F-35B in the ME for first time

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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quicksilver

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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 05:40

Most of the Blk Is had service life limited structure(s) and have been parked against a fence somewhere for a long time.

I believe one estimate placed the cost of SH SLEP at $2-5M per 300 hours of extension; that’s an additional 20-50M per 3k per aircraft. A downright bargain... But oh, that doesn’t include the cost of any capability enhancements. :shock:

And I wonder how the durability testing is going for carriage of the conformals? Of course, there won’t be any discovery in that testing will there... :roll:

Anyone seen or heard of any of those new Boeing tankers in service? :whistle:
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Corsair1963

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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 06:17

Point here is the Super Hornets will "start" to run out of flight hours in the early 2030's. Right as productions of the two F-35C Squadrons per CVW is ending. So, I hardly think it's a stretch to predict that F-35C production will just continue. As modest numbers of the SLEP Super Hornet retire each year......
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 06:23

One thing that I recently found and had to chuckle at was how Boeing howls at the concurrency model that was forced onto LM and how "you have to fly (& test) before you buy". What made me laugh was that Boeing started Full Rate Production on the SH BEFORE it even started the ground stress testing of the SH. It took them until 2007 to finish the 3xLifetime stress testing.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Corsair1963

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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 06:34

As the F-35C matures it's capabilities will far surpass that of the Super Hornet. Even the so-called block III.....This will be just one more incentive to retire the F/A-18E/F post 2030. (of course not all at once)



"IMHO"
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weasel1962

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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 06:43

quicksilver wrote:And I wonder how the durability testing is going for carriage of the conformals? Of course, there won’t be any discovery in that testing will there... :roll:


Not sure what's the issue. Boeing's contract is to complete CFT integration by 2022. If they don't, they don't get upgrade contracts, period.
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wrightwing

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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 07:22

Corsair1963 wrote:
wrightwing wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, odds are good that the USN/USMC will acquire more than todays planned 340 F-35C's. As the NGAD Fighter won't be ready for a good 20 years at least. Yet, the Super Hornet Fleet (even with SELP) will start to run out of flight hours starting around 2030+.

So, my guess is the USN will just continue to purchase additional F-35C's after the orders for the 340 have been filled. This is hardly surprising or even new. As it happens all of the time.....(with the Super Hornet itself being a good example)

Super Hornets aren't going to wear out by 2030. They're 9000 hour airframes. The oldest Block 1s didn't enter service till 1999, and Block 2s are about the same age as Raptors (10 or less years old.) F-15s built in the 1980s will be retiring then barring any significant changes in USAF plans. The oldest Super Hornets are still ~10 to 20 years newer than F-15Cs.


HOW MANY YEARS DID IT TAKE TO GET TO 6,000 HRS???

Quote: The US Navy plans to modify 45 more Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in the next two years to increase the aircraft’s service life and capabilities, the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announced on 27 March.

The potential contract will cover modifications to up to 15 aircraft in fiscal year 2019 and a maximum of 30 aircraft in FY2020, NAVAIR says. The modifications are designed to extend the fighter’s airframe life from 6,000-9,000h, adding up to 10 years of service.

Boeing will also convert existing Block II Super Hornets to a new Block III configuration starting in the early 2020s. This conversion will include adding an enhanced network capability, a longer range thanks to internal conformal fuel tanks, an advanced cockpit system, reduced radar signature and an enhanced communication system. Such updates are designed to keep the type effective in combat until at least into the early 2030s.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ts-447133/

Also, the USN has no plans to give the 135 or so Super Hornet Blk I's a SLEP. So, they will just be retired....

They aren't at 6000. They're extending the 6000 to 9000 (i.e. 10 years = 3000) The usage will be going down, due to the introduction of MQ-25 + >100 new aircraft + changes in OPTEMPO.
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quicksilver

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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 07:41

BA has promoted the idea that slapping CFTs on the jet is a simple proposition; it’s not. Just ask LM about CFTs on the Viper.

Good chance that the SLEP jets will not have CFTs because the development and testing is not complete, and the incremental costs are prohibitive.
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weasel1962

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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 07:44

The low MC rates is not only an airframe life issue. See pg 18 of the final SH SAR. 1st lot 1997 was delivered in 1999 through 2015. Its ~127 in the 1st 5 lots (15-19 years), 215 in next 5 (11-15 years).

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... 12_sar.pdf

45-50 each year for SLEP makes sense because at its max, there was 48 SH produced in 1 year. Why do an SLEP before its time?

As to CFT, we'd know by 2022.
Last edited by weasel1962 on 10 Oct 2018, 07:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 07:45

wrightwing wrote:
They aren't at 6000. They're extending the 6000 to 9000 (i.e. 10 years = 3000) The usage will be going down, due to the introduction of MQ-25 + >100 new aircraft + changes in OPTEMPO.



Wrong the first Super Hornet reached 6,000 flight hours last April......


QUOTE:

Naval Aviation News

Long Live the Super Hornet!

– December 6, 2017

The platform having never known peacetime and racking up flight hours more quickly than anticipated over 15 years of constant combat operations in the Middle East exacerbates the problem. The first Super Hornet to reach 6,000 flight hours is projected to do so in April, just ahead of its 15th birthday in June.

http://navalaviationnews.navylive.dodli ... er-hornet/
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weasel1962

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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 07:49

"last April" being April 2018 which is exactly when the 1st F-18 goes into SLEP. Not sure what's the big issue.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 07:56

The Block I Series aren't going to be upgraded. (i.e. SLEP) While, the Super Hornets dedicated to Tanker duties have seen very heavy use.....Plus, all I am saying is post 2030. The USN is likely to retire small numbers of Super Hornets annually. While, ordering a like number of New F-35C's to replace them. This would be hardly surprising and has happen before. Just look at the Hornet and Super Hornet for examples...
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Corsair1963

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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 07:57

weasel1962 wrote:"last April" being April 2018 which is exactly when the 1st F-18 goes into SLEP. Not sure what's the big issue.




I sure don't.... :?
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weasel1962

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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 08:19

That would be rather strange since the 1st block 2s were delivered in 2005 - with fleet deliveries in Jan 2006 i.e. 12 years as of today.
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hythelday

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Unread post12 Oct 2018, 10:23

USS Essex Enters Persian Gulf with Squadron of Marine F-35s:
https://news.usni.org/2018/10/11/37228

Amphibious warship USS Essex (LHD-2) is now in the Persian Gulf, bringing for the first time a squadron of Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters through the Strait of Hormuz. [....] However, just after Essex entered the Persian Gulf, its complement of F-35 fighters was grounded as part of enterprise-wide joint strike fighter stand-down.


USS Essex is in the Persian Gulf, but there are no confirmation yet whether VMFA-211 has been cleared to fly or not. Not impossible, as some F-35s across all variants are already flying (see relevant "crash" thread)
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quicksilver

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Unread post12 Oct 2018, 13:21

hythelday wrote:...USS Essex is in the Persian Gulf, but there are no confirmation yet whether VMFA-211 has been cleared to fly or not. Not impossible, as some F-35s across all variants are already flying (see relevant "crash" thread)


VMFA-211 was not grounded. A TCTD/TCTO was issued that specified inspection of a specific engine component in all F35s/F135s before the next flight. Jets (individual tail numbers, as opposed to an operational unit) are cleared to fly pending completion and the results of the directed inspection.
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