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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2014 11:24 
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Thread re-named as 'International Military Aviation - News and Discussion'.

Please use this thread to discuss news and other aspects about all aspects of Military Aviation.

Regards,


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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2014 11:54 
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New F-35 Prices: A: $95M; B: $102M; C: $116M


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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2014 12:20 
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With or without the engine? Engine estimates are around $14/15m extra.


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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2014 13:10 
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Philip wrote:
With or without the engine? Engine estimates are around $14/15m extra.


The engine is contracted separately to Pratt & Whitney. It was $14 mil in LRIP 5 (link). Its probably down to around $13 mil right now i.e. LRIP 8.

_________________

Recurring flyaway cost for the F-35A: $108 mil in 2014.

Target cost at FRP: $85 mil in 2018.

So, the cost needs to fall by just another 20%, as the production triples - from 43/yr currently to 150/yr at FRP.

And they'll beat that target figure once they switch to multi-year contracts. Flyaway cost will almost certainly fall under $80 mil (equivalent to $70 mil at today's prices).

Its no wonder that the fortunes of the Eurocanards have all but sunk in Europe and East Asia. Only two confirmed sales in 15 years i.e. Austria & Thailand. (Hungary & Czech R. operate theirs on lease.)


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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2014 17:56 
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Philip wrote:
With or without the engine? Engine estimates are around $14/15m extra.


Click on the article. Every price that is negotiated with Lockheed martin is without the engine. By LAW, since WW1 the two most expensive components of any weapons program have to be negotiated and developed through independent competition. Recently this has been expanded to include other expensive components beyond a certain cost percentage of the overall system cost. For the F-35 however, there were two competitions and two costs are negotiated with two different OEM's (lockheed and Pratt &W). It was revealed earlier this year (I posted this in the turkey thread, when it happened) that Pratt and Whitney managed a 4.5% cost reduction on the 8th engine lot, beating even their own "war on cost" initiative benchmarks. Furthermore, any concurrency changes to the engine would be covered 100% by Pratt& Whitney, such as those that arise from the legal battle and the poor quality titanium that other firms may have supplied it and that may require replacement, as well as the blades solution that pratt has to implement. It was also reveled that despite of concurrency changes being required, the F-135 managed a 98% mission availability rate even during developmental testing.

Ultimately, much like the F-16 the concurrency cost model has been validated. The object was then as it is now, to use the overall project goals (thousands of aircraft) and get the aircrafts rolling out of the production line as fast as possible, so as the direct and indirect costs are spread and the learning curve is overcome so that a vast majority of the thousands of aircrafts are produced at an economical rate. Same thing is happening with the F-35. With concurrency costs hovering around 1% of the overall fly away cost of the production run, they have reduced the cost tp produce by 3-4% every year for the past few years despite the fact that contrary to the F-16 process they are only ramping up production every other year instead of every year. The concurrency on the F-16 was so large that they had produced well in excess of 1000 F-16's by the time the stable and desired block was developed (aka block 15). Yet the model allowed for them to produce the most affordable multi-role fighter in the west at the time, bring costs down upfront and ensure a production run of thousands of units over the lifetime thereby avoiding the death spiral.

Quote:
Its no wonder that the fortunes of the Eurocanards have all but sunk in Europe and East Asia. Only two confirmed sales in 15 years i.e. Austria & Thailand. (Hungary & Czech R. operate theirs on lease.)


Only the Gripen looks good, since SAAB has now another party interested in its success and marketing it in South America. Typhoon may win an order for more from Saud Arabia, but given how slow they have been to upgrade the thing it doesn't look good. Rafale has India, and perhaps may pick up a ME customer but that would be it. Even the PAKFA should be more successful then the euro-canards in the long run.

Trouble for the Twin-Engine Giants?

Quote:
“There’s room for one very successful program, two very modest programs or three desperately flailing programs,” he said.

Complicating the issue is the presence of the F-35, which looms large for many countries that might decide to wait for the fifth-generation fighter to become more affordable.

Denmark, which hopes to select a fighter by mid-2015, and Canada, whose decision to purchase the F-35 has been frozen due to a political scandal, are examples of countries considering one or more of the twin-engine fighters as well as the F-35, and recent market trends signal that the plane that offers the highest capability will win, Aboulafia said.

“There is a bigger market, but it is part of the market that’s addressable by F-35,” he said. “Look at South Korea. The market has decided that the F-35 wins the countries it is entered in, which means you have to look at the last of the contests where F-35 does not play a role.”

With Brazil off the table, the trio of jets will focus mainly on four nations — Malaysia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), none of which is expected to make truly massive purchases.

Even if one platform was to win all four of the major remaining competitions, the lifespan of these jets is likely running out, as domestic orders have mostly dried up. But as Saab can testify, it takes only one significant order to change the fortunes of a fighter program.

Based on current sales, Super Hornet production will end in 2016. Typhoon production is secure until the end of 2017. Rafale’s domestic orders end in 2016, with exports needed to keep the line open to 2019.

“When your home market implodes or terminates, it’s tough to sustain the exports,” Aboulafia said. “The more you look at the history of fighter programs, the more you realize what freak cases the F-15s and F-16s were. You had several decades of production sustained by exports only. That’s extremely unusual.”




-----------------------------

A must listen (35 minutes):

For the inaugural edition of Sea Control’s “East Atlantic” series, Alexander Clarke brings on Steve George, former engineer with the F-35 program and Royal Navy veteran to discuss the challenges and misconceptions of the F-35 program.

Audio: http://cimsec.org/wp-content/uploads/20 ... c-F-35.mp3


Last edited by brar_w on 24 Nov 2014 09:08, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2014 19:13 
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Why the need of another thread, don't we already have the turkey thread?


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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2014 20:47 
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Navy's First F-35C Lightning II Squadron Surpasses 1000 Flight Hours

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SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The "Grim Reapers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, the Navy's first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant squadron, reached a milestone in November 2014 by surpassing 1,000 mishap-free flight hours in the F-35C.

As the F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron, VFA-101, homeported at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, trains Navy aircrew and maintenance personnel to fly and repair the aircraft.

"I am incredibly proud of the 'Grim Reapers' for accomplishing this milestone," said Cmdr. Frederick Crecelius, VFA-101's commanding officer. "With each additional flight hour, the men and women of VFA-101 are paving the way for the future of Naval Aviation."

The unit became the Navy's first F-35C squadron after receiving the aircraft June 22, 2013, from Lockheed Martin, and completed the first check flight, Aug. 14.

"The 1,000-hour milestone not only demonstrates the incredible teamwork of VFA-101," said Crecelius. "It also provides an opportunity to reflect on the capabilities of the aircraft and how this fifth-generation fighter will enhance the flexibility, power projection, and strike capabilities of the carrier air wing."

While VFA-101 remains involved in preparations for the F-35C to achieve initial operational capability in 2018, the F-35 Lightning II Integrated Test Force from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 located at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, completed its first phase of developmental testing for the F-35C aboard an aircraft carrier Nov. 14. During the initial testing phase, the aircraft demonstrated exceptional performance throughout its sea trails aboard aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).

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 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 the F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growler, E-2D Hawkeye, Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike air vehicles, MH-60R/S Seahawk helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft.

Since June 1942, "Grim Reapers" has served as the name used to identify three different squadrons - Fighter Squadron (VF) 10, VF-101 and now VFA-101 - flying various aircraft, including the F4F Wildcat, the FG1-D Corsair, the F-4 Phantom, the F-14 Tomcat and currently the F-35C.


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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2014 06:11 
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abhik wrote:
Why the need of another thread, don't we already have the turkey thread?


Request to the Admins:

Please save the original thread.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2014 06:23 
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Clean Sweep: F-35 Fighter Confounds Critics With Perfect Performance In First Tests At Sea

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There’s a tradition in the U.S. Navy that when missions are a complete success, a broom gets raised up the mast to signal a “clean sweep.” That’s what happened on November 14 when the F-35C Lightning II completed its first series of developmental tests on the U.S.S. Nimitz aircraft carrier. Sailors sent a broom up the mast below the flag to signal the tests had gone very well.

How well? For starters, the two weeks of scheduled tests were completed three days early with 100% of threshold test points accomplished. For the first time ever, a new carrier-based aircraft conducted night operations during its initial round of testing at sea — operations that are usually performed in later rounds. As one Navy test pilot observed in an official news release, “It’s unheard of to conduct night ops on the first det,” meaning developmental test.

To say that carrier-based air operations are challenging is an understatement. Jets designed to fly faster than the speed of sound must take off and land on a short runway while the ship is pitching in the sea and wind is blowing across the decks. The catapults that provide the initial push to get airborne accelerate the planes from zero to 170 miles per hour in two seconds. The arresting wires that trap the planes when they land bring them to a dead stop in two seconds. And since there’s always a chance the plane could miss the arresting wires while attempting to land, the thrust can’t be cut too much because a pilot might have to get his or her jet back into the air real quick. So the risks are high and the physical forces at work are extreme.

In this harrowing environment, two F-35C fighters managed to accomplish 124 catapults and arrestments, 222 touch-and-go landings, and a host of other operations without a hitch. On their first try. It was a world-class performance for the carrier version of what used to be called the Joint Strike Fighter, and a vindication for prime contractor Lockheed Martin. As the Navy news release put it, “The aircraft demonstrated exceptional performance throughout its initial sea trials.” Two follow-on sets of tests are scheduled in 2015 and 2016, but the Navy can now be confident that the F-35C will be ready for its first scheduled fielding with the fleet in 2018.

The success of the tests has important implications for the whole joint force. Pentagon leaders are warning that other countries have begun closing the technology gap with U.S. warfighters, and the fighters the Navy operates today won’t be able to survive in contested air space indefinitely. The F-35 program was conceived to replace the Cold War tactical aircraft of three U.S. military services and over a dozen allies with affordable multi-role fighters that not only can survive, but will sweep the skies of enemy aircraft while destroying well-defended ground targets. The F-35 accomplishes this with an integrated stealth design that makes it nearly invisible to enemy radar and an advanced sensor package that provides comprehensive situational awareness to the pilot. Precision-guided munitions give it pinpoint accuracy in attacking surface targets, while its electronic-warfare suite can defeat a wide array of hostile emitters.

When these features are combined with the speed and maneuverability afforded by Pratt & Whitney’s revolutionary F135 engine, the result is what military experts call a “fifth-generation” fighter. Developing such an aircraft in multiple variants for three different services may well be the most challenging military-technology project ever. The Air Force variant needed to be cheap enough for overseas allies to afford, the Marine version needed a mid-fuselage lift-fan and vectored thrust for vertical takeoffs and landings, and the Navy version needed to be sufficiently rugged to withstand the stresses of carrier catapults and arresting wires.

The F-35C — the carrier version — may be the most challenging variant to build. It has bigger wings, stronger landing gear, and greater fuel-carrying capacity than the other variants to meet the Navy’s unique operating requirements. Those features make it possible for the plane to fly farther with a larger payload, while being able to conduct its final carrier approach at a slow enough speed for safe landings. One key feature on the naval variant that performed well in the recent tests was a system called Delta Flight Path that enables the F-35C to automatically capture and maintain the optimum glidepath on final approach to the carrier — reducing the pilot workload, increasing safety, and making F-35C, in the words of the Navy’s testing team leader, “a carefree aircraft from the pilot’s perspective.”

This may be the first time ever that the word ”carefree” has been used by a Navy tester to describe the performance of a new carrier-based aircraft. Adjectives like “arduous” and “challenging” are far more commonly used. So the F-35C has set a high standard for all naval aircraft to come in the maturity and sophistication of its design. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned about our culture from the fact that the Navy’s very positive experience with its F-35 variant this month has gone largely unnoticed in the general media, even though every supposed problem with the plane up to this point has gotten headlines. The Navy and its industry partners have just demonstrated that when it comes to aerospace technology, America still leads the world by a healthy margin. So let’s get that plane into the fleet, where it can start making a difference in maintaining global security.


A YT video related to the Delta Flight Path:



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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2014 06:40 
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Paul Bevilaqua and his presentation on STOVL IP and work on it by the skunks.

Long, very informative and entertaining (for a aero from UM and PU!!!!).

brar_w wrote:



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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2014 06:52 
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Why the thread alive?

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Is 'The Turkey' Dead?

or the 'turkey turned Fynix'

Eye bee 4 Tee Yelllle.

wonly.


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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2014 07:16 
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sarang wrote:
Why the thread alive?

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Is 'The Turkey' Dead?

or the 'turkey turned Fynix'

Eye bee 4 Tee Yelllle.

wonly.


Still very much a Turkey, Like the F-16 Was the LAWNDART at this stage of its development :)



Clearly, the concept they had in mind of a "slide" land didn't work so they went back to using Landing gears..And look what the F-16 eventually became :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2014 08:02 
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Alexander Clarke brings on Steve George, former engineer with the F-35 program and Royal Navy veteran to discuss the challenges and misconceptions of the F-35 program {Steve George was an air engineer officer in the Royal Navy for 28 years, and served in HMS Invincible during the 1982 Falklands operation. During his career, he was closely involved with the Sea Harrier, and also with joint RN/RAF Harrier operations. Retiring from the RN as a Commander, he joined the JSF programme to work on F-35B ship suitability. He is now an engineering consultant.)

brar_w wrote:


Listen for more details:

* 3.00: F-35B, will it burn a hole in the deck
* 6:50: F-35 weight, is that an issue
* 12:08: Short rolling vertical landing, "absolutely excellent controls" (of the F-35B), can select the speed at which to land the F-35B on a carrier
* 15:55: F-35 compared to Phantom, etc. Addresses the "stumpy" aspects of the plane. "Very capable A2A"
* Is the stealth worth it?


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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2014 20:43 
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UK orders first operational F-35 combat aircraft

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The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed for its first four operational Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft as part of the Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP 8) production lot, it was announced on 21 November.

Image
A computer-generated impression of F-35Bs operating from the deck of the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier. The first four of 48 jets so far committed to have been ordered. (Aircraft Carrier Alliance)A computer-generated impression of F-35Bs operating from the deck of the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier. The first four of 48 jets so far committed to have been ordered. (Aircraft Carrier Alliance)

The order marks an initial buy from the MoD's Main Gate 4 acquisition approval process for 14 jets to equip the Royal Air Force's (RAF's) 617 Squadron, which is scheduled to stand-up as the UK's first operational F-35B unit in 2016.

The UK already has two operational test and evaluation (BK-1 and BK-2) and one training aircraft (BK-3) delivered and flying out of Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.


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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2014 22:25 
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What is the cost to Uk, typically US charges India 2X the number


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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2014 22:46 
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Nov 23, 2014 :: Noise from F-35B comparable to F/A-18s, new study says


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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2014 04:48 
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Aditya_V wrote:
What is the cost to Uk, typically US charges India 2X the number


There is no cost difference as long as there is no difference in equipment (model for model). The way the JSF procurement works is that each and every partner nation, and each and every FMS customer decides on a schedule. The Partner nations obviously do this over a longer term. Once the schedule is agreed upon and communicated, the authority to negotiate with the OEM (2 mainly, in LMA and UT) is handed over to the JPO (Joint program office). The JPO negotiates with the OEM's and agrees to a contract price for each model of the airframe and engine. Each and every member or FMS customer a part of the production blocks pays exactly the same amount for the aircraft.

This will soon change, since International customers that are not tied by US law that prohibits it from negotiating multi-year procurement - will begin to negotiate multi-year contracts for the the last 2 Low Rate of Production lots. According to the reporting on the matter, the JPO has decided to let these customers do this, so it is quite likely that LRIP 9 and 10 prices for the International customers would be lower, model for model than the US planes simply because these customers would be willing to negotiate LRIP 9 and 10 at the same time (savings wouldn't be very significant but still should be in the millions). Once the Milestone C ( a prerequisite to Full rate of production, and a document after which the Pentagon can enter into multi-year contracts) is issued, and the F-35 enters Full rate of production, all parties concerned would be able to order bulk multi-year deliveries just as the USN is doing with the F-18E/F, and the USAF did towards the latter end of the F-22A program.

So In sum, Italy would pay exactly the same amount for each Beach varient as the UK or the USMC, as long as there is no special Italy specific equipment in there. Same applies to a Japan or a South Korea ordering the Alpha through the JPO. At the moment the authority to negotiate rests with the JPO so even though we hear X amount of aircraft are bought by so and so FMS customer, and it would cost Y $, that Y$ is actually an estimate based on the tentative delivery timelines and the costing graphs provided by the JPO through the OEM that bid for the contract. Ultimately, once it is time to place the order a COMMON POOL of aircraft is ordered and the entire batch is negotiate by Bogdon and his team. As you can see the LRIP8 that was negotiated included 14 international aircraft (A's and B's) for 5 nations. Each nation paid the same price for the variant they are getting.

The only way one nation enters into negotiations independently and negotiates its own price is when it enters into a commercial deal rather then an FMS deal. Those deals usually occur when the OEM wants to sell the aircraft for dirt cheap and does not want to involve the Pentagon into the negotiations. This usually occurs towards the end of production when an OEM wishes to sell something cheap to preserve production. Boeing did this in South Korea with the Silent Eagle, where they did a deal for the aircraft as a Commercial deal and a weapons package deal as an FMS deal. Because Lockheed is not going to be in such a situation for a few decades at least and the fact that bulk orders is what brings negotiating power, its going to be this argument that would prevail for a while.


Last edited by brar_w on 25 Nov 2014 05:48, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2014 05:22 
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http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30145680

Flying the 'Nintendo' fighter jet


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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2014 20:33 
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NRao wrote:


The most interesting graphic from that report was this:

Image

-------


JSM graphic..Block 4 AshM for the F-35. Sounds good as an export product given that Raytheon would also be marketing it and its future variants.

http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2014PSAR/albright.pdf

Image

The only problem I see is the seeker. DARPA has spent a greater part of 5 years to develop a brand new seeker and incorporate extensive treat libraries to come up with a solution that that they did not have a working OFS seeker for. Not sure who owns the IP to that seeker tech or whether Raytheon can claim to use the same seeker and develop a multi-seeker hybrid using the JSM as a base, but overall it sounds an expensive modification. All Lockheed have to do is develop a MINI-LRASM which also not easy but should be less expensive compared to incorporating DARPA's work into the JSM.


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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2014 22:46 
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RESHAPING CONCEPTS OF OPERATIONS: EUROFIGHTER, THE F-35, THE UK AND ITALY



SHAPING A 21ST CENTURY APPROACH TO TRON WARFARE: PART 2


^^^ Rather lengthy but something worth a read on how an integrated fleet of highly capable next generation fighters would drive institutional change and lead to a new way of doing things for the future, how traditional concepts and definitions are being challenged by evolving technology and how integrated platforms are using technology to better the OODA loop.

F-15's, running into F-35's along the way


Last edited by brar_w on 26 Nov 2014 05:51, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2014 02:07 
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The sum of the parts...

Meanwhile,the pretender from the east.
http://thediplomat.com/2014/11/chinas-s ... os-buying/

Quote:
China's Selling the J-31, But Who's Buying?
Is anyone interested in purchasing China’s answer to the F-35?
By Robert Farley
November 14, 2014

The recent appearance of the aircraft at the Zhuhai airshow, as well as the comments of a smattering of Chinese officials, led to a spate of articles suggesting that China was interested in the J-31 primarily as an export model. Conceivably, the J-31 could occupy a low-end stealth fighter niche that currently has no other entrants.

Some have billed the J-31 as China’s answer to the F-35, as if that represented some sort of compliment. It’s hardly a stretch to suggest Pakistan would be a major customer, and perhaps Egypt as well. Beyond that? The United States can offer the F-35 to a wide range of European and Asian countries, all of which have strong economies, big defense budgets, an appetite for high tech, and an interest in cementing the long-term technological and political relationship with the United States.

Beijing doesn’t have the kind of friends that would do it the favor of buying something like the F-35. If the sanctions on Iran ease up in the wake of a successful nuclear deal, Tehran will be looking to buy advanced fighters. If the Assad government ever manages to win its civil war, it too will need new fighters, but probably won’t be able to afford anything like the J-31. The Gulf monarchies buy weapons in order to create political ties, and are unlikely to shift their attention from Washington to Beijing unless the international system changes in immense and unforeseen ways.

Malaysia and Indonesia have been known to make adventurous decisions with respect to fighter purchases, but given the tensions in the South China Seas, it’s unlikely that China would want to significantly increase their capabilities, or that they’d want to tie themselves to Chinese support. Several Latin American countries may soon recapitalize their air forces, but the Europeans seem to have a leg up in that market, and thus far the Latin Americans seem satisfied with reliable generation 4.5 fighters.

Russia and India, of course, are right out.

At this point, no one has a good sense of how much the J-31 might cost, or how the Chinese might try to package it. If the J-31 resembles the F-35 in anything but superficial terms, the system add-ons will matter as much as the airframe itself. The F-35, after all, sells itself as the center of a system of sensor and communications systems that facilitates air command. This system requires a variety of other components (drones, EW aircraft, satellites), and the system is enhanced by the capacity of F-35s to work together to create a more accurate vision of the battlespace.

There’s no indication as of yet that the J-31 is supposed to have these kinds of emergent capabilities, and there’s little sense that China is capable of developing and exporting such systems along with the airframe. America’s friends buy the F-35 because they worry that their legacy aircraft won’t be able to coordinate effectively with U.S. planes in multilateral combat situations. China doesn’t have this kind of relationship with anyone, and consequently can’t make one of the biggest cases for buying a fifth generation fighter.

Competing with the F-35 requires more than developing an effective airframe. The F-35 remains attractive not because it’s awesome, but because it’s embedded in a larger set of political and technological relationships. China has a lot of work to do before it can compete with that.


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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2014 02:30 
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How to steal a stealth fighter.

http://thediplomat.com/2012/09/the-fake ... h-fighter/
Quote:
China's Stealth Attack on the F-35

China's Stealth Attack on the F-35

China’s new stealth jet is eerily similar to the U.S.-made F-35 and F-22. Considering the F-35′s problems and costs, speculation is mounting.


By Trefor Moss
September 27, 2012

Chinese lookalikes are big news these days. Last month, at the murder trial of Gu Kailai, the wife of purged Politburo member Bo Xilai, the Chinese web was abuzz with speculation that the person on the stand was not Gu at all, but a body double masquerading as the defendant. The woman in court, there’s no denying, looked at best like a plump half-cousin of the Gu we knew.

This week, China produced another lookalike – only this time the resemblance was far more convincing. The name of China’s new stealth fighter may have sounded unfamiliar (it’s called the J-21 or the J-31, depending on your sources), but this was a plane we’d all seen many times before. It looks like an F-22 from some angles, and an F-35 from others; but there seemed to be no mistaking that this was essentially an American stealth fighter with Chinese paintwork.

China has, of course, been in trouble for intellectual property infringements before. We await Washington and Lockheed Martin’s submission to the World Trade Organization with interest.

But of all the setbacks to have beset Lockheed’s F-35 program, this has to be one of the most galling. Overpriced, overdue, and underperforming, the F-35 was already a plane under extreme political pressure. Earlier this month one of the U.S. Air Force generals in charge of the program made it sound as if the government and Lockheed’s relationship had practically broken down over the stealth jet’s persistent failings. Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has echoed these concerns. Other influential voices have called simply for the thing to be scrapped before its ruins American defense.

Yet all these perfectly good reasons to sell the F-35 prototypes on eBay to plane enthusiasts have so far been trumped by the aircraft’s one great quality: that it was the strongest competitor in a field of one. Because of this ace characteristic, a number of countries – besides the program partners – have already begun ordering the pricey and totally unproven jet. The South Koreans are currently thinking about buying it even though Lockheed has denied them the opportunity to fly one before making their decision. Chances are they’ll sign up anyway.

Only now a knock-off F-35 appears to be coming to market. Strangely enough, the possibility now exists that the F-35 will have to compete for export sales with a Chinese copy of itself. It’s hard to pin down the unit price of an F-35, but it’s at least in the $200 million range (and possibly a lot more). Ten years from now, you’ll be able to find one for much less than that at the Chinese fake market, especially if you know how to haggle.

In all seriousness there are real economic implications, given that the F-35 needs to secure export orders well into the 2030s and beyond in order to recoup some of its crazy costs. The security implications are also serious. What if the J-21/31 undercuts the F-35 in cost terms while matching it in capability terms? What if, as The Australian newspaper reckons, China has extracted the full F-35 blueprints from BAE Systems’ computers? What if, armed with that knowledge, the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation succeeds where Lockheed has so far failed and builds a Fake-35 that actually works?

Speculation aside, the reality is that the F-35 program is presently slated to cost $395.7 billion. China has probably spent less than 0.1% of that developing the Fake-35. Ladies and gentlemen, you’re looking at the biggest free ride in the history of national security.


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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2014 03:01 
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Quote:
Speculation aside, the reality is that the F-35 program is presently slated to cost $395.7 billion. China has probably spent less than 0.1% of that developing the Fake-35. Ladies and gentlemen, you’re looking at the biggest free ride in the history of national security.


What utter nonsense. The cost mentioned is the procurement cost of the entire Fleet of US F-35's including early builds and full rate of production F-35's.. Does the author think it costs that much to develop the aircraft? or does china not require an investment to be made to procure the J-31? One would have thought that 40+ Pages devoted to the F-35 would have meant that there would have been some understanding of what cost covers what.

What evidence does the author have that the J-31 has similar capability? because it looks like it? What about the F-135? Do they have a proper engine, NO. What about the prowess of the ICP, have they showcased anything that inspires confidence that they can generate a computing program that yields similar results? What about the other avionics and the fusion engine..Have they managed complex software teams for advanced aerospace program? Where is that confidence comming from given that most of the US majors currently struggle with advanced software development and implementation. I guess there is no proof required for one side of the argument, while the author most likely wants the entire book to be opened for the F-35.

0.1 % of the entire procurement cost would be 350 million or so. Does the author suggest that china developed the J-31 for 350 million? Is this the standard of journalism for the Diplomat?

While the J-31 is going to be a competent fighter once finished, its main prowess lies in internal weapons and an overall design emphasis on stealth (whatever else they could manage). It would be a burden on the surrounding A2AD strategies and would pressurize the USN response times when combined with the J-20. But no one that has some basic common sense would believe without any evidence whatsoever that China has made advances in materials, avionics, computing, missions systems and software before they actually come out and demonstrate it. I won't even go into propulsion as that is the quite clear.

The tabloid article does not realize that the X-35 which many compare the J-31 to pretty much also cost 0.1% of the total acquisition cost of the F-35 A, B and C. heck any prototype would - but if he explained that to the audience the story would not have generated as many clicks and links....Articles like this are pretty much meant for twitter and Facebook feeds, where one can drop a one liner and rally folks to click it...


Last edited by brar_w on 26 Nov 2014 08:43, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2014 03:58 
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@brar_w ^^^ Amazing article even if 'sponsored by LM'

"Where it used to be platform-to-platform, we now have inherent in a single weapon system, the capability to fold in all those things that we used to think were single missions, like the fighter mission, like the attack mission, like the electronic warfare mission.

Those missions were given to separate platforms because we didn’t have the way to fold them into a single platform. Now we have that capability to do that. So that fundamentally causes us to look at the way in which we do business in the future.”

Reading between the lines, Oiropeans are trying find ways to ditch EF2Ks and move to F35s without unseemly haste so as not to alarm us idiots who want to buy targets like the MMRCA (including the SHs).

Notice the F-15s and by extrapolation, the F/A-18s being compared as 'past meets present' vs the JSF.

AMCA + LCA for sure but no gap fillers like Rafales which at $20bn kill us not PRC. If IAF needs fillers, go for 60 JSF.

I hope NaMo and Obama have a huge announcement for us on Jan 25.


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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2014 05:47 
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Quote:
@brar_w ^^^ Amazing article even if 'sponsored by LM'


Sponsored by Lockheed (I assume you refer to the sld article)? The article quotes the folks that do tactical training, and strategic planning for a living. It exclusively quotes current USAF, USN and MC officials. No industry source provides any material presented in the assessment. If you refer to the first article, then its just an opinion piece. The second article is worth a keep, and is one of the better dissections of the impact of a fleet wide 5th generation adoption that I have seen. Remember the plan is to have an ALL 5th generation fleet.

Its a logistical simplification. You have a reduced signature combined with organic EW coupled with very advanced sensors and integrated avionics. What that allows is higher tempo of offs. No longer would a USN strike group be dependent on USAF or organic and inorganic refueling to generate a tempo against high threats. Currently, the Super Hornets are limited by Growler presence for penetrative strike. The entire package is limited by the ability to tank up. Eliminate vertical silos and you greatly reduce the burden on tankers and as thus you remove one of the biggest hindrance to tempo and sortie generation.


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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2014 08:34 
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The UK Government is reporting that "The UK test team has completed initial aircraft handling trials for ASRAAM and Paveway IV on the F-35B aircraft.Trial rounds, which are identical to the operational weapons, were tested for the first time during a series of flights from the US Navy’s test facility at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland."


More: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... ns-406449/

--------------



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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2014 19:17 
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brar_w wrote:
Quote:
@brar_w ^^^ Amazing article even if 'sponsored by LM'


Sponsored by Lockheed (I assume you refer to the sld article)? The article quotes the folks that do tactical training, and strategic planning for a living. It exclusively quotes current USAF, USN and MC officials. No industry source provides any material presented in the assessment. If you refer to the first article, then its just an opinion piece. The second article is worth a keep, and is one of the better dissections of the impact of a fleet wide 5th generation adoption that I have seen. Remember the plan is to have an ALL 5th generation fleet.

Its a logistical simplification. You have a reduced signature combined with organic EW coupled with very advanced sensors and integrated avionics. What that allows is higher tempo of offs. No longer would a USN strike group be dependent on USAF or organic and inorganic refueling to generate a tempo against high threats. Currently, the Super Hornets are limited by Growler presence for penetrative strike. The entire package is limited by the ability to tank up. Eliminate vertical silos and you greatly reduce the burden on tankers and as thus you remove one of the biggest hindrance to tempo and sortie generation.


That sponsorship jibe was tongue firmly in cheek


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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2014 19:42 
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Cosmo_R wrote:
That sponsorship jibe was tongue firmly in cheek


Ahh..

Quote:
Reading between the lines, Oiropeans are trying find ways to ditch EF2Ks and move to F35s without unseemly haste so as not to alarm us idiots who want to buy targets like the MMRCA (including the SHs).

Notice the F-15s and by extrapolation, the F/A-18s being compared as 'past meets present' vs the JSF.


They aren't ditching them since the work-share is still greater on the Phoon. It really is a very capable fighter. However, in the long run as the costs to keep 4th and 4.5 generation aircraft relevant and "modern" rises, one would see investments slip up as many of the partners begin to trade off investments for other projects (Unmanned aircraft and future tac fighters for example). Would you spend 3 billion on R&D on the Phoon in 2025 vs just upping the F-35 order form an Italian FACO? As time goes by such tradeoffs would increasingly favor going in for the latter especially since the UK has a double digit work-share on the JSF and Italy has a FACO that it can expand at any time. The Typhoon partner nations just now committed 1 Billion for AESA. This is 2014, AESA's have been in active service on fighters since the early to mid 2000's (F-15C,F-16 E/F, F-22A, F-2). When will all the fleets finally receive an AESA? 2025? 2030? The partner nations sat down earlier this year (just before Farnborough) to hammer out the features they wished to be incorporated in the F-35 block 4 capability build (they had kept room for capability for emerging threats)..By 2018, they would sit down again and hammer out the capability for Block 5. Much of these enhancements would be funded by the US DOD that has a bulk of the fighters (2500), and would be a "adoption" expense only to the NATO partners whereas investments back into the Phoon would have to cover 100% of the R&D among a few customers since it is unlikely that all are going to be equally enthusiastic about making a down payment and waiting for years for the capability to be developed. So while a 1 billion in investment in 2014 may have some traction because it may revitalize export prospects an equal or much larger investment a decade from now is not likely to be (this is modernization as it is uncertain as to whether they would still be churning out typhoons in 2024) given the curve would begin to dip down and the slow process that the partner nations in the EU follow.

Here is the entirety of the article by Ed Timperlake as a PDF including some nice references right at the end. 50 Pages long but definitely a peek into the future from a tactical and strategic perspective.

Shaping a 21st Century approach to Tron Warfare

http://www.filedropper.com/f-35tron

Author's Background:

http://www.sldinfo.com/biography-the-ho ... imperlake/


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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2014 04:01 
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@brar_w ^^^ Thanks for the link. Very interesting read. Here's what I took away:

"..Tron warfare, is about protecting your ability to operate in shared communication space and to deny your ability to do so."

Blind them, confuse them,silo them and pick them off.

4 Squadrons of F-35 instead of the Rafale/E2K off the shelf. Learn the tactics, partner with Israel to learn how to roll our own within the F35 architecture.

Use learning to build the AMCA supplemented by lots of LCAs

I started out as a unbeliever in the JSF. If we have to import, import the JSF, At $116MM in (future) delivery dollars, that's $7.5bn. Add a 50% factor for goodies and you still wind up at half the Rafale nonsense.

At 49% ownership, get LM to assemble them in India. Use the Israelis as watchdogs on sensitive matters.

I'm sort of coming around to the view that acquisitions should be guided more by the strategic imperative rather than the more linear wishlist used by the IAF (numbers, ASQRs).

IOW, here are our goals, here are the tools you need and you will get them.

If you look at the history of the MMRCA, all the IAF wants is a replacement of the M2K to replace the Mig 21. That's not strategic thinking that's linear bean counting.

Bottom up works for market sizing for VCs. Not so much for countries figuring out the strategic equations. It has to be top down.


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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2014 07:56 
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Here is the status the Brits "may" find themselves in :

US squadrons 'may use UK carrier' for operations


Major cost blowout on the carriers, a back and forth between which variant to operate (C or B ) and then a delay to come up with funds to finally place operational orders. The USMC would declare operational status with the Beach in the 2nd half of next year, By 2016 they would deploy to Iwakuni in japan, and by 2017 they would deploy on a ship out at sea. The USAF would be deployed in Alaska, CONUS and would be rotating out of Asia by mid 2017 after declaring IOC by mid 2016. The USN would declare IOC around end of 2018 or early 2019, and would "want" to have the F-35C out at sea on the CVN-78 at the time of its induction into service later in 2019 ( I say want because the Block 3F configuration is still challenged by development).

The Brits may as well hold the carrier and station their Navy pilots with USMC rotations given they have pilots that regularly fly the F-22 and B-2's, and that the brits themselves were part of DT1 and DT2 on the Wasp. And now we know why they are only now committing to adding AESA radars to the Typhoon, and thinking about UCAV's for the future. This worst case scenario would probably not come true, but it just goes to show the state of affair with european defense spending. The timelines in the article are also a bit confusing. The first squadron for the brits begins to take shape around 2018 (in the UK). The first 4 aircraft they have ordered as part of the LRIP8, would be delivered around the end of 2016 or early 2017, with half a dozen or so coming the year after that from LRIP9..This gives them a year to train a squadron and qualify them for carrier ops which looks rather unlikely, unless they want to borrow USMC jets to do the same at the moment. The period in question is between 2018 and 2020 when the ship would be undergoing integration trials with the JSF. The ship itself does not "enter service" till mid to late 2020, around a year after the CVN-78 (Ford class). Given they progressively up the order from 6-7 in LRIP9 to around 15 in LRIP 10 (2019 deliveries) they won't have a very big problem of having a decent number of F-35's on the QE when it is finally inducted into service although the numbers would still be low for them to be comfortable.


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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2014 08:06 
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Cosmo_R wrote:
@brar_w ^^^ Thanks for the link. Very interesting read. Here's what I took away:

"..Tron warfare, is about protecting your ability to operate in shared communication space and to deny your ability to do so."

Blind them, confuse them,silo them and pick them off.

4 Squadrons of F-35 instead of the Rafale/E2K off the shelf. Learn the tactics, partner with Israel to learn how to roll our own within the F35 architecture.

Use learning to build the AMCA supplemented by lots of LCAs

I started out as a unbeliever in the JSF. If we have to import, import the JSF, At $116MM in (future) delivery dollars, that's $7.5bn. Add a 50% factor for goodies and you still wind up at half the Rafale nonsense.

At 49% ownership, get LM to assemble them in India. Use the Israelis as watchdogs on sensitive matters.

I'm sort of coming around to the view that acquisitions should be guided more by the strategic imperative rather than the more linear wishlist used by the IAF (numbers, ASQRs).

IOW, here are our goals, here are the tools you need and you will get them.

If you look at the history of the MMRCA, all the IAF wants is a replacement of the M2K to replace the Mig 21. That's not strategic thinking that's linear bean counting.

Bottom up works for market sizing for VCs. Not so much for countries figuring out the strategic equations. It has to be top down.


Here is the training the article mentions (LVC)..



The problem it tried to solve is similar to the one when the F/A-18 was introduced, when you had the same pilots practice Air to Air, Air to ground missions within the hour/annum constraints of the USN budgets. What this sort of virtual (yet live with multi-aircraft networks, and with some forces actually in the air) training allows modern pilots to do is to train for mission sets that would otherwise require a larger increase in combat flight hours. You could maintain the same NATO standard and boost up training (live) before deployments yet you could train for the added capabilities such as Electronic warfare, Cyber, using the F-35 as an ISR node for Growlers, and other non-stealthy stand off platforms (those that would be limited to such a role) etc..Missions that would otherwise take hundreds of hours of training to coordinate.

More



Last edited by brar_w on 29 Nov 2014 02:26, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2014 02:11 
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Old Video of the First kill for the Aim-120 AMRAAM on an F-16.



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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2014 02:18 
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NRao wrote:
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truly, they have made pigs fly. :eek:


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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2014 02:35 
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Rahul M wrote:
NRao wrote:
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truly, they have made pigs fly. :eek:


Appearance doesn't matter if no one can see you :)


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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2014 02:42 
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This is a STOVL aircraft that did very well at the two ship trials so far (B version). The brits seem to be happy with the performance.

Image
Image

CG Alert

Image


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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2014 07:27 
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^Which helicopter is shown in the pic (real or fictional)?


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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2014 08:15 
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Arun Menon wrote:
^Which helicopter is shown in the pic (real or fictional)?


My guess would be the Merlin HM2

Image


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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2014 08:37 
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the jsf looks like a stealth jf17


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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2014 08:45 
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A fun video put together by F-22 graduate pilots taking together F-22 footage, some of which has been around the net for a while..



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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2014 11:34 
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brar_w wrote:
Arun Menon wrote:
^Which helicopter is shown in the pic (real or fictional)?


My guess would be the Merlin HM2

Image


Interesting Main Rotor Blade design on the Merlin HM2


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