Block 3F Status / Schedule

Cockpit, radar, helmet-mounted display, and other avionics
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

jetblast16

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 387
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2004, 00:12
  • Location: USA

Unread post27 Sep 2017, 00:49

I do not think passing on converting 108 aircraft to 3F is wise.


Agreed. Just bloody update them. You spent enough time and money already, why not maximize your return?
Bringing BLAST since 2004...(In my opinion)
Offline
User avatar

Dragon029

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1086
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2014, 07:13

Unread post27 Sep 2017, 01:21

Keep in mind that it's not just a financial issue, it's very much, if not primarily a matter of limited resources in terms of facilities and personnel. I do believe they should all be upgraded, but we'll just have to see what's feasible.
Offline

sunstersun

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2017, 06:50

Unread post27 Sep 2017, 01:25

The optics of not upgrading them are really bad.

Media attention matters.
Offline
User avatar

steve2267

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1125
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2016, 17:36

Unread post27 Sep 2017, 02:41

If upgrading all these aircraft is simply a matter of upgrading the processors (i.e. the computer hardware) and then uploading the latest software, then I agree with all the comments thus far.

But I have read some comments or stories either here on F-16.net, or elsewhere on blogs or news articles online, that various different aircraft of this lot may require OTHER hardware to be upgraded to implement other fixes or enhancements developed during SDD testing. So, hypothetically speaking, if some aircraft required new wing or fuselage structure to get to the latest "3F" configuration, and that hardware upgrade or change is difficult / expensive to implement... then it may not make sense to do a "3F" software/computing upgrade to, for instance, an -A model, if the structure cannot take the full 9g load factor that the software can now deliver.

Perhaps I've misread some of these comments or stories, and it really is just an argument over manpower/ cost of upgrades. But again, if there are other systems that are impacted or affected, then perhaps the "3F upgrade" of these jets is not so simple / so inexpensive. Time will tell.
Take an F-16, stir in a little A-7, bake, then sprinkle on a generous helping of F-117. What do you get? An F-35.
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 6966
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post27 Sep 2017, 03:11

There are 2 upgrade paths needed, Block 3i/F & "Concurrency Mods" and one does not depend on the other.

The Block 3i/F is a couple of weeks but the Concurrency can be over a month depending on how old the plane is.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Offline

marauder2048

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 186
  • Joined: 14 Mar 2012, 06:46

Unread post27 Sep 2017, 03:58

sunstersun wrote:The optics of not upgrading them are really bad.

Media attention matters.


The media can't be bothered to accurately report on these matters though Winter
is himself partially to blame for being less conversant with the details than his Air Force
counterpart.

To review:

108 birds in pre Block 3F configuration:

26 require SW only upgrades (3 days/aircraft)
19 require all of the above and new signal processor cards (+ 0 days/aircraft)
18 require all of the above and the newer HMDS (+15 days/aircraft)
45 require all of the above and TR2 (+30 days/aircraft)


It's also worth pointing out that there are no fewer than six F-35 training squadrons
planned and those 144 aircraft do need to come from somewhere.
Last edited by marauder2048 on 27 Sep 2017, 18:30, edited 1 time in total.
Offline
User avatar

neptune

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2604
  • Joined: 24 Oct 2008, 00:03
  • Location: Houston

Unread post27 Sep 2017, 04:28

marauder2048 wrote:
sunstersun wrote:The optics of not upgrading them are really bad.

Media attention matters.


The media can't be bothered to accurate report on these matters .....

It's also worth pointing out that there are no fewer than six F-35 training squadrons
planned and those 144 aircraft do need to come from somewhere.


Excellent brake down in the 108 of the 200+ a/c in the training commands and the operating units.
It still begs the simple question of "What is needed?" Training with the simulators has brought us to this point of 100's of qualified pilots with the Block 2B a/c. Why spend the time/ money to upgrade training a/c when the same money can be invested in 3F/ 3F+ a/c for operating units. The training continues as you deliberate this question and will continue despite what is decided, so why waste the effort. If a global conflict begins tonight, the a/c are too little and too late to matter. Focus on what the warfighter "Needs" and not on what you want! When the 3000+ a/c have been built, then you can reconsider these upgrades along with the 30 odd Block 20 F-22s.
IMHO
:wink:
Offline

talkitron

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 306
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2007, 10:55

Unread post27 Sep 2017, 04:36

I'd be interested in the lifetime software maintenance cost of supplying un-ugraded jets with bug patches.
Offline

aw2007

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 77
  • Joined: 30 Sep 2008, 21:06

Unread post27 Sep 2017, 15:08

Is it correct to assume all of the assigned aircraft at Hill only require software update from 3i to 3f since I recall them receiving TR2 processor upgrade prior to IOC, as opposed to their Marines counterpart.
Offline

juretrn

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 198
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2016, 01:09

Unread post27 Sep 2017, 15:51

talkitron wrote:I'd be interested in the lifetime software maintenance cost of supplying un-ugraded jets with bug patches.

Couldn't software be just upgraded (patched), as long as no hardware upgrades are needed, via ALIS?
Offline
User avatar

Dragon029

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1086
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2014, 07:13

Unread post27 Sep 2017, 15:57

The issue though is of having to develop, test and maintain software for the old TR1 hardware and/or whatever the deal is with the signal processing cards that are added when going to Block 3F.
Offline

talkitron

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 306
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2007, 10:55

Unread post27 Sep 2017, 16:03

Other US aircraft exist in various legacy software versions and all of have to be updated separately. For example, all Hornets and older Super Hornets use X Series software and Block II Super Hornets use HOL (Higher Order Language, meaning here C++) software. The software complexity for 2B/3i F-35s is presumably higher.

http://wiki.scramble.nl/index.php/Boein ... ation_Sets
Offline

wolfpak

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 71
  • Joined: 12 Jan 2014, 19:26

Unread post27 Sep 2017, 16:14

Bet that the new administration in Washington will have the jets updated at least from a software standpoint. How many additional aircraft can you buy if you don't update the jets? It's not a 1 for 1 ratio. The costs of the upgrades are far less than that of a new aircraft so you would get more bang for the buck by upgrading. Good business practice would have you update them. Notice that the GBSD and LRSO down selects were not protested by the losing bidders? We're seeing a more no-nonsense approach to defense procurement largely because the administration won't tolerate business as usual. Think you will see changes to existing programs to comply with "Good Business Practices" in the coming years.
Offline
User avatar

spazsinbad

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 19371
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post15 Oct 2017, 05:08

marauder2048 wrote:
US considers non-combat-rated subset of F-35 fleet
18 SEPTEMBE, 2017 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM BY: STEPHEN TRIMBLE WASHINGTON DC
"Scores of US-owned Lockheed Martin F-35s would remain in the fleet with a software operating system rated below combat-grade under one of several cost-saving proposals under review by the Joint Programme Office....

Where's the news here? Winter's account is even substantially less detailed than Harris' testimony from Feb.

Went looking for the HARRIS quote from 16 FEB 2017 and could not find it on this forum but it may be somewhere....
US Air Force must retrofit 108 F-35As
16 Feb 2017 Leigh Giangreco

"The US Air Force’s number of F-35As in need of hardware or software retrofits has grown to 108 aircraft, and the service could deliver more fighters without Block 3F capabilities.

The air force is now facing a fleet of 108 F-35As that must be retrofitted from the Block 2B or 3i configuration, Lt Gen Jerry Harris, USAF deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements, states in a 16 February testimony to Congress. The USAF and the F-35 Joint Programme Office are working together on a Block 3F upgrade plan.

When the USAF declared its F-35A variant ready for limited combat last August, the service’s chief of Air Combat Command noted the aircraft still needed significant and would gain greater capabilities with impending software and hardware upgrades. Block 3F and 4, which the USAF expects will be available in 2018 and 2021, will increase the F-35’s weapons capacity and improve targeting.

Twenty-six of those 108 aircraft will require a software-only upgrade, according to Harris. In addition to software modifications, 19 aircraft will also require new signal processor cards which the service says will take an average of three days to install and test. The service must install 18 aircraft with a newer helmet mounted display system, in addition to the processor cards and software, which will take 15 days to install.

“The remaining forty-five aircraft will require significant hardware modifications in the form of a Tech Refresh 2 modification,” Harris states. “This modification consists of twenty-six major components and takes approximately 30 days per aircraft to install and checkout.”

The USAF’s operational test aircraft also require Block 3F hardware modifications. But with availability of the full fleet of 23 aircraft projected in 2018, those modifications have fallen behind
....

...Lt Gen Chris Bogdan told reporters following the 16 February hearing that Gilmore's comments applied to some Block 2B F-35s, which have older hardware. The current plan has only a certain number of aircraft receiving upgrades because the F-35 joint programme office asks the services when aircraft should be modified, according to Bogdan.

"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."...

...Bogdan reiterated that the services are examining a longterm modification plan and are trying to design some hardware changes that could be retrofitted in the field, rather than in the depots."

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... as-434241/
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
Offline

blain

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 21
  • Joined: 04 Apr 2017, 22:52

Unread post26 Oct 2017, 21:55

There was a lot of hand wringing about the orphan F-35s. So are they are or they not going to modify these jets? It would seem the upgrade would mainly be limited to a software update and some hardware upgrades. But does anyone know if it will be cost prohibitive to upgrade these jets vs buying new ones?

Key question is whether they can upgrade them at reasonable costs to a better than 4th gen fighter condition. Look at the USAF when they began procuring the F-16. The C model had more capability than the A model, yet there was value in keeping the A model in the fleet.
PreviousNext

Return to F-35 Avionics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest