Block 3F Status / Schedule

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

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Unread post14 Dec 2017, 05:47

B Twenty what?
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rheonomic

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Unread post14 Dec 2017, 06:34

SpudmanWP wrote:B Twenty what?


Dunno. Must have mistyped.
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neptune

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Unread post14 Dec 2017, 07:58

rheonomic wrote:The terrible reporting on defense projects makes me almost wish everything from now on is just done classified like B-21.

.....quite the contrary, "In the public eye" is only as useful and informational as the "Subject Matter Experience" of said public. My knowledge of the F-86 and F-100 is relevant to the F-35 as they all have wings and jet engines. Being aware of the programs and system development of the F-35 has been as normal and common as other modern systems; no more, no less. The communications protocols is a common typical evolution and will continue to evolve, thus UAI. Etc.

...No, I much prefer the arm chair "has Beens" and "Monday morning quarterbacks" with no skin in the game proved wrong time and again, much to their chagrin. The F-35 Fan Club has members who are program evolution knowledgeable and understand the progress that has been made and planned for the future. SMEs?, No!, but definitely knowledgeable. How accurate is the public info, maybe 75%; now having posted my guess, I wait for the bricks to fly!

...Scope- coming closer to the goal here at the end of SDD,
...Schedule- we are not "At War", so much longer than originally "guessed" but as the a/c numbers start to add up, it may even finish ahead of schedule, at the end of the 3,000+ a/c,
...Budget- at the end of 3,000+ a/c at <$80. Mil ea. (Maybe even under cost estimates/ goals)

Program is successful; On Scope, Under Budget, Ahead of schedule!
:roll:

..this F-35 program has many great positive experiences that will be built upon for future generations of a/c, It has "Raised the Bar"!!
:D

...B-21, has two or four engines (bet to be won), and it also has stealth?, S.A., ISR capabilities and carries many weapons (hopefully with UAI); No definitely not the same program!
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quicksilver

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Unread post14 Dec 2017, 16:06

steve2267 wrote:Understand why you posted -- i.e. the new direction, first story out etc.

Yet the "journalist", and I use the term very loosely here, made no mention of the incoming DOT&E director, and quoted the former director in such a way that any lay person could (would?) easily presume he was still the director. Very poorly written at best, intentionally misleading at worst. With the quote of POGO at the end, I lean towards intentionally misleading, or hurtful towards the F-35 program.


What some of the reporting has missed is that Behler's predecessor would have waited for the completion of mods to all 23 OT jets before beginning any IOT&E events. The mods will be completed on a significant number of jets far earlier than others; it would have been a very expensive proposition in terms of time and money to have them sitting idle when meaningful test work could be completed. Thus, they have (rightfully, imnsho) determined that there are some things they can complete earlier given the number of jets and other test resources available. This is good news.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post14 Dec 2017, 17:39

I think one of Gilmore's largest offences is his opposition the the Block Buy plan for late LRIP aircraft which added $Billions to the cost of the F-35 program.
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steve2267

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Unread post14 Dec 2017, 18:17

SpudmanWP wrote:I think one of Gilmore's largest offences is his opposition the the Block Buy plan for late LRIP aircraft which added $Billions to the cost of the F-35 program.


Would the Block Buy have occurred without his opposition?
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post14 Dec 2017, 18:34

No way of knowing, but having the "head tester" for the F-35 program continually come out and say that there is "too much risk" in going with a Block Buy (there was none, but hey, who needs facts in politics) certainly added a lot of pressure to not go with that plan.
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neptune

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Unread post14 Dec 2017, 20:15

SpudmanWP wrote:No way of knowing, but having the "head tester" for the F-35 program continually come out and say that there is "too much risk" in going with a Block Buy (there was none, but hey, who needs facts in politics) certainly added a lot of pressure to not go with that plan.


....hopefully it's not over yet, the MYP-1 for LRIPs 12/13/14 and fiscal years 18/19/20 is still being negotiated for 11 countries and 440 F-35s @ $85ish million ea. These a/c would deliver in 20/21/22 timeframes.

I can't see this administration passing up the political opportunity to proclaim "Good Times" for more than 1,300 supplier companies and of course, promoting their skill at achieving the additional cost savings for the tax payers.

Hopefully if MYP-1 gets approved, they move on to MYP-2 and could overcome the loss of the Block Buy.
(Thank goodness Dr. Mikey is gone!) IMHO
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post14 Dec 2017, 20:26

Unfortunately the loss of the Block Buy opportunity can never be "overcome", the money is already spent.
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quicksilver

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Unread post14 Dec 2017, 21:25

BBY is still in work, in a fashion. The SAC-D approved (in line w the other 3 committees iirc) the program's request for EOQ funding to the tune of $660.9M. The language provided some stipulations and acknowledged the unusual circumstance of EOQ funding outside an MYP, but viewed the ~$1.8B savings to the program as sufficient justification.
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Unread post19 Dec 2017, 21:49

http://www.edwards.af.mil/News/Article/ ... acy-tests/

F-35 testers wrap up Weapons Delivery Accuracy tests

By Kenji Thuloweit, 412th Test Wing Public Affairs / Published December 19, 2017
An Edwards AFB F-35A Lightning II fires an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile as part of weapons delivery accuracy testing. The 461st Flight Test Squadron and F-35 Integrated Test Force completed WDA testing in early December, which concludes a large and important part of F-35 developmental test and evaluation. (Courtesy photo by Chad Bellay/Lockheed Martin)
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An Edwards AFB F-35A Lightning II fires an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile as part of Weapons Delivery Accuracy testing. The 461st Flight Test Squadron and F-35 Integrated Test Force completed WDA testing in early December, which concludes a large and important part of F-35 developmental test and evaluation. (Courtesy photo by Chad Bellay/Lockheed Martin)


Testers from the 461st Flight Test Squadron and F-35 Integrated Test Force (ITF) completed a major test milestone bringing the F-35 Lightning II’s full combat capabilities closer to the battlefield.

Weapons Delivery Accuracy (WDA) flight tests began in July 2013 and testing wrapped up earlier this month. The WDA portion of the F-35 developmental test and evaluation mission ensures the fifth-generation fighter’s weapons system can deliver lethal ordnance both air-to-air and air-to-ground using the jet’s warfighting Block 3F software.

The ITF used all three F-35 variants and delivered air-to-air missiles including AIM-120s, the AIM-9X and the United Kingdom’s Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile. The WDA tests also confirmed air-to-ground delivery of the Paveway IV laser-guided bomb, GBU-39 small diameter bomb, GBU-12, GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition and the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon.

“Weapons delivery accuracy tests are important, because without proof that the F-35 can actually drop these weapons where we need them to go, then the F-35 is just an information-gathering system,” said Lt. Col. Tucker Hamilton, 461st FLTS commander and F-35 ITF director. “The F-35 proved it was extremely capable in delivering these weapons where we wanted it and how we wanted it delivered. These are the most complicated and intricate missions that we had and the jet did extremely well.”

Hamilton said the air-to-air accuracy tests finished in August with air-to-ground tests ending in October. The F-35 ITF then capped off WDA tests by completing testing on the F-35’s GAU-22 25mm gun at the beginning of December. The WDA gun tests included the Air Force’s A variant where the gun is internal carried and on the Marine Corps’ and Navy’s B and C variants, which employ a gun pod beneath the jet.

Each weapon test required multiple missions including software development, “dry runs” and then the actual weapon release. Not including the gun, Hamilton said the F-35 ITF delivered 55 weapons during WDA testing, which was mainly done over the military sea range off the California coast and at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California.

Maj. Jonathan Gilbert, 461st FLTS, completed the final air-to-ground WDA test as a new test pilot to the F-35 Integrated Test Force.

“I didn't even know it was a milestone, I just knew I was dropping a weapon,” said Gilbert. “It wasn't until after that I felt the excitement from the team and the squadron to close out the WDA program. It is a credit to the team and the planning as it did not appear this would be achievable in the time the squadron accomplished it in, but yet they were able to complete it. I just had the pleasure of dropping the last one.”

Hamilton said the F-35 Joint Program Office analyzes the data from all the WDA tests and any upgrades to the F-35 mission systems software will be sent out to the F-35 operational fleet.

“When they get their 3F software, the one that is going to be productionized for full 3F capability, [the fleet] will be confident they can load these weapons and drop them on the target they’re selecting,” Hamilton said.

The F-35 Integrated Test Force, operating at both Edwards AFB and at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, continues to conduct developmental flight test for the Defense Department’s F-35 Joint Program Office. Ongoing testing at Edwards AFB includes mission effectiveness testing, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime interdiction, and offensive and defensive air-to-air combat testing.

“The ITF takes these extremely challenging and intricate data requirements and then finds a way to coordinate with multiple outside agencies, drones, tankers, ranges and basically conduct these missions and make them happen in a historical manner,” said Hamilton. “No one before them has ever been able to pull off executing weapons deliveries like the individuals in the ITF.”
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spazsinbad

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Unread post19 Dec 2017, 22:06

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RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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alloycowboy

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Unread post19 Dec 2017, 22:12

From Billy Flynn's twitter feed via the ever lovely Lara Seligman :inlove:

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SpudmanWP

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Unread post21 Dec 2017, 22:02

I'd just like to point out this gem from 2014.

“There will be no gun until [the Joint Strike Fighter’s Block] 3F [software], there is no software to support it now or for the next four-ish years,” said one Air Force official affiliated with the F-35 program. “Block 3F is slated for release in 2019, but who knows how much that will slip?”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/new-us-st ... until-2019


lol, Not only did it not "slip", they beat this by 2 years.
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wolfpak

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Unread post21 Dec 2017, 23:24

Just think all the fuss about software releases is overdone. During much of WWII a new block was introduced to the production line each month for the B-17. Granted they were simpler planes but it still took effort as they were structural and systems modifications to the aircraft. As mentioned by the program personnel I see software mods free flowing outside of the blocks especially after UAI is introduced. Think it will save a lot of electrons in these on-line boards and blogs that way. Might by able to shutter a coal fired power plant! LOL
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