JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

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TSJones
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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby TSJones » 19 Oct 2013 20:35

Here's another J-35 disaster-ain't-worth-it article (for Fowler :D )

http://www.vice.com/read/the-uss-stealt ... y-and-slow

NRao
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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 19 Oct 2013 21:01

TSJones wrote:Here's another J-35 disaster-ain't-worth-it article (for Fowler :D )

http://www.vice.com/read/the-uss-stealt ... y-and-slow


!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Old article that is based on David Axe. What is the purpose?

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Philip » 21 Oct 2013 08:42

The US will build at least 1500 JSFs,lesser than planned,because it can afford it and the programme is too important domestically to scuttle, because all 3 services depend upon its success,and it provides huge employment,just as we are doing with the LCA on a much lesser scale no doubt. There is no "Plan B" for the US,unlike us where we have multiple options in case the LCA flounders further,and the LCA was never intended to be the principal air dominance fighter for the IAF.The even more expensive F-22 is not in production,and a huge amount is being invested in UCAVs,the flavour of the future. It is also most unlikely that the US will buy a European bird,see how even tankers and the VVIP helo deals were scuttled after EU birds were the first choice.Its protectionism is understandable.When SAAB is even talking about an unmanned Gripen E,one sees the direction in which global majors are shifting focus from manned fighters.Old F-16s are being turned into drones too.How many JSFs its allies can afford is another moot point,actually no one really knows at this stage. Until JSF production is in series flow,the real cost figures will be variable,being only estimates.

This beggars a Q.What will the next US manned fighter programme be ,a 6th-gen aircraft if at all? With the massive costs expended on the JSF,the costliest fighter programme in history,and a US economy heavily in debt,in which direction will it swing? Towards UCAVs perhaps even hypersonic platforms under development,or another manned fighter?

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 23 Oct 2013 18:03

Oct 21, 2013 :: Lightning strikes: ONR adds speed, precision to JSF manufacturing

Image
A canopy for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter sets outside a thermoforming oven used to shape it. Credit: GKN Aerospace Transparency Systems

A faster, more precise way to create cockpit enclosures may end up saving the F-35 Lightning II program a significant amount in manufacturing costs.

Through its Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) program, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) has invested in an automated thermoforming process that could cut costs by as much as $125 million over the course of the Joint Strike Fighter program.

"This is a great example of how the naval science and technology community delivers affordability along with cutting-edge results," said Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin, deputy chief of naval operations for Warfare Systems. "Research like this also can produce a high return on investment across other warfighting domains."

An F-35 canopy—the term used to describe the transparent enclosure over the cockpit—has an unusual shape and specialized material that make the manufacturing process more complex than that for other aircraft.

Now what used to take up to six days to make will take only four days or less. The new automated process also will require fewer tools and help avoid costs when aircraft require replacement canopies.

Currently, skilled technicians load a preformed acrylic shell into a forming tool and put it in an oven where it heats at 200 degrees or more for up to six days. During that time, workers regularly enter the oven to observe the canopy's progress and manually adjust positioning clamps to control the forming process. Managing this process is critical for optimal canopy performance.

The new cost-effective method employs a control system with four cameras that can see inside the oven to calculate the rate at which the canopy's shape is forming. The clamps then automatically adjust to ensure the shape remains uniform throughout the process to meet the F-35's stringent performance requirements.

"We took an intensive, manual, time-consuming process and improved it to be more precise and efficient," said Neil Graf, program officer for ONR ManTech. "That's what Navy's ManTech program does: We look at ways to reduce manufacturing costs on aircraft, ships and submarines to save the taxpayer money."

The new method supports the Chief of Naval Operations' Navigation Plan that calls for the service to continue efforts to make investments to address near-term challenges and develop future capabilities even in the face of budget constraints.

ONR ManTech led a team of experts from the F-35 Program Office, Naval Air Systems Command, GKN Aerospace Transparency Systems and Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory to develop the automated system.

GKN Aerospace Transparency Systems, in coordination with the F-35 Program Office, plans to implement the new process as early as 2014, producing initial and spare canopies for more than 2,000 planned and delivered aircraft.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 23 Oct 2013 18:07

Oct 21, 2013 :: Israel could maintain F-35s under US supervision

An agreement to perform depot-level maintenance on Israeli air force Lockheed Martin F-35s in Israel under US supervision could solve an ongoing dispute about the issue.

The service has previously expressed its opposition to the idea of such heavy maintenance activities being conducted on the stealthy type outside of the country. As part of the Joint Strike Fighter programme, Lockheed and the US Air Force are planning to establish regional maintenance centres for the aircraft, including one in Europe.

Col Shimon Tsentsiper, commander of the Israeli air force's depot 22, says the way the nation's F-35s will be operated will require "the best understanding of some major systems of the stealth fighter. That can only be achieved by maintaining them in Israel."

Israel's preferred concept is also based on storing all spare parts in Israel, so as not to be dependent on receiving deliveries from a central storage installation.

"We need all the F-35s in flight condition all the time," Tsentsiper says. While there is an understanding in the USA about the Israeli air force's demand, the details have not been agreed on, he adds.

As Israel's request includes some "main aircraft systems", performing full depot maintenance under direct US supervision is now being seen as the best potential way to satisfy both sides, another source says.

Israel's first 20 conventional take-off and landing F-35As are expected to be delivered from early 2017, with negotiations about a second batch continuing.
Last edited by NRao on 23 Oct 2013 18:18, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 23 Oct 2013 18:16

Oct 21, 2013 :: Turkey To Reissue F-35 Order

Turkey’s procurement authorities will reissue an order for the first two F-35 joint strike fighters the country intended to buy but suspended at the beginning of this year.

“We will submit a request to the Defense Industry Executive Committee in December or January to renew our order for the first two aircraft,” Turkey’s top procurement official, Murad Bayar, said.

The Defense Industry Executive Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is the ultimate decision-maker on procurement. Its other members are Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz, Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Ozel and Bayar.

Ankara cited rising costs and technological issues for its Jan. 10 decision to postpone an order to purchase its first two F-35 fighter jets.

But top procurement officials admitted at that time that there was a “certain degree of psychological deliberation at work, too.” Turkey did not want to “stand alone in the dark’’ on the program, said an official with Turkey’s procurement agency, (SSM), which Bayar heads.

“We must make a decision [on the first order] by mid-January,” Bayar said. “The delay in placing the order has worked to our advantage in terms of price, more stable costs and technology.”

After the initial purchase of the two jets, Turkey plans to order 100 stealth fighters to replace its F-4 Phantoms and F-16 Fighting Falcons. Bayar said Turkey remains committed to the full acquisition.

Turkey is one of nine countries that are part of a US-led consortium to build the F-35 fighter. The others are Britain, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Norway and Denmark.

Turkey announced in March 2011 that it was placing its order for 100 jets on hold due to US refusal to provide adequate access to the aircraft’s source codes. Ankara said negotiations for access to the codes, including codes that can be used to control the aircraft remotely, had not yielded satisfactory results, and under these conditions, Turkey could not accept the aircraft. The issue remains unresolved.
Indigenous Fighter

Meanwhile, Bayar said the SSM is satisfied with mentoring services it receives from Saab, maker of the JAS 39 Gripen, for an ambitious Turkish program that foresees the design, development and production of what Turks claim will be the country’s first indigenous fighter jet.

“We are content with Saab’s services so far. The critical issue is the engine. Should we select an engine and design our aircraft in line with that engine’s requirements, or should we design the aircraft and select the appropriate engine afterwards? That is the main challenge in the program,” Bayar said.

He said the government should be able to make a decision on the engine for the program, dubbed TF-X, in December or January. “Alternatively, we may decide to work on this a bit more,” he said.

Bayar said Turkey would choose between European and US engine manufacturers. “In terms of thrust and overall performance, US options come closer to the specifications we have in our mind,” Bayar said.

Ankara has already drafted three models, one of which likely will become its first indigenous fighter.

Saab has been assisting TF-X under a deal that oversees “pre-conceptual design” for the program.

According to a draft plan, Turkey is aiming for a maiden flight for its national fighter jet in 2023, the Turkish Republic’s centennial. Production would commence in 2021, and deliveries to the Air Force are planned between 2025 and 2035. The aircraft would remain in service until 2060.

Saab produces the JAS 39 Gripen, a lightweight, single-engine multirole fighter. Saab has cooperated with other aerospace companies in marketing the aircraft and has achieved moderate success in Central Europe, South Africa and Southeast Asia. More than 240 Gripens have been delivered or ordered.

In 2010, Sweden awarded Saab a four-year contract to improve the Gripen’s equipment, integrate new weapons and lower operating costs. Last August, Sweden announced it planned to buy 40 to 60 Gripen NGs. The Swedish order followed Switzerland’s decision to buy 22 E/F variants of the jet.

For its fighter program, Turkey hopes to copy the method devised to co-produce T-129 attack helicopters with Italian-British AgustaWestland.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 23 Oct 2013 18:18

Oct 21, 2013 :: New contract powers Japan towards F-35 assembly

LM has been awarded a $30 million contract to acquire long-lead production items needed to enable Japan to perform the local assembly of its first two F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

In December 2011 Tokyo picked the conventional take-off and landing F-35A for a 42-aircraft requirement. The first four will be delivered from Lockheed’s Fort Worth site in Texas, with the remainder to be completed using a final assembly and check-out (FACO) line being established with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagoya.

Japan’s F-35 acquisition was formally kicked off in March 2013, when the US Department of Defense awarded Lockheed $40.2 million to acquire long-lead items for its initial four aircraft, via a so-called C-1 contract. These will be delivered from the second quarter of 2016, as part of the US programme’s eighth lot of low-rate initial production (LRIP).

In a contract notification published on 18 October, the DoD said Lockheed will receive $30 million “to provide long lead-time parts, materials and components required for the delivery of two additional low-rate initial production Lot VIII F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter conventional take-off and landing aircraft for the government of Japan”.

Responding to a query from Flightglobal, Lockheed says Japan’s planned procurement profile remains unchanged. The company adds: “The DoD media release refers to the long-lead required to produce two aircraft under the C-2 LOA [letter of offer and acceptance] to be delivered in LRIP-9 from the Japanese FACO facility in Nagoya.”

The new allocation “places the long-lead funding required for C-2 in the right year considering the Japanese budget cycle”, says the airframer. “It will take longer to begin producing the parts and components for final assembly in Japan vs the US,” it notes.

Japan’s stealthy F-35As will replace its air force’s McDonnell Douglas/Mitsubishi F-4EJ-variant Phantoms. Flightglobal’s MiliCAS database records the service as having a current active fleet of 78 of the type, the oldest of which entered use in 1971.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 23 Oct 2013 22:41

Oct 16, 2013 :: AF to announce F-35 candidate bases in the Pacific



The Air Force in November is expected to announce which bases it is considering to be the home of the first F-35A squadron outside of the continental United States.

Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, has been the front-runner for the assignment since Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Pacific Air Forces, told reporters last summer that the base has enough range space, and is easily accessible by Korean and Japanese crews. And on Oct. 15, the Alaska congressional delegation sent a letter to Air Force leaders highlighting Eielson’s capability.

Other Pacific Air Forces bases considered possible contenders are Osan Air Base, South Korea, and Kadena and Misawa air bases, Japan.

The Air Force on Oct. 11 notified Congress of the initial criteria by which it will evaluate potential bases, including the base’s mission, capacity, environmental considerations and cost factors.

After the candidate list is announced next month, the Air Force will begin site surveys to assess operational and training requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, housing, infrastructure and manpower, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said.

The preferred base, along with reasonable alternatives, is expected to be announced in February, with environmental impact studies to follow, according to the Air Force letter.

If the preferred base is overseas, the Defense Department will then consult with the host nation, Stefanek said.

As the front-runner, “Eielson fares very well,” Carlisle said last summer. “It’s part of the Pacific and they can get to Northeast Asia rapidly.” The base already hosts Red Flag-Alaska exercises, which involve both U.S. and international crews.

The Alaska congressional delegation, in its letter highlighting Eielson’s capability, focused on the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex near the base and the construction of a new 168-room dormitory on base.

“These strengths, coupled with other available infrastructure and continued investment make Eielson Air Force Base a clear choice to base the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in the Asia-Pacific Theater,” said the letter, signed by Democratic Sen. Mark Begich and Republicans Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young.

Eieilson’s front-runner status is also reflected in the Air Force’s Oct. 2 decision to not move an F-16 squadron from the base to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The move keeps the 18th Aggressor Squadron, whose F-16s are used as adversaries in training, at Eielson and maintains base infrastructure that could also be used by F-35s.

PacAF bases unlikely to be contenders for the F-35 squadron are Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and Elmendorf, which already have F-22 squadrons. Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, does not have enough air space, and Yokota Air Base, Japan, already has C-130s, Carlisle said.

The F-35 basing announcement comes on the heels of continued studies and congressional pressure to close overseas bases, especially those in Europe. The Senate Armed Services Committee last spring released an investigation looking at recommending cutting back the U.S. presence in foreign countries, which comes at a cost of about $10 billion per year.

The RAND Corp. last month released its own report on Air Force basing overseas, which found that the service spends about $1.3 billion for bases in the Pacific, and $2.2 billion in Europe. Closing a base in the Pacific could bring about $190 million in savings. On a squadron-level, RAND found that moving 24 F-16s from abroad to the continental U.S. could save $17 million to $20 million per year, though the report cautioned against the focus on closing these bases for budget reasons.

“The primary risk in the presence debate is making choices that produce relatively modest savings, but with potentially enormous strategic and fiscal consequences,” the report states.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 23 Oct 2013 22:53


Philip
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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Philip » 25 Oct 2013 08:40

"A wimp out in style".SoKo fails acquisition test.

Sweetman AWST Oct 14/21 2013.

In brief,Sweetman says that the SoKos generals,15 former air chiefs,worried about traditional rival japan getting the JSF,put pressure upon the govt. to derail the F-15.He says,there's "few problems with this approach" ! This set aside the DAPA (acquisition board) decision to buy Boeing's F-15SE. Dassault baile dout in 2002,alleging that everything was fixed for a US win.The SoKo govt. has now "folded like a cheap suit".
SoKo needs 60 new aircraft to replace legacy F-4s.

Now the JSF needs "800 non-US orders in the next 4-5 years to prime up the production line and support an orderly ramp up".
" Failure to secure those orders may not kill the program but make it harder to build the sunlit uplands of building 150 per yr. and un-F22 like costs",plus the Netherlands cutting its orders to 37 from 85,Britain hedging its bets,putting 2/3rds into long term acquisition plans,aren't promising signs.Sweetman says that when the FX-3 was in its formative years,in 2009,the "Pentagon's High Sherrifs believed that the JSF was blasting off towards IOC this year.The Asian market was another sideshow,another dish to be gobbled up in due course".
SoKo cannot ignore US warning's about their strat. relationship given NoKo's erratic behavior.Next year will determine whether SoKo "manages to reach a decision that meets the needs of its armed forces,uts treasury,and its major ally,while restoring confidence in the integrity of its procurement process".

The about face by SoKo is a tactical "win" for the JSF.However BS says that the aircraft is "yet to win an open rules based competition,where all sides were expected to bid for a fiixed price.Most of its committed buyers ,including the US,signed on when the aircraft was promised to be much earlier and much cheaper than it is today.And given the repeated claims of advocates that the price of the F-35 is headed down to F-16 territory,the fact that it was beaten on price by the massive twin-engined F-15 Eagle,but also the EF Typhoon--from the people who make Aston mrtins,Porches and Lambos,--has to raise some eyebrows".

BS says watch and wait to see what happens in the next rules-based,fixed price,professionally executed competition.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 25 Oct 2013 09:21

BS says watch and wait to see what happens in the next rules-based,fixed price,professionally executed competition


They will buy the Rafale A and pay for the C. And Dassault will ultimately get an export order.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 26 Oct 2013 20:05

The two huge issues with the JSF are US politics and lack of TOT ( which mean dependence on US for spares). Otherwise there is little doubt that when the JSF comes, being stealth, it will be far harder to deal with than a Rafale in BVR and can also be a possibly better striker against advanced IADS.


Well, cannot say what may happen on the political front, but on the parts, they are distributed among various partners. Based on the level of the partnership each partner has a "work share". So, IF India gets the F-35 (not suggesting that they do), then India too will get a work share and parts sourced from various other partners.

Israel is building the helmet and some set of wings (and may get MRO work too), US certain body and wings, Italy builds the B model, Turkey the cockpit(?), etc.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 26 Oct 2013 21:45

Oct 25, 2013 :: Pentagon wants F-35 contractor accountability as it weighs output boost

The Pentagon's chief arms buyer wants details on how Lockheed Martin Corp and other companies will be held accountable for the quality and reliability of the F-35 fighter jet as he considers whether to approve an increase in the plane's production, U.S. defense officials said on Friday.

Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, is asking the Pentagon office that runs the $392 billion F-35 program to map out how it will ensure the quality, reliability and maintainability of the new warplanes as production ramps up in coming years, said the officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Kendall chaired a five-hour review of the Pentagon's biggest arms program on Monday that showed progress in F-35 development, production and testing, and confirmed that Lockheed and its suppliers were technically ready to increase production.

But Kendall and other Pentagon officials want to make sure that they have contractual language and other tools in hand to hold Lockheed and engine maker Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, responsible if problems arise.

"The government wants to see how it can incentivize the contractors to do well, and what leverage it will have if they don't," said one source familiar with the program.

The Pentagon drive for more rigorous oversight could result in additional clauses in the next contracts for jets and engines. The contracts are being negotiated separately by Pratt and Lockheed with the government in coming months.

Government plans call for Lockheed to increase F-35 production from around 36 planes this year to 45 in 2016 and ramping up to 110 planes a year by the end of the decade. The company expects to build about 200 jets a year when the program, the largest in Pentagon history, is in full production.

Decisions on future production rates have been complicated by the lack of a federal government budget for the new fiscal year that began October 1 and uncertainty about additional cuts in Pentagon spending due to take effect under sequestration unless Congress agrees on other deficit-reducing measures.

Production levels also depend on F-35 orders by other countries, such as South Korea, which is expected to announce plans as early as December to buy F-35 fighters.

South Korea would be the eighth foreign country to make a firm commitment to buying the F-35, joining the Netherlands, Britain, Italy, Australia, Norway, Israel and Japan.

ASSEMBLED IN TEXAS

Lockheed is anxious to lock down the production plan so it can buy additional $5 million assembly stations for the Fort Worth, Texas, plant where the jets are built.

Kendall's office is expected to spell out its requirements for continued rigorous oversight of the F-35 program next week. Maureen Schumann, Kendall's spokeswoman, declined comment on the expected acquisition decision memorandum, or ADM.

The Pentagon restructured the F-35 program in 2010, adding $6 billion to its development effort and slowing down production to reduce the number of possible retrofits needed since the plane was being produced as it was still undergoing testing, an approach known as "concurrency."

The F-35 program has also been subjected to intense oversight in recent years, including a 2012 review by the Pentagon inspector general's office of program quality that found over 800 issues on each jet built. Lockheed and the government say they have made significant progress since then.

Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, who runs the program for the Defense Department, was sharply critical of the contractors when he first took over last year and later accused them of trying to "squeeze every nickel" out of the government.

But in September he told an Air Force audience that while he wished the program was "further along," relations with the contractors were improving.

Lockheed spokesman Michael Rein said it would be inappropriate for the company to comment on a government meeting it did not attend. But he said the company was committed to continuing to improve the production and quality of the jets.

"We are fully committed to cost effectively driving costs out of the program while improving efficiencies to deliver the F-35's capabilities to the warfighter, allowing the services to meet their (initial operational capability) dates," he said.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 26 Oct 2013 21:47


TSJones
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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby TSJones » 30 Oct 2013 06:25

Pentagon ok's year 2015 f-35 boost in production.


http://finance.yahoo.com/news/pentagon- ... 20593.html

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Philip » 30 Oct 2013 07:53

It is now about 2 years since this thread was started.There was always a Q mark about the programme,it could go either way,reflected in it's title.Since then much has been written,zillions of words, and the verdict is still awaited.In fact we will have to wait for another 5 years before the jury can hear final arguments,coz that's when the aircraft is expected to enter serial production after ironing out all glitches.There are however two distinct angles from which one must view the bird.Its relevance to the US armed forces and to its allies/customers.

For the US,it's akin to a Catholic marriage,"no divorce".Getting an annulment needs in many a case papal sanction! Look what happened to poor King Henry the 8th,lusting after Anne Boleyn.He had to cut off all ties with Rome ,created the CoE and with the German Lutherans,started Protestantism.The US military-industrial complex have too many irons in the fire for the JSF to be dumped.They have no "Plan B".The US armed forces can linger on with legacy birds with heavy makeup,but for how long? One option however is hitting new heights-that of unmanned birds,which are in great demand in the Af-Pak badlands and have become the flavour of the decade.These too are quite expensive and are in their maturing stage.Right now,they cannot replace manned aircraft.Therefore,in much reduced numbers,approx1/3rd to 1/2, the numbers of JSFs will be axed from eventual production,mainly because of the cost factor.It is a global standard that the costs of combat aircraft keep rising not descending and even keeping costs at $100M-$125M conservative estimates,it is a lot for nations ,the allies,like SoKo,who expected the bird to come in at around $70M+ which they had budgeted for.The current touting that costs are falling is considered by many doubters as a desperate move to assuage doubts on costs,keeping allies on board before they desert the programme like rats abandoning ship.

For the allies,there are also three factors to consider.Replacement of legacy birds and options other than the JSF which they can evaluate unlike the Yanquis.They can windowshop at the Eurobirds which might prove a tad less expensive and can do the business ,barring the much-touted invisibility factor,yet to be fully proven.Second is the cost factor,affecting all allies whose economies are stagnant or have gone downhill. and third the "keeping up with the banzai band" factor.If X has it we should also have it.Call it the Beemer/Audi/Merc syndrome .This clarion cry comes from the uniformed tribes of the allies,who like good soldiers everywhere,lust for the latest and best toys.They have to show off to prove their manhood with the biggest sticks they can find.Their biggest legitimate scare is the birthrate of fledgling warbirds from the dragon.Both 4++ gen aircraft as well as two new stealth birds.How can they be behind in the stealth stakes with the gang who eat snakes? So,like diet Coke,most of them will order from the JSF menu,but small portions only,which may increase the unit price,but since portions are smaller,make for a less heavier bill.To fill their bellies,they will continue to use lesser capable birds as ballast.Should there be any further slip-up in the JSF's progress.the Eurofarters will be swoopin' down for the kill.

Watch this space in 2014 for "Series-3" of the Turkey-Talisman shootout.More exciting than the "Hunger Games" what?!

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 31 Oct 2013 18:25

No need to wait 5 years. Mid 2014 will produce the LRIP 6. IF that one fails to meet the specs, then fully expect the $hit to hit the fan. The next stop is LRIP 7 in mid 2015. That is also when the USMC is expected to declare IOC for the F-35B (they have a window).

Till then this project is on life support.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 31 Oct 2013 18:28

Oct 30, 2013 :: U.S. F-35 fighter drops first guided bomb against ground target

The Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet dropped a 500-pound bomb this week, hitting a tank at Edwards Air Force Base in California and marking the first time the new warplane has fired a laser-guided weapon, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

An F-35 B-model jet released the Guided Bomb Unit-12 (GBU-12) Paveway II bomb from its internal weapons bay while flying at around 25,000 feet, successfully smashing into a tank parked on the ground, the Pentagon's F-35 program office said in a statement. It took 35 seconds to hit the target.

"This guided weapons delivery test of a GBU-12 marks the first time the F-35 truly became a weapon system," said Marine Corps Major Richard Rusnok, the pilot who flew the plane during the weapons test Tuesday. "It represents another step forward in development of this vital program."

Different F-35 models have test-fired missiles during flight and over water. But this marked the first time the jet had fired a guided weapon at a ground target.

After more than a decade of development, the $392 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is making strides in testing, production and operations. The Marine Corps plans to start operating the planes in mid-2015.

The Pentagon's top arms buyer, Frank Kendall, this week said the F-35 program had made sufficient progress to budget for higher production in fiscal year 2015, but said he remained concerned about progress on the jet's software, reliability and a computer-based logistics system.

The GBU-12 weapons test will be followed later on Wednesday by a live fire test at Edwards Air Force Base of an AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile, or AMRAAM, built by Raytheon Co.

A test of the F-35's ability to drop a 1,000-pound GBU-32 built by Boeing Co is planned next month.

The GBU-12 Paveway II is built by Lockheed and Raytheon. Tuesday's test was not considered a live fire test since the bomb did not carry explosives, said Kyra Hawn, a spokeswoman for the F-35 program.

She said no explosives were used in order to save money, since the real point of the test was to ensure that the fighter jet would be able to accurately deliver the bomb onto a ground target.

The F-35 used its Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS), built by Lockheed, to allow the pilot to identify, track, designate and accurately deliver the bomb on target.

Hawn said EOTS is the world's first sensor to combine forward-looking infrared, infrared search and track, and a laser designator to allow F-35 pilots to hit targets.

Last week, the Navy variant, or F-35C, released its first weapon during testing at Naval Air Station Patuxtent River in southern Maryland, and the Air Force version, or A-model, did the first ground release pit testing of a GBU-39, a 250-pound small diameter bomb.


Lockheed is developing three models of the new radar-evading warplane for the U.S. military and eight countries that helped fund its development: Britain, Canada, Turkey, Italy, Norway, Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Israel and Japan have also placed orders for the jet.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 31 Oct 2013 18:49


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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 31 Oct 2013 18:51

Oct 27, 2013 :: Marines fly first F-35 STOVL mission at Eglin

Maj. Brendan M. Walsh flew the hour-long mission in which the aircraft remained in the STOVL configuration for the entire flight. The aircraft flew pattern procedures around the base before gliding in, stopping in mid-air about 100 feet off the Eglin runway, performing a stationary right turn and slowly lowered to the ground.

"This mission made one of the key capabilities for this fighter an operational reality not just for VMFAT-501, but for the entire F-35B program," said Lt. Col. David Berke, the VMFAT-501 commander. "Our expeditionary operations are rapidly evolving, and STOVL capabilities give us a flexibility to stage our aircraft not just from major bases and carriers, but also out of damaged airstrips and other austere operating sites."

Walsh is the only pilot at Eglin qualified to fly in the STOVL configuration, but he said the flight paved the way to locally train F-35B instructors and new students in STOVL operations

"STOVL is going to quickly become a routine, administrative function of the F-35B, said Walsh. "We will upgrade all current pilots to a field STOVL qualification. This will facilitate the F-35B community training for shipboard operations in the near future, and it will allow more focus on training for tactical mission sets."

Walsh qualified in vertical landing operations six months ago at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.

"I came to this program as an F-18 pilot, so to become the first STOVL qualified instructor in the fleet without a background in vertical landings is a testament to the ease of operation of the F-35," Walsh said.

STOVL operations allow the F-35B to operate in austere conditions, and it is a key difference between the Marine variant and other F-35 variants.

The STOVL operation also marks a significant achievement in the program for some partner countries. VMFAT-501 hosts three pilots and 13 maintainers from the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and Royal Navy.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 31 Oct 2013 18:57

Oct 24, 2013 :: Pratt & Whitney signs $1.1 billion Pentagon deal

Jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney says it's signed a $1.1 billion Pentagon contract for fighter jet propulsion systems that include cost-cutting of as much as 9.5 percent.

The United Technologies Corp. subsidiary said Thursday the contract covers 38 engines and program management, engineering support and spare parts. Pratt & Whitney, based in East Hartford, said the contract reflects cost reduction initiatives. The propulsion systems power the F-35 Lightning II.

The prices for 32 of the engines were reduced by about 2.5 percent compared with a previous contract. The unit prices for six propulsion systems were cut by about 9.6 percent.

Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 program executive officer, said the price has been going down and the trend will continue.

Engine deliveries will begin in the fourth quarter.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 01 Nov 2013 19:26

Nov 1, 2013 :: Live missile test another JSF milestone

Image

The controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program has marked another milestone with the first successful launch of a live air-to-air missile.

The test of the capability of the fighter, which Australia is buying, took place off the California coast this week.

An AIM-120 AMRAAM (advanced medium range air-to-air missile) was fired at a drone from the internal weapons bay of a conventional version of the JSF, the same type Australia is buying.

"It is one test with many more to come, to ensure operators will receive the combat capability they need to execute their mission and return home safely," JSF joint program office weapons team leader Charlie Wagner said in a statement on Friday.

Australia is looking to buy up to 100 Lockheed Martin-made JSFs, at a cost of $16 billion but so far has committed to just two.

The JSF program has been repeatedly criticised for running late and costing too much and questions have been raised over whether the aircraft can deliver the promised advanced capability.

JSF is an advanced stealth combat aircraft set to be the principal combat aircraft for the US, Australia and other nations.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Philip » 03 Nov 2013 08:09

JSF's fatal flaw.One has been highlighting for some time the fact that the JSF was never meant to engage in dogfighting aerial combat ,as when originally conceived its stealth characteristics would suffice.However a decade+ on,anti-stealth detection techniques have been growing and the dogfighting drawback is becoming more of an issue.Here is a startling report from test pilots sent to the Pentagon.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/03 ... lind-spot/

Test Pilots: Stealth Jet’s Blind Spot Will Get It ‘Gunned Every Time’


By David Axe
03.07.13
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the military’s expensive main warplane of the future, has a huge blind spot directly behind it. Pilots say that could get them shot down in close-quarters combat, where the flier with the better visibility has the killing advantage.

“Aft visibility could turn out to be a significant problem for all F-35 pilots in the future,” the Pentagon acknowledged in a report (.pdf) obtained by the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington, D.C. watchdog group.

That admission should not come as a surprise to observers of the Joint Strike Fighter program. Critics of the delayed, over-budget F-35 — which is built in three versions for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps — have been trying for years to draw attention to the plane’s blind spot, only to be dismissed by the government and Lockheed Martin, the Joint Strike Fighter’s primary builder.

The damning report, dated Feb. 15, summarized the experiences of four test pilots who flew the F-35A — the relatively lightweight Air Force version — during a September-to-November trial run of the Joint Strike Fighter’s planned training program at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The report mentions a number of shortfalls of the highly complex F-35, including sensors, communications and aerial refueling gear that aren’t yet fully designed or just don’t work right.

Meant to replace almost all of the military’s jet fighters at an initial cost of more than $400 billion, the F-35 has a clamshell-style windshield with a good view to the front and sides. But it’s got no line of sight to the rear, which is blocked by the pilot’s seat and the plane’s upper fuselage spine. Today’s A-10s, F-15s, F-16s, F/A-18s and F-22s, by contrast, have so-called “bubble canopies” with good all-round vision.

The limitations of the F-35′s canopy are “partially a result of designing a common pilot escape system [a.k.a. ejection seat] for all three variants to the requirements of the short-take-off and vertical landing environment.” In other words, the Joint Strike Fighter’s windshield is constrained by the need to fit a standard ejection seat and the downward-facing engine of the Marine Corps variant, which allows that model to take off and land vertically and is located directly behind the cockpit.

The pilots, who formerly flew A-10s and F-16s, didn’t seem interested in excuses. Their comments, quoted in the report, are scathingly direct.

“Difficult to see [other aircraft in the visual traffic] pattern due to canopy bow,” one said.

“Staying visual with wingman during tactical formation maneuvering a little tougher than [older] legacy [jets] due to reduced rearward visibility from cockpit,” another added.

Said a third, “A pilot will find it nearly impossible to check [their six o'clock position] under G [force].”

“The head rest is too large and will impede aft visibility and survivability during surface and air engagements,” one pilot reported.

Most damningly: “Aft visibility will get the pilot gunned every time” during a dogfight.

The pilots’ sentiments echo warnings by Pierre Sprey, one of the original designers of the A-10 and F-16. Joined occasionally by former national security staffer Winslow Wheeler and ex-Pentagon test director Tom Christie, Sprey has repeatedly spoken out against the military’s tendency to downplay pilot visibility in recent warplane design efforts. At a presentation in Washington six years ago, Sprey told Danger Room that the F-22, also built by Lockheed Martin, featured a more limited view from the cockpit than the company’s older F-16 — and that the F-35, then still in early design and testing, would be far worse still.

Lockheed and the military’s response has been to tout the benefits of the Joint Strike Fighter’s sensors, which Lockheed vice president Steve O’Bryan last year characterized as “world-beating.” The F-35 has six wide-angle cameras installed along the fuselage that are supposed to stream a steady, 360-degree view directly to the pilot’s specially designed helmet display. In essence, the warplane should see for the pilot.

But the helmet display doesn’t work yet, another shortfall highlighted by the Pentagon report. For now — and perhaps forever if the display’s problems don’t get resolved — Joint Strike Fighter pilots rely solely on their eyes for their view outside the jet. And their vision is incomplete owing to the F-35′s design compromises.

“There is no simple relief to limitations of the F-35 cockpit visibility,” the report states. Instead, the Pentagon admits it is more or less hoping that the problem will somehow go away on its own. “It remains to be seen whether or not, in these more advanced aspects of training, the visibility issues will rise to the level of safety issues, or if, instead, the visibility limitations are something that pilots adapt to over time and with more experience.”

But wishful thinking is no basis for warplane design. Especially when the plane in question is supposed to form the backbone of the entire U.S. air arsenal.


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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Viv S » 03 Nov 2013 09:27

Philip wrote:JSF's fatal flaw.One has been highlighting for some time the fact that the JSF was never meant to engage in dogfighting aerial combat ,as when originally conceived its stealth characteristics would suffice.However a decade+ on,anti-stealth detection techniques have been growing and the dogfighting drawback is becoming more of an issue.Here is a startling report from test pilots sent to the Pentagon.


HMDS + DAS.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 05 Nov 2013 17:18

Nov 4, 2013 :: The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter could mount a comeback

In the midst of an apocalyptic budget battle in Washington, could there actually be good news for an Atlanta-area defense contractor?

Aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia at the Teal Group in Washington says, let’s face it. “The end of the F-22 program certainly hit Marietta hard.”

But now comes word from Washington that another Lockheed-Martin fighter, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), may finally be coming back into favor at the Pentagon after a decade on the shelf.

“Optimism is called for in the F-35, especially after almost a decade in the wilderness,” he points out.

Aboulafia is talking about a wilderness teeming with budget concerns because it’s an untried program that hasn’t been given full production clearance. But Aboulafia says that clearance appears to be on the way from Washington.

The F-35 is an air superiority fighter capable that comes in both land-and carrier-based variants. It has been sought after by US allies, but has been relegated a low priority by the Pentagon, which has been much more interested in asymmetrical warfare over the past decade. The budget-busting cycle of an experimental plane looking for full-production appears to be coming to an end.

“Production numbers increase, therefore costs drop and more production is seen,” Aboulafia predicts. Ramped up production of the F-35 could begin in Marietta by the middle of next year.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 08 Nov 2013 21:24

No date on this article (yet):

(UK) F-35B Lightning II

Roles

The F-35B Lightning II will place the UK at the forefront of fighter technology, giving the Royal Air Force a true multi-role all weather, day and night capability, able to operate from well-established land bases, deployed locations or the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers.

Specifications

Engines: Pratt & Whitney F-135-600
Thrust: 38000lbs
Max speed: 1.6Mach
Length: 15.6m
Max altitude: 50,000ft
Span: 10.7m
Aircrew: 1
Armament: Paveway IV, AMRAAM, ASRAAM

Future Armament: Storm Shadow, SPEAR, METEOR, 25mm Gun Pod

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be known in UK service as the Lightning II. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor but the UK is the only Level 1 partner with the US. A number of British companies, including BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce will have significant industrial work-share in construction and development of the aircraft. The Lightning II will provide UK Defence with a 5th Generation (low observable, supersonic, enhanced data fusion), multi-role, all weather, day and night aircraft that will have the ability to operate from land bases as well as the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, the first of which is due to accept Lightning II onto her deck in 2018. This basing flexibility will give UK Defence a truly joint expeditionary Combat Air capability well into the 2030’s. The RAF is the lead service for the operation of Lightning II and, like the Harrier before, the Joint Lightning II Force will be manned by both RAF and RN personnel.

Lightning II has been designed from the outset to carry out a wide range of mission types, able to use its very low observable characteristics to penetrate Integrated Air Defence Systems and strike a number of types of targets. In a permissive environment, Lightning II is able to carry weapons on external pylons, as well as in the internal weapon bays. This will allow a maximum weapon payload of 6 Paveway IV, 2 AIM-120C AMRAAM, 2 AIM-132 ASRAAM and a missionised 25mm gun pod.

The Lightning II design applies stealth technology manufacturing techniques and, to minimise its radar signature, the airframe has identical sweep angles for the leading and trailing edges of the wings and tail, and incorporates sloping sides for the fuselage and the canopy.

The advanced sensor suite of the Lightning II is the greatest step-change in capability that the UK has not previously possessed. The APG-81 is an Active Electronically Scanned Array multi-function radar with Synthetic Aperture Radar and Ground Moving Target Indication capabilities. Targeting information can also be supplied by an Electro-Optical Targeting System, which provides long-range detection and precision targeting by employing thermal imaging, laser tracking and marking. 360 degree situational awareness is aided by the Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System. Lightning IIs advanced mission systems will also provide navigation information, missile warning and infrared search and track capabilities.

Lightning II will place the RAF at the forefront of fighter technology and will give it a true multi-role aircraft that will surpass the majority of other weapons systems in production today, or envisaged in the foreseeable future. Lightning II and Typhoon aircraft will make up the Fast Jet elements of Future Force 2020.

The UK has taken delivery of its first 2 Lightning II aircraft which, together with a number of military personnel, are stationed at Eglin AFB, Florida. In 2014, the personnel and aircraft will transition to Edwards AFB, California, to begin Initial Operational Test and Evaluation.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 08 Nov 2013 21:30

Nov 6, 2013 :: IHI will make F135 engine components for Japan’s F-35s

Japanese industrial manufacturer IHI will supply parts used to build Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines that will power the Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft being acquired by Japan, according to a 6 October P&W media release.

In addition, Pratt & Whitney and IHI are working together on a series of “industrial participation” contracts that may result in IHI assuming more F135 capabilities and assembling engines in Japan, says P&W.

The press release does not specify which components IHI will supply, and P&W tells Flightglobal in a statement that it “will not be discussing individual parts being qualified by IHI at this time.”

P&W, a division of United Technologies, also declined to say when IHI may start assembly in Japan, noting that the companies have not yet reached such an agreement.

P&W’s partnership with IHI started more than 30 years ago with work on the F100 engines that power Japan’s fleet of Boeing F-15Js.

Japan’s Ministry of Defence selected IHI as the prime contractor for F135 engines after the agency’s December 2011 decision to purchase 42 F-35As, which are the conventional take-off and landing variants of the fighter.

Initial deliveries are scheduled for the second quarter of 2016.

The first four aircraft will be delivered from Lockheed’s Fort Worth site in Texas, while final assembly of remaining aircraft is expected to be completed at a facility being established with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagoya
.


Interesting, four out right purchase and the rest 38 to be assembled in Japan.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 08 Nov 2013 21:32

Oct 24, 2013 :: P&W trims costs on latest F-35 engine deal



Pratt & Whitney will deliver a package of 38 F135 engines, spares and support items under a deal valued at a total of $1.1 billion, the company and the US government’s procurement office announced on 24 October.

The deal covering the sixth lot of low rate initial production includes a 2.5% unit price reduction for the conventional takeoff and landing and carrier variants of the engines that power the Lockheed Martin F-35, according to a joint statement by P&W and the joint programme office.

The price on the more complex and expensive short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) version dropped 9.6% compared to fifth lot of low rate initial production, the statement says.

Lt Gen Chris Bogdan, programme executive officer of the F-35, says P&W’s leaders are “working closely with the supply chain to continue to bring down the cost to the government”.

The award comes roughly three weeks after the joint programme office decided to withhold payments to P&W over the next four years of production. The 5% withholding covers the fifth through the eighth lots of low rate initial production.

The joint programme office imposed the withholding after the Defense Contract Management Agency determined that P&W still does not comply with four of 32 project management guidelines.

Under the earned value management system, P&W is supposed to improve how it plans work packages, estimates costs, integrates scheduling tools and documents its processes.

P&W has submitted a corrective action plan to the Defense Contracts Management Agency.

Meanwhile, P&W will continue delivering F135 engines under the new fixed price incentive fee structure adopted after the fourth lot of low rate initial production.

The terms mean that P&W must absorb all cost overruns and return 25% of any underruns to the US government.

Further cost savings, however, may only be possible if the governments involved in the programme buy more F135 engines, P&W vice-president for F135/F119 engines says in a statement.

“Increasing the volume and production rate for F135 engines will be critical to realising further cost savings for the propulsion system,” Flynn says.

P&W has delivered 115 production engines of all variants of the F135.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Victor » 09 Nov 2013 06:24

NRao wrote:Nov 6, 2013 :: IHI will make F135 engine components for Japan’s F-35s

Interesting, four out right purchase and the rest 38 to be assembled in Japan.

Japan is adamant about maintaining its aircraft industry at all costs for strategic reasons and is willing to pay the steep price of local manufacture/assembly for those few aircraft. This will no doubt pay off handsomely in the future since it is excellent at absorbing technology.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 09 Nov 2013 06:40

The JSF program has work share. All "partners" have some work to do. What does differ is where is a plane assembled. So far I see Italy and now Japan, outside of the US.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 20 Nov 2013 02:19


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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 20 Nov 2013 02:21


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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 20 Nov 2013 02:22


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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 23 Nov 2013 19:15

Nov 21, 2013 :: Gulf buyers eye future purchases of Lockheed's F-35 jet

Gulf buyers are nearing decisions to buy more current generation fighter jets, but the buzz at the Dubai Airshow was about Lockheed Martin Corp's (LMT.N) radar-evading F-35 fighter - a plane not yet operational and not even on display there.

The U.S. government sent a big delegation to this year's show, eager to reassure Gulf leaders about their continued commitment to the region despite policy differences over Syria and Iran and signs that Egypt is looking at buying Russian weapons after a slowdown in U.S. military aid.

For the first time, U.S. government and industry officials also spoke about the process under way to allow the sale of the Lockheed jet to the Gulf - probably about five years after Israel receives its first F-35 fighter jets in 2016.

U.S. policy guidelines call for Israel to maintain a competitive military edge.

One Gulf source familiar with the region's defense market said the F-35 was generating a degree of excitement even before any U.S. decision to allow its sale to Gulf buyers.

The possibility that the F-35 aircraft might become available could explain why Gulf countries are taking their time with decisions on purchases of other fighters, the source said.

Heidi Grant, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force for international programs, said Gulf buyers were focused on buying more fourth-generation jets but were clearly interested in the F-35 - a so-called "fifth-generation" warplane designed to be nearly invisible to enemy radar.

"They're just asking me to monitor it, and when it becomes available let (them) know," Grant told Reuters in an interview. "They understand that we haven't made a policy decision to open up in this region right now."

COMPETITIVE EDGE

Grant said she continued to press for a release of the F-35 technology to the Gulf region, but was also at pains to stick to U.S. military policy.

"I'm constantly telling the partners in the region that as their advocate, I'm pushing (other officials) to look at it," she said, underscoring the growing importance of building coalitions in the region and using common equipment.

The U.S. government always reserves certain capabilities for its own use, but it also wants its partners to be ready to help conduct coalition operation, Grant said.

Boeing Co's (BA.N) F-15 and Lockheed's F-16 were approved for sale to Gulf countries about five years after Israel.

U.S. military sales are handled on a government-to-government basis, and decisions about releasing sensitive technologies are made by a committee that includes the Pentagon, State Department, Commerce Department and other agencies, depending on the technology in question.

U.S. officials say the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has rapidly evolved to become the most capable and reliable U.S. partner in the Gulf region. Washington recently approved the sale of $4 billion worth of munitions to UAE, as well as an advanced missile defense system built by Lockheed.

The $392 billion F-35 JSF, the Pentagon's biggest arms program, has seen a 70 percent increase in costs over initial estimates and repeated schedule delays, but U.S. officials say the program has made progress in recent years. The U.S. Marines Corps says it is on track to start using the plane in mid-2015.

Lockheed is building three models of the F-35 for the U.S. military and eight countries that helped fund its development: Britain, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Australia, Italy, Turkey and the Netherlands.

Israel has ordered 19 jets that will be equipped with Israeli electronic warfare equipment as part of a deal that includes options for up to 75 jets.

Japan has also ordered the plane, and South Korea is expected to announce its plans to buy F-35s on Friday.

"There's demand," Patrick Dewar, executive vice president of Lockheed's international unit, told Reuters. "There have been multiple countries - and there will be more - that are requesting a date certain when F-35 will be released to them, and the U.S. government has that on their to-do list."

"LET'S DELAY IT"

Dewar said the U.S. government had provided publicly available information to potential Gulf buyers but no classified briefs had yet been provided to his knowledge.

He said the F-35 is a multi-role fighter that was designed to replace the F-16, the F/A-18 and many other warplanes.

"Any air force that currently flies those jets has an expectation - and should have an expectation - that in the future at some time, the United States would release the F-35 to replace those jets," Dewar said.

He said Lockheed was working with the U.S. government to ensure its release policy was in synch with the planning process required by each of the governments for big arms deals.

Carrol Chandler, a senior executive with engine maker Pratt & Whitney, told Reuters earlier this week there was strong interest in the plane, but it would likely be several years before exports to the Gulf were approved.

One U.S. source familiar with the world fighter market said countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia that currently operate several types of fighters were more likely to buy other currently available jets in the interim. But countries with single-fighter fleets like Kuwait could decide to wait for the F-35 to become available, said the source.

Advanced as it is, the F-35 Lightning must contend with competition from European manufacturers and Boeing Co, which tout the benefits of their jets compared with the F-35, and raise questions about the schedule for the Lockheed jet.

French firm Dassault's (AVMD.PA) Rafale jets and the BAE Systems (BAES.L)-backed Eurofighter Typhoon are in a tight race to win a deal for at least 60 new aircraft to replace the UAE's Mirage fleet. UAE is also looking at buying 25 more Lockheed F-16s as well as upgrades for its existing jets.

The Eurofighter, built by Britain's BAE, EADS (EAD.PA) and Italy's Finmeccanica (SIFI.MI), is being marketed by BAE, which is chasing deals in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain.

Douglas Barrie of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London said Lockheed could be trying to stall any European purchase to buy time to complete development of the F-35, and get through the U.S. approval process.

In past competitions "when they looked like they weren't going to win with their current offering ... the strategy process went from 'Let's win this' to 'Let's delay it'," he said.

"The delay arguably was about getting the decision point to where you could put the F-35 on the table and say 'Why don't you buy the Lightning?'"
Last edited by NRao on 23 Nov 2013 19:23, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 23 Nov 2013 19:19

Nov 21, 2013 :: South Korea to Go “All In” on F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Myriad sources in recent weeks are reporting that South Korea’s military has decided that its country needs the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. According to one report from Reuters, in a meeting on Friday South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff will endorse an “all F-35 buy” of 40 of the aircraft for its FX-III fighter jet competition. The same report said that they will also include an option to purchase 20 additional F-35s in the future. Some notable figures are recommending that Seoul should purchase a combination of F-35s and F-15s.


Nov 15, 2013 :: S. Korea Joint Chiefs set to back deal for 40 Lockheed F-35s -sources

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby Philip » 24 Nov 2013 18:45

More JSF performance doubts expressed .
AWST Nov 25/2013.Sweetman again "Cash crunch" article.Falling budgets and tough choices for air forces globally.How much bang for the buck.One concern is the falling star of so-called 5th-gen stealth fighters with new anti-stealth developments.

Revolution in RCS detection by Russia with mobile VHF AESA radars.Total reliance on stealth through RCS as in the JSF is obsolete these days.Better methods must use LR sensors,weapons and EW attack. Contrails and visible vortices reduce stealth factor.The JSF has "dense wingtip visible vortices" .Raytheon's Garcia criticised the JSF's prime rationale,the first time a US contractor has done so.
Overstreet,the JSF's WSM Programme Mgr. says that there is risk for the Blk. 3F arriving on time,dependent upon earlier software success.He also says that "operating costs are not affordable"! However is "hopeful" as usual of success.

Even more shocking is the view of Col.Victor Cracas.of the Italian 36th fighter wing,who says that the JSF has "no high-end air-to-air capability" and that the Italians need the Typhoon also!


*These doubts about the JSF's poor air combat capability have been mentioned before by many aviation experts including those within the US military.While the US also has the F-22,and large numbers of late model F-15s,F-16s,F-18s,etc.,to spread their need across several fighter types,as well as dedicated tactical and strategic bombers,other less well-off nations have little chance of the luxury of operating several ,or even two modern fighter types! Given the high costs of acquisition and still uncertain costs of maintaining and operating the JSF,the fortunes of 4th-gen aircraft equipped with advanced sensors and weaponry still looks very promising despite the desire to keep up with the Yanquis,Russkies and Chinese and their 5th-gen fillies.

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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 24 Nov 2013 20:27

Posting complete article for clarity of topic (that RCS should include more than just passive measures):

Bill Sweetman :: Nov 25, 2013 :: Air Forces Acquiring Fewer Fighters As Prices Rise

Leaders of smaller air forces are worried that they could be priced out of flying fighter aircraft by rising acquisition and operational costs, and countries that once fielded large forces are recognizing that they cannot cover all their historic missions as they switch to the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

That program's leaders admit that the F-35's projected operational costs are not affordable—while promising to bring them down—but one major U.S. contractor has broken ranks and challenged the value of the Pentagon's huge investment in radar cross-section (RCS) reduction, the JSF's dominant technology.

Much of the U.S. defense community “has lost sight of reality” as to what stealth means, a Raytheon executive told the Defense IQ International Fighter Conference here this month. Michael Garcia, the company's senior business development manager for active, electronically scanned (AESA) radars, suggested that longer-range sensors and weapons and electronic attack should be considered part of stealth, rather than placing complete reliance on RCS.

Comparing detection and weapon ranges, as well as RCS, Garcia argued that the “essence of stealth is that the Blue circles [for detection and weapon range] impact Red before Red can detect,” and that jamming, sensors and weapons affect that calculation.

“The level of RCS has not been improving,” Garcia said, and it cannot be greatly improved through an aircraft's life. “It is time-stamped with whatever date it came out of the factory. There has been a revolution in detection” of low-RCS targets, meanwhile, he added, citing the Russian development of an operational, mobile VHF AESA radar (AW&ST Sept. 2, p. 28) and resurgent interest in infrared search-and-track systems. “Conventional stealth is vulnerable to low-band detection,” Garcia said. “And the 'fifth-generation' scenario has become outdated over the past five years.” He mentioned contrails and visible vortices as signatures that are not affected by RCS reduction. Other analysts have noted the dense wingtip vortex trails visible in many inflight photos of F-35s.

Raytheon is a major supplier to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet program and has a small stake in the F-35. However, this is the first time that any U.S. contractor has gone on the record with a direct critique of the JSF's prime rationale.

The fact that Raytheon's fighter customer is the U.S. Navy may also be important. At the conference, executives close to the Navy's procurement process said the service had not made a bureaucratic error when it issued a solicitation in October calling for more F/A-18s in fiscal 2015. “The error was that it became public,” one official said, adding that the solicitation was rescinded under pressure from the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps. The same executives confirmed that the Navy's alternate program objective memorandum process, which is looking at spending if the Budget Control Act's cuts remain in force, includes options to defer the F-35 by two or three years.

However, a senior JSF program manager told the conference that he is “cautiously optimistic” that the project will get better grades in the next report from Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation, due early next year. Gilmore warned in June that software was behind schedule and that most of the schedule margin for weapons integration had been consumed (AW&ST July 1, p. 23).

Capt. Paul Overstreet, JSF weapon systems program manager, acknowledges some risk in on-time delivery of Block 3F software that meets the initial specifications for the aircraft. The program office is confident that the interim 2B and 3I software will arrive in time for the Marine Corps and Air Force to declare initial operational capability, but the 3F package remains “highly dependent” on performance in the interim packages. At the same time, the program is still “playing catch-up” on its vital Autonomous Logistics Information System, offboard mission-planning system and the aircraft's health management system. Overstreet concedes that operating cost estimates are “not affordable,” but he adds that a high-level effort to reduce costs is underway.

JSF schedule performance is important to the Royal Air Force, which is approaching a 2015 decision date on the retirement of its final three squadrons of Tornado GR4s, according to Air Commo. Dave Waddington, Tornado force commander. Two out of five 12-aircraft GR4 squadrons retire next year, and “there is a plan for Tornado out of service date” as the RAF adds numbers and capability to its Typhoon force, but that plan will be “validated or adjusted” in the next U.K. strategic defense review, due in 2015.

The RAF's migration from a Tornado/Typhoon force to a Typhoon/JSF force will be managed “to retain sufficient quantity while retaining key [Tornado] capabilities until they exist on other platforms,” Waddington says. While there is “more we can do” with the Typhoon, he stresses that it is “a superb air-to-air platform,” while the JSF will be “our top-end capability in transforming the RAF, able to access and serve the full range of targets.” This suggests that the service may shift Tornado missions to the JSF rather than expanding the Typhoon's air-to-surface capability.

The challenge, Waddington adds, “is that we are not buying very many F-35s, at least for a while.” The U.K. is acquiring an initial batch of 48 aircraft, equipping an operational conversion unit and two squadrons that will have “the same training and embark [on the new aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth] for the same amount of time,” he says. With one operational squadron embarked, this would leave one land-based squadron for deployment.

The complementary nature of the Typhoon and JSF is also the key to Italy's plans, according to Col. Vito Cracas, commander of the air force's 36th Fighter Wing. “The JSF does not have a high-end air-to-air capability,” he told the conference. We need to have both aircraft.”

Smaller air forces do not have that option. The Netherlands' Court of Audit noted in a recent report that the nation's planned force of 37 JSFs will, according to the defense ministry, permit the sustained deployment of only four aircraft to support coalition operations while defending domestic and allied airspace. This, the court adds, assumes that the Netherlands shares responsibility for air defense and policing with Belgium, subject to current negotiations.

Belgium itself plans to issue a request for information for a new fighter in early 2014, with the aim of retiring its F-16s starting in 2023, according to Col. Fred Vansina, chief of staff of the Belgian air component. The service has 54 active F-16s and five aircraft in reserve. The minimum number of aircraft “depends on which aircraft we choose,” Vansina says, and the ability to share operations, as with the Netherlands, “could and should impact the numbers.”

Delegates from smaller air forces—including Colombia and Ukraine—were even less sure how they would replace their aircraft. Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, commander of the USAF 3rd Air Force and U.S. air forces in Europe, suggested a harsher solution: Under a “smart defense” concept, “not every nation needs a fighter force,” he said.

NRao
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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 24 Nov 2013 20:57

On teh topic of detecting stealth ACs:

Nov 13, 2013 :: Commentary: Do Russian Radar Developments Challenge Stealth?

Image

Even when stealth technology was deadly secret and the F-117A did not officially exist, there was counter-stealth radar.

Textbooks told us radar cross-section (RCS) was frequency dependent, and tended to become increasingly so as the target shape grew more complicated. If the radar wavelength is of the same magnitude as prominent features of the target, the signal is scattered by a resonant mechanism that is unimpressed by cunning shaping or materials magic. In the 1980s, many older Russian systems operated in the VHF band, with wavelengths in the 1-2-meter range, which is about the same as the chord of a fighter’s tail surfaces and wingtips.

But, as I wrote in 1987:

“The price of increasing wavelength . . . is that the antenna has to grow in proportion to the wavelength in order to maintain a narrow beam and adequate resolution. The ‘mobile’ Soviet VHF radars are cumbersome, and early-warning radars such as Tall King (P-14) are large fixed structures and provide coverage of only one sector. Despite the size of their antennae, they are not accurate enough to manage a complete engagement.”

The Pentagon’s then-stealth technology director, Paul Kaminski, commissioned an aggressive Red Team in the very early 1980s that had both recognized the threat from VHF radars and discerned that it could be mitigated by artful mission planning. The Red Team’s work led to the development of the computer-driven route planner that F-117 pilots, fond of a vampish TV horror-movie hostess, nicknamed Elvira.

The same assessments applied when the requirements for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) were written in the mid-1990s. There are no signs that the raw RCS of the F-22 or JSF is much smaller than that of the F-117. The goals were to improve aircraft performance and maintainability, neither of which (to put it very mildly, indeed) was the F-117’s long suit. If you want a very low RCS in VHF, you need to lose the tails, which is why the B-2 is a flying wing.

It wasn’t hard for the Russians to assess the JSF’s stealth performance. By 1995, everyone knew that shape was the major driver of RCS, with materials being used to control local scattering phenomena. As the JSF’s target service entry date arrived, so did the Russian answer, and it was on display at the MAKS air show, held in Moscow in August.

The 55Zh6ME radar complex addresses many of the limitations of the old VHF radars. Although you see three radars—stepping down from VHF (metric) to L-band (decametric) and S-band (centimetric)—the Russians call them modules of an integrated radar system. Each unit is fitted with the Orientir satellite-navigation system, which provides a very accurate location and north reference. That should make it possible to provide sensor fusion—ensuring that when two or more of the radar units detect a target, it will show up as one in the control center.

The VHF part of the system (see photo) has a P-14-sized, 30-meter-wide antenna, but it folds onto an 8 x 8 truck. The antenna has an active, electronically scanned array, so if it gets a hit on a faint target, the array can dwell on it as the antenna rotates (or swings back and forth for a sector search). At the same time, it will cue its L-band and S-band sisters to focus on the target area like searchlight beams.

Some commentators will look at the Russian brochures, note that the reference ranges are against targets with an RCS of one square meter and observe that stealth aircraft have a far smaller RCS, which they do—in centimetric bands. Giving what was probably the least provocative answer under the circumstances, a Russian engineer notes that the Chinese DF-15 short-range ballistic missile has a 0.002 m2 RCS in X-band, but is a very non-stealthy 0.6 m2 in VHF.

Two exhibitors at MAKS were showing passive RF tracking systems. They are intended to exploit active emissions from the target but do not discriminate. Scattered energy from a radar will work just as well. The U.S. Air Force does have a modern facility for testing such bistatic radar signatures, but it was commissioned after the JSF was designed.

The Russian approach has its weaknesses. An Aegis on wheels makes a valuable, conspicuous and soft target when working. The claimed 15-min. set-up and strike-down time is ambitious, and the system has to have a fighter-like price tag. There is also no reason that a low-RCS target can’t use jamming, either onboard or offboard.

It would be reassuring to know that the stealth technology upon which the Pentagon plans to base air dominance for the next few decades has been thoroughly, recently and aggressively Red-Teamed against multiband AESAs and passive systems. If it has, nothing has been said about it.

There may be a universe where it is smart to give your adversaries (or their armorer) 25 years’ notice of exactly how you plan to render their defenses obsolete. We just don’t live there.

NRao
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Re: JSF,"turkey or talisman"?

Postby NRao » 26 Nov 2013 09:08

Dec 2, 2013 :: Canberra :: Joint Strike Fighter Seminar

Air Vice-Marshal Kym Osley, AM, CSC – Program Manager, RAAF’s New Air Combat Capability

Date: Monday 2 December 2013
Time: 6:30pm till 8:30pm
Location: The Deck & Nottingham Room, Forrest Hotel & Apartments, 30 National Circuit, Forrest, Canberra

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

Postby Viv S » 26 Nov 2013 18:58

Philip wrote:Even more shocking is the view of Col.Victor Cracas.of the Italian 36th fighter wing,who says that the JSF has "no high-end air-to-air capability" and that the Italians need the Typhoon also!


He'd like to have more of both. Hardly surprising. Suggest that both aircraft are capable of the entire spectrum of air operations, and naturally the accounts dept will want to close one of the two down.


Given the high costs of acquisition and still uncertain costs of maintaining and operating the JSF,the fortunes of 4th-gen aircraft equipped with advanced sensors and weaponry still looks very promising despite the desire to keep up with the Yanquis,Russkies and Chinese and their 5th-gen fillies.


Sounds good in principle, until the costs are actually tabled. The F-35 will quite simply beat the Eurofighter and Rafale on acquisition cost.

I suggest you take a look at the Oman deal for the Eurofighter (and Hawk), and compare it to the Israeli F-35 order. While not an apples to apples comparison, its a broad indicator of where costs currently stand and where they will stand once the F-35 nears full rate of production (scheduled to quadruple before the end of the decade).

The figures for the Rafale aren't very different. Unfortunately with zero export orders to date there still exists an ambiguous facade of affordability. Estimates for the IAF's MMRCA deal now hover in excess of $20 billion.

With regard to all those 'not so well off' countries that don't really need an air force but are uncomfortable with the idea of decommissioning their forces, its the Gripen that has their interest (and not necessarily the NG variant either).

The only market for the rest of the pack is the Middle East, where the F-35 is not on offer (despite strong interest in the aircraft). BTW in the context of the Indian order, its worth noting that in the Gulf, its the EF rather than the Rafale that's cornered the fighter jet market.


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