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Thread: 2017 F-35 news and discussion thread

  1. #2791
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    head of the Australian Defence Department’s JSF Division, Air Vice-Marshal Leigh Gordon: Australia would have an “aggressive’’ introduction of its F35-As into the Royal Australian Air Force

    The RAAF would effectively raise a squadron a year during transition as its 72 planes arrive.

    [...]
    “By the time we expect to declare final operating capability at the end of 2023, all 72 jets will be in Australia, based at Williamtown (two squadrons) and RAAF Base Tindal (one squadron) near Katherine in the Northern Territory,” he said. About $1.5 billion is being spent on construction or upgrading for JSF facilities.

    “The facilities work at Williamtown is continuing at pace and every time I visit I’m impressed,” AVM Gordon said. “The next major facility under construction is No 2 Operational Conversion Unit, which will include Australia’s F-35A Integrated Training Centre for aircrew and maintainer training. It’s quite an impressive building, with a number of simulator bays, classrooms and presentation areas, as well as a flight line and a seven-aircraft hangar”

    AVM Gordon’s JSF Division sits within the department’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, and its team includes RAAF, public service and contractor workers. Having such a combined workforce was “the way of delivering acquisition and sustainment into the future”, he said.

    The team had helped achieve, in January 2017 a contract price of less than $US100 million a plane for the next eight aircraft, for the first time, he said. “We have to ensure a lot of pieces, such as the training and logistics systems, are in sync with the aircraft,” he said. “As a result, I’m not solely focused on the arrival of the first aircraft. My focus is on delivering the whole-of-life capability to air force and Defence broadly with a 35-to-40-year view.”
    Source:
    The Australian.com

  2. #2792
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    On the same theme (in Israel)

    The students are set to become the teachers

    David “Chip” Berke, a retired US Marine Corps Lt. Col. who flew F-18s off aircraft carriers, the F-22 Raptor, and became an F-35 squadron commander who helped write the book on F-35 tactics, said the new pilots represent the first batch of true fifth-generation fighters.

    “Guys like me and everyone who’s ever transitioned” from flying a legacy airplane like an F-16, F-15, or F-18, are “always going to bring forward some habits,” from the old jet, said Berke. “A lot of those habits are going to be wrong.”

    Berke often likens the gap between an F-18 and an F-35 to the gap between a wall phone and an iPhone, in that the F-35 represents such a game change that it takes some figuring out just how to use the fundamentally different set of capabilities.

    Just as an aging generation is struggling with adapting to iPhones and giving up old habits, legacy pilots also carry outdated habits with them to the F-35, severely limiting their performance, according to Berke.

    “They’re going to be the best, most effective tacticians,” Berke said of the new generation of pilots. Legacy pilots are “never going to be as good as them,” said Berke.

    For once, the F-35 will get an objective viewing by pilots not biased towards old school fighter jets.

    “Every single thing everyone has ever said that’s a limitation of the F-35 has been wrong,” said Berke, who explained “they don’t understand the airplane.”

    “They take this template they used in the past” to judge the F-35, Berke said. This leads to heated debates about thrust-to-weight ratios, wing loading, and other complicated metrics used to judge fighter performance.

    But according to Berke, people who try to judge the F-35 by say, an F-14’s standards, are “wrong all the time.”

    “The biggest limitation for the F-35 is that pilots are not familiar with how to fly it. They try to fly the F-35 like their old airplane,” Berke said.

    With a new generation of pilots who bring a fresh, unencumbered look to the F-35, it looks as though the students are set to become the teachers.
    Source:
    i-HLS.com

  3. #2793
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    The September 2017 Concurrency report is now available. Here are the highlights.








    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1flU...ew?usp=sharing
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  4. #2794
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    But critics will still cry that not enough resources are being set aside for OT...

    DOD investing in range improvements to support F-35 IOT&E


    The Defense Department is in the midst of several test and training range upgrades in preparation for F-35 initial operational test and evaluation as well as to support the fifth-generation aircraft's long-term range needs.

    The department outlines the efforts in a December report to Congress that details upgrade efforts across the services. Inside the Air Force obtained the report this week.

    Readying ranges to adequately test the Joint Strike Fighter's high-end capabilities and prepare its pilots to operate against true fifth-generation adversaries has been a concern of program and operational test officials for several years. The December range report details some progress in preparing to meet those demands, noting that the Air Force is working to holistically address its air, space and cyber range needs through an Operational Training Infrastructure Flight Plan and a separate Enterprise Range Plan -- both of which are still being developed.

    "The ERP will document a range regionalization plan and identify the assets and planning factors needed to ensure that ranges will meet live training requirements, including those of fifth-generation aircraft, for the next 10 years," the report states.

    One Air Force facility that will be key to supporting the F-35 is the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. The service is slated to begin upgrades to several of the range's threat replication systems this fiscal year, according to the report. The Air Force is also investing in an Advanced Radar Threat System designed to better replicate adversary capabilities. Fielding will occur between fiscal years 2020 and 2026 and the system will eventually be delivered to JPARC.

    The Air Force is also fielding wideband and conventional Joint Threat Emitters at the Utah Test and Training Range that will support F-35 training. The service expects to buy 15 units through 2020, four of which will be delivered to the Utah range.

    The Nevada Test and Training Range and the Navy's Point Mugu Sea Range in California are both slated to receive new Radar Signal Emulator systems to support F-35 operational test. Sixteen systems will initially be shared between the two complexes. The report notes that several of those systems have been delivered and the remainder will arrive by the end of March.

    To complement those RSEs, the Air Force will deliver two Closed-Loop Passive Electronically Scanned Array Simulators by the end of 2019. The CLPS will simulate surface-to-air threats. The Air Force and Navy are also investing in systems that will increase the diversity of electronic warfare capabilities at their test and evaluation ranges.

    The two services are also working together to demonstrate new training capabilities: the Air Force's Secure-Live-Virtual-Constructive Advanced Training Environment and the Navy's Naval Annex and LTE Cohabitability Assessment. Together, the two aim to provide an advanced waveform to support LVC training. The advanced technology demonstration is scheduled for later this year.

    "If the ATD proves successful, DOD's approach would support the needs of the training community and free up valuable spectrum," the report states.

    After the demonstration, the Air Force will conduct a cost-capability analysis and determine how to transition the technology into existing and future programs.

    Air Force and Navy ranges also lack a cross-range battle shaping capability, which was highlighted in a recent report from the director of operational test and evaluation as a key system for F-35 IOT&E. The advanced battle shaping system allows scenarios to cross from one range to another.

    In the near term, Point Mugu Sea Test Range will implement the Air Warfare Battle Shaping project, which will leverage a system already in use by the Nevada Test and Training Range called the Advanced Air-to-Air Instrumentation pod. Initial operational capability at Point Mugu is slated for this fiscal year.

    Another testing need unique to fifth-generation jets is a more accurate radar cross-section measurement for low-observable platforms. The range report notes DOD is investing in a Radar Cross-Section Range Relevance Joint Improvement and Modernization project that should help to support low-observable testing throughout the modeling and simulation and prototype testing process.

    The department is also seeking a new aerial target that can better represent fifth-generation capabilities. The Air Force currently flies the unmanned QF-16, which provides fourth-generation characteristics, but falls short of replicating fifth-generation jets.

    "Until such a target is available, evaluation of weapons systems effectiveness against threat-representative systems at open-air ranges will be limited," the report states.
    The ARTS will be a collection of C-band, S-Band, and L-Band Phased array threat emitters along with EO/IR channels. This will be progressively fielded as the F-35 goes through IOT&E and follow on T&E as additional capability is added in increments over its operational life.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 9th February 2018 at 20:07.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  5. #2795
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    I am confused about all this talk about range improvement for the F-35 -- I thought the F-35 was quite long-ranged...?

  6. #2796
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    F-35 Integrated Test Force nominated for the 2017 Robert J. Collier Trophy.

    “The Edwards ITF did not just conduct the same-old flight test, they demonstrated superb excellence, tackling unique challenges, and performing at a sustained level simply never seen before in any Department of Defense flight test organization,” according to the award nomination.
    Source:
    Edwards AFB

  7. #2797
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    More from the National Test and Training Range Improvements Strategic Plan mentioned in my earlier post -

    The Air Force’s primary means for representing a modern anti-access area denial IADS is the Advanced Radar Threat System (ARTS) Program. Funding within the FY 2017 Presidential Budget (PB) is sufficient for the Air Force to procure seven strategic, long-range, threat systems (ARTSv1) and 15 tactical systems (ARTSv2). ARTSv2 procurement is on contract and leverages investments made by the test community to develop the Closed Loop Passive Electronically Scanned Array Simulator (CLPS). Preliminary work has begun on follow on programs, ARTSv3 and ARTSv4, which will provide a mobile threat system and a highly lethal short-range strategic threat system; however, additional funding is required in the next FYDP and beyond to procure the required number of adaptable live threats and to procure new systems as our adversaries develop and field new capabilities.

    As an interim effort to address the double-digit threat capability gap, the Air Force is procuring two low-power, double-digit capable, wideband Joint Threat Emitters (JTE) and two conventional JTEs for the Utah Test and Training Range to support F-35 training. The JTE is a remotely-operated, relocatable threat simulator that emulates former Soviet Union Surface-to-Air threat systems. The current production contract has two initial units in production with options to procure 13 more units through FY 2020. The FY 2018 PB programs funds to procure two to three units per year across the FYDP for multiple ranges, which completes the buy in 2021.

    Several key shortfalls in the current ability to represent advanced, ground-based air defense threats in training are addressed by the Radar Signal Emulator (RSE) component of the Electronic Warfare Infrastructure Improvement Program (EWIIP), initiated by the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics in 2014. The EWIIP RSE program is delivering a total of 16 high-powered, electronically-scanned threat emitters that operate in S-band (9 units) or C- band (7 units) and are capable of high fidelity emulation of the signal parameters, scan behaviors, and radiated power levels of advanced air defense radars.

    Several RSE systems have been delivered to NTTR for acceptance testing and initial integration, and the remainder are on schedule to be delivered by the end of March 2018. All 16 will be used initially at NTTR and the Point Mugu Sea Range to support F-35 Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) in 2018 and 2019. Subsequently, five will remain at the Sea Range and eleven at NTTR, under the ownership of the Navy and Air Force, respectively, and will be used to support ongoing training and test for a wide variety of programs. All RSEs are readily transportable by C-17, C-130, and over the road on public highways, without special restrictions. With appropriate integration, they are capable of operations on other ranges. Upgraded legacy threat systems are necessary in the near term, but will be phased out when newer systems are able to replicate emerging threats, or when real-world threats change and they are no longer needed. One effort underway provides targeted upgrades to Unmanned Threat Emitters (UMTE) and JTEs. This effort will modify the Common Electronic Attack Receiver (CEAR) in the JTE and UMTE systems. The CEAR provides data to support realistic simulations of enemy surface-to-air missile engagements. In addition, digital upgrades of some SA-2 and SA-3 threats are underway to better replicate current adversary capabilities. Funding within the FY 2017 PB is sufficient to upgrade select legacy threats to meet current standards.
    Program description of ARTS V1 from prior solicitations -

    2.0 PROGRAM DETAILS - ARTS-V1

    2.1 The Advanced Radar Threat System-Variant 1 (ARTS-V1) is a Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) threat radar system based on a modern, long range, strategic SAM threat system . The ARTS-V1 is designed to be used at Department of Defense (DoD) training ranges for aircrew training, tactics and procedures (TTP) development to increase combat effectiveness and aircrew survivability by training aircrews to engage or defend against an advanced SAM threat before encountering it in actual combat. Various aircraft platforms will train against the ARTS-V1, but the most stringent requirements placed on the ARTS-V1 system design come from fifth generation aircraft capabilities.

    2.2 The ARTS-V1 is a robust and ruggedized Passive Electronically Scanning Array (PESA) system that is transportable, tracks and/or engages multiple targets simultaneously, and is reactive to aircrew/aircraft defensive measures. The radar system will present threat parametric data derived from Integrated Technical Evaluation and Analysis of Multiple Sources (ITEAMS) intelligence assessments and from the Electronic Warfare Integrated Reprogramming (EWIR). Additionally, the system will provide threat representative full Effective Radiated Power (ERP), replicate threat signals, antenna patterns, operational modes, threat tactics capabilities, and the capability to send real-time radar data back to the Range Control Center (RCC). The RCC will be in conjunction with the range's Digital Integrated Air Defense System (DIADS)-controlled threat environment for processing and analysis.
    The Advanced Radar Threat System (ARTS) program will develop, design, build and test threat system simulators based on advanced foreign fielded surface-to-air missile (SAM) radar threat systems. ARTS is designed to be used at Department of Defense (DoD) training ranges for aircrew training and tactics development to increase combat effectiveness and aircrew survivability by training aircrews to engage or defend against an advanced SAM threat before encountering it in actual combat. Various aircraft platforms may train against ARTS, but the most stringent requirements placed on ARTS design come from
    fifth generation aircraft capabilities. The ARTS-Variant 1 (ARTS-V1) is focused on strategic, long-range, re-locatable radar threat systems while ARTS-Variant 2 (ARTS-V2) is focused on tactical, mobile, short/medium-range radar threat systems.
    We may end up with two counter arguments here..One still crying about how OT and training range infrastructure is no being upgraded fast enough, or comprehensively enough, while the other side will argue that the F-35 is so expensive that it requires the range infrastructure to be upgraded as part of its OT which would to have been the case had we just bought more F-16s. It is also very fascinating that the DOT&E never mentioned any of these plans, how extensive they were or how the phased approach is not just looking at the short term (1-2 years which would be specific to just one milestone event to support F-35) but much longer (8-10 years) and laying the ground work for testing and training capabilities and upgrades that will provide significantly more stressing environments to 5th generation fighters and their pilots. It would be interesting to see if the DOT&E now wants the F-22 to be re-tested against these new threats during its subsequent increment upgrades..
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 10th February 2018 at 14:04.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  8. #2798
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    Belgium: Lockheed Martin signed a protocol agreement with Ignition, a joint venture of maintenance specialist Sabena Aerospace and the Walloon aircraft manufacturer Sonaca.

    On Tuesday morning, a Belgian joint venture - Ignition - of maintenance specialist Sabena Aerospace (the former Sabena Technics, ndlr) and the Walloon aircraft parts manufacturer Sonaca, signed a memorandum of understanding with Lockheed Martin.

    'This is not yet a contract , but more concrete than a letter of intent', stresses Stéphane Burton, Sabena Aerospace's CEO, which employs 450 people and specializes in the maintenance and repair of parts of army and civil aircraft. 'This is an important agreement to work together in the long term, if the Belgian government would opt for the F-35. The agreement illustrates that Lockheed Martin has confidence in Ignition as a full partner. '
    “The signing of the Memorandum of Agreement today is an important step
    forward, which demonstrates that Lockheed Martin is considering Ignition! as a trustworthy partner. We hope to
    progress rapidly with Ignition!, but also with the Sonaca group, to sign more firm engagements, in the near future.
    These engagements are a right step to materialize our collaboration with Lockheed Martin with the F-35 offering, which
    supports the replacement of the F-16.”
    Lockheed Martin’s Essential Security Interests’ propositions associated with the F-35 proposal will create credible
    competitive opportunities for Ignition! in the fields of maintenance, logistics, Fleet management and training services.
    Gregory Day, F-35 Belgium Business Development from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, stated: “We look forward
    to strengthening our relationship with Sabena Aerospace and Ignition. These are two of the key Belgian aerospace
    companies that provide best-value solutions in sustainment and training”

    Ignition was created at the end of October with the maintenance of F-16 successor in mind
    C-130 maintenance has been formalized (extension)

    Source (from the 24th of January):
    De TIJD
    RTBF.be
    Sabena
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 11th February 2018 at 17:58.

  9. #2799
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    US PB19 Defense request: F-35 hangs steady @ 221 aircraft procured over the 3 year period (FY17-19) of LRIP.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  10. #2800
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    Last edited by bring_it_on; 13th February 2018 at 15:01.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  11. #2801
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    Per the FY2019 budgets, all Pre-Block 3F F-35s will updated by Q4 2020. All the kits have been paid for and kit deliveries started in Q4 2017.

    So much for the whole "100+ F-35s will never get updated" meme.

    Lot 2-5 F-35As


    Lot 6-8 F-35As


    F-35Bs


    F-35Cs
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  12. #2802
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    More from the recently released RD budget on the Stand In Attack Weapon which was first revealed last year -
    This project provides a strike capability to defeat rapidly relocatable targets that create the Anti-Access/Area Denial environment. Initial aircrafts to integrate are
    F-35, B-21. MDD approved in Apr 2017, currently in the Materiel Solution Analysis phase. AFLCMC/EBZ is currently conducting the Analysis of Alternatives which is
    scheduled to be complete in 3Q18. Currently working documentation for Milestone-A which is scheduled for FY19. In CY18 Stand in Attack Weapon was a new start.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  13. #2803
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    Izumo

    bring it on: ....Fighters also mulled for MSDF's Izumo ship...

    http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004240516
    Perhaps one of the strongest hints to date that the Japanese B will go to sea....With them spending money for the conversion study, think it's a pretty strong indication that the non-carrier may well carry fixed wing aircraft. I also note the language to rely on US jets early, not unlike the UK where USMC "B"s will handle the initial jet trials and perhaps deployments on the QE class. Sure they could pick up a half dozen or so B's as the swing by Okinawa....

  14. #2804
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    The Bs are at Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture, not Okinawa.

  15. #2805
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    what kind of additional modifications will the Izumo need for the F-35s?

    The elevators seem large enough to accommodate them if some of the models are correct.
    Is the deck able to withstand the engine blast?

    would they need to modify the deck to make it more angled? or perhaps a ski jump?

  16. #2806
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vans
    what kind of additional modifications will the Izumo need for the F-35s?
    Heat protection for the the flight deck. Navigational aids. Repair & maintenance facilities in the aircraft hangar. Storage for spares, munitions & consumables. And so on.

    would they need to modify the deck to make it more angled? or perhaps a ski jump?
    No. Neither are present on the Wasp & America classes.

  17. #2807
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    They're 10 metres longer than Izumo. Harrier pilots who've flown off both the Wasp & the Invincible class - which was significantly smaller - all seem to agree on the advantages of the ski jump for take-offs, saying that it more than made up for the shorter deck.

    A ski jump may not be essential for operating F-35B off Izumo, but it'd probably be a good idea.
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
    Justinian

  18. #2808
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    looking back at older posts

    yeah, the pilots prefer a ski jump for take offs

    but other naval planners prefer not to have it as it takes up one or two spots for helicopters.

    I guess it depends on what they want to focus the Izumo's role for.

    the Wasp is an assault ship while the Izumo is a helicopter carrier (ahem.. destroyer according to the Japanese).
    So I would assume an assault sip would need much more space and flexiblity to transport soldiers while the Izumo may not need to prioritize such.
    its main mission is submarine hunting and potentially peace keeping.

  19. #2809
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    hello sexy people.

    there do exist renders of both with a flight deck and a ski jump

    the flight deck one seems improbable though


  20. #2810
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    Quote Originally Posted by swerve View Post
    They're 10 metres longer than Izumo. Harrier pilots who've flown off both the Wasp & the Invincible class - which was significantly smaller - all seem to agree on the advantages of the ski jump for take-offs, saying that it more than made up for the shorter deck.

    A ski jump may not be essential for operating F-35B off Izumo, but it'd probably be a good idea.
    Based on current estimates from the latest SAR, the “B” requires 167 meters for take off with (2 x 1000lb bombs, 2 AIM-120 and fuel for 450 NM combat radius). That is with 10 Kt WOD. The objective is 4x 1000lb bombs + 2 AIM-120 and 550 NM combat radius with a 600 foot take off. Obviously, a 10 knot WOD is very conservative.

    The Izumo are certainly long enough without a ski jump, but it would definitely help with spotting aircraft on deck, given the shorter (137 meter) UK ski jump specification.

    I’d be more concerned with hangar arrangement. Edit- by dimensions, there should be no issue, the Izumo class has wider beam than America class, but they were designed to regularly carry 6 F-35B and a larger air wing overall.
    Last edited by FBW; 15th February 2018 at 04:33.

  21. #2811
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    Izumo information

    Flight deck is 243m
    allowing for 5 simultaneous helicopter operations

    Elevators
    1 - 14m x 15m
    2 - 20m x 13m

    Max speed 30kts

    Hangar
    space for 14 helicopters
    area is twice that of Hyuga class


    via royal institute of naval architect

    hangar space sounds about similar to the Gorshkov (pre conversion)

  22. #2812
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    Could we please move this discussion to the new thread.

    https://forum.keypublishing.com/show...and-Discussion
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

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