Commander Naval Air Forces wants more F/A-18s

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usnvo

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Unread post05 Apr 2018, 23:50

optimist wrote:you didn't read my post before you posted, or read the link I have previously posted. About the conops and therefore the dot&e report on the block I and block II being mission similarly effective, did you.

If the 99 is jamming on the same and the adjacent frequencies of the 79. It is a big ask for the apg-79 to be unaffected. They are working on it. I'm sure the probable encoding and isolating solution, if there is one. It would be secret. It is after all defeating the jamming of the alq-99 on all bands


No, I read your links and when you show me anything more than happy thoughts from the 2006-2009 time frame that are OBE, I will take them seriously.

As to you comment on the ALQ-99, yes I agree with you and they are working on it. But as of this date, it is still a problem or the Navy would quit trying to fix it. I did not say it couldn't be fixed, just that it wasn't fixed. As of 2013, the Navy stated rather bluntly that any EW function for the 79 was on indefinite hold until the could solve the reliability problems and fix the issues with the classified mission sets. To date, they have done neither although they are getting closer.

To a large extent, the APG-79 issues are similar to the issues the C-130J had when it was introduced. Even though Congress had already bought the J for the USAF, just like the Navy has already bought the APG-79, they had to test it and guess what, they found it didn't meet the requirements that they wrote for it! The difference is that the Navy wrote the specifications for the APG-79 before they purchased them as opposed to after they were sitting on the flight line but the end result is the Navy will live with it and continue to spend money fixing the issues. Someday, hopefully, it will meet its' required specifications but that day is not today.
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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 03:47

My own cynical view:

The Super Hornet MYP combined with the recently proposed Ford-class MYP is in part an
attempt by the Navy to thwart a congressionally mandated CVL since the higher spot
factor Super Hornet would be unsuitable for smaller carriers.
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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 04:19

Where did you get the 'idea' about "higher spot factor of a Super Hornet unsuitable for a CVL"? Has this CVL been designed?
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optimist

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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 05:25

usnvo wrote:
optimist wrote:you didn't read my post before you posted, or read the link I have previously posted. About the conops and therefore the dot&e report on the block I and block II being mission similarly effective, did you.

If the 99 is jamming on the same and the adjacent frequencies of the 79. It is a big ask for the apg-79 to be unaffected. They are working on it. I'm sure the probable encoding and isolating solution, if there is one. It would be secret. It is after all defeating the jamming of the alq-99 on all bands


No, I read your links and when you show me anything more than happy thoughts from the 2006-2009 time frame that are OBE, I will take them seriously.

As to you comment on the ALQ-99, yes I agree with you and they are working on it. But as of this date, it is still a problem or the Navy would quit trying to fix it. I did not say it couldn't be fixed, just that it wasn't fixed. As of 2013, the Navy stated rather bluntly that any EW function for the 79 was on indefinite hold until the could solve the reliability problems and fix the issues with the classified mission sets. To date, they have done neither although they are getting closer.

To a large extent, the APG-79 issues are similar to the issues the C-130J had when it was introduced. Even though Congress had already bought the J for the USAF, just like the Navy has already bought the APG-79, they had to test it and guess what, they found it didn't meet the requirements that they wrote for it! The difference is that the Navy wrote the specifications for the APG-79 before they purchased them as opposed to after they were sitting on the flight line but the end result is the Navy will live with it and continue to spend money fixing the issues. Someday, hopefully, it will meet its' required specifications but that day is not today.

There are still issues with the 79. The reason my links are from years ago is because they are the ones I recall when I was looking at this stuff. Given we are looking at retiring our rhino in 2025, I haven't kept up and have switched to the f-35.

I don't think me finding again and giving you a link to a 2010 RAAF guy. Saying the usn conops block I and II are the same for operational reasons on the boat and the RAAF will be the first to do certain stuff will make much of an impact on you. I would think it is the reason the mission effectiveness being the same. (or the wording used in the dot&e that you are referring to)
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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 05:42

Surprisingly the DOT&E did not produce a report in 2017. However, their 2016 still had issues:

Executive Summary
• During FY16, the Navy released System Configuration Set (SCS) H10E for use in the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the EA-18G Growler fleets. Software upgrades for the Super Hornet included improved multi-sensor integration, aircrew displays, short-range tracking, and combat identification. For the Growler, SCS H10 added the Joint Tactical Terminal Receiver, enhanced combat identification capability, and expanded jamming assignments. SCS H10 included an initial capability allowing aircrew for both platforms to operate more easily in Air Traffic Control (ATC)-controlled airspace.
• The reliability of the APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar improved during SCS H10 testing for the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G, demonstrating the highest reliability to date since introduction of the AESA in 2006. However, it failed to meet the program reliability requirement.
• SCS H10 built-in test (BIT) detection and isolation functions demonstrated strong performance, but a high BIT false alarm rate resulted in an unnecessary maintenance burden.
• The Super Hornet weapons system has demonstrated operational effectiveness and suitability in most, but not all, threat environments. Previous DOT&E classified reports have discussed the threat environments in which the Super Hornet is not effective.
• The EA-18G Growler weapons system equipped with SCS H10 demonstrated operational effectiveness and suitability with the same radar limitations as the Super Hornet. It also demonstrated degraded APG-79 performance when ALQ-99 pods radiated within the AESA frequency range.
• The Navy began operational testing of the next software upgrade, SCS H12, in October 2016. Planned improvements include another phase of multi-sensor integration improvements, enhanced ALQ-218 geolocation, Communication Countermeasures Set improvements, modifications to crew to aircraft interfaces and displays to manage aircrew workload, and additional capabilities to
operate in ATC-controlled airspace.

Assessment
• Although capability enhancements in SCS H10 resulted in incremental changes in the ability of the Super Hornet to complete missions, DOT&E did not expect this software release to add significant mission capability. The F/A-18E/F remains operationally effective in some threat environments and ineffective in particular air warfare environments noted in classified reports. Though SCS H10 has begun to address some of those long-standing deficiencies in air warfare, the Super Hornet requires further improvements. Software false alarms in SCS H10 impose a maintenance burden on unit personnel.
• SCS H10 testing showed improved AESA reliability, and while it demonstrated the highest reliability to date since introduction of the AESA in 2006, it fell short of its reliability requirement. Although the AESA provides improved performance compared to the legacy mechanically-steered radar, DOT&E has assessed the radar as not operationally suitable since the 2006 IOT&E because of poor software stability and BIT performance. Fault identification and isolation functionality have improved, but the AESA false alarm rate remains high. Additionally, the F/A-18 has demonstrated interoperability deficiencies with on- and off-board sensor inputs.
• DOT&E continues to assess the EA-18G as operationally effective and suitable subject to the same threat limitations as the Super Hornet. The radar performance degradation occurs when ALQ-99 pods radiate in AESA frequencies, affecting Growler operational effectiveness.
• Because the Navy did not include an end-to-end multiple AIM120 missile test during SCS H10, testing has been deferred to SCS H12 FOT&E. The Navy will not have successfully demonstrated that the AESA can support this required capability until this test is successfully completed.
• The Navy’s F/A-18 fleet relies more heavily on Lot 25+ E and F aircraft compared to the Navy’s operational test squadron, VX-9, which includes more F/A-18C and D aircraft and older E and F aircraft that lack HOL mission computers and APG-79 AESA radars, making test conditions less operationally representative.

http://www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/FY2 ... fa18ef.pdf
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optimist

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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 05:58

Perhaps they are waiting on the results of the $17m APG-79 upgrade?
https://www.upi.com/Raytheon-tapped-for ... 490357719/
March 24 (UPI) -- Raytheon received a $17.8 million contract to upgrade radars used on F/A-18 and EA-18G aircraft operated by the U.S. Navy and the Australian air force.
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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 18:03

spazsinbad wrote:Where did you get the 'idea' about "higher spot factor of a Super Hornet unsuitable for a CVL"? Has this CVL been designed?


In most of the future fleet/future carriers studies, only an F-35 was considered for the CV(N)-LX.
My guess is that in addition to the lower spot factor, the F-35C also has a lower launch WOD
requirement in most combat trims. What's your estimate, Spaz?

EMALS may render launch WOD somewhat less important though.
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usnvo

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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 20:25

marauder2048 wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:Where did you get the 'idea' about "higher spot factor of a Super Hornet unsuitable for a CVL"? Has this CVL been designed?


In most of the future fleet/future carriers studies, only an F-35 was considered for the CV(N)-LX.
My guess is that in addition to the lower spot factor, the F-35C also has a lower launch WOD
requirement in most combat trims. What's your estimate, Spaz?

EMALS may render launch WOD somewhat less important though.


I think the reason for only the F-35C for a notional CVL has a simpler reason than spot factor or WOD requirement. Any notional CVL is outside the FYDP, so if you assume several years to refine the requirements, another couple of years for the detailed design, and then another five or so years to build the lead ship, that gets you to 2032 or so before you have to put an airwing on it. So, if you are increasing tactical aviation to man the carrier air wing, you can only buy new F-35Cs. If you are just adopting existing airwings to the new carrier, you are going to send F-35C squadrons because they are better to make up for the reduction in aircraft (you'll ditch the old F-18s instead of the new F-35Cs), and from an analysis standpoint, since the CVL will be around from 2030+-2070+ so you need to look at that entire time frame instead of just the first part of it.
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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 21:18

VFA-14trans.gif
Again thanks 'usnvo'. I wonder if we will ever see anything other than new CVNs of the FORD variety... RHINO says....
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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 22:32

First Super Hornet Inducted Into Service Life Extension Program
06 Apr 2018 Sam LaGrone

"ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The first F/A-18F that will have its service life extended beyond 6,000 flight hours arrived at Boeing on Thursday. The Super Hornet from Naval Air Station Oceania, Va. flew to Boeing’s newly developed service life modification line in Missouri to start a process that will add 3,000 more hours to aircraft, Dan Gillian, Boeing’s head of Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler programs, told reporters on Thursday.

Faced with a looming strike fighter shortfall, the Navy and Boeing began work in 2009 to extend the life of the aircraft first introduced into the fleet in 1999. “The initial airplanes will go from 6,000 [hours] to 7,500 hours and then from 7,500 to 9,000,” Gillian said. “Initial airplanes will take 18 months and we’ll work that down to 12 months, that’s the rate we have to get to.”

Eventually, Boeing will work to perform life extensions on 40 to 50 Super Hornets a year split between its line in St. Louis and a second ine in San Antonio, Texas....

...As the program evolves, the service is set to upgrade the current Block II Super Hornets with new data links, conformal fuel tanks and upgraded avionics to a Block III configuration.

“Block III will get introduced into production in 2020 in 2022 we’ll start doing Block II to III conversions. The Navy’s vision is to convert all Block II Super Hornets into Block III Super Hornets,” Gillian said. “The service life modification, starting at about 2022 will take Block II Super Hornets and convert them into Block III Super Hornets.”"

Source: https://news.usni.org/2018/04/06/first- ... on-program
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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 22:51

usnvo wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:Where did you get the 'idea' about "higher spot factor of a Super Hornet unsuitable for a CVL"? Has this CVL been designed?


In most of the future fleet/future carriers studies, only an F-35 was considered for the CV(N)-LX.
My guess is that in addition to the lower spot factor, the F-35C also has a lower launch WOD
requirement in most combat trims. What's your estimate, Spaz?

EMALS may render launch WOD somewhat less important though.


I think the reason for only the F-35C for a notional CVL has a simpler reason than spot factor or WOD requirement. Any notional CVL is outside the FYDP, so if you assume several years to refine the requirements, another couple of years for the detailed design, and then another five or so years to build the lead ship, that gets you to 2032 or so before you have to put an airwing on it. So, if you are increasing tactical aviation to man the carrier air wing, you can only buy new F-35Cs. If you are just adopting existing airwings to the new carrier, you are going to send F-35C squadrons because they are better to make up for the reduction in aircraft (you'll ditch the old F-18s instead of the new F-35Cs), and from an analysis standpoint, since the CVL will be around from 2030+-2070+ so you need to look at that entire time frame instead of just the first part of it.


By this line of reasoning the studies should be considering F/A-XX which they did not.

IIRC, RAND's report (the original version of which the CNO rejected and had them do-over), had a CVN-LX date that
was that far into the future because the CVN-LX envisioned had a hybrid nuclear-diesel IPS that had to be designed
from scratch which resulted in CVN-78 like design/build hours.

The other studies were more modest, lighter and conventional CVLs derived from the LHA(R)/LHD dual tram line
studies with far sooner delivery dates.
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Unread post07 Apr 2018, 15:07

My take: When we finally get the F-35C to the fleet, the people responsible for buying all these Super Duper's will be exposed. The quantum leap in capability that we should have in numbers will have been hamstrung by politics/corporate welfare. And I for one, hope these people continuing to buy SH's/SDH's have their careers shortened because of it.
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Unread post07 Apr 2018, 16:05

Some of the big picture problem is vendor lock-in to the project lead. If Boeing suddenly integrated all of the F-35C radar and communication gear into F-18 at a significant price undercut of F-35C it is only bad for Lockheed-Martin.
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Unread post07 Apr 2018, 20:03

mixelflick wrote:My take: When we finally get the F-35C to the fleet, the people responsible for buying all these Super Duper's will be exposed. The quantum leap in capability that we should have in numbers will have been hamstrung by politics/corporate welfare. And I for one, hope these people continuing to buy SH's/SDH's have their careers shortened because of it.


The continued buy of F-18s is a result of the mismanagement of the F-18 fleet more than anything about the F-35C. The Navy has done such a poor job of managing the SH maintenance (only some of it self-inflicted) that new construction is the only way they can dig themselves out of the problem. Adding more F-35Cs may help in 5-6 years from the date they are ordered but they actually hurt readiness before then where adding new F-18s helps immediately on delivery. I also think the whole Block III thing is just a way to get rid of the SH Blk Is that will soon be deemed too far gone for a life extension.
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Unread post07 Apr 2018, 23:13

Ideally, the USN could have an all F-35C fleet, but that's just not realistic. They can't build Cs fast enough, to replace aircraft that would need to be retired. Without planes, it's hard to justify carriers. The only way to get the numbers is concurrent production of BLK III and F-35C. The nice thing about the SH, is that it's already certified for a vast amount of weapons, whereas the C will have to wait till future Blocks, to carry certain types of ordnance. Bottom line, the SH is still needed, and may as well be upgraded to remain as relevant as possible.
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