F-35 program updates

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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bring_it_on

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Unread post07 Dec 2015, 21:29

Jamie Hunter's write up on the F-35 from next months combat aircraft...

https://www.scribd.com/doc/292541627/F3 ... wyBoILi2L0
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spazsinbad

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Unread post07 Dec 2015, 22:00

Same PDF from Jan 2016 edition of CAM is attached here: viewtopic.php?f=59&t=28364&p=308915&hilit=Hunter#p308915

8 page PDF: download/file.php?id=22249 (1.9Mb)
&
another similar reference: viewtopic.php?f=59&t=28364&p=310673&hilit=Hunter#p310673
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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cooldude2819

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Unread post12 Dec 2015, 18:21

steve8341 wrote:Unfortunately if Mr Gates gets his way the far superior and proven F-22 will be out of production before the facts come out on the F-35. The F-35 unit cost will be equal or greater than the F-22 while being extremely less capable than the F-22. This will be shocking news to hard working Americans who were sold on the low cost F-35 propaganda.

The USN and Lockheed Martin are drinking their own bath water on the proposed cost and capabilities of the F-35.

There is an end-game for F-22 production. The F-22 production should continue until the Air Force has approximately 300 and Japan has 60. If you are an American wouldn't you rather China realize that someone close to them has a very capable adversarial weapon rather than leaving it to our country to fly across the world when the trouble starts. More than likely the US will have to also engage but at least we wouldn't be alone. The F-35 does not even have a role in this scenario. The F-35 joins the fight later by design, if there is a "later".

I'm estimating that by the time 800 F-35's are built the production will cease due to a much less costly (true this time) and greatly capable UAV availability to replace the bloated F-35.

XD woah there were some jackasses back then.
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armedupdate

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Unread post14 Dec 2015, 00:52

Dragon029 wrote:http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/03/us-lockheed-fighter-idUSKCN0SS2OJ20151103

Lockheed wins preliminary deal worth up to $5.37 billion for more F-35s

Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) has won a preliminary contract valued at up to $5.37 billion to build a ninth batch of 55 F-35 jets for the U.S. military and its allies, the U.S. Defense Department said on Tuesday.
...


That's $97.6 million per airframe (average of all 3 variants; roughly 3/4 are A models). By comparison, LRIP 8 was $4.7 billion for 43 airframe; $109.3 million per airframe, with 2/3 being A models.

Is the 97.6 million flyaway cost(including development of that unit) or including spare parts, maintenance equipment, etc? And what is an accurate estimate of the weapons system cost.?(development included)
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Unread post14 Dec 2015, 01:32

It does include extras, but what exactly is unknown.

For one thing however, it will include 87 full mission simulators, which is about 1/3 of all simulators intended to be built for the program (within the US). Each of those simulators costs around $1.5 million.

If I were to guess though, I would make the assumption that the $5.37B figure does include initial spares and some maintenance equipment.

To give a bit of context; LRIP-8 cost $4.7 billion, yet according to the JPO, the cost of an F-35 (airframe; not including the engine) was $94.8m for the A, $102.0m for the B and $115.7m for the C. LRIP-8 consisted of 43 aircraft; 29 A models, 10 B models and 4 C models.

Add those airframe costs up and you get $4.232 billion, leaving $468 million as a remainder for "other" equipment (roughly $10.9m extra per jet)

Furthermore, if you look back at the last few LRIPs, you'll find that in LRIP-6, there was $14m of "extras" per jet, and $11m of "extras" per jet in LRIP-7.

Now, to diverge a bit...

If we make some assumptions, like that the cost of these "extras" trend downwards due to bulk ordering, and if we assume that LRIP-9 includes $10m of "extras" per jet, then that gives us an estimate of $4.82 billion being spent on the 55 airframes themselves.

If you then also look at the ratios of what percentage an A model cost, compared to a B or a C model, we can then even make estimates of what each airframe costs. From LRIP-8, a B model cost roughly 7.6% extra and a C model cost $22% extra. With those ratios and the known number of each variant in LRIP-9, my very rough estimate is:

$85.5 million per F-35A
$92.0 million per F-35B
$104.3 million per F-35C

Now, for flyaway cost; the engines for LRIP-8 cost: $13.2m, $32.0m, $13.3m for the A/B/C. If we assume they've only decreased in cost slightly (rounded down to the nearest million), then we get:

F-35A: $98.5m
F-35B: $124.0m
F-35C: $117.3m

For the flyaway costs for LRIP-9 aircraft, with engines. I'm not putting too much faith into my assumptions and those numbers, but I will point out that my assumptions have edged on the side of pessimism, assuming that the airframes make up a larger percentage of the total production lot cost than they did in LRIP 6/7/8, and assuming that the engines have only decreased in cost by 0% to 2.3%. I'm also assuming that the $5.37 billion (which is a "not to exceed" cost), is the actual cost of LRIP-9; though in all realism it'll be very close to that figure.
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Unread post01 Feb 2016, 21:32

Breaking Defense is reporting that Navy will go all-in on f35c, increase buy numbers, abandon UCLA'S in favor of unmanned tanker, citing urgent need for on deck stealth in 2020s

http://breakingdefense.com/2016/02/good ... 17-budget/
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Unread post01 Feb 2016, 21:58

Hahaha... crows may have to be put on the endangered species list.


From aforementiined article,

... In fact, the budget is so tight and the priority on the F-35 is so high that the Navy won’t be able to buy any F/A-18E/F Super Hornets this year, despite its desire for more manned strike fighters...

http://www.navytimes.com/story/military ... /22949703/

The top officer of one of three services projected to spend tens of billions of dollars on stealthy new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, now says "stealth may be overrated."..
"It's not just Greenert, it's across the naval aviation community: They're just not that into the F-35," said Richard Aboulafia, vice president for analysis at the Teal Group.
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"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Dragon029

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Unread post04 Feb 2016, 00:49

As was heavily hinted, the USAF is delaying the acquisition of some F-35s while KC-46 and LRS-B begin to require increased funding. This somewhat is offset / offsets the 11 extra FY16 F-35s that were added by Congress.

http://www.defensenews.com/story/breaki ... /79769342/
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Unread post04 Feb 2016, 07:39

Dragon029 wrote:As was heavily hinted, the USAF is delaying the acquisition of some F-35s while KC-46 and LRS-B begin to require increased funding. This somewhat is offset / offsets the 11 extra FY16 F-35s that were added by Congress.

http://www.defensenews.com/story/breaki ... /79769342/



It will never happen.....Expect the Congress to increase the number of F-35's! :wink:
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Unread post04 Feb 2016, 11:52

The UK at Pax River: Integrated, Innovative and Creating 21st Century Airpower
04 Feb 2016 Robbin Laird and Ed Timperlake

"...What was striking about the day was the significant gap between the working reality of the dedicated professionals in the F-35 program, including test pilots putting their life on the line every flight, and the world only a few miles away inside the Beltway. At Pax, the F-35 is moving rapidly to becoming a 21st century combat reality.

Many cubical commandoes have made a career using second order interlocking google searches that are essentially hypothetical opinion pieces with no actual research to comment on the F-35. The vast amount of ‘literature” discussing the plane has little or nothing to do with the reality at Pax and all the actual tactical flying going on at many military airfields where the F-35 fleet can be found.

It should be noted that the F-35 program is reaching the 50,000 flight hours threshold worldwide.

And in 2015, the Pax River ITF flew 628 flights, 994.4 flight hours, and performed 4,744 test points...."

Source: http://www.sldinfo.com/the-uk-at-pax-ri ... -airpower/
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post12 Feb 2016, 10:48

F-35 Lightning II worldwide fleet exceeds 50,000 flying hours
11 Feb 2016 PEO(JSF) Public Affairs

"ARLINGTON, Va. — F-35 Lightning II aircraft operating at 12 different locations worldwide surpassed the 50,000 flight hour mark this month.

The first flight hour was achieved by an F-35B aircraft, BF-01, June 1, 2008. The 25,000 flight hour milestone occurred in December 2014, six years and six months later. As a sign of program growth and maturity, the second 25,000 flight hours were reached only one year and two months later.

“The F-35 program continues to grow and accelerate as we complete additional flight testing and increase deliveries to our U.S. and partner warfighters,” said Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, F-35 Joint Program Executive Officer. “The next 50,000 hours will be achieved much quicker as we double the size of the F-35 fleet worldwide in the next three years alone.”

Flight hours are divided into two main categories: Operational flying hours, flown by 155 jets delivered to six different nations, and System Development and Demonstration (SDD) flight test hours, flown by 18 aircraft assigned to the Integrated Test Forces at Edwards AFB, and NAS Pax River. Of the 50,000 hours, operational jets flew approximately 37,950 hours while SDD aircraft flew 12,050 hours. More than one third of the program’s flight hours were flown in 2015 alone. Among the three variants, approximately 26,000 hours were flown by the F-35A, 18,000 hours by the F-35B and 6,000 by the F-35C.

F-35s are flying at eight operating locations: Edwards Air Force Base, California, Eglin AFB, Florida, Hill AFB, Utah, Luke AFB, Arizona, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, MCAS Yuma, Arizona, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, and Nellis AFB, Nevada. Jets are also flown at two F-35 depot locations at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, and the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill AFB, Utah. Flight hours were also recorded at the two F-35 production facilities at Cameri, Italy, and Fort Worth, Texas.

To date, more than 250 F-35 pilots and 2,400 aircraft maintainers from six nations are trained and more than 110 jets are jointly under construction at both production facilities...."

photo: "Lt. Col. Tom Fields, an F-35 Lightning II test pilot assigned to the F-35 Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) at Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, conducts external weapons testing Feb. 1 during flight 434 of aircraft BF-02. (U.S. Navy photo)" http://www.navair.navy.mil/img/uploads/16P00029_08.jpg


Source: http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fu ... ry&id=6184
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Unread post18 Apr 2016, 10:19

I don't know if this video was put up somewhere else on here but here it is.

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Unread post03 May 2016, 07:44

1000th VL
25 Apr 2016 Jeff Babione

"While the assemblers are working on brand new F-35s, one of the first, BF-1, surpassed a milestone, completing the 1,000th SDD vertical landing (VL). BAE Systems test pilot, Peter “Wizzer” Wilson completed the landing along with four other VLs that day. It’s interesting to note the first VL was also performed by a BAE Systems test pilot, Graham “GT” Tomlinson. GT performed the 1st VL on BF-1, 6 years ago. Aircraft BF-1 has performed more than 630 VLs and Wizzer has almost 400 total VLs. The operational fleet has performed hundreds more.

“Accomplishing vertical landings now has become so routine,” remarked Wizzer. “Everyone at Pax is very used to it from the traffic controllers, to the ground crews and test teams. I feel very fortunate to be on this team and even after nearly 400 vertical landings, I am still amazed at the capabilities of the F-35B and how easy it is to complete a landing that in legacy jets is a much higher workload for the pilot.”

Outstanding work to the Pax team as you continue to improve the maturity of the STOVL systems on the F-35B. Even though Wizzer thinks it’s routine, I am still amazed every time I see the F-35B hover and land effortlessly. It’s truly a feat of engineering and we should all be proud."

Source: https://www.f35.com/assets/uploads/docu ... _28_16.pdf (500Kb)
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Dragon029

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Unread post11 Jun 2016, 04:29

https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... 6_9_16.pdf

GM Weekly Update
09 Jun 2016 Jeff Babione

"Hill AFB recently accepted their 12th F-35A, giving them the full complement of jets needed to enable them to
declare IOC."
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Unread post22 Jun 2016, 13:24

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