Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic

sferrin

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kaiserd said:
sferrin said:
GTX said:
It has long been speculated that Singapore would buy F-35s. It is also speculated likely to be F-35Bs.
I'm wondering if South Korea will do a Japan and put F-35Bs on flat tops.
The equivalent Japanese ships are substantially larger with room for larger air wings and support.
While it’s very likely the Korean ships could carry and operate the F-35B that would have to be very small numbers and potentially could limit their helicopter complement to the point of having not enough of either.
Especially when taking into account everything that has to be brought along to sustain operations.

However a relatively token F-35B deployment aboard what historicaly would have been considered light carriers may become a new fashion for countries in the region with regional power aspirations.

The likes of India could (and have) done worse.

And it had been my understanding that Singapore’s interest in the F-35B was more related to concepts of dispersed deployment of them away from their small in number major airbases due to concerns related to their almost complete lack of strategic depth and potential vulnerability to first strikes.
Or they could build larger ships. I don't necessarily mean exactly like Japan, and put F-35s on existing ships, but maybe put something into service that's large enough for the task. I know Japan has been eye-balling the USS Wasp class pretty hard. (Not saying they'd buy some, but I would not be at all surprised to see them build something larger than the Izumos.
 

Hood

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Japan is reviewing indigenous F-35 production to evaluate potential production cost savings.
One option is to acquire all the second batch of 105 F-35s from the Fort Worth line. The Nagoya line will probably keep going another 4-5 years to complete its original 38 aircraft order.

What does this mean for F-3? In theory the production capacity could be available at Nagoya, but if the government is looking to save costs on the F-35 order then it opens questions as to whether it can realistically afford to develop and build the F-3 alone.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/tokyo-casts-frugal-eye-over-domestic-f-35-productio-455175/
 

sferrin

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Thought this was interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCEfMRiXSJM
 

SpudmanWP

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'Lethal' F-35A heading to Red Flag 19-1

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- --
Pilots and maintainers from the 388th Fighter Wing are bringing the F-35A and ‘increased lethality’ as they take a lead role in Red Flag 19-1 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada,

From Jan. 26 - Feb. 15, approximately 200 Airmen from Hill AFB, including reservists from the 419th Fighter Wing, will participate in what is known as the Air Force’s premier combat training exercise.

The 388th FW debuted the F-35A Lightning II at Red Flag in 2017 and came away with a 20:1 kill ratio. The jet is even more capable now, pilots say.

“We have an upgraded software suite that has improved our sensor fusion. We’ve got an expanded flying envelope with more maneuverability. We have the ability to employ more weapons, including the 25-mm cannon,” said Lt. Col. Yosef Morris, 4th Fighter Squadron commander. “When you couple those things with the two years we’ve had to improve our tactics, we’re bringing a much more lethal F-35A to this Red Flag and ultimately to the battlefield.”
More at the JUMP

https://www.acc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1740800/lethal-f-35a-heading-to-red-flag-19-1/
 

LowObservable

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When you've been in development for 22 years and "lethal" is still in quotes.... ;D
 

SpudmanWP

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Does that mean that the Eurofighter, Rafale, and F-22 are no longer lethal?
 

sferrin

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LowObservable said:
When you've been in development for 22 years and "lethal" is still in quotes.... ;D
That would explain why countries keep buying Eurocanards instead of F-35s. Oh, wait. . .
 

SpudmanWP

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Triton said:
LowObservable said:
When you've been in development for 22 years and "lethal" is still in quotes.... ;D
Haven't the Israelis flown their F-35s into combat?
Yes, as have the USMC.

btw, we're straying off the "news only" path.

Please, see Reply #1512
 

marauder2048

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LowObservable said:
When you've been in development for 22 years and "lethal" is still in quotes.... ;D

I'm with LO: single quotation marks in headlines are an archaic holdover from
printed media and can imply a paraphrase when this was clearly a direct quote
worthy of double quotation marks.

And I don't care what the AP Manual says.
 

LowObservable

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Btw, official dev did not start till 2001 as X-35 and X-32 were tech demonstrators, not "prototypes".

Factual correction: The X-35 and X-32 were, from Nov 1996 onward, part of a well-defined formal development program that was unambiguously planned to continue through to procurement, as is made abundantly clear here:

http://archive.defense.gov/Transcripts/Transcript.aspx?TranscriptID=3814
 

sferrin

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LowObservable said:
Btw, official dev did not start till 2001 as X-35 and X-32 were tech demonstrators, not "prototypes".

Factual correction: The X-35 and X-32 were, from Nov 1996 onward, part of a well-defined formal development program that was unambiguously planned to continue through to procurement, as is made abundantly clear here:

http://archive.defense.gov/Transcripts/Transcript.aspx?TranscriptID=3814
However they were much further from production aircraft than say a YF-16 was to an F-16A, hence the "X" designations.
 

LowObservable

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Interesting...

In his first press conference since assuming the role of acting secretary of defense, Shanahan called concerns about him favoring Boeing "just noise."

"I am biased towards performance," he said. "I am biased towards giving the taxpayer their money's worth. The F-35, unequivocally I can say, has a lot of opportunity for more performance."


https://www.investors.com/news/secretary-of-defense-shanahan-boeing-bias-lockheed-f35-troops-colombia/
 

sferrin

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LowObservable said:
Interesting...

In his first press conference since assuming the role of acting secretary of defense, Shanahan called concerns about him favoring Boeing "just noise."

"I am biased towards performance," he said. "I am biased towards giving the taxpayer their money's worth. The F-35, unequivocally I can say, has a lot of opportunity for more performance."


https://www.investors.com/news/secretary-of-defense-shanahan-boeing-bias-lockheed-f35-troops-colombia/
Considering what F-35 pilots say about it, that's saying something about it's potential.
 

sferrin

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LowObservable said:
"Performance". At least in this context...
I see what you're saying (that's what I get for reading one line out of context) but then he also thinks the X-32 would have been better, which was demonstrably false.
 

SpudmanWP

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Given Boeing's record on the "should have been a no-brainier" KC-46, saying that they could have done JSF better is utter BS.
 

SpudmanWP

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The 2018 DOT&E report is out
http://www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/FY2018/pdf/dod/2018f35jsf.pdf

Takeaways:
1. Only 14 pages compared to last year's 30 and 2016's 60+
2. 90% of 2017's "Open Deficiencies" closed leaving ~100 (15 Class 1) as of May 2018
3. F-35A's gun has alignment issues but the F-35B/C does not
4. Very few aircraft-specific issues mentioned as most of the report focused on supporting systems (ALIS, MDL, Parts & Depots, etc)

Here are the report recommendations:

• The program should:
1. Continue to work with the Services to prioritize and correct the remaining Category 1 and 2 deficiencies discovered during SDD.
2. Apply lessons learned from SDD and other programs for scoping the amount of C2D2 testing that can be done in laboratories and simulations, compared with the need for flight testing.
3. Reassess the C2D2 plan to ensure adequate test infrastructure (labs, aircraft, and time) is provided and modifications are aligned with other fielding requirements.
4. Assess the annual cost of software sustainment.
5. Determine the cause of the accuracy problems with the F-35A gun firing and implement a solution for increasing gun accuracy for the fielded aircraft.
6. Develop a consolidated and adequate ALIS test venue to ensure ALIS capabilities are fully tested prior to fielding to operational units
7. Conduct a study to determine the optimum balance of additional spare parts procurement versus adding depot capacity to repair spare parts, in order to decrease the percentage of NMC aircraft waiting for spare parts.
8. Continue implementing measures to improve fleet availability.
9. Make actual aircraft or appropriate hardware- and software-in-the-loop facilities available to enable operationally representative air vehicle cyber testing.
10. Continue conducting periodic rounds of cybersecurity testing and correcting open cyber deficiencies.
11. Continue testing the integrity and security of the JSF supplychain, expanding on initial testing conducted in 2018.
• The JPO should:
1. Complete contracting actions to procure a second F-35B ground test article in order to complete at least two lifetimes of structural durability testing to validate the wing-carrythrough structure.
2. Fund and contract for the 16-20 recommended signal generators called for in the JPO’s own 2014 gap analysis study.
3. Fund and contract for the necessary hardware upgrades to the USRL to support Block 4 development and testing.
The whole "F-35B has 2100hrs of life" thing was taken out of context and only applies to early LRIP F-35Bs. The program already has plans to update them as needed.

Based on durability testing, the service life of early-production F-35B aircraft is well under the expected service life of 8,000 flight hours, and may be as low as 2,100 flight hours. Fleet F-35B aircraft are expected to start reaching their service life limit in CY26, based on design usage. The JPO will continue to use Individual Aircraft Tracking (IAT) of actual usage to help the Services project changes in timing for required repairs and modifications, and aid in Fleet Life Management.
 

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SpudmanWP

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It's going to be like this until they get the depots up and running and update the older jets.

This is what you get with a bunch of "Continuing Resolutions" rather than proper budgets.
 

sferrin

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LowObservable said:
Thanks for summary, Rosie. (As in "Rosie Scenario")

However....
What's the availability across the Typhoon fleet?
 

SpudmanWP

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The F-35 still has better availability than last year
 

sferrin

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LowObservable said:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism
I've noticed that is almost exclusively used by those who wish to accuse others while attempting to shield themselves from criticism for the same thing. Typhoon availability must be truly abysmal for you to avoid trumpeting it here. ;)

Joe: "You need to cut your grass."
Joe's Neighbor: "Uhm, yours is four feet high."
Joe: "OMFG WHATABOUTISM!!!"

::)
 

LowObservable

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The difference is that some people (including senior AF leaders and the SecDef) appear to have concerns relating to the ability to meet the goals of the NDS with the resources available, while others are interested in scoring debating points.

If you want to go and find foreign-aircraft availability data (in comparable format), knock yourself out, but it has less-than-the-cube-root-of-****-all to do with meeting the needs of the US forces, since nobody is saying that the USAF needs to go buy Typhoons.
 

sferrin

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LowObservable said:
The difference is that some people (including senior AF leaders and the SecDef) appear to have concerns relating to the ability to meet the goals of the NDS with the resources available, while others are interested in scoring debating points.

If you want to go and find foreign-aircraft availability data (in comparable format), knock yourself out, but it has less-than-the-cube-root-of-****-all to do with meeting the needs of the US forces, since nobody is saying that the USAF needs to go buy Typhoons.
And nobody is disputing that the F-35 might have issues. However some, I won't say who, think the best thing Europe in general could do is follow Germany's lead and buy Typhoons instead of F-35s. (That the Hornet is the mix is a fig leaf for German politicians, nothing more.) So no, Typhoon availability rates, as they compare to the F-35, aren't exactly irrelevant.
 

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Many EU air forces fielding Eurocanards dream of availability rates above 60% or having short term realistic planning in effect to bring this to 80.
 

jeffb

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LowObservable said:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost#Loss_aversion_and_the_sunk_cost_fallacy
 

Grey Havoc

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https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/dote-delivers-another-scathing-report-on-f-35-progr-455483/
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/02/01/bad-data-in-f-35-logistics-system-resulting-in-lost-missions/

https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2019/01/31/germany-officially-knocks-f-35-out-of-competition-to-replace-tornado/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/02/01/uk-may-not-able-buy-new-fleet-f-35-fighter-jets-unless-black/


Overall, not a good week for the F-35 program.
 

Arjen

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From Aviation Week:
Structural redesigns, including a new approach for the wing-carry-through, had made BH-1 unrepresentative of the final production standard, the DOT&E report states. The F-35 program has obtained funding to acquire a new structural test article, but it was not yet on contract, the report adds. Bloomberg first reported the DOT&E’s findings on the F-35 program.
To assess the modified F-35B's service life limit, tests should be run on a more recent production aircraft. This has not happened yet, so statements about the modified B's service life limit should be treated with caution.
 

_Del_

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sferrin said:
And nobody is disputing that the F-35 might have issues. However some, I won't say who, think the best thing Europe in general could do is follow Germany's lead and buy Typhoons instead of F-35s. (That the Hornet is the mix is a fig leaf for German politicians, nothing more.) So no, Typhoon availability rates, as they compare to the F-35, aren't exactly irrelevant.
And say, didn't Germany decide some of its new Tiffs only had 1500 hrs of safe flying time on them due to rear fuselage issues production issues? Did that ever get satisfactorily resolved? Wouldn't that mean the limited number of affected B-models we're slamming still have 40% longer service life as is? I'm sure we could find the same voices discussing the Tiff availability and lifespan issues dripping with the same venom...
 

LowObservable

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Try as ever I can, I cannot discern the words Random Anti-Typhoon Biatch Session in the topic title.

Plainly my reading skills are up the spout today.
 

Hood

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Further to my random snippet about the RAF ditching 'II' from the aircraft's title, its been pointed out by those who more about RAF serial numbers than I do that the MOD have allocated serials to 'mirror' the English Electric Lightning F.1 allocations, but starting at ZM135 to omit the unfortunate XM134 which crashed after only a few years in service.
Who said nostalgia is dead eh?
 

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2019 flight demo practice session.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WOOmbMFA5A
 

sferrin

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For not having TVC the controllability shown there at 8:25 is pretty amazing.
 

Jeb

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sferrin said:
For not having TVC the controllability shown there at 8:25 is pretty amazing.
Impressive high alpha pass leading up to it, too.
 

sferrin

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogh9WB9XopA
 

SpudmanWP

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MORE Block 4 info

the last Block 3F software was delivered in December and the first Block 4 update is planned for April 2019.


MARCH 2019
JOHN A. TIRPAK
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Block 4 comprises some 53 improvements to counter both air- and ground-based threats emerging from China and Russia. None of these upgrades will change the aircraft’s outer appearance, or “mold line.” Instead, they are primarily new or enhanced features executed in software, which will be rolled out in stages, with updates every April and October starting in 2019 and continuing through at least 2024.

“Instead of doing two-year deliveries … we decided to go to a more continuous capability framework,” said Vice Adm. Mathias W. Winter, F-35 Program Executive Officer, in a December interview.

Now that Block 3F has been “verified and validated,” the Lightning II is a “mature” system, Winter said, and ready to accept “modernization, enhancement, and improvements.” Exactly how many early production F-35s will be upgraded to the 3F configuration may be revealed in the 2020 budget submission to Congress.

...

Handled at the squadron level, TR3 upgrades can be completed “in a couple of days,” Winter said. That’s in contrast to TR2 modifications that require depot-level installation of structural and component improvements.
a LOT more at the JUMP
http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/2019/March%202019/Keeping-the-F-35-Ahead-of-the-Bad-Guys.aspx

Parting thought... The pic above shows the JSM, SOM-J, SDB2, ASRRAM, and Meteor as 5 of the new Block 4 weapons. Thought on the other two?
 

TomS

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The article mentions JSOW C1 as another Block 4 weapon. It also mentions LRASM, but that may be a current capability, not new in Block 4.
 
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