Engine shortage is newest problem to hit F-35 enterprise

All about the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the (cancelled) General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136
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spazsinbad

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Unread post13 Feb 2021, 05:12

An engine shortage is the newest problem to hit the F-35 enterprise [story best read at source]
12 Feb 2021 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — The F-35 joint strike fighter program is grappling with a shortage of the jet’s Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, and it could be months before the situation starts to improve, a defense official said Friday.

The problem, according to the F-35 joint program office, is twofold. First, the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., has not been able to process engines through scheduled depot maintenance as quickly as projected.

Second, maintainers are discovering “premature distress of rotor blade coatings” in a “small number” of engine power modules, creating more repair work and contributing to the backlog.

A defense official who spoke to Defense News on background called the issues a “serious readiness problem.” By 2022, roughly 5 to 6 percent of the F-35 fleet could be without engines due to scheduled depot maintenance as well as unscheduled engine removals caused by F135s in need of repair.... [more detail]

...According to the F-35 program office, the Defense Department first noticed signs of the engine shortage issue in early 2020. At the end of the summer, the department received an update that made clear that the F135 depot would not be able to process 60 engine power modules a year, as was previously expected, the defense official said.

Myriad factors contributed to the slowdown, including “an increase in the work scope that they were seeing within as they tore down the engine, the unavailability of tech data, some of the engineering disposition wait time, the lack of available support equipment and …depot workforce proficiency,” the official said.

This was coupled with a “higher preponderance” of degradation to the heat protective coating applied to the blades of the F135 power module.

In order to tackle the maintenance backlog, the Air Force is adding a second shift at the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center, which should be up and running by June, the official said.

The F-35 program office has already contracted with Pratt & Whitney for additional power module repair support, and its working with the contractor to obtain more training, support equipment and technical data.

“What we want to shoot for is it turning out power modules at about 122 days. We’re a little over 200 days today,” the official said.

Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, also introduced a hardware modification to engine blades in spring 2020 that is being incorporated in the production line and in engines going through sustainment, the company said in a statement....

Photo: "Members of the 380th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron Air Terminal Operations Center wheel an F-35A Lightning II engine out of a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, August 26, 2020, at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. (Tech. Sgt. Charles Taylor/U.S. Air Force)" https://www.armytimes.com/resizer/1nvFa ... uality(100)/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/mco/KIODMG3OQNCORPLK2HKX4EPKJI.jpg


Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/02 ... nterprise/
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Unread post13 Feb 2021, 05:29

If we only had a second company building an alternate engine. Hmmmm
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Unread post13 Feb 2021, 08:53

jessmo112 wrote:If we only had a second company building an alternate engine. Hmmmm


How would an alternate engine help with problems with the IPP? Or are they referring to the F135 when they say "Engine power module"?
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Unread post13 Feb 2021, 10:07

http://www.amdo.org/JSF_Program_and_33_FW_Updates.pdf {3.4Mb) Five Modules as seen in graphic from PDF below.
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Unread post15 Feb 2021, 17:07

Other articles.
https://www.defensedaily.com/defense-wa ... tegorized/
Defense Watch: F-35 Engines, HASC Vice Chairs, Ellen Lord
By Cal Biesecker |02/12/2021
F-35A Engines. The U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command (ACC) said that it is working with the F-35 Joint Program Office and Pratt & Whitney to resolve supply and maintenance issues with Pratt’s F135 engine for the F-35A, as such engines have had…


I would like to expect the engine for Block 4. 8)
https://www.defenseworld.net/news/28928 ... t__Testing
P&W to Make Engines for F-35 Block 4 Development, Testing
Our Bureau February 9, 2021
The U.S. Department of Defense announced a $49.2 million contract to Pratt and Whitney (P&W) to manufacture engines for F-35 Lightning II Block 4 fighter aircraft.

This contract provides for one conventional take-off and landing and two short take-off/vertical landing F135 engines to support F-35 Lightning II Block Four developmental testing program, a U.S. DoD release said.
The U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35Bs and the Navy’s catapult-launched F-35Cs will receive incremental Block 4 upgrades (Block 4.1, 4.2, and onwards) in the coming months. The Block 4 upgrades will include faster computers, more missiles, panoramic cockpit display, longer ranges, and AI-flown wingmen (such as the XQ-58A “Valkyrie.”

The main computers of Block 4 jets will reportedly be able to receive 25 times more instructions than current onboard computers. This will allow the aircraft to draw more data from friendly sources and provide increased electronic warfare capabilities.
Block 4 incremental software upgrades improves F-35’s APG-81 AESA radar, Sensor Fusion, and Distributed Aperture System (DAS).

The jet can presently carry four AIM-120 AMRAAM medium range air-to-air missiles while preserving its stealthy profile. The new “Sidekick” missile launch system included in Block 4 upgrade squeezes two more AMRAAM missiles into the existing belly-mounted missile bay. The jet will also eventually carry the under-development AIM-260 missile, hypersonic weapons, plus a new missile designed to chase down and destroy ground-based radars.
New wing-mounted drop tanks to be added is expected to increase the F-35’s range by 25%, giving it a combat range of about 1186km at the cost of greater radar visibility.

by the way...
This article states that the drop tanks will extend the range by 1,186 km, or 25% of the F-35's true original range. :shock: (!?)
25%=1,186km :?: (?) :?: (Is my interpretation correct? :roll: unconfident.)
At x4, in other words, at 100%, it's will be 4,744 km.
......F-35's Original Range is 4,744km !? :doh: REALLY !? For Real !? What does the hell this article say? :bang: Is the F-35's Original internal fuel Range that Long?
--------------
[Edit]
I may have mistakenly assumed it was 125%. :notworthy: (Sorry to bother you.)
I'm not good at math. :doh:
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Unread post16 Feb 2021, 01:12

spazsinbad wrote:
An engine shortage is the newest problem to hit the F-35 enterprise [story best read at source]
12 Feb 2021 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — The F-35 joint strike fighter program is grappling with a shortage of the jet’s Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, and it could be months before the situation starts to improve, a defense official said Friday.

The problem, according to the F-35 joint program office, is twofold. First, the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., has not been able to process engines through scheduled depot maintenance as quickly as projected.

Second, maintainers are discovering “premature distress of rotor blade coatings” in a “small number” of engine power modules, creating more repair work and contributing to the backlog.

A defense official who spoke to Defense News on background called the issues a “serious readiness problem.” By 2022, roughly 5 to 6 percent of the F-35 fleet could be without engines due to scheduled depot maintenance as well as unscheduled engine removals caused by F135s in need of repair.... [more detail]

...According to the F-35 program office, the Defense Department first noticed signs of the engine shortage issue in early 2020. At the end of the summer, the department received an update that made clear that the F135 depot would not be able to process 60 engine power modules a year, as was previously expected, the defense official said.

Myriad factors contributed to the slowdown, including “an increase in the work scope that they were seeing within as they tore down the engine, the unavailability of tech data, some of the engineering disposition wait time, the lack of available support equipment and …depot workforce proficiency,” the official said.

This was coupled with a “higher preponderance” of degradation to the heat protective coating applied to the blades of the F135 power module.

In order to tackle the maintenance backlog, the Air Force is adding a second shift at the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center, which should be up and running by June, the official said.

The F-35 program office has already contracted with Pratt & Whitney for additional power module repair support, and its working with the contractor to obtain more training, support equipment and technical data.

“What we want to shoot for is it turning out power modules at about 122 days. We’re a little over 200 days today,” the official said.



Part of the issue is the decision by the JPO to maintain the F135 engine as a 2+ Level Maintenance concept. This divides the maintenance between Flightline on-wing base level maintenance and off-base Depot level maintenance, with the additional capability for the Flightline to remove and replace F135 modules off-wing. There is noon-base Intermediate level repair or test cell capability. This is a major savings in personnel and support equipment at base level, but demands high reliability and sufficient spare module availability.

If this was a F119 engine with 3 level maintenance, they could have pulled the engine to Intermediate, removed the Augmentor and Low Pressure Turbine, replaced the High Pressure Turbine blades, installed the LPT and Augmentor, performed a turbine run-in on test cell, and returned the engine to serviceable status in 2-3 weeks, assuming replacement parts were available.

With the current HPT blade issues, the Flightline has to pull the engine, remove the Power Module, and replace it with a spare Power Module from depot, if available. Depot has to tear down the module, replace the HPT blades, build the module up, install it into an engine for a test cell run-in, then remove the module to pack and ship to a base as a spare.

2 level maintenance can be a great concept when it works, but the pipeline between depot and the flightline is a lot longer than having an on-base Intermediate repair capability.
P&W FSR (retired) - TF30 / F100 /F119 /F135
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Unread post16 Feb 2021, 01:47

“...assuming replacement parts were available.”

The operative question, of course. My ‘sense’ reading the article was that they’ve ID’d the root cause, have formulated a fix, but are now time away from manufacturing in the numbers necessary to recover.

I noted in the article a reference to the engines ‘running hot.’ What it didn’t say was ‘why’? Was ‘hot’ the cause of coating problem or did the loss of coating (by some unnamed mechanism) create/contribute to the ‘hot’? :shrug:
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Unread post25 Feb 2021, 16:17

Brown's engines idea. :doh:
https://www.airforcemag.com/brown-launc ... gen-minus/
Brown Launching Major TacAir Study with CAPE, Considering ‘5th-Gen Minus’
Feb. 17, 2021 | By John A. Tirpak
The Air Force is launching a months-long study of tactical aviation requirements, seeking a force mix that addresses both near- and long-term requirements, which will be available in time to inform the fiscal 2023 budget request, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said Feb. 17.
He wants the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation shop involved so the study will have credibility and buy-in from the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
USAF needs a fifth-gen capability, comparable to the F-22 and F-35, and a “sixth-gen” capability such as the Next-Generation Air Dominance fighter, but it also needs “a mix for the lower-end fight,” Brown told reporters on Feb. 17.
Although he acknowledged that former Air Force acquisition chief Will Roper opened the possibility of buying more F-16s for this purpose, Brown waved away that idea. The F-16, he said, lacks open mission systems capability, and gets operational flight program updates—new software—too infrequently. The aircraft was designed in the 1970s, and he is more interested in a “clean sheet design,” which he referred to as a “fourth-and-a half/fifth-gen minus” aircraft. The TacAir study will decide just what is needed, and in what numbers.
The study will parallel Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III’s Global Posture Review, and the two assessments will “inform” each other.
“Right now, I wouldn’t say they’re aligned,” Brown said, noting this is another reason why he wants the CAPE involved. The TacAir study will require a lot of modeling and simulation, he said. The Global Posture Study will also lay out the “priorities of the department” and inform the direction of the TacAir assessment. To do it in “a vacuum … would be naïve,” he said.
Asked specifically about buying new F-16s, Brown said, “Actually, I want to build something new and different that’s not the F-16; that has some of those capabilities, but gets there faster, using our digital approach.”

He assumes that, “Not everybody will agree” with the study’s findings, but said, “We … want a point of departure, a point of dialog.” There will be risk associated with whatever optimum force mix emerges. “My job then is to articulate what that risk might be,” he added.
The Air Force’s fighter fleet averages 28 years old, and “that’s not going to compete well with adversaries,” Brown noted. “That’s why this force mix study is so important: to bring down the average age, to have something relevant not just today, but well into the future.”
Brown acknowledged that the Air Force is unlikely to be able to afford 386 combat wings, but said it might be possible to obtain the combat capability of that capability without as many actual aircraft.
“I want to … get as close as I can to a 386 capability with the force size I have and [the] dollars available,” he said, but there has to be solid analysis for the resulting force mix. He’s told the Air Staff and major commands, “I have a degree in engineering; it’s all about numbers and facts … That’s what I expect from the Air Staff, don’t give me emotion, bring me the facts.”
Brown said he has no doubt the major commands “understand I’m the Chief,” and said he is making “enterprise-level decisions” about the force structure. Those decisions are “not going to be popular,” he said. But, “If I don’t do that, we don’t accelerate change. I’m not sorry about that. There will be some folks who don’t like me, or don’t like what I decide, but I want to move forward with what I think is best for the Air Force.”
Combatant commanders have a different perspective, he noted, and are focused on a horizon of two or three years. Brown said he’s worried about that, too, but he also has to think about the “next 15-20 years. This is why I say we have to balance risk over time. I should not own all the risk … [it] has to be shared [with] the combatant commands and the services.” He said he’s thinking about the COCOMs that are the fifth successors to those now in the job, and he wants to “set them up for success.”
Not every mission will have everything it needs, Brown said. “That means tough choices.” The Air Force has to “look across portfolios.”

Brown acknowledged the F-35 is having engine wear issues, and said this will play in the TacAir review. The Air Force has the largest and “most mature” F-35 fleet, and is seeing F135 engines “failing a little faster in certain areas,” due to their “high use rate” and heavy deployment pace, given their relative newness in the fleet, he said.
Options are being looked at in maintenance and depot to mitigate the problem, Brown said, noting he has three- and four-star generals studying the issue.
But one big solution could simply be to use the F-35 less, Brown reported.


“I want to moderate how much we’re using those aircraft,” he said. “You don’t drive your Ferrari to work every day, you only drive it on Sundays. This is our ‘high end’ [fighter], we want to make sure we don’t use it all for the low-end fight … We don’t want to burn up capability now and wish we had it later.”
There’s “going to be some tension associated” with that approach, and “I fully expect that,” he said.
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Unread post25 Feb 2021, 16:20

On the other hand , Hill AFB 388th FW says the F-35's engine shortage has been resolved and unaffected. :shock: wow
https://www.standard.net/news/hill-afb- ... 4ffcf.html
Hill AFB F-35 prove combat-ready, despite engine shortage
By MITCH SHAW Standard-Examiner Feb 21, 2021
HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Despite an ongoing F-35 engine shortage, the fighter wing at Hill Air Force Base that flies the jet is having no issues staying battle-ready.

Micah Garbarino, spokesperson with Hill’s 388th Fighter Wing, said a group of airmen from the wing recently returned from a nearly three week-long combat exercise in Nevada’s southern desert. Garbarino said about 200 airmen from the 388th — and its reserve counterpart, 419th Fighter Wing — took 12 F-35s to Nellis Air Force Base during the latter days of January and returned to Hill late last week.
The combat exercise, which Garbarino described as “large-scale” and “highly complex,” is know as “Red Flag.” The training involves the Department of Defense and a handful of U.S. allies and takes place on the Nevada Test and Training Range. It includes attack, fighter and bomber aircraft that perform missions like air attacks on enemy targets, combat search and rescue, close air support and others.

At its core, the exercise is meant to provide a realistic simulation of an F-35 battle against near-equal enemies during a large-scale conflict. Instituted shortly after the Vietnam War, Red Flag was created to give young pilots at least 10 combat-realistic training missions.
Garbarino said the exercise has changed in recent years and in 2021, it featured several different DoD aircraft aside from Hill’s F-35s, including B-2 Spirits, B-1B Lancers, F-22 Raptors, F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-15E Eagles, EA-18G Growlers, E-3 Sentries and E-8 Joint Stars.

Those planes made up a friendly “Blue Force,” Garbarino said, that took on “aggressors” provided by Nellis which made up an enemy “Red Force.”
“When you factor in the complexity of the missions, and the sheer number of aircraft, there aren’t many training opportunities for an entire squadron that can match Red Flag,” Col. Steven Behmer, 388th FW commander, said in a statement. “It’s a great time to further develop tactics across platforms, as well as gain experience within the unit.”

Garbarino said in 2017, Hill pilots were the first to take the F-35 to a Red Flag exercise. In the four years since then, he said training scenarios have shifted from counterinsurgency operations, to “more intense missions against scores of high-end or ‘near peer’ aircraft, surface threats, electronic warfare, space and cyber threats.”
Lt. Col. Aaron Cavazos, Hill’s 34th Fighter Squadron commander, said during the exercise there were 50 to 60 friendly aircraft fighting against a nearly equal number of similarly armed “enemies.”

During the training, Cavazos’ squadron tested the F-35’s cutting-edge sensors and stealth capabilities to perform offensive battle tactics and escort duties.
“It’s impossible to replicate at home station,” Cavazos said of the training.

The simulated enemy forces at Red Flag 2021 were better equipped and more formidable than in past years, which meant some failure was inevitable. While Cavazos said failure is never the goal, it does offer a chance to discover unexpected problems and unrealistic expectations in mission planning and execution.
“This training is absolutely crucial for the squadron,” he said. “We’re facing an enemy where it’s likely that we’ll lose if we don’t go into every mission with a solid, joint game plan.”

Aside from the pilots, Garbarino said maintainers from Hill’s 34th Fighter Generation Squadron and 466th Aircraft Maintenance Unit also participated in the exercise. He said during the training, the group didn’t lose a single F-35 combat sortie to a maintenance issue.
The training took place as the DoD revealed a program-wide F-35 engine shortage.

Last week Hill announced that its F-35 aerial demonstration team had been forced to revise its 2021 show schedule due to the shortage. Engines on Air Force model F-35s have been reaching limits of their design, with overheating causing premature cracks and have been removed from service earlier than anticipated.
In a statement, the 388th Fighter Wing told the Standard-Examiner that the shortage issue is being addressed and thus far, has not impacted any of the wing’s operational combat requirements.
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Unread post04 Mar 2021, 18:33

Engine shortage is on its way to being solved ? :roll:
https://skiesmag.com/news/top-usaf-gene ... n-fighter/
Top USAF general urges support for Next-Gen fighter
BY JAMIE HUNTER | MARCH 3, 2021
U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen Charles Q Brown sent shockwaves through the fighter aircraft community in February with his comments about a possible requirement for a “clean sheet” fighter aircraft design that could replace some of the service’s oldest F-16s. His words immediately threw USAF Lockheed Martin F-35A procurement numbers into question — in previous years the air force has only sought to buy the fifth-generation stealthy jet to equip its fighter squadrons. The USAF program of record calls for 1,763 F-35s, a type that has roots in the Common Affordable Lightweight Fighter that evolved into the Joint Strike Fighter — and was ultimately designed to replace all USAF F-16s, along with A-10s and other “legacy” types.

Speaking to reporters on Feb. 26 after the Air Force Association’s Virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium, the chief of Air Combat Command (ACC), Gen Mark “Grace” Kelly, addressed some of the recent F-35 concerns, but he also put the spotlight firmly back on the future of air dominance and the kind of high-end, sixth-generation capabilities desired by the USAF. The USAF has been tight lipped on its so-called Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) fighter since the service sensationally revealed last September that it had flown a full-scale demonstrator of the new fighter. “I for one am confident that the technology and the test points have developed to where NGAD technology will get fielded,” Gen Kelly said. “I’m confident that the adversaries [who] are on the other end of this technology will suffer a very tough day and tough week and tough war.”

Gen Kelly remarked that he was surprised none of the journalists in the session had asked him about NGAD. The USAF has said nothing new about its top secret development program since then-Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition Dr. Will Roper’s comments last year regarding the demonstrator activity. “If you think we don’t care about physical world results, we do,” Roper said during a speech. He added that NGAD “has come so far that the full-scale flight demonstrator has already flown in the physical world. It’s broken a lot of records in the doing.”

To date, NGAD has received limited support from lawmakers, with funding of $904 million out of the USAF’s $1.044-billion total request for the project in fiscal year 2021. This followed $905 million that was allocated to NGAD the previous year. “What I don’t know, and we’re working with our great partners, is if our nation will have the courage and the focus to field this capability before someone like the Chinese fields it and uses it against us,” said Kelly, adding that NGAD is a “keen focus, it’s a keen capability — we just need to make sure we keep our narrative up and articulate the unambiguous benefit we’ve had as a nation to have leading edge technology, ensuring we have air superiority for the nation and the joint force.”

NGAD is designed to be a system of systems, with a manned fighter as its centerpiece. The aircraft will complement and potentially replace the F-22 Raptor, possibly also the F-35 in the long term. Gen Kelly endorsed the USAF’s strategy when it comes to the Lightning II, calling it the “cornerstone of any future fighter force.” He elaborated: “Our investments in the capabilities of the F-35… it’s going to be around for a lot of years serving the nation as well as all our partner nations for a long time to come. We need to make sure that the calculus of the capability and capacity of our F-35 fleet goes into the Tacair study as we figure out what’s going to round out the rest of our stable.”

The announcement of a Tacair study by the USAF chief Gen Brown is what sparked headlines during the early part of the AFA symposium. Gen Kelly was able to give more details on what this project actually entails. “The Tacair study . . . is really an outlook 10 to 15 years from now, what’s going to be the capability and capacity requirements for the air force to do what the nation needs it to do.” He added: “You know, every day we have tasks — like a lot of other partner nations have tasks — whether it be alert missions for defense of the national airspace, or whether it would be other missions over in CENTCOM [Central Command], etc., that require a significant amount of capacity, high utility capacity; but they don’t require a fifth- or sixth-gen capability, which is a significant jump in investment as well as cost per flying hour. So, at the end of the day we spend a whole [lot] of time on that capacity/capability mix.”

Employing a single, expensive-to-operate, stealthy fighter across all mission sets appears to no longer be an acceptable or affordable model for the USAF. It now recognizes the need for a force mix that is suited to meet low and high-end missions. “The challenge to do it with a high-end F-22/F-35 fifth-gen aircraft when you can do it with a $12 to $15,000 per flying hour airframe is stark,” Kelly endorsed. “So we have to balance our capacity — which needs to be high — our capability needs to be high, and the F-35 plays in both of those in terms of numbers and the capability that we bring.” Referring to the F-35, he added “it’s still going to be the centerpiece of much of what our air force does for decades to come,” adding that the need to look at other, more suitable platforms for some missions is “a reflection of [the fact that] we’re still going to have to do some lower end tasks, and we need to make sure we have the right capacity in cost to handle all that.”

The need to send the F-35A’s Pratt & Whitney F135 engines to the Oklahoma City depot at Tinker Air Force Base for deep maintenance, at a rate not previously envisaged, is causing real-time headaches across the USAF F-35A enterprise. Higher use F135 engines are failing regular inspections, which is increasing the burden on the depot. Citing high use rates and back-to-back combat deployments to the Middle East, Gen Kelly said: “We end up putting a few more hours on the airplane than originally had planned, and that got a little bit ahead of our stand up of our full rate depot throughput. At the end of the day, we end up using the airplane and therefore using the engine, a little bit faster than the depot capacity was prepared for.” He said boosting capacity at the Tinker depot will help to ensure throughput can catch up with consumption rate.

Gen Kelly said that the “capability, the availability, and the affordability” of the F-35A are the three elements of the program that consume most of his time and focus. “We’re not exactly where we need [to be] on target with affordability,” he said, calling this a “lead topic.” Referring reporters to the F-35 Joint Program Office for specifics, Kelly guessed that the F-35A was running at a cost per flying hour (CPFH) of approximately $35,000 at present. In terms of confidence level of getting to the target of $25,000 by 2025, he said: “I’m not brimming with confidence.” He stated that there was a big ongoing effort to reach the target, but acknowledged, “as I sit here today, I’m not overly confident we will get there.”

It wasn’t long ago that the F-35 was the one and only fighter the USAF wanted to procure. The aircraft has sold well internationally, and remains in high demand from allies and partner nations. Domestically, the USAF now has F-15EX aircraft on order to replace its F-15Cs — which was previously a requirement of the F-35 — and it is now looking at alternatives for replacing its oldest F-16s. Commenting on the change in stance, Gen Kelly said: “I’d say one of the bigger impacts of the rationale [on the F-35] is just geopolitics changes faster than our programs of record. We need a significant capacity, and in a perfect world a budget unconstrained environment would have a huge number capacity of huge capability fifth-gen airframes for every squadron in the combat air forces. The challenge with that is a reality of fiscal requirements of a nation that’s coming out of a pandemic, and the impacts of it and the demand signal of being really busy around the globe.”

Replacing the F-15C was a requirement for the F-35 !? :doh: (Settings that do not exist will be added more and more.)
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Unread post12 Mar 2021, 02:25

Is it related to engine shortage? :roll:
https://www.dcma.mil/News/Article-View/ ... en-change/
March marks Women’s History Month, employee-driven change
By Thomas Perry DCMA Public Affairs FORT LEE, Va., March 8, 2021

Aerospace engineer wins BEYA technology award
At the 2021 Black Engineer of the Year Awards, Mark Senior, a Defense Contract Management Agency Aircraft Propulsion Operations — Pratt & Whitney aerospace engineer, earned a BEYA Modern-Day Technology Leader Award.
“These awards honor those who served with distinction and supported efforts in leadership, mentorship, diversity and value-based service to the nation and their military component,” said Linda Galimore, DCMA’s Equal Employment Opportunity director. “One role model is selected per agency who has served as an inspiration, promoted better access to STEM careers and has raised the profile of not only themselves, but also their agency.”
A sample of Senior’s highlighted accomplishments within the award criteria includes:
    • Led the coordination and completion of some of the largest TSN requests ever received at DCMA. Directed a $600 million F-35 aircraft spare engine proposal. Led the coordination and completion of the upcoming $3.6 billion TSN F-35 aircraft spare engine proposal.
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Unread post06 May 2021, 18:24

Only the engine part is excerpted. 8)
https://www.airforcemag.com/article/mak ... -the-f-35/
Make-or-Break Time for the F-35
By John A. Tirpak April 23, 2021

The Engine’s Share
Problems with the F-35’s Pratt & Whitney F135 engines are also a hindrance. Worst case, the Air Force risks having no working engines for 20 percent of its F-35As by 2025, the F-35 Joint Program Office acknowledged.
The problems are several: The government didn’t order enough F135 engines and engine modules—self-contained sections of an engine—to achieve required availability. And F-35 engine depots are not yet up to speed, both because Pratt has been slow delivering tooling and equipment and because the depots haven’t hired and trained enough people to do the work.
“It’s a vicious circle,” said an Air Force sustainment official. “We couldn’t hire all the folks we need until we have all the tools for them to use.” Pratt is “mostly caught up, but it takes time to hire people … especially under pandemic conditions.”
The international nature of the F-35 sustainment enterprise is also a challenge. “Technically, we don’t ‘own’ the engines,” the official said. “We get the next one generated. A particular engine can be used by any partner.”

There are two versions of the engine: one for the USAF A and Navy C models, and another for the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing model.
An industry official noted that as the development phase of the F-35 winds down, there should be more stability in the engine configuration, and that will allow suppliers to focus on a smaller pool of variant parts, increasing availability.
“Basically, the spares they predicted [were] for the mature phase of the program, and we are only getting there now,” an industry official said. “But that means we go into this phase with … a backlog.”
Industry officials also said that Pratt’s suppliers are not keeping up with the pace the company is asking of them. Officials said the F135 pipeline has a cushion of about 12 percent spare engines and modules, when it really should have 25 to 30 percent. Because Pratt is ahead on delivering engines, a Pentagon official said, talks are underway about producing additional engines and modules.

“You can have fewer engines if your depot is quick in turning them around,” an industry official said. “If the depot’s not up to speed, then you’ll have shortages.”
Another problem with the F135 engine has to do with coatings on fan blades in the high pressure turbine section. When sand in the Middle East known as CMAS—calcium, magnesium, aluminum silicate—is ingested and heated in the HPT, it melts into a glass that damages the blade coatings. Pratt started applying a new coating a year ago, and so far that seems more durable, allowing the blades to last longer. How much longer is still not known.
Kelly said he has no plans to restrict F-35s from deploying to the Middle East, however, and that the potential engine shortage has been addressed for the near-term.
The desert environment is “just one factor” in limiting engine life, Kelly said, “along with total engine hours, engine age, foreign object damage, depot throughput capability, etc.” To further mitigate engine shortages, ACC reduced the F-35 demo team’s schedule, freeing up engines to “meet combat training and wartime requirements.”
The F135 engine pipeline has a cushion of only about 12 percent spare engines and modules, rather than the 25 to 30 percent needed. Airmen wheeled an engine out of a C-17 Globemaster III at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, to repair an F-35A deployed there in August 2020. Tech. Sgt. Charles Taylor
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Unread post06 May 2021, 18:25

Raytheon says. 8)
https://www.defensedaily.com/hayes-does ... financial/
Hayes Doesn’t See Defense Department Adding Second Engine Source For F-35
By Cal Biesecker |04/27/2021
Despite challenges sustaining the engine for the Defense Department’s F-35 fighter, Raytheon Technologies [RTX] CEO Greg Hayes said on Tuesday that he doesn’t expect the military services to fund an effort to bring on General Electric [GE] as a second supplier of engines to compete with his company’s F135 engine on the program.

“I will tell you that is a multi-billion-dollar, multi-year effort to bring that engine back in line and given the cost challenges on the program, it seems unlikely that any of the services are going to spend that kind of money for an extra engine when in fact our engine is actually performing quite well in service,” Hayes said on Raytheon Technologies’ first quarter earnings call in reply to a question from Ron Epstein, an aerospace and defense analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “We’re meeting the reliability targets. We’re meeting the fuel burn targets.”

The F135 engine, built by Raytheon Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney segment, was discussed at length last Thursday during a hearing hosted by the House Armed Services Committee to review the F-35 program.
Epstein, in his question to Hayes, said that GE has been “raising their rhetoric…at least with the investment community” on the potential of a second engine source for the F-35 given the sustainment challenges with the F135.

Lawmakers at the hearing heard from the Air Force general in charge of the F-15 integration office, who said 21 of the Air Force’s F-35s are grounded because they lack a serviceable engine, that that engines are having to be removed and repaired from aircraft faster than the depot production can keep up. The Government Accountability Office also reported that sustaining the F135s “may pose its greatest sustainment risk” to the aircraft program “over the next 10 years.”
Hayes said that Pratt & Whitney has “done a good job” of producing F135 engines, adding about 50 are “sitting at the final assembly line” to be installed on F35s. However, he said, the company “didn’t do a great job at the sustainment center” because it underestimated the amount of test equipment and personnel due to the volume of work.

Raytheon Technologies has “committed” to working with the F-35 Joint Program Office “to put the equipment in place necessary to service the engines so get back on…contract performance levels by the end of this year,” Hayes said. “A lot of work to do, but again, we were caught by surprise in terms of the amount of hours that were being flown. We were surprised at the scope of the work that was required on some of these but we will catch up.”

The Pentagon decided more than a decade ago to go with a single engine supplier for the F-35, with Pratt & Whitney’s F135 being the winner. The GE-Rolls Royce partnership developing an alternative F136 engine for the F-35 abandoned the effort in 2011 after the Pentagon and lawmakers on Capitol Hill stopped their support for the program as unneeded and too expensive.

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