Register here

Author Topic: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic  (Read 286161 times)

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

  • Secret Projects Forum Founder
  • Administrator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • *****
  • Posts: 10268
  • Paul Martell-Mead
    • Secret Projects
Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« on: December 01, 2012, 11:56:31 am »
This topic is for news about the F-35 project. NO DISCUSSIONS OR COMMENTS.

All discussions about the F-35 should go in the Lockheed Martin F-35: No Holds Barred topic. All previous F-35 topics are in there, pending someone sorting out the wheat from the chaff.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 12:35:10 am by PaulMM (Overscan) »
"They can't see our arses for dust."
 
- Sir Sydney Camm

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2012, 07:26:57 pm »
IMHO there should only be one news thread, and NO discussions about the posts.

Having separate "good" & "bad" threads will just confuse the issues.

Take the discussions to the "no holds barred" thread to hash out.
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 10:36:33 am »
IMHO there should only be one news thread, and NO discussions about the posts.

Having separate "good" & "bad" threads will just confuse the issues.

Take the discussions to the "no holds barred" thread to hash out.


Agreed.

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 12:00:47 am »
Racking up the Flight Hours: The F-35 strike fighter program surpassed 5,000 flight hours in late November, announced the F-35 program office. All three variants of the stealth fighter—the Air Force's F-35A, Marine Corps' F-35B, and Navy's F-35C—contributed to those flight hours, according to the office's Nov. 30 release. That includes F-35s, both developmental test aircraft and production airframes, flying from Lockheed Martin's production facility in Fort Worth, Tex., as well as at Edwards AFB, Calif., Eglin AFB, Fla., and NAS Patuxent River, Md. The first flight of an F-35 occurred in December 2006. Since then, F-35s have flown more than 3,464 times, according to the program office.
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Sundog

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2325
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 10:51:14 am »
I would just have one thread for links to news sites and pictures here; no opinion. Then have a thread for opinions in the bar. Any posts in the "news" thread, that weren't news (based on actual links) or pictures would get edited/deleted. No snark, no B.S, no whatever. Just straight facts here, good or bad. The readers can make up their own minds to what it all means and fester over in the bar if it bothers them. IMHO.

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2012, 03:49:42 pm »
I found a Spear video on MBDA's website and hosted it on Youtube

WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline Broncazonk

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 134
  • What the hell?
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 05:03:41 pm »
Federal government (Canada) cancels F-35 fighter purchase: source

The F-35 jet fighter purchase, the most persistent thorn in the Harper government’s side and the subject of a devastating auditor-general’s report last spring, is dead.

Michael Den Tandt : Published: December 6, 2012, 1:46 pm : Updated: 21 mins ago

http://o.canada.com/2012/12/06/1107-col-dentandt/

The F-35 jet fighter purchase, the most persistent thorn in the Harper government’s side and the subject of a devastating auditor-general’s report last spring, is dead.

Faced with the imminent release of an audit by accountants KPMG that will push the total projected life-cycle costs of the aircraft above $30 billion, the operations committee of the federal Cabinet decided Tuesday evening to scrap the controversial sole-source program and go back to the drawing board, a source familiar with the decision said.

This occurred after Chief of the Defence Staff Thomas Lawson, while en route overseas, was called back urgently to appear before the committee, the source said.

The decision is sure to have ripple effects around the world, as any reduction in the number of aircraft on order causes the price to go up for all the other buyers. Canada is one of nine F-35 consortium members, including the United States.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay is not a member of the Cabinet operations committee. It remains unclear whether he was present at the meeting Tuesday. However, MacKay is a member of the Cabinet Priorities and Planning committee, which was to discuss the F-35 decision Friday morning.

The CF-18s currently flown by the RCAF are at the tail end of their life cycle and are not expected to be operable much beyond 2020 at the outside.

The fighter procurement process has been the responsibility of Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose since last spring, following an audit by Auditor General Michael Ferguson. It is understood that veteran senior bureaucrat Tom Ring, who handled the government’s much-praised shipbuilding contract process in the fall of 2011, is now steering the reframed fighter replacement process, from within Public Works.

Last spring, Ferguson ignited a political firestorm when he reported that the top-line cost cited by the Conservatives in the 2011 election campaign – $9-billion for 65 planes, or $15-billion including maintenance and other life-cycle costs – was $10-billion below the Defence department’s internal estimate.

Even the internal figure of $25.1-billion was suspect, critics said, because it assumed a 20-year life cycle. The longevity of the Lockheed-Martin-built aircraft, according to the Pentagon, is 36 years.

KPMG’s audit, due out next week, has confirmed the contention, long made by critics such as former assistant deputy minister (materiel) Alan Williams, that the F-35 program’s real cost would be much higher than any previously stated government estimate, sources say.

Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page predicted a cost of $30 billion over a 30-year life cycle.

Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose, who took on the F-35 file after Ferguson’s audit, has been signalling since last spring that she was unhappy with the procurement process. On Nov. 22 in the House of Commons, Ambrose said the government is committed to “a full evaluation of all choices, not simply a refresh.”

Lawson, in an appearance before the House of Commons defence committee Nov. 29, further opened the door when he confirmed what industry critics have long said: the F-35 is not the only modern fighter with measures to evade radar, though it is considered to be the most advanced in this respect.  “Is there only one airplane that can meet the standard of stealth that’s set out in the statement of requirements?” Liberal defence critic John McKay asked. Lawson’s answer: “No.”

The F-35’s unique stealthiness had long been advanced as the single most compelling argument for buying that plane.

Also in the mix, former Industry Minister David Emerson last week published a report on the aerospace and space sectors, calling on Ottawa to more aggressively press for Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRBs) and In-Service Support (ISS) contracts when inking procurement deals. Lockheed-Martin has in the past been reluctant to hand over its proprietary technology to clients. Industry insiders believe the Emerson report added impetus to the decision to start over.

Boeing’s Super Hornet, Dassault’s Rafale, Saab’s Gripen, the Eurofighter Typhoon , and the F-35, are seen as the leading contenders in any new contest to replace the CF-18 fleet.

Offline Broncazonk

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 134
  • What the hell?
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2012, 05:19:08 pm »
Cost of buying, servicing F-35 fighter jets could reach 40-B: sources

CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 5:24PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 5:52PM EST


Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/cost-of-buying-servicing-f-35-fighter-jets-could-reach-40b-sources-1.1069258#ixzz2EKBhRFAX

The cost of buying and servicing the F-35 stealth fighter jets that Ottawa has been planning to purchase could reach $40 billion, CTV News has learned ahead of the government’s report on the financial implications of the program.

The report, which will be released next week, will kick off a review of the entire jet fighter procurement process and the need to replace Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18 jets.

The Conservative government’s plan to purchase 65 F-35 jets has been mired in controversy since a scathing auditor general's report accused both National Defence and Public Works of hiding the true cost of the project.

Ottawa said the program would cost between $14.7 billion and $16 billion, but auditor general Michael Ferguson and Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page disputed those figures.

Ferguson accused the Defence Department of low-balling the estimate by not including operating expenses, and said it would actually cost more than $25 billion, but government officials denied trying to hide anything.

Page had estimated it would cost $29.3 billion to purchase and maintain the jets.

Now, it looks like the cost would exceed both of those estimates.

Alan Williams, a former senior procurement officer with the federal government, said the price of the “complex” jet program has been going up since Ottawa initiated the procurement process.

“We ought to wait until the development is done and the platform is operational,” he told CTV’s Power Play Thursday.

“But we dipped our toes into the water much too early in the program, without knowing the cost or the capability. And that’s why we’re saddled with this situation today.”

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel said the government is committed to being transparent on the issue and following the recommendations of the auditor general’s report in April. She said the report on F-35 costs will be made public soon.

“We want to make sure that we get this right and we’re taking it really seriously,” she told Power Play.


Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/cost-of-buying-servicing-f-35-fighter-jets-could-reach-40b-sources-1.1069258#ixzz2EKAnI2Bf

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2012, 07:28:34 pm »
F-35 deal not cancelled, Tories insist
 
 Update on the government's plan to purchase new fighter jets expected next week
 
 http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/12/06/poli-f35-pmo-government-fighter-jets.html
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Triton

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 9463
  • Donald McKelvy
    • Deep Blue to Wild Blue
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2012, 10:27:00 am »
Posted by NAVAIRSYSCOM on Dec. 5, 2012:

Quote
On Dec. 3, an F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter test aircraft completed the program's first aerial weapons release of an inert 500-pound GBU-12 Paveway II Laser Guided Bomb. The aircraft (BF-3) dropped an inert GBU-12 over the Atlantic Test Ranges from an internal weapons bay. The internal weapons carriage allows the F-35 to maintain a low-observable profile when combat loaded. The F-35B is a short take-off and vertical landing-capable fighter aircraft, designed for use by the U.S. Marine Corps as well as defense partners in the United Kingdom and Italy.


Offline Triton

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 9463
  • Donald McKelvy
    • Deep Blue to Wild Blue
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2012, 04:18:21 am »
Video of F-35B delivery ceremony at MCAS Yuma on Nov. 20, 2012:


Offline Creative

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 241
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2012, 02:22:42 pm »
The fourth F-35C carrier variant test aircraft ferried to NAS Patuxent River, Md., yesterday
http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.NAVAIRNewsStory&id=5218

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down

Offline Broncazonk

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 134
  • What the hell?
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 06:12:10 am »
Ottawa officially scraps F-35 purchase as audit pegs costs at $45-billion

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-changes-jet-plans-as-audit-pegs-f-35-costs-at-45-billion/article6260601/

Steven Chase - OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are officially recanting their 2 1/2-year-old decision to buy the cutting-edge F-35 fighter plane – but the federal government is still resisting calls to hold an open competition to pick Canada’s next jet purchase.

The Harper government on Wednesday officially announced it was backing off a sole-source plan to buy 65 F-35 Lightning jets as a replacement for Canada’s aging CF-18 Hornets. It was a rare U-turn for an administration that only infrequently acknowledges it was wrong – but one the Tories felt was necessary to repair their fiscal stewardship credentials.

“No decision has been taken on a replacement for the CF-18,” a senior government official told reporters in a not-for-attribution media briefing set up by the Tories so that top civil servants on the file could speak plainly about Ottawa’s new jet purchase policy.

The Conservatives have been dogged for months by a damning auditor general’s report last spring that said they selected the F-35 without due regard for price and availability. Back in July, 2010, the Tories announced to great fanfare they would forgo an open competition and would buy the Lockheed warplane because it was the only plane that would serve Canada’s needs. They defended the decision in the 2011 election and often excoriated critics who suggested they had made a mistake.

On Wednesday, Ottawa made a great show of backing away from that decision – while unveiling a full lifetime cost estimate for the Lockheed Martin plane that is five times greater than what the Tories originally advertised it would cost.

The “cradle-to-grave” bill to taxpayers for buying and operating the controversial F-35 warplane will exceed $600-million per jet – or $45-billion in total, the government announced Wednesday. The Tories originally sold the aircraft as a $9-billion purchase.

The $45-billion lifetime estimate may ultimately prove to be too low if the cash-strapped U.S. government cuts its own order for the F-35 – a move that would increase the average price.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose went to great effort Wednesday to distance themselves from the July, 2010, purchase announcement, an event where Mr. MacKay posed for photos in a dummy version of the fighter. “We are pressing reset on this acquisition in order to ensure a balance between military needs and taxpayer interests,” Mr. MacKay told reporters. “Let me be clear: The government of Canada will not proceed with a decision to replace the CF-18 fighter aircraft until all steps … are completed.”

Ottawa formally announced Wednesday it’s now shopping around to see if alternatives to the F-35 better meet its needs as a replacement for the aging CF-18 Hornets. The government has acknowledged, however, that it could again decide the F-35 is best for the job. “We’re undertaking a full-options analysis and the F-35 is obviously one of those options,” Ms. Ambrose told reporters.

Still, the government is holding off calling for open bids to build the plane – as opposition parties are demanding – saying they’ll wait for an options analysis led by the Royal Canadian Air Force first.

The new $45-billion F-35 price tag is based on the most expansive definition of costs over a 30-year lifetime for each jet, including fuel as well as upgrades and maintenance. The bill includes 65 planes and as many as 11 spares – a cost that works out to more than $600-million per plane.

The new forecast, which was scrutinized by consulting firm KPMG, looks at costs incurred over a 42-year-period. Less than 20 per cent of the costs are for buying the initial 65 planes. The other 80 per cent are for keeping this fleet operating.

The Canadian government is still assuming the United States will buy a large order of the jets. In one of the documents Ottawa released Wednesday, it said it’s expecting the U.S. and partners will purchase 3,100 jets – a number that’s expected to fall as Washington, heavily in debt, trims its order.

The government said the overall price tag for Canada will rise by $500-million for every reduction of 400 aircraft that are cut from international orders. That’s because there would be fewer economies of scale to be derived from mass production.

Separately, the Harper government trimmed its estimates for the maximum industrial benefits Canadian companies might win for supplying the F-35 production. This country’s firms are only able to compete for work related to the warplane because Canada joined a consortium of countries planning on buying the jets.

The government said now it believes the maximum potential industrial benefits from F-35 supply work would be $9.8-billion – instead of the $12-billion Ottawa previously touted. So far Canadian companies have secured $438-million in work.

Also, the Harper government has redrawn the list of independent monitors who will oversee the hunt for alternatives to the F-35 Lightning fighter after retired general Charles Bouchard bowed out. He is replaced by former senior civil servant James Mitchell of consulting group Sussex Circle. The others remain the same, including ex-Communications Security Establishment chief Keith Coulter, a former fighter pilot; former federal comptroller-general Rod Monette, who also served as a senior bureaucrat in National Defence; and University of Ottawa professor Philippe Lagassé, an outspoken critic of the jet procurement.

The Harper government is going shopping for alternatives to the controversial F-35 in the most significant demonstration yet that it is prepared to walk away from its first choice for a new warplane.

To demonstrate that they are restarting the procurement process from scratch, Canadian officials will collect information from other plane manufacturers, including U.S.-based Boeing, maker of the Super-Hornet, and the consortium behind the Eurofighter Typhoon. They may also contact Sweden’s Saab, manufacturer of the Gripen, and France’s Dassault, maker of the Rafale.

The ballooning lifetime cost of the F-35 fighter and Ottawa’s decision to shop around for alternatives are creating panic among Canadian companies betting on supply contracts for the Lockheed Martin plane, sources have said.

The government aims to complete this reappraisal of what the fighter aircraft market can offer Canada as expeditiously as possible in 2013.

Government officials said Wednesday that Ottawa has not decided whether to call for competitive bids to supply a plane and will await the results of the options analysis.

Canada has signed no contract to buy F-35s, and while it has signalled to Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer, that it wants 65, it has no obligation to buy them.

It did sign a memorandum of understanding in 2006 that set the terms by which a country would buy the aircraft and also enabled domestic companies to compete for supply contracts for the plane.

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2012, 11:44:39 am »
F-35 Fast Facts for Dec 11th, 2012

http://f-35.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/F-35-Fast-Facts-December-11-2012.pdf

Previously unreported Tidbits:
-- On November 3, CF-2 flew an HMD Jitter FTR mission completing first pilot evaluation.
-- On November 14, during setup for a 45,000 ft test point, AF-4 flew to 50,000 ft, the design altitude limit. This is the first time F-35 has flown to 50K.
-- On November 30, BF-1 accomplished the longest duration F-35 hover at 10 minutes.
-- On December 3, BF-1 accomplished its 200th vertical landing at PAX and completed maximum weight hover, vertical landing and 90 degree translation on December 6.
-- On December 6, BF-4 flew the first STOVL mode night ops, including night hover.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 11:46:29 am by SpudmanWP »
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline Rafael

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 128
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2012, 05:49:50 pm »
Not Precisely news, Dated March, 27, 2012
But, IMO very illustrative



Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2012, 03:26:39 pm »
Bad news in Canada (can't afford the numbers they need), mixed news in Australia (looking at another 24 Shornets due to previous JSF delays), better news in Britain (order holding at 48, looking to buy as many as 100 over time).  Best read at the jump.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20121215/DEFREG02/312150002/Experts-Canada-s-Potential-F-35-Cut-Would-Hurt-Mission?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2012, 01:29:10 am »

Offline pometablava

  • Global Moderator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 3173
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2012, 02:05:20 am »
Why do they need the Navy version?. Is Turkey going to order an LHA/LHD ship?

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2012, 09:10:24 am »
Turkey is building a LHA or equiv.  they are reportedly ordering the CV variant (not STOVL) though.  It could be a typo or possibly misreporting of the STOVL.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 09:55:39 am by GTX »

Offline Creative

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 241
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2012, 01:49:30 pm »

AETC declares Eglin ready for F-35 training
Quote
12/17/2012 - EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla -- Following an independent evaluation of Eglin's capability to conduct F-35A Lightning II pilot training, Air Education and Training Command announced today the 33rd Fighter Wing can do so, starting in January.
http://www.eglin.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123330196

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2012, 01:31:32 am »
A little Stars and Stripes blurb.  http://www.stripes.com/news/panetta-says-first-f-35-overseas-deployment-planned-for-iwakuni-1.201222
Quote
Panetta Says First F-35 Overseas Deployment Planned for Iwakuni

...“We are also enhancing our presence and capabilities in the region,” Panetta said. “That includes reallocating the naval fleet to achieve in these next few years a 60/40 split between the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans — hopefully, we will do that by 2020 — increasing Army and Marine presence in the region after Iraq and Afghanistan, locating our most advanced aircraft in the Pacific, including new deployments of F-22s and the MV-22 Ospreys to Japan, and laying the groundwork for the first overseas deployment of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Iwakuni in 2017”...
I'm a little surprised the guy already has a time and place in mind.

Offline Jemiba

  • Global Moderator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 7672
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2012, 11:39:57 am »
Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic

Some posts had to be removed again, sorry.
Please read the very first post in this thread again and stick to it !

It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2012, 11:55:40 am »
Norway Wants To Have Its First F-35 In Norway By 2017

http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2012/12/19/norway-wants-to-have-its-first-f-35-in-norway-by-2017/

Quote
Norwegian Minister of Defence Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, who Monday [Dec 17th] met with US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta at the Pentagon.

- Our goal is to introduce a bill to Parliament early 2013 which allows us to receive the first aircraft to Norway in 2017. We have already ordered two aircraft for training purposes that are to be delivered in 2015, followed by another two in 2016, but these are to be based in the US. This new order is therefore a new major milestone for us.

Our cost estimates remain stable and we are confident in our choice.

I understand that some partner nations are currently making an effort to ensure that their respective fighter procurement processes are as comprehensive and as well structured as they can be, and this is to be expected – this is after all a major investment. We have no doubt, however, that this is a necessary investment and that it will help strengthen the ability of our Armed Forces to contribute to Norwegian security for several decades to come, concludes Ms Strøm-Erichsen.
More at the Jump
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2012, 01:04:44 pm »
Quote
F-35 Deal Targets Lower Price, More Shared Risk

The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin have finally agreed on a 4% decrease in the target cost for the next production lot of stealthy F-35s after more than a year of antagonistic negotiations.

Target per-unit airframe costs are as follows for the three variants of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF): $105 million for the conventional-takeoff-and-landing F-35A; $113 million for the short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing F-35B and $125 million for the carrier suitable F-35C, according to Joe Dellavedova, a spokesman for the JSF program executive officer. Low-rate, initial production (LRIP) lot 5 includes 32 aircraft — 22 F-35As, three F-35Bs and seven F-35Cs, all for the U.S.

The contract’s total value is $3.8 billion and covers the airframe only; negotiations between the Pentagon and Pratt & Whitney on purchasing the F135 engines for the single-engine fighter are still ongoing, Dellavedova says...
  More at jump.  http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_12_17_2012_p0-529388.xml
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 05:06:00 pm by 2IDSGT »

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2012, 05:16:51 pm »
Quote
Lockheed Profit on F-35 Jets Will Rise With New Contract

Lockheed Martin expects to earn a profit in the high single digits under a new contract signed last week for the fifth batch of its radar-evading F-35 fighter planes, company officials said.  Lockheed executives have said the company earned about 4 percent during its decade-long effort to design and develop the plane...

...The Pentagon will require Lockheed to cover a slightly larger share of any cost overruns than it did on the last batch. The company will also have to fix some of the technical problems with the planes without earning a profit on that work...
Rest of the article is news already in the thread.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/business/lockheeds-profit-on-f-35-will-rise-with-new-pentagon-contract.html?src=recg&_r=0

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2012, 08:35:39 am »
F-35B achieves milestone flight
 
Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C. R. Clift flies BF-1 on a short take off and vertical landing mode mission, Dec. 7. The flight marked the 1,000th developmental test flight for the F-35B Lightning II in the program’s system development and demonstration phase. The F-35B is the Lightning II variant designed for the U.S. Marine Corps as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md., prior to delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline DD

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 53
  • I really should change my personal text
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2012, 02:22:38 pm »

Offline chuck4

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 801
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2012, 02:33:50 pm »
The author show some lack of perspective in claiming F-35 to be the  "biggest" fiasco in the "history of military aviation".   There are quite a few samples flying and shooting.  So much bigger fiascos are not hard to find.
 
 
« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 02:35:27 pm by chuck4 »

Offline Abraham Gubler

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 3555
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2012, 03:40:17 pm »

http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1307937--f-35-a-case-study-in-deficient-decision-making-olive

There is that "acquisition malpractice", again.   :o

There is no news in that article. Just the opinion of some tabloid scribe who knows less about this project than anyone who frequents this forum.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2012, 06:51:37 pm »
A deal for LRIP-6 already?
Quote
Lockheed gets up to $4.9 billion in further F-35 funding

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp on Friday was awarded up to $4.9 billion in additional funding for its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the Pentagon announced on Friday, providing a significant end-of-year boost in orders for the largest U.S. defense contractor.

The U.S. Defense Department said it had reached agreement with Lockheed on a preliminary contract valued at up to $3.68 billion for 31 F-35s in a sixth batch of planes to be built for the U.S. military, with details to be finalized the coming year.

It also awarded Lockheed additional separate contracts valued at up to $1.2 billion for spare parts and sustainment of the new radar-evading warplane...
More at the jump.  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/sns-rt-us-lockheed-fighterbre8br0jh-20121228,0,2659364.story

Offline Geoff_B

  • The Scratchbuilding Demigod
  • Global Moderator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 579
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2012, 12:50:08 am »
A deal for LRIP-6 already?
Quote
Lockheed gets up to $4.9 billion in further F-35 funding

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp on Friday was awarded up to $4.9 billion in additional funding for its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the Pentagon announced on Friday, providing a significant end-of-year boost in orders for the largest U.S. defense contractor.

The U.S. Defense Department said it had reached agreement with Lockheed on a preliminary contract valued at up to $3.68 billion for 31 F-35s in a sixth batch of planes to be built for the U.S. military, with details to be finalized the coming year.

It also awarded Lockheed additional separate contracts valued at up to $1.2 billion for spare parts and sustainment of the new radar-evading warplane...
More at the jump.  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/sns-rt-us-lockheed-fighterbre8br0jh-20121228,0,2659364.story

More likely to be the initial moves to secure funding for LRIP VI so initial parts can be ordered and production started on components so production lines don't run dry. You would see more news from officail sources if the final agreement had been reached.

The key word is preliminary as we have found the devil is in the detail and that can take quite a long time for both parties to agree the final deal. The other point of note is that its only for 31 aircraft, is this the revised plan post fiscal cliff or could numbers be capped even further ?

Offline Abraham Gubler

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 3555
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2012, 01:47:03 am »
LRIP VI has been in negotiation since mid year (Acquisition Decision Memo on July 6). This isn't the initial parts contract that was awarded years ago. BTW LRIP VI was planed for 36 aircraft (23 -A, 6 -B, 7 -C). So why only 31? That's the number of US aircraft the other five are for partner nations.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 08:38:28 am by Abraham Gubler »
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline Jemiba

  • Global Moderator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 7672
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2012, 08:28:53 am »
Is this news ONLY topic or news and personal commentaries topic???

Well, indeed, it was an attempt to keep at least one thread about the F-35 clean of discussions, which,
as we found out more than once, always leads to quarrels and in the end to personal insults.
Don't know if it will be helpful to sanction those members, who try to outmanoeuvre the locking of the
"No Holds Barred" thread ? Maybe we have to think about it ...
Or simply close this thread, too ?
So, last warning, ONLY NEWS, or this thread gets locked !   >:(
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline Deino

  • Our China Correspondent
  • Global Moderator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 2370
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2013, 01:49:28 pm »
F-35C CF-6 in VFA-101 scheme as the first F-35C for Eglin. (Photo by Randy Crites)

found at http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=596729847010991&set=a.137862012897779.26971.137792852904695&type=1&theater

EDIT: larger image found at
http://theaviationist.com/2013/01/08/f35c-markings/#.UOyUpXfhcng

Deino
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 01:52:11 pm by Deino »
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.
...
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
-------------------------------------------------
W.H.Auden (1945)

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2013, 02:58:16 pm »
Quote
BAE flight test trainers have been begun teaching RAF and Royal Navy pilots how to land the F-35B on the simulated rolling deck of the HMS Queen Elizabeth, reports the MoD. BAE says they are teaching pilots in their Lancashire-based simulators to use the shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) method – a manoeuvre that requires the pilot to fly at about 60 knots (111 kilometres per hour) with a flight path of six to seven degrees in order to land on deck. This method, says BAE, allows the F-35B to reduce impact force of landing, preserving the air frame. Lockheed Martin incorporated the SRVL system for the UK at an initial cost of some USD 13 million (GBP 8 million). The US has not planned to land the F-35 STOVL on its carriers using SRVL.
Nothing else related to the F-35 at the link.  http://defencereport.com/wires-brief-uk-pilots-practice-landing-f-35-next-cia-chief-takes-heat-pakistan-india-skirmish-erupts/

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2013, 10:34:10 am »
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Grey Havoc

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 7404
  • _ \\ //
To the Stars

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2013, 01:36:01 pm »
Quote
Turkey Postpones Order for Its First Two F-35 Fighters

ANKARA — Turkey said Jan. 11 it has postponed an order to purchase its first two U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets due to technical problems and rising costs, but said it still intends to buy 100 more in the long run...
Not much more than that at the jump, and no indication of delay's timeline.  http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130111/DEFREG04/301110015/Turkey-Postpones-Order-Its-First-Two-F-35-Fighters?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #40 on: January 12, 2013, 02:00:30 pm »
Quote
F-35 Marine Model Stress Testing Halted Over Cracks

Durability testing on the most complicated version of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s (LMT) F-35 was halted last month after “multiple” cracks were discovered in the fighter jet, according to the Pentagon’s testing office.
The previously undisclosed halt in high-stress ground testing involves the F-35B, the Marine Corps' version that must withstand short takeoffs and landings on carriers and amphibious warfare vessels, according to an annual report on the F-35 that Defense Department testing chief Michael Gilmore sent to Congress yesterday. Flight testing wasn’t affected.
Development of the F-35, the Pentagon’s costliest weapons system, has been marked by delays and cost increases. The Pentagon estimates the total cost for development and production of 2,443 F-35s will be $395.7 billion, a 70 percent increase since the initial contract with Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin was signed in 2001.
Durability testing is intended to stress an airframe, assessing its capability to achieve a projected aircraft lifetime of 8,000 “equivalent flight hours.”
Testing for the Marine short-takeoff-and-vertical landing version was progressing this year until last month’s halt “after multiple new cracks were found in a bulkhead flange” on the fuselage’s underside during an inspection after the equivalent of 7,000 hours of testing, according to the report to Congress. The cracks were confined to that area.
Testing of the F-35B model had been restarted in January 2012 after a 16-month delay caused by the discovery, analysis and repair of a previous crack in the plane’s bulkhead. All three models of the F-35 are required to go through ground testing to the equivalent of 16,000 hours of flight...
Recriminations follow at the jump.  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-12/f-35-marine-model-stress-testing-halted-over-cracks.html

Offline Geoff_B

  • The Scratchbuilding Demigod
  • Global Moderator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 579
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #41 on: January 12, 2013, 04:30:57 pm »
http://media.bloomberg.com/bb/avfile/rboZtDuN4Gwk

This is the bit we should be reading ! DoD 2012 JSF Development update report

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2013, 06:51:30 am »
*

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2013, 04:28:18 pm »
Reuters' take on the report.
Quote
Pentagon report cites "lack of maturity" of Lockheed F-35 jet

Lockheed Martin Corp's's new F-35 fighter jet has completed over a third of its planned flight tests, but it Still faces problems with the helmet needed to fly the plane, software development and weapons integration, according to a report by the Pentagon's chief weapons tester.

The 18-page report, sent to Congress on Friday, included a detailed account of those issues and others, which it said underscored the "lack of maturity" of the $396 billion weapons program, the Pentagon's most expensive ever.

The program exceeded the number of flight tests and specific system tests planned for 2012 but lagged in some areas due to unresolved problems and newly discovered issues, the report said. It said Lockheed did not accomplish all the tests planned for 2012, but boosted the year's total of specific tests by bringing forward some evaluations planned in later years.

The program has already completed over 20,000 tests, but has 39,579 more such tests...
More at the jump.  http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/13/us-lockheed-fighter-idUSBRE90C00D20130113

Offline Grey Havoc

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 7404
  • _ \\ //
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #44 on: January 15, 2013, 03:38:01 am »
DefenseNews' take on it: Report: Lightning a Threat to JSF; Cutting Weight Erodes Safety

Quote
Despite undergoing regular test flights, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, called the Lightning II, remains vulnerable to its namesake — lightning.

Additionally, attempts to lighten the JSF by 11 pounds may have left the fifth-generation stealth fighter more vulnerable than the aircraft it will replace.

Those are among the findings of a new report from the Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation office (OT&E), first obtained by Time magazine. Test flights are “not permitted” within 25 miles of known lightning conditions due to a needed redesign to the On-Board Inert Gas Generating System (OBIGGS), which maintains correct oxygen levels in the fuel tank. The system is crucial to protecting the engine from exploding in case of a lightning strike.
To the Stars

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2013, 12:16:27 pm »
Interesting Norwegian comments on Turkish decision to delay 2 aircraft:

Quote
Turkey Adjusts Fighter Jets Purchase - No Impact for Norway

(Source: Norway Ministry of Defence, issued January 12, 2013)
(Issued in Norwegian only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)
 
Turkish authorities announced Friday that they will postpone the first deliveries of the new fighter aircraft F-35 to the Turkish military for two years. It is not expected that this will have any significant effect on the Norwegian cost or delivery schedules.

The first aircraft will now be delivered in 2017 as opposed to 2015. This means that Turkey now will have delivery of its first aircraft in the same year as the first F-35 is scheduled to arrive in Norway.

There is nothing new in the program now, either technically or financially, that has caused this change in Turkey's plans. The difference between Norway and Turkey is mainly that they have not previously adjusted their procurement plan in accordance with the changes that the United States announced in 2010, while Norway already did that later that year,” says program director Anders Melheim.

With this adjustment to its schedule, Turkey comes more in line with the rest of the partners, and it is therefore not expected to have any significant effect on either the Norwegian cost or delivery schedules.

“Turkey will continue to acquire the majority of its aircraft in the same period as Norway buys most of its aircraft, and this ensures that we both benefit from higher production volumes in the relevant years, and that together we will have the opportunity to push production costs further down,” says Melheim.

Norwegian opinion remains unchanged

Melheim also noted that Turkey mentions technical problems as a basis for later delivery, but believes that the Norwegian opinions about that still stands.

The Defense Ministry's department for operational testing and evaluation have also designed a new report that points to the many technical issues that are materially known and that have already been discussed between the partners. The fighter aircraft program will now study this carefully and follow it up in the further process.

“Do we have the technical challenges of a project of this size? Yes, we will. But these are insurmountable? No, absolutely not. There has been no new information about the development of the aircraft, either from Turkey or the United States, to suggest otherwise. We believe that in comparison to what we use F-35 for the first few years, the training aircraft we have delivered in 2015 and 2016 will have the capabilities we need.

“We will continue our close monitoring of the development to ensure that the transition to a new fighter capacity is done in the best possible way,” says the program director.

-ends-

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2013, 01:07:07 pm »

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #48 on: January 22, 2013, 01:02:36 pm »
F-35 JSF Testers Report Progress, Problems
By Guy Norris, Graham Warwick

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article/PrintArticle.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_01_21_2013_p26-537603.xml&p=1&printView=true

It's big and too much to post here in full so more at the JUMP

Here are some of the tidbits

Quote
“The DOT&E report offers 10 recommendations. The F-35 Joint Program Office has already taken action on six of the 10 recommendations,” says the JSF program office, noting all of the issues highlighted in the report were known. “Of the remaining recommendations, three involve vulnerability concerns and are being reviewed.”

While the program continues to evaluate fixes for problems already identified, and to test multiple blocks of mission-system software concurrently, it is pushing ahead into new areas of testing. “From a flight-test perspective, there are two priorities this year: complete weapons verification and high alpha [angle of attack],” says Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin F-35 program integration executive vice president and general manager.

“We are using 18 aircraft to conduct the equivalent of three development flight-test programs and one mission-system program,” says J.D. McFarlan, F-35 test and verification vice president. “We expect it to eventually include 8,000 flights and 60,000 test points. So far we've collected 22,000 of those, so we are around 36% through the test program.”
Across the three variants, there are 12 aircraft in the flight-sciences test fleet. Another four are assigned to mission-systems testing, with two more—Stovl production aircraft BF-17 and -18—about to join and complete the flight-test stable based at Edwards AFB, Calif., and NAS Patuxent River, Md. Together they had logged 4,243 flight hours by Jan. 7, with the Stovl aircraft logging 1,309 of those hours and conducting 381 vertical landings.

Tests to clear the F-35A “clean wing” flight envelope for the Block 2B initial combat capability—to Mach 1.6/700 kt airspeed, 9g maneuvers and 40,000-ft. altitude (see F-35 Capability Plan table)—are wrapping up. The next step will be to clear the envelope with internal weapons-bay doors open, he says. Release of the Block 2B envelope is planned for mid-2015. Expanding the flight envelope to 50,000 ft. for the Block 3F full combat capability is planned for 2016, when development testing is scheduled to finish.

The flight-sciences sortie rate is ahead of plan for the F-35B and C, but behind for the A, says the DOT&E. There are high-speed/high-altitude restrictions on all three variants caused by the tail scorching. New surface coatings have been flown unsuccessfully, so a new skin design will be tested on CTOL aircraft AF-2 early this year, according to the report.

High angle-of-attack testing is underway at Edwards AFB using aircraft AF-4 equipped with a spin-recovery parachute. Where the F-16 is limited to 26 deg. alpha by its fly-by-wire flight-control system, the F-35's limiter is set at 50 deg. and the aircraft has been flown to 73 deg. to ensure there is sufficient pitch authority. “We have to really slow down to get those pitch conditions—100 kt at 40,000 ft.,” says McFarlan. “Pilots are pleased with the ability to get the nose down from high angle of attack.”

The control system is designed to prevent departure from controlled flight at high alpha. In tests now beginning, the prevention feature is turned off, the aircraft forced to depart and the system turned back on to ensure it recovers the aircraft. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate safe recovery from a flat spin, with the chute as a backup. After completing these tests, they will be repeated with the spin chute removed. High-alpha testing on the F-35B will begin this year.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 01:06:10 pm by SpudmanWP »
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #49 on: January 22, 2013, 10:56:40 pm »
SDB II Fit Check on F-35: Air Force and Raytheon officials completed a fit check of the GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II on the F-35 strike fighter at Eglin AFB, Fla., announced the company. Four SDB II shapes were loaded into an F-35 weapons bay next to an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, with sweeps of the inboard and outboard bay doors confirming adequate clearance between the two weapons, states Raytheon's Jan. 22 release. "Completion of the fit check is critical because it further validates SDB II's compatibility with the F-35 and keeps SDB II on track for a smooth transition to production," said Harry Schulte, Raytheon's vice president of air warfare systems. "Once fielded, SDB II will provide the warfighter with an unprecedented capability to precisely strike moving targets in adverse weather conditions and through battlefield obscurants," he added. Among the Air Force platforms with which SDB II will be compatible are the F-15E, F-16C/D, F-22, and F-35, according to the company.
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #50 on: January 23, 2013, 02:45:14 am »
F-35 JSF Testers Report Progress, Problems
By Guy Norris, Graham Warwick

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article/PrintArticle.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_01_21_2013_p26-537603.xml&p=1&printView=true

It's big and too much to post here in full so more at the JUMP

Executive summary:
Quote
Amassing flight hours and test points at an accelerating pace, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program faces the question of whether it is completing the right tests at the right time. As it enters 2013 with a focus on high angle-of-attack and weapons testing, the program is still falling behind in clearing the capabilities its customers require.

Lockheed Martin exceeded its development flight-test goals for 2012. But a report by the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E) reveals this was helped by bringing forward test tasks from future years. Aircraft deficiencies and software delays prevented the program from achieving some test objectives set for 2012 and required to deliver capabilities to the services now beginning to train pilots on the F-35.

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #51 on: January 24, 2013, 08:51:29 am »
2012 F-35 Flight Test at Edwards AFB

Year in Review for the F-35A at Edwards

WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2013, 01:33:54 pm »
Bad part and not bad design likely cause of the F-35B grounding.

It should be fixed and cleared for flight ops soon.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/28/us-lockheed-fighter-idUSBRE90R0PE20130128

Quote
(Reuters) - Pentagon and industry investigators have pinpointed a manufacturing quality problem as the most likely cause of an engine failure that led to the grounding of the Marine Corps version of the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet, sources familiar with the investigation told Reuters.

 Pentagon officials are expected to finalize the finding and the proposed fix at a meeting on Monday, said the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly. They said the F-35B should be able to resume flights as soon as the "nonconforming" parts supplied by a unit of Parker Hannifin Corp are replaced.

The grounding did not affect the Air Force or Navy versions of the radar-evading new fighter since they do not use the same part.

The Pentagon grounded all 25 F-35B jets on January 18 after a propulsion line associated with the B-model's exhaust system failed just before takeoff during a training flight at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

The part in question enables actuator movement for the exhaust system associated with the B-model's engine. Instead of traditional hydraulic fluid, it uses fuel as the operating fluid to reduce weight.

An initial inspection discovered a detached propulsion line in the rear part of the engine compartment, and subsequent tests showed the line was not built to specifications by Stratoflex, a unit of Parker Hannifin.

"It wasn't built to specification as it should have been," said one of the sources. "But there's a very small population of the tubes, and the problem should be fixed soon."

Stratoflex is a subcontractor to engine maker Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, which builds the engines for the single-engine, single-seat fighter jet along with Britain's Rolls-Royce Plc.

No comment was immediately available from Stratoflex.

The speedy conclusion of the investigation is good news for the F-35 program, which is racing to complete an aggressive schedule of flight tests this year.

The F-35 program has completed about 34 percent of its planned test flight program, but Lockheed is already building production models of the new warplane.

Lockheed is building three different models of the F-35 fighter jet for the U.S. military and eight countries that helped pay for its development: Britain, Canada, Italy, Turkey, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia and Norway.

The Pentagon plans to buy 2,443 of the warplanes in coming decades, although many analysts believe U.S. budget constraints and deficits will eventually reduce that overall number.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2013, 04:34:13 pm »
It's official now (Hat tip to Spaz for posting on F-16.net)

F-35B’s Grounding Traced to Crimped Fluid Line, Pentagon Says Tony Capaccio Monday, January 28, 2013
 
 http://bloomberg.finanza.repubblica.it/Notizie/Article?documentKey=1376-MHCPA66KLVSG01-201LBL2FN5C5MVHUAPT3HMTD4I
 
 
Quote
"Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- An “improperly crimped” fluid line was the probable cause of a propulsion-system leak that led the Pentagon to suspend flight tests of the F-35 fighter’s Marine Corps version, according to the Pentagon.
 
 The investigation “ruled out any design or maintenance issues,” Pentagon spokesman Joe DellaVedova said today in an e- mailed statement. The evidence revealed “a quality discrepancy” resulting in the crimped line, he said...."

 ________________________
 
 Engineers discover culprit behind F-35B fueldraulic line failure Dave Majumdar 28 Jan 2013
 
 http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/engineers-discover-culprit-behind-f-35b-fueldraulic-line-failure-381574/
 
 
Quote
"...The investigating team found that six other aircraft had the same manufacturing defect. The faulty parts have been returned to F-35 propulsion system prime contractor Pratt & Whitney for replacement. The fueldraulic line is built by Stratoflex. The company, along with Rolls-Royce and Pratt &Whitney, has "instituted corrective actions to improve their quality control processes and ensure part integrity," the JPO says.
 
 The fueldraulic line powers the actuator movement for the F-35B's STOVL vectoring exhaust system. Instead of traditional hydraulic fluid, the system uses fuel as the operating fluid to reduce weight.
 
 NAVAIR and the JPO are currently "developing a return to flight plan which details the removal and inspection requirements of currently installed fueldraulic lines on the 25 F-35B variants affected by the flight suspension." The B-model has been grounded since 18 January
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 11:54:48 am by Arjen »

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #56 on: January 29, 2013, 08:14:33 am »
Sydney Morning Herald:
Defence set to buy Super Hornets over cutting-edge fighter
 
Quote

AUSTRALIA will almost certainly be forced to buy 24 new Super Hornet fighter planes at a cost of about $2 billion to plug a looming gap in its air defences amid delays in the purchase of the cutting-edge Joint Strike Fighter.
According to a leaked draft of the 2013 defence white paper, just two Lockheed Martin JSFs will be delivered to Australia by 2020.
This strongly indicates that the government will need to buy rival Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets, which are cheaper but older and less stealthy than the JSF.
''By the end of this decade, the ADF will take delivery of three Air Warfare Destroyers, two Landing Helicopter Dock amphibious ships and the initial two F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft,'' the white paper states.
[...]
The white paper draft states that the government ''remains committed'' to acquiring the JSF but makes no mention of the next batch of 12 planes, expected about 2020. This appears to confirm what the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, has hinted at and many experts have suspected: that Defence will replace some of the retiring Hornet aircraft with Super Hornets and end up with a mixed fighter fleet rather than the 100 Super Hornets originally proposed.
Mr Smith has already asked the US about the price and availability of more Super Hornets.
The opposition defence spokesman, David Johnston, said the government had broken its pledge in the 2009 white paper to buy 100 JSFs, which would have "provided regional domination out to 2030".
"The revelation in the 2013 defence white paper that this promise has been reduced to just two aircraft (by 2020) is a further testament to Minister Smith's incompetent handling of the defence portfolio," he said.
Some interpretation here on my part, because I had some trouble reconciling the bits of blue text: original plans to have a 100 strong JSF fleet may be changed to a mixed fleet of JSF and Super Hornet. I understand the 24 Super Hornets to be additional to the 24 already ordered.
Quote
[Defence Minister] Smith said last week the leaked draft was out of date. The final paper will be released by June.
...though things may change.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 08:26:49 am by Arjen »

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #57 on: January 30, 2013, 09:02:59 pm »
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/reduced-f-35-performance-specifications-may-have-significant-operational-impact-381683/

Quote
The Pentagon's decision to reduce the performance specifications for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will have a significant operational impact, a number of highly experienced fighter pilots consulted by Flightglobal concur. But the careful development of tactics and disciplined employment of the jet may be able to mitigate some of those shortcomings...

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #58 on: January 31, 2013, 12:16:00 am »
From Ottawa Citizen: F-35 fallout blamed for collapse of another military procurement program
 
Quote

OTTAWA — The fallout from the Conservative government’s F-35 purchase is being blamed for yet another military equipment project going off the rails.
Public Works and Government Services Canada rejected all the bids from companies for a project to outfit soldiers with a futuristic system of sensors that would better allow them to communicate and find their way on the battlefield.
The $316-million Integrated Soldier System Project, or ISSP, was set to announce in December the winning firm that had been selected for the first phase of the program. But with all bids rejected, the project will now be restarted.
Some company representatives involved in the procurement say it could have been easily salvaged, but bad blood between the Defence Department and Public Works over the F-35 fighter jet debacle prevented that from happening.
Some of the bids were disqualified because the equipment did not meet requirements but a number lost out simply because the documentation and paperwork provided by companies was not complete or was unclear. Industry sources say in previous times, issues about incomplete or unclear documentation could be fixed through discussions between Public Works and the Defence Department as well as the companies involved.
But because of the chill created by the problem-plagued F-35 fighter aircraft project and bad blood between the two departments over other bungled procurements, such a solution was not pursued. Instead, Public Works took a hard line on its interpretation of the procurement rules and disqualified the bids.
Any contract for replacing the CF-18 will be under very close scrutiny.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 12:27:56 am by Arjen »

Offline fightingirish

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 1933
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #59 on: February 01, 2013, 09:18:59 am »

Quote
Video highlights from the F-35 Lightning II program in 2012, including production, flight test and deliveries.
Code: [Select]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPx1A5Rsg10
Slán,
fightingirish

Slán ist an Irish Gaelic word for Goodbye.  :)

Offline Broncazonk

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 134
  • What the hell?
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #60 on: February 02, 2013, 08:37:07 pm »
Several articles from Flightglobal and The DEW Line that put recent news about F-35 performance reductions into perspective:

1)  Basic recap here: http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/01/pentagon-lowers-f-35-performan.html

2)  What's the operational impact of reducing the F-35's performance specs?   Answer below:

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/01/whats-the-operational-impact-o.html

3)  Very Interesting comments from Tom Burbage below:

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/01/pentagon-lowers-f-35-performan.html

Bronc

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #61 on: February 04, 2013, 10:52:59 am »
Quote
Pratt & Whitney Seals F-35 Engine Deal With Pentagon

Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, has finalized a contract with the Pentagon for 32 engines to power a fifth batch of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

The agreement was reached late last week after more than a year of tough negotiations between the two sides, and Pratt ultimately agreed to lower its price by about $20 million, said one of the sources, who was not authorized to speak publicly...
  http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_02_04_2013_p0-544261.xml

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #64 on: February 05, 2013, 05:59:47 pm »
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/uks-f-35-variant-switch-wasted-100-million-381936/
Quote
UK's F-35 variant switch wasted £100 million

The UK's roughly 18-month dalliance with acquiring the C-model carrier variant of Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter "was rushed and based upon incomplete and inaccurate policy development", and ultimately wasted £100 million ($157 million), according to a new report...

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #65 on: February 06, 2013, 01:16:26 am »

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

  • Secret Projects Forum Founder
  • Administrator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • *****
  • Posts: 10268
  • Paul Martell-Mead
    • Secret Projects
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #66 on: February 06, 2013, 12:47:32 pm »
Removed some posts and the replies to them.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 01:11:25 pm by PaulMM (Overscan) »
"They can't see our arses for dust."
 
- Sir Sydney Camm

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #68 on: February 07, 2013, 11:41:43 am »
Contrary views on F-35 performance expressed by unnamed F-22 and Superhornet pilots (neither of which appears to have flown the F-35 yet).  http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/in-focus-lockheed-claims-f-35-kinematics-better-than-or-equal-to-typhoon-or-super-hornet-382078/

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #71 on: February 10, 2013, 03:48:48 pm »
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-02-07/pentagon-mulls-restoring-f-35-safety-gear-to-reduce-risk
Quote
Pentagon Mulls Restoring F-35 Safety Gear to Reduce Risk

The Pentagon may restore safety equipment on Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-35 fighter after an analysis found that removing the gear to save weight made the jets more vulnerable to enemy fire.

The equipment, removed in 2008, weighs about 43 pounds (20 kilograms.) It includes a two-pound valve intended to shut off the flow of a flammable liquid.

Computer analysis last year of the pared-down F-35 design determined that the aircraft’s vulnerability to fires ignited by enemy bullets or missile fragments increased 25 percent over a 2008 assessment before the equipment’s removal, according to data from the Pentagon’s weapons testing office...

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #72 on: February 11, 2013, 08:59:52 am »
Northrop Grumman AAQ-37 Sensor System Demonstrates Hostile Fire Detection Capability
Quote
BALTIMORE, Feb. 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) AN/AAQ-37 Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System (DAS), developed for the F-35 Lightning II, has added hostile ground fire detection to its capabilities by successfully detecting and locating tanks that were firing live rounds during preparations for a military exercise.


 A video accompanying this release is available on YouTube at http://youtu.be/fHZO0T5mDYU.


 While being flown on Northrop Grumman's BAC 1-11 test aircraft, the DAS detected and located tank fire from an operationally significant distance. In addition to artillery, the system is able to simultaneously detect and pinpoint the location of rockets and anti-aircraft artillery fired in a wide area.


 The AN/AAQ-37 DAS provides passive spherical awareness for the F-35, detecting and tracking aircraft and missiles in every direction simultaneously, providing visual imagery for day or night navigation and targeting purposes.


 "The DAS continues to show its ability to gather and analyze data for a wide range of missions not initially contemplated for this sensor system. These flight test results are just the latest example of the situational awareness capability of this revolutionary technology in action," said Mark Rossi, Northrop Grumman's DAS business area director.


 Although hostile fire detection is not an F-35 requirement for the DAS, the system design makes it ideal for this mission. This inherent capability enables DAS to harvest, process and deliver key battlespace information to ground forces and other aircraft autonomously, without the need for cueing or increasing pilot workload. The ability to gather this live fire data expands the mission possibilities of the sensor to include close air support and ground fire targeting.


 Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cybersecurity, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.





Just to be clear, this is not a Blk3 capability, but a follow-on development.


With that being said, the EODAS clarity s amazing!
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 09:03:03 am by SpudmanWP »
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #73 on: February 11, 2013, 01:22:57 pm »

Offline TaiidanTomcat

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 863
  • "A wretched hive of scum and villainy."
All F-35 threads will be locked, and supporters publicly outed or banned.

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #75 on: February 13, 2013, 03:03:44 pm »

Offline Broncazonk

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 134
  • What the hell?
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #76 on: February 13, 2013, 03:09:54 pm »
There's No Way The F-35 Will Ever Match The Eurofighter In Aerial Combat

Push-back against Lockheed test pilot, Bill Flynn, and his most recent F-35 performance assertions:

 http://www.businessinsider.com/the-f-35-will-never-beat-the-eurofighter-2013-2#ixzz2Kp6fwKh0

Bronc

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #77 on: February 13, 2013, 04:42:56 pm »

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #78 on: February 14, 2013, 01:54:52 am »
Flightglobal:
Lockheed F-35 programma may have to be restructured under sequestration.
 
Quote

The entire Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme may have to be restructured if the Pentagon budget undergoes the full 10 year effects of sequestration.
Under the Congressional sequestration budgetary maneuver, the US Department of Defense's coffers would be automatically cut across the board by 10% every year for 10 years. That is on top of the $487 billion that has already been cut from the spending plan.
If the full sequestration were to take effect, "we're going to have to look completely at the [F-35] programme," US Air Force chief of staff Gen Mark Welsh told the Senate Armed Services Committee on 12 February. "It's going to be impossible to modernize."
The consequences operationally would mean that the US Air Force would not be able to operate as effectively in contested airspace as it had planned. "Our kick in the door capability would be impacted," Welsh says.
For the US Navy, the consequences of the full sequestration are as dire. Adm Mark Ferguson, vice chief of naval operations, told the Congress that if the USN had to suffer the effects of nine additional years of sequestration, the service would lose two carrier strike groups and a "proportional" number of amphibious strike groups.
The US Marine Corps may also have to "cancel major multi-year procurements such as the [Bell-Boeing] MV-22 and incur greater cost and program delay in future program buys," USMC commandant Gen James Amos says in his prepared testimony.
Sequestration is scheduled to come into effect on 1 March. Thus far, Congress and the executive branch have been in deadlock with no resolution in sight.

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #79 on: February 14, 2013, 06:50:40 pm »
If you don't pay, you don't get to play.
Quote
Official: Italian Cut in JSF Order Would Reduce Workshare

As Italian politicians call for a reduction in Italy’s Joint Strike Fighter purchase, a senior Lockheed Martin official has warned that any cut in the order will mean a corresponding cut to Italy’s workshare on the program...
  http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130214/DEFREG01/302140027/Official-Italian-Cut-JSF-Order-Would-Reduce-Workshare?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #80 on: February 15, 2013, 02:01:32 am »
Long article from Time.  Dated 10 days in the future for some reason.
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2136312,00.html#ixzz2KsWbxuIe

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #81 on: February 15, 2013, 07:02:58 am »
Canadian site Global News:
 
Auditor and budget officer's F-35 critiques watered down in Commons report
 
Quote

OTTAWA - Stinging criticism of the political and bureaucratic fiasco surrounding the F-35 by the country's budget officer and even the auditor general was edited out of the final version of a parliamentary investigation, a draft copy of the report shows.
 
The Conservative-dominated all-party House of Commons public accounts committee held seven hours of hearings and spent much more time arguing with Opposition members behind closed doors last spring and fall over the handling of the stealth fighter program.
 
A Nov. 1, 2012 copy of the draft report, obtained by The Canadian Press, shows some of the most pointed critiques of Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page and Auditor General Michael Ferguson — both of whom testified before the committee — were removed or softened in the report's final version.
MP Andrew Saxton, the Conservative who led the government charge during public hearings, did not return calls for comment Monday.
The leaked draft, which is supposed to remain secret under parliamentary rules, clearly demonstrates an attempt to "whitewash" the report, opposition members say.
The committee's final report was released last November.
The auditor set off a political firestorm last spring by declaring National Defence and Public Works lowballed the cost of the multibillion-dollar program and did not follow proper procedures in giving it the green light.
 
One of the most damning redactions involves Ferguson's observation that the governing Conservatives had seen the full cost of the plan, including the stealth fighter's estimated $10 billion operating cost — a figure that was never revealed until his audit.
The edited paragraph in the final version of the report focuses the blame for the missing figures on National Defence, while the draft copy noted that "this information was included in estimates provided to decision-makers" — meaning the Conservative cabinet.
The subtle but significant omission in the committee's public report shifts the blame for the lack of disclosure away from the politicians and on to the shoulders of the military.
 
The report also drops Ferguson's warning about not allowing the cost of owning F-35s to eat into the rest of the defence budget, as well as a passage of testimony from Page, who challenged the government's assumptions with his own March 2011 report about the aircraft's long-term price tag.
References to the fact the F-35 was selected without competition were also deleted, as was mention that the price tag per aircraft could climb to US $138 million, not the US $75 million touted by the government.
The notion that there was something to learn from how the F-35's industrial benefits also unravelled as a result was also left out.
 
"This committee believes that this lesson can be applied to future information prepared by Industry Canada," said the draft.
"It is important that parliamentarians and Canadians have a fair assessment of the anticipated industrial benefits of participating in the (Joint Strike Fighter) program."
Liberal MP Gerry Byrne, the deputy chairman of the public accounts committee, said the final report was not a reflection of what MPs heard.
"What is obvious to each and every one of us is that we are not doing the job that is expected of us," Byrne said.
"The committee is becoming very dysfunctional and I think, in my opinion, there has been a whitewashing."
New Democrat MP Malcolm Allen was equally dismayed.
"Our position was that we clearly did not agree with the majority report," said Allen, who was reluctant to talk about the leaked draft.
He noted both opposition parties wrote their own dissenting reports at the time the committee released its work.
The Conservatives have put the F-35 purchase on hold, and are currently doing a market analysis to determine whether they should call for a full-blown competition to replace the current CF-18 fleet.

© The Canadian Press, 2013

Offline fightingirish

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 1933
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #82 on: February 15, 2013, 09:02:32 am »
Quote
FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 15, 2013 – The first Lockheed Martin production model F-35C carrier variant, known as CF-6, flew its first sortie Thursday. Upon delivery later this year, the jet will be assigned to US Navy Fighter Attack Squadron 101 (VFA-101) at Eglin AFB, Florida. The unit will serve as the Fleet Replacement Squadron, training Navy F-35C pilots and maintainers. While CF-6 will be the first carrier variant jet assigned to Eglin, it will join a fleet of nine F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) jets and 13 F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) jets already on station.
Picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lockheedmartin/8476368814/
Source: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2013/february/first-f-35-production-model-takes-flight.html
Slán,
fightingirish

Slán ist an Irish Gaelic word for Goodbye.  :)

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #83 on: February 20, 2013, 11:24:56 am »
Quote
F-35 Costs Driven Up By Production Choice: Bogdan

A decision to start production of Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter jet before it was fully tested has driven up the $396 billion cost of the troubled project and increased risks, the U.S. general heading development of the warplane has said.

The head of the Pentagon’s F-35 programme office, Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) television that major challenges had been created by a production and test approach known as “concurrency”.

“A large amount of concurrency, that is, beginning production long before your design is stable and long before you’ve found problems in tests, creates downstream issues where now you have to go back and retrofit airplanes and make sure the production line has those fixes in them,” Bogdan told ABC’s Four Corners programme late on Monday...
  http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_02_19_2013_p0-550100.xml

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #84 on: February 21, 2013, 03:02:42 pm »
Northrop: DAS Could See Action On Other Platforms Before F-35 Hits IOC    With development of its next-generation Joint Strike Fighter sensor package essentially complete, Northrop Grumman is receiving requests to adapt its Distributed Aperture System to other platforms and keeping a close eye on its performance as related to the F-35's sometimes-troublesome Helmet-Mounted Display
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline BioLuminescentLamprey

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 90
  • I really should change my personal text
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #85 on: February 21, 2013, 07:14:19 pm »
Majumdar at Flight Global:


"General Electric (GE) says it completed engine core testing for its ADaptive Versatile ENgine Technology (ADVENT) demonstrator earlier this month on 6 February. The prototype variable-cycle engine reached the "highest combination of compressor and turbine temperatures ever recorded in aviation history", says the company, which is working on the programme for the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)."




http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/general-electric-completes-advent-core-testing-382542/



...program seems to be moving along on schedule. This is the ADVENT demo engine that should be developed into a package that can fit the F-35s bay by around 2020, I think.

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #86 on: February 21, 2013, 10:12:15 pm »
Absolute Numbers: The figure of 1,763 F-35As needed by the Air Force remains the procurement objective, sequester or no sequester, said Lt. Gen. Burton Field, deputy chief of staff for operations, plans, and requirements. Speaking with reporters at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday, Field said the F-35 objective number could change, however, if the national defense strategy is modified, as both are a function of the funds available. The F-35 buy number didn't adjust with the appearance of Chinese and Russian stealth-like fighters in recent years, said Field, principally because the Air Force presumes those capabilities will take a long time to build, develop, and sustain. "Any advancement in some kind of capability we may have to fight is obviously worrisome," he said, "but we think between the inventory we have and our national arsenal that we'll be able to handle those kinds of threats."After decades, the Air Force is getting "pretty good" at operating with stealth, but "it's still a learning experience," said Field.Nations with stealth ambitions "have a lot of learning to do to produce and sustain those aircraft over time," he said. Still, new foreign fighters and advanced air defense systems "give us the clear vector that we need the capabilities of a fifth generation aircraft in order to operate in these sort of environments," said Field. That said, "everything is on the table" in light of the possible sequester, he noted.
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Broncazonk

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 134
  • What the hell?
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #87 on: February 22, 2013, 12:12:03 pm »
Pentagon suspends all F-35 flights due to crack in engine blade

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/22/us-lockheed-fighter-idUSBRE91L10U20130222

WASHINGTON | Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:18pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Friday suspended the flights of all F-35 fighter planes after a routine inspection revealed a crack on a turbine blade in the jet engine of an F-35 test aircraft in California.

The F-35 program office said it was too early to know the fleet-wide impact of the engine issue, but it was suspending all flights until an investigation into the issue was completed. It said it was working closely with Pratt & Whitney, the United Technologies Corp unit which builds the engine for the fighter, and Lockheed Martin Corp, the prime contractor for the radar-evading warplane, to ensure the integrity of the engine and return the F-35 fleet to flight as soon as possible.

F-35 grounding latest setback for troubled program

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/f-35-grounding-latest-setback-for-troubled-program-87953.html?hp=r3

Bronc
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 12:20:39 pm by Broncazonk »

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #88 on: February 24, 2013, 12:47:05 am »
Quote
We'll buy US jets despite groundings: PM

From:NewsComAu
February 24, 2013

AUSTRALIA will go ahead with purchasing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from the United States, despite the jets being grounded by the Pentagon due to a cracked engine blade.


Full story at:
http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/well-buy-us-jets-despite-groundings-pm/story-e6frfku9-1226584399449

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #89 on: February 25, 2013, 12:53:00 pm »
http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130225/DEFREG02/302250005/JSF-Findings-Expected-Week?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Quote
JSF Findings Expected This Week

A preliminary report on the engine malfunction that grounded the entire F-35 Joint Strike Fighter fleet is expected by Friday, according to a program spokeswoman.

“We expect engineering findings and a follow-on report with better understanding of impact no later than Friday,” Kyra Hawn, a spokeswoman with the F-35 joint program office, told Defense News in an email.

“We still do not know enough to determine the root cause of the crack or project the actual impact,” Hawn wrote. “We should have initial structural engineering data collected, and associated analysis/recommendation by week’s end (if not earlier).”

The Pentagon grounded all JSF models currently in testing after a crack was found in an engine equipped on one of the F-35A conventional takeoff-and-landing models ordered by the Air Force. The grounding was extended to the Marine’s jump-jet F-35B and the Navy’s carrier F-35C because the engine, manufactured by Pratt & Whitney (P&W), is in all three variants.

Matthew Bates, a P&W spokesman, told Defense News that the damaged engine arrived at Pratt’s facilities on Sunday and that engineering teams are “hard at work” inspecting the crack.

“I could foresee the airplane back in the air in the next week or two,” Gen. Chris Bogdan, the JSF program head, told Agence France-Presse in Melbourne. “If it’s more than that, then we have to look at what the risk is to the fleet.”

The AFP quoted Bogdan say saying the fleet should be flying again “within a reasonable period of time.”

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #90 on: February 26, 2013, 12:56:55 am »
Reuters: Honeywell to test some F-35 parts after smoke incident
Quote
(Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Monday an F-35 test plane was involved in an incident on February 14 that caused smoke in the cockpit, and it was sending the affected parts back to their manufacturer, Honeywell International Inc, for a detailed inspection.

Kyra Hawn, spokeswoman for the $396 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, said an initial assessment of the incident at a Maryland air base showed it was isolated, software-related, and posed minimal risk. The Pentagon has made temporary changes to prevent another smoke incident, she said.

News of the previously unreported incident comes just days after U.S. military officials grounded the entire fleet of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 jets for the second time this year after discovering a 0.6 inch crack on a fan blade in the single jet of another test plane.
A spokesman for enginemaker Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, said the blade assembly arrived at the company's Middletown, Connecticut, facility on Sunday evening and engineering teams were examining it now.

Honeywell builds the plane's "power thermal management system," which uses a lithium-ion battery similar to those whose failures have grounded Boeing Co's entire fleet of 787 airliners, but Hawn said there was no connection between the February 14 incident and the F-35's lithium-ion batteries.
"It has no linkage whatsoever with the lithium-ion batteries," Hawn said. She said the February 14 incident was the only one involving smoke in the cockpit of an F-35 "in recent program history."

Lockheed is building three models of the new radar-evading warplane to replace nearly a dozen fighter jets in use by the U.S. military and its allies. The Pentagon plans to buy 2,447 of the advanced fighter in coming decades.
Honeywell said it would inspect the system, which manages the distribution of hot and cold air in the F-35 fuselage, once it arrived at the company's Phoenix testing facility.

SOFTWARE ISSUE
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration grounded Boeing's 787 commercial airliner on January 16 after two separate battery failures, including one that triggered an emergency landing in Japan after the crew detected smoke in the cockpit.
Boeing's biggest rival, Airbus, a unit of Europe's EADS, has decided in the aftermath to skip using lithium-ion batteries in its new A350 airliner.
But the Pentagon earlier this month said it would continue using lithium-ion batteries on the F-35 since they were made by different manufacturers from those used on the 787, and had been found to be safe after extensive testing.

Hawn said an initial assessment of the February 14 incident involving BF-2, one of the Marine Corps' short takeoff, vertical landing variants, had linked the problem to a software issue, not a problem with the hardware on the auxiliary power unit.

The entire temperature management system was being sent to Honeywell for a closer inspection and development of a permanent fix, she said, noting that the plane was going through developmental testing specifically to find any such problems.
"This is the purpose of test, development and initial training in any program - identify discrepancies, develop fixes, and put them in place to ensure safety of operations," she said, adding that initial assessment indicated "minimal risk and (a) relatively uncomplicated resolution."
Honeywell spokesman Nathan Drevna said the company would inspect the system once it arrived at the Phoenix facility.
"The pilot landed safely. The Honeywell-related products are being shipped to our testing facility so we can quickly inspect and determine next steps with our customer," Drevna said.

SMOKE BUT NO FIRE
Lockheed spokesman Michael Rein said there was no sign that a lithium-ion battery was involved, and the battery had not been pulled from the F-35 for further review. "There is no evidence that the lithium ion batteries are a contributor to this event," he said, adding, "no battery faults were observed at any time."

One U.S. defense official familiar with the incident said the F-35 pilot reported "trace amounts of smoke" in the cockpit after he followed procedures to stop and restart the auxiliary power unit when a caution light came on.
The pilot then halted the test flight and landed safely at the base, without ever declaring an in-flight emergency, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, adding, "there wasn't any fire associated with the smoke incident."
Procedures have now been changed so that pilots do not restart the backup power unit in flight, the official said.

Honeywell's Drevna said the temperature control unit is part of a bigger integrated power package (IPP), also built by Honeywell, which uses a 270-volt lithium-ion battery to start the engine, and also provide emergency backup power. Only the temperature control system was being sent back to Honeywell.
Lockheed said the power and thermal system was not using the battery at the time of the February 14 incident and the battery checked out as fully functional during a post-flight review. The IPP also functioned as designed, he said.

A malfunctioning valve in the larger IPP system grounded the F-35 for two weeks in August 2011, but this was a separate issue, the Pentagon said on Monday.

(Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Richard Chang and Matthew Lewis)

I've been mulling over this for some time now; "power thermal management system"  = "heater"  ???
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 01:34:04 am by Arjen »

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #91 on: February 26, 2013, 11:08:49 am »
I've been mulling over this for some time now; "power thermal management system"  = "heater"  ???


power thermal management system = http://www.honeywell.com/sites/servlet/com.merx.npoint.servlets.DocumentServlet?docid=D58165320-17EF-E31F-6DDC-AE4A19C2F7A8





Offline jsport

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 804
  • I really should change my personal text
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #92 on: February 26, 2013, 06:26:34 pm »
Quote
Meanwhile, key radar advances are already deployed in the most advanced Russian surface-to-air missile systems, and existing IRST (infra-red scan and track) systems deployed on advanced Russian and European fighters are extending enemy detection ranges against radar-stealthy aircraft. Fighter radar pick-up capability of up to 25 nautical miles by 2020 is proposed against even ultra-stealthy aircraft like the F-22, coupled with IRST ability to identify AMRAAM missile firings and less infrared-stealthy aircraft at 50 nautical miles or more.

The F-35′s lower infrared and radar stealth levels mean that these advances will affect it more than they’ll affect the F-22. Especially if one assumes a fighter aircraft whose prime in-service period stretches to 2050.


Quote
The F-35′s explicit design goal has been stated as being the F-16′s equal in in air to air combat, at a time when the F-16′s future ability to survive in that arena is questioned. The question naturally arises: what special features give the F-35 a unique ability to prevail against the kind of advanced, upgraded 4.5 generation and better fighters that it can be expected to face between its induction, and a likely out of service date around 2050 or later?


Quote
All fighters have limitations, and fighting to your plane’s strengths is a big component of good airmanship. What’s concerning is the apparent number and extent of the F-35′s kinetic weaknesses, and the structural difficulty of fixing them. The net tactical effect is that pilots will be forced to depend even more heavily on electronics like the EO DAS and APG-81 radars, and on a stealth profile that’s less effective and more variable than the F-22A’s.


Quote
“….JSF and USAF analysts stated that against Su-27 and MiG-29 fighters the Raptor had a kill ration of 30 to 1 and the JSF 3 to 1…. Against aircraft 30 years newer, such as Su-35S, PAK-FA and the Chinese J-20, and you can imagine the results are likely to be very different…. AVM [Air Vice-Marshal] Osley advised that the JSF has some 650 ways to detect and avoid such threats…. if a JSF has to leave airspace because it detects the presence of Su-35Ss, PAK-FAs or J-20s that it cannot defeat, then the enemy wins airspace-dominance without firing a shot.”

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/The-F-35s-Air-to-Air-Capability-Controversy-05089/

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #93 on: February 27, 2013, 11:31:26 am »

F-35 chief Bogdan to execute, not cheerlead by australianaviation.com.au February 27 2013 http://australianaviation.com.au/2013/0 ... cheerlead/

Quote
"New program executive officer for the US Department of Defense’s F-35 program, Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan has told Avalon Airshow media that the aircraft’s development program should be judged on where it is heading rather than where it has been. “The first point I’d like to make overall is: don’t expect me to be a cheerleader for the F-35 program.

That’s not my job. My job is to execute this program. If I start becoming an advocate or a zealot for this program, I lose my credibility,” he said.

“One of the biggest problems I have is an awful lot of people with opinions on this program and not a lot of people with the facts. And those opinions are based on what I would call the tragic history of this program.

This program is getting better and is better than what it was a few years ago.” Outlining a range of past problems, Lt Gen Bogdan said it was easy to see how and why the program’s past led many people to be cynical. “Since we rebaselined in 2010-2011, this is a different program and it is getting better. It is not getting better nearly as fast as I would like it to, but … since 2011, we have fundamentally met every milestone. We are stable and on-track to meet that new plan.”

Lt Gen Bogdan said that despite the problems experienced in the past, he was confident in the ability to deliver a more advanced, survivable jet to the RAAF and other partner nations. “Relative to the schedule, if the plan which Australia intends on moving forward with stays to IOC in 2020 with the [initial warfighting capability software Block] 3i, I will tell you that Australia doesn’t have much to worry about,” he said. “Why? Because in 2015 I have to deliver the same capability to the US Marine Corp. Eight months later I have to deliver the same capability to Italy in 2016, then in the middle of 2017 I have to deliver the same capability to the Israelis. Then there will be a three year wait until we deliver to the Australians.” “So even if I screw this up royally – and I do not intend to do that – I’m pretty sure I’ll meet Australia’s 2020 date.”
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 11:36:14 am by GTX »

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #94 on: February 28, 2013, 03:34:36 am »
power thermal management system = http://www.honeywell.com/sites/servlet/com.merx.npoint.servlets.DocumentServlet?docid=D58165320-17EF-E31F-6DDC-AE4A19C2F7A8
Thanks. Better known to me (and possibly other people as well) as the Integrated Power Package. Description on Ares by Bill Sweetman.

Offline JFC Fuller

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 3252
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #95 on: February 28, 2013, 09:03:24 am »
Pentagon F-35 Program Chief Lashes Lockheed, Pratt http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_02_27_2013_p0-553542.xml

Quote
“What I see Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney doing today is behaving as if they are getting ready to sell me the very last F-35 and the very last engine and are trying to squeeze every nickel out of that last F-35 and that last engine,”

Quote
“I want them both to start behaving like they want to be around for 40 years,” he added. “I want them to take on some of the risk of this program, I want them to invest in cost reductions, I want them to do the things that will build a better relationship. I’m not getting all that love yet.”

Quote
“Are they getting better? A little bit,” he said. “Are they getting better at a rate I want to see them getting better? No, not yet.”

Quote
“Now, you would think a company like Pratt & Whitney that was just given the greatest Christmas gift you could ever, ever get for a company would act a little differently,”

Quote
“If they take money out of development something’s going to have to give. I’m either going to have to push the program out or I’m going to have to shed capability.”
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 09:18:26 am by JFC Fuller »

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #96 on: February 28, 2013, 02:50:09 pm »

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #97 on: March 01, 2013, 01:36:41 am »
Additional information from FlightGlobal:
 
Quote

F-35s cleared to resume flight operations
PrintBy:   Dave Majumdar Washington DC
   
The US Air Force officials confirm that the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been cleared to resume flight operations after a recent grounding.
"The suspension of F-35A flight operations has been lifted for the air force," the USAF says.
 
USAF F-35 flight operations at Eglin AFB, Florida, will resume on 5 March because 4 March is a previously scheduled maintenance training day, service officials say. The US Marine Corps' short take-off vertical landing F-35Bs will resume flying at the Florida base on 1 March. "The Marines' F-35B will fly tomorrow afternoon at Eglin," the USAF says.
Operations at other bases are also cleared to be resumed.
 
 All F-35s were grounded while the Joint Program Office investigated the root cause of a crack discovered on 19 February in a third-stage low-pressure turbine (LPT) blade deep inside the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine. The problem was discovered on 19 February during a borescope inspection on an F-35A at Edwards AFB, California, and confirmed by an eddy current inspection.
 
According to a JPO statement that was relayed to Flightglobal via P&W, comprehensive tests on the blade were conducted at the company’s facility in Middletown, Connecticut. “The engine in question is part of the F-35 test aircraft fleet, and had been operated at extreme parameters in its mission to expand the F-35 flight envelope,” the statement reads. “Prolonged exposure to high levels of heat and other operational stressors on this specific engine were determined to be the cause of the crack.” 

There were no additional cracks or other signs of similar engine stress were found during inspections of the remaining F135 inventory, the JPO statement reads. The JPO adds that the engine does not need to be redesigned is required as a result of this event.

Offline Grey Havoc

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 7404
  • _ \\ //
To the Stars

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #99 on: March 01, 2013, 08:53:52 am »
More information about engine troubles on Ares:
Quote

[...]
The crack was found in AF-2, which has been used for testing the aircraft at the edge of its operational envelope. "The engine in question is part of the F-35 test aircraft fleet and had been operated for extended time in the high-temperature environment in its mission to expand the F-35 flight envelope," according to a statement from Lt. Cdr. Kyra Hawn, an F-35 spokeswoman. "Prolonged exposure to high levels of heat and other operational stressors on this specific engine were determined to be the cause of the crack."
 
Officials at engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney have indicated this was a one-off issue, not jeopardizing other engines in the fleet.
No additional cracks were found in the fleet during post-grounding inspections.
 
However, this incident raises questions about the durability of the engine which pushed to its limits. AF-2 was used to test the new horizontal tail skin, and so it was run through many extra afterburner tests. Officials are sure to implement additional inspections and monitoring actions to understand more about the durability of these engines in extreme conditions.
 
Seventeen aircraft are being used for flight testing at NAS Patuxent River, Md., and Edwards AFB, Calif. The remainder are used for rudimentary flight training at Eglin AFB, Fla., and MCAS Yuma, Ariz.
 
The flight training birds are very limited in their operations to essentially conducting takeoffs, landings and flying in the pattern. So, there is likely less concern about their engines as they are not being pushed to extremes.
[...]
More at the link.

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #100 on: March 02, 2013, 01:07:06 pm »
Quote
Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future
02/28/2013| 12:59am US/Eastern

Australia's conservative opposition, which is expected to win elections in September, said on Thursday it supported Lockheed Martin's  troubled F-35 to be the country's next frontline warplane, despite problems and huge cost blowouts.Australia's conservative opposition, which is expected to win elections in September, said on Thursday it supported Lockheed Martin's troubled F-35 to be the country's next frontline warplane, despite problems and huge cost blowouts.

A day after the Pentagon's F-35 program chief lashed Lockheed and engine maker Pratt & Whitney for trying to "squeeze every nickel" out of the U.S. government, Australian lawmakers expressed confidence in the futuristic jet.
"The air force is supportive of the project, wants the aircraft and sees it as the future, as do we," said Senator David Johnston, defense spokesman for the opposition, which is forecast to sweep away the minority Labor government in a September 14 vote.

"It is pertinent to our immediate region and it fits into our air combat doctrine perfectly, and to some extent leads the doctrine," Johnston told Reuters from Washington on Thursday after briefings on the F-35 with U.S. officials, who told him the aircraft was "over the hump" with its development.

Australia, a close American ally, is one of the largest international customers for the F-35, with plans to buy up to 100 to replace its ageing fleet of F/A-18 Hornet fighters and already retired F-111 strike bombers, at a cost of A$16 billion.

But amid delays and development woes with the $396 billion aircraft, including the grounding of the 51 aircraft test fleet last week, Canberra is also expected to decide in June to double its fleet of 24 Boeing Co F/A-18 Super Hornets to prevent a frontline gap until the F-35 is delivered later in the decade.

That, and a decision to outfit 12 of the Super Hornets as advanced EA-18G Growlers with radar-jamming electronic weapons - means Canberra will have a mixed frontline fleet.

An announcement on the extra Hornets and the timetable for delivery of the first squadron of F-35s, also known as Joint Strike Fighters (JSF), will likely come in June with the government's release of a new defense strategy blueprint.

Johnston, the man likely to decide the purchase next year if the conservatives win, said while both of Australia's major political blocs differed on defense budgeting and timing of acquisitions, the Joint Strike Fighter had broad support.

"At this stage we are optimistic that Australia will be a customer for a very significant number, although what that number will be is still a little bit up in the air," said Johnston.

Defense analysts predict Australia might end up buying between 50 and 70 of the fighters instead of 100, although Canberra could also buy the full number but over a longer timeframe beyond 2020, depending on a budget recovery.

Australian is also closely watching the budget battle in Washington, where $85 billion worth of spending cuts are due to kick in on Friday, hitting defense and possibly orders for 2,363 F-35s among the U.S. Air Force, Marines and Navy.

Lockheed is developing three variants for the United States and eight partner countries that helped fund the plane's development - Britain, Australia, Italy, Turkey, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Canada. Two other countries, Italy and Japan, have also placed orders.

Canada in December flagged it could cut plans to buy 65 aircraft, while Italy has also scaled back orders and Turkey has delayed its purchases by two years.

Australia is the second biggest international buyer after Britain, and its small air force is one of the most technically advanced in Asia and a pointer to emerging regional defense capabilities.

But a slowing of the country's resources export boom is forcing the Labor government to look for savings.

Defense Minister Stephen Smith last May deferred an order for 12 F-35s by two years, and has so far contractually committed to buying only two.

The influential Greens party, which has the upper house Senate balance of power, failed to find support in parliament on Thursday to cancel Australian F-35 orders and put the estimated $13 billion saving into development aid.

The opposition spokesman on military purchasing, Gary Humphries, said a future conservative government would continue with the F-35, as the high-tech jet would smooth cooperation with allied air forces in Japan and possibly Singapore.

"This could be the shape of air power for effectively the 21st Century. The JSF holds much greater promise for Australian air power needs than any other alternative," Humphries said.

"If the JSF fell over entirely, it would put not just the Australian air force, but other air forces around the world in a dire position."

(Editing by Dean Yates)
By Rob Taylor

http://www.4-traders.com/LOCKHEED-MARTIN-CORPORATI-13406/news/Australian-lawmakers-confident-in-F-35-s-future-16369269/?countview=0

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #101 on: March 03, 2013, 12:40:25 pm »
Good cop, bad cop.

Senator John McCain venting his ire on Alan Estevez, President Obama’s choice to be principal deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics. http://nation.time.com/2013/03/01/f-35-good-cop-bad-cop/#ixzz2MViRqTim
Found via www.jsfnieuws.nl.

Quote
SEN. MCCAIN:
Well, I'm sure you understand our frustration, which brings me to the F-35. Lieutenant General Bogdan has a pretty good reputation before this committee. He was in charge of the tanker program, which seems to be on track. And yet recently, actually a couple of few days ago, he said, quote, "What I see Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney doing today is behaving as if they are getting ready to sell me the
very last F-35 and the very last engine and are trying to squeeze every nickel of that last F-35 and that last engine," the general told reporters. Quote, "I want them both to start behaving like they want to be around for 40 years. I want them to take on some of the risk of this program. I want them to invest in cost reductions. I want them to do the things that will build a better relationship. I'm not getting all that love yet." And then he said asked if he had seen some improvement from the companies are they getting better at a rate that I want them to see them getting better, he said, "No, not yet." And, of course, now we know that with massive failures, massive cost overruns that Lockheed has earned a 7 percent profit since the program began in 2001. You have any justification for that?
MR. ESTEVEZ:
I can't address the past; I can address where we are today.
SEN. MCCAIN:
You can't address the past?
MR. ESTEVEZ:
I can't address, you know, what happened from 2001 till where I am today.
SEN. MCCAIN:
You can't -- you can't address that at all?
MR. ESTEVEZ:
Well, Senator, we've put new structures around that program. We have a new contracting process for that program. We nowhave a firm fixed price contract, incentive fee, 12 percent share. Lockheed will also pay the concurrency problems on that contract. So we've restructured the program. As you know, we brought in Admiral Venlet and now General Bogdan to run that program, two excellent PEOs. And we're working closely with Lockheed and Pratt to work through the problems that General Bogdan referenced in that news article.
SEN. MCCAIN:
So since 2001 -- and we're in 2013 -- we are beginning to work through the problem. Is that -- is that -- is that what I can tell my constituents, Mr. Secretary?
MR. ESTEVEZ:
I believe you can say over the last four or five years -- five years or so, we have restructured the program, and we believe we are now on track to get a successful program.
SEN. MCCAIN:
Now, you're sitting here before this committee, and you can tell me -- you can tell us there will be no further cost overruns borne by the federal government?
MR. ESTEVEZ:
I could not possibly do that, Senator.
SEN. MCCAIN:
You know, why can't you? Why can't we penalize companies for failure to live up to the obligations of their contracts?
MR. ESTEVEZ:
It's important to get the right structure of contract, Senator Levin (sic) –
SEN. MCCAIN:
After 12 years?
MR. ESTEVEZ:
On this particular airplane, I believe we do have the right structure of contract now, and we'll continue to get better contracts as we move into future development on
or production of this airplane
...
SEN. MCCAIN:
Well, if I sound frustrated, I say to the witnesses, it's because I am. This committee has been tracking this program for many years. We've had witness after witness. We've had promise after promise. We've had commitment after commitment. And yet the only thing that has remained constant is that Lockheed has earned a 7 percent profit since the program began in 2012. I -- excuse me. Since the program began in 2001, 12 years later. So maybe you can help me out. What am -- what am I supposed go back and tell my constituents about a billion dollar program that the Air Force
canceled and of course the most now expensive weapons system in history that has now reached a trillion dollars, and the aircraft is nowgrounded? Got any ideas for me, Mr. Secretary?
MR. ESTEVEZ:
Senator McCain, we're working very diligently -- Secretary Carter, Secretary Kendall, myself, our leaders across the acquisition community -- to change the culture, change the processes by which we buy our programs. And I know you've been briefed on what we call better buying power. That includes accountability for our PEOs and program managers. It includes managing affordability, it includes cost control, so that we can change the way we do this.
SEN. MCCAIN:
Well, according to one of the people who is very highly regarded by this committee because of his previous performance, General Bogdan, says, quote, "Are they getting better at a rate that I want to see them getting better? he asked. "No, not yet."
I'd say you have your work cut out for you, and I can just say that as strong an advocate as many of us are for maintaining strong national security, you cannot continue these kinds of incredible, total loss of the taxpayers'
dollars without there being an understandable backlash on the part of the taxpayers -- America -- of America, which I believe will harmour ability to defend this nation.
Senator Blumenthal taking a different tack:
Quote
SEN. BLUMENTHAL:
I want to begin on the Joint Strike Fighter, if I may. I know Senator McCain has raised it with you, and all of us are fully and passionately in favor of a better procurement process. I hope that we can work together on improving that process so as to cut costs and streamline the procurement and acquisition process. But as to the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35, do you agree with Lieutenant General Bogdan's remarks on that issue?
MR. ESTEVEZ:
I can't speak for Lieutenant General Bogdan, who has a daily relationship with Lockheed and Pratt on that contract. I can appreciate his frustration and any PEO's frustration is that we are trying to get the best value, best buy for our dollar, and best capability for the taxpayer, and that puts some tension in the relationship with any contractor. We do expect our contractors and want to hold them accountable and will hold them accountable to produce.
SEN. BLUMENTHAL:
And I agree completely that they should be held answerable and accountable for the quality of the product and the costs and so forth. There's no question in your mind that this nation is committed to the F-35, is there?
MR. ESTEVEZ:
No, there is not.
SEN. BLUMENTHAL:
And that the procurement and acquisition of that plane really require us to remain as much as possible on schedule in buying the airplane because that's the best way to reduce the cost per unit?
MR. ESTEVEZ:
That's correct, Senator, though we would also say, you know, we have flattened our buys as we work through some of the issues. Now, to most extent, have resolved, but we do have some testing. Only about 50 -- a little less than 50 percent of the testing is completed. Thereare some issues that need to be worked before we ramp up production. We want to ensure that we're getting the plane that we're paying for.
SEN. BLUMENTHAL:
And the effort to test and improve the airplane really requires a close working relationship, does it not?
MR. ESTEVEZ:
It does, Senator. And it's not just at the General Bogdan PEO level. Sowe're working that, you know, up to the secretary level inside the department.
SEN. BLUMENTHAL:
My hope is that Lieutenant General Bogdan's remarks do not reflect the general attitude in terms of what that relationship has been or should be, because I know that American taxpayers would be disappointed if they believe that somehow these
contractors were in some way being disingenuous, as I think those remarks implied. And I'm not sure that the Department of Defense would agree with Lieutenant General Bogdan in that implication.
MR. ESTEVEZ:
Again, you know, I'm not going to try to speak for General Bogdan. He and I have not talked about the remarks. As reported in the newspaper, he is traveling in the world at the moment. We need and we strive to have, and I believe we do have, a strong relationship with the defense industrial base, to include Lockheed and Pratt.
SEN. BLUMENTHAL:
My own view, for what it's worth, is that that relationship perhaps could be improved. And I hope that you will endeavor to improve it but that these remarks do not reflect even the relationship as it stands now because I think there are very complex and challenging issues related to the development of this new aircraft that we
have a common interest in solving without the kind of tension that could be exacerbated by these remarks. And I have great respect for Lieutenant General Bogdan. I'm not being critical of him. As you say, these remarks were reported in a newspaper, but I know that Pratt & Whitney is fully committed to solving the technical issues and to providing the best value to the Department of Defense and the American taxpayers.
MR. ESTEVEZ:
I appreciate that. And frankly, I believe that Lieutenant General Bogdan would agree with you on that.

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #102 on: March 04, 2013, 10:09:27 am »
Quote
F-35 Can Start to Fly Again

(Source: Norway Ministry of Defence, issued March 1, 2013)
(Issued in Norwegian only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)
 
F-35 is now again ready to resume training and testing.

After less than a week on the ground the F-35 is now ready to begin testing and training again, after engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney considered the cause of crack that was found in a turbine blade. The conclusion is that this is due to wear and tear on just this engine and this one plane which have long been part of the most extreme parts of the flight test program, during which the plane was pushed all the way to the limits of what it can withstand. So this is not because of a problem with how the engine is designed or built, but because of wear after extreme stress over a long time.

“This just confirms that the development of the aircraft is good and that the routines one has to control the engines and aircraft functioning as they should. [Pratt & Whitney] has gone through all the engines on all aircraft and no other has shown similar signs of damage or wear marks.

“[Pratt & Whitney] is now taking this experience into account and adding to the planning for maintenance of the F-35 in the future. The process will otherwise go no further, and work to prepare the construction of the first Norwegian aircraft that will be delivered in 2015 can continue,” says Anders Melheim, program director of the Norwegian fighter program.

-ends-

Offline Geoff_B

  • The Scratchbuilding Demigod
  • Global Moderator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 579
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #103 on: March 04, 2013, 10:11:26 am »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/9905679/Dambusters-saved-from-axe-to-fly-new-fighter.html

Quote
The 617 Squadron was made famous for its heroics during the Second World War when bombers attacked dams in Germany’s Ruhr Valley using “bouncing bombs”.   It was feared it would be confined to history when the Ministry of Defence replaces its Tornado aircraft with the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).   But senior defence sources said the squadron has “privileged status” because of its history and its pilots will be the first in the RAF to operate the JSF.

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #104 on: March 05, 2013, 03:31:41 am »
Via www.jsfnieuws.nl:
 
Final Industry Engagement Request: Capability, Production and Supportability Information Questionnaire, in English, on Public Works and Government Services Canada site.
Also available in French.
 
Quote
[...]
The IER will be conducted through two separate but related questionnaires. The first questionnaire seeks detailed information from identified companies on the technical capabilities associated with fighter aircraft currently in production or scheduled to be in production and associated support elements to sustain the fleet throughout its lifespan. The second questionnaire will request cost estimates of the aircraft and responses should be informed by KPMG's Life-Cycle Cost Framework that was commissioned by Treasury Board Secretariat. Information on the potential benefits to Canadian industry will be requested later in the process.
 
An analysis of the current marketplace for fighter aircraft currently in production or scheduled to be in production has identified five (5) companies with available fighter aircraft: Boeing, Saab, Dassault, Eurofighter, and Lockheed Martin. These five companies are being provided with a copy of this questionnaire.
[...]
 
Questionnaire 1 Section A: Capability, Production and Supportability Background Information
The information and definitions contained in this section are to be used to inform the Responses to the questions in the Capability, Production and Supportability Questionnaire.
 
Government of Canada Policy
The Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS) provides Government policy guidance and sets a detailed road map for the modernization of the Canadian Armed Forces. It puts forward clear roles and core missions for the Canadian Armed Forces that will maintain the ability to deliver excellence at home, be a strong and reliable partner in the defence of North America, and project leadership abroad by making meaningful contributions to operations overseas.
The CFDS provides the Canadian Armed Forces with clear direction concerning their three roles:
 
  • First and foremost, to defend Canada;
  • Defending North America; and
  • Contributing to international peace and security.
Through the CFDS, the Government has accordingly established a level of ambition that will see the Canadian Armed Forces carry out the following missions, potentially all at the same time:
 
  • Conduct daily domestic and continental operations, including in the Arctic and through North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD);
  • Support civilian authorities during a crisis in Canada such as a natural disaster;
  • Support a major international event in Canada, such as the 2010 Olympics;
  • Lead and/or conduct a major international operation for an extended period;
  • Respond to a major terrorist attack; and
  • Deploy forces in response to crises elsewhere in the world for shorter periods.
Canada will be assessing the capability of each fighter aircraft to contribute to the completion of each of the missions outlined in CFDS, noting that missions abroad are conducted in partnership with allies and coalition partners. Mission priorities are determined by the Government of Canada and are informed by the current strategic context and the three roles outlined above. It is important to note that no fighter capability contribution has been identified for the CFDS Mission - Support civilian authorities during a crisis in Canada, such as a natural disaster.
[...]

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #105 on: March 05, 2013, 04:29:38 am »
Related to previous message, from Canadian site CBCnews, February 27: Boeing touts fighter jet to rival F-35 — at half the price
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 04:31:24 am by Arjen »

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #106 on: March 05, 2013, 10:24:31 am »
For Australian contributors to this thread, here is the Four Corners Sky High Episode, if you haven't already seen it.

It's geo-blocked from other countries for rights reasons. It may be uploaded to YouTube at some point.


News Story in relation to this one (above): 

Policy arrives at tipping point

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #107 on: March 06, 2013, 01:25:37 am »
Available for viewers outside Australia: Four Corners on JSF

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #108 on: March 06, 2013, 07:38:34 am »
Aviation Week reports: F-35 Ops, Engine Under Scrutiny

Most of it has already been covered earlier. The item's last page caught my eye because it has some news - to me, anyway - on F-35 software:
Quote
Bogdan is encouraging the Air Force to consider declaring initial operational capability (IOC) for the aircraft with its rudimentary 2B software package, which lacks a wider set of weapons capabilities that will come in the 3F software release.
The service risks having a growing fleet of aircraft unsuitable for operations if it does not consider this option before the 3F release is out. Last month,  Field, said Air Combat Command is open to allowing for operational capability with the 2B, but an official ruling has not been made.
“Given that we're producing airplanes today—[and] the U.S. Air Force is going to take delivery of a lot of airplanes between now and 2015, 2016, 2017—if I can give them invasive war-fighting capability that at least allows them to do some missions, and they have enough airplanes out there, then I think that's a decision they need to look at,” Bogdan said. “If they don't declare IOC, then fundamentally those airplanes are going to be used for training and operational exercises.”
The U.S. Marine Corps is expected to declare IOC with the 2B software, owing to an urgency to retire its inferior and costly AV-8B Harrier aircraft. The 2B is equivalent to what foreign customers are also expecting at first to accept, though it includes a hardware update, called 3I. The final software standard, 3F, will allow the F-35 to launch up to 15 types of weapons from internal and external stations, Bogdan said. It is due to be completed with the rest of the development program on Oct. 31, 2017.

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #109 on: March 06, 2013, 10:20:10 am »
Quote
2nd Dutch F-35 Leaves Plant
(Source: Netherlands Ministry of Defence; issued March 6, 2013)
(Issued in Dutch only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)
 
The 2nd Dutch F-35 Lightning II, which is to participate in the operational test phase, this week rolled off the production line at Fort Worth, Texas, where the factory of manufacturer Lockheed Martin is located.

This test aircraft, AN-2, will now begin a large number of factory tests. All systems that are needed to fly the aircraft and to control it on the ground will be tested, as will the fuel system. A new coat of paint will be applied once these tests are completed, probably by summer.

According to current plans, the F-35 will then be transferred to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida where the Royal Netherlands Air Force unit in charge of operational testing and training of pilots and maintenance personnel.

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #110 on: March 07, 2013, 01:13:34 am »
Found at POGO: F-35A Joint Strike Fighter: DOT&E's Readiness for Training Operational Utility Evaluation of February 15
http://pogoarchives.org/straus/ote-info-memo-20130215.pdf
 
Quote

Executive Summary
 
This document reports on the F-35A Ready For Training Operational Utility Evaluation(OUE) conducted at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, from September 10 through November 14, 2012. This assessment is based primarily on data collected during the evaluation by the Joint Strike Fighter Operational Test Team (JOTT), but is augmented by data collected for suitability analyses on F-35A aircraft at Eglin and at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, California. The OUE evaluated both the capability of the F-35A air vehicle and the training system to train an experienced initial cadre of pilots in the equivalent of the familiarization phase of a fighter aircraft transition syllabus. It also evaluated the ability of theF-35A maintenance and Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) to sustain a sortie generation rate for the Block 1A syllabus.
 
In mid-2010, the Joint Strike Fighter Program Executive Officer (JSF PEO) requested an assessment of the readiness to begin F-35A pilot training, which, at that time, was planned to begin in August 2011. In early 2011, the JSF Program Office (JPO), JOTT, and the Air Force Air Education Training Command (AETC) began coordinating plans for the assessment, which became the F-35A Ready For Training OUE. Throughout 2011 and part of 2012, the JPO and the Air Force worked to achieve a flight clearance that would allow pilot training to begin. The JOTT completed a test plan using AETC-developed evaluation criteria in mid-2011. The JSF PEO certified the system ready for test following an Operational Test Readiness Review in July 2012, leading to the start of the OUE in September.
 
The JOTT, JPO, and AETC designed the Ready for Training OUE to assess whether the F-35A aircraft and the training system are ready to begin transition training of pilots in the Block 1A syllabus. Transition training is for experienced pilots who have flown in other fighter aircraft and are transitioning to the F-35. The Block 1A syllabus includes basic aircraft systems training, emergency operating procedures, simulated instrument flying procedures, ground operations (taxi), and six flights in the F-35A, the last of which is a qualification and instrument procedures check ride.
 
The Block 1A training syllabus used during the OUE was limited by the current restrictions of the aircraft. Aircraft operating limitations prohibit flying the aircraft at night or in instrument meteorological conditions, hence pilots must avoid clouds and other weather. However, the student pilots are able to simulate instrument flight in visual meterological conditions to practice basic instrument procedures. These restrictions are in place because testing has not been completed to certify the aircraft for night and instrument flight.
 
The aircraft also is currently prohibited from flying close formation, aerobatics, and stalls, all of which would normally be in the familiarization phase of transition training, which typically is an introduction to aircraft systems, handling characteristics throughout the aircraft envelope, and qualification to operate/land in visual and instrument meteorological conditions. This familiarization phase is about one-fourth of the training in a typical fighter aircraft transition or requalification course. In a mature fighter aircraft, the familiarization phase is followed by several combat-oriented phases, such as air combat, surface attack, and night tactical operations. The F-35A does not yet have the capability to train in these phases, nor any actual combat capability, because it is still early in system development.
 
Sustainment of the six Block 1A F-35A aircraft was sufficient to meet the student training sortie requirements of the syllabus, but with substantial resources and workarounds in place. Some aircraft subsystems, such as the radar, did not function properly during the OUE, although they were not required for accomplishing the syllabus events. Had the syllabus been more expansive, where these subsystems were required to complete training, these subsystem problems would have hampered the completion of the OUE. Three additional F-35A aircraft in the Block 1B configuration were also flown during the OUE, by the instructor pilots, to meet sortie requirements.
 
The limitations, workarounds, and restrictions in place in an air system this early in development limit the utility of training. Also, little can be learned from evaluating training in a system this immature. However, the evaluation indicates areas where the program needs to focus attention and make improvements. The radar, the pilot’s helmet-mounted display (HMD), and the cockpit interfaces for controlling the radios and navigational functions should be improved. Discrepancies between the courseware and the flight manuals were frequently observed, and the timelines to fix or update courseware should be shortened. The training management system lags in development compared to the rest of the Integrated Training Center and does not yet have all planned functionality.
More at the links.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 01:25:02 am by Arjen »

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #111 on: March 07, 2013, 02:35:36 am »
Did a quick scan.
From the accompanying memo to the report:
Quote

• Sustainment of the six Block lA F-35A aircraft was sufficient to meet the relatively low student training sortie demand of the syllabus, but only with substantial resources (aircraft and manpower) and workarounds to the intended sustainment system in place.
• The demonstrated reliability of the F-35A is significantly below the program office's projected targets for the reliability it expected the aircraft to achieve at the 2,500 flight hours the F-35A fleet has now accumulated.
From the report itself:
Quote

The helmet-mounted display (HMD) system presented problems for pilots.
 
While the helmet-mounted display (HMD) functioned more or less adequately for the purposes of the OUE (even though it could not be used as a primary flight reference), the system presented frequent problems for the pilots. All four student pilots and one of the five instructor pilots identified a problem with the HMD on at least one of their training flights. Problems cited in the survey comments included misalignment of the virtual horizon display with the actual horizon, inoperative or flickering displays, and focal problems – where the pilot would have either blurry or “double vision” in the display. The pilots also mentioned problems with stability, jitter, latency, and brightness of the presentation in the helmet display; all of which are problems being worked by the program in developmental testing. Pilots also commented on the usability of the HMD, comparing it to the heads-up display in other aircraft; one citing that the HMD is too large of a presentation causing the heading display is to be overlaid on the canopy bow [and hence hard to see], and another citing the lack of HMD data when looking off to the side of the aircraft, such as during traffic pattern operations.
 
Due to the very limited scope of the Block 1A syllabus, none of the HMD issues cited by the pilots had any significant adverse impacts on the execution of the OUE itself. Based on pilot survey comments, however, it is clear that some of these issues have the potential to significantly hamper more advanced combat training and operational capability in the future if not rectified.
 
Due to design, the pilot-vehicle interface causes increased workload.
 
Deficiencies in the design of the pilot’s communication and navigation controls causes increased workload. Cited by one of the instructor pilots during the OUE and by test pilots in other venues, the touch screen used to control the radios is not readily accessible, requires more channelized attention, has no tactile feedback, and is error prone – particularly during demanding phases of flight or under turbulent flight conditions. This pilot was the only one, instructor or student, to explicitly call out an issue on controls and displays other than the HMD issues discussed previously in his OUE survey responses. Because this issue was not addressed in the end-of-course interviews with each of the primary student pilots, it is unknown whether or not, or to what extent, the other pilots may have shared his concerns. In any case, as a member of the instructor cadre, and having had enough hours to have developed a level of familiarity with the controls and displays and the mechanization of their different functions, his criticisms cannot be dismissed as being due to lack of experience. This shortfall of touch screens is well documented in the Human Systems Integration (HSI) literature, where there is not a performance problem in low-workload/low-stress situations, but can be the cause of significant failures in high stress or high workload conditions. The program should implement pilot-vehicle interface improvements.
 
The out-of-cockpit visibility in the F-35 is less than other Air Force fighter aircraft.
 
All four student pilots commented on the out-of-cockpit visibility of the F-35, an issue which not only adversely affects training, but safety and survivability as well. One rated the degree to which the visibility deficiencies impeded or degraded training effectiveness as “Moderate;” the other three rated it as “High” or “Very High.” The majority of responses cited poor visibility; the ejection seat headrest and the canopy bow were identified as causal factors. “High glare shield” and the HMD cable were also cited as sources of the problem. Of these, only the HMD cable has the potential to be readily redesigned.
In three cases, student pilots explicitly cited visibility-related impacts that could be directly applicable to the Block 1A syllabus (a largely benign visual search environment); several other implicitly did so. One student pilot commented, “Difficult to see [other aircraft in the visual traffic] pattern due to canopy bow.” Another stated, “Staying visual with wingman during tactical formation maneuvering a little tougher than legacy due to reduced rearward visibility from cockpit.”
 
Three student pilot comments predicted severe impacts of the visibility shortfalls in combat or in training of a more tactical nature. One said, “A pilot will find it nearly impossible to check [their six o’clock position] under g.” Another commented, “The head rest is too large and will impede aft visibility and survivability during surface and air engagements,” and, “Aft visibility will get the pilot gunned every time,” referring to close-range visual combat.
 
Aft visibility could turn out to be a significant problem for all F-35 pilots in the future, especially in more tactical phases of combat training than were conducted in the OUE, such as basic fighter maneuvering (BFM) and air combat maneuvering (ACM), and possibly in tactical formation as well. It remains to be seen whether or not, in these more advanced aspects of training, the visibility issues will rise to the level of safety issues, or if, instead, the visibility limitations are something that pilots adapt to over time and with more experience. Unlike legacy aircraft such as the F-15, F-16, and F/A-18, enhanced cockpit visibility was not designed into the F-35. There is no simple relief to limitations of the F-35 cockpit visibility. In all likelihood, it is partially a result of designing a common pilot escape system for all three variants to the requirements of the short-take-off and vertical landing environment.

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #112 on: March 07, 2013, 10:10:29 am »
Quote
First Official F-35A Pilots Fly
(Source: 33d Fighter Wing, Eglin AFB; issued March 6, 2013)
 
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --– Some of the students of the first official class of U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II pilots are scheduled to make their first flights here today.

The students recently completed the academic portion of the F-35 pilot training course, which includes the kinetically-based Full Mission Simulator at the Defense Department’s world-class F-35 Academic Training Center. The ATC features advanced courseware and technology.

The combined in-class and air-time is approximately three months to grow up an F-35 pilot. While at Eglin, pilot and aircraft maintainer students are immersed in a joint and coalition environment.

This year the F-35 ATC plans to train about 72 pilots and 711 maintainers, preparing them for the challenges of working on the 21st century battlefield.

Media can expect flightline access and planeside interviews for morning or afternoon flying. Telephone interviews are also possible. Interested media are encouraged to contact the 33d Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office.

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #113 on: March 07, 2013, 10:11:54 am »
Quote
Joint Program Office DOT&E OUE Response
(Source: F-35 Joint Program Office; issued March 6, 2013)
 
The U.S. Air Force conducted the Operational Utility Evaluation for its F-35As and determined its training systems were ready-for-training. F-35 operational and maintenance procedures will continue to mature as the training tempo accelerates.

The DOT&E report is based upon the Joint Strike Fighter Operational Test Team report which found no effectiveness, suitability or safety response that would prohibit continuation of transitioning experienced pilots in the F-35A Block 1A.1 transition and instructor pilot syllabus.

There are no issues identified in the DOT&E report that the Air Force and the F-35 Joint Program Office didn't already know about, and are working to resolve.

There is a deliberate process in place to validate the training system's effectiveness through advancing training blocks as they are made available to the warfighter.

-ends-

Offline Grey Havoc

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 7404
  • _ \\ //
To the Stars

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #115 on: March 08, 2013, 01:59:25 am »
Canadians and Norwegians may find this of interest.
 
DOT&E report: F-35 270 Volt Battery Charger Control has a problem with temperatures below 590 Fahrenheit/ 150 Celsius.
Quote
Overnight temperatures below 59 degrees Fahrenheit, the design minimum temperature for the 270 Volt Battery Charger Control Unit (BCCU), resulted in four ground aborts and the loss of two student sorties, an unacceptable condition for combat aircraft. To mitigate this problem, maintenance crews put jets in heated hangars overnight. Moving jets in and out of a hangar to keep them warm involves five personnel for three to four hours per shift. The parking of flyable jets in a hangar also interfered with maintenance because these flyable jets occupied space that would otherwise be used for jets requiring repair. In this case, the availability of an unused weapons hangar permitted maintainers to conduct low-observable and other maintenance activities despite the non-availability of the primary hangar.
Also susceptible to low temperature: curing stealth coatings.
Quote

The cure times for low-observable maintenance increased as temperatures cooled and caused pilots to fly some sorties using spare aircraft. As noted earlier, one aircraft was not flyable because seals around a wingtip light were still curing, but it was available for a taxi event.

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #116 on: March 08, 2013, 04:57:06 am »
Via Navy Matters.
Somebody has put a figure on how much concurrency in F-35 development and production is costing the US Navy.
From: FY 2013 Department of the Navy (DON) President’s Budget Summary http://www.finance.hq.navy.mil/FMB/13pres/FY_2013_PB_Overview.pdf
Quote
FY2013 Budget Highlights
[...]
• 765 new aircraft over the FYDP (down from 842)
       o JSF reduced by 69 airframes over the FYDP to pay for concurrency and reduce need for future modifications.
[...]
69 aircraft, to be precise, over the five year period 2013-2017 inclusive.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 04:59:01 am by Arjen »

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #117 on: March 08, 2013, 02:59:42 pm »
Quote
Engine crack that grounded F-35 traced to thermal creep

By:  ZACH ROSENBERG WASHINGTON DC
06:52 6 Mar 2013
Source

Bennett Croswell, president of Pratt & Whitney's military engine division, says a problem with an F135 engine that grounded the Lockheed Martin F-35 is due to thermal creep, and is unlikely to affect the aircraft further as it returns to flight.

The issue was a crack in a third-stage turbine blade on a single engine. As a precaution, the US military grounded all F-35 aircraft until a cause was discovered.

"During [an] inspection we found about 1/6-inch (4.2mm) crack on the turbine blade," says Croswell. "We felt we could continue to fly, and we took that recommendation to the [joint programme office], but on consultation with them we both came to the conclusion it was safer to suspend operations."

Thermal creep from high-temperature, high-intensity testing was found to be the cause of the crack. The engine, the tenth built, powers the second F-35A, was tested extensively at supersonic speeds and at low altitudes, generating significantly more heat than expected, says Croswell.

"It was operating at levels four times higher than an operational mission, and four times greater than the levels we had qualified the engine for," says Croswell. "That was very good news, you don't want something like high-cycle fatigue or low-cycle fatigue." The issue is not expected to impact operational aircraft for months or years, depending on how the aircraft are flown, he says.

Fatigue leading to turbine blade cracks has twice grounded the F-35 in recent years.

Pratt & Whitney has lately come under criticism from the US military's programme office for its attitude to the F-35 project.

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #118 on: March 11, 2013, 04:00:27 am »
Via www.jsfnieuws.nl:
 
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/03/10/uk-lockheed-fighter-cost-idUKBRE92900220130310
Quote

Retrofits to add $1.7 billion to cost of F-35: GAO report
By Andrea Shalal-Esa
 
WASHINGTON | Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:13am GMT
 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Retrofits of F-35 fighter planes to fix problems found in flight testing will likely top $1.7 billion, a U.S. government watchdog said in the draft of a new report about the Pentagon's Joint Strike Fighter program.
 
Extensive restructuring efforts and progress on technical issues have put the Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) F-35 program on a more solid footing, but the plane's long-term affordability remains a big concern, the Government Accountability Office said in the draft, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.
It said the F-35 program, which has been subject to massive delays and cost overruns and now has a price tag close to $400 billion, met most of its management objectives in 2012. But it still faced big costs because of earlier decisions to start building planes before development and testing were further along. A final report is due out next week.
 
The F-35 is an advanced "fifth generation" fighter meant to serve the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines for decades to come. But the program's soaring costs and technical complications have now put it in a critical position, where any new setbacks or cuts in orders from the U.S. military and its allies would drive the cost-per-plane up still further.
 
The GAO draft report offers the agency's most positive outlook yet for the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program, which has seen a spate of negative news in recent weeks, including two engine-related groundings this year.
But it also underscores concerns about the long-term future of the program given budget reductions in the United States and other countries that plan to buy the radar-evading warplane.
 
"Overall, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is now moving in the right direction after a long, expensive and arduous learning process," GAO said. "Going forward, ensuring affordability - the ability to acquire aircraft in quantity and to sustain aircraft going over the life cycle - is of paramount concern."
No comment was immediately available from the Pentagon's F-35 program office or Lockheed.
The program faces substantial costs to retrofit planes to address problems discovered in flight testing, GAO said.
Such "rework" would add $900 million to the cost of the first four batches of jets build by Lockheed, GAO said, plus about $827 million over the next six batches for a total of $1.7 billion.
 
Last June, GAO had forecast rework costs of $373 million for the first four batches of jets, but gave no estimate for the remaining batches.
Lockheed agreed in its contract for a fifth batch of jets to pay for 55 percent of any cost overruns up to a certain ceiling, and all cost overruns beyond that. Retrofit costs are now shared equally by the Pentagon and the contractor.

COST OVERRUNS SEEN REACHING $1.2 BLN
 
GAO said cost overruns on 63 planes built by Lockheed in the first four production batches were now expected to reach $1.2 billion, of which the government will have to pay about $756 million. That marks an increase from GAO's last estimate in June 2012, which forecast a cost overrun of $1.04 billion.
 
Lockheed is building 58 planes for the U.S. military under those first four production contracts, plus five for international partners who helped fund the plane's development.
 
The report said cost overruns were declining as production costs were coming down, and Lockheed was delivering jets faster. Lockheed signed a contract with the Pentagon at the end of December for a fifth batch of planes, and both sides hope to reach a deal for the sixth and seventh batches this summer.
The GAO report reiterated the agency's concerns about the long-term procurement and sustainment cost of the F-35. It said current plans would require the Pentagon to spend $10.6 billion each year through 2037 on the program, putting "an unprecedented demand on the defence procurement budget."
It said the cost of each plane would rise if the Pentagon cut its plans to buy 2,443 F-35s or the eight foreign partners - Britain, Italy, Australia, Canada, Norway, Turkey, Denmark and the Netherlands - reduced their plans to buy 697 aircraft.
 
Industry executives and military officials say U.S. moves to defer orders for 410 aircraft in recent years have already jacked up the cost per plane, and costs will rise further unless Congress averts $500 billion in mandatory defence spending cuts slated to take effect over the next decade. Those cuts began to roll in last week.
 
GAO said the Pentagon's Cost Analysis and Program Evaluation office had calculated that the average cost of the plane, which has already nearly doubled to $137 million from $69 million originally estimated, would rise by 6 percent if all 697 foreign orders vanished.
The cost would rise by 9 percent if Washington only bought 1,500 jets and the partners stuck to their orders. But it would surge 19 percent if Washington bought 1,500 jets and the partners bought none, according to the GAO report.

(Editing by Martin Howell and Xavier Briand)
« Last Edit: March 11, 2013, 04:07:50 am by Arjen »

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #119 on: March 11, 2013, 08:28:51 pm »
USAF testers prepare for F-35 operational evaluation  http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-testers-prepare-for-f-35-operational-evaluation-383309/

Interesting quote here:
Quote
...Having participated in the Raptor's operational test phase, Novonty hopes to incorporate lessons learnt from the F-22 programme into the F-35's forthcoming trials. "We made mistakes during the F-22 programme, as anybody does, and we've learned a lot of lessons," he says.

The pilots who evaluated the F-22 were all people who transitioned from fourth-generation fighters like the Boeing F-15 Eagle. Novotny says that one error those early testers made was that they flew the F-22 like a better performing F-15. "Initially that was ok, but then I think we realized we were holding ourselves back," Novotny says. "You really have to think about how you're going to use these jets because of the information provided to the pilot, because of the capabilities the airplane brings to the fight."

One way that Novotny hopes to avoid that trap is to recruit an operational test pilot who has flown the F-22 Raptor from the beginning of his or her career. Like the F-35, the Raptor has fused sensor systems and stealth, which require a similar mindset to operate. "We've got to get an F-22 fifth-gen baby into the F-35 programme," Novotny says...

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #120 on: March 11, 2013, 08:53:45 pm »

Caution Light causes a Cautionary landing in Lubbock Texas


http://news.yahoo.com/f-35-fighter-forced-land-texas-en-route-011439147.html


Quote
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One of two F-35 fighter jets headed to a Nevada air base made an unscheduled landing in Lubbock, Texas on Monday after a caution light came on in the cockpit, according to a Pentagon spokesman and the plane's manufacturer, Lockheed Martin Corp.


The next-generation stealth fighter was flying from the Lockheed plant in Fort Worth, Texas to Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas on Monday afternoon, when a caution warning light came on, requiring the pilot to land at the nearest airport, said Lockheed spokesman Michael Rein.


He said the pilot landed safely. The second plane landed as planned at the Nevada air base, joining two other aircraft that arrived there last week, where they will be used for operational testing and evaluation of the new warplane.


A team of Lockheed maintenance experts was en route to examine the single-engine plane at the Lubbock airport, which is about 300 miles from Fort Worth, Rein said. It was not yet clear what caused the caution light to come on, he said.


More at the Jump
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #121 on: March 12, 2013, 02:15:17 am »
Quote
Singapore set to complete F-35 assessment
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/singapore-set-to-complete-f-35-assessment-383321/

By: GREG WALDRON
SINGAPORE
2 hours ago 

Singapore is close to completing its evaluation of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), which it sees as a possible fit for its future requirements.

"Though the aircraft is still in development, we are nonetheless interested in the platform for our future needs," defence minister Ng Eng Hen said in a speech to parliament on 11 March.

"The F-35 will be the vanguard of next generation fighter aircraft when operational." 

Ng added that the nation's force of Northrop F-5S fighters is at the end of its service life, and that its F-16C/Ds are at their "mid-way mark". According to Flightglobal's World Air Force's directory, Singapore operates 26 F-5s and 60 F-16s.

"For the longer term, the Republic of Singapore Air Force has identified the F-35 as a suitable aircraft to further modernise our fighter fleet," he added. "We are now in the final stages of evaluating the F-35."

Nonetheless, Ng stopped short of committing to the F-35.  "[The Ministry of Defence] will have to be satisfied that this state-of-the-art multi-role fighter meets our long-term needs, is on track to be operationally capable and, most importantly, is a cost-effective platform," he said. "I've given many necessary caveats before we make a final decision, but we are evaluating the platform."

Singapore is a security cooperation participant in the F-35 programme, which provides access to programme data and allows it to request special studies.  Ng gave no sense about whether Singapore will hold a tender for new fighters, the number of new aircraft that will be obtained, or the timeframe for a new aircraft acquisition.  

One alternative to the F-35 could be additional F-15SG aircraft, of which Singapore operates 24. Another alternative could be an F-15 variant based on the F-15 Silent Eagle that Boeing has proposed in South Korea's F-X III competition.

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #122 on: March 12, 2013, 04:42:19 am »
March 2013 GAO report out now:
http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/652948.pdf

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #123 on: March 12, 2013, 06:00:28 am »
First scan mostly confirms the findings of the Reuters item, but this caught my eye:
 
from pages 7, 8:
Quote

...[the F-35 program's] Earned Value Management System (EVMS) corrective action plan was not approved. EVMS compliance is a long-standing issue and concerns all Lockheed Martin aircraft produced for DOD, not just the F-35. In 2007, the Defense Contract Management Agency, the agency responsible for auditing defense contractors’ systems, found Lockheed Martin’s process did not meet 19 of 32 required guidelines and, in October 2010, withdrew the determination of compliance. While acknowledging that Lockheed Martin has made improvements, DCMA in 2012 found the company still deficient on 13 guidelines. EVMS is an important, established tool for tracking costs, controlling schedule, identifying problems early, and providing accurate product status reports. DOD requires its use by major defense suppliers to facilitate good insight and oversight of the expenditure of government dollars.
 

Possibly related to that, from page 17:
Quote

Going forward, effective management of the global supply chain is vital to boost production rates to planned levels, to control costs, and maintain quality. The aircraft contractor is developing a global supply chain of more than 1,500 suppliers. Effective supplier management will be critical to efficient and quality manufacturing at higher annual rates. Currently, a relatively small number of suppliers provide most of the material, but that is expected to change in the future, especially as international firms get more of the business. Management of international supplier base presents unique challenges, including (1) differing U.S. and foreign government policies, (2) differences in business practices, and (3) foreign currency exchange rates. These can complicate relationships and hinder effective supply chain integration.

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #125 on: March 12, 2013, 10:44:42 am »
F-35 & JSM do it Externally

aka JSM competes external fit-check on an F-35.



Quote
Development of the new Joint Strike Missile (JSM) continues, and 27 February was an important milestone when the aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin for the first time mounted one of the missiles on an F-35 at the factory in Ft Worth, Texas.

The assembly was part of a "fit check" by JSM on an external weapons station on the F-35. This is part of Phase 2 of the development of JSM, which was approved by Parliament in 2011 and confirms that missile is suitable for external weapons stations on the F-35. Later this year they will also test the missile fit in the internal weapons bay.

- Although we are still far far from operational use of the JSM this shows that development is on schedule. As part of Phase 2 of the development program Lockheed Martin have received a contract through the JSF program in the USA that includes conducting such tests on all variants of the F-35, as well as conducting tests in the internal weapons bay on the CTOL model as Norway plan to buy, explains program director Anders Melheim.

JSM is the only long-range anti-surface that is specially designed to fit the internal weapons bay on the F-35, and developed by Kongsberg in partnership with the Ministry of Defence. The missile adds key operational characteristics to the F-35, and enables it to fight the targets protected by advanced defense systems. This is vital in order to be able to perform all kinds of operations in the defense of Norway. JSM is scheduled to undergo a "Critical Design Review" in summer 2013, which will confirm that the design is mature enough to be able to continue the integration and that the missile will be a formal candidate for integration on the F-35.

- We will ensure that Norwegian F-35 get the operational capability we need, and therefore we believe that JSM is an important project. At the same time it provides great opportunities for Norwegian industry, and it is an important part of the industrial cooperation we are working to put in place in connection with the procurement of new combat aircraft, says Melheim.
http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/fd/aktuelt/nyheter/2013/bilde-forste-jsm-pa-f-35.html?id=717070
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #126 on: March 13, 2013, 06:46:19 am »
From AW.
One important metric has changed between draft and final GAO report:
Pentagon Needs $12.6 Bln Per Year Through 2037 For F-35: Report - in stead of $10.6 billion each year.

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #127 on: March 13, 2013, 07:03:30 am »
On Defensenews, via www.jsfnieuws.nl
JPO chief Bogdan on reorganizing JPO, getting the price down, sequestration: U.S. F-35 Chief Reorganizing Program Office

Quote
Asked how much he plans to reorganize the program office, Bogdan said, “I plan on leaning out my program office at the same rate that I want to see Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney lean out their program offices.”

Quote
The price tag of the F-35 continues to come down with each jet purchased, but there are many variables influencing the numbers.
For instance, when the Turkish government delayed buying two airplanes from the seventh production batch to the ninth, the price of the remaining F-35s in the seventh production lot went up $1 million each.
“In a lot of 36 airplanes, just moving two airplanes out created about a 1 [percent] to 1.5 percent increase from all the other airplanes in that lot regardless of the variant,” Bogdan said.
“What I tell my partners and I tell the services is, we’re all going to hang together or we’re all going to hang separately,” he said. “If we start moving airplanes out and each of us takes our own course in when we want airplanes, everyone else is going to pay a price for that.”
Bogdan said he believes the cost of the jet will continue to fall with each batch purchased.
“I believe that trend is going to continue on and on and on until we get to a point where the airplane is going to almost, in then-year dollars, cost what we thought it would cost in the early years of this program,” Bogdan said. “I think we can get there.”
Quote
If the Pentagon has the authority to choose where it makes the cuts mandated by sequestration, program officials will have more flexibility in making F-35 program decisions.
“I can’t do anything that takes me off course to 2015 and 2017 in terms of development,” Bogdan said at the conference, referring to key battle-ready dates for the Marine Corps and Air Force, respectively. “The first dollar that comes out of the program will not, should not, come out of development.
“If I can’t get to 2015 and 2017 with the capabilities that the war fighter wants, why in heck would I continue building airplanes that come off the production line without the capability we want?” he said.
If money is taken from the F-35 program, Bogdan said it should be done in a balanced way. For instance, he said spare parts should not be sacrificed to save an aircraft.
“Don’t kill all of my spares to save a tail, because in two years when I have no spares, I’ll have airplanes out in the field, hundreds of them, that I can’t fly,” he said.

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #130 on: March 14, 2013, 04:23:04 am »
Via www.jsfnieuws.nl:
 
Senator Leahy says F-35 is not what our troops need
 
Quote

This is a portion of a letter a friend just received from Senator Leahy:
 
"...I have heard from a number of Vermonters who have specifically questioned the value of the F-35. The F-35 program has been poorly managed and is a textbook example of how not to buy military equipment. The causes of the F-35 program's present difficulties are too numerous to detail in my response to your letter; however, I believe the F-35 program is approaching a point where the military services and a majority of Congress will recognize that the jet is just too costly to proceed with purchases at today's planned levels. That recognition may lead to a decision to diversify of our future fighter jet fleet, with the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps opting to modernize their current fleet of fighter jets and substantially reduce the total number of F-35s that they plan to buy. I do not believe, because of the huge sums taxpayers have already invested and because the F-35 is our only next-generation aircraft presently in development, that a majority of Congress or military leaders will support terminating the program entirely.
 
I have pushed and continue to push for a better approach to buying military equipment. I don't think "one size fits all," monolithic, ultra-expensive equipment is what our troops need, but enacting a change to the F-35 program at this stage will require the support of a majority of members of Congress. Please know that I am working to find savings in this program and elsewhere in the Pentagon budget to reinvest that money in other critical areas..."


Offline TaiidanTomcat

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 863
  • "A wretched hive of scum and villainy."
All F-35 threads will be locked, and supporters publicly outed or banned.

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #132 on: March 14, 2013, 09:18:29 am »
Story on what program delays are doing to Australian companies from Reuters:
 
Quote

Australian F-35 suppliers fret over potential order cutbacks
By Jane Wardell
AVALON, Australia | Fri Mar 1, 2013 3:13am EST

(Reuters) - Some Australian defense contractors say their involvement in building the Pentagon's F-35 warplane has turned into a nightmare because of its development setbacks, delays and now speculation that Canberra will cut orders for the jet.
 
Contracts could be worth $5.5 billion for the 18 Australian companies that are part of the F-35's global supply chain.
 
But among eight Australian contractors interviewed by Reuters at an airshow near Melbourne this week, most were critical of the $396 billion F-35 program.
"At this point, we'll be happy if we break even by the time the program is over," said one supplier, who declined to be identified.
The Pentagon program chief for the F-35 sought to convince Australian lawmakers and generals this week to stick to a plan to buy 100 of the jets, an exercise complicated by two groundings of the plane this year and looming U.S. defense cuts.
 
Contractors were not optimistic about the prospects for orders of the F-35, or Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), a futuristic radar-evading jet.
"It's been devastating," said a second Australian contractor, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared losing business from the project.
"The JSF business is moving to the right and shrinking," he added, using industry jargon for when potential buyers shy away from making early orders and wait until production is fully ramped up in the hope the price will come down.
 
Big U.S. companies and the Australian government approached local defense contractors just over a decade ago to help build the world's most expensive combat aircraft.
 
Australia, a close American ally, is one of eight partner countries helping the United States fund development of the F-35.
It is also one of the largest foreign customers, with plans to buy up to 100 F-35s to replace its ageing fleet of Boeing Co F/A-18 Super Hornets and already retired F-111 strike bombers, at a cost of A$16 billion ($16.38 billion).
 
That status gave Australian companies a leg-up in the warplane's development program since contracts are linked to orders. The prime contractor is Lockheed Martin Corp with Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp unit, building the engines.
But defense analysts predict Australia might end up buying only 50 to 70 of the fighters given Canberra is expected to decide in June to double its fleet of Super Hornets to prevent a frontline gap until the F-35 is delivered later in the decade.
The Australian companies are supplying parts ranging from wing components to cockpit technology. The eight contractors all said they did not know how many planes Canberra would order.
 
Steve O'Bryan, Lockheed Martin vice-president for F-35 business development and customer engagement, said Australian companies were entitled to $5.5 billion of work over the life of the program, based on current orders for the partner countries that include 2,443 aircraft for the United States.
O'Bryan said that could rise by another $2.5 billion based on recent and anticipated orders from Israel and Japan.
"Taken over the life of the program annually, that's around 13,000 direct and indirect jobs," O'Bryan told reporters at the airshow, where the F-35 and its problems were one of the hottest topics.
 
But the agreement with partner countries cuts both ways. If orders drop, so too does the business directed to each nation.
The cost of picking up the extra Super Hornets will almost certainly force Australia to cut its F-35 purchases, defense analysts say.
That would follow Canada's announcement in December that it could cut plans to buy 65 of the F-35s, a scaling-back of orders by Italy and a two-year delay in purchases by Turkey.
 
PROBLEM-PLAGUED PROJECT
 
The F-35 program has suffered a string of problems since Lockheed Martin was granted the development contract in 2001. Software glitches, engine problems and parts malfunctions are among the issues that have grounded test flights numerous times, most recently last week, and blown out both the project's cost and schedule.
 
An email from Air Vice-Marshal Kym Osley, program manager for new air combat capability for the Royal Australian Air Force, to Australian supply companies in late January acknowledged the many problems plaguing the program.
In the email, which was seen by Reuters, Osley wrote that media reports on a U.S. Defense Department assessment of the program had a "more negative tone" than the U.S. Joint Program Office in charge of the project would like, but acknowledged the reports were generally "in line" with reality.
Tensions between the Pentagon and its main contractors have also burst into the open.
 
At the airshow on Wednesday, the Pentagon program chief for the F-35, U.S. Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan, slammed Lockheed and Pratt & Whitney, accusing them of trying to "squeeze every nickel" out of the U.S. government and failing to see the long-term benefits of the project.
 
SOME SUPPLIERS IN LUCK
 
Some Australian suppliers said they could channel funds invested in planned production for the F-35 into other projects.
Chemring Australia, a unit of British-based Chemring Group Ltd, which is manufacturing air-launched expendable countermeasure flares for the F-35, has invested A$35 million in a facility outside Melbourne to produce the flares.
 
Production of the F-35 flares is not expected to begin until the last third of this decade while Chemring is still making flares for the F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Australian government's alternative purchase to the F-35.
"We are not seeing yet any adverse effect from the Australian position," said Giles Willoughby, business development manager at Chemring. "For us, it's the export opportunity we will lose."
 
Others remain confident in the program.
 
"I think the JSF will be very successful," said Ari Vihersaari, Vice-President of Global Business Development at Quickstep Holdings Ltd, which makes the composite used by BAE Systems to build the vertical tailing.
Quickstep has invested A$10-11 million so far in equipment linked to the JSF program, which it joined in 2008, around the time the program schedule was restructured to build in funds and time for further delays.
Quickstep expects the program to generate revenues of up to A$700 million over the next two decades.
"The offer was very tempting for us and well within our capability," Vihersaari said.
($1 = 0.9768 Australian dollars)
 
(Editing by Dean Yates)

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #133 on: March 14, 2013, 10:19:07 am »

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #134 on: March 14, 2013, 10:27:25 am »
Edwards begins F-35 operational testing
http://www.edwards.af.mil/news/story_print.asp?id=123339856
Quote
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Edwards entered a new phase of testing on the F-35 Lightning II program with the arrival March 6 of the first two operational test aircraft.

Team members from Air Combat Command's 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron, a tenant unit here, will determine how to best tactically operate the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant of the fifth-generation fighter.

"As part of the Joint Operational Test Team, we take the aircraft hardware and software released from developmental test, our training from the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin [AFB, Fla.], the administrative and logistics support we get from the Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin, and we integrate all of these disparate elements with maintenance practices, tactics, techniques and procedures required to create an incredibly lethal weapon system that can go out and win the nation's wars," said Lt. Col. Steven J. Tittel, 31st TES commander.

"We've got a brand new tool with a whole new set of capabilities that has never been used by the combat air forces. We have to take that tool and find out the best way to utilize it, to go out and defeat an enemy on the battlefield," he continued.

With the F-35A slated to replace the A-10 and F-16, pilots selected for F-35 operational test and evaluation were hand-picked from among the best in the Air Force and bring a wide variety of expertise to the program.

"Basically, this jet is going to encompass all of our air-to-ground roles and including some of our air-to-air roles as well. What they wanted was expertise from all those different platforms that will eventually be replaced by the F-35," said Maj. Matthew L. Bell, 31st TES Operations Flight commander.

"The bottom line is we have all these jets with specialized capabilities and you want to make sure that if you're eventually going to replace these airframes with one jet, none of that corporate knowledge is lost," he added.

Bell, an A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot with more than 1,500 hours in the jet transitioned to the F-35 in December of 2012, bringing extensive knowledge of air-to-ground capabilities, close-air-support, and forward-air-control to the operational test and evaluation program.

Five additional pilots will be working alongside Bell with F-15E Strike Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon experience that adds a dimension of air-to-air expertise and an in-depth knowledge of deep strike capabilities.

"We did that intentionally. The F-35 is designed to replace different legacy aircraft throughout the fleet. So we pulled together as much experience from different mission sets as we possibly could so we have a good baseline for evaluating the aircraft across all the missions it will be expected to perform in the future," said Tittel.

Together, their corporate knowledge will help shape combat tactics of the F-35A.

"We're not necessarily trying to make this jet operate exactly like an F-15, F-16 or an A-10; we're trying to figure out how to make an F-35 operate tactically. We're trying to combine all that knowledge into a new set of tactics for the U.S.' newest fighter and make sure that those tactics all make sense," said Bell.

The Air Force also recruited top maintainers to support the F-35 operational test and evaluation efforts, who have been diligently preparing for the work ahead.

"We have a lot of top-notch maintenance troops out there that were highly sought after to come into this program. They have been going through a lot of training either across the ramp with the 461st Flight Test Squadron or down at Eglin AFB [Fla.], with a lot of hands-on academics," said Bell. "Maintenance is out there and they've been aching to get their hands on the jets for a long time."

In total for the 31st TES, there are approximately 150 personnel involved in operational test and evaluation for the F-35A. The 31st TES has grown over the past two years to include nearly 250 personnel; who can be found working in the combined test forces located throughout the base.

They also work on programs such as the B-1 Lancer, B-2 Spirit, RQ-4 Global Hawk and MQ-9 Reaper; in addition to the F-35 Lightning II.

While formalized testing is approximately a year and a half away, the necessary steps along the way will continue to benefit the F-35 operational test and evaluation program.

According to Bell, once the ground engine runs for maintenance are completed, he expects the flying to begin shortly thereafter. Initial flying operations will help pilots become familiar with their new airframe.

"Regardless of the experience we had before, this is still a new jet. In my mind, there is a large spin-up time to become experienced enough for the high-tempo scenarios we're going to be involved in," said Bell. "While actual formal testing will begin in about a year and a half, everything that we're going to be doing up to that point will benefit the program."

Formalized testing will evaluate the production-representative F-35A, as well as support equipment and the logistics supply system in an operationally representative environment; with the ultimate goal of determining whether or not the program is suitable and effective in a real-world combat environment.

It encompasses the aircraft's survivability, as well as the ability to support and execute flight operations and maintenance at home and in deployed locations.

"We are the Air Force element of the larger joint and international test effort that will occur here at Edwards to get the F-35 through its initial test and evaluation, both for the Block 2 and Block 3 software," said Tittel.

"We're very much tactics developers, but we're still evaluating the aircraft from an operational perspective; from the time we get it to the time we finally send it out as a completed product to the combat air forces," he continued.

The men and women of the 31st TES will not only shape the future of air combat tactics for the F-35A, but they will ensure that the program is effective, sustainable and efficient in the real-world combat environment - a top priority for the Air Force of tomorrow.

"The Joint Operational Test Team has moved into a new phase. What we do here over the next few years will absolutely play a large part in determining the jet's effectiveness in real-world operations for the next 30 to 40 years, at least," said Tittel. "It's a privilege to be on the leading edge of integrating new technologies into a combat airframe and then releasing it out to the combat air forces."

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 12:07:21 pm by 2IDSGT »

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #136 on: March 15, 2013, 12:56:45 pm »
Quote
Northrop Grumman Delivers 500th Distributed Aperture System Sensor Component for the F-35 Lightning II
(Source: Northrop Grumman Corp.; issued March 14, 2013)
 
BALTIMORE --- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) has delivered its 500th AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS) sensor to Lockheed Martin for integration into the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

The DAS is a multifunction infrared system that provides passive, spherical battlespace awareness for F-35 pilots by simultaneously detecting and tracking aircraft and missiles in every direction, as well as providing visual imagery for day/night navigation and targeting purposes. DAS imagery projected onto the pilot's helmet mounted display provides the capability to look at targets and terrain through the floor and wings of the aircraft. The DAS works in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-81 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and other onboard systems to give pilots an unprecedented degree of situational awareness.

"This production milestone is a testament to the maturity of the sensor design and our manufacturing processes," said Mark Rossi, Northrop Grumman's DAS business area director. "This revolutionary system is integral to the F-35's fifth-generation leap in technology and Northrop Grumman is ensuring that the sensor systems are ready to meet the warfighter's needs."

As a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team, Northrop Grumman performs a significant share of the work required to develop and produce the aircraft. In addition to producing the DAS and software modes, Northrop Grumman designed and produces the aircraft's AN/APG-81AESA radar and communications subsystems; produces the center fuselage; develops mission systems and mission-planning software; leads the team's development of pilot and maintenance training system courseware; and manages the team's use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies.


Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cybersecurity, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.

-ends-

Offline Creative

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 241
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #137 on: March 19, 2013, 02:14:17 pm »
First F-35A Aircraft report to Nellis AFB for operational Testing

https://www.f35.com/the-f-35/f-35-bases/nellisafb.aspx

Quote
FORT WORTH, Texas, March 19, 2013 – Four Lockheed Martin F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft were officially welcomed by the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. during a commemorative ceremony today. The jets are assigned to the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron of the 53rd Test and Evaluation Group.

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #138 on: March 19, 2013, 08:20:35 pm »

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #139 on: March 20, 2013, 11:04:51 am »
Quote
Northrop Grumman Delivers 100th Center Fuselage For F-35 Lightning II
(Source: Northrop Grumman Corp.; issued March 19, 2013)

PALMDALE, Calif. --- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) marked the delivery of its 100th F-35 Lightning II center fuselage to Lockheed Martin during a ceremony at its manufacturing center on March 8.

"The F-35 team should be very proud of all its hard work in reaching this milestone," said Michelle Scarpella, vice president of the F-35 program for Northrop Grumman. "All employees, suppliers and teammates focused on executing their work, always with an eye on quality and affordability. It's the reason we're able to stand here today and say that we've delivered on schedule and on budget, and that we're operating as planned."

This center fuselage will be integrated into the 100th aircraft, a conventional takeoff and landing variant of the F-35, and will be designated AF-41. The jet will be delivered to the U.S. Air Force and is slated for pilot training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

Northrop Grumman began production on the AF-41 center fuselage in March 2012 and completed work on Feb. 26. It was shipped to Lockheed Martin on March 5. Northrop Grumman has been producing F-35 center fuselages since May 2004.

"In 2011, we celebrated the delivery of the 50th center fuselage," said Scarpella. "It took us a little over seven years to reach that milestone. Now, about a year and a half later, we're delivering our 100th. The speed at which we reached this milestone is a testament to the commitment of our team and the efficiencies of our Integrated Assembly Line [IAL]."

The IAL maximizes robotics and automation, providing additional capacity and assembly capability while meeting engineering tolerances that are not easily achieved using manual methods. The IAL is central in producing the F-35's center fuselage as well as increasing the program's affordability, quality and efficiency. The IAL design uses a system-engineering approach to integrate tooling and structure transport, system automation, automated drilling cells and tooling mechanization coordinated across multiple build centers.

The IAL was developed and designed with the help of the Detroit-based KUKA Robotics Aerospace Division, a commercial automation integrator, and was inspired by automation systems used by American automakers.

As a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team, Northrop Grumman performs a significant share of the work required to develop and produce the aircraft. In addition to producing the F-35 center fuselage, Northrop Grumman designed and produces the aircraft's radar and other key avionics including electro-optical and communications subsystems; develops mission systems and mission-planning software; leads the team's development of pilot and maintenance training system courseware; and manages the team's use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies. In 2012, the company delivered 32 center fuselages and is on track to exceed 2012 delivery quantities in 2013.

Northrop Grumman's Palmdale site is a world-class facility that provides assembly, integration, testing and long-term maintenance capabilities for the F-35 and some of the world's other most advanced aircraft, including the B-2 Spirit and RQ-4 Global Hawk.


Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cybersecurity, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.

-ends-

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #140 on: March 21, 2013, 08:59:52 am »

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #141 on: March 21, 2013, 07:08:08 pm »
w00t... STOVL ain't just for the test pilots anymore. ;D

VMFA-121 F-35B Lightning II short take off, and vertical landing

Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/video/284788/vmfa-121-f-35b-lightning-ii-short-take-off-and-vertical-landing#.UUu65hzYggI#ixzz2OEL5RdX2

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #142 on: March 22, 2013, 12:34:16 pm »
Dutch F-35 Orders Likely Scaled Back: Reuters
http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_03_22_2013_p0-561828.xml

Quote
...The Netherlands may cut 17 to 33 F-35s from its initial plans to buy 85 of the new warplanes, according to people close to the discussions who were not authorized to speak publicly since final decisions are not expected until later this year...

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #143 on: March 25, 2013, 05:47:54 pm »

Offline Triton

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 9463
  • Donald McKelvy
    • Deep Blue to Wild Blue
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #144 on: March 26, 2013, 07:45:22 pm »
Published on Mar 21, 2013

Maj Richard Rusnok, first "operational" STOVL sortie at VMFA-121 squadron, MCAS Yuma, Arizona.



Offline Triton

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 9463
  • Donald McKelvy
    • Deep Blue to Wild Blue
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #145 on: March 27, 2013, 02:05:47 pm »
Published on Mar 26, 2013

Interviews and highlights from the F-35 delivery ceremony at Nellis AFB, Nevada on March 19. 2013. The delivery of the first operational-coded 5th Generation F-35A CTOL fighters to Nellis AFB marks the beginning of operational testing and evaluation at the base.



Offline Triton

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 9463
  • Donald McKelvy
    • Deep Blue to Wild Blue
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #146 on: March 27, 2013, 02:11:43 pm »
Published on Mar 27, 2013

F-35 BF-03 performing an AIM 120 Weapon Separation on 26 March 2013.



 

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #147 on: March 27, 2013, 09:15:32 pm »
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/former-usn-chief-suggests-dod-should-cancel-f-35a-in-favour-of-c-model-383969/
If it is not too much for the "News Only" board could someone explain the possible advantages/disadvantages of this? Not budgetary but performance for the Air Force mission?
 
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #148 on: April 03, 2013, 08:09:20 am »
 DSCA Notice for the Korean F-35 Bid released
 
Quote
WASHINGTON, April 3, 2013 – The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress March 29 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Korea for 60 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $10.8 billion.
 
The Government of the Republic of Korea has requested a possible sale of (60) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft.  Aircraft will be configured with the Pratt & Whitney F-135 engines, and (9) Pratt & Whitney F-135 engines are included as spares.  Other aircraft equipment includes: 
Electronic Warfare Systems; Command, Control, Communication, Computer and Intelligence/Communication, Navigational and Identification (C4I/CNI); Autonomic Logistics Global Support System (ALGS); Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS); Full Mission Trainer; Weapons Employment Capability, and other Subsystems, Features, and Capabilities; F-35 unique infrared flares; reprogramming center; F-35 Performance Based Logistics.  Also included: software Development/integration, aircraft ferry and tanker support, support equipment, tools and test equipment, communication equipment, spares and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documents, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics and program support.  The estimated cost is $10.8 billion.

http://www.dsca.osd.mil/PressReleases/36-b/2013/Korea_13-10.pdf
 
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 12:18:44 pm by SpudmanWP »
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #149 on: April 03, 2013, 05:57:41 pm »
RAND Corp study on Beddown alternatives
 
http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR124.html
 
 
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #150 on: April 04, 2013, 01:36:07 am »
From FlightGlobal:
US reveals details of F-15SE, F-35A bids for South Korea.
 
Quote

[...]
For the potential F-35 sale, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) says that South Korea could order 60 conventional A-model aircraft and associated support equipment for $10.8 billion. There would also be provisions for spares including nine additional Pratt & Whitney F135 afterburning turbofans. The package would also encompass training-including simulators.
[...]
Boeing's F-15SE Silent Eagle offering is a somewhat more complicated bid because it is a hybrid of a direct commercial sale and government-to-government US foreign military sale (FMS). As such the DSCA notification to Congress is only for certain equipment that would have to be sold to South Korea to support the Silent Eagle sale.
Equipment that would be sold under the auspices of the US government FMS programme include 60 Raytheon-built active electronically scanned array radar (AESA) radars, but it is not specified if those are APG-63 (V)3 or APG-82 sets. Additionally, the F-15SE sale would include 60 digital electronic warfare systems (DEWS), 60 Lockheed AN/AAQ-33 Sniper targeting pods, 60 Lockheed AN/AAS-42 infrared search and track systems and other ancillary hardware. The estimated cost of the FMS portion of the sale would be $2.41 billion according the DSCA.
"We do feel we have the lower cost, better value bid here," a Boeing official says, but the company did not say how much the direct commercial sale portion of their bid would cost.
[...]
While he does not rule out the possibility that South Korea will opt for the Typhoon, Raymond Jaworowski, an analyst with Forecast International, says the contest will most like come down to a battle between the F-35 and the Silent Eagle. "The F-15 and the F-35 are the frontrunners," he says. "South Korea has previously bought US fighter aircraft and it seems likely that's the way they'll go for this buy."
In the Silent Eagle's favour is the fact that South Korea already has the older F-15K Slam Eagle in service. "The commonality factor will come into play," Jaworowski says. "On the other hand, the F-35 is more and more becoming the dominant fighter on the market." Other factors that play in the F-35's favour are the fact that Japan has already ordered the stealthy fifth-generation jet and growing threats in the region.
But given the state of the South Korean tender, "I think at this point it's too early to predict between the F-35 and the F-15," Jaworowski says.

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #152 on: April 05, 2013, 01:17:17 am »
From Dutch paper NRC: Dutch JSF test aircraft to be 'parked', participation in flight training on hold.
 
My translation:
Quote

4 april 2013, 20:21
 
No JSF testflights until decision to buy
 
The two Dutch Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) test aircraft will be parked. This is to last until the Cabinet has taken a decision on the replacement of the F-16, Minister of Defence Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (VVD) writes in a letter (pdf) to the Tweede Kamer [lower house of representatives].
Hennis is currently working on a vision for the future of the armed forces. That vision is the basis for the government's decision on the purchase of the JSF, to be taken later this year. The coalition parties are divided: the VVD wants to buy the JSF, the PvdA does not.
So far, the development of the airplane has already cost the Netherlands 1.2 billion euros. Last summer the current coalition partner PvdA submitted a motion to cease all involvement in the fighter. In the coalition agreement it was decided to first formulate a vision. Until then, the aircraft will be parked, the minister writes.
 
Limited flights by American pilots
The United States and Great Britain have recently started flight training for the F-35, as the JSF is officially called. No Dutch personnel is taking part in this. During the period that the Dutch test aircraft are parked, they will be flown in a 'limited' way by American pilots. This is needed to keep the aircraft airworthy, Hennis said.
The Netherlands has ordered two test aircraft. The first aircraft is already finished, the second aircraft will be delivered this summer. Hennis said earlier that manufacturers of aircraft other than the JSF are also welcome to tout their products.

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #153 on: April 05, 2013, 11:39:49 am »
Letter from Dutch Minister of Defence to Dutch Parliament (pdf):

Quote
Datum 4 april 2013
Betreft Nederlandse testtoestellen

In mijn brief van 8 februari jl. (Kamerstuk 26 488, nr. 309) heb ik toegezegd u voorafgaande aan het algemeen overleg over de vervanging van de F-16, gepland voor 25 april a.s., nader te informeren over de Nederlandse testtoestellen ten behoeve van de operationele testfase. De vaste commissie voor Defensie heeft mij op 15 februari jl. tevens om een update verzocht (kenmerk 26488-309/2013D06535).
Nederland heeft voor de deelneming aan de operationele testfase van de F-35 twee testtoestellen verworven. Het eerste toestel is reeds gereed, het tweede wordt in de zomer van 2013 geleverd. In de brief van 8 februari heb ik uiteengezet dat Defensie zal onderzoeken welke opties er zijn voor het gebruik van de testtoestellen in de komende periode, omdat de operationele testfase volgens de huidige planning in 2015 zal aanvangen. Ik kan u melden dat het kabinet heeft besloten de toestellen te stallen tot er een besluit is genomen overde vervanging van de F-16 in samenhang met de visie op de toekomst van de krijgsmacht. Gedurende de stalling van de toestellen zal door Amerikaanse piloten beperkt met de toestellen worden gevlogen om ze luchtwaardig te houden. Dit besluit zal met het Joint Program Office (JPO) worden uitgewerkt en contractueel worden vastgelegd. Als de kosten bekend zijn, zal ik u daarover nader informeren. De kosten zullen ten laste worden gebracht van de projectreservering Vervanging F-16.
U verzocht mij ook in te gaan op de personele gevolgen en de ontwikkelingen bij de andere partnerlanden. De Verenigde Staten en het Verenigde Koninkrijk zijn onlangs begonnen met de vliegopleiding voor de operationele testfase. Daaraan neemt geen Nederlands personeel deel.

DE MINISTER VAN DEFENSIE
J.A. Hennis-Plasschaert
Translation:
Quote
Date April 4th, 2013
Subject Dutch test aircraft

In my letter of 8 February (Papers 26488, # 309) I promised to further supply you, prior to the general consultation on the replacement of the F-16, scheduled for April 25, with more information about the Dutch test aircraft earmarked for the operational test phase. On 15 February the Standing Committee on Defence has also asked me for an update (attribute 26488-309/2013D06535).
The Netherlands have acquired two test aircraft for participation in the operational test phase of the F-35. The first aircraft is already built, the second will be delivered in the summer of 2013. In the letter of 8 February I explained that Defence will examine which options are available for the use of the test aircraft in the coming period, because the operational test phase is currently scheduled to commence in 2015. I can report that the government has decided to store the aircraft until a decision is made for replacement of the F-16 in conjunction with the vision of the future of the armed forces. During storage of the aircraft U.S. pilots will conduct limited flights in the aircraft to keep them airworthy. This decision will be negotiated with the Joint Program Office (JPO) and contractually committed. If the costs are known, I will provide further information. The cost will be charged to the project reservation Replacement F-16.
You asked me to provide information about the personnel consequences and developments in the other partner countries. The United States and the United Kingdom have recently begun pilot training for the operational test phase. No Dutch personnel will take are taking part in it.

THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE
J.A. Hennis-Plasschaert
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 12:00:31 am by Arjen »

Offline Deino

  • Our China Correspondent
  • Global Moderator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 2370
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #154 on: April 06, 2013, 04:55:04 am »
First F-35B Night Vertical Landing - HD


He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.
...
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
-------------------------------------------------
W.H.Auden (1945)

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #155 on: April 11, 2013, 08:47:53 am »
The DoD finally released their 2014 numbers today.  Here is what I found.

1.     Procurement

The F-35s are getting cheaper (barely) even though the numbers are the same as last years (19/6/4) for F-35-A/B/C.

Here is the breakdown (RED is where component was more expensive than previous year)



Some sites are reporting a 4% increase in procurement cost.  This is unrelated to the Flyaway and is due to a new RCS verification facility, higher costs for Simulators, Post-SDD development costs, etc.

2.     Upgrades

While the USAF has had upgrade costs in the budget for a year now, the USN has now joined in adding LRIP upgrade costs to the budget.  They has also broke it down to a Block specific number.  The 2B upgrade costs a few hundred thousand (software only) and the 3i upgrade (to include hardware Tech Refresh2) costs $4.6 million per F-35.  Concurrency costs are not included in the above numbers.

http://www.saffm.hq.af.mil/budget/
http://www.finance.hq.navy.mil/fmb/14pres/BOOKS.htm

The Schedule for Block 4 was also released for the first time:

« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 09:52:19 am by SpudmanWP »
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #156 on: April 12, 2013, 10:03:21 am »
From Flightglobal:
Quote
MROAM: F135 blade crack traced to casting process - P&W


By:   Stephen Trimble Palm Beach

A Pratt & Whitney analysis has narrowed the likely cause of a turbine blade crack on the F135 in February to a fault in the casting process, says Bennett Croswell, president of the military engines division.

The analysis indicates that the Lockheed Martin F-35 engine blade cracked despite being made correctly according to the blueprint for making the part, Croswell says. That finding points to a flaw in the casting process itself.

"There may be features in the castings that are allowed by the blueprint, but now we've learned that those features we should not allow," Croswell says.

P&W can either change the process used to make the casting of the turbine blade or simply throw out any blade that shares similar features of the one that cracked.

"It may be as simple as culling those blades that have that feature," Croswell says.

P&W is finalising an analysis of which option would be most affordable, and that report will be submitted to the joint programme office at the end of June.

The 4.2mm (0.17in) crack led to a relatively brief fleetwide grounding of the F-35 after it was discovered on 19 February. The crack developed on a third-stage turbine blade of the AF-2 prototype, which was routinely operated in conditions beyond the flight envelope as part of the test programme.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 04:09:34 am by Arjen »

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #157 on: April 12, 2013, 10:55:54 am »
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been under fire from budget hawks and acquisition reformists because of repeated delays and soaring cost. The latest hitch in its development was a malfunctioning tail hook that failed to properly grab deck cables when the aircraft landed on aircraft carriers.

The tail hook has been completely redesigned and officials are confident it will work when tested later this year. With its physical components completed, the program now hinges on software development and integration, which will be the final challenge for engineers of the most expensive, complex weapons system the United States has ever fielded. “We are now in the meat of this program,” said Vice Adm. David Dunaway, commander of Naval Air Systems Command, said April 10 at the Navy League’s annual Sea Air Space symposium at National Harbor, Md. “We’ve come a long way to get here. We’re now to the part that is really important. This is where the rubber is going to meet the road and we’re going to succeed or we’re going to fail.”
Two F-35Bs have completed at least 8,000 hours of flight testing. Lockheed has delivered 58 aircraft to date. Thirty of those were delivered last year and another 36 are scheduled for calendar year 2013. The F-35A is a conventional takeoff-and-landing variant designed for the Air Force. It will be flown from land bases with full-length runways.

  The F-35B variant, which is capable of short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL), will replace the Marine Corp’s Harrier jump jet and is designed to operate from amphibious assault ships. It is also the most complicated and expensive of the three variants because it has a pivoting rear engine and a vertical-lift fan behind the cockpit that allows STOVL. The third version of the aircraft is the F-35C, will become the Navy’s primary carrier-based aircraft. The Department of Defense plans to buy 2,443 aircraft. The United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands,Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, and Turkey are part of the development program; Israel, Singapore and Japan also plan to purchase the aircraft. Development efforts now are focused on the software that will run the aircraft, integrating all of its various functions — intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, flight controls, ordnance delivery, target acquisition — into a complete weapon system. Rear Adm. Randolph L. Mahr, deputy program executive officer for the F-35, said “ We’re not going to focus on the past. What’s past is done. In 2001, the United States government made a choice on which aircraft to develop and we’re going to bring it across the finish line,” Mahr said. The Marine Corps will receive an operational aircraft in summer of 2015, Mahr said.  “Put it on your calendars,” he said. “The United States Marine Corps is holding us to that date. The United States Air Force is right behind them. Our partner nations are right behind them.”

Software testing is scheduled for completion in 2017, with operational testing in 2018.  Lorraine M Martin, executive vice president for F-35 at Lockheed Martin said the company has driven “stakes in the sand” at those dates and is committed to staying on schedule. Brig. Gen. Mark R. Wise, commander of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory said the first planned deployment of an operational F-35B is scheduled for 2017, but did not say where the jet would be sent. The Marine Corps wants to buy 353 F-35B jets. It will augment that order with 67 F-35Cs, equating to a total order that will outfit 18 active duty squadrons and two reserve squadrons, Wise said. Mahr said the complexity of the F-35 is a necessary and welcome symptom of modernization. But the military cannot absorb ballooning life cycle costs that complexity might entail, he said.

“The F-35 A, B and C are more complicated than the aircraft we’re replacing, but they cannot be more expensive to operate,” he said. “The operating cost of the F-35 … will be in line with the operating cost of legacy aircraft.” Mahr said the military’s relationship with Lockheed Martin and engine builder Pratt & Whitney and their subcontractors was improving and that the companies are aware of the government’s need to restrain cost growth. Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, program executive officer for F-35, recently criticized industry for failing to perform tasks within budget. Those failings stain the program, constantly reminding military officials that inefficiencies will not be forgiven in the future, Mahr said.

“We all have a long way to go putting the failings of the past and the problems the program has had behind us,” he said. “Judge us by where we go from here."  Despite development woes, the F-35 is flying now and Marine Corps officials are learning how it will be deployed in future conflicts.

There are currently five F-35 bases in the United States. A sixth will be established at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Another will be established next year at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, in South Carolina, which will be the primary training venue for pilots from the United States, the United Kingdom and Italy. Before it is introduced to active units and deployed with the military around the globe, the military’s existing platforms have to be configured to  work with the F-35, said Rear Adm. Mark Darrah, assistant commander for research and engineering at Naval Air Systems Command. Integration with Navy ships is a major concern, given that the F-35B and F-35C will be flying off L-class amphibious assault ships and aircraft carriers, respectively. To accept the F-35B, which is capable of short takeoff and vertical landing, big-deck amphibious ships had to have a thermite coating painted on their decks in spots where the plane will land. Without the special coating, the heat from the aircraft’s downward-facing engines could melt the ship’s deck, he said. “Air-ship integration is key,” Dunaway said. “The F-35 has to fit in to the carrier air wing and into the [Marine air-ground task force. We have to have affordable aircraft and we have to have sustainable aircraft.”

"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #158 on: April 12, 2013, 11:09:57 am »
Try putting a link with the story next time Bobby.  I took the liberty for you.   ;)

Naval Services Tout Progress in F-35 Program
http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=1108
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 11:13:15 am by 2IDSGT »

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #159 on: April 12, 2013, 11:39:35 am »


Quote
First Aust fighter aircraft in production
Max Blenkin, AAP Defence Correspondent
From:AAP
April 03, 2013 3:52PM

AUSTRALIA'S first two F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft are progressing down the US production line and approaching the stage where they will be recognisably aircraft rather than a collection of components.

David Scott, Lockheed Martin's director of F-35 international customer engagement, said the two, designated AU-1 and AU-2, were on schedule for delivery in the US in 2014.
He said the wings were under construction at the Lockheed Martin plant in Forth Worth, Texas.

Forth Worth is also constructing the forward fuselage, while the centre and aft fuselages are under construction at separate Northrop Grumman and BAE plants.
"Those two airplanes will come together through the mate-and-delivery process and be delivered to the Commonwealth in the middle of next year," he said.

For JSF flight training to start, Australia will need qualified pilots and maintainers. JSF flight training is a six-month course, already under way for the first US pilots at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
The first Australian JSF pilots will likely start training at Eglin later this year.

JSF is an advanced stealth combat aircraft set to be the principal combat aircraft for the US, Australia and other nations out to mid-century. Australia is looking to buy up to 100 at a cost of $16 billion.
But so far the government has committed to buying just two. JSF has been repeatedly criticised for running late, costing too much and unlikely to deliver all the promised advanced capability.

Mr Scott, in Australia for talks on JSF with defence and industry, acknowledged development had taken longer and cost more than forecast in 2001.

But since the program was "re-baselined" in 2010, it had remained on or ahead of schedule.

He said the US Air Force and US Marines were buying JSF, as were five of eight JSF program partner nations including Australia, along with two others Japan and Israel.

"Even in very difficult economic times that are challenging in most countries, the commitments are being made to F-35 because it is viewed as an essential capability, a breakthrough capability and one that is rapidly maturing and will be available very soon," he said.

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #160 on: April 12, 2013, 04:59:03 pm »
Seems like a long shot, but here it is... last paragraph is good for a chuckle.

United Arab Emirates is taking an interest in the F-35
http://www.worldtribune.com/2013/04/12/united-arab-emirates-is-taking-an-interest-in-the-f-35/

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #161 on: April 17, 2013, 12:12:12 pm »
Marines Set New IOC Date For F-35B: 'Combat Ready' In Summer Of 2015
The Marine Corps plans to declare the F-35B ready for initial operations as soon as July 2015, the service's top general told lawmakers today -- a new target date that roughly tracks with delays in the Joint Strike Fighter program following the addition of two years to the aircraft's development schedule last year. Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps and the first aviator to lead the service, also told the House Armed Services Committee during a hearing today that the Marine Corps plans to deploy the first operational squadron of JSFs in fiscal year 2017. "If something happens around the world" before fiscal year 2017, Amos said, "this will be the only fifth-generation aircraft America has that is ready to go in an operational squadron."
 
Last year, as part of a wider move to implement the recommendations of a sweeping two-year technical review of the Joint Strike Fighter program, the Pentagon's acquisition executive waived the statutory requirement for the military services to declare the dates by which their respective F-35 variants would be ready for initial operations. That waiver was granted to allow the service chiefs additional time to recalibrate their IOC plans. The FY-13 Defense Authorization Act requires the service chiefs to disclose their schedules for declaring IOC for their F-35s by June 30.
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #162 on: April 18, 2013, 11:05:21 am »
Quote
JSF Model to Study Electromagnetic Effects
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued April 17, 2013)
 
The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, today unveiled a full-scale model of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) which DSTO will use to study the effects of electromagnetic compatibility and interference on the aircraft.

Called Iron Bird, the Australian-built model will be tested under simulated electromagnetic conditions during the acquisition and through-life sustainment of the JSF.

The study is a significant part of ensuring the protection of the JSF against electromagnetic environmental effects such as lightning and static discharge which can impair the performance and safety of aircraft.

The JSF is a fifth-generation aircraft with highly complex electronics, sophisticated software and a structural airframe made of composite materials. This exposes the aircraft to electromagnetic interference from both naturally occurring phenomena and man-made sources, including telecommunication transmissions and radar. The impact of these interferences needs to be well understood and appropriately managed.

DSTO has developed world-class expertise in the investigation of electromagnetic radiation impact on aircraft and is engaged directly with the United States JSF Joint Project Office to undertake this study using the Iron Bird model.

The data captured will help in providing potential reductions in the cost of owning the JSF fleet and enhancing the aircraft’s capability.

The DSTO test methods provide a rapid, cost-effective means of assessing and monitoring the JSF’s ability to withstand electromagnetic exposure and minimise any impact on its systems and performance. The research will support the verification for compliance and airworthiness certification for the JSF aircraft.

Australia’s first two F-35As are due to be delivered to a United States-based training facility during 2014‑15 when Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) pilot and maintainer training will commence on the aircraft.

The Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) is part of Australia's Department of Defence. DSTO's role is to ensure the expert, impartial and innovative application of science and technology to the defence of Australia and its national interests.

-ends-

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #164 on: April 20, 2013, 10:02:17 am »
Here is the TV interview that Gen Bogden gave to Netherlands TV.






Here is a slide that shows a Block by Block and Tech Refresh capability Level.
http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt271/SpudmanWP/blocks1_zpsccc5bbbf.jpg






Here is the PDF (in Dutch) that it came from.

http://t.co/bkKAfGGsLA



Here is the Google Translate of the PDF.

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FbkKAfGGsLA


« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 02:02:03 pm by SpudmanWP »
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #165 on: April 24, 2013, 05:39:28 am »
MADL integrated and sharing data with airborne F-35s for the first time.

Notice that it performed well at ranges that far exceeded the spec.

Quote
SAN DIEGO --- The Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) waveform developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) was successfully demonstrated in a Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter program flight test, validating an eight-year development effort to advance communication among fifth-generation aircraft.
 
 MADL is a high-data-rate, directional communications link. It allows coordinated tactics and engagement to bring significant operational advantages to fifth-generation aircraft operating in high-threat environments. MADL is a key capability provided by Northrop Grumman's F-35 integrated communications, navigation and identification (CNI) avionics.
 
 The F-35 CNI avionics flying onboard two Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft established the MADL link between two airborne platforms for the first time. Data passed between aircraft via MADL was correlated with data from other F-35 sensors by Lockheed Martin's fusion system to form a simplified situational awareness picture on the cockpit displays.
 
 "During the flight tests, MADL functioned reliably with excellent range at multiples of required specifications while demonstrating ability to network fifth-generation fighters," said Mike Twyman, vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems division for Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "This success is a significant achievement for the F-35 program and enabling joint aerial concept of operations."
 
 The MADL flight test is an important element of Lockheed Martin's F-35 Block 2 software release, which provides advanced mission systems capability at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and other training and operational locations. At Edwards, MADL joined the CNI Link-16 and Variable Message Format network waveforms already in flight test on F-35 aircraft.
 
 Northrop Grumman's integrated CNI system provides to F-35 pilots the equivalent capability of more than 27 avionics subsystems. By using its industry-leading software-defined radio technology, Northrop Grumman's design allows the simultaneous operation of multiple critical functions while greatly reducing size, weight and power demands on the advanced fighter. These functions include Identification Friend or Foe, automatic acquisition of fly-to points, and various voice and data communications, including MADL, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Requirements Oversight Council for use on all low-observable platforms.
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/144510/northrop-madl-data-link-flies-on-f_35.html
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #166 on: April 24, 2013, 02:58:08 pm »
Quote
Pentagon sees Singapore's decision about buying F-35s by summer

4:25pm EDTWASHINGTON (Reuters)

Singapore has shown "tremendous interest" in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter developed by Lockheed Martin Corp and will likely decide by this summer whether to buy the new warplane, the Pentagon's F-35 program chief said on Wednesday.

Air Force Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan told a subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee that he expected Singapore to decide by this summer whether to join the multinational fighter plane program.

He said he was also cautiously optimistic that South Korea could decide to buy the radar-evading F-35 in its 60-fighter competition, with a decision expected there in June.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #168 on: April 26, 2013, 12:50:48 pm »
Quote
Government Asks Parliament for Authority to Ordering First Six Aircraft in the Main Contract
(Source: Norwegian Ministry of Defence; issued April 26, 2013)
(Issued in Norwegian only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)

“We have waited a long time. Now we will begin the final purchase of combat aircraft to replace the F-16 from 2017, after nearly 40 years of service to Norway. This is a further and very significant step in the comprehensive modernization of the Armed Forces,” says Defence Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, after the government on Friday asked Parliament to approve the order for the first six F-35 aircraft in the so-called main contract.

“Of the six we will order now, four will land on Orland by the end of 2017, and will be the first of the new aircraft that we actually get home to Norway. The other two aircraft will be left to strengthen our training capacity in the United States as we transition from F-16 and F-35, before they too are brought home.

“This is a complicated puzzle that we have worked hard to get to, but we think we have reached the optimal plan for how to do this,” says the Minister.

Updated procurement plan

The Minister referred to the new procurement plan for the F-35 which has been made to follow up a core element in the long-term plan for the defense sector, approved by Parliament in June 2012.

The procurement will be conducted over a number of years to relieve the burden on the defense budget and the overall state budget during the acquisition period.

The government is now planning that Norway will receive six aircraft annually from 2017 and to 2024, to acquire 48 aircraft. This is in addition to the four planes that will be delivered in 2015 and 2016.

“What has been important for us is that the procurement will be carried out without putting a great pressure on the government and the military's ability to follow up other initiatives and investments.

“There we get with this plan, and we have completed the transition from F-16 to F-35 in a good way. Therefore, we are now going to parliament,” said the defense minister.

The Ministry of Defence has followed the debate on the technical development of the F-35 carefully and believes that the time is ripe to move forward with the Norwegian procurement.

“There will always be technical challenges in a project like this, and they must continue to work with going forward, especially on the software side. None of the challenges we face are prohibitive, and it currently has identified solutions to all known technical problems. We therefore believe that we have a good basis for booking aircraft now,” says the defense minister.

More than just fly

For everything to be ready to start training and operation of aircraft when they come to Norway, a number of other investments in relation to the aircraft will also start now. Therefore, the government is also now asking for other parts of the contract, aside from the actual aircraft, including weapons integration, training, simulators, braking parachutes and more.

“We will continue to come back to Parliament for authorization for each new order, but we must now also begin efforts to acquire equipment to operate and train with the new aircraft. Therefore, the amounts in this bill are comprehensive,” says Strøm-Erichsen.

Progress in industrial cooperation

The Defense Minister is satisfied with the progress of industry collaboration on the F-35. An important milestone was passed when it was decided that the so-called APEX ammunition made by Nammo would be integrated onto the F-35. A number of other Norwegian suppliers have secured contracts, even before Norway bought plane.

The board of the multinational program recently accepted that the Norwegian-developed Joint Strike Missile (JSM) will be integrated into the F-35, once this will be fully funded. Kongsberg and the Armed Forces are continuing negotiations on this program.

“I plan to come back to Parliament later this year with more information about the status of development of the JSM and the measures the government is planning ahead.

“This missile is very important primarily because it helps to cover key operational needs, but it also affects the value creation we are working to achieve for Norwegian industry as a result of this major investment.

“The multinational consensus is therefore good news for both the military and industry,” says defense minister.

Facts about the Norwegian procurement of the F-35:
• Norway will acquire up to 52 combat aircraft of the F-35 to ensure that the Armed Forces in the future will be able to fulfill their tasks in the best possible way.
• The contract is estimated to cost 62.6 billion kroner at 2013 prices. Overall Norwegian cost estimates have been stable since 2008.

• The first four F-35s will be used for training of Norwegian personnel. The first two of these will be delivered in the United States in 2015, and the remaining two in 2016.

• The government now goes to Parliament for the authority to order the first six aircraft in the main contract, with four to be delivered in Norway in 2017.

-ends-

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #171 on: May 02, 2013, 08:58:22 pm »
More ;D :

Quote
Prime Minister and Minister for Defence – Joint Media Release – 2013 Defence White Paper: Air Combat Capability

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Defence Stephen Smith today announced the steps the Government has taken to strengthen Australia’s air combat capability.

]The 2013 Defence White Paper highlights the strategic importance of a potent and flexible air combat capability to control Australia’s air approaches and support operations in the land, sea and air environments.

Emerging advanced air combat and air defence capabilities within the region, together with the proliferation of modern electronic warfare systems, will make the air combat tasks of controlling the air, conducting strike and supporting land and naval forces increasingly challenging.

Australia’s air combat capability is a vital part of our national security framework and the Government will not allow a gap in our air combat capability to occur.

As a prudent measure to assure Australia’s air combat capability through the transition period to the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the Government has decided to retain the current 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets (one operational squadron) in their current air combat and strike capability configuration.

The Government has also decided to acquire 12 new-build EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft instead of converting 12 of Australia’s existing F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft into the Growler configuration. 12 Growler aircraft will enhance significantly the ADF’s electronic warfare capability and, together with the JSF and the Super Hornet, will form a formidable air combat force capable of controlling both the air and electronic environments.

A decision on replacing the Super Hornets with additional JSF aircraft will be made closer to the withdrawal of the Super Hornets, which is not expected until around 2030.

The 2009 Defence White Paper outlined the Government’s commitment to acquire JSF and announced approval for the purchase of the first 14 JSF aircraft at a cost of around $3.2 billion. Of these, Australia is contractually committed to two, which will be delivered in the course of 2014 to 2015 in the United States for testing and training purposes.

Due to challenges and delays within the JSF Program, the United States restructured the JSF Program last year, deferring the acquisition of 179 aircraft and providing US$15 billion less in funding over the next five years. Australia aligned itself to this schedule in the 2012-13 Budget. While the US remains committed to the JSF, procurement has been slowed to complete more testing and make developmental changes before the purchase of aircraft in significant quantities.

The Government remains committed to acquiring the fifth-generation JSF aircraft, with three operational squadrons planned to enter service beginning around 2020 to replace the F/A-18A/B Hornet aircraft.

Australia’s Super Hornet aircraft, the delivery of the Growler electronic attack aircraft and the supporting KC-30A air-to-air refuelling aircraft will ensure the continued potency of Australia’s air combat system in projecting decisive air power in the defence of Australia and its interests.

In brief, the Government anounced that there would be no change to the extant F-35 timeline, and that the first squadron of F-35s will be in Australia in 2020 and that the three operational squadrons of F-35s would replace the F-18A/B fleet.
 
The Prime Minister reiterated that Australia was committed to the F-35. Minister Smith, in response to questions, stated that they now had greater confidence in the JSF Program after the recent restructure under the leadership of VADM Venlet and LTG Chris Bogdan.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 09:01:12 pm by GTX »

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues

Offline fightingirish

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 1933
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #173 on: May 08, 2013, 02:11:26 am »
The F-35 for Israel will be called:

F-35I Adir

Source: Times of Israel: Jet’s name is just plane 'Awesome'
Slán,
fightingirish

Slán ist an Irish Gaelic word for Goodbye.  :)

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #174 on: May 09, 2013, 02:30:13 am »
F-35 AF-25 delivered to Eglin AFB, has initial release of Block 2A software. More releases of Block 2A software to follow.
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/eglin-afb-receives-its-first-block-2a-f-35-385643/

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #176 on: May 10, 2013, 01:49:09 am »
From The Guardian: Navy carrier jets 'can't land in hot weather'
Quote
The hi-tech jets that will be flown from the Royal Navy's two new aircraft carriers cannot land on the ships in "hot, humid and low pressure weather conditions", a report warns today.The version of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) that has been bought for the £5.5bn carriers is still in development but currently cannot land vertically – as its predecessor the Harrier jump jet could – in warm climates without jettisoning heavy payloads, the National Audit Office says.
Though the Ministry of Defence insists the problem will be overcome by the time the first carrier is ready for service in 2020, it is one of a number of concerns pointed out by the NAO over a project that has been bedevilled by delays and cost increases.
[...]
More at the link.

NAO's report on Carrier reversion decision.
Quote
[...]

19 The Department will have to actively manage technological risks to the cost-efficient delivery of Carrier Strike in adverse weather conditions.

The STOVL variant is unable to land vertically on to a carrier in hot, humid and low pressure weather conditions without having to jettison heavy loads. The Department advised decision-makers of this risk but stated that it is confident that the solution it is developing, called Ship-borne Rolling Vertical Landing, will be ready by 2020 (paragraph 3.10).

[...]

3.10 An important enabler of the UK’s STOVL Carrier Strike capability will be the ability to conduct Ship-borne Rolling Vertical Landings (SRVL). This landing technique will be necessary where a conventional vertical landing is less likely to be possible without jettisoning large weapons or fuel load when in hot, humid or low pressure weather conditions. At present the technology is not proven with redesigns required to the carrier deck and aircraft software. The capability will be required for operations by 2020 and the Department included a provision to complete development as part of the cost of reverting to STOVL. The Department is confident it will develop the technique within the required timescale.

[...]
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 02:00:06 am by Arjen »

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #177 on: May 10, 2013, 12:04:53 pm »
Quote
F-35 Fighter Takes Another Step Forward
(Source: U.S Air Force; issued May 9, 2013)
 
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --- The Air Force took another step forward with its newest fighter jet when an advanced F-35 Lightning II landed at the service's lead training base, home to the largest fleet of F-35s worldwide.

The new stealth fighter kicks off a major training effort at the F-35 schoolhouse on an aircraft with unmatched capabilities.

The F-35 is the military's newest stealth fighter jet. Students from all military branches who are learning to fly the plane go through the schoolhouse at Eglin, including some from international services.

In addition to a few design improvements, the major difference between the new aircraft and others is sensors and software.

For example, pilots for the first time will begin training on a capability that gives them a 360-degree view around the jet.

Sensors that act like highly sophisticated cameras that can detect heat and other information are embedded in the front, sides and back of the F-35.

When in use, the pilot basically can see everything around them near and far, a capability not found in any current military fighter, said F-35 instructor pilot, Major Jay Spohn.

The system was designed to see other aircraft, people on the ground, missile launches, and more, and share that information with other aircraft and command centers on the ground.

Other new capabilities include a weather tracker and an enhancement of a system known as ALIS, or autonomic logistic information system, which transmits aircraft health and maintenance information and makes use of a portable computer planeside for the maintainer.

"This system is a game changer," said Senior Master Sgt. Eric Wheeler, production superintendent, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit. "It combines real-time data collection and trouble shooting in one system, eliminating the need for carting out stacks of binders and paper forms to the jet, as well as having to dual annotate once on paper and again later in the office on a computer."

The latest system software, which has a better user interface and enhanced capability to download, is another step along the track in fixing problems in less time, which can be critical in time of conflict, Wheeler said.

The new F-35A will share the skies over Eglin's training ranges with the Navy VFA-101 flying squadron here, which is slated to get their first two F-35C aircraft later this month along with another United Kingdom F-35B assigned to the Marine Corps VMFAT-501 flying squadron, scheduled to arrive here in about a month.

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #178 on: May 13, 2013, 02:10:33 am »

Offline flateric

  • Deputy Administrator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 8189
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #179 on: May 13, 2013, 02:39:27 am »
quite a rare pic I think
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #180 on: May 13, 2013, 11:17:09 am »
Quote
Joint Strike Fighter
(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued May 10, 2013)

It has been reported that a National Audit Office (NAO) report into the decision to revert to the STOVL (short take-off and vertical landing) version of the Joint Strike Fighter for the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers means that the UK's carrier strike capability will be delayed by two years, until 2022, and that the Lightning II jets will not be able to land vertically in adverse weather.

In fact, by 2020 the UK will have operational carrier strike capability and the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft will be able to land on HMS Queen Elizabeth in various weather conditions.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: "The NAO supports the decision to switch to the short take-off and vertical landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter in the face of escalating costs. Not only did it save £1.2 billion, it also means that by 2018 we will have fifth-generation stealth jets flying off the new Queen Elizabeth Class carrier.

"The decision to act quickly, once more information was available, is evidence of the department's decisive efforts to keep our equipment budget in balance while delivering state-of-the-art capability for our Armed Forces.

"The department does not consider that the phased introduction of 'Crowsnest' undermines the delivery of carrier strike capability. Crowsnest will enter service in 2020, at the same time as HMS Queen Elizabeth, and the helicopter-based radar system will be fully operational by 2022.

"Until then, its maritime surveillance capabilities will be augmented by other platforms and systems, including the state-of-the-art radar on the Type 45 destroyers, working together in a layered defence."

-ends-

Offline Triton

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 9463
  • Donald McKelvy
    • Deep Blue to Wild Blue
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #181 on: May 14, 2013, 11:12:51 am »
"F-35B performs first vertical take-off"
by Dave Majumdar on May 13, 2013 2:23 AM

Source:
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/05/f-35b-performs-first-vertical.html

Quote
Sources say that test pilots at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, performed the first Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) vertical take-off on 10 May.

The US Marine Corps' short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) variant has always had a requirement to perform vertical take-offs right from the outset of the JSF programme. However, the capability is not emphasized because the F-35B would not be able to carry a tactically significant payload in that configuration.  Operationally, the USMC envisions its F-35Bs performing short rolling take-offs carrying a full load of ordnance and fuel and only performing a vertical landing once the aircraft returns to the amphibious assault ship or expeditionary airfield.

The concept of operations is similar to those currently flown by the USMC's Boeing AV-8B Harrier II squadrons.  Though the Harrier is often touted as a vertical take-off and landing machine, it normally flies a similar short take-off and vertical landing profile for the overwhelming majority of its missions.

The original X-35B prototype demonstrated the ability to take-off vertically in 2001.

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #182 on: May 16, 2013, 01:17:39 am »
On Breakingdefense, formerly AOLdefense: The Ford-Class Carrier, The F-35C and 'Spider Web' War At Sea
 
In it, Rear Admiral Bill Moran, Director of Air Warfare on the Navy staff shares his views on new developments. At the end of the interview:
Quote
But let me close by circling back to the future of the air wing for the next 20 years and the value we see in the F-35C.
 
We are buying all production aircraft currently.  We see the coming of the Ford and the coming of the F-35 as highly synergistic for the fleet and its operation as a sea base.  And with the F-35C must come Block 3F capability, which has a fully enabled set to operate the weapons we use at sea, multi-ship integration and a host of other very important capabilities important to how we expect to operate in the future.  We are not going to accelerate the number of production airplanes until we get to Block 3F which will give us the capability that we need to operate off the carrier.
 
Once we marry up F-35C with key capability investments in the Super Hornet, E-2D, [EA-18G] Growlers, and a mix of unmanned capabilities, we will continue to have an air wing that can dominate in any environment.

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #183 on: May 16, 2013, 04:31:54 pm »
F-35: Sequester May Cost Air Force 5 More F-35As; Air Guard, Modernization At Risk
http://breakingdefense.com/2013/05/15/f-35-sequester-may-cost-air-force-5-more-f-35as-air-guard-modernization-at-risk/

Offline sferrin

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 9734
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #184 on: May 16, 2013, 06:07:42 pm »
F-35: Sequester May Cost Air Force 5 More F-35As; Air Guard, Modernization At Risk
http://breakingdefense.com/2013/05/15/f-35-sequester-may-cost-air-force-5-more-f-35as-air-guard-modernization-at-risk/

Gotta love dumb politicians.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #185 on: May 17, 2013, 07:59:45 am »
Aviationweek reports today: F-35 Training Capability Slowly Expanding
Quote
Pilot training on the Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter at Eglin AFB, Fla., is gathering momentum with the qualification of U.S. Air Force instructor pilots to perform aerial refueling with the F-35A.
Lt. Col. Lee Kloos, commander of the 58th Fighter Squadron at the Eglin Integrated Training Center (ITC), on May 14 became the first non-test pilot to conduct an aerial refueling in the F-35.
The milestone allows aerial refueling to become a standard part of the syllabus at Eglin and also enables training missions to be extended. “It will help with the number of pilots we can graduate,” he says.
“This week we will qualify all 12 instructors and then include aerial refueling in the Block 1B syllabus for all new pilots,” Kloos says. “It is taking time, but little by little aircraft’s capabilities are coming on.”
 
In recent months, the ITC has been cleared to conduct training missions using the F-35’s internal electro-optical targeting system and simulated weapons, Kloos says.
Through April 30, 44 pilots had been qualified on the F-35 at Eglin, including two from the U.K., and 1,700 training hours flown, says Mary Ann Horter, Lockheed Martin vice president for F-35 sustainment.
Aircraft are currently loaded with Block 1B software, which provides an initial training capability only. Block 2A, also for training only, is on track for delivery in October, she says.
Some older stuff:
- Flightglobal reports on 9 May 2013: Eglin AFB receives its first Block 2A F-35A
Quote
The US Air Force's 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Florida, received its first Block 2A configuration Lockheed Martin F-35A on 6 May.

- Code One, 7 August 2012: F-35 Flight Test Update 8:
Quote
  2 March 2012: Lockheed Martin test pilot David Nelson flew the first test flight with Block 2A software loaded on F-35A AF-3. Block 2A is enhanced training software that enables initial data link communication and more mature aircraft systems integration. The two-hour flight at Edwards AFB, California, marked AF-3 Flight 96.
To recapitulate:
- first F-35 flight with Block 2A software: 2 March 2012
- first delivery to Eglin AFB of F-35A with Block 2A software: 6 May 2013
- training at Eglin currently uses Block 1B software
- Block 2A software scheduled for delivery on October 2013 (retrofit of Block 2A to aircraft delivered before AF-25?)
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 08:05:07 am by Arjen »

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #186 on: May 17, 2013, 09:00:54 am »
Per the FY2014 USAF budget docs (USN/USMC are similar):

Funds to upgrade all F-35s to Blk 2B were part of the FY2012 and FY2013 budgets.

FY2013/14 funds are focused on Blk2B Concurrency issues.
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline Skyblazer

  • Global Moderator
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ****
  • Posts: 12939
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #187 on: May 17, 2013, 10:24:11 am »
quite a rare pic I think



Thanks for sharing! Wish it was HD... Never realized the X-31 was that small compared to the X-32 and X-35!

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #188 on: May 17, 2013, 12:33:37 pm »
Massive update to the Flight Test at Edwards

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/article.html?item_id=117

Quote
   
F-35 Flight Testing At Edwards
By Eric Hehs Posted 17 May 2013

The first thing members of the F-35 Integrated Test Force see when they walk through the main entrance to the hangar at Edwards AFB, California, is a large flat screen display with a list of flight test priorities. The items on that list can change from one day to the next.

“Stability is crucial to successful test execution, but we can turn on a dime if priorities shift,” noted Lt. Col. George Schwartz, US government director for the F-35 ITF at Edwards. “The helmet mounted display test we are flying tonight is an example. The program asked us two days ago to fly an additional night flight for HMD testing. We are conducting that mission tonight.”

Edwards normally operates a daylight flying schedule, so a short-notice night mission requires a significant adjustment in schedules and resources across Edwards. “The night mission exemplifies the incredible support the F-35 ITF gets from the base,” Schwartz added.

The F-35 ITF at Edwards consists of more than 900 military, contractors, and civilian personnel from a variety of services, countries, and industries. In 2012, the ITF operated six F-35As assigned to Edwards—three for flight sciences testing and three for mission systems testing—as well as one F-35B temporarily deployed to Edwards from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, for air start testing.

By the end of 2013, Edwards F-35 ITF will be operating three additional F-35s—two F-35Bs and one F-35C, for a total of nine F-35s. The test pilot population will expand from nine pilots to twelve pilots as well. The additional aircraft and pilots will be involved primarily with mission system testing.

Expanding The Envelope
Since receiving their first two F-35As (called AF-1 and AF-2) in May 2010, Edwards F-35 ITF personnel have been busy expanding the flight envelope.
   
“We spent the first two years turning the F-35 into a flying machine, but the focus has quietly shifted to weaponizing the aircraft in both flight sciences and mission systems,” Schwartz said. “Flight sciences work began with a small envelope. Today we’re flying at the edge of the envelope—at 100 percent loads—out to 1.6 Mach. Thanks to all the incredible work on envelope expansion done by this team, we are flying at seven g’s with no loads monitoring on our mission systems aircraft, and we have proven the aircraft can operate anywhere throughout the full envelope.”

The majority of the envelope expansion has been accomplished on AF-1, AF-2, and AF-4—the three F-35As devoted to flight sciences testing. F-35A AF-1 is flown in flutter tests. AF-2 is flown for most of the loads testing. And AF-4, recognizable by its spin recovery chute, is flown in high angle of attack test missions. These three aircraft alone accumulated about 600 hours of flying time in about 300 flights in 2012—approximately one-fourth of the total 1,167 System Design and Development missions for the entire fleet, which includes the test aircraft at Pax River.

Mike Glass, F-35 ITF site director at Edwards for Lockheed Martin, doesn’t see that level of activity diminishing for the flight sciences aircraft. “Envelope expansion testing remains significant in 2013,” Glass said. “We’ve completed the clean wing flutter flight sciences testing. Now we are installing pylons on the aircraft and doing the same type of flutter and loads testing we did with the clean wing. We will be conducting these tests for the next couple of years but with different load configurations on the aircraft.”

High angle of attack testing with the F-35 began in late October 2012. This testing involves taking the aircraft to its production angle of attack limit, which is fifty degrees. It also involves taking the aircraft beyond this limit to evaluate its characteristics in recovering from out-of-control conditions.

“High AOA testing produces some of the most challenging environments for the engine because the intake gets bad air,” explained David Nelson, lead F-35 test pilot for Lockheed Martin at Edwards. “The bad air creates a potential for producing a flameout, which is basically an engine shutdown. For that reason, air start testing preceded high AOA testing.”

Air start testing involves shutting down the engine and restarting it in flight. All four test pilots involved in high-AOA flight tests have flown air start missions. “The graduation exercise involved turning off the engine at 45,000 feet and then restarting it,” Nelson said. “Everything worked as planned.”

Besides producing conditions that can cause the engine to flame out, flying at high angles of attack can also lead to out-of-control flight. The spin recovery chute mounted at the apex of a four-legged structure on the back of AF-4 is designed to deal with that possibility. The test pilot can deploy this twenty-eight foot diameter parachute in case the airplane gets into an out-of-control condition from which the pilot cannot recover with the standard flight control inputs. The chute has not been needed to date.

“The airplane does quite well at high AOA,” Nelson added, “and the tests have been proceeding smoothly. We went from twenty degrees angle of attack to fifty degrees in only four days of testing.” Nelson and other pilots have also evaluated flying qualities at minus ten degrees AOA, which is the maximum design limit for negative AOA for the airplane. High AOA testing for 2013 will involve a variety of loadings mounted externally.

Loads Testing
Loads testing involves putting the aircraft in highly dynamic conditions to measure the stresses on the airframe and on other components. The tests verify the structural integrity of the F-35 in all flight regimes. Most of the loads testing has been flown on AF-2. US Air Force test pilot Lt. Col. Brent Reinhardt, who has been at the ITF since June 2012, has flown many of these missions.

“Loads missions can be physically demanding,” he said. “Some test points are hard to hit. I am diving at the ground at sixty degrees, doing Mach-one-point-whatever, and pulling 5.6 g’s while doing a roll—all this maneuvering just so we can hit a loads point at given speed and altitude conditions. Depending on the point, a lot of the runs start at Mach 1.3 and at altitudes nearing 50,000 feet. During the rolls, I increase the g’s so the flight test engineers on the ground can determine if we are overstressing any part of the airplane.”

Jennifer Schleifer is one of the flight test engineers who monitors and measures the loads on the aircraft during these test missions. Assigned to AF-2, she arrived at Edwards with the aircraft in May 2010. “We are flying on the edges of the structural envelope,” she explained, “and we have to make sure the airplane does not cross an edge. We spend a lot of time in the control room making sure that we won’t exceed structural limits.”

“We’re flying at Mach 1.6 and at more than seven g’s,” added Reinhardt. In a lot of the loads tests, pilots perform rolling maneuvers at a particular g. “Once we clear out a portion of the envelope at that g, we move to a higher g and repeat the testing process. We are shooting for a continuous g roll for 360 degrees through a certain block of altitude.”

In these maneuvers, the F-35 is often pushed to a very high roll rate, which is around 200 degrees per second.

“Operational pilots will never execute some of the maneuvers we’re performing in the airplane,” said Reinhardt. “But the maneuvers are part of building a flight envelope. We are verifying that the airframe will be fine structurally if it stays within the limits we are testing here.”
 
When not flying or conducting an actual mission, test pilots and flight test engineers practice the missions in a simulator. “We go to the simulator with a pilot to see if the more challenging loads points are achievable,” added Schleifer. “In the simulator, we can determine what Mach and what altitude the pilot needs to set up a particular run. We easily spend four hours in the simulator for every flight. We often return to the simulator to rehearse the points the morning of the flight. More practice in the simulator translates to greater mission efficiency in the air.”

Mission System Testing
“Flight sciences testing is fun,” Nelson said, “but it has its limits. Once an aircraft is good to nine g’s, it’s good to nine g’s. There’s no updating the flight envelope thereafter. Mission systems, on the other hand, will evolve for the life of the F-35, just as capabilities continue to evolve for the F-22 and F-16.”

Mission system testing deals with how the aircraft detects what is going on around it and how well it conveys that information to the pilot. Mission system tests are used to evaluate the functionality of the various electronic systems and sensors on the aircraft, including communications (datalinks and satellite communications), radar, countermeasures, distributed apertures, and electro-optical targeting.

Mission systems, combined with stealth, define the F-35. They separate fifth generation fighters from previous generation fighters.

“The F-35 was designed as a stealthy sensor platform,” added Reinhardt. “The aircraft can carry two 2,000-pound bombs and two AIM-120s internally. A similarly configured F-16 must carry those bombs and missiles externally, in the wind stream. Plus the F-16 has to add external fuel tanks as well as external targeting and countermeasure pods. These external loads reduce performance. And they increase radar cross section. We have to look at the whole picture when comparing fighters.”

Before mission systems are tested in the F-35s at Edwards, they are checked out on the ground in the mission systems integration laboratory in Fort Worth, Texas, and in the air in the Cooperative Avionics Test Bed (referred to as CATB, or CATbird), which is also based in Fort Worth.

The mission systems fleet at Edwards originally consisted of F-35A AF-3, AF-6, and AF-7. Unlike the flight sciences test aircraft, these three F-35s fly with a full complement of electronic systems and sensors found on operational F-35s. This current fleet will be increased with the three additional F-35s scheduled for delivery in 2013, which will also be used for mission system testing. F-35B BF-17 arrived in March. It was joined by BF-18 in April. CF-8 is expected to arrive later in the year.

“The additional aircraft coming in will help with multi-ship missions,” explained Glass. “As you can imagine, launching four aircraft for a mission at one time with only four aircraft available can be a real challenge even for an operational unit. Having six aircraft should improve our success.”

These multi-ship missions represent the increasing complexity and continuing evolution of mission system testing. Most of the mission system testing performed with the F-35 prior to 2013 involved single aircraft and even single sensors with limited sensor fusion, that is, the process for taking inputs from two or more sensors, combining them, distilling them, and then conveying them in an intuitive form to the pilot.

“At the system level, we are moving from testing individual systems or testing small federated groups of systems to testing fusion, where all of the sensors work together,” explained Capt. Nathan Yerrick, a US Air Force flight test engineer at the Edwards F-35 ITF.

“Eventually we will have all systems on,” Yerrick continued. “In terms of mission profiles, we had single F-35 operations early on. That is, one F-35 would go out with a chase aircraft. Now we are adding another F-35 as wingman, and the two F-35s are flying against multiple, maneuvering targets. In the next year or so, we will have our first four-ship F-35 mission with multiple maneuvering targets.”

Software
Because mission systems are common for the most part across all F-35 variants, the mission system testing done on an F-35A applies to the F-35B and F-35C. Similarly, the software that underlies the evolution is shared.

Capabilities associated with mission systems are being developed in a series of software blocks. Block 1 covers basic functions of the navigation system, the communication systems, and the sensors. With Block 1, the aircraft is limited to subsonic airspeeds, 40,000-foot altitude, 4.5 maximum g force, and eighteen degrees maximum angle of attack. Block 2A covers the Multifunction Advanced Data Link, the current Link-16, the maintenance data link, and a mission debriefing system.

Block 2B, which is the initial warfighting version of the software, adds capabilities associated with air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. It also has the complete set of maintenance functions. With Block 2B, the aircraft can be flown at supersonic speeds (up to Mach 1.2 for B- and C-models); at maximum g force of 5.5 and 7.5 for B- and C-models, respectively; and at maximum angle of attack of fifty degrees. The software also covers various loadings of the AIM-120 air-to-air missile, 2,000-pound JDAM GPS-guided bombs, and 500-pound GBU-12 laser-guided bombs.

Block 3, the full warfighting version of the software, is scheduled to be installed on production F-35s beginning with the ninth production lot, called Low-Rate Initial Production 9, or LRIP 9.

“We will wrap up the last of the mission system testing for Block 2A in summer 2013 and have already started testing 2B in the spring,” explained Eric Schutte, US government mission systems lead engineer at Edwards. “We corrected a lot of issues during our tests with 2A. The electro optical targeting system, for example, is working a lot better now. Link 16 is working well, too. We performed some interoperability tests with Link 16 last December. We will be doing a lot more interoperability testing with Block 2B.

“The software has come a long way,” Schutte added. “This is an incredibly complex airplane. Getting all the systems talking to each other can be a real challenge.”

Weapon Testing
Software updates are also delivering more weapon capability to the F-35. The test aircraft at Edwards began flying with weapons in 2012. The first bomb separation test occurred from F-35A AF-1 on 16 October 2012. The first AMRAAM separation test came three days later. The Edwards F-35 ITF is gearing up for about another twenty weapon drops in a series of weapon delivery accuracy tests for the spring and summer of 2013.

“We’ve done separation tests with the AMRAAM and a GBU-31,” said Bobby Rocha, a weapons integration engineer at the F-35 ITF. “These are the first steps toward actual weapon launch.”

Early weapon tests fall into the flight sciences regime. The initial separation tests are used to verify that the weapon separation characteristics conform to predictions. These initial tests are done on flight sciences aircraft—mostly on AF-1.

“We have a defined envelope for weapon releases,” Rocha noted. “We start with benign releases at higher altitudes, at one g, and at Mach 0.8. Then we come down in altitude and release at increased pressures. After that, we do releases at g forces above and below one g. Some of these test profiles are to establish an envelope so they are conducted at the edge of the operational envelope.”

As the envelope is established, the tests transition to the mission systems aircraft. “The weapon delivery accuracy tests are flown on the mission systems aircraft,” Rocha continued. “The delivery tests will be fairly simple at first. They will determine that the aircraft can hit a target with the weapon. That involves making sure the weapon receives the updates it needs from the aircraft, guides properly, and hits its target. The releases from mission systems aircraft will become more operationally representative and more complex as the testing proceeds.”

Maintenance Evaluations
Besides flight testing, the F-35s operating from Edwards are also being tasked to verify technical data used to maintain the aircraft and to evaluate and test the overall system for maintaining the F-35.

“For technical data, we have a list by US Air Force specialty codes for maintenance actions we want to evaluate,” explained Mary Parker, deputy for logistics at the F-35 ITF. “Whenever we have a maintenance task on the airplane that can be used to verify the technical data, representatives from the US government and Lockheed Martin are right behind the maintenance technicians asking if the techs have the information and the right tools they need. We are making sure that the maintenance task instructions can be performed in the field.”

The Edwards ITF has recently completed evaluations for servicing and towing the aircraft in chemical protection gear as well as for maintaining the engine. The chemical protection gear consists of overgarments, boots, and gas masks. “We are also evaluating weapons loading, which covers loading AMRAAMs and JDAMS into the internal weapon bays while wearing chem gear,” Parker continued. “In an upcoming phase, we will evaluate maintenance items related to low observable restoration. The maintenance personnel will be wearing chem. gear in these evaluations as well.”

Maintenance at the ITF is performed by personnel from Lockheed Martin as well as by civilians and military personnel working for the US Government. Four technicians come from international air forces—two from the Netherlands, one from Norway, and one from Canada.

“In many ways, the F-35 is easier to maintain than the F-16,” said Capt. Terje Vik, a maintenance lead from the Royal Norwegian Air Force. Vik has been at the F-35 ITF since the aircraft first arrived May 2010. “The F-35 has fewer LRUs [line replaceable units] and is more software driven. Normal scheduled maintenance is reduced. And the computer interface replaces a lot of test equipment. The aircraft also has more built-in test capability. Overall, fewer people are required to maintain the F-35.”

Delivering Capability
While the priorities on those flat screen panels positioned at the main entrance may change from day to day, the overarching goal for the F-35 ITF at Edwards remains constant: To deliver a highly capable fighter that is safe and meets all of its requirements.

“The testing we are doing now is focused on delivering capability,” concluded Schwartz. “Ultimately, we are delivering that capability to future generations of fighter pilots who will be operating the F-35.”

Eric Hehs is the editor of Code One.

WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline fightingirish

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 1933
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #189 on: May 20, 2013, 11:39:23 am »
LockheedMartinVideos - First F-35B Vertical Takeoff Test  B)
Quote
An F-35B test aircraft completes the first-ever vertical takeoff (VTO) at NAS Patuxent River, Md., on May 10, 2013. While not a capability used in combat, VTOs are required for repositioning of the STOVL in environments where a jet could not perform a short takeoff. In these cases, the jet, with a limited amount of fuel, would execute a VTO to travel a short distance.

Code: [Select]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW28Mb1YvwY

Probably we will see more of these VTOs at airshows than in real service.
Slán,
fightingirish

Slán ist an Irish Gaelic word for Goodbye.  :)

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #190 on: May 20, 2013, 09:39:00 pm »


USAF plans to go IOC in 2016 with Block 3I!!!


http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-lockheed-fighterbre94j0v0-20130520,0,6064960.story




Quote
Andrea Shalal-Esa
Reuters
8:33 p.m. CDT, May 20, 2013




WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force plans to start operational use of Lockheed Martin Corp.-built F-35 fighter jets in mid-2016, a year earlier than planned, using a similar software package as the Marine Corps {Block 3I} , two sources familiar with the plans said on Monday.


The Air Force's decision to accelerate its introduction with a slightly less capable version of the F-35 software package means the planes will carry fewer weapons at first, although the software will later be upgraded to the final version, said the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly.


We shall see.  Official plans due by June 1st.


Here is a good breakdown of the blocks.








The above if from this Government Website:



https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/kst-26488-320.html
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 01:15:08 am by SpudmanWP »
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline topspeed3

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 215
    • Exrtemely economical aeroplane page
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #191 on: May 20, 2013, 11:07:59 pm »
quite a rare pic I think



Thanks for sharing! Wish it was HD... Never realized the X-31 was that small compared to the X-32 and X-35!

Wasn't X-31 unarmed ?
http://max3fan.blogspot.com/

http://mesoslaunch.blogspot.fi/

Simplicate and Add Lightness
- Ed Heinemann

Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know !
- M. King Hubbert

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #194 on: May 24, 2013, 11:18:43 am »
Quote
F-35 ITF Works Toward Night, Weather Certification
(Source: U.S Air Force; issued May 23, 2013)
 
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --- The F-35 Integrated Test Force is wrapping up a series of night flights, which are testing the aircraft's capability when flying in instrument meteorological conditions.

It is a necessary step in delivering a core competency to the warfighter - the ability to fly the jet safely when there are no external visibility references for the pilot.

"This will increase the combat capability eventually. But, in the interim, it will increase the training capacity. The capability to fly at night and in the weather is one of the core competencies that must be delivered to the warfighter," said Lt. Col. Peter Vitt, F-35 ITF director of operations. "This is about safety, specification, compliance and predicting operational utility; it's our job to find out how well the system works, how well our pilots interact with the displays and how the navigational system works."

The ITF, which has the lead on all F-35 mission systems testing, is responsible for five night flights, with Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., conducting the sixth.

"The original intent was to spread the night flights around, three would be conducted here and three at Pax River with B and C variants," said Vitt. "But, as we moved into the execution phase, it made sense for us to do five here because of the variety in our pilots' backgrounds. Additionally, the airplanes fly essentially the same in an instrument environment and the mission system set is identical, so we leveraged that to make things more efficient."

For safety purposes and to ensure decision-quality data is collected, the ITF used a build-up approach to conduct the night flights. Pilots began with flying in visual meteorological conditions, familiarizing themselves with the F-35's leading-edge instrumentation.

Simulator flights, which occurred in February, also helped pilots prepare for the missions.

"This process has been in the works for many months; there is a build-up approach. We have been flying under good conditions during the day, using all the same displays. We also had to go through a series of simulator tests down in Ft. Worth, Texas where they can create those nighttime and weather conditions. Once we cleared that, we came back to fly at night," said Maj. Eric Schultz, F-35 test pilot.

"We're just finishing up those flights. The simulator is never going to be a perfect match so we had to fly it to see if the F-35 provides the displays, communications and other systems you need to safely fly at night or in weather when you're lacking the view of the outside world," he added.

When the ITF completes the night flights, a variety of capabilities will have been tested including ground operations and the pilot's ability to maneuver the aircraft without becoming disoriented. The test team will also evaluate the navigation systems, data from the instrument landing system, how well the radios work.

Just as important is the pilot's assessment, evaluating whether or not they are getting the necessary information and can adequately use it to make informed decisions.

From ground operations to landing and taxiing the aircraft, each mission is packed with test points, so the test team gets the most out of each flight.

"Ground operations, takeoff, how you get to the location you want to be at with no external references. Once you're where you need to be, the jet performs a series of different maneuvers to make sure the pilot can climb, turn and descend with relative precision without getting disoriented and not running into any problems," said Schultz. "Then it's time to go home, you complete an instrument approach process, descent, landing and then taxi the aircraft. We have test points for all of that."

Conducting instrument meteorological conditions testing proved to be somewhat of a challenge and required some ingenuity to make sure pilots had no external visual references, while avoiding weather conditions the aircraft is not yet cleared to fly in.

"There are certain weather conditions we haven't tested yet, so we can't fly there yet. We had to find a way to fly instrument conditions without flying in certain kinds of weather. The creative solutions the team came up with were to fly over the water and remote areas over land where there isn't cultural lighting to provide a horizon for the pilot," said Vitt.

"This is just another example of what happens here all the time, the ITF finds a way to accomplish the testing and get the data we need to overcome the various hurdles we see every day. It's just fantastic."

While still in the early development phase, the ITF has used the night flights as an opportunity to identify areas of improvement for the mission systems to better serve the warfighter. As the ITF successfully wraps up the night flights, the team's input will ultimately result in a safer, more capable weapon system.

This is not the first series of night flights for the F-35 ITF. In December 2011, a flight test only clearance was granted, so the test team could get an early look at the aircraft's refueling lights and assess night air refueling capabilities. Nighttime aerial refueling took place for the first time in early 2012, demonstrating the F-35's ability to safely and adequately perform the task.

-ends-

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #195 on: May 26, 2013, 07:53:43 am »
Eric Palmer has dug up the latest F-35 Selected Acquisition Report.
SAR attached.
Quote
Executive Summary

The total F-35 program Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) estimate decreased byapproximately $280 million (Base Year 2012). However, this SAR contains an RDT&E cost breach in the F-35 Engine subprogram. This breach is not the result of cost growth to the F-35 Engine subprogram. This administrative breach was driven by the correction of an error made in the allocation of program funding to the two subprograms. During the March 26, 2012 Acquisition Program Baseline (APB) build, the program office incorrectly allocated an additional 3.3 percent of the total RDT&E funding estimate to the F-35 Aircraft subprogram that should have been allocated to the F-35 Engine subprogram. This funding consisted of Other Government Costs, International contributions to engine development, and closeout costs for engine contracts. While this SAR corrects the allocation error for the RDT&E Current Estimate for both subprograms, it does not address the error in the March 26, 2012 APB. Therefore, the Department plans to revise the APB to correct the allocation error.
Additionally, the Department is reviewing the possibility of breaking out a third subprogram (F136 Engine) that would be added to the APB in order to accurately report the cost of the F135 Engine subprogram. The Department will provide the required congressional notification prior to taking this course of action. The next SAR submission will be based on the revised APB.

The F-35 remains the DoD's largest cooperative acquisition program, with eight International Partners (IPs) participating with the United States (U.S.) under Memorandums of Understanding for System Development and Demonstration (SDD) and Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Development. Additionally, the program has two Foreign Military Sales customers. The F-35 program has completed over eleven years of SDD and is currently executing Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP).

The F-35 program continues to make slow, but steady progress and is moving forward in a disciplined manner. There were many successes as well as challenges in 2012. Successes include conducting the first in-flight weapons releases from both the Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL) and Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variants; stand up of the first operational STOVL squadron at Yuma Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS); executing edge of the flight envelope testing to the aircraft's maximum speed and altitude; and completing a U.S. Air Force operational evaluation clearing the way for the commencement of pilot and maintenance training at Eglin Air Force
Base (AFB).

In addition, challenges remain. During Calendar Year (CY) 2012, software block development, Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), and the Generation II (Gen II) Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) remained the major focus of program execution. All three are key capabilities that directly impact the F-35 program's ability to reach Initial Operational Capability (IOC). Therefore, these areas will remain the focus in the coming year and through the completion of SDD.

Software risk remains the top development issue for the program. Over the past year, the F-35 program has implemented a major shift in the oversight and management of software development. This effort has resulted in increased cooperation and understanding between the program office and Lockheed Martin (LM). Additionally, the program instituted a Software Block Review Board that provides a forum for joint management of the Software Capability Block Plan (the integrated roadmap that defines the incorporation of capabilities). Although the positive results of these new efforts have built additional confidence in the Block 2B fleet release (required for IOC), the release of Block 3 to the fleet remains a higher risk for delivery in 2017.

The Gen II HMDS is a major technological advance and design challenge. HMDS issues faced by the program over the past year were:
 (1) “green glow” or insufficient helmet display contrast,
 (2) latency of the displayed information,
 (3) “jitter” or lack of stability of the displayed symbology,
 (4) night vision acuity and
 (5) alignment of displayed symbology.

In CY 2012, significant work, including dedicated HMDS flight testing, was undertaken to address each issue and to better understand what constitutes acceptable HMDS performance. As a result of testing, the program has mitigated the effects of four of the five HDMS issues. Additional work still needs to be accomplished to ensure that the program has a night vision camera that is effective for operations. As risk reduction, the program continues to fund development of a night vision goggle-based alternative helmet solution. The goggle-based helmet development will continue until the HMDS demonstrates improvement in all of the risk areas.

ALIS provides the warfighter key information to support operations and maintenance. The program experienced a security issue with ALIS Version 1.0.3 (which is needed to operate and sustain aircraft in LRIP Lots 4 and beyond) in CY 2012. This issue was resolved in November 2012 and ALIS 1.0.3 is now fielded at Yuma MCAS), Edwards AFB, Nellis AFB, Ogden AFB, and Eglin AFB. There are some interim operational procedures necessary to mitigate security and data issues. Corrections for these interim procedures will be fielded in future ALIS releases.

During this SAR period, there were two issues that led to the grounding of the F-35 fleet. In both cases, after a system safety risk assessment was conducted and the issues were identified and understood, the fleet was cleared to resume flight operations.

The first issue was a failed propulsion fueldraulic line on the F-35B STOVL variant. The fueldraulic line enables actuator movement for the STOVL vectoring exhaust system. Evidence revealed a quality discrepency and the investigation found that the line was improperly crimped at the manufacturer. Corrective actions to improve the quality control processes to ensure part integrity have been instituted and all fleet test engines have been inspected.

The second issue was an engine blade crack in a test CTOL aircraft at Edwards AFB. The crack was found on a 3rd stage turbine blade during a routine inspection. The engine in question is part of the F-35 test aircraft fleet and had been operated for extended time in the high-temperature environment in its mission to expand the F-35 flight envelope. Prolonged exposure to high levels of heat and other operational stressors on this specific engine were determined to be the cause of the crack. No additonal cracks were found during inspections of the remaining F135 engine inventory. Investigation into the casting anomaly along with development of an inspection method continues and should be complete in mid-summer. The engine prognostic and health management system continuously measures life of turbine blades to keep the fleet safe and will determine if or when parts will need to be replaced based on condition many years from now. Current production continues by inspecting during the manufacturing process.

The SDD flight test program has accumulated over 4,333 total flight test hours through February 28, 2013. In CY 2012, the flight test program exceeded test points and flight targets for both F-35B and F-35C testing. The SDD flight test program also conducted the first in-flight weapons releases from the F-35A and F-35B. Additionally, the program began high angle of the attack testing which has been successful to-date.

Following the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers strike at LM from April 23 to June 28, 2012, LM re-balanced the production line and adjusted scheduled deliveries to execute an achievable post-strike plan. Total assembly operations continue to progress according to the revised plan, improving from eight days behind the post-strike plan to only two days behind.

In CY 2012, the program delivered 30 total aircraft, 29 LRIP and the last SDD aircraft. All LRIP Lot 3 aircraft have completed acceptance flight test, and only one, AN-1, remains to be DD 250’d, pending funding from the Netherlands. Seven of 32 LRIP Lot 4 aircraft have been DD 250’d, with another twelve in flight and ground operations at LM, Fort Worth, Texas. The LRIP Lot 5 production contract for 32 aircraft was definitized in December 2012 showing a four percent decrease in unit cost from LRIP Lot 4. Nine LRIP Lot 5 aircraft have started the assembly process. 38 production aircraft have been delivered to the U.S. and IPs to-date.

The F135 propulsion contractor, Pratt and Whitney, delivered 24 CTOL and 24 STOVL propulsion systems in CY 2012. 87 engines and 35 lift fans (includes spares) have been delivered for the program to-date.

The Air Force Education and Training Command (AETC) conducted an Operational Utility Evaluation (OUE) in CY 2012. The OUE assessed the ability of the 33rd Fighter Wing to conduct pilot training. AETC determined the wing was ready for training and F-35 pilot training commenced in January 2013. Over the course of 2013, the training wing at Eglin AFB will prepare pilots for operational test, operational implementation and the stand-up of future training sites at Luke AFB and MCAS Beaufort in 2014.

The Integrated Training Center at Eglin AFB, Florida now has ten classes in session. These classes include the first Air Force certification courses on logistical support. Currently, there are students (both pilots and maint[en]aince personnel) from the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and United Kingdom. Continued success of these training activities is very important as aircraft logistical support is a critical factor in the Services decision to declare IOC dates.

From a business perspective, the Government and LM reached agreement on LRIP Lot 5 in late November 2012 with full contract definitization on December 14, 2012. This effort also includes manufacturing-support equipment, flight test instrumentation, ancillary mission equipment and Diminishing Manufacturing Sources Redesign. The program is now moving forward with a streamlined, combined LRIP Lot 6 and LRIP Lot 7 negotiation. An LRIP Lot 6 Undefinitized Contact Action was awarded on December 28, 2012 and will be modified at a later date to procure three aircraft on behalf of the Italian Government and two aircraft on behalf of the Australian Government. Definitization of both LRIP Lot 6 and LRIP Lot 7 is anticipated by June 2013.

In March 2012, in conjunction with the MS B decision, certification was made pursuant to section 2366b of title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.). However, the Defense Acquisition Executive waived provision (3)(c) of 2366b. This provision certifies that the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) has completed its duties pursuant to section 181(b) of title 10, U.S.C., including an analysis of the operational requirements for the program. The JROC accomplished the bulk of its duties under section 181(b). However, because the IOC dates remained "to be determined" by the Services, paragraph (5) of section 181 (b) cannot be satisfied. The Services plan to publish their respective IOC dates in June 2013. At that time, this waiver will no longer be necessary.

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #196 on: May 27, 2013, 01:20:01 am »
Defensetech: Congress orders F-35 Software Plan
Quote

The House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee asked the Pentagon to submit a report by March 3, 2014 as part of the committee’s markup of the 2014 defense budget. The F-35 software program has served as one of the largest challenges for program engineers to keep on schedule.
More at the link.

Offline 2IDSGT

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 371
  • Ah tale yew wut!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #197 on: May 27, 2013, 01:41:12 am »
Amid Big F-35 Deal, P&W Sees Challenges
http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130526/DEFREG02/305260005/Amid-Big-F-35-Deal-P-W-Sees-Challenges
Quote
WASHINGTON — Pratt & Whitney has signed a $1 billion contract for the fifth batch of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter engines and expects to sign a sixth contract shortly, according to the company’s head of military engines.

The low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract with the US military includes 35 jet engines — 32 for installation and three spares — as well as sustainment, support and spare parts. The engines will power 22 of the F-35As for the US Air Force, three of the jump-jet F-35Bs for the Marine Corps and seven F-35C carrier variants for the Navy. Through the first four LRIPs, Pratt has delivered 98 engines to the F-35 program.

“We were able to close the LRIP-5 contract for about a 6 percent price reduction relative to LRIP-4, so we continue to get good cost reductions,” Bennett Croswell, president of Pratt’s military engines division, told Defense News last week.

As part of the contract, Pratt has taken on 100 percent risk on cost overruns, a move Croswell described as proof “we have confidence in our ability to hit the cost targets.” He also said that taking on risk may facilitate the signing of LRIP-6, which he hoped would be done “soon.”

During the interview, Croswell highlighted Pratt’s “War on Costs,” a 2009 plan to bring the price of the high-tech F-135 engine down to that of the older F-119 design, despite significant upgrades to thrust and weight...
More at the jump.

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #198 on: May 27, 2013, 02:29:03 am »
From the Defensetech piece about Congress ordering a software plan. Too big to attach.

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #199 on: May 27, 2013, 09:01:28 am »
Page 11 of Selected Acquisition Report:

Milestones                              SAR Baseline Dev Est
                                        |        Current APB Development
                                        |        Objective/
                                        |        |        Threshold
                                        |        |        |        Current
                                        |        |        |        Estimate
 
Block 2B Fleet Release                  MAR 2015 MAR 2015 SEP 2015 JUN 2015
Block 3F Fleet Release                  AUG 2017 AUG 2017 FEB 2018 AUG 2017
Completed IOT&E                         FEB 2019 FEB 2019 AUG 2019 FEB 2019
Full Rate Production Decision           APR 2019 APR 2019 OCT 2019 APR 2019
DAB Milestone C                         APR 2019 APR 2019 OCT 2019 APR 2019

Page 67:
Quote
The Current Total LRIP Quantity is more than 10% of the total production quantity due to the necessity to prevent a break in production and to ramp up to full rate production. The Defense Acquisition Executive approved the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) quantity of 465 (in six LRIP lots) in the original Milestone B ADM dated October 26, 2001. The LRIP quantity has been revised to 365 (in eleven LRIP lots) based on the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act and the FY 2013 President's Budget.
Page 71:
Quote
The Services are currently reviewing their Initial Operational Capabilities (IOC) based on the restructured F-35 Program. The IOCs are determined by the Services based on both the program's performance and how the Services define IOC. Each Service has a somewhat different definition, depending on what capabilities they intend to have at IOC, their operational test (OT) and training requirements, and the number of aircraft they require for IOC.
The Services have requested, with the support of the Department, waiting to establish an IOC date. The Services require more definition in the program schedule regarding IOC requirements, to include OT dates, before targeting a timeline. The program anticipates the Services will identify their IOC dates in 2013.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 03:07:38 am by Arjen »

Offline AdamF

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 103
  • One needs a personality to have a personal text!
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #200 on: May 27, 2013, 11:56:15 am »
AlJazeera video on US military expenditure.  F-35 is mentioned a number of times from 5:00 mark onward, but there does not appear to be any new information.

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #202 on: May 29, 2013, 11:09:36 am »
Quote
F-35B Celebrates 1 Year At Eglin
(Source: U.S Air Force; issued May 28, 2013)
 
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --- The Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron-501 celebrated the one-year anniversary of flying the F-35B Lightning II here Wednesday, May 22, by continuing to train up the pilots and maintainers on the nation's newest fifth-generation fighter.

"This is a once in a lifetime chance to get to write the first chapter in a story that will last 50 years and beyond," said Lt. Col. David Berke, the commander of VMFAT-501 located at the 33rd Fighter Wing's F-35 Integrated Training Center.

The low-observable fighter is designed to meet the needs of the services for the next half a century, making use of integrated sensors, the active electronically scanned array radar, and the distributed aperture system. Combined they provide the pilot with increased situational awareness and survivability.

Being able to fly such a technologically advanced fighter brings great responsibility for cultivating tomorrow's defenders of freedom.

"We owe it to our country to get it right," said Berke. Under his charge, the unit is laying the foundation for pilot and maintenance training at Eglin and providing the fleet with highly-trained people as it moves forward toward providing the Marine Corps with an initial operating capability.

Since May 22 last year, the unit has flown 833 local training sorties and logged more than 1,100 flight hours executing about 40 to 50 sorties a week. "This is a bounding leap from the three or so sorties flown a week last year at this time," said Berke.

Other accomplishments include verifying joint technical data for weapons loading thus paving the way for instructions for all three services and the partner nations; authoring well over one-thousand maintenance procedures; and collaborating with industry and other F-35 sites to mature the jet, he said.

A senior leader with the F-35 program since flying the X-35 prototype aircraft in the early years and who is now the 33rd Fighter Wing's vice commander as well as an F-35B instructor pilot agreed.

"If you look at what they have accomplished in air-to-air refueling training, ground hot refueling, multi-aircraft missions, first fleet pilots trained.... you don't just see one-time events," said Marine Corps Col. Arthur Tomassetti. "What you see is a pattern of not just demonstrating new capability but turning it into repeatable and routine operations."

By being able to refuel with a truck planeside while the jet is running has allowed the unit to "increase its ability to turn sorties by 40 percent," he said. The hot refueling allowed eight F-35s to fly 16 sorties in three hours recently.

In addition to the unit accomplishments made locally, VMFAT-501 has been the catalyst to accomplishments at Marine Fighter Attack Squadron-121 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.

VMFA-121 is the first operational fleet squadron anywhere in the world for the F-35 and comprised of flyers and maintainers trained at Eglin, according to Berke. Just last week a pilot trained here made his first vertical landing at Yuma. This feature allows the pilot to hover the fighter and set it down much like a helicopter.

"The ability to land in austere conditions is a key difference with the B variant of the F-35," said Berke. The Marines are planning to train the same way at Eglin in the fall.

For the upcoming year of flying, the Eglin unit also looks forward to receiving more jets to include its first Block 2A aircraft which means a software upgrade and increased capability, he said.

"We'll grow to 18 jets by this time next year," said Marine Corps Capt. Mario Valle, a maintenance officer at the training squadron. "And in the next couple weeks we are ready to welcome a third United Kingdom pilot and UK jet."

The Marines set another first this past year by hosting the first international pilots and maintainers imbedded at an F-35 training squadron. There are 14 maintainers and two pilots from the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy working seamlessly with the unit, said Valle.

As Valle reflected upon the past year he cited the team efforts by Lockheed Martin, Pratt and Whitney, Rolls Royce, the Marine Corps, Navy, the Air Force and operational test as key to past performance and the outlook for the future achievements.

"Our success has been based on relationships."

-ends-

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #203 on: May 30, 2013, 02:15:03 am »
From Aviation Week: U.S. Navy Details Amphibious Ship Mods Required For F-35
Quote
[...]
Navy officials say the modifications “are intended to offset the increased stresses associated with JSF exhaust. The exhaust patterns and flight characteristics of the F-35 required the shielding, relocation and removal of vulnerable systems that could sustain damage during flight operations, such as antennas, life rafts, life rails, safety nets and JP-5 fuel stations.”
[...]
The changes confirm that Lockheed Martin and the Marine Corps issued erroneous statements in early 2010 regarding the environmental effects of the F-35B’s exhaust. At that time, a company spokesman said that “extensive tests” had shown that “the difference between F-35B main-engine exhaust temperature and that of the AV-8B is very small, and is not anticipated to require any significant CONOPS changes for F-35B.”
The Navy has not disclosed how long it will take to implement the modifications across the LHD/LHA fleet. The F-35 program schedule calls for the first Marine F-35B unit, VMFA-121, to be ready for a “contingency deployment” by late 2015. However, there is no firm date for a second squadron.
 
The mission for VFA-121 and other early F-35B units is uncertain. Out of the weapons cleared in the Block2B/3I software standard, only the laser-guided bomb is considered useful for close air support (CAS), which is the primary mission of embarked AV-8Bs, and none of the 2B weapons are suitable for use against quickly moving targets or for a situation in which the risk of collateral damage is high. (The centerline gun pod is not included in 2B/3I.)
The F-35B lacks the Rover (remote video receiver) technology, developed since the requirement for the aircraft was written. Rover has been defined as minimum essential equipment for CAS in some theaters; according to some military sources, the Marines have explored the idea of adding a Rover-equipped external targeting pod to the F-35B until an internal solution is available.
At the same time, the Navy has slowed its planned F-35B/C production rate by 20%, according to the latest Pentagon Selected Acquisition Report, resulting in a longer planned lifetime for the AV-8B. According to a Boeing briefing last week, “a majority” of the 134-strong Marine Corps Harrier force will be in service in 2027, and the type will not be retired before 2030. Radar and other upgrades are being studied to keep the aircraft combat-worthy and avoid obsolescence.
 
More at the link.

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #204 on: May 30, 2013, 03:17:07 am »
From Flight Global, 29 May 2013: USAF estimates F-35 will cost $32,000 per hour to operate
Quote
The US Air Force estimates that the Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighter will cost about $32,000 per flying hour to operate, the service's top uniformed official says.
 
"I think we've normalised to a couple of numbers now, about $25,000 per flying hour for the [Lockheed] F-16 C/D model and about $32,000 roughly for the F-35," says USAF chief of staff Gen Mark Welsh. "That number may continue to adjust itself slightly as we decide what factors are in or not, but that gives us an idea now."
 
The cost numbers have come down from original estimates, Welsh says, and as the USAF gains more experience in operating the F-35 it will glean a better understanding of the type's long-term operating costs.
 
Welsh cautions, however, that the aircraft is not yet flying operationally-representative sorties. "We're not flying in a fully operational mode yet, it's still in test," he says. "We're just starting our training programmes, so that data has to mature. Just like every airplane programme that has a projected cost for support and sustainment, we don't really know until we support and sustain it for a while."
There remains some maintenance equipment that needs to complete development, such the F-35's autonomic logistics information system.
"Some of the equipment that will help with that process is still being developed, and once we get more fidelity on that over the next couple of years I think we'll have a much better feel for what the airplane's going to cost," Welsh says.

Compare, from Defensenews, 18 April 2013: F-35 Head: Flying Hours 10 Percent Higher than F-16
Quote
WASHINGTON — Flying hours for the conventional-take-off-and-landing F-35A model will likely cost 10 percent more than that of an F-16, according to a government estimate.
 
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the head of the F-35 joint program office, revealed the figures during testimony in front of the Royal Dutch Parliament defense subcommittee April 18.
"In his statement, Bogdan indicated that the cost per flying hour of an F-35A (variant employed by the U.S. Air Force and Royal Netherlands Air Force) is estimated to be $24,000 per hour; roughly 10 percent higher than F-16 cost per flying hour,” a joint program office spokeswoman wrote in a statement. “This data was derived in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Defense Cost Assessment & Program Evaluation Office (CAPE).”
[...]

Offline topspeed3

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 215
    • Exrtemely economical aeroplane page
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #205 on: May 30, 2013, 03:59:12 am »
It is relative to fuel burn too....191 kN of the F-35 ( non ab with SFC of 0.889 )...compared to 106-129 kN of the F-16.
 
http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-16_Fighting_Falcon
http://max3fan.blogspot.com/

http://mesoslaunch.blogspot.fi/

Simplicate and Add Lightness
- Ed Heinemann

Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know !
- M. King Hubbert

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #206 on: May 31, 2013, 09:07:39 am »
From Aviation Week: USAF Accepts Limited Capability With 2016 F-35 IOC
Quote

The U.S. Air Force, by far the largest presumed user of the F-35 fighter, has agreed to declare initial operational capability with a much more limited software and weapons capability that initially planned, according to a report sent to Congress May 31.
The Air Force now plans to declare initial operational capability (IOC) with 12 F-35As (and trained pilots and maintainers) in December 2016, before the long-awaited 3F software package is fully tested. The service previously planned to wait for the 3F package because it allows for an expanded engagement envelope and more diverse weapons.
[...]
Meanwhile, the U.S. Marine Corps is planning to declare IOC with 10 F-35Bs, designed for short takeoff and vertical landing (Stovl), as well as trained pilots, maintainers and support equipment, in December 2015. This is a slight shift of the most recent plan to attempt an IOC in summer 2015. The Marines will be the first customer to declare IOC with the aircraft, and they were aggressive in their approach because their aging AV-8Bs are difficult and expensive to maintain.
[...]
The Navy, which has pursued a risk mitigation strategy of buying Boeing F/A-18 E/Fs and EA-18Gs while waiting for the F-35, is taking a more conservative approach toward welcoming the aircraft carrier-capable F-35C into service. The Navy plans to declare IOC in February 2019. The Navy leadership emphasizes in its statement about the IOC plans that it will need the F-35C to “find, fix and assess threats, and, if necessary, track, target and engage them with lethal results in all contested environments.” These capabilities will require, at the least, 3F software as well as training to a larger mission set for an IOC declaration.
[...]
More at the link.

Online seruriermarshal

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 784
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #207 on: June 05, 2013, 05:27:20 pm »
More F-35's arrive at Eglin Air Force Base

Updated: Wednesday, June 5 2013, 04:45 PM CDT
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE   --  Two more F-35 A joint strike fighters landed at Eglin Air Force Base today.

With the new additions, the base now has 25 of the new jets.

Eglin is a primary training center for pilots and maintenance crews from U.S. and foreign military branches.

http://www.weartv.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/more-f35s-arrive-at-eglin-air-force-base-32536.shtml

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #208 on: June 06, 2013, 04:26:55 pm »
http://defensetech.org/2013/06/06/air-force-jsf-will-redefine-age-old-doctrine-for-fighters/#more-20525
 
Interesting quote;
 
“An F-35 is the equivalent of an F-16 with three fuel tanks,  sniper pod, two 2,000-pound JDAMS {Joint Direct Attack Munitions}, two AMRAAMs { Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile} and two AIM 9Xs…. in a stealth configuration,” Davis explained.  “That is not a configuration an F-16 can fly.”
------------------------------------------------------------
Game changing.
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Online seruriermarshal

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 784
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #209 on: June 06, 2013, 05:39:09 pm »
F-35A completes 1st in-flight missile launch 06 Jun 2013

"6/6/2013 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- An F-35A conventional takeoff and landing aircraft completed the first in-flight missile launch of an AIM-120 over the Point Mugu Sea Test Range, June 5.

It was the first launch where the F-35 and AIM-120 demonstrated a successful launch-to-eject communications sequence and fired the rocket motor after launch -- paving the way for targeted launches in support of the Block 2B fleet release capability later this year"

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123351580

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #210 on: June 07, 2013, 01:34:02 pm »

Online seruriermarshal

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 784
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #211 on: June 07, 2013, 04:56:21 pm »
The Kongsberg JSM has completed internal weapons fit checks on the F-35.



Online seruriermarshal

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 784
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #212 on: June 07, 2013, 06:22:35 pm »
Ok, more F-35 launch AIM-120 pics  ;D


Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #213 on: June 08, 2013, 06:08:20 am »
Winslow Wheeler argues F-35 procurement costs per aircraft have in fact gone up over the past three years:


His figures are based on Defense Comptroller data. I have extracted the relevant data from the 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 budget requests. The Comptroller's data are at odds with the latest SAR's view that costs are finally coming down.
From http://comptroller.defense.gov:
FISCAL YEAR 2010 BUDGET REQUEST
FISCAL YEAR 2012 BUDGET REQUEST
FISCAL YEAR 2013 BUDGET REQUEST
FISCAL YEAR 2014 BUDGET REQUEST
« Last Edit: June 09, 2013, 12:25:27 pm by Arjen »

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #214 on: June 10, 2013, 10:40:26 am »
Video of the launch


WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Online seruriermarshal

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 784
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #215 on: June 11, 2013, 06:44:26 am »
F-35C Heavy Weight Ground Tow Test 4 x 2,000 lb GBU-31s

"F-35C CF-3 was used for a heavyweight ground tow test at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division test facility at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, on 6 June 2013. The aircraft was fitted with four 2,000-pound GBU-31 guided bombs on the aircraft’s external pylons. US Navy Lt. Cmdr. Tony Wilson was in the cockpit during the test."



Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #216 on: June 11, 2013, 10:56:43 am »
Defensenews reports: Japan might delay F-35 purchases.
Quote
TOKYO — Former Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto, the architect of Japan’s decision to purchase F-35 joint strike fighters to boost Japan’s deterrence against China, now believes cost pressures caused by the recent plummeting value of the yen could delay the rate of annual purchases for the country’s planned buy of 42 fighters.
In an interview with Defense News, Morimoto, who served as Japan’s defense minister until December and is one of Japan’s leading defense experts and strategists, said he now believes the Defense Ministry may be forced to delay annual purchases of F-35s, should the yen continue to hover around 100 to the US dollar.
“Because this was a decision by the government of Japan to introduce the F-35A, no matter what the price becomes, we cannot change our principle or our policy. We had to introduce the F-35 to replace the F-4. But the problem is … the price is increasing. The question then is how to manage it. I think the MoD has to reshape [the] number of purchases each year.
More at the link.

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #217 on: June 12, 2013, 11:45:46 am »
Quote
Fleet Grows, Training Increases for F-35
(Source: U.S Air Force; issued June 11, 2013)
 
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --- The largest fleet of F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighters grew to 25 aircraft as the F-35 Integrated Training Center here welcomed two new Air Force F-35A variants of the multi-role fighter to the Emerald Coast, June 5.

The expansion gives the 58th Fighter Squadron the ability to fly an expanded schedule and more readily put student pilots through the F-35 training course, according to Maj. Jay Spohn, assistant director of operations at the 58th Fighter Squadron.

"We'll have the ability to fly a 'four-turn-four' or 'six-turn-four'," he said. The numbers indicate how many training sortie flights are accomplished in the morning schedule, then maintained and serviced to be turned back out to be flown for the afternoon schedule.

Currently, the Air Force team at the 33rd Fighter Wing is in the latter part of F-35A Pilot Class Number 4 and has started Class 5. The Marine Corps pilots here are in F-35B Class Number 4 and the Navy has completed one F-35C course and started a second this week. More than 30 pilots from all three variants have been trained at the F-35 Integrated Training Center.

The world class training devices, full mission simulators and comprehensive curriculum are preparing them for the challenges of working on the 21st century battlefield.

The Air Force expects to declare F-35A Lightning II initial operating capability by December 2016. For the Marines, the target date for F-35B IOC is in late 2015 and the Navy is looking at F-35C IOC in February 2019.

For now, the steps taken each day at Eglin assist in moving the F-35 program forward enterprise-wide as the team trains more people on the unprecedented, technologically-advanced 5th generation fighter.

About 72 pilots from the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy are slated to graduate F-35 transition pilot training this year. This is made possible by a fleet of well-maintained aircraft to meet the training needs.

One such maintainer paving the way for F-35 success is Tech. Sgt. Lance Murphy, 58th Aircraft Maintenance Unit here. He received one of the two new F-35s and has been tapped to be the dedicated crew chief for that aircraft.

"This is awesome knowing the jet belongs to you," he said. "It's my responsibility to know the overall maintenance of this particular jet bearing my name on the side."

Murphy likened his F-35 maintenance experience to that of auto racing. "Each NASCAR has its own chief and each jet has its own crew chief. There is that same excitement when the jet is maintained and then goes out for a successful flight just like a successful race."

Spohn believe the steady stream of accomplishments for the F-35 are a direct result of the new training course, specifically designed for the new aircraft.

"It's an accomplishment that in less than six months since we started pilot training, we have been able to produce a course as good as any fighter course created in the last 20 years," said Spohn.

Murphy agreed about the progress. "Each day is something new and it's awesome to be a part of this."

At Eglin, the Air Force has 12 F-35A joint strike fighters, the Marine Corps has 11 F-35Bs and the United Kingdom embedded with the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron-501 has two F-35Bs. The Navy is slated to get its first two F-35C variants in the next coming weeks.

In the out years, when operating at full capacity, the Eglin fleet will grow to 59 aircraft with about 100 pilots and 2,100 maintainers graduating yearly.

-ends-

Offline SpudmanWP

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 723
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #218 on: June 13, 2013, 01:46:22 pm »
3 Minute Interview and Flight Test Update.


WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Online seruriermarshal

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 784
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #220 on: June 14, 2013, 06:05:28 am »
F-35B BF-28 First Flight

Lockheed Martin test pilot Billie Flynn was at the controls for the first flight of F-35B BF-28 (US Navy Bureau Number 168726). The flight occurred on 8 June 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas.



Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #221 on: June 14, 2013, 07:04:02 am »
F-35 No Longer the Problem Child 
 
The F-35 program has made “major advances” over the last three years and is no longer “one of my ‘problem programs,’” Pentagon acquisition, technology and logistics chief Frank Kendall said Thursday. Speaking during a teleconference following a multi-day summit with government, contractor and allied nation F-35 managers, Kendall said he’ll green light boosting the F-35 production rate in September; going to 44 in 2015 and 66 in 2016. The meeting had a “completely different tone” than last year’s summit, noted Kendell. The program is “on track,” he said. Negotiations on Lots 6 and 7 are going “more quickly and more smoothly” than on Lot 5, which were tough because it was the first based on DOD’s “should cost” analysis, he noted. Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, program executive officer, reported far better communications between government and vendor managers, and agreed that Lot 6 and 7 talks are moving fast. “We started negotiations about a month ago, and we’ve made more progress…in 30 days than we did in about 11 months last year.” Kendall said “this is not the program of 2010,” and while he said it’s too soon to “declare success,” he said there’s a clear path to fix any remaining F-35 deficiencies.  Operating costs are better understood now that the Marine Corps and Air Force are training F-35 pilots, and he predicted “we can make a substantial dent in projections” of operating costs. They will be reflected in the September cost numbers, he said.
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #222 on: June 18, 2013, 11:20:41 am »
Quote
Lockheed Martin, CAE Establish Canadian Training Alliance for the F-35 Lightning II
(Source: Lockheed Martin; issued June 17, 2013)
 
PARIS --- On the first day of the 2013 Paris Air Show, a new alliance between Lockheed Martin and CAE was announced when officials from both companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for F-35 Lightning II training system support and services in Canada. CAE is a global leader in modeling, simulation and training for civil aviation and defence.

“Canadian industry has played an integral part in the development and production of the F-35 for more than a decade,” said Steve O’Bryan, vice president of F-35 Program Integration and Business Development. “Canada’s industrial contribution to this program has truly just begun. The new alliance we established today is indicative of the long-term role Canadian industry will hold in the global sustainment of the F-35 fleet for the next 30 years and beyond, and directly supports the evolution of training systems, one of the key industrial capabilities recently promoted by the Government of Canada.”

During a ceremony held at the Canadian Pavilion at the Paris Air Show, O’Bryan and Gene Colabatistto, group president, Defence and Security at CAE, signed the MOU that identifies Quebec-based CAE as a preferred provider of in-country F-35 training support, training system integration, operations and maintenance.

“CAE and Lockheed Martin have a longstanding and successful relationship on other platforms such as the C-130, and we look forward to extending our collaboration should the Government of Canada select the F-35,” Colabatistto said. “Simulation-based training continues to grow in importance for defence forces as a cost-effective means of ensuring mission readiness, and CAE is focused on ensuring that the Royal Canadian Air Force has the world-class training services it needs to achieve targeted mission readiness levels.”

The 5th generation F-35 Lightning II combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for other countries.


Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 118,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2012 were $47.2 billion.

-ends-

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #223 on: June 18, 2013, 11:21:47 am »
Quote
Magellan Aerospace Signs Agreement For Work On F-35
(Source: Magellan Aerospace Corporation; issued June 17, 2013)
 
PARIS AIR SHOW, Le Bourget --- Magellan Aerospace has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with BAE Systems for work on the F-35 Lightning II program.

Under the agreement Magellan will produce more than 1,000 sets of horizontal tails for the Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) variant of the F-35 program over a 20-year period. The agreement, announced today at the Paris Air Show, Le Bourget, formalizes the continuation of the strategic relationship between BAE Systems and Magellan.

Magellan will produce F-35A horizontal tail assemblies using components that require advanced composite manufacturing, machining capabilities, and strict quality standards. The majority of the components used for the assembly are produced in Magellan's divisions. The horizontal tail production under the MOA has a potential value of over Cdn. $1.2 billion over the life of the program. Magellan has achieved sales of more than $100M Cdn. on the F-35 program to date.

Today's signing represents another milestone of Magellan's strategic involvement on the F-35 program. "We have supported Magellan's journey to become a key supplier of complex, flight critical components requiring high-technology, and high-quality manufacturing capabilities to produce the components to the exacting specifications demanded of this global program," said Paul Burns , Global Procurement & Supply Chain Director, BAE Systems.

Magellan is a part of the global F-35 team that includes world-class aerospace companies representing all eight JSF partner nations. Magellan's potential value of F-35 manufacturing work is approaching Cdn. $2.0 billion.

"At Magellan, we are proud to be an integral part of the F-35 supply chain. We've produced parts that are flying on all three variants, and for planes that will fly in four of the partnering nation's air forces," said Jim Butyniec, President and CEO of Magellan Aerospace. "We look forward to seeing the first Magellan-built horizontal tail assembly fly on a production F-35 in early 2014."


Magellan Aerospace is a global, integrated aerospace company that provides complex assemblies and systems solutions to aircraft and engine manufacturers, and defence and space agencies worldwide. Magellan designs, engineers, and manufactures aeroengine and aerostructure assemblies and components for aerospace markets, advanced products for military and space markets, industrial power generation, and specialty products.

-ends-

Online Arjen

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1974
  • It's turtles all the way down
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #224 on: June 19, 2013, 08:22:33 am »
From breakingdefense: Marines launch drive to shove down F-35B costs

Quote
[...]
One of the keys to bringing those F-35B costs down, [US Marines Lieutenant General] Schmidle said, may be doing intermediate level repairs at sea. “That will drive costs down and readiness up,” he told a small group of reporters here yesterday.
[...]
The Navy is also considering doing this with the Navy’s F-35C, although Lockheed Martin believes it may not be the most cost effective approach to managing aircraft repairs. The F-35, company officials say, was designed to be taken off the flight line when it comes time for repairs.
[...]
More at the link.

Offline Triton

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 9463
  • Donald McKelvy
    • Deep Blue to Wild Blue
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #225 on: June 19, 2013, 03:09:15 pm »
"Theft of F-35 design data is helping U.S. adversaries: Pentagon"
By David Alexander

Source:
http://news.yahoo.com/theft-f-35-design-data-helping-u-adversaries-184154837.html

Quote
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The theft of sensitive design data by hackers targeting programs like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter takes away a big U.S. advantage by allowing rivals to speed up development of their own stealth aircraft, a top Pentagon official said on Wednesday.

Defense acquisitions chief Frank Kendall told a Senate hearing he was reasonably confident that classified information related to the development of the F-35 was well-protected.

"But I'm not at all confident that our unclassified information is as well-protected," he said.

"A lot of that is being stolen right now and it's a major problem for us," Kendall told a Senate hearing on development of the Lockheed Martin fighter, a so-called fifth generation aircraft capable of evading radar and integrated air defense systems.

The F-35 is the costliest weapons program in U.S. history. The United States is building it along with eight international partners and intends to purchase nearly 2,450 of the aircraft at a cost of almost $400 billion.

Responding to questions from senators concerned about whether cyber theft had left the F-35 vulnerable to attack, Kendall said his primary concern was that the design and production edge had been forfeited to competing powers.

"What it does is reduce the costs and lead time of our adversaries to doing their own designs, so it gives away a substantial advantage," Kendall said.

"It's the amount of time and effort they're going to have to put into getting their next design and staying with us," he added. "And as you're probably well aware, at least two nations are well into developing fifth-generation aircraft right now, so that's a concern."

Kendall did not name specific countries, but China and Russia are among the nations developing fifth-generation fighter jets.

The acquisitions chief said he was working on steps that would result in stronger sanctions against defense contractors who fail to do a better job at protecting their sensitive information systems.

CHINA REPORT

The remarks by the defense acquisitions chief came a month after the Pentagon said in its annual China report that Beijing was using cyber espionage to acquire advanced technologies to fuel its fast-paced military modernization program.

The report for the first time charged that cyber intrusions into U.S. government computer systems appeared to be directly attributable to the Chinese government and military, adding the main purpose was to benefit its defense industries.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel raised those concerns this month at the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore, a multinational Asian security event that included a high-level Chinese military delegation.

U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the issue with Chinese President Xi Jinping at their summit in California a few days later, warning that if the intrusions were not addressed they would become a big problem in bilateral economic relations.

China conducted a test flight of its J-20 stealth fighter jet in January 2011 just hours before then-U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with then-President Hu Jintao during a visit to Beijing. The test was seen as a show of force by the Chinese military.

A second Chinese stealth fighter, the J-31, made its maiden flight late last year. One security analyst said China's production of a second stealth design in as many years suggested a "pretty impressive level of technical development."

Pentagon officials have played down the Chinese aircraft advances, saying Beijing was still years away from being able to field a stealth aircraft despite the prototypes.

China was suspected of being behind a reported 2009 cyber intrusion that resulted in the theft of a huge amount of design and electronics data on the F-35. Pentagon and Lockheed Martin officials said no classified information was taken.


Offline bobbymike

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 7600
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #226 on: June 19, 2013, 10:12:56 pm »
From One Generation to the Next 
 
Le Bourget, France—The fifth generation F-35 strike fighter is on pace to cost the equivalent of fourth generation fighters, Steve O'Bryan, Lockheed Martin vice president for F-35 program integration, told reporters here on Wednesday. "We are on a path to reduce the aircraft's cost . . . to what is in about 2020 about $85 million" in then-year dollars factoring inflation, he said during his media briefing at the 50th Paris Air Show. "In today's US dollars, that is about $75 million. We believe that is on par with any fourth generation airplane," he added. O'Bryan said this estimate is the recurring unit flyway cost, which includes the airframe, engine, all missions systems, and any concurrency expenditures. "This is the US government estimate," he noted. Every F-35 production contract that Lockheed Martin has signed thus far has been under the US government's cost estimate, said O'Bryan. For example, the most recent contract—for the fifth batch of low-rate initial production—"was 3 percent below that estimate," he said. "Both Lockheed [Martin] and the US government expect that trend to continue," he said. From the time of LRIP 1 to LRIP 5, "we have dropped the price of the airplane by over 50 percent," said O'Bryan during his June 19 presentation.
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #227 on: June 20, 2013, 11:10:20 am »
Quote
Lockheed, Mitsubishi Heavy Sign Deal for F-35 Assembly
(Source: Reuters; published June 19, 2013)
 
PARIS --- Lockheed Martin Corp has signed a contract with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd to begin work on a final assembly and check-out plant for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in Japan, it said on Wednesday.

Steve O'Bryan, Lockheed vice president on the F-35 program, announced the contract agreement at the Paris Airshow. He declined to give details on the value of the contract.

A similar facility built in Italy to assemble F-35 jets in Europe cost an estimated 800 million Euros ($1.1 billion).

-ends-

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #228 on: June 20, 2013, 11:11:37 am »
Quote
Fokker Secures Next Order for F-35 Aircraft Valued at 40 million Euros
(Source: Fokker; issued June 19, 2013)
 
PAPENDRECHT, Netherlands --- Fokker Elmo has secured an additional contract from Lockheed Martin for the delivery of additional Electrical Wiring & Interconnection Systems, valued at 40 million euro’s. Under this contract, Fokker Elmo will be responsible for the manufacturing of electrical systems for the next batch of aircraft.

Fokker Elmo’s production of the F-35 electrical wiring systems involves employment for 150 specialists at Fokker Elmo. The company has been working with Lockheed Martin for the F-35 since 2002.

Hans Büthker, COO of Fokker Technologies and President of Fokker Elmo is ‘very pleased to sign this contract during the Paris Airshow, following the recent milestone of the delivery of the 100th shipset to Lockheed Martin, this underscores the value of the Dutch industrial participation in the F-35 in terms of employment, knowledge and innovation”. The contract was signed in the presence of Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Mr. Henk Kamp.


Fokker Technologies is the group name for four specialized Fokker Business Units: Fokker Aerostructures, Fokker Elmo, Fokker Landing Gear and Fokker Services. Fokker Technologies develops and produces advanced structures and electrical systems for the aerospace and defense industry, and supplies integrated services and products to aircraft owners and operators. The group achieved a turnover of € 769 million in 2012 with 4,950 employees.

-ends-

Online seruriermarshal

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 784
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #229 on: June 20, 2013, 02:22:59 pm »
F-35C CF-07. new pics



Online seruriermarshal

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 784
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #230 on: June 20, 2013, 02:23:51 pm »
F-35A AF-28 First Flight

Lockheed Martin test pilot Billie Flynn was at the controls for the first flight of F-35A AF-28 (US Air Force serial number 10-5016). The flight occurred on 19 June 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas.



Online seruriermarshal

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 784
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #231 on: June 22, 2013, 06:49:09 am »
F-35C CF-8 First Flight

Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti was at the controls for the first flight of F-35C CF-8 (US Navy Bureau Number 168735). The flight occurred on 20 June 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas.



Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #232 on: June 22, 2013, 12:38:46 pm »
Quote
F-35 Is Backbone of Air Force's Future Fighter Fleet, Welsh Says
(Source: US Air Force; issued June 20, 2013)
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The Air Force's most advanced strike aircraft, the F-35 Lightning II, is a vital capability that the nation needs to stay ahead of adversary technological gains, the Air Force chief of staff told a Senate panel here, June 19.

Testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Defense, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III said air superiority is critical to the nation's security and how the U.S. military plans to fight.

"The air superiority this nation has enjoyed for 60 years is not an accident and gaining and maintaining it is not easy," Welsh said. "It requires trained proficient and ready Airmen and it requires credible, capable and technologically superior aircraft. I believe the F-35 is essential to ensuring we can provide that air superiority in the future."

The F-35 is an unprecedented fifth generation fighter combining stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully integrated sensors and network enabled operations, and state-of-the-art avionics. However, design issues and production costs have put the F-35 program in real jeopardy.

Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall told the committee he believe those concerns have been addressed.

"The department's and my focus has been on the efforts to control costs on the program, and to achieve a more stable design so that we could increase the production rate to more economical quantities," Kendall testified. "Indications at this time are that these efforts are succeeding."

The Air Force intends to use a portion of the proposed fiscal 2014 budget to support current defense strategic guidance and modernization programs like the F-35.

"Potential adversaries are acquiring fighters on par with or better than our legacy fourth generation fleet," Welsh told the committee. "They're developing sophisticated early warning radar systems and employing better surface to air missile systems, and this at a time when our fighter fleet numbers about 2,000 aircraft and averages a little over 23 years of age -- the smallest and the oldest in the Air Force's history."

Welsh said America needs the F-35 to stay a step ahead and to "make sure the future fight is an away game and to minimize our risk to our ground forces when conflict inevitably does occur."

"The F-35 is the only real, viable option to form the backbone of our future fighter fleet," he said. "The F-35 remains the best platform to address the proliferation of highly capable integrated air defenses and new air-to-air threats."

-ends-

Offline GTX

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2386
  • All hail the God of Frustration!!!
    • Beyond The Sprues
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #233 on: June 22, 2013, 02:10:13 pm »
Quote
F-35 – ‘cautiously optimistic’ at the tipping point for programme

"We’re not declaring victory just yet” said Lockheed Martin’s VP Steve O’Bryan of the new “cautiously optimistic” (as described by Pentagon procurement chief) outlook that infuses the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project. However it was clear in a presentation to the aviation medai at Le Bourget that things were now starting to go in the troubled fighters direction – the good news said O’Bryan meant the programme was at ‘a tipping point’. With 65 F-35s now flying, flight testing is ramping up quickly, with 50% of all flight tests done in the past 12 months.

In addition, both the US Government and the GAO had confirmed that concurrency was starting to pay off – and the flyaway cost (including engines) was dropping. In 2020 the US Government estimates that a F-35 will cost some $85m each or less than half of the 2009 initial examples cost. Adjusted to today’s dollars the 2020 price would be $75m each.

However, O’Bryan was frank in admitting that challenges still persist – especially in the software. The F-35 computer software has around 8.6million lines of code (in comparison an F-22 has around 2million). While 88% of the code is now flying, the remaining 12% is the most difficult part, explained O’Bryan as it integrates existing simpler functions and capabilties together into a whole.

Source

Online seruriermarshal

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 784
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #234 on: June 23, 2013, 05:11:40 am »
US Navy Fleet Squadron receives 1st F-35C JSF

Release Date: 6/22/2013 3:37:00 PM

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101 received the Navy's first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant aircraft from Lockheed Martin today at the squadron's home at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

The F-35C is a fifth generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.

The F-35C will enhance the flexibility, power projection, and strike capabilities of carrier air wings and joint task forces and will complement the capabilities of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which currently serves as the Navy's premier strike fighter.

By 2025, the Navy's aircraft carrier-based air wings will consist of a mix of F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers electronic attack aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) air vehicles, MH-60R/S helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft.

VFA 101, based at Eglin Air Force Base, will serve as the F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron, training both aircrew and maintenance personnel to fly and repair the F-35C.

www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=74982
« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 05:17:06 am by seruriermarshal »

Online seruriermarshal

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 784
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #235 on: June 25, 2013, 04:24:17 pm »
F-35B BF-32 First Flight

Lockheed Martin test pilot Billie Flynn was at the controls for the first flight of F-35B BF-32 (US Navy Bureau Number 168730). The flight occurred on 21June 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas.
 
 VK-12 VMFA-121 MCAS YUMA
 
 Ordered from LRIP4 BF-32 with Block 2.A Mission Systems.

Online seruriermarshal

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 784
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #236 on: June 26, 2013, 03:19:35 pm »
The second production U.S. Navy F-35C carrier variant takes off from Naval Air Station Fort Worth en route to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., June 25, 2013. The aircraft will be used for pilot and maintainer training.

Online seruriermarshal

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 784
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #237 on: June 26, 2013, 03:20:35 pm »
Third F-35 for the UK Arrives at Eglin Air Force Base

FORT WORTH, Texas, June 26, 2013 – The third Lockheed Martin [LMT] F-35B Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) Lightning II for the United Kingdom arrived at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., yesterday where it will be used for pilot and maintainer training. U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Roger Hardy piloted the aircraft known as BK-3 (ZM137) on its 90-minute ferry flight from the Lockheed Martin F-35 production facility at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base.

“Today’s arrival of BK-3 is the latest step in delivering the F-35’s unprecedented capability to UK Defence,” said Group Captain Harv Smyth, the UK’s Joint Strike Fighter National Deputy. “With each passing day, our ‘Lightning’ programme is maturing. In less than a year, we have taken ownership of our first three aircraft and begun both pilot and engineer training. The ‘Lightning’ truly represents a turning point for U.K.’s Combat Air capability and will dramatically increase our ability to defend national sovereignty interests and ensure security around the globe.”

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems, headquartered in the U.K. The U.S. Marine Corps plans to declare Initial Operational Capability with the STOVL in 2015.

The program’s more than 500 British suppliers will build 15 percent of each F-35 produced. U.K. industry is responsible for numerous F-35 components including the aft fuselage, fuel system, crew escape system and more. Key F-35 suppliers in the U.K. include BAE Systems, GE Aviation, Martin-Baker, SELEX, Cobham, Ultra Electronics, UTC Actuation Systems and Rolls-Royce. Over the next 40 years, U.K. industry will continue to play a vital role in the F-35’s global production, follow-on development and sustainment, bringing strong economic benefits to the country and generating tens of thousands of jobs.



Offline BioLuminescentLamprey

  • CLEARANCE: Confidential
  • *
  • Posts: 90
  • I really should change my personal text
Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #238 on: June 27, 2013, 02:55:37 pm »
Israel will be first partner to use the F-35. IOC in 2018.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_06_26_2013_p0-591841.xml&p=1

Quote
One of the advantages of the F-35 is the aircraft’s ability to fly long-range missions with internal weapons, accelerate faster and maintain higher speed, compared to current F16s or F-15s or any of the opposing