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Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic

Dragon029

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The Japanese Ministry of Defense have posted their official report on the crash:

https://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/houdou/H31/20190610.pdf

I'm attaching two documents; the first is a raw Google translation of the report's text (created using Google Translate's 'translate document' function):

The second document is my semi-manual English interpretation of the report - I do not speak / read Japanese, but what I've done is used Google translate on paragraphs, individual sentences, phrases and even words or characters to get a better understanding of what the actual meaning is behind the Japanese text, then I've re-written it in English as closely as possible while maintaining half-decent grammar and edited it back into the original PDF, including with the graphics on the last 2 pages:

In short, the F-35A had just killed 2 targets during air-to-air training and had radioed "21 (his aircraft code), 2 kills". A US military aircraft (type not disclosed) was flying nearby at 37,000ft however, so air traffic control orders the F-35A to descend to increase separation. The pilot replies with "Yes. Roger that" but is now in a slight left turn and has a serious descent rate (around 820ft/s). About 20 seconds later, ground control asks him to further separate by performing a left turn, to which the pilot changes heading by about 100 degrees and replies calmly with a "Yes, Knock it off". At this point he's at about 15,500ft and still descending. For the next 15 seconds the jet is descending at about 1000ft/s (factoring in his horizontal velocity he would have been travelling at near Mach 1), up until radar / data link contact is lost at <1000ft from the surface and the plane hits the water moments later.

Because the pilot was awake and replied with "Yes, knock it off" in a calm manner after that left turn (and didn't communicate anything else), the Japanese MoD believes that it was spatial disorientation and not G-LOC or a problem with the jet's engine, controls or electrical systems in general. That said, they will be educating their pilots on G-LOC and performing special inspections on the jets just in case (a false instrument reading might possibly resulted in the spatial disorientation).
 

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Foo Fighter

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Japanese language version. Not the most informative. Sorry.
 

seruriermarshal

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Lockheed Martin Comments on Defense News Reporting
Lockheed Martin // June 12, 2019

Below, please find comments from Lockheed Martin on improvements underway addressing the items identified in Defense News’ June 12 article series.
Overall Comment
The F-35s today are meeting or exceeding performance specifications and delivering unprecedented capability and safety compared to legacy fighter aircraft. The feedback we receive from F-35 pilots is exceptional – and any pilot who has flown a legacy jet consistently relays back that if they are being sent in to harm’s way – they want the F-35, every time.
These issues are important to address, and each is well understood, already resolved or on a near term path to resolution. We’ve worked collaboratively with our customers and we are fully confident in the F-35’s performance and the solutions in place to address each of the items identified.
ALIS Sovereign Data Management
ALIS meets data sovereignty requirements. Late last year, some customers requested that the F-35 enterprise develop additional capability to enable more data control.
We rolled out the additional Sovereign Data Management tool to international F-35 operators earlier this year, which allows them to manage aspects of their data that is sent to the F-35 Hybrid Production Support Integration (HPSI) team – and early feedback from the fleet is positive. It is also important to note that this has no impact to mission performance or safety of flight.
Part Inventory Data
This is a major focus at Lockheed Martin and we are implementing several actions including automation and enhanced supplier accountability processes that are delivering improved performance. Through automation, data is now vetted and validated automatically versus manually, improving speed and ensuring accurate EEL information is present before a part is delivered to the flight line.
With these new actions and related efforts, we’ve seen a 50 percent reduction in EEL and other action requests since 2017. We are confident this is on a path to resolution, which will reduce maintenance times and increase readiness rates. It is also important to note that this has no impact to mission performance or safety of flight.

Cockpit Pressurization

The cabin pressure performance today meets the specified requirement. There have been no reported cases of barotrauma in the fleet and our joint government and industry analysis shows that risk of barotrauma is minimal and that there is no imminent safety issue.The enterprise is always reviewing pilot experience improvements and we have an update that performed successfully in lab testing and will now be flight tested for future integration, based on customer timing priorities.

Cold Weather Battery Performance

This was identified during extreme cold weather testing at negative 30 degrees or below at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska in February 2018. The probability of the issue reoccurring on aircraft in the operational fleet is very low and with minimal impact to safety of flight or operational performance.
We have developed an update to the software and the battery’s heater control system to resolve this issue – and this updated software is available for users today to load on their aircraft in the event they will be conducting extreme cold weather operations. This will also cut into production in the 2021 timeframe. We are confident this is on a path to resolution.
F-35B and F-35C Horizontal Tail Durability at Sustained Supersonic Flight
The F-35B and C deliver on all performance requirements. The potential for tailboom or horizontal tail damage during prolonged supersonic speeds was found in the highest extremes of flight testing conditions that are unlikely replicated in operational scenarios. In fact, there have been no cases of this issue occurring in the operational fleet. Additionally, this is not identified as a safety of flight concern.
We implemented a change to the coatings on the horizontal tails and tail boom beginning in Lot 8 that increases durability and resolves this concern. This update allows the F-35B and C to deliver on all performance requirements with no tail boom or horizontal tail damage concerns.
F-35B and F-35C Angle of Attack (AOA)
We’ve implemented an update to the flight control system that is planned for integration in the third quarter of this year – and we expect this item to be resolved or downgraded.
Hydraulic Lines Ruptures Caused by Blown Tires
The F-35 has two redundant hydraulic lines and there has never been a case of both lines being impacted, which ensures safe operations. Brake control software updates and pilot training have alleviated this concern and resulted in a significant drop in blown tire events. Additionally, we made minor adjustments to the location placement of hydraulic lines on the F-35C that has resolved the potential for line breaks.
We believe the item is resolved and are standing by for additional customer feedback.
Helmet “Green Glow”
The U.S. Navy continues to fly with their current helmet, demonstrating their confidence in the system, and pilots with greater than 50 night landings operate with the current Gen II helmet at night. The improved Gen III helmet has already been designed, tested and is now being qualified for use. The first few of these new helmets have been delivered and we anticipate the upgraded helmets will resolve both the green glow and night vision conditions identified.
Additionally, as camera and OLED technology advances rapidly, we expect the F-35 helmet to continue to deliver unprecedented levels of situational awareness for pilots and only improve further over time.
Radar Sea Search
The F-35’s current radar sea search function meets the enterprises’ required specification.As we modernize the F-35, we are bringing enhanced search capabilities, which represent an increase from the original requirements, and we stand ready to integrate the upgrade in the future, based on customer priorities and direction.
Thrust limits on hot days
We are supporting the Joint Program Office and Pratt and Whitney, and they can best address questions related to the F-35’s engine, which is Government Furnished Equipment to Lockheed Martin.

 

SpudmanWP

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"Hidden" Issues.. not so hidden :rolleyes:

Lockheed: Reported Deficiencies in F-35 Already Fixed or Being Resolved
Lockheed Martin took the unusual step June 12 of issuing a point-by-point rebuttal of a press report describing deficiencies with the F-35 family of aircraft.
The company claimed that deficiency issues identified in reporting by Defense News on June 12 are each “well understood, already resolved or on a near-term path to resolution.” The company said it has “worked collaboratively with our customers” on the issues and “are fully confident in the F-35’s performance and the solutions in place to address each of the items identified.”

The Defense News stories, timed to coincide with the F-35 CEO meeting in Arlington, Va., collected deficiency reports harvested from internal Joint Program Office and Pentagon documents, and combined these with reporting on other deficiencies identified by Pentagon test organizations. Some of the problems noted had been discussed publicly, and in Government Accountability Office audits, while others had not. The reports largely go back to late 2018 and early 2019, when the F-35 had just begun Initial Operational Test and Evaluation, the graduation exercise that will allow it to progress to the next program milestone.

...

Lockheed Martin addressed ten deficiencies in its rebuttal, the majority of which affect only the Marine Corps F-35B and Navy F-35C. One was that there’s no way to prevent user data about foreign F-35s from migrating back to the US through the Autonomic Logistics Information System, or ALIS, which aggregates worldwide maintenance and parts information to detect trends and anticipate parts and service needs. Lockheed said “ALIS meets sovereignty requirement,” but that some customers, late in 2019, asked for “more data control capability.” It said it had deployed a new Sovereign Data Management Tool to control some of the data sent to the common database, “and early feedback from the fleet is positive.”

More at the JUMP
 

Grey Havoc

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The US has already halted delivery of equipment related to the F-35 programme to Turkey and there will be industrial implications as well.

Turkey is a partner in the programme manufacturing some elements of the aircraft and designated as one of several maintenance sites for its engines. Some 937 separate parts for the F-35 are manufactured in Turkey, about 400 of which are made exclusively there. The US is already taking steps to source these parts elsewhere. Turkey is effectively being frozen out of the F-35 project, although US officials insist that all of this is reversible if Turkey changes its mind.
 

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@8.00, about the partnership with Airbus on tanking capabilities: "we see the future of mobility market as well"... Wait, what ?!!
 

Grey Havoc

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The U.S. has threatened to end Turkey’s participation in the F-35 fighter program by July 31 if Ankara doesn’t scrap the S-400 deal. Turkey could separately face sanctions under two pieces of legislation that allow punishment of entities doing business with parts of the Russian state. Major Turkish defense contractors could be cut off from the U.S. financial system and virtually barred from buying American components or selling their products in the U.S.
 

SpudmanWP

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The F-22 & F-35 will miss the 80% MC Rate mandate by FY2019, F-16 & F-18 should make it.

The F-35 issue is specifically tied to the canopy and it's related part/repair shortage.

Prepared Q&A for confirmation session in the Senate.

Q: In September 2018, then-Secretary of Defense Mattis ordered the Air Force and Navy to increase mission capable rates for the F-35, F-22, F-16, and F-18 inventories to above 80 percent by the end of September 2019. In addition, Secretary Mattis directed the Military Services to achieve demonstrable reductions in operating and maintenance costs on all four platforms, beginning in FY 2019.

What progress has the Department made in increasing mission capable rates and decreasing costs for all four platforms?


The Air Force has improved mission-capable rates for the F-16 fleet by increasing parts supplies and adding maintenance shifts, and is expected to meet the 80 percent goal. The F-22 fleet is still challenged by the lack of low-observable maintenance capacity, exacerbated by the extreme damage at Tyndall Air Force Base from the effects of Hurricane Michael. Although F-22 mission-capable rates are improving, the fleet is not expected to achieve the 80 percent goal this year. Improving mission capable rates for both fleets required additional funding investment for this fiscal year. The Navy is on track to meet its FY19 goal of 80 percent mission capable F/A-18 E/F and EA-18G by September 2019. Aircrew qualifications (flight hour execution) hit a high for FY19 in May. To meet the 80% goal and readiness recovery objectives, the Navy has taken the following actions: established Maintenance Operations Center (MOC) to coordinate maintenance activities and optimize resources; instituted Organizational-level and Depot-level (Fleet Readiness Center) reforms improving the processes for 150-Day and 80-Day periodic inspections; improved maintenance squadron manning (fit, fill, and experience level) and improved processes for component production; instituted supply chain reform eliminating issues driven by fragmentation of data across multiple sources/functions; and coordinated deployment of engineering and supply chain resources to address top-degraders.

The F-35 fleet is not expected to make the 80 percent goal. Transparency (canopy) supply shortages continue to be the main obstacle to achieving this. We are seeking additional sources to fix unserviceable canopies.

Q: If confirmed, specifically what would you do to expedite progress toward achieving the goals set by Secretary Mattis?

I understand the Air Force is examining and investing in a number of commercial best practices, such as conditions-based maintenance, to increase mission capability rates, improve readiness, and reduce sustainment costs across all aircraft fleets. If confirmed, I intend to press for higher mission
 

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Flyaway

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I don’t think they could have made any other decision.
 

Deino

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The official statement

image_263238.png
 

Foo Fighter

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I wonder how much information on the S-400 system has/will be passed on the the US.
 

r16

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well , this being news only , but Lockheed Martin Corporation must be proud in choice of its allies one of whom declares with "New Turkey" out of the programme each plane will become 7 to 8 million dollars more expensive . The guy is the official who's top of those who are working in "Defence" . If anywhere near true , the said Corporation will also remember to show some love to its fan base , especially here , but you didn't hear it from me .
 

NUSNA_Moebius

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I wonder how much information on the S-400 system has/will be passed on the the US.
What is a loss in PR will definitely be made up in SIGINT and data gathered. I wonder if Russia really weighed the risk in this case, but this could secure them more orders and a closer relationship with a new potential ally.
 

kitnut617

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I wonder how much information on the S-400 system has/will be passed on the the US.
What is a loss in PR will definitely be made up in SIGINT and data gathered. I wonder if Russia really weighed the risk in this case, but this could secure them more orders and a closer relationship with a new potential ally.
I wonder if Turkey has been sold a 'dumbed down' version of the S-400, I can't imagine Russia not being aware of the west trying to get their hands on one.
 

TAOG

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Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $34,670,000 undefinitized cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to develop and deliver an engineering change proposal to enable the production cut-in of the Fuselage Station 425 (fs425) Bulkhead structural modification required for F-35A and F-35C to allow full-envelope internal carriage of aft heavy weaponry.


Picture from the "F-35 Weapons Design Integration".
 

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TAOG

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Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $34,670,000 undefinitized cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to develop and deliver an engineering change proposal to enable the production cut-in of the Fuselage Station 425 (fs425) Bulkhead structural modification required for F-35A and F-35C to allow full-envelope internal carriage of aft heavy weaponry.


Picture from the "F-35 Weapons Design Integration".


According to Steve Trimble's report, a source close to program tells him this modification is aimed to make the AARGM-ER and SiAW can be carried internally by F-35 A/C. Also, this is a necessary modification to implement the Sidekick concept.
 
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