Archief van de juni, 2014

Jun 05 2014

F-35 Lightning II Program Status and Fast Facts

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

F-35 Lightning II Program Status and Fast Facts - June 5, 2014

Program Status
? SDD flight test activity totals for 2014 as of May 28, are provided below:
o F-35A Flight Science aircraft have flown 95 times
o F-35B Flight Science aircraft have completed 166 flights
o F-35C Flight Science aircraft have flown 103 times
o The Mission Systems Test Aircraft have flown 213 times

Since December 2006, F-35s have flown more than 17,000 cumulative flight hours.

F-35 Delivery Status
101 F-35s have been delivered to the Department of Defense as of April 22:
? 81 Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Aircraft
o There are 48 LRIP F-35s based at Eglin AFB, Fla. (27 F-35A (two international aircraft), 16 F-35B
(including three international aircraft) and 5 F-35C).
o There are 2 LRIP F-35As, 2 LRIP F-35Bs, and 1 F-35C based at Edwards AFB, Calif. on loan for
SDD.
o There are 6 LRIP F-35As based at Edwards AFB, Calif., for Operational Testing.
o There are 16 LRIP F-35Bs based at MCAS Yuma, Ariz.
o There are 4 LRIP F-35As based at Nellis AFB, Nev.
o There is 1 LRIP F-35A at Luke AFB, Ariz.

? 20 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) aircraft complete the test and development fleet:
o There are four F-35As assigned to Edwards AFB, Calif., and five F-35Bs along with four F-35Cs
stationed at PAX River NAS, Md. This count includes six static aircraft and AA-1.

Highlights of the Last Two Months
? The final F-35A delivered to Eglin AFB, marking the 58th
Fighter Squadron as the first complete Air Force F-
35A squadron. (May 28)
? The 33rd
Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB surpassed 5,000 combined sorties (May 28)
? An F-35B sequentially engaged two aerial targets with two AIM-120 AMRAAMs for the first time during a
Weapon Delivery Accuracy mission (May 27)
? F-35C completed a landing at its maximum sink speed to test the aircraft’s landing gear, airframe and
arrestment system at NAS Patuxent River (May 27)
? The F-35B made its East Coast performing debut during the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Air Show
(May 16)
? The Turkish Ministry of Defence announced its intent to purchase the country’s first two F-35As (May 6)
? An F-35A flew the first local training sortie at Luke AFB (May 5)
? The U.K. announced the F-35Bs European debut at the Royal International Air Tattoo and Farnborough Air
Shows (May 2)
? Australia announced additional procurement of 58 aircraft (April 23)
? U.K. Ministry of Defense announces F-35 participation in first international airshows this July (April 16)
? F-35 fleet surpasses 15,000 flight hours (April 7)

Planned Quantities

USAF 1,763 F-35As
USN 260 F-35Cs
USMC 340 F-35Bs/80 F-35Cs
U.K. RAF/RN 138 F-35Bs
Italy 60 F-35As/30 F-35Bs
Current as of June 5, 2014
Produced by Lockheed Martin F-35 Communications Team
Distribution Statement A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Netherlands 37 F-35As
Turkey 100 F-35As
Australia 100 F-35As
Norway 52 F-35As
Denmark 30 F-35As
Canada 65 F-35As
Israel 19 F-35As
Japan 42 F-35As

All Based on current programs of record.

Funding
? Long-lead funding LRIP lot 9 (57 aircraft)
? Long-Lead funding LRIP lot 8 (43 aircraft)
? Full funding approved for LRIP lots 6&7 (71 aircraft)
? Full funding approved for LRIP lot 5 (32 aircraft)
? Full funding approved for LRIP lot 4 (32 aircraft)
? Full funding approved for LRIP lot 3 (17 aircraft)
? Full funding approved for LRIP lot 2 (12 aircraft)
? Full funding approved for LRIP lot 1 (2 aircraft)

Cost
? The U.S. government has stated the projected cost of an F-35 purchased in 2018 will be $85 million.
That’s the equivalent of $75 million today.
? More than $500 million reduction in concurrency costs over the first five production lot contracts.
? Unit costs have dropped more than 55 percent since the procurement of the first production aircraft.
? The average aircraft unit cost for an LRIP 6 aircraft is approximately 2.5 percent lower than LRIP 5
aircraft. An LRIP 7 aircraft has an average unit cost approximately six percent lower than LRIP 5 aircraft.
? LRIP 6 Aircraft Costs (not including engine):
o 23 F-35As CTOL - $103 million/jet
o 6 F-35B STOVL - $109 million/jet
o 7 F-35C CV - $120 million/jet
? LRIP 7 Aircraft Costs (not including engine):
o 24 F-35As CTOL - $98 million/jet
o 7 F-35B STOVL - $104 million/jet
o 4 F-35C CV - $116 million/jet

F-35 Quantities by Variant and Country for LRIP 1 ? 8
LRIP 1 (2 Total) - 2 U.S. / 0 International
United States
o 2 F-35A CTOL for the U.S. Air Force

LRIP 2 (12 Total) - 12 U.S. / 0 International
United States
o 6 F-35A CTOL for the U.S. Air Force
o 6 F-35B STOVL for the U.S. Marine Corps

LRIP 3 (17 Total) - 14 U.S. / 3 International
United States
o 7 F-35A CTOL for the U.S. Air Force
o 7 F-35B STOVL for the U.S. Marine Corps
International
o 1 F-35A CTOL for the Netherlands
o 2 F-35B STOVL for UK

LRIP 4 (32 Total) - 30 U.S. / 2 International
United States
o 10 F-35A CTOL for the U.S. Air Force
Current as of June 5, 2014
Produced by Lockheed Martin F-35 Communications Team
Distribution Statement A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
o 16 F-35B STOVL for the U.S. Marine Corps
o 4 F-35C CV for the U.S. Navy
International
o 1 F-35A CTOL for the Netherlands
o 1 F-35B STOVL for the UK

LRIP 5 (32 Total) - 32 U.S. / 0 International
United States
o 22 F-35A CTOL for the U.S. Air Force
o 3 F-35B STOVL for the U.S. Marine Corps
o 7 F-35C CV for the U.S. Navy

LRIP 6 (36 Total) - 31 U.S. / 5 International
United States
o 18 F-35A CTOL for the U.S. Air Force
o 6 F-35B STOVL for the U.S. Marine Corps
o 7 F-35C CV for the U.S. Navy
International
o 3 F-35A CTOL for Italy
o 2 F-35A CTOL for Australia

LRIP 7 (35 Total) - 29 U.S. / 6 International
United States
o 19 F-35A CTOL for the U.S. Air Force
o 6 F-35B STOVL for the U.S. Marine Corps
o 4 F-35C CV for the U.S. Navy
International
o 3 F-35A CTOL for Italy
o 2 F-35A CTOL for Norway
o 1 F-35B STOVL for the UK

LRIP 8 (43 Total) - 29 U.S. / 14 International (4 UK, 2 Norway, 2 Italy, 4 Japan, 2 Israel)
United States
o 19 F-35A CTOL for the USAF
o 6 F-35B for the U.S. Marine Corps
o 4 F-35C for the U.S. Navy
International
o 4 F-35B STOV for UK
o 2 F-35A CTOL for Norway
o 2 F-35A CTOL for Italy
o 4 F-35A CTOL for Japan
o 2 F-35A CTOL for Israel

SOURCE:
Lockheed Martin / JPO

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Jun 03 2014

Let Humans Override F-35 ‘ALIS’ Computer: Bogdan

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

Brendan McGarry wrote an article for Defensetech.org about the impossibility to manually override the ALIS software system. A recent report has reported that the JSF is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. This would allow opponents of the JSF to take the F-35 down without firing a single bullet or missile. They will only need one click. The vulnerability which is currently embedded in the ALIS system, disallows the human pilot to take-over the control of the JSF. The military is worried that enemies will find a way to infect the ALIS system. Once the hackers are able to infect the ALIS system, they will be able to ground the JSF. The pilot, will not be able to stop this!

 

The Lockheed Martin manager JSF explained that they are working hard to remove the vulnerability. DefenceTech.org published a report which included the statement of The head of the U.S. Defense Department Bogdan. Bogdan mentioned the following on the ‘helmet-mounted display’:

 

The helmet-mounted display, which receives data from the plane’s radar, cameras and antennae, “is doing OK” — good enough to warrant canceling the development of an alternative helmet, Bogdan said.

 

 

Let Humans Override F-35 ‘ALIS’ Computer: Bogdan

 

The head of the U.S. Defense Department’s F-35 fighter jet program said he will probably allow pilots and maintainers to manually override the aircraft’s automatic logistics system in some situations.

 

The Autonomic Logistics Information System, or ALIS (pronounced “Alice”), determines whether the plane is safe to fly. The system has notoriously recommended grounding functioning aircraft — against the recommendations of pilots and maintainers — due in part to faulty parts numbers listed in its database, officials said in a recent segment on the CBS News program, “60 Minutes.”

 

The rigidity of the technology invited comparisons not to the friendly robot R2-D2 of the “Star Wars” movies, but to the more menacing machine HAL 9000 of the sci-fi flick, “2001: A Space Odyssey.” It was something deliberately built into the system under the assumption that ALIS was always going to function properly.

 

“When we first put the airplanes out there, we told operators and maintainers, ‘You can never override ALIS. Ever,’” Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, who manages the F-35 program, said during a conference on the defense budget Tuesday at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by Credit Suisse and McAleese & Associates, a Sterling, Va.-based consulting group.

 

“Well guess what?” he added. “ALIS doesn’t always work right and it is not the font of all knowledge about the airplane because I got maintainers out there who fix the airplane, I’ve got pilots who go out and pre-fly the airplane, and everyone in the enterprise thinks the airplane is ready to go except ALIS.”

 

 

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Jun 03 2014

Press Release Norwegian government about Joint Strike Missile (JSM) and JSF relevance

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

Defence-aerospace.com publicized a press release from the Norwegian Ministry of Defence about the presentation of a bill to Parliament where it proposes to invest nearly NOK 3.7 billion (USD 622 million / € 455.75 million) in the third and final phase of development of the Joint Strike Missile.

The highlights of the press release:

Press Release Norwegian government about Joint Strike Missile (JSM) and JSF relevance

The JSM has been in development since 2004 and is one of the most advanced military development programs ever conducted in Norway. Its objective is to equip future Norwegian F-35 combat aircraft with a weapon that allows for successful engagement of highly defended sea- and land targets at very long range.

Key Facts - JSM:
Weight: 400 kg Length: 4 m Range: >150 nautical miles

The missile is also the first of its kind designed specifically to fit within the internal weapons bay of the F-35. This allows the F-35 to carry up to two JSM internally - one missile in each weapons bay. This ensures that the F-35 will be able to retain its low radar signature while carrying the weapon, making it very difficult to detect for any opponent. The F-35 is also able to detect targets for the JSM at extended distances either using its own powerful sensors, or by using target information transmitted from other platforms. This allows the F-35 to deliver the weapon at a significant distance, which in turn reduces its own risk of detection.

The development of the JSM has until been now conducted within the cost limitations imposed by the Norwegian Parliament. An independent evaluation of the technical design of JSM conducted during the winter of 2013-2014 has confirmed that JSM has the technological maturity required at this stage of development.

Phase Three of development is however a far more comprehensive and complicated phase where the missile will leave Kongsberg’s offices and laboratories, and transition from a design to a fully-fledged missile. It has now become clear that this phase will be more extensive and complicated than previously expected, and therefore also more costly to complete within the time available.

Norwegian defence industry rarely conducts development programs of this scale and complexity, and the last time Norway developed and tested an air-launched missile was more than 20 years ago with KDA’s Penguin-missile. The Penguin was a much simpler missile, and it was integrated on a much simpler aircraft.

For the JSM, KDA will now have to carry out more work than previously expected in Phase Three to prepare the missile for testing, and it will have to produce a larger number of test missiles to comply with testing requirements. Additionally, KDA will have to produce significantly more documentation than previously expected. All in all, this leads to a cost increase for Phase Three development of just over NOK 1 billion (USD 176 million/ € 129.05 million)

At the same time Norway will be required to cover a greater share of the cost related to integrating the JSM on the F-35. The goal has been, and remains, to bring in other F-35 partner countries to help cover the cost of integrating the JSM on the F-35.

However, in spite of extensive efforts by Norwegian authorities and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, this goal has yet to be achieved. This is partly due to the financial situation in a number of partner countries and partly due to varying status of partner country decision making processes.

The partner nations showing most interest in the JSM have been, and continue to be, Australia and Canada, and to some degree, Italy and the United States, all of which have expressed an operational requirement for a future airborne maritime strike capability. As a consequence, until such time as another partner joins the integration process, Norway’s cost of integrating the JSM on F-35 increases by about NOK 1.15 billion (USD 193 million / € 141.52 million).

Previous total cost estimates for the development, integration and acquisition of the JSM on the F-35 amounted to approximately NOK 6 billion (USD 1 billion / € 740 million ). The updated cost estimate for the total program, including Phase Three changes in development and integration costs, is now estimated as NOK 8.2 billion (USD 1,37 billion / € 1.01 billion).

Phase Three development is expected to be concluded by the end of 2017. The integration of the missile on the F -35 is expected to be completed as part of the first round of upgrades on the F-35, known as “Block 4″, during 2022-2024.

Read the whole article here!

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Jun 03 2014

Opinion: F-35B Vertical Landings In Doubt For U.K.

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl onder Global F35 News

Aviation Week & Space Technology publicized an article Monday, May 26th, 2014 by Bill Sweetman about the very actively promoted ”first” live Air show plans for the JSF, highlighting F-35B runway issues. Sweetman raises some serious questions about the STOVL fighter but didn’t get answers from the Pentagon nor from the Lockheed Martin communications department. Too bad because the British public may be disappointed if, after enduring traffic mayhem and paying for their Fairford and Farnborough show tickets, they expect to see the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter emulate the vertical landings (VL) that the AV-8 Harrier family has made routine since the Beatles were playing dodgy nightclubs in Hamburg.

 

U.S. Marine Corps aviation boss Brig. Gen. Matthew Glavy has said there are no plans for the F-35B to perform VLs in the U.K., because the program staff has not finished testing the matting that is needed to protect the runway from exhaust heat. (The program office, Marines and Lockheed Martin did not return emails about any part of this story.) It may sound like a simple issue, but it pops the lids off two cans of worms: the program’s relationship with the truth, and the operational utility of VL.

 

 

The bigger issue is that the Pentagon bought the F-35B for two reasons: it can land on an LHA/LHD-class amphibious warfare ship, and it can operate from an improvised forward operating location (FOL), created around a 3,000-ft. runway. The capabilities are complementary. Without an FOL, the amphibious force is limited to six fighters per LHA (unless essential helicopters are off-loaded). But a short runway is of little value unless you can use it twice.

 

And what Navfac calls “standard airfield concrete” is military-grade, made with aggregate and Portland cement. Many runways are built with asphaltic concrete—aggregate in a bitumen binder—which softens and melts under heat.

 

 

Nobody seems willing to say when such tests will be conducted—which is odd, because we conduct flight tests to prove an aircraft can meet requirements. How was the requirement for the F-35B to VL on a non-standard runway framed? Indeed, was that requirement formally defined at all? 

 

At least $21 billion of the JSF’s research and development bill—including the F135 engine and the crash weight-reduction program of 2004 as well as the powered-lift system—is directly attributable to the F-35B, which also has the highest unit cost of any military aircraft in production. The design compromises in the F-35B have added weight, drag and cost to the F-35A and F-35C. It would be nice to know that—air shows aside—it will deliver some of its promised operational utility. 

 

Read the whole article here!

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