F-35B Pocket Carriers AWACS A/C

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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brucealrighty

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Unread post28 May 2016, 16:30

Searching for info on what systems have MADL or are planned to get MADL I came across this which I think is relevant to the discussion. (from https://rusi.org/sites/default/files/20 ... 35_web.pdf)

"Within the scope of the initial two squadrons of F-35Bs that the UK has committed to purchase
in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the most effective use of the aircraft is likely
to be as a survivable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) enabler in defended
airspace to enhance the lethality, flexibility and survivability of legacy platforms such as the
Typhoon and the Type 45. Whilst the F-35 will have the inherent capability to perform such a
role, the rest of the UK’s armed forces need to be set up to take advantage of this. If seamless
interoperability is reached, the F-35 will allow these legacy assets to operate against targets and
in areas which otherwise would be too heavily defended – either by providing targeting data in
real time for stand-off munitions or by supressing key defensive nodes to provide a window for
the main force.
However, in its early software versions, the F-35 is unlikely to be able to covertly share such data
via low-probability-of-intercept datalinks such as the Multifunction Advanced Data Link – with
non-F-35 assets
. In its current form, the superb situational-awareness picture generated and
presented to the pilot is lost unless the pilot specifically choses to record certain data for bringback.
This bring-back capability is not only limited by internal-memory constraints (which can
and will be overcome) but by the fact that it requires action by the pilot in each case to preserve
data for later off-board analysis. Given that much of what the aircraft will collect automatically
in terms of ISR and signals-intelligence data will not be directly relevant to the pilot’s mission at
a given time, much potentially useful information will be lost. Data transfer by traditional Link
16 to other assets risks seriously degrading the F-35’s stealth in contested electromagneticspectrum
environments."

I was surprised to hear that the pilot has to select which data to share (with the exception of MADL enabled F-35s), which I think does have an impact on the usefulness of the 'forward deployed F-35 ISR'. Obviously it is still a leap forward in collecting and sharing data in a mixed flight (F-35 + F-16 etc) but the impression that I had been getting was that there was a lot more information automatically being shared, not just between F-35's but back to AWACs and other assets. Is MADL going to be a requirement to be able to completely link in to the F-35 data stream or is this just related to the current software versions? What are the bandwidth differences between Link-16 and MADL?

Reading this has raised more questions regarding link-16 and MADL that I'll have to search this forum for at a later time!

Added later...

More from the linked document:

" At present, most sensor data gathered by each F-35 are fused, analysed, presented
to the pilot and then disappear, unless the aircraft is operating in ‘open transmit’ mode using
Link 16, which may be detectable and, therefore, compromise survivability in a high-threat
environment. If the pilot has to choose which information to record, and when to record it,
for bring-back – except when transmitting on Link 16 – potentially vital data are lost and a
huge potential benefit of the F-35 to the whole force is wasted. The pilot can manually chose
to record cockpit-display data, electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) images and syntheticaperture
radar (SAR) maps, but is limited by the small memory capacity of the current mission data ‘brick’ which constitutes the data bring-back capability.11 This limited memory capacity has
already been recognised as an urgent problem and by the time the UK declares full operational
capability (FOC) in 2023,12 the memory constraints will have been significantly alleviated.13
However, the configuration of the F-35’s sensor-fusion and information-management system
architecture which requires the pilot to choose when to record sensor information for bringback
is potentially more difficult to fix. Much of the information an F-35 will collect during
sorties will not be directly relevant to the mission at hand for the pilot. He is, therefore, likely to
miss information which could be very useful to the overall campaign but would not be brought
back for analysis without his noticing and making the judgment call to record it. Furthermore,
the F-35 will have significant potential to intercept and interfere with hostile (and neutral)
communications, networks and electromagnetic emissions. A great deal of use could be made
at the command level of such information if it can be analysed through an apparatus such as the
US Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) – a network construct which feeds intelligence
data to specialist intelligence units and agencies to generate usable information at the strategic
and tactical levels for commanders and combatants alike.
There is no reason why the F-35 cannot be developed to overcome these software- and
communications-configuration parameters in time. The communications, navigation
and identification (CNI) system on an F-35 can manage twenty-seven different types of
communications signal – referred to as waveforms – including the MADL.14 There are, therefore,
a host of potential channels through which the F-35 can transmit and receive data with other
platforms other than Link 16 which remains the NATO standard for aircraft. Furthermore, whilst
MADL is currently limited to line of sight (LoS) communications among up to four F-35s within a
flight, it seems likely that operators will eventually develop this capability further."

This answered some of my questions re: link-16 vs MADL...
Last edited by brucealrighty on 28 May 2016, 16:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post28 May 2016, 16:30

whitewhale wrote:My question would be how much would the rotors affect the radar return?


In level flight the rotors shouldn't be much more of a problem then the propellers on the E-2. If the larger props are a problem in the forward arc the pilot could steer a weaving course.
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Unread post28 May 2016, 17:40

brucealrighty wrote:What are the bandwidth differences between Link-16 and MADL?

Link 16 operates at a few tens of kbps, although it can go up to a bit over 100kbps and there's potential in the waveform to go an order of magnitude higher, perhaps more.

MADL's bandwidth isn't publicly known, but is said to be orders of magnitude faster; perhaps in the tens of megabits per second. To give one kind of example, MADL reportedly uses little Ku-band (a higher frequency than X-band) AESA arrays. About a decade ago, during some R&D testing, they demonstrated that an F-22's APG-77 could transmit and receive data at 274mbps. The link also states that in a lab, they've demonstrated 548mbps upload and 1Gbps download speeds.

The F-35's MADL arrays are a lot smaller than an F-22's APG-77, so it's not going to be as fast, but there's certainly a lot of potential in them; just look at how much faster mobile phone networks have gotten going from 2G to 3G to 4G whilst using (kinda) the same frequencies; you can gain a lot of throughput just by making waveforms and protocols more efficient.
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Unread post28 May 2016, 18:34

A Ku-band AESA could be capable of doing a lot more than just secure direction data communications; I've always wondered what the Multifunction in MADL meant.
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Unread post28 May 2016, 19:50

Thanks 'brucealrighty' for the PDF link - a graphic from same.
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Unread post28 May 2016, 19:50

Diff/same again:
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Unread post30 May 2016, 17:59

On previous page of this thread is a story about the USN Osprey version requirements: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=23690&p=319207&hilit=Osprey#p319207
Osprey Brings Flexibility to Carrier Onboard Delivery
19 May 2016 NAN Naval Aviation News

"The Navy awarded the joint manufacturers of the V-22 a $151 million contract March 31 to develop three new capabilities that will better enable the platform to perform the COD mission beginning in 2021.

Bell Boeing, a partnership between Bell Helicopter and Boeing Rotorcraft Systems, currently produces MV-22s for the Marines and CV-22s for the Air Force. The contract calls for Bell Boeing to modify the Marine version by engineering three new capabilities for the Navy’s variant, recently named the CMV-22B-extended range up to 1,150 nautical miles, beyond-visual-range high-frequency radio and a public address system.

The contract does not specify a method for extending the aircraft’s range by one third—the MV-22B’s listed range is 860 nautical miles—but the options proposed by the vendor are promising, and include modified sponsons to accommodate larger fuel tanks, said Brian Scolpino, civilian lead for the CMV-22.

The CV-22B achieves a listed range of 2,100 nautical miles using internal auxiliary fuel tanks, which the Navy will use for long-range transits, such as from the West Coast to Hawaii, “but for operational missions, we cannot sacrifice cargo space,” Scolpino said.

“The major requirement driver for the CMV-22B is supporting Carrier Strike Group operations in the Pacific within the vast distances involved,” he said. “The required range of 1,150 nautical miles is roughly half the distance from California to Hawaii. The need to fly these distances and still carry meaningful amounts of cargo to the ship presents a challenge.”


The distances the CMV-22B will be traveling are also why it needs a beyond-line-of-sight radio system capable of reaching ships past the horizon.

“This is a critical safety issue, particularly in the shore-to-ship mission profile, where often the aircrew has no divert options,” Scolpino said. “These long missions have a ‘point of no return,’ when the pilot has to make the decision to return to base or continue to the ship. Before this time, the aircrew must be able to contact the ship to determine its location, course and speed, as well as the weather and tactical situation.”

The extended range and high-frequency radio enable the delivery of cargo to the sea base, while the public address system is necessary for a secondary assignment—transporting passengers.

“Again, this is a safety issue,” Scolpino said. “Currently on the MV and the CV, you can communicate with troops via headsets or hand signals, but passengers do not have that training, so the crew needs another way to communicate and give them information or directions.”

These three changes will make the CMV-22B capable of performing the carrier-based logistics support mission the C-2 Greyhound has performed since 1965, but with additional flexibility. The runway-dependent Greyhound can only deliver to carriers, and then helicopters are used to disperse cargo to the rest of the strike group. With its vertical take-off-and-land capability, the CMV-22B could potentially bypass the carrier altogether and deliver cargo directly to a destroyer or guided missile cruiser.

“It’s a very attractive capability. That’s one of the things that the leadership saw when we put this scenario together, that it gave them a lot more operational flexibility,” Scolpino said. “That flexibility and the V-22’s relative affordability as an aircraft already in production were principle factors considered by Navy leadership during selection of the next COD platform.”

The Osprey offered other advantages. First, it is a maritime aircraft that performs a similar mission on large deck amphibious ships. Another advantage is that the V-22 is already in production, Scolpino said. “That meant we had a minimal development time since it was nearly off-the-shelf. We didn’t have to go through the long acquisition process that we normally would if we had to start from a clean sheet of paper,” he said.

Another cost-savings opportunity is to buy into the existing Marine Corps training program for aircrew and maintainers.

“We are drawing up military construction proposals for maintenance hangars as required on both coasts, and procuring ground support equipment with the help of [the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey],” Scolpino said.

The Navy does not plan to stand up new squadrons, but rather will leverage existing infrastructure to avoid additional cost. According to the Office of Naval Operations Air Warfare Division (N98), the Navy will keep the current COD crews in place at bases in Norfolk, Virginia, and North Island, California.

There is often resistance to change in these types of transitions, and the COD community, having flown the same aircraft for 50 years, was no different, Scolpino said.

“At first, there was resistance, because as human beings, we don’t like change, and there was a lack of familiarity with the capabilities of the platform,” Scolpino said. “Now, they’re becoming excited, especially the younger officers and crews, because they know they will have the chance to fly this aircraft and possibly expand the fleet logistics support mission.”

Source: http://navalaviationnews.navylive.dodli ... -delivery/
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Unread post02 Jun 2016, 02:44

And the contract is announced for Osprey AAR: http://breakingdefense.com/2016/05/v-22-refueling-contract-highlights-close-ties-to-f-35/ . Good to see things moving ahead, now we need a European squadron or too for the various LHDs and QE2 class. I'm sure the French wouldn't mind better-than-helicopter COD too.
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Unread post29 Jun 2016, 19:42

F-35 Control Law ‘Tweaked’ To Correct Ski-Jump Takeoff Anomaly


WARTON, U.K. —Unexpected effects of undercarriage on aircraft balance were the reason for the slow start in testing the F-35B’s “ski-jump” takeoff capability.
According to BAE Systems’ lead STOVL test pilot, Pete “Wizzer” Wilson, the anomaly caused an unanticipated pitch-up when he carried out the first takeoff from the land-based ramp at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, June 19, 2015. After the same phenomenon occurred on the second flight from the ramp, ski-jump tests were paused while a fix was developed, which involved amending the control law.

“We discovered some minor differences between the offline models we were using to predict what the performance would be and what the airplane actually did,” Wilson says. “It was the balance of the airplane, and the thing that was incorrect was the contribution of the landing gear as we exited the ski jump. If you get the landing gear contribution to the balance wrong, then your assumptions about what you need to do with the propulsion system will also be wrong. Once we discovered what the correct gear contributions were, through flight test, we could then tweak the assumptions that went into the control law that balanced the airplane correctly as it came off the ski jump.”

A discrepancy had been anticipated in some early computer modeling of the interaction between the jet and the ramp.

“We discovered very early on that the actual shape of the physical ski jump has a very big impact on what happens to the airplane when it leaves the deck at the end of the ski jump,” Wilson says. “We knew that subtle changes in the shape of the ski jump would have an impact on that, and so we tried to design the control law for what we felt was a really good compromise, knowing that it’s got to be able to cope off multiple ski jumps.”

The question of flying from different ski jumps applies not just to the different ramp profiles adopted by the aircraft carriers of the U.K. and Italy, which will use this technique to launch their carrier-borne F-35Bs—the U.K.’s Queen Elizabeth Class carriers have a 13-deg. ramp while the Italian Cavour’s ramp is 12 deg.—but also to different individual ramps built to the same design.

“Land-based ski jumps are going to be subtly different from the Queen Elizabeth [the U.K.’s first carrier],” Wilson says. “Queen Elizabeth and [sister ship] Prince of Wales should be identical—we hope they will be—but there may be minor differences. And then there’s the Cavour. So we were looking for a balanced design [to the control law] that would recognize any type of ski jump and be able to cope equally well regardless of the precise profile.”

Wilson argues that discovering and solving the discrepancy is a perfect example of the purpose and value of flight testing.

“For some period of weeks there was a bit of uncertainty, and then we discovered what we needed to tweak,” Wilson says. “You just put a huge amount of effort into it, you find a way through it, and you solve it. The engineers have done a great job. Being a flight-tester, there’s nothing more I like than to find something that the engineering couldn’t predict. It makes my job worthwhile.”

A total of 31 ramp takeoffs have now been completed, with more to follow next year. The most recent flights have been expanding the center-of-gravity and weight envelopes.
“We’ve done takeoffs as heavy as 50,000 lb.,” Wilson says, “and we’ve been highly successful through that. We’ve done weapons coming off the ski jump, we’ve done crosswinds, we’ve done some tailwinds, we’ve done some pretty strong headwinds. We’ve done a reasonable cross-section, albeit only 31, so it’s not enough to say that we’re good yet. We have another program of ski jumps coming up inside a year from now—well in advance of going to the [Queen Elizabeth] for the first time—and by the end of that period we’ll be super-confident to take it to the ship.”
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Unread post30 Jun 2016, 02:10

:applause: Brilliant 'bring_it_on' - thanks for getting all this good stuff. :D
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Unread post30 Jun 2016, 12:07

Dragon029 wrote:
brucealrighty wrote:What are the bandwidth differences between Link-16 and MADL?

Link 16 operates at a few tens of kbps, although it can go up to a bit over 100kbps and there's potential in the waveform to go an order of magnitude higher, perhaps more.

MADL's bandwidth isn't publicly known, but is said to be orders of magnitude faster; perhaps in the tens of megabits per second. To give one kind of example, MADL reportedly uses little Ku-band (a higher frequency than X-band) AESA arrays. About a decade ago, during some R&D testing, they demonstrated that an F-22's APG-77 could transmit and receive data at 274mbps. The link also states that in a lab, they've demonstrated 548mbps upload and 1Gbps download speeds.

The F-35's MADL arrays are a lot smaller than an F-22's APG-77, so it's not going to be as fast, but there's certainly a lot of potential in them; just look at how much faster mobile phone networks have gotten going from 2G to 3G to 4G whilst using (kinda) the same frequencies; you can gain a lot of throughput just by making waveforms and protocols more efficient.


US Military Common Data Link standards support up to 274 Mbps and in the future will support 548 Mpbs and 1096 Mbps. It seems like F-22 radar communications system is capable of achieving the full speed standards. There are now several pretty small tactical datalink products which allow 45 Mbps to 274 Mbps speeds. Transmission speeds would depend on many things, but being Ku-band system, MADL likely has pretty high data transmission speed as bandwidth is the most important thing for high data transfer speed. Ku-band has wider bandwidth available than X-band. X-band AESA with much larger diameter will likely have superior range due to much higher power and antenna gain. I think MADL likely has at least that 45 Mbps speed and might possibly have faster transmission speed. In any case it has much higher data transfer capacity to Link 16 and other similar legacy datalinks used in other fighters.
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Unread post30 Jun 2016, 14:32

WARTON, U.K. —Unexpected effects of undercarriage on aircraft balance were the reason for the slow start in testing the F-35B’s “ski-jump” takeoff capability.
According to BAE Systems’ lead STOVL test pilot, Pete “Wizzer” Wilson, the anomaly caused an unanticipated pitch-up when he carried out the first takeoff from the land-based ramp at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, June 19, 2015. After the same phenomenon occurred on the second flight from the ramp, ski-jump tests were paused while a fix was developed, which involved amending the control law.


After I saw the movie of the first attempt, I remember making a comment about a distinct tail drop just after it left the ramp. What looked like a tail drop to me was actually a pitch up. Fair'nuff!
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Unread post15 Aug 2016, 18:58

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Unread post13 Sep 2017, 05:46

page 22 of this thread has speculation which we later knew can be done by the V-22 - carry the power module for F135. This article could have been posted in the 'ENGYN' thread but it goes here due aforementioned connection with stories.

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=23690&p=266432&hilit=WEST#p266432 [page 22 this thread]

Other F-35B testing on LHA threads have more info about the V-22 and the power module for F135 on LHAs but whatever.
NAWCAD Cargo Lab Refines Skid for F-35 Engine Power Module
31 Aug 2017 Emanuel Cavallaro

"It took about half a day and the efforts of a small team and a forklift to move an F-35 Lightning II engine power module from its shipping container into the fuselage of a V-22 Osprey during a May 24 load demonstration at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

From this demonstration, we expect that with improvements to loading processes and a future transport vehicle, a small team will be able to do what we did here today in about an hour and a half,” explained Todd Anderson, team lead for Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) cargo and special operations team.

With the first deployment of the F-35B scheduled for fiscal year 2018, planning is already underway to make room for the aircraft in the U.S. Navy’s supply chain. Of particular concern is the power module of the F-35 engine, which poses a significant logistical challenge to the Navy’s shore-to-ship link.

While the H-53 heavy-lift helicopter can carry the power module by external lift 50 nautical miles or so, the Osprey, a tilt-rotor aircraft, can transport it up to 1,000 nautical miles. But the Navy must first load the component onto the aircraft, a complicated undertaking the Navy is still figuring out.

Because of the component’s immense size and weight, many initially believed the part would have to be supplied to carriers by ship, but Anderson’s team showed in 2014 it could be supplied by carrier onboard delivery (COD). The difference in the speed of delivery is a matter of days. “They don’t have the luxury of that [days-long delivery time],” Anderson said. “The V-22, when it comes to COD, is like a big FedEx in the sky.”

That year, they loaded and transported the power module on an Osprey to USS Wasp (LHD 1), using a prototype skid designed by Pratt & Whitney—the F-35 engine’s manufacturer—to keep the engine power module secure during transport by vehicle, as well as during flight inside the aircraft, where it was tied down in the fuselage. Altogether, the module and the skid weighed 9,350 pounds, so heavy the team had to make use of a rare trailer—only two are in existence—that was originally used to load 10,000 pounds of ballast at a time during flight tests for the CH-53K King Stallion.

“There were a lot of people who didn’t think the V-22 could do it,” Anderson said, “but we made it happen.” The 2014 load demonstration was not without some hitches, however. During the demonstration, the team of engineers and Marine Corps crew chiefs discovered the skid’s dimensions weren’t entirely compatible with the aircraft.

The May 24 demonstration at NAVAIR’s cargo lab was meant to improve and streamline the process. The team worked with Pratt & Whitney to fine-tune the skid, which is now 6 inches narrower, a half-inch shorter and reduced in length by 14 inches. The team also reduced the weight of the skid significantly, dropping the total weight of the module with the skid to approximately 7,100 pounds.

Over the course of several hours, the team of engineers and Marine Corps crew chiefs lifted the module from its shipping container with a crane, dropped it onto the skid attached to a trailer, towed the trailer to the V-22’s cargo ramp, and then loaded the module and skid carefully into the Osprey and tied it down.

Thanks to the demonstration and Anderson’s team working out the steps and determining the optimal dimensions of the equipment, the procedure will move much faster and require fewer people during future cargo operations.

According to Anderson, the next step will be designing and constructing a loading device that can do what the trailer did—load the skid and module into the Osprey. “It’s not a dream anymore,” Anderson said. “We’re pretty much done. Now it’s just about getting all the procedures down.”"

PHOTO: "1.) Joe Matthews, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) cargo fabricator and design technician, operates a forklift to position a trailer to unload an F-35 power module onto a V-22 Osprey. 2.) Brandon Norris, NAWCAD structures engineer, judges the clearance between the V-22 and F-35 power module as its trailer is moved into position before winching. 3.) Mike Jackson, NAWCAD cargo special operations engineer, monitors side clearances as the power module on its skid is loaded onto the Osprey. 4.) Inside the Osprey cargo cabin, NAWCAD cargo special operations engineers Tom Stolt (left) and Michelle Hoefer work to align the power module on the skid as it is winched up the ramp. (U.S. Navy photos by Emanuel Cavallaro)" http://navalaviationnews.navylive.dodli ... photos.jpg


Source: http://navalaviationnews.navylive.dodli ... er-module/
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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 01:14

Navy's New Osprey Gets Feature to Work With F-35

In an interview at the annual Sea-Air-Space expo Monday, directors with CMV-22 co-designer Bell Helicopter said steps are already being taken to ensure the Navy's Osprey operates smoothly with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

"One of the components of the JSF engine is the lift fan," said Scott Clifton, director of business development for Bell. "So we've been able to create a device where we can carry the lift fan in the back of a CMV-22."

While the carrier-launched F-35C does not have a lift fan, its Marine Corps counterpart, the F-35B, does. The Rolls-Royce-patented design allows the F-35B to take off and land vertically on amphibious ships, giving it heightened flexibility for operations at sea.

Clifton said the carrying system for the lift fan designed to fit inside the CMV-22 would increase efficiency and decrease the chances of damage happening to expensive components in transit.

"[The CMV-22] will be able to deliver F-35 components directly to the air-capable ships," he said. "You don't have to sling-load it between ships during an [underway replenishment]. ... CMV-22 will be able to take those components directly to the ship, land there, roll them off and ready."

The CMV-22 is also being designed with other features specific to its designated mission of carrier onboard delivery (COD), including additional fuel tanks, a beyond-line-of-sight HF antenna, a public address system in the back of the aircraft, and a Navy-specific paint job.

The Navy is planning to buy 44 of the aircraft to replace the aging C-2 Greyhounds currently tasked with the COD mission.

Bell is working with the Navy, Clifton said, to develop training for pilots and aircrew who are switching to the new platform.

"We're handing those pilots basically the ability to go same range, same speed and the same payload, but now [they] can stop and land vertically when we get there," he said. "It actually makes things very simple."

https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... -f-35.html
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