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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 15th Jun 2015, 00:05
  #6241 (permalink)  
 
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Remember last year wasn't just RIAT but also the Farnborough show, which industrially/politically would probably have been more important to LM and BAE.

There was also the chance, albeit never confirmed, that it could have taken part in the naming ceremony for HMS Queen Elizabeth.

This year, just RIAT is probably not enough to justify it.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 00:17
  #6242 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by davef68
Remember last year wasn't just RIAT but also the Farnborough show, which industrially/politically would probably have been more important to LM and BAE.
The failure to turn up at Farnborough for the signing was, in anyone's language a horrible failure for the programme. Lots of folks are expecting good news about the programme in the following year.

Maybe the decision not to come to Europe is simply a result of poor appreciation of the public mood. If so, think again. If that is not the case there must be another reason.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 01:35
  #6243 (permalink)  
 
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CM,

I'm sure USMC IOC was indeed just as important last year, however RIAT/F'boro weren't going to be occurring in the same month back then, unlike this year. That's the biggest difference IMHO.

For what it's worth, I also don't consider the decision related to a wrong perception of public mood; rather just a simple case of where the focus of effort should be. The USMC were a huge part of the joint effort to bring F-35B to the UK and supported it wholeheartedly. That sentiment hasn't changed but current priorities within the Program don't make a UK visit feasible this year. If people judge that a mistake, that's absolutely fine. If people judge it as a pragmatic decision to prioritise manpower, money and effort to make IOC, that's fine too.

Not saying anyone's wrong, just stating the facts as I believe them to be.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 04:07
  #6244 (permalink)  
 
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your reasoning is lost on me
No, what I'm saying is no different to any project management system. As the time line progresses there are lots of things to do, need to do, really have to do, love to do.

As you get closer to particular milestones depending upon the importance of said milestone, you tend to discard a lot of "love to do's" until you have time.

I would expect them to have their @arses hanging out to make sure they make this one. hence going off to an airshow is not on the radar.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 05:01
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Maybe the decision not to come to Europe is simply a result of poor appreciation of the public mood. If so, think again. If that is not the case there must be another reason.
With an aircraft as mature as the F35 should now be - not being able to turn up for a couple of uk airshows is a huge indication of the problems with the whole program(me).
And afaik - the turkey still has not done a ski jump - how many years into the project ?
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 09:37
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If people judge it as a pragmatic decision to prioritise manpower, money and effort to make IOC, that's fine too.
Quite an ironic statement there considering the programs protracted gestation.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 09:42
  #6247 (permalink)  
 
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What About the As and Cs

If it is a fact that the USMC is having problems getting a squadron of aircraft together out of all the Bs that it has, that is of course a concern about program management, that has been discussed a lot on here.

Last year an A had an engine malfunction that caused the embarrassing non appearance, as I understand it there are more F35As than there are F35Bs and indeed they are simpler aircraft, obvious reasons. Did it not enter the thought processes of either LM or the USAF that sending one or more of their F35As across the pond might not be a bad idea, to make up for last year's non appearance of the B?
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 09:43
  #6248 (permalink)  
 
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longer ron,

I personally don't think using the excuse of the Program's maturity, as a metric to judge whether it should be turning up to a couple of UK air shows, is valid in the slightest. To use your line of reasoning, why hasn't a full Tornado display turned up to a UK air show over the last few years, given that it's 40 years old?!! Comes down to priorities.

As rh200 points out, it's because there are more pressing issues. The USMC are the first Service to IOC F-35 so this is a major milestone for the Program writ large, regardless of how late it is coming.

So, not this year sadly, but I'd put money on it being here for the shows next year.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 10:10
  #6249 (permalink)  
 
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Courtney, don't waste your breath. There's "a few 'Roo's loose in the top paddock'" with that one..

MSOCS, I'll take your money, and happy to double up on a 'true' IOC this year..
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 10:20
  #6250 (permalink)  
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MSOCS, I'll take your money and double up on a 'true' IOC this year..
Seeing as one reason the USMC is short of airframes is that the IOC is being performed with the handful of aircraft with obsolete processors/hardware running software build 2B - with all subsequent squadrons being equipped with the upgraded system running build 3i, you could question the relevance of the IOC and bet anyway.

Let alone the sudden angst and desire to switch to an open architecture to reduce the time to introduce a new weapon below 15 years.......
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 11:09
  #6251 (permalink)  
 
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MSOCS posted (quote facility unavailable)


I personally don't think using the excuse of the Program's maturity, as a metric to judge whether it should be turning up to a couple of UK air shows, is valid in the slightest. To use your line of reasoning, why hasn't a full Tornado display turned up to a UK air show over the last few years, given that it's 40 years old?!! Comes down to priorities.




I was using it as an illustration of how bad the situation is vis a vis the actual usefulness/availability of of what should by now be a maturing aircraft,comparing it to a geriatric flying fin is er a little bizarre


Non of the F35 supporters seem to even question why the turkey has still not done a ski jump - surely a key test point for the uk - mon amis.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 12:12
  #6252 (permalink)  
 
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longer ron,

Getting the aircraft to RIAT this year is not about how many F-35B are flying in the USA (availability) or their current capabilities (usefulness). Again, I'm trying to politely suggest to you that it isn't the right comparison to make. I'm suggesting that the USMC putting in the same level of effort which they did for last year's [cancelled] appearance just isn't possible this year because their direction from on high is to focus entirely on IOC in Jul and nothing else.

The alternative situation - in that the USMC were unable to declare their IOC because they didn't put in place what they needed to in time, because they were providing aircraft, manpower and support to a trans-Atlantic trail for RIAT - would be a far more strategic failure than depriving a few thousand spotters the sight of the F-35B for an 8-minute display.

Personally, I would enjoy seeing an F-35B at RIAT this year but I also think that the decision to not expend effort on a month-long UK trip for 2 or 3 F-35Bs plus AAR plus maint/spt pers, thereby risking USMC IOC, is compelling and justified in the circumstances.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 13:10
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Once again I feel compelled to press you on just what USMC IOT actually brings to the show.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 13:23
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longer ron: Non[e] of the F35 supporters seem to even question why the turkey has still not done a ski jump
I know nothing seems easy with the F-35, and yes the ski-jump will be a risk factor. I do agree that doing it sooner to check it off the list makes sense, but I really wonder if it will be somewhat of a non-event once it happens?

With the B having done over 100 flights off the flat deck on the USS WASP perhaps pressing the ramp mode button and thundering away will be no sweat. Yes I recognize there are software, landing gear, mode issues etc. that have not been verified on the ramp.

IIRC these aircraft have taken to the ramp: Sea Harrier, F-14 (with limitations), F-18, First Gen Harrier, Second Gen Harrier, Mig-29, Su-33, Su-25, S-3?, T-2, Tejas, J-15. I seem to recal E-2 was ruled out. Has Rafale?

Perhaps of interest- a US Air Force paper on ski jump analysis. F-4 Phantom ruled out, but others including F-16 and F-15 deemed OK- this was for a less extreeme, non navy type ramp.

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a237265.pdf

Last edited by sandiego89; 15th Jun 2015 at 13:45.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 14:22
  #6255 (permalink)  
 
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Longer,

Perhaps I can help here. I have posted before on this.

The F-35B was required to be able to carry out a ski-jump, as set out in the JORD. However, this was a UK only requirement. Ski-jump was regarded as a low risk evolution, as most of the mode and flight control issues associated with the launch are similar to (but not the same as) those that have been wrung out for flat deck STOs. In fact, flat deck STOs are the more demanding of the two ship launch modes. So why, you're entitled to ask, haven't they done ski jumps yet?

My guess (and that's all it is) is that it's a result of the UK's decision in 2010 to abandon the F-35B and go for the C. I do know that ski jump trials were originally planned for around 2012, but as soon as the UK opted out of the B, this very probably removed the requirement for the ski-jump. LM and the DoD would have been very quick (understandably so) to remove any extraneous flight test requirements, so ski-jump tests were canned. However, the Pax River ski jump was built by mid 2012 - I would again guess that having committed the money, they went ahead and finished it just in case another export customer wanted the capability. (I could well be wrong here - just a guess, guys).

So, in 2012, the UK comes back and wants the F-35B UK requirements reinstated. Again, I'm not entirely surprised that amongst all the other test points requiring attention for the F-35B, ski jump launches were not way up the priority list on a crowded test plan. Perhaps that fact that the UK doesn't plan to embark the aircraft for some years yet has also influenced flight test planning.

There were a slew of reports in late February this year that ski jumps were on the agenda for the 'next round' of testing, so it should not be too far off. To repeat, gear loads are not an issue - the max rate VL poses by far the greatest strain on the legs and structure. Again, to reiterate - the F-35B gear is fundamentally different to (and much better for ski jumps) than the Harrier's 'bicycle' layout.

I agree with Sandie, I think ski-jumps should be a non-issue for the jet - but I also stress that thorough tests are required on land before the jet does it for real off a pitching and heaving deck.

Hope this helps

Best regards as ever to those working the ramp takeoffs - it will be the most operationally efficient and safest way to launch the jet at sea.

Engines

Last edited by Engines; 15th Jun 2015 at 14:32. Reason: Text clarification
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 15:29
  #6256 (permalink)  
 
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Is it the software

Picking up on Engines' helpful post, is the reason that launching off the ramp and SSL (Shipboard Short Landings) have not been tried yet a function of the UK Government's decision to change to the C and then back to the B?

What I am postulating is that when to achieve USMC IOC there was no need to tick the box that these two evolutions were possible with 2B software or 3i for that matter as the UK had switched to Cs that the subroutines that dealt with Ramps and SSL were not taken any further forward, if they were actually in the software? Let us hope that the required functionality is developed and appropriately tested in the road to 3F.

Could the reason that there will be no F35s, of any variety, flying to Europe this year be a function of two software problems? The ALICE software does not seem to be providing all the tools that it should at the moment and the 3i software cannot be said to have bedded down if 2B final build as I understand it has yet to be released. Developmental American aircraft with un signed off software displaying, in limited fashion, at European Air Show, could be considered an unacceptable risk by some of the organisers.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 16:20
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PhilipG,

Nothing to do with software AFAIK. My understanding is that the jets aren't coming due to Program priorities and effort at this particular time of this particular year. The right call in the circumstances. That news probably upsets the minority of UK tax payers who go to airshows but that's life. Oh, and the jets aren't the developmental ones; they are line aircraft running fully released software (vice test sw).

The reason SSL hasn't been tried is a function of an incomplete QE-Class carrier to complete it on. Those tests happen in 2018 or so, by which time Block 3F sw will hopefully be on the street.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 16:43
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MOSCS

I fully understand that the Bs are not coming to Europe due to the pressure on the B Fleet in achieving the first IOC of any of the F35 Variants.

My point was that with the pressure on the software development program, is the required software in the 2B version? No one has come out and said yes the software has been fully developed but not tested, nor has anyone come up and said, as the UK who wanted these evolutions decided to change to the C the reasonable decision was made to focus on Marine required functionality. So it might have slipped to 3F...

As regards SSL, is there a difference between the SL requirement that the USMC has and the length of a QEC class carrier, I do appreciate that surface friction comes into this as an undefined variable.

My other point was that I fail to see why LM and or the USAF do not feel it is appropriate to send some As over, unless they are worried about ALICE and the support issues this brings and the possibility that an aircraft with an un finalized version of the 3i software might not be acceptable for an aircraft displaying.

Philip
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 16:58
  #6259 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PhilipG View Post
As regards SSL, is there a difference between the SL requirement that the USMC has and the length of a QEC class carrier, I do appreciate that surface friction comes into this as an undefined variable.

Philip
AFAIK the SSL requirement is UK only, although the USMC may wish to try and exploit the capability when released.

However, given that the LHDs the marines expect to operate off are considerably shorter - and more to the point less beamy at the flightdeck, there tends to be a lot less room available for physical clearance. Air wake will also be different.

Lots of good reasons for the USMC not to want to try it on the ships they have access to.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 17:01
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Agreeing that RIAT 2015 does not have the same pull/desire as Farnborough.

Sending an "A" to RIAT does not make much sence, not yet anyway.

I bet Farnborough 2016 will be the major international show debut for the F-35. Although Paris 2015 might have been attractive in some regards, perhaps a UK venue is more appropriate, and perhaps desired by the UK contingent and contractors. I imagine all the stops will be pulled to get to static and flying birds there from the USA in 2016, even if thay have to go by an LHD (first trial deployment?). The First European assembled ones should also be available by then.
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