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International Aerospace Discussion

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brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 10 Jan 2017 08:47

Neshant, I'm not interested in your 'version' of events or your narrative. You made a demonstrably FALSE statement (not your first) where you claimed that the JSF would never enter a competition where other's are also competing. You even made up an excuse for why that would be the case. Viv and I clearly pointed you to at least 3 programs where it went head to head against competition both US and non-US and won.

Now, I'll leave it to others to decide if you have any credibility left in this regard since you did not even know of this very fact, or were trying to peddle false information on purpose.


Later, I asked you to go find a competition where the JSF entered, where it went head to head against other fighters and lost. I'm eagerly waiting that answer, among the many that I expect you to answer in the interest of the discourse here.

As for what Japan is getting, Please compare their FMS URF with what the Typhoon or Rafale export customers have paid. Keep in mind Japan get's a FACO while most of these Rafale and typhoon customers get nothing even remotely resembling that.

LM threatened Canada with loss of manufacturing & contracting work should they decide to exit the F-35 program.

Why the need for these strong arm tactics if the plane is so good?


Because industrial partnership in the program, and the benefits it entails is a function of buying aircraft or else the work will and should be given to those that are actually doing it, including back to US industry.

Similarly, Dassault prepared an offset offer for 120 MMRCA's but will only discharge what it is required to for the 36 odd aircraft that were sold in the new G2G deal. No one will be stupid enough to ask them to offer the original offset terms.
Last edited by brar_w on 10 Jan 2017 09:01, edited 2 times in total.

Neshant
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Neshant » 10 Jan 2017 08:50

The F-35 only sells when countries are forced to buy it.

9 times out of 10 (or maybe 10 out of 10 if one includes the USAF), its a political decision to avoid getting the stick from Uncle Sam.

The F-35 is a cautionary tale about how NOT to sign up for projects that exist only on paper as the outcome may not be what you expected.
When that begins to dawn on those already committed as partners on the project, there is no easy way out. They HAVE to buy it. Some might try to cut down the number of planes they purchase. But every such move is seen as an attack on the integrity of the plane and the manufacturer itself.

Lets hope all the money handed over by India to Russia for the PAK-FA does not end up as another F-35 boon doggle.

__________________

Danish Lawmakers Blast F-35 Plan: Faulty Jet Cost America Trillions

Denmark faces pressure, ahead of July’s NATO summit, to announce the purchase of an expensive US fighter jet that fails mid-flight during due to a software glitch.

The Danish parliament poured cold water on plans for the Royal Danish Air Force to acquire American-made F-35A Lightning II jets as their next-generation fighter, citing the trillions of dollars spent by the US military on an aircraft that, in testing stages, fails mid-flight due to software glitches.

The committee demanded that Christensen and NFPO officials explain the rationale behind choosing an aircraft with extraordinarily high capital costs compared to both flyaway-unit purchase price and lifecycle for each of the competitors to the F-35 in their fighter replacement program.

Despite heated opposition in the Danish parliament, the country’s defense ministry faces pressure from the US government, which has been aggressively lobbying other countries to acquire a jet that has already cost the American military in excess of $2 trillion and is unlikely to pass flight tests within the next few years. Defense industry analysts had expected that Denmark would commit to purchasing the F-35 ahead of the NATO summit meeting in Warsaw in July.

Danish opposition leaders argue that the F-35 will not be combat ready until 2024 at the earliest, leaving the country with a three-year gap starting in 2022, during which time their air defense will fall below military readiness assessments. They also allege that Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen has inflated flight-hour projections and understated the costs of the beleaguered fighter jet.

"Costs can rise and fall. There are always some risks, but we will negotiate the best terms we can and we will do our utmost to clarify details as much as we can before we make the first purchase. We will look to secure better certainty on costs," said Christensen before parliament on Wednesday.

NRao
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 10 Jan 2017 08:52

Sorry, not a topic for the Canadian PM.

Lockheed Martin Builds Discrete-Event Models to Predict F-35 Fleet Performance

This is serious stuff. No twitteriets here.

See way at the bottom.

Challenge

Predict F-35 fleet performance to minimize life-cycle costs and maximize mission readiness
Solution

Build a discrete-event model of the fleet with Simulink and SimEvents, use MATLAB Distributed Computing Server to accelerate thousands of simulations, and interpolate the results with Neural Network Toolbox
Results

Simulation setup time reduced from months to hours
Development effort lessened
Simulation time cut by months
“By building a model with Simulink and SimEvents and running discrete-event simulations on a computer cluster, we rapidly identified many opportunities to maximize F-35 fleet performance while minimizing development and execution efforts.”

Justin Beales, Lockheed Martin

F-35s ready for flight.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Sustainment program reduces life-cycle costs and increases the mission readiness of the F-35 fleet by minimizing downtime, supporting pilot training, and ensuring the availability of parts while avoiding unnecessary stockpiling. To achieve these goals, the program depends on accurate predictions of fleet performance, including projections of how long the aircraft will be grounded for service.

Lockheed Martin engineers used Simulink®, SimEvents®, Neural Network Toolbox™, and MATLAB Distributed Computing Server™ to model fleet performance and make predictions based on tens of thousands of simulations on a 256-worker computing cluster.

“With Simulink and SimEvents we created a model that incorporates data from the entire F-35 program and simulates thousands of aircraft operating every day, each with thousands of parts, at hundreds of locations over a span of many years,” says Justin Beales, project engineer at Lockheed Martin. “Accelerating thousands of Monte Carlo simulations on our cluster and then interpolating the results with Neural Network Toolbox will save us years of processing time.”
Challenge

Simulating F-35 fleet performance is extremely challenging due to the complexity of the aircraft and of the global logistics system needed to support it. Lockheed Martin initially sought to generate predictions using existing tools, but they proved to add complexity to the problem.

The Lockheed Martin team wanted to develop a detailed, easily configured model that they could use to rapidly simulate thousands of parameter combinations and scenarios. They needed to apply advanced techniques to generate and analyze the results, including Design of Experiments, machine learning, and other statistical and probabilistic methods.
Solution

Lockheed Martin engineers developed a sophisticated Simulink model of the F-35 fleet and simulated the model using the SimEvents discrete-event simulation engine.

They built the core of the model using SimEvents to create entities, and implemented the system logic using Attribute Function blocks with MATLAB® code. The model incorporated part and aircraft performance data, as well as data on aircraft modifications, anomalous maintenance events, part availability, and aircraft activity.

They verified the model using test cases and Department of Defense verification, validation, and accreditation guidelines.

The engineers ran Monte Carlo simulations with thousands of trials featuring both random events and parameter variations based on Design of Experiments. To generate results faster, the team used Parallel Computing Toolbox™ and MATLAB Distributed Computing Server to run multiple simulations in parallel on a 256-worker cluster.

Using Neural Network Toolbox, they trained a neural network to the simulation results, enabling them to interpolate simulation data.

During simulations, Simulink recorded and stored all events that occurred. To postprocess this data, the team developed MATLAB scripts to calculate performance metrics, generate annotated MATLAB plots, and create Microsoft® Excel files for use by other analysts.

Lockheed Martin is already using the model to predict fleet performance to support the F-35 Sustainment program. The team is currently exploring ways to use the model on other programs.
Results

Simulation setup time reduced from months to hours. “It would have taken months to set up the data inputs to the old system,” says Beales. “In contrast, we can set up and run our Simulink and SimEvents model with a new data set in a day.”

Development effort lessened. “Simulink and SimEvents greatly expanded our fleet performance prediction capabilities while minimizing development effort,” says Beales.

Simulation time cut by months. “By running our simulations in parallel on a cluster instead of on our 12-core desktop computers, we completed them more than 20 times faster,” says Beales. “Plus, the interpolation that we perform with Neural Network Toolbox greatly reduced the number of simulations we needed to perform, saving additional CPU time.”

Products Used

MATLAB
Request trial Get pricing Contact sales
Simulink
Request trial Get pricing Contact sales
MATLAB Distributed Computing Server
Request trial Get pricing Contact sales
Neural Network Toolbox
Request trial Get pricing Contact sales
Parallel Computing Toolbox
Request trial Get pricing Contact sales
SimEvents
Request trial Get pricing Contact sales

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 10 Jan 2017 08:54

The F-35 only sells when countries are forced to buy it.


Could you prove this? Now how about this (maybe you'll be up to this). Could you point me to one competition in the western world, or anywhere where the JSF was eligible to compete, and could deliver as per the contracted requirements (hint - delivery schedule) where it did not participate?? Good luck!

times out of 10 (or maybe 10 out of 10 if one includes the USAF), its a political decision to avoid getting the stick from Uncle Sam.


Prove this as well. Do you have an inside track on any of these including with the USAF?

No customer has ever selected this plane willingly (including the USAF) and at every turn, there is a shill trying to con suckers left & right.


Why is this not trolling? Can you prove it?

The F-35 is a cautionary tale about how NOT to sign up for projects that exist only on paper as the outcome may not be what you expected.


Which is precisely WHY none of the partners were compelled to buy ANY aircraft outside their R&D commitment (SDD support) during the MOU and could wait for block orders during any of the LRIP or FRP blocks.


Or they could choose to simply walk out, or hold a competition and evaluate other options at a closer time. They would continue to get industrial work commensurate with the SDD phase but that would stop if they chose to leave or allocate resources elsewhere. It was under this that Denmark had a competition despite being a partner, and it is precisely due to this that Canada is going out and competing their procurement. Canada is not obligated to buy a single JSF but they could reap the SDD industrial benefits through the development. All they have to do is stop the payment and exit the program. They have not done this. Watch that space...we'll re-visit this closer to when they decide on their aircraft competition after giving a sole source contract to boeing for a dozen or two Rhino's.

Let's see who wins..My money is on the F-35A for Canada in the "actual competition".

I notice that you are no longer giving out the URL's or publication information to complete news links you copy paste. Is it because they are comping from Sputnik? You'll be hard pressed to find a SINGLE international MDP that does not have news stories that claim how good or how bad the deal is. That is no measure of anything as any sane person would know.

As things stand, your latest claim has been SHOWN TO BE A LIE..with at least 3 competitions having been shown to you where the F-35 has gone head to head with foreign competition and won. But wait..there will surely be more in the near-medium term..

When your claims are debunked you simply ignore the evidence and move on. Some more Sprey, some Sputnik and we're off to another cycle. Not sure this is adding anything to the discussion here but I'll let others decide.

When that begins to dawn on those already committed as partners on the project, there is no easy way out.


Yes there is. It is in the document they signed.
Last edited by brar_w on 10 Jan 2017 09:08, edited 3 times in total.

Neshant
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Neshant » 10 Jan 2017 09:46

Another satisfied customer looking to jump out of the F-35 project?

______

Singapore is putting on hold plans to procure up to 12 Lockheed-Martin supersonic fifth-generation F-35B stealth multirole fighter jets for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), according to the Pentagon’s F-35 program office, Bloomberg News reports.

http://thediplomat.com/2016/08/enough-a ... h-fighter/

NRao
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Location: Illini Nation

Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 10 Jan 2017 10:27

They were to buy 4, with 8 options.

Besides no one has decided to withdraw because it is a lemon/ Turkey.

Singapore has “been uncertain on the F-35 for years,” said Richard Aboulafia, a military aircraft analyst for the Teal Group in Fairfax, Virginia. “As a ‘security cooperation partner’ they were never as fully committed as the primary partners,” he said in an e-mail. “They have a large and very new fleet of F-16s and F-15s, and the threats they face don’t really call for a plane in the F-35 class” so “any F-35 sale to Singapore was viewed as a relatively long-term proposition.”

The Singapore ministry of defense said in an e-mailed statement that “as a small country with no strategic depth, Singapore will always need superior air capabilities to protect its interests and borders.” It cited a statement by the island’s defense minister in 2013 that “our current fleet of fighter aircraft are adequate for our defense needs and the F-35 is still under evaluation."

NRao
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 10 Jan 2017 10:38

In time, the problem will be .......... Time.

For any of these nations, what are the options? Canada? Gripen, at best. Even the F-18 is a filler. Any EU nation? They cannot buy Russian or Chinese and Euro is near dead. Rafale? Really?

The options are F-35 and .. ....
............ Tada....... F-16 or F-18 from India.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Singha » 10 Jan 2017 11:03

most of the smaller customers have F-16 and no immediate threats. they will wait for a few years , give up current reserved production slots and then come in once the unit costs are amortized across 100s of airframes and teething troubles sorted out.

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 10 Jan 2017 16:10

Singha wrote:most of the smaller customers have F-16 and no immediate threats. they will wait for a few years , give up current reserved production slots and then come in once the unit costs are amortized across 100s of airframes and teething troubles sorted out.



Besides the US services, there are 8 MOU partner nations in the JSF program that contributed to its development and have a seat at the JPO. Out of these partners the following have begun receiving their aircraft, and are training pilots at Luke Air Force Base or elsewhere RIGHT NOW -

- UK
- Australia
-Italy (Outside of Luke, they also have their first aircraft with their front line unit in Italy at the moment)
- Norway
- Netherlands

This leaves Turkey, that has its first aircraft go into production, Denmark (they will acquire all of their aircraft by 2024 when the last F-16 is retired and contrary to the false narrative being pushed around their parliament approved the purchase 139-40 ) that competed and then purchase the F-35 and Canada that is in the process of drafting a competition.

Most of the partners began ordering their aircraft a few years ago and will complete their acquisition over a relatively short window of time. This is dictated by both the fleet-replacement need and the cost of alternative strategies. Remember, they have industrial partnership which does not kick in until and unless they buy the aircraft. The SDD phase of the program concludes in 2017 or 2018 so majority of their deliveries will be post that.

Danish lawmakers have cleared the way for Denmark’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) to buy 27 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIs, following a parliamentary vote of 139-40 in favor of the government’s recommendation of the Joint Strike Fighters over the Eurofighter Typhoon and BoeingF/A-18 Super Hornet as a replacement for its aging F-16s. ~ Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Jun 09, 2016, p. 3


Out of the 3 FMS customers 2 have received their first aircraft, and have pilots training either in their home country (Israel) or at Luke (Japan) and South Korea will be up next in the short term and will also begin training at Luke before flying back home.

Now to quantity:

Partners have been ordering aircraft pretty much throughout the early production blocks but for the sake of this I'll focus on just three most recent production blocks - LRIP - 8, LRIP -9 and LRIP-10.

LRIP-8 and 9 are FIRM, signed contracts while LRIP-10 has had most of its contract signed (Engine contract for LRIP-10 is FIRM) with the handshake expected in a few months. LRIP-8 aircraft are being delivered, LRIP-9 aircraft are in production and LRIP-10 aircraft in pre production (long lead).

Below is the Partner Nation/FMS aircraft orders in each of those blocks. I've put the total production lot size in brackets (the difference obviously being what the US services are buying)

LRIP -8 - 14 aircraft ( 43 Aircraft)
LRIP -9 - 23 Aircraft ( 57 Aircraft)
LRIP - 10 - 35 Aircraft (90/92 Aircraft)


As one can see, 38% of the entire production in LRIP 8 , 9 and 10 goes out to non US development partners, or FMS customers. This trend will continue as the LRIP stage of the aircraft concludes and even during early full-rate-production phase of the program.

Folks forget that with LRIP-10 negotiations winding down, close to 350 F-35's would have been delivered, be in production or pre-production. That is more than the total Rafale order book iirc and fast approaching Super Hornet or Typhoon territory. F-35 deliveries have already surpassed TOTAL F-22A production.

Only FMS customers need to disclose a FIRM contractually bound order sizes to the program (with a usual work-around being to include options). Norway, Turkey, Netherlands or Canada for that matter do not need to share with the program the total number of aircraft they expect to purchase of the lifetime of production.

Each, including the US has given the program a rough estimate of what their need is likely to be but this is something they look at every 5 or so years and is usually threat dependent. No one has been asked to provide a FIRM floor to their demand, and this is true of the US services as well. They all provide estimates to support the POR.

As with most defense investments, economic conditions and geopolitical threats require that most armed services study their force structure needs, and end strength periodically. As this happens it will be reflected in how each partner nation shapes up their eventual F-35 purchase.

The partners simply inform the JPO of short term orders and when they would like to work them in to the aircraft production plan. The JPO offers slots and then negotiates a price for the same with Lockheed and Pratt and Whitney. FMS customers usually negotiate directly with the US government and offer more fixed terms that are made cleared up front as in X number of aircraft with a stated delivery schedule.

Once those terms are hashed out the US government communicates them to the JPO that then negotiates a price with the OEM's on behalf of FMS customers as well. FMS customers pay a small surcharge to support the FMS process which the partner nations do not.

In the next few months, we'll begin hearing about International Customer driven block buy of their aircraft where instead of purchasing their LOT orders for a given production year, they pool their resources over multiple lots and place one large block order. This allows the JPO to negotiate with more leverage and get closer to the cost target of $85 Million URF earlier than FRP.

The US may not join initial block buys (but Trump could surely sanction this in the interest of cost savings which he has identified as a goal on this program) but regardless of this, international customers that could make up to 50% of the LRIP-11 orders would. Here is Norway's plan of ordering a few years worth of orders upfront -

Norway requests 12 F-35As in proposed block buy

Singha wrote:give up current reserved production slots and then come in once the unit costs are amortized across 100s of airframes and teething troubles sorted out.


I haven't looked into this recently but they don't have to commit long term production slots. I think the JPO cycle is 3 years so by 2018 for example they have to firm up 2021 delivery slots or 2021-2023 if they are looking into block buys. The entire production was soft-capped by Frank Kendall so regardless all procurement plans including those of the US were moved to the right as the program was re-baselined.

On the net, any slots freed up by partner nations have been taken up by FMS customers, 3 of which have come in even during Low Rate production phase. The assembly line at Fort Worth is designed for 1 a day FACO and there is excess capacity at the Italian line as well (probably Japan too) so they have some flexibility in the long run at increasing production as long as they have a heads up and are allowed to give their suppliers enough time to invest in it.
______

Neshant wrote:Another satisfied customer looking to jump out of the F-35 project?

______

Singapore is putting on hold plans to procure up to 12 Lockheed-Martin supersonic fifth-generation F-35B stealth multirole fighter jets for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), according to the Pentagon’s F-35 program office, Bloomberg News reports.

http://thediplomat.com/2016/08/enough-a ... h-fighter/



Neshant, You may not know this, but Singapore was never a "customer" for the aircraft. They were always an interested party (having signed a Security Cooperation Agreement that gives them access to information and does not make them a development contributing partner) and are still interested in pursuing their purchase (most likely the F-35B) after their legacy fleet modernization plans are completed.

When they do decide the buy the F-35, they will do so not like a partner-nation that has signed an MOU and is therefore just required to request production slots through the JPO, but as an FMS customer much like Israel, Japan, or South Korea.

Most that follow the program know this and now you do too.

Singapore Eyes F-35 for 2030 Time Frame

Their plans have always been to complete F-15SG purchase (where they had a lot of options baked into the contract and have kept exact number of those exercised under wraps), upgrade their existing fourth generation aircraft and then acquire 5th generation complementary capability.

They are executing this as we speak in the conclusion of their SG order, contracts for F-16 modernization with Lockheed, and opening up long term discussions with Lockheed and JPO on the F-35. Unlike many other partner and FMS customers that have fleet replace dictate modernization time-lines, Singapore want's 5th generation capability by 2030 as their defense-minister describes (highlighted in the article posted above).

They have relatively young F-16's, and practically brand new F-15 SG's. Their path towards keeping their F-16 fleet modernized, while addressing capability gaps through the acquisition of F-35B around the end of next decade is perfectly understandable. The aircraft provides unique capability not provided by either of the two existing aircraft. Once it's time to replace the F-16's they'll most likely look at acquiring some F-35As as well, but that is likely be well into the 2030s.

I'll chalk this up as well to your lack of knowledge and not yet another deliberate attempt at stating false information much like the previous examples.

_____

As for the original program partners - there has only been ONE that has yet to order or commit to ordering any aircraft. That being CANADA where the PM wants to compete it's procurement phase. The rest have all either received aircraft or are soon going to begin receiving theirs.

Now if only we could discuss factual information or opinion based on well grounded understanding of the program and the technology instead of what, in many cases, clearly amounts to trolling. Since now, a mod has joined the discourse, let's let him decide whether you're last rant was based on anything factual and whether it did anything to counter claims that you have clearly been stating something that is easy to disprove by using even the most basic-Google skills.

_______

Neshant
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Neshant » 11 Jan 2017 07:11

Its time to recognize that this plane is an unmitigated disaster.
Unless someone puts an end to this disastrous project, it is going to sink the USAF for decades to come.
There are way too many engineering NCRs filed on this plane - which is a very big red flag on the state of the project.


Pentagon's Tester says F-35 Needs to be Scrapped by Trump Team

----
F-35 Needs Rigorous Review By Trump Team, Pentagon's Tester Says

The Trump administration should "rigorously and comprehensively review" Lockheed Martin Corp.'s F-35 jet, the Pentagon's costliest program, the Defense Department's director of combat testing said.

Michael Gilmore, who will leave the post as testing director when Donald Trump takes office as president next week, cited the fighter's "significant, well-documented deficiencies in critical combat capabilities" in a letter Monday to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry of Texas, who's a strong supporter of the F-35.

While Trump has tweeted that "the F-35 program and cost is out of control," Pentagon officials say the plane is now essentially on schedule and close to its budget after earlier problems. But Gilmore focused on unresolved performance issues in the current $55 billion development phase. These must be resolved before the aircraft can enter intense combat testing and the eventual deployment later this decade of fully capable combat jets.

The Defense Department's F-35 program office "has no plan to adequately fix and verify hundreds of these deficiencies using flight testing within its currently planned schedule and resources," Gilmore wrote. Deploying F-35s "with capable mission systems is critical to our national security," but the program now "is at high risk of sacrificing essential combat performance," he added.

The Pentagon's office of independent cost analysis estimates that extending the development phase from its planned test flight completion in September 2017 to as late as into 2020 could cost as much as $1.12 billion more. The number is contained in the testing director's new annual report delivered to Pentagon leaders and lawmakers late Monday.

The program office has said completing the phase will require about $530 million extra and acknowledges it may slip to May 2018.

Gilmore's annual report contains a 62-page assessment of the program that's a detailed primer for the incoming administration on deficiencies that include software, weapons accuracy, aircraft-carrier launching, the diagnostic system and reliability.

The F-35 engines are built by East Hartford-based Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. The engine had issues, "not performing at expected levels" early last year. However, a Pratt & Whitney spokesman said in late 2016 that a key measure of engine reliability, engine removal for maintenance, is more than 90 percent and was not required until 2020. Pratt & Whitney is four years ahead of schedule, he said.


http://www.courant.com/business/hc-f-35 ... story.html
Last edited by Neshant on 11 Jan 2017 07:22, edited 1 time in total.

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 11 Jan 2017 07:22

The person being talked about is the Director Operational TE and OTE on the F-35 will begin next year. Listen closely (Feb.) to what the folks actually testing the aircraft at the moment, i.e. the JPO, individual services and the joint integrated test team have to say.

Representatives will be present during the hearing to rebut each and every thing Gilmore has written in his report. This happens every year, he makes allegations the actual testers and managers give a point by point rebuttal and the sensational calms down around march when the hearing season comes to an end (and on they wait for the next season).

His reports have been hugely rhetorical with SOME good stuff that the program has had to clarify. He predicted both the USAF and USMC would miss their IOC window in 2015 and 2016, and got it wrong. Then there was the shock trial issues with other progams.

Again, the DOTE does not test the aircraft during development. His team (he tests NOTHING, he is a bureaucrat) comes in once development is complete and assesses the operational performance of the aircraft to the requirements document.

He is also being disingenuous in his claims that the program is overshooting development funding. It is correct that they are seeking more money to conclude the SDD but they are well within the range that they had balparked at re-baseline. Essentially, they were asked by the Pentagon and OSD (Gilmore's boss) what it would cost to turn the program around. They gave the Pentagon a range with an objective and threshold cost it would take to complete the development after the delay. With the new funding they are still within that range.

As the PEO put it at a news conference recently -

Anybody would’ve told us in 2011 that we would be within a few months and a couple hundred million dollars of a $13 billion re-baseline, we’d all have slapped the table and said we’d take it.


Such were the technical challenges when they re-baselined. We can do the autopsy, a lot was due to some extremely poor assumptions on cost and schedule but as NRAO and others have commented, this program can be divided into two management phases, one pre 2011, and one post re-baseline. Customer/Operator confidence within the US and foreign (everyone except one) reflects that. Orders were slowed to a crawl and nation's were developing alternative strategies but those had totally disappeared by 2013/14. All but one have placed firm orders and all are looking at a multi-year procurement option to shore up deliveries at lower costs.

A good and balanced article to read is Lara Seligman's (AvWeek) - Lockheed Martin’s F-35: What Is Left To Fix?

Meanwhile as Gillmore says his goodbyes as the DOTE, the Marines are replacing an operational squadron in Japan permanently, as VFMA-121 deploys to support Marines deployed in the Pacific



VMFA-121 DEPARTS FOR RELOCATION TO JAPAN

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, an F-35B squadron with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, departed Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, transferring to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Jan. 9, 2017.

The first location to receive the Marine Corps' F-35B, as part of its worldwide deployment capability, is Iwakuni, Japan.

In November 2012, the Marine Corps announced that after a century of Marine Corps aviation, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing would introduce its first F-35B Lightning II squadron. The F-35B was developed to replace the Marine Corps’ F/A-18 Hornet, AV-8B Harrier and EA- 6B Prowler. The Short Take-off Vertical Landing aircraft is a true force multiplier. The unique combination of stealth, cutting-edge radar and sensor technology, and electronic warfare systems bring all of the access and lethality capabilities of a fifth-generation fighter, a modern bomber, and an adverse-weather, all-threat environment air support platform.

Nov. 20, 2012 VMFA-121, formerly a 3rd MAW F/A-18 Hornet squadron, was re-designated as the Corps’ first operational F-35 squadron, VMFA-121. The Commandant of the Marine Corps publicly declared VMFA-121 initial operating capability on July 31, 2015, following a five-day operational readiness inspection. Since IOC, the squadron has continued to fly sorties and employ ordnance as part of their normal training cycle.

In December 2015, VMFA-121 employed its F-35Bs in support of Exercise Steel Knight. The exercise is a combined-arms live-fire exercise which integrates capabilities of air and ground combat elements to complete a wide range of military operations in an austere environment to prepare the 1st Marine Division for deployment as the ground combat element of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The F-35B preformed exceedingly well during the exercise.

In October 2016, a contingent of Marine Corps F-35B’s, pilots and maintainers participated in Developmental Test III and the Lightning Carrier Proof of Concept Demonstration aboard the USS America. The final test period ensured the plane could operate in the most extreme at-sea conditions, with a range of weapons loadouts and with the newest software variant. Data and lessons learned laid the groundwork for developing the concepts of operations for F-35B deployments aboard U.S. Navy amphibious carriers, the first two of which will take place in 2018.

The transition of VMFA-121 from MCAS Yuma to MCAS Iwakuni marks a significant milestone in the F-35B program as the Marine Corps continues to lead the way in the advancement of stealth fighter attack aircraft.

B-roll and a photo gallery of VMFA-121 departing MCAS Yuma and en route to Japan can be downloaded at the links below.
Last edited by brar_w on 11 Jan 2017 16:00, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 11 Jan 2017 07:34

Actuall objection byMr. Gilmore:


Gilmore challenged passages in the Defense Department’s draft response to McCain that assert:

- The F-35’s development phase is due to end in “early 2018.” Gilmore said the department should “state clearly that development flight testing will not complete -- at the earliest” -- until mid-2018.

- Operational combat testing that all weapons systems must pass will start in mid-2018 and be completed a year later. Gilmore labeled that “false.” Instead, he said the tests will commence “no sooner than late 2018, or, more likely, in early 2019 but could be as late as 2020.”

- An Air Force certification to lawmakers that F-35s delivered in fiscal 2018 will have full combat capability remains “valid.” Gilmore said that is “highly unlikely” because of delays in testing the critical final version of the plane’s software and correcting 276 pending deficiencies.


That there are people who promote false news and others who subscribe to such news, is .................. Sad!!

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 11 Jan 2017 07:42

OT&E is a Milestone-C pre-requisite in the US and is not a signal towards program completion. Program completes when all development and development testing concludes on the aircraft. Given technical challenges the program moved resources towards completing development with as little schedule impact as possible and to make sure that deficiencies identified prior to USAF and USMC were rectified so that they could IOC within their window (again a range, with a threshold and objective). Both the USAF and USMC IOC'd closer to their objective. This is something that any smart program manager would do, i.e. ensure his operator community is satisfied with the product and schedule is maintained to their satisfaction.

As a result of this, the program had to delay investing in getting a couple of dozen (Yes Dr. Gilmore want's nearly 2 dozen aircraft) aircraft ready and up to speed to begin OT&E by a certain time. Big DEAL? Yes, it impacts a US DOD Milestone..Big deal in program completion? NO. The program will be declared as complete and finished much before that. As I have said earlier, there are programs that never had a Milestone-C or an OT&E because they either got waivers or went to war, proved themselves. Not saying that this should happen here but just trying to put things in context.

He'll get his two dozen aircraft, but a few months late. Pre-Trump his office was unwilling to start some pre-testing with fewer aircraft to hold better to the schedule. Post-Trump he has shown some signs of allowing for that and this save a few months from OT&E completion. The decision won't be taken by him but by whosoever replaces him. I just hope it's someone that has either managed a large industrial project or has actually operated military hardware. The DOT&E needs to be a tester, an operator or a designer of complex military or non military hardware.

The rest will be explained, and rebutted point by point by those that are actually testing the aircraft at Eglin, Pax River and elsewhere. Who so ever replaces Gillmore will produce the FIRST meaningful report on the F-35 out of the office of DOT&E when his/her office actually gets a hold of the aircraft and preforms testing.

So far they have not done any because as per law, they do not come in and begin testing until the aircraft or any weapons system is fully developed. Until then you perform developmental testing and operational assessments both of which have been performed by the test team, and by the 2 services that have declared IOC.

If you have access to Politico Pro or Defense Daily, read US AT&L's response factoring in the OSD and DOT&E's reports. The response was dated December, 19, 2016. He lays out the case for a 7 month extension and disagrees with the DOT&E's estimates.

Now go to the JSF thread and see where Bogdan put the 3F completion around 2 years ago. He said a 6-9 month that could be pulled back. 7 is close the middle of that estimate. Gilmore was estimating something significantly longer..at the time .. and as usual he continues on with the same here. His cost estimate to complete SDD is also 2X of the other assessments.

There are checks and balances here and the AT&L, HASC and SASC look at everyone's POV including the DOTE, actual testers and the engineers and servicemen managing the program. If one were relying solely on the DOT&E's reports on all major US programs, then none of the hardware should work. Fortunately for the US services' that is not the case. That's the politicization of the office and how it has tried to comment on testing and fix activity that it is not responsible for. that has led to this.

Within the test community in the US, there is a clear distinction between developmental testing (All testing done while a system is under development), operational assessment, and Operational Test and Evaluation. The first two are done by a dedicated test team and the individual service that charts the course of operational assessments on the way to their Milestones which generally end with IOC and FOC. On the F-35 too, this was performed by the airmen and women at Eglin, part of the integrated test setup, and by the USAF and USMC teams created to assess as to whether the F-35B and F-35A squadrons met the criteria these two services put in place for IOC or not.

Upon assessing this they sent their recommendations to their service leaders to issue IOC certificates for these squadrons.The last portion wasn't just looking at a bunch of slides or going through a report. It involved sending the first squadron out to fly against a red air force comprising of AESA equipped fighters and simulating double digit SAM's at ranges.

Operational Test and Evaluation is something where the Director OTE assumes control of the program and develops a scenario utilizing range infrastructure to put the final configuration through an operational assessment to hold it accountable to the requirements document created at the time of program inception. This is the only time the DOT&E's view on the program is relevant because its direct information coming form the person in-charge of running the test-program.

The current state of where the program stands, what's done and what's left to fix is better understood if one actually listened to the testers. They will testify in front of the SASC and HASC next month.

Gilmore is not the "Pentagon's tester". He is the Pentagon's Operational Tester. A very very important distinction.
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 11 Jan 2017 08:42

Some more snippets from the Japan deployment -

First Marine Corps F-35 Squadron Deploys to Japan

The permanent move forward to Japan for VMFA-121 lays the groundwork for a series of upcoming deployments, beginning with the squadron's own deployment in the Pacific theater aboard the USS Wasp.

A second deployment the same year will see the Corps' second operational F-35 squadron, VMFA-211 aboard the USS Essex -- a pump that will likely see the aircraft's first operations in the Middle East.


So two theater deployments this year for the USMC. The USAF will be rotating through Europe over the next few months using their first operational squadron.

Marine Corps spokesman Capt Kurt Stahl told Defense News that 10 F-35Bs from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) departed Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona on Monday, with the first jets slated to arrive in Japan on Wednesday. All 10 F-35s will arrive at Iwakuni by Thursday. Eventually, an additional six jets will be relocated from Yuma to Iwakuni, bringing the squadron up to a full 16 aircraft.


More - http://www.defensenews.com/articles/fir ... s-to-japan

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Neshant » 12 Jan 2017 10:07

If LM is not careful, those projected 2500 planes are going to be mostly Super Hornets, not F-35s.

_____

Trump teases possible F-35 competition

11 January, 2017 SOURCE: Flightglobal.com BY: Leigh Giangreco Washington DC

President-elect Donald Trump has hinted again at a potential competition between Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

In his first press conference since winning November’s election, Trump took aim at the entire US defense industry in his opening remarks, but focused on the F-35 programme as his favourite target.

“It’s way, way behind schedule and many, many billions of dollars over budget. I don’t like that,” Trump says. “And we’re going to do some big things on the F-35 programme, and perhaps the F-18 programme. And we’re going to get those costs way down and we’re going to get the plane to be even better. And we’re going to have some competition and it’s going to be a beautiful thing.”

Lockheed’s stocks plummeted after Trump’s comment, falling from almost $256 to a low of $251.71 this afternoon. The president-elect’s remarks on the programme echoes an earlier tweet, Trump’s preferred mode of a press announcement, delivered 21 December.

“Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!"

Trump fired the tweet following meetings with several US generals, including F-35 programme executive officer Lt Gen Chris Bogdan, who had attempted to present a nuanced picture of the programme.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 12 Jan 2017 10:38

It wont be bad to have a rerun between the two and buy both in mixed numbers this would lead to at the least cost rationalisation.

You must appreciate DT challanging some dogmatic thinking in Pentagon with an unconventional one.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby alexis » 12 Jan 2017 12:53

^^

But there is no alternative to F-35 now. Any advanced version of F16/15/18 will not be as capable and will probably cost as much.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Singha » 12 Jan 2017 13:16

Usa does not need a 100% 5th gen fleet. A hi lo mix will do. F16block70 or f18i would still manage 95% of threats easily.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 12 Jan 2017 15:21

Singha wrote:Usa does not need a 100% 5th gen fleet. A hi lo mix will do. F16block70 or f18i would still manage 95% of threats easily.


The F-35 is going nowhere.

He will certainly need them in the Indo-Pacific theatre. No mix there.

Cost, per him(!!!!!!!) is an issue.

I think we ALL need to calm down and get used to his noise. He will relent after a while.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 12 Jan 2017 15:56

Austin wrote:It wont be bad to have a rerun between the two and buy both in mixed numbers this would lead to at the least cost rationalisation.

You must appreciate DT challanging some dogmatic thinking in Pentagon with an unconventional one.


That would be the case if the F-18E was an Air Force plane. It is not. The difference between an FRP F-35A and the baseline block II F-18 is not significant and we don't even know what a hypothetical advanced F-18E looks like, how long it will take to develop, and what it will show up with.

Secondly, the Increase in F-35 production is in large part due to F-35A bringing in the volume. The Navy POR is 680 odd aircraft split between the C and B. The bulk of the volume comes from the USAF demand for F-35A and the international demand which mostly concerns the A. If you begin to split F-35A and F-18E production those A's will get more expensive.

It would not as Trump put it "bring cost down beautifully". What will is sticking to the ramp up post LRIP-10. Kendall and Bogdan have taken it to 90 aircraft a year it's up to the new administration to take it from 90 a year to closer to 150.

The F-35C and F-18E is more appropriate for that because the F-35C costs a good 10-15% more than the F-35A and therefore puts a difference between it's cost and that of the F-18E. But then again, the higher cost of the F-35C is in large part due to its low volume production (for example in LRIP-9 only 2 are ordered) because the Navy does not increase it's production for a couple of years.

The competition may not be a " true-competition" because the Navy has made a very comprehensive case for more Super Hornets and Growlers. Unless the Pentagon can guarantee lower tempo deployments over the next 10-12 years, unless the US Navy buys more Rhinos they'll end up with choked depots and there will be huge availability issues with that fleet in the 2025-2030 time-frame as a lot many aircraft will be lining up at the depots waiting for their SLEP/SLAP's .

To prevent this the Navy would like to buy a few dozen more Super Hornets over the next 3-5 years. The Congress included a few extra aircraft as part of their OCO request (super hornets) but that got lost in the conference and it is largely believed that the first thing President Trump, General Mattis and the two committee chairmen will do is float a supplementary request that adds back these aircraft along with the additional F-35's that the Congress always used to add in OCO.

Same goes for the Growler. The AEA studies have shown the Navy that they will need 205 aircraft to support the joint forces and the current program of record has 160 on order. This leaves a demand for 45 Growlers that the Navy would like to purchase if it is given the funds for them. Between that and the Rhino, you are looking at between 80-100 new aircraft. Trump can market/package this as competition but this was a request the Navy has had outstanding for a number of years now and they have been passionately making their case for it more so in the last couple of years as the production window narrowed and Boeing contemplated reducing production.

Anyways, he has come out and clearly said that once he is done with this the aircraft will be better and will cost less. This to me says he's listening to Lt General Bogdan and we'll see a more streamlined block 4 and some tough contract negotiations (just like Bogdan did with LRIP-9) to bring cost down.

The outgoing SECNAV perhaps put it best vis-a-vis Trump's promise that he extracted form Lockheed to lower cost of the F-35 (which is not to be confused with cancelling the program as some her have falsely tried to project). He said -

US Navy Sect. on Lockheed's Promise to Trump wrote:“This may be the easiest promise that anybody has ever made. It was going to happen anyway,”


Evidence being LRIP 1 ---> LRIP 9 cost reduction and soon we'll know LRI 9--->10 cost reduction since production nearly doubles from 50 odd to 90 or 92 aircraft. With production going from the mid 30's to the mid 50's and now to the 90's the price is going to come down anyway. Now we just have someone ready to take credit for it ;).

The F-35A URF At LOW RATE production (9) is $102 Million. This is essentially equal to or less than what Typhoon customers are paying for new build aircraft now. LRIP-10 is likely to bring this down to $95 or so million and FRP closer to $85 Million. No matter how much you upgrade your Rhino it isn't going the very much lower in price compared to that unless you build at a massive rate which you really cannot since there is no demand for that level of production.

Image

Singha wrote:Usa does not need a 100% 5th gen fleet. A hi lo mix will do. F16block70 or f18i would still manage 95% of threats easily.


USAF does not ( even Pre Trump) intend on having an all 5th generation fighter fleet. USAF's strike fighter makeup post 2030 will include the F-22A, F-35A, Upgraded F-15C's, Upgraded F-15E's (together, more than 400 C's and E's), some F-16''s (structurally upgraded) and who knows maybe even the A-10. There is an unfunded requirement to further upgrade these upgraded F-16's with new mission computers and an AESA radar and there is a possibility that the Textron Scorpion or a similar aircraft could be purchased for low-intensity conflict.

The current F-15 modernization program adds upgraded AN/APG-63(V)3 and AN/APG-82 AESA radars, Gallium Nitride AESA baed Electronic Warfare Self Protection suites, IRST pods, new wings (on those aircraft that need it) and new processors to handle the new mission systems. These upgrades are happening as we speak and are being done with the intention of keeping these aircraft in service till the late 2030's all they up to early 2040's.

New build F-16 block 70's or F-18E's make no sense for the USAF since the cost difference between them and a full rate production F-35A will only be something like $10-15 Million but the capability difference is HUGE. F-16 is not being produced at dozens of aircraft per annum to bring economies of scale and there is no demand to do that. An $85 Million F-35A at FRP-1 is very affordable compared t most advanced 4 generation programs in the world. Short of producing at tripple digit annual rates there is no magic sauce for getting to build highly advanced block 70 F-16's at a cost that is going to be significantly less than the F-35A at high rate. If you wan't very advanced F-16's at 50 Million be prepared ot build at 120+ a year..Otherwise it's not happening.

Neshant wrote:If LM is not careful, those projected 2500 planes are going to be mostly Super Hornets, not F-35s.



Yeah it's quite clear that the USAF and USN are going to be buying XXXX number of Rhinos now :rotfl:
Last edited by brar_w on 12 Jan 2017 20:00, edited 14 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 12 Jan 2017 16:13

alexis wrote:^^

But there is no alternative to F-35 now. Any advanced version of F16/15/18 will not be as capable and will probably cost as much.


Yes and the price difference isn't that big that gives Boeing a lot of room to add capability. The current block Super Hornet doesn't even have an F-22 level IR MLD let alone something like an EODAS. It does not have stealth, it does not have the range on internal fuel as the F-35C, and it does not have the MMI of the aircraft.

The Advanced Hornet jazzes it up with a JSF like cockpit, CFT's for additional internal fuel, and more mission systems but it is relying on technology development (EPE/EDE engines) to restore performance to block II levels and as such it will require an RDT&E program and is not simply paying Boeing and getting an aircraft 2 years down the road like you do with the current F-35. But keep in mind Boeing is simply suggesting adding or upgrading mission systems to incrementally improve capability..they aren't looking at an extensive avionics overhaul that will increase their software or integration efforts to something even remotely resembling the JSF program. That will take them a decade if not more to deliver :)

What Boeing was saying to the Navy with the Adv. Rhino was essentially, that they have ID'd X number of changes, lined them for upgrades and all the weight that those changes add will be compensated for by engine upgrades that will restore performance. They gave the Navy options to go fund those upgrades. Once taken together, the Advanced Super Hornet is a good 3-5 year R&D, and test and certification program at the very least.

Knowing NAVAIR, they will rather just buy current block Rhino's and then move on to the F-35C. The Navy loves buying existing aircraft since that saves them money to buy and upgrade ships..The F-18E is that aircraft now, and the F-35C will be in higher rate production, and frontline squadron service in 2019 for them.

There was a budgetary component to (in addition to a 'needs' component) why the Navy stacked the first 10-15 production batches of their F-35 purchase with Marine jets. The Marines never bought the Super Hornet and couldn't use it off their ships. Their F/A-18's are getting slammed to a point that they are pulling parts out of Museum birds to keep them flying. The Marines do not like to tier their readiness so must maintain high readiness with the MAGTF. In fact Marine readiness levels and readiness requirements are written down by the Congress. They don't have the flexibility to move around chess pieces with an old fleet like their sister services do.

The F-35B to them cannot come fast enough and they will gladly accept an increase in delivery in the short-medium term.

The Navy to their part had a highly successful F-18E/F acquisition program that they want to milk for all that it's worth before transitioning on to the F-35C. That was their plan all along. You can pull out a SAR going back 5 years, they were always supposed to be the last of the three services to complete their test programs and to begin acquiring aircraft in numbers. While the USMC and USAF declared IOC with the first few squadrons in 2015 and 2016 respectively, the Navy only does that in late 2018 or early 2019 and this was their plan post re-baseline (2011).

Below is a grab from the F-35 SAR and shows Department of navy procurement. As you can see they ramp up to 40 a year (their maximum annual buy) starting 2019 (2021 delivery) and prior to that majority of the aircraft procured are to support the USMC (F-35B's). The plan all along was to reduce F-18E/F procurement as the F-35 procurement ramps up so that they get two different types and aren't relying on just one aircraft type to meet all of NAVAIR's strike fighter demand.

They also wan't the F-35C to be declared operational before cutting the cord with the Rhino but there is legitimate demand for dozens of more aircraft from Boeing even with the F-35C. The Navy now runs all tactical AEA missions for the joint forces (with the retiring of the USMC EA-6 prowlers) and needs to expand its concrete squadrons of the EA-18G's. They also wan't the existing 14 operational squadrons to have 7 or 9 aircraft each which means at least 28-50 more aircraft.

Image
Last edited by brar_w on 12 Jan 2017 20:40, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby TSJones » 12 Jan 2017 19:11

comparing the RCS of a SU-30 to a f-18 to f-35 is like comparing.......

a flying boulder to a basketball to a golf ball.

f-35 will not be stopped.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 12 Jan 2017 19:18

And there is nothing in Trump's words or tweets that says as much. He want's to bring costs down and indicated yesterday that he want's to improve the product (next JSF phase is - Follow on Development ) and is consulting Generals and Admirals in order to hit the road running with that. There were smart acquisition strategies that the program tried to pursue but was held back from doing so. International customers not bound by the same bureaucracy are still going ahead and pursuing those strategies. That will be a good place to start.

There is room for both more Super Hornet / Growlers and the F-35. That's what the DON has been doing for the past few years and this was even in the FY17 budget's OCO funding. It's not a new thing that they have come up with on the fly.

The first FY17 appropriations bills had a version where the Congress added 11 F-35's and 12 F-18E/F's/G's to the existing request by the President. That was to be paid through OCO but was cut short during conference once Trump was elected. The reason for that was that the Republican Congressional leadership believed that they could pass the existing budget without getting into another CR and the extra funding required for these aircraft can come in via a supplemental request in March from the New administration once Trump assumes office. This is very much a possibility still.

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/hou ... y17-budget

The Air Force and the Marines however are a different story. The former does not operate the F-18 and would need to create an enterprise from scratch which would negate any cost advantage that the aircraft procurement may enjoy in the short term. On top of that they'll screw their F-35 procurement plans by making it more expensive. Remember the F-35A is their top 3 priorities as ID'd by two successive CSAF's and SECAF's that protected the program through the budget sequestration (along with the new bomber and KC-46). The Marine's can't use the Super Hornet on the boats so it does not even qualify for them.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 13 Jan 2017 04:13

From AW&ST


Pilots Say F-35 Carrier Launch Problem Is Safety Concern

Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Jan 11, 2017 , p. 1
Lara Seligman

Fleet pilots say the violent vertical oscillations seen during carrier launches of the U.S. Navy’s F-35 variant are a safety concern, even as the Pentagon races to fix the problem.
One of the most critical and dangerous phases of flight for Navy pilots is the launch, when an aircraft is shot from the carrier by a steam-driven catapult. For the F-35C carrier variant, pilots discovered a complex problem during recent at-sea testing: excessive vertical oscillations, or a bouncing effect, during takeoff.

Pilots who conducted training onboard the carrier USS George Washington during the latest set of ship trials said these oscillations were “a safety concern,” the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) wrote in its most recent annual report.

“Excessive vertical oscillations during catapult launches make the F-35C operationally unsuitable for carrier operations, according to fleet pilots,” DOT&E wrote.

Pilots reported the oscillations were so severe that they could not read flight-critical data, DOT&E said. The oscillations caused most pilots to lock their harness during launch, which made emergency switches hard to reach. The pilots deemed this situation “unacceptable and unsafe,” DOT&E wrote.

The Navy has informed the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) that it considers this problem a “must fix” deficiency.

The problem occurs primarily because the mechanism in the nose gear is not “damping out” the oscillations from the cable release quickly enough, JPO Chief Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan told reporters during a December round table.

“The first thing that happens when those Navy seamen hook the airplane up is they hook the nose gear up to a latching mechanism, and then they pull down and the airplane kind of noses down, all that tension is being held,” Bogdan said. “Then boom! When the cable releases and you start going down the deck, because the airplane has been held down like that the airplane [bounces], and that’s primarily because the mechanism in the nose gear is not damping out the oscillations enough or quick enough.”

Bogdan downplayed the problem, saying the oscillations only occur at very light gross takeoff weights.

“At medium weights and heavy weights you don’t see this problem at all,” Bogdan said. “If an F-35C is going to combat it is not going to take off lightweight. It’s going to take off with everything it needs to go to combat, so you won’t see that problem.”

The Pentagon is currently investigating the best way to fix the problem. One option is to redesign the nose gear, a potentially expensive and time-consuming solution. A long-term mechanical fix is “probably a couple of years off,” so in the meantime the JPO is looking at operational solutions like changing the way a pilot holds on during takeoff, Bogdan said.
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 13 Jan 2017 04:16

The previous page has the exact red team analysis. And no, re-designing the gear is not being looked at at the moment. They have short, medium and long term fixes. Remember, Developmental testing is there to find faults, understand the root cause and develop fixes.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5098&start=3640#p2098791

___

On the Trump acquisition_reform via Twitter -

A Thursday statement by James Mattis, Trump’s presumptive Defense Secretary, to the Senate Armed Services Committee pretty much confirmed my interpretation. Asked by former presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz about the F-35, Mattis said the president-elect “just wants the best bang for the buck.” Mattis, who has spoken with Trump several times since the election, claimed, in fact, that Trump has in no way shown a lack of support for the F-35 program.”


http://breakingdefense.com/2017/01/trum ... -promised/

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Neshant » 13 Jan 2017 07:25

Austin wrote:It wont be bad to have a rerun between the two and buy both in mixed numbers this would lead to at the least cost rationalisation.

You must appreciate DT challanging some dogmatic thinking in Pentagon with an unconventional one.



If you read between the lines, DT is looking to cut this program down to size.

A few years from now, we are going to look back and see that the 2500 fighter purchase was scaled down to just under half that number (e.g. 1200 planes).

33% of the purchases would have been Super Hornets. The rest going to the F-35 just to keep LM's supply chain from going belly up - not because the AF wants the plane. I consider even that an optimistic scenario !

The cost DT is talking about is all inclusive - including the expenses involved to fix the hundreds of issues with the planes and then do re-work on the planes already produced in the years ahead. And that's putting aside the performance issue and questionable technological gains from this alleged 5th gen plane.

Yet another question mark hangs over the economy. The 2008 economic disaster caused by the the banking & bullshitting industry was deferred to a later date in the future with copious national debt binging, money printing, market rigging, fake inflation/employment statistics, massive leveraged mal-investments with negative real interest rates.. etc. This program sure looks like its being primed for the chopping block should the economy start coming unglued at the seams.

LM CEOs better be panicking. Plan for a future with substantially reduced F-35 sales without seeing the company & suppliers go under. The AF can certainly do without the F-35. Can LM do with substantially reduced F-35 sales.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 13 Jan 2017 07:44

The $390 Odd Billion includes concurrency. If you use the handy little search feature on the top right hand corner of this website here you'll find a neat little concurrency chart across the program. Concurrency cost represents <1% of the total program LCC. Keep in mind that ever since LRIP-5 LMA and P&W cover discovery costs for known changes and 50% for future discoveries which are now only really going to happen on the C which exists in the low quantities.

That said, if they end up buying less the program cost would obviously not be as it is estimated to be now i.e. $390-95 Billion or thereabouts. And Trump CANNOT cut the number from 2500 to 1200..It's a decision a president in the mid to late 2020's would have to take when they actually reach that level of strength. Only thing you can do to a program during an FYDP is decide the production rate. The baseline Trump inherits is LRIP-10 @ 90 or 92 aircraft a year.

As per your 1/3 F-18 guess, keep in mind that the DON has a sub-300 F-35C program of record for the CVN's. That means if the Navy buys no extra F-35 C and buys just the F-18 they'll end up with around 250 more F-18's. The bulk of the F-35 program of record is the F-35A (1700+ Aircraft), followed by the USMC purchase.

The Marines will buy the F-18E/F as soon as Boeing figures out how to get it to do STOVL. The USAF, won't because they have better aircraft already. There is nothing that Boeing offers on the F/A-18E that makes it desirable to the USAF. Not capability, not commonality and not the cost.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Neshant » 13 Jan 2017 11:32

Boeing is secretive about what it plans to pitch to President Trump.
They are not just going to price out an FA-18 Super Hornet and leave it at that.
A second option is being prepared as well - a stealth enhanced F-15 "Silent Eagle".

Boeing plans to maximize bang-for-the-buck and pitch evolved, reliable platforms against LM's unproven one with escalating costs.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Rakesh » 13 Jan 2017 11:40

Neshant, you can put lipstick on a pig but it will still be a pig. The F-35 may have serious problems but once those problems are resolved - and rest assured they will, cost be damned, the US don't care (in the words of Dick Cheney, "Reagan proved that deficits do not matter") - you can take Silent Eagle, Invisible Eagle, Neutered Eagle or whatever other 4th generation platform and the 5th generation F-35 will win hands down. There is a generational difference between the two.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Neshant » 13 Jan 2017 12:27

Here's a good article on the comparison between the Super Hornet and the F-35.
The reality is many have been conned into believing the false notion of 4th and 5th gen when there is no such thing.
The only selling pitch of the F-35 (ignoring all its problems) is stealth - it's only real claim to 5th gen status.
Except it's stealth is about to be overcome with advances in radar and DSP.
Note the focus on fighter plane development is shifting from stealth to electronic warfare - which is exactly where the Super Hornet has concentrated its development.
If stealth is 5th gen, enhanced EW is 6th gen.

-----------

Could Trump Really Replace the F-35 With a Super Hornet?

http://www.popularmechanics.com/militar ... er-hornet/

Neither the Advanced Super Hornet nor the Silent Eagle would be as stealthy as the F-35. They simply weren't optimized for it. But is the F-35's stealth the significant advantage proponents claim? According to the Israelis, the F-35's stealth capabilities will only be effective for 5 to 10 years—a point they made more than four years ago. Since then, they've added their own electronic warfare systems to the F-35 to combat this coming obsolescence.

As a recent piece in the National Interest pointed out, the U.S. Air Force acknowledges that electronic warfare will become increasingly necessary to support stealth aircraft. Both the Chinese and Russians are developing low-frequency radars that can effectively track stealth aircraft. As these low frequency radars proliferate, even airplanes like the F-35 will have to be supported and escorted by specialized electronic warfare aircraft like the Super Hornet-based EA-18G Growler.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby TSJones » 13 Jan 2017 12:44

....and there is nothing to stop an f-35 to put on its own EW pod and start growling for the team.....so to speak.

there's nothing magical about an f-18 doing the growling.

the growling is supplied by another company, northrup gruman. not boeing.

I'm willing to bet the ew process can be further automated thus dropping the requirement for a second flight officer.

especially if the pilot doesn't have to worry about weapons delivery.

but for right now until the f-35 can fully come operational in all units the f-18 growler will suffice.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 13 Jan 2017 15:46

Neshant wrote:Boeing is secretive about what it plans to pitch to President Trump.
They are not just going to price out an FA-18 Super Hornet and leave it at that.
A second option is being prepared as well - a stealth enhanced F-15 "Silent Eagle".

Boeing plans to maximize bang-for-the-buck and pitch evolved, reliable platforms against LM's unproven one with escalating costs.


The Silent Eagle has already been "pitched". They have been marketing it for over 2 years now, and probably more. They've had ZERO takers for it globally. The've managed to sell Advanced Strike Eagles in that time-frame but no one has picked up the SE configuration or capabilities.

Given the amount of work they "pitched" it cannot go straight into production and must take an RDT&E path which would mean R&D dollars and time to complete the program.

Plus, It's a heavy fighter that really does not cost any different than what the USAF is currently paying for the F-35A.

The URF on the F-35A is coming down. It's at $102 Million for the AF version in LRIP-9 and will probably be in the $95 Million range in LRIP-10.

The "stealth enhanced" F-15 is no secret that you have just discovered and that is unknown to all.

You're second article goes to Popular Mechanics.

Proven designs means zilch when the three services are deploying their aircraft already and are participating in large-force exercises with operational crews. It means especially little if the versions you are peddling require RDT&E funding and a test and certification program. If proven and old design was a recipe for success, than Boeing would do well to offer the F-4 and Lockheed the P-51 which has more combat experience than all of Boeing's portfolio combined.

he only selling pitch of the F-35 (ignoring all its problems) is stealth - it's only real claim to 5th gen status.


Unless they've made the "pitch" to you personally (which I doubt), you are grossly mistaken. Again, we can either listen to you, or listen to those that have actual expereince flying it. The opinion of those has been posted here in text and video.

Except it's stealth is about to be overcome with advances in radar and DSP.


You better go and tell that to Boeing that has been working on an all aspect LO design for the USN's FA-XX, and the USAF's F-X competitions. Also AdA/HAL, Sukhoi, KAI, Mitsubishi and the Chinese.

TSJones wrote:..and there is nothing to stop an f-35 to put on its own EW pod and start growling for the team.....so to speak.


The Growler is a completely different aircraft that happens to share the F-18 as it's platform. It's a subsonic limited, range-limited tactical stand off Airborne Electronic Attack platform. It can't do a traditional escort so has to rely on modified escort. It's a great aircraft for what it does. What it is not is a Strike Fighter like the F-35 , F-15 or F-18.

There is currently no demand for the F-35 to do the tactical AEA mission for the joint forces. The entire mission is tasked to the VAQ community. The mission is simply not about the aircraft, but to a large part about who does it, how they train for it, what sort of ranges they have available and how many EW labs do they have supporting them. It's currently the responsibility of the VAQ that has USAF and USMC pilots rotate with them to develop core competency. That said, EW is a core capability for the F-35 and they are just begining to scratch the surface with Cognitive EW techniques and processes and the F-22 and F-35 both have a lot of capability in this department compared to 4th generation fighters that the USAF and USN have.

Strike fighter need to protect themselves i.e. be survivable. They need to either be hard to find, or hard to target or preferably (as in the case of F-22 and F-35) BOTH. The F-35 has a comprehensive EW and Electronic attack footprint, but much like other strike fighters such as the F-22, Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen etc, that footprint is geared towards self-protection and not stand off or escort jamming cover for other platforms. The aircraft can however use its powerful AESA for jamming from range but that is obviously band limited. The rest of the EW suite is geared towards self-protection and survivability as it should be.

The EW potential of the F-35 to do many (not all) of the EA_18's missions and complement it's capability has not gone unnoticed. The Marines never bought the Growler when they decided to retire the Prowlers, and will in the future enhance the EA footprint of the F-35 to replace some of the capability that they have lost.

How do we know the potential of the F-35 to complement the Growler? Don't take my word for it, here is a leader of the Growler community (Capt. Scott Farr, USN, commander of US Pacific Fleet's Electronic Warfare Wing) talking about it -

Last edited by brar_w on 13 Jan 2017 17:09, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 13 Jan 2017 16:20

Rakesh wrote:Neshant, you can put lipstick on a pig but it will still be a pig. The F-35 may have serious problems but once those problems are resolved - and rest assured they will, cost be damned, the US don't care (in the words of Dick Cheney, "Reagan proved that deficits do not matter") - you can take Silent Eagle, Invisible Eagle, Neutered Eagle or whatever other 4th generation platform and the 5th generation F-35 will win hands down. There is a generational difference between the two.


Boss, logical arguments do not apply :). The Marines just deployed their first squadron to Japan, and the second one will be heading out soon as well to the Middle East. The USAF will send a mix of F-35's and F-22A's on a security package to Europe in the summer. Except the Navy which always planned to IOC late given their program investment both the services have fielded aircraft and have operational crews flying it each and every day. The first Marine squadron has been on practically all the major large force exercises and has proven their capability even with 2B/3I configuration, and the first USAF squadron is heading out to it's first Red Flag in a matter of a few days.

Even the Navy is joining in this and is sending a mix of F-35C's and USMC F-35B's (from it's second squadron to declare IOC) to Northern Edge in Alaska this year. The Marines will be training across the Pacific theater with their aircraft including in Japan, South Korea and Guam.

The SDD completion is now months away and they've already begun funding the Follow-On-Development phase of the program that upgrades systems and enhances the capability plus adds more weapons. There have been > 350 pilots trained, or under training and this includes international pilots. More than 3500 maintainers have been trained or are being trained at Luke as we speak. But don't tell him that :). I've pointed out a couple of false claims of his (either deliberate or out of ignorance) but he is unrelenting.

Lockheed Martin delivers 200th F-35 fighter

This is the 200th jet that will be put into operational usage. There are 20 additional EMD aircraft supporting the ITT at Eglin and Pax River and these will continue on to the OT&E post SDD completion, and some of them will continue to conduct testing and certification in support of Block 4 and eventually block 5 capabilities expected starting early 2020's and well into the 2030's...Some of them will probably be retired or kept in storage (but not converted).

Rakesh wrote:Neutered Eagle or whatever other 4th generation platform and the 5th generation F-35 will win hands down. There is a generational difference between the two.


As part of their operational assessment, the USAF put their F-35A squadron up against recently upgraded AESA equipped F-15's. The operational assessment covered other areas as well and successful completion was a prerequisite to the ACC boss signing off on IOC. It performed as expected.

Read - https://theaviationist.com/2016/06/27/f ... eployment/

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby TSJones » 13 Jan 2017 17:03

just to clear up any misconception, the f-18G EW capacity is provided by.........Northrop Grumman.

http://www.northropgrumman.com/Capabili ... fault.aspx

are we all on the same page?

nor can the f-35 in *present* capacity.......

suppress......

radar signals

cell phone use

over all short wave communications

or just generally play hobb with the electromagnetic spectrum.
Last edited by TSJones on 13 Jan 2017 17:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 13 Jan 2017 17:11

TSJones wrote:just to clear up any misconception, the f-18G EW capacity is provided by.........Northrop Grumman.

http://www.northropgrumman.com/Capabili ... fault.aspx

are we all on the same page?


The Growler is very much a Boeing product.

Northrop is a sub to Boeing that is a prime. Integration is done by Boeing but systems and sub-systems come from all over the place. The Next Generation Jammer is being developed by Raytheon while Northrop Grumman works on a whole lot of other systems on the currently fielded capability and future Growler enhancements. The Current -99's come from ITT and others.

Northrop Grumman is also the largest sub on the JSF in addition to being the largest sub on the Super Hornet/Growler.

My point was that a Growler is not a Super Hornet. They share the same platform but the difference is as stark as that between the F/A-18C and the EA-6. My perspective is capability, resources required to support the community, and how they are used within the joint forces construct. If you put the NGJ on the Super Hornet wing, it does not transform into the Growler. There are a number of EA-18G unique mission systems, and software.
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby TSJones » 13 Jan 2017 17:26

to be fair the f-35 would lose its stealth aspect if it started growling.........

kinda defeats the purpose of the whole package........

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 13 Jan 2017 18:50

The EA-18G (USN) and the EC-130H (USAF) are US force's tactical stand off EA mission aircraft. The USAF has spent a lot of money over the years to keep the EC-130's upgraded with latest in EA technology. They have now decided to take the payload that they have modernized and re-host it on the G550 Conformal Airborne Early Warning aircraft that was developed for the Israelis . It will make it a much more effective EA capability given its higher altitude and faster speed. The USN has already purchased the G550 CAEW to host its equipment for some range work on its Electronic Warfare ranges. SEAD/DEAD is different in that they have dedicated F-16's for that role but the F-35A would not be required to be modified to fill that capacity. Block 4 will see the AARGM-ER integrated and the rest of the capability is already built into each and every F-35.

You can definitely house the NGJ on the F-35 but that kind of defeats the purpose of having a penetrating LO capability if you are simply going to stand off. You can simply buy more Growlers for that role and not have to bother with integrating unique mission systems onto a completely new platform..

There is no more joint capability demand for stand off EA/EW outside of these two platforms. There are 160 operational Growlers planned and they will most likely end up acquiring close to 200 by the time the program of record ends. The Navy would like to increase it's Growler footprint on the carrier by around 25% and would also like to have a few additional concrete squadrons.

The Marines that lost the Prowlers will rely on USN's squadrons for EA. They at one time did consider a strap on EA payload for their F-35 but that decision has been deferred. The Marines never performed the full spectrum SO EA mission with their Prowlers. Their EA interests lie in supporting their Marine infantry troops on the ground and providing data-link and communications disruption. That payload via-the NGJ is set for Increment-2 which won't be fielded even on the current Growlers till 2026 and there is no point for the Marines to try to integrate the existing growler low frequency or comms jammers on their F-35B's when they are going to phased out. There are already UAV payloads that are demonstrating that capability so I'm not sure whether the marines will even require a fast jet capability for this mission area in the future.

Post the peace dividend the tactiacl AEA mission got offloaded to the Navy and the USAF largely focused its resources on the penetrating airborne electronic attack/warfare. Project Suter and other demonstrations have resulted in capability that according to open source literature has has been fielded in the F-16 fleet. Both the F-22 and F-35 have been given inherent capability to perform this mission and the USAF continues to invest it's resources in developing cognitive EW techniques and systems while also enabling virtually all of it's new starts to focus on the penetrating EA mission. The CSAF and other high ranking officials have already commented that the EW will be part of the capabilities the B-21 will possess.

Additionally, a couple of years ago a high ranking PEO official confirmed that a cyber-pod was being developed for the F-35. They did not disclose the capability or who was devloping it but the use of cyber-pod instead of EA-pod to me suggests that this concerns more the network and information operations as opposed to your bread and butter EA stuff (SEAD, communications etc). Th Terma designed Multi-Mission Low-Observable pod is the most likely carrier of this extra mission equipment since it is already certified across the mission envelope.

Image




F-35 programme begins developing cyber-attack capability - Jane's Defence Weekly Marina Malenic, Washington, DC 18-Mar-2015

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter programme is developing a pod-mounted cyber-attack system as it continues kinetic weapons integration, the deputy programme executive officer said on 17 March.
"Industry is developing a pod that would not degrade the signature of the airplane," said Rear Admiral Randy Mahr at the Precision Strike Association conference in Springfield, Virginia. He told IHS Jane's that the offensive system was in the "prototyping phase" and was not being designed by F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin, but declined to name the developer.



Besides this, the only other AF that has a long range escort role planned is Israel, and they are developing an escort jamming pod for their F-35 I's.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 14 Jan 2017 01:17

Hundreds of deficiencies push F-35 tests to 2019

13 JANUARY, 2017 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM BY: LEIGH GIANGRECO WASHINGTON DC

Plagued by a delayed delivery of crucial software and shortfalls with its automated maintenance system, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will begin initial operational test and evaluation more than a year after its planned August 2017 date.

..


It’s clear given the numerous issues on the aircraft, including 270 high-priority deficiencies in Block 3F performance identified in a recent review, that Lot 10 will be delivered without the full Block 3F capability, Gilmore writes. Block 3F will bring the F-35 to its full combat capability, allowing 9g manoeuvres versus 7g loads with current Block 3i software and support for gun testing. Other critical 3F capabilities have fallen behind including Small Diameter Bomb integration, MADL capability to share imagery and basic Link 16 that allows the aircraft to transmit and receive messages.


When the US Air Force announced initial operational capability for the F-35A last August, the USAF’s chief of Air Combat Command Gen Herbert Carlisle told reporters blocks 3F and 4 would not be available until 2018 and 2021, respectively. Despite challenges during an interim readiness assessment, Carlisle assured the Block 3F software would ameliorate earlier issues on the aircraft.

In an August memo, Gilmore doubted the F-35A’s initial combat ready status. The Block 3i configuration, which carries weapons limited to Block 2B, would need support to locate and avoid modern threats, acquire targets and engage enemy aircraft he wrote. Gilmore echoed those criticisms in his last report, saying the F-35 with Block 3i software could not even match up in a permissive environment to some legacy aircraft, such as the F-18 and A-10. He also asserts pilots report the F-35’s electro-optical targeting system’s ability to identify targets is worse than those fielded on legacy aircraft.

“Environmental effects, such as high humidity, often forced pilots to fly closer to the target than desired in order to discern target features and then engage for weapon employment, much closer than needed with legacy systems, potentially alerting the enemy, exposing the F-35 to threats around the target area or requiring delays to regain adequate spacing to set up an attack,” he says.


The latest version of the F-35’s maintenance system will not be completed by the end of the system development and demonstration phase. ALIS 3.0 will not be delivered until mid-2018 and even then, several capabilities from that version will be deferred until later that summer, according to Gilmore.

Mission data loads, a compilation of mission data files which help identify enemy and friendly radar signals, for specific geographic regions will not be verified until 2019 at the earliest. Once delivered, the mission data loads will not be ready to face threats in testing, let alone combat, Gilmore writes.
...
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Rakesh » 14 Jan 2017 01:21

brar_w wrote:My point was that a Growler is not a Super Hornet. They share the same platform but the difference is as stark as that between the F/A-18C and the EA-6. My perspective is capability, resources required to support the community, and how they are used within the joint forces construct. If you put the NGJ on the Super Hornet wing, it does not transform into the Growler. There are a number of EA-18G unique mission systems, and software.

You need to stop talking about the Growler. You get me all excited :mrgreen:

Question for you saar: Can a Growler do almost everything a Rhino does?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Rakesh » 14 Jan 2017 01:22

brar_w wrote:But don't tell him that :). I've pointed out a couple of false claims of his (either deliberate or out of ignorance) but he is unrelenting.

It is okay. You have done your best. Now let him be.


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