GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

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gideonic

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Unread post11 Jun 2019, 21:58

spazsinbad wrote:While specifics about the upgrade are mostly secret, they largely include integration of new weapons such as the Small Diameter Bomb II; logistics and support changes; electronic warfare updates; interoperability and networking changes; cockpit and navigation upgrades; and radar and electro-optical system enhancements.


So something suspected for a while but no official confirmation, the Radar is also updated
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post11 Jun 2019, 22:43

I think the radar improvements are the new & improved modes that have already been announced.
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jetblast16

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Unread post12 Jun 2019, 02:25

I know a new panoramic display is coming in Block 4, but are widgets (graphics, icons, etc.) on the display going to change, be updated?
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Dragon029

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Unread post12 Jun 2019, 02:36

Unlikely; that'd mean having pilots re-train on the system for little reason.
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jetblast16

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Unread post12 Jun 2019, 02:43

Then why the new display? To take advantage of increased resolution of the EOTS, etc?
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Unread post12 Jun 2019, 02:52

Why new displays? Obsolescence, DMS (diminishing manufacturing sources), R&M...could be any or all. TR3 stuff.

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Unread post12 Jun 2019, 03:00

OVER on the PCD thread (where ever) there is old talk from Head Designer of PVI Pilot Vehickle Interface (I feel I can spell Vehicle that way because some clowns spell LIGHTENING) says there was/is a plan for colour icons but a standard had not been devised at the time of statement (because NEW). Also there was some hope for more game like 3D display in future.

"...having pilots re-train on the system..." pilot bread & butter to retrain IF it is worth it and because they are worth it.

Over on another BLOCK 4 thread 'SWP' has a guess: viewtopic.php?f=62&t=27390&p=404492&hilit=color#p404492

COLOUR/color in HMDS: viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223&p=404868&hilit=color#p404868
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Dragon029

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Unread post12 Jun 2019, 04:32

Besides what quicksilver said, there's also the resolution increases coming to the EOTS and DAS which will require higher resolution displays to view properly (you can't get the full quality of a (eg) 2k x 2k sensor if your display only has a 1280x1024 resolution; not without zooming in and decreasing situational awareness). The heat generated by the PCDs has also been noted in the past and these new displays have a threshold requirement of consuming 2x less power (objective 4x less), which will assist with that.
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Unread post03 Aug 2019, 20:10

AMENDED F-35 only SAR here: download/file.php?id=31039 (PDF 0.6Mb)
Block 4 Upgrades Prompt Rise in F-35 Program Cost
02 Aug 2019 John A. Tirpak

"The total cost of the F-35 program grew by $25 billion in 2018—or about $95 billion when adjusting for inflation—in part because of a new slate of upgrades known as Block 4, the Pentagon said in an annual acquisition report published Aug. 1.

Acquisition alone—including research and development, procurement, and military construction costs—rose by $15.3 billion compared to the 2012 baseline, or $22.2 billion when adjusted for inflation.

The Pentagon also noted a dispute between its cost assessment and program evaluation shop, which believes Joint Strike Fighter operations and sustainment costs are rising, and the F-35 Joint Program Office, which argues those costs are shrinking.

Lifetime costs for the entire fleet of US-operated F-35s span design and development, purchase of the jets, repairs, spare parts, modifications, upgrades, operations, military construction, and inflation over a 53-year period.

...Overall development costs, which rose by $10.5 billion compared to the 2012 baseline, include the price of Block 4, designing F-35s to carry nuclear weapons, the growing costs of the Autonomic Logistics Information System, and higher expenses associated with deployability. When adjusted for inflation, development costs grew $12.4 billion.

Production costs went up, too. The most basic F-35 cost metric, known as the unit recurring flyaway cost that covers the aircraft and engine, rose by $2.1 million per airplane for the F-35A, $2.8 million for F-35B, and $900,000 for the C model. Those numbers reflect costs incurred during production prior to the ongoing Lot 11, the Pentagon said, after which the unit price is expected to plummet….

...The CAPE office estimates that operations and sustainment grew by $9.7 billion (or $12 billion when including inflation), but the JPO said O&S decreased by $23.1 billion (or $8.5 billion when including inflation).

The program office’s O&S estimate dropped by nearly 4 percent from fiscal 2017 to 2018, following guidance from the Office of the Secretary of Defense....

...Cost per flying hour dropped 2.3 percent for the F-35A, 1.8 percent for the F-35B, and 5.3 percent for the F-35C—the most up-to-date aircraft in US service. F-35A and F-35B costs dropped based on OSD guidance, while the F-35C’s cost per flying hour fell from changes to the propulsion cost estimate.""

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... -Cost.aspx
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Unread post20 Jul 2020, 15:40

This is a lLLLLLLLLLOoooooooooooonNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNgGGGGGGGG article best read at source.
Lengthy F-35 Upgrade List To Transform Strike Fighter’s Future Role
20 Jul 2020 Steve Trimble

"...The JPO also adopted an agile development process for Block 4. The upgrades are still organized in four major increments—Block 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4—and smaller batches of new capabilities are released in six-month cycles, a process called Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2). Lockheed, for example, is scheduled to complete development of 30P5 software in the third quarter of this year, which will be followed by software drops called 30P6 in the first quarter of 2021 and 30P7 in the third quarter of 2021. The agile development method is intended to reduce the scale of delays caused by a release of a large batch of flawed software every two years, but it is not a panacea. As the software from the first C2D2 release entered testing, new problems appeared, such as Block 4 software code causing “issues” for Block 3F functions that had been working, according to the GAO.

The next major advance for the Block 4 program should arrive in 2023. This Block 4.2 configuration will be the first to include Technical Refresh 3 (TR-3) hardware, which includes a new integrated core processor, an aircraft memory system and a panoramic cockpit display system. As the first cockpit computing for the F-35 since Block 3i appeared in 2016, the TR3 will enable a leap in sensing capability, especially for the BAE Systems ASQ-239 electronic-warfare system....

...The latest F-35 selected acquisition report (SAR), [posted here: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=12237&p=442172&hilit=posted#p442172 ] which was released by the Defense Department in early July, reports similar issues with TR-3, citing specifically higher costs due to additional support needed to help one supplier manage the complexity of a field-programmable gate array used in the new processor system. The development of the integrated core processor and the aircraft memory system also are suffering delays, according to the annual SAR.

As the TR-3-equipped Block 4.2 configuration arrives in the fleet, the F-35’s power to sense targets and threats passively should rise enormously. The upgrade also paves the way for a critical update to BAE’s electronic-warfare system, especially the jamming techniques generators embedded in Racks 2A and 2B of the ASQ-239. BAE also plans to upgrade the wing-leading-edge-mounted receivers in Bands 2, 3 and 4 as well as activate new Band 5 receivers from broad spectrum coverage from very low to extremely high radio frequencies. Aided by the more powerful processors introduced by TR-3, the F-35 may be able to develop jamming techniques as it encounters new signals not previously stored in the aircraft’s mission data files. Such a capacity for so-called cognitive electronic warfare is becoming critical as adversaries shift to software-defined radios and frequency-hopping radar arrays.

If the current schedule is maintained, the TR-3 and Block 4.2 upgrades arriving in Lot 15 aircraft will include more than improved computing power. Lockheed is modifying the internal weapons bay to enable the “sidekick” upgrade, which increases the Raytheon AIM-120 missile loadout by 50% to six missiles. As the Lockheed AIM-260 becomes available, the same loadout will become possible with a missile measuring the same length as the AIM-120 but with significantly more range.

The same modification also accommodates the dimensions of the Air Force’s new SiAW missile, which adds a new warhead to the Navy’s Advanced Antiradiation Guided Missile-Extended Range. An Israeli-funded program to add wing-mounted fuel tanks to the F-35’s loadout options also should become available and would increase the range by 25% if the mission does not require minimizing the aircraft’s profile on radar...."

Source: https://aviationweek.com/ad-week/length ... uture-role
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