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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 17th Aug 2016, 01:39
  #9601 (permalink)  
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It was common (at least when I was active duty) for Fleet replacement squadrons to have Marine on one side and Navy in the other as the squadron trained both.
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Old 17th Aug 2016, 02:40
  #9602 (permalink)  
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The "green glow" was reportedly fixed a while ago, but it turns out they're still working on / evaluating the "fix" - which actually seems to be a workaround contrast adjustment / mode. This is why it pays to be a little skeptical of emanations from the JPO, LM, and parroted by their useful idiots.
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Old 17th Aug 2016, 02:59
  #9603 (permalink)  
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Long faces all round 'Maus92' - here is 'one of the tests' spruiked by an 'idiot':
"...During the George Washington‘s cruise, Navy Capt. James Christie told me the 70 maintainers aboard will work with Pratt and Whitney to do a complete engine swap of the enormous F135 engine. They’ll take it out and replace it. There’s been no reason, Christie told me, to do the engine replacement for the last 10 months because the “engines are very reliable.”..."
F-35Cs Undergo Helmet, EW Tests Plus Aboard USS George Washington Breaking Defense - Defense industry news, analysis and commentary
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Old 17th Aug 2016, 16:32
  #9604 (permalink)  
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This is why it pays to be a little skeptical of emanations from the JPO, LM, and parroted by their useful idiots.
Aaaaah! So now the test folks are just "useful idiots" and not "bought and paid for shills".
So in the area of promoting insulting slurs, we do seem to be making progress.

Last edited by KenV; 17th Aug 2016 at 16:45.
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Old 17th Aug 2016, 17:45
  #9605 (permalink)  
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"Parroting" by "useful idiots" was obviously not in reference to test personnel.
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Old 17th Aug 2016, 19:35
  #9606 (permalink)  
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The first Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) for Japan was photographed at the Fort Worth production facility in mid-August.

The images, released by the Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF) on 14 August, show aircraft 69-8701 (also designated AX-1) in its completed state ahead of flight tests and delivery to the international training fleet at Luke Air Force Base (AFB), Arizona, in the coming weeks. Four aircraft for the JASDF are currently being built at Fort Worth.
Image at following link.

JASDF releases images of first F-35 | IHS Jane's 360
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Old 17th Aug 2016, 21:57
  #9607 (permalink)  
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F-35C Back at Sea for 3rd Round of Carrier Tests Chris Cavas, August 17, 2016
"...And this was only Day Two of nearly three weeks of expected flight operations aboard the George Washington....

...DT III will refine maximum power launches from all four of the carrier’s catapults and work to establish operating parameters with external and asymmetric weapons loading on the aircraft’s wings, along with certifying various systems for landing qualifications and interoperability. Logistics is also a feature of DT III, where an aircraft from VFA-101 will undergo an engine switchout.

VFA-101, with five aircraft, was on board to qualify 12 pilots in deck landings, said squadron commander Capt. James Christie. All the pilots will in turn become instructors, as VFA-101’s mission is to become the training squadron for other F-35C squadrons.

“We’re developing a syllabus,” Christie said, that will be used by pilots as they transition both from training aircraft and older F/A-18s into the 35C....

...As on all carriers, pilots perform the duties of landing signal officer (LSO), watching and grading every landing. One of VFA-101’s LSOs is Lt. Graham Cleveland, who is a veteran of all three F-35C at sea tests.

Both VX-23 and VFA-101 pilots were handling LSO duties aboard the George Washington. “It takes a village,” he said, as the test and evaluation and operational squadron LSOs mingled and shared opinions and expertise.

Like many of the pilots, Cleveland said the F-35C is a bit easier to fly than the F/A-18s – with a caveat. “The 35 is a lot more easier to fly and a lot more difficult to operate,” he said. “Basic flying is easy but mission systems are more complex.”...

...VX-23’s task is detailed and rigorous – even at times tedious – as the squadron’s pilots conduct as many as 500 launch and recovery cycles to establish a wide range of operating parameters. The aircraft’s performance with a variety of weights and loads needs to be established, including how it handles when external weapons are loaded and carried in an uneven fashion....

...test pilots need to check how the plane handles in many configurations, including heavy weapons on one side but not the other, and different types of weapons loaded on each station.

One issue that rose during the aircraft’s development seems to have been solved. There no longer seem to be any significant problems with the tail hook, which in 2012 was revealed to have a number of reliability issues in catching the arresting wire. A redesign of the hook and its installation appears to have been successful. [no kidding]

Maj. Eric Northam of VX-23, the first Marine to fly the F-35C off a carrier, declared there were no problems with the hook. “We’ve had a very successful boarding rate,” he said. “One hundred percent so far.”

The carrier did not need special modifications to operate the F-35C, said commanding officer Capt. Timothy Kuehhas, although there were some software upgrades to some operating systems. About 100 crew members, he said, received handling and launch procedure training in the aircraft at the Navy’s carrier flight systems test site in Lakehurst, New Jersey...."
F-35C Back at Sea for 3rd Round of Carrier Tests | DefenseNews
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Old 17th Aug 2016, 22:13
  #9608 (permalink)  
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From the Janes' link posted by, TEEEJ-
...to replace its ageing Mitsubishi-McDonnell Douglas F-4J Kai (Phantom II) aircraft
Come on now, Jane's, you can do better than this...

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Old 17th Aug 2016, 22:30
  #9609 (permalink)  
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heheh - my favourite quote at moment: First Amphibious Ship Built for F-35 to Conduct Tests with Jet 12 Jul 2016 Hope Hodge Seck
"...In March, the America wrapped up a ten-month period of maintenance that included deck-strengthening measures needed to accommodate regular F-35 take-offs, which can scorch and melt a conventional hangar deck over time...."
First Amphibious Ship Built for F-35 to Conduct Tests with Jet | DoD Buzz
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Old 18th Aug 2016, 00:10
  #9610 (permalink)  
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'Maus92' said: "...It will be interesting to get *real* (rather than shill) reports of availabilities, how many jets are *up* at one time, etc. The Charlies have been the more reliable version in the past, so hopefully that continues."

Not sure who is SHILL or CHILL but anyways here goes for the B Babies:
"Despite software glitches the first-ever Joint Strike Fighter operational squadron had a 98 percent sortie completion rate during a recent Red Flag joint integration exercise, according to a Marine Corps official. Maj. Michael O'Brien, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron-121 operations officer, told Inside the Navy during an Aug. 8 interview the squadron only had one sortie where it was unable to provide aircraft during Red Flag16-3. Red Flag is an exercise hosted by the Air Force several times a year..."
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Old 19th Aug 2016, 17:11
  #9611 (permalink)  
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Taken with the link in post 9593, the USN is walking away, if not running, from the F-35.

If they are buying more F-18s, they are buying less F-35s (and undoubtedly getting more for their money), plus the costs for modernising their current F-18s will come from the same pot.

In calling the modernised F-18s "gen 4.5" they are also admitting that the modernised F-18 will have everything (and perhaps more) the F-35 has except for stealth, and as stated in post 9593, the no longer see stealth as the dominant factor for the future.

The cost spiral is now inevitable. The only question being how many F-35Cs they will get for their money.

Navy To Modernize Boeing Super Hornets To Fly With Lockheed F-35

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Navy plans to "continue to modernize" Boeing's (BA) F/A-18 Super Hornets, said Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, the commander of Naval Air Forces, calling newer versions "4.5-generation" fighters.

During a talk Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Shoemaker said he isn't minimizing the need for Lockheed Martin's (LMT) F-35, a fifth-generation fighter. Instead, he sees a role for both of them. "We absolutely need the F-35 as soon as we can get it," he said. " We want to pair those two up together." Shoemaker said the two jets could be flown in tandem to take advantage of the planes' "very good complement of high-low mix."

It's unclear how many more Super Hornets the Pentagon will buy. Without additional orders, Boeing faces the end of its production run. Currently, the Navy has money in its budget for two Super Hornets in 2017 and 14 in 2018. But the service could purchase even more Super Hornets as part of its unfunded spending request, and Congress seems keen to keep the production line open. Boeing has said it needs 24 orders per year to keep the production line alive past 2020......

Meanwhile, Shoemaker said that, despite some setbacks with the F-35's development, the Navy has plans to declare the new fighter ready for combat in late 2018. The Navy still needs the new 3F software update on the plane, however. The Air Force declared initial operational capability for its version of the F-35 earlier this month, and the Marine Corps declared its version combat-ready last year.
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Old 20th Aug 2016, 02:55
  #9612 (permalink)  
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'ORAC' link above does not work for me but anyway here is another view:

New U.S. Naval Aircraft Integrating for Longer Range Operations 19 Aug 2016 Megan Eckstein
"...As for F-35C integration, Shoemaker said the planes have come to Fallon a few times for testing.

“That’s been a very unique opportunity to start that fourth and fifth (generation) integration and understand what that really brings from a capability perspective,” he said.

“Flying with Rhino (Super Hornet) and Growler, we understand the low-observable penetration capability of F-35, but when we look at the ability to fuse data, put it all together, both active and passive sensors, and share that with the other platforms in the air wing and joint force, give us long-range combat ID – that’s where I think the true value you’ll see in F-35.”

In Naval aviation will rely on the JSF and Super Hornet into the 2030s, and Shoemaker said the future looks bright with these two platforms.

“When you pair those two up together I think they bring a very good complement in terms of, if you call it a high-low mix and the low part of that mix is Super Hornet, we’re in a good spot,” he said.

The Air Boss noted the long-range ID aspect of F-35 but said the service is building sensors and weapons to bring this extended reach to other planes too.

“The key is the long-range ID, being able to ID at range in both a surface and air context – and that’s where the sensors and our integration of both manned and unmanned, joint, space, all domains, and really the networks that will bring all that information together and share it” will be important for future operations and extending the reach of the air wing well beyond what previous generations could have done...."
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Old 20th Aug 2016, 06:40
  #9613 (permalink)  
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High + Low = Marginally affordable + Affordable.

I can see the USN ending up buying F-35C in F-22 type numbers. The USAF originally planned to buy 750, they got 187. The programmes start to look eerily similar.
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Old 20th Aug 2016, 08:07
  #9614 (permalink)  
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or the B-2

175 planned, then 75 then 20+1 delivered....................
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Old 20th Aug 2016, 14:22
  #9615 (permalink)  
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Or, as the DoD learned at the very end of the F-22 production timeline, don't stop making jets when their cost hits the nadir. F-35 cost per airframe is already down to where the last batch of F-22s were before the line was terminated, and will drop further. The brutal truth is that the US will go "all in" on F-35 because the real value is getting cost per flying hour, through-life, down to something reasonable - and you can only do that when supporting high mass, to make savings in bulk production of parts etc.

FWIW I don't believe the USN has even the slightest vector (running, walking or crawling, for that matter) away from F-35C. The interoperability with 4th Gen platforms is to ensure the new jets don't make the old ones - jets with many usable hours left on them - obsolete. Ensuring F-35 can "talk" to existing 4th Gen fighters (and others) enhances their capabilities, makes perfect sense and acknowledges/mitigates the delay in bringing desired numbers of F-35 to the fleet. "Delay" includes unplanned (i.e. Program delivery delays due to concurrency) and planned ("we simply don't have the cash now but need to fill the fighter gap).

Interoperability across 4th and 5th Gen is/was an inevitability and isn't limited to the USN either and, to suggest that it's being done to make up for a lack for F-35 capability, is disingenuous and (frankly) wrong.
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Old 21st Aug 2016, 04:23
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Old 21st Aug 2016, 07:59
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I know that I am probably repeating myself, but....

Watching the F-35C doing that series of events in the video shows that they team at Fort Worth, and also at Lakehurst and Pax River, have managed a truly impressive technical feat.

They've got a substantial low observable aircraft to a point where it can safely and reliably do that really difficult thing called cat and trap operations. To do that they've had to solve many problems along the way, including getting approach speed down without using standard high lift devices (LO won't let you do that), developing a stealth arresting hook installation (not at all straightforward), achieving reliable launch characteristics (tough), good bolter behaviour (really hard), and the ability to safely wave off (never a given).

Oh, and along the way, developing a true leap forward in a new control system philosophy for carrier landings - just watch this again and look at how EVERY control surface is working away to give the pilots the easiest possible landings....which is the best possible outcome.

This aircraft will now give the US a massive 'one two punch', with F-35s able to deliver true 'first day of the war' punch from both CVNs and LHDs. QEC ops to come in a couple of years.

And yes, I've said it before, but.....much of this was down to a massive contribution from a talented UK team over there, working in almost all areas of the programme, but especially flight controls, flight trials, mission systems and propulsion systems.

Great to see.

All the best to all those who've worked so hard to achieve this,

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Old 21st Aug 2016, 08:56
  #9618 (permalink)  
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But Engines - the COST ... the COST ......

and we'll not mention it's 10 years late
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Old 21st Aug 2016, 10:54
  #9619 (permalink)  
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What war was it late for?

Surely its a win that we have them late? This way they will be new later?
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Old 21st Aug 2016, 11:37
  #9620 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Engines
Oh, and along the way, developing a true leap forward in a new control system philosophy for carrier landings - just watch this again and look at how EVERY control surface is working away to give the pilots the easiest possible landings....which is the best possible outcome.
Yes, that video of the approach at 00:40 was really eye-catching!
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