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The F-35 thread, Mk II

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The F-35 thread, Mk II

Old 17th Nov 2020, 07:37
  #261 (permalink)  
 
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" I am just really uncomfortable with selling the Arab world a bunch of tier 1 shiny kit..... History shows us that it doesn't take much to fall out with countries that were once allies, and there's a lot of that history in the Middle East."


No-one has mentioned all those shiny Tomcats sold to the Shah.................... but it's all politics - a few aircraft aren't going to suddenly make the UAE a major force in anyway




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Old 30th Nov 2020, 11:07
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3 more F35s being delivered across the pond as we speak.
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Old 30th Nov 2020, 18:48
  #263 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
No-one has mentioned all those shiny Tomcats sold to the Shah.................... but it's all politics - a few aircraft aren't going to suddenly make the UAE a major force in anyway
I seem to remember stories after the Shah fell that - after the US support personnel left - the Iranian AF suddenly discovered none of their fancy F-14s were flight worthy. Apparently there was some critical component that mysteriously went missing from all the aircraft .

Unless they did a huge inventory of spares, I doubt any fast jet would remain serviceable very long if the supply chain was cut.
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Old 30th Nov 2020, 21:31
  #264 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tdracer
I seem to remember stories after the Shah fell that - after the US support personnel left - the Iranian AF suddenly discovered none of their fancy F-14s were flight worthy. Apparently there was some critical component that mysteriously went missing from all the aircraft .

Unless they did a huge inventory of spares, I doubt any fast jet would remain serviceable very long if the supply chain was cut.
Afaik, there were a handful that remained viable for the Khomeini regime, serving as a mini AWACS for the Gulf hot spots.
Iran initially bought 80, so they could cannibalize for quite a while.
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Old 1st Dec 2020, 00:32
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3 x new F-35B leaving Gander with a Voyager on delivery to RAF Marham.

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Old 1st Dec 2020, 08:23
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Originally Posted by tdracer
I seem to remember stories after the Shah fell that - after the US support personnel left - the Iranian AF suddenly discovered none of their fancy F-14s were flight worthy. Apparently there was some critical component that mysteriously went missing from all the aircraft .

Unless they did a huge inventory of spares, I doubt any fast jet would remain serviceable very long if the supply chain was cut.
They were flying during their little fracas with Iraq in the 80s. If memory serves, there was also a crackdown on spares sales (and museum pieces) in the US in the nineties and noughties as some of the more critical items were finding their way to the only other operator. It may also explain the indecent haste with which the AMARC fleet was scrapped - leaving only 10 there now.
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Old 1st Dec 2020, 18:21
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Another better video of the landings at Gander:

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Old 1st Dec 2020, 18:46
  #268 (permalink)  
 
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https://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewto...757&hilit=iran

Some cracking shots of the Iranian F-14s from 2 years ago...
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Old 2nd Dec 2020, 16:22
  #269 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
" I am just really uncomfortable with selling the Arab world a bunch of tier 1 shiny kit..... History shows us that it doesn't take much to fall out with countries that were once allies, and there's a lot of that history in the Middle East."
No-one has mentioned all those shiny Tomcats sold to the Shah.................... but it's all politics - a few aircraft aren't going to suddenly make the UAE a major force in anyway
But Asturias, they (the Tomcats) weren't sold to Arabs, they were sold to Persians.
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Old 2nd Dec 2020, 22:14
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50
But Asturias, they (the Tomcats) weren't sold to Arabs, they were sold to Persians.
That actually makes sense, Iran was graduating 10x as many students in basic mechanical and engineering disciplines than all of the Arab countries together 10 years ago, if you believe the UN statistics.
I doubt things have changed much since.
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Old 2nd Dec 2020, 23:09
  #271 (permalink)  
 
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Latest F-35 delivery facts and figures:

https://www.f35.com/assets/uploads/d...ember_2020.pdf

Note that a F-35B is now 30% more expensive than a F-35A so perhaps the mix deliberations will return for the balance of the UK order in the 49 > 138 range.
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Old 5th Dec 2020, 09:06
  #272 (permalink)  
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https://www.defensenews.com/congress...stration-ends/

‘Possible’ UAE F-35 deal can be inked before Trump administration ends, says top arms officials

WASHINGTON — A top arms sale official believes it is “possible” to get the United Arab Emirates on contract to purchase the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter before the end of the Trump administration.

Speaking to reporters Friday, Heidi Grant, the head of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, acknowledged that such a timeline is logistically feasible but noted it would likely require quick action from the UAE.

“If you ask if it’s possible, absolutely it’s possible,” Grant said in response to a question about whether the F-35s could be on contract by Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated. “But we don’t control it. We are waiting on the Congress benchmark, then we are going to wait when we offer it to the Emiratis, and it’s up to them as far as timeline. But it’s possible.”

The “Congress benchmark” Grant mentioned is the end of the congressional notification period required by law for all Foreign Military Sales offers. The DSCA notified Congress of the potential sale on Nov. 10, meaning the notification period will end next week.

FMS cases are agreements between a partner nation and Washington, with the Pentagon acting as a go-between for the purchaser and the industrial partner. That means the next step after the notification period ends is the crafting and signing of a letter of agreement between the UAE and the U.S., said R. Clarke Cooper, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs.

“That is a bilateral process between the United States and the UAE, so that does not have a particularly set timeline,” Cooper said. “Obviously when we work on LOAs, in any case, the partners would certainly like to see them sooner than later, but that does not have date specificity.”

The UAE is seeking a massive $23.37 billion arms package, which includes up to 50 F-35A fighters worth $10.4 billion, 18 MQ-9B drones worth $2.97 billion, and $10 billion worth of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions. Those dollar totals are estimates and may shift during final negotiations, but it still represents a massive win for American industry — and a political fight on Capitol Hill.....
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Old 10th Dec 2020, 08:08
  #273 (permalink)  
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https://www.defensenews.com/global/e...lls-lawmakers/

British F-35 buy is still a moving target, defense ministry tells lawmakers

LONDON – British Ministry of Defence officials have confirmed the military will buy more than the 48 F-35B combat jets already on order, but they were reluctant to be drawn on exactly when and how many aircraft may eventually be involved when they gave evidence to the parliamentary Defence committee Dec 8.

The number and profile of a future order will in part be decided by the outcome of assessment work the British are doing on their future combat air strategy, Air Marshal Richard Knighton, the deputy chief of the defense staff for capability, told the committee hearing.

“We know we need to increase the number of F-35Bs to support the [Royal Navy] carrier through to its out-of-service date. The precise number will dependent a bit on the work we do and the investment we are making on the FCAS,” he said, referring to the UK-led Tempest program. “We expect to make a definitive judgement around the total future fleet in the 2025 timeframe,” Knighton added.

Britain originally committed to buy 138 of the Lockheed Martin short take-off vertical landing combat jets to equip a joint force of Royal Navy/Royal Air Force aircraft. The F-35Bs are principally scheduled to equip two new 65,000 tonne aircraft carriers. Knighton said the final number could be up to the 138 commitment, or less. “We need to do the analysis and work to ensure we get the right number,” he told the committee.

To date the British have ordered 48 of the jets. So far 21 have been delivered, with the remaining aircraft under contract due to be delivered by 2025.

The first of the carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is scheduled to make its first operational deployment next year to the Indian Ocean with a mix of British and U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs onboard.

The British plan to only deploy one carrier at any given time due to a lack of resources. Some 24 jets are expected to be the full complement of fighters on board even though senior Royal Navy officers have said the ships could operate with up to 72 jets at a squeeze.

Knighton said the British “will be able to operate up to 24 aircaft from 2023 onwards, that’s been the milestone for some time. If we want to order aircraft to be delivered in the later part of the decade we will need to allocate some of the funding that we anticipate [being available] to do that. That is part of the analysis and thinking that we are doing with ministers at the moment.”

Defence committee chairman Tobias Ellwood commented on the small number of jets the British plan to operate from the carriers, saying: “We are going to end up with a fantastic looking aircraft carrier, very bespoke aircraft, but not many of them onboard.”

Sir Stephen Lovegrove, the permanent secretary at the MoD, told the committee that while it was certain Britain would order more jets it wouldn’t be anytime soon.

“It’s inevitable we are going to buy more than 48 jets, otherwise we won’t be able to operate the carriers probably. Not for the next four years, though, it’s about the 48 [jets on order]. There are certainly plans and conversation with Lockheed Martin about the future purchases, we just haven’t got to the stage of contract yet,” said Lovegrove.

The permanent secretary, the MoD’s top civil servant, suggested the aircraft wouldn’t be available quickly even if Britain had the funds to buy them.

“Even if tomorrow we discover the magic money tree and we decided we wanted to buy 200 F-35B we couldn’t get them just like that anyway. They take forever to manufacture, we will make our orders when they are available,” he said.

Other take-aways from the committee hearings included MoD permanent secretary Sir Stephen revealing that Defence Secretary Ben Wallace is to make a statement soon outlining program cuts ahead of publication of the government’s integrated strategy review set for publication in late January.

The government recently announced a £16 billion increase in MoD funding over the four years starting in April 2021, much of that will go to equipment and other capital programs. Despite that, Lovegrove signaled there were some painful cuts coming to programs that don’t support the government’s swing towards cyber, space , underwater and other high-tech programs and away from legacy platforms.

Lovegrove said the time for “sentimentality” was over on legacy programs. There were some “difficult decisions to be made” in what he termed “disinvestment.”......
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Old 10th Dec 2020, 11:24
  #274 (permalink)  
 
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So the next legacy platform to be disinvestmented (sp) is.......
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Old 16th Dec 2020, 17:20
  #275 (permalink)  
 
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Article & photos on Flight Global.

F-22, F-35A and XQ-58A attempt airborne data sharing via gatewayONE

Intro:-
The US Air Force’s (USAF’s) Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, F-35A Lightning II and the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Kratos Defense XQ-58A Valkyrie flew in formation for the first time on 9 December at the US Army Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.

The formation flight was part of an attempted demonstration of data transmission between all three aircraft. The F-22 and F-35A successfully shared data using a novel technology called “gatewayONE”, but the XQ-58A was unable to link up, the USAF said on 14 December.
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Old 16th Dec 2020, 21:28
  #276 (permalink)  
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Looking at the larger export I’d assume at least a couple of ground nodes and at least one airborne node during the datalink/data format translations.

https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Disp...r-to-iotmil-d/
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Old 30th Dec 2020, 11:58
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IOC declared for RAAF F-35 fleet

Two years after the first F-35A arrived in Australia the RAAF has declared Initial Operating Capability. The 30th was accepted in September. The UK is scheduled to have 27 by the end of 2021 and declared IOC with 9 available for deployment. Different priorities and methodologies? The RAAF should have received all 72 on order by the end of 2023.

I believe the second operational squadron (77) should form early in 2021, the RAAF have a training squadron (2 OCU) at Williamtown but in October (at least) still had a presence with the 61st FS at Luke AFB which included 5 RAAF F-35As. The RAAF will have 6 Full Mission Simulators at Williamtown and another 4 due at Tindal in 2021, I understand they can all be networked together.

Defence Minister, Linda Reynolds CSC and Defence Industry Minister, Melissa Price have announced a major milestone in the transformation of the Royal Australian Air Force declaring Australia’s F-35A Lightning II fleet can now be deployed on operations, with Initial Operational Capability being officially achieved.
...
“For the last two years, Defence has rigorously tested the F-35A fleet to assess aircraft and system performance, and declare this important milestone,” Minister Reynolds added.

“The Australian Defence Force now has an F-35A squadron ready to conduct technologically advanced strike and air combat roles, and another squadron dedicated to providing world-class training here in Australia.
From one version of the story which can be found here:
https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/st...aaf-f-35-fleet

Last edited by SLXOwft; 30th Dec 2020 at 15:48. Reason: missing word and excessive ells
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Old 30th Dec 2020, 12:45
  #278 (permalink)  
 
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But why is the (relatively) new F-35 being offered to such a wide range of somewhat dubious foreign clients when the F-22 was never offered to anyone - even Israel !

Is it just a generational thing, with the Raptor’s tech being so much more advanced for its day, or is there still something really special about that jet ?
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Old 30th Dec 2020, 14:10
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At the time (early 2000's the F-35 was supposed to be in service soon (hah!) and was also supposed to be cheaper and slightly less tech.

Although a few people enquired no-one really pursued it - the Australian's found it couldn't do support and strike and they couldn't afford TWO new designs, the cost was so eye watering it would have broken the Japanese budget

The Israelis of course were keen ... but not if they had to pay the real cost

Another point was that TBH there weren't any adversaries that required such a high end aircraft in the period 1990 - 2010 - its a great piece of kit but the cost was too much even for the USA
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Old 15th Jan 2021, 08:13
  #280 (permalink)  
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https://breakingdefense.com/2021/01/...e-cycle-costs/

NGAD Could Replace F-35 Program


WASHINGTON: The F-35 fighter jet’s exorbitant life-cycle costs means the Air Force cannot afford to buy as many aircraft as it needs to fight and win a war today, which makes the Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program all the more important, says outgoing Air Force acquisition czar Will Roper.

“I think the F-35 program is a long way from being at a sustainment point that we need. I think it’s a long way from being an affordable fighter that we can buy in bulk,” he told reporters today.

“That’s the reason why Next-Generation Air Dominance is so important to the Air Force,” he said. “It doesn’t just represent a next-generation fighter with bells and whistles that we will need in warfighting. It doesn’t just represent a completely different acquisition paradigm. It also represents a chance to design an airplane that is more sustainable than the F-35 if, in fact, the F-35 cannot get its cost-per-flying-hour down.”

Roper would not be drawn on whether the Air Force was considering downsizing it plan to build a total inventory of 1,763 F-35s — with the Air Force requesting 48 aircraft in 2021, and planning to ask for the same annual buy for the foreseeable future, according to a study last month by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “But what I can say is we’re not at the sustainment price point we need to be for a very large fleet. So, the next few years are critical for the F 35 program,” he added.

He seemed to suggest that, all things considered, perhaps the answer is to turn to NGAD to more rapidly build a wartime-fit fighter fleet.........
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