Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:31 pm

The USMC continues to impress with their leverage of the F-35B and amphibious operations. Interesting point in the article that the AH-1Zs usually deploy off the LPDs when within an expeditionary Strike Group and not the LHAs.

Marines AH-1Z Gets Boost from F-35B Pairing

United States Marine Corps aviation in the Pacific is taking full advantage of the Bell AH-1Z Viper’s capabilities, and its new pairing with the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II.

In a media visit to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA)-169 in MCAS Futenma, Okinawa, Captain Daniel Kelly, AH-1Z pilot and the unit’s flight line officer in charge, told AIN that the introduction of the F-35B to the Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) gives the ability for the jets to jam and neutralize radar threats, giving the helicopters a higher survivability, and allowing them to perform their escort and close air support tasks. The powerful avionics of the F-35 are also able to oversee the battle and “manage” the helicopter assets below them. Moreover, the greater range of the F-35 compared with the AV-8B Harrier II means that the amphibious assault ship can be located at a greater stand-off range before deploying helicopters and amphibious vehicles.

Kelly also noted that the Viper’s Target Sight System (TSS) is “incredibly important,” and could provide target designation for the F-35 up to a 10-digit grid accuracy, which gives the jet the ability to release its munition from above thick cloud cover. While currently there is no datalink between the two platforms, Link 16 is expected to be integrated into the Viper by FY22/23 under the H-1 upgrade program, along with Digital Integrated Full Motion Video data transfer capability.

...

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... 5b-pairing
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:32 pm

HaveBlue wrote:

The pictures don't show, the host does not allow hotlinking of photos. Just an fyi.

Yeah figured that but too late to edit now. Below is one of the graphics from a different site.

Image
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:46 pm

Italy have confirmed they will be taking the number of jets expected and will be funding the F-35 program as per their obligations. I expect the potential industrial work from the Swiss and Finnish competitions would also help to cement ongoing Italian participation.

Italy to go ahead with its F-35 fighter jet program -minister

Italy Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini said on Wednesday that the government intends to confirm its F-35 fighter jet investment program.

“Renewing our fleet is a need that cannot be postponed,” Guerini, a member of the ruling Democratic Party (PD), said in an interview with Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera.

“I can assure you that Italy’s participation in the F-35 program meets the objectives of effectiveness and efficiency of the military instrument,” he said.

Luigi Di Maio, leader of the co-ruling 5-Star Movement, said last year that F-35 fighter jets were not a priority for the country and that the program had to be reviewed in 2019.

https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/p ... m-minister
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:49 pm

Sustainment contract for F135 support and potentially long term depot level work on the airframe.

F-35s to undergo depot maintenance by United Technologies

The Pratt & Whitney division of United Technologies Corp. (UTC) was awarded a potential four-year, $325.2 million contract for aircraft maintenance equipment for the F-35 fighter aircraft. The contract, announced by the Defense Department, calls for UTC to provide material and support equipment for depot maintenance facilities, as well as non-recurring sustainment activities, supplies, services, and planning for depot activations.

...

http://mil-embedded.com/news/f-35s-to-u ... hnologies/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:55 pm

The next phase of sea trials for the UK F-35s is going to continue in the next few weeks. Last year’s trials were very successful so it will be interesting to see what else they test in this phase and how much of the testing is revealed to the public.

British F-35Bs Leave For HMS Queen Elizabeth Flight Trials

British F-35B jets have left the UK to undergo landmark tests with the aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The £3.1 billion warship is currently off the east coast of the United States, where it is preparing to welcome British Lightnings on its flight deck for the first time.

The carrier left the UK in August to begin its part in Westlant 19.

Aircraft and pilots from 617 Squadron left RAF Marham in Norfolk for the US.

The pilots will be in the air for between nine and 10 hours and will first fly into Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina.

The aircraft will then fly and land on board HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Wing Commander John Butcher, Officer Commanding 617 Squadron, told Forces News it is a "huge moment".

"It marks a new chapter for 617 Squadron as we start our journey towards carrier operations," he said.

"I wouldn't say there's a specific wait of expectation but there is an air of excitement.

"We've got personnel here on 617 Squadron from the Royal Air Force and from the Royal Navy and on both sides of the service, we are looking forward to working alongside the carrier.

"That is the future of the Lightening force - we are, longer-term, to provide combat capability from the land or from the sea and this is the start of that journey."

...

https://www.forces.net/news/british-f-3 ... ght-trials
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:38 pm

Another top up, this time from South Korea who will look to acquire an additional 20 aircraft above the 40 they currently operate. I expect this won’t be the last acquisition of South Korea. Some suggestion was made in the article that the Bee would be acquired but it looks like it will initially be A models and the potential for a Bee acquisition that can operate from a South Korean naval vessel still a possibility in the future once a vessel is in the build phase.

South Korea to buy 20 more F-35 jets

South Korea will begin the second phase of its plan to acquire stealthy fighter jets, code-named F-X III, by acquiring 20 more F-35s, the country’s arms procurement agency has confirmed.

The Asian economic power had ordered 40 F-35As for Air Force operations under a 2014 deal worth about $6.4 billion, with the delivery of the fifth-generation fighters starting earlier this year.

“The government is preparing to launch the second phase of the F-X III in 2021 for the five years to come,” the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, or DAPA, said in a report to the National Assembly on Oct. 7. About $3.3 billion will go toward buying the additional Lockheed Martin-made aircraft, the report noted.

Which F-35 variant is under consideration has been a point of debate here, though multiple defense sources say the government will buy the F-35A rather than the "B" variant because of the former’s short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing capability. The STOVL ability allows the aircraft to take off and land from South Korea’s new large-deck landing ship planned for deployment in the 2030s.

“The state-funded Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, or KIDA, has concluded a study on the additional acquisition of F-35 aircraft, and the study is to suggest the introduction of more F-35As be more feasible,” a source at the Ministry of National Defense told Defense News on the condition of anonymity.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia ... f-35-jets/
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:15 am

It seems like there are F-35 orders every couple of months, the backlog looks quite good.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:59 pm

Apparently the reliability of the drag chute isn't as expected and a redesign has been going on with a new design to be tested next year. Norway require it but it will not prevent their declaration of IOC later this year.

Some other interesting comments on their use of the F-35, with the statement below that they find it better handling than the F-16 on slippery airfields. Also the article goes into a lot of detail on what Norway will be doing to stand the F-35 capability up including taking over Iceland Air Policing in March 2020 while transitioning QRA to the F-35 by 2022.

Norway’s F-35s have a problem with a unique piece of gear

Norway’s F-35s have a unique feature that distinguishes them from other countries’ version of the joint strike fighter: a drag chute that is used to slow the landing of the jet in icy conditions.

However, the the drag chute is failing more than expected and the Royal Norwegian Air Force is working with the Pentagon to fix the issue before next winter.

“It’s not working the way we expected, and they are working on reconfiguring this capability,” Norwegian air chief Brig. Gen. Tonje Skinnarland said in an exclusive interview with Defense News on Thursday.

“That said, our experience operating the F-35 on slippery airfields is that it’s more safe and easier than with the F-16s,” she added. “With the stability of the [F-35] aircraft, it’s easier to take off and land on slippery airfields. … It’s performing extremely well.”

The F-35’s drag chute is mounted as a removable pod between the aircraft’s vertical stabilizers, according to Lockheed Martin. Activating a switch will open the pod doors and release the drag chute — a Kevlar parachute that creates drag on the aircraft, helping it to slow down more quickly in icy, high-wind conditions.

Norway has a reliability requirement of no more than one failed drag chute opening per 10,000 uses, the F-35 Joint Program Office said in a statement to Defense News. Flight testing in 2018, as well as subsequent uses of the drag chute by Norway, have made clear that the current drag chute is not meeting that standard, necessitating a number of design modifications to the pilot chute and parachute deployment bag.

“A prototype incorporating many of these changes was validated by the Norwegian Air Force at Ørland [Main Air Station, in Norway] earlier this year, and that design is now being formalized,” F-35 JPO spokesperson Brandi Schiff stated. “These technical changes will be tested and confirmed through a combination of ground and flight testing through February 2020. ...The JPO anticipates delivering the first compliant parachutes in early Summer 2020.”

...

https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... e-of-gear/

An old photo of drag chute testing.
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