F-35 Block 4

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spazsinbad

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Unread post30 Nov 2016, 20:41

: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
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Unread post24 Jan 2017, 19:23

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

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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.

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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).

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Unread post25 Jan 2017, 00:14

Is the AGM-158 JASSM in 3F or has it been moved to the right of 4?
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Unread post25 Jan 2017, 00:22

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.

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Unread post25 Jan 2017, 00:37

6 X AIM-120D by end-2017 ... nice.
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Unread post25 Jan 2017, 00:42

popcorn wrote:6 X AIM-120D by end-2017 ... Nice.

Wait... WHAT?

Um, I never said that.
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Dragon029

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Unread post25 Jan 2017, 00:56

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?
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Unread post25 Jan 2017, 01:10

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.

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popcorn

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Unread post25 Jan 2017, 01:21

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?
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Unread post25 Jan 2017, 01:37

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.
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Unread post25 Jan 2017, 21:46

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
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Unread post23 Oct 2017, 16:11

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.
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Unread post23 Oct 2017, 16:25

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
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Unread post23 Oct 2017, 17:57

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.
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Unread post23 Oct 2017, 18:05

Ouch.
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