Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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blindpilot

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Unread post05 Jan 2018, 08:44

Saw Jon posting on the XV-9 thread. Wondering if we can get the 10 AC, 4 delivered, updated info up on the Aussie Database? We have the squadron, and order info now yes/no?

http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-database/F ... orce/RAAF/

Just wondering?
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Unread post05 Jan 2018, 20:38

blindpilot wrote:Saw Jon posting on the XV-9 thread. Wondering if we can get the 10 AC, 4 delivered, updated info up on the Aussie Database? We have the squadron, and order info now yes/no?

http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-database/F ... orce/RAAF/

Just wondering?
BP


Yes, Jon please consider (if possible) BP's request!



....I would request (if practical) a slightly more comprehensive issue for confirmation;

FY -LRIP -ORDER
2007 -1 -2
2008 -2 -12
2009 -3 -17
2010 -4 -32
2011 -5 -32
2012 -6 -36
2013 -7 -35
2014 -8 -43
2015 -9 -64
2016 -10 -90
2017 -11 -127
2018 -12 -114
2019 -13 -132
2020 -14 -148

...please feel free to revise/ correct any a/c totals, and or provide a link/ reference for similar data
Thanks in advance,
Neptune
:)
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Unread post06 Jan 2018, 22:21

That has been superseded,
* two airframes (2014) – AU-1 and -2 to the training squadron in the US
* eight airframes (2018) – six airframes to join -1 and -2 at the training Squadron, and two airframes to arrive in Australia end of 2018
* eight airframes (2019) – Direct to Australia
* fifteen airframes (2020) – Direct to Australia
* fifteen airframes (2021) – Direct to Australia
* fifteen airframes (2022) – Direct to Australia
* nine airframes (2023) – Direct to Australia

By end 2023 all 72 airframes will have been produced and delivered by LM to the RAAF (8 direct to the International Training Squadron in the US, and the other 64 airframes direct to Australia).
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Unread post07 Jan 2018, 04:16

optimist wrote:That has been superseded,
* two airframes (2014) – AU-1 and -2 to the training squadron in the US
* eight airframes (2018) – six airframes to join -1 and -2 at the training Squadron, and two airframes to arrive in Australia end of 2018
....


I think you confused 2 subjects. Neptune's question is all countries LRIP list just to clean that up.

The Australia question is to the firm order for the 8 mentioned including the photos we have of A35-003 and A35-004 now flying at least at Ft Worth, if not on their way to Luke..

Your summary of Aussie orders is as before, and still correct.

MHO,
BP
Last edited by blindpilot on 07 Jan 2018, 15:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post07 Jan 2018, 08:01

That will teach me not to read a post properly :wink:
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Unread post11 Jan 2018, 08:22

Thanks ?Jon? ,
For the updates here http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-database/F ... orce/RAAF/
and a few of the others, as well, I noticed.

I love this site and the details like that DB.
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Unread post23 Jan 2018, 12:12

Over on previous page this thread is a story about 'the future RAAF' with an 8 page PDF attached. The text excerpt is mostly about the HMDS and because I read lots of stuff and sometimes get disappointed (because it ain't NavAv) the bits about the RAAF are ignored - BUT NO MORE! Here is the text about RAAF No.3 Squadron and how it will be formed...
To the FUTURE
Summer 2018 ANDREW MCLAUGHLIN

"The RAAF fighter force begins generational change as 3SQN prepares to swap its fourth-gen Hornets for the fifth-gen F-35....

...Rather than stand up the ‘new’ 3SQN as a complete unit with all its personnel but no aircraft, AVM Roberton explained that the build-up of the new unit will be a gradual one.

“As part of the transition plan they have been absorbed into the consolidated classic Hornet 77SQN for now,” he said. “Then as we need them, we will bring technical, aviation and support people across to 3SQN in the US as we start building it back up. “Currently, we have six pilots and 25 maintenance people training at Luke. And we have others who will not go to the US for training, but instead will start looking after the facilities and readying 3SQN, Air Combat Group and the wider Air Force for when the first F-35s turn up in about 12 months.”

As RAAF F-35 deliveries continue in the first half of 2018, they will continue to go into the 61st Fighter Squadron which is Australia’s partner unit at the F-35 training centre at Luke.

“Later in the year around the August-September timeframe we’ll get two jets which won’t go into the American training system,” explained WGCDR Clare.

“They will just stay on the Australian system and we’ll fly them, initially from a shake-down point of view at Luke with Australian maintainers, and procedures under an Australian airworthiness banner and our own pilots operating out of Luke. That’s just basically a shake-down of the aircraft before we fly them home at the end of next year.

“So what we’re working on in the next six months is, taking all our knowledge of the F-35 that we’ve gained from flying it over the last few years, taking that and presenting this to what’s called an Airworthiness Board,” WGCDR Clare added.

“This will happen in August, and is where we make sure our processes and procedures are all in place. We currently operate under the US Air Force airworthiness system, and Lockheed Martin is currently looking after our aeroplanes. Even though the 25 or so maintainers I’ve got over there do a lot of the work, it’s under a Lockheed banner in accordance with US procedures and publications.” The 61st FS arrangement is likely to continue until 2OCU achieves IOC with their F-35s in 2021/22, after which RAAF F-35 maintenance and pilot training will commence in Australia.

“Working with the US and in particular the 61st FS is great. The CO of the 61st has flown with Australians before on the F-22 so he’s got a bit of a history there, and he’s really, really supportive of our activities – they’re actually quite proud to be part of Australia’s history in standing up F-35. They’re at the forefront of generating F-35 fighter capability and training.” In fact, Australian F-35 pilots already hold key roles in the 61st FS. “We’re going to have 10 to 12 instructors in there soon which will be almost half the squadron, so we’re a fairly large part of the organisation,’” WGCDR Clare said.

“And we’ve got guys in pivotal roles within the squadron – one is a flight commander now and another is going into a flight commander role soon, plus one of the other pilots fulfils the essential FCI/weapons officer role in the squadron.”...

Source: Australian Aviation Magazine Summer 2018 Number 356
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 post01 Feb 2018, 22:05

RAAF to take a lead in F-35s’ formation Air Vice Marshal Leigh Gordon
02 Feb 2018 PATRICK LAWNHAM; The Australian

"The Australian Defence Force has committed to the fastest implementation of the F-35A joint strike fighter (JSF) among partner-nations in the US-led project.

The Defence Department, meanwhile, said this week it did not expect any delay to initial operating capability or to delivery of its first fighters soon, after a Pentagon report to the US congress warning of delays in testing that may impede the overall project. The international program is expected to cost at least $US1.2 trillion ($1.5 trillion) in purchases, upgrades and maintenance over the planes’ intended multi-decade service.

In an interview before the Pentagon report was obtained by Bloomberg news agency, the head of the Australian Defence Department’s JSF Division, Air Vice-Marshal Leigh Gordon, said Australia would have an “aggressive’’ introduction of its F35-As into the Royal Australian Air Force.

The RAAF would effectively raise a squadron a year during transition as its 72 planes arrive. “This is a far more aggressive strategy than any of the other partner nations have taken on, so we need to be as risk-sensitive as possible,” AVM Gordon told the department’s Defence Magazine in its final 2017 edition.

Other partners include, aside from the US, the UK, Canada, Italy, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Turkey.

“When the jets arrive, we will assess the F-35A air system against initial operating capability requirements in the unique Australian environment, but we will not repeat any of the operation test and evaluation the United States has completed,” he said.

“I am extremely confident we are on the right schedule to achieving initial operating capability in 2020. The F35-A will deliver fifth-generation capability that will transform the way Australia operates in the modern battlespace.”...

...The first two ... [will] arrive for permanent basing next December, at RAAF Williamtown near Newcastle. More would come usually in pairs, until at least 30 had come by the end of 2020, AVM Gordon said.

“By the time we expect to declare final operating capability at the end of 2023, all 72 jets will be in Australia, based at Williamtown (two squadrons) and RAAF Base Tindal (one squadron) near Katherine in the Northern Territory,” he said. About $1.5 billion is being spent on construction or upgrading for JSF facilities.

“The facilities work at Williamtown is continuing at pace and every time I visit I’m impressed,” AVM Gordon said. “The next major facility under construction is No 2 Operational Conversion Unit, which will include Australia’s F-35A Integrated Training Centre for aircrew and maintainer training. It’s quite an impressive building, with a number of simulator bays, classrooms and presentation areas, as well as a flight line and a seven-aircraft hangar”

AVM Gordon’s JSF Division sits within the department’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, and its team includes RAAF, public service and contractor workers. Having such a combined workforce was “the way of delivering acquisition and sustainment into the future”, he said.

The team had helped achieve, in January 2017 a contract price of less than $US100 million a plane for the next eight aircraft, for the first time, he said. “We have to ensure a lot of pieces, such as the training and logistics systems, are in sync with the aircraft,” he said. “As a result, I’m not solely focused on the arrival of the first aircraft. My focus is on delivering the whole-of-life capability to air force and Defence broadly with a 35-to-40-year view.”

This year the goal was to bring out the first two planes using the Australian Logistics Information System, rather than relying on US backup as was done last year. The planes are at the F-35A Pilot Training Centre at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, where at least six Australian pilots have qualified. There are more than 30 Australian staff in the US on the program. “We’ll conduct an Airworthiness Board … and RAAF personnel will authorise the flights using Australian systems.

“It’s a big step in the maturity of the program. There are a number of risk-mitigation strategies in place. However, our clear goal is for Australian personnel to bring out those n first two jets using our ALIS and our mission planning system.”

AVM Gordon said the F-35A was “easy to fly” but “training F-35A pilots is very different to training pilots in other fighters because of the nature of fifth-generation capabilities.”

A formation would be spread over tens of kilometres and “wingmen will be a tactical node providing sensors, weapons and manoeuvrability in direct support of the mission objectives. Flying is the easy bit. Making the right decisions in exploiting the information advantage is the hard part.”...

...The representative added that “Defence does not anticipate a delay to the F-35A capability achieving initial operating capability and expects to accept the first Australian F-35A aircraft — with the full Block 3F [software] warfighting capability — in the first quarter of 2018. “The first two Australian F-35A aircraft will be permanently based in Australia from December 2018," the departmental representative said...."

Source: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation ... 1998d58392
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 post05 Feb 2018, 16:49

From the Source: Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies
31 Jan 2018 Katherine Ziesing

"The RAAF is in the process of bedding down an array of new platforms and processes, building on the gains of the last 12-18 months in particular. With the first F-35 set to arrive at the end of the year, ADM's Managing Editor Katherine Ziesing caught up with the Chief of Air Force to get an update on all things RAAF....

...In terms of Air Combat Group (ACG), I had a chance to fly the LIFCAP simulator (Lead In Fighter Capability Assurance Program Hawk) over at Pearce recently. It’s quite a step up from the Hawk we bought originally. About half the fleet is done; the rest will be completed by the middle of 2018.

It is a different simulator. It’s a different aircraft setup. It has better comms, better computing, more options for training and doing that mission rehearsal piece as we will do on F-35 much earlier in the Lead In Fighter Program. So at 79 Squadron straight out of what will become PC-21, it is a really rapid shift now to what will be an expectation from a Super Hornet, Growler or an F-35 crew.

With the F-35, from a technical point of view, there is still some work to do on the logistics management. There is also some work to do on how we go about feeding the ones and zeros that will be required for the mission data, and at what rate. Everyone has to feed into this data bucket to be able to make F-35 viable, and it’s not just F-35. Wedgetail will need that, Growler will need it, also Super Hornet, DDGs, future submarine, future frigate, and the future land force. Battle Management System for Army will need these elements to be able to maximise their effect.
In a country the size of Australia, we are an expeditionary force... [F-35B F-35B F-35B F-35B] :doh:

...part of the Jericho-isation of our training continuum has been teaching resilience, it’s about better preparation of the candidates, it’s about changing the way our instructors instruct. One cookie cutter isn’t the right method, as different people learn differently. A tailored one-on-one approach has seen immense changes in this space.

We’ve found that to be much more efficient, as opposed to the ‘You have failed in whatever it is you’re doing and you're scrubbed’ approach – which means finding another candidate and taking them through the whole process again from scratch. However I would like to emphasise that we are not lowering standards. If you don’t make the standard you can’t stay. But if we can find a better way to get you to meet the standard, then let’s explore that.

That’s why I’m really excited about the pilot training system. If we get this training continuum right, all of the men and women that get to fly these aircraft and operate these systems will be of a higher standard
. It will be a better way to assimilate to these new systems than what I would unfortunately say has been a rather antiquated system for too long.

ADM: The first F-35s will arrive at the end of the year. What still needs to happen for that to be successful?
Davies:
Not much. The vector for that to happen is on track. The facilities at Williamtown are coming along nicely. If you haven’t been to Williamtown for a little while, I’d go and have a look. It is an amazing transformation and hats off to the contractors and the F-35 team that have brought that together, CASG and E&IG. It’s been amazing.

So all of the hardware, the bricks and mortar and things we need are there on track for the arrival of the first F-35s. F-35 number three is off the production line and the next eight will come very quickly.

When you look at the manufacturing line in Fort Worth at the moment, there are several RAAF jets in that line now. That is all timed for the end of the year, when the first pair will arrive. Several of those aircraft that come off the line will stay at Luke Air Force Base to be part of the international program, which we are benefitting from in terms of pilots and maintainers."

Source: http://www.australiandefence.com.au/int ... leo-davies
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 post08 Feb 2018, 04:17

First flights for fourth and fifth RAAF F-35s
30 Jan 2018 OzAv

"The RAAF’s fourth and fifth Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning IIs have made their first flights. Photographer Caulun Belcher captured these images of A35-004 – above – and A35-005 – below – during their first flights, from Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas on December 14 and January 23, respectively....

...Like the first two RAAF F-35As, A35-004 and A35-005 wear the tail markings of 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2COU)..."

Photos: http://australianaviation.com.au/wp-con ... C_4342.jpg "A35-004 wears 2OCU tail markings. Photo – Caulun Belcher" & http://australianaviation.com.au/wp-con ... 7362-1.jpg "A35-005 with an F-16 flying chase. Photo – Caulun Belcher"


Source: http://australianaviation.com.au/2018/0 ... aaf-f-35s/
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Unread post08 Feb 2018, 04:36

More will be popping out very fast soon.
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Unread post08 Feb 2018, 07:44

Long article at URL so best read it there for all the good bits - I'm excerpting only bits wot grabs me at moment....
The forecast is for Lightning
01 Feb 2018 Nigel Pittaway

"...As things stand at the end of 2017, the arrival of the first two aircraft at RAAF Williamtown remains on-track to occur sometime in December 2018 and, more importantly, Initial Operational Capability also looks likely to be achieved on-schedule by the end of 2020....

...There are now six RAAF pilots trained on the aircraft and more undergoing their conversion...

...Twenty-five Australian maintenance personnel have also completed their initial training with the US Air Force at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida and most of these are now at Luke gaining experience on the aircraft alongside Lockheed Martin maintainers.

“They are getting experience on how the aircraft are maintained and I think we are really benefitting from that exposure,” Air Vice Marshal Leigh Gordon, Head Joint Strike Fighter program for CASG explained to ADM. “We’re finding Lockheed Martin is a good partner for us to work with on-site at Luke, because they have a very good understanding of ALIS (the F-35’s Autonomic Joint Logistics Information System) and a good understanding of the maintenance that’s required on the platform.”...

...eight Australian jets in LRIP 10 are now undergoing final completion in Fort Worth and will be delivered to Luke during the course of 2018... The current plan is for all of the aircraft to initially be delivered to Luke, before two are selected from the pool to be ferried to Australia to begin Verification and Validation testing in the Australian operating environment in early 2019....

...The Joint Strike Fighter Division recently established an F-35 Off- Board Information Systems Centre (OBISC) at Williamtown, a unique capability that hosts the ALIS system.

“The opening of the OBISC in July is a very intelligent risk reduction activity, which allows us to take ALIS and practice using the system and start trials with hooking it up to the Defence Information Environment,” AVM Gordon said. “That’s progressing and I’m glad we started it when we did. We’ve now installed some of the classified mission planning elements into the system and we’re starting to get some real experience with the platform and the support systems that work around it.”

The next major delivery of infrastructure at RAAF Williamtown will be the Integrated Training Centre, which will be the hub of training operations at No.2 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) and will include simulator bays, classified areas, classrooms and a flight line and hangar, able to accommodate seven aircraft.

The simulators themselves are due to be delivered in the second half of 2018 and maintenance training is due to begin in the facility in the same period.

In the US a software reprogramming laboratory is also under construction, which will support JSF aircraft from Australia, Canada (should Canada eventually purchase the F-35) and the UK. Known as the ACURL (Australia, Canada, UK Reprogramming Laboratory), the facility is adjacent to a similar USRL (for the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps) and NIRL (for Norway and Italy). A further reprogramming laboratory will support the remaining partner nations and FMS customers at NAS Point Mugu in California.

“We have Australians operating at Eglin right now, albeit in temporary facilities, learning how the various reprogramming tools work and at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, they are building the tools that will be installed in our laboratory next year,” AVM Gordon explained.

Defence has recently signed contracts with SRC Australia to produce data sets for operational missions for the F-35 and to help deliver the Ghosthawk mission support system, which will be used to produce trusted mission data sets.

“Ghosthawk is a tool that will allow Air Force and the ADF to manage its intelligence mission data, and support the generation of the mission data files that each of the platforms will need to operate,” AVM Gordon added. “In particular, it will allow us to feed mission data to the ACURL.”....

...“We’re now very confident that we’ll have 3F in our aircraft, which come off the production line in 2018 and our first two aircraft will be upgraded to 3F configuration during the year as well,” AVM Gordon said.

Although acknowledging that ALIS still has some deficiencies at the moment, AVM Gordon said that the US is rolling out another software load at the present time and there will be at least one further drop before the RAAF begins operating the aircraft in Australia.

“ALIS is already a far better tool than the tools it is replacing in Australia, it already has better functionality than we have at the moment, but we’re focussing on things like the protection of sovereign data,” he said. “That’s one of the key risks around ALIS, but we have an architecture concept in place which involves us introducing some data gateways and we think it’s a practical outcome. It’s just a matter of working through that and making sure it doesn’t compromise the way ALIS works.”...

...V&V
The first two jets to arrive in Australia will conduct Verification and Validation (V&V) activities in the unique Australian operating environment. This work is not intended to replicate the OT&E work done in the US, but rather to ensure that operations in the Australian environment, including the interface with the local IT environment are fully understood....

...To minimise the risk in the start up of pilot training in Australia, consideration is being given to retaining a training footprint at Luke to ensure that any difficulties experienced in transitioning the training continuum to Australia can be resolved without impacting the overall program...."

Source: http://www.australiandefence.com.au/def ... -lightning
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 post16 Feb 2018, 21:32

Australian Industry Achieves F-35 Contract Value Milestone
15 Feb 2018 Jeff Babione

"The Australian Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, announced [ http://www.defence.gov.au/casg/NewsMedi ... _milestone ] this week that Australian industry has been collectively awarded over $1 billion AUD in industrial participation contracts for the F-35 program. The strength of Australia’s defense industry has made it a significant and crucial contributor to the program, which will support up to 5,000 Australian jobs by 2023.

“More than 50 Australian companies directly shared in the production contracts to date, with many more indirectly benefiting through supply chain work,” Minister Pyne said. “Australian industry continues to prove its global competitiveness by performing better than initial forecasts, with Australian industry involvement expected to exceed $2 billion by 2023.”..."



Source: https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... _15_18.pdf (255Kb)
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Unread post02 Mar 2018, 06:15

Milskil wins JSF training contract from Lockheed Martin
01 Mar 2018 Katherine Ziesing

"Lockheed Martin Rotary[?] Mission Systems has selected Australian owned and operated SME Milskil as preferred supplier to deliver a range of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) training services at the RAAF Williamtown F-35 Lightning II Integrated Training Centre.

“Milskil has been providing operational training to the RAAF’s Air Combat Group for over 15 years and welcomes this opportunity to be able to expand its training services to the F-35 Lightning II as an integral member of the Lockheed Martin team,” Milskil’s Grant Iddon Director of Business Development said. “Milskil looks forward to playing a key role in the introduction and sustainment of this important capability into the Royal Australian Air Force.”..."

Source: http://www.australiandefence.com.au/new ... eed-martin
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 post03 Mar 2018, 00:33

It's Rotary and Mission Systems. The "rotary" part is basically Sikorsky.

RMS is responsible for the F-35 simulators. They also include the Prepar3D guys.
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