F-35B Ship Tests/Bringback & Endless CAS Discussion :-)

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Unread post05 Apr 2011, 20:49

VL F-35 Makes Headway Towards Sea Trials by Graham Warwick at April/5/2011

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... d=blogDest

"n numbers terms, the F-35B STOVL variant of the Joint Strike Fighter has made rapid flight-test progress since the beginning of the year, racking up 61 vertical landings compared with just 10 in 2010. Improving mechanical reliability and adding aircraft to STOVL-mode flight testing appears to be paying off.

re is still work to be done to clear the F-35B for initial sea trials, now planned for late October or early November.ording to Lockheed, two more vertical-landing (aka VL) test points are required: a pirouette VL to test side loads on the landing gear; and a 20kt-crosswind VL (for which the weather will have to cooperate).

In addition, 17 more unique short take-offs in different conditions and a fuel-purge test are required before the aircraft can be cleared for sea trials. Ship operability is one of the key characteristics that will determine whether the STOVL F-35 survives the two-year probation period imposed by defense secretary Robert Gates earlier this year.

Probation does not affect testing, but limits F-35B procurement to six each in FY2012 and 2013. Other key characteristics that will drive the decision on whether the F-35B will exit probation near the end of 2012 include weight, and specifically vertical-lift bring-back payload - roughly 3,000lb of unused weapons and fuel. The F-35B is meeting the spec, Lockheed says, but margin is tight."
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Unread post05 Apr 2011, 20:51

Here is an old story (thread elsewhere but worth repeating here) abou what is being done to USS Wasp and why:

Navy: Price tag to alter ships for JSF at least $70 million apiece
Ship will be available in 2012 Inside the Navy June 14, 2010 Dan Taylor and Jason Sherman

http://www.mikemooney.com/uploads/DMR_6-16-10.pdf (274Kb)

"The Navy estimates it will cost at least $70 million to modify each large-deck amphibious ship to accommodate the Marine Corps’ F-35B variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, including infrastructure modifications and efforts to mitigate engine heat from the short-take-off, vertical-landing JSF variant, according to a senior Marine.

Required ship alterations are scheduled to be identified in order to support the first operational F-35B Marine Expeditionary Unit deployment in 2014, two years after the service’s goal to have its first JSF unit operational -- a previously unreported milestone. Lt. Gen. George Trautman, deputy commandant for aviation, detailed the schedule for JSF ship integration efforts in written responses delivered last month to the House Armed Services Committee following a March 24 hearing.

Should the Marine Corps’ first JSF unit need to deploy before being fully integrated with other elements of the MEU, an L-class ship modified for JSF operations will be be available beginning in 2012, according to Trautman.

Naval Sea Systems Command, according to the three-star general, has identified $27 million worth of “cornerstone” modifications necessary for the L-class ships to accommodate the F-35B, alterations that are funded in the fiscal year 2011 spending request or programmed in the Navy’s FY-11 to FY-15 investment plan, according to Trautman. Not yet funded, but estimated to require $43 million per hull, are additional alternations needed to account for external environmental impacts, according to Trautman.

The “cornerstone alts,” according to a source familiar with NAVSEA plans, include carving out new areas on the ship to accommodate a Special Access Program Facility space, the Autonomic Logistics Information System infrastructure and a mission rehearsal trainer. In addition, alternations are required to integrate the F-35C, the Navy JSF variant, into Nimitz- and Ford-class aircraft carriers. Changes would include aircraft electrical servicing station modifications, ready room and aircraft intermediate maintenance department upgrades, space for battery storage and more.

The other category of ship modifications concerns what the Navy and Marine Corps designate “external environmental impacts” caused by high temperatures from the F-35B’s engine exhaust plumes. These effects will be the focus of development testing set to begin this fall “to assist in defining shipboard mitigation required to meet” the Marine Corps’ goal of having its first JSF unit operational by 2012, “such as relocating systems, material changes and shielding,” according to Trautman.

This fall, the Navy will proceed with a $1.4 million project that would cover the amphibious ship Wasp (LHD-1) with hundreds of sensors to accurately measure the effects of the fierce downwash from the Marine Corps’ F-35B, according to the offices involved in the effort.

Crews will modify the Wasp from Sept. 30 through Feb. 3, 2011, by installing nearly 500 sensors to measure the thermal, pressure and acoustic environment on the flight deck caused by the JSF STOVL’s hot downwash, which some are concerned could warp the deck or damage essential equipment nearby, according to a June 8 statement issued in response to questions from Inside the Navy provided jointly by the Naval Sea Systems Command Surface Warfare Directorate and the JSF program office.

The JSF program will foot the bill for the instrumentation package, which will be installed in advance of at-sea developmental testing of the aircraft in mid-March of 2011, according to the statement.

“The testing is planned to be conducted with two aircraft, which will perform vertical landing operations to Spot 7 and 9, short take-off operations and work within NATOPS [Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization] operating procedures for establishing hovers and translations to the desired landing spots,” the statement reads. Spots 7 and 9 are the aft-most landing spots on the port side of LHD-class ships.

“The testing will be conducted in a build-up approach with pilot qualifications first and one aircraft in the pattern followed by two-aircraft operations, with most landings occurring at Spot 7, which is the primary landing spot,” the statement continues. “The aircraft operations will serve to expand the operating envelope of the F-35B for follow-on testing.”

The program tentatively plans to use test aircraft BF-1 and BF-4 for the testing. BF-1 flew for the first time while using full vertical lift earlier this year.

JSF Integrated Test Force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD, is responsible for gathering the shipboard data, with NAVSEA in support.

Rear Adm. Mike Manazir, acting director of air warfare (N88), told reporters May 24 at the Pentagon that the service has already captured data at Pax River by blasting a square of ship deck-representative material and a bare metal piece with the downwash.

“We have sent that to NAVSEA right now,” he said. “They’re going through the actual specific analysis as to what the impingement does.”

Crews will place temporary coverings over vulnerable systems on board the Wasp while testing the heat and downwash effects of the JSF STOVL, Manazir said.

The Navy is also examining the effects of the F-35C carrier variant, which does not have a lift fan but uses the same engine as the STOVL plane, the rear admiral said. The service is testing the engine at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, and examining the data at Naval Air Warfare Center Lakehurst, NJ.

“Aboard the aircraft carrier, the F-35C exhaust impingement on the jet blast deflector has also been studied,” he said. “The aircraft obviously has a common engine, the F135, and so we took an airplane out at Eglin and did tests against just a flat plate. We’ve taken the data off of that and we’ve delivered it to Lakehurst.

“Lakehurst is going to take fleet representative JBDs [jet blast deflectors] and the cooling structure that’s associated with that,” he continued. “They’ll install it at Lakehurst, and we’re going to do tests against that jet blast deflector and those units will be able to be installed on a ship at a future date.”

Manazir said the problem is not the heat pattern on the JBD, but the fact that the F-35 and the F/A-18E/F Rhinos launch less than a minute apart and place a heat load on different places on the JBD.

“It means we have to have a slightly different cooling structure, which probably will involve extra piping in the JBD, but not that much of a change,” he said.

Trautman said that while alterations necessary to accommodate the JSF and its associated equipment are similar for L-class ships and aircraft carriers, the environmental effects of each F-35 variant pose different challenges.

“Environmental effects differ due to the unique take-off and landing characteristics of each variant,” according to Trautman. “The L-class F-35B integration challenges represent the most difficult situation for STOVL operations, when combined with the more robust CVN design and ship structure we anticipate less effort required for F-35B carrier operations.”
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Unread post05 Apr 2011, 20:53

Continued from the 'TESTING' thread:
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... t-405.html
NEPTUNE asked:

1- Are the Brits, still paying for the Short Rolling Landing Test for the "Bee"?, and when is the test results report scheduled? And is the test requirement in "excess" of the 3,000# bring back?

2- Now that the "Bee" is flying and making ground, is the USAF finally going to admit that the "Aaa" is less capable in the CAS replacement role of the A-10C and the "Bee" is the "right" a/c for that mission. Will the Army (the Client) have a say in the CAS type assignments? The ugly head of commanality rises again.

3- Is the 8,000m laser guided 70mm rocket a "Bee" candidate for the CAS role.
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Unread post05 Apr 2011, 21:01

Neptune, Q.1: Why would Brits or anyone pay for testing? The F-35 is being tested because it is. Perhaps you are thinking about the SRVL contract worth 13 Million dollars given to BAE to further develop SRVL for the USMC. It would be obvious that now that the RN is not going to use STOVL F-35Bs that they have no further interest in such matters for CVF (unless the USMC or other F-35B users what to use SRVL on their CVFs when cross-decking perhaps). I would guess that the RN by now know a lot about SRVL requirements for their CVF but the USMC want to know more for possible use of SRVL on CVNs to better fit with conventional ops. Now this idea is probably only for emergencies now that the USMC will also buy and operate some 80 odd? F-35Cs to keep the USN happy. Maybe the USMC won't fit in there either but it is likely. :-) :devil:

I would guess for emergency use only it would be prudent for the USMC to know more about possible SRVLs on their flat decks where otherwise they will do a vertical landing because that is their ordinary way of landing.

As for 'test results report' & 'bringback' part of question? DUNNO [STRINE (Ozstralian) for "Don't Know" (English)].
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Neptune Q.2 has been answered I gather on the original "testing" thread: (scroll down)
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... t-405.html
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Neptune Q.3 A recent 'F-35 int/ext weapons diagram' may answer your question. If not then the concept may be under development I gather.
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Unread post05 Apr 2011, 21:30

$70 million a ship is chump change.
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Unread post05 Apr 2011, 22:09

Similar story told on similar thread elsewhere probably...

USS Wasp Moves to BAE Shipyard for Modifications in Support of F-35 Testing January 18, 2011

http://defpro.com/news/details/21254/

"PORTSMOUTH, Va. | USS Wasp (LHD 1) made a "dead-stick" move down the Elizabeth River Jan. 13, to BAE Systems Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va., to begin the multipurpose amphibious assault ship's scheduled Phased Maintenance Availability (PMA).

"This is a $16 million CNO (chief of naval operations) availability primarily focused on critical work in the engineering department," said Capt. Brenda Holdener, USS Wasp commanding officer.

"In addition, we are doing $4.6 million of work for modifications to support the Joint Strike Fighter testing. It is much-needed work to improve the material condition of Wasp."

The PMA is a chief of naval operations maintenance period, less than six months in duration, for the accomplishment of labor-intensive industrial maintenance and modernization. During the availability, the ship will be in an extensive industrial environment with limited hotel services, with electricity and intermittent periods of potable water being available for use.

"While in the yards, Wasp will accomplish upgrades to both boilers and receive needed maintenance throughout the ship to sustain a high degree of condition readiness," said Cmdr. Stephen W. Connell, USS Wasp chief engineer.

The PMA is running concurrently with Wasp's Continuous Maintenance Availability (CMAV), which began in August 2010. While the PMA is specific to the JSF modifications and boiler upgrades, the CMAV is a more general maintenance period.

"There is a lot of work that needs to be done," said Lt. Cmdr. Arthur E. Harvey, USS Wasp maintenance officer. "Our plate is full, but with team work and coordination we will accomplish all of our objectives."

Because the ship will remain pier side for an extended period of time, many Wasp Sailors are using the time to attend schools and off-ship training. It is also a period where the crew can expect a regular schedule of drills to keep their skills sharp and to ensure continuity for when the ship leaves the yards.

"Operational readiness and success in the certification phase starts with effective training and drilling in the yards," said Cmdr. Howard B. Link, USS Wasp operations officer. "It is always a challenge to balance the demands of a heavy workload with a drill schedule, but it is necessary to make this extra effort to maintain readiness."

Wasp, the lead ship of its class, was commissioned July 29, 1989. Wasp is the tenth ship to bear the name Wasp. The 844-foot ship weighs 40,532 tons and carries a crew of approximately 1,000. Wasp was selected in 2010 to be the test platform for the F-35B Lightning II, the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the JSF.
----
From USS Wasp Public Affairs / NNS"
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Unread post05 Apr 2011, 22:21

Carrier Analysis Lab [CAL] Plots Jet Engine Change on L-Class Ships January 13, 2011

http://maquina-de-combate.com/blog2/archives/709

"In December, 2010 Navy and Marine Corps engineers and operational experts convened at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB MDL) in Lakehurst, NJ at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Carrier Analysis Lab (CAL) to identify the impacts and begin developing processes to change an engine on an F-35B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft while aboard an Amphibious Assault (L-Class) Ship.

In 2015, Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Air Combat Element (ACE) fixed wing operations are anticipated to be performed by the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, requiring that the full scope of supportability be performed aboard L-Class vessels deployed around the globe. The largest single maintenance evolution on the F-35 is the removal/replacement of the engine. Due to the size of the engine and space limitations aboard in-service ships, it was necessary for Navy engineers, aircraft handling officers and maintenance experts to meet to quantify the constraints and identify the steps necessary to solve this logistical puzzle.

The easiest place to determine the specifications and requirements for this configuration was at the CAL. The CAL facilities use Ouija board-like tables, scaled air vehicles/support equipment/aviation logistic items and an autonomous tracking system to automatically document the location and orientation of everything located on both carrier and L-Class flight and hangar decks. The CAL is the only facility, outside of actually being aboard ship, that operational deck flow efficiencies can be studied and manipulated.

During the December conference, three exercises were performed to depict the sequential removal, replacement and module change of an F-35B engine aboard two different classes of L-Class ships. According to Bill Mehl, Aviation/Ship Integration engineer at Lakehurst, “the exercise went extremely well and we were very happy with the data gathered. Working in this controlled environment certainly saves a lot of time, effort and money before actual shipboard operations ever take place.”

Capt Doug Pack, USMC Aviation and Ship Integration officer added, “through this effort, the logistical and operational constraints of performing an F-35 engine change aboard L-Class vessels have been quantified; and the groundwork has been laid for the overall way-ahead.”
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Unread post05 Apr 2011, 22:25

Wasp Serving as JSF Test Platform Navy NewsStand - Story Number: NNS101001-01 Oct/1/2010
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Johnny Michael, USS Wasp (LHD 1) Public Affairs

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... -nns02.htm

"NORFOLK (NNS) -- As part of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) testing process, a team from Norfolk Naval Shipyard's (NNSY) Engineering and Planning department inspected spaces onboard USS Wasp (LHD 1) Sept. 7-14 in an effort to account for the ship's total weight.

The week-long data-gathering project culminated with what is known as an "inclining experiment" Sept. 14, in which the 17 person NNSY team conducted a series of measurements in approximately 1,600 spaces to determine Wasp's current weight and center of gravity.

To accomplish such a large undertaking, the team broke up into smaller groups, each tackling the spaces of a specific ship's division. The groups were escorted by Sailors from the division they were inspecting, and they determined what changes have occurred within a given space since the ship was last measured in 1990. The NNSY personnel then determined how much weight the ship normally contains in that given space versus what would be there when the ship deploys.

"It's a lot of spaces, and they're up and down as well," said Allen Lester, a naval architect with the team. "We started in a pump room [at the bottom of the ship] and ended up on the 0-7 level [at the top]."

Lester's team mate, naval architect Bobby Griffin, noted that the process of getting to, and into, each space has been made immeasurably easier thanks to a cooperative and knowledgeable crew who cut a lot of time off the whole process.

During the experiment, Wasp was disconnected from shore services and rested about 20 feet off the pier. Tugs were on hand to keep the ship in place, but backed off and let the ship drift during each measurement.

"We took the draft readings, and from that we determined how much the ship weighs. We also have three inclinometers which measured the attitude of the ship," Whitaker said. "We had 28 concrete blocks on the flight deck: half on port, half on starboard. From there we moved the blocks around a number of times to get different readings to help determine what the center of gravity for the ship is."

Each of the docking blocks weigh in at 18,000 pounds, and are nearly the size of a compact car. The entire process helped determine what impact shifting loads from various aircraft and equipment on the flight deck will have on the ship's center of gravity.

Wasp Damage Control Assistant, Cmdr. Todd Mencke, said the purpose of the inclining experiment was to determine the success of a recent fuel compensation tank installation, and to provide data needed for upcoming JSF modifications.

"It's to verify the ship's stability, providing accurate information after the fuel compensation tank installation, and in preparation for the JSF," said Mencke.

Wasp was selected this year to be the test platform for the F-35B Lightning II, the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the JSF. The ship will undergo a series of modifications and assessments through the coming months as it prepares to be the first ship to carry the new fighter.

For more news from USS Wasp (LHD 1), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd1/.

http://www.asdnews.com/data_news/ID30888_600.jpg

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Unread post05 Apr 2011, 22:54

spazsinbad wrote:Probation does not affect testing, but limits F-35B procurement to six each in FY2012 and 2013. Other key characteristics that will drive the decision on whether the F-35B will exit probation near the end of 2012 include weight, and specifically vertical-lift bring-back payload - roughly 3,000lb of unused weapons and fuel. The F-35B is meeting the spec, Lockheed says, but margin is tight."


I'm hoping that's a typo and its 3000lbs plus fuel. If not, it means it has 600lbs less bring back than the Harrier (2400lbs stores plus 1200lbs fuel). That's basically fuel, AMRAAMs, and the Gun pod.
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Unread post05 Apr 2011, 23:11

Graham Warwick wrote the above. Later I'll look around for more information on bringback.
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Unread post05 Apr 2011, 23:18

A lot of text about F-35B/C from DON to read here: [excerpt below is only some of it]

House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces Hearing [March 16, 2011]

http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2011/03/16/5381333.htm

"...A discussion regarding all issues, associated risks, feasibility, costs and schedule of integrating the F-35B and F-35C aircraft onto L-class and CVN-class ships for forward deployed operations, and what date changes to L-class ships will be made to support the forward deployability of the Marine Corps' planned Fiscal Year 2012 IOC date for F-35B.

Several separate ship alterations have been identified as requirements to integrate F-35C into CVN aircraft carriers. These modifications provide electrical power supply, expanded weapons handling, construction of secure access facilities, Autonomic Logistics Information Systems, mission rehearsal training, and Joint Precision Approach and Landing System. F-35C thermal impacts on CVN are currently being modeled with promising preliminary results. Land based testing of the F-35C exhaust plume on the jet blast deflector are scheduled to be tested this summer, will validate the analysis, and will determine the scope of the JBD modifications.

Ship modification will continue to be incorporated into CVN68-class aircraft carriers during planned maintenance availabilities in advance of F-35C arrival. Required modifications that are not part of the CVN78-class design will be incorporated into the ship prior to F-35C deployment.

A discussion regarding the analysis and probability of when the F-35B and F-35C are scheduled to declare Initial Operation Capability as it relates to the restructured System Design and Demonstration (SDD) program delay resulting from the recent technical baseline review.

The DoN is assessing the implications of the restructured program to F-35B and F-35C IOC. The Navy and Marine Corps require that the aircraft attain service-specific mission oriented capabilities as defined in the F-35 Operational Requirements Document (ORD) prior to considering declaration of IOC. The Marine Corps requires a Block 2B weapons system capability and the Navy requires a fully-ORD compliant Block 3C capability. Implementation of the TBR findings and development of detailed test schedule is still in progress. Once the findings have been assessed, test schedules further matured, and all information incorporated into a new Integrated Master Schedule, the services will be able to assess and establish IOC dates for each F-35 variant...."
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Unread post05 Apr 2011, 23:18

I think it's 3000lbs plus fuel as all the KPI charts so far state.

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Unread post06 Apr 2011, 00:45

SWP, would you have the date of publication/origin URL of those charts please? Thanks.
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Unread post06 Apr 2011, 01:35

Speaking of CAS, its ironic that the F-35B STOVL fighter doesn't even have an internal gun/cannon (assume it was sacrificed for the lift-fan). So here's a jet that will be dedicated to servicing Marines in the close air support arena and they don't even get a gun! The supposed work-around is to build a gun-pod for the B model (inventing that wheel all over again--recall the F-4C/D with a 20 mm gun pod--one never could be sure of the accuracy). In this case, hanging a gun pod on the JSF will no-doubt impact both its weapons payload and STOVL performance...
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Unread post06 Apr 2011, 01:57

The same statements are repeated endlessly:

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... c&p=163090

Is the lack of an integrated gun on the F-35B/C...

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... r-asc.html
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