Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

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Corsair1963

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Unread post05 Mar 2020, 04:39

Wouldn't F-16's be a cheaper option. While, provide near identical performance to the F/A-18 Hornets...... :|
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spazsinbad

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Unread post05 Mar 2020, 05:01

What is available is what counts. Many civilian companies now vie for retired military jets - it is a big business nowadays.
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Unread post10 Mar 2020, 20:36

FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND TRADE LEGISLATION COMMITTEE - Estimates [PDF attached - page 91]
04 Mar 2020 Senate Hansard

"...Senator VAN: I want to ask Air Force to come and talk to the F-35. Can you update the committee on the progress of the F-35 program, including some information on the delivery of the aircraft and progress towards IOC?
Air Marshal Hupfeld: Certainly. The delivery of the F-35, I think, is going very well. We currently have 13 aircraft delivered and operating in Australia at the moment out of RAAF base Williamtown in New South Wales. We have another five aircraft operating in the international training centre at Luke Air Force Base. We either have, or are very close to getting, the next four contractually accepted in the US. They'll be due to return to Australia in a week or so. So we're just right at the delivery state for that.

As I've said, the program so far has been successful for us. The price margin for the F-35 over the last three lots and what we've been getting for the aeroplane has shown through the whole program a price reduction of about 12.8 per cent. So it's down less than US$80 million for each aircraft. That also had some Australian industry benefits. I'll pass to my colleague from Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group to talk through some Australian industry aspects.
Our training program is progressing successfully. We are now training our air crew at Williamtown. Our first ab initio F-35 pilot—one that hasn't flown a fighter aircraft before—is either on the course or about to start the course very shortly. That's ahead of our planned schedule. The training for our maintenance personnel is also on success and slightly ahead of schedule. So we're well on track for our initial operating capability at the end of this year and to drive towards full operating capability.

For initial operating capability at the end of this year, we expect to have 33 aircraft. We assess that it's low risk for us at the moment to achieve that milestone. Once again, it's looking promising. So we are ahead, I think, but only slightly, with troops and aircraft to task. We performed with some of our aircraft and air crew operating in exercise Red Flag last year. The performance of the aircraft has been very successful. It is quoted as anecdotally achieving in a training environment what we call a kill ratio of 20 to one; it takes out 20 adversary aircraft for the so-called loss of only one of our own. The F-35 as a fifth generation aircraft can operate in a threat environment that a fourth generation aircraft is not able to and protect itself. Additionally, the F-35 has been able to integrate and enhance the capability of the fourth generation aircraft that operates with it. So it's been successful in that regard.

Senator VAN: Just on that, how will the F-35 contribute to our five gen capability?
Air Marshal Hupfeld: The good parts of the aeroplane are about the integration and fusion of information. It will do that well across any of the air systems that it's operating with and fighting with in the air. It can also now send and provide TA information to the joint force, both maritime and land forces. So it contributes to enhance the overall capabilities of the joint force as a whole...."

Source: https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/do ... 67/0000%22
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Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee_2020_03_04_7607.pdf;fileType=application-pdf.pdf
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Unread post12 Mar 2020, 19:17

EA-18G Growler - 21st Century Electronic Attack [Eight Page PDF of article attached below]
April 2020 Mark Ayton

“AIR International details the Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft and its Next-Gen Jammer, as Mark Ayton considers what lies ahead for this sophisticated node in the modern battlespace....

...OPS AROUND the ‘BOAT’...
...During carrier suitability trials, VX-23 undertook gross-weight expansion testing to increase the Growler’s bring-back capability to 48,000lb (21,773kg) including fuel, up from the Super Hornet’s 44,000lb (19,958kg) load. Catapult shots had to ensure tow-bar, nose-bar, gear and hook point loads were within the required limits for launching the aircraft. Arrested landings with a gross weight of 48,000lb (21,773kg) were conducted under various simulated conditions to test de-acceleration, high-sink rate landings, roll/yaw offset landings and different attitudes.”

Source: AIR International Magazine APRIL 2020 Vol 98 No 4
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Growler EA-18G Air International April 2020 pp8.pdf
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Unread post20 Mar 2020, 02:18

Next-Gen Jammer Mid-Band pod completes developmental testing
19 Mar 2020 Kristine Wilcox, Airborne Electronic Attack Systems (PMA-234) communications

"NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md -- The Navy’s Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) developmental pod recently completed a portion of developmental testing in the Air Combat Environmental Test and Evaluation Facility anechoic chamber at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. The NGJ-MB Engineering Development Model (EDM) pods, developed by the Raytheon Company in El Segundo, California, completed more than 400 hours of basic functionality, Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3) data collection and performance testing over a period of three months.

“This chamber test period was instrumental to the NGJ-MB Developmental Test program, and its success was the direct result of outstanding teamwork among the Program Office, Integrated Test Team, and Raytheon stakeholders,” said Capt. Michael Orr, Airborne Electronic Attack Systems (PMA-234) program manager. “Data captured during this period not only supports our initial flight clearance, but also provided lessons learned that will benefit the entire NGJ-MB test program moving forward.”

The NGJ-MB system consists of two pods, referred to as a shipset, which will be loaded onto EA-18G Growler aircraft. The system will provide significantly improved Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) capabilities against advanced threats in the mid-band frequency range through enhanced agility and precision within jamming assignments, increased interoperability and expanded broadband capacity for greater threat coverage against a wide variety of radio frequency emitters.

Unlike most capabilities that instantly replace its predecessor, the NGJ-MB systems will initially augment the legacy ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System until the low- and high-band components are ready to deploy. NGJ-MB will enter flight testing at the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 this spring. The program's Milestone C is projected for the end of this fiscal year...."

Photo: "Two Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band pods, attached to an EA-18G Growler, undergo testing in the Air Combat Environmental Test and Evaluation Facility anechoic chamber at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. (U.S. Navy photo)" https://www.navair.navy.mil/sites/g/fil ... 8576_0.jpg (0.7Mb)


Source: https://www.navair.navy.mil/news/Next-G ... 92020-1129
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Unread post20 Mar 2020, 02:45

Anyone wanna venture a guess on a DI for this beauty?

Now add a couple EFTs. :shock:
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Unread post20 Mar 2020, 03:33

:devil: It'll need all those wires to get airborne. :doh:
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Unread post20 Mar 2020, 05:42

The new skyhook propulsion system. I've heard about is for a long time. :devil:
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Unread post29 Mar 2020, 22:58

Wonder what is going on at EDWARDS re testing F-35s by ALLIES (not including the COVID-19 situation otherwise known).
COVID-19: F-35 Testing Suspended; Edwards AFB Flight Tests Halted
27 Mar 2020 Colin Clark

"...Meanwhile, we hear that Australia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, who want to stay at Edwards for their sovereign IOTE testing (the data which they gather is shared with the US) have not gotten an answer to whether they will remain there after roughly a year of requests. Our source says this is increasing friction with those allies and raising questions in their minds about the US commitment to a truly joint allied program."

Source: https://breakingdefense.com/2020/03/cov ... ts-halted/
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Unread post19 May 2020, 21:36

NGJ-LB begins final DET tests
18 May 2020 NavAir

"NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md -- The U.S. Navy recently began the final Demonstration of Existing Technologies (DET) test period for the Next Generation Jammer Low Band (NGJ-LB) capability at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Tests are being conducted at the Air Combat Environmental Test and Evaluation Facility and the Facility for Antenna and RCS Measurement (FARM) through this summer. The 20-month DET contract has been a collaborative effort with industry partners to assess technical maturity....

...NGJ-LB is part of a larger NGJ weapon system that will augment, and ultimately replace the legacy ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System (TJS) currently used for Airborne Electronic Attack on the EA-18G Growler aircraft. “NGJ-LB is the next step in the evolution of Airborne Electronic Attack that is needed to meet current and emerging electronic warfare gaps, and our team is dedicated to delivering this capability to the fleet as quickly as possible,” Orr [Airborne Electronic Attack Systems (PMA-234) Program Manager Capt. Michael Orr, who oversees the NGJ-LB program] said."

BADGE: https://www.navair.navy.mil/sites/g/fil ... INAL_0.png

Source: https://www.navair.navy.mil/news/NGJ-LB ... 82020-1153
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Unread post21 May 2020, 12:20

They are going to be good. RAAF are saying IOC 2025 and FOC 2031
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Unread post28 May 2020, 19:53

Here is a photo of the Australian F35's training in the wet this week. Looks a little strange as number 14 has a clear canopy for some reason.
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Unread post04 Jun 2020, 16:23

RAAF F-35s on the rise Down Under
04 Jun 2020 Greg Waldron

"...3 Sqn operates 12 F-35As out of the 17 examples permanently located in Australia. The other five are with the air force’s 2 Sqn operational conversion unit (OCU), also located at Williamtown. Canberra’s five other F-35As and seven instructors remain at Luke AFB, Arizona, where they are part of the F-35 programme’s international training effort.

Another four F-35As will be ferried to Australia sometime in late July. Ultimately, Canberra has plans to obtain 72 F-35s, which could eventually rise to 100.... Final operating capability will come when the RAAF has three operational units – also including its 75 and 77 squadrons – supported by the OCU. Overall, Australia’s F-35 fleet has flown over 6,500h.... [then ladedah over switches, HMDS & such]

...Another big change for pilots converting from the Hornet and Super Hornet is that the F-35 conducts air-to-air refuelling via a boom receptacle located on the upper fuselage behind the pilot. This differs from the F/A-18 family, which use the hose-and-drogue method with a refuelling arm located in the aircraft’s nose ahead and to the right of the cockpit.

“Previously I was in control,” he says. “The basket might have been moving around, but I was the one in control of when I was actually going to engage the basket, plug in and get the fuel. Once you’re in [the basket] it is easier to stay there.”

Boom refuelling requires carefully flying in formation with the tanker overhead. Still, RAAF crews are familiar with the new technique. Long delivery transits from the USA to Australia across the Pacific Ocean afford ample opportunities to practice air-to-air refuelling. “It requires a little bit more attention to stay in the right spot so the boom does not have to work too hard,” he says.

Clare [Wing Commander Darren Clare leads the RAAF’s 3 Sqn, based at RAAF Williamtown, New South Wales] dismisses a concern raised by some observers that the boom might accidently scratch the aircraft’s stealthy skin, which could theoretically compromise the type’s signature. He points out that the receptacle is located under “a couple of doors”, so while there could be metal-on-metal scratching from the boom connection, when the “doors close up you’re fine again”....

...While the RAAF still has a strong presence at Luke AFB, shifting the majority of its training to Williamtown earlier this year changed the centre of gravity for the force’s F-35A activities. All maintenance training is now undertaken in Australia, and the pilot conversion course has already produced new pilots...." [jump at the moar]

PHOTO: "Source: Commonwealth of Australia - F-35As from 3 Sqn conduct instrument landing approach training at RAAF Richmond" https://d3lcr32v2pp4l1.cloudfront.net/P ... 867361.jpg



Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing ... 37.article
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Unread post22 Jun 2020, 21:59

Next Gen Jammer Low Band testing prevails during COVID-19
22 Jun 2020 NavAirSysCom

"NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.--The U.S. Navy’s Next Generation Jammer Low Band (NGJ-LB) program successfully completed test events at two Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, facilities simultaneously and with limited staffing while remaining on schedule despite significant COVID-19 restrictions. Airborne Electronic Attack Systems Program Office (PMA-234) NGJ-LB team was ready to begin its final Demonstration of Existing Technologies (DET) testing when COVID-19 restrictions were put into place....

...They made the required Center for Disease Control and NAVAIR readjustments and were still able to complete testing with two contractors’ prototype pods at both Air Combat Environmental Test and Evaluation Facility (ACETEF) and the Facility for Antenna and RCS Measurement (FARM) in less than two months....

...The 22-month DET contract, awarded to L3Harris and Northrop Grumman Corporation, has been a collaborative effort with the industry partners to assess technical maturity and will conclude later this summer. The U.S. Navy is currently in source selection to choose a Prime contractor to develop the NGJ-LB Capability Block 1 tactical jamming operational prototypes with a contract award anticipated this fall.

NGJ-LB is part of a larger NGJ weapon system that will augment, and ultimately replace the legacy ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System currently used for Airborne Electronic Attack on the EA-18G Growler aircraft."

Photo: "Next Generation Jammer Low Band (NGJ-LB) team conducts final Demonstration of Existing Technologies testing on prototype pods from L3Harris and Northrop Grumman Corporation simultaneously at the Facility for Antenna and RCS Measurement (shown here) and Air Combat Environmental Test and Evaluation Facility, located at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The team remained on schedule despite reduced staffing and delays due to COVID-19 restrictions. (U.S. Navy photo)" https://www.navair.navy.mil/sites/g/fil ... ne2020.jpg (570Kb)


Source: https://www.navair.navy.mil/news/Next-G ... 22020-1119
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Unread post23 Jun 2020, 01:15

Hey spaz,

With tensions heating up with China (Threats of economic retaliation, bug on the shoe quotes ect)
Do you have confidence that a handful of F-18s and 100 F-35 could defend Australias SLOC? Could a determined China attempt to strike airbasing or blockade Australia?
Could you guys kill a SAG in approach?
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