F-35 program updates

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marsavian

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Unread post14 Feb 2019, 12:23

Let the F-35A vs F-15X Congressional battles begin ! ;)
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doge

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Unread post15 Feb 2019, 08:47

marsavian wrote:Let the F-35A vs F-15X Congressional battles begin ! ;)

Senators touching F-15X...! 8) (and support F-35.)
https://insidedefense.com/insider/senat ... -fund-f-35
Senators call on Trump to fully fund F-35
By John Liang February 14, 2019 at 3:31 PM
Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Susan Collins (R-ME), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have sent a letter to President Trump urging him to support the current funding schedule for the F-35 as opposed to investing in what they call the "outdated, fourth-generation F-15X."

"We are extremely concerned that, over the last few years, the [Defense Department] has underfunded the F-35 Program and relied on Congress to fund increases in production, sustainment, and modernization," the letter states. "In order to meet the overmatch and lethality goals laid out in the National Security Strategy, the DOD needs to make these investments in the F-35 to affordably deliver and operate this fifth-generation fighter fleet. The F-35 is the most affordable, lethal, and survivable air dominance fighter, and now is the time to double down on the program."

"In order to ensure the United States servicemembers are equipped with the most lethal aircraft capable of operating in the modern battlefield, we request your support and the support of the DOD in investing our defense funds in proven fifth-generation technology -- like the F-35 -- rather than technology that will be outdated before it even rolls off the production line," the senators write.
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popcorn

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Unread post15 Feb 2019, 08:59

Doesn't hurt to have friends in high places.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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weasel1962

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Unread post15 Feb 2019, 09:23

LM's line is at fort worth, no surprise to see the list of supporting republican senators.

The key would be the "boeing" senators. Less issue in the house since that's Democrat held. Its in the senate where the real battle would be. In particular Roy Blunt who won 2016 with a 3% margin. Luckily for LM, he's only up for re-election in 2022, not 2020. Blunt is on the sub-committee for defense. Hawley won it in 2018 so more time. Nevertheless, this is exactly the issue that could tilt the budget in the senate. If Blunt doesn't intend to run in 2022, then the reps might have an easier time.
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marsavian

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Unread post15 Feb 2019, 10:31

Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Susan Collins (R-ME), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have sent a letter to President Trump urging him to support the current funding schedule for the F-35 as opposed to investing in what they call the "outdated, fourth-generation F-15X."


All Republican Senators too whose votes he will probably need for more important issues to him. Congress is where either F-15X lives or dies and first shots have now already been fired ...
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steve2267

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Unread post15 Feb 2019, 17:12

doge wrote:https://insidedefense.com/insider/senat ... -fund-f-35
Senators call on Trump to fully fund F-35
By John Liang February 14, 2019 at 3:31 PM

<snip>

The F-35 is the most affordable, lethal, and survivable air dominance fighter, and now is the time to double down on the program."



In the past it has been the JSF -- Joint Strike Fighter -- a strike fighter, or a multi-role fighter. First time I've really noticed "air dominance" attached to the F-35, at least in the US press, that is.

Dumb question: why does Boing need the F-15X? Is it a keep the production line open kind of need, or a keep the engineers busy kind of need? Cuz I don't see it as a busybody engineer type jobs program... what engineering is really left on the F-15X? Isn't this more of a we need to keep our production line warm issue? But even then, isn't there enough work with MQ-25 / T-X and continued Super Duper purchases? (And aren't there still F-15XYZ's still being produced for some ME state customers?)

ETA: If it's an industrial jobs / capacity dealio where you just want to keep the line warm in case you need a bunch... then why not buy half a dozen or a dozen F-16V to keep the Viper line warm in South Carolina until some friendly nation needs a bunch, whether it be India or Slovenia or Poland or or Taiwan whomever... (Slovenia & Poland just plucked out of the air.)
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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marsavian

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Unread post15 Feb 2019, 18:22

Boeing probably does not need the F-15X at all, it's just an opportunistic business move due to the fact that the F-15C is coming to the end of its life soon and F-35 full scale production is later then originally envisaged so they have offered to plug the 'gap' in fighter numbers. Of course the gap could be made up with more F-35s but then Congress has to specifically bill for it. The DoD/President has now forced their hand basically saying give me 12 more new fighters a year, if not F-15X then state and pay for what you do want e.g. more F-35. Even if the President gets his way the F-15X purchase may not survive a change of Presidency but at least he's putting out there the US need more new build fighters every year going forward.
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Unread post15 Feb 2019, 19:13

“The DoD/President has now forced their hand basically saying give me 12 more new fighters a year, if not F-15X then state and pay for what you do want e.g. more F-35.”

‘Forced their hand...’??

The Congress has been ‘giving’ DoD more F-35s each year for the last few years; the letter from Senators Cornyn et al mentions this reality, and suggests that DoD cannot cut F-35 numbers and expect the Congress to continue to make up for the cuts.
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doge

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Unread post19 Feb 2019, 14:05

I found the full text of the letter, so I post it.
https://www.cornyn.senate.gov/sites/def ... _13_19.pdf
The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
Thank you for your leadership in ensuring our men and women in uniform have the best equipment and resources to perform their missions and return home safely. As you know, the best and most advanced fighter jet in the world is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which provides stealth, advanced sensing, coalition interoperability, cyber security, and an ability to overmatch adversaries in a multi-domain fight. The F-35 delivers these capabilities better than any other fighter in the U.S. inventory, and provides our men and women the capability they need to protect and defend against the surface and air threats we are facing today and the growing threats of tomorrow. It is the best chance our men and women have of coming home safely, and we urge you to fully support this program.

Former chief of staff of the USAF, Gen Mark Welch said it best, “America needs the F-35 to stay a step ahead, … It's interoperability among services and partner nations, its survivability against the advanced integrated air defense systems, and its ability to hold any target at risk make the F-35 the only real viable option that I see to form the backbone of our future fighter fleet….“And the reality is -- if a fourth-generation fighter meets a fifth generation fighter, the fourth-generation fighter may be more efficient, but it will be dead. It really is that simple.

As our nation’s only fifth-generation stealth fighter being built today, an investment in additional production and support for the F-35 fighter fleet is critical to ensuring the U.S. maintains air superiority. Further, investment in the F-35 program would allow the Department of Defense (DoD) and our allies to continue bringing costs down by leveraging economies of scale. The good news is the production cost is coming down; by 2020, an F-35A will cost $80 million per jet.

With that in mind, we are extremely concerned that, over the last few years, the DoD has underfunded the F-35 Program and relied on Congress to fund increases in production, sustainment, and modernization. In order to meet the overmatch and lethality goals laid out in the National Security Strategy, the DoD needs to make these investments in the F-35 to affordably deliver and operate this fifth-generation fighter fleet. The F-35 is the most affordable, lethal, and survivable air dominance fighter, and now is the time to double down on the program.

The Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 defense appropriations bills, which you signed into law, helped reverse the tactical aircraft readiness and modernization deficit, by providing for 90 and 93 F-35 aircraft respectively, and urging the DoD to invest in F-35 to achieve full rate production (80 F-35As, 24 F-35Bs, and 30 F-35Cs per year). To keep this program on track, the DoD must continue increasing production, year-over-year, and the Air Force needs to get to at least 60 F-35As per year in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget request. This is critical to enabling the Air Force to reach 80 F-35As per year in the timeframe necessary to meet the force structure needs required by the threat environment in 2025 and beyond. At this point, additional investment in less capable or older fourth-generation legacy fighters will simply not meet the requirements of current or future threats.

Nonetheless, it is my understanding that the DoD may propose buying outdated fourth-generation F-15 fighters, like the F-15X, for $100 million per jet in the FY20 budget request. At a cost 20% higher than the advanced F-35A, this is far from a good deal. Choosing to invest in these fighters, which we know are neither lethal nor survivable against today’s advanced threats, would be a disservice to servicemembers and taxpayers.

New versions of old F-15s designed in the 1970s-1980s cannot survive against the newest Russian and Chinese fifth-generation fighter and surface to air missile threats, not to mention rapidly developing future threats. This action by the DoD would be a direct departure from the vision you have for a strong national defense. Allowing the DoD and U.S. Air Force to go back on their stated requirement for F-35 would counter the work you have done to restore our military capabilities.

As recently as September 2018, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson expressed her support for the procurement of the stealthy F-35 platform over fourth-generation aircraft. "We are currently 80 percent fourth-gen aircraft and 20 percent fifth-generation aircraft. In any of the fights that we have been asked to plan for, more fifth gen aircraft make a huge difference, and we think that getting to 50-50 means not buying new fourth gen aircraft, it means continuing to increase the fifth-generation.

In order to ensure the United States servicemembers are equipped with the most lethal aircraft capable of operating in the modern battlefield, we request your support and the support of the DoD in investing our defense funds in proven fifth-generation technology – like the F-35 – rather than technology that will be outdated before it even rolls off the production line. Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthen America’s military, and for your attention to this matter.
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gabriele

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Unread post24 Feb 2019, 20:28

Does anyone have line of sight on the make-up of LRIP 11?
The LM slide released at the time does not break down by nations, and i'm having trouble making sense of things. LM says that 91 F-35 for the US are included, of which 14 F-35C. How many F-35A, though? And how many Bs? The LM slide says 25 B are included. One is for the UK. If the USMC has bought less than 24, then it means Italy is getting one or two.

Hasn't the FY2019 budget ended up authorizing 93 F-35? Contract modification for the two missing, or what...?
Thanks for the help.
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Bjorn

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Unread post24 Feb 2019, 20:32

53 USAF
1 Italy
6 Norway
8 Australia
8 Netherlands
4 Turkey
10 South Korea
6 Israel
6 Japan
24 USMC
1 United Kingdom
14 USN

Greets,
Bjorn Claes
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gabriele

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Unread post24 Feb 2019, 22:10

Thanks a lot.

Do you think the other 2 F-35 authorized with FY2019 budget will be added with a contract modification later on, or is it possible that they actually end up into LRIP 12...?
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Corsair1963

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Unread post25 Feb 2019, 01:42

Hopefully, the US Congress will give the USN far more F-35C's! As they need far more than just "14". Which, is barely enough for a single squadron.... :shock:
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Unread post28 Feb 2019, 23:05

USN Declares F-35C IOC

The Navy declared today that its F-35C Joint Strike Fighter was operationally ready to deploy and conduct missions around the world.

The initial operational capability (IOC) declaration comes after the Navy’s first F-35C squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, conducted aircraft carrier qualifications aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in early December, received its safe-for-flight operations certification on Dec. 12 and spent the intervening weeks working with the Navy’s test community to prove it could operate and maintain the new stealthy jets.

“The F-35C is ready for operations, ready for combat and ready to win,” Commander of Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller said in a statement today.
“We are adding an incredible weapon system into the arsenal of our Carrier Strike Groups that significantly enhances the capability of the joint force.”


​​​​​​​More at the JUMP
https://news.usni.org/2019/02/28/navy-d ... ke-fighter
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spazsinbad

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Unread post01 Mar 2019, 00:31

Another report here:
The US Navy’s new stealth fighter just hit a major milestone
28 Feb 2019 David B. Larter

"...F-35C Testing and Fielding Timeline
--- • F-35Cs began arriving at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in 2011 for testing, and by November that year a JSF had conducted its first ground-based catapult launch from Pax River. In 2012, the final test jets had arrived at Pax River; a carrier-landing assistance tool began ground-based testing, and the first external weapons test flight took place.

--- • In 2013 the first F-35Cs were delivered to a squadron – Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, the Navy’s F-35C fleet replacement squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

--- • On Nov. 3, 2014, an F-35C made its first-ever arrested landing on a carrier, aboard USS Nimitz (CVN-68). The jets then conducted 11 days of sea trials aboard Nimitz, completing Developmental Test-I with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) and meeting all test objectives to prove interoperability between the ship and the planes and carrier suitability for at-sea operations. In September 2015 DT-II was conducted aboard USS Eisenhower (CVN-69).

--- • In September 2017 USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) conducted its first F-35C at-sea operations, and in December USS Lincoln (CVN-72) hosted carrier qualifications for the Navy’s first nine pilots who were set to conduct at-sea F-35C operations.

--- • In August 2018, Lincoln hosted the first integrated air wing operations, where the ship’s crew launched and recovered, towed and maintained both F-35s and other aircraft types at the same time, rather than carefully handling the new airplanes separately. This integrated air wing operation used airplanes from VFA-125, a fleet replacement squadron, and VFA-147.

--- • In December 2018, VFA-147 began its bid for independence – the squadron reached the safe-for-flight milestone, which allowed it to fly and maintain the planes without supervision from the fleet replacement squadron."

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/ ... h-fighter/
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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