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Re: F-35 program updates

Unread postPosted: 17 Nov 2018, 00:28
by marauder2048

10 months form JPO approval to first test flight :)

The addition of Auto GCAS to the F-35 makes it a more capable aircraft, said Lt. Col. Raven LeClair, 461st FLTS test pilot.

“This technology is the stepping stone to increased combat capability via a fully capable combat autopilot that will be able to execute tactical maneuvers to defeat inbound kinetic and non-kinetic threats and maximize lethality through precise weapon employment,” expressed LeClair. “The future F-35 pilot is going to be a lethal battlefield manager with automated tools at his fingertips to ensure survivability and lethality.

Re: F-35 program updates

Unread postPosted: 17 Nov 2018, 00:58
by spazsinbad
From above URL a pic of F-35A with unusual? Looney Lens or just paint markings/stealth infill where the LOONIE Lens Bars were installed? Otherwise there are conventional LOONIES onboard. Dunno: "An F-35 Lightning II from the 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California, soars over the Mojave Desert on a test sortie. (Courtesy photo by Chad Bellay/Lockheed Martin)" ... 99-412.JPG (0.6Mb)

Re: F-35 program updates

Unread postPosted: 18 Nov 2018, 09:37
by spazsinbad
F-35 Tests Out Tech that Keeps Pilots from Crashing Into the Ground
16 Nov 2018 Oriana Pawlyk

"...In January, Vice Adm. Mat Winter, head of the F-35 Joint Program Office, said the Auto-GCAS system was coming roughly five years earlier than originally planned. "Expediting this lifesaving technology into the F-35 fleet by 2019 is estimated to prevent the loss of three aircraft, and more importantly, save the lives of three pilots," Winter said in a news release. "Over the service life of the F-35 fleet, having Auto-GCAS is estimated to prevent more than 26 ground collisions from happening."

Pilots themselves have helped speed that process along, according to Lockheed officials. "The implementation of it is going faster than we thought [it would]," said Greg Ulmer, vice president for the Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft production business. Ulmer said the expedited timeline is due to the fact that Lockheed began an "agile construct" where an operator -- such as a pilot -- is "embedded as part of the development team." "So we've seen some strong performance in that regard in Auto-GCAS in particular," Ulmer told in September.

But it's not a foolproof solution for an in-flight emergency, Hamilton said. "The pilot cannot use Auto-GCAS as a crutch," he said. "It's very important they do everything in their power to execute the mission without relying on any safety net to protect them. They've got to execute not thinking it's there, they should execute with that mindset. And then if it saves them, it saves them."

Hamilton stressed that it's better to be over-prepared in any case. "It is our responsibility to use the technology to be able to bring [pilots] home every day, that's something they deserve and it's something we have the capability to provide," Hamilton said."

Source: ... round.html

Re: F-35 program updates

Unread postPosted: 20 Nov 2018, 08:41
by spazsinbad
F-35 Begins Collision Avoidance Tests As UK Joins Auto-ICAS Study
19 Nov 2018 Guy Norris [text from: ... ml#p691242 ]

Spurred on by the success of the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto-GCAS) in saving lives and aircraft on its F-16 fleet, the U.S. Air Force has begun flight tests of the safety system on the F-35A as part of efforts to fast-track its introduction into the Joint Strike Fighter fleet as early as mid-2019.

The initial flight-test phase, which got underway at Edwards AFB, California, on Oct. 31, will verify noninterference of Auto-GCAS with other aircraft systems and evaluate overall performance of the algorithms in the safety system. Seven flights had been conducted as of Nov. 14.

Collision Avoidance
----- Flight tests of Auto-GCAS started on the F-35A at Edwards AFB
----- Ground-collision protection to be introduced on U.S. Air Force F-35s beginning in 2019
----- U.S.-UK joint study will pave the way for Auto-ICAS on the F-35 in the 2020s

The first flight-test phase is due to be completed by the end of November and, depending on results, will be followed by a second round starting in January and running through April. “The F-35A should field with Auto-GCAS in June, so it’s really on the fast track,” says Mark Wilkins, subject-matter expert at the Office of the Secretary of Defense for the Automatic Collision Avoidance Technology (ACAT) program under which Auto-GCAS was developed.

Moves to introduce Auto-GCAS on the F-35 follow the success of the system on the Air Force F-16 fleet. Since it was first introduced on the Block 40/50 version of the F-16 in late 2014, the system has been credited with saving eight lives and seven aircraft. Developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), NASA and Lockheed Martin, the Auto-GCAS system is designed to prevent fighter/attack aircraft from crashes due to controlled-flight-into-terrain incidents.

Algorithms in the system continuously compare the aircraft’s trajectory against a terrain profile generated from an onboard digital terrain elevation data unit. If the predicted trajectory touches the terrain and the system calculates the aircraft is in imminent danger of collision, it executes a last-minute automatic recovery maneuver. The system is designed to protect against accidents caused primarily by pilot disorientation or temporary incapacity due to high G forces.

Initial flight tests have gone well, says Wilkins, and Auto-GCAS activations, in which the system was deliberately initiated to command a pull-up maneuver, were performed on the first sortie. Once the trajectory-prediction algorithm at the heart of the Auto-GCAS has been tuned to the F-35’s flight control and navigation systems, and the safety device cleared for integration, the first F-35As will be equipped starting next summer, with follow-on installations rolling into the F-35B and F-35C versions, respectively.

Testing of Auto-GCAS for the F-35 comes as the AFRL, Air Force, Lockheed Martin and the UK’s Defense Science & Technology Labs have joined forces to study development of the follow-on Automatic Integrated Collision Avoidance System (Auto-ICAS) for the Joint Strike Fighter. The effort, which will be led by Lockheed Martin, is focused initially on surveying the F-35’s standard sensor suite to “see what’s available to us for air-to-air capability,” says Wilkins.

Auto-ICAS, which was successfully tested in an F-16 in 2017, combines the ground collision avoidance system with an Automatic Air Collision Avoidance System (Auto-ACAS), which was developed to prevent midair collisions. Auto-ACAS is focused on providing extra safety in the highly dynamic Air Combat Maneuvering training environment in which it calculates future aircraft trajectories to determine if an automatic maneuver is required to avoid an imminent midair collision.

The combined Auto-ICAS prioritizes ground collision functions while making the Auto-ACAS “terrain aware.” This prevents air collision avoidance maneuvers that would then force the aircraft toward the ground which, in turn, would require Auto-GCAS to trigger a maneuver.

In the F-16, the Auto-ACAS element of the ICAS function is hosted in the ASQ-T50(V)1 P5 wingtip-mounted air combat maneuvering instrument training pod. Although at one stage Lockheed Martin studied installing a P5 pod in the weapons bay, the F-35 is expected to utilize other aspects of the aircraft’s integrated sensor and datalink suite to achieve the same overall result.

In response to impetus from the Air Force as well as the F-35 Joint Program Office, the AFRL is working to validate the requirement for an automatic integrated collision avoidance system on the aircraft. The UK’s interest is initially driven by the near-term requirement for a collision warning system for operating in the crowded airspace in and around the British Isles. However, a second phase would focus on development of a fully integrated Auto-ICAS with air-to-air and ground collision prevention capability.

Although the sensor study is expected to be completed by mid-2019, the relative complexity of integrating Auto-ICAS into the F-35 means the system is unlikely to be fielded until late into the Block 4 standard deliveries around 2023-24."

Source: ... icas-study

Re: F-35 program updates

Unread postPosted: 04 Dec 2018, 06:16
by spazsinbad
UNK the man from UNK

"...2. Description of the Actions Being Approved.
This Class Justification and Approval (CJ&A) authorizes and approves the issuance of contract actions on a sole-source basis to Lockheed Martin Corporation, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company (LM Aero), Fort Worth, TX, for Lots 12-14 F-35 aircraft and associated supplies and services. Authority to act under this CJ&A expires on 31 December 2022...."

Source: ... acted4.pdf

Re: F-35 program updates

Unread postPosted: 04 Dec 2018, 10:12
by weasel1962
Has anyone posted about the Italian IOC for its 1st sqn of F-35As?

Re: F-35 program updates

Unread postPosted: 04 Dec 2018, 11:57
by spazsinbad
weasel1962 wrote:Has anyone posted about the Italian IOC for its 1st sqn of F-35As?


F-35 JPO Head : JSF enters the new year in a growing phase

Unread postPosted: 10 Dec 2018, 09:50
by spazsinbad
Head of F-35 Joint Program Office: Stealth fighter enters the new year in midst of a growing phase
10 Dec 2018 Vice Adm. Mat Winter [Probably best read ALL of it at source]

"As the “quarterback for the joint force,” the F-35 provides new transformational capabilities that will fundamentally change the way our nation’s military operates around the globe. More than a fighter jet, the F-35’s ability to collect, analyze and share data is a powerful force multiplier that enhances all airborne, sea and ground-based assets in the battlespace, while ensuring our war fighters can execute their mission and return home safe. With stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35 is the most lethal, survivable, connected and interoperable fighter aircraft ever built....

...The F-35’s projected service life extends out for more than 50 years (2070), and to ensure the aircraft remains combat-ready and ahead of adversaries, the enterprise will continually deliver enhanced capability to the war fighter with a focus on affordability and speed....

...In 2018, the F-35 program completed the most comprehensive, rigorous and safest developmental flight test program in aviation history. More than 9,200 sorties, 17,000 flight hours and 65,000 test points were achieved to verify the design, durability, software, sensors, weapons capability and performance for all three F-35 variants. In 2019, F-35 flight testing continues in support of phased capability improvements and modernization of the F-35 air system. This agile framework, known as “continuous capability development and delivery,” provides timely, affordable, incremental war-fighting capability improvements to maintain air dominance against evolving threats to the United States and our allies....

...To support the F-35 global fleet and the secretary of defense’s directive to attain an 80 percent mission-capability rate by the end of 2019, government, international allies and industry representatives are increasing spare part supplies, accelerating depot activations, and implementing reliability and maintainability improvement plans to ensure maintainers get the parts they need, when they need them, to sustain F-35s more efficiently. To speed up repairs and lower costs, we are leveraging government capabilities at fleet readiness and air logistics centers, and we are empowering flight line workers with greater authority to streamline standard maintenance actions. These combined sustainment and logistic actions and initiatives will improve overall F-35 readiness for the war fighter....

...The F-35 forms the backbone of U.S. air combat superiority for decades to come. It enhances our international alliances and is a linchpin for future coalition operations. It is a big, complex, rapidly growing and accelerating program that is moving in the right direction. Our steadfast focus is on the continued advancement, development, delivery and sustainment of an affordable, global F-35 weapons system that supports the peace and, if called upon to do so, swiftly and decisively wins the fight every time."

Source: ... ing-phase/

Re: F-35 program updates

Unread postPosted: 10 Dec 2018, 13:45
by element1loop
“ … Production ramp-up will continue as operational testing concludes in the summer of 2019 and the program enters a full-rate production decision in the fall. …” - Vice Adm. Mat Winter ... ing-phase/

That's as little as 6 to 8 months away.

Isn't that around 6 months earlier than any other source has said the operational testing will be completed? Until now I thought operational testing was supposed to (possibly) be complete by about Jan-Feb 2020.

Re: F-35 program updates

Unread postPosted: 10 Dec 2018, 14:42
by spazsinbad
JPO Press Release says on an IOT&E thread says: "...Starting this week and continuing through late summer 2019.... ... TnE_v1.pdf (307Kb) "


Re: F-35 program updates

Unread postPosted: 10 Dec 2018, 14:48
by element1loop
spazsinbad wrote:JPO Press Release says on an IOT&E thread says: "...Starting this week and continuing through late summer 2019.... ... TnE_v1.pdf (307Kb) "


Ah, thanks Spaz, I haven't been around for a couple of weeks, that's the first I heard of it.

Re: F-35 program updates

Unread postPosted: 10 Dec 2018, 15:16
by spazsinbad
In the same 'other thread': "...a September 2018 presentation by F-35 test director Air Force Col. Varun Puri states that the test period could run into September 2019...."

Re: F-35 program updates

Unread postPosted: 10 Dec 2018, 18:01
by wrightwing
IOT&E concludes next summer, after which the decision will be made to ramp up production, and declare FOC.

Bunch: USAF F-35, F-16, F-22 Fleets to 80% Mission Capable R

Unread postPosted: 04 Feb 2019, 21:18
by spazsinbad
Bunch: Air Force Can Get F-35, F-16, and F-22 Fleets to 80 Percent Mission Capable Rate
01 Feb 2019 John A. Tirpak​

"Despite a Director of Operational Test and Evaluation report that said the F-35’s readiness hasn’t much improved in the last year, the Air Force thinks it can get its fleet up to an 80 percent mission capability rate by the end of the fiscal year, as directed by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. That assessment came from Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, USAF’s top uniformed acquisition official, who spoke to an AFA industry audience Friday.

“We’re pushing” for the 80 percent mark, “and … we believe we can make that,” Bunch said. “We’re not going to be 80 percent with everything,” he conceded, but we will achieve that goal “with our combat-coded aircraft” in the F-35 fleet, as well as in the F-16 and F-22 fleets. The DOT&E report gigged the F-35 program’s sluggish improvement in availability, but the Pentagon has acknowledged that newer jets off the line are performing far better than early production models.

Bunch said he’s been in marathon meetings with Lockheed Martin, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and F-35 Joint Program office officials, and “we’re setting timelines and calendars … dates when we are going to get things done.” Bunch said a list has been created of “the systems that are not performing as we want, the big drivers,” and there is an improvement program for each one....

...USAF is looking at the Autonomic Logistics Information System—ALIS—for ways to make it “more user-friendly and make it to where it’s not taking as much time,” so jets can be turned more quickly. The Air Force is the service acquisition executive authority for the F-35 as long as its program executive officer is a Navy officer, in keeping with the joint nature of the program.... [best read it all at source]

Source: ... -Rate.aspx

Re: F-35 program updates

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2019, 09:02
by doge
SASC chairman Sen. James Inhofe wants F-35s production acceleration... 8) ... es-inhofe/
Lockheed's Top Moneymaker Gets Backing From This Key Senator
WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee wants faster Lockheed Martin (LMT) F-35 production, even before a key operational test is completed. Lockheed Martin stock rallied.

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., has been vocal about boosting production of the stealth jet to triple the fleet by 2024.

He wants more F-35s made sooner to fill the gap in fifth-generation fighters that was created when the F-22, another stealth jet, had its production run cut short in 2009 due to spiraling costs.

But initial operational test and evaluation, a key milestone before the F-35 can start full-rate production, began in December and isn't expected to wrap up until this summer.

Inhofe told reporters at the Defense Writers' Group breakfast Tuesday that he doesn't expect major problems to be found during the current round of tests.

"I believe there are going to be the normal type of deficiencies as it's being developed," he said. "We don't have the luxury of time to wait, in my opinion."

Meanwhile, the F-35 is still struggling to overcome technical hurdles. A report from the Pentagon's chief weapons tester noted problems with the F-35's reliability and readiness due to flaws in its logistics software.

But Inhofe brushed away concerns about lingering problems with the jet saying it was needed and production should be increased.

"We might not be quite through the perfection stage to do that," he said. "But I don't know of anything else that is going to take the place of the F-35 that's in our inventory."