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    US Naval Strike Fighters

    George1
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    Post  George1 Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:30 am

    US Air Force F-18 Hornet fighter jet crashes in northern California — media
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    Post  max steel Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:28 pm

    Orbital ATK, a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, and the U.S. Navy successfully launched and scored a hit against the Mobile Ship Target during Block 1 upgrade test firings of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) at the Point Mugu Sea Range on Aug. 18, 2015.


    The AARGM shot was launched from a U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet in a scenario designed to test the missile’s capabilities against mobile ship targets employing advanced tactics.

    “The block upgrade testing demonstrated that the hardware, software and aircraft systems all worked together resulting in the successful live fire of the weapon,” said Bill Kasting, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Defense Electronic Systems division of the Defense System’s Group. “We look forward to rolling out these upgrades throughout the fleet, upon the successful completion of follow-on operational testing.”

    “This first Block 1 live fire test demonstrated the weapon’s effectiveness against a moving ship,” said Gordon Turner, Vice President Strike Weapons. “This is the first live-fire test in a series of live-fire and captive-carry events that will assess the missile’s software modifications made to deliver new capabilities to the warfighter

    The AARGM shot was launched from a U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet in a scenario designed to test the missile’s capabilities against mobile ship targets employing advanced tactics. The AARGM utilized its advanced anti-radiation homing sensor and millimeter wave radar to successfully detect, identify, locate and engage the moving maritime target.

    Orbital ATK participated in the missile firing as a member of the U.S. Navy's Integrated Product Team, led by the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike Program Office. Team members from the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division - China Lake led the AARGM Block 1 Upgrade test. Additional test team members included Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division – Point Mugu, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Three One, and the Naval Air Systems Command.

    AARGM is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system, upgrading legacy AGM-88 HARM systems with advanced capability to perform Destruction of Enemy Air Defense missions. AARGM provides the most advanced system for pilots, with in-cockpit, real-time electronic order of battle situational awareness against today’s modern surface-to-air threats. It is able to rapidly engage traditional and non-traditional advanced land- and sea-based air-defense threats, as well as striking, time-sensitive targets.

    AARGM is currently deployed with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. AARGM achieved Initial Operational Capability in July 2012 and was approved by the Navy for Full Rate Production in September 2012.

    AARGM is a U.S. Navy and Italian Air Force international cooperative major acquisition program with the U.S. Navy as the executive agent. AARGM is currently deployed and supporting operational requirements for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. The missile is integrated into the weapons system on the F/A-18C/D Hornet, FA-18E/F Super Hornet and E/A-18G Growler aircraft. AARGM is anticipated to achieve Initial Operational Capability on the Italian Air Force’s Tornado ECR aircraft in 2017.




    http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3116
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    Post  Guest Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:59 pm

    "The U.S. Navy on Tuesday underscored its desire to buy more Boeing Co F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in coming years to deal with higher-than-expected operational demands and past delays in the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet program. Rear Admiral Michael Manazir, director of air warfare for the U.S. chief of naval operations, told lawmakers that the Navy was working to speed up maintenance of older-model F/A-18s, but would also need to buy more new F/A-18E/F jets to avert a shortfall in strike fighters for its aircraft carriers. Manazir, testifying before the readiness subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, echoed a call earlier this year by former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert, who said the Navy would need two to three more squadrons of Super Hornets, or 24 to 36 more aircraft, to meet its needs.

    US Naval Strike Fighters - Page 2 1280px-FA-18_Hornet_VFA-41

    U.S. lawmakers are poised to approve the purchase of 12 F/A-18E/Fs in fiscal 2016, which began Oct. 1. Manazir said problems could be avoided if the Navy bought more Super Hornets in both fiscal 2017 and 2018, and was able to start using an initial squadron of F-35 fighter jets as now planned in August 2018. F-35 delays forced the Navy several years ago to extend the service life of its older F/A-18C Hornets from 6,000 hours to 10,000 hours, a project that turned out to be more intensive and take much longer than expected. Manazir's comments spell good news for Boeing, which needs more F/A-18E/F orders to extend its St. Louis production line beyond the end of 2017, when it is currently slated to end. Manazir said it would not make sense for the Navy to accelerate its purchases of F-35 C-model jets instead since work had not been completed on the required Block 3F software needed for the jets to carry all the weapons required by the Navy.

    Navy acquisition chief Sean Stackley reassured lawmakers that the F-35C aircraft the Navy is buying in fiscal 2016 would be delivered in 2018 with the needed software package. Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher said it was premature to comment on Manazir's comments since the Pentagon is still finalizing its fiscal 2017 budget plans. If Congress finalizes the order of 12 jets in fiscal 2016, the Boeing F/A-18 production line will extend through mid-2018, while an expected order of 28 more jets from Kuwait could push production out until 2019 or beyond."


    Unusually big last minute orders last few years and this of F18 derivates for USN air wing, seems like they are trying to get as more Hornets as they can before F35 hits the fan, coz something actually needs to fly Very Happy

    Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/04/us-boeing-fighter-idUSKCN0ST04K20151104#TeL1LwJVEvkrFFpU.99
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    Post  George1 Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:29 am

    US Navy Enhances EA-18 Electronic Attack Aircraft Targeting Capabilities

    US Navy Captain David Kindley said that the US Navy has augmented its EA-18 electronic attack aircraft’s targeting abilities in order to help aircrews gain dominance on their marks.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Navy has augmented its EA-18 electronic attack aircraft’s targeting abilities in order to help aircrews gain dominance on their marks, US Navy Captain David Kindley said in a release on Tuesday.

    “This enhanced targeting capability provides our aircrews with a significant advantage, especially in an increasingly dense threat environment where longer-range targeting is critical to the fight,” Kelly stated.

    The Boeing EA-18G Growler aircraft has evolved from the previous F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter jet and is the latest US airborne electronic attack platform.

    Boeing explained that the EA-18G Growler will be enabled to find targets over larger distances and share information much faster than before.

    “This long-range targeting technology is essential as we advance electronic attack capabilities for the conflicts of today and tomorrow,” Boeing F/A-18 and EA-186 Programs Vice President Dan Gillian said. “The complexity of global threat environments continues to evolve.”

    The Growler will also provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data to other aircraft, according to Boeing.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20151201/1031080389/us-navy-enhances-ea-18.html#ixzz3t9N8MF31
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    Post  max steel Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:59 pm

    USN upgrades EA-18G with long-range targeting system


    The US Navy has decided to upgrade the Boeing EA-18G Growler with a new datalink and other systems that allow the aircraft to identify vessels at long-range without using radar, Boeing announced on 1 December.

    The retrofit and forward fit decision for the Rockwell Collins tactical targeting network technology (TTNT) datalink comes after the new identification capability was validated during the FLEX 2015 fleet experiment.

    “This enhanced targeting capability provides our aircrews with a significant advantage, especially in an increasingly designs threat environment where longer-range targeting is critical to the fight,” US Navy F/A-18 and EA-18G programme manager Capt David Kindley said in a statement provided by Boeing.

    Naval officials first disclosed the new capability for the Growler fleet last August, unveiling a new development in a decades-old game of adversaries using new techniques to elude and enable electronic identification.

    The EA-18G already can use an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar – the Raytheon APG-79 – to identify targets at long-range, but using that emitter exposes the aircraft to detection by the intended target’s radar warning systems.

    Alternatively, a set of wingtip-mounted electronic receivers – the Northrop Grumman ALQ-218 – also has used a processing technique called long baseline interferometry to identify targets. That technique keeps the EA-18G electronically stealthy, but it only works at short ranges.

    More recently, however, the navy has been testing a new system enabled by the high-bandwidth TTNT datalink, a faster targeting processor with an open architecture.

    The ALQ-218 receivers on each EA-18G first detect electronic signals emitting from a target. Then, the faster processor uses time difference of arrival techniques to determine the location of the emitter. That information is then shared with other EA-18Gs and the Northrop E-2D Advanced Hawkeye using the TTNT and open architecture-based processors. That combined processing power allows the group of aircraft to positively identify targets at long-range.

    “This long-range targeting technology is essential as we advance electronic attack capabilities for the conflicts of today and tomorrow,” says Dan Gillian, Boeing’s vice-president for F/A-18 and EA-18G programmes.
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    Post  George1 Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:18 pm

    US Tests Plan for F-18 Jets to Carry Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles

    According to a US defense contractor, the American Navy is testing out the F-18 jets' ability to carry precision-guided anti-ship missiles.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Navy has commenced a series of tests to deploy Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) on its F-18/A and F-18E/F Super-Hornet jets, defense contractor Lockheed Martin said in a news release on Monday.

    "The LRASM airworthiness flights on the Super Hornet put us one step closer to fielding this urgently needed capability for our warfighters," Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control LRASM Director Mike Fleming stated in the release.

    A US soldier stands next to a Patriot surface-to-air missile battery at an army base in Morag, Poland.
    © AP Photo/ Czarek Sokolowski
    NATO's Anti-Russia Policy, Anti-Missile Shield Threaten Balance - Moscow
    The flights were conducted at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland, according to the release.

    "The flight data acquired validates the LRASM system design and clears the way for the test program to continue," Fleming noted.

    The LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship missile that allows carrier-launched aircraft to conduct precisions trikes against ships and other maritime targets from outside the range of their anti-aircraft defense systems.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20151214/1031740839/us-f18-fighter-jet-long-range-missiles.html#ixzz3uKPp3TLg
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    Post  max steel Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:47 pm

    Oxygen deprivation continues to threaten Navy fighter pilots

    The rate of F/A-18 Hornet pilots experiencing loss of oxygen mid-flight is holding steady, despite efforts to improve systems, according to members of the House Armed Services Committee, who grilled top Navy officers on the issue at a hearing Thursday.

    Pilots are experiencing hypoxia events at a rate of 20 to 30 per 100,000 flight hours, a figure that hasn't changed in several years, said Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass.

    "It is, I think, an issue that despite all your investments and policies and training and everything else … the numbers still don’t go down," she said.

    Hypoxia, a deficiency of oxygen reaching the tissues of the body, can prevent pilots from thinking clearly or reacting quickly while flying faster than the speed of sound. They may notice themselves gasping for air or getting light-headed, but its effects may also include lower mental acuity, delayed response time, a degradation of basic motor skills and loss of consciousness.

    The Navy has kept a close eye on the problem since 2009, requiring all incidents to be reported as the service updates cockpit filtration systems and develops technology to monitor oxygen levels in flight.

    "The rates started to climb in 2010. That’s the year that we told everyone, 'OK, we think there’s a problem here,,'" said Rear Adm. Mike Manazir, director of air warfare. "The phenomenon that you’re seeing between 2010 and now is an increase in reporting.

    The Navy has fielded 18 or 19 changes to the aircraft so far, said Rear Adm. Michael Moran, director of the tactical aircraft program office. That includes new filtration systems in about 219 jets, with a goal of adding 40 more each month going forward.

    For pilots and aircrew, hypoxia training has been ramped up to once a year rather than every four years, with dedicated simulation training for pilots every two years.

    "What we do with the trainer now is, you get into a simulated cockpit on the ground, put an oxygen mask on and the system is set up so you can fly and they gradually reduce your oxygen content, and they train us to recognize the symptoms," Manazir said.

    While in flight, the fix is a manual oxygen bottle that a pilot can use to regain enough stability to land the Hornet.

    One of the main issues in tackling the problem is that the aircraft don't have a monitoring system to see what is coming through the cockpit's filter, which cleans out nitrogen, carbon monoxide and other gases or toxins.

    "It’s like chasing a ghost: You can’t figure it out because the monitoring devices that do this are not on the airplane," Manazir said.

    To work on that, researchers at Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Maryland, are testing whether there are unanticipated contaminants getting to pilots, and if a device could be added to their emergency gear to detect those contaminants while still in the air.

    That system is scheduled to go online in 2017, Moran said.

    Still, Tsongas pressed for another solution.

    "I appreciate Adm. Moran talking about the manual backup oxygen system, but I think we all would be concerned by the fact that you’re asking a potentially incapacitated pilot to help himself out of this," she said.

    The manual tank could have anywhere from minutes to an hour's worth of breathable air if used perfectly, she said, but the pilot could be hours away from the carrier at that point.

    "As you’re looking at creating a budget, an automatic system is something that would give much more time, and he or she would not have to activate it themselves," she said.

    Manazir stressed that the Navy is confident in the F/A-18's systems and pilots' ability to recognize and respond to hypoxia.

    "A physiological event occurs when a pilot feels dizzy, feels confused, feels a little strange in the airplane," he said.

    If there were concerns about the aircraft's safety, he added, the fleet would be grounded.
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    Post  nemrod Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:13 am

    Behind this sober news, it hides something that is very shameful in Washington. In fact it proves that the F-22, and the F-35 are a total fiasco. The F-22 could not fly  more than 100 minutes, after, due the fail concept and design it must grounded during weeks, if not months, it is noteworthy to add, because of stealthy constraints, the F-22's coating has several thousands of rivets, special painting, if you change something, U will have to change near all. The maintenance is a nightmare. For that reasons R. Gates ended the production line, and closed them definitely in 2008. Instead of having around 800 F-22 as it was planned previously, US high responsibles reduced them to 180, with a rate of availability that would not exceed 10% at the best case, far from the 60% swaggered by US DoD. The F-35's case is not more shinning, it could not do more than 5% of its tasks. Total failure too. For that reasons US Air Force, and US Navy will still rely on its F-15, F-16, and F-18's fleet during decades yet. Contrary to the US hype, their so called fifth generation fighters 'fleet is a total disaster. We will see in next future more contracts for upgrading F-15, F-16, and F-18. Will the F-35 fly one day ?  

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/exclusive-boeing-nears-decision-self-fund-more-f-224830041--finance.html


    Exclusive: Boeing nears decision to self-fund more F/A-18 fighters


    Reuters By Andrea Shalal
    February 12, 2016 5:48 PM


    By Andrea Shalal

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co <BA.N> is nearing a decision to invest "a significant amount" to keep a F/A-18E/F fighter jet production line in St. Louis running as it waits for the U.S. government to approve a delayed order by Kuwait for 28 jets, a senior executive said.

    Dan Gillian, who runs Boeing's F/A-18E/F and EA-18G electronic attack jet programs, told Reuters the company would decide in coming weeks whether to buy titanium and other materials needed to start work on the jets, even before the Kuwait deal and potential U.S. Navy orders are finalized.

    He said Boeing would weigh strong expected demand for the warplanes against the risk that the orders could still fail.

    Delays in orders for the jets mean Boeing must decide whether to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the F/A-18 program, even as its commercial division faces job cuts and a federal investigation into whether it properly accounted for two jetliners, the 747 and 787.

    "Based on the demand signals we see today, I’m confident that we’ll be building F/A-18s into the 2020s," said Gillian, who spoke to Reuters on Thursday before news of the accounting probe broke.

    Gillian said Boeing was encouraged by the U.S. Navy's proposed funding to buy two F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in a supplemental war budget and 14 more jets in the fiscal 2018 base budget.

    Boeing has slowed production from three planes a month to two planes, and needs the Kuwait order to be finalized soon to keep production going until the Navy's expected fiscal 2018 orders, Gillian said. Analysts have said the Kuwait order could be worth more than $3 billion to Boeing.

    The U.S. Navy may also add a dozen more F/A-18 fighter jets to its list of "unfunded priorities" in fiscal 2017, a document used by lawmakers to adjust funding in the Pentagon's annual budget request, according to a U.S. official and industry sources who were not authorized to speak publicly.

    Congress approved a similar request last year to help the Navy deal with a shortfall in carrier-based fighter. Lawmakers ultimately added $1.1 billion to the Navy's fiscal 2016 budget to buy five F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and seven EA-18G Growlers.

    Gillian said current Navy orders will keep the St. Louis plant running through June 2018, but the line could continue into the early 2020s if the additional Navy and Kuwait orders are approved. That would put Boeing in a stronger position to compete for potential orders from Finland, Belgium, Spain and Denmark, he said.

    The Kuwait Super Hornet order and a separate Boeing F-15 sale to Qatar have both stalled as the Obama administration negotiates a 10-year agreement with Israel on U.S. military aid.

    U.S. defense officials, including Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, have raised concerns about the slow pace of arms sales approvals, and particularly the Kuwait F/A-18 sale, given the consequences for the industrial base.

    Delays have prompted Qatar to halve its expected purchase of F-15s and pursue a separate deal with France's Dassault Aviation <AVMD.PA> for 24 Rafale fighter jets, according to sources familiar with the matter.

    For its part, Kuwait has said it is sticking to plans to buy both the Boeing planes, and a separate deal for 28 Eurofighter jets. U.S. sources had expected the Boeing deal to win approval last year.

    The fighter planes are of increasing importance to Kuwait, which is part of the Saudi-led coalition fighting insurgents in Yemen, and is primarily supporting that effort with its air force and fleet of existing F/A-18s.

    (Editing by David Gregorio)




    Last edited by nemrod on Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:19 am; edited 1 time in total
    George1
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    Post  George1 Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:17 am

    Can anyone give us the total numbers of F/A-18 and F/A-18E/F that are in service with US Navy and Marines?
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    Post  nemrod Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:27 am

    George1 wrote:Can anyone give us the total numbers of F/A-18 and F/A-18E/F that are in service with US Navy and Marines?

    As Wiki -I don't know if it is the truth, but it could give an idea-: 314 F/A-18A/B/C/D Hornets in operation as of 2015, and add "As of October 2008, Boeing had delivered 367 Super Hornets to the U.S. Navy", at most 432 EF-18. The total in my view is around 800 F-18 all versions.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_F/A-18_Hornet
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_F/A-18E/F_Super_Hornet
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    Post  max steel Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:54 pm

    New JSOW variant carries out successful F-18 operational flight test

    Operational testing of Raytheon’s AGM-154 Joint Stand-off Weapon (JSOW) C-1 gliding munition has begun, during which it was deployed from a US Navy Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet and achieved a direct hit against a land target.

    The new C-1 variant of the weapon adds the ability to counter moving maritime targets, in addition to land ones, through a seeker modification and the addition of a two-way Link 16 capability. The successful first test will lead on to subsequent sea trials in the coming months.

    During testing the air-to-surface weapon demonstrated the ability to follow a pre-planned route once dropped from 29,000ft, destroying a land target with “precision accuracy”, Raytheon says.

    “JSOW is truly a cutting edge to precision stand-off strike,” Mark Borup, business development for JSOW at Raytheon, tells Flightglobal. “It has a very potent penetration capability.”

    Before the testing, the new variant achieved "seven-for-seven" against land and maritime targets during its developmental and integration phase, Raytheon says.

    The net-enabled 475kg (1,050lb) C1 has a range of 70nm (130km) and a 10min flight time when released from 40,000ft. It will be released to the F/A-18 fleet in 2016, Borup says, at which point it will be operational with the USN.

    Boeing F-15 and Lockheed Martin F-35 integration with the C variant of JSOW is expected to take place in 2017, and with the C-1 variant by 2020. For the F-35, JSOW will be integrated internally on the conventional take-off and landing A and C carrier variant models, and externally on the short take-off and vertical landing B.

    In July 2015, the USN ordered 555 JSOW weapons for $180 million, including 200 units of the C-1 version for itself plus 355 Block III C-models for Saudi Arabia.
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    Post  max steel Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:15 pm

    US Navy extends Orbital ATK AGM-88E production

    The US Navy has extended production of AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) multi-mode seekers, built by Orbital ATK, by three years to fiscal year 2023 with an added requirement for 556 more units.

    That’s according to the Pentagon’s latest selected acquisition report, which shows an increase in planned production quantities from the 2003 objective of 1,879 units to 2,435, not including the 40 test assets. That and other changes bump up the total programme cost by $484.8 million to over $2 billion.

    The missile modification was jointly developed by the USA and Italy to improve the effectiveness of legacy Raytheon AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) variants against fixed and relocatable enemy radar and communications sites, particularly those that would shut down to throw off incoming anti-radiation missiles. Australia also procures AGM-88Es.

    The new seeker attaches to the existing Mach 2-capable rocket motor and warhead section, adding a passive anti-radiation homing receiver, satellite and inertial navigation system, and a millimetre wave radar for terminal guidance. It can also beam up images of the target via a satellite link just seconds before impact.

    Raytheon produces an alternative modification kit for the US Air Force, known as the HARM Control Section Modification (HCSM).

    The Orbital ATK AARGM is compatible with all F/A-18 models and the EA-18G Growler, plus the Panavia Tornado, F-16, EA-6B and it will be carried externally on the F-35. It went into full-rate production in 2012.
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    Post  max steel Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:09 am

    Slow Sales Could Kill America's Deadly F-16 and F/A-18 Jets   tongue

    The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon and Boeing’s F/A-18 Hornet both emerged in the late 1970s as lower-cost supplements to the U.S. Air Force’s F-15 Eagle and the Navy’s F-14 Tomcat.

    Over the years, both aircraft have evolved. Boeing’s (then McDonnell Douglas) classic F/A-18A Hornet has been transformed into the larger, more capable F/A-18E/F Super Hornet--which is effectively a completely new airframe. The F-16, meanwhile, has evolved from a lightweight dogfighter into an extremely capable multirole strike fighter. However, both designs are nearing the end of their lives as the new Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter begins to supplant both types on the international fighter market.

    The U.S. Navy is buying some number of additional Super Hornets--a total of 16 spread over the fiscal year 17 and 18 budgets. But exactly how many additional new F/A-18’s it will ultimately buy remains unclear--but eventually the service will only buy new F-35Cs. The U.S. Air Force stopped buying new F-16s years ago in favor of the F-35. That means that both aircraft will have to fight for buyers on the international fighter market to keep their production lines open.

    However, there are few immediate sales prospects--mostly to U.S. allies that Washington won’t sell the F-35 to for the time being. Those nations are mostly in the Middle East or are nations that probably can’t afford the F-35. Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates could be potential prospects. But a Boeing effort to sell new Super Hornets to Kuwait has stalled.

    Lockheed has some recent success with the U.S. government agreeing to sell Pakistan eight more F-16s. The company also hopes to sell the jet to Colombia, Bahrain and Indonesia--but Jakarta seems to have picked the Russian Su-35 over the U.S.-made plane. Meanwhile, a potential deal for thirty additional F-16E/F Block 61 fighters to the UAE is still pending. Until more sales materialize, the company is funding some of its suppliers to keep its subcontractors going.

    However, while small batch orders might keep the production lines open for a few years, longer term survival depends on finding a large buyer. Both Boeing and Lockheed seem to have their eyes set on India. The South Asian giant has an urgent requirement to replace its ageing MiG-21s and other older Soviet-built hardware. There could be a potential to sell more than 126 aircraft to New Delhi.

    India, however, is not content with importing jets--it wants to build the jets domestically. Boeing and Lockheed have indicated a willingness to build the jets in India, but it remains to be seen if New Delhi and the Washington can come to an arrangement.
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    Post  George1 Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:38 pm

    Boeing Wins $93Mln Maintenance Order for F/A-18 Hornet Carrier Combat Jets

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20160412/1037849252/boeing-carrier-combat-jets-maintenance.html#ixzz45bj1GQ4N
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    Post  max steel Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:24 pm

    House panel approves funds for 11 F-35s and 14 F/A-18s


    On 28 April, just days after the developmental aircraft’s many flaws were enumerated at a Senate hearing, the US House Armed Services Committee agreed on a defence policy that would fund 11 more F-35s in fiscal year 2017, on top of the 63 aircraft already requested by the US services.

    Congress, despite many members being vocal critics of the aircraft, has made adding money for F-35s something of an annual tradition, having also added 11 more Lightning IIs than requested in the current fiscal year 2016 defence budget.

    Though US lawmakers decry the concurrent development and production of such a sophisticated and technologically difficult piece of military hardware, they don’t seem at all concerned about bolstering production with extra aircraft.

    The decision to develop and build the JSF aircraft simultaneously was described this week as “acquisition malpractice” and the cause of a “long nightmare”. That's because every one of the approximately 500 aircraft that will be delivered prior to the introduction of the full warfighting Block 3F configuration in 2018, at the end of the system development and demonstration (SDD) phase, will need to be retrofitted at great expense.

    However, Pentagon officials note that the aircraft and propulsion system's fundamental design is stable and the main challenges relate to updatable software and the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), which still hasn’t successfully incorporated engine data.

    The Pentagon’s top weapons tester J Michael Gilmore told Congress this week that after fifteen years of development and one year out from the planned start of operational testing in late 2017, the F-35 “remains immature and provides limited combat capability”, although corrections are being made.

    The Defence Department’s acquisition czar Frank Kendall says the “F-35 is no longer a programme that keeps me up at night” and testing is about 90% complete. “I do expect additional discovery, but I will be surprised if a major design problem surfaces at this point,” he says.

    Along with the 11 more F-35s, the House Armed Services panel also authorised funding for 14 more Boeing F/A-18E/Fs for the US Navy. If approved by the full Congress, those extra Super Hornet orders would help keep production in St Louis, Missouri humming at a sustainable level, even if some international orders don’t materialise.

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    Post  Guest Mon May 09, 2016 3:55 am

    "The third time the high-pitched alarm rang "deedle deedle" in the F/A-18F Super Hornet's cockpit, it was clear that something with the air flowing into their regulators had gone horribly wrong.

    "That's when I realize my lips were tingling, my fingers are tingling, and I'm like, 'S---, man, something's wrong,' " a Navy pilot recalled. "And the guy in the back's like, 'Hey, dude! My fingers are blue!' "

    They had just taken off from Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev., when they recognized the blurred judgment and delayed reflexes caused by a lack of oxygen. Suddenly the pilot had to figure out how to land the $65 million jet on a cloudy day, in a rocky stretch of Nevada where mountains peak at 6,000 feet.

    "So the problem is, how low can you go? And you’re doing this hypoxic," recalled the 1,000-hour West Coast-based Hornet pilot, who asked not to be named out of concern over his 10-year career.

    The pilot and naval flight officer were suffering from a lack of oxygen to the body's tissues, a condition known as hypoxia, which causes tingling and numbness leading to confusion and eventually to unconsciousness. Some will lose the capacity to speak, others are disoriented to the point of acting drunk.

    Physiological episodes — including hypoxia and decompression sickness from loss of cockpit air flow — , which are hard to diagnose after the fact, are a confirmed cause in at least 15 naval aviation deaths in the past two decades — and aviators are worried more pilots may die before officials fix the problems.

    Naval Air Systems Command is scrambling to implement fixes, but the brass has underplayed the severity and frequency of the danger since it emerged in a February congressional hearing, according to interviews with pilots and official reports.

    These show a troubling rise in the number of breathing and pressurization problems, and that Navy and Marine F/A-18 Hornet and EA-18G Growler aviators view the problematic On-Board Oxygen Generation System as the fleet's most pressing safety issue 10 times over. Despite these issues, aviation bosses have not grounded the fleet, a common response to aircraft safety issues. The Air Force's F-22 Raptor has suffered from similar problems. After hypoxia concerns arose in 2011, the brass grounded the F-22 fleet for four months. After they resumed flying, two F-22 fliers went on "60 Minutes" to say they wouldn't fly the aircraft until the problems were fixed. In July 2012, the Air Force said it had fixed the faulty valve on the pilot's life support vest that was causing the oxygen deprivation.

    The Air Force also added an automatic backup oxygen system, while the Navy has stuck to its manual procedure.

    In a safety survey of Hornet and EA-18G Growler squadrons early this year, OBOGS was ranked number one of 100 listed problems, with 19 out of 26 reporting squadrons rating their concerns a 10 out of 10.

    Other top concerns included a lack of an oxygen monitor in the aircrew mask, cabin pressure surging and lack of cabin pressure testing equipment — all issues that can result in physiological episodes.

    The air flow issues have bedeviled the Navy and Marine Corps' fleet of F/A-18 Hornets, EA-18G Growlers and T-45C Goshawk trainers, all of which use the OBOGS. In the case of air contamination, there are no warning systems to alert the aviators breathing disorienting and potentially deadly gases. Complicating the assessment of the breadth of the incidents is the general reluctance of pilots to report what seem to be physiological problems, which can remove their flight status.

    Meanwhile, the reported number of events is skyrocketing. Aviators reported 15 physiological episodes in 2009, concentrated in strike aircraft and the trainer jets that aviators learn on, according to Naval Safety Center data.

    By 2015, the fleet reported an eight-fold increase to 115 episodes: 31 in the T-45C Goshawk trainer and 41 in Hornet variants, plus 19 in the EA-18G Growler. The Marines also reported a spike that year, including hypoxia and OBOGS failure in the brand new F-35B joint strike fighters and seven more events involving its legacy Hornets, as the F/A-18 A through D variants are known."


    Rest and source: http://www.navytimes.com/story/military/2016/05/08/nothing-scares-hornet-pilots-more-than-losing-oxygen-and-happens-all-time/82255406/
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    Post  max steel Sun May 29, 2016 11:24 pm

    U.S. Naval Aviation’s Readiness Crisis

    The U.S. Navy’s strike fighter squadrons are in dire straits with only one out of three Boeing F/A-18 Hornet airframes being ready for war at any given time. In order to meet its operational requirements, the service is routinely raiding squadrons that are not deployed to secure enough jets for the air wings at are about to go to sea.

    “If I have to ensure that I have ten like strike fighters are in a single squadron on that aircraft carrier and they need the same capability, I will tax units that are back here at home,” Adm. Philip Davidson, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command testified before the House Armed Services Committee on May 26. “If I need ten forward, I do routinely operate four aircraft in squadrons in the rear.”

    Within the Navy, only one out of four Hornets is fully mission capable. “That one in four is currently deployed,” Capt. Randy Stearns, Commodore of Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic told the committee. “The other three in four are the aircraft that are back in the maintenance phase or going through another FRP [fleet response plan].”

    The Navy currently has four air wings that are ready for war, but it has no ability to surge any additional forces. In previous years, it would have taken the Navy about 90 days to ready another air wing for deployment—now it takes roughly three times as long. If tasked to surge another air wing, Stearns said that it would take between six months and a year to gather enough aircraft and pilots to get another air wing ready for war. “There is no chance of getting those ready,” Stearns said. “There is nothing to pull from in the back, we’ve already put everything forward. There’s nothing left.”

    Though cannibalization of operational Hornets is a last resort, such measures are now routine throughout the fleet, Stearns said. And its not just the legacy A through D model Hornets, the newer, more capable Super Hornets have also been suffering from a lack of spare spares over the last three years due to automatic sequestration budget cuts. “We’ve never caught up,” Stearns said.

    Part of the problem was caused by repeated delays to the Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter—but also wartime usage of the Hornet fleet, Stearns said. As a result, the service has a backlog in its depots of older Hornets because those facilities were never intended to extend the life of the F/A-18 airframe past 6000 hours. The service is now flying those older aircraft—of which the service has five remaining squadrons—out to 10,000 hours, far longer than anticipated.

    Moreover, the Navy—because of the F-35C’s continual delays—was forced to transition additional squadrons onto the Super Hornet by raiding its attrition reserves. “We’ve transitioned about 10 squadrons of Super Hornets unexpectedly to get out of legacy and also to meet the gap for the JSF just to meet operational demands,” Stearns said. “So now we’re taxing hours and utilization on our attrition aircraft.”

    The Navy needs more aircraft to either come off the Boeing production line or to come out of depot overhaul. But it’s not even just the deployed forces; the Navy cannot shortchange its fleet replacement squadrons—its “seed-corn”—that trains new aviators to fly the Hornet. “We’re chewing up about 40 aircraft worth of hours a month and if we’re not buying that much or putting that much through the depot – we’re falling behind,” Stearns said.

    The lack of fully combat-capable Hornets—both classic and Super—is damaging the Navy’s overall readiness and training. Indeed, the situation is so bad that the Navy will be forced to reduce the flying hours for one of its non-deployed air wings (CVW-1) to zero to make up for the shortfall—and save money. In other words—the Navy will shut down an entire air wing for four months.

    However, the proposal—if enacted—will have a devastating readiness impact on that air wing and its pilots and maintainers. “Never going to get those hours back,” Stearns said—noting there are knock-on impacts to overall fleet readiness that will occur as result of such a “cold iron” shutdown.

    But while naval aviation seems to be on the verge of collapse—the Navy’s surface ships and submarines are not doing much better. Indeed, even the newest and most capable Navy warships are being cannibalized so that other vessels can put to sea. Effectively, the Navy is facing what can only be described as a readiness disaster.

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    Post  max steel Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:28 pm

    Boeing confident of extending Super Hornet and Growler production

    Boeing anticipates an extension of its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler production lines as a result of an increased operational tempo by the US Navy (USN) and strong international interest in procuring the platform, company officials told reporters on 10 June.

    Speaking at Boeing's Global Sustainment and Support (GS&S) site at Cecil Field in northern Florida, Dan Gillian, Vice President of the F/A-18 and EA-18G programmes, said that, with the USN burning through airframe hours at a far higher rate than originally intended and with additional exports expected in the near term, the company is confident of extending production from the current mid-2018 cut-off point through into the next decade.

    "I believe that we will continue to build new Hornets and Growlers. We have slowed production down to two aircraft per month, and we will keep it at that level through to mid-2018. There is strong domestic and international demand that we see sustaining production through to the mid-2020s," Gillian said.

    The US Navy's current programme of record is for 568 Super Hornets and 160 Growlers. As Gillian noted, however, the service has identified a 'Super Hornet shortfall' that will materialise in the 2030s/2040s as aircraft prematurely reach the end of their 6,000 hour airframe lives owing to the high operational tempo being flown today. To try and mitigate this, additional aircraft have already been requested in the fiscal year defence budget, and Gillian expressed his confidence that these will be approved.

    On the international front, Gillian noted that a deal with Kuwait is currently going through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process with the US government and should be finalised in the not-too-distant future. Current legacy Hornet operator Finland has issued a request for proposals (RfP) that Boeing is preparing its response to, as has Belgium. Spain, which also now flies the Hornet, is in the early stages of a fighter procurement project for which Boeing will bid the Super Hornet, while India and Canada are being offered the platform to fulfil their respective requirements also.
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    Post  max steel Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:13 pm

    US Navy Wants More F/A-18 Super Hornets (And with Some Serious Upgrades)

    The Navy is aggressively seeking to increase the size of its F/A-18 fleet, extend the current service life of existing aircraft and integrate a series of new technologies to better enable the carrier-launched fighter to track and destroy enemy targets, service officials said.

    F/A-18s are being outfitted with a real-time video sharing technology called Advanced Targeting FLIR; the system uses electro-optical and infrared cameras with powerful laser technology. This addition will help pilots more quickly zero in on and attack targets with a wider and longer-range envelope of engagement.

    “ATFLIR can locate and designate targets day or night at ranges exceeding 40 nautical miles and altitudes surpassing 50,000 feet, outperforming comparable targeting systems. As a powerful net-enabler, it can pass tracking and targeting information to other nodes in the networked battlespace,” a Raytheon statement said.

    An impetus for the effort has several facets, including a previously unanticipated delay in the delivery of the Navy’s F-35C carrier-launched variant of the Joint Strike Fighter – along with the continued operational demands placed on F/A-18s by the need for ongoing attacks against ISIS.

    One immediate move from the Navy involves an initiative to begin formal Service Life Assessment Programs for the F/A-18 earlier than previously scheduled, Navy spokesman Ensign Marc Rockwellpate told Scout Warrior. New Technology for the F/A-18.

    Due to the expectation of extended service mission requirements for the F/A-18 Super Hornets, the Navy has continued to procure and install advanced systems for the aircraft --- such as the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), High Order Language Mission Computers, ALR-67v3, ALQ-214v5, Multifunctional Information Distribution System, APG-73 radar enhancements, Advanced Targeting Forward looking Infrared upgrades; and LITENING  (precision targeting and ISR system) for the Marine Corps on select Legacy aircraft.

    “FA-18A-F aircraft will continue to receive capability enhancements to sustain their lethality and Fleet interoperability well into the next decade.  Future avionics upgrades will enable network-centric operations for integrated fire control, situational awareness and transfer of data to command-and-control nodes afloat and ashore,” Rockwellpate said.

    Additional technologies for Super Hornets include Digital Communication System Radio, MIDS - Joint Tactical Radio System, Digital Memory Device, Distributed Targeting System, Infrared Search and Track (IRST) and continued advancement of the APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar, officials told Scout Warrior.

    A Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System, or JHMCS, is a technology upgrade which engineers a viewing module proving 20-degree field of view visor.

    JHMCS provides several options for the night module including Night Vision Cueing Display called QuadEye (100-degree by 40-degree field of view) or Aviator Night Vision Imaging System (40-degree field of view), with symbology or video inserted into the night-vision scene, Rockwell Collins information explains.

    “JHMCS incorporates a highly accurate magnetic tracking system, providing the pilot full situational awareness throughout the canopy field-or-regard. JHMCS is in full-rate production and is operational on the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18,” a Rockwell Collins statement said.

    Infrared Search and Track:


    The Navy is integrating 170 F/A-18E/F Block II fighter jets with a next-generation infrared sensor designed to locate air-to-air targets in a high-threat electronic attack environment, service officials said.

    The Infrared Search and Track, or IRST, system will be installed   by operational squadrons flying F-18s, Navy officials said.

    Navy officials have described the IRST system is a passive, long-range sensor that searches for and detects infrared emissions; IRST is designed to simultaneously track multiple targets and provide a highly effective air-to-air targeting capability, even when encountering advanced threats equipped with radar-jamming technology, Navy developers explained.

    The IRST technology was specifically engineered with a mind to the fast-changing electromagnetic warfare environment and the realization that potential future adversaries are far more likely to contest U.S. dominance in these areas.

    IRST also provides the Super Hornet an alternate air-to-air targeting system in a high threat electronic attack environment, developers explained.

    The IRST technology, designed by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, is designed to search for heat signals over long distances, providing the aircraft with key targeting information.

    The IRST system —which has been tested on F/A-18s, is passive and therefore harder to detect than some radar technologies which give off radiation, Navy officials said.

    The IRST system is being developed under a $135 million contract awarded in 2011 and is currently planned to be deployed by 2017, a Boeing statement said.

    The technology has been tested on a Boeing King Air Test Aircraft, the statement added.

    F/A-18 Service Life Extension:


    “Since the F/A-18 E/F fleet, on average, has already consumed approximately 46% of its 6,000 flight hour ESL, the Navy elected to initiate the F/A-18E/F SLAP earlier in the Super Hornet's service life. The ongoing F/A-18E/F SLAP effort is analyzing actual usage versus structural tests to determine the feasibility of extending F/A-18E/F ESL beyond 6,000 flight hours; via a follow-on SLEP (Service Life Extension Program),” he added.

    When the F/A-18A and F/A-18C reach 8,000 flight hours, they are sent into the depot for service life extension upgrades with the hope of getting the airframes to 10,000 hours. However, many of the older aircraft are in need of substantial repairs and, at the moment, as many as 54 percent of the Navy’s fleet of older Hornets are not in service.

    “Enhancements and modifications include replacing the center barrel (section) and extending the fatigue life of the Nacelles, ensuring the airframe structures achieve 100% service life. Additional modifications increase the total landing limit and modifications to catapult attachment components can be incorporated to extend total catapults,” Rockwellpate added.

    The Navy’s goal is to achieve as high as 10,000 flight hours, on a select number of Legacy Hornets, to meet current and future operational demand.  To date, 186 High Flight Hour inspections have been successfully completed with 125 inspections currently in-work, he said.

    Navy: More Than 35 Additional Super Hornets Needed:


    As part of a need to better bridge the gap until F-35Cs start arriving, the Navy is looking to add as many as 35 new F/A-18 Super Hornets to the fleet.

    The most recent 2017 budget request includes a Navy request for 21 new Super Hornets to be added through 2021. The service also placed 14 more Super Hornets on the so-called “unfunded requirements” list to Congress as part of an attempt at a further increase.

    Senior Navy leaders have consistently called for the need to add more F/A-18 Super Hornets to the fleet.

    A carrier air wing consists of about 44 strike aircraft made up of two 10-aircraft squadrons and two 12-plane squadrons complemented by several electrical jamming aircraft.  Therefore, the Navy’s stated need for additional squadrons would require the addition of more than 20 new aircraft.

    The current composition of most carrier-based air wings includes 24 Super Hornets and 20 Hornets. The Navy plans to replace the existing Hornets with F-35Cs.The depots cannot keep up with the demand to repair airplanes due to the deployment of F-18s, industry and Navy officials have explained.

    The Navy had been planning for the Super Hornets to serve well into the 2030s, but now service leaders say that timeline will need to extend into the 2040s. The Navy plans to begin buying 20 F-35Cs a year by 2020.
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    Post  George1 Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:21 am

    Grounded: Nearly two-thirds of US Navy’s strike fighters can’t fly

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet strike fighters are the tip of the spear, embodying most of the fierce striking power of the aircraft carrier strike group. But nearly two-thirds of the fleet’s strike fighters can’t fly — grounded because they’re either undergoing maintenance or simply waiting for parts or their turn in line on the aviation depot backlog.

    Overall, more than half the Navy’s aircraft are grounded, most because there isn’t enough money to fix them.

    Additionally, there isn’t enough money to fix the fleet’s ships, and the backlog of ships needing work continues to grow. Overhauls — “availabilities” in Navy parlance — are being canceled or deferred, and when ships do come in they need longer to refit. Every carrier overall for at least three years has run long, and some submarines are out of service for prolonged periods, as much as four years or more. One submarine, the Boise, has lost its diving certification and can’t operate pending shipyard work.

    Leaders claim that if more money doesn’t become available, five more submarines will be in the same state by the end of this year.

    The Navy can’t get money to move around service members and their families to change assignments, and about $440 million is needed to pay sailors. And the service claims 15 percent of its shore facilities are in failed condition — awaiting repair, replacement or demolition.

    The bleak picture presented by service leaders is in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s widely talked about plan to grow the Navy from today’s goal of 308 ships to 350 — now topped by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson’s new Force Structure Assessment that aims at a 355-ship fleet. Richardson’s staff is crafting further details on how the growth will be carried out — plans congressional leaders are eager to hear. It seems to many as though the Navy will be showered with money to attain such lofty goals.

    Yet, for now, money is tight, due to several years of declining budgets mandated first by the Obama administration, then Congress, and to the chronic inability of lawmakers to provide uninterrupted funds to the military services and the government at large. Budgets have been cut despite no slackening in the demand for the fleet’s services; and the Navy, to preserve shipbuilding funds, made a conscious choice to slash maintenance and training budgets rather than eliminate ships, which take many years to build and can’t be produced promptly even when funding becomes available.

    Congress has failed for the ninth straight year to produce a budget before the Oct. 1 start of fiscal 2017, reverting to continuing resolutions that keep money flowing at prior year levels. CRs have numerous caveats, however, and many new projects or plans can’t be funded since they didn’t exist in the prior year. There is widespread agreement that CR funding creates havoc throughout the Pentagon and the industrial base that supports it — often substantially driving costs higher to recover from lengthy delays. Yet, like the proverbial weather that everyone talks about but no one can change, there seems to be little urgency in Congress to return to a more businesslike budget profile.

    The current continuing resolution through April 28 marks the longest stop-gap measure since fiscal 1977 — outstripping 2011 by only a couple weeks, noted Todd Harrison, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in a post on Twitter. This also marks the first CR situation during a presidential transition year.

    And while the talk about building dozens of more ships grabs headlines, it is not at all clear when or even whether Congress will repeal the Budget Control Act — sequestration — which, if unabated, will continue its restrictions to 2021.

    Meanwhile, some details are emerging of the new administration’s efforts to move along the budget process. In a Jan. 31 memorandum, Defense Secretary James Mattis described a three-phase plan that included submission by the Pentagon of a 2017 budget amendment request. The request would be sent to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget by March 1.

    Under the plan, the full 2018 budget request is due to OMB no later than May 1.

    The third phase of the plan involves a new National Defense Strategy and FY2019-2023 defense program, which “will include a new force sizing construct” to “inform our targets for force structure growth,” Mattis said in the memo.

    The services will make their case to Congress this week when the vice chiefs of the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps testify in readiness hearings before the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday and the Senate Armed Services Committee the following day.

    The vice chiefs are expected to make their pitches for money that can be spent right away, rather than funds for long-term projects that, with only five months left in the fiscal year even if Congress passes a 2017 budget, can’t be quickly put to use.

    “If we get any money at all, the first thing we’re going to do is throw it into the places we can execute it,” a senior Navy source said Feb. 2. “All of those places are in ship maintenance, aviation depot throughput — parts and spares — and permanent changes of station so we can move our families around and fill the holes that are being generated by the lack of PCS money.”

    The backlog is high. “There’s about $6-8 billion of stuff we can execute in April if we got the money,” the senior Navy source said. “We can put it on contract, we can deliver on it right away.”

    Even if the budget top line is increased, Navy leaders say, the immediate need is for maintenance money, not new ship construction. A supplemental Navy list of unfunded requirements for 2017 that was sent to Congress in early January and is still being revised made it clear that maintenance needs are paramount.

    “Our priorities are unambiguously focused on readiness — those things required to get planes in the air, ships and subs at sea, sailors trained and ready,” a Navy official declared. “No new starts.”

    The dire situation of naval aviation is sobering. According to the Navy, 53 percent of all Navy aircraft can’t fly — about 1,700 combat aircraft, patrol, and transport planes and helicopters. Not all are due to budget problems — at any given time, about one-fourth to one-third of aircraft are out of service for regular maintenance. But the 53 percent figure represents about twice the historic norm.

    The strike fighter situation is even more acute and more remarkable since the aircraft are vitally important to projecting the fleet’s combat power. Sixty-two percent of F/A-18s are out of service; 27 percent in major depot work; and 35 percent simply awaiting maintenance or parts, the Navy said.

    With training and flying hour funds cut, the Navy’s aircrews are struggling to maintain even minimum flying requirements, the senior Navy source said. Retention is becoming a problem, too. In 2013, 17 percent of flying officers declined department head tours after being selected. The percentage grew to 29 percent in 2016.

    Funding shortfalls mean many service members are unable to relocate to take on new assignments. So far in 2017, the Navy said, there have been 15,250 fewer moves compared with 2016.

    Under the continuing resolution, the senior Navy official said, another 14 ship availabilities will be deferred in 2018 — one submarine, one cruiser, six destroyers, two landing ship docks, one amphibious transport dock and three minesweepers. Programs seeking to buy items that were not included in the 2016 budget can’t move forward, including CH-53K helicopters, Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles, Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles and littoral combat ship module weapons. Many more programs that were to increase 2017 buys over 2016 levels can’t do so.

    And with only five months left in fiscal 2017, even if a budget is passed in late April, there is some talk about a yearlong continuing resolution — a prospect at which the senior Navy official shook his head.

    “The full CR is not a good situation at all,” he said.

    http://www.defensenews.com/articles/grounded-nearly-two-thirds-of-us-navys-strike-fighters-cant-fly
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    Post  JohninMK Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:05 pm

    15 February, 2017 SOURCE: Flightglobal.com BY: Stephen Trimble Washington DC

    The US Navy has revived interest in studying a major upgrade of the engine that powers the Boeing F/A-18E/F, EA-18G and two foreign fighters, including the possible addition of new technologies.

    In early February, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) notified industry that it would ask GE Aviation to submit a proposal for a contract for the company’s engineers to perform a study on an “F414-GE-400 core enhancement evaluation”.

    Such notifications are required when the government plans to award a contract without inviting competing bids. No other details about the contents or objectives of the study were provided in NAVAIR study, which is described only as an assessment of “how upgrades ... could improve engine performance, as well as F/A-18E/F and EA-18G performance”.

    Asked to comment on the contract notification, GE released a statement to FlightGlobal that was approved by NAVAIR.

    “NAVAIR has expressed interest in GE evaluating how our latest engine technologies could be applied to the F414 Enhanced Engine,” GE says.

    GE’s proposed Enhanced Engine design surfaced as a proposal several years ago as part of Boeing’s Super Hornet bid for India’s fighter competition. GE has tested the durability or thrust upgrades in laboratory rigs. NAVAIR also paid GE in late 2013 to evaluate the F414 Enhanced Engine, with the possibility of funding a development programme two years later, although that follow-on contract never materialised.

    “We believe this study would be an update of the previous work to include new technologies,” says GE, without elaborating.

    A term in the title of the latest NAVAIR study — “core enhancement” — suggests the navy is focusing now on the three modules in the core of the engine, which include the high-pressure compressor, combustor and high-pressure turbine.

    Any new technologies would come on top of GE’s proposals for the F414 Enhanced Engine. In the core section, these included 3D aerodynamic shaping of the compressor blades and an improved cooling system for the turbine blades. GE had previously considered inserting ceramic matrix composites in the turbine of the F414 Enhanced Engine, but as of early 2014 had resolved to continue using metallic alloy blades.

    NAVAIR’s interest in upgrading the F/A-18E/F’s propulsion system comes after a remarkable turn-around for the Boeing production line in St. Louis. A year ago, the programme appeared to be close to winding down after completing remaining deliveries to the USN. Then, Boeing won long-sought deals to deliver at least 28 Super Hornets to Kuwait, 36 fighters to Qatar and a commitment from Canada to buy at least 18 F/A-18E/Fs. Moreover, US Defense secretary Jim Mattis said in late January that the F/A-18E/F could continue to be used as an internal competitor against the F-35.

    “The Super Hornet now appears to be one of the more solid aircraft programmes rather than on the brink of death,” says Richard Aboulafia, Teal Group vice president of strategy, speaking at the Pacific Northwest Aviation Alliance conference on 15 February.

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    Post  George1 Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:45 am

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    Post  George1 Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:58 pm

    American aerobatic team Blue Angels will receive fighters F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

    On August 13, 2018, the US Department of Defense issued a $ 17.002 million contract to Boeing Corporation for the re-equipment of 11 cash Super Hornet fighters (nine single-seat F/A-18Es and two two-seat F/A-18Fs) for US Blue Angels . The work should be carried out at the Boeing plant in St. Louis (the former McDonnell Douglas plant, where the F/A-18 series is being manufactured) and should be completed by December 2021. As part of the Blue Angels group, these F/A-18E/F aircraft will replace the current Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornet fighters as the main aircraft.

    US Naval Strike Fighters - Page 2 5797965_original

    Earlier in July 2016, Boeing received a 12 million $ contract to design the modification of the F/A-18E/F aircraft for the Blue Angels group, the work was completed by September 2017. Now a contract has been issued for the modernization of 11 F/A-18E/F aircraft for this project (Engineering change proposal 6480).

    The Blue Angels Demonstration Squadron is the leading and oldest demonstration and aerobatics group of the US armed forces, having existed since July 1946. The group uses F/A-18 Hornet aircraft (in versions A, B, C and D) since 1986. Now it has 16 F/A-18 aircraft - three F/A-18A, one F/A-18B, ten F/A-18C and two F/A-18Ds, with F/A-18A/B aircraft used only for training purposes.

    https://bmpd.livejournal.com/3306305.html
    George1
    George1


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    Post  George1 Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:45 pm

    Raytheon selected for classic Hornet AESA radar upgrade

    APG-79(v)4 delivers improved range and targeting capability for USMC Hornets


    EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Jan. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Marine Corps selected Raytheon's APG-79(v)4 AESA radar to equip its F/A-18C/D classic Hornet fleet. Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) will begin delivering radars in 2020 and complete deliveries by 2022.

    The APG-79(v)4 is a scaled version of the APG-79 AESA radar integrated on the U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Air Force's Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers. Along with improved targeting capabilities, crews gain an edge in crucial operations across the spectrum – including air dominance, maritime strike and air-to-surface missions.

    "With AESA radars, fighter jet pilots and crews tip the scales in their favor over their adversaries," said Eric Ditmars, vice president of Raytheon Secure Sensor Solutions. "Now that the APG-79(v)4 is slated to fly on the classic Hornet, Marine Corps pilots will be able to identify, track and engage more targets over a greater distance than ever before."

    Crews will see improved radar reliability, reducing maintenance hours while increasing availability for flight. Because the APG-79(v)4 shares more than 90 percent commonality with the APG-79, the Marine Corps will benefit from the same global sustainment and upgrade path already in place for the system.


    http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/2019-01-15-Raytheon-selected-for-classic-Hornet-AESA-radar-upgrade
    nomadski
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    Post  nomadski Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:55 pm

    Does anyone know , how much fuel  ( internal and external )  can F18 have ? With minimum useful bomb load of say 500 kg to 1000 kg ? And still be able to be launched from catapaults from carriers  ?  What kind of range will this give F18 ? ( without air refuelling ) . Based on this range , divided by two . Then range of shore to ship missile needs to be designed . Does range of anti- ship missile have to be  long ? Maybe 1000 km ? Or less ?

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