Top Pilot:Air Force Should Put Brakes on All-Stealth Arsenal

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post15 Nov 2012, 06:16

The main reason that WSC has been increasing (more correctly increasing vs projection) is that they have continually cut the annual numbers in an attempt at kicking the can down the road.

btw, the biggest single chunk of WSC that is not the plane itself is Full Motion Simulators. Once you're done buying those you will see a good drop in year-to-year WSC. Leaving the build numbers alone will also allow the costs to track projections better.

Another item that you do not see in the schedule is Partner & FMS buys. They dramatically increase the numbers and allow economy of scale saving to kick in.
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Unread post15 Nov 2012, 06:36

SpudmanWP wrote:The main reason that WSC has been increasing (more correctly increasing vs projection) is that they have continually cut the annual numbers in an attempt at kicking the can down the road.

Yes, "kicking it down the road" is not a good strategy. The problem they were attempting to solve is to avoid large amounts of rework during concurrent development. The solution would have been to analyze the supply chain, maintain previously contracted parts supply, then store the sub-assembly for later integration when SDD is further along.

SpudmanWP wrote:btw, the biggest single chunk of WSC that is not the plane itself is Full Motion Simulators. Once you're done buying those you will see a good drop in year-to-year WSC. Leaving the build numbers alone will also allow the costs to track projections better.

I noticed that was included in WSC. Flyaway cost reductions are a good indication of a downward trend in WSC, when "one off" extras that wont be purchased later like Simulators, are removed from the WSC cost.
SpudmanWP wrote:Another item that you do not see in the schedule is Partner & FMS buys. They dramatically increase the numbers and allow economy of scale saving to kick in.
Except that partners like Australia are delaying their purchase, which IMO is not an intelligent move. They should delay the RAAF support & logistics buy, and instead buy a few more (4 or 8 jets) and keep them at Eglin for a few years, while the F-35 goes into FRP.
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Unread post15 Nov 2012, 07:51

Perhaps there is a misunderstanding on someone's part about the FMS Full Mission Simulators (not MOTION). To my mind any MOTION is real rather than simulated. The view inside the dome moves but the cockpit does not AFAIK. Yes the dome is '360' so it can give the appearance of a view all around but otherwise the F-35 pilot in the sim cockpit is fixed (the earth moves). Please correct me IF I have the wrong end of the stick. I'll go look for more info. As an aside we can see how heavily computer sims are relied upon for F-35 training in all respects. Big Savings there!

Military Flight Simulators Today 10 Aug 2010

http://halldale.com/insidesnt/military- ... tors-today

"...F-35 JSF Simulators...
...The prime contractor for the F-35 training system is Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training and Support (LM-STS). The Lockheed Martin plant at Akron is integrating the pilot trainers. Training system programme manager JoAnne Puglisi says that the first hardware is already arriving. Lockheed Martin Akron has previously made some fighter simulators including for the F-15 and F-16. The F-35 system will include Full Mission Simulators (FMS), Deployable Mission Rehearsal Trainers (DMRT) and Computer Based Training (CBT), backed by courseware and a training management system (TMS). An Integrated Training Centre (ITC) will be established at Eglin Air Force Base in NW Florida for all three F-35 variants. Other ITCs will be in Australia, Turkey and the UK, and maybe in other countries. Training at Eglin is scheduled to start in February 2010 for the F-35A and October 2010 for the F-35B STOVL variant. About 80 percent of the training syllabus will be common to all variants. At Eglin, there will be 10 Full Mission Simulators and 6 maintenance training devices, plus classrooms and a training system support centre. The FMS will have a SEOS 360 degree 2-metre diameter dome display with 25 liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCoS) projectors. Image generation will be from 23 Rockwell Collins EPX channels. Simulator-to-aircraft sortie ratio is planned to be 1:1 with longer sorties on the simulators, so simulator time will be more than aircraft time (after all, it's a lot cheaper!). The less-complex DMRT design has two cockpits with smaller visual displays and is mounted in a container that can be easily transported from site to site. Maintenance trainers are an integral part of the overall training system and the UK company EDM is building the first ejection seat and weapons loading trainers. Turning to the F-35 aircraft itself, it is to have embedded simulation and will have the US military P5 range-less GPS-based combat training system...."
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Unread post15 Nov 2012, 08:14

We used to have "sim parties" using networked PCs where our military and civilian test pilots, maintenance crew and other team members would get together and fly simulated combat missions. This was running on mid-range PCs, using various flightsim packages. These events were restricted to security cleared personnel to avoid giving away anything sensitive but were surprisingly realistic in terms of mission planning. We didn't have authorization for official "full mission simulators" as that was outside the scope of our flight test program.

I'm surprised its taken so long for the USAF to realize that a high-end laptop, with USB Throttle and Stick is actually useful for real training.
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Unread post15 Nov 2012, 08:38

Further on that score the RAAF are getting excited...

RAAF Boss: More Simulators Needed For JSF Nov 13, 2011 By Robert Wall DUBAI

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.asp ... 393684.xml [link requires sub now]

“The introduction of aircraft such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter may require heavier use of simulators than in previous generation of aircraft, says the chief of the Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshall Geoff Brown. The RAAF is already seeing with the active electronically scanned array radar-equipped F/A-18E/Fs that training challenges emerge due of the capabilities of the system officer. Because of the performance leap the sensor provides “it is very difficult to challenge [them] in the normal day-to-day flying.” He adds that “one of the issues we really have to get under control is system-based simulation.” The introduction of the F-35 will further complicate matters, forcing air forces to likely buy more simulators to train their pilots than they traditionally are used to, he suggests. “You can’t stress the pilot in the real environment anymore. That is one of the things we have come to terms with.”

The RAAF will use its Hawks to prepare pilots before they step into the JSF, with a replacement of that system not planned until around 2025, or about 5-6 years after it fields the F-35. Brown also notes that the need for longer range missiles that will fully take advantage of the range performance AESA radar.

Furthermore, he says, another issue operators have to be wary of is simply adapting existing fighter tactics to the new aircraft, noting it will be necessary to devise concepts appropriate to so called 5th-generation fighters. “5th generation aircraft will challenge us” as they are introduced, he says during the Dubai Air Chiefs Conference.”
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Unread post15 Nov 2012, 09:08

Simulator Brings New Level Of Realism to F-35 Training By DAVE MAJUMDAR 28 Nov 2011

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i= ... =FEA&s=SPE

"The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program aims to field a breakthrough
jet that will be the first mass-produced stealthy, supersonic combat aircraft, but it also aims to train its pilots on the most sophisticated simulators ever developed....

...But the realism extends beyond the aircraft and its subsystems. The F-35 FMS can replicate the tactical environment that a pilot and his wingmen would face in combat. The sims also can be linked, and pilots can experience flying in a multiship environment against a vast array of air and surface threats, Smith said.

The only situations that operational pilots might be afforded similar tactical training in real life is at large-force exercises like the Red Flag war games in Nevada.

"You'll be able to run that environment in the simulator," Smith said. "Having the FMS here at Eglin, you'll be able to link them and go out and fly a two-ship, four-ship, eight-ship [mission], whatever the mission calls for, to me is one of the key cornerstones of efficiency when it comes to flying training."

Moreover, it saves the services from trying to find "Red Air" adversaries for the F-35. F-22 Raptor pilots frequently complain about the scarcity of willing units to train against.

"Adversary support is going to be one of the hardest things to come by," Smith said.

Eventually, the simulator will be able to link to other F-35 bases and to different types of aircraft simulators across the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, Puglisi said.

In another major technical innovation, the F-35 FMS has briefing and debriefing areas, where pilots can go through a flight visually, minute by minute, angle by angle, with multiple students and instructors, Puglisi said.

During a simulator lesson, the instructor can mark events for later reference during the debriefing, Smith said. Everything the student is seeing, and what the instructor pilot is seeing at his console along with the audio feed, can be replayed later at whatever speed is needed...."

ARTICLE best read at source.
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Unread post15 Nov 2012, 09:33

Forgive me for my ignorance, but are we approaching a time where simulators are so real that having a pilot in the aircraft becomes more of a burden than a bonus. Is this yet another indication of the rise of the UCAV?...Instead of using F4 or F16 drones for target practise, will we see them doing BFM against each other while the pilots bums are on the ground?? Mabe in the next decade or two?..
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Unread post15 Nov 2012, 09:54

Here is mention of a 'special' F-35 motion simulator (for training test pilots) not for general use it would appear...

U.S. Government Refuses South Korean Flight Testing on F-35. F-15SE and Eurofighter Will Be Flight Tested For Competition While F-35 Tests Will Be Done On A Simulator June 7, 2012

http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2012/06/ ... simulator/

...Q: How can potential customers like Korea evaluate the F-35 capabilities?
Answer:
The F-35 has a classified, high-fidelity Manned Tactical Simulator that is used by the three U.S. services, eight partner nations and other potential operators to evaluate the F-35 and develop 5th Generation tactics. The simulator allows four F-35 aircraft to fly and operate together as they fight against complex airborne and ground-based threat systems. Air combat is evolving to depend more on stealth, sensors, sensor fusion and interoperable networks. So it is essential to evaluate advanced fighters using simulator systems that enable pilots to fly and fight together to defeat sophisticated threat systems. Pilots from the USAF, the USN, the USMC, and many international nations have extensively flown the high-fidelity simulator and verified it is the best tool to evaluate F-35 capabilities. All of the international nations who have selected and ordered the F-35 have evaluated its capabilities using the Manned Tactical Simulator.

Q: Can Korea fly the F-35?
Answer:
At this time the F-35 fleet is fully occupied with test, training and delivery activities, so Korea will not be able to fly the aircraft. Potential customers like Korea have the opportunity for multiple pilots to fly the high-fidelity Manned Tactical Simulator similar to operations conducted by the U.S. Services and F-35 international partners and customers. In addition, potential customers can also fly the F-35 Handling Qualities Simulator which is a motion-based system that allows an assessment of F-35 handling / flying qualities and is the same simulator used by test pilots for their initial training. Potential customers may also have the opportunity to closely observe F-35 flight operations, discuss F-35 capabilities with USAF and Lockheed Martin test pilots, participate in pre-flight and post-flight pilot activities, and observe or participate in numerous types of maintenance activities."
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Unread post15 Nov 2012, 10:16

Can't find the article but there was a report not too long ago about a system that would be able to simulate BVR engagements for F-35s in flight.. instructors running the courses would be able to generate virtual multiple bandits which would register on the F-35s' displays for pilots to practice their tactics. It would save a ton of money going up against a virtual opponent that you could configure and generate as needed while you get the most benefit from the F-35s' time aloft.
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Unread post15 Nov 2012, 11:49

Embedded training F35 22 May 2011

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... nlr#229854
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Dutch Space & NLR deliver F-35 Embedded Training System 12 July 2012

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... nlr#227929
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Unread post15 Nov 2012, 16:55

beepa wrote:Forgive me for my ignorance, but are we approaching a time where simulators are so real that having a pilot in the aircraft becomes more of a burden than a bonus. Is this yet another indication of the rise of the UCAV?...Instead of using F4 or F16 drones for target practise, will we see them doing BFM against each other while the pilots bums are on the ground?? Mabe in the next decade or two?..
The problem with that is the tremendous amount of data transfer that would be required. That ability simply does not exist today to allow even a single F-35 to operate remotely let alone a whole battlefield.

Then there is the issue of the datalinks being detected, jammed, hacked, or hijacked.

popcorn wrote:Can't find the article but there was a report not too long ago about a system that would be able to simulate BVR engagements for F-35s in flight.. instructors running the courses would be able to generate virtual multiple bandits which would register on the F-35s' displays for pilots to practice their tactics. It would save a ton of money going up against a virtual opponent that you could configure and generate as needed while you get the most benefit from the F-35s' time aloft.


The short answer is that embedded training for the F-35 allows for any threat & mission to be simulated and for multiple force types worldwide to cooperate in a training session.

Think of it this way, two F-35s are doing a simulated run against a carrier group. The F-35s are at Eglin AFB, the Carrier group is off of Hawaii, CAP is provided by some F-35Cs from PAX river, and some IADS work being done by a unit from Germany.
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Unread post15 Nov 2012, 17:18

Regarding the 'big chunk' of F-35's WSC cost coming from Full Mission Simulators... it amounts to about $3.6m of the $181m each in FY13. It's a good chunk of money no doubt, but, it's still pretty marginal when removing that from FY13's WSC cost if so wanted to exclude it, ie, @ still over $177m per pop.

The only thing which can have any chance of bringing actual WSC costs down near to current estimates for early FRP buy years would be if USAF combat aviation procurement budgets are funded at the massive increase over current levels as they are currently assumed to be funded. If such considerable increases in buying power via increased Procurement budgets do in fact materialize starting in FY15, only then can there be a better chance for near-term WSC costs reducing in kind and coming in closer to current expectations. If however budgets are constrained due to eg, austere Federal budget environments going forward and see only minimal increases in the medium-term at best -- as some are cautioning and assessing (SecDEF Gates recently being one of them) -- then of course the calculus is likely to be revised radically and uncertainties of the jet's affordability will likely mount.
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Unread post15 Nov 2012, 17:29

You seem to be in the habit of not reading the entire sentence.
btw, the biggest single chunk of WSC that is not the plane itself is Full Motion Simulators.
Take the Flyaway out of WSC and the FMS takes up more than 10% of what is left.

Throw in all the other standup costs that are thrown into WSC and you will see even more of a drop.

As far as increasing budgets, I hope they would bring the buy rates back up to 120 (F-35As) per year. They don't have the stones for that thought. They would either have to cut back O'Care & other handouts or eat the interest payments vs the lowering of WSC.
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Unread post16 Nov 2012, 02:02

spazsinbad wrote:Embedded training F35 22 May 2011

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... nlr#229854
__________________________

Dutch Space & NLR deliver F-35 Embedded Training System 12 July 2012

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... nlr#227929


Thanks, that was fast.. now if you could tell me where I put my car keys? :D
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Unread post16 Nov 2012, 02:56

popcorn wrote:Thanks, that was fast.. now if you could tell me where I put my car keys? :D

Do your car keys have the smart key-fob transmitter? If so, the EA-18 Growler can probably locate them with proper mission planing.

:cheers:
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