Archief van de 'Global F35 News' Categorie

Apr 15 2014

Canada: F-35 decision back to politicians as Air Force completes options analysis

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

From Canada The Calgary Herald  reports:

OTTAWA – The countdown on a decision over the F-35 has begun now that air force officials have completed a highly anticipated study of the controversial stealth fighter and its competitors.

The Harper government accepted the “options analysis” report late last week, officially putting the issue back in their laps after more than a year-and-a-half with the Defence Department.

Officially, the government doesn’t have to rush on deciding what to do about the jet fighter; Canada has already missed its window to order F-35s this year. It will now have to wait until January 2015, at the earliest, if it does decide to go ahead with a purchase.

However, the schedule could be tighter if the government decides to hold an open competition – hoped for by the F-35?s competitors as well as opposition parties – since that could take years to conduct.

In either situation, delivery of the first new aircraft won’t happen until around three years after an order is placed.

Canada’s existing CF-18 fighter jets are set to be completely retired by 2020, unless the government decides to invest to keep them flying longer.

Complicating matters is next year’s federal election. The F-35 was an issue in the last election in 2011, although that was before Auditor General Michael Ferguson released a scathing report about the project and turned it into a true political hot potato. Any future decision will require cabinet approval and prompt widespread political attention, both in Canada and abroad.

Canada is one of nine international partners involved in developing and purchasing the F-35, and each partner’s decisions affect the price and schedule of the others.

The options analysis recently concluded by defence officials was actually the second review of the F-35 and its competitors.

Ferguson issued his report in April 2012. It identified serious flaws in an earlier study in which defence officials said the F-35 was the only aircraft capable of meeting Canada’s requirements.

Read more (source):

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Apr 14 2014

Final Canadian report on F-35 dropped references to fuel and software problems

Gepubliceerd door Christiaan Meinen onder Global F35 News

This article has been published on the Calgary herald on the 13th of April 2014.

Although there’s been stated that the Canadian Defense department has issued a new and more neutral approach to their fighter replacement program this report suggests that there are considerable differences between the concept reports and the final report.

Whereas the final report focused solely on the high price of the JSF, the several concepts where also pointing towards the fundamental technical issues.  

Several versions state the goal of the report was to provide “a comprehensive assessment of the F-35.

“The Department of National Defence has sought to communicate clearly and frankly in answering not only the concerns of the Auditor General and of Parliament, but also those of the Canadian people,” the earlier versions say.

Those words are missing from the final draft. “This first annual update is focused particularly on the cost of the F-35A,” it reads instead.

Some of the missing issues:

·         Fuel Consumption: The F-35 consumes 26-per-cent more fuel than Canada’s current jet fighter, the CF-18

·         Helmet Development: A state-of-the-art helmet is essential for pilots to fly the F-35 safely and in a way that maximizes its full potential.

·         Software Development: The is listed as the “main challenge” facing the F-35 in the very first draft of the report, and repeatedly cited as an issue in later drafts, until being removed altogether. The stealth fighter contains about 8 million lines of code, which is more than any other fighter aircraft.

What is happening with the fairness and openness of countries like Canada and the Netherlands. I remind you of the Dutch Government, (coalition of Labour / PvdA and Liberal Democrats / VVD) late last year, to go for 35 + 2 (test aircraft) based on a google / Open Source “study” comparing “selective” open sourced information regarding alternative aircraft and compare it with even selective internal data from the JSF program. The concept is: use the things who are contributing to your case (the JSF) and don’t use the things that are positive towards other aircraft. The price in the Netherlands is one of the things they can’t ignore so they just said the will buy 35 instead of 85 JSF… if there is any budget left… they will buy some more… right!

OTTAWA — A Defence Department report billed as the first step in a more open, transparent era for the F-35 project initially listed many of the stealth fighter’s problems – such as issues around fuel efficiency and software development – but those sections were removed in the final version.

The December 2012 final report, in response to Auditor General Michael Ferguson’s scathing review of the F-35 project, was focused solely on price. It included the revelation that it would cost Canada about $46 billion to buy and operate 65 F-35s.

But the Citizen has obtained more than a dozen earlier drafts of the report showing defence officials had originally laid out many of the issues surrounding the F-35’s development, and their potential impact on Canada.

Several versions state the goal of the report was to provide “a comprehensive assessment of the F-35.

Fuel Consumption: The F-35 consumes 26-per-cent more fuel than Canada’s current jet fighter, the CF-18. Public Works and National Defence did not respond to questions last week about why the stealth fighter uses so much more fuel than the CF-18s, which were designed in the 1970s. Rising fuel costs are a concern for militaries around the world, particularly when it comes to aircraft. The Royal Canadian Air Force has said it plans to fly the F-35s about 20-per-cent less per year than the CF-18s to keep costs down, making up the difference with simulators.

Software Development: The is listed as the “main challenge” facing the F-35 in the very first draft of the report, and repeatedly cited as an issue in later drafts, until being removed altogether. The stealth fighter contains about 8 million lines of code, which is more than any other fighter aircraft. The software is essential for everything from flying the F-35, to communications, to using its weapons. Some versions of the report express optimism that the problems will be resolved before Canada gets its first stealth fighter, but others say there is “a risk that, despite the time available before Canada’s first anticipated aircraft delivery, they may not be completed.” U.S. congressional auditors wrote last month that significant software development problems persist, threatening to create further delays in the fighter being ready for operation.

Helmet Development: A state-of-the-art helmet is essential for pilots to fly the F-35 safely and in a way that maximizes its full potential. However, the helmet’s development has been a serious problem for years. Defence officials acknowledged this in early versions of the report, describing it as a “high risk,” and noting an alternate helmet was being designed and could be used as a “stop gap until the primary helmet is ready.” There is no mention of helmets in the final version.

Read the full article here!

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Apr 14 2014

World First: Neuron UCAV flying in formation with Rafale, Falcon 7X

Gepubliceerd door Christiaan Meinen onder Global F35 News

This article has been published on on Apr 13, 2014

Conclusions: French firm Dassault Aviation has been able to perform a unique formation flight in which the nEUROn unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) was flown in formation with a Rafale fighter and a Falcon 7X business jet, both produced by the company.

This shows that European fighter aircraft and drone development is at the forefront of fighter aircraft and combat drone technology. This is proven by the fact that organizing a formation flight like this is a very challenging manoeuvre in a confined space.

While some JSF partner governments and especially some of their Air Forces (especialy fighter pilots who say they are specialist in fighter technology….) claim that European Fighter Aircraft builders like Dassault, Eurofighter and Saab are far behind on the big Amercian company Lockheed Martin on these kind of technologies. This demonstration proofs them wrong.

World First: Neuron UCAV flying in formation with Rafale, Falcon 7X

An additional challenge was being able to control the pilotless aircraft flying near four other aircraft – all manned (Rafale,Falcon 7X and two chase aircraft for photography). Engineers had to plan ahead to take into account the risk of interference, including aerodynamic turbulence between the aircraft. Preventing unexpected electromagnetic interference (EMI) with communications between the nEUROn drone and its ground control station was also a concern that had to be dealt with.

“This achievement clearly reflects our expertise in state-of-the-art technologies. Our skills in both military and civil aviation mutually enrich each other, enabling us to design exceptional airplanes suited for both the armed forces and Falcon business jet operators.” Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation commented.

This was the first time in the world that a combat drone flew in formation with other aircraft. Drones are often escorted by chase airplanes, as part of flight testing, but these are not performed as part of a formation flying, in which the drone’s handling is coordinated with the other aircraft in the formation. The entire operation lasted 110 minutes and took the patrol out over the Mediterranean to a range of several hundred kilometers.

To the entire article on

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Apr 12 2014

“F-35 stealth and EW capacities not sufficient, more Growlers needed”

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

Breaking Defense reports about the Boeing campaign within US defence circles to protect their Super Hornet/Growler production line, citing Boeing’s warning:

F-35 stealth being outpaced soon

Stealth is being outpaced by software, radar and computing power, so electronic warfare and cyber attacks are growing in importance. While the F-35 may possess excellent — if circumscribed — electronic attack and cyber capabilities, it needs help from the Navy’s EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.
That means, Boeing and the Navy are arguing, that the Navy needs more of the electronic attack versions of the F-18, known as the Growler, to fly with the F-35 on the first day of combat to protect the F-35 and to help protect the service’s precious carrier strike groups
‘I spoke with an industry source about the assertions we’ve heard from senior Navy and Boeing officials that the F-35 fleet cannot expect to fly its attack mission at the start of a war and survive without help from Growlers.
The notion they can go in alone and unafraid is just plain wrong,” said this source. “The threat is doing two things. Their search radars are at VHF [frequencies] and getting lower, and with computer processing power they are getting much better. They can see them [fifth generation attack aircraft] hundreds of miles away, just like any other aircraft.”’

US Navy veteran: F-35 needs mixed air wing and Growler

A former, very experienced TOPGUN / MAWTS school trained US fighter back-seater in F-4’s and F-14’s comments to JSFnieuws:
“It appears reasonable to assume that the F-35C and the F/A-18E/F/G in their best configurations perform relatively equal in range. Both are Mach limited and would have about the same acceleration although the F/A-18 would be carrying additional SEAD ordnance to support the F-35C. In a clean visual gun-only dogfight the F/A-18 will clean the clock off of the F-35C yet neither will not be able to run away from the other. In more modern engagements with the F/A-18 having the new AESA radars there will be no radar advantages except the F-35 may be able to tap into all-source information that the F/A-18 would have to depend upon the E-2C for but the limitations in the F-35C helmet would not be shared by the Super Hornet, and again the electronic ID would not come any faster for either one on a directed vector. So I can see that if the F-35 works as advertised it will still require a mixed air wing and Growlers will be part of that…. Hence the drop in Navy number of F-35’s will continue to perhaps 30%.”

About the Growler, this veteran says to JSFnieuws: “Perhaps a smart ploy for Boeing but it is going to collect advocates; why, because of the delays and uncertainties in the F-35 software & EW suite and more importantly it opens up more doors of doubt. If the USN backs this view by Boeing then for sure the F-35C, in the least, will require deliberate escort formations and tactical distractions - ala reality learned from the F-117 – so the whole make-up of the Carrier Air Wing may in fact return to a permanent mixed deck of F-35C’s and F/A/E-18E/F/G’s. Boeing may be doing the Navy a service and Lockheed in directly because it presents a positive need for the F-35C deep strike and forward sensor capability, or in the least places the F-35C’s main competitor for mission over to the X-47 UCAS-D and the X-47 will take a decade or more to become accepted after the whole deck handing and flying methods/programs are made more trustworthy and tactical”.

Read more (source):
Breaking Defense; 10-Apr-2014; Colin Clark; “F-35 stealth, EW not enough, so JSF and navy need Growlers, Boeings says

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Apr 12 2014

Denmark starts fighter evaluation process to replace F-16

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

On April 10, 2014 The Danish Ministry of Defense has issued a Request for Binding Information (RBI) to four combat jet manufacturers as a next step in the evaluation of candidates for the replacement of the current - 30-year old - Lockheed F-16AM/BM fleet. At this moment only 30 F-16’s are operational in the Danish inventory.

The four candidates included in the selection process for the new Danish fighter are:
- Eurofighter Typhoon
- Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet
- Lockheed F-35A Joint Strike Fighter
- Saab Gripen E.

Request for Binding Information (RBI)

The RBI had been planned in the Defence Planning 2013-2017 and it consists of a questionnaire with approximately 950 questions, a total of 1000 pages and it contains four chapters for each of the areas of evaluation:
Strategic issues will include focus on the relationship between the candidates and the overall Danish security and defense policy objectives. It is partly about security aspects, and partly on the military strategic aspects in relation to cooperation with other countries.
Military issues will focus on candidates’ ability to provide operational power and if the aircraft is future proof with questions about life expectancy and risks associated with each candidate.
The Economic evaluation focuses on a comparative assessment of the candidates’ life cycle costs, including costs associated with the acquisition and ongoing operation and maintenance (O&S costs).
The questions about industrial cooperation focuses on how the procurement of the candidates may support the Danish Industry and Danish security interests.

Selection process; final decision end 2015

The candidateshave received the RBI 10-apr-2014 and are expected to submit their response to the request in July 2014 tot the Director of the Nyt Kampfly Program (New Combat Aircraft Program).
Hereafter, it will be analyzed, validated and eventually additional information will be gathered from the manufacturers. As a result an evaluation report will be provided to the Minister of Defense as a basis for procurement proposals at the political level. Planning is a final decision about mid-2015, followed by Parliamentary Approval and negotiations with the selected manufacturer.

Director of New Combat Aircraft Program, Lone Lindsby said about the RBI:
“I am pleased that we are sending the request for information, because it is an important milestone in the program. We are trying to keep the planned schedule, and we are very focused on providing a clear and transparent decision support that provides the best possible conditions for the final decision in this fighter procurement process. “

Quality assurance by RAND and Deloitte

The Evaluation Process quality will be assured externally by Deloitte Denmark (part of the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited DTTL, a British company) in cooperation with RAND Europe (an US owned company). This should help to ensure that the process is conducted in accordance with the principles of traceability, transparency, integrity and equality.

Royal Danish Air Force - some background

Kongelige Danske Flyvevabnet (Royal Danish Air Force) has a fleet of about 90 aircraft and helicopters and 3400 personell operating from 3 airfields.
A tranport squadron is based at Aalborg (C130H and Challenger); a helicopter wing (3 squadrons) is based at Karup (AW101, Lynx, Eurocopter Fennec), together with the training school (Saab MFI17). The sole fighter wing is based at Skrydstrup with 2 squadrons, Esk.727 and Esk.730, each with 15 F-16AM/BM. At this moment 15 other F-16s are in storage.
In total the Royal Danish Air Force received 77 F-16’s (60x F-16A; 17x F-16B).
The first batch of 46 F-16As and 12 F-16Bs was built by SABCA in Belgium (1980-1983. A second batch was buuilt by Fokker, The Netherlands (1987; 8x F-16A; 4x F-16B). Finally, between 1994 and 1997 Denmark received 6x F-16As and 1x F-16B from US Air Force surplus stocks.
In 2002 Denmark decided to participate in the Development of the F-35 and signed the MOU-SDD as a Tier 3 partners (contribution about US$ 125 million). The original requirement was 48 F-35’s, however the current combat fighter fleet is about 30 aircraft, so a replacement of between 24-30 new fighters may be expected.

Press Release Ministry of Defence; Denmark; 10-Apr-2014


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Apr 09 2014

Australian company Quickstep signs new F-35 components deal

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

Sydney-based manufacturer Quickstep has clinched a $US139 million ($A148.55 million) deal to supply carbon fibre components for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft.

New agreement

Under the agreement, Quickstep will supply about 700 sets of carbon fibre composite parts for the aircraft which is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin in the US.
Quickstep will supply ship sets of vertical tails containing 18 individual parts for 14 years.

‘This is an important step for Australian manufacturing which demonstrates the value of our capabilities for global aerospace and defence contracts,’ managing director Philippe Odouard said.

History of participation in F-35 program

In November 2009 Quickstep announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin Corporation to manufacture advanced composite parts for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft over the estimated 20 year life of the program.

This day marked a defining shift in Quickstep’s history, enabling the Company to enter the highest levels of technology supply to the defence industry - the 5th Generation Stealth F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

After signing the MoU, Quickstep immediately embarked on a program to prepare its manufacturing facility for JSF manufacturing, and in February 2011 signed a Long Term Agreement (LTA) providing a formal framework under which Quickstep will participate in an international supply chain for the production of F-35 composites subassemblies, with parts to be delivered to Northrop Grumman’s assembly operations in the USA.

The Company received its first Purchase Order in July 2011, covering production of Group 1 JSF components over an initial 12 month period, and shipped its first production part more than a month ahead of schedule in October 2011.

In parallel with Group 1 part manufacturing, which is now well underway, Quickstep is also undertaking the qualification process to enable the Company to manufacture Group 2 and Group 3 F-35 components.

Under the MOU, Quickstep will supply a number of different JSF components, including lower side skins, maintenance access panels, fuel tank covers, lower skins and in-board weapons bay doors, projected to amount to some 36,000+ parts over the life of the program and could generate hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue over the life of the aircraft.

Quickstep now expects to generate $13 million per annum in sales at peak production rates as a result of the deal. The company expects to deliver the first parts to Marand’s facility in Victoria, in the second half of 2015. The parts and those from other suppliers will be assembled by Marand into vertical tails for BAE Systems in the UK, with delivery to Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility where they will be incorporated with other components for the F-35A variant of the JSF.

Quickstep expects to manufacture JSF parts for several different equipment manufacturers is around $700 million over two decades.

Press Release Quickstep; Sydney, Australia 09-Apr-2014

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Apr 08 2014

F-35 News. The Marine Corps is screwed.

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

Reposted with permission from SNAFU! “A Marine Corps centric blog, with a view on all things military…” (with thanks)

via Global

He said the service made difficult choices in its fiscal 2015 budget and five-year spending plan to protect the ramp up in F-35 production for that reason. “The operation and sustainment cost is a bigger issue,” LaPlante said. “It’s the one that will say whether or not we can afford (the F-35)” in the longer run. The Pentagon’s chief weapons tester reported in January that the F-35 fleet was available for use an average of 37 percent of the time from late 2012 to October 2013, far below the minimum threshold of 50 percent and the program’s goal of 75 percent. The program is aiming for 60 percent availability by 2015.

This is why the Marine Corps is in the middle of its biggest procurement wreck and holiday in its entire history.

I’ve said before that the Marine Corps shelved personnel, the ACV, MPC, AAV Upgrade, JLTV and probably the CH-53K because of that Walking Dead cast member. The trouble is obvious.

(editorial note: this actually is the case in numerous Partner countries whereas several programs or just acquired systems have been shelved… the respective governments claim these actions are not related to the JSF though… )

Even IF (and its a HUGE if..) they are successful in driving down the unit costs you then are faced with operation and sustainment…what you and I would call maintenance costs.

Unless they’ve waved a magic wand then these will be some expensive, hangar queens that continue to cost even after they enter service.

The Marine Corps is broke.  More money will NOT be coming and every available cent is currently programmed for the F-35.

We’re screwed.

Note:  Operations and Sustainment costs…maintenance!  I don’t care about the stealth coatings  Its about not only procurement but also maintenance and if maintenance is unaffordable then neither is this airplane.

Editorial note: We found a link to the full article @ Yahoo News.

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Apr 08 2014

Dutch MOD: Letter about F-35 IOT&E and European Cooperation

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

( Den Haag (NL)

Friday 4-Apr-2014 the Dutch Parliament received a letter of the Dutch Minister of Defense about the progress of the Project Replacement F-16/Procurement F-35.

The letter revealed soms interesting details:
(1) Norway has canceled the MoU-Production/Sustainment with Italy and The Netherlands in November 2013.
(2) Dutch F-35A to be upgraded to Block 2B level (how to participate with the IOT&E, where Block 3 will be required)
(3) Dutch MOD is planning IOT&E from 2015-2019; 4 years late. Also interesting, the USAF is planning 2016-2019
(4) Cooperation with Belgium on airspace surveillance;
Belgium seems to be pre-occupied to procure F-35s without further evaluation
(5) New Appendix A planning F-35 production 2015-2035 available after meeting JSF Exec Steering Board, early April 2014

Letter of Dutch MOD to Parliament; 4-apr-2014

This letter is to inform you about developments in the F-16 Replacement project. I will address:
- preparations for the operational test phase (IOT&E) in the United States
- European cooperation
- American orders series
- Consultation on noise issues with local residents near Dutch airbases.

Preparations for the operational test phase (IOT&E)

The first Dutch F-35 pilot has completed initial training in the United States. On 24 January this year, he received his training certificate on Eglin AFB along with six Dutch engineers. On 18 February, the second Dutch pilot started training. Later this year two more will follow. Six technicians are being retrained for the F-35 and later this year another ten will be trained in technical and support tasks. In total, 34 Dutch personnel will participate in operational testing of the F-35.

Last month, 14 February, one of the [second, a LRIP4] Dutch aircraft was flown to US air base Hill, location of an American F-35 maintenance depot. At Hill air base, the aircraft will be prepared [sic] for installation of Block 2B software. Modifications [MinDef actually writes: adjustments, but this is far too weak a word for all the airframe work to be done] related to [sic] the technical test phase (so-called ‘concurrency adjustments’ [sic] will be made as well. Work on the first aircraft will last until early June; later this year, the second Dutch aircraft will follow. All costs incurred are part of existing obligations.

Planning Initial Operational Test and Evaluation 2015-2019

Last January, Pentagon stated that it wants amendments concerning the operational test phase to the MoU as it stood in 2008. For one, Australia is going to take part in the operational test phase as an observer and will provide some officials in supporting functions. The revised schedule and related changes in the operational test phase are other reasons to amend the MoU. The House already has been informed about changes in the schedule on 9 October 2013 (House Document 26 488, No. 330). The operational test phase will start in 2015 and end in 2019 with a final report. Defense will consult with the United States on practical implications of proposed changes in the MoU. As soon as more information is available, I will inform you.

But it is already clear that the financial contribution of the Netherlands will be increased by $7.5 million, $3 million of which as contribution to contingency reserves. This amount will be funded from the project budget. The increase is related to the longer duration of the operational test phase. So, contributions increase for all participants in the MoU. The contingency reserve is a control measure for the risks identified by JPO and Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (House Document 26 488, No. 339). In the next annual report, I will detail financial aspects and how these will be dealt with in the project’s budget.

American orders series [LRIPs]

With a few weeks’ delay, the US President in early March presented the budget for Fiscal Year 2015 to Congress. It shows that for 2015, the American number of units ordered will be reduced from 42 to 34 (of which 26 are F-35As; was 30). An outlook for the defense budget over the next five years has also been published, showing that up until 2019, the number of units ordered will be reduced compared to previous plans. Nonetheless, F -35 production numbers increase year after year. The total US number of units ordered will remain at 2,443. Moreover, South Korea recently also selected the F-35.

European cooperation: Norway has canceled MOU with Italy and Holland

The government’s decision to replace the F-16 by the F-35 has provided clarity for the international partners. This offers room to elaborate earlier agreements. Within the framework of the Production & Sustainment ” European Footprint ” MoU from 2006, the Netherlands works with Italy on for cooperation in the assembly of airframes and maintenance of engines. Norway has canceled this MoU in November 2013. The planning of the F-35 program had changed since Norway joined the MoU in 2007 and the MoU partners, including the Netherlands, have reached new decisions on numbers of aircraft. Norway aims for a division of labor that better reflects current Norwegian ambitions, but wants to continue to work in European context. The Netherlands remains in talks with Norway on further elaboration of this aim. We are in the process of examining how cooperation with the United Kingdom and other F-35 partner nations can be further intensified as well.

Cooperation with Belgium on airspace surveillance, about which you have been informed 23 October 2013 (House Document 33 763, No. 11) is in constant progress. A joint team has started preparation for the proposed treaty between the nations and the development of related operational aspects. We intend to have the agreement in effect during the course of 2016.

Updating financial data; meeting JSF Exec Steering Board

Defense aims to send its annual report on the Replacement of the F-16 to parliament on the first working day after June 1. However, there is a reasonable chance that this will not work out because the required US financial data will be available later than usual. The 2013 Selected Acquisition Report (SAR 2013), e.g., is expected to be published by mid-April. This has to do with delayed publication of the US budget and is later than usual. I will later inform you separately on the SAR 2013 report. The financial details of the JPO will be available later than usual as well because JPO will incorporate the new order series [LRIPs] of F-35 partners. Those series will be defined by the JSF Executive Steering Board in early April as defined in Annex A of the PSFD MoU. The Netherlands set the number at 37 in accordance with decisions of White Paper “In The Interest Of The Netherlands.” The new financial data are required for updating of the financial section of the annual report. I will inform you in time if the reporting cannot be offered on, or immediately after, 1 June.

Noise Issues

Mindful of the motion Eijsink c.s. ( House Document 33 763, No. 22), Defense personnel has had talks with the chairmen of the Committees Consultations & Environmental Awareness ( COVM ) for airbases Leeuwarden and Volkel. They discussed how consultation on a noise monitoring system can take shape. In close consultation with both COVMs, at short notice a study will be commissioned in which relevant issues are further explored. You may think of the purpose of a noise monitoring system, various methods and techniques as well as the cost of measurement systems .

J. A. Hennis - Plasschaert

Original Letter (in Dutch), PDF Download

Drs VHJM van Neerven MSW MA; editor-in-chief & senior counselor VNC.communication.counsel

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Apr 08 2014

F-35 engine price war

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

PARIS - Having canceled the GE/Rolls-Royce F136 alternate engine program for short-term savings, the Pentagon finds itself powerless to force Pratt & Whitney to reduce the cost of its own F135 engine, now the single-source powerplant for the entire F-35 program.


The most recent F135 production contract, announced Oct. 23, 2013, covers 38 engines for Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 7 and is worth $1.1 billion, or an average cost of $28.9 million per engine.

Read more:
Source:; posted April 8, 2014

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Apr 07 2014

U.S. Deputy Program Manager: F-35 is not yet reliable

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

AIN online reports from the US Navy League Sea-Air-Space conference on 7-April-2104:

F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin will retrofit early production lots of F-35Bs delivered to the U.S. Marine Corps with modified bulkheads to address cracking issues that came to light during durability testing of ground articles last fall. It will build redesigned bulkheads into the fighter beginning with low-rate production (LRIP) Lot 9, said Rear Adm. Randy Mahr, deputy program manager with the Pentagon’s F-35 joint program office (JPO).”
The F-35 still falls short of reliability targets for mean flight hours between critical failure of parts or systems. Later production Lots 5 and 6 have shown improvement over earlier lots. “The F-35 is not yet a reliable airplane.” Mahr said

Read more:
AIN Online; 7-Apr-2014; U.S. Deputy Program Manager Outlines F-35 Fixes

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