JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

All threads that are locked or marked for deletion will be moved to this forum. The topics will be cleared from this archive on the 1st and 16th of each month.
NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16814
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 11 Jan 2015 06:39

^^^^^^

In addition:

Procurement funding in the bill totals $93.8 billion, more than $4 billion higher than the request. Included in the bill’s procurement funding are: two attack submarines and three Littoral Combat Ships; 38 F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter) aircraft and 7 KC-46A tankers; and 15 EA-18G Growlers. The legislation appropriates $1.2 billion for National Guard and Reserve equipment not requested by the administration.


Someone mentioned, given the US economy status, that figure could go beyond $100 billion. There is talk of coming out of sequestration in 2016.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 11 Jan 2015 07:19

The chances of sequestration going away are slim however what they do now days is play a courtship game where the Pentagon keeps a separate list of unfunded items and presents it to the Congress, and then the congress releases additional funding on top of the budget allocated (sequestered funding) that covers some of what they asked for and other things that the congress piles on it. This year they got 15 of the 22 extra growlers (in order to up the growler coverage per CVN to 5 and possibly to 7 in the future if more growlers are funded) and 3 extra F-35C's on top of what the Navy officially asked for.

Sequester from a Pentagon perspective is rather good as it forces them to trim away the fat and moves them closer to the high profile audit that many voices have been asking for ages. It is however bad for private industry that does business with the Pentagon as an increased uncertainty limits internal R&D investment and at this point in time there would be a extreme reluctance on the part of private industry to invest internal funding in future technology specifically due to the fact that there is so much uncertainty that they really find it tough go gauge the direction in which the budgetary cycles would progress say a decade down the road. Traditionally post major uptakes in defense spending, there is a downturn and it is during this downturn that the industry prepares itself with solid R&D investment to be competitive in the next "tock cycle" as was done post Vietnam, or post the cold-war. That is getting increasingly difficult now given that there is huge volatility given that no one really has answers to what the budgets would look like post sequestration and whether that phase would come in 2016, 2018 or 2020.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 13 Jan 2015 00:12

@ Nik, you cannot lower the cost significantly by outsourcing because you have a production model that is designed around the program goals, objectives and partnerships. The components for example are built by different OEM's around the world according to the pre-agreed terms with their respective nations at the time of partnership. Unlike the Eurofighter program however, no one is guaranteed anything. This does two things. One it gets the partners to think long and hard about which internal OEM's to support as part of the effort since if they support the wrong bidders they may end up not securing long term production contracts and may not get the ROI that they sought at the time of entering and secondly, such a deal keeps the suppliers honest since they know they have to show up with high quality at a competitive price. This also mitigates potential damages that can be caused by disruption of supply.

It isn't a perfect model from a cost-perspective but it was decided that such a model would still generate plenty of "economies of scale" through further orders that would eventually compensate for the different factories around the world making the same components as per their work-share agreement. Therefore, neither Lockheed or tier II suppliers can simply shift a large proportion of the component production to India due to both internal constraints (pentagon) and partner agreements where every partner and every FMS customer already has work-share guarantee from a competition stand point (that they would get to compete for X amount of work-share). This is a multi-national project from the onset therefore the more partners and/or FMS customers added means that the work-share that is flexibility (meaning that it can be shifted to lower cost bases) would continue to decline. In the end the vast majority of the economy on the program comes from the production scale and 20+ year production run of more than 100 aircraft per annum. From a production setup and an industrial perspective this program should be looked at from the commercial aviation lens since the model is unique with so many nations getting together and contributing their bit. The reason it is a superior model to the Eurofighter is that here you have one very dominant partner that shows up with a huge proportion of the cost, bears a significant portion of the risk and provides an overwhelming proportion of the technical competence required to see the project through. So there is no serious infighting with everyone trying to get a leg up on another in securing work for their aviation industry on account of having GUARANTEED work-share with no risk of loosing work if there is slippage in quality or cost at the supplier level.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 14 Jan 2015 01:07

Turkey's Future LHD Could Be Modified as an "Aircraft Carrier" to Deploy F-35B Jets

Turkish-German media Deutsch Tuerkische Zeitung is reporting that during the last meeting of the Turkish National Security Council (in presence of the Turkish President) the decision was made to built the future LHD (Turkish designation: LPD Project) as an aircraft carrier capable to deploy the F-35B, the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the Lockheed Martin built Joint Strike Fighter. The vessel should be delivered to the Turkish Navy by 2019.

Turkey's Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) announced in December 2013 that it selected Sedef shipyard as winner of its LPD tender and that final contract negotiations with this shipyard could begin. Sedef shipyard in Turkey offers a design based on Juan Carlos LHD under the collaboration with Spain's Navantia.

Landing Platform Dock Project
According to SSM, the Landing Platform Dock Project (LPD)’s main purpose is the acqusition of one Landing Platform Dock in order to meet the operational requirements of Turkish Naval Forces. The scope of the procurement is for:
- 1 LPD and
- Four Landing Craft Mechanics (LCM)
- Twenty seven Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV),
- Two Landing Craft Personnel Vehicles (LCVP),
- One Commander Boat
- One RHIB (Rubber Hull Inflated Boat) will be acquired

One of the requirement was for a Privately Owned Turkish Shipyard to be main contractor, also responsible for design, construction, integration and tests and final performance.

The other proposals which were rejected were:
RMK Marine Shipyard offering its own indigenous design and Desan shipyard offering a design based on South Korea's Dokdo class. At the early stage of the tender a Chinese company submitted its design proposal but then backed away.

Juan Carlos class LHD
The multi-purpose Strategic Projection Ship "Juan Carlos I" is the largest naval unit ever built in Spain. Her NATO denomination is LHD (Landing Helicopter Dock). In June 2007, Australia announced it would purchase and build two ships of the same design to become the Canberra-class landing helicopter docks.

The ship has been designed for 4 mission profiles:
- Amphibious ship transporting a Marine Corps Force for landings and land support operations.
- Force projection ship transporting Army forces to any theatre of operations.
- Aircraft-carrier
- Non-combatant operations: humanitarian aid, evacuation from crisis zones and hospital-ship in catastrophe areas.

The crew consists of 261 people: 30 officers, 49 NCOs, 59 leading seamen and 123 ratings.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 15 Jan 2015 23:42

ArmenT wrote:IIRC, this whole multi-engine requirement was mainly promoted by the US Navy during the 1960s onward (some say that the roots of this philosophy went back to World War II experiences), because they were worried that the failure of the engine in a single engine aircraft could cause the pilot to ditch the aircraft. In those days, jet-engines weren't all that reliable, so it made sense. For a while, it was impossible to sell a carrier-based aircraft to the USN if it was single-engined. In fact, they were refusing to accept the F-35 in the early stages as well, for this reason. Engine reliability has significantly improved over the years, but the USN has a conservative approach and didn't want to change the status quo. I believe it took some major arm-twisting to get them to accept the F-35.

Other navies around the world didn't have this philosophy.


The USN has experience (along with the USMC) of operating a single engined jet fighter form a CVN. Their resistance to the JSF was from an organizational management stand-point since they wanted an A-12 like strike platform to be their first stealth asset on a ship which was too impractical and unaffordable for their timelines. They were looking for a 1000nm radius stealth asset and even with their specific changes the max they could have squeezed out of the JSF was going to be astound 70% of that capability, even though that would be significantly more than what they had planned for the Tomcat replacement (F-18E/F). In the end they were very quick to drop the single engine meme once the USAF and the Marines agreed on giving them a new wing and gave in to their larger payload demand (The USAF and USMC wanted a 1000 lb JDAM internal carriage while the Navy wanted the ability to carry the 2K bomb internally). Once they Navy realized that they would have absolutely no other option if they got out of the JSF) then to procure whatever upgrade they planned for the Super Hornet family they quickly joined. Specification's aside, the F-35C for all practical purposes as 2X the legs of the F-18E/F once you factor in optimum flight path, survivability and EF/drag penalties, yet it is probably still a good 300-500 nm short compared to what they would require from a premium strike assets going into the 2030's in the Air Sea Battle Concept with the Pacific in mind. For that they would need a 1000-1200nm radius fighter accompanied with a 1000-2000 nm radius UAV/UCAV. The UAV bit they are developing right now and it would be operational at the turn of the decade. For the fighter bit, it is going to be an uphill task since fighters in those size ranges, and the likely survivability demands for the 2030-2050 period won't be cheap, and the USN doesn't have a whole lot of money left for its tactical air programs if it still wants to go towards that 316 number in terms of ships that is in a lot of the admirals wet dream.

During the time period when the USN was deliberating on the JSF they realized that there was no way in hell that they could re-start another program that was similar to the A-12, nor convince the USAF of ditching the JSF and go ahead and run another version of the A/F-X. Nor could they convince the Marines to do with just the super hornet and keep on upgrading the Harriers. Once this sunk in (and a bit of compromise from the USAF and USMC) all their resistance vanished. In hindsight, the challenges that had to be overcome by the JSF only validate the then decision. Had the USAF ditched the much smaller, less complex JSF (relative to the A/F-X and gone in for the bigger and more complicated A/F-X they would have not only run into even larger trouble but they would have wound up with no other new clean sheet design to replace the extremely large cold-war legacy fleet. The export market for US fighters would have also gone out of the window.

A-12

Image

A/F-X

Image

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 17 Jan 2015 00:09

F-35 SDD full weapons (Blk 3F)

Image

Cosmo_R
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3407
Joined: 24 Apr 2010 01:24

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Cosmo_R » 17 Jan 2015 02:44

^^^ How did they get those bullets to line up and salute? :) Awesome colors too.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 19 Jan 2015 04:03

Since I referred to this a couple of times and also provided Dr. Paul M. Bevilaqua's video presentation earlier,here is his original work/ paper from AIAA, the 2009 Wright Brother's lecture. Its the golden resource for all those interested in the technical aspect of the evolution of the winning design by the person who was the father of its propulsion system.

Genesis of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Paul M. Bevilaqua

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Palmdale, California 93599

JOURNAL OF AIRCRAFT, Vol. 46, No. 6, November–December 2009



http://www.filedropper.com/paulb-f35

---------

It seems the veteran warrior of aviation journalism is having at least some positive things to say. This is as good as it "can get" when big ego's stake their reputation on a particular position rather than reporting as they are required to do on the industry and trends. Anyhow, my 2 cents on the matter:

http://aviationweek.com/defense/opinion ... -new-phase

- KPP's are being met and will likely be met on most things barring a few where the cost to get the thing back is counter to just reducing thresholds and mass producing the said system. This is not uncharacteristic, although one could counter argue that the past programs have been overwhelmingly positive for their operators despite of window dressing when it comes to pulling back performance shortfalls. The F-18E/F springs to mind instantly where bandaid fixes were applied instead of complex re-designs in order to pull back performance, and needless to say the Bill Sweetman's love affair with the system for the USN follows a closely followed mud slinging on it during its development by his publication (and he himself). This has become the norm in the US media where there has been a "tabloidification " of defense reporting due to bloggers and outright tabloid journos (David Axe et al) with little aerospace or even defense reporting background/credibility begin to eat into the marketshare of established publications based on sensationalized coverage (F-35 glitch means no gun - as an example from Russia Today - or the numerous Sprey quotes from a person who no one with any sort of influence in any circle takes seriously). This has forced notable publications to also sensationalize reporting.

- I suspected months ago (and posted about it) that the "perpetual haters" that have staked their entire careers on a hope that this thing fails would simply shift their position by ignoring the strong trend in procurement cost reduction (The A variant for example has reduced from an end recurring fly-away cost of 163 Million per in 2005 to a 92 Million in 2016 and is on a trend towards the magical 80 million mark by full rate production) and move towards the sustainment/life cycle cost. Most of these folks are ignorant of how these things are calculated but a few are aware that there is absolutely no value in LCC projections on a pre-concurrency-change fleet that has around 25K hours net between operational and ITT aircraft. They know damn well that a firm, predictable figure/estimate or a model, stable enough to use it for 30 years worth of cost-projections would not arrive before they have at least 50K hours of ops (per) with stable jets post concurrency. Heck even the evaluators have dropped estimating/modeling a lot of the metrics until system maturity/stability has been demonstrated over thousands of fleet hours. This wouldn't happen before 2020, so these folks would continue to use the fluctuating CAPE estimates (On the way down even they..:)) to project this as an unaffordable asset while constantly batting for versions of 4.5 generatio aircraft (Rafale NG, Gripen NG, Eurofighter NG, F-18 Advanced etc) that have yet to take to the air, let alone cleared Development testing. Briganti and his brigade on his website would no doubt find more nameless internet trolls and give them front page articles.

- Speculation on future capability has already started, and no matter what the program "jointly" decides later this year as part of the first upgrade package (block 4) it seems ground work is already being laid to "prep" the ignorant for disappointment because common sense dictates that when multiple parties sit together and negotiate a block, some would get what they want while others would not. These same folks a few years were almost on the verge of denying that the aircraft would ever field a working block 3 (SDD) build, let alone a future upgraded Block 4 as it planned starting 2022.

- Then comes the entire debate on VHF which I am sure the Author probed for the umpteenth time through his Lieutenant (Butler) at the recently held "state of the air-force" briefing a few days ago (Video of the exchange on the air-force website). The Chief responded as usual with " not a big deal", "I see nothing that would threaten the program or prevent us from breaking the kill chain". It seems that the users are being sold hook line and sinker a projection that those with 3 decades or more of experience are unaware of the VHF/UHF threat even though they themselves operate airborne UHF radars, and have a very sophisticated Radar ranges that actively seek CIA's assistance in developing capability to test systems and sub-systems. The way the question was framed (No doubt it came from the editor even though it was posed by a lieutenant ) was that since the aircraft is 5-7 years late, has the stealth diminished? Seriously? This thing was to be survivable for decades through a combination of RCS, materials, coatings, sensors, avionics, sensor-fusion and ultimately CONSTANT UPGRADES. Was it a fighter designed to contribute for just 5-10 years of useful service? Heck this same editor, regards the Gripen NG as a "sixth generation fighter", destined to be survivable till hell freezes over. The same folks that have actively claimed since day-1 that they intend on using stealth along with other systems to break the kill chain and that stealth does not equal invisibility or invincibiliy but only ups survivability against IAD . Even back in the B-2 development days, they were projecting 20% losses to IAD's. Why would they not project a number for the F-35? Is the author aware of that number? And what that number would look like if they operated legacy jets?

----

On a side note, testing report released a few hours ago indicated that the USMC plans to hold another round of ship trials on the WASP in July of this year with 6 F-35B's this time around. Since these birds would not be fitted with instruments (non-test birds) the USMC would be able to fully engage the Wasp's organic sensor suite (that otherwise interferes with test instrumentation), and utilize the opportunity to do more complex deck handling exercises with the V-22 Osprey and the F-35. No weapons would be used since the IOC would only follow post this Exercise. The USN plans on undertaking its DTII testing onboard the Nimitz in August of this year as well, immediately following the USMC's round III on the WASP. So far it appears that the USN would wrap up total development testing on carriers out at sea by the end of 2016 given that they have a mature enough ALIS to do DTIII then. This leaves their logistical setup and SDD software clearance certificates as the only real hindrance for IOC which should happen by 2018 or early 2019. We should see greater congressional push for More F-35C's over and above what the USN demands so as to speed things up. The US Navy is trying to balance the sequester by only making the minimum investments in procurement on a Very very secure program (compared to their investments that are relatively more insecure such as the Next gen jammer, AMDR radar etc) but the congress stepped in last year with 2 extra, and I suspect this would continue for a few years (the admirals would love this).

Apparently, the F-35C lost a 100 pounds in the last 3 or so years without any changes to performance or basic design.
Last edited by brar_w on 19 Jan 2015 11:10, edited 4 times in total.

Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 23387
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Austin » 19 Jan 2015 09:23

Chinese Spies Stole F-35 Fighter Design, Edward Snowden Reveals
U.S. National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden said Chinese spies stole a huge volume of data related to Lockheed's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Australian Associated Press reported, and military experts say Beijing likely used the information to help develop its latest generation of fighters. Snowden shared signals data documenting the Chinese theft with German magazine Der Spiegel, and the Australian government is aware of the “serious damage” from the breach, the Sydney Morning Herald said.

The Chinese allegedly stole 50 terabytes of data, including information about the fighter's detailed engine schematics, "aft deck heating contour maps," methods for cooling exhaust gases and the method the jet uses to track targets, the Morning Herald said.

China apparently used information stolen from American intelligence through espionage to influence "fifth-generation" fighters, military experts told the Morning Herald. The Chengdu J-20 and the Shenyang J-31 threaten the superiority the West has in the skies.

Last year, Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the country would purchase 58 more F-35 fighters, which cost more than $12 billion, Sky News, Australia, said. "The fifth-generation F-35 is the most advanced fighter in production anywhere in the world and will make a vital contribution to our national security," Abbott said, according to the Morning Herald. The jet was expected enter service with the Australian air force in 2020.

The Australian government has not released an official comment on Snowden's latest disclosures.

Snowden leaked information about the NSA to media outlets in June 2013. Some of the information disclosed, like global surveillance programs, caused controversy. While his actions have been labeled criminal by the U.S. government, some consider him a hero. After he allegedly released hundreds of thousands of secret documents, Snowden took refuge in Russia. If he came back to the U.S., he would face espionage charges.

Snowden has continued to speak out since making his original disclosures, and is to appear at a Hawaii conference via video, KHON, Honolulu, reported. He is to talk after a showing of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Citizenfour” at the First Amendment conference at the Hawaii Convention Center Feb. 14.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 22 Jan 2015 21:35

A 10 Minute review of the Integrated Test Force activity over 2014



Stephen Trimble from the industrial capacity perspective .. Highlights how advanced aerospace projects are high risk developments with more problems that arise during the process then during the conceptual phase ;). The media has been great to highlight problems along the way (of which there have been plenty) but a lot lot less time has been dedicated to explaining to the readers/consumers the measures being taken to address them and eventually get back on track from either the industrial production perspective (moving gradually towards that 17 a month target) or from a design and development point of view. Designing a system is only half the battle, the real fun begins when you have to produce it at an efficient pace with high degree of tolerances that stealth forces on you.

ANALYSIS: F-35 production system evolves ahead of ramp-up

Mass manufacturing and stealth aircraft have never mixed well. Hundreds of thousands of parts must align at tolerances measured to the thousandths of an inch. A structural misalignment no wider than a few human hairs is enough to make an aircraft shine like a lighthouse in the electromagnetic spectrum.

In the elite club of stealth aircraft manufacturers, Lockheed Martin set the output record six years ago by averaging two F-22 Raptor deliveries per month, then topped that four years later as the F-35 Lightning II production rate reached three per month.

If Lockheed’s order projections are realised, however, the F-35 must become the stealth fighter equivalent of the Ford Model T in less than four years. That is when monthly output at Lockheed’s mile-long factory in Fort Worth, Texas, is supposed to reach a peak of 17 F-35s in 2019. Lockheed has built non-stealthy fighters faster in the past – the same factory built 33 F-16s in October 1981 – but the four-year goal for monthly F-35 deliveries is nearly seven times higher than any stealth aircraft programme has ever achieved.

With the scale of the challenge at full-rate production well understood, Lockheed designed the F-35 final assembly line to be different from the outset. In the two critical final assembly functions – aligning and mating the fuselage sections and wings and then installing the engine and control surfaces – the F-35 production system departs from Lockheed’s past practice on the F-16 and F-22.

But some of the plans for F-35 manufacturing have evolved and changed as the potential reality of full-rate production draws nearer.

A prime example is the fate of a now-discarded plan to install a continuously moving final assembly line. Emulating a Toyota car factory, Lockheed’s concept proposed an automated track that would advance F-35s down the line at a steady clip of 1.22m (4ft) per hour. Workers would keep pace as they attached the fighter’s control surfaces, installed the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine and performed systems tests.

In a 2004 news release announcing the moving assembly line studies, Lockheed officials said such an innovation, if implemented, could save $300 million over the life of the programme.

"Affordability is the cornerstone on which the JSF programme is built, and we're beginning to see how a continuous moving assembly line could help us meet our commitment to keep costs low," said Tom Burbage, Lockheed’s then-executive vice-president and F-35 programme general manager. "We are in the process of weighing the up-front investments against the long-term returns. So far, we like what we see."


However, Lockheed’s internal position has changed within the last three years, says Don Kinard, a Lockheed senior technical fellow charged with developing the F-35 “fighter production system”.

“We studied [a continuously moving line] for years,” Kinard said in a recent interview. “We did a lot of analysis and we figured that 95% of the benefit of a moving line could be captured with a pulse line. The moving line brought additional complexity to it, and the complexity and the cost of going from a pulsed line to a moving line was determined to be not worth the advantage.”

The F-35’s last stages of assembly will still be very different to those on the F-16 line, for example. Lockheed parks the F-16 after fuselage and wing mating in an assembly bay, where it does not move until the aircraft is ready to enter the paint hangar.

By contrast, Lockheed adopted a “pulsed” line for the F-35, with a flow-to-takt-time assembly model. In such a model, components flow through assembly positions all the way through the supply chain at intervals aligned with the monthly delivery rate.

Another split with Lockheed tradition on the F-35 line is the station where the four main fuselage sections are joined with the wings. It is here where all the major structural components are merged from a global supply chain. Lockheed makes the forward fuselage section and completes 60% of the wings from a parallel assembly line in Fort Worth. Alenia Aermacchi builds the remaining 40% of the wings, while Northrop Grumman and Turkey’s TAI split responsibility for building the centre fuselage. Lockheed’s plant in Marietta, Georgia makes the centre wing assembly, and BAE Systems builds the aft fuselage.

There are three major mate stations in the F-35’s structure. The 270 mate joint – measuring 270in from the aircraft’s nose – joins Lockheed’s forward fuselage to the Northrop/TAI centre fuselage. The 425 mate joint connects the centre fuselage with Lockheed’s centre wing assembly, and the 556 mate joins the centre wing to BAE’s aft fuselage.

Each section has to be mated precisely or there is a risk of misalignments in the structure giving away the F-35’s profile on radar. On top of this complexity, there are three major variants of the F-35 – each with unique structures and systems. As Lockheed was conceiving of the final assembly process, it was quickly obvious that a sophisticated tooling system was necessary for mating the major structures of each of the three variants.

Lockheed’s electronic mating and alignment system (EMAS) was developed to solve that problem. The EMAS replaces the large tooling towers that would have been required to mate each variant. Instead, a platform is erected, and all four major sections are lifted by crane into an F-35-shaped space in the middle to be mated. Each of the sections are digitally mapped and mated synthetically in the EMAS software. This simulation of the mating process is used to predict the number and thickness of the required shims and filler. Too much or too little can cause a stealth-degrading misalignment.


The four sections are initially joined together and inspected to make sure the thickness of the shims is accurate. Then, the EMAS pulls the three mate joints apart so workers can make corrections. The sections are then rejoined to validate the corrections. Finally, the EMAS pulls the sections apart one last time so workers can apply sealants and protective coatings on the interior of the structures.

The labour-intensive process represents the majority of the F-35 mating work, but the EMAS makes it possible to mate all three variants using a common platform, rather than individual tooling towers.

However, the EMAS was also an assembly bottleneck in the early years of F-35 production.

The first few lots of low-rate initial production were slowed by delays that ran deep into the supply chain. However, the joint programme office required Lockheed to keep the flow-to-takt system running, even if major assemblies were missing large numbers of parts. By the time these components reached the EMAS stage, Lockheed’s production system had broken down.

“Travelled work at mate isn’t a good thing. We did it to scrunch the schedule, but … out of station work is really chaos for us,” Kinard says. “Remember, we’re in flow – so if I don’t do it in this station it moves to the next station, or the next station. And that means there’s mechanics there that might not be familiar with [the part]. We want to have the part delivered and consumed in that position, all the work done and moved to the next position.”

Those problems have largely been resolved as Lockheed stabilised at a steady rate of three F-35s per month since 2013. F-35s previously arrived at the EMAS station only 30% complete, but now enter the mate routinely at more than 99% complete, Kinard adds.

"The only real travelled work we have right now anywhere in the factory is really in final assembly," he says. "It’s moving typically within one position from final assembly to another position in final assembly".

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 26 Jan 2015 05:57

The exchange I was referring to earlier in one of my posts.


Viv S
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5303
Joined: 03 Jan 2010 00:46

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Viv S » 28 Jan 2015 22:52

Cross-posting from International Aerospace Discussion thread.

New Photos: Chilled Lightning

by Amy Butler

F-35 skeptics might see these photos and declare with delight that the program is on ice. Not so, the Pentagon continues to throw its support behind the $400 billion project.

In advance of the U.S. Marine Corps' plans to declare initial operatioanl capability for its F-35B -- optimized for the Harrier replacement mission -- F-35 program officials have begun to test the single-engine, stealthy jet in extreme climates. BF-05, was ferried to Eglin AFB, Florida, last fall for the trials. The aircraft is in the McKinley Climatic Laboratory on the base, which is designed to simulate nearly every possible weather condition on Earth. The lab is designed to produce temperatures from -40 degrees to 120 degrees. The lab can also produce various conditions including rain, ice, fog, snow and varying humidity levels.

Here are some pictures of the testing from Lockheed Martin's Andy Wolfe.

Image

BF-05 is on an icing cloud test calibration fixture at the McKinley Climatic Lab (above).

Below are two pictures of BF-05 during icing cloud calibration runs.

Image

Image

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 29 Jan 2015 02:27

^^ The cold temperature and ice was apparently too tempting for the Canadians ;)

Image

The Facility is the largest in the world, and global deployments mean that they really take climatic testing very very seriously at Eglin. The F-22 spent 3 months there simulating all sorts of preceviable climatic challenges.

here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vii4crB5hsM#t=172

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 30 Jan 2015 09:29

Image

Image

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 20709
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Philip » 10 Feb 2015 18:53

From the horses' mouth, Adm.Greenert,"stealth may be overrated",and he's looking beyond the F-35.

http://www.navytimes.com/story/military ... /22949703/

Analysts: Navy brass view F-35C's stealth as overrated

By David Larter , Staff writer February 9, 2015

The top officer of one of three services projected to spend tens of billions of dollars on stealthy new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, now says "stealth may be overrated."

During a speech last week to a Washington audience, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert described what he's looking for in the next generation of strike aircraft — and it doesn't look like the controversial F-35.

"What does that next strike fighter look like?" Greenert asked the packed forum. "I'm not sure it's manned, don't know that it is. You can only go so fast, and you know that stealth may be overrated. ... Let's face it, if something moves fast through the air, disrupts molecules and puts out heat — I don't care how cool the engine can be, it's going to be detectable. You get my point."

Greenert was speaking about the next generation of fighter aircraft, but his comments could just as easily be applied to Lockheed Martin's F-35C, the carrier-based version of the joint strike fighter. Aviation analysts who watch the F-35 program closely say Greenert's comments reflect ambivalence among naval aviators about the F-35 as a strike fighter, especially compared to the tried-and-true F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets.

"It's not just Greenert, it's across the naval aviation community: They're just not that into the F-35," said Richard Aboulafia, vice president for analysis at the Teal Group.


Greenert has expressed skepticism about stealth technology's value before, arguing in a 2012 paper that improving computing technology will render even the most stealthy aircraft more detectable.

"Those developments do not herald the end of stealth, but they do show the limits of stealth design in getting platforms close enough to use short-range weapons," Greenert wrote.

"It is time to consider shifting our focus from platforms that rely solely on stealth to also include concepts for operating farther from adversaries using standoff weapons and unmanned systems — or employing electronic-warfare payloads to confuse or jam threat sensors rather than trying to hide from them."


Lockheed Martin, the airplane's prime contractor, doesn't see stealth as overrated, saying in a statement that a stealth aircraft will avoid detection better than a non-stealth aircraft every time, and give it the edge in a fight.

"Stealth provides a huge, almost immeasurable advantage because of adversaries' difficulty in detecting the F-35 by the use of either ground-based or airborne radar ... The F-35 design is balanced to optimize stealth in several dimensions, and integrated sensors provide the pilot exceptional situational awareness and tactical advantages against future threats. No other fighter system provides that level of survivability."

The Navy's wait-and-see approach to the F-35C is evident from its buying strategy, said Aboulafia, the Teal Group analyst.

The Navy ordered two F-35Cs for 2015, which lawmakers doubled to four, bringing the grand total to 30 in the first seven years of production, according to budget documents and a recent Congressional Research Service Report.

By contrast, the Marine Corps requested six F-35B jump-jet variants and the Air Force requested 26 F-35As, bringing their totals to 66 and 130, respectively.

In the fiscal 2016 budget request, the Navy plans to order four F-35Cs.

"There are some officers in the Navy who would like to see stealth brought to carriers, but quite a few who wouldn't, who would rather stick with something they know, at a price they know, with two engines that they know and perhaps, shift all funding to the sixth generation [F/A-18]," Aboulafia said.


He said the Navy's buying pattern is telling as to how it sees it integrating into the fleet.

"They are just not acting like the F-35 will be a major part of their force structure in the future," he said, noting he estimated that the Navy might end up buying roughly 200.

The F-35 is the most expensive weapons program in Pentagon history, expected to clock in at about $1.5 trillion over the program's lifetime.

Bryan Clark, a retired commander and a former policy adviser to Greenert, said the F-35's real benefits come from its advanced command-and-control systems, its less-detectable data links and its top-of-the-line intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.

"These and its stealth would enable it to act as a forward sensor and command-and-control platform. These functions might be more valuable than what it brings from a pure strike perspective," he said.

Ultimately, if the Navy wants it for an ISR platform and a secondary strike fighter, it wouldn't need as many in the future.

"It could change how many it buys long term to field one squadron per carrier air wing instead of two," he said. "The second squadron per air wing could instead be [Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike], F/A-18 E/F derivatives, or another aircraft, but they would be intended to deliver larger payloads than F-35."

Staff writer Meghann Myers contributed to this report.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 10 Feb 2015 19:18

@ Phillip, I have replied to this in the international thread. As I said then, this is a budgetary thing that is happening at the moment. The USN's efforts to develop fighter and/or strike aircraft for them have included in the recent past :

- A-12 - Stealthy Strike Aircraft
- AFX - Stealthy strike aircraft
- NATF- Stealthy multi-role aircraft
- Advanced Super Hornet: 4th gen with added RCS reduction
- J-UCAS - Stealthy unmanned aerial vehicle
- FA-XX, 2011 RFI emphasized stealth as is evident from the designs submitted by 2 very capable design teams

The USN does not need to do anything yet on the F35C. If you look at it, the USAF and USMC need 2b/3i for IOC and 3F for FOC. The USN on the other hand have unique requirements and from day -1 had 3F as IOC and 4i for FOC. They are also currently the least mature service as far as testing is concerned and this was by design, since they have the youngest fleet of the three services and knowing this they decided to trail the USMC and USAF that required replacement of legacy aircrafts much earlier. Simply put they do not need large volumes of F-35C's until 2020 because they have limited deck space and as such can only send aircraft to carriers when they have a capability where they can begin to fully replace the outgoing F-18's capability in terms of munitions and mission sets. That capability won't come until 3F and won't fully show up until 4i. The USN has a very long history of buying low-risk platforms and as such the F-35C would be the lowest risk platform for them in the 2020 time-frame given the cost to develop something totally new.

The USN has totally scaled back its Tactical aircraft investment. Reduced the total F-35C buy over 5 years by 12 (deferment not cancellation of 12), decided not to buy any more F-18E/F's from FY2016. Decided not to buy any more EA-18G's from 2016. They have also decided to defer the UCLASS program by 2-3 years. They are essentially taking money saved from these things and putting it onto other cash-strapped programs such as the Ohio class replacement which is a very very pressing priority (the Ohio class is past its design life). The republicans have in principle decided that the Ohio class replacement is a strategic program and that it should be funded outside of the Navy budget (a separate deterrence account). They have created an account for it, but the President has not put any money in it and is unlikely to do so. Therefore, until there is a change in the establishment there is no chance that the USN can have an alternate source of funding for the submarine therefore they would continue to cut back or postpone TACAIR priorities.

If you had a chance to watch the CNO's speech, you would realize that he was referring in "general terms" on how stealth does not invisibility. This is the same as the USAF's boss's view where he recently described it as a means to break kill chains and not be invisible to the enemy. He did not say that stealth alone is going to carry the day, and I seriously doubt that anyone within the USAF is pushing that line of reasoning. Ever since the F-117, stealth aircraft have had a balance in performance, stealth, speed, and other offensive and defensive systems. The F-35 is no different and anything that replaces the F-18E/F is not going to be different either.

Furthermore, in his speech he also mentioned that the F-35C is essential to the USN modernization and that they are going to delay modernization by deferring the 12 F-35C's due to sequestration.

My reply to a similar news story is here :

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5098&start=2840#p1792892


Also note, that the USN's RFI a few years ago led to this proposal from the incumbent Boeing ( F-18E/F prime) and the level of emphasis paid even at the early stage to signature reduction can tell you a bit about the survivability asked for by the RFI document which by the way is also available (I have posted it somewhere). A Core capability that the USN expects the FA-XX to possess is to have a very high degree of interoperability with the F-35C.



From the horses' mouth, Adm.Greenert,"stealth may be overrated",and he's looking beyond the F-35.


There are two aircraft families in the USAF/USN force structure that need replacement in the 2028-2035 time-period.

- The F-22A Raptor which would be 25-30 years old by then depending upon the production lot
- F-18E/F's and EA-18 G's that would be getting old given the abuse that carrier aviation puts on the frames

All three of these aircraft have mission sets that the F-35 current does not perform because that was not asked from the capabilities documented as both services wished to replace the fighters with a new system (Air-Force's program is known as the F-X while the USN's program is known as the FA-XX). Therefore they are not looking "beyond" the F-35 as much as they are looking beyond the F-18E/F and EA-18G which they have decided to no longer buy after the FY 2015 deliveries are completed (Although congress may add some, just as they may add some F-35's to the mix).

Because the mission-sets for both these aircraft are totally different - F-22A, is high altitude supersonic air to air platform, while the F-18E/F is a mid altitude subsonic (primarily) strike fighter with electronic warfare variant - the services are going to have to develop separate programs. Neither the USAF nor the USN are looking to replace the F-35A, F-35B or F-35C with the F-X or FA-XX efforts. Not only would that be extremely expensive (6th gen prices) but also cost them dearly in terms of time. 6th generation fighters are going to be expensive, highly risky developmental programs just like the Advanced Tactical Figher program that led to the F-22.

"It is time to consider shifting our focus from platforms that rely solely on stealth to also include concepts for operating farther from adversaries using standoff weapons and unmanned systems — or employing electronic-warfare payloads to confuse or jam threat sensors rather than trying to hide from them."


This is quite true. I do not think anyone could disagree with this. Lets take the case of the F-35 - It is supersonic (F117 and B-2 are not), is stealthier than the F-22, can carry any stand off weapon in the USAF Tactical fighter inventory barring the JASSM which it would be able to carry by block 4i (UAI). It carries the most sophisticated EW suite ever put on a USAF fighter and has full 2 (or 3) slots reserved in the avionics bay for Electronic Warfare Payloads. Simply put, if the USN wishes it can turn the F-35C into a mini- EA-18G. Mini because it would be stupid for them to add external pods since the amount of EW required is directly proportional to the signature being presented. In fact, the only service that has wished to add some stand off EW payload to the F-35 has been the USMC that does not have EA-18's and has to trade off offensive weapons for MALD-J's on their ships. The USN would most likely resist adding more EW capability (from self serving to stand off) because that would jeapordize their FA-XX efforts.

BTW, One of the options for the USN for the F-18E/F replacement is a highly modified F-35C, and in my opinion given the USN's reluctance towards spending a lot of money developing technology for future tactical fighters, it may have the best shot at winning.

"There are some officers in the Navy who would like to see stealth brought to carriers, but quite a few who wouldn't, who would rather stick with something they know, at a price they know, with two engines that they know and perhaps, shift all funding to the sixth generation [F/A-18]," Aboulafia said.


The CNO even on this very occasion said that the F-35C is a part of their modernization and that deferring the 12 would impact their modernization efforts.

Many in the USN at times resisted Percission Guided Munitions, because they were expensive, and offered marginal utility over "dumb bombs". Until the USAF showed what was possible during the Gulf War the Navy had factions that didn't want investments there. Now they seem to have taken the lead. As I said earlier, if you want to know what the USN would be doing as far as technology 2 decades out, look at what the USAF is doing NOW. The Navy is run by admirals who have priorities in ships and subs. Unless some existential threat appears to their tactical fighters, they are unlikely to push the boundaries.

BTW, The CNO also said speed is not very helpful. I guess all the nations looking at "SUPERCRUISING-STEALTH" fighters are getting it totally wrong :mrgreen:

This comes down to common sense:


Look at the current combat range of the F-18E/F with 2 EFT's and then add one or 2 refuelings . You are pushing this to 6-8 hour sorties from a Carrier. Now look at the F-35C's combat radius with nearly 20,000 pounds of internal fuel and one refueling. Again pushing the endurance limits compared to the FA-18. How do you start with those as your combat radius requirements, add 20-30% to them ( a bare minimum for the FA-XX) and then manage to add a mach 1.5- mach 2 super-cruise performance? That would be nuts. The resultant aircraft would be very large, heavy and ultimately extremely costly and would carve a new mission set for itself since the F-18E/F that it would replace does not have that performance. The only way you could balance that capability is if you invested heavily in adaptive engines, but even then first generation adaptive engines would bring their own set of challenges. Its clear as to why the USAF is spending 3-5 Billion on adaptive engines even before a formal F-X program is launched because they are the ultimate providers of air-superiority in the Pacific context and they need the range-speed balance. Even they would be lucky to keep the weight below the standard 10-15% increment over the F-22A. That would be quite a task in my opinion. For the USN the design would require balancing stealth with external fuel because EFT's would ultimately be a measure to reduce aircraft weight and size. They would also need to balance combat radius with payload and magazine depth.

The whole distributed networking, and information dominance is being looked at as something that could reduce speed requirements. If you can develop those networks, have the enhanced Situational awareness from the system instead of an individual platform..you could reduce speed (and increase persistence/loiter) and gain performance from your weapons by not only fielding weapons with enhanced capability (Say a 30% faster missile) but also carrying more of them (trade off fuel for a larger bay). The Japanese are already beginning to think like this (some reports have suggested that they may seek range over speed).

Ultimately an aircraft design and requirements are a trade-off of mission set of the legacy (what the new aircraft is replacing - outgoing capability), new missions (what can this capability enable me to do that the legacy could not) and the financial considerations. The financial considerations ultimately end up defining the size, weight and performance. Do you want a 50K pound MTOW, a 60K Pound MTOW or an 80k pound MTOW. All three can bring unique capabilities but all three would differ in cost by a very very wide margin.

Quite a few contractors can build you an interceptor that can maintain a cruise of mach 3.4 and extend its range through IFR, the problem is that its likely to have a MTOW well in excess of 100,000 Pounds even with today's material technology ;)

Image

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 11 Feb 2015 18:39

U.K. ‘Lightning Force’ Stands Up F-35B Operations At Edwards AFB

The U.K. has become the first nation outside of the U.S. to begin "organic" Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter test operations following the standing up of the Royal Air Force 17 (Reserve) Squadron at Edwards AFB, California.

The joint RAF-Royal Navy operation will conduct operational testing and evaluation of the F-35B using three of the U.K’s initial four aircraft. Although initial operational capability (IOC) for the RAF is targeted for the end of 2018, the test fleet is expected to remain at Edwards to continue evaluation of future weapons and systems upgrades until the end of their lives.

Testing is already underway with the first U.K. aircraft, BK-1, following its trans-continental ferry flight from Eglin AFB, Florida, where initial pilot and maintenance crew training has been taking place. The second U.K. F-35B, BK-2, is due to arrive at Edwards by early March, with a third test aircraft, BK-4, expected to arrive in early 2016.

"Until two weeks ago the aircraft were operated under a partnering agreement with the U.S. Marine Corps, so they’ve been operating and maintaining them and both U.K.. And Marine pilots have been flying them," says RAF Squadron Leader Frankie Buchler. "Once BK-1 arrived here we began organic operations. So all the flying, all the maintenance we are doing here is done under sovereign control, in accordance with our military operations back in the U.K. It is all British personnel working on the aircraft now and it will be the same with the second jet we will bring here shortly. We are the first nation to start conducting organic operations without support from the Marine Corps or U.S. Air Force."

A fourth British F-35B, BK-3, has been transferred from Eglin to Beaufort Pilot Training Center at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, where it is operated as part of Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501). "That will stay at VMFAT-501 for the next few years to help train future U.K. pilots and maintainers," says Buchler, who in March 2013 became the first international F-35B instructor pilot student at the 33rd Fighter Wing to complete a sortie in the JSF.

Modeled after the Joint Force Harrier unit established in 2000 to combine the remnants of the Royal Navy and RAF Harrier squadrons, the U.K’s "Lightning Force" has a maintenance crew made up equally of RAF and Navy personnel. "We have three pilots: two Air Force and one Navy, and the next commanding officer will be Navy," Buchler says. "It’s the Lightning Force. We are trying to set that from the outset. It is one team, one fight. The sole Royal Navy pilot formerly flew Sea Harriers and has been on exchange with the U.S. Navy flying F/A-18E/F Super Hornets before joining 17 Squadron. Commanding Officer of the U.K.’s F-35 squadron, Wing Commander James Beck, formerly flew the Tornado GR4, while Buchler came from a Jaguar and Typhoon background. The fourth U.K. pilot based at Beaufort is also ex-Harrier and has been on exchange with the Air Force flying F-16s.

Buchler and one other U.K. F-35B pilot is currently qualified to fly the aircraft through its full short take-off and vertical landing envelope. "Another two will qualify shortly with the assistance of the Marine Corps," Buchler says. "We will take our aircraft down to Yuma, Arizona, to do initial training there using BK-1 and 2." The training is expected to occur "imminently," clearing the way for the start of a more aggressive expansion into operational test and evaluation.

"We will take the aircraft and operate out of Edwards using the northern ranges and put it through almost real-life combat situations with simulated threats on the ground and in the air. We will see how the aircraft performs and make our assessment about whether it meets the standards we require to then release it to the fleet," he adds. The aircraft are waiting for upgrades to the Block 2B version of the fighter’s software which is also the basis for the Marine Corps’ standard at its IOC target later this year. "We are still in the early stages but this summer we really start expanding operational testing," Buchler says.

Block 2B will form the basis for initial testing but "we are looking ahead to the Block 3F fleet release software when we go to full-rate production. Beyond this there is the Block 4 systems upgrade they will do," he adds. Initial testing will include separation and guided releases of advanced short range Asraam, Paveway IV and medium-range AIM-120 Amraam missiles. Buchler adds that "by the time the U.K. takes the aircraft IOC it will have the capability to fire Asraam, Amraam and Paveway – and eventually the MBDA Meteor air-to-air missile."

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 13 Feb 2015 02:54

Now to get a true "fighter Pilot" and the most important man in the US tactical fighter scenario's view :

ACC Chief: Stealth ‘Incredibly Important’ For Next USAF Fighter

ORLANDO, Florida – Air Combat Command chief Gen. Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle says stealth will be "incredibly important" for the F-X aircraft that the U.S. Air Force is pursuing as an eventual F-22 replacement.


You'll continue to see the Navy move away as long as Submarines, Ships and other technologies continue to drive their investment. They moved away from the N-ATF, AF-X, and will continue to move away from hard investments in Tactical fighters until they are forced to by the threat. The USAF however doesn't have that luxury. Don't expect the USN FA-XX to push technology edge unless the USAF funds the R&D and application. Forget adaptive engines if the USAF goes for a larger engine. Ever since the cold war the torch for cutting edge tac fighter development rests solely with the USAF.

http://aviationweek.com/defense/acc-chi ... af-fighter

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 14 Feb 2015 10:42

Image

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 15 Feb 2015 00:39

What you are talking about is what those in the industry refer to as the execution part. That's a different issue when the requirements laid down in the beginning are messed up to begin with.


Not as much the execution part. The design itself continued to evolve post the X plane competition just as it did with the ATF. The biggest myth floating around the internet is that the ATF and JSF were flyoffs. They were most-certainly not. They were DEM/VAL efforts in support of the final RFP and eventual down-select for the EMD phase. The USN wanted a larger payload, and there were discussions which eventually led to the other 2 services giving in. The resultant design had to be morphed and commonality dropped. As the head designer of the STOVL propulsion put it : The technical and program challenges involved in developing a common aircraft for all three services were met by designing three highly common, but not identical, variants of the same aircraft.

A mini-F22 for the AF


There was absolutely no requirement for a Mini-F-22 from the USAF. The mission set being replaced was that of the F-16 (primarily). The aircraft being replaced was the evolved Viper, that had grown into a multi-mission aircraft despite of severe design challenges due to its LWF program - beginnings. The USAF did not want, nor need a mini-F22. They wanted a mid-long range, multi-mission/role survivable fighter to replace the capability set that the modern F-16's in their inventory perform. The internal fuel volume, size of the aircraft, and most of the performance were directed by the USAF requirements since it was by far the largest customer. The outer mold line of the F-35/JSF (all designs) was dictated largely by :

- Stealth
- Range - that dictated internal fuel-load since the first requirement of stealth meant meeting Range requirements on internal fuel only (hence the 18000+ Pound internal fuel capacity of the USAF, and 20000 lb for the Navy)
- No. of Engines : A USAF requirement given their global deployment and implications towards their transport fleets if the number of engines in the TAF doubled all of a sudden (Which a twin engined F-35A would essentially do).

some different fighter for the Navy


The USN wanted to replace the F/A-18 an aircraft that besides its Naval requirements essentially performed the same role/task as the F-16's in the USAF.

a third for the Marines may have been more expensive but may have ended up with better performance.


The Marines get a platform that exceeds the range/payload capacity of their Harriers, while being supersonic and having the same exact capability of the F-35A (minus range) so as to do away with their need to field 2 aircraft. Their logistical footprint is considerably less now that they move in with the same version that they fight from sea with unlike in the past.

If you argue against this, then you are pretty much on the wrong side of every objective eval of the program.


You mean every objective evaluation of the program in the media? Or in academia? Or in the blogosphere? There has been no decent cost-capability calculation based on 3 5th generation projects ever done that lacks a bias or that hasn't been rebutted by either side. Academia has some better work especially since many of the engineering talent on the program have retired and begun to speak regularly on the challenges and the evolution of the program.

The outer mould line of the JSF-CTOL has been affected by the other two services putting constraints on size & other aspects.


The aircraft has been designed as per the USAF/CTOL requirements based on their level of survivability and range/payload and its STRICT (and critically important) requirement for a single engine. The propulsion concept for the STOVL version was the challenging design, and that was designed around a much smaller aircraft based on USMC's requirements. The eventual X-35/F35 aircraft was designed to " air force specifications as per Paul Bevilaqua, a senior engineer of the program and the father of its propulsion system (in the Wright brother's lecture series posted by me earlier.) The USMC gets a larger aircraft then they initially required but the flipside of this would have meant that they would have gotten no new aircraft. The USN's version differs since it has a new wing, and this was by design. Contrary to popular media claims the F-35 was never intended to be a 100% common family. They accommodated change but maintained enough commonality to brings economies of scale and produce it under a common assembly line.
Last edited by brar_w on 15 Feb 2015 00:44, edited 1 time in total.

Karan M
Forum Moderator
Posts: 19508
Joined: 19 Mar 2010 00:58

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Karan M » 15 Feb 2015 00:42

brar, nothing personal, but i have said what i wanted to say and am not going to waste my time with this further. if you actually got what i had said, you'd have spared yourself a fair bit of effort, because in effect the above requirement "common aircraft for all three services" itself was flawed & remains flawed. many examples abound, a prominent one even in the indian context. dismissing even the valid critics of the approach as biased etc is another old dawg from the JSF club. its not as much as the aircraft or program itself as what it set out to do. enough examples as i said, out there & folks are still learning lessons from those.

as i said, good luck in arguing against the sky being blue but the jsf is what it is, good and bad.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 15 Feb 2015 00:51

Karan, the biggest challenge was getting this thing into the 21st century and maintaining its survivability beyond. Basically stealthy'fying the configuration and having it perform against the evolving threat.

Image

The F-22 operates at higher altitudes and there really isn't a good reason for it to come down to medium altitudes. That requirement existed for the JSF. The JSF required the range/payload of a F-16 block 50 with 2-3 EFT's and needed to be survivable with that configuration while operating at its medium altitude strike mission set. Nothing in what the USAF NEEDED for a replacement even remotely suggests a " Mini - F22 " like configuration.

as i said, good luck in arguing against the sky being blue but the jsf is what it is, good and bad.


Of course it is good and bad. The F-16 is good and Bad, the F-15 is the same. The F22 as well. No aircraft designed around any sort of compromise (which is a must for any aircraft) is all good!

Karan M
Forum Moderator
Posts: 19508
Joined: 19 Mar 2010 00:58

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Karan M » 15 Feb 2015 00:58

brar, again you are missing the point..

i am saying the requirements were flawed, which led to a flawed program built around those requirements and got locked into those. today, when there is no F-22, the JSF has to remain whatever it was envisaged to be. its OML is fixed. its engineering needlessly overcomplicated. its raw airframe performance using gen4 programs as a comparison for the most part. more and more dependent on the edge from avionics/LO.

you are stating the JSF isn't necessarily bad because it meets the requirements. apples and oranges. folks may well point out that even the common airframe part made it unnecessarily hard to meet even the requirements!

but the bigger elephant in the room are the requirements and the way the program then got structured as a response.

JSF supporters keep sidetracking from this, because they take it as a criticism of the aircraft, its developers, the US industry etc - all have issues but all pale before the original issue.

the point remains that the airframe performance is a fraction of what it could have been without the artificial constraints of a common/ airframe with commonality/triservice/dimension constraints, which locks it into the same restrictive baseline original requirements without a substantial revision possible as all three programs get affected and its a no no. that's the issue.

when the customer & developer both make a wrong choice so early on, the choices are restrictive.
Last edited by Karan M on 15 Feb 2015 01:05, edited 1 time in total.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 15 Feb 2015 01:03

the point remains that the airframe performance is a fraction of what it could have been without the artificial constraints of a common airframe, which locks it into the same restrictive baseline original requirements without a substantial revision. that's the issue


The issue has to be put into context. Without a common air-frame or a high degree of commonality anyhow there would have most likely been no -

- 5th gen capability on the carrier deck
- No 5th gen capability for the Marines

Any program that takes shapes does so due to the prevailing economic and political situation within that establishment. The USN lacked even the remotest of acquisition credibility to start a significant fast jet program. Even their F-14 replacement was designed around the constraints of the Hornet family. The Marines were in addition to being slaved to the overall USN budget, were also the smallest service and even with the JSF they have to mix up their procurement between the B and C because of USN's pressure for commonality (the USN is using the USMC sub-budget to bring economies of scale into the F-35C).

The only service in my opinion that could have gotten a cheaper and smaller aircraft were the USMC because the propulsion plan was shown to be scalable right from inception when they created the thing for an F-117 like system, then to a smaller X-32 (Lockheed) like system before moving it into an airframe designed around air force's size, signature and payload/range requirements. But that is besides the point, because without the USAF subsidizing development and program cost thanks to its outrageous share of procurement the marines would have pretty much gotten nothing even remotely resembling 5th gen.

In an ideal world the USAF would have bought the F-22B to replace the F-15E, the X-44 to replace the F-117 and a lighter original X-32 (lockheed) sized fighter to replace the F-16's. Perhaps 500 or so F-22B's and X-44's along with 200 odd F-22A's, and the rest X-32's (lockheed). The USN could have developed the Shornet and bought the N-ATF (which they themselves backed out off because they wanted a stealthy strike aircraft and not a whizbang stealth fighter). However things do not always turn out with budgets and you have to come together and come up with a plan to get 5th generation capability down to the lowest ranks of your force-structure. The JSF attempts to do just that.

At 320-350 Billion for 2400 fighters, thats within the budget. How much would the scenario mentioned above would have cost is anyone's guess.

Karan M
Forum Moderator
Posts: 19508
Joined: 19 Mar 2010 00:58

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Karan M » 15 Feb 2015 01:12

again, missing the point & justifying the wrong decisions made on the basis of internal politics: "Any program that takes shapes takes shape due to the prevailing economic and political situation within that establishment. The USN lacked even the remotest of acquisition credibility to start a significant fast jet program"

..so what?? this is much the same argument soviet tank aficionados who get bogged down into the minutae of their respective factories, designers start saying "ah but in the prevailing era of the 1970s; it was imperative that Objct xxx was sanctioned along with Objct yyy so which is why both T-72 and T-80 plus continued production of T-64 went on but with modernization of..."

yes. all that is then & there, but wrong decisions are wrong decisions.
whats the end result? frittered resources, multiple loose ends, premier platform struggling to get financed, others rush ahead etc.

today, a bunch of 5Gen platforms on the drawing board or in flight tests will probably have a significant edge against the JSF, airframe wise. Some 4G+ platforms in all likelihood likewise. The JSF will remain locked into its baseline aerodynamics & depend on VLO and avionics. some bla di bla of advanced weapons (which everyone will deploy in their own variants), some gizmos here and there.. pretty much a sad sack affair for the US, with all its bleeding edge tech & what not.

all because of "it was like this then, forcing us to take these decisions, so we did the best we could".

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 15 Feb 2015 02:11

again, missing the point & justifying the wrong decisions made on the basis of internal politics


If you are given 5 different scenarios out of which only 1 is actually possible given your political and economic considerations then it hardly matters whether that scenario is the best of the lot or not. Not even in dictatorships can you execute advanced projects without political or economic considerations. Moreover, the JSF requirements were ripe for a collaborations. The USAF wanted to replace the F-16's while the USN the F/A-18's. Both aircrafts largely performed a similar mission and had the services had a few minor things they wanted added that were unique to their requirements. Of course as the program evolved into an RFP the volume allowed them to seek more changes such as a new wing for greater range and specific performance for the Navy for example. That was justified because it was a sizable acquisition again, thanks to the USMC agreeing to operate the F-35C's from the CVN.

Other programs may not have the stars align as well as they did with the JSF where two of the most important aircraft that required replacement basically performed a similar mission. The 6th generation development for example has 2 services requiring completely different capability and here both these services would struggle to align resources outside of basic technology development as is happening now.

yes. all that is then & there, but wrong decisions are wrong decisions.


Lets see. Without the subsidizing effort of the USAF, the USN would not have had any 5th generation capability on a carrier deck. They would most likely be an all F-18E/F fleet well into the 2030's and that in the late 90's was pretty much as far as they could strategically plan for. If you cannot develop something on your own because of whatever considerations let alone the all important consideration of having the money to do so - then you must seek ways to get capability at an affordable cost. There is no mission set in the F/A-18 ops book that the F-35C does not execute better going into the 21st century while at the same time adding the all important first day strike capability in addition to being a far superior air to air platform then the aircraft it is replacing going into the 2020's and beyond.

whats the end result? frittered resources, multiple loose ends, premier platform struggling to get financed, others rush ahead etc.


How is this justified? Where are the verified performance claims of those that "rushing ahead"? The JSF program since the baseline has tracked as per plan. The cost although higher then originally anticipated is still reasonable for the number of aircraft types being replaced and the sheer number of the acquired fighters. The Rafale has cost the french 60 odd Billion as a program for less than 200 fighters till date. The JSF is a 2400 fighter program that is currently priced at less than 400 Billion USD.

today, a bunch of 5Gen platforms on the drawing board or in flight tests will probably have a significant edge against the JSF


In what capacity and capability and under which mission set. The F-35 by definition is a replacement for the F-16 and F/A-18 (primarily). Thats the bulk of your outgoing force. You have separate capability in the F-22, and F-18E/F domains. That capability is going to be replaced and as YF2016's budget has shown they are already charting out an X-Plane program (s) to do the same. You are talking about specifications of projects that are in the "paper" stage of development or outside of the PAKFA/T-50 in unknown prototype stage, and assuming a superiority over a 2030+ JSF capability (Block 5+ by then including a possible a significantly redesigned NG version for the USN) requires a fairly large leap of faith. The JSF is a complementary system to the F-22, and its current and future versions would be a complement to the F-X and USN's FA-XX efforts.

The JSF will remain locked into its baseline aerodynamics & depend on VLO and avionics.


Nothing is fixed for any platform. Besides, you have to keep in mind that the JSF is the "BULK" of the force-structure of the US. Fighter activity is not stationary. You still have 3 fighter types to replace in the coming 2 decades (F-22A, F-18E/F and EA-18G). Advanced fighter development is not easy as putting together a requirement and getting a mature product in 5-10 years. It would take a long time for the Chinese platforms to advance and eventually be mass-produced. We have no idea of their performance claims and what sort of weight, payload/range, speed, propulsion, signature suppression challenges they are running into (just to name a few). Some have assumed a lack of information as the absence of any problems (often those that do so in the media are unfortunately most of the time F-35 critics)..Meanwhile there is a growth path for the JSF, and avionics plays a very central role in that because that is a direction the USAF is directing hard investment in for the future of air-power. Managing the combat cloud, and information control would be highly valuable and the JSF has come a long way in managing that through some hard, turbulent and frustrating times in development (not to mention costly). Others have to get there still, while the effort to extend the Air-Dominance Mission into the 2030's and beyond started a couple of years ago in search of those hard-to-reach capabilities for the 2030's.

The JSF will remain locked into its baseline aerodynamics & depend on VLO and avionics. some bla di bla of advanced weapons (which everyone will deploy in their own variants), some gizmos here and there.. pretty much a sad sack affair for the US, with all its bleeding edge tech & what not.


Projects around the world would also be locked within their own constraints, whether those are design, economics or capability/technology etc. The USAF has a clear path of replacing its bulk fleet (F16's mostly) with a modern 5th generation fighter that replaces the mission yet is survivable and capable enough to exist in the forward edge of battle-space alongside platforms like the F-22, B-2 and future B-3's and UCAV's.

Avionics, sensors, and sensor-fusion at the level of the F-35 is not an easy task to achieve. Even compared to the F-22, the F-35 is a considerable leap and thats not something easily replicated without a strong technology investment and learning curve. That is also an area that the Pentagon is not going to easily surrender and not maintain and edge in. The JSF has gotten past the bulk of its challenges in that regard and in the next couple of years would begin to look into the future in those areas (Block 4 and block 5). You also have a re-engine offer where huge sums of money is being invested to gain performance through adaptive engines. There is absolutely no reason to believe that the JSF growth path would be any less significant then the evolution of the F-16 over the years.

all because of "it was like this then, forcing us to take these decisions, so we did the best we could".


Of course some would have had them create programs with goals that were grossly unachievable given budgetary realities. You develop programs you could afford to field. The F-22 was a cold-war legacy (B-2 as well) so the extra capability at "all cost" was justified to a point (thats a seperate topic altogether). In a post-cold war environment you have option A) To work together towards an acquisition plan that actually has a chance of fielding advanced 5th generation capability in the right number for all three services or B) Stop dreaming and just acquire upgraded versions of existing aircrafts.

They smartly chose to go down a path that would actually allow them to replace 4th gen with 5th gen with the right acquisition size (80 per year for the USAF for example) to make a meaningful difference in the overall capability of the force. It is extremely unreasonable to assume that one can design an aircraft without compromises, or without factoring in the economics of the prevailing times. Otherwise, given me a couple of thousand F-22's and I don't need the Super Hornet, or the F-35. Easier said then done however!

While folks go through the capability and future potential of the F35 with a fine toothed comb, the most important, and ultimate objective of the F-35 program for the USAF is to give them a capability to replace 60 fighters per year starting 2017 and 80 fighters per year starting 2021. Same applies to the USMC and ultimately the USN that trails behind the USMC and USAF on account of having a less mature testing program. This program is and was always a balance between technology and volume.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 15 Feb 2015 02:12

again, missing the point & justifying the wrong decisions made on the basis of internal politics


If you are given 5 different scenarios out of which only 1 is actually possible given your political and economic considerations then it hardly matters whether that scenario is the best of the lot or not. Not even in dictatorships can you execute advanced projects without political or economic considerations. Moreover, the JSF requirements were ripe for a collaboration. The USAF wanted to replace the F-16's while the USN the F/A-18's. Both aircrafts largely performed a similar mission and had the services had a few minor things they wanted added that were unique to their requirements. Of course as the program evolved into an RFP the volume allowed them to seek more changes such as a new wing for greater range and specific performance for the Navy for example. That was justified because it was a sizable acquisition again, thanks to the USMC agreeing to operate the F-35C's from the CVN.

Other programs may not have the stars align as well as they did with the JSF where two of the most important aircraft that required replacement basically performed a similar mission. The 6th generation development for example has 2 services requiring completely different capability and here both these services would struggle to align resources outside of basic technology development as is happening now.

yes. all that is then & there, but wrong decisions are wrong decisions.


Lets see. Without the subsidizing effort of the USAF, the USN would not have had any 5th generation capability on a carrier deck. They would most likely be an all F-18E/F fleet well into the 2030's and that in the late 90's was pretty much as far as they could strategically plan for. If you cannot develop something on your own because of whatever considerations let alone the all important consideration of having the money to do so - then you must seek ways to get capability at an affordable cost. There is no mission set in the F/A-18 ops book that the F-35C does not execute better going into the 21st century while at the same time adding the all important first day strike capability in addition to being a far superior air to air platform then the aircraft it is replacing going into the 2020's and beyond.

whats the end result? frittered resources, multiple loose ends, premier platform struggling to get financed, others rush ahead etc.


How is this justified? Where are the verified performance claims of those that "rushing ahead"? The JSF program since the baseline has tracked as per plan. The cost although higher then originally anticipated is still reasonable for the number of aircraft types being replaced and the sheer number of the acquired fighters. The Rafale has cost the french 60 odd Billion as a program for less than 200 fighters till date. The JSF is a 2400 fighter program that is currently priced at less than 400 Billion USD.

today, a bunch of 5Gen platforms on the drawing board or in flight tests will probably have a significant edge against the JSF


In what capacity and capability and under which mission set. The F-35 by definition is a replacement for the F-16 and F/A-18 (primarily). Thats the bulk of your outgoing force. You have separate capability in the F-22, and F-18E/F domains. That capability is going to be replaced and as YF2016's budget has shown they are already charting out an X-Plane program (s) to do the same. You are talking about specifications of projects that are in the "paper" stage of development or outside of the PAKFA/T-50 in unknown prototype stage, and assuming a superiority over a 2030+ JSF capability (Block 5+ by then including a possible a significantly redesigned NG version for the USN) requires a fairly large leap of faith. The JSF is a complementary system to the F-22, and its current and future versions would be a complement to the F-X and USN's FA-XX efforts.

The JSF will remain locked into its baseline aerodynamics & depend on VLO and avionics.


Nothing is fixed for any platform. Besides, you have to keep in mind that the JSF is the "BULK" of the force-structure of the US. Fighter activity is not stationary. You still have 3 fighter types to replace in the coming 2 decades (F-22A, F-18E/F and EA-18G). Advanced fighter development is not easy as putting together a requirement and getting a mature product in 5-10 years. It would take a long time for the Chinese platforms to advance and eventually be mass-produced. We have no idea of their performance claims and what sort of weight, payload/range, speed, propulsion, signature suppression challenges they are running into (just to name a few). Some have assumed a lack of information as the absence of any problems (often those that do so in the media are unfortunately most of the time F-35 critics)..Meanwhile there is a growth path for the JSF, and avionics plays a very central role in that because that is a direction the USAF is directing hard investment in for the future of air-power. Managing the combat cloud, and information control would be highly valuable and the JSF has come a long way in managing that through some hard, turbulent and frustrating times in development (not to mention costly). Others have to get there still, while the effort to extend the Air-Dominance Mission into the 2030's and beyond started a couple of years ago in search of those hard-to-reach capabilities for the 2030's.

The JSF will remain locked into its baseline aerodynamics & depend on VLO and avionics. some bla di bla of advanced weapons (which everyone will deploy in their own variants), some gizmos here and there.. pretty much a sad sack affair for the US, with all its bleeding edge tech & what not.


Projects around the world would also be locked within their own constraints, whether those are design, economics or capability/technology etc. The USAF has a clear path of replacing its bulk fleet (F16's mostly) with a modern 5th generation fighter that replaces the mission yet is survivable and capable enough to exist in the forward edge of battle-space alongside platforms like the F-22, B-2 and future B-3's and UCAV's.

Avionics, sensors, and sensor-fusion at the level of the F-35 is not an easy task to achieve. Even compared to the F-22, the F-35 is a considerable leap and thats not something easily replicated without a strong technology investment and learning curve. That is also an area that the Pentagon is not going to easily surrender and not maintain and edge in. The JSF has gotten past the bulk of its challenges in that regard and in the next couple of years would begin to look into the future in those areas (Block 4 and block 5). You also have a re-engine offer where huge sums of money is being invested to gain performance through adaptive engines. There is absolutely no reason to believe that the JSF growth path would be any less significant then the evolution of the F-16 over the years.

all because of "it was like this then, forcing us to take these decisions, so we did the best we could".


Of course some would have had them create programs with goals that were grossly unachievable given budgetary realities. You develop programs you could afford to field. The F-22 was a cold-war legacy (B-2 as well) so the extra capability at "all cost" was justified to a point (thats a seperate topic altogether given what "ACTUALLY" led to the F-22 cost spiral). In a post-cold war environment you have option A) To work together towards an acquisition plan that actually has a chance of fielding advanced 5th generation capability in the right number for all three services or B ) Stop dreaming and just acquire upgraded versions of existing aircrafts.

They smartly chose to go down a path that would actually allow them to replace 4th gen with 5th gen with the right acquisition size (80 per year for the USAF for example) to make a meaningful difference in the overall capability of the force. It is extremely unreasonable to assume that one can design an aircraft without compromises, or without factoring in the economics of the prevailing times. Otherwise, given me a couple of thousand F-22's and I don't need the Super Hornet, or the F-35. Easier said then done however!

While folks go through the capability and future potential of the F35 with a fine toothed comb, the most important, and ultimate objective of the F-35 program for the USAF is to give them a capability to replace 60 fighters per year starting 2017 and 80 fighters per year starting 2021. Same applies to the USMC and ultimately the USN that trails behind the USMC and USAF on account of having a less mature testing program. This program is and was always a balance between technology and volume.

Karan M
Forum Moderator
Posts: 19508
Joined: 19 Mar 2010 00:58

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Karan M » 15 Feb 2015 02:28

jeez, you are just repeating the same program talking points which completely ignore the central issues, and keep saying its good, its all good, things are fine, despite many well intended critics of the program raising justified points on significant flaws with the basic requirements themselves. those requirements which any half decent analyst openly admits have plagued the program and saddled it with both unreasonable requirements and also a structure which is very inflexible to changing requirements. an issue which has plagued other programs too which dated from the cold war, but the JSF had time to undertake a course correction but couldn't because its triservice requirements close out other choices or course corrections.

large posts don't change the reality however, that JSF is an underwhelming, over complex program for a nation which (used to?) boast the most aggressive yet revolutionary aerospace complex which broke new ground with its fighters repeatedly. in an era where the USAF has had its F-22 numbers limited, its now restricted to inducting a fighter which cannot boast of being the best of the 5G breed across the board.

at this point, you are just repeating program talking points without even attempting to understand the issues at hand or what the other person is saying. when someone says apple you say, no, tomato and tomato was because of.. so its all fine. i could even point out the same issues which plagued one important tri service program in india, but it would be pointless since you simply can't begin to acknowledge the flaws with the JSF programs inception. anything & everything is being addressed but with this is because of, that is because of.. not looking at what it is & why its an issue. perhaps its lack of experience & just looking this as some program defence & an internet debate. which is why I thought this "debate" would be a waste of time & unfortunately, its been proven right.

let me break it out simply. i know you won't get this and will respond with a 10,000 word essay justifying what was done, why it was done, and so forth. but what the heck, a last try.

when three different groups have significantly differing requirements, it does not always make sense to put them all in a common bucket and then try to develop a common program for all their needs. what you'll end up with is a jack of all, master of none. this is fine if you have an unlimited budget and unlimited technology which mean you can somehow achieve a common product which still outperforms specialized peers fielded by your rivals.
but you don't. your program now has significant restrictions because one guy wants it to fit on his ships. another says it has to fly within a certain envelope so a new powerplant is required, which impacts fuel. the third guy says he wants it to get off vertically so and so forth. instead of three platforms optimized for three, quite different sets of users, you end up making one, which doesn't quite meet everything all need today, though on paper it meets what they thought they needed several decades back. turns out not quite exactly, so some relaxations are made here and there to keep the program going. too big to fail.

and therein, in a race to keep up with the joneses, you have to keep going back to your original program which is now locked into a certain development path and keep adding more exotic gizmos to it. everything you add now has an extra penalty, because the specifications are now set in stone. can't be larger. can't be a different shape. can't do some time off, because customers are lined up. and your peers don't give a sh!t. they started later than you, saw what you did and are avoiding your mistakes. they will come out with airframes that fly higher, range longer or can outmaneuver you. in return. you say i will pack in more gizmos, i will add more fancy toys, i will do this. but fundamentally, you lost the race to be #1. now you are trying to make sure you ain't #2. in turn, you have to invest more and more in support infrastructure. more EW. more tankerage. more fancy gizmos. and then you say never mind, we do have a 6G program. all this profligacy at the end of the day, is unproductive. all because of fundamentally flawed program gestation. i know you won't get this, and the response will be, this was because of that, and this is how things were done.. still fundamentally the same sort of stuff that plagued the FSU in its heyday. conceptually, much the same stuff. it doesn't matter if its the JSF or the T-72/T-80/T-90 or the Su-34 vs Su-30/35 - the basic issues remain the same. Program structure & politics leading to flawed decisions which then can't be changed, because what's done is done. And so it goes.
Last edited by Karan M on 15 Feb 2015 02:52, edited 1 time in total.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 15 Feb 2015 02:50

jeez, you are just repeating the same program talking points which completely ignore the central issues, and keep saying its good, its all good, things are fine, despite many well intended critics of the program raising justified points on significant flaws with the basic requirements themselves. those requirements which any half decent analyst openly admits have plagued the program and saddled it with both unreasonable requirements and also a structure which is very inflexible to changing requirements. an issue which has plagued other programs too which dated from the cold war, but the JSF had time to undertake a course correction but couldn't because its triservice requirements close out other choices or course corrections


Which course corrections were directly impacted by the ti-service requirements?

that JSF is an underwhelming, over complex program for a nation which (used to?) boast the most aggressive yet revolutionary aerospace complex which broke new ground with its fighters repeatedly. in an era where the USAF has had its F-22 numbers limited, its now restricted to inducting a fighter which cannot boast of being the best of the 5G breed across the board.


Every aircraft program is built around its operator's requirement. The F-35 needn't be the best 5th generation fighter in the world in all metrics, it needs to be the best 5th generation solution for the mission being demanded from it. Thats the point. Its not a natural progression from the F-22 as it replaces a different mission and as such is a complementary system. Its not like , they did the F-22 in the 90's and say, lets beat each and every metric not he F-22 with the F-35. Thats not how it worked. They took the mission set of the F-16 and F/A-18 and incorporated 5th generation technology while constantly balancing that with affordability. So yes, in some ways it manages to out-edge the F-22. Stealth and RCS is one such aspect, the depth of sensors and sensor fusion is another. The interface and the overall architecture is another (something that the F-22 is most likely going to borrow). Yet it doesn't attempt to tackle those areas of the F-22 performance envelope that are not relevant to the mission set it is required to replace. You do not need the F-35 to be super cruising at mach 1.72 like the F-22A at 50K feet. If you open up that envelope, you are going to have to mix it with the large range/payload requirements and medium altitude sensor requirements (built around HARD facts on the ground) that is established and reflected on the current F-16 and F/A-18 Load outs ( 2-3 EFT's in routine missions) and you'd end up with a grossly unaffordable, large twin engined fighter that you can't afford and that has massive implications in your logistical MC and transport fleets.

The F-22 being limited from an economic point of view was the absolute right thing to do and I say that as a big big fan of the aircraft and the program. The reason is simple - The threat vanished and the PAKFA would take years to be a sizable threat. The Russian plan is 55 fighters by 2020. This compares to 150+ for the USAF in service (since 2005) and there would be over 500 F-35's delivered or in production by 2020. Same applies to the J20/31 threat of which next to nothing is known. 100 extra F-22's would not have solved the problems that you have been at war for the last decade+ and have stressed your Tactical platforms to the limit. The pressing need of the hour is to get new-platforms as quickly as possible and the JSF delivers that at a price that as per the currently lowering trajectory is affordable (at the moment). The F-22 was a solution for a cold-war era where your enemy had a much greater force available and was fighting closer to home. You needed a qualitative development program to stand any good chance of doing anything if it ever went hot. The F-35 is designed in an era where you are hitting very high acquisition numbers where no near peer threat has a mature capability to either "verifiably" hit the quality or the numbers by similar time-lines.

While stressing the compromises (to which i agree somewhat) and technical challenges of having a full integrated and common tactical force you fail to realize that those making the decisions on modernization don't always have the luxury of thinking in such plain terms. For them its to get X number of new systems to replace those going out and yet still have a modern weapons system that incorporates what you have developed as far as 5th generation capability is concerned.

i could even point out the same issues which plagued one important tri service program in india, but it would be pointless since you simply can't begin to acknowledge the flaws with the JSF programs inception


The problem with that is that here you had largely similar requirements "going out" that set you up for a joint capability. You on the other hand are absolutely neglecting the fact that economics and budgetary considerations define your modernization plans. If you cannot replace your legacy (or respectfully - Proven) fleet with the right amount you are loosing the plot. There was absolutely no way to hit the numbers without a ti-service program. Challenges had to be overcome otherwise you were back to square one where one service could have a reduced purchase (ala F-22) while the other 2 would essentially struggle to get a program started given the dynamics. Acquisition folks don't have the luxury to go into hindsight and see a rosy picture of what could have been done in scenarios that were and still are unrealistic. The Cold war is over, you aren't going to get 3-4 new platforms to replace the legacy/proven fleet. Everyone has gotten over that, other then those that talk or write in the media for a living.

Karan M
Forum Moderator
Posts: 19508
Joined: 19 Mar 2010 00:58

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Karan M » 15 Feb 2015 03:03

jeez, again with the same "operators requirements" and "all iz well". course corrections as in change the darn design to meet/exceed current peers out there. when developer has to massage 4Gen platforms as comparators its not really going too well.

multiple off the record to any operators comments have leaked out and all acknowledge the airframe is below what they would have wanted it to be in todays world. public PR statements by serving folks who can't say a word otherwise lest program officials keenly monitoring exports get on their case, are a different thing. it then becomes a case of we can manage with this because we have all those other toys too.
the F-22 BTW is another case of a program which gold plated itself to the point that it couldn't add basic systems without undergoing a completely unnecessary avionics refresh

yes, the golden point of the F-35 is its avionics suite. if it works, it will be really a step ahead in terms of the A2G function especially. but in everything else, its simply overcomplex and overengineered. take a f-22, think of that design with a single engined variant, think of lower cost/lower cost alternatives to many of its subsystems and chances are you'd still outperform the F-35 in many respects. the AF version could have been that. dimensions constraints are more relaxed. tomorrow if USintel comes out with details of the NG fighter out there coming out with fancier performance, you still have a buffer to work within. not limited by the confines of a carrier.

take the F/A-18 E/F - work within those dimension constraints & ask Boeing to come up with a stealthy a/c which can meet/exceed NavAir threats in the future. think of what works with your unique ecosystem. don't gild the lily & think of serviceability issues, more focus on the overall ecosystem and so forth.

Many options were possible, above are just a couple. Don't saddle one program with all the constraints and "jointness" of three completely different users. Set for failure.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 15 Feb 2015 03:56

jeez, again with the same "operators requirements" and "all iz well". course corrections as in change the darn design to meet/exceed current peers out there. when developer has to massage 4Gen platforms as comparators its not really going too well


Operator requirements are something that is paramount to any design. You design around the specifications and missions handed to you by the organization that pays you to go out and design a product. Similarly those that develop requirements do so based on A) The capability they are required to replace and B ) Any added capability they may wish to add into the platform on top of that.

How do you justify a plan to go out and seek better overall combat performance then the F-22 for a program meant to replace the F-16 and F/A-18 while still justifying that the cost to do so even with the capability would be affordable for an overall production run of 2400 aircraft? By most conservative calculations, if you wanted to blend the raw performance of the F-22 with the range/paylaod and mission requirements of the F-35, you would need somewhat of a hybrid between an F-22B and the X-44 MANTA, or the FB-23 concept. As good as these things sound there is no way in hell could you afford to acquire these even in the 500-1000 range. Now add to that the cost of sustaining these aircrafts that are likely to be significantly larger and just add the Logistical footprint to transport support for 2x the number of engines around the world.

As I mentioned earlier, the shape and design of the JSF was dictated by the USAF's range/payload requirement which could be seen with the current configuration of their block 50 Vipers and the amount of fuel they consume per sortie (plus add margin), signature requirement that were driven by all three services but pushed more so by the USN and by the payload requirement, initially set forth by the USN (2k bomb) but later agreed upon by the USAF that got as a result the ability to replace the F-117 mission set completely.

Here (below) was the basic evolution of the STOVL capabiility. It was developed before design freeze. You could essentially take this and put it into an X-32 (lockheed) like vehicle, or you could take it and put in a much larger vehicle such as the current aircraft that is optimized for range, size and payload that is an optimum trade-off for the CTOL version with some input from the CV requirements:

Image

The myth that the STOVL requirement somehow made the F-35 a "fatter" design has absolutely no merit. The reason for the shape is the internal payload, internal fuel volume and the single engine requirement dictating the placement of the bays.

course corrections as in change the darn design to meet/exceed current peers out there. when developer has to massage 4Gen platforms as comparators its not really going too well


Was the F-16 ever required to meet or exceed the Su-35, or Su-37 or other exotic types such as the Su-47 that could have existed had the SU not collapsed? The USAF plans to be a 2 fighter force into the future. While the number of F-22's have been reduced they were made up for by upping certain requirements on the F-35 (in a round about way thanks to the USN that wanted greater stealth and RCS then the USAF at the time) and developing the overall network and cloud. Furthermore, the number of F-35's being acquired is significant. Simply put, the bulk of your fleet is the F-35 while you would always have a higher end capability. A reduced F-22 purchase was considered a reasonable short-medium term risk given the collapse of the SU and the fact that larger acquisition prioritize lay ahead when it came to modernization. The JSF is not the ONLY fighter type the USAF or the USN would operate in the 2020-2060 period. The effort to replace the F-22's has already begun starting with key investments in technology maturity particularly in propulsion and advanced materials. We are all witnessing GEWIII taking shape with the ADVENT--AETD and AETP programs that have either concluded successfully or are at an appropriate state of development. X plane contracts have been included in the YF16 budget cycle. Propulsion advancements have direct implications on the F-35 program as well and there is always an option of heavily modifying the F-35 design for a different missions set (F-18E/F) if a lower-cost/faster solution is sought.


yes, the golden point of the F-35 is its avionics suite. if it works, it will be really a step ahead in terms of the A2G function especially.


The entire avionics package has similar implications in the air-to air domain as well. The EA/EW package, stealth, LPI/LPD sensors and the very complex waveform management tasks performed by the CNI suite provide it valuable capability in the air to air aspect of combat. The Distributed Aperture Infrared System a precursor to the current EODAS was something that heavily focused on gaining advantage in the Air to Air context. The mission computing power and de-coupling of the RADAR back end and incorporating the computing task within the mission computers was also something that was precisely presented as a means to stay ahead of the curve as far air and SAM threats is concerned (The processing for the radar on the JSF is done by the Mission computers and not the radar back end).

multiple off the record to any operators comments have leaked out and all acknowledge the airframe is below what they would have wanted it to be in todays world.


There are both sides of the argument as there should be. At the time there were voices that wanted or preferred the X-32 yet those that hated it. Until and unless you have access to entire testing information both at the DV and EMD phases you cannot make a definitive argument. There are voices that say the F-22 is not that great compared to the basic F-16A. Similar voices would continue to reject anything and everything that isn't a light weight fighter despite of this concept having been rejected for the ATFT, ATF, and JAST/JSF programs. Its a democracy and you'll find varying opinions on both sides of the argument for pretty much every system.

There are voices that also claim that the YF23 should have been picked, and thats ok because everyone is entitled to their opinion.

PR statements by serving folks who can't say a word otherwise lest program officials keenly monitoring exports get on their case, are a different thing


Serving folks have been allowed to express their opinion if they disagree and some have (scroll back a dozen pages and you'd find references to them). A couple of years ago I attended the US Naval Academy/Institute debate on the evolving nature of carrier aviation and heard both sides of the arguments. West 2014, had F-35 pilots (current) who stated quite well the challenges and frustrations with the slow pace of development. The F-14 tribe gave the Rhino a lot of flack, some well deserved. Overall however the transition from an F-14 to the F-18E/F was a wise decision at the time and still is. It allowed the USN to affordably modernize its fleet at a time when spending on Tactical platforms was expected to go down. Look now, the F-18E/F tribe has gained huge favor and they want more and more despite the USN's decision to stop procurement after FY2015. Ultimately, you would do well to find another open system where difference of opinion is expressed as in the current and retired US services. Official fora are provided where opinions are expressed. Some of the best and engaging discussions on these are at the Naval War college, or the USN Academy arranged sessions.

take a f-22, think of that design with a single engined variant, think of lower cost/lower cost alternatives to many of its subsystems and chances are you'd still outperform the F-35 in many respects.


I absolutely have no problem in envisioning a mini-f-22. But the problem is that the JSF design needed to balance the combat radius, much of which is at medium altitudes (Sensors and weapons) needs to be balanced with your stealth (that ultimately defines internal fuel and payload) and overall payload and bay depth.

The USAF that dictated the airframe design had basically a need to replace the modern Evolved F-16' mission as it existed with them. The current state sees the F-16's go up in the air with 2-3 EFT's. Had they continued on the F-16 path they would have most likely gotten CFT's and still required a tank or two. Thats how rapidly the combat radius demands was expanding. The 18,000 pounds of internal fuel is a direct result of that, because they needed that range in First day strike and mult-role mission scenario. Similarly, the pods and sensors had to be integrated for those missions. The engine requirement required the F-135 to be different to the F-119 as you are well aware.

Now if you were to add another layer of complexity i.e. borrow the F-22's mission envelope of high and fast performance you were only going to make things more complicated, complex and ultimately more expensive if not outright impractical. The best way to achieve both would be to go for a twin engine design that gives you better bay/payload placement in the fuselage and that allows you to get your thrust from 2 engines. The flip side, more room for fuel because you have to still meet the range payload requirements in the strike mission and that ultimately means larger aircraft. Twins engine were a non-starter because of the cost implications on your strategic airlift needs. The USAF is a globally deployed force that fights expeditionary warfare. Any decision to increase the logistical footprint of a new aircraft ( usually measured in number of lift loads) has implications that trickle down to the strength of your transport fleet. Its either that or the strength of your tanker fleet or a mix of both.

Hence the current design. They took areas that they could improve upon the F-22. Avionics, sensor quality, sensor number, and sensor integration and stealth (thanks to the USN that stuck to the best possible RCS figures they could manage at the time) while they still operated within the design constraints that the outgoing mission placed on the requirement.

F-22 BTW is another case of a program which gold plated itself to the point that it couldn't add basic systems without undergoing a completely unnecessary avionics refresh


There are many misconceptions floating around about the ATF and the F-22. One is that the YF22 and YF23 had a fly-off and the YF-22 vehicle defeated the YF23. The other is that it was a bad idea to not make it COTS reliant and an open architecture system. However, this is only partially correct. The plan was always to go towards an open architecture. The F-22 was required to be operational by the mid to late 1990s (LRIP was to originally start in 1992 vs 1996) and they developed the best possible avionics system that they could develop at the time for that threat. There were things in the pipeline that were going to be changed in the F-22B and any future iterations of the fighter. One was a greater shift towards open architectures and the path to the current F-35 ICP actually started off from the research that had happened in the 90's on that step. Open architecture processes currently standard practice in DOD programs in the US are a direct result of R&D efforts throughout the 80's and 90's and the F-22 would have benefited from them just as any other. Other was the advanced RAM that was much simpler to maintain and that could survive abuse. The F-35's FIBER MAT was a direct result of the processes that started or that were conceived during the F-22 time-frame.

At the time of the RFP draft II that preceded the DAB EMD/MII the the F-22 requirement was for 648 fighters. Industry was allowed to use the Cost-Plus money (spare) to invest into future capabilities for the B or X version (any future version) and they continued to do so till the time the EMD phase concluded. A lot of companies lot a lot of money on the F-22. Lockheed located its entire production to Georgia because that would save them money given the high peak production rate that the DAB expected of them (nearly 50 per annum) and given the cost of doing business in California. Like I said, those were different times because you had an existential threat that was numerically far superior and in some areas even technically superior.

take the F/A-18 E/F - work within those dimension constraints & ask Boeing to come up with a stealthy a/c which can meet/exceed NavAir threats in the future.


Easier said then done..The F-18E/F does what it does because it can carry a $hit load of fuel externally to get mission relevant ranges. You cannot strap on stealth without taking care of the requirement for external fuel and weapons. The F-35C with 20K internal fuel destroys the range payload of the aircraft it is replacing because the pressure for the increased range is significantly more now then it was at the time and you cannot carry EFTs. Lets look at the Boeing Advanced Rhino. A decent investment (IRAD with USN backing) and around 20-25% greater cost given the changes. In permissive environments it requires the 3000+ pounds of CFT fuel just to haul a light load (SDB's and MRAAM's mostly) to distances. In certain loudest it can out range the F-35C in permissive environments. Come back to Non-permissive environments (remember here, that the USN was the service that sought a greater signature suppression effort on the JSF)and that range goes down significantly due to optimal flight path and shrinking effect of VLO on SAM rings. This is for an aircraft type the F-35C is not meant to replace (F-18E/F).

Anything that replaces the F-18E/F would most likely have greater range/payload requirements than the F-35C (Ideally given the pivot, they'd want a 25-30% range increase as a bare minimum). It remains to be seen how that is tackled, but it would most likely be larger than the Super Hornet and not designed around that sized airframe which itself was a compromise because the USN couldn't afford/justify an advanced Tomcat, and god knows they could not justify a clean sheet design.

You are also going to have to re-do the entire system to get anything even remotely resembling a 5th gen, let alone a 5.5 generation aircraft that would be the logical thing to replace the F-18E/F's in the 2030 time-frame. Even at its most basic, it would be a considerable upgrade. That investment would be better spent on just heavily modifying the F-35C. You could do a number of things if you have money on the table. The modern cost (development and engineering) of a 5+ or 6th gen program is most likely going to be 50+% Avionics and mission systems (was around 40% for the ATF and JSF) so if you wanted to retain heavy commonality with the F-35C, you have chopped off 50% of your cost straight away by retaining the mission systems and can concentrate on airframe and propulsion changes whatever the mission requirements dictate.



In fact, that has been suggested as a possible low (er) cost solution.

Breaking Defense has learned that Lockheed Martin has submitted one of each: an all-new, advanced, “sixth-generation” design and a derivative of its F-35C.

“If I had to bet,” said an industry source, “[I’d say] what the Navy would do is an F-35C-plus.”


The USN must do away with the Growler mission set for the future F-18E/F replacement and seek that capability from some other platform. Already, the growler is stressing the limits of tanking support (a joint USAF and USN logistical headache) while providing marginal utility when it comes to TOS given the ingress, egress and all the tanking in between. Then there is human limit on endurance and they don't want to push through a lot of 7-8 hour sorties as a routine. In my personal opinion I think the B-3 would do its bit in removing the EA-18 mission stress especially if its optionally maned which is most likely the eventual goal. Otherwise they need to retain the growlers and not seek that capability from the future platform. Keep them for longer and use them for shorter missions while having another solution for theater EW/EA.

Personally, I believe the range and mission radius requirements posed in the Pacific would require a dramatic shift in aircraft requirements. Unless some huge leaps are made with the AETD and AETP programs, you would have to begin trading off high supersonic speed for range, and time on station. The tactical advantage would then have to come from somewhere else. The 2 new X plane programs that would begin next year would be very exciting to follow for sure.

when three different groups have significantly differing requirements, it does not always make sense to put them all in a common bucket and then try to develop a common program for all their needs.


The biggest difference between the F-35A and F-35C was that the latter required to land on a carrier. Other than that it was a capability problem. The compromise in that mission was that the USAF had to accept better capability in stealth and payload because the F-35 was going to be the USN's only first day of war stealth aircraft. There isn't a whole lot of difference in the F/A-18 and F-16 mission set in the current scheme of things. They both perform similar missions and require largely a similar solution as far as capability is concerned. For the USMC, they required STOVL, but that was taken care of by the propulsion system which was scalable and platform adaptable. For the most part the USMC backed off from the the JORD and sided slightly with the USAF because they wanted a smaller aircraft. Like one article said back in the 90's, USMC wanted their aircraft to perform like the USAF requirements once it was in the air.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16814
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 15 Feb 2015 08:18

Very brief history of "JSF" or F-35 (Dates may be off) (ALL from open source):

1983 :: Advanced Short Take-Off/Vertical Landing (ASTOVL) :: A DARPA sponsored program to replace the Harrier with a supersonic "AV-8"
1987 (or so) :: They found it was not possible with the techs on hand. DARPA approaches Skunk Works and are told they have some ideas. So, SW covertly starts moving ahead (the vid that posted some pages back), while DARPA, as a cover continues with ASTOVL Phase II. The SW effort move under "STOVL Strike Fighter (SSF)"
1990 early-mid :: After a few years the concepts that SW has are proved and sold to the USAF and USN (Marines). The covert project now surfaces as "Common Affordable Lightweight Fighter (CALF)"
DARPA is still managing these programs - as the still are "experimental". However, DARPA still has teh original program (to replace the AV-8 with a suprsonic STVOL in mind.
Meanwhile, MD joins LM. To be followed by Boeing. All due to corporate funding.
Mid 1990s :: USAF starts "Multi-Role Fighter (MRF)" to replace the F-16 with some urgency. The thinking that the MRF could ALSO replace the A-10 and the F-18s surfaces. All this when nothing of substance is on the table - everythign is either experimental or a concept.
Many things happen at once: Soviet Union starts to fall apart - the urgency for the a F-16 replacement vanishes - F-22 funding sucks funds ................................ yada, yada, yada .................. MRF is placed on hold until 2000.

Meanwhile, while DARPA was busy with a replacement for the AV-8, so was the USN: for the replacemnt of the A-6, but with a VLO, high payload, etc - both efforts are running in parallel. The USN effort is called: "Advanced Tactical Aircraft (ATA) ". Finally to be run by MD and GD - the project is called the A-12. It bites teh dust due to lack of funds along with the MRF effort of the USAF.

Talk about perfect storms.

The US Congress (in its infinte wisdom) asks the USN to take a look at the naval version of the F-22 ( : ) - fun). USN sets up shop in USAF territory (Dayton, OH) and calls the program: "Naval Advanced Tactical Fighter (NATF)". So, the MRF, ATA and the NATF efforts are running in parallel - late 80s to early 90s.

USN still needs replacement planes, so : "Advanced-Attack/Advanced/Fighter-Attack (A-X/A/F-X)" appears in mid90s?

USAF has no program to talk about so they join this effort (with the Navy) to replace F-111, F-15, F-117 (specific versions).

Equal-equal feeling within the DefDept gives $20 mill to each of the following parties:


Grumman/Lockheed/Boeing
Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics
McDonnell Douglas/Vought
Rockwell/Lockheed
General Dynamics/McDonnell Douglas/Northrop

They were supposed to produce a flyable plane by 1996. Guess what, in 1993 the entire effort gets cancelled.

Meanwhile a program named Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) starts up: to build futuristic technologies (*not* a plane).

well US Congress around mid-90s commands JAST to merge with teh original DARPA program ASTVOL (one on life support).

Boeing and LM are selected to participate in this new program.

The rest is history.


Point being that the JSF/F-35 effort is not as random as people have made it out to be. It has a very pointed start/beginning (in early 1980s) and a well defined path (through late 1990s) - granted the path has not been a single, smooth one.

Virtually every respected vendor (including NASA Ames - during the covert SW days) (including from the UK) has touched this project at some point in time.

IMHO, the USN, which had her A-X/A/F-X prgram cancelled took the biggest hit (that program was a plane with 2 engines and 2 pilots), the rest was pretty common with the JSF. But, the Marines (thru' the USN) bought the new idea and so did the USAF (and it shows in teh IOC/FOC plans).

Did anyone make a huge mistake in accepting what was sold to them? Perhaps. I can go along with that (but that happens everywhere).

But, was the JSF program ill defined? Certainly not. The plane - as we see it today - was very well understood. Heck they were at it (defining) since some 1983.

What was new in the equation was techs from teh JAST effort. And, that did have a huge impact - risks were not managed properly (they could have been far better managed - which happened after the current head came on board).

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 15 Feb 2015 09:06

The USN found itself in the JSF on the back of ill-defined and high risk programs in the N-ATF, A-12 and A/FX. The USAF and the USN decided that going forward they would have to replace the Viper and basic Hornet capability set and there was really no significant loss in capability in both these mission sets by collaborating and accommodating each other. The Marines were always comfortable with USAF requirements as long as they got a STOvL with performance that gave them stovl of the Harrier with the ability to replace the hornets. In the end everyone made compromises for the sake of acquiring enough physical fifth gen fighters to replace the cold war fleet. An advantage gained through the effort is the enormous capability gained through integration across platforms. That isn't as unexpected as was forced. They have been sloppy as far as interoperability is concerned in the past, the F-35/JSF approaches ensures total interoperability system wide. Whether thats USAF fighters communicating with AEGIS NIFC-CA concept, or USMC aircraft operating alongside the B-3 bomber.

A real bad compromise would have been if the USN would had to take a F-35A with a strengthened frame, original USAF payload and carrier specific features. Or if the Marines had to sacrifice STOVL in favor of larger payload more in line with USN demands.

There is a room for capability like super-cruise and that envelope. The F-22 is truly remarkable given its high supersonic cruise speed. It can for example go supersonic on military power at sea level. The F-35 however has a multi-role capability, that was driven by a different mission set. It takes and enhances what is required from the ATF, but goes into its own AOR as far as mission is concerned. The F-X would be the F-22 mission set.

Everything that comes as a capability has a cost and weight/size penalty. Want super cruise? The Gripen under conditions can go supersonic (nothing like the ATF defined super cruise). If the USN however, were to acquire the Gripen, they would require it to carry much larger fuel and out goes your super-cruise capability. Its the Tyranny of distance that the USN and the USAF have to deal with as a product of expeditionary warfare and the Pacific theater of operation in general. They need a defined range and a growth path towards adding more (Adaptive engines). Add to these constraints, the ability to use the EO/IR sensors and conduct strike missions from medium altitudes (No 50K feet stuff like the F-22) and add some loiter time at those altitudes and a single engined requirement and you get a good feeling why the F-35 was not supposed/designed/required to do mach 1.72 @ 50,000 feet. What you get then is a transition from a low bypass F-119 to the F-135 engines that are optimized for cruise, medium altitude and range endurance given the distances/range being sought.

This is why the F-16 Blk 50/52 and F-18E/F perform the way they do with relevant loads - the kinds they usually go to war with regardless of the mission. Its air to air kinetic and turn performance has been described to be superior to the aircraft it is replacing in relevant combat loads, and the only problem that folks seem to not get over is that the F-35 has to retain stealth and bays..while the others can remove all weapons, and go out and deliver amazing numbers for the spec sheet for brownie points. Aside from that its major advantages in aerial combat come from the third generation stealth along with more then 3 decades of experiencing in designing mission systems in support of stealth. It has been claimed by the highest officials at the ACC to be stealthier (RCS) then the F-22A and its integrated avionics, sensors, and the darn antenna-farm it houses are the absolute cutting edge. Its easy to say, well everyone can get that..But hard to pin-point and quantify the amount of work to get to that level. There has been a lot of money invested in distributed situational awareness, developing the next generation of sensor-fusion (over and above the F-22) and extending the combat cloud. Its not going to be easy to replicate as far as quality is concerned by any with access to the electronics, software and high technology industry at par to the US and ultimately it itself is in constant change with block 4 and block 5 plans being drawn up as we speak.

The varying missions MEME is rather stale because the facts are that the USAF could have sold off all F-16's and purchased modernized F/A-18's and lost no capability. Similarly, the USN could have shifted all its F/A-18's to F-16's (hypothetical naval variant) and lost absolutely no capability whatsoever. The only service that had to make a real compromise was the USMC, that initially wanted an F-16 class/weight fighter that had moderate stealth and was STOVL and supersonic capable. But they gave in because the service that funds them was willing to pick up the tab and because its really easy to pursuade fighter jocks that they should step up to greater capability for the sake of jointness. The meme that the lift-fan somehow made the JSF design fatter should be retired (some in the media that used to push it, half a decade ago have moved on) since it was the single engine and the weapons bay and payload requirements that dictated where the bays are placed and how much they need to carry internally. Ask for an internal load of 4-6 air to air missiles or twin engines and you will get a very different profile. Because the vehicle itself is designed heavily around the F-16 and F-18 hybrid mission (some performance tracks better or rather exceeds the F/A-18 such as the 50 degrees AOA performance that the Viper cannot even dream about without FCS changes and TV) performance all that was required to achieve the USAF spec was to take out the lift-fan and add a fuel tank with about the same amount/weight of fuel and then replace the 3BSN with a conventional LOAN derived nozzle . That allowed them to get the range requirements the USAF was seeking and the overall performance was retained because both the USAF and USMC demanded the same flight performance characteristics (USMC was happy with whatever the USAF wanted so the USAF's wishes took priority). Accommodating the USN was a bit tricky because they required a new wing and other changes. That was decided back in the X-35 days and they dropped commonality for the sake of mission performance targets. There was a problem with cost because all these changes would add considerably to the cost of the Charlie unless it was sold in the export market which looked extremely unlikely. The USMC stepped in and decided to purchase the C's in addition to the B's and operate them from the CVN's to subsidize some of the upfront unique cost on the F-35C.

I am yet to hear of a single credible reason as to the difference in the F-16 and F/A-18 mission set that required a totally different aircraft and where the F-35 is in fact a compromise for the sake of one program. I can understand if it were the F-35C replacing the F-14 (here the USN already made the compromise with the F-18E/F so even then this would have held little merit) or if the USAF and USN begin to collaborate on a new program to replace the F-22 and F-18E/F using a common vehicle.

The Marines were onboard the USAF requirement regardless of what the preference was as long as they got something that could take over their Hornet and Harrier roles. If they got a light-medium weight CALF like fighter they would have been happier perhaps. Yet since day one they claimed that the physical performance of their aircraft aligns perfectly with that of the USAF's plan to replace the F-16. Once that was solved the collaboration was as good as sealed as long you had a technically capable team that could find a way deliver stealth+supersonic speed+payload+single engine+STOVL and manage to solve the issue of hot air ingestion that had severely impacted previous STOVL efforts.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 16 Feb 2015 02:34

NRao wrote:Very brief history of "JSF" or F-35 (Dates may be off) (ALL from open source):



Thats a program history. For component history you would have to go back even further. Its really tough as things are interconnected and the media publications (Janes, AvWeek, Flight international etc) do a decent job till around the mid-late 90's after which the reporting takes a severe nosedive. Nowadays articles are mostly written by folks who have either spent years in the pentagon reporting on defense matters, or have little to no technical background to seriously report on these matters. There has been a gradual exodus of folks with project management or engineering backgrounds in aviation and defense media in general (at least in the west) and the greater pressure from start-up blogs that have a complete disregard for credibility (reporting) has put severe pressure on traditional media sources as a younger demographic craves content. At this stage there is little substitute for resorting to actually following technical journals, attending events and conferences and trying to speak to as many folks that have worked on a similar level of technology in either the aerospace industry or have a deeper understanding of technologies trough their experiences in allied industries.

The genesis of the systems traces back to prior to the ATF in the ATFT program. Remember, initially the plan was to make the ATF an air-ground fighter instead of an air-dominance fighter. Precursors to the technology that we find here include (not limited to):

- Pave Pillar
VHSIC (Very high speed integrated circuits
- Lesser known programs from the JIWAG (joint integrated avionics group)
- Integrated EW System (iNEWS)
- Seek Spartan
- DAIRS (precursor to EODAS)
- IRSTS (precursor to F-22 IRST (was dropped), JSF EOTS and IRST-21)
- Ultra Reliable Radar ( Precursor to all modern AESA radars in the US and USN Tactical vehicles ) - The concept of decoupling the aperture from the mission computers resulted because of this and the extreme advances made in order to increase the reliability of integrated T/R modules.
- ICNIA (Integrated CNI Avionics) - Precursor to all waveform management including the technologies that eventually led to the F-35 CNI
- GATB (Gallium Arsenide technology base) - Reason for the reliability expectations for the Apg-81 (fixed radome) and later followed by the DARPA led follow-on to mature, lower the cost and increase the performance of Gallium Nitride based systems (now standard for EW and larger radar applications).

The problem with the ATF integrated avionics and an open, common structure was that there was absolutely no other service, or program looking at a very highly complex, expensive, technically challenging process to create an avionics architecture to integrate a massive antenna farm (30 aircraft embedded antennas), sensors (At the time a radar, 2 side-lobes and wing mounted X band AESA radar, IFF interrogators, CNI suite etc , IRSTS, and IR MAWS) and then put a very hard to reach requirement of having this in a stealthy, supersonic airframe with strict RF and IR signature requirements with the ambitions to reach LPI/LPD performance despite of the challenges. The joint avionics systems (USAF, USN and US Army) and programs continued while the ATF's unique needs dictated it to continue its unique development till a point where a common requirement caught up to the needs of the services and the capability to deliver at which point the ATF itself would migrate to that standard (Google - F-22 and F-35 Mission systems or F-22, B-2 and MADL). Going forward all programs would no utilize a common avionics architecture that has been agreed upon largely thanks to the JAST and JSF efforts. The Universal Armament Interface is nothing but an extension of the JIWAG efforts and it wouldn't be a surprise if they started taking this to PODS, or aircraft launched Micro-UAV's in the future. At the time of the ATF (and well beyond) COTS technology did not exist that could provide the capability that was required. Each on of those darn common avionics modules cost around $30,000 and the F-22A has around 100 of them.

Its very easy sometimes to be misinformed and go and cririsize something that hundreds of very talented people have worked very very hard on without understanding why they did things a certain way. Jeez, they could have only made it modular, and it would have been so simpler had they adopted COTS for easy of upgradability. What is often forgotten is that the burden of technical requirements did not allow them to exercise these options without severely compromising the performance. The integrated avionics, computing and processing demanded form the system was not possible through the COTS technology at the time. It came to a point where DARPA was working with private industry to get them up to mark for follow on projects because why wanted to standardize everything rather than have each program chart its own components. A common avionics architect, that utilized COTS and therefore the benefits that accompany it was int he worked prior to the ATF and was still in the works after the ATF - and once they technology requirements aligned - the program was to make a shift. It occurred only in the 2000's thanks to the JAST/JSF efforts (and some other lesser known efforts) and had there been a follow on to the F-22A, like was planned (F-22B, C etc) it would have adopted the system as was the plan all along.

Meanwhile...

Image

Image

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 16 Feb 2015 19:29

Ex-Navy air boss: F-35s 'essential' for carrier air wings

Retiring Vice Adm. David H. Buss, who stepped down as the Navy's "air boss" Jan. 22, has guided the Navy's F-35C Lightning II through some difficult times.

But he insists the controversial next-generation fighter jet is now well on its way to becoming operational and, more than that, is essential to the future of carrier air wings.

"I'm very happy with where we are with the program now," Buss said during an interview at his office at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, shortly before stepping down.

"We still have some work to do with regard to the elements that must come into place for the Navy to reach initial operating capability with the F-35C in 2018," he said. "But I'm very happy with where we are after a very successful two-week at sea period [n November] We ended up with 124 traps and 124 cat shots and about 250 or so touch-and-go's as well."

The aircraft accomplished tasks that its predecessors, the F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets, did not, he said.

"We got to operate the two aircraft we had on board in a variety of envelopes and even got to night operations," Buss said. "The night catapults and traps — which we didn't do in the initial developmental test programs for either the F-18 or the Super Hornet — show you we've made very, very good progress."

And the re-designed tailhook — a primary factor contributing to the delay in getting the F-35 its first traps at sea — was a non-issue.

There were "absolutely no issues out on board," he said.

By the end of the testing, it was clear the aircraft is fit for carrier duty and is well-liked by pilots and deck crews.

The pilots, Buss said, called the F-35C "very, very easy, very user friendly or pilot friendly to fly on and off the ship."

The aircraft handlers said the aircraft was "just like any other aircraft" to maneuver around the flight and hanger decks, he said, "music to your ears, from an integration standpoint."

Even so, the Navy's purchases of the F-35 are much lower than the Air Force and Marines, which experts see as a telltale sign that the Navy's brass is taking a wait-and-see approach to the stealth fighter.

The aircraft is on schedule for an initial operating capability in 2018, when the first squadron will be established at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California.

But the squadron that will become the first to take the Lightning II into a carrier air wing, operationally, will be up to his successor as the Navy's top operational aviator, Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker.

"The first fleet squadron will form in 2018 as we reach IOC, and then deploy at some point after that," Buss said. "We'll likely transition a squadron that's already existing at Lemoore — which specific squadron I'm not prepared to talk about today because, with aircraft delivery schedules and squadron operational schedules, that patch could change several times before it happens."


Carrier Ford on track



During his two-year stint as head of Naval Air Forces, which began in October 2012, the career A-6 Intruder naval aviator oversaw another technological leap, the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford.

Though it won't go to sea for another year, the kinks that are to be expected in the implementation of such an array of new technologies are being worked out, said Buss, who commanded the John C. Stennis from 2003 to 2006. Buss has also commanded the Attack Squadron 34 and has earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat 'V,' among many distinctions.

"The bottom line is that we are on track to deliver Ford to the fleet at the end of March 2016," he said. "Ship outfitting continues, the crew build continues and we're deep into the testing program now. Things are going very, very well."

The crew has taken responsibility for about a third of the spaces aboard the ship, he said, and construction is about 80 to 85 percent complete.

"Now we're into system installation and testing," he said. "As an example, all four of the [Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System] catapults are installed and all are going through motor generator testing right now."

That testing involves spinning up the high-powered electric motors to the different frequencies that will be required to shoot aircraft into flight, a job now performed with high-pressure steam in the rest of the carriers. Buss expects that testing the cats with no-loads that simulate the weight of the aircraft they'll be shooting off the deck comes next. That will happen this year in advance of the sea trials that will begin after commissioning in March 2016.

Where Ford's eventual home port will be, and when she'll get there, is still being discussed, Buss said.

"Just as we do with all carriers initially, she will start out in Norfolk [Virginia]," Buss said. "Because of the proximity to Newport News, where they're built, we start them there to work out the kinks and the initial flight deck certification and training, with the assets of the company and a type commander right there.

"Then we'll make the decision as to where she's going to be homeported, but I wouldn't expect that announcement until the 2017, 2018 time frame.

In his final remarks, during the Jan. 22 change of command ceremony, Buss said he was very proud of the Naval Air Forces he was turning over to Shoemaker. It still sets the bar in bringing naval air power to bear in war — the last 13 years of combat cruises have proven that.

But what he's excited about is the future, he said.

"We continue to set the conditions on a strategic playing field for decades of future success as a warfighting force, for unprecedented transition into new and increasingly capable aircraft, manned and unmanned alike, and our next generation aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford," he said.

"When coupled with new operating concepts, new technology, and bright, sharp forward-thinking minds in naval aviation today, our strategic relevance and our importance to this nation tomorrow should never be — and must never be — in question."



Its funny how the media has picked on a small ramp of the USN as a sign that they are taking a "wait and see" approach. One look at the original time-line, and the current restructured program time-line is all that is required to see why. The USN is trailing the Marines and the Air-force by 2-3 years and wouldn't ramp up as fast due to the fact that they need to clear all three ship trials (second one is due this August). They also were the only service that had a formal tactical fighter acquisition program on going with he Super Hornet and the Growler. On top of that all the F-35B's were coming from the Navy budget. They IOC in 18 and FOC in 2021 with block 4. Why the heck would they need to buy dozens of F35's now when they can ramp up years from now? They are always supposed to be the last service to ramp up.



Cosmo_R
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3407
Joined: 24 Apr 2010 01:24

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Cosmo_R » 17 Feb 2015 03:07

What the Israelis are doing with /to their F35s is interesting:

"...IAI may also play a role in the development of a proposed two-seat F-35. An IAI executive stated, "There is a known demand for two seats not only from Israel but from other air forces. Advanced aircraft are usually two seats rather than single seats." The Israeli F-35s helmet-mounted displays will also be manufactured in Israel. This is part of the Offset agreement provided to Israel, in spite of the purchase being entirely funded by American aid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_M ... rocurement

And even more interesting (fanboy stuff):

Conformal fuel tanks as in 'detachable fuselages'

http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24168

So the question is with 2 seats and extended range, does the F35 escape its "short legged" tag?

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 17 Feb 2015 08:08

Cosmo_R wrote:What the Israelis are doing with /to their F35s is interesting:

"...IAI may also play a role in the development of a proposed two-seat F-35. An IAI executive stated, "There is a known demand for two seats not only from Israel but from other air forces. Advanced aircraft are usually two seats rather than single seats." The Israeli F-35s helmet-mounted displays will also be manufactured in Israel. This is part of the Offset agreement provided to Israel, in spite of the purchase being entirely funded by American aid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_M ... rocurement

And even more interesting (fanboy stuff):

Conformal fuel tanks as in 'detachable fuselages'

http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24168

So the question is with 2 seats and extended range, does the F35 escape its "short legged" tag?


There is really no need for a 2-seat version. The USAF had a faction that wanted 2-seats but the raptor killed that quick. Its a pain in the back end from an LO and range/payload pov but if someone wants it, and is willing to spend the money for it - it can be done. At least 3 studies (at different times) that I am aware of looked at this and came to the same conclusion for F-16 or F/A18 type mission sets, one pilot with sensor-fusion is more than enough. This is playing out at red-flag now that they are investing in VLC because they can't saturate the fusion on the f-22 and f-35 so they have to throw other wrenches in there, whereas on say the F-15E, they could throw so much stuff out there so as to require prioritization on the crew (hence the hard training value).

Where a 2-seater has been mentioned before is in case the mission - profile is expanded. Here Lockheed has in the past suggested that they could develop a twin seater if the mission expands to say controlling swarms of UAV's, or Growler like extensive stand off jamming missions where constant juggling is required between various emissions. Given that there is no need YET for such a mission from the F-35, I doubt that anyone would require, or be willing to fund a two seater. The USN would need something that seats two for the FA-XX mission and if the F-35 + is the direction they head for that then it could work out.

Image

The Skunk works have presented a twin-proposal before for future mission needs and have also presented an unmanned or optionally manned F-35 proposal before. These were both un-solicited proposals (but then so was the A-12 for the Oxcart)

So the question is with 2 seats and extended range, does the F35 escape its "short legged" tag?


There are a ton of comparisons out there but the F-35A has plenty of legs on it although it'll need more in the future. As the IDF builds up its force, its going to use the F-35A as a stealth attack aircraft and would value its VLO and penetration abilities. Once you do that, you have the legs of a block 50 F-16's with CFT's and then some.

Image

Image

Keep in mind that with a full 18K+ internal fuel, they get much better performance in maneuvering and speed (F-35 can hit top speed with internal payload and fuel) then with the F-16 with CFT's and EFT's..

Now you factor in the mission. If you are going to attack something that is defended your F-15E and F-16 SUFA has to go low and that eats into the range big time. F-35 flies its optimum at medium altitudes thanks to VLO, sensors, fusion and its organic EA/EW capability. So for a lot of missions where the capability of the F-35 is needed in the first place, the F-35 would be executing its mission at the "optimum" profile while the F-15E's and F-16's would have to get down low...As you can see once the legacy/proven fighters ditch their optimum levels their performance form a range/payload perspectives goes down significantly compared to the F-35A.

The IDF would be the first force to use EFT's (no one else needs them yet) and do remember AETP engines are in the F-135 thrust class and the aim is to get 20-30% improvement in range.
Last edited by brar_w on 17 Feb 2015 20:30, edited 1 time in total.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 17 Feb 2015 09:11

Image

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 19 Feb 2015 05:47

Latest program update :

-USMC Operational Trials on USS Wasp : May 2015
-USMC IOC - July15-Dec15
-USN - 2nd Carrier Trials - August-October 15 depending upon carrier availability
-Less than 10 test points (number not %) remain for 2B testing completion (software state required for USMC and USAF IOC)
-Next 5 year deliveries split 50-50 between US and International customers
- LRIP Block 10 (that includes bulk buys by partner nations) proposal sent to JPO for mover 100 F-35's
- Current F-35A Cost (current orders based on LRIP 8 ) @ 110-115 Million including the F-135 Engine (Both LRIP) - Program goal 80-85 with the engine by 2019 orders with internal goal below that


Image

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8757
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby brar_w » 19 Feb 2015 20:29

Lockheed's submission for the HS S Weapon program. Internal carriage on Bombers, and external carriage on F-22 and F-35. Goal to be a multi-mission weapon.

Image


Return to “Trash Can Archive”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests