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Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic

jeffb

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Hmmm, can't help wondering how much China and/or Russia would pay for a working F-35? Shades of Viktor Belenko maybe?
 

Grey Havoc

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Unlikely, though stranger things have happened...
 

TomS

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That's the emphasis of the headline writer, not the actual remarks. If you look at what was actually asked and answered in the press conference, it was whether the US and Japan have concerns that "either Russia or China" could recover the aircraft, and the response from the US and Japanese secretaries was that they are confident that "we" will recover it.
 

SpudmanWP

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They have been doing quite well since the rebaseline of 2012.

The core issue is that LM is trying to plan out many years into the future (along with all of the subs) but the USAF & Congress keep messing with the schedule. Then LMis blamed for not meeting cost targets based on those same previous build rates.
 

SpudmanWP

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The F-35A stealth fighter that crashed off the coast of Japan has been found, and recovery efforts are underway, a U.S. Air Force commander said Monday.
"The aircraft's been located. ... It's now in the recovery aspect," said Charles Brown, four-star general and commander of the Pacific Air Forces, in a briefing for reporters in New York.
https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-relations/Crashed-F-35A-fighter-jet-located-US-says

... maybe not

But later in the day, Colonel John Hutcheson, the director of public affairs at U.S. Forces Japan, contacted the Nikkei Asian Review and said "the aircraft has not been located at the bottom of the sea. The U.S. military is still working with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force to locate the wreckage."
 
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SpudmanWP

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First F-35A Combat Op.

SOUTHWEST ASIA --
Two U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft conducted an air strike at Wadi Ashai, Iraq, in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve on April 30.

This strike marked the F-35A’s first combat employment.

The F-35As conducted the airstrike using a Joint Direct Attack Munition to strike an entrenched Daesh tunnel network and weapons cache deep in the Hamrin Mountains, a location able to threaten friendly forces.

“We have the ability to gather, fuse and pass so much information, that we make every friendly aircraft more survivable and lethal,” said Lt. Col. Yosef Morris, 4th Fighter Squadron commander and F-35A pilot. “That, combined with low-observable technology, allows us to really complement any combined force package and be ready to support AOR contingencies.”

The F-35As, recently deployed from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, joined the Combined Forces Air Component team in the U.S. Central Command area of operations on April 15. This marks the F-35A’s third deployment and first to the CENTCOM AOR. In preparation for deployment, crews prepared and trained on the aircraft for the AFCENT mission.

“We have been successful in two Red Flag exercises, and we’ve deployed to Europe and Asia,” said Morris. “Our Airmen are ready and we’re excited to be here.” Red Flag is the U.S. Air Force’s premier air-to-air combat training exercise which includes U.S. and allied nations’ combat air forces.

There are many Airmen ensuring the planes are ready for their combat missions.

“This jet is smarter, a lot smarter, and so it can do more, and it helps you out more when loading munitions,” said Staff Sgt. Karl Tesch, 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons technician.

A central tenant to the F-35A’s design is its ability to enhance other battlefield assets. In this case, the aircraft joins the Combined Joint airpower team already in place to maintain air superiority and deliver war-winning airpower.

“The F-35A has sensors everywhere, it has advanced radar, and it is gathering and fusing all this information from the battlespace in real time,” said Morris. “Now it has the ability to take that information and share it with other F-35s or even other fourth generation aircraft in the same package that can also see the integrated picture.”
 

SpudmanWP

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Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

ARLINGTON, Va. — The builder of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter has designed a new weapons rack to enable the aircraft to carry two more missiles internally.

The new rack, called Sidekick, enables each of the two weapons bays of the Air Force F-35A and Navy carrier-capable F-35C to carry three AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) instead of the current two, for a total of six internally carried AMRAAMs.

Speaking May 1 to reporters at a Lockheed Martin media briefing, a company F-35 test pilot, Tony ‘Brick’ Wilson, said the rack was developed entirely with company internal research and development funds.

The rack is not compatible with the vertical lift Marine Corps F-35B version, which has smaller weapons bay.

The F-35 can carry more AMRAAMs on external pylons, but Wilson pointed out that carrying two more internally preserves the stealth characteristics of the F-35.

“The extra missiles add a little weight but are not adding extra drag,” Wilson said.

Wilson also said the company is working on integrating hypersonic weapons capability on the F-35.

He also said the company, working with the Air Force Research Lab, has developed and installed on the F-35A — six years ahead of schedule — the Auto Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS).

The AGCAS has “saved eight pilots’ lives,” Wilson said. He said the AGCAS will be installed later on the F-35B and on the F-35C in 2021.


https://seapowermagazine.org/lockheed-develops-rack-to-make-f-35a-c-a-six-shooter/
 

Colonial-Marine

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Good news. Yet for the B variant I the weapon bay was just reduced in length and not in width or height? If that's the case shouldn't a similar setup be possible for the F-35B?
 

SpudmanWP

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The two AMRAAMs would need to be staggered, one in front of the other. This extra length would likely be the reason why the B (in its current config) cannot use the Sidekick rack.
 

LowObservable

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From AW&ST:

“What we’ve done is essentially completed trade studies, design and development” of Sidekick, a Lockheed spokesman added. “What is left to be fielded would be things like software integration, weapons separation testing, flight testing and airworthiness testing.”

So, all that's left to do to fulfill this 12-year-old promise is just the expensive, difficult and risky stuff, which LM has so far failed to sell to the JPO or the customer at large.
 

SpudmanWP

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More money is spent on the design & development than than software & drop tests.

It's not up to LM to "sell" the JPO on the need of Sidekick. Since it was not part of 3F, it would obviously have to wait till Block 4 to implement and has been labeled as such for over 10 years. That's why the quote that started the latest talk about it came and a Block 4 briefing.
 

zebra159357

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"NORTH PACIFIC – A U.S. Navy salvage team aboard a contracted vessel completed its mission supporting search and recovery operations with the Japan Self-Defense Forces after locating debris from the downed JASDF F-35A off the coast of Japan, May 8.
Working closely with JSDF forces, the salvage team deployed a U.S. Navy remotely operated vehicle, CURV 21, to survey the area where debris was located.
Prior to the salvage team mission, guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) and multiple P-8A Poseidon aircraft joined JSDF-led search efforts from Apr. 9-17, covering more than 5,000 square nautical miles.
The aircraft first went missing 85 miles east of Misawa Air Base, Apr. 9.
The U.S. Navy’s thoughts continue to be with the pilot's family, friends and colleagues.
The close coordination and cooperation between the U.S. military and JSDF during this operation serves as a reflection of a strong Alliance, forged over decades of mutual support and friendship."


https://www.c7f.navy.mil/Media/News/Display/Article/1841414/us-navy-concludes-support-to-jsdf-led-search-and-recovery-efforts-for-f-35a/
 

SpudmanWP

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Canada Blinked...

The Canadian government will allow a “flexible approach” in determining industrial benefits for the new fighter jet program, making way for Lockheed Martin and the U.S. government to bid on the project.
More at the JUMP
 

SpudmanWP

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The USAF is standing up an Aggressor Unit manned with 11x F-35s. They will arrive in 2022 at Nellis AFB (Hello Red Flag)


They are going to use early Lot jets from Eglin AFB.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson states:

"This move will allow us to repurpose {9} early production F-35s to help train Airmen for the high end fight."
9 jets would cover most of Lots 2 & 3 (6 & 7 F-35As respectively) plus an additional 2 from an unknown source gets to the 11.
 

SpudmanWP

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SpudmanWP

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John Venable writes a well done status report, from the perspective of experienced pilots and maintainers, of the F-35 and its strengths & challenges. It is long but well worth the read.

The U.S. Air Force’s first F-35A fighter wing is now fully operational. The road to this point has been filled with insights on the aircraft, simulator, maintenance and logistical support, and operations that will apply to any service or nation flying the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). This assessment is based on interviews with 30 F-35A combat pilots as well as senior operations and maintenance leaders at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. It follows a similar assessment from 2016 of 31 other highly experienced former fourth-generation fighter pilots, who were then flying the F-35A at two other Air Force locations. The collective perspectives confirm that, while the JSF is still several years away from realizing its full potential, even now, the F-35A is the most dominant and lethal multi-role aircraft in the world.
Web: https://www.heritage.org/defense/report/the-f-35a-fighter-the-most-dominant-and-lethal-multi-role-weapons-system-the-world
PDF: https://www.heritage.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/BG3406.pdf

BG-F35-2019-CHARTS-page1[1].gif

BG-F35-2019-TABLES-page2[1].gif
 

Deltafan

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SpudmanWP

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Except that LM was projecting an $80 mil FY2020 pricetag before the F-15EX was a thing.

tglv7jo[1].png

chart3_lmt-jan-2017-conf-call-webcharts-web[1].jpg
 
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SpudmanWP

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Here is a followup to the Heritage.org report.

 

LowObservable

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"News only"?

In what sense is it "news" that Heritage issues a pro-F-35 screed? After all, this is the lobbying group that short-listed a LockMart executive for president two years ago.
 

TomcatViP

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I am quite tired of those that make polemics an art like we have Fart artist. We are years past the point where F-35 success presented a risk. Get it over guys.

Anyhow, this interview presents some great point of interest. It's pedagogic and interesting and, yes, don't even shy at pointing at some of the point that should be improved in such a complex system as a next gen fighter jet. Don't listen to those that says otherwise. It's worth taking the time to get through the 90min of it.
 
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LowObservable

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I am quite tired of those that make polemics an art like we have Fart artist.

What on Earth are you talking about? What does Gov. LePetomane have to do with this?

We are years past the point where F-35 success presented a risk.

Again, what on Earth.... Success is not a risk. And if you're arguing that there are no further uncertainties in the F-35 program, you're arguing against the USAF's leadership.

By the way, a comparison chart of maneuvering characteristics that includes the A-10, and then rolls the A-10 into a supposed "overall rating", is idiotic.
 

marauder2048

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By the way, a comparison chart of maneuvering characteristics that includes the A-10, and then rolls the A-10 into a supposed "overall rating", is idiotic.
After all, why would instantaneous g performance at cruise be an important metric of merit for an attack aircraft?
 

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SpudmanWP

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Heritage issues a pro-F-35 screed
That just proves you neither read the report nor watched the video.

Mods: Can we please have the "F-35 Discussion" thread back so that we don't keep cluttering up the "news" thread talking about the "news"?
 

Colonial-Marine

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By the way, a comparison chart of maneuvering characteristics that includes the A-10, and then rolls the A-10 into a supposed "overall rating", is idiotic.
Seems like the A-10 is directly compared to the F-35 any time when there is an argument to be made in favor of the A-10 regardless of the obvious differences in the role they were designed for. Hence why the gun armament is frequently compared.
 

LowObservable

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I know it's "news only" but as for this particular comment...

After all, why would instantaneous g performance at cruise be an important metric of merit for an attack aircraft?

Of course it might be. But in the case of A-X it was traded against the ability to carry a permanently installed anti-tank cannon, low-altitude turn radius and time, and loiter performance.
 

Dragon029

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In short; Japan's going to lift the grounding order and continue operations; debris was found as mentioned previously, but they're going to rely on that limited debris, as well as data sent via MADL to wingmen, and on ground radar tracks to try and determine the cause of the incident.
 
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