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The F-35 thread, Mk II

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The F-35 thread, Mk II

Old 3rd Mar 2021, 13:29
  #301 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
https://www.snafu-solomon.com/2021/0...-via-navy.html

Delivering an F-35C power module via a Navy CMV-22B Osprey
It (just) fits!

The first picture is the first time I've really appreciated the size of the extra fuel sponsors on the CMV-22.
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Old 6th Mar 2021, 06:54
  #302 (permalink)  
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Lest you think the change of administration has altered the move away from the F-35 in Washington...

https://www.defensenews.com/congress...ut-our-losses/


Ripping F-35 costs, House Armed Services chairman looks to ‘cut our losses’

WASHINGTON ― The House Armed Services Committee chairman railed at the expensive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on Friday, saying he wants to “stop throwing money down that particular rathole,” ― just days after the Air Force said it too is looking at other options.

“What does the F-35 give us? And is there a way to cut our losses? Is there a way to not keep spending that much money for such a low capability because, as you know, the sustainment costs are brutal,” Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said a Brookings event.

Air Force officials recently said they are conducting a study to find the best mix of fighters including Lockheed Martin’s F-35, Boeing’s F-15EX and a replacement for the service’s oldest F-16s. Smith was thinking along similar lines.

“What I’m going to try to do is figure out how we can get a mix of fighter-attack aircraft that’s the most cost effective. And I am telling you right now a big part of that is finding something that doesn’t make us have to rely on the F-35 for the next 35 years,” he said.......

While the F-35 was designed to replace the F-16 — among several other aircraft variants — Air Force officials said this month they were exploring less expensive options, including buying new F-16s from Lockheed, evaluating low-cost tactical drones and pursuing a clean-sheet fighter, as described by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown in February.

In broader remarks emphasizing more modest, cost-effective goals for the military, Smith said Congress must “seriously scrub” the Pentagon’s big-ticket weapons programs. Though Smith holds a powerful job, the F-35 enjoys strong support in Congress, and the lawmaker lamented that the country seems to be locked into the program.

“We have wasted a spectacular amount of money on weapons systems that either haven’t worked at all or who have not lived up to their promise,” Smith said. “The failure we wind up tolerating is failure on a massive freaking scale. Think F-35.”......
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Old 6th Mar 2021, 07:11
  #303 (permalink)  
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Not directly about the F-35, more directed at Australian defence posture and the fact the threat has changed.

https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-in...matic-purchase

Australiaís F-35s: Lessons from a problematic purchase

In a startling statement reported this month, two recent Air Force chiefs assert Australia has made some grave force structure errors. It seems the RAAF needs a new bomber, as the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter now entering service is inadequate for future strike operations. The chiefsí intervention raises questions about how this could have happened and, given growing international tensions, how such expensive strategic missteps can be avoided......
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Old 6th Mar 2021, 14:12
  #304 (permalink)  
 
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Salute!

Do not forget that the U.S. Chair of the Armed Services Cmte represents a company that competes with LM, and the F-35 is replacing one plane that company makes. Surely there can be no hint of bias, much less actual tactical employment experience or ignorance huh?

He's talking about "cost effective". What you need to be looking for is "combat effective". I have to remind him that in actual combat, there ain't no points for second place. USAF and USN and a host of nations are keeping plenty of 4th generation systems around for a long time. It's the near peer or better threats that the F-35 is intended to handle. Results at Red Flag seem to show it will do just fine in combat.

...Gums sends...
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Old 6th Mar 2021, 14:55
  #305 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Not directly about the F-35, more directed at Australian defence posture and the fact the threat has changed.

https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-in...matic-purchase

Australiaís F-35s: Lessons from a problematic purchase

In a startling statement reported this month, two recent Air Force chiefs assert Australia has made some grave force structure errors. It seems the RAAF needs a new bomber, as the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter now entering service is inadequate for future strike operations. The chiefsí intervention raises questions about how this could have happened and, given growing international tensions, how such expensive strategic missteps can be avoided......
Itís not a force structure error so much as strategic environment has changed.

even if the RAAF bought a couple of squadrons of B21, they would still need 100(+) fighters.

the classic hornet is getting long in the tooth, and frankly is not competitive against peer/near-peer threats.

what fighter would you have had the buy to replace the classic instead?
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 01:03
  #306 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by flighthappens View Post
the classic hornet is getting long in the tooth, and frankly is not competitive against peer/near-peer threats.

what fighter would you have had the buy to replace the classic instead?
Classic hornet is gone from RAAF service. RAAF will be super hornets / growlers and F-35's

buying anything more now would probably be a bad move, only way is if there is something modern that has a way cheaper per hour than both the F-35 and super hornet, maybe buying / leasing some of them.
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Old 7th Mar 2021, 03:09
  #307 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rattman View Post
Classic hornet is gone from RAAF service. RAAF will be super hornets / growlers and F-35's

buying anything more now would probably be a bad move, only way is if there is something modern that has a way cheaper per hour than both the F-35 and super hornet, maybe buying / leasing some of them.
1. Classic isnít done. Itís still flying with 75 Sqn at RAAF Tindal (but it will be done soon...)

2. That was the one point. There was (is) no other suitable fighter to replace classic hornet (assuming 5th Gen capes are a driving factor).

3. The other point I was trying to make is that there has been no real strat bomber (or F-111) requirement for the previous 20-30 years. It could (potentially) be argued there is an emerging requirement for this sort of capability. But this isnít a force structure issue (of the argument to replace fighters with bombers) - the fact remains that the F-35 purchase was appropriate at the time, and remains so. If anything the RAAF will need more fighters before they want to buy $500m a pop bombers...
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Old 30th Mar 2021, 15:30
  #308 (permalink)  
 
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On Flight Global:-
F-35B completes sea trials on Italian aircraft carrier ITS Cavour

The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) has delivered a flight clearance recommendation to the Italian navy for safe operation of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II on the aircraft carrier ITS Cavour.

The short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) stealth fighter completed its four-week sea trials in the western Atlantic Ocean on 26 March, the JPO said on 26 March. The aircraft carrier is now docked at Norfolk, Virginia.

“The Cavour sea trials comprised more than 115 ski jump short take offs and 120 vertical landings, plus two vertical take offs,” says the programme office. “These activities were followed by countless hours of data analysis, which yielded information that tells US Marine Corps (USMC) and the Italian navy how to safely conduct F-35B flight operations on Cavour.”
Click the link for remainder of article.
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Old 30th Mar 2021, 15:50
  #309 (permalink)  
 
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The new paint on the “back in the air F117 “ might be useful on the F35 for defeating older radar systems , but how well will it work on the satellite [email protected] detection systems ? If at all ?
We had a fella paint the front of his car with RAM to avoid radar speed traps during his commute, he got caught with the [email protected] speed trap Mk 1 . Then his troubles started because he had installed radar jammers in the front as well . He was given the opportunity to remove it .

Last edited by fitliker; 30th Mar 2021 at 22:25.
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Old 26th Apr 2021, 08:37
  #310 (permalink)  
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A trifecta of issues....

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021...tled-lockheed/


Don’t expect more money’ for additional F-35s in FY22, lawmakers tell an embattled Lockheed

WASHINGTON — Two influential Democrat lawmakers warned on Thursday that they will not support boosting the number of Lockheed Martin-made F-35 joint strike fighters in the upcoming fiscal 2022 budget unless the program makes headway in addressing a laundry list of problems.

“If this program continues to fail to significantly control and reduce actual and projected sustainment costs, we may need to invest in other, more affordable programs and backfill an operational shortfall of potentially over 800 tactical fighters,” said Rep. Donald Norcross, D-N.J., who chairs the House Armed Services Committee’s tactical air and land subcommittee.

“Given the overall affordability concerns that exist within the program, I would not support any requests for additional aircraft beyond what is contained in this year’s president’s budget request,” he said during a hearing on the F-35.

Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., who leads HASC’s readiness subcommittee, doubled down on Norcross’s vow to fight adding extra F-35s to the FY22 budget.

“The program is over budget. It fails to deliver on promised capabilities. And its mission capability rates do not even begin to meet the service thresholds,” Garamendi said. “Industry’s solution to many of these problems is simply to ask the taxpayers to throw money at the problem. That will not happen. The easy days of the past are over.”........

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021...istics-system/

F-35 program office announces a ‘strategic pause’ on new logistics system

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department is pausing its efforts to field replacement software for the F-35′s troubled logistics system due to a lack of funding, the head of the F-35 program office said Thursday......

Fick’s testimony did not address when the program office intends to restart ODIN software development efforts, saying only that the JPO will update its plan based on available funding, inputs from the services and its finalized strategy for migrating from ALIS to ODIN......

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021...-engine-price/


Turkey’s removal from F-35 program to cause hike in engine price

WASHINGTON — The cost of the F-35′s engine is set to increase by 3 percent due to Turkey’s removal from the program in 2019, the head of Pratt & Whitney’s military engines division said Thursday.......

Aside from the forthcoming engine cost increase, the F-35 program is also grappling with difficulties in sustaining the F135 due to a power module shortage.

On April 22, a total of 21 Air Force F-35As were grounded due to engine problems, said Brig. Gen. David Abba, who leads the F-35 integration office. Fifteen of those aircraft would be flyable with engine repairs.......

The F-35 program is beginning to see increased output of F135 power modules due to the arrival of needed support equipment and technical data, Fick said.......

However, because the services will begin conducting 2,000 hour overhaul inductions in 2022, the program office estimates the costs to maintain the F135 will grow over the next five years, Fick stated........


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Old 27th Apr 2021, 02:25
  #311 (permalink)  
 
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Salute!




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Old 27th Apr 2021, 03:58
  #312 (permalink)  
 
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The F-15 and F-16 were a dog's breakfast. So was the legacy FA-18a/b. We could post pallets of papers supporting this position. The F-35 is the current dog's breakfast. Any bets on the US procurement system doing anything different with the next platform?

As has been said, RAAF needs 3+ squadrons of fighters. The F-35 is replacing the legacy Hornet. The F-111 was an obsolete, orphan platform and retired. The RAAF at the time, didn't even want the Super Hornet. Which were purchased as a stop gap. It is deemed the CONOPS doesn't warrant a long range, heavy bomber. That hasn't changed, regardless of what some 'think tank' writes on a wish list.

Last edited by golder; 27th Apr 2021 at 04:13.
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Old 29th Apr 2021, 00:14
  #313 (permalink)  
 
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Anyone old enough to remember the panel access tool which listed at 900 dollars ? Turned out it was just a screwdriver and a clever accounting shuffle to hide the costs involved with some secret projects . I was beginning to suspect the same game was being played with this particular project and any day we are going to see a brand new NGAD that will please everyone except those who have to fight it . But sadly I am beginning to lose faith in the conspiracy theories that would support such an idea and maybe they do not have a secret replacement and this is it .
No manned Super X47 type project , no skunk works black art sub orbit fighter with Particle beam weapons and [email protected] for the new space force , not even hints of a secret production run of newer F22s , just this .
No wonder the enemy is emboldened, or are they being lured into an ambush ?
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Old 30th Apr 2021, 15:17
  #314 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gums View Post
Salute!




Gums sends...
Gums,
Hopefully the Pentagon brass and politicians have learned from the F-35 program what not to do in the future. Too bad they didn't learn from the previous fiasco in attempting to build one aircraft for multiple services and multiple missions in the Kennedy era, it wasn't that long ago. Wait until the bills roll in on keeping F-35s in the air and flying, mission ready as they say...
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Old 1st May 2021, 01:44
  #315 (permalink)  
 
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Good comment, Turbine.

Unlike the F-111. this beast seems to be more capable of meeting the needs of the three services, and the Marines are doing well with their Bees.

The A model seems to be doing well, and I am not clear as to where the logistics line has broken down. I also sense a "Hornet uber alles"" mentality in the U.S. Navy. I flew the Sluf and Viper in their early years and logisitcs problems were apparent. They were solved and both planes went on to do well in combat and otherwise.

I am more worried about the "polyticks" that do not know squat about the procurement and fielding process. I also have a bad feeling about a few military folks that seem to focus on the negative waves. I do not know what they want to meet any threats in the next ten years, but we have to play the cards we are dealt tonight, The F-35 is not anywhere close to the F-111 fiasco. Thus far, the Red Flag results indicate a capable plane for both SEAD and basic air to mud stuff. And then there is the amazing integration of the battlefield situation that is passed to other friendllies. That rascal is worth a few AWACS.

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Old 1st May 2021, 02:47
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Originally Posted by gums View Post
Salute!

Good comment, Turbine.

Unlike the F-111. this beast seems to be more capable of meeting the needs of the three services, and the Marines are doing well with their Bees.

The A model seems to be doing well, and I am not clear as to where the logistics line has broken down. I also sense a "Hornet uber alles"" mentality in the U.S. Navy. I flew the Sluf and Viper in their early years and logisitcs problems were apparent. They were solved and both planes went on to do well in combat and otherwise.

I am more worried about the "polyticks" that do not know squat about the procurement and fielding process. I also have a bad feeling about a few military folks that seem to focus on the negative waves. I do not know what they want to meet any threats in the next ten years, but we have to play the cards we are dealt tonight, The F-35 is not anywhere close to the F-111 fiasco. Thus far, the Red Flag results indicate a capable plane for both SEAD and basic air to mud stuff. And then there is the amazing integration of the battlefield situation that is passed to other friendllies. That rascal is worth a few AWACS.

Gums sends...
Gums, you have the cred to say what you did, and I sincerely hope youíre right. If you are we are in good shape.
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Old 1st May 2021, 10:25
  #317 (permalink)  
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Hi Gums, just some thoughts on a couple of points you raise

Originally Posted by gums View Post
....... He's talking about "cost effective". What you need to be looking for is "combat effective". I have to remind him that in actual combat, there ain't no points for second place. ......
While your comment re 2nd place is agreed 100%, in my experience, "cost effective" includes "combat effectiveness" - or should do!!!! Since the early 2000's here in the UK, it's been very much a case of how cheaply can we deliver a given "punch to the enemy". For example, the UK went down the Integrated Operational Support (IOS) route starting in the 2000's starting with SKIOS and then on into IMOS, Apache IOS, ATTAC and TyTAN (covering Sea King, Merlin, Apache, Tornado and Typhoon) - all with the stated aim of maintaining OC but with significantly reduced support costs. The "bait" was that the savings accruing would, according to "The Master Plan", then be ploughed back into new OC. I don't know how successful that concept has been - the "Master Plan" bit!

...... The A model seems to be doing well, and I am not clear as to where the logistics line has broken down. ............ I flew the Sluf and Viper in their early years and logisitcs problems were apparent. They were solved and both planes went on to do well in combat and otherwise........
Again, good points. However, one could argue that we, certainly in the UK, no longer have the "fat" to cover these ramp-ups and the formal Assumption today seems to be that a platform will reach maturity far more quickly with far fewer issues. By way of example, say in the early 1980's, the UK had 7 fast jet front line Fleets with, approx, 37 Sqdns (there being a lot of change-overs in the late 70's/early 80's it's tricky to count but 37 is what I came up with inc RAF and FAA). Today we have 2 such fleets in 8 Sqdns. Why I believe this is important is that, when a new Fleet is introduced, a greater %age of capability is "turned over" so, when there are teething problems, it has a greater impact on the overall Force OC - more-so where the A/C provides capabilities which were traditionally looked after by, say, ELINT and AWACS fleets - I've not factored that in to my Sqdn/Fleet count!

Re the logistic chain issues, I believe much is to do with problems with ALIS as well as the more traditional Supply Chain glitches. "ALIS integrates a broad range of capabilities including operations, maintenance, prognostics, supply chain, customer support services, training and technical data." (my underline) according to LM. If that is not doing what it should do, that will drive maintenance delays/costs up, particularly if your Assumptions (yep, them again!) are based on that system working perfectly from Day 1 (yep, I know, I know.....!!). Sometimes, the Mil believe the Manufacturers "promises" too literally........... I'm not connected with the F35 today (just a bit of JSF work back in the late '90's) - my last Mil involvement was with Typhoon a couple of years back - so I only have the Press/gossip to work with!

Anyway, just some thoughts to ponder. I guess we all just hope that, for the boys and girls using the kit on the Front Line, it all comes good. After all, a sack full of "Capability" is no good sat on the ground waiting for a small "Widget"!
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Old 1st May 2021, 19:05
  #318 (permalink)  
 
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Salute!

All here from the U.K, and other places must unnerstan the polyticks from one persuasion or the other that wish to use the proles' tax money for their special projects.

The F-35 got a lotta attention due to 1) cost and then 2) some initial problems with parts and engines and mainly logistics problems, not aircraft performance. I do not know what economic school our polyticks went thru, but to develop and field three airplanes on one ticket versus three slightly different planes on three programs is an amazing amount of $$$$. I agree that a dedicated Harrier replacement would have been cheaper than the entire F-35 program, but would only satisfy the need of the USMC. The F-35A and the Navy Cee could have been a straighforward replacement for the Hornet and Viper. Nevertheless, the JSF program did not wind up as the 'vaark program did. The 'vaark was a very good penetration attack plane, and then a super ECM asset. We even had a few of the "G" model to fill in the gap until the Bone came online. If you compare the development costs and the plane's capabilities, the $$ are way less than three separate programs.

The USAF A-7D had many subsytem logistic problems besides the engine problems of the Rolls Spey licensed to Allison. Until we flew to Thailand for actual combat, we would fly without our main radar, projected map, and so forth. Once in Thailand we had access to the "war reserve supply" stuff and walla! We also could get many parts from the USN flying the "E" model from carriers and Subic Bay. Same for the first few year sof the Viper, and for our first full blown inspection we had access to the war time components and one squadron of 24 UE flew over 100 sorties in a 24 hour period, finishing with 20+ FMC birds.

I can go to any operational squadron and show a low FMC percentage if we use things like a broken cover over a certain switch or loss of one mode of the radar or ....... So the folks that want Hornets for 20 more years or billions for a new social program will look for any stat to use. And then there's the bogus cost per flying hour - add in everything you can for development, testing, wages for all the wrenchbenders and aircrew and actual cost of JP-4, then divide by hours flown and whoa! Allowing for inflation, looks to me that the new plane is cheaper per hour than my old, trusty Viper or even my friends' Phantoms.

Oh well, we shall see, but right now I predict a serious slowdown on procurement of the F-35 unless the U.S. polyticks changes in another two years.

Gums sends...
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Old 1st May 2021, 21:36
  #319 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by gums View Post
Salute! All here from the U.K, and other places must unnerstan the polyticks from one persuasion or the other that wish to use the proles' tax money for their special projects......
Oh, agreed there gums!!!! Seen many "pet projects" supported by VSOs which have ultimately failed - but not before said VSOs have become Sir VVSOs! And the same, no doubt in Polyticks - love that connotation by the way!!!

I just don't have access to actual supportability cost figures which, of course, need to be factored as, while one can compare support costs for A/C "A" vs A/C "B", if "B" happens to be far more capable than "A" and can do much of what "C" can do ...... well, it's hard to read across in a meaningful way. Just our decreased force size means that any problems (for whatever reason) during rollouts has much greater impact overall. That's my only point really.

WRT mission criticality, and what constitutes a "S" asset, I'm no longer party to those games and, here in the UK, the F35 is "early days". But if ALIS is as broke as suggested, that won't help the hangar rats (my last but one Contract was back in that world so I can "squeak" with the best!) get the jets out the door by 0630. And the MF704 was "well used" to cover the "broken cover over a certain switch" scenario in other Fleets. And, in times of war, things do happen. But, in peace time, as you say, figures can be manipulated playing games - just I'm not so convinced to date of that happening here in the UK.

Indeed, also here in the UK, it seems difficult to get a commitment as to how many more F35 the UK will buy from anyone I/C ..... so only time will tell. Here I suspect it is more down to real ££££s per frame + support costs ...... as well as changing priorities such as Tempest. So we have our own brand of Polyticks at play!!!!!

But, as you say, "We shall see..........". Let's just hope for the folks on the Front Line, they can get on with with the job in hand safely. And, hopefully, what decisions are made at the top of the tree are for the right reasons - not just to score points or whatever. Fingers crossed, eh!!!!

Cheers, H 'n' H
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Old 3rd May 2021, 10:28
  #320 (permalink)  

 
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News from the MoD

F-35B jets to join the fight against Daesh from the Carrier Strike Group

UK F-35B fighter jets operating from HMS Queen Elizabeth will join Operation Shader in the fight against Daesh.


From:Ministry of Defence and James Heappey MPPublished:3 May 2021


An RAF F-35B fighter jet lands on board HMS Queen Elizabeth

F-35B Lightning fast jets will be the cutting edge of the Carrier Strike Groupís (CSG21) formidable power in the air.

These are next generation multi-role combat aircraft equipped with advanced sensors, mission systems and stealth technology, enabling them to carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tasks.

This will be the first time UK fighter aircraft are embarked on an operational aircraft carrier deployment since 2010, and will be the largest number of F-35Bs ever to sail the seas.

The renowned 617 Squadron RAF (ĎThe Dambustersí) will operate the jets to provide tangible and impactful support to counter-Daesh operations in Iraq and Syria.

If you want to read more, it's at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/f...nt=immediately

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