Block 3F Status / Schedule

Cockpit, radar, helmet-mounted display, and other avionics
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tincansailor

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Unread post26 Aug 2017, 12:40

But again aircraft have gone to war with contractor personnel manning the equipment well ahead of IOC. So I'm not sure what relevance there is, other than having 3F complete is a baseline certification of capability. Yet even then, while not recently but in the old days, they have "duct taped" equipment on the console and used totally untested weapons/sensors as well. Those were shown to be "fully operationally capable."


Thanks for clearing that up. Your right about not getting hung up on the term FOC. I think the more important question is how many F-35s will be upgrades with the 3F software, this year, and next?
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ricnunes

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Unread post26 Aug 2017, 12:42

neptune wrote:
sunstersun wrote:Does 3F mean the F-35 is FOC?


No,

at the end of 2016 the USAF should have had delivered approximately 103 F-35A from LRIPs 1 to 8.

LRIP 9 delivering 2017 is 26 F-35A and as this is the 8th month (Aug) and it is just now delivering the first of the "3F", probably 1/2 or 13 "3F" a/c will deliver this year, I hope.

Does 13 a/c constitute a USAF fighter squadron that can deploy??, unknown to me.

The difference between "3I" (first 13) and "3F" (second 13) is the apps required for the upgrade.
:)

IMHO, .......sorry if this is confusing your FOC question.


But isn't the upgrade from Block 3i to Block 3F a very straightforward (and rather quick) one? Just like updating a computer's operating system (or even an application).
If this is the case those Block 3i F-35As would become Block 3F in a matter of days, wouldn't they?
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post26 Aug 2017, 18:41

The 3i --> 3F install kit is ~$2500, labor not included.

Between the USMC & USAF they ordered ~10+ Block 3i-->3F upgrade kits as part of the FY2016 budget. No word on when they will be installed.
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ricnunes

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Unread post26 Aug 2017, 19:10

SpudmanWP wrote:The 3i --> 3F install kit is ~$2500, labor not included.

Between the USMC & USAF they ordered ~10+ Block 3i-->3F upgrade kits as part of the FY2016 budget. No word on when they will be installed.


Thanks for the heads up SpudmanWP.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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alloycowboy

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Unread post27 Aug 2017, 00:46

ricnunes wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:The 3i --> 3F install kit is ~$2500, labor not included.

Between the USMC & USAF they ordered ~10+ Block 3i-->3F upgrade kits as part of the FY2016 budget. No word on when they will be installed.


Thanks for the heads up SpudmanWP.


Just going back to a February 16, 2017 Flightglobal article regarding aircraft modifications required for F-35A's to receive the block 3F software.

-> 26 F-35A's will require software only upgrades

->19 F-35A's will require signal processor cards which will take three days to install and test

->18 F-35A's will require newer helmet mounted display system, in addition to the processor cards and software, which will take 15 days to install and test

->45 F-35A's will require the "Tech Refresh 2 Modification" which consists of twenty-six major components and takes approximately 30 days per aircraft to install and checkout.”

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... as-434241/

This creates an interesting fleet management problem because the last batch of 45 F-35's are going to be a pain in the a$$ for both the air force and Lockheed Martin because they are going to be in a non standard configuration.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post27 Aug 2017, 04:12

This creates an interesting fleet management problem


Not really as the 37 will stay 3i for now and when it's time to go 3F, they will install any hardware (card or display) at the same time. They will not install 3F without all the hardware in place and they will not update the hardware till the 3F patch is ready.

The last batch of 45 is even simpler as they will go in for the TR2, 3i, and 3F updates all at the same time. Most of those are at Luke anyways and since they are a training unit, NBD.

btw, thanks for the numbers
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neptune

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Unread post27 Aug 2017, 12:41

alloycowboy wrote:...
This creates an interesting fleet management problem because the last batch of 45 F-35's are going to be a pain in the a$$ for both the air force and Lockheed Martin because they are going to be in a non standard configuration.


....IMHO, not really, the purpose of those F-35 platforms are for training.

Example (recent) 185? F-22 Raptor program a/c; 36 for training Block 20 and 149 for Frontline Block 30/35.
LM has made a proposal to upgrade to Block "30ish" the Training Block 20 a/c.

Restating;
2016 (and previous years) LRIPs/1-8 (Blocks 2A/2B/3I) are a 103 a/c delivered F-35A for training a/c to the USAF.
2017 (this year) LRIP 9 (Blocks 3I and 3F) are a 26 a/c delivered F-35A a/c to the USAF. The 3F may go to Frontline units.

"The services have to decide when and where they want to do that, if they want to do that at all," he says. "Because some of those planes could remain in a 2B TR1 hardware configuration for a very long time, for example if it’s a training airplane." Gen. Chris Bogdan, 16Feb17.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... as-434241/
:)
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wolfpak

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Unread post27 Aug 2017, 19:12

If there is a large difference between the capability of the training aircraft and the combat one won't that diminish the training value and force more training to the operational squadrons? I realize that there are systems other than the avionics that will need to be updated on older jets but shouldn't take that much to replace a few LRU's and load a new tape.
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Unread post27 Aug 2017, 19:19

SpudmanWP & Neptune.

The headache comes for the fleet manger of the F-35A comes in having to carry extra parts for these 45 non standard F-35A's.

The orginal premise of JSF program is that you would have all three varients of the F-35 using as many as the same parts as possible to keep costs down.

Similar to how South West Airlines, West Jet and Ryan Air operate a standardized fleets of Boeing 737's.
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ricnunes

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Unread post27 Aug 2017, 19:26

neptune wrote:
alloycowboy wrote:...
This creates an interesting fleet management problem because the last batch of 45 F-35's are going to be a pain in the a$$ for both the air force and Lockheed Martin because they are going to be in a non standard configuration.


....IMHO, not really, the purpose of those F-35 platforms are for training.

Example (recent) 185? F-22 Raptor program a/c; 36 for training Block 20 and 149 for Frontline Block 30/35.
LM has made a proposal to upgrade to Block "30ish" the Training Block 20 a/c.

Restating;
2016 (and previous years) LRIPs/1-8 (Blocks 2A/2B/3I) are a 103 a/c delivered F-35A for training a/c to the USAF.
2017 (this year) LRIP 9 (Blocks 3I and 3F) are a 26 a/c delivered F-35A a/c to the USAF. The 3F may go to Frontline units.

"The services have to decide when and where they want to do that, if they want to do that at all," he says. "Because some of those planes could remain in a 2B TR1 hardware configuration for a very long time, for example if it’s a training airplane." Gen. Chris Bogdan, 16Feb17.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... as-434241/
:)


What you say also makes sense indeed. Thanks for sharing this info. :)
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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ricnunes

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Unread post27 Aug 2017, 19:29

alloycowboy wrote:SpudmanWP & Neptune.

The headache comes for the fleet manger of the F-35A comes in having to carry extra parts for these 45 non standard F-35A's.

The orginal premise of JSF program is that you would have all three varients of the F-35 using as many as the same parts as possible to keep costs down.

Similar to how South West Airlines, West Jet and Ryan Air operate a standardized fleets of Boeing 737's.


But they have the same parts. The differences between Block 3i (or older Blocks) from Block 3F apart from the obvious (combat) capabilities is the software and one or another occasional electronic related components. The rest is the same.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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krorvik

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Unread post27 Aug 2017, 19:58

So, when development is still ongoing (and that'll likely be "until the machine is retired") - differences will exist between groups of planes at all times.

That does not necessarily mean they will not converge towards the same timeline. The important goal is not that they always be similar - it is that their upgrades follow common paths and procedures.
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alloycowboy

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Unread post27 Aug 2017, 21:40

krorvik wrote:So, when development is still ongoing (and that'll likely be "until the machine is retired") - differences will exist between groups of planes at all times.

That does not necessarily mean they will not converge towards the same timeline. The important goal is not that they always be similar - it is that their upgrades follow common paths and procedures.


Wow, actually because their is so much commanality between all three varients of the F-35 the USAF, Navy, and Marines are going to change to change the way they do things.

http://www.sldinfo.com/f-35-maintenance ... rdization/
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Unread post27 Aug 2017, 21:57

alloycowboy wrote:
krorvik wrote:So, when development is still ongoing (and that'll likely be "until the machine is retired") - differences will exist between groups of planes at all times.

That does not necessarily mean they will not converge towards the same timeline. The important goal is not that they always be similar - it is that their upgrades follow common paths and procedures.


Wow, actually because their is so much commanality between all three varients of the F-35 the USAF, Navy, and Marines are going to change to change the way they do things.

http://www.sldinfo.com/f-35-maintenance ... rdization/

That article discusses the challenges of a common maintenance and logistics operation, six years ago no less.

Krorvik pointed out that it is not needed to have each yet at the exact same block at the same time, but that they can follow the same upgrade path over their time following the same procedures, that is the commonality.
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Unread post27 Aug 2017, 23:36

alloycowboy wrote:The headache comes for the fleet manger of the F-35A comes in having to carry extra parts for these 45 non standard F-35A's.


The only real difference is in some of the avionics. I would not be surprised if they did not stockpile & recycle the Block 2B parts as they upgrade them to 3F. Since most (if not all) of the 2B jets are at Luke AFB, the logistics impact is negligible.
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