Archief van de juni, 2014

Jun 30 2014

F-35 deployment UK will test logistics requirements

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

Aviation Week, quotes by David Pugliese of Ottawa Citizen (Canada):

Plans for the deployment now involve up to four F-35Bs arriving in the first week of July ready to make their international debut, first at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAFFairford on July 11 and then at the Farnborough International Airshow, which opens on July 14.

In addition to appearing at the two shows, a sortie to Scotland to conduct a flyby at the naming ceremony of the new HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier is on the agenda.

Aviation Week “F-35B accompanied by 2 KC-10s, 1 C-17 and 1 KC-130J”

The aircraft will be escorted across the Atlantic by a pair of U.S. Air Force KC-10 tankers. They will be joined by a C-17 and at least one Marine Corps KC-130J in support. The F-35s are expected to refuel around 10-12 times each during their crossing, flying direct from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland to Fairford, which will act as their home base during July.


“This is a test in the respect that it hasn’t been done before,” says squadron leader Hugh Nichols, the British pilot who will fly the F-35B at the two shows, in an interview with Aviation Week. “We will be testing the refueling, the security, and the computer system that runs the maintenance. These are of course, all things that we would have had to test anyway, at some point, but this is a great opportunity to gain knowledge now that we will need later.”


Restricted Air Show Display

“This won’t be a Typhoon display, we are showing the unique aspects of the airplane, but it is not going to be doing 50 Alphas [angle of attack maneuvers] and [pulling] 9gs, because we don’t have that flight clearance,” Nichols says.
“We are not going to do a vertical landing, because the surfaces that we need to have on the deck to conduct such a landing do not exist at Fairford or at Farnborough. Hovering is possible, however, so the role demo will include some maneuvers that show off the potential of the aircraft, along with some high-speed passes.”


Many challenges to solve

For the Royal International Air Tattoo, the international debut of the F-35 is a huge coup, one that the organizers have been working to achieve for the last six years, according to the show’s chief executive, Tim Prince.
“There are many challenges to solve before the aircraft arrive at Fairford, and we have had many meetings discussing issues such as ground support and security, but we have a huge advantage in that the show is held on a U.S. base,” says Prince.

Read more:
Ottawa Citizen; 30-Jun-2014; David Pugliese; “F-35 deployment to the United Kingdom will test logistics requirements for the fighter jet

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Jun 28 2014

Grounding taints F-35 fighter debut

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

Washington Post reports from USA:

It is supposed to be the headliner of the show next month, when the most-expensive fighter jet ever built makes its international debut in England. There will be plenty of other planes at the Farnborough Air Show, but none will get as much attention as the F-35 Lightning II, the futuristic sleek and stealthy jet that proponents say is unparalleled in the history of human flight.

But this week, an F-35A, the Air Force’s variant of the much-heralded plane, caught fire, forcing the pilot to abort takeoff and leading to the suspension of scores of training flights across the country, as investigators scramble to figure out what went wrong.

The fire may have caused damage to the aircraft’s stealth coating, she said, making it the first possible Class A mishap — incidents that cause $1 million in damage or more.

Read more:
Washington Post; 28-Jun-2014; “Grounding taints F-35 fighter debut

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Jun 25 2014

Japan to deploy F-35 fighters at Misawa Air Base from fiscal 2017

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

Japan Times reports:

AOMORI – Next-generation F-35 fighter jets will be deployed at Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture from fiscal 2017, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Wednesday.
“We will coordinate with the U.S. side so local residents will not have to feel concerned,” Onodera told Aomori Gov. Shingo Mimura in a meeting in the city of Aomori.
Asked by Mimura to take steps to prevent accidents or other incidents involving the aircraft that could endanger the public, Onodera pledged efforts to ensure safety.

Japan Times; 25-Jun-2014; “Japan to deploy F-35 fighters at Misawa Air Base from fiscal 2017

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Jun 23 2014

Fire damages F-35A on Eglin runway

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

Army Times reports from Eglin AFB, Fla., USA:

An F-35A was damaged in a “significant fire” Monday morning while on the runway at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
The pilot was not injured and was able to safely egress the aircraft after bringing it to a stop and shutting down the engine at about 9:15 a.m., Eglin spokeswoman 1st Lt. Hope Cronin said. The pilot, an instructor pilot with the 58th Fighter Squadron, was taking off as part of a two-ship formation for a continuation training mission, she said.
The fire originated in the tail of the aircraft. Emergency crews were able to extinguish the fire, which is under investigation. No details on the extent of damage to the aircraft were available, Cronin said.

Flights suspended

Joe DellaVedova, spokesman for the Pentagon’s F-35 program offic said to the press: “Safety is paramount, and all F-35A flight operations have been temporarily suspended at Eglin as they investigate the nature of the incident“.

It appears to the be second major fire that has erupted inside the aircraft on the ground.
The F-35 test fleet was grounded for several weeks in 2011 after a fire erupted in the integrated power package (IPP) subsystem on board an F-35A.

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Jun 23 2014

Fire Breaks Out on F-35 at Eglin Air Force Base, Pilot Safe

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

US Naval Institute News reports:

A Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was severely damaged — possibly destroyed — in a Monday morning fire on the runway at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., USA.
The aircraft was preparing to conduct a continuation training mission at the time of the incident, but aborted during takeoff at Eglin Air Force Base due to a fire in the back end of the aircraft,” according to a Monday statement provided to USNI News from the Air Force. “Emergency responders extinguished the fire with foam.”
“We are aware of the event at Eglin AFB today involving an F-35A aircraft. The aircraft is in the very capable hands of the 33rd Fighter Wing,” a Lockheed Martin spokeswoman said in a statement to USNI News. “Lockheed Martin informed the wing that we are available for assistance upon request.”
The JSF fleet was grounded earlier this month after a Marine variant of the aircraft suffered an engine oil leak in flight

Read more:
USNI, David Majumdar; 23-jun-2014; Fire Breaks Out on F-35 at Eglin Air Force Base, Pilot Safe

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Jun 23 2014

F-35 Catches Fire on Takeoff at Eglin AFB

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

Defense News reports:

WASHINGTON — A US Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter caught fire when attempting to take off from a Florida Air Force base Monday morning, Pentagon officials said.
The plane, which is assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, experienced a fire in the aft end of the aircraft, according to an Air Force statement.
The pilot successfully shut down the plane and escaped unharmed, an F-35 program spokeswoman said. The fire was extinguished with foam by a ground crew.

Read more:
Defense News; 23-jun-2014; “F-35 Catches Fire on Takeoff at Eglin AFB

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Jun 19 2014

AF-2, the work horse of the F-35 program achieves 1000 hrs milestone

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

The second Air Force production F-35 Lightning II, the AF-2, became the first F-35 to reach 1.000 flight hours on 11-Jun-2014.

Paul Hattendorf, a Lockheed Martin test pilot, was flying an airframe loads envelope expansion mission when the fighter reached the milestone.

AF-2’s nickname is ‘Workhorse,’” said Randy Thompson, the F-35 Integrated Test Force, government air vehicle lead. “It continues to carry the Flight Sciences testing load, executing its primary mission of loads envelope expansion. Every AF-2 flight-test hour moves the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) enterprise closer to providing our warriors with the Air Force Initial Operational Capability (IOC) and final system development and demonstration maneuvering envelopes.”

Thompson added that data collected from all Flight Sciences aircraft help refine the airframe usage spectrum, which in turn allows for a more accurate fleet life determination.

AF-2 is the ‘Pull Gs jet,’” Thompson said. “It was the first aircraft to hit + 9 G and -3 G and to roll at design-load factor. In addition, AF-2 is the first F-35A to intentionally fly in significant airframe buffet at all angles of attack.”

Both AF-2 and AF-1 ferried to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, May 17, 2010.

Thompson said AF-2 has specific instrumentation and was calibrated for in-flight loads measurements prior to ferrying to Edwards AFB. In addition, it is instrumented to execute airframe buffet testing; landing, braking and arresting hook testing; and ground and in-flight gun testing.

The Lightning II software has 24 million lines of code, which is continually being updated and improved. The ITF team, AF-2 and the rest of the Edwards AFB F-35 test fleet, continues to get closer in getting the world’s most advanced fighter into the hands of the warfighter.

The entire F-35 Edwards ITF team and the 412th Test Wing are pressing hard to complete testing required for the 2B fleet release (Marine Corp IOC mission systems software release and Air Force IOC maneuvering envelope release),” Thompson said. “As aircraft compete their slated 2B testing, the team moves ahead with testing required for the final SDD clearances. Post 2B testing milestones include putting the final SDD talons on the Lightning II with the first flight of the small diameter bomb, first gun fire and continued external GBU-12 envelope expansion, as well as beginning to test the final SDD mission systems suite,” Thompson said.

The planned time frame for the Air Force IOC of its F-35As is August 2016.

US Air Force; Edwards AFB; 412th Test Wing Public Affairs by Kenji Thuloweit (19-Jun-2014)

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Jun 06 2014

Australian Senate Hearings Reveal Government’s F-35 Misrepresentations

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News publicized an article with a partly transcript about the annual budgeting process, of the Australian Senate’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee held hearings on the defense budget request on June 2. 

We would like to encourage you to read the whole article on


During this hearing, a senator from the opposition Australian Greens party, Scott Ludlam, questioned senior Australian Department of Defense officials about the government’s April 23 announcement that it will buy an additional 52 F-35A fighters at a cost of A$12.9 billion.

The officials’ answers – reproduced below - clearly demonstrated that several of the government’s statements on the F-35 were inaccurate, if not deliberately misleading, and that Australia had committed to the largest defense purchase in its history unconditionally, in the unquestioning belief that the F-35 would be superior to any opposing fighter for the duration of its 40-year service life.

The defense officials appearing at the hearing included:
– Senator Johnston, Minister for Defence
– General David Hurley AC, DSC, Chief of the Defence Force
– Air Marshal Geoff Brown AO, Chief of Air Force
– Mr Warren King; Chief Executive Officer, Defence Materiel Organisation
– Air Vice-Marshal Chris Deeble, General Manager Land and Maritime (Acting) and program manager for the JSF program.

As is made clear by the transcript and the related video, these officials did not give a good account of themselves, and left unanswered the most critical question regarding the F-35 program, its capabilities and the reasons for Australia’s commitment to the aircraft.

Some of these exchanges, notably with Air Marshal Brown and DMO chief executive Warren king, are remarkable because of the arrogance and impatience displayed by these officials in responding to legitimate questions by an elected lawmaker during a formal parliamentary hearing.

Read the full article on


Click here for the full transcript of the hearing in HTML format (scroll down 9/10th of page, to reach “Senator Ludlam”) on the Australian Parliament website.


Click here for the hearing transcript in PDF format (131 pages; scroll down to the bottom of page 106), also on the Australian Parliament website.

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Jun 06 2014

Carter: JSF Program Manager Based F-35 Award Fees On Desire To Protect Lockheed Exec

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News published an interesting article with a story that A former Joint Strike Fighter program executive officer was fired in 2010 after explaining that he based the government’s decision to award prime contractor Lockheed Martin 85 percent of the potential award fee — when the F-35 program was suffering from major cost growth and schedule delays — on his desire to protect the job of his Lockheed counterpart, according to a former senior Pentagon official.

Posted on May 30, 2014

At the time, an independent cost estimating team was advising Pentagon leaders that the true cost to develop and procure the planned F-35 fleet would be billions of dollars more than the JSF program office estimated, foreshadowing a $60 billion increase to the F-35’s official price tag.

“I want to see the bill, everything that goes into the cost of this airplane,” Carter said, in a video of his remarks posted on YouTube on May 22. “The program office didn’t know, could not tell me where the money was going.”

At that time, the F-35’s development was being executed under a cost-plus contract, a vehicle that allows a contractor to pass costs on to the government in addition to seeking an award fee. “I asked the program manager: ‘Let me see your award fee history.’ I look at the award fee history over 10 years, it is 85 percent a year,” Carter said.

The former deputy defense secretary said he told the program manager the F-35 program was “a disaster,” adding, “You’re giving an 85 percent award fee every year, what’s going on?”

“And,” Carter continued, “he looked me in the eye . . . and said: ‘I like the program manager on the Lockheed Martin side that I work with and he tells me that if he gets less than 85 percent award fee, he’s going to get fired.’”

“So, this guy was fired,” Carter said of Heinz. Then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Heinz’s dismissal during a Feb. 1, 2010, press conference.

Carter subsequently ordered a sweeping technical review of the JSF program and transitioned it to a fixed-price contract in an effort to force Lockheed to shoulder a portion of the costs associated with developmental risks.

“We began a process that was very difficult: to re-educate the Air Force-Navy team that managed this important aircraft so that they knew what the hell they were paying for,” Carter said in the Harvard speech. “They had no idea.”

In 2013, the Pentagon restructured the award-fee scheme for the Joint Strike Fighter program, setting aside $337 million that Lockheed Martin could earn by achieving specified goals during the balance of the aircraft’s development phase.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the current F-35 program executive officer, told the Senate Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee on April 24, 2013, that a portion of the remaining award fees Lockheed could earn would be tied to the timely delivery of planned aircraft complete with scheduled software and capability improvements. The bulk of the remaining fee is tethered to achieving the current aircraft development plan on time and budget, he said (DefenseAlert, April 24, 2013). — Jason Sherman

Read the entire article here!

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Jun 06 2014

Aussie senator asks all the right questions about the F-35

Gepubliceerd door onder Global F35 News

On of our partnerblog’s, bestfighter4canada had an interesting blog written by Doug Allen about the Australian Senator,  Scott Ludlam asking just the right questions about the F-35

For those of you who think the RAAF F-35 purchase is going off rather smoothly, this video proves the contrary.


Australian Senator Scott Ludlam asks all the right questions about the F-35:  How much will it cost?  Where is the money to pay for it?  What about the buggy software?

Australia’s Chief Air Marshall and his cronies dismiss most of his questions, using the usual platitudes like “military development is always late” and “everybody else is buying it”.  They use a lot of words like “should be” and “It depends”.  Ludlam questions the use of all these vague statements regarding the multibillion dollar fighter acquisition.

 “We are not here to take stuff for granted”

At about 21:00, the Senator gets dismissed by the RAAF staffer with the usual “you are not an expert, what do you know?”  To his credit, Ludlam keeps his cool and simply continues to ask the hard questions.

 “We will be flying this aircraft…  Six years…  Before its ready?

  “How can you keep it stealthy as detection technologies mature over a 30-40 year period?”

  Ludlam even refers to USAF General Mike Hostage’s statement that the F-35 is “not viable” without the F-22 backing it up.

“It’s all very well for the U.S. Air Force because they have both of those aircraft, but we don’t and we probably never will.”

Apparently, the RAAF air marshal was unaware such a statement was ever made.  You’d think he’d be  in the loop on that one…


The video is worth a watch, its typical dry parliamentary stuff, but the content is excellent.

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