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USN cannot fly F-35C Lightning II engines to ships

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USN cannot fly F-35C Lightning II engines to ships

Old 30th Nov 2010, 18:56
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USN cannot fly F-35C Lightning II engines to ships

DefenseNews, November 29 2010

The jet engine of the F-35C, the naval variant of the Lightning II strike fighter, can't be transported by normal means to U.S. aircraft carriers at sea.

Pratt & Whitney's F135 jet engine can be broken up into five parts for transport, but the heaviest, the power module in its protective case and atop its special trailer, won't fit inside the Navy's C-2 Greyhound or the Marine Corps' V-22 Osprey, the program office acknowledged in a response to a query from Defense News' sister publication Navy Times.
And from the "No Sh*t, Sherlock" department

"That is a huge challenge that we currently have right now," Capt. Chris Kennedy of the JSF program office said in September at the 2010 Tailhook Symposium in Reno, Nev.
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 19:13
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Don't you chaps do VERTREPs with big helicopters?
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 19:53
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The JSF Program Office says the V-22, along with the MH-53E helicopter, can carry the F135 engine module in an external sling at least 288 miles "in good weather."

But the Navy has no fleet V-22s and has no plans to acquire them. The Marine Corps flies the MV-22, but the Navy amphibious groups that carry its forces and aircraft to distant shores generally do not operate near carrier strike groups.
"OK boys from now on, no carrier strike groups can operate more than 288 miles from the coastline"


(and throw into the mix the problem that the V-22 has with hovering over a carrier flight deck)
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 20:12
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So the report on trials landing a C-130 on USS Forrestal back in the '60s will be getting dusted off...

YouTube - Hercules on an Aircraft carrier
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 21:23
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Going by the whining about losing skills after a gap of close to 10 years I'm sure they must have forgotten everything after 45.
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 21:44
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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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Old 1st Dec 2010, 16:50
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Have you seen the size of some containers for munitions and FIAM?

All done to Defstan or Milspec (protect against all sorts of shock and transport damage) and in general that means providing some form of energy abosrption and rigidity. That tends to mean weight, which unless you go for something exotic, like composites or unobtanium tends to mean ally or steel and therefore relatively high weight.
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Old 2nd Dec 2010, 16:29
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Jet Engine Transfer at Sea

I have no clue where they come up with the idea that it is normal practise to transfer jet engines by COD. As GK121 points out the normal mode is via UNREP, which was a little interesting because you had to bring the ships in fairly close (2/3 normal distance) to effect the transfer because of weight. We did carry fewer engines than the old days but they seem to be getting more reliable.
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Old 2nd Dec 2010, 16:39
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How about they take it out of the box at the airfield and then put it back in a spare box when it gets to the carrier.

Dear USN, PM me for my bank account details.
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Old 2nd Dec 2010, 20:01
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You assume that the internals of all Cargo aircraft are as well padded as your cell.
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Old 2nd Dec 2010, 20:21
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Just a thought, How about wrapping engines in shrink wrap and spraying them in polystyrene. Lightweight and impact protection
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Old 2nd Dec 2010, 21:42
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Why does the container weigh so much? because when you drop it in the oging and recover it the engine is still usable in its sealed container, even if it sinks.
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Old 2nd Dec 2010, 22:48
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I don't see what the problem is, can't they ferry on one donkey?
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 11:04
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F35 Ferry

Yes a F-35 ferries very well on one donk. It's when it's -1 that problems occur!

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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 16:56
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Perhaps they should just make sure that there are a number on board before leaving port?
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 17:46
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Originally Posted by moggiee
Perhaps they should just make sure that there are a number on board before leaving port?
Ah, but that's not Lean you see; you'll have the sensei's rolling in their collective shrines!!! If you have them all on the ship, you won't need to have a Logistics organisation available to make sure the humongous supply crates are kept ship-shape and bristol-fashion; mmm, hang on ..................
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