GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 08 Aug 2017, 19:00
by SpudmanWP
The is the Department of Defense’s (DOD) most expensive and ambitious acquisition program. In April 2017, we reported that acquisition costs alone are estimated at nearly $400 billion, and operating and sustainment costs are estimated to be over $1 trillion.
Meanwhile, due to evolving threats and changing warfighting environments, DOD has begun planning and funding the development of new capabilities for the , known as follow-on modernization.
The research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) funding needed for the first modernization phase, known as Block 4, is projected to be over $3.9 billion through 2022, which would exceed the statutory and regulatory thresholds for what constitutes a major defense acquisitions program (MDAP), and would make it more expensive than many of the other MDAPs already in DOD’s portfolio.


Much more (8 pages) at the Jump


http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/686436.pdf

No surprise as the greatest risk is concurrency.

Going forward, an area of potential concern we identified is the apparent planned concurrency between Block 4 development and the procurement of Block 4 aircraft. Our assessment of DOD’s most recent Block 4 schedule (from August 2016) indicates that DOD was planning to request funding in February 2018 to purchase the first aircraft with the initial increment of Block 4 capabilities. This will come as part of DOD’s fiscal year 2019 budget request, more than 2 years before the development and testing of the first increment is complete. In addition, program and officials acknowledged that the aircraft’s current data processor is operating at maximum capacity, and an updated processor with increased capacity is likely needed for the first increment of Block 4 to function as intended.11

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 08 Aug 2017, 22:00
by spazsinbad
Thanks 'SWP' - graphic from above: http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/686436.pdf

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 08 Aug 2017, 22:34
by playloud
In addition, program and officials acknowledged that the aircraft’s current data processor is operating at maximum capacity, and an updated processor with increased capacity is likely needed for the first increment of Block 4 to function as intended. F-35 program officials acknowledge this risk and note that an updated processor may not be available until the second increment of Block 4. This poses a risk that the testing and delivery of the first increment of Block 4 capability may not be achievable as planned.


Interesting... so if I'm reading this right, the planned processor upgrade at 4.2 might not be soon enough?

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 08 Aug 2017, 22:39
by SpudmanWP
I am wondering if they could add an existing TR2 CPU card rather than swapping out for newer TR3 cards.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 09 Aug 2017, 00:32
by talkitron
The hardware and software upgrades should be simultaneous in the case where the hardware upgrade is required for the software upgrade but the software upgrade was erroneously scheduled first in the past.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 09 Aug 2017, 03:39
by maus92
Block 4 is absolutely necessary for the F-35; Block 3F is inferior to a Block II Super Hornet..

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 09 Aug 2017, 03:54
by quicksilver
Block 2B and 3i F-35s have been spanking Super Hornets all over the US for a couple years now. It's not even close...

The party-line group-think and resulting silence about it is deafening.

Unread postPosted: 09 Aug 2017, 04:24
by SpudmanWP
maus92 wrote:Block 3F is inferior to a Block II Super Hornet..

Says no one in the "know".

Given that Block 3i F-35s have spanked fully updated F-15Es that have new APG-82 AESA, JHMCS, etc are you saying that the F-18E Block2 is that much more capable than the most modern F-15E?

Re:

Unread postPosted: 09 Aug 2017, 08:20
by gideonic
SpudmanWP wrote:
maus92 wrote:Block 3F is inferior to a Block II Super Hornet..

Says no one in the "know".

Given that Block 3i F-35s have spanked fully updated F-15Es that have new APG-82 AESA, JHMCS, etc are you saying that the F-18E Blcok2 is that much more capable than the most modern F-15E?


Knowing maus92'es preferences I guess the truth is closer to:
"Block 3F doesn't do absolutely everything better than the Block II Super Hornet.."

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 09 Aug 2017, 15:38
by mk82
maus92 wrote:Block 4 is absolutely necessary for the F-35; Block 3F is inferior to a Block II Super Hornet..


Really? Well, I want to see a Block II Super Hornet penetrate an advanced IADS and directly take on multiple nodes of that advanced IADS with "minimal" support or quarterback large numbers of friendly aircraft whilst forward deployed in enemy/adversarial air space. Oh wait, Block 2B and Block 3i F35s have already done all this and more in premier LFEs (Large Force Exercises). In the case of the Block II Superbugs: Cricket....cricket.....cricket...

BTW, at high and similar fuel loads. a F35 can carry more ordnance (internal + external) than a Block II Super Hornet.....good luck with those pylon stealing EFTs (external fuel tanks).

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 09 Aug 2017, 19:38
by sprstdlyscottsmn
You guys are being disingenuous. 3i is, IIRC, limited to AIM-120C, 500#LGB, 1k# and 2k# JDAM and internal carry only. So, even if only in terms of number and types of weapons carried the 3i F-35 is inferior to most current fighters. It's ability to employ said munitions is light years beyond though.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 09 Aug 2017, 20:05
by XanderCrews
maus92 wrote:Block 4 is absolutely necessary for the F-35; Block 3F is inferior to a Block II Super Hornet..


In what way? Be specific

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 09 Aug 2017, 20:05
by SpudmanWP
Given that he brought up a comparison of the Block 3F F-35 to a Block2 F-18, the mention of a 3i F-35 was only made as an example of what the F-35 can do "pre" Block3F.

To find the answer is quite simple as all you need to do is list every mission that the F-18 does and everyone the F-35 does. Give each a score based on mission success vs how many assets it took to do the mission and add up the the total.

Simple answer, the F-35 dominates.

Re:

Unread postPosted: 09 Aug 2017, 20:06
by XanderCrews
SpudmanWP wrote:
maus92 wrote:Block 3F is inferior to a Block II Super Hornet..

Says no one in the "know".

Given that Block 3i F-35s have spanked fully updated F-15Es that have new APG-82 AESA, JHMCS, etc are you saying that the F-18E Block2 is that much more capable than the most modern F-15E?


In for answers

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 09 Aug 2017, 20:14
by talkitron
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:You guys are being disingenuous. 3i is, IIRC, limited to AIM-120C, 500#LGB, 1k# and 2k# JDAM and internal carry only. So, even if only in terms of number and types of weapons carried the 3i F-35 is inferior to most current fighters. It's ability to employ said munitions is light years beyond though.


I do agree integration with a wider number of weapons is a strength of fourth generation US fighters compared to fourth generation European fighters. For the F-35, block 3F will be in the few combat coded squadrons (at Hill and Iwakuni) in say summer 2018; the article below mentions a GAO estimate of finishing System Development and Demonstration in May 2018. Hopefully we can move beyond this hangup then!

https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2017/0 ... 500924106/

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 10 Aug 2017, 06:29
by spazsinbad
Another look at the problem - they'll work it out eh.
Modernization Program At Risk of Repeating F-35 Acquisition Mistakes, GAO Says
10 Aug 2017 Wilson Brissett

"If not adequately restructured in the near future, the cost of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s follow-on modernization effort could see unexpected cost increases, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office released Tuesday.

At issue is the slow development of a new data processor needed to support Block 4 capabilities on the aircraft. To avoid repeating the acquisition mistakes that have plagued the F-35 baseline program, GAO says the F-35 modernization strategy must use an incremental approach that separates procurement from development and testing....

...GAO sees the possibility for similar concurrency problems arising in the modernization effort. The Block 4 F-35 is likely to include new weapons (or at least weapons that are not currently in the 3F configuration) and enhancements to the aircraft’s electronic warfare suite, among other things. The bulk of the Air Force’s F-35A fleet will be built in the Block 4 and subsequent configurations.

The release of a request for proposals for the Block 4 upgrade has already been delayed from the third quarter of 2017 to later this year due to “budget uncertainties” and the “ongoing change in program leadership,” the Joint Program Office told GAO. The JPO has not delivered a congressionally mandated report on modernization acquisition strategy that was due in March, noting it says it will deliver the report by the end of August.

GAO wants the DOD to clarify its plans to eliminate concurrency in the Block 4 program. Program managers are currently planning to request funds for the first increment of Block 4 aircraft purchases in February 2018. Baseline F-35s, however, are currently maximizing the data processing capabilities of the aircraft. The Block 4 upgrades will require a new processor, but program officials told GAO that “an updated processor may not be available until the second increment of Block 4.”

Given these concurrency problems, GAO sees “a risk that the testing and delivery of the first increment of Block 4 capability may not be achievable as planned.” As a solution, GAO recommends “an incremental, knowledge-based approach” to the modernization program. DOD has committed to such a strategy in theory and told GAO that it plans to “develop Block 4 capabilities in four increments.”

This plan would involve returning to the Joint Requirements Oversight Council for fresh validation “if any significant cost, schedule, or quantity changes occur.” It would also make use of separate contract line item numbers for various capabilities related to the upgrade. This process would produce “more informed management and oversight” that would allow “decision makers to track costs and progress across individual development efforts,” in GAO’s estimation.

If the program office cannot incorporate these suggestions into its revised modernization strategy, GAO says, “DOD may be negotiating prices for those aircraft without knowing if or when the more advanced capabilities will be delivered and whether they will function as required.” In addition, Congress would find themselves confronting “the challenge of making funding decisions with limited information.”"

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... -Says.aspx

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 10 Aug 2017, 09:32
by neptune
spazsinbad wrote:...GAO wants the DOD to clarify its plans to eliminate concurrency in the Block 4 program. ... Baseline F-35s, however, are currently maximizing the data processing capabilities of the aircraft.
The Block 4 upgrades will require a new processor, but program officials told GAO that “an updated processor may not be available until the second increment of Block 4.” ...


...bookkeepers.. :bang: :bang:

...but...as Spud has suggested how about adding an additional current version CPU, for sharing the load??

....Baseline F-35s? is this the 3i or the 3F at issue?

....I would ask the maximizing data processing question, is the bottleneck in processing the data (CPUs?) or in I/O pre-processing thru-put?

....What exactly is the concurrency % status/ issue by LRIP Number (1 to 11(currently). Meaning, what percent of each LRIP is/ was the concurrency issues at the end of each LRIP and what is the present status. Is LRIP 1 now up to-date with LRIP 11?

...point of reference; the F-22 has both trainers and operators, 36? Block 20 and 151? Block 30/35(ish). It has been proposed the Block 20 upgraded to Block 30/35.
:)

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 10 Aug 2017, 16:20
by SpudmanWP
Given that Block 4 (not sure which one) includes UAI, this will address most of the "new weapon" issues.

Also, the concurrency issue is not as bad as the GAO puts forth since 4.1 is a "Software Only' patch (primarily).

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 10 Aug 2017, 17:29
by bigjku
SpudmanWP wrote:Given that Block 4 (not sure which one) includes UAI, this will address most of the "new weapon" issues.

Also, the concurrency issue is not as bad as the GAO puts forth since 4.1 is a "Software Only' patch (primarily).


Correct me if I am wrong but haven't actual paid concurrency cost consistently been much lower than GAO estimates?

It seems to me that GAO estimates the maximum possible risk and works from that basically saying it's a program liability. However the actual expense is usually just a fraction of that.

I know it's sacrilegious but perhaps military procurement doesn't always line up with generally accepted accounting procedures. Sometimes I wonder if the GAO understands the end purpose of things is to acquire something in a reasonable amount of time at a reasonable cost and risk and that all three factors must be balanced. They seem a bit laser focused on risk in particular. They want it to be effectively zero.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 10 Aug 2017, 17:47
by SpudmanWP
This the last concurrency projection chart that I have seen. Yes, costs are trending below GAO estimates.

Image

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 21 Dec 2018, 12:41
by spazsinbad
Updated F-35 Will Get Maritime Strike Capability
20 Dec 2018 John A. TIrpak​

"The Block IV version of the F-35 will add a fifth “mission thread” to the four missions it already performs—that of “expanded surface warfare”—Joint Strike Fighter Program Executive Officer Vice Adm. Mat Winter said in a Thursday interview with Air Force Magazine.

The Joint Program Office also has endorsed keeping Turkey as an F-35 partner despite concerns about that country buying a Russian-made missile defense system, Winter said. He also confirmed Japan’s expanded order for F-35s and said the Navy is on track to be operational with the C model of the fighter in two months.

The new mission boils down to improved capability “in maritime strike,” Winter told Air Force Magazine. The four core missions in the F-35 baseline version are: air superiority, suppression and destruction of enemy air defenses, close air support, and strategic attack of key targets.

The Block 3F version can do limited strikes against ships, but Winter explained the radar and other sensor functions needed to attack land targets are different for attack of sea targets. The update in Block IV will allow the F-35 to be effective in the sea strike role as well, he said.

The Navy/Air Force Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), a variant of the AGM-158 JASSM-ER, is not a fundamental element of the new mission capability, Winter said. Although the F-35 has had fit checks of LRASM externally and can probably carry the weapon internally, the Navy’s threshold munition for the mission is the AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon, or JSOW, he said, noting that LRASM may be added later...." [for whatever reason TURKEY then JAPAN feature]

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... ility.aspx

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 21 Dec 2018, 22:48
by marauder2048
spazsinbad wrote:The Navy/Air Force Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), a variant of the AGM-158 JASSM-ER, is not a fundamental element of the new mission capability, Winter said. Although the F-35 has had fit checks of LRASM externally and can probably carry the weapon internally, the Navy’s threshold munition for the mission is the AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon, or JSOW, he said, noting that LRASM may be added later


More to the point: the Navy is only buying a handful of LRASM. They have managed to sustain funding
for a JSOW-ER demonstration though.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2018, 03:33
by element1loop
marauder2048 wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:The Navy/Air Force Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), a variant of the AGM-158 JASSM-ER, is not a fundamental element of the new mission capability, Winter said. Although the F-35 has had fit checks of LRASM externally and can probably carry the weapon internally, the Navy’s threshold munition for the mission is the AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon, or JSOW, he said, noting that LRASM may be added later


More to the point: the Navy is only buying a handful of LRASM. They have managed to sustain funding
for a JSOW-ER demonstration though.


Migrating capability from SH to F-35 makes sense to reduce early warning and tracking, and then increasing LRASM buys as targets become harder to access in the 2020s and as B1 is withdrawn to make way for B-21. And/or awaiting another version of LRASM to mature, thus keeping initial buys low.

The original JASSM was designed to be the 'Joint' attack weapon for navy as well, but not bought by USN. But that doesn't mean JASSM on F-35A can't kill a frigate. JASSM could probably clean up most medium size navies and fleet bases, all by itself. Add to this the fact that RAAF went for JASSM over the SLAM-ER, and that should be a clear enough indication that that JASSM is a ship-killer as well, particularly after RAAF mods were added to JASSM (on Classics no less not SH, and the Classics are not supposed to be the land-attack strike force, they're mostly continental air-defense and anti-shipping).

So I'm not concerned about lower numbers of LRASM as it's for cracking the toughest nuts, the ones you need to hit first with complete surprise. Once surprise is lost and they got the kills they went after, they're less necessary, as other missiles can clean up the rest.

To my mind the announcement amounts to JASSM and JSM type on F-35A, and whatever else added to F-35C (JSOW, JSM and maybe LRASM for long-range sneak), before we see a more developed LRASM fielded, in larger numbers (hopefully cheaper with scale) as targets become harder to access next decade.

It's a pity RAAF didn't integrate JASSM on Superhornets but the SH were always supposed to be a brief (10-year) temporary bridge to get from F-111 to F-35A, so RAAF stuck with JSOW (which was a weird but much cheaper faster choice for replacement of F-111 strike).

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2018, 03:43
by popcorn
IIRC the initial justification for LRASM was a quick fix for the DDG/CG fleets.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2018, 03:47
by element1loop
popcorn wrote:IIRC the initial justification for LRASM was a quick fix for the DDG/CG fleets.


And in a Joint force paradigm, this doesn't mean LRASM goes in their VLS. The best platforms for their application, and for DDG and CG survivability, get them instead, and that's what's occurred, IMHO.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2018, 03:57
by popcorn
element1loop wrote:
popcorn wrote:IIRC the initial justification for LRASM was a quick fix for the DDG/CG fleets.


And in a Joint force paradigm, this doesn't mean LRASM goes in their VLS. The best platforms for their application, and for DDG and CG survivability, get them instead, and that's what's occurred, IMHO.


Apparently it's a tiered approach.
OASuW Increment 1 covers air-launched LRASM from USN and USAF a/c while OASuW Increment 2 focuses on arming the surface fleet. However, as the linked article notes. the latter may be in some flux.


http://www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/fy2 ... 7oasuw.pdf

The Navy plans to pursue a competitive acquisition strategy
for the OASuW Increment 2, which is intended to be an
offensive system of systems solution leveraging OASuW
Increment 1 technologies to meet future maritime threats
beyond 2024. Due to removal of funding for Increment 2
in the 2018 President’s Budget, the Navy is reevaluating its
strategy for OASuW Increment 2.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2018, 04:38
by marauder2048
The LRASM buy ends in 2021 with 115 in the Navy inventory; B-52 will be assuming the B-1's role for
maritime strike with 46 LRASM in the Air Force inventory.

The claim that JASSM classic has some ASuW capability needs some evidence; SLAM-ER has some
residual anti-ship capability against less capable surface combatants. But there are *FACs* out there
with the ESM/ECM and counter-ASCM capability to defeat anything without signature reduction.

So I don't buy the claim that LRASM is a mainly a surprise weapon for use against major surface combatants.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2018, 06:54
by element1loop
popcorn wrote:Due to removal of funding for Increment 2 in the 2018 President’s Budget, the Navy is reevaluating its strategy for OASuW Increment 2.


Low LRASM production numbers and re-eval can be because improvements are maturing or that what exists is sufficient, or that a cheaper weapon for the job is becoming available, within the time-window (i.e. JSM). If SLAM-ER lacked the capacity to get hits no one would have bought any vanilla BKII Harpoons the past decade. It also ignores the reality of NSM replacement and probable JSMs to come. And are more LRASM even necessary in that case?

If you were driving a FAC (or a DDG) would you want to be facing a flight of F-35C with LRASM?

If you were driving a FAC (or a DDG) would you want to be facing 4 x F-35A with JASSM?

The attack profiles may differ, the terminal sensors may differ, but would their signature differ much? I don't see any lack of options for getting the kills needed and then to kill everything else remaining with JSM, NSM, JSOW and several other weapons. And the idea of needing LRASM to kill FACs seems a bizarre suggestion for several reasons.

Equally, it needs to be shown that there's any intent to use LRASM for a purpose less than the hardest of targets using the highest level of stealth possible, because that's what's indicated from the profile and techniques described, and what's claimed by LM as well. So I don't buy this supposition they're going to be used for lesser ships - at all.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2018, 09:00
by marauder2048
element1loop wrote:Low LRASM production numbers and re-eval can be because improvements are maturing or that what exists is sufficient, or that a cheaper weapon for the job is becoming available, within the time-window.


It's pretty much been the +/- POR quantity for years now.

element1loop wrote:If SLAM-ER lacked the capacity to get hits no one would have bought any vanilla BKII Harpoons the past decade.


The Navy has been spending and will be spending money on Harpoon II+ WDL + seeker upgrades. SLAM-ER doesn't
seem to be going anywhere beyond basic sustainment. I don't favor either.

element1loop wrote:It also ignores the reality of NSM replacement and probable JSMs to come.


NSM has no datalink and no RFS. And has a 275 lb warhead. If the Navy is trickling out funds
for JSOW-ER a JSM @ quantity purchase seems improbable.


element1loop wrote:The attack profiles may differ, the terminal sensors may differ, but would their signature differ much?


The attack profile, as a consequence of the datalink + RFS, greatly reduces LRASM's exposure to
AAW sensors.

element1loop wrote:And the idea of needing LRASM to kill FACs seems a bizarre suggestion for several reasons.


Why? SCO sponsored an LRASM study on the Mk VI Patrol boat! It should be noted that even the 500 lb warhead
on Harpoon was viewed as most likely to achieve a mission kill which would be followed by stand-in attacks
with cheaper weapons. Modern networked IADS (ship or shore based) don't commend this approach.


element1loop wrote:Equally, it needs to be shown that there's any intent to use LRASM for a purpose less than the hardest of targets using the highest level of stealth possible, because that's what's indicated from the profile and techniques described, and what's claimed by LM as well. So I don't buy this supposition they're going to be used for lesser ships - at all.


And I'd like to see evidence that JASSM has any ASuW capability whatsoever.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2018, 14:12
by aussiebloke
marauder2048 wrote: B-52 will be assuming the B-1's role for
maritime strike with 46 LRASM in the Air Force inventory.


I can see that the 46 LRASM figure comes from FY2019 Budget Estimates:
https://www.saffm.hq.af.mil/Portals/84/ ... 190220-227 [85th page]

These figures though don't seem to tally with actual USAF orders placed which total 77 LRASM:

https://www.janes.com/article/84840/usa ... asm-stocks
https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1257663/
https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1691653/
https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1492196/

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2018, 17:31
by knowan
spazsinbad wrote:the F-35 has had fit checks of LRASM externally and can probably carry the weapon internally


I didn't think the F-35 could hold JASSM or LRASM internally.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2018, 19:25
by steve2267
knowan wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:the F-35 has had fit checks of LRASM externally and can probably carry the weapon internally


I didn't think the F-35 could hold JASSM or LRASM internally.


I have not seen, nor have I been able to find what the F-35 weapons bay “keep-out” dimensions are. Everything I have read has stated that LRASM is external-carry by the Lightning. Spaz post / reference is the first I’ve seen that internal carriage might be possible.

FWIW, LRASM is listed as 168 in. long. The AGM-154 JSOW, which is listed as an internal-carriage munition, is reportedly 162 in. long.

I’m sure LM is more than capable of redesigning LRASM to fit the Lightning bay should such a requirement emerge. Of course, all it takes is $$ and and possibly revising the LRASM-X specifications/requirements (possibly a little less range, or slightly smaller warhead).

There may also be “agreements” in place with the Norwegians (and Turks?) to NOT have an F-35-internal-version of LRASM to avoid competition with JSM etc. But this is purely speculative on my part.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2018, 08:22
by marauder2048
aussiebloke wrote:
marauder2048 wrote: B-52 will be assuming the B-1's role for
maritime strike with 46 LRASM in the Air Force inventory.


I can see that the 46 LRASM figure comes from FY2019 Budget Estimates:
https://www.saffm.hq.af.mil/Portals/84/ ... 190220-227 [85th page]

These figures though don't seem to tally with actual USAF orders placed which total 77 LRASM:

https://www.janes.com/article/84840/usa ... asm-stocks
https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1257663/
https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1691653/
https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1492196/



Using the SAR (page 9).

https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/FOID/Reading%20Room/Selected_Acquisition_Reports/18-F-1016_DOC_73_Navy_OASUW_LRASM_SAR_Dec%202017.pdf

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2018, 19:08
by wrightwing
steve2267 wrote:
knowan wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:the F-35 has had fit checks of LRASM externally and can probably carry the weapon internally


I didn't think the F-35 could hold JASSM or LRASM internally.


I have not seen, nor have I been able to find what the F-35 weapons bay “keep-out” dimensions are. Everything I have read has stated that LRASM is external-carry by the Lightning. Spaz post / reference is the first I’ve seen that internal carriage might be possible.

FWIW, LRASM is listed as 168 in. long. The AGM-154 JSOW, which is listed as an internal-carriage munition, is reportedly 162 in. long.

I’m sure LM is more than capable of redesigning LRASM to fit the Lightning bay should such a requirement emerge. Of course, all it takes is $$ and and possibly revising the LRASM-X specifications/requirements (possibly a little less range, or slightly smaller warhead).

There may also be “agreements” in place with the Norwegians (and Turks?) to NOT have an F-35-internal-version of LRASM to avoid competition with JSM etc. But this is purely speculative on my part.


JASSM/LRASM do not fit in the F-35's weapon bays. They'd be carried externally. The JSOW (and JSOW-ER if it is purchased), JSM, AARGM-ER, and SOM-J all fit internally, though.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 24 Dec 2018, 07:11
by marauder2048
wrightwing wrote:
JASSM/LRASM do not fit in the F-35's weapon bays. They'd be carried externally. The JSOW (and JSOW-ER if it is purchased), JSM, AARGM-ER, and SOM-J all fit internally, though.


Lockheed was pitching a mini-JASSM (144 inch length) a decade ago.
Given that there are four JASSM variants funded (JASSM, JASSM-ER, JASSM-XR, LRASM) what's a fifth?

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 24 Dec 2018, 07:42
by element1loop
marauder2048 wrote:
wrightwing wrote:
JASSM/LRASM do not fit in the F-35's weapon bays. They'd be carried externally. The JSOW (and JSOW-ER if it is purchased), JSM, AARGM-ER, and SOM-J all fit internally, though.


Lockheed was pitching a mini-JASSM (144 inch length) a decade ago.
Given that there are four JASSM variants funded (JASSM, JASSM-ER, JASSM-XR, LRASM) what's a fifth?


But why even make an internal JASSM? Other than for drag-reduction and some range-stretching the only reason to have JASSM carried internally is (slightly) lower RCS but when you're dealing with a VLO missile with such a standoff range who needs lower RCS? In the end HF or 8 to 10 meter VHF band is probably going to see you first and not because you're carrying external VLO stores on pylons. Plus you can still use terrain and noise to mask VHF to launch even the vanilla JASSM in closer and not be tracked, nor raise an early warning. The IDF managed in Sept to attack multiple targets in Syria with dirty F16s without raising an early warning, and they still delivered weapons that were low-observable enough to get in and sustain their attack with no losses for over an hour against a fully alerted IADS. If F-35A and external JASSM-class weapons can't match this then we aren't using good technical or airmanship skill, proper planning, training, tactics, nor using our weapons and their options properly.

I just don't see how external carriage would be a prohibitive issue, even for DAY-1.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 24 Dec 2018, 09:55
by marauder2048
The littorals are bad places for surface based VHF radars and the open ocean is only slightly better.

But why even make an internal JASSM?

Why even make an internally carried 1000-lb warhead class weapon with a terminal seeker, datalink,
RFS and good survivability against terminal defenses?!

The Israelis managed to destroy an unreinforced warehouse full of weapons that don't have any insensitive munition
properties and that were defended by S-200s. Color me unimpressed.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 25 Dec 2018, 03:59
by element1loop
marauder2048 wrote:
But why even make an internal JASSM?

Why even make an internally carried 1000-lb warhead class weapon with a terminal seeker, datalink,
RFS and good survivability against terminal defenses?!


eh? You seem to be avoiding the point that there's no tactical need to make JASSM an internal cartridge weapon. Especially not JASSM-ER, LRASM or JASSM-X. Vanilla JSOW-C must be launched much closer to a target so it's appropriate it be carried internally,

marauder2048 wrote:Lockheed was pitching a mini-JASSM (144 inch length) a decade ago.


And it was not wanted. Why would you need it when external carry and standoff will get the same results?

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 25 Dec 2018, 05:16
by marauder2048
element1loop wrote:eh? You seem to be avoiding the point that there's no tactical need to make JASSM an internal cartridge weapon. Especially not JASSM-ER, LRASM or JASSM-X. Vanilla JSOW-C must be launched much closer to a target so it's appropriate it be carried internally,



The concept then as now has JASSM loitering, waiting to be tasked for a terminal engagement
by a man-in-the-loop datalink. The only realistic way to do that in a heavily comms degraded environment
is from a manned penetrating asset; you aren't going to want to penetrate with empty pylons and the concomitant
hit in loiter.

element1loop wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:Lockheed was pitching a mini-JASSM (144 inch length) a decade ago.


And it was not wanted.


Neither was JASSM-XR until it was. Neither was JASSM-MI (LRASM) until it was.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 25 Dec 2018, 08:20
by element1loop
If penetrating use JSM, then you won't need JASSM at all.

Man in the loop is not essential to use JASSM, it depends what you want to go after, it's just another option. As far as I'm concerned the 2-way data link and terminal sensor RAAF specified is for man in the loop striking moving targets, especially ships, or else for re-targeting.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 26 Dec 2018, 04:11
by marauder2048
JSM has a warhead only slightly larger than SDB I and less signature reduction than JASSM.

Battlefield obscurants + dynamic threat laydowns are going to require some form of rerouting,
loitering and aimpoint refinement. Along with the moving/relocatable targets you mentioned.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 26 Dec 2018, 04:27
by squirrelshoes
element1loop wrote:The original JASSM was designed to be the 'Joint' attack weapon for navy as well, but not bought by USN. But that doesn't mean JASSM on F-35A can't kill a frigate.

JASSM designed to follow way points to a fixed geolocation using GPS/intertial, with terminal seeker coming on only 8 seconds before it reaches this location. That doesn't seem suitable for maritime strike. Sure they could have retargeting with a 2-way datalink but that's still a lot different than antiship missiles that are designed to use active/passive sensors to detect ships in a much wider area than JASSM's terminal seeker.


element1loop wrote:Add to this the fact that RAAF went for JASSM over the SLAM-ER, and that should be a clear enough indication that that JASSM is a ship-killer as well, particularly after RAAF mods were added to JASSM (on Classics no less not SH, and the Classics are not supposed to be the land-attack strike force, they're mostly continental air-defense and anti-shipping).
That's not really clear enough to me. Of all the testing on JASSM done by both USA and RAAF I've never heard of testing against a maritime target. Do we really believe that Australia is acquiring these missiles with an antiship role in mind without having confirmed they can hit a moving ship?


Previously there was talk of Australia pursuing the future maritime strike version of JASSM, which of course is now what we know as LRASM. Interest in a future maritime strike version doesn't imply satisfaction that JASSM they were already acquiring was considered suitable for that role. From http://www.australiandefence.com.au/arc ... -july-2012

The latter version is of great interest to Australia, as an anti-shipping weapon will be required to replace the Boeing AGM-84 Harpoon when it leaves service later in the decade. Harpoons are capable of being deployed on RAAF Hornets and AP-3C Orions and were also integrated with the F-111C. Defence has traditionally played its cards close to its chest on the matter though, telling the author in 2010 that, “Defence, as part of Project Air 5418, is investigating the ASuW variant of JASSM in collaboration with the USAF, although the timeframe for the variant is not known. Currently, the Commonwealth is not considering JASSM-ER”.


There are also statements by Air Commodore Kitchner in 2016 that imply they are not viewing JASSM as their maritime weapon, but rather a weapon employed by the F-35s that are replacing the F-18s. From https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... 35-choices

For maritime strike, the RAAF wants “a quality missile that can be carried internally,” Kitcher said. The two current options for the F-35 are the Norwegian Joint Strike Missile (JSM) or the Turkish Stand-Off Missile (SOM-J). They are slated for Block 4 F-35s, to which the RAAF also plans to add the GBU-54 laser JDAM. That weapon is already on the Super Hornets, and has been successfully employed during the RAAF’s current deployment to the Middle East for the air war over Iraq and Syria.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 26 Dec 2018, 07:23
by element1loop
marauder2048 wrote:JSM has a warhead only slightly larger than SDB I and less signature reduction than JASSM.

Battlefield obscurants + dynamic threat laydowns are going to require some form of rerouting,
loitering and aimpoint refinement. Along with the moving/relocatable targets you mentioned.


Your information is incorrect.

JSM is firstly an anti-ship missile, LAM is secondary (which JSM Brochure text makes clear) and according to its developer JSM has a "500 lb class" warhead (by which they presumably refer to the effects).

Most GBU-39 SDB versions contain just 16.8 kg of explosives with one high energy version that has 62.1 kg of explosive (widely reported to approximate a 500lb GBU in energy). While JSM has a 120 kg warhead that contains 100 kg of explosive (an entire SDB weighs only 129 kg, btw) but with a light-weight but strong titanium tamper to maximize blast pressure before rupture/frag. Checkout the scale of the explosion within the JSM brochure if you doubt its energy level and effects.

Thus the JSM warhead actually has about 6 times the explosive power of a typical GBU-39 SDB

i.e. 100 kg / 16.8 kg = 5.95 times more explosives in the JSM warhead.

As you'd expect from an effective anti-ship missile with secondary land target attack capabilities (Same as NSM in that respect, but reportedly the JSM has a larger frag warhead than the NSM does).

“… Key JSM Missile Attributes Range >300 nm high, high, low profile >100 nm low, low, low profile Avionics 2-way datalink Thermal management system for F-35 internal bay conditions Propulsion Throttle modulates to achieve desired TOT > 1:1 thrust to wt in end-game Airframe Carrier suitable reqmt Lugs stow after launch Seeker Seeker stablized on horizon Dimensions Length 157 in Weight 887 lbs Fits inside F-35A/C weapons bay CVN recoverable load 13 March 2014 Page 1 …”


http://docplayer.net/30928877-Kongsberg ... ar-14.html


From Klonsberg itself though:


Lethality

The JSM warhead effect is given by three main elements; warhead size, warhead fuze and target hitpoint. The JSM has selectable aim point in the target and has proven to hit the target very precisely. This capability enables selection of controlled destruction effect, ranging from maximum damage to controlled/minimum damage. Terminal accuracy has been demonstrated to less than 2 feet (distance between aim point and actual hit point).

The JSM has a 500lbs class warhead with a gross weight of 120 kg and explosive weight of 100 kg (TNT equivalent). The warhead is a combined blast (primary effect) and fragmentation (secondary effect) warhead with insensitive High Explosive (HE) charge). The warhead casing is made of titanium alloy with a steel-grid for fragmentation effect.

The picture below shows the warhead effect from a test fring against a Norwegian frigate. The fuze is programmable with customdesigned fuze programs down-loaded prior to launch.

The warhead is insensitive munition Certified.

Targeting Selectivity
The JSM features sophisticated target acquisition with Autonomous Target Recognition (ATR) facilitated by an imaging infrared seeker. Advanced recognition algorithms provide capability to identify targets to ship class and prevent attack of white/neutral shipping. There is a 100% confidence in separation of “white” and “red” shipping.

The JSM mission planning system incorporates a national database with a library of potential targets. A sub-set of the target library is down-loaded to the JSM prior to launch.

For each target class in the database there will be a set of recognition characteristics, a default aim point position together with a corresponding warhead fuze profle, and default missile end-game tactics.

Prior to launch, the operator may inspect and modify the end-game tactics and aim point.

Kongsberg will provide customers with a software application package and training for target library development.

Platform integration
JSM fts into the internal weapons bay of the F-35 A and C versions. JSM can also be carried on external stations on F-35, F-16, F/A-18 and F-15.

Air system Integration
JSM accommodates modern standards for integration to fast jets. The datalink design provides for interoperability with current and future network concepts. JSM being based on a fire and forget concept is robust against variations in data link connectivity.

Logistics
The JSM is designed for a long operational life. An extensive blT test is easily performed at user level. The ILS concept is based on a minimum of maintenance and maximum use of standard equipment.

JSM Key Characteristics
Length : 4.00 m (157 in)
Height : 0.52 m (20.4 in)
Width : 0.48 m (18.9 in) (stowed)
Mass : 416kg (917 lbs)
Speed : High Subsonic
Agility : High

Guidance
Inertial Navigation, aided by GPS and TERCOM.
Imaging Infra-Red Target Seeker”


https://www.kongsberg.com/en/kds/produc ... kemissile/
https://www.kongsberg.com/~/media/KDS/F ... duced.ashx

I've seen nothing that suggests it will have lesser low-observable optimization than JASSM. That would seem to be a conjecture, and most probably incorrect, given the missile is firstly design optimized to deploy from a stealth-fighter and specifically to evade being shot down by layered missile and CIWS.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 26 Dec 2018, 07:35
by element1loop
squirrelshoes wrote:Previously there was talk of Australia pursuing the future maritime strike version of JASSM, which of course is now what we know as LRASM. Interest in a future maritime strike version doesn't imply satisfaction that JASSM they were already acquiring was considered suitable for that role. From http://www.australiandefence.com.au/arc ... -july-2012

The latter version is of great interest to Australia, as an anti-shipping weapon will be required to replace the Boeing AGM-84 Harpoon when it leaves service later in the decade. Harpoons are capable of being deployed on RAAF Hornets and AP-3C Orions and were also integrated with the F-111C. Defence has traditionally played its cards close to its chest on the matter though, telling the author in 2010 that, “Defence, as part of Project Air 5418, is investigating the ASuW variant of JASSM in collaboration with the USAF, although the timeframe for the variant is not known. Currently, the Commonwealth is not considering JASSM-ER”.


There are also statements by Air Commodore Kitchner in 2016 that imply they are not viewing JASSM as their maritime weapon, but rather a weapon employed by the F-35s that are replacing the F-18s. From https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... 35-choices

For maritime strike, the RAAF wants “a quality missile that can be carried internally,” Kitcher said. The two current options for the F-35 are the Norwegian Joint Strike Missile (JSM) or the Turkish Stand-Off Missile (SOM-J). They are slated for Block 4 F-35s, to which the RAAF also plans to add the GBU-54 laser JDAM. That weapon is already on the Super Hornets, and has been successfully employed during the RAAF’s current deployment to the Middle East for the air war over Iraq and Syria.


Good comment, cheers.

We can forget about getting LRASMs in VLS as there are simply are not enough strike length VLS on any of the ships we have, or those we will acquire by 2040. Almost certainly the current Harpoon BKII quad-packs and also the future "advanced anti-ship weapon" on the Hunters will be NSM in quad-packs (RAN's commitment to long-range strike is non-existent, verbal commitment to that effect only).

While the air equivalent missile will be to replace the air-launched Harpoon BKIIs with JSM, with a possible move to the longest-range new JASSM variant thereafter (which will most likely incorporate LRASM capabilities).

IMHO

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 26 Dec 2018, 23:50
by marauder2048
element1loop wrote:The [b][color=#FF0080]JSM has a 500lbs class warhead with a gross weight of 120 kg


They are claiming it's a "500 lbs class warhead" in terms of lethality.
But it's a 120 kg warhead of which 100 kg is high explosive. Really no different, in terms of size, than what was on Penguin.

element1loop wrote:
I've seen nothing that suggests it will have lesser low-observable optimization than JASSM. That would seem to be a conjecture, and most probably incorrect, given the missile is firstly design optimized to deploy from a stealth-fighter and specifically to evade being shot down by layered missile and CIWS.


Flush inlet vs. non-flush inlet. That's a huge contributor to RCS.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2018, 00:50
by ricnunes
element1loop wrote:We can forget about getting LRASMs in VLS as there are simply are not enough strike length VLS on any of the ships we have, or those we will acquire by 2040.


Well, from what I researched about the subject, the LRASM should also fit on the tactical version/length VLS as well.

Knowing that the LRASM without the booster has a length of 4.27 meters:
http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.ph ... video.html

And looking at the photo of an LRAM with a booster and inside and canister (I assume ready for the VLS):
Image

I calculate that the LRASM with the booster has a length of 5.82 meters (approx.) while the canister itself has a length of 6.45 meter (approx.) so there shouldn't be a problem fitting it inside a Tactical VLS Mk41 which can carry weapons/canisters up to a length of 6.8 meters.

The LRASM shouldn't only fit on the Self-Defense version of the VLS but should fit on all other versions of the VLS.
I imagine that most VLS (specially on US Navy ships and also on many allied navy ships) should be the Tactical version. I would also say that any VLS that can carry the more modern or latest variants of the Standard Missile should also be able to carry the LRASM.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2018, 04:43
by wrightwing
marauder2048 wrote:





Flush inlet vs. non-flush inlet. That's a huge contributor to RCS.


The JSM inlet is a VLO design, too.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2018, 06:46
by marauder2048
wrightwing wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:





Flush inlet vs. non-flush inlet. That's a huge contributor to RCS.


The JSM inlet is a VLO design, too.


Can't beat a flush inlet for signature though.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2018, 07:07
by element1loop
marauder2048 wrote:Flush inlet vs. non-flush inlet. That's a huge contributor to RCS.


Too many presumptions to conclude anything like that.

The inlets won’t be metal nor will they be reflecting at targeting wavelengths plus the front of the missile is wider then necks down so in a head-on geometry the inlets are shadowed by the front section of the missile while the winglets shadow the inlets from above. And the fan is not going to be visible plus the duct treated with an RCS attenuation material so I doubt there’s much in it.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2018, 07:10
by element1loop
ricnunes wrote:Well, from what I researched about the subject, the LRASM should also fit on the tactical version/length VLS as well.


Even if that were true RAN doesn't have anywhere near enough tactical cells for that either. They'd probably put VLS-ASROCs in a few cells that can take them, and all the rest for air defense. LRASM has been launched from deck quad-pack too but no one thinks that option's likely for RAN, NSM pretty much has that path in the bag. RAN as it is now, and as it is building, is structured to keep the ships out of harms way and to let RAAF kill the heavier opposing ships, plus use RAAF for deep strikes, never the surface fleet.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2018, 07:29
by weasel1962
...which would be a tad bit difficult if any DDGs operate more than 1000nm from the nearest land airbase.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2018, 07:49
by element1loop
weasel1962 wrote:...which would be a tad bit difficult if any DDGs operate more than 1000nm from the nearest land airbase.


The (fantasy) solution is get dedicated carriers with genuine striking power, and add more VLS to all ships to protect the carriers from missiles and subs. But it seems the Brass have decided (many years ago apparently) that modern VLO aircraft and their weapons represent a capability they can't afford to spend enough to defend the fleet from plus to make forwards long-range strikes, so the task has necessarily been slip-passed to RAAF by default. I don't see another way to interpret the weapon config and VLS cell numbers of the fleet, especially in the present regional circumstance. Thus not expecting a happy change there, so time to face facts, only RAAF and missiles will be able to kill heavy ships and make deep strikes from here. Which means more aircraft and more missiles to come, and I doubt the now ancient "100 aircraft" 5th-gen combat force number reflects the creeping changes. RAAF already bought heavy tankers to get to ~3,000 nm with anti-ship standoff weapons.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2018, 14:30
by Conan
element1loop wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:...which would be a tad bit difficult if any DDGs operate more than 1000nm from the nearest land airbase.


The (fantasy) solution is get dedicated carriers with genuine striking power, and add more VLS to all ships to protect the carriers from missiles and subs. But it seems the Brass have decided (many years ago apparently) that modern VLO aircraft and their weapons represent a capability they can't afford to spend enough to defend the fleet from plus to make forwards long-range strikes, so the task has necessarily been slip-passed to RAAF by default. I don't see another way to interpret the weapon config and VLS cell numbers of the fleet, especially in the present regional circumstance. Thus not expecting a happy change there, so time to face facts, only RAAF and missiles will be able to kill heavy ships and make deep strikes from here. Which means more aircraft and more missiles to come, and I doubt the now ancient "100 aircraft" 5th-gen combat force number reflects the creeping changes. RAAF already bought heavy tankers to get to ~3,000 nm with anti-ship standoff weapons.


I think you’re being a tad too RAAF-centric in such analysis. The RAN submarine force is our primary ship-killig capability, supported by RAAF strikes and finally surface attacks.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2018, 15:19
by element1loop
Conan wrote:
element1loop wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:...which would be a tad bit difficult if any DDGs operate more than 1000nm from the nearest land airbase.


The (fantasy) solution is get dedicated carriers with genuine striking power, and add more VLS to all ships to protect the carriers from missiles and subs. But it seems the Brass have decided (many years ago apparently) that modern VLO aircraft and their weapons represent a capability they can't afford to spend enough to defend the fleet from plus to make forwards long-range strikes, so the task has necessarily been slip-passed to RAAF by default. I don't see another way to interpret the weapon config and VLS cell numbers of the fleet, especially in the present regional circumstance. Thus not expecting a happy change there, so time to face facts, only RAAF and missiles will be able to kill heavy ships and make deep strikes from here. Which means more aircraft and more missiles to come, and I doubt the now ancient "100 aircraft" 5th-gen combat force number reflects the creeping changes. RAAF already bought heavy tankers to get to ~3,000 nm with anti-ship standoff weapons.


I think you’re being a tad too RAAF-centric in such analysis. The RAN submarine force is our primary ship-killing capability, supported by RAAF strikes and finally surface attacks.


I discussed the surface fleet only, I didn't even bother with the sub force, as it's so small and operates from one base in south western WA, and how many are available any one time? Not enough to take seriously. And its replacement is 15 to 25 years away if we're lucky. Plus they're incredibly slow. This isn't WWII any more, they have the wrong propulsion, and can barely field crews on them. Anyone who thinks that's a primary attack force within our regional geography and context is not dealing with reality. The term tokenistic capability (at best) springs to mind.

Frankly an extremely cheap fleet of just 6 Reapers with JSM anti-ship missiles would make a far better anti-ship force than 6 Collins Class subs ever will. And they can be out there 24/7, all weather, addressing an area 100 times the size a Collins could address in one day, getting there and back fast, and could work with JORN, P-8A and MQ-4 for patrol shadowing and ASW, along with LHD and Hunters, while we invest in a national hydrophone array, and some actual anti-sea-mine capability.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2018, 23:23
by ricnunes
element1loop wrote:Even if that were true RAN doesn't have anywhere near enough tactical cells for that either. They'd probably put VLS-ASROCs in a few cells that can take them, and all the rest for air defense.


Well, the Hunter-class frigates (Type 26 GCS) should have at least 24 Strike-length VLS cells (this from reportedly a totally of 32 cells).
And I would also be extremely surprised if some or many of 48 VLS cells of the Hobart-class destroyers weren't at least Tactical-length cells.
So I wouldn't rule out that the Australian Navy chooses the LRASM for use on its ships and their VLS cells even as a potential future Harpoon missile replacement since all major Australian surface combatants would have VLS cells capable of firing the LRASM.
Actually I remember to have read that the Australians (Navy I believe) were reportedly interested in the LRASM as well as other allied navies such as for example, the Canadian Navy.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 00:35
by element1loop
ricnunes wrote:So I wouldn't rule out that the Australian Navy chooses the LRASM for use on its ships and their VLS cells ...


Don't hold your breath, we'd get SM6 and a VLS-ASROC first and it would be immediately blindingly apparent to all that there are nowhere near enough VLS remaining for a credible air defense if LRASM were in VLS as well. I am fully in favor of that missile being acquired but the only places LRASM may go is some combo of SuperHornet (it's a temporary fleet from here), F-35A (much more likely) and P-8A (very desirable) or a new armed version of MQ-4 (unlikely). No one's going to be putting LRASM on a RAN ship within my lifetime.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 01:10
by weasel1962
Pairing of the P-8 with the MQ-4C does make for a much longer endurance. Wonder if they will put the JASSM on the P-8? That would be better than the Harps.

Agree with posters on LRASM fit for Mk 41 launcher. Smallest Mk-41 version is 5.3m and fires the SM-2MR Blk IIIB which is 186 inches (4.7m). Probably software config. SM-6 will require longer Mk-41 mod (6.6m or 7.7m). Not sure which mod Hobart is equipped with.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 02:20
by element1loop
weasel1962 wrote:Pairing of the P-8 with the MQ-4C does make for a much longer endurance. Wonder if they will put the JASSM on the P-8? That would be better than the Harps.

Agree with posters on LRASM fit for Mk 41 launcher. Smallest Mk-41 version is 5.3m and fires the SM-2MR Blk IIIB which is 186 inches (4.7m). Probably software config. SM-6 will require longer Mk-41 mod (6.6m or 7.7m). Not sure which mod Hobart is equipped with.


Bottom line, despite being nominally 'multi-role' the 'AWD's are "air warfare destroyers" actually, and their VLS numbers are far less than was expected for that role, and much less than hoped for. It was widely recognized at the time of the competition win that the low cell numbers precluded Tomahawks unless the cell numbers were substantially upgraded at a later date. The same applies to LRASM on AWDs, and there's no indication such a cell number upgrade is coming.

Same applies to the Hunter Class as their primary role and optimization is for ASW, not for closing in for striking with long-range missiles, and the low cell numbers reflect the lower emphasis on air defense needs, and a non-existent allocation of cells for long-range strike capability. A pity as it's a wide-beam deep hull ship. So the picture painted is clear (very clear IMO) there's no intent nor even a capacity to use the surface fleet for strikes against a major power's long-range surface or land targets. ADF are apparently not interested in long-range attack weapons from ships, they've gone a completely different route, and it remains to be seen what that is, but so far it looks to be F-35A plus JSM and JSOW and tankers.

Then maybe a long-range anti-ship missile on P-8As (if a JASSM/LRASM follow-on missile has LOTS of standoff range, otherwise they'll shrink from that too, the moment it's criticized and lacerated to ribbons in media by the Kopp-esqe types ... despite the Harpoon BKII having stuff-all standoff ... ).

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 03:19
by marauder2048
JASSM and LRASM are at the ragged edge of P-8's wing station weight limits.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 04:17
by weasel1962
Not an issue, just mount it on the fuselage. Same thing was done for the Singapore F-50 MPA mated with the Harp.

Image

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 04:26
by popcorn
There is the option of a topside LRASM launcher if the need arises.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 06:08
by marauder2048
weasel1962 wrote:Not an issue, just mount it on the fuselage. Same thing was done for the Singapore F-50 MPA mated with the Harp.




The P-8's fuselage stations have half the carrying capacity of the wing stations.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 06:31
by weasel1962
Not for the Aussie P-8s. Those can carry 2 Harps on the 2 forward fuselage stations (11 weapons station instead of 9). The P-8 has a strengthened fuselage. I suspect its just a question of certifying a pylon that can hold the weight.

See slide 46.
http://airpower.airforce.gov.au/APDC/me ... ol-PPT.pdf

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 07:47
by element1loop
popcorn wrote:There is the option of a topside LRASM launcher if the need arises.


Yeah, I mentioned those earlier pop, they're the only option left to get to a long-range VLO missile in RAN. The issue there is the RAN avoids adding weight up high which is why ~900 lb NSMs will get the Harpoon quad pack replacements over LRASM.

They could however (in about 2045) mount another 2 x 8 cell short-packs either side, behind the Hunter funnels for 64 ESSM BKIII, and put 8 LRASM type weapons in the forward VLS cells but most probably lose the NSM quads above, to get the extra ESSMs due to the weight gains above CoG. But at least you'd be able to then accommodate 8 LRASM or later version. RAN seems to leave weight off (reduced harpoon number in quads) for fuel savings and stability gains in peace. In which case they could buy the NSM and quad packs and store them, train with them in simulations, then mount them again for higher tension periods or deployments to Gulf or SEA, etc. Something similar with DDGs.

In the interim it will be jets and drones with all the strike missiles.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 07:50
by element1loop
weasel1962 wrote:Not for the Aussie P-8s. Those can carry 2 Harps on the 2 forward fuselage stations (11 weapons station instead of 9). The P-8 has a strengthened fuselage. I suspect its just a question of certifying a pylon that can hold the weight.

See slide 46.
http://airpower.airforce.gov.au/APDC/me ... ol-PPT.pdf


Which is a curious structural contingency ... presumably there's a plan involving a more capable JASSM variant to come, which takes advantage of F-35 external pylons also. :wink:

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 09:42
by knowan
element1loop wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:Not for the Aussie P-8s. Those can carry 2 Harps on the 2 forward fuselage stations (11 weapons station instead of 9). The P-8 has a strengthened fuselage. I suspect its just a question of certifying a pylon that can hold the weight.

See slide 46.
http://airpower.airforce.gov.au/APDC/me ... ol-PPT.pdf


Which is a curious structural contingency ... presumably there's a plan involving a more capable JASSM variant to come, which takes advantage of F-35 external pylons also. :wink:


JASSM-XR? https://www.popularmechanics.com/milita ... ded-range/

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 17:07
by ricnunes
element1loop wrote:
ricnunes wrote:So I wouldn't rule out that the Australian Navy chooses the LRASM for use on its ships and their VLS cells ...


Don't hold your breath, we'd get SM6 and a VLS-ASROC first and it would be immediately blindingly apparent to all that there are nowhere near enough VLS remaining for a credible air defense if LRASM were in VLS as well. I am fully in favor of that missile being acquired but the only places LRASM may go is some combo of SuperHornet (it's a temporary fleet from here), F-35A (much more likely) and P-8A (very desirable) or a new armed version of MQ-4 (unlikely). No one's going to be putting LRASM on a RAN ship within my lifetime.


I do agree with you that purchasing of the LRASM missile is not a given for Australia and I also agree with you the LRASM would be more effective when carried by an aircraft like the P-8 as opposed to ships.
However the RAN ships will eventually need a future anti-ship missile to replace the current Harpoon and logic would say that like happens with the current Harpoon which is carried not only by the RAN ships but also by RAAF aircraft (like the Hornet) that the future Australian anti-ship missile could/would be also a common missile between both services and the LRASM would IMO be a fine candidate for this.
Having the RAN ships (Hunter and Hobart) plus the RAAF aircraft such as the P-8 or even the F-35 to carry the same missile type LRASM does bring its advantages.

IMO, an important factor for such decision (to equip ships with LRASM) could be very dependent if many or even most allied navies (such as US, UK, Canada, etc...) decide to adopt the LRASM as their own Harpoon replacement.
Or like happened and happens with the Harpoon, the LRASM becoming the "standard" anti-ship missile within allied navies.

Of course that I acknowledge that fitting the LRASM on the VLS does have the disadvantage of occupying cells that could otherwise be fitted with other missiles but on the other hand gives the advantage of not having or needing to have dedicated anti-ship launchers which brings economical advantages (not need to adquire and maintain the launchers) and like you later said and correctly so, it also gives better stability and performance to the ships (by not having the dedicated launchers onboard the ships).



element1loop wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:Pairing of the P-8 with the MQ-4C does make for a much longer endurance. Wonder if they will put the JASSM on the P-8? That would be better than the Harps.

Agree with posters on LRASM fit for Mk 41 launcher. Smallest Mk-41 version is 5.3m and fires the SM-2MR Blk IIIB which is 186 inches (4.7m). Probably software config. SM-6 will require longer Mk-41 mod (6.6m or 7.7m). Not sure which mod Hobart is equipped with.


Bottom line, despite being nominally 'multi-role' the 'AWD's are "air warfare destroyers" actually, and their VLS numbers are far less than was expected for that role, and much less than hoped for. It was widely recognized at the time of the competition win that the low cell numbers precluded Tomahawks unless the cell numbers were substantially upgraded at a later date. The same applies to LRASM on AWDs, and there's no indication such a cell number upgrade is coming.


Previously you mentioned about Australian potentially getting the SM-6. And like weasel1962 correctly said if you're adding SM-6 missiles to the Hobart-class destroyers (which makes sense since they are Air Defense Ships) then you'll be able to add LRASM missiles as well since the SM-6 missile with its length of 6.6 meters also requires at least a Tactical-length VLS or resuming the it has the same VLS requirements as the LRASM which again (and IMO) the Hobart should already have.


element1loop wrote:Same applies to the Hunter Class as their primary role and optimization is for ASW, not for closing in for striking with long-range missiles, and the low cell numbers reflect the lower emphasis on air defense needs, and a non-existent allocation of cells for long-range strike capability.


Well, here I disagree.
The Hunter class - which is based on the Type 26 GCS which stands for Global Combat Ship - isn't primarily or only optimized for ASW. Yes, its was designed to have a very quiet hull and while performing ASW it can run on electric drive and of course mounts a sophisticated ASW suite which probably makes it the best ASW ship nowadays and in the near future.
However the Type 26 (which again the Hunter is based on) is a truly Multi-Role ship (hence the Global Combat Ship name) with a very long range and endurance and is equipped with 24 cell Strike-Length VLS plus being a modular ship, namely with its modular space near the hangar which can carry stuff such as supplies, command&control modules, etc... If such a ship isn't designed for long range operations such as strike than I wonder what it would take to become such as ship?

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 23:29
by splittingatoms
http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... ility.aspx

"Although the F-35 has had fit checks of LRASM externally and can probably carry the weapon internally, the Navy’s threshold munition for the mission is the AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon, or JSOW, he said, noting that LRASM may be added later."

Thoughts?

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 23:31
by marauder2048
weasel1962 wrote:Not for the Aussie P-8s. Those can carry 2 Harps on the 2 forward fuselage stations (11 weapons station instead of 9). The P-8 has a strengthened fuselage. I suspect its just a question of certifying a pylon that can hold the weight.

See slide 46.
http://airpower.airforce.gov.au/APDC/me ... ol-PPT.pdf


The fuselage (and weapons bay) stations can carry 1000 lb class stores like Harpoon.
The wing stations can carry 2000 lb class stores which LRASM might be though it's
typically carried on stations that can accommodate 3000 - 4000 lb class stores.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 23:42
by ricnunes
The LRASM (air launched version) weights 2,500 lb which I believe puts it in the "2000 lb class" category.

Here:
https://breakingdefense.com/2017/07/nav ... -lb-lrasm/

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2018, 01:25
by marauder2048
ricnunes wrote:The LRASM (air launched version) weights 2,500 lb which I believe puts it in the "2000 lb class" category.

Here:
https://breakingdefense.com/2017/07/nav ... -lb-lrasm/


Which like I said is at the ragged edge of what's a "2000 lb class" store.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2018, 01:43
by element1loop
ricnunes wrote:However the RAN ships will eventually need a future anti-ship missile to replace the current Harpoon and logic would say that like happens with the current Harpoon which is carried not only by the RAN ships but also by RAAF aircraft (like the Hornet) that the future Australian anti-ship missile could/would be also a common missile between both services and the LRASM would IMO be a fine candidate for this.


RAN Harpoon replacement will be NSM, due to weight management of quad-pack loads and they are a substancial step ip from Harpoons (plus it maintains commonality with USN Harpoon replacement choice). Airforce Harpoon replacement will be JSM, as per F-35A planning, plus would not surprise me if JSM ends up on P-8A (and maybe even a new drone).

LRASM won't get the replacement gig, but maybe a later version of JASSM-family ends up back in the airforce otherwise JASSM will go away when the Classic Hornets retire in 2023. I expect JSM will be IOC by then.

ricnunes wrote:Well, here I disagree. The Hunter class - which is based on the Type 26 GCS which stands for Global Combat Ship - isn't primarily or only optimized for ASW. Yes, its was designed to have a very quiet hull and while performing ASW it can run on electric drive and of course mounts a sophisticated ASW suite which probably makes it the best ASW ship nowadays and in the near future. ... with a very long range and endurance and is equipped with 24 cell Strike-Length VLS plus being a modular ship, namely with its modular space near the hangar which can carry stuff such as supplies, command&control modules, etc... If such a ship isn't designed for long range operations such as strike than I wonder what it would take to become such as ship?


It would take a whole lot more cells plus a lot more air defence clout on the Hunters, plus a dedicated role in RAN that involved hard-core strike, rather than hard-core ASW. It isn't a missile cruiser.

A single 24 aircraft squadron of 16 (available) F-35A with JSM and/or other weapons can deliver more smash in 24 hours than a Hunter could provide in 5 to 6 weeks.

I really don't know why such obvious efficiency and effect-per-dollar, plus time-window facts like that, fail to penetrate during such discussions. if you don't close that time-window your enemy's force has time to take you apart, especially your navy. So where are you now ric?

The only advantage a Navy brings is strike reach if it brings F-35B strike efficiencies on a dedicated carrier, with enough fuel, spares and ammunition support plus AWD and a couple of Hunters, plus P8-A and Romeos, and MQ-4 supports to protect it.

That's a lot of kit just to get a lot less daily smash than an F-35A squadron with JSM type weapons and two tankers. Plus the F-35A can fly the same day. A strike fleet has to muster, equip, sail, steam to op area then fight, but the OPFOR is close with aircraft and subs already.

You're better off with more F-35A, more tankers, more stand off VLO weapons, then add PCA (if it's built) and a tactical VLO probe tanker and JASSM-XR to get the extra reach into the 2030s.

In which case adding this anti-ship capability with a secondary deep-strike LAM reach to the global F-35 fleet now, makes a lot of practical and tactical sense to me, and adding a deep-strike missile to a RAN sized navy does not.

2c

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2018, 01:52
by element1loop
marauder2048 wrote:
ricnunes wrote:The LRASM (air launched version) weights 2,500 lb which I believe puts it in the "2000 lb class" category.

Here:
https://breakingdefense.com/2017/07/nav ... -lb-lrasm/


Which like I said is at the ragged edge of what's a "2000 lb class" store.


You may be making too much of that. Can you imagine developers of P-8A ignoring the obvious potential of mounting LRASM on P-8A? They will have made allowance for that. Else some direct questions would be in order to ask why that did not occur for an aircraft that will fly for 40 years, and provide anti-ship capabilities for that long with a viable weapon that provides the needed tactical standoff and survivability? That weapon could only be a LRASM type weapon (at present) and its associated weight class.

A 'redline' on an engine is where you can safely rev it to all of the time without any fear of a mechanical failure. And airframe margins likewise all have a further substantial mechanical failure structural margin built into them. So this weight load 'redline' is not as ragged-edge you might suppose.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2018, 02:16
by marauder2048
element1loop wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:
ricnunes wrote:The LRASM (air launched version) weights 2,500 lb which I believe puts it in the "2000 lb class" category.

Here:
https://breakingdefense.com/2017/07/nav ... -lb-lrasm/


Which like I said is at the ragged edge of what's a "2000 lb class" store.


You may be making too much of that though. Can you imagine developers of P-8A ignoring the obvious potential of mounting LRASM on P-8A?.


That's very easy to imagine. This is the same Navy that bowed out of JASSM in favor of SLAM-ER (!) before being
forced to buy LRASM by DOD. And the Navy just as quickly killed OASuW Increment II.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2018, 02:29
by popcorn
element1loop wrote:
Which is a curious structural contingency ... presumably there's a plan involving a more capable JASSM variant to come, which takes advantage of F-35 external pylons also. :wink:


IIRC the requirement for a reinforced fuselage is largely a result of how the aircraft will be operated. Unlike it's airliner cousins, the P-8 will have to regularly descend to and operate at lower altitudes in the course of it's mission. Being able to carry a heavier payload is a nice bonus.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2018, 02:48
by marauder2048
Isn't reinforcement of the fuselage pretty much required after you've cut big holes into it?

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2018, 02:51
by element1loop
marauder2048 wrote:
element1loop wrote:You may be making too much of that though. Can you imagine developers of P-8A ignoring the obvious potential of mounting LRASM on P-8A?.


That's very easy to imagine. This is the same Navy that bowed out of JASSM in favor of SLAM-ER (!) before being
forced to buy LRASM by DOD. And the Navy just as quickly killed OASuW Increment II.


The USN SLAM-ER decision always seemed a strange one, I couldn't rationalize it, was relieved when ADF selected JASSM instead of SLAM. In a few years you’ll get SH and F-35C with LRASMs plus MQ-25, which is a much better option again, IMO. And the B-1B + LRASM + JASSM-ER can cover things in the interim.

I'm wondering more if they'll put LRASM on subs where something like it is needed.

I suppose USN could do a photo-op with inert LRASMs on P-8A to settle the chooks down. :mrgreen:

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2018, 04:09
by ricnunes
element1loop wrote:RAN Harpoon replacement will be NSM, due to weight management of quad-pack loads and they are a substancial step ip from Harpoons (plus it maintains commonality with USN Harpoon replacement choice). Airforce Harpoon replacement will be JSM, as per F-35A planning, plus would not surprise me if JSM ends up on P-8A (and maybe even a new drone).


Is that really a confirmed thing? That the RAN will get the NSM for their ships?


element1loop wrote:
ricnunes wrote:Well, here I disagree. The Hunter class - which is based on the Type 26 GCS which stands for Global Combat Ship - isn't primarily or only optimized for ASW. Yes, its was designed to have a very quiet hull and while performing ASW it can run on electric drive and of course mounts a sophisticated ASW suite which probably makes it the best ASW ship nowadays and in the near future. ... with a very long range and endurance and is equipped with 24 cell Strike-Length VLS plus being a modular ship, namely with its modular space near the hangar which can carry stuff such as supplies, command&control modules, etc... If such a ship isn't designed for long range operations such as strike than I wonder what it would take to become such as ship?


It would take a whole lot more cells plus a lot more air defence clout on the Hunters, plus a dedicated role in RAN that involved hard-core strike, rather than hard-core ASW. It isn't a missile cruiser.

A single 24 aircraft squadron of 16 (available) F-35A with JSM and/or other weapons can deliver more smash in 24 hours than a Hunter could provide in 5 to 6 weeks.

I really don't know why such obvious efficiency and effect-per-dollar, plus time-window facts like that, fail to penetrate during such discussions. if you don't close that time-window your enemy's force has time to take you apart, especially your navy. So where are you now ric?


Where did I say that performing strikes with Hunter frigates was more effective than using F-35As?
All I said and my point was about countering your apparent argument that the Hunter/Type 26 was a mere ASW ship or basically optimized for the ASW role alone.
Now about "using the Hunter versus A, B or C asset/platform being less (or more) effective" that's another different discussion which greatly varies from situations such as the type of target, how well defended it is, how far it is, how long must the assets be on station, is there any base of support for the assets in range from the target, etc, etc, etc... All of this IMO, that is.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2018, 04:47
by element1loop
ricnunes wrote:
element1loop wrote:RAN Harpoon replacement will be NSM, due to weight management of quad-pack loads and they are a substancial step ip from Harpoons (plus it maintains commonality with USN Harpoon replacement choice). Airforce Harpoon replacement will be JSM, as per F-35A planning, plus would not surprise me if JSM ends up on P-8A (and maybe even a new drone).


Is that really a confirmed thing? That the RAN will get the NSM for their ships?


No, the first hull will not arrive until 2027-28 (yeah, COTS, phft ... fortunately the upgraded ANZACs can cover things until then) but RAN will not be getting out-of-step with the USN, NSMs it will be. And as per your logic (given in reverse) it makes sense that what RAAF adopts (i.e. JSM) will go on RAN (i.e. NSM).

BTW, when the RAN says the role for Hunter is ASW they mean it. The theoretical options of Type 26 applied to other roles becomes moot, but the multi-role config flexibility will be there for lower order conflict needs and peacekeeping/deterrence, but are just aids to the wartime job of targeting and killing subs. They won't be getting distracted from that task by fashionable multicolored baubles. Other navies may use Type-26s differently, I don't question that they could make a fine air defense capability, on par with an AWD, if it were intended and equipped for that. But strike would be very limited. In the end you have to worry that in ten years (when they are finally beginning to be built) the other guy will have a VLO aircraft and a VLO long-range antiship weapon too. Even if you're big and have NAVAIR protection and hard-core offensive options that's still a big problem for a navy. And in this region that will occur much faster than where you're located. :wink:

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2018, 13:58
by ricnunes
element1loop wrote:No, the first hull will not arrive until 2027-28 (yeah, COTS, phft ... fortunately the upgraded ANZACs can cover things until then) but RAN will not be getting out-of-step with the USN, NSMs it will be. And as per your logic (given in reverse) it makes sense that what RAAF adopts (i.e. JSM) will go on RAN (i.e. NSM).


Yes, I agree that another alternative possibility would be the RAAF adopting the JSM and the RAN the NSM although their are not exactly the same missile as it would be in the case of the LRASM but granted, there are points of commonality between the JSM and NSM.

I guess that Australia adopting the JSM/NSM or the LRASM will depend on a combination of what Australia sees fit for its needs together (and this I find very important) with what its allies, namely its closest allies will use.
As such I wouldn't discount the LRASM in favor of the JSM/NSM just yet. The LRASM has a good number of very important advantages over other alternatives such as the JSM/NSM such as having a longer range (I believe very important for Australia), bigger warhead, not needing dedicated launchers on ships (launched from existing VLS, although granted this has the disadvantage of occupying space which could be used for other weapons), the missile used on aircraft being exactly the same as the one used on ships, etc...
And it seems that Australia sees advantages on the LRASM since it's reportedly interested in it:
http://australianaviation.com.au/2016/0 ... p-missile/

But as with everything else, only future will tell... :wink:
As such I would say that things are shaping up to be a competition between:
- JSM/NSM
- LRASM

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 30 Dec 2018, 01:35
by element1loop
ricnunes wrote:
element1loop wrote:No, the first hull will not arrive until 2027-28 (yeah, COTS, phft ... fortunately the upgraded ANZACs can cover things until then) but RAN will not be getting out-of-step with the USN, NSMs it will be. And as per your logic (given in reverse) it makes sense that what RAAF adopts (i.e. JSM) will go on RAN (i.e. NSM).
Yes, I agree that another alternative possibility would be the RAAF adopting the JSM and the RAN the NSM although their are not exactly the same missile as it would be in the case of the LRASM but granted, there are points of commonality between the JSM and NSM.

I guess that Australia adopting the JSM/NSM or the LRASM will depend on a combination of what Australia sees fit for its needs together (and this I find very important) with what its allies, namely its closest allies will use. As such I wouldn't discount the LRASM in favor of the JSM/NSM just yet. The LRASM has a good number of very important advantages over other alternatives such as the JSM/NSM such as having a longer range (I believe very important for Australia), bigger warhead, not needing dedicated launchers on ships (launched from existing VLS, although granted this has the disadvantage of occupying space which could be used for other weapons), the missile used on aircraft being exactly the same as the one used on ships, etc... And it seems that Australia sees advantages on the LRASM since it's reportedly interested in it:
http://australianaviation.com.au/2016/0 ... p-missile/

But as with everything else, only future will tell... :wink: As such I would say that things are shaping up to be a competition between:
- JSM/NSM
- LRASM


Your link's text is thin, there's nothing official about LRASM interest, just some assertions of it. The way you're discussing the NSM option above I'm not sure you understand USN has already selected NSM for both LCS and 'Future Frigate' fleets which means NSM is USN's Harpoon replacement. I'm well aware of LRASMs advantages, especially range, and am very in favor of getting the missile, but I see nothing yet to indicate it.

And is USN considering a mix of JSM and LRASM on SH and F-35C? Thus holding back on the LRASM buy until it becomes clearer which to acquire in what numbers? USAF is probably considering JSM as well. All US air services will benefit from seeding competition for LM product and price. Not sure if JSM fits inside the USMC F-35B, but what a weapon to have for kicking down a door quick, or to clear or deter a surface threat.

A lot of people are concerned about the lack of Western anti-ship missile range, even of LRASM, but if they come by air platforms the range issue is moot.

Consider also that the day/night approved flight into known-icing and cleared for civil-airspace operation SkyGuard version of the MQ-9 can carry up to 1,500 lb weapons on its inner pylons and has demonstrated 48 hours aloft (clean) while the low drag JSM weighs just 900 lb. So SkyGuard could carry two JSM out a long way at around 25% to 30% of the speed of a cruising F-35. An F-35 could then come out to cue it, while the drone(s) act as missile trucks for the F-35s superior data feed, penetration and survival. Thus airforce could attack a surface fleet using far fewer F-35s and fewer tanker resources (able to be used elsewhere) while delivering more VLO missiles from an effectively disposable drone fleet, but covered by F-35A, at least while in closer to the OPFOR. 'Teaming' with a Drone+JSM against ships or against land targets is an attractive platform-mix and weapon.

Of course Avengers would be better but then the price to buy them and operate them goes sharply upwards and they become less disposable nor quickly replaceable.

In that respect JSM is again more flexible than LRASM due to the pylon weight limit. So extended range is not necessarily the most important consideration here as it depends what's likely to be detecting or shooting back at you, and if you can deliver the VLO alternative missile by air. In that example LRASM is not the best option for providing ADF an effective capability at a cheaper price using far less resources. But if some hard-nuts come closer to strike then have a few LRASMs available to kill them first.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 30 Dec 2018, 08:47
by weasel1962
What is confirmed is that the RAAF already had the JASSM in mind when they bought the P-8A.' Smart and not surprising.

See pg 62, para 2.2.
https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/183991.pdf

Not only JASSM but also mid-course guidance e.g. launch by F-35A/F-18, guided by P-8 & possibly triton.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 30 Dec 2018, 10:03
by element1loop
weasel1962 wrote:What is confirmed is that the RAAF already had the JASSM in mind when they bought the P-8A.' Smart and not surprising.

See pg 62, para 2.2.
https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/183991.pdf

Not only JASSM but also mid-course guidance e.g. launch by F-35A/F-18, guided by P-8 & possibly triton.


Ah, so there it is

ANNEX A
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS AND AUSTRALIAN OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
...
Integration of Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM)
JASSM-MI Link 16 mid-course guidance ...


'MI' is LRASM

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 30 Dec 2018, 15:47
by ricnunes
element1loop wrote:Your link's text is thin, there's nothing official about LRASM interest, just some assertions of it. The way you're discussing the NSM option above I'm not sure you understand USN has already selected NSM for both LCS and 'Future Frigate' fleets which means NSM is USN's Harpoon replacement. I'm well aware of LRASMs advantages, especially range, and am very in favor of getting the missile, but I see nothing yet to indicate it.


You made a good point about the US Navy acquiring the NSM for its LCS and eventually its FFG(X) and I was actually aware of this.
However and as you probably know the LCS (both classes) are small combat ships or in "naval parlance" something akin to a Corvette which doesn't even carry a VLS so in order to have over-the-horizon (anti-ship) missile capability it needs dedicated launchers (akin to the Harpoon missile launcher) so for these ships the LRASM is simply not a possibility.

The "future frigate" or FFG(X) seems to be roughly in the same ballpark as the LCS.
These ships - depending on which tender will be selected are basically improved LCS. The US Navy for some reason (economical perhaps or most likely) doesn't want these ships to have similar capabilities as for example the Arleigh Burke Destroyers or even the Frigates used by many NATO or allies navies such as the Type 26/Hunter class. Actually the reason why reportedly the Type 26 was excluded from the FFG(X) competition was because it was deemed "too capable" for the role intended for the FFG(X).
Actually 2 of the 5 FFG(X) contenders (and who knows, among the likely winner) are indeed improved LCS designs (each based on each LCS class) while a 3rd contender is based on a US Coast Guard cutter (again a ship with a size and capability akin to a Corvette). Only the other remaining 2 contenders are "full frigates", being them the Álvaro de Bazán F100 frigate and the FREMM frigate respectively but I doubt that these 2 contenders will win this competition, this basically for the same reasons why the Type 26 was excluded (but of course, I could be wrong).
And it seems to be unclear if these FFG(X) ships will be to be equipped with VLS and even if they are (which I would say, it's likely) I would doubt that they would have anything bigger than a self-defense version of the Mk41 VLS or instead they could even be equipped with an even smaller Mk48 VLS (for ESSM missiles). So and again these ships won't probably be able to be equipped with the LRASM, hence why the NSM was selected for these ships as well.

Bottom line is that I wouldn't read too much on the US Navy acquisition of the NSM for what essentially are "2nd line" or patrol ships as being the Harpoon replacement for "1st line ships" such as the Arleigh Burke and Zumwalt Destroyers and Ticonderoga Cruisers.


element1loop wrote:A lot of people are concerned about the lack of Western anti-ship missile range, even of LRASM, but if they come by air platforms the range issue is moot.


Yes, I also noticed that and that's a point that honestly doesn't concern me much and the reason is quite simple:
If you have a 1,000 km range anti-ship missile but you can only detect enemy ships at 100 km away (from the launching platform), the "effective range" of this missile will be only 100 km (and not the 1,000 km).
And the "western nations" (namely the USA) have in general much better capability to detect enemy ships at range which means that in practical terms the Western anti-ship missiles will likely have a higher "effective range".

And of course, I fully agree what the best way to defeat enemy warships is (by far) using air power with submarines coming in a distinct second place. WWII and later the Falklands War clearly demonstrated this beyond any doubt.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2018, 00:51
by weasel1962
So what one can do is to send a UAV upfront. The UAV detects the targets at 100km, the P-8 launches from further back with the range difference being limited by the transmission range. The longer the transmission range, the greater the "effective range". If the UAV goes down, then send a LRASM to loiter and detect.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2018, 08:08
by element1loop
ricnunes wrote:Only the other remaining 2 contenders are "full frigates", being them the Álvaro de Bazán F100 frigate and the FREMM frigate respectively but I doubt that these 2 contenders will win this competition, this basically for the same reasons why the Type 26 was excluded (but of course, I could be wrong).


Type 26 is a bigger ship than most versions of the A'Burke DDG and only a little less displacement than a Ticonderoga Cruiser. The F100 based AWDs are also about the same size as a Type 26. Note also that the RAN's Type 26 version is extremely expensive, you can buy two A'Burkes for the price of one Type 26 (Roll-Royce of ASW so they'd better be effing good at it).

ricnunes wrote:Bottom line is that I wouldn't read too much on the US Navy acquisition of the NSM for what essentially are "2nd line" or patrol ships as being the Harpoon replacement for "1st line ships" such as the Arleigh Burke and Zumwalt Destroyers and Ticonderoga Cruisers.


Yes and no, the NSM will occupy the existing Harpoon quad deck real estate on the heavier USN hulls, but the long-range strike missile will go in the VLS, as a separate capability, which I suspect may be a JASSM-XR version of LRASM (now that Tomahawk is on borrowed time).

ricnunes wrote:
element1loop wrote:A lot of people are concerned about the lack of Western anti-ship missile range, even of LRASM, but if they come by air platforms the range issue is moot.


Yes, I also noticed that and that's a point that honestly doesn't concern me much and the reason is quite simple:
If you have a 1,000 km range anti-ship missile but you can only detect enemy ships at 100 km away (from the launching platform), the "effective range" of this missile will be only 100 km (and not the 1,000 km).
And the "western nations" (namely the USA) have in general much better capability to detect enemy ships at range which means that in practical terms the Western anti-ship missiles will likely have a higher "effective range".

And of course, I fully agree what the best way to defeat enemy warships is (by far) using air power with submarines coming in a distinct second place. WWII and later the Falklands War clearly demonstrated this beyond any doubt.


You're not thinking in system-of-systems terms enough here as an OPFOR sub could detect your ship and datalink a fix to a satellite with location, direction and speed to a surface fleet to coordinate a missile strike on you, combined with an off-axis simultaneous sub attack with torp and anti-ship missile.

So it's better to have some serious ASW capability plus an MQ-4 ISR, LO MQ-25, plus VLO LRASM on VLO F-35C to find and kill them first, at much higher radius. And using own OTHR or a sub or more likely a satellite track to follow them first, and shadow with MQ-4 to ID.

Right now within about 3,000 nm (OTHR's operational 'first-bounce' region range around Australia) the OTHR contact res alone is enough to send out a light drone with VLO antiship weapon like JSM, and fly almost directly to that contact(s), and get a kill (after a sat, MQ-4, F-35 and/or sub had ID'ed it days prior, and tracked it on OTHR or hydrophone ever since). So you need real anti-ship missile range more then ever to see first, strike first, kill first, but the air-delivery from a drone or P-8A takes the pressure off the friendly ships and off the F-35 force as well. The F-35As and tankers can instead go clean up the naval base that they came from.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2018, 08:29
by element1loop
weasel1962 wrote:So what one can do is to send a UAV upfront. The UAV detects the targets at 100km, the P-8 launches from further back with the range difference being limited by the transmission range. The longer the transmission range, the greater the "effective range". If the UAV goes down, then send a LRASM to loiter and detect.


MQ-4 HALE drone can provide a much bigger LOS comms footprint through an upper-atmosphere path to a high-altitude efficient cruising LRASM prior to its terminal phase. That would make for a long-range comms path and missile reach, that keeps the P-8A well out of the line of trouble with a 480KTAS egress back to F-35A cover.

Looks good to me.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2018, 15:31
by ricnunes
weasel1962 wrote:So what one can do is to send a UAV upfront. The UAV detects the targets at 100km, the P-8 launches from further back with the range difference being limited by the transmission range. The longer the transmission range, the greater the "effective range". If the UAV goes down, then send a LRASM to loiter and detect.


Warships (namely and mostly "western" warships) have been doing that for quite some time ago, using their own shipborne Helicopters.
These helicopters not only perform ASW roles but also serve to detect enemy ships beyond the horizon so that the "mother ship" or other ships of the fleet can use their Anti-Ship Missiles at much longer ranges.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2018, 15:59
by ricnunes
element1loop wrote:
ricnunes wrote:Only the other remaining 2 contenders are "full frigates", being them the Álvaro de Bazán F100 frigate and the FREMM frigate respectively but I doubt that these 2 contenders will win this competition, this basically for the same reasons why the Type 26 was excluded (but of course, I could be wrong).


Type 26 is a bigger ship than most versions of the A'Burke DDG and only a little less displacement than a Ticonderoga Cruiser.


No it isn't.

The Arleigh Burke Flight I Destroyer (the "smaller" and lighter version) has:
Displacement (fully loaded): 8,315 tons
Length: 154 meters

The Type 26 Frigate has:
Displacement (fully loaded): 8,000 tons
Length: 149.9 meters

The Ticonderoga Cruiser has:
Displacement (fully loaded): 9,800 tons
Length: 173 meters

element1loop wrote:The F100 based AWDs are also about the same size as a Type 26. Note also that the RAN's Type 26 version is extremely expensive, you can buy two A'Burkes for the price of one Type 26 (Roll-Royce of ASW so they'd better be effing good at it).


I would say that it's "normal" that the Arleigh Burke is cheaper than the Type-26/Hunter-class frigate since it all comes down to economy of scale. 66 (sixty-six) Arleigh Burkes have been built with 6 more currently being built plus 5 more on order and a total of 82 (eighty two) planned. Now compare this to the 9 (nine) planned Hunter Class frigates.

Basically the same reason why the F-35 is cheaper than most of its current competitors (again, economy of scale).


element1loop wrote:Yes and no, the NSM will occupy the existing Harpoon quad deck real estate on the heavier USN hulls, but the long-range strike missile will go in the VLS, as a separate capability, which I suspect may be a JASSM-XR version of LRASM (now that Tomahawk is on borrowed time).


Independently of what will happen in the future (and no one can guess it for sure), the fact is that as we speak the NSM was only purchased to equip with the LCS and the FFG(X).
So far there are absolutely NO plans to equip and purchase the NSM for the Arleigh Burkes or Ticonderongas (and much less for the Zumwalt).


element1loop wrote:You're not thinking in system-of-systems terms enough here as an OPFOR sub could detect your ship and datalink a fix to a satellite with location, direction and speed to a surface fleet to coordinate a missile strike on you, combined with an off-axis simultaneous sub attack with torp and anti-ship missile.


I guess that you completely misunderstood my point here. Yes, I was exactly thinking in "system-of-systems terms".
My point was (I believe) rather simple which I'll try to resume the best as I can, below:
- 'Western' "system-of-systems" are much better and advanced than the opposing 'Eastern' (for example Chinese or Russian) "system-of-systems" which allows the detection of 'Eastern' warships by 'Western' forces sooner than otherwise which IMO offsets the Range advantage that 'Eastern' (again, for example Chinese or Russian) Anti-Ship Missiles have over Western Anti-Ship Missiles.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2018, 16:27
by element1loop
ricnunes wrote:
element1loop wrote:
ricnunes wrote:Only the other remaining 2 contenders are "full frigates", being them the Álvaro de Bazán F100 frigate and the FREMM frigate respectively but I doubt that these 2 contenders will win this competition, this basically for the same reasons why the Type 26 was excluded (but of course, I could be wrong).


Type 26 is a bigger ship than most versions of the A'Burke DDG and only a little less displacement than a Ticonderoga Cruiser.


No it isn't.

The Arleigh Burke Flight I Destroyer (the "smaller" and lighter version) has:
Displacement (fully loaded): 8,315 tons
Length: 154 meters

The Type 26 Frigate has:
Displacement (fully loaded): 8,000 tons
Length: 149.9 meters

The Ticonderoga Cruiser has:
Displacement (fully loaded): 9,800 tons
Length: 173 meters


Your figures aren't close to correct as given by RAN itself (or the Wikipedia page).

Hunter Class:
Displacement: 8,800 t (8,700 long tons; 9,700 short tons) full load displacement
Beam: 20.5 m (67 ft)

Ticonderoga Cruiser:
Beam: 55 feet (16.8 meters)

Hunters in fact do have more full-displacement than most Arleigh Burkes and they have slightly more beam than A/Bs as well. Hunters of course have a lot more beam than a Tricon cruiser.

The point of my saying that being that there's a lot of deep wide hull there (for a frigate), for more VLS cells to go in, but RAN shows no interest in upping cell numbers to provide Hunter with a long-range strike weapon or even some more air defense. So clearly these ships are getting the minimum necessary cells to go hunt subs, and defend itself while doing it.

I can see why the USN would want a smaller and cheaper to buy and also operate hull for its future frigates.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2018, 16:40
by element1loop
ricnunes wrote:I guess that you completely misunderstood my point here. Yes, I was exactly thinking in "system-of-systems terms".My point was (I believe) rather simple which I'll try to resume the best as I can, below:
- 'Western' "system-of-systems" are much better and advanced than the opposing 'Eastern' (for example Chinese or Russian) "system-of-systems" which allows the detection of 'Eastern' warships by 'Western' forces sooner than otherwise which IMO offsets the Range advantage that 'Eastern' (again, for example Chinese or Russian) Anti-Ship Missiles have over Western Anti-Ship Missiles.


That's quite an 'under-estimating the enemy' type presumption, their weapons have extra range because it's a requirement, not a manufacturers bonus to a customer.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 01 Jan 2019, 02:46
by Conan
element1loop wrote:
I discussed the surface fleet only, I didn't even bother with the sub force, as it's so small and operates from one base in south western WA, and how many are available any one time? Not enough to take seriously. And its replacement is 15 to 25 years away if we're lucky. Plus they're incredibly slow. This isn't WWII any more, they have the wrong propulsion, and can barely field crews on them. Anyone who thinks that's a primary attack force within our regional geography and context is not dealing with reality. The term tokenistic capability (at best) springs to mind.


Like I said, far too RAAF centric thinking...

In short order:

1. 2 subs is the peace time deployment model. Not wartime. You have no problem accepting that RAAF assets will be surged, but RAN won’t? Please.

2. Operates from one base? And? So do the AWD’s. So do the LHD’s... So do the Wedgetails and SASR for that matter... That is their permanent base, not the only place they operate from, like all the other assets in military service...

3. They’re ‘slow’. Ah-huh. Compared to a tactical fighter of course they are. But they have what no aircraft in the world has, persistence. Time on station that no aviation capability can match.

4. The wrong propulsion? For what role? The Collins class are amongst the most capable subs on the planet and that includes nuke boats.

5. Crews. It ain’t 1999 - 2005 any more... RAN has addressed the crewing issue. There is no crewing issue for the Collins today and a clear path forward to expand to double the size of the operational fleet including crews.

6. Anyone who looks at holistic military capability does, rather than being fixated on one capability element, yes. We operate a regionally superior submarine capability now, it’s far more than a tokenistic effort. Love the idea that 6 large ocean going subs is ‘tokenistic’ but 6 Wedgetails or 7 refuellers, isn’t... And the problem with the replacement entering service in 2030’s makes it irrelevant but not on the Hunters entering service in a similar timeframe? Okay...

Frankly an extremely cheap fleet of just 6 Reapers with JSM anti-ship missiles would make a far better anti-ship force than 6 Collins Class subs ever will. And they can be out there 24/7, all weather, addressing an area 100 times the size a Collins could address in one day, getting there and back fast, and could work with JORN, P-8A and MQ-4 for patrol shadowing and ASW, along with LHD and Hunters, while we invest in a national hydrophone array, and some actual anti-sea-mine capability.


Quite frankly that is a ludicrous statement. The weight of a JSM exceeds the entire payload capacity of any hard point on a Reaper... Let alone the rest of this nonsense.

Anyway it’s the wrong forum for it.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 01 Jan 2019, 04:55
by marauder2048
element1loop wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:What is confirmed is that the RAAF already had the JASSM in mind when they bought the P-8A.' Smart and not surprising.

See pg 62, para 2.2.
https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/183991.pdf

Not only JASSM but also mid-course guidance e.g. launch by F-35A/F-18, guided by P-8 & possibly triton.


Ah, so there it is

ANNEX A
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS AND AUSTRALIAN OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
...
Integration of Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM)
JASSM-MI Link 16 mid-course guidance ...


'MI' is LRASM


JASSM-MI and WDL (on which the former was based) were already known dead by the time that MOU was signed
so it's nothing more than a wish-list.

MI was a conceptual basis for LRASM but lacks the RFS and was much lighter as a consequence.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 01 Jan 2019, 06:08
by element1loop
Conan wrote: Like I said, far too RAAF centric thinking...


Not at all, it is a fair and relative assessment of the effective and efficient strike capacity, and time taken to provide it, and then to repeat it. It has nothing to do with being air-warfare-centric. If the naval approach (sans dedicated carriers) had more on offer there would be more to consider, but there isn’t.

Conan wrote:1. 2 subs is the peace time deployment model. Not wartime. You have no problem accepting that RAAF assets will be surged, but RAN won’t? Please.


Surge? Please, have a close look at the geography and the distances involved with a spread sheet and the rate of submerged cruise distance per day and the time taken to get to patrol areas or to loiter in choke points, and the corresponding time to return again, and the time to repeat. Then calculate, as a ratio, how much of that total time the subs will be available to achieve their war aim and role? Disappointing to say the least.

Conan wrote:2. Operates from one base? And? So do the AWD’s. So do the LHD’s... So do the Wedgetails and SASR for that matter... That is their permanent base, not the only place they operate from, like all the other assets in military service...


Yes, but ~2500 nm away by sub, on the other side of the continent, from most of the rest of the fleet. There’s been talk about putting them on the east-coast as well, but nothing has come of it. So calculate the time it takes to transit from Perth to Sydney, to become a part of a useful integrated task force. You are left relying on intel to give timing cues (months ahead) for when to position them to be useful.

Conan wrote:3. They’re ‘slow’. Ah-huh. Compared to a tactical fighter of course they are. But they have what no aircraft in the world has, persistence. Time on station that no aviation capability can match.


Already covered, their presumed persistence is theoretical, not realistic or achievable with the numbers and geography they have to operate in. They’re not ineffective of course, it’s just that an OPFOR is unlikely to encounter one, at least to do so rarely, so they're much freer to operate.

Conan wrote:4. The wrong propulsion? For what role? The Collins class are amongst the most capable subs on the planet and that includes nuke boats.


For getting from point A to point B any time soon.

Yes, they’re extremely capable, but only in a performance limited context or in an area like the Baltic Sea, not in the two largest oceans on earth. OPFOR knows Collins has nowhere near the sustained performance needed to intercept them in open ocean, so Collins will be restricted to more predictable choke-points. RAN needs propulsion that changes that. Advocates or fans may think that’s still OK, I think it’s really piss-poor-performance.

Conan wrote:[
5. Crews. It ain’t 1999 - 2005 any more... RAN has addressed the crewing issue. There is no crewing issue for the Collins today and a clear path forward to expand to double the size of the operational fleet including crews.


That may be largely so, but a P-8A crew can go home to the family far more often. Which one would a young married person prefer to be on, in order to detect and kill subs or ships and gather copious regional data? Hence the crewing problem is far from over in the long-term. And nor was it over during the post-2009 mining and energy extraction building-out boom. There will be more waves of that sort of energy build-out boom to come.

Conan wrote:6. Anyone who looks at holistic military capability does, rather than being fixated on one capability element, yes. We operate a regionally superior submarine capability now, it’s far more than a tokenistic effort. Love the idea that 6 large ocean going subs is ‘tokenistic’ but 6 Wedgetails or 7 refuellers, isn’t... And the problem with the replacement entering service in 2030’s makes it irrelevant but not on the Hunters entering service in a similar timeframe? Okay...


No good dragging in other platforms to make your point, those are all performing to expectations, and slot into the JOINT framework as required and they're COTS too, if we want or else need more, fairly quickly.

I'm only interested in JOINT capabilities, there's no single-service fixation involved, I look at the implications of the current and building force. You may not like the assessment but you’ve said nothing to change it.

And no the timeframe is not similar as you claim, the first Hunter is expect in 2027-2028, the first Barracuda delivered (possibly) by 2035 (i.e. 16 years to get the first from an existing sub hull) and the last one delivered at around 2056 (37 years) on the present expectations .............................. and they're not even joking.

Conan wrote:
Frankly an extremely cheap fleet of just 6 Reapers with JSM anti-ship missiles would make a far better anti-ship force than 6 Collins Class subs ever will. And they can be out there 24/7, all weather, addressing an area 100 times the size a Collins could address in one day, getting there and back fast, and could work with JORN, P-8A and MQ-4 for patrol shadowing and ASW, along with LHD and Hunters, while we invest in a national hydrophone array, and some actual anti-sea-mine capability.


Quite frankly that is a ludicrous statement. The weight of a JSM exceeds the entire payload capacity of any hard point on a Reaper... Let alone the rest of this nonsense.


Which ignores the fact that these drones have not been built and the SkyGuard Reaper version has a stronger wing with 8 weapon stations as opposed to the prior 6 weapon stations, and its inside pylons can carry 1,500 lb. The anti-ship potential of a persistent, cheap continuously available Reaper fleet with an anti-ship weapon makes the Collins Class anti-ship capability look anemic in comparison.

Your prior assertion that Collins constitutes ADF's primary anti-ship attack force is actually a single-platform-centric focus, and obviously misses the forest for the trees.

So, being all 'holistic' then, it would be fair to say that such a Reaper anti-ship capability with a VLO missile would (JOINTLY) relieve Collins of the need to be going after almost all other surface ships within other locations and open waters, so they could actually lurk more often at one or two key choke-points. Or to mine them and then move on to other essential tasking. The HOLISTIC JOINT COMBINATION of the two thus raises the overall sub fleet's deterrence, and wartime potential and flexibility.

And mass-killing ships is what F-35A + tankers with JSOW, JSM or LRASM provides way more of (and the P-8A). So it's more than reasonable to conclude that RAN subs are not now and will not be in future, the ADF's primary anti-ship capability. Right?

Those subs will be focused on going after a limited subset of the OPFOR fleet. And its questionable they will be doing much of that, more like mining and going on to other tasks that the aircraft allow them to be freed up to do more convincingly.

You can clarify via PM if you wish to debate that.

Happy New Year to you any way Conan.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 01 Jan 2019, 06:09
by element1loop
marauder2048 wrote:
element1loop wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:What is confirmed is that the RAAF already had the JASSM in mind when they bought the P-8A.' Smart and not surprising.

See pg 62, para 2.2.
https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/183991.pdf

Not only JASSM but also mid-course guidance e.g. launch by F-35A/F-18, guided by P-8 & possibly triton.


Ah, so there it is

ANNEX A
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS AND AUSTRALIAN OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
...
Integration of Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM)
JASSM-MI Link 16 mid-course guidance ...


'MI' is LRASM


JASSM-MI and WDL (on which the former was based) were already known dead by the time that MOU was signed
so it's nothing more than a wish-list.

MI was a conceptual basis for LRASM but lacks the RFS and was much lighter as a consequence.


And an indication of intents.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 08 Jan 2019, 00:42
by ricnunes
element1loop wrote:Your figures aren't close to correct as given by RAN itself (or the Wikipedia page).

Hunter Class:
Displacement: 8,800 t (8,700 long tons; 9,700 short tons) full load displacement
Beam: 20.5 m (67 ft)

Ticonderoga Cruiser:
Beam: 55 feet (16.8 meters)

Hunters in fact do have more full-displacement than most Arleigh Burkes and they have slightly more beam than A/Bs as well. Hunters of course have a lot more beam than a Tricon cruiser.

The point of my saying that being that there's a lot of deep wide hull there (for a frigate), for more VLS cells to go in, but RAN shows no interest in upping cell numbers to provide Hunter with a long-range strike weapon or even some more air defense. So clearly these ships are getting the minimum necessary cells to go hunt subs, and defend itself while doing it.

I can see why the USN would want a smaller and cheaper to buy and also operate hull for its future frigates.


Beam is not the only measurement of a ship you know?

And from the same place where you came up with your values (and I with mine), the Ticonderoga has a 1,000 ton higher displacement and more than 23 meters long compared to the Type 26/Hunter. That's IMO, QUITE or even a LOT bigger (on the Tico side that is).

Yes, according to your values about the Hunter, I concede that it has a bigger displacement than an Arleigh Burke Flight I or Flight II but the Hunter is still more than 4 meters shorter in length compared to them.

However I would like to point out that Flight IIA and Flight III Arleigh Burkes which are much more contemporary to the Hunter than Arleigh Burkes Flight I and II have a much bigger displacement (than the Hunter) at 9,100 tons for the Flight IIA and 9,600 tons for Flight III.
Moreover of the 66 Arleigh Burkes already built and 82 planned, "only" 28 Arleigh Burkes are Flight I and II. All others are Flights IIA and III.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 08 Jan 2019, 00:51
by steve2267
Yeah, but...

Would a Hunter beat an Arleigh Burke in a dogfight ??? :devil:

Guns only? Or BVR missiles only? :drool:

Which does a rudder-only turn better?

:doh:

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 08 Jan 2019, 00:53
by ricnunes
element1loop wrote:That's quite an 'under-estimating the enemy' type presumption, their weapons have extra range because it's a requirement, not a manufacturers bonus to a customer.


And I never said that the longer range of their Anti-Ship missiles was not a requirement or that it was a "bonus", did I?

However requirements sometimes aren't met with real expectations or something that you design in a way that was thought to overcome what the opponent have (such as designing a longer range anti-ship missile) in practical terms it didn't overcome/surpass and doesn't work as it was fully intended to (such as not having a way to exploit the missile's full range).

Actually the "Eastern side", namely the Russians are full of military systems whose requirements were to surpass equivalent western systems but for a myriad of reasons they fell very short from expectations/requirements.
For example: It was a requirement that the Su-57 was to surpass the F-22 and the F-35. We all know what happened to this requirement, don't we? :wink:

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 08 Jan 2019, 00:56
by ricnunes
steve2267 wrote:
Which does a rudder-only turn better?

:doh:


The one that can fit the rudder in its VLS :mrgreen:

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 08 Jan 2019, 01:00
by spazsinbad
steve2267 wrote:Yeah, but... Would a Hunter beat an Arleigh Burke in a dogfight ??? :devil: Guns only? Or BVR missiles only? :drool: Which does a rudder-only turn better? :doh:

:devil: I knew it I knew it I knew it - why does every thread to into a 1v1 ACME DogPuddle (nearly typed POO but WHAATT!?) :doh:

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 08 Jan 2019, 01:05
by element1loop
spazsinbad wrote:
steve2267 wrote:Yeah, but... Would a Hunter beat an Arleigh Burke in a dogfight ??? :devil: Guns only? Or BVR missiles only? :drool: Which does a rudder-only turn better? :doh:

:devil: I knew it I knew it I knew it - why does every thread to into a 1v1 ACME DogPuddle (nearly typed POO but WHAATT!?) :doh:


LMAO ...... :mrgreen:

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 08 Jan 2019, 06:13
by steve2267
spazsinbad wrote:
steve2267 wrote:Yeah, but... Would a Hunter beat an Arleigh Burke in a dogfight ??? :devil: Guns only? Or BVR missiles only? :drool: Which does a rudder-only turn better? :doh:

:devil: I knew it I knew it I knew it - why does every thread to into a 1v1 ACME DogPuddle (nearly typed POO but WHAATT!?) :doh:


Spaz... whaddya expect when a thread turns into a dick measuring argument? My destroyer is bigger than your destroyer? (Thot this was F-16.net not SeamanBattles.org). Butt butt butt... my destroyer is wider than yours! Oh yeah? Mine has longer range miskuhls than yours... :bang:

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 04:15
by spazsinbad
Navy Awards $1.8 Billion Contract for F-35 Block 4 Capabilities
10 Jun 2019 Richard R. Burgess

"ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Navy has awarded to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. a contract to continue development of Block 4 capabilities for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

Naval Air Systems Command awarded a $1.8 billion “cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-award-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for continued design maturation and development of Block 4 capabilities in support of the F-35 Lightning II Phase 2.3 Pre-Modernization for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and non-U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) participants,” according to a Defense Department announcement.

Details of the Block 4 capabilities have not been released by the F-35 Joint Program Office, but they are mainly incremental software and sensor upgrades intended to add to the aircraft’s agility, lethality and situational awareness to enable the aircraft to keep ahead of the threats anticipated in the future."

Source: https://seapowermagazine.org/navy-award ... abilities/

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 06:30
by optimist
if it hits the fan. the us want Jorn and the subs, in that order. So I wouldn't discount them too quickly.
The few F-35 we can deploy and sustain is in a coalition. Is a token gesture and flag waving.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 20:03
by spazsinbad
F-35 Production Deal is Largest in DOD History; Block 4 Contract Also Inked
10 Jun 2019 Brian Everstine

[links in article at URL]"... the Pentagon awarded Lockheed Martin a $1.8 billion contract for the continued design of Block 4 upgrades for all variants of the F-35. The contract covers “continued design maturation and development” of the Block 4 suite as part of continued follow-on modernization of the aircraft, according to a Pentagon release. It includes $732 million for US Air Force variants of the jet, [does not the meaning is 'the F-35A for everybody?'] with work expected to be completed in August 2026.

The Block 4 software suite for the jet includes 53 improvements to advanced air- and ground-based threats. None of the changes will affect the exterior of the jet; the mods will instead focus on software updates to be rolled out in stages, beginning this year. “Instead of doing two-year deliveries … we decided to go to a more continuous capability framework,” said Vice Adm. Mat Winter, F-35 program executive officer, in a December interview with Air Force Magazine.

While specifics about the upgrade are mostly secret, they largely include integration of new weapons such as the Small Diameter Bomb II; logistics and support changes; electronic warfare updates; interoperability and networking changes; cockpit and navigation upgrades; and radar and electro-optical system enhancements.

The Joint Program Office expects more updates to follow-on after the Block 4 upgrades are complete, with a Block 5 likely in about 2028.

The contract award went against recommendations from the Government Accountability Office, which said the Defense Department should hold off until it has created a business case for the upgrade, and has conducted an “independent technology assessment” for it. While the contract is now awarded, the Pentagon doesn’t expect to have a technology readiness assessment, independent cost estimate, and test and evaluation master plan until the October-December timeframe, the GAO said in an April report. In a response to the GAO report, the F-35 JPO said it expected a Block 4 test and evaluation master plan in June, with approval from the Defense Secretary in the fall.

In addition to the Air Force funding, the cost-plus-incentive-fee and cost-plus-award-fee contract includes $371 million for the Navy, $345 million for the Marine Corps, and $358 million for non-US participants. It is the latest in a series of contracts for Block 4 work, including a $104 million modification in August 2018 and a $130 million modification in November 2018."

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... Inked.aspx

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 21:58
by gideonic
spazsinbad wrote:While specifics about the upgrade are mostly secret, they largely include integration of new weapons such as the Small Diameter Bomb II; logistics and support changes; electronic warfare updates; interoperability and networking changes; cockpit and navigation upgrades; and radar and electro-optical system enhancements.


So something suspected for a while but no official confirmation, the Radar is also updated

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 22:43
by SpudmanWP
I think the radar improvements are the new & improved modes that have already been announced.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 12 Jun 2019, 02:25
by jetblast16
I know a new panoramic display is coming in Block 4, but are widgets (graphics, icons, etc.) on the display going to change, be updated?

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 12 Jun 2019, 02:36
by Dragon029
Unlikely; that'd mean having pilots re-train on the system for little reason.

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 12 Jun 2019, 02:43
by jetblast16
Then why the new display? To take advantage of increased resolution of the EOTS, etc?

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 12 Jun 2019, 02:52
by quicksilver
Why new displays? Obsolescence, DMS (diminishing manufacturing sources), R&M...could be any or all. TR3 stuff.

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... eplacement

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 12 Jun 2019, 03:00
by spazsinbad
OVER on the PCD thread (where ever) there is old talk from Head Designer of PVI Pilot Vehickle Interface (I feel I can spell Vehicle that way because some clowns spell LIGHTENING) says there was/is a plan for colour icons but a standard had not been devised at the time of statement (because NEW). Also there was some hope for more game like 3D display in future.

"...having pilots re-train on the system..." pilot bread & butter to retrain IF it is worth it and because they are worth it.

Over on another BLOCK 4 thread 'SWP' has a guess: viewtopic.php?f=62&t=27390&p=404492&hilit=color#p404492

COLOUR/color in HMDS: viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223&p=404868&hilit=color#p404868

Re: GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

Unread postPosted: 12 Jun 2019, 04:32
by Dragon029
Besides what quicksilver said, there's also the resolution increases coming to the EOTS and DAS which will require higher resolution displays to view properly (you can't get the full quality of a (eg) 2k x 2k sensor if your display only has a 1280x1024 resolution; not without zooming in and decreasing situational awareness). The heat generated by the PCDs has also been noted in the past and these new displays have a threshold requirement of consuming 2x less power (objective 4x less), which will assist with that.