Pentagon Develops F-35's 4th Generation Software

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spazsinbad

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Unread post16 Apr 2014, 20:52

UhOh (I'm channelling the TellyTubbys) "US VARIANT" - WARNING WARNING WARNING (channelling a Lost in Space robot). :doh:

Pentagon Develops F-35’s 4th Generation Software 16 Apr 2014 Kris Osborn

"...Block 4 will be broken down into two separate increments, Block 4A is slated to be ready by 2021 and Block 4B is planned for 2023. The first portion of Block 4 software funding, roughly $12 million, arrived in the 2014 budget, Air Force officials said.

“Block 4 will include some unique partner weapons including British weapons, Turkish weapons and some of the other European country weapons that they want to get on their own plane,” said Thomas Lawhead, operations lead for JSF integration office.

Lawhead added that Block IV will also increase the weapons envelope for the U.S. variant of the fighter jet. A big part of the developmental calculus for Block 4 is to work on the kinds of enemy air defense systems and weaponry the aircraft may face from the 2020’s through the 2040’s and beyond.

“Coming up with requirements always starts with the threat. How are we going to meet national security objectives in the future? Based on those objectives we look at the threat and then we decide how we are going to counter the threat,” Schaefer said.

The rationale for the Block 4 software increment is to keep pace with technological change and prepare technology for threats likely to emerge 20 years into the future, Schaefer and Lawhead explained.

“If you look back to 2001 when the JSF threat started, the threats were mostly European centric – Russian made SA-10s or SA-20s. Now the future threats are looking at more Chinese-made and Asian made threats. Those threats that are further out are the ones that are being focused on for Block 4,” Lawhead said."

SOURCE: http://defensetech.org/2014/04/16/penta ... -software/
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Unread post16 Apr 2014, 21:15

Block 4 is scheduled already? Sigh. I was afraid they were going to re-write the F-35's code base... again.
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Unread post16 Apr 2014, 21:18

Wot? SHOCK HORROR. Software Blocks of Code have been in the news for a donkeys age. USMC go IOC with Block 2B. USAF go IOC with Block 3i and USN go IOC with Block 3F then there is Block 4. In future there will be other blocks to do one's block over. OK? :devil:
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Unread post16 Apr 2014, 21:29

spazsinbad wrote:Wot? SHOCK HORROR. Software Blocks of Code have been in the news for a donkeys age. USMC go IOC with Block 2B. USAF go IOC with Block 3i and USN go IOC with Block 3F then there is Block 4. In future there will be other blocks to do one's block over. OK? :devil:


Block 3F was supposed to be the 100% capability version of the F-35's codebase. That they're going to Block IV means that they're stuck doing a considerable amount of duplicate effort, since the guys writing the Block 3 code aren't the ones writing the Block 4 upgrade. I can't fathom the stupidity that goes into the process of awarding software development contracts in the US Government. :doh:
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Unread post16 Apr 2014, 21:40

"Block 3F was supposed to be the 100% capability version of the F-35's codebase...." Gotta a source for that?
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Unread post16 Apr 2014, 21:44

rotosequence wrote: That they're going to Block IV means that they're stuck doing a considerable amount of duplicate effort, since the guys writing the Block 3 code aren't the ones writing the Block 4 upgrade.


Are you aware that the software for the F-35 is being developed by HUNDREDS of developers at the same time. As people come leave and their replacements arrive, they are brought up to speed as needed. There will never be a need to "start over" or "relearn" the code.

On the 100% issue:

Post-SDD (ie after Block 3F) plans have been in the works since the beginning of the program. 100% means 100% of the SDD requirements.

Image


Here is the list of weapons that are in the works. Notice that only the PURPLE ones are part of the SDD program (and destined for Block 3F)

Image


Then there are the items that were not even available that will be added post SDD. Prime among these is UAI (Block 4).
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Unread post16 Apr 2014, 22:02

The whole purpose of developing a software driven aircraft is to enable any number of future software upgrade blocks. That you think there's something wrong with that tells us that you don't grasp even the most basic premise of the F-35 program. I mean, for the love of god, the notion that 100% capability can be guaranteed at the beginning of an aircraft service is absolutely insane. Do you know how much software update even current fighters have under gone? Do you think capabilities don't evolve over time?
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Unread post16 Apr 2014, 22:06

cantaz wrote:The whole purpose of developing a software driven aircraft is to enable any number of future software upgrade blocks. That you think there's something wrong with that tells us that you don't grasp even the most basic premise of the F-35 program. I mean, for the love of god, the notion that 100% capability can be guaranteed at the beginning of an aircraft service is absolutely insane. Do you know how much software update even current fighters have under gone? Do you think capabilities don't evolve over time?


I have a question for you. Why aren't these 2020+ threat projection upgrades being scheduled as Block 3G developments?

I'm not lamenting that more software upgrades are necessary to enable new capabilities. I'm lamenting that the Block 3 software (or hardware, or simply their choice of moving to a new vendor) isn't sufficiently extensible to have the 2020+ capabilities added in.

spazsinbad wrote:"Block 3F was supposed to be the 100% capability version of the F-35's codebase...." Gotta a source for that?


I included an inline link to Lockheed Martin's F-35 website.

Lockheed Martin wrote:Block 3F – Block 3F provides 100 percent of the software required for full warfighting capability, including but not limited to data link imagery, full weapons and embedded training. Requirements development for Block 3F was completed in June of 2013.


I'd say I was being an ******* by not giving the F-35 program the benefit of the doubt and assuming that they're calling it Block IV because they're adding enough new capabilities to the jet to call it a new block standard, but they're probably going to be spending well in excess of $100 million to do it.
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Unread post16 Apr 2014, 23:01

Block 4 is just a software update since the new hardware cam in Tech Refresh 2 (part of Block 3i).

Block 3F is scheduled to go IOC in 2018 and Blk4 is due for 2022/24 (parts A&B).
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Unread post16 Apr 2014, 23:01

This is a tough business for sure and LM should be more careful about what / how / when they write stuff. Similarly journalists should be more knowledgeable about the topics they scribble about. Characterising the 'US Variant' of the F-35 is just silly. I'll imagine the journo was told that 'US Weapons' were being included when otherwise said journo was scribbling about Euro Weapons. I'll go with what SWP says "100% of SDD" software and LM should make that clear on their website. For sure misunderstandings/ misstatements/ errors abound in all the hoohaa about the F-35. However I'm not the one to know that grey underlined text is in fact a link. I would have thought that a BLUE text underlined or not indicates an 'inline link'. But as always I live and learn. To me your 'inline link' looked like an emphasis - underlined. Did I miss anything?
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Unread post16 Apr 2014, 23:11

I have a question for you. Why aren't these 2020+ threat projection upgrades being scheduled as Block 3G developments?


Because block 3 classification wraps up the SDD, it wasn't to be used to continue aircraft support over the course of full operational service. You do realize that I comes after F alphabetically, right? Block 3Initial, block 3Full/Final (in context of SDD), making the next logical sequence block 4, not 3G.

I'm not lamenting that more software upgrades are necessary to enable new capabilities. I'm lamenting that the Block 3 software (or hardware, or simply their choice of moving to a new vendor) isn't sufficiently extensible to have the 2020+ capabilities added in.


You are lamenting about nothing, then. It's merely an arbitrary numbering system, not a flaw of the software or hardware or planning. They could stick with 3+alphabet until they run out of alphabets, but what difference would that make? None. Does going from 3F to 4 mean that the software and hardware constituting block 3 dead-ended? No, the very suggestion of that is absolutely ludicrous.
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Unread post16 Apr 2014, 23:32

Salute!

Oh yeah, it's only software. LOL.

From 1972 until 1984, when I hung up my gee-suit, that was a mantra.

Well, gotta tellya that a good program sets up the software development along with the hardware development in a very strict, disciplined manner.

One of the best things about the Viper and A-7D was we had "operational" software from day one. There were many upgrades the next few years, but they were not drastic and did not stop us from using the jet for the intended missions. The A-7 software was taken outta the hands of LTV for the most part by 1971. A joint unit at China Lake did most of the testing and development with real pilots flying the new "tapes".

I resisted the GD control of the Viper sftwe from the time I got at Hill. My feeling was to follow the A-7 and the F-18 model. We had an AFLC office at Hill that had a nice sim to test the sftwe, but USAF continued to let GD rule. I don't think the Hill office ever did a damned thing to help with sftwe development, and it was a crying shame compared to the China Lake F-18 and A-7 and AV-8 efforts.

If I were the big honcho, I would demand that all the contractors and the military folks get their sierra together and not only establish some baseline requirements, but meet them by such and such a date. Then let real pilots and service folks fly the new mods and evaluate/ report.

I am honestly getting surprised and upset about the constant sftwe problems getting in the way of operational employment of the jet. I can understand mechanical problems. Sheesh. Except for all the cosmic data fusion and such, the basic jet should be able to go out and deliver neat weapons with a high degree of success. We can refine and tune the other stuff down the road. Or am I way off?

Oh well, I can recollect, can't I?

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Unread post17 Apr 2014, 00:05

Except for all the cosmic data fusion and such, the basic jet should be able to go out and deliver neat weapons with a high degree of success. We can refine and tune the other stuff down the road. Or am I way off?


It looks like the JSF program concurs with you, Gums, since 3F will fully encompass that basic go out and kill things part. Hell, block 3I would likely be on the whole more effective than say, RCAF's Hornets.

http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt27 ... grades.jpg

IRT hardware changes in block 4, there doesn't seem to be anything significant. Because of the program delays, big hardware changes (namely the processor refresh) end up chronologically coinciding with block 3 instead of 4. What I'd love to find out is whether the existing communication hardware supports satellite communications.
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Unread post17 Apr 2014, 00:30

We'll have to wait and see in four or five years, but because of the planned development time and the fact that they're starting now, I suspect that Block IV is a significant rewrite of the Block 3 code, and the programming team will ultimately have significant challenges to meet schedule, largely through the sheer number of existing functions that they'll have to duplicate in the rewrite.
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Unread post17 Apr 2014, 00:39

You do not "rewrite" the code, you add modules.

When you add a printer to Windows, you do not have to update the OS, only install drivers.

Same basic concept.

They even have middleware in the F-35 so that hardware changes do not have a large impact on the software.
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