Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:02 pm

Turkey’s opponents in Congress seeking to block F-35 deal

A growing number of members of the U.S. Congress are speaking out against the sale of 100 fighter jets to Turkey, Greek newspaper Kathimerini said .

One example, it said, was Congressman David Cicilline, who “called for the deal to be scrapped in July last year in response to an incident when bodyguards of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan assaulted protesters during his official visit to Washington. The incident led to the blocking of the sale of semi-automatic weapons to Erdogan’s private guard.”

“The most active proponents against the deal are reportedly congressmen of Greek and Armenian heritage,” the newspaper added.

U.S. Air Force Deputy Undersecretary Heidi Grant had also expressed concern over the deal, Kathimerini said.

“It’s a significant concern, not only to the United States, because we need to protect this high-end technology, fifth-generation technology, but for all of our partners and allies that have already purchased the F-35,” it quoted her as saying in November.

The first F-35s are due to be delivered this year, while the remainder will be delivered by 2022, the newspaper said.

https://ahvalnews.com/us-turkey/turkeys ... -newspaper
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:04 pm

Greek and Armenian Americans Press U.S. Senators to Block F-35 Sale to Turkey

The Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) and the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) have launched a national advocacy campaign encouraging U.S. Senators to block a planned sale of U.S. F-35 stealth fighters to Turkey’s increasingly erratic and anti-American Erdogan regime.

This joint Hellenic-Armenian American initiative – the most recent in a series of ANCA-HALC advocacy campaigns – warns Senators against the dangers of providing Erdogan with advanced weapons that he may turn against our allies – including Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and Armenia – and, possibly even U.S. forces. The campaign also raises alarms regarding the likelihood that Turkey may leak highly classified F-35 technology to adversaries, including Iran and Russia.

http://asbarez.com/170358/greek-and-arm ... to-turkey/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:06 pm

THE QUEEN OPENS THE F-35 FACILITY AT RAF MARHAM

The Queen visited RAF Marham in early February to open officially the F-35 facility at the base.

According to an ITV report dated February 2, 2018:

The Queen has taken a tour of RAF Marham in Norfolk to see how it is preparing for the arrival of its new fighter jets.

Children from nearby schools lined the roads leading to the camp gates, waving flags as her car arrived at the base.

AF Marham, which has been the home of the Tornado GR4 Force, will welcome the F-35 Lightning Force next summer.

While there, the Queen officially opened the new Lightning Operations Centre.

It is the first building completed as part of a development scheme building the infrastructure needed to support the new jets.

http://www.sldinfo.com/the-queen-opens- ... af-marham/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:10 pm

San Diego welcomes a week of wonder weapons

He was standing in the middle of San Diego’s convention center, but Stormy Boudreaux was helping a Marine aviator skirt an enemy surface-to-air battery hidden in the Middle Eastern desert before gently locking onto two jets more than 40 miles away, closing behind their afterburners at supersonic speed, hunting them unseen on any radars.

Two missiles glimmered across the cockpit screen. One plane disappeared. Then the other, the way a retired Air Force pilot like Boudreaux expects from the stealthy F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, the most advanced jet of its kind every built.

In a hall filled with the latest wonder weapons dreamed up by the globe’s biggest arms merchants, Lockheed Martin’s $1.3 million flying simulator might have taken the prize for the most popular stop. Stripped of many of its top secret cockpit components, it’s the same digital display used by pilots at Arizona’s Luke Air Force Base.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/mil ... story.html
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:42 pm

Australian industry reaches F-35 milestone

Australian industry has now been awarded more than AUD1 billion (USD786 million) in subcontracting work on the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter aircraft programme and the government said it is planning to secure more.

Australia’s Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne announced the milestone on 13 February. “More than 50 Australian companies directly shared in the production contracts to date, with many more indirectly benefiting through supply chain work,” he said, adding that Australia is aiming for F-35 work worth more than USD2 billion by 2023.

“Further opportunities are expected for Australian companies to increase production contract values over the next four years as F-35 production rates more than double,” he said.

http://www.janes.com/article/77847/aust ... -milestone
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:43 pm

$10.7B set aside in U.S. budget to buy dozens of Lockheed Martin's F-35 aircraft

The U.S. Department of Defense plans to ask Congress for 77 F-35 aircraft made by aerospace giant Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT), the DoD said Monday.

The order, part of the $686 billion President Trump allocated to the DoD in his fiscal year 2019 budget request, comes with a price tag of $10.7 billion, the highest for any product the DoD wants to purchase. Other military equipment included in the budget request are submarines, helicopters and destroyers.

The order is largely in line with expectations. The administration of former President Barack Obama had projected 80 F-35 aircraft for the 2019 fiscal year, according to Bloomberg.

"We’re encouraged to see strong support for Lockheed Martin programs and a meaningful increase in defense spending, which backs investment in the capabilities our men and women in uniform require to address today’s dynamic global security environment," the company said in a prepared statement.

The F-35 is primarily manufactured in Fort Worth, where Lockheed Martin employs approximately 14,500 people. To see a history of the Fort Worth plant, check out the slideshow below.

https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news ... udget.html
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:43 pm

Syrian downing of F-16I begs question: Why didn’t Israel deploy F-35s?

As the Israeli Air Force continues to investigate the Feb. 10 loss of an F-16I to Syrian anti-aircraft fire, experts here are privately questioning why, given the operational circumstances that denied Israel the element of strategic surprise, it did not opt to deploy its newest front-line fighter: the stealthy F-35I.

In early December, the Air Force declared initial operational capability of the nine F-35s now in its possession. And from the aerial activity reported by residents near its home base at Nevatim, southern Israel, the aircraft are accruing significant flight time.

Yet none of the operational F-35s were part of the eight-aircraft force package tasked with destroying an Iranian command center in central Syria. The command center was reportedly operating the unmanned Shahed 171 drone that Israel says penetrated its airspace in the early morning of Feb. 10.

Nor were they tasked to lead the follow-on wave of strikes on 12 separate Syrian and Iranian assets in the punitive operation launched later that day in response to the F-16I downing.

But why not?

Perhaps these costly stealth fighters are too precious to use. Or perhaps the Israeli Air Force is not sufficiently confident in the aircraft or its pilots’ proficiency in operating the fifth-generation fighter.

Given pledges by Syria and its Hezbollah allies of “more surprises” should Israel venture additional attacks on Syrian soil, will the Israel Air Force opt to use these front-line assets next time around?

The official answer to all these questions, according to Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, is: “No comment.”

https://www.defensenews.com/global/mide ... loy-f-35s/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:50 pm

Very strong wording coming out of Japan now on the probable acquisition of the F-35B STOVL for use to deployed locations, on the Izumo and as a replacement for some of the F-15 fleet.

F-35B jets eyed to defend remote isles / Fighters also mulled for MSDF’s Izumo ship

The government is considering operating F-35B fighter jets from about fiscal 2026, in an effort to utilize airports on remote islands and thereby improve the nation’s capability to defend the isles, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

Considered the most advanced stealth fighters, F-35Bs are currently operated by the U.S. military based in Japan.

The Japanese government is also eyeing the operation of the fighters on Izumo, the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s largest-class destroyer and which Tokyo is considering remodeling into an aircraft carrier, according to government sources.

The government has decided to introduce 42 F-35A fighter jets — which are capable of taking off and landing on ordinary runways — as a successor to aging F-4 fighters. The first F-35A was deployed at the Air Self-Defense Force’s Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture last month.

As for the F-35B, the government is planning to indicate the number of aircraft to be procured in the next Medium Term Defense Program, which is to be compiled at the end of this year. It is also mulling including related expenses in the fiscal 2019 budget plan, with a view to starting the delivery of F-35Bs from around fiscal 2024, the sources said.

The F-35B is likely to be defined as a successor to the F-15, the ASDF’s main fighter jet. One plan is to introduce about 20 to 40 F-35Bs, which would correspond to one to two squadrons. Tokyo is also considering increasing the number of F-35As in the next midterm defense program, according to the sources.

The introduction of F-35Bs would facilitate the use of commercial airports on remote islands.

The minimum runway length required for the advanced fighter to take off is relatively short, making it more likely to be able to actually take off even when the airstrip at its home base is under attack.

The government is considering highlighting the objective of strengthening the capability for continuous combat operations in the National Defense Program Guidelines, which is expected to be reviewed at the year end. The ASDF’s Nyutabaru Air Base in Shintomi, Miyazaki Prefecture, is named as a possible base for the F-35B to be deployed.

The government is also eyeing converting Izumo into an aircraft carrier — which fighter jets can take off from and land on — by reinforcing the heat resistance of the ship’s deck. It aims to begin operation of the aircraft carrier in the early 2020s.

Starting this fiscal year, the MSDF has commissioned a shipbuilding company to carry out a study on enhancing the Izumo’s aircraft operation capability.

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera suggested at a meeting of the House of Representatives Budget Committee on Thursday that the government is considering operating the F-35B. The study on Izumo is being carried out “with the recently developed aircraft in mind,” the minister said.

The converted Izumo is planned to be utilized for such purposes as a supply base to defend remote islands. For the time being, the government wants the U.S. military to operate the F-35B, but it also plans to eventually operate the advanced fighter on its own by learning operational know-how from the U.S. side regarding the takeoff and landing of fighter jets, according to the sources.

There are 201 F-15 fighter jets — which were first introduced in fiscal 1980 — currently being deployed. Of them, 102 will continue to be enhanced and used in the future by installing them with such equipment as new types of electronic devices. The remaining 99, without being enhanced, are expected to be replaced with F-35Bs as well as a successor fighter to the F-2, the sources said.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004240516
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:41 pm

Capability jump: IAF looks to buy fifth-generation F-35 fighter

In what would be a huge capability jump, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is increasingly interested in procuring the American F-35 Lightning II for its depleting fighter fleet.
Business Standard learns the IAF top brass is formally requesting for a classified briefing by the F-35’s prime builder, Lockheed Martin, on the capabilities of the sophisticated, fifth-generation fighter developed under the US Joint Strike Fighter programme.
The US government has not formally offered the F-35 to India. A classified briefing would require formal clearance from the US Department of Defence (the Pentagon) and the State Department. The grant of such a clearance would be an important first step towards permitting the sale of F-35s to India.
It is learnt the IAF wants to procure 126 of the variant called F-35A – the air force version of the fighter that incorporates “conventional take-off and landing”, or CTOL. Another variant, the F-35B, incorporating “short take-off and vertical landing”, or (STOVL), has been developed for the US Marine Corps. A third version, developed for the US Navy, incorporates “catapult assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR).
The Indian Navy, which has never ruled out operating the F-35 off Indian aircraft carriers, has received a briefing on the F-35 as far back as 2010, Lockheed Martin official Orville Prins told this correspondent. However, at that stage, the F-35 was still grappling with serious development challenges.
The F-35’s affordability is also attractive for New Delhi. In contrast to the bare-bones price of $115 million for each Rafale fighter (with India-specific enhancements, spares, logistics and weapons all extra), the F-35A cost customers $94.6 million last February. Lockheed Martin says it will reduce the cost to $80 million by 2020.
A fifth-generation fighter is characterised by a “stealth design”, making it far more difficult for radar to detect; “supercruise”, or the ability to fly at supersonic speeds without engaging engine afterburners; and highly networked avionics that detect and engage enemy aircraft using a range of sensors and weapons across the battle-space.
The only true fifth-generation fighters in service are the US Air Force’s F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II. China is developing two stealth fighters – the J-20 Chengdu and the J-31 Shenyang. Russia is developing its own fifth-generation fighter, the PAK-FA, and has offered India a partnership role in developing the PAK-FA into the eponymous Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) for the IAF. Negotiations on roles and costing are over, but the Indian defence ministry is yet to accept.
The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) defence minister, AK Antony, had ruled out buying the F-35, stating that India would meet its short-term requirement of fifth-generation fighters with the FGFA.

For the IAF’s long term needs, the Defence R&D Organisation is developing the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).
Sources close to the Pentagon say India would not be sold the F-35 as long as it is partnering Russia in the FGFA co-development project. That is because Washington would guard against the leakage of F-35 technology into the FGFA.
Senior officers say the IAF is not enthused about the FGFA project. They point out the F-35 is further advanced in development and has already entered service with the USAF and six-seven air forces of American allies.
For Lockheed Martin, an Indian request for the F-35 would create a dilemma. The US company would rather have the IAF buy the F-16 Block 70, which it has offered to build in India in partnership with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL).
For Lockheed Martin, that would keep alive the F-16 assembly line, which has long functioned from Fort Worth, Texas, and has now moved temporarily to Greenville, South Carolina, where it is building a $2.8 billion order from Bahrain for 19 F-16V fighters.
The Fort Worth facility has been made over to building the F-35, of which over 3,000 are already on order.
Meanwhile, the assembly line in India would build new F-16s for the IAF, as well as for orders that Lockheed Martin expects from southeast Asian and central European countries. It would also provide overhaul and upgrade facilities for the estimated 3,000 F-16 fighters in service worldwide, in some 25 air forces.
As this newspaper reported (December 16, “Lockheed Martin says F-16 orders flowing in”) Lockheed Martin calculates that an Indian line would benefit, in the medium term, from new fighter orders worth $16 billion, and $6.5 billion in upgrading old F-16s.
Simultaneously, American jobs would get a lease of life, as F-16 suppliers in the US would continue feeding into the integration line in India. At least 50 per cent of the F-16 by value would continue to be made in America.
For all these reasons, Lockheed Martin is painting the F-16 Block 70 sale to the IAF as a stepping stone to eventually obtaining the F-35.
While the US has supplied the F-35 only to close allies, Washington insiders say India’s recent designation as a Major Defence Partner (MDP), and a groundswell of goodwill towards New Delhi, make conditions propitious for an Indian request. An indicator is the recent permission granted for the sale to India of the Sea Guardian unmanned aerial vehicle – so far sold only to close allies.
In 2011, the influential US Senate Armed Services Committee requested the Pentagon to study the feasibility of an F-35 sale to India. Senators John Cornyn (co-chair of the Senate India Caucus) and Joseph Lieberman spearheaded the proposal.
But US officials in Washington also complain about fatigue at New Delhi’s tardiness in following up discussions with formal requests. The mood in the Pentagon, say these officials, is: “Let New Delhi ask for the F-35. Then we’ll take things forward.”
The defence ministry and the IAF have not responded to an emailed request for comments.

http://www.business-standard.com/articl ... 246_1.html
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:31 am

Upgrade Navy Networks To Get Most From F-35: Commandant Wants Quality

If the Commandant of the Marine Corps had one more dollar to spend — and he probably will with the recent budget deal — he’d use it to upgrade Navy ships’ electronics to take full advantage of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, he said this morning. The Marines’ new F-35Bs have the sensors to gather vast amounts of data and the computer smarts to “fuse” and make sense of it, experts tell us, but the Navy amphibious warships it will fly from lack the networks and computing to download and use all that intelligence.

“Right now we’re not even close to having that discussion with some of our amphibs, particularly the big deck amphibs,” Neller said. (That’s the LHA and LHD classes, often referred to as mini aircraft carriers). “We’re putting a fifth gen airplane on that amphib and we’re running a less than fifth gen command and control suite. And so to me that would be the first thing.”

It’s worth noting that Gen. Robert Neller was speaking off the cuff after I asked him about his priorities at an event hosted by the Amphibious Warship Industrial Base Coalition. As it was, Neller thought aloud for a moment about various Marine Corps needs, from long-range firepower to more Navy attack submarines to clear the seas, before saying his top priority would be command, control, and networking upgrades to fully exploit the capabilities of the F-35. Nevertheless, this morning’s remarks give a pretty good preview of what the Marines will be telling Congress.

“We don’t have to have just… more ships, we’ve got to have more capable ships,” Neller said in his opening remarks. In particular, he went on, “the F-35 is a very capable airplane, but it’s got to be able to network. It will not realize its capability unless you can network that thing. You’ve got to exchange information not just between other airplanes, but (with) the ships that are in the fleet and….the force that’s going to go ashore.”

https://breakingdefense.com/2018/02/upg ... s-quality/

This is a recurring theme amongst F-35 operators, that the aircraft has the ability to feed so much additional data into the command and situational picture but that current systems are not capable of handling it. Perhaps a hidden cost of acquiring F-35 if you want to use it to the full ability but also an advantage to provide a significant situational awareness improvement to a deployed force.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:38 am

Battlefield Airmen integrate with F-35, improve air ground dominance

During the F-35 Lightning II’s pre-Initial Operational Test and Evaluation, Airmen from the 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron had the opportunity to work with all three variants of the Joint Strike Fighter.

Tactical Air Control Party Airmen coordinate air support with joint and international platforms, making this a unique opportunity to work with three different versions of the fifth-generation aircraft.

“We were able to execute close-air-support training scenarios and validate TACP cold-weather training,” said Staff Sgt. Gary Russell, Detachment 1, 3rd ASOS battalion air liaison officer. “We were also able to build the 3rd ASOS’s familiarization with all F-35 variants.”

Unlike other aircraft used for CAS, the F-35 utilizes speed and stealth technology to become a more lethal threat on the battlefield.

“It’s a little more difficult to control than some other aircraft,” said Russell. “It flies higher and faster than most aircraft we deal with, but it also gives us the advantage of not having to worry about as many surface-to-air threats. Because of that, we are able to focus more on the ground commander’s priorities.”

http://www.eielson.af.mil/News/Article- ... dominance/

Some interswting observations on CAS with the F-35. Higher and faster compared to what they are used to could be referencing F-16s or A-10s? Conversely it must be a lot easier to call in CAS when you don’t have to worry about the Surface to Air threat.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:09 am

F-35 takes flak, but still flying high

The U.S. military is all in on the F-35 joint strike fighter, the most expensive weapons program in Pentagon history, with plans to buy more than 2,400 over the next quarter-century.

In the fiscal 2019 defense budget request released this month, the Pentagon is requesting $10.7 billion to buy 77 planes next year, on top of the 70 ordered this year, and 74 last year.

The original concept behind the high-tech fifth-generation multi-role fighter was to save money by having a common airframe with custom features for each service, a tail hook for the Navy, a vertical takeoff model for the Marines, and a runway takeoff model for the Air Force.

And sales to U.S. allies were going to keep the price down.

But since its inception in the late 1990s, the price tag for the stealthy plane has skyrocketed from a vastly over-optimistic estimate of $40 million a copy, to more than $100 million, with projected costs topping $1 trillion to keep the aircraft flying over its projected 60-year lifespan.

The plane the U.S. is banking on as the “future of tactical aviation” has taken unrelenting flak from critics over the years even as it has yet to see combat.

A Google search for “F-35” and “boondoggle,” turns up 65,000 hits with headlines such as, “What went wrong with the F-35,” (Scientific American) and “Military Admits Billion-Dollar War Toy F-35 Is F**ked,” (Daily Beast).

But the $400 billion program keeps chugging along, seemingly evading potshots from its many critics as easily as enemy radar.

“The F-35 is a remarkably successful program. It has met all of its requirement for stealth and provides superior situational awareness,” said Loren Thompson, chief operating officer of the nonprofit Lexington Institute, a Washington think tank that receives some of its funding from Lockheed Martin, builder of the F-35.

Thompson says he’s been following the program since Lockheed got the contract in October 2001.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/f-35- ... le/2649230

More details at the link as well as some comparative analysis from POGO. Given I'm a believer I find the POGO comments inaccurate and deliberately misleading...
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:12 am

An interesting perspective on the rationale for Germany to acquire the F-35.

The F-35 for Germany

Within a decade, Germany must replace 85 of its Tornado multi-role combat aircraft. Designed and built in the 1970s by a consortium of British, Italian and West German aircraft companies, the Jets have reached a point of diminishing return when it comes to maintenance and modernization. In 2015, for example, it was reported by the German press that only 30 of the planes were combat-ready at any given time. Plain and simple, the Luftwaffe needs a new aircraft.

In May of last year, the German air force asked to be briefed on the American-made F-35, the stealthy, multi-mission, 5th-generation aircraft. Then, in November, Lt. General Karl Müllner, the Luftwaffe chief of staff, indicated his service’s preference for replacing the Tornado jets with the F-35 because of its low-observable signature and its ability to identify and strike distant targets. “I think I have expressed myself clearly enough as to what the favorite of the air force is.” Given Russian advances in ground-based air defenses and combat aircraft, the general’s comments were not surprising from a military point of view.

But the general’s remarks may well have been a surprise to his government. In December, the Deputy Defense Minister Ralf Brauksiepe pushed back against the idea of replacing the Tornados with F-35s by simply noting that this was “not the position of the federal government.” Instead, the ministry stated that the Tornados would be replaced with the Eurofighter, an aircraft originally designed in the late 1980s and early 1990s to be an air-superiority fighter but which has evolved into a multi-mission platform. Like the Tornado, the Eurofighter is built by a consortium (Germany, Italy, UK and Spain) of European nations.

Not that the Eurofighter is a second-rate plane. It can climb at a high rate, it’s maneuverable, and it has a maximum speed of well over Mach 2. In each of those categories, it is superior to the F-35, more comparable to the U.S. Air Force’s F-15. But that’s the rub, it was designed principally for late Cold War aerial combat—dogfighting. Despite upgrades to the Eurofighter, the Russians have modernized their fighters as well, with the Su-35 being perhaps the top non-stealthy, air-superiority aircraft in the world today. Add in Russia’s advanced integrated air defenses, and you are asking a Luftwaffe pilot to bring a knife, albeit a very capable knife, to a gunfight.

There is a reason other European allies—the Brits, the Danes, the Italians, the Dutch and the Norwegians—have opted for the 5th-generation jet over 4th-generation alternatives. In 2016, the Danish government ran a competition between the F-35 and possible alternatives, including the Eurofighter. The conclusion: “Under survivability and mission effectiveness, the Joint Strike Fighter comes out better than the two other candidates. This is due to a number of factors, including for example the low radar signature of the aircraft as well as the application of advanced systems and sensors that enhance the pilot’s tactical overview and ensure the survival of the aircraft and efficient mission performance.”

Neither plane is cheap. But as aviation industry authority Richard Aboulafia has noted, the Eurofighter “had the costs of an F-35 without the modern features.”

So why the preference for the Eurofighter by the German government? The first and most obvious reason is that, unless there are new orders, the Eurofighter production line in Germany will be forced to close and, with closure, well-paying jobs and expertise will be lost. However, so goes the defense aircraft industry, as American lines for the F-16 and F-18 also face this prospect.

Equally important to Berlin, however, is the July 2017 announcement that Germany and France had agreed to work together on the design and production of a new, presumably 5th-generation, fighter jet that would replace the Eurofighter and France’s Rafales. Given the emphasis both capitals are now putting on greater defense cooperation within the European Union, it’s no surprise that Berlin fears that buying F-35s now might lessen the necessity of developing a new Franco-German aircraft.

However, procuring a limited number of F-35s in the immediate years ahead does not, strictly speaking, preclude France and Germany moving forward with their own development program. Moreover, given the lengthy timelines typically involved between an agreement to begin work and a plane actually entering service, it could be argued that what Germany and France should be working on is less an aircraft comparable to the F-35 than a plane that is a step up—perhaps even an unmanned stealth fighter.

It is not unreasonable for sovereign states to worry about the health of their defense industrial base. And it is certainly a lot harder these days for German ministers to argue for “buying American” given the unpopularity of President Trump and his needless broadsides that allies, like Germany, “owe” the U.S. billions. Yet the fact remains that the German government also owes its forces the kinds of capabilities that maximize their safety and effectiveness in a potential conflict that could take place well before a new Franco-German fighter is available. The men and women of the Luftwaffe are right to want the F-35.

https://www.aei.org/publication/the-f-35-for-germany/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:21 pm

Successful F-35 drag chute test in Norway

While The US Air Force is completing another round of cold-weather testing of the F-35A at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, Norway completed a successful verification of the drag chute system at Ørland Air Force Base in Norway February 16th.

Receiving the first three aircraft in November 2017 was a major milestone for Norway. The program delivers on all key criteria: Time, cost and performance. Through the verification of the production version of the drag chute on our production model of the F-35, the weapons system is expected to fully qualify for arctic conditions this spring, says Major General Morten Klever, Program Director for the F-35 program in Norway's Ministry of Defence.

The chute — unique to the Norwegian aircraft — is housed under a small fairing on the upper rear fuselage between the vertical tails. It is being added in order to rapidly decelerate Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35s after landing on the country’s icy runways when there are challenging wind conditions. Other country’s may adopt the system.

https://www.regjeringen.no/en/aktuelt/h ... id2590220/

I'm not aware of any other nations considering the drag chute, even the US who will be operating F-35 in Alaska but perhaps if Canada selects the F-35 they will acquire it.

Image
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:11 pm

Ozair wrote:
Successful F-35 drag chute test in Norway

While The US Air Force is completing another round of cold-weather testing of the F-35A at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, Norway completed a successful verification of the drag chute system at Ørland Air Force Base in Norway February 16th.

Receiving the first three aircraft in November 2017 was a major milestone for Norway. The program delivers on all key criteria: Time, cost and performance. Through the verification of the production version of the drag chute on our production model of the F-35, the weapons system is expected to fully qualify for arctic conditions this spring, says Major General Morten Klever, Program Director for the F-35 program in Norway's Ministry of Defence.

The chute — unique to the Norwegian aircraft — is housed under a small fairing on the upper rear fuselage between the vertical tails. It is being added in order to rapidly decelerate Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35s after landing on the country’s icy runways when there are challenging wind conditions. Other country’s may adopt the system.

https://www.regjeringen.no/en/aktuelt/h ... id2590220/

I'm not aware of any other nations considering the drag chute, even the US who will be operating F-35 in Alaska but perhaps if Canada selects the F-35 they will acquire it.

Image


I think the Netherlands
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:18 pm

Mortyman wrote:

I think the Netherlands

From what I can tell the Netherlands provided funding to Norway to develop the chute but has yet to commit to acquire it.
Last December, the Netherlands announced the Dutch government would pay Norway NOK96 million ($11.4 million) to develop the F-35’s brake chute.
The Netherlands’ cost share would allow Norwegian government to redirect those funds to cover general expenses related to the Norwegian acquisition of the F-35, FlightGlobal reported.
The Netherlands has only committed to preparing aircraft for the drag chute mounting and the initial contribution covers the development of the modification.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ys-443659/
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:15 pm

With the SRVL stuff being done by the UK I do wonder if some of the chute users would instead consider the B version. Similar idea in that both provide for shorter landing rolls.
 
Planeflyer
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:36 am

Why exactly does Norway need this capability? Weather?
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:18 am

Planeflyer wrote:
Why exactly does Norway need this capability? Weather?


Icy runways. You know, as they're up in the Arctic circle area. ;)

The drogue chute will help augment the brakes on any slippery runways they have to use. I believe the Norwegians also do the practice of having major roads built to be wartime runways if needed. So they just can't make them super long and straight like a regular runway. Which means you want something to help the brakes.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:08 am

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
With the SRVL stuff being done by the UK I do wonder if some of the chute users would instead consider the B version. Similar idea in that both provide for shorter landing rolls.

The Bee comes with a shorter mission radius (500nm vs 660nm for the A) and reduced internal payload so I think most operators won't be willing to sacrifice that when the alternative, at least in Norway's case, can land on shorter runways with the drag chute.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:13 am

Additional information is emerging about Japan topping up their F-35 order with another 20-25 jets in the next 6 years.

Exclusive: Japan to buy at least 20 more F-35A stealth fighters - sources

Japan plans to buy at least 20 additional F-35A stealth fighters over the next six years, some or all of which it may purchase directly from Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) in the United States rather than assemble locally, three sources said.

“In view of budgets and production schedules a new acquisition of around 25 planes is appropriate,” said one of the sources with knowledge of the plan. The sources asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

The sources said buying complete aircraft from the United States, at about $100 million each, will save Japan about $30 million per airframe.

The purchase will add to an earlier order for 42 of the fighters, most of which are being constructed at a “final assembly and check out” plant in Japan operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (7011.T), the country’s leading defense contractor.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japa ... SKCN1G507W
 
Planeflyer
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:05 am

ZH, thanks, given Norway’s dominance of winter sports I guess could have thought about icy runways.

God bless pilots!
 
ThePointblank
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:41 am

Ozair wrote:
Additional information is emerging about Japan topping up their F-35 order with another 20-25 jets in the next 6 years.

Exclusive: Japan to buy at least 20 more F-35A stealth fighters - sources

Japan plans to buy at least 20 additional F-35A stealth fighters over the next six years, some or all of which it may purchase directly from Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) in the United States rather than assemble locally, three sources said.

“In view of budgets and production schedules a new acquisition of around 25 planes is appropriate,” said one of the sources with knowledge of the plan. The sources asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

The sources said buying complete aircraft from the United States, at about $100 million each, will save Japan about $30 million per airframe.

The purchase will add to an earlier order for 42 of the fighters, most of which are being constructed at a “final assembly and check out” plant in Japan operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (7011.T), the country’s leading defense contractor.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japa ... SKCN1G507W

The Japanese didn't go to the expense of getting Mitsubishi to setup a factory and overhaul facility in Nagoya to assemble F-35's for just 38 of them. It was clear from the beginning that the Japanese wanted more.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:52 pm

Some further info on simulation use for the F-35 including numbers expected to be available by 2021. Apparently a new pilot will do up to 18 simulator rides before getting into the jet for their first flight.

Lockheed Martin allows rare tour of classified F-35 flight simulator

Retired Air Force fighter pilot Christine Mau scanned the horizon over Eglin Air Force Base, looking for the enemy.

“There they are,” she said, indicating two Russian-made MIG 29s among puffy white clouds. Below, the flat landscape of Northwest Florida was a sea of green trees and scrub.

Closing in on the MiGs quickly, Mau pointed out their weapons arsenal, missiles carried under the wings. Normally she might engage them in combat, but she had two reporters watching over her shoulder, so that part of the flight simulator was turned off.

Lockheed Martin allowed a rare tour of the F-35 Full Mission Simulators on Wednesday, which are in an Air Force-restricted building normally open only to pilots, instructors and other key personnel. The simulators are part of the $1 trillion-plus F-35 program being developed by the defense giant at its Training and Logistics Solutions facility in East Orlando.

Despite blistering criticism of the F-35 program’s cost from President Donald Trump and others, Lockheed is staking its future on the program. It plans to hire about 1,800 people in Orlando during the next few years, including 300 in West Orlando this year — mostly engineers. That will add to the 7,000 people the company employs in Central Florida.

Training and simulators are a big part of the program. Lockheed is developing the simulators and the F-35’s all-encompassing IT and maintenance system, the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) in
East Orlando. About 3,500 employees there also build ALIS hardware.

“We do up to 18 simulation training events before the pilot gets in the jet,” said Amy Gowder, VP and general manager for Lockheed.

The company says it delivered 10 of simulators in late 2017, and it plans to deliver about 100 of them by 2021, to 20 facilities around the globe. The biggest customer is the U.S. Air Force, but they are also being sold to U.S. allies such as the United Kingdom, Japan and Israel.

“We’re getting the price of the simulation hardware down to a commercial market level now,” Gowder said. “Getting the cost of the software down is our next challenge.”

Asked if Lockheed can brings costs down fast enough to convince the Department of Defense the program is sustainable, she said, “We’re at the front end of that opportunity.” She said the cost of the systems are being measured based on outcomes, in terms of the number of pilots that can be trained compared to traditional costs.

The F-35 and the ALIS programs are designed to reduce costs in other areas — for example, by drastically reducing the time a mechanic has to spend diagnosing a problem with a jet.

Some older jets required mechanics to carry around printed manuals. But ALIS allows mechanics to carry a laptop and training computer that plug into the jet, run diagnostics, and quickly offer a tutorial on fixing a problem. Once the fix is made, the mechanic’s training profile is even updated.

The simulators are about the height of a one-story building, a large black metal frame surrounding a glowing white dome. The cockpit sits on a track in the middle of the dome and can be withdrawn to be worked on. Instructors sit at a console outside the dome, tracking the pilot’s actions on video screens and a radar simulation.

With two of the FMS units side by side in East Orlando, two pilots training at the same time can see each other’s planes in the simulation.

“Can I do a barrel roll, or will that make you sick?” asks Mau, who was the first female pilot to train for the F-35.

Assured that the “passengers” could handle her rolling the jet, the Florida landscape spins around to the top of the screen and back again.

With the mission over, she nears Eglin again and punches a button that lands the plane automatically and flawlessly.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business ... story.html
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:05 am

ALIS 3.0 is now ready for depoymet to the operational fleet. This should see some further improvement but the article makes it clear there is still some work to go.

ALIS 3.0 Testing Complete But Improvements Are Slow

The F-35’s Autonomic Logistics Integration System, or ALIS, completed operational testing on Feb. 19 and fielded units will be updated with this version on a priority basis, based on which units have the most pressing need, Lockheed Martin Vice President and General Manager for Training and Logistics Solutions Amy Gowder told reporters Feb. 21.

Speaking at the unit’s Orlando, Fla., facility, Gowder confirmed that ALIS 3.0 had completed “flight testing” at Nellis AFB, Nev., although this is an in-house company term and the system does not actually fly.

ALIS is a series of mobile servers mounted in two vertical racks—one classified and one not—that gathers and processes the flight experience of all the F-35 jets in a squadron, automatically ordering parts and maintenance actions as required. The 13 or so servers are transportable and go with the unit when it deploys. Lockheed and its F-35 military customers are looking at a somewhat smaller system that could deploy with a detachment of, say, six jets, as the Air Force has said it will be doing more frequently.

A team of installers travels to F-35 operating locations and updates ALIS hardware over a weekend, when missions are typically not flown, Gowder explained. Units receiving the update first will be those that are operational and flying real-world missions, followed by those doing training.

Despite it being the most up-to-date version of the logistics system, Gowder said Lockheed recognizes it must improve ALIS 3.0, as one of the major elements in its sustainment cost reduction efforts.

“One area [that] we do know” needs improvement is in the number of ALIS administrators, Gowder acknowledged. There are eight needed per squadron, and that must come down, she said, because manpower is a “key driver” of sustainment costs. Future versions will be more centralized to reduce the number of people needed to feed and maintain aircraft information.

She said the company is also looking to improve “usability liability” issues, which means that some ALIS functions actually take longer to perform than they do in legacy logistics systems. The Joint Program Office is allowing Lockheed to “roll in fixes” to both earlier versions and 3.0 to “improve usability.”

Another area slow to pay off is in automated test. ALIS performs this function at the unit part level, but not yet for the overall system, which Gowder said is “where the big bang for the buck is.”

The company and JPO are deeply into discussions about version 4.0, which was originally slated to be released in 2019, but Gowder suggested that target won’t be met, because of new requirements being added and the differing needs of international users.

“We may choose to defer some nice-to-have” features from 4.0 to accelerate more urgently needed improvements, such as cybersecurity, she noted. The focus will continue to be on “quality data integrity,” Gowder noted. The propulsion system—the F135 engine and its performance and parts—was added to ALIS in 2017, greatly expanding the amount of data it amasses and tracks. The company is trying to make sure that flaws from “legacy” logistics systems don’t migrate into ALIS when data is ported over to it.

Gowder asserted that the release of 3.0 fixes some of the problems that have led to F-35 sustainment costs taking too long to come down, and as it spreads throughout the fleet in 2018, “I think you’ll see a big improvement” in sustainability this year, she predicted. With a further update in 2019, more progress should be made, she added.

http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... -Slow.aspx
 
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Mortyman
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:55 pm

A video of a Norwegian F-35A landing at an airport in Norway and deploying the chute during testing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5aPvJakASc
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:47 am

Some interesting comments by General Holmes. The USAF is very keen to drive down the average age of their fighter fleet which sits at an average of 30 years. The key is balancing the cost the USAF has to pay compared to the benefit of reducing that average age.

Gen Holmes indicates that the USAF is reluctant to buy too many F-35s today to ensure that they don't have too much of an upgrade cost. Any jet ordered today will be in Blk 3F but the USAF has indicated for a number of years it sees a full Blk 4 jet as the most desirable. I expect we will see the USAF buy rate increase from 2022 from the planned 60 to above 80 and likely 100 a year, especially once the jet is in full rate production and the USAF can benefit from a block buy arrangement.

AFA Winter 2018: USAF targets youthful future fighter fleet with F-35 buy

The US Air Force (USAF) requested 48 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) in its fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) budget request so it could target a youthful future service-wide fighter fleet and reduce the need for early aircraft modifications.

Air Combat Command (ACC) chief General James Holmes said on 22 February that if the service bought between 50 and 60 aircraft in FY 2019, it would not have any real effect on the average age of the USAF’s fleet. It would still have a 30 year-old average age, he said.

A top US Air Force officer said the service chose to procure 48 F-35As in FY 2019, as opposed to additional aircraft, because it would save money that would otherwise be spent on modifications and it would not be enough aircraft to drive down the average fighter age to a meaningful level.

Gen Holmes said the USAF would be able to drive down its average aircraft age to about 20 years if it bought 80 aircraft per year. It could get even lower, he said, if the USAF was buying 100 new F-35s per year. He said a rate of 100 new aircraft over 10 years would provide a fleet age and capability that would make the USAF much happier.

Gen Holmes also cited budget priorities, both among the joint force and the desire to not spend additional money on F-35 modifications because the service acquired aircraft early. The F-35 programme adds incremental capability with every new lot that comes off the production line and performed Block 3F mission systems testing in 2017. Delaying a production ramp-up will allow the USAF to save money instead of modifying aircraft.

http://www.janes.com/article/78146/afa- ... h-f-35-buy
 
WIederling
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:51 am

Ozair wrote:
The Pentagon Plans to Spend $10.7 Billion More on F-35 Fighters Next Year Despite Persistent Problems


you mistyped: :-)
The Pentagon Plans to Spend $10.7 Billion More on F-35 Fighters Next Year because of Persistent Problems.
SCNR
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Planeflyer
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:57 pm

How many f35 are being delivered to the us 2018, 2019?
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:30 pm

Planeflyer wrote:
How many f35 are being delivered to the us 2018, 2019?

For the USAF the plan is (F-35A)
2018 – 46
2019 – 48
2020 – 48
2021 – 54
2022 – 54
2023 – 60

For the USN/USMC (F-35B/C)
2018 – 24
2019 – 29
2020 – 36
2021 – 45
2022 – 45
2023 – 45

Info is taken from the FY2018 SAR here, https://www.scribd.com/document/3540822 ... 2017-18SAR
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:07 pm

The UK Government has responded to the parliamentary report released a couple of months ago that was critical of the Government’s handling of the acquisition with much of the initial criticism directed more at the ability of the UK to integrate the F-35 into their existing systems than of the air vehicle itself.

UK government addresses F-35 concerns, states continued commitment to programme

The UK government has responded to a parliamentary report that was highly critical of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme, saying that it remains committed to delivering the capability on time and within budget.
In its response to the December 2017 report titled Unclear for take-off? F-35 Procurement , the government on 26 February clarified a number of the concerns raised with the aircraft’s next-generation Multifunctional Advanced Data Link (MADL); the capacity of the internet broadband fitted to the Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) aircraft carriers; the reported cyber vulnerabilities of the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS); a lack of information on the current or the final costs of the programme; as well as software and hardware development problems.
In the original report published on 10 December 2017, the Parliamentary Defence Committee noted a lack of transparency in the F-35 programme in general and inadequate responses to a critical article published in The Times earlier in the year in particular, both of which could risk undermining public confidence in the project that is critical to the future of the UK defence.
The government said MADL is just one of a number of solutions that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is actively pursuing as it looks to improve the interoperability between defence and security systems across the air, land, sea, and cyber domains, and for the F-35 to share data covertly across the battlespace in particular. “The MoD has undertaken a series of trials of communication nodes between the Link 16 format and the MADL format using F-35 and [Eurofighter] Typhoon aircraft [.…] The MoD, alongside the US services and industry partners will continue to explore the value of exchanging data through the classified series of Babel Fish trials,” the government said.

http://www.janes.com/article/78168/uk-g ... -programme
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:12 pm

Interestingly Japan has essentially acknowledged that the Izumo was designed from the start to accommodate the F-35B and therefore any subsequent refit required will not be as expensive or excessive as it could have been.

Japan's Largest Warship Was Designed as an Aircraft Carrier

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s (JMSDF) largest warship, the so-called helicopter destroyer JS Izumo, the lead ship of the Izumo-class, along with its sister ship, JS Kaga, have already been designed to operate short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) fighters such as Lockheed Martin’s F-35B, retired JMSDF sources told Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper last week.
While Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has repeatedly denied plans to retrofit the Izumo-class into full-fledged aircraft carriers–euphemistically classified as helicopter destroyers by the JMSDF to downplay the ships’ offensive warfighting capabilities– a JMSDF executive said that a consensus was privately reached at the inception of the Izumo project that the warships should be designed allowing for a future conversion into a F-35B-carrying naval platform.

“It is only reasonable to design (the Izumo) with the prospect of possible changes of the circumstances in the decades ahead,” the JMSDF executive said. “We viewed that whether the Izumo should be actually refitted could be decided by the government.” Indeed, it is unsurprising that consideration was given to operate the F-35B–the U.S. Marine Corps variant of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter capable of vertical or short takeoffs and vertical landings without requiring a catapult launcher—from the Izumo’s flight deck, as the ministry has repeatedly expressed interest in acquiring the aircraft over the years.
MoD sources have only recently reiterated the MoDs interest in procuring F-35Bs for service aboard the Izumo-class and from airfields on Japanese-held islands skirting the East China Sea. Modifications on the Izumo-class, among other things, would require the installation of a ski-jump. Contrary to earlier reports, the JMSDF executive claims that the flight deck has already been coated with paint that can withstand the exhaust heat generated during F-35B landings and takeoffs. Additionally, the aircraft elevators connecting the flight deck with the hangar was reportedly specifically designed to accommodate the F-35B.

The Izumo-class is the biggest class of surface warship to be operated by the JMSDF since the end of World War II. While it is a multi-purpose warship, the Izumo-class’ biggest comparative advantage to other vessels in the JMSDFs surface fleet is its sophisticated anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability. For example, Izumo-class ships can operate a large number of Japan’s most advanced sub-hunting helicopter. “The ship is designed to accommodate up to 14 helicopters (seven Mitsubishi-built SH-60k ASW helicopters and seven Agusta Westland MCM-101 mine countermeasure helicopters), five of which can simultaneously take off and land, given the Izumo’s large flight deck and five landing spots,” I explained previously.
Should the Izumo-class undergo a retrofit to accommodate the F-35B, the ships’ ASW capabilities would be somewhat curtailed, as numerous defense analysts have pointed out. The Izumo-class conversion debate in Japan occurs in the context of an increasing vulnerability of Japanese airbases to Chinese and North Korean cruise and ballistic missile strikes. F-35Bs operating from Izumo-class carriers would at least theoretically increase the chances of Japanese airpower surviving a possible Chinese or North Korean first strike in the event of a military conflict.

http://www.janes.com/article/78168/uk-g ... -programme
 
angad84
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:42 am

But the flight deck will likely need mods right? Because they couldn't have known about the heat problems when the Izumos were being built.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:06 am

angad84 wrote:
But the flight deck will likely need mods right? Because they couldn't have known about the heat problems when the Izumos were being built.

The heat doesn't appear to be an issue. From the article I quoted,

Contrary to earlier reports, the JMSDF executive claims that the flight deck has already been coated with paint that can withstand the exhaust heat generated during F-35B landings and takeoffs. Additionally, the aircraft elevators connecting the flight deck with the hangar was reportedly specifically designed to accommodate the F-35B.


Could be that the Japanese also planned to operate or at least cross deck the V-22 which also requires the same heat coating as the F-35B. The flight deck may require some other changes such as the installation of a ski jump, not necessary but would benefit payload, and perhaps some changes to the bow.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:50 pm

Some additional cost info on the transition to blk 4 and how the program is going to continue software updates and enhancements between blk 3F and 4, partly to fix any issues not delivered by the end of SDD and the enable a smooth transition to blk 4 work. Given the software can continue to be enhanced it makes sense to retain the core group of devs that will be doing the work and let them continue with issues and enhancements identified during operational test.

Budget request includes funding profile for new F-35 Block 4 strategy

The Defense Department's fiscal year 2019 budget request includes funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program's new Follow-On Modernization plan, dubbed Continuous Capability Development and Delivery, but it is unclear whether the projection incorporates a new cost estimate for the effort.

The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps each reference the new strategy, which Inside Defense first reported last September. C2D2 is meant to change the way the program develops and delivers new software capabilities and to create a bridge between the final version of Block 3F software that will be delivered during the system development and demonstration phase and the first iteration of Block 4 software. That bridge phase will allow the program to fix any known Block 3F deficiencies -- as well as any discovered during operational test -- and insert new capabilities prior to the release of the next software block.

The JPO has been working with the Office of the Secretary of Defense to nail down the details of the program's C2D2 strategy, including cost and schedule. Although the recent budget request highlights the new strategy, it's unclear whether the request includes an approved cost estimate. However, there is some variation between what the services projected they would need for FOM in their FY-18 budget requests and what they are asking for in the FY-19 request for C2D2.

In FY-18, the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps projected they would need a combined $3.1 billion for FOM between fiscal years 2019 and 2022. In the services' FY-19 request, the projection for those years grows to by about $56 million.

That $56 million change reflects some shifts in funding over that four-year period, with the biggest change in projection appearing in FY-19. The three services projected in their FY-18 requests they would need a combined $915 million in FY-19. In their FY-19 requests, the services ask for $68 million more.

The request does not justify the difference in detail, but notes that FY-19 funding would support C2D2 contract development, a preliminary design review for the first iteration of Block 4 software and a system requirements review for the second iteration of Block 4 software.

FY-19 funds will also support the execution of a third technology refresh, TR-3, which will update the system so that it can support Block 4 capabilities. In FY-19, the program plans to move closer to a critical design review of some subsystems and will prototype TR-3 software. The program also plans to stand up an initial TR-3 lab in FY-19.

Other FY-19 C2D2 activities include continued development and flight testing of future F-35 capabilities. Budget documents note the program will transfer its integrated test requirements to C2D2 as the system development and demonstration phase closes out.

https://insidedefense.com/inside-navy/b ... 4-strategy
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:02 am

Some F-35 vs A-10 CAS waste of time commentary. Given only one airframe can survive in a high threat environment I don’t see why the media keep having this discussion.

The F-35 may be heading into its faceoff with the A-10 this April
Before moving into operational testing, the joint strike fighter will have to prove its mettle as a close-air support plane to the Pentagon’s independent testers, the F-35 program head said Wednesday.
This April, the Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation will scrutinize the F-35’s close-air support and reconnaissance capabilities during a series of flights at Edwards Air Force Base and the Point Mugu Sea Range in California, said Vice Adm. Mat Winter, who leads the F-35 Joint Program Office.

Winter said he isn’t sure whether the close-air support assessment In April — the second increment of tests ahead of this September’s initial operational test and evaluation, or IOT&E — would include the much-hyped F-35 versus A-10 flyoff. But it’s coming soon.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/02 ... his-april/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:17 am

F-35 contract discussions for Lot 11 continue. After the DoD forced a price on LM the last time I don’t see a lot of value in LM attempting to play hard ball here. Eventually the DoD mandate a price and LM will have to accept it so might as well save the legal fees and return focus to what really matters, getting operational jets out the door.

The Pentagon is trying to figure out the true cost of its costliest weapons system, the F-35

The top F-35 program official wants to know the true price tag of the Pentagon's costliest weapons system.

"To better inform our target glide path, I want to know what it truly costs to produce the aircraft," said Navy Vice Admiral Mat Winter, program executive officer for the Pentagon's F-35 joint program office.
"The number of quality escapes and what we call production line defects needs to get better," Winter told reporters during a roundtable Wednesday.

Lockheed Martin's fifth-generation stealth fighter, valued at an acquisition cost of $406.5 billion, has become one of the most challenged programs in the history of the Department of Defense. The laundry list of setbacks includes faulty ejection seats, software delays and significant helmet-display issues. President Donald Trump has criticized the soaring price tag on the "jack of all trades" jet as being "out of control." "They were having a lot of difficulty. There was no movement. And I was able to get $600 million approximately off those planes. So I think that was a great achievement," Trump told reporters following the latest contract agreement. "We will be saving billions and billions and billions of dollars on contracts," Trump added.

While Winter doesn't think Trump will have to get involved this time, he is dissatisfied with how the current negotiations are going for the next set of aircraft. "The price is coming down, but it's not coming down fast enough," said Winter, saying he believes Lockheed Martin is negotiating in good faith — but with a caveat. "I will tell you that I am not as satisfied with the collaboration and cooperation by Lockheed Martin," he added. "They could be much more cooperative and collaborative, and we could seal this deal faster; we could. They choose not to, and that's a negotiating tactic."

As it stands now, the unit price for an F-35A — including aircraft, engine and fees — is $94.3 million.
"We are targeting a reduction from that for lot 11 and for obviously lot 12, 13 as we go forward," Winter said. Winter added that the projected sustainment costs on the F-35 are poised to become unaffordable as the fleet grows from 280 aircraft to 800-plus by the end of 2021. Despite tough contract talks, Winter said that pressuring the defense giant into an unilateral contract agreement is an "endgame tactic" and "we are nowhere near that." "I'm negotiating for the best deal," he said. "I'm gonna go for the best deal for the taxpayer, for my partners and as importantly as the next negotiation starting point for lot 12 and on."

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/28/pentago ... ystem.html

For what it is worth, I am expecting a 6.5% reduction across the board for the aircraft this production year and 5% for subsequent years. That will see the following prices for the F-35A in USD

Lot 11 - 88 mill
Lot 12 - 83 mill
Lot 13 - 79 mill

That should see a FRP bulk buy provide a price point of around US$70-75 million for the F-35A.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:20 am

The Pentagon has funded upgrades for all pre 3F F-35s in the latest budget proposal. part of the motivation for this is to bring the fleet to one standard and reduce the spares burden of multiple different variants in the fleet.

F-35 Program To Update Older Jets To Boost Reliability

The U.S. Defense Department’s F-35 Lightning II joint program office plans to modify more than 200 early-production jets to bring them up to newer configurations, the program’s leader said Feb.

http://www.defensedaily.com/f-35-progra ... liability/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:55 am

This report is confirming what LM stated in a press release after this was suggested, that no F-35 briefing or solicitation has been made to India.

No request made to US for F-35 fighter jet, says IAF chief B S Dhanoa


The Indian Air Force (IAF) has denied that it has shown explicit interest in procuring the American F-35 Lightning II aircraft for its depleting fighter fleet. The reports about IAF approaching Lockheed Martin for a classified briefing on the F-35 came amid news that the government has decided to scrap the proposal to make a single-engine foreign fighter in India.
“We have not officially asked for a briefing on the F-35 nor has any request been made to the Americans,” IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa told The Indian Express.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/ ... a-5082304/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:59 am

Despite protests from Greece and within the US Congress it appears that Turkish F-35 deliveries are on track. The article has the version mixed up though as Turkey has only ordered F-35A CTOL aircraft and yet to order F-35B STOVL aircraft, although rumours persist that Turkey will acquire these to operate from their LHD.

Turkey to receive first delivery of F-35 fighter jets within 12 months


Turkey is set to receive its first delivery of the F-35 stealth fighter jets it has officially ordered within 12 months, as part of the ongoing 10-country Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program to develop the combat plane equipped with the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) technology. Turkey approved an initial order for two F-35s in May 2014 and is to take delivery of 10 aircraft per year after they enter service in 2018, with 30 F-35s on order, a total of 100 planned.

According to a statement for the American Secretary of Defense, the fifth generation F-35 Lightning II fighter jets will carry the same price-tag as the previous generation. Turkish F-16 pilots will undergo a six-week training before they’re ready to operate STOVL jets, which are capable of conducting takeoff and landing without the need for a long runway. The new generation of the F-35 combat jet’s vertical-takeoff capabilities will be compatible with Turkey’s amphibious multi-purpose combat frigate Anadolu TCG, currently in development, which is slated to come into service in 2021.

The profits of Turkish firms that participated in the F-35 program are expected to reach $12 billion.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/ ... a-5082304/
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:45 am

Ozair wrote:
Some F-35 vs A-10 CAS waste of time commentary. Given only one airframe can survive in a high threat environment I don’t see why the media keep having this discussion.

The F-35 may be heading into its faceoff with the A-10 this April
Before moving into operational testing, the joint strike fighter will have to prove its mettle as a close-air support plane to the Pentagon’s independent testers, the F-35 program head said Wednesday.
This April, the Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation will scrutinize the F-35’s close-air support and reconnaissance capabilities during a series of flights at Edwards Air Force Base and the Point Mugu Sea Range in California, said Vice Adm. Mat Winter, who leads the F-35 Joint Program Office.

Winter said he isn’t sure whether the close-air support assessment In April — the second increment of tests ahead of this September’s initial operational test and evaluation, or IOT&E — would include the much-hyped F-35 versus A-10 flyoff. But it’s coming soon.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/02 ... his-april/


People buy into the myth that the A-10 can survive any anti aircraft weapons and that the GAU-8 can destroy anything with laser like precision with only a single pass. At the same time they see this stealth fighter which they 'know' is super fragile and has a piddly little gun and costs hundreds of millions for each plane.

When we know the reality is vastly different. That the A-10 cannot survive against a near peer opponent for more than a few minutes. That the GAU-8 is great but nowhere nearly as precise as is needed these days. That the F-35 can attack and be gone before the enemy has any idea what's happening. We know this. But the public as a whole tends to hear the A-10 fanatics first. Once the F-35 has shown it can do anything the A-10 can do, only better. Then I would expect the A-10 fanatics to lose a lot of their strength.
 
salttee
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:15 pm

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
People buy into the myth that the A-10 can survive any anti aircraft weapons and that the GAU-8 can destroy anything with laser like precision with only a single pass. At the same time they see this stealth fighter which they 'know' is super fragile and has a piddly little gun and costs hundreds of millions for each plane.

When we know the reality is vastly different. That the A-10 cannot survive against a near peer opponent for more than a few minutes. That the GAU-8 is great but nowhere nearly as precise as is needed these days. That the F-35 can attack and be gone before the enemy has any idea what's happening. We know this. But the public as a whole tends to hear the A-10 fanatics first. Once the F-35 has shown it can do anything the A-10 can do, only better. Then I would expect the A-10 fanatics to lose a lot of their strength.
Most of the above is either strawman argument or hyperbole. The facts are that the F-35 can do most of what the A-10 can do, and in some cases better; while the A-10 can do most of what the F-35 can do (in ground attack), and in some cases better. If we are engaged with a near peer opponent, that would mean Russians, and if we were engaging Russians, F-35s would probably be better used elsewhere. The A-10 has done a great job in Syria/Iraq at much lower cost than the case with F-35s would have been and they are saving F-35 airframe hours while doing it, which is no small thing. In fifteen years when the A-10s are nearing end of life, things may be different, but for now we don't need a Cadillac to service a hog farm.


A-10 fanatic
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:30 pm

Senate estimates in Australia always brings out the weird theories and in this case a former Australian Army General asking the CDF, a former fighter pilot and FCI, to debate an unsourced graphic of Russian aircraft performance vs the F-35.

Jim Molan queries Australia’s new strike fighter jets, the F35

New Liberal senator Jim Molan, a former high ranking army officer has queried the ability of Australia’s new strike fighter the F-35 to fight Russian built fighters at supersonic speed, and high altitudes north of Australia.

Senator Molan who was also a military pilot posed a hypothetical case of Russian built Su-57 and Su-35S fighter jets confronting Australia’s likely fleet of aircraft including the F-35 aircraft about 800 nautical miles north of the mainland.

In Senate Estimates yesterday, Senator Molan produced a diagram to support the scenario but did not reveal its author. It suggested the Russian-built jets were ­superior to the F-35s in altitude performance and in having the ability to undertake “super cruise” or sustained supersonic flight without using afterburners.

Referring to the diagram, he said it “indicates there is an altitude deficiency between what we are buying, the F-35s, and what the person who constructed this diagram believes the Su-57s and 35s have”.

“It implies a speed element in that the super cruise of the opposing forces will lessen the ability of missiles and it implies judgment about the impact of missiles,’’ ­Senator Molan said. However, Chief of Defence Mark Binskin, while acknowledging that the Australia F-35s would not have super cruise, described the concept put forward by Senator Molan as simplistic.

“Is there a relevance in a deficiency between height capabilities (of the aircraft)?” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said. “Is there any truth in that? I mean, if you have an aircraft that can go up higher and faster, some would say it just runs into your missile quicker, but that is being overly simplistic.’’

Air Chief Marshal Binskin, a former fighter combat instructor, said Senator Molan’s diagram had wrongly classified the F-35 in several areas. “It indicates the F-35 would only fly to 35,000 feet and that’s wrong. Does the F-35 have super cruise? No it doesn’t. Does it have better radar cross-section? Yes it does ... it might not be up there at that height and speed, but it’s going to get earlier detections to be able to employ its weapon.”

He said: “In simplistic terms, where did (the enemy) come from — 800 miles away? Would we sit there and let them? There are so many what-ifs.”

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/n ... 7051878ae3
 
FlyingSicilian
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:09 am

How many F-35s have been made so far (and is there a breakdown in how many in the US and Italy)?

Thanks,
FS
“Without seeing Sicily it is impossible to understand Italy.Sicily is the key of everything.”-Goethe "Journey to Italy"
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:45 am

FlyingSicilian wrote:
How many F-35s have been made so far (and is there a breakdown in how many in the US and Italy)?

Thanks,
FS

At the start of 2018 there were 265 F-35 aircraft that had been delivered to the various customers. Some more info can be found in a video that LM released.

https://www.f35.com/media/videos-detail ... he-numbers
 
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Runway28L
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Ben & Jerry's co-founder arrested for protesting F-35 noise

Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:10 pm

http://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.usatoda ... /392588002

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Ben and Jerry's co-founder Ben Cohen was arrested Saturday in downtown Burlington for violating the city's noise ordinances while holding a "public demonstration" about F-35 fighter planes, police said.

Activists opposed to the impending basing of the Air Force F-35s in Burlington played jet noise from speakers mounted on the back of a pickup truck at a decible level they said simulated what it would be like to be underneath the flight path of the planes.

Cohen was one of three people arrested for disorderly conduct shortly after 3 p.m., said Lt. Matthew Sullivan. Cohen was escorted from a downtown intersection in handcuffs.


The airticle speaks for itself, but I have to ask... how does an F-35 sound any different from the F-16s that the Vermont ANG already has? How has this all of a sudden become a problem with residents?
Greetings from KPIT! Check out my photos here: http://www.airliners.net/search?user=45 ... teAccepted
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: Ben & Jerry's co-founder arrested for protesting F-35 noise

Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:19 pm

Ben and his co-founder to some extent, have been political activists for a long time and usually pretty far towards the 'left side' of the scale. As a former fighter puke and loving the sound of freedom, I'll still eat Ben & Jerry's ice cream though because they sold the company in 2000. Except for the name, they have no involvement in the company any more.

BTW, having been out to Luke AFB several times in the last 2 years, the F-35's sound no louder to me than the F-16s. But that's from at least 1/2 mile away.
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: Ben & Jerry's co-founder arrested for protesting F-35 noise

Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:40 am

He announced shortly thereafter their next ice cream flavor will be called "Military Industrial Complex"
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
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cpd
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Re: Ben & Jerry's co-founder arrested for protesting F-35 noise

Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:46 am

RetiredWeasel wrote:
Ben and his co-founder to some extent, have been political activists for a long time and usually pretty far towards the 'left side' of the scale. As a former fighter puke and loving the sound of freedom, I'll still eat Ben & Jerry's ice cream though because they sold the company in 2000. Except for the name, they have no involvement in the company any more.

BTW, having been out to Luke AFB several times in the last 2 years, the F-35's sound no louder to me than the F-16s. But that's from at least 1/2 mile away.


I don't really mind that much about plane noise provided it isn't all night. I get Blackhawk helicopter flights over my house (four of them in formation and very low) sometimes and those are quite loud. But they generally finish up by 11pm. I don't like the noise of them - but I can put up with them unless I'm absolutely dead tired and I'll put on some noise cancelling headphones.

All that said, it's the noise of a machine, not the sound of freedom. That's a bit over the top.

I can bet if I put the "sound of freedom" over your house for long enough and at the worst times you'd be pretty ticked off too no matter how much you like the planes.

I live under an airport flight path (a very busy one) and put up with aircraft noise, so perhaps I'm biased. Fortunately we no longer get that yellow and red 727 freighter thundering over at 9:00pm, nor those classic 747s. The only other loud stuff is the Blackhawks, or the one off classic F/A-18C or another one off, a couple of F111Cs one night cruising over (very quietly).
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: Ben & Jerry's co-founder arrested for protesting F-35 noise

Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:49 am

cpd wrote:

....
All that said, it's the noise of a machine, not the sound of freedom. That's a bit over the top.

I can bet if I put the "sound of freedom" over your house for long enough and at the worst times you'd be pretty ticked off too no matter how much you like the planes.

.....


I would guess if your life was similar to mine, then you might share my opinion. My Dad was a career fighter pilot so we lived my first 18 years on AF bases. Then I spent 20 years in the AF flying jets and fighters and lived mostly on base. The phrase "sound of freedom" was used frequently when describing F-105 hard afterburner lights and F-100s tapping mil power when shooting overhead patterns to land or MX engine runs at 2100 hours. I got used to it and still run outside when I hear a fighter (easily distinguishable from commercial traffic) to see what it is. But each to his own.

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