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Lockheed develops rack to make F-35A/C a six-shooter

Unread postPosted: 01 May 2019, 23:01
by spazsinbad
Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter
01 May 2019 SEApower

"ARLINGTON, Va. — The builder of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter has designed a new weapons rack to enable the aircraft to carry two more missiles internally.

The new rack, called Sidekick, enables each of the two weapons bays of the Air Force F-35A and Navy carrier-capable F-35C to carry three AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) instead of the current two, for a total of six internally carried AMRAAMs.

Speaking May 1 to reporters at a Lockheed Martin media briefing, a company F-35 test pilot, Tony ‘Brick’ Wilson, said the rack was developed entirely with company internal research and development funds. “The extra missiles add a little weight but are not adding extra drag.”

The rack is not compatible with the vertical lift Marine Corps F-35B version, which has smaller weapons bay.

The F-35 can carry more AMRAAMs on external pylons, but Wilson pointed out that carrying two more internally preserves the stealth characteristics of the F-35. “The extra missiles add a little weight but are not adding extra drag,” Wilson said.

Wilson also said the company is working on integrating hypersonic weapons capability on the F-35.

He also said the company, working with the Air Force Research Lab, has developed and installed on the F-35A — six years ahead of schedule — the Auto Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS). The AGCAS has “saved eight pilots’ lives,” Wilson said. He said the AGCAS will be installed later on the F-35B and on the F-35C in 2021."

Source: https://seapowermagazine.org/lockheed-d ... x-shooter/

Re: Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

Unread postPosted: 02 May 2019, 01:40
by crosshairs
Would be good if compatible with Meteor.

Re: Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

Unread postPosted: 02 May 2019, 01:41
by Corsair1963
GREAT NEWS and can't wait for further details.................. :D

Re: Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

Unread postPosted: 02 May 2019, 01:43
by Corsair1963
crosshairs wrote:Would be good if compatible with Meteor.



Why wouldn't it??? As the Meteor will be integrated on at least some F-35's and it is similar in size and weight to the Amraam.

Re: Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

Unread postPosted: 02 May 2019, 01:45
by Corsair1963
So, does this mean the F-35A/C could carry 12 Cuda Type Air to Air Missiles internally also???

Re: Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

Unread postPosted: 02 May 2019, 02:52
by popcorn
Many moons ago LM Skunk Works announced that integrating 6 X Slammers wasn't a problem.

Re: Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

Unread postPosted: 02 May 2019, 02:52
by eloise
Corsair1963 wrote:Why wouldn't it??? As the Meteor will be integrated on at least some F-35's and it is similar in size and weight to the Amraam.

Meteor without clipped fin is slightly bigger than AIM-120
Image

Re: Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

Unread postPosted: 02 May 2019, 02:59
by spazsinbad
https://defense-update.com/wp-content/u ... 96x489.jpg To show this JPG here NOT ONLY is the image URL required (as seen before this text) but IT MUST BE ENCLOSED by IMG tags thusly: some websites DO NOT ALLOW this HOT linking however it works as shown for THIS website. Always BEST to attach the JPG to the post.

[img]https://defense-update.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Meteor-JSF_580-696x489.jpg[/img (then close bracket)

Image

Re: Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

Unread postPosted: 02 May 2019, 03:11
by Corsair1963
popcorn wrote:Many moons ago LM Skunk Works announced that integrating 6 X Slammers wasn't a problem.




Sure but still nice to know it actually has happen.... :mrgreen:

Re: Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

Unread postPosted: 02 May 2019, 09:57
by old_rn
Given the performance of the APG-81and the range of AMRAAM (never mind Meteor) doesn't this make the F35A/C a "14 shooter", with two AIM9X just for luck? Even in this configuration the F35 would detect its targets and shoot well before it was detected itself in a head on approach. The idea that 4th gen aircraft (F15 and F18) have value as a missile truck in support of F35s only works if the 4th gen a/c are much cheaper. If you really want a cheap "missile truck" the logic would be a converted airliner?

Re: Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

Unread postPosted: 02 May 2019, 10:28
by Corsair1963
old_rn wrote:Given the performance of the APG-81and the range of AMRAAM (never mind Meteor) doesn't this make the F35A/C a "14 shooter", with two AIM9X just for luck? Even in this configuration the F35 would detect its targets and shoot well before it was detected itself in a head on approach. The idea that 4th gen aircraft (F15 and F18) have value as a missile truck in support of F35s only works if the 4th gen a/c are much cheaper. If you really want a cheap "missile truck" the logic would be a converted airliner?



The simple fact is you can't make a case for the F-15EX based on merit. As the numbers just don't support it. :shock:

Re: Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

Unread postPosted: 02 May 2019, 10:33
by optimist
crosshairs wrote:Would be good if compatible with Meteor.

I think MBDA through the UK, is paying for Meteor to fit and test the existing 5 and 7 stations on the F-35B. I wouldn't be sure of the Meteor fitting the 2 on the 4 and 8 station until you see someone funding it. The same with the F-35A

MBDA is making a play to Australia
https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/strik ... -platforms
"The UK has been working with Australia for some time on the F-35 and we have seen success between Canada, Aus and the UK on the reprogramming facility in the US, which can be expanded to include weapons systems.........
....METEOR represents the next-generation of air-to-air missiles, focusing on an active seeker, a two-way data link and the heart of the step change, a change in the propulsion, from a solid rocket to a ramjet engine. The ramjet technology METEOR is able to redefine the ‘no escape’ zone of an air-to-air missile, increasing previous ‘no escape’ zones by a factor of three at least. METEOR from a joint UK/Australian perspective is available on the F-35B and the F-35A and is a truly fifth-generation weapon for a fifth-generation platform," Martin added.

Re: Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

Unread postPosted: 02 May 2019, 11:59
by mixelflick
crosshairs wrote:Would be good if compatible with Meteor.


Meteor would be a nice bridge to whatever hypersonic missile they're working on. AMRAAM's are really showing their age, even the 120D IMO...

WRT this 6 AMRAAM internal loadout, my next question for LM/USAF would be... when?

Re: Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

Unread postPosted: 02 May 2019, 12:49
by spazsinbad
Lockheed ‘Sidekick’ Will Raise F-35 Missile Capacity
01 May 2019 Steve Trimble

"...“What we’ve done is essentially completed trade studies, design and development” of Sidekick, a Lockheed spokesman added. “What is left to be fielded would be things like software integration, weapons separation testing, flight testing and airworthiness testing.”

Lockheed hasn’t released details of the design of the Sidekick mechanism. The F-35A and F-35C are equipped with two internal bays, with each carrying two AIM-120s or a single AIM-120 and a large bomb such as a 2,000-lb. GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). The lift fan aboard the F-35B limits each internal bay to carrying either two AIM-120s or one missile and a 1,000-lb. JDAM.

It’s possible the Sidekick replaces the AIM-120 launch adapter in the high section of the internal bay with a mechanism that can store two of the Raytheon-built, radar-guided missiles in the same space as one now.

The idea of equipping the F-35A and F-35C with a six-missile load-out in the weapons bay has been around for over a decade. Until Wilson’s comments during a scheduled media briefing, Lockheed hadn’t discussed the idea publicly in several years.

“Lockheed Martin has gone out on its own and developed this capability,” Wilson said. “And now we’ve let the [joint program office] know that it’s out there. It will be over to [business development] and other people to decide how and when it gets implemented. Lockheed Martin stands ready to help the customer implement it when they want it.”..."

Source: https://aviationweek.com/defense/lockhe ... e-capacity

Re: Lockheed Develops Rack to Make F-35A/C a Six-Shooter

Unread postPosted: 02 May 2019, 14:49
by lamoey
old_rn wrote:The idea that 4th gen aircraft (F15 and F18) have value as a missile truck in support of F35s only works if the 4th gen a/c are much cheaper. If you really want a cheap "missile truck" the logic would be a converted airliner?


Unless the missile truck can offer missiles of much longer range than the enemy, it is unlikely to survive a mission, sinse it will be very visible on all enemy radar screens. As they say at the ground artillary:
If the enemy is within range, so are you.