F-35B aces first release of a UK Paveway IV Bomb

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
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neptune

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Unread post19 Jun 2015, 14:33

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/167123/f- ... y-iv-bomb#

F-35B aces first release of a UK Paveway IV Bomb
Story by Sylvia Pierson

WASHINGTON — The F-35 Lightning II program made aviation history June 12 as Royal Air Force (RAF) Test Pilot Squadron Leader Andy Edgell released two inert 500-pound dual mode Paveway IV precision-guided bombs from aircraft BF-03 over the Atlantic Test Ranges.

The inaugural weapons separation test of the Paveway IV conducted by the F-35 Lightning II Patuxent River Integrated Test Force (ITF) was a major milestone for the U.K. Royal Navy and RAF F-35 program. The test brought together the multi-role Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter and the Paveway IV — an advanced weapon that equips the Royal Navy and RAF with a state-of-the-art, all-weather Inertial Navigation- and GPS-guided bombing capability, the first dual mode bomb operational on the F-35 Lightning II.

The inert bombs safely separated from an internal weapons bay within the F-35B, thereby maintaining the stealth characteristics of the aircraft and furthering the collaborative approach of the U.S. and U.K. in the development of the F-35 Lightning II.

The U.K. is the only Level 1 partner with the U.S. on the joint, multinational acquisition to develop and field an affordable, highly common family of next generation strike fighter aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and eight international partners. Its major role in the F-35’s System Design and Demonstration phase is enabling the regeneration of the U.K. Carrier Strike capability, which will result in significant contracts and jobs for U.K. industry as the F-35B Lightning II and Typhoon become the U.K.’s Fast Jet Combat Air Elements of the future. The primary role of the F-35B STOVL aircraft is ground attack with a secondary air-to-air role. The aircraft is powered by a single main engine with a vertically-mounted, shaft-driven lift fan propulsion system.

The F-35 Lightning II Pax River ITF joint team, assigned to the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 aboard Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, released two Paveway IV bombs during the flight. Working on the multi-phase testing of the F-35 Block 3F, U.K.-unique Paveway IV are U.S. government, military and contractor personnel, U.K. Ministry of Defence representatives, and U.K. industry partners from BAE Systems, QinetiQ and Raytheon Systems Ltd.

The F-35 Lightning II is a single-seat, single-engine, stealthy strike fighter that incorporates low-observable (stealth) technologies, defensive avionics, advanced sensor fusion, internal and external weapons, and an advanced prognostic maintenance capability to deliver optimum international security via integrated coalition operations. Partner nations include the U.K., Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway — as well as three Foreign Military Sales (FMS) countries — Japan, Israel and South Korea.

The F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant will be a multi-role, stealthy strike aircraft replacement for the Air Force’s F-16 Falcon and the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, complementing the F-22A Raptor.

The F-35B STOVL variant will be a multi-role stealthy strike aircraft to replace the Marine Corps’ F/A-18C/D Hornet and AV-8B Harrier aircraft.

The carrier-suitable variant (CV), the F-35C, will provide the Department of Navy a multi-role, stealthy strike aircraft to complement the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet.

The Paveway IV is a Raytheon U.K. product, Lockheed Martin is the aircraft contractor and Pratt & Whitney is the engine contractor.

:)
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Unread post21 Mar 2017, 20:58

USAF completes testing of Paveway IV bomb aboard F-35B Lightning II


The US Air Force's (USAF) 461st Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) has recently completed testing of Paveway IV precision-guided bomb aboard a US Marine Corps short takeoff / vertical landing variant of F-35B Lightning II.

Two weapon delivery accuracy tests with Paveway IV were conducted at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake and over Edwards Air Force Base’s Precision Impact Range Area.

The first test was a laser-mode employment of the guided bomb against a tank on the ground and the second test included the bomb’s GPS/inertial navigation employment against a tank.

F-35 weapon integration engineer Collin O’Fallon said: “The two Paveway IV live-fires represent full end-to-end weapon-aircraft integration tests for these two significant use cases of this weapon's employment modes...


http://www.airforce-technology.com/news ... ii-5767423
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Unread post21 Mar 2017, 22:13

Thanks zerion!

Your article seems to prove that the Block 3F F-35 supports dual mode weapons (Laser/GPS). :D
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post22 Mar 2017, 01:35

It's not that simple.

While the PavewayIV is supported, an LJDAM or Enhanced Paveway2 is not.
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Unread post22 Mar 2017, 14:00

SpudmanWP wrote:It's not that simple.

While the PavewayIV is supported, an LJDAM or Enhanced Paveway2 is not.


The point is that Block 3F supports dual mode (Laser/GPS) weapons and the article above proves that.

While the article doesn't say or prove with 100% certainty that for example a GBU-49 can be employed in both modes (Laser or GPS) with Block 3F, I would say that the probabilities are in favour (higher than 50%) of the GBU-49 being able to use both modes in Block 3F than otherwise.
Besides Paveway IV and GBU-49 are made by the basically same manufacturer - Raytheon. Well Paveway IV is made by the UK subsidiary of Raytheon, or Raytheon UK. Anyway, I think it's safe to assume that there's a very good degree of commonality between GBU-49 and Paveway IV (specially electronics/software wise), which is probably a (or the) reason that the GBU-49 was chosen to be integrated on Block 3F F-35s (apparently in favour of LJDAM).
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post23 Mar 2017, 07:45

That's not the way weapons work now.

While the F-35 at Block 2B/3i can individually support both LGB & JDAM and can support the combo in 3F (Paveway IV), it has to know specifically how to treat each weapon and the modes available therein. Just because a PavewayIV works at 3F does not mean an Enhanced Paveway2 or LJDAM will work at 3F.

Think of it as a print driver for Windows. Just because you can support an HP Color bubblejet does not mean you can support an Epson bubblejet till you get the specific drivers.

When you plug an LJDAM into a Block 3F, the plane says WTF is that? The Mfg may have fallback modes (like Raytheon has for EPav2) which will allow for legacy modes to be supported, but the Block has to be updated with the full weapon specs in order for it to be able to use them.
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Unread post23 Mar 2017, 14:06

Yes, but since the GBU-49 will be integrated into Block 3F aircraft (not sure about LJDAM) - as part of the fast ground moving target requirement (for Block 3F) - this means that the aircraft will recognise the bomb (GBU-49) and act accordingly.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post23 Mar 2017, 18:03

ricnunes wrote:Yes, but since the GBU-49 will be integrated into Block 3F aircraft (not sure about LJDAM) - as part of the fast ground moving target requirement (for Block 3F) - this means that the aircraft will recognise the bomb (GBU-49) and act accordingly.


Everything I read continues to tell me this (the fast mover requirement) is a very minor tweak between 3F and 4. The JPO is basically saying that this "tweak" is not going to get into 3F. That line in the sand has been drawn. The weapons vendors should be able to provide an interim capability proposal, with minimal operational impact for the short term delivery of the capability if it`s needed before Block 4 arrives.

That the request exists at all means, "No, it`s not plug and play in 3F". All of the engineers? on this forum protesting to the contrary. Obviously it is (probably already) working in early Block 4 (which is why they don`t want to change the software map. Anything else puts both 3F and 4 unnecessarily at risk, even if ever so slightly) . Obviously they know the code and feel the weapon firmware tweak is "easy?" and low risk. The weapons vendors will provide an answer, and it will probably never be used in combat operations before Block 4 is on line ... But it might .. soo..

This conversation is a lot of discussion about what should be just a few bytes of code that all the real programmers already know what the change is. It (the fast mover requirement) is just when and where do they put it.

MHO anyway,
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Unread post23 Mar 2017, 20:23

I could be wrong but from everything I've seen and read it looks like the GBU-49 and the Paveway IV are essentially the same weapon with both being based on a Paveway kit added to a Mk-82 500lb bomb and having the same Laser and GPS seeker.
The difference seems to be that the Paveway IV is the UK name for the bomb kit and built in the UK while GBU-49 is the US name for the bomb kit and is built in the USA.
There could be some very minor differences in the control fins and even on the bomb+kit mass between Paveway IV and GBU-49 but internally in terms of seekers/electronics/software they seem to be the exact same thing.

If I'm correct above, there shouldn't be a problem for a Block 3F F-35 to use the GBU-49's dual Laser/GPS mode since this weapon would be recognised as a Paveway IV, no?
And perhaps this is the reason why apparently the GBU-49 was chosen over the LJDAM for this Block 3F fast moving ground target requirement?
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post24 Mar 2017, 08:26

ricnunes wrote:Yes, but since the GBU-49 will be integrated into Block 3F aircraft (not sure about LJDAM) - as part of the fast ground moving target requirement (for Block 3F) - this means that the aircraft will recognise the bomb (GBU-49) and act accordingly.


Nope.

The RFI was clear, no change to Block 3F will be done to meet the 70mph need. The GBU-49 will "emulate" a stock PavewayII in that only it's LGB functions will be visible to the F-35 (The F-35 will literally think it's a PavewayII). However, internal to the GBU-49 is the ability to compensate for fast-moving targets above what EOTS (or most other LTPs) can do.
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Unread post24 Mar 2017, 20:18

SpudmanWP wrote:
Nope.

The RFI was clear, no change to Block 3F will be done to meet the 70mph need. The GBU-49 will "emulate" a stock PavewayII in that only it's LGB functions will be visible to the F-35 (The F-35 will literally think it's a PavewayII). However, internal to the GBU-49 is the ability to compensate for fast-moving targets above what EOTS (or most other LTPs) can do.


Paveway IV already has 70mph speed requirement, right?
Paveway IV is part of the Block 3F weapons.

So why doesn't the GBU-49 "emulate" a Paveway IV instead (of the GBU-12)?
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post25 Mar 2017, 02:07

Remember that the PavewayIV that is part of 3F is the version that existed well before 3F dev started. I doubt it had integral 70mph capability.

The reason why the ePav2 does not emulate the Pav4 is that they are different companies. There may be some ITAR reason why they cannot share info in much the same way that BAE UK cannot get info from BAE US (especially the EW unit that makes the ESM for F-22/35).
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Unread post25 Mar 2017, 17:33

SpudmanWP wrote:Remember that the PavewayIV that is part of 3F is the version that existed well before 3F dev started. I doubt it had integral 70mph capability.

The reason why the ePav2 does not emulate the Pav4 is that they are different companies. There may be some ITAR reason why they cannot share info in much the same way that BAE UK cannot get info from BAE US (especially the EW unit that makes the ESM for F-22/35).


I don't think that's the case. If you look at Raytheon's official Enhanced PavewayII Dual Mode GPS/Laser Guided Bombs brochure which you can download here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwK-B4 ... sp=sharing

You can read on the second page that both the GBU-49 (called EGBU-12 on the brochure) and Paveway IV use the exact same guidance system, the MAU-169.
Looking at a screenshot from part of the same page below, it seems that the only differences between the GBU-49 and Paveway IV is the warhead (Mk-82 for GBU-49 and Mk-82E for Paveway IV) and the Airfoils (MXU-650/B for GBU-49 and a modified variant of MXU-650/B for Paveway IV):

Image
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Unread post26 Mar 2017, 06:33

The only other thing I can think of is that PavewayIV is only on the F-35B for Block3F and not the F-35A.

That's that this graphic seems to indicate.

Page 4-6
http://www.gunnies.com.au/docs/F-35_weapons_roadmap.pdf

It seems that when the F-35s will share weapons eventually, early blocks will not (ie F-35C only having JSOW at 3F, UK only using ASRAAM/Pv4, etc).
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Unread post26 Mar 2017, 08:37

ricnunes wrote:Looking at a screenshot from part of the same page below, it seems that the only differences between the GBU-49 and Paveway IV is the warhead (Mk-82 for GBU-49 and Mk-82E for Paveway IV) and the Airfoils (MXU-650/B for GBU-49 and a modified variant of MXU-650/B for Paveway IV):


GBU-49 and Paveway IV have different mass and aerodynamic properties which is why there
had to be a separate store integration campaign on the F-35B for the Paveway IV a lot of which
was building up the release envelopes. It's the same reason why LJDAM and LSDB probably
won't be considered for Block 3F since they are aero/mass wise distinct from the non-laser versions.

The acoustic properties of the F-35B weapons bay are also distinct from the A and B.

GBU-49 is sufficiently similar aero and mass wise to the Paveway II (which has been dropped from the A, B & C)
to allow them to abbreviate most of the stores integration effort (which would require heavy use of Block 3F test aircraft)
and just focus on weapons employment.
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