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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 6th Jan 2015, 23:08
  #5601 (permalink)  
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To capes or not??

Lockheed, BAE In $10 Billion F-16 Dogfight | Farnborough 2014 content from Aviation Week
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Old 7th Jan 2015, 12:50
  #5602 (permalink)  
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OK, thanks. SLEP becomes more important as F-35 slides right. The "CAPES-lite" avionics upgrade has to take shape if it is to exist in a finished form. Thanks, Glad.
(PS: Just finished a fast read of Viper ops by Dan Hampton.
Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat
Some interesting stuff in there on F-16's as Wild Weasel ... which role I don't think JSF will ever be assigned ... )
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Old 7th Jan 2015, 16:54
  #5603 (permalink)  
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Yes, Capes - the basic development work continues, for Taiwan and (probably) Singapore, as well as others. But procurement is gone from the U.S. budget.

We'll see about EPAWSS. The likely suspects are offering very different approaches and so far there isn't a clear cost estimate. Rewiring 35-year-old aircraft can be entertaining.
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Old 8th Jan 2015, 08:53
  #5604 (permalink)  
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F-35 @ Lakenheath by 2020

Thought I was having a bad dream, for a moment when I read this

RAF Mildenhall to close amid other Europe consolidations - Europe - Stripes

The only consolation is F-35 to LN by 2020 if all goes well, or not

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Old 19th Jan 2015, 11:35
  #5605 (permalink)  
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More detail on exactly which F-35 systems PLA Unit 61398 has compromised, somewhat ironically coming from stolen NSA reports:

China stole plans for a new fighter plane, spy documents have revealed

The leaked document shows that stolen design information included details of the JSF's radar systems which are used to identify and track targets; detailed engine schematics; methods for cooling exhaust gases; and "aft deck heating contour maps".

In June 2013 US Defense Department acquisitions chief Frank Kendall told a US Senate hearing that he was "reasonably confident" classified information related to the development of the F-35 was now well protected. It is understood the main data breach took place at the prime contractor Lockheed Martin in 2007.
A 2012 Aviation Week report on the hacking claimed that
before the intrusions were discovered nearly three years ago, Chinese hackers actually sat in on what were supposed to have been secure, online program-progress conferences, the officials say.

The full extent of the connection is still being assessed, but there is consensus that escalating costs, reduced annual purchases and production stretch-outs are a reflection to some degree of the need for redesign of critical equipment. Examples include specialized communications and antenna arrays for stealth aircraft, as well as significant rewriting of software to protect systems vulnerable to hacking.
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Old 19th Jan 2015, 13:15
  #5606 (permalink)  
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The actual report is less specific about the F-35 - the aft deck, for example, refers to the B-2. (In that case, the best intel lesson, which the Chinese could have picked up from open sources, would be "Don't design anything that looks like that in the first place".)
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Old 21st Jan 2015, 11:41
  #5607 (permalink)  
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DOT&E 2014 Annual Report Section on F-35

Makes for pretty grim reading...


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Old 21st Jan 2015, 12:53
  #5608 (permalink)  
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Schedule sort-of held, but a lot of testing ditched. And I hope that some combat effectiveness or at least useful learning is derived from the Marines' early IOC with Block 2B, because that's clearly a major focus on software that is not applicable to the definitive service-standard aircraft.
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Old 21st Jan 2015, 12:55
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Thanks, Rhino. Lurking amidst the issues is this amusing one:

"The Lockheed Martin-developed F-35 ejection seat dolly failed Critical Design Review. The F-35 ejection seat has a higher center of gravity than legacy seats due to supports for the helmet-mounted display, and in the shipboard environment needs to be securely tied down in case of rolling motion from high sea states."
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Old 21st Jan 2015, 16:55
  #5610 (permalink)  

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Rhino power

Thank you for an excellent document.

I am in awe of a development programme that has come up with so many problems - several very serious indeed - without losing a single aeroplane. That is the way to develop a jet that during the last three decades of its life will truly be the one to beat.

(by my reckoning there are 15 more years before it enters the last three decades of its service life. Which today makes it half way through its development programme)
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Old 21st Jan 2015, 18:19
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Haven't they lost one? I mean is it repairable?
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Old 21st Jan 2015, 19:03
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You, Ned and I once had a chat at F'Boro, where two of us asserted that the aircraft was an ugly and unachievably specified (in all respects, not merely technical) platform. Plus ca change mon ami! But that was in drink, unlike now

Last edited by jindabyne; 22nd Jan 2015 at 07:57.
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Old 21st Jan 2015, 22:11
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F-35 reminds me of Cronenberg's 'The Fly'

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Old 22nd Jan 2015, 19:08
  #5614 (permalink)  
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Haven't they lost one? I mean is it repairable?
I believe the A (AF-27) with the engine/ground fire looks like a write off and won't fly again. Perhaps it may have some utility as a ground instructional role or in static testing.

I think Mr. Farley was referring to "lost" as in a smoking hole in the ground.

I do agree that with over a 100 built, in 3 distinct versions, doing concurrant R&D, training regular squadron crews as they gear up for IOC, weapons test, training partner nation crews, envelope expansion, shipboard trials, STOVL, etc- it has had an impressive safety record.

Undoubtedly the press will be all over the first crash when it comes, que "flawed $200M fighter crashes, narrowly missing day care center....."
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Old 22nd Jan 2015, 20:32
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Originally Posted by sandiego89 View Post
... narrowly missing day care center....."
So they'll also kvetch about how the weapons accuracy is abysmal ...
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Old 22nd Jan 2015, 21:34
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John Farley, thanks for another perspective on the doom and gloom about the F-35. I hadn't really thought about it in that light. Glass half full vs half empty I guess.

Based on talking to a friend in the program, it will eventually be a very good aircraft but it won't be a game changer on day one of IOC. Helps to think about F-16A capes versus blk60 capes several decades later.
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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 15:17
  #5617 (permalink)  

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Thanks. Yes as I suggested in my post I believe it will take 15 years from now before it is fully sorted and becomes a game changer (or the one to beat).

In my book any types IOC is just the start of another phase in that type's development programme.
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Old 24th Jan 2015, 00:50
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15 years from now the Navy will have a new fighter on its decks, probably sooner.
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Old 24th Jan 2015, 09:09
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which Navy?

Ours will be down to the Astute class SSN's and the 6 Type 45's..............
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Old 24th Jan 2015, 13:13
  #5620 (permalink)  
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Maus92 - Good observation. The longer it drags on, the more it is likely to end up like the F-111: by the time that it's fixed, the U.S. customer will be on to the next shiny object. This process is likely to kick into higher gear once the bomber contract is issued (they're aiming for the summer). The variable-cycle engine is the key technology - and putting it in the short, stout F-35 airframe would be like putting a turboprop in a P-47.

And this applies even if nobody in the next 5 years or so comes up with a [email protected] that weighs about a ton and puts out enough energy to zorch an incoming missile, 30-45 seconds out, with a dwell time and fire rate that allows you to kill one target every 5 sec or so, and that can squeeze off 10-15 shots between <5 min recharges. If that happens all bets are off because the whole problem of tracking and leading the target goes away.

Where this could be super-seriously painful for the partners is in the upgrade budget. I don't see any sign that the R&D for upgrades will be any less than the thick-end-of-$1bn annual average for very slow improvements to the F-22. Which means that even when there are 1000 F-35s in the fleet, each operator gets the Make General Repairs to All Your Houses card once a year, to the tune of $1m per jet, just for R&D.

Last edited by LowObservable; 24th Jan 2015 at 13:36.
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