-hand Australian F-18s the federal government is buying as a stopgap measure will have to operate until at least 2030, experts say.

http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2018/11/21/norw ... or-canada/
 
mxaxai
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:22 pm

Ozair wrote:
Some interesting commentary from a Canadian Radio Station on Norway's use of the F-35 and how this could apply to Canada.

Norway’s experience with F-35 fighter jets offers lesson for Canada

This timeline would also apply to Canada.

This means that the current fleet of Canadian CF-18s and the 18 additional second-hand Australian F-18s the federal government is buying as a stopgap measure will have to operate until at least 2030, experts say.

Or, perhaps, they could cooperate as NATO partners and help each other to shorten that period (if the F-35 is bought)?

Also, there should be a decent supply of second-hand F-18s in the upcoming years, if needed. Pushing out the F-18 retirement date shouldn't be an issue.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:28 am

mxaxai wrote:
Or, perhaps, they could cooperate as NATO partners and help each other to shorten that period (if the F-35 is bought)?

The US will have two squadrons of F-35s operating from Eielson in Alaska by the time Canada could acquire the F-35 so there will certainly be an established community to assist Canada, should they go that way.

mxaxai wrote:
Also there should be a decent supply of second-hand F-18s in the upcoming years, if needed. Pushing out the F-18 retirement date shouldn't be an issue.

Not really, jets are becoming harder to find and the Australian examples of some of the better maintained available. Yes USMC have pushed some classic hornets out to almost 10000 hours but the issue is also one of operational capability. The Canadian Hornets haven't been upgraded since 2008 and would require an extensive upgrade to remain operationally relevant. Why throw that upgrade money into old jets when it will almost be cost equilivant to acquire new aircraft which will provide 30-40 years of service instead of probably ten...
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:18 pm

The RN continues to work with the F-35B in multiple theatres.

HMS Dragon conducts operations with F-35 in Middle East

The Royal Navy’s Type 45 Daring-class destroyer HMS Dragon has become the first warship in the UK to conduct operations with F-35 Lightning II fighter jets in the Middle East.

The destroyer is working for the US Commander Task Force (CTF) 51/5 to provide air defence to the US Navy’s Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex.

This joint project enabled the crew members of the Type 45-class vessel to gain knowledge and understanding of the tactics, techniques and procedures to work with the F-35 fighters.

The knowledge will be used by the crew in support of the UK’s future carrier strike group operations.

HMS Dragon commanding officer commander Michael Carter-Quinn said: “Having trained as a fighter controller, and controlled harrier jump jets while serving on board HMS Invincible, it has been a great honour to command HMS Dragon to provide air defence duties to our US Navy colleagues.

“The step change in performance and range of roles the F-35s can provide is impressive, and to be able to work with these aircraft now in preparation for supporting the integration of the Queen Elizabeth-class, Type 45s and F-35s into the carrier strike group is exciting.”

The CTF 51/5 has been serving as a part of the UK and Royal Navy’s commitment to supporting operations in the Middle East, in addition to ensuring the safety and security of the Gulf and the wider Middle East region.

Launched on 7 November 2008, HMS Dragon is the fourth of the six Type 45-class air defence destroyers built for the Royal Navy.

https://www.naval-technology.com/news/hms-dragon-f-35/
 
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brianK73
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:20 am

It appears that Japan is planning to acquire F-35Bs to be stationed on its future amphibious assault ships.

Japan's Sankei newspaper reports that: (Google Translation)
(The Japanese government) also strengthened its policy of introducing F35B state-of-the-art stealth fighter aircraft and multi-purpose operational mother ship. It is clearly stated in a new "Defense Plan Outline" to be formulated at the end of the year. Several government officials revealed on the 25th.

The rest of the article is behind a pay-wall, unfortunately.
Interesting development, nevertheless.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:00 am

brianK73 wrote:
It appears that Japan is planning to acquire F-35Bs to be stationed on its future amphibious assault ships.

Japan's Sankei newspaper reports that: (Google Translation)
(The Japanese government) also strengthened its policy of introducing F35B state-of-the-art stealth fighter aircraft and multi-purpose operational mother ship. It is clearly stated in a new "Defense Plan Outline" to be formulated at the end of the year. Several government officials revealed on the 25th.

The rest of the article is behind a pay-wall, unfortunately.
Interesting development, nevertheless.

Thanks for posting. It certainly continues their intent to operate a fixed wing aircraft off of a ship at some point in the future. Apparently the Izumo class were designed with features compatible with the F-35B including the lift aft lift being large and heavy enough to accommodate the aircraft. The deck is also long enough to allow a standard USMC take off although I would expect modifications to the ships to operate the F-35B would include a ski jump, reducing take off deck length requirements.

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:51 am

Israel receives two more F-35As.

Two “Adir” (F-35I) aircraft landed today in Nevatim AFB and joined the ranks of the 140th (“Golden Eagle”) Squadron. Soon, the two aircraft will begin taking part in the IAF’s operational activity

https://twitter.com/IAFsite/status/1066765448270753792

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estorilm
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:43 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
giblets wrote:
There is another thread on here with a 'proposed' f35D, think that would actually be a pretty good option for the RAF who want a strike aircraft, it seems that the main issue against the B is the lack of range, having a version with the 'c' wing and no fold would give a great fuel capacity and range.

That F-35D proposal was for a faster supercruising version of the F-35 with equal range. Mainly to fill the air dominance role and the Japanese requirement for a hybrid aircraft with performance getting closer to the F-22.

A long range strike version lets call it the the F-35E would be a more simple version to make. Take the F-35C and simply fit a wing with equal area but without the folding mechanism. You wouldn't even need fuselage stretch the wing could simply be made thicker to increase fuel capacity and hit any range requirement required. Transonic drag would take a big hit the thicker the wing got. 1000nm range would be conservative estimate while still maintaining a supersonic dash capability. The F-35C landing gear is extremely strong to handle carrier landings so for a land based version it should be able to handle 40,000kg takeoff weights. Empty weight might rise to 17T but fuel capacity couls increase by as much as 50%.

It would be a good replacement for the F-15E in 15-20 years time. I'm definitely not the first person to suggest this. I've seen it a dozen times on various forums

I know we keep re-hashing this, but I'll keep this one simple. ;)

I assume the hypothetical F-35E model ditches supercruise, as it's already unrealistic and we're talking about the larger/slower -C wing, AND making it thicker.

I've heard many reports that the -C wing nearly offsets the extra fuel in some mission profiles by the increased drag (primary purpose = lower-speed carrier approach / launch performance) so that might not be the best starting point. IMHO step 1 is to optimize the wing for performance and drag, step 2 is usually to stuff fuel wherever possible. If you're ALSO looking at matching or increasing internal weapons stores, you (once again) are looking at a larger aircraft (hence my broken-record posts) ;) .

At the end of the day, I think LM squeezed most of what they could out of a given-sized aircraft, especially across three variants. The notion of these dramatically increased capabilities in the same exact airframe seems ridiculous to me. Starting with an already sub-optimal -C wing and making it thicker for range? No way.

Your only realistic range increase will come from the AETP engine which is basically plug-and-play. Anything else requires a larger aircraft or a major hit in aero performance (thus range/efficiency). Burning more fuel just so you can carry more fuel isn't exactly ideal.

Now - if you could continue the shape progression of the C wing and make it almost a delta, and/or convert the conventional tail to something like a V-tail (ie YF-23) for a dramatic reduction in drag, NOW we're talking. Bigger (delta) wing, ie more fuel AND speed, half the tail drag (speed, range, efficiency) and AETP engine? Now you have the same "size" plane with true interceptor performance; range and speed. Perf hits would be maneuverability, but this is either a) meaningless as it's an interceptor, or b) offset by a 3D-vectoring version of the AETP F-135.

I'm off in fantasy land now, but at least those numbers actually compute for me. ;) Looking at nearly a new aircraft now, but perhaps the Japanese could fund the thing? It's almost what they're asking for - and either way they were looking at development costs for something "new" basically. You'd still retain some comonality which is very desirable for both LM, Japan (flying F-35s already) and potential exports to other current F-35 operators. Of course that appeal applies to any variant we're discussing here.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:35 pm

RAF F-35s already beginning to participate in exercises and good to see the RAF is still on track to IOC before Dec 31st this year.

RAF F-35 fighter jets in North Sea exercise with US and French allies

Two of the RAF’s F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter jets will take part in an exercise over the North Sea alongside aircraft from the US and French air forces, forming part of an “insurance policy” against global threats.

The supersonic aircraft, based at RAF Marham in Norfolk, will be among more than 40 planes participating in the Point Blank training exercise off the east coast of England on Tuesday.

Aircraft from the three air forces, including the French Rafale fighter and US F-15, will work as a team against “threats” in the training environment.

Air Commodore Jez Attridge from the Royal Air Force (right) and Major General Luc De Rancourt from the French Air Force during a media facility at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, ahead of exercise Point Blank (Joe Giddens/ PA)
It is the first time the French air force has been involved in Point Blank, which is led by the US Air Force’s 48th Fighter Wing, based at RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk.

Aircraft will take off from bases around the country, and the number involved has almost doubled this year.

Air Commodore Jez Attridge, of the RAF, described the air force as an “insurance policy”.

“We always consider what the environment is,” he said.

“The point of the air force, the first point of an air force is to be able to defend the country so you have to recognise the threats out there.

“We can see the environment is changing, we can see the challenge that Russia is giving to the international rules-based order so we are the insurance policy and we are recognising that through the scenario that we’ve got, the non-permissive environment, and our ability to operate with our allies, the French and the Americans, is paramount.”

He added: “It really is a case of us staying ready so that we can be used if we need to.

“It’s a great insurance policy.”

He described the inclusion of the two F-35s as a “huge milestone” which “really shows the progression that Lightning Force is making”.

The first four F-35s touched down at RAF Marham in June, and five more arrived in August.

Wing Commander John Butcher, the officer commanding 617 squadron, said: “This particular exercise is different than any ones that we’ve done previously because of the threats that are out there.

“It’s the first time we’ve done a peer exercise and that we’ve worked alongside French and US partners.”

He said “things are progressing well” towards declaring initial operating capability for the F-35s before December 31.

https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/uk- ... ch-allies/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:41 pm

A comparison between the F-16 and the F-35 from a data fusion perspective and some info on what was discussed at the recent International Fighter Conference held in Israel.

The F-35 and Data Fusion: A Perspective from the International Fighter Conference 2018

At the International Fighter Conference 2018, one of the key themes was the standup of the F-35 in several air combat forces, and the impact of this effort on the way ahead for air combat forces.

One of the presenters at the conference was an experienced F-16 pilot who had transitioned to the F-35 in 2010 and has spent several years as a USAF test pilot at Edwards Air Force base and more recently has joined Lockheed Martin in 2016 in a test pilot capacity at Edwards AFB.

I had a chance to sit down and talk with Scott “Shark” McLaren about his experience with sensor fusion on the F-35 and his perception of the combat advantages which this provides the F-35 pilot.

The baseline point is that the designers of the F-35 cockpit based on their experiences with the F-16 and the F-22 worked to provide for a visual and work system that significantly reduced the pilot load.

Then with the integrated sensor system built into the F-35 the role of data fusion is to provide situational awareness as a service to the pilot and the MADL linked combat force.

This is in contrast to a legacy fighter where the pilot is fusing the data up against a core task such as air superiority or ground attack.

In contrast, the fusion system “engine” leaves the F-35 pilot with more flexibility to perform tasks as well as operate in the words of the USAF speaker in the first morning of the conference to provide for strategic inputs as well.

“Shark” described his experience as an F-16 pilot as fusing the data from the various screens within the aircraft.

“The radar will be on one display; the targeting data on another.

“Perhaps a picture generated from the Link-16 network on another.

“You are now focused on a particular mission and putting together that data up against the core mission for which your aircraft and the formation is dedicated to executing.

“The human brain is where the information on those separate displays are being fused and translated so that pilot is able to execute the mission. And he might also be working his radio to coordinate the mission as well.

“And this is being done in a high speed combat jet where if there is a pop-up threat you might need to refocus and deal with that as your focus of situational awareness.”

The training cycle for our proficient F-16 pilot according to Shark is around 24 months to go from basic flight skills to formation flying, to learning the different mission sets and getting comfortable with delivering weapons or an effect in the different mission set environments.

And over time, as the experienced pilot flies more missions he can shape the mental mission profiles in his brain to guide the various combat missions with other combat aircraft.

“Over time, those years that I’m talking about, he’ll be able to build that mental picture, that mental model, and do most tasks, take on more responsibilities so that he can lead a two-ship, a four-ship, an eight-ship- whatever the case may be- and have enough of a mental model, based on the information coming in, to execute the mission.”

Shark added that the role of the radio is important in working the execution of missions onboard the F-16 as well which is also part of the demand side on the pilot’s attention and thinking process.

“A lot of what’s done in side a fourth-generation aircraft is done over the radio.

“That’s why I have other players maybe command and control, other tactical players that are sending me information over the radio.

“Audible communication.

“There’s no hand gestures that I can use for seeing body language, nothing. It’s just the communications that’s said over the radio, or heard over the radio.

“And now you take more time, you ask questions. And all the time that you’re doing that, that mental picture that you were supposed to be building? Your mental picture is getting disrupted.

“So when you come back to it, where is that mental picture?

“You’re probably going to drop out some of it, some of that mental picture. Some of the best pilots could keep track of it. And keep track of it pretty well.

“But even then, some of the information has dropped out.”

With this as the notional baseline, “Shark” then described the significant difference which the F-35 systems and sensor fusion can provide the pilot and the combat group.

“With the F-35, this is where the operational capability changes.

“With the F-35 you have automation via fusion going on.

“That process that is taking the F-16 pilot years to get good at, and almost all of a notional ten-minute engagement time to build a good picture, is being done automatically for the pilot in F-35 fusion.

“That picture is being built. In that same ten-minute scenario, it’s taking less than a minute for all of that information to be presented to him.

“He knows the picture.

“And that’s without any communication having to go across the formation.

“Your mental processing power which in the F-16 is focused on creating the operational mental picture or SA is now focused on combat tasks and missions.

“Your training focus also changes.

“Rather than focusing significant training time on how to shape your SA picture, you can now focus on tasks in the battlespace and distributed operations.

“The Commander and the F-35 force can focus on the effects they want to deliver in the battlespace, not just with themselves, but by empowering other combat assets as well by sharing the SA through targeting tasking.

“We have the capacity to third party target and to distribute the effects desired in the battlespace.

“That becomes our focus of training and of attention; not a primary focus on generating the SA for my organic asset to survive and to deliver a combat effect itself.

Using Shark’s 10 minute operating paradigm where the F-16 pilot is spending 8 minutes of that time period on SA and mission preparation, the F-35 pilot can spend 9 minutes of his time on mission preparation and distributed operations if so tasked.

Shark concluded: “For the F-35 pilot, training will now need to include how you go out and influence the battle area the best for the commander?

“And that’s going translate up to what the commander needs to give in direction, but also back down to what the pilot needs to know.

“And that training is part of a larger joint exercise, a larger concept of operations for the joint force which gets at the strategic impact of the F-35, which the USAF BG discussed in the conference.”

The International Fighter Conference 2018 was held from November 12-14 2018 and was organized by IQPC Germany.

Next year’s conference will be held from November 12-14 2019.

https://sldinfo.com/2018/11/the-f-35-an ... ence-2018/

Image
 
RJMAZ
Posts: 1016
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:54 am

Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:53 am

estorilm wrote:
I assume the hypothetical F-35E model ditches supercruise, as it's already unrealistic and we're talking about the larger/slower -C wing, AND making it thicker.

I've heard many reports that the -C wing nearly offsets the extra fuel in some mission profiles by the increased drag (primary purpose = lower-speed carrier approach / launch performance) so that might not be the best starting point.

The F-35E wouldn't supercruise, but neither could the F-15E with a combat load and CFT's. I maybe shouldn't have mentioned a thicker wing as this can get confusing.

The F-35C wing fuel tanks stop at the folding mechanism. The F-35A wing tanks extend 90% of the way to the wing tip. Despite this the F-35C still carries more fuel due to the larger volume of the inner wing. By simply removing the wing folding mechanism of the F-35C and running the fuel tank to the tip would definitely increase range. This would give a solid range boost without any performance decrease over the C model. I'm sure we can agree that the extra fuel would not be offset by incressed drag in this case.

This could be the most basic and highest commonality F-35E proposal for the USAF. With a 10-15% subsonic range increase over the A model.

You are right about the F-35C offsets on some mission profiles. The F-35C has 5% greater subsonic range than the A model. If you include some supersonic bursts the gap narrows between the two.

estorilm wrote:
IMHO step 1 is to optimize the wing for performance and drag, step 2 is usually to stuff fuel wherever possible. If you're ALSO looking at matching or increasing internal weapons stores, you (once again) are looking at a larger aircraft (hence my broken-record posts) ;) .

Starting with an already sub-optimal -C wing and making it thicker for range? No way.

The F-35C wing is actually the most optimal wing size if you want subsonic range or endurance. You want the greatest span to reduce lift to drag ratio.

The F-35C wing has very large flaps that wouldn't be needed on a land based F-35E. Keeping the same external profile of the wing but reducing flap size would increase the volume of the wing fuel tanks even further. This could be the second more unique F-35E proposal with a 20-25% range increase over the A model with trailing edge that is unique to the E model.

I'm fairly confident you could get a 25% subsonic range increase over the F-35A by simply fitting a big fully subsonic optimised F-35C sized wing. Supersonic range might actually be reduced compared to the F-35A but if we are looking at mission profiles of the F-117 or F-15E the vast majority of missions will be subsonic.
 
Ozair
Topic Author
Posts: 3117
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:18 am

WOW!!!!

This is a massive impending order for the F-35. I've always maintained that the F-35B had great export potential and this certainly justifies that belief. We have had multiple reports of Japan considering the F-35B but I never expected a quantity this size although they may order additional A and not all 100 aircraft as Bee models. This is also a great option for Japan considering the short runway and vertical landing capability of the jet which should allow them to be more survivable in the face of their fear of greater Chinese numbers.

I'd expect a majority of these will be manufactured by the Japanese FACO but possibly supplemented with US manufactured jets to meet delivery timelines.

Japan to order 100 more F-35 fighters from US

Japan is preparing to order another 100 F-35 stealth fighter jets from the U.S. to replace some of its aging F-15s, according to sources.

The plan can be considered a response to China's military buildup, as well as a nod to U.S. President Donald Trump's call for Tokyo to buy more American defense equipment. Japan already intended to procure 42 of the new fighters.

A single F-35 costs more than 10 billion yen ($88.1 million), meaning the additional order would exceed 1 trillion yen.

Japan's government plans to approve the purchase when it adopts new National Defense Program Guidelines at a cabinet meeting in mid-December. It will also include the F-35 order in its medium-term defense program, which covers fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2023. The government wants to obtain 42 F-35s as successors to its F-4s by fiscal 2024.

The 42 fighters Japan originally planned to buy are all F-35As, a conventional takeoff and landing variant. The additional 100 planes would include both the F-35A and F-35B, which is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings.

At present, Japan deploys about 200 F-15s, roughly half of which cannot be upgraded. The Defense Ministry wants to replace the planes that cannot be upgraded with the 100 F-35s, while enhancing and retaining the remaining F-15s.

To accommodate the F-35Bs, the government intends to revamp the Maritime Self-Defense Force's JS Izumo helicopter carrier to host the fighters.

Japan's neighbors are busy introducing their own advanced military aircraft. China deployed its homegrown J-20 stealth fighter in February, and by 2030 some experts expect the country to build a fleet of more than 250 fifth-generation jets -- as the latest generation of fighters like the F-35 is known.

Russia, too, is expected to introduce its fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57 in 2019, at the earliest.

To keep up, Tokyo believes it is imperative to significantly increase its procurement of the most sophisticated stealth jets.

At the same time, Trump has repeatedly urged Japan to purchase more American hardware and reduce the trade imbalance between the countries. Buying more of the high-priced fighters is a quick way to do that.

In September, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Trump, "Introducing high-performance equipment, including American [materiel], is important for our country to strengthen its defense capabilities."

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Intern ... rs-from-US
 
estorilm
Posts: 462
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:07 am

Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:55 pm

Ozair wrote:
WOW!!!!

This is a massive impending order for the F-35. I've always maintained that the F-35B had great export potential and this certainly justifies that belief. We have had multiple reports of Japan considering the F-35B but I never expected a quantity this size although they may order additional A and not all 100 aircraft as Bee models. This is also a great option for Japan considering the short runway and vertical landing capability of the jet which should allow them to be more survivable in the face of their fear of greater Chinese numbers.

I'd expect a majority of these will be manufactured by the Japanese FACO but possibly supplemented with US manufactured jets to meet delivery timelines.

Japan to order 100 more F-35 fighters from US

Japan is preparing to order another 100 F-35 stealth fighter jets from the U.S. to replace some of its aging F-15s, according to sources.

The plan can be considered a response to China's military buildup, as well as a nod to U.S. President Donald Trump's call for Tokyo to buy more American defense equipment. Japan already intended to procure 42 of the new fighters.

A single F-35 costs more than 10 billion yen ($88.1 million), meaning the additional order would exceed 1 trillion yen.

Japan's government plans to approve the purchase when it adopts new National Defense Program Guidelines at a cabinet meeting in mid-December. It will also include the F-35 order in its medium-term defense program, which covers fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2023. The government wants to obtain 42 F-35s as successors to its F-4s by fiscal 2024.

The 42 fighters Japan originally planned to buy are all F-35As, a conventional takeoff and landing variant. The additional 100 planes would include both the F-35A and F-35B, which is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings.

At present, Japan deploys about 200 F-15s, roughly half of which cannot be upgraded. The Defense Ministry wants to replace the planes that cannot be upgraded with the 100 F-35s, while enhancing and retaining the remaining F-15s.

To accommodate the F-35Bs, the government intends to revamp the Maritime Self-Defense Force's JS Izumo helicopter carrier to host the fighters.

Japan's neighbors are busy introducing their own advanced military aircraft. China deployed its homegrown J-20 stealth fighter in February, and by 2030 some experts expect the country to build a fleet of more than 250 fifth-generation jets -- as the latest generation of fighters like the F-35 is known.

Russia, too, is expected to introduce its fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57 in 2019, at the earliest.

To keep up, Tokyo believes it is imperative to significantly increase its procurement of the most sophisticated stealth jets.

At the same time, Trump has repeatedly urged Japan to purchase more American hardware and reduce the trade imbalance between the countries. Buying more of the high-priced fighters is a quick way to do that.

In September, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Trump, "Introducing high-performance equipment, including American [materiel], is important for our country to strengthen its defense capabilities."

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Intern ... rs-from-US

Came here for this - it really is incredible, though sadly also shuts the door on the "hybrid" IMHO - but hey, it's obviously a huge win for LM regardless.

Like you, it's interesting to note just how popular the B variant is. I really expected it to be a very small fraction of total sales. It's really a nod to LM engineers that is has so few limitations over other variants for what it offers, that it becomes just tantalizingly tempting for buyers in spite of the (large!) cost difference.
 
estorilm
Posts: 462
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:07 am

Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:10 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
estorilm wrote:
I assume the hypothetical F-35E model ditches supercruise, as it's already unrealistic and we're talking about the larger/slower -C wing, AND making it thicker.

I've heard many reports that the -C wing nearly offsets the extra fuel in some mission profiles by the increased drag (primary purpose = lower-speed carrier approach / launch performance) so that might not be the best starting point.

The F-35E wouldn't supercruise, but neither could the F-15E with a combat load and CFT's. I maybe shouldn't have mentioned a thicker wing as this can get confusing.

The F-35C wing fuel tanks stop at the folding mechanism. The F-35A wing tanks extend 90% of the way to the wing tip. Despite this the F-35C still carries more fuel due to the larger volume of the inner wing. By simply removing the wing folding mechanism of the F-35C and running the fuel tank to the tip would definitely increase range. This would give a solid range boost without any performance decrease over the C model. I'm sure we can agree that the extra fuel would not be offset by incressed drag in this case.

This could be the most basic and highest commonality F-35E proposal for the USAF. With a 10-15% subsonic range increase over the A model.

You are right about the F-35C offsets on some mission profiles. The F-35C has 5% greater subsonic range than the A model. If you include some supersonic bursts the gap narrows between the two.

estorilm wrote:
IMHO step 1 is to optimize the wing for performance and drag, step 2 is usually to stuff fuel wherever possible. If you're ALSO looking at matching or increasing internal weapons stores, you (once again) are looking at a larger aircraft (hence my broken-record posts) ;) .

Starting with an already sub-optimal -C wing and making it thicker for range? No way.

The F-35C wing is actually the most optimal wing size if you want subsonic range or endurance. You want the greatest span to reduce lift to drag ratio.

The F-35C wing has very large flaps that wouldn't be needed on a land based F-35E. Keeping the same external profile of the wing but reducing flap size would increase the volume of the wing fuel tanks even further. This could be the second more unique F-35E proposal with a 20-25% range increase over the A model with trailing edge that is unique to the E model.

I'm fairly confident you could get a 25% subsonic range increase over the F-35A by simply fitting a big fully subsonic optimised F-35C sized wing. Supersonic range might actually be reduced compared to the F-35A but if we are looking at mission profiles of the F-117 or F-15E the vast majority of missions will be subsonic.

Ah okay, I figured you probably tossed out any major change in speed specs but wasn't sure. That is true about the space past the folding - considering the already immense loadout capacity of the wings, this "E" model could be an interesting plane. AETP means it would still most likely be faster than the other variants actually.
If they put the F-35A gun on it and increase the ammunition capacity, it could be an improved CAS platform over the A as well (loiter time, probably slower speeds, payloads, etc).
 
radone
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:41 pm

Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:39 pm

A somewhat aggressive commentary to the SLD report Ozair posted yesterday:

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... unked.html
 
Ozair
Topic Author
Posts: 3117
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:42 pm

radone wrote:
A somewhat aggressive commentary to the SLD report Ozair posted yesterday:

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... unked.html

Rather amusing actually. Giovanni de Briganti has a good habit of not actually logically making sense and has done so again here.

If sensor fusion is just the ability to combine tracks and display on one interface then every fusion system is essentially the same. Of course we know the F-35 fuses raw data and not federated processed data as done in 4th gen aircraft.

Some slides from the LM,

Image

Image

Of course de Briganti never misses an opportunity to make some baseless claims,
Superior data fusion is one of the few remaining advantages claimed for the F-35, whose “stealth” capabilities are challenged by new radar technologies; whose dogfighting capabilities have been shown to be inferior to those of early F-16s; and whose limited internal payload is a major handicap.

Stealth capabilities challenged by new radar technologies which would therefore detect 4th gen aircraft further away...
Limited internal payload that is 100% more than the non-existent internal payloads of 4th gen…
Dogfighting in F-16s which has been proven false, including by F-16 pilots who clearly know how to fly both aircraft, so many times it is pointless pointing it out to him.

We have long suspected that pilots transitioning to the F-35 are only impressed by its data fusion capabilities because, coming from 1980s-vintage fighters like F-16, F-15 or Tornado, they were a decade or two behind the state of the art.

Yeah because no one has ever transitioned from a Eurofighter or an F-22 onto the F-35…
How would characterize the role of the F-35 compared to the other elements in the evolving RAF air combat force?
Group Captain Townsend: The F-35 is not a multi-role fighter. Multi-role, in current thinking, would be a sequential series of tasks. The F-35 is doing a number of missions simultaneously. The concept of mission simultaneity is really important.

The airplane has the ability to do things without the pilot asking it to do it. Automatically conducting, particularly, ISR whilst it’s conducting an OCA mission or an attack mission in a very different way than platforms have done business in the past. This is something that other operators are working in the package alongside F-35 need to understand.

That the F-35 operator won’t be going through sequential thought process. He will be thinking about the battle space in a broader sense, a much different way than a Typhoon operator would be thinking about the battle space.

I think there is another step change and difference in the way in which the information is displayed to the pilot which is important and is extremely intuitive. I’ll give you an example. I commanded a Typhoon squadron for two years.

Very early on this job with F-35, I was lucky enough to fly the F-35 simulator. and the different way in which F35 displays information compared to Typhoon is eye-catching. In fact, I asked for the simulator to be stopped because I was taken aback by the information being displayed to me. There was just so much data available at my fingertips, but displayed in a really different sense in Typhoon.

So very, very quickly, I knew a great deal about the entity being targeted – sensor fusion at work. I think it’s a very different way of displaying information that any other fast jet has done before.

Knowing what my wingman is seeing and my wingman knowing what I am seeing, and my ability to communicate what I want to have achieved by my formation, by my package, which all may be by the air wing that’s air-borne at the time. This airplane changes the game in a way which we can conduct that sort of business.

https://sldinfo.com/2015/10/shaping-a-n ... h-carrier/

or how about this zinger from de Briganti,
In the interest of fairness, it must be noted that the F-35 was designed in the mid-1990s but only completed its development phase earlier this year, so while its data fusion may have appeared very advanced at a quarter century ago, it has become more common.

Yep, designed in the mid 1990s. Strange given LM didn’t even win the selection until 26 Oct 2001… Strange also given LM spent an average of US$4 billion a year during the dev phase from 2003 to 2010 while the JSF program, to which LM was only a competitor between 1995 to 2001, spent less than US$600 million a year. Clearly LM and the JPO developed all the technology during that 90s phase and just charged for it later in the program…

Another classic misunderstanding…
-- The F-16 pilot “might also be working his radio to coordinate the mission as well…. A lot of what’s done in side a fourth-generation aircraft is done over the radio.”

The Rafale pilot “can select the data he wants, combine it with other data, and pass it on to his wingman or to other allied aircraft, ships or ground troops through the Link 16, without speaking a single word on the radio and, if not using the radar, without any transmission whatsoever.”

I think someone needs to tell him that Link 16 is a transmission.

His parting comments,
Having read the words of its pilot, the F-35 is far from the extraordinary and futuristic “5th-Generation Fighter” that Lockheed claims it is, and instead looks little more a bunch of middling data-fusion capabilities enclosed in a heavy and bulky airframe covered with low-observable coatings.

Shame that heavy bulky middling fusion jet keeps winning competitions...
 
Ozair
Topic Author
Posts: 3117
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:29 pm

Japan looking to establish their first squadron shortly and especially topical in light of the recent reports of intent to increase their order.

Japan prepares to stand up first F-35 operational unit

Japan has graduated its first locally trained class of five F-35 pilots and is on track to make its first unit operational, according to a senior official with Japan’s F-35 program.

Joel Malone told Defense News at the Japan International Aerospace Exhibition in Tokyo that the Japan Air Self-Defense Force is continuing to train more pilots, maintainers and other support personnel on the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

F-35 jets with the JASDF are assigned to the Rinji F-35 Hkoutai, a temporary JASDF unit. Following the training of five more pilots and the delivery of more F-35s, the aircraft will be transferred to the JASDF’s 302 Hikoutai, which will retire its McDonnell Douglas/Mistubishi F-4EJ Kai Phantom IIs and move from Hyakuri, north of Tokyo, to Misawa in March 2019.

Japan initially trained a cadre of F-35 pilots and personnel with the 944th Operations Group and four of the JASDF’s aircraft at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The Japanese F-35s spent 18 months training at Luke AFB before returning earlier this year to Misawa, located at the northern part of Japan’s main island of Honshu.

Japan’s current program of record is for 42 F-35As. Malone declined to comment on reports that Japan is seeking up to 100 more F-35s, telling Defense News that it was “more appropriate for the Ministry of Defense and the JASDF air staff to comment on that.”

The media reports, quoting unnamed Japanese defense officials, said these included the F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variant similar to those operated by the U.S. Marines in Japan.

Japan previously studied the possibility of converting its Izumo-class helicopter destroyers to enable it to operate the F-35B, with a report released by its Defense Ministry in April 2018 concluding that was possible. However, there has been no formal announcement about intentions or plans to do so.

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... onal-unit/

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