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The F-35 thread, Mk II

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The F-35 thread, Mk II

Old 23rd Sep 2023, 07:17
  #621 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50
I remember the days when readiness rates of that nature were classified.

regretfully it takes day light to get any serious pressure for improvement

When you look back at availability and accident rates in the '50's thru the '70's people got away with murder
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Old 27th Sep 2023, 07:05
  #622 (permalink)  
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https://www.defensenews.com/air/2023...ground-weapon/

Northrop wins $705 million contract for F-35 air-to-ground weapon

WASHINGTON — The Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a $705 million contract to develop and test a high-speed air-to-ground weapon known as a stand-in attack weapon that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter could wield to destroy enemy targets.

Northrop said Monday that its work on the second phase of the weapon, which is also referred to as SiAW, will take place over the next 36 months in Northridge, California, and the company’s missile integration facility at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in West Virginia.

The work will include further development of the weapon, platform integration, and completing a flight test program so the SiAW can be rapidly prototyped and quickly sent to the field, the company said. A guided vehicle flight test will wrap up the first part of this second phase, and the second part will conclude with three more flight tests and the delivery prototype missiles and test assets.

The Air Force wants this weapon to reach initial operational capability by 2026.

Northrop was one of three companies, including Lockheed Martin and L3Harris, that in May 2022 each received $2 million contracts from the Air Force for the first phase of developing the SiAW.

The Air Force wants this weapon to strike enemy air defense targets on the ground that could be rapidly moved, such as integrated air defense systems, ballistic missile launchers, land-attack and anti-ship cruise missile launchers, GPS jammers, and anti-satellite systems.

A stand-in weapon has a shorter range than standoff weapons, so an F-35 would likely fire the SiAW close to the target after penetrating enemy airspace. A standoff weapon is meant to be fired from further away, beyond the reach of enemy defenses.

The Air Force in recent years has sought to update its aircraft and arsenals to be able to fight in a contested environment against an advanced enemy such as China, and away from the two decades of war in the Middle East which largely took place in uncontested airspace. The service’s work to develop a missile targeting enemy air defenses is another sign of that shift.

Northrop said it will build the SiAW using open architecture, which will allow its subsystems to be quickly upgraded with new capabilities.

A Northrop official told Defense News in June 2022 that the F-35 would have to carry the SiAW within its internal weapons bay to avoid compromising the jet’s stealth capabilities. This would rule out carrying the weapon on an external mount, he said. And he said it is unlikely that the F-22, which has a smaller internal bay, would have enough room to carry the SiAW.

The SiAW program is heavily focused on digital engineering and design, and is the first time the Air Force has had a fully digital weapons acquisition and development program.

“With our expert digital engineering capabilities, this next-generation missile represents an adaptable, affordable way for the Department of Defense to buy and modernize weapons,” Susan Bruce, Northrop’s vice president for advanced weapons, said in the company’s statement.

Northrop said last year that it planned to use its experience from creating the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range, or AARGM-ER, for the Navy and integrating it onto the F-35 as it develops the SiAW.
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Old 27th Sep 2023, 08:38
  #623 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50
I remember the days when readiness rates of that nature were classified.
Ditto. The years producing those on my squadron reports, dang, we should have just posted them out on the power poles for all to see, under the lost reward offered.

It's..... deflating!



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Old 27th Sep 2023, 22:28
  #624 (permalink)  
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BREAKING:

Czechia announces it’s buying 24 F-35 multi-role fighter jets from the U.S. for USD 6.5 billion


Last edited by ORAC; 27th Sep 2023 at 22:42.
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 11:40
  #625 (permalink)  
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BREAKING:

Romania starts the process of buying F-35 multirole fighter jets from the U.S.

The Romanian Defense Ministry today issued a letter to Parliament, asking it to approve the purchase of 48 F-35s.

32 of them would be bought in a first batch for USD 6.5 billion.

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/w...llion-Ministry
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 12:23
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Originally Posted by ORAC
BREAKING: Czechia announces it’s buying 24 F-35 multi-role fighter jets from the U.S. for USD 6.5 billion
https://aviationweek.com/defense-spa...-f-35-purchase 27 Sep 2023
"...[the Czech defense ministry] said the F-35 would be cheaper than operating the E-model Gripen, which was offered to the Czech Republic as an alternative to the F-35. Selecting the Gripen E would have been more expensive than the F-35A based on the U.S. and Swedish government offers, the rebuttal document said. It noted that the prices stated by Lockheed Martin were “tens of percent less than for which the Swedish government officially offered us these planes.” Selection of the F-35, Czech officials said, was decided through an examination of seven criteria, of which price was one. “The F-35 finished first and the Gripen wasn’t even second,” the defense ministry said...."
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 12:34
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I am puzzled at how an F-35 is cheaper than a Gripen ... the details behind that would be interesting to see.
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 13:40
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50
I am puzzled at how an F-35 is cheaper than a Gripen ... the details behind that would be interesting to see.
"...Buying a fleet of 48 conventional take-off and landing F-35As will cost NKr18 billion ($2.5 billion), it says, with the programme’s value expected to rise to NKr145 billion over a 30-year service period. Saab’s rival Gripen NG would be up to NKr6 billion more expensive to acquire, and cost NKr20-30 billion more in life-cycle costs, according to Oslo’s analysis...."
Updated: Norway backs JSF selection, rejects Gripen NG | News | Flight Global 2008
______________________________

Also does this 2008 news help? "...Norway said the U.S. planes would cost 18 billion Norwegian crowns ($2.54 billion), which it said was 6 billion crowns cheaper than the Gripens. Defence officials said that stealth technology was one feature that put the F-35 ahead of others. The defence ministry said total costs of owning the Gripen plane over a 30-year lifetime were estimated at 20-30 billion crowns higher than the JSF lifetime costs...." https://www.reuters.com/article/sppa...45092820081121
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 13:55
  #629 (permalink)  
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Buying a fleet of 48 conventional take-off and landing F-35As will cost NKr18 billion ($2.5 billion)
That works out at $52M each - about 50% of the current unit cost….
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 14:42
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Originally Posted by ORAC
That works out at $52M each - about 50% of the current unit cost….
The articles/costs were from 2008. News items chosen for the comparison however it is some time ago.
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Old 29th Sep 2023, 06:45
  #631 (permalink)  
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One thing that continues to puzzle me with these orders is the F35 is optimized as a strike aircraft

Doesnt anyone need a genuine air superiority fighter ?
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Old 29th Sep 2023, 09:33
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Originally Posted by stilton
One thing that continues to puzzle me with these orders is the F35 is optimized as a strike aircraft

Doesnt anyone need a genuine air superiority fighter ?
Such as?
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Old 29th Sep 2023, 10:14
  #633 (permalink)  
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Obviously a few people, which is why the UK, Japan and Italy are building Temoest; France, Germany and Spain FCAS; the USAF NGAD and the USN F/A-XX….

And that’s ignoring the Chinese plans for a 6th Gen of their own.
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Old 29th Sep 2023, 20:25
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ALSO: F-35 program completes key combat simulations, could pave way for full-rate production - Breaking Defense
F-35 program finishes years-late tests needed for full production 30 Sep 2023
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2023...ll-production/
"WASHINGTON — The F-35 program has completed a long-delayed series of crucial tests, which could pave the way for a decision next year to officially move the advanced fighter jet into full-rate production. The Joint Simulation Environment tests, known as “runs for score,” were finished Sept. 21, as was the initial trial validation, F-35 Joint Program Office spokesman Russell Goemaere said in an email to Defense News Friday. The Pentagon’s Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, will now analyze the data collected in the tests, which were conducted through much of September. DOT&E’s report on the F-35′s performance in the JSE tests could be delivered to Pentagon leaders by the end of December....

...Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said he was confident the JSE would allow the F-35 to go through the tests it needs, and said it contained “a really remarkable set of capabilities.” Kendall said many of the JSE test results would be classified."

Last edited by SpazSinbad; 29th Sep 2023 at 20:48. Reason: +
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Old 9th Oct 2023, 14:16
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Why, for an aircraft for which the operational utility evaluation started in 2012 and they knew from the start would have female pilots, has the USAF only just done this? Has the culture still not caught up 30 years after (later) Maj Gen Jeannie Leavitt first flew as an active duty F-15 pilot?

F-35 pilots assist in project to provide female Airmen options for bladder relief

  • Published Oct. 4, 2023
  • By Micah Garbarino
  • 388th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- At every air show, at least one kid works up the courage to ask pilot Kristen Wolfe the question on most kids’ minds: “How do you pee in the airplane?”

The answer for all pilots, especially female pilots, is “not easily.” The solutions are: “holding it” like a little kid on a long car ride, purposefully dehydrating, or using a few non-ideal systems in an emergency. All are uncomfortable.

“There are a couple of different systems that we use,” said Capt. Kirsten Eissman, another F-35 pilot with the 388th Fighter Wing here. “They have been trying to improve them, unfortunately, none of them are great. They either don’t function properly, or to get in a position to use them in the F-35, requires us to unbuckle our safety harness, which is not ideal. Even then, there’s usually the potential to make a mess.”

From a 90-minute training sortie to a 10-hour combat mission, it is imperative that pilots stay hydrated. Pulling Gs in training, their bodies may be subjected to up to 9 times the force of gravity, the missions are also mentally taxing.

Many of the female pilots have turned to “tactical dehydration” to avoid having to urinate. The Air Force is working toward a better solution. Air Force Lifecycle Management Center’s Human Systems Division, Aircrew Performance is working with a contractor to test a new system, specifically designed for females.

“Male and female anatomy is different, and it’s harder to come up with a design that works with every fighter platform and gives female pilots options,” said Capt. Kathleen Hendershott, AFLCMC’s program manager for the project. “The design we are testing now is something that can be worn comfortably under any flight gear, resting against the body and attaching to a pump that the pilots can activate when they need to urinate. The device will draw the liquid away from them.”

Designed by Airion, the new device needs to be vetted both in ground and air tests before it can be fielded safely. So far, they have tested aircrew with the A-10, F-15, F-16, and F-35. Last week, Eissman and fellow female pilots from the 388th assisted in the F-35 testing here.

“Somebody has to do it,” Eissman laughed. “They were super nice, they showed us how to operate it, how to wear it. Then we just sat there hydrating for about five hours, making sure that wearing it is compatible with the F-35 seat, that it was comfortable and operating the way it was supposed to.”

The team from AFLCMC will now move on to working with pilots on air testing the device during training sorties with the goal of fielding a final product in the fall of 2024.

For Eismann and her fellow pilots, it can’t come soon enough.

“It’s no fun being uncomfortable for hours. This device is smaller, flatter, infinitely more comfortable, and it works,” Eissman said.

Last edited by SLXOwft; 9th Oct 2023 at 14:44. Reason: spelling
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Old 9th Oct 2023, 14:37
  #636 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by stilton
One thing that continues to puzzle me with these orders is the F35 is optimized as a strike aircraft

Doesnt anyone need a genuine air superiority fighter ?
Poland certainly thinks it does. Besides already buying the F-35, it's in the market for either the F-15EX or the Eurofighter also for just that very reason.
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Old 13th Oct 2023, 18:32
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Podcast: Inside The Tradeoffs That Created The F-35 11 Oct 2023
https://aviationweek.com/podcasts/ch...s-created-f-35
"Tom Burbage, the former executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program during its first decade of development, discusses what it took to get the world’s largest and most complex fighter program off and running." Scroll down for the transcript.
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Old 13th Oct 2023, 20:44
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Originally Posted by SpazSinbad
Podcast: Inside The Tradeoffs That Created The F-35 11 Oct 2023
https://aviationweek.com/podcasts/ch...s-created-f-35
"Tom Burbage, the former executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program during its first decade of development, discusses what it took to get the world’s largest and most complex fighter program off and running." Scroll down for the transcript.
It took mountains of money, much of it pillaged from other necessary programs. No, I'm not bitter. Wait. Yes, I am.
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Old 14th Oct 2023, 00:41
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F-35 Has ‘Changed Completely the Mindset,’ Says Italy’s Air Chief 12 Oct 2023
https://www.airandspaceforces.com/it...rce-boss-f-35/
"One of the F-35’s biggest international partners, Italy is expanding plans for the fifth-generation fighter—and using it to draw lessons for a future sixth-gen aircraft, the Italian Air Force’s top officer said Oct. 12. Gen. Luca Goretti highlighted the interoperability and versatility of the F-35...

...“The F-35 has to be considered not only an aircraft, but it has to be considered a node of data information,” Goretti said. “So we use that aircraft to change completely the mindset of the people. It is no longer an aircraft to fly but actually is a data machine available in the air for everyone.”...

...Goretti is planning an even bigger demonstration next year—some 25 F-35s to Australia for the RAAF’s Pitch Black exercise...."
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Old 17th Oct 2023, 17:25
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Title is not certain but indicative of content. ‘Top Gun: The Next Generation’ TV Series to Go Inside Navy Pilot School 16 Oct 2023
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv...eo-1235618894/
"...Top Gun will follow “a diverse range of Navy student pilots” as they embark “on some of the most challenging flight tests possible, including landing on an aircraft carrier at sea. The elite nature of the course means that only a minority — the very best — will make it to the top to fly the world’s most advanced jet, the F-35C Lightning II. This first-time access will allow the series to follow the prospective naval aviators every step of the way — in the air, in the classroom, off-base and at home — as we discover who’s got what it takes to make it to the F-35C.”..."
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