Author Topic: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)  (Read 1399062 times)

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Online MarkOttawa

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4200 on: September 20, 2017, 13:26:50 »
Wonder if our gov't paying attention:

Quote
Pentagon’s F-35 deep dive to drive lower costs on block buy deal

The Pentagon’s director of defense pricing is helping the F-35 joint program office nail down a better deal on a block buy, the program head said Monday.

Earlier this year, Shay Assad, the official charged with scrutinizing the price of weapon programs, announced that his office would conduct a “deep dive” to find the “true cost” of the joint strike fighter. The effort would focus on delayering the supply chain and incentivizing second-tier suppliers onward to invest their own money to make production more efficient.

In an exclusive Sept. 18 interview with Defense News, Vice Adm. Mat Winter said Assad has already started making recommendations to the joint program office, or JPO, that are influencing contract negotiations, particularly the block buy that will encompass lots 12, 13 and 14...

Lockheed is set to submit its proposal in the spring or summer of 2018, but Winter wants to see it faster, he said.

Jeff Babione, Lockheed’s executive vice president for the F-35 program, said the company plans to present its block buy proposal early next year, and although he is optimistic on the timing, it will take a lot of work to finalize negotiations for three production batches...
https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/air-force-association/2017/09/20/pentagons-f-35-deep-dive-to-drive-lower-costs-on-block-buy-deal/

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4201 on: September 25, 2017, 17:24:50 »
Main IDF operational requirements rather different than RCAF's (NORAD):

Quote
Israeli lawmakers validate acquisition of 50 F-35s, but pledge stringent review before follow-on buys

Parliamentary findings released Monday on long-term planning within the Israeli military validated the nation’s need for 50 F-35 Adir fighter jets, yet urged a comprehensive review of alternatives — including drones and “other sources of precision fire” — before a government decision to purchase another 25 to 50 aircraft, as requested by the Israeli Air Force.

“The Adir is not just another platform, but brings new capabilities to the battlefield due to its stealth,” members of a parliamentary subcommittee found following a two-year review of the Israel Defense Forces‘ multiyear organization and spending plan.

In a section devoted to the Air Force, lawmakers noted that the F-35, “with all the existing limitations and against anti-aircraft missiles projected in the future, returns the Israel Air Force, through proper planning and with the recognition of its vulnerability points, to a capability for ‘stand-in’ operations.”

While lawmakers endorsed the government’s recent actions to acquire another 17 aircraft and thereby ensure two full stealth squadrons for the Air Force, they insisted follow-on purchases must be assessed in terms of how they contribute to national defense policy relative to alternatives.

Israel finalized last month an agreement with the U.S. government and F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin for another 17 planes. It was the third tranche of F-35 contracts, following an order for 19 aircraft in 2010 and another 14 F-35s in 2015.

“This does not detract from the vast professionalism of the Israel Air Force, but we cannot ignore the need to meticulously assess the face of the future, especially with regard to air combat platforms, which are so expensive, critical and [subject to] rapidly changing technologies,” subcommittee authors wrote.

Lawmakers said they intended to exercise their oversight role through a series of hearings on air-power alternatives aimed at influencing the IDF’s next five-year plan following the current plan, “Gideon,” which ends in 2020.

“The Committee will assess in depth ... the issue of Israeli rocket capabilities, and the potential for realistic and significant alternatives to the aerial option. The committee reasons that despite the proven capability of the Israel Air Force, it must seriously assess alternatives given future challenges and threats to the Air Force‘s ability to operate in any theater and under any conditions.”
https://www.defensenews.com/global/mideast-africa/2017/09/25/israeli-lawmakers-validate-acquisition-of-50-f-35s-but-pledge-stringent-review-before-follow-on-buys/

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4202 on: October 06, 2017, 14:15:46 »
Eielson AFB in interior near Fairbanks:

Quote
F-35A fighter jet coming to Alaskan Air Force base for testing

A fighter jet will be at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, for testing this month.

The F-35A Lighting II will be the first of its kind to visit Eielson, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported. It’s a multipurpose fighter plane designed to replace older fighters, including the U.S. Air Force’s F-16 Fighting Falcons, the A-10 Warthog, the Navy’s aircraft carrier-based F-18 Hornet and the Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harrier II.

The F-35 is the most expensive weapons program in U.S. history. Each one costs about $95 million. The U.S. plans to buy more than 2,400 of them and sell hundreds to allies.

Cmdr. David Mineau of the 354th Fighter Wing plans to talk with community leaders about the F-35A’s mission in Alaska in mid-October.

The planes will not be used by the two squadrons set to come to Eielson in 2020. Construction began during the summer to prepare for the arrival of the two squadrons, along with about 3,000 airmen and their families, civilian employees and contractors...
https://www.defensenews.com/training-sim/2017/10/06/f-35a-fighter-jet-coming-to-alaskan-air-force-base-for-testing/

Edit 1600: USAF has no current plans to use F-35A for NORAD role.

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« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 16:03:24 by MarkOttawa »
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4203 on: October 07, 2017, 11:14:31 »
Continuing confusion in Belgian new fighter competition (and what might France propose to Canada/Bombardier?):

Quote
Belgium eyes British, U.S. jets; French offer under legal scrutiny

Belgium has received proposals from Britain and the United States to replace its ageing fleet of fighter jets, while a French proposal that was not part of the tender process will be looked at separately, Belgium’s defense minister said.

Belgium invited government-led proposals in March for the replacement of its fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16 planes with 34 new fighters, in a deal that could be worth more than 3.5 billion euros ($4.2 billion).

Last month, France proposed a wide-ranging military deal with Belgium instead of responding to the tender. The deal goes beyond the terms of the tender whilst including the sale of Rafale fighter jets.

While the French offer would be discussed by the government, it could open Belgium to criticism that it was not treating candidates equally, Vandeput said.

“To be very clear, the French offer is not part of the contest,” minister Steven Vandeput told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday.

Offers from the U.S. for Lockheed F-35 Lightning II planes and British offers for the Eurofighter Typhoon did meet the tender rules, the minister added.

A spokeswoman for the defense ministry said the French proposal was being checked by its legal services and forwarded to the government which would decide at a later stage whether or not to respond.

The Rafales are made by France’s Dassault Aviation which declined to comment on Thursday.

Boeing pulled out of the race last spring...
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-belgium-military/belgium-eyes-british-u-s-jets-french-offer-under-legal-scrutiny-idUSKBN1CA1J5

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4204 on: October 18, 2017, 14:44:11 »
Interesting, if a S-200 was able to get a hit on the F35, that won't bode well for the F-35 rep. Even if it did not and it was a bird, chances are this story will dog them. If it was a missile hit, they won't be able to talk about it. A missile hit could be that the IDF was flying it like a previous generation aircraft and assumed it was not visible when it was. Also if there was a hit, you can bet that a lot of people will be scratching their heads on how and why. Meanwhile expect Russia to push the story to help sales of it's AD systems.

From a Canadian perspective, it might give the Libs a reason to delay any decision on the aircraft.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-is-hiding-the-fact-that-its-state-of-the-art-f-35-warplane-was-hit-by-syrian-s-200-missile-reports/5613807

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4205 on: October 18, 2017, 17:31:28 »
The source is not credible.

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4206 on: October 18, 2017, 18:35:43 »
It is also claiming a direct hit yet the plane made it home and the pilot survived.

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4207 on: October 18, 2017, 19:15:38 »
An SA-5?  Sure...

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4208 on: October 18, 2017, 19:26:08 »
Knowing even what little I know about both SA5s and F35s, there is no chance this story is even remotely true.

F35s are not invisible or magic, but I seriously doubt the Syrians tracked an F35, much less got a hit. Especially a direct hit.

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4209 on: October 18, 2017, 19:39:31 »
An SA-5?  Sure...

The SA-5 was introduced into Soviet service in 1966. Its been upgraded since then, but still its pretty well a museum piece. Plus, the Syrian SA-5 sites were located near Homs*, which is north of Lebanon and depending where the IAF aircraft were operating they might have been out of range of the SA-5.

Based on old maps from Google Earth. Possible they could have been moved, especially due to ongoing insurgency.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 19:42:08 by Retired AF Guy »
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4210 on: October 19, 2017, 08:59:21 »
On F-16.net they are saying it was a bird strike

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4211 on: October 19, 2017, 16:20:42 »
Big hmmm--UK MPs seem rather more on the ball than ours:

Quote
Yes, British F-35 engines must be sent to Turkey for overhaul
Also, the US negotiates fighter jet purchase contracts on our behalf

Britain’s F-35B fighter jets currently cost around $123m each – and British officials are quite content that the only engine overhaul facility for the stealth aircraft’s engines is located in Turkey.

The House of Commons’ Defence Committee questioned British ministers, civil servants and senior officers on the F-35 purchase programme, revealing that Britain is still publicly committed to buying 138 F-35Bs.

Speculation had mounted that Britain may not buy its full complement of the aircraft thanks to well-publicised holes in the defence budget, which – in a break with tradition – caused Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon to publicly call for a bigger defence budget.

The committee, consisting of mostly Conservative MPs along with a smattering of Labour MPs and sole representatives from each of Scotland’s SNP and Northern Ireland’s DUP, initially questioned executives from Lockheed Martin about the F-35. This, rather predictably, resulted in the execs insisting everything was fine with the F-35 – including questions over the aircraft’s handling in the transonic region, where it goes from sub-sonic flight to supersonic flight.

“All F-35 variants display objectionable or unacceptable flying qualities at transonic speeds, where aerodynamic forces on the aircraft are rapidly changing,” we reported the Straus Military Reform Project as saying in a report earlier this year.

Peter Ruddock, Lockheed’s UK chief exec, said in reply to the commitee's questions: “The problem here is the different parts of the aircraft become supersonic at different times and there's always a controllability issue with that. I've spoken to some of the test pilots involved … the quality of the handling is more than satisfactory or better throughout the flight regime.”..

The only other major item from the committee hearing, other than Labour MP Ruth Smeeth having a pop at DDC – the Ministry of Defence’s Directorate of Defence Communication, its spin doctor battalion – was SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes questioning Baldwin on engine overhauls. As El Reg reported last year, the Pratt and Whitney F135 engines of Britain’s frontline carrier fighter jets can only be overhauled in Turkey, by decree of the American Joint Project Office managing the F-35 project.

“In terms of the engine programme,” said Baldwin in response to Docherty-Hughes’ questions, “that will happen again within Turkey. I believe the warehousing [of other aircraft components] is happening in the Netherlands, and there’s a series of ongoing competitions. Turkey is a NATO country.”..
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/19/f35_fighter_engines_turkey_overhaul/

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4212 on: October 24, 2017, 12:55:56 »
GAO points out some F-35 challenges:

Quote
F-35s hobbled by parts shortages, slow repairs, audit finds

 The Pentagon is accelerating production of Lockheed Martin's F-35 jet even though the planes already delivered are facing "significantly longer repair times" than planned because maintenance facilities are six years behind schedule, according to a draft audit.

The time to repair a part has averaged 172 days — "twice the program's objective" — the Government Accountability Office, Congress's watchdog agency, found. The shortages are "degrading readiness" because the fighter jets "were unable to fly about 22 percent of the time" from January through August for lack of needed parts.

The Pentagon has said soaring costs to develop and produce the F-35, the costliest U.S. weapons system, have been brought under control, with the price tag now projected at $406.5 billion. But the GAO report raises new doubts about the official estimate that maintaining and operating them will cost an additional $1.12 trillion over their 60-year lifetime.

Already, the agency said in the draft obtained by Bloomberg News, the Defense Department "must stretch its resources to meet the needs of continued system development and production while at the same time sustain the more than 250 aircraft it has already fielded."

 Upkeep of the F-35 fleet will become more challenging as the Pentagon prepares for what the manager of the program has called a "tsunami" of new production toward an eventual planned U.S. fleet of 2,456 planes plus more than 700 additional planes to be sold to allies.

The F-35 program office and Lockheed have identified steps to increase parts availability "to prevent these challenges from worsening" as aircraft numbers increase, the GAO said, but Pentagon documentation indicates "the program's ability to speed up this time line is uncertain."

The GAO also disclosed that the F-35B — the Marine Corps version of the fighter that's scheduled to begin ship deployments next year — won't have required maintenance and repair capabilities at sea and "will likely experience degraded readiness."..
https://www.stripes.com/news/us/f-35s-hobbled-by-parts-shortages-slow-repairs-audit-finds-1.493991

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4213 on: October 24, 2017, 13:49:12 »
Whilst RAF has cyber worries:

Quote
RAF recruits cyber experts to probe planes' weaknesses

The Royal Air Force is recruiting cyber security experts to check its aircraft for weaknesses, amid fears hacking attacks on planes will play an increasing role in future conflict.

RAF commanders have been advertising for cyber experts to take jobs checking aircraft and their computer support systems for vulnerabilities.

Modern planes are increasingly reliant on online systems and connected both to each other and to systems on the ground, but these networks could be open to military hackers, aviation experts said.

The RAF has advertised for experienced computer security experts to carry out “cyber vulnerability analysis and investigations on air platforms and air systems” as part of 591 Signals Unit.

RAF sources said the work would include analysing attempts to hack into RAF systems.

Tim Robinson, editor-in-chief of Aerospace magazine, said: “It’s a growing battlespace in the aviation arena and as these aircraft platforms get more connected, you want to make sure that they are secure.”

He said Britain’s new F-35B stealth fighter would be sharing huge amounts of data and its systems back at base to ensure the fighter had ready supplies of fuel, parts and ammunition would would also have to be protected. The new plane’s systems run on more than 8 million lines of software code.

He said: “If someone got into [the backend] and rerouted all your spares, why would you have to bomb a runway?

“All this information and systems to keep aircraft operational, these have vulnerabilities that you have to look at.”..
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/23/raf-recruits-cyber-experts-probe-planes-weaknesses/

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4214 on: October 24, 2017, 14:15:12 »
Meanwhile US cost-cutting efforts:

Quote
Pentagon kicks off intensive F-35 cost review

The Defense Department’s F-35 cost deep dive is officially underway, as a team of Pentagon officials have recently begun to work their way through the massive supply chain of the joint strike fighter, a top official said Monday.

The Pentagon knows how much it’s paying for the F-35, but the deep dive will help officials understand the true cost of the jet and why, as well as what can be done to whittle down the price tag even further, said Shay Assad, the department’s director of defense pricing.

Over the next several weeks, the assessment team will meet with the three major contractors on the F-35 — prime contractor Lockheed Martin, as well as BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman, which make major portions of the fuselage — and laying out the parameters of the review.

“Lockheed is familiar with this process because we’ve done it before with them, so this isn’t something new,” Assad said. “Many of the things we’re talking about are just practices that have occurred in the past, this will just be much more rigorous. So we’ll lay it out with the companies. And we’ll also lay out for them here’s our plan in terms of your subcontractor base and this is what we want to do, and then get off and get the work done.”

The review will take about a year to complete.

“It’s a very intense effort,” he said.

...Assad noted that he thinks Lockheed can bring unit costs down even further than its current goal: an $80 million F-35A conventional take off and landing model by 2020.

“I think our view is we believe there is opportunity in the entire chain, from Lockheed Martin, to Northrop to BAE to their subcontractors. We want to work with the companies collaboratively to get on that path for improvement,” he said.

Assad announced the deep dive review in March, saying he hoped it would help the department learn where to delayer the supply chain and push companies to invest their own funds on cost-cutting improvements to the manufacturing process...
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2017/10/24/pentagon-kicks-off-intensive-f-35-cost-review/

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4215 on: October 24, 2017, 15:50:24 »
As for deliveries:

​Lockheed F-35 deliveries lag in third quarter

After nine months of production, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 line is still lagging, according to the latest company earnings report.

Lockheed delivered 15 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at the end of September, according to its third quarter 2017 earnings released this week. That batch brings Lockheed’s total F-35 deliveries to 44 this year, far away from the Lockheed's original goal of 66 jet deliveries by the end of 2017.

Lockheed delivered 14 jets in the second quarter of this year and 15 in the previous quarter, setting a nine-month average of almost three deliveries a month. To meet the 2017 delivery goal, Lockheed needs to average 5.5 deliveries a month for the full year.

While the company often boosts its deliveries in the fourth quarter, the year-end goal would set an ambitious production pace for the next two months. In April, a Pentagon contract management agency forecast Lockheed’s year-end delivery at 57 jets, based on the lower than expected delivery rates in prior years.

Lockheed's delivery target in 2016 was set at 53 F-35s, but the company's globally distributed production system managed to hand over only 46...
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/lockheed-f-35-deliveries-lag-in-third-quarter-442466/


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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4216 on: November 03, 2017, 12:37:55 »
Interesting long read with much historical background--a key excerpt:

Quote
Turning Point: The F-35 May Not Deliver
...
Though most observers know that the F-35 program grew out of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) initiative, it is important to recognize that the JSF was formed by the fusion of the Common Affordable Lightweight Fighter (CALF) program with other service-led development programs. CALF was begun in 1993 to support the development and acquisition of a V/STOL (vertical/short takeoff and landing) aircraft to replace the Harrier in both Marine Corps and Royal Navy service. Thus, the F-35B STOVL (short takeoff and vertical landing), and not the conventional-takeoff F-35A, must be considered the hub of the entire F-35 program, for the STOVL capability is by far the most difficult to integrate into the stealth design. (The interest in STOVL was also propelled by Lockheed’s access to Russian Yak-141 lift fan, thrust-vectoring nozzle technology, though this concept was conceived earlier.)

The heart of the F-35 program is and has been the F-35B’s STOVL ability, an ability of virtually no value to a fighter, and of highly debatable value to a ground attack plane, since the STOVL ability compromises range; further, the advantage of landing in forward, unprepared areas is an ability that may be rarely exercised given the F-35B’s $122 million price per plane.

The F-35 program exceeded the wildest nostrums, which propelled commonality in the F-111 program, by forcing as its unique attribute an ability (STOVL) that was not needed nor incorporated in either the Air Force or the Navy versions of the plane...

Richard B. Levine was Director of Policy Development on the NSC Staff; after six years at the White House, he became the first Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Technology Transfer and Security Assistance, serving under three Secretaries of the Navy. He is the recipient of two Presidential letters of commendation, and the Department of the Navy’s highest civilian decoration, the Distinguished Civilian Service Award. Mr. Levine received his baccalaureate, with honors, from the Johns Hopkins University. He holds an MBA from Harvard.
https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/11/03/turning_point_the_f-35_may_not_deliver_112581.html

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4217 on: November 03, 2017, 12:43:28 »
Latest GAO report:

Quote
Broken F-35 Parts Take Six Months To Fix, GAO Finds

If a part on one of the U.S. military’s growing fleet of 250 F-35s fails, it takes about six months for the depots to repair it—twice the program’s objective, a key government watchdog has found. 

The Pentagon does not have enough capacity to repair F-35 parts in a timely manner because the establishment of repair capabilities at the military depots is six years behind schedule, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) writes in a recent report on the controversial fighter. These capabilities were planned to be completed by 2016, but some have now been delayed until 2022, according to the watchdog.

Neither the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) nor the military services would take responsibility for the delay, GAO says. Program officials attributed it to the services not providing enough funding for depot requirements, but service officials pointed fingers at the JPO, saying the program office did not clearly identify some depot requirements soon enough for the services to provide adequate funding.

In addition, GAO found that a shortage of spare parts in the F-35 supply chain is leading to low readiness levels. From January through August 7, 2017, prime contractor Lockheed Martin reported that F-35s were unable to fly because they were awaiting parts on average about 22% of the time—more than double the Pentagon’s objective of 10%, according to the report.

The program office and Lockheed have identified steps needed to increase the availability of spare parts, GAO writes. Still, parts shortages are expected to continue for several years to come and may worsen if the JPO and Lockheed don’t follow through.

GAO reported the striking repair limitations and parts shortages as part of a wide-ranging report on F-35 sustainment challenges, even as the Pentagon plans to triple the size of the fleet by the end of 2021.

“DOD is taking steps to address some challenges, but without more comprehensive plans and aligned funding, DOD risks being unable to fully leverage the F-35’s capabilities and sustain a rapidly expanding fleet,” GAO writes.

The report also notes that initial Marine Corps F-35 deployments on ships in 2018, and potentially initial Navy deployments, will not include the intermediate-level maintenance capabilities that will allow repairs to be done at sea. This likely will lead to degraded readiness, GAO concludes.

Meanwhile, GAO also reports delays in planned updates to the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), the logistics backbone of the fleet that is central to supporting operations and maintenance.

These sustainment challenges are leading to lower-than-expected aircraft availability and full-mission-capable rates across the fleet, GAO notes...
http://aviationweek.com/defense/broken-f-35-parts-take-six-months-fix-gao-finds

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4218 on: November 03, 2017, 14:59:33 »
Latest GAO report:

Broken F-35 Parts Take Six Months To Fix, GAO Finds

Mark
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That'd be a nice change. We are well over the 6 month repair turnaround on most of our components for the Hornus.

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4219 on: November 03, 2017, 16:33:37 »
Interesting long read with much historical background--a key excerpt:

Mark
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Except that the VSTOL will be important for anyone who does not have a large flat top to fly and fight from, such as the UK

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4220 on: November 03, 2017, 16:56:11 »
Actually, Colin, at 920 feet and 65,000 tons, the UK flat tops (QUEEN ELIZABETH class) are about the same size as the American Forestall class - the first of the "super-carriers".

They are much larger than the French Charles de Gaulle. They would have no problem operating as ordinary carriers, you just need to get rid of the ramp, add catapults and set up arrester wires. The reason this was not done is a matter of (1) cost of such extra equipment; (2) the fact that at the time of designing the ship, catapults were steam driven only and therefore you would have to add a boiler and steam system; and (3) the fact that using STOVL as opposed to CATOBAR makes flight deck operations a lot simpler, with less demand of personnel.

I believe that the plan is to modify the second into a CATOBAR, now that emals catapults are available, or to modify both of them into CATOBAR at some future point in time.

I am sure that part of the decision to go STOVL at first came from the fact that when the UK started designing them, they were promised F-35B would be available in sufficient numbers by the time they were ready for sea. That didn't quite pan out.

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4221 on: November 03, 2017, 19:12:36 »
Oldgateboatdriver:

No UK plans to make new carriers CATOBAR/EMALS capable; earlier said would do and get F-35C vice F-35B but plan abandoned for costs in 2012:
http://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/f-35b-the-right-choice-and-the-only-choice-for-the-royal-navy/

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-18008171

UK only firm so far on 48 F-35Bs but total F-35 commitment still officially 138--RAF would no doubt like to get a bunch of F-35As:
http://www.janes.com/article/72277/uk-to-decide-on-future-f-35-variant-at-appropriate-time

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« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 19:16:19 by MarkOttawa »
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4222 on: November 09, 2017, 14:28:32 »
Luftwaffe head effectively pro-F-35--someday a 6th-gen fighter in co-operation with France?

Quote
Tornado Replacement Must Be Fifth Generation: German Air Force Chief

The German military needs a "fifth-generation" replacement for its Tornado fighter jets that is hard to detect on enemy radars and can strike targets from a great distance, the chief of staff of the air force said on Wednesday.

Lieutenant General Karl Muellner's comments are his clearest public statements to date on the Tornado replacement program. They indicate a preference for Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter jet, the only Western aircraft that meets those requirements.

The air force last month issued a formal request for information about the F-35, as well as three other jets: the F-15 and F/A-18E/F, both built by Boeing Co, and the European Eurofighter Typhoon.

Germany is kicking off the process of replacing its 85 Tornado jets, which will go out of service around 2030.

The program could be worth billions of euros for the winning bidder in coming years.

Muellner told Reuters Germany would need to buy an off-the-shelf replacement that could enter service around 2025 to facilitate a smooth transition with the Tornado, noting that did not leave enough time to develop a unique solution...
https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2017/11/08/business/08reuters-germany-fighter.html?_r=0

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4223 on: November 13, 2017, 11:04:55 »
This sovereignty issue is pretty sticky:
Quote
​DUBAI: Foreign F-35 partners work up interim solution for ALIS sovereignty concerns

Australia expects to field a mature solution to address sovereignty concerns prompted by Lockheed Martin’s autonomic logistics information system (ALIS) by 2020, the Royal Australian Air Force’s head of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme tells FlightGlobal.

Australia and other F-35 partners are close to developing a system that will segregate their aircraft from the normal flow of data going to ALIS, as well as separate facilities to develop their own mission data files to protect operational sovereignty.

Lockheed’s ALIS keeps data on the fifth-generation fighter’s health monitoring systems, training and flight logs, but also functions as a global data hub that orders parts and schedules training. Following each flight, ALIS is supposed to automatically transmit information back to Lockheed’s ALIS hub in Fort Worth, Texas, which has caused concern for foreign partners who worry the automated data stream violates their sovereignty.

Each foreign F-35 partner is coming up with its own solution that will manage the flow of information between individual nations and industry, Air Vice Marshal Leigh Gordon said at the annual Dubai International Air Chiefs Conference this week.

“Ultimately, there will be a standard gateway off of the programme that we can all work with, but in the interim we’re thinking for each nation to bring a gateway along and have that integrated,” he tells FlightGlobal. “We expect the gateway will allow us to inspect and decide when information gets passed.”

While Australia plans to introduce the mature solution between its first F-35 delivery in 2018 and initial operational capability in 2020, the fielding timeline will vary by individual nation and depend on which communications networks they use, Gordon says.

A spokeswoman for the Italian air force tells FlightGlobal that by the end of this year an Italian firm will implement a hardware filter for the ALIS data traffic, followed by an enhanced software solution in 2018. The solution will automatically block messages and data the country does not wish to send, the spokeswoman says. Each partner is able to modify its JSF system to protect its sovereign data, she adds.

“Italy, in [this] specific case, wants to preserve its sovereignty on some information, avoiding any unnecessary disclosure,” she says. “In order to do so, like other partners do, Italy took some actions to grant an effective use of the weapon system, without disclosing some data that are deemed sensible.”

Italy, like other F-35 partner nations, has established a "national laboratory" in co-operation with Norway at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The Norway Italy Reprogramming Laboratory manages mission data files in a segregated “Italian Eyes Only” environment, the spokeswoman says. Likewise Gordon says Australia is setting up a laboratory to manage its mission data files.
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/dubai-foreign-f-35-partners-work-up-interim-soluti-443146/

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