JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 22 Feb 2015 21:45

Israel to Buy 14 F-35 Fighters From US

JERUSALEM — Israel is to purchase 14 F-35 stealth fighters from US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin at a cost of around $110 million each, the defence ministry said Sunday.

"The defence ministry will purchase an additional 14 F-35s for around $3 billion, each plane costing an average of $110 million," a ministry statement said.

The $2.82 billion deal, which includes other technological and training elements, was signed at the weekend after being approved by a ministerial committee in November.

It includes the purchase of 14 stealth fighters as well as the option to buy another 17. It is the continuation of an agreement signed in 2010 to purchase 19 F-35 planes.

The deal will see Israeli weapons and aviation systems integrated into the aircraft in a move which will inject tens of millions of shekels into the local economy, the ministry said.

The first batch of aircraft are expected to arrive in Israel by the end of 2016.

When the initial agreement was announced in 2010, the defence ministry said a key part of the deal was an agreement to allow Israeli industries to get involved in the assembly of the plane and the manufacture of spare parts.


Official name for the F-35 with the IDF is ' ADIR ' which means " masculine".

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby SaiK » 24 Feb 2015 04:12


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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 24 Feb 2015 08:00

Some information shared by the Program office from the Australian presence - 2014 availability (last few months of 2014) rates at 65-70%. Fairly good given ;

A) ALIS is still a work in progress - and full capability for ALIS and the SDD build won't come until 2017 with the full SDD software build is passed along to operational aircraft
B ) The mix of F-35's currently with the users are in some stage of Concurrency change ID'd ----> Not yet carried out. The earlier builds have higher concurrency changes planned while the latter builds (LRIP 5,6) have less. The rates should improve once all concurrency change ID'd are incorporated which is going to be done at the depot level (no need to go to the factory) prior to IOC for each unit as per their schedule.
C) Work-force shortage: Currently the A varient in the USAF is facing problems with training maintainers due to the pool of maintainers being currently deployed and overworked due to combat needs. They are planning to IOC with a hybrid contractor run and service run maintain setup before the numbers are slowly brought to the optimum levels.
D) Learning curve - 26K fleet hours, still about 40% of what would be required to build optimum inventory of parts as per historic expereince

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby PratikDas » 24 Feb 2015 10:30

SMH: Revolutionary F-35 Joint Strike Fighter pilot's smart helmet will cost a bomb

Data point: US$ 133.86 million per F-35 when you buy 72 of them and you're a dossier-believing soldier-sacrificing ally.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 24 Feb 2015 17:42

The current URC is around 115 Million along with the engine. The article also over-estimates the cost of the helmet by around 20-25%. None of the partner nations are buying all of their aircraft in the Low-Rate-Initial Production phase when the price has traditionally been the highest due to many factors one of which is the fact that production process is ramping up so you have a extremely large production train producing a small number of aircraft (not optimum for the production design). The Full rate of production trend looks quite decent with the goal obviously being to have the price stabilize at 80-85 Million in 2019 (TYD). The same cost reduction would also apply to things like sensors, and the helmet itself which is going to ramp up significantly its production over the next 3 years. Also remember that the cost of the helmet is not seperate from the 115 million Unit recurring cost. The helmet comes as a part of the airframe (along with he radar, sensors, ALIS etc) while the engine is seperate (DOD practice) for billing and contractual negotiations. The current Alpha airframe cost is hovering around the 100 million mark with the F-135 (CTOL) engine hovering around the 12-15 million mark.

The Australian budgeted cost includes upgrading their fighters bases for the next 3-4 decades (basic modernization that would/should have happened even in the absence of the F-35). Furthermore, the cost also includes investments the Australians have made to prepare for very large work-share in overhauling and heavy maintainence on all F-35's operating in the Asia-Pacific region (including the USAF/USMC/USN birds operating in the region). As a partner nation (FMS customers do the same) RAAF does not negotiate prices on its own, it pays what the common pool of customers negotiate through the JPO. Everyone pays the same as the production contract is 1 and not separate for customers. The current projections have been updated with FY14 negotiations and are reflected in the SAR. Approximate ballpark figures for what the RAAF would pay for its F-35's alone (minus any construction or other misc. activities) can be calculated by looking at the SAR projections and at the Australian acquisition plan (how many aircraft, what year). For example 1.5 Billion USD in 2010 would have bought just 10 F-35A's, while the same amount in 2015 is buying 15 F-35A's (Contract signed last year)...Projecting the SAR information the same 1.5 Billion gets you around 19 in FY20. This is due to the fact that the USAF is funding/subsidizing a massive ramp up in production in that time-frame. The USAF was only buying 10 F-35's in 2010, upping it to 25 in 2015 but would up that significantly to 60 in 2020 before reaching its peak of 80 in 2022 (and holding that for over a decade).

The aircraft prices since 2010 have tracked favorably to the SAR. The only real change in SAR estimates happened when a decision was taken to reduce significant (transfer those slots to full scale production) amount of aircraft's to be produced in the LRIP/SDD phase which obviously pushed the ramp up efforts to the right ultimately also pushing cost-reduction from ramp to the right as well. The current SAR estimates reflect what the services and the international customers have pretty much locked in as far as the next hump is concerned. LRIP 9 and 10 contracts are being negotiated simultaneously and Lockheed submitted its proposal in January for close to 150 aircraft iirc. All current contract activity is through Fixed Price negotiations so from an aircraft perspective all costs are paid by lockheed if it overshoots its bid amount.

AVALON: F-35 programme chief cites slow, steady progress

The executive officer of the Lockheed Martin F-35 joint programme office is cautiously optimistic that the aircraft is on track to achieve key objectives, and that unit costs will continue to fall for the platform.

Speaking to journalists at the biennial Avalon air show, USAF Lt Gen Chris Bogdan said that memories of severe delays and problems prior to the F-35's "re-baselining" exercise in 2010-11 continue to overshadow the programme, but much progress has been made in finding ways to drive down costs. Crucially, the relationship between the US government and key contractors, Lockheed and Pratt & Whitney, has improved.

"The programme is seeing slow, steady progress," he says.

Bogdan's comments were widely anticipated among media attending the show. In 2013, he used the same venue to lash out at Lockheed and Pratt & Whitney, bemoaning what he viewed as the bad relationship between the US government and the two main contractors in the F-35 programme.

Since then, he says the relationship has improved mainly through a better balancing of risk between the government and the two key contractors.

Bogdan placed a great deal of emphasis on the jet's affordability. He estimates that by 2019 the cost of a single F-35A should will be around $80-85 million, which includes the aircraft, its F135 engine, inflation, and a profit margin for contractors.

"This is an important number," he says. "If you look across the landscape of fighter aircraft, this gets close to what you pay for a fourth generation aircraft. If a country has a choice between a fourth generation aircraft and a fifth generation aircraft at roughly the same price, that is a pretty easy decision in my mind."

There is a strong emphasis on costs. The "blueprint for affordability" programme sees the JPO incentivise contractors to cut costs related to the aircraft. Bogdan also hopes to include Foreign Military Sales (FMS) under a 'block buys' proposal, which could help drive economies of scale through the negotiation of multi-year contracts for new F-35s, as opposed to annual contracts.

A "cost war room" has been established to identify potential cost savings.

One example he gives of a war room success relates to the F-35's panel fasteners. Previously, these had a tendency to break, forcing maintenance personnel to fish around inside the aircraft for debris. This was identified as a waste of time and resources, and led to a fastener redesign. More automation is also being used to create the fighter's canopy, whereas previously this process relied almost entirely on manual labour.

Bogdan points to impressive growth in production numbers in the coming years. After the production of 36 F-35s in 2014, 45 will be produced in 2015, 61 in 2016, 72 in 2017, 93 in 2018, 102 in 2019, and 120 in 2020.

In regard to programme delays, Bogdan admits that they continue to be an issue, but says that delays now are registered in days and weeks, while previously delays were measured in years. Still,the F-35 programme still consumes $185 million per month in development costs.

Bogdan also remains confident that the US Marine Corps is on track to grant the F-35B initial operating capability this year. He adds that discussions with potential overseas customers, including Singapore, are deepening.

"The best marketing you can do is to succeed," says Bogdan.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby PratikDas » 25 Feb 2015 09:25

Thanks, brar_w. Appreciate your effort in capturing the fine print.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 25 Feb 2015 17:24

Lockheed F-35 heads for the ski jump in next key round of tests


Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will start "ski-jump testing" at a Maryland air base this week, while another B-model jet wraps up six months of tests at temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 40 Celsius) to as high as 120 F (49 C).

Two UK pilots will test the ability of the new warplane to take off from upward-sloping ski-jump ramps used on aircraft carriers like those operated by Britain and Italy. The ramps launch the jets forward and upward, reducing the thrust needed.

Sylvia Pierson, spokeswoman for the Pentagon's F-35 program office, said two British pilots, one from BAE Systems Plc and the other from the British Royal Navy, would use the first UK F-35B jet to complete the testing through late May.

The F-35 is also finishing six months of tests at the McKinley Climatic Laboratory in Florida, another key milestone before the U.S. Marine Corps declares the jet ready for initial combat use in July.


After 14 years of development, early cost overruns and schedule delays, the $400 billion F-35 fighter jet program is becoming an operational reality for the U.S. military. Over 120 jets are flying at nine U.S. bases.

Richard Aboulafia, analyst with the Teal Group, said the program has stabilized but it is unclear whether the Air Force will stick to plans to buy 1,763 F-35 A-models through 2037 even as it ramps up work on a new bomber and a "sixth generation" jet.

The F-35 climate testing has been closely watched by the U.S. military and nine other countries that have placed orders: Britain, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Norway, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands and Israel.

Pilots, technicians and F-35 program officials have tested the jet's performance in heat, driving rain, hurricane-force winds, snow, sleet and other extreme conditions.

Industry and government officials say the testing has gone better than expected, although final assessments will wait until after the testing is concluded next month.

Billie Flynn, a former Canadian Air Force pilot who tested the F-16 fighter 23 years ago in the same climate chamber, said he expected the F-35 to face some issues since it is so much more complex and software-driven.

But Flynn, now a Lockheed F-35 test pilot, said the jet surpassed his expectations. "This just gives us so much more confidence about when and where we operate the jets."

F-35 program officials and enginemaker Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, said oil in the engine became too thick at very cold temperatures, but the problem had been resolved by switching to a thinner oil used by the Air Force.

They said it was unclear if the issue would require a minor modification to an external component of the engine.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 25 Feb 2015 21:21

An insight from the man that designed the JSF cockpit ..

THE PLANE IS A BROKER OF INFORMATION”: A CONVERSATION WITH MIKE SKAFF

Background: One of the key designers of the F-35 cockpit, and one who made seminal contributions to the improvement of the F-16 cockpit as well, is Dr. Mike Skaff, the chief engineer of pilot/vehicle interface for the F-35 program, and a former USAF F-16 pilot.

Climatic Testing (Heat) :


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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Aditya_M » 28 Feb 2015 16:02

F-35B Internal Weapons Bay Can't Fit Required Load Of Small Diameter Bomb IIs

The internal weapons bay of the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter cannot fit the required Small Diameter Bomb II weapons load, and a hydraulic line and structural bracket must be redesigned and modified ahead of the planned Block 4 release in fiscal year 2022, the joint program office confirmed this week.

The Air Force and Raytheon plan to begin scaling up production of the 250-pound class, precision-attack munition, except the current F-35B internal weapons bay cannot fit four of the eight required SDB IIs in its current configuration.

The Marine Corps is purchasing 353 of the F-35B jump jets and 34 had been delivered as of Feb. 2, according to a fact sheet from prime contractor Lockheed Martin. JSF partners Italy and the United Kingdom are also procuring F-35Bs and three of those international orders have been satisfied.

In response to questions from Inside the Air Force, F-35 spokesman Joe DellaVedova confirmed the weapons bay does not currently meet the requirements to house the planned Small Diameter Bomb II load and is being redesigned and modified in line with the scheduled rollout of Block 4 capabilities.

The short-takeoff-vertical-landing (STOVL) aircraft has unique weight requirements compared with the Air Force's conventional F-35A and Navy's F-35C carrier variant because of its vertical lift fan and it has a smaller internal weapons bay.

According to DellaVedova, the JSF program has been aware of the issue for some time and expects to award Lockheed a contract later this year to complete the design changes. The F-35 is designed to carry eight precision-attack small diameter bombs internally and 16 externally on its wings, and the program office has not publicly acknowledged the issue.

The issue surfaced this month in budget documents accompanying the Air Force's FY-16 budget request. A line in the SDB II program scheduled is titled "SDB II Redesign for F-35B/C," but DellaVedova confirmed the weapons bay issue only relates to the STOVL version.

The JPO is targeting to have the F-35B weapons bay changes incorporated into the post-systems development and demonstration airplanes delivered in the 2019, 2020 time frame and beyond, DellaVedova said in a Feb. 25 phone interview with ITAF. "There are considerations for small bay changes to support the rest of the Block 4 weapons suite. Rather than make multiple small changes, we're planning to do one modification that will address all Block 4 requirements," he said.

The Air Force's Small Diameter Bomb II program is worth around $4.1 billion and will deliver around 17,000 weapons, including 5,000 for the Navy. The sophisticated, 250-pound glide weapon is produced by Raytheon and will eventually replace the legacy version built by Boeing.

SDB II integration with the F-35B will not impact the Marine Corps' preparation for initial operational capability in July, but would become a problem as new weapon systems are introduced. The F-35 is designed for stealth and carries weapons internally to reduce its radar cross section.

The Navy initially wanted to field the SDB II first on the F-35B/C but is instead bringing forward integration with the F/A-18 Super Hornet. The SDB II is an F-35 Block 4 software capability and the release of that software load has been pushed back to FY-22.

In a Feb. 24 phone interview with ITAF, Raytheon's SDB II business development executive Jeff White said F-35 fit checks have found the weapon system fits fine in the larger F-35A/C weapons bays.

"I think it's just the B," White said. "When we did our fit checks on the JSF, the A and the C basically had the same bay."

According to White, the SDB II program is nearing the end of its development phase and a production decision is due out soon. He said the SDB II form will not be altered to suit the F-35B and it is hoped the weapons bay redesign will wrap up in 2016.

White said SDB II is an important aspect of the JSF program, and the international partners are eager to receive the new weapon along with the Air Force and Navy. He expects production will ramp up to more than 4,000 munitions per year in the early 2020s.

The United Kingdom is the second largest F-35B customer behind the Marine Corps, with 138 aircraft. Italy wants 30 of the jump jets to augment its F-35A fleet.


Yet more reason why designing a one-size-fits-all aircraft was a bad idea from the outset. The VTOL model has made things terrible for the other two.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 28 Feb 2015 16:59

Yet more reason why designing a one-size-fits-all aircraft was a bad idea from the outset. The VTOL model has made things terrible for the other two.


Time to innovate.

Bombs a few decades ago were much larger than those today. This is a great opportunity to make them even more smaller.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 28 Feb 2015 17:07

Aditya_M wrote:
Yet more reason why designing a one-size-fits-all aircraft was a bad idea from the outset. The VTOL model has made things terrible for the other two.



How is this one reason to not design one size fits all? The Original design never called for a 100% identical design between three variants. I have posted a paper written by one of the lead designers on this matter. Secondly, the baseline and the war on weight required the Beach version to re-design the bay. What happened during the design effort was that the weapon bay grew to support a 2x2000 lb bomb + 2 x Aim-120 carriage. This was OK for the A and the C but not ok for the Beach. The B therefore had to do with a smaller bay that mirrored the original JAST/JSF weapon bay requirement.

The current issue was a known entity. The SDBII integration was itself moved from SDD to Block 4 some 4 and a half years ago, so it made absolutely ZERO sense for them to start to incorporate block 4 changes to the aircraft now at a time when other such changes are "unknown" given that what other stuff needs to be added on block 4 is still being decided by the partner nations. Once that is decided, all such changes would be pooled together and incorporated, be it software or hardware (computer changes, or any other required changes). The JSF was designed at a time when the SDB II design was itself not frozen, and the weapon itself has only been tested JUST NOW. And its not that the B cannot carry the SDB II as is, its an issue in carrying the number of SDBII's that the A and C can carry.

BTW, the problem is with re-designing the hydraulic line and the re-design would happen from LRIP 10 aircraft from the factory itself. Its not really a significant issue at all, and definitely nothing that is a product of a joint program requirements since this particular aspect is not common between all three variants (The bay is identical in the A and C while different in the B.

@Nrao - Bomb size is not the issue. Its an issue with re-doing some of the plumbing and hydraulic lines inside the B weapons bay. The war on weight on the B post baseline required the bay to be changed, original plumbing and hydraulic lines to be simplified etc. This essentially created a different bay that was identical in performance (carriage) to the original USMC and USAF requirement of 2 x 1000 lb bomb + 2 x Aim-120 AMRAAM. The JPO has identified the changes required and Lockheed would incorporate them into production aircraft starting 2019 or so .

You do not go around and re-design a weapon especially one with a tri-mode seeker. It is also not the Aircraft's fault if the weapons designed after it are a bit different. Even the hypersonic weapons being designed at the moment do not fit the F-22 or F-35's bay's. Is that also the fault of common requirements? :mrgreen: NO, they are purposely designed for a range/speed load that is designed around the bomber bays and their carriage is only going to be possible externally on the fighters..

The VTOL model has made things terrible for the other two.


So lets run with this. The A and the C are perfectly fine in meeting their load of 8 SDB II's internally, yet the VTOL model has made things terrible for the other two? In what other way has the VTOL made the thing terrible for the other two? As I have mentioned and tried to explain earlier, the biggest design challenges/constraints on the F-35 family were -

- A single engine requirement (USAF mandate since it would have blown their budget given the expeditionary nature of their warfare)
- A larger bay requirement in order to replace the F/A-18 and ultimately the F-117 mission set

The Marines had only one requirement that of VTOL, their performance requirement were to perfectly align with the USAF irrespective of what metrics the USAF chose. The VTOL solution on the JSF was a big reason why the Lockheed design was chosen. That solution essentially removed fuel space from the CTOL and put a lift fan in its place with the other changes being minor and having to do with weight and nozzle than anything else.
Last edited by brar_w on 28 Feb 2015 18:13, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 28 Feb 2015 17:17

AM,

Just BTW, a solution already in the works:

Raytheon’s GBU-53/B SDB-II is 7″ in diameter around the tri-mode (laser, IIR, radar) seeker, with a clamshell protective door that comes off when the bomb is dropped. A GPS receiver adds a 4th targeting mode. The bomb tapers to about 6″ diameter beyond the pop-out wings, and is about 69.5″ long. The wings remain swept back when deployed, and are about 66″ across with a 5 degree anhedral slope. The bomb weighs about 200 pounds, and all of these dimensions are important when trying to ensure that the US Marines’ F-35B, with its cut-down internal weapon bays, can still carry 4 of them per bay.


Problems are good.

Among right people they lead to solutions well beyond their own problems areas:

The US Navy is developing a Joint Miniature Munitions BRU to address internal F-35 carriage, and SDB-II also fits on BRU-61 external bomb racks. No word yet on whether the JMM BRU will also fit in the USAF’s F-22A, which is also slated to deploy this weapon

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 28 Feb 2015 17:34

^^ The weapon in question SDBII is not slated to be cleared for the F-35 before 2021 at the earliest (its a block 4 weapon) yet the F-35B would begin to roll out of the factory with the changes around 2019.

This quote form the JPO spokesperson:

The JPO is targeting to have the F-35B weapons bay changes incorporated into the post-systems development and demonstration airplanes delivered in the 2019, 2020 time frame and beyond, DellaVedova said in a Feb. 25 phone interview with ITAF. "There are considerations for small bay changes to support the rest of the Block 4 weapons suite. Rather than make multiple small changes, we're planning to do one modification that will address all Block 4 requirements," he said


The SDBII is not a part of the SDD effort, and given that the SDD phase itself has seen a 5 year delay (Total minus 2) it would have been an absolutely retarded decision to begin to seek design changes for a non-SDD configuration in SDD and delaying the program further.

In this situation you can do one of three things -

- Re-design the weapon
- Re-configure the bay
- Do both

*The AMRAAM re-design was a perfect example in the case of the F-22A raptor. I guess that was also due to a common requirement ;). Did they not know the dimensions of the AMRAAM? :mrgreen: On a more serious note - the AMRAAM was clipped to be able to carry the load of 6 in the bay, it was a conscious decision taken at the time of the F-22 design freeze because they went back and ran the numbers and the certification cost and the design changes would not significantly impact the AMRAAM program. The weapon was ready by the time the F-22A needed it. The Meteor is also getting a clip for the F-35, much like the AMRAAM got a clip for the F-22.

Image


* If the bay can be re-designed in a simpler, cost effective manner then this solution ensures compatibility with common weapons and does away with the need to re-test the weapon that can be expensive and time-consuming. This is done in cases where it is simple to do so without the need to go out and re-test separations from the bay for all of its cleared weapons. It appears that the JPO has calculated that any minor changes to the Bay on the F-35B would not involve re-testing therefore this was the option chosen as is evident from their clarification that Lockheed would be awarded a contract later this year for these changes.

I am fairly certain that a Mid-Life-Update on the F-22 would do away with the launch system for the Aim-9 as I expect a full LOAL ejector type sidewinder to be the norm around the second half of the 2020's. That would be a change incorporated to the F-22 Side bays and they would be made simpler, and lighter.

New capability is always being looked at. Some have questioned as to why the UAI interface was not a SDD requirement because it just "makes sense". Same applies for other weapons such as the SDB II that go live before SDD completion date. The problem is that these programs themselves (UAI and SDBII) were very immature during F-35's development and putting them into the SDD would have meant huge external pressure on the program's success from a time-line perspective. Sure the SDBII has gone relatively smoothly, and so has the UAI (largely) yet that was not a guarantee when the F-35 was being conceptualized or baselined. Its wiser to wait for 2-3 years post SDD and not enslave the program development to untested and risky development programs. There are likely to be other capabilities planned for the F-35 in the future that would require baseline changes to accommodate.

There are some "serious" propulsion advancements being contemplated for the F-35, even without moving to all new Adaptive Engines of the future:

Croswell said Pratt had also developed plans to upgrade the F135 engine in two separate phases.

If the Pentagon accepts and funds the plans, the first upgrades would begin in 2017 or 2018 and reduce the fuel burn of the engine by 5 to 7 percent, Croswell said. The next upgrades would begin around 2022, cutting fuel burn by 15 to 20 percent.

The upgrades drew on engine research work funded by the Air Force in recent years, he said. The service included funding for more work on a next-generation engine in its 2016 budget plan.


The reason why all this is coming out (SDBII integration steps, Engine enhancements etc etc) is because the partners started sitting down last year to begin to firm up requirements for the Block 4 configuration that is due by 2021-2022 (Block 4i and 4F). Almost all of the capability demanded in that block have been frozen yet some things are still left for negotiations. This block gets SDBII, JSM internal and external integration, Turkisk SOM internal integration among other capability (Enhancements in the capability in the EODAS and EOTS and EODAS fusion). Last year it was revealed that the USAF is looking at a Pacific focused integration plan for block 4F and beyond and all these enhancements coming out of the OEM's are because they see an opportunity to latch onto those investments.

Last year the Naval Air Systems Command issued a Presolicitation for block 4 activity -

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program Office intends to negotiate and award multiple contract actions to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Fort Worth, TX for the F-35 Block 4 Follow on Development (FoD) Program. The contract actions will include assessments and evaluations of the Air System's ability to meet future operational requirements; systems engineering and design; procurement and support for prototype construction; upgrade of existing hardware and test assets; comprehensive test and evaluation to demonstrate the development and performance of the Block 4 requirements; and acquisition of technical, administrative, and financial data.

As per the original requirement SDD phase ends with the full certification of Block 3F and with it the official developmental program concludes. Block 4 i, Block 4F and a future block 5 are upgrades that although beginning now are not included in the SDD phase (contracts are over and above SDD). Just like the F-16, the F-35 would be constantly upgraded over time, the 2020's would see two major upgrades in block IV and V.

Here is a tentative/notional Block 4/5 and block 6/7 plan.

Image

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 01 Mar 2015 20:25

An interesting article on the F-35 Production at Fort Worth

VISITING THE F-35 FINAL ASSEMBLY LINE, FORT WORTH

Highlights :

- More F-35's delivered or in Final Assembly today then the entire F-22A fleet
- First Italian F-35A Rollout is expected in a few months
- More than 400 Aircraft deployed by 2018
- More than 600 Aircraft globally deployed by 2020

Image

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 03 Mar 2015 18:40

US Program Chief: Singapore Nearing F-35 Buy

Bogdan said that the joint program office (JPO) has been exchanging information with the Republic of Singapore Air Force for a number of years to support their decision making within their timeline.

"Over the past year, the discussions we have had have deepened [and] their request for information has gotten broader, so that would indicate to us that Singapore has begun to take the next step toward making a decision," he said.

The government of Singapore had not indicated which F-35 variant it was interested in and had requested information on all three: the conventional takeoff, the short-takeoff vertical-landing, and the carrier model.


Dutch parliament approves first F-35 production order

From its next batch of eight F-35As, which will be assembled at Lockheed’s Fort Worth site in Texas, six will remain at a multinational pilot training centre in Luke AFB, Arizona until the end of the transition process in 2023. The two test aircraft now at Edwards AFB will also be relocated to Luke on the completion of the IOT&E activity.

Three further batches of eight aircraft each will be ordered between 2016 and 2018, before a final three are expected to be purchased in 2019, to complete an operational buy of 35. All of these will be delivered from a final assembly and check-out centre built at Cameri air base in Italy under a joint venture between Lockheed and Alenia Aermacchi.


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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 05 Mar 2015 18:12

A slight correction in a post above on the production data. The Italian line is going to be rolling out its first F-35A this month and not in a couple of months as I had mentioned earlier.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Cosmo_R » 05 Mar 2015 19:38

^^^And we are still futzing around with a Rafale/PAKFA whatever. The thoroughness of the supply chain and think ahead factor is stupefying. LM will get this done and What's her name CEO of LM will be proven right about the unit cost of $75MM by 2018.

Depressing.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 05 Mar 2015 19:52

The cost of the JSF family is a function of the production rate. This has been known by all that have closely followed it and have studied the production plan as was proposed and approved more than a decade ago. There are two components of significance here -

1) The learning curve: The learning curve is usually measured in man-hours per fighter by the buyer and more detailed man-hour calculations (tasked) are tracked by each manufacturer. The Big Data analytics on these projects is very impressive. The learning curve comes down over time as you move up the production over time. Short of virtually building the damn thing for years before actually doing so physically (oculus anyone :) ) there is no way to completely do away with the learning curve when it comes to industrial production. One advantage the F-35 has is that there is a common line, high commonality and the same work-force making each variant of the jet. Therefore you have to go through 1 learning curve compared to 3 different 5th generation learning curves. A dozen or so pages back, I had posted a very good representation of what the learning curve was like for the F-35 from LRIP 1 to LRIP 5 (iirc) and needless to say it was significant.

2) Production ramp up: Every step of the way when you increase production you have massive upfront investment in increasing tooling, hiring a workforce that must be trained on the process and this trickles down to the smallest of the suppliers. There is upfront cost associated with the ramp but long term savings. The F-35 production process had always been designed around a massive production capacity therefore you would not see an optimum cost-effective production until you come close to the equilibrium for the process. You are slowly getting there although the ramp has been slower then initially planed due to delays in development.

There is little Lockheed can do to reduce the cost without the production process being ramped up because they bid for, designed and got approval for a process that took into account a very high production rate and therefore the cost savings would come only when the capacity to produce that is realized. This is why you are seeing a cost reduction as contracts become larger with the OEM even willing to sign Fixed Price Contracts and take over 100% of the risk associated with cost-overruns.

The goal is to get the cost down to 80-85 Million (with he engine) in then year dollars or around 75 Million in today's dollars. Its aggressive no doubt, but even if we are to assume that the program and Lockheed gets to say 90 Million, thats still affordable. @ 90 Million UFC the 1750 fighters for the USAF would cost just shy of 160 Billion to acquire which compares favorably to much simpler programs such as the Typhoon or even the venerable Rafale. Even if you account for a higher upfront cost for the first few hundred F-35A's thats still 170-175 Billion for 1750 5th generation fighters.

Edit - Dug up the Learning curve graphic. It deals with aircraft production form the very first serial produced aircraft to LRIP3.

Image


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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 08 Mar 2015 21:39

Ski Jump testing for the F-35B should have begun. Here is the pic of the ski jump itself at Pax.

Image

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby TSJones » 09 Mar 2015 01:20



cool video! at first I didn't think the music was appropriate for the video. then, as the video progressed I really got into it! just real nice.

have you started your blog yet? if so, please advise location. thanx, tsj

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby TSJones » 09 Mar 2015 01:29

Cosmo_R wrote:^^^And we are still futzing around with a Rafale/PAKFA whatever. The thoroughness of the supply chain and think ahead factor is stupefying. LM will get this done and What's her name CEO of LM will be proven right about the unit cost of $75MM by 2018.

Depressing.


don't get depressed. this bird has got huge cultural and GDP resources behind it. it *will* work as advertised or *else*(be improved in future block releases). it's sorta like the moon shot in the '60's. foregone conclusion. India will get there, it just takes time.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 09 Mar 2015 02:33

Blog has to wait till the summer..

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 11 Mar 2015 17:41

Threat Data Biggest Worry For F-35A’s IOC; But It ‘Will Be On Time’

PENTAGON: The F-35‘s highly sensitive sensors suffer a basic problem right now: They often aren’t sure what they are detecting. That results in a high rate of false alarms. The key to fixing this lies in building highly complex data files — what we can colloquially call the threat library — and integrating them with the Joint Strike Fighter‘s software.

“I think the probably the biggest concern is with these mission data files [threat library],” Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian told me in his first interview since being named at the end of January to coordinate procurement and integration of the F-35A into the Air Force. “With any detection systems, it’s always a chore to work through what the sensor is actually seeing.”

Creating those threat files is complex enough. The data on missile launches, frequencies, opponents’ weapons and their sensors come from the Intelligence Community (IC). The Office of Secretary of Defense’s Intelligence Mission Data Center gathers the data from across the IC. A lab at Nellis Air Force Base turns that information into threat data for the Air Force’s weapons.

The Air Force civilian who handles F-35A integration, Thomas Lawhead, said the missile warning data fusion for the F-35 “is still a little too sensitive.” An Air Force officer involved with the building of the threat library told me recently that most of it is still being built and much of the combination of the plane’s fusion software and threat information won’t be ready until close to Air Force IOC.

But Harrigian several times told me calmly variations on this: “I’m very confident we are going to get to IOC on time.”


In his 2014 annual report, the director of Operational Test and Evaluation described the sensors this way: “fusion of information from own-ship sensors, as well as fusion of information from off-board sensors is still deficient. The Distributed Aperture System continues to exhibit high false-alarm rates and false target tracks, and poor stability performance, even in later versions of software.”

Full integration of the threats and the aircraft software won’t occur until close to Full Operational Capability, in part because it takes time for pilots, intelligence analysts and the plane’s builder — Lockheed Martin — to figure out exactly what the sensors are capable of and how the software should be redesigned to do the best job of taking the sensors information and the threat information and helping them work together.

In part, that’s because the F-35 gathers so much more data through its array of sensors than does its fifth generation cousin, the F-22.


On top of the challenges of assimilating and integrating the threat library data, Herrigian says they are looking hard at how to get the huge quantities of data collected by the F-35 from the plane to ground forces and ships. “As we look long at this airplane and look at the capability of the airplane to bring in all this information, how do we get it off the airplane to support the joint warfighter? We’ve talked about it, but this will take some thinking and working with the joint team to figure out how to do it appropriately.”

Since Harrigian was picked for the job to improve the service’s access to program information and give it a senior general as advocate, I asked him for an example where his rank made a difference.

About 10 days ago, he got word that pilots and maintainers needed the technical orders about the moderately famous engine “bad rub” described to the world by Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, head of the F-35 program.

“We were trying to understand exactly where the hold up was; whether it was the program office or AFMC [Air Force Materiel Command],” Harrigian told me. An email went out bearing the imprimatur of the two-star general. Magic! Answers were found. Problem solved. He grinned as he told me what happened.

One of the F-35’s crucial aspects has not been discussed much: keeping it stealthy. While Breaking Defense readers know from retired Gen. Mike Hostage that the F-35 is a stealthier airplane than the F-22. But one of the crucial aspects of stealth has always been maintaining it. How much does stealth degrade during operations? How long does it take to restore it? How much does it cost to maintain? Lockheed Martin has long boasted about the F-35’s designed-in stealth.

“I would call it one of the success stories,” Harrigian said. “But I was skeptical early on.”

Col. Carl Schaeffer, who was the Air Force’s top integration guy on the F-35 until Harrigian was named, entered the conversation and was about as positive as one can get on such a topic: “The high point for this program is the LO [Low Observables] maintainability.” He pointed to the creation by Lockheed Martin of an LO “innovation team,” formed with a range of highly experienced stealth experts as a key reason behind the success of the aircraft’s relatively easy maintenance. No one in the room offered any details except to note that no one has to apply multiple coatings that wear off. Also, Lorraine Martin, head of Lockheed’s work on the F-35, recently made it clear that the designed-in stealth has been made easier to create and maintain thanks to automation.


In other F-35 news from Tuesday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Navy Department, Adm. Jonathan Greenert said his service is “on track” for its IOC in late fiscal year 2018 — but again, software is an issue. “My concern is that the software is able to integrate all of the weapons that we have in the current aircraft in our air wing. This aircraft has to fit into our air wing: We can’t fit the air wing around the aircraft.”

Greenert has long been portrayed as a very reluctant supporter of the F-35C, mainly because of his concerns about stealth. Most of those comments have been either misunderstood or mischaracterized, but the Navy clearly is paying much closer attention to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet than to its F-35C variant of the Joint Strike Fighter right now. Talking to reporters after today’s hearing, Greenert made clear the service’s attention and anxiety focused on the F-18s: “In the end, the question is, when we go to the Joint Strike Fighter/Super Hornet integrated air wing out there, do we have enough Super Hornets? Will we be able to SLEP [Service Life Extension Program] them? I’m concerned about that shortfall.”

The Navy’s “fighter shortfall” has been an issue under debate for at least six years. But the pace of Navy fighter operations has not declined much over that period and rebuilding F-18s to keep them flying for many more hours is taking longer than expected so the problem doesn’t seem to be going away.

Meanwhile, the Marines remain the service most relentlessly committed to and optimistic service the F-35, even under a new commandant, Gen. Joseph Dunford. Their F-35B variant will be the first to reach IOC, this summer — Dunford pledged that they’re on track — and will replace three different kinds of aircraft. “It doesn’t just replace the F-18, the AV-8, and the EA-6,” Dunford told the committee. It’ll do
everything those three aircraft can do but also in…the information environment, it’ll do a significant amount more for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force.”

Doing more in the information environment, though, requires getting those sensors and their software to work.


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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby member_28640 » 11 Mar 2015 18:07

Doesnt the EODAS have a machine learning algorithm to reduce CFAR and intelligently boost resolution and more accurate threat assessment in the threat library.. Is it not included for IOC?

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby TSJones » 11 Mar 2015 18:56

the new small diameter bomb developed by the US Air Force for the F-35 A (which makes planes like the A-10 completely obsolete in my opinion) won't fit in the F-35B weapons bay without physical modification of the bay. Not slated to be done for the Marines until 2022 or there about.

http://defensetech.org/2015/03/04/new-s ... nes-f-35b/

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 11 Mar 2015 19:05

TSJones wrote:the new small diameter bomb developed by the US Air Force for the F-35 A (which makes planes like the A-10 completely obsolete in my opinion) won't fit in the F-35B weapons bay without physical modification of the bay. Not slated to be done for the Marines until 2022 or there about.

http://defensetech.org/2015/03/04/new-s ... nes-f-35b/


We've discussed this a few posts back. The weapons was not a part of SDD because the F-35 design was firmed up before the weapon's design itself was firmed up. The bomb on either variant is slated to go active with block 4 software build in late 2021 or 2022, as was the plan that was established since day-1 of the program. The SDBII itself does not become operational until a couple of more years and would not enter full rate of production till the middle of 2020. The B requires plumbing and some ducting changes and it is probably simpler for them to do that at than to demand a modified bomb design which would impact its cost and production rates. The hard changes to the F-35B would be incorporated in 2019, a full 3 years before the bomb is supposed to be operational with the F-35 (thats a software thing).

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Cosmo_R » 12 Mar 2015 15:36

NRao wrote:AM,

......

Problems are good.

Among right people they lead to solutions well beyond their own problems areas:



Agree. I thought of something when I looked at that picture ^^^ of the JSF refueling. Not too long ago, it used to be either boom or probe/drogue. It now looks like that with the help of the local plumber, they've fashioned an 'adapter' for the boom to connect to the probe.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 12 Mar 2015 18:18

GopiN wrote:Doesnt the EODAS have a machine learning algorithm to reduce CFAR and intelligently boost resolution and more accurate threat assessment in the threat library.. Is it not included for IOC?


Yes an algorithm does exist. I'll try to summarize some of this so bear with me :)

The EODAS and EOTS sensors much like other systems onboard function in a fused manner. So you have EODAS, EOTS, Antenna (11), Radar and CNI data going into the fusion system (in fact the radar does not have a traditional back end, all the computing is done by the fusion IC). Therefore you need to specifically define when the EODAS data is inadequate requiring a handoff to the EOTS or the radar for example, or when to fuse EODAS data from a two or four ship to establish positive ID beyond all reasonable doubt. Same applies to the EOTS, the radar and other sensors (various bands in the EW and CNI suites). This requires two things, one is to establish the sensitivities and limits of individual systems and then tinkering around with algorithms. At the heart of all this are the threat libraries. When you have the volume of data being sucked in (The F-35 has been described by pilots as a " vacuum for data" ) you need to have a very comprehensive and updated threat library that is translated to actionable things within the system. Thats what they are doing at the moment. Its much tougher than what the team did on the F-22A, because you have significantly more parameters thanks to the IR/EO coverage, a decade+ in advancement in EW RF apertures, the radar that is active, passive and Electronic warfare capable and the much more advanced CNI suite that has seamless sharing and SA build-up through MADL.

The EODAS, EOTS and sensor fusion capability is a staggered release. At block 2b you'll have X capability, that would be hanced as the 3F is rolled out in 2017 before going operational a few months later. Same thing with the USAF F-35A, because those aircraft would have the better faster computer upgrades they would have a slightly higher level of sensor performance than what the Marines get. The Marines would also get those upgrades by 2016 (the same time the USAF IOC's). So the threat libraries would very much a part of IOC but the team working on them (53rd Wing Electronic Warfare Squadron) is more concerned about providing the Pacific package in its totality by the time the US Marines deploy to Iwakuni in Japan (first half 2017) so that is really not a challenge given they are aiming for a July-December 2016 delivery date for the USAF. Block 3F expands on what the marines get by block 2b/3I and is the sort of material the program declares FOC with.

At IOC both the USMC's F-35B's (July-Dec 2015) and USAF's F-35A's (July-Dec 2016) would be limited in capability not because of the aircraft or software but because of the supply of maintainers. This supply of maintainers determines how quickly they can ramp up their learning curve and deploy internationally. That is dependent on a host of factors but for the marines it is going to take around 18 months after IOC to have the logistics sorted out, and the F-35 enterprise fully incorporated into their system to conduct a deployment to Japan. For the USAF it may be a bit tricky since they are finding it hard to physically find maintainers because of the demands at the moment due to current deployments. Their learning curve before deployment may be closer to 2 years given they are short on maintainers, and must pull from other programs (hence the push to retire the A-10) and then give them time to graduate and become proficient.

Last edited by brar_w on 13 Mar 2015 05:54, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby member_28640 » 12 Mar 2015 18:41

Thanks for your patience saar, cleared a lot

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 12 Mar 2015 20:40

No problem.

An update on the Italian FACO mentioned a few days ago.

The first F-35 built in Italy is now out of the hangar

Image

Update -

Italy Produces First F-35 Outside US

ROME — The first joint strike fighter assembled outside the US rolled off an assembly line in Italy on Thursday, Lockheed Martin said in a statement.

The aircraft, designated AL-1, was the first of eight aircraft being assembled at the final assembly and check out (FACO) facility at Cameri Air Base in northern Italy. AL-1 is due to fly for the first time later this year, Lockheed Martin said.


Italy is assembling its F-35s at Cameri, currently an order of 90 aircraft, and will assemble Dutch aircraft as well. The facility is also being used to build wing sets under contract to Lockheed Martin. The first wing section has been completed and is due to be shipped to Lockheed's Fort Worth, Texas, F-35 production line for final assembly.

Owned by the Italian Ministry of Defense, Cameri is operated by Italian firm Alenia Aermacchi and Lockheed Martin, with 750 staff now based at the 101-acre facility, which includes 22 buildings and over a million square feet of covered workspace.

Last December, the site was chosen by the DoD as Europe's F-35 airframe maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade center, which should guarantee work for Cameri after Italy's jets have been assembled.


Image

First Italian F-35A rolled out of Cameri facility

High resolution:

http://theaviationist.com/wp-content/up ... ll-out.jpg

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 13 Mar 2015 10:25

Have been saying this for months. Hopefully this puts an end to the Boeing vs Lockheed, F-18E/F/G vs F-35C debate that was never a real issue unlike what some in the media (and some even here ;) were trying portray.

US Navy Details New Strike Fighter Need

WASHINGTON – It's been only two years since the US Navy quit buying F/A-18 Super Hornet strike fighters – part of a long-planned transition to the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter -- but a confluence of events has led to the new possibility that more attack aircraft could be ordered from Boeing.

When the US Navy submitted its fiscal 2015 request a year ago, it was the first budget since the 1970s that did not include some version of the F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter. Procurement of F/A-18 E and F Super Hornets ended in 2013, and the last of 138 EA-18G Growler electronic warfare versions was included in the 2014 budget.

Congress, however, added an unplanned-for 15 Growlers in the 2015 budget, responding to a Navy unfunded priority list request to meet a joint tactical need. The move keeps open Boeing's St. Louis production line an extra year, through 2017.

Now, a strike fighter shortfall the Navy thought it could manage by a variety of methods is being further exacerbated, and it seems highly likely that when the new unfunded requirements list is submitted to Congress by mid-March, it will include a request for new Super Hornets.

"We have a shortfall in Super Hornets, we do," Adm. Jon Greenert, chief of naval operations, told Congress on March 4. "And we're going to have to work our way through here in order to manage it."

The shortfall is not a new situation – it's been developing for years, and was something the Navy's leadership thought it could manage its way through. But in recent weeks, sources said, the emphasis has shifted from using current resources to deal with the problem to including the purchase of new aircraft as part of an overall solution.

Simply put, the situation breaks down like this:

The fleet has about 600 F/A-18C Hornet "legacy" aircraft – pre-Super Hornet strike fighters – in its current inventory, with something over half scheduled to be replaced by 340 new F-35C Joint Strike Fighters. About 300 of the 18Cs are out of service, according to the Navy.
Budget constraints and software development issues have pushed out F-35C procurement to the right – delayed by several years – and the first "35 Charlies" aren't scheduled to reach initial operating capability until 2018. Full rate production of 20 aircraft per year isn't planned until 2020, and it will be another two years before those aircraft enter service.
Increased operating tempos due to combat operations against the Islamic State in northern Iraq and western Syria meant that the Navy did not realize reduced flying hours from the drawdown in Afghanistan.
Thus the legacy Hornets need to keep flying longer. While they were rated up to a lifespan of 6,000 flying hours, the Navy figures it needs a service life extension program (SLEP) to get 150 of those planes out to 8,000 hours.
With fewer F/A-18Cs flying, newer E and F Super Hornets are being used up at higher rates than planned.
Budget reductions in recent years reduced money for depot maintenance, creating something of a backlog that, a year ago, reached 65 F/A-18Cs. Technicians, however, discovered much higher levels of corrosion when those aircraft were opened up, leading to growth in the number of aircraft that needed work, and a longer work period to deal with them. While the Navy has restored the depot funding, the backlog has expanded from 65 to 100 aircraft, and the service is struggling to hire more skilled labor to work on the planes.
The growth in the backlog of 35 aircraft over the past year led Greenert to estimate the need was for "two or three squadrons" of new strike fighters to plug the gap. F/A-18 E and F Super Hornets are organized into 12-plane squadrons, while 18Cs fly in squadrons of 10 aircraft. Two squadrons of new planes works out to 24 aircraft, 36 for three squadrons.
The Navy in 2012 surveyed its strike fighter inventory to assess the problem. "We looked at the inventory challenges," said Rear Adm. Mike Manazer, the Navy's director of air warfare. "SLEP 150 F/A-18Cs and buy 41 Es and Fs."

"As we pushed JSF outside to the right -- this latest budget moved 16 outside the FYDP [six-year Future years Defense Plan] -- I'm not making up those aircraft." Over the past three years, Manazir said, a total of 159 F-35C carrier variant and F-35B Marine jump jets have been moved out of the FYDP.

Assuming the air fleet keeps flying at about 330 hours a year per airplane, he said, "from 2020 to 2035, I need to be buying about 30 to 39 aircraft per year to replace" older, worn-out aircraft. "It's a product of supply and demand."

Another key factor, Manazir noted, is the Super Hornet mid-life refit program expected a decade from now.

"I have to get 563 Super Hornets out to 9,000 hours," he noted. "Ten years from now I'm going to be in the middle of SLEP'ping 563 airplanes. Do I have enough depot capacity? If I can do that successfully, I can manage that risk. Procurement [of new aircraft] reduces that risk."

Some observers look at a Navy effort to keep buying Boeing F/A-18s as an indication the service is soft on support for the Lockheed Martin F-35. Manazir insists there is no truth to that.

"There is no move here to not buy something," he declared. "In order for me to win in 2024 I have to have F-35Cs flying with F-18Es and Fs. I have to. And I have to be able to fill my air wings out.


"I am trying to get rid of the myth that all the Navy wants to do is continue F-18 Es and Fs. If I only have F-18 Es and Fs in 2024 I can't win. [The JSF is] fourth generation – I have to have a number of F-35C squadrons."

"What I try to do is avoid – because it's not true -- the F-18 Boeing versus the Lockheed Martin F-35" story line, he said. "Because for the United States Navy it's not all about getting the F-35, it's about getting the integrated capabilities of the high-end war fight -- which takes the F-18 E F and the F-35C. It takes them both."

The number of aircraft Greenert is talking about, Manazir said, is the right number.

"So two to three squadrons in 2016 -- 36 airplanes -- helps me reduce my risk of extension for that.

"If I reduce my risk through that procurement that he testified to, and I can extend my 18Es and Fs to the plan that I'm going to now, and I'm going to procure F-35Cs to the tune of 20 per year starting in 2020. I've reduced my risk to a manageable level. And that's my entire cohesive plan going forward."

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Singha » 13 Mar 2015 12:16

I am warming up to the looks of the current JSF, the smooth gray skin and fine tolerances is nice to see.
though I preferred the Boeing "bullfrog" JSF design more than the LM.
the chi chi internal bay with smart weapons get my vote as well.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby member_22539 » 13 Mar 2015 17:34

^Is there any chance some of these retired F-16s or F-18s will find their way in to the paki inventory? If so, how effective would they be?

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 13 Mar 2015 17:45

No chance. I'll have to dig up but there was an article published a few years ago by Flight showing how hard the F-16's and F-18's are aging due to basically being in a war like tempo for well over a decade. These are 8000 hour air-frames (6000 for F-18 classic) but that 8000 is a mix of combat and peacetime trying. The increased use of combat has meant an accelerated aging. Frankly they are worn out. The F-18's are getting a SLEP and the F-18E/F's would require a SLEP in the mid 2020's (that early). The F-35 has been delayed and that has resulted in a great level on stress towards the end of life of these aircrafts. So the Pakistanis or anyone else are unlikely to have a lot of F-16's or F-18's with decent life left in them to pick from.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 13 Mar 2015 17:52

Singha wrote:I am warming up to the looks of the current JSF, the smooth gray skin and fine tolerances is nice to see.
though I preferred the Boeing "bullfrog" JSF design more than the LM.
the chi chi internal bay with smart weapons get my vote as well.


The F35 looks quite nice in person, decent on the flight line but the best in the air imho. I haven't seen the CV but have seen the other 2 taking off and landing (not up close). When the JSF announcement was made a reporter specifically asked the Secretary of the US Air Force whether Boeing's designs's looks had anything to do with it loosing out :).

By far my favorite 5th generation design would have been this -

Image

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Singha » 13 Mar 2015 18:29

thats everyone's favourite. i purchased a model for my son in a disney park a couple months back. those big diamond wings and upward visible exhausts
are to die for

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 13 Mar 2015 18:53

Again a design that looks very good from the side and when flying. It is rather bland from the front imho when viewed up close but it gets better on the flight line from the videos. I have seen it a few times at the National USAF museum. The YF-22 and ultimately the F-22 look much better front on. Also the rear of the YF-23 looks rather bad but you have to give it to them, that back was going to be significantly re-done had they continued to work on the design in the EMD.

The YF23 obviously has a very large internet fan following due to its unconventional shape and design, however one must keep in mind that the YF22 and YF23 were PAV's that were a reflection of what the two teams (Lockheed/Boeing/GD and Northrop/MD) had going at the time the prototypes were built. The competition never judged the two teams based on the PAV's. The PAV's existed only to mature the design and de-risk the final submission. Both Lockheed and Northrop had significant design enhancements already planned while they were building the prototype vehicles. Ultimately it was those design submissions that were to be judged and not the vehicles. Same was the case with the JSF. The prototypes were only to advance the activities in the design teams and not to be some sort of benchmark or head on performance. In both the ATF and JSF programs more than 50% of what the prototypes were supposed to demonstrate in terms of capability was left up to the contractors. Beyond some basic flight characteristics they could choose to test out or de-risk whichever capability they felt would make their design less risky. It was the "skunk works" mentality of lockheed that sealed it for them in the ATF and JSF programs. They were able to rapidly roll out prototype changes and incorporate maximum design changes in the small amount of time period between Demval contract and prototype rollout. Northrop struggled with that, they had a huge number of changes that were to take place even by the time the prototype was flown. There were certain requirements lifted such as the use of thrust reversers, lockheed was able to change the prototype design and reduce weight and size very rapidly, northrop could not therefore their vehicle carried that baggage throughout the evaluation process. Risk-management and rapid prototyping were Kelly's strong suits and he built that into the culture of skunk works. Northrop struggled big time with this and have now addressed that through Scaled Composites.


Singha
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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Singha » 13 Mar 2015 20:45

Only the f22 horizontal tail fins changed some from proto..rest of it did not change much

Viv S
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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Viv S » 13 Mar 2015 20:52

Singha wrote:Only the f22 horizontal tail fins changed some from proto..rest of it did not change much


Other stuff also underwent modest modifications - wing design, cockpit position, wing sweep angle etc. Nothing quite as radical as the YF-23 EMD though.

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