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F-35 Lightning II : News & Discussions

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by Picard, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    In sophisticated advanced simulations exercises in one on one engagements the minium kill ratio for the F35 is 5 to 1, of course one has to remember the F35 is not an air dominance weapons its primary purpose is ground attacks, its a fighter bomber. Also one needs to remember that the F35 will never fight alone.

    All other simulations show with other US support which may or may not include the F22 the kill ratio is more then 100 to 1.
     
  2. Rock n Rolla

    Rock n Rolla Lt. Colonel STAR MEMBER

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    Renzi says Italy might trim 3-bn euros, including from F-35

    Rome, March 17 - Italy is reviewing its defence spending, including three billion euros in potential savings that could be realized if, among other things, the government decides to trim its budget for Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, says Premier Matteo Renzi. His government is aiming to slash billions from its annual budget, in order to free up cash for higher priority items, and that could include selling military barracks as well as high-cost items including the F-35 jets, Renzi told an Italian TV program Sunday night. With a budget of about 11.8 billion euros over 45 years beginning in 2015, the F-35 project could be a big part of that, said Renzi. "We will continue with our international programs, we will continue with a strong air force, but that program will be revised," Renzi said in an interview with TG5. Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti said that as many as 385 military barracks could be sold. The F-35 fighter jet program has been cut before. Amid the economic crisis, in 2012 the Italian government announced plans to cut its order to 90 from the 131 originally agreed in 2002, saving the country some five billion euros. But last July, the Italian government rejected another call to cancel the purchase altogether of the 90 F-35 fighter jets which, at an estimated $200 million per unit, are among the costliest fighter jets in the world. Nine countries are involved in developing the F-35: Italy, Canada, the United States, Britain, Netherlands, Australia, Norway, Denmark and Turkey. With radar-evading technology, the F-35 has been championed for its advanced design but also heavily criticized for allegedly not meeting the criteria of modern warfare, marked more by guerilla insurgencies than airborne dogfights.

    http://www.gazzettadelsud.it/news/e...ght-trim-3-bn-euros--including-from-F-35.html
     
  3. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    No one depends on the Italians or French.
     
  4. Virajith

    Virajith Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Italian Lawmakers Back Cuts to JSF Purchase:big_boss:

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    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has suggested Italy would cut its planned purchase of 90 Joint Strike Fighters. (Agence France-Presse)

    ROME — Italy’s planned purchase of 90 Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) was thrown further into doubt on March 19 as members of the Italian parliament signed off a report calling for “significant” cuts to the program and senior government officials ordered a new defense white paper to reassess Italy’s military strategy by year end.

    The developments came three days after new Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi suggested Italy would cut its purchase of JSFs as the Italian government struggles to bring down state spending.

    The critical report was drawn up by members of the center-left Democratic Party to which Renzi belongs who also sit on the defense commission of the lower house of parliament.

    The document cannot yet be considered government, or even party policy. “It needs to be voted on by the commission, although I believe it will be since the Democratic Party is in the majority,” said Gian Piero Scanu, a commission member and one of the authors of the report. “Then it will be voted on in parliament itself,” he added.

    The document criticizes Italy’s allegedly poor workshare on the JSF program, claims that the jobs generated by Italy’s JSF assembly line are insufficient and states that Italy’s lack of access to sensitive program data will lead to dependence on the US.

    Italy’s planned 12 billion euro purchase of 90 aircraft should be “significantly cut,” while ongoing orders should be halted until technical hitches are cleared up, the report adds.

    While Italy has planned spending billions on the Joint Strike Fighter, it has scaled back its purchases of the Eurofighter. The report argues that instead Italy should be aiming to buy the ground attack version of the Eurofighter, which it claims would compete on level terms with the JSF, adding that the European program guarantees an industrial return equal to outlay.

    The document calls for more Euro-centric procurement and military policy in general and criticizes the Italian Army’s digitalization program for pushing the Italian military beyond the point where it is able to cooperate with fellow EU and NATO forces. The 20 billion euro program, the document states, should be put on hold until interaction is guaranteed.

    The report also points out that a 2012 law shifted control over procurement from the military to parliament despite “strong resistance” and that Italy should now set up a committee, along the lines of the US GAO, to monitor the “closed circuit” between the defense industry and the military.

    Work on the document started last year after parliament opted in June to halt JSF orders until a full review of the program was undertaken.

    Scanu noted that the report recommends the block should now remain in place until the JSF’s technical hitches are ironed out.

    By contrast, Italy’s president, Giorgio Napolitano, last year appeared to oppose parliamentary control over procurement, when he warned that key decisions should be remain in the hands of the executive branch of government.

    On March 19, the day the Democratic Party report was released, Napolitano called a meeting of Italy’s Supreme Defense Council, which brought together senior military officials, ministers and prime minister Renzi.

    While the JSF program was reportedly not discussed, the council called for the drawing up of a new defense White Paper by the end of the year “to redefine the strategic point of reference for the armed forces,” a statement released after the council meeting said.

    Tellingly, the statement said the White Paper would be overseen by a group of experts managed by the ministry of defense, while work on the paper would only see “the involvement of relevant parliamentary commissions.”

    Asked if the White Paper would overshadow and supplant the defense commission document on future procurement, Scanu disagreed. “It will run in parallel, but parliament is now sovereign,” he said.

    Whoever wins out, prime minister Renzi has already had his say, claiming he would like see the JSF program cut below 90 aircraft, following its earlier cut from 131 aircraft.

    “We will continue with our international programs, we will continue with a strong air force, but that program will be revised,” Renzi told an Italian TV channel on March 16 when asked about Italy’s current plan to buy 90 F-35s

    http://www.defensenews.com/article/...0039/Italian-Lawmakers-Back-Cuts-JSF-Purchase



     
  5. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Lockheed Martin F-35’s Software Delays Pose Price Risk, GAO Says

    [​IMG]

    Delays in testing critical software for Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT:US)’s F-35 jet are threatening to delay the Pentagon’s most expensive weapon and boost development costs, according to congressional investigators.

    “Persistent software problems” have slowed testing to demonstrate the aircraft’s war-fighting, navigation, targeting and reconnaissance systems, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said.

    The Marine Corps F-35 version, designed for short takeoffs and vertical landings, has a key milestone next year. While the Marines want the plane to be deemed ready for combat in mid-2015, tests on some of its software might not be be completed on time, and possibly 13 months late.

    “Delays of this magnitude would mean that the Marine Corps will not likely have all of the capabilities it expects in July 2015,” according to a draft of a GAO report obtained by Bloomberg News. “The effects of these delays compound as they also put the timely delivery of Air Force and Navy initial operating capabilities at risk.”

    The Air Force’s F-35 version is supposed to meet a similar deadline in 2016, and the Navy model in 2018. Italy and the U.K. are buying the Marine Corps model.

    The F-35 program is estimated to cost $391.2 billion.

    While Lockheed Martin officials haven’t yet seen the GAO report, they are “confident we will complete flight testing of the software required for Marine Corps initial operational capability this year,” Laura Siebert, a spokeswoman for the Bethesda, Maryland-based contractor, said in an e-mail statement.

    Pilot Helmet
    The company plans to release the required software for the Marine version “no later than July 2015,” she said. “This software will enable the Marines to identify, target and engage the opposition.”

    Since the program completed a major reorganization in March 2012, “acquisition cost and schedule estimates have remained relatively stable, and progress has been made in key areas,” the GAO said.

    Lockheed Martin is improving its production processes and reduced problems with its pilot helmet, the Navy F-35’s tailhook, which enables the plane to land on aircraft carriers, and an automatic diagnostic system.

    The company (LMT:US) and the Pentagon program office also made progress in 2013 toward reducing the cost of the Navy and Air Force models, though not the Marine Corps version, the GAO said.

    As of January, the military planned to have verified basic functions for 27 percent of the software intended to operate the Marine Corps version. Instead, it got to 13 percent, leaving a “significant amount of work to be done by October,” when testing was to be complete, the GAO said.

    Testing Delays
    “At this point, we believe the most pressing issue is the effect software testing delays are likely to have on the capabilities” of the first aircraft each service declares ready for combat, the watchdog office said.

    If the current schedule isn’t improved, the Marine Corps may “initially receive less capable aircraft than it expects,” according to the GAO draft report.

    The Pentagon’s long-range budgets project the F-35 program will average $12.6 billion annually by 2018 and through 2037. That may be unaffordable because of current budget constraints, the GAO said.

    At its peak, F-35 funding will be about $15 billion, so “annual funding of this magnitude clearly poses long-term affordability risks,” as “lower than expected reliability” risks keeping support cost estimates high, the agency said.

    The projected price tag of $391.2 billion for an eventual fleet of 2,443 F-35s for the Air Force, Navy and Marines is 68 percent higher than the estimate in 2001, measured in current dollars.

    Fewer Aircraft
    The number of aircraft is 409 fewer than called for in the original program. The Pentagon is requesting $8 billion for 34 aircraft for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, compared with 29 that were approved in each of the last two years.

    One of the program’s challenges will be meeting the Defense Department’s specific cost goals at the start of full-scale production in 2019.

    The per-jet cost still require reductions of as much as $49 million, the report said.

    A final version of the GAO

    More Info
     
  6. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Spending on F-35 fighter jets frozen during review

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    Parliament to consider trimming spending on defence programs
    [​IMG]
    Rome, March 20 - Italy has frozen spending on its F-35 jet fighters program, pending a parliamentary review of military spending, says Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti. Her comments during a television interview with La7 Wednesday night, came several days after Premier Matteo Renzi said that defence spending - including the budget for the F-35 program - was under review. This could include three billion euros in potential savings for defence budgets. The government could decide to trim its Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets' budget, which is currently about 11.8 billion euros over 45 years beginning in 2015. "Today we suspended payment of installments," on the F-35, Pinotti told the program The Barbarian Invasion. "We are having a moratorium, pending the results of an inquiry by Parliament," she added. The F-35 fighter jet program has been cut before. Italy in 2012 announced plans to cut its order to 90 from the 131 originally agreed in 2002, saving the country some five billion euros. However, last July, the Italian government rejected another call to cancel the purchase altogether of the 90 F-35 fighter jets which, at an estimated $200 million per unit, are among the costliest fighter jets in the world. Pinotti has also said that as many as 385 military barracks could be sold to cut costs. During the television program, Pinotti defended the overall F-35 purchase program, saying they are necessary to protect Italian soldiers in a dangerous world. The Lower House defence committee has been considering spending on military weaponry and Gian Piero Scanu, the Democratic Party (PD) leader in the committee, said Wednesday that significant cost savings may be found by streamlining programs. "In recent years, nearly 70 different programs were overlapping one another without an adequate conception (plan), leading to an abnormal expenditure of more than five billion euros," he said.


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  7. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    F-35 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER
    Problems Completing Software Testing May Hinder Delivery of Expected Warfighting Capabilities


    What GAO Found

    Delays in developmental flight testing of the F-35’s critical software may hinder delivery of the warfighting capabilities the military services expect. F-35 developmental flight testing comprises two key areas: mission systems and flight sciences. Mission systems testing verifies that the software-intensive systems that provide critical warfighting capabilities function properly and meet requirements, while flight sciences testing verifies the aircraft’s basic flying capabilities. Challenges in development and testing of mission systems software continued through 2013, due largely to delays in software delivery, limited capability in the software when delivered, and the need to fix problems and retest multiple software versions. The Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) predicts delivery of warfighting capabilities could be delayed by as much as 13 months. Delays of this magnitude will likely limit the warfighting capabilities that are delivered to support the military services’ initial operational capabilities—the first of which is scheduled for July 2015—and at this time it is not clear what those specific capabilities will be because testing is still ongoing. In addition, delays could increase the already significant concurrency between testing and aircraft procurement and result in additional cost growth. Without a clear understanding of the specific capabilities that will initially be delivered, Congress and the military services may not be able to make fully informed resource allocation decisions. Flight sciences testing has seen better progress, as the F-35 program has been able to accomplish nearly all of its planned test flights and test points. Testing of the aircraft’s operational capabilities in a realistic threat environment is scheduled to begin in 2015. The program has continued to make progress in addressing some key technical risks.
    To execute the program as planned, the Department of Defense (DOD) will have to increase funds steeply over the next 5 years and sustain an average of $12.6 billion per year through 2037; for several years, funding requirements will peak at around $15 billion. Annual funding of this magnitude clearly poses long-term affordability risks given the current fiscal environment. The program has been directed to reduce unit costs to meet established affordability targets before full-rate production begins in 2019, but meeting those targets will be challenging as significant cost reductions are needed. Additionally, the most recent cost estimate for operating and supporting the F-35 fleet is more than $1 trillion, which DOD officials have deemed unaffordable. This estimate reflects assumptions about key cost drivers the program can control, like aircraft reliability, and those it cannot control, including fuel costs, labor costs, and inflation rates. Reliability is lower than expected for two variants, and DOT&E reports that the F-35 program has limited additional opportunities to improve reliability.
    Aircraft manufacturing continued to improve in 2013, and management of the supply chain is evolving. As the number of aircraft in production has increased, critical learning has taken place and manufacturing efficiency has improved. For example, the prime contractor has seen reductions in overall labor hours needed to manufacture the aircraft, as expected. In 2013, the contractor delivered 35 aircraft to the government, 5 more than it delivered in 2012 and 26 more than it delivered in 2011. The prime contractor has put in place a supplier management system to oversee key supplier performance.

    http://gao.gov/assets/670/661843.pdf
     
  8. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    South Korea boosts air defenses with about $6.8 billion budget for F-35s

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    A F-35 fighter jet prepares for landing with its life fan cover deployed over Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland in this undated handout image.

    (Reuters) - South Korea expects to pay around 7.34 trillion won ($6.79 billion) for 40 Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) F-35 fighter jets, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Monday, as Seoul boosts its air defenses amid simmering tensions in the region.

    South Korea also confirmed plans to buy four Northrop Grumman (NOC.N) Global Hawk unmanned aircraft to monitor its prickly neighbor North Korea. The drones will cost about 880 billion won and will be delivered starting 2018, one of the sources said.

    The defense deals also come as ties between Japan, China and South Korea have chilled over the past year, and the region's three powers look to beef up their defensive capabilities.

    Seoul's arms procurement agency reported the estimated budget of around 7.34 trillion won to buy the radar-evading F-35s plus support systems to a committee overseeing military purchases earlier on Monday, the second source said.

    The sources declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to media.

    South Korea says the F-35 deal will be finalized in the third quarter, with the first delivery in 2018.

    The budget has received the final approval of the finance ministry, Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) spokesman Baek Youn-hyeong said.

    Lockheed said in a statement it welcomed South Korea's announcement and it would support discussions between Seoul and Washington to finalize the order this year.

    South Korea decided to redraw the terms of a 8.3 trillion won tender to buy 60 fighters last year after dropping an option to buy Boeing Co's (BA.N) F-15s in favor of purchasing a fighter with stealth capabilities.

    In December, Seoul reduced the purchase to an initial 40 jets.

    "Lockheed Martin agrees ... that the cost of the F-35 is on a downward path that will lead to a Unit Recurring Flyaway (URF) cost for an F-35A of between $80-85 million," said Randy Howard, Director of Lockheed Martin's F-35 Korea Business Development in an emailed statement last week.

    A separate South Korean military source briefed on the buy cautioned that although F-35 flyaway cost is expected to fall between now and first delivery, Lockheed's projections might not fully apply to South Korea as the estimate "paints a rosy picture" that appears to presuppose "the best scenario" for the progress of the F-35 program.

    The announcement provided some good news for Lockheed after a spate of critical reports on challenges with software development for the fighter, the emergence of additional bulkhead cracks during long-term durability testing, and news that Italy could further scale back its plans to buy 90 F-35s.

    Italy had already cut its planned order by 30 percent two years ago.

    South Korea is the 10th country to make a firm commitment to buy the new Lockheed fighter, joining the United States, Britain, Australia, Norway, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan, Israel and Turkey.

    Canada and Denmark, which help fund development of the F-35, are still deciding whether to buy F-35s or other fighters. Singapore has also expressed interest in the planes.

    South Korea was the eighth largest importer of major weapons in the world between 2009 and 2013, with 80 percent of the imports supplied from the United States, according to think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). ($1 = 1080.2500 Korean won)


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  9. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    They try to copy Rafale with Growler!

    http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_03_24_2014_p24-674336.xml&p=1
     
  10. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    ALIS issues

    DOT&E details the issues ALIS faces: they are large, and nothing is stable; After a “60 Minutes” expose, senior leaders pledge to add manual override – as they should have done from the beginning.
    Feb 25/14: Human override. ALIS is featured in the CBS News TV show “60 Minutes,” which focuses on the fact that ALIS can’t be overridden when it does dumb things. For instance, grounding functioning aircraft thanks to a faulty part database, against the recommendations of the pilots and maintainers.
    Machine diagnostics can sometimes catch things that all the human miss. They also make mistakes, and the law of large numbers already makes sure that there will be more mistakes than fortuitous discoveries. When a system isn’t performing well (q.v. Jan 28/14), higher odds of making a mistake times number of opportunities for error can and will make a system impossible to rely on. Senior officials like program manager Gen. Bogdan and USMC Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle are doing what should have been done from the outset, and publicly committing to a system that can be overridden “in a measured way.” Which is to say, false groundings and Action Request issues will remain higher than they could be, but lower than the machine alone would dictate. Sources: Defense Tech, “Let Humans Override F-35 ‘ALIS’ Computer: Bogdan”.
    Jan 28/14: DOT&E Testing Report. The Pentagon releases the FY 2013 Annual Report from its Office of the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E). The short version is that there’s a huge need for ALIS. Fully 25-30% of F-35 downtime involves waiting for Action Request responses, due to “inadequate technical data in the field.” That problem is expected to worsen over the next 2 years, but ALIS is “immature and behind schedule,” with “shortfalls in functionality and data quality integrity.”
    Before F-35 Block 2B software can begin operational utility evaluation, they must correct deficiencies in ALIS 1.0.3, finish development of ALIS 2.0, and integrate the propulsion module in ALIS 2.0.1, which is required for Marine Corps Initial Operational Capability (IOC). Unfortunately, v1.0.3 still has 3/4 critical Category I deficiencies unfixed from v1.0.2, and “diagnostic system performance has failed to meet basic functional requirements, including fault detection, fault isolation, and false alarm rates.” Meanwhile, the program has discontinued the development of all enhanced diagnostics for the remainder of SDD – which is to say, until 2020. In the field, ALIS is being avoided by using manual workarounds, built-in tests, and contractor support personnel, “for more accurate diagnostics of system faults.”
    It’s hard to move forward with software when you’re still fixing fundamental flaws. Especially if you also have to make the Squadron Operating Unit (SOU) a smaller and lighter “SOU V2″ at the same time, as “a critical delivery item for meeting Service IOC dates” and support F-35 Block 2B, 3i, and 3F planes.
    To sum up: The hardware isn’t stable. The existing code/feature base isn’t stable. And it’s necessary to add a lot of new capabilities on top of that. Nothing is stable, which is a very, very serious problem in technical development.
    To cope with this, the F-35 Program Office has divided the SOU V2 development into 3 increments. SOU V2 and ALIS 2.0.1 are needed to begin testing at Edwards in January 2015. That’s already a challenging timeline, and if it slips so do Initial Operating Capability dates that already border on the fanciful.
    Subsequent increments have no current funding plan. ALIS Increment 2 would provide sub-squadron reporting capabilities, and inter-squadron unit connectivity. ALIS Increment 3 would add decentralized maintenance capability, without connectivity to the main SOU.
     
  11. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    USMC F-35B IOC is a fraud

    Colin Clark at Breaking Defense has quite the scoop.

    Bogdan thinks he will only be 30 days off the mark on 2B software which is needed to get the USMC to initial operating capability with 10 aircraft. Given the history of the program I dispute this, but hey, he is the guy that gets all the daily briefings.

    Fantasy and otherwise.

    Still though, Bogdan is wrong. It isn't 30 days off. Looking at the whole program, it is years late. And 2B software isn't what it was supposed to be since its watering down around 2006. Block 2 is the new Block 1.

    Then there is the mistake-jet syndrome built into the program: lots of engineering changes.

    But he was much less confident that he could deliver the 10 aircraft by July next year. They all need modifications — some 96, a whole lot of them — and they also need to be flying and undergoing the tests necessary to qualify them at virtually the same time.

    Bogdan and Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle, the Marine’s deputy commandant for aviation, made clear it’;s going to be very challenging to deliver the planes on time. They need significant changes, such as new roll posts, before they can meet the qualifications of being ready for war.
    And a politician asks the right question which Bogdan returns with a strong answer.

    Given the travails the F-35 program has faced over the last five years, Rep. Ron Barber asked Bogdan near the end of the hearing how Congress could trust his assessments.

    “I’m not here to advocate for the F-35 necessarily. I’m here to execute on the program, to give you information — good, bad or otherwise. You have to somehow trust me. If i’m wrong,” said the unusually blunt-spoken officer, “you have to hold me accountable.”
    Or is it? Bogdan will probably be retired by the time of the denouement.

    Thus far, the DOD has not made a case for STOVL combat jets.

    And the USMC program of record for the F-35B flying piano is $51B.

    This POS is draining the Corps of resources.

    What will an F-35B IOC of 10 jets accomplish? Not much besides a facade. Its reliability will be bad. It won't be able to do CAS (no gun). And the helmet (needed for dynamic weapons cueing) at this time doesn't work. DAS doesn't work all that well. The EOTS and radar like many other mission systems have shown no mature performance. Thermal issues are going to be difficult. Range will be equally questionable given fuel consumption and weight of the aircraft. It will not be able to take any combat damage without turning into a Roman candle.

    No one has demonstrated how to change the F-35B's $27B motor aboard ship.

    In order to do any real combat, it will need to be escorted by 4th gen aircraft. Which would do the job better anyway.

    It offers a joint operational commander no value. It eats theater resources and returns: nothing.

    Bogdan and friends have built a really ugly cake; and they are using dogshit for frosting.

    I can only hope that this program gets destroyed by the reality that it is sucking up resources best used for many other DOD communities.

    10 F-35B LRIP mistake jets at a grand total of $3B or more, plus another $2B in waste to get them to Japan?

    We could have instead, bought 3500 Tomahawk Block IVs and had them dedicated to Pacific ops. Interesting, because the word "aircraft" isn't even used in the JAST name. You can read this 20 year old document that shows the goals of JAST. How have we done so far?

    The F-35 program is a parasite, a menace, to the defense of our nation.

    http://elpdefensenews.blogspot.fr/2014/03/f-35b-ioc-but-dream.html
     
  12. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    USAF Ogden ALC: structural multi-million mods on brand new F-35’s

    HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — The Ogden Air Logistics Complex completed the Air Force’s first organic depot modifications on an F-35 Lightning II.
    The F-35A variant aircraft, arrived at Hill AFB in mid-September 2013, and received four structural modifications intended to strengthen areas of the aircraft and extend its service life.
    Maj. Gen. H. Brent Baker Sr., the Ogden ALC commander, credited the phenomenal teamwork that occurred between the Ogden ALC, Lockheed Martin and F-35 Joint Program Office for successfully completing the modifications.
    It was a team effort with the Ogden ALC providing the touch labor and Lockheed Martin providing engineering support,” Baker said. The aircraft departed 25-March-2104 for Nellis AFB, Nev., where it will undergo continued operational testing.

    Verifying modification process
    Baker said this first F-35 aircraft was what’s called a prototype modification aircraft because in the process of outfitting the modifications, the depot was also able to solidify its technical processes. This was the first time the Ogden ALC accomplished depot work on the aircraft, and new and improved ways of doing the modifications were discovered. In the end, each of the findings will formally be rolled into improving the existing technical guidance, Baker said, which will be used for subsequent F-35 repairs.
    More than 30 Ogden ALC maintainers and 17 Lockheed Martin engineers and production staff accomplished the modifications under the umbrella of a public-private partnership.
    When it comes to Air Force depot maintenance on the F-35, the vast majority of the learning and experience is happening right here at the Ogden ALC,” Baker said.

    Four structural modifications on brand-new aircraft
    The first of the four structural modifications made to the aircraft included a root rib modification, which replaces a section of the aircraft’s wing root rib with a titanium splice. The other modifications, also structural, involved a station 3/9 modification, a mid-fairing fitting, and a forward engine mount modification, all of which are intended to extend the life of the aircraft.
    The process concluded with a series of functional check flights to ensure the modifications were performed correctly and that other systems on the aircraft unrelated to the changes were not disturbed. The aircraft involved is a F-35A, AF-21; first flight 20-Oct-2012; start of modifications 23-Sep-2012 (11 months after first flight); remedial work ready 14-Mar-2014 (6 months later).
    Modification of early F-35 jets: hundreds of millions of cost
    Defense Aerospace writes about it:
    The aircraft arrived at Hill AFB on Sept. 20, 2013, 11 months after its first flight. At the time, Lockheed said that “This aircraft will receive a series of structural and systems modifications at Ogden to enhance critical capabilities needed during the Block 2B Operational Testing and Evaluation, or OT&E, program in 2015.”
    The remedial work took six months (…) in other words, since its first flight 18 months ago, this particular aircraft has been grounded for repairs one-third of the time.
    The remedial work at Hill AFB was carried out by 47 people (“more than 30 Ogden ALC maintainers and 17 Lockheed Martin engineers and production staff,”), so the labor needed to fix its faults totals about 23.5 man-years, even allowing for “new and improved ways of doing the modifications [that] were discovered” during the process. Payroll expenses alone would amount to $2-$3 million, depending on the pay grades of the military personnel and contractors involved
    . ”
    This is part of the total modification program, caused by the concurrency in development, testing and production of the F-35. Some months ago
    Breaking Defense already reported about the very impressive amount of US$496.2 million that will pay for cost overruns on Lots 1 to 3 (28 aircraft involved).
    The F-35 Joint Program Office intends to issue multiple contract modifications to the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 2 contract” to Lockheed “for retrofit modifications” the six F-35As and six F-35Bs bought in Lot 2. “These potential actions will provide for a variety of improvements to the F-35 fleet, focusing on previously documented modifications related to the maintainability of the aircraft systems. These modifications are required to extend the service life of the aircraft. (…) This is part of the very impressive $496.2 million that will pay for cost overruns on Lots1 to 3.”

    Second; RNLAF F-35A to be modified
    The Ogden ALC received its second Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, a Dutch F-35, on 14-Feb-2014. A third (US.-owned0 jet arrived on 15-Mar-2014.
    The Dutch aircraft is expected to undergo three of the four modifications performed on the first aircraft before it returns to Eglin AFB, Fla., for more operational testing this summer. It will not get the engine mount modification, but is receiving a major modification to the fuel boost pumps.
    This second aircraft is more of a validation/verification aircraft, Baker said, which means that while it’s getting the planned modifications, the skilled artisans who work on the aircraft will continue to validate and verify that the formalized technical guidance is 100 percent accurate.

    This year: six aircraft to be modified
    The Ogden ALC is expected to perform a series of modifications on a total of six aircraft this fiscal year. Eight F-35s are expected to be inducted into the depot in FY15. Baker said it took more than two years to prepare the Ogden ALC for this new F-35 depot work and as workload increases, manning is also expected to increase.
    The F-35 is important for the Air Force and Hill AFB, Baker said, because the F-35 will eventually be the heir to the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the A-10 Thunderbolt II. The Ogden ALC already performs depot maintenance, repair, overhaul and modification on the F-16 and A-10.
    It is exciting to see this entire plan come to fruition and work on the aircraft.” Baker said. “It has been incredibly rewarding for the team.
    Source:
    US Air Force; Hill AFB; 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs; press release by Richard W. Essary;
    26-Mar-2014; “
    Ogden ALC completes organic mods on first F-35
     
  13. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Lockheed Martin misleading South Korea with suggested low price of F-35
    Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl om 13:40 onder Global F35 News
    Last week, in South-Korea, Lockheed Martin distributed clearly misleading information on the price of the F-35 combat jet:
    In the Korea Times we could read, that Randy Howard, director of the Korea F-35 campaign told this newspaper: “The cost of the F-35 is on a downward path that will lead to a unit recurring flyaway (URF) cost for an F-35A of between $80 million and $85 million. This projected price includes the aircraft, avionics and mission systems, and the engine.”
    Some weeks ago head JSF Program Office should have told the same: “The cost of an F-35A (for the Air Force) in 2019 will be somewhere between $80 million and $85 million (86 and 91 billion won), with an engine, with profit, with inflation
    The plain truth you may find in this Copy of original US Air Force Budget document (published 12-Mar-2014 by Defense Aerospace, including more comments).
    The document shows that the planned price of the F-35A in 2019 will be about US$ 97 million for the airvehicle only; without engine, without any extra, without a set of spare parts. The price of the engine will be about US$ 12 million per unit; total unit price US$ 110 million.
    This is much more than the suggested US$ 80 million. Also, the sales to South-Korea is a so called Foreign Military Sales; it is against the US law to sell aircraft against lower prices to other Forces, than the own US Forces.
    Several European countries, including The Netherlands (budget € 4,5 billion, US$ 6 billion for 37 aircraft, unitprice US$ 162 million), are expecting their F-35’s between 2019-2023 and they are calculating with a price of between US$ 160 and US$ 175 million.
    Conclusion: Lockheed Martin is misleading the South Korean public, government and parliament.

    http://www.jsfnieuws.nl/?p=1099
     
  14. sangos

    sangos Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Meaning more tax payers' money falling into this endless pit, keep sucking more of it and delay as long as possible. All for a "fighter" with performance inferior to that of MiG-21...:devilwork:
     
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  15. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Further Delays Predicted for F-35 Program

    WASHINGTON — The general in charge of the F-35 told a US House panel Wednesday he sees more delays ahead — four to six months — for the often-troubled fighter jet program.
    The House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee’s portion of an oversight hearing dedicated solely to the F-35 lasted only about an hour. It would have ended 20 minutes sooner if Chairman Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, had had his way, but Ranking Member Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., had additional questions.
    And when other members arrived to further prolong the proceedings, Turner jokingly told Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, F-35 program chief, he nearly “escaped.”
    Sanchez pressed Bogdan about hundreds of millions in program dollars she believes might be owed to Congress, which technically has the constitutional power of the purse.
    Bogdan tried to explain that the funds were used for purposes other than initially planned; Sanchez told him pointedly she would check out his story.
    Otherwise, the hearing featured the usual news from an F-35 program manager: Software development is, as Bogdan put it, “really hard stuff,” and will force new delays.
    This time, it will be four to six months, Bogdan told the subcommittee.
    “Block 3F [software] is dependent upon the timely release of Block 2B and 3I, and at present, 3F is tracking approximately four to six months late without taking steps to mitigate that delay,” Bogdan said.
    Michael Sullivan of the General Accountability Office warned the subcommittee that any new software delays will trigger delays and cost overruns across the entire program, which Pentagon officials and analysts say is the most expensive and complex in US history.
    Still, Bogdan said the program more recently — meaning under his watch — has made “slow and steady progress.” He expects it will meet initial operational capability (IOC) goals for the Marine Corps and Air Force in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
    Those jets, he promised, will be equipped “with all the capabilities that our war fighters need.”
    Bogdan admitted mistakes have been made, but pinned much of that blame on his predecessors and the program’s prime contractor, Lockheed Martin.
    “Lockheed Martin is dedicated to meeting performance commitments on production, development and sustainment, while continuing cost reductions across the program,” Laura Siebert, a company spokeswoman said. “Our efforts are aimed at fully supporting the upcoming IOC requirements for the US Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy.”
    In a somewhat surreal moment, Turner cast aside any semblance of oversight, telling Bogdan to let members of the subcommittee know if they can “help” convince F-35 international partners or potential foreign buyers of the single-engine stealth jet’s alleged superiority over other fighters they might buy instead.
    Most of the oversight was provided by Sanchez and Sullivan.
    The GAO official laid out a number of outstanding issues with the program, including the software development. He also suggested the Pentagon soon will have to find funds if it wants to hit existing benchmarks.
    “To execute the program as planned, the DoD will have to increase funds steeply over the next [five] years and sustain an average of $12.6 billion per year through 2037,” Sullivan said. “For several years, funding requirements will peak around $15 billion.” ■

    Further Delays Predicted for F-35 Program | Defense News | defensenews.com
     

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