F-35 program updates

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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sferrin

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Unread post04 Aug 2015, 13:12

Won't be long before there are more F-35s than F-22s.
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Unread post04 Aug 2015, 13:50

@ over 200 in production or flying
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lamoey

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Unread post04 Aug 2015, 15:43

bring_it_on wrote:F-35 Radar Cross Section
Solicitation Number: N00019-14-G-0020-RCS
Agency: Department of the Navy
Office: Naval Air Systems Command
Location: NAVAIR HQ


The F-35 Joint Program Office intends to issue an order under Basic Ordering Agreement N00019-14-G-0020 on a sole source basis to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, TX to perform Radar Cross Section (RCS) testing on the F-35 platform to assess a weapon system and its effect on aircraft performance. The proposed order is anticipated to be awarded no later than 30 September 2015.

This effort will be awarded on a sole source basis to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company under authority FAR 6.302-1, and in accordance with Class Justification and Approval, dated 14 October 2014.



Any firms believing that they can perform the effort described above related to the F-35 Lightning II Air System may submit a written capability statement to be received at the Contracting Office no later than response date indicated on this notice. Questions regarding this notice should be addressed to John Camac via email at john.camac@jsf.mil


What weapons system could this be?


Could it be the gun pod? Under wing ordonnance is not expected to be that stealthy anyway, but the gun pod is.
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bring_it_on

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Unread post20 Aug 2015, 17:11

Pentagon, F-35 Joint Program Office At Odds Over Navy Radar Capabilities

The Pentagon and the F-35 joint program office are at odds over exactly when the Navy's Wide-Area Search Sea Surface and Track initial operational capability is set to be required for the Joint Strike Fighter.

While Frank Kendall, the top Defense Department acquisition official, has said the capability was meant to be included in Block 3F, the program office says the technology was always planned for Block 4.1.

Indeed, in a June report to Congress, Kendall wrote that "software development is proceeding in earnest and flight testing for Block 3F began in March of this year."

"Despite a deferral of Wide Area Search Sea Surface and Track Capability, all of the required capabilities are on track to be completed and verified prior to US Navy IOC," Kendall's report added.

However, F-35 spokesman Joe DellaVedova wrote in an Aug. 19 email to InsideDefense.com that a request was made to investigate expanding Block 3F radar techniques to include Wide-Area Search, thought it was not an original requirement for the 3F batch.

"Implementing this capability in Block 3F would have incurred a significant schedule impact, and would have also required an integration of a new weapon capability to fully deploy the anti-surface warfare mission improvements," DellaVedova wrote. "Based on this, the warfighter decided to include it in Block 4.1, which will be delivered in 2019."

Block 3F is being delivered with two radar techniques, Wide-Area Search and Sea Target Track, which were selected in tandem with the Block 3F weapon set to support Navy anti-surface warfare mission requirements at IOC.

Wide Area Search and Sea Target Track allow the F-35 to rapidly establish tracks on surface units to build and maintain the maritime picture around the carrier strike group, Jim Gigliotti, F-35C program director for Lockheed Martin, wrote in an Aug. 5 statement to InsideDefense.com.

"Maintaining the maritime picture is critical to Navy units in that it allows the application of the right number/type of assets to execute the anti-surface warfare kill chain," he wrote.

"The decision to delay Wide Area Search was a programmatic decision and does not prevent F-35 from executing the anti-surface warfare mission," he added.

DellaVedova reiterated to InsideDefense.com the decision to not include the Wide-Area Search capability in Block 3 was a programmatic decision and does not prevent the F-35 from supporting the Block 3F anti-surface warfare mission once the F-35C is declared wartime ready. -- Lee Hudson
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Unread post20 Aug 2015, 17:43

More on the above software article here:
Navy need deferred, but F-35 software ‘on the right track’
20 Aug 2015 James Drew

"...The radar capability’s “deferral” was disclosed in a software development report sent by the Pentagon to US lawmakers in June.

The DOD says in the report that F-35 software development and integration remains a key concern, but the programme “is on the right track and will continue to deliver on the commitments made to the F-35 enterprise” – which includes partner nations and foreign military sale customers . That goes for both the aircraft itself and the troubled Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) that supports it, according to the report.

The report says Block 2B – which the Marine Corps declared IOC with in July – has eight unresolved issues that centre on “sensor fusion, electronic warfare and Link 16 communications,” although those problems “do not interfere with the USMC IOC mission sets” and will be resolved in Block 3F – which Lockheed has already begun flight testing.

The US Air Force, meanwhile, has identified six Block 2B software deficiencies that it needs resolved prior to its IOC declaration with the A-model in August 2016. Those aircraft will be fielded with Block 3i software and a faster computer processor.

“The air force requested improvements in the software to provide clear and timely information concerning the health and status of various sensors on the aircraft,” the JPO says. “The improved software will inform pilots of immediate degradation of the mission system core computers, the radar processing computers, and the tactical situation display.

“The improvements will also provide clearer indication of the field of regard for the radar, and the prioritization of targets. Computer enhancements will also be made to speed up the download times of post-flight data.”..."

Source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... ht-415913/
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Unread post20 Aug 2015, 18:03

I'd love to see the original report.

btw, The Navy must really have a pair of brass ones if on one hand they are asking to bring forward a radar mode from Block 4 into Block3F (which would cause schedule issues for everyone else) and on the other hand planning to reduce the annual F-35C buy.
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neptune

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Unread post20 Aug 2015, 18:30

SpudmanWP wrote:..asking to bring forward a radar mode from Block 4 into Block3F (which would cause schedule issues for everyone else)...


...no they crawfished and left it in 4+..but if they really want "Big SAR," they can add it to their new mission computers for the AESA SBugs. Maybe they can iron out the bugs before bringing forward Block 4.

Wow! the "canoe club" contributing something to the 'Sea" other than "foot dragging".

Who would have "thunk it"!

:)
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Unread post20 Aug 2015, 18:56

It would take them a hell of a lot longer than 2019 to get BigSAR into the Superbug. According to the OT&E folks, they have not even got all the issues ironed out of the -79 for it's baseline features.
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Unread post20 Aug 2015, 22:47

To be fair, WASSTT probably benefits an ESG more than a CSG. ESGs don't have organic E-2s to fall back on.
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Unread post20 Aug 2015, 22:58

...........
Last edited by sferrin on 20 Aug 2015, 23:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post20 Aug 2015, 23:03

I would have posted the video in 'Armament, Stores & Tactics' specifically in this thread where text will reside related to the video above: [although the thread wobbles a bit]

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=27499&p=296719#p296719
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sferrin

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Unread post20 Aug 2015, 23:09

spazsinbad wrote:I would have posted the video in 'Armament, Stores & Tactics' specifically in this thread where text will reside related to the video above: [although the thread wobbles a bit]

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=27499&p=296719#p296719



Moved.
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popcorn

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Unread post21 Aug 2015, 00:26

lamoey wrote:Could it be the gun pod? Under wing ordonnance is not expected to be that stealthy anyway, but the gun pod is.

I'd have thought they would've confirmed the gun pod RCS by this time.
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Unread post21 Aug 2015, 09:03

lamoey wrote:Could it be the gun pod? Under wing ordonnance is not expected to be that stealthy anyway, but the gun pod is.


Well, it depends on ordnance. Some are designed specifically with stealth in mind like JASSM, JSOW or Storm Shadow. Some others have rather small RCS due to small size and some design features (like A-A missiles, SDB, Brimstone). While installing any of those externally will certainly increase RCS, their external carriage might not make the aircraft totally unstealthy. Besides, it's very good to know exactly what the RCS of aircraft is with all kinds of loadout options. F-35 can tell the pilot how far away the enemy radar can see it and this can be very important information even in unstealthy or reduced stealth configurations. I think such measurements should be taken before any new weapon in certified for external carriage.
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Unread post21 Aug 2015, 09:15

So many possible combinatIons of external ordnance, each with it's unique impact on overall RCS. So lots of tests.
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