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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: