CNO Nominee Richardson Thoughts on F-35C

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spazsinbad

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Unread post31 Jul 2015, 17:56

Advance Questions for Admiral John M. Richardson, USN Nominee for the Position of Chief of Naval Operations
29 Jul 2015

"...Tactical Fighter Programs
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program, which is the largest and most expensive acquisition program in the Department’s history, was formally initiated as a program of record in 2002 with a total planned buy of 2,443 aircraft for the U.S. At projected procurement rates, the aircraft will be procured by the Department well into the 2030 decade to reach its total quantity buy. The program has not yet completed its systems development and demonstration phase, and is not due to enter full rate production until 2019, 17 years after its inception.

The Navy’s FY16 budget request indicates a program of record of 369 F-35C, with Navy procurement continuing throughout the life of the F-35 procurement program. The overall requirement for 2,443 aircraft was established nearly 20 years ago. Since that time, however, there have been countervailing pressures to: (1) reduce force structure to conserve resources; (2) improve capability to respond to prospective adversary technological advances and increased capabilities from updated threat assessments; and (3) respond to an evolving national defense strategy.


Do you believe the Navy’s F-35C requirement is still valid?
Yes, the F-35C will be a vital part of the future Carrier Air Wing.

Do you believe the Navy can afford and needs to procure 310 more F-35Cs with a procurement cost of over $42 billion?
The F-35C provides essential 5th generation strike fighter capability to our Carrier Air Wings. Without this capability, we cannot achieve air superiority. The Department of the Navy currently has a requirement for 340 F-35Cs. If confirmed, I will work with the Chairman and other service chiefs to revalidate the appropriate number of aircraft the Navy requires to meet the mission.

Do you believe that the Navy will still want to buy the F-35C, an aircraft design that will be 30 years old before the Navy production is scheduled to finish?
The Navy is committed to making the F-35C the next Carrier Air Wing fighter, complementing the F/A-18E/F until that aircraft reaches the end of its lifetime in the 2030s.

Do you believe the Navy’s current and planned force mix of tactical aircraft is sufficient to meet current and future threats around the globe, and most especially in the Asia-Pacific theater of operations where the “tyranny of distance” is such a major factor?
Currently, I do. There are capability, inventory, and readiness aspects to delivering the required force mix. If confirmed, I will work with leadership to determine the best options to pace the threat in a dynamic security and fiscal environment.

The Secretary of the Navy recently remarked that he believed the F-35 should be and would be the nation’s last manned fighter aircraft. Do you believe this to be true?
If confirmed, I will work with the Secretary of the Navy to aggressively advance the development of unmanned systems. It is crucial that we push the boundaries of what unmanned technologies can achieve; the next generation in tactical aviation will play a large part in this transformation...."

Source: http://news.usni.org/2015/07/31/documen ... -questions (PDF 0.25Mb download at this URL page)
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Unread post31 Jul 2015, 22:34

Keeping the 340 target number for F-35C totals after the USMC diminished its C target purchase from 80 down to 67 would actually require a small expansion in USN F-35C purchases.

That would be kind of a kick in the nuts of the haters and of the "the USN does not like it" crowd.
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Unread post31 Jul 2015, 22:37

Does it really matter what they opt for now? My guess is just like the F-18 they end up buying it for more airframes and longer than they anticipate today.
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Unread post01 Aug 2015, 01:48

bigjku wrote:Does it really matter what they opt for now? My guess is just like the F-18 they end up buying it for more airframes and longer than they anticipate today.


This^^

Flashback to the early 2000s and I was hearing far worse things about the Super Hornet-- And look where we are now. If tradition holds we will be hearing all about how enamored the USN is with the F-35C and how webbed feet are dragging on the F/A-XX. Even more true when the whole "optionally manned" phrase pops up more and more.

What do we think will happen?
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Unread post07 Aug 2015, 04:07

Some more thots from the underling bigwigs skinflints USNstyle.
Deputy CNO says both F-35 and UCLASS needed for future carrier air wing
05 Aug 2015 Marina Malenic

"Key Points
The USN sees the F-35 as "absolutely essential" in an A2/AD environment

• The service wants to partner the F-35 with the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is "essential" to the US Navy (USN), while an Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft would also greatly improve the future carrier air wing, a senior USN official said on 5 August.

"The F-35 is absolutely essential in the A2/AD [anti-access/area-denial] environment," said Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, deputy chief of naval operations for warfare capabilities. "The way we've shaped our air wing, with the [Boeing F/A-18E/F] Super Hornet becoming more of a truck, and the F-35B and C [on the first day of conflict] being able to [penetrate] into those integrated air defences and the Super Hornet partnering with them as the way to go."

The admiral was speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

He added, however, that the navy may be forced to curtail buy quantities of costly aircraft, speaking generally but including the F-35. "It's a terrific aircraft, but it's expensive," he said of the F-35. But if "we keep on building [equipment] the way we are, the numbers are going to come down."..."

Source: http://www.janes.com/article/53465/depu ... r-air-wing

The Future of Naval Capabilities
Published on Aug 5, 2015 Center for Strategic & International Studies

"....a discussion with Admirals Aucoin and Winter on the U.S. Navy's efforts to develop new capabilities above, on, and under the sea.
Featuring: Vice Admiral Joseph P. Aucoin, USN Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems
and
Rear Admiral Mathias W. Winter, USN Chief of Naval Research; Director, Innovation, Technology Requirements, and Test & Evaluation
Moderated by: Andrew P. Hunter Director, Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group Senior Fellow, International Security Program Center for Strategic and International Studies

The Maritime Security Dialogue brings together CSIS and U.S. Naval Institute, two of the nation's most respected non-partisan institutions. The series is intended to highlight the particular challenges facing the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, from national level maritime policy to naval concept development and program design. Given budgetary challenges, technological opportunities, and ongoing strategic adjustments, the nature and employment of U.S. maritime forces are likely to undergo significant change over the next ten to fifteen years. The Maritime Security Dialogue provides an unmatched forum for discussion of these issues with the nation's maritime leaders."

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Unread post09 Aug 2015, 22:08

Some more WOOP! WOOP! for the F-35B/C & A from a USN Admirable for the 'big blue blanket' scenario.
Shaping an Operational Strategy in the Pacific: An Interview with Rear Admiral John Aquilino
09 Aug 2015 Robbin Laird

"Pac Fleet operates in the largest area of operations for US forces. The immensity of the theater of operations, as well as the dynamics of change in the region, pose ongoing challenges of matching resources against tasks in protecting US interests and working closely with allies and partners.

Recently, I had a chance to sit down with the PACFLEET’s Director of Maritime Operations, Rear Admiral Aquilino to discuss the challenges and the way ahead. In his current position, he is at the vortex of the operational capabilities and deployment of the fleet, and is positioned to understand the dynamics of shaping strategy up against the ongoing challenges and threats in the Pacific....

...The Admiral highlighted that the Pacific when all is said and down is a maritime domain, and learning to operate in the blue water and to operate from the sea into the littorals is an art form which needs to be learned, and not just assumed.

The US Navy has a long history in the region, and has gone through many learning cycles. And the strategy in the Pacific was simply put by the Admiral: “We need to have the ability to operate where it matters and when it matters. And we can do that.”

He followed the lead of the CNO who emphasizes that if one fight[s] the high end fight, one can adapt to the other challenges; but the reverse is not necessarily true....

...When asked what technologies are coming to the Pacific which we enable PACFLEET to achieve this strategy more effectively, he quickly focused on the coming of the F-35 to the fleet and to the region.

“I mentioned earlier that our task is clearly that we need to have the ability to operate where it matters and when it matters. The F-35 will enhance our ability to do so. Although I am a naval aviator, I am not speaking as one when I make this point about the new aircraft. It is a force multiplier and enhancer not just a new combat aircraft. It clearly will enhance or air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities, but it as a deployed and integrated sensor aircraft it extends our reach and expands our flexibility and agility.”

He focused on the F-35’s role organically with PACFLEET (on carriers and on amphibious ships) but also in terms of being able to draw from the sensor stream of a deployed USAF as well as allied force of F-35s. “The integration of the sensor grid is a crucial and evolving capability which will be expanded as the F-35 enters the Pacific.”

My colleague Ed Timperlake referred to the evolution, which the Admiral was discussing as the 21st Century variant of the “big blue blanket.”...

Source: http://www.sldinfo.com/shaping-an-opera ... -aquilino/
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Unread post09 Aug 2015, 23:02

More like a patchwork quilt perhaps, different pieces from here and there of varied materials, colors, textures and shapes coming together. :D
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Unread post10 Aug 2015, 03:46

It's clear that money will be tight for the next few years, and it's clear that the SLEPing of F/A-18A-Ds is proving more difficult, time consuming and costly than planned. One one hand, that Navy says it needs the capabilities of the F-35C, yet it also says it needs to reexamine its acquisition plans. The OSD recently wrote Congress urging them to close the Super Hornet line, yet Boeing decided to keep the Super Hornet line running at a reduced rate from 2 to 1 per month for the time being. It seems pretty clear what the Navy's intentions are: the Navy will buy as many F-35s as it can afford. But it also wants near term options if the F-35 faces further delays getting a version that can match the Super Hornet's versatility at a reasonable/comparable price, and replace legacy aircraft that cannot be economically refurbished. With the Charlie pricing out at double the price of a Super Hornet, I would not be surprised to see the Navy acquire another 36 over the next few years, and start development of some ASH retrofits to recapitalize older Super Hornets.

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