Navy: F-35C Will Be Eyes and Ears of the Fleet

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SpudmanWP

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Unread post18 Feb 2014, 00:19

If it can deliver an effective IFR solution then it can use it's inner pylons for weapons instead of fueltanks. This means more targets prosecuted per plane = less cost and a faster resolution to the problem.
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Unread post18 Feb 2014, 00:54

Someone was at the 'West2014' briefing (see video in past thread pages for more info) or even watched the video to report on it. I'll extract only the LCDR Burks quote about launching weapons from anywhere by the F-35. NavAvers like headwinds for landing BTW - called WOD - not too much and not too little - the ideal is just right. :mrgreen:

Navy F-35C Prepares for Ship Trials, Faces Headwinds 17 Feb 2014 Sandra I. Erwin
"...“We are only half way through the initial development plan,” says Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks, a test pilot with 150 hours in the cockpit of the F-35C and B....

...The priorities for the Navy’s F-35C are to finish software development and to fix glitches in the helmet-mounted displays, Burks says during a recent industry conference in San Diego. Then the Navy will have to decide how to incorporate the F-35C into an already crowded air wing. [crowded? I thought there was 'too few' aircraft on board these days?]

“There will be some challenges integrating the F-35 on the carrier. Most have been identified,” he says. A carrier air wing typically has anywhere from 44 to 54 fighter jets. The Navy expects that for the foreseeable future, most of the fighters in the air wing will be Super Hornets, and that the F-35C will have a niche role as an airborne intelligence nerve center.

The F-35C will be predominantly an “information collector and distributor in the air wing,” says Burks. As the Navy’s only “stealth” aircraft that can fly undetected by radar, it will be prepared to “go alone into highly contested areas,” he adds. But most of the time it will serve as the hub of a “network centric” air wing.

“It may not matter what weapon we have on board,” Burks says. F-35 pilots will pass information over the network that would allow other aircraft to engage targets. “I may pull the trigger in the cockpit but the weapon may come from a different platform,” he explains...."
&
"...The officer in charge of the F-35, Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, says in a 60 Minutes interview that the price tag of at least $115 billion per aircraft is too high, but the Pentagon intends to stick with the plan. “I don’t see any scenario where we’re walking back away from this program.” [SPRINT! Don't WALK!] :doh:

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/ ... a2&ID=1415
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Unread post18 Feb 2014, 03:31

spazsinbad wrote:Someone was at the 'West2014' briefing (see video in past thread pages for more info) or even watched the video to report on it. I'll extract only the LCDR Burks quote about launching weapons from anywhere by the F-35. NavAvers like headwinds for landing BTW - called WOD - not too much and not too little - the ideal is just right. :mrgreen:

The F-35C will be predominantly an “information collector and distributor in the air wing,” says Burks. As the Navy’s only “stealth” aircraft that can fly undetected by radar, it will be prepared to “go alone into highly contested areas,” he adds. But most of the time it will serve as the hub of a “network centric” air wing.

“It may not matter what weapon we have on board,” Burks says. F-35 pilots will pass information over the network that would allow other aircraft to engage targets. “I may pull the trigger in the cockpit but the weapon may come from a different platform,” he explains...."


The remote firing of a weapon is a feature of NIFC-CA, and is not platform specific (to the F-35 - although he could be referring to another F-35 in MADL range - the capability has been tested on E-2s, Growlers, high block Super Hornets, ships...) Theoretically, anyone with authority can launch weapons from another "host"- but it's generally the E-2 CICO/MC who will decide. The first CVG equipped with NIFC-CA capability comes online in 2015. But before the F-35C becomes that forward node and wants to remain stealthy, they need to get the proper datalink technology installed, whether it be Satcom or a new LPI link.
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Unread post19 Feb 2014, 00:49

maus92 wrote:But before the F-35C becomes that forward node and wants to remain stealthy, they need to get the proper datalink technology installed, whether it be Satcom or a new LPI link.


Depending on who you believe, it may already be physically installed and awaiting software support.

http://www.afcea.org/content/?q=node/1623

The above article claims the MADL operates in the K band, as opposed to other claims of it being Ku band.

Hidden in the vaguery of who is classifying which band is the possibility that the MADL's K band is the broadest classification of K band, encompasses Ku through Ka, in which case it should be able to talk with most existing US satellites.
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Unread post19 Feb 2014, 00:58

MADL already works and has been demonstrated with a 5-ship (4 in the air and one on the ground) formation.

It's also exceeding spec:

http://www.airforce-technology.com/news ... 5-aircraft

Northrop Grumman Information Systems Defense Systems division vice president and general manager Mike Twyman said the MADL performed reliably and displayed an excellent range at multiples of required specifications, while demonstrating ability to connect fifth-generation fighters during flight tests.
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Unread post19 Feb 2014, 03:47

Navy has selected Rockwell-Collins to develop ATDL. Expect this to be supported on all F-35 platforms,,so Navy is not only limited to it's F-35C fleet for eyes-and-ears in otherwise denied airspace. AF, Marines and non-US JSF operators should be welcome to the party as well.


http://www.militaryaerospace.com/articl ... ology.html
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Unread post19 Feb 2014, 04:14

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Unread post19 Feb 2014, 14:33

Regarding the article:

I'd say that one of the more interesting quotes came a bit down the article:
There was also a structural flaw that caused excessive stress to the bulkhead where the tail hook attaches to the airframe. The redesign took a year and a half. Manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp. has so far delivered one F-35C with the new tail hook at the Navy’s test site at Patuxent River, Md.


That ,IMHO, would explain why they have been so slow to test the new designed hook even though it was a high risk item.
You can't really test the hook if you rip it off. :doh: And it makes the weight gain of the new hook at 139 pounds seems much more sensible.

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Unread post26 Feb 2014, 10:41

Back to the EYES and EARS of the FLEET with F-22s and LEGACIES in tow:

Lockheed Secretly Demonstrates New Stealthy Fighter Comms 25 Feb 2014 Amy Butler
"Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a secretly developed capability to fix one of the shortfalls of its stealthy F-22 and F-35 fighters: their inability to link to one another, or to legacy fighters, for air campaigns.

The company recently showcased a new datalink capability for the fighters through Project Missouri, a proprietary program. During the demonstration, Lockheed validated the use of a Link 16 transmit capability from the twin-engine F-22 Raptor as well as showcased a waveform developed by L-3 Communications and optimized for low-probability-of-intercept/low-probability-of-detection transmissions (LPI/LPD), says Ron Bessire, vice president of technology and innovation at the company’s Skunk Works.

The demonstration required 8 hr. of flight time and took place Dec. 17 and 19, Bessire tells Aviation Week. The trials required the use of an Air Force Raptor as well as the F-35 Cooperative Avionics Testbed (CATbird), a 737-based flying laboratory that is used to test F-35 software standing in as a Joint Strike Fighter surrogate. The F-22 was able to transmit to a Link 16 terminal on the ground....

...Through Project Missouri, Lockheed is trying to package a capability similar to that offered by the Northrop Grumman Joint Strike Fighter Enterprise Terminal (JETpack) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration within a stealthy aircraft. JETpack was a podded solution; incorporating it on the stealthy F-22 and F-35 would compromise their low radar cross section...."

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.asp ... 666721.xml

Best to read it all at the jump.
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Unread post26 Feb 2014, 17:34

Just for information's sake, JETpack is headed to the F-15C and will basically make them mini-BACN capable.

From the FY2014 budget:

Title: Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Enterprise Terminal (JETpack fifth to fourth)
Description: JETpack fifth to fourth supports the airborne gateway needs to distribute fifth Generation (Gen) data to fourth Gen fighters by translating their tactical data link into Link-16 messages that can be viewed by the fourth Gen aircraft. JETpack will demonstrate: (1) four flyable prototype dual-band, multi-beam antennas, (2) two JET terminals, and (3) two dual-band remote electronics.

FY 2014 Plans:
Finalize integration of JETpack flyable prototype into test aircraft, receive safety of flight certification, conduct pre-flight tests, conduct the operational utility assessment and initiate transition to the F-15C community.


Here is a May 2013 article about JETpack.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx? ... 28e0b566ae
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Unread post27 Feb 2014, 00:07

SpudmanWP wrote:Just for information's sake, JETpack is headed to the F-15C and will basically make them mini-BACN capable.

From the FY2014 budget:

Title: Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Enterprise Terminal (JETpack fifth to fourth)
Description: JETpack fifth to fourth supports the airborne gateway needs to distribute fifth Generation (Gen) data to fourth Gen fighters by translating their tactical data link into Link-16 messages that can be viewed by the fourth Gen aircraft. JETpack will demonstrate: (1) four flyable prototype dual-band, multi-beam antennas, (2) two JET terminals, and (3) two dual-band remote electronics.

FY 2014 Plans:
Finalize integration of JETpack flyable prototype into test aircraft, receive safety of flight certification, conduct pre-flight tests, conduct the operational utility assessment and initiate transition to the F-15C community.


Here is a May 2013 article about JETpack.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx? ... 28e0b566ae


Am understanding this correctly Spud? A JETpack-configured F-15C will be able to do onboard protocol conversion of LPI/LPD data transmissions from 5G platforms e.g. MADL, IFDL, eliminating the need for a EQ-4B Global Hawk or E-11manned airraft? If so, a single F-15C could presumably share said info other Link-16 partners?
Last edited by popcorn on 27 Feb 2014, 00:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post27 Feb 2014, 00:17

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words:

Image

As you can see, the JETpack Gateway shares the data coming from 5th gen assets with the rest of the network via Link-16, etc.

This is one of the reasons why MADL supports 25 links, 6 groups of 4 and 1 link for the Gateway.

btw, you might want to fix your post above as some of your question is in my quote and some of it is after the quote.
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Unread post27 Feb 2014, 00:40

Done.. my bad.
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Unread post09 Mar 2014, 01:58

spazsinbad wrote:Someone was at the 'West2014' briefing (see video in past thread pages for more info) or even watched the video to report on it. I'll extract only the LCDR Burks quote about launching weapons from anywhere by the F-35. NavAvers like headwinds for landing BTW - called WOD - not too much and not too little - the ideal is just right. :mrgreen:

Navy F-35C Prepares for Ship Trials, Faces Headwinds 17 Feb 2014 Sandra I. Erwin
"...“We are only half way through the initial development plan,” says Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks, a test pilot with 150 hours in the cockpit of the F-35C and B....

...The priorities for the Navy’s F-35C are to finish software development and to fix glitches in the helmet-mounted displays, Burks says during a recent industry conference in San Diego. Then the Navy will have to decide how to incorporate the F-35C into an already crowded air wing. [crowded? I thought there was 'too few' aircraft on board these days?]

“There will be some challenges integrating the F-35 on the carrier. Most have been identified,” he says. A carrier air wing typically has anywhere from 44 to 54 fighter jets. The Navy expects that for the foreseeable future, most of the fighters in the air wing will be Super Hornets, and that the F-35C will have a niche role as an airborne intelligence nerve center.

The F-35C will be predominantly an “information collector and distributor in the air wing,” says Burks. As the Navy’s only “stealth” aircraft that can fly undetected by radar, it will be prepared to “go alone into highly contested areas,” he adds. But most of the time it will serve as the hub of a “network centric” air wing.

“It may not matter what weapon we have on board,” Burks says. F-35 pilots will pass information over the network that would allow other aircraft to engage targets. “I may pull the trigger in the cockpit but the weapon may come from a different platform,” he explains...."
&
"...The officer in charge of the F-35, Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, says in a 60 Minutes interview that the price tag of at least $115 billion per aircraft is too high, but the Pentagon intends to stick with the plan. “I don’t see any scenario where we’re walking back away from this program.” [SPRINT! Don't WALK!] :doh:

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/ ... a2&ID=1415


That's an excellent interview, saw it today as "f35 Roundtable" on YouTube. The quote from the Lockheed test pilot that they need a longer ranged missile for the f35 was interesting. Also the navy test pilot Burks sounds positively bullish on the c variant and what it will bring to the carrier operations. His description of the auto approach function of the f35 and how it will cut training time and fixing the tail hook problems was brilliant.
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Unread post09 Mar 2014, 04:02

And yet... somehow these sterling chaps are 'known to be just shills for LM' somehow (by some - not moi) - this I do not GROK. :D :roll:
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