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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:55 pm

DOT&E: New F-35 modernization strategy 'not executable'

The F-35 joint program office's first stab at a revamped modernization strategy "was not executable" because of a lack of testing resources and a too-optimistic schedule, according to the Pentagon's top weapons tester. The new modernization effort, dubbed Continuous Capability Development and Delivery, will include an initial phase to correct deficiencies Block 3F -- the last block of software dropped before the end of system development and demonstration -- followed by incremental Block 4 software deliveries in six-month increments.

https://insidedefense.com/daily-news/do ... executable

DOT&E eyes 2018 F-35 IOT&E start; Gilmore predicted further delays

The Pentagon's new chief weapons tester said in his 2017 report he expects initial operational test of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will likely begin late this year -- a shift from his predecessor's prediction that operational testing could be delayed until 2020. In his first annual report, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation Robert Behler painted a slightly more optimistic F-35 testing outlook than his predecessor, J. Michael Gilmore, who said in his 2016 report that compounding development delays...

https://insidedefense.com/daily-news/do ... her-delays
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:29 am

Leonardo plant delivers first F-35B assembled in Italy

A Leonardo-operated facility in Italy has delivered the first F-35B assembled outside of Lockheed Martin’s main fighter plant in Fort Worth, Texas, the US manufacturer announced on 25 January.

The F-35B becomes the 10th Lightning II fighter to be delivered from the final assembly and check out (FACO) facility in Cameri, Italy, including nine previous F-35As delivered since December 2015, Lockheed says.

The first F-35B rolled out of the Italian FACO last May and achieved a first flight in October.

The latest delivery is significant because the F-35B, which includes a short takeoff and vertical landing propulsion system, represents the most complicated of the three versions of the Lightning II, says Doug Wilhelm, Lockheed’s vice-president for F-35 program management.

In addition to delivering the Italian military’s F-35 orders, the FACO in Cameri also will build 29 of the F-35As ordered by the Royal Netherlands Air Force, Lockheed says.

The Japanese government also funded a third FACO in Nagoya to build 38 of their 42 F-35As on order. The first Japanese-assembled F-35A was unveiled in a ceremony in Nagoya last June.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ta-445233/

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Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:52 pm

A new generation of F-35 pilots are coming, and they will solve the fighter's biggest problem

The UK Ministry of Defence recently announced it had its first class of Royal Air Force graduates to exit training and go straight into flying the F-35, and a former F-35 squadron commander told Business Insider they will perform better than any pilots seen before.

David “Chip” Berke, a retired US Marine Corps Lt. Col. who flew F-18s off aircraft carriers, the F-22 Raptor, and became an F-35 squadron commander who helped write the book on F-35 tactics, said the new pilots represent the first generation of true fifth-generation fighters.

“Guys like me and everyone who’s ever transitioned” from flying a legacy aeroplane like an F-16, F-15, or F-18, are “always going to bring forward some habits,” from the old jet, said Berke. “A lot of those habits are going to be wrong.”

Berke often likens the gap between an F-18 and an F-35 to the gap between a wall phone and an iPhone, in that the F-35 represents such a game change that it takes some figuring out just how to use the fundamentally different set of capabilities.

Just as an ageing generation is struggling with adapting to iPhones and giving up old habits, legacy pilots also carry outdated habits with them to the F-35, severely limiting their performance, according to Berke.

“They’re going to be your best, most effective tacticians,” Berke said of the new generation of pilots. Legacy pilots are “never going to be as good as them,” according to Berke.

For once, the F-35 will get an objective viewing by pilots not biased towards old school fighter jets.

“Every single thing everyone has ever said that’s a limitation of the F-35 has been wrong,” said Berke, who explained “they don’t understand the aeroplane.”

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/new- ... ?r=US&IR=T
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:59 pm

Eielson Air Base to receive F-35 weather shelter

Watterson Construction has been awarded a contract to design and construct an F-35A aircraft weather shelter at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska.

The deal, announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, is valued at more than $58 million under a firm-fixed-price contract.

The Lockheed Martin F-35A Lighting II is a fifth-generation fighter jet with conventional takeoff and landing variants that is equipped with advanced onboard sensors designed to gather and distribute more battlefield information than previous-generation fighters.

The Pentagon has begun the process of equipping F-35s with the small diameter bomb which is preferred over the bulky 2,000-pound Mark-84 general purpose bomb because it would allow the Lighting II to carry up to four small diameter bombs versus one Mark-84.

Work on the contract will occur at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, according to the Defense Department press release, and is expected to be completed in November 2019.

The total financial value of the contract will be obligated to Watterson Construction at the time of award from fiscal 2017 military construction funds.

https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2018/0 ... 516992390/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:05 pm

Interesting Photos Show U.S. Air Force F-35A Stealth Jets Deployed To Japan About To Launch Without Radar Reflectors

Stealth aircraft, such as the F-22 Raptor or the F-35 Lightning II 5th generation jets are equipped with Luneburg (or Luneberg) lenses: radar reflectors used to make the LO (Low Observable) aircraft (consciously) visible to radars. These devices are installed on the aircraft on the ground are used whenever the aircraft don’t need to evade the radars: during ferry flights when the aircraft use also the transponder in a cooperative way with the ATC (Air Traffic Control) agencies; during training or operative missions that do not require stealthiness; or, more importantly, when the aircraft operate close to the enemy whose ground or flying radars, intelligence gathering sensors.

This is what we explained explaining how the Israeli the heavy presence of Russian radars and ELINT platforms in Syria cause some concern to the Israeli F-35 Adir recently declared IOC:

[…] the Russians are currently able to identify takeoffs from Israeli bases in real-time and might use collected data to “characterize” the F-35’s signature at specific wavelengths as reportedly done with the U.S. F-22s.

In fact, tactical fighter-sized stealth aircraft are built to defeat radar operating at specific frequencies; usually high-frequency bands as C, X, Ku and S band where the radar accuracy is higher (in fact, the higher the frequency, the better is the accuracy of the radar system).

However, once the frequency wavelength exceeds a certain threshold and causes a resonant effect, LO aircraft become increasingly detectable. For instance, ATC radars, that operate at lower-frequency bands are theoretically able to detect a tactical fighter-sized stealth plane whose shape features parts that can cause resonance. Radars that operate at bands below 300 MHz (lower UHF, VHF and HF radars), such as the so-called Over The Horizon (OTH) radars, are believed to be particularly dangerous for stealth planes: although they are not much accurate (because lower frequency implies very large antenna and lower angle accuracy and angle resolution) they can spot stealth planes and be used to guide fighters equipped with IRST towards the direction the LO planes might be.

F-35s deployed abroad usually feature their typical four radar reflectors: to exaggerate their real RCS (Radar Cross Section) and negate the enemy the ability to collect any detail about their LO “signature”. As happened during the short mission to Estonia and then Bulgaria, carried out by the USAF F-35As involved in the type’s first overseas training deployment to Europe or when, on Aug. 30, 2017, four U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II joined two USAF B-1B Lancers for the JSF’s first show of force against North Korea: the F-35Bs flew with the radar reflectors, a sign they didn’t want their actual radar signature to be exposed to any intelligence gathering sensor in the area.

https://theaviationist.com/2018/01/26/i ... eflectors/

Image

Since they almost always fly with the radar reflectors, photographs of the aircraft without the four notches (two on the upper side and two on the lower side of the fuselage) are particularly interesting: for instance, some shots taken on Jan. 24, 2018 and just released by the U.S. Air Force show F-35As deployed to Kadena AB, Japan, in October as a part of the U.S. Pacific Command’s Theater Security Package program, preparing to launch without their Luneberg reflectors.

The lack of reflector on the top left position of this F-35 is pretty evident in the following photographs:


Image
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:15 pm

Japan deploys first of 10 US-made stealth fighter jets

Japan has commissioned the first of its new F-35A stealth fighter jets at a military base in the north of the country amid ongoing regional tension over North Korea's missile testing.

The Air Self Defence Force (ASDF) plans to add another nine of the radar-evading planes to its fleet from April, according to the Japan Times. “The deployment of the high-performance F-35 aircraft is significant for Japan’s security at a time when neighboring countries have been quickly building up their air force capabilities in recent years,” said Itsunori Onodera, Japanese Minister of Defense.

https://www.rt.com/news/417170-japan-st ... ghter-jet/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:41 pm

Why Israel's New F-35 Stealth Fighters Are a Game-Changer

Something changed in the region last December, when Israel declared its first squadron of F-35s operational. Numerically, the change seemed minor. The Israeli Air Force's (IAF) 140 ("Golden Eagle") Squadron has just nine F-35I Adir aircraft, scheduled to grow to fifty over the next three years. That's a small number compared to the roughly 300 F-15s, F-15Es and F-16s currently operated by the IAF.

But the significance of Israel's F-35s is more than numbers. First, there is the simple qualitative advantage. Nationalists and propagandists can argue the merits of the F-35 versus the latest Russian MiG and Sukhoi fighters. What matters here is that neither Iran nor Syria are likely to get the most advanced Russian fighters or antiaircraft missiles (it took Iran ten years before it received Russian S-300 long-range anti-aircraft missiles in 2017). The F-35 is superior to Iran's collection of F-14, MiG-29s, and F-4 Phantoms, Syria's MiG-29s and Egypt's F-16s. There is a remote possibility that Israeli F-35s could confront Russian Su-35s (which Russia claims scared off U.S. F-22s) over Syria. But otherwise, Israel has and will continue to have the most advanced combat aircraft in the region.

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-bu ... nger-24217
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:09 am

Israeli Air Force Leaning Toward Upgraded F-15 Over F-35 for Next Fighter Jet Acquisition

The Israel Air Force is to decide in a few months between purchasing a third squadron of F-35 fighter jets or the F-15I, which, while less advanced, has other advantages.
The acquisition requires the approval of the General Staff and a ministerial committee, but the recommendation of the air force generally carries the day.
IAF Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, who reportedly is leaning toward the F-15, is to submit a recommendation in May.
Israel and the United States agreed last year on the purchase of 50 F-35 fighters, two squadrons, from Lockheed Martin, with delivery completed by 2024.
Nine jets have been delivered so far, and the IAF recently announced that they have reached initial operational capability.


https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/isr ... -1.5769565
 
LightningZ71
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:04 pm

I wonder if they will look at the F-15SA, or will push Boeing to finish the development of the Silent Eagle concept or other similar upgrade program for it. I would imagine that integrating them electronically with the F-35i will be a key point in the purchase.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:24 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
I wonder if they will look at the F-15SA, or will push Boeing to finish the development of the Silent Eagle concept or other similar upgrade program for it. I would imagine that integrating them electronically with the F-35i will be a key point in the purchase.


I doubt we will see the Silent Eagle concept for Israel, especially if they have the fund the development. While they may look to acquire the F-15SA I think more F-15I, but to the current upgraded standard, is more likely. The current upgrade Israel is making to their F-15Is include an AESA, EW and avionics mods and some additional integrated weapons. Israel only have 25 F-15I in service, opposed to 40+ A/C models and I doubt they would be keen to introduce another sub-type. If they want to link the F-15Is to the F-35 there is also the potential to acquire something like the Talon HATE pod, which digitally links 4th and 5th gen aircraft together.

In the end this decision is about payload range and availability. Few aircraft top the F-15 in payload range and with an existing fleet of F-15I and an F-15 production line that likely won't run much longer it makes sense to top up F-15 numbers before acquiring more F-35.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:06 pm

Lockheed Martin's F-35: How the Joint Strike Fighter is Becoming a Key Missile Defense Sensor

Airpower enthusiasts have long promised that the introduction of fifth generation combat aircraft, particularly the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) when it is finally fielded in numbers, will change the nature of air warfare. The F-35’s combination of stealth, maneuverability, its Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, passive sensors and battle management software makes it ideal as both a strike platform and a forward operating sensor.

At last year’s Red Flag exercises, the F-35A racked up an impressive 15:1 kill ratio. It can locate and attack advanced surface-to-air threats with pinpoint accuracy, blowing holes in hostile air defenses through which non-stealthy aircraft can advance. It can also operate in stealth mode, employing its advanced sensors to multiply the effectiveness of older aircraft in air-to-air combat.

More importantly, the JSF improves the effectiveness of other Air Force capabilities. One Air Force pilot familiar with efforts to develop new concepts of operations for exploiting the unique attributes of fifth-generation fighters, explained their impact on future air warfare this way:

“Before…we would need to have the entire intelligence, surveillance, & reconnaissance (ISR) constellation of aircraft and satellites all working together to get us some information that’s going to be pretty old by the time they reach the target. Now, instead of waiting for all that stuff to be built in at an Air Operation Center somewhere, that information is now being immediately displayed to people that are in aircraft in the AO (Area of Operations) that can immediately apply some sort of effect, either kinetic (e.g. missiles) or non-kinetic (e.g. jamming).”

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-bu ... ming-24259
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:10 pm

Auditor-General to issue new report on F-35 jet in the fall

Six years after his explosive report on the F-35 derailed the Harper government's plan to buy the controversial stealth aircraft, federal auditor general Michael Ferguson is diving back into the fighter-jet file.

Ferguson's staff have been going over internal government records for several months, though the auditor general's office won't reveal exactly what aspects of the program are under the microscope.

The final report is scheduled for release in the fall.

Ferguson's last report on fighter jets in April 2012 was a bombshell which found senior defence officials twisted rules, downplayed problems and withheld information about the Harper government's plan to replace Canada's CF-18s with F-35s.

The report forced the Harper government to suspend the project pending a complete review, which eventually pegged the full cost of buying and operating the F-35s at more than $45 billion.

Six years later, Canada still has not chosen a new fighter jet to replace the aging CF-18s.

The Trudeau government announced a plan last November to buy used fighter jets from Australia, while pushing back the expected delivery of new planes until at least 2025.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/na ... e37767431/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:12 pm

Canadian firms could be in the running to repair F-35 parts - but will they succeed in such a bid?

The US government is looking for a company to conduct future depot level repair of F-35 components for the North American region.

Since Canada is still part of the F-35 program, Public Services and Procurement Canada is providing details to Canadian industry.

The US government wants information from the firms and whether they can do the job. Key criteria include: existing capability, ability to grow, and labour costs.

“The Canadian Government, as for all F-35 Participant nations, has been asked to distribute this RFI (Request for Information), collect responses, ensure completeness, and forward to the United States Joint Program Office,” Public Services and Procurement Canada noted. “The Canadian Government is not involved in the selection process. Completed responses will be required by the Canadian Government no later than 16 March 2018.”

There are approximately 400 different parts and components to repair. Work would continue until 2040.

What are the chances of a Canadian firm being selected?

Canada’s aerospace industry has the skills to do the work.

But the Canadian government hasn’t committed to buying the F-35 so that could be a factor. It would be certainly controversial among F-35 users to select a Canadian firm for this role, considering the government’s decision not to buy the F-35, at least at this point.

However, if the US government wanted to solidify the purchase of F-35s by Canada, providing Canadian firms with this job would make it increasingly difficult to ignore the industrial benefits resulting from the F-35.

http://ottawacitizen.com/g00/news/natio ... &i10c.ua=1
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:15 pm

U.S. Air Force To Get Second Female F-35 Pilot

LUKE AFB, Arizona—The U.S. Air Force finally is ready to welcome its second female F-35 pilot, now that enough aircraft have been upgraded with a new ejection seat designed to accommodate lightweight ...

http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/us- ... f-35-pilot
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:57 pm

Ozair wrote:
U.S. Air Force To Get Second Female F-35 Pilot

LUKE AFB, Arizona—The U.S. Air Force finally is ready to welcome its second female F-35 pilot, now that enough aircraft have been upgraded with a new ejection seat designed to accommodate lightweight ...

http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/us- ... f-35-pilot

Further to this story.

Female Pilots Cleared to Fly the F-35 Again


The U.S. Air Force is about to induct its second female F-35 pilot. A minimum weight restriction had temporarily prevented her from flying, but the issue has finally been fixed.

Back in October 2015, F-35 program managers restricted pilots under 136 lbs. because of problems with the Martin Baker US16E pilot escape system and the weight of the F-35 helmet. These errors created "an unacceptable risk of neck injury during parachute deployment/opening for lighter-weight pilots at low-speed conditions." The Air Force and F-35 contractors have now fixed that issue, Aviation Week & Space Technology explains, allowing the unnamed pilot to fly once more.

The restriction was lifted in March 2017, technically, but was delayed due to problems incorporating the modified equipment into the F-35’s global logistics system. It will take until 2019 to roll fixes out to the 200 F-35s already flying worldwide. Eight aircraft at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona have been fixed, enough for the unnamed female pilot to begin training. New aircraft ordered in 2017 will have the safety changes baked into the aircraft.

One female Air Force official told AW&ST that female pilots were routed to other aircraft and the weight restrictions "deterred people from choosing women to fly the F-35,” though it had not deterred women from wanting to fly the F-35. As a result of the fixes, pilots weighing between 103 and 245 lb. are now cleared to fly the plane.

The first female F-35 pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Christine Mau, trained on the F-35 in 2015 but has recently retired from the Air Force.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/milita ... -35-again/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:58 pm

No, Israel's Interest In Buying New F-15s Isn't A Referendum On The F-35

Reports from Israeli media stating the Israeli Air Force could be leaning towards buying new F-15 Strike Eagle derivatives instead of F-35s have resurfaced in recent days. This has led some to conclude that such a move, if it does indeed occur, would be some sort of knock against the F-35, or even more inaccurately, a validation that the 40 year old F-15 design remains "superior" to that of the leading-edge and stealthy Joint Strike Fighter. These assumptions couldn't be any further from the truth.

The backstory here is fairly simple, the IAF needs to decide what jets it wants to procure under the first part of a massive ten year aid deal that the Obama Administration established with Israel which goes into effect later this year. The IAF has already ordered 50 F-35Is, which are unique in certain ways among other Joint Strike Fighters.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/18 ... n-the-f-35
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:09 pm

F-35 to incorporate Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System

The Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto-GCAS) is designed to prevent controlled flight into terrain mishaps by executing an automatic recovery maneuver when impact with the ground is imminent. It accomplishes this feat through a predicted trajectory, based on GPS positioning and system altitude, which is compared with an onboard Digital Terrain Database. Once the program recognizes the aircraft is likely to crash, it prompts the pilot to evade either a ground crash or a controlled flight into terrain situation. If no action is taken, Auto GCAS assumes temporary control, engaging an autopilot maneuver to roll the aircraft upright and initiate a 5-G pull, diverting the plane and pilot out of harm’s way. After putting the plane on a safe trajectory, the system returns aircraft control to the pilot.

The anti-collision software was developed at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio and after years of testing and improvements made to digital mapping technology, the system became operational when it was installed on F-16s in 2014. Since then, seven pilots and six F-16 aircraft have credited Auto-GCAS with lives and equipment. As the first recorded save happened just four months after completion of testing, the F-35 Joint Program Office has placed a premium on the quickest possible implementation of Auto-GCAS.

“Our acquisition team is working with the warfighters to ensure Auto-GCAS is in every F-35,” said Vice Adm. Mat Winter, F-35 Program Executive Officer. “Expediting this lifesaving technology into the F-35 fleet by 2019 is estimated to prevent the loss of three aircraft, and more importantly, save the lives of three pilots. Over the service life of the F-35 fleet, having Auto-GCAS is estimated to prevent more than 26 ground collisions from happening.”

Currently, F-35s are equipped with an earlier version of the software that provides pilots with a Manual Ground Collison Avoidance System (MGCAS). With this system, a pilot must be able to hear, see, process, and heed the MGCAS warning, and manually fly the aircraft away from the ground. If a pilot becomes disoriented or incapacitated, he or she may not be able to respond to MGCAS warnings, and their chances of survival severely deteriorate.

Now that Auto-GCAS technology is mature and operational on other aircraft, engineers and program managers from the F-35 Joint Program Office, AFRL, and Lockheed Martin were able to confirm this capability was ready to enter a rapid integration process on the F-35.

Implementing this new capability is part of an F-35 modernization, enhancements and improvement program that will build on the foundational warfighting capability in Block 3F and will continue within the established framework of the joint, multi-national F-35 Lightning II program that includes U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, eight cooperative international partners and three foreign military sales customers.

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/264077/f- ... nce-system

F-35 steering board approves plan to field Auto GCAS sooner than planned

The F-35 joint program office announced today it has approved a plan to install automatic ground collision avoidance software on the Joint Strike Fighter five years ahead of its original schedule.

Inside Defense first reported in December the program office was awaiting a decision from the configuration steering board to finalize the plan.

In a Jan. 30 press release, F-35 Program Executive Officer Vice Adm. Mat Winter said the program plans to field the new technology by 2019.

The program had expected to incorporate Auto GCAS during its Block 4 Follow-on Modernization phase. However, as part of its new Continuous Capability Development and Delivery effort, the program is looking to incorporate new capabilities, like Auto GCAS, as well as fixes to already fielded software.

https://insidedefense.com/insider/f-35- ... er-planned
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:22 pm

Replacement of F-16: Lockheed Martin say F-35 is the more capable and affordable aeroplane

Lockheed Martin’s offer to supply Belgium with 34 stealth bomber F-35 Lightning IIs, to replace the current F-16s, is “the best value proposition” for the country.
The American manufacturer of this aeroplane asserted this during a briefing on the subject, which took place at the American embassy in Brussels on Wednesday. Jack Crisler, the company’s Vice President, asserted that these are the most capable aeroplanes at the most affordable price.

The Belgian Minister for Defence has fixed February 14th as the deadline date for final offers (“Best and Final Offers”, known as BAFO in the jargon) to the invitations to tender (or “Request for Government Proposal”, RfGP) issued last March.

The next stage is for the federal government to decide in principle, during mid-2018, between the two candidates that have responded in accordance with the rules of the invitation to tender; the American F-35 Lightning II and the Typhoon made by the European consortium Eurofighter. At the same time France is proposing the Rafale made by the aircraft manufacturer Dassault, as part of a broader and more vague “strategic partnership” for this market, costing an initial total of around €3.6 billion.

http://www.brusselstimes.com/belgium/10 ... -aeroplane
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:23 pm

If German Air Force Chief Says ‘F-35’ One More Time He’s Fired - Report

"Luftwaffe sources tell me, if Germany's Air Force Chief says ‘F-35' once again, he will likely be fired. Seems political leadership is still learning towards EU-solution (either nuke-capable Typhoon upgrade or new European jet," German journalist and defense expert Christian Theils said in a January 30 tweet.

https://sputniknews.com/military/201802 ... -35-fired/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:29 pm

RAAF to take a lead in F-35s’ formation

The Australian Defence Force has committed to the fastest implementation of the F-35A joint strike fighter (JSF) among partner-nations in the US-led project.

The Defence Department, meanwhile, said this week it did not expect any delay to initial operating capability or to delivery of its first fighters soon, after a Pentagon report to the US congress warning of delays in testing that may impede the overall project.

The international program is expected to cost at least $US1.2 trillion ($1.5 trillion) in purchases, upgrades and maintenance over the planes’ intended multi-decade service.

In an interview before the Pentagon report was obtained by Bloomberg news agency, the head of the Australian Defence Department’s JSF Division, Air Vice-Marshal Leigh Gordon, said Australia would have an “aggressive’’ introduction of its F35-As into the Royal Australian Air Force.

The RAAF would effectively raise a squadron a year during transition as its 72 planes arrive.

“This is a far more aggressive strategy than any of the other partner nations have taken on, so we need to be as risk-sensitive as possible,” AVM Gordon told the department’s Defence Magazine in its final 2017 edition.

Other partners include, aside from the US, the UK, Canada, Italy, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Turkey.

“When the jets arrive, we will assess the F-35A air system against initial operating capability requirements in the unique Australian environment, but we will not repeat any of the operation test and evaluation the United States has completed,” he said.

“I am extremely confident we are on the right schedule to achieving initial operating capability in 2020. The F35-A will deliver fifth-generation capability that will transform the way Australia operates in the modern battlespace.”

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation ... 1998d58392
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:36 pm

Lockheed Martin Has Delivered 265 F-35s (And the Profits are Pouring In)

The future is looking bright for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is set for massive growth as the program finally reaches maturity and enters into full rate production. Indeed, over the past year, the program grew by some 18 percent according to company officials.

“Our F-35 program, during the fourth quarter we met our joint government and industry commitment by delivering the 66 aircraft in 2017,” Marillyn Hewson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin, told investors. “This accomplishment represents a 40 percent increase from the previous year as we continue to ramp up production on this transformational fighter.”

Lockheed Martin expects that the program will continue to expand in 2018. “We anticipate this momentum continuing into 2018 and now expect to deliver approximately 90 jets this year, an increase of over 35 percent from 2017 as we continue to progress to full rate production in the next few years,” Hewson said. “To date, we have delivered over 265 planes to U.S. and international customers. We are excited to see the international community embrace the F-35.”

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-bu ... -are-24285
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:39 pm

BAE San Diego Shipyard to Modify USS America for F-35 Operations

BAE Systems announced Wednesday a contract to modify the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS America to support new Marine Corps F-35B stealth fighters.

The company’s San Diego shipyard has a $54.8 million contract for work on the USS America and the guided missile cruiser USS Cape St. George.

Work on the America will start in March after the ship returns from its current deployment and is expected to be finished in December.

“Our work on board the America will keep the ship ready for immediate service,” said David Thomas, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair. “For the Cape St. George, it is the beginning of a four-year journey toward full modernization and the ability to serve in the fleet longer.”

In addition to the flight deck modifications, the work on the America also includes hull, mechanical, and electrical repairs.

The work on the Cape St. George will include replacement of critical aluminium structures and the removal of obsolete equipment under the Navy’s cruiser modernization program.

https://timesofsandiego.com/military/20 ... perations/

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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:48 pm

First Italian F-35B arrives at NAS Pax River

The first F-35B assembled outside of the U.S. landed at NAS Patuxent River on Jan. 31 after completing a transatlantic flight from Cameri Air Base in northern Italy. The flight follows the Italian Ministry of Defense's acceptance of the aircraft on Jan. 25 at the Cameri F-35 final assembly line. There are two foreign F-35 final assembly lines, the other is located in Nagoya, Japan. Cameri is the only B variant final assembly line outside of the U.S. and has delivered nine F-35As and one F-35B. The aircraft is assigned to the Italian Navy and is now undergoing electromagnetic environmental effects certification for the next three months at the Integrated Battlespace Simulation and Test Facility on NAS Patuxent River.

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/264308/fi ... -pax-river
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:19 am

Pentagon ‘can't afford the sustainment costs‘ on F-35, Lord says

Sustainment costs on the F-35 are poised to become unaffordable, and that’s a big challenge for Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s newly christened undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.

As a result, Lord is focused on testing new business and data processes on the fifth-generation stealth fighter, including leveraging big data analytics for sustainment purposes.

“Right now, we can’t afford the sustainment costs we have on the F-35. And we’re committed to changing that,” Lord told reporters at a Jan. 31 roundtable, adding that the plane is the “most significant” program in the Department of Defense.

The A&S head described the jet as an “awesome aircraft” in all three of its variants, but acknowledged that “the threat is rapidly evolving and we want to make sure we get the development work done to make sure by 2025” that there is new capability on the plane.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/02 ... lord-says/
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:45 pm

Former F-35 pilot explains how the US Marine Corps' version makes China's 'carrier killer' missiles irrelevant

As China builds out its network of militarised islands in the South China Sea and expands a sphere of influence designed to keep the US out, the US Marine Corps is putting the finishing touches on a weapon to burst its bubble: the F-35B.

China’s People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force has turned out a massive number of so-called carrier-killer missiles, ballistic missiles that can target ships up to about 800 miles out at sea,even testing them against models of US aircraft carriers.

With the US Navy’s longest-range platform – aircraft carriers – maxing out at a range of about 550 miles, this means China could theoretically use the missiles to shut the US out of a battle for the South China Sea.

But theories and lines drawn on paper won’t beat the US military in a battle.

In pursuing the strategy of anti-access/area denial, known as A2AD in military speak, China assumes that the US must launch aircraft from bases or aircraft carriers. But the F-35B, the US Marine Corps’ variant of the most expensive weapons system of all time, doesn’t work that way.

“You can fly the F-35B literally anywhere,” David Berke, a retired US Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, told Business Insider. “If your traditional places of operation are unavailable” – perhaps because Chinese missile fire cratered them, a likely tactic in a war – “the F-35B can be there.”

By taking off in just a few hundred feet or so and landing from a vertical drop, the F-35B frees up the Marine Corps from worrying about large, obvious bases.

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/f-35 ... ?r=US&IR=T
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:54 pm

Norwegian Party Leader Grills F-35 as Nation's 'Biggest Investment Blunder

The problem-ridden US fighter-jet, projected to become the backbone of the Norwegian defense, as well as the nation's costliest defense purchase, is being met with increasing criticism in the Nordic country, as complications keep piling up.

Reds leader Bjørnar Moxnes expressed his indignation over billions of kroner splurged on a plane, which has "a thousand errors" and cannot be used half the time.

"This could be Norway's biggest investment blunder. If the aircraft ever comes into service, its operation costs will dramatically weaken the rest of the armed forces. And if they don't, to which there is ample evidence, it will be even worse," Moxnes told the ABC Nyheter news outlet.

Moxnes referred to the recent report by Pentagon's testing office director Robert Behler, which claimed that the availability of the F-35s for missions when needed, a key metric, remained "around 50 percent," a condition that has existed with no significant improvement since October 2014, despite an increasing number of aircraft. Additionally, the aircraft, which is about to become the costliest weapon in the US history, as well as the most expensive defense procurement in Norway, was found to have about 1,000 unresolved errors.

https://sputniknews.com/military/201802 ... criticism/
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:56 pm

DOT&E recommends more realistic F-35 ALIS test environment

Developing an operationally representative environment to test the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter's Autonomic Logistics Information System could help the program identify and fix problems earlier, according to the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation. "The program relies too heavily on the results of laboratory testing of ALIS software, which does not resemble operational conditions in several ways, including the amount of data processed and external connections," DOT&E writes in its 2017 report . "This non-operationally representative method of testing...

https://insidedefense.com/daily-news/do ... nvironment
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:58 pm

China might have radar tech that can see the F-35

The United States is banking on the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning to provide an advantage in a major war with China or Russia. These high-performance planes use stealth technology to evade enemy radars.

The first operational stealth combat jet, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, was a gamechanger. It was able to penetrate air defenses, giving the enemy no idea that they were overhead — until the bombs hit their targets. The F-117 was followed by the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit. Those planes gave China and Russia some real problems. Although they weren’t entirely invisible, the detection range was so short that… well, let’s just say that by the time you detected them, you had mere seconds to find cover before the bombs hit.

According to The National Interest, Communist China now claims they have a way to counter stealth aircraft: The KJ-600, a carrier-launched airborne radar plane that will be launched from the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s Type 002 and 003 classes of aircraft carriers. One of the biggest weaknesses of China’s carrier aviation was the lack of a plane comparable to the Grumman E-2 Hawkeye.

http://www.wearethemighty.com/gear-tech ... e-the-f-35
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:52 am

Eglin getting new F-35 lab equipment

A laboratory that develops mission data files for countries using the F-35 Lightning II will be getting some new equipment under a recently awarded $7.5 million federal contract, according to a spokesman for the Department of Defense F-35 Joint Program Office.

The contract will move a “verification and validation system” from F-35 contractor Lockheed Martin Corporation’s facilities in Fort Worth, Texas to the Australia, Canada, United Kingdom Reprogramming Laboratory (ACURL) at Eglin, Joint Program Office Joe DellaVedova explained.

The development of mission data files for the F-35 is handled at Eglin. The electronic files, developed with information from the intelligence communities in the individual countries using the F-35, ensure that each aircraft is equipped with the latest information on threats ranging from radar to missiles. The files can be updated as the array of threats to the F-35 changes, DellaVedova said.

http://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/201802 ... -equipment
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:07 am

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

The Pentagon intends to ask Congress to approve $10.7 billion to buy 77 Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 jets in the fiscal year set to begin Oct. 1, according to U.S. officials.

The proposal for the Defense Department’s costliest program will be included Feb. 12 as part of a fiscal 2019 base defense budget plan of about $597 billion. That’s the bulk of a $716 billion national security request expected from President Donald Trump, which also covers the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons programs and smaller agencies.

The fiscal 2019 request disclosed by the officials, who asked not to be identified before the budget is submitted to Congress, will be a victory for Lockheed, the No. 1 U.S. defense contractor: It’s close to the 80 planes the Obama administration had projected for fiscal 2019 in its final report on major weapons systems two years ago. Before that, the Pentagon had reduced the number of planes projected for the year to 90 from 100.

Under former President Barack Obama, the rate of anticipated F-35 production was reduced both because of the fighter’s persistent technical problems and constraints on Defense Department funding. The F-35 is expected to end its 16-year-old development phase this year.

http://fortune.com/2018/02/05/the-penta ... -problems/
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:09 am

RSAF studying latest F-35 fighter jets among long-term plans: Chief of Air Force

In an email interview released on Sunday (Feb 4) ahead of the Singapore Airshow 2018, Major-General Tan gave his views on topics relating to the air force's 50th anniversary this year, future challenges and plans.

The year-long celebrations will be launched at the Airshow on Wednesday, where President Halimah Yacob will unveil a F-15SG fighter jet painted in RSAF50 colours.

MG Tan said: "The RSAF has always taken a long-term perspective in our planning. This approach has allowed us to invest in capabilities that not only meet our near-term defence needs, but also enable us to address evolving threats."

One example is the investment in advanced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

"The UAVs enhance the SAF's battlefield awareness as well as security agencies' ground situation awareness to better orchestrate responses for homeland security operations," said MG Tan, who took over as air force chief in March 2016.

With the F-5 aircraft retired after reaching the end of their operational lifespan, the air force has upgraded its F-16s and is evaluating the F-35 as an option to further modernise the fighter fleet and maintain its combat edge, he said.

"This is to ensure that we continue to have a capable fighter fleet to defend Singapore's sovereignty and interests into the foreseeable future."

The F-35B will be in Singapore for the first time at the biennial Airshow, which takes place from Tuesday to Sunday.

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/r ... -air-force
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:10 am

Air Force F-35 put through its paces in first Asia-Pacific deployment

Look at the skies above Kadena Air Base on the Japanese island of Okinawa and twice daily you’ll get a glimpse of U.S. Air Force F-35 fighter jets taking off, only to land several hours later. Watch the base itself and you’ll see maintainers working round the clock to ensure the service’s newest fighter jets are ready to go.

It’s been about three months since more than 300 airmen relocated from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, to Japan for the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing model’s first-ever stint in the Asia-Pacific. The first of 12 jets arrived at Kadena in late October for a six-month deployment — the longest period the 34th Fighter Squadron has spent away from home.

Although the Lockheed Martin-manufactured jets haven’t made a lot of news since their arrival in Japan, the pace of operations has been relentless.

“We’re approaching 1,000 flight hours and 500 sorties, we’ll probably have that here in the next week and a half or two weeks,” Master Sgt. Brian Sarafin, F-35A production superintendent for the 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, told Defense News in a Jan. 24 interview.

On any given day, the 12 F-35s at Kadena could be expected to make anywhere from 12 to 14 total sorties, meaning every plane must be quickly inspected and repaired so it is ready to fly.

“They have been doing a lot of flying with the F-15s here stationed at Kadena. That’s almost a daily thing ― that they will meet up with F-15s from here,” Sarafin said. “And I believe that they’ve also met up with the [Japan Air Self-Defense Force] airplanes a time or two as well.”

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... eployment/
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:12 am

Lockheed Martin to deliver Israeli upgrades for Block 3F+ standard F-35

Lockheed Martin has been contracted to deliver Israeli-specific upgrades for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) as part of a wider Block 3F+ software package.

The USD147.96 million contract modification was announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 2 February, and is set to run through to December 2021.

“The contract provides for the procurement of Israel-unique weapons certification, modification kits, and electronic warfare analysis in support of the F-35 Israel system design and development (SDD) to provide [Block] 3F+ fleet capability for the government of Israel under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme,” the DoD notification said.

While the contract does not note the specific nature of the Israeli-unique systems to be delivered for the F-35 (named Adir in national service), according to Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft: In Development and Production the aircraft will feature a plug-and-play feature added to the main computer that facilitates use of Israeli-designed electronic equipment and weaponry. This will permit Israel to employ its own external jamming pod and also allow internal carriage of indigenous air-to-air missiles and guided munitions.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) declared the F-35 Adir to be operationally ready in December 2017 (the first international operator to do so), a milestone that was marked by the arrival in-country of the ninth aircraft out of a currently planned 50 (although this number could rise to between 75 and 100). In IAF service, the F-35 is flown by 140 Squadron ‘Golden Eagles’ from Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel’s Negev Desert. A second squadron expected to be stood up at the same location and a third likely to be located elsewhere as deliveries continue.

http://www.janes.com/article/77595/lock ... ndard-f-35

The actual contract award is available here, https://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1431640/

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded $147,963,919 for modification P00033 to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-12-C-0070). This modification provides for the procurement of Israel-unique weapons certification, modification kits, and electronic warfare analysis in support of the F-35 Lightning II Israel system design and development to provide 3F+ fleet capability for the government of Israel under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida (37.1 percent); El Segundo, California (17.6 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (17.2 percent); Nashua, New Hampshire (10.3 percent); Samlesbury, United Kingdom (9.8 percent); South Bend, Indiana (6.7 percent); St. Louis, Missouri (1.1 percent); and Wallingford, Connecticut (0.2 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2021. Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $147,963,919 will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
Last edited by Ozair on Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:13 am

JOTT conducts F-35 pre-IOT&E cold weather testing at Eielson

In April 2016, the Air Force made an announcement that would change Eielson AFB history. After a lengthy analysis of the installation’s operations, environmental factors and cost, the Secretary of the Air Force selected Eielson AFB to be the first operational USAF location outside the contiguous United States to receive the F-35A Lightning II.

In preparation for the arrival of the Department of Defense’s newest fifth-generation fighter, the installation has seen growth and changes. At the same time the Joint Strike Fighter Operational Test Team (JOTT) recently completed testing to determine whether all three variants of the F-35 are suitable and able to operate in the frigid weather of interior Alaska.

There is no question the F-35, which already completed developmental testing in sub-zero temperatures, will be coming to Alaska in 2020.

“The decision to station the F-35 here has been established,” said Robert Behler, Director, Operational Test & Evaluation Office of the Secretary of Defense. “We’re not trying to prove or disprove anything. We’re just trying to make sure this weapon system has the operational capability it needs to function in this environment.”

Due to its location, Eielson will be one of the harshest environments in which the aircraft will be stationed. It also makes it an ideal location for testing the F-35 in a cold weather environment for this pre-Initial Operational Testing & Evaluation (IOT&E) test event. The F-35 IOT&E, which is scheduled to formally start in the fall of 2018, will inform the warfighter and Congress on the aircraft’s overall effectiveness to conduct designed missions and the suitability of the weapon system. Additional pre-IOT&E test events will be permitted in coming months, before all necessary test readiness entrance criteria for the formal start of IOT&E are met in the fall of 2018. These additional events include mission scenarios for strike coordination and reconnaissance, aerial reconnaissance and close air support, along with weapons testing.

“We’re here at Eielson to prove the capability of the aircraft to operate under extreme conditions of cold weather,” said Behler, a former experimental test pilot who flew more than 65 aircraft types. “Being here and showing the aircraft’s ability to operate in this environment will tell a lot of people we have a credible weapon system.”

“It is a requirement of this weapon system to be able to operate in cold weather conditions,” said Maj. Gen. Matthew Molloy, the Air Force Operational Testing and Evaluation Center commander. “We are up here characterizing what that performance looks like and we will feed this information to not only decision makers, but also to the warfighter.”

Although the decision to base the F-35s at Eielson was made more than a year ago, the continued testing of the aircraft will ensure the DOD is delivering the most capable aircraft to the joint force.

“The whole objective of operational test and evaluation is to deliver a weapon system for our warriors that’s combat credible,” said Behler.

By combining Eielson’s advantageous location with the Joint Strike Fighter, the Icemen team will continue to provide stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region for decades to come.

http://www.eielson.af.mil/News/Article- ... t-eielson/
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:17 am

Ozair wrote:
China might have radar tech that can see the F-35

The United States is banking on the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning to provide an advantage in a major war with China or Russia. These high-performance planes use stealth technology to evade enemy radars.

The first operational stealth combat jet, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, was a gamechanger. It was able to penetrate air defenses, giving the enemy no idea that they were overhead — until the bombs hit their targets. The F-117 was followed by the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit. Those planes gave China and Russia some real problems. Although they weren’t entirely invisible, the detection range was so short that… well, let’s just say that by the time you detected them, you had mere seconds to find cover before the bombs hit.

According to The National Interest, Communist China now claims they have a way to counter stealth aircraft: The KJ-600, a carrier-launched airborne radar plane that will be launched from the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s Type 002 and 003 classes of aircraft carriers. One of the biggest weaknesses of China’s carrier aviation was the lack of a plane comparable to the Grumman E-2 Hawkeye.

http://www.wearethemighty.com/gear-tech ... e-the-f-35


Uggh, this sound like your normal STEALTH IS USELESS article. The ones that ignore the fact that no one ever said stealth was 100% or even worked the same across the electromagnetic spectrum.
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:31 am

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
Ozair wrote:
China might have radar tech that can see the F-35

The United States is banking on the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning to provide an advantage in a major war with China or Russia. These high-performance planes use stealth technology to evade enemy radars.

The first operational stealth combat jet, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, was a gamechanger. It was able to penetrate air defenses, giving the enemy no idea that they were overhead — until the bombs hit their targets. The F-117 was followed by the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit. Those planes gave China and Russia some real problems. Although they weren’t entirely invisible, the detection range was so short that… well, let’s just say that by the time you detected them, you had mere seconds to find cover before the bombs hit.

According to The National Interest, Communist China now claims they have a way to counter stealth aircraft: The KJ-600, a carrier-launched airborne radar plane that will be launched from the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s Type 002 and 003 classes of aircraft carriers. One of the biggest weaknesses of China’s carrier aviation was the lack of a plane comparable to the Grumman E-2 Hawkeye.

http://www.wearethemighty.com/gear-tech ... e-the-f-35


Uggh, this sound like your normal STEALTH IS USELESS article. The ones that ignore the fact that no one ever said stealth was 100% or even worked the same across the electromagnetic spectrum.

Pretty much. I'm not filtering the articles I post so have to take the good and the bad. That site is especially bad for clickbait though...
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:20 pm

Lockheed awarded $119M for support of Air Force F-35s

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract for air vehicle deployment spares in support of the Air Force's version of the F-35 Lightning II.

The deal, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, is valued more than $119 million and is a modification on a previous award classified under a firm-fixed-price delivery order.

The contract provides the Air Force with "initial air vehicle deployment spares packages in support of Air Force F-35 air vehicle delivery schedules," the Pentagon said.

Work will occur at locations across the United States, as well as others in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, and is expected to be finished in July 2022.

The total amount of the contract will be obligated to Lockheed Martin at the time of award from Air Force fiscal 2017 aircraft procurement funds, which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2018/0 ... 517925538/
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:22 pm

Opinion: F-35 Catalyzes High-End Export Fighter Market

The world fighter market is growing at an impressive pace. Deliveries in 2017 grew 9.1% by value over 2016, and Teal Group projects 10% growth in 2018. High levels of tension in key regions are a big demand driver, along with delayed replacement cycles in many countries. But the interesting aspect of this growth is that it is primarily benefiting high-end models, particularly (but not exclusively) Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

http://aviationweek.com/defense/opinion ... ter-market
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:25 pm

Northrop Could Be Replaced As F-35 EO/IR Camera Supplier

Lockheed Martin wants to replace Northrop Grumman as the key supplier of Distributed Aperture System electro-optical/infrared cameras for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/nor ... a-supplier
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:28 am

Lockheed favours incremental F-35 software updates

Lockheed Martin’s aeronautics head believes a new software update regime for the F-35 fighter will greatly improve efficiency, and also says that sustainment for the type is improving.

The plan will see smaller updates applied more frequently, as opposed to sweeping, all-inclusive updates applied every few years. Lockheed says “our plan is to move ahead with it for the F-35 as part of follow-on modernisation.”

The idea is akin to Microsoft’s Windows 10, which uses frequent small updates, as opposed to older versions of Windows, where only large updates are applied infrequently.

“The approach is a great one that we very much embrace,” says Orlando Carvalho, executive vice-president of aeronautics at Lockheed Martin. “Instead of waiting a long period of time for a new capability – and by long periods we’re talking years – you can save time with agile loading as opposed to one big block update.”

Carvalho says the approach is dubbed C2D2, an acronym for Continuous Capability Development and Delivery.

“Instead of waiting years for the whole set, I can divvy the work up into smaller, bite-sized pieces, and within six months I can get something out. It might be less impactful [than a large update], but you’re not waiting three years to get everything at once.”

Carvalho adds that it is likely to make the airworthiness process easier. Given that the base software will already have been certified, airworthiness authorities will only need to deal with incremental updates.

“It’s easier to look at a bite-sized piece, as opposed to looking at a long laundry list at the end, that makes a much greater impact to the base software. It actually makes airworthiness better.”

One area where the F-35 has come in for some criticism of late is sustainment, following a negative report by the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation.

Carvalho admitted that there have been some shortcomings in spares and support, but that these are being addressed as the programme matures and the F-35 becomes more reliable.

“We have 260 aircraft that are largely supporting training,” he says. “Our sustainment processes are quickly maturing, as we’re supporting more and more airplanes. Part of this is to make sure there are enough spares in the field to support the availability the services are looking for. At the same time, not only is there the procurement of spares, but the repair capacity. You need to have this capacity to repair things coming off the airplane.”

Lockheed is working to get more efficient about sourcing spares and build up the right quantities.

“It’s an area that has not improved significantly the last few years, and we recognise that, but I believe today a lot of those processes are coming together that will enable this to improve.”

Carvalho adds that more recent production models of the aircraft are more reliable than aircraft produced earlier in the programme’s history. This factor, combined with better spares and maintenance support, should greatly improve aircraft availability in future.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ar-445605/
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:55 pm

Edwards F-35 testers nominated for prestigious aviation award

The National Aeronautic Association named the F-35 Integrated Test Force here as one of nine organizations nominated for the 2017 Robert J. Collier Trophy. The NAA announced all nominees in a press release Feb. 5.

The trophy is awarded every year for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year, according to the NAA website.

The F-35 ITF and 461st Flight Test Squadron conducts developmental test and evaluation of all three variants of the fifth-generation F-35. The organization carries out the system development and demonstration phase of the Defense Department’s F-35 Program, which is nearing its completion following weapons delivery accuracy tests in December.

Lt. Col. Tucker Hamilton, 461st FLTS commander and F-35 ITF director, said the F-35 Joint Program Office nominated the ITF for the award. The nomination package commended the ITF’s accomplishments in 2017, which included completing test requirements ahead of schedule while carrying out complex test missions with “the hardest to prove capability, the most advanced threat emulation and the most integrated scenarios.”

“The Edwards ITF did not just conduct the same-old flight test, they demonstrated superb excellence, tackling unique challenges, and performing at a sustained level simply never seen before in any Department of Defense flight test organization,” according to the award nomination.

The Edwards F-35 Integrated Test Force is completing a 15-year flight test effort proving full mission systems capability of the F-35. This past year proved to be very challenging according to Hamilton and the F-35 JPO where the ITF tackled difficult test requirements to ensure the F-35 is capable of providing the operational warfighter with the most advanced capabilities the fighter has to offer. Such strides in 2017 included proving multi-ship interoperability, tracking targets and weapons delivery accuracy achievements.

"Being recognized as a Collier Trophy finalist is very satisfying,” said Hamilton. “This team has made a historic accomplishment in remarkable fashion and it's very fulfilling knowing that their hard work is being recognized. Day in and day out they have made the seemingly impossible a reality and I am humbled and proud to work alongside such fine men and women."

The Collier Trophy Selection Committee will meet March 22 in Arlington, Virginia, with the announcement of the winner the following day. The formal presentation of the Collier Trophy is scheduled for June 14 at a location to be determined.

http://www.edwards.af.mil/News/Article/ ... ion-award/
 
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:56 pm

Beaufort key to preparing F-35 pilots to defend America

Recently, we celebrated another critical milestone at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort’s Pilot Training Center. The first two pilots from Italy, a great American ally and partner on the F-35 Lightning II program, graduated training and are now flying the world’s most advanced fighter jet.

The Italian pilots joined the ranks of more than 75 other pilots from both the U.S. and the United Kingdom who have trained in Beaufort since the center opened in October 2014. As a community, we can feel proud of the active role Beaufort is playing in protecting our nation and promoting international peace and security.

The transformational F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has advanced stealth and tactical technologies to make the fighters undetectable when flying over enemy airspace. As we face increasing threats around the globe, the F-35 is helping to keep safe America and our allies. In fact, one Beaufort-trained F-35 pilot is on the front lines, flying missions near the Korean Peninsula out of MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. With the stealth technology and advanced capability of the F-35, that pilot and his/her fellow marines play an important role in strengthening national security and regional stability in the Asia Pacific.

We prepare mission-ready Marines at MCAS Beaufort, in part, because of the cutting-edge technology at the Pilot Training Center, which houses five state-of-the-art Full Mission Simulators. These simulators give pilots real, hands-on training, so that when they transition from the training center to the single seat in an F-35, they are fully prepared for their critical missions.


http://www.islandpacket.com/opinion/op- ... 01109.html
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:02 pm

Orders worth MNOK 320 for deliveries to F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KONGSBERG) has received two orders with a total value of 320 MNOK for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. The orders enable continuation of current production and cover delivery of Air-to-Air Pylons to Marvin Engineering for Low Rate Initial Production phase (LRIP) 10 and delivery of Center Fuselage parts to Northrop Grumman for LRIP 11. The orders include deliveries of parts to approximately 157 aircrafts. 

https://dailytelescope.com/pr/orders-wo ... hter/64640
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:17 pm

America's F-35 Stealth Fighter: The Ultimate Nuclear Bomber?

The Pentagon's accelerated development of a “nuclear-armed" F-35 Joint Strike Fighter attack envelope is of critical importance to a new sweeping strategic nuclear weapons modernization and development strategy aimed countering Russia, China and North Korea -- and addressing a much more serious global nuclear weapons threat environment.

Adding a nuclear-capable F-35 to the air portion of the nuclear triad – to supplement the existing B-2, B-52 and emerging B-21 – will bring a new dimension to US nuclear attack options and potentially place a new level of pressure upon potential adversaries.

Discussion of the F-35’s role in nuclear deterrence emerged recently during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Pentagon’s recently published Nuclear Posture Review.

In written testimony, Defense Secretary James Mattis cited the F-35 as an indispensable element of US and NATO nuclear deterrence.

“Modernizing our dual-capable fighter bombers with next-generation F-35 fighter aircraft will maintain the strength of NATO’s deterrence posture and maintain our ability to forward deploy nuclear weapons, should the security situation demand it,” his testimony states.

Mattis also cited the emergence of the F-35 as a “nuclear delivery system” in the context of expressing grave concern that US nuclear weapons modernization has not, in recent years, kept pace with a fast-changing global threat environment.

“Nuclear delivery system development over the last eight years shows numerous advances by Russia, China, and North Korea versus the near absence of such activity by the United States, with competitors and adversaries’ developing 34 new systems as compared to only one for the U.S.—the F-35 aircraft,” Mattis said in written statements.

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-bu ... mber-24399
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:41 am

LRIP 11 negotiations for F-35s resume after one-year hiatus

US government officials have delivered the first formal response to Lockheed Martin’s 14-month-old pricing proposal for more than 100 F-35s ordered under the 11th annual lot of low-rate initial production (LRIP 11), says Lockheed chief financial officer Bruce Tanner.

The step revives pricing negotiations on LRIP 11 between Lockheed and the joint programme office a year after long-delayed contracts for lots 9 and 10 were finalised after the personal intervention of US president Donald Trump.

“The government’s first offer just came back within the last two or three weeks. We’re evaluating that,” says Tanner, speaking at the Cowen Aerospace/Defense & Industrials Conference on 8 February.

Tanner offered no explanation for the delay between Lockheed’s original proposal submission and the government’s first response. The Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Programme Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But the delay drew a soft complaint from Tanner.

“We’re about 50% of the way spent through LRIP 11 at this point of time,” Tanner says. “We’re actually fairly late in the day for getting an offer back. Hopefully, we’ll get to closure pretty soon.”

The Department of Defense awarded Lockheed an interim contract for $5.58 billion last July to continue building LRIP 11 aircraft as negotiations continue. The final cost of F-35s built for LRIP 11 could be worth twice that amount. Lockheed received a $9 billion contract to build 90 F-35s for LRIP 10.

Meanwhile, Lockheed has ordered suppliers to ramp up production for LRIP lots 12-14. The government and international partners plan to commit to buying at least 440 F-35s over the three-year period. By 2022-23, Lockheed expects to be building between 150-170 F-35s a year, Tanner says.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ar-445737/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:43 am

F-35 Spreads Its Wings Globally

Through 2020, the number of Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) delivered globally will grow to more than 900 aircraft from the current 240. There are now 165 of the “Lightning II” aircraft in various stages of production for the U.S. military services, international program partners and foreign military sales customers Israel, Japan and South Korea. The stealth aircraft manufacturer has a delivery target of 91 new aircraft this calendar year, a 37% increase ...

http://aviationweek.com/combat-aircraft ... s-globally
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:20 am

Marine F-35 pilots preparing for first-ever hover landings aboard an amphibious ship

When the Marine Corps’ first forward-deployed F-35 fighter squadron sets sail with the amphibious ship Wasp this year, it will be the first opportunity for many of the pilots to carry out the jet’s distinctive vertical landing aboard a ship.

“There’s very few [pilots] that have actually landed onboard a ship,” Maj. Jesse Peppers, the assistant operations officer for Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, said on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow on Thursday. Two F-35Bs were featured as static displays during the event, which runs from Feb. 6 to 11.

“They will have simulated landings onboard a ship in the simulator and on the field, in stationary landing areas, but then they go out to the ship, it’s going to be the first time that they’ve actually landed onboard.”

Peppers, a former Hornet pilot who has operated the F-35 since 2014 and flew one of the B model planes to Singapore for the show, won’t be one of the Marines from Japan headed to the Wasp this year. His first STOVL landing aboard an amphib will come during a later deployment, he said.

VMFA-121, located at Marine Air Station Iwakuni in Japan, is comprised of a mix of experienced pilots who transferred from other aircraft to brand new pilots for whom the F-35 will be the first plane they learn to fly.

The squadron’s commanding officer is originally an F-35 test pilot who is one of the few Marines out there with practical experience doing the short takeoff and vertical landing while at sea. Some of the F-35 pilots selected to deploy aboard the Wasp also have experience doing STOVL operations with the AV-8B Harrier, Pepper said.

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... ious-ship/
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:47 pm

DOD investing in range improvements to support F-35 IOT&E

The Defense Department is in the midst of several test and training range upgrades in preparation for F-35 initial operational test and evaluation as well as to support the fifth-generation aircraft's long-term range needs.

The department outlines the efforts in a December report to Congress that details upgrade efforts across the services. Inside the Air Force obtained the report this week.

Readying ranges to adequately test the Joint Strike Fighter's high-end capabilities and prepare its pilots to operate against true fifth-generation adversaries has been a concern of program and operational test officials for several years. The December range report details some progress in preparing to meet those demands, noting that the Air Force is working to holistically address its air, space and cyber range needs through an Operational Training Infrastructure Flight Plan and a separate Enterprise Range Plan -- both of which are still being developed.

"The ERP will document a range regionalization plan and identify the assets and planning factors needed to ensure that ranges will meet live training requirements, including those of fifth-generation aircraft, for the next 10 years," the report states.

One Air Force facility that will be key to supporting the F-35 is the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. The service is slated to begin upgrades to several of the range's threat replication systems this fiscal year, according to the report. The Air Force is also investing in an Advanced Radar Threat System designed to better replicate adversary capabilities. Fielding will occur between fiscal years 2020 and 2026 and the system will eventually be delivered to JPARC.

The Air Force is also fielding wideband and conventional Joint Threat Emitters at the Utah Test and Training Range that will support F-35 training. The service expects to buy 15 units through 2020, four of which will be delivered to the Utah range.

The Nevada Test and Training Range and the Navy's Point Mugu Sea Range in California are both slated to receive new Radar Signal Emulator systems to support F-35 operational test. Sixteen systems will initially be shared between the two complexes. The report notes that several of those systems have been delivered and the remainder will arrive by the end of March.

To complement those RSEs, the Air Force will deliver two Closed-Loop Passive Electronically Scanned Array Simulators by the end of 2019. The CLPS will simulate surface-to-air threats. The Air Force and Navy are also investing in systems that will increase the diversity of electronic warfare capabilities at their test and evaluation ranges.

The two services are also working together to demonstrate new training capabilities: the Air Force's Secure-Live-Virtual-Constructive Advanced Training Environment and the Navy's Naval Annex and LTE Cohabitability Assessment. Together, the two aim to provide an advanced waveform to support LVC training. The advanced technology demonstration is scheduled for later this year.

"If the ATD proves successful, DOD's approach would support the needs of the training community and free up valuable spectrum," the report states.

After the demonstration, the Air Force will conduct a cost-capability analysis and determine how to transition the technology into existing and future programs.

Air Force and Navy ranges also lack a cross-range battle shaping capability, which was highlighted in a recent report from the director of operational test and evaluation as a key system for F-35 IOT&E. The advanced battle shaping system allows scenarios to cross from one range to another.

In the near term, Point Mugu Sea Test Range will implement the Air Warfare Battle Shaping project, which will leverage a system already in use by the Nevada Test and Training Range called the Advanced Air-to-Air Instrumentation pod. Initial operational capability at Point Mugu is slated for this fiscal year.

Another testing need unique to fifth-generation jets is a more accurate radar cross-section measurement for low-observable platforms. The range report notes DOD is investing in a Radar Cross-Section Range Relevance Joint Improvement and Modernization project that should help to support low-observable testing throughout the modeling and simulation and prototype testing process.

The department is also seeking a new aerial target that can better represent fifth-generation capabilities. The Air Force currently flies the unmanned QF-16, which provides fourth-generation characteristics, but falls short of replicating fifth-generation jets.

"Until such a target is available, evaluation of weapons systems effectiveness against threat-representative systems at open-air ranges will be limited," the report states.

https://insidedefense.com/inside-air-fo ... -f-35-iote

Some significant investments here that will result in much better threat replication as well as a more realistic training environment for 5th gen aircraft. I suggest this is additional evidence why export custoemrs of the F-35 are happy to base some jets in the USA as this type of range and threat replication will be rare.
 
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SamYeager2016
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:13 am

The plan will see smaller updates applied more frequently, as opposed to sweeping, all-inclusive updates applied every few years. Lockheed says “our plan is to move ahead with it for the F-35 as part of follow-on modernisation.”

The idea is akin to Microsoft’s Windows 10, which uses frequent small updates, as opposed to older versions of Windows, where only large updates are applied infrequently.


I hope Lockheed's incremental updates will be rather better tested than those of Windows 10! There have been various complaints that Microsoft's incremental updates were insufficiently tested.
 
Ozair
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Re: F-35 news thread

Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:00 pm

SamYeager2016 wrote:
I hope Lockheed's incremental updates will be rather better tested than those of Windows 10! There have been various complaints that Microsoft's incremental updates were insufficiently tested.

When we look at the difference LM has essentually three different configurations, A, B and C, it has to update. To move into Blk 4 the aircraft must already have been upgraded to 3F. That is an easier baseline to work from that Microsoft who has an incredible variation of hardware configurations it must accommodate.
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