Secret Projects Forum

General => Aerospace => Topic started by: PaulMM (Overscan) on December 01, 2012, 11:56:31 am

Title: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: PaulMM (Overscan) 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  (http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,537.2115.html)topic. All previous F-35 topics are in there, pending someone sorting out the wheat from the chaff.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Sundog 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP on December 06, 2012, 03:49:42 pm
I found a Spear video on MBDA's website and hosted it on Youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPpfoak-LQA
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Broncazonk 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Broncazonk 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/12/06/poli-f35-pmo-government-fighter-jets.html)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on December 06, 2012, 07:49:39 pm
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2012/12/f-35b-drops-second-gbu-12-over.html
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton 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.

http://youtu.be/nH5_yJNqyQQ
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on December 11, 2012, 04:18:21 am
Video of F-35B delivery ceremony at MCAS Yuma on Nov. 20, 2012:

http://youtu.be/hW7SBMAldIs
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Creative 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on December 13, 2012, 03:35:09 am
On Ares: F-35 Reports Released by Canadian Government (http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a1eb5c615-730c-42fc-9ca3-50613e0f081b)
 
KPMG's report: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/reports-rapports/ngfc-cng/irlc-eiccv/irlc-eiccvtb-eng.asp (http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/reports-rapports/ngfc-cng/irlc-eiccv/irlc-eiccvtb-eng.asp)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Broncazonk 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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 (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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Rafael on December 13, 2012, 05:49:50 pm
Not Precisely news, Dated March, 27, 2012
But, IMO very illustrative

http://youtu.be/qF29GBSpRF4
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on December 16, 2012, 01:29:10 am
Turkey Quietly Orders Navy F-35 (http://www.menewsline.com/article-1173,27679-Turkey-Quietly-Orders-Navy-F-35.aspx)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: pometablava on December 16, 2012, 02:05:20 am
Why do they need the Navy version?. Is Turkey going to order an LHA/LHD ship?
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Creative 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Jemiba 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 !

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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/ (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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike 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)

Read more: http://www.asdnews.com/news-46686/F-35B_achieves_milestone_flight.htm?utm_source=&utm_medium=&utm_campaign=Right_MostPopular#ixzz2FbvAWjxR (http://www.asdnews.com/news-46686/F-35B_achieves_milestone_flight.htm?utm_source=&utm_medium=&utm_campaign=Right_MostPopular#ixzz2FbvAWjxR)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: DD on December 28, 2012, 02:22:38 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: chuck4 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.
 
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Abraham Gubler 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 (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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Geoff_B 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 (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 ?
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Abraham Gubler 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Jemiba 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 !   >:(
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Deino 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 (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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on January 09, 2013, 10:34:10 am
Navy's first training aircraft;
 
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/01/us-navys-first-lockheed-martin.html (http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/01/us-navys-first-lockheed-martin.html)
 
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Grey Havoc on January 11, 2013, 07:29:22 am
Via the Ares blog:

http://defense.aol.com/2013/01/10/why-the-air-force-needs-a-lot-of-f-35s-gen-hostage-on-the-com/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Geoff_B on January 12, 2013, 04:30:57 pm
http://media.bloomberg.com/bb/avfile/rboZtDuN4Gwk (http://media.bloomberg.com/bb/avfile/rboZtDuN4Gwk)

This is the bit we should be reading ! DoD 2012 JSF Development update report
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on January 13, 2013, 06:51:30 am
*
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Grey Havoc on January 15, 2013, 03:38:01 am
DefenseNews' take on it: Report: Lightning a Threat to JSF; Cutting Weight Erodes Safety (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130114/DEFREG02/301140021/Report-Lightning-Threat-JSF-59-Cutting-Weight-Erodes-Safety?odyssey=mod_sectionstories)

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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on January 18, 2013, 12:51:33 pm
http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130118/DEFREG02/301180020/F-35B-Flights-Suspended-Following-Fueldraulic-Failure?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130118/DEFREG02/301180020/F-35B-Flights-Suspended-Following-Fueldraulic-Failure?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE)
 
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT on January 18, 2013, 01:07:07 pm
"Lockheed addresses Pentagon F-35 DOT&E report"

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/lockheed-addresses-pentagon-f-35-dote-report-381218/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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 (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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike 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 (http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=2260). "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 (http://www.airforce-magazine.com/DRArchive/Pages/2012/July%202012/July%2020%202012/ScratchOnefortheBantamBomb.aspx), F-16C/D, F-22, and F-35, according to the company.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen 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 (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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFJYQlGZex0
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT on January 24, 2013, 05:36:33 pm
Lockheed hopes to firm up F-35 Lot 6 & 7

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/lockheed-hopes-to-firm-up-f-35-lot-6-7-contracts-before-mid-year-381477/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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 (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)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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 (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/ (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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on January 29, 2013, 12:30:42 am
The DEW Line (http://www.scribd.com/doc/122693830/f-35-durability-testing) links to powerpoint presentation on Scribd:
 
Overview of the Full Scale DurabilityTests on F-35 Lightning II Program (http://www.scribd.com/doc/122693830/f-35-durability-testing)

<edit> added link to Dew Line: http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/01/f-35-durability-testing-overvi.html
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on January 29, 2013, 08:14:33 am
Sydney Morning Herald:
Defence set to buy Super Hornets over cutting-edge fighter (http://www.smh.com.au/national/defence-set-to-buy-super-hornets-over-cuttingedge-fighter-20130127-2df02.html)
 
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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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...
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on January 31, 2013, 12:16:00 am
From Ottawa Citizen: F-35 fallout blamed for collapse of another military procurement program (http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/fallout+blamed+collapse+another+military+procurement+program/7867386/story.html#ixzz2JLIqvNiW)
 
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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: fightingirish on February 01, 2013, 09:18:59 am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPx1A5Rsg10
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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Broncazonk 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on February 05, 2013, 10:07:56 am
Terma Enters Into F-35 Long-Term Contract with Lockheed Martin Corporation (http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi-bin/client/modele.pl?prod=142333&shop=dae&modele=release)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on February 05, 2013, 10:44:11 am
Program officer visits integrated F-35 testing facility (http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123334726)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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...
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on February 06, 2013, 01:16:26 am
First F-35A four-ship flies over Eglin (http://www.eglin.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123335153)

(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eglin.af.mil%2Fshared%2Fmedia%2Fphotodb%2Fphotos%2F2013%2F02%2F130201-F-zz999-804.JPG&hash=80b2b8720816f4b26267b7f4f35515ee)
(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eglin.af.mil%2Fshared%2Fmedia%2Fphotodb%2Fphotos%2F2013%2F02%2F130201-F-zz999-805.JPG&hash=d37b2805357b424021043a801613e463)

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: PaulMM (Overscan) on February 06, 2013, 12:47:32 pm
Removed some posts and the replies to them.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on February 07, 2013, 08:00:54 am
http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130206/DEFREG02/302060015/Agreement-Reached-Fifth-Block-F-35-Engines?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130206/DEFREG02/302060015/Agreement-Reached-Fifth-Block-F-35-Engines?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on February 07, 2013, 11:42:24 am
Principle Agreement Reached on Contract for Fifth Lot of F135 Engines for the F-35 Lightning II (http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi-bin/client/modele.pl?prod=142437&shop=dae&modele=release)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on February 08, 2013, 05:32:34 pm
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/02/eglin-f-35-pilots-fly-tactical.html (http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/02/eglin-f-35-pilots-fly-tactical.html)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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...
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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 (http://globenewswire.com/News/Listing?symbol=NOC&exchange=4)) 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 (http://globenewswire.com/Tracker?data=sPcnjxSs8RXVVB84fBOmieAUFdb00dbfpGRFBOv0TZidKLzn_a6CN9-OkN4djjIdG0EOgh6FZxw_V76LjXLroh6caUvDdgKOd21QOUc115k%3D).


 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 (http://globenewswire.com/Tracker?data=zql4mX1mqaBSXcu3e6DpHw2nmZjrWzJd4E1DCggKCdG4I9E_MJj7sR-cMtMl0ag7Pkadx6zQ38nn17sQmhTxQTOFGZIkRxO2DCiE6Ms-KGE%3D) for more information.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHZO0T5mDYU


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


With that being said, the EODAS clarity s amazing!
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT on February 11, 2013, 01:22:57 pm
Operational testers to receive first F-35s this month
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/operational-testers-to-receive-first-f-35s-this-month-382189/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: TaiidanTomcat on February 12, 2013, 05:00:21 pm
http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2013/02/12/Israel-gets-ready-for-F-35s-new-trainers/UPI-70191360701881/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT on February 13, 2013, 03:03:44 pm
Pentagon Clears F-35B To Resume Test Flights
http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130213/DEFREG02/302130016/Pentagon-Clears-F-35B-Resume-Test-Flights?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Broncazonk 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT on February 13, 2013, 04:42:56 pm
F-35A Completes 3-Year Clean Wing Flutter Testing Program
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/F_35A_Completes_3_Year_Clean_Wing_Flutter_Testing_Program_999.html
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on February 14, 2013, 01:54:52 am
Flightglobal:
Lockheed F-35 programma may have to be restructured under sequestration (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/lockheed-f-35-programme-may-have-to-be-restructured-under-sequestration-382243/).
 
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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen 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 (http://www.globalnews.ca/entertainment/canada/auditor+and+budget+officers+f-35+critiques+watered+down+in+commons+report/6442807364/story.html)
 
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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: fightingirish 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/ (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 (http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2013/february/first-f-35-production-model-takes-flight.html)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on February 21, 2013, 03:02:42 pm
Northrop: DAS Could See Action On Other Platforms Before F-35 Hits IOC  (http://defensenewsstand.com/component/option,com_ppv/Itemid,287/id,2425248/)   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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: BioLuminescentLamprey 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Broncazonk 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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 (http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/well-buy-us-jets-despite-groundings-pm/story-e6frfku9-1226584399449)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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.”
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on February 26, 2013, 12:56:55 am
Reuters: Honeywell to test some F-35 parts after smoke incident (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/25/us-lockheed-fighter-honeywell-idUSBRE91O11V20130225)
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"  ???
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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




Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: jsport 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/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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/ (http://australianaviation.com.au/2013/02/f-35-chief-bogdan-to-execute-not-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.”
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen 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 (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 (http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post:7acf967a-2748-4302-9a0f-b1087f87b126) by Bill Sweetman.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: JFC Fuller 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 (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.”
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT on February 28, 2013, 02:50:09 pm
F-35 Flight Ban Should Be Lifted, Pratt & Whitney Tells Pentagon
http://bloomberg.finanza.repubblica.it/Notizie/Article?documentKey=1376-MIY6KI6VDKHX01-57KLBVGARHOPLKV1IIQ2B2C59J
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on March 01, 2013, 01:36:41 am
Additional information from FlightGlobal (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/f-35s-cleared-to-resume-flight-operations-382909/):
 
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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Grey Havoc on March 01, 2013, 04:44:09 am
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201303010091
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on March 01, 2013, 08:53:52 am
More information about engine troubles on Ares (http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a51f692b8-1fb5-43ad-b598-aee458f5559e):
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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen 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 (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 (http://timemilitary.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/good-cop.pdf):
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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Geoff_B 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 (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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on March 05, 2013, 03:31:41 am
Via www.jsfnieuws.nl (http://www.jsfnieuws.nl):
 
Final Industry Engagement Request: Capability, Production and Supportability Information Questionnaire, in English, on Public Works and Government Services Canada site (http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/stamgp-lamsmp/questevalfin-finquesteval-eng.html).
Also available in French (http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/stamgp-lamsmp/questevalfin-finquesteval-fra.html).
 
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.
[...]
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen 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  (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/02/27/pol-fighter-jets-boeing-superhornet-f-35-milewski.html)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on March 05, 2013, 10:24:31 am
For Australian contributors to this thread, here is the Four Corners Sky High Episode (http://www.abc.net.au/iview/#/view/31151), 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 (http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/policy-arrives-at-tipping-point-20130225-2f27w.html)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on March 06, 2013, 01:25:37 am
Available for viewers outside Australia: Four Corners on JSF (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2013/02/18/3690317.htm)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on March 06, 2013, 07:38:34 am
Aviation Week reports: F-35 Ops, Engine Under Scrutiny (http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_03_04_2013_p29-553933.xml)

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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on March 07, 2013, 01:13:34 am
Found at POGO (http://www.pogo.org/blog/2013/03/20130306-air-forces-f-35a-not-ready-for-combat.html): 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 (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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Grey Havoc on March 08, 2013, 01:21:07 am
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/03/f-35-blind-spot/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on March 08, 2013, 04:57:06 am
Via Navy Matters (http://navy-matters.blogspot.nl/2013/03/jsf-concurrency.html).
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 (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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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 (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/engine-crack-that-grounded-f-35-traced-to-thermal-creep-383136/)

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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on March 11, 2013, 04:00:27 am
Via www.jsfnieuws.nl (http://www.jsfnieuws.nl/):
 
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/03/10/uk-lockheed-fighter-cost-idUKBRE92900220130310 (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)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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...
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on March 12, 2013, 04:42:19 am
March 2013 GAO report out now:
http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/652948.pdf
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP on March 12, 2013, 10:13:44 am
F-35 left Lubbock after 4 hours.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/F-35-Forced-to-Land-in-Lubbock-Texas-After-Internal-Caution-Warning-336368.shtml (http://news.softpedia.com/news/F-35-Forced-to-Land-in-Lubbock-Texas-After-Internal-Caution-Warning-336368.shtml)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP on March 12, 2013, 10:44:42 am
F-35 & JSM do it Externally

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

(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.regjeringen.no%2Fimgpreviews%2F00%2F00%2F03%2F37%2F33723_img___1363095122.jpg&hash=191fbb954c72c8d9a7853ec744cd811c)

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 (http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/fd/aktuelt/nyheter/2013/bilde-forste-jsm-pa-f-35.html?id=717070)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen 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 (http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_03_12_2013_p0-557982.xml) - in stead of $10.6 billion each year.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen 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 (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130312/DEFREG02/303120019/U-S-F-35-Chief-Reorganizing-Program-Office?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE)

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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on March 13, 2013, 01:15:17 pm
http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org/gao-gives-f-35-fighter-its-best-grades-ever?a=1&c=1171 (http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org/gao-gives-f-35-fighter-its-best-grades-ever?a=1&c=1171)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on March 14, 2013, 03:03:14 am
F-35 Production on Track, Program Chief Says (http://www.asdnews.com/mobile/news/48155/F-35_Production_on_Track,_Program_Chief_Says.htm)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on March 14, 2013, 04:23:04 am
Via www.jsfnieuws.nl (http://www.jsfnieuws.nl):
 
Senator Leahy says F-35 is not what our troops need (http://f35insouthburlington.blogspot.nl/2013/03/i-dont-think-one-size-fits-all.html)
 
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..."

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: TaiidanTomcat on March 14, 2013, 05:25:32 am
http://www.asdnews.com/news-48155/F-35_Production_on_Track,_Program_Chief_Says.htm
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on March 14, 2013, 09:18:29 am
Story on what program delays are doing to Australian companies from Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/01/us-lockheed-fighter-australia-idUSBRE9200A720130301):
 
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)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT on March 14, 2013, 10:19:07 am
Singapore Expected To Order F-35s Soon: Source
http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_03_14_2013_p0-559083.xml
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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."
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT on March 14, 2013, 11:46:16 am
Denmark Starts Over
http://www.fmn.dk/nyheder/Pages/Valgetafnytkampflystarterigen.aspx  Sorry, source is in Danish.

In English:  http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130314/DEFREG01/303140009/Denmark-Relaunches-Fighter-Jet-Competition?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Creative 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT on March 19, 2013, 08:20:35 pm
RAF's first operational F-35 pilot flies first training sortie
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/rafs-first-operational-f-35-pilot-flies-first-training-sortie-383642/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT on March 21, 2013, 08:59:52 am
Asia's F-35 Buyers Forced To Wait As China Seeks Edge
http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_03_21_2013_p0-561421.xml&p=1
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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...
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT on March 25, 2013, 05:47:54 pm
F-35 Parts From Rolls-Royce 160 Days Late, Pentagon Says
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-25/f-35-parts-from-rolls-royce-160-days-late-pentagon-says.html
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton 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.

http://youtu.be/F-64-_DbMJo
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton 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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAKn1UrQY2A&feature=share&list=UUJWcF0ex7_doPdIQGbVpDsQ
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton 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.

http://youtu.be/GRl5S5HSa-c

 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike 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/ (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?
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on April 03, 2013, 05:57:41 pm
RAND Corp study on Beddown alternatives
 
http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR124.html (http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR124.html)
 
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on April 04, 2013, 01:36:07 am
From FlightGlobal:
US reveals details of F-15SE, F-35A bids for South Korea. (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-reveals-details-of-f-15se-f-35a-bids-for-south-korea-384180/)
 
Quote

[...]
For the potential F-35 (http://www.flightglobal.com/landingpage/Lockheed%20Martin%20F-35.html) 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on April 04, 2013, 10:02:07 pm
http://defense.aol.com/2013/04/04/f-35b-jump-jet-makes-its-first-vertical-landing-at-night-video/ (http://defense.aol.com/2013/04/04/f-35b-jump-jet-makes-its-first-vertical-landing-at-night-video/)
 
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen 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. (http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2013/04/04/geen-testvluchten-jsf-tot-aankoopbesluit/)
 
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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on April 05, 2013, 11:39:49 am
Letter from Dutch Minister of Defence to Dutch Parliament (pdf (http://www.defensie.nl/_system/handlers/generaldownloadHandler.ashx?filename=/media/Brief%20minDef%20-%20Nederlandse%20testtoestellen_tcm46-204424.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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Deino on April 06, 2013, 04:55:04 am
First F-35B Night Vertical Landing - HD

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=d51_1365201326#pebbEPqLBsjJ1wKP.99 (http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=d51_1365201326#pebbEPqLBsjJ1wKP.99)

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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)

(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt271%2FSpudmanWP%2FChange_zps76cf17dd.jpg&hash=add0c2f54c0d8dd025c7cb487754737d)

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

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

(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt271%2FSpudmanWP%2FBlock4Schedule1_zps446a2e3d.jpg&hash=668551450670a838d965ce82b18fd8f6)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on April 12, 2013, 10:03:21 am
From Flightglobal (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/mroam-f135-blade-crack-traced-to-casting-process-pw-384624/):
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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike 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.”

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on April 17, 2013, 12:12:12 pm
Marines Set New IOC Date For F-35B: 'Combat Ready' In Summer Of 2015 (http://defensenewsstand.com/component/option,com_ppv/id,2431099/)
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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on April 19, 2013, 12:26:10 pm
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/04/f-35a-cost-10-more-to-operate.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter (http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/04/f-35a-cost-10-more-to-operate.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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 (http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt271/SpudmanWP/blocks1_zpsccc5bbbf.jpg)


(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt271%2FSpudmanWP%2Fblocks1_zpsccc5bbbf.jpg&hash=1c89d09e59a605d71ab7c961290ed2df)



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

http://t.co/bkKAfGGsLA (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 (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)


Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on April 25, 2013, 05:32:54 pm
http://thediplomat.com/2013/04/25/game-changer-the-f-35-and-the-pacific/?all=true (http://thediplomat.com/2013/04/25/game-changer-the-f-35-and-the-pacific/?all=true)
 
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on April 27, 2013, 12:48:41 am
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/04/eglin-afb-marines-fly-first-f-.html (http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/04/eglin-afb-marines-fly-first-f-.html)
 
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on May 02, 2013, 11:25:25 am
Australia to back F-35 buy in new defence blueprint (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/02/lockheed-fighter-australia-idUSL3N0DJ0IK20130502)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on May 07, 2013, 11:50:01 am
F-35 offers "significant opportunities," says Norway's Lt Col Tord Aslaksen (http://www.defenceiq.com/air-forces-and-military-aircraft/articles/f-35-offers-significant-opportunities-says-norway/)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: fightingirish 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' (http://www.timesofisrael.com/jets-name-is-just-plane-awesome/)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen 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/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on May 09, 2013, 04:47:20 am
Turkey purchases two F-35 Lightning II aircraft at IDEF '13 (http://www.todayszaman.com/news-314882-turkey-purchases-two-f-35-lightning-ii-aircraft-at-idef-13.html)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on May 10, 2013, 01:49:09 am
From The Guardian: Navy carrier jets 'can't land in hot weather' (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/may/10/navy-jets-cant-land-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  (http://www.nao.org.uk/) says.
Though the Ministry of Defence (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/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 (http://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/10149-001-Carrier.full-report.pdf).
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.

[...]
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on May 13, 2013, 02:10:33 am
From Flightglobal: F-35B performs first vertical take-off (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/f-35b-performs-first-vertical-take-off-385757/)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: flateric on May 13, 2013, 02:39:27 am
quite a rare pic I think
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen 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 (http://breakingdefense.com/2013/05/15/navy-the-f-35c-the-ford-class-carrier-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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: sferrin 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/ (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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on May 17, 2013, 07:59:45 am
Aviationweek reports today: F-35 Training Capability Slowly Expanding (http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/asd_05_17_2013_p03-01-579864.xml)
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 (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/eglin-afb-receives-its-first-block-2a-f-35-385643/)
Quote
The US Air Force's 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Florida, received its first Block 2A configuration Lockheed Martin (http://www.flightglobal.com/landingpage/Lockheed%20Martin.html) F-35A on 6 May.

- Code One, 7 August 2012: F-35 Flight Test Update 8 (http://www.codeonemagazine.com/gallery_slideshow.html?item_id=2166):
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?)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Skyblazer on May 17, 2013, 10:24:11 am
quite a rare pic I think

(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.secretprojects.co.uk%2Fforum%2Findex.php%3Faction%3Ddlattach%3Btopic%3D17732.0%3Battach%3D192837%3Bimage&hash=2a786153b771c6d1cf76a89ab649c44f)

Thanks for sharing! Wish it was HD... Never realized the X-31 was that small compared to the X-32 and X-35!
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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.

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: fightingirish 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.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW28Mb1YvwY
Code: [Select]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW28Mb1YvwY

Probably we will see more of these VTOs at airshows than in real service.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP 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 (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.

(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt271%2FSpudmanWP%2Fblocks1_zpsccc5bbbf.jpg&hash=1c89d09e59a605d71ab7c961290ed2df) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/SpudmanWP/media/blocks1_zpsccc5bbbf.jpg.html)






The above if from this Government Website:



https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/kst-26488-320.html (https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/kst-26488-320.html)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: topspeed3 on May 20, 2013, 11:07:59 pm
quite a rare pic I think

(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.secretprojects.co.uk%2Fforum%2Findex.php%3Faction%3Ddlattach%3Btopic%3D17732.0%3Battach%3D192837%3Bimage&hash=2a786153b771c6d1cf76a89ab649c44f)

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 ?
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on May 22, 2013, 01:06:01 pm
http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20130517/NEWS04/305170020/F-35A-successfully-starts-air-refueling (http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20130517/NEWS04/305170020/F-35A-successfully-starts-air-refueling)
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on May 23, 2013, 06:27:58 pm
http://www.dodbuzz.com/2013/05/23/f-35-cost-dips-1-to-391-billion-pentagon/ (http://www.dodbuzz.com/2013/05/23/f-35-cost-dips-1-to-391-billion-pentagon/)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on May 26, 2013, 07:53:43 am
Eric Palmer (http://elpdefensenews.blogspot.nl/2013/05/details-in-new-f-35-select-acquisition.html) 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on May 27, 2013, 01:20:01 am
Defensetech: Congress orders F-35 Software Plan (http://defensetech.org/2013/05/24/congress-orders-f-35-software-plan/#more-20430)
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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: 2IDSGT 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on May 27, 2013, 02:29:03 am
From the Defensetech piece about Congress ordering a software plan. Too big to attach.
(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.defensetech.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F05%2Fsdd_lripa_003.jpg&hash=28b116fa93faeff0ebee3fbe713420a4)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: AdamF on May 27, 2013, 11:56:15 am
AlJazeera video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=f1bux1W4yJI#!) 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on May 28, 2013, 05:19:14 pm
http://www.dodbuzz.com/2013/05/28/air-force-may-accelerate-f-35-start-date/ (http://www.dodbuzz.com/2013/05/28/air-force-may-accelerate-f-35-start-date/)
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on May 30, 2013, 02:15:03 am
From Aviation Week: U.S. Navy Details Amphibious Ship Mods Required For F-35 (http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/asd_05_29_2013_p01-02-582896.xml)
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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen 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 (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-estimates-f-35-will-cost-32000-per-hour-to-operate-386430/)
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 (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130418/DEFREG02/304180021/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).”
[...]
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: topspeed3 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://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-16_Fighting_Falcon)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on May 31, 2013, 09:07:39 am
From Aviation Week: USAF Accepts Limited Capability With 2016 F-35 IOC (http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_05_31_2013_p0-583761.xml)
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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike 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 (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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal 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
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on June 07, 2013, 01:34:02 pm
Pentagon Says Cost to Retrofit F-35s Drops $500 Million (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-06/pentagon-says-cost-to-retrofit-first-f-35s-drops-by-500-million.html)


Expect it to continue to fall!
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on June 07, 2013, 04:56:21 pm
The Kongsberg JSM has completed internal weapons fit checks on the F-35.


Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on June 07, 2013, 06:22:35 pm
Ok, more F-35 launch AIM-120 pics  ;D

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on June 08, 2013, 06:08:20 am
Winslow Wheeler (http://nation.time.com/2013/06/07/on-final-approach-to-fighter-fiscal-sanity/) argues F-35 procurement costs per aircraft have in fact gone up over the past three years:
(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ftimemilitary.files.wordpress.com%2F2013%2F06%2Ffig3.png&hash=9161c0e3148a519d30920a18c2eef8cf)
(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ftimemilitary.files.wordpress.com%2F2013%2F06%2Ffig4.png&hash=cf19836a270c782498b60c8e8adf5493)
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 (http://comptroller.defense.gov):
FISCAL YEAR 2010 BUDGET REQUEST (http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2010/FY2010_Weapons.pdf)
FISCAL YEAR 2012 BUDGET REQUEST (http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2012/FY2012_Weapons.pdf)
FISCAL YEAR 2013 BUDGET REQUEST (http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2013/FY2013_Weapons.pdf)
FISCAL YEAR 2014 BUDGET REQUEST (http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2014/FY2014_Weapons.pdf)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP on June 10, 2013, 10:40:26 am
Video of the launch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EnttHIgx8s
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal 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."


Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on June 11, 2013, 10:56:43 am
Defensenews reports: Japan might delay F-35 purchases (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130610/DEFREG03/306100018/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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP on June 13, 2013, 01:46:22 pm
3 Minute Interview and Flight Test Update.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnkpgQPa_y8
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on June 13, 2013, 06:07:42 pm
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/pentagon-procurement-chief-cautiously-optimistic-about-f-35-production-ramp-up-387071/?cmpid=SOC%7CFGFG%7Ctwitterfeed%7CFG_Aircraft&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/pentagon-procurement-chief-cautiously-optimistic-about-f-35-production-ramp-up-387071/?cmpid=SOC%7CFGFG%7Ctwitterfeed%7CFG_Aircraft&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter)
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal 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.


Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on June 19, 2013, 08:22:33 am
From breakingdefense: Marines launch drive to shove down F-35B costs (http://breakingdefense.com/2013/06/19/marines-launch-drive-to-drop-f-35-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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton 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.

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on June 20, 2013, 02:22:59 pm
F-35C CF-07. new pics


Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal 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.


Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal 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.


Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX 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 (http://media.aerosociety.com/aerospace-insight/2013/06/20/paris-air-show-day-3/8298/)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal 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 (http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=74982)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal 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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal 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.


Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: BioLuminescentLamprey 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 force combat aircraft (flying with internal fuel).


To further extend the F-35’s range, Lockheed Martin is exploring an innovative concept from Israel, of using unique drop tanks, developed by Elbit Systems Cyclone. Designed in a similar concept to the F-22 under-wing drop tanks, these tanks, each containing 425 gal. of fuel, will use special attachment pylons that would completely separate from the wing, regaining full stealth capability after separation. An additional 900 gal. of fuel will significantly extend the F-35I range, enabling the IAF to operate its new stealth fighter at the “outer ring” of operation without mandatory aerial refueling.

Other good stuff in the article.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on June 28, 2013, 02:53:46 am
From defense-aerospace.com:
Italy Government Coalition Averts Split Over F-35 Jet Purchase (excerpt) + Italy Pays $200.3M for Each of its First F-35s (http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/146141/italian-mps-put-check-on-f_35-program-as-unit-cost-passes-%E2%82%AC200m.html)
 
Quote
The literal translation of the motion’s language is “Regarding the F-35 program, the government commits itself not to proceed with any further acquisition if Parliament has not ruled on the issue.”
This means that, while the government has avoided a vote to pull out of the program, and while Parliament has approved acquisition decisions made to date, it will subject future decisions to much closer scrutiny.
Quote

Italy Pays $200.3M for Each of its First F-35s
 
 
(Source: defense-aerospace.com; published June 27, 2013)
 
   
 
 PARIS --- On June 26, just before the Parliamentary debate, the Italian newsletter Analisi Difesa (http://www.analisidifesa.it/2013/06/esclusivo-i-primi-f-35-ci-costano-un-miliardo-di-euro-2/) published a very interesting analysis of what Italy has paid to date for the F-35 aircraft it has ordered. The figures it published were obtained from confidential sources it did not better identify.
It should be noted that these figures do not include R&D costs already paid by Italy, nor the €800m+ cost of building and setting up the Final Assembly and Check-Out (FACO) facility in Cameri, near Turin.
As of mid-June, Italy’s total procurement payments stand at €396.4 million, with another €516 million falling due by Dec. 31. Also coming due this year is a €60.3 million payment for long-lead items on future orders for 7 additional F-35As and the first F-35B STOVL aircraft, for a total of €972.7 million.
This is what this amount has paid for, according to Analisi Difesa:
- LRIP 6: three F-35As for the air force:
Since this order was approved in 2009, Italy has paid €323 million for the three aircraft and their engines and €26.5 million euros for logistic support. Two other payments (an additional €45 million for the aircraft and €68 million for support) come due by Dec. 31, 2013.
In all, Italy will have paid €462.5 million for the first three (LRIP 6) aircraft it is buying, which works out to €154.1 million per aircraft ($200.3 million at current exchange rates).
This is 58% more than the €97.9M unit price that Gen. Claudio Debertolis, Italy’s National Armaments Director, provided to Parliament in December 2012.
In a general discussion of F-35 costs, not specifically related to Italy, Lockheed Martin spokesman Benjamin J. Boling told Defense-Aerospace.com June 25 that aircraft “costs continue to decrease with each successive LRIP lot.” Unit costs for the F-35A had decreased from $78.7 million reported in 2011 to $76.8 million in 2012, he said quoting the Selected Acquisition Reports (SAR) released by the Pentagon.
- LRIP 7: 3 F-35As for the air force:
In 2011, Italy signed an order for Lot 7 long lead items (€47.4 million). Two more payments fall due by December: one for the aircraft and their engines (€314 million) and one for logistic support (€89 million).
- LRIP 8: Italy is buying 4 F-35As in this lot:
In 2012, Italy paid €38.1 million for Lot 8 long-lead items.
- LRIP 9: Italy is buying 3 F-35As and one F-35B for the navy in this lot:
Earlier this year, Italy paid €22.2 million for Lot 9 long-lead items.
 
To sum up, by December 2013 Italy will have paid €973.2 million towards its first 14 F-35 aircraft, with a similar amount to be paid in future years. This works out to an average of about €138 million (or $179 million) per aircraft.
 
As we have said before, we recognize that dividing total contract cost by the number of aircraft is an imperfect way of computing average unit costs, but it is the only method available given the way that the Pentagon releases contractual information relating to the program.
-ends-
The numbers calculated by Analisi Difesa can be compared to the numbers quoted in the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request (http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2014/FY2014_Weapons.pdf).
 
(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.secretprojects.co.uk%2Fforum%2Findex.php%3Faction%3Ddlattach%3Btopic%3D17732.0%3Battach%3D195156%3Bimage&hash=576cdc0f36635e58c8dd07a563f71cb8)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: BioLuminescentLamprey on June 28, 2013, 02:38:34 pm
Found this at F16.net (full disclosure that I didn't do any legwork. Just how I like it.)

http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pages/2013/June%202013/June%2028%202013/In-for-the-Long-Burn.aspx

Quote
Pratt & Whitney is gearing up for ground tests later this year of a demonstrator engine featuring technology that would increase the performance of the company's F135—the engine that powers the F-35 strike fighter, said Bennett Croswell, president of the company's military engines sector. The XTE68/LF1 powerplant, developed under Air Force Research Lab sponsorship, has "an improved hot section" compared to the F135 that would provide "about a 5 percent increase" in thrust if applied to the F135, Croswell told the Daily Report during an interview in Paris earlier this month for the Paris Air Show.

More thrust can't hurt. P&W is also offering a 5% fuel burn reduction option.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on June 28, 2013, 05:53:34 pm
Dutch F-35A F-002 on her maiden flight Photo by davechng
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on June 29, 2013, 03:24:34 pm
More Dutch F-35A F-002 photos


Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on July 01, 2013, 07:43:25 am
KC-10 with F-35B
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on July 01, 2013, 08:37:08 am
Stuff that has been hiding behind a pay wall on Inside Defense is now being reported by Aviation Week (http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_07_01_2013_p23-592154.xml):
 
Quote
More F-35 Delays Predicted
By Bill Sweetman
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
 
July 01, 2013
 
Less than two years after a new Pentagon leadership team adopted a new integrated master schedule (IMS) for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program—which in 2010 plans was to have been declared operational by now—the latest plan is at risk, according to the Defense Department's chief weapons-tester.
 
Software required to meet the Marine Corps' limited initial operating capability (IOC) date is already expected to be eight months late relative to the August 2011 IMS, Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E) told the Senate defense appropriations subcommittee on June 19. Radar and electro-optical system snags have delayed weapons integration, consuming all the margin built into weapons testing. Buffet and transonic wing-drop “continue to be a concern to achieving operational combat capability.”
 
The root of the software delays is that the program has been forced to add tests at a rate that more than offsets better-than-scheduled testing performance. The main causes, Gilmore says, are the helmet-mounted display system (HMDS) and regression testing—which ensure that changes have not caused problems in areas previously vetted. Regression testing alone has already forced the addition of 366 test points in 2013.
 
Flight-testing of Block 2A, the last non-combat software release, started in March 2012 with the goal of finishing in February, but was only 35% complete at the end of May. The Marines' IOC software release, Block 2B, was to be delivered for flight-test in August, according to the IMS, but is now not expected before April 2014, only six months before the due date for completing those tests. These have to be finished before the program can perform an operational evaluation in 2015 that must be completed before the Marine IOC, set for July-December 2015.
 
Sacrificing Block 2B capabilities to meet the schedule is not an attractive option, Gilmore notes, because even full Block 2B aircraft will “likely need significant support from other (fighters) . . . unless air superiority is somehow otherwise assured and the threat is cooperative.”
 
The Block 3i configuration, the basis of the Air Force's planned IOC date (August-December 2016) is also under tight schedule pressure, Gilmore explains. It is wedded to significant changes to the radar, and to the electronic-warfare and communications-navigation-identification processors (not just the integrated core processor, as reported earlier). Lot 6 F-35s, which start deliveries in 2014, include this new hardware and cannot fly without 3i software. “Maturing Block 3i hardware and software will be a significant challenge in the next 12 to 18 months,” Gilmore warns.
 
The DOT&E adds that “the most significant source of uncertainty” regarding what combat capability the JSF will provide in 2018 is that the program has to deliver an operational Block 3i while concurrently developing Block 3F, which is intended to meet the key performance parameters set in 2001.
 
Lockheed Martin says it is “confident that we are on track to meet the software development schedule” and says that prime software design for Block 3F is 41% complete.
 
Results of tests on the long-troubled HMDS are “mixed, according to comments from the test pilots,” says Gilmore's report. For instance, software to reduce the effects of jitter have done so—but at the cost of introducing another instability, described as “swimming” of the symbology. The fix to light leakage or “green glow” requires the pilot to perform “fine-tuning adjustments” of display brightness as ambient light changes.
 
Another threat to schedule is weapons integration, which Gilmore characterizes as “very slow.” Synthetic-aperture radar modes have provided inaccurate coordinates, and the electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) has had difficulty maintaining tracks. These problems had to be remedied before weapons tests could proceed.
 
Some radar and EOTS issues have been fixed, but all the margin built into the IMS, for both Block 2B and 3F weapons testing, has been used up before a single guided-weapon test has been performed. Gilmore writes: “The final Block 3F weapon integration tests are likely to be completed in late 2017, instead of fall 2016. This will make beginning operational testing of Block 3F in January 2018 a challenge.”
 
Current weapons-test goals include a guided AIM-120 test in November 2013—dependent on fixing software deficiencies—a GBU-12 laser-guided bomb test in October and a Joint Direct Attack Munition guided test in December.
 
Buffet and transonic roll-off—wing drop in high-speed turns, associated with asymmetrical movements of shock waves—still affect all variants of the JSF, despite control law changes. The program will conduct flight tests this year to assess the problem, but has now reached a limit on what can be done with control laws, Gilmore reports. Further changes would degrade maneuverability or overload the structure.
 
Earlier DOT&E reports have been critical of the F-35's ability to tolerate accidental or combat damage, and the new report follows that pattern. Gilmore observes that lightning-tolerance testing is yet to be completed and that even then, the fighter's airframe will have to be inspected after known lightning strikes—including skin penetration—because it does not use lightning-tolerant fasteners, Conventional fasteners were selected to save weight. Lockheed Martin says that inflight lightning protection has been approved and the critical design review is closed, with more tests due later this year. On the ground, the current plan is that ground crews will purge the fuel systems of parked aircraft with nitrogen, repeating this process as often as once every 24 hr.
 
Gilmore also notes that the prognostic and health monitoring system, currently, is unable to provide timely detection of combat damage to the F-35B lift-fan system, which “might fail catastrophically before the pilot can react” during transition to vertical landing. Lockheed Martin comments that “in the remote chance of a failure, the pilot would auto-eject.”
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on July 02, 2013, 03:06:42 pm
F-35B BF-29 First Flight

Lockheed Martin test pilot Billie Flynn was at the controls for the first flight of F-35B BF-29 (US Navy Bureau Number 168727). The flight occurred on 29 June 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas."
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on July 03, 2013, 03:42:33 am
Via defense-aerospace (http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/146227/more-f_35-delays-predicted.html), Gilmore's opening statement to the Senate Appropriations Committee: http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/ht-defense.cfm?method=hearings.download&id=69ee98b4-d073-4b00-8732-403dd92d29db (http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/ht-defense.cfm?method=hearings.download&id=69ee98b4-d073-4b00-8732-403dd92d29db)
 
Quote
[...]
None of the analyses conducted to date, by the Program Office or discussed in this testimony, have accounted for the effects of sequestration. Reduced funding for test resources and infrastructure while the F-35 is in development—such as reductions or elimination of funding for the McKinley lab, the test chambers, and support aircraft—will only add to the pressure to either extend SDD or accept reductions in capability. Additionally, reductions in developmental testing, which I understand are being considered by the Program Office, without the appropriate matching reductions in capability, will not remedy this situation. This approach would likely result in significant discoveries in operational testing and cause the program to extend until the discoveries are diagnosed and remedied.
[...]
The first build of Block 2B software was delivered to flight test in February 2013, and, as of the end of May 2013, 54 of 2,974 Block 2B baseline test points—less than 2 percent—had been completed. As of the end of April 2013, 303 of 1,333 total planned baseline mission systems test points for the year with all versions of software had been accomplished. An additional 532 added (or “growth”) points were flown to evaluate discoveries and for regression testing, which is 2.5 times the growth allotted in flight test plans through the end of April 2013. If this trend in added testing is maintained throughout Block 2B development, completing flight test by October 2014, as reflected in the program’s current plans, will not be possible.
Additionally, mission systems software development and delivery to flight test have lagged behind the plan reflected in the program’s integrated master schedule. The final Block 2B software configuration is now forecast to be delivered to flight test eight months later than expected by the current integrated master schedule—a delay from August 2013 to April 2014. The delay adds to the challenge of completing 2B flight test by October 2014, which is necessary to support an operational evaluation of Block 2B capability planned now to be conducted in calendar year 2015.
[...]
Block 3i software is needed for Lot 6 (and beyond) production aircraft equipped with this new hardware to be able to fly. Initially, Block 3i capability will be more limited than the Block 2B capability that will be concurrently fielded. This is because the timeline to develop, test, and clear Block 3i for use in production aircraft next year requires that Block 3i start with an early Block 2B version in lab tests very soon this year; thus, the capability provided in Block3i will lag Block 2B by about six months. Maturing Block 3i hardware and software will be a significant challenge in the next 12 to 18 months. Simultaneously, the program will need to make progress on Block 3F development. The ability of the program to successfully execute this concurrent software development is the most significant source of uncertainty regarding what combat capability the JSF will actually provide in 2018.
[...]
A Concept Demonstrator Aircraft engine test in FY05 showed that the engine could not tolerate ingestion of fuel leak rates representative of damage from a larger gun projectile impacting at low-altitude, high-speed and high-engine thrust - a type of encounter that might be expected on a close-air support mission.
The program made no design changes in response to these test results. This vulnerability, accepted by the program leadership, remains in the final, production engine design. The implications of this vulnerability are exacerbated by the program’s previous decision to remove a fuel tank ballistic liner during its weight-reduction efforts, saving 48 pounds. The ballistic liner could have reduced threat-induced fuel leakage to levels this single-engine aircraft can tolerate. A follow-on ballistic test is planned to re-evaluate vulnerability to fuel ingestion.
F-35B lift system live fire testing showed the system is tolerant to selected single missile fragments. The single fragment-induced damage to the lift fan produced in this test did not degrade the overall propulsion system performance. Nonetheless, analysis predicts that fragment-induced damage could result in more severe effects that could lead to catastrophic lift system failure (e.g. more than 25 percent lift fan blade loss leading to fan disintegration) as a consequence of certain engagements. To preserve the test article for future engine tests, such engagement conditions were not tested.
[...]
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on July 03, 2013, 11:40:38 am
Quote
Pilot and Maintainer Training
(Source: BAE Systems; issued July 2, 2013)
 
Third jet for the UK arrives at Elgin Air Force Base.

The third Lockheed Martin 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.

Delivering the F-35

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.”

F-35 Lightning II

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.

Contribution to industry

Collectively, some 500+ UK companies are involved in the F-35 Lightning II programme, building 15 per cent of each F-35 produced. Over the next 40 years, UK 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.

Our role

We bring military aircraft expertise that is key to the development and manufacture of the F-35 Lightning II. Along with being responsible for the design and delivery of the aft fuselage and empennage for each of the three F-35 variants, BAE Systems also plays a key role in other areas including vehicle and mission systems, life support system and prognostics health management integration.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on July 06, 2013, 06:37:43 am
AINonline: UK Will Try To Boost F-35B Landing Weight (http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/ain-defense-perspective/2013-07-05/uk-will-try-boost-f-35b-landing-weight)

Quote
July 5, 2013, 12:50 PM

Senior British military officials confirmed that the UK will conduct shipboard rolling vertical landing (SRVL) trials on the F-35B version of the Lockheed Martin Lightning II stealth combat jet. The SRVL technique would allow the aircraft to land at higher weights than is currently possible in the VTOL mode. The F-35B has faced weight problems, leading to concerns that it could not “bring back” to its aircraft carrier a useful weapons load that has not been expended in combat. The British have done nearly all the previous research and simulation on SRVLs.

More at the link.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on July 09, 2013, 03:43:58 pm
A F-35 Bravo Lightning II lands at Cherry Point for maintenance with the Fleet Readiness Center East July 9.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on July 10, 2013, 08:20:24 am
AF-33 (part of LRIP-5) made FF in July 6th

Photo by ACESFULL
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on July 12, 2013, 11:59:04 am
Quote
F-35 Pilot Cadre Grows To 100 As Training Ramps Up At Eglin Air Force Base
(Source: Lockheed Martin; issued July 11, 2013)
 
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.--- Maj. Robert Miller became the 100th pilot to fly the Lockheed Martin (LMT) F-35 Lightning II when he took to the skies above Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., for a training flight on July 9.

Miller's 90-minute familiarization flight included normal operations for aircraft handling and landings in an F-35A fighter. The flight followed academic and simulator instruction at Eglin Air Force Base's Integrated Training Center, which provides pilot and maintainer training for the three F-35 variants.

"It was great to get airborne today. The jet handles well and is very easy to fly. I'm looking forward to testing the combat capabilities of the F-35 over the next few years at Edwards," said Miller.

Miller, currently assigned to the 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., has spent 11 years in the Air Force and has flown more than 1,300 hours in the F-16, including 369 combat hours. He joins an experienced cadre of F-35 pilots among the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, the United Kingdom and industry.

"Maj. Miller is representative of the highly-trained pilots populating the F-35 community," said Col. Todd Canterbury, commander of Eglin's 33d Fighter Wing. "This milestone is significant because it shows the program is maturing rapidly and highlights the successful implementation of a world-class training program and development of the F-35 Lightning II for the combat air forces. We are excited to have produced the 100th F-35 Lightning II pilot."

The joint service partners at Eglin Air Force Base have flown 2,292 F-35 hours and have 28 aircraft assigned, representing the largest fleet of F-35s in the world. Approximately 100 pilots and 2,200 maintainers will be qualified annually through the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Training System at the base to support initial operational capability targets. The Lockheed Martin training system is also operational at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.

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. 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 at least 10 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on July 12, 2013, 12:00:31 pm
Quote
Taiwan Makes Pitch for Purchase of F-35 Fighter Jets
(Source: China News Agency; published July 11, 2013)
 
WASHINGTON --- A delegation from the Taiwan-US Inter-Parliamentary Amity Association of Taiwan's Legislature said Wednesday in Washington that Taiwan wants to purchase advanced F-35 fighter jets that best suit its defense needs.

Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator and Association Chairman Lin Yu-fang briefed reporters in Washington after the delegation's meeting at the Pentagon with David Helvey, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, to discuss Taiwan's needs for advanced defense weaponry.

The delegation members, in their capacity as the Republic of China (ROC) lawmakers, also met with Gregory Kausner, deputy assistant secretary of state for regional security and arms transfers, at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Washington Headquarters, according to Lin.

The lawmakers said Taiwan needs more advanced fighter jets and submarines to enhance its defense, and also needs to gain more international space.

Lin said Taiwan will continue to push for the purchase of F-35 fighters from the U.S. but should also consider buying a reasonable number of F-16C/D jets to replace Taiwan's aging F-5s, which are expected to be phased out in the next few years.

When the United States agreed to upgrade Taiwan's current fleet of F-16A/B fighter jets in September 2011, it effectively ruled out the sale of the next-generation F-35s, according to Lin.

It would be ideal if Taiwan could purchase the new fighters, which are capable of vertical and short take-off and landing, Lin said.

But even if the U.S. approves the sale, the global waiting list is so long that it would take 15-20 years for Taiwan's order to be delivered, he added.

While in Washington, the delegation also met with members of the U.S. Congress including Sen. Benjamin Cardin, chairman of the East Asian & Pacific Affairs Subcommittee, and Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Earlier in New York, the delegation met more than a dozen of the permanent representatives to the United Nations of Taiwan's allies at the U.N. headquarters.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on July 12, 2013, 03:29:45 pm
Lockheed Martin Delivers 100th Targeting System for F-35

Orlando, Fla., July 12, 2013 – Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] recently delivered the 100th Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) for the F-35 Lightning II. EOTS provides affordable, high performance multifunction targeting to the F-35’s full spectrum of military operations.

EOTS is the first sensor that combines forward-looking infrared and infrared search and track functionality to provide F-35 pilots with situational awareness and air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting from a safe distance. This technology allows aircrews to identify areas of interest, perform reconnaissance and precisely deliver laser and GPS-guided weapons.

“F-35 pilots can use the imagery to determine exactly where to strike while staying out of harm’s way,” said Ken Fuhr, director of fixed wing programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Delivering our 100th F-35 EOTS is one step closer to ensuring all F-35 pilots can perform their missions and return home safely.”

Lockheed Martin is currently producing EOTS under the seventh low-rate initial production contract. Planned production quantities for the F-35 exceed 3,000 aircraft with deliveries through 2030.

Key components of EOTS are manufactured at the company’s Ocala, Fla., and Santa Barbara, Calif., facilities. In addition to EOTS, Lockheed Martin also manufactures the low observable window for the aircraft at the company’s Orlando, Fla., facility.

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. 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 at least 10 other countries.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is a 2012 recipient of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for performance excellence. The Malcolm Baldrige Award represents the highest honor that can be awarded to American companies for achievement in leadership, strategic planning, customer relations, measurement, analysis, workforce excellence, operations and business results.

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.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on July 13, 2013, 01:58:22 am
From Aviation Week:
Italian final assembly and checkout facility starts operations, opening ceremony canceled (http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_07_12_2013_p0-596614.xml).

Quote
Internal politics in Italy have prompted Alenia Aermacchi and Lockheed Martin to dash long-held plans for a ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Italian final assembly and checkout (FACO) facility for the stealthy F-35 fighter.

[...]
 the companies recently decided not to conduct such a conspicuous event, in light of past political wrangling over the expensive F-35 program in Italy, according to program officials. They requested anonymity because of sensitivity over the decision.

[...]
The defense ministry constructed the facility to allow for long-term maintenance, repair and overhaul of the single-engine fighter. The government hopes Cameri will become a regional maintenance facility for aircraft in Europe and Israel, providing aerospace jobs for decades.

The first F-35 to roll off that assembly line is slated for delivery to Amendola Air Base in Italy in 2016.
More at the link
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on July 15, 2013, 03:26:29 pm
New Data Link Enables Stealthy Comms
Jul. 14, 2013 - 04:36PM   | 
By AARON MEHTA

WASHINGTON — Pentagon officials have long identified the F-35 joint strike fighter as key to the future of America’s defense, in large part due to stealth capabilities that should allow the plane to travel in contested environments that older fighters would struggle to penetrate.

The problem is, these planes need to talk to each other without sacrificing stealth. To tackle that problem, the F-35 has incorporated Northrop Grumman’s Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL), a system that’s undergoing testing in the California desert.

MADL is a digital waveform designed for secure transmission of voice and data between F-35s, with the potential of linking F-35s to ground stations or other aircraft, Northrop said.

Think of the system as a computer. The communications, navigation and identification (CNI) system on an F-35 can manage 27 different waveforms, including MADL. The data comes through the antenna, is turned into digitized bits, and is crunched by the on-board systems to get the relevant information to the pilots.

The system will be included in the 2B software package that the US Marine Corps’ F-35B jump-jet variant and the US Air Force’s F-35A conventional version will use when they reach initial operating capability in 2015 and 2016, respectively. It also will be included in all international versions of the jet. The US Navy’s F-35C carrier variant is expected to reach IOC in 2019 with the block 3F software, which will incorporate MADL and other capabilities.

What makes MADL more than just a communications tool is its ability to connect with other planes and automatically share situational awareness data between fighters. The more planes in the network the greater the data shared and the more comprehensive a picture is formed.

Picture a group of jets flying in formation. The pilot farthest to the right will have a different situational awareness picture than the pilot on the left. But once they’re networked, all the information is automatically shared among the pilots.

Prior to takeoff, planes would be designated with partners to form the network. When a plane gets within range, the network is automatically created.

“Like on your computer, your network into the local area, we’re building that network in the sky and it’s keeping up with all the dynamics and spatial changes,” said Bob Gough, director of CNI technology and programs at Northrop. “MADL has the smarts to keep up with all of that and keep the network in place so they can share the same data.”

Gough declined to say how close jets need to be to trigger the network link, but did say tests have shown “very fast” acquisition times once within range.

Live flight system tests at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., began late last year and have continued throughout this year. Initially, the tests involved networking a pair of planes, but recently, test pilots began regularly flying four-plane networks. Those tests are proceeding smoothly, said Joe DellaVedova, a spokesman for the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office.

“MADL testing is performing as planned,” DellaVedova wrote in an email. “Development of the advanced data link is currently tracking to deliver the phased capability expected by the end of development.”

The system is designed for plane-to-plane communications only, something Gough expects to continue in the near term. But he did not rule out experimenting with data transfer to other terminals.

“We have postulated MADL terminals on ships and we have built a MADL test ground station, so it could be done,” he said. “But it’s more about the logistics of where F-35s will be flying and how close to the ground they would be. It would be mission-scenario dependent, but it’s all technically possible.”

In the long term, Northrop hopes to expand the technology to other fifth-generation planes. That’s not a new idea; in 2008, MADL was slated to go on the F-22 Raptor fighter and B-2 bomber. But it never went on those jets, something the former Air Force chief of staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz, blamed on the technology’s lack of maturity during congressional testimony in 2009.

“We believe as the flight test program matures, it will be more likely” to end up on other platforms, Gough said.

That could include using MADL to communicate between fifth-generation fighters like the JSF and fourth-generation fighters, such as an F-16. Gough said he hopes to begin research on fifth-to-fourth generation data transfers “as soon as” next year.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130714/DEFFEAT01/307140011
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on July 16, 2013, 12:38:39 am
Interesting bit near the end:
[...]
The system is designed for plane-to-plane communications only, something Gough expects to continue in the near term. But he did not rule out experimenting with data transfer to other terminals.

“We have postulated MADL terminals on ships and we have built a MADL test ground station, so it could be done,” he said. “But it’s more about the logistics of where F-35s will be flying and how close to the ground they would be. It would be mission-scenario dependent, but it’s all technically possible.”

[...]
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Harrier on July 18, 2013, 07:57:26 am
First UK F-35B unit to be RAF 617 Squadron - The Dambusters:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dambusters-to-be-first-lightning-ii-squadron
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on July 22, 2013, 12:45:07 am
http://youtu.be/WpOWcULvZUc
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on July 23, 2013, 03:34:10 pm
Northrop Grumman Delivers Center Fuselage for Italy's First F-35 Lightning II, Enabling Increased International Participation

2013-07-23T05:00:00-0700

PALMDALE, Calif. – July 23, 2013 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) delivered the center fuselage for Italy's first F-35 Lightning II to the newly commissioned Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility at Italy's Cameri Air Base July 12. This on-time delivery to Lockheed Martin enables the first assembly of an F-35 aircraft at the FACO facility and increases international participation on the F-35 program.

The center fuselage, AL-1, will be integrated into a conventional takeoff and landing variant of the F-35, and represents the first of 90 center fuselage sections that will be delivered to the Italian FACO facility for Italian aircraft.

"We started working on AL-1 in September 2012, when it was inducted into our Integrated Assembly Line [IAL] at our Palmdale facility," said Michelle Scarpella, vice president of the F-35 program for Northrop Grumman. "It's the 115th center fuselage we've completed here in Palmdale, and marks another program milestone, as we continue to stand up and grow international F-35 participation."

The IAL maximizes robotics and automation, providing additional 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. Currently, there are 35 center fuselages in flow on the IAL, including some for Australia and additional ones for Italy; deliveries have already been made to Ft Worth for final assembly and delivery to the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Set on 101 acres in Italy's Piedmont region, the FACO facility at Cameri will be one of a kind in Europe. With 22 buildings, more than a million square feet of covered work space, 11 final assembly workstations – including four outfitted for electronic mate and assembly – and five maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade bays, the FACO at Cameri is positioned to serve as a new hub for the Italian aerospace industry.

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 manufacturing the F-35 center fuselage, Northrop Grumman designed and produces the aircraft's radar and other key avionics including electro-optical and communications, navigation and identification subsystems. Northrop Grumman also 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 is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on July 24, 2013, 04:34:31 pm
AF-41, Lockheed Martin’s 100th Airframe, first F-35 designated for Luke AFB

We couldn’t resist sharing with the world a few of the most recent photos of AF-41, Lockheed Martin’s 100th F-35 Airframe and first F-35A that will be delivered to Luke AFB. Enjoy!


Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on July 25, 2013, 02:34:17 pm
F-35 Test Aircraft Transferred to the Netherlands
The Hague, Netherlands // July 25, 2013

On July 15, 2013, the first of two Dutch F-35 test aircraft was transferred by the U.S. government to the Dutch Ministry of Defense. It is also the first F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) delivered to an international partner in the F35 program.

This is the English translation of the Dutch Ministry of Defense press release issued earlier today.

The Netherlands ordered this aircraft in 2009 for participation in the operational test phase of the F-35 program. After the aircraft had been fully checked, it was officially transferred to the Dutch Ministry of Defense. This took place at the flight-line of Ft. Worth, in the United States.

At that, the Netherlands took possession of the aircraft and will now be responsible for maintenance and safety. Therefore, some Dutch defense employees will follow a technical training, after which they will supervise maintenance works by the Americans and the respective accounts. By now, the production of the second test aircraft ordered in 2011 is finalized, and that aircraft is still going through some test and acceptance flights. Expectations are that the first test aircraft will be flown within some days by an American pilot to the U.S. air force base in Florida where the aircraft remains stored until a decision has been taken on the replacement of the F-16 in connection with the memorandum on the future of the Netherlands Armed Forces. During that period of storage, the aircraft will be used for technical ground tests.

https://www.f35.com/news/detail/f-35-test-aircraft-transferred-to-the-netherlands
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on July 26, 2013, 01:37:20 pm
Further to the images above:

Quote
100th Jet In Final Production; First F-35 Bound for Luke
(Source: Lockheed Martin; issued July 25, 2013)
 
FORT WORTH, Texas --- The 100th Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the first aircraft destined for Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Ariz., has entered the last stage of final assembly. This conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft, known as AF-41, is scheduled to arrive at the base next year.

During final assembly, the aircraft structure is completed, and electrical and hydraulic systems are added. Additionally, these systems are tested in preparation for fuel systems checks and engine runs. The final steps prior to acceptance by the Air Force include a series of checkout flights leading to the aircraft entering the service’s F-35 fleet. AF-41 is one of 126 F-35s in various stages of production worldwide.

In June, the Air Force announced its decision to increase the number of squadrons at Luke AFB to six with 144 aircraft, which will make it the largest F-35 base worldwide. In addition to training U.S. pilots, Luke will also serve as an F-35A International Training site. Currently, Luke’s economic impact on the state of Arizona is $2.17 Billion. With 14 F-35 suppliers in the state of Arizona, the program has an additional economic impact of $98Million.


Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 116,000 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on July 29, 2013, 03:55:35 pm
F-35A AF-34 First Flight

Photo by davechng
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on July 29, 2013, 04:12:14 pm
Northrop Grumman Delivers 100th Communications, Navigation and Identification System for F-35 Lightning II

SAN DIEGO – July 29, 2013 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has delivered its 100th AN/ASQ-242 communications, navigation and identification (CNI) system to Lockheed Martin Corp. for integration into the F-35 Lightning II.

A photo accompanying this release is available at http://media.globenewswire.com/noc/mediagallery.html?pkgid=20108 .

"The CNI system is a critical part of the F-35 mission systems suite, and we're proud of the excellent performance of the AN/ASQ-242 in flight tests and ongoing pilot and maintainer training activities," said Mike Twyman, vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems division of Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "This milestone underscores our commitment to advanced design, quality manufacturing, affordability and supportability.

"By incorporating lessons learned from previous programs and early F-35 low-rate production lots, we're delivering highly robust and reliable CNI systems that demonstrate extensive fifth-generation fighter capabilities. The Northrop Grumman team is focused on continuous improvement, lot to lot, for schedule, quality and cost as we prepare for high-rate F-35 production," said Twyman.

Northrop Grumman's integrated CNI system provides F-35 pilots with the capability of more than 27 avionics functions. 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 capabilities include Identification Friend or Foe, precision navigation, and various voice and data communications, including the Multifunction Advanced Data Link, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Requirements Oversight Council for use on all low-observable platforms.

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 developing and producing the AN/ASQ-242 CNI system, Northrop Grumman produces the center fuselage; designed and produces the aircraft's radar and electro-optical subsystem; 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.

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.

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

http://www.northropgrumman.com/MediaResources/Pages/NewsArticle.aspx?art=http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/xml/nitf.html?d=10042066
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on July 29, 2013, 08:06:40 pm
F-35A AF-30 First Flight

"Lockheed Martin test pilot Al Norman was at the controls for the first flight of F-35A AF-30 (US Air Force serial number 10-5018). The flight occurred on 27 July 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas.  Photo by Carl Richards"
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on July 30, 2013, 03:25:23 pm
Principle Agreement Reached On Two Lower Cost F-35 Contracts

Washington D.C., July 30, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin reached an agreement in principle for the next two F-35 Lightning II aircraft production contracts (Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) lots 6 and 7), which is expected to include 71 stealth fighter aircraft and continue a reduction in F-35 aircraft pricing. The contracting effort spanned six months from proposal to settlement.

A decrease in F-35 LRIP 6-7 unit costs, coupled with negotiating lower prices on a number of other smaller contracts, will allow the Department to purchase all the aircraft originally planned, including those that were in jeopardy of being cut due to sequestration budget impacts.

Cost details will be released once both contracts are finalized; however, in general, the unit prices for all three variants of the U.S. air vehicles in LRIP-6 are roughly four percent lower than the previous contract. LRIP-7 air vehicle unit prices will show an additional four percent reduction. The LRIP-7 price represents about an eight percent reduction from the LRIP-5 contract signed in December 2012.

"These two contracts represent a fair deal that is beneficial to the government and Lockheed Martin," said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer. "Improving affordability is critical to the success of this program, and by working together we were able to negotiate a lower cost F-35. There is still work to be done, but these agreements are proof the cost arrow is moving in the right direction.  We will continue to work with industry to identify areas for savings in future production contracts."

The new contracts will also include the first F-35s for Australia, Italy, Norway, and the fourth F-35 for the United Kingdom. In addition to procuring the air vehicles, these contracts also fund manufacturing-support equipment and ancillary mission equipment.

Deliveries of 36 U.S. and partner nation aircraft in LRIP-6 will begin by mid-2014 and deliveries of 35 U.S. and partner nation aircraft in LRIP-7 will begin by mid-2015.

“At the start of these negotiations, the F-35 Joint Program Office and our F-35 team jointly committed to conduct LRIP-6 and -7 negotiations in an efficient manner that leveraged all we achieved from the LRIP-5 contract,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin F-35 Vice President and General Manager. “Today’s agreement reflects our collective JPO/LM delivery on that commitment. We know how critical aircraft production is to meeting our services’ Initial Operational Capability dates, beginning with the Marine Corps in 2015, and we’re committed to making that happen.”

The LRIP-6 and -7 aircraft will join the 95 F-35s contracted under LRIPs 1-5. To date, 67 F-35s (including test aircraft) have been delivered from Lockheed Martin's production facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The U.S. and eight partner nations plan to acquire more than 3,100 F-35 fighters. Israel and Japan have also announced plans to purchase the jet under Foreign Military Sales agreements.

The agreement in principle reached between the Government and Lockheed Martin are for air vehicles and do not include the propulsion systems.  The LRIP-6 engine contract is currently being negotiated between the Government and Pratt & Whitney.

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2013/july/130730ae_principle-agreement-on-lower-cost-f-35-contracts.html
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on July 31, 2013, 11:57:01 am
Quote
Agreeing the First Contract for Norwegian F-35
(Source: Norway Ministry of Defence; issued July 30, 2013)
(Issued in Norwegian only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)

The multi-national program office for the F-35 in the United States, Joint Project Office (JPO), announced today that it has reached an agreement in principle with manufacturer Lockheed Martin for the production of 71 new aircraft as part of the 6th and 7 production batches of the F-35. The first two Norwegian aircraft are due to be produced as part of Lot 7, and therefore the contract is also almost ready for the first Norwegian planes.

“This means we will soon have a contract for a Norwegian aircraft, allowing us for the first time to have a concrete number for what the first Norwegian F-35 aircraft will cost. It will give us a good indication of whether the cost projections are based on the actual holding, which all indications are that they will do,” says program director for Fighter aircraft program Anders Melheim.

“The fact that we have delivered these two planes early allows us to begin the training of Norwegian pilots in 2016, and which means we may have trained pilots ready to receive the first aircraft on Norwegian soil the following year, in 2017. This is important, as it helps to ensure that the transition between the F-16 and F-35 is the best possible,” says Melheim.

The agreement announced today includes a total of 71 new aircraft, and these are in addition to the 95 aircraft already ordered under previous contracts. The two new contracts include deliveries to the U.S., UK, Australia, Italy and Norway.

Deliveries of the aircraft from the 6th production contract will begin in mid-2014, while shipments from the 7th contract, which will include the Norwegian aircraft, will begin in mid-2015.

The two Norwegian aircraft are expected to be delivered in the last quarter of 2015.

The JPO expects that the final contract will be ready in late August. Only then will it become clear what the unit price for each aircraft will be, but it's already promising that it will be further reduced compared to the previous agreement signed earlier this year.

The trend of increasingly lower costs is continuing, in line with expectations.

The two Norwegian planes in the 7th production contract are part of the four aircraft that Parliament authorized in 2011 for training purposes, and commissioned in the previous summer. The procurement of these four aircraft has a cost of 5.02 billion kroner.

“It is very gratifying that we will soon be able to sign the first binding contract for F-35. This is the largest single investment in defense ever made, and it gives us important new capabilities for the future. It is important to remember that this only applies to the first two planes - the next two aircraft will be ordered under the next contract as soon as it is ready, and this in turn will be followed by the contract for the first six aircraft in the main contract. In this way, with new contracts, we will constantly monitor the cost of the program, which of course is very important for us,” says Melheim.


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 real 2013 values. The overall Norwegian cost estimates have been stable since 2008.
- The first four F-35s will be used for the training of Norwegian troops was decided acquired in 2011. The first two of these will be delivered in the United States in 2015, and the last two in 2016.
- Parliament in June 2013 gave the government the authority to order the first six aircraft in the main procurement of F-35 to be delivered in 2017.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on August 02, 2013, 02:00:56 pm
Defense-aerospace.com:
Senate panel reduces funding for F-35 program (http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/146998/senate-panel-cuts-funding-for-f_35-program.html)

Quote
The Senate Appropriations Committee has reduced long-lead funding for the F-35 program, judging that it is premature to increase the production rate before the program’s many problems are resolved.
 
 The committee also told the Pentagon to review whether the Air Force’s stated goal of buying 1,763 F-35A fighters remains feasible. “Given these times of fiscal austerity,” the Pentagon “should review the Air Force tactical fighter force mix,” the defense appropriations subcommittee stated in its report.
 
 These two developments are clear signs that legislators are becoming very concerned about the F-35 program’s fiscal and technical non-performance, and with the Pentagon’s management.
 
 They are also significant because any reduction in the production run would result in higher unit costs, accelerating the “death spiral” when a program eventually becomes unaffordable.
 
 The appropriations committee’s markup of the FY14 (http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.view&id=da1654ae-45e3-42ee-a197-0840ea856089) Pentagon budget request, released Aug. 1, “fully funds the 2014 procurement quantities for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, but limits funding for a 2015 production ramp up to maintain focus on developmental testing and software deliveries.”
 
 It also “limits funding to F-35 Joint Strike Fighter development to support necessary planning activities for follow-on development.”
 
 In dollar terms, the committee “cut $80 million and six aircraft from the Pentagon’s initial $562 million request” to pay for long-lead items for the 42 aircraft that the Pentagon would like to buy in fiscal year 2015, Bloomberg reported Aug. 1. “The Pentagon is planning an increase from the 29 planes that were requested, and approved by the committee, for fiscal 2014,” it added.
 
 In its report, the defense appropriations subcommittee explains the cuts by noting that the F-35 program “continues to experience considerable challenges with software development, system reliability and maintenance system development.”
 
 Given these “significant challenges,” a “large increase in the production of aircraft” to 42 from 29 “is not yet warranted” the subcommittee said.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on August 06, 2013, 02:36:52 pm
Ready For Sea Trials; F-35B Completes 500th Vertical Landing

FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug.6, 2013 – The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft completed its 500th vertical landing August 3. BF-1, the aircraft which completed this achievement, also accomplished the variant’s first vertical landing in March 2010 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.
 
Next week, Sea Trials, known as Developmental Test 2 (DT-2) are scheduled to begin for the F-35B variant onboard the USS WASP. DT-2 is the second of three planned tests aimed at defining and expanding the F-35B’s shipboard operating envelope for the U.S. Marine Corps. The first shipboard testing phase was successfully completed in October 2011. The successful completion of the upcoming Sea Trials is key to declaring F-35 Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for the U.S. Marine Corps in 2015.
 
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 116,000 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.

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2013/august/130806ae_f-35b-completes-500th-vertical-landing.html (http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2013/august/130806ae_f-35b-completes-500th-vertical-landing.html)

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on August 06, 2013, 08:30:10 pm
US Marine Corps test pilot Capt. Michael Kingen releases a 500-pound GBU-12 bomb from F-35B test aircraft BF-01 during a weapons separation test over the inshore test area at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division test facility NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, on 1 August 2013. This was the 314th flight of BF-01.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on August 15, 2013, 08:26:07 am
US Navy squadron finally takes to the air in an F-35

A naval aviator from Strike Fighter Squadron 101 (VFA-101), the U.S. Navy’s first squadron to operate the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), took to the air Aug. 14 in the cockpit of one of the aircraft, marking a transition from planning and training to actual flight operations.

Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert — call sign Car Bomb — lifted off from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida in Aircraft 102 to fly the first squadron sortie in their new mount.

The flight, according to the Navy, followed a decision granting the FRS interim “safe for flight” status.

“VFA-101 will now begin to schedule and perform sorties under their own charter from their facilities at Eglin AFB,” Capt. Mark Black, commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific, said in a Navy press release. “This will permit the re-established Grim Reapers to begin training for the original flight instructor cadre that will teach future F-35C pilots in the intricacies of mastering the Navy’s first 5th generation fighter.

“Designating VFA-101 as Interim Safe for Flight signifies that the Navy F-35C has begun its service in Naval Aviation for real,” Black added.

VFA-101 now has begun to serve as the F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron, training both pilots and maintenance personnel to fly and repair the carrier-based version of the JSF.

http://blogs.defensenews.com/intercepts/2013/08/us-navy-squadron-finally-takes-to-the-air-in-an-f-35/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP on August 15, 2013, 08:37:36 am
(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt271%2FSpudmanWP%2Ff_35_107_zps23ef3d7b.jpg&hash=2d3c5ec056c613d8e87c79a8274ba4f0)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP on August 15, 2013, 01:50:26 pm
F-35B makes first landing at sea... at night.

Marine test pilot makes first F-35B night landing at sea > Headquarters Marine Corps > News Article Display (http://www.hqmc.marines.mil/News/NewsArticleDisplay/tabid/3488/Article/148069/marine-test-pilot-makes-first-f-35b-night-landing-at-sea.aspx)

(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt271%2FSpudmanWP%2F88b92400-4656-4bba-8897-4af3c7196b0d_zps69ab20ac.jpg&hash=7e48c2e435732d55c2b5e7b1582d7de7)

Quote
Lt. Col. C.R. “Jimi” Clift makes the first F-35B Lightning II night landing on USS Wasp during the second at-sea F-35 developmental test event, Aug. 14. The F-35 Integrated Test Force is embarked on the Wasp for three weeks to expand the F-35B operational envelope in preparation for Marine Corps initial operational capability test in 2015. (Photo by MCSN Michael T. Forbes II, U.S. Navy) (Photo by MCSN Michael T. Forbes II)


During the 18-day long ship trials, two F-35Bs will conduct a series of tests to determine the aircraft’s suitability for sea-based operations. Pilots will expand the F-35Bs allowable wind envelope for launch and recovery, conduct first-ever night operations at sea, conduct initial mission systems evaluations at sea, evaluate the dynamic interface associated with aircraft operations on a moving flight deck, and further evaluate shipboard sustainment of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
 
At the conclusion of DT-II, the Navy and Marine Corps team should have sufficient data to support certification for future F-35B Lighting II shipboard operations in anticipation of 2015 deployment.
More at the jump.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: TaiidanTomcat on August 16, 2013, 03:12:40 pm
http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/466854/eglin-f-35-fleet-exceeds-2k-sorties-training-presses-on.aspx

2,000th sortie
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP on August 16, 2013, 03:26:20 pm
Another night landing pic

(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt271%2FSpudmanWP%2F130814-O-ZZ999-390-1200_zpsbc05f5a6.jpg&hash=8cf56634d2ac2ce86d6739c1a221c8d6)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Nico on August 17, 2013, 07:07:52 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 (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.

In facts, ad the F-35B, like all Lightning II, is only single-seater, only one test pilot accomplished the first vertical take-off. I failed to find any source saying his his name. Some indicate "Navy test pilots" and other "Lockheed-Martin test pilot". Any information about?
Nico

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP on August 19, 2013, 01:23:49 pm
Video with night landing and night takeoff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jJglPPDm-w


Another View

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW72dBp5DBM
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on August 20, 2013, 11:10:10 am
Quote
Eglin's F-35 Fleet Exceeds 2K Sorties
(Source: US Air force; issued Aug. 19, 2013)
 
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --- Airmen and Marines assigned to the F-35 Integrated Training Center at the 33rd Fighter Wing here have consistently flown successful training sorties and generated their 2,000th sortie Aug. 13 with an instructor pilot of the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron-501 at the controls.

Maj. Adam Levine, who flew in a two-ship formation, said he was surprised with the news upon landing, but said that is typical since the flightline members are focusing on safe and effective flying rather than keeping pace with data tracked by those in statistical analysis.

"Every sortie, every takeoff, every hour is a win for the F-35 enterprise," he said. From his cockpit, Levine also witnessed the first taxi of the U.S. Navy's F-35C carrier variant preparing for its maiden flight from here.

With the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy pressing forward to meet goals of initial operating capability in the next few years for their respective services, getting ample time in the air is crucial to meeting their timelines.

"Flying the 2,000th sortie highlights the accomplishments of the entire F-35 airpower team here and moves us one step closer to the aircraft's initial war fighting capability," said Col. Todd Canterbury, the commander of the 33rd FW.

The Eglin F-35A, B, and C variant joint training has been accomplished while operational and developmental test missions at flight test sites on the east and west coasts have been conducted simultaneously -- a process known as concurrency.

In these last couple weeks, Eglin AFB officials sent a handful of their pilots to Luke Air Force Base Ariz., to become the initial cadre of F-35A leaders at the 61st Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Wing, said Col. Stephen Jost, the commander of the 33rd Operations Group here. Luke AFB's first joint strike fighters are scheduled to arrive in spring 2014 with plans to grow to 144 aircraft in the out years.

For now, the Eglin-based flyers are expanding their training curriculum as they double up to full aircraft strength in the spring with all 24 Air Force F-35As expected to be on base. Jost will lead the group's transition to the Block 2A aircraft, which carry upgraded computer software, in the first quarter of calendar year 2014 in order to accommodate more aircraft capabilities.

"We will increase the current syllabus from six student sorties to eight and even nine depending on when we will be cleared by the test community to fly at night," Jost said.

Aside from flight operations, this also entails transitioning the ground school instruction such as flying more advanced scenarios in the full mission simulator.

"The primary capability of Block 2A is use of the plane's multifunction advanced data link," he said.

Currently, voice transmission is the primary means of communication.

In the near future, VMFAT-501 is preparing to conduct its first local short take-off and vertical landing of the F-35B, an accomplishment realized at MCAS Yuma in March that the VMFAT-501 helped make possible. Meanwhile, the Navy's Strike Fighter Squadron 101 has conducted its first maintenance check flight Aug. 14.

In the upcoming years, when operating at full capacity, the Eglin fleet will grow to 59 aircraft with about 100 pilots and 2,100 maintainers graduating yearly.

The F-35 joint strike fighter program is a joint, multi-national program. In addition to U.S. armed forces, the F-35 increases operational flexibility and interoperability with the eight other international partners participating in the development of the aircraft. They are the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, and Norway.

With so much history in the making, the F-35A, B and C fighter units at Eglin AFB are making strides for airpower for years to come, officials said.

"The versatile and high-tech aircraft will carry the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy into the next 50 years of air dominance, and the men and women here can reflect back knowing they were among the pioneers in its initial phases," Canterbury said.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP on August 21, 2013, 11:34:21 am
 F-35 Support Costs Fall 22%, Pentagon Manager Estimates
 
Quote
A fleet of Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-35 fighters will cost $857 billion over 55 years to operate and support, 22 percent less than previously estimated, according to the head of the Pentagon office developing the plane.
 
The new estimate reflects the aircraft’s performance in 5,000 test flights over 7,000 hours, Air Force Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan, the Defense Department’s program manager for the F-35, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in written answers last month that haven’t been made public until now.
 
“The previous cost estimate did not factor in this new knowledge,” Bogdan said.
 
Operating costs include expenses from spare parts to repairs and fuel. Officially, the Pentagon’s estimate remains $1.1 trillion, a two-year-old projection developed by the Pentagon’s independent cost-assessment office.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-21/f-35-support-costs-fall-22-pentagon-manager-estimates.html
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP on August 21, 2013, 11:40:27 am
More Night & Twilight Ops

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K50UVd-cdo
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on August 22, 2013, 05:23:33 am
ATK celebrates 150th wing skin for F-35 Lightning II in Clearfield

CLEARFIELD — The future viability of Hill Air Force Base could hinge on the work being done by an aerospace manufacturer just a few miles down the road.

On Wednesday, ATK celebrated the completion of its 150th wing skin for the F-35 Lightning II, the fifth-generation, international, multirole fighter aircraft that will serve as the replacement to the F-16.

During an event held in ATK’s Aerospace Structures facility in Clearfield’s Freeport Center, Lockheed Martin and ATK officials and members of Utah’s congressional delegation highlighted ATK’s work on the F-35, as well as the fighter’s role in protecting national security and the program’s economic impact across the U.S. and within Utah.

“The work being done right here at this facility plays a huge role in Hill Air Force Base’s future,” said Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch. “The F-35 is the future of the base and the work that is going on here is essential to the jet’s success.”

ATK manufactures several composite structures for the F-35 at the company’s Clearfield facility, including upper and lower wing skins, straps, engine nacelles (the engine housing separate from the fuselage), covers and inlet ducts.

Hill is listed as the Air Force’s preferred alternative for the location of the first two operational squadrons of the jet and a possible third squadron.

The move would bring 72 new jets to the base. Hill currently has two F-16 squadrons and 48 jets.

Hill also provides modification and maintenance support on the F-35.

Both Hatch and Utah Congressman Rob Bishop said F-35s at Hill would help secure future workloads at the base.

“The F-35 at Hill, with both the maintenance and the operational wings, helps Hill be more viable if there is ever anything like a BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure Commission),” Bishop said. “And you just never know when something like that may come along.”

Hatch said he believes Hill is in a good position should another round of BRAC come along, but the F-35 squadrons put the base in a class above the rest.

“(BRAC) is always a concern,” the senator said. “Let’s just say I’ve been in the Senate for 37 years, and there hasn’t been a year when I haven’t had to make sure Hill was in good shape. But with the F-35, we’re in a great spot.”

While the discussion at Wednesday’s event centered around Hill, officials also lauded the F-35’s economic impact.

Bob Delaney, an executive at F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin, said more than 1,000 jobs are associated with the jet in Utah, creating an $80 million economic impact. Nationwide, Delaney said, more than 125,000 jobs are associated with the F-35.

The Air Force expects the F-35 to reach the stage of “initial operation capability” by December 2016.

http://www.standard.net/stories/2013/08/22/atk-celebrates-150th-wing-skin-f-35-lightning-ii-clearfield
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on August 22, 2013, 06:55:17 am
Bloomberg: F-35 Support Costs Fall 22%, Pentagon Manager Estimates (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-21/f-35-support-costs-fall-22-pentagon-manager-estimates.html)
Reuters: Pentagon cuts F-35 operating estimate below $1 trillion: source (http://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idCABRE97L01E20130822?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0)
 
Defense-aerospace: Analysis: Lower F-35 Operating Costs Should Be Taken with A Pinch of Salt (http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/feature/5/147327/lower-f_35-costs-need-a-pinch-of-salt.html)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP on August 23, 2013, 07:46:00 am
More news of another F-35 cost reduction.

http://goo.gl/a5Lkh2 (http://goo.gl/a5Lkh2)

Quote
(Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) said it is close to an agreement with the Pentagon for a more portable and 40 percent cheaper version of the operations and logistics system that controls the F-35 fighter, the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program.
More at the jump.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on September 06, 2013, 12:04:12 pm
Making Progress on F-35 Helmet, But 
 
Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall (http://www.defense.gov/bios/biographydetail.aspx?biographyid=248) said the F-35 strike fighter program is making progress on the aircraft's sophisticated pilot helmet, but is continuing to fund a less-capable alternative as a backup, just in case, reported (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/05/us-aerospace-defense-lockheed-fighter-idUSBRE9831BL20130905) Reuters. Speaking during a Reuters-sponsored symposium in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 4, Kendall said he was still hopeful the helmet would function as envisioned, fusing data from the aircraft's many sensors. He also wants to see the helmet's cost come down. Rockwell Collins and Israel’s Elbit are developing the helmet, while BAE Systems in maturing the alternative design in case the primary one is not ready on time to meet the F-35's fielding schedule. Last September, Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan (http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/Biographies/Display/tabid/225/Article/108398/lieutenant-general-christopher-c-bogdan.aspx), current F-35 program executive officer, said the main helmet was facing developmental challenges (http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pages/2012/September%202012/September%2018%202012/JSFOfficialsFocusinonHelmetIssues.aspx) and was still "rudimentary" in its capability.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on September 06, 2013, 12:08:42 pm
F-35 Remains Top Priority Despite Declining Budgets
 
Frank Kendall (http://www.defense.gov/bios/biographydetail.aspx?biographyid=248), the Pentagon's top acquisition authority, said he does not expect the Navy to have to significantly reduce the size of its F-35 buy if budget sequestration continues into Fiscal 2015—a move that could potentially increase the cost of F-35 variants for the Air Force, Marine Corps, and international partners, reported (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/05/us-aerospace-defense-lockheed-fighter-idUSBRE9831BL20130905) Reuters. "I don't see any indication that the Navy is going to change its plans in any fundamental way," said Kendall on Sept. 4 at Reuters' aerospace and defense symposium in Washington, D.C. In late August, Bloomberg reported (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-22/pentagon-weighs-firing-thousands-under-2014-spending-cuts.html) that the Navy might have to cut "unspecified numbers" of F-35s and buys of other airplane types. Kendall "strongly endorsed" the F-35 and its capabilities on Wednesday, saying Pentagon leaders next month would assess the long-term ownership cost estimate (http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pages/2013/August%202013/August%2023%202013/Bolt-of-Savings.aspx) just released by the F-35 program office. He said he was surprised by how much the cost dropped in the estimate—from $1.1 trillion to $857 billion for the United States to operate a fleet of 2,443 F-35s for 55 years—although he had expected the number to fall somewhat, according to Reuters.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Geoff_B on September 09, 2013, 11:40:41 am
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/royal-navy-air-squadron-reformed-to-fly-new-jets (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/royal-navy-air-squadron-reformed-to-fly-new-jets)

809 squadron is to be the FAA F-35B Lightning II unit for the UK
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Abraham Gubler on September 09, 2013, 07:38:59 pm
617 and 809 Sqns, be pretty hard argument to make they got that wrong!
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP on September 13, 2013, 08:13:46 am
Northrop Developing Laser Missile Jammer For F-35
(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aviationweek.com%2Fmedia%2Fimages%2Ffullsize%2FDefense%2FMiscellaneous%2FThNDR-NorthropGrumman.jpg&hash=5be6fad74344fe0e8b824df7418d9338)

Quote
September 12, 2013 Credit: Northrop GrummanNorthrop Grumman has begun company-funded development of a Directed Infrared Countermeasures (Dircm) system for fast jets, anticipating a requirement to protect the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from heat-seeking air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles.

“We believe the requirement is there, and coming quickly, and that the first opportunity will be on the F-35,” says Jeff Palombo, senior vice president and general manager of Northrop’s land and self-protection systems division.

Northrop plans to begin testing a prototype of the Threat Nullification Defensive Resource (ThNDR) system in its system-integration laboratory by year’s end, he revealed at a briefing in Washington Sept. 12.


Much more at the jump

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_09_12_2013_p0-615904.xml&p=1&loginAction=true (http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_09_12_2013_p0-615904.xml&p=1&loginAction=true)

In case you missed it... they are making Thunder for the Lightning :)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: FighterJock on September 13, 2013, 08:37:50 am
617 and 809 Sqns, be pretty hard argument to make they got that wrong!


Anyone know what squadrons will follow 617 and 809 to convert to the F-35B? 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on September 16, 2013, 10:30:27 pm
Published on Aug 29, 2013

Hear from the team that launched the first F-35C carrier variant local area flight at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., on Aug. 14, 2013.

http://youtu.be/GDLq3IEcv_4
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on September 16, 2013, 10:32:05 pm
Published on Sep 12, 2013

Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Jim Schofield and Lieutenant Commander Robin Trewinnard-Boyle of the Royal Navy discuss the F-35B's performance during ship suitability testing onboard the USS Wasp in August 2013.

http://youtu.be/DBI7uiDQA6Y
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on September 17, 2013, 12:55:39 am
Dutch government decides to order 37 F-35s, Dutch parliament has yet to agree. (http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/21895899/__JSF_definitief_gekocht__.html)
 
Spending cap of 4.5 billion euros for buying the aircraft, 270 million euros per year for operations and maintenance.
No official announcement available, possibly later today.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on September 17, 2013, 04:45:40 pm
Air Force 53rd Wing F-35

 ;D
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on September 19, 2013, 12:07:16 pm
Exclusive: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s
Tue, Sep 17 2013WASHINGTON (Reuters) -


U.S. government officials have briefed the Belgian government about the capabilities of the Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N: Quote (http://www.reuters.com/stocks/quote?symbol=LMT.N), Profile (http://www.reuters.com/stocks/companyProfile?symbol=LMT.N), Research (http://www.reuters.com/stocks/researchReports?symbol=LMT.N),Stock Buzz (http://reuters.socialpicks.com/stock/r/LMT)) F-35 fighter jet, as Brussels prepares to replace its aging fleet of 60 F-16s, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The source, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said Belgium was considering buying 35 to 55 of the new radar-evading F-35 jets. No decisions are expected until late 2014 at the earliest.
Belgium was one of the original NATO partners to buy the F-16 fighter jet, also built by Lockheed; but unlike Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, it did not join the international consortium that funded development of the F-35.

U.S. government officials have visited Belgium to discuss the F-35, which is being built to replace the F-16 and a dozen other warplanes in use around the world, according to the source.

Neither Lockheed nor a spokesman for the Pentagon's F-35 program office had any immediate comment.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa, editing by Ros Krasny and Gerald E. McCormick)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on September 20, 2013, 12:39:54 pm
Published on Sep 19, 2013 by Lockheed Martin

Hear from the Marine and Navy aviators and maintainers that were aboard the USS Wasp for F-35B ship trials in August 2013.

http://youtu.be/29-l73Im8rA
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on September 21, 2013, 12:18:24 pm
Quote
F-35 Program Chief Cites Steady Progress
(Source: US Air Force; issued Sept. 19, 2013)
 
WASHINGTON --- Citing changes to one of the Defense Department’s most ambitious acquisition programs, F-35 Lightning II development is making steady progress, the F-35 Joint Program Executive Officer said here Sept. 17.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan told military and industry experts at the Air Force Association’s 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition that the program has changed for the better over recent years.

“A number of years ago there was not a great balance of risk between industry and the government,” Bogdan said, noting that a year later, the progress, though accelerating, will still take time.

Among the improvements, Bogdan reported increases in flight testing, including plus-ups in testing locations and qualified personnel resulting in increased production.

“This program is slow because it is vast,” he said. “Progress takes a lot of time, but time is something we don’t have a whole lot of.”

The general said he was confident the U.S. Air Force will have what it needs by 2016 to declare initial operating capability.

“I’m also confident that ... our Italian partners and our Israeli friends will get delivery of their airplanes.”

Other changes include the establishment of a “cost war room,” an industry-financed office, which Bogdan said integrates industry and government experts in manufacturing, supply-chain and cost-analysis to monitor and control costs.

Also essential to driving down costs, Bogdan said, is increased buy-in and support from partner nations.

The general cited an example that the Netherlands recently announced their commitment to purchase the fifth-generation fighter as replacement for their aging fleet of F-16s.

“When we buy more aircraft, the price per airplane comes down,” Bogdan explained. “From a warfighting perspective, the ability for us to be side by side with our allies, flying the same aircraft with ... similar capabilities in an (area of responsibility), is a very powerful signal to the rest of the world that we are one team.” (ends)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on September 21, 2013, 12:20:07 pm
Quote
Ship Trials Bring F-35b Capability, Operational Utility Into Focus[
(Source: Lockheed Martin; issued September 19, 2013)
 
FORT WORTH, Texas --- Recent ship trials for the Lockheed Martin F-35B onboard the USS Wasp [LHD-1] underscored the fifth-generation fighter’s unique capabilities and operational utility according to Marines and sailors alike.

In a video released today, U.S. Navy Capt. Erik Etz stated, “A fifth-generation aircraft, such as the F-35, will open up threat areas where previous legacy fighters that operate off L-class ships weren’t even invited to play. So, an F-35B operating from this type of ship really gives a joint war-fighting commander different options to affect change in the world wherever it is necessary.”

Marine Corps Capt. Mike Kingen, an F-35 test pilot, added, “Ship-borne capabilities are important for the F-35B because they are important for the Marine Corps. Having F-35B, having a stealth platform that’s organic to that unit will allow us to support the Marines…. The F-35 is going to allow future pilots to worry less about stick and rudder skills and more about executing the mission.”

“The fact that the Harrier was not fly by wire at all, there was nothing in between me and the flight controls,” said Marine Corps Maj. Michael Rountree, an F-35 test pilot. “So, I could do things in the Harrier that would very specifically get me killed if I did them incorrectly. Whereas in this airplane there is a level of protection between me and those flight control surfaces. So in a mission – you know up and away from the ship – that’s going to allow me more time to think about the tactical picture, thinking about how I’m going to support the Marines on the ground.”

During the 18-day long ship trials, two F-35Bs conducted a series of tests to determine the aircraft’s suitability for sea-based operations. The aircraft completed 95 vertical landings, 19 of which were conducted at night, and 94 short takeoffs. The ship trials, known as Developmental Test-II, were a key milestone on the Marine Corps’ path to Initial Operating Capability which is scheduled for 2015.


Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 116,000 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)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on September 25, 2013, 11:28:39 am
Quote
Tyndall Unit Provides Battlefield Awareness for Eglin F-35s
(Source: US Air Force; issued Sept. 24, 2013)
 
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Air battle managers from the 337th Air Control Squadron here recently became eyes in the skies for the Air Force's newest 5th generation fighter.

The F-35 Lightning II, based at Eglin Air Force Base with the 33rd Fighter Wing, requires a different set of operating rules than other fighters, and this new set of rules is being written by air battle manager instructors which have had the opportunity to control the F-35.

"Starting to control the F-35s in the sense of the day is not a significant event." said Lt. Col. Gary Smith, 337th ACS commander. "What is significant is we have the next generation of air dominance."

Colonel Smith explained that air battle managers provide pilots with information they may not have. This information could include vectors to the nearest refueling tanker or simply an update of how many enemies are in a particular area. The information a pilot may need varies from aircraft to aircraft. Air battle managers are responsible for knowing the different capabilities of each aircraft, and making sure the information they pass is relevant to the pilot.

Air battle managers go through a nine month training course at the 337th ACS here at Tyndall, which is home to the Air Force's other 5th generation fighter, The F-22 Raptor. Instructors at the ACS have learned that what is required by an F-22 pilot may not be required by an F-35 pilot, Smith said. As they learn exactly what an F-35 pilot needs, they are able to instruct students on what has to be communicated. This helps every instructor become more efficient at training future air battle managers.

"We teach initial skills training," Smith said. "We teach air to air, air to ground, large force employment and aviation principles. More than that, we teach fundamentals of command and control."

Until recently, air battle managers teamed with the 325th Fighter Wing to learn how to control fighters like the F-22, but the F-35 has remained out of reach. As F-35 training and testing progresses, Team Tyndall air battle manager instructors are having more of a role.

"The relationship we have with the 33rd is becoming as important as our relationship has, and continues to be, with the 325th," said Smith.

Other air battle managers are also taking notice of the capabilities the aircraft has to offer. "I have been very impressed with the F-35 so far," Capt. Gary Foshee, 337th ACS instructor said. "It has been eye-opening to tactically control America's latest 5th generation fighter."

While the F-35 may be one step closer to being guided by air battle managers on a regular basis, Smith said it is not intended to be a replacement to fourth and 5th generation fighters currently in use. If anything, the F-35 will work in tandem with other fourth and 5th generation fighters to accomplish the mission.

"The F-35 is going to compliment the F-22," Smith said. "It's the shiny new penny."
Every aircraft an air battle manager controls provides different benefits for different situations.

As the F-35 inches closer to being fully operational in the Combat Air Force, air battle mangers are looking forward to the possibilities that come with it, said Foshee.

"As an instructor air battle manager, I look forward to the operational fielding of the F-35, not only across the Combat Air Force, but also our sister services and partner nations," Foshee said. "The F-35 has big shoes to fill, but she is up to the task." (ends)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on September 25, 2013, 11:31:05 am
Quote
F-35: New Fighter Creates New Culture for 21st Century and Beyond
(Source: U.S Air Force; issued September 24, 2013)
 
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --- She didn’t have a smudge on her. Not a leak found anywhere. She even had that “new jet smell.” Skies were blue, everything was perfect. Those were the conditions on that July day in 2011 when Lt. Col. Eric Smith took off from the Lockheed facilities at Fort Worth, Texas, in the first operational F-35 to fly to its permanent home at Eglin Air Force Base, in the Florida panhandle. And the rest, according to Smith, who would go on to pick up three of the first six F-35s from the factory, is history.

“It was just a great day – I was just a little bit nervous because I knew that if I messed it up it would be on the front page of every newspaper in the country,” said Smith. As he approached the runway at Eglin, he found bleachers full of people and a red carpet rolled out to signify the beginning of an era for not only the plane, but for the newly reorganized 33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin Air Force Base and the future of Air Force air superiority for the 21st Century.

The pick of the 33rd Fighter Wing “Nomads” to transition the Air Force’s newest and most lethal fighter into this century and beyond was no accident. With a history that dates back to World War II when the wing was a pursuit group, the 33rd showcased the F-4 Phantom during Vietnam and the F-15 Eagle through crises such as Grenada, Panama, Desert Storm, and post 9/11, when the Nomads provided armed over-watch throughout North America for Operation Noble Eagle, securing two presidents of the United States and multiple space shuttle launches.

“On Oct. 1, 2009, we stood up as an F-35 unit,” said Lt. Col. Matt Renbarger, 58th Fighter Squadron commander. “We were handed keys to an empty building, with five pilots, a technical sergeant, two lieutenant colonels and three majors.”

Renbarger and Smith both admitted that those early days, following the arrival of the first F-35, was a whirlwind of planning, creating policy and guidelines and putting together a training program with a syllabus, academics, and a completely new maintenance program.

Smith said that the early days with the first few aircraft were a challenge, not only for the pilots, but for the newly trained crew chiefs as well. “There was a lot of tech data that the technicians needed before they could work on the airplane, so the first six planes we delivered sat for about eight months before we were issued flight clearance. We didn’t receive our first flight clearance until March of 2012. “

Renbarger said that, like anything brand new and right out of the box, there were a lot of things that had to be learned that weren’t known before. He said that as a training unit, it was more Air Combat Command versus Air Education and Training Command. “It’s not a different mindset, but it’s more of a different mission. Here we create new pilots and maintainers, so we don’t have the downrange focus. Training pilots is our product.

“When test pilots at Edwards find something they tell us, and when we find something we tell them. When software is released they’ll come down here and tell us things they’ve learned. We’ll take new capabilities and bring them into our training syllabus. The folks at Edwards bring us the latest so we can teach the people who teach the people. We teach the teachers and the teachers teach the students.”

Renbarger said there is a lot to like about the F-35, from the standpoint of the pilot, the maintainer, the trainer, down to the bottom line of mission success. “I’ve never seen a pilot come back from his first sortie without a huge smile on his face. It’s something new, and programs like this only come around every 30 years or so, and to be on the ground floor – it’s the perfect time.

“Most pilots come from the F-16, F-15 and A-10 legacy aircraft. Sensors on the front of the F-35 allow us to have that 360-degree awareness. That was the big leap forward. Computer technology that is 30 years or more advanced than the legacy aircraft is what makes the F-35 so advanced.”

Lt. Col. Anthony Pelkington is the 33rd FW chief of safety and was one of the first of the legacy pilots selected for the F-35 program. He said that for pilots transitioning from those legacy systems, the F-35 is a huge deal.

“For 10 years in the F-16, I dealt with essentially monochrome cathode ray displays – approximately 6 inch square – and I’ve got two of them. Now I move up to a contiguous 8 x 20- inch color display that is a huge step forward for the pilot’s situational awareness. Plus, there’s a lot more capability in the display itself.

“In the F-16, I had a radar display with a selectable, like turning pages in a book, something that would show my ordnances like I had a stick figure map with monochrome lines on a black background. It would try to give us a semblance of where we were to maybe a weapons system. But I had to choose. Every one of those displays was limited to the confines of that small 6-inch to 8-inch screen.

“In the F-35, we now have this massive amount of screen real estate. I can now see multiple sensors at once, which is great because I don’t have to pick and choose. I don’t have to take away my situational awareness with what the radar is telling me in terms of traffic to bring up situational awareness and what the target pod looks like. It’s all there available for me.”

Pelkington added that one of the best aspects of the fifth generation fighter is its ability to communicate with all aspects of the aircraft, as well as customize information to fit each pilot’s needs. “The displays talk to each other, the sensors talk to each other, and a lot of information is displayed in sensible formats with other sensors in one combined picture. Now I can bring up large formats on displays so I can see things easier – I can even bring up many formats if I want with a different orientation on how the displays will look. Whatever I want to do to aid my situational awareness I can do and the reality, as a pilot, is that I can customize that setup quite easily to a format that best suits how a pilot understands.”

The wing’s safety chief said that one of the biggest advantages to the F-35 over legacy aircraft is the growth in options. “Choosing between a pilot’s eye and ‘god’s eye are all in the system now and weren’t in the F-16. I had one particular display option for radar format for the F-16 – I couldn’t choose anything else. I had to learn to read it in that manner. Which didn’t necessarily match how somebody looking out on a battlefield could see the picture. So you always had to do that conversion in your mind. With the F-35 you can choose the display format that best suits your ability, and there are multiple options to allow you to see things from a ‘god’s eye’ perspective. It allows me to see from a much greater perspective than the F-16 ever allowed.”

The equipment

Tech. Sgt. Andre Baskin is the wing’s aircrew flight equipment NCOIC, responsible for equipping pilots with the specialized gear required to fly the world’s most state-of-the-art aircraft. He and his small staff of specialists agree that the differences between the F-35 helmet and the rest are many.

“One of the biggest differences the F-35 helmet has over the others is that the new helmet encompasses multiple gadgets such as night vision goggles, and for that function you would have to modify the pilot’s flying helmet and add the components on there,” said Baskin. “With the F-35, it’s all encompassed in the helmet. The cameras on the jet work in sync with the helmet and whatever the jet picks up visually will be displayed on the visor in the helmet.”

From a pilot’s point of view, Renbarger agrees that the nicest part of the new helmet is that everything is self-contained. “The best thing about the F-35 helmet is that it has a big visor with a big display, and we can display a night vision camera visual on the visor and then a distributor aperture system that is basically a set of cameras that are all over the airplane and work in the infrared spectrum. That can be displayed on our visor as well.

“When we get our helmet fit, there is actually a complicated scan process that takes an image of our heads and provides a laser cut-out foam insert for the helmet that is molded to our heads. Then there’s ear cups that close the helmet around our head and a custom nape strap in the back that basically locks the helmet down on our heads. There’s very little, if any, motion in the helmet when we move our head around. Very well balanced, a very well fit and it feels great wearing the helmet. It’s very specific to each individual pilot.”

Pelkington also talked about the difference between the traditional G-suit, which offers pilots about a G and a half of protection, to the one used by F-35 pilots. “Some pilots acclimate to the Gs by genetic makeup, some by experience and can develop a tolerance for 5-ish Gs. With the new suit you can now go up to 7 or 8 Gs without ever having to strain. When you’re focused on pulling Gs -- on making sure your eyesight doesn’t gray out – your mind isn’t thinking about the adversary or the situation or the awareness of the battlespace. When you can pull 7 or 8 Gs without having to think about it, combined with the fusion of all the systems and the display on the glass set up the way you want to see it…it’s an amazing reduction in pilot workload.”

The maintainers

Senior Master Sgt. Paul Fulkerson is the production superintendent with the 58th Aircraft Maintenance Unit who is on the ground floor of maintenance for the F-35. He said that for F-35 maintainers, the biggest element that sets them apart is the electronic maintenance program called ALIS. Standing for Autonomic Logistics Information System, ALIS, according to Fulkerson, has all of the forms needed to perform maintenance on the new aircraft.

“With ALIS, there are no paper forms and the system allows maintainers to pretty much manage the fleet with the information on the computer,” said Fulkerson. “With the F-16s, we had to use paper tech data to perform maintenance, where you followed it step-by-step to do the task. With ALIS, our maintainers us ‘tough books,’ where they read the tech data on the screen.”

While a very young aircraft, Pelkington said the F-35, maintenance-wise, is very stable and makes a lot of information available to both the pilot and maintainer that isn’t available on the legacy aircraft.

“Oftentimes, in a legacy aircraft, you don’t know that something is wrong until you have a major systems failure that generates a warning in the aircraft. The aircraft can no longer perform to spec. A lot of warnings in the F-35 tend to be advisory, that says ‘this is going to have to be worked on by maintenance when you land.’ In the F-35, there’s no mission degradation. When a pilot gets back, there’s a load of data on every aspect of how the aircraft performs. From the maintenance standpoint, it gives them an awesome opportunity to catch issues before they become problems.”

Staff Sgt. Michael Sanders is an F-35 crew chief who has been with the program for the past three years and has more than a decade of experience on the F-16 and F-15 as a backshop engine maintainer. He explained that while maintainers in the legacy aircraft normally specialized in one area, such as engines or avionics, in the F-35, maintainers do it all.

“My job is completely different now from in the past. We would handle all teardown and build-up required for the engine, whereas now, we perform maintenance on the F-35 as a whole. We’re trained on all maintenance tasks, including the engine. I traveled TDY to Connecticut where I performed teardown and buildup for the new aircraft.”

Training

The F-35 Academic Training Center, or ATC, is a sprawling complex responsible for every facet of F-35 training at Eglin. From pilots to maintainers to support Airmen, the ATC has developed, or is in the process of developing, the training syllabuses, procedures, guidelines, certifications and “textbooks” that will become the training standard for decades to come, according to Renbarger.

He said that for pilots, training in the F-35 simulator is by far, the best there is. “I’ve flown in F-16 simulators and F-22 simulators and the F-35 simulator is truly state-of-the-art. They’ve got the best visuals, full dome coverage, 360-degree views, target set build-up, they have runways and very much replicates flying the airplane. I haven’t heard one pilot say it wasn’t the best simulator they’ve ever been in short of flying the airplane.”

Renbarger added that because the F-35 is a single-seat plane, the first time a pilot flies the F-35, he’s by himself, making the simulator even more critical. “The operational flight software that runs the airplane – that same software is in the simulator,” said Renbarger. “In other aircraft I have flown, there have been differences between the simulator and the airplane. This is as close as I’ve ever seen between the simulator and airplane. Exact same cockpit. The cockpit sits on a rail and you sit in the cockpit and it drives forward and raises up inside the dome and the screens you see are the exact same screens you see on the jet.”

On the maintenance side, students are confronted with a similar real-world view, with a weapons load trainer mock-up of the F-35 that contains everything but the tail and the cockpit. Tech. Sgt. Adam Zakrzewski is an ATC instructor with Detachment 19 of the 372nd Training Squadron. He said that during training on the F-35, students will practice opening and closing doors, checking the hydraulics levels, oil levels, etc., but there’s a big difference between maintenance on legacy aircraft versus the F-35.

“There are a lot more steps in gaining access to the legacy aircraft than there are to accessing the F-35,” said Zakrzewski. “I’m an old A-10 guy, where you have to unfasten 200 screws to get a door panel open. On the F-35, there’s one interface connect and click two buttons.”

Tech. Sgt. Justin Weddle is an ATC instructor and flight chief with the field training detachment of the 372nd Training Squadron, who says that in normal maintenance training, instructors would give students a PowerPoint presentation, cover some TOs and give students hands-on training on the aircraft.

“The maintenance group would have to give up an aircraft or whatever students were training on such as a weapons system, AGE, anything like that. At the ATC, and in the F-35 training plan, we begin with an EML, or electronic mediated lecture, kind of like the traditional PowerPoint, but it’s done through an electronic system.” Weddle said the student will then transition, in the same classroom and setting, to more self-paced training on the computer. “It’s just a reinforcement of what the instructor has said during his portion of the training.

“Students will then go through an ASMT, which is an aircraft systems maintenance trainer. It’s essentially an avatar, and from that you go and do whatever task you’re learning about. Whether you are installing a hydraulic pump or some other portion of the aircraft. On one side of the screen, students will have their avatar and on the other they’ll have their joint tech data laptop and they can follow all of the steps exactly. That way the training is not all front-loaded, it can be weaved in and out of the training course.”

F-35: Fighter of the future

In addition to the Air Force’s F-35A, the Marine Corps and the Navy have their own versions of the F-35. The F-35B will give the Marine Corps a short take-off and vertical landing capability, while the Navy’s F-35C will give them a carrier-based capability. Smith believes that for the future of the F-35, it may not change the way we fly, but it will make the U.S. and its allies the dominant air power for the next 30 to 50 years.

“That’s the beauty of the F-35. There are three variants out there, but all three are going to use the same system software. So as they develop something new for our country, our allies who fly the F-35 will get that same capability. That will make integration much smoother.”

Since Smith’s journey home with the first F-35 in 2011, Air Force, Marine, Navy and U.K. pilots have amassed more than 3,100 flying hours in the three versions, flying more than 2,300 sorties.

To those who have spent the past the past four or five years learning the intricacies of a new aircraft -- how to fly it, how to fix it and how to create a plan to teach it, the F-35 has become much more than an airplane showcasing state-of-the-art technology. For the men and women of the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin, responsible for getting the F-35 ready for its grand entrance as the dominant airpower for the 21st Century and beyond, it has spawned a completely new culture and way of life.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on September 26, 2013, 12:16:22 am
New Inspector General report announced by Bloomberg: Lockheed F-35 Quality Failings Cited by Inspector General (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-25/lockheed-f-35-quality-failings-cited-by-inspector-general.html)
Quote

[...]
The watchdog office’s “quality assessment” outlines what it calls ineffective management by Pentagon oversight personnel and insufficient attention to quality assurance in the design and manufacturing phases of the $391.2 billion F-35 program, according to a summary obtained by Bloomberg News (http://topics.bloomberg.com/bloomberg-news/). The full report may be issued as soon as Sept. 30.
[...]
The inspector general’s audit said the F-35 program office should modify its contracts to “include a quality escape clause, to ensure the government does not pay for nonconforming product,” according to the summary.
[...]
Siebert, the Lockheed spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement that the report “is based on data that’s more than 16 months old and a majority of the corrective action requests” in the document “have been closed.”
[...]
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on September 26, 2013, 04:45:07 pm
F-35B BF-33 First Flight

Lockheed Martin test pilot Billie Flynn was at the controls for the first flight of F-35B BF-33 (US Navy Bureau Number 168731). The flight occurred on 3 September 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on September 26, 2013, 04:46:40 pm
Sep' 21, BF-34 up in the air which is the last LRIP-4 A/C and the 80th F-35 to fly
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on September 26, 2013, 04:48:55 pm
Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti was at the controls for the first flight of F-35B BF-30 (US Navy Bureau Number 168728). The flight occurred on 18 September 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on September 26, 2013, 04:53:03 pm
Lockheed Martin test pilot Al Norman was at the controls for the first flight of F-35A AF-31 (US Air Force serial number 11-5020). The flight occurred on 7 September 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas.


Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on September 28, 2013, 01:48:19 pm
Quote
UPDATE 1-Pentagon finalizes $7.8 bln in F-35 contracts with Lockheed
Fri, Sep 27 2013
By Andrea Shalal-Esa

WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Friday said it had finalized two contracts with Lockheed Martin Corp valued at $7.8 billion for 71 more F-35 fighter jets, citing what it called significant reductions in the cost of the new radar-evading warplane.

The U.S. Defense Department said it signed a $4.4 billion contract for a sixth batch of 36 F-35 aircraft, with the average cost of the planes down 2.5 percent from the previous deal. All but $743 million of that amount had already been awarded to the company under a preliminary contract.

The two sides also signed a $3.4 billion contract for 35 aircraft in a seventh batch, which reflected a 6 percent drop in the average price from the fifth group, it said in a statement.
The Pentagon's F-35 program office said the cost of each F-35 conventional takeoff A-model jet would drop to $98 million in the seventh batch of jets, excluding the engine, from $103 million in the sixth lot. It marks the first time the price of the jet will have dipped below $100 million.

The U.S. government buys the engines directly from Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, under a separate contract.

The Pentagon has projected it will spend $392 billion to buy a total of 2,443 stealthy F-35 fighter jets over the next few decades to replace F-16, F-15, F/A-18 and other warplanes used by the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.
The program is years behind schedule and nearly 70 percent over original cost estimates, but U.S. officials said last week the program is now making progress in flight testing, production and long-term operating costs.
Lockheed and the Pentagon announced an agreement in principle for the next 71 jets on July 30. Rear Admiral Randy Mahr, deputy director of the Pentagon's F-35 program office, had told reporters on Wednesday that he expected the contracts to be wrapped up within days.

Lorraine Martin, Lockheed's F-35 program manager, said production costs had declined with each successive lot of jets.

"That's a trend we look forward to continuing as this program moves toward full rate production and operational maturity," Martin said in a statement provided to Reuters.

"Working together with the Joint Program Office, our entire industrial team is focused on delivering the F-35's 5th-generation capabilities to our armed forces and partner nations at a 4th-generation price point," she said.
Industry executives use the phrase fifth-generation to refer to the jet's stealthy coatings and other features that make it nearly invisible to enemy radar.

Lockheed is building three variants of the F-35 for the U.S. military and eight countries that helped fund its development: Britain, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
Israel and Japan have also placed orders for the jets.

The F-35 remains in the running for a 60-jet South Korean fighter competition after Seoul this week rejected a bid by Boeing Co involving its F-15 Silent Eagle fighter jet.
Lockheed's main subcontractors on the program are Northrop Grumman Corp and Britain's BAE Systems Plc.

The Pentagon said the price of the B-model that Lockheed is building for the Marine Corps, would drop to $104 million in the seventh group from $109 million in the sixth. It said the cost of the C-model variant, which will be able to land and take off from aircraft carriers, would drop to $116 million a jet from $120 million in the sixth lot.

The contracts also reduce the government's exposure to cost overruns, according to the Pentagon's statement, with Lockheed agreeing to cover any cost overruns. The government and Lockheed would share returns on a 20-80 split basis if costs come in below target, it said.

The two sides will share equally the costs of all known retrofits needed for the aircraft, while any newly discovered changes could result in higher contract costs, the Pentagon said.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Abraham Gubler on September 28, 2013, 05:26:43 pm
So that's around 200 aircraft delivered or contracted? Mmm death spiral...  ;D
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on October 01, 2013, 01:12:24 am
Via Defensenews (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130930/DEFREG02/309300036/Pentagon-Report-F-35-Program-Struggles-Quality-Management), Inspector General's report (pdf): Quality Assurance Assessment of the F-35 Lightning II Program (http://www.dodig.mil/pubs/documents/DODIG-2013-140.pdf)
 
Quote
  Findings
 
The F-35 Program did not sufficiently implement or flow down technical and quality management system requirements to prevent the fielding of nonconforming hardware and software. This could adversely affect aircraft performance, reliability, maintainability, and ultimately program cost. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company (Lockheed Martin) and its subcontractors did not follow disciplined AS9100 Quality Management System practices, as evidenced by 363 findings, which contained 719 issues.
The Joint Program Office did not:
   
  • Ensure that Lockheed Martin and its subcontractors were applying rigor to design, manufacturing, and quality assurance processes.
  • Flow down critical safety item requirements.
  • Ensure that Lockheed Martin flowed down quality assurance and technical requirements to subcontractors.
  • Establish an effective quality assurance organization.
  • Ensure that the Defense Contract Management Agency perform adequate quality assurance oversight.
In addition, the Defense Contract Management Agency did not:
   
  • Sufficiently perform Government quality assurance oversight of F-35 contractors.
 
Recommendations

The Joint Program Office should:
 
 
  • Ensure compliance with AS9100 throughout the F-35 supply chain.
  • Ensure that Lockheed Martin approves all design and material review board changes and variances with Government concurrence.
  • Perform process proofing of all critical processes to include first article inspections.
  • Modify its contracts to include a quality escape* clause to ensure the Government does not pay for nonconforming product.
  • Assess the impacts and risks to all delivered aircraft for all findings.
  • Implement an aviation critical safety item program that meets the requirements of Public Law and DoD policy, which would include flow down of requirements for a critical safety item program to Lockheed Martin and its subcontractors.
  • Assess the impacts and risks to all delivered aircraft for critical safety item deficiencies.
  • Perform technical and quality assurance require-ment flow down and verification throughout the F-35 supply chain.
  • Establish an independent quality assurance organiza-tion, which has the authority and resources to enforce the AS9100 standard and F-35 product quality.
  • Revise the Defense Contract Management Agency memorandum of agreement to include explicit quality assurance oversight requirements.
  • Ensure that Defense Contract Management Agency is performing quality assurance oversight commensurate with product criticality.
The Defense Contract Management Agency should:
   
  • Provide a comprehensive quality assurance oversight plan for Joint Program Office approval to be included in the memorandum of agreement.
  • Audit the execution of the quality assurance oversight plan throughout the F-35 supply chain.
* A quality escape is nonconforming material that has entered the product, supply chain, or proceeded beyond the acceptance process.
 

Management Comments and Our Response
 
On August 23, 2013, the Joint Program Office and the Defense Contract Management Agency responded to the findings and recommendations in the report. The Joint Program Office agreed with eight recommendations, partially agreed with two, and disagreed with one. The Joint Program Office stated that it does not have the resources to perform process proofing of all critical processes nor has the responsibility or resources to perform requirement flow down verification throughout the F-35 supply chain. However, we disagree because it is the Joint Program Office’s responsibility to ensure contractual compliance to prevent nonconformances. It is also the responsibility of the Joint Program Office to update the contract if the requirements are deficient.
It was also our recommendation that Joint Program Office establish an independent quality assurance organization reporting to the Program Manager. The Joint Program Office disagreed stating that the Defense Contract Management Agency performs the role of the independent quality assurance organization for the F-35. We disagree because the Defense Contract Management Agency is not accountable for program quality assurance goals. An independent quality assurance organization reporting directly to the Program Manager would ensure that performance and reliability objectives are met.
The Defense Contract Management Agency agreed with one recommendation and partially agreed with the second. The Defense Contract Management Agency stated that it would update the memorandum of agreement between the Defense Contract Management Agency and the Joint Program Office, regarding surveillance; however, we disagree and desire specifics on the level of oversight at contractor facilities.

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on October 01, 2013, 02:31:27 am
Quote
UPDATE 2-Lockheed, Pentagon cite improved F-35 quality work since end 2012
Mon, Sep 30 2013

* Pentagon says 78 percent of issues raised already addressed
* "Scrap and rework" rate said to be coming down
* Inspector general cites nearly 900 quality issues on every jet built

By Andrea Shalal-Esa

WASHINGTON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp has resolved many quality problems on the $392 billion F-35 fighter jet program since a troubling audit by the Pentagon inspector general's office last year, top U.S. government and industry officials said on Monday.

The officials were commenting on a report on the year-long in depth assessment by the inspector general, which was completed in December 2012, but not released until Monday.

The report said each radar-evading fighter jet built had over 800 quality issues on average, and faulted both the Pentagon's F-35 program office and the Defense Contracts Management Agency for "inadequate" and "ineffective" oversight of the Pentagon's costliest weapons program.

The report said the issues could lead to "nonconforming hardware, less reliable aircraft and increased cost," but said the F-35 program office was implementing corrective actions.

Additional assessments of the program were being planned, the report added.

The F-35 program is running years behind schedule and 70 percent over initial cost estimates, but Pentagon officials say it has made progress on flight testing, production and long-term operating costs. They have also vowed to protect the program from across-the-board budget cuts to ensure it stays on track.

Lockheed is building three variants of the new jet for the U.S. military and eight countries that funded its development: Britain, Canada, Australia, Norway, Italy, Turkey, Denmark and the Netherlands. Israel and Japan have also ordered jets.

The Pentagon's deputy F-35 program director and Lockheed executives cited significant improvements since the inspector general's assessment concluded last year. The study was the first of its kind ever done on a major weapons program, they said.

"This was a wake-up call that we had to be more rigorous," Eric Branyan, Lockheed's F-35 vice president of program management, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"We take this very seriously," he said, adding that Lockheed had implemented a host of specific initiatives to focus on quality company-wide and had also set up a global quality council with 10 key suppliers.

Branyan said about 13 percent of the work on any F-35 fighter jet centered on resolving quality issues, down from around 18 percent during the first low-rate production batch.

He said Lockheed expected to drive that "scrap and rework" rate down to around 6 percent in several years when production reaches between 500 and 600 jets. The company's popular F-16 fighter jet only hit that 6 percent rate after production of four times as many jets - around 2,600 planes, he added.

The IG's report acknowledged some improvement in work on the F-35 program, but said further gains were needed since repair and rework rates continued to add significant cost.

It said there were an average of 859 "quality action requests" per aircraft in the fourth lot of low-rate production jets, down from over 900 on each of the three earlier sets.

The IG report said Lockheed's scrap, rework and repair rate fell to 13.11 percent in fiscal year 2013, which ends Monday, from 13.82 percent a year earlier, showing only "moderate" change.

"Although it would be unrealistic to expect first production to be issue free, our contractor assessments indicate that greater emphasis on quality assurance, requirement flow down and process discipline is necessary, if the government is to attain lower program costs," the report said.

Lockheed said it had also reduced the number of hours associated with quality issues on each jet to around 80,000, down from around 190,000 hours seen during production of the first batch of low-rate production jets.

Navy Rear Admiral Randy Mahr, the No. 2 official in charge of the F-35 program, said Lockheed and its suppliers were making progress in addressing issues raised by the inspector general's assessment. He said his office was also working closely with the Defense Contract Management Agency to ensure improved oversight.

Of 343 quality problems identified by the IG assessment, some 269 - or 78 percent - had been addressed and closed through specific action plans, and remedies were under way for all but 10 items, where specific plans still needed approval, said Kyra Hawn, spokeswoman for the Pentagon's F-35 program office.

Mahr said a majority of the findings were consistent with weaknesses previously identified by the DCMA and the F-35 Joint Program Office, and did not present new or critical issues that affect the health of the program. But he stressed that the IG assessment was professional and helpful.

"We're intentionally leveraging the lessons learned," Mahr told a small group of reporters. "You can't inspect yourself. We understand that. That's why the (inspector general) is there. We need people to come in and look and point out areas where we aren't paying enough attention."

The inspector general's office looked specifically at work done by Lockheed, the prime contractor on the F-35 program, and five suppliers: Northrop Grumman Corp ; Britain's BAE Systems Plc ; L-3 Communications Holdings Inc, Honeywell International Inc and the United Technologies Corp unit that makes the plane's landing gears.

F-35 program officials said the inspector general's office initially planned to look at Pratt & Whitney, another United Technologies unit that builds the plane's engine under a separate contract with the government, but later skipped that part of the assessment due to funding constraints.

Two engine-related groundings last year occurred after the inspector general's office completed its assessment, Mahr said.


Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on October 01, 2013, 11:01:14 am
Quote
Gov't inks 1st deals with domestic firms for F-35 fighter production

The Japanese government signed on Monday its first set of contracts with domestic defense-related manufacturers for join production of U.S. F-35 stealth fighter jets from fiscal 2013, the Defense Ministry said.

The ministry identified the firms as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., which will be in charge of conducting the final assembly, IHI Corp., which will make engine parts, and Mitsubishi Electric Corp., which will manufacture radar parts.

Under the deals with the three companies worth about 87.7 billion yen in total, the contract with Mitsubishi Heavy is roughly 63.9 billion yen and those with IHI and Mitsubishi Electric about 18.2 billion yen and 5.6 billion yen, respectively, the ministry said.

Japan's Air Self-Defense Force will introduce the jets as Japan's next-generation mainstay fighter. The country plans to acquire a total of 42 F-35s.

The Defense Ministry also said Japan has concluded negotiations with the United States to buy under the state budget for fiscal 2013 two F-35 jets at an estimated amount of 23 billion yen as part of the total contract worth 45.5 billion yen. They are expected to be delivered to Japan in March 2018.

Being developed by a U.S.-led international consortium, the fighter jet is equipped with cutting-edge technology to evade radar detection.

The agreements with the domestic manufacturers came after Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga issued a statement in March saying Japan will uphold its long-standing ban on arms exports but allow domestic companies to join in making parts for the F-35 on the grounds the United States will strictly control shipments.

Concerns have been raised that such parts exports could run counter to Japan's policy of avoiding possible aggravation of international conflicts, since Israel, which has military tensions with some of its neighbors, is on the list of countries expected to acquire the F-35s.

==Kyodo
Copyright 2013 Kyodo News International.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on October 01, 2013, 11:30:37 am
Quote
Israel to seek second F-35 squadron
By:  ARIE EGOZI  TEL AVIV
4 hours ago

The "new situation" between the USA and Iran may result in some immediate procurement decisions by Israel, including the purchase of additional Lockheed Martin F-35s.

Israel is worried about a so-called "smiles campaign" recently initiated by Tehran, which according to Israeli sources has all but removed the option of any future US military action in response to Iran's nuclear programme.

According to Israeli sources, the nation will follow an initial deal for 19 conventional take-off and landing F-35As with a request for at least another 20 of the stealthy combat aircraft, in a move which would give it sufficient volume to equip two squadrons. They add that they believe the US administration will take some steps to facilitate the additional procurement.

In addition to increasing its planned F-35 acquisition, Israel is expected to gain the ability to integrate more nationally-developed systems with the Lockheed type. Following Israeli pressure over several years, Washington agreed to allow its air force to enhance the electronic warfare (EW) system capabilities of its F-35s, which are due to be delivered from late 2017.

While Israel will not be able to advance an earlier plan to also make changes to the F-35's radar, sources say that an approval for a second batch of the aircraft would enable additional EW and weapon systems to again be on the table.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on October 01, 2013, 04:40:17 pm
First part made for the first Norwegian F-35, with serial number AM-1. This part is unique for the norwegian F-35, as it is modified for use with a brake chute.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on October 02, 2013, 01:03:02 pm
Quote
F-35 test pilot Elliott Clemence clears up the most common misconceptions he hears about the F-35

http://youtu.be/2cjvx5DsGqo
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on October 03, 2013, 09:17:44 am
http://www.defensenews.com/article/20131001/DEFREG/310010028 (http://www.defensenews.com/article/20131001/DEFREG/310010028)
 
Talk of 6th Gen engine power needs in same story;
 
...The latter is particularly interesting, given the likelihood that a next-generation fighter would contain some form of directed energy weaponry...
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on October 03, 2013, 11:21:50 am
Quote
Strike Fighter Squadron 101 Hosts F-35C Lightning II Rollout Ceremony
(Source: U.S Navy; issued October 2, 2013)
 
SAN DIEGO --- The Navy's first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant aircraft squadron, the "Grim Reapers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, hosted a rollout ceremony for their new aircraft at the squadron's home at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Oct.1.

The rollout ceremony commemorated the long, storied history of the "Grim Reapers" and the establishment of VFA-101 as the Navy's first F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron.

Retired and active duty service members from the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force attended the ceremony, as well as industry partners from Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Pratt and Whitney, and BAE Systems.

Several local community leaders also attended, including Niceville, Fla., Mayor Randall Wise; Mary Ester, Fla., Mayor William Creekmore; and Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Mayor Michael Anderson.

Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Adm. Bill Gortney; Commander, Naval Air Forces, Vice Adm. David H. Buss; and Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President and General Manager, F-35 Lightning II Program, Lorraine M. Martin provided remarks about the Navy's new aircraft and the legacy of the "Grim Reapers."

Gortney recognized the significance of the rollout ceremony and spoke about the future importance of the fifth-generation fighter in enhancing the flexibility, power projection, and strike capabilities of future carrier air wings and joint task forces.

"Today, we formally recognize the next generation of Naval Aviation - the F-35C," said Gortney. "The most important revolution is fusing these weapons systems with the rest of the weapon system. Our cruisers, destroyers, P-8s, Tritons, and operational and tactical headquarters - the decision makers."

Buss spoke about how the Navy's stealth fighter will ensure that future carrier air wings are capable of fulfilling two important missions - assure access and project power.

"Our Navy needs aircraft capable of overcoming a variety of threats - surface-to-air missiles, air-to-air missiles, and tactical aircraft," said Buss. "The F-35C brings stealth capability to the ultimate sea base - the flight deck of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier - for the first time in our history."

"The F-35C mixed with the capabilities of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, E-2D Hawkeye, MH-60R/S helicopters will provide carrier-based Naval Aviation the ability to fulfill these requirements well into the future," said Buss, regarding the Navy's ability to combat future threats.

Martin spoke about the unique design and capabilities of the F-35C, which complements the capabilities of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the Navy's current premier strike fighter.

"With its rugged structure to withstand the tough environments aboard our carriers, advanced avionics, high resolution sensors, fused targeting and combat information networks linked directly into the grid, the F-35C will become a critical, lethal node in the strike group network," said Martin.

Vice Commander, 33rd Fighter Wing, Capt. Paul Haas provided a brief overview of the history of the "Grim Reapers," a nickname that has served three difference squadrons - Fighter Squadron (VF) 10, VF-101 and now Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101 - since June 1942.

VFA-101 Sailors and officers then paid tribute to the "Grim Reapers" legacy by honoring the first two commanding officers of the original "Grim Reapers" of VF-10, Vice Adm. James H. Flatley, Jr., and Capt. William R. Kane, who both received the Navy Cross for their service during World War II. Flatley was represented by his son, retired Rear Adm. James H. Flatley, III, and Kane was represented by his daughter, Chris Kane Andrews.

Throughout the years, the "Grim Reapers" have fought in various aircraft, including the F4F Wildcat, the FG1-D Corsair, the F-4 Phantom, the F-14 Tomcat and currently the F-35C. The "Grim Reapers" flew combat missions in the Battle of Guadalcanal and the Korean War and at various times since World War II, served as trainers for future Naval Aviators joining the fleet.

"The legacy of the Grim Reapers is one, quite literally, for the history books. Not only for its past legacy, but also of the expectations of the future," said Martin. "With the F-35C under this squadrons command, VFA-101 will once again have the opportunity to fly their flag and leave their mark on aviation history."
"Today's grim reapers are picking up where VF-101 left off almost a decade ago, laying a new foundation for training our nation's premier carrier-based strike fighter aviators and maintainers," said Haas.

VFA-101 received the Navy's first F-35C June 22, 2013, from Lockheed Martin, becoming the Navy's first F-35C squadron, and completed its first check flight in the squadron's new aircraft Aug. 14, a milestone that reinforced the Navy-industry partnership and represented a step forward in the development of the Navy's next generation fighter. As the F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron, VFA-101 trains Navy aircrew and maintenance personnel to fly and repair the F-35C. (ends)




Quote
Navy Stands Up F-35C Squadron At Eglin
(Source: Lockheed Martin; issued October 2, 2013)
 
FORT WORTH, Texas --- Tuesday, the U.S. Navy and the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., officially reconstituted the highly decorated VFA-101 Grim Reapers Squadron during ceremonies held on the Emerald Coast.

VFA-101 will fly the Navy’s newest aircraft, the Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, to perform the mission of training pilots and sailors to fly and service the aircraft fleet. The speakers challenged the Grim Reapers to prepare sailors to fly and maintain the F-35C safely at sea, where its stealth, sensors and communication systems will make the entire carrier strike group more effective. The U.S. Navy’s F-35C Initial Operating Capability is scheduled for 2019.

“The F-35C brings a broad range of force packages to the Navy fleet – capitalizing on the integration of advanced mission systems, stealth technology and supersonic capabilities,” said Lorraine Martin, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the F-35 Program “The F-35C will enhance the flexibility, power projection, and rapid response of carrier air wings and joint task forces for decades to come.”


Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 116,000 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on October 03, 2013, 05:18:43 pm
 Published on Oct 3, 2013

The VFA-101 Grim Reapers are the Navy's first F-35C carrier variant training squadron, based at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Hear from one of the original Grim Reapers and current F-35 pilots about how the F-35C will continue the squadron's legacy.

http://youtu.be/_TLx2lQaXxU
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on October 04, 2013, 08:59:52 am
Published on Oct 3, 2013

Northrop Grumman delivered the center fuselage for Australia's first F-35 Lightning II aircraft to Lockheed Martin on Sept. 23. This center fuselage will be integrated into the first of 100 center fuselages that will be manufactured at Palmdale for the Royal Australian Air Force.
   
http://youtu.be/a-HnD8IJXZY
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on October 04, 2013, 11:37:11 am
Media Release associated with above:

Quote
Northrop Grumman Delivers Center Fuselage For Australia's First F-35 Lightning II
(Source: Northrop Grumman Corporation; issued October 3, 2013)
 
PALMDALE, Calif. --- Northrop Grumman Corporation delivered the center fuselage for Australia's first F-35 Lightning II aircraft to Lockheed Martin on Sept. 23. This center fuselage will be integrated into a conventional takeoff and landing variant of the F-35 and represents the first of 100 center fuselages that will be manufactured at Palmdale for the Royal Australian Air Force.

"This center fuselage will be incorporated into the first F-35 for the Royal Australian Air Force and will be delivered in 2014 for pilot training," said Brian Chappel, vice president of the F-35 program for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems sector. "The first Australian center fuselage was inducted into our Integrated Assembly Line (IAL) at Palmdale last October and now we've delivered it, marking yet another milestone achievement for the F-35 program."

As one of eight international partners on the program, Australia joined the F-35 program in 2002 and has made significant contributions to the design and development phases of the program.

Northrop Grumman's IAL maximizes robotics and automation, providing additional assembly capability while meeting engineering tolerances that are not easily achieved using manual methods. The IAL is central to producing the F-35's center fuselage as well as increasing the program's affordability, quality and efficiency. Currently, there are 35 center fuselages in flow on the IAL, including another center fuselage for Australia.

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 manufacturing the F-35 center fuselage, Northrop Grumman designed and produces the aircraft's radar and other key avionics including electro-optical, communications, navigation and identification subsystems.

Northrop Grumman also 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 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, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on October 08, 2013, 03:23:32 am
Aviation Week's Amy Butler: Pentagon Withholds 5% of Pratt's F135 Earnings (http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a0e040619-3110-4569-b480-4e1660ba27af)
Quote

 The Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) informed Pratt on Sept. 30 that it will withhold 5% -- the maximum amount allowable under federal regulations -- of all of its billings for the next three lots of F135 engines and a Navy contract related to finding fuel savings for the F-35's propulsion system. The reason is the company's inability to comply with the Earned Value Management System (EVMS), a set of protocols used for the Pentagon to oversee the cost, schedule and performance of a contractor's progress on various programs. DCMA audited Pratt in April and has since pulled back the company's certification with the system.
[...]
F-35 Program Executive Officer USAF Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan met with Pratt executives Oct. 4 to discuss the plan to get the company back into compliance, says Joe Dellavedova, a spokesman for the program office. The program office supports the DCMA's withhold as EVMS is "meant to protect taxpayers from over-billing and focuses on the business systems defense companies use to estimate costs for bids; purchase goods from subcontractors; manage property and materials; and track for cost and schedule progress," Dellavedova says.   
[...]   
Pratt is working on four areas to improve its EVMS compliance: updating documentation to better align with process, improving how scheduling tools are managed and integrated, better cost estimating and forecasting and improving planning for work packages. The company has submitted corrective action plans for each to DCMA for approval.   
[...]   
Lockheed was decertified (http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post:53abf819-cdc4-4505-9b4f-8cf8346ad961) for falling short in roughly half of the 32 EVMS guidelines reviewed by DCMA, and DCMA decertified the company after trying for three years to right the problems. They first came to light in 2007. Lockheed Martin and Bell Helicopter were the only two defense contractors to be decertifed for EVMS compliance in the last decade.

Full article here: Pentagon Withholding 5% Of Pratt & Whitney F135 Billings (http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/asd_10_08_2013_p01-01-624553.xml)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on October 08, 2013, 12:34:43 pm
From Jane's: F-35 project seeks to overcome EW obsolescence (http://www.janes.com/article/28014/f-35-project-seeks-to-overcome-ew-obsolescence)

Quote
Anika Torruella, Washington DC - IHS Jane's International Defence Review

07 October 2013

The United States has embarked on a technology refresh development track for the electronic warfare (EW) module of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to overcome obsolescence issues before the system has even made it into service.

This has seen the US Naval Air Systems Command place a USD149 million contract to Lockheed Martin, as a modification to a previous advanced acquisition deal and covers the "redesign and qualification of replacement F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Electronic Warfare system components due to current diminishing manufacturing sources".

Principal components of the fifth-generation multi-mission F-35's integrated avionics suite are the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-81 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Northrop Grumman's AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS), the Lockheed Martin AAQ-40 Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS), a VSI (joint venture between Elbit Systems and Rockwell Collins) Helmet-Mounted Display System (HMDS), and BAE Systems' digital AN/ASQ-239 (Barracuda) system derived from the F-22 Raptor's AN/ALR-94 EW suite.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on October 09, 2013, 03:57:24 pm
 ;D

First F-35 For Australia Takes Shape In Fort Worth

FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 8, 2013 – Lockheed Martin and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) celebrated the beginnings of the first F-35 Lightning II for Australia yesterday. The aircraft, designated as AU-1, officially began the mate process, where major components of the aircraft are joined together to form the aircraft’s structure. AU-1 will then make its way down the assembly line and roll out of the factory for delivery to the RAAF in the summer of 2014.

Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin Vice President and Deputy Program Manager for F-35, highlighted the ongoing partnership between Lockheed Martin and Australia. “Today marks a new beginning for tactical aviation for Australia,” said Babione. “Lockheed Martin is proud of our long and storied relationship with Australian aviation, and now, the F-35 will ensure that the relationship with the RAAF and Australian Industry remains strong for decades to come.”

The global supply chain for the F-35 currently has 14 Australian companies under contract and building parts for the F-35. Australian industry is expected to gain up to $6.3 billion USD in industry opportunities over the life of the F-35 program. Every F-35 built will have some Australian parts and components.

The occasion also marked a longstanding history between Lockheed Martin and Australia’s Defence Forces, beginning with the Lockheed Vega, F-111 and continuing with the F-35. Australia’s first two F-35s, now in production, will be delivered to the RAAF next year.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on October 10, 2013, 11:05:23 am
Quote
F-35 Lightning II Program Surpasses 10,000 Flight Hours
(Source: Lockheed Martin; issued Oct. 9, 2013)
 
FORT WORTH, Texas --- The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II program continues its operational maturation, surpassing 10,000 flight hours in September. More than half of the total hours were accumulated in just the past 11 months. Through September, F-35s flew 6,492 times for a total of 10,077 flight hours. The new milestone effectively doubles the safe flight operations of the F-35 in a year, compared to reaching 5,000 flight hours in six years.

This milestone was achieved by operational production aircraft operating at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., where F-35 pilots and aircraft maintainers conduct training and the combined F-35 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) and Operational Test (OT) aircraft operating at Edwards AFB, Calif., Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and Nellis AFB, Nev. All three variants: the F-35A Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOL), the F-35B Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL), and the F-35C Carrier Variant (CV) participated in the program milestone.

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. 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 at least 10 other countries.


Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 116,000 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-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: FighterJock on October 10, 2013, 01:11:41 pm
Quote
F-35 Lightning II Program Surpasses 10,000 Flight Hours
(Source: Lockheed Martin; issued Oct. 9, 2013)
 
FORT WORTH, Texas --- The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II program continues its operational maturation, surpassing 10,000 flight hours in September. More than half of the total hours were accumulated in just the past 11 months. Through September, F-35s flew 6,492 times for a total of 10,077 flight hours. The new milestone effectively doubles the safe flight operations of the F-35 in a year, compared to reaching 5,000 flight hours in six years.

This milestone was achieved by operational production aircraft operating at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., where F-35 pilots and aircraft maintainers conduct training and the combined F-35 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) and Operational Test (OT) aircraft operating at Edwards AFB, Calif., Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and Nellis AFB, Nev. All three variants: the F-35A Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOL), the F-35B Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL), and the F-35C Carrier Variant (CV) participated in the program milestone.

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. 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 at least 10 other countries.


Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 116,000 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-


Well done Lockheed Martin,  lets hope for more good news for the F-35.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on October 10, 2013, 03:43:58 pm
F-35 Program Halts Development Of Alternate Helmet

FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 10, 2013 – The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) today informed Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT] that it decided to halt development of the alternate F-35 helmet and focus exclusively on maturing the Rockwell Collins Elbit Systems of America Vision Systems Generation 2 (Gen 2) helmet currently used in training and testing. The program will recoup approximately $45 million in funds it had originally allocated for the development of the alternate helmet.

In 2011, program and industry officials acknowledged that there were technical issues facing the principle helmet system. To ensure viable combat capability was available when needed, the program began a dual-path development plan as a risk-management strategy in the event maturity issues facing the Gen 2 helmet could not be resolved. BAE Systems began developing the alternate helmet in September 2011.

“The government's decision to proceed exclusively with the principle helmet is indicative of their confidence in the helmet's performance and the successful resolution of previously identified technical challenges,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager of the F-35 Lightning II Program. “To date, more than 100 F-35 pilots have flown more than 6,000 flights and 10,000 hours with the helmet, and their feedback has been very positive. Lockheed Martin and its suppliers will continue to focus on developing and delivering the helmet's unprecedented capabilities to the warfighter in support of the services’ declaration of Initial Operating Capability.”

The F-35’s Helmet Mounted Display Systems provide pilots with unprecedented situational awareness; all the information pilots need to complete their missions – through all weather, day or night – is projected on the helmet’s visor. Additionally, the F-35’s Distributed Aperture System streams real-time imagery from six infrared cameras mounted around the aircraft to the helmet, allowing pilots to “look through” the airframe.

Beginning with aircraft in Low Rate Initial Production lot 7, the program will introduce a Gen 3 helmet that features an improved night vision camera, new liquid crystal displays, automated alignment and software enhancements.

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2013/october/131010ae_f-35-halts-alternate-helmet.html
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on October 10, 2013, 03:58:48 pm
F-35A AF-35 First Flight
 
 Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti was at the controls for the first flight of F-35A AF-35 (US Air Force serial number 11-5024). The flight occurred on 7 October 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas.

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on October 10, 2013, 04:06:59 pm
AF-34 11-5023/EG first flight 1 October.

F-35A AF-34 First Flight

Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti was at the controls for the first flight of F-35A AF-34 (US Air Force serial number 11-5023). The flight occurred on 1 October 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas.

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on October 10, 2013, 04:09:46 pm
Lockheed Martin test pilot Paul Hattendorf was at the controls for the first flight of F-35C CF-10 (US Navy Bureau Number 168841). The flight occurred on 26 September 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Grey Havoc on October 11, 2013, 12:46:43 pm
http://defensetech.org/2013/10/10/pentagon-scraps-alternative-f-35-helmet/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on October 12, 2013, 01:17:54 pm
Quote
Defense Minister: F-35 'a Cornerstone' for IAF
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 10/10/2013, 10:45 PM

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon visited Thursday at the assembly line where F-35 stealth jets are being built, at the Lockheed Martin factory in Texas.

The minister was hosted by Lockheed Martin's president, Marillyn Hewson. In the course of the tour, he was briefed by senior officials in Lockheed Martin about the firm and about the progress of the F-35 project.

At the assembly line, he received detailed explanations about the different components of the F-35.

"As someone who used to jump so many times from Lockheed Martin Hercules planes in paratroop exercises, and after two days of meetings in the US, I wanted to see the real thing,” Yaalon said. “The F-35 is a cornerstone in building the force of the IAF and IDF.”

"This is a meaningful event for us,” he added. “Unfortunately, we are experienced at military operations because we have no choice but to defend ourselves, and that is why I think we are lucky to have an ally like the United States and to enjoy the capabilities of Lockheed Martin.

"We have enjoyed the F-16 over the years, and I think there is a great future for the Israeli Air Force with the unique capabilities that the F-35 brings with it,” he added. “We are impatiently expecting to receive this jet, which was designed with knowledge and spirit, and will give the IAF great operative abilities.”
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on October 15, 2013, 01:53:45 am
Quote
Dutch to commence F-35 training
Nicholas Fiorenza, Brussels - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
13 October 2013

The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) is to shortly begin training air and ground personnel on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the country's Defence Minister disclosed on 9 October.

Speaking to parliament in the Hague, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said that RNLAF pilots and technicians will begin training at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in Florida at the end of October. The disclosure comes weeks after she announced that the Netherlands will procure a total of 37 JSFs to replace the RNLAF's Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons.

The pilots will start off with theoretical training and begin flying with the JSF in December. The training aims to prepare pilots and maintenance personnel for the operational test phase beginning in 2015.

The Netherlands will participate in both parts of this phase, testing the JSF's Block 2 software starting in 2015, followed by the testing of Block 3 software in 2017-2018. Dutch participation in the first part of the operational test phase was made possible by a delay in the start of the operational test phase and the extension of its duration, Hennis-Plasschaert told parliament. Dutch personnel will join their US and UK counterparts who have already completed a year of the initial two-year operational test phase.

The two Dutch F-35A conventional take-off and landing aircraft (AN-1, delivered in April 2012, and AN-2 delivered in March 2013) are currently at Eglin AFB. The two aircraft, along with the Dutch personnel, will move to Edwards AFB in California for the second part of the operational test phase.

Hennis-Plasschaert described the beginning of Dutch training at the end of October as an "irreversible step" in the Netherlands' JSF programme.

Participation in the operational test phase will cost the Netherlands EUR21.6 million (USD29.3 million) at current prices, and operating the two Dutch JSFs between 2013 and 2018 will cost EUR52.6 million (USD71.3 million), excluding munition usage.

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on October 15, 2013, 02:43:12 am
The Inquisitr: The F-35 Fighter Jet: Norway Wants 6 More (http://www.inquisitr.com/991880/the-f-35-fighter-jet-norway-wants-6-more/)
 
Quote

Norway wants six more of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet.
 
The Scandinavian nation had already ordered six of the jets this year, but it wants six more. If approved by the Norwegian Parliament, the deal would be worth 7.38 billion kroner, roughly $1.23 billion.
 
The Norwegian government announced its intentions to procure 52 of the F-35 fighter jets in 2008 for a $64 billion price tag. Norway had already purchased four F-35 fighters in 2011. The fighter jets would be delivered by 2018 with the six already approved.
 
Monday’s proposal came as part of the outgoing parliament’s 2014 budget. The current government is stepping down after losing last month’s parliamentary elections with the Conservative Party’s Erna Solberg defeat of the Labour Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.
 
According to reports, leaders of the incoming government intend to continue with the procurement of the 52 F-35 fighters.
[...]
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on October 16, 2013, 01:00:53 pm
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/cracks-discovered-on-f-35b-bulkheads-391647/?cmpid=NLC|FGFG|FGFDN-2013-1016-GLOB|news&sfid=70120000000taAm (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/cracks-discovered-on-f-35b-bulkheads-391647/?cmpid=NLC|FGFG|FGFDN-2013-1016-GLOB|news&sfid=70120000000taAm)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on October 17, 2013, 11:45:13 am
Quote
First Ship Set of Magellan Aerospace F-35A Horizontal Tail Assemblies Installed
Source: Magellan Aerospace Corp.; issued Oct. 16, 2013

TORONTO --- Magellan Aerospace announced today, that the first complete ship set of F-35A Lightning II horizontal tail assemblies produced at its Winnipeg manufacturing division was successfully installed onto the aircraft at Lockheed Martin's final assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas.

This successful installation of Magellan's horizontal tail assemblies is a key program milestone for the Corporation and demonstrates the many contributions being made by Canadian aerospace companies in the early stages of the F-35 program.

Magellan is under contract with BAE Systems, a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team, to produce horizontal tail assemblies for the Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) variant of F-35. Magellan is expected to produce more than 1,000 sets of the components for the program over, approximately, a 20-year period.

"The reports we have received from Lockheed and BAES indicate that the product we delivered to the assembly line was installed without complication," said Mr. James Butyniec, President and Chief Executive Officer of Magellan Aerospace. "We are pleased to see another of our F-35 assemblies preparing to take flight for the first time." In addition to the horizontal tail, Magellan has produced the vane box assemblies and transition ducts for all of the F-35B Short Take Off and Landing variants flying today.

Magellan's proactive investment in facilities, equipment, and processes in support of the F-35 Lightning II program has positioned Magellan to realize sales approaching $2.0B Cdn over the life of the F-35 program. Magellan's revenues to date on the F-35 program exceed $100M Cdn.

Since the inception of Canada's participation in the F-35 program in 1997, Canadian companies like Magellan Aerospace have been invited to compete for significant opportunities in support of this international program. This program milestone validates that companies such as Magellan can be successful and competitive in todays globalized aerospace supply chain.


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. Magellan is a public company whose shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange, with operating units throughout Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, and Poland.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on October 22, 2013, 04:14:38 pm
First flight for AF-39 (11-5028) in primer took place Saturday, October 19, 2013.

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Radical on October 24, 2013, 07:15:13 pm
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/23/us-korea-fighter-lockheed-idUSBRE99M0ZL20131023
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on October 28, 2013, 12:22:11 pm
Quote
[/size]Navy F-35C Completes First Weapons Separation Test
(Source: F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office; issued Oct. 25, 2013)
 
PATUXENT RIVER, Md. --- The Navy variant of the F-35 executed the first airborne separation test of an inert weapon on 21 October.

Marine Corps test pilot Capt Justin Carlson flew the F-35C test aircraft known as CF-2 over an Atlantic test range when he released the 500-pound inert Guided Bomb Unit-12 (GBU-12) Paveway II laser-guided weapon from an internal weapons bay. With Monday's weapons separation, all three F-35 variants have released ordnance from their weapons bays.

The F-35C carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear to withstand catapult launches and deck landing impacts associated with the demanding aircraft carrier environment. Initial carrier trials for the F-35C are scheduled for 2014.

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. 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 at least 10 other countries.

-ends-

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/q77/s720x720/1379290_10151815457484737_1563664652_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on October 29, 2013, 09:31:45 am
Luke Stands Up F-35A Training Squadron
 
Officials at Luke AFB, Ariz., activated the 61st Fighter Squadron, the first of six such units at the base that will train pilots to fly the F-35A strike fighter. The activation ceremony took place on Oct. 25, reported (http://www.azcentral.com/community/glendale/articles/20131021luke-base-famed-squadron-revived.html?nclick_check=1) the Arizona Republic. The unit, dubbed the "Top Dogs," is expected to receive its first F-35A in January; at full strength in about two years, it will have 24 F-35As, according to the newspaper. Initially, the squadron will train the pilots who will serve as instructors at Luke. By 2015, the instructors are expected to begin training pilots who will go on to serve in F-35A combat-ready units. Overall, the Air Force plans to station (http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pages/2013/July%202013/July%2001%202013/Luke-to-Receive-72-Additional-F-35As.aspx) up to 144 F-35As at Luke for the pilot training. The 61st FS traces its heritage back to 1941. From April 1994 to August 2010, the unit trained F-16 pilots at Luke before the Air Force inactivated it (http://www.luke.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123219552) when the service retired some older F-16s in the inventory.  10/29/2013
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on October 30, 2013, 05:56:27 pm
 ;D

F-35B strikes tank with guided bomb in test

A Lockheed Martin F-35B has completed its first guided weapons delivery test, striking a tank with a GBU-12 Paveway II weapon, according to Lockheed Martin.

The test happened 29 October at the Edwards Air Force Base Precision Impact Range Area in California, Lockheed says in a media release.

The GBU-12, which integrates a 227kg (500lb) general-purpose bomb with a nose-mounted laser seeker and flight guidance fins, did not contain an explosive charge.

The F-35B, the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the joint strike fighter, released the weapon from 25,000ft and the bomb fell for 35s, Lockheed says.

The pilot, Marine Corps Maj Richard Rusnok, identified, designated and tracked the target using the F-35’s electro-optical targeting system, which Lockheed says is the first sensor to combine forward-looking infrared, infrared search and tracking capabilities and a laser designator.

"This guided-weapons delivery test of a GBU-12 marks the first time the F-35 truly became a weapon system," says Rusnok in the release. "It represents another step forward in the development of this vital program."

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/f-35b-strikes-tank-with-guided-bomb-in-test-392372/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: TaiidanTomcat on November 01, 2013, 05:26:22 am
http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/467412/f-35a-conducts-first-live-fire-with-amraam.aspx

Quote
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) --
The F-35 Lightning II executed its first live-fire launch of a guided air-to-air missile over a military test range off the California coast on Oct. 30.
 
The AIM-120 advanced medium range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) was fired from an F-35A (AF-6) conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variant fighter operating from the F-35 Integrated Test Facility at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
 
The test pilot, Air Force Captain Capt. Logan Lamping employed the AIM-120 radar-seeking missile from the F-35's internal weapons bay against an aerial drone target in restricted military sea test range airspace. Test data and observers confirmed the F-35 identified and targeted the drone with its mission systems sensors, passed the target "track" information to the missile, and launched the AIM-120 from the aircraft to engage the target drone. After launch, the missile successfully acquired the target and followed an intercept flight profile.  Moments before the missile was about to destroy the target, a self-destruct signal was sent to the AIM-120 in order to preserve the aerial drone for use in future tests.
 
"This successful missile launch marks the first live-fire weapons test and is an initial demonstration of the air-to-air combat capability the F-35 will bring to the U.S. Military and our international partners" said Charlie Wagner, weapons team lead for the F-35 Joint Program Office. "This test represents the culmination of many years of careful planning by combined government and contractor teams.  It is one test, with many more to come, to ensure operators will receive the combat capability they need to execute their mission and return home safely."
 
The AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) is a radar-guided air-to-air missile and is the U.S. military's standard air intercept missile carried on tactical fighter aircraft. The AIM-120 is a beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) capable of all-weather, day-and-night operations, and is powered by a solid-propellant rocket motor.
 
The F-35's fire control system programs the missile's internal guidance unit and provides mid-course updates from the aircraft via a data link to guide the AMRAAM toward its target. The AMRAAM's control section controls the missile in flight using four movable tail fins. As soon as the target is within range,
the AMRAAM activates its active radar seeker for autonomous terminal homing.
 
The F-35A air-to-air missile test occurred the day after an F-35B variant demonstrated a successful air-to-ground weapons test of a 500-pound Guided Bomb Unit-12 (GBU-12) Paveway II laser-guided bomb over a test range at Edwards Air Force Base on Oct 29.
 
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. 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 at least 10 other countries.
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on November 01, 2013, 07:01:06 am
A PIC

 ;D
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on November 02, 2013, 01:22:49 pm
Quote
Australia's F-35 Buy Unaffected by US Sequestration
Aircraft Begins 'Mate' Process With Lockheed

Oct. 31, 2013 - 03:45AM   |  By NIGEL PITTAWAY   

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — Australia’s F-35A program is on track despite recent delays to flight tests caused by budget sequestration in the United States, according to the country’s head of New Air Combat Capability (NACC).

However, Air Vice Marshal Kym Osley said the NACC Project Office estimates there may be up to seven months of risk remaining in the development of the war-fighting capability software, known as Block 3F (Final). While this isn’t likely to affect Australian operational capability, which is not due until the end of 2020, it could affect US Marine Corps and Air Force plans.

The first Australian F-35A, known as AU-1, began the “mate” process on the Lockheed Martin production line in Fort Worth, Texas, on Oct. 7 and is due to roll out July 1, 2014. During the process, the aircraft’s structure is formed as major components are joined.

The Australian government reaffirmed its commitment to acquiring 72 F-35A fighters to replace its older F/A-18A/B Hornet fleet in May and has a potential requirement for 28 more, depending on future decisions involving its Super Hornets. The initial program of record for 72 aircraft is valued at AUS $3.2 billion (US $3.08 billion), based on 2009 figures.

Fourteen F-35As are approved. But so far only two have been ordered, with the second aircraft set to roll out in Fort Worth on Aug. 1. The first two will be used to train Australian F-35 pilots at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., before being delivered to Australia in 2018.

Speaking on his return to Australia, Osley said progress on the international Joint Strike Fighter program was also on track for US Marine Corps initial operating capability (IOC) in 2015 and the US Air Force in late 2016.

Stealth and flight performance are meeting expectations, he said, but flight testing is running behind schedule due to the effects of sequestration.

“Flight testing is behind schedule by around three weeks, due in part because of the furloughs imposed by sequestration,” Osley said. “A lot of the flight testing is done using US defense civilians, and they are trying to catch that back up but may not get that completed by the end of the year.

“There are some delays in the acceptance of airplanes, caused by the processes they are using,” he added. “It is not a significant delay, but aircraft are sitting around for a few tens of days before they are accepted and inducted by their various owners. The JPO [Joint Program Office] is currently looking at how they might streamline those procedures.”

Osley noted that testing of the F-35A variant is 40 percent to 45 percent complete and he saw no “showstoppers.”

He said the system’s design and development phase was fully funded and that the principal executive officer, Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, had briefed international partners at the recent JSF Executive Steering Board that funding was adequate.

Osley said Bogdan had also briefed the board that the US remains committed to purchasing 2,443 F-35s.
“The F-35 buy that was in progress at the time of sequestration, [low-rate initial production] 7, took around an 8 [percent] to 10 percent hit, but the US managed to negotiate a price with Lockheed Martin whereby all aircraft were procured within the cost cap, so it was quite a remarkable outcome that they didn’t reduce their number of aircraft at all,” he said. “As far as aircraft costs go, it was good news this year that LRIP 6 came out about 4 percent below LRIP 5, which was in turn below the estimated cost, and LRIP 7 was a further 4 percent below LRIP 6. Essentially, the costs of the airplane are coming in just under the congressionally estimated cost.

“From a hardware point of view, the airplane is developing very well, so I’m not laying awake at night worrying about hardware technical risks,” he said. “There is software risk; all software presents a risk and this is the most complex software ever, but I’m very pleased that the metrics are indicating it’s all heading in a very positive direction.”

Andrew Davies, a senior analyst from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the program is “showing signs of being much more tightly managed” than in years past.

“The cost reductions evident in LRIP 6 and 7 batches is very welcome and reflects a maturity of the production processes and design stability,” he said. “Software remains the potential Achilles’ heel of the program and is probably the area of most concern. In a platform as dependent on its computer processing power as the F-35, capability is tightly tied to the performance of its software suite and delays or underperformance will impact on capability — at least in the aircraft’s early days. That said, the management of the software program seems to have been tightened up and the recent critical design review of Block 3F software should have provided management with a clearer picture on its status.”

Bogdan has briefed international partners that the advanced training software, Block 2B, is on track to support US Marine Corps IOC in July 2015, but the Marines have a fallback plan of late 2015 if required.
The next software version is Block 3I (Initial), which has the same capabilities as Block 2B (the initial war fighter) but can be used outside the continental US by other nations, and Osley said it is on track for the end of 2015.

With Australian confidence high for on-time delivery of its F-35As, Osley said he is now focusing on ensuring local infrastructure and training will be in place to stand up the first operational squadron, representing IOC, in late 2020.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on November 07, 2013, 10:07:59 am
Quote
Labour MPs Back Purchase of Joint Strike Fighter
(Source: Dutch News; published Nov. 7, 2013)
 
The Labour party on Wednesday evening gave the green light to the purchase of the [F-35] JSF jet fighter, although it is asking for additional guarantees.

In September, Labour ministers, who had opposed the purchase of the JSF, said they were in favour of the plan, clearing the way for cabinet approval.

The parliamentary Labour party has now given its backing to the purchase. However, it still wants guarantees about the amount of noise pollution people living near to the JSF base will suffer and about the amount of jobs buying the plane will create.

In September, the government said it will buy 37 JSF jets which will keep the cost within the €4.5bn special budget set aside for the purpose. They will cost an additional €270m a year to keep in the air, the Telegraaf reported at the time.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on November 08, 2013, 10:23:44 am
Quote
Defence Debate Mainly Dominated by the F-35
(Source: Netherlands Ministry of Defence; issued Nov. 7, 2013)
(Issued in Dutch only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)
 
Beginning in 2019, the F-35 will replace the F-16 as the fighter aircraft of the Dutch air force. The Standing Committee on Defence late last night has signed a majority agreement to purchase at least 37 aircraft, after a debate lasting over 13 hours in which ministers Dijsselbloem, Camp and Hennis-Plasschaert discussed the future plans for the armed forces focused around the F-35.

The debate offered coalition party PvdA sufficient guarantees to be convinced to back the plan, in addition to the VVD, CDA, Christian Union and SGP parties which had already voted in its favour.

Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, who made the Cabinet decision in favour of the F-35, recently published a note detailing the interest of the Netherlands. "By choosing the F-35, Defense deliberately chooses a technically advanced and future-oriented Air Force. The device offers the most options in terms of military operational perspectives.

But before acquisition a final decision is required by a Parliamentary majority which signed off on the program late last night. "This is a great day for the Air Force, the armed forces and for the Netherlands", Hennis said at the end of the debate said. "Finally, there is clarity for the Defense staff, and clarity for our international partners."

Special Representative

Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp announced that the government will appoint a special representative for business. This is intended to help Dutch industry to win jobs related to the F-35 project. According to Kamp, the Netherlands can bring in orders worth as much as €8 billion to €10 billion over the aircraft’s production, which is due to continue until 2045.

Price Development

According to Minister Hennis, the Netherlands will be able to buy all 37 aircraft within the budget of € 4.5 billion "We have a contingency reserve of 10% and we expect that the purchase price of the aircraft will continue to decrease over the next few years," she said.

Aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin will deliver the first Dutch F-35 in 2019, and the last five years later.

Van Ghent Station

In addition to the F-35, the committee also discussed the Joint Support Ship Karel Doorman, the survival of 45 Infantry Battalion and the future of the barracks in Assen. Some groups also asked the minister to look to keep the Van Ghent barracks in Rotterdam open for opportunities.

The full Chamber will, during the budget debate next week, further discuss a number of other defense-related subjects. After the budget debate, the House will vote on the individual motions submitted.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on November 14, 2013, 09:51:51 am
Quote
F-35s On Track for Delivery
(Source: Royal Australian Air Force; issued; Nov. 13, 2013)
 
As Australia's first F-35A – commonly known as the Joint Strike Fighter – rolls along the assembly-line, Air Force’s first F-35A squadron is on track to be operational in 2020, according to New Air Combat Capability Project Manager Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Kym Osley.

AVM Osley was at the F-35A manufacturing plant Fort Worth in Texas recently when the RAAF’s first F-35A came together. “They put the three parts of the fuselage together and installed the wings,” AVM Osley said. “We expect the first Australian F-35A to come off the production line in July 2014 and the second in August 2014.”

After production is complete, the jets will fly to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona to be used in the pilot training pool. “They will be integrated into a US Air Force squadron as part of the pilot training continuum,” AVM Osley said. “We expect our first Australian pilot to start training in early 2015. There will be more people training in the years after that and we expect our first aircraft to be in Australia in 2018.”

The first operational squadron of F-35As, which will be No. 3 Squadron, should be up and running by the end of 2020. AVM Osley said the new F-35As came in slightly less than the expected $130 million for each aircraft and future aircraft were expected to reduce further in price. “It is pleasing to see that the program has been able to get the price of the aircraft down, with the aircraft costs in each successive annual production run coming in below the previous year, and below US Government estimated costs,” he said.

He said the program had undergone significant testing but about 60 per cent was still to be completed. “In terms of testing there are no show stoppers at this point in time,” he said. “Now they’re up to dropping air-to-air and air-to-ground telemetry weapons. Later this year they will be seeing the first live ‘all up’ missiles and bombs to test end-to-end performance and accuracy.”

With system development and testing of the aircraft being done by the Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin in the US, the main job of the RAAF was to prepare for the integration of the F-35A into RAAF service, according to AVM Osley.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on November 14, 2013, 04:23:50 pm
F-35B BF-35 First Flight

Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti was at the controls for the first flight of F-35B BF-35 (US Navy Bureau Number 168838). The flight occurred on 12 November 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on November 15, 2013, 05:44:43 pm
 ;D

Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti was at the controls for the first flight of F-35A AF-36 (US Air Force serial number 11-5025). The flight occurred on 14 November 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on November 17, 2013, 10:32:15 am
Quote
S. Korea Joint Chiefs set to back deal for 40 Lockheed F-35s -sources
Fri, Nov 15 2013By Andrea Shalal-Esa

DUBAI, Nov 15 (Reuters) - South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff were expected to endorse an "all F-35 buy" of 40 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets and an option for 20 more at a meeting on Nov. 22, two sources familiar with the competition said on Friday.

The Joint Chiefs' decision must be approved by a committee chaired by the South Korean defense minister at a meeting in early December, according to the sources, who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

A decision by the Joint Chiefs to purchase only F-35s would be a setback for Boeing Co, which had hoped to sell Seoul at least some F-15 fighters as a hedge against delays in the F-35 fighter program, which is completing development.

One source said South Korea was sticking to its initial plan to buy 60 jets to preserve the terms of an industrial offset package that accompanied the Lockheed offer and included a satellite to be launched and placed in orbit.
Any changes in the number of planes ordered would require reopening negotiations with Lockheed, said the source.

The South Korean Air Force has asked for enhanced stealth capability for the fighter jets, a move seen as bolstering the F-35's chances ahead of the Joint Chiefs meeting.

U.S. officials have said Seoul needs to make a decision by the end of the year to ensure delivery of initial F-35s in 2017 since the U.S. government must order advanced materials for the planes in coming weeks. Seoul is said to be looking at buying six F-35 fighter in the ninth batch of early production jets.

The South Korean government voted down a bid by Boeing to supply 60 F-15s in September despite its offer, even though it was the only one of three bids submitted that was under budget. At the time, South Korean officials said they would restart the 8.3 trillion won ($7.8 billion) tender process to get a more advanced, radar-evading jet, but Boeing and its supporters had hoped the government would opt for a split buy of F-35s and F-15s.

"Clearly the U.S will be pleased with this direction," said one of the sources. "By committing to accept early production planes, (South) Korea will help bring down the price for early production aircraft purchased by the United States, Japan and others."

The Eurofighter consortium, which includes BAE Systems Plc , EADS NV and Finmeccanica SpA, also submitted a bid in the South Korean competition.

The sources said there was still a chance the committee that is chaired by the South Korean defense minister could reverse the expected Joint Chiefs decision, but that was seen as unlikely.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on November 20, 2013, 11:14:47 am
Published on Nov 20, 2013

Hear from the F-35 pilot and test conductor that executed the F-35C carrier variant's first weapon separation test on Oct. 21, 2013.


http://youtu.be/SvQZFcQ1WMI
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on November 22, 2013, 10:11:24 am
Quote
S. Korea decides to buy 40 Lockheed F-35s from 2018

By Kim Eun-jung

SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea decided Friday to purchase 40 Lockheed Martin's F-35A stealth fighters for four years starting in 2018, with an option to buy 20 more later depending on the security situation and budget, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

JCS Chairman Choi Yun-hee held a meeting of top commanders to approve the plan to buy the 40 F-35 Block 3s, which are capable of conducting air-to-air and air-to-ground missions with internal carriage and external stations for missiles and bombs. The software configuration is expected to reach the initial operating capability around 2016, according to the U.S. Air Force.

As the F-35 is sold only through the U.S. foreign military sales (FMS) program, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) is expected to purchase the aircraft through a government-to-government deal and without an open bid.

The total budget hasn't been confirmed as the FMS condition requires a foreign government to pay the amount specified by the U.S. government for the F-35s at the time of payment. Seoul had initially assigned 8.3 trillion won (US$7.2 billion) for the past program for 60 jets.

The move comes as the Air Force has asked the government to buy the combat aircraft with a lower radar cross section, one of the key stealth functions, and advanced avionic warfare capabilities.

"The F-35A will be used as a strategic weapon to gain a competitive edge and defeat the enemy in the early stage of war," JCS spokesman Eom Hyo-sik said in a briefing. "The South Korean military will also use the aircraft to effectively deal with provocations."

The purchase plan has been scaled back from the previous one, in which Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle was the only bid within the budget. The advanced variant of the F-15 was voted down due to its relatively weak stealth capabilities.

For an additional 20 jets, the South Korean government will reconsider the required operational capability and security situations with a goal of deployment between 2023 and 2024, Eom said, giving Boeing and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EDAS), which participated in the past bidding, an opportunity to secure a contract.

Boeing earlier proposed a mixed purchase of F-15s and F-35s to minimize a security vacuum, while EADS highlighted an offset deal, including the transfer of technology and industrial participation for South Korea's indigenous fighter jet project in synergies between the aircraft procurement and development program.

"The JCS decided to buy 40 jets first to minimize the security vacuum and purchase the remaining 20 after reassessing the required operational capability in accordance with the changing security situations and aerospace technology," Air Force Brig. Gen. Shin Ik-kyun said.

Shin said the stealth jet will play a critical role in destroying major enemy targets as part of the so-called "Kill Chain" defense system, which is designed to detect signs of impending missile attacks and launch pre-emptive strikes.

Lockheed Martin's F-35, which is still under development for the U.S. military, had initially been considered as a favorite, given South Korean Air Force's long pursuit of stealth fighter jets that can pass through North Korea's complex web of radars and given the close relations between the two allies.

However, the past rounds of negotiations that placed high priority on the acquisition price effectively eliminated the F-35, which has been plagued by cost overruns and technical problems.

The move comes as calls have risen to acquire the fifth-generation jet as the Korean Peninsula is encircled by China and Japan, which are at odds with each other over territorial disputes and seek to expand their military power. Russia is preparing to equip its Air Force with stealth jets to counter the U.S. F-35s and F-22s.

Unlike the fierce competition for the past project, industry experts say the one-way bid gives Seoul less room to negotiate other conditions such as a technology transfer or industrial cooperation in connection with the program.
For past biddings, Lockheed, Boeing and EADS had proposed aggressive offset programs to sweeten their bids, ranging from technology transfers to promises of purchasing Korean-made parts.

Industry experts say the F-35 purchase would pose a greater challenge to Seoul when negotiating the technology transfer due to the tight U.S. arms export policy.

"Even if changes have been made to the program and number of jets, we will push for the project by acquiring promises on technology transfer in the fighter development project," a senior ministry official said, without elaborating on the specifics on the negotiations.

During Friday's meeting, the JCS endorsed the indigenous fighter development project, codenamed KF-X, to be included in the mid-term defense budget plan, allowing the defense ministry and the state procurement agency to make a blueprint for system development. The plan needs final approval from the DAPA.

The military aims to complete the development of a fighter jet around 2020 with the goal of deploying it from 2023, according to the officials.

South Korea has been seeking to develop a much larger indigenous fighter jet program with the help of major defense contractors, although that has been delayed due to budget constraints and questions over its feasibility.
The state arms development agency has been working on the concept and designs of the aircraft, and has been waiting for the government's approval to start a full-scale project.

Previous studies by the Korea Development Institute (KDI) showed that the KF-X would cost at least $6 billion for system development alone and would bring about fewer economic benefits than expected, and the total cost for production and maintenance could snowball in the future.

In its 2015-2019 defense plan, the defense ministry estimates the total development cost at about 9.3 trillion won, with plans to allocate the budget to related agencies.

A recent study by the Korea Institute for S&T Evaluation and Planning (KISTEP) pointed out the delayed jet acquisition serves as a setback for the development of the indigenous fighter.

While the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) has been working on the concept and shape of the aircraft, some experts point out that the Air Force has not yet prepared a concrete concept for the aircraft and underestimated its total cost.

Scientists and defense contractors, however, stress the need for government-level efforts to build South Korea's own combat jets with a long-term vision for the aerospace industry.

ejkim@yna.co.kr

(END)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on November 22, 2013, 03:30:29 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN5AF3Wlh1g&sns=em

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on November 22, 2013, 05:18:36 pm
"Gulf buyers eye future purchases of Lockheed's F-35 jet"

By Andrea Shalal-Esa and William Maclean
DUBAI Thu Nov 21, 2013


Source:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/21/us-airshow-dubai-fighters-idUSBRE9AK14Z20131121

Quote
(Reuters) - Gulf buyers are nearing decisions to buy more current generation fighter jets, but the buzz at the Dubai Airshow was about Lockheed Martin Corp's (LMT.N) radar-evading F-35 fighter - a plane not yet operational and not even on display there.

The U.S. government sent a big delegation to this year's show, eager to reassure Gulf leaders about their continued commitment to the region despite policy differences over Syria and Iran and signs that Egypt is looking at buying Russian weapons after a slowdown in U.S. military aid.

For the first time, U.S. government and industry officials also spoke about the process under way to allow the sale of the Lockheed jet to the Gulf - probably about five years after Israel receives its first F-35 fighter jets in 2016.

U.S. policy guidelines call for Israel to maintain a competitive military edge.

One Gulf source familiar with the region's defense market said the F-35 was generating a degree of excitement even before any U.S. decision to allow its sale to Gulf buyers.

The possibility that the F-35 aircraft might become available could explain why Gulf countries are taking their time with decisions on purchases of other fighters, the source said.

Heidi Grant, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force for international programs, said Gulf buyers were focused on buying more fourth-generation jets but were clearly interested in the F-35 - a so-called "fifth-generation" warplane designed to be nearly invisible to enemy radar.

"They're just asking me to monitor it, and when it becomes available let (them) know," Grant told Reuters in an interview. "They understand that we haven't made a policy decision to open up in this region right now."

COMPETITIVE EDGE

Grant said she continued to press for a release of the F-35 technology to the Gulf region, but was also at pains to stick to U.S. military policy.

"I'm constantly telling the partners in the region that as their advocate, I'm pushing (other officials) to look at it," she said, underscoring the growing importance of building coalitions in the region and using common equipment.

The U.S. government always reserves certain capabilities for its own use, but it also wants its partners to be ready to help conduct coalition operation, Grant said.

Boeing Co's (BA.N) F-15 and Lockheed's F-16 were approved for sale to Gulf countries about five years after Israel.

U.S. military sales are handled on a government-to-government basis, and decisions about releasing sensitive technologies are made by a committee that includes the Pentagon, State Department, Commerce Department and other agencies, depending on the technology in question.

U.S. officials say the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has rapidly evolved to become the most capable and reliable U.S. partner in the Gulf region. Washington recently approved the sale of $4 billion worth of munitions to UAE, as well as an advanced missile defense system built by Lockheed.

The $392 billion F-35 JSF, the Pentagon's biggest arms program, has seen a 70 percent increase in costs over initial estimates and repeated schedule delays, but U.S. officials say the program has made progress in recent years. The U.S. Marines Corps says it is on track to start using the plane in mid-2015.

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

Israel has ordered 19 jets that will be equipped with Israeli electronic warfare equipment as part of a deal that includes options for up to 75 jets.

Japan has also ordered the plane, and South Korea is expected to announce its plans to buy F-35s on Friday.

"There's demand," Patrick Dewar, executive vice president of Lockheed's international unit, told Reuters. "There have been multiple countries - and there will be more - that are requesting a date certain when F-35 will be released to them, and the U.S. government has that on their to-do list."

"LET'S DELAY IT"

Dewar said the U.S. government had provided publicly available information to potential Gulf buyers but no classified briefs had yet been provided to his knowledge.

He said the F-35 is a multi-role fighter that was designed to replace the F-16, the F/A-18 and many other warplanes.

"Any air force that currently flies those jets has an expectation - and should have an expectation - that in the future at some time, the United States would release the F-35 to replace those jets," Dewar said.

He said Lockheed was working with the U.S. government to ensure its release policy was in synch with the planning process required by each of the governments for big arms deals.

Carrol Chandler, a senior executive with engine maker Pratt & Whitney, told Reuters earlier this week there was strong interest in the plane, but it would likely be several years before exports to the Gulf were approved.

One U.S. source familiar with the world fighter market said countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia that currently operate several types of fighters were more likely to buy other currently available jets in the interim. But countries with single-fighter fleets like Kuwait could decide to wait for the F-35 to become available, said the source.

Advanced as it is, the F-35 Lightning must contend with competition from European manufacturers and Boeing Co, which tout the benefits of their jets compared with the F-35, and raise questions about the schedule for the Lockheed jet.

French firm Dassault's (AVMD.PA) Rafale jets and the BAE Systems (BAES.L)-backed Eurofighter Typhoon are in a tight race to win a deal for at least 60 new aircraft to replace the UAE's Mirage fleet. UAE is also looking at buying 25 more Lockheed F-16s as well as upgrades for its existing jets.

The Eurofighter, built by Britain's BAE, EADS (EAD.PA) and Italy's Finmeccanica (SIFI.MI), is being marketed by BAE, which is chasing deals in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain.

Douglas Barrie of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London said Lockheed could be trying to stall any European purchase to buy time to complete development of the F-35, and get through the U.S. approval process.

In past competitions "when they looked like they weren't going to win with their current offering ... the strategy process went from 'Let's win this' to 'Let's delay it'," he said.

"The delay arguably was about getting the decision point to where you could put the F-35 on the table and say 'Why don't you buy the Lightning?'"

(Editing by Mark Potter

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on November 23, 2013, 01:04:50 pm
From Bloomberg: F-35 Production Depends on Tests Not Budgets, Carter Says (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-21/f-35-production-depends-on-tests-not-budgets-carter-says.html)

Quote
Increased production of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s (LMT) F-35 depends more on how the fighter fares in testing than how deeply the Pentagon budget is cut, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said.

“The principle thing that is determining in the next couple of years” whether to ramp up production of the Joint Strike Fighter “is less our budget situation than it is the maturity of the program,” Carter said in an interview.

The comments by Carter, who’s preparing to leave his post as the Pentagon’s No. 2 civilian official on Dec. 4, reflect the Defense Department’s continuing effort to shelter the costliest U.S. weapons system from $500 billion in defense spending cuts over a decade under the budget process called sequestration.
More at the link.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on November 27, 2013, 12:34:04 pm
http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/2013/December%202013/1213f35.aspx (http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/2013/December%202013/1213f35.aspx)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on December 04, 2013, 01:53:44 pm
Burlington, Hill Named First Operational Home for F-35A   

Burlington ANGS, Vt., and Hill AFB, Utah, will serve as the first operational homes for the Air Force’s combat-ready F-35 strike fighters, announced USAF officials Tuesday. The decision comes more than three years after the service first announced its preferred initial basing sites for the fifth-generation fighters. Burlington was selected after a lengthy analysis of operational considerations, installation attributes, and economic and environmental factors, according to the Tuesday statement.

Timothy Bridges, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, noted that Burlington’s airspace and ranges can support projected F-35A operational training requirements while offering joint training opportunities with F-15Cs from the Massachusetts Air Guard and Canadian CF-18s in Quebec. The Vermont ANG will receive 18 F-35s, which are scheduled to arrive in 2020. The location also has a “mature and highly successful” active associate arrangement with the Air Force for its F-16s, which will transition with the arrival of the F-35. For the Active Duty, Hill’s location near the Utah Test and Training range, provides access to one of the largest and most diverse ranges in the Air Force, Bridges noted. Hill also is home to the F-35 depot. Construction will begin immediately on facilities, and the first of 72 aircraft will arrive at Hill starting in 2015.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on December 10, 2013, 01:49:35 pm
 Published on Dec 10, 2013

F-35 test pilot Dan Canin answers questions about the F-35 pre-flight checklist, test points, and storage for pilots' personal items. Watch the Test Pilot Tuesday playlist for more Q&A with pilots.

http://youtu.be/vAuovXjzvTA
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on December 11, 2013, 02:18:03 pm
Quote
Norway authorizes purchase of six more F-35s

3:58am ESTOSLO, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Norway's parliament authorised the government to purchase another six Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets for about 4 billion crowns ($654.7 million), the parliament's foreign affairs and defence committee said on Wednesday.

The six jets, to be delivered in 2018, bring the Norwegian order to 16 planes, a small boost for a programme suffering from repeated delays and a 70 percent increase in costs over initial estimates.

Norway plans to buy a total of 52 F-35s by the end of 2024, but purchases for each year have to be separately approved by parliament.

The government expects the total lifetime cost of its F-35 programme at 248 billion crowns, it said earlier.

Lockheed is developing three models of the new radar-evading warplane for the U.S. military and eight countries that helped fund its development: Britain, Canada, Turkey, Italy, Norway, Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Israel and Japan have also placed orders for the jet.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on December 12, 2013, 10:06:48 am
Quote
TAI Delivers First F-35 Centre Fuselage to Northrop Grumman
(Source: Turkish Aerospace Industries; issued Dec. 11, 2013)
 
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has delivered its first F-35 Lightning II centre fuselage to Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin at a ceremony held at TAI's facilities in Ankara, Turkey today.

This is the first F-35 centre fuselage manufactured by TAI as an international manufacturing partner to Northrop Grumman. The centre fuselage will be installed into a U. S. Air Force aircraft at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Delivery of the first F-35 center fuselage is a major step by TAI to demonstrate its commitment to adding value to the program,” said Muharrem Dortkasli, President and Chief Executive Officer, TAI. “TAI invested in brand new, state-of-the-art facilities, machinery, equipment and tooling to manufacture the most advanced and complex assembly of the F-35, Fifth-generation fighter aircraft. It is now time to begin delivering world-class TAI center fuselages to the final production line at an increasing rate every year.”

“TAI has a long, proven track record of building exceptional aerospace products. Delivery of this high quality, affordable centre fuselage on time has been another major milestone. TAI will continue utilizing its capability and capacity throughout the life of the programme until 2040s,” Dortkasli added.

“Turkish Aerospace Industries 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 Programme Integration and Business Development for Lockheed Martin. “The delivery of the first centre fuselage today marks a key milestone for the program and TAI.”

“This is a great achievement for the Northrop Grumman-TAI team, said Brian Chappel, vice president, F-35 programme, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “We worked hand-in-hand to manufacture the first centre fuselage, following established processes implemented by Northrop Grumman on our own assembly line in California. Together, we are driving down costs and raising efficiencies to help the F-35 programme meet its affordability goals.”

Once the programme reaches full rate production, TAI will support F-35 final assembly lines in the United States and Italy by shipping one centre fuselage every 10 days. TAI’s centre fuselages will be integrated into the Turkish F-35 aircraft as well as other participating nations’ aircraft.

In addition to building centre fuselages as a Northrop Grumman subcontractor, TAI is the single source for centre fuselage metallic assemblies for F-35A, selected composite components for all F-35 variants, and is one of two sources for composite air inlet ducts for F-35A, and air-to-ground alternate mission pylons for all F-35 variants.

Through participation in the F-35 program, TAI not only contributes to Turkey’s economy, but it will also provide employment for hundreds of engineers and technicians for 20 years.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on December 13, 2013, 10:16:27 pm
Published on Dec 13, 2013

On Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, Lockheed Martin unveiled the 100th F-35, known as AF-41, at a ceremony for employees, elected officials and customers. AF-41 is a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft, and it will be the first of 144 F-35s delivered to "Fighter Country" at Luke Air Force Base (AFB) in Glendale, Ariz

http://youtu.be/wGgaRaZP_w8
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on December 15, 2013, 10:55:18 am
Additional Japanese F-35s coming (over and above the 42 already planned) ;D :

Quote
Japan to hike mid-term defense spending by 5%

TOKYO —
Japan will raise its defense spending over the next five years by about 5% to 24.6 trillion yen to respond to China’s growing military budget, according to a report in the Nikkei financial daily.

Defense Minister Itsunori Odonera and Finance Minister Taro Aso reached a compromise to free up funds, the Nikkei reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The defense ministry had sought 24.9 trillion yen but faced resistance from the finance ministry, the paper said, adding that the cabinet is expected to approve the plan on Tuesday.

Japan’s plan to spend more on defense comes as tensions with China have risen over tiny islands in the East China Sea - known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

The spending plan includes an additional purchase of F-35 fighters, made by Lockheed Martin Corp, as well as two more Aegis warships, bringing the total to eight.

Japan is also buying the tilt-rotor Osprey surveillance aircraft, built by Boeing Co and Textron Inc’s Bell Helicopter unit, and drones including Northrop Grumman Corp’s Global Hawk.

Beijing recently announced a new airspace defense zone that includes the skies over the long-disputed islands, raising the ire of its neighbors and the United States.

Japan’s new defense program is an update of a defense posture last reviewed in 2010 under the now-opposition Democratic Party of Japan.

Quote
A lot of new equipment purchases in latest 5-year defense plan
December 14, 2013

By KOJI SONODA/ Staff Writer

Japan's new five-year Mid-Term Defense Program includes outlays for 17 new Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and three Global Hawk surveillance drones to help it respond to China's growing presence in the East China Sea.

The plan, revealed Dec. 13, starts in fiscal 2014. It is expected to be approved in a Cabinet meeting on Dec. 17 along with the National Defense Program Guidelines.

The government plans to use the new aircraft to heighten its capabilities to protect remote islands and to monitor China's activities in waters and airspace near the disputed Senkaku Islands.

It also said it will purchase 52 amphibious vehicles for the Ground Self-Defense Force for use in landing operations. The amphibious vehicles will be the same as those used by the U.S. Marine Corps. The plan also calls for reducing the number of GSDF tanks and replacing them with 99 eight-wheeled maneuver combat vehicles that have higher running capabilities than tanks.

Further spending will include 28 F-35 Lightning fighter jets for the Air Self-Defense Force, as well as four new early-warning aircraft and three new air-refueling and transportation aircraft.

Since the government put the Senkaku Islands under state ownership in September 2012, Chinese government's vessels have repeatedly intruded into Japanese territorial waters around the islands, heightening tensions between the two countries.

The Defense Ministry decided it was paramount to establish amphibious troops that will be able to take back islands in the event they are invaded and occupied.

With the introduction of the 17 Ospreys and 52 amphibious vehicles, the ministry believes the SDF will have landing capabilities comparable to those of the U.S. Marine Corps.

The defense plan also calls for bringing the number of GSDF members to 159,000, an increase of 5,000 from the figure of the national defense program guidelines compiled by the Democratic Party of Japan-led government in 2010.

The ministry said it will use the Global Hawk drones to strengthen surveillance capabilities of the military activities undertaken by China and North Korea.

The Global Hawk can fly at the extremely high altitude of 18,000 meters for more than 30 hours. Three Global Hawks are currently deployed by U.S. forces at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. Their mission is to engage in surveillance activities in the Asia-Pacific region.

The United States also plans to deploy Global Hawk aircraft to Misawa Air Base in northern Japan in 2014.

The Defense Ministry said Japan and the United States will be able to share surveillance information if they are both using the same type of Global Hawk.

The government will also increase the number of Aegis-equipped ships from the current six to eight for the Maritime SDF. The Aegis defense system has the capability to counter ballistic missile attacks. The decision was made with North Korea in mind.

Of the 24.7 trillion yen ($239 billion) to be spent for the Mid-Term Defense Program, 700 billion yen will accrue from cost-cutting. Thus, the total defense spending will be about 24 trillion yen in real terms, an increase from the 23.5 trillion yen earmarked by the DPJ-led government in 2010.

The defense budget for the next fiscal year starting in April 2014 was put at 4.9 trillion yen.

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on December 16, 2013, 09:52:02 am
Lockheed Martin Completes 100th F-35   

Fort Worth, Tex.—Lockheed Martin celebrated the completion of the 100th F-35 strike fighter during a Dec. 13 ceremony at its Fort Worth, Tex., facility. The aircraft, the first training-coded F-35A, will be delivered to the Air Force in the first quarter of 2014. It will be assigned to the 56th Wing at Luke AFB, Ariz., where USAF pilots and foreign F-35A users will learn to employ the aircraft. Training is set to begin in mid-2015 with 17 aircraft, said Gen. Robin Rand, head of Air Education and Training Command, at the ceremony.

Rand said the Air Force will “rethink” the number of simulators used “because the fidelity is so high” allowing them to take on more of the training mission as funding pressure mounts on flying hours. During a briefing with Pentagon reporters the same day, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh praised the company for the progress the program has made in recent years. “We’re at a point in the F-35 program right now where production rates are going up. Production costs are coming down. I am confident the company knows what it costs to build an airplane now and our program office is fully confident in that,” said Welsh. “Since 2011, the program has met milestones consistently. Now, the 100th airplane coming off the production line is not a minor thing.” (Welsh transcript (http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=5344))
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on December 17, 2013, 03:29:30 am
 ;D

F-35A AF-41 First Flight

Posted 15 December 2013

Lockheed Martin test pilot Al Norman was at the controls for the first flight of F-35A AF-41 (US Air Force serial number 11-5030). The flight occurred on 15 December 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas. AF-41 is the 100th F-35 produced and is the first of 144 F-35s scheduled for delivery to Luke AFB, Arizona, beginning in 2014. The US Air Force announced its decision in June 2013 to increase the number of squadrons at Luke AFB to six.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on December 17, 2013, 02:31:51 pm
http://breakingdefense.com/2013/12/lockheed-boasts-f-35-will-cost-less-than-any-4th-gen-fighter/

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on December 18, 2013, 10:46:27 am
Quote
“Weight on wheels” for first RAAF F-35

The first F-35A for the RAAF is standing on its on wheels for the first time, a significant milestone for the jet as it moves down the production line of Lockheed Martin’s mile-long assembly plant in Fort Texas, Texas.

The first aircraft, dubbed AU-1 by Lockheed Martin and the future A35-001 with the RAAF, was lifted by an overhead crane from an EMAS – electronic mate and alignment systems – station where its forward and rear fuselage sections were joined to the wing-centre fuselage assembly, to final assembly, where its control surfaces are added and final systems and engine are installed.

AU-1 is due to roll out of the factory in July next year and, alongside sistership AU-2, initially will be based at Luke AFB, Arizona as part of the US Air Force’s F-35 training system being established there.

The December 13 craning of AU-1 from its EMAS station to final assembly was witnessed by a small group of Lockheed Martin and Defence officials, including Air Commodore Cath Roberts, Director General New Air Combat Capability, and Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and deputy program manager of the F-35 program.

Air Commodore Roberts was already in Fort Worth for other F-35 business that happened to coincide with the “weight on wheels” milestone.

(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Faustralianaviation.com.au%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F12%2FFP130352-001-630.jpg&hash=aa4388c062ecd2b8a968f6f29e80c0e8)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on December 18, 2013, 05:12:13 pm
 ;D

F-35A AF-40 First Flight

Lockheed Martin test pilot Al Norman was at the controls for the first flight of F-35A AF-40 (US Air Force serial number 11-5029). The flight occurred on 16 December 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on December 20, 2013, 03:09:28 pm
Published on Dec 20, 2013

An F-35 Lightning II successfully employs a Guided Bomb Unit-32 (GBU-32) Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) weapon from the internal weapons bay against a fixed ground test target on Dec. 6, completing a successful flight test and verification year for weapons integration.

http://youtu.be/xaXQX08lpn4
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on December 23, 2013, 02:22:21 am
From FY2014 Authorization and Appropriations, page 82:  http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R43323.pdf (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R43323.pdf)

Procurement cost per aircraft.

F-35A:
$ 3,424.5 million for 19 aircraft ------------ $ 180.23 million per aircraft

F-35B:
$ 1,370.4 million for 6 aircraft ------------ $ 228.40 million per aircraft

F-35C:
$ 1,230.3 million for 4 aircraft ------------ $ 307.57 million per aircraft
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on December 23, 2013, 05:05:00 pm
Navy’s F-35 Starts New Tailhook Tests

By: Dave Majumdar
Monday, December 23, 2013
Navy F-35C test plane CF-3 successfully catches a wire during testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Lockheed Martin Photo

Navy F-35C test plane CF-3 successfully catches a wire during testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Lockheed Martin Photo

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has begun testing a new carrier arresting hook for the Navy’s version of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

Aircraft CF-3, which is the first F-35C fitted with a production tailhook, caught an arresting wire at a shore-based test rig on Dec. 19 at the Navy’s primary flight test center according to Naval Air Systems Command. The aircraft was flow by Lt. Cmdr. Tony Wilson.

Testing will eventually move to Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst in New Jersey in January 2014 for additional testing with a shore-based arresting gear. Fly-in testing is required to verify that the F-35C will be able to consistently catch an arresting wire.

After the aircraft demonstrates that it can catch a wire on land, the F-35C will have to be tested at sea. Arrested recoveries at sea should take place onboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in the first part of 2014 according to Lockheed officials. However, while the current plan calls for the F-35 to perform its sea-trials onboard the Nimitz, it could be another ship depending on the availability of carriers at the time.

Demonstrating that the F-35C can recover onboard a carrier is critical for a naval aircraft. The tailhook has been a vexing problem on the F-35C variant when it was discovered in 2012 that the hook could not reliably engage an arresting wire.

Lockheed and the Joint Strike Fighter program office ultimately traced the problem back to the shape of the hook and a faulty wire dynamics model supplied by the Naval Air Systems Command. The solution was to reshape the hook point and adjust the system’s hold-down damper, which helps prevent the hook from bouncing around upon touchdown.

The Department of the Navy is set to acquire a total of 340 F-35Cs–260 of which would serve with the Navy while a further 80 would be allocated to the US Marine Corps. The Navy expects the F-35C to become operational in late 2018 or early 2019 with the full Block 3F capability.

http://news.usni.org/2013/12/23/navys-f-35-starts-new-tailhook-tests
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on December 24, 2013, 10:09:46 am
A comparison of this year's Authorization and Appropriations with data from a year ago:
From FY2014 Authorization and Appropriations, page 82:  http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R43323.pdf (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R43323.pdf)

Procurement cost per aircraft.

F-35A:
$ 3,424.5 million for 19 aircraft ------------ $ 180.23 million per aircraft

F-35B:
$ 1,370.4 million for 6 aircraft ------------ $ 228.40 million per aircraft

F-35C:
$ 1,230.3 million for 4 aircraft ------------ $ 307.57 million per aircraft
From FY2013 Authorization and Appropriations, page 72: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42607.pdf

F-35A:
$ 3,417.702 million for 19 aircraft ------------ $ 179.88 million per aircraft

F-35B:
$ 1,510.936 million for 6 aircraft ------------ $ 251.82 million per aircraft

F-35C:
$ 1,027.443 million for 4 aircraft ------------ $ 256.86 million per aircraft

Cost per F-35A virtually the same, cost per F-35B some $ 28 million down, cost per F-35C some $51 million up.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on December 28, 2013, 05:45:56 am
From Defensetech.org: Experts to Study F-35 Software Delays (http://defensetech.org/2013/12/26/experts-to-study-f-35-software-delays/#ixzz2omDLk3bW)

Quote
The U.S. Defense Department’s top weapons buyer is assembling a team of independent experts to study the F-35 fighter jet’s software development delays.


Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, was ordered to put together a group to study the issue and submit a report to Congress by March 3 as part of 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, which sets policy goals and spending targets for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.


President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law today while vacationing with his family in Hawaii.
[...]
More at the link.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Grey Havoc on January 04, 2014, 06:18:52 am
Reuters: Exclusive: U.S. waived laws to keep F-35 on track with China-made parts (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/03/us-lockheed-f-idUSBREA020VA20140103)

Quote
(Reuters) - The Pentagon repeatedly waived laws banning Chinese-built components on U.S. weapons in order to keep the $392 billion Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter program on track in 2012 and 2013, even as U.S. officials were voicing concern about China's espionage and military buildup.

According to Pentagon documents reviewed by Reuters, chief U.S. arms buyer Frank Kendall allowed two F-35 suppliers, Northrop Grumman Corp and Honeywell International Inc, to use Chinese magnets for the new warplane's radar system, landing gears and other hardware. Without the waivers, both companies could have faced sanctions for violating federal law and the F-35 program could have faced further delays.

"It was a pretty big deal and an unusual situation because there's a prohibition on doing defense work in China, even if it's inadvertent," said Frank Kenlon, who recently retired as a senior Pentagon procurement official and now teaches at American University. "I'd never seen this happen before."

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, is examining three such cases involving the F-35, the U.S. military's next generation fighter, the documents show.

The GAO report, due March 1, was ordered by U.S. lawmakers, who say they are concerned that Americans firms are being shut out of the specialty metals market, and that a U.S. weapon system may become dependent on parts made by a potential future adversary.

The waivers apply to inexpensive parts, including $2 magnets, installed on 115 F-35 test, training and production aircraft, the last of which are due to be delivered in May 2014. Lawmakers noted that several U.S. companies make similar magnets.

Kendall said the waivers were needed to keep production, testing and training of the Pentagon's newest warplane on track; avert millions of dollars in retrofit costs; and prevent delays in the Marine Corps' plan to start using the jets in combat from mid-2015, according to the documents. In one case, it would cost $10.8 million and take about 25,000 man-hours to remove the Chinese-made magnets and replace them with American ones, the documents indicate.

Lockheed is developing the F-35, the Pentagon's costliest arms program, for the United States and eight countries that helped fund its development: Britain, Canada, Australia, Italy, Norway, Turkey, Denmark and the Netherlands. Israel and Japan have also placed orders for the jet.

The program is already years behind schedule and 70 percent over initial cost estimates. At the time Kendall was granting the waivers, officials were acutely worried that further delays and cost increases would erode the foreign orders needed to drive down the future cost of each warplane.

In the documents, Kendall underscored the importance of the F-35 program to ensure continued U.S. military superiority and counter potential emerging threats from nations developing their own stealth fighter jets, including Russia and China.

He said additional delays would force the United States and its allies to keep its legacy fighters flying longer, which would result in higher maintenance costs. It would also leave them with older jets, which Kendall said "cannot match the offensive and defensive capabilities provided by F-35."

The Pentagon first disclosed problems with non-U.S. magnets in a little-noticed written statement to Congress in the spring of 2013. But the statement did not name companies involved and did not disclose that some of the parts came from China.

Officials at Northrop, Honeywell and Lockheed declined to comment on the issue, referring queries to the Pentagon.

Joe DellaVedova, spokesman for the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) at the Pentagon, said the office was committed to ensuring that federal defense acquisition laws were strictly followed.

"There was never any risk of technology transfer or other security breach associated with these manufacturing compliance issues," he said. "The JPO is working with industry to put in place long-term solutions to avoid the need for future waivers."

In his statement to Congress, Kendall said he took the matter "extremely seriously" and said Lockheed was told to take aggressive steps to identify any further cases, and correct its compliance process.

[snip]
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Grey Havoc on January 07, 2014, 05:08:19 am
http://defensetech.org/2013/12/26/experts-to-study-f-35-software-delays/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on January 07, 2014, 05:32:38 am
http://defensetech.org/2013/12/26/experts-to-study-f-35-software-delays/ (http://defensetech.org/2013/12/26/experts-to-study-f-35-software-delays/)
Possibly related to Congress ordering the Pentagon to present an F-35 Software plan:
http://defensetech.org/2013/05/24/congress-orders-f-35-software-plan/#more-20430 (http://defensetech.org/2013/05/24/congress-orders-f-35-software-plan/#more-20430)
Quote
Congress orders F-35 Software Plan
by Kris Osborn on May 24, 2013
 
Congress ordered the Pentagon to establish an independent team consisting of subject matter experts to review the development of software for the Joint Strike Fighter program.
 
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.
[...]
<edit>
Congress orders Pentagon to establish expert team on F-35 software on May 24, 2013.
President signs appropriate legislation into law on December 26, 2013.
That took seven months.
Two months left to submit the report.
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: jsport on January 07, 2014, 05:52:33 am
reason why as mentioned on the thread the "Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE)"  remains a primary DoD concern...
as well as another reason for even more drastic reform than is currently occuring..
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on January 07, 2014, 05:10:44 pm
F-35C CF-11 First Flight

Lockheed Martin test pilot Al Norman was at the controls for the first flight of F-35C CF-11 (US Navy Bureau Number 168842). The flight occurred on 23 December 2013 with takeoff and landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas.

 ;D
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on January 07, 2014, 05:36:22 pm
Two F-35A and two F-35B aircraft meet in the skies over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in June 2013 to test the F-35’s advanced data link.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on January 07, 2014, 05:39:03 pm
An F-35C aircraft flies a high angle of attack intentional departure test flight in November 2013.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on January 07, 2014, 05:41:40 pm
F-35B with AIM-9X
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on January 07, 2014, 05:44:02 pm
F-35B F-35C with KC-130J
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on January 14, 2014, 08:12:32 pm
Published on Jan 13, 2014

Recap of the U.S. Navy's F-35C Rollout Ceremony at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Oct. 1, 2013. Eglin is home to the F-35 Integrated Training Center, where the Navy's VFA-101 pilots and maintainers train with the Air Force, Marines and International partners.

http://youtu.be/Qbo3jPFq58Q
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on January 19, 2014, 01:56:27 am
 ;D
 
On Jan. 13, RAF Squadron Ldr. Andy Edgell flew first F-35C, the U.S. Navy’s carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, with external GBU-12s, AIM-9Xs air-to-air missiles and the centerline gun pod.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on January 21, 2014, 12:02:04 pm
http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/will-the-f-35-dominate-the-skies-9618

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on January 21, 2014, 09:32:54 pm
"KONGSBERG signs contract with the Norwegian Armed Forces for bridging-phase leading to phase three development of JSM"

Source:
http://www.kongsberg.com/en/kog/news/2013/november/phase-three-jsm-contact-signed/

Quote
29.11.2013

KONGSBERG has today signed a bridging-phase contract leading to phase 3 with Norwegian Defence Logistics Organization (NDLO) for further development of the JSM (Joint Strike Missile). The contract is valued at NOK 480 million.

The JSM development phase 2 has been finalized and to ensure competence and progress between JSM phase 2 and phase 3, the Norwegian Armed Forces have signed a bridging phase contract prior to parliamentary proceedings and approval of the entire JSM development phase 3.

 - The international F-35 user consortium, with the USA as the largest, is showing great interest in the JSM. Therefore we are very pleased with parliamentary support of the development and that the Norwegian government is facilitating further development through all phases, says Walter Qvam, CEO of the Kongsberg Group.

In phase 2 of the project the missile underwent detailed design and a successful integration check for the F-35 as well as for the F-16 and the F-18. In phase three the missile will be completed and ready for serial production, and there will also be produced several units that will be tested from fighter jets in several practical exercises. The JSM is the only long-range sea and land-target missile that can be carried internally in the F-35 and thus ensuring the aircrafts low-signature (stealth) capabilities. After a successful phase 3 KONGSBERG will be ready to receive orders and start serial production.

 - Through phase 1 and 2 KONGSBERG tied links with several Norwegian subcontractors qualifying them for phase 3 and serial production. In phase 3 we will engage even more suppliers related to the new tasks. In future full-scale production the JSM project will provide more than 450 jobs in KONGSBERG and provide significant assignments to more than 100 subcontractors for several decades, says Harald Ånnestad, CEO of Kongsberg Defence Systems.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on January 22, 2014, 09:59:27 pm
"Former Defense Contractor Indicted in Stolen F-35 Documents Case"
Jan. 21, 2014 - 03:45AM   | 
By AARON MEHTA

Source:
http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140121/DEFREG02/301210029/Former-Defense-Contractor-Indicted-Stolen-F-35-Documents-Case

Quote
WASHINGTON — A federal grand jury indicted a former Connecticut man who attempted to ship boxes of stolen information on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Iran.

Mozaffar Khazaee is charged with two counts of interstate transportation of stolen property. The 59-year-old former resident of Bridgeport, Conn., faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count.

Khazaee was arrested Jan. 9 at Newark International Airport in New Jersey as he prepared to board the first leg of a flight to Iran. A naturalized American citizen since 1991, the Iranian-born Khazaee was identified in media reports as a former employee of Pratt & Whitney, the engine manufacturer for the F-35.

According to a US government affidavit, federal agents began investigating Khazaee in November when he attempted to send a shipment from Connecticut to the Iranian city of Hamadan. When agents inspected the shipment, they found “numerous boxes of documents consisting of sensitive technical manuals, specification sheets, and other proprietary material for the F-35.

Overall, the shipment included thousands of pages of documents, including diagrams and blueprints of the high-tech fighter jet’s engine. Some of the information was marked as being ITAR- and export-controlled information.

Those documents came from three companies, according to the affidavit; although the government identifies them only as companies A, B and C, a spokesman for Pratt confirmed they are one of the firms involved.

No arraignment date has been set and the indictment does not indicate the end of the investigation into Khazaee’s actions.

A Department of Justice press release notes that the case is “being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations in New Haven and Los Angeles, the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service in New Haven, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service in Los Angeles, the U.S. Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations in Los Angeles and Boston, and the Department of Commerce’s Boston Office of Export Enforcement.”
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Dynoman on January 23, 2014, 08:38:28 am
Has there been any progress on the two seat "Wild Weasel" variant that the Israelis are requesting of Lockheed? Israel defense says recently that the F-35 will be the back bone of Israel's air defense.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on January 23, 2014, 03:37:20 pm
"UK orders near for F-35 'stealth’ jet
Demand for new F-35 fighter jet of vital importance to UK manufacturers, with more than 500 British companies working on the project."
by Alistair Osborne

12:44AM GMT 20 Jan 2014

Source:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/defence/10583321/UK-orders-near-for-F-35-stealth-jet.html


Quote
Britain's Ministry of Defence is close to placing its first major tranche of orders for the F-35 fighter jet, with an award for about 14 of the “stealth” warplanes due in the next few weeks.

The orders for the new plane, being built in an international project led by US defence giant Lockheed Martin, will signal the increasing role of the British military in the controversial F-35 programme.

But the aircraft is also of vital importance to UK manufacturing companies, with more than 500 British companies, led by the likes of BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, working on the project.

As the only top-tier international partner, Britain is building 15pc of every jet in a project supporting 25,000 jobs. At peak production, the programme is expected to be worth £1bn a year to British industry. Stephen Ball, Lockheed Martin UK chief executive, said: “The economic story of the F-35 is massive for the next 20 years.”

Costing as much as $1.5 trillion (£910bn) on some estimates, the F-35 project is the most expensive Pentagon defence programme in history, envisaging the construction of more than 3,000 jets.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on January 23, 2014, 03:42:40 pm
"F-35 Pilots Will Begin Flying Improved 'Gen 3' Helmet"
by  Bill Carey
January 21, 2014, 3:35 PM

Source:
http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/2014-01-21/f-35-pilots-will-begin-flying-improved-gen-3-helmet

Quote
F-35 test pilots will begin flying this year with a third-generation helmet mounted display system (HMDS) that incorporates modifications to the earlier-generation display system, which the Pentagon has identified as an F-35 program risk. The fixes the fighter program developed for the “Gen 3” helmet system persuaded the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) to stop funding an alternate helmet-mounted display.

“I definitely have confidence that we are on the right track; we have the right plan for these fixes in place,” said Marine Lt. Col. Matthew Kelly, government flight test director at the F-35 integrated training center at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

In 2011, the Department of Defense identified the HMDS as one of several F-35 program risks. It found that the Gen 2 system being developed by the joint venture between Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems of America—then called Vision Systems International (VSI)—was deficient in the areas of night-vision acuity, display jitter during aircraft buffeting and image latency from the fighter’s electro-optical distributed aperture system (DAS). In September 2011, F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin awarded BAE Systems a contract to develop an alternate HMDS with detachable night-vision goggles (NVGs) in the event VSI failed to resolve issues with the incumbent helmet-mounted display.

Last October, after testing display-system fixes over the course of two years, the JPO gained enough confidence in the new Gen 3 HMDS to stop BAE’s parallel display effort. In an interview with AIN, Kelly, an F-35 test pilot, described some of the testing that took place during the intervening period between the start and termination of the alternate HMDS development.

The night-vision acuity of the Gen 2 HMDS, which contains an ISIE (Intevac silicon imaging engine) 10 sensor for low-light-level detection, was the helmet system’s major deficiency, according to Kelly. An ISIE 11 sensor based on Intevac Photonics’ patented electron bombarded activated pixel sensor (EBAPS) technology brings the system’s night-vision acuity closer to the 20/20 vision NVGs can provide.

Last summer, the F-35 program tested a production-representative night-vision camera with ISIE 11 sensor in a modified Gen 2 helmet, using a twin-engine King Air surrogate aircraft. Flying from St. Mary’s County Regional Airport in Maryland, close to NAS Patuxent River, pilots tested the system in high- and low-light conditions and compared it to using ANVIS 9 NVGs. Testers also used a ground-based laser designator to determine how far away pilots could spot a laser pointer. “There were some limitations to the test,” Kelly acknowledged. “It wasn’t in an F-35, but it was close enough that we could make a confident decision about the usability and the effectiveness of the new ISIE 11 night-vision camera in the Gen 3 helmet.”

In a separate interview with AIN, Drew Brugal, Intevac Photonics general manager, said “the plan had always been” to eventually deliver the ISIE 11 sensor, which was not mature when the company was contracted to provide integrated night imaging for the F-35 HMDS. Last fall, Intevac started delivering ISIE 11 sensors to the Merrimack, N.H. operations of Elbit Systems of America, which builds the sensor into the night-vision camera.

Brugal formerly headed VSI, which the partner companies dissolved in 2012 after his departure and replaced with a new organization, Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems. The joint venture with Elbit “was restructured to provide a more efficient and agile operating structure for the business,” according to Rockwell Collins. The companies “continue to be equal partners in the joint venture with similar product and technology responsibilities as before; however, program offices of the company’s product line management were transitioned from VSI to the parent companies.”

The Gen 2 helmet system’s latency, or response time at importing DAS imagery—measured in milliseconds—was not the problem testers thought it would be, Kelly said. Pilots just hadn’t had the opportunity to use the DAS sensor array during flight testing. Test pilots experienced display jitter in areas of the F-35 flight envelope that hadn’t been approved for training, he said. The program addressed the problem by integrating micro inertial measurement units and filtering algorithms in the HMDS to cancel out jitter effects. Pilots flew the fixes using a modified Gen 2 helmet.

“It’s still not perfect, but it’s the 95-percent solution and the major issue there is resolved,” Kelly said.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on January 27, 2014, 11:49:52 am
"Exclusive: Mitsubishi Heavy in talks to become F-35 supplier, seeks Japan subsidy: sources"
by Tim Kelly and Nobuhiro Kubo
TOKYO Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:02am EST

Source:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/27/us-mhi-f-35-export-idUSBREA0Q0C920140127

Quote
(Reuters) - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is in advanced talks to supply parts for the F-35 stealth fighter to Britain's BAE Systems, in what would be the first involvement of a Japanese manufacturer in a global weapons program, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

Any agreement on such a groundbreaking deal hinges in part on whether Tokyo will subsidize the manufacture of components for the rear fuselage of the fighter that Mitsubishi Heavy is seeking to supply as a subcontractor, the three sources said.

Mitsubishi Heavy, which made the famous Zero fighter in World War Two, has already won a contract worth more than $620 million for final assembly for the 42 F-35 jets now on order by Japan's military.

A deal to become a second-tier supplier for the Lockheed Martin F-35 would deepen Mitsubishi Heavy's ties to a project to deliver a fighter jet that the United States and allies plan to use for decades.

It would also mark a break with Japan's self-imposed curbs on military exports at a time when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing to bolster the self-reliance of Japan's military amid rising regional tensions with China.

Japan's defense ministry and Mitsubishi Heavy declined to comment. Mark Ritson, a spokesman for BAE, said the company had been involved in discussions about "potential subcontracting" opportunities for Mitsubishi Heavy with Lockheed Martin. He said those discussions were ongoing but declined to comment on details.

People with knowledge of the discussions said BAE and Mitsubishi Heavy had largely agreed terms on what work and technology would be transferred under the potential deal.

The remaining problems are economic. Without a subsidy, Mitsubishi Heavy would struggle to make components for BAE without incurring a loss, the sources said. Under its current contract, Mitsubishi Heavy plans to complete manufacture of the first F-35 for Japan's Self-Defence Forces in 2017.

BAE is responsible for manufacturing the fighter jet's rear fuselage, part of its design to make it harder to detect in flight, which accounts for 15 percent of its construction.

The fuselage construction is expected to be worth billions of dollars if global forecasts for F-35 sales hit projections.

The other countries in the nine-nation consortium building the plane are Italy, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands.

SEEKING A DEEPER ROLE

It was not clear whether the Abe administration will give Mitsubishi the subsidies it wants. Japan's government has been seeking a deeper role for its suppliers in the F-35 program since 2011, when the previous government announced it had selected the jet as its next-generation fighter.

The immediate priority for defence officials remains ensuring Mitsubishi's plans for a Nagoya-based plant to assemble the F-35's for use in Japan remain on track, one source said.

Any subsidies for Mitsubishi Heavy would have to come out of funding for Japan's Ministry of Defence. Lockheed Martin, BAE and other members of the F-35 consortium are enthusiastic about Mitsubishi Heavy's participation in the wider program, but not if it means relenting on tight controls on production costs, another of the sources with knowledge of the talks said.

So far, Japan's government has budgeted just over $620 million for Mitsubishi Heavy's F-35 assembly plant. IHI Corp has been allocated about $175 million to build engine parts for the jet while another roughly $55 million has been awarded to Mitsubishi Electric to build radar components.

In all three cases, those contracts relate to F-35s that will be flown by Japan's Self-Defence Forces rather than the wider F-35 program.

A deal for Mitsubishi Heavy to become a global supplier to Lockheed Martin could pave the way for the participation of other Japanese manufacturers in the wider F-35 program.

Japan so far plans to buy 42 F-35s, dubbed the Joint Strike Fighter. Analysts expect it to acquire as many as 100 more to replace older Boeing Co F-15s.

The Pentagon expects to spend $392 billion to develop and build 2,443 of the stealth aircraft. Orders for the F-35 from other countries could bring the total global fleet to more than 3,000 aircraft, although the program has been beset by delays and cost over-runs.

Although gradually eased over the past several years, successive Japanese governments have upheld a ban on military exports since the 1960s. Critics have said that means Japan's defence spending is hobbled by inefficiencies since it relies on domestic suppliers that lack the scale of competitors in the United States and Europe.

Abe has taken steps to bolster Japan's military and approved the biggest percentage increase in defence spending in almost two decades for the coming fiscal year.

In a break with precedent, the Abe administration is also pushing for sales of military aircraft overseas with possible low-interest state loans or even development aid to entice buyers.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries plans to market its new C-2 military cargo plane as a repurposed civilian transport aircraft, while Shinmaywa Industries' is in talks to sell the Indian government its US-2 amphibious aircraft.

($1 = 102.3550 Japanese yen)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on January 27, 2014, 11:56:07 am
"Tactical Trainer Would Teach F-35 Pilots Decision-Making Skills"
February 2014
by Valerie Insinna

Source:
http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2014/February/Pages/TacticalTrainerWouldTeachF-35PilotsDecision-MakingSkills.aspx

Quote
A new tactical trainer for fifth-generation aircraft would allow F-35 pilots to practice how to react in deadly situations that would be impossible to recreate in live exercises.

Orlando-based game developer GameSim showcased the new simulation, called the Tactical Training Rehearsal Environment, during the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference.

In one scenario demonstrated at the conference, the user acted as an F-35 pilot defending Taiwan’s airspace. Four enemy aircraft attacked the player as two others dropped bombs.

The pilot had to decide which adversaries to engage and how, said Andrew Tosh, GameSim’s founder and president. Unlike “twitch-based” training where a user is judged on the ability to correctly aim and fire at an adversary, the pilot’s choices are evaluated. Like a role-playing video game, the user selects an action from a menu of options that specifies, for example, at which aircraft to fire and with what weapon.

“You’re not going to learn how to fly an F-35 on this kind of trainer, but you’re going to learn how to make good decisions,” he said.

The trainer is based on Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3d, an off-the-shelf software for creating training exercises. GameSim is programming the enemy’s artificial intelligence and developing scenarios, Tosh said. Instructors would also be able to generate their own lessons, which could be stored in a repository and shared.

Lockheed Martin is also providing GameSim information regarding fifth-generation aircraft like the F-22, Tosh said.

GameSim received funding for the first phase of the project through a small business innovation research award. The company currently is wrapping up its proof of concept, and will further develop and commercialize the trainer if it secures additional SBIR funding, he said.

The simulation is geared toward both home and classroom use. Tosh envisions having multiple hardware configurations that would incorporate anything from a simple laptop computer to multiple displays used with virtual reality goggles.

GameSim currently is developing the trainer exclusively for the Air Force, but “as time goes on, if we’re successful here, it could be adopted by other” services that plan to fly the F-35, such as the Navy or Marine Corps.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on January 28, 2014, 01:01:27 am
Reading material on SNAFU: DOT & E 2013 F-35 Report
http://www.scribd.com/doc/202741252/2013DOTE-F-35-Report (http://www.scribd.com/doc/202741252/2013DOTE-F-35-Report)
 
As reported earlier:
- software development is lagging
- no further changes to control laws considered to remedy buffeting and transonic roll off because that would adversely affect handling characteristics
- reduced fleet availability compared to previous report
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on January 28, 2014, 02:34:14 pm
Quote
Navy’s F-35C Completes Landing Tests Ahead of October Sea Trials
Dave Majumdar
Published: January 28, 2014

The U.S. Navy’s carrier-based version of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is nearing October sea trials after completing shore-based testing at Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, New Jersey, to ensure compatibility with shipboard arresting gear.

“From 9 to 16 Jan, the F-35 team accomplished 36 successful roll-in arrestment tests at Lakehurst with the redesigned F-35C arresting hook system on CF-3,” wrote Joe DellaVedova, a spokesman for the F-35 Joint Program Office in a Tuesday email to USNI News. “All flight test objectives were met.”

Even before CF-3 deployed to Lakehurst for testing, the F-35C’s redesigned tail-hook showed early signs of promise. “Prior to the Lakehurst deployment, CF-3 also performed 3 lower-energy roll-ins and 1 fly-in arrestment at Patuxent River [Maryland] to reduce risk by confirming system and instrumentation functional operation,” DellaVedova wrote.

Aircraft CF-3, which is the third carrier variant test article, is the first F-35C to be fitted with the redesigned tail-hook. The tail-hook has been a vexing problem on the F-35C variant when it was discovered in 2012 that the original hook could not reliably engage an arresting wire.

Lockheed and the Joint Strike Fighter program office ultimately traced the problem back to the shape of the hook and a faulty wire dynamics model supplied by the Naval Air Systems Command. The solution was to reshape the hook point and adjust the system’s hold-down damper, which helps prevent the hook from bouncing around upon touchdown.

With the Lakehurst deployment completed, aircraft CF-3 will spend the next several months proving that it is suitable for operations at sea onboard a carrier.

“The aircraft has ferried back to Patuxent River, where it will now commence 3-4 month series of field-based ship suitability tests, including fly-in arrestments that are scheduled to begin soon,” DellaVedova said.
“These tests are expected to lead to a certification of the F-35C for shipboard flight trials, which are planned to commence in Oct. 2014.”

The F-35C was originally expected to conduct sea trials on USS Nimitz (CVN-68), however it unclear if that is still the case.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: donnage99 on January 28, 2014, 10:37:40 pm
So the cycle continues - the plane was overweight, so make it light, but then now it's vulnerable and cracked up, so lets add back the weight:((



http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-28/lockheed-f-35-develops-cracks-pentagon-s-tester-finds.html



Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Grey Havoc on January 29, 2014, 03:20:26 pm
Via SNAFU (http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.ie/2014/01/f-35-bulkhead-severed.html): http://www.standard.net/stories/2014/01/28/tests-find-cracks-f-35-pentagon-says
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on January 29, 2014, 05:20:44 pm
Pentagon says "laser-focused" on F-35 software issues

The Pentagon's F-35 program office on Friday said it was "laser-focused" on finishing development of the software needed for the U.S. Marine Corps to start using its Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets from mid-2015.

The Pentagon's chief weapons tester warned in a report obtained by Reuters and published on Thursday that a possible 13-month delay in F-35 software development, coupled with maintenance and reliability problems, could delay the Marine Corps' plans.

But Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, who runs the Pentagon's F-35 program office, says he remains confident that Lockheed will complete the Block 2B software that gives the jet its initial combat capability in time.

Bogdan restructured the F-35 program office last year to put a greater emphasis on software, which he considers the No. 1 technical risk to the $392 billion program, said his spokesman Joe DellaVedova.

As part of the changes, he said Bogdan had named a number of people or "czars" to oversee the range of efforts linked to the Block 2B software and later software versions, as well as the drive to reduce the F-35's maintenance and operating costs.

"Lieutenant General Bogdan and the F-35 program are laser- focused on delivering the Block 2B capability to the warfighter," DellaVedova said. "We track and review F-35 software development data religiously and we're confident we'll deliver Block 2B in time to meet the Marine Corps' needs."

Lockheed is developing three models of the new warplane for the U.S. military and eight partners: Britain, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands. Israel and Japan have also placed orders.

Marine Corps officials had no immediate comment on the new report, but the service has not revised its plans to declare an F-35 "initial operational capability" by July 2015.

The report, which was delivered to Congress on Friday, got a muted reaction from the countries that helped pay for development of the new plane or placed orders.

Britain is expected to announce orders for 14 F-35 jets and the associated infrastructure, training and maintenance services, as early as next week, Reuters reported on Thursday. It is buying the same short takeoff, vertical landing B-model jets that will be operated by the Marines.

The Dutch, who have ordered 37 planes, said they had not received the report, but did not expect any major surprises.

"The problems raised are well known and are being addressed," said Defense Ministry spokeswoman Sacha Louwhoff.

The Dutch are testing two trial planes and expect delivery of their first production plane in 2019. The first Dutch F-35 pilot completed his training at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida on Friday, DellaVedova said.

Endre Lunde, spokesman for Norway's defense ministry, said the F-35 program office was already taking steps to fix issues raised by the report, including software development.

"The information presented in this report has been briefed to all international partners at various points over the past year," Lunde said, adding that he did not expect the issues raised to affect Norway's participation in the F-35 program.

At the same time, Lunde said Norway viewed the report as a "very valuable" tool and "an important external reference in our efforts to keep the development of the F-35 on track."

Belgium is also weighing F-35 orders, but will not make a decision until after elections in May, one official said.

In Israel, one defense official said he did not see any problems for his country's order of 19 jets. "There is no delay (for Israel)," said the official, who declined to be named.

An official at South Korea's arms procurement agency said any delays beyond an intended 2018 delivery date would be "problematic". Seoul has said it would buy 40 of the F-35s, although it still has to finalize this order, a move that could come in February, according to two sources familiar with the issue.

A senior Japan Defense Ministry official said: "We can do nothing but ask the JPO (Joint Program Office) to speed up the program." Tokyo plans to buy 42 of the stealth fighters, with the first four due for delivery by March 2017.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/science-technology/127618/scientists-not-clear-up-the-mystery-of-8-million-year-old-cave
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: sferrin on February 04, 2014, 08:28:36 am
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6XofdlfJ0k
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Grey Havoc on February 04, 2014, 12:19:59 pm
Via SNAFU (http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.ie/2014/02/f-35-us-navy-tries-to-leave-program.html): http://www.politico.com/morningdefense/0214/morningdefense12888.html
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on February 05, 2014, 12:13:31 pm
"Navy’s F-35 Tailhook Passes Initial Tests; Carrier Flights In October"
by Colin Clark on February 05, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Source:
http://breakingdefense.com/2014/02/navys-f-35-tailhook-passes-initial-tests-carrier-flights-in-october/

Quote
The F-35C, the Navy version of the Joint Strike Fighter and the plane most in danger of being cut or reduced by its service, has passed the first round of critical tests of its tail hook, the part of the plane that makes traditional carrier landings possible.

“All flight test objectives were met,” Joe DellaVedova, F-35 program spokesman, said in an email. “We’re not declaring victory but last month (9 to 16 Jan) the F-35 team accomplished 36 successful roll-in arrestment tests at Lakehurst with the redesigned F-35C arresting hook system on CF-3.”

CF-3 is the first F-35C to be fitted with the redesigned Arresting Hook System, as it’s formally known. The plane has returned to the Navy’s Patuxent River test facility where for the next three to four months it will undergo “field-based ship suitability tests, including fly-in arrestments.” Those tests are expected to lead to a certification of the F-35C for carrier flight trials, planned for October aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68).

Critics have repeatedly slammed the F-35C for its problems with the arresting hook. The program office has said for more than a year that they believed they had found a sound solution but the F-35 has developed a cadre of critics who, not unreasonably, refuse to believe anything is going well with the program until tests are finished and the plane can do what the program office says it should.

The initial design did not reliably engage the cable and wasn’t strong enough. “Improved damping and optimized hookpoint shape addressed part one,” DellaVedova said. And they basically redesigned the tail hook and made it, and where it connects with the airframe, much stronger.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Grey Havoc on February 07, 2014, 02:54:48 pm
http://www.inquisitr.com/1105133/f-35-program-compromised-by-discovery-of-iranian-spy/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on February 07, 2014, 03:12:35 pm
"F-35 awaits capability boost from Block 4 software"
by Jon Hemmerdinger
18:10 23 Jan 2014

Source:
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/f-35-awaits-capability-boost-from-block-4-software-395125/

Quote
esting will soon begin on the next-generation Block 4 software expected to provide a significant capability boost to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

On 16 January, the US Navy announced – via a posting on the federal government's procurement website – that the F-35’s joint programme office intends to award multiple contracts to Lockheed Martin to develop Block 4 software, with the first contract expected to be awarded in October 2014.

The contracts will include “assessments and evaluations” to ensure Block 4-equipped aircraft meet “future operational requirements”, it says.

When completed, Block 4 software will provide the F-35 with improved radar and electronic warfare systems, and allow the aircraft to carry additional weapons used by both the US military and other F-35 customers.

A document posted on the website of the US Embassy in Norway – a customer for the conventional take-off and landing F-35A – provides more details, however.

This states that aircraft with the Block 4 software package will be able to carry joint stand-off cruise missiles – including Kongsberg's Joint Strike Missile – all variants of small-diameter bombs and Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II air-to-air missiles.

Additionally, the iterative development will add an automated ground collision avoidance system, better protection from hacking and improvements to power and thermal management, to avoid issues that have been raised over the JSF's integrated power package since at least 2007. These culminated in a grounding of the F-35 fleet in 2011.

Block 4 upgrades will also give F-35s the ability to carry speed-reducing drag chutes deployed at landing, which will allow the aircraft to land on icy runways – a critical capability for F-35 partners like Norway.

It will also have streaming video from its electro-optical targeting system and an improved ability to identify targets, the document states.

The contracts are likely to call for development of a prototype to test systems, upgrades to hardware, engineering and design work and for the acquisition of technical, administrative and financial data, the navy's notice says.

The F-35 programme office says Lockheed is likely to build prototypes of subsystems and components, but not a dedicated Block 4 test aircraft.

The Block 4 software has only received funding in the 2014 fiscal year. The US Department of Defense will spend $6 million on the project in this fiscal period, including $1.5 million from the USN, $3 million from the US Air Force and $1.5 million from the US Marine Corps, the programme office says.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on February 07, 2014, 10:21:10 pm
"F-35 Test Pilots Will Begin Flying 'Gen' Helmet Display"
Singapore Air Show » 2014
by  Bill Carey

Source:
http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/singapore-air-show/2014-02-08/f-35-test-pilots-will-begin-flying-gen-helmet-display

Quote
F-35 test pilots will begin flying this year with a third-generation helmet-mounted display system (HMDS) that incorporates modifications to the earlier-generation display system, which pilots deemed insufficient for missions the Joint Strike Fighter will perform. Last October, after testing the fixes over the course of two years, the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) gained enough confidence in the new “Gen 3” system to stop the development of an alternate helmet-mounted display.

“I definitely have confidence that we are on the right track, that we have the right plan for these fixes in place and that it’s going to be a great system for the fleet,” said U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Matthew Kelly, government flight test director at the F-35 integrated training center at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

In 2011, the Department of Defense (DOD) identified the HMDS as one of several F-35 program risks. According to a “quick-look review” of the jet’s flight-test progress, test pilots found that the “Gen 2” helmet system being developed by the joint venture of Rockwell Collins (Stand Q79) and Elbit Systems (Stand N65) of America–then called Vision System International (VSI)–had inadequate night-vision acuity and experienced display jitter during aircraft buffeting. It was also not timely enough at importing imagery from the F-35’s Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-37 distributed aperture system (DAS), a set of six infrared sensors, flush-mounted around the aircraft to provide the F-35 pilot with 360-degree, spherical coverage for situational awareness, missile warning and target detection functions.

Getting It Right

Getting the HMDS right is a serious issue because the F-35, the DOD’s costliest weapons program, was designed without a pilot’s heads-up display, a feature that is common to fourth-generation fighters. In September 2011, F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin (Stand CS02) awarded a contract to BAE Systems (Stand U67) to develop an alternate HMDS with detachable night-vision goggles (NVGs) as a fallback system in the event VSI failed to resolve issues with the chosen helmet-mounted display.

As recently as last September, Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the outspoken, reformist F-35 program executive officer, said the development of an alternate HMDS continued. However, in October, the JPO announced that it had stopped the development of the BAE Systems helmet in order to focus solely on bringing the Gen 2 HMDS to a “fully compliant” Gen 3 standard. “During the past two years, the JPO and Lockheed Martin used a disciplined systems engineering approach and conducted dedicated helmet flight tests to develop solutions to address the helmet’s technical challenges,” the program office said.

The Gen 3 HMDS “will include an improved night-vision camera, new liquid-crystal displays, automated alignment and software improvements,” according to the JPO. Further, a “cost guarantee” that Lockheed Martin, Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems offered the government resulted in a 12-percent reduction from the previous cost of the HMDS–while the program will also recoup $45 million in funds it had originally allocated for the development of the BAE Systems alternatehelmet, the program office said.

The Test Regime

In a recent interview with AIN, Kelly, an F-35 test pilot, described some of the testing that took place during the intervening period between the start and termination of the alternate HMDS development. Flight tests in a surrogate aircraft using a Gen 2 “shell” helmet with a new night-vision camera, as well as tests involving prototype Gen 2 helmets with newly integrated inertial measurement units (IMUs) and software algorithms, gave test pilots enough knowledge to inform Bogdan’s decision to stop the alternate HMDS effort, he said.

The night-vision acuity of the Gen 2 HMDS, which contains an ISIE 10 sensor for low-light-level detection, was the system’s major deficiency, according to Kelly (ISIE stands for Intevac silicon imaging engine). An ISIE 11 sensor based on Intevac Photonics’ patented electron-bombarded activated pixel sensor (EBAPS) technology brings the system’s night-vision acuity closer to the 20/20 vision NVGs can provide. The alternate helmet with NVGs would not have been a perfect replacement, though. In order to switch between night vision and DAS displays, Kelly said, pilots had to remove the entire NVG assembly and then attach another visor, which was “very clumsy and not very pilot friendly,” he added.

Last summer, the F-35 program tested a production-representative night-vision camera with ISIE 11 sensor in a modified Gen 2 helmet, using a twin-engine King Air surrogate aircraft. Flying from St. Mary’s County Regional Airport in Maryland, close to NAS Patuxent River, pilots tested the system in high- and low-light conditions and compared it to using ANVIS 9 NVGs. Testers also used a ground-based laser designator to determine how far away pilots could spot a laser pointer.

“There were some limitations to the test,” Kelly acknowledged. “It wasn’t in an F-35, but it was close enough that we could make a confident decision about the usability and the effectiveness of the new ISIE 11 night-vision camera in the Gen 3 helmet. [We could say] we know enough now to make the decision to start saving money by not funding the alternate helmet. That fed [Bogdan’s] decision matrix in canceling the alternate helmet.”

Integrated Night Imagery

F-35s will have two night-vision cameras. A canopy bow in the jet obstructs the helmet camera, which is positioned above the pilot’s eye level on the HMDS. A second, dashboard-mounted camera is used in combination with the first; the imagery from both cameras is fused for display to the pilot.

In a separate interview with AIN, Intevac Photonics’ general manager Drew Brugal said, “the plan had always been” to eventually deliver the ISIE 11 sensor, which was not mature when the company was contracted to provide integrated night imagery for the F-35 HMDS. Last fall, Intevac started delivering ISIE 11 sensors to Elbit Systems of America, which builds the sensor into the night-vision camera. “The feedback we received was that [the night-vision camera] met the pilots’ expectations and they are comfortable going forward with the ISIE 11,” Brugal said.

The helmet system’s latency, or response time at importing DAS imagery–measured in milliseconds–was not the problem testers thought it would be, Kelly said. Pilots just hadn’t had the opportunity to use the DAS sensor array during flight testing. “Initially there was concern about the latency of the DAS and what that might look like,” he said. “But we were able to do some testing in the spring and summer of 2013 where we looked at a bunch of different tasks [and] some formation flying and, across-the-board, we found there was really no issue with the latency.”

Test pilots experienced helmet-mounted display jitter in areas of the F-35 flight envelope that haven’t been approved for training, Kelly said. The program addressed the problem by integrating micro IMUs and filtering algorithms in the HMDS to cancel out jitter effects. Pilots flew the fixes using a modified Gen 2 helmet. “It’s still not perfect, but it’s the 95-percent solution and the major issue there is resolved,” he said.

Asked if the jitter effect will be further improved, JPO spokesperson Kyra Hawn, answered: “In the bigger scope of the program, we have a lot of sophisticated technology. The constant challenge is, we’ve gotten to the 95-percent solution, which is viable and usable based on the mission requirements. What does it cost us to get the 5 [percent] in terms of investment and time, and what do we get as a result of getting that 100-percent solution? [What] do we derive from the additional investment and is it worthwhile given all other things?”

According to the JPO, the improved Gen 3 HMDS will be introduced to the F-35 fleet in low-rate initial production Lot 7 in 2016, and complete test and development the following year. The Marine Corps, which plans to declare initial operational capability (IOC) of its F-35Bs in July 2015, will start operations with Gen 2 helmet-mounted displays. “The Marine Corps understands that really for IOC we’re not counting on that [Gen 3] capability,” Kelly said.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on February 08, 2014, 02:04:08 am
Thank you for digging up the news. All of it.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on February 08, 2014, 06:55:20 pm
"UK says close to placing order for F-35 jets"
by Adrian Croft
MUNICH Sat Feb 1, 2014

Source:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/01/us-britain-fighter-idUSBREA100HM20140201

Quote
(Reuters) - Britain is close to placing its first order for Lockheed Martin-built (LMT.N) F-35 super-stealth jets, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said on Saturday.

Reuters cited sources last week as saying that Britain was likely to announce an order soon for 14 of the advanced jets, marking Britain's first firm F-35 purchase since it committed to buying 48 planes in 2012.

"We are moving towards that point," Hammond said when asked if he could confirm the imminent order.

"We will have to place a firm order very soon in order to have the first squadron ready to start flying training off the 'Queen Elizabeth' in 2018, which is our current plan," he said in an interview with Reuters Television during the Munich Security Conference.

The Queen Elizabeth is one of two British aircraft carriers currently under construction.

He declined to confirm that the order would be for 14 planes "because we haven't completed the process, but we will be making an announcement in due course".

Britain is expected to order the F-35 B vertical take-off variant of the Joint Strike Fighter.

It has so far taken delivery of three training jets.

The F-35, considered to be the world's most expensive weapons programme at $396 billion so far, was designed to be the next-generation fighter jet for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines.

It is being built by the United States, Britain and seven other co-development partners - Italy, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands.

British companies such as BAE Systems (BAES.L) and Rolls Royce (RR.L) build 15 percent of each F-35 aircraft.

Hammond said he was not worried by reports of technical issues that could delay the F-35's entry into service.

A U.S. Defense Department report last week warned that software, maintenance and reliability problems with the stealth fighter could delay the U.S. Marine Corps' plans to start using its F-35 jets by mid-2015.

"This is a complex weapons procurement programme. There are always issues in the development of weapons like this, and this particular report comes in a long and well-established line of highly critical reports about weapons systems when they are at this stage of their development," Hammond said.

"The whole point of this internal appraisal is to highlight where the issues still are that need to be resolved in the programme. It is part of the process and it shouldn't be seen as a negative part of the process at all," he said.

Britain's Conservative-led government was embarrassed by its flip-flop two years ago on which variant of the radar-evading aircraft to buy, a decision which cost the British taxpayer at least 74 million pounds ($123 million)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on February 09, 2014, 06:05:58 pm
"Italian Lawmakers Consider New Cuts to JSF Purchase"
Feb. 9, 2014 - 03:02PM   | 
By TOM KINGTON

Source:
http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140209/DEFREG01/302090010/Italian-Lawmakers-Consider-New-Cuts-JSF-Purchase

Quote
ROME — Eight months after the Italian parliament suspended new orders of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), members of the country’s biggest political party may try to halve the total purchase.

A source within the center-left Democratic Party said the members were preparing a policy document for approval in parliament which could seek to cut Italy’s planned purchase of JSFs from 90 to around 45. The country has already reduced its total buy from the originally planned 131 aircraft.

But a second source said that debate inside the party is still continuing, and that the final document may merely threaten a cut if Italy does not obtain better conditions on the U.S.-led program.

Both sources said the document — which could be ready this month — would strive to make Italy invest in the multirole, ground attack version of the Eurofighter. Italy, a partner in the Lockheed Martin JSF program, has hitherto shown relatively little interest in the European plane.

“We are really looking to push for European defense integration,” said the second source.

The Democratic Party is currently a partner in a coalition government led by party member Enrico Letta. In December, the party elected a new secretary, Matteo Renzi, who has been tapped as a candidate to win elections and form a Democratic Party government next year.

Renzi, who has in the past talked about cutting JSF purchases, would need to approve the evolving party policy document on defense before it is turned into a resolution for voting on in parliament, where the Democratic Party already has a majority in the lower house.

The first source said that 75 percent of Democratic Party members of parliament want to scrap the JSF program altogether as Italy struggles through an economic crisis. Recent criticism by the Pentagon’s top testing office has also spurred opposition to the program, he said.

The final report, he said, could call for a “drastic cut” in F-35 orders, potentially as much as half.

But the second source suggested the move to cut — or not cut — could hinge on whether Italy can wring better work share, better technology transfer and lower prices from the program. The source also suggested that savings could be found on other programs as an alternative to JSF cuts, such as the army digitalization program. An early draft of the report complains that the program costs too much and lacks interoperability with NATO standards.

The report follows a series of hearings in parliament’s two defense commissions about Italian military spending, held in the wake of the June vote by parliament to suspend further JSF orders.

Called to speak in September, Finmeccanica CEO Alessandro Pansa appeared underwhelmed by the firm’s work on the JSF program. “Finmeccanica will not build its future as an operator of avant-garde technology by supplying parts of large aircraft,” he said.

Assembly work on Italy’s JSFs at the country’s Final Assembly and Check Out line at Cameri airbase in northern Italy has meanwhile proceeded according to schedule since kicking off last July, said Debra Palmer, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager for the FACO.

An Italian defense source said Italian officials are proceeding with the procurement of 14 aircraft which were covered by full or initial industrial agreements signed before the vote last June. Three of the aircraft come from Low Rate Initial Production batch 6, three from LRIP 7, four for LRIP 8 and four from LRIP 9, including one F-35B jump-jet variant. The defense source said that even if just long-lead items had been ordered for aircraft before the vote, the ministry felt justified in pushing ahead with their full procurement.

Palmer said that Lockheed Martin now had work “locked in” from Italy to deliver three LRIP 6 jets to Italy as well as three LRIP 7 jets and two from LRIP 8, all of the F-35A conventional take off and landing model.

The components of the first aircraft, known as AL-1, are now emerging from the Electronic Mate and Alignment system, one of four at the base, which is run jointly by Alenia and Lockheed Martin and bankrolled by the Italian government.

Engine and electronics testing, including checks on the aircraft’s low observation signature, will begin shortly, with first flights and delivery in 2015, said Palmer.

Work on the second aircraft to be assembled started in November, with the third to start in March and the fourth in July. “All major components have arrived for AL-3 and some for AL-4 are arriving now,” said Palmer.

Alenia Aermacchi is meanwhile stepping up its work on JSF wings at Cameri, with the first two full wing sets destined for US F-35s now in production.

With Italy dropping from 131 aircraft to 90, and The Netherlands— which has agreed to assemble its jets at Cameri — ordering 37 jets instead of the planned 85, Palmer said Cameri “will not have the rate of production originally planned,” but suggested the Dutch order could yet rise. “When they ordered F-16s, they did it in tranches, and we think they could do that again.”

She said other European countries could yet be drawn to Cameri due to the savings from not having to fly new operational aircraft across the Atlantic flanked by tankers and support aircraft.

“The purchase price of the aircraft from Lockheed Martin will be the same regardless of the assembly location,” she said.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: donnage99 on February 10, 2014, 04:19:27 pm
Can anyone confirm if this is legit news - the navy wants to have a 3 years break from buying the f-35, revealed in the 2015 budget preview?
http://www.politico.com/morningdefense/0214/morningdefense12888.html


Quote
OSD TOLD THE NAVY: YOU CAN’T TAKE A ‘BREAK’ FROM THE F-35C: [/size]According to a congressional source,  in its 2015 budget proposal, the Navy asked to take a three-year “break” from its production of the F-35C, its variant of the Joint Strike Fighter. Concerned this was a first step toward walking away from the program permanently, OSD told the Navy: no way.[/color][/size]It’s an open secret that the Navy would prefer to invest more in its F-18 fighters rather than buy the F-35C. But if the Navy pulled out of the program, the unit cost — already under scrutiny —  would go up for the Air Force and the Marine Corps.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on February 10, 2014, 09:46:56 pm
"F-35 Already Packs Regional Punch"
by Angus Batey
February 08, 2014

Source:
http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_02_08_2014_p0-662005.xml

Quote
The largest defense equipment program in history was always going to have a significant global impact, so it is little surprise that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is of pivotal importance to the defense communities of East Asia – and to the Singapore Air Show.

“Singapore operates a lot of Lockheed Martin products, and is a long-term partner,” Lockheed Martin’s F-35 business development director, Steve O’Bryan, tells ShowNews. “But we’re not at the Singapore Air Show only to support Singapore. The U.S. government will be there as well, and we will be supporting them in any meetings and discussions on the F-35 program with any of the other regional partners.”

Those partners are Singapore, Australia, South Korea and Japan, and it is the latter where much of the regional focus on the F-35 program will fall in 2014. Japan’s first four F-35As – part of low rate initial production tranche 8 (LRIP 8), due for delivery in 2016 – will enter the production line at Lockheed’s F-35 plant in Fort Worth, Texas, early this year, with all subsequent Japanese aircraft built at a new Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility in Nagoya.

The Nagoya site, run by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, will avoid new construction wherever possible. “We’re going to maximize existing facilities as best we can, and so is MHI, to try to keep prices as low as possible,” O’Bryan says. No date for opening has been confirmed, but the first aircraft scheduled to be assembled at Nagoya are part of LRIP 9, and are due to be delivered in 2017.

The South Korean picture is less certain. The nation is running a competition to meet its F-X Phase III requirement, which was revised last November; the program will mean the purchase of 40 aircraft between 2018 and 2021, with a possible further order of an additional 20. News reports suggest these will be F-35As, but O’Bryan remains cautious.

“The updated requirement stated that they need an aircraft with ‘the most advanced stealth capabilities possible.’” he says. “We understand they’ll do a feasibility study before source selection through their acquisition board. What we would say is that the F-35 is available to meet the Republic of Korea’s 2018 delivery requirements, and it will be in the Block 3F [software] configuration.”

While Japan and South Korea are export customers for F-35, Singapore is a Security Co-operative Participant nation. Nevertheless, the country has yet to finalize an order, with the defense minister, Ng Eng Hen, saying during a November visit to the U.S. that the nation was in no rush to acquire the JSF.

“Singapore has been [involved] since 2004, so they have insight into the program,” O’Bryan explains. “They’ve been evaluating the aircraft, and I know they’re considering a procurement timeline. It’s our job to help and support them with that.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on February 15, 2014, 09:13:31 am
Bloomberg (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-02-15/pentagon-said-to-seek-34-lockheed-f-35s-instead-of-42):

Quote
Pentagon Said to Seek 34 of Lockheed’s F-35 Jets Instead of 42
By Tony Capaccio February 15, 2014

The U.S. Defense Department will request 34 Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT:US) F-35 jets in its budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, eight fewer than previously planned, according to officials.

The fiscal 2015 request, to be released on March 4, will include funds to buy 26 of the Air Force’s model, six of the Marine Corps’ short-takeoff and vertical-landing jets and two of the Navy’s version for aircraft carriers, according to the officials familiar with the plans who asked not to be identified because the budget hasn’t been made public.

Even with the decrease from past plans, the defense budget reflects pledges by officials to do all they could to insulate the costliest U.S. weapons program from federal budget cuts. Marillyn Hewson, chairman and chief executive officer of Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed, predicted in a Feb. 10 interview that its F-35 program is “going to continue to grow and become a larger part of our portfolio.”
[]

While the budget request will be down from the 42 fighters the Pentagon had projected it would buy next year, it’s an increase from the 29 the Defense Department requested and Congress approved for the current fiscal year.

“It would be inappropriate to comment or speculate prior to the formal budget release,” Lockheed spokeswoman Laura Siebert said in an e-mail when asked about the F-35 plans.

The projected price tag of $391.2 billion for an eventual fleet of 2,443 F-35s is a 68 percent increase from the estimate in 2001, measured in current dollars. The number of aircraft is 409 fewer than called for in the original program. The Pentagon’s chief tester has repeatedly questioned the plane’s progress, finding last month that the fighter wasn’t sufficiently reliable in training flights last year.
[]
Future Years

The five-year defense budget plan through 2019 also calls for 55 F-35s for the U.S. military in fiscal 2016, seven fewer than planned, and adds a projection for 96 of the jets in 2019. The figures don’t include purchases by other nations that are partners for the F-35. Among them are the U.K., Norway, Australia, Italy and Canada.

Subcontractors on the F-35 include Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC:US), BAE Systems Plc (BA/) and United Technologies Corp. (UTX:US)’s Pratt & Whitney military engine unit.

Under last year’s bipartisan budget accord, the Pentagon must reduce its total budget request by about $43 billion to stay within a cap of about $498 billion for fiscal 2015.
[]

The spending request, not including spending on war operations, will be about $496 billion, with plans for it to increase to about $535 billion in fiscal 2016, officials said.

“Will there be cuts across the board?” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said this month in outlining the general approach he’s taking to hitting the budget cap. “Of course there will. You can’t do it any other way. Are there going to be adjustments across the board? Of course.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Capaccio in Washington at acapaccio@bloomberg.net
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: donnage99 on February 17, 2014, 06:20:04 am
http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/f-35-fighter-plane-costs-103579.html
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on February 19, 2014, 04:20:26 pm
 ;D

F-35B Aircraft Fly In Formation In Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing Mode

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md., Feb. 19, 2014 – Two F-35B aircraft fly in close formation while in short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) mode for the first time last week. Pilots Peter Wilson and Dan Levin flew the test jets in STOVL mode, also known as Mode 4, with the F-35B LiftFan engaged and engine rotated downward. The mission measured the effects the aircraft had on each other while in Mode 4 to ensure they can operate in formation safely in an operational environment. The U.S. Marine Corps plans to declare Initial Operating Capability with the F-35B next year.
 
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. 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 at least 10 other countries.
 
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 115,000 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 2013 were $45.4 billion.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on February 19, 2014, 04:33:29 pm
wow
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on February 20, 2014, 05:02:24 am
More Formation in STOVL

 ;D
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on February 20, 2014, 06:16:50 am
Lt. Col. Brent Reinhardt completes a 360-degree roll in F-35A AF-1 with a full weapon load during a test flight from Edwards AFB, California, on 10 January 2014. The photo is a composite of seventeen images taken during the 360-degree roll.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on February 20, 2014, 09:10:21 pm
"F-35 rivals anxious for verdict on stealth fighter program
Comments from Boeing come as minister unveils next stage in overhaul of procurement process"

The Canadian Press Posted: Feb 19, 2014 2:21 PM ET

Source:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/f-35-rivals-anxious-for-verdict-on-stealth-fighter-program-1.2543681

Quote
One of the would-be bidders to replace Canada's aging CF-18 jet fighter fleet says it's anxious to see whether the Harper government will hold a full-blown competition — or stick with the oft-maligned F-35.

The comments from Boeing Co. came Wednesday as Public Works Minister Diane Finley announced the next stage in the overhaul of the military procurement process: a new analytics institute to help inform future decisions.

The arm's-length institute will provide much needed research on defence industries and capabilities, Finley said.
More than a year since process reboot

It's been more than a year since the Conservatives rebooted the controversial fighter program, launching a market analysis to explore the possibility of alternatives to the F-35 stealth fighter, which has been fraught with delays and cost overruns.

Boeing is one of several aircraft manufacturers asked to brief a panel of experts that has spent months examining the capabilities, limitations and cost of the various competitors.
Boeing 'very anxious'

Brian Beyrouty, the defence giant's senior manager of international partnerships, said his company answered the questions put to it last summer by the Public Works secretariat overseeing the program.

Boeing is interested in selling the Super Hornet, an updated, more robust version of the CF-18s, which Canada has flown since the 1980s.

Beyrouty said a few follow-up details were provided later in the fall, but since then the company has been waiting for the government's decision, which could come in the spring.

"We're very anxious to see how the process is going to deliver as they go through that options analysis," Beyrouty said Wednesday in an interview.

"I think we've provided the information that would provide a compelling story to get to a competition."
Pause sparked by scathing AG report

The Harper government paused the planned F-35 purchase following a scathing report by the auditor general which accused National Defence and Public Works of low-balling the stealth fighter's enormous cost.

A subsequent independent analysis estimated that the radar-evading plane could end up costing taxpayers nearly $44 billion over four decades.

The ensuing damage to the meticulously cultivated Conservative image as careful guardians of the public purse led many in the defence industry to predict a decision on replacement aircraft would be delayed until after the 2015 election. In the interim, to get a handle on military procurement, the government has moved big-ticket items to the Public Works secretariat, which will — among other things — seek to wed programs with Canadian defence contractors.
Economic benefits still an issue

Beyrouty said Boeing is keen to see how the secretariat approaches its commitment to leverage defence purchases to the benefit of Canadian industry — specifically, whether it will require firm investment commitments in specific sectors and companies. Indeed, Boeing has already placed a portion of its worldwide Super Hornet program with Canadian aerospace firms.

It remains an open question whether that would count in Boeing's favour should there be a open competition.

Defence experts have suggested that transitioning between the CF-18 and the Super Hornet would be easier in terms of training, logistics and infrastructure than with any of the other competitors.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on February 21, 2014, 10:35:30 am
"Lockheed F-35 for Marines Delayed as Test Exposes Cracks"
by Tony Capaccio Feb 20, 2014 9:00 PM PT

Source:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-21/lockheed-f-35-for-marines-delayed-as-test-exposes-cracks.html

Quote
On-the-ground stress testing for the U.S. Marine Corps version of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet may be halted for as long as a year after cracks were found in the aircraft’s bulkheads, Pentagon officials said.

Testing of the fighter’s durability was stopped in late September after inspections turned up cracks in three of six bulkheads on a plane used for ground testing, said Joe DellaVedova, spokesman for the F-35 program office.

The previously undisclosed suspension of the stress testing may increase scrutiny of the Marine Corps’ F-35B, the most complex of the three versions of the plane, during congressional hearings on the Defense Department’s fiscal 2015 budget. The department plans to request funds for 34 F-35s, eight fewer than the 42 originally planned, according to officials. Six of those planes would be for the Marines.

“We consider this significant but by no means catastrophic,” Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s undersecretary for acquisition, said in an e-mailed statement. While the program office is still performing an assessment, “based on preliminary analysis, a redesign” of some F-35B structures will be required, said Kendall, who has a master’s degree in aerospace engineering.

Michael Gilmore, chief of the Defense Department’s weapons testing office, said in his annual report last month that during ground testing in late September “the cracks continued to grow” until a “bulkhead severed and transferred loads, which caused cracking in the adjacent” bulkhead.

Weight Gain

Redesigning the bulkheads could cause the Marines’ F-35 to regain some of the weight saved by using aluminum bulkheads instead of the titanium ones in the Air Force and Navy models. That move was part of an effort in 2004 and 2005 to lighten the increasingly heavy Marine Corps version.

The test office said in its annual report that the Marine Corps model gained 37 pounds (17 kilograms) last year. Changes to the bulkhead risk adding more weight to a plane that’s now within 202 pounds of the 32,577-pound maximum specified in the contract for it.

“Managing weight growth with such small margins will continue to be a significant program challenge,” Gilmore wrote in his report.

The cracking “is significant enough to warrant changes to the design” of the bulkhead, Jennifer Elzea, spokeswoman for the Pentagon test office, said in an e-mail. “This is a new defect that must now be addressed through a production change and a retrofit plan.”
‘Not Surprising’

“The crack was not predicted to occur by prior analyses or modeling,” she said. “We can’t know all the changes that must be made to the structures until the testing is complete, and it is not surprising when discoveries like this occur.”

The purpose of “durability testing is to intentionally stress the aircraft to its structural limits so we can identify any issues and corrective actions needed to fix them,” the Pentagon’s DellaVedova said in an e-mailed statement. “These discoveries are expected and planned for in a developmental program.”

The F-35 program office and Lockheed are making repairs with a goal of restarting testing by Sept. 30, DellaVedova said. The Bethesda, Maryland-based company concurs with his statement, spokeswoman Laura Siebert said.

Redesigning the bulkhead to make it more durable “would take some time,” George A. Lesieutre, a professor of aerospace engineering at Pennsylvania State University, said in an e-mailed statement.
Extra Margin

Ground testing stresses an airframe to simulate flight conditions and determine whether a plane can reach its projected lifetime, which in the case of the Marines’ F-35B is 8,000 flying hours.

To provide an extra margin of assurance, the Marine, Air Force and Navy versions of the F-35 are all required to undergo tests for the equivalent of 16,000 flight hours. The Marine version was supposed to complete its second 8,000 hours of testing by the end of this year.

The ground testing aircraft had accumulated 9,480 hours “when testing was stopped to conduct root-cause analysis on discovered bulkhead cracks,” DellaVedova said.

“Because of the high hours accumulated,” this “discovery does not affect current F-35B flying operations,” he said, adding that the suspension of ground testing won’t affect the Marine Corps’ goal of declaring its first squadron operational no later than December 2015.

Richard Aboulafia, a defense aerospace analyst with the Fairfax, Virginia-based Teal Group, said the testing halt is a “setback for the program, but this is the Marines’ version, and they have absolutely nowhere else to go” because they need the aircraft in order to operate from amphibious vessels.
Rising Cost

The Pentagon projects that an eventual fleet of 2,443 F-35s will cost $391.2 billion, a 68 percent increase from a 2001 estimate for 409 more planes, measured in constant dollars. The testing office has repeatedly questioned the plane’s progress, finding last month that it wasn’t sufficiently reliable in training flights last year.

The Marine Corps plans to buy 340 of the F-35B, which can take off like a conventional fighter and land like a helicopter. While the ground testing is suspended, pilots can continue development and training flights on the 38 fighters already delivered, according to DellaVedova.

The Defense Department plans to request funds for nine Marine Corps planes in fiscal 2016 and 20 in 2019, according to internal budget figures. The short takeoff and vertical landing model is also being bought by the U.K. and Italian militaries.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: BioLuminescentLamprey on February 21, 2014, 01:17:39 pm
Looks like a whole lot of nope on that (as expected):

http://breakingdefense.com/2014/02/bulkhead-cracks-in-f-35b-wont-slow-fielding-marines-say/

Quote
The Marines say any correction will be made later to their aircraft and will not slow initial fielding of the most complex version of the Joint Strike Fighter.
 
“The bulkhead crack was found in the ground test vehicle during durability testing after more than 9,400 hours,” Capt. Richard Ulsh, aviation spokesman for the Marines, said in an email. “This event does not impact the IOC date of the F-35B, which the Marine Corps still plans to achieve in July 2015. This finding only affects the future modification schedules to our aircraft so they can achieve the intended service life of the aircraft, which is 8,000 hours.”
 
Ulsh noted that the goal of durability testing is to stress ”the aircraft to its structural limits so that issues and corrective actions can be identified. These discoveries are expected and planned for in a developmental program.”
 
Ground testing was halted after the extent of the cracks became clear because the test had accomplished its goal of finding out what happens to the aircraft when stressed beyond its expected lifetime, a program source said.

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on February 26, 2014, 03:11:07 am
Breaking Defense (http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/reakingdefense.com/2014/02/f-35s-alis-way-behind-bogdan-says-one-step-forward-last-week/):
Quote
F-35′s ALIS ‘Way Behind,’ Bogdan Says; One Step Forward Last Week
By Colin Clark on February 25, 2014 at 3:32 PM

NEWSEUM: The key maintenance software program for the F-35, called ALIS, is “way behind,” Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, head of the program, said today. How far behind? “We are way behind. We are way behind.”

Bogdan told a conference hosted by Credit Suisse and organized by Jim McAleese here that he “could spend hours talking about what’s right and what’s wrong with ALIS,” the Autonomic Logistics Information System. But he kept it pretty short. Program leaders realized the system, designed to monitor the aircraft’s systems and maintenance needs, was a hell of a lot more important and complex than they had originally foreseen. ”It is way more important and way more complicated than that,” Bogdan said, adding that it needs to be treated “like its own weapon system.”

While the program is ”in catch-up mode with ALIS,” Bogdan said they were beginning to see improvements in the system. The latest software update was done at Eglin Air Force Base this weekend. “Normally with ALIS we would take one step forward and two steps back. This time we actually took a step forward and didn’t take a step back. That is encouraging, that because of the way we are changing the development of ALIS we starting to see results. But we are way behind. We are way behind.”

Lockheed Martin defended the program, while acknowledging the problems. “We recognize ALIS has had challenges and we are working with our Joint Program Office and field users to address them,” spokesman Mike Rein said in an email. “An ALIS software update is currently undergoing installation across F-35 bases for increased processing speed. We are incorporating user feedback to further advance the system and intend to field the next major release of ALIS in first quarter of 2015 to provide additional capability. ALIS is maturing in parallel with the aircraft and our team is committed to delivering the most advanced and capable fleet management system with ALIS.”

On the cracked bulkheads found during ground lifecycle testing of the F-35Bs — the Marine aircraft –Bogdan said “his biggest worry” about them is that there are planes on the production line due to receive the bulkhead models that cracked. He said he has “challenged Lockheed to figure out a way to get that fix done as quickly as possible” so he doesn’t have to buy jets and fix them later on.

The other area — related to ALIS — is that the F-35s produced so far are not meeting readiness standards.  “Parts are failing more often then we expected and when they fail they take longer to repair and maintainability on the airplane is just taking too long to repair,” Bogdan said. “The good news is we have the wherewithal and the capability to conquer all those problems with the money we have been given.”

All this doubtless has given rise to many acquisition lessons learned. Bogdan, former program manager of the KC-X airborne tanker program, noted he had compiled a pamphlet about the lessons he learned there. “We are probably going to end up doing the same for F-35,” he said. “Instead of a pamphlet we may need an encylopedia because of all the things we didn’t get right.”

Some more hopeful news for Lockheed and the program: Bogdan said he was pretty sure South Korea would buy F-35s. He was less categoric about Singapore, but he clearly thinks it’s likely the city-state will buy the aircraft. Breaking Defense readers already knew that, of course.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on February 26, 2014, 03:42:45 pm
 ;D

Lockheed Secretly Demonstrates New Stealthy Fighter Comms


February 25, 2014
Credit: USAF

Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a secretly developed capability to fix one of the shortfalls of its stealthy F-22 and F-35 fighters: their inability to link to one another, or to legacy fighters, for air campaigns.

The company recently showcased a new datalink capability for the fighters through Project Missouri, a proprietary program. During the demonstration, Lockheed validated the use of a Link 16 transmit capability from the twin-engine F-22 Raptor as well as showcased a waveform developed by L-3 Communications and optimized for low-probability-of-intercept/low-probability-of-detection transmissions (LPI/LPD), says Ron Bessire, vice president of technology and innovation at the company’s Skunk Works.

The demonstration required 8 hr. of flight time and took place Dec. 17 and 19, Bessire tells Aviation Week. The trials required the use of an Air Force Raptor as well as the F-35 Cooperative Avionics Testbed (CATbird), a 737-based flying laboratory that is used to test F-35 software standing in as a Joint Strike Fighter surrogate. The F-22 was able to transmit to a Link 16 terminal on the ground.

The F-22 was designed to communicate only with other Raptors in an effort to reduce emissions from the aircraft to maintain signal stealth in the event of a peer-to-peer engagement. However, because of a dramatic cutback in the number of Raptors purchased — 187 operational — the aircraft must now communicate with F-35s expected to enter service next year as well as legacy “fourth-generation” fighters such as the F-15, F-16 and F-18 families.

This so-called fourth-to-fifth capability was highlighted as a need last week by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh at the annual Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., but a firm requirement and funding are lacking. Describing the technology as “nothing cosmic,” Welsh said such a link would extend the range and improve the effectiveness of each platform; ultimately what is needed is handoff of weapons-quality data, meaning data from one aircraft can be used by another to accurately fire a weapon.

“We demonstrated the data was being transmitted at a high rate, [enough] to support rapid update of the air tracks to whomever was on Link 16,” Bessire says.

Should such a capability be fielded, the F-22 could be used to enhance the effectiveness of F-15s and F-16s in an air battle though most of the older fighters lack the use of an active, electronically scanned array radar. The F-22’s Northrop Grumman radar is able to detect airborne threats at ranges far exceeding those of radars on the older fighters.

Bessire said the “LPI/LPD waveform still needs some additional maturation,” but he declined to discuss whether it is in use in another platform. Such a waveform would be useful for the B-2, new unmanned aircraft such as the Northrop Grumman RQ-180 and any system hoping to reduce radio frequency emissions to conduct stealthy operations. Equipment and the optics for the waveform are at a technology readiness level of 9, he said, indicating more work needs to be done before it can be proven in a relevant environment and garner full programmatic status at the Pentagon. The F-22 is, however, able to use its existing apertures to operate the waveform, he said.

Installation of a so-called “open system architecture” (OSA) rack and the radio took place within a year of starting the effort to add Link 16 to the Raptor, Bessire said. The OSA racks can also can enable other operations, such as distributed electronic attack, though this was not demonstrated. “What we learned out of this demonstration is that there is tremendous power in the Air Force open mission architecture standard,” Bessire says. The equipment was installed in the F-22’s avionics bay.

Through Project Missouri, Lockheed is trying to package a capability similar to that offered by the Northrop Grumman Joint Strike Fighter Enterprise Terminal (JETpack) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration within a stealthy aircraft. JETpack was a podded solution; incorporating it on the stealthy F-22 and F-35 would compromise their low radar cross section.

Lockheed is briefing the results of the demonstration to Air Force leadership and is hoping to see an official requirement for such a capability. Suppliers, such as L-3, shared in the cost of the demonstration. But the team is hoping for a sign from the Air Force to continue work. If funding weren’t an issue, the Link 16 system could be fielded by the end of this year, Bessire says. “One of the goals of the demonstration was to create a reusable design whether that was software or hardware,” he says.

Company officials are eager to get Air Force reaction. The program was dubbed “Project Missouri” as a response to a demand from Air Combat Command chief Gen. Michael Hostage. He told the company to “show me” it was possible when Lockheed briefed plans for the demonstration to him before it took place. This, Bessire notes, is the motto of Missouri, the “show-me” state.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_02_25_2014_p0-666721.xml
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP on February 26, 2014, 03:58:36 pm
JETpack turns a F-15C and presumably other assets into min-BACN aircraft via a pod.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post:4ac8bd74-d81d-49c6-8c8d-ad28e0b566ae (http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post:4ac8bd74-d81d-49c6-8c8d-ad28e0b566ae)

(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aviationweek.com%2FPortals%2FAWeek%2FAres%2FJETPack5thTo4th-USAF.jpg&hash=499fe462bd6f1af1200786b4f23e22dd)

btw, The article above titled "Lockheed Secretly Demonstrates New Stealthy Fighter Comms" makes the mistake of stating that JETpack goes on the F-22/35.  It does not as it is intended to be mounted on a 4th gen platform to function as a Gateway between the F-22/35 and the rest of the network.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on February 27, 2014, 04:19:19 pm
"Turkey likely to order Lockheed F-35 fighters in 2015"
by Tulay Karadeniz

ANKARA Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:16am ES

Source:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/27/us-turkey-defence-fighterjets-idUSBREA1Q1ES20140227


Quote
(Reuters) - Turkey is likely to start ordering F-35 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) from 2015 onwards and it will start with two orders initially, Turkey's undersecretary for state-run defense industries Murad Bayar said on Thursday.

"We will start F-35 orders either this year or the next. Right now, it is likely to be next year," Bayar told reporters. "We will initially order two. The delivery time will be, depending on the orders, probably in 2017-2018."

Turkey had already announced it plans to buy 100 F-35 jets for $16 billion. Bayar said he expected the deliveries of 100 aircraft to be completed within 10 years.

The F-35, considered to be the world's most expensive weapons program at $396 billion so far, was designed to be the next-generation fighter jet for the U.S. forces.

It is being built by the United States, Britain and seven other co-development partners - Italy, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands.

Separately, Bayar said Turkey was aiming to achieve results in April on its talks with China over the purchase of long-range missile defense systems, a move highly criticized by Turkey's NATO allies.

In September Turkey chose China's FD-2000 missile-defense system over rival offers from Franco-Italian Eurosam SAMP/T and U.S.-listed Raytheon Co (RTN.N). It said China offered the most competitive terms and would allow co-production in Turkey.

U.S. and NATO officials have raised concerns with Turkish officials about the decision to buy the system from CPMIEC, a company hit by U.S. sanctions for sales of items to either Iran, Syria or North Korea that are banned under U.S. laws to curb the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"Our talks with China are ongoing. We have extended the bidding until the end of April. We are aiming to get results in early April on this," Bayar said.

AIRBUS DELIVERIES

Bayar also said Turkey will seek compensation over the late delivery of the A400 military transport plane after Airbus (AIR.PA) failed to meet some of its contractual obligations.

"My message to Airbus is that it should first focus on fulfilling the terms of the contract. There is no additional bargaining here. The contract, even with the amended version, requires the fulfillment of certain technical qualities and we have had to hold these talks because these requirements were not completely fulfilled," Bayar said.

On Wednesday, Airbus chief executive Tom Enders said bargaining was behind the delay and that it was 'unbearable' that the company was still negotiating with Turkey over the plane.

"The aircraft is ready to go. It is instantly, operationally fit for flight. I find the situation increasingly unacceptable," Enders told reporters.

Bayar said he still expected the aircraft, which was supposed to have been delivered to Turkey at the end of last year, to arrive in March but Turkey was going to ask for compensation.

"Of course there has been a delay in the delivery schedule and there will be compensation because of this. This will be the financial dimension," Bayar said.

Meanwhile, Bayar said Japan had told Turkey that it will not allow the export of a Japanese tank engine to third parties without its permission.

His comments came after Japanese media reported that a deal between Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe was struck in May, during Abe's visit to Turkey, on the supply of engines, but that Turkey's desire to export to third parties was likely to block the deal.

Bayar said that the potential purchase of the engine for Turkey's Altay tank was dropped for now.

"We have agreed with Japanese authorities to leave this topic off the agenda and focus on other areas of cooperation."

His comments appeared to close the door on a potential deal for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (7011.T) to supply engines for the Altay tank being developed by Turkey's Otokar (OTKAR.IS).

(Additional reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo and Tim Kelly in Tokyo; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk and Daren Butler; Editing by Stephen Powell)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on February 28, 2014, 05:42:48 pm
 ;D

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on March 04, 2014, 04:59:14 am
F-35 makes first flight sporting Canadian-made tail wing assembly

TORONTO, March 3, 2014 /CNW/ - Magellan Aerospace Corporation ("Magellan" or the "Corporation") announced today that the first Magellan-manufactured horizontal tail assembly installed on an F-35A Lightning II aircraft was successfully flown for the first time on Wednesday, 26 February 2014.  The Magellan tail assembly flew on aircraft AF-46, an F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) variant, from Lockheed Martin's final assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas.  The first flight of this Canadian-manufactured tail assembly marks an important milestone for Magellan as a major Canadian supplier to the international F-35 program.

Magellan is under contract with BAE Systems to produce horizontal tail assemblies for the CTOL variant of the F-35 and is expected to produce more than 1,000 sets of these components for the program over a 20-year period. "This is a very exciting time for everyone who has been involved on the program over the past ten years," said Mr. James Butyniec, President and Chief Executive Officer of Magellan. "While Magellan has been producing a number of F-35 assemblies for the program for a number of years, this first flight of our horizontal tail is a significant event and Magellan is proud of this achievement."

"Magellan delivered the horizontal tail for the aircraft that flew today in December 2012," said Mr. Scott McCrady, Magellan's Corporate Program Director, F-35.  "Since then our annual production rates have been steadily increasing and are expected to continually increase over the next several years as the F-35 program matures."  Canadian companies like Magellan have had unprecedented competitive opportunities to support this international program since the inception of Canada's participation in the Joint Strike Fighter program in 1997.

Magellan's aggressive investment in facilities, equipment, and processes leading up to this event, has positioned Magellan to potentially achieve sales approaching $2.0B CDN on the F-35 program. To date, Magellan has surpassed $120M CDN in revenues on the program.

Magellan, under contract with Rolls-Royce, has also been producing the vane box assembly and transition duct for all of the F-35B Short Take Off and Landing (STOVL) variants flying today. In addition, Magellan has been producing a number of composite assemblies and machined details to Lockheed Martin directly.  This milestone in the Corporation's horizontal tail program demonstrates that companies such as Magellan can be successful and competitive in today's globalized aerospace supply chain.

About Magellan Aerospace

Magellan 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. Magellan is a public company whose shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MAL), with operating units throughout Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, and Poland.

Forward Looking Statements

Some of the statements in this press release may be forward-looking statements or statements of future expectations based on currently available information. When used herein, words such as "expect", "anticipate", "estimate", "may", "will", "should", "intend", "believe", and similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by the Corporation in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that the Corporation believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Many factors could cause the Corporation's actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including those described in the "Risk Factors" section of the Corporation's Annual Information Form (copies of which filings may be obtained at www.sedar.com). These factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on the Corporation's forward-looking statements. The Corporation has no intention and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

SOURCE Magellan Aerospace Corporation

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1767999

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on March 04, 2014, 06:51:11 am
Reuters: (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/04/lockheed-fighter-idUSL6N0M101N20140304)

Quote
US Navy to order 33 fewer F-35s than planned in next 5 yrs
By Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON, March 3 Mon Mar 3, 2014 9:27pm EST

(Reuters) - The U.S. Navy is set to order 33 fewer Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets than originally planned over the five years starting in fiscal 2015 due to budgetary pressures, a defense official said Monday.

In a move that will sharply slow work on the F-35 model built to land on aircraft carriers, the Navy will ask Congress to fund 36 F-35Cs instead of 69, said the official, who could not speak publicly ahead of Tuesday's release of the 2015 budget request.

The Air Force is also deferring orders for four conventional landing F-35 A-models in fiscal 2015, but is expected to resume its planned orders for the jet in 2016 and beyond, said a second source familiar with the plans. It plans to order 238 in total.

The Marine Corps, which expects to start using its F-35 B-model jets in combat from mid-2015, is sticking to its projected orders of 69 jets for the period, the sources said.

That adds up to 343 F-35s to be funded by the U.S. military through fiscal 2019, excluding three Marine Corps jets that could be added to the Pentagon's war funding request, which will be submitted in April or May.

Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale told a conference last week that the department's decision to buy eight fewer F-35s in fiscal 2015 was based on affordability, not the aircraft's performance. Defense officials say they remain committed to the program, and still plan to buy a total of 2,443 F-35s over the coming years for all three military services.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last week said the total number to be funded over the next five years could be scaled back further unless Congress revokes automatic budget cuts that are due to resume in fiscal 2016 and beyond.

Lockheed is building three models of the aircraft for the U.S. military and eight international partners that helped fund its development: Britain, Canada, Norway, Italy, Turkey, the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia.

Israel and Japan have also ordered F-35 jets, and South Korea is expected to announce orders for 40 F-35s on March 12.

Lockheed and the Pentagon's F-35 program office had hoped that foreign orders would comprise half or more of the total number of F-35s in a ninth batch of jets, which are funded in fiscal 2015.

However some foreign orders have now been delayed as well and the combined number is expected to be around 57, far short of 73 jets that had been seen as possible at one time, said a third source familiar with the program. The total number will be finalized in the coming months.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: donnage99 on March 06, 2014, 06:20:00 pm
http://www.theprovince.com/technology/irrelevant+without+accompanying+stealth+says+general/9587730/story.html


Quote
F-35 ‘irrelevant’ without accompanying stealth jet, says U.S. general


New questions are being raised about whether the F-35 stealth fighter is the right aircraft for Canada after a U.S. general acknowledged the jet is limited in what it can do and needs to be accompanied on its missions by another multi-million-dollar aircraft.
[/size]The issue for Canada and other potential F-35 buyers is that the other aircraft referred to by the general – the F-22 – isn’t available for foreign sales because of its sophisticated technology.[/font]
Gen. Michael Hostage, head of air combat command in the U.S., said the F-35 is critical for the future of that country’s air force. But in an interview with the Air Force Times, published in February, Hostage pointed out the F-35 needs to work hand-in-hand with the F-22.“The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform,” Hostage said. “It needs the F-22.”The U.S. Air Force is upgrading the F-22, which officers see as essential. Without the upgraded F-22s, “the F-35 fleet frankly will be irrelevant,” Hostage said.The comments have sparked heated debate in aerospace and defence circles, and analyst Martin Shadwick says Hostage’s statements are bound to raise eyebrows in Canada. “I’m sure you won’t see the general’s comments in any F-35 marketing literature,” said Shadwick, a York University professor. “Canada needs a multi-role fighter and even if the F-22 were available we couldn’t afford another aircraft to fly top cover for the F-35s.”Senior Royal Canadian Air Force officers have acknowledged they are keen to see the F-35 in Canada.But in 2012, the Conservative government put a temporary halt to its purchase of the F-35 and appointed a group of senior officials to examine options for the replacement of the country’s CF-18 fighter jets.That process is still under way. Public Works and Government Services can’t say when it will be completed.Hostage’s comments echo earlier concerns by critics that the F-35 is mainly designed to strike at ground targets and is not well suited for aerial combat and interceptions.But Mike Barton, a spokesman for Lockheed Martin Canada, said the F-35 meets all Canada’s needs. The general’s comments are a reflection of how the U.S. Air Force operates and are not relevant to Canada, he added.Barton said Lockheed Martin has not seen any adverse reaction to Hostage’s comments from the Canadian government or any other nation interested in purchasing the F-35. “We’ve heard nothing about it impacting foreign interest,” Barton said.The F-35 stealth fighter had become a major political headache for the Conservative government, which made it a lynchpin of their defence policy.The controversy surrounding the F-35 purchase has centred on technical and cost issues, as well as the acquisition process. The Department of National Defence originally claimed the project would cost around $14.7 billion but then-Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page put that price tag at around $29 billion.Auditor General Michael Ferguson also issued a report concluding that DND officials withheld key information from Parliament about the jet purchase, underestimated costs, and didn’t follow proper procurement rules.Still, the F-35 has had strong support in government. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has labelled the jet a good deal for Canada.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on March 11, 2014, 12:57:26 pm
The first F-35A strike fighter assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing touched down at Luke AFB, Ariz., its new home, on Monday. "This is the first-ever international weapon system program, and Luke will be the future home of its first-ever international flying training unit," said Air Force spokesman Maj. Matt Hesson in a statement ahead of the airplane's March 10 arrival. All F-35 pilots currently train at the joint-service F-35 schoolhouse at Eglin AFB, Fla. "Upon completion of the programmed aircraft delivery, Luke will be home to 144 F-35A aircraft belonging to eight partner nations" for the training, said Hesson. The first F-16 instructor pilot at Luke to convert over to the F-35A began training earlier this year. Luke's first F-35A is the 100th F-35 airframe to roll off Lockheed Martin's production line at Fort Worth, Tex.

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on March 12, 2014, 11:35:13 am
F35 Joint Strike Fighters: Pentagon says jets getting cheaper, Australia could become regional service hub (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-12/f35-joint-strike-fighters-becoming-cheaper/5316320)

JSF price sinks to US$80-85m (http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/jsf-price-sinks-to-us80-85m/story-e6frfku9-1226852701182)

Tony Abbott to approve Australia’s biggest ever military purchase of stealth fighter jets (http://www.news.com.au/national/tony-abbott-to-approve-australias-biggest-ever-military-purchase-of-stealth-fighter-jets/story-fncynjr2-1226851684344)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Racer on March 13, 2014, 01:11:41 pm
JSF price sinks to US$80-85m (http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/jsf-price-sinks-to-us80-85m/story-e6frfku9-1226852701182)

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-details-five-year-spending-plan-396901/ (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-details-five-year-spending-plan-396901/)

"The US Air Force on 11 March released a detailed budget proposal showing how much it intends to spend in the five-year period to fiscal year 2019 on current and next-generation aircraft programmes.

The plan calls for an investment of almost $28 billion over five years to purchase 238 Lockheed Martin (http://www.flightglobal.com/landingpage/Lockheed%20Martin.html) F-35A Joint Strike Fighters, at an average flyaway cost of about $107 million each."
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on March 21, 2014, 11:30:11 am
Quote
Lockheed Martin Says F-35 Will Get Cheaper In Next Five Years
(Source: Yonhap News Agency; published March 21, 2014)
 
FORTH WORTH, Texas --- South Korea will benefit from economies of scale when production of the F-35 stealth jet goes into full swing in the next five years if it signs a contract for 40 aircraft for delivery starting from 2018, a senior Lockheed Martin official said.

Seoul is set to confirm a plan to buy 40 F-35As through the U.S. foreign military sales (FMS) program without open bidding, while the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and the finance ministry are currently deliberating the total budget.

Gary North, vice president for customer requirements for Lockheed Martin, suggested South Korea is in a good position to profit from economies of scale as his company is expected to start full-scale production between 2017 and 2018.

"As the number of the airplanes goes up over the years, the cost is coming down. Once it reaches the full rate production, the cost will flatten out as a function of the economics," North told Korean reporters during their visit to the F-35 production line in Fort Worth, Texas.

South Korea had initially planned to buy 60 advanced jets to replace the aging fleet of F-4s and F-5s, but it reduced the number after rejecting Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle, the only aircraft that met the previous competition's budget of 8.3 trillion won (US$7.2 billion), leaving open the possibility of 20 more jets in the future.

Lockheed Martin fell short of providing an estimated budget for the South Korean deal as the FMS conditions require a foreign government to pay the amount specified by the U.S. government. Instead, North pointed to a recent cost projection by the Pentagon's F-35 program chief.

Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan said during a visit to Australia last week that the cost of the F-35B conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variant will fall to US$80-85 million.

"Lockheed Martin agrees with Lt. Gen. Bogdan's assessment that the cost of the F-35 is on a downward path that will lead to a Unit Recurring Flyaway (URF) cost for an F-35A of between $80-85 million," said Randy Howard, the director of F-35 Korea business development.

"This projected price includes the aircraft, avionics and mission systems, and the engine" as well as logistics support and a flight simulator, he said.

But Korean acquisition officials, who grappled with budget issues in the past program, warned the company's projection may be too rosy.

"It seems like the most optimistic price estimation made under the premise that international sales of 3,200 F-35s will go ahead as planned," a senior DAPA official said, asking for anonymity. "There is a gap between the estimated cost and the real contract price as the F-35 is sold through the FMS program for all purchasers."

Another Seoul official said the cost for the total package, including armament and maintenance support, could be higher than the Pentagon's estimate for the unit flyaway cost.

An earlier state-sponsored study estimated that 40 F-35A would cost about 7.4 trillion won for delivery between 2018 and 2021.

Regarding concerns over software problems identified in a recent Pentagon report, North promised to provide F-35As with Block 3F software that is fully operable for the South Korean Air Force.

The U.S. Air Force plans to declare the F-35A operational in 2016, while the Block 3F software is expected to be ready in 2017.

"Our company is confident that we will deliver the 3F software to the customers, to the nations and services, to meet their operational requirements," said the retired U.S. Air Force four-star general who served as commander of Pacific Air Forces.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on March 22, 2014, 03:34:28 am
New GAO report March 26th: Bloomberg (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-22/lockheed-martin-f-35-jet-s-software-delayed-gao-says.html)

Quote
Lockheed Martin F-35 Jet’s Software Delayed, GAO Says
By Tony Capaccio Mar 22, 2014 6:00 AM GMT+0100


Delays in testing critical software for Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-35 jet are threatening to delay the Pentagon’s most expensive weapon and boost development costs, according to congressional investigators.

“Persistent software problems” have slowed testing to demonstrate the aircraft’s war-fighting, navigation, targeting and reconnaissance systems, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said.

The Marine Corps F-35 version, designed for short takeoffs and vertical landings, has a key milestone next year. While the Marines want the plane to be deemed ready for combat in mid-2015, tests on some of its software might not be be completed on time, and possibly 13 months late.

“Delays of this magnitude would mean that the Marine Corps will not likely have all of the capabilities it expects in July 2015,” according to a draft of a GAO report obtained by Bloomberg News. “The effects of these delays compound as they also put the timely delivery of Air Force and Navy initial operating capabilities at risk.”

The Air Force’s F-35 version is supposed to meet a similar deadline in 2016, and the Navy model in 2018. Italy and the U.K. are buying the Marine Corps model.

The F-35 program is estimated to cost $391.2 billion.

While Lockheed Martin officials haven’t yet seen the GAO report, they are “confident we will complete flight testing of the software required for Marine Corps initial operational capability this year,” Laura Siebert, a spokeswoman for the Bethesda, Maryland-based contractor, said in an e-mail statement.
Pilot Helmet

The company plans to release the required software for the Marine version “no later than July 2015,” she said. “This software will enable the Marines to identify, target and engage the opposition.”

Since the program completed a major reorganization in March 2012, “acquisition cost and schedule estimates have remained relatively stable, and progress has been made in key areas,” the GAO said.

Lockheed Martin is improving its production processes and reduced problems with its pilot helmet, the Navy F-35’s tailhook, which enables the plane to land on aircraft carriers, and an automatic diagnostic system.

The company and the Pentagon program office also made progress in 2013 toward reducing the cost of the Navy and Air Force models, though not the Marine Corps version, the GAO said.

As of January, the military planned to have verified basic functions for 27 percent of the software intended to operate the Marine Corps version. Instead, it got to 13 percent, leaving a “significant amount of work to be done by October,” when testing was to be complete, the GAO said.
Testing Delays

“At this point, we believe the most pressing issue is the effect software testing delays are likely to have on the capabilities” of the first aircraft each service declares ready for combat, the watchdog office said.

If the current schedule isn’t improved, the Marine Corps may “initially receive less capable aircraft than it expects,” according to the GAO draft report.

The Pentagon’s long-range budgets project the F-35 program will average $12.6 billion annually by 2018 and through 2037. That may be unaffordable because of current budget constraints, the GAO said.

At its peak, F-35 funding will be about $15 billion, so “annual funding of this magnitude clearly poses long-term affordability risks,” as “lower than expected reliability” risks keeping support cost estimates high, the agency said.
Fewer Aircraft

The projected price tag of $391.2 billion for an eventual fleet of 2,443 F-35s for the Air Force, Navy and Marines is 68 percent higher than the estimate in 2001, measured in current dollars.

The number of aircraft is 409 fewer than called for in the original program. The Pentagon is requesting $8 billion for 34 aircraft for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, compared with 29 that were approved in each of the last two years.

One of the program’s challenges will be meeting the Defense Department’s specific cost goals at the start of full-scale production in 2019.

The per-jet cost still require reductions of as much as $49 million, the report said.

A final version of the GAO report will be featured at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on March 26 that’s set to include testimony from the GAO’s top F-35 official.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: sferrin on March 22, 2014, 04:46:49 am
F-35 "price sinks to US$80-85m" in FY2019 Dollars?

"Courtesy of 'Spazsinbad', I first read this at the Sydney Morning Herald website and wondered why I didn't see anything about it at any of the so-called 'leading' defense websites:


JSF price sinks to US$80-85m

Australia looks like paying a less than expected $US80-$US85 million for each F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and that could drop if production ramps up. That's much cheaper than recent indications of over $US100 million ($A111.73 million) per aircraft. Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, who heads the JSF acquisition program for the US military, said the price included profit for JSF manufacturer Lockheed Martin and was in 2019 dollars, accounting for inflation. That's less than the $130 million budgeted price for each of Australia's first two, which are in production set for delivery in the US later this year and next (Read it all here ).

The initial reaction around the web appears to be muted to say the least, especially compared to what it has been whenever hypothetical and amorphous outside cost 'estimates' have gone up. Could the Anti-JSF bias be any more blatant?"

http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2014/03/f-35-price-sinks-to-us80-85m-in-fy2019.html
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on March 23, 2014, 10:58:31 am
Quote
F-35 fighter purchase reasonable: report
MARCH 24, 2014 1:41AM
http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/f-35-fighter-purchase-reasonable-report/story-e6frfku9-1226862761303#


AUSTRALIA is likely to push ahead with the acquisition of its first operational F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft, according to a report by an independent defence think tank.In a report released on Monday, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute says it makes most sense for the federal government to commit to spending between $8 billion and $10 billion on 58 of the fighters, which are expected to enter service in 2020.

Report authors Andrew Davies and Harry White say the F-35 is a capable fighter with an ability to penetrate sophisticated air defences, but note that other factors, including political relations, point towards a likely buy.

"Because we're an international program partner on the JSF, the economies of scale for other buyers - including the US - will be reduced if we don't purchase the aircraft," they say.

Start-up costs to take on the JSF are predicted to be $2 billion, with a ongoing annual cost of about $200 million.

"In the final analysis, the government seems likely to be prepared to pay a moderate premium to maintain a high-end air-combat capability, and to preserve the other benefits to industry and the alliance with Washington," the report says.

"On balance, that looks like a reasonable decision for Australia."

As the government keeps a watchful eye on Australia's budget, the report suggests an option of reducing the F-35 order to 50, thus saving about $800 million on the initial cost.

Australian industry has secured contracts worth more than $US300 million ($A332.54 million) to manufacture F-35 components, with the injection to the economy possibly reaching $US5 billion over the lifetime of the program.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on March 24, 2014, 01:59:00 am
Flightglobal: South Korea formally decides on 40 F-35As (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/south-korea-formally-decides-on-40-f-35as-397315/)
Quote

South Korea formally decides on 40 F-35As
By: Greg WaldronSingaporeSource: Flightglobal.com
 
South Korea has formally decided to obtain 40 Lockheed Martin F-35As to fill its long running F-X III requirement.
 
“We are honoured by and appreciate the trust and confidence the Republic of Korea has placed in the 5th Generation F-35 to meet its demanding security requirements,” says Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.
 
“We look forward to supporting the discussions between the Republic of Korea and U.S. governments in support of a final agreement this year. This decision strengthens and extends our long-standing security partnership while enhancing regional stability across the greater Asia Pacific theatre.”
 
Lockheed’s statement follows a formal announcement by South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Executive Committee in Seoul earlier today.
 
If the acquisition proceeds as planned, deliveries will start in 2018.
 
A source familiar with South Korean defence acquisitions says Seoul will now issue a formal letter of request to the US for the aircraft and other elements of the programme, such as offset arrangements associated with the deal.
 
Media reports from South Korea indicate that the country hopes to conclude negotiations for the fighters by the third quarter of 2014.
 
Seoul’s decision follows a November 2013 report carried by South Korea’s official news agency quoting the nation’s joint chiefs of staff as saying that Seoul would buy 40 F-35As, with deliveries to start in 2018.
 
That report mentioned that Seoul would also obtain an option for an additional 20 F-35As, but today’s announcements from South Korea and Lockheed make no mention of this.
 
After Australia and Japan, South Korea will be the third Asia Pacific nation to order the type. Australia, a partner in the F-35 programme, could obtain up to 100 F-35As. Japan is obtaining 48 aircraft under the US Foreign Military Sales mechanism, through which Seoul will also acquire its aircraft.
 
Among other regional powers, Singapore has expressed strong interest in the programme, apparently leaning toward the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B variant.
 
The F-X III requirement, originally for 60 aircraft, was hotly contested between the Lockheed aircraft, as well as the Boeing F-15 Silent Eagle and Eurofighter Typhoon. The F-15SE appeared to have secured the win last summer, but Seoul abruptly decided to change the terms of the requirement to favour a stealthy aircraft.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on March 25, 2014, 01:56:03 am
March 2014 GAO report: http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/661842.pdf (http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/661842.pdf)
 
Highlights (http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-322)
Quote
What GAO Found
Delays in developmental flight testing of the F-35's critical software may hinder delivery of the warfighting capabilities the military services expect. F-35 developmental flight testing comprises two key areas: mission systems and flight sciences. Mission systems testing verifies that the software-intensive systems that provide critical warfighting capabilities function properly and meet requirements, while flight sciences testing verifies the aircraft's basic flying capabilities. Challenges in development and testing of mission systems software continued through 2013, due largely to delays in software delivery, limited capability in the software when delivered, and the need to fix problems and retest multiple software versions. The Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) predicts delivery of warfighting capabilities could be delayed by as much as 13 months. Delays of this magnitude will likely limit the warfighting capabilities that are delivered to support the military services' initial operational capabilities—the first of which is scheduled for July 2015—and at this time it is not clear what those specific capabilities will be because testing is still ongoing. In addition, delays could increase the already significant concurrency between testing and aircraft procurement and result in additional cost growth. Without a clear understanding of the specific capabilities that will initially be delivered, Congress and the military services may not be able to make fully informed resource allocation decisions. Flight sciences testing has seen better progress, as the F-35 program has been able to accomplish nearly all of its planned test flights and test points. Testing of the aircraft's operational capabilities in a realistic threat environment is scheduled to begin in 2015. The program has continued to make progress in addressing some key technical risks.
 
To execute the program as planned, the Department of Defense (DOD) will have to increase funds steeply over the next 5 years and sustain an average of $12.6 billion per year through 2037; for several years, funding requirements will peak at around $15 billion. Annual funding of this magnitude clearly poses long-term affordability risks given the current fiscal environment. The program has been directed to reduce unit costs to meet established affordability targets before full-rate production begins in 2019, but meeting those targets will be challenging as significant cost reductions are needed. Additionally, the most recent cost estimate for operating and supporting the F-35 fleet is more than $1 trillion, which DOD officials have deemed unaffordable. This estimate reflects assumptions about key cost drivers the program can control, like aircraft reliability, and those it cannot control, including fuel costs, labor costs, and inflation rates. Reliability is lower than expected for two variants, and DOT&E reports that the F-35 program has limited additional opportunities to improve reliability.
Aircraft manufacturing continued to improve in 2013, and management of the supply chain is evolving. As the number of aircraft in production has increased, critical learning has taken place and manufacturing efficiency has improved. For example, the prime contractor has seen reductions in overall labor hours needed to manufacture the aircraft, as expected. In 2013, the contractor delivered 35 aircraft to the government, 5 more than it delivered in 2012 and 26 more than it delivered in 2011. The prime contractor has put in place a supplier management system to oversee key supplier performance.
 
Why GAO Did This Study
The F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, is DOD's most costly and ambitious acquisition program. The program seeks to develop and field three aircraft variants for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps and eight international partners. The F-35 is integral to U.S. and international plans to replace existing fighter aircraft and support future combat operations. Total U.S. planned investment in the F-35 program is approaching $400 billion to develop and acquire 2,457 aircraft through 2037, plus hundreds of billions of dollars in long-term spending to operate and maintain the aircraft.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 mandated that GAO review the F-35 acquisition program annually for 6 years. In this, GAO's fifth annual report on the F-35, GAO assesses the program's (1) ongoing development and testing, (2) long-term affordability, and (3) manufacturing progress.
GAO reviewed and analyzed manufacturing data through December 2013, program test plans, and internal DOD analyses, and spoke with DOD, program, and contractor officials.
 
What GAO Recommends
GAO recommends that DOD assess and identify the specific capabilities that realistically can be delivered to the military services to support their respective initial operational capabilities, and share its findings with the Congress and military services prior to July 2015. DOD concurred with this recommendation.
[...]
Recommendation for Executive Action
Recommendation: Due to the uncertainty surrounding the delivery of F-35 software capabilities, the Secretary of Defense should conduct an assessment of the specific capabilities that realistically can be delivered and those that will not likely be delivered to each of the services by their established initial operational capability dates. The results of this assessment should be shared with Congress and the military services as soon as possible but no later than July 2015.
From the pdf:

Table 1: Changes in Reported F-35 Program Cost and Quantity and Deliveries
                                        2001-2013 October 2001 (initial baseline)
                                               March 2012 (restructured baseline)
                                                      March 2013 (current estimates)
                                                              Change 2001-2012
                                                                     Change 2012-2013
Expected quantities (number of aircraft)
Developmental quantities                14     14     14      0%     0%
Procurement quantities (U.S. only)      2,852  2,443  2,443  -14     0
Total quantities                        2,866  2,457  2,457  -14     0
 
Cost estimates (then-year dollars in billions)
Development                             $34.4  $55.2  $55.2   60     0
Procurement                             196.6  335.7  330.6   71     -2
Military construction                     2.0    4.8    4.6  140     -4
Total program acquisition               233.0  395.7  390.4   70     -1

Unit cost estimates (then-year dollars in millions)
Program acquisition                      $81   $161   $159    99     -1
Average procurement                       69    137    135    99     -1

Estimated delivery and production dates
Initial operational capability          2010-2 TBD    2015-8  NA     NA
Full-rate production                    2012   2019   2019    7 yrs  0 yrs
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Grey Havoc on March 25, 2014, 03:40:28 am
http://theaviationist.com/2014/03/24/f-35-cuts-garibaldi/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Hot Breath on March 26, 2014, 10:05:07 pm
Quote
F-35 Joint Strike Fighters: Australia's biggest Defence acquisition 'unaffordable', US congressional committee hears
The World Today

By North America correspondent Michael Vincent

Australia's biggest Defence acquisition is currently rated as "unaffordable" because of reliability issues, a US congressional committee has heard.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has been billed as the smartest fighter jet on the planet, designed to strike enemies in the air and on the ground without being detected by radar.

The first two of Australia's initial order of 14 F-35s is expected to be delivered this year at a cost of just under $US130 million each.

Federal Cabinet's national security committee is expected to endorse the purchase of an additional 58 F-35s next month.

But the head of the JSF program, US Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, visited Australia two weeks ago and declared the reliability and maintainability of the aircraft was not yet "good enough".

And overnight the US House Armed Services Committee was told the planes are currently not affordable to use at the moment.

The committee heard software problems could delay the fighter's production, and foreign buyer delays could see countries like Australia paying millions of dollars more per aircraft.

    It's going to take months and months and months of constant efforts to see this improve.
    Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan

"We've looked at the reliability too and it is a really big concern now - it's very risky," the General Accounting Office's Michael Sullivan said.

"Not just in terms of getting the unit costs down on the aircraft, but also in terms of the operating and support costs.

"The estimate now is deemed unaffordable.

"That's all got as much to do with reliability of the aircraft as anything else.

"This is a critical point."

California Democrat Loretta Sanchez told the hearing that all three versions of the aircraft were below their planned reliability.

"If you're paying for it but not flying it, that's bad news," she said.
Parts coming off the aircraft 'too frequently': Bogdan

Ms Sanchez says the F-35 is currently four hours between "critical failures" rather than 13 hours as expected, and at that rate the program will not even meet its reliability goal of 50 per cent.

Lieutenant General Bogdan said with more planes in the skies, program bosses now know parts are coming off the aircraft "too frequently" for maintenance.

"The problem here is you're not going to see results in the next two to three months," he said.

"It's going to take months and months and months of constant efforts to see this improve.
Video: F-35 threatens higher costs for Australia (ABC News)

"Our goal is by 2015 to see the aircraft at 60 per cent (reliability)."

Ms Sanchez said the reliability target is a "critical price to this program".

"You and I need to keep an eye out and ensure this reliability continues to go up, rather than stagnate as it is," she told the hearing.

The committee heard countries like Australia may risk paying millions of dollars more per aircraft because Italy, Turkey and Canada have or are considering delaying their purchases.

"If those three partners choose to push airplanes out or reduce their buy, it will have an effect on all the other partners and the services buying the aircraft to the tune of about 2-3 per cent increase in price," Lieutenant General Bogdan said.

He and Mr Sullivan agreed that the program's biggest risk is software development.

"The longer it takes to complete that software development, of course the longer you remain concurrent between testing and production, and that means more changes could take place before you finally get the aircraft that you want," he said.

"All that stuff creates costs and inefficiency."

The F-35 is already in production but is still being designed and refined.

The hearing was told the US Air Force has 58 operational F-35s, which have flown 12,000 hours.

Manufacturers Lockheed Martin are expected to build and deliver 35 more aircraft this year.

Topics: air-force, defence-forces, defence-and-national-security, federal-government, world-politics, united-states, australia

First posted 4 hours 2 minutes ago
ABC News Downunder (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-27/f35-joint-strike-fighters-unaffordable-us-committee-hears/5348414)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on March 27, 2014, 04:48:05 pm
Air Force F-35 takes first night flight
Brian Everstine, Air Force Times 6:25 a.m. EDT March 27, 2014

Pilots in the Air Force's newest and most expensive fighter can now fly at night.

An F-35A training pilot took off Monday at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., for the Joint Strike Fighter's first night training sortie. Previously, the service's training syllabus explicitly prohibited the advanced stealthy fighter from flying at night or during adverse weather.

But this delay wasn't due to a technical problem, it was due to different air worthiness standards in the various services flying the plane.

The Joint Strike Fighter is designed as a common fighter for all services. However, an issue arose with the symbols that the system's pilot interface uses.

RELATED: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposes using F-35, retiring A-10

The Air Force believed it "didn't have enough data to ensure the pilot-vehicle interface for night flying was good enough," Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, the joint F-35 program office executive officer, said Wednesday in response to questions from Air Force Times. "What I mean by that, is back in (training) the displays the pilots were looking at were confusing to Air Force pilots but not confusing to Navy and Marine Corps pilots because a lot of the symbology was of Navy origin."

The confusion arose because the Air Force has a different air worthiness authority than the other services. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, handles the air worthiness standards for the service, while the Navy and Marine Corps use standards from Naval Air Systems Command.

Because the NAVAIR standards are used on the F-35's night systems, the Air Force trained 15 pilots through simulators at Eglin and the F-35 plant in Fort Worth, Texas, until it was confident its pilots were ready to begin night flying at Eglin, Bogdan said.

The F-35 program as a whole was cleared for night flying in December, with Navy and Marine Corps pilots beginning sorties in January. It took until Monday for the Air Force to be ready to fly at night.

Air Force Gen. Mark Welsh, on Wednesday, told the House Appropriations Committee that, despite continuing software issues with the jet, he is "more confident than I've ever been" the F-35A will reach its initial operating capability by the end of 2016. However, he expects that some issues remain and will need to be addressed while the jet is flying operationally.

His comments came the day after the Government Accountability Office released a report on the technological issues plaguing the jet, including continuing issues with the complex software in the jet.

"Delays in developmental flight testing of the F-35's critical software may hinder delivery of expected warfighting capabilities to the military services," the GAO wrote.

The Pentagon's Director of Operational Test and Evaluation has said that delivery of operational capabilities could ultimately be delayed by as long as 13 months due to delays in software delivery, limited capability in delivered software, and the need to address problems and retest additional software versions.

"f software testing continues to be delayed, if funding falls short of expectations or if unit cost targets cannot be met, DoD may have to make decisions about whether to proceed with production as planned with less capable aircraft or to alter the production rate," the GAO wrote.

The Defense Department agrees that software problems are the largest problem facing the F-35 program as a whole but is more confident in the jet's future.

"My biggest technical concern in development is still software," Bogdan said in Wednesday testimony to the House Armed Services tactical air forces subcommittee. "Over the past two years, the program has implemented significant changes in how system software is developed, lab tested, flight tested, measured and controlled. These changes are showing positive effects, and I am moderately confident that the program will successfully release the (software upgrades) Block 2B and 3I capability as planned in 2015 and 2016, respectively."

Earlier this month, the first F-35A arrived for pilot training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The base will accept 16 jets this year and eventually house 144 jets for training. Instructor pilots are still in training at Eglin, which is expected to graduate its 100th pilot and 1,000th maintainer this week.

http://www.13wmaz.com/story/news/local/robins-air-force-base/2014/03/27/f-35-night-flight/6948759/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on March 28, 2014, 12:28:58 am
Organic Modifications to First F-35 Completed

The first F-35 Lightning II to undergo organic depot modifications departed Hill AFB, Utah, for Nellis AFB, Nev., on March 25 where it will undergo continued operational testing. The aircraft, which arrived at the Ogden Air Logistics Complex in September 2013, underwent four structural modifications to strengthen the aircraft and extend its service life. The aircraft is considered a “prototype modification” because it helped Ogden officials “solidify its technical processes,” states a March 25 release. “This was the first time the Ogden ALC accomplished depot work on the aircraft, and new and improved ways of doing the modifications were discovered,” states the release. The improved technical guidance will help maintainers conduct subsequent F-35 repairs, said Maj. Gen. H. Brent Baker, Ogden ALS command, in the release. “It was a team effort with Ogden ALS providing the touch labor and Lockheed Martin providing engineering support,” said Baker. The depot received its second strike fighter—a Dutch F-35—on Feb. 14, and its third aircraft—a US-owned jet—arrived on March 15, states the release. Ogden is slated to modify a total of six F-35s this fiscal year and eight strike fighters are expected to be inducted into the depot in Fiscal 2015, states the release.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on March 28, 2014, 11:11:16 am
 Published on Mar 26, 2014

As the lead F-35 training location, the Integrated Training Center at Eglin Air Force Base has qualified pilots and maintainers from the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, the U.K. and the Netherlands. The F-35 training system maximizes simulation to prepare pilots and maintainers before they head to the flight line.

http://youtu.be/_7IIksCxxM0
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on March 28, 2014, 11:56:33 am
Lockheed Awarded $700M for US, Int’l F-35 Parts
Mar 26th, 2014

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has been awarded a $698,032,385 U.S. Navy contract to gather parts, materials and components for 57 F-35 fighter jets that are being acquired by the U.S. and five international partners.

The fixed-price-incentive, firm target, advanced acquisition contract covers work on low rate initial production lot 9 through May 2015 and the full funding amount is being obligated at the time of award, the Defense Department said Tuesday (http://www.defense.gov/Contracts/Contract.aspx?ContractID=5248).

Production orders from Norway, Italy, Israel, Japan and the U.K. are covered under the contract in addition to the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy.

The contract supports 26 conventional takeoff and landing variants for the Air Force, six short takeoff vertical landing variants for the Marine Corps and two variants for the Navy.

International partner purchasing details include:


- See more at: http://www.govconwire.com/2014/03/lockheed-awarded-700m-for-us-intl-f-35-parts/#sthash.AQOOgBId.dpuf
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: shedofdread on March 31, 2014, 06:33:10 am
From ADS http://www.adsadvance.co.uk/article.php?section=defence&article=uk-and-us-join-forces-on-f-35-ship-integration-trials (http://www.adsadvance.co.uk/article.php?section=defence&article=uk-and-us-join-forces-on-f-35-ship-integration-trials)
 
Quote

Landing fixed wing aircraft on aircraft carriers could be revolutionised thanks to a recent piloted flight simulation trial which saw UK and US partners on the F35 programme use BAE Systems' F-35 Simulation facility at Warton to test new concepts for landing.
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on March 31, 2014, 11:38:56 am
Quote
Marand makes first JSF vertical tail
MARCH 31, 2014 7:41PM

AN Australian precision engineering company is expected to generate about $1 billion in revenue by making and delivering vertical tails for the world's most advanced war planes.  Melbourne-based Marand and its supply chain are starting production of up to 722 sets of vertical tails for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, which will be fitted to the F-35s of US and F-35 partner nations.

Minister for Veterans' Affairs Michael Ronaldson says the manufacture and delivery of these tails is expected to generate about $1 billion in revenue and employ 200 staff at Marand during the life of the program.

Senator Ronaldson said there were several other significant opportunities for Australian industry, including making composite panels for the fuselage of the F-35, weapons carriers, decoy flares and other components.

"Some 30 Australian companies have been directly involved in the F-35 program to date, and more than $355 million in production orders have been won with only 2-3 per cent of aircraft production completed to date," he said in a statement on Monday, after visiting Marand's Moorabbin premises to mark the manufacture of the first vertical tail.

Australia is buying JSF aircraft.

The first are on the production line and are due to be delivered in the second half of 2014.

The federal government says it expects Australia's commitment to buy any more aircraft will be reciprocated by a commitment from lead JSF maker Lockheed Martin to increase these large opportunities for Australian industry.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on April 01, 2014, 01:16:42 am
Carbon fibre, Titanium...I would be cautious about making simple price calculations such as that though.  It is often more complex in real life.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on April 01, 2014, 07:30:56 am
http://breakingdefense.com/2014/03/gaos-f-35-sar-estimate-plunges-11-5-billion-eelv-costs-soar-28-1-billion/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on April 02, 2014, 11:33:39 am

Quote
Defence Minister Applauds JSF Component Contract
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued April 2, 2014)

Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston has congratulated Adelaide-based Levett Engineering on the contract award announced by Pratt and Whitney for the manufacture of F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) precision engine components.

Senator Johnston said the contract was another good example of how Australia’s engagement with the JSF Program had afforded Australian industry the ability to develop new capabilities and access new markets.

“With the global fleet of around 3,000 F-35s expected to be manufactured, this contract represents an important step for Levett Engineering. If Levett continues to meet required quality standards it will have the opportunity to secure up to US$200 million in revenue though the JSF production phase,” Senator Johnston said.

“As the only regional Asia-Pacific JSF partner nation, we anticipate that Australian industry will be afforded a range of opportunities in both production and support.”

The F-35 is a genuine 5th generation fighter and will ensure Australia maintains a leading edge air combat capability.

“With the F-35 Program now maturing and production ramping up, the F-35 is expected to represent the bulk of fighter aircraft among the F-35 nations by the mid-2020s,” Senator Johnston said.

The components manufactured by Levett Engineering will be used in the F-135 Pratt and Whitney engine that powers the F-35 JSF.

Levett Engineering is one of 30 Australian companies that have secured work in the global JSF Program. 

(ends)

Quote
Pratt & Whitney, Levett Engineering Grow Industrial Participation In Australia for the F135 Engine and F-35 Lightning II
(Source: Pratt & Whitney; issued April 1, 2014)

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. --- Pratt & Whitney has awarded a contract to Levett Engineering to manufacture components that will be installed into F135 engines. The F135 engine is the propulsion system for the fifth generation F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

Levett Engineering, a precision component manufacturer located in Elizabeth, South Australia, was previously awarded contract work to manufacture second and third-stage turbine vane tubes and covers for the F135 engine. This latest award for bearing housings, covers, and related mechanical system components has a potential value of approximately $200 million over the life of the F-35 program.

"This award reaffirms Pratt & Whitney's commitment to F135 engine industrial participation in Australia," said Howie Chandler, vice president, Military Engines, Business Development at Pratt & Whitney. "Levett competed globally and was selected as the best value supplier of these engine components, and continues to be a valuable part of our global supply chain for the F135 engine."

"We are delighted to have earned the trust of Pratt & Whitney to manufacture and deliver these key components for the F135 engine," said Paul Levett, managing director, Levett Engineering. "As a small-medium enterprise, we are focused on delivering high-quality products at competitive prices. Our contribution to the F135 engine helps ensure jobs and technology-know how remain an essential part of our local industry, and a key support to the needs of the Australian Defence Force."

The F-35 will replace Australia's aging fourth-generation aircraft with an affordable, sustainable, and highly capable fifth-generation aircraft. The F-35 program includes partners from nine countries – Australia, Italy, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States – as well as three foreign military sales customers – Israel, Japan, and South Korea.

Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, auxiliary and ground power units, and small turbojet propulsion products. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the building and aerospace industries.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on April 03, 2014, 11:33:45 am
Quote
Rockwell Collins to Manufacture F-35 Optical Assemblies In Australia
(Source: Rockwell Collins; issued April 2, 2014)
 
MELBOURNE, Australia --– Rockwell Collins has entered into a long-term agreement with Northrop Grumman Corporation to expand manufacturing of the optical assemblies for the Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System (DAS) on the Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft.

Rockwell Collins is qualifying its facility in Melbourne, Australia, to produce these assemblies. This is in addition to manufacturing that is already occurring at the company’s facility in Carlsbad, Calif.

“With the support and investment of the Commonwealth of Australia, we’re proud to be on the path to be manufacturing 40 percent of this vital assembly in Australia,” said Nick Gibbs, managing director of Australia, for Rockwell Collins. “Our employees are very excited to be part of the F-35 supply chain with our new state-of-the-art precision optics manufacturing capability.”

The establishment of this capability is a significant achievement for Rockwell Collins in Australia and Australian industry. The contracted activity represents a challenging manufacturing task in support of the F-35 program and positions the company's Melbourne facility for future electro-optical production and sustainment programs.

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.


Rockwell Collins is a pioneer in the development and deployment of innovative communication and aviation electronic solutions for both commercial and government applications. Our expertise in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications, simulation and training, and information management is delivered by a global workforce, and a service and support network that crosses more than 150 countries.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on April 07, 2014, 06:37:15 pm
Senior Airman Jessa Fleming, a low observable technician, masks areas of an F-35 Lightning II in need of metal repair work. Fleming is responsible for maintaining the stealth characteristics of the Joint Strike Fighter. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on April 07, 2014, 07:06:11 pm
F-35A AF-48
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: jjnodice on April 09, 2014, 12:13:48 pm
Last weekend I attended the Columbus MS airshow with my kids.  An F-35 from Eglin was on static display.  I talked with one of the maintainers and he stated this was the first time they had travelled to an airshow.  This seemed like news to me.

MODS:  Hopefully this is "newsworthy".  The other thread was locked and I am not expressing any opinions.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Colonial-Marine on April 09, 2014, 11:56:41 pm
Don't mean to drag this off topic but I didn't realize the services were doing airshow stuff again. Is there any list of planned F-35 appearances (static or flying)? What's the likelihood one would be up in New England?
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on April 10, 2014, 12:02:33 am
Don't mean to drag this off topic but I didn't realize the services were doing airshow stuff again. Is there any list of planned F-35 appearances (static or flying)? What's the likelihood one would be up in New England?


Can't say for New England...but 'Old' England gets a chance in a couple of months. ;)


Quote
Exclusive: U.S. set to approve international debut of F-35 fighter: sources 25 Mar 2014 Andrea Shalal Reuters"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Defense Department is poised to approve the first trans-Atlantic flight of Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter jet in July, when the new warplane is expected to take part in two international air shows near London, according to multiple sources familiar with the issue.U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is "very close" to a decision that would allow two or three F-35s to fly at two British shows, three sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly, said Tuesday. The shows are the Royal International Air Tattoo, or RIAT, an annual military air show outside London, and the Farnborough air show, held every other year.......Britain, which contributed $2 billion to the development of the new radar-evading fighter jet and plans to buy 138 F-35s in coming years, asked for the jet's participation to help showcase the increasing maturity of the new radar-evading plane. Britain was also the first international partner on the program.Details of the F-35's international debut are being worked out, including how much it will cost to fly the planes to London and who will pay for it, but no issues have emerged to prevent the appearances, the sources said.The costs will likely be shared by Britain, the Pentagon's F-35 program office, the U.S. Marine Corps and industry.The Pentagon's F-35 program office said it was evaluating the logistical, security and safety aspects of Britain's request for the jet's participation in both air shows and expected to make a recommendation to senior Pentagon leaders shortly.......BRITISH, U.S. DEFENSE OFFICIALS TO MEETBritish Defense Secretary Philip Hammond is due to meet with Hagel during a visit to the United States this week, but they are not planning an announcement about the F-35's UK debut, said one of the sources.Current plans call for at least one of the participating F-35s to be one of the three F-35 B-model jets already built for Britain, with a UK pilot at the controls.Participating in the international air shows will allow the Pentagon's F-35 program to carry out additional training and learn how the plane's logistics, maintenance, aerial refueling, and security systems work overseas, the sources said."This will be an opportunity to learn real-world lessons and allow additional time to resolve any problems before the first airplanes are delivered overseas," said one of the sources...."
SOURCE: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns- ... 9183.story (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-lockheedmartin-fighter-20140325,0,1559183.story)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on April 12, 2014, 01:05:54 pm
Quote
Australia Likely To Order More F-35s

By Bradley Perrett
Aviation Week & Space Technology

Australia is likely to commit to buying 58 more Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightnings this month, setting aside the alternative of consolidating its combat aircraft squadrons on the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The decision will increase the country's total commitment to 72 F-35s and expand the Royal Australian Air Force's fast-jet fleet, counting a separate order for 12 EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft as additional to, not part of, the fighter force renewal.

The defense department has recommended the F-35 order, probably worth around $8 billion, and the proposal has the endorsement of a leading think-tank. The government shows every sign of accepting the recommendation, says a source closely connected to the authorities. Accordingly, Lockheed Martin has probably escaped the danger of losing one of its largest F-35 customers, one that has already backed away from an original requirement for about 100 of the stealthy fighters. Even the risk that Australia could trim its commitment a little further now looks low, although that option was suggested by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute think-tank.

The Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF) originally simple and logistically attractive plan to buy about 100 F-35s to replace a similar number of F-111s and F/A-18A/B Hornets was thwarted by delays to the F-35 program, unexpectedly early retirement of F-111 strike bombers in 2010 and a decision last year to buy Growlers. With 24 Super Hornets having replaced the F-111s and no longer considered stopgaps, the issue now is how to replace the 71 surviving Hornets, which will run out of airframe life around 2020.

The official answer has always been the F-35, but the introduction of Super Hornets into service has presented a clear alternative: Australia has had the choice of buying more of the Boeing fighters and waiting for F-35 to look dependable, or giving up on the stealth fighter and going for a homogenous Super Hornet fleet.

Canberra has already ordered two F-35s and committed itself to another 12, though the latter are not under contract. “In the near future” the government will consider a defense department recommendation that it authorize an order for another 58, making for a total of 72, say the institute's analysts Andrew Davies and Harry White. According to the source, the cabinet will decide the issue around mid-month, though delays in government decision-making are always possible.

“On balance, the decision that appears to meet government priorities for capability, industry participation and alliance management with the U.S. seems to be a further purchase of the F-35,” write Davies and White. They point particularly to what they see as increasing stability in the F-35 program, giving confidence that Lockheed Martin can deliver aircraft in time to replace the Hornets—though only just in time. The department has scheduled the F-35 to become initially operational with the RAAF in 2020; the analysts think the target can be achieved, but more big delays in the F-35's development and deliveries would leave the country with a debilitated fighter force for some period.

The analysis does not consider the great boost to the air force's capabilities that will come when 12 Growlers become operational in 2018. The Growlers could be regarded as part of the combat-aircraft renewal effort, bolstering the case for trimming the F-35 order, but the air force has argued that they are support aircraft and therefore separate. In effect, it hopes the Growlers will increase its fleet.

If the government does buy 58 F-35s, then the RAAF will have a fast-jet force of 72 Lightnings, 24 Super Hornets and 12 Growlers, not counting BAE Systems Hawk lead-in fighter trainers. The total of 108 is about 10% higher than the 1980s levels that previous policy has consistently sought to maintain. Unlike other Western countries, Australia has not felt more secure since the end of the Cold War, and in general has not cut its forces. It has added important capabilities such as airborne early warning, in-flight refueling and over-the-horizon radar. Fast population growth and 23 years of unbroken economic expansion have helped, although defense spending has lately been a historically small fraction of GDP.

While recommending more F-35s, the think-tank says that replacing the Hornets with more Super Hornets, and perhaps backing out of the F-35 program completely, would produce an adequate force. “Super Hornets and the other enabling elements of air combat capability (air-to-air refuelers, airborne early warning and . . . over-the-horizon radar) would be likely to provide Australia with a sufficiently robust air combat capability for the next couple of decades,” it says. Further, the economy of consolidating on Super Hornets and Growlers might justify enlarging the force by a few aircraft.

“But in the strike-fighter role, the F-35 is a far more capable aircraft than the Super Hornet and would give greater capability against a more capable adversary, including the ability to penetrate sophisticated air defenses,” says the think-tank. The F-35 would also be more resistant to obsolescence. Moreover, backing out of the order would be harmful to Australia's alliance with the U.S. and would take away business opportunities for Australian companies participating in the program.

Among the Australian suppliers to the F-35 program, engineering company Marand is building tail fins. The company delivered its first ship set on March 31. BAE Systems Australia, also involved in making the tail, said on April 1 it had commissioned a machine tool for making long spars and longerons. Composite-parts maker Quickstep has delivered more than 200 high-grade carbon-fiber components and is ramping up production with its out-of-autoclave process.

The think-tank's analysis assumes a unit cost for the F-35 of $90 million in 2019, lower than the Joint Strike Fighter program office's forecast of $97 million because the program's estimates have been trending down. Another 50% can be assumed for other acquisition costs, such as support equipment, and running costs over two decades of twice the acquisition cost, the think tank says. That implies that Australia will spend almost $10 billion to buy 72 aircraft, including the two already on order, and the April decision for 58 will be worth a little more than $8 billion. Operating the 72 aircraft until around 2040 should cost about $20 billion and then more after that.

The air force has probably only set aside, not given up, its ultimate aim for about 100 F-35s. By 2030, the Super Hornets will be 20 years old, an age that could justify retirement and replacement by F-35s. Twelve of the Super Hornets are wired for EA-18G configuration, so they could be kept and mixed into the Growler force to share airframe wear and tear and extend the life of the electronic attack capability; equipment could be moved between airframes during overhauls, as well. RAAF officers have suggested that the small Growler fleet could rely on U.S. Navy support, minimizing the expense of operating it alongside the main fleet of F-35s.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on April 16, 2014, 10:53:42 am
Quote
F-35 Fleet Surpasses 15,000 Flying Hours
(Source: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics; issued April 15, 2014)
 
FORT WORTH, Texas --- The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.

"Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is even more impressive is the fact that operational F-35s accounted for more than half of those flight hours," said J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed Martin's vice president for F-35 Test & Verification. "While the fleet continues to train, we are actively flight testing the software and mission systems that will enable the Marine Corps to declare Initial Operational Capability (IOC) next year as planned."

As of April 7, operational F-35s had flown 8,050 hours while System Development and Demonstration aircraft had accumulated 7,123 flight hours. In 2014, F-35A test aircraft have flown 328 hours; F-35B test aircraft have accumulated 191 hours; and F-35C test aircraft have flown 91 hours. In comparison, operational F-35As have flown 963 hours, while their F-35B and F-35C counterparts have accumulated 1,012 and 98 hours respectively for the year.

"Following successful AIM-120 AMRAAM Weapons Delivery Accuracy (WDA) tests in February and March, we're looking forward to executing additional WDAs in the 2nd quarter," said McFarlan. "In another clear sign of program maturation, reliability metrics are trending upward as the operations tempo picks up – recently 60 F-35 sorties were flown in one day."

The U.S. Marine Corps plans to declare IOC in 2015, while the U.S. Air Force and Navy intend to declare IOC in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

The F-35 Lightning II, a 5th generation fighter, combines advanced low observable stealth technology 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 at least 10 other countries.


Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 115,000 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 2013 were $45.4 billion.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on April 16, 2014, 01:08:57 pm
http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140416/DEFREG01/304160025/F-35-Fly-Farnborough-Air-Show
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: LowObservable on April 16, 2014, 01:59:15 pm
Dateline Kuala Lumpur?
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on April 16, 2014, 05:54:30 pm
http://defensetech.org/2014/04/16/pentagon-develops-f-35s-4th-generation-software/#more-22726
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: fightingirish on April 17, 2014, 08:36:59 am
Last weekend I attended the Columbus MS airshow with my kids.  An F-35 from Eglin was on static display.  I talked with one of the maintainers and he stated this was the first time they had travelled to an airshow.  This seemed like news to me.
MODS:  Hopefully this is "newsworthy".  The other thread was locked and I am not expressing any opinions.
Lightning back over the UK... B) :)
Quote
F-35 At RIAT, Farnborough
The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence announced 16 April 2014 that the F-35 Lightning II will make its international debut at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on 11-13 July and will also fly at the Farnborough International Air Show on 14-20 July. The decision to fly the F-35 outside of the United States for the first time followed discussions between Minister of Defence Philip Hammond and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. The UK has three F-35B aircraft which are currently based in the US for training Royal Navy and Royal Air Force pilots. The UK’s first operational Lightning II unit, 617 Squadron, is scheduled to transition to RAF Marham in Norfolk from the US in 2018.
Source: CodeOneMagazine.com - F-35 At RIAT, Farnborough, posted 16 April 2014 (http://www.codeonemagazine.com/news_item.html?item_id=1259)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: F-14D on April 21, 2014, 01:36:14 pm
Two articles documenting the wisdom of the decision to go sole source on the engine:

http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post:e683cc34-c688-40dc-96b6-ea037a0115c8

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_04_07_2014_p0-677559.xml


Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on April 22, 2014, 10:59:35 am
Quote
Federal Government to announce purchase of 72 stealth fighter jets for RAAF
APRIL 23, 2014 12:01AM

THE Abbott Government will purchase 72 advanced American-built stealth fighter jets to spearhead the nation’s defence for the next half century.

The $12.4 billion through-life outlay, to be announced in Canberra today by the Prime Minsiter, is the biggest defence purchase in Australian history and includes every aspect of the system from hangars to missiles.
The so-called “fifth generation” F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) planes will be deployed in three operational squadrons and a training squadron based at RAAF Williamtown near Newcastle in NSW and RAAF Tindal near Katherine in the Northern Territory.

About $1.6 billion will be spent on new facilities at the air force bases.

The Lockheed Martin-built JSF is the most expensive and controversial aircraft ever constructed and the US military is due to purchase more than 2500 of the jets.  The project is running years behind schedule and each jet is likely to cost more than $100 million “fly-away”.

More than a dozen other countries, including the UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea and Israel, will take the total number of F-35s in service to more than 3000 worldwide.  The government has already ordered 14 planes and another 58 will be added, taking the total to 72 with the option of another 24 further down the track.   They will enter service from 2018 and will serve alongside 24 Super Hornet fighters already in service with the RAAF.

The jets will replace the RAAF’s fleet of ageing F/A-18 Classic Hornet fighters that will retire by 2022.

Tony Abbott said the F-35 was the most advanced fighter in production anywhere in the world and would make a vital contribution to Australia’s national security.  "Together with the Super Hornet and Growler electronic warfare aircraft, the F-35 aircraft will ensure Australia maintains a regional air combat edge. The F-35 will provide a major boost to the ADF’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities,” he said.

“The acquisition of F-35 aircraft will bring significant economic benefits to Australia, including regional areas and local defence industry.”

Defence Minister David Johnston said that because of the Howard Government’s decision to join during the development phase, Australian defence industry has been awarded over $355 million worth of JSF work.
“It stands to win well in excess of $1.5 billion in JSF-related production and support work over the life of the program creating long-term advanced manufacturing and engineering jobs,” Senator Johnston said.

 :)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on April 22, 2014, 10:57:38 pm
Six F-35 Lightning IIs are squaring off against potential adversaries' air defense systems to test the fighter's real-world sensing and penetrating capabilities at Edwards AFB, Calif., reported Military.com. "The surface threat is a tough problem. … If the missile is big enough it can shoot you from hundreds of miles away," said Thomas Lawhead, F-35 integration office operational chief. Testers are specifically probing the effectiveness of F-35's electro-optical targeting system and distributed aperture situational awareness suite against Chinese, Iranian, and Russian threat systems, according to the April 17 press report. Pitting the F-35's sensors and systems against various surface-to-air systems allows testers to develop a database of threat profiles "so that when the aircraft sees something on radar … it can categorize what it is," added Lawhead
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Dragon029 on April 22, 2014, 11:43:29 pm
Hopefully we get to hear how it goes (and hopefully it succeeds).
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on April 23, 2014, 09:17:57 am
Hopefully we get to hear how it goes (and hopefully it succeeds).

Unfortunately, not a hope in heck we hear anything about these tests good or bad. This is stealth's raison d'etre detect and kill before being detected and killed.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: BioLuminescentLamprey on April 23, 2014, 10:20:36 am
Hopefully we get to hear how it goes (and hopefully it succeeds).

Unfortunately, not a hope in heck we hear anything about these tests good or bad. This is stealth's raison d'etre detect and kill before being detected and killed.

Yep. Won't hear a thing about the results, but I would point out that these are not the first tests of F-35 systems against threat systems...that was happening before there even was an X-35, of course. The RCS and systems of the aircraft are known and have been gamed out in sim and "real world" (Northern Edge being first public release of info about this that I can recall....the sensors testing on the CATbird...including jamming an AN/APG-77 with an APG-81) against enemy air defenses extensively already. These tests will raise the bar, but really only seek to validate and refine those constructions in the real world and help form the basis of future tactical employment. It will "work", but how it is employed to make it work will be partly derived from these tests. That kind of thing will never see the light of day. We also have mountains of relevant F-22, B-2 etc data to reference, so we kinda know it works...but you have to keep up to date, refine, adjust for enemy advancements (lots of sigint and spookwork data in the EW database library of the F-35 will be newer "acquisitions", for example).

Still, very cool and I too would LOVE to be apprised of the results. LM, if you're listening, just PM me the good stuff. I promise I'm not a Chinese agent.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on April 23, 2014, 11:38:42 am
The official statement re the RAAF F-35s:

Quote
Prime Minister and Minister for Defence – Joint Media Release – F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to transform Australia’s air combat capability
23 April 2014

The Government has approved the acquisition of an additional 58 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

The fifth generation F-35 is the most advanced fighter in production anywhere in the world and will make a vital contribution to our national security.

Together with the Super Hornet and Growler electronic warfare aircraft, the F-35 aircraft will ensure Australia maintains a regional air combat edge. The F-35 will also provide a major boost to the ADF’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

The first F-35 aircraft will arrive in Australia in 2018 and enter service with the Royal Australian Air Force in 2020.

Australia has been working with the United States as a partner in the Joint Strike Fighter programme since the Coalition joined in 2002. Acquiring F-35 aircraft will reinforce the ADF’s ability to operate seamlessly with US forces and Australia’s capacity to continue supporting our shared strategic interests under the US alliance.

The acquisition of F-35 aircraft will bring significant economic benefits to Australia, including in regional areas and for the local defence industry with more jobs and production for many locally-based skilled and technical manufacturers.

The total capital cost of $12.4 billion for this acquisition includes the cost of associated facilities, weapons and training.

Around $1.6 billion in new facilities and infrastructure will be constructed, including at RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales and RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory.

As a result of the Howard Government’s decision to join during the development phase, Australian defence industry has been awarded over $355 million in work and stands to win well in excess of $1.5 billion in JSF-related production and support work over the life of the programme – creating long-term advanced manufacturing and engineering jobs.

The F-35 will replace the F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet aircraft. For over three decades, the Classic Hornet has been the backbone of Australia’s air combat capability. These aircraft have delivered exceptional service to Australia’s security but will be withdrawn from service by 2022.

The new 58 F-35 aircraft, in addition to the 14 already approved in 2009, will provide the RAAF with a total of 72 aircraft to form three operational squadrons and one training squadron.

The Government will also consider the option of acquiring an additional squadron of F-35 aircraft to replace the Super Hornets in the future.

The Government remains committed to building a strong, capable and sustainable Australian Defence Force.


Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on April 23, 2014, 11:55:35 am
Quote
Paint system wins award for Wright-Patt F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program

By Barrie Barber
Staff Writer

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — An F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program office at Wright-Patterson has won an Office of the Secretary of Defense environmental award, the Pentagon reported Monday.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center F-35 Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Support Team was one of nine environmental award winners throughout the Defense Department.

The AFLCMC office oversaw the development of a new paint applying system that reduced the number of coatings needed on the stealth jet, increased the amount of time paint can last, reduced hazardous emissions and improved fuel efficiency, among other outcomes, the Defense Department said.

The F-35 Joint Program Office estimated the new procedure could save $435 million in production costs and nearly $1.1 billion in operations and maintenance expenses over the life of the jet fighter.

Source (http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/business/paint-system-wins-award-for-wright-patt-f-35-joint/nfd7s/)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Radical on April 23, 2014, 04:39:09 pm
http://www.janes.com/article/36919/finland-should-opt-for-f-35-over-gripen-if-the-price-is-right-minister-says

Quote
Finland should reject overtures to procure the Saab Gripen E fighter aircraft, if the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) can be acquired at a comparable cost, the country's defence minister said on 22 April.

As reported in the Helsinki Times , Carl Haglund said Finland should not put Nordic defence co-operation ahead of performance when choosing between the Swedish-built Gripen E and the US-built F-35, providing there is little difference in cost between the two types.

"Although I advocate co-operation with Sweden, we should not acquire Swedish [Gripen E] fighters if we could acquire American F-35 stealth fighters for roughly the same price. Performance must take precedence in the investment," he is quoted as saying.

The proposal to strengthen Finland's defence ties with its Nordic neighbour Sweden through a Gripen E buy was made by the speaker of parliament, Eero Heinäluoma, and the country was named by Saab officials in March as a potential future customer.

While Haglund's comments would appear to indicate Finland favours the F-35 as a potential replacement for the air force's current 55 Boeing F/A-18C and seven F/A-18D Hornet fighters, his use of the word 'if' would suggest the Gripen E might be best placed to secure any such requirement.

Aircraft costs are notoriously difficult to nail down, with different manufacturers using different criteria to show their products off in the best possible light. Taking the procurement, operating, and sustainment costs, and then factoring in training, support, and offset packages causes the whole picture to become very murky indeed, with precise and verifiable figures all but impossible to calculate.

Even so, the generally held understanding is that that Gripen E and F-35 are pretty much at polar ends of the spectrum when it comes to the costs of today's latest-generation fighter aircraft, with the Swedish-built offering said to come in at about half the price of its US rival. While Lockheed Martin does say it can get the F-35's long-term cost down to levels more akin to those of its rivals, Haglund's "if" would appear, at this stage at least, to limit the F-35's prospects in any Finnish procurement programme.

However, despite the Gripen's cost advantages, Lockheed Martin will point to the F-35's success in securing the Norwegian fighter replacement requirement. In similar circumstances - up against the Gripen with a view to increased Nordic defence co-operation - the F-35 was selected in that competition on account of the type's perceived 'fifth-generation' capabilities, particularly its low observable (stealth) qualities, coupled with lucrative workshare deals for Norway's domestic industries.

While no programme of record to replace the Finnish Air Force's Hornet fighters currently exists, Haglund said that a budget of at least EUR5 billion (USD6.9 billion) would need to be set aside for such a procurement. He added that, even with this special funding, the number of new aircraft procured would be less than the current Hornet inventory.

It is likely that any future Finnish fighter procurement competition would also include offerings from Boeing with its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault with the Rafale, and Eurofighter with the Typhoon. According to Haglund, the country's efforts are currently directed at enhancing the army, to be followed by the navy, and then the air force.

Regardless of whether you like the jet or not, the F-35 has to be doing something right to have the interest of so many countries.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: F-14D on April 23, 2014, 06:27:12 pm
http://www.janes.com/article/36919/finland-should-opt-for-f-35-over-gripen-if-the-price-is-right-minister-says (http://www.janes.com/article/36919/finland-should-opt-for-f-35-over-gripen-if-the-price-is-right-minister-says)



Regardless of whether you like the jet or not, the F-35 has to be doing something right to have the interest of so many countries.

While making no statement about the aircraft itself, never underestimate the power of status. 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Jemiba on April 23, 2014, 08:54:12 pm
And, just as a reminder, this is a "News ONLY" thread ! So, please no comments
or discussions, or this thread would be endangered to share the fate of other
F-35 threads. 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on April 28, 2014, 10:04:48 am
http://www.special-ops.org/us-approves-first-transatlantic-flight-f-35-fighter-jet/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on April 28, 2014, 04:26:07 pm
F-35C CF-14

 ;D
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on April 30, 2014, 07:59:21 am
F-35B Dive Drop GBU-12

 ;D
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: F-14D on April 30, 2014, 11:25:49 am
Hopefully I'm not duplicating someone else's post elsewhere...

FY13 DOT&E report on F-35:   http://www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/FY2013/pdf/dod/2013f35jsf.pdf


 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: jsport on May 05, 2014, 07:40:09 am
http://www.au.af.mil/au/afri/aspj/digital/pdf/articles/2014-May-Jun/F-Pietrucha.pdf?source=GovD
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on May 05, 2014, 11:58:25 am
Quote
Australian Air Force Makes Home at Luke AFB

The buildup of F-35 operations at Luke Air Force Base has begun, and the Royal Australian air force will soon be Luke’s first international partner to train here on the F-35A Lightning II.

The 61st Fighter Squadron and 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit will house the RAAF personnel. The goal is to build a cohesive, working understanding of the F-35A program with Luke’s international partners for increased success in joint operations.

“It’s one more step in the long road to making this aircraft combat capable,” said Capt. Dan Langan, 61st AMU officer in-charge.

“The idea is in future conflicts nobody is going to be going at it alone. We’ll have our allies with us. The idea behind this aircraft was to make it easier to operate with our multinational partners, understand the same tactics, operate with the same logistics base, and figuring out how to do that starts right here. We are laying the foundation and it’s pretty exciting to be on the ground floor of that effort.”

Luke will act as ground zero for international partners to build their expertise in F-35A operations. The RAAF is the first partner to start their spin-up operations and are expecting their first aircraft by the end of this year.

“We are really pleased to come in and be the first partner to stand up operations here,” said squadron leader Maj. Nathan Draper, 61st AMU participant maintenance liaison officer and RAAF senior officer. “We are pretty lucky to get to come here first.”

The RAAF plans to eventually have 14 aircraft at Luke, with their goal to have a complete working picture of U.S. Air Force F-35 operations, then return to the home base they are setting up for the F-35.

“One of the biggest things I hope to achieve is the successful transition of our aircraft from the production line to the Luke training environment and the commencement of training operations alongside our Air Force colleagues,” Draper said. “If we can do that in a safe and efficient streamlined manner, leveraging the Air Force processes and systems, it will be a pretty good day.”

The RAAF expects their first pilot to arrive at Luke the beginning of next year. Draper is part of an acquisition project called Joint Strike Fighter Division, and he now considers himself a team member of the 61st AMU.

“We have a really good, close working relationship with our colleges in the Air Force, and we are looking forward to the next few years of joint operations here,” he said.

Luke’s relationship with the RAAF goes back a long way. Air Marshal Mark Binskin, soon to be the top Australian Defence Force officer, was stationed at Luke in the late 80s.

Follow-on squadrons, to include the 62nd, are scheduled to bring in additional partner countries including Italy, Norway, Canada, Turkey and the Netherlands.

More here (http://www.aerotechnews.com/lukeafb/2014/05/02/australian-air-force-makes-home-at-luke/)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on May 06, 2014, 01:22:53 pm
Quote
Turkey to order first two F-35 fighter jets
Tue May 6, 2014 3:59pm EDT 
By Tulay Karadeniz ANKARA May 6 (Reuters)

Turkey has decided to order two F-35 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp, the government said on Tuesday. It will be the first order of Turkey's pre-announced plan to purchase 100 F-35 jets for $16 billion, which had been expected to begin next year. The statement, from Turkey's undersecretary for state-run defence, said Turkey's commitment to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme "continues strong as ever."  "In this context, Turkey continues her forecast of the acquisition of 100 F-35A aircraft as planned and declared previously."

Lockheed Martin, which has a market capitalisation of more than $52 billion, welcomed the news. "This decision confirms the value of acquiring a 5th Generation fighter capability and is testimony to the Turkish Government's confidence in the program," it said in a statement.

The programme, the Pentagon's most expensive arms development project, is about 70 percent over budget and years behind schedule, having been plagued by technical problems.

Sceptics say it still faces big challenges, including completing the software needed to integrate weapons on the jet.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: fightingirish on May 07, 2014, 06:25:44 am

NAVAIRSYSCOM - F-35 Lightning II Integrated Test Force 2013 Year in Review
Quote
Highlights of the flight test accomplishments by the Patuxent River F-35 Lightning II Integrated Test Force (ITF) in 2013. Video produced by the Pax River ITF Lockheed Martin Multimedia Team.
http://youtu.be/voUNeb_JzLY
Code: [Select]
http://youtu.be/voUNeb_JzLY
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on May 08, 2014, 03:29:21 pm
April Marks New F-35 Flying Records

FORT WORTH, Texas, May 8, 2014 – The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35 Lightning II aircraft fleet, which surpassed 16,000 cumulative program flight hours to date in April, flew a monthly record high for System Development and Demonstration (SDD) with 282 flight hours and 153 flights in April.
 
“The SDD fleet achieving more than 150 flights in one month speaks to the quality of this aircraft and the commitment of this team,” said J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed Martin's vice president for F-35 Test & Verification. “We’re nearly complete with Block 2B software flight science testing on the F-35As, and we’ll move forward with Block 3 software testing this summer.  The SDD program is scheduled to complete Block 2B testing for the F-35B this year in support of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 2015 with its F-35B fleet.”
 
In April, operational F-35s fleet-wide flew 812 hours, with SDD F-35 aircraft flying 282 flight hours in one month. In 2014, through April, F-35A test aircraft flew 420 hours; F-35B test aircraft flew 281 hours; and F-35C test aircraft flew 222 hours. Operational F-35s of all three variants flew 2,790 hours for the year.
 
Operational F-35s at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., flew 515 flight hours in April, and operational F-35 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., flew 172 hours. Eglin’s 33rd Fighter Wing is home to 48 F-35A/B/Cs and provides training for U.S. military and program partner nation pilots and maintenance personnel. Yuma is home to the Marine Corps’ first operational F-35B Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing aircraft.
 
Among the record SDD flights, the F-35B version completed its 700th vertical takeoff and landing sortie, and it began crosswind landings and expeditionary operations.
 
The F-35 Lightning II, a 5th generation fighter, combines advanced low observable stealth technology 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 at least 10 other countries. Following the U.S. Marine Corps’ 2015 IOC, the U.S. Air Force and Navy intend to declare IOC in 2016 and 2018, respectively.
 
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 113,000 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 2013 were $45.4 billion.

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/may/140508ae_april-marks-new-f-35-flying-records.html
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on May 09, 2014, 10:47:22 am
Quote
150th Aircraft Set for F35 Fighter Programme Completed

(Source: BAE Systems; issued May 8, 2014)
     
We have completed the manufacture of the 150th F-35 rear fuselage and tail set at our military aircraft factory in Samlesbury, Lancashire.

The 150th aircraft set, known as AF070, is a Conventional Take Off and Landing variant destined for the US Air Force. AF070 will be married up with the rest of the aircraft at Lockheed Martin’s assembly facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

150th aircraft set to leave our production facility

Jon Evans, Head of Production Delivery, F-35 at Samlesbury said: "AF070 is the 150th aircraft set to leave our production facility. The first 20 sets were development phase, the rest production aircraft. We are now producing aircraft sets at a rate of one every five days thanks to the multi-million pound investment we made in the Samlesbury site, so we’re well on the way to producing one set a day by 2018.

Mr Evans added: “If we continue as we have done over the past 10 years, not only do we sustain jobs in the long term for our 1000+ workforce, but we help make a significant contribution to the UK economy through the work created in the 500 British-based companies involved in the programme. With a potential requirement of 3000+ aircraft, the scale of this programme is huge.”

Collectively some 500+ UK companies are involved in the F-35 Lightning II programme, building 15 per cent of each F-35 produced. Over the next 40 years UK 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.

Our contribution

We are responsible for the production of each and every rear fuselage and tails set. Along with manufacturing aircrafts sets for each of the three variants, our UK business also produces carrier wing tips for the Carrier variant and Nozzle Bay Doors for the Short Take Off and Vertical Landing Variant. We also play a key role in vehicle and mission systems, life support system and prognostics health management integration. BAE Systems Inc. in the US add further key capabilities to the F-35 portfolio in the areas of electronic warfare, advance apertures, advanced counter-measure systems, vehicle management and active inceptor systems.

-ends-

And a couple of videos (one old and one new) related to the facility that produces the rear fuselage showing what modern aircraft production can look like.

http://youtu.be/K1DV7J0xyuc

http://youtu.be/y0WxflxXkh8
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: RadicalDisconnect on May 11, 2014, 04:30:17 pm
Not sure if this has been posted or not.

Quote
16K+ Flight Hours For F-35

The F-35 Lightning II aircraft fleet surpassed 16,000 cumulative flight hours through 30 April 2014. Test pilots at three locations flew a monthly record high 282 flight hours and 153 flights in April. In April, operational F-35s fleet-wide flew 812 hours. Cumulative totals for 2014 include 420 hours on F-35A test aircraft, 281 hours on F-35B test aircraft, and 222 hours on F-35C test jets. Operational F-35 pilots in all three variants have flown 2,790 hours for the year. Block 2B software flight science testing on the F-35A fleet is now nearly complete, and Block 3 software testing is expected to begin in mid 2014. Block 2B testing for the F-35B is expected to be completed later this year.

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/f35_news_item.html?item_id=1286

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: RadicalDisconnect on May 11, 2014, 04:33:15 pm
Found a nice picture of AF-41 on f-16.net. Have to say, the F-35's looks are slowly growing on me.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: sferrin on May 11, 2014, 04:48:33 pm
Here's a higher rez for ya.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: RadicalDisconnect on May 12, 2014, 07:10:29 pm
http://www.codeonemagazine.com/article.html?item_id=136

Quote
F-35 Flight Test Update 13

The previous F-35 Flight Test Update concluded with the first live guided missile launch from an F-35 on 30 October 2013. This first installment of 2014 and the thirteenth installment overall in the series of F-35 flight testing reviews presents a variety of subsequent weapon testing, including additional guided AIM-120 missile launches and guided GBU-32 drops for the F-35A, AIM-120 separation tests for the F-35C, and ten-weapon loads for the F-35A and F-35C. High angle of attack testing continued with the beginning of intentional departure tests of the F-35C at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division test facility at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. The F-35 System Development and Demonstration Program set flight duration records and surpassed 4,000 total test flights during this period as well.

Here's a picture of AF-01 armed to the teeth.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on May 13, 2014, 10:54:42 am
Quote
Forecast International Analysts See Significant Breakthrough In Recent F-35 Orders
 
(Source: Forecast International, Inc.; issued May 12, 2014)

NEWTOWN, Conn. --- According to analysts at Forecast International, recent decisions by the Australian and Turkish governments are signaling a major upturn for Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, undoubtedly the brightest star in the future military aircraft market.

In April, the Australian government approved the acquisition of an additional 58 F-35A aircraft. Following a 2009 decision to purchase 14 F-35As, the 58 additional fighters bring Australia's total approved F-35 buy to 72 aircraft. The government is also considering the acquisition of an additional F-35A squadron in the future, further increasing the country's F-35 buy.

On May 6, Turkey's Defense Industry Executive Committee tasked the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) with ordering the country's first two F-35A aircraft. The SSM will order the F-35As as part of the F-35 program's 10th low-rate initial production lot (LRIP 10). The Turkish government has also reconfirmed its long-term plans to acquire a total of at least 100 F-35As.

Like the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter of the 1950s and 1960s, and the Lockheed F-16 multirole fighter, first produced in the 1970s, the F-35 program is a multinational effort that, despite budget considerations and rising program costs, is attracting nations eager to operate the world's most advanced stealth aircraft. The recent Australian and Turkish announcements are welcome news to the F-35 program.

According to Forecast International aerospace analyst Raymond Jaworowski, "The Australian and Turkish decisions indicate that initial reluctance by customers to place early orders for the F-35 is dissipating."

Dan Darling, Europe/Asia-Pacific military markets analyst at Forecast International, commented, "Further boosts may come from a planned South Korean order for the F-35 and a likely purchase by Singapore."

Three versions of the next-generation F-35 fighter have been developed: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) version, the F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft, and the F-35C carrier-based attack aircraft. The U.S. Air Force intends to acquire 1,763 F-35As, while the U.S. Marine Corps plans to procure 340 F-35Bs and 80 F-35Cs and the U.S. Navy intends to buy 260 F-35Cs.

The sheer size of the F-35 program dwarfs all competition. Forecast International projects that a total of 2,019 F-35s, worth an estimated $166 billion, will be produced over the 15-year period from 2014 through 2028 alone, with many more to flow off production lines thereafter. This initial total includes 1,499 F-35As, 325 F-35Bs, and 195 F-35Cs.

Forecast International aerospace analyst Douglas Royce said, "Our projections call for the F-35 to account for nearly 48 percent of the total fighter market over the next 15 years, a statistic that may well rise. Other fighter manufacturers are thus forced to compete for what is left, with the result that a number of other fighter production lines may well go dark during the next decade due to a lack of orders."

Forecast International aviation gas turbine analyst Will Alibrandi said, "The F-35 is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan engine. Turkey's support for the F-35 program is substantiated by its plan to establish a final assembly and maintenance facility for the F135 engine in-country. This new facility could provide depot-level engine maintenance for all F-35 operators in the region. The engines for Turkey's first F-35As will be produced in the U.S. by Pratt & Whitney, while engines for the planned fleet of 100 aircraft will eventually be assembled at the new facility in Turkey."

Alibrandi continued, "As the sole supplier for the F-35's engine, Pratt & Whitney stands to win big. Indeed, Forecast International expects that F135 production, including spares, will top 2,485 through 2028 and add some $27.3 billion to the engine manufacturer's coffers -- with much more to follow."

Aerospace analyst Jaworowski summed it up dramatically, "The F-35's market potential is outstanding! Nearly any nation that currently operates F-16s, F/A-18s, or AV-8B Harrier IIs is a potential F-35 customer."


Forecast International, Inc. is a leading provider of Market Intelligence and Analysis in the areas of aerospace, defense, power systems and military electronics. Based in Newtown, Conn., USA, Forecast International specializes in long-range industry forecasts and market assessments used by strategic planners, marketing professionals, military organizations, and governments worldwide.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on May 14, 2014, 11:59:37 am
Quote
F-35 Flies First Training Sortie At Luke AFB
      
(Source: U.S Air Force; issued May 13, 2014 
 
   
LUKE AFB, Ariz. --- An F-35 Lightning II took to the sky over the West Valley here, May 5, in what was the first local training sortie for the fifth-generation fighter jet.

The jet is currently the only F-35 at Luke Air Force Base, with additional jets expected to arrive within the next few weeks.

"The ability to conduct local flight operations demonstrates the commitment by thousands of individuals who have worked to make this a reality," said Lt. Col. Michael Ebner, the 61st Fighter Squadron commander. "Our first sortie this week represents a significant milestone in the F-35 program at Luke (AFB)."

There are currently six F-35 pilots assigned to the 61st FS. There will eventually be approximately 30 pilots by the time the squadron is up to full capacity.

The 61st FS coordinates with the 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit, which maintains the aircraft, to fly the jet when it is available -- which, as of this week, is approximately 1-2 times per day. That number could increase to 2-4 sorties a day by next month, when more jets are expected at Luke AFB, Ebner said.

Construction, much of which is sub-contracted locally, continues on base to prepare for the arrival of additional F-35s.

The Academic Training Center, which will house classrooms and 12 F-35 simulators, is under construction and is expected to be completed in late September. Construction is also underway on the combined Operations/AMU building for the second F-35 squadron.

Other projects, including the third Operations/AMU building, a maintainer training facility and a four-bay F-35 hangar are also in planning stages.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on May 16, 2014, 12:30:20 pm
Quote
Jump jets on Defence radar
NICK BUTTERLY CANBERRA
The West Australian
May 17, 2014, 2:10 am

Australia could buy "jump-jet" Joint Strike Fighters to base aboard new landing ships, giving the nation its first aircraft carrier since the early 1980s.

Defence Minister David Johnston told The Weekend West _the Government was considering buying the "B" model of the F-35 - a specialised variant of the stealth jet being built to operate from aircraft carriers.

Last month, Australia committed to buying 72 of the conventional model F-35s from US aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin at a cost of almost $20 billion.

But the Government has left the door open to buying more F-35s and the minister says the F-35B will be considered.

"Now that aircraft is more expensive, does not have the range but it's an option that has been considered from day one," Senator Johnston said.

The F-35B has a shortened take-off distance and can land vertically, just like the legendary Harrier jump jet.

The British Navy and the US Marines are buying the F-35B to station aboard aircraft carriers.

Australia is soon to bring into service two large ships called landing helicopter docks. Though they resemble small aircraft carriers, the Government has maintained until now they would be used only to deploy helicopters and troops.

Senator Johnston said stationing the F-35 aboard an LHD would be costly and technically challenging, but it could be done.

"The deck strength is there for such an aircraft," he said.

The Hawke government mothballed Australia's last aircraft carrier, HMAS Melbourne, in 1982.

Commissioning an aircraft carrier is considered a significant strategic statement of military might by a country.

China recently launched its first aircraft carrier. The sea trials are being watched closely.

The F-35B has less range than the conventional F-35 owing to the complex systems of jets used to allow it to land vertically.

The B variant has been the most trouble-plagued of the three F-35 models. Testing was stalled this year after cracks were discovered in the aircrafts' bulkheads.

The F-35 will replace Australia's fleet of F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet aircraft, due to be withdrawn in 2022.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on May 20, 2014, 11:39:42 am
First JSF Engine Delivered To Italian Facility for Final Assembly

EAST HARTFORD, CT. -- Lockheed Martin's new F-35 Final Assembly Check Out facility in Italy has taken delivery of its first F135 engine as international participation in the Joint Strike Fighter program ramps up, according to engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on May 20, 2014, 09:19:54 pm
F135 Stands Up Against Ballistic Damage

​The F135 propulsion system, which powers the F-35 strike fighter, stood up well against ballistic damage during a series of live fire tests, performing, in many cases, “better than predicted,” according to a report by the Joint Aircraft Survivability Program Office. A total of three F135 tests were conducted, including “short takeoff vertical landing propulsion system tests, dynamic and static engine ballistic tests, and total fuel ingestion tests,” announced manufacturer Pratt & Whitney in a May 20 release. The testing team found that “damage to blades and vanes in both the lift fan and main engine did not result in the catastrophic corn-cobbing often seen when gas path components are damaged,” states the report. In addition, “the control system is very capable in accommodating damage and providing information to the pilot.” The series of tests were designed to “mimic battlefield damage,” said Cheryl Lobo, director of Pratt & Whitney F135 programs. “The F135 is an amazing propulsion system that has proved its durability through this very rigorous testing … These tests should provide confidence in the capabilities of the propulsion system for our operations,” said Lobo.

 
5/21/2014
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on May 21, 2014, 05:34:43 pm
Turkey, Pratt & Whitney agree on fighter engine center

 20 May 2014

ANKARA - Turkey's Under-secretariat for Defense Industries and American aerospace manufacturer  Pratt & Whitney have signed a letter of intent for the establishment of an F135 engines center for F35 fighter jets in Turkey.

The deal covers the final assembly, check and maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade capabilities for the engines in Turkey and has been approved by the US government.

The Turkish Under-secretariat for Defense Industries said in a statement on Tuesday that the “letter of intent is an important milestone of a long-term cooperation between the Undersecretariat and Pratt & Whitney and also shows Turkey’s commitment to a Joint Strike Fighter Program, as well as Pratt & Whitney’s trust in Turkish capabilities.”

"Turkey’s primary aim is to provide benefit to the program by assembling F135 engines and providing service to the F-35 users in the region via these facilities," the statement said.

Turkey has had much experience in fighter engine handling from an F-16 Program and has a long-term vision to sustain the experience and provide benefits to the F-35 program.

Turkey, which has been in the Joint Strike Fighter program from the Concept Development Phase, has contributed to System Development and Demonstration and Production Sustainment and Follow-on Development phases as a partner nation.

Turkey has recently placed an order for the first two F-35 jets of a fleet of 100 F-35A aircraft on 5 May of this year, and plans to deploy the aircraft in Turkey by 2019.

http://www.turkishpress.com/news/407042/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on May 21, 2014, 07:57:10 pm
 ;D  Typhoon & F-35B
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on May 23, 2014, 12:39:00 pm
Quote
White Paper to consider F-35Bs for LHDs – report
by australianaviation.com.au at 7:14 pm, Friday May 23 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has instructed the authors of the new Defence White Paper currently in preparation to consider the acquisition of the STOVL F-35B variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to operate from the Navy’s forthcoming LHD amphibious ships.

“It is understood Mr ­Abbott has instructed planners working on his defence white paper to examine the possibility of putting a squadron of 12 of the short takeoff and vertical landing version of the JSFs — the F-35B — on to the ships,” a report in The Australian newspaper on Friday says.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister contacted by the newspaper did not confirm or deny the suggestion the F-35B would be considered as part of the White Paper process, only noting that the White Paper’s Force Structure Review would: “examine a range of capabilities and will provide the government with options to ensure Australia maintains a sustainable, versatile and highly capable defence force in coming decades”.

However, on April 23 when Prime Minister Abbott announced the decision to acquire a further 58 F-35As for the RAAF to take the total buy to 72, he made passing reference to the fact that the F-35 variant slated to be acquired for a final batch of up to 28 jets  (to replace the Super Hornet) some time next decade had not yet been determined.

“We are certainly retaining the option to purchase an additional squadron – a further 18 Joint Strike Fighters and we haven’t decided precisely what type it might be – that will be something that will be looked at in the context of the coming Defence White Paper,” the PM said. While at the time RAAF officials explained to Australian Aviation that the figure of 18 aircraft was a slip of the tongue and should have been 28 jets, but the comment about “what type it might be” went largely unnoticed at the time.

But the question of F-35Bs being acquired for the ADF was subsequently flagged by Defence Minister David Johnston in an interview with The Weekend West on May 17, where he said the acquisition of the F-35B was “an option which has been considered from day one.”
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: fightingirish on May 23, 2014, 01:26:50 pm
;D  Typhoon & F-35B
Source: http://www.jsf.mil/gallery/gal_photo_sdd_f35btest.htm (http://www.jsf.mil/gallery/gal_photo_sdd_f35btest.htm)
Picture probably taken over Edwards AFB on April 4th, 2014


Edit:
More pictures at SNAFU!'s blog:
http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.de/2014/05/f-35-flies-with-two-typhoons.html
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on May 26, 2014, 11:40:03 pm
Navy F135 Engine Tweaks Could Help USAF

Hartford, Conn.—A fuel efficiency push on Navy versions of the Joint Strike Fighter’s F135 engine could benefit USAF’s version as well, Pratt & Whitney next-generation fighter engine chief James Kenyon said. At a company press conference, Kenyon told Air Force Magazine that the Navy’s Fuel Burn Reduction Program, now underway, is a major effort to improve the engine by allowing it to run hotter while using five percent less fuel. Testing in 2016 is expected to certify the technology mature enough to cut it into production thereafter. “It’ll be up to the government to determine how they would use that, but it absolutely would be applicable to all three variants,” he said. Kenyon acknowledged that the push has been to keep the F135 powerplants as common as possible. “That certainly has been the strategy to date,” he said, adding it likely will be “until (it) … doesn’t make sense anymore.” The fact that “there are going to be a lot” of F-35s around the world, with a 40-year lifespan, means “the impetus to push product improvements into that engine (are) … huge, and there are a lot of opportunities to do that.” Kenyon said P&W is working on a number of technologies that could be inserted into the F135 in the future, but replacing the engine “wholesale” would likely only be pursued if “there’s a really overwhelming requirement to do that.” Technology, he said, “marches on, and that’s not true just for us, but for our adversaries.”   
—John A. Tirpak
5/27/2014
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Arjen on May 28, 2014, 09:27:26 am
Spain ponders 70 million euro plan to extend AV-8B service life to beyond 2025, F-35B purchase 'on hold'.
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/154245/spain-drops-plan-to-buy-f_35b%2C-will-upgrade-av_8bs-instead.html
Quote
The F-35: parked
 
 Today, the only short/vertical takeoff aircraft that fits the requirements of the Spanish navy is the US-made F-35B Lightning, an aircraft that the United States, the United Kingdom and Italy, which, together with Spain, are the leading world-wide operators of the Harrier, have already written into their acquisition plans.
 
 According to Spanish Navy sources consulted by El Confidential Online, the F-35B "continues to be an unattainable aspiration in economic terms." In 2010, the Navy headquarters announced that it intended to procure 15 to 20 of these aircraft. These plans have now been parked indefinitely.
 
 However, according to the navy sources, the Navy command nonetheless managed to outline a financial plan that would have allowed it to buy a few F-35Bs, but it was finally shot down by the Defence staff because of its cost.
 
 One of the options being considered for the future is that, once the US takes these STOVL aircraft into service, it could hand over a few of them to Spain until the Spanish economy improves enough to allows the purchase of an F-35B package of its own. Today, the cost of an F-35B would be approximately EUR 130 million each
http://www.elconfidencialdigital.com/defensa/Adios-compra-F-35-Espana-Harrier_0_2279172074.html
Quote
El F-35, aparcado
A día de hoy, el único avión de despegue vertical (STOVL) que encaja dentro de los requisitos de la marina española es el estadounidense F-35B. Un avión que Estados Unidos, Reino Unido e Italia –principales operadores del Harrier junto a España- ya han encargado para el futuro.
Según fuentes de la Armada consultadas por El Confidencial Digital, el F-35B “continúa siendo una aspiración inalcanzable en términos económicos” indican. En 2010, desde el Cuartel General de la Armada se anunció la intención de hacerse con entre 15 y 20 de estos aparatos. Unos planes que han quedado finalmente aparcados por tiempo indefinido.
Sin embargo, según explican las fuentes consultadas en la Armada, se llegaron a establecer las líneas maestras de un plan financiero para acometer la compra de algunos F-35B. Las soluciones, dicen, nofueron del agrado de Defensa, que optó por no aprobarlas.
Una de las opciones que se barajan de cara al futuro es que Estados Unidos –una vez tenga en servicio estos aparatos STOVL- arrende a España alguno de ellos hasta que la economía permita la compra de un paquete de F-35B, que actualmente estarían en torno a los 130 millones de euros la unidad.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on May 30, 2014, 01:59:13 pm
Quote
F-35 Achieves Three Major Flight Test Milestones On Same Day
   
(Source: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company; issued May 29, 2014)

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, Md. -- In three separate flight tests on May 27th, Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft demonstrated air-to-air combat capability, completed the first flight test with the next level software load and accomplished a landing at the maximum test speed and drop rate.

In the Point Mugu Sea Test Range airspace off the Central California coast, an F-35B demonstrated the jet's air-to-air combat capability when it sequentially engaged two aerial targets with two AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) during a Weapon Delivery Accuracy mission.

Test pilot Lt. Col. Andrew 'Growler' Allen tracked two maneuvering drone targets, making the very first dual AMRAAM shot from any F-35 variant, and the first live AMRAAM shot from the F-35B Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant.

"The U.S. Marine Corps, which operates F-35Bs, will be the first military service branch to attain combat-ready Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 2015," said J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed Martin's vice president for F-35 Test & Verification. "This Weapon Delivery Accuracy test highlighted the air combat capability that will give Marine aviators a decisive combat edge in contested airspace."

The F-35's internally-carried AIM-120 AMRAAMs are a beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations and considered a "fire-and-forget" missile using active target radar guidance.

Flying from Edwards Air Force Base, an F-35A flew a 1.9 hour mission with the first-ever load of Block 3i hardware and software. Block 3i is the next level of capability and is planned to support U.S. Air Force F-35A IOC in 2016.

The F-35C, designed for aircraft carrier operations, completed a landing at its maximum sink speed to test the aircraft's landing gear, airframe and arrestment system at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. "Five sorties were conducted, building up the maximum sink rate test condition of 21.4 feet per second, which represents the maximum sink speed planned for this test," McFarlan said. During the tests, the F-35C did three arrestments, several touch and goes and one bolter. The landings were to demonstrate structural readiness for arrested landings on an aircraft carrier at sea.

Fleet-wide, the F-35 has, to date, amassed more than 17,000 flight hours. All three variant aircraft at the F-35 Integrated Training Center at Eglin AFB, Florida, surpassed the 5,000 sorties milestone this week.

The F-35 Lightning II, a 5th generation fighter, combines advanced low observable stealth technology 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 at least 10 other countries. Following the U.S. Marine Corps' planned 2015 IOC, the U.S. Air Force and Navy intend to attain IOC in 2016 and 2018, respectively.


Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 113,000 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 2013 were $45.4 billion. (ends)
   
   
Quote
33rd Fighter Wing Surpasses 5,000 Combined F-35 Sorties
   
(Source: US Air Force; issued May 29, 2014)

EGLIN AFB, Fla --- The 33rd Fighter Wing etched another mark on the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter program May 28 by logging its 5,000th combined sortie in the F-35.

The F-35 Integrated Training Center at the wing flies a third of all F-35 sorties in the Department of Defense program. More than 15,000 sorties have been flown across all variants of the fifth generation multirole stealth fighter.

"Our team knows they are leading the way in putting the F-35 through its paces and developing the cadre that will establish the F-35's role in air dominance," said Col. Todd Canterbury, the 33rd FW commander. "The men and women here advance the ball down the line every day, and we see that in the number of sorties generated and students trained."

The maturity of the F-35 program at Eglin was echoed this week, he said.

Also this week, the Air Force's 58th Fighter Squadron welcomed its 26th and final F-35A delivery scheduled in the current environmental impact study.

The F-35 ITC is responsible for F-35 A/B/C Lightning II pilot and maintainer training for the Marine Corps, the Navy, the Air Force and, in the future, at least eight international partners.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bring_it_on on May 31, 2014, 03:00:46 am
;D  Typhoon & F-35B
Source: http://www.jsf.mil/gallery/gal_photo_sdd_f35btest.htm (http://www.jsf.mil/gallery/gal_photo_sdd_f35btest.htm)
Picture probably taken over Edwards AFB on April 4th, 2014


Edit:
More pictures at SNAFU!'s blog:
http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.de/2014/05/f-35-flies-with-two-typhoons.html

Original high rez here

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lockheedmartin/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on June 01, 2014, 10:30:28 pm
F-35A AM-1 for Norway !
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on June 01, 2014, 10:33:54 pm
JSM for F-35  ;D
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on June 04, 2014, 10:58:47 pm
Eglin Reaches Full F-35A Complement

The last of 26 Air Force F-35A strike fighters slated for delivery to the F-35 joint schoolhouse at Eglin AFB, Fla., joined the 33rd Fighter Wing there. "The arrival of AF-45 is an incredible milestone for the Air Force as we move closer to F-35A initial operational capability in 2016," said 33rd FW Commander Col. Todd Canterbury in a June 2 base release. "Having our full end strength grants our pilots and maintainers more flexibility in training, and that flexibility lets us advance the F-35 program at a faster rate than ever before," he added. In addition to the 26 Air Force jets, the schoolhouse currently hosts 12 Marine Corps F-35Bs, and six Navy F-35Cs, wing spokeswoman 1st Lt. Grace Cronin told Air Force Magazine on Wednesday. With the two Dutch F-35As and three British F-35Bs, Eglin currently boasts 49 strike fighters. The Navy plans to get another nine F-35Cs by next spring, bringing the F-35 fleet there close to the 59-aircraft limit imposed by Eglin's current permitting, noted Cronin.
—Arie Church
6/5/2014
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on June 05, 2014, 12:23:01 pm
Quote
F-35 Lightning II Aircraft Demonstrates Air-To-Air Combat Capability
   
(Source: 412th Test Wing Public Affairs; issued June 4, 2014)

EDWARDS AFB, Calif. --- In the Point Mugu Sea Test Range airspace off the Central California coast, an F-35B demonstrated the jet's air-to-air combat capability when it sequentially engaged two aerial targets with two AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles during a Weapon Delivery Accuracy mission.

Test pilot and 461st Flight Test Squadron commander, Lt. Col. Andrew Allen, tracked two maneuvering drone targets, making the very first dual AMRAAM shot from any F-35 variant, and the first live AMRAAM shot from the F-35B Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant.

"The U.S. Marine Corps, which operates F-35Bs, will be the first military service branch to attain combat-ready Initial Operational Capability in 2015," said J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed Martin's vice president for F-35 Test & Verification. "This Weapon Delivery Accuracy test highlighted the air combat capability that will give Marine aviators a decisive combat edge in contested airspace."

The F-35's internally-carried AIM-120 AMRAAMs are a beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations and considered a "fire-and-forget" missile using active target radar guidance.

Also flying out of Edwards AFB, an F-35A flew a 1.9 hour mission with the first-ever load of Block 3i hardware and software. Block 3i is the next level of capability and is planned to support U.S. Air Force F-35A Initial Operating Capability in 2016.

The two flight tests out of Edwards May 27 were part of three F-35 major milestones on the same day.

On the East Coast, the F-35C, designed for aircraft carrier operations, completed a landing at its maximum sink speed to test the aircraft's landing gear, airframe and arrestment system at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. "Five sorties were conducted, building up the maximum sink rate test condition of 21.4 feet per second, which represents the maximum sink speed planned for this test," McFarlan said. During the tests, the F-35C did three arrestments, several touch and goes and one bolter. The landings were to demonstrate structural readiness for arrested landings on an aircraft carrier at sea.

Fleet-wide, the F-35 has, to date, amassed more than 17,000 flight hours.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on June 05, 2014, 02:18:38 pm
Quote
Exclusive: Canadian review will recommend buying Lockheed F-35 fighter jet - sources
BY ANDREA SHALAL
WASHINGTON Thu Jun 5, 2014 4:54pm EDT

(Reuters) - Canada is poised to buy 65 Lockheed Martin Corp LMT.N F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, sources familiar with the process told Reuters, marking a major renewal of Canada's fighter fleet and helping contain costs of the expensive defense program.

An 18-month review of Canada's fighter jet needs has concluded that the government should skip a new competition and proceed with the C$9 billion ($8.22 billion) purchase, three sources said.

The decision must still be finalized by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet and could trigger a fresh storm of criticism from opposition politicians over costs that derailed the purchase two years ago.
 
A spokesman for Harper's office said there was nothing to announce yet.

However, the sources said the recommendation was expected to lead to formal approval of the F-35 purchase. They said Harper and key cabinet members supported the decision.

Canada's planned purchase is the 6th-largest by a country and would further safeguard the $399 billion program. Its rising costs had sparked fears of a "death spiral," in which countries cut plane orders, driving up the price of remaining planes and triggering further cancellations. (Full Story)

The Pentagon recently estimated the average price per plane at $139 million, about twice the original estimate in 2001, but said the projected cost to operate and maintain the jets was down 9 percent from earlier estimates.

Ottawa announced in 2010 it would buy 65 jets but scrapped the decision in late 2012 after an official watchdog said Canadian officials had grossly downplayed the high cost of maintaining and operating the jets.

The Canadian government then launched a multi-agency examination to determine whether to buy the F-35 or launch a new competition. That review has found that the F-35 is the only warplane that meets the government's needs, said the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

A four-member panel of outside experts set up to ensure the objectivity and impartiality of the Canadian review also is expected to give its blessing to the process in coming weeks and may make its own recommendation that Ottawa proceed with buying the F-35, said one of the sources.

ANNOUNCEMENT DUE SOON

The Canadian government has said it will make an announcement in coming weeks, around the time the Canadian Parliament is dismissed for the summer.

Public Works Minister Diane Finley declined comment on Tuesday about the timing of a decision.

“Once we have made a decision we will announce it, and the reports will be released,” she said.

The recommendation to proceed with the F-35 purchase was expected, the sources said, in part because the cost of each plane has recently declined. Other factors seen as influencing the outcome of the review was the decision by Japan, South Korea and other countries to buy the jet. Canadian firms could win up to $11 billion in potential business orders linked to the program, they said.

Canada would be the 11th foreign country to buy the jet. It was one of the original nine partners on the F-35 program, contributing $150 million to its development costs.

One of the reports completed as part of the review showed that a new tender would take three years to complete, which would force the Canadian Air Force to spend about $20 million per plane to keep its fleet of older Boeing CF-18 "Hornets" flying, according to a source familiar with the findings.

Russia's annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine, which has created tensions with European countries, the United States and Canada, also underscored Canada's need for a fifth-generation stealth fighter, said two of the sources.

The F-35 is designed to be the next-generation fighter jet for decades to come. No other new fighters are in the pipeline and the warplane fleets of the United States and Canada are aging.

Canada's participation in the program would help Washington drive down costs, which U.S. officials say are finally heading lower after rising 70 percent over initial estimates.

The total cost of the F-35, the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program, is now estimated at $1.42 trillion, down about 6 percent from $1.50 trillion from last year, including research, development, procurement and operations through 2065.

A spokesman for the Pentagon's F-35 program office said officials were awaiting Canada's decision and understood the country's need to revisit the decision process.

But it would spell more bad news for rival bidders, including Boeing Co BA.N, which is urgently looking for orders to keep its F/A-18 production line running past 2016. Boeing argued that its fighter would be cheaper for Canada to buy and operate. The Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale fighters, both European planes, were also in the running.

Lockheed spokesman Mike Rein said the company supports the Canadian government's process in determining the best way to replace its CF-18s.

Boeing declined to comment.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Additional reporting by David Ljunggren and Randall; Palmer in Ottawa; Editing by Alwyn Scott and Ross Colvin)

Source (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/05/us-lockheed-martin-canada-f-idUSKBN0EG2P820140605)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on June 06, 2014, 02:33:10 am
http://breakingdefense.com/2014/06/a-gods-eye-view-of-the-battlefield-gen-hostage-on-the-f-35/  ;D

http://breakingdefense.com/2014/06/gen-mike-hostage-on-the-f-35-no-growlers-needed-when-war-starts/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on June 06, 2014, 11:06:27 am
Quote
F-35 purchase decision expected next week in report
Sole-source purchase of Lockheed Martin F-35 believed to be favoured
By James Cudmore, CBC News Posted: Jun 05, 2014 8:30 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 05, 2014 8:30 PM ET

Senior sources inside the Canadian defence and aerospace industry are girding themselves for a government decision next week that they believe is almost sure to favour the controversial F-35.

CBC News has learned the Conservative government is expected to make a final decision as soon as next Tuesday, followed soon after by an announcement that will put an end to the debate about whether to hold a competition to buy new fighter planes or to renew the $45-billion plan to sole-source the purchase of F-35s.

After a storm of controversy before the 2011 election, the Conservative government took steps to distance itself from the decision and set up a secretariat of senior bureaucrats to manage a review of the purchase and help determine a way forward.

The government also hired a panel of experts to conduct a review of the available fighter jet options, including the F-35, and file a public report on the choices.

That report is now complete and has been handed to government, but Public Works Minister Diane Finley has so far refused to make it public as promised.

A source familiar with the review suggested Lockheed Martin's F-35 could very well be the winner, and another source says the independent review did not take sides and therefore could allow the government to conclude the F-35 was still the way to go.

A Reuters report on Thursday written by a reporter based in Washington, D.C., said the review recommends the government skip a competition and proceed directly to a buy of the F-35.

But in response to that article, a source familiar with the file told CBC News the decision has not yet been taken and that the review has not been finalized.

Source (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/f-35-purchase-decision-expected-next-week-in-report-1.2666758)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on June 06, 2014, 11:07:28 am
Quote
Northrop Grumman Delivers 150th Center Fuselage for F-35 Lightning II
   
(Source: Northrop Grumman Corporation; issued June 5, 2014)
 
PALMDALE, Calif. --- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) has marked another significant production milestone for the F-35 Lightning II program by delivering its 150th center fuselage to F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin (LMT). The center fuselage is the core structure around which the aircraft is built.

Designated AF-68, the center fuselage was delivered June 2. It is the 50th such unit Northrop Grumman has delivered in the last 15 months. The company's first 100 center fuselages took approximately eight and half years from program start to complete.

"The delivery of AF-68 represents Northrop Grumman's steady progress reducing the production time for the F-35 center fuselage," said Brian Chappel, vice president and F-35 program manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "It also maintains the company's perfect record of on-time deliveries of center fuselages from our Palmdale manufacturing center to Lockheed Martin."

AF-68 will be integrated into a conventional takeoff and landing variant at Lockheed Martin's F-35 final assembly facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The jet will be delivered to the U.S. Air Force.

Chappel attributes Northrop Grumman's steady increase in center fuselage production rates to the company's Integrated Assembly Line (IAL), which was opened in Palmdale in March 2011 to improve quality, reduce costs and shorten F-35 center fuselage assembly times.

"We're working closely with our customers, our suppliers and our employees to identify small changes in our assembly practices that will increase F-35 affordability while maintaining excellent quality," said Chappel. "Every minute, every dollar we save on the IAL helps reduce F-35 costs while speeding the jet's availability to the warfighter."

The Northrop Grumman-developed IAL makes heavy use of robotics and automation. It allows the company to produce F-35 center fuselages with levels of engineering precision, quality and manufacturing efficiency that are not achievable using conventional manual production methods.

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 all three variants of the jet. In addition to producing the F-35 center fuselage, the company 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.


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

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on June 09, 2014, 11:24:29 pm
F-35 LRIP 8 Deal Expected Soon

The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin should reach agreement “in the summer timeframe” on a price for Lot 8 low-rate initial production of F-35 strike fighters, said Lorraine Martin, the company’s F-35 program manager, on Monday. She also suggested the deal could be announced as soon as the Farnborough Air Show, which takes place July 14-20 outside of London. At the company’s June 9 media day in Arlington, Va., Martin said “we do expect each LRIP lot will cost less” than the one before it. Lots 6 and 7, which the parties negotiated last year, established prices four percent lower, respectively, than the preceding lots. Asked about prospects for a Farnborough announcement, Martin said, “I like to get things behind me … as quickly as possible.”
—John A. Tirpak
6/10/2014
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on June 10, 2014, 10:57:24 pm
No Growling Needed

The F-35 is beating the stealthiness expected of it “at maturity,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program manager. Officials must still verify this claim “with more data,” she told reporters on June 9 during a company-sponsored media day in Arlington, Va. She noted that Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Hostage recently told Breaking Defense that the F-35 needs no jamming support from other aircraft, such as Boeing’s EF-18G Growler, in a heavily defended battlespace to “go where it needs to go.” Hostage said the F-35 actually has better stealth than the F-22. “I can’t say some of those things” due to classification, commented Martin, but she said Hostage accurately represented the F-35’s capabilities. The Growler and similar platforms are going to be “helpful” if there are “fourth generation aircraft … and they need some protection,” but the F-35 has “all the stealth we said it would have,” and can “get in and get out safely with the electronic warfare it has on it,” she asserted. The F-35’s stealth is checked as it exits production and again just before government acceptance. “And, after we fly it a few months, we put it back through the [stealth test] range and verify the stealth is still there,” said Martin.
—John A. Tirpak
6/11/2014


F-35 Mini Deployment

Three F-35B aircraft—two Marine Corps and one British—will deploy to the Farnborough Airshow outside London and the preceding Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire, England, in July, said Lockheed Martin F-35 Vice President Lorraine Martin. This marks the first time an F-35 of any variant has participated in an international airshow. “It will be a great opportunity to practice” deployment skills, Martin told reporters at a company-sponsored media day on June 9 in Arlington Va. The aircraft will likely make the trip from MCAS Beaufort, S.C., refueled en route by KC-10 tankers. The team deploying will have to take spare parts, enough pilots and maintainers, and elements of the ALIS maintenance system to turn the aircraft for a combined eight flying demonstrations. The show routine is expected to be quite similar to that flown by the AV-8B Harrier, with a high- and low-speed pass, slowdown to hover and land, vertical takeoff, then rapid acceleration and flyaway. The cost of displaying the aircraft will be borne collectively by Lockheed Martin, the Marine Corps, and Britain, said Martin. It counts as a “US military deployment” for the purposes of cost bookkeeping, she said.
—John A. Tirpak
6/11/2014
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: SpudmanWP on June 11, 2014, 08:17:34 am
Quote
The show routine is expected to be quite similar to that flown by the AV-8B Harrier, with a high- and low-speed pass, slowdown to hover and land, vertical takeoff, then rapid acceleration and flyaway.
Holy Scoops Batman... a couple of weeks ago they were talking about not doing a VL since it had not been cleared for rough field VL yet.

Now we are saying a VL and more importantly a VTO?
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: sferrin on June 11, 2014, 10:38:38 am
Not to go OT but my interpretation is that the comment was more along the lines of, "this is what the Harrier does so that's probably what the F-35B will do" rather than an insight into the actual planned routine.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bring_it_on on June 11, 2014, 01:06:01 pm
The demo should be fairly similar to the one at Cherry point.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRGHXjF4BcY
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: seruriermarshal on June 12, 2014, 05:56:06 pm
F-35A AU-1 For Australia  ;D

RAAF F-35A AU-1 revealed

Item by australianaviation.com.au at 5:22 pm, Wednesday June 11 2014

Images of the RAAF’s first Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II being towed from the production line to the paint facility have been revealed.

The aircraft, dubbed AU-1 and appearing in primer colours, is due to be officially rolled out in July and delivered to the USAF’s Integrated Training Center at Luke AFB in Arizona later this year.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on June 13, 2014, 12:03:06 am
Quote
UPDATE 2-Panel backs Canada evaluation process for jet fighter replacement
Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:33pm EDT
By Cameron French

(Reuters) - Four independent experts endorsed on Thursday the Canadian military's evaluation of options to replace its aging fleet of fighter jets, setting the stage for the government to decide whether or not to go ahead with previous plans to buy F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

Ottawa scrapped its plan to buy 65 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35s in 2012, after an official watchdog said officials had grossly downplayed the cost of maintaining and operating the jets.

The military's review of potential options is part of a multi-agency government process to determine the best way to replace Canada's aging fleet of CF-18 fighters, and the four-member panel was struck to oversee the military's review and lend credibility to the process.

In a 38-page report, the panel said the military's evaluation process was thorough, comprehensive, conducted professionally and not biased in favor of any of the four aircraft the government is considering.

"The simple bottom line is that we have provided ministers with assurance that the evaluation was rigorous and impartial and the results are comprehensive and understandable," Keith Coulter, panel member and former head of Canada's electronic surveillance agency, CSEC, told reporters at a briefing.

The panel, which also consists of two other retired civil servants and a university professor, did not issue its own recommendation for whether the government should proceed with the F-35 purchase, worth an estimated C$9 billion ($8.29 billion), or launch an open competition.

A senior Canadian government official at the briefing said no decision has been made by the government.

In addition to the F-35, the military has evaluated Boeing Co's F-18 E/F Super Hornet, the Eurofighter Typhoon, built by BAE Systems Plc, and the Rafale, made by Dassault Aviation SA.

The government official at the briefing said there was no timetable for a decision.

Sources close to the process have told Reuters the government's multi-agency review has recommended Canada buy the F-35s. The decision must still be finalized by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet.

If Canada goes ahead with the F-35 purchase, it will be the 6th-largest by a country and would further safeguard the $399 billion Joint Strike Fighter program.

The Pentagon recently estimated the average price per plane at $139 million, about twice the original estimate in 2001, but said the projected costs to operate the maintain the jets was down 9 percent from earlier estimates.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on June 13, 2014, 12:07:29 am
Quote
Tories given green light for F-35 jet decision
STEVEN CHASE AND DANIEL LEBLANC
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 12 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

For the first time in two years, the path is clear for the Conservative government to select Canada’s next fighter jet, a choice that could very well mean buying the controversial F-35 Lightning without a competition.

A panel of independent monitors on Thursday gave its blessing to a still-confidential Royal Canadian Air Force report that evaluated the risks and benefits of purchasing four different warplanes and has been forwarded to the federal cabinet.

Sources say cabinet is expected to make a decision on fighters within the next couple of weeks.

Thursday’s seal of approval fulfilled the Harper government’s final obligation before making a pivotal decision to either buy the F-35 without competition or open the field to bidding from all jet makers.

The Tories froze this procurement in 2012 after blowback over an earlier decision to buy the F-35 that critics said was made with a lack of due diligence. After a damning Auditor-General’s report, the Harper government vowed to hold off until it had fulfilled a “seven-point plan” to restart the process of replacing Canada’s aging CF-18s.

But as of Thursday, the seven-point plan has been fulfilled. Government sources say the federal cabinet is “more than likely” to take up the report in the next few weeks.

A four-member independent review panel gave the government the affirmation it was seeking, saying it had no hesitation in pronouncing the RCAF’s assessment of Lockheed Martin’s F-35, the Dassault Rafales, the Boeing Super Hornet and the Eurofighter Typhoon “rigorous and impartial.”

Former federal comptroller-general Rod Monette, one of the panelists, compared the group’s independent seal of approval to the Auditor-General signing off on the government’s books.

Still, the panel acknowledged the measurements used to analyze the fighters were based on the same Conservative defence policy used to justify the now-aborted decision in 2010 to buy 65 F-35s without a competitive bidding process.

“The policy is used to guide acquisitions,” said Philippe Lagassé, a military expert at the University of Ottawa who was a member of the independent panel.

The federal government opted to analyze the technical data from four fighter jets through the lens of its 2008 Canada First Defence Strategy.

This six-year-old policy is widely considered outdated. It specifically calls for the acquisition of “next-generation fighter aircraft,” using Lockheed-Martin’s favourite buzzword to describe its F-35 as the only aircraft that is a full generation ahead of its rivals.

The independent review panel was made up of former fighter pilot and ex-Communications Security Establishment Canada chief Keith Coulter, Prof. Lagassé as well as two retired senior civil servants, James Mitchell and Mr. Monette.

While the panel’s thumbs-up is public, the crucial air-force report that they shepherded through the system is not.

The government will release only a partial version of the RCAF report to the public, excised of all sensitive and commercial information, once Ottawa has announced the next step in buying fighters.

This full report is in the hands of federal ministers, who will be able to compare the four aircraft using a colour-coded scheme that lays out the risks associated with six types of missions that future jet fighters might be called upon to fulfill.

The risk for each mission ranges from low (green) to very high (brown), laying out the capabilities and deficiencies of each aircraft in conducting operations such as patrolling the Arctic or attacking foreign forces in an overseas mission.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on June 13, 2014, 05:29:13 am
Luke's First Reserve F-35 Instructor

Maj. Justin Robinson will become the first Air Force Reserve Command F-35A instructor pilot assigned to Luke AFB, Ariz. Robinson is currently an instructor with AFRC's 69th Fighter Squadron, which is transitioning, along with Luke's Active Duty 56th Wing from F-16 training to F-35 training. "I think going out and learning a new airframe and helping to bring it online offers the kind of challenge that is really appropriate for me at this point," said Robinson in a June 11 release. To accommodate the transition, the squadron’s parent 944th Fighter Wing plans to grow to as many as 250 maintainers to augment their active duty counterparts. "They will start working on the F-16s initially and then transfer to the F-35" over the next four years, said Col. Kurt Gallegos, 944th FW commander. Luke is slated to host 144 F-35As eventually. Luke's first F-35 arrived in March

F-35 Software Delay Won’t Hit IOC

There’s about a six-month lag in testing the version 3F software for the F-35 strike fighter, but it’s not affecting the services’ initial operational capability yet, according to program leaders. In a teleconference with reporters on June 12 following an F-35 steering committee meeting at Eglin AFB, Fla., Pentagon acquisition executive Frank Kendall said IOC for the Marine Corps and the Air Force, with the 2B and 3I software builds, respectively, is on track. The services are still expected to declare IOC on time: the Marine Corps with the 2B software in July 2015, and the Air Force with 3I software in August 2016. The 3F version, which every user will eventually have, is behind schedule. Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, F-35 program executive officer, said “if we don’t do anything better over the next two or three years,” then the 3F deployment may be late, but he said there’s still some schedule margin remaining. Kendall said it’s premature to think about whether the Navy, which intends to declare IOC with 3F software in 2018, would slip IOC or declare it with an earlier software build. “That’s a decision the Navy will make,” said Kendall, but he doubts the service will make any changes “unless forced to.”

F-35 Incentives

The F-35 steering committee, comprising US program leaders and international partners, met at Eglin AFB, Fla., this week. On the agenda was the financial challenge of each user buying its planned inventory of the jets. Pentagon acquisition czar Frank Kendall said the United States faces a problem with the budget sequester, and “can’t make a firm commitment” on the number it will buy. Other countries “have the same financial challenges we have,” but everyone agrees on “the need for stability” in the buy targets, he told reporters during a teleconference on June 12. The committee is exploring whether to offer “financial incentives” to partners to buy their planned allotment, since any cuts in production “raise prices … for everybody,” he said. The United States is looking at F-35 multiyear contracts as one way to cut costs, though “we’re just beginning to think about that,” said Kendall. He also said the committee discussed “the next round of improvements” for the F-35, beyond the Block 4, which comes after the initial version is deployed.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on June 13, 2014, 12:29:30 pm
Quote
F135 Live Fire Testing
   
(Source: Lockheed Code One blog; dated June 2, 2014)
 
The Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan engine in the F-35 Lightning II completed a series of live fire tests in late May 2014. The testing, led by Naval Air Systems Command's Weapons Survivability Laboratory at China Lake, California, included F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing propulsion system tests; dynamic and static engine ballistic tests; and total fuel ingestion tests.

These tests were aimed at better understanding the advanced engine control system; the capabilities of the main engine with battle damage; and to assess the engine's fuel ingestion tolerance.

According to the US Navy's Joint Aircraft Survivability Program Office, "the test results were favorable, and in many cases, the propulsion system performed better than predicted."

This series of tests was intended to mimic battlefield damage in wartime scenarios.

-ends-
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on June 13, 2014, 03:03:40 pm
Quote
Navy Prepares F-35C for Carrier Landing
By Kris Osborn Friday, June 13th, 2014 4:48 pm
Posted in Air, Naval

Navy test pilots are conducting numerous shore-based test landings of the F-35C of the next-generation Joint Strike Fighter in anticipation of its first at-sea landing on an aircraft carrier later this year, service officials said.

The shore landings, taking place at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., are designed to replicate the range of conditions which the F-35C is likely to encounter at sea – to the extent that is possible.

Test pilots are working on what they call a structural survey, an effort to assess the F-35C’s ability to land in a wide range of scenarios such as nose down, tail down or max engaging speed, said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks, or “Sniff,” a Navy test pilot.

Max engaging speed involves landing the aircraft heavy and fast to determine if it is the aircraft or the arresting gear that gets damaged, Burks explained.

“The whole purpose is to make sure the landing gear and the aircraft structure are all suitable to take the stresses that the pilot could see while trying to land aboard the deck of an aircraft carrier,” Burks explained.

While recognizing that the mix of conditions at sea on board a carrier cannot be replicated on land, Burks said the test landings seek to simulate what he called unusual attitudes such as instances where the aircraft is rolling with one side up or descending faster than normal with what’s called a “high sink” rate.

“We’ve done about 90 carrier-style landings,” said F-35 Test Pilot Lt. Cmdr. Tony Wilson, or “Brick.”

High sink rate is reached when an aircraft is descending 21-feet per second, much faster than the typical 10-feet per second descend rate, Burks explained. The shore landings also seek to replicate an airplane condition known as “yawing” when the body of the aircraft is moving from side to side.

The F-35C is engineered to be larger than the Air Force’s F-35 A or Marine Corps short-take-off-and-landing F-35B because the structure of the aircraft needs to be able to withstand the impact of landing on a carrier. Also, the F-35C has larger, foldable wings to facilitate slower approach speeds compatible with moving ships, Navy officials said.

“In order to withstand the forces experienced during an arrested landing, the keel of an F-35C is strengthened and the landing gear is of a heavier-duty build than the A and B models,” an official with the F-35 Integrated Test Force said.

The wings of the F-35 C are also built with what’s called “aileron control surfaces” designed to prevent the aircraft from rolling.

At sea, pilots must account for their speed as well as the speed of the wind, the weather or visibility conditions as well as the speed of the boat, Burks explained.

“The landing area is constantly changing. This is a challenge to structure of the aircraft because there is no way of knowing for certain how hard we are going to hit the deck or at what angle they are going to be at,” he added.

On an aircraft carrier, the ship has arresting wires or metal cables attached to hydraulic engines used to slow the aircraft down to a complete stop within the landing area.

“On an aircraft carrier, the landing area is off about 10-degrees. The boat’s motion itself is moving away from you — so you can’t just aim at the boat,” Burks said.

The cable is four to six inches above the deck of the carrier and hydraulic fluid controls the pace of deceleration for the aircraft, Burks said. A hook lowers from the back end of the F-35C aircraft, designed to catch the cable and slow down the plane.

“In order to maintain our stealth configuration, we had to put the hook internal to the airframe. On all the legacy systems, the tail hook sits up underneath the engine externally. We have three doors that open up to allow the tail hook to fall down,” Burks said.

The aircraft also needs to be able to withstand what’s called a “free flight,” a situation where the pilot receives a late wave off to keep flying after the hook on the airplane has already connected with the wire, he explained.

“We need to be sure that the engine and the aircraft itself can handle the stress of essentially being ripped out of the air by the interaction between the cable and the hook,” Burks added.

Describing landing as a controlled crash into the aircraft carrier, Wilson explained that pilots look at a light on the ship called the Fresnel Lens in order to orient their approach.

“The whole purpose of the lighting system is to show us where we are in reference to a specific glide slope. What this lens does is it tells us where we are,” Wilson said.

In total, the Navy plans to acquire 340 F-35C aircraft. So far, five F-35Cs have been delivered for pilot training at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Both Burks and Wilson, former F-18 hornet and super hornet pilots, said flying the F-35C represents a large step forward in fighter jet technology.

Wilson referred to the JSF’s touchscreen cockpit display which combines information from a range of sensors, cameras, radars….ect.

“Unlike our legacy aircraft where I might have to look at several different displays – the F-35C’s integrated core processor integrates all the information for the pilot. It very neatly and concisely displays all that information in one location, making tactical decisions much easier,” Wilson said.

Source (http://www.dodbuzz.com/2014/06/13/navy-prepares-f-35c-for-carrier-landing/)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on June 14, 2014, 10:23:41 am
http://breakingdefense.com/2014/06/f-35-prompted-by-prc-stealth-jets-others-starts-next-gen-threat-planning/?utm_source=Breaking+Defense&utm_campaign=1a3b538b43-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4368933672-1a3b538b43-407814345

The stealth arms race is on!!
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on June 14, 2014, 02:13:09 pm
Quote
House Appropriators Add More F-35s for 2015

By Brendan McGarry Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 2:02 pm
Posted in Sequestration, The Defense Business

A U.S. House of Representatives committee has voted to add more funding for the F-35 fighter jet program in fiscal 2015.

The House Appropriations Committee, headed by Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky, on Tuesday passed its version of the annual defense spending bill, which included funding for 38 of the stealthy, fifth-generation fighters. That’s four more of the aircraft than the Defense Department requested for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

The bill will go to the full House for debate, reportedly sometime this summer before the August recess.
 
The Pentagon had planned to purchase 42 of the planes, known as Lightning IIs, next year but was forced to reduce the quantity to 34 due to automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.

Both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees supported the department’s budget request for the Joint Strike Fighter program, though the quantities could still change during negotiations on a final authorization bill.

The F-35 program is the Pentagon’s most expensive acquisition effort, estimated to cost a total of about $400 billion for 2,457 aircraft for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

Notably, the House appropriators also differed from their defense committee colleagues in agreeing to retire the A-10 gunship. The panel rejected an amendment that would have steered $339 million from the Pentagon’s operations and maintenance account to keep the Cold War-era plane known as the Warthog flying.

The bill was otherwise similar to the one that passed out of the panel’s defense subcommittee, headed by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-New Jersey, with more funding for weapons procurement than the President Barack Obama’s budget request, but less money for research and development and operations and maintenance.

The procurement funding includes $2.4 billion for 87 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and 37 MH-60S/R choppers made by United Technologies Corp.‘s Sikorsky unit; $1.6 billion for seven KC-46A refueling tankers made by Boeing Co.; and $789 million to refuel the aircraft carrier USS George Washington.

It also includes $975 million for 12 EA-18G Growlers, also made by Boeing. The added money for the Growlers comes after an aggressive lobbying campaign by the Chicago-based aerospace giant to promote the radar-penetrating qualities of the jet over the F-35.

Source (http://www.dodbuzz.com/2014/06/11/house-appropriators-add-more-f-35s-for-2015/)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on June 14, 2014, 02:15:42 pm
http://youtu.be/VERMAh6Moc0
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bring_it_on on June 15, 2014, 08:59:14 pm
F-35 Fighter Jets Temporarily Grounded by Engine Problems


Quote
The Pentagon temporarily grounded the entire F-35 Joint Strike Fighter fleet at the start of the weekend after one of the advanced jets suffered an engine oil leak and declared an in-flight emergency.

While the suspension of flight and ground testing on Friday was described by F-35 program officials as a precautionary move, it is the second time in 16 months that engine problems have grounded the entire fleet. It comes just two weeks before the plane is due to make its first international appearance.

Engine maker Pratt Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp. UTX -0.05%  , said most of the 104-jet fleet had been cleared to resume flying by late Saturday following the safety inspections mandated by the F-35 managers on Friday. The F-35 program office said these revealed potential problems on two more jets.

The incident on June 10 involved an F-35B jet, which can take off and land vertically. The pilot declared an in-flight emergency after being alerted to an engine oil problem, and landed safely back at base at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona.

Pentagon officials on Friday ordered engines on all three models of the F-35 to be inspected before they could resume flights.

Pratt Whitney said in a statement that it was working to identify the cause of last week's problem, with jet-by-jet inspections taking around 90 minutes each. Program officials have pointed to problems with an oil-flow-management valve.

The F-35B is one of three variants of the jet built by Lockheed Martin Corp. LMT +0.86%  , and scheduled to be the first to be declared combat ready. Program officials last week expressed confidence that it will be ready for the Marine Corps as scheduled in July 2015.


http://online.wsj.com/articles/f-35-fighter-jets-temporarily-grounded-by-engine-problems-1402854181
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on June 16, 2014, 05:16:01 pm
http://www.dodbuzz.com/2014/06/11/house-appropriators-add-more-f-35s-for-2015/
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on June 19, 2014, 04:19:58 pm
http://defensetech.org/2014/06/18/air-force-develops-threat-data-base-for-f-35/

Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on June 21, 2014, 09:14:31 am
"Lockheed sees expanded F-35 production, additional jobs"
Posted Saturday, Jun. 21, 2014
By Steve Kaskovich

Source:
http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/06/20/5916806/lockheed-sees-expanded-f-35-production.html

Quote
FORT WORTH — Despite ongoing budget pressures, Lockheed Martin expects production of its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to expand significantly over the next several years, creating more than 1,000 additional jobs at its west-side plant, the company’s top executive in Fort Worth said Friday.

Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said production of its next-generation fighter is expected to expand from about 36 this year to more than 120 a year by the end of the decade. He made his comments during a speech at a Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Petroleum Club.

The latest projections are less than what Lockheed had estimated just a year ago, when executives told the Star-Telegram that they hoped to boost production to more than 150 planes a year by the end of the decade and add 2,400 jobs in Fort Worth. Carvalho said Lockheed currently has about 13,300 employees in Fort Worth.

Lockheed is aiming to reach full-rate production on the aircraft now that it has worked through a bevy of technical issues that delayed its development. The U.S. government and the manufacturer expect that increased production will bring down the cost of the plane, currently at more than $100 million apiece, to between $70 million and $80 million.

But sequestration and political pressures in Washington continue to loom over defense spending plans. Earlier this year, the Defense Department revealed plans to cut 17 of the 343 F-35 fighters it planned to buy between fiscal years 2016 and 2019 unless Congress decides to get rid of automatic budget cuts.

Carvalho said the bipartisan budget deal reached late last year relieved pressure on the program for two years but that the threat of reductions in future years remains. Still, he said Lockheed is confident that it will build more than 3,000 F-35s over the life of the program for U.S. and foreign customers. It completed its 100th F-35 in December.

The F-35, he predicted, will one day be as successful as Lockheed’s F-16, which this year is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Lockheed is still building the Fighting Falcon and sees opportunities for future sales to countries such as Colombia and Pakistan that could extend the life of its production line in Fort Worth beyond 2017.

Earlier this month, Lockheed staged a ceremony in west Fort Worth to deliver the first of 36 F-16s it’s building for Iraq. With advances by Islamic militants now causing a crisis in that country, the arrival of the first F-16 in Iraq, which was expected this fall, has been delayed. Production of the other F-16s for Iraq will continue, Carvalho said.

“We’re all very sad to see what’s happening in Iraq, with the commitment our country has made over the last 10 years,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking.”
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on June 21, 2014, 10:31:50 am
"Air Force develops threat data base for F-35"
by Kris Osborn
Published June 19, 2014
Military.com


Source:
http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2014/06/19/air-force-develops-threat-data-base-for-f-35/

Quote
Joint Strike Fighter officials are developing a mission data system that can immediately tell pilots if they are flying against a MiG-29 or Su-27 or any other enemy fighter.

The system will serve as a computer library or data base of known threats and friendly aircraft in specific regions of the world, said Thomas Lawhead, operations lead for the JSF integration office.

The mission data packages, now being developed by the Air Force’s 53rd Wing are designed to accommodate new information as new threat data becomes available. The data base is loaded with a wide range of information to include commercial airliner information and specifics on Russian and Chinese fighter jets.

Without the mission data files and computer-driven sensor fusion of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, fighter pilots would have to simultaneously interpret and organize input from a range of different sensors including their radar warning receiver, Lawhead explained.

“You can think of the mission data as the memory that feeds the fusion engine to identify threats. It is the data which tells the aircraft whether something is a good guy or a bad guy,” said Col. Carl Schaefer, the Air Force’s top JSF integration official.

“A sensor receives input. Then, the aircraft’s fusion engine takes that input and fuses it with other input from other sensors. It then takes that information and balances it against the mission data. Based on that match it can tell you what the threat is,” he explained.

Sensors on the F-35 include the Active Electronically Scanned Array, or AESA, radar as well as a system called Distributed Aperture System, or DAS, which combines input from as many as six different electro-optical cameras on the aircraft.

The aircraft also draws upon a technology called Electro-optical Targeting System, or EOTS, which helps identify and pinpoint targets.  EOTS, which does both air-to-air and air-to-ground targeting, is able to combine forward-looking infrared and infrared search and track technology.

Overall, information from all of the JSF sensors is “fused” through the aircraft’s computer, providing the pilot with clear, integrated information.

The Air Force is developing 12 different mission data files for 12 different geographic areas, Lawhead explained. The first four are slated to be ready by the time the service reaches its planned initial operating capability with the F-35A in August 2016.

“One of the ways we respond to emerging threats is through the mission data files. If we are going to a region of the world, we want to be able to understand what the threats are and make sure that all the data that we have on the bad guys of that area is fed into the mission data file,” Schaefer added.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on June 21, 2014, 02:02:55 pm
Quote
'Workhorse' becomes first F-35 to achieve 1,000 flight hours
by Kenji Thuloweit
412th Test Wing Public Affairs

6/18/2014 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- AF-2, the second production F-35 Lightning II for the U.S. Air Force, became the first F-35 to reach 1,000 flight hours.

Paul Hattendorf, Lockheed Martin test pilot, was flying an Airframe Loads Envelope Expansion mission June 11 when the fighter reached the milestone.

"AF-2's nickname is 'Workhorse,' said Randy Thompson, F-35 Integrated Test Force, Government Air Vehicle lead. "It continues to carry the Flight Sciences testing load executing its primary mission of loads envelope expansion. Every AF-2 flight-test hour moves the JSF enterprise closer to providing our warriors with the Air Force Initial Operational Capability (IOC) and final System Development and Demonstration maneuvering envelopes.

Thompson added that data collected from all Flight Sciences aircraft help refine the airframe usage spectrum, which in turn allows for a more accurate fleet life determination.

The 412th Test Wing is home to 15 Lightning IIs. The Edwards F-35 ITF has nine F-35s assigned for developmental testing - representing all three variants of the fifth-generation fighter: six F-35As, two F-35Bs and one F-35C.

Additionally, Edwards AFB's Operational Test units have six F-35As assigned.

"AF-2 is the 'Pull G's jet.' It was the first aircraft to hit plus-nine-G and negative-three-G and to roll at design-load factor. In addition, AF-2 is the first F-35A to intentionally fly in significant airframe buffet at all angles of attack," said Thompson.

Both AF-2 and AF-1 ferried to Edwards from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, May 17, 2010.

Thompson said AF-2 has specific instrumentation and was calibrated for in-flight loads measurements prior to ferrying to Edwards. In addition, it is instrumented to execute airframe buffet testing; landing, braking and arresting hook testing; and ground and in-flight gun testing.

The Lightning II software has 24 million lines of code, which is continually being updated and improved. The ITF team, AF-2 and the rest of the Edwards F-35 test fleet, continues to get closer in getting the world's most advanced fighter into the hands of the warfighter.

"The entire F-35 Edwards ITF team and the 412th TW are pressing hard to complete testing required for the 2B fleet release (Marine Corp IOC mission systems software release and AF IOC maneuvering envelope release). As aircraft compete their slated 2B testing, the team moves ahead with testing required for the final SDD clearances. Post 2B testing milestones include putting the final SDD talons on the Lightning II with the first flight of the Small Diameter Bomb, first gun fire and continued external GBU-12 envelope expansion, as well as beginning to test the final SDD mission systems suite," concluded Thompson.

The planned date for Air Force Initial Operational Capability of its F-35As is August 2016.

(https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.edwards.af.mil%2Fshared%2Fmedia%2Fphotodb%2Fphotos%2F2014%2F06%2F140611-F-TW412-002.jpg&hash=a35b98744a61020e5fb2b1abf2f15af7)
Members of Edwards AFB's F-35 Integrated Test Force pose in front of AF-2 on June 11, the day the Lightning II became the first F-35 to reach 1,000 flying hours. (Photo courtesy of Darin Russell/Lockheed Martin)
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: bobbymike on June 23, 2014, 10:33:44 am
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-23/lockheed-f-35-upgrades-cost-920-million-less-u-s-says.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-23/lockheed-f-35-upgrades-cost-920-million-less-u-s-says.html)
 
 
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: sferrin on June 23, 2014, 01:22:39 pm
Anybody have more details on this:

http://news.usni.org/2014/06/23/breaking-fire-breaks-f-35-eglin-air-force-base-pilot-safe

"A Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was severely damaged — possibly destroyed — in a Monday morning fire on the runway at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., USNI News learned.

No injuries were reported and officials have begun an investigation into the incident, defense officials told USNI News on Monday.

“The aircraft was preparing to conduct a continuation training mission at the time of the incident, but aborted during takeoff at Eglin Air Force Base due to a fire in the back end of the aircraft,” according to a Monday statement provided to USNI News from the Air Force.
“Emergency responders extinguished the fire with foam.”

The aircraft was a F-35A — the Air Force variant of the fighter — assigned to the 33rd “Nomads” Fighter Wing. The wing is schoolhouse for all versions of the JSF and trains sailors, airmen and Marines."
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: Triton on June 24, 2014, 09:59:58 am
"McCain questions 'cronyism' on Lockheed F-35 program"
By Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:36pm ED

Source:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/17/us-lockheed-fighter-mccain-idUSKBN0ES01E20140617

Quote
(Reuters) - Republican Senator John McCain on Monday said he was concerned by recent revelations of U.S. government-industry "cronyism" in developing Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter jet, and said the $398.6 billion program still had "major problems."

McCain, a key member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he had long been troubled by the Pentagon's payment of 85-percent or higher award fees to Lockheed on the F-35 program despite cost increases and schedule delays, adding the background to those decisions was "disturbing."

Former Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter last month said the Pentagon's F-35 program manager told him he had kept the fees high because he liked the Lockheed executive in charge, and the company official had said he would be fired if the fees fell below 85 percent.

Carter, who was the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer at the time, made the remarks at a university event on May 16 and they were reported by InsideDefense.com on May 30.

“This is, of course, totally unacceptable. It is the kind of cronyism that should make us all vigilant against, as President Eisenhower warned us over 50 years ago, the military-industrial complex," McCain said in a speech on the Senate floor on Monday.

Carter did not name the people involved but said the F-35 program manager was fired. Then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates fired Brigadier General David Heinz, the two-star Marine Corps general who was running the F-35 program at the time, in February 2010 and elevated the job to the three-star level.

Lockheed later announced the departure of Dan Crowley, who was the company's F-35 program manager at the time. Lockheed declined comment on Monday.

McCain said the incident raised questions about why award fees were included in the initial F-35 contract in 2001, and why senior officials overseeing the program had not questioned the level of the fees given cost and schedule problems.

He said it also highlighted the importance of giving federal acquisition officials the tools they needed to avert the "unwarranted influence" of contractors on government programs.

McCain said the F-35, the Pentagon's largest weapons program, continued to face major challenges despite a recent report from the Government Accountability Office, which said it was "moving in the right direction."

"This is clearly a program that has had and continues to have major problems," McCain said, citing mandatory inspections ordered last week of all F-35 jets after an oil leak caused an in-flight emergency at a Marine Corps based in Arizona.

Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's current acquisition chief, last week highlighted the importance of incentive fees in structuring contracts, but rejected the use of "one size fits all" policies on contracts since each deal was unique. He said training acquisition workers was critical.

McCain also said was skeptical about letting acquisition officials decide which contract structure was "appropriate" in the absence of effective guidance and training.
Title: Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
Post by: GTX on June 24, 2014, 11:23:06 am
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Some Eglin F-35A Operations Suspended Following Plane Fire<