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    F-35 Development and News Thread:

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    Militarov
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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Militarov on Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:04 pm

    Werewolf wrote:How the best and most modern aircrafts have unlimited amount of problems and money seems absolutley have zero affect to actually make them even worth flying not to mention actually make them worth as a weapon.

    Money can't buy you a healthy doctrine when you have money greedy oxygen wasting scum rulling your military spending through hardcore lobbyism. Lockheed Martin the EA Games among MIC, worst company, limited content lot of hype and promises but will fix only 10% of all problems after you buy DLC's. Lockheed Martin and EA Games have so many parallels.

    I wonder if they have same stockholders haha

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  max steel on Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:12 am

    First F-35A “Adir” for Israel Taking Shape

    The aircraft, designated as F-35A aircraft AS-1, officially began its mate process, where the four major components of the 5th Generation fighter aircraft are joined together in the Electronic Mate and Assembly Station to form the aircraft’s structure. AS-1 will continue its assembly here and is expected to roll out of the factory in June and be delivered to the Israeli Air Force (IAF) later this year.

    “These 5th Generation aircraft will greatly enhance the IAF’s ability to defend the State of Israel from the serious threats we face,” said Aharon Marmarosh, director, Israel Ministry of Defense Mission in New York.

    “Today marks a new beginning for tactical aviation for Israel,” said Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin F-35 program manager. “Lockheed Martin is proud of our long and storied relationship with Israel’s armed forces. The F-35A Adir strengthens our solid relationship with the IAF and ensures that the Israeli aerospace industry will remain strong for decades to come.”

    Israel has contracted for 33 F-35A Adir Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft through the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales program. Israel’s contribution to the F-35 program includes Israel Aerospace Industries F-35A wing production; Elbit Systems Ltd. work on the Generation III helmet-mounted display system, which all F-35 pilots fleet-wide will wear; and Elbit Systems-Cyclone F-35 center fuselage composite components production.

    The F-35A Adir will be a significant addition to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East, with the advanced capability to defeat emerging threats, such as advanced missiles and heavily-defended airspace through its combination of low-observability and sensor fusion. The F-35 Lightning II, a 5th generation fighter, combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  higurashihougi on Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:08 pm

    The F-35A Adir will be a significant addition to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East, with the advanced capability to defeat emerging threats, such as advanced missiles and heavily-defended airspace(...)

    lol1 lol1 lol1 lol1 lol1 lol1 lol1 lol1 lol1

    Militarov
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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Militarov on Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:36 pm

    I love how US and partners turned to Israel for help with HMS pretending its like they are doing them favor. That HMS junk they came up with was horrid, now Elibt has to save the day.

    Yeee lets sell Israel some F35s, give them to produce wings and then let them assist with HMS coz we anyways got no clue what we are doing atm.

    Also notice how Israelis are the only nation mentioning and requestiong 2 seat version, they even said if US and partners never develop it that they would on their own. Possibly even by reverse engineering, nothing stopped them till this day whenever US denied them documents regarding F16 and F14.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  George1 on Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:48 am

    US F-35 Jet Finally to Face Test of Dropping Bombs on Targets

    The troubled Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter-bomber, the most expensive combat aircraft in history, will finally test its capability to drop a bomb on target in February or March, according to US media.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The F-35 program is expected to cost $1.5 trillion over its 55-year lifespan, making it the most expensive US weapons program.

    “In February or early March, a combat-coded F-35A from the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill AFB [Air Force Base] will release an inert, laser-guided bomb at the nearby Utah Test and Training Range,” Flight Global reported on Tuesday.

    If the test is successful, it will be a “monumental achievement” for the multinational F-35 program, which Lockheed Martin has been prime contractor on since it was awarded the US Air Force’s Joint Strike Fighter contract in 2001, the online report noted.

    “A stealthy, jet-powered combat aircraft is nothing if it cannot put weapons on a target, and this GBU-12 Paveway II release will be a moment of truth for the conventional A-model, which until now only released weapons in development and operational testing,” Flight Global said.

    The F-35 jets are designed to operate in formation so the squadron will begin practicing “four-ship” combat tactics in March, where four airborne F-35s will train together, the report explained.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20160120/1033399790/f35-jets-test.html#ixzz3xjlhydA9


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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  max steel on Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:50 pm

    This Is The Most Important Technology On the F-35


    Cognitive EW, today in its infancy, may one day justify the Joint Strike Fighter’s enormous cost. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the most expensive weapons program ever, won’t justify its price tag by outmaneuvering other jets (it can’t), flying particularly fast, or even by carrying munitions in a stealthy bomb bay. Instead, the U.S. military is banking on an emerging technology called cognitive electronic warfare to give the jet an almost-living ability to sniff out new hard-to-detect air defenses and invent ways to foil them on the fly.

    While the specifics of the jet’s electronic warfare, or EW, package remain opaque, scientists, program watchers and military leaders close to the program say it will be key to the jet’s evolution and its survival against the future’s most advanced airplane-killing technology. In short, cognitive EW is the most important feature on the world’s most sophisticated warplane.

    “There are small elements of cognitive EW right now on the F-35, but what we are really looking toward is the future,” Lee Venturino, president and CEO of First Principles, a company that is analyzing the F-35 for the Pentagon, said at a recent Association of Old Crows event in Washington, D.C.“Think of it as a stair-stepper approach. The first step is probably along the ESM [electronic support measures] side. How do I just identify the signals I’ve never seen before?”

    To understand what cognitive warfare is, you have to know what it isn’t. EW makes use of the invisible waves of energy that propagate through free space from the movement of electrons, the electromagnetic spectrum. Conventional radar systems generally use fixed waveforms, making them easy to spot, learn about, and develop tactics against. But newer digitally programmable radars can generate never-before-seen waveforms, making them harder to defeat.

    A concern that U.S. EW was falling behind the challenges of today’s world prompted a 2013 Defense Science Board study that recommended that the military develop agile and adaptive electronic warfare systems that could detect and counter tricky new sensors.

    “In the past, what would happen is you’d send out your EA-18,” the military’s top-of-the-line EW aircraft, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said last month in an event at the Center for New American Security. “It would find a new waveform. There was no way for us to do anything about it. The pilot would come back, they would talk about it, they’d replicate it, they’d emulate it. It would go into the ‘gonculator,’ goncu-goncu-goncu-gonculatoring, and then you would have something, and then maybe some time down the road, you would have a response.”

    That process is far too slow to be effective against digitally programmable radars. “The software [to defeat new waveforms] may take on the order of months or years, but the effectiveness needs to programed within hours or seconds. If it’s an interaction with a radar and a jammer, for example, sometime it’s a microsecond,” said Robert Stein, who co-chaired the Defense Science Board study.

    Read “interaction” in that context to mean the critical moment when an adversary, perhaps a single lowly radar operator, detects a U.S. military aircraft on a covert operation. That moment of detection is the sort of world-changing event that happens, literally, in the blink of an eye.

    Just before the study came out, the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, or DARPA, established the Adaptive Radar Countermeasures program to “enable U.S. airborne EW systems to automatically generate effective countermeasures against new, unknown and adaptive radars in real-time in the field.”

    The goal: EW software that can perceive new waveforms and attacks as quickly and as clearly as a living being can hear leaves rustle or see a predator crouching in the distance, then respond creatively to the threat: can I outrun that? Can I fight it? Should I do anything at all? It’s a problem of artificial intelligence: creating a living intelligence in code.



    Applying the Brain Algorithm to EW Warfare


    There could be no cognitive electromagnetic warfare without cognitive radar, a concept fathered by electronics researcher Simon Haykin in his prescient 2006 paper “Cognitive Radar: A Way Of the Future.”

    Cognition is an act we attribute to living things, defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “knowing, perceiving, or conceiving as an act.” Haykin suggests that echo-location, which allows bats with nut-sized brains to detect, identify, and engage targets, is a type of cognition built on deep information processing. “How then does the bat perform all these remarkable tasks? The answer to this fundamental question lies in the fact that soon after birth, the bat uses its innate hard-wired brain to build up rules of behavior through what we usually refer to as experience, hence the remarkable ability of the bat for echo-location.”

    Haykin proposed that it’s becoming feasible to build a bat-like computer, thanks to radars and phased-array antennas that allow rapid scanning of waveforms and ever-shrinking, ever-more powerful computers.

    At the root of this cognitive processing is Bayes’s theorem:

    P (A | X) = p ( X | A ) p ( A )
    p ( X )

    P in the theorem means probability. A is the answer and X is a condition that will influence the probability. Thomas Bayes published the theorem in 1764, but it’s only in recent decades that it’s gained real popularity among statisticians, computer scientists, and machine learning experts. Bayesian algorithms don’t necessarily provide the most accurate answer the first time you use it. But as new information and data become available, you run the formula over and over again to get answers in which you can have more and more confidence.

    The advent of the Network Age, with its massive amounts of continually streaming data, has made Bayesian analysis more useful than some more traditional types of statistical analysis, especially for helping machines to learn. The human brain, too, learns both imperfectly but continually on the basis of streaming stimuli, as opposed to outputting a single value after crunching a big package of information.

    Applied to radar, Haykin imagined a Bayesian algorithm working like this:

    “For a given search area, radar returns are collected over a certain period of time. 2) For each range-azimuth resolution cell in the search space, the probability that the cell contains a target is computed. 3) With the evolution of target probability distribution resulting from the recursive computation of step 2 over time, target tracks are detected, and corresponding hard decisions on possible targets are subsequently made.”

    Haykin’s paper helped spark the Defense Department’s interest in cognitive EW and machine learning. BAE Systems and Raytheon are among the defense contractors that have emerged as key players. Today, Bayesian statistical methods are at the core of virtually every effort to apply machine learning to EW.

    “I would say, generally, Bayesian algorithms are a core to machine learning and we certainly apply them across a wide range of domains that we operate in,” said Josh Niedzwiecki, who directs BAE’s sensor processing and exploitation group.

    BAE provides the F-35’s EW package.

    Niedzwiecki’s 200-person group includes PhDs from top universities with backgrounds in machine learning, physics, statistical signal processing, and computational neuroscience among other fields, all working to apply machine learning algorithms to radar energy, video image processing, acoustic signal processing, and more. “They understand how the brain works, how we learn,” Niedzwiecki says of the group. Bayesian statistical methods are the foundation of all of that.

    But machine learning algorithms can’t learn without data, lots of it. While Facebook can access records from a billion-plus users, getting data from adversaries about the unique waveforms that they’re experimenting with is a more challenging task. The military can’t just ask China to opt-in to an information-sharing agreement.

    Generally, the best information is gathered on real-world missions, but this has its limitations. “There are certain tactical scenarios where that becomes very difficult because my mission might preclude me from hanging around for very long. I might be in a platform or in a mission scenario where I have to get in and get out,” says Niedzwiecki. “The way you take advantage of that is to learn over time. So I’m recording this data, I’m building my model, and given the data that I’m seeing and the hypothesis I’m testing during that mission, I’m seeing something about how to change the model to be more accurate next time. I want to take that data and use that for the current mission and the next mission. Those are some of the things that are starting to be thought about.”

    For the United States, EW dominance will be a matter not just of designing more exquisite sensors or writing smarter algorithms. It will require the disciplined execution of data collection processes — something that has to happen military-wide every time a radar operator encounters a new waveform, but doesn’t, the Defense Science Board study found. “In those places where we do have recorders, operators tend to turn them off. Because sometimes they create issues with the equipment with which they’re embedded,” said Stein. But, he continued, “last night, in some conflict, some place, unexpected things happened. What are we going to do about it? We better have the tapes, the digits, that recorded what went on last night. Let’s peel it apart. Let’s see why what happened, happened. We tend not to do that.”

    When F-35 pilots have to slip past the programmable radars of the future, their success is going to depend on a lot of data collection that happens off the plane.



    The EW Arms Race


    For a peek at the future of plane-killing technology that the F-35 may go up against, look at the Nebo-M, Russia’s premiere programmable radar system. The Nebo-M consists of three radars on separate trucks: a VHF that does the wide scanning and higher frequency UHF and X-Band that do the more precise triangulation. The system fuses the data from these three data streams to draw a bead on even stealthy aircraft.

    “The radar is designed to automatically detect and track airborne targets such as ballistic missiles, stealth aircraft, or drones, as well as hypersonic targets. In the circular scan mode the complex is able to track up to 200 aerodynamic targets at a distance and at altitudes of up to 600 kilometers. In sector scan mode, Nebo-M can track to 20 ballistic targets at ranges of up to 1,800 kilometers and at an altitude of up to 1,200 kilometers,” Russian-State media outlet RT claimed back in February. The Russian military planned in October to extend radar coverage across the entirety of Russia by 2020, according to RT.




    If the United States, Russia, or China were ever stumble into a hot war, the F-35 and air defense systems like the Nebo-M would likely face off against one another. It’s yet more indication that EW, like cyber, is emerging as the next great arms race. But unlike previous arms competitions, adversary EW is advancing far faster than U.S. military acquisition programs can keep up. That explains, in part, why the Pentagon is interested in cognitive systems that can adapt and evolve on their own.

    “Right now, we know that these machines are going to be able, through learning machines … to figure out how to take care of that waveform in the mission while it’s happening,” Work said at CNAS. The subject of his talk was the Third Offset Strategy, the Pentagon’s $13 billion moonshot program to re-secure its technological advantage. The fact that cognitive EW made its way into the speech says a lot about its importance to the Pentagon’s plans.

    The F-35 is supposed to reach initial operating capability, or IOC, with the Air Force next year. It may be deployed soon after. “When you’re at CENTCOM, you don’t request a specific jet, you request the capability,” Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, director of the Air Force’s F-35 Integration Office, said at the Air Force Association’s Air and Space Conference, as reported by Air Force Times. “When we declare IOC, the F-35 will be on the list of capabilities that will be available.” That means the jet could go to war against ISIS or the Taliban by this time next year.

    The Joint Strike Fighter program, on track to cost $400 billion according to an April 2015 Government Accountability Office report, may never quite justify its enormous price tag. But if the F-35 can truly learn and adapt to its electromagnetic environment, evolving in lifelike response to changing circumstances, it could live up to some of the many promises that its backers have made on its behalf, waging war in the EW space as intelligently as living soldiers fight on the ground.

    “It’s certainly architected to do that,” said Stein. “The skeletal framework is there to be able to do that … I’ll let you know five years from now if it really was exploited.”

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  JohninMK on Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:48 pm

    Note the new missile development contracts in the last two paras.

    The US Air Force has for the first time successfully test fired a Raytheon AIM-9X passive infrared missile from a Lockheed Martin F-35A over the Pacific Sea Test Range. According to a statement from Edwards AFB, the 461st Flight Test Squadron’s AF-1 flight sciences aircraft fired the short-range weapon on 12 January at an altitude of 6,000ft.

    The test firing moves integration of the AIM-9X forward, with introduction across the F-35 fleet expected in Block 3F in 2017. Block 2B and 3i aircraft carry only the basic complement of GPS- and laser-guided bombs and Raytheon's medium-range AIM-120C.

    Approval has also been granted by the US Navy for full-rate production of the latest AIM-9X Block II version, adding a new electronics package and datalink for lock-on-after-release engagements.

    Meant for close-in kills at high off-boresight angles, the AIM-9X is a heat-seeking alternative to the radar-guided Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM, which is susceptible to advanced electronic countermeasures, such as digital radio frequency memory jammers. The F-35 is designed to carry two AIM-9X missiles on its wings and four AIM-120s internally.

    The navy wanted to extend the range of the AIM-9X by 60% under a Block III programme for beyond-visual-range engagements, but the project was cancelled in the fiscal year 2016 budget, with only an “insensitive munitions warhead” side project carried forward.


    Separately, under a $14 million contract awarded on 20 January, Raytheon will begin exploring new missiles under a research and development programme called Small Advanced Capability Missile (SACM).

    A second project, called Miniature Self-Defense Munition (MSDM), is perhaps more game-changing – giving fighter aircraft the ability to target incoming missiles, like a ballistic missile defence system. The air force has said that these small self-protection munitions could be a bridging capability as it develops 360° laser shields for future fighters and bombers, targeted for rollout in the late 2020s. “SACM will support affordable, highly lethal, small size and weight ordnance with advanced air frame design and synergistic control capabilities for air dominance, enabling high air-to-air load-out,” the contract notice says. “The MSDM will support miniaturised weapon capabilities for air superiority by enabling close-in platform self-defence and penetration into contested anti-access/area denial environments with little to no impact to payload capacity.”


    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/f-35-fires-aim-9x-as-raytheon-snags-next-gen-weapons-421133/

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  JohninMK on Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:09 pm

    Interesting write up on Dutch experience. Especially the bit on F-35 vs F-16 which is more positive than previous reports.

    http://airheadsfly.com/2016/01/26/dutch-lightning-testers/

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  higurashihougi on Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:46 pm

    “The F-35 will have a large advantage going into the visual arena against fourth generation or aircraft like the Su-35, due to its advanced sensors, stealth and datalink capability and resulting increased situational awareness. We have already seen this during testing at Edwards”, says ‘Gladys’, one of the RNLAF pilots at Edwards.

    No.

    advanced sensors

    Does F-35 have 90-100cm radar with the angle of vision is 240 degree like BARS or Irbis ? Will F-35's radar have pure and strong radar signal like BARS and Irbis ?

    stealth

    Will F-35 be able to evade Russian L-band or lower radar band ?

    In order to fix the low resolution of low band radar, Russian fighter/AA systems can synchronize their radars together and compare their distance to calculate the position of the target.

    datalink capability

    Nice. But Su-30 and its successors have already been mini-awacs.

    Even so, slow-speed and high angle-of-attack performance is much better than many fourth generation fighters like the F-16.

    Sure, like F-16. But its seems like F-15, Su-27...37 and MiG-29/35 may not belong to that "many".

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  max steel on Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:05 pm

    Aussie Who Led Weapons Tests Knocks F-35


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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  max steel on Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:24 am

    Test Report Points to F-35’s Combat Limits

    The Block 2B version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which the Marine Corps declared operational in July last year, is not capable of unsupported combat against any serious threat, according to Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E).

    48-page annual project report to be published shortly, a copy of which was obtained by Aviation Week, the DOT&E states that “the F-35B Block 2B aircraft would need to avoid threat engagement… in an opposed combat scenario, and would require augmentation by other friendly forces.”

    http://aviationweek.com/site-files/aviationweek.com/files/uploads/2016/01/DOT%26E%202015%20F-35%20Annual%20Report.pdf ( Download the copy)

    Most of the same limitations will apply to the U.S. Air Force’s initial operational capability (IOC) version, the F-35A Block 3i. “Since no capabilities were added to Block 3i, only limited corrections to deficiencies, the combat capability of the initial operational Block 3i units will not be noticeably different.”

    The report is “factually accurate,” the F-35 Joint Program Office concedes in an official response, but “does not fully address program efforts to resolve known technical challenges and schedule risks.” Lockheed Martin said it endorsed the program office's views.

    Giving more details on the software deficiencies mentioned in a December memo, Gilmore says 11 out of 12 weapon delivery accuracy (WDA) tests carried out during Block 2B developmental testing “required intervention by the test and control team to overcome system deficiencies and ensure a successful event,” Gilmore says that the F-35’s performance in combat “will depend in part on the operational utility of the workarounds” that were used in testing.

    At the root of the difficulties in the WDA tests, Gilmore said, was that component tests in the run-up to the WDA events were focused “on contract specification compliance, instead of readiness for combat.” Those tests required only that the subcomponent should work. The actual WDA tests involved the entire kill chain and “highlighted the impact of deficiencies.” The F-35 program leadership altered some of them to achieve a “kill” – for example, by restricting target maneuvers and countermeasures.

    Also, the Marines accepted several substantial flaws in their IOC standard, causing problems with the way that the “performance and accuracy of mission systems functions,” including the aircraft’s data fusion system and radar performance, were displayed to the pilot.

    Specific technical problems continue to impose speed and maneuver limitations on the F-35, the report says. The weapon bay temperatures exceed limits during ground operations on days warmer than 90-deg. F, and at high speeds below 25,000 feet, if the weapon bays are closed for more than 10 min. (The F-35 is not stealthy with the doors open.) On the F-35A, the time limit is applied at speeds from 500 to 600 kts, depending on altitude.

    Heating issues were identified several years ago, but were said to have been addressed with a more efficient fuel pump and other changes: the F-35 uses the fuel as a heat sink to cool the airframe interior and systems, but runs short of cooling capacity under some circumstances. When Air Force operators at Luke AFB, Arizona, announced in December 2014 that they had painted fuel trucks white to reduce the heating problem, the program office stated: “This is not an F-35 issue. There are no special restrictions on the F-35 related to fuel temperature.”

    All F-35s are currently subject to g restrictions with full internal fuel. This is due to a problem where air enters a siphon fuel line and causes pressure in an associated tank to exceed limits. A repair scheme is in the works.

    Overall, the report says, “the rate of deficiency correction has not kept pace with the discovery rate” – that is, problems are being found in tests faster than they can be solved. “Well-known, significant problems” include the defective Autonomic Logistics Information System, unstable avionics and persistent aircraft and engine reliability and maintainability issues.

    Combined with poor aircraft availability, this record leads DOT&E to conclude that the program cannot speed up flight testing enough to deliver Block 3F – the IOC standard for the Navy and export customers and the exit criterion for the systems development and demonstration (SDD) phase – on schedule. Block 3F developmental flight testing started 11 months late, in March 2015. The planned 48 WDAs in Block 3F – most of them more complex and challenging than the Block 2B weapons tests – cannot be accomplished by the May 2017 schedule date “unless the program is able to significantly increase their historic completion rate.”

    Moreover, DOT&E predicts, the fleet of production-representative, instrumented aircraft required for initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) – the service-led testing that follows SDD and precedes the declaration of operational capability – will not be ready before August 2017. The IOT&E force will then use these for “spin-up” and training before IOT&E starts, which Gilmore does not now expect to happen before August 2018.

    An essential element of IOT&E is a high-fidelity simulation of threats and scenarios too complex to be addressed in live testing. Gilmore has been warning for several years that the program’s own Verification Simulation (VSim) subsystem was flawed and behind schedule. In August 2015, in an unannounced move, VSim was cancelled outright (after $250 million in added investment from 2010 onwards) and will be replaced by a government-led Joint Simulation Environment. But this will not be ready in time for IOT&E, so testers will either have to skip those scenarios or add costly and time-consuming live tests to the program.


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Meanwhile UK to receive final F-35 test aircraft shortly

    The United Kingdom is shortly to receive its final testbed Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), after a senior UK Royal Air Force (RAF) officer Tweeted an image of the completed aircraft at the Fort Worth production facility in Texas.

    The United Kingdom currently has two operational test and evaluation (BK-1 and BK-2) and one training aircraft (BK-3) flying out of Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in Florida. The image of the third operational test and evaluation (OT&E) aircraft (BK-4) was taken and posted online by Air Vice-Marshal Gary Waterfall, Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group, on 30 January, ahead of its expected delivery to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the coming days.

    Further to these first four trials and training aircraft, the United Kingdom has contracted 10 of the first 14 operational jets that have been authorised by parliament under the Main Gate 4 approval process.

    In November 2015, the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) revealed that the RAF and Royal Navy (RN) are to get all 138 aircraft that they requested over the life of the programme, with contracts to follow in-line with the US government's Lot procurement process. The first 24 aircraft (plus 18 for training) will be fast-tracked to be available for operations on the new HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carriers by 2023.

    In operational service, the F-35B will be fielded as a common RAF/RN pool along the lines of the now deactivated Joint Force Harrier. In February 2015 the RAF's 17 Reserve Squadron was designated the United Kingdom's OT&E squadron at Edwards AFB in California.

    The first operational unit - 617 'Dambusters' Squadron - will stand up with the first 14 operational aircraft and BK-3 at Beaufort Pilot Training Center at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort, South Carolina, later in 2016.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  max steel on Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:34 pm

    US unsure B61-12 nuke bomb is compatible with F-35

    The B61-12 life extension program’s (LEP) managers have developed a management approach that officials from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) regard as improved over the management approach used for past LEPs, which experienced schedule delays and cost overruns.

    Among other things, the B61-12 LEP is the first LEP to use earned value management, a tool that measures the planned versus actual value of work accomplished in a given period, which may help NNSA ensure that work progresses on budget and on schedule. It is also the first LEP to integrate the schedules and cost estimates for activities at all participating NNSA sites.

    NNSA used this new approach to inform its first Program Execution Guide for defense programs, issued in August 2014, which applies to all NNSA defense programs. NNSA’s new management approach notwithstanding, the B61-12 LEP faces ongoing management challenges in some areas, including staff shortfalls and an earned value management system that has yet to be tested. The new management approach may help the LEP address these potential challenges, but it is too soon to determine whether this will be the case.

    To manage risks in the B61-12 LEP, NNSA and the Air Force use a risk management database and integrated schedules to categorize risks and incorporate risk management steps in the schedules. According to NNSA and Air Force officials, some risks have already been managed in this manner. For example, NNSA estimates that making a needed material procurement in advance prevented a potential delay of more than a year and a potential cost increase of more than $2 million.

    Remaining risks include the risk that components may fail in certain flight environments and risks related to testing of certain nonnuclear components. NNSA is also working to ensure future compatibility with the F-35 aircraft. (Emphasis added—Ed.)

    NNSA and Air Force officials said they will not know for several years whether steps planned to manage these risks are adequate. A constrained development and production schedule—which DOE’s and DOD’s Nuclear Weapons Council characterized as having “little, if any, margin left”—complicates efforts to manage risks.

    Factors constraining the schedule include the aging of components in current versions of the B61, delays in starting the B61-12 LEP because of a lengthy design study, the effects of sequestration, and the need to complete the B61-12 LEP so that NNSA can begin other planned LEPs. GAO will continue to monitor these issues as it assesses the LEP in later stages.

    JohninMK
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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  JohninMK on Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:19 pm

    After Atlantic crossing the first Italian built F-35 arrives in US, with pilot interview

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNN9M4N2xhA

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Militarov on Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:27 pm

    "According to Reuters, the Pentagon will announce its plan to buy 404 F-35s over the next five years in its defense budget this week. The plan will see the U.S. Air Force getting 243 F-35As, 45 planes fewer than planned. The other two services will get 97 F-35Bs and 64 F-35Cs. This will be an increase of 21 jets over that period."

    Source: http://alert5.com/2016/02/07/pentagon-to-buy-404-f-35s-over-the-next-5-years/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  GarryB on Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:13 am

    [Sarcasm]So instead of buying 2,300 they are now buying less than 450...[/sarcasm]


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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Militarov on Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:01 am

    "The first F-35A to be assembled outside the United States, AL-1, became the first F-35 to cross the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 5. Flown by Maj. Gianmarco, the jet took 11 hours to make the crossing with help from a KC-767 to provide fuel in mid-air. Taking off from Cameri Air Base in Italy, the jet and its escorts flew to Lajes, Azores before they finally landed at NAS Patuxent River."










































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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  George1 on Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:00 am

    Pentagon: Troubled US F-35 Fighter Jet Needs More Engine Changes

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20160210/1034487107/f35-needs-engine-changes.html#ixzz3zk4fd0JB


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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  max steel on Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:56 pm

    U.S. Air Force defers 45 F-35s from budget plan

    The U.S. Air Force is deferring the purchase of 45 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighters over the next five years to make room for other procurements.

    Air Force officials say the move extends F-35 production plans over the next decade, while also allowing more funding for the recently contracted Long Range Strike Bomber among other projects.

    U.S. Defense Under Secretary Mike McCord spoke to reporters on Tuesday, noting the Air Force is absorbing the biggest cuts of the three military branches procuring the aircraft.

    "We are trying to get it back up to where we want it to be across the FYDP," McCord said. "But it's just a lot of money too, and it's unclear that we will be able to get this program back to the ramps that we had hoped for previously."

    The Air Force's announcement that it will be deferring its procurement plans follows an earlier report that it would be cutting five F-35s from its fiscal 2017 budget. In addition to F-35s, the plans also delay the planned replacement of the C-130H Hercules airlifter in addition to planned upgrades for existing fighter aircraft.

    "The Air Force is facing a modernization bow wave in critical nuclear and space programs over the next ten years that, under current funding levels, we simply cannot afford," Air Force officials wrote in a statement.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Militarov on Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:12 pm



    Another source of video: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=565_1455124843

    "Normally, James Martin is the very model of a modern major general. But the Air Force officer, who is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget, recently collapsed at the podium while answering questions about the F-35. Air Force Deputy for Budget Carolyn Gleason held Maj. Gen. Martin up, while aides came to help Martin, who regained his senses seconds later."

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  AlfaT8 on Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:49 am

    Militarov wrote:

    Another source of video: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=565_1455124843

    "Normally, James Martin is the very model of a modern major general. But the Air Force officer, who is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget, recently collapsed at the podium while answering questions about the F-35. Air Force Deputy for Budget Carolyn Gleason held Maj. Gen. Martin up, while aides came to help Martin, who regained his senses seconds later."

    Man, that F-35 is a goddam nightmare, i wouldn't be surprised if the U.S starts losing people because of this boondoggle, ironic, tragic, don't know. Neutral

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  max steel on Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:15 pm

    Militarov wrote:

    Another source of video: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=565_1455124843


    US Air Force General James Martin Jr, 52, was talking about future of F-35 program when he passed out . Aides rushed to official's side, offered him water and brought in a chair.His subordinate took over the briefing, joking with reporters: 'That's what the F-35 would do to ya'





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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  George1 on Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:40 am

    F-35 Needs More Expensive Upgrades to Deal With ‘Evolving Threats’

    The Pentagon announced that the Lockheed Martin Corporation has won an $81.4 million contract to upgrade the F-35 combat jet against evolving threats.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Lockheed Martin Corporation has won an $81.4 million contract to upgrade the F-35 combat jet against evolving threats, reduce life cycle costs and improve operational suitability, the US Department of Defense announced.

    "Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an $81.3 [million] contract… [that] includes new and upgraded capabilities to provide enhancements and continuous improvements to maintain viability against evolving threats," the release stated on Thursday.

    The work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in May 2017, the Defense Department noted.

    According to the proposed Defense Department budget for 2016, the US Air Force would purchase 44 F-35 jets this fiscal year, 48 in 2017 and 60 each year from 2018 through 2020.

    The total procurement cost of the 1,736 F-35 jet is about $215 billion. However, development of the F-35 fighter jet has already cost the Defense Department some $400 billion, and the program requires significantly more funding before it can be declared fully operational.

    Moreover, the F-35 jet has suffered a number of problems, including faulty mechanics, cyber vulnerabilities and inferiority when compared to its predecessors such as F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet.

    US allies Canada and Norway have already withdrawn from participating in the troubled F-35 program. The aircraft is now the most expensive plane in military history.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20160212/1034618973/more-f35-expensive-upgrades.html#ixzz3zvvfuM00


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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  George1 on Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:27 pm

    US Air Force Begins Deployment Tests for F-35 Jet in State of Idaho

    USAF announced that a flight of six Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II jets is starting an operational deployment test.


    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A flight of six Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II jets is starting an operational deployment test in the heartland US state of Idaho, the US Air Force announced in a report.

    "Six F-35-As arrived at Mountain Home AFB [Air Force Base], Idaho, February 8, 2016, from Edwards AFB, California, to begin an operational deployment test at a nearby range complex," the report from the 366th Fighter Wing of the US Air Force stated on Monday.

    The test will help develop the concept of operations as well as validate the aircraft's capability to deploy, the report said.

    In order for the Air Force to declare initial operating capability for the F-35A, the aircraft must be able to execute three key mission sets: suppression and destruction of enemy air defense; air interdiction missions; as well as conduct basic close air support — to include alert launches, the report acknowledged.

    The F-35 jet is now the most expensive airplane in military history with a procurement cost for 1,736 aircraft of $215 billion. However, development of the jet has already cost the Defense Department some $400 billion, and the program requires significantly more funding before it can be declared fully operational.

    The F-35 aircraft has suffered a number of problems, including faulty mechanics, cyber vulnerabilities and inferiority when compared to its predecessors such as F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet. US allies Canada and Norway have already withdrawn from participating in the troubled F-35 program.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20160223/1035193934/usaf-begins-f35-deployment-tests.html#ixzz40zeijcp4


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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  higurashihougi on Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:38 pm

    George1 wrote:US allies Canada and Norway have already withdrawn from participating in the troubled F-35 program. The aircraft is now the most expensive plane in military history.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20160212/1034618973/more-f35-expensive-upgrades.html#ixzz3zvvfuM00

    People have to seriously question the goal of U.S. military producers, do they create weapon to win the battle, or they create weapon to prolong the war forever.

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    Re: F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Post  Militarov on Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:11 pm


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