JSF ITF: Year in Review [Dual-Capable Aircraft]

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

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Unread post09 Jan 2020, 00:45

JSF ITF: Year in Review [Dual-Capable Aircraft - multi-ship Infrared Search and Track - large rocket observation]
06 Jan 2020 Lt. Col. James Valpiani & Wade Cross, 412th Test Wing

"...Over the past year we have tested 11 unique F-35 software suites and fielded two. Through those efforts, we have laid the foundation for increased F-35 lethality and survivability with functions like multi-ship Infrared Search and Track. We have advanced strategic capabilities like Dual-Capable Aircraft and large rocket observation missions. We have expanded the flight envelope for KC-46 air-to-air refueling, enabling extended missions with America’s most advanced tanker. And we have done all these things by constructing a partnership of Joint, Operational and Developmental Test units around the nation. The Integrated Test Team that we envisioned and lead has become the standard for fighter test everywhere, producing strategically relevant capabilities at a four-fold rate compared to legacy fighters....

...This year, our team completed testing of the Auto-Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS) and fielded it to F-35s around the world. In doing so, the Integrated Test Force has provided warfighters with protection against the number one cause of death in fighter aviation – controlled flight into terrain. [USAF Generals remember this factoid when commenting about the fatal Japanese F-35A crash into the sea please] As the P-38’s difficulties with high speed dives illustrate, AGCAS affects both the survivability and the lethality of fighter platforms, making the F-35 safer to fly at the same time that it inspires pilots’ confidence in their ability to press the F-35 to its design limits. Thanks to the dedication and ingenuity of our extraordinary team, F-35 warfighters will forevermore be able to accomplish their missions and come safely home without fear of inadvertently impacting the ground. In recognition of having “successfully completed a rapid design, integration, and flight test of critical, lifesaving technology for the worldwide F-35 fleet,” the Integrated Test Force joined the larger AGCAS team in winning the Robert J. Collier Trophy this year...."

Photo: "A formation flight of F-35 Lightning IIs over Edwards Air Force Base, California. The 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron recently completed its initial operational test and evaluation mission and six F-35s were reassigned to the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Included in the formation are two F-35As, two F-35Bs, and one F-35C. (Photo courtesy of Darin Russell, Lockheed Martin)" https://media.defense.gov/2019/Oct/30/2 ... 9-1002.JPG (3.7Mb) & Uncropped Thumbnail: https://media.defense.gov/2019/Oct/30/2 ... 9-1002.JPG


Source: https://www.edwards.af.mil/News/Article ... in-review/
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Unread post09 Jan 2020, 05:17

We have advanced strategic capabilities like Dual-Capable Aircraft


Given that they are supposed to perform a B61-12 separation test this year, maybe they've done a captive carry.
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Unread post23 Jun 2020, 08:54

Here Are The First Photos Of The F-35A Jets Dropping Inert B61-12 Nuclear Bombs During DCA Tests
22 Jun 2020 David Cenciotti

"...It is not a secret that the F-35A, the CTOL (Convetional Take Off and Landing) variant of the Lightning II aircraft, will be dual capable aircraft (DCA), meaning that it will have the ability to deliver nuclear ordnance as well as conventional weapons. Such dual capability is expected to be included in the Block 4 software release, with initial capability for the B61-12 weapon. Although the F-35A DCA is scheduled to achieve nuclear certification in January, 2023, testing at the 461st FLTS, the test squadron that oversees developmental testing of all variants of the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II at Edwards Air Force Base, California, has started in 2019.

Images just released by the F-35 Joint Program Office (the Department of Defense’s agency responsible for developing and acquiring the F-35A/B/C) show various drop tests of inert nuclear bombs between 2019 and 2020.

The photos distributed to the DVIDS distribution service provide additional details about the dates when the tests were carried out: the first separation test with AF-1 flown by Jason Shulze was conducted on Jun. 27, 2019; sixth separation test with AF-1 (pilot unspecified) was carried out on Nov. 7, 2019; first separation test from AF-6 flown by Major Chris ‘Beast’ Taylor was conducted on Nov. 25, 2019. Separation test #6 with AF-1 was carried out with F-35 AF-01 flown by Major Rachael “Banshee” Winiecki on Feb. 6, 2020. A more recent test with AF-6 was carried out on Apr. 2, 2020 (no additional detail can be gathered about this test)....

...As already explained in a previous article:
“the B61-12 represent the latest LEP (Life-Extention Program) upgrade to the B61 line of nuclear weapons that has already been extensively tested with the F-15E Strike Eagles of the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, back in 2015.

The Life Extension Program or LEP, will replace the B61 -3, -4, -7, and -10 mods, with the -12 that, along with the B83, will become the only remaining gravity delivered nukes in the inventory.

“The B61-12 gravity bomb ensures the current capability for the air-delivered leg of the U.S. strategic nuclear triad well into the future for both bombers and dual-capable aircraft supporting NATO,” said Paul Waugh, AFNWC’s Air-Delivered Capabilities director in a U.S. Air Force release dated Apr. 13 (more or less when the world learned about the first use of the famous MOAB in Afghanistan). The B61-12 will be compatible with the B-2A, B-21, F-15E, F-16C/D, F-16 MLU, F-35 and PA-200 aircraft.

The LEP increases the B61’s accuracy so much that it will have the same capability against hardened targets as the much more powerful weapons it is replacing.”..."


With the integration of the B61-12, the “iconic nuclear fighter role, performed in the past by the F-15E and F-16, is being passed to the F-35A to play a future role in national security.” Other partner nations are slated to transfer the NATO nuclear role to the F-35A in the future."

Source: https://theaviationist.com/2020/06/22/h ... dca-tests/

DVIDS PHOTOS: https://www.dvidshub.net/image/6248234/ ... paration-6
AF-1 DCA Safe Separation #6 [Image 3 of 11] "CA, UNITED STATES 11.07.2019 Courtesy Photo F-35 Joint Program Office
An F-35A releases ordnance during a dual capable aircraft (DCA) test flight in the skies above Edwards Air Force Base, California. The development and testing of equipment for F-35A nuclear capability is known as making an aircraft "dual-capable," or being able to deliver both conventional and nuclear weapons. The iconic nuclear fighter role, performed in the past by the F-15E and F-16, is being passed to the F-35A to play a future role in national security. The F-35 is the premier multi-mission, 5th generation weapon system. Its ability to collect, analyze and share data is a force multiplier that enhances all assets in the battle-space: with stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35 is the most lethal, survivable, and interoperable fighter aircraft ever built."
&
https://www.dvidshub.net/download/image/6248234 (JPG 0.5Mb)
&
https://www.dvidshub.net/download/image/6248241 (JPG 183Kb)
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Unread post23 Jun 2020, 09:16

If, Germany doesn't want to acquire the F-35A. Then maybe it's time to give the Nuclear Strike Role to another member of NATO. Maybe even Poland.......
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Unread post24 Jun 2020, 05:23

Thanks, Spaz. Looks like those photos got yanked from dvidshub (it's still in Google's cache though).

They were much further along than I had guessed.
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Unread post24 Jun 2020, 05:37

The two photos above have been modified then attached by me. The links are to download the original photo from DVIDS. One has to register with DVIDS I guess -which is free- to download any original photos. Aviationist has some of the photos.
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Unread post24 Jun 2020, 19:55

spazsinbad wrote:The two photos above have been modified then attached by me. The links are to download the original photo from DVIDS. One has to register with DVIDS I guess -which is free- to download any original photos. Aviationist has some of the photos.


The links were working for all of the photos the other day. Now they are broken either with page not found or you
have to log in. I can't find the photos with DVIDS search either.
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Unread post24 Jun 2020, 21:42

Yes sometimes DVIDS doesn't make it easy to find stuff. I think I used the term 'nuclear' eventually to find them. I'll check.

Yes ALWAYS one has to be logged in to DVIDS to do anything there and one has to LOG IN at every visit <sigh> but having trouble finding the group of photos again but I'll keep going.... The two JPGs can be downloaded when logged in though.

I've given up looking for the photo group under discussion. DVIDS is certainly weird with a very weird search engine. P'raps if one searches the U.S. DoD/F-35 Joint Program Office website where ever that is then more photies may be found?
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Unread post25 Jun 2020, 04:58

F-35A Primed for Nuclear Mission with New-generation Bomb
24 Jun 2020 David Donald

"A series of photographs released by the F-35 Joint Program Office on June 22 show that the U.S. Air Force’s Lockheed Martin F-35A has been undergoing Dual Capable Aircraft (DCA) tests. DCA refers to the ability to deliver both conventional and nuclear weaponry. In the nuclear case that involves the new B61-12 weapon that is currently in the early stages of production. The F-35A is expected to introduce its DCA capability in early 2023 with the Block 4 software upgrade.

The released imagery shows a number of separation tests being undertaken in 2019/20 by the trials aircraft AF-1 and an aircraft from the 461st Flight Test Squadron, part of Air Force Materiel Command’s 412th Operations Group at Edwards AFB.... [more about B61 series]

...Marking a major departure from earlier versions of the B61, the Mod 12 introduces a GPS guidance capability. Whereas the B61-0 to B61-10 versions were equipped with a retarding parachute in the tail section, the B61-12 has a Boeing tailkit that functions in a similar fashion to that used by the conventional Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bomb that is in widespread service. Alternatively, the weapon can still be delivered in an unguided drop. On initial reflection, the idea of a guided nuclear weapon may seem somewhat unnecessary, but by ensuring more precise targeting the bomb’s yield can be set at a lower value to achieve the desired objective. It is understood that Mod 12 has four programmable yield settings between 0.3 and 50 kilotons.

The B61-12 is intended to replace all current versions of the B61 and recycles the warhead taken from the B61-4, combined with new safety systems and the tail guidance assembly. Development has been undertaken by LANL and Sandia National Laboratories, the latter also overseeing developmental and system verification tests at its Tonopah Test Range site in Nevada....

...In addition to being cleared for the U.S. Air Force’s F-15E, F-16C, F-35A, and B-2A, the B61-12 is expected to arm the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider and possibly the Panavia Tornados of Germany and Italy, some of which can be armed with B61s owned by the U.S. as part of the NATO nuclear weapons sharing program. Germany has selected the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet to continue this role in the future."

Photo: "A 461st FLTS F-35A releases an inert B61-12 in a test on November 25, 2019. (Photo: U.S. DoD/F-35 Joint Program Office)" https://www.ainonline.com/sites/ainonli ... 6/f-35.jpg


Source: https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... ation-bomb
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Unread post25 Jun 2020, 15:03

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Unread post25 Jun 2020, 21:13

If one goes to the recent post about nuke bombs at AVIATIONIST as posted by me then images seen with explanation but not ALL images as seen in a group at DVIDS if that group can be found. They are very similar anyway often at a distance.
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Unread post26 Jun 2020, 14:03

We should have just used the Israeli F-35 modifications to make it nuclear capable, LOL. You know that was probably priority #1 when they got it. Imagine, a darn near invisible fighter able to penetrate your airspace and drop a nuke on any one of your cities/military facilities. Virtually no chance of knowing anything's amiss, until the mushroom cloud is sighted.

Only politics explains Germany's decision NOT to buy the F-35 for this (and other) roles. Wouldn't want to be them, in the event of another DS. As part of coalition airpower, they're either going to get slaughtered first day of war or be forced to sit it out. At least until such time as all IADS/SAM threats are defeated..
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Unread post29 Jun 2020, 00:18

mixelflick wrote:be forced to sit it out

All according to plan...
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Unread post29 Jun 2020, 07:04

mixelflick wrote:We should have just used the Israeli F-35 modifications to make it nuclear capable, LOL. You know that was probably priority #1 when they got it. Imagine, a darn near invisible fighter able to penetrate your airspace and drop a nuke on any one of your cities/military facilities. Virtually no chance of knowing anything's amiss, until the mushroom cloud is sighted.

Only politics explains Germany's decision NOT to buy the F-35 for this (and other) roles. Wouldn't want to be them, in the event of another DS. As part of coalition airpower, they're either going to get slaughtered first day of war or be forced to sit it out. At least until such time as all IADS/SAM threats are defeated..



Trump and Merkel don't get along it's just that simple......Not like the Defense of Germany and NATO really matter. Merkel would rather just stick it to Trump. Which, is why in turn Trump will now move out US Troops and Aircraft. :shock:

Honestly, politics makes me sick!
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Unread post29 Jun 2020, 10:11

Recent events is all Trump. The longer term German outlook is not really Merkel-specific.

edit: German apathy in military matters is predictable, but Trump isn't.
They are also big enough that the internal politics matter. Canada's fighter acquisition is still the weirdest, because they haven't got a good industrial political reason (compared to Germany and also the Canadian Naval building interests).
Last edited by magitsu on 29 Jun 2020, 10:17, edited 2 times in total.
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