PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - USN cannot fly F-35C Lightning II engines to ships
Old 30th Nov 2010, 21:44
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: by the Great Salt Lake, USA
Posts: 1,541
The F135 engine is the same diameter as the TF30-414 of the F-14A, is shorter than it, and is some 200 lb lighter.

The issue is that while the F135 engine weighs 3,750 lb, the bloody container weighs 5,650 lb! Yep... the total weight given for engine+container is 9,400 lb!

The solution is simple, as is mentioned in the article...

Among the options under study, she said, are "developing a low-profile engine transport system that would fit in the back of Navy and Marine aircraft; prepositioning spares on [carriers and amphibious ships]; and prepositioned spares located at forward-deployed operational areas that can be quickly transported to ships."

Officials also are evaluating "the usefulness of existing containers with the V-22, MH-53 and C-2 aircraft," she said.

A low-profile rail system would allow the engine - which by itself is not too large for the cargo doors of the COD, the MH-53E or the V-22 - or its modules to slide off the trailer and into the aircraft, Mueller said. A separate maintenance transfer trailer would be needed on the carrier for the transferred engine.

As is current practice, the military would hire commercial carriers to help transport spares to forward locations, Kennedy said.

Planners have also modeled carrier capacity to store additional engine modules, a concept he said is "one of the challenges we're working today."

Now back in 1986/87, when I was deployed aboard CV-61 USS Ranger, we had engines stashed all over the ship (including externally, on sponsons). We also almost never flew them in via C-2... they were replenished either during port calls or from a supply ship during UNREP (usually via sling line)... something else the F135+container is too heavy for.

Apparently, both from what the comments in the article implied and from what I haven't seen in recent photos & documentaries, the USN has bought into the whole "reduced supply cost via 'just in time' delivery procedure" claptrap, and no longer pre-supply the carriers with enough engines.

Using JIT, this means they can actually buy fewer spare engines, as they can avoid having as many sitting around in warehouses... but that is a risky gamble, and they are now finding out that having more in the forward "where we use them" areas (including aboard ship) is a better idea... JUST LIKE WE USED TO DO!
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