F-35 Radar Absorbent Coatings Applied to F-22

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spazsinbad

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Unread post07 Apr 2011, 10:55

JSF Radar Absorbent Coatings Applied to Raptor By DAVE MAJUMDAR : 6 Apr 2011

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=6169019

"The newest F-22 stealth fighters produced for the U.S. Air Force at Lockheed Martin's Marietta, Ga., factory have improved radar absorbent coatings derived from the company's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

"Some of the [low observables] coatings system and gap-fillers that the F-35 had an advantage on, we have incorporated into the Raptor," said Jeff Babione, vice president and general manager of the F-22 program for Lockheed Martin.

The new materials do not alter the F-22's radar cross-section, but do improve on the durability of those coatings. The benefit for the Air Force is a reduced maintenance burden, Babione said.

"[The F-35 program] had some more robust materials that were more durable and we were able to pull those back on to the F-22," he said. "So our system is better, and the life-cycle cost of the F-22 is reduced."

Dan Goure, an analyst at the Lexington Institute, Arlington, Va., agreed that retrofitting the F-22 with the F-35's coatings will save the Air Force a significant amount of time and money when it comes to maintenance.

"It's not going to transform the airplane, but what it's going to really do is make it much cheaper to operate the F-22 fleet, which is terribly important given its small size," he said.

Despite Lockheed Martin's statement that the F-35-derived coatings would not alter the F-22's radar cross-section, Goure said he suspects the new materials are likely to improve upon the Raptor's already impressive signature.

"I would be very surprised if this wasn't an improvement in stealth characteristics," he said.

Lockheed Martin only had to make minor tweaks to the F-35's radar absorbent materials in order to adapt the technology to the F-22. Though the radar cross-section requirements for the Raptor and the F-35 are slightly different, fundamentally the physics and chemistry of the coatings are the same, Babione said.

For installation into the Raptor, the F-35 coatings likely needed to be modified to deal with the high supersonic cruise-speeds and extreme altitudes at which the F-22 routinely operates, Goure said.

"It's operating at a higher altitude typically and [at] faster speeds, and that would put different stresses on the material," he said.

The Raptor can cruise at speeds around Mach 1.8 above 50 000 feet without afterburners.

At the moment, the latest Lot 9 production F-22s only have some of the new stealth coatings installed. Other improved stealth materials "are still in final qualification testing and will enter the field next year," he said.

Once testing is complete, plans are in place to retrofit the entire F-22 fleet with the coatings."
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popcorn

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Unread post07 Apr 2011, 12:32

Good example of cross-pollination between platforms. In fairness to the F-22 though, a significant portion of the work done to maintain its stealth materials arises from normal maintenance procedures on the jets other systems.. its necessary to retouch the stealth materials in the area accessed by the maintainers.
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sferrin

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Unread post07 Apr 2011, 12:52

Good thing we're cancelling the F-22 program. Wouldn't want to be efficient. :doh:
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Unread post07 Apr 2011, 14:00

Independent stealth expert Dr Danny strikes again!

Popcorn - That's the point, and one of the eternal challenges of stealth. It can make the routine difficult.
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Unread post07 Apr 2011, 14:00

popcorn wrote:.. a significant portion of the work done to maintain its stealth materials arises from normal maintenance procedures .its necessary to retouch the stealth materials in the area accessed by the maintainers.


I hope the recent upgrade to Block 1 for AF-3 is the trend for maintenance on the F-35s. It was reported AF-3 came back Code 1 relative to the RCS, after completing the Block 1 upgrade. :)
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Unread post07 Apr 2011, 14:18

underhill wrote:Independent stealth expert Dr Danny strikes again!


Yet another snide jab I see, a little jealous are we that he is infact an expert who people listen to and you're not. :lol:
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Unread post07 Apr 2011, 15:54

underhill wrote:Independent stealth expert Dr Danny strikes again!

Popcorn - That's the point, and one of the eternal challenges of stealth. It can make the routine difficult.


Part of the learning curve with any new technology. Lessons learned on the Raptor have been applied to the JSF.
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Unread post08 Apr 2011, 15:20

Sheep, Sheep, Sheep - Your faith-based support of JSF would be admirable, were it not misguided.

Now would you explain how come Dr Goure is a "stealth expert", and how he can be considered independent of LockMart? With facts, please.
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Unread post08 Apr 2011, 16:51

Maybe "expert" was the wrong word for Dan Goure, how about "Professional Military Analyst" instead.
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Unread post08 Apr 2011, 16:54

underhill wrote:Sheep, Sheep, Sheep - Your faith-based support of JSF would be admirable, were it not misguided.

Now would you explain how come Dr Goure is a "stealth expert", and how he can be considered independent of LockMart? With facts, please.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but this article is about the F-22. Feel free to bash the JSF in appropriate threads.
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Unread post08 Apr 2011, 18:56

WW - Lighten up, Francis. The is the F-35 forum.

Spud - Professional Military Analyst is probably vague enough.
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Unread post08 Apr 2011, 19:08

underhill wrote:WW - Lighten up, Francis. The is the F-35 forum.



I realize that. I was merely pointing out that your exuberance wasn't about the plane being discussed.
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Unread post08 Apr 2011, 23:59

underhill wrote:Sheep, Sheep, Sheep - Your faith-based support of JSF would be admirable, were it not misguided.

Now would you explain how come Dr Goure is a "stealth expert", and how he can be considered independent of LockMart? With facts, please.


Image

Oops. Maybe he meant "Shep." In which case, disregard.
Last edited by 1st503rdsgt on 09 Apr 2011, 20:19, edited 1 time in total.
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popcorn

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Unread post09 Apr 2011, 01:09

While we're discussing upgrades to the Raptor, has any decision been made on upgrading the block/increment upgrades?
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Unread post09 Apr 2011, 03:03

LoL Shabah...

Back on topic - it could be pretty ironic now to consider some form of F-22'izing (perhaps via similar F-22-unique methods being incorporated?), as part of F-35's new found design rework required to improve LO characteristics?
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