1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPGUN

Unread postPosted: 05 May 2017, 09:48
by spazsinbad
LM F-35 GM Weekly Update
27 Apr 2017 Jeff Babione

"Navy Completes TOPGUN Tactics Development
F-35Cs from VFA-101 and VX-9 Detachment Edwards recently deployed to NAS Fallon, in support of joint fourth-to-fifth and fifth-to-fifth generation tactics development with the Naval Air Warfighting Development Center. Eight F-35Cs, four F-22s, and Eight H12-equipped Super Hornets took part in the exercise against the latest simulated threat adversary platforms and weapons available.

The highly successful two-week event led by the Navy’s TOPGUN is the first of several to be held over the coming months to develop tactics, techniques and procedures specific to integration of the new F-35C into the Fleet. These detachments are of utmost importance in order to properly leverage the advantages the F-35C brings, while maximizing the effectiveness and increasing survivability of existing fourth generation platforms.

In other TOPGUN news, Mary Ruttum became the sixth female pilot to complete the elite TOPGUN training. Mary is also the first female Navy pilot to fly the F-35. Congratulations to Mary on her amazing accomplishments."

Source: https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... _27_17.pdf (1.1Mb)

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 05 May 2017, 14:24
by steve2267
What is "H-12"?

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 05 May 2017, 14:44
by ricnunes
steve2267 wrote:What is "H-12"?


According to the following page:

http://wiki.scramble.nl/index.php?title ... ldid=36314

H12 is a Software package for the Super Hornet (applicable to Block II onwards).

If I'm not mistaken H12 is more or less for the Super Hornet what for example Block 3F is for the F-35.
Of course the F-35's Software and specially its Software Architecture is far more advanced than anything one the Super Hornet but that's another story...

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2017, 14:47
by maus92
ricnunes wrote:[
Of course the F-35's Software and specially its Software Architecture is far more advanced than anything one the Super Hornet but that's another story...


Keep thinking that...

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2017, 15:56
by botsing
maus92 wrote:
ricnunes wrote:[
Of course the F-35's Software and specially its Software Architecture is far more advanced than anything one the Super Hornet but that's another story...


Keep thinking that...

Ah yes, and let's not forget the more advanced hardware for the Hornet:

Commercially available Garmin watches, equipped with altimeters and barometric sensors, that can be set to sound alarms when certain thresholds are reached...

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2017, 16:44
by neptune
maus92 wrote:
ricnunes wrote:[
Of course the F-35's Software and specially its Software Architecture is far more advanced than anything one the Super Hornet but that's another story...


Keep thinking that...


....what specifically is the difference in the sensor set (please list the sensors for each) between the F/A-18E and the F-35C in your opinion. What do you see as the difference in the application software of each (please be specific to at least the functions). We have exhaustively discussed on this blog the capabilities of the F-35 so a brief reference to each of those are acceptable.

Thanks in advance,
Neptune
:)

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2017, 17:51
by ricnunes
maus92 wrote:
ricnunes wrote:[
Of course the F-35's Software and specially its Software Architecture is far more advanced than anything one the Super Hornet but that's another story...


Keep thinking that...


Yes, I keep thinking that way and you know why?? Because it's a FACT!

And Yes, I do like to think about FACTS. Now as opposed, you think to pretend that your favourite jet (Super Hornet) is the best out there - But let me be the bearer of "bad news": You beloved Super Hornet is already outdated!

Also, if you think that for one instance that the Super Hornet software is more advanced or even just as advanced as the F-35's software than I must say that you are clueless about what Software is all about! By the way, Software is among my area of expertise.
If you want an evidence about how the F-35's software is more advanced (than the SH) we just need to look at some sensors that the F-35 carries and their functions/tasks - For example DAS performs at least 4 completely different tasks (IRST, Missile Approach Warning, Launch point detection and 360º degree all weather pilot vision) while EOTS performs at least 2 different tasks ("traditional" EO/FLIR sensor and IRST). While the Hardware may have some merit here (for the different tasks) the vast majority of the merit goes to the advanced Software package carried by the F-35 which can "filter" the information coming from a certain sensor and use it in many different ways.
How many sensors on the Super Hornet can perform such completely different tasks? NONE!
For example in order for the Super Hornet to have an IRST function it must mount an EXTRA sensor in this case an IRST sensor (with the "stupid solution" of being mounted in tip of a centerline mounted external fuel tank). If the Super Hornet's software was so advanced than it should be able to perform both EO/FLIR and IRST using ONE SENSOR ONLY, For example thru the FLIR pod, no??

Also it's not the first time that you make comments like this (which borders "trolling") without backing up your claims. If you want to make such claims, shouldn't you try at least to back them up?? :roll:


Now I end this post of mine by giving you a typical reply coming from yourself:

Keep dreaming like that...


EDIT: OH and I almost forgot! The Super Hornet's hardware and software combo/package are "so advanced" that the latest H-12 Super Hornet software can only be fitted to Block II Super Hornets onwards - Or resuming Block I Super Hornet cannot be fitted with such and latest software. :roll:
Now with the "less advanced" (according to yourself) F-35, ALL and EVERY F-35 can be fitted with the most advanced Software (Block 3F and beyond) - This even includes prototypes F-35s - How's that for the F-35 being "less advanced"?? :doh:

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2017, 19:55
by neurotech
ricnunes wrote:Keep dreaming like that...


EDIT: OH and I almost forgot! The Super Hornet's hardware and software combo/package are "so advanced" that the latest H-12 Super Hornet software can only be fitted to Block II Super Hornets onwards - Or resuming Block I Super Hornet cannot be fitted with such and latest software. :roll:
Now with the "less advanced" (according to yourself) F-35, ALL and EVERY F-35 can be fitted with the most advanced Software (Block 3F and beyond) - This even includes prototypes F-35s - How's that for the F-35 being "less advanced"?? :doh:

If we're talking "software architecture" I'm pretty sure the F-35 has the lead on that one. The F-35 uses software virtualization and isolation, to a larger extent than previous aircraft. As for mission software capability of the various jets, well that is a separate question.

I'll let you in one a secret about the Super Hornet. The avionics is as advanced as the budget allows. Part of the reason Block I doesn't have the updates (both hardware & software) is that the Block I jets are mainly used for training and test squadrons, and It's likely they won't have the fatigue life of the later Block II jets, without a more significant SLEP. It makes sense the Navy is prioritizing the hardware upgrades on jets that will be deployed into combat. The cost of the AMC-4 mission computer boards is less than $1m in hardware (about $400k as I recall) per aircraft.

During early Super Hornet testing at Pax. River, a couple of F/A-18Ds were upgraded with the Block I & later Block II avionics. Do fleet F/A-18Ds have latest AMC & APG-79 radar? Not to my knowledge, and it isn't a physical limitation of the airframe. It's a budget based decision.

Another secret, certain upgrades to the mission avionics to provide EW features on the Growlers (& optionally Super Hornets) are "far more advanced" than what is currently available on the F-35. This is mainly a software/test schedule/budget limit for the F-35.

No matter what airframe is involved, these days the software development and test program is schedule and budget constrained. The physical cockpit and mission avionics in a F/A-18E/F is relatively cheap. Getting software updates to the fleet is what can become expensive.

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2017, 22:04
by quicksilver
To assume knowledge of highly sophisticated and classified systems and capabilities based on publicly-releasable information is a very limited proposition on its face.

We can, however, infer from public statements by those who have flown both aircraft or who 'own' both of those aircraft in service, that one is in an entirely different league than the other -- and one has been in operation for 16ish years while the other is just an IOC jet. The SecDef directed review has done nothing to alter such an inference in spite of BAs best efforts to the contrary.

Personally, I think that speaks volumes.

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2017, 22:06
by ricnunes
neurotech wrote:I'll let you in one a secret about the Super Hornet. The avionics is as advanced as the budget allows. Part of the reason Block I doesn't have the updates (both hardware & software) is that the Block I jets are mainly used for training and test squadrons, and It's likely they won't have the fatigue life of the later Block II jets, without a more significant SLEP. It makes sense the Navy is prioritizing the hardware upgrades on jets that will be deployed into combat. The cost of the AMC-4 mission computer boards is less than $1m in hardware (about $400k as I recall) per aircraft.

During early Super Hornet testing at Pax. River, a couple of F/A-18Ds were upgraded with the Block I & later Block II avionics. Do fleet F/A-18Ds have latest AMC & APG-79 radar? Not to my knowledge, and it isn't a physical limitation of the airframe. It's a budget based decision.


I believe there is more to the reason why Block I Super Hornets aren't updated to Block II than budget and flight hours as you say. For example it's well known that Block I Super Hornets cannot be retrofitted with the APG-79 AESA radar (they can only use the APG-73). Actually one of the modifications of the Block II in comparison with Block I was the nose section which was completely redesigned to accommodate the APG-79. For this reason alone I'm pretty sure that the F/A-18D cannot be fitted with the APG-79 - Unless some "mini-version" of the APG-79 is developed (which requires a considerable budget for what would be likely a "minor gain").
Of course this is Hardware that we're talking about (Radar) but I wouldn't be surprised that Block II Super Hornet are equipped with newer computers in order to run newer versions of Software such as H12, this compared to Block I Super Hornets.

Nevertheless and whatever the reason it seems clear that Block I Super Hornets are incompatible with the newer Software version (again such as H12) which clearly means one thing: The Super Hornet Hardware/Software combo is far more limited than the one from the F-35. Again any F-35 can be equipped with any (and newer) version of the Software, the Super Hornet cannot. This is clearly an indication of a SUPERIOR F-35 Software and Hardware.



neurotech wrote:Another secret, certain upgrades to the mission avionics to provide EW features on the Growlers (& optionally Super Hornets) are "far more advanced" than what is currently available on the F-35. This is mainly a software/test schedule/budget limit for the F-35.

No matter what airframe is involved, these days the software development and test program is schedule and budget constrained. The physical cockpit and mission avionics in a F/A-18E/F is relatively cheap. Getting software updates to the fleet is what can become expensive.


The problem with this latest "secret" of yours is that the Growler is in fact a different aircraft, despite using the same basic airframe as the F/A-18F Super Hornet. For example the back seater avionics are completely different from those of the F/A-18F. The Growler is a specialized aircraft (Electronic Warfare) so saying that the Growler has features that are "more advanced" (however I disagree with the part "far") than the F-35 is like saying that an AWACS (like the E-3 Sentry) has "more advanced" features than the F-35 and in the end this is an "apples with oranges" comparison.

However mentioning the Growler or more precisely EW and the fact that the F-35 will be equipped (in the future - Block 4 if I'm not mistaken) with expanded EW capabilities that will rival with the Growler ones and this will be done almost thru Software updates alone is more than evidence that clearly shows how much more advanced the F-35 software is when compared with the Super Hornet and Growler Software.

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2017, 01:40
by SpudmanWP
maus92 wrote:
ricnunes wrote:[
Of course the F-35's Software and specially its Software Architecture is far more advanced than anything one the Super Hornet but that's another story...


Keep thinking that...


lol

F-35 has VMs, middleware, Fiber Optics connecting everything, fully fused avionics, etc.

Compared to what's on the F-18... (from the latesed IOT&E Report)
Although capability enhancements in SCS H10 resulted in incremental changes in the ability of the Super Hornet to complete missions, DOT&E did not expect this software release to add significant mission capability. The F/A-18E/F remains operationally effective in some threat environments and ineffective in particular air warfare environments noted in classified reports. Though SCS H10 has begun to address some of those long-standing deficiencies in air warfare, the Super Hornet requires further improvements. Software false alarms in SCS H10 impose a maintenance burden on unit personnel.

• SCS H10 testing showed improved AESA reliability, and while it demonstrated the highest reliability to date since introduction of the AESA in 2006, it fell short of its reliability requirement. Although the AESA provides improved performance compared to the legacy mechanically-steered radar, DOT&E has assessed the radar as not operationally suitable since the 2006 IOT&E because of poor software stability and BIT performance. Fault identification and isolation functionality have improved, but the AESA false alarm rate remains high. Additionally, the F/A-18 has demonstrated interoperability deficiencies with on- and off-board sensor inputs.

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2017, 02:23
by neurotech
ricnunes wrote:
neurotech wrote:I'll let you in one a secret about the Super Hornet. The avionics is as advanced as the budget allows. Part of the reason Block I doesn't have the updates (both hardware & software) is that the Block I jets are mainly used for training and test squadrons, and It's likely they won't have the fatigue life of the later Block II jets, without a more significant SLEP. It makes sense the Navy is prioritizing the hardware upgrades on jets that will be deployed into combat. The cost of the AMC-4 mission computer boards is less than $1m in hardware (about $400k as I recall) per aircraft.

During early Super Hornet testing at Pax. River, a couple of F/A-18Ds were upgraded with the Block I & later Block II avionics. Do fleet F/A-18Ds have latest AMC & APG-79 radar? Not to my knowledge, and it isn't a physical limitation of the airframe. It's a budget based decision.


I believe there is more to the reason why Block I Super Hornets aren't updated to Block II than budget and flight hours as you say. For example it's well known that Block I Super Hornets cannot be retrofitted with the APG-79 AESA radar (they can only use the APG-73). Actually one of the modifications of the Block II in comparison with Block I was the nose section which was completely redesigned to accommodate the APG-79. For this reason alone I'm pretty sure that the F/A-18D cannot be fitted with the APG-79 - Unless some "mini-version" of the APG-79 is developed (which requires a considerable budget for what would be likely a "minor gain").

For Block II testing in the F/A-18D, they did do something non-standard for the radar but I don't recall the details. I know the Raytheon were trying to adapt the AESA radar for multiple aircraft, including the F-16 (APG-84 RACR) & F-15 (APG-82). There is a difference between using a prototype to support a test program and production hardware. Also, The capability difference provided by the AESA radar upgrade is significant, even if the F/A-18D AESA dish size is reduced.

http://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/pr ... a18airdom/
Specifically designed for the Hornet upgrade market, Raytheon's APG-79(V)X AESA radar slips easily into the F/A-18 C/D nose cone. The simple, non-disruptive retrofit can be performed in the field and takes less than an hour to complete.


ricnunes wrote:Of course this is Hardware that we're talking about (Radar) but I wouldn't be surprised that Block II Super Hornet are equipped with newer computers in order to run newer versions of Software such as H12, this compared to Block I Super Hornets.

Type 2 AMC in the F/A-18C/D and LRIP Super Hornets. The Type 3 AMC came in later for Block I & early Block II. Later Lots have Type 4 AMC.

ricnunes wrote:Nevertheless and whatever the reason it seems clear that Block I Super Hornets are incompatible with the newer Software version (again such as H12) which clearly means one thing: The Super Hornet Hardware/Software combo is far more limited than the one from the F-35. Again any F-35 can be equipped with any (and newer) version of the Software, the Super Hornet cannot. This is clearly an indication of a SUPERIOR F-35 Software and Hardware.

Upgrading to Type 4 AMC hardware, which may be required for H12, is not a difficult upgrade.

Also, the F-35 ICP (Integrated Core Processor/Mission computer) hardware as been upgraded between LRIP lots, and will likely be upgraded as part of depot maintenance for earlier jets.


ricnunes wrote:
neurotech wrote:Another secret, certain upgrades to the mission avionics to provide EW features on the Growlers (& optionally Super Hornets) are "far more advanced" than what is currently available on the F-35. This is mainly a software/test schedule/budget limit for the F-35.

No matter what airframe is involved, these days the software development and test program is schedule and budget constrained. The physical cockpit and mission avionics in a F/A-18E/F is relatively cheap. Getting software updates to the fleet is what can become expensive.


The problem with this latest "secret" of yours is that the Growler is in fact a different aircraft, despite using the same basic airframe as the F/A-18F Super Hornet. For example the back seater avionics are completely different from those of the F/A-18F. The Growler is a specialized aircraft (Electronic Warfare) so saying that the Growler has features that are "more advanced" (however I disagree with the part "far") than the F-35 is like saying that an AWACS (like the E-3 Sentry) has "more advanced" features than the F-35 and in the end this is an "apples with oranges" comparison.

However mentioning the Growler or more precisely EW and the fact that the F-35 will be equipped (in the future - Block 4 if I'm not mistaken) with expanded EW capabilities that will rival with the Growler ones and this will be done almost thru Software updates alone is more than evidence that clearly shows how much more advanced the F-35 software is when compared with the Super Hornet and Growler Software.

The "Secret" part was me being humorous, as it's publicly known and in some cases the subject of a press release. I didn't go into specifics that are not publicly known.

The "H" in H12 refers to "High Level language" which is C++ just like the F-35.

The Growler has extra avionics boxes and wiring that most Super Hornets do not have. The RAAF ordered a couple of jets with the wiring added, but then changed their mind and ordered EA-18Gs new from the factory. Some Growler features can be back-fitted to the F/A-18F if the customer require limited ELINT capability. EA capability is provided by the ALQ-99 pods on the wings, which require the full Growler package to support.

The F-35 is not the first fighter jet to receive significant software updates throughout its service life, although it won't allways be a "software only" update. There is hardware upgrades scheduled for the F-35 (I believe Block 4), and likely will be required before EA capability is added to the ICP & APG-81 radar. Physically upgrading avionics is not usually difficult, especially when done during depot maintenance.

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2017, 02:39
by neurotech
SpudmanWP wrote:
maus92 wrote:
ricnunes wrote:[
Of course the F-35's Software and specially its Software Architecture is far more advanced than anything one the Super Hornet but that's another story...


Keep thinking that...


lol

F-35 has VMs, middleware, Fiber Optics connecting everything, fully fused avionics, etc.

Compared to what's on the F-18... (from the latesed IOT&E Report)

When has an OT&E report ever been a balanced look at real capability? If it was up to people like Micheal Gilmore, the Navy would still be flying F-4 Phantoms and A-4 Skyhawks because of the issues with the replacement jets.

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2017, 03:39
by SpudmanWP
I know, I was just using it as an example because many ABJ members use Gilmore's reports as a reason to cancel the F-35.

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 09 May 2017, 15:24
by ricnunes
neurotech wrote:For Block II testing in the F/A-18D, they did do something non-standard for the radar but I don't recall the details. I know the Raytheon were trying to adapt the AESA radar for multiple aircraft, including the F-16 (APG-84 RACR) & F-15 (APG-82). There is a difference between using a prototype to support a test program and production hardware. Also, The capability difference provided by the AESA radar upgrade is significant, even if the F/A-18D AESA dish size is reduced.

http://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/pr ... a18airdom/
Specifically designed for the Hornet upgrade market, Raytheon's APG-79(V)X AESA radar slips easily into the F/A-18 C/D nose cone. The simple, non-disruptive retrofit can be performed in the field and takes less than an hour to complete.



I also read about this. However the fact is that no (smaller) variant of the APG-79 have been fitted to legacy Hornets or to Block I Super Hornets which in my opinion is a very good indicator that fitting AESA radars to existing legacy Hornet and existing Block I Super Hornet is definitely NOT a straightforward task as you seem to imply (forgive me if I'm wrong about the "imply" part).


neurotech wrote:Type 2 AMC in the F/A-18C/D and LRIP Super Hornets. The Type 3 AMC came in later for Block I & early Block II. Later Lots have Type 4 AMC.


Thanks for this info.


neurotech wrote:Upgrading to Type 4 AMC hardware, which may be required for H12, is not a difficult upgrade.


Your info (again thanks for it) seems to indicate one thing: Super Hornet Hardware, namely computers (or in this case Mission Computer) is not modular or at least not very modular - From what you say, a new AMC must be installed in order to upgrade - which is an indicator that this upgrade is not a straightforward one and as such "not as easy" as you seem to imply.
Again, if this was a straightforward task (upgrading the Hornet and Super Hornet computers) then I'm pretty sure that all or at least most Super Hornets (Block I's included) and even legacy Hornets would be equipped with the latest computers - The fact (and as you clearly pointed out) they weren't which is another lets say "proof" that the Hornet and Super Hornet computers at best aren't easily upgraded and modular as the F-35 ones and in "worse case scenario" updating the Hornet and SH computers is a somehow hard and specially a costly task.


neurotech wrote:Also, the F-35 ICP (Integrated Core Processor/Mission computer) hardware as been upgraded between LRIP lots, and will likely be upgraded as part of depot maintenance for earlier jets.


Yes, and the F-35 is clearly modular and as such all F-35's were or will be updated with newer Integrated Core Processor/Mission computer and this is done with a minimal cost and workload.
Again as opposed to the Super Hornet where only the more modern versions can be upgraded with newer computers (and completely new versions).


neurotech wrote:The "Secret" part was me being humorous, as it's publicly known and in some cases the subject of a press release. I didn't go into specifics that are not publicly known.


Don't worry, I understood your "Secret" part - I tried to somehow continue with the "joke" :wink:

neurotech wrote:The "H" in H12 refers to "High Level language" which is C++ just like the F-35.


Just because the Super Hornet's Software (or part of it) is developed in a "High Level Language" such as C++ (Actually C++ is a "Mid level language", by the way) doesn't mean that it's as nearly as advanced as the F-35 Software where part of it is also developed in C++.
For example I'm teaching my students how to program in C++ and as such they just developed a simple calculator (which performs the 4 basic arithmetic operations). Does this mean that this "simple calculator" software is as advanced as the Super Hornet H-12 Software and by extension just as advanced as the F-35's software, just because it was also developed in C++?? Of course not!

Moreover, I believe that many of you are probably tired of "hearing" this from me but the fact that some of the F-35's sensors/hardware (such as DAS or EOTS for example) can perform several and very different tasks is more than evidence of how much more advanced (and modular, by the way) the F-35's Software is compared to the Super Hornet (or any other fighter aircraft for that matter). Again, the Super Hornet has nothing like this (in terms of modularity and sensors capable of very different tasks).


neurotech wrote:The Growler has extra avionics boxes and wiring that most Super Hornets do not have. The RAAF ordered a couple of jets with the wiring added, but then changed their mind and ordered EA-18Gs new from the factory. Some Growler features can be back-fitted to the F/A-18F if the customer require limited ELINT capability. EA capability is provided by the ALQ-99 pods on the wings, which require the full Growler package to support.


Which basically proves that the Super Hornet isn't remotely as "modular" as the F-35 :wink:


neurotech wrote:The F-35 is not the first fighter jet to receive significant software updates throughout its service life, although it won't allways be a "software only" update. There is hardware upgrades scheduled for the F-35 (I believe Block 4), and likely will be required before EA capability is added to the ICP & APG-81 radar. Physically upgrading avionics is not usually difficult, especially when done during depot maintenance.


Well to the extend of the F-35 software upgrades, yes it is the "first". For example upgrading from Block 3i to Block 3F is (unless I'm mistaken) software only upgrade! You simply cannot do that in the Super Hornet without at least some Hardware change.
Upgrading the F-35 software is said to be not very different from upgrading our computer/phone/tablet applications. This is a level of software upgrade that the Super Hornet clearly doesn't seem to have.

Regarding to the F-35's Block 4 upgrades, namely the EA capability I haven't read that it will require Hardware upgrades. Actually what I've been reading seems to indicate the opposite (that's basically should be a software upgrade only).
Yes, Block 4 will receive Hardware upgrades but from what I read so far these upgrades seem to be at the sensor level in order to equip the aircraft with better sensors (hardware), one example of this being the "Advanced EOTS" (in order to replace to current EOTS).

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 09 May 2017, 22:36
by neurotech
ricnunes wrote:
neurotech wrote:The F-35 is not the first fighter jet to receive significant software updates throughout its service life, although it won't allways be a "software only" update. There is hardware upgrades scheduled for the F-35 (I believe Block 4), and likely will be required before EA capability is added to the ICP & APG-81 radar. Physically upgrading avionics is not usually difficult, especially when done during depot maintenance.


Well to the extend of the F-35 software upgrades, yes it is the "first". For example upgrading from Block 3i to Block 3F is (unless I'm mistaken) software only upgrade! You simply cannot do that in the Super Hornet without at least some Hardware change.
Upgrading the F-35 software is said to be not very different from upgrading our computer/phone/tablet applications. This is a level of software upgrade that the Super Hornet clearly doesn't seem to have.

Regarding to the F-35's Block 4 upgrades, namely the EA capability I haven't read that it will require Hardware upgrades. Actually what I've been reading seems to indicate the opposite (that's basically should be a software upgrade only).
Yes, Block 4 will receive Hardware upgrades but from what I read so far these upgrades seem to be at the sensor level in order to equip the aircraft with better sensors (hardware), one example of this being the "Advanced EOTS" (in order to replace to current EOTS).

Actually, the techs can (and do) update the Super Hornet software without a hardware change. It just depends on which hardware is fitted to the jet, and what procedures and approvals are required. For test aircraft, some updates are specially authorized for the jet. For fleet configured aircraft, If NAVAIR authorize a SCS update for a particular Lot Super Hornet, then its pretty much the same upgrading a PC/phone/tablet. The AMC is actually quite modular. There is a set of boards connected to a backpane, with room for additional boards if required.

The upgrade path for the Super Hornet is not much different to the F-16MLU Block 15 jets. The mission avionics were upgraded to the same specs as the Block 50 jets, and newer OFP "tapes" were loaded without replacing hardware. For non-MLU jets, I'd imagine the update process is very different.

Some of the test SuperBugs had digital Software Defined Radio transceiver boxes and/or pods. They were customized for the mission requirements, just like a smartphone receives baseband software, along with Android updates. The basic transceiver boxes did not need to be replaced, just updated software. The F-35A has similar SDRs in its Communications, Navigation and Identification (CNI) system.

For the Super Hornet test program, to support some missions, we had tablet-like portable PCs in the cockpit, and they were given software updates routinely. And yes, some did run Windows CE, NT etc. and were updated like a Windows PC on a corporate network.

For those who doubt the USN or USAF would run Windows for a critical role, the USAF later updated to Windows XP Predator Edition, for the UAV/UCAV program.
http://science.howstuffworks.com/reaper4.htm
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/10 ... one-fleet/

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 09 May 2017, 22:56
by quicksilver
"There is hardware upgrades scheduled for the F-35 (I believe Block 4), and likely will be required before EA capability is added to the ICP & APG-81 radar." -- neuro

We assume you mean 'more' EA capability since there is substantial capability resident in the jets that are flying today.

Re: 1st USN C Female Pilot & F-35C/Super Hornet Tactics TOPG

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2017, 23:20
by ricnunes
neurotech wrote:
Actually, the techs can (and do) update the Super Hornet software without a hardware change. It just depends on which hardware is fitted to the jet, and what procedures and approvals are required. For test aircraft, some updates are specially authorized for the jet. For fleet configured aircraft, If NAVAIR authorize a SCS update for a particular Lot Super Hornet, then its pretty much the same upgrading a PC/phone/tablet. The AMC is actually quite modular. There is a set of boards connected to a backpane, with room for additional boards if required.

The upgrade path for the Super Hornet is not much different to the F-16MLU Block 15 jets. The mission avionics were upgraded to the same specs as the Block 50 jets, and newer OFP "tapes" were loaded without replacing hardware. For non-MLU jets, I'd imagine the update process is very different.


Regarding Software there are "updates" and there are "updates". What I mean with this is that it all depends on what you mean with Software update or more precisely what kind or type of Software Update we're talking about.

For example there are Software updates which in the "civilian world" are called "patches" which are meant to fix small problems (commonly known as "bugs") of a Baseline Software and may even include from time to time some minor new features.
Then there are Major Software upgrades which basically overhauls the existing Baseline Software by adding completely new features much akin to for example an Operating System (OS) upgrade (for example updating Windows 8 to Windows 10).

If we're talking about the first case (Software updates to fix bugs/issues and even add some minor new features) then I believe that this can be "easily" done in the Super Hornet without any Hardware upgrade/change and by the way I never said otherwise.
But the problem is when we're talking about Major Software upgrades and in this case then I strongly believe that you cannot do it in the Super Hornet without some Hardware upgrade/change like you can do it in the F-35. For example I doubt that you'll be able to "install" the next major post-H12 software (in the Super Hornet) without any significant Hardware change/upgrade.
Now as opposed to the Super Hornet, I strongly believe that you'll be able to update a Block 3F to Block 4.x in the F-35 without any Hardware change! Of course this doesn't mean that when the Block 3F to Block 4 Software upgrade (in the F-35) happens what there won't be any Hardware upgrades. However such Hardware upgrade won't be done because the Block 4 software install forcedly requires it but it will be done in order to maximize and improve the current F-35 Hardware performance (such as the EOTS update to Advanced EOTS that I mentioned earlier) - Well, this is much akin to what some people do with their Desktop PC/Computers when they decide to perform major Software upgrades (such as the OS or favourite applications/programs for example) in where they also take the chance to upgrade some parts of the Hardware but this is not because the new Major Software upgrade requires the new Hardware upgrade but because the new Major Software upgrade will work better (with the new Hardware upgrade).

Or resuming I never said that:
1- I never said that the Super Hornet software wasn't developed in some "higher" level language such as C/C++
2- I never said that the Super Hornet software couldn't receive (some) software updates without receiving hardware updates/changes.
However what I said was:
1- The F-35 software is far more advanced in functionality and capability compared to the Super Hornet software (or to any other fighter aircraft for that matter). This is not an opinion, it's a verified FACT!
2- The F-35 software is more modular and as such it can receive much bigger or major updates without any Hardware updates this compared to the Super Hornet software (or to any other fighter aircraft for that matter).