Archief van de maart, 2012

Mrt 13 2012

F-35 LRIP 5 Contracts: no sign of decreasing

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Aanschaf JSF

Defense Aerospace journalist Giovanni de Briganti analysed the latest contracts for the 5th lot of Low Rate Initial Production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and concluded:

“Previously estimated at nearly $160 million, the unit price of F-35 fighters ordered as part of the fifth Low-Rate Initial Production batch (LRIP Lot 5) has now passed $200 million, once additional contracts awarded by the Pentagon since our previous estimate on Dec. 9, 2011 are included.”

Unsurprisingly, F-35 prices in fact show no sign of decreasing, and the total cost of LRIP Lot 5 further increased after two additional contracts awarded in late December. ”

(….)

Including these three, the Pentagon has awarded five contracts, together worth $6,280 million, to fund 30 LRIP 5 aircraft, whose average unit cost – engines included — is thus $203.4 million.
Given the information provided in each Lot 5 contract announcement, it is possible to compute, with a degree of accuracy, the cost of each version of the F-35. If the average cost is $203.4 million per aircraft, it in fact varies substantially according to the version:

– F-35A: $172 million per aircraft;
– F-35B: $291.7 million per aircraft;
– F-35C: $235.8 million per aircraft.

Read the complete analysis ….. SOURCE Defense Aerospace

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Mrt 13 2012

Canada: “F-35 purchase undecided”

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

CBC news reports from Ottawa:
“Canada could reconsider an agreement to buy new F-35 joint strike fighter jets, Julian Fantino suggested Tuesday, as partner countries re-evaluate their own commitments.”

(….)

Fantino also said the government won’t decide on the purchase until it knows how much it will cost.
“We will be expending the allotted amount, $9 billion, for the acquisition if we are going to go there,” he said.
“That decision will be made if and when those factors are known to us and the decision will be made as to whether or not Canada will actually enter into a contract to purchase the F-35.”

(….)
Unit price higher than suggested in 2009

“What obviously happened in Washington was that Lockheed Martin made it crystal clear that this is not a $75-million buy. And even though the prime minister said months ago that Canada had a firm, firm contract at $75 million, what Mr. Fantino is saying today is completely different: There is no contract, it’s not a matter of when but if and when.”

Read more …. SOURCE CBC News

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Mrt 13 2012

Canadian minister says “F-35 purchase is not guaranteed”

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

OTTAWA - Two years of unwavering Conservative support for the F-35 took a major hit Tuesday as Associate Defence Minister Julian Fantino said the government has not ruled out walking away from the troubled stealth fighter program.

Fantino also revealed a team of defence department officials have been considering “all kinds of contingencies” should the F-35 not be ready to replace Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18s and acknowledged the government does not know how much each F-35 will cost.

The revelations led opposition parties to question why the sudden about-face after the Conservatives fought an election, in part, on purchasing the F-35 and sought to paint critics of the program as unpatriotic.

Read more ….. SOURCE Canada.com

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Mrt 12 2012

ANALYSIS: F-35 LRIP 5 Contracts: Unit Cost Tops $200M for First Time

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

PARIS — Previously estimated at nearly $160 million, the unit price of F-35 fighters ordered as part of the fifth Low-Rate Initial Production batch (LRIP Lot 5) has now passed $200 million, once additional contracts awarded by the Pentagon since our previous estimate on Dec. 9, 2011 are included.

Read more: DefenseAerospace: F-35 LRIP 5 Contracts: Unit Cost Tops $200M for First Time

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Mrt 12 2012

Chinese hackers may have stolen F-35 data

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

Today, the Sunday Times reported that Chinese hackers managed to infiltrate computers of Britain’s biggest defence company, British Aerospace, to steal details about the Pentagon’s latest stealth fighter jet, the F35, which is still at the development stage.

Chinese spies hacked into computers of British Aerospace (BAE) stealing details about the US F35 fighter jet. When pictures of China’s first stealth fighter jet (the J-20) were circulated in late 2010, analysts all over the world were impressed with the progress made by Beijing in terms of aeronautical technology.

SOURCE Sunday Times

read more LINK Lancashire Evening Post

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Mrt 12 2012

Emergency Landing 1st training flight by fuel leak

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Ontwikkeling JSF

Northwest Florida Daily News is reporting that maintainers with the 33rd Fighter Wing at Elgin AFB have determined that three loose fasteners caused the small fuel leak during the F-35’s first mission flight last week.

More from the newspaper’s report:

The wing’s first F-35A Joint Strike Fighter took off at 10:07 a.m. for what was supposed to be a 90-minute flight. The sortie was cut short to roughly 20 minutes when the pilot of an F-16 acting as a chase plane spotted what appeared to a small fuel leak on the F-35.
Maintainers with the 33rd Fighter Wing conducted an extensive review of the jet and determined three slightly loose fasteners allowed a small amount of fuel to seep from the jet during its initial flight, Eglin Air Force Base announced Friday. Maintainers also found residual water from an earlier wash of the aircraft.

(….)

Eglin officials do not know what caused the fasteners to loosen. However, the maintainers have tightened them on the base’s eight other F-35s, said Chrissy Cuttita with Eglin’s public affairs office.

The jet that flew Tuesday has been cleared to fly, but was unable to take off Friday because of inclement weather. ”

Read more…. SOURCE NW Florida Daily

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Mrt 09 2012

Norway to make F-35 decision within weeks

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

Norway’s defence secretary Roger Ingebrigtsen and an entourage of military officials visited the F-35 test force at Edwards AFB, California, during the last week of February.
The visit to the desert base comes at a time when Oslo is trying to finalise how many aircraft it will ultimately buy.

“Right now we’re in the process where the Norwegian government is about to make a recommendation to their parliament as far as how many F-35s we want to buy and where we should base these aircraft,” said Maj Eystein Kvarving, a spokesman for the Norwegian defence ministry, in a press release issued by the US Air Force. “That recommendation is about to four to five weeks out and this is a major issue in Norwegian media and a major issue in the Norwegian public.”

The northern European nation has already ordered (editor: no firm contract yet) four (training) aircraft, but might buy as many as 48 conventional take-off and landing examples to replace its Lockheed F-16AM/BM fleet.

Read more ….. SOURCE Flight Global

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Mrt 06 2012

F-35B BF-9 First Flight

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti flew the eleventh production F-35 Lightning II, an F-35B called BF-9 (Navy Bureau Number 168060), on its inaugural flight on 6 March 2012 from NAS Fort Worth JRB.

Source: Lockheed Martin Code One Magazine

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Mrt 06 2012

First F-35A local orientation flight at Eglin Air Force Base

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

The 33d Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., flew its first local F-35 Lightning II sortie March 6, marking a major milestone for the Joint Strike Fighter training program.

Piloted by U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Smith, Director of Operations for the 58th Fighter Squadron, the local orientation flight launched at 10:09 a.m. and included operational flight checks. An F-16 chase plane was piloted by Lt. Col. Lee Kloos, 58th Fighter Squadron Commander.

“Our first sortie is truly a milestone for the program,” said Col. Andrew Toth, 33d Fighter Wing commander. “There has been a lot of preparation that has gone into this historic event. Our integrated training team members were truly excited to see the jet take off today.”

Early in the flight, F-16 chase pilots observed a small amount of fluid venting from the F-35 aircraft. The pilot, following standard operating procedures, returned the aircraft safely back to the base after an approximate 20 minute flight.

“The objective for today was to be able to launch an aircraft out, conduct an operational check flight with the system, get it out to the airspace and then bring that aircraft back safely and effectively and we achieved many of those objectives,” said Col. Toth.

“Since F-35s arrived last summer, we’ve been conducting engine runs and taxi operations, maintenance training with instructors and virtual trainers, as well as developing pilot curriculum. We completed multiple successful small group tryouts on our training systems and will continue to improve those processes as we prepare for training.”

The wing’s two F-35 pilots, in conjunction with its integrated team of military members, civilians and contractors, will begin to slowly build up their number of sorties with an initial goal of flying twice a week for the first couple of weeks and then steadily increasing the weekly sortie count.

“I’m very pleased with the work that’s been done by our entire team to bring us to this phase in the F-35 program,” said Gen. Edward Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, who approved F-35 flight operations to begin. “We continue to make steady progress towards our goal of standing up a world class training program at Eglin.”

The F-35 Integrated Training Center at Eglin AFB will be the benchmark for F-35 pilot and maintainers worldwide. The center includes pilot and maintenance training equipment, support, systems and facilities for all three aircraft variants and will train approximately 100 pilots and 2,200 maintainers annually.

SOURCE : Lockheed Martin Press Release

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Mrt 06 2012

South Korea fears delays in F-35 delivery

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

South Korea is expected to announce the winner of the bidding for its next-generation fighter acquisition project in October this year in line with its plan to introduce 10 advanced jets in 2016 and 2017, respectively, and the remaining 40 by 2020.

“Lockheed Martin officials recently informed us that the F-35 development and testing is progressing faster than anticipated and that they are confident of delivering fully operational fighter jets by 2016,” a senior official of the state-run Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said Tuesday.

“But it is dubious whether their claims can be accepted as the F-35 program, which is still in the early stage of flight testing, continues to encounter development delays and cost overruns.”

Read more… SOURCE Korea Times

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