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Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:08 am

No surprise on these awards but some Madison locals will not be happy, there has been a lot of resistance to the probable basing of aircraft there.

Wisconsin, Alabama awarded F-35 fighter jets

Air National Guard units based in Wisconsin and Alabama have been awarded squadrons of F-35 fighter jets, the U.S. Air Force announced Wednesday, overcoming vocal opposition from people who live near the base in Wisconsin's capital city.

The jets will be placed with the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing at Truax Field in Madison and with the 187th Fighter Wing at Dannelly Field in Montgomery, Alabama. The first jets are expected to arrive in late 2023.

The jets will replace older F-16 aircraft and will allow the Air Force to meet other requirements for readiness and training, the Air Force said in a statement.

...

https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/wis ... s-70167056
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:12 pm

Looks like South Korea will postpone payments for equipment including F-35s as it deals with the costs of fighting COVID-19.

South Korea cuts defence budget in response to pandemic

South Korea has announced a cut to its 2020 defence budget in response to Covid-19. The move means the country is one of the first in the world to officially reduce military spending due to the impact of the pandemic.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) in Seoul said in a statement on 16 April that the 2020 defence budget will be cut by KRW904.7 billion (USD738 million).

...

According to Kim, the MND will also look to postpone by a year payment for some military equipment including Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft and the Lockheed Martin Aegis Combat System. "No delay in introduction or deployment of any equipment is expected due to the budget cut," he said, according to Yonhap.

...

https://www.janes.com/article/95556/cov ... o-pandemic
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:23 pm

The Fighter Pilot Podcast recently covered the F-35 with a test pilot who was involved in the testing of all three variants. he has some good stories and insight into the capability and certainly, IMO, takes a very balanced view of the aircraft. The episode also features Dave Berke with his experiences and some commentary on the future of dog-fighting and how much of a leap the F-35 is over even the F-22.

078 - F-35 Lightning II

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is the most advanced aerial weapon system ever fielded. The 5th generation fighter jet is also the most expensive, spent the longest in development, and involves more partners and assembly in more locations than any other aircraft in history.

It is also the most lethal.

This week, U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Tucker “Cinco” Hamilton, former F-35 test pilot, joins us to explore this aircraft’s developmental legacy and present lethality. Are parts of it really made in 48 of the 50 American states? Did it really lose to an F-16 in dogfighting tests? We cover these topics, and many more, with Cinco and previous guest Dave “Chip” Berke who returns to help out as co-host.

https://www.fighterpilotpodcast.com/epi ... htning-ii/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:27 pm

An updated JSOW weapon, the C-1 NEW, will move through certification for the F-35 more rapidly than previously expected. The new version allows re-targeting after launch against stationary targets. I expect a number would be launched and as critical targets are struck follow on weapons will be redirected to new targets.

CSB accelerates JSOW C-1 NEW integration on F-35

The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) Configuration Steering Board (CSB) has approved an accelerated timeline to integrate a Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) C-1 full Network-Enabled Weapons (NEW) capability on the F-35 Lightning II platform.

Sanctioned in February, the CSB decision accelerates by approximately two years the JSOW C-1 NEW capability on the F-35, with funding already programmed to support the C-1 integration effort. NEW effectively enables a Moving Maritime Target (MMT) capability for the C-1.

A joint US Navy (USN)-led USN/US Air Force (USAF) programme, the Raytheon Missiles & Defence (RMD) AGM-154 JSOW is comprised of a family of 1,000 Ib-class, advanced glide munitions. The AGM-154C-1, along with the AGM-154C (JSOW Block IIIC), are the latest design JSOW production variants.

The AGM-154C incorporates the UK-developed BROACH (Bomb Royal Ordnance Augmented Charge) multi-stage warhead – consisting of a 100 kg (220 lb) penetrating shaped-charge in front of a 145 kg (320 lb) conventional follow-through warhead, an uncooled, long-wave imaging infrared (IIR) seeker with autonomous target acquisition algorithms for precision Stationary Land Target (SLT) engagements.

The AGM-154C-1 NEW variant adds a Rockwell Collins TacNet 1.5 dual-waveform (UHF and Link 16) Strike Common Weapon Datalink (SCWDL), enabling the weapon – which can interface with the USN/USAF Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS) – to be retargeted after launch, for Stationary Land Target (SLT)/Re-locatable Land Target (RLT) engagements. The JSOW C-1 weapon also incorporates a redesign of, and software modification to, the IIR seeker algorithm to support a network-enabled MMT engagement capability. The JSOW C Block III and C-1 variants have a stated range of 130 km (80.0 miles/70.0 n miles) at high altitude (40,000 ft), and 22 km (13.7 miles/11.9 n miles) at low altitude.

...

https://www.janes.com/article/95608/csb ... on-on-f-35
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:29 pm

1000 pilots and 9000 maintainers now trained on the F-35!

Lockheed Reaches 1K Milestone for F-35 Pilot Training

Lockheed Martin has achieved training milestones for pilots and maintenance personnel under the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet program, Defence Blog reported Friday.

Lockheed has trained 1K pilots and 9K maintainers through the company’s Full Mission Simulators which allow virtual training to commence along with live flights.

Seventy percent of flight line training occurs through simulated exercises designed to mimic electronic warfare, air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, according to the report.

...

https://blog.executivebiz.com/2020/04/l ... -training/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:32 pm

A new canopy manufacturer has had their F-35 canopy tested. Will be good to have a second manufacturer and interesting that they test the ejection seat and the canopy to ensure that the pilot can safely (relatively) eject from the aircraft even if the charges designed to fracture the canopy do not activate.

...

A recent joint effort between members of the Air Force Test Center, F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office, Lockheed Martin, Martin Baker, BAE Systems and leadership at Holloman Air Force Base High Speed Test Track led to the successful test of an F-35 static ejection seat using a canopy transparency from a new manufacturer. The purpose of this test was to demonstrate that the ejection seat could penetrate through the canopy without severely injuring the pilot should the Transparency Removal System, a charge designed to fracture the cockpit canopy acrylic before ejection, fails to activate. This was a critical milestone for the F-35 enterprise as it works to qualify a second vendor to ensure there are sufficient canopies available to meet the demands of the global fleet.

...

https://www.miragenews.com/afmc-mission ... -new-norm/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:50 pm

Some info on impending F-35 use at Eielson AFB in Alaska. Interestingly the USAF won't be using the drag chute for its aircraft in these conditions and will rely on base support to keep the runways available. The base will at this stage be the furthest north for permanent F-35 operations.

Sprawling Alaska Complex Becomes Newest Home For F-35A

...

The Air Force has been preparing for Eielson’s dramatic growth since the F-35A basing announcement in 2016. The $500 million expansion project is made more challenging by the base’s location, which is 1.42 deg. of latitude, or about 85 nm, further north of Norway’s Orland Main Air Station, another F-35A base.

Norway qualified a drag parachute to slow the F-35A on icy arctic runways in winter. The Polish Air Force adopted the same modification with its announced F-35A selection in January, but the U.S. Air Force decided the added weight of the drag parachute is unnecessary. The Air Force decision is helped by the fact that Eielson boasts the world’s second-longest runway, at 14,507 ft., which the base’s busy snowplows work to keep clear through the long Alaskan winter, Bishop says. The F-35A is rated to land and take off from surfaces with a Runway Condition Rating (RCR) of 7, only two steps up from a completely iced-over RCR-5 surface.

...

https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/ ... home-f-35a
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:28 am

A good news story on efforts made by the JPO to remove as much hazardous materials as possible from the F-35.

F-35 Joint Program Office honored with 2020 SecDef Environmental Award

The F-35 Joint Program Office’s Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Team was recognized as a 2020 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award winner for the Environmental Excellence in Weapon System Acquisition in the large program category, April 22.

The Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Team received the honor for its actions to eliminate hazards associated with the production, operation and maintenance of the F-35 Lightning II.

One of the team’s most prominent accomplishments was its work in eliminating hazardous heavy metals traditionally employed in aircraft for protection against equipment wear and corrosion.

During the achievement period, the Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Team tested and implemented a new zinc-nickel plating alternative that will completely remove cadmium plating from F-35 aircraft production and hexavalent chromium plating from all F-35 external coatings. The team is also on track to eliminate all remaining hexavalent chromium uses, such as fuel tank and support equipment primers and coatings.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team’s innovative approaches to eliminating environmental, safety and occupational health hazards,” said Mark Correll, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for environment, safety and infrastructure. “Their accomplishments will have a positive and lasting impact on the safety of our Airmen, the community and the environment.”

Hazards are not limited to exposure to chemical compounds, the team was also recognized for its impressive acoustic data analysis that monitors community noise around installations to determine maintainer and cockpit pilot noise exposure levels. The analysis helped inform recommendations on hearing protection options for all current users of F-35 aircraft.

Other Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Team actions included eliminating 21 tons of volatile organic compound emissions from internal aircraft coating, as well as other regulated emissions, at a production facility in California.

Actions also included the implementation of a facility-wide lighting upgrade project at an F-35 assembly facility in Texas that resulted in brighter work lighting and significantly more efficient electricity use.

These efforts not only reduced environmental, safety and occupational health exposures, but also streamlined the production process, significantly reduced associated labor hours and optimized mission capabilities.

The Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards honor installations, teams and individuals for outstanding conservation achievements, innovative environmental practices and partnerships that improve quality of life and promote efficiencies that support, without compromising, the Defense Department’s mission success.

https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display ... tal-award/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:30 am

First F-35A to be permanently based at Eielson AFB has landed there.

1st F-35 fighter jets arrive at Eielson Air Force Base

The first of many F-35A Joint Strike Fighter jets have landed at Eielson Air Force Base. The base is expecting over 50 of the jets and an additional 1,300 service members by the end of next year.

...

https://www.ktva.com/story/42034052/1st ... force-base
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:33 am

Some slow down in the supply chain is expected not only for the F-35 program but across the board of US military programs as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.

CSAF Goldfein’s Top COVID-19 Supply Chain Worry: F-35

...

Goldfein said no major programs have shown signs of being “in a critical state … at risk of cancellation,” but that he is hearing from subordinates that “we’re going to experience some delays going forward.” The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the program he’s watching most closely, followed by the KC-46 tanker, the B-21 bomber (which he said is going very well), and the T-7A trainer jet program to replace the venerable T-38. And the CSAF is working with Raymond to keep an eye on major space programs.

Goldfein said he has been in running conversations with his overseas counterparts about how to ensure that the supply chain, especially for the F-35 program, can be maintained during the pandemic. Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson told investors yesterday that F-35 production is expected to slow down due to supply chain difficulties; and Ellen Lord, DoD head of acquisition, told reporters on Monday the Pentagon is seeing an average three-month slowdown in major programs across the board.

...

https://breakingdefense.com/2020/04/csa ... orry-f-35/
 
virage
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:05 am

"The Pentagon will have to live with limits on F-35’s supersonic flights.

WASHINGTON — An issue that risks damage to the F-35’s tail section if the aircraft needs to maintain supersonic speeds is not worth fixing and will instead be addressed by changing the operating parameters, the F-35 Joint Program Office told Defense News in a statement Friday [April 24]" - Defense News.

The deficiency means that the F-35B and F-35C can only fly at supersonic speeds for short bursts of time before there is a risk of structural damage and loss of stealth capability.

The problem may make it impossible for the Navy’s F-35C to conduct supersonic intercepts.

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/04/24/the-pentagon-will-have-to-live-with-limits-on-f-35s-supersonic-flights/
 
SuperiorPilotMe
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:24 pm

virage wrote:
"The Pentagon will have to live with limits on F-35’s supersonic flights.


Just like how we Americans have to live with the limits of government response to COVID-19 with now an almost certainty that it will exist in this country literally permanently, so seems fair.

On the other hand, I guess in accordance to the logic to the post above that, we're seeing all the F-35s we're ever going to get now.
Stop the stupids!- Claus Kellerman
 
sovietjet
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:51 pm

I wonder what it is on the F-35B and F-35C that limits the supersonic flight? And not on the F-35A..
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:00 pm

virage wrote:
"The Pentagon will have to live with limits on F-35’s supersonic flights.

WASHINGTON — An issue that risks damage to the F-35’s tail section if the aircraft needs to maintain supersonic speeds is not worth fixing and will instead be addressed by changing the operating parameters, the F-35 Joint Program Office told Defense News in a statement Friday [April 24]" - Defense News.

The deficiency means that the F-35B and F-35C can only fly at supersonic speeds for short bursts of time before there is a risk of structural damage and loss of stealth capability.

The problem may make it impossible for the Navy’s F-35C to conduct supersonic intercepts.

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/04/24/the-pentagon-will-have-to-live-with-limits-on-f-35s-supersonic-flights/

Defensenews and the quest for a sensationalist headline...

On the 24th they published three separate articles that all covered close to the same info,

The Pentagon has cut the number of serious F-35 technical flaws in half , Five F-35 issues have been downgraded, but they remain unsolved and the above article.

Some good news and some annoying news contained within. As the first and probably most concise article states from an interview with the Director of the USAF F-35 Integration Office,

Brig. Gen. David Abba, who leads the Air Force’s F-35 integration office, said in March that he was comfortable with the path forward to correct open deficiencies, downplaying the impact of those issues on daily operations.

“Is it important to hold folks’ feet to the fire and make sure that we’re delivering on the capabilities that we need? Yes,” he said. But, he added, it’s also difficult to balance the need to meet a stated technical requirement against the reality of a fielded technology that may already be performing well in daily operations.

“That’s the crux of the acquisition and the delivery problem that we have,” Abba said. “When we say ‘I need this to work exactly like this,’ I’m drawing a line in the sand. If I’m a half degree on one side of that line versus the other, is it really that different? That’s where the art comes in.”

“We’ve got to kind of get over ourselves a little bit and acknowledge that we never field perfect weapon systems,” he continued. “I don’t want to diminish the fact that it’s critical that we get after open DRs, but every weapon system in the United States Air Force — and frankly around the planet — has open deficiencies. What matters is the severity of those deficiencies and ensuring that we have a robust process between government and industry to triage those and deal with them appropriately.”

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/hidden- ... s-in-half/

All USAF aircraft, and as the article says actually all military aircraft in general, fly today with some sort of waivers or operational restrictions to allow them to continue safe flight. Anyone expecting the F-35 to be perfect should be disappointed as it will never be but it will, as the article states, hopefully remove as many Cat 1 deficiencies as possible. Contractually the JPO is making sure that LM and sub contractors are delivering on as many as practically possible which is great.



As for the supersonic issue, the quote of the above article is missing the words "extremely high altitude". I'm not sure what that constitutes in the context of the F-35 flight envelope but you would have to think it is above 40k and more likely between 45k and 50k, the max flight altitude. That makes it a likely reasonably rare occurrence given how infrequently the aircraft will likely operate at that altitude. It also almost certainly means the aircraft can operate on full burner for extended periods of time below that altitude and the mitigation is likely to be to reduce altitude, which favours increasing the speed on the aircraft anyway, and push the aircraft up to speed that way.

sovietjet wrote:
I wonder what it is on the F-35B and F-35C that limits the supersonic flight? And not on the F-35A..

Not 100% sure but it likely has to do with how long the Bee and Cee need to have burner on to both reach and maintain those high altitude and high speed regimes. The Bee has increased drag and reduced thrust compared to the A while the Cee has the same thrust and more drag from the larger wings. Images below from the Elements of Power blog,

Image

Image

The A model likely reaches the altitude and speed quicker which means reducing both total burner time and amount of burner required to maintain that specific 45K plus flight region.

SuperiorPilotMe wrote:

On the other hand, I guess in accordance to the logic to the post above that, we're seeing all the F-35s we're ever going to get now.

No one has cut any production on the F-35, or in the US context, on any other military program yet. Will have to wait and see what happens in subsequent and whether a sequestration comes in but I expect there will be congressional resistance to reducing US employment via defence cuts.
 
sovietjet
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:00 am

Interesting. In general though I wonder why it is such a struggle for the F-35 to fly fast. You would think the combination of one of the most powerful jet fighter engines, along with a very clean aerodynamic layout would easily enable it to reach M2, and supercruise for prolonged periods. What am I missing here? An F-16 with weaker engine, wings with hardpoints still can fly faster...
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Apr 28, 2020 6:01 am

sovietjet wrote:
Interesting. In general though I wonder why it is such a struggle for the F-35 to fly fast. You would think the combination of one of the most powerful jet fighter engines, along with a very clean aerodynamic layout would easily enable it to reach M2, and supercruise for prolonged periods. What am I missing here? An F-16 with weaker engine, wings with hardpoints still can fly faster...

The F-16 doesn't fly faster, at least when equipped with as close to a load as the F-35 that it can.

For example:

- The F-35 is rated and has been tested at M1.6 with two AIM-120s and two 2,000 lb weapons internal as well as full fuel load as possible, 18,000 lbs. That loadout includes an exceptional internal jammer, targeting pod etc.

- The F-16 Blk 50/52 if equipped with a loadout of 2 AIM-120s, 2 600 gallon fuel tanks, tgt pod, nav pod, 2 GBU-10s has a drag index of 185 with a total fuel load of 15000 lbs.
- 600 Gal tanks + pylon have a DI of 30 each so 60, two wingtip AIM-120s are free, two GBU-10s are 30 each so 60 total, Tgt pod is 19 + pylon is 34, Nav pod is 32 with pylon.

Using the HAF F-16 Flight Manual Supplemental https://info.publicintelligence.net/HAF ... lement.pdf that gives an F-16 max top speed of between Mach 1 and Mach 1.2 at around 36 kft. Essentially the F-16 at that loadout struggles to break M1. Yes a clean F-16 will fly faster, the above HAF flight manual says an F-16 with a drag index of 100 will hit M1.6 at approx 38 kft but how far and what load does that provide the F-16? Take away the fuel tanks or the tgt/nav pod and the F-16 either struggles to hit the target when it arrives or can't hit the target because it doesn't have the fuel or needs additional tanking. Looking again at the HAF F-16 Flight Manual we see that the top speeds of the aircraft are in that 34-40 kft range based on drag and weight. Even with a drag index of zero the F-16 top speed is reached at 38 kft and degrades below that the higher it goes. A lighter load will favour the lighter aircraft and so when you put a light A2A load, say four AIM-120s similar to internal F-35 carriage, on an F-16 it looks a lot better but still lacks fuel, sensors and ECM.

What we know is more likely is that the F-35 top speed is a limit that likely arrives from either stealth material degradation beyond that speed or a limitation of the diverterless inlet (if the inlet then the trade off of lower maintenance and improved RCS is likely worth it, if the stealth material then again likely worth it). The other side of this is that M1.6 is an achievable top speed for the F-35, multiple test pilots have stated this including the recent Fighter Pilot Podcast episode on the aircraft. So in that context you see that the airframe and the big engine actually provide the F-35 with some very impressive real world and operational numbers.

The F-35 almost certainly does supercruise, it is pretty clear it can cruise at approx M1.2 for an extended period of time per aircrew comments. Compared to the F-22 which can supercruise at M1.8 but has almost twice the dry thrust on a slightly larger and heavier aircraft with the same or less fuel load (F-35C has a greater internal fuel load than F-22).

The issue for the Bee and Cee really looks to be about drag and weight. Given the F-16 numbers above it is pretty clear the extremely high altitude stipulation is an edge case and is better mitigated through tactics, techniques and procedures than by requiring expensive materials and antennas that can withstand the extreme burner use required to achieve that zone.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Sun May 03, 2020 10:43 pm

This Australian subsidiary has been working with the USN for awhile to manufacture countermeasure flares and have now been awarded a significant contract to support the global F-35 fleet.

Geelong company chosen as supplier to global F-35 fleet

A Geelong-based company has been awarded a significant contract with the US Navy under the global F-35 Program cementing Australia’s reputation as a top defence exporter.

Chemring Australia, based in Lara, near Geelong, secured the USD$107.5 million contract for the production and delivery of countermeasure flares for Australian, US and international F-35 operators.

...

https://www.miragenews.com/minister-for ... -35-fleet/

Some older info here, https://sldinfo.com/2014/03/chemring-au ... roduction/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Sun May 03, 2020 11:32 pm

A number of flyovers have occurred over the last week to thank healthcare workers for their COVID-19 efforts.

Luke AFB Owns COVID-19 Flyovers with Massive 14-Plane F-16 and F-35 Formation.
https://theaviationist.com/2020/05/03/l ... formation/

Image

Hill AFB jets offers a majestic thank you to those on front lines of pandemic with statewide flyover
https://www.deseret.com/utah/2020/4/30/ ... te-flyover

Image
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu May 07, 2020 9:35 pm

I doubt this will actually impact the deployment of the F-35 to Lakenheath myself. An interesting time to push this type of international politics though given what is going on with COVID.

UK parliament questions US threat to cancel F-35 deployments

The UK parliament has questioned a United States threat to cancel long-planned deployments of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) to the country following the government's decision to open-up the national 5G network to Chinese development.

The Chair of the Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood, sent a letter to the UK Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, on 6 May in which he asked for clarification on recent reports that Republican senators in the US were moving to ban new deployments of military aircraft to countries with at-risk vendors in their 5G and 6G networks.

"If passed, this would preclude the long-planned US Air Force [USAF] deployment of F-35s at Royal Air Force [RAF] Lakenheath, and could also bring into question the plans for HMS Queen Elizabeth to carry US Marine Corps [USMC] F-35s," the letter said, adding, "I am sure you agree with me that even the airing of such disagreements between us and our closest security ally is unhelpful in a time when global stability is at the lowest it has been for a generation. I should therefore be grateful if you could clarify what the [UK] government is doing to ensure that this initiative is not pursued further."

As noted in Ellwood's letter that was written in response to a report first published in The Daily Telegraph that senators in the US were moving to restrict the exposure of sensitive US military information in countries that were allowing the Chinese company Huawei to build national 5G networks, the US military is planning at least two high-level F-35 deployments to the UK.

In November 2021 the USAF is due to begin the permanent deployment of two squadrons of F-35As to the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk.

...

https://www.janes.com/article/96004/uk- ... eployments
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Sun May 10, 2020 10:46 pm

Looks like parts continue to come from Turkey for the programme. Turkish Industry certainly isn't too upset by this...

Turkey still providing U.S. with F-35 parts despite programme suspension

Turkey is continuing to produce and deliver parts for the U.S. F-35 stealth fighter jet despite being barred from the programme, said Defence Industry Director İsmail Demir, according to Reuters.

The United States was due to stop receiving the parts from Turkey in March, but it is still taking delivery, Demir said.

“There was an understanding in the United States that nothing would be bought from Turkey for the F-35s after March 2020, but that approach is no longer there,” Demir said, citing the coronavirus pandemic as a reason.

...

https://ahvalnews.com/us-turkey/turkey- ... suspension
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon May 11, 2020 1:57 am

Ozair wrote:
Looks like parts continue to come from Turkey for the programme. Turkish Industry certainly isn't too upset by this...

Turkey still providing U.S. with F-35 parts despite programme suspension

Turkey is continuing to produce and deliver parts for the U.S. F-35 stealth fighter jet despite being barred from the programme, said Defence Industry Director İsmail Demir, according to Reuters.

The United States was due to stop receiving the parts from Turkey in March, but it is still taking delivery, Demir said.

“There was an understanding in the United States that nothing would be bought from Turkey for the F-35s after March 2020, but that approach is no longer there,” Demir said, citing the coronavirus pandemic as a reason.

...

https://ahvalnews.com/us-turkey/turkey- ... suspension


I concur with the decision to drop Turkey from the program, at the same time a more gradual shift from Turkey's production to their replacement seems fine. Both Turkey and LM are happy, Turkey for the revenue, LM for not having a parts shortage. There is no practical problem if they produce until early 2021.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed May 13, 2020 3:40 am

Parts availability is still plaguing the program although I'm not sure not how much impact it has on the FRP decision given the line is already essentially running at FRP now. As with all GAO reports the data for this is now out of date so some of the supply issues could have been rectified by now.

Some F-35 suppliers are having trouble delivering parts on schedule, and Turkey’s departure could make that worse

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is on the verge of full-rate production, with a decision slated for early 2021. But a congressional watchdog group is concerned that as the company ramps up F-35 production, its suppliers are falling behind.

And those supply chain problems could get even worse as Turkish defense manufacturers are pushed out of the program, the Government Accountability Office said in a May 12 report.

According to the GAO, the number of F-35 parts delivered late skyrocketed from less than 2,000 in August 2017 to upward of 10,000 in July 2019.

The number of parts shortages per month also climbed from 875 in July 2018 to more than 8,000 in July 2019. More than 60 percent of that sum was concentrated among 20 suppliers, it said.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/05 ... hat-worse/

Additionally from the same article P&W are not having a good time delivering F135s that are defect free. Again though, info is now close to six months out of date.

However, one of the biggest subsystems of the F-35 — the F135 engine produced by Pratt & Whitney — drifted in the opposite direction, with a whopping 91 percent of engines delivered behind schedule.

At one point in 2019, Pratt & Whitney stopped deliveries of the F135 for an unspecified period due to test failures, which also contributed to the reduction of on-time deliveries.

According to the Defense Contracts Management Agency, “there have been 18 engine test failures in 2019, which is eight more than in 2018, each requiring disassembly and rework,” the GAO wrote. “To address this issue, the engine contractor has developed new tooling for the assembly line and has established a team to identify characteristics leading to the test failures. Plans are also in place for additional training for employees.”
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed May 13, 2020 10:56 pm

Ozair wrote:
Parts availability is still plaguing the program although I'm not sure not how much impact it has on the FRP decision given the line is already essentially running at FRP now. As with all GAO reports the data for this is now out of date so some of the supply issues could have been rectified by now.

Some F-35 suppliers are having trouble delivering parts on schedule, and Turkey’s departure could make that worse

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is on the verge of full-rate production, with a decision slated for early 2021. But a congressional watchdog group is concerned that as the company ramps up F-35 production, its suppliers are falling behind.

And those supply chain problems could get even worse as Turkish defense manufacturers are pushed out of the program, the Government Accountability Office said in a May 12 report.

According to the GAO, the number of F-35 parts delivered late skyrocketed from less than 2,000 in August 2017 to upward of 10,000 in July 2019.

The number of parts shortages per month also climbed from 875 in July 2018 to more than 8,000 in July 2019. More than 60 percent of that sum was concentrated among 20 suppliers, it said.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/05 ... hat-worse/

Additionally from the same article P&W are not having a good time delivering F135s that are defect free. Again though, info is now close to six months out of date.

However, one of the biggest subsystems of the F-35 — the F135 engine produced by Pratt & Whitney — drifted in the opposite direction, with a whopping 91 percent of engines delivered behind schedule.

At one point in 2019, Pratt & Whitney stopped deliveries of the F135 for an unspecified period due to test failures, which also contributed to the reduction of on-time deliveries.

According to the Defense Contracts Management Agency, “there have been 18 engine test failures in 2019, which is eight more than in 2018, each requiring disassembly and rework,” the GAO wrote. “To address this issue, the engine contractor has developed new tooling for the assembly line and has established a team to identify characteristics leading to the test failures. Plans are also in place for additional training for employees.”


The GAO report from which the above was taken.

https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/706815.pdf

The F-35 program is at risk of missing its test schedule and not meeting manufacturing leading practices. In 2019, the F-35 program conducted much of its planned operational testing but extended the schedule by 9 months, which delays the program’s full-rate production decision to between September 2020 and March 2021. Over that time, the program will continue to deliver aircraft.

In addition, while the F-35 program has increased the production rate and negotiated lower aircraft prices, it is not meeting manufacturing leading practices identified by GAO. Specifically, only about 3,000 of the over 10,000 airframe contractor’s manufacturing key processes meet predefined design standards forensuring product quality. Also, the fielded aircraft, over 500 so far, do not meet the program’s reliability and maintainability goals. Although the contractor is changing manufacturing processes to address problems and improve efficiency, more remains to be done. Unless the program office evaluates the risks of not meeting these leading practices, the military services and international partners are at risk of not receiving the quality aircraft they purchased.

In addition, the July 2019 suspension of Turkey from the F-35 program—due to security concerns after its acquisition of Russian defense equipment—is likely to compound production risks. The program has identified new sources for 1,005 parts produced by Turkish suppliers, but the program is assessing the effect of 15 key parts not currently being produced at the needed production rate.

In 2019, estimated development costs to modernize the F-35’s hardware and software systems—known as Block 4—increased by over $1.5 billion. The cost increase puts estimated Block 4 development costs at $12.1 billion. However, the cost estimate did not fully adhere to leading practices, such as including all life cycle costs. In addition, while development will continue through 2026, reports on Block 4 that the program submits to Congress are slated to end in 2023. Without continued Block 4 reporting through the development phase, Congress will lack important oversight information.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Fri May 15, 2020 2:35 am

Some amusing comments by Trump on the F-35 with some actual program history and facts at the end of the article.

Trump has questions about the F-35′s supply chain. Here are some answers.

During a Thursday morning cable news appearance, U.S. President Donald Trump blasted the F-35’s global supply chain and hinted he might intercede to bring more work on the Lockheed Martin-made jet back to the United States.

Trump brought up the F-35 during an exchange where Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo asked how the president plans to incentivize key U.S. industries — such as pharmaceutical companies — to cut China out of their supply chain.

“I could tell you hundreds of stories of the stupidity that I’ve seen. As an example, we’re making a fighter jet. It’s a certain fighter jet, I won’t tell you which, but it happens to be the F-35,” Trump said.

“It’s a great jet, and we make parts for this jet all over the world. We make them in Turkey, we make them here, we’re going to make them there. All because President [Barack] Obama and others — I’m not just blaming him — thought it was a wonderful thing,” he said. “The problem is if we have a problem with a country, you can’t make the jet. We get parts from all over the place. It’s so crazy. We should make everything in the United States.”

...

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/05 ... e-answers/
 
art
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Fri May 15, 2020 8:51 am

US Republican senators are reportedly seeking to deter the stationing of 48 F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft in the UK.

The Telegraph reported that the proposed action is being led by Arkansas senator Tom Cotton and tied to the association of Huawei in the UK’s 5G network.

In January, the Chinese firm was allowed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ‘build non-core parts of the UK’s 5G networks’.


https://www.airforce-technology.com/new ... oyment-uk/

Mmmm... Some US senators see fit to dishonour contracts and to try to impose their view of the world on the UK. How about UK shows a bit of backbone here? Sue the US for breach of contract and damages if the American administration refuses to deliver F-35 aircraft to UK. Halt deliveries of UK components of F-35 to US. Who in their right mind would keep supplying the US under these circumstances?

The arrogance of these people! Do they think they can confiscate our F-35's but expect us to keep supplying F-35 parts so they can build more F-35's for their forces? Sure, senators, whatever you say.

Or is this connected with the ignoramus currently in power in the US? I read that he thinks it would be better that F-35 were all made in America.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Fri May 15, 2020 11:21 am

art wrote:
US Republican senators are reportedly seeking to deter the stationing of 48 F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft in the UK.

The Telegraph reported that the proposed action is being led by Arkansas senator Tom Cotton and tied to the association of Huawei in the UK’s 5G network.

In January, the Chinese firm was allowed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ‘build non-core parts of the UK’s 5G networks’.


https://www.airforce-technology.com/new ... oyment-uk/

Mmmm... Some US senators see fit to dishonour contracts and to try to impose their view of the world on the UK. How about UK shows a bit of backbone here? Sue the US for breach of contract and damages if the American administration refuses to deliver F-35 aircraft to UK. Halt deliveries of UK components of F-35 to US. Who in their right mind would keep supplying the US under these circumstances?

The arrogance of these people! Do they think they can confiscate our F-35's but expect us to keep supplying F-35 parts so they can build more F-35's for their forces? Sure, senators, whatever you say.

Or is this connected with the ignoramus currently in power in the US? I read that he thinks it would be better that F-35 were all made in America.

There is no threat to not deliver F-35s to the UK. What they are threatening is not stationing the USAF F-35s at Lakenheath as planned.

I don't agree with it and I also highly doubt anything will come of it.

Saying that, I also think the UK is being reckless in opening their 5G network to Chinese vendors but that is likely best discussed in its own thread.
 
art
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Fri May 15, 2020 12:07 pm

Ozair wrote:
art wrote:
US Republican senators are reportedly seeking to deter the stationing of 48 F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft in the UK.

The Telegraph reported that the proposed action is being led by Arkansas senator Tom Cotton and tied to the association of Huawei in the UK’s 5G network.

In January, the Chinese firm was allowed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ‘build non-core parts of the UK’s 5G networks’.


https://www.airforce-technology.com/new ... oyment-uk/

Mmmm... Some US senators see fit to dishonour contracts and to try to impose their view of the world on the UK. How about UK shows a bit of backbone here? Sue the US for breach of contract and damages if the American administration refuses to deliver F-35 aircraft to UK. Halt deliveries of UK components of F-35 to US. Who in their right mind would keep supplying the US under these circumstances?

The arrogance of these people! Do they think they can confiscate our F-35's but expect us to keep supplying F-35 parts so they can build more F-35's for their forces? Sure, senators, whatever you say.

Or is this connected with the ignoramus currently in power in the US? I read that he thinks it would be better that F-35 were all made in America.

There is no threat to not deliver F-35s to the UK. What they are threatening is not stationing the USAF F-35s at Lakenheath as planned.

I don't agree with it and I also highly doubt anything will come of it.

Saying that, I also think the UK is being reckless in opening their 5G network to Chinese vendors but that is likely best discussed in its own thread.


My mistake. Thanks for the correction. Sure, if US does not want to station F-35's in UK, that's their choice.

Huwai involvement in UK 5G? Personally, I would prefer not. I would prefer to pay more to source elsewhere (assuming there is an alternative non-PRC supplier).
 
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Nomadd
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Fri May 15, 2020 2:57 pm

Ozair wrote:
Some amusing comments by Trump on the F-35 with some actual program history and facts at the end of the article.

Trump has questions about the F-35′s supply chain. Here are some answers.

During a Thursday morning cable news appearance, U.S. President Donald Trump blasted the F-35’s global supply chain and hinted he might intercede to bring more work on the Lockheed Martin-made jet back to the United States.
Trump brought up the F-35 during an exchange where Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo asked how the president plans to incentivize key U.S. industries — such as pharmaceutical companies — to cut China out of their supply chain.
“I could tell you hundreds of stories of the stupidity that I’ve seen. As an example, we’re making a fighter jet. It’s a certain fighter jet, I won’t tell you which, but it happens to be the F-35,” Trump said.
“It’s a great jet, and we make parts for this jet all over the world. We make them in Turkey, we make them here, we’re going to make them there. All because President [Barack] Obama and others — I’m not just blaming him — thought it was a wonderful thing,” he said. “The problem is if we have a problem with a country, you can’t make the jet. We get parts from all over the place. It’s so crazy. We should make everything in the United States.”
...

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/05 ... e-answers/

It kinda stops being funny after a while. Makes you wonder how a species that can build something like an F-35 can choose the leaders that both nations have.
 
mxaxai
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Fri May 15, 2020 4:39 pm

Ozair wrote:
Some amusing comments by Trump on the F-35 with some actual program history and facts at the end of the article.

Trump has questions about the F-35′s supply chain. Here are some answers.

“It’s a great jet, and we make parts for this jet all over the world. We make them in Turkey, we make them here, we’re going to make them there. All because President [Barack] Obama and others — I’m not just blaming him — thought it was a wonderful thing,” he said. “The problem is if we have a problem with a country, you can’t make the jet. We get parts from all over the place. It’s so crazy. We should make everything in the United States.”

Well, that's exactly the point of the JSF. Incentivise governments of allied nations to cooperate and solve problems rather than throw a tantrum. Also ...
Trump wrote:
I won’t tell you which, but it happens to be the F-35
This is the guy who has access to all the top secret documents and nuclear codes, right? Relieved to see that he won't tell me anything about them.
 
SuperiorPilotMe
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Fri May 15, 2020 9:09 pm

Nomadd wrote:
It kinda stops being funny after a while. Makes you wonder how a species that can build something like an F-35 can choose the leaders that both nations have.


It stopped being funny with COVID-19. It doesn't so much put into question our species' ability to exist as so much as does our species genuinely have the right to exist in the first place with this nonsense. I currently vote no.
Stop the stupids!- Claus Kellerman
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Sat May 16, 2020 8:53 am

mxaxai wrote:
Well, that's exactly the point of the JSF. Incentivise governments of allied nations to cooperate and solve problems rather than throw a tantrum.

Of course, that is part of the amusement as well as his lack of knowledge that other components and parts in US military aircraft that also come from around the world, F-16 wings, Apache fuselages to name a few.

mxaxai wrote:
Trump wrote:
I won’t tell you which, but it happens to be the F-35
This is the guy who has access to all the top secret documents and nuclear codes, right? Relieved to see that he won't tell me anything about them.

Yeah I laughed when I read that.

Nomadd wrote:
It kinda stops being funny after a while. Makes you wonder how a species that can build something like an F-35 can choose the leaders that both nations have.

He's just in election mode now, get comfortable as the crazy comments will continue all the way to November!
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed May 20, 2020 9:20 pm

A bad week at Eglin with both an F-22 and now an F-35 crashing. No info on the cause of the crash yet but good to hear the pilot is okay.

F-35 crashes at Eglin AFB, pilot successfully ejected and in stable condition. 2nd crash at base in four days

For the second time in four days a fifth-generation fighter jet has crashed at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron crashed upon landing around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Eglin, according to a media release. The pilot successfully ejected and was transported to the 96th Medical Group Hospital at Eglin for evaluation and monitoring.

The pilot was released from the hospital early Wednesday morning, said 1st Lt. Savannah Stephens, a spokeswoman for the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin.

At the time of the accident, the pilot was participating in a routine night training sortie, according to the release.

...

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your ... four-days/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Wed May 20, 2020 9:28 pm

Disappointing but hardly a surprise given the disruption COVID-19 has placed on the supply chain not just of the F-35 but a plethora of military systems in acquisition.

Lockheed Martin F-35 to miss 2020 production target due to coronavirus-caused parts shortage

Lockheed Martin will likely miss its production target of 141 examples of the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter in 2020.

The company’s suppliers are not able to deliver parts on time, a disruption caused by the coronavirus. As a result, the number of F-35s produced this year could fall by 18 to 24 units below the 141 aircraft goal, Lockheed said on 19 May.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing ... 52.article
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Sun May 24, 2020 1:14 am

sovietjet wrote:
I wonder what it is on the F-35B and F-35C that limits the supersonic flight? And not on the F-35A..

Saw this very interesting article on DefenseNews on this very issue. Billy Flynn flew the sorties in question and has commented on how extreme the respective sorties were and that the reported damage wasn't visible to the eye but only detected by engineering staff using the special sensors embedded in the test aircraft.

The inside story of two supersonic flights that changed how America operates the F-35

...

But those limitations must be placed in context, said Billie Flynn, the Lockheed Martin test pilot who flew both of those missions during F-35 developmental testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.

According to the documents, both incidents took place during flutter tests where the B and C models were flying at speeds of 1.3 Mach and 1.4 Mach. However, that damage didn’t occur in a vacuum, Flynn said. It materialized after F-35B and F-35C test articles flew repeated supersonic runs that pushed to the plane’s maximum of 1.6 Mach, making it the result of cumulative pressures on the aircraft.

“I was flying out at 700 knots in the C model up and down the East Coast of the state of Maryland and Delaware — that’s where we fly at Pax River — and then out over the ocean, firing missiles at almost 1.6 Mach as we cleared out the weapons for the airplane. That’s extreme speed, and that’s repeated flights in those environments,” said Flynn, who has flown more than 800 hours in all three F-35 variants.

“Make a run at 700 knots, make another run at 700 knots, go to an aerial refueling tanker, get fuel for myself … and then race out again and again and again. Repeat this cycle for four- and five-hour missions,” he added.

Similarly, the flights for the B model involved aggressive maneuvering at the edge of the aircraft’s flight envelope for hours at a time.

“Nobody is going to do [that] tactically,” he said. “There’s not a combat scenario where that is going to happen.”

...

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/hidden- ... -the-f-35/

A whole lot more at the link and worth a read for anyone interested in understanding this operational restriction in more detail.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Sun May 24, 2020 9:32 pm

A good example of how the maintenance cost of the aircraft will begin to come down over the next few years as the USAF and other operators gain more experience and train more staff. This additionally improves availability which is also a good thing for operators.

Hill AFB F-35 maintainers speed egress inspection and servicing

Maintainers here are helping aircraft availability numbers by decreasing downtime in the process for inspecting and servicing F-35A Lightning II seats.

388th Maintenance Group Airman Staff Sgt. Cameron Westin and 419th Maintenance Group Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Westover, an Air Reserve Technician, are Team Hill’s first fully qualified Egress technicians.

In addition to routine inspections, every two years, the F-35A’s ejection seats are removed from the cockpits for servicing. Several highly-used components, like straps, buckles and pins are replaced. The seat and the related systems are inspected and the information entered into the Autonomic Logistics Information system.

“When we first got the jets, we had to have contractors come and remove and service the seats for this inspection process. Then, that information would get logged in the system by another set of contractors, and we’d have to wait for that system to reflect the update, which could cause delays,” said Capt. Kimberly Jackson, 388th Maintenance Squadron Operations Officer.

Now, maintainers have been trained to perform the entire process locally, including working in ALIS. As those Airmen perform work on each seat, they are training more Airmen on the process. It’s a win-win, said Jackson. And while taking on this task means a little more work for Airmen here, the results arealready noticeably improved.

Obviously, with no seat, it’s hard to fly an airplane. In the past, this process has taken up to two weeks, but maintainers have cut that time down to two days. By cutting the time it takes to get the aircraft back in rotation, they have increased the number of aircraft available for sorties as well as increased the opportunities for other maintenance training.

“This process improvement and increase in maintenance capability is just another example of how our Airmen continue to own the future,” said Col. Michael Miles, 388th Maintenance Group commander. “As the first combat-coded F-35A unit, we’re learning how best to sustain this airframe. We’re identifying solutions in the field that can be carried forward throughout the Air Force. It’s something all these Airmen and the program partners can be proud of.”

https://www.hill.af.mil/News/Article-Di ... servicing/
 
744SPX
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon May 25, 2020 6:16 pm

Ozair wrote:

...

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/hidden- ... -the-f-35/


For a front line fighter with a top speed of only mach 1.6, it better be able to spend more time at that speed than comparable legacy fighters. This problem has to be addressed rather than spun to make it look like the supersonic requirement isn't really important anyway. Flynn makes it sound like the F-35 would be just fine as a subsonic aircraft, which undermines the whole concept as a significant portion of the F-35's design is specific to its ability to fly supersonic.

It appears as if the F-35's stealth coating technology and or some of its related skin materials aren't up to the task of repeated/sustained flight at design supersonic speeds. Fine. They need to admit it and fix it rather than make excuses. Unreal.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon May 25, 2020 9:39 pm

744SPX wrote:
Ozair wrote:

...

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/hidden- ... -the-f-35/


For a front line fighter with a top speed of only mach 1.6, it better be able to spend more time at that speed than comparable legacy fighters. This problem has to be addressed rather than spun to make it look like the supersonic requirement isn't really important anyway. Flynn makes it sound like the F-35 would be just fine as a subsonic aircraft, which undermines the whole concept as a significant portion of the F-35's design is specific to its ability to fly supersonic.

It appears as if the F-35's stealth coating technology and or some of its related skin materials aren't up to the task of repeated/sustained flight at design supersonic speeds. Fine. They need to admit it and fix it rather than make excuses. Unreal.

You are welcome to have your own opinion on the matter but I think I made it clear above when I answered Sovietjet where the limitation is and why it isn't a significant factor operationally. What I can tell you is it won't get fixed, the JPO and USN/USMC have all agreed the cost to fix it isn't worth it and the issue can be remedied through operational tactics. There is clearly more value and capability available in other enhancements to the aircraft than what this would provide.

As an aside I don't understand the fascination people have with the top speed of a fighter aircraft when it forms such a minuscule portion of their operational flight lifetime and for most can never be achieved with an operational load-out. There is the top trumps top speed and the actual speed of an operationally configured aircraft and there is often a large difference between the two...
 
744SPX
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon May 25, 2020 9:49 pm

Ozair wrote:
744SPX wrote:
Ozair wrote:

...

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/hidden- ... -the-f-35/


For a front line fighter with a top speed of only mach 1.6, it better be able to spend more time at that speed than comparable legacy fighters. This problem has to be addressed rather than spun to make it look like the supersonic requirement isn't really important anyway. Flynn makes it sound like the F-35 would be just fine as a subsonic aircraft, which undermines the whole concept as a significant portion of the F-35's design is specific to its ability to fly supersonic.

It appears as if the F-35's stealth coating technology and or some of its related skin materials aren't up to the task of repeated/sustained flight at design supersonic speeds. Fine. They need to admit it and fix it rather than make excuses. Unreal.

You are welcome to have your own opinion on the matter but I think I made it clear above when I answered Sovietjet where the limitation is and why it isn't a significant factor operationally. What I can tell you is it won't get fixed, the JPO and USN/USMC have all agreed the cost to fix it isn't worth it and the issue can be remedied through operational tactics. There is clearly more value and capability available in other enhancements to the aircraft than what this would provide.

As an aside I don't understand the fascination people have with the top speed of a fighter aircraft when it forms such a minuscule portion of their operational flight lifetime and for most can never be achieved with an operational load-out. There is the top trumps top speed and the actual speed of an operationally configured aircraft and there is often a large difference between the two...


I don't disagree that flying supersonic is not a high priority for the F-35 mission, but considering the airframe design sacrifices they made to have it be supersonic, the "lets not fix it and change tactics" solution reflects poorly on program management, both military and civilian.

They may have been better off making the F-35 subsonic and stealthier like the A-12
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon May 25, 2020 11:45 pm

744SPX wrote:
Ozair wrote:
744SPX wrote:
https://www.defensenews.com/smr/hidden- ... -the-f-35/


For a front line fighter with a top speed of only mach 1.6, it better be able to spend more time at that speed than comparable legacy fighters. This problem has to be addressed rather than spun to make it look like the supersonic requirement isn't really important anyway. Flynn makes it sound like the F-35 would be just fine as a subsonic aircraft, which undermines the whole concept as a significant portion of the F-35's design is specific to its ability to fly supersonic.

It appears as if the F-35's stealth coating technology and or some of its related skin materials aren't up to the task of repeated/sustained flight at design supersonic speeds. Fine. They need to admit it and fix it rather than make excuses. Unreal.

You are welcome to have your own opinion on the matter but I think I made it clear above when I answered Sovietjet where the limitation is and why it isn't a significant factor operationally. What I can tell you is it won't get fixed, the JPO and USN/USMC have all agreed the cost to fix it isn't worth it and the issue can be remedied through operational tactics. There is clearly more value and capability available in other enhancements to the aircraft than what this would provide.

As an aside I don't understand the fascination people have with the top speed of a fighter aircraft when it forms such a minuscule portion of their operational flight lifetime and for most can never be achieved with an operational load-out. There is the top trumps top speed and the actual speed of an operationally configured aircraft and there is often a large difference between the two...


I don't disagree that flying supersonic is not a high priority for the F-35 mission, but considering the airframe design sacrifices they made to have it be supersonic,

Can you explain what sacrifices you consider were made to make the airframe supersonic? As far as I am aware there was always a supersonic performance requirement. In USN/USMC service the aircraft was designated to replace the classic Hornet and AV-8B, both multi-role platforms with the classic Hornet supersonic capable and the AV-8B definitely not.

Noting as well the F-35A does not have this restriction, it is present in the Bee and Cee only.

744SPX wrote:
the "lets not fix it and change tactics" solution reflects poorly on program management, both military and civilian.

The below staement from Brig General Abba makes a lot of sense to me.

Brig. Gen. David Abba, who leads the Air Force’s F-35 integration office, said in March that he was comfortable with the path forward to correct open deficiencies, downplaying the impact of those issues on daily operations.

“Is it important to hold folks’ feet to the fire and make sure that we’re delivering on the capabilities that we need? Yes,” he said. But, he added, it’s also difficult to balance the need to meet a stated technical requirement against the reality of a fielded technology that may already be performing well in daily operations.

“That’s the crux of the acquisition and the delivery problem that we have,” Abba said. “When we say ‘I need this to work exactly like this,’ I’m drawing a line in the sand. If I’m a half degree on one side of that line versus the other, is it really that different? That’s where the art comes in.”

“We’ve got to kind of get over ourselves a little bit and acknowledge that we never field perfect weapon systems,” he continued. “I don’t want to diminish the fact that it’s critical that we get after open DRs, but every weapon system in the United States Air Force — and frankly around the planet — has open deficiencies. What matters is the severity of those deficiencies and ensuring that we have a robust process between government and industry to triage those and deal with them appropriately.”

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/hidden- ... s-in-half/

744SPX wrote:
They may have been better off making the F-35 subsonic and stealthier like the A-12

If there is one program you don't want to follow it is the A-12 Avenger II... If you consider the requirements from both programs I think the F-35C is probably the better overall solution, especially if the new engine comes online in the mid 2020s.
 
744SPX
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue May 26, 2020 6:21 am

I think the JSF design would be not insignificantly different if supersonic speed were not a requirement (no AB, so shorter engine of reduced overall diameter, simpler inlet design, possibly some changes in control surfaces) but then again the F-35 has been designed from inception around the STOVL requirement, and that of course has a much larger effect on its design.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Thu May 28, 2020 12:48 am

An Instragram post has got hold of some videos of F-35C testing which included a low power catapult shot with the Drive picking up the story. Another example of how thorough the testing has been for the respective variants and some gutsy test pilots!

Code Brown As This F-35C Sinks To Just Above The Waves After Taking A Low-Power Catapult Shot

A pair of chilling videos have emerged on social media that show a U.S. Navy F-35C Joint Strike Fighter being launched off on an American supercarrier at what appears to be the minimum catapult power required for making it into the air successfully. In the first video, the stealth fighter careens down the catapult track at what seems like a bizarrely slow velocity before sinking totally below the rising bow of the ship. A moment later the jet appears again climbing away to safety. It is one heck of a tense clip to watch! The other video has a view from below the bow of the ship, showing the F-35C skimming above the waves before clawing its way into the air.

...

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... apult-shot

You can watch both videos via the link above.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:38 am

The USAF F-35A demo team did a facebook live event the other day. Always good to see a demo and love the sound of the engine!

F-35A Demo Team Makes History with First-Ever Live Facebook Flight Demo

The USAF F-35A Lightning II Demo Team made aviation history today with the first-ever F-35A demonstration broadcast live around the world on social media. Capt. Kristin “BEO” Wolfe along with the rest of the F-35A Demo Team streamed the flight demonstration that including expert commentary and live interviews on their Facebook page at U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team.

...

https://theaviationist.com/2020/05/29/f ... ight-demo/

Video has been uploaded here, the demo itself starts at approx 58 minutes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RJX_GyJLr0
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:09 am

Italy won't be cutting or delaying deliveries of the F-35 despite calls from within the current Government to cut back funding to pay for COVID-19 related costs. Given the number of manufacturers involved in the program as well as domestic assembly you can see why cutting back on this would impact domestically, especially in the Italian region hardest hit by COVID-19.

Italy defense minister commits to F-35 after calls to suspend program

Italy’s defense minister has thrown his weight behind the F-35 program to counter demands from within his coalition government to suspend purchases of the aircraft to help Italy’s coronavirus-stricken economy.

Lorenzo Guerini said he “confirmed that the program would continue,” after calls from Italy’s Five Star party to halt F-35 purchases for a year as Italy seeks cash to help rebound from the virus, which has killed 33,000 in Italy.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... d-program/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:40 pm

A fifth Amphib is now being modified for carriage of the F-35B. The rest of the article is talking about the cancellation of a study on building more smaller carriers instead of just Ford class as how that may impact future operations.

US Navy upgrades more ships for the F-35 as the future of carriers remains in flux

...

The Navy recently inked a $200 million contract with BAE Systems to upgrade the amphibious assault ship Boxer to be able to operate with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the fifth landing helicopter assault ship to be so amended.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/ ... s-in-flux/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:44 pm

Good to see production continues to bring in new processes and technologies which are likely to continue to reduce both the acquisition cost and the long term sustainment cost as well as potentially improving performance through weight savings.

Matrix Composites’ HiRPM technology qualified onto F-35 programme

Matrix Composites, an ITT Inc. company has announced that its trademarked closed moulding process, Hot Isostatic Resin Pressure Moulding (HiRPM), is qualified on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 lighting programme.

...

Matrix Composites’ HiPRM technology is a state-of-the-art moulding process for advanced composite materials and offers very specific benefits over more traditional autoclave manufacturing typically used in aerospace and defence. HiPRM is designed for composite manufacturers of smaller and more intricate structures like critical edges, spars, and control surfaces.



https://www.aero-mag.com/matrix-composi ... -01062020/
 
Ozair
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:48 pm

The Hill AFB stationed F-35s have certainly been racking up the operational hours. There has been a continual presence of F-35s deployed to the Middle East for the last twelve months and I expect this to continue. Certainly a lot of lessons to be learned as they fly daily operational sorties.

Hill F-35s deploy to Middle East, for third time in a year

A squadron of F-35 fighters from the 388th and 419th fighter wings at Hill Air Force Base in Utah deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates on May 20, the 388th said in a release Monday.
The deployment of pilots from the 421st Fighter Squadron, as well as maintainers from the 421st Aircraft Maintenance Unit, marks the third time in about 12 months that F-35s from Hill’s 388th and 419th have deployed for combat in the Middle East, the 388th said. There are 78 F-35s stationed at Hill.



https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your ... in-a-year/
 
Ozair
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:24 pm

An allotment of funding to integrate the SiAW which was already earmarked for integration on to the F-35. Looks like the weapon fits into Lot 16 and later aircraft with the planned weapons bay changes with those changes being retrofit to Lot 14 and 15 aircraft.

DoD launches F-35A DEAD/SEAD retrofit

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has launched an effort to begin retrofitting a complete destruction/suppression of enemy air defences (DEAD/SEAD) capability onto the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), according to a contract notification posted on 1 June.

The DoD has awarded the manufacturer USD36.78 million to support non-recurring engineering efforts to develop and certify a retrofit solution to support the structural requirements for full-up DEAD/SEAD capabilities for Lot 14 and Lot 15 F-35A aircraft.

The award, which covers USAF and international F-35A operators, will run through to August 2022.

DEAD/SEAD is one of the core missions of the F-35, alongside defensive counter-air (DCA); close air support (CAS); air interdiction (AI); strike, co-ordination, and reconnaissance (SCAR); and non-traditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (NTISR).

The USAF declared initial operational capability (IOC) for the F-35A in August 2016, at which time the service said that the aircraft was able to conduct “limited” DEAD/SEAD missions. Although it did not define exactly what it meant by limited capability, it likely involved performing the role using the baseline weapons package released at that time, which included GBU-31/32 1,000 lb/2,000 lb Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs). Since then, the Block 3F software package has included the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) and AGM-154A/C Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) glide bomb, which can also be used in the role.

For the full-up DEAD/SEAD role (also known as anti-access/area denial [A2/AD]), the F-35A is slated to receive the Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW). This still developmental weapon will leverage heavily the Northrop Grumman AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM).

...

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... fc3923bef3
 
Ozair
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: F-35 News Thread - 2020

Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:19 am

A long article from Flight Global about RAAF F-35 operations and focused on 3SQN, the first RAAF squadron to convert to the F-35. The CO of 3SQN, Darren Clare, has time in Classic Hornet, Super Hornet and now F-35 and although calls the Classic his first love if going to war he wouldn’t want to be in anything other than an F-35.

RAAF F-35s on the rise Down Under

The commanding officer of the first Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) squadron to operate the Lockheed Martin F-35 believes the type marks a step change.
Wing Commander Darren Clare leads the RAAF’s 3 Sqn, based at RAAF Williamtown, New South Wales, where it is steadily building capability and understanding of the new type.
3 Sqn operates 12 F-35As out of the 17 examples permanently located in Australia. The other five are with the air force’s 2 Sqn operational conversion unit (OCU), also located at Williamtown. Canberra’s five other F-35As and seven instructors remain at Luke AFB, Arizona, where they are part of the F-35 programme’s international training effort.
Another four F-35As will be ferried to Australia sometime in late July. Ultimately, Canberra has plans to obtain 72 F-35s, which could eventually rise to 100.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing ... 37.article

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