Navy F-35C roadmap revealed

F-35 unit & base selection, delivery, activation
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spazsinbad

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Unread post03 Oct 2019, 11:12

NAVY F-35C ROADMAP REVEALED [PDF page attached below]
Nov 2019 Mike Crutch Combat Aircraft Mag'n

“Following much speculation, and set against the wider politics of the F-35 program in terms of trained personnel, mission capable aircraft and delivery rates, the US Navy has unveiled its current planning for the F-35C variant as it integrates further with the fleet and its carrier air wings.

With VFA-147 ‘Argonauts’ preparing to commence work-ups with Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2) for a cruise in USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in 2021, the US Marine Corps’ VMFA-314 ‘Black Knights’ finally began training with VFA-125 ‘Rough Raiders’ at NAS Lemoore, California, on September 9. The squadron, which will initially receive 10 aircraft from the F-35 Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) batch 12, will be assigned to CVW-17, which itself is currently attached to USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). VMFA-314 will also become the first F-35C squadron to be based at MCAS Miramar.

Next through the classrooms of VFA-125 will be VFA-97 ‘Warhawks’, which should become operational with Lot 13 standard F-35Cs in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 before moving to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, in FY 2024 to join CVW-5 which, by then, will have been reunited with USS George Washington (CVN 73). Meanwhile, another USMC squadron (VMA-311 ‘Tomcats’ currently flying the AV-8B Harrier II from MCAS Yuma) will have transitioned to the Lightning II and will move to Miramar. The F-35C fleet as a whole will receive weapons upgrades around this time, including provision for the second-generation Small Diameter Bomb and an upgraded AIM-9X Sidewinder missile.

VFA-115 ‘Eagles’ will exchange its F/A-18Es for Lot 17 F-35Cs to become operational in FY 2025, followed the next year (and stand by for confusion here) by VMFA-115 ‘Silver Eagles’, which will finally relinquish its F/A-18 Hornets at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina. Fiscal Year 2027 will herald the arrival of Lot 19 F-35Cs, which will be issued to VFA-151 ‘Vigilantes’, while Lot 20 machines will be flown by VMFA-251 ‘Thunderbolts’, which will become the second Beaufort based F-35C squadron in FY 2028. This timeframe should see some 200 F-35C airframes in the navy/marine corps inventory, with the LRIP aircraft likely to be subject to upgrades in plans yet to be funded or revealed publicly.

With the majority of the F-35C fleet units on the Pacific coast, from this it seems logical to assume that the first Atlantic Fleet deployment by the F-35C will be conducted by one of the Beaufort squadrons.”

Source: Combat Aircraft Magazine Vol.20 No.11
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mixelflick

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Unread post03 Oct 2019, 16:41

Exchanging Super Hornets (F/A-18E's) for F-35C's ??

I thought for sure the F-35C would be replacing legacy Hornets, at least initially? I guess not. The question now is, what becomes of those Super Hornets? The Marines getting them???
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Unread post03 Oct 2019, 17:37

mixelflick wrote:Exchanging Super Hornets (F/A-18E's) for F-35C's ??

I thought for sure the F-35C would be replacing legacy Hornets, at least initially? I guess not. The question now is, what becomes of those Super Hornets? The Marines getting them???


Canada :devil:
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spazsinbad

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Unread post03 Oct 2019, 18:50

mixelflick wrote:Exchanging Super Hornets (F/A-18E's) for F-35C's ?? I thought for sure the F-35C would be replacing legacy Hornets, at least initially? I guess not. The question now is, what becomes of those Super Hornets? The Marines getting them???

The USN does not have any LEGACY HORNETS to exchange. They no longer operate LEGACY HORNETS - all gone to USMC.
"...But you might not have seen the last of America’s legacy Hornets. They’ll continue to be used by Navy reservists playing the role of adversary aviators. And until they’re replaced by Super Hornets or new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, the Marines plan to keep flying their F/A-18Cs." https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-nav ... he-sunset/ 23 Jan 2019

Official final active-duty flight of the last U.S. Navy F/A-18C
03 Oct 2019 ALERT5

Photo: "The last Navy F/A-18C Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 made its official final active-duty flight at Naval Air Station Oct 2. Aircraft number 300, assigned to VFA 106 at Cecil Field Florida, completed it first Navy acceptance check flight Oct. 14, 1988. The aircraft has remained with the Gladiators for its’ entire 31 years of service. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nikita Custer)" https://www.dvidshub.net/download/image/5806986 (0.9Mb JPG) SEATTLE, WA, UNITED STATES photo date: 01.13.2012
Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nikita Custer

Source: https://www.dvidshub.net/image/5806986/ ... -pw480-029
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Unread post04 Oct 2019, 01:25

Distilled. UI = unidentified in the article.
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mixelflick

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Unread post04 Oct 2019, 15:41

citanon wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Exchanging Super Hornets (F/A-18E's) for F-35C's ??

I thought for sure the F-35C would be replacing legacy Hornets, at least initially? I guess not. The question now is, what becomes of those Super Hornets? The Marines getting them???


Canada :devil:


LOL, thanks for the chuckle.

Wow, didn't realize the Navy was done with them (legacy Hornets). I suppose it served them well. The high point had to have been when 2 shot down 2 Mig-21's, then proceeded to put bombs on target. If memory serves, they were carrying a hell of a bomb load too. And if I'm not mistaken, they got pretty damn close to the Mig's.

Wonder how close they were to punching the tanks (assuming they carried at least one) and the bombs??
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Unread post04 Oct 2019, 15:54

mixelflick wrote:Wow, didn't realize the Navy was done with them (legacy Hornets). I suppose it served them well. The high point had to have been when 2 shot down 2 Mig-21's, then proceeded to put bombs on target. If memory serves, they were carrying a hell of a bomb load too. And if I'm not mistaken, they got pretty damn close to the Mig's.


If I'm not mistaken the air-to-ground ordinance that they carried was composed by Mk-84 (2000lb) free fall (dumb) bombs (2 bombs per each aircraft).
So yes you're correct, this together with external fuel tanks was indeed "a hell of a bomb load" to go with against enemy fighter aircraft :wink:

mixelflick wrote:Wonder how close they were to punching the tanks (assuming they carried at least one) and the bombs??


Also if my memory doesn't fail me, one of the Migs was shot down by an AIM-7 Sparrow missile which the other Mig was shot down by an AIM-9 Sidewinder so I would bet that they were quite close to punching out the tanks.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post04 Oct 2019, 20:19

ricnunes wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Wow, didn't realize the Navy was done with them (legacy Hornets). I suppose it served them well. The high point had to have been when 2 shot down 2 Mig-21's, then proceeded to put bombs on target. If memory serves, they were carrying a hell of a bomb load too. And if I'm not mistaken, they got pretty damn close to the Mig's.


If I'm not mistaken the air-to-ground ordinance that they carried was composed by Mk-84 (2000lb) free fall (dumb) bombs (2 bombs per each aircraft).
So yes you're correct, this together with external fuel tanks was indeed "a hell of a bomb load" to go with against enemy fighter aircraft :wink:

mixelflick wrote:Wonder how close they were to punching the tanks (assuming they carried at least one) and the bombs??


Also if my memory doesn't fail me, one of the Migs was shot down by an AIM-7 Sparrow missile which the other Mig was shot down by an AIM-9 Sidewinder so I would bet that they were quite close to punching out the tanks.


I believe the load was 4 Mk 84 and a centerline external tank.
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Unread post04 Oct 2019, 23:54

mixelflick wrote:Exchanging Super Hornets (F/A-18E's) for F-35C's ??

I thought for sure the F-35C would be replacing legacy Hornets, at least initially? I guess not. The question now is, what becomes of those Super Hornets? The Marines getting them???


Legacy hornets were transferred to the USMC. Per aviation plan. FRD starts in FY24. Legacy hornets sqn will consolidate in the west coast in FY27. Last hornet combat sqn will transition to F-35B in FY29. Last hornet reserve sqn will transition in FY31 which will complete the transition of USMC into an all F-35 fleet. Legacy hornets will fly into the early 30s.
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Unread post05 Oct 2019, 19:31

blain wrote:I believe the load was 4 Mk 84 and a centerline external tank.


It's quite possible that you're right.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post07 Oct 2019, 12:02

F-35C 'One Mean Aircraft' USN Pilot - One of 30 - in Early 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFWSAOp0p1c

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Unread post08 Oct 2019, 00:25

weasel1962 wrote:Distilled. UI = unidentified in the article.


Transition appears pretty slow??? Wasn't the plan to acquire 20+ F-35C's each year??? This should be enough for 1.5-2 Squadrons per year.
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Unread post08 Oct 2019, 04:55

Corsair1963 wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:Distilled. UI = unidentified in the article.


Transition appears pretty slow??? Wasn't the plan to acquire 20+ F-35C's each year??? This should be enough for 1.5-2 Squadrons per year.


Yeah, no kidding.

I wonder what the impact with be if/when the Marines changes the mix of Bs and Cs. They are suppose to stand up a second 25 ac squadron FRS of F-35Bs soon. If they change the mix to 50/50 might they need to stand up an FRS focused on the C? Or will they try to complete the B procurement in the short term and then increase the numbers of Cs procured?
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Unread post08 Oct 2019, 06:47

1. The USMC mix will not change (although they did add 13 Cs to 80 C for a total of 353 B&Cs).
2. The full list of sqn to be converted to F-35C for USN has not been published.
3. AFM only published a part of the 18 USN F-35C sqn list but included all 4 USMC combat sqns.
4. Only 30 F-35C up to lot 10 and 80 to lot 14. This will include training & FRS.
5. Last F-35C buy should be in FY 2032 (lot 27) with delivery 2 years thereafter (by FY 2034). Hence by 2034, all 22 F-35C sqns will be transitioned. How many per year, do the math.

Re-post the below from
viewtopic.php?f=61&t=55231

The overall navy plan is clear.

820 strike fighters (not including EA), 440 will be in 40 active strike fighter sqn (10-12 fighters each) + (22) 2 reserve sqn and the remainder, BAI & attrition reserves.
Out of this 820, 260 will eventually be F-35C in 18 active sqn + 1 training.
Source (pg 4): https://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS25 ... 160204.pdf

Add 420 F-35B/C per USMC plan will provide eventual total fighter inventory of 1,240.

18 USN + 4 USMC F-35C @ 4 sqn per CVN, the USN should be able to field 5-6 CVN with F-35C which is the expected surge of CVN available at any one time. Otherwise, 22 sqn of 10 F-35Cs each will provide the 11 CVNs, 2 F-35C sqn each. CVN 68, 69 and 73 have already flown F-35Cs.

thru FY 2019, congress has funded 618 F/A-18E/F (and add 24 if FY 2020 budget is approved) although only 560 is needed.
thru FY 2019, congress has funded 69 F-35C (and add 20 if FY 2020 budget is approved).

Per SAR both F-35B/C buys will complete by FY 2031 (Delivery FY 2033) so average 1-2 F-35C sqns will stand up per year.

Currently VFA-125 is noted as the FRS sqn (~30 F-35C of which 10 will be USMC) and VFA-147 is the 1st USN F-35C sqn. According to the west coast EIS, NAS lemoore will base 7 F-35C sqn + FRS sqn where the F-18 sqns based at Lemoore will convert to the F-35C by 2028. 2 F-18 sqn will be shifted from the east coast to Lemoore and those that were F-18C will transition to the super hornet first.
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Unread post08 Oct 2019, 07:16

weasel1962 wrote:
The overall navy plan is clear.

820 strike fighters (not including EA), 440 will be in 40 active strike fighter sqn (10-12 fighters each) + (22) 2 reserve sqn and the remainder, BAI & attrition reserves.
Out of this 820, 260 will eventually be F-35C in 18 active sqn + 1 training.
Source (pg 4): https://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS25 ... 160204.pdf

Add 420 F-35B/C per USMC plan will provide eventual total fighter inventory of 1,240.

18 USN + 4 USMC F-35C @ 4 sqn per CVN, the USN should be able to field 5-6 CVN with F-35C which is the expected surge of CVN available at any one time. Otherwise, 22 sqn of 10 F-35Cs each will provide the 11 CVNs, 2 F-35C sqn each. CVN 68, 69 and 73 have already flown F-35Cs.

thru FY 2019, congress has funded 618 F/A-18E/F (and add 24 if FY 2020 budget is approved) although only 560 is needed.
thru FY 2019, congress has funded 69 F-35C (and add 20 if FY 2020 budget is approved).

Per SAR both F-35B/C buys will complete by FY 2031 (Delivery FY 2033) so average 1-2 F-35C sqns will stand up per year.

Currently VFA-125 is noted as the FRS sqn (~30 F-35C of which 10 will be USMC) and VFA-147 is the 1st USN F-35C sqn. According to the west coast EIS, NAS lemoore will base 7 F-35C sqn + FRS sqn where the F-18 sqns based at Lemoore will convert to the F-35C by 2028. 2 F-18 sqn will be shifted from the east coast to Lemoore and those that were F-18C will transition to the super hornet first.


Plans change all of the time. First, Congress usually fund more aircraft that what the services request (USAF, USN, and USMC) Second, odds are very favorable that after the 22 F-35C Squadrons are filled. The USN will just continue to purchase additional F-35C's to replace the remaining Super Hornets. As the F/A-XX won't be ready until 2040....
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