The trouble with the basement dwellers

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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sferrin

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Unread post02 Nov 2015, 14:36

thepointblank wrote: We already know that at least one subcontractor that provides a critical component doesn't and won't make any more components.


Who is that specifically, what do they make, and does nobody else in the world make it?
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Unread post02 Nov 2015, 14:50

raffaauk48 wrote:
borg wrote:How about any US politician concentrate on getting the funding aviable to do a propper upgrade on the F-22's that are allready in service..
Its been long overdue.

The only forseeable upgrade is the integration of AIM-9X in the next couple or three years, the other feasible upgrade is adding the Scorpion HMCS which already tested successfully last year.
Adding SDB II is another upgrade which I see not necessary for the Raptor because of the F-35A entering the service.
Anyway adding air-to-ground capability to the F-22 was in the first place an interim solution because of the delays in the F-35.
F-22 pilots as I read are stressed because of the workload they suffer instead of focusing on air-to-air mission which is their primary task and I think with the F-35A become operational with US Air Force the F-22 lads can breath a little !.
Cheers


AIM-9X, AIM-120D, additional ground attack capabilities with SDB/SDBII, additional EA capabilities, HMS, upgraded MAWS for additional SA, etc....are all part of the current upgrade path.
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Unread post02 Nov 2015, 15:48

Salute!

@ sferrin, et al

Some components these days are dinosaurs after just 5 or 6 years. Mostly electronic circuits or even some hardware. Some components last dozens of years, but are no longer being cranked out new.

I doubt that the original hardwired Viper FLCS circuit boards were being produced after the early 90's when we went digital, but we could prolly find some in the boneyard.

I worked on the USN Trident missile guidance unit back in mid 90's. The original vendors for many components had gone out of business after producing "x" units and no more missiles were being bought ( and many being scrapped). So USN was k-balling the "retired" missiles for parts, as cranking up a new produ.ction line for only a hundred or so units was too costly, besides having to certify new parts. So we were trying to characterize failure modes for these twenty-year old parts and replace them as needed. So yank a guidaance unit and flight test it in pod on a Hornet that could "stress it", then rinse, repeat.

Contrast this with the B-52 major avionics upgrade in late 80's. Very modular and complied with all the new standards. It was the easiest plane our company worked on with new weapons and avionics. At the time the Hornet, F-111, A-10, older Eagles and F-14 were a bitch. Viper lots easier for same reason as the Buff.

Gums opines......

P.S. We see the same thing in our autos. Go find an ashtray or tail light lens and see what they cost. A junkyard is your only hope.
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Unread post02 Nov 2015, 20:35

wrightwing wrote:AIM-9X, AIM-120D, additional ground attack capabilities with SDB/SDBII, additional EA capabilities, HMS, upgraded MAWS for additional SA, etc....are all part of the current upgrade path.


I agree with all what you said but not with A/G weapons such as SDBII, for that would be wasting of resources especially with the availability of the F-35 and I believe the US Air Force is going in the direction of optimizing the F-22 for A/A missions. It was an interim solution to upgrade the F-22 with A/G weapons because of delays in F-35. As for A/A upgrades : AIM-9X and AIM-120D are already being integrated, HMCS is a must which probably would follow and as you said MAWS for additional SA.

As for EW, My opinion is to upgrade the old block 10-20 F-22 with EW capabilities to act like the Growlers in the Navy.
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Unread post02 Nov 2015, 23:57

raffaauk48 wrote:I agree with all what you said but not with A/G weapons such as SDBII, for that would be wasting of resources especially with the availability of the F-35 and I believe the US Air Force is going in the direction of optimizing the F-22 for A/A missions.


I think certifying the SDB launcher for the F-22 Internal Weapons Bay is a good move as it provides versatility via forward compatibility with all sorts of new-gen ordnance that may arise down the road ( eg. CUDA?)
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Unread post04 Nov 2015, 05:45

sferrin wrote:
thepointblank wrote: We already know that at least one subcontractor that provides a critical component doesn't and won't make any more components.


Who is that specifically, what do they make, and does nobody else in the world make it?

Intel, who made the Intel i960MX RISC chips, which powered pretty much the entire F-22 avionics suite? The chipset was state of the art; back in 1985 that is when it was introduced...

And no one makes it anymore. Intel had officially stopped production back in 2001.
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Unread post04 Nov 2015, 08:27

"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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sferrin

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Unread post04 Nov 2015, 14:12

thepointblank wrote:
sferrin wrote:
thepointblank wrote: We already know that at least one subcontractor that provides a critical component doesn't and won't make any more components.


Who is that specifically, what do they make, and does nobody else in the world make it?

Intel, who made the Intel i960MX RISC chips, which powered pretty much the entire F-22 avionics suite? The chipset was state of the art; back in 1985 that is when it was introduced...

And no one makes it anymore. Intel had officially stopped production back in 2001.


I thought Intel had given the design to the DoD (or maybe it was the original Pentium Pro I'm thinking of)? Thing is, it's a chip, how hard would it be to run an emulator on something more modern and available?
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Unread post04 Nov 2015, 19:01

thepointblank wrote:
sferrin wrote:
thepointblank wrote: We already know that at least one subcontractor that provides a critical component doesn't and won't make any more components.


Who is that specifically, what do they make, and does nobody else in the world make it?

Intel, who made the Intel i960MX RISC chips, which powered pretty much the entire F-22 avionics suite? The chipset was state of the art; back in 1985 that is when it was introduced...

And no one makes it anymore. Intel had officially stopped production back in 2001.


I understand it's those i960MX RISC chips going out of production that would have shut down F-22 production anyway. They barely have enough for the 187 they built. I posted before that a Rand Study said you could reopen the production line and build 75 more for $17 Billion. Now granted that estimate was about 4 years ago, so it may be over $20 Billion now. The biggest problem might be they'd have to replace the computer core with an open architecture like the F-35.

Others on this board know 1.000X what I know on this subject. Replacing the computer core is why I called the project the F-22B. How much F-35 tech could go into new build F-22s? The F-22 has the superior airframe, and engines for the AA role, especially at high altitude. The F-35 has superior avionics, and sensors, I won't even get into the debate about superior stealth. So would it be worth the cost to restart F-22B production?
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Unread post04 Nov 2015, 19:59

tincansailor wrote:
...project the F-22B. How much F-35 tech could go into new build F-22s? The F-22 has the superior airframe, and engines for the AA role, especially at high altitude. The F-35 has superior avionics, and sensors, I won't even get into the debate about superior stealth. So would it be worth the cost to restart F-22B production?


Now that we know the F-35 avionics better, I'm sure you could point to far more advanced memory and CPU cores of modern industry and point out that the vaunted F-35 avionics too is antiquated.

The F-22 is an 80s design, 90s implementation and build.

We keep learning more and more about how to do stealth properly for a mach speed fighter. There are probably hundreds of little known problems with the F-22 stealth coatings where Lockheed engineers ruefully grumble to themselves, "We'll never build them THAT WAY again!".
Yet there are so many outside that inner circle that insist that the F-22 jigs and tooling be brought out of mothballs and that they build it THAT WAY once again.

Even some kind of hack-kneed F-35 brain transplant (a highly dubious and speculative adventure) wouldn't be enough to bring all the other components of the new-build F-22 up to current state of the art.

I think more time is required to see just how well the F-35A really compliments the existing force structure and continue to study of the actual deployment of threats (not just prototype rollouts) out there before we get too exited about starting to build older aircraft again.
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Unread post04 Nov 2015, 22:26

archeman wrote:
tincansailor wrote:
...project the F-22B. How much F-35 tech could go into new build F-22s? The F-22 has the superior airframe, and engines for the AA role, especially at high altitude. The F-35 has superior avionics, and sensors, I won't even get into the debate about superior stealth. So would it be worth the cost to restart F-22B production?


Now that we know the F-35 avionics better, I'm sure you could point to far more advanced memory and CPU cores of modern industry and point out that the vaunted F-35 avionics too is antiquated.

The F-22 is an 80s design, 90s implementation and build.

We keep learning more and more about how to do stealth properly for a mach speed fighter. There are probably hundreds of little known problems with the F-22 stealth coatings where Lockheed engineers ruefully grumble to themselves, "We'll never build them THAT WAY again!".
Yet there are so many outside that inner circle that insist that the F-22 jigs and tooling be brought out of mothballs and that they build it THAT WAY once again.

Even some kind of hack-kneed F-35 brain transplant (a highly dubious and speculative adventure) wouldn't be enough to bring all the other components of the new-build F-22 up to current state of the art.

I think more time is required to see just how well the F-35A really compliments the existing force structure and continue to study of the actual deployment of threats (not just prototype rollouts) out there before we get too exited about starting to build older aircraft again.

So, you might be better off trying to design a new internal air frame structure to "morph" the F-35 into the shape of a Raptor.
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Unread post04 Nov 2015, 23:57

Starting with a blank canvass makes sense if you want transformatiomal capabilities and effects. Otherwise Raptor would have been stillborn in favor of something like the SE. And the F-35 would have been a blk 70 Viper. And the AF would be stuck playing the Navy's game.
Last edited by popcorn on 05 Nov 2015, 12:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post05 Nov 2015, 00:23

:doh: The USMC & USAF, and other allies such as Oz & UK and even Israel understand the "transformatiomal capabilities and effects" of the F-35. One day perhaps the USN will grok it along with any other 'all your base are mine' dwellers? :devil:
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Unread post05 Nov 2015, 11:59

sferrin wrote:
thepointblank wrote:Intel, who made the Intel i960MX RISC chips, which powered pretty much the entire F-22 avionics suite? The chipset was state of the art; back in 1985 that is when it was introduced...

And no one makes it anymore. Intel had officially stopped production back in 2001.


I thought Intel had given the design to the DoD (or maybe it was the original Pentium Pro I'm thinking of)? Thing is, it's a chip, how hard would it be to run an emulator on something more modern and available?

Pretty damned hard. The F-22's avionics suite is fairly locked in and is typical 1980's era computer technology, where even the smallest of hardware changes causes a massive ripple effect for software. Remember it was only until 1995 when the concept of 'plug & play' became universal for the computing world when Microsoft released Windows 95 to the world.

There were attempts at emulation for a number of F-22 systems using PowerPC chips, but the use of emulation was extremely limited, and realistically went nowhere.

count_to_10 wrote:So, you might be better off trying to design a new internal air frame structure to "morph" the F-35 into the shape of a Raptor.

Developing and designing the airframe is actually fairly cheap and easy to do. It's everything else that gets expensive and difficult, especially when it comes to the avionics and mission systems.
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Unread post05 Nov 2015, 15:32

I noticed that with the promotion of the current LM lead Mrs. Martin the basement dwellers have been calling it a head rolling upheaval because of the '"epic mess" at Lookheed 's F-35 developement program. All I can say to the basement dwellers is hell burns hot for every liar.
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