F-35B in the ME for first time

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zerion

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Unread post06 Sep 2018, 18:50

Marine F-35Bs with the 13th MEU enter Middle East for first time

35Bs embarked with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, or MEU, have recently just entered the U.S. Central Command area of operations for the first time.

According to a photo uploaded by the Marine Corps showing the F-35B, the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship Essex entered the 5th fleet area of operations. The U.S. 5th Fleet is responsible for the Red Sea, Persian Gulf and parts of the Indian Ocean, and is a component command of CENTCOM.

The 13th MEU’s entrance into the CENTCOM arena heralds the first time the F-35B has entered the volatile Middle East arena and puts the high-tech aircraft closer to the fight against possible ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria, or as a counter to sophisticated Russian and Syrian air defense systems in Syria.

But the 13th MEU’s F-35s are not going to be dropping ordnance on targets in the Middle East just yet.

The 13th MEU is slated to kick of a two-week Theater Amphibious Combat Rehearsal, or TACR, off the coast of Djibouti on Sept. 8, according to a command release.

About 4,500 Marines and sailors will participate in the maritime exercise that will include simulated air defense training, mine countermeasure training, quick-reaction force drills, deck landing qualifications, and at-sea ship interdictions, according to a command release.

“TACR allows us to demonstrate the enhanced capabilities and tactical lethality that embarked F-35Bs on an ARG bring to the region,” Col. Chandler Nelms, the 13th MEU commander, said in a commander release...

https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/y ... irst-time/
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charlielima223

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Unread post07 Sep 2018, 08:55

The thought of F-22 and F-35 flying in the same airspace somewhere in the middle east gives me warm fuzzies
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aasm

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Unread post07 Sep 2018, 10:48

They would drop their Luneberg lenses for the first time?
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Unread post07 Sep 2018, 11:02

aasm wrote:They would drop their Luneberg lenses for the first time?


Seems like Israel holds that achievement, too. Training off the coast of Djibouti hardly warrants complete stealthiness.
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Unread post11 Sep 2018, 01:37

Marines Deploy First F-35Bs to the Middle East; 13th MEU, Essex ARG Test Battle Readiness
10 Sep 2018 Gidget Fuentes

"...For two weeks, the F-35B and the rest of the 13th MEU’s combat firepower will train at military ranges in Djibouti and in the international waters off the coast. About 4,500 Marines and sailors with the 13th MEU and Essex ARG – Essex, amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD-23) and dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD-47) – are participating in the TACR exercise, which kicked off Saturday, for Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade....

...The addition of the F-35 to the ARG, Olin said, “is a very significant enabler for me and for my team. It increases battlespace awareness with data fusion and the ability to share information with the ships and the ships’ combat control system. So it’s really an extension of our sensors, and it also brings to the table a greater increased lethality than what we had with previous generation aircraft.

“It’s really a game-changer for us, and we are really excited to be a part of bringing this new tool to the ARG and learning how to use it. I don’t think we really know exactly… we’re kind of at the leading edge of discovering that,” Olin said....

...During the TACR training, Nelms said, assault support forces from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 (Reinforced)’s complement of CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopters, MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, UH-1 Huey utility helicopters and AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters, “will get a great rep in the environment here and practice landing in austere environment. We’ll be incorporating the F-35Bs into the play of the problem throughout the exercise, primarily focused on supporting the Marines on the ground.”

Commanders said the F-35B is a key part of providing the amphibious force with advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities that it can use most anywhere it’s needed. “What makes our ARG/MEU team such a unique capability in the theater is its mobility, its access from the sea,” Nelms said. “It makes them a flexible choice for the commander. And that would be the same for the aircraft that are embarked. While the F-35B is an incredibly capable aircraft, the ability to put it on amphibious shipping and have the option to place it anywhere you want in the 5th Fleet region buys the commander an incredible amount of flexibility.”...

...Lt. Col. Kyle Shoop, who commands VMFA 211, a Yuma, Ariz.-based squadron, said the squadron was racking up more time deployed at sea than any other squadron and is “continually working with the ship to define best practices during this first deployment.” “It’s been a good while since we had done any close-air support… getting our skills refined again, get everybody to shoot the guns, dropping the bombs and supporting the Marines on the ground,” Shoop said.

After leaving San Diego on Essex for Hawaii, the F-35B squadron flew some blue-water operations, including handling scenarios safely if there’s no divert field. In Hawaii, a detachment trained and flew with the F-22 Raptor, the Air Force’s newest, fifth-generation fighter.

Continuing westward, he said, the squadron got clearances to use its AIM-9 Sidewinder missile for basic firing maneuvering training, conducted close are support missions in Malaysia and conducted forward refueling operations at smaller islands in the western Pacific along with the CH-53E and MV-22
. “So we stayed pretty busy doing some new stuff and breaking some ground,” he said.

Earlier this year during a briefing during the WEST 2018 conference in San Diego, Shoop said he was concerned about whether the squadron would get spare parts and other logistics support it needs for the new jet once they left San Diego. “So far, it’s worked out great. Lockheed has been fully committed,” he told USNI News. “We’ve got some support onboard, via (Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13),” and Marines from Combat Logistics Battalion 13 are supporting them at each logistics location ashore. “No major hiccups thus far,” he said."

Source: https://news.usni.org/2018/09/10/marine ... -readiness
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 post11 Sep 2018, 06:52

CAS training in Malaysia? What's the likelihood they did some friendly DACT with Malaysian Flankers?
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post11 Sep 2018, 07:59

popcorn wrote:CAS training in Malaysia? What's the likelihood they did some friendly DACT with Malaysian Flankers?


The Malaysian fighters stationed near and participated were Hawks (which the Malaysians use for CAS). The exercise focussed more on CAS at the Kota Belud training area.

http://www.c7f.navy.mil/Media/News/Disp ... -malaysia/
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Unread post11 Sep 2018, 22:26

ESSEX in ADEN GULF photo via E-mail.

The Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II B Roll Footage 9:50 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sNlDgnRzm8

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Unread post12 Sep 2018, 03:05

At 3:16 EOTS is doing it's thing, never really noticed it before, thanx Spaz.
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Unread post12 Sep 2018, 03:20

Approx. 3:16 screenshot
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Unread post12 Sep 2018, 06:42

beepa wrote:At 3:16 EOTS is doing it's thing, never really noticed it before, thanx Spaz.


Good catch, very interesting. It definitely has rather high scanning speed.
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Unread post12 Sep 2018, 14:27

hornetfinn wrote:
beepa wrote:At 3:16 EOTS is doing it's thing, never really noticed it before, thanx Spaz.


Good catch, very interesting. It definitely has rather high scanning speed.


Working with a mirror scanning?
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Unread post12 Sep 2018, 21:19

Theoretically, what weapons would these Bs be ready and able to employ? I assume they are 3F? If I’m reading correctly, that means AMRAAM, sidewinder, gun pod, 500 lb paveway, and 1k lb JDAM, correct? None of those are great options for anti-shipping, if they can even be used at all?
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Unread post12 Sep 2018, 21:54

Being hit by any one of the latter 2 has a pretty good chance of mission killing any surface combatant. In any case, the Gator Navy's role is to support landings, not naval dominance.

http://www.malaysiandefence.com/rmaf-ia ... -exercise/

Sadly, DACT against Malaysian Su-30s was never on the cards - an exercise against the Indian Su-30s that took part in Pitch Black was prioritized instead.
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Unread post12 Sep 2018, 22:10

tjh8402 wrote:Theoretically, what weapons would these Bs be ready and able to employ? I assume they are 3F? If I’m reading correctly, that means AMRAAM, sidewinder, gun pod, 500 lb paveway, and 1k lb JDAM, correct? None of those are great options for anti-shipping, if they can even be used at all?


The GBU-12 (500lb Paveway) seems to be a very good weapon against ships (even larger ones). IMO, the only disadvantage of using/employing GBU-12 against ships would be the need to employ the weapon closer to the target compared to some other "more dedicated" anti-ship weapons (such as the JSOWs on F-35Cs or Harpoons/SLAMs and JSOWs on SH's, etc...) but then again the F-35 stealth would somehow offset this disadvantage.

Moreover, if the F-35 (-B in this case) can "constantly" send the updated target/ship location to a released JDAM (which is something that I'm not sure of, perhaps others could say something about this?) than the 1,000lb JDAM would be an even better weapons against ships (even against moving ones).
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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