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2018 F-35 News and Discussion

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    How many F-35B will fly from the USS Wasp?


      Originally posted by Loke View Post
      How many F-35B will fly from the USS Wasp?
      Typically 6. That is the usual detachment assigned to LHD/LHA.

      The ACE assigned to an MEU is flexible based on mission though.
      Last edited by FBW; 5th March 2018, 21:29.


        Attached Files
        Last edited by bring_it_on; 6th March 2018, 01:27.
        Old radar types never die; they just phased array


          F-35 Finally Can Use All Its Weapons In Combat

          The newest U.S. Air Force F-35s, both stateside at Hill AFB, Utah, and overseas in the Pacific, finally can employ the stealth fighters full suite of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons in combat.
          The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) has delivered the flight clearances, simulators, threat information, and logistics system required for the Air Forces F-35As equipped with the latest software load to employ all of its weapons throughout the full flight envelope, according to the JPO, Lockheed Martin and Air Force officials.

          This milestone gives the Block 3F-configured F-35As assigned to the 34th Fighter Squadron stationed at Hill and those forward-deployed to Kadena Air Base, Japanon North Koreas doorstepsome lethal capabilities. The aircraft now can fire Raytheons short-range AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, the GAU-22 25mm gun, and Boeings precision-guided Small Diameter Bomb, all while flying up to 9Gs at 1.6 Mach.

          Meanwhile, the U.S. Marine Corps short takeoff, vertical-landing F-35B and U.S. Navy F-35C carrier variant configured with the 3F software will be able to deploy with their full operational capability in May and June, respectively, F-35 Program Executive Officer (PEO) Vice Adm. Mat Winter said during a Feb. 28 media roundtable. For the F-35Cs, this means the aircraft will be able to deploy Raytheons AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) in combat and fly to 1.3 Mach.
          Last edited by bring_it_on; 6th March 2018, 01:53.
          Old radar types never die; they just phased array


            Finally. Real step.


              One more step - Full M.1.6 weapons envelope with 3F for the USN/MC. Should follow their 3F weapons capability by a couple of months..comfortably by the time the time the USN declares IOC. That and final version of ALIS is what the USMC will wait for before declaring FOC.

              Also, in the 2017 thread, Spud had posted details on USAF/MC/N 3F conversions and their schedule. I have combined that into a PDF -


              - 102 F-35As upgraded to Block 3F by FY20 (around mid 2020)
              - 27 F-35Bs upgraded to block 3F by FY20
              - 12 F-35Cs upgraded to block 3F by FY20


              Last edited by bring_it_on; 6th March 2018, 12:50.
              Old radar types never die; they just phased array


                Development on New F-35 Computer Progresses for Block 4.2

                These new processors will be part of Tech Refresh 3 which is part of Block 4.2. It's planned to arrive in the early 2020's.

                Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded $24,000,000 for modification P00007 to a previously issued cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order (N0001917F0108) placed against basic ordering agreement N00019-14-G-0020. This modification provides for the procurement of Integrated Core Processor prototypes to support laboratory system integration for all Joint Strike Fighter aircraft variants. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in April 2019. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $11,100,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
                "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."


                  20180307 The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II Program (ID: 106951)

                  U.S. House Armed Services Committee
                  Scheduled for Mar 7, 2018
                  F-35 Joint Program Office

                  Vice Admiral Mathias W. Winter
                  Program Executive Officer, F-35 Joint Program Office

                  Lieutenant General Steven R. Rudder
                  Deputy Commandant for Aviation, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps

                  Rear Admiral Upper Half Scott D. Conn (Link to PDF now works)
                  Director, Air Warfare (OPNAV N98), Headquarters, U.S. Navy

                  Lieutenant General Jerry D. Harris
                  Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Programs, and Requirements, Headquarters, U. S. Air Force

                  Source of all PDFs.

                  Last edited by SpudmanWP; 8th March 2018, 23:43.
                  "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."


                    SOM-J for Internal JSF carry

                    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."


                      The Joint Program Office (JPO) estimates that continued development of the F-35 to deal with evolving threats and changing warfighting environments will cost the U.S. government more than $1 billion a year between 2018 and 2024.

                      The figure came to light during testimony from Vice Admiral Mathias Winter to the U.S. House Armed Services Committee on 7 March.

                      In total, JPO estimates that continuous capability development and delivery (C2D2) of the F-35 will cost $16.4 billion over that seven year time period, with some $11 billion going toward development and $5.4 billion toward procurement.
                      Read more:

                      How does this compare to other fighter jet programs at this stage? Of course having 3 different versions and a lot of concurrency costs are costly, but still this is quite a large number?


                        Efforts to integrate the F-35s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) with the Navys other internal logistics systems is thwarted by developer Lockheed Martins insistence that the software code is proprietary, said Vice Admiral Paul Grosklags in a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Navy and Marine Corps Aviation Programs on 6 March.
                        Read more:


                          Procurement is inclused: parts, systems, subcontractors. All in all it doesn't sound off the margin for such a large project (tri-versions as you stated and very high Number of airframe).


                            By far not all airframes will be upgraded.. Same as with the F-16..


                              How does this compare to other fighter jet programs at this stage? Of course having 3 different versions and a lot of concurrency costs are costly, but still this is quite a large number?
                              The cost is over 7 years, spread between the US, and partner nations. Similarly, the procurement cost of this is for procuring these for quite a large fleet (assuming that they want to retrofit the entire fleet and not just break it into production for future aircraft and upgrade delivered aircraft over a longer time-span as is more likely to happen). Within the US services, the cost is spread since it is a DOD program funded by the USAF and DON. All broken down, for the US RDT&E contribution this comes to about $1 Billion of development a year over the life of the phase which is quite typical imo for the cost of FOM for such a large DOD wide program, and represents roughly 1% of the total annual USDOD RDT&E outlay.

                              The final numbers are going to be released in June and will likely be lower as the PEO stated, probably because not 100% of the 3F fleet will be brought up to block 4 standards over this time frame (7 years) and even otherwise they are likely to not bring up the training fleet to that standard for quite a while. until it becomes cost prohibitive to keep on sustaining TR2 hardware which will probably be in the 2030s. Admiral Winter was also quick to point out that roughly 50% of the block 4 changes can be incorporated w/o switching over to TR3 so that could also be a strategy for non combat coded units during this period (cost estimate covers 7 years that the phase is expected/budgeted to last).

                              As a JPO head, his job/role is to provide the 3 US services, and foreign partners with cost estimates of the overall cost to bring the fleet to the new standard. He does not have a say in how each one of those services chooses to invest its resources so the final spend will most definitely be different as each service is in charge of its own procurement budget and will pick and choose how many aircraft to retrofit and based on what schedule. Same with international partners. What is likely to remain stable from a cost estimate is concerned is the RDT&E budget provided they don't cut capability or defer it to a future block in order to lower that top-line.

                              I would also not call this concurrency since this is not the baseline version but follow-on modernization. The program's baseline requirements were with block 3F and concurrency, as used by the program, refers to concurrent production and development, not concurrent production and follow on modernization, something that the program would continue to do over its lifetime.

                              Another thing that Admiral Winter was quick to point out was that the F-35's development cost estimates always include all program elements that in previous programs, were recorder separately. For example, Aircraft hardware, software, mission-planning hardware and software, sustainment equipment (ALIS), Mission data files (sustaining the EW squadron operating out of Eglin) etc (all in 8 elements) are all rolled into one single cost estimate. On the F-16 and F-15 enterprises this was/is not the case. This was one of the things his predecessor kept pointing out as well when claiming that he is not in charge of just one MDAP (Major Defense Acquisition Program) but multiple. This is true..if ALIS were to be carved out of the JSF program and made a stand along program, it would meet the requirements for being classified as an MDAP by itself.

                              Similarly, when the independent Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office was asked to do a true apples to apples O&M cost comparison between an F-16C and F-35A, they had to add quite a bit of cost to the F-16C which was not being, as per the current reporting protocol, captured as part of the F-16's CPFH but similar elements were being recorded in the F-35's CPFH data.

                              Last edited by bring_it_on; 8th March 2018, 13:09.
                              Old radar types never die; they just phased array


                                Block 3F

                                The F-35 is prepared to enter combat if required. The delivery of Block 3F improves warfighting capability with enhanced sensors and targeting, improved data links, improved threat countermeasures, and enhanced weapons capability to include air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground munitions, and weapons employment throughout the full aircraft flight envelope. Initial Block 3F software was delivered with later LRIP Lot 9 F-35A aircraft starting in August 2017 and included Block 3F Mission Systems capabilities required to conduct all critical mission threads including: Strategic Attack, Close Air Support, Suppression/Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses, and Air Superiority. Block 3F capabilities are in the fleet today and will continue to be delivered with LRIP Lot 10 F-35 aircraft. Since the initial Fleet Release of Block 3F software in August 2017 the F-35 JPO, in close coordination with U.S. Services and International Partners, has addressed critical Deficiency Reports (DRs) in order to deliver mission systems improvements and maximize F-35 mission effectiveness for LRIP Lot 10 Block 3F aircraft.

                                The latest Block 3F software has demonstrated the capability maturity and stability to complete all required Missions Systems test points and address critical DRs as directed by the Services via the F-35 Configuration Steering Board. In addition, the Program is taking the necessary Airworthiness and Weapons Certification steps to enable full combat capability with Block 3F hardware, software, and weapons carriage with LRIP Lot 10 F-35 aircraft delivered during 2018.

                                The Program continues to deliver Block 3F capability for the F-35A and is on track to deliver Block 3F capabilities to the F-35B and F-35C later this year in May (BF-63) and July (CF-34), respectively. This capability delivery will support fleet operational needs, deployments, and entry into formal Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) in fall 2018.

                                On IOT&E

                                With warfighting capability delivered, it is essential to prove the effectiveness of the F-35 through thorough test and evaluation. There are forty seven Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) test readiness criteria that must be met before formally beginning IOT&E. Examples of readiness criteria include: aircraft and weapons envelope certification, verified and validated Block 3F mission data file production, and the number of aircraft in a Block 3F configuration.

                                Formal IOT&E is currently expected to begin during the late third quarter of 2018. To help mitigate delays in Program development, the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), in coordination with the operational test agencies, agreed to permit the execution of select “Pre-IOT&E” activities prior to satisfying all forty-seven readiness criteria. Pre-IOT&E activities are occurring in two increments in early 2018.In January and February of this year, six F-35s (two of each variant) deployed to Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska for the first increment of Pre-IOT&E activities. The six F-35s conducted cold weather testing in sub-zero degree (Fahrenheit) temperatures and assessed the F-35 air vehicle system’s effectiveness, suitability, and mission capability during alert launches. PreIOT&E Increment Two is expected to begin mid-2018 and will evaluate the F-35 in tactical missions such as Close Air Support (CAS), Strike Coordination and Reconnaissance (SCAR), Aerial Reconnaissance (Recce), and Forward Air Controller (Airborne) (FAC-A).

                                These tests will include weapons delivery effectiveness evaluations. They will also include assessments of F-35B and F-35C variants in shipboard operations. Formal IOT&E includes Defensive Counter Air missions and combined mission scenarios executed by two 4-ships of F-35s to achieve realistic complexity, threat densities, and schedule-range-cost efficiencies.

                                On Block 4 (C2D2)

                                With recent progress and goals in mind, the development of F-35 warfighting capability does not end with the delivery of Block 3F software. Rather, it is the foundation upon which continuous enhancements and improvements will be made to increase capabilities that make the F-35 more lethal and survivable.

                                To ensure the F-35 remains a relevant, capable warfighting platform, the Block 4 capability set was approved by the U.S. Services and Partner nations, and formally endorsed by the Joint Requirements Oversight Committee during spring 2017. With Block 4 requirements defined, the JPO determined that legacy linear development and delivery approaches could not deliver the required capability on the necessary timeline at available funding levels.

                                The F-35 program is taking a new approach to deliver post-SDD capabilities in order to provide the warfighters F-35 weapon system modernizations, enhancements, and improvements faster and more frequently. Under this new capability delivery paradigm, software sustainment and modernization will no longer be two separate efforts. C2D2 is a strategy that allows support and enhancements to fielded capabilities while also delivering advanced capabilities. This effort reflects a shift to a more agile process that enables the F-35 enterprise to incrementally develop, integrate, test, and deliver the Block 4 capability set on an operationally-relevant timeline.

                                Objectives of C2D2 include a six-month enhancement and improvement software delivery cycle and a twelve-month interval for modernization. The approach includes a sequence of two capability drops aligned with a cycle of Technology Insertions. Technology Insertions leverage rapid commercial off-the-shelf computer upgrades to keep pace with technology and minimize obsolescence while solving diminishing manufacturing source issues. Maintaining hardware currency provides the flexibility to quickly develop and implement changes to meet the evolving threat. On a longer range cycle, as industry moves to a next generation of computing architecture, F-35 C2D2 will plan a Technology Refresh (TR) to capture the next higher level of computing capacity.

                                While such a change is involved and complex, these upgrades are essential to the viability of the F-35 throughout its full lifecycle. Based on experience from the F-22, an eight-to-ten year span between Technology Refresh events will maintain viable warfighting capability throughout each cycle. TR-3 is planned for implementation as soon as possible, but not later than LRIP Lot 15, with an objective of accelerating into LRIP Lot 14.
                                Attached Files
                                Old radar types never die; they just phased array


                                  By far not all airframes will be upgraded..
                                  That is not accurate. As I have well documented, all Block 3F upgrade kits are either already included in previous budget years or are part of the FY2019 budget. These kits are already contracted, have started to arrive at the depots, and 7 F-35s have already been upgraded as of Q12018. Per the FY2019 budget doc, these updates will be completed by Fy2020.'ish.

                                  Last edited by SpudmanWP; 8th March 2018, 17:08.
                                  "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."


                                    I think he was referring to block 4 and not 3F. It will take a few years before we arrive on a stable schedule for block 4 upgraded for each US service and international partner. For the sake of providing an estimate to Congress the JPO assumes that these US and partner aircraft will be brought up to the block 4 schedule within the seven year period which is probably unlikely to happen and will be influenced by budgetary events that are outside of the FYDP. But his and the JPOs job is to provide an estimate and execute on the R&D program and break these upgrades into production at the desired interval (Lot 14/15 for TR3 for example). How, how much, and when these upgrades are procured for retrofit on existing fleets is not for him to decide.
                                    Last edited by bring_it_on; 8th March 2018, 19:50.
                                    Old radar types never die; they just phased array


                                      Donovan: Air Force riding out F-35 uncertainty before upping its buy-rate

                                      Donovan said the service is working with the joint program office to determine how many of its older jets it will retrofit. Ideally, the service would maintain a common configuration between operational and training jets so pilots learn to fly on the same aircraft they will eventually be operating in the field.

                                      "If we don't do that, what we're doing is we're transferring the training load over onto the combat units," he said. "It takes time to get a guy up to speed on the new type of airplane that he hasn't quite seen before. . . . So that's the real concern. But we have to balance that with available resources as well."

                                      Beyond retrofit concerns, there is also some uncertainty around the timing of initial operational test and evaluation and the possibility that discoveries could stretch testing past the JPO's current estimated end date of May 2019.

                                      "There are unknowns because we always find something in IOT&E," he said.

                                      Donovan said that as the program moves through IOT&E, the Air Force will consider increasing its buy-rate, but for now, the service is waiting for the uncertainty to pass.

                                      "I think you'll see that we'll be interested in increasing our annual buy rate, but we want to buy down this risk and uncertainty," he said.
                                      DOD: FY-21 is earliest chance to begin bundling U.S. F-35 orders

                                      The Defense Department is considering options to bundle U.S. orders for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter into multiyear contracts with Lockheed Martin as soon as fiscal year 2021, potentiality consolidating annual purchases of about $11 billion for nearly 100 aircraft into mega-deals that would provide industrial base stability and notionally yield savings compared to yearly contracts.

                                      Vice Adm. Mat Winter, F-35 Joint Program Office director, told reporters he "is looking at and assessing the usage of what we call traditional multiyear procurement authority starting in [production] Lot 15 and beyond." The Defense Department plans to seek $11 billion in FY-21 to buy 98 aircraft as part of the 15th production run, according to the FY-18 budget request.
                                      Old radar types never die; they just phased array


                                        FY-21before any increase in Lot proccurments..

                                        Do i smell further cost rise due to further delays on testing on F-35 program.