International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

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NRao
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 26 Feb 2018 20:20

Weapons To Defenses, U.S. Military Spending On Hypersonics Grows

There is no line item conveniently labeled “SR-72” on which to hang the Pentagon’s renewed interest in hypersonics, but a comb through its fiscal 2019 defense budget request shows an uptick in funding for high-speed weapons and a shift from research to maturing systems for operational use.

Fiscal 2019 is poised to see first flights of the Defense Department’s two high-speed flagships; Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) and Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC)—both air-launched strike missile demonstrators as well as joint programs involving DARPA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

The TBG is a rocket-boosted hypersonic glider, while the HAWC is a scramjet-powered high-speed cruise missile. Both are heirs to previous U.S. research efforts: the TBG to DARPA’s HTV-2, twice flown unsuccessfully in 2010-11; the HAWC to AFRL’s X-51A, which exceeded Mach 5 on its fourth and last flight in 2013.

The HAWC and TBG are demonstrators, but the next steps are becoming clear. Under the Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) program, the Air Force has piggybacked on DARPA’s TBG contract with Lockheed Martin to build “a number of prototype vehicles . . . [to] demonstrate the viability of this concept to be fielded as a long-range prompt strike capability.”

The Air Force is also conducting a limited competition for rapid development of the High-speed Cruise Weapon (HSCW), described as a hypersonic, conventional, air-launched standoff missile. The likely bidders are competing HAWC developers Lockheed and Raytheon, and perhaps X-51 maker Boeing. A single contract is to be awarded by mid-year to develop a system and integrate it with existing bombers or fighters.

The ARRW and HCSW are both to be run by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Armament Directorate at Eglin AFB in Florida, indicating these hypersonic weapons have moved out of the science and technology environment of AFRL and into development for eventual deployment.

DARPA, meanwhile, is requesting less money for the HAWC in 2019, citing an increase in Air Force funding, but more for the TBG. The new budget seeks $139 million, up from $37.6 million in 2018, to add a second contractor and begin development of a variant of the weapon for vertical launch from U.S. Navy warships. Raytheon is likely in the running to become the second performer.

The Pentagon’s advanced research agency also wants to step up funding for a new program, Operational Fires (OpFires), which will demonstrate “a ground-launched system enabling hypersonic boost-glide weapons to penetrate modern enemy air defenses and rapidly and precisely engage critical time-sensitive targets.”

OpFires will leverage the TBG and other boost-glide efforts to demonstrate an unpowered hypersonic weapon that can be launched from existing mobile ground platforms. DARPA is seeking $50 million for the program in 2019, up from an initial $6 million in 2018.

DARPA’s other major hypersonics effort, the Advanced Full Range Engine (AFRE), gets a funding bump to $53 million in the 2019 request, up from $35 million in 2018. The AFRE is a turbine-based combined-cycle (TBCC) powerplant for reusable hypersonic vehicles such as Lockheed’s proposed SR-72, and combines an off-the-shelf turbine engine with a dual-mode ramjet/scramjet (DMRJ) for operation from standstill to beyond Mach 5 and back.

Funding sought in 2019 will cover ground testing of the shared-inlet turbine “with water injection” DMRJ combustor and common nozzle. Aerojet Rocketdyne (with Lockheed) and Orbital ATK (with Boeing) are the performers. Water injection suggests the AFRE uses mass-injected pre-compressor cooling to raise the speed at which the turbine can hand over to the ramjet—a critical parameter for the TBCCs.

While hypersonics spending may be on the rise, TBCC-enabled reusable hypersonics lie far in the future. But the Air Force is looking some way ahead and requests $59 million in 2019 for “Air-to-Ground Concept Development” to conduct “relevant long-range strike weapon demonstrations . . . and finalize detailed design for [a] flying hypersonic munitions dispenser.”

Up $9 million, an 18% increase from fiscal 2018, this budget line covers “planning and technology risk-reduction including demonstration and initial flight testing for weapons concepts responsive to the 2030 time-frame threat environment.” Meant to “support future air dominance,” it covers hypersonics but includes directed-energy weapons—investment in which is also rising.

It took superpower competition to get the U.S. moving, and 60% increase in the funding sought for “hypersonics defense,” to more than $120 million in 2019, suggests the Pentagon is finally taking the threat from China and Russia’s high-speed weapons seriously.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 27 Feb 2018 07:29

The aircraft development team performed regression testing at the Mojave Air & Space Port on February 24-25, 2018. Ground speeds ranged from 10-40 knots during the test series.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 28 Feb 2018 00:34

Look at the Koreans who started off screwdrivergiri’ing F-Solahs.

http://www.wearethemighty.com/gear-tech/this-is-south-koreas-supersonic-training-aircraft/amp


these Olympics are not the only area where South Korea is showcasing its remarkable progress as a country. The nation’s military aviation is making radical progress, demonstrated by their latest, potentially game-changing trainer.

That trainer is the Korea Aerospace Industries T-50, and it’s arguably a frontrunner for the United States Air Force’s T-X competition. In showing how South Korea has been able to develop a world-class air force, this plane is arguably the centerpiece.

...

this plane was developed when South Korea was seeking to replace earlier trainers. However, in the process, South Korea developed a plane that was so good at training fighter pilots that it became a light multi-role fighter itself — a poor man’s Gripen.

How good is it for training pilots? According to the Lockheed website, a Republic of Korea Air Force trainee now needs only nine sorties in the KF-16 (the South Korean-produced F-16 Fighting Falcon) to fully qualify. This greatly reduces the number of flight hours put on F-16s – meaning those hours can be used for other missions, like combat training or keeping current pilots up to speed.


You think HAL ever had the opportunity to export our products back to the USSR/Russia after all those screwdrivergiri projects we had with them? Or any other country for that matter?

There are Russian screwdrivergiri projects and there are Amreeki ones. The Russian ones are dead-ends. The Amreeki ones? We’ll see how are far the Koreans go. They are already ahead with their T/A 50 exports and if they win the USAF T-X contract . . . well, their aircraft industry has FAR, FAR less history than ours but they negotiated far, far better contracts.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 28 Feb 2018 01:09

Rakesh wrote:Kudos to the Tejas team. Keep up the good job!

For folks wondering what is Hot Refueling, please see link (article) and youtube video below....

http://navyaviation.tpub.com/14003/css/ ... ng-224.htm



Good work being done by the Tejas team..The folks that made it happen here should be encouraged to see if they can open it up for other IAF aircraft as well..


Hot Refueling of a Fighter -


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 28 Feb 2018 01:31

What Does Future Of USAF Battle Management Look Like?

ORLANDO, Florida—The U.S. Air Force is redefining the way it executes a key mission, battle management command-and-control, in response to a growing threat from China.
Central to that effort is developing a next-generation “advanced battle management system” (ABMS) that will be survivable in a contested environment.

To pave the way for ABMS, the Air Force in its fiscal 2019 budget request proposed doing away with Northrop Grumman’s aging E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (J-Stars) surveillance and battle management fleet.

The Air Force plans to keep the existing fleet operational until the mid-2020s, at which point it will transition to ABMS.

“We do not believe J-Stars will survive and be able to be deployed and used against China, or in a highly contested environment in China or Russia, post-2025,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Feb. 22 at the Air Force Association’s annual air warfare conference here.

The Air Force has not yet finalized exactly what ABMS will look like—the service anticipates beginning an analysis of alternatives (AOA) to explore options for the new capability in the coming months—but likely wants to disaggregate the two central J-Stars missions: command-and-control and ground surveillance. The Air Force’s E-3 Airborne Warning Command and Control aircraft (Awacs) already does much of the command-and-control mission; the service is planning to use the money for J-Stars recap to modernize seven Awacs with improved cockpit and navigation systems instead of retiring them.

But the Air Force does not have a clear plan to replace the J-Stars’ most unique and essential feature—a 27-ft., canoe-shaped, side-looking phased array antenna mounted under its forward fuselage that collects critical ground intelligence such as the movement of enemy troops.

Northrop’s high-altitude, long-endurance RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 40, first fielded in 2015, does have a ground moving target indication (GMTI) capability—the ZPY-2 Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensor, an advanced, all-weather air-to-surface radar for wide-area surveillance of fixed and moving targets. But this sensor is not as capable as the J-Stars radar.

In addition, the Air Force is investing in developing a new GMTI radar to be mounted on a portion of the MQ-9 Reaper fleet, Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, said during the AFA conference. This GMTI capability, paired with the Reaper’s existing electro-optical systems and weapons payload, will allow one aircraft to close the kill chain on its own, Holmes stressed.

“Instead of having one airplane flying, see something with its GMTI, cue another sensor to go look at it visually, and then cue something else to go strike it if necessary, we’re looking at providing the capability to do that with one airplane,” Holmes said.

But any radar mounted on a smaller, unmanned aircraft will be limited in capability compared to the J-Stars radar just by its physical size.

The MQ-9 GMTI capability will not replace the wide-area coverage the J-Stars provides, but it offers the warfighter a new way to do part of the J-Stars mission: “to narrow that beam down and focus it in on one point and do dismount detection,” Holmes said.

The overarching plan for ABMS seems to be developing a networked approach that would tie information from disaggregated sensors—modern radars, satellites, even fifth-generation aircraft—into one battlefield picture. But this approach raises two important questions: 1) can the Air Force develop a secure network to tie together all of the disaggregated sensors into one clear picture, and 2) will that picture be as good as the one the J-Stars radar currently provides?

Industry is gearing up to answer those questions. Lockheed Martin has always believed the future of the J-Stars mission would be “distributed and disaggregated,” says Rob Weiss, executive vice president of the company’s Skunk Works division.

“It’s really all about the battle management command-and-control capability, not about the platform. So when the Air Force has now decided to not proceed with a recap of the current platform, it really does not change our basic philosophy,” Weiss said.

Lockheed is leading one of the industry teams vying for the J-Stars recap work—which is still technically in source selection until Congress officially approves the Air Force’s proposal to kill the program—offering a proposal based on the Bombardier Global 6000 business jet.

Lockheed expects to be part of the ABMS solution, Weiss said. As part of the AOA, Weiss hopes to continue demonstrating relevant technology, such as the secretive “Einstein Box,” a communications gateway that, among other things, enables new stealth fighters and legacy aircraft to talk to each other on the battlefield. The system’s full name is Enterprise Open System Architecture Mission Computer 2.0, or EMC2 (hence the nickname). Lockheed demonstrated the Einstein Box last year on the U-2 Dragon Lady during Alaska’s premier joint training exercise, Northern Edge.

Another important question for industry is what will happen to the exquisite, wide-area surveillance radars Northrop and Raytheon built for the now potentially-defunct J-Stars recap competition?

The Air Force last year selected Northrop’s gallium nitride-based, electronically scanned array “Vanguard” radar over Raytheon’s “Archimedes” sensor for the replacement J-Stars platform the service is now trying to kill. But even if the J-Stars recap is dead, Holmes hopes to still use the work Northrop has done on the radar as the Air Force works through ABMS.

“The question we will answer in the ABMS AOA is what is the right mix between airborne sensors, space sensors, other sensors, how do we get that mix right?” Holmes said. “So there is certainly an opportunity to still use that technology.”

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 28 Feb 2018 01:37

There are plenty of missions the X-Band GaN radar or its derivatives can be used..upgrades to the ZPY-2 (itself born out of the E-10 sensor efforts so a derivative of a larger GMTI radar from the recent past) for starters. There are likely other classified programs that are going to be using advanced radars for A2G targeting, some likely run by Northrop. That obviously assumes Congress will allow the AF to kill the program which is not a guarantee. Since it is a production program they could just add more money on to it and let the AF invest in other areas for more contested environments where the the 1980s approach of dedicated large AWACS and JSTARS (or legacy tankers) approach now appears to be dead. Poor PR from Northrop though..Imagine if SAAB had put together by sourcing RF components from all over Europe and America) a 15+ foot X band GaN AESA radar how much we would be hearing about it. Northrop has been flying derivatives of its radar technology in support of the Vanguard for years now and it uses its own in house RF components that constitute the T/R modules.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Indranil » 28 Feb 2018 03:46

brar_w wrote:Good work being done by the Tejas team..The folks that made it happen here should be encouraged to see if they can open it up for other IAF aircraft as well..

Hot Refueling of a Fighter -

OEMs won't support or will ask for an arm which ministry of Finance will take years to clear.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 28 Feb 2018 19:45

US Navy awards GQM-163A support contract


The US Navy has awarded Orbital ATK a USD79.4 million contract for operation and maintenance support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division ‘Ground Launch Drone Missile’ – more commonly referred to as the GQM-163A Supersonic Sea Skimming Target (SSST) system.

Under the provisions of the contract, awarded on 14 February, Orbital ATK will conduct target test and evaluation (T&E), including developmental testing, of the SSST including tests for undisclosed Foreign Military Sales customers.

“The GQM-163A is used to conduct test and evaluation [both operational and developmental T&E] of other weapon systems. This contract procures operational and maintenance services in support of GQM-163A operations at multiple operating sites. It is not intended as a contract vehicle through which developmental testing of the target itself is done,” USN Captain Tom Cecil, the Navy's Aerial Target and Decoy Systems Program Manager told Jane’s
.

The SSST contract support work will be conducted at the US Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD), facilities at Point Magu and San Nicolas Island, California; the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Braking Sands, Hawaii; and the Surface Combat Systems Center, Wallops Island, Virginia and is expected to be completed by February 2023.

The Orbital ATK GQM-163A ‘Coyote’ is a ground-launched, non-recoverable, supersonic aerial target, capable of speeds of + Mach 2. The GQM-163A is also used as sea-skimming target – with cruise/terminal speeds of Mach 2.6 at terminal altitudes of 50 ft/30 ft (absolute) respectively; Orbital ATK has also fielded a ‘High Diver’ target variant with a cruise speed of Mach 3.8 at a maximum altitude of 52,000 ft and terminal speeds between Mach 0.7 and Mach 3.0 at 1000 ft, with diving angles between 15° and 55°. Range is given as 45 n miles (83 km) (35 n miles cruise/10 n miles terminal) in the sea-skimming role and 119 n miles for diving missions.

The GQM-163A design integrates a solid-fuel, air-breathing ducted rocket propulsion system into a compact missile airframe 5.5 m in length and 0.35 m in diameter. GQM-163A is initially boosted by a 0.43 m diameter MK 70 MOD 1 booster – similar in design to that used by the now obsolete RIM-67 Standard ER missile – moving to an Aerojet MARC R282 solid-fuel ramjet engine (based on technology developed by Aerojet under the US Air Force’s Variable Flow Ducted Rocket [VFDR] programme) to sustain its flight. The GQM-163A avionics design is based on Orbital ATK’s multiprogramme Modular Avionics Control Hardware (MACH) flight computer system, which comprises a PowerPC core hosting a real-time operating system and a software architecture based on the company’s common object oriented C++ application framework.Orbital ATK (formerly Orbital Sciences) began developing the GQM-163A SSST in June 2000 under a USD34 million and Engineering Manufacturing and Development (EMD) contract. The company received the first full production order from the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) in February 2006 for 19 GQM-163A missiles under a contract. Non-US Navy users include the Royal Australian Navy, the French Navy, and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby SaiK » 01 Mar 2018 16:26

Watch This F-22 Raptor Execute A Mind-Blowing Inverted Somersault At Altitude

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/18 ... t-altitude

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 01 Mar 2018 16:34

SaiK wrote:Watch This F-22 Raptor Execute A Mind-Blowing Inverted Somersault At Altitude

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/18 ... t-altitude



I am currently reading published work on the YF-22, YF-23 and YF-119 prototype testing and it is amazing what these teams were able to do and the timelines involved..As an example..this was what the test team was doing nearly 28 years ago on the ATF program -

Image

As a reference the F-15E Strike Eagle first flight was in the 1986-87 time-frame.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Mar 2018 05:03

First operational F-35A for Japan at Misawa Air Force Base:

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Zynda » 02 Mar 2018 19:13

Short video of an interview with Boeing Exec Larry on Hornet Blk 3


Looks good...but if IN is persistent about twin engine fighters for the carriers, I'd prefer they go with Rafale because of commonality with IAF, especially if IAF/MoD/MoF chooses another 36 or odd Rafales to add to its fleet (would bring total Rafales to 36+36+57 = 129)...I'd say quite a sizeable order to get Dassault for local manf along with help for Tejas Mk.2 where required.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 03 Mar 2018 06:29

From a recent presentation from Jane's IHS on the F-35s EW Suite:

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Zynda » 03 Mar 2018 17:32

Beautiful video of H160 from Airbus Helicopters.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Singha » 03 Mar 2018 19:29

the SR71 was also done with relatively a very small team, but all A++ hand picked operators...

great stuff does not get done by huge teams and tall management layers.

large orgs tend to protect and firewall or even hive-off/spin-in such delivery oriented projects to insulate them from red tape and general loosey goosey stuff going on.

I am sure russian aerospace bios if ever published will tell the same story

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 03 Mar 2018 20:20

General Atomics have completed FAA approved flight for the Sky Guardian configuration demonstrating endurance of >40 hours.

https://twitter.com/GenAtomics_ASI/stat ... 0068709377

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Singha » 03 Mar 2018 20:28

is this a competitor to the Triton ? or more like a poor mans triton - any orders on book?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 03 Mar 2018 20:56

This is not a competitor to the Triton but something for those interested in the Reaper family to buy for the Surveillance mission. This is pretty much he same configuration that the UK is buying so yes it has a customer. The Triton differs significantly in its speed, payload and altitude envelope and the amount of electrical power onboard for more larger and capable ESM, SIGINT, and Radar sensors. But GA know that the Triton's enhanced capability comes in at a high cost so they'll have far more success in the more price sensitive international markets.

Interestingly, Sky Guardian capabilities are applicable to Sea-Guardian as well as the same platform can received the maritime package as well. So far the more powerful ZPY-2 AESA radar has not been integrated on the family and remains exclusively on the Triton/GH but Raytheon has upgraded and other advanced, though smaller, radars are also on offer from European suppliers.

But 40 hour endurance really means that you can push them quite far and still get a good 18-24 hour TOS. If they ever figure out or build requirements for mid-air refueling you are really looking at some serious SIGINT potential during peacetime a major task for these aircraft.

The Sky Guardian by comparison has a 13-foot longer wingspan (79 feet) than the MQ-9/Predator B, a damage tolerant composite airframe with double the service life (40,000 hours), nearly double the operational endurance (40 hours) and greater payload capacity. Features such as auto takeoff and landing, all-weather capability, airframe de-icing, lightning protection and collision avoidance system are standard, Ames said.

“We’re trying to broaden the awareness that this aircraft is multi-mission. It performs maritime surveillance, disaster and humanitarian assistance, search and rescue, maritime domain awareness to make sure that no one’s violating your exclusive economic zone, pollution detection—all of these things are capabilities of the aircraft,” Ames said. “It’s not just a killer drone.” https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... rike-drone

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Indranil » 03 Mar 2018 22:11

brar_w wrote:Image

What a beautiful looking aircraft. No wonder it flies so well.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Manish_P » 03 Mar 2018 23:54

Yup. And to think that the predator design was picked up from a British manned concept airplane :)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 05 Mar 2018 18:15

Ministry of Defense to consider abandon domestic production of F2 successor aircraft, considering international joint development


The Ministry of Defense entered a final adjustment on the successor to the Air Self Defense Force fighter F2 which will retire from around 2030 in a direction to abandon domestic development. We will submit information request (RFI) on the performance of F2 successor aircraft that Japan needs this week and request information from US companies during this week. The Ministry of Defense will continue to consider international collaborative development in the future, but there is also an alternative plan to purchase the latest American stealth fighter F35A.

Air Self Defense Force fighter aircraft has three models, F15 (about 200 aircraft), F4 (about 50 aircraft), F2 (about 90 aircraft), and F 35 A (1 aircraft) of F4 successor. F2 was jointly developed in Japan and the US and introduced in FY200. Currently it is deployed at Aza Misawa base and so on. As China and Russia 's military activities are becoming active around Japan, switching of F2 after aging is a big issue.


If this report is accurate, a modified F-35 something like what they did with the F-2 (F16) cannot be ruled out.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 06 Mar 2018 00:08

Japan's Scraps Domestic Development of 5th Generation Stealth Fighter Jet


Japan’s Ministry of Defense Acquisition Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) is expected to discontinue work on a domestically designed fifth-generation fighter jet due to budgetary concerns and critical capacity shortages in the country’s military aircraft industry, The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reports on March 5.

Japan’s Ministry of Defense will purportedly not seek funds for the development of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ experimental fifth-generation fighter technology demonstrator X-2 “Shinshin” (formerly the ATD-X) when requests by agencies and ministries are compiled this summer for the fiscal 2019 defense budget.

As of this writing, Japan’s MoD has not publicly commented on the March 5 report.


The X-2 prototype was intended to serve as the basis for the development of Japan’s first indigenously designed fifth-generation stealth fighter jet, designated the F-3. Japan is now expected to collaborate with the U.S. defense industry and other international partners to either jointly develop a next-generation stealth fighter jet or purchase jets directly from a foreign vendor.

The decision to scrap the program was not unexpected for Japan defense watchers. As I explained in July 2016, Japan had three options for procuring for the new aircraft: “First, develop an indigenous air superiority fighter. Second, partner with a foreign defense contractor and license-produce a new aircraft. Third, import or upgrade an existing platform.” The first option now appears to have been nixed.

Interestingly, U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin has been involved with the F-3 program in some unknown capacity and is a possible candidate for a future collaborative partnership. The recent news that Japan is interested in procuring at least 20 additional ready-to-fly F-35A stealth fighter jets from Lockheed Martin could be a first sign of an emerging Japan-Lockheed Martin partnership in that regard.

“The follow-up order of 25 F-35As could perhaps be part of a Japanese strategy to convince Lockheed Martin and the U.S. government to share fifth-generation aircraft technology with Japan’s defense industry,” I speculated last month. “Japan now, in collaboration with Lockheed Martin and other international partners, could aim to build a (pricier) domestic variant of the F-22.”

Japan originally intended to procure Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor, but the U.S. government refused an export license, forcing Japan to initiate its own stealth fighter jet program in the 2000s. The Japanese MoD plans to induct up to 100 fifth-generation fighter jets by the 2030s. A contract, estimated to be worth over $40 billion, was initially expected to be awarded this summer, but there has been no official progress report on the tender so far in 2018 and the decision will most likely be postponed.

According to various sources, the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) is also interested in purchasing the F-35B – the U.S. Marine Corps variant of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter capable of vertical or short takeoffs and vertical landings without requiring a catapult launcher. JSDF would deploy the aircraft on Japanese islands skirting the East China Sea and aboard Izumo-class helicopter carriers, which will make the acquisition of such platforms a politically sensitive subject in Japan.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Prasad » 06 Mar 2018 09:10

I think Brarji posted on this issue earlier.

Stealth features responsible for half of F-35 defects, Lockheed program head states

“That’s something that no other weapon system since the F-22 has had to do, and the F-22 never did it at the rates that we’re trying to do it. Once we get a handle on that, you’re going to see a dramatic reduction in the quality escapes that are made around the LO system,” he said.

In order to reduce the F-35’s signature, the panels making up its airframe must be precisely aligned. As each panel goes through the production process — build, then installation, then joining to other panels — small deviations can make it very difficult to meet standards, even for an experienced mechanic.


Still, he allowed that some human error remains.

“On the other hand, we inadvertently scratch the coating system, and we have to repaint it. Or when the mechanics spray the airplane [with LO coating], not all of it is robotically sprayed. There’s some overspray, and they have to go clean that,” he said.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 06 Mar 2018 15:48

Prasad wrote:I think Brarji posted on this issue earlier.


Thanks for posing this. Perhaps also post it in the AMCA thread as it highlights a good point as we tend to focus on the design side and not so much on the manufacturing side of things.

Not this particular article, but I have posted about the impact of these things on the amount of re-works and touch labor required to complete an aircraft.I was actually surprised that Lockheed was able to deliver all 66 aircraft on time (despite loosing nearly 3 weeks to a productions stop) in 2017 as prior to this each aircraft delivery was delayed by at least 10 days or so... This is also why each and every aircraft that is produced gets its RCS tested prior to delivery to customer. Doing VLO is hard, and if Lockheed, after producing nearly 300 F-35s, 180+ F-22's, and 60+ F117's is still going through the learning curve then one can imagine how challenging the tolerances and requirements are and how closely the customer measures them.

Quantity itself poses a challenge as you have to keep things moving in the production process to deliver 100+ aircraft a year from here on in..so this means reducing touch labor, automating as much as possible and avoiding any errors which then require re-work. Starting 2019 or so the F-35 will be delivering the equivilant of the total F-22 program every 15-16 months or so which goes to show how much scale and delivery timelines add to the complexity..

See at 1:10 - https://youtu.be/uY4bw3RYv3g?t=69
Last edited by brar_w on 06 Mar 2018 16:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Singha » 06 Mar 2018 15:58

>>auto takeoff and landing, all-weather capability, airframe de-icing, lightning protection and collision avoidance system are standard

good feature set. out 6 hrs over the deep ocean, flying through tropical storms, there is no friend ....

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 06 Mar 2018 19:36

Singha wrote:they should have continued on...while purchasing the f35b for their carriers.
buying US stuff generation after generation...despite having so much domestic tech.

i expect Soko to push on and do it, they do not give up so easily.


There is a security agreement with the two nations and there is a cost to the US of maintaining that as well. Japan doesn't exactly have a booming economy, while their biggest geopolitical and military threat does. As such they have to boost capability across a very wide spectrum in order to be able to keep up, and do so judiciously. There are other domestic priorities that will get investment such as ship building, submarines, anti-submarine capability, missile defense, and other weapons (anti-ship weapons etc)..a lot, if not most of these capabilities exist with their industry and they have to just dial up their investment in them. The F-2, despite of being based on the F-16 was still a very very expensive program for them. The F-3, as it stood, would have been even higher. It would have been great for their domestic industry, at least for some aspects of it, but Abe likely weighed this with a ton of other things that they also had to move ahead and ramp up. It is always a give and take. Better to base the F-3 on technology from outside rather than having to do that for the Next Generation submarine, or DDG...where technology would be harder to come by and where industrial repercussions are more severe as for these things you need to plan decades at a time (can't just dial up ship building..it takes years, sometimes decades to build up capacity and capability).

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Indranil » 07 Mar 2018 00:53

I wish they collaborated with us on the AMCA. Would have been much better than the non-existent US-2 developments.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Mar 2018 00:56

Their own National Security interests mean that they must align strongly with the US with whom they have to be interoperable. As such, whenever foreign collaboration is necessary a partnership with a US OEM or Government would be strongly preferred. Their point of the original F3 was to be able to do everything in house so they did not look outside (since industrial base was one decision driving the move). Now it is economic so they would likely look at renewing the sort of arrangement they had with the F-2.

But who knows, they may yet choose a different path..A definitive decision will likely be taken this year and Jane's reports that they had received offers from lockheed, Boeing and BaE systems on cooperation which is one of the options they are still considering.

Japan Denies Scrapping 5th Generation Stealth Fighter Program

Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) denied reports that it has abandoned plans to indigenously develop a fifth-generation stealth fighter and is leaning toward a joint development of a fighter aircraft with an international manufacturer, a MoD source told IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly on March 6.

“A source in the MoD told Jane’s that program officials have not made any decisions and that several streams of development are still being evaluated,” IHS Jane’s reports. “These include licensed production of an existing foreign design, joint development of a new aircraft with an international manufacturer, the development of an indigenous platform, or a program to upgrade and refurbish the F-2.”

This has been the standard line of MoD officials since the inception of the program. As I reported yesterday, there is strong indication that the Ministry of Defense will not seek funds for its Acquisition Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) to continue work on Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ experimental fifth-generation fighter technology demonstrator X-2 “Shinshin” (formerly the ATD-X). The X-2 prototype was to serve as the basis for the development of the F-3, Japan’s first indigenously designed fifth-generation stealth fighter jet.The reasons for the purported cancellation of the program are high R&D costs and the lack of viable and cost-effective domestic fifth-generation aircraft technologies for the X-2, including developing a next-generation aircraft engine featuring a 3D thrust vectoring capability. It is still more than likely that Japan will collaborate with the U.S. defense industry and other international partners to develop a next-generation stealth fighter jet as most existing international designs (e.g., the F-35A and B) do not fulfill all of Japan’s operational requirements.

As I noted yesterday:

Japan originally intended to procure Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor, but the U.S. government refused an export license, forcing Japan to initiate its own stealth fighter jet program in the 2000s. The Japanese MoD plans to induct up to 100 fifth-generation fighter jets by the 2030s. A contract, estimated to be worth over $40 billion, was initially expected to be awarded this summer, but there has been no official progress report on the tender so far in 2018 and the decision will most likely be postponed.

A collaborative new aircraft design, perhaps in partnership with Lockheed Martin, would most likely be based on the F-22 but larger. Japan wants its new multirole fighter jets to be capable of engaging in anti-surface war over long distances and consequently to be capable of carrying long-range, supersonic anti-ship missiles in an internal bay. Japan is also likely to place an additional order for up to 25 F-35A stealth fighters from Lockheed Martin. These aircraft are expected to be armed with the next-generation, long-range, precision-guided Joint Strike Missile (JSM) or the U.S.-made Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM).

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 07 Mar 2018 04:28

From FlightGlobal

OPINION: F-35 cost issue is solvable, but needs fixing fast

Some time in the next several weeks or months, the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme will pass a historic milestone. The system development and demonstration phase that began 17 years ago appears poised – barring any unforeseen showstoppers – to conclude by the end of summer. The aircraft, engine, simulators and logistics system will shift from development to operational status, albeit six years behind schedule.

As remarks on 28 February by Vice Adm Mat Winter make clear, the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) still faces perhaps its most important test, which, if surmounted, will secure the programme’s future for decades to come.

The F-35’s capabilities are no longer up for debate. The aircraft’s unique blend of advanced active and passive sensors bring an unprecedented level of situational awareness of the air and surface domains into the cockpit. Taken together with a stealthy radar profile and a potent weapons package, the fighter represents a new approach to air power.

All that means nothing, however, if the F-35 is unaffordable to buy and operate in the quantities planned by the US military. According to Winter, the JSF’s programme executive officer, the aircraft’s costs are unsustainable as the fleet grows.

Such a statement has severe repercussions: the US military expects to increase the fleet from 280 aircraft today to more than 800 over the next five years. If it cannot afford the bill to operate the F-35 in 2022, the Pentagon could be forced to slow procurement. As the production ramp-up slows, planned manufacturing efficiencies will be lost, further increasing costs. It is the familiar “death spiral” of defence acquisition, in which unaffordability leads to lower production volumes, causing costs to rise still further.

Winter’s office is now attempting to intervene. Its strategy covers a broad set of targets. Nearly 200 F-35s delivered before the ninth lot of low-rate initial production must be upgraded to the latest software standard. Lockheed must resolve issues with its maintenance alerting system, and the US government is helping industry fix a chronic and costly spare parts shortage.

Evidence suggests the F-35’s cost problem can be mended. Lockheed’s once-broken final assembly process for the F-35 delivered 66 aircraft last year, exactly on target. The reliability of JSFs delivered last year is markedly better than the jets shipped the year before.

The only question that remains is whether Winter’s cost-reduction strategy will be too little and too late.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Singha » 07 Mar 2018 11:05

LM if it wins would dust off its FB22 studies, amend to newer engines and shaping and offer something with 2-4 AAM + 4 large ALCM/ASM inside and a 2000km combat radius at full internal fuel and weapons. a kind of stealthy FB111 profile.

Image

BAE is all hot air. only LM and northrop grumann have the huge experience base to quickly do something.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Prasad » 07 Mar 2018 11:46

Why? They already have a tried and tested X-47B that can do CATOBAR operations too. But that is a Boeing product though. X-45 through 47.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby JayS » 07 Mar 2018 15:02

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... on-446490/

Super Hornet upgrade takes off with life-extension

To begin in April at Boeing's St Louis site in Missouri, the modernisation will initially focus on extending airframe life from 6,000h to 9,000h. However, the work will be combined with a wider upgrade for the Super Hornet which is intended to maintain its combat effectiveness until at least into the 2030s.

"In the early 2020s, Boeing will begin installing initial updates to the aircraft that will convert existing Block II Super Hornets to a new Block III configuration," the company says. Also included in this process will be the addition of conformal fuel tanks, signature improvements, an advanced cockpit system and enhanced communication equipment, it adds. Further enhancements will also be made to "deliver a more maintainable aircraft".



Announced by the US Department of Defense on 28 February, the initial four-aircraft deal is valued at $73.2 million, with work due to conclude by April 2020.

Boeing expects to receive numerous follow-on contracts over a 10-year period, and plans to establish a dedicated production line in San Antonio, Texas, to support a fleet-wide modernisation programme. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows the USN has an active fleet of 541 F/A-18E/Fs, with another 22 on order.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Zynda » 07 Mar 2018 15:17

Amazing how combat fleet numbers of just USN exceeds the total aircraft fleet number of various first class countries.

Still I would support acquisition of Rafales for IN (since IN is very persistent on twin engined requirements) because of commonality with airforce variants (would be slightly cheaper with PBL contract for Navy) & also will give us little leverage on negotiating another 36 or 54 Rafales for IAF and we could try to extract more on ToT/MII. But another 113 airframes of Rafales could be an expensive acquisition even though the finances would be spread between IN & IAF.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Singha » 07 Mar 2018 15:19

Prasad wrote:Why? They already have a tried and tested X-47B that can do CATOBAR operations too. But that is a Boeing product though. X-45 through 47.


those are all subsonic a.c with smallish payload. japan probably wants something land based, capable of atleast holding its own in bvr acm, supersonic and bigger payload .... to replace the F2. and big range - japan is a big country surrounded by big oceans.

carrier aviation the JSF-B and any of these ucavs they can import.

it will be japani equivalent of the J-20

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Mar 2018 15:58

Zynda wrote:Amazing how combat fleet numbers of just USN exceeds the total aircraft fleet number of various first class countries.



But keep in mind that the USN and USMC maintains tiered readiness which means that at any given time only a fraction of that fleet is fully funded for training and flight hours so that they are ready to deploy. Since they do not deploy on land as often (only a fraction of the Rhino fleet and the Growler fleet is required to operate from land to support Joint operations) they can continue to support that and save O&S money. As a result their depots are in shambles and unable to support nearly 2 decades of rotating squadrons to frontline combat duties in the Middile-East. Classic Hornet readiness is very low becaue they need to be overhauled, and depot capacity shortfall means that they are lined up but have to wait weeks, sometimes months before they get their turn. As a result, the USN has now decided to reduce its overall fleet by simply retiring a couple of hundred F/A-18s which are past their service lives and would have required an extensive overhaul and life upgrade. They'll salvage some spares and increase the overall health of the remaining fleet. Also note that the USN uses up something like 2-3 squadrons worth of Hornet/Super Hornets a year (total life hours) so they must buy or extend lives of that many aircraft just to hold their squadron strength.

This is the same case with the USAF as well in many instances. In fact, a major cause of the issues mentioned in the FG article posted by Kartik is that neither of these services have invested in their depot capacity and capability (quality and quantity) because they have been prevented from doing so effectively by the Budget Control Act that passed Congress in 2011 which put restriction on flexible spending and civilian workforce additions - which runs these depots. As a result, on the F-35 enterprise some of these infra projects are 5-6 years behind schedule and as a result patches in sustainment are being looked at for short term OEM funded logisitcs and maintenance work that would normally have been carried out by the services. This is unsustainable and needs to be corrected if the fleet which will approach 1000+ by the middle of next decade needs to be sustained more cost effectively. Simply put, they have a 5th generation fleet being supported by infrastructure that was designed to support the older fleet and has not been modernized adequately. The civilian workforce which staffs many of these depots has not been adequately trained or increased in number because the accounts they have been using to support modernization and aircraft buys (OCO) does not allow them to hire or train more people.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Mar 2018 17:31

Manish_P wrote:
What is the difference in capability rate and availability rate. Is the baseline time (period unit) the same?

PS: Please take this over to the International or US military thread as it would be OT here (i am not very familiar with how to move posts)


In case of the data I presented (F-15 vs F-22 vs F-35) it means one and the same thing as one set of data are coming from the operator (which draws a distinction) while the other are coming from the testing bureaucracy which focuses on fleet availability i.e. the %age of the fleet that is available for operation at any given time i.e. can go out and fly, train or is ready to forward deploy or go on a mission. Since in 2017, literally, the entire F-35A fleet was deployed in CONUS (which has now changed as part of the Hill unit is now based in Japan) the operator's metric will focus on mission-availability.

The objective of the F-35 program was to create a 5th generation aircraft that was easier to maintain than the F-117 ---> B-2 ---> F-22 and could deliver mission availability and O&S cost (Cost Per Flight Hour) at par with a comparable F-16C. So far they are, at least with the operational squadrons, demonstrating good availability rates (training and test squadrons, on the other hand, are not doing so well because they haven't been modified to 3I or 3F yet) but are 15-20% above the sustainment cost of the F-16. This is something that they are trying to tackle by going after sustainment. Some of it is understandable..the F-16 has no internal weapons bays, no stealth, has a fraction of the software footprint and mission-data-files which need to be updated by a dedicated Electronic Warfare Unit operating out of Eglin Air Force Base...but some of this can be reduced if the OEM and the US services work to implement long-term strategies. At the moment they are only thinking 2-3 years down the road because the budget does not allow them to think any more far out but the PEO is trying to change this.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Mar 2018 17:54

Italy's 32nd Air Wing out of Amendola has declared IOC with the F-35A.

THE F-35 AIRCRAFT OF THE 32ND STORMO IMPLEMENT THE NATIONAL AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM


Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 07 Mar 2018 21:50

Chini ARJ21 in Bergen, Norway. It is supposedly touring Europe this week and will be in Iceland by Sunday.

Image

I don’t believe the ARJ21 had been certified by EASA, the European regulatory body, so how is it allowed to fly and land in Europe? How does this work? I always thought that unless certified by FAA and EASA that aircraft can fly anywhere in the West.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Zynda » 07 Mar 2018 22:36

Cannot be used for commercial ops unless it receives Type Certificate (TC) by FAA or EASA in US/EU (Even if an aircraft is certified by EASA, they still need to be certified by FAA...it is more or less matter of paperwork rather than demonstrate everything again to FAA & vice versa). If an airplane is tagged as Military, experimental or cargo (other designations may exist that I don't know of), they can land & take off as necessary...I think. Even carry people inside it like executives, engineers, crew etc.

I'd think the ARJ-21 is using experimental or demo tag (if such a thing exists).

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 07 Mar 2018 22:39

Thanks for the answer, Zynda.


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