F-35 program updates

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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spazsinbad

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Unread post11 Jan 2017, 21:18

F-35 Program Delivers 200th Operational Jet
11 Jan 2017 LM PR

"Tuesday marked a historical milestone for the F-35 Lightning II program.

The 200th operational jet, the second delivery for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, departed Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth production facility here and arrived approximately two hours later at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Known as AX-2, the jet joins Luke’s F-35 fleet of 46 jets to train pilots from several F-35 partner countries. The F-35 program continues to grow and accelerate as it now operates in 12 locations worldwide including Israel and Italy. The program has also logged 75,000 flight hours while training more than 380 pilots and 3,700 maintainers."

PHOTO: https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... __main.jpg

Source: https://www.f35.com/news/detail/f-35-pr ... tional-jet
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Unread post17 Jan 2017, 13:13

LM F-35 GM Update
13 Jan 2017 Jeff Babione

"F-35 Flight Test
The results are in, and 2016 was a record year for the F-35 flight test team. For the year the team recorded 1,447 flights – a record for the most flights in a one-year span. With those flight tests and some ground testing, the team checked off 8,450 test points. This led to the F-35A flight science SDD baseline completion, with the F-35B and F-35C testing right behind it, accomplishing more than 90 percent of all development testing....
&
1000th Flight Hour
Nearly eight years ago, David “Doc” Nelson took to the skies for his first flight of an F-35. He became the sixth person to pilot the F-35 when he flew AA-1 flight 77 in Fort Worth. Doc recently completed his 1,000th flight hour in an F-35, becoming the first test pilot to cross this significant milestone. Docs been a key member of the F-35 flight test community & helped develop the F-35 into what it is today. Thank you, Doc, for your 1,000 flight hours & your dedication to the F-35 program. Congratulations on an exciting milestone for you and the program...."

Source: https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... _13_17.pdf (0.8Mb)
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Unread post28 Mar 2017, 18:49

I guess this counts as a program update. Chris Bogdan will apparently retire during the summer. To be replaced by his 2nd, Mathias Winter.

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/dep ... his-summer

http://www.navy.mil/navydata/bios/navybio.asp?bioID=578
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Unread post29 Mar 2017, 10:07

Admiral Takes Helm Of F-35; Good For C Model?
28 Mar 2017 Colin Clark

"...“Adm. Winter is a safe choice to serve as PEO because he knows the program inside out and has all the necessary technical credentials,” says defense consultant Loren Thompson. “General Bogdan was the right leader for a time when the political system had not yet fully embraced the fighter, but now the main issue is securing enough funding each year to sustain production at economical rates.”

The most difficult issues Winter is likely to face in the short term (besides letting President Trump claim all the credit for lowering program costs) are the battle to keep up the numbers for the Navy purchase of the F-35C and the overall buy of the F-35 across all three services. The Air Force plans to buy 1,763 F-35As. The Marines plan to buy 353 F-35Bs and 67 F-35Cs. The Navy, which has been most cautious about committing to the F-35 even as it faces grave readiness problems with its F-18 fleet, plans to buy only 260 of the carrier variant.

Winter may help convince the Navy to buy the full tranche of F-35Cs, though I’m skeptical given how Adm. Venlet fared with the Navy during his tenure....

...Winter, one of the Navy’s most experienced acquisition professionals, is steeped in the F-35 program and helped Bogdan prepare the data for the review of the costs and capabilities of the F-18 and the F-35 ordered by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. We’ll watch him and the program as carefully as we can. And we wish him well in managing the biggest conventional defense program in the world."

Source: http://breakingdefense.com/2017/03/admi ... r-c-model/
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Unread post05 Apr 2017, 21:08

LM F-35 GM Weekly Update
30 Mar 2017 Jeff Babione

"...ALIS Update
Congratulations to the entire F-35 ALIS team on reaching two program milestones. Last week, the ALIS team completed development of the ALIS 3.0 release. While there is still more work to do, this indicates we’re on track to complete testing for ALIS 3.0 – in line with a major milestone to finish the SDD phase of the F-35 program.

In more ALIS news, ALIS version 2.0.2 is making great strides with the completion of the validation milestone at Nellis AFB this past weekend. We’re working hard to ensure all F-35 units will have the ALIS 2.0.2 upgrade by the end of 2017...."

Source: https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... _30_17.pdf (0.86Mb)
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Unread post06 Apr 2017, 23:09

F-35 Integration Office Gets New Chief
07 Apr 2017 AFM

"​Air Force Col. Todd Canterbury has been nominated to take over the F-35 Integration Office at the Pentagon. Canterbury, currently the chief of the operations division at the F-35 Integration Office, would receive the rank of brigadier general if confirmed. He would replace Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, who now heads to a position in Air Combat Command, Air Force spokesman Col. Patrick Ryder said Thursday."

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pa ... Chief.aspx
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Unread post07 Jun 2017, 01:41

Japan produces its first F-35A
06 Jun 2017 Paige Williams

"...“More than 220 operational F-35s have been built and delivered worldwide and they have collectively flown more than 95,000 flight hours,” the announcement said."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/articles/jap ... irst-f-35a
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Unread post07 Jun 2017, 09:12

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity ... a0bc902d5f
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity ... e&_cview=0

Couple of links from FBO that reflects numbers from lot 12-14.

Per budget, there is a shift of 2 from F-35C to F-35A for lot 12. Also shows the planned ramp up for the USN F-35s with 12 Cs in lot 13 and 18 Cs in lot 14.

The sustainment link suggests 343 As, 119 Bs, 56 Cs by FY 2019 with partners getting 24 B (RN), 18 A, 11 B (IT- Italy), 48 A (RAAF-Australia), 26 A (RNLAF-Netherlands), 22 A (TAF- Turkey), 34 (NAF- Norway), 16 A (ROKAF-Korea), 16 A (JASDF-Japan), 21 (IAF – Israel), 6 (RNDAF- Denmark).

Note Australia will be the biggest F-35 operator outside the US.

This means a grand total of 760 F-35s delivered and in operation by FY 2019 (550 A, 154 B, 56 C). Only slightly more than the Typhoon. That’s not counting the order from the 4th redacted entity which has not been revealed. Not bad for an aircraft in a death spiral.
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Unread post08 Jun 2017, 03:22

weasel1962 wrote:https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=f1194749331353023e45d2a0bc902d5f
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity ... e&_cview=0

Couple of links from FBO that reflects numbers from lot 12-14.

Per budget, there is a shift of 2 from F-35C to F-35A for lot 12. Also shows the planned ramp up for the USN F-35s with 12 Cs in lot 13 and 18 Cs in lot 14.

The sustainment link suggests 343 As, 119 Bs, 56 Cs by FY 2019 with partners getting 24 B (RN), 18 A, 11 B (IT- Italy), 48 A (RAAF-Australia), 26 A (RNLAF-Netherlands), 22 A (TAF- Turkey), 34 (NAF- Norway), 16 A (ROKAF-Korea), 16 A (JASDF-Japan), 21 (IAF – Israel), 6 (RNDAF- Denmark).

Note Australia will be the biggest F-35 operator outside the US.

This means a grand total of 760 F-35s delivered and in operation by FY 2019 (550 A, 154 B, 56 C). Only slightly more than the Typhoon. That’s not counting the order from the 4th redacted entity which has not been revealed. Not bad for an aircraft in a death spiral.


...Lots 12/ 13/ 14; Israel, Japan and Korea were not included in those orders or redacted.
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Unread post15 Jun 2017, 08:06

Actually I think it is. Have to download the CJA pdf file to see the redacts. Repost link below.
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity ... a0bc902d5f

I finally took some time to experiment with the insertion of suggested words using Arial size 10, letter size on an MS word doc and the redacted portions align,

Example (inserting Singapore and 2020 in the 2 redacted portions):
Supplies and services acquired under the anticipated Lot 12 contract actions will commence on or about October 2017 and end on or about December 2020. United States, British, Italian, Australian, Turkish, Norwegian, Singapore Danish, Netherlands, Japanese, Korean and Israel aircraft deliveries are estimated to commence in January 2020 and complete in December 2020.

or with a standard bullet (inserting the 4 countries). Cut and paste into a word doc seems to replicate the original document.

• Long lead-time materials, including long lead-time materials for a subsequent lot of Italian and Netherlands aircraft to be assembled in Italy at the Final Assembly and Checkout Facility, and for a subsequent lot of Singapore aircraft to be assembled in 2020 at the Final Assembly and Checkout Facility;

With Spain, Spanish or Belgium being too short for the 2nd line (which ironically also fits "Canadian"), I originally thought completely redacted line referred to Canada whose F-35 procurement plans are not so clear and could have been redacted due to a cancellation. However, Canadian F-35s would have been manufactured at Fort Worth rather than Cameri so the 2nd subsequent line regarding Cameri would not have made sense. Other European air forces would allow production at FACO, but none if any would have made a lot 12 decision by now. The only other buyer who intended to buy F-35s via Cameri production is Singapore. Add the highly secretive procurement practices of Singapore, it is highly suggestive that Singapore may have already decided to enter procurement from lot 12.

Similarly, the redacts could also signal a cancellation or postponement by Singapore....
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Unread post15 Jun 2017, 13:55

weasel1962 wrote:..Example (inserting Singapore and 2020 in the 2 redacted portions):
Supplies and services acquired under the anticipated Lot 12 contract actions will commence on or about October 2017 and end on or about December 2020. United States, British, Italian, Australian, Turkish, Norwegian, Singapore Danish, Netherlands, Japanese, Korean and Israel aircraft deliveries are estimated to commence in January 2020 and complete in December 2020.

or with a standard bullet (inserting the 4 countries). Cut and paste into a word doc seems to replicate the original document.

• Long lead-time materials, including long lead-time materials for a subsequent lot of Italian and Netherlands aircraft to be assembled in Italy at the Final Assembly and Checkout Facility, and for a subsequent lot of Singapore aircraft to be assembled in 2020 at the Final Assembly and Checkout Facility;

With Spain, Spanish or Belgium being too short for the 2nd line (which ironically also fits "Canadian"), I originally thought completely redacted line referred to Canada whose F-35 procurement plans are not so clear and could have been redacted due to a cancellation. However, Canadian F-35s would have been manufactured at Fort Worth rather than Cameri so the 2nd subsequent line regarding Cameri would not have made sense. Other European air forces would allow production at FACO, but none if any would have made a lot 12 decision by now. The only other buyer who intended to buy F-35s via Cameri production is Singapore. Add the highly secretive procurement practices of Singapore, it is highly suggestive that Singapore may have already decided to enter procurement from lot 12.

Similarly, the redacts could also signal a cancellation or postponement by Singapore....


...would Singapore consider: "The first F-35A Lightning II aircraft began its assembly today at the Nagoya, Japan, F-35 Final Assembly and Check-Out (FACO) facility."....????
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Unread post15 Jun 2017, 15:51

Revised.

"Long lead-time materials, including long lead-time materials for a subsequent lot of Italian and Netherlands aircraft to be assembled in Italy at the Final Assembly and Checkout Facility, and for a subsequent lot of Japanese aircraft to be assembled in Japan at the Final Assembly and Checkout Facility;"

fits the redacted version. Agreed.
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Unread post18 Jun 2017, 20:01

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-airsh ... 990S8?il=0

Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) is in the final stages of negotiating a deal worth more than $37 billion to sell a record 440 F-35 fighter jets to a group of 11 nations including the United States, two people familiar with the talks said...

The pricing of the jets was still not final, though the average price of the 440 jets was expected to be $85 million, the people said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the negotiations publicly. The multi-year deal for the fighters will consist of three tranches over fiscal years 2018-2020...

The memorandum of understanding being negotiated between Lockheed and the customers aims to procure 135 or more jets in fiscal year 2018 for delivery in 2020 for about $88 million per jet, the people said. In the subsequent fiscal years, 2019 and 2020, procurement would ramp up to 150 or more jets per year. The average price in 2019 could be $85 million for the F-35 "A" variant and could drop below $80 million in 2020, the people said. That would mark the lowest price ever paid for an F-35, making this deal an important step in reducing the overall cost of each jet.
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Unread post19 Jun 2017, 07:43

440 aircraft sold at once, that's just insane. I thought the US couldn't join the block buy until OT&E was done? At any rate that will prob make some peoples heads exploded, just imagine if Canada joins as well, the tears will flow.
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Unread post19 Jun 2017, 07:51

The US can't really join the block buy / multi-year procurement, but they are able to / will procure long-lead items for LRIP 12+13+14 at the same time, which essentially guarantees Lockheed, etc of their orders (plus or minus a handful of jets as per the next few budgets). The partner nations also obviously aren't subject to waiting for IOT&E and they make up >50% of the total order.
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