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International Aerospace Discussion

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 31 May 2017 19:36

USAF Reveals Air-to-Air Weapon For F-22 Successor


The U.S. Air Force’s next-generation air-to-air weapon, likely planned to equip the service’s future air superiority fighter, is finally emerging from the shadows.
As the Pentagon grows increasingly worried about peer adversaries like Russia and China fielding sophisticated surface and air threats designed to undermine U.S. dominance of the skies, the Air Force offered a peek at its new “Air Dominance Air-to-Air Weapon” in budget documents released May 23. The service is asking for $1 million to stand up the project in its fiscal 2018 budget request—the first time the new capability has appeared on paper.

Initial development of the new air-to-air weapon is part of the Air Force’s Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program, the effort to develop a new air superiority fighter planned to follow the stealthy F-22 Raptor. This effort previously was known as the “sixth-generation fighter” or F-X, and now also is called Penetrating Counterair (PCA).

Altogether, the service is requesting $294.7 million in fiscal 2018 to continue studying options for NGAD, including $1 million for concept development, integration assessments and technology risk-reduction activities for the future air dominance weapon.

Little is known about the next-generation air-to-air capability. It may be a successor to the Raytheon-built AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile the Raptor currently carries, or possibly a longer-range version of those weapons. A longer-range air-to-air missile also could equip future non-stealthy aircraft that have to stand off from surface-to-air missile threats.

NGAD and its future air-to-air weapon were born out of the Air Force’s Air Superiority 2030 study, which aimed to find new ways to dominate the skies as near-peer adversaries like Russia and China continue to close the capability gap. That study, rolled out last spring, found that the best path forward is developing a “family of systems,” likely including a new air superiority fighter, to address the range of threats in a highly contested environment.

As such, the missile is likely one of a suite of weapons the Air Force is developing for its future fleet. The service has also talked publicly about a Small Advanced Capabilities Missile (SACM)—an air-to-air weapon smaller and more affordable than either the AIM-9X or AIM-12—designed to increase the magazine depth of a future PCA capability and better overwhelm enemy defenses. SACM was spawned by the Air Force Research Laboratory and the concept is now being matured under contract with Raytheon, along with the separate Miniature Self-Defense Munition. However, SACM was not mentioned in the Air Force’s research and development budget documents for fiscal 2018.

The Air Force also is developing future air-to-ground weapons to counter sophisticated surface-to-air weapons being fielded by peer adversaries. The Stand In Attack Weapon (SIAW) is an air-to-surface weapon designed to hold at risk these types of threats, and will be integrated on the F-35, the next-generation B-21 stealth bomber and other future platforms like NGAD/PCA, according to the Air Force. The Air Force Life Cycle management Center is conducting an analysis of alternatives for SIAW that is scheduled to be complete in the third quarter of fiscal 2018, according to budget documents. Milestone A, or approval to enter the technology maturation and risk-reduction phase, is scheduled for fiscal 2019.

Separately, the service is studying possibilities for a Next Generation Strike Weapon, according to budget documents. This could be a longer-range version of the SIAW, for aircraft that have to stand off, but few details are known. The Navy, for its part, has discussed a Next Generation Land Attack Weapon to replace Raytheon’s Tactical Tomahawk, which could be similar in capability to the Next Generation Strike Weapon.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 31 May 2017 21:55


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 01 Jun 2017 19:15

Canada is threatening to cancel buying 18 F/A-18E/F .............. if the US (Boeing) continues block sales of Bombardier in the US.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Vips » 01 Jun 2017 21:13

^^^^ US missile interceptor test.

The successful test of a US missile interceptor has sparked concerns in China as experts said it will break the strategic balance with other nuclear powers and signals preparations for military action against nuclear-armed North Korea.

The US has successfully tested a mock intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) using its own upgraded long-range interceptor warhead.

"This test is similar to actual combat because it used X-band radar to track and lock on to the target - an ICBM - by itself. In the past, the US used a medium-range missile and the defence system had the data and information about the target before the test," Yang Chengjun, a senior military strategist on missile studies from the PLA Rocket Force, told the Global Times.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 01 Jun 2017 21:17

But we know that China just accomplished the incredible feat of producing a really really fast interceptor missile, and they have S400 which should be delivered shortly (if they haven't begun) so nothing for them to worry about.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Jun 2017 05:43

F-35A footage doing what appears to be a PAS routine at Fort Worth. Still envelope limited (7G) till end of the year but far more aggressive than before.

Last edited by brar_w on 04 Jun 2017 06:56, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Jun 2017 06:20

brar_w wrote:F-35A footage doing what appears to be a PAS routine at Fort Worth. Still envelope limited (7G) till end of the year but far more aggressive than before.



Practicing for the Paris Air Show


It took several stops and starts before officials announced that Lockheed Martin pilots will fly a U.S. Air Force F-35A, performing aerobatics in the skies above Le Bourget Airport.

The demonstration will showcase the maneuverability of Lockheed’s fifth-generation fighter and perhaps lay to rest claims that the F-35 cannot match some fourth-generation aircraft in power and performance. The Joint Strike Fighter’s maneuverability was famously called into question in July 2015, when a blogger got his hands on a report stating that the aircraft was outclassed by the F-16 in mock aerial combat.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Jun 2017 06:21

Meanwhile ............................. a data point.

Inside The Cockpit: Flying The F-22 Against Islamic State In Syria

Cruising in the midnight sky above western Syria, “Crash” could scarcely believe the lethal Soviet air defenses below had no idea he was there. It was September 2014, the opening salvo of U.S.-led airstrikes on Islamic State group targets in Syria, and Crash was flying the stealth F-22 Raptor on its first combat mission.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Jun 2017 06:56

NRao wrote:
brar_w wrote:F-35A footage doing what appears to be a PAS routine at Fort Worth. Still envelope limited (7G) till end of the year but far more aggressive than before.



Practicing for the Paris Air Show


It took several stops and starts before officials announced that Lockheed Martin pilots will fly a U.S. Air Force F-35A, performing aerobatics in the skies above Le Bourget Airport.

The demonstration will showcase the maneuverability of Lockheed’s fifth-generation fighter and perhaps lay to rest claims that the F-35 cannot match some fourth-generation aircraft in power and performance. The Joint Strike Fighter’s maneuverability was famously called into question in July 2015, when a blogger got his hands on a report stating that the aircraft was outclassed by the F-16 in mock aerial combat.


I was chatting with Lt. Col Christine Mau a couple of years ago at Andrews AFB show (F-35A EG #5027 static display), and she was talking about how the the way the ITF community flies the aircraft it would appear that a future display would be a mix between the F-18E, and the F-22A in terms of the sort of maneuvers and performance.

Similar low speed high alpha as the SH but with higher energy and faster recovery. It appears from your link that a contractor ITF member will be doing the actual routine at PAS instead of the usual AF uniformed pilot. Makes sense since LM does not own an aircraft yet, and the ITF folks have been the ones opening up the envelope and therefore doing the most aggressive flying for the longest time. By Farnborough next year, they'll be flying with a full up block 3F, 9G A variant.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Jun 2017 18:20


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Re: Indian Space Programme Discussion - Sept 2016

Postby Singha » 05 Jun 2017 07:56

pic of falcon rocket. the heavy config will have 3 of these, each housing 9 engines/nozzles, similar style as delta4H

Image

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Re: Indian Space Programme Discussion - Sept 2016

Postby Singha » 05 Jun 2017 07:57

the outer ring of nozzles is fixed and only the center one looks swivel.
looks like a fairly low tech plant, less uber looking than a car production....about the type which assembles fridges and AC.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Singha » 05 Jun 2017 16:15

i know the big square panel is TWS and the small square panel on right bottom maybe for communicating to the missiles...what are the other two panels in the back for ? some SR radars to trigger inbound ARMs and deploy countermeasures like those 64 pack micro-SAMs ?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 05 Jun 2017 16:17

Besides the main antennal the small square front panel is for missile uplink to the TVM PAC-2. I believe the main antenna is expected to handle missile communication to PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE on the AESA. The two rear panels are radar antennas. They are roughly quarter the size (each) of the front panel and have their own IFF. The basic set up, i.e. just the front GaN antenna and the Configuration 3+ Processor/Configuration offers a 2x+ increase in radar performance (range) over the PESA Configuration-3 Patriot. The two rear quarter panels offer rear coverage for AAW in their specific sectors. This configuration assumes a processor and antenna upgrade to the radars only given the installed based of Configuration 3 and 2 sensors out there among the dozen or so operators.

For Ballistic Missile Defense, the US Army requirement for very fast revisit rates force rotating radars to stop when confronted by a TBM threat. This forces multiple design choices/trades. On the US MEADS configuration, Lockheed chose to pack two Fire Control Radars (plus one wide area surveillance radar) where one rotating FCR focuses on AAW while the other on the TMD threat and would stop and provide sectored coverage in case of a ballistic missile raid. This was/is different from the German configuration where they intend on using one LFS and one FCR, or 2 FCR (where one performs surveillance and the other fire control).

On this particular Patriot configuration, Raytheon has chosen to include smaller rear antennas that cover the AAW threat while the main fixed antenna meets the US Army's TBM and AAW requirements for the system. The rear panels provide main beam uplink to the PAC-3, but they do not cover the PAC-2. The main threat to deployed US forces in the rear is from Cruise missiles (All possible TBM sectors get dedicated sensor with overlap) hence the rear panels, supplemented by linked AN/MPQ-64's which are also being upgraded with a new active GaN X-Band antenna for increased performance (A4 upgraded configuration). These dispersed radars will allow Launch on Remote operations using the PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE (and future interceptors) even when the incoming target is not in the primary patriot radars coverage (due to flying low altitudes for example). Later they expect a dual band missile data-link (simultaneous C and X band coverage) which would allow forward pass allowing for intercepts to take place using the patriot control system and launcher but without the radar i.e. the incomming target is never detected or tracked by the primary radar nor is the primary radar the supplier of missile uplink update.

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 06 Jun 2017 15:31

Japan rolls out first domestically built F-35



The conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35A for the Japan Air Self-Defense force (JASDF) was unveiled at the site of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility in Nagoya in central Japan.

Japan is one of only two F-35 customers outside of the United States to have a FACO production facility, with Italy being the other. The JASDF is to receive 42 F-35As, of which 38 will be built by MHI at its FACO (the first four aircraft are being built by Lockheed Martin at its Fort Worth facility in Texas). Designated AX-5, work on this first Japanese-produced aircraft began in December 2015.

As well as assembling aircraft, the FACO will also provide maintenance, repair, overhaul, and upgrade services to F-35s based in the North Asia-Pacific region from about 2018. The FACO at Nagoya is part of a wider industrial F-35A package for Japan that includes airframe parts manufacture for MHI, engine assembly for the IHI Corporation, and the production of electrical components by Mitsubishi Electric.




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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 07 Jun 2017 15:21

Skunk Works Hints At SR-72 Demonstrator Progress


DENVER, Colorado—Four years after revealing plans to develop a Mach 6 strike and reconnaissance aircraft, Lockheed Martin says hypersonic technologies are now sufficiently mature to enable progress towards a flight demonstrator.

The company’s secretive Skunk Works unit has been working since at least the early 2000s on the basic building blocks for an operational hypersonic vehicle and in 2013 revealed to Aviation Week it was developing a scaled demonstrator for the SR-72, a proposed successor to the U.S. Air Force’s long-retired Mach 3 SR-71 Blackbird spy plane.

However, details on any subsequent progress have been scarce since this initial plan was unveiled.“We’ve been saying hypersonics is two years away for the last 20 years, but all I can say is the technology is mature and we, along with Darpa and the services, are working hard to get that capability into the hands of our warfighters as soon as possible,” says Rob Weiss, Lockheed Martin’s executive vice president and general manager for Advanced Development Programs.

Speaking to Aviation Week on the sidelines at the AIAA Aviation 2017 forum here, Weiss cautions, “I can’t give you any timelines or any specifics on the capabilities. It is all very sensitive. Some of our adversaries are moving along these lines pretty quickly and it is important we stay quiet about what is going on. We can acknowledge the general capability that’s out there, but any program specifics are off limits.”

However, Weiss hints that work on a combined cycle propulsion system and other key advances needed for a viable hypersonic vehicle are reaching readiness levels sufficient for incorporation into some form of demonstrator. Following critical ground demonstrator tests from 2013 through 2017, Lockheed Martin is believed to be on track to begin development of an optionally piloted flight research vehicle (FRV) starting as early as next year. The FRV is expected to be around the same size as an F-22 and powered by a full-scale, combined cycle engine.

While no specific details have been revealed, it is known that Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne have been teamed since 2006 on work to integrate an off-the-shelf turbine with a scramjet to power an aircraft with a combined cycle propulsion system from standstill to Mach 6 plus
. The development built on work begun earlier under the Air Force/Darpa HTV-3X reusable hypersonic demonstrator, which was cancelled in 2008 but went a step further to integrate a high-speed turbine engine. The HTV-3X concept was an outgrowth of Darpa’s Falcon program, which included development of small launch vehicles, common aero vehicles and a hypersonic cruise vehicle.

“The combined cycle work is still occurring and obviously a big breakthrough in the air-breathing side of hypersonics is the propulsion system,” Weiss adds. “So this is not just on combined cycle but on other elements of propulsion system.”
The technology of the “air breather has been matured and work is continuing on those capabilities to demonstrate that they are ready to go and be fielded,” he adds.

Depending on progress with the FTV, which would fly in the early 2020s, Lockheed Martin has previously said the follow-on step would be development of a full-scale, twin-engine SR-72. Built to roughly the same proportions as the SR-71, the larger vehicle would enter flight test in the late 2020s.



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Paul » 09 Jun 2017 11:49

The thankless job of unloading cargo from a Heavy transport. Just think of the unsexy work that goes into writing SOPs for these jobs. Something to think of for our BRFites.

As the saying goes: Layman thinks tactics, Armyman thinks Logistics.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby shiv » 09 Jun 2017 17:41

^^Not just unsexy - dangerous too even for the ground crew

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 09 Jun 2017 18:09

Pratt Forges Ahead With F-35 Engine Upgrade Plans, Eyes Next Gen


Pratt & Whitney reached a new milestone in its road map for upgrading the F135 turbofan that powers the Joint Strike Fighter, and is looking to leverage that success to help secure the next generation of fighter propulsion.

The engine maker recently completed key tests of a proposed core upgrade package for the F135, confirming the potential for substantial fuel savings and higher thrust as soon as 2020. Crucially, the improved performance would come at a reasonable price to the U.S. government; the upgraded powerplant is “cost-neutral” from a procurement perspective, says Matthew Bromberg, president of Pratt & Whitney Military Engines.

But the F-35 is planned to fly far beyond 2020—until 2070, if recent Pentagon estimates prove correct. The fighter will need an engine that can keep pace with technological advancements for the next five decades. For now, as prime contractor on the F-35 powerplant, Pratt has a foothold in current and near-term U.S. fighter propulsion. But as threats and technologies evolve, that may change. Both Pratt and General Electric are working under the U.S. Air Force-led Adaptive Engine Technology Demonstration (AETD), as well as the follow-on Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP), to test technology for a new generation of fighter engines. Under AETP, Pratt and GE are developing demonstrators—Pratt’s XA101 and GE’s competing XA100—to pave the way for an adaptive, 45,000-lb.-thrust-class combat powerplant, as well as the possible reengining of the JSF.

Hoping to stave off competition from GE and other engine makers, Pratt has framed its F135 upgrade effort as the first step in a long-term plan for fighter propulsion based on adaptive engine technology. That not only refers to the three-stream adaptive cycle that industry is developing, but also adaptive controls, an adaptive sustainment system and eventually perhaps an adaptive core that can handle unique operating pressure ratios, Bromberg says.

Pratt’s F135 modernization plan is envisioned as a seamless bridge to a next-generation fighter engine—the initial core upgrade package, or Growth Option (GO) 1.0, is just the first step.

“As each upgrade becomes available, we will look at taking the elements of that architecture suite and inserting that into the motors as available,” says Bromberg. “Adaptive architecture is the umbrella for the future of fighter engine propulsion, and Growth Option 1.0 will be the first incarnation of upgrading the JSF.”

GO 1.0 represents the first phase in a two-stage improvement road map scenario for the F-35 engine first unveiled in 2015 and promising 6-10% more thrust and a 4-6% fuel-burn reduction (AW&ST April 13-26, 2015, p. 26). It builds on a suite of core technologies evaluated since 2013 under the U.S. Navy-sponsored Fuel Burn Reduction (FBR) program. It also incorporates design improvements developed by Pratt under earlier technology programs including the Air Force-supported component and engine structural assessment research, known as Caesar, which focused on the F135’s predecessor, the F-22’s F119 engine.

Evaluation of the package, which is focused on the high-pressure compressor, turbine and combustor stages, was done using testbed engine FX701-01 at Test Site A3 at Pratt’s West Palm Beach, Florida, facility. Although not a program of record for the F-35, Pratt says risk-reduction work performed on the test rig has proved GO 1.0 can be executed as a low-cost means of improving the aircraft’s range and acceleration.

“We feel very confident that we could launch a program, complete the testing and EMD [engineering, manufacturing and design], and have a production change or retrofit available by 2020,” explains Bromberg. If given “the green light” to begin work on a formal improvement package this year, Bromberg says the development would align with the JSF’s planned Block 4.2 upgrade.

Pratt believes GO 1.0 is attractive to the F-35 community, primarily due to affordability. After the “relatively short” EMD program, the U.S. government would have to swap out the old engine for the new, upgraded system across the fleet, but that could be accomplished on an attrition basis during scheduled depot maintenance.

“We could cut it into production and we could cut it into depot retrofits . . . if you did it on an attrition basis when you are replacing hardware anyway, the cost of the hardware is roughly the same,” Bromberg points out. If the government decides to force a retrofit, it must pay for the core module, but that would be “the incremental cost.”

A key advantage of GO 1.0 is that it fits into the existing sustainment structure for the F-35, including the troubled Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) that provides the maintenance backbone of the fleet. Lockheed Martin has encountered challenges integrating the Pratt engine into the latest ALIS iteration, 2.0.2, and just started delivering the new system to the fleet in April.

“It’s just a drop in part number change and suite of health management tools that will go right into ALIS, so [there are] no changes to ALIS” aside from updating part changes and the new health-monitoring algorithms, says Bromberg. “If you go to a new core it’s an entirely new engine. It requires an entirely new instance of ALIS or a complete upgrade.”

In addition, GO 1.0 is “variant common,” so it can be dropped into any of the three U.S. JSF variants or partner aircraft, Bromberg says.

The second phase of Pratt’s F135 road map, GO 2.0, would incorporate additional adaptive engine technology features in development through Air Force and Navy-supported initiatives, primarily including AETD and AETP. Both Pratt’s XA101 and GE’s XA100 are initially sized for potential application on the F-35.

GO 2.0, which also could include elements of the Navy’s variable cycle advanced technology program, would introduce more radical changes including adaptive features in the low-pressure compressor and turbine. Pratt has said the second upgrade phase has the potential to generate a thrust improvement of up to 15% and as much as a 20% reduction in fuel burn. It could be developed in the next “4-8 years” depending on the timing of the first upgrade and the continuing development of the AETP, Bromberg says.

Similarly Pratt also sees potential for elements of GO 1.0 to pave the way for elements of XA101.

“The primary purpose of the FBR is to test the core, the geometry and the coatings. We feel good about it and it reduces the risk of Growth Option 1.0. But definitely some of the technologies in that core are directly applicable in terms of growth materials and aerodynamic geometry, and that will go into XA101,” Bromberg explains.

Meanwhile, Pratt has started tests of a three-stream fan mounted on an F135 under AETD and is poised to begin evaluation of an all-new core to prove the technology at the heart of its future adaptive engine. The core run is “in front of us, and is further risk reduction for the XA101 program,” says Bromberg. The three-stream fan test engine also is configured with a specially modified augmenter and exhaust system to handle the adaptive-cycle flow demands.

At its core, Pratt’s overall strategy is to provide options for whatever path the Air Force chooses.

“We have this umbrella strategy of adaptive architecture and we will start proving out the technologies one by one,” Bromberg says. “We are trying to provide options to spiral them in at relatively low-risk, low-cost programs.”

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 09 Jun 2017 18:24

Paul wrote:The thankless job of unloading cargo from a Heavy transport. Just think of the unsexy work that goes into writing SOPs for these jobs. Something to think of for our BRFites.

As the saying goes: Layman thinks tactics, Armyman thinks Logistics.



1960 !!!!!

57 years ago.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 09 Jun 2017 18:55

After 1 year hiatus Proton-M does the most heaviest lifting so far puts ~ 7 ton Echostar-21 satellite in GTO Orbit

Proton returns to flight successfully with EchoStar-21

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 09 Jun 2017 21:28

any one can post full AWST article ?

Ariane 6 To Be 50% Cheaper To Produce Than Ariane 5


http://aviationweek.com/space/ariane-6- ... Track=true

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 10 Jun 2017 11:18

https://sputniknews.com/military/201706 ... privation/
Xcpts:
A total of 55 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters were grounded after five incidents in which pilots experienced symptoms of oxygen deprivation.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Air Force has been forced to halt flights of 55 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters after five pilots suffered oxygen deprivation in problems with their air supply systems, according to US media reports.

"The US Air Force has grounded 55 of its F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at Arizona’s Luke Air Force base following five incidents in which pilots experienced symptoms of oxygen deprivation," Defense One reported on Friday.

US Air Force F-35s had previously been grounded in September 2016 as fight operations had to be suspended after a discovery that electrical lines in their fuel tanks had cracked, the report noted.

The pilots "reported physiological incidents while flying," but a reserve oxygen system was activated so they could return to base safely, US Air Force spokesman Captain Mark Graff told Defense One in an email.
Graff also stated in the email that the aircraft should be back in the air on Monday.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 10 Jun 2017 16:32

Interesting that only one AFB jets and specifically one type is affected. The OBOGGS supplied by Honeywell for the F-35 has commonality with that on the Typhoon, Gripen, and the BAE Hawk among other fighters and bombers honeywell supplies too. Practically all of the wests high end fighters, and bombers have their OBOGGS supplied by them.

Having learnt a lesson from the F-22 that didn't initially have a backup system, the F-35 has one onboard from the start of the production, if there is trouble with OBOGGS and it appears from media reports that in each of the incidents it was triggered.

https://aerocontent.honeywell.com/aero/ ... ystems.pdf

Full Aviation Week Coverage -

Lockheed MartinF-35A flying operations at Luke AFB, Arizona, have been suspended at least until Monday, June 12, after five student and instructor pilots reported hypoxia-like symptoms in the past month.
The temporary suspension of flying operations at the primary multinational F-35 training base comes less than two weeks before two F-35A aircraft from Hill AFB, Utah, are due to appear at Le Bourget Airport for the Paris air show.

The Air Force says flying operations were canceled on June 9 “to synchronize operations and maintenance efforts toward safe flying.” U.S. and international pilots received briefings on all of the reported incidents as well as instruction from medical and flight safety staff about symptoms associated with hypoxia and proper aircraft recovery techniques.

The service says five physiological events have been reported since May 2 and in each case, the backup oxygen supply system activated and the pilots followed procedures and landed safely.

In response, the F-35 Joint Program Office has formed an “action team” of engineers, maintainers and aeromedical specialists from the Air Force, Navy, Lockheed and other organizations to figure out what is causing the problem.

If the root cause is not identified and incidents continue to occur, the U.S. services and other international operators of the F-35 will have to decide whether to limit flying. This is the first time F-35 operations have been suspended due to physiological events. The aircraft first flew in December 2006 and hundreds of aircraft in three different variants have been delivered to the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and international partners.

This same issue once brought the F-22 community to its knees, leading to a major investigation in 2012 and the eventual retrofit of an automatic backup oxygen system.

Reports of hypoxia-like symptoms have forced the U.S. Navy to more closely monitor BoeingF/A-18 Super Hornet flying and recently limit training in the Boeing T-45C Goshawk.

“The Air Force takes these physiological incidents seriously and our focus is on the safety and well-being of our pilots,” says Brig. Gen. Brook Leonard, commander of Luke’s 56th Fighter Wing. “We are taking the necessary steps to find the root cause.”

Capt. Mark Graff, a spokesman for the Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II program, says of the five pilots that reported physiological episodes, four were Americans and the other was from an unspecified F-35 international partner nation.


This is a temporary, one-day cancellation of flying to make sure everyone has a common understanding of the situation, he says. Pilots at Luke do not normally fly on Saturdays and Sundays, which gives the Air Force until Monday to decide whether to further restrict operations.

Graff says the F-35’s oxygen system has been operating as designed and he is not aware of any similar hypoxia-related incidents in other F-35 variants or at other operating locations.

All the aircraft were A-models in the Block 3i configuration.


Graff says right now there is no reason to believe the F-35’s debut at the Paris air show will be affected since the jets assigned to go are not from Luke. Instead, two F-35As from Hill are due to appear. Seasoned pilots from Eglin AFB will fly the aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean and will marry up with company pilots from Lockheed, who will conduct flying demonstrations at the show.

“We don’t expect this will affect Paris,” Graff says.

Physiological episodes are characterized by the military as incidents in which aircrew experience a noticeable decrease in performance due to reduced tissue oxygenation, depressurization or other factors in the flight environment. The problems can relate to the onboard oxygen-generation system or the aircraft’s environmental control system.

The Navy has had an action team monitoring physiological episodes within the Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet community since 2010 and has still not been able to exactly pinpoint the cause of recent spikes in physiological episodes. The Navy has implemented dozens of software, hardware and procedural changes related to carbon monoxide filtration and pressurization to try to resolve the issue.

In the case of the F-22, cases were reported of pilots blacking out. Modification of the F-22 fleet was completed in 2015 and there have been few, if any, incidents reported since.

http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/luk ... ts-hypoxia


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 10 Jun 2017 17:34

Guy Norris provides additional details and updates on NASA's next X-plane program -

Supersonic X-plane Takes Next Step


DENVER—NASA has issued a draft request for proposals for development of its Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) low-boom flight demonstrator, starting the clock ticking toward first flight of the new X-plane in early 2021.
The program calls for the development, building and flight testing of a clean-sheet X-plane that will be used to support the potential change in FAA regulations which will enable supersonic flight over land. The effort, which builds on NASA’s initial attempts to develop design tools for future-generation commercial supersonic transport aircraft, is targeted at demonstrating a sonic boom 60 dBA lower than that produced by the Anglo-French Concorde or a typical military aircraft.

The draft request comes as Lockheed Martin completes work on the preliminary design of a low-boom demonstrator concept under a 17-month, $20 million contract. The concept validated NASA’s low-boom mission and aircraft requirements. Work on this phase will wrap up with a four-day preliminary design review in late June.

Although NASA originally planned for bidders to leverage Lockheed’s preliminary design for the demonstrator’s detailed design, the agency now says this remains purely optional. The move will enable other contenders greater flexibility in their bids, says Peter Coen, NASA commercial supersonic project manager. But Lockheed Martin is confident that its early involvement in QueSST puts it in the driver’s seat for the upcoming contest.

“We are ready to go on building that demonstrator,” says Rob Weiss, Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs executive vice president and general manager. Speaking at the AIAA Aviation 2017 forum here, he adds, “we feel we have a technological advantage in the amount of investment we have made in the tools and the vehicle itself.”

NASA expects to issue the full request for proposals in August and will award the contract in the first quarter of 2018, marking the first time the agency has worked on a purpose-built, manned supersonic X-plane since the experimental thrust-vectoring X-31 in 1990. Critical design review is scheduled in the third quarter of 2019, with assembly of the demonstrator timed to allow for flight tests starting in the first quarter of 2021. NASA plans to conduct the bulk of the demonstrator testing in two main phases, with the first dedicated to aircraft build, checkout and supersonic flight envelope expansion.

Following completion of envelope expansion flight tests in late 2021, phase two will begin with a NASA-led effort conducted at Armstrong Flight Research Center in California focusing on low-boom acoustic validation work. Flight testing over most of 2022 will characterize the ground signature of the demonstrator, as well as evaluate the effects of various atmospheric and aircraft flight conditions on the properties and intensity of the boom.

The second phase will wrap up in late 2022 with initial community response overflights of the base housing at Edwards AFB, California. This will validate test designs for follow-on studies as well as perform the first actual tests of whether low-boom noise is publicly acceptable. From 2023 to 2025 NASA plans to expand low-boom community response overflight tests to a much wider U.S. audience. The demonstrator will participate in multiple campaigns over varied and so far unspecified locations. The aircraft requirements call for the capability to perform multiple supersonic overflights with passes nominally 50 mi. in length and up to 20 min. apart on a single flight.

A provisional test profile outlined by Coen at Aviation 2017 includes a 125-mi. outbound leg from Edwards AFB to a waypoint at which the X-plane will turn and accelerate for a supersonic dash over a local community at Mach 1.4. The aircraft will then turn and circle back to overfly the same area followed by a deceleration and decent for a return to Edwards.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 14 Jun 2017 06:15

Funny!!!!

Check it out, when you have some time to spare.



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 15 Jun 2017 15:43

First flight for the first test Gripen-E 39-8 about two years later than originally planned but just about on time since they re-baselined the test program last year.

A SUCCESSFUL FIRST FLIGHT WITH GRIPEN E

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Zynda » 15 Jun 2017 18:18


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby ldev » 15 Jun 2017 19:11

Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species

Elon Musk's paper on his ultimate plans to colonize Mars. And the vehicle's payload capacity to LEO in comparison to other launchers.

Image
Image

And the first stage will have 42 Raptor engines (under development now)
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clustered like this

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with the first stage having the following specifications
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 15 Jun 2017 20:49


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 16 Jun 2017 04:10

And with the confirmation of the sale of the F-15QA fighters to Qatar, it is very likely that their 12 Mirage-2000-5 fighters will be sold once the Rafale starts entering service and reaches some level of maturity.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 16 Jun 2017 06:13

https://twitter.com/chr1sa/status/875499829597581313

It appears that @SpaceX is charging the Air Force 1/5th as much as the aerospace consortium monopoly it broke
Image



https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/875509067011153924

Elon Muck wrote:$300M cost diff between SpaceX and Boeing/Lockheed exceeds avg value of satellite, so flying with SpaceX means satellite is basically free





Air Force budget reveals how much SpaceX undercuts launch prices

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 16 Jun 2017 14:42

F-35 Flying display training session at the Paris Air Show 17




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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 16 Jun 2017 15:23

IHS Jane's update on the 36,000 Transmit element S-Band GaN Radar installation and development. From the MicroWave journal article posted earlier, it would seem that Lockheed is using Wolfspeed's 2.7 – 3.5 Ghz GaN Amplifiers focusing more on efficiency (55-60% PAE at 3.5 Ghz) since peak power requirements are not extremely challenging here although pulse length for cued GEO searches would have made GaAs inadequate within the footprint and budget.

US Air Force's Space Fence enters hardware installation phase



The US Air Force (USAF) expects to complete hardware installation for its Space Fence space situational awareness (SSA) programme around August or September, according to a key official.

Elaine Doyle, the Space Fence programme manager, told Jane's in a 9 June interview the programme started hardware installation in April, commencing the installation and checkout phase, and is now installing power cabinets, transmit and receive power cables, and some processors. Although Doyle said there is quite a bit of hardware to be installed, all of the hardware has been produced and is being shipped to the Space Fence site at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Doyle said the USAF is waiting on a small number of cabinets to be shipped from Los Angeles, California.

Space Fence will dramatically improve the way the USAF identifies and tracks objects in space, according to prime contractor Lockheed Martin. The company said Space Fence will use gallium nitride-powered S-band ground-based radars to provide uncued detection, tracking, and accurate measurement of space objects, primarily in low earth orbit.

Currently the USAF only has the ability to track space objects in low earth orbit (LEO) that are roughly the size of a basketball, Doyle said. Space Fence, she said, will provide much greater sensitivity and allow the service to detect, track, and characterise objects to the size of a softball (9.7 cm diameter) in uncued, or passive, search.

For cued, or much more detailed tracking, Doyle said the USAF will be able to track marble-sized (roughly 1 cm diameter) objects. Objects the size of a marble can pose threats to satellites and other spacecraft because they travel at high velocities.

There is also a software portion to Space Fence that has been developed by Lockheed Martin. Doyle said all planned software builds have been completed and the programme is now working on patches to fix defects that may come up during testing. The software, she said, has gone through system level testing at the Lockheed Martin's integrated test bed in Moorestown, New Jersey. The integrated test bed, Doyle said, is a small size replica, about 1%, of the full Space Fence site at Kwajalein Atoll, but it features the full Space Fence production hardware and software.

Air Force spokesperson Alicia Garges said on 14 June the service discovered a number of software bugs during testing that it is now prioritising. These bugs, she said, include a software error in coding with the developer and a design flaw that required a change due to misinterpretation of a requirement, likely an algorithm that needed to be modified.

Another bug, Garges said, was that the network configuration and software were incompatible, requiring a change. Garges said a fourth change was made to update displays for the Human System Interface. Doyle said the USAF will perform complete testing with both the software and the firmware with full regression testing during the ongoing on-island installation and checkout phase. Full integration and testing of the software, Doyle said, is expected by the end of the year.

When the Space Fence programme was in its youth, the USAF planned for a second site in western Australia. But the service has not developed firm plans for this second site. Major General Roger Teague, director of space programmes in the office of the assistant secretary of the USAF for acquisition, told reporters in May a decision on the second site would not be made until after the first site becomes operational.

Doyle said she is headed to Kwajalein Atoll on 18 June to evaluate progress. She said this is her second time to the island. Doyle said about 200 people are working on Kwajalein Atoll on Space Fence. Garges said the USAF is on track to support an initial operational capability (IOC) decision as early as second quarter of 2019.

Lockheed Martin Space Fence Director Bruce Schafhauser said on 15 June, via a spokesperson, that the programme is 80% complete and plans to be up and radiating by the end of the year. This, he said, will allow the programme to provide an early assessment of operationally relevant data much sooner than the formal IOC date.

Brian Weeden, director of programme planning for the Secure World Foundation, told Jane's on 6 June that Space Fence is meant to be part of a larger Space Surveillance Network (SSN) operated by the USAF and supposedly feed its data to the Joint Space Operations Centre (JSpOC) to be fused and integrated with data from other sensors. The JSpOC provides operational command and control (C2) for the space forces assigned to US Strategic Command's (USSTRATCOM) Joint Functional Component Command (JFCC) for space, according to the USAF.

Doyle said the USAF plans for the JSpOC Mission System (JMS) to be operational when Space Fence becomes operational, but the Space Fence sensor data will not be provided to space-track.org , which shares SSA services and information with the United States and international satellite owners/operators, academia, and other entities. JMS is responsible for SSA and C2 of space forces.

Doyle said though the Space Fence sensor data will not be provided to space-track.org , the data will be combined with other sensor observational data and that data will be processed by the 18th Space Control Squadron, which will use that data to establish satellite positional data. This data, Doyle said, will be available on space-track.org .

Garges, the USAF spokesperson, said the JMS programme schedule currently supports the Space Fence schedule as JMS is needed for Space Fence operational testing. The JMS and Space Fence programme offices, Garges said, are jointly developing courses of action (COA) to address how to move forward if the JMS and Space Fence schedules get out of sync in the future. The USAF, Garges said, expects to be able to use Space Fence data when Space Fence comes online per its current schedule.


Image

Image

Details of the design and Configuration posted earlier HERE

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 19 Jun 2017 04:59

FYI.

Lockheed Nears $37 Billion-Plus Deal To Sell F-35 Jet To 11 Countries: Report

The memorandum of understanding being negotiated between Lockheed and the customers aims to procure 135 or more jets in fiscal year 2018 for delivery in 2020 for about $88 million per jet, the people said. In the subsequent fiscal years, 2019 and 2020, procurement would ramp up to 150 or more jets per year. The average price in 2019 could be $85 million for the F-35 "A" variant and could drop below $80 million in 2020, the people said. That would mark the lowest price ever paid for an F-35, making this deal an important step in reducing the overall cost of each jet.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 19 Jun 2017 08:07


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby abhik » 19 Jun 2017 08:27

^^^
These jokes never get old, huh?


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