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2018 F-35 News and Discussion

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    #61
    The "deep dive", I like it. Reviewing the efficiency of the program as a whole from L-M down to the largest subcontractors. What I would like to see is non-performing subcontractors eliminated from future contract awards. Given the sheer size and competition for contracts among the partner nations, Winter is in a good position to press.

    And finally the end of concurrency.

    Comment


      #62
      I believe this was being looked at by the OSD (Ellen Lord's shop) and not the JPO. I hope that is the case still because it needs to come from the very top of the acquisition chain. It was clear that there was some information mismatch b/w what supplier community and the acquisition community which could likely be the cause of so many delays in negotiation and the unilateral contracts awarded last year. A better understanding would likely allow them to move to more quicker contracting and the JPO boss earlier was quoted of saying that he hoped to negotiate same year contracts by LRIP-12 which now looks rather unlikely.

      Anyways, Aviation Week is reporting that VMFA-121 is set for its first at sea deployment next week.
      Old radar types never die; they just phased array

      Comment


        #63
        Yes, this is being headed by the OSD per SecDef's Jan2017 memo (attached).

        That's the good news.

        However, there is potential bad news. The 2nd part of the memo directs the DepSecDef to conduct a comparison of the F-35C and the Super Hornet with an eye towards determining if SH upgrades will make it competitive to the F-35C. That's not a problem on it's own....

        What is a potential problem is that the DepSecDef, as of less than a year ago, was a Senior Vice President at.... Boeing. Conflict of interest much?

        To be fair to SecDef Mattis, Shanahan was not the DepSecDef or even known to be in the running when he wrote the memo in Jan of 2017.

        Patrick M. Shanahan became the 33rd Deputy Secretary of Defense on July 19, 2017.

        Mr. Shanahan most recently served as Boeing senior vice president, Supply Chain & Operations. A Washington state native, Mr. Shanahan joined Boeing in 1986 and spent over three decades with the company. He previously worked as senior vice president of Commercial Airplane Programs, managing profit and loss for the 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787 programs and the operations at Boeing's principal manufacturing sites; as vice president and general manager of the 787 Dreamliner, leading the program during a critical development period; as vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems, overseeing the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, Airborne Laser and Advanced Tactical Laser; and as vice president and general manager of Boeing Rotorcraft Systems, overseeing the Apache, Chinook and Osprey. He previously held leadership positions on the 757 program, 767 program and in the fabrication division.

        Mr. Shanahan is a Royal Aeronautical Society Fellow, Society of Manufacturing Engineers Fellow and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Associate Fellow. He served as a regent at the University of Washington for over five years.

        Mr. Shanahan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington and two advanced degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering, and an MBA from MITs Sloan School of Management.
        Attached Files
        "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

        Comment


          #64
          That's not a problem on it's own....

          What is a potential problem is that the DepSecDef, as of less than a year ago, was a Senior Vice President at.... Boeing. Conflict of interest much?
          I believe that Bob Work submitted that during his time with the administration. Read something to that end on Defense Daily or Inside Defense.
          Old radar types never die; they just phased array

          Comment


            #65
            That's good.. Then my FOIA request should not take too long then.
            "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

            Comment


              #66
              Quite a significant loss for NGES...After flight testing and approvals Raytheon's solution is likely to be cut into production starting 2023.

              Lockheed Picks Raytheon For F-35 DAS Upgrade


              Raytheon has been selected by Lockheed Martin to produce electro-optical distributed aperture systems (EO-DAS) for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, besting incumbent Northrop ...


              Lockheed received proposals from several electro-optical imaging firms. Northrop presumably put forward a proposal, but sources say L3 Technologies, Northrop’s key infrared camera supplier for the AAQ-37, also put forward a standalone bid.

              It is not clear what got Raytheon’s proposal across the line, since the company has referred all questions about the EO-DAS victory to the prime contractor, Lockheed. Northrop declined to comment publicly, also referring all questions to Lockheed.

              Last edited by bring_it_on; 1st March 2018, 22:56.
              Old radar types never die; they just phased array

              Comment


                #67
                According to Winter, the JSFs programme executive officer, the aircrafts costs are unsustainable as the fleet grows.
                Evidence suggests the F-35s cost problem can be mended. Lockheeds once-broken final assembly process for the F-35 delivered 66 aircraft last year, exactly on target. The reliability of JSFs delivered last year is markedly better than the jets shipped the year before.

                The only question that remains is whether Winters cost-reduction strategy will be too little and too late.
                https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...s-fixi-446392/

                I hope this is just scare-mongering!? I thought the F-35 had already turned the "affordability corner"???

                Comment


                  #68
                  It did. They are now focusing on the Lifetime costs which sit at 14% above the F-16C.
                  "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

                  Comment


                    #69
                    Sure. That's why the uk gov do not dare to say it to MPs? and why Winter is criticizing them? Smoke.

                    Comment


                      #70
                      ^ You have to be more clear and take more than 2 seconds to type up a post. Of course the JPO has been aggressive with its negotiations in the past and continuous to be at the moment as well. That is how they are supposed to work. One must not forget that the last contract was a unilateral one that was forced on Lockheed with it having to accept and move on. No reason to doubt that if they cannot get to a desired agreement that it would not be done again. Contracting laws in the US allow the PEO to exercise that option and also provide a procedural and legal recourse to the contractor to challenge it by presenting its case. Long term, this is no way to run a program so it is better to resolve any information mismatch between them and the hundreds of suppliers on the program. Once both sides have a high level of detail on the cost elements, they can then negotiating from a better position.

                      Right now they are doing a deep dive to get a more granular understanding of where the cost resides. Well over half of the cost of this or any aircraft rests with the supplier base and not the prime so they will have to look into that. Meanwhile the price of LRIP-11 will continue to be negotiated until a contract is reached and we find out how much below LRIP-10 levels they get. They are still on their way (from what they claim) of obtaining the $80-85 Million by 2020 target but they are looking at how to get there faster and to see if they can do even better. Besides information mismatch the delay does not help either. LMA and P&W negotiate with their suppliers well ahead of time and on "commercial" not government timelines..
                      Last edited by bring_it_on; 3rd March 2018, 00:18.
                      Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                      Comment


                        #71
                        First 33 FW F-35A reaches 1,000th flying hours

                        Tail number 5017 is the first F-35A to reach 1,000 flight hours outside of the aircraft test community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily Smallwood/Released)
                        Last edited by bring_it_on; 3rd March 2018, 03:03.
                        Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                        Comment


                          #72
                          F-35 program manager swap

                          “Jeff and Greg are seasoned leaders, both uniquely qualified to lead our Skunk Works and F-35 teams through a time of rapid program growth,” said Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “They both bring a deep understanding of the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ portfolio and strong customer relationships. This key leadership transition allows Lockheed Martin to continue partnering with our customers to help address the urgent needs of the world around us.”
                          Source:
                          Aero Tech news.com

                          Comment


                            #73
                            The timing is quite telling and this is quite a promotion for Babione at a time when there is resurgence in USDOD RDT&E and S&T spending and quite a few high profile MDAP's expected in the 10-year horizon across the areas where the Skunk Works would generally be interested in now. The USAF has unveiled plans to spend roughly $10 Billion over the next 5 years on the Next Generation Air Dominance portfolio which will be a major focus for him along with a whole host of other advanced weapons and UASs.
                            Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                            Comment


                              #74
                              Like you said, there was no better time for a switch in both department: the skunks get the head of the biggest program in LM giving them momentum for their future project and the F-35 guys got a manager able to drive the program across its array of suppliers. At a time when the White houses is putting the emphasis on wages across the F-35 program (remember the campaign), perhaps we can expect hard negociations inbound for thoses hosted by international participants that did not commit to their buy engagement at a fast enough pace (opening opportunities for new entrants?).
                              Last edited by TomcatViP; 4th March 2018, 00:12.

                              Comment


                                #75
                                Like you said, there was no better time for a switch in both department: the skunks get the head of the biggest program in LM giving them momentum for their future project and the F-35
                                Also, worth noting that the F-35 program, post-TR3, will be switching over to greater --> complete adoption of Open Mission Standards, opening the way for rapid prototyping and competitively acquired capability both, software and hardware. This means that for a lot of the enhanced capabilities Lockheed pitches to the JPO/services would have to compete with other potential offers as the technical baseline for a lot of the TR3 hardware will be owned by the government (hence not as much propreitary control). Skunk Works has been investing a lot of capital into demonstrating OMS integration and opening up systems and Babione could bring a wealth of expereince when it comes to the JSF program and its needs for the future.

                                -----------------------------------------------------



                                Wasp Departs Sasebo for Readiness Assessment, Regional Patrol

                                SASEBO, Japan - The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) departed Commander, Fleet Activities Sasebo to complete a pre-deployment readiness assessment before transitioning to conduct operations as part of a routine patrol in the Indo-Pacific region, March 3.



                                Wasp is undergoing a Naval Surface Forces-led Ready for Sea Assessment (RFSA), led by the Type Commander (TYCOM) Material Inspection Team (TMIT), which evaluates the material condition of installed and portable equipment throughout the ship, as well as the crew’s overall ability to operate safely at sea.



                                “What the crew of this ship has accomplished given the rigorous schedule of the ship is really amazing,” said Wasp Command Master Chief Rudy Johnson II, who took over as Wasp’s senior enlisted Sailor approximately a month and a half prior. “I am incredibly proud of the consistent ‘can-do’ attitude which emanates from these Sailors, and am very excited about the upcoming successes of this patrol.”

                                Wasp, which is an F-35B Lighting II-capable ship, is forward-deployed to Sasebo as part of a Department of Defense effort to place the most advanced capabilities in the Indo-Pacific. Wasp arrived in Sasebo Jan. 14 after a 28,400-mile journey from Norfolk, Va. that began in late August. The ship was diverted on the initial leg of her journey to assist in relief efforts following two hurricanes in the Caribbean, exemplifying just how versatile and critical an amphibious assault ship can be to move people and supplies ashore post-disaster.

                                Since arriving to Sasebo, the ship and crew have completed important maintenance and training, in addition to integrating into the local community.
                                Last edited by bring_it_on; 5th March 2018, 02:18.
                                Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                                Comment


                                  #76
                                  First comes Tailored Ship Training Availability (TSTA) and Carrier Qualifications for the F-35s.
                                  Then comes Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), where the ship and air detachment learn to operate as a unified team.
                                  And finally comes Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFX), where the LHD and its escorts learn to operate as a strike group.

                                  Comment


                                    #77
                                    VMFA-121's F-35B's have deployed on the USS-Wasp -

                                    Historic First: F35B Lands on Wasp, Launching Era of Increased Navy-Marine Corps Sea-based Capabilities in Indo-Pacific


                                    A detachment of F-35B Lightning II's with Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) arrived aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) March 5, marking the first time the aircraft has deployed aboard a U.S. Navy ship and with a Marine Expeditionary Unit in the Indo-Pacific.

                                    The F-35B, assigned under the Okinawa-based 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, will provide a robust set of sea-based capabilities that will enhance Navy-Marine Corps expeditionary operations. The aircraft is equally capable of conducting precision strikes inland, supporting Marines inserted ashore or providing air defense for the Expeditionary Strike Group.

                                    "Pairing F-35B Lightning II's with the Wasp represents one of the most significant leaps in warfighting capability for the Navy-Marine Corps team in our lifetime," said Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7. "This 5th generation stealth jet is extremely versatile, and will greatly enhance and expand our operational capabilities.”

                                    VMFA-121 Pilots are scheduled to conduct a series of qualification flights on Wasp over a multi-day period. Following qualifications, the F-35B’s and 2,300 Marines that make up the 31st MEU will deploy aboard ships of the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group for follow-on operations in the Indo-Pacific region as part of a routine patrol to strengthen regional alliances, provide rapid-response capability, and advance the Up-Gunned ESG concept.

                                    The Up-gunned ESG is a U.S. Pacific-fleet initiated concept that aims to provide lethality and survivability to a traditional three-ship amphibious ready group by integrating multi-mission surface combatants and F-35B into amphibious operations. By adding these enabling capabilities, the amphibious force can more effectively defend against adversarial threats in the undersea, surface, and air domains, as well provide offensive firepower to strike from the sea.

                                    The 31st MEU is the only forward-deployed MEU in the region. The F-35B serves as one airframe within a multitude of air capabilities of the MEU's Air Combat Element. Air, ground, and logistics forces make up the MEU's Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF), a composite of capabilities that allow the MEU, in partnership with Navy amphibious ships, to conduct a wide-range of missions from crisis response to disaster relief.

                                    “This is a historic deployment,” said Col. Tye R. Wallace, 31st MEU Commanding Officer. “The F-35B is the most capable aircraft ever to support a Marine rifleman on the ground. It brings a range of new capabilities to the MEU that make us a more lethal and effective Marine Air-Ground Task Force.”

                                    Multi-mission guided-missile destroyers USS Dewey (DDG 105), with embarked Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 “Magicians,” and USS Sterett (DDG 104), with embarked Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 49 “Scorpions,” are scheduled to support a range of operations and training with the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group for varying stretches during the patrol.

                                    The arrival of the F-35B culminates testing and shipboard structural modifications on Wasp that began in 2013. Wasp completed an overhaul in 2017 and subsequently departed Norfolk to forward-deploy to Sasebo, Japan as part of a Department of Defense effort to place the most advanced capabilities in the Indo-Pacific.

                                    “Deployment of the versatile F-35B enhances the full range of Expeditionary Strike Group capabilities with one of the world’s most technologically-advanced air warfare platforms,” said Capt. Colby Howard, Wasp commanding officer. “With the specific upgrades Wasp has received, the Navy Marine Corps team in the Pacific is better positioned than ever before to support our commitment to the security of Japan and the Region.”
                                    Attached Files
                                    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                                    Comment


                                      #78
                                      Are these F-35Bs block 3F version?

                                      Comment


                                        #79
                                        I believe VMFA-121 still operates 2B.
                                        Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                                        Comment


                                          #80
                                          That makes sense since 3F just started rolling off the line last fall.
                                          "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

                                          Comment


                                           

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