F-35B in the ME for first time

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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ricnunes

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Unread post05 Oct 2018, 20:41

spazsinbad wrote:TEHN on page 32 is a table reproduced below where Hornet Totals in FY 2018 = 179


Thanks spaz :thumb:
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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weasel1962

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Unread post06 Oct 2018, 03:37

spazsinbad wrote:Please. The number is 67.


No need to get twitchy. There's a very simple reason why I raised this. Pre FY 2018 SAR plan was USAF to procure 1763 As, DoN to procure 680 B+C. The DoN plan was USN 260 C, USMC 340 B, 80 C.

In FY 2018 SAR, the DoN got raised to 693 because of the USMC plan to buy 353 B. If the C remained at 67 C for USMC and 260 C for USN, that means the total should have remained at 680. The 693 figure reflects only 2 possibilities:

(a) Either the USMC C buy goes up by 13 Cs (80+260=340); or
(b) The USN buy goes up by 13 Cs (67+273 =340)

its simple maths. I note your stand that the USMC current plans reflect 67 Cs. That's not what I'm highlighting. The issue I have is that I haven't seen a USN plan that states 273 Cs yet so is it really conclusive that the USMC plan will stick to 67 or revert back to the original 80 (as per the inter-service MOU I mentioned).
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Unread post06 Oct 2018, 04:10

Over time this exact number has been queried again & again. Until clarified one may speculate - yet USMC number is 67.

USN don't seem to have published new numbers - does that mean old numbers stand? Personally I don't care but whatever.

BTW USMC 67 F-35Cs has been in their YEARLY AVIATION PLANS since the change was made with no USN objection AFAIK.

This 2013 USMC pub says 63 on numbered page 179 (or physical page 188) :
"...The Marine Corps will acquire 357 STOVL aircraft and 63 CV aircraft for a total of 420 JSFs...." http://www.hqmc.marines.mil/Portals/142 ... 0Final.pdf (11.5Mb)

Then USMC Aviation Plan 2015 has the change to 67 (there are news stories about this change on the net):
“...The Marine Corps will procure a total of 353 F-35Bs & 67 F-35Cs...” [with every plan since being the same]
https://marinecorpsconceptsandprograms. ... 20Plan.pdf (16.1Mb)

Most recent news story found quickly says this:
DOD reveals F-35 multiyear procurement strategy to start in 2021
18 Apr 2018 Garrett Reim

"... In total, the DOD plans to purchase 2,456 F-35s: 1,763 F-35As for the USAF; 353 F-35Bs and 67 F-35Cs for the Marine Corps; and 273 F-35Cs for the USN." [total 340 F-35Cs for USN/USMC combined & 353 Bs + 340 Cs = 693 B/Cs for DoD]

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -s-447785/

GOTTA LUV LM PR (must be kindergarten creche for English comprehension as a non-Native Language over there]
"...The Marine Corps currently flies the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant, with plans to purchase 353 STOVL jets and 67 F-35C carrier variant aircraft. The U.S. Marine Corps declared F-35B IOC in July 2015. Together with the Marines, the U.S. Navy will bring 5th Generation capability to the sea with 260 F-35C jets. [they may have meant 280 but anyway number is wrong for USN - NO?] The U.S. Navy plans to declare F-35C IOC in 2018...." https://www.f35.com/global/participation/united-states

Further note that at btm Latest LM F-35 Fast Facts (wot I had not noticed until now) says this:
"...DoN 693 F-35B/Cs [total]…" [WUT!? that total number aligns with the FightGlobular story above 693 total DoD B/Cs] https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... s10-18.pdf (1.1Mb)

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program CRS Congressional Research Service
23 Apr 2018 Jeremiah Gertler

"...Marine Corps STOVL Version (F-35B)
The Marine Corps plans to procure 353 F-35Bs, a short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) version of the aircraft....”

...Navy Carrier-Suitable Version (F-35C)
The Navy plans to procure 273 F-35Cs, a carrier-suitable CTOL version of the aircraft, and the Marines will also procure 67 F-35Cs [total 340 F-35Cs for USN/USMC]....” [TOTAL DoD B/Cs = 693]

Source: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL30563.pdf (1.4Mb)
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weasel1962

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Unread post06 Oct 2018, 06:49

The best part about LM fast facts is if you click on the 693 B/C link, it points to here:
https://www.f35.com/global/participation/united-states

which basically is still states 67 for USMC, 260 for USN in terms of Cs.

The CRS is a good spot which would generally have been convincing enough for me if it weren't published a few days after the journos like Janes reported the 273 figures, which came shortly after the SAR. That made me wonder as to the source of the 273 number even though personally I don't think it really material whether the 13 C ends up with USN or USMC.

P.s. the LM fast facts also threw up this ? on numbers. LRIP 1-9 was 266. LRIP 1-10 was 358 and LRIP 1-11 was 499. Most reports indicate lot 10 was 90 F-35s but it appears to be 92.
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Unread post06 Oct 2018, 07:29

If you read the previous post you will see the LM fast fact link is included in the quotes. I think no matter what is said you will believe what you will believe. The DoN USN seems to keep MuM about what numbers they intend to buy perhaps because it is tied up in some ongoing report about comparing Shornets with F-35Cs. Nice of you to include links to claims.

PDF page from which GIF was made also attached below.

The 04 Apr 2018 F-35 SAR Selected Acquistion Report with the page no. 28 dated btm left as 19 Mar 2018 says this:
"...Quantity Notes
The current estimate for F-35 total procurement quantity increase from 2443 to 2456 has not changed from SAR 2016 to
SAR 2017. This increase was the result of two changes: a USMC variant mixture change between the F-35B and F-35C (13
additional F-35Bs and 13 less F-35Cs), and the Department of Navy (DoN) decision to continue to procure a total of 340 F-
35C aircraft. This results in a net increase of 13 F-35B aircraft. The increase is reflected in both the aircraft and engine subprogram and results in a change from 680 to 693 in the DoN Aircraft Procurement accounts. The USMC validated their requirement through the Marine Corps Requirements Oversight Council (MROC)…." download/file.php?id=27020 (PDF 0.7Mb)
Attachments
F-35sar2018DoNprocurementUSN-USMC.gif
F-35sar2018DoNprocurementUSN-USMC PRN.pdf
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Unread post06 Oct 2018, 18:23

weasel1962 wrote:Most reports indicate lot 10 was 90 F-35s but it appears to be 92.

This contract announcement from 2017 seems to indicate that two were added.

April 10, 2017 - Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded $372,918,148 for modification P00019 to the previously awarded low-rate initial production Lot 10 F-35 Lightning II advance acquisition contract (N00019-15-C-0003). This modification provides the procurement of F-35A and F-35B variant aircrafts including deficiency corrections for non-U.S. Department of Defense (non-U.S. DoD) participants. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (30 percent); El Segundo, California (25 percent); Warton, United Kingdom (20 percent); Orlando, Florida (10 percent); Nashua, New Hampshire (5 percent); Nagoya, Japan (5 percent); and Baltimore, Maryland (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2020. Non-DoD participant funding in the amount of $105,000,000 is being obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.


https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1147046/
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Unread post08 Oct 2018, 14:49

ricnunes wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:TEHN on page 32 is a table reproduced below where Hornet Totals in FY 2018 = 179

Thanks spaz :thumb:

This article quote included here because: numbers of Hornets in use by USN/USMC today.
Hornets need outer-wing 'changes' to support life-extension
08 Oct 2018 Gareth Jennings

"...The USN and USMC currently field 95 F/A-18A, 21 F/A-18B, 370 F/A-18C, and 131 F/A-18D aircraft. Having been upgraded several times since they were introduced in the early 1980s, these legacy Hornets are now being extended beyond their 6,000 flight-hour airframe lives to 10,000 hours to help mitigate delays to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

Of these 617 platforms, about 150 Hornets of differing designations have been earmarked for the SLEP with the aim of keeping them in operational service until 2035."

Source: https://www.janes.com/article/83617/hor ... -extension
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Unread post09 Oct 2018, 03:35

Honestly, odds are good that the USN/USMC will acquire more than todays planned 340 F-35C's. As the NGAD Fighter won't be ready for a good 20 years at least. Yet, the Super Hornet Fleet (even with SELP) will start to run out of flight hours starting around 2030+.

So, my guess is the USN will just continue to purchase additional F-35C's after the orders for the 340 have been filled. This is hardly surprising or even new. As it happens all of the time.....(with the Super Hornet itself being a good example)
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Unread post09 Oct 2018, 05:07

Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, odds are good that the USN/USMC will acquire more than todays planned 340 F-35C's. As the NGAD Fighter won't be ready for a good 20 years at least. Yet, the Super Hornet Fleet (even with SELP) will start to run out of flight hours starting around 2030+.

So, my guess is the USN will just continue to purchase additional F-35C's after the orders for the 340 have been filled. This is hardly surprising or even new. As it happens all of the time.....(with the Super Hornet itself being a good example)

Super Hornets aren't going to wear out by 2030. They're 9000 hour airframes. The oldest Block 1s didn't enter service till 1999, and Block 2s are about the same age as Raptors (10 or less years old.) F-15s built in the 1980s will be retiring then barring any significant changes in USAF plans. The oldest Super Hornets are still ~10 to 20 years newer than F-15Cs.
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Unread post09 Oct 2018, 06:13

wrightwing wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, odds are good that the USN/USMC will acquire more than todays planned 340 F-35C's. As the NGAD Fighter won't be ready for a good 20 years at least. Yet, the Super Hornet Fleet (even with SELP) will start to run out of flight hours starting around 2030+.

So, my guess is the USN will just continue to purchase additional F-35C's after the orders for the 340 have been filled. This is hardly surprising or even new. As it happens all of the time.....(with the Super Hornet itself being a good example)

Super Hornets aren't going to wear out by 2030. ....


http://navalaviationnews.navylive.dodli ... er-hornet/
etc. etc. other references ...

Let's start by noting, as forecast, in the second qtr of this year Super Hornets already began to wear out (reached 6000hrs) at 15 years instead of 20 years anticipated. So much for the "aren't going to ..." they already did .... This is due to non-stop combat usage and overuse as "tankers." It was (and still might be again) worsened by constant budgetary sequestration/management.

In the best (rosy predictions by Boeing) case they can cycle 50 a year STARTING IN 2022, with at 18 months 75 aircraft in the inventory constantly offline for the SLAP. Short of major war, that best case will probably only happen in Boeing's dreams. The budget help for this year and next is not guaranteed in the future by Congress or in any USN plans, other than an option to remedy the crisis they have with inventory right now in the current Wings. That crisis is the Super Hornets ARE wearing out even as we discuss it now.

Assuming the current budget trajectory continues, in a couple years ... not much after 2022, if not sooner ... there will still be an ongoing choice of cost benefit for 3000 more hours, plus Blk III upgrade of Super Hornets vs just buying F-35Cs. At some point likely before 2030 that balance will shift to the F-35Cs.

Keep in mind that while we ponder such things, another Super Hornet just "wore out" (reached 6,000 hours). So I'm not sure where you got "they won't until 2030" from.

Just Saying,
BP
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Unread post09 Oct 2018, 09:14

1st 4 super hornet SLEP already started in April 2018 with the first contract to be completed in April 2020.

https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1454026/

Boeing is saying that the initial SH will take ~18 months to complete the SLEP but they are working to cut this down to 12.

Year 2022 is when SLEP will incorporate upgrade from blk II to blk III

https://news.usni.org/2018/04/06/first- ... on-program

USN only needs to equip 40 strike fighter squadrons (@12 SH each) and over 550 super hornets have been ordered. As many have mentioned, only maybe 24 needs to equip 6 CVNs that can deploy. And F-35Cs are starting to equip a significant proportion of those strike fighter squadrons.

I think they have this covered. Hope this helps.

P.s. forgot to mention MQ-25s that will reduce SH flight hours as well.
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Unread post09 Oct 2018, 16:49

weasel1962 wrote:1st 4 super hornet SLEP already started in April 2018 with the first contract to be completed in April 2020.
...
I think they have this covered. Hope this helps.


I agree, as per MQ-25, SLEP and BLK II/III SLAP the USN is developing an option to deal with the fighter shortage issues that are very real right now (even the 10,000 hr legacy Hornet SLEP). But your rosy picture covers a whole bunch of warts.

1. That they even discuss 6 vs 10 Wings clearly shows what the problem is. They are struggling (right now) trying to muster the squadrons for the Carriers deployed/available. They (right now) steal aircraft from other squadrons to get the 40-48 ac to deploy.

2. It never ceases to amaze me that folks can't understand that you actually need to have reserve/training squadrons flying significant hours. That's where they are stealing aircraft. You can't do it with just 24*12 300 aircraft just on the carriers. The pilots will not get flying time for currency when you steal their good aircraft and leave them all the hangar queens (broken and salvaged airframes) back at home.

3. Congress has directed (even when they don't provide the money for it) that the USN WILL have 9/10 wings [edit]. The ten is not a "we don't have to do it/worry". It's mandated. AND ... you have to have training squadrons AND reserve squadrons for "borrowing" (not stealing) aircraft.

4. Whatever Trump and Congress have done this year and next, the spectre of sequestration that created the mess has not gone away. Before we hit the "it'll be okay" 2022 window, we may well be in a cut 10% off the top budget situation again. Planes will not get parts/maintenance. SLEPs will not get paid for, and new orders will get cut. Hopefully that can be avoided, but if you don't think the monster is lurking at the door, you don't know how politics/budgets work in the US.

That's why we ended up with one type (SH) trying to do everythings (refueling, ASuW etc.) We had to maximize the few purchase dollars available. Keeping 2-4 types required more dollars. If that happens again, buying as many F-35Cs as the dollars allow will quickly be the answer just as it was with SH over legacy SLEP. And without a SLEP/SLAP, buying C's will be the continually more attractive option heading to 2030.

MHO FWIW,
BP
Last edited by blindpilot on 09 Oct 2018, 22:32, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post09 Oct 2018, 20:35

blindpilot wrote:
I agree, as per MQ-25, SLEP and BLK II/III SLAP the USN is developing an option to deal with the fighter shortage issues that are very real right now (even the 10,000 hr legacy Hornet SLEP). But your rosy picture covers a whole bunch of warts.

1. That they even discuss 6 vs 10 Wings clearly shows what the problem is. They are struggling (right now) trying to muster the squadrons for the Carriers deployed/available. They (right now) steal aircraft from other squadrons to get the 40-48 ac to deploy.

2. It never ceases to amaze me that folks can't understand that you actually need to have reserve/training squadrons flying significant hours. That's where they are stealing aircraft. You can't do it with just 24*12 300 aircraft just on the carriers. The pilots will not get flying time for currency when you steal their good aircraft and leave them all the hangar queens (broken and salvaged airframes) back at home.

3. Congress has directed (even when they don't provide the money for it) that the USN WILL have 9/10 squadrons. The ten is not a "we don't have to do it/worry". It's mandated. AND ... you have to have training squadrons AND reserve squadrons for "borrowing" (not stealing) aircraft.

4. Whatever Trump and Congress have done this year and next, the spectre of sequestration that created the mess has not gone away. Before we hit the "it'll be okay" 2022 window, we may well be in a cut 10% off the top budget situation again. Planes will not get parts/maintenance. SLEPs will not get paid for, and new orders will get cut. Hopefully that can be avoided, but if you don't think the monster is lurking at the door, you don't know how politics/budgets work in the US.

That's why we ended up with one type (SH) trying to do everythings (refueling, ASuW etc.) We had to maximize the few purchase dollars available. Keeping 2-4 types required more dollars. If that happens again, buying as many F-35Cs as the dollars allow will quickly be the answer just as it was with SH over legacy SLEP. And without a SLEP/SLAP, buying C's will be the continually more attractive option heading to 2030.

MHO FWIW,
BP


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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 01:03

SH MC rates was under 50%. SH started out 2018 with 246 (out of 546) not even enough for 24 sqns. Now at least, its 270. Its a bunch of warts, no doubt. Airframe life is just 1 of the issues but they are doing something about it. DLA did a 5 year $427m spares contract in May just to start bringing the down fleet back up.

Now Mattis is looking to get USAF MC rates up to 80%.
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/10 ... -one-year/

That's a clear sign of where the extra $ being pumped into defense is going. Not just new builds.
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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 01:43

wrightwing wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, odds are good that the USN/USMC will acquire more than todays planned 340 F-35C's. As the NGAD Fighter won't be ready for a good 20 years at least. Yet, the Super Hornet Fleet (even with SELP) will start to run out of flight hours starting around 2030+.

So, my guess is the USN will just continue to purchase additional F-35C's after the orders for the 340 have been filled. This is hardly surprising or even new. As it happens all of the time.....(with the Super Hornet itself being a good example)

Super Hornets aren't going to wear out by 2030. They're 9000 hour airframes. The oldest Block 1s didn't enter service till 1999, and Block 2s are about the same age as Raptors (10 or less years old.) F-15s built in the 1980s will be retiring then barring any significant changes in USAF plans. The oldest Super Hornets are still ~10 to 20 years newer than F-15Cs.


HOW MANY YEARS DID IT TAKE TO GET TO 6,000 HRS???

Quote: The US Navy plans to modify 45 more Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in the next two years to increase the aircraft’s service life and capabilities, the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announced on 27 March.

The potential contract will cover modifications to up to 15 aircraft in fiscal year 2019 and a maximum of 30 aircraft in FY2020, NAVAIR says. The modifications are designed to extend the fighter’s airframe life from 6,000-9,000h, adding up to 10 years of service.

Boeing will also convert existing Block II Super Hornets to a new Block III configuration starting in the early 2020s. This conversion will include adding an enhanced network capability, a longer range thanks to internal conformal fuel tanks, an advanced cockpit system, reduced radar signature and an enhanced communication system. Such updates are designed to keep the type effective in combat until at least into the early 2030s.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ts-447133/

Also, the USN has no plans to give the 135 or so Super Hornet Blk I's a SLEP. So, they will just be retired....
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