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Thread: 2018 F-35 News and Discussion

  1. #121
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    http://www.senat.fr/rap/a16-142-8/a16-142-820.html

    For the record, the target of the Rafale program was in the previous LPM, for 2008-2013, of 286 aircraft. With this target, the total cost of the program for the State represented 46,6 billion euros under the economic conditions cost of the factors of 2015. According to the information gathered by your rapporteurs for opinion60 (*), this target must be re-examined later, in particular according to the observed attrition, the use of the aircraft and the number of Mirage 2000 remaining (M2000-5 and M2000D), to respect the format of 225 aircraft defined in 2013.
    - Work related to the new F3R standard, whose development was launched at the end of 2013. This standard makes it possible for the Rafale F3R operation: development work, testing and instrumentation;
    he development of the Rafale F4 standard, according to the LPM, must be ordered in 2018. This new standard will include an upgrade of the active antenna radar detection software and the electronic countermeasures of the aircraft; the weapon-carrying capacity will also be increased, so that the successor of the MICA (Interception, Combat and Self-Defense Missile, see below) can be installed. The objective is to have a fleet of which all aircraft would eventually have the same standard, which would facilitate both logistical support and training of pilots. In order to preserve the skills of the industrial design offices, your draftsmen would like to see the idea of anticipating 2017 the notification of the development contract of this F4 standard.
    In other words, 46.6 billion based on the previous estimates from the 2008-2013 plan in 2015 cost factors. The development for F3R was started after the 2013 plan. The contracts for F4 hadn't even been awarded yet.

    Look back on previous estimates, the estimated program costs did not include future standards and upgrades:
    https://www.senat.fr/rap/a04-077-7/a04-077-74.html
    (program costs in 2004= 35 billion, which BTW included 294 aircraft delivered by 2015. The program added about 6 billion Euro in program costs between 2004-2015 after taking inflation into account.)

    https://www.senat.fr/rap/a12-150-8/a12-150-81.pdf

  2. #122
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    Italy To Host First European Fifth-Generation Exercise


    ....The TLP exercises, usually held four times a year, test NATO air arms and their air crews on their ability to operate together as part of a coalition. Normally the exercises are held at Albacete airbase in Spain. But this year the final TLP exercise of the year, planned for November, will be run from Amendola, Italy, the recently refurbished main operating base for the Italian Air Force’s fleet of F-35s.

    “This will represent the first opportunity in Europe to host training activities involving the F-35, fostering the interoperability between 4th and 5th Generation assets during complex and advanced missions,” said Gen. Enzo Vecciarelli, commander of the Italian Air Force, in an interview with Aerospace DAILY.

    “All the TLP signatory nations have shown a great interest in this initiative and there is an initial bidding for the course for about 50 aircraft. For sure our fifth-generation assets will be involved,” Vecciarelli said....
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  3. #123
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    F-35C: IOC in 2018 and 1st at-sea deployment in 2021 on the USS Carl Vinson

    By Kris Osborn - Managing Editor - Warrior Maven

    US Navy leaders have announced that the first-of-its kind carrier-launched F-35C stealth fighter will deploy for its first operational deployment on the USS Carl Vinson -- in 2021.

    The anticipated historical deployment could be accelerated by the 2019 budget proposal which supports a transition of the F-35C program from a developmental phase to more formal test and evaluation before being declared operational later this year, Rear. Adm. S.D. Conn, Director, Air Warfare Chief of Naval Operations, told Congress.
    https://www.themaven.net/warriormave...4km3UiaPNpN10A
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  4. #124
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    ..

    OKINAWA, Japan (March 19, 2018) The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) departs the harbor at White Beach Naval Facility. Wasp with embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, is operating in the Indo-Pacific region as part of a regularly scheduled patrol and provides a rapid-response capability in the event of a regional contingency or natural disaster. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sarah Villegas/ Released)
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    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  5. #125
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    F-35C again at sea...CVN72 USS Abraham Lincoln


    180318-N-WP746-0149 ATLANTIC OCEAN (March 18, 2018) An F-35C Lightning II assigned to the Rough Raiders of Strike Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA) 125 performs a touch and go on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Mark Logico/Released)
    1Saludo
    Revista Ejercitos, sometime She will back...

  6. #126
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    The Navy's F-35s Finally Have a Deployment Date

    https://www.themaven.net/warriormave...4km3UiaPNpN10A

  7. #127
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    ^ The same article is posted just a couple of posts above yours.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  8. #128
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    ALIS adds F135 support worldwide

    Pratt & Whitney Techs Deploy Logistics Upgrade for F-35 Fleet

    AM Staff | Mar 19, 2018
    Jet-engine builder Pratt & Whitney reported that a team of subject matter experts completed an upgrade to F-35 Lightning II fleet-management system at 12 sites around the world, implementing automated tracking of life-limited propulsion parts for the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. All of the operational bases where the JSF aircraft are deployed are updated to the latest version of the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS version 2.0.2.4), which integrates the Pratt & Whitney’s F135 propulsion system for the first time.
    More after the Jump
    http://www.americanmachinist.com/am-...ade-f-35-fleet
    Last edited by SpudmanWP; 20th March 2018 at 15:46.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  9. #129
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    Japan Eyes Lockheed F-35Bs, New Carrier To Counter China Aggression

    GILLIAN RICH 11:25 AM ET
    Japan moved closer to buying the short takeoff, vertical-landing variant of Lockheed Martin's (LMT) F-35, as the U.S. ally mulls building more flat-top carriers.


    Defense officials with the Liberal Democratic Party, Japan's ruling party, proposed buying F-35Bs, which can be deployed from shorter-deck carriers, not just from land bases.

    Japan is already buying the conventional-takeoff version of Lockheed's stealth fighter, but the F-35B would enable it to project power farther, potentially helping offset Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.

    The party also proposed building a new carrier capable of handling fighter jets as well as modifying its four flat-top destroyers to support jets in addition to helicopters, officials told the Wall Street Journal. An official proposal will be released in late May.

    Lockheed shares were up 0.6% on the stock market today. Northrop Grumman (NOC), a key subcontractor on the program, rallied 1.2%, and United Technologies (UTX), which makes engines for the F-35, gained 0.6%.
    https://www.investors.com/news/f35-n...ea-aggression/
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  10. #130
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    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  11. #131
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    Revista Ejercitos, sometime She will back...

  12. #132
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    ..
    PHILIPPINE SEA (March 20, 2018) An MV-22 Osprey attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (VMM-265) "Dragons"

    flies over the amphibious assault ship USS Was- (LHD 1). Wasp, part of the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group, with embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, is operating in the Indo-Pacific region to enhance operability with partners, serve as a ready-response force for any type of contingency and advance the Up-Gunned ESG concept. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Taylor King/Released)
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    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  13. #133
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    The FY18 Omnibus spending bill which the Congressional appropriators released last night is going to (when passed) fund 90 F-35s in FY18. For reference, the US services and the President's FY18 budget had requested 70 aircraft so a net gain of 20 split between the F-35A (10), and the F-35B and C (10).

    Unsurprisingly, it was a good year for Lockheed Martin’s F-35. Congress added $2.9 billion for an additional 20 joint strike fighters, which would put total FY18 procurement at 90 planes.

    If the spending bill is passed, the Navy and Marine Corps will get not only the number of joint strike fighters requested in the budget, but also the ones detailed in their “unfunded requirements lists” sent every year to Congress. For the Navy, that’s eight F-35C carrier takeoff and landing variants. Meanwhile, the Marine Corps would get 24 F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing variants and two F-35Cs.

    The Air Force will get 56 F-35A models — just four short of its unfunded requirement.

    https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018...-the-military/
    Just to refresh memories - the USAF had requested 46, and 48 F-35As respectively in FY18 andFY19. Congress would give them 10 additional aircraft in FY18. One would be naive to think that the USAF does not bake these things into its requests (that more will be added). So, while their official position is that they'll be reaching 60 in the early 2020s, in reality they are getting pretty close to it even now once the dust settles and the bill is actually passed. Expect the low number for FY19 to also be in the 55-60 range as they are unlikely to get fewer F-35As in the FY19 bill than what they got in the FY18 version. Once you add the Super Hornets, the US services will be getting 114 new fighters through the FY18 budget.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 22nd March 2018 at 11:43.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  14. #134
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    The FY18 Omnibus spending bill which the Congressional appropriators released last night is going to (when passed) fund 90 F-35s in FY18. For reference, the US services and the President's FY18 budget had requested 70 aircraft so a net gain of 20 split between the F-35A (10), and the F-35B and C (10).
    LOL, the death spiral continues...

    Seriously, that is a good result and nice to see the USN get some more F-35Cs and obviously all aircraft will come in Blk 3F.

  15. #135
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    Yes, good progress and all will be 3F from the start. The last two Omnibus bills would have ordered 164 total F-35s for the three US operators. In the FY19 budget the request is for 77 aircraft, so they could get 100 or so, if not more.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  16. #136
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    Pentagon eyeing new mission for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: ballistic missile defense


    The Defense Department is exploring a potential new mission for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: ballistic missile defense, according to a senior DOD official. The move could leverage sensors on the planned fleet of 2,456 new stealthy aircraft the U.S. military plans to buy in the coming decades to help detect and track enemy launches.

    Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves revealed the new development in written testimony prepared for a March 22 hearing of the Senate Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee.

    Greaves said in addition to investing in radars and developing advanced sensors, MDA is "also leveraging services' sensors to support the BMD architecture," including the "F-35 Distributed Aperture System."

    MDA officials have not previously discussed the role of the F-35 DAS -- built by Northrop Grumman -- being used for ballistic missile defense.

    Last December, however, MDA OK'd Northrop Grumman revealing the company's sensor participated in a 2014 ballistic missile defense flight test, dubbed FTX-20, to support the BMD warning system.

    During the Oct. 17, 2014 test where the sensor detected and tracked a medium-range ballistic missile target, Northrop Grumman deployed an F-35 surrogate, a commercial aircraft outfitted with DAS.

    According to Northrop, the sensor -- also called the AN/AAQ-37 -- provides 360-degree, spherical situational awareness. When mounted on the F-35, the DAS could allow a Joint Strike Fighter to support five ballistic missile defense tasks: tracking, raid handling and reentry events, trajectory estimation, launch point estimation and impact point prediction.

    During the 2014 flight test, the DAS produced and communicated three-dimensional trajectory data -- of the ballistic missile launched from Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii -- to the ballistic missile analysis center in San Diego, CA, company officials told reporters in December.

    During the launch, a DAS ground-based sensor detected a moving rocket during the experiment and categorized the event as a ballistic missile launch. The system then transmitted two-dimensional tracking information via Link 16 and the aircraft was able to track the rocket. Since the radar was communicating via Link 16, DAS can transmit information to Aegis, Patriot and Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense systems, according to a company official.

    "The strength comes in numbers like ants running around the Serengeti," John "Bama" Montgomery, fifth-generation improvements and derivatives program manager at Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, told reporters on Dec. 5. "You've got hundreds of F-35s or anything with a distributed aperture system, and now you have the ability to help the ballistic missile defense warning system."

    In this scenario, a pilot operating an aircraft outfitted with DAS will know where the ballistic missile came from and where it is going. "It kind of flips the whole discussion of how we defend and this provides resiliency to that overhead structure," Montgomery said.
    FTX-20 was a non-intercept test involving launching of a Medium Range Ballistic Missile target and using a large number of MDAs sensors such as the SPY-1 using AEGIS Baseline 9, the Sea Based X-Band Radar, STSS, MQ-9 with the MTS-B and also experimenting with the DAS sensor onboard the surrogate aircraft. Although no interceptors were launched the objective of the test "was to demonstrate that the Aegis weapon system can launch an SM-3, engage and destroy a ballistic missile solely on tracks from remote airborne sensors" hence the experimental use of DAS along with other UAS sensors such as the MTS-B was significant.

    Given that the mission is one which consumes a ton of sensor data and bandwidth it is important to consider existing sensors and aircraft as opposed to fielding novel solutions (even if they are a complement and not necessarily a replacement). Here the MDA will simply need to buy software specific to their need as opposed to developing a brand new staring sensor and then choosing an aircraft to mount it on. DAS or DAS-like sensor is also likely to be on board future aircraft like the B-21 and NGAD so the capability is only going to grow.

    Last edited by bring_it_on; 23rd March 2018 at 11:23.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  17. #137
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    USAF weighing beddown options for Air Force Reserve Command F-35 base


    The Air Force is considering four bases as options to host 24 F-35As for the Air Force Reserve and will host a series of meetings in April to support its beddown decision.

    In a March 22 Federal Register notice of its intent to develop an environmental impact statement, the service states Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, TX, is its preferred alternative and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AZ, Whiteman Air Force Base, MS, and Homestead Air Reserve Base, FL, as reasonable alternatives.

    The squadron would include 24 aircraft and two backup jets. The aircraft would replace 24 F-16s if based at Homestead ARB or NAS Fort Worth JRB or 24 A-10s if either Davis-Monthan AFB or Whiteman AFB are chosen.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  18. #138
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    Into the Fold: F-35C Carrier Qualifications Aboard Lincoln

    ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) completed fleet carrier qualifications (CQ) for the F-35C Lightning II program, marking another milestone for the new aircraft, while underway March 17-21.

    Pilots assigned to the "Rough Raiders" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 and the "Grim Reapers" of VFA 101 accomplished day and night qualifications with 140 traps in anticipation of F-35C operational testing later this year.

    Aboard for part of the CQ was Rear Adm. Dale Horan, director of the U.S. Navy F-35C Fleet Integration Office, who was previously embarked aboard Abraham Lincoln during a nine-and-a-half-month deployment in 2002.

    "I have tight ties to Lincoln," said Horan. "It's personally interesting for me, but also professionally, it's really neat to see this aircraft out there with other aircraft; we haven't done that before. Previously, all the CQ evolutions have just been F-35s."

    The F-35C complements the tactical fighter fleet with a dominant, multirole, next-generation aircraft capable of projecting U.S. power and deterring potential adversaries. The continued integration of the F-35C into the carrier air wing will enable the carrier strike group of the future to be more lethal and survivable in high-end threat environments.

    One of the major milestones for this carrier qualification evolution was the operational use of the F-35C's foldable-wing feature. This feature is a critical component of the integration of F-35Cs with F/A-18C Hornets, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers, facilitating the movement of the different platforms on the flight deck and rehearsing for operating as part of a full air wing aboard the carrier.

    "My original platform is the Hornet, which I've flown for the past three years," said Lt. Nick Rezendes, a pilot attached to VFA 101, who qualified on the F-35C during this CQ. "I wanted to switch to flying the Navy's newest aircraft, and now that I have, I wouldn't mind sticking with it for the rest of my career."

    Another important piece of this underway period was the continued integration of the F-35's Autonomic Logistic Information System (ALIS) with Abraham Lincoln. ALIS is a secure, off-board fleet management tool that integrates F-35 mission planning, maintenance, supply chain and sustainment information. Operators were able to plan, maintain, and sustain F-35C systems by transmitting up-to-date data to users and maintainers worldwide.

    During Abraham Lincoln's previous F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) carrier qualifications in December of 2017, an operational squadron accomplished the use of the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) for the first time. The GPS-based, all-weather landing system works to provide accurate and reliable information for carrier landing approach, allowing F-35Cs to land during inclement weather.

    "It's pretty clear that this aircraft is the Navy's future for strike warfare," said Horan. "It's shaping up to be a fantastic aircraft. As with any program, there are always complexities in getting it fielded, but we are working through those. This aircraft is very capable and it'll be really neat to watch it develop."

    By 2025, the Navy's aircraft carrier air wings are scheduled to consist of F-35Cs, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers electronic attack aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, MH-60R/S helicopters and carrier on board delivery logistics aircraft.
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    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  19. #139
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    High Resolution - http://www.navy.mil/management/photo...NM806-0040.JPG
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    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

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    Hmmmmmm, bit exxagerated maybe, but?

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...sts-aren-t-cut

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    No not exaggerated at all as long as one reads past the title which is always the thing with Tony's articles. There is planning going on at this moment in order to reduce life-time sustainment cost estimates by around 30%. The last few years have rightly focused on ramping up production and reducing procurement costs as that was the need of the hour. Now, and in to the future, they have to reduce the O&S cost and as the PEO testified, the target they have set is roughly a 1/3rd. They will focus and approach this via multiple means by moving services from the contractor (where you have higher cost but also higher flexibility) to organic capability (where less flexibility exists but it is cheaper) where possible and this is already evident with them doing an analysis of what to invest in as far as technical baseline is concerned as they look to stand up organic software depot capacity etc. Given that the US has not had a timely budget in a while, and is unlikely to get a timely appropriations process in a time bound fashion at least for the next few years, it will take a good 3-5 years for them to start showing results. Whatever delta that may exist between the number they are able to get O&S costs to, and what they can comfortably fund would have to then be covered by either increasing O&S investments or by shrinking the overall buy.

    Businesses, even a fraction of the size of the USAF, plan for contingencies so it is reasonable to expect the USAF to game out various scenarios. The actual fleet size of the USAF and the F-35A will be decided upon by folks who at the moment are mid-career officers. They do not have to worry about this decision until the second half of the 2020s if not later when the alternatives would become clearer as in - how much a 6th generation fighter costs to develop and sustained vs an alternative F-35A investment.

    Also, as a PSA, what the USAF gets is determined by the US Congress as is evident from the 10 extra F-35As the USAF will end up getting in FY18. Politicians later in the next decade will have to make a call on how many F-35As the USAF buys in the 2030s. There is really no point in looking outside of a 8-10 year horizon. Too many variables to draw any prediction. The only reasonable assumption is that they are likely to buy around a 1000+ aircraft (all 3 US operators) over the next decade.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 28th March 2018 at 20:20.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  22. #142
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    I can't get enough images of the F35 at sea.

    Not long till the UK gets its turn.

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    Last edited by bring_it_on; 28th March 2018 at 22:18.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  24. #144
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    Great shot of the complex nozzle geometry.

    Cross posting from the News thread:

    Report: Israeli stealth fighters fly over Iran

    The report states that the two fighter jets, among the most advanced in the world, circled at high altitude above Persian Gulf sites suspected of being associated with the Iranian nuclear program.

    It also states that the two jets went undetected by radar, including by the Russian radar system located in Syria. The source refused to confirm if the operation was undertaken in coordination with the US army
    Spud made a remark about the range but Israeli 35's are said to have the capability to be fitted with extra large EFT tanks. Adding some bags in the WB won't sound unrealistic to me too.

    Source:
    Jerusalem Post Middle East

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    They have not made them yet. Besides, EFTs would screw with RCS. So again, the report is BS.

    Besides, to go from 760nm to 1200nm (Bandar Abbas) using EFTs is impossible due to increased drag from the EFT.

    The mission "could" have happened, but it would require two IFR hookups (one going and one coming back).

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

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    Lol.. The source of that Iran story is higher than a kite.

    He underlined that the fighter jets can travel from Israel to Iran twice without refueling.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  27. #147
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    yes, the source is dubious (see "in coordination with the US Army"). But since it isn't probably a first order source and rumor of IAF 35's overflying Syria were made before, why not take what matters the most here as news: F-35 might be operating over Iran (already).
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 29th March 2018 at 22:21.

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    USS Essex is expected to deploy to the CENTCOM AOR shortly (likely in the summer).

    PACIFIC OCEAN (March 26, 2018) – Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) transits the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California during an amphibious squadron and Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) integration (PMINT) exercise. PMINT is a training evolution between Essex Amphibious Ready Group and 13th MEU, which allows Sailors and Marines to train as a cohesive unit in preparation for their upcoming deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jenna Dobson/Released)
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    Last edited by bring_it_on; 29th March 2018 at 22:26.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

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    https://breakingdefense.com/2018/03/...csaf-goldfein/

    Yet again program of record unchanged, in spite of media reports. Irrelevant really, 1,763 F-35A or 1,200. Procurement over the next few years is most critical.

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    It was always absurd to think that a CSAF in 2018 would have the power to, or would even want to dictate what the AF buys in the late 2020s or 2030s. So much of that is dependent on the capability of future F-35 blocks, future budgets, cost of future F-35s, cost of notional 6th generation fighter and its schedule, future national defense strategy, the quality and quantity of the systems fielded by adversaries etc etc. What the Bloomberg article should have stressed was the ongoing effort to try to shave around 30% of the long term O&S cost from the system and the pressure being applied by the DOD on the contractors to make sure that this happens. Multiple powers within the AF, and the DOD are working to that goal and this requires both technical solutions and policy decisions in order to facilitate smart sustainment of the fleet.

    Air Force wants F-35 sustainment cost to match that of legacy fighters
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 30th March 2018 at 10:53.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

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