F-22’s Agile Developers to Deliver First Link 16 Capability

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basher54321

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Unread post02 Nov 2019, 00:57

F-22’s Agile Developers to Deliver First Link 16 Capability Next Year


The F-22 Raptor is among the planet’s most advanced combat aircraft, but to ensure it stays ahead of new Russian and Chinese fifth-generation fighters, the service has had to rip up the rulebook—and get Lockheed Martin to rip up its own, too.

Two years ago, faced with mounting delays in F-22 modernization efforts that threatened the fighter’s dominance over its competitors, the Air Force decided to reform the way it rolls out updates to the Raptor. Instead of a conventional approach, in which requirements are documented in detail and the update is not delivered until every element is complete, USAF wanted to introduce new capabilities on a rolling basis using an approach known as “agile” development.

http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... -Year.aspx
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quicksilver

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Unread post02 Nov 2019, 01:40

lmao...

They met the enemy and it were them. Glad they decided to fix themselves.
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zero-one

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Unread post03 Nov 2019, 18:03

It really still puzzles me why it seems so freaking hard to upgrade the Raptor.
Most of the reasons are:
1. Production has stopped and its hard to produce components for a plane that is no longer in production
2. The fleet is too small and its hard to approve the budget for such a small fleet.
3. Money spent for upgrading F-22s should be spent on the PCA rather.

Well Japan seems to contradict all those reasons:
https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia ... e-package/

The approval will allow Japan to upgrade up to 98 of its F-15J interceptors to a “Japanese Super Interceptor (JSI) configuration,” which will see the addition of an advanced electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, new mission computers and electronic warfare equipment, as well as the integration of new munitions.


1. Japan's F-15J is largely one of the few export variants of the air to air only F-15C and all variants of the F-15 air to air only variants have long gone cold, but they still seem to be able to upgrade the birds,

Only the Mudhen variant retained production and to me the Mudhen is as far away from the Eagle as the Hornet is to the Rhino, Maybe even further, because the bug family has the same missions generally, the Mudhen and the Eagle on the other hand are primarily used for 2 opposite missions.

2. Japan has around 200 F-15Js a similar number to the USAF's 186 F-22's, furthermore they chose to upgrade just half of the fleet.

I seriously think its just political will stopping the F-22s from being upgraded.
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wrightwing

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Unread post03 Nov 2019, 21:33

zero-one wrote:It really still puzzles me why it seems so freaking hard to upgrade the Raptor.
Most of the reasons are:
1. Production has stopped and its hard to produce components for a plane that is no longer in production
2. The fleet is too small and its hard to approve the budget for such a small fleet.
3. Money spent for upgrading F-22s should be spent on the PCA rather.

Well Japan seems to contradict all those reasons:
https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia ... e-package/

The approval will allow Japan to upgrade up to 98 of its F-15J interceptors to a “Japanese Super Interceptor (JSI) configuration,” which will see the addition of an advanced electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, new mission computers and electronic warfare equipment, as well as the integration of new munitions.


1. Japan's F-15J is largely one of the few export variants of the air to air only F-15C and all variants of the F-15 air to air only variants have long gone cold, but they still seem to be able to upgrade the birds,

Only the Mudhen variant retained production and to me the Mudhen is as far away from the Eagle as the Hornet is to the Rhino, Maybe even further, because the bug family has the same missions generally, the Mudhen and the Eagle on the other hand are primarily used for 2 opposite missions.

2. Japan has around 200 F-15Js a similar number to the USAF's 186 F-22's, furthermore they chose to upgrade just half of the fleet.

I seriously think its just political will stopping the F-22s from being upgraded.

F-22s are being upgraded. They're all going to go through the MLU. Certain upgrades have to occur first, before the other upgrades can occur, though. They're all getting new computers with open architecture, upgrades to all the sensors as well as new sensors, upgrades to datalinks, upgrades to anti-jam systems, cockpit upgrades, helmet sights, etc....
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marsavian

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Unread post03 Nov 2019, 22:43

Are the early 'training' blocks going to go through the MLU too though ? Apparently it will cost about $50m just to upgrade these to current warfighting standard but they should seriously consider it if they expect the whole fleet to last until 2060 so that they can rotate the whole fleet properly to increase life, have meaningful up to date training and increase the warfighting number that can be ultimately deployed from 120s to 180s which is a 50% increase. F-22 appears to me to have been neglected in service almost as much as it was in production. Eventually the Su-57/J-20 numbers will rival the F-22 numbers so everyone of them needs to be up to date.
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wrightwing

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Unread post04 Nov 2019, 01:24

marsavian wrote:Are the early 'training' blocks going to go through the MLU too though ? Apparently it will cost about $50m just to upgrade these to current warfighting standard but they should seriously consider it if they expect the whole fleet to last until 2060 so that they can rotate the whole fleet properly to increase life, have meaningful up to date training and increase the warfighting number that can be ultimately deployed from 120s to 180s which is a 50% increase. F-22 appears to me to have been neglected in service almost as much as it was in production. Eventually the Su-57/J-20 numbers will rival the F-22 numbers so everyone of them needs to be up to date.

I'm not sure whether there was a plan for the Block 10/20s. I know the combat coded jets were being brought to a single standard, and upgraded.
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post04 Nov 2019, 05:49

Software is the biggest problem with F-22 upgrades, which is why they need to move to more open architecture. For MLU I don't know if they'll do complete mission system replacement, because that would be better than current set up where it's so integrated it's hard to upgrade.

What I want to see in F-22 MLU is IRST, HMD, enhanced radar, and MLD improvement (like DAS features).
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ford2go

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Unread post04 Nov 2019, 06:27

I'm quite the outsider here, but I have a few thoughts.

The premise seems to be requirements prioritization and mini releases --i.e. pick the ones that are easy or hot and do them faster. No real mention of a change in the development process -- but maybe it's just not mentioned.

This leads for more releases which means more qualifications amd more updating of data so that everybody knows what they have. Might not be a big thing if you have to fumble with your phone a bit, but I would think that aircraft drivers and maintainers have to have pretty accurate info.

So, I see a lot of work occurring to qualify the frequent releases and distribute all of the tech data. Proving that new features'work' is generally pretty straightforward. Proving that they're reliable and don't break anything else can still be challenging.

Not saying that this is a bad idea, just that there are some possible issues.

There is a software industry trend these days called agile development that is the current darling. Don't know much about it personally (retired for too long), but I think that it's a lot more than what's being discussed here. They talk about scrums and daily meetings and other things. Possibly it is wonderful.

Just my .02
hj
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wrightwing

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Unread post04 Nov 2019, 17:20

ford2go wrote:I'm quite the outsider here, but I have a few thoughts.

The premise seems to be requirements prioritization and mini releases --i.e. pick the ones that are easy or hot and do them faster. No real mention of a change in the development process -- but maybe it's just not mentioned.

This leads for more releases which means more qualifications amd more updating of data so that everybody knows what they have. Might not be a big thing if you have to fumble with your phone a bit, but I would think that aircraft drivers and maintainers have to have pretty accurate info.

So, I see a lot of work occurring to qualify the frequent releases and distribute all of the tech data. Proving that new features'work' is generally pretty straightforward. Proving that they're reliable and don't break anything else can still be challenging.

Not saying that this is a bad idea, just that there are some possible issues.

There is a software industry trend these days called agile development that is the current darling. Don't know much about it personally (retired for too long), but I think that it's a lot more than what's being discussed here. They talk about scrums and daily meetings and other things. Possibly it is wonderful.

Just my .02
hj

Updates and training have already been factored, to ensure smooth transitions for the pilots as changes are available.
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quicksilver

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Unread post04 Nov 2019, 19:31

hj, the whole article is about really about process change (or, imo, at least the first five paragraphs); they just didn’t use the ‘p’ word. I would also dare say that the contractor’s ‘book’ referred to is pretty much a consequence of what government rules, regs, policies, and processes dictate that it be. Companies not aligned with the usg, who want to do work for the usg are unlikely to win any of that business unless such an alignment exists.

As ww (also) suggests, qualification, etc, etc is part of what happens before a ‘fleet release’ of the new capability. Unlike ‘phones’ however, these releases don’t/won’t happen with the frequency that we see with those devices. Why? For the qualification and testing etc referred to above.

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