F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2015, 17:21
by neptune
Sensor upgrades top USAF wish list for F-35 Block 4
By: James Drew

Improving two of the Lockheed Martin F-35’s key sensors should be priorities for a future operational standard called Block 4, says a top US Air Force general.

Upgrading the Lockheed electro-optical targeting system and adding a wide-area high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mode – dubbed “– Big SAR” to the Northrop Grumman APG-81 active electronically scanned array (AESA) are must-haves, says Gen Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, chief of Air Combat Command.

“I think as we look to the future, the Big SAR and advanced EOTS are the things we have to have on the sensor side,” ... “The Big SAR radar can’t afford to move, and we’ve got to get to that advanced capability on the EOTS. Those are two that are kind of in the lurch right now. I’ll tell you, the advanced capability on the EOTS is one we’re working hard on.”

In 2007, Flight International magazine reported that the Big SAR capability was originally approved to be introduced in Block 3, which enters service next year. But that capability was delayed to at least Block 4.

The Pentagon is deciding what new weapons and capabilities will be integrated with the fifth-generation aircraft beyond those planned for the Block 3F configuration, which represents the “full warfighting capability.”

Those improved capabilities will be rolled out in Block 4, which will be delivered in cycles through the early 2020s.

The air force is also keeping an eye on software issues discovered during testing, namely the fusion of information from the aircraft’s sensor suite. “It’s one of the things we’re working hard on a making some progress, but we’ve got a ways to go,” ..

For weapons, he places a premium on the integration of Raytheon’s Small Diameter Bomb II and delivery of more advanced air-to-air combat weapon systems beyond the AIM-120C Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile being integrated in earlier configurations.

.. improved air-to-air capabilities are vitally important since the air force did not buy enough F-22 Raptor air superiority jets. The air force currently has 180 Raptors, significantly fewer than the original plan calling for buying 750. ..

Source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... -4-413070/


:-)

Re: BLOCK 4

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2015, 17:29
by bring_it_on
The audio of the entire breakfast session- http://www.afa.org/Events/AFAAFBreakfas ... usPrograms

Re: BLOCK 4

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2015, 23:08
by gabriele
Advanced EOTS will include video-downlink and IR pointer, i would guess. As well as probably efforts to improve resolution / range.

Re: BLOCK 4

Unread postPosted: 04 Jun 2015, 00:03
by Dragon029
I'm not sure about resolution / range - they could use microscanning / software upgrades to improve image quality, but I'm not entirely sure any hardware upgrades are on the books; just software upgrades to support the current existing, but under-utilised hardware.

Re: BLOCK 4

Unread postPosted: 04 Jun 2015, 07:02
by hornetfinn
Dragon029 wrote:I'm not sure about resolution / range - they could use microscanning / software upgrades to improve image quality, but I'm not entirely sure any hardware upgrades are on the books; just software upgrades to support the current existing, but under-utilised hardware.


I doubt also as the image quality and resolution seems to be very good. Software is definitely the one that needs to be improved and added to allow fully utilizing the hardware. I think most of the hardware improvements will be on the processing systems and other improvements will be mostly software.

Re: BLOCK 4

Unread postPosted: 04 Jun 2015, 15:59
by charlielima223
Wasn't that 750 number the original number decided in the early 90s at the end of the ATF dem/eval competition? I thought the USAF agreed to a more "agreeable" or manageable 250-350 F-22s before politics and congress neutered the number to 187. :bang:

Re: BLOCK 4

Unread postPosted: 07 Jun 2015, 20:43
by bring_it_on
Opinion: Time To Define The F-35 Upgrade Plan
F-35 upgrades need more clarity
Jun 5, 2015 Bill Sweetman | Aviation Week & Space Technology


Two years ago, the Pentagon set initial operational capability (IOC) dates for all three versions of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Those dates may be adhered to, but some capabilities may be missing. Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, director of the Air Force’s F-35 integration office, said in late May that there are hardware and software items—all unspecified and some classified—that are running late, so the IOC requirement may have to be amended.

This is not a disaster, but it is not good news at a point where the JSF team is trying to chivvy international partners into a multiyear, multinational block buy starting in 2018. It highlights concerns with the future of the F-35’s through-life upgrade program.

The first post-IOC upgrade, Block 4, has changed shape twice in less than two years. The original plan was to roll out numbered block upgrades at two-year intervals. Early in 2014, Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, director of the JSF program office, disclosed that Block 4 would be split into Block 4A and 4B, the latter reaching IOC in 2024—so that anything post-Block 4 would have to wait until 2026.

Apparently, some customers had a problem with this. A new plan was unveiled this spring, dividing Block 4 into four segments, 4.1 through 4.4. Block 4.1, mostly software, arrives in late 2019, two years earlier than 4A would have done—but it seems likely that it will include overspill from Block 3F. Block 4.4 is due for IOC in mid-2025.

The idea is to “accelerate incremental capabilities,” according to a program document. The Pentagon and its partners have many requirements and desires between now and 2027, and a process has been put in place to prioritize them. Common items take precedence over customer-unique upgrades unless the program’s Joint Executive Steering Board decrees otherwise. Priorities include anti-surface warfare, with the AGM-154C-1 net-enabled version of the Joint Standoff Weapon, and moving-target attack with the laser-guided version of the Joint Direct Attack Munition. Block 4 also includes the B61-12 nuclear bomb.

There is a long list of other new weapons: cruise missiles from Norway and Turkey, and Britain’s three-phase Selective Precision Effects At Range (Spear) project. The U.K. wants two new MBDA air-to-air missiles (AAM): Meteor and a new version of the Advanced Short-Range AAM.

But the presentation warns that “weapon integration requests are likely to exceed capacity,” even though budget documents show that the Pentagon plans to spend around $700 million annually on JSF research and development as the original development phase winds down. That does not include follow-on development funds from international partners. That makes Block 4 a $5 billion-plus program, which ought to be enough to cover most upgrade needs.

Air Force acquisition chief Bill LaPlante also appears to think the upgrade money could be spent more smartly. He has floated the idea of moving toward open architecture in Block 4, with a view to opening Block 5 to competition. Boeing’s defense boss Chris Chadwick doubts whether that will work. Any incumbent, he believes, should have enough of an advantage to beat challengers in a fair competition.

Consider, too, the history of the F-35’s sibling, the F-22 Raptor. A decade ago, when the F-22 was approaching IOC, the contractor and customer expected that the jet would be modernized quickly. By 2012, the Block 40 Global Strike Enabler was to be in service, with added radar side arrays, powerful electronic attack capabilities and two-way satcoms.

But even with $5 billion in R&D over the last decade, none of this has been done. Operational F-22s still cannot communicate, other than by voice radio, with anything except another F-22, and they are only just moving beyond the obsolescent AIM-9M Sidewinder AAM. Early production F-22s are not due to be brought up to fully operational standards until the 2020s.

The F-22 and F-35 have some strong similarities when it comes to upgrades. Both are stealthy, which makes it more difficult to add or replace a radio-frequency or electro-optical aperture. Both have a systems architecture that leans heavily on a central integrated processor, with the subsystems as peripherals. That has its advantages but means a dedicated development program for each sensor upgrade rather than just porting technology from another aircraft. Above all, both have shown a big appetite for regression testing—the process of making sure that a change or fix to one system has not resulted in a failure in another—which has been the biggest drag on F-22 upgrade efforts.

The F-35 program office is busy with the path to IOC. But it is vitally important, after a year of changed definitions and some confusion, to define an efficient plan for post-IOC development.



Quite different compared to his earlier work on the subject. I think he may be softening his stance on the program :?: :?:

Re: BLOCK 4

Unread postPosted: 07 Jun 2015, 20:57
by quicksilver
Well, well, well.

There's some prescient insight for us -- OT-1 is a success, AT&L starts making noises about a block buy, USAF starts talking about follow-on development, and Bill says, 'yeah, (me too) what's next?'

Re: BLOCK 4

Unread postPosted: 18 Sep 2015, 18:25
by gabriele
InsideDefense has a report online saying that the review of what to include in Block IV will now report in the summer of 2016, not this winter as was expected, as further cost evaluation is required. I'm not a subscriber though, can't read the details (if there are any).

Re: BLOCK 4

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2015, 01:39
by Dragon029
Inside the Air Force - 09/18/2015

Advanced EOTS is high priority

F-35 Block 4 Follow-On Capability Review Delayed Until Next Summer

Posted: September 17, 2015 Twitter Facebook

A decision on which capabilities to include in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter's follow-on Block 4 has been delayed from this December to summer of 2016 as the joint program office works to complete a life-cycle cost estimate for the effort.

Service spokesman Maj. Kelley Jeter told Inside the Air Force Sept. 16 that the service had expected those cost estimates would be completed in time to seek approval from the Joint Requirements Oversight Council in December, but the process has proven more time intensive than expected.

Air Combat Command serves as the lead for establishing the F-35 Block 4 capability development document (CDD), and is working closely with the Navy and Marine Corps on the effort. The Air Force Requirements Oversight Council approved a draft document last August that did not include the life-cycle cost estimate. According to Jeter, the service expected a new estimate would be completed sooner.

The service now expects to have a finalized CDD to take before the AFROC next spring. The JROC review will follow AFROC approval.

"Once the life-cycle cost estimate for Block 4 is complete and included in the CDD, the Air Force will begin immediately staffing the CDD in preparation for an AFROC review and approval," Jeter said.

She continued: "ACC, in coordination with their joint counterparts, continues to staff the rest of the CDD while awaiting on the life-cycle cost estimate results from the F-35 program office. The Air Force also intends to include our sister services as part of the AFROC review process in order to shorten staffing timelines."

As the JPO works to finalize those estimates, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, director of the Air Force's JSF integration office, said this week that he is concerned a long-term continuing resolution could impact that process.

The program plans to transition from the Block 3i configuration -- which is what the Air Force will use to enter initial operational capability next year -- to full warfighting capability with Block 3F. Block 4 will be delivered in four, two-year increments, beginning in 2019.

"As we start to lay out what we would be able to get in that first drop, that would be specifically when we would see some impact into the numbers of new capabilities and how much money we are able to drive into that follow-on development," Harrigian said Sept. 14 at the Air Force Association's annual conference in National Harbor, MD.

As part of its process for estimating Block 4 costs, the program office is receiving estimates from suppliers about the cost of proposed capabilities over time and what infrastructure would be required to support testing. Harrigian said the program has developed a "generic lay down" of the capabilities that will be included in each increment of Block 4, but will use those cost estimates to refine its plans. That information will be fed into a CDD.

Prioritizing Block 4 requirements is a challenge both because of cost constraints and competing priorities among program partners, Harrigian noted.

"As those numbers come forward, the services and the partners are all going to have to take a look at that and then work through a list of capabilities that are on there and then what we can actually afford," he said.

One capability the Air Force has expressed interest in, and which Harrigian noted this week as a top priority for Block 4, is an advanced electro-optical targeting system (EOTS). Lockheed Martin, also the prime contractor for F-35, developed the EOTS system featured in all currently fielded aircraft and has developed an advanced version that improves on the baseline capabilities.

Don Bolling, Lockheed's director of business development for advanced targeting systems, told Inside the Air Force Sept. 16 that Lockheed has submitted its estimates to the JPO and is optimistic it will be fielded in the first Block 4 increment, 4.1.

"We're told by the services that it is very high on the Block 4 candidate list," Bolling said. "There are a number of candidates competing for a finite list based on what capability you bring to bear and what's the cost."

Bolling said the company plans to use existing hardware for advanced EOTS and is using existing technology for the upgrade to help keep costs minimal. If the JPO opts to integrate the capability on all three variants, the production rates should help control costs as well. Both the Air Force and Marine Corps are very interested in the capability, Bolling said. The Navy has been less enthusiastic, which Bolling expects is because the service's F-35B variant will be the last to achieve initial operational capability.

"The only reason I think is because they're the last for IOC," he said. "I think they're under the assumption that if the Marines want it and the Air Force wants it, they're going to get it as well."

Bolling noted that should one of the services opt to retain its baseline EOTS, Lockheed would have to keep both production lines open, which could impact cost.

"If we're having to do a separate EOTS production line and a separate Advanced EOTS line, we're not producing at the same rate, I would think you would see a cost impact to both," he said.

Lockheed has not pitched the capability to any international F-35 partners, Bolling said, noting that the decision lies ultimately with the JPO. -- Courtney Albon

Related News | Aircraft |

Inside the Air Force - 09/18/2015 , Vol. 26, No. 37
172156


http://insidedefense.com/node/172156

Re: BLOCK 4

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2015, 01:57
by spazsinbad
At the end is the interesting bit (apart from all the domestic folderol above) from the above EOTS Advanced article:
"...Bolling said the company plans to use existing hardware for advanced EOTS and is using existing technology for the upgrade to help keep costs minimal. If the JPO opts to integrate the capability on all three variants, the production rates should help control costs as well. Both the Air Force and Marine Corps are very interested in the capability, Bolling said. The Navy has been less enthusiastic, which Bolling expects is because the service's F-35B [means F-35C] variant will be the last to achieve initial operational capability.

"The only reason I think is because they're the last for IOC," he said. "I think they're under the assumption that if the Marines want it and the Air Force wants it, they're going to get it as well." [smart move USN - geez they are sneaky] :mrgreen:

Bolling noted that should one of the services opt to retain its baseline EOTS, Lockheed would have to keep both production lines open, which could impact cost.

"If we're having to do a separate EOTS production line and a separate Advanced EOTS line, we're not producing at the same rate, I would think you would see a cost impact to both," he said.

Lockheed has not pitched the capability to any international F-35 partners, Bolling said, noting that the decision lies ultimately with the JPO." [Get to it JPO - Oz wants it and we want it NOW!] :mrgreen:

Re: BLOCK 4

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2015, 02:42
by oldiaf
charlielima223 wrote:Wasn't that 750 number the original number decided in the early 90s at the end of the ATF dem/eval competition? I thought the USAF agreed to a more "agreeable" or manageable 250-350 F-22s before politics and congress neutered the number to 187. :bang:

339

Re: BLOCK 4

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2015, 08:18
by jessmo111
spazsinbad wrote:At the end is the interesting bit (apart from all the domestic folderol above) from the above EOTS Advanced article:
"...Bolling said the company plans to use existing hardware for advanced EOTS and is using existing technology for the upgrade to help keep costs minimal. If the JPO opts to integrate the capability on all three variants, the production rates should help control costs as well. Both the Air Force and Marine Corps are very interested in the capability, Bolling said. The Navy has been less enthusiastic, which Bolling expects is because the service's F-35B [means F-35C] variant will be the last to achieve initial operational capability.

"The only reason I think is because they're the last for IOC," he said. "I think they're under the assumption that if the Marines want it and the Air Force wants it, they're going to get it as well." [smart move USN - geez they are sneaky] :mrgreen:

Bolling noted that should one of the services opt to retain its baseline EOTS, Lockheed would have to keep both production lines open, which could impact cost.

"If we're having to do a separate EOTS production line and a separate Advanced EOTS line, we're not producing at the same rate, I would think you would see a cost impact to both," he said.

Lockheed has not pitched the capability to any international F-35 partners, Bolling said, noting that the decision lies ultimately with the JPO." [Get to it JPO - Oz wants it and we want it NOW!] :mrgreen:



OHh Gawd No. Then we will never hear the end of it if the basement dwellers feel like allied F-35s are not in the same configuration! They will start calling it the export model again /wrists.

Re: BLOCK 4

Unread postPosted: 22 Oct 2015, 20:38
by spazsinbad
Block Four on the boil and it will probably get ugly with lots of arm twisting - you name it... Seems like it will go well....

A long post best read at source.
Billions In F-35 Mods Debated; Canada Election Fallout
22 Oct 2015 Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

"CAPITOL HILL: While Congress and the media focus on immediate issues with the F-35’s ejection seat, the program has begun working on a long-range modernization plan to upgrade the Joint Strike Fighter’s combat power.

This modernization package, with the so-called Block 4 software upgrade at its core, is essential to the aircraft reaching its “full warfighting capability,” Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, the Air Force’s F-35 integration director, told Congress yesterday. The Air Force F-35A model will reach Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in December 2016, but it won’t have all the advertised features — i.e. full capability — at that time. The modernization effort will cost $2.6 billion in R&D through 2020 alone.

“We will improve electronic attack [e.g. jamming]. We will improve electronic warfare [in general]. We will improve the radar,” said Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, head of the F-35 Joint Program Office, speaking to reporters after the House air-land forces subcommittee hearing. “We will add many weapons in Block 4, many unique weapons that the [foreign] partners need and use.” Those first two improvements are particularly important because the Air Force has said the F-35 won’t need the help of dedicated jamming aircraft like the Navy’s EA-18G Growler.

But there’s a problem, Bogdan freely admitted. With wish-lists coming from three US armed services and foreign partners — seven if Canada drops out (more on that below) — the upgrade package has swollen beyond what’s feasible or affordable, Bogdan said. The next six to eight months will be crucial as the program office, US services, and foreign partners wrestle over those requirements. If they can’t whittle them down, then the F-35 modernization effort may suffer the same cost overruns and schedule slips as many programs in the past, including the original F-35 program itself.

“I know that these further upgrades are essential, but I think it’s important for us to try to get a handle on this before it gets out of whack as we’ve seen [on] this project from the very beginning,” longtime F-35 skeptic Loretta Sanchez, the top Democrat on the committee, told Bogdan. “So,” she asked pointedly, “does the F-35 program have a prioritized list [of requirements]?”..."

Source: http://breakingdefense.com/2015/10/bill ... n-fallout/

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 23 Oct 2015, 16:12
by laos
It took between 4-5 years from first flight of prototype to entering service for fighters like F-16 and F-15 with their weapons integrated.
F-35 is already 9 years past it first flight and still can't shoot it's gun or fire Aim-9 block II or carry armament similar do F-16. With weapon integration being pushed from block IV to block V it seems that it may take them 20 year to integrate weapons F-16 (or similar fighters of NATO countries) are already carrying.
F-35 will be a capable fighter in 10 years time. I just don't get it why it takes them so long. It seems ridiculous that in a USA which is ruling in software development in the world, with probably a million programmers they can't put few hundred people to fix software issues with aircraft and ALIS. With more than hundred aircraft already flying they can't integrate weapons.
At the same time the same company Lockheed has it's hand full in LRSB.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 23 Oct 2015, 17:06
by SpudmanWP
or carry armament similar do F-16

You're right... the F-35 has fully fused avionics, BVR weapons, an IRST, a FLIR, 360 EODAS, and precision munitions....

Funny how added complexity increases development timeframes.

Your timeline a way off, especially the "will be a capable fighter in 10 years time", unless you think the USMC decision to declare IOC at Block 2B was premature. btw, They ALWAYS intended to declare IOC before the USAF with Block 2.

Then there is Block 3F and unless you think that is also not capable....

If you look at ANY of the new modern fighters of the last 20+ years, they all took over a decade to develop mainly due to the complexity of the program (software, avionics, etc). This applies to the F-22, F-35, Rafale, Eurofighter, etc.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 23 Oct 2015, 17:30
by quicksilver
...and how many Viper Blocks? Let me count the ways -- 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40/42, 50/52, 60...and different sub-configurations within many Blocks. Wasnt much hanging on a Block 1 Viper either -- compare to a Block 60. Compare a Block 60 to a Block 2b/3i F-35. From talking to the pilots who have flown both, I can tell you which one they'd rather fly.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 24 Oct 2015, 01:17
by Dragon029
laos; the biggest difference is simply that in the 70s and 80s, the test process was fraught with far less red tape and worked on many more assumptions (eg; "missile X launches fine while next to bomb Y, therefore it should launch fine while next to bomb Z").

In modern systems testing, you have weapons being coded for, etc, then being computer simulated to see how they would be launched, then dropped on the ground into soft pits to see that they match the models, then the models are tweaked, the weapons are carried up, vibration tested, the aerodynamic effects closely mapped, etc, then you do weapons drops, tweaking the pneumatic launchers / setup to make it work best, then you do launches under more strenuous conditions, do more tweaking, do weapons accuracy tests, etc.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 27 Oct 2015, 15:57
by dan725
Adding to the fact that the F-35 now has to test and cert for the entire munitions inventory. How many weapons were there back in the 70's that the F-16 had to employ compared to 2015? Before spouting off ignorance laos, read into the why.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 30 Oct 2015, 08:26
by laos
Thank you all for your comments.
I admit that in field of aircraft testing and software development I am ignorant. Your comments shed a new light on the problems which I was not aware off.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 30 Oct 2015, 21:22
by johnwill
All that is true, but don't get the idea that a bunch of cowboys from Fort Worth just hung random weapons on the F-16 at random hardpoints, and dropped them at random conditions without extensive analysis and ground test. USAF provided GD with an initial list of takeoff loadings and normal downloadings to be cleared during FSD tests. Two air to air, seven air to ground, and a ferry loadings were specified. Air to air loadings were two or four AIM-9L, with and without 370 tanks. Air to ground included Mk-82, Mk-84, GBU-10, GBU-12, AGM-65, CBU, and SUU-20/BDU in various combinations. The same process Dragon029 described was followed to clear inflight ejections, except there was no coding, and weapons were not just dropped into sand pits, they were ejected with specified cartridges, and the carts were "tweaked" on the ground to result in desired pitch rates. Dynamic loads measured on the ground were cranked back into the inflight load analysis to verify adequate strength. A significant number of flights were used to develop interval limits for MER ripple ejections, that were cleared, but never used in service (I was told).

F-16 FSD flight tests began in February, 1974 and were essentially complete by mid 1975 for air to air and air to ground. We had the advantage of a much simpler airplane of course, but we also had a TEAM approach, where USAF and GD were both dedicated to getting the job done safely, as soon as possible. IOC was around August 1979 (ask Gums, he was there).

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 08 Mar 2016, 16:19
by gabriele
USAF priority more on EW than on new engine as the Follow-On Development plan gets pieced together:

USAF officials have said that the aircraft already boasts impressive electronic warfare (EW) capabilities, and more will be added as the threat evolves, said Maj Gen Harrigian. "We're doing a lot of things with EW," he said. "First you have to understand what the threat is and ensure that, as threats evolve, we're agile enough to show the pilot what that threat is. The second piece of it is, then, what kind of electronic attack [EA] capabilities do we have to take care of that, blind them, run them off to another target?" He added that new EW and EA capabilities will be integrated into the F-35 with both increment 3i and 3F software. The service intends to declare its jets operational with the 3i software on board.

Senior Department of Defense officials have previously said that a new variable cycle engine could also be cut into F-35 production within the time frame that Maj Gen Harrigian addressed for the aircraft's first major modernisation. Asked whether the USAF will seek to integrate the new engine, he said that it is an option in about 10 years, but that it is not high on the air force's wish list at this time.


http://www.janes.com/article/58594/usaf ... or-2020-25

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 08 Mar 2016, 17:38
by cantaz
He added that new EW and EA capabilities will be integrated into the F-35 with both increment 3i and 3F software.


So not just 2B capabilities hosted on new processors, eh?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 08 Mar 2016, 18:00
by SpudmanWP
Posted elsewhere but related to a potential Block 4 tie in, Advanced EOTS prototype could fly by next year as should outperform all current & planned systems.


https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -f-422810/

Bolling told reporters following an EOTS factory tour in Orlando, Florida on 24 February that the next iteration will be cut into the same production line, if chosen by F-35 customers. Advanced EOTS promises better performance “than any pod currently [fielded] or currently envisioned”, he claims.

“By the end of the year, we’ll have a prototype system completed and then hopefully, in the new year, we’ll have identified a path to fly it on a surrogate platform and be able to show that high-fidelity imagery,” Bolling says.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2016, 04:51
by neptune
SpudmanWP wrote:....Advanced EOTS promises better performance “than any pod currently [fielded] or currently envisioned”, he claims...and be able to show that high-fidelity imagery,” ....


....seems to be "replacement in kind/ in place"...tech interface upgrade for existing installed F-35 sensors and displays....?

Since LM is fielding both A/EOTS and the Pod?, why could they not supply A/EOTS in two (port and starboard) fiber linked pods on the legacy teens for an upgrade? Maybe they lose a weapon station but gain the passive SA. Network it into the F-35 as more remote sensors? :)

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2016, 06:22
by Dragon029
1 pod is tolerable for drag, 2 is pushing it. Legion is meant to be hung on a centerline pod as well, meaning it can scan either side fairly well.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 30 Mar 2016, 21:24
by spazsinbad
Lockheed Nabs $18.5M for F-35 Follow-On Development
30 Mar 2016 Lara Seligman

"WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin won an additional $18.5 million to continue work on developing an F-35 upgrade program, the Defense Department announced this week.

The Pentagon awarded Lockheed a $18.5 million modification to a previously awarded cost-plus, fixed-fee contract for development efforts for the F-35 Block 4 modernization program, according to a March 28 announcement.

The work, which is is expected to be complete in May 2017...

...The Block 4 modernization program is expected to cost $3 billion over the next six years. The effort will include upgrades to maintain viability against evolving threats, as well as a switch to a so-called open systems architecture that would make it easier to swap out sensors and other equipment on the jets in the future.

Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, chief of the F-35 joint program office, said earlier this month he expects a contract award for Block 4 in late 2018. He also said the Pentagon’s Joint Requirements Oversight Council will likely approve a road map for Block 4 this summer."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /82430272/

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 30 Mar 2016, 21:43
by popcorn
The JSF is probably the most scrutinized program in the DoD and GAO wants to burden it with even more bureaucratic overhead?



http://nges.insidedefense.com/daily-new ... te-program?

"DOD does not currently plan to manage Block 4 as a separate program with its own acquisition program baseline but rather as part of the existing baseline," Michael Sullivan, acquisition and sourcing management director for GAO, told the subcommittee. "As a result, Block 4 will not be subject to key statutory and regulatory oversight requirements, such as providing Congress with regular, formal reports on program cost and schedule performance."...

Bogdan said changes in cost, schedule and performance for Block 4 will not be "buried" because the Pentagon's acquisition executive has certain requirements he must approve for follow-on development.

"We will have a separate contract on modernization; we will require separate earned value management reporting on that; [and] we will require separate cost, schedule and performance reporting from the contractors," he continued.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2016, 21:24
by spazsinbad
Firstly does anyone find it strange that this graphic goes with this story? http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/ ... 170e_o.jpg
GAO Warns About Next Phase of F-35 Program
May 2016 Jon Harper

"A government watchdog warned Congress that lawmakers could have difficulty holding the Air Force accountable for controlling costs during follow-on modernization of the F-35. The current joint strike fighter development effort is projected to end in 2017 when Block 3F developmental flight testing is completed, for a total development cost of $55 billion.

The first increment of follow-on modernization, Block 4, is expected to add new capabilities and correct deficiencies. But the Government Accountability Office said the Pentagon’s plans could be problematic. “Without setting up the modernization as a separate program with its own baseline and regular reporting as best practices recommend, it will be difficult for Congress to hold DoD accountable for achieving F-35 Block 4 cost, schedule and performance goals,” Michael J. Sullivan, GAO’s director of acquisition and sourcing management, told lawmakers recently.

“Although the requirements are not yet final and no official cost estimate has been developed for Block 4, DoD’s fiscal year 2017 budget request indicates that the department expects to spend nearly $3 billion on these development efforts over the next six years,” he testified before the House Armed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces.

As of March, the Pentagon’s estimated total acquisition cost for the F-35 program is $379 billion, about $12 billion less than anticipated two years ago. But the aircraft continues to face affordability challenges, Sullivan noted. The program is expected to reach peak production rates in 2022, at which point the Defense Department expects to spend more than $14 billion a year, on average, over a 10-year period on the jets.

“When acquisition and sustainment funds are combined, annual funding requirements could easily approach $30 billion in some years,” Sullivan said. Budget constraints have compelled the Air Force to defer F-35 aircraft buys in recent years, a trend that could continue, he noted. “The cost of extending the lives of current fighter aircraft and acquiring other major weapon systems, while continuing to produce and field new F-35 aircraft, poses significant affordability risks in a period of austere defense budgets,” he said....

...Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, program executive officer for the F-35, presented an optimistic outlook. “The program is making solid progress across the board,” he told the subcommittee. “We are confident the F-35 team can … deliver on our commitments.”

Bogdan anticipates the Joint Requirements Oversight Council will approve the follow-on modernization/Block 4 capabilities development document this summer. “Work continues with the U.S. services and international partners to ensure the modernization program will be ‘right-sized’ for affordability and sustainability,” he said. Bogdan’s office will ensure that separate cost, schedule, performance and earned-value data will be available to provide detailed insight into program execution, he said."

Source: http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/ ... ogram.aspx

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2016, 00:06
by vanshilar
spazsinbad wrote:Firstly does anyone find it strange that this graphic goes with this story?


Well people here *have* been saying the F-35 is basically a stealthy F-16 with additional range and better avionics, so...

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 01 Jul 2016, 18:16
by bring_it_on
F-35 JPO eyeing 2018 for Block 4 modernization contract decision

F-35 program officials expect to have a Joint Requirements Oversight Council-approved Block 4 capability development document in hand by late this summer -- a milestone that will solidify follow-on modernization requirements and help set the foundation for the capabilities necessary to operate in the future threat environment.

Diane Wathen, the joint program office's follow-on modernization director, told Inside the Air Force this week the program expects the JROC to approve its CDD in August or September. The document, which was established jointly by all F-35 partners, sets the framework for Block 4, the program's iterative upgrade plan that aims to deliver capabilities in four sub blocks -- 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4. The CDD details the capabilities that will be featured in the first two sub blocks, Wathen said, and will be updated as the program approves the content of 4.3 and 4.4, which is still in the very early phases of being defined.

Wathen explained that the follow-on modernization plan is not meant to expand the F-35's reach to new mission areas, but rather to improve performance within existing mission areas. "It's taking the mission areas we're in and expanding the capabilities to keep pace with the threat or bring improvements to the platform," Wathen said.

Capabilities in the 4.1 plan include electronic warfare improvements, cockpit navigation upgrades, a maritime identification capability for the radar and additional weapons integration including the Small Diameter Bomb II and the AIM-9X. 4.1 will also include Norway's JSM missile. The next sub block, 4.2, will bring interopability enhancements, including Link 16, and will begin incorporating an advanced electro-optical targeting system -- a capability that the Air Force has said is a top priority.

Block 4 is not currently being designed as a major defense acquisition program and so does not have the same milestone structure as a traditional acquisition program. However, Wathen stressed that follow-on modernization will be managed under its own contract and many of the performance milestones are similar to what would be required under an MDAP -- they're just tailored specifically for Block 4. Under the current schedule, which Wathen reviewed with ITAF, the program expects to achieve preliminary design review for 4.1 in mid-2018.

A milestone B-like decision point for the entire Block 4 effort is also slated for mid-2018, at which point the program would present an independent cost estimate and the Pentagon's acquisition chief would make a contract decision. Wathen noted that the program used an initial cost estimate to put constraints on the capabilities included in each sub block, but said the estimate will not be finalized for a few years.

"That's a cost estimate prior to us going through any of the systems engineering activity, doing requirements decomposition and getting through a requirements review," she said. "It just helps to bound and prioritize."

The 2018 contract decision will cover the full modernization program, Wathen said, establishing all of the terms and conditions that will apply to each sub block. The scope of each iterative upgrade will be defined separately, with separate RFPs and contract awards.

"It's really a contract within a contract," she said.

The program is working now to develop a Test and Evaluation Master Plan, which will also be completed in mid-2018. Wathen said as the JPO establishes testing processes and requirements, the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps are conducting independent studies to analyze whether they have the capacity to test the capabilities in each sub block.

"We're looking at both of those things to ensure that we have adequate test capability to support the content that's been laid out," she said. "That will evolve in parallel with us doing the test planning."

Wathen noted that one lesson the program learned from the F-35 system development and demonstration phase was the importance of defining government ownership of the technical baseline as well as the test capability. She noted that those lessons will be prioritized in follow-on development.

Once a contract decision is approved, the program will begin development of 4.1 -- a software-only upgrade expected for delivery in 2020. Future sub-block development will be staggered, with 4.2 starting in 2019, 4.3 in 2021 and 4.4 in 2023.

The schedule also aligns upgrade deliveries with their respective production lots, with 4.1 inserted in lots 13 and 14, 4.2 in lots 15 and 16 and 4.3 in lots 17 and 18.

The JPO began defining the scope of Block 4 several years ago, but in the last two years has narrowed its focus on working with partners to prioritize requirements. The program had expected to have an approved CDD last December, but that was pushed to this summer. Wathen said the extra time allowed officials to make sure the capability was well understood and to generate initial estimates of what those capabilities would cost.

Wathen said because Block 4 requirements are established through the consensus of international and service partners, their priorities are weighted based on their investment, production quantities and some other factors. For common capabilities, partners were in relative agreement about what it would take to operate against future threats. And so setting priorities "was not really problematic," she said.

The real challenge was cost, Whalen said, because as part of the Block 4 prioritization process, partners had to determine what level of investment they could make.

"Part of looking at this was saying, 'What can the enterprise afford from a standpoint of capability content,'" Wathen said. "Budgetary reality is part of the process. It's either how much money do you have or how much are you able to get."

With a contract decision on track for 2018, Wathen said her primary near-term focus is on setting the baseline for 4.1, which she said is the foundation for the rest of Block 4. That foundation is being set through a series of contracts the program awarded in the last year as part of the system requirements review process -- one last June and a second in February.

She said there's another RFP being circulated with Lockheed Martin and other vendors that will carry the program to PDR in 2018.

As it marked up the Defense Department's fiscal year 2017 budget request, Congress has made a few calls for changes to the JPO's management of Block 4. One provision would require Block 4 to be managed as an MDAP -- a proposal the JPO and DOD have said would add unnecessary cost and schedule delays. Another provision, first introduced by the Senate Armed Services Committee, would disestablish the JPO in 2019, at the start of Block 4, and turn over management of the modernization effort to the individual services.

Addressing the second proposal, Wathen said that while it may be possible to disperse the unique capabilities among the services, the program would have to develop a mechanism for managing the common capabilities.

"The unique stuff divides up," she said. "There would have to be an analysis of how you might divide up the common capability. It's not straightforward."

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 01 Jul 2016, 22:21
by popcorn
Maybe McCain loses and the JPO gets to do it's work with less Congressional meddling.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 01 Jul 2016, 22:52
by bring_it_on
The way things are headed it may not matter whether McCain wins or looses, he might not be the SASC chairman.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 02 Jul 2016, 00:27
by XanderCrews
Appreciate all the quality posts, bring it on. Not just In this thread either 8)

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 02 Jul 2016, 08:29
by Dragon029
So what's the deal with Link 16? We know the F-35 can receive it, and I've seen a number of articles / documents stating that it can transmit on it as well; would this be a variation / extension of the Link 16 feature set or something, or will it (until Block 4.2) be like the F-22 with receive only?

Here's one article that suggests that the F-35 can transmit via Link 16, but here's also an interview where a Netherlands pilot states that he can share data to F-16s and KC-10s via Link 16. Perhaps he was speaking hypothetically?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 02 Jul 2016, 08:51
by SpudmanWP
The Link-16 in the F-35 is Transmit & Receive and always has been.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 02 Jul 2016, 11:09
by popcorn
SpudmanWP wrote:The Link-16 in the F-35 is Transmit & Receive and always has been.


Yeah, it's the Raptor that is Receive Only IIRC but there are a number of 5th-to-4th alternatives in the offing.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 02 Jul 2016, 12:16
by bring_it_on
The current ones apparently focus on Link-16 to IFDL. Not sure if MAPS covers MADL as well to allow F-22 to F-35 communication. They were at one point exploring using the embedded arrays in both the aircraft for communication but don't know if that is still an option.

Dragon029 wrote:So what's the deal with Link 16? We know the F-35 can receive it, and I've seen a number of articles / documents stating that it can transmit on it as well; would this be a variation / extension of the Link 16 feature set or something, or will it (until Block 4.2) be like the F-22 with receive only?

Here's one article that suggests that the F-35 can transmit via Link 16, but here's also an interview where a Netherlands pilot states that he can share data to F-16s and KC-10s via Link 16. Perhaps he was speaking hypothetically?


I think upgrades to the Link-16 capability is probably what they are looking at.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 02 Jul 2016, 13:12
by cantaz
I recall something about a crypto standard improvement in the coming years for Link-16.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 14 Jul 2016, 17:25
by spazsinbad
Marine Corps Aviation Chief Ranks SDB II as F-35 Upgrade Priority
14 Jul 2016 Valerie Insinna

"...For the most part, the services have finalized which capabilities will funnel into the Block 4 modernization program but are deliberating when those upgrades will funnel into production, Davis said.

A capabilities development document is working its way through the Air Force and will go to the Joint Requirements Oversight Council later this summer, said F-35 program executive officer Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan.

“We have a pretty good idea of what's going to be in the first few increments of Block 4,” he said in a July 9 interview. “Now we're working on putting together a funding profile to meet that and the acquisition strategy to do that.”

The current plan is to separate the Block 4 upgrades into four increments. Those capabilities will be integrated into the F-35 every two years, starting in 2018 with the first delivery of new capabilities in 2020.

“If a capability is not mature as we develop it, instead of waiting around for it, we'll push it to the next increment,” he said. “So we're trying to work the strategy with industry on how to be that flexible with contracting on the business side.”

The F-35 joint program office (JPO) estimates the upgrades will cost somewhere around $3.8 billion to $4.8 billion to procure and integrate into the aircraft. That doesn’t include unique international requirements such as Norway’s joint strike missile. All weapons, including SDB II, will be fielded within the first two increments, Bogdan said.

Other upgrades will include more modern electronic warfare systems, radar, avionics and interfaces, and changes that improve the aircraft’s reliability, maintainability and ability to deploy. Generally speaking, the JPO will look to current contractors for Block 4 systems, but could compete capabilities if technology has significantly advanced.

“One of the big things to drive cost down in Block 4 is that we will be looking to outside companies who may not have traditionally had equipment on the airplane,” he said. “That’s because in Block 4 we’re getting computers that are open and modular, an open system, so that you can put new sensors and new things on the airplane easier than having to change the whole infrastructure.”

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /87070442/

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 14 Jul 2016, 17:38
by spazsinbad
How doo yoo doo - Neva thot I would see a headline like this - my head explodes.... Who'da thunk?!
F-35 Packs a Punch
13 Jul 2016 Chris Pocock

"The F-35 is sleek and stealthy, thanks to internally-carried weapons, but that limits [OOHHH spoiled it - buzzkill] the operational payload and the jet’s air-to-ground capability, correct? To some extent, that is true, but here’s an alternative view. “It’s a bomb truck, capable of carrying 14,000 pounds–that’s 3,000 pounds more than my F-18s,” said Lt. General Jon Davis, head of aviation for the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC).

In fact, the F-35 has seven external weapons stations (see diagram). Their use is not part of the initial operating capability (IOC) for either the USMC F-35Bs or the U.S. Air Force F-35As. But a total of nine weapons are being qualified on the Lightning II as part of the system design and development contract that ends next year. More will likely be integrated in a follow-on contract for Block 4 software and capabilities, which has not yet been fully finalized.

Since Raytheon is the premier provider of weapons for the F-35 Lightning II...

...Not part of Raytheon’s display is the rival short-range air-to-air missile to the AIM-9X. This is the MBDA Asraam, which is going on to the UK’s F-35Bs. The UK is also looking for integration of the MBDA Meteor BVRAAM and the MBDA Spear smart bomb—but not until Block 4."

Source: http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/ ... acks-punch

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 20 Aug 2016, 11:16
by gabriele
AviationWeek possibly has an article regarding Block 4 news, but i can't see past the first paragraph. http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/f-3 ... akes-shape

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 30 Nov 2016, 07:05
by spazsinbad
Here are some clues about BLOCK 4 specifically 4.1 - as for the rest? Who knows... US Congress yabbayabbayabbas & does nothing but punt decisions down the field for continuing resolutions or somesuch & I don't care.

NOTHING about this here - just no extra F-35s or F/A-18s: https://news.usni.org/2016/11/29/compro ... s-aircraft
Congress punts extra F-35s, Super Hornets in defence bill
30 Nov 2016 Leigh Giangreco

"...Committee members also stopped short of mandating a separate programme for F-35 follow-on modernisation, but the bill will require additional reporting on the modernisation to Congress. The major defence acquisition programme designation requires closer inspection from Congress and a selected acquisition report detailing the programme’s cost, schedule and performance.

The bill’s language does not include the need for a selected acquisition report, but the JPO is required to submit information that contains the basic elements of an acquisition programme baseline for block 4 modernisation, senior armed services members told reporters. Block 4 modernisation will deliver 80 new capabilities and 17 weapons. Block 4.1 capabilities will include electronic warfare improvements, cockpit navigation upgrades, AIM-9X Block II and Small Diameter Bomb II integration....

...In April, Senate Armed Services Chairman Senator John McCain ripped into the Joint Programme Offices’ current plan for the F-35, which would keep the modernisation within the programme rather than as a separate line-item in the budget. With Block 4 modernisation set to cost nearly $3 billion over the next six years, the GAO argued the price alone would qualify the programme as a separate major defence acquisition programme....

...Congress also softened its stance on the JPO, which McCain had threatened to scrap. Instead, the conference report directs the Defense Department to return within the next legislative cycle with recommendations on how to drawn down the office. Software and development will likely remain common across platforms, but some elements of the programme could be handed off to the services, staff say.

“That actual disestablishment would not occur in [Fiscal Year 18],” staff say. “That would be a future decision.”"

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... nc-431929/

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 30 Nov 2016, 12:52
by mk82
spazsinbad wrote:Here are some clues about BLOCK 4 specifically 4.1 - as for the rest? Who knows... US Congress yabbayabbayabbas & does nothing but punt decisions down the field for continuing resolutions or somesuch & I don't care.

NOTHING about this here - just no extra F-35s or F/A-18s: https://news.usni.org/2016/11/29/compro ... s-aircraft
Congress punts extra F-35s, Super Hornets in defence bill
30 Nov 2016 Leigh Giangreco

"...Committee members also stopped short of mandating a separate programme for F-35 follow-on modernisation, but the bill will require additional reporting on the modernisation to Congress. The major defence acquisition programme designation requires closer inspection from Congress and a selected acquisition report detailing the programme’s cost, schedule and performance.

The bill’s language does not include the need for a selected acquisition report, but the JPO is required to submit information that contains the basic elements of an acquisition programme baseline for block 4 modernisation, senior armed services members told reporters. Block 4 modernisation will deliver 80 new capabilities and 17 weapons. Block 4.1 capabilities will include electronic warfare improvements, cockpit navigation upgrades, AIM-9X Block II and Small Diameter Bomb II integration....

...In April, Senate Armed Services Chairman Senator John McCain ripped into the Joint Programme Offices’ current plan for the F-35, which would keep the modernisation within the programme rather than as a separate line-item in the budget. With Block 4 modernisation set to cost nearly $3 billion over the next six years, the GAO argued the price alone would qualify the programme as a separate major defence acquisition programme....

...Congress also softened its stance on the JPO, which McCain had threatened to scrap. Instead, the conference report directs the Defense Department to return within the next legislative cycle with recommendations on how to drawn down the office. Software and development will likely remain common across platforms, but some elements of the programme could be handed off to the services, staff say.

“That actual disestablishment would not occur in [Fiscal Year 18],” staff say. “That would be a future decision.”"

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... nc-431929/


Ah McCain, you haven't done it again LOL :mrgreen: . Good thing there are people with a little bit more common sense than McCain in Congress.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 30 Nov 2016, 14:18
by popcorn
So no death ray for now.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 30 Nov 2016, 20:41
by spazsinbad
:devil: Mebbe the 'rayofdeath' is MDAP? Mebbe it is 'negatroidUP' - PUSUP puhleez... :mrgreen: :doh: ['pussers' RAN slang for RAN] :roll:
Lawmakers Plus Up Readiness, But Not Fighter Procurement
29 Nov 2016 Lara Seligman & James Drew

"House and Senate negotiators have finalized a $618.7 billion defense policy bill for 2017 that increases funding for military readiness and higher troop levels at the expense of proposed plus-ups for fighter aircraft procurement.

The massive 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) supports ongoing operations over new hardware, reorganizes the top weapons buyer’s office, and retains the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO), senior staffers on the congressional armed services committees said Nov. 29. A House floor vote on the bill is expected on Friday, with the Senate following early next week.

Although the U.S. services asked Congress in March for money to buy additional aircraft over the quantities detailed in the president’s 2017 budget request, lawmakers chose to exclude House provisions for 11 more Joint Strike Fighters (five F-35As, two F-35Bs and four F-35Cs) and 14 F/A-18 Super Hornets. The House proposed funding the additional hardware through a part of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account allotted for base-budget requirements to skirt statutory budget caps....

...F-35 JPO
Despite the Senate’s attempt to kill the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) and split the fifth-generation fighter’s upgrade effort into a separate acquisition program, lawmakers are leaving both essentially intact....

...the bill includes compromise language directing the Defense Department to brief the defense congressional committees on their recommendation for eventually winding down the JPO, according to one staffer. The language does not include any hard dates for when the JPO must disband, the staffer said.

Most of the JPO’s responsibilities will eventually return to the services, but Congress recognizes that certain things like software development and managing international partners will need to remain joint, the staffer said.

“I could absolutely imagine some kind of dramatically necked-down JPO continuing to do that even though you’ve got the Air Force managing the A [model F-35], the Department of the Navy managing the B and the C,” the staffer said. “There are still going to be things that really do need to have sort of a cross-cutting approach.”

F-35 Upgrade Program
Lawmakers also considered establishing a separate, standalone acquisition program for the F-35 follow-on modernization effort, called Block 4, which is currently managed by the JPO as part of the existing F-35 program. Some have argued this change would increase transparency and facilitate better oversight of the upgrade program, which is projected to cost $3 billion over the next six years.

However, lawmakers decided to keep Block 4 under the F-35 program baseline, but add stricter reporting requirements. This serves to increase visibility without the bureaucratic headaches that come with establishing a new Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP), according to the staffer.

“What we tried to stipulate in the bill was additional thresholds for reporting to Congress, cost accounting, et cetera, so that we would have greater knowledge of how follow-on modernization is progressing, how it’s being accounted for, whether there’s cost increase coming,” the staffer said. “We would get that information without characterizing the program as an MDAP, which brings all sorts of acquisition bells and whistles.”

JPO Chief Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan has said establishing a new acquisition baseline for Block 4 would add unnecessary cost and “easily” six months to a year of delay to the start of follow-on modernization."

Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/lawmake ... rocurement

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 24 Jan 2017, 19:23
by SpudmanWP
So it looks like the JPO is taking the previous Block 4/5/6/7 schedule and melding them into Block 4.1 through 4.4

We have know about 4.1 through 4.4 for a while but had little details. At first, I thought that they were taking the existing Block 4 plan (from the Norway Doc) and streatching it out through 4 micro-blocks.

Here is the Norway Doc

Image

However, looking at the initial 4.1 through 4.4 plan, I saw that they had put the plan for 6 AAMs in at 4.4 instead of 5, JSM at 4.1 instead of 5, etc.... so I knew that there had to be some kind of overlap.

Image

Looking at the latest DOT&E report sealed my opinion on the matter.

Follow-on Modernization (FoM). The program continued making plans for all variants for FoM, also referred to as Block 4, which is on DOT&E oversight. The program intends to award the contract for the modernization effort in 2QCY18 with developmental flight testing beginning 3QCY19. Four increments of capability are planned, Blocks 4.1 through 4.4. Blocks 4.1 and 4.3 will provide software-only updates, Blocks 4.2 and 4.4 will add hardware as well as software updates. Improved Technical Refresh 3 (TR3) processors are planned to be added in Block 4.2.


Note that TR3 was originally scheduled in Block 5 but got pulled up to 4.2 which fits inline with my theory of the JPO combining the previous blocks, or maybe they just did that with Blocks 4 & 5.

The FY2018 budget docs coming next month will give us a better idea, but it looks like the blocks are separated by 18 months rather than the 24 month cycle of the Norway doc, but that may just be 4.1 & 4.2 (as that is all that is shown in the FY2017 doc).

Image

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Jan 2017, 00:14
by wolfpak
Is the AGM-158 JASSM in 3F or has it been moved to the right of 4?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Jan 2017, 00:22
by SpudmanWP
JASSM was never part of 3F and will likely come in after UAI is installed as part of 4.x

Once UAI is in the F-35 you will not see these types of "weapons tied to Blocks" diagrams for weapons that have UAI drivers, of which the JASSM family is one.

Image

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Jan 2017, 00:37
by popcorn
6 X AIM-120D by end-2017 ... nice.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Jan 2017, 00:42
by SpudmanWP
popcorn wrote:6 X AIM-120D by end-2017 ... Nice.

Wait... WHAT?

Um, I never said that.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Jan 2017, 00:56
by Dragon029
Minor note, but TR3 is a refresh of (at least) the F-35's Integrated Core Processors isn't it? If so, that appears to already be a Block 4 item in the Norwegian doc, under "Basics", "ICP Upgrade for Increased Communications". Or are you talking about some previous documentation that had TR3 in Block 5?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Jan 2017, 01:10
by SpudmanWP
Previous docs talked about Trs coming every-other block. The last one came in Block 3i so the next should have been 5.

I think the Norway Block 4 ICP for "Comms" upgrade has to do with either increased encryption or enabling SATCOM where the full TR comes at 5.

Looking at this chart, it looks like TR2 was to come as part of Block 2 but was pushed to 3i which may explain why they thought the next TR would be at 4.

Image

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Jan 2017, 01:21
by popcorn
SpudmanWP wrote:
popcorn wrote:6 X AIM-120D by end-2017 ... Nice.

Wait... WHAT?

Um, I never said that.

Hmm.. I interpreted that Norway graphic to mean Blk 5 completes OT&E in 2017?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Jan 2017, 01:37
by SpudmanWP
Sorry, yes...

The "Original" plan was to have Block 5 in OT&E by 2017... But they are 5-6 years behind schedule for FoM.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Jan 2017, 21:46
by bring_it_on
F-35 PEO expects JROC approval of Block 4 capability plan by April


The F-35 joint program office anticipates having a Block 4 capability development plan approved by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council in April, about 16 months late, according to an official.

Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, F-35 program executive officer, told Inside Defense Jan. 24 after a presentation at National Defense University he anticipates the capabilities development document to be approved in March or April. The program initially expected JROC approval in December 2015, Inside Defense previously reported.

The program has crafted a Block 4 strategy that would complete follow-on development in four increments: iterations 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4. The first and third increments will be focused on software upgrades and the second and fourth on hardware. Some lawmakers and Pentagon testing officials have expressed concern that Block 4 has become a catch-all phase meant to deliver both new capabilities as well as capabilities deferred from earlier development blocks. Prioritizing those capabilities and attaching cost estimates has proven a challenge as the program seeks JROC approval.

The JROC has been hesitant to support the incremental approach, Bogdan said, and argued it needs a life-cycle cost estimate for the entire Block 4 plan in order to conduct trades between funding and requirements. But Bogdan claimed it is too early to develop accurate life-cycle cost estimates that would actually be helpful in making those trades.

The council also floated the idea of approving the CDD in four increments -- each with its own cost estimate attached. The JPO rejected this idea, Bogdan said, which resulted in a four-month stall to the CDD approval process.

Bogdan confirmed the program would not submit incremental CDDs as the JROC initially proposed. However, in order to validate the requirements document, the JROC has stipulated both an independent cost estimate and a separate projection from the Pentagon's cost assessment and program evaluation office.

The JROC's concern about approving an incremental Block 4 plan reflects a larger institutional hesitancy within the Office of the Secretary of Defense to approve incremental strategies, Bogdan said. According to Bogdan, some officials are concerned crucial warfighter needs may be in a subsequent increment that never gets funded.

CAPE has also withheld support for incremental acquisition programs, Bogdan said, because it wants a solid cost estimate before signing off on a plan with many parts.

Further, lawmakers typically do not endorse an incremental acquisition approach, Bogdan said, because it usually means early capability releases are sub-par and in some cases less reliable than gear in the field.

However, Bogdan argued an incremental acquisition strategy is sometimes necessary, particularly in the case of Block 4, because prioritization is not only driven by need, but by the pace of development. In some cases, the warfighter needs the capability but the technological maturity has not materialized. In this scenario, an incremental approach allows a program to plan for the insertion of technology still being matured before it has details about how much those capabilities will cost.

Once the JROC approves an F-35 CDD, the JPO plans to award a contract to begin executing the program in mid-2018 and developmental flight testing will follow in late 2019. Block 4.1 is planned for delivery in 2021.

In his most recent report to Congress -- and his last as director of the Pentagon's operational test and evaluation office -- J. Michael Gilmore pointed to potential risk in the JPO's plan for Block 4, arguing that the development and test schedule is too aggressive for a program that seeks to incorporate a growing slate of technical requirements. The plan, he said, does not incorporate lessons learned from earlier F-35 software development and from the F-22 program.

"Attempting to proceed with the current unrealistic plans for follow-on modernization would be to completely ignore the costly lessons learned from Block 2B, 3i and 3F development, as well as those from the F-22 program," he said.

Gilmore highlighted what he sees as "insufficient" time to conduct operational test for each Block 4 increment. He also raised concerns about inadequate test infrastructure to support follow-on capabilities. The program currently has 18 developmental test aircraft and 1,768 personnel; that support is expected to shrink to just nine aircraft and 600 personnel for follow-on modernization.

"Clearly this plan is grossly inadequate," he said.

Some of that inadequacy may be owed to ongoing analysis within the services. The Air Force and Navy are both in the process of completing independent studies of Block 4 test infrastructure.


https://insidedefense.com/daily-news/f- ... plan-april

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 23 Oct 2017, 16:11
by wolfpak
AvLeak is reporting to day in an article about the JASSM-ER that it didn't make the cut for Block 4 in the F-35A.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 23 Oct 2017, 16:25
by SpudmanWP
Given that JASSM-ER is UAI then the only thing that I can think of is that UAI will be in 4.2.

This may be the article.. But Firewall

http://aviationweek.com/defense/us-air- ... rs-bombers

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 23 Oct 2017, 17:57
by lamoey
SpudmanWP wrote:Given that JASSM-ER is UAI then the only thing that I can think of is that UAI will be in 4.2.

This may be the article.. But Firewall

http://aviationweek.com/defense/us-air- ... rs-bombers


Operators of Lockheed’s F-35A and carrier-based F-35C will also be watching the early performance of the JASSM-ER. The weapon did not make the cut for the F-35’s Block 4 follow-on modernization program, and it will instead be considered for the next iteration, Block 5, in the mid/late-2020s.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 23 Oct 2017, 18:05
by SpudmanWP
Ouch.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 23 Oct 2017, 18:46
by wolfpak
It could be that they feel that the F-35 can penetrate to the targets itself and doesn't need the standoff weapon? What precludes the JASSM from being carried internally? Is it too long or is the cross-section too large for the bays? I would have thought that they would push the SDB-II into 4.1 as well?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 23 Oct 2017, 19:06
by SpudmanWP
SDB2 is Block 4 (unknown which one).

Now that I think about it, JASSM-ER's mission would likely be met by JASSM on the F-35. Was there any mention of JASSM or LRASM in Block 4 in that AvWeek article?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 24 Oct 2017, 02:03
by rheonomic
U.S. Air Force JASSM-ER Rolling Out To New Fighters, Bombers

James Drew | Aviation Week & Space Technology

As technologies for long-range air defense improve and proliferate, the U.S. military has long sought a counter—missile that can strike land-based targets from hundreds of miles away. In the mid-1990s, the U.S. Air Force and Navy partnered to develop the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), but it was not deployed until 2009 and had limited range due to its Teledyne J402 turbojet engine.

Now the Pentagon believes it has a more effective weapon in the JASSM extended-range version (JASSM-ER), powered by the Williams International F107 turbofan and with a range exceeding 500 nm (926 km). It is being integrated on Air Force fighters and bombers, including the Lockheed Martin F-16, Boeing F-15E and B-52 and Northrop Grumman B-2.

These aircraft can already carry the legacy version of JASSM but require additional integration to take full advantage of the AGM-158B’s superior range and performance. Once equipped, they will be capable of destroying high-value targets over an area of 785,398 nm².

KILLER CRUISE MISSILE
  • Air Force upgrade path for JASSM-ER includes a new wing, anti-radiation homing and weapon data link
  • Navy has no immediate plans to adopt JASSM-ER for Super Hornet along with LRASM
  • Integration with F-35A/C not expected until Block 5 upgrade in the mid/late-2020s
  • Despite partnering with the Air Force in the early stages of the program, the Navy has no immediate plans to adopt the land-attack cruise missile for its strike fighters. The service has instead developed a ship-killing variant for its Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet called the AGM-158C Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM).

Operators of Lockheed’s F-35A and carrier-based F-35C will also be watching the early performance of the JASSM-ER. The weapon did not make the cut for the F-35’s Block 4 follow-on modernization program, and it will instead be considered for the next iteration, Block 5, in the mid/late-2020s. (emphasis mine)

Alan Jackson, director of strike systems at Lockheed’s missiles and fire control division, confirms that the JASSM-ER has been integrated with U.S. Air Combat Command’s fleet of F-15E Strike Eagles. Coming up next will be integration with the F-16 and B-52H, including external and internal carriage.

“We’re already on the F-15E, and that was using the Universal Armament Interface,” Jackson tells Aviation Week. “F-16 integration is going on right now.”

Air Force budget documents state that the missile will be integrated with the F-16C/D Block 40/42/50/52-series fighters and a contract for nonrecurring (one-off) engineering was awarded in March. There is also some work left for the Strike Eagle, specifically integrating the F-15E’s Northrop Litening Advanced Targeting Pod.

For bombers, the B-52 can carry up to 12 JASSM-ERs on its wings and with the new 1760 Internal Weapons Bay Upgrade, another eight internally. The only other aircraft that can carry more JASSM cruise missiles than the B-52H is the B-1B, which accommodates 24 missiles inside its internal weapons bays.

Brig. Gen. Michael Schmidt, the Air Force’s program executive officer for fighters and bombers, confirmed during a recent interview that the B-2 Spirit bombers of Whiteman AFB, Missouri, are also slated to receive JASSM-ER. The B-2’s primary mission is nuclear deterrence, but the JASSM-ER provides a long-range, conventional option for striking high-value targets from outside the range of counterstealth radars and interceptors. The B-2 will require some changes, and development should start by mid-2018, Air Force documents state.

In terms of capability upgrades for the missile, the service highlights some plans in its fiscal 2018 budget proposal. It includes funding for studies of an anti-radiation homing system for targeting radio frequency emitters such as radars and communications sites. The service wants a weapons data link for passing updated targeting information to the missile midflight, enabling JASSM-ER to hit relocatable or roaming land and maritime targets. Under a recent government contract, Lockheed is developing an improved wing that will add greater range and performance.

The missile is accurate to within 3 m (10 ft.) of a target using the onboard imaging infrared seeker, or within 13 m when only guided by GPS-aided inertial navigation.

The continued rollout of the JASSM-ER comes as flight testing of the anti-ship derivative begins on the B-1B for fielding in 2018 and the F/A-18E/F in 2019.

Jackson says LRASM retains all the features, targeting capabilities and low-observable characteristics of the JASSM-ER but adds another passive sensor produced by BAE Systems. He would not say what type of sensor it is or what part of the electromagnetic spectrum it operates in, but it is probably a semi-active radar homing device. Once LRASM is introduced, the B-1B and the Navy’s Super Hornet will be capable of destroying land targets as well as moving vessels at sea from significant standoff ranges.

Jackson says the Navy has no plans to adopt the less expensive JASSM-ER for striking land targets, even though it would be quicker, cheaper and easier to integrate LRASM and JASSM-ER at the same time rather than separately.

“That would be an attractive option, but for now the Navy wants to remain focused on just getting LRASM out the door,” Jackson says. “It’s a low-risk, low-cost and relatively easy way to do the integration if you piggyback the two at the same, but nevertheless, if or when that happens, that will be a separate integration effort.”

JASSM and LRASM are produced by Lockheed in Troy, Alabama. The Air Force intends to procure JASSM cruise missiles at a rate of 360 per year.

The missile is a major international sales opportunity for Lockheed, as it has already been adopted by Australia, Poland and Finland. Other foreign sales could materialize, particularly for trusted operators of the F-16, once integrated. Australia’s Super Hornets would be obvious candidates for the JASSM-ER and potentially LRASM.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 24 Oct 2017, 06:08
by neptune
rheonomic wrote:....

... (JASSM-ER) is being integrated on Air Force fighters and bombers, including the ..F-16, ..F-15E, ..B-52 and B-2....

“We’re already on the F-15E, and that was using the Universal Armament Interface,” .

..There is also some work left for the Strike Eagle, specifically integrating the F-15E’s Northrop Litening Advanced Targeting Pod.

..the B-52 can carry up to 12 JASSM-ERs on its wings and with the new 1760 Internal Weapons Bay Upgrade, another eight internally. .. the B-1B, (LRASM) which accommodates 24 missiles inside its internal weapons bays...

..in its fiscal 2018 budget proposal. It includes funding for studies of an anti-radiation homing system for targeting radio frequency emitters such as radars and communications sites. The service wants a weapons data link for passing updated targeting information to the missile midflight, enabling JASSM-ER/ LRASM to hit relocatable or roaming land and maritime targets. Under a recent government contract, Lockheed is developing an improved wing that will add greater range and performance...

The continued rollout of the JASSM-ER comes as flight testing of the anti-ship derivative (LRASM) begins on the B-1B for fielding in 2018 and the F/A-18E/F in 2019.

Jackson says LRASM retains all the features, targeting capabilities and low-observable characteristics of the JASSM-ER but adds another passive sensor produced by BAE Systems. .. Once LRASM is introduced, the Bone and the SBug will be capable of destroying land targets as well as moving vessels at sea from significant standoff ranges...


....by the time the Block 5? upgrade arrives the AF will have operated the U.A.I. missile (with the Litening Advanced Targeting Pod) allowing for tactics and operations experience to enhance the "A" updates and also the "C" as it replaces the remaining nine F-18 USN/ USMC squadrons; not including the many "B" USMC squadrons!

OMG!, is the "canoe club" actually ahead of the game by only progressing the LRASM on the SBug, and waiting for the AF to implement the Block 5 missile on the F-35 A/B/C!!
:shock:

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 24 Oct 2017, 07:04
by wrightwing
What's the current schedule for JSOW/JSOW-ER integration?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 24 Oct 2017, 11:03
by popcorn
Less urgency to integrate JASSM-ER on the F-35. OTOH the legacy fleets' ability to hold targets at risk will be greatly enhanced.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 24 Oct 2017, 12:34
by Dragon029
wrightwing wrote:What's the current schedule for JSOW/JSOW-ER integration?

Basic JSOW integration is already done and is part of Block 3F, although it's only integrated on the F-35C:

Image

[Edit:] And no, to my understanding it's not being integrated onto the F-35A, not until (possibly; customers buying the JSM might not have any use for it) in Block 4.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 24 Oct 2017, 13:29
by SpudmanWP
wrightwing wrote:What's the current schedule for JSOW/JSOW-ER integration?


Software-wise, JSOW is in Block 3F but is disabled till sep tests (due to no customer need).

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 24 Oct 2017, 18:16
by wrightwing
The point I'm getting at, is that JSOW/JSOW-ER will be available in the more near term, to provide extended stand off capabilities, until JASSM-ER integration. The higher priority is the F-16/18, and B-52/1B, as they can't get close to high threat targets. The F-35s can fly in undetected, and provide the targeting data, for the legacy fleet.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 24 Oct 2017, 18:32
by SpudmanWP
Is JSOW-ER even a PoR yet?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 24 Oct 2017, 22:37
by marauder2048
SpudmanWP wrote:Is JSOW-ER even a PoR yet?


There's money for a Phase 3 end-to-end flight test.
Actually, the prospects for it being PoR are better if the Qatari
JSOW order extends the production line; line shutdown was imminent.

For Block 4, (aside from B61-12) AARGM-ER would be my highest priority.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2017, 00:10
by squirrelshoes
Dragon029 wrote:Basic JSOW integration is already done and is part of Block 3F, although it's only integrated on the F-35C:

USN has always been the big backer/user of JSOW, I wonder why USAF was never interested since USN uses 'em in a lot of mission profiles (usually related to SEAD) very similar to what USAF could.

Anyone have insight?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2017, 01:58
by popcorn
squirrelshoes wrote:
Dragon029 wrote:Basic JSOW integration is already done and is part of Block 3F, although it's only integrated on the F-35C:

USN has always been the big backer/user of JSOW, I wonder why USAF was never interested since USN uses 'em in a lot of mission profiles (usually related to SEAD) very similar to what USAF could.

Anyone have insight?

Just a guess but AFAIK the AF stopped JSOW procurement in 2005 and perhaps had to do with the forthcoming availability of the F-35 and it's ability to penetrate into denied airspace.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2017, 02:53
by marauder2048
popcorn wrote:
squirrelshoes wrote:
Dragon029 wrote:Basic JSOW integration is already done and is part of Block 3F, although it's only integrated on the F-35C:

USN has always been the big backer/user of JSOW, I wonder why USAF was never interested since USN uses 'em in a lot of mission profiles (usually related to SEAD) very similar to what USAF could.

Anyone have insight?

Just a guess but AFAIK the AF stopped JSOW procurement in 2005 and perhaps had to do with the forthcoming availability of the F-35 and it's ability to penetrate into denied airspace.


JASSM came along.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2017, 04:22
by squirrelshoes
marauder2048 wrote:JASSM came along.

I'm not sure JASSM had anything to do with the SEAD mission that is favored by USN for JSOW.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2017, 04:30
by marauder2048
squirrelshoes wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:JASSM came along.

I'm not sure JASSM had anything to do with the SEAD mission that is favored by USN for JSOW.


I was suggesting that JASSM is the reason that the AF stopped procuring JSOW.

The Navy's decision to skip JASSM/JASSM-ER defies reason.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 02:43
by rheonomic
marauder2048 wrote:The Navy's decision to skip JASSM/JASSM-ER defies reason.


I'd say most of what the Navy does defies reason.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 03:44
by neptune
marauder2048 wrote:
squirrelshoes wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:JASSM came along.

I'm not sure JASSM had anything to do with the SEAD mission that is favored by USN for JSOW.


I was suggesting that JASSM is the reason that the AF stopped procuring JSOW.

The Navy's decision to skip JASSM/JASSM-ER defies reason.


....why focus USN development on JASSM when they are completing LRASM (JASSM+) for the SBug.
...the USAF is bringing JASSM to the F-35A/B/C, so both the planes being replaced (F-16/18) now have JASSM.
....will one size fit all, with UAI??
:)

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 20 Nov 2017, 03:04
by marauder2048
neptune wrote:[
....why focus USN development on JASSM when they are completing LRASM (JASSM+) for the SBug.
...the USAF is bringing JASSM to the F-35A/B/C, so both the planes being replaced (F-16/18) now have JASSM.
....will one size fit all, with UAI??
:)


JASSM-ER is ~ $1.2M/unit. LRASM is about $3M/unit.

On an unrelated (to JASSM) matter:

Not sure where to put this but it looks like JPO is considering
moving up the inclusion of Auto-GCAS. Block 4.1?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 21 Nov 2017, 00:10
by Dragon029
https://insidedefense.com/inside-navy/d ... next-month

Inside the Navy - November 20, 2017
DAB to consider new F-35 Block 4 plan next month
November 17, 2017 |
Courtney Albon Lee Hudson

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program expects to meet with Pentagon leadership in early December for approval of a new plan that will allow it to continuously develop software capabilities following completion of the post-system development and demonstration phase.

F-35 Program Executive Officer Vice Adm. Mat Winter told reporters in September he expected that approval to come in October.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Eric Fick, F-35 program deputy, told Inside Defense Nov. 15 that while the program expects approval for its new post-SDD strategy, the upcoming Defense Acquisition Board meeting is not solely focused on Block 4 follow-on modernization. It is part of the program's annual update with Pentagon acquisition executive Ellen Lord.

"It's giving her that look across the entire program, laying out the process that we intend to follow as we march forward in modernizing," he said.

The JPO will present a cost estimate for Block 4 during the DAB meeting, but an updated figure is being finalized as part of the fiscal year 2019 budget process, Fick said.

Inside Defense first reported in September the joint program office was adapting its strategy for post-SDD and follow-on modernization, a move that could change the way it develops and delivers new software capabilities. The new strategy would establish a bridge period between delivery of the final version of Block 3F software the program plans to release during development and the start of Block 4 follow-on modernization.

The program expects to deliver all Block 3F capabilities in "early 2018," Fick said. However, the software will have a number of known deficiencies that will not be addressed by the close of SDD next year. The bridge phase would allow the program time to address those deficiencies and incorporate fixes discovered during initial operational test and evaluation, which is slated to start early next year.

Congress has been waiting for months on the JPO to provide a detailed plan for Block 4. Under the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the report was due in March.

In the FY-18 defense policy bill, which passed the House and Senate this week, lawmakers fence off 75 percent of Block 4 funding until the program provides the report, which likely won't be delivered until after the Pentagon approves the plan. -- Courtney Albon and Lee Hudson

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 06 Dec 2017, 20:37
by SpudmanWP
F-35 may get Auto GCAS before official start of Block 4
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, CA -- The F-35 joint program office is considering outfitting the aircraft with an Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System prior to the start of Block 4 modernization. Auto GCAS had been envisioned as part of the service's Block 4 follow-on modernization effort, but Lt. Col. Tucker Hamilton, commander of the 462st Flight Test Squadron, told Inside Defense the program is considering installing the upgrade prior to the start of Block 4 as part of its...

Paywall: https://insidedefense.com/daily-news/f-35-may-get-auto-gcas-official-start-block-4

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 07 Dec 2017, 05:54
by rheonomic
Wouldn't be surprised if AutoGCAS makes it into an OFP before Block 4.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 26 Jan 2018, 17:41
by alloycowboy
Pentagon’s weapons tester slams new F-35 modernization plan as unrealistic

WASHINGTON — The F-35 program office plans to close out the joint strike fighter’s development phase this year and begin moving into modernization, but it could face an uphill battle, the Pentagon’s head of weapons testing warned in a report released Wednesday.

The F-35 Joint Program Office has known since 2016 that it likely wouldn’t be able to make its October 2017 goal post for wrapping up developmental test flights, instead estimating it would take until February or even May of this year to finish those tests and end the system development and demonstration, or SDD, phase.

That means initial operational test and evaluation, or IOT&E — the last milestone before full-rate production starts — won’t be able to begin until late 2018, Robert Behler, the Defense Department’s new director of operational test and evaluation, said in his office’s annual report.

(more at the jump)

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/01 ... realistic/

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 26 Jan 2018, 19:16
by quicksilver
Institutionally, the testing bureaucracies are always going to argue for more testing. The reality that few will voice is that the "traditional" positions they argue for are increasingly a liability when it comes to the general idea of 'speeding capabilities to the warfighter.'

DoD has fewer and fewer procurement programs to pay into the working capital accounts that many of these bureaucracies live on. Thus, the 'taxations' (my word) imposed on those programs that remain, start to become onerous. The wailing has only just begun...

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 31 Jan 2018, 02:40
by Dragon029
https://insidedefense.com/insider/f-35- ... er-planned

F-35 steering board approves plan to field Auto GCAS sooner than planned
January 30, 2018 | Courtney Albon

The F-35 joint program office announced today it has approved a plan to install automatic ground collision avoidance software on the Joint Strike Fighter five years ahead of its original schedule.

Inside Defense first reported in December the program office was awaiting a decision from the configuration steering board to finalize the plan.

In a Jan. 30 press release, F-35 Program Executive Officer Vice Adm. Mat Winter said the program plans to field the new technology by 2019.

The program had expected to incorporate Auto GCAS during its Block 4 Follow-on Modernization phase. However, as part of its new Continuous Capability Development and Delivery effort, the program is looking to incorporate new capabilities, like Auto GCAS, as well as fixes to already fielded software.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 31 Jan 2018, 03:09
by rheonomic
AutoGCAS integration onto most of the tacair fleet should be a priority. CFIT needs to become a thing of the past.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 31 Jan 2018, 23:25
by spazsinbad
F-35 Program Office Moves Up Implementation of Automatic Anti-Collision Avoidance System
31 Jan 2018 Brian Everstine​

"​The F-35 Joint Program Office announced it will implement anti-ground collision software into the fleet five years earlier than planned.

Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto-GCAS) software, which was developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory, was first installed in F-16s in 2014, according to a program office release. Since then, “seven pilots and six F-16 aircraft” have reportedly been saved by the system, causing the JPO to place “a premium” on speedy implementation.

“Expediting this lifesaving technology into the F-35 fleet by 2019 is estimated to prevent the loss of three aircraft, and more importantly, save the lives of three pilots,” F-35 Program Executive Vice Adm. Mat Winter said in a news release. “Over the service life of the F-35 fleet, having Auto-GCAS is estimated to prevent more than 26 ground collisions from happening.”

The F-35 fleet is currently equipped with a manual ground control avoidance system, which requires a pilot to be able to see and hear the system prompting manual control to fly away from the ground. This system is not effective if a pilot is spatially disoriented or incapacitated.

The new system is designed to determine when impact with the ground is imminent, and automatically maneuver by initiating a 5-G pull to recover. The software uses GPS position and system altitude, compared to an onboard Digital Terrain Database...."

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... ystem.aspx

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 01 Feb 2018, 20:11
by spazsinbad
More or less same info but from the JPO via LM PR: https://www.f35.com/news/detail/f-35-to ... nce-system

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 01 Feb 2018, 21:09
by quicksilver
Aiui, operators pushed this left. F-16 implementation technical baseline, NRE paid by LM.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 02 Feb 2018, 22:33
by spazsinbad
New Software Will Prevent F-35 Pilots from Flying into the Ground
02 Feb 2018 Hope Hodge Seck

"Even experienced fighter pilots are at risk of a phenomenon known as Controlled Flight Into Terrain, or CFIT. In 2016, it claimed the life of Marine Maj. Richard "Sterling" Norton during F/A-18 Hornet training at 29 Palms, California. Bottom line: When you're multitasking in mid-air at speeds of up to 1,000 miles per hour, it's easy to get disoriented....

https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... g-run.html

...When a crash is imminent, the system warns the pilot to prompt a recovery maneuver. But if no action is taken, Auto-GCAS will take over, righting the aircraft and executing a 5-G pull to get the plane safely off its collision course. Only after the threat has been avoided does the system hand controls back to the pilot....

...Officials with the Joint Program Office did not immediately provide responses to Military.com questions about which aircraft squadrons or which variant would be the first to receive Auto-GCAS. But it's supposed to be installed across the fleet by 2019.

The program executive officer for the F-35, Vice Adm. Mat Winter, said officials estimate expediting the technology, given existing statistics, will save three aircraft and three pilots. "Our acquisition team is working with the warfighters to ensure Auto-GCAS is in every F-35," Winter said in a statement. "... Over the service life of the F-35 fleet, having Auto-GCAS is estimated to prevent more than 26 ground collisions from happening.""

Source: https://www.military.com/defensetech/20 ... round.html

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 02 Feb 2018, 22:52
by marauder2048
New Software Will Prevent F-35 Pilots from Flying into the Ground
02 Feb 2018 Hope Hodge Seck

"Even experienced fighter pilots are at risk of a phenomenon known as Controlled Flight Into Terrain, or CFIT. In 2016, it claimed the life of Marine Maj. Richard "Sterling" Norton during F/A-18 Hornet training at 29 Palms, California. Bottom line: When you're multitasking in mid-air at speeds of up to 1,000 miles per hour, it's easy to get disoriented....


But we had it on good authority that

maus92 wrote:Navy and Marine pilots run into each other...

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 03 Feb 2018, 17:57
by rheonomic
marauder2048 wrote:But we had it on good authority that

maus92 wrote:Navy and Marine pilots run into each other...


Guess they'll need Auto ACAS as well...

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 03 Feb 2018, 20:32
by steve2267
rheonomic wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:But we had it on good authority that

maus92 wrote:Navy and Marine pilots run into each other...


Guess they'll need Auto ACAS as well...


Need a toggle switch on the stick or throttle: push it one way to avoid the other guy (ACAS), pull it the other way to automatically gun the other guy (AGUNS). :devil:

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2018, 22:49
by SpudmanWP
Block 4 is going to bring a ton of Israeli updates:

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded $147,963,919 for modification P00033 to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-12-C-0070). This modification provides for the procurement of Israel-unique weapons certification, modification kits, and electronic warfare analysis in support of the F-35 Lightning II Israel system design and development to provide 3F+ fleet capability for the government of Israel under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida (37.1 percent); El Segundo, California (17.6 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (17.2 percent); Nashua, New Hampshire (10.3 percent); Samlesbury, United Kingdom (9.8 percent); South Bend, Indiana (6.7 percent); St. Louis, Missouri (1.1 percent); and Wallingford, Connecticut (0.2 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2021. Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $147,963,919 will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

https://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1431640/

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2018, 23:04
by SpudmanWP
Per the USN FY2019 Budget, the Blcok 4.1 will release in Q1 2021 and 4.2 in Q1 2023.

Block 4.2 will include a new Tech Refresh that will include but not limited to:
TR-3 hardware redesign is required to support 4X processing growth factor based on the current processing estimates for all 3F capabilities. Redesign of TR-3 subsystems Integrated Core Processor (ICP), Aircraft Memory System (AMS), and Panoramic Cockpit Display (PCD)) configurations will contain new backplane technology, commercial operating systems, and modified middleware necessary to take the design of the TR-3 System through Critical Design Review (CDR).

The TR-3 program will continue design toward Critical Design Review of the Integrated Core Processor (ICP), Panoramic Cockpit Display (PCD), and Aircraft Memory System (AMS). In addition the TR-3 program will prototype the middleware software that will enable F-35's new messaging architecture delivered as part of TR-3 and ensure compatibility with current F-35 sensors. Additionally the initial lab stand up will occur to ensure timely first article delivery to the production line in FY23.


Huh.. No mention of AdvEOTS....

The USAF doc may have more info but they are historically late with their postings.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2018, 02:54
by wolfpak
Do the documents say anything about the incremental releases of software as they were talking about recently?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2018, 03:08
by marauder2048
C2D2

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2018, 03:18
by spazsinbad
Is this what is relevant from above?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2018, 03:38
by SpudmanWP
The F-35 FoM (Follow on Modernization) program is transitioning from its current form into the C2D2 program in 2019.

Old Budget item (ie Budget Activity 5 - FoM)
Image


New Budget item (ie Budget Activity 7 - C2D2)
Image

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program will develop and field an affordable, highly common family of next generation strike aircraft for the United States Navy, United States Air Force, United States Marine Corps and International Partners countries. There are three variants the F-35A Conventional Takeoff and Landing variant; F-35B Short Take Off and Vertical Landing; and the F-35C Aircraft Carrier suitable variant. Maximum commonality among the variants, consistent with National Disclosure Policy, will minimize total air system life cycle costs. Planning and pre-development systems engineering for the Block 4 continues as Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is met for each variant during System Development and Demonstration (SDD).
The JSF Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2) efforts provide incremental warfighting capability improvements to maintain joint air dominance against evolving threats. C2D2 capability requirements were initiated through ongoing Service-led operational analysis of warfighting gaps identified in the Fifth Generation Fighter Modernization Initial Capabilities Document (ICD), and through F-35 JSF Block 4 Mission Decomposition analysis completed in FY2014. These analyses serve as the basis for the F-35 Block 4 Capabilities Development Document (CDD), staffed through the Air Force Requirements Oversight Council (AFROC) and signed by the USAF Chief of Staff in January 2015. Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) approved the CDD 21 March 2017. Modernization activities in FY2017 and FY2018 include systems engineering, risk reduction, and infrastructure upgrades required to deliver full Air System capabilities to support initial fleet availability of Block 4 upgrades in FY2021.
C2D2 efforts designated as Block 4 include a robust weapons integration portfolio and provide new opportunities for International Partners to assess, integrate, and field unique capabilities based on global sovereign requirements.
The United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway are participants in F-35 modernization. The program shown here reflects United States Marine Corps funding. Total funding for all Service and International Partners is reported at the accomplishment/planned program level since activities support all aircraft variants. Foreign Military Sales are ongoing separately.

PE 0604810M/N ending in FY18 and continues in PE 0604840M/N as budget moves from BA05 to BA07


F-35 C2D2 provides continuing incremental upgrades of the three F-35 variants and associated ground equipment. Upgrades are essential capabilities for Air Interdiction and Strategic Attack, Close Air Support, Suppression and Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses, Offensive and Defensive Counter Air and expanded Surface Warfare. The C2D2 acquisition strategy is based upon incremental deliveries of capabilities. The strategy includes periodic deliveries with a focus on hardware, tech refresh and softwre. C2D2 capability planning includes an efficient transition from F-35 SDD to C2D2. As SDD development activities ramp down C2D2 will assume responsibility for improvements and modernization efforts.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2018, 01:49
by marauder2048
http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS25/20180412/108078/HHRG-115-AS25-Wstate-BunchA-20180412.pdf

Auto G-CAS has proven its worth and we have accelerated our effort to
implement this life and resource-saving system on our F-35 fleet with flight testing slated to begin
April of 2019.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 15 Apr 2018, 00:25
by SpudmanWP
This was posted elsewhere but belongs here too:

Image

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 15 Apr 2018, 07:43
by vanshilar
Hmm...unless I missed it, there's nothing in that slide about external fuel tanks. Is that being pushed back past Block 4?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 15 Apr 2018, 23:54
by SpudmanWP
EFTs just require someone to pay for their dev & testing. Nothing on the F-35 itself needs to be changed besides a little coding to handle fuel transfers.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 00:00
by wrightwing
vanshilar wrote:Hmm...unless I missed it, there's nothing in that slide about external fuel tanks. Is that being pushed back past Block 4?

There are a lot of other higher priorities. As is, the F-35 already exceeds the range of EFT/CFT equipped legacy aircraft. Upgraded engines will further increase the range/persistence advantages.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 00:32
by citanon
SpudmanWP wrote:This was posted elsewhere but belongs here too:

Image


Wait, it says on the slide:

"Non-MADL EA mech"

So, implying MADL apertures are currently used as EA mechanisms?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 00:54
by Dragon029
Possibly; there's some room in the interpretation for it to be talking about cooperative EW (supported via some mechanism (data link or not) other than MADL) mind you.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 02:25
by spazsinbad
Tried to find some info on above question to come across this tome: ALSO in a link posted here earlier by 'hornetfinn':

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=27248&p=359149&hilit=DataLinkProcessingAndManagement#p359149

Understanding Voice and Data Link Networking - Northrop Grumman's Guide to Secure Tactical Data Links Dec 2014

http://www.northropgrumman.com/Capabili ... orking.pdf (25Mb)

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 03:35
by SpudmanWP
Some other things of note:

Multi-ship IRST
Band 2/5 (are they adding this to the APG or active elements of the sensor bays?)
EA Enhancements
Adv Chaff (first mention of the F-35 carrying chaff)

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 04:50
by vanshilar
wrightwing wrote:There are a lot of other higher priorities. As is, the F-35 already exceeds the range of EFT/CFT equipped legacy aircraft. Upgraded engines will further increase the range/persistence advantages.


Yeah that was my thought -- that they keep pushing back EFT's implies that they're confident the F-35 already has sufficient range/persistence for most missions and doesn't really need more.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 06:03
by Dragon029
SpudmanWP wrote:Some other things of note:

Multi-ship IRST
Band 2/5 (are they adding this to the APG or active elements of the sensor bays?)
EA Enhancements
Adv Chaff (first mention of the F-35 carrying chaff)


In regards to the Band 2/5, it could be dual-use of existing VHF comms antennas.
Image
Alternatively, remember back to the coolant line insulation issue; the JPO stated back then that they were okay with not having insulation on those lines at the time, because they wouldn't need that extra cooling capacity out at the wingtips until Block 4 (at which time they could make the modifications when doing other hardware mods for what would have been Block 4.2 or 4.4). Perhaps they're adding transmitter equipment to the existing ASQ-239 antennas.
Image
As for chaff, we have seen cockpit sims show it loaded alongside flares:
Image
Image

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 09:05
by spazsinbad
F-35 Electronic Warfare Suite: More Than Self-Protection
01 Apr 2006 Ron Sherman

"...JSF designers are attempting an unprecedented level of integration--between elements of the electronic warfare suite and within aircraft mission systems. Older fighters like the F-14 had federated EW systems, explains Mark Drake, F-35 business development manager with BAE Systems, the designer of the F-35's EW suite. There was a box for the radar warning receiver (RWR) and a box for dispensing chaff and flares. The pilot would see a missile launch on one display and detect other signals in the environment through another system. The pilot was the ultimate information integrator....

...The self-protection system includes a response manager and RF/IR countermeasures. Two countermeasure dispensers are located in the aft area of the aircraft, carrying IR flares and chaff. The IR flares are relatively small, allowing more to be carried than was possible in predecessor aircraft...."

Source: http://www.aviationtoday.com/2006/04/01 ... rotection/

Air Expendable Countermeasures Chaff & Flare Products for Military Aircraft 14 Jan 2014
https://www.esterline.com/Portals/5/Pro ... .14-LR.pdf (1.1Mb)

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 16:37
by SpudmanWP
For the life of me I cannot find any mention of them in the budget. I was able to find tons of info on the towed decoy and the flares but no mention of F-35 Chaff.

Besides, the info from BAE makes no mention of a chaff dispenser.

Image

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 17:06
by spazsinbad
I'm only going on what is provided above with many mentions of chaff without any references in other articles over the years. It is all a mystery to me because I do not know what "provides two payloads" means. I'm guessing that two chaff clouds may be dispensed from the single canister? It seems the chaff and flares are in the same box - whilst the chaff dispenser would be difficult to see in that box - flares seen more easily probably. Perhaps because the chaff & flares are in the same box it is counted as one item? Dunno.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 22:44
by ricnunes
Yes, I also trend to agree with spazsinbad as well.

For example the AN/ALE-47 Dispenser which is carried by several aircraft including the Hornet/Super Hornet can carry both Chaff and/or Flares.
So, why can't the F-35 Countermeasure Dispensers which are most likely more advanced than the AN/ALE-47 be able to carry Chaff as well as Flares?

I also believe that the images posted by Dragon029 are also very telling - They show a Chaff loadout in the LM official F-35 simulator.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 22:46
by SpudmanWP
I just find it odd that there is no mention of them in the budget. I think that they were a feature that was planned to be used only if needed. Maybe the performance of the VLO signature, combined with EW & towed decoys convinced them that they were not needed.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 23:51
by marauder2048
SpudmanWP wrote:Some other things of note:

Multi-ship IRST
Band 2/5 (are they adding this to the APG or active elements of the sensor bays?)
EA Enhancements
Adv Chaff (first mention of the F-35 carrying chaff)


I'm assuming these are just software enablers of the existing HW.
The Band 2/5 kits were put under contract 3 years ago about the same
time they started buying ALE-70s.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2018, 00:07
by ricnunes
SpudmanWP wrote:I just find it odd that there is no mention of them in the budget. I think that they were a feature that was planned to be used only if needed. Maybe the performance of the VLO signature, combined with EW & towed decoys convinced them that they were not needed.


Well, if you're telling me that operationally the F-35 wouldn't carry or rarely carry Chaffs because of the combination of reasons/features that you mentioned - VLO signature, EW and towed decoys - is enough against Radar threats/missiles well than I would agree with you.
Even because if you put one Chaff into the Dispenser that means that the same dispenser will have to carry one less Flare and as far as I know Flares are the only IR countermeasures that the F-35 has so far, aren't they?
So if you already have effective radar countermeasures than it could be better to operationally "stuff" the dispensers with a Flare loadout only.

But then again, I can't see any reason for the F-35 not being able to carry Chaff if someone or some service wants them on the F-35. And I'm saying this right now and not in some future update.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2018, 00:19
by popcorn
What about a scenario, rare as it's likely to occur, where for some reason a F-35 engages a bad guy WVR and chaff allows an extra measure of protection vs. RF missiles?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2018, 01:12
by spazsinbad
This is weird. Evidence suggest 'Chaff & Flares' are carried simultaneously by the F-35 in the same box. So what is the problem again? Provide evidence that this is NOT the case and that the F-35 carries no chaff. Storm in a teacup methinks.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2018, 08:43
by spazsinbad
Entire OLD article may be of interest to some (ADF aircraft) here is a tidbit 'bout F-35s
Electronic Warfare: Australia's mixed record
10 Mar 2010 APDR

"...F-35 Lightning II.
The EW suite for this aircraft is understood to comprise:

the APG-81 AESA radar to provide a Stand-off RF jammer capability.

the AAQ-37 Defensive Aids Suite that provides a missile warner capability. Six IR sensors are distributed around the aircraft to provide a near spherical IR detection capability.

the AN/ASQ-239 Barracuda Passive Radar System (PRS), developed by BAE Systems that provides sensor fusion of RF and IR tracking functions and includes data links that form part of the Northrop Grumman-developed Communications, Navigation and Intelligence (CNI) suite.

The PRS provides basic radar warning, and multispectral countermeasures for self-defense against threat missiles, situational awareness and high-sensitivity electronic surveillance. Sensors are placed at 10 locations: on the wings' leading edges (6), trailing edges (2), and on the horizontal stabilizer's trailing edges (2).

Future development of the EW suite is expected to address an integrated network and exploitation functions...."

Source: https://www.asiapacificdefencereporter. ... xed-record

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2018, 09:14
by spazsinbad
CHAFF/FLARES for allsorts USAF: http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/produ ... 21-101.pdf (2Mb) page numbered 161 or physical page 166

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2018, 10:14
by spazsinbad
Israel Defense Directory 2015_16.pdf (43Mb) single page PDF from directory attached below.

http://www.sibat.mod.gov.il/Industries/ ... 015_16.pdf

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2018, 21:44
by ricnunes
popcorn wrote:What about a scenario, rare as it's likely to occur, where for some reason a F-35 engages a bad guy WVR and chaff allows an extra measure of protection vs. RF missiles?


While I'm not sure, I would say that at first glimpse your scenario makes sense or at least makes sense to me :wink:
And as such I guess that in situations where your scenario could eventually happen, "stuffing" Chaff and Flares in the same dispenser would indeed make sense.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2018, 22:39
by citanon
popcorn wrote:What about a scenario, rare as it's likely to occur, where for some reason a F-35 engages a bad guy WVR and chaff allows an extra measure of protection vs. RF missiles?



Or beast mode f35 engaged by pop up threat.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 19:08
by talkitron
Here is another article on ground collision avoidance software.

F-35 Gets Computer-Enabled Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance

Later this year, the Air Force will fly an F-35 equipped with an existing technology now in F-16s called Air-Ground Collision Avoidance System, or AGCAS.

The system is slated to be fully operational on an F-35A as early as summer, 2019, service officials said.

...

In a concurrent but longer-term effort, the Air Force is now also working to develop algorithms to stop air-to-air collisions. This technology, developers explain, is much more difficult than thwarting air-to-ground collisions because is involves two fast-moving aircraft, rather one aircraft and the ground.


https://defensemaven.io/warriormaven/ai ... Uh2Z4Fl4w/

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 21 Sep 2018, 12:27
by spazsinbad
F-35 AGCAS: Flying Itself out of Harm’s Way
04 Sep 2018 Nick Zazulia

"“It takes three years to build a fighter jet; it takes 26 years to build a fighter pilot. I can give you the price of an F-35, but … You can't put a price on your sons and daughters," said Lockheed Martin experimental test pilot Billie Flynn.

Flynn worked on one of the upcoming advancements for the F-35: an automatic ground-collision avoidance system (AGCAS). Currently on the F-16, for which Flynn also worked on it, the system does pretty much what its name says: automatically avoids the ground when necessary. To date, it has saved the lives of eight pilots (but only seven jets).

More specifically, the AGCAS uses GPS, terrain data and spatial awareness to recognize when the jet is heading toward the ground or a mountain, and if it gets to the specifically calibrated point at which it is likely too late for a pilot to react to that fact, the system intervenes and pulls the jet up on its own before returning control to the pilot....

...Flynn is now helping move the system from the F-16 to the F-35 five years ahead of schedule, for 2019 instead of 2024. And he says the applicability doesn’t stop there....

...One of the things that has expedited AGCAS’s move from the F-16 to the F-35 so much is the high quality of F-35 simulators, according to Flynn. But that doesn’t mean no actual testing is required. And that’s a tough prospect because you don’t want to send pilots spiraling at the ground in a fighter jet too often hoping the jet pulls them out. The solution is to trick the system.

Normally, the AGCAS activates at 2,300 feet. For testing, Lockheed adds 10,000 more to that floor, so the F-35 thinks it is close to the ground when it gets to 12,300 feet and pulls up. That way, testers can make sure it recognizes altitude and reacts appropriately without putting a test pilot in a situation where the AGCAS is the only thing preventing him from crashing.

Beyond the delicate balance between safety and not wresting control away from a pilot unnecessarily, another concern is electronic warfare. If a system can take over piloting the plane, is it exposing the jet to danger from hacking? Not according to Flynn.

“That has never been an issue with this system,” Flynn said. “The way we've always worked is, it defaults off. So, it's never going to fly you up. … Instead of someone taking control of an auto-driving car, we just return the control to the driver is the equivalent analogy.”

A so-called “nuisance fly-up” is a problem with the system that pulls the aircraft up unexpectedly. “We have spent years stripping out the potential of any nuisance issues with the flight controls and how the aircraft behaves,” Flynn said, confident that there will be no surprises when flying alone. “We are remarkably confident that we aren't going to have anything surprise us when we fly alone.”

Lockheed still needs to do live testing with the AGCAS in the F-35 before implementation. Flynn is confident, though. And once that is completed, the process is quick. “Once we're happy, it goes into all the jets as fast as possible. It's a software drop. It’s like updating your iOS."

Source: https://www.aviationtoday.com/2018/09/04/f-35-agcas/

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 02 Oct 2018, 23:17
by SpudmanWP
Tons of Block 4 info

F-35 upgrade plan awaiting approval from top Pentagon acquisition exec

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s acquisition executive is set to weigh in on the F-35’s modernization plan in the coming weeks, the F-35 program executive officer said Oct 1.

An update of the F-35’s acquisition strategy, which spells out the F-35’s Block 4 modernization plan and describes the agile software approach that the department intends to use to incrementally upgrade the jet, is sitting on the desk of Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord, Vice Adm. Mat Winter told reporters during a roundtable.

Winter characterized the document as going through the “final administrative engagements with her staff and the [Office of the Secretary of Defense] staff,” with Lord’s approval expected “within the next couple weeks,” he said.

The Navy and Air Force acquisition executives — James Geurts and Will Roper, respectively — have already approved the plan.

Although Winter did not provide details on the revised strategy, it is anticipated to contain new cost estimates for Block 4 modernization driven by the new agile software approach, which the F-35 joint program office terms Continuous Capability Development and Delivery or C2D2.

...

The program office has laid out a total of 53 capabilities to be included in Block 4, which range from updated software to a suite of new weapons like the Small Diameter Bomb II.

...

The first Block 4 capabilities are set to be delivered in April, Winter said, but about 22 modifications will require the F-35 to undergo a set of computing system upgrades called Tech Refresh 3. Those “TR 3” modifications include a new integrated core processor, memory system and panoramic cockpit display.


More at the jump
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/10 ... tion-exec/

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2018, 22:28
by SpudmanWP
Pentagon approves F-35 Block 4 strategy, but says cost and schedule estimates are proprietary
By Courtney Albon
October 25, 2018 at 9:10 AM

The Pentagon has approved an update to the F-35 Block 4 acquisition strategy nearly a year later than the joint program office anticipated, but officials do not plan to release cost and schedule details, citing proprietary concerns. Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews told Inside Defense DOD acquisition chief Ellen Lord approved the new strategy Oct. 16 "after extensive deliberations within the department which helped shape this new strategy." The updated strategy includes a new cost and schedule...


Andrews noted the program is expecting an independent cost estimate to be completed this fall.



Paywalled
https://insidedefense.com/daily-news/pe ... roprietary

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2018, 23:57
by popcorn
No worries...it's bound to be leaked soon enough.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2018, 00:51
by jetblast16
and panoramic cockpit display


Haven't been able to find too much on this. Does anyone know what the specifics are on these new "panoramic displays"?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2018, 04:27
by SpudmanWP
I think it will be an update of the same size. Maybe OLED with a higher pixel & color count.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2018, 09:32
by spazsinbad
Somewhere in this AVIONICS sub section of the forum there may be more detail about UPGRADES to the PCD, strangely enough have a look at: viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223

F-35 Display Improvement Air Force SBIR 2015.1 - Topic AF151-020
Opens: January 15, 2015 - Closes: February 25, 2015
Can't HEP meself: http://www.zyn.com/sbir/sbres/sbir/dod/af/af151-020.htm

SO GO HERE FOR DETAILS: viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223&p=285459&hilit=SBIR#p285459

"TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform AF151-020 F-35 Display Improvement
"OBJECTIVE: Develop displays for F-35 that have higher refresh rate, resolution, and brightness, with improved touch screens, optimized power/thermal management, and lower weight...

...The goal of this F-35 Display Technology Improvement program is identify, develop, and integrate technologies to achieve a threshold (objective) 84 Hz (108 Hz) update rate, 8 Mpx (32 Mpx) image resolution, 600 fL (1200 fL) sustained day luminance, 0.01 fL (0.001 fL) night luminance with electro-optical emissions compatible with digital and analog helmet/cockpit-mounted cameras, advanced touch screens compatible with flight-gloved hands, 2X (4X) less net power via higher efficiency materials and energy re-cycling, advanced heat transfer and storage materials, lower weight substrates and structural housings. The main focus is on improvements for the 20x8-in. primary multifunction display that can demonstrate life-cycle cost (LCC) or warfighter effectiveness improvements that would justify switching the from the current circa 2004 AMLCD designs to incorporate manufacturing technology improvements available in circa 2016 components...." READ MORE AT THE JUMP http://www.zyn.com/sbir/sbres/sbir/dod/af/af151-020.htm [no longer here] or at previous forum post above.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 06 Nov 2018, 17:13
by SpudmanWP
DiD sticks its foot in its mouth....

Lockheed Martin is being awarded with a contract modification in support of the F-35 Block 4 pre-modernization Phase II effort. Priced at $130.4 million the modification external link provides for requirements decomposition and design work that sees for the maturation of the aircraft’s weapon capabilities. Block 4 is part of the F-35 JPO’s Continuous Capability Development and Delivery or C2D2 external link effort that seeks to keep the fighter jet relevant against emerging, dynamic threats by quickly fielding incremental updates to the jet’s software, much like regularly updating one’s smartphone. The Block 4 update program will allow the aircraft to finally meet its full contractual specifications. The whole Block 4 update program is expected to cost $10.8 billion through FY2024. The contract combines purchases for the Air Force ($17.4 million), the Navy ($14.2 million), Marine Corps ($14.2 million) and for relevant international partners ($84.3 million). Work will be performed at Lockheed’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas and is expected to be completed in March 2020.


https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/f- ... ec-041009/

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 06 Nov 2018, 18:10
by spazsinbad
'SWP' do you mean 'DiD' has changed the original wording - here is original:
Contracts for Nov. 2, 2018 NAVY Release No: CR-212-18

"Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aerospace Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $130,359,625 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive fee contract (N00019-18-C-1004) in support of the F35 Block 4 Pre-modernization Phase II effort. This modification provides for pre-modernization requirements decomposition and design work for Block 4.1 Partner participant weapon capabilities for maturation to an air system requirements review level of maturity. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in March 2020. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Air Force, Navy); and non-U.S. Department of Defense (non-U.S. DoD) participant funding in the amount of $90,505,737 will be obligated at time of award, $13,262,261 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This modification combines purchases for the Air Force ($17,557,293; 13.5 percent); Navy ($14,223,730; 10.9 percent); Marine Corps ($14,223,730; 10.9 percent); and the non-U.S. DOD participants ($84,354,872; 64.7 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity."

Source: https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1680751/

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 06 Nov 2018, 19:02
by SpudmanWP
I don't fault DiD for changing (ie editorializing) on the $130mil award. I have a problem with the moving of the goalposts from Block 3F to now Block 4 in order to meet "contractual specifications".

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 06 Nov 2018, 19:13
by spazsinbad
SpudmanWP wrote:I don't fault DiD for changing (ie editorializing) on the $130mil award. I have a problem with the moving of the goalposts from Block 3F to now Block 4 in order to meet "contractual specifications".

Fair enough. DiD are suspect for sure.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2018, 20:37
by spazsinbad
Lockheed Martin receives F-35 avionics upgrade contract
28 Dec 2018 Gareth Jennings

"Lockheed Martin has been awarded USD712.5 million in support of the F-35 Lightning II Technology Refresh 3 (TR3) avionics upgrade. The contract, which was awarded by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 27 December, covers the development of advanced hardware related to the TR3 effort due to be rolled out from low-rate initial production (LRIP) Lot 15 in 2023.

The TR3 upgrade is part of the Block 4 (full combat capability) follow-on modernisation programme for the F-35, also known as Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2). The wider Block 4 capability is to be rolled out in four increments (Block 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4)…."

Source: https://www.janes.com/article/85430/loc ... e-contract



Source: [/quote]

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 02 Jan 2019, 11:14
by laos
Are there deadlines to achieve Block 4.1, Block 4.2 and Block 4.3 ?
Is TR3 part of Block 4.2 upgrade ?

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 02 Jan 2019, 15:29
by taog
https://www.govconwire.com/2019/01/prat ... -contract/

United Technologies Corp.’s (NYSE: UTX) Pratt & Whitney subsidiary has received a five-year, $230.1M contract from the U.S. Navy to support flight testing of a new F-35 aircraft propulsion system.

Pratt & Whitney will help test F-35 Block 4 engine technology for Navy, the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and non-Department of Defense entities, the DoD said Friday.

The company will also provide spare and repair parts, technical engineering services and special tooling and equipment as part of the fixed-price-incentive-firm and cost-plus-incentive-fee contract.

Both the Navy and Marine Corps will obligate a total of $20M in fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds.

Pratt & Whitney will perform contract services at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland and facilities in California and Connecticut.

The Pentagon expects contract work to finish in December 2023.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 03 Jan 2019, 04:40
by SpudmanWP
TR3 is part of Block 4.2.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 03 Jan 2019, 04:42
by weasel1962
laos wrote:Are there deadlines to achieve Block 4.1, Block 4.2 and Block 4.3 ?
Is TR3 part of Block 4.2 upgrade ?


On the 1st qn, there are no deadlines but a schedule of the lot when each block will be introduced (which the year is posted in this thread, just go back a few pages)

if you go back to pg 7 you will find the answer posted by Spuds for the 2nd question which as usual Spuds has beaten me to.

Re: F-35 Block 4

Unread postPosted: 03 Jan 2019, 05:31
by laos
weasel1962 and SpudmanWP - thank you.