USS VINSON to San Diego Ahead of 1st F-35C JSF Deployment

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Unread post25 Aug 2020, 12:25

Carrier Vinson Heading to San Diego Ahead of First F-35C Joint Strike Fighter Deployment
24 Aug 2020 Sam LaGrone

"Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) departed Bremerton, Wash., on Sunday bound for its new homeport in San Diego after completing a year and a half of maintenance, the Navy announced. Part of the 17-month dry dock repair period was to make the carrier ready for the Navy’s first F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter deployment that is planned for next year.

The F-35C modifications added classified spaces to the carrier and replaced the carrier’s jet-blast deflectors. The ship’s current carrier launch and recovery systems don’t require modifications to handle the new fighters. The docking planned incremental availability (DPIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility that began on Feb. 28, 2019, added the systems needed to fly and maintain the Navy’s F-35, as well as additional upgrades to combat and electrical systems and repairs to the ship’s hull, rudders and shaft....

...The ship is now underway for sea trials and will arrive at its new homeport in San Diego, Calif., before beginning the months-long training period to integrate the air wing and surface forces for the anticipated 2021 first operational deployment of the F-35C. The “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 are expected to be first F-35C squadron to deploy....

...The next carrier up for an extended maintenance on the West Coast, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), is set to arrive at the Puget Sound yard sometime next year, USNI News understands."

Source: https://news.usni.org/2020/08/24/carrie ... deployment
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Unread post03 Sep 2020, 21:30

VIDEO: Carrier USS Carl Vinson Returns to San Diego after Maintenance to Prepare for F-35C Deployment
03 Sep 2020 Megan Eckstein

"Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) shifted its homeport back to San Diego, after spending a year and a half undergoing maintenance in Washington to prepare for its first deployment with the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter....

...During the maintenance period, “Vinson underwent scheduled, periodic maintenance on major components like rudders, shafts and tanks, as well as upgrades to crew living spaces. The ship also received work to preserve its hull, upgrades to the electrical system, upgrades to combat systems, and it underwent a complete restoration and a system retrofit to accommodate F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter mission capabilities. The overall cost of the work totaled about $367 million,” according to a second Navy news release on the completion of the maintenance period....

...Vinson is expected to conduct a history-making deployment next year. Not only would it be the Navy’s first carrier deployment of the F-35C, it would also be the first deployment of the CMV-22 Osprey serving as the carrier onboard delivery aircraft. The V-22 variant is replacing the C-2A Greyhound as the carrier fleet’s COD, chiefly because the aging C-2 is not able to carry an F-35 engine if one were needed. The V-22 will bring that capability, along with the agility of being able to land on cruisers and destroyers if needed instead of only landing on the carrier’s flight deck.

With Vinson back in San Diego, the carrier, its escorts and air wing will be able to start training for the upcoming deployment."

Source: https://news.usni.org/2020/09/03/video- ... deployment
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Unread post25 Sep 2020, 04:42

USNI News Video: First F-35Cs, CMV-22B Train for First Deployment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxpGa6TAmCI

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Unread post25 Sep 2020, 04:56

VIDEO: USS Carl Vinson Preparing for First F-35C, ‘Advanced Carrier Air Wing’ Deployment [LONG ARTICLE]
24 Sep 2020 Megan Eckstein

"ABOARD AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS CARL VINSON, OFF THE COAST OF CALIFORNIA – Next year, the most advanced carrier air wing in history will sail to the Pacific aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). Last week, the Carrier Air Wing 2 took the first steps in getting its new F-35C Joint Strike Fighters and CMV-22B Ospreys integrated into the air wing and aboard the carrier.

Vinson went to sea with its air wing for the first time in this deployment cycle, following a lengthy maintenance availability to upgrade the ship to support the Navy’s first deployment of its fifth-generation fighter and a new cargo aircraft to support it.

Though there are still some little details to work out – moving the new F-35C Joint Strike Fighter safely around the deck, practicing with new firefighting equipment designed for the large nacelles on the CMV-22B Osprey – ship and air wing officials say they’re ready to spend this workup cycle figuring out how to leverage the F-35C’s stealth and data-sharing capabilities to make this advanced carrier air wing as lethal as possible.

“Fundamentally, not much has changed: the carrier strike group, we’ve fought integrated for years. And specifically in the air wing, what’s changed are the tools: advanced sensors, stealth technology, access to information. All that’s now being provided to the air wing. And those integrated channels we’ve had, now we’re just using those and passing different information,” Capt. Tommy Locke, the deputy air wing commander, told USNI News during a Sept. 17 visit to the carrier at sea.

To make the most of what the F-35C brings, Locke said the air wing has some other plus-ups: an extra E-2D Advanced Hawkeye was added to the “Black Eagles” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113, and two additional EA-18G Growlers were added to the “Gauntlets” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 136.

“You put those aircraft together, couple that with our kinetic capacity of the F-18E/F, it’s a pretty powerful combination, able to distribute fifth-generation information, increase lethality of our legacy platforms, but also (increase) the survivability as well,” Locke said. “Our air wing configuration, again with the F-35C Lightning II as well as the E-2D, EA-18G Growler and the legacy F-18s, it really provides the strike group commander a very effective and efficient way to project power. So offensive in nature, but we also bring a pretty unique capability of gathering real-time over-the-horizon intelligence, information, passing that throughout the strike group to share in that fifth-generation information, and then also kinetic and non-kinetic fires to support carrier strike group defense.”

In conversations with sailors in the carrier strike group, the main focus of this advanced air wing seemed to be the F-35’s ability to sneak undetected into air space the air wing previously couldn’t safely access, scoop up information of all kinds to share with the rest of the carrier strike group, and perhaps take out a target or two to make way for the firepower of the F/A-18E-F Super Hornets coming in behind it.

Locke said specifically the combination of the F-35C and the Growler would control the air space, deny enemy access and leverage the electromagnetic spectrum in a way the air wing never could before....

...Eventually, the whole air wing will go through its advanced training syllabus at Naval Air Station Fallon before coming back to the aircraft carrier to join up with the destroyers and cruiser for full CSG integrated operations.

Asked how the F-35C would change how the air wing collaborates not only with the carrier but also the combatants, Locke said, “It’s all information. It’s the speed of information, how quickly you get it. E-2D plays a critical role, its nodes are connected really well with the surface fleet. It’s feeding information to the airborne fighters. All the fighters have the information they need; if they don’t they can share with each other; and if they don’t, they can get it from the E-2D. So in some cases we don’t need much, but there are also some cases when you may be fighting and you need a lot of information from the surface (ships).”...

...Vinson Commanding Officer Capt. Matthew Paradise said during the ship tour that new jet blast deflectors with added cooling were installed on the ship during its recent 17-month docking planned incremental availability to address the greater heat coming out of the F-35’s single engine. A new computer system was put in to support the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) logistics system the F-35 uses, lithium-ion battery storage and charging space was created for the jets’ batteries – the first time a jet has required these large batteries that pose potential fire hazards, but likely not the last time, officials said – and ready rooms and maintenance spaces were upgraded to support the F-35C and CMV-22B. For the Ospreys, new fire wands were installed on the flight deck that can reach high enough to put out an engine fire on the tall nacelles, if needed.

Paradise noted that, while this was the first time CVW-2 with the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 had embarked on the ship, it wasn’t the first time VFA-147 and its F-35Cs had operated from Vinson. This carrier was used in late 2018 and early 2019 to conduct carrier qualifications, safe-for-flight certification and operational tests, culminating in a Feb. 28, 2019, declaration of initial operational capability. Paradise said his team used lessons learned from that experience, from Lincoln’s operations and from elsewhere in the Navy and industry to inform its early operations with the F-35C now.

“It’s certainly a team effort. Our role is to be able to taxi the aircraft. We have a role in maintaining them as well, we have a pretty big maintenance function here. And so all that, you’re right, requires training. And so formal schools, a lot of on-the-job training. We have sent our sailors to where the JSF are in Lemoore to get hands-on training, and then we don’t go directly to deployment, we are training right now,” he said. “We’re kind of the crawl, walk, run mentality, we’re going nice and slow, making sure that everybody’s learning the new jet and just getting the band back together really for the first time in the workup cycle.”...

...Cmdr. William Gray, the aircraft intermediate maintenance department officer, showed off the lithium-ion battery charging and storage room – among the coolest spaces shown during the ship tour, with chill water and ventilation rerouted during the DPIA to create a cool room for the batteries to charge safely.

“This is the first airplane, naval airplane that’s flown this battery, and these batteries … you can get a really small battery with a lot of energy. They started using lithium-ion in spacecraft and now we’re down in the aircraft, and the advantage of these batteries are they produce a lot of power when you need it. The F-35 has two of them, and actually one of the batteries can support, if you have a propulsion failure the battery can actually support the flight control system of the aircraft, which is pretty awesome, a pretty nice thing to have in the airplane when things are going wrong,” he said."

Photo: "The “Ouija board” on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) shows integrated air wing operations taking place on the flight deck, with the F-35C (shown in orange) operating alongside the F/A-18E-F Super Hornet (squadrons shown in white, green and blue) in Carrier Air Wing 2. USNI News photo." https://news.usni.org/wp-content/upload ... 08356.jpeg


Source: https://news.usni.org/2020/09/24/video- ... deployment
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