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Thread: F-35 in all it's Variations

  1. #1851

    The Most Expensive F-35 Variant Has Hit Another Major Snag That Could Take Years to Fix (excerpt)

    (Source: Business Insider; posted Jan 04, 2017)

    Alex Lockie

    A new failing of the F-35 fighter, discovered in 2014 but kept from the public until now, affects the F-35C naval variant, whose pilots feel pain, disorientation and risk possible injury each time it is catapulted from an aircraft carrier. (USN photo)

    The Pentagon has established a "red team" to address considerable shortcomings with the F-35C, the carrier-based naval variant of the most expensive weapons project in history.

    The F-35, subject to cost overruns and delays throughout its production, reached an initial state of military readiness with its Air Force and Marine variants in 2016, but the Navy's variant lags behind in part due to an issue with its nose gear during catapult-assisted takeoffs from aircraft carriers, Inside Defense uncovered on Wednesday.

    Essentially the problem, detailed in a Navy report with data dating back to 2014, deals with rough takeoffs that hurt and disorient pilots at the critical moment when they're taking off from a carrier.

    The Pentagon's red team found the problem was due to several factors central to the plane's design, and recommended several fixes that will take several months to several years to fully fix. The report states that long term actions to address the problem will not take place until 2019, at which point they'll take 12-36 months to implement.

    Redesigns to the plane, as well as to carriers, may be necessary to fully address the problem.

    A Pentagon deficiency report in 2015 stated that extreme movements in the cockpit during launch risked pilot health.

    One hundred and five pilots completing catapult launches rated their level of pain or discomfort on a scale of one to five. Of the 105, 74 pilots reported "moderate" pain or a 3, 18 pilots reported "severe" pain or a 4, and one pilot reported "severe pain that persists" after launching from an aircraft carrier. (end of excerpt)

    Click here for the full story, on the Business Insider website.



  2. #1852

    Statement By Senator John McCain on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program

    (Source: Senator John McCain; issued Jan 10, 2017)

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement today regarding the Department of Defense’s acknowledgment of another schedule delay and cost overrun for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program. Senator McCain also sent a letter to the CEO of Lockheed Martin regarding plans to reduce the cost of the F-35 program:

    “According to a company press release, the CEO of Lockheed Martin gave President-elect Trump her personal commitment to aggressively drive down the cost of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in light of concerns he raised about the program.

    “These comments were surprising given that I have been recently informed the F-35’s system development and demonstration phase has been delayed another seven months, another costly stumble that will cost the American taxpayer at least $500 million. This is yet another troubling sign for a program that has already nearly doubled in cost, taken nearly two decades to field, and has long been the poster child for acquisition malpractice.

    “With this latest delay, I am deeply concerned about the Department’s current plan for Follow-On Modernization. If the Department continues to repeat the mistakes of the past, more delays, more cost overruns, and increased retrofit costs will be the inevitable result.

    “I am also disappointed the Department chose to downplay the cost of this delay. Given the challenges this program continues to face, it’s likely that the true cost could be more than twice the $500 million projection – draining the Department of critical funding it needs to train, prepare, and equip our military.

    “The F-35’s dismal record on cost, schedule, and performance is a predicable consequence of a broken defense acquisition system. That’s why the Senate Armed Services Committee will continue to make it a priority to streamline our acquisition system while exercising rigorous oversight of the F-35 program so that we can finally deliver our warfighters the capabilities they need.

    “Finally, if Lockheed Martin believes it is possible to aggressively drive down the cost of the F-35, it is time for the company to reveal its plans to do so to the Congress and to American taxpayers.”


    Senator McCain Letter to Lockheed Martin CEO

    (Source: Senator John McCain; issued Jan 10, 2017)

    This is the full text of a letter sent by Senator John McCain to Ms Marillyn Hewson, the Chairman, President & CEO of the Lockheed Martin Corporation on January 10, 2017:

    Ms Marillyn Hewson
    Chairman, President & CEO
    Lockheed Martin Corporation
    6801 Rockledge Drive
    Bethesda, MD 20817

    Dear Ms Hewson,

    Following your meeting with President-elect Donald Trump on Dec ember 21, 2016, you stated in a press release, “I’ve heard his message loud and clear about reducing the cost of the F-35….I gave him my personal commitment to drive down costs aggressively,” and, “we’re ready to deliver.”

    Yet, the Department of Defense recently notified the committee of a delay of seven months for the completion of the F-35 System Development and Demonstration phase, accompanied by a cost overrun of at least $500 million. I am having difficulty reconciling this apparent disconnect with regard to driving down F-35 program costs.

    If Lockheed Martin Corporation has new initiatives that are “ready to deliver” to reduce F-35 program costs, I expect you to detail your plans for accomplishing this objective to the committee as soon as possible. I look forward to your response.


    John McCain


  3. #1853

    F-35 Needs Rigorous Review by Trump Team, Pentagon’s Tester Says (excerpt)

    (Source: Bloomberg News; published Jan 10, 2017)

    The Trump administration should “rigorously and comprehensively review” Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet, the Pentagon’s costliest program, the Defense Department’s director of combat testing said.

    Michael Gilmore, who will leave the post as testing director when Donald Trump takes office as president next week, cited the fighter’s “significant, well-documented deficiencies in critical combat capabilities” in a letter Monday to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry of Texas, who’s a strong supporter of the F-35.

    While Trump has tweeted that “the F-35 program and cost is out of control,” Pentagon officials say the plane is now essentially on schedule and close to its budget after earlier problems. But Gilmore focused on unresolved performance issues in the current $55 billion development phase. These must be resolved before the aircraft can enter intense combat testing and the eventual deployment later this decade of fully capable combat jets.

    The Defense Department’s F-35 program office “has no plan to adequately fix and verify hundreds of these deficiencies using flight testing within its currently planned schedule and resources,” Gilmore wrote. Deploying F-35s “with capable mission systems is critical to our national security,” but the program now “is at high risk of sacrificing essential combat performance,” he added.

    The Pentagon’s office of independent cost analysis estimates that extending the development phase from its planned test flight completion in September 2017 to as late as into 2020 could cost as much as $1.12 billion more. The number is contained in the testing director’s new annual report delivered to Pentagon leaders and lawmakers late Monday. (end of excerpt)

    Click here for the full story, on the Bloomberg news website.



  4. #1854

    Trump teases possible F-35 competition

    11 January, 2017 SOURCE: Flightglobal.com BY: Leigh Giangreco Washington DC

    President-elect Donald Trump has hinted again at a potential competition between Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

    In his first press conference since winning November’s election, Trump took aim at the entire US defense industry in his opening remarks, but focused on the F-35 programme as his favourite target.

    “It’s way, way behind schedule and many, many billions of dollars over budget. I don’t like that,” Trump says. “And we’re going to do some big things on the F-35 programme, and perhaps the F-18 programme. And we’re going to get those costs way down and we’re going to get the plane to be even better. And we’re going to have some competition and it’s going to be a beautiful thing.”

    Lockheed’s stocks plummeted after Trump’s comment, falling from almost $256 to a low of $251.71 this afternoon. The president-elect’s remarks on the programme echoes an earlier tweet, Trump’s preferred mode of a press announcement, delivered 21 December.

    “Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!"

    Trump fired the tweet following meetings with several US generals, including F-35 programme executive officer Lt Gen Chris Bogdan, who had attempted to present a nuanced picture of the programme.

  5. #1855
    Supreme Overlord ARH v.4.0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    The fifth circle of hell

    I think it is going to take while for people to realise what rhetoric is...

    There is obviously going to be no alternative to the F35 at this point.

    The darkest hour of Humanity is upon us. The world
    shall meet it's end and we shall be submerged into a
    new dark age. Repent your sins, for the apocalypse,
    and the end, is extremely f@#king nigh!

  6. #1856

    Quote Originally Posted by ARH v.4.0 View Post
    I think it is going to take while for people to realise what rhetoric is...

    There is obviously going to be no alternative to the F35 at this point.
    Or Trump has shares in Boeing and none in LM

  7. #1857

    PICTURE: Lockheed delivers 200th F-35

    12 January, 2017 SOURCE: Flightglobal.com BY: Craig Hoyle London

    Lockheed Martin has delivered the 200th example of its F-35, an aircraft manufactured for export buyer Japan.

    Conventional take-off and landing aircraft AX-2 is the second of an eventual 42 F-35As to be produced for the Japan Air Self-Defence Force. The first four of these are to be built at Lockheed’s Fort Worth site in Texas, with the remainder to roll off a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries-run final assembly and check-out line in Nagoya.

    Beth Steel/Lockheed Martin

    Like lead example AX-1, which was handed over in late November 2016, Japan’s second Lightning II was flown to the international training school for the F-35 at Luke AFB, Arizona. Lockheed says the US Air Force facility has now received 46 aircraft to support its activities.

    Flight Fleets Analyzer records the delivered F-35 fleet as being in use with the USAF, US Marine Corps and US Navy, plus programme partners Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK, and export customer Israel.

  8. #1858

    Pilots Say F-35 Carrier Launch Problem Is Safety Concern

    Jan 11, 2017

    Lara Seligman | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

    F-35C: USN

    Fleet pilots say the violent vertical oscillations seen during carrier launches of the U.S. Navy’s F-35 variant are a safety concern, even as the Pentagon races to fix the problem.

    One of the most critical and dangerous phases of flight for Navy pilots is the launch, when an aircraft is shot from the carrier by a steam-driven catapult. For the F-35C carrier variant, pilots discovered a complex problem during recent at-sea testing: excessive vertical oscillations, or a bouncing effect, during takeoff.

    Pilots who conducted training onboard the carrier USS George Washington during the latest set of ship trials said these oscillations were “a safety concern,” the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) wrote in its most recent annual report.

    “Excessive vertical oscillations during catapult launches make the F-35C operationally unsuitable for carrier operations, according to fleet pilots,” DOT&E wrote.

    Pilots reported the oscillations were so severe that they could not read flight-critical data, DOT&E said. The oscillations caused most pilots to lock their harness during launch, which made emergency switches hard to reach. The pilots deemed this situation “unacceptable and unsafe,” DOT&E wrote.

    The Navy has informed the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) that it considers this problem a “must fix” deficiency.

    The problem occurs primarily because the mechanism in the nose gear is not “damping out” the oscillations from the cable release quickly enough, JPO Chief Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan told reporters during a December round table.

    “The first thing that happens when those Navy seamen hook the airplane up is they hook the nose gear up to a latching mechanism, and then they pull down and the airplane kind of noses down, all that tension is being held,” Bogdan said. “Then boom! When the cable releases and you start going down the deck, because the airplane has been held down like that the airplane [bounces], and that’s primarily because the mechanism in the nose gear is not damping out the oscillations enough or quick enough.”

    Bogdan downplayed the problem, saying the oscillations only occur at very light gross takeoff weights.

    “At medium weights and heavy weights you don’t see this problem at all,” Bogdan said. “If an F-35C is going to combat it is not going to take off lightweight. It’s going to take off with everything it needs to go to combat, so you won’t see that problem.”

    The Pentagon is currently investigating the best way to fix the problem. One option is to redesign the nose gear, a potentially expensive and time-consuming solution. A long-term mechanical fix is “probably a couple of years off,” so in the meantime the JPO is looking at operational solutions like changing the way a pilot holds on during takeoff, Bogdan said.

  9. #1859

    Trump Probably Won’t Cancel F-35. Just Ask Jim Mattis.

    Jan 12, 2017

    by Lara Seligman in Ares

    The incoming president’s recent comments about Lockheed Martin’s F-35 have sent the defense community into a frenzy, with observers racing to figure out exactly what Donald Trump has in store for the stealth fighter.

    Trump has slammed the F-35 for “out of control” costs, asked Boeing to price out the cost to build a “comparable” F/A-18 Super Hornet and called for “competition” in the defense market. Investors are watching the dialogue closely, and some clearly fear the worst – each time Trump slams the F-35, Lockheed’s stock temporarily slumps. Some observers have interpreted the comments as Trump hinting that he wants to compete the F-35 against the Super Hornet, or cancel the program altogether.

    But Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, provided a simpler, more likely, explanation.

    “The president-elect has talked about the cost of [the F-35] but in no way shown a lack of support for the program,” Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing. “He just wants the best bang for the buck.”

    In other words, Trump is just trying to pressure Lockheed to get costs down.

    Mattis, who presumably will have some input on any decision regarding the military’s next-generation fighter, offered a resounding defense of the F-35.

    “The F-35 is critical for our own air superiority, because of its electronics capability inherent to the airplane, which magnifies each individual aircraft's capability,” Mattis said during the hearing. “It is equally important and more so to our allies, because this will be the total strength of their Air Force.”

    “Many of our allies have bet their security on the F-35,” he said.

  10. #1860

    Finally some reporting sense... Can they not read between the lines at all? Trump, wants to be seen 'doing deals' and 'draining the swamp' and 'cutting waste' so reducing costs, while buying huge numbers fits his agenda precisely. The cheaper F-35 prices will allow him to argue he has cut waste and that will free up funds to allow him to do big flashy deals. I would expect he secretly has an eye on the mooted 400+ plane 'block buy' which probably is unaffordable at present, but may not be in future if he gets his way.

    I strongly suspect Trump will make the full 1763x F-35's seem more likely with his pressure on l-M to get their shit together and get their prics under control.
    In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30

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