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Ozair
Posts: 5582
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:07 am

More dicussion on the UK buying enough F-35B in the face of looming Defence budget cuts or changing requirements. The minimum Lord West considers sufficient is 90 aircraft which would be sufficient to equip both carriers as well as support a training unit.

Former Royal Navy head orders Ministry of Defence not to cut F-35 numbers in autumn defence review

Admiral Lord Alan West issued the demand to defence chiefs in Whitehall, calling on them to ensure ‘enough’ F-35B are purchased.

The fearsome fighter jets will form the teeth of Britain’s new carrier strike group, flying from aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

But Labour peer Lord West, a former security minister, said a government target to buy 138 could be at risk during the Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review, set to be unveiled this autumn.

...

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/defen ... ew-2994616
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:11 am

An opinion piece by a former Deputy Under Sectretary for Defence supporting the sale or lease of F-35B aircraft to Taiwan. While the Taiwanese operating the F-35B would make a significant difference to the survival of their airpower, as per previous RAND study posted here a couple of times, I don't see it happening anytime soon.

Lease F-35s to Taiwan to Counter China's Threats | Opinion

The United States cannot stand by and watch as China steps up its aggressive behavior toward Taiwan. While sending a high-level official to Taiwan for the first time since Washington broke off diplomatic relations with the island nation in 1979 is a positive step, Taiwan needs a greater commitment by the United States. A key element of that commitment could be to make the F-35 stealth fighter available to Taiwan. Currently, the U.S. restricts sale of the fighters in part because of concerns about the Taiwanese Air Force's ability to fly them, and in part out of concern over the response of the mainland Chinese government.

...

https://www.newsweek.com/lease-f-35s-ta ... on-1537127

I still favour the concept proposed here last year where the US Military would establish a volunteer F-35B unit staffed wholly by US Military personnal on load to Taiwan.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:24 am

Janes has published articles on both South Korea and Japan's light carrier aspriitations. South Korea is looking to accelerate the design and build of their light carrier while Japan has confirmed they will not be fitting a ski jump to the Izumo but will square the flightdeck.

South Korean military aiming to speed up acquisition of light aircraft carrier

Amid the growing naval capabilities of neighbouring countries, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) have requested that construction plans for the Republic of Korea Navy’s (RoKN’s) next-generation light aircraft carrier be brought forward.

Officials from the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Seoul told Janes on 8 October that the JCS want the carrier’s basic design to be included in the MND’s Defense Mid-Term Plan covering the period from 2021–25, meaning that design work could start as early as next year.

...

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... ft-carrier

Japan's converted Izumo-class carriers will not feature a ‘ski-jump' ramp for F-35B operations

The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) has decided that its two Izumo-class helicopter carriers will not be fitted with a ‘ski-jump’ ramp to facilitate operations of the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Janes has learnt.

Instead, each vessel will have the bow section of its flight deck, which is currently trapezoidal, modified into a square shape, similar to that found on the United States Navy’s Wasp- and America-class amphibious assault ships.

...

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... operations
 
checksixx
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:29 am

Ozair wrote:
That one user of the aircraft chooses not to fly with four AIM-120s internal is their choice. I am interested to know why and hence why I asked you to provide sufficient sources to support the statement. You have not and your unverifiable claims about conversations with F-35 pilots isn’t evidence.


That "one user" would be the US Air Force. I never once stated I had a conversation with a F-35 pilot. The information is out there, why don't you go find it?? How about this example...the F-35 demo pilot states publicly, and on video available on youtube, that they can only carry two internal AIM-120's. Not that they choose too. The video was shot during the mid-covid lock-downs across the US. I'm sure you can find it. It's a good interview right out at the jet. Of course you'll come back with "she's an insufficient source" or some crap like that I'm sure.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:11 am

checksixx wrote:
Ozair wrote:
That one user of the aircraft chooses not to fly with four AIM-120s internal is their choice. I am interested to know why and hence why I asked you to provide sufficient sources to support the statement. You have not and your unverifiable claims about conversations with F-35 pilots isn’t evidence.


That "one user" would be the US Air Force. I never once stated I had a conversation with a F-35 pilot. The information is out there, why don't you go find it?? How about this example...the F-35 demo pilot states publicly, and on video available on youtube, that they can only carry two internal AIM-120's. Not that they choose too. The video was shot during the mid-covid lock-downs across the US. I'm sure you can find it. It's a good interview right out at the jet. Of course you'll come back with "she's an insufficient source" or some crap like that I'm sure.

Mate you are completely misinterpreting what is being said. I assume you are referring to this interview where BEO did a walk around of the jet, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoIbyrJFNaE

She specifically states, from 2:21 that the jet has two huge bays that she can stand up in and can hold a 2,000 lb GBU-31 or an AMRAAM. She is clearly not referring to the door A2A station as she states just further into the video that she carry two 2,000 lb weapons and two AMRAAMs. She also never states the jet can only carry two AMRAAMs. If that is all you are hanging this crusade on then I am sorry, BEO is a good source but she does not support your claim. She does support the facts provided by me by stating that the A2G station can be used for A2G or A2A ordnance in addition to the door A2A station.

If you think I am wrong, and I expect you will, then let's put this out to the forum. If readers have some time please review the video linked above (watch the whole thing as its a good walk around but the weapons bay starts at approx 2:14) and give us your assessment on what BEO is talking about and whether she claims the jet can only carry two AMRAAMs.

As for finding information, other than the above, if you are making a claim on the capabilities of the jet then you need to support that claim by providing the reference. I have supported my position and claim with clear factual referenced evidence that shows the jet is capable of carrying four internal AIM-120s.
 
texl1649
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Sun Oct 11, 2020 12:33 pm

Interesting analysis of Middle East (Arab; Qatar/UAE) customer interest/requests/consideration regarding F-35 sales.

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2020/1 ... co/169135/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:04 pm

A pretty unique demonstration and integration which also opens a lot of potential options going forward and what is the best outcome is the services really working these integration points.

How the US Army integrated a Marine F-35 jet into its tactical network

During a recent U.S. Army exercise, the service was able to link a Marine Corps F-35B into its developmental networks, enabling the jet to both receive targeting data from satellites and send it to ground-based shooters.

Not only did that connection show the flexibility of the Army’s evolving tactical network, but it demonstrated the success the armed services can have as they connect different platforms.

...

The Army brought its sensor fusion capabilities to bear. On-orbit sensors collected images of the simulated battlefield before sending them to a TITAN ground station surrogate located in Washington state. From there, the images were run through an artificial intelligence system called Prometheus, which scanned and fused those images to detect threats and create targeting data. That targeting data was then sent to Yuma Proving Ground over tactical satellite communications. Then the data was sent to the F-35B over the Link 16 tactical data link. The threats could then be populated on the jet’s onboard weapons systems, allowing the pilot to respond to the new threat.

In short, operators were able to use tactical networks to give a Marine Corps F-35B pilot targeting data created from commercial satellite images using Army-owned AI.

“We’re not aware that’s even been done before,” Nelson said. “We’re excited as can be.”

Nelson said the exercise took place a few times in the brief period the service had access to the Marine Corps' F-35B.

In that example, the F-35 was used as the shooter in the critical sensor-to-shooter chain. But the Army was also able to use the jet as a sensor, passing along targeting data to another shooter.

...

https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-te ... l-network/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:11 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Interesting analysis of Middle East (Arab; Qatar/UAE) customer interest/requests/consideration regarding F-35 sales.

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2020/1 ... co/169135/

Israel is clearly not happy with Qatar potentially operating the F-35. I think they could get by with the UAE but Qatar would be a step too far.

Israel opposes any US F-35 sale to Qatar

Israel’s intelligence minister says his country would oppose F-35 sale to Qatar, citing need to maintain Israeli military superiority in region.

..

https://middle-east-online.com/en/israe ... sale-qatar
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:15 pm

The Vermont ANG have had a pretty quick delivery of F-35s, going from one to twenty in just over a year.

Last of F-35 fighter jets to be based in Vermont will arrive this week

The Vermont Air National Guard is expected to take delivery of the final F-35 fighter plane that will be based at the Burlington International Airport.

The guard said Monday that the plane, the 20th that will be based in South Burlington, is scheduled to arrive Wednesday. The time has not been determined yet.

The Vermont air guard is the first Air National Guard unit in the country to receive the F-35. The new aircraft replace the F-16s the Vermont guard used to fly. The first F-35 arrived in September of last year after years of planning. Some complain the F-35s are significantly louder than the F-16s.

https://www.news10.com/news/vt-news/las ... this-week/
 
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Nomadd
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:04 am

Ozair wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
Interesting analysis of Middle East (Arab; Qatar/UAE) customer interest/requests/consideration regarding F-35 sales.

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2020/1 ... co/169135/

Israel is clearly not happy with Qatar potentially operating the F-35. I think they could get by with the UAE but Qatar would be a step too far.

Israel opposes any US F-35 sale to Qatar

Israel’s intelligence minister says his country would oppose F-35 sale to Qatar, citing need to maintain Israeli military superiority in region.


https://middle-east-online.com/en/israe ... sale-qatar

Israel won't be the only one.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:01 pm

Nomadd wrote:
Ozair wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
Interesting analysis of Middle East (Arab; Qatar/UAE) customer interest/requests/consideration regarding F-35 sales.

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2020/1 ... co/169135/

Israel is clearly not happy with Qatar potentially operating the F-35. I think they could get by with the UAE but Qatar would be a step too far.

Israel opposes any US F-35 sale to Qatar

Israel’s intelligence minister says his country would oppose F-35 sale to Qatar, citing need to maintain Israeli military superiority in region.


https://middle-east-online.com/en/israe ... sale-qatar

Israel won't be the only one.

No doubt and wholly aside from the fact that Qatar really doesn’t need any more fighter aircraft. They already have 36 Rafale, 24 already delivered or close to, 36 F-15QA and 24 Eurofighters coming in the next few years.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:05 pm

A fix for the lightning protection system should be in all aircraft coming off the production line by the end of the year and discussions continue on who will be paying for the retrofit fixes. I expect LM will have to foot the bill in the end or at least provide some compensation for the work which will likely be done at depot inspections over the next few years.

F-35 jet’s problematic lightning protection system set to receive fix

By the end of 2020, F-35 fighter jets rolling off Lockheed Martin’s production line will be equipped with a modified lightning protection system that will fix problems discovered earlier this year, the company’s head of production said.

In June, the government’s F-35 Joint Program Office imposed flight restrictions on the F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing variant — the model used by the U.S. Air Force and most international customers — after the Air Force discovered an issue with the Onboard Inert Gas Generation System.

OBIGGS allows the jet to safely fly in conditions where lightning is present by pumping nitrogen-enriched air into the fuel tanks to inert them, preventing the aircraft from exploding if it is struck by lightning. However, maintainers at Hill Air Force Base’s Ogden Logistics Complex in Utah found damage to one of the tubes that distributes inert gas into the fuel tank, increasing the risk that the system may not function as designed.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/10 ... ceive-fix/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:12 pm

ODIN work is moving rapidly and the first hardware has already bene installed on USMC F-35Bs. The system isn’t expected to reach FOC until December 2022 but it is clear already from testing that maintainers will have significantly reduced workload compared to ALIS, already a greater than 50% reduction. Hopefully this sees the sustainment cost for the jet reduce to that 25k per flight hour mark that the program is seeking.

First Lockheed Martin F-35s loaded with ODIN hardware

For the first time, Lockheed Martin F-35s have been loaded with Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN) hardware, an initial step in replacing the stealth fighter’s troubled support system.

A squadron of F-35Bs based at US Marine Corps (USMC) Air Station Yuma in Arizona received the new system on 29 September, the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) announced on 9 October. The USMC flew one F-35B with the new ODIN hardware later the same day.

...

Because the ground-based part of ODIN fits within two transportable cases about the size of carry-on luggage – instead of ALIS’s rack of electronics and back-up power modules – the JPO says it can be more-easily moved. ODIN weighs 32kg (70lb), compared to 363kg for ALIS.

https://www.flightglobal.com/first-lock ... 51.article
 
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ssteve
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:16 pm

Ozair wrote:
The Vermont ANG have had a pretty quick delivery of F-35s, going from one to twenty in just over a year.


I can confirm that they are, in fact, louder than F-16s. :D
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:43 pm

Nice position to be in where both the Navy and Air Force want to operate the B models coming along. The Italian Air Force must see some significant advantages to operating the Bee.

Italy’s Navy-Air Force tussle over the F-35 comes to a head

A long-running tussle between Italy’s Air Force and Navy over the F35-B jet is coming to a head as deadlines approach for deciding who gets the next aircraft to roll off the production line and where it will be based.

Italy’s planned order for 30 of the short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing aircraft is to be split by the services, with each receiving 15, in addition to the 60 F35-As ordered for the Air Force.

After the first two of Italy’s F35-Bs went to the Navy and the third to the Air Force, a decision is due, possibly within weeks, on who gets the fourth one next year as the two military branches jostle for primacy on the program.

The Navy sees the “B” version as essential for replacing its aging AV-8 jets on its Cavour carrier, while the Air Force wants the jet for expeditionary missions overseas where it can be flown off short runways.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... to-a-head/

An interesting suggestion from the article on what the F-35B provides Europe for power projection,

He added: “Carriers are often brought in at the very start of military operations and have to have maximum efficiency, and with Brexit approaching, Europe will lose U.K. carriers and can only rely on France’s Charles de Gaulle and Italy’s Cavour, which hosts obsolete aircraft.”
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:48 pm

It is a POGO report so take everything they say with a big grain of salt. A couple of classic mistakes continue to be propagated like comparing the Swiss DSCA F-35 cost to an actual contract figure or trying to claim out year figures for fly away cost and not included.

Selective Arithmetic to Hide the F-35’s True Costs

Last month, while Lockheed Martin and the government negotiated a major contract modification for the troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, stories appeared in the trade presses with familiar headlines: “The F-35 Is Getting Cheaper: Is It Time To Buy More Stealth Fighters?” and “F-35 program costs are evolving, and these savings matter.” Earlier this year, while Congress considered a coronavirus relief package that would have given the Pentagon $686 million for the F-35 program, we saw this story: “F-35 costs falling, Pentagon estimates indicate.”

As we’ve written before, when you look at the numbers, it is simply not the case that the F-35’s costs are falling—not this year, and not in years past.

...

https://www.pogo.org/analysis/2020/10/s ... rue-costs/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:53 pm

F135 improvements being studied for Blk 4.2. I expect this may be sweep up the already developed Growth Options One and Two by P&W into an official program of record.

Pratt & Whitney contracted to study upgrading F135 engine

Pratt & Whitney was awarded a $1.5 million contract by the F-35 Joint Program Office to study engine upgrade requirements for Block 4.2 and later iterations of the stealth fighter.

The company plans to conclude the assessment for the improvements needed for its F135 engine by March 2021, it says on 21 October. The study is focused on what is needed to improve the up and away thrust, powered lift thrust, electrical power and thermal management capacity, as well as what it would take to reduce fuel burn of the engine.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing ... 34.article
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:00 pm

First female SUPT graduate at Vance selected to fly the F-35 Lightning II

f the Air Force was casting for another Marvel movie, their lead is right here at Vance -- 2nd Lt. Rachel Vander Kolk.

On May 1, Vander Kolk graduated from the Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training program and became the first woman selected here to fly the F-35 Lightning II -- the jet of the future.

The F-35 requires the best that the Air Force has to offer - which is where Vander Kolk steps in.

The selectee comes from the University of Virginia with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. She played collegiate level lacrosse all four years of college.

...

https://www.aetc.af.mil/News/Article/23 ... htning-ii/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:02 pm

Not too many years now before the AV-8B will leave the USMC...

VMA-311 conducts a sundown ceremony and will reactivate as VMFA-311 operating the F-35C Lightning II

Marine Attack Squadron 311 conducts a sundown ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, October 15. In spring 2022, VMA-311 will reactivate as Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 311 operating the F-35C Lightning II at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Similarly, VMA-214 will begin flying the F-35B as VMFA-214 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.

...

While VMA-311 is proud to have employed the Harrier in support of numerous military conflicts, the Marine Corps’ transition to the F-35 marks one of the many advancements that the Marine Corps is taking to maintain air-superiority and ensure mission readiness. Though the F-35B and the AV-8B both offer vertical lift and takeoff capabilities, the F-35 is unmatched in terms of versatility, lethality, and reduced pilot fatigue.

The F-35 represents the future of Marine Corps tactical aviation, and will deliver strategic agility, operational flexibility, and tactical supremacy to the Marine Air Ground Task Force. 3rd MAW continues to “Fix, Fly and Fight” as the Marine Corps’ largest aircraft wing, and remains combat-ready, deployable on short notice, and lethal when called into action.

http://en.aviation-report.com/vma311-co ... -the-f35c/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:14 pm

Some legislation that may limit or at least the very least lengthen the process to sell F-35s to Middle East customers. A good thing to do some due diligence before the sales go through.

Lawmakers take steps to slow down sale of F-35s to UAE

Two Senate Democrats are hoping to delay the potential sale of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to the United Arab Emirates, introducing on Oct. 20 legislation that would block the delivery of aircraft to Abu Dhabi unless the U.S. government meets certain criteria.

If adopted, the “Secure F-35 Exports Act of 2020” could have a far-reaching impact on future sales of the Lockheed Martin fighter jet to other nations in the Middle East. The bill would require the White House to provide a report detailing the technical risks of selling the F-35 to any country that is not a NATO member or not allies Japan, South Korea, Israel, Australia or New Zealand.

For F-35 sales to Middle Eastern nations, the White House must also certify at multiple points during the sales process that the deal does not impede on Israel’s qualitative military edge and that the customer meets certain criteria regarding human rights.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/congress/20 ... 5s-to-uae/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:29 pm

The JSE remains an issue to the US DoD declaring the F-35 is ready for FRP. Looks like testing is going to be delayed now until early 2021 and therefore the FRP decision won’t be made until later next year. As the quote below suggests the decision is largely symbolic only because LRIP is already producing at FRP rates.

F-35 to move into full-rate production later than expected
The Pentagon will have to put off moving the F-35 program to full-rate production due to another delay in starting critical simulation tests.
Before the Defense Department’s top weapons buyer, Ellen Lord, can clear the F-35 for full-rate production, the jet must undergo a series of tests in the Joint Simulation Environment, which emulates advanced threats that cannot be replicated in live flight tests.
However, testing in the JSE has been postponed from December 2020 to sometime in 2021, Lord’s spokeswoman Jessica Maxwell said in a statement. News of the schedule delay was first reported by Bloomberg.
The Milestone C (or full-rate production) decision — which was already pushed from December 2019 to as late as March 2021 — could also be held up until later next year.



The full-rate production decision is largely a symbolic one. The Pentagon is already buying the F-35 in numbers that would qualify as full-rate production for most aircraft procurement programs, with 134 F-35s delivered to U.S. and international customers in 2019.

However, the milestone is considered an important show of confidence in the maturity of the program; it signifies that the aircraft has been fully tested in operational conditions.



https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/10 ... -expected/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:34 pm

An interesting concession that may have been given to Israel to gain their acceptance of UAE and potentially Qatar F-35 acquisitions. This access would certainly put them in a unique position with respect to access to source code.

Israel To Get Direct Access To SBIRS Sats & More F-35 Capabilities; Esper Visiting



Israel must replace some of its platforms, especially heavy helicopters. An Israeli defense source who talked with BD on condition of anonymity said that while the focus is on the early delivery of aerial platforms, the agreement signed last week gives Israel “additional” benefits that are crucial for reserving the Israeli qualitative military edge (QME).
The agreement will allow Israel to purchase some “very special ” weapon systems that are not manufactured by Israel. For example, it looks as if Israeli will get “deeper access to the core avionic systems of the F-35…Our source, who spoke on condition of anonymity “cannot confirm that it is in the written agreement. It can be said that an understating has been reached in relation with that issue.”




https://breakingdefense.com/2020/10/isr ... -visiting/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:44 pm

USAF has their first 1000 hour pilot of the F-35A. Vic has been flying the aircraft for the last eight years and was part of the Test Program at Eglin.

First USAF pilot hits 1,000 flying hours in F-35A


During the flight, Lt. Col. Jared “Vic” Santos, became the first Air Force F-35 pilot to reach 1,000 flying hours.
“This is an accomplishment for Vic, for us as a wing, and for the Air Force,” said Col. Steven Behmer, 388th Fighter Wing commander. “A relatively short time ago, the Air Force was standing this program up. Now we’ve got our first 1,000-hour-pilot. Pilots like Vic are able to pass that experience on to younger pilots in the F-35 community. They are really going to get the best out of this jet, which is already very capable, and continuing to improve.”
Santos, a former F-15 pilot and F-18 pilot, began flying the F-35 at Eglin AFB, and has been assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing for two years. He currently serves as the wing special projects manager, overseeing COVID-19 response and planning, as well as reorganization efforts.

...

https://www.acc.af.mil/News/Article-Dis ... -in-f-35a/
 
ThePointblank
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:46 pm

Rumours floating about that the Greeks are getting the ex-Turkish F-35A's, along with the relocation of the USAF base at Incirlik to Crete:

https://www.airrecognition.com/index.ph ... urkey.html

Greece to take over F-35As initially intended for Turkey

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on 27 Oct. that Greece will take different measures regarding the defense of its national territory, air space and territorial waters. The purchase of 20 F-35A stealth fighters initially intended for the Turkish Air Force is part of the program.

...

In addition to the protection of its borders in terms of personnel, Greece is proceeding at a rapid pace within 2021 and 2022 to the strengthening of its Armed Forces with equipment. During U.S. State Secreary Mike Pompeo's recent visit, the supply of 20 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighters was launched, 6 of which will be purchased on smart loan in 2012 and together with the first 6 MBDA Rafale fighters will be the firepower of the Greek Air Force. The F-35As were initially intended for the Turkish Air Force, a program the U.S. scrapped following the purchase of Russian-made S-400 Triumf air defense systems by Turkey.

Moreover, the U.S are reportedly considering the possible transfer of its Turkish air base of Incirlik to Crete, the Greek newspaper Estia reports in its 28 Octobre [sic] edition. The issue is described as "early" but is already being formally discussed in the U.S. Senate. In a few days, the annual defense agreement between Greece and the USA will also expire. The Government will propose to the Parliament its five-year extension.


Big stick in the eye and a FU to the Turks if this is true. Allowing the Greeks to have the 20 F-35A fighters that were initially intended for Turkey, AND moving it's airbase from Turkey to Greece?
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:52 pm

A lot of important questions need to be answered with this. Namely, where else will aircrew go to customize their leather jackets if Pop's leather is no longer an option? Doner kabob? Gyros aren't the same, and the Doner joint at Ramstein just doesn't have the same flavor.
 
Planeflyer
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:39 am

Wow! That’s a huge story and the F35 is the smallest part of it.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Oct 29, 2020 10:01 pm

Planeflyer wrote:
Wow! That’s a huge story and the F35 is the smallest part of it.

I posted it in the Greek Rafale thread the other day but probably should have put it here. I'm not sure it is based on fact though, especially since none of the major defence news outlets have picked up the story yet.

Meanwhile the UAE is looking to acquire up to 50 F-35s. Be interesting to see how this progresses if Biden wins the presidency.

UAE could get up to 50 F-35s in $10B sale

The U.S. State Department is backing the sale of as many as 50 F-35 joint strike fighters to the United Arab Emirates in an arms deal worth an estimated $10.4 billion, according to multiple reports.

The news came as the Trump administration informally briefed Congress on its plan to sell the advanced F-35 fighter to the United Arab Emirates Thursday. It follows weeks of speculation and behind-the-scenes debates about how to structure an F-35 deal with the UAE without cutting into Israel’s qualitative military edge.

If the sale is permitted by Congress and the UAE opts to buy the full number of F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variants covered by the deal, it would have parity with Israel, which has 50 F-35 “Adir” jets under contract, although the country is considering buying 25 more. (The quantities and values of such deals often change from initial estimates.)

...

https://www.defensenews.com/2020/10/29/ ... -10b-sale/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Oct 29, 2020 10:13 pm

Makes sense and in this situation it is good to have the experience the USAF had with transitioning to the F-22 for Allies to build upon. It also supports the statements we have seen from aircrew about how the new generation will operate the F-35 in ways many current aircrew who have converted from 4th gen aircraft won’t grasp. I expect it will be a hard or long transition for some operators though with the increased information and VLO platform see a lot of their current tactics and doctrine completely change.

Wilsbach to Allies: Learn from USAF’s Mistakes, Fly Your F-35 Like an F-35

Pacific Air Forces commander Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach has some advice for users of the F-35 in his region: Don’t use it like the aircraft you’re used to, but take advantage of its full potential.

Speaking at an AFA Mitchell Institute virtual event Oct. 27, Wilsbach said the U.S. Air Force operated the F-22 like the F-15C for “about five years,” failing to fully exploit its fifth-generation stealth and sensor fusion capabilities.

“It took us a while to learn” what the jet could really do, he said, and now, “the tactics are completely different.” He advises the F-35 partners to use the aircraft “like an F-35,” and not like some of the high-performance fourth-generation aircraft they have been operating.

“Take advantage of the lessons learned that we’ve had,” he said. “Skip right to that … and cycle through those lessons learned that much faster. Take full advantage of the platform.”

The advice “resonates with those operators,” he said. The U.S. has F-35 exchange pilots with Australia, Japan, and Korea, and “they all learn to fly it at Luke” Air Force Base, Ariz., so the foundation exists for a good partnership on the F-35 and other interoperable systems, he asserted.

...

https://www.airforcemag.com/wilsbach-to ... e-an-f-35/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Nov 04, 2020 9:22 pm

The suggestion is that even though Indonesia knew they wouldn’t get the F-35 by asking and being denied they can then justify acquiring the Su-35. The US has been putting pressure on Indonesia to not acquire the Russian aircraft but perhaps this rejection and offering of F-16V or SH instead is the justification Indonesia needs. Economically Indonesia has a big trade surplus with the US but also would prefer to pay in barter trade, something they did previously with the existing Su-27/30 aircraft.

Indonesia Wants F-35 Jets, But US Pushing F-16s or F/A-18s Instead

The United States has rejected an Indonesian proposal to purchase F-35 jets and instead wants Jakarta to buy F-16 Block 72 aircraft or another equivalent American-built fighter.

The US decision was communicated when Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto visited Washington on October 15, 2020. Prabowo was told that the F-35 has a waiting list of nine years and in the interim period it should acquire 4.5 generation jet such as the F-16s; according to the Indonesian Ambassador to the US, Muhammad Lutfi who briefed Indonesian media about bilateral discussions during Subianto’s US visit.

...

https://www.defenseworld.net/news/28243 ... 8s_Instead
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Nov 04, 2020 9:36 pm

Contracts have bene awarded to ensure that CVN-79 will be fully F-35C compatible from initial delivery instead of being modified later as with CVN-78.

US Navy modifies carrier Kennedy contract for F-35 and delivery changes

As expected, the US Navy (USN) awarded the Newport News Shipbuilding unit of Huntington-Ingalls Industries (HII) contract modifications on 2 November that shift the delivery of the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) to a single-phase process and incorporates changes in the ship to accommodate Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter flight operations.

With the change, the ship will be delivered three months earlier than initially planned, according to the previously reported schedule.

...

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... ry-changes

The modifications aren’t particularly difficult as stated below but were previously slated to happen post-delivery in a modernization maintenance period.
The modifications required to make each aircraft carrier class able to deploy with F-35Cs don’t require a fundamental redesign of either class. Hernandez described the modifications as involving work to support the long-term deployment of F-35Cs, such as adding classified spaces to the carriers and installing more robust jet blast deflectors.

https://news.usni.org/2019/06/06/nimitz ... ith-f-35cs
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:38 pm

Not a great surprise but good to see the way the USMC and UK seamlessly integrated on the QE. I expect most deployments of the QE will embark a USMC F-35B squadron and this is a good sign for how the USMC will also work with the Japanese and South Koreans to bring the F-35Bs in to their respective services.

UK, USMC describe ‘seamless' Queen Elizabeth integration for F-35B

The commanders of both the UK and US Marine Corps (USMC) Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning units recently embarked aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth have described the “seamless” integration of their respective personnel and machines on their inaugural training deployment and exercises earlier this year.

Speaking to Janes and other defence media on 5 November, Commander Mark Sparrow of the UK’s 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron and Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Freshour of the USMC’s Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 ‘The Wake Island Avengers’ noted the success of the joint exercises that included the embarkation of 15 F-35Bs from the Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier.

“We really gelled well as two units. We worked instinctively together on the ship, and the proof of the pudding of that is what we achieved – we went from [the previous maximum of] four jets to 15 on the deck. The tactical integration between us was seamless,” Cdr Sparrow said, with Lt Col Freshour adding, “From the first day, our integration was seamless. The aircraft were everything we hoped they would be, and with our training and tactics being the same we gelled and integrated really well.”

...

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... -for-f-35b
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:32 pm

Amidst local controversy about future weapons buys it appears that Israel will acquire ten more F-35s. Looks like these are part of the military funding Israel receives from the US and the JPO has essentially said if you want them order now.

Israeli Politics, Sub Scandal Cloud Waters On US Weapons Buys

...

Not everything is on ice, apparently. The Defense Ministry did decide to to give priority to the purchase of 10 more F-35s before making a decision on an F-15 IA purchase. Sources told BD that this decision was made in response to a request from the F-35 Joint Program Office that wants Israel to exercise an option included in the first contract for 50 F-35 to keep the production line busy.

...

https://breakingdefense.com/2020/11/isr ... pons-buys/
 
889091
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Fri Nov 06, 2020 10:10 pm

Ozair wrote:
Hernandez described the modifications as involving work to support the long-term deployment of F-35Cs, such as adding classified spaces to the carriers and installing more robust jet blast deflectors.

https://news.usni.org/2019/06/06/nimitz ... ith-f-35cs


More robust blast deflectors? Aren't the Ford Class carriers already shooting the Super Hornets off the EM catapults? A fully loaded Super Hornet with full afterburners (F414-GE-400) will generate 44k lbf of thrust (source: http://www.jet-engine.net/miltfspec.html). The F135-PW-400 on the F-35C generates 43k lbf (wet) (source: http://www.fi-powerweb.com/Engine/PW-F135.html). And, the exhaust nozzles of the Super Hornet are fairly close together, unlike say the F-14D.

If the deflectors can currently take 44k lbf, why can't it take 43k lbf?
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Sat Nov 07, 2020 11:03 pm

Thrust ≠ heat.
 
PhilMcCrackin
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:41 pm

Sounds like the same problem the gator navy flattops have to be modified for - heat from the engines damages the decking, or in this case the deflectors.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:51 am

The UAE has been approved by the State department to acquire the F-35. The media release is available below. Only thing that really sticks out now is that ALIS isn’t mentioned but ODIN is. Total package cost is within the realm for other deals of this size.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – F-35 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER

The Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has requested to buy up to fifty (50) F-35A Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft and fifty-four (54) Pratt & Whitney F-135 Engines (up to 50 installed and 4 spares). Also included are Electronic Warfare Systems; Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence/Communications, Navigational, and Identification (C4I/CNI); Autonomic Logistics Global Support System (ALGS); Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN); Air System Training Devices; Weapons Employment Capability and other Subsystems, Features, and Capabilities; F-35 unique chaff and infrared flares; reprogramming center access; F-35 Performance Based Logistics; software development/integration; aircraft ferry and tanker support; aircraft and munitions support and test equipment; communications equipment; provisioning, spares and repair parts; weapons repair and return support; personnel training and training equipment; weapon systems software, publications and technical documents; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated cost is $10.4 billion.

...

https://www.dsca.mil/press-media/major- ... ke-fighter

Associated with this package was approval for MQ-9s and a massive US$10 billion arms approval where munitions for F-35 and their existing F-16s. Munitions include 800 AIM-120C8, 2000 Mk82, 2500 SDB-1s, 650 JSOW, JASSM-ER, AARGM etc. https://www.dsca.mil/press-media/major- ... -support-0
 
texl1649
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:51 am

Ozair wrote:
Amidst local controversy about future weapons buys it appears that Israel will acquire ten more F-35s. Looks like these are part of the military funding Israel receives from the US and the JPO has essentially said if you want them order now.

Israeli Politics, Sub Scandal Cloud Waters On US Weapons Buys

...

Not everything is on ice, apparently. The Defense Ministry did decide to to give priority to the purchase of 10 more F-35s before making a decision on an F-15 IA purchase. Sources told BD that this decision was made in response to a request from the F-35 Joint Program Office that wants Israel to exercise an option included in the first contract for 50 F-35 to keep the production line busy.

...

https://breakingdefense.com/2020/11/isr ... pons-buys/


I don’t really understand why the F-35 office thinks they need this order to ‘keep the production line busy.’ Unless the USAF intends to significantly scale back planned purchases?
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:42 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Amidst local controversy about future weapons buys it appears that Israel will acquire ten more F-35s. Looks like these are part of the military funding Israel receives from the US and the JPO has essentially said if you want them order now.

Israeli Politics, Sub Scandal Cloud Waters On US Weapons Buys

...

Not everything is on ice, apparently. The Defense Ministry did decide to to give priority to the purchase of 10 more F-35s before making a decision on an F-15 IA purchase. Sources told BD that this decision was made in response to a request from the F-35 Joint Program Office that wants Israel to exercise an option included in the first contract for 50 F-35 to keep the production line busy.

...

https://breakingdefense.com/2020/11/isr ... pons-buys/


I don’t really understand why the F-35 office thinks they need this order to ‘keep the production line busy.’ Unless the USAF intends to significantly scale back planned purchases?

I don’t think it is a production volume issue, clearly there is no lack of orders for the next few years, but perhaps more a hint to get the aircraft into the queue before policy/administration changes occur. It could also be related to the block buys, that getting those orders in allows these aircraft to be wrapped up within the bulk order.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:57 am

The Senate is looking to add more F-35s above the additional that the House added although additional aircraft come with caveats listed below.

Senate appropriators add F-35s to defense budget, but there are strings attached

The Senate wants to spend an additional $1.7 billion to buy 17 more F-35 fighter jets for the military in fiscal 2021.

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s $696 billion defense spending bill, which was released Nov. 10, would add 12 F-35As for the Air Force and five F-35Cs for the Navy and Marine Corps for a total of 96 jets in FY21. That’s five more than House appropriators proposed.

...

The funding, however, will come with some strings attached. Senate appropriators want quarterly reports on the status of Turkish suppliers in the F-35′s supply chain.

...

The committee also directed the Pentagon’s F-35 program office to provide budgetary information about how Lockheed Martin is compensating the government for spare parts that were not ready on time to be installed on the aircraft.

...

“However, the committee is deeply concerned with the Department’s approach to budgeting for C2D2 and the lack of detail in the budget justification materials,” the committee added, criticizing the program’s budget documentation for not always providing easy “traceability” among requested, allocated and spent funding.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/11 ... -attached/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:00 pm

Israel have received their dedicated test F-35I. This is a somewhat of a first given the aircraft was built as a standard production and subsequently configured for test work. It will be interesting to see what capabilities Israel can develop for the aircraft now based on this additional capability and local industry, not that we will likely hear about any of them.

Israel receives F-35I testbed to develop national capabilities

Israel has received a Lockheed Martin F-35I ‘Adir’ combat aircraft to be used for in-country development testing of specific national capabilities.

The arrival, announced by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) on 11 November, saw the first non-US based testbed F-35I fly into the IAF Flight Testing Center (FTC) at Tel-Nof Airbase, south of Tel Aviv.

“[This event] marks the start of a new era in the IAF FTC Squadron – for the first time in 14 years, a first-of-its-kind fighter jet equipped with advanced experimenting capabilities will land at the squadron,” the service said. “The arriving ‘Adir’, designated for flight experiments, will greatly enrich the IAF’s independence in improving its division of fifth-generation aircraft.” Brigadier General Oded Cohen, Commander of Tel-Nof Airbase, added, “With the new addition of the ‘Adir’ to the lines of experimental aircraft in the IAF’s FTC Squadron, we are witnessing a historic event, the magnitude of which cannot be underestimated – a meaningful cornerstone in the IAF’s inauguration and development of the F-35 division. To the FTC Squadron personnel, the absorption of the ‘Adir’ poses new challenges. I have no doubt […] you will know […] how to challenge the limits of the ‘Adir’s’ capabilities, and lead the IAF through toward new horizons.”

...

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... pabilities

Image
 
vr773
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Nov 17, 2020 12:00 pm

Several sources report that Lockheed Martin was given an advantage through NSA spying on Danish decision-makers, as well as Saab and Airbus during the Danish fighter competition.

https://www.dr.dk/nyheder/indland/hemmelige-rapporter-usa-spionerede-mod-danske-ministerier-og-forsvarsindustri
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/37668/nsa-spied-on-denmark-as-it-chose-its-future-fighter-aircraft-report

Wouldn't be surprised if similar illegal activities occurred during the Norwegian selection process where the US had delayed a request by Sweden for an AESA radar for the Gripen until after Norway had announced their decision to buy the F-35.
 
texl1649
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Nov 17, 2020 1:35 pm

Not surprising really. The US Intelligence community was thoroughly politicized/abused during the 2009-2016 period in particular. It's been out of control since legislation largely consolidated/enlarged it's power (Patriot Act) post 9/11 really.

Plausibly, knowledge of these abuses are part of the reason Germany simply won't consider the F-35, as well. It's very corrosive toward relationships, as Merkel would probably attest.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:36 pm

vr773 wrote:
Several sources report that Lockheed Martin was given an advantage through NSA spying on Danish decision-makers, as well as Saab and Airbus during the Danish fighter competition.

https://www.dr.dk/nyheder/indland/hemmelige-rapporter-usa-spionerede-mod-danske-ministerier-og-forsvarsindustri
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/37668/nsa-spied-on-denmark-as-it-chose-its-future-fighter-aircraft-report

Agree 100% no one wants to be spied on but I’m struggling to see how much of an impact this would have had on this selection. What info above and beyond what was available in the contract documents and assessment criteria provided to LM, Boeing and Airbus would have influenced LM or Boeing’s bid here? When a company bids on a big contract like this they are completely aware of the requirements, the selection criteria and the weighting and their bid is submitted multiple times across the process and refined each time based on the feedback provided. Same process happening in Finland, Switzerland etc. I expect LM thought Boeing would be their biggest challenger, and vice versa, over Airbus while Saab and Dassault withdrew anyway.

You would expect the classified information was handled Government to Government via appropriate channels and not transferred over the internet so not spied upon. That just leaves the commercial in confidence information which would be about general airframe and bid details, such as bid value, perhaps maintenance timeframes, contractual changes etc. Perhaps good information to have but hardly earth shattering, LM and Boeing’s bid still have to meet the criteria specified in the contract and no matter the info they have the Danes still subsequently evaluated each bid based on their criteria.

vr773 wrote:
Wouldn't be surprised if similar illegal activities occurred during the Norwegian selection process where the US had delayed a request by Sweden for an AESA radar for the Gripen until after Norway had announced their decision to buy the F-35.

Saab and Sweden themselves have already admitted the Gripen proposed to Norway wasn’t capable enough to win the contest. For example in the Journal of Electronic Defense published in Nov 2019 is an article titled More than meets the Eye – MFS EW system provides the invisible shield for Gripen E is the following quote,

“They [Norway] selected another fighter to meet their needs,” Kristoffer Broqvist, Project Manager Survivability and EW for Gripen E in the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV), told the EW conference in May. “We wanted to understand the reasons for their decision.”
“While we disagreed, or didn’t understand, in many areas, it was clear to us that they weren’t happy with the EW solution offered with the Gripen as it looked in 2008,” he continued. “We did our own thorough evaluation, and decided Norway was right – we didn’t like it either.”

The whole article is worth a read because it clearly acknowledges how much additional design effort and development was still required. Saab first flew the Gripen NG with an AESA in 2009 only after the Gripen NG demonstrator had its first flight in 2008. The NG just wasn’t mature enough to be considered seriously. Yes the F-35 was also still in development at that stage but the project had the backing of significant governments and reputable Air Forces and therefore was a lot more secure.

texl1649 wrote:
Plausibly, knowledge of these abuses are part of the reason Germany simply won't consider the F-35, as well. It's very corrosive toward relationships, as Merkel would probably attest.

That doesn’t make a lot of sense though as Germany is looking to acquire SH. I doubt LM would have some special track for US Industrial espionage over Boeing and therefore each would be viewed in the same light if that was the context. Brazil is a good example of this, Boeing lost the Brazilian bid which it was highly favoured to win by almost the whole military news media due to the Snowden releases.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/12/19/bo ... d-snowden/
https://de.reuters.com/article/us-brazi ... 1C20131218

Germany not acquiring the F-35 is first and foremost the result of Airbus and Dassault pressure related to FCAS. We know from previously released info that the F-35 was the preference of the German Air Force but political pressure around FCAS and domestic industrial pressure pushed them away. https://theaviationgeekclub.com/german- ... ting-f-35/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:51 pm

Interesting software tool developed collaboratively between the US and Australian defence scientists.

AUSSIE SCIENTIST LEADS US TEAM TO PIONEER F-35 WEAPON UPGRADE

An Australian scientist has led a US-based team to pioneer a new tool that allows for a greater range of weapons to be loaded on to F-35s, writes Stephen Kuper.

Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) engineer Regina Blyth headed the development of a ‘computational aerodynamics modelling capability’, which is now fully validated.

Blyth explained the importance of the research and development and collaborative program with the US Air Force, stating, “Especially within the context of limited availability of flight test aircraft, and with experimental data from Australian and US wind-tunnel facilities as yet unavailable, computational aerodynamics modelling tools have bridged the capability gap and resulted in a highly-valued Defence outcome.”

...

https://australianaviation.com.au/2020/ ... n-upgrade/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:54 pm

Greece has officially requested to acquire the F-35, seeking between 18 to 24 aircraft and interestingly have also stated they would acquire used aircraft if available.

Its Official: Greece Request Purchase of 5th Generation American F-35 Stealth Fighter jets

Following the decision of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to purchase 18 twin-engine French Rafale fighter jets (six new and 12 slightly used), Greece has officially asked Washington for the immediate purchase of the fifth generation American F-35 fighter jet.
The official Letter of Request (LOR) letter from the Department of Defense was sent to the US Government on November 6, reported Proto Thema.
“The decision to enter (Greece) in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program will be based on a variety of factors such as the fighter delivery schedule, the repayment plan, the configuration of the aircraft and a possible combination to obtain a total of 18 to 24 jets (new or used by the US Air Force, if available),” is mentioned in the Letter of Expression of Interest of the Greek Ministry of National Defense dated November 6.
“Your immediate response will be appreciated,” reads the letter from Greece’s Ministry of National Defense, signed by the Director General of Armaments and Investments, Theodoros Lagios.

...

https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/11/16/g ... ghter-jet/
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:06 am

Ozair wrote:
Interesting software tool developed collaboratively between the US and Australian defence scientists.

AUSSIE SCIENTIST LEADS US TEAM TO PIONEER F-35 WEAPON UPGRADE

An Australian scientist has led a US-based team to pioneer a new tool that allows for a greater range of weapons to be loaded on to F-35s, writes Stephen Kuper....


Yet another instance of Australian scientists punching well above their weight class. Very impressive!
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:07 am

Another example of how the USAF is slowing bringing down the sustainment cost of the aircraft by implementing new procedures and training additional units and bases to handle the maintenance of the aircraft.

Armament shop maintains F-35 weapons system equipment

Airmen from the 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron F-35A Lightning II armament shop are building a capability the Air Force may benchmark to store and maintain alternate mission equipment for the F-35’s weapons system.

While the Air Force has 17 F-35 units, only two have a similar capability, and the 56th EMS is establishing procedures for future F-35A units to employ.

The 56th Maintenance Group established the AME shop in May 2019 and, in addition to inspecting and ordering supplies including F-35 adapters, pylons and launchers.

Alternate mission equipment is “basically, any equipment that’s needed to either launch a missile or drop a munition, or anything that deals with the gun system has to come through us,” said Staff Sgt. Peter Christopher, 56th EMS F-35 AME supervisor. “And there's quite a bit among each of the four F-35 squadrons. There are hundreds and hundreds of pieces of equipment.”

Before the Luke’s F-35 AME shop was established, F-35 aircraft maintenance personnel stored weapons equipment in hangars, warehouses and designated AME rooms. While maintenance Airmen stored the equipment in accordance with technical orders and instructions, a centralized storage facility to easily access the equipment was not available, said Christopher.

“Now there's a central point where somebody inspects and takes care of the equipment,” said Christopher.

After receiving and cataloging F-35 weapons parts, the 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron delivers the inventory to the AME shop where Airmen organize the equipment and store it in crates for future use.

“It's really a nonstop game of Tetris here,” said Christopher. “It's basically about finding the space to get in all the equipment.”

Not only is the F-35 armament shop one of few in the Air Force, it is one of the few with Airmen qualified to repair the F-35 bulk loader, an ammunition loading system that loads 25mm rounds into the F-35 GAU-22 25mm cannon’s linkless ammunition handling system.

“Every base that has F-35s currently has bulk loaders because they're used as long as they're firing the gun,” said Senior Airman Janey Sawmiller, 56th EMS F-35 maintenance supervisor. “Most bases just don't have a back shop that's working on them.”

Previously, if the bulk loaders required maintenance, maintenance Airmen sent the equipment to the manufacturing warehouse for repairs. Now all the maintenance is performed in the armament shop. Sawmiller said having maintenance in-house saves the Air Force time and money.

“I like learning something new that no one has ever done before,” said Sawmiller. “I also like the hands-on maintenance aspect.”

According to Christopher, the armament shop is creating benchmark for what a standard AME squadron should look like in the Air Force.

“In a small capacity, we’re turning into the focal point for transfers and setups of new AME squadrons on other bases,” said Christopher. “It's not official, but we've managed to get a course of action such that allows other bases to use us as an interim for getting their new squadron set up.”


https://www.aetc.af.mil/News/Article/24 ... equipment/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:15 am

F135 is undergoing additional testing for a new fan rotor design likely related to either of the Growth Options P&W have proposed. Impressive facility to be able to simulate what they do!

F135 testing resumes at Arnold

Testing of the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine has resumed in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex J2 Engine Test Cell at Arnold Air Force Base.

The test team is seeking to validate the structural integrity and aerodynamic characteristics of a new fan rotor design for the F135, the powerhouse of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II.

In J2, altitudes up to 75,000 feet can be simulated, along with temperatures from -60 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Flight speeds of up to Mach 2.6 can also be simulated.

Testing of the engine began in J2 in 2019, but was stopped because of a planned outage to accommodate maintenance. Once that outage concluded, testing resumed with an expectation to continue into early 2021.

“Test results to date have been positive and encouraging, and early results allowed us to complete an AMT (Accelerated Mission Test) with the same newly-designed rotor,” said 2nd Lt. Gregory Landrum, AEDC Jet Engine Test project manager.

“The test team that has been conducting this test has been highly involved and has worked closely with personnel from Pratt & Whitney and the JSF Joint Program Office to frame the desired objectives and collect data toward those objectives.”

The F135 program has conducted more than 5,500 hours of testing in test cells across AEDC.

https://www.robins.af.mil/News/Article- ... at-arnold/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:11 am

Perhaps no F-35s just yet for the UAE with Trump trying to cut corners to get it done before he leaves office.

Lawmakers introduce resolutions to block Trump’s F-35 sale to UAE

A bipartisan group of lawmakers have introduced new legislation Wednesday that would halt the Trump administration’s push to circumvent Congress and expedite a $23 billion sale of F-35 fighter jets, Reaper drones and munitions to the United Arab Emirates.

A series of resolutions were announced after lawmakers said they failed to get satisfactory answers from State Department officials over plans to sell the sophisticated weapons. Lawmakers say the administration’s rush to complete the sale is ignoring risks to sensitive military technology posed by UAE’s ties to Russia and China ― and to Israel’s military edge in the Middle East.

Proposed by Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.; Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., four joint resolutions would reject the sale of 50 F-35s, 18 MQ–9B Reapers, as well as thousands of munitions and hundreds of missiles of various types. Altogether the sale, cleared by the State Department just over a week ago, would constitute the second-largest ever sale of U.S. drones to a single country.

“As I tried to warn the Trump administration, circumventing deliberative processes for considering a massive infusion of weapons to a country in a volatile region with multiple ongoing conflicts is downright irresponsible,” Menendez, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s top Democrat, said in a statement.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/congress/20 ... le-to-uae/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:05 am

Really good write up in AFM on the Vermont ANG and their transition to the F-35. Being the first ANG unit to convert to the F-35 required some significant effort and preparation and that is borne out in the article. Also interesting that the unit transitioned from CAS to SEAD with the F-35.

PDF of the article can be downloaded at the link below.
http://www.f-16.net/forum/download/file ... 0847befa86
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