F-35 program updates

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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bring_it_on

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Unread post08 Jul 2016, 17:13

Farnborough 2016: F-35 testing enters final phase ahead of peak production
Jane's Defence Weekly 08-07-2016


Lockheed Martin and the Joint Program Office are entering into the final stages of the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme ahead of the ramp-up to peak production, a senior official told IHS Jane's on 7 July.Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin's executive vice president and general manager for the multinational programme said that the final few SDD test items should be completed largely by the end of this year, with SDD certification to be wrapped-up in 2017. After SDD is fully finalised, the way will then be clear to begin ramping up production to its planned peak of between 170 and 180 aircraft per year by 2023.

"We're just now beginning to finish-up SDD, and have about 18 months to go until that has been completed," Babione said.

According to Babione, the remainder of 2016 SDD testing will see a surge in weapons integration, with the necessary range time having already been secured ahead of time. Software is also being developed, with the final touches to the Block 3F package (full combat capability) now being undertaken at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) in California and Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. Block 3F needs to be delivered to the US Air Force (USAF) before the service will declare initial operating capability (IOC) for its F-35As between August and December of this year, and to the US Navy for it to declare IOC on its F-35C jets in 2018.

Further to the flight trials, this final phase of SDD will see structural testing come to a conclusion. All three aircraft variants are being tested to 16,000 flight hours (the equivalent of two full service lives). Testing of the A model is already complete, while that for the B and C models will be completed by the end of this year.

Finally, the finishing touches to the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) will be made during this closing SDD period. The USAF requires the ALIS 2.02 standard for its IOC declaration, with the final ALIS 3.0 version to follow after. "We are focused like a laser to get [ALIS 2.02] to them," Babione said.

Following the final weapons, software, and structural tests this year, 2017 will see a winding-down of the SDD flight trials, Babione noted, with the emphasis instead switching to reports and certification.

Once SDD is completed, the programme will then begin the process of ramping up to peak production in the coming years. Although the F-35 is currently in low-rate initial production (LRIP), Babione noted that with 200 aircraft on course to have been built by the end of this year the programme is already turning out the sorts of numbers that would be considered full-rate production for other platforms. "To all intents and purposes we are now at the numbers that others would consider to be full-rate production," he said.

With SDD drawing to a conclusion, Babione said that he was extremely buoyant about the current state of the programme. To date, 60,000 hours have been flown across the test and training fleets, which compares with a total of 27,000 hours just two years ago. "And this rate will now rise exponentially," he said.

Lockheed Martin currently has a performance-based logistics (PBL) contract target to deliver a 50% availability and 75% mission effectiveness rate. In terms of availability, Babione said that the F-35 is now at about 60% (compared with 35 to 40% two years ago), and its mission effectiveness rate (as measured by the pilots) is between 85 and 90%. All of these metrics compare highly favourably to current aircraft types in service, he noted.

The maintenance rates on the F-35 are proving to be less than those of other types, such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon. "The meantime between failure [MTBF] rate for the [Block 2B - initial combat capability] LRIP 6 and 7 F-35s is about six to seven flight hours, while that for [Block 3i - initial full capability] LRIP 8 is about eight hours. Those earlier jets that are being retrofitted to the latest current standards are showing similar improved figures," Babione said, adding, "The F-16 is significantly worse than this."

With all three variants having met their SDD key requirements, and with the programme now progressing to plan, Babione enthused that "there are good things on the horizon" for the F-35.

Comments

Babione's upbeat assessment of the current state of the F-35 programme backs-up earlier statements that issues raised in a recent critical report by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) 2015 Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) had already been identified and had either already been rectified or would soon be.

Issues mentioned include problems with the aircraft's ejection seat; lengthy maintenance durations due to heat management concerns, particularly with regard to the weapons bays; vibrational and acoustic stresses affecting the weapons bays; mechanical rubbing of the gun; manoeuvrability issues discovered during air combat trials; manoeuvrability issues on early Block aircraft when fully fuelled; in-flight refuelling restrictions for the hose-and-drogue F-35B and F-35C; speed restrictions on the use of the internal weapons bays and countermeasures for the F-35A; and structural cracking among others. Also, the report noted that the current timetable to have SDD completed by August 2017 in time for the commencement of initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) "is unrealistic".

The issuance of a critical report followed by a robust defence has now become a familiar theme for the F-35 programme. For those outside looking in, it can almost seem as if there are two separate realities when it comes to the programme; one where everything is behind schedule and over budget, and in which the F-35 is single-handedly bleeding the defence-industrial complex dry, and another where all the former issues have been resolved and the effort is forging ahead to budget and schedule, and in which the F-35 will be the answer to the West's combat aviation prayers for approximately the next 30 years.

For its part, Lockheed Martin and the JPO are both publically confident on the F-35's ability to now deliver its promised capabilities on time and to budget. The truth (or otherwise) of this confidence will be made known in the next couple of years.

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Unread post08 Jul 2016, 17:36

Farnborough 2016: USAF to declare F-35 IOC sooner rather than later



The US Air Force (USAF) expects to be able to declare initial operating capability (IOC) for the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) sooner rather than later, the chief of Air Combat Command (ACC) said on 7 July.Speaking ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow, General Herbert Carlisle said that there are now no issues that would affect the declaration of IOC, and that he expects this to happen towards the beginning of the service's timetable for doing so.

"There is nothing '[amber]' or 'red' that could stand in the way of IOC, and aircraft and aircrew-wise we are on track. We need to do some pilot verification in July, but I believe that we will hit the front-end of the August to December IOC window," Gen Carlisle said.

With the US Marine Corps (USMC) having declared IOC for its short take-off and vertical landing F-35Bs in 2015, the USAF has targeted a goal for IOC of its conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35A before the end of this year (the US Navy will do the same for its carrier variant [CV] F-35C in 2018).

In order to achieve this date, it must have between 12 and 24 fully mission-capable aircraft (with Block 3F software) with trained air and ground crews, and available parts for deployment and sustainment. "IOC for us is capability rather than calendar driven, [and] we will make the IOC decision when these are all in place," the general said. Once IOC is declared, the USAF plans initially to field it in the basic close air support (CAS), air defence, and basic suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) roles, before rolling out more advanced functions and capabilities.

Although the USAF plans to build-up the F-35's capabilities incrementally, Gen Carlisle said that he would have no qualms with sending the aircraft directly into combat, if it were shown to be needed.

"That is the whole purpose of IOC," he said. "We have a capability plan that we are working on that would first see the F-35 deployed on a TSP [Theater Security Package] to either Europe or the Pacific. Will it be in the Middle East? Yes, absolutely. That isn't in our near-term plan, [but] I would send the F-35 into combat in a heartbeat if a commander asked for it."

Gen Carlisle has been extremely pleased with how the USAF's preparations for IOC have gone, and with the potential that the F-35 has to offer the service in the future.

"The F-35 is doing spectacular, and although it is still in its SDD [System Development and Demonstration] phase it is actually ahead of where the [Lockheed Martin] F-22 [Raptor] was at this stage in its development," he said, adding, "I am a huge fan of this airplane, and it will change the way that we fight."

As noted by Gen Carlisle, the F-35 will afford its pilots more situational awareness via its sensor fusion technologies, as well as the advantages of stealth and an electronic warfare capability that is "orders of magnitude better than anything that has come before".

Air combat trials flown against Lockheed Martin F-16 and Boeing F-15 Aggressor aircraft have seen the F-35 come out on top on every occasion. "The F-35 did not lose a single engagement," he said.

The F-35 has also shown itself to be a capable close air support (CAS) platform, the general added. "The jets now have Block 3i software (initial full combat capability), so they are not quite there yet, but the Block 3F (full combat capability) and 4 (increased combat capabilities) aircraft will have a full-up CAS capability. The important thing for the F-35 is that it will be able to do CAS where other aircraft cannot - where you would lose F-16s and A-10s."

Not only is the F-35 hugely capable in its own right, Gen Carlisle said, but its advanced capabilities help to improve the abilities of those older fighters that are flying alongside it. "It makes every other [friendly] aircraft in the fight better. The F-22 did that, but the F-35 takes it to the next level."

COMMENT
Although the bedrock around which the USAF's future force will be built, the F-35 is but one of a number of platforms that the service will be fielding over the coming decades.

Aside from the F-35, Gen Carlisle took time during his briefing at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) to spell out some of the ACC's other near-term priorities, and to address some of its challenges.

In terms of reports that the F-22 production line might be restarted to boost numbers, Gen Carlisle noted, "I would love to have 700 F-22s [compared with the 195 that were built], but the challenge to that is the cost and time that would have to go into restarting the line. To do that while we are trying to [build the] F-35 at a high rate, and while we are looking at what comes next after fifth-generation - I think that the money could be better spent."

On the subject of the Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, Gen Carlisle confirmed the earlier announced plans to begin the divestiture process in the 2021 to 2022 timeframe, although this is "slipping to the right", he said.

"I'm the last person in the world who wants to retire aircraft - I don't have enough already. The A-10 is doing really well in the fight [against Islamic State]," the general added.

In the short-term the USAF has plans to replace some A-10s with F-16s, and there is a long-term plan for the A-10's eventual replacement dubbed A-X. Gen Carlisle said that options for a platform that can operate either in a permissive environment or one that can operate in a permissive and contested environment are being considered, and that an upgraded A-10 is also an option. "Part of the A-X discussion is enhancing the A-10 - the engines, wings, and avionics - but it is a balance between the age of the aircraft and the money you'd have to spend. We have not ruled it out, but a [brand new] A-X looks to be more attractive," Gen Carlisle said.

With regard to the Northrop U-2 surveillance aircraft, Gen Carlisle reaffirmed that the USAF still plans to replace this platform with the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, but that the timing of this would first need to be agreed with Congress.

For the Boeing F-15C Eagle air-defence fighter, Gen Carlisle noted that this aircraft "will be around for decades". As such the general confirmed that funds have been allocated to equip the platform with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and the Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS), as well as for a wing refurbishment programme. Other areas that will need to be upgraded, the general noted, are the avionics and weapons (while the engines do not need improvement).

In terms of the long-range threats, Gen Carlisle said that the USAF really needs to be looking beyond fifth-generation and to what comes after. "If you look at the potential threats out there, our tac-air [combat aircraft] will not be able to get to the fight by about 2030. At the moment it is really all about the F-22 and F-35, but what comes after that? We are looking at what it is going to take," he said.
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Unread post08 Jul 2016, 18:26

bring_it_on wrote:Farnborough 2016: USAF to declare F-35 IOC sooner rather than later



...With the US Marine Corps (USMC) having declared IOC for its short take-off and vertical landing F-35Bs in 2015, the USAF has targeted a goal for IOC of its conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35A before the end of this year (the US Navy will do the same for its carrier variant [CV] F-35C in 2018).

In order to achieve this date, it must have between 12 and 24 fully mission-capable aircraft (with Block 3F software) with trained air and ground crews, and available parts for deployment and sustainment. "..."

...COMMENT...

....With regard to the Northrop U-2 surveillance aircraft, Gen Carlisle reaffirmed that the USAF still plans to replace this platform with the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, but that the timing of this would first need to be agreed with Congress...


So the AF Needs block 3F for IOC and "Northrop" built the U-2. Gawd that was awful
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Unread post08 Jul 2016, 20:16

smsgtmac wrote:....
So the AF Needs block 3F for IOC and "Northrop" built the U-2. Gawd that was awful


I was thinking the same thing. Some fluff pieces are worse than the hit pieces. LOL :D :D

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Unread post09 Jul 2016, 02:39

http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/ ... maker-says

F-35 Unit Cost To Go Below $100 Million, Maker Says

Negotiations to finalize the contract for the next 160 F-35 Lightning II airframes are still not concluded, although a deal concluding the supply of their F135 engines was announced by the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) today. However, Lockheed Martin (LM) F-35 program general manager Jeff Babione told reporters attending a briefing at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in the UK that the unit recurring flyaway cost (URFC) of the F-35A version is now heading below $100 million...


I'm still holding out a tiny bit of hope that negotiations will conclude by Farnborough... :|
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Unread post09 Jul 2016, 11:28

blindpilot wrote:
smsgtmac wrote:....
So the AF Needs block 3F for IOC and "Northrop" built the U-2. Gawd that was awful


I was thinking the same thing. Some fluff pieces are worse than the hit pieces. LOL :D :D

BP



We'll someone is clearly having a bit too much fun at RIAT :)
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Unread post09 Jul 2016, 15:21

Dragon029 wrote:
I'm still holding out a tiny bit of hope that negotiations will conclude by Farnborough... :|



Bogdan Hints F-35 Contract Could Be Announced at Farnborough

RAF FAIRFORD, England — The Defense Department’s long awaited contract for F-35 low rate initial production lots 9 and 10 is in its final stages, and may be settled in time for Farnborough International Airshow next week.

"My guys are back at home right now finishing up this deal,” F-35 Joint Program Executive Officer Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said Saturday at the Royal International Air Tattoo. “We think we're close enough such that my contracting officers can close this deal out."

The timing of the agreement, which will cover more than 140 aircraft valued at approximately $14 billion for US and international customers, will be up to aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin, Bogdan said.

"We are in the end game. We all understand what the costs are in building that many airplanes, and now it's just a matter of us working a business deal that's fair to everybody. And that's not always easy either,” he said. “But we've gotten past the big rocks, so to speak. We're in the end game, and the important thing here is to now to come up with a business arrangement that's fair to everybody."

A Farnborough contract announcement would be another publicity coup for the F-35, which is making its first UK appearance at RIAT and Farnborough. The aircraft was planned to make its international debut at Farnborough two years ago, but an engine fire led to the grounding of the fleet and the cancellation of its appearance.

This year, the Marine Corps sent three F-35Bs and the Air Force sent F-35As to RIAT for demonstrations. Both performed Friday, and the Marine Corps’ planes will also fly at Farnborough.

“It’s a big deal. For many years people thought it was a paper airplane and all they would hear about are the negative things about it,” Bogdan said. “Now they have the opportunity to see the airplane fly and to watch its incredible capabilities.”

The JPO originally expected a LRIP 9 and 10 contract early this year, but Bogdan said the government needed more time to understand the full cost of the airplane.

“It's just taken us longer to explore all of the costs all the way through the supply chain to make sure that the taxpayers are getting a good deal,” he said. “And so I don't blame anybody for the delay, other than the government had to do its due diligence on $14 billion worth of work."

The Defense Department and F-35 engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney announced a $1.5 billion agreement for F135 engines on Thursday. The company will manufacture 99 engines as part of the low rate initial production batch.

The program office is also eyeing a block buy contract in fiscal year 2017 for international partners and foreign military sales customers buying lot 12 jets, with US participation beginning in FY18 for lots 13 and 14 if approved by Congress.

“I think it is for sure on track for the services and the Congress to do that in ’18,” Bogdan said.

A full block buy, including US jets, could save anywhere from $2 billion to $2.8 billion, according to industry estimates. Without the US planes, savings would drop by “hundreds of billions,” Bogdan said.
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Unread post09 Jul 2016, 18:13

There is a thread about 'potential LRIP 9/10 negotiations finish one day' here: (and there will be others for sure)
LM LRIP 9/10: Tech Investments Cut Costs of F-35 Jets viewtopic.php?f=58&t=26994
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post18 Jul 2016, 16:18

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... oc-427568/

USAF completes F-35A modifications required for IOC

The US Air Force now has the minimum number of 12 Lockheed Martin F-35A fighters with completed modifications required before the first squadron can be declared initially capable for operations, service officials announced on 13 July.
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Unread post18 Jul 2016, 17:15

Dragon029 wrote:https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-completes-f-35a-modifications-required-for-ioc-427568/

USAF completes F-35A modifications required for IOC

The US Air Force now has the minimum number of 12 Lockheed Martin F-35A fighters with completed modifications required before the first squadron can be declared initially capable for operations, service officials announced on 13 July.

More text from URL mistakenly posted later here by moi: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=50336&p=347930&hilit=OOoops#p347930
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post27 Jul 2016, 14:32

http://www.iiss.org/en/militarybalanceb ... -date-c62d

The total number of F-35 aircraft is now greater than its fifth-generation peer, the F-22.

By Ian Keddie, Research Analyst, Defence and Military Analysis Programme

The latest figures released by Lockheed Martin confirm that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is now the most numerous fifth-generation aircraft in existence, overtaking the F-22 Raptor as it moves closer to becoming the ubiquitous twenty-first century airframe. At the end of 2015, 154 Low Rate Initial Production aircraft had been produced in addition to 20 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) models. A total of 53 F-35s are due to be built in 2016 and second quarter earnings information, released by Lockheed Martin on 19 July, revealed that 20 of those 53 aircraft had been delivered by the mid-point of the year.

When the last F-22 was delivered to the United States Air Force (USAF) in May 2012 it marked the 197th (189 plus eight SDD) fifth-generation aircraft to be built. Three Raptors have been lost in crashes since it was introduced, leaving 194 in existence. At 2016 production rates, a new F-35 is completed in Fort Worth, Texas, or at Cameri, Italy, in less than seven days. The figures revealed to Lockheed Martin investors brings the total number of F-35s to 194 (174 plus 20 SDD airframes) as of 26 June and marks a major landmark for the much-maligned programme.

Though its primary role is air-to-surface, the F-35 was always envisioned to be a multi-role platform, designed to be integrated into a variety of armed forces and nations. In contrast, the F-22 was developed as a specialist air-superiority fighter for the USAF. As such, a direct comparison of the two aircraft is not possible as both fulfil very different roles and will ultimately work together on US operations. Nevertheless, this remains the most significant milestone to date as F-35 numbers will continue to increase in comparison to its fifth-generation peers over the coming decade.

With F-35 production accelerating, falling unit costs and aircraft achieving initial operating capability (IOC) it appears that the JSF is entering a new phase. This is some distance from 2011, when the entire programme was perceived to be on the edge of a 'death spiral’. Rising costs and delays brought deserved criticism and eventually led to the appointment of Lieutenant-General Christopher C. Bogdan, drafted in to reform the programme in December 2012.

The US Congress has called for a new assessment over the possible procurement of more F-22s, in order to meet a perceived gap in air-superiority, and some critics continue to compare F-35 unit costs to current platforms such as the F/A-18 or F-16. What must also be taken into account, however, are the costs of restarting a production line from scratch or the rising maintenance costs and increasingly limited capabilities of legacy platforms.

If there was ever an opportunity to rethink F-35 and F-22 numbers, it was in the troubled years of 2010 and 2011: a time when the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform suggested cancelling the F-35B and halving orders for F-35A/Cs; and when the F-22 production line was still active. That time has passed: the USAF will declare IOC for the F-35A later this year, while the US Marine Corps will deploy F-35Bs to Japan in 2017. The JSF programme has suffered problems and has been justifiably scrutinised as the most expensive military weapons system in history.

There remain some serious challenges to be addressed as the aircraft is brought in to service but these should be seen as problems to be ironed out in due course, not as the catastrophic failures as some would have. The F-35 has now become the most common fifth-generation aircraft and will likely be twice as numerous as the combined total of all current competitor platforms. Over 3,000 airframes will be built over the course of its lifetime, and it will become the workhorse for many military forces’ air combat capability for decades.
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Unread post27 Jul 2016, 16:19

Dragon029 wrote:http://www.iiss.org/en/militarybalanceblog/blogsections/2016-629e/july-e429/f-35-achieves-most-significant-milestone-to-date-c62d

The total number of F-35 aircraft is now greater than its fifth-generation peer, the F-22.

... The figures revealed to Lockheed Martin investors brings the total number of F-35s to 194 (174 plus 20 SDD airframes) as of 26 June ...


I think they counted 13 SDD aircraft and 181 production aircraft:
A model: AA-1 (1), AF-1—AF-4, AF-6—AF-101 (100), AN-1—AN-2 (2),AM-1—AM-2, AM-4 (3), AU-1—AU-2 (2), AL-1—AL-3 (3), AS-1 (1) = 112
B model: BF-1—BF-51 (51), BK-1—BK-5 (5) = 56
C model: CF-1—CF-3, CF-5—CF-29 (28) = 28
total: 112+56+28 = 196 F-35's

AF-27 (10-5015) was written off on June 23, 2014 and AA-1 won't ever fly again, so this gives us 194 F-35's that are active.
The 6 other SDD aircraft are AG-1, BG-1, CG-1 (ground test airframes) and AJ-1, BH-1, CJ-1 (for durability testing).

This count was as of June 26, 2016, currently AL-4 and AL-5 are also flying, bringing the total to 196 F-35's.
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Unread post02 Aug 2016, 18:36

Probably worth putting the USAF F-35A IOC declaration in here for archival purposes as well:
http://www.acc.af.mil/News/ArticleDispl ... ready.aspx

Breaking News: Air Force declares the F-35A ‘combat ready’

HQ ACC Public Affairs / Published August 02, 2016

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --

The F-35A Lightning II fifth generation fighter aircraft was declared ‘combat ready’ today by Gen. Hawk Carlisle, the commander of Air Combat Command.

Carlisle lauded the aircraft’s performance, noting that the aircraft had met all key criteria for reaching initial operational capability.

Airmen trained, manned and equipped to conduct basic close air support, interdiction, and limited suppression/destruction of enemy air defenses in a contested environment with an operational squadron of 12-24 aircraft, the ability to deploy and conduct operational missions using program of record weapons and missions systems and having all necessary logistics and operational elements in place.

“I am proud to announce this powerful new weapons system has achieved initial combat capability,” Carlisle said. “The F-35A will be the most dominant aircraft in our inventory, because it can go where our legacy aircraft cannot and provide the capabilities our commanders need on the modern battlefield.”

The F-35A is the latest addition to ACC’s fleet of deployable and fifth generation aircraft. It provides air superiority, interdiction, suppression of enemy air defenses and close air support as well as great command and control functions through fused sensors, and will provide pilots with unprecedented situational awareness of the battlespace that will be more extensive than any single-seat platform in existence.

“Bringing the F-35A to initial combat readiness is a testament to our phenomenal Airmen and the outstanding support of the Joint Program Office and our enterprise partners. This important milestone for our fighter force ensures the United States, along with our allies and international partners, remains prepared to deter, deny, and defeat the full spectrum of growing threats around the globe," added Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force.

Gen. David Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, said that dynamic new capability will benefit the joint warfighter.

"The combat ready F-35A is the latest fifth generation fighter aircraft in the Air Force's inventory and provides our nation air dominance in any environment. The F-35A brings an unprecedented combination of lethality, survivability, and adaptability to joint and combined operations, and is ready to deploy and strike well-defended targets anywhere on Earth," Goldfein said. "Today's declaration of IOC is an important milestone on the road to achieving full warfighting capability for the F-35A.”

The 34th Fighter Squadron of the 388th Fighter Wing, based at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the service’s first operational F-35A squadron, having met all the established criteria for Initial Operational Capability including a successful June deployment to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho and a series of eight-aircraft sorties held in mid-July. 34th FS Airmen will fly and maintain the F-35A alongside Air Force Reservists from Hill’s 419th Fighter Wing.

"Our Airmen have worked tirelessly to make sure our aircraft are combat ready: meeting challenges head-on and completing all the required milestones," said Col. David Lyons, 388th Fighter Wing commander. "We're very proud that the Air Force has declared us combat ready and we're prepared to take this aircraft wherever it's needed in support of our national defense."

Those sentiments were echoed by Col. David Smith, 419 FW commander. “It's an honor to fly and maintain the F-35 with our active duty counterparts here at Hill,” Smith said. “Our units were the first to fly combat-ready F-16s nearly 40 years ago and we're very proud to have made history once again in bringing the Air Force's newest fighter jet to IOC.”

For more information click this link: http://www.acc.af.mil/AirCombatCommands ... ogram.aspx

For questions, contact Air Combat Command Public Affairs at (757) 764-5007 or via e-mail accpa.operations@us.af.mil
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Unread post28 Aug 2016, 03:14

UTC gets lot 11 contract for 48 A, 14 B, 4 C engines for USAF, USMC, USN and 51 A +3 B for FMS. Looks like 120 F-35s for lot 11.

http://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/C ... cle/918895
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Unread post20 Oct 2016, 19:43

NEW LM F-35 FAST FACTS pages will be updated: "...The new interactive F-35 Fast Facts guides the reader through some of the most important aspects of the F-35 and includes updates on flight hours, number of pilots and maintainers trained, and IOC dates...." https://www.f35.com/about/fast-facts
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F-35newFastFactsURL.gif
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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