F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 01:19
by Corsair1963
Navy Taps Lockheed to Develop F-35 Fuselage Structure Modifications


Jeff Brody

Lockheed Martin has secured a three-year, $34.7M undefinitized contract from the U.S. Navy to create an engineering change proposal for F-35 fighter jets that will allow the aircraft to carry heavy weaponry.

According to a Department of Defense notice posted Thursday, Lockheed’s engineering modifications will allow transport of heavy weaponry through the production of structurally enhanced bulkheads within the fuselages of F-35A and F-35C combat aircraft.

The Naval Air Systems Command will obligate at the time of award $10M in fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds from the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps as well as non-DoD entities.

Work under the cost-plus-incentive-fee award is expected to take place in Fort Worth, Texas through July 2022.


https://blog.executivebiz.com/2019/07/n ... fications/

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... apons.html

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 03:05
by eloise
anyone want to guess what weapon is so back heavy that they have to modify the fuselage :?

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 03:16
by steve2267
eloise wrote:anyone want to guess what weapon is so back heavy that they have to modify the fuselage :?


I will guess:
  1. Hypersonic strike weapon
  2. Son of MOAB
  3. ABM missile

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 03:21
by spazsinbad
Although the contract says fuselage it may also encompass wings so my guess is this:
New Lockheed Concept Shows Navy F-35C Armed With Hypersonic Cruise Missiles
06 May 2019 Joseph Trevithick

"...The artist's conception of an F-35C firing a HAWC derivative first appeared at the Navy League's annual Sea, Air, Space convention just outside of Washington, D.C., on May 6, 2019. The rendering shows the stealth aircraft configured to carry two of these weapons externally, one under each wing. In April 2018, the U.S. Air Force, working together with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), awarded Lockheed Martin a contract worth approximately $928 million for the development of HAWC...."

Source: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... e-missiles

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 04:08
by Corsair1963
Maybe larger versions of an existing weapon. Like a 3,000 - 4,000 lbs JDAM....(for example) :|

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 04:26
by steve2267
Corsair1963 wrote:Maybe larger versions of an existing weapon. Like a 3,000 - 4,000 lbs JDAM....(for example) :|


Kind of like a Son of MOAB?

There was that rocket powered bomb designed to have the kinetic impact of a 5,000lb GBU-28. Maybe that sucker has turned out to be significantly heavier than a Mk84. That would be in line with your 3-4,000 lb JDAM, sort of.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 04:47
by eloise
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $34,670,000 undefinitized cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to develop and deliver an engineering change proposal to enable the production cut-in of the Fuselage Station 425 Bulkhead structural modification required for F-35A and F-35C to allow full-envelope internal carriage of aft heavy weaponry.

does that mean current heavy weapon can't be carried in full envelope?

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 04:53
by kimjongnumbaun
eloise wrote:
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $34,670,000 undefinitized cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to develop and deliver an engineering change proposal to enable the production cut-in of the Fuselage Station 425 Bulkhead structural modification required for F-35A and F-35C to allow full-envelope internal carriage of aft heavy weaponry.

does that mean current heavy weapon can't be carried in full envelope?


The F-35 was designed to carry 2000lb class weapons internally. If they want something bigger it means they are looking to strike at heavily fortified positions, like C2 nodes. That will require bigger bombs with more heft.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 05:39
by hythelday
eloise wrote:
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $34,670,000 undefinitized cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to develop and deliver an engineering change proposal to enable the production cut-in of the Fuselage Station 425 Bulkhead structural modification required for F-35A and F-35C to allow full-envelope internal carriage of aft heavy weaponry.

does that mean current heavy weapon can't be carried in full envelope?


They don't mention B variant bacause it has a smaller bay, meaning they are indeed looking to put heavier weapons inside the bay, just like the title of the post says.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 06:18
by Dragon029
hythelday wrote:
eloise wrote:
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $34,670,000 undefinitized cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to develop and deliver an engineering change proposal to enable the production cut-in of the Fuselage Station 425 Bulkhead structural modification required for F-35A and F-35C to allow full-envelope internal carriage of aft heavy weaponry.

does that mean current heavy weapon can't be carried in full envelope?


They don't mention B variant bacause it has a smaller bay, meaning they are indeed looking to put heavier weapons inside the bay, just like the title of the post says.


Not necessarily; the F-35B is the most weight-sensitive of the three variants and it already has a reduced payload capacity (1500lb vs 2500lb per internal bomb pylon and 1500lb vs 2500lb on the mid/outer-wing pylons), so they wanted to support (eg) 5000lb weapons internally, not only would they have to increase the dry mass of the jet, but they'd have to increase it even more than on the A & C variants. Key bulkheads in the F-35B are also aluminium vs titanium in the A/C, so there'd be further complications there as well (more aluminium mass / volume to produce the same strength).

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 06:30
by optimist
I think "full envelope" as was highlighted, is the most significant. I thought 2,000 full envelope was impressive.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 06:38
by spazsinbad
Do we ignore this info then? http://icaf2009.fyper.com/uploads/File/ ... Fallon.pdf (3.2Mb)

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 06:42
by spazsinbad

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 08:01
by Corsair1963
Maybe not heavier but another weapon option for the F-35.... :twisted:



U.S. Air Force to produce next-generation 2,000-lb. fragmentation bomb

on July 21, 2019

The U.S. Air Force is moving forward with the next-generation 2,000 lb.-class bombs called BLU-136, according to a Federal Business Opportunities notice.

In a notice posted on the Federal website this month, the Air Force Materiel Command announced that the service will issue a pre-solicitation notice/procurement synopsis for the BLU-136/B Next Generation Area Attack – production.

The Direct Attack Munitions Branch (AFLCMC/EBDA), Direct Attack Division (AFLCMC/EBD), Armament Directorate (AFLCMC/EB), Eglin AFB, FL, plans to award a multiple award Indefinite-Delivery Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract for the production of the BLU-136/B area attack warhead.










The Air Force expects to release a request for proposals by July 31 and intends to set-aside the multiple-award contract to small businesses. Interested parties may submit responses to the presolicitation notice through Aug. 2.

The U.S. Air Force is developing a new type of bombs as a replacement for cluster munitions, which are being phased out by the Pentagon.

Cluster munitions are a type of weapon that has been banned by 102 countries largely because of concerns that they armed and unexploded cluster munitions left on the battlefield pose a long-term hazard to civilians. A 2010 international treaty outlaws the use of cluster bombs, but the U.S. is not a signatory. Although, in practice, the U.S. rarely uses cluster bombs.

According to the current information, the BLU-136/B is a 2,000 lb.-class bomb designed to rain down metal fragments on enemy forces as a replacement for cluster munitions, without leaving behind unexploded ordnance. This weapon is four-times the size of the BLU-134/B Improved Lethality Warhead, which is now being put into production. The BLU-134 and BLU-136 are different designs.

https://www.shinflawerchannel.com/2019/ ... 0CJM3NKWD4

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 09:48
by spazsinbad
Noted the change per 'defAeroCom: "...production cut-in of the Fuselage Station 425 Bulkhead structural modification required for F-35A and F-35C to allow full-envelope internal carriage of aft heavy weaponry...." above & from PDF above:

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 10:08
by squirrelshoes
Corsair1963 wrote:According to the current information, the BLU-136/B is a 2,000 lb.-class bomb designed to rain down metal fragments on enemy forces as a replacement for cluster munitions, without leaving behind unexploded ordnance. This weapon is four-times the size of the BLU-134/B Improved Lethality Warhead, which is now being put into production. The BLU-134 and BLU-136 are different designs.
I wonder if they could make an SDB size version with a RF/MWR seeker? It would be a nice fit for F-35 in DEAD role.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 10:49
by taog
FS425 modification allows the F-35 Ac to carry "aft heavy" weaponry.

Not a heavier weapon.

Image

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 11:54
by steve2267
A booster stage for a hypersonic munition would put a lot of mass towards the rear of said munition.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 18:38
by marauder2048
steve2267 wrote:A booster stage for a hypersonic munition would put a lot of mass towards the rear of said munition.


I was thinking about boosted penetrator designs a la HVPW.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 20:52
by steve2267
marauder2048 wrote:
steve2267 wrote:A booster stage for a hypersonic munition would put a lot of mass towards the rear of said munition.


I was thinking about boosted penetrator designs a la HVPW.


Good call.

While it might be possible to create a hypersonic weapon that fits internally inside the F-35 weapons bay, the resulting fineness ratio would probably not be optimal.

Digging up some old links regarding the HVPW... am not sure how much additional mass is towards the rear compared to a Mk84. The HVPW still appears to have a lot of mass concentrated at the nose of the weapon (obviously, as it is designed for penetration.)

Here are some links:

F-16.net thread: Another Weapons for F-35 - HVPW

Meet America's New 'Bunker-Buster' Super Bomb @ National Interest (Oh, vey :roll: )

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 22:32
by kimjongnumbaun
squirrelshoes wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:According to the current information, the BLU-136/B is a 2,000 lb.-class bomb designed to rain down metal fragments on enemy forces as a replacement for cluster munitions, without leaving behind unexploded ordnance. This weapon is four-times the size of the BLU-134/B Improved Lethality Warhead, which is now being put into production. The BLU-134 and BLU-136 are different designs.
I wonder if they could make an SDB size version with a RF/MWR seeker? It would be a nice fit for F-35 in DEAD role.


SDB II has a RF seeker head so it already fills that role.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 23:32
by marauder2048
steve2267 wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:
steve2267 wrote:A booster stage for a hypersonic munition would put a lot of mass towards the rear of said munition.


I was thinking about boosted penetrator designs a la HVPW.


Digging up some old links regarding the HVPW... am not sure how much additional mass is towards the rear compared to a Mk84. The HVPW still appears to have a lot of mass concentrated at the nose of the weapon (obviously, as it is designed for penetration.)


Depends on the final configuration; a wrap-around booster motor (slide 17) rather than a tandem booster motor
might be preferable since you could get closer to the optimal penetrator L/D ratio given bay constraints.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 12:14
by taog
https://aviationweek.com/defense/f-35-m ... eapons-bay

https://twitter.com/TheDEWLine/status/1 ... 7231978499

According to Steve Trimble's report, a source close to program tells him this modification is aimed to make the AARGM-ER and SiAW can be carried internally by F-35 A/C. Also, this is a necessary modification to implement the Sidekick concept.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 16:16
by wrightwing
eloise wrote:
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $34,670,000 undefinitized cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to develop and deliver an engineering change proposal to enable the production cut-in of the Fuselage Station 425 Bulkhead structural modification required for F-35A and F-35C to allow full-envelope internal carriage of aft heavy weaponry.

does that mean current heavy weapon can't be carried in full envelope?

No. It means that they want to carry heavier weapons, with full envelope available. It already has full envelope with the current full internal payload weight. Heavier weapons would require modifications, though.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 16:20
by sferrin
wrightwing wrote:
eloise wrote:
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $34,670,000 undefinitized cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to develop and deliver an engineering change proposal to enable the production cut-in of the Fuselage Station 425 Bulkhead structural modification required for F-35A and F-35C to allow full-envelope internal carriage of aft heavy weaponry.

does that mean current heavy weapon can't be carried in full envelope?

No. It means that they want to carry heavier weapons, with full envelope available. It already has full envelope with the current full internal payload weight. Heavier weapons would require modifications, though.


Not heavier. Just different weight distribution. JDAMs/JSOWs are relatively nose-heavy. AARGM-ER has a more even weight distribution, meaning more weight towards the rear. That's what they're modifying for.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 17:39
by marauder2048
sferrin wrote:Not heavier. Just different weight distribution. JDAMs/JSOWs are relatively nose-heavy. AARGM-ER has a more even weight distribution, meaning more weight towards the rear. That's what they're modifying for.


JSOW-ER is likely to change that too.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 17:45
by sprstdlyscottsmn
sferrin wrote:Not heavier. Just different weight distribution. JDAMs/JSOWs are relatively nose-heavy. AARGM-ER has a more even weight distribution, meaning more weight towards the rear. That's what they're modifying for.

Internal carriage of AARGM-ER whose approach can be masked by the Barracuda sure sounds like a death knell for IADS hubs

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 19:05
by sferrin
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
sferrin wrote:Not heavier. Just different weight distribution. JDAMs/JSOWs are relatively nose-heavy. AARGM-ER has a more even weight distribution, meaning more weight towards the rear. That's what they're modifying for.

Internal carriage of AARGM-ER whose approach can be masked by the Barracuda sure sounds like a death knell for IADS hubs


Barracuda?

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 19:18
by sprstdlyscottsmn
The ECM suite of the F-35 which is stated to "create wormholes" through IADS radar networks that 4th gen strike aircraft can pass through. If it can do that they it should easily mask an AARGM-ER until it is too late.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 19:19
by aussiebloke
sferrin wrote:
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
Internal carriage of AARGM-ER whose approach can be masked by the Barracuda sure sounds like a death knell for IADS hubs


Barracuda?


AN/ASQ-239 Barracuda

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -f-448795/

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 21:42
by blain
I finally had a chance to watch John Venable's briefing of his latest report on the F-35A. Once tidbit that I haven't read about previously that he mentioned is that the F-35 is designed to fly as part of larger formations than a four ship. I would think that with stealth aircraft - like with the F-117s over Iraq - you could fly with less and distribute them over a larger area - looking for gaps in enemy air defenses. But what he says makes sense from a ISR and data fusion perspective.

Seamlessly integrating Navy, Marine, and AF F-35s on one network will allow the US to take down IADS much more effectively.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 21:45
by sprstdlyscottsmn
Yes, and a "formation" has tens of miles between elements. It is closer to what you imagined than it sounds.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 22:08
by spazsinbad
Examples of the 'formation four' concept (for the RAAF F-35 only - there are others) in the Oz sub-forum: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=23043&p=387285&hilit=formation#p387285 & viewtopic.php?f=58&t=23043&p=315303&hilit=formation#p315303
"...AVM Gordon [RAAF] said the F-35A was “easy to fly” but “training F-35A pilots is very different to training pilots in other fighters because of the nature of fifth-generation capabilities.”

A formation would be spread over tens of kilometres and “wingmen will be a tactical node providing sensors, weapons and manoeuvrability in direct support of the mission objectives. Flying is the easy bit. Making the right decisions in exploiting the information advantage is the hard part.”..." 02 Feb 2018 https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation ... 1998d58392

"......While F-111s used to fly two miles from each other, the RAAF's JSF fighting methodology would probably start with a three-ship formation flying tens of miles apart but operating in concert, exchanging and fusing data from each other over a much larger area of airspace.

"But the real power of this aircraft will be once you start utilising a four ship formation and integrating it as envisaged in Plan Jericho with other capabilities like Wedgetail, Poseidon, Triton, Growler, Super Hornet and the Air Warfare Destroyer." 13 Feb 2016 http://www.australiandefence.com.au/home/adm-editions

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 23:45
by steve2267
taog wrote:https://aviationweek.com/defense/f-35-mod-adds-new-missiles-weapons-bay

https://twitter.com/TheDEWLine/status/1 ... 7231978499

According to Steve Trimble's report, a source close to program tells him this modification is aimed to make the AARGM-ER and SiAW can be carried internally by F-35 A/C. Also, this is a necessary modification to implement the Sidekick concept.


Of note from Trimble's piece @ AvLeak... is that this 425 bulkhead mod is required to get to the internal sixpack of AIM-120s.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 25 Jul 2019, 07:32
by SpudmanWP
blain wrote:the F-35 is designed to fly as part of larger formations than a four ship.

MADL is designed to operate in a 25 node Network. Basically, 6 groups of 4 with a 25th node acting as a Gateway to the rest of the assets (ships, AWACS, OPs centers, 4th gen assets, etc).

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 25 Jul 2019, 18:00
by marauder2048
And there are many RF emitter geolocation techniques that require large separation between
the datalinked receiving elements (aircraft) and in some cases very different flight geometries.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 25 Jul 2019, 18:27
by sferrin
marauder2048 wrote:And there are many RF emitter geolocation techniques that require large separation between
the datalinked receiving elements (aircraft) and in some cases very different flight geometries.


The F-35 is going to be a MONSTROUS data sponge. In addition to all the RF, imagine networking the DAS for missile defense purposes.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 27 Jul 2019, 00:18
by blain
SpudmanWP wrote:
blain wrote:the F-35 is designed to fly as part of larger formations than a four ship.

MADL is designed to operate in a 25 node Network. Basically, 6 groups of 4 with a 25th node acting as a Gateway to the rest of the assets (ships, AWACS, OPs centers, 4th gen assets, etc).



What is the 25th node? BACN?

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 27 Jul 2019, 02:49
by SpudmanWP
It could be BACN, 5th-2-4th, ship-based, Freedom 550, or any other gateway that is connected to a MADL terminal.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 27 Jul 2019, 11:31
by madrat
More than likely you have 25 open spots then another 7 used for negotiation, error correction, and data integrity.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 27 Jul 2019, 23:20
by SpudmanWP
Where does 32 come from?

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 27 Jul 2019, 23:53
by madrat
The smallest subnet mask that allows for 25 is 4-bits / 32. They might be slick and use a subnet mask hidden in 64-bit naming space. The more you allow for junk time to confuse the encrypted traffic the better your security in the transmission, but with the trade of needing additional error correction. One of the 25 slots is probably the master and is the broadcast signal to keep the other 24 in synchronization.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 02:47
by SpudmanWP
There is no sync. It's a daisy-chain network.

25 is the number of nodes, terminals, F-35s, etc that part of the network.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 04:48
by madrat
I don't care how they interconnected, you still need signal control. You're confusing Daisy chain with token ring.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 05:27
by element1loop
sferrin wrote:The F-35 is going to be a MONSTROUS data sponge. In addition to all the RF, imagine networking the DAS for missile defense purposes.


Hey SF. By extension its predictive algos could be applied to a 'battlefield' to locate firing positions and intended targets of ballistic projectiles. Same for cruising-weapons which are now a part of missile-defense which process then can be applied to opposing glide-weapons. If learning-systems can also leverage the logged gathered data while flying, to locate a mobile shooter's point of origins, and the transit path it took before firing, and also to automatically locate where it fled to after it fired ...

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 29 Jul 2019, 01:23
by marauder2048
madrat wrote:The smallest subnet mask that allows for 25 is 4-bits / 32. They might be slick and use a subnet mask hidden in 64-bit naming space. The more you allow for junk time to confuse the encrypted traffic the better your security in the transmission, but with the trade of needing additional error correction. One of the 25 slots is probably the master and is the broadcast signal to keep the other 24 in synchronization.


MADL isn't IP-based nor packet routed so there isn't subnetting in a conventional sense.

25 nodes is about what a P2P, store-then-forward routing scheme can tolerate before the
latency exceeds what's needed for air-to-air tracks.

There is synchronization but directional networks devote a good deal of that to
pointing, acquisition and tracking in order to keep the beams aligned.

Re: F-35A/C to carry heavier weapons internally?

Unread postPosted: 29 Jul 2019, 04:54
by marauder2048
And NG has some ideas for future MADL development including weapons.