2. OZAIR talks about transition time. Show me where you come up with your figure for a Guard or Reserve pilot. The quote you used was for active duty from an F-15 to another aircraft. There was an interview with the COS AF and in it, he specifically quoted the shortened transition time since the aircraft is essentially the same thing. It is a differences only program.
Mmo, did you read the article I quoted? It made it clear how long it takes the USAF to transition a squadron from the F-15 to a new aircraft, such as the F-35. It is clear the timeframe to transition to the F-15EX for an ANG unit is going to be between 9-12 months.
Remember that those aircrew could prospectively transition to the F-35 in 90 days, but that doesn’t transition the entire squadron, just the aircrew. The figures I provided are for the entire squadron, aircrew, maintainers, spares, ground equipment etc. Looking at the aircrew only is pointless as they can only fly what the maintainers can provide.
Everyone is talking about pilots out of Luke. Let me tell you, once their training is over there, they are only mission capable. To become mission ready it is more training at their home base. That applies for transition training, new pilots. You name it. For a Guard guy to go from a C/D to an E/X they will be mission qualified in a couple of rides back at their base.
An interesting suggestion except reporting indicates it isn’t clear that is true. Yes an experienced pilot is going to come out of conversion with more general knowledge but they don’t go B cat straight from that conversion, they still need to qual up to that standard in their home unit.
At the recent Red Flag we had the following experience,
https://taskandpurpose.com/air-force-f3 ... g-exercise
Novice F-35 pilots were able to step in and save more experienced friendly fourth-generation fighter pilots while racking up kills.
"My wingman was a brand new F-35A pilot, seven or eight flights out of training," Wood said, recounting his experiences. "He gets on the radio and tells an experienced 3,000-hour pilot in a very capable fourth-generation aircraft. 'Hey bud, you need to turn around. You're about to die. There's a threat off your nose.'"
That young pilot took out the enemy aircraft and then went on to pick up three more "kills" during the mission, which lasted for an hour. "I've never seen anything like it before," Wood added.
The benefit the F-35 provides is its ability to allow the pilot to fight the war instead of flying the aircraft. The above experience shows even a new fresh D cat pilot can make a significant difference when flying an F-35.
The E/X is NOT the same aircraft as a C with a wing mod. One of the problems which keeps getting cited is until the first C/D is opened up, no one knows just how expensive it will be. The E/X is a 40-year airframe with much more potential than the rewinged C/D. Plus you still have the same old radar, not the AESA set.
Agree that a SLEP C/D model is not as capable as an EX but it doesn’t need to be. The mission of those C/D aircraft is air superiority and to do that the C/D is more than sufficient. The EX brings a higher availability which would be great but they won’t use all the extra stuff the EX brings in the A2G role and if you introduce that you change the training burden and conversion time from that short months to years as the squadrons work up to those missions types and are trained to handle the new weapons.
FYI, almost the whole C/D fleet are now Golden Eagles with an AESA radar. The radar in the EX is not in any substantive way better than that already fitted to almost all the C/D jets.
The USAF has made it clear there will be no LOT 5 large purchase until the lot 4 problems are taken care of.
You keep mixing up Lots and Blocks. Lots are production runs, the USAF just ordered Lot 12. Blocks are versions of the aircraft, LM is manufacturing and the USAF is flying F-35s in Block 3F and has started Block 4 upgrade work. Yes the USAF wants more Block 4 aircraft as it introduces several great capabilities but the aircraft has been designed specifically to handle those upgrades so other than money to upgrade the existing 3F fleet there is no issue. The USAF is not hanging out for Block 5 upgrade, that is not scheduled to start until at least 2025 and likely a little later and is still undefined in most aspects of what it will comprise.
At the moment the plan is 48 aircraft a year until 2023 before the rate moves to 60 but Congress has already indicated it will fund an additional twelve F-35A for the USAF this year and the rate could easily go to 70+ for the USAF if they can take them.
LM keeps stating the price will be lower than the F-15E/X and I just don't see it happening. If Turkey is removed from the F-35 program the cost will never come down. The USAF itself reduced the next buy amount. That was to pay for other programs which it has committed to. The frames will be made up in future years.
Turkey’s impact on the program is minimal. We have already seen articles indicating it would likely be a 3-6 month delay if Turkish companies were removed fro the program. The entire Turkish order is just 100 jets and we have already seen Japan, not a program partner, step in and take that number over the next ten years.
One issue I haven't seen discussed is the push to return to the Century Series philosophy. If that happens you will be lucky to see 50% of the F-35 program ordered.
Can you enlighten us on what you are suggesting here? I see no indications the US is returning to that type of fleet given the stated desire is a 80/20 5th to 4th gen mix and the F-35 is the bulk of that 80%.
Nothing to do with a volunteer army,
My assertion about an all volunteer army is that there is not sufficient pilots and crew to both maintain the existing force structure requirement while having enough extra pilots and crew to train for the new F-35's. Lack of personnel can not be addressed through money, except if they pay the pilots and crew more. But then that would cost a lot more money than just buying the frames wouldn't it?
I don’t see why this has anything to do with the F-15X/F-35? The pilots come from anywhere and as the USAF has made clear the F-15C/D fleet is aging off and so the pilots have to transition to someone. Yes the USAF has a pilot shortage but lack of money is actually a big part of that.
The below article is an excellent review of the current situation and what the USAF is doing to fix it.
https://federalnewsnetwork.com/dod-pers ... -shortage/
“To achieve the increased production, multiple issues will need to be addressed, to include: increase fighter pilot staffing, increased funding for weapons system sustainment and additional aircraft for both training and absorption in operational squadrons,” the study states. “Due to current imbalances in the production pipeline, delays throughout the training phase from commissioning through absorption at operational units are further restricting the Air Force’s ability to meet fighter pilot requirements.”
It’s also important to remember that the Air Force spends a lot of money to train these pilots. Even if it could expand the pipeline, it would cost a lot of money.
What examples would you like to review from other nations?
What was the gestation period for the Typhoon? I'm not saying that other countries are not pursuing 5th/6th generation design. I'm just saying that until they actually field the new frames, we can not say that they will have better success in maintaining schedule than the F-35's.
I’m confused how this is related to the F-15X/F-35 discussion. The issue today isn’t the gestation period for the F-35, the production rate is sufficient now to deliver essentially as many as the USAF could take, although as indicated previously the delay to the program probably impacted it being the obvious replacement.
By the way, did everyone see the MQ-25 drone being shipped to the flight test center? Seems to me Boeing is proving that their new manufacturing process is able to reduce manufacturing time, which will prove valuable to getting the F-15X to the Air Force sooner.
Again not sure this has anything to do with the F-15X, which as far as we are aware has nothing to do with the Boeing Black Diamond program. Boeing had already built this prototype and was one of the reasons Boeing was able to win the contest.
https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2 ... ad/156623/
The drone moved on Sunday night, is a test aircraft built by Boeing on its own dime. Within the company, it’s known as T-1 or “Tail 1.”