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2018 F-35 News and Discussion

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    JSOW & JSM are perfectly fine for frigate/destroyer sized targets (especially since they have target discrimination & aim-point control) and OTH LRASM et al can be used on anything larger.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

    Comment


      Heavier missiles like the LRASM also come with additional range which kind makes their integration on the F-35 redundant. I expect the same for NGLAW if an air launched offshoot emerges. For the US Navy, there will be double if not more the number of F-18E/Fs to launch the OSUW or LRASM so no need to think of anything beyond the JSOW or JSM class for the F-35. For others, they can just integrate longer ranged, heavier, stand off weapons externally as SO affords you that ability.
      Old radar types never die; they just phased array

      Comment


        Lockheed Martin negotiating final LRIP buy for F-35 - Jane's Defense Weekly



        We are now delivering the [91] Lot 10 aircraft, and negotiating Lot 11, Crisler said. After Lot 11 the plan is for a three-year block buy to be negotiated with the Department of Defense [DoD] and the programmes industry suppliers to reduce the recurring costs in the programme.

        This block buy will cover between 440 and 460 aircraft across production lots 12 to 14. With a 2007 Lot 1 unit cost of the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35A in excess of USD250 million, the 2020 cost of an LRIP 14 F-35A is projected to be USD80 million.

        As noted by Crisler, the end of LRIP production will coincide with the conclusion of the system, design, and development (SDD) phase of the programme. The Block 3F full combat software was rolled out in December 2017, ahead of the completion of SDD flight trials in April. Initial operational test and evaluation will begin in the third quarter of 2018.

        To date, Lockheed Martin and the Joint Program Office (JPO) have delivered nearly 300 F-35s to the US military and international partners and customers with a further 300 expected to follow by the end of 2020. Across the programme, 15 operating bases have been stood up, and more than 580 pilots and 5,600 maintainers have been trained.
        Old radar types never die; they just phased array

        Comment


          https://www.defensenews.com/industry...f-35-contests/

          Anyone else catch this on NG declining to bid on upgraded DAS? Interesting because they are the primary contractor for the current DAS sensor.

          L-M had announced Raytheon as the new supplier for a DAS sensor upgrade (presumably because NG bailed) quite some time ago. I find this odd, until recently NG had been pushing a line of EO-DAS sensors for everything from drones to ships leveraging their experience on the F-35's system.

          Have not seen much on Raytheon's possible replacement sensor. They have ADAS for helo's and make EO sensors for several different drones.

          Raytheon-Elbit partnership? Elbit has experience and a considerable portfolio of EO sensors.
          Last edited by FBW; 2nd May 2018, 15:21.

          Comment


            Raytheon on sensors has been investing a lot of IR&D and CR&D for the Missile Defense application and other multi-service needs so it is quite possible that they also want to go internally w/o a foreign partner while working for future improvement and R&D activities.



            The VISTA program was a multiyear Army-led initiative that also involved the Navy and Air Force. The effort began in 2011 and aimed to maintain U.S. military superiority in infrared sensor capabilities. Products delivered from VISTA will enable the next generation of sensors to perform at the levels necessary to maintain overmatch and allow for multiple functions, including search, identification and tracking; wide area persistent surveillance; and operations in degraded visual environments. VISTA focused on III-V antimony-based infrared focal plane arrays, which use an entirely new class of materials that improve affordability, manufacturability and performance, while also offering size, weight and power advantages for advanced infrared systems. The technology developed in this program is already available in some defense products and will be transitioned to multiple programs of record. Ultimately it will facilitate warfighter overmatch in any environment. Over its five years of effort, VISTA created an entire new industry base for producing III-V antimony-based infrared focal plane arrays. Its use of domestic commercial compound semiconductor foundries, which sell products like cellphone chips and are not reliant on DOD for their survival, provide flexibility, producibility and affordability. (Photo courtesy of CERDEC) https://www.dvidshub.net/image/41358...leration-vista
            Raytheon did the R&D work on VISTA and its follow on. From a business perspective, given how much of the portfolio with the MDA/Army and other organization Raytheon is going to get it sort of make sense for them to take ownership of the F-35 EO DAS program given that it would fit right in and allign with other sensors they currently provide. While L3 put a stand-alone bid as well, I wouldn't be surprised if majority of the supplier base is identical to what Northrop Grumman had.

            https://govtribe.com/project/a-justi...source-award-2
            Last edited by bring_it_on; 2nd May 2018, 15:53.
            Old radar types never die; they just phased array

            Comment


              Old radar types never die; they just phased array

              Comment


                Looking at the early draft versions of the FY19 NDAA defense authorization bill summaries released by the HASC republican and democrats - both authorize 77 F-35s for FY19 as the President's budget requested. However we do not know what the Senate version looks like and have to account for mark ups and negotiations. As a reference, the President's FY18 budget requested 70 aircraft and once the NDAA was finalized and signed into law, 20 additional aircraft had been added to the US procurement for that budget taking the total to 90.
                Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                Comment


                  Lockheed resumes F-35 jet deliveries to Pentagon

                  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Defense resumed accepting F-35 jet deliveries from Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) last week after reaching an agreement on covering the costs to fix a production error, the Pentagon told Reuters on Monday.

                  Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The cost of the fix was $119 million, people familiar with the situation had previously told Reuters.

                  ...

                  The majority of aircraft will be repaired within two years, the statement said.
                  More at the Jump
                  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-l...-idUSKBN1I827Q

                  The timeline of two years supports my original theory that the holdup was all about "when" the repairs have to happen rather than "who" will pay for it. It looks like LM will fix them or pay the USAF to fix them when the F-35s are in for pre-scheduled depot maintenance. The two-year number also looks like it will coincide with the Block 3F/concurrency updates that are already scheduled in the budget docs.
                  Last edited by SpudmanWP; 8th May 2018, 00:58.
                  "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

                  Comment


                    Northrop Grumman Delivers Advanced F-35 Electronic Warfare Simulation Capability to Navy


                    BUFFALO, N.Y. – May 7, 2018 – Preparing the F-35, the U.S. Navy’s most advanced fighter, for missions in today’s complex electromagnetic spectrum environment requires an equally advanced test environment. Northrop Grumman’s (NYSE: NOC) multispectral testing solution recreates the most accurate mission-like conditions in the laboratory and on the range. Recently, NAWCWD Point Mugu took delivery of the most sophisticated test environment the company has ever created.The environment consists of Northrop Grumman’s Combat Electromagnetic Environment Simulator (CEESIM), Signal Measurement System (SMS) and other stimulators, all under control of the Synchronizer Controller System (SCS).

                    “Keeping the F-35’s systems ready requires a fully integrated test environment like we have developed with CEESIM, SMS and SCS,” said Joe Downie, director, land and avionics C4ISR division, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. “These systems work together to provide the environment complexity and density, measurement and analysis capability, and test control capability necessary to evaluate the F-35 in a realistic mission scenario.”

                    At the center of the environment is the CEESIM, which simulates multiple, simultaneous RF emitters as well as static and dynamic platform attributes to faithfully model true-to-war conditions. CEESIM’s Advanced Pulse Generation high speed direct digital synthesizer technology is used to generate realistic electronic warfare mission scenarios.

                    The SMS provides wide bandwidth signal measurement, recording and analysis capability which is used to validate the test environment and evaluate the system under test performance.

                    The SCS provides the tools to program an integrated multispectral test scenario, including threat radars, communications signals, radar and EO/IR signatures. The SCS also manages the execution of the scenario by all of the stimulators to ensure a coherent multispectral test environment.
                    Seperately, the USAF has released a much awaited RFI for the Advanced Radar Threat System V-4 which will boost the ability to test and train against higher end IADS in a Live environment.

                    The Range Threat System Program Office (SPO) is considering issuing a competitive IDIQ contract to develop and produce up to 60 ARTS-V4 systems. The Range Threat SPO anticipates a Fixed Price Incentive Firm (FPIF) 3 year development phase and a Firm Fixed Price (FFP) 6 year production period.

                    The ARTS-V4 program anticipates being a Milestone B program to replicate a surface-to-air (SAM) radar system to fulfill the need for single platform, multiple range (short and long) tactical advanced threat training system. ARTS-V4 shall track and engage multiple targets simultaneously, and be capable of engaging fixed- and rotary wing aircraft. The Target Engagement radar is integrally connected with an electro optical tracking system which includes a longwave thermal imager and dual band short/mid-wave IR tracker. The weapon system is manned by two operators and is reactive to aircrew/aircraft defensive measures. The weapon systems are integrated on a mobile, robust and ruggedized system, capable of tracking and engaging targets while on the move, in all range terrain to include but is not limited to driving on gravel, dirt and paved roads. The system shall provide threat representative full effective radiated power, replicate threat signals, antenna patterns, operational modes and threat tactic capabilities. The system must be capable of weapons simulation for engagement scoring purposes as well send real-time radar data to the Range Control Center (RCC) or Live Missions Operations Center (LMOC) in conjunction with the range's Digital Integrated Air Defense System (DIADS)-controlled threat environment for processing and analysis. ARTS-V4 will be threat–representative at a high level of fidelity across the electromagnetic spectrum. The system needs to replicate the threat at a high enough fidelity to stress current electronic warfare systems, support 5th Generation aircraft engagements, and support CAF Live Virtual Constructive implementation.

                    The ARTS-V4system includes antenna, transmitters, all command, control, and communications (C3) equipment, power generation equipment, and any other ground support equipment necessary to facilitate a true-to-threat site footprint. https://www.fbo.gov/index.php?s=oppo...=core&_cview=1
                    The ARTS effort includes 4 incremental drops, each addressing a specific IAD threat environment. V1 introduces new PESA sensor and will likely act as a threat representation of long range strategic sensors, V2 is expected to be a L-Band Medium ranged system, V3 is expected to be a C-band system with EO/IR support, and V4 is expected to operate in multiple bands for search and acquisition. ARTS along with Next Generation Aerial Target (Stealthy target) is considered essential to effective 5th and 6th generation testing and training..

                    As of now, based on the FY17 funding, 7 V1 systems, and 15 V2 systems are funded and this will likely grow given the budget increase in FY18 and 19. V3 and V4 are in development or planned to enter EMD.
                    Last edited by bring_it_on; 9th May 2018, 12:09.
                    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                    Comment


                      Japan, U.S. start joint F-35 fighter drills in northeastern Japan

                      The ASDF's F-35A, the first of its kind deployed to Japan, and around eight F-35Bs from the U.S. Marine Corps' Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture, will take part in combat training and bombing exercises through May 24, according to the Japanese Defense Ministry.
                      Isn't this the first exercise outside of the US where two different nation's 35s participate?

                      Source:
                      Kyodo news.net

                      Comment


                        Harris Corp.'s Open-Ended F-35 Avionics Design Options


                        Lockheed Martin awarded Harris two new F-35 contracts, announced in June 2017, to supply the Aircraft Memory System (AMS) and Panoramic Cockpit Display Electronic Unit (PCD-EU) through a technology refresh 3 (TR3) update. TR3 is part of the continuous capability development and delivery, or C2D2, phase of the F-35 program, formerly called the Block 4 follow-on modernization.

                        Harris replaces L3 Aviation Products in supplying the EU, or display processor piece, which connects by video cable to the 20 X 8-in. panoramic head-down display that Elbit Systems of America will provide after replacing L3 as the incumbent glass supplier. Harris replaces GE Aviation in providing the AMS solid-state mass storage device. The TR3 components will be cut into production in 2021 for F-35 production lot 15.

                        Harris is developing the PCD-EU for a tenfold improvement in processing performance, at higher update rates, while fitting within the same size, weight and power requirements as the current PCD-EU. The company is incorporating open standards into the unit design, including using the VPX standard for printed circuit board form factor; the PCI Express standard high-speed serial expansion bus to connect peripheral devices such as graphics cards, and the Ethernet networking protocol. OpenGL is the software application programming protocol that communicates with the processor to render graphics on the display.
                        Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                        Comment


                          The DOD has released a solicitation signaling its intention of procuring between 1400-1600 500 lb. GBU-49 bombs for Partner/FMS F-35s using the DOD/DOS established Special Defense Acquisition Fund to support accelerated FMS deliveries once FMS contracts are signed. Earlier this year, the USAF had put Raytheon on contract for 1200 Guidance Kits for its fleet of F-35As. For the US forces this would act as an interim moving target capability until the SDB-II is introduced in a few years time. The current USAF program of record for that program is 12,000 bombs procured by FY2025.


                          This acquisition will use the Special Defense Acquisition Fund (SDAF), which is a revolving fund that is used by the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to finance the procurement of defense articles and defense services in anticipation of their future transfer under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, or as otherwise authorized by law to foreign governments and international organizations. The fund allows the U.S. Government to procure high demand, long-lead time defense equipment in anticipation of future sales to be conducted on a government to government basis through the FMS Program. These acquisitions result in accelerated deliveries once FMS agreements are signed. The availability of SDAF assets reduces pressure on the Department of Defense (DoD) to meet urgent requirements through withdrawals from U.S. inventories or through diversions from production.


                          The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) approved the use of SDAF funds by the Direct Attack Division (AFLCMC/EBD) to procure GBU-49 assets for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers who have Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) and Letters of Request (LOR) for GBU-49 munitions. This action is intended to award approximately 1,400 to 1,600 GBU-49 munitions in the 4th quarter of FY18. The LOAs and LORs received include written direction that requires, or has the effect of requiring, sole source procurement of GBU-49 munitions from Raytheon Missile Systems. Accordingly, the SDAF funds have been specifically earmarked for GBU-49 munitions and storage.

                          ...


                          The requirement calls for a 500lb class Precision Guided Munition (PGM) with moving and maneuvering target capability that is mechanically, electrically, and logically compatible with F-35 Block 3F aircraft Operational Flight Program (OFP). This munition must consistently impact moving targets traveling along a constant heading with a uniform velocity up to 70 mph and maneuvering targets performing 0.2 g maneuvers with velocities up to 40 mph.

                          https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportun...=core&_cview=1
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by bring_it_on; 15th May 2018, 13:16.
                          Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                          Comment


                            Describing the moment the F-35 jets will arrive at Marham, Lightning Force commander Air Commodore David Bradshaw said it will be a “hugely significant” moment which will be watched by Russia “with interest”.
                            Lockheed Martin describes the stealth capabilities of the F-35 as “unprecedented”.
                            With airframe design, advanced materials and other features making it “virtually undetectable to enemy radar”, the warplane could be sent into the airspace of an adversary if required.
                            Once there, the jet might be tasked with destroying the radar systems of that particular state, but to do so would require them to be triggered so they could be detected and destroyed.
                            RAF Marham station commander Group Capt Ian Townsend confirmed it has committed to 138 of the 100m aircraft, with the first nine due to arrive this year.
                            However he defended its high cost, saying the investment should be looked at over the aircraft’s 35 to 40 year lifespan, as well as in terms of the military benefits it will bring.
                            “We have to look at it long term,” he said.
                            “From an operational capability perspective, it puts us in a much better position to react to the unknown in the future.
                            “The F-35 really allows us to know more and if we know more, it allows us think quicker and act quicker. It gives us a tactical advantage.”
                            Source:
                            Eastern Daily Press.co.uk

                            Comment


                              5 more 35s inbound for Japan this week

                              This week, five Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-35A's, currently based at Luke AFB (AZ), will be ferried across the Pacific Ocean to their new home Misawa AB. Three more are expected later this Fiscal Year.
                              The Scramble database reports the following Lightning IIs with 944th OG at Luke; 69-8701, 69-8702, 79-8703, 79-8704 and 79-8705. It is not said, these are the ones that will be ferried.
                              Source:
                              Scramble magazine

                              Comment


                                First combat use of the F-35I

                                http://www.iaf.org.il/4473-50208-en/IAF.aspx

                                1Saludo
                                Revista Ejercitos, sometime She will back...

                                Comment


                                  Woof!

                                  That is impressive regardless of your politics.

                                  Comment


                                    Agreed.

                                    Comment


                                      Surprised that no one has posted this article from the BBC about the Israeli strikes in Syria.

                                      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-44210403

                                      Comment


                                        Surprised that no one has posted this article........
                                        Does that article contribute something that is not already known?
                                        "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

                                        Comment


                                         

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