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The F-35 thread, Mk II

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The F-35 thread, Mk II

Old 27th Jan 2024, 19:17
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US approves sale of... F-35s to Greece 28 Jan 2024
https://www.defensenews.com/global/e...35s-to-greece/
"...The State Department notified Congress of its approval of the... $8.6 billion sale of advanced F-35 fighter jets to Greece, late Friday. ...sale to Greece includes 40 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters and related equipment...."
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Old 27th Jan 2024, 20:59
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Is this a sale, or is this "loan guarantees" and the F-35's are being funded by the US taxpayer?
Yes, I am cynical.
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Old 28th Jan 2024, 00:30
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50
Is this a sale, or is this "loan guarantees" and the F-35's are being funded by the US taxpayer?
Yes, I am cynical.
LOAN not mentioned. https://www.reuters.com/business/aer...es-2024-01-26/
"...NATO member Greece spends more than 2% of its gross domestic product on defence spending. It has beefed up its military purchases in recent years as tensions with its neighbour, historic rival and NATO ally Turkey, had resurfaced...."
MOAR:
https://greekreporter.com/2024/01/26...-on-f-35-sale/
"...According to reports, the commitment that the sale of F-35s to Greece will proceed soon was given at the highest level in the meeting between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Antony Blinken in Crete, Greece. The package also includes free military aid. Congress is then expected to approve the sale of the F-35 and negotiations will begin for the conclusion of the contract, which will include the schedules, the equipment, and the way of financing...."
________

26 Jan 2024: https://www.dsca.mil/press-media/maj...d-landing-ctol
"...The Government of Greece has requested to buy up to forty (40) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft; and forty-two (42) Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines (40 installed, 2 spares) [& lots of gubbins].... The estimated total cost is $8.6 billion.

Last edited by SpazSinbad; 28th Jan 2024 at 00:41.
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Old 28th Jan 2024, 02:22
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Aegean Lightnings

The (potential / possible) deal with Athens

https://www.dsca.mil/press-media/maj...d-landing-ctol

as stated
,The Government of Greece has requested to buy up to forty (40) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft; and forty-two (42) Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines (40 installed, 2 spares).’

and the rest, , Greece is spending a wee bit more on defense, as with them ordering the Leonardo AW139M replacing their Airbus AS332m1 / AS532 in SAR role plus possible approval for UH-60M for army

cheers
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Old 29th Jan 2024, 13:43
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Czech

Czech it out lol 24 x for them

https://www.f35.com/f35/news-and-fea...0ujvUhvGbDCTpA

cheers
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Old 29th Jan 2024, 14:35
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As neither Mod nor Admir:
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic’s government signed an agreement with the United States on Monday to acquire 24 U.S. F-35 fighter jets as part of a deal worth about 150 billion Czech koruna ($6.6 billion), the biggest single purchase for the Czech military.
Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová and U.S. Ambassador Bijan Sabet signed a memorandum of understanding for the deal. The Czechs also signed a letter of offer and acceptance, the final step in completing a contract between the governments, the Czech Defense Ministry said.
“By signing this intergovernmental agreement, our country and also our army enter a new era,” Černochová said.

The Czech government approved the deal in September.

The first of the 24 fighter jets should be delivered in 2031, with the rest by 2035. The American aircraft will replace the 14 JAS-39 Gripen fighter jets from Sweden that are currently used by the Czech army.
That's seven years from now.
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Old 29th Jan 2024, 19:49
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https://breakingdefense.com/2024/01/...r-24-aircraft/
"...It will be a while before any are flying out of Czech hangers, however, as the first aircraft is not scheduled to be delivered until 2031 and won’t reach full operational capability until 2035. Until then, the Czech military will continue to fly Swedish-made Gripen fighters. The Czech defense ministry said there are “intensive negotiations underway with the Kingdom of Sweden on the operation of the Gripens in the given timeframe.”"
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Old 29th Jan 2024, 20:33
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Originally Posted by SpazSinbad
https://breakingdefense.com/2024/01/...r-24-aircraft/
"...It will be a while before any are flying out of Czech hangers, however, as the first aircraft is not scheduled to be delivered until 2031 and won’t reach full operational capability until 2035.
Which will be an astonishing 29 years after the prototype made its first flight.
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Old 29th Jan 2024, 20:56
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Originally Posted by GeeRam
Which will be an astonishing 29 years after the prototype made its first flight.
The FOC is for the Czech F-35s. Transitioning pilots/maintainers from Gripen and building F-35 facilities and training is part of the four / five year delay from F-35 delivery to [Czech] FOC.

Last edited by SpazSinbad; 29th Jan 2024 at 21:54. Reason: +chek
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Old 29th Jan 2024, 21:17
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Originally Posted by GeeRam
Which will be an astonishing 29 years after the prototype made its first flight.
As opposed to the Turks receiving F-16s how many years after first flight? Or the Saudis with Typhoon, the USAF with F-15EX, and so on? I wouldn't call 29 years astonishing at all in the late 20th or 21st century tbh.
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Old 29th Jan 2024, 21:53
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Actual planned F-35 FOC: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2023...lawmakers-ire/
31 Mar 2023 "...The “F-35 is currently planning to achieve full operational capability status after the full TR-3 and block 4 capabilities of the aircraft are fielded in 202827 years after the program began,” Wittman said. “That is by any measure unacceptable.”..."
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Old 30th Jan 2024, 03:20
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30 Jan 2024: https://alert5.com/2024/01/30/czechi...as/#more-98620
"...Delivery of the first F-35s is slated for 2031, with the eleven-year acquisition process [FROM 2024?] [quote from above: "The first of the 24 fighter jets should be delivered in 2031, with the rest by 2035.] meticulously planned. A comprehensive implementation plan ensures smooth integration into the Czech air force, encompassing personnel training, infrastructure development, and logistical support. Until then, the existing fleet of Swedish Gripens will remain in service...."
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Old 30th Jan 2024, 07:36
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Originally Posted by pba_target
As opposed to the Turks receiving F-16s how many years after first flight? Or the Saudis with Typhoon, the USAF with F-15EX, and so on? I wouldn't call 29 years astonishing at all in the late 20th or 21st century tbh.
That was exactly my point, that the gestation lengths, production times etc., of these 5th gen etc compared with the speed of development of yesteryears.
Probably not a great comparison but first flight to OSD of the Javelin was barely 17 years......but even the mighty F-4 Phantom, the last of the incredible 5,000+ run left the production line 21 years after first flight, and here we are just shy of 20 years after the F-35 first flight, and its effectively still the 'new kid on the block'.

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Old 30th Jan 2024, 07:47
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Originally Posted by GeeRam
That was exactly my point, that the gestation lengths, production times etc., of these 5th gen etc compared with the speed of development of yesteryears.
Probably not a great comparison but first flight to OSD of the Javelin was barely 17 years......but even the mighty F-4 Phantom, the last of the incredible 5,000+ run left the production line 21 years after first flight, and here we are just shy of 20 years after the F-35 first flight, and its effectively still the 'new kid on the block'.
I think the difference is possibly that a "today" not yet FOC F-35 (as an example) will knock the spots of basically every other fighter-sized aircraft on the planet for the military tasks it has been assigned (with the possible exception of the A-10 argument, but that discussion would hold equally true for any other airframe produced). Javelin as per your example was a) effectively keeping pace with the competition and b) fielded in a time where airframe/aerodynamic/engine development was key, not replaceable mission systems.

FOC is clearly a capability set that needs to be reached, but if it needed to be reached right now for operational reasons, a lot more people would be spending more time, effort and money making sure it happened.
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Old 6th Feb 2024, 17:39
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It looks like the U.K. has now committed to the full F35 order originally planned.

The United Kingdom has, it appears, signalled a reaffirmation of its commitment to procure 138 F-35B aircraft, as per the original plan laid out in the early stages of the programme.

In a recent parliamentary exchange, James Cartlidge, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, provided a detailed response regarding the UK’s commitment to the F-35 programme.

On 5th February 2024, he stated:

“All Partner Nations place orders for F-35 through the Joint Program Office in low-rate initial production Lots. The average time between the multi-national orders being placed for each Lot and deliveries to customer nations is between two to four years.

For details of United Kingdom delivery timescales from Lot 3 to Lot 14, I refer the right hon. Member to the answer that Baroness Goldie gave to the Noble Lord, Lord Moonie on 4 November 2019 to Question HL520, which remains extant. The multi-national order for low-rate initial production Lots 15-17 was placed in early 2023, which set delivery timescales of a further thirteen UK F-35B aircraft out to 2025.

The UK remains committed to 138 aircraft through the life of the programme. However, no contracts have been placed by any nation beyond production Lot 17. Precise details of delivery timescales for subsequent production Lots will be taken at the appropriate time, as part of the wider multi-national orders. This ensures the most appropriate capability and the best value for money.”


This statement stands in stark contrast to the ambiguity that surrounded the UK’s procurement plans following the 2021 Defence Command paper. The paper did not reiterate the commitment to 138 F-35s, leading to speculation that the UK might be scaling back its involvement in the program. Instead, it mentioned an intention to “increase the fleet size beyond the 48 F-35Bs already ordered,” without specifying a target number.

This statement stands in stark contrast to the ambiguity that surrounded the UK’s procurement plans following the 2021 Defence Command paper. The paper did not reiterate the commitment to 138 F-35s, leading to speculation that the UK might be scaling back its involvement in the program. Instead, it mentioned an intention to “increase the fleet size beyond the 48 F-35Bs already ordered,” without specifying a target number.
​​​​​​​
Notably, in March 2021, a previous First Sea Lord reportedly estimated that the final fleet would total between 60 and 80 aircraft. What will the figure be next week?


https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/uk-a...of-138-f-35bs/
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Old 6th Feb 2024, 18:04
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I would ask Rachel Reeves and John Healey if I wanted a real answer.
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Old 6th Feb 2024, 18:51
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Originally Posted by SpazSinbad
Actual planned F-35 FOC: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2023...lawmakers-ire/
31 Mar 2023 "...The “F-35 is currently planning to achieve full operational capability status after the full TR-3 and block 4 capabilities of the aircraft are fielded in 202827 years after the program began,” Wittman said. “That is by any measure unacceptable.”..."
In the 1970's the USN got in on the ground with the Spruance Class DD (Destroyer). Some of them were purchased by the Shah of Iran, and these eventually became the Kidd class DDGs as the revolution scuppered the deal somewhat.
The Spruance destroyers had a bunch of "ability to grow" but the big thing was to get the hulls out there (gas turbine engines) and let the modular improvemt process make the ships better.
And it did. LAMPS Mk III back fit took a while, but it arrived. VLS (tomahawk) took a while to be realized, but it arrived. Some of the Tails (the -18 and -19 towed array passive sonar) took a while to arrive ... but they did.
It was 15-20 years before what you might call a FOC Spruance Destroyer was up and running. (mind you, the interim capability wasn't bad).

I know that I am comparing apples to oranges here, but there are some similarities.
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Old 14th Feb 2024, 11:05
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https://theaviationist.com/2024/02/1...-while-parked/

Exclusive: U.S. Marine Corps F-35C Suffers Nose Landing Gear Collapse While Parked

A U.S. Marine Corps F-35C Lightning II, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 311 at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, has suffered a nose landing gear collapse while parked shortly after a training mission, photos a reader shared with The Aviationist show.

According to the reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, the aircraft was at
Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada, when the incident happened.The photos appear to be legit and not digitally altered; and based on the details we were able to collect, the mishap F-35C is the airframe CF-89/170109, coded “WL-04”.

The aircraft was parked under a sunshade after returning from an uneventful training flight on Jan. 26, 2024. According to the unverified report we were submitted, after shutting down the aircraft without problems, the pilot started climbing down the ladder when the nose landing gear began retracting slowly.

Upon reaching the halfway point, the nose landing gear fully collapsed. The photos show the aircraft resting on the Electro-Optical Targeting System’s glass fairing, without apparent damage. As far as we know, this should be the first time an F-35C nose landing gear “collapse” is reported, as similar incidents so far happened only on the A and B variants.

We reached out to NAS Fallon PAO for confirmation and further details but, at the time of writing, we haven’t received an answer yet, despite several attempts.



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Old 14th Feb 2024, 12:13
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Originally Posted by NutLoose
It looks like the U.K. has now committed to the full F35 order originally planned.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/uk-a...of-138-f-35bs/
Good news, but in terms of eventual fleet size, remember the key words in the ministerial statement "over the life of the programme".

Tranche 2, which is apparently funded, would take the UK-based fleet to 70. We could then see (much) later orders, late in the production run (which I think is due to extend out to 2040 or so), for very late model airframes to replace the early examples and see the carriers through to the end of their lives. Details will vary but this could mean that the suggestion of a maximum fleet of 70 - 80 at any one time could be close to the mark. Or I could be completely wrong, but hey.
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Old 14th Feb 2024, 12:31
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I don't see that statement meaning anything, if I'm honest. I'd love us to buy 138, but I just can't see it happening.
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