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Thread: 2017 F-35 news and discussion thread

  1. #2281
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    The observation is not accurate. What do you mean by not "combat ready"? Is there anything preventing the F-35 from going into combat with its current envelope, and weapons suite? NO. The services decide which hardware is declared operational, goes into combat and when and if they feel that it is required they will use it just as they have, through the course of history, taken programs and hardware at various stages of development or in-service and put them to use in combat as and when required.

    The "operators" do not weight the aircraft capabilities vs an SDD requirements document, but relative to alternatives that they have. If the F-35B @ 3I has a superior combat capability, specific to a mission, compared to USMC F/A-18 or AV-8s, and if the USAF F-35As has superior capabilities to F-16Cs then they will be used. Of course it is months away from porting over full 3F capability but the warfighter and force provider goes on the capabilities available to him/her and not what is to come. Full 3F is a matter of full software port, weapons envelope and MDFs. This will happen over the next few months in increments just like the previous versions. WW3 is unlikely to start in the next few months so the speed of 3F delivery at least to me is less important than the qualitative nature of the final product as in how mature a build they can deliver to the fleet knowing that system maturity and software stability improves in increments and over time through the process improvement and feedback loop.

    When Dog Davis had to decide how and when to develop the initial F-35B capability with the USMC he wasn't looking at data points and timelines on the JPOs estimates on the Eglin team on the MDFs..he would have been concerned with the ability of the F-35B relative to the AV-8s and Classic Marine Hornets that it will be taking over some of those missions from. It will be the same for the current planners. If there are benefits of using the F-35 relative to other available alternatives, even with the 'KNOWN" limits of 3I, then they will use it. The services have given the combatant commanders and planners in at least the Pacific this flexibility with the F-35Bs forward deployed.

    So as far as i understood, not combat ready before 2019...
    Notice i'm criticizing program, not plane.
    The program office and management is tasked with delivering a complete product and finishing the development program. They are not required to, or even responsible for declaring any aircraft "combat ready". Nor is the DOT&E for that matter. Individual services decide whether a particular weapons system is capable and mature enough to allow its use in combat and in many instances they phase it in, accepting the fact that there will be a transition period from initial operational capability to full operational capability and even after full operational capability there will be minor improvements sought to further enhance already delivered capability, while the program management works to develop follow on capability.

    Lara and other reporters often use a program and DOT&E term " Full Combat Capability", and perhaps uses it confusingly while referring to "combat ready". Marine and AF pilots with the initial squadrons for each service have been training hard with their aircraft, and are now routine at Red Flags. These are geared towards developing a competency and using their aircraft with its current capability even in its current configuration. 3F will significantly enhance it and close out SDD but they are fully capable of deploying and are "combat ready" if called upon to do so.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 6th September 2017 at 12:58.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  2. #2282
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    Combat ready without proper MDFs???? just quoting "Even with the final version of 3F, the Air Force will not be able to use the newest aircraft in combat. The service will, however, still be able to deploy the majority of the aircraft in the squadron, which are in the 3i configuration, Graff stresses. The Pentagon has not yet finished building and testing the operational Mission Data File (MDF) set for the 3F software, which will provide a vast databank of threat information needed for combat, Graff notes."

  3. #2283
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    Quote Originally Posted by halloweene
    Combat ready without proper MDFs????
    More capable than any other fighter aircraft in the USAF fleet even without 'proper MDFs', so why not?

  4. #2284
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    Combat ready without proper MDFs????
    How does the current 3I ability to utilize the systems onboard (minus much of the MDF) compare to similar capability on the classic hornet or the harriers the marines operate?

    "Even with the final version of 3F, the Air Force will not be able to use the newest aircraft in combat. The service will, however, still be able to deploy the majority of the aircraft in the squadron, which are in the 3i configuration, Graff stresses.
    3F much like 3I will be dropped in sub-blocks. When the final 3F drop is made it will include full capability as specified and approved. Basically what the program is required to deliver before closing out the SDD phase. Yes MDFs are running late and they will likely come towards the last of the 3F capability drops but this has been known for a while and is expected. As mentioned earlier, this has nothing to do with the aircraft's "ready for combat" status which is not determined by pitting it against a document the program manager uses to manage it, but by the realities of need and current capability that the operator wants to replace.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  5. #2285
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    MDFs are specific to a theater in which a jet is supposed to operate.

  6. #2286
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    Omni-Rafale had the same "problem" - that includes low level routing. I am not even sure that all customers have all the MDF they could need today.

    Let's move on.

  7. #2287
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    Omni-Rafale had the same "problem" - that includes low level routing. I am not even sure that all customers have all the MDF they could need today.
    source? (Btw, Rafale can generate in real time low level maps).

  8. #2288
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    How can you generate a low level map in real-time without emitting?
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  9. #2289
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    @Halloweene
    - Contract with India includes the generation of the so said map.
    - France have admitted in the past that it did not have all the required data for the theater where the Rafale was deployed. Well, nobody would have bothered of this. Totally understandable.
    - The recent increases of sat intel cap is also there to cover the need

    You are confusing data harvesting and real time routing that is generally done with radar or optical analysis. It has nothing to do with generating in real time a broad list of route for a deployed squadron.

  10. #2290
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    yah o. lost something in translation. and yes. uses radar for real time map generation. (numerical ones are finer).

  11. #2291
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    Dassault drops out of Belgian fighter contest.

    just like Boeing (F/A-18E/F) & SAAB (Gripen-E/F), Dassault is now also withdrawing the Rafale from the program.
    this leaves just Lockheed (F-35A) and BAe/Airbus (Typhoon) in the running to replace Belgiums F-16 fleet.
    What are they afraid of?

    I was really looking forward to an Apples-2-Apples comparison between them, or a 4v4, 8v8, etc
    Last edited by SpudmanWP; 6th September 2017 at 21:08.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  12. #2292
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    Dassault drops out of Belgian fighter contest.

    just like Boeing (F/A-18E/F) & SAAB (Gripen-E/F), Dassault is now also withdrawing the Rafale from the program.
    this leaves just Lockheed (F-35A) and BAe/Airbus (Typhoon) in the running to replace Belgiums F-16 fleet.
    Well the article states that as a likely possibility rather than an absolute fact. Today's the deadline for submission, so there's still hope.

    I think all of us are looking forward to an independent detailed evaluation of the F-35 v Rafale. I know I'd be very annoyed if Dassault backed out at the last moment.

  13. #2293
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    The natural progression if modular avionics is on-demand, as-needed, as-developed patches outside of the Block process.


    US military and defence industry officials are close to adopting Silicon Valley-style software development and refresh processes for military aircraft, starting with billion-dollar upgrade programmes for the Lockheed Martin F-35 and F-22.

    The new strategy could be approved within months as the F-35 joint programme office faces the challenge of fixing bugs in the F-35’s go-to-war Block 3F software and developing the follow-on Block 4 package of capability improvements.

    F-35 software planning has entered a “strategic pause” until JPO staffers present a new software development plan for consideration by top Pentagon officials in late October, says F-35 programme executive Vice Adm Mat Winter, speaking at the Defense News Conference on 6 September.

    Meanwhile, the “agile” software development technique used by Apple to develop iPhone applications could be adopted by the F-22 programme office, as the US Air Force considers developing a stealthy transmit and receive mode for the Link 16 datalink to communicate with a future unmanned “loyal wingman” and the F-35, says Sean Singleton, director of business development and marketing for the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx).

    Singleton, speaking on the sidelines of the same conference, says the F-22 SPO and prime contractor Lockheed are open to making the switch, with an eye to accelerating the new datalink capability from 2021 or 2022.
    More at the jump

    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...o-f-35-440902/
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  14. #2294
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    Yesterday I made a delivery to the navy in Portsmouth and saw HMS Queen Elizabeth. It was depressing, I saw quite a few other ships being worked on in whatever capacity but the Queen Elizabeth looked quite forlorn with no aircraft, a bare top deck and not much sign of any activity.

    The Royal Navy's new supercarrier, the largest warship ever built for the British Navy.
    If you're not living on the edge then you're taking up too much space!

  15. #2295
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    If Dassault perceive the belgian "contest" as being rigged to make the F35 win (Norway contest anyone?), then they should not participate in that farce because:
    1. Why spend millions on a contest you have no chance of winning?
    2. After being beaten by politics, F35/US fanboys wouldn't stop beating their chest because the result would miraculously prove that the F35 is superior to the Rafale.

    Nic

  16. #2296
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    Tell me, can you still make phone calls with the tinfoil hat on?
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  17. #2297
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    @WP840:

    a bare top
    Really?!

  18. #2298
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    No, spudman , it is just not the first time that such a desolating spectacle happen, like in Korea.
    Simply put when some producers get certain that a certain competition is I wouldn't say rigged that suggest some cheating or bribe but insteadalready decided even before to the start for non technical reason they simply pull themselves out in order not to waste their time and money.
    It happened in Korea F-15K deal, the ROK decided to re-run the tender but the producer of Rafale and Typhoon decided not to partecipate to a fake tender whose sole reason was to get a discount from Boeing.
    Belgium would take the same plane than Netherland, end of story.

  19. #2299
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    If Dassault perceive the belgian "contest" as being rigged to make the F35 win (Norway contest anyone?), then they should not participate in that farce because:
    1. Why spend millions on a contest you have no chance of winning?
    2. After being beaten by politics, F35/US fanboys wouldn't stop beating their chest because the result would miraculously prove that the F35 is superior to the Rafale.

    Nic
    The scenarios are available for all to view. If Dassault don't think they can complete them to the same proficiency as the other competitors, while remaining competitive on price, then no surprise they have withdrawn.

  20. #2300
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    Tell me, can you still make phone calls with the tinfoil hat on?
    1. Phone gives brain cancer
    2. I said IF Dassault percieved...
    3. So should Dassault have participated in the Norwegian competition? The Korean competition?

  21. #2301
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    C'mon, it's not a choice of Ice cream where any blend might do it. Stealth is a deal breaker. EoA. Then there is the Typhoon and its superior dynamics cap (the Rafale is limited too close to what the 35 is believed to be). It's perfectly logical to see both design competing for the last round. It's A2A mainly Vs a focus on other cap.

    Mind that with the size of Belgium the difference in dash speed might not brings any real bonus.

  22. #2302
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    Typhoon .... it seems their sales pitch, other than the obvious one, is that "Typhoon is going to be an excellent complement to (enter fighter here)".

    They are saying it to Poland about their F16s, and have in the past switched from the "We know how to kill the F35" line to "We have the best interoperability with the F35".

  23. #2303
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    Sort of follows what Boeing marketing has done. From pretending to have a stealth fighter (in the Advanced Super Hornet) they are now highlighting how enhancements can make it more potent when operating alongside the F-35 in a way both can benefit.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  24. #2304
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas10 View Post
    1. Phone gives brain cancer
    2. I said IF Dassault percieved...
    3. So should Dassault have participated in the Norwegian competition? The Korean competition?
    To general idea of business when you consider your product/service to be competitive is to compete hard wherever you get the opportunity.

    Fact is dassault are offering a poor man's version of the f-35s mission capabilities at a higher price. Double inferior.

  25. #2305
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    Tremendous statement! Well arumented!

    In the meanwhile, Dassault do consider the RFGP to be biased in favour of F-35. ("nato missions" aka b-61; scenarii (albeit we tried one on COMANO, not really in favour of F-35 block III i iknow, it is a game) iaed in favour of F-35 strongpoints ; contract structure similar to FMS etc, very very low importance of offsets and ToT...
    Fair from DA/french government to move game on politics/european yard using the "Trump factor".

  26. #2306
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    It's no just Trump. Israel already received F35 and than maybe Turkey. The rest is China.

  27. #2307
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    JPO Fixing F-35 Oxygen, Carrier Landing, Software Glitches: VADM Winter


    Regarding the problem with the nose landing gear on the catapult:

    The program's [...] made minor adjustments to fix the intense vibration during catapult take-offs (“cat stroke”). There’s no need for a costly and time-consuming redesign of the aircraft’s nose landing gear, as some had thought.
    Two Navy F-35C squadrons (VFA-101 and VFA-125) now have both [(helmet and nose landing gear)] sets of fixes and are going through carrier qualifications with them aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, Winter said. This isn’t a test specially arranged for the F-35 program, he emphasized. It’s pilots going through their routine training, using the improved gear and providing feedback on it.
    Source:
    BreakingDefense.com

  28. #2308
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    So it seems that France thinks that the Rafale can meet the spec that Belgium is looking for but does not want an "open and fair" compatition. Again, what is it afraid of?

    PARIS --- Belgian Defense Minister Steven Vandeput confirmed today (Sept. 8) that France did not respond to the call for tenders for the replacement of the F-16 fighters, but instead made a direct proposal to Belgium.

    Speaking on Belgium’s Radio 1, Vandeput did not, however, indicate whether the French offer would be taken into account. "We must first consider the legal status of this proposal," he said.

    By the deadline Thursday night, only two candidates have formally responded: Lockheed Martin, with the F-35A Lightning II, and the Eurofighter consortium with the Typhoon.

    On Thursday, just a few hours before the tender deadline, French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly made a surprise announcement, saying that she had proposed to her Belgian counterpart "the establishment of an in-depth partnership between our two countries to meet the need" expressed by the Air Component of the Belgian Armed Forces for new fighter aircraft.

    On Friday morning, Mr Vandeput said that there were indeed "two candidates engaged in the official procedure, in addition to the French proposal," but did not say whether it would be possible to take the latter into account.
    http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...ale-offer.html
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  29. #2309
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    So it seems that France thinks that the Rafale can meet the spec that Belgium is looking for but does not want an "open and fair" compatition. Again, what is it afraid of?
    In your words Dassault is going for the exact same aproach that LM took to the Indian Navy RFI for a Naval Fighter... Nothing new under the sun...

    Lets wait for the French to clarify their position before jumping to conclusions?
    Last edited by Sintra; 8th September 2017 at 17:05.

  30. #2310
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    Yes. Murky and weird. France just got 1b$ worth of contract for the Belgian army. It's hard to think that they will ressort to such comedy. At least as a mark of respect for the Belgian MoD....
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 8th September 2017 at 18:47.

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