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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 31st Jan 2019, 18:37
  #11701 (permalink)  
 
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Really stupid spotter type question:
Saw a single F35 flying just north of Corby today.
Appeared to have the u/c down. Just appeared odd quite a long way from any airfield.
I guess the nearest is Wittering but this is in the other direction.
Any clues?
Apart from me going to Spec Savers! It was the younger chap I was with who noted.
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 18:59
  #11702 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
I presume our F-35Bs will have the same airframe lives???????

https://about.bgov.com/blog/stagnant...jets-pentagon/

(Bloomberg) — Durability testing data indicates service-life of initial F-35B short-takeoff-vertical landing jets bought by Marine Corps “is well under” expected service life of 8,000 fleet hours; “may be as low as 2,100″ hours Pentagon test office says in 2018 annual report obtained by Bloomberg that’s scheduled for release this week. That means some jets expected to start hitting service life limit in 2026.

Furthermore, there’s no “improving trend in” aircraft availability to fly training or combat missions as it’s remained “flat” over the past 3 years.

Details come a day after Defense Sec. Pat Shanahan told reporters the F-35 “has a lot of opportunity for more performance.”
  • Interim reliability and field maintenance metrics to meeting planned 80% goal not being met, test office director Robert Behler says in new assessment as improvements “are still not translating into improved availability”.
    • Current fleet performance “well below” that benchmark.
    • Cybersecurity testing of aircraft in 2018 showed some previous vulnerabilities “still have not been remedied,”assessment says.
    • Amount of time needed to repair aircraft and return to flying status “has changed little” in last year; remains “higher than” rate needed to indicate progress as aircraft fleet numbers and flying hours increase, assessment says.
    • Computerized maintenance tool known as “ALIS” doesn’t “yet perform as intended,” as some data and functions deficiencies “have a significant effect on aircraft availability” and launching flights.
    • Maintenance personnel, pilots “must deal with pervasive problems with data integrity, completeness on a daily basis,” tester says.
    • Testing through September of Air Force model gun intended for air-to-ground attack indicates accuracy “unacceptable,” DoD tester says.
​​​​​​Well no wonder it is selling so well.
Just remember. It is 5th Generation and it is stealthy.
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 21:01
  #11703 (permalink)  
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https://www.ft.com/content/cb0f12dc-...9-c7e6ceb5ffdf

Germany opts against buying American F-35 stealth fighter

Berlin cuts options for replacing Tornado fleet down to Eurofighter or US F-18

The German defence ministry has decided not to buy the F-35 stealth fighter as a replacement for the country’s ageing Tornado fleet, and is instead looking at acquiring either more Eurofighters from Airbus or the Boeing-made F-18.

A final decision has yet to be made, defence officials said in Berlin on Thursday evening, but the ministry has now effectively narrowed down the choice from four planes to two. Aside from the Eurofighter, the F-35 and the F-18, Germany had initially also considered the F-15 as a possible Tornado replacement. Both the F-35, made by Lockheed Martin, and the F-15, also made by Boeing, have now dropped out of the race.

The German defence ministry will now seek more precise information regarding the two remaining planes from Boeing and from Airbus, officials said.

The decision to narrow down the choice to the Eurofighter and the F-18 reflects careful political calculations — and the desire in Berlin to balance competing demands from two of its closest allies: the US and France. A move to replace at least part of the Tornado fleet with an American-made plane would be certain to please the US government, which has long clamoured for Germany to raise its defence spending and lobbied hard in favour of a US jet.

France, on the other hand, is understood to have argued strongly against a German acquisition of the F-35, which is widely seen as the most advanced of the four jets on offer and could have served German military needs for years to come. According to defence analysts, buying the older F-18 poses much less of a threat to Franco-German plans to build a super-modern next-generation “Future Combat Air System” after 2035.

It is still possible that the German defence ministry will decide to shun the F-18 and buy only the Eurofighter. That is the solution favoured by key members of parliament, especially those from the Social Democratic party, the junior partner in Angela Merkel’s coalition government. But such a move would raise immediate questions over Germany’s ability to participate in Nato’s “nuclear-sharing” arrangement, whereby US nuclear weapons are kept on European bases, ready for deployment by European planes. In the case of Germany, that task is currently performed by Tornado planes, which means any replacement needs to be technically capable as well as certified by the US to carry American nuclear warheads.

Some analysts doubt the Eurofighter could win that certification before the 85-strong Tornado fleet is phased out, a process that is expected to start in 2025. In the case of the F-18, there are no such doubts.









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Old 1st Feb 2019, 00:11
  #11704 (permalink)  
 
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Super Hornet / Growler options

Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
https://www.ft.com/content/cb0f12dc-...9-c7e6ceb5ffdf

Germany opts against buying American F-35 stealth fighter

Berlin cuts options for replacing Tornado fleet down to Eurofighter or US F-18

The German defence ministry has decided not to buy the F-35 stealth fighter as a replacement for the country’s ageing Tornado fleet, and is instead looking at acquiring either more Eurofighters from Airbus or the Boeing-made F-18.

A final decision has yet to be made, defence officials said in Berlin on Thursday evening, but the ministry has now effectively narrowed down the choice from four planes to two. Aside from the Eurofighter, the F-35 and the F-18, Germany had initially also considered the F-15 as a possible Tornado replacement. Both the F-35, made by Lockheed Martin, and the F-15, also made by Boeing, have now dropped out of the race.

The German defence ministry will now seek more precise information regarding the two remaining planes from Boeing and from Airbus, officials said.

The decision to narrow down the choice to the Eurofighter and the F-18 reflects careful political calculations — and the desire in Berlin to balance competing demands from two of its closest allies: the US and France. A move to replace at least part of the Tornado fleet with an American-made plane would be certain to please the US government, which has long clamoured for Germany to raise its defence spending and lobbied hard in favour of a US jet.

France, on the other hand, is understood to have argued strongly against a German acquisition of the F-35, which is widely seen as the most advanced of the four jets on offer and could have served German military needs for years to come. According to defence analysts, buying the older F-18 poses much less of a threat to Franco-German plans to build a super-modern next-generation “Future Combat Air System” after 2035.

It is still possible that the German defence ministry will decide to shun the F-18 and buy only the Eurofighter. That is the solution favoured by key members of parliament, especially those from the Social Democratic party, the junior partner in Angela Merkel’s coalition government. But such a move would raise immediate questions over Germany’s ability to participate in Nato’s “nuclear-sharing” arrangement, whereby US nuclear weapons are kept on European bases, ready for deployment by European planes. In the case of Germany, that task is currently performed by Tornado planes, which means any replacement needs to be technically capable as well as certified by the US to carry American nuclear warheads.

Some analysts doubt the Eurofighter could win that certification before the 85-strong Tornado fleet is phased out, a process that is expected to start in 2025. In the case of the F-18, there are no such doubts.











Did hear s rumour from buddy in USAFE , (not substantiated) either a Super Horent or Growler was doing the rounds in Germany post ILA. As in Luftwaffe crews experiencing / evaluating the -18.

Laughingly at ILA 2018 there wasn’t F/A-18E and EA-18G on static (my photo below).




also think Boeing pitching the F-15E as well for the Luftwaffe ?

At ILA we discussed NATO nuclear commitment et al especially with Belgium 🇧🇪 et voila soon afterrwards they picked the F-35. Figured 🇩🇪 be next in line to be the bride.

Cheers
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 07:00
  #11705 (permalink)  
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https://www.defensenews.com/global/e...place-tornado/

Germany officially knocks F-35 out of competition to replace Tornado

COLOGNE, Germany ― Germany’s Ministry of Defence has officially ruled out the F-35 joint strike fighter as a choice to replace its aging Tornado fleet, Defense News has learned. An official from the ministry confirmed that the F-35 is not a finalist in the competition, which seeks a replacement for the 90-jet fleet. The news was first reported by German site AugenGeradeaus......

However, the decision leaves open the question of certification for nuclear weapons. The Typhoon is not certified to carry the American-made nuclear bombs that Germany, as part of its strategic posture, is supposed to be able to carry on its jets......

Before the German MoD confirmed that the F-35 was officially out of the running, Reuters on Thursday reported that the ministry was considering splitting the buy between the Typhoon and either the F-35 or Super Hornet. Ordering both the Typhoon and an American aircraft would make it easier to continue carrying out the NATO nuclear mission, while also lending support to the European industrial base. However, it could complicate logistics, adding more expense and forcing the German air force to maintain two supply chains.

It is worth noting that despite complaints about the cost of keeping the ageing Tornados flying, keeping around a certain number of them always has been considered a painful, but not impossible, proposition among some defense experts. That is especially the case for the nuclear mission.

“There does not have to be a nuclear Tornado replacement,” Karl-Heinz Kamp, president of the Federal Academy for Security Policy, a government think tank, told Defense News last August. He noted that any German government is acutely averse to the publicity surrounding Berlin’s would-be atomic bombers. “That’s why they will keep flying the Tornados, despite the price tag and despite having asked about a Eurofighter nuclear certification in Washington,” Kamp predicted at the time......

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Old 2nd Feb 2019, 14:30
  #11706 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Buster15 View Post
​​​​​​Well no wonder it is selling so well.
Just remember. It is 5th Generation and it is stealthy.
Indeed! Capabilities that allow previous flight profiles/skill sets to be consigned to the dustbin of obsolescence.
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Old 2nd Feb 2019, 17:10
  #11707 (permalink)  
 
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The German move is not surprising. An F-35 buy would be damaging to domestic industry, with little remaining industrial participation to be had, and politically speaking the US brand is not in favor these days, even if Tariff Man has backed away from his threats for now. Nor is it a good time to promote the importance of the nuclear sharing program, as INF comes apart. A ministerial-level pronouncement removes the F-35 hot potato from the source selection process.
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Old 5th Feb 2019, 14:21
  #11708 (permalink)  
 
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The just released Pentagon's OT&E report for 2018 suggests that the service life of F35B may be as low as 2100 hrs in addition to highlighting ongoing reliability, cyber vulnerability and ALIS issues.
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Old 5th Feb 2019, 15:17
  #11709 (permalink)  
 
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Some really interesting things in there indeed, well aside from the outstanding F35 airframe life; sorry when was it meant to remain in service until again?



etc,etc,etc..
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Old 6th Feb 2019, 06:14
  #11710 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by cheifofdefence View Post
The just released Pentagon's OT&E report for 2018 suggests that the service life of F35B may be as low as 2100 hrs in addition to highlighting ongoing reliability, cyber vulnerability and ALIS issues.
It might make more sense about the early production faults, repairs and modifications. When read as a whole
"Assessment - For all variants, this testing has led to discoveries requiring repairs and modifications to production designs, some as late as Lot 12 aircraft, and retrofits to fielded aircraft.

- Based on durability testing, the service life of early-production F-35B aircraft is well under the expected service life of 8,000 flight hours, and may be as low as 2,100 flight hours. Fleet F-35B aircraft are expected to start reaching their service life limit in CY26, based on design usage. The JPO will continue to use Individual Aircraft Tracking (IAT) of actual usage to help the Services project changes in timing for required repairs and modifications, and aid in Fleet Life Management.

- For the F-35C, expected service life will be determined from the durability and damage tolerance analysis following tear down."
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 15:13
  #11711 (permalink)  
 
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Second Round Of F-35 Maintenance Work Contracted

More work for Sealand.

On Aviation Week:-

Having secured the lion’s share of the first round of contracts, British industry has also grabbed a significant proportion of work in the second, British government officials have confirmed. This will lead to the creation of additional jobs at Sealand Support Services Limited (SSSL), the joint venture established between BAE Systems Northrop Grummanand the Defense Electronics and Components Agency (DECA). It will carry out the component repair work at its facility in Sealand, Wales, to support European operators of the aircraft.

The MRO work is due to start at Sealand in 2021. The additional work is said to be worth around £500 million ($643.6 million).
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Old 18th Feb 2019, 06:50
  #11712 (permalink)  
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https://nationalinterest.org/blog/bu...-history-44742

The F-35 is Set to Receive the Deadliest (and Most Expensive) Software Patch in History

.......”
An earlier GAO cost estimate of $3.9 billion for Block 4 implementation was revealed to have quadrupled to $16 billion in hearing in March 2018: $10.8 billion for development and testing, and $5.4 billion for procurement of the upgrades. And according to an analysis on Defense-Aerospace, even $16 billion is likely inadequate.

Meanwhile, though the Pentagon has begun outlaying hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for Block 4 development, it doesn’t have the funding to pay for it all—even though foreign F-35 partners are on the hook to pay $3.7 billion in development costs, whether or not they procure Block 4.

The programs costs several times exceed the threshold for designation as a “Major Defense Acquisition Program,” leading the Government Accountability Office recommended that Block 4 be peeled off into a separate MDAP. However, the F-35’s Joint Program Office objected, not wanting to disrupt its management of the F-35. A Congressional vote in 2017 affirmed the JPO’s position.

Block 4, which also goes by the name Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2), will take place in four six-month phases numbered 4.1 through 4.4 with some development occurring concurrently—an approach which has caused problems in the F-35. For example, many software upgrades are predicated on hardware that is itself still under development, meaning integration difficulties are likely to impose delays.........”

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Old 18th Feb 2019, 08:43
  #11713 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/bu...-history-44742

The F-35 is Set to Receive the Deadliest (and Most Expensive) Software Patch in History

.......”
An earlier GAO cost estimate of $3.9 billion for Block 4 implementation was revealed to have quadrupled to $16 billion in hearing in March 2018: $10.8 billion for development and testing, and $5.4 billion for procurement of the upgrades. And according to an analysis on Defense-Aerospace, even $16 billion is likely inadequate.

Meanwhile, though the Pentagon has begun outlaying hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for Block 4 development, it doesn’t have the funding to pay for it all—even though foreign F-35 partners are on the hook to pay $3.7 billion in development costs, whether or not they procure Block 4.

The programs costs several times exceed the threshold for designation as a “Major Defense Acquisition Program,” leading the Government Accountability Office recommended that Block 4 be peeled off into a separate MDAP. However, the F-35’s Joint Program Office objected, not wanting to disrupt its management of the F-35. A Congressional vote in 2017 affirmed the JPO’s position.

Block 4, which also goes by the name Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2), will take place in four six-month phases numbered 4.1 through 4.4 with some development occurring concurrently—an approach which has caused problems in the F-35. For example, many software upgrades are predicated on hardware that is itself still under development, meaning integration difficulties are likely to impose delays.........”

I find it difficult to comprehend the logic for "spending money" on software for hardware that hasn't been tested or certified and in some cases apparently doesn't even exist.

How mental is that.
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Old 18th Feb 2019, 10:45
  #11714 (permalink)  
 
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The upgrade plan was software every 2 years and hardware every 4, through the life of the F-35.
When the development price rose, the MOU had fixed investment from the partners and wasn't of a great concern, as the US stood the increase.. The software cost upgrades are another story and as far as I remember and unless it has been changed. The MOU has the software cost, divided by the number of tails you have. This rise affects all the partners equally as much per tail, as the US
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Old 18th Feb 2019, 11:38
  #11715 (permalink)  
 
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My recollections may be out of date, but in addition to golder's post above, the software upgrades were per-tail even if you didn't want or need the change and even encompassed software 'features' that you may really really want but are 'locked-out' from using if you are a non-US customer.

There was a solid foundation for this plan as it reduces whole-life costs by keeping a common standard. We (the UK) have had a nasty habit of skipping block upgrades and painting ourselves into an expensive corner or dead-end somewhere down the line. Programs with a more locked-in cycle (eg C-17) have delivered more capability at less long-term cost.

It is a bit galling to have to pay for something you are prevented from using and irritating to the extreme when capabilities you were expecting at ISD are kicked down the road and become something you have to pay for again as an 'upgrade'. Nobody had a better idea though.

Block 4 will be the first real peek at the shape of things to come. When you look at the money required for later blocks you could be in the situation where a cash-strapped minor F-35A user just cannot absorb the cost bulge and trades aircraft for a smaller bill. For countries that split their orders with a minor buy first and a well-meaning intent to purchase more F-35s later can find that a major depth servicing bill + block airframe changes + major software block update that also necessitates a weapons update / weapons buy, can make one heck of a bow-wave.

Anyone who questions the development and production costs of this aircraft is either naive or easily distracted by the cost growth. In the scheme of this program these genuinely jaw-dropping costs are dwarfed by the schizophrenic elephant in the room clutching the F-35 through-life costs with his manipulative long nose.

European tactical air is under serious threat without a shot being fired.
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Old 18th Feb 2019, 23:16
  #11716 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, it's per tail whether you want the group upgrade or not. In general terms the partners get together and decide on upgrades through the JPO. I don't know how much the FMS have to say. I would think the US has the last word.
This is separate to the self funding of the integration of a weapon system etc. That the payer has control of sales and costs. An example being the Meteor or ASRAAM or the Israeli plug n play EW

I'm going to need a link to the partners paying for software they are locked out of. I think that may fall under the old 'kill switch' and degraded stealth myths.

I'm pretty sure the foibles of the US procurement system was known to everyone, before they signed up. It would also include the recent and future FMS buyers. This isn't the first rodeo with the US system.

Last edited by golder; 18th Feb 2019 at 23:42.
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Old 19th Feb 2019, 01:22
  #11717 (permalink)  
 
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JTO is right.

Block 4/C2D2 is going to be entertaining as the international customer governments (whose F-35 project offices have been singing them the company song for years) turn over the MAKE GENERAL REPAIRS ON ALL YOUR HOUSES card, and find out that they have to pay for not only the new processors, but the new EO-DAS, the new EOTS, new CNI, the new... whatever. Because eventually the S/W that rides on the TR3 will expect to see that new H/W. Not to mention the updates to the US-domiciled, US-controlled reprogramming labs that they've paid for.

By the way, this is not a bug but a feature.
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Old 19th Feb 2019, 06:00
  #11718 (permalink)  
 
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AFAIK, it is a per tail cost and is right. The block 4 JPO software/hardware is available to all users. What is in question is the "the partners paying for software they are locked out of". It needs to be confirmed from a reliable source, or it's just a myth.

Reprogramming labs are individually determined by the user for their area of operations, for what is needed and done at that nations cost. UK, AU and CA have a joint funded lab programme.
http://www.australiandefence.com.au/...-for-lightning
In the US a software reprogramming laboratory is also under construction, which will support JSF aircraft from Australia, Canada (should Canada eventually purchase the F-35) and the UK. Known as the ACURL (Australia, Canada, UK Reprogramming Laboratory), the facility is adjacent to a similar USRL (for the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps) and NIRL (for Norway and Italy). A further reprogramming laboratory will support the remaining partner nations and FMS customers at NAS Point Mugu in California.

“We have Australians operating at Eglin right now, albeit in temporary facilities, learning how the various reprogramming tools work and at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, they are building the tools that will be installed in our laboratory next year,” AVM Gordon explained.

Defence has recently signed contracts with SRC Australia to produce data sets for operational missions for the F-35 and to help deliver the Ghosthawk mission support system, which will be used to produce trusted mission data sets.

“Ghosthawk is a tool that will allow Air Force and the ADF to manage its intelligence mission data, and support the generation of the mission data files that each of the platforms will need to operate,” AVM Gordon added. “In particular, it will allow us to feed mission data to the ACURL.”

Read more at http://www.australiandefence.com.au/...tBOHrzQBxB3.99

Last edited by golder; 19th Feb 2019 at 06:33.
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Old 19th Feb 2019, 08:04
  #11719 (permalink)  
 
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Golder, I don't play the 'provide me a link to prove it' game as you are free to ignore or disregard what I have written. I don't mind as you don't know me; those on the forum who do will have already judged my experience, background and integrity.

If you are genuinely interested as to how this situation has come to pass and why F-35 is not unique in this regard you could read the US export laws on 'significant military equipment' that exist to ensure the US will retain their technological advantage. Where the US has a desire to export 'significant military equipment' to other nations and Congress consents then it has to put in place mitigation systems (eg interposer), locked-down LRUs and/or encrypted databuses and physical inspections of exported equipment and US-directed security arrangements.

No fairies will die if you don't believe me.
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Old 19th Feb 2019, 08:23
  #11720 (permalink)  
 
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"No fairies will die if you don't believe me"

No, but AV's will be suiciding when posted to Zeeland!
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