Archief van de februari, 2012

Feb 29 2012

Japan warns US: JSF will be cancelled when price increases

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

Reuters reports from Tokyo: Japan may cancel orders for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jets in the case of a price rise or delivery delay, Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka said on Wednesday, putting Tokyo’s choice of next-generation combat aircraft in doubt.

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Japan is due to pay 9.9 billion yen ($122.96 million) per fighter for an initial batch of four that are scheduled for delivery by March 2017. Japan plans to buy 42 in total.

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“I believe we would need to consider as a potential option matters like cancelling our orders and starting a new selection process if that is the case.”

Read more …. SOURCE Reuters

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Feb 28 2012

Local area flights allowed for F-35A

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

The Air Force Aeronautical Systems Center on Tuesday issued a military flight release (MFR) for the service’s F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, which would allow test pilots at Eglin AFB, Fla., to begin local area flights.

“The Air Force, Joint Strike Fighter Program Office and other stakeholders have painstakingly followed established risk acceptance and mitigation processes to ensure the F-35A is ready,” Air Force Materiel Command Chief Gen. Donald Hoffman said in a press release. “This is an important step for the F-35A and we are confident the team has diligently balanced the scope of initial operations with system maturity.”

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The MFR allows qualified F-35 test pilots to begin flying the stealthy fifth-generation fighter around the Florida base. Eglin currently has two test pilots who are qualified to fly the jet: Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Smith and Marine Maj. Joseph Bachmann.

Read more ….. SOURCE Airforce Times

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Feb 24 2012

Marine Corps aviation introduces F-35B Lightning II into fleet

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - A century after 1st Lt. Alfred A. Cunningham took his first flight in 1912, Marine Corps aviation introduced the F-35B Lightning II aircraft into its fleet.
SOURCE DVIDS
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2nd Marine Aircraft Wing’s Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 hosted the ceremony inducting the F-35B Lightning II multirole, joint strike fighter, into the Marine Corps aviation arsenal at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Feb. 24 at 2 p.m

Read more: SOURCE DV-IDS

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Feb 23 2012

First F-35B flight with external weapons carriage

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

The first F-35B test flight with external weapons was carried out on 22 February 2012 at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division test facility at NAS Patuxent River Maryland. The test mission, flown by Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Levin, measured flying qualities with external pylons, inert AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, and the removable centerline 25mm gun pod. The four-barrel GAU-22/A Gatlin-type gun, built by General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, is a derivative of the currently fielded GAU-12/U Equalizer. The missionized gun system designed for the F-35B and F-35C includes the F-35A-common GAU-22/A gun, a gun system control unit, and drive assembly. A helical linear linkless ammunition feed system is also contained in the pod.

Source: Lockheed Martin Code One Magazine

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Feb 23 2012

Lockheed Martin expands Pinellas Park plant to produce F-35 parts

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

Lockheed Martin opened a 57,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Pinellas Park to produce components for the F-35 Lightning II fighter. The new facility is an annex to Lockheed Martin’s exisiting 197,000-square-foot building in Pinellas Park. The operation began with 80 employees and now employs 250, with additional jobs expected as the F-35 program moves toward peak production.

Read more ….. SOURCE Tampa Bay Business Journal

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Feb 23 2012

AFA: Lockheed Readies Aggressive F-35 Test Schedule

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

ORLANDO, Fla. — Lockheed Martin is preparing to ramp up flight testing of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter over the next year, including the first release of live weapons.

The multinational, tri-service program has put together a robust flight test schedule for 2012, according to Alan Norman, Lockheed’s F-35 chief test pilot. The program is expected to conduct more than 10,000 test points per year in 2013, 2014 and 2015, Norman said at a Feb. 23 briefing at an Air Force Association-sponsored conference here.

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The program has started “pit testing” of weapons, or releasing weapons while the aircraft is parked on the ground. A Marine Corps F-35B has participated in these tests and similar trials will be conducted on an Air Force jet soon.
In recent weeks, F-35 aircraft have been flying with external, wing-mounted weapons, clearing the envelope for eventual live fire tests.

Read more ….. SOURCE Defense News

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Feb 23 2012

F-35 testing status released by Lockheed Martin

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

Lockheed Martin released today the flight test summary for the first two months of 2012. According to the company, as of Feb. 20, 2012 the F-35 program accumulated 114 flight tests and achieved 773 test points this year, representing roughly 10 percent of the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) flight test plan for 2012, which calls for the accumulation of 1,001 test flights and 7,873 test points.

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Performance issues associated with DAS have limited the use of the F-35 unique helmet display and sight, developed for the program by VSI. The sight was designed to use DAS live image feeds to display the outside view for the pilot, alleviating the need for night vision goggles for night flight. BAE Systems and VSI were asked to work on temporary solutions using NVG, to provide a near-term solution.

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Eglin AFB, Fla., where the F-35 training force is based has become home of the largest F-35 fleet. The 2nd marine Aircraft Wing Fighter/Attack training squadron 501 received three more aircraft in January – BF6, BF8 and BF7. The delivery of BF7 on January 19th marked the 23rd Lightning II delivered to the DOD. While the Eglin fleet keep growing, F-35s are still grounded as flight operations and training await military flight clearance which is expected in a few weeks.

Read more …… SOURCE DefenseUpdate.com

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Feb 23 2012

F-35 progress reported during Q1-2012

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 23, 2012 — Lockheed Martin’s [NYSE: LMT] F-35 program continues to build on its 2011 flight test success. For 2012, the baseline F-35 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) flight test plan calls for the accumulation of 1,001 test flights and 7,873 test points. However, growth in test point requirements throughout the year is anticipated, and the plan will be adjusted as needed.

As of Feb. 20, the F-35 Lightning II 5th Generation multirole fighter had conducted 114 flight tests and achieved 773 test points. A portion of the earned test points came from work added to the flight test baseline plan. Lockheed Martin has delivered three F-35s to the Department of Defense (DOD) year to date.

Since Jan. 1, the F-35 program accomplished several flight test and production milestones:

* On Jan. 9, AF-4, an F-35A Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOL) test aircraft, reached the highest altitude to date in an F-35; 43,000 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL).

* Lockheed Martin ferried the first two production model F-35B Short Takeoff and
Vertical Landing aircraft to the U.S. Marine Corps on Jan. 11. The aircraft, known as BF-6 and BF-8, are now assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing’s Marine Fighter/Attack Training Squadron 501 residing with the host 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Fla.

* Demonstrating the ongoing maturation of the F-35 integrated sensor suite, AF-3, an F-35A CTOL test jet, completed the first low Distributed Aperture System (DAS) approach on Jan. 17.

* On Jan. 18, the first night flight in the history of the Lockheed Martin F-35 program was completed at Edwards AFB, Calif. Piloted by Lockheed Martin test pilot Mark Ward, AF-6, an F-35A CTOL test jet, took off at 5:05 p.m. PST and landed after
sunset at 6:22 p.m.

* With the ferry flight of BF-7 an F-35B STOVL, Eglin AFB, Fla., became home of the largest F-35 fleet in the DOD on Jan. 19. BF-7 was the 23rd F-35 Lightning II delivered to the DOD.

* On Jan. 20, citing the tremendous progress the F-35B STOVL variant made in 2011, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta rescinded probation for the F-35B, almost a full year ahead of schedule.

* The F-35 SDD fleet including AA-1, the original test aircraft, crossed the 2,500 flight hour threshold on Jan. 25.

* On Feb. 16 at Edwards AFB, Calif., AF-1, an F-35A CTOL test jet, flew the first external weapons test mission in program
history.

Cumulative flight test activity totals for 2012 through Feb. 20 are provided below:
* F-35A CTOL jets have flown 46 times.
* F-35B STOVL aircraft have completed 45 flights.
* F-35C Carrier Variant (CV) jets have flown 23 times.

From the start of flight testing in December 2006, F-35s have flown 1,704 times, including the production-model flights and AA-1.

Source: Press Release Lockheed Martin 23-feb-2012

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Feb 22 2012

First F-35C flight for Royal Air Force

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

On Feb. 21, Royal Air Force (RAF) Squadron Leader Jim Schofield became the United Kingdom’s first military test pilot to fly the F-35C, the carrier variant of the Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft.

“The F-35 has the best handling of any jet I’ve flown, which means it’s going to be easier to land on a ship than current aircraft, and pilots can devote all of their attention to the mission,” Schofield said. “Combined with the world’s best sensors which allow the pilot to find and target anything that’s out there, and a stealthy signature, which means the enemy can’t do the same to you, this is exactly the aircraft the UK needs to provide the best protection for our soldiers, sailors and airmen for the next 35 years.”

Read more …….. SOURCE Navy Recognition

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Feb 22 2012

JSF Production Might Be Further Slowed

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

The Pentagon’s Defense Acquisitions Board (DAB) of top weapons buyers recertified the tri-service F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program during a Feb. 21 meeting, but high sustainment costs might force the Pentagon to slow production down further or trim flight hours for aircrew, a senior defense official said.

The Pentagon had to recertify the program due to a 2010 breach in the Nunn-McCurdy rule, which occurs when the unit cost of a program goes above a certain level. The DAB meeting was chaired by acting Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall.

Read more —— SOURCE DEFENSENEWS

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