Commander Naval Air Forces wants more F/A-18s

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spazsinbad

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Unread post28 Apr 2018, 05:43

Never despair - Repair is at hand...
Boeing Awarded Contract for Spare Parts for Navy, Marine F/A-18s
26 Apr 2018 SEAPOWER

"ST. LOUIS — The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has awarded Boeing a five-year, $427 million sole-source contract to provide and manage consumable material for F/A-18 depot maintenance with the option for five additional years, the company announced in an April 26 release. This is an extension of the DLA/Boeing Captains of Industry program and the program’s first depot contract supporting the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, bringing the value of the program to $3.2 billion.

Boeing will provide consumable materials used for structural repair and modification of legacy F/A-18 Hornets at five U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps depots and the Boeing Cecil Field Site in Jacksonville, Florida. Boeing field service representatives will be co-located at these sites to provide technical support and expertise....

...Currently, there are two programs to repair aging F/A-18 A-D Hornets:
_____ ■ Planned Maintenance Interval – 1 is an extensive, comprehensive inspection, repair, and rework of the aircraft, _______ which consists of both specific targeted areas and zonal inspections of critical areas.
_____ ■ High Flight Hour is a series of inspections and modifications to extend the life of the aircraft from 6,000 hours ________to 10,000 hours.

The DLA Captains of Industry program leverages Boeing’s capabilities and relationships with suppliers to improve material availability, provide onsite technical support and engineering support, which will reduce aircraft maintenance cycle time and get the aircraft back to the warfighter faster."

Source: http://seapowermagazine.org/stories/201 ... rnets.html
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Unread post28 Apr 2018, 19:25

spazsinbad wrote:"ST. LOUIS — The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has awarded Boeing a five-year, $427 million sole-source contract to provide and manage consumable material for F/A-18 depot maintenance with the option for five additional years, the company announced in an April 26 release. This is an extension of the DLA/Boeing Captains of Industry program and the program’s first depot contract supporting the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, bringing the value of the program to [b]$3.2 billion


And once more you have a demonstration of why the sustainment cost of any aircraft is usually much larger than procurement cost, and that is before you include pilots, maintainers, fuel, routine spares, other consumables, etc. This is just to provide and manage parts availability for depot level work, not actually do any of the work!
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Unread post17 May 2018, 21:11

Raytheon awarded infrared and radar system upgrade contract for F/A-18 and E/A-18G
17 May 2018 Garrett Reim

"Naval Air Warfare Center intends to award a sole source contract to Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems to upgrade infrared and radar systems aboard the US Navy’s Boeing F/A-18 and E/A-18G aircraft.

The USN is contracting Raytheon to upgrade the aircraft’s Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared (ATFLIR), and the AN/APG-65, AN/APG-73 and AN/APG-79 radars. The service announced its intention online on 9 May to grant the contract to Raytheon without a bidding competition because the company is the sole designer, developer and manufacturer of the systems. Raytheon will be contracted to improve radar electronic countermeasures and sensor tactical capabilities....

...The infrared and radar upgrades come as the USN is buying more F/A-18 aircraft. Boeing was awarded a $41.3 million firm-fixed-price contract for long-lead materials to support the production of 24 F/A-18 aircraft for the USN, the Department of Defense announced on Wednesday. The Lot 43 work will be performed in St Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be completed in March 2022."

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -c-448472/
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Unread post18 May 2018, 14:15

Why on earth would you buy/develop an IRST baked into an external fuel tank?

It obviously can't be jettisoned, and as such has a big performance penalty. Why not develop a much smaller pod, with far less of drag penalty? And since we're talking about the F/A 18 here, why not spend the $ to put it where it really belongs - as part of the airframe?

Lord knows the Navy has the time, $ and inclination for anything Hornet related. Might as well do it right the first time...
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Unread post18 May 2018, 15:44

mixelflick wrote:It obviously can't be jettisoned, and as such has a big performance penalty. Why not develop a much smaller pod, with far less of drag penalty?

For a Super Hornet the drag of the centerline tank is DI 20. The drag of a single ATFLIR is DI 12.

Speaking to a SHornet driver, the centerline tank is always carried. Tanks are also never dropped. If you can find evidence of tanks being dropped in operational scenarios in the last 30 years let me know. Even F-15s on QRA doing a supersonic intercept keep their tanks on them. So, if the tank is already always there, and is already never dropped, save the 12 DI and put the FLIR in the tank. It will have better FOV from there anyway.
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Unread post18 May 2018, 16:07

I wonder how much of the fuel was removed to house the IRST?
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Unread post18 May 2018, 17:50

SpudmanWP wrote:I wonder how much of the fuel was removed to house the IRST?

Looking up the GE Aviation FPU-13 fuel tank assembly, it seems it has 330gal capacity from the 480gal tank. So you lose 1,000lb of the 3,250lb carried by a standard tank. This will be more than offset by the CFTs that are being put on new/refurb Block IIIs in 2020-ish.
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Unread post18 May 2018, 18:17

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:I wonder how much of the fuel was removed to house the IRST?

Looking up the GE Aviation FPU-13 fuel tank assembly, it seems it has 330gal capacity from the 480gal tank. So you lose 1,000lb of the 3,250lb carried by a standard tank. This will be more than offset by the CFTs that are being put on new/refurb Block IIIs in 2020-ish.


You'd only be carrying the IRST in counter-air which is the last place you'd want CFTs.
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Unread post18 May 2018, 19:26

marauder2048 wrote:You'd only be carrying the IRST in counter-air which is the last place you'd want CFTs.

Maybe you don't want CFTs, maybe you do. It would vastly increase CAP time on station.
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Unread post18 May 2018, 21:15

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:It would vastly increase CAP time on station.


Not trying to be contentious but I thought that's why they were spending billions on a robo-tanker...
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Unread post19 May 2018, 01:39

Why not both? No, they are spending money on Robo Tanker so that Hornets don't have to be tankers
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Unread post19 May 2018, 13:32

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
mixelflick wrote:It obviously can't be jettisoned, and as such has a big performance penalty. Why not develop a much smaller pod, with far less of drag penalty?

For a Super Hornet the drag of the centerline tank is DI 20. The drag of a single ATFLIR is DI 12.

Speaking to a SHornet driver, the centerline tank is always carried. Tanks are also never dropped. If you can find evidence of tanks being dropped in operational scenarios in the last 30 years let me know. Even F-15s on QRA doing a supersonic intercept keep their tanks on them. So, if the tank is already always there, and is already never dropped, save the 12 DI and put the FLIR in the tank. It will have better FOV from there anyway.


Find evidence how? It's not like there are mission data files sitting around for the general public to peruse. I'd surmise plenty a Phantom punched its wing tanks in Vietnam prior to mixing it up with Mig-17's, but how would I verify that? Likewise, I'd think our F-15's in Desert Storm did the same. But again, the USAF doesn't confirm (anywhere) that I can see when that's occurred.The best I can do is youtube's "dogfights" series, but I'd call that a less than complete/accurate source..

is there some official source I'm not aware of?
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Unread post19 May 2018, 13:50

There have been pictures of Vietnamese people using dropped tanks and canoes. That is evidence.

In my various studies and discussions with current pilots I have never heard of tanks being punched. I have been told that the tanks aren't punched. I have read about F-15s on a "Save the president" QRA intercept that flew supersonic for a few hundred miles and did so retaining the tanks.

So, in short there is ample evidence that back in the sixties and seventies tanks were dropped. All evidence from '91 on is that they are retained.
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Unread post20 May 2018, 04:32

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:Why not both? No, they are spending money on Robo Tanker so that Hornets don't have to be tankers


The latter benefits practically all aircraft that can refuel the Navy way.

The former (even if they've gone the F-16 CFT route which doesn't appear to be the case)
just chews up scarce stores volume aboard a carrier in a way EFTs, even if they aren't separable, don't have to.
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Unread post20 May 2018, 13:14

mixelflick wrote:Find evidence how? It's not like there are mission data files sitting around for the general public to peruse. I'd surmise plenty a Phantom punched its wing tanks in Vietnam prior to mixing it up with Mig-17's, but how would I verify that? Likewise, I'd think our F-15's in Desert Storm did the same. But again, the USAF doesn't confirm (anywhere) that I can see when that's occurred.The best I can do is youtube's "dogfights" series, but I'd call that a less than complete/accurate source..

is there some official source I'm not aware of?



Centreline tanks usually have far less impact than wing tanks so there is probably less chance of them needing to drop it - wonder if they will treat it like a centreline ECM pod so they cannot jettison it?

A lot of the tanks used in Vietnam were not stressed for high G combat anyway and I am pretty certain IIRC F-4s had to drop the centreline to be able to fire the AIM-7s without them hitting it.

1993 AMRAAM F-16 claim for Craig Stevenson for certain because there is a photo of him on the tanker afterwards (somewhere), he dropped the tanks literally straight away (but kept the bombs)


regarding 2 MiG-29 claims on 26 Mar 1999 supposedly an email from Jeff Hwang (F-15s):

Boomer and I were tasked as Bosnia-Herzgovinia DCA on 26 Mar, vul time from 1500Z to 1900Z.
--
I called "COMBAT 1, ARM HOT" and saw Boomer's wing tanks come off with bright flames under the wing. Pretty impressive! I was well over the Mach when I punched my tanks off and the jet jumped up abruptly (you can see it in the HUD).
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