F-35 “Pre-IOT&E” Underway, Aimed At Expediting Testing

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spazsinbad

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Unread post28 Jan 2018, 04:58

F-35 “Pre-IOT&E” Underway, Aimed At Expediting Testing [ :devil: Naughty Naughty Boys :mrgreen: ]
26 Jan 2018 John A. Tirpak​

"A half-dozen F-35 jets—two of each variant—deployed to Eielson AFB, Alaska, on Jan. 18 for cold weather testing as part of an unusual effort to speed up initial operational test and evaluation, according to USAF officials.

The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center at Kirtland AFB, N.M., in coordination with the Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation shop, has begun “pre-IOT&E” activities on the F-35, to “mitigate delays in program development,” a center spokeswoman said.

Plans initially called for all-up IOT&E on the F-35 to begin late last year, but now won’t likely start until “late third quarter 2018,” she said. The delays are due to an insufficient number of F-35s in the all-up 3F configuration to begin IOT&E, which effectively “graduates” the F-35 from the system design and development phase. The “pre” tests can be done now, however, and don’t necessarily depend, for example, on mission data files being fully populated with regional threat information, which is one of the drags on starting the all-up testing.

The tests are “for score,” meaning the F-35’s operational suitability will be judged based in part on the pre-IOT&E activities. In addition to cold weather testing, a second set of pre-IOT&E tests will be done, likely starting in the second quarter of this year, to evaluate the F-35 in tactical missions such as close air support, strike coordination and reconnaissance, aerial reconnaissance, and airborne forward air control. These tests will include weapons delivery effectiveness evaluations. They will also include assessments of F-35B and C variants in shipboard operations. Those tests will include a detachment of aircraft of each type, and will begin “when the requisite entry [to IOT&E] criteria are met,” the spokeswoman said.

Former F-35 Joint Program Office director retired Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan and current JPO director Vice Adm. Mat Winter both told Air Force Magazine last year they were negotiating with director of operational test and evaluation officials on getting IOT&E underway early in 2018, so time would not be lost waiting for all the necessary aircraft in the proper configuration to be available. Bogdan said delays could cost millions of dollars per month, and both he and Winter said the DOT&E shop was favorably disposed to allowing the unconventional approach.

The six jets at Eielson are doing cold weather testing in temperatures averaging -23 degrees Fahrenheit. AFOTEC and the Defense Department’s OT&E are collecting “data regarding the F-35 air vehicle system’s effectiveness, suitability, and mission capability during alert launches in cold weather,” said Maj. Gen. Matthew Molloy, AFOTEC commander and head of the F-35 joint operational test team.

The Joint team includes representatives from the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, as well as Australia, Netherlands, and UK. Specifically, the F-35’s operational capabilities are being scrutinized for “deployability, logistics footprint, alert launch timing and capability, aircraft maintenance procedures, and IT supportability,” Malloy said.

When airborne, the jets are also providing “valuable, ‘not-for-score’ test design data on both CAS … and DCA [defensive counter-air] mission areas, which will be formally evaluated at a later date” during initial operational test and evaluation, he said.

Molloy said he was “proud and amazed” at the performance of the multinational test team. “They’re doing phenomenal work in very challenging weather conditions … and it’s forecast to get colder,” he said. The effort will be “worth it” to “deliver operational insight” to combat users of the F-35, he added.

Photo: "Six F-35s—two of each variants—deployed to Eielson AFB, Alaska, for pre-initial operational test and evaluation testing. Air Force photo by A1C Eric M. Fisher." http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pu ... n_F-35.jpg


Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... sting.aspx
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Unread post05 Feb 2018, 22:00

:salute:
http://www.eielson.af.mil/News/Article- ... t-eielson/
JOTT conducts F-35 pre-IOT&E cold weather testing at Eielson
By Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson, 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs / Published February 05, 2018
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --

In April 2016, the Air Force made an announcement that would change Eielson AFB history. After a lengthy analysis of the installation’s operations, environmental factors and cost, the Secretary of the Air Force selected Eielson AFB to be the first operational USAF location outside the contiguous United States to receive the F-35A Lightning II.

In preparation for the arrival of the Department of Defense’s newest fifth-generation fighter, the installation has seen growth and changes. At the same time the Joint Strike Fighter Operational Test Team (JOTT) recently completed testing to determine whether all three variants of the F-35 are suitable and able to operate in the frigid weather of interior Alaska.

There is no question the F-35, which already completed developmental testing in sub-zero temperatures, will be coming to Alaska in 2020.

“The decision to station the F-35 here has been established,” said Robert Behler, Director, Operational Test & Evaluation Office of the Secretary of Defense. “We’re not trying to prove or disprove anything. We’re just trying to make sure this weapon system has the operational capability it needs to function in this environment.”

Due to its location, Eielson will be one of the harshest environments in which the aircraft will be stationed. It also makes it an ideal location for testing the F-35 in a cold weather environment for this pre-Initial Operational Testing & Evaluation (IOT&E) test event. The F-35 IOT&E, which is scheduled to formally start in the fall of 2018, will inform the warfighter and Congress on the aircraft’s overall effectiveness to conduct designed missions and the suitability of the weapon system. Additional pre-IOT&E test events will be permitted in coming months, before all necessary test readiness entrance criteria for the formal start of IOT&E are met in the fall of 2018. These additional events include mission scenarios for strike coordination and reconnaissance, aerial reconnaissance and close air support, along with weapons testing.

“We’re here at Eielson to prove the capability of the aircraft to operate under extreme conditions of cold weather,” said Behler, a former experimental test pilot who flew more than 65 aircraft types. “Being here and showing the aircraft’s ability to operate in this environment will tell a lot of people we have a credible weapon system.”

“It is a requirement of this weapon system to be able to operate in cold weather conditions,” said Maj. Gen. Matthew Molloy, the Air Force Operational Testing and Evaluation Center commander. “We are up here characterizing what that performance looks like and we will feed this information to not only decision makers, but also to the warfighter.”

Although the decision to base the F-35s at Eielson was made more than a year ago, the continued testing of the aircraft will ensure the DOD is delivering the most capable aircraft to the joint force.

“The whole objective of operational test and evaluation is to deliver a weapon system for our warriors that’s combat credible,” said Behler.

By combining Eielson’s advantageous location with the Joint Strike Fighter, the Icemen team will continue to provide stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region for decades to come.

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Unread post06 Feb 2018, 01:46

Salute!

Good news.

Looking back, we were doing a lot of cuncurrent testing with the Viper and we did not have over 200 of them. I was also there for the early days of the A-37 when we only had about 30 or 40 of them, and the first two dozen were in 'nam since July '67 and flying combat.

So when I showed up at Hill in June of 1979 we had about a squadron of jets for the 16th and "loaned" a half dozen for the OT&E folks from Nellis that included the European Production Group. GD was cranking out the suckers faster than any plane since WW2. so by fall of '79 the 34th was up and running and one or more squads at MacDill were cranking out Viper pilots.

My point is if anyone makes a big deal about USAF still doing testing at this stage, they have to look back to WW2 and Korea and 'nam and early years of the Viper. In short, WHAT"s NEW?"

I look back and see that the Stubby has had few motor or flight control problems. Seems biggest things have been software and not the sensors or other stuff. The helmet was a problem, and seems things have been solved there.

I see a very steep learning curve this year for all aspects of the program.

Gums sends....
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Unread post06 Feb 2018, 15:32

Gums wrote:Salute!

Good news.

Looking back, we were doing a lot of cuncurrent testing with the Viper and we did not have over 200 of them. I was also there for the early days of the A-37 when we only had about 30 or 40 of them, and the first two dozen were in 'nam since July '67 and flying combat.

So when I showed up at Hill in June of 1979 we had about a squadron of jets for the 16th and "loaned" a half dozen for the OT&E folks from Nellis that included the European Production Group. GD was cranking out the suckers faster than any plane since WW2. so by fall of '79 the 34th was up and running and one or more squads at MacDill were cranking out Viper pilots.

My point is if anyone makes a big deal about USAF still doing testing at this stage, they have to look back to WW2 and Korea and 'nam and early years of the Viper. In short, WHAT"s NEW?"

I look back and see that the Stubby has had few motor or flight control problems. Seems biggest things have been software and not the sensors or other stuff. The helmet was a problem, and seems things have been solved there.

I see a very steep learning curve this year for all aspects of the program.

Gums sends....


That makes perfect sense Gums, thanks for sharing this insight!

Yeah, I would say that many people have this weird or even "nasty" tendency of forgetting history (even recent one)...

I would say that unfortunately we seem to live in the "age of stupidity". For example if I posted your excellent and true information over the web, almost nobody would care. But if as opposed, if I would put those F-35 photos operating on icy conditions (Alaska, I assume?) but claim that those photos are fake because the F-35 can't operate on icy condition (which of course is BS and as such a lie) I would almost instantly have lots of followers believing in every (mental diarrhea) that I wrote.
At least that's the impression that I get. I hope that this is only an impression and that I'm wrong, but "something" tells me that unfortunately I'm not...
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Unread post06 Feb 2018, 17:43

Salute!

Hey!! Let's stop posting a long quote of a previous post, O.K.? No hard feelings, but most folks have read the previous post.
++++++++

I went thru the checkout in fall of 1979 with three Norwegians and two Danes.

The Viper was being tested up in Bodo, and the Norwegians kept us informed of how it was going. We suspected the drag chute would have itsown characteristics and it did. On ice the chute cranks the jet into the wind. I had seen this in the VooDoo up at Grand Forks, so no big surprise. The Norwegians quickly developed techniques for handling the jet with a chute on a slick runway and they pressed on.

When I talk about concurrent testing, it's hard to beat the A-37. So see everything you can online or buy our book:

http://a-37.org/

The little jet was going thru IOT&E while getting shot at!!! First to do that in the modern USAF, but the WW2 and Korean folks seem to have done it before the Combat Dragons, wouldn't you say?

The biggie was we didn't really nail down procedures and techniques until the 4th went over to Norway for a Checkered Flag evalutaion of a forward base - Flesland. There and at a few places in Canada and Alaska provided real world environments for both the jet and the support equipment. So it's not just the jet. The jet fuel starter and motor needed to be kept wrm if you wanted an easy start. Cold JFS start worked about half the time, so we learned to keep everything toasty! We saw that at Hill when temps got into single digits, as well.

In the A-37 we found that the low intakes and flimsy compressor blades on the J-85 would erode due to dust and sand. So after we had numerous compressor stalls and "rollbacks", we inspectected and replaced compressor disks more frequently than back in the states on lottsa concrete taxiways and runways.

So for all the naysayers you encounter, just ask what's new and relate the OT&E of the P-51, F-86, F-111A, A-37 and the F-16A.

Gums sends...
Gums
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Unread post06 Feb 2018, 23:51

[quote="Gums"]....
So for all the naysayers you encounter, just ask what's new and relate the OT&E of the P-51, F-86, F-111A, A-37 and the F-16A.

AND JSTARS which fought (and won) the war before starting IOT&E. After proving it was full capable and operational for its express purpose, in the real world, and the war was over ... they let the test team check it out and see if it "would" work. LOL.

Just saying,
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Unread post07 Feb 2018, 04:05

Thanks for the tip Spaz!
thats-the-ticket-IOTandE.jpg
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Unread post07 Feb 2018, 12:04

Gums wrote:Salute!

Hey!! Let's stop posting a long quote of a previous post, O.K.? No hard feelings, but most folks have read the previous post.
++++++++


Here I beg to differ.
I think that it's never too much to repeat your excellent post (which I fully quoted).

Nonetheless, no hard feelings here.



Gums wrote:So for all the naysayers you encounter, just ask what's new and relate the OT&E of the P-51, F-86, F-111A, A-37 and the F-16A.

Gums sends...


Yes, absolutely.
Another thing which I usually reply to "all the naysayers" is that the majority of new fighter or combat aircraft programs had prototype aircraft (and/or pre-production aircraft) that crashed during tests (and also just afterwards). For example both the F-16 and the Gripen programs had prototypes that crashed during those programs development phases.
Yet, this didn't happen at all with the F-35 and even after the F-35 having achieved IOC with the USMC and USAF and thus after thousands of flying hours this program (F-35) has had a remarkable level of reliability when it comes to accidents and/or mishaps - perhaps the fighter aircraft program with less of these occurrences, at least that I remember of...
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Unread post15 Feb 2018, 17:46

:salute:
http://fm.kuac.org/post/air-force-compl ... 5s-eielson
Air Force Completes Another Round of Cold-weather Tests on 3 Versions of F-35s at Eielson
By TIM ELLIS • 18 HOURS AGO
The Air Force has completed another round of cold-weather testing on the F-35A that’s been undergoing a series of tests at Eielson Air Force Base soon after it arrived in October. The testing on three versions of the F-35 was part of preparations for basing two squadrons of the warplane at Eielson beginning in 2020.

While most of us were grumbling about the 30-below cold snap that set in for a while last month, Air Force personnel who came here from Southern California say the conditions were just right to test the F-35’s ability to operate in chilly temperatures.

“Our objective essentially was to take the F-35 up to cold environment – which, that definitely qualified as being a cold environment, probably colder than I’ve ever seen. And we were able to collect as much data as possible,” says Col. Michael Starr, who commands the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center’s 1st Detachment out of Edwards Air Force Base.

Starr said in an interview Tuesday the testing that began in mid-January and wrapped last week mainly involved checking out how the aircraft handled the cold during routine functions.

“The main goal, main objective of the test was to see how the aircraft performed – not just start, taxiing and takeoff,” he said, “but also, once we got to the range, how it’s going to perform in certain mission sets.”

Those mission sets included carrying out simulated combat scenarios. Starr says testing personnel also gained important knowledge by just pulling maintenance on the advanced fighter.

“It (testing) also included a heavy workload by maintenance,” he said. “A lot of folks were out there in the cold weather evaluating what it was like to do things on the aircraft required for normal operation.”

An article posted to the Eielson website cites a Pentagon official affirming the importance of cold-weather testing the F-35. According to the article, Robert Behler, director of the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Operational Test and Evaluation Office, “Being here and showing the aircraft’s ability to operate in this environment will tell a lot of people we have a credible weapon system.”

Starr says the next two rounds, or increments, of F-35 testing will subject the warplane to increasingly realistic combat scenarios that’ll be conducted in a different extreme environment – in Southern California, Arizona and elsewhere around the Southwest.

“Increment 2 is scaled low-intensity-type conflict issues that we’re going to be dealing with. That starts this spring, if approved, with the appropriate agencies,” he said. “And then we’ll roll into increment 3 sometime this fall – again if approved and if we’re given the go-ahead. And that’s more of a high-intensity-type conflict operational test and evaluation.”

Starr says the F-35s also are being tested by both the Navy and Marines – both would be getting their own variants of the aircraft also known as the Joint Strike Fighter. All three variants were included in the most recent round of testing at Eielson.

F-35s also are being tested by U.S. allies that are interested in adding the warplane to their air forces, including the U.K., Netherlands, Norway and Australia.
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Unread post17 Feb 2018, 00:27

Battlefield Airmen Integrate with F-35
16 Feb 2018 JPO PR

"EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - During the F-35 Lightning II's pre-Initial Operational Test and Evaluation, Airmen from the 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron had the opportunity to work with all three variants of the Joint Strike Fighter. Tactical Air Control Party Airmen coordinate air support with joint and international platforms, making this a unique opportunity to work with three different versions of the fifth-generation aircraft. "We were able to execute close-air-support training scenarios and validate TACP cold-weather training," said Staff Sgt. Gary Russell, Detachment 1, 3rd ASOS battalion air liaison officer. "We were also able to build the 3rd ASOS's familiarization with all F-35 variants."...

..."It's a little more difficult to control than some other aircraft," said Russell. "It flies higher and faster than most aircraft we deal with, but it also gives us the advantage of not having to worry about as many surface-to-air threats. Because of that, we are able to focus more on the ground commander's priorities."

Alaska's weather makes some tasks harder to accomplish than others; but as part of United States Special Operation Forces, weather can't keep an objective from being obtained. "Weather was our biggest challenge," said Russell...."

Source: http://www.jsf.mil/news/docs/20180216_B ... h_F-35.pdf (267Kb)
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Unread post17 Feb 2018, 15:59

1st ASOG. Excellent soldiers (at least those i knew)
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Unread post17 Feb 2018, 19:27

" "It flies higher and faster than most aircraft we deal with"

I found this a most interesting comment...
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Unread post17 Feb 2018, 21:05

Better sensors mean that the F-35 can fly higher than the typical F-16/F-15E/A-10 or Helo.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Unread post17 Feb 2018, 21:52

SpudmanWP wrote:Better sensors mean that the F-35 can fly higher than the typical F-16/F-15E/A-10 or Helo.

... as a result of it's LO tech which enables the 5Gen fleets to recapture the "high ground" in the face of the SAM threat.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Unread post17 Feb 2018, 22:10

SpudmanWP wrote:Better sensors mean that the F-35 can fly higher than the typical F-16/F-15E/A-10 or Helo.



Better sensors aren't that useful to perform show of force.
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