What’s Left on Air Force Checklist to Make F-35 Operational?

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spazsinbad

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Unread post21 Mar 2016, 20:21

Rehash of a lot of stuff already known with some new bits highlighted in excerpts below - long post best read at source.
What’s Left on the Air Force Checklist To Make F-35s Operational?
Lara Seligman NO DATE BUT GUESS 21 Mar 2016 - DATE is in the URL - fanks

"...The Air Force can declare initial operational capability (IOC) for the F-35A when the first operational squadron is equipped with 12 to 24 aircraft, and airmen are trained, manned and equipped to conduct three basic missions: close-air support, interdiction, and suppression and destruction of enemy air defense. The Air Force has a five-month window of time between the objective date, Aug. 1, and the threshold, Dec. 30, to meet those requirements for IOC....

...Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, director of the F-35 integration office, sees momentum picking up. Lockheed has delivered 87 airplanes for the Air Force, and pilots at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, have flown almost 25,000 hours on the jets, Harrigian said during a March 9 interview. Operational F-35s at both Hill and Luke have successfully employed weapons; meanwhile, the Air Force deployed six jets to Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, in February....

...Pilots are beginning to understand the plane’s power and maneuverability as well, he said. A Norwegian pilot at Luke recently wrote about his experience flying the plane in a March 1 blog post for Norway’s Ministry of Defence. Maj. Morten “Dolby” Hanche wrote that the F-35 is capable of a significantly higher angle of attack than the F-16, providing a pilot greater authority to point the nose of the airplane wherever he wants....

...Hanche criticized [did he?] the plane’s tendency to shake, or “buffet,” at high G-loadings and high angles of attack. However, Harrigian said this buffeting is actually a good thing — pilots use these cues to help them understand where they are in the flight regime. When the F-16 initially flew, the lack of buffeting was actually seen as a negative attribute, according to Tom Lawhead, the Air Force chief of staff of the F-35 integration office.

Bleeding energy during flight can be a problem for any airplane, and the F-35 is no exception, Harrigian said. But as more pilots get into the cockpit, they will figure out the best ways to operate the plane.

“No airplane ever has enough power. I mean, I flew F-22s and we wanted more power in the airplane. So this comes down to, how do you manage your power?” Harrigian said. “Our pilots are going to figure out how to do that.”...

...ALIS Delays [who'da thunk]....

...Software Stability Issues
Behind ALIS, the greatest risk to Air Force IOC is software development, as Bogdan has repeatedly said. The Lockheed-JPO team is racing to fix stability issues with the next increment of software, Block 3i, which the Air Force requires for IOC. In essence, a timing misalignment of the software of the plane’s sensors and the software of its main computers are causing a “choking” effect, where the jet’s systems shut down and have to be rebooted.

However, the team has identified the root cause and plans to flight test an updated software load at Edwards sometime in the next few weeks, officials said....

...Reprogramming Lab Overload
Another area of risk for Air Force IOC is capacity overload at the so-called reprogramming laboratories that will build the plane’s mission data files (MDF), vast databanks of information needed for combat that can be loaded into the plane. Just one reprogramming lab is currently up and operating, and it is overwhelmed with orders from international partners as well as the US services, Bogdan said....

...Finishing Retrofit Modifications
There are a handful of modifications that still need to be retrofitted into the fleet, Babione said. But notably, the Lockheed-JPO team is well on its way to fully implementing a crucial improvement to the jet’s fuel system that is required for IOC. The fuel system needed added valving and different tubing to ensure that the jet stays within its structural limits during high-G, aggressive maneuvering, Babione said.

The team finished retrofitting the first jet with the fuel system modification a few weeks ago — nine days early, Harrigian said. Two more jets are getting the modification and are expected to come out of the shop March 19. The plan is to have 12 fully retrofitted jets ready for the squadron by Aug. 1, he said...." [Overall plenty more to be read at source]

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/longform/def ... /81885600/
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Unread post10 Jul 2016, 00:39

Hill's Ogden Air Logistics Complex delivers 12th F-35A
By Alex R. Lloyd, Ogden Air Logistics Complex / Published July 08, 2016

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- The Ogden Air Logistics Complex recently completed modifications on the 12th F-35A Lightning II for the Air Force's active-duty 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing.

The June 30 delivery gives the two wings the minimum number of aircraft required to reach "initial operational capability," or combat-readiness.

The goal is to declare IOC between August and December 2016 when the 34th Fighter Squadron is equipped with 12-24 aircraft, Airmen are trained, manned and equipped to conduct basic close air support, interdiction, and limited suppression and destruction of enemy air defenses.

"We are working extremely hard to achieve the operational milestones required for the Air Force to declare the F-35 combat ready," said Col. Brad Lyons, 388th Fighter Wing commander. "We couldn't have done any of it without the required modifications performed at the depot here."

The 34th Fighter Squadron received the first combat-coded F-35As in September 2015. After flying and testing them, the F-35 Program executive officer determined the aircraft needed specific modifications before they are combat ready.

"The purpose of the depot-level mod was to correct an overpressure condition in the fuel system during elevated G-maneuvers," said Capt. Jeremy Geidel, 570th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron deputy commander.

A "G" is a force being equal to that of gravity.

The F-35A has been designed to withstand maneuvers of up to 9 G's. With the overpressure exceeding tank structural limits, lower restrictive G-limits were necessary for safe flying operations until the modification could be completed.

In order to save maintenance time, the Ogden ALC also completed two more unit-level mods that would have removed the aircraft from flying status for several more days.

Those modifications were related to the fuel overpressure condition and another that prevented fuel migration between internal fuel tanks, Geidel said.

"The initial aircraft required 35 days to complete. We were able drive it down to 26 days or less," Geidel said.

Maintainers also coordinated the schedule closely with the 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit to reduce the impact on depot and flying operations.

"It was a huge team effort between the Ogden ALC, Lockheed-Martin, and the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings," said Brig. Gen. Steven J. Bleymaier, Ogden ALC commander.

The base is slated for three operational F-35 squadrons and a total of 78 aircraft by the end of 2019.

The 388th and 419th FWs fly and maintain the Air Force's newest fighter aircraft in a Total Force partnership, which capitalizes on the strengths of the active duty and reserve components.

http://www.acc.af.mil/News/ArticleDispl ... f-35a.aspx
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Unread post10 Jul 2016, 02:06

Air Force Planning F-35 Rotations For Next Year [MISleading Headline I think - deployable if requested]
11 Jul 2016 Brian Everstine [VIDEO BELOW]

"​The Air Force is planning to send F-35s on a security rotation to Europe as early as next year, Air Combat Command boss Gen. Hawk Carlisle, said July 7 at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England. The F-35s will be deployable in the coming months, and Carlisle said he is confident he can send the aircraft to Europe, the Pacific, or the Middle East soon after reaching initial operational capability (IOC), which could happen as early as August.

“We have a plan that would get them deployed to a rotational capability in a period of time,” Carlisle said during a speech at the airshow, which was posted on Youtube. F-35s have performed well in tests leading up to IOC, and once they reach the deployable milestone, Carlisle said he would send them overseas “in a heartbeat.” While the aircraft have dealt with several delays, largely focusing on the jet’s software and automated logistics system, those delays are “not a limiting factor” right now, Carlisle said, according to Reuters."

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pa ... -Year.aspx


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Unread post28 Jul 2016, 01:14

‘Rude Rams’ Ready For F-35 IOC; Pilots Await ACC’s OK

The airmen of the first U.S. Air Force fighter squadron destined to fly the F-35 have checked off all the boxes required to declare the jet combat-ready, and are now awaiting Air Combat Command’s final seal of approval...

http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/rud ... t-acc-s-ok
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Unread post28 Jul 2016, 03:51

https://insidedefense.com/daily-news/ai ... -ioc-aug-2

Air Force expects to declare F-35 IOC Aug. 2
July 27, 2016 |
Courtney Albon
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The Air Force expects to declare initial operational capability for its variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter next Tuesday, Aug. 2, multiple sources confirmed to Inside Defense.

The service's target IOC window opens Aug. 1 and extends through December. After speculation that the milestone would fall later in the year due to delays in delivery of the Autonomic Logistics Information System, Air Force officials have become increasingly confident that the service would in fact declare IOC in August, with sources confirming July 27 that Aug. 2 is the current target.

The Air Force has a number of requirements it has been tracking for IOC -- at least 12 aircraft must have all the necessary retrofits and the newest Block 3i software, pilots and maintainers must be fully trained, the jets must be able to meet performance and capability standards and ALIS must be deployable.

Gen. Herbert Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, will make the IOC determination and will brief top Air Force leadership prior to making a public announcement. Carlisle told reporters earlier this month that IOC is coming "sooner rather than later," and noted that the most recent release of ALIS is ready to deploy in an operational environment.

The first operational F-35A unit will be located at Hill Air Force Base, UT, and representatives from the base's 34th Fighter Squadron and the 388th Maintenance Group told reporters during a July 27 conference call that the unit has met all of its IOC requirements and submitted them to Carlisle for approval.

"We have achieved all our milestones," Lt. Col. Steven Anderson, 388th Maintenance Group deputy commander, said on the conference call. "It has been checked on the sheet and we have submitted all the data to ACC for Gen. Carlisle's consideration on making that declaration."

Lt. Col. George Watkins, 34th Fighter Squadron commander, said that as of July 27, the squadron has 24 F-35 pilots trained, and 21 of them are combat mission ready. The squadron has also completed final pilot verification in the last several weeks.

To date, Hill AFB has 15 F-35s on the ramp and is expecting a 16th aircraft to arrive in late August. It has flown 854 total training sorties and currently has a 91 percent mission effectiveness rate, according to Anderson.

(Additional reporting by Lee Hudson)
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Unread post28 Jul 2016, 19:19

Dragon029 wrote:https://insidedefense.com/daily-news/air-force-expects-declare-f-35-ioc-aug-2

Air Force expects to declare F-35 IOC Aug. 2
July 27, 2016 |
Courtney Albon
Bookmark and Share

The Air Force expects to declare initial operational capability for its variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter next Tuesday, Aug. 2, multiple sources confirmed to Inside Defense.

The service's target IOC window opens Aug. 1 and extends through December. After speculation that the milestone would fall later in the year due to delays in delivery of the Autonomic Logistics Information System, Air Force officials have become increasingly confident that the service would in fact declare IOC in August, with sources confirming July 27 that Aug. 2 is the current target.

The Air Force has a number of requirements it has been tracking for IOC -- at least 12 aircraft must have all the necessary retrofits and the newest Block 3i software, pilots and maintainers must be fully trained, the jets must be able to meet performance and capability standards and ALIS must be deployable.

Gen. Herbert Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, will make the IOC determination and will brief top Air Force leadership prior to making a public announcement. Carlisle told reporters earlier this month that IOC is coming "sooner rather than later," and noted that the most recent release of ALIS is ready to deploy in an operational environment.

The first operational F-35A unit will be located at Hill Air Force Base, UT, and representatives from the base's 34th Fighter Squadron and the 388th Maintenance Group told reporters during a July 27 conference call that the unit has met all of its IOC requirements and submitted them to Carlisle for approval.

"We have achieved all our milestones," Lt. Col. Steven Anderson, 388th Maintenance Group deputy commander, said on the conference call. "It has been checked on the sheet and we have submitted all the data to ACC for Gen. Carlisle's consideration on making that declaration."

Lt. Col. George Watkins, 34th Fighter Squadron commander, said that as of July 27, the squadron has 24 F-35 pilots trained, and 21 of them are combat mission ready. The squadron has also completed final pilot verification in the last several weeks.

To date, Hill AFB has 15 F-35s on the ramp and is expecting a 16th aircraft to arrive in late August. It has flown 854 total training sorties and currently has a 91 percent mission effectiveness rate, according to Anderson.

(Additional reporting by Lee Hudson)
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Wow. It wasn't that long ago that General Bogdan was saying IOC would be about 4 months late. I'm wondering if they are foregoing the ALIS 2.02 requirement.
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Unread post28 Jul 2016, 21:03

Pleasant surprise if true
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Unread post28 Jul 2016, 21:07

Trouble with too many threads on same subject but anyway - can't be helped - I'm looking at you kid (in the mirror) but...
"...Even though the version of the aircraft’s logistics system planned to be ready for the milestone, Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) 2.0.2, will not come online until this fall, Carlisle has said that would not be a “limiting factor” on his decision.

The recent deployment of seven F-35As to Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, proved the current version meets requirements for the aircraft to operate away from home base, he said. During that event, Hill Air Force Base pilots conducted exercises and maintainers serviced the plane using a deployable version of ALIS.

“We’ve deployed with the current software we had and it worked,” Carlisle said. “The Marines have deployed with it in its current configuration. It’s not quite up to where we wanted to be, but there’s workarounds.”..."


The internet in Oz today or just my connection is problematic perhaps due to the end of the FREE update to Win10 here. Anyway I also get a message that my posts for today have reached a limit & I also have reached a limit with this forum. So it is goodbye from him.

From now on I'll make all my posts in this post because - well I have already explained - but again anyway here is the link to the above quote and if you search the forum with a keyword such as CARLISLE you will find it - I'm not:

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /87640282/
Last edited by spazsinbad on 28 Jul 2016, 21:44, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post28 Jul 2016, 21:10

spazsinbad wrote:Trouble with too many threads on same subject but anyway - can't be helped - I'm looking at you kid (in the mirror) but...
["...Even though the version of the aircraft’s logistics system planned to be ready for the milestone, Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) 2.0.2, will not come online until this fall, Carlisle has said that would not be a “limiting factor” on his decision...."

I guess that answers my question. Thanks.
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Unread post28 Jul 2016, 22:17

Getting the F135 logistics support into the ALIS is not critical for deployability if the standalone F135 logistics support was deployable in the first place. Since the USMC went IOC last year with the standalone F135 logistics system, it must be operationally deployable enough to tie the USAF over for a mere 3 months until 2.02 without anyone except the critics giving a hoot.
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Unread post28 Jul 2016, 23:34

Does anyone know what F-35A IOC will incorporate? I did searches & I know the AIM-120 is one of the IOC capabilities it will have. I know it`s annoying to have to answer questions like this but I did multiple searches & can`t find the answer.
There's an old rule among many in the fighter procurement business: "Too Early to Tell, Too Late to Stop".
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Unread post28 Jul 2016, 23:55

AIM-120s, 500lb Paveway, (500lb & 1k maybe), and 2k JDAMS

All internal
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Unread post29 Jul 2016, 00:05

SpudmanWP wrote:AIM-120s, 500lb Paveway, (500lb & 1k maybe), and 2k JDAMS

All internal


Thanks SpudmanWP, I know it's annoying to answer questions when searches are available but that search was driving me batty ;)
There's an old rule among many in the fighter procurement business: "Too Early to Tell, Too Late to Stop".

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