F-35 program updates

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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Dragon029

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Unread post07 Aug 2017, 16:06

To add on what's said above, the USAF for example has the 422nd TES testing the F-35. For things like cyber testing there are personnel involved from various 3 letter organisations as well. There's also USAF and USMC squadrons that perform testing separate / outside of the JSF program entirely (VMFA-121 and 34FS for example did service-level operational readiness evaluations before their respective IOCs).
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spazsinbad

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Unread post07 Aug 2017, 17:16

An odd question in an odd place so here is an odd reply:

Naval Air Station Patuxent River F-35B and F-35C Testing
"Both the F-35B Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant and F-35C carrier variant are tested at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland...."
https://www.f35.com/about/who-is-flying/pax
OR
F-35 Lightning II Flight Testing At NAS Patuxent River
http://www.codeonemagazine.com/article.html?item_id=110
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blindpilot

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Unread post07 Aug 2017, 19:14

nathan77 wrote:Hey all, I'm trying to respond to some basement dwellers, but there's one part of the program I don't know enough to give an adequate response on. And that is, who undertakes Testing for the JSF? The criticism given by the basement dweller is that it's Lockheed Martin who tests the F-35, but that doesn't seem accurate to me. Is it ultimately the DoD? I know that the pilots / maintainers from the various services undertake the testing. And do the services themselves have their own milestones, or is it just part of SDD?


The short answer is it is a team effort throughout the life of the program, including operational crews and personnel. Answers above are spot on.
- - - -
The long answer is

.... a bit more complicated, and Sprey/POGO type confusion on OT&E doesn't help. Having been on contractor, Service OT&E, and Program Office Test Teams, I might provide some insight in the state of affairs.

After the difficulties with the C-5 and F-111, Packard (of Packard Bell) consulted and 1969-70ish recommended a formal Service Level Operational Test and Evaluation by the customer prior to "acceptance." By the Mid 70's an OT&E structure was in place and evolved to today's DOT&E (of Gilmore fame). But the truth is the DOT&E tends these days to be a cosmetic rubber stamp. That doesn't mean it isn't of value in a backhanded way. But it is not what Sprey/Gilmore present as the "Final go/no go" exam.

Let me explain with a fable on military time.
An army platoon was scheduled for a critical deployment at 0600(6AM) the next morning. The 4 Star Chief of staff casually commented to his aid, that if his schedule worked out, he might want to see them off since their mission was key. The Aid mentioned this to the 2 star commanding general, who told the 1 star base commander to make sure everyone was in place by 0500 since the Chief would be there. The 1 star told the Brigade Colonel that the troops needed to be in place by 0400. The colonel told the major to make sure everyone was set to go by 0300. The Major told the company commander to get everyone in formation by 0200. The captain told the platoon lieutenant to have the platoon set to go by 0100. The lieutenant told the Squad leaders to get everyone packed and on their way by midnite. The Squad sergeants told the fire team corporals to have their butts ready by 2300 (11PM) that night. As they were just turning in for one last night's sleep, it was already 2200, so the troops just packed up and headed out to the assembly so they would be ready. The Chief of Staff never did free up his schedule, and didn't show up, so neither did the 2 star, nor the 1 star, nor the colonel, nor ... nor .. and at 0600 the platoon leader showed up and told the troops who had been standing in the rain for 8 hours, to load up.... with no rest ... at risk to the mission.

The point. There is some value to OT&E. But it is not testing. It tends to push back "go/no go" evaluations into earlier test blocks. But it's a two edged sword. It cuts off requirements creep which is good, but it also rules out capabilities that otherwise could have been ready on time.

In the end, the contractor, service development teams, local test teams, and folks that actually know what they are doing, all test the systems. The "Mythical Operational Tests" rarely does anything but push out delivery dates, and unnecessarily limit initial capabilities. The DOT&E personnel at the HQ director's level, have no clue what they are doing, and couldn't test a first grade reading group. Fortunately actual users, pilots, maintainers, those who will use the systems are involved early and throughout the development cycle. They are engaged in testing.
And those "evil contractors" ... Just six months earlier were active duty subject matter experts for the system when serving. (ie. 3,000 hour combat tested fighter pilots etc.)
... That's why they were hired.

MHO,
BP
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quicksilver

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Unread post07 Aug 2017, 23:59

Not sure why spaz limited the links to B and C testing but link this also for a description of what happens at Edwards.

https://www.f35.com/about/who-is-flying ... dwards-afb

If by implication the basement dwellers are arguing that LM is doing its own testing under SDD without USG control/oversight/scrutiny, they are just flat wrong. While not mirrors of each other, the testing activities at Pax and EDW are similarly "...joint military, government and contractor team[s]."
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blindpilot

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Unread post08 Aug 2017, 05:16

What they (the basement dwellers) are probably trying to say is a regurgitation of the DOT&E lies. That is basically the lie that "Until they do the DOT&E test all tests are just LM testing" That is an absolute lie, and furthermore, as I mentioned, the OT&E phase has become a joke, that "at best" will only confirm what the Program Office already knows and has told them. This stuff is the Sprey et al garbage mantra long ago discredited.

MHO,
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nathan77

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Unread post08 Aug 2017, 05:50

blindpilot wrote:What they (the basement dwellers) are probably trying to say is a regurgitation of the DOT&E lies. That is basically the lie that "Until they do the DOT&E test all tests are just LM testing" That is an absolute lie, and furthermore, as I mentioned, the OT&E phase has become a joke, that "at best" will only confirm what the Program Office already knows and has told them. This stuff is the Sprey et al garbage mantra long ago discredited.

MHO,
BP


Yep, hit the nail on the head. I just didn't want to respond from a position of ignorance, so thanks for your detailed responses!

While responding to basement dwellers can sometimes be an exercise in futility, I often ask them to put their money where their mouth is: are they willing to wager that Block 3F won't be signed-off by the USAF before July 2018 (which in when DoT&E states it will slip to). So far I haven't had one person take me up on this. :devil:
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Unread post17 Aug 2017, 22:15

http://www.edwards.af.mil/News/Article/ ... oward-ioc/

As of days ago, all Block 3F F-35A and F-35C WDAs have been completed, with only a single WDA for the F-35B remaining.
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Unread post19 Sep 2017, 23:08

Screenie from video is of the 'mixed ordnance' BEAST mode backdrop. Quote about carrying capacity from Jeff Babione.

Lockheed Martin's Babione Shares F-35 Lightning II Fighter Update at ASC17 Defense & Aerospace Report 19 Sep 2017

'BEAST mode' Babione quote is near the end ie. 10 minute 40 second mark of the video: "22k total with 18k external"

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F-35beastModeMissiles.jpg
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Unread post20 Sep 2017, 01:48

LM F-35 GM Weekly Update
15 Sep 2017 Jeff Babione

Delivering Capability: International Partners Receive Full Mission Simulators
"Our team is focused on delivering a fully integrated air system that provides our customers with game-changing warfighting capabilities. This week, for the first time, we delivered Full Mission Simulators (FMS) to international partners. The FMS, which was delivered to the Israeli and Royal Norwegian Air Forces, is a critical component of the F-35 air system.

As the two Air Forces establish their in-country training capabilities and achieve Configured-for-Use (CFU) status, the F-35 team will continue to support and sustain the technology’s operations. We’re thrilled about this achievement and are focused on delivering the FMS capability to Italy and Japan later this month...."
&
Relevancy & Readiness: Norway Prepares for the Arrival of its first F-35A
"Last week in Fort Worth, we hosted Major General Klever, director of the Norwegian F-35 Program. During his time with the team, Maj. Gen. Klever received a facility and flight line tour, program brief and update on the Norwegian F-35As.

Aircraft relevancy and sustainment were major themes of the discussion. We ensured our Norwegian partner that the F-35As arriving in Ørland, Norway this November will be ready for operation and Maj. Gen. Klever departed Beach Street with an in-depth understanding of the sustainment support the F-35 team will provide for Norway’s jets...."

Source: https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... _15_17.pdf (0.25)
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 post13 Oct 2017, 03:52

Modernization Turbulence
Nov 2017 John A. Tirpak

"...F-35 Strike Fighter
The F-35 fighter should be through with development in the next few months, Vice Adm. Mathias Winter, program executive officer, reported in a panel discussion on acquisition program affordability. He thinks operational test and evaluation will begin nearly on time—early in 2018—and he expects prices will go lower. However, Winter said the biggest challenge for the program will be sustainment costs, and right now they’re “too high.”

Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program manager, said he expects F-35 prices to eventually reach a level “comparable to those of the F-16.”

Air Combat Command chief Gen. James “Mike” Holmes told Air Force Magazine the service simply can’t afford to buy F-35s at the desired rate of 100 a year. In fact, even 80 a year—USAF’s target for 2022—is a goal that’s been given up. With all the budget pressures, 60 F-35s per year is probably going to be the buy rate “for the foreseeable future,” Holmes said...."

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... KC-46.aspx
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Unread post13 Oct 2017, 03:59

Oops wrong trousers.... :doh:
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Unread post13 Oct 2017, 18:50

As reported by pogo http://www.pogo.org/straus/issues/weapo ... phans.html

There is a solution to this issue. Set a price cap on how much will be spent upgrading whatever the mix of A's, B's and C,'s you wish to make 3F. Zero is a failed answer as that would leave the Marines in a crippled state with 23% of their fleet crippled compared to the 3F variant. Also the whole premise for the F-35 is to be upgradable. So if they fail here, they will have started the program failing at currency. Why build into a jet the ability to upgrade if you are not going to upgrade? Is the premise that this is an issue being considered ( not upgrading all 108 ) by those over seeing the program or is it Russian propaganda to keep us spending more than we need to on new planes and waist all money on these 108 jets? If a jet is in the 3i configuration will it not still be used for the missions it can complete?
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krorvik

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Unread post13 Oct 2017, 19:11

You can ask the question the other way - why upgrade a jet if it does not need to? If the jet is allocated for training or testing, and none of those tasks require it, could the money be spent on getting the ones that do need it upgraded, faster than you would otherwise be able to?

Funds are never unlilmited.
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Unread post13 Oct 2017, 19:37

krorvik wrote:Funds are never unlilmited.

Tell that to a Bernie supporter or anyone pushing for single payer healthcare.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Unread post13 Oct 2017, 20:07

Politics on F-16.net? Sacre bleu!

Perhaps it would be better to say "at least where I am from" on the end of that statement, for there are many different countries with many different systems that suit them. Many have healthcare systems that wouldn't work for others, but do work for themselves. Too many fall into the trap of thinking, "X works here, so it must be right for those other people!" and fail to understand the reasons why X might or might not be right. You cannot govern Luxembourg as you would Japan, so to speak. That's all I'm trying to say.
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