First F-35C, Lightning II TOPGUN Class Graduation

Production milestones, roll-outs, test flights, service introduction and other milestones.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post14 Jun 2020, 08:37

First F-35C, Lightning II TOPGUN Class Graduation [BEST READ IT ALL AT SOURCE]
12 Jun 2020 Lt. Cmdr. Lydia E. Bock, CJSFW Public Affairs Officer

"NAS LEMOORE – Pilots from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 “Rough Raiders” and VFA-147 “Argonauts” were the first TOPGUN students to complete the course in the F-35C Lightning II. Maj. Derek Heinz from the Rough Raiders and Lt. William Goodwin, III from the Argonauts successfully completed the 13-week Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) course at the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev. The SFTI course, otherwise known as TOPGUN, is an individual-level training course loaded with classroom lectures and labs, as well as simulated and live-fly events that are focused on the newest advanced tactical recommendations, and designed to create newly-minted tactics instructors who are ready to return and train the Fleet.

“Our focus on the students that go through TOPGUN is not limited to teaching them the tactics, techniques and procedures that are required for them to successfully employ their aircraft, integrated into a larger force,” said NAWDC TOPGUN Department Head, Cmdr. Timothy Myers. “We are also in the business of teaching our graduates how to instruct other students, so that when they go back to the Fleet, they are able to instruct at a very high level.”

For the last few years, NAWDC and TOPGUN have been working to develop the skill-sets, curriculum and experienced instructors required to execute a syllabus that fully integrates F-35C tactics, techniques and procedures. While all F-35C tactics instructors have completed the TOPGUN course previously, this is the first time TOPGUN has graduated students who are currently flying the Lightning II, utilizing a syllabus that has been developed, from the ground up, specifically for F-35C integrated operations. This was accomplished by the gradual introduction of F-35C tactics into the training curriculum for previous classes. The result is a cadre of highly-trained instructors executing a fully-integrated F-35C syllabus, providing well-rounded “graduate-level” training for the fifth-generation fighter to take back to the Fleet.... [then lots of explanation all best read at source]

...This milestone is the latest feather in the cap for the U.S. Navy’s F-35C program. Since the stand-up of Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing in August 2018, the program has declared Safe-for-Flight Operations Certification (SFFOC) for both VFA-147 “Argonauts” and VMFA-314 “Black Knights.” In February 2019, the Navy and Marine Corps both declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the F-35C and VFA-125, the F-35C fleet replacement squadron (FRS), graduated its first newly-winged F-35C aviators. In May 2019, VFA-101 “Grim Reapers” was deactivated, consolidating most of its resources at NAS Lemoore. Additionally, both VFA-147 and VFA-125 continue to meet program requirements, pass inspections, and receive certifications while continuously participating in numerous detachments both ashore and at sea...."

PHOTO: "NAS Lemoore recently completed the TOPGUN course with the first F-35C syllabus, pilots, aircraft. CONTRIBUTED" https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnew ... .image.jpg


Source: https://hanfordsentinel.com/community/l ... 0d147.html
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charlielima223

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Unread post16 Jun 2020, 20:06

I feel that I am going to get hanged for this but I just cant resist!

An F-35C pilot utilizing the aircrafts stealth and sensors at its optimal capacity looks down at the screen and says...
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Unread post17 Jun 2020, 15:17

Wow, how I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall while these tactics were developed.

I wonder how "different" they are from ASH tactics, and furthermore how they differ from the F-35A/B?
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Unread post01 Aug 2020, 13:24

Topgun Receives Its First F-35C Lightning II
31 Jul 2020 Jamie Hunter

"The Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC), the organization that includes the famous TOPGUN school, has received its first F-35C Lightning II. The aircraft touched down at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada, yesterday [30 Jul 2020], emblazoned with the iconic lightning bolt tail flash and TOPGUN badge, albeit in predictably toned-down form, as is standard for U.S. 5th generation fighters....

The first NAWDC F-35C is an early-build aircraft, Bureau Number 168843, which initially served with the Navy’s first F-35 training unit, Strike Fighter Squadron 101 (VFA-101), the “Grim Reapers.” That unit was established as part of a joint-service training center at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, from 2013. The activation of VFA-125, the “Rough Raiders,” at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, California, in January 2017 as a second Fleet Replacement Squadron led to the deactivation of VFA-101 last year. It was first delivered to VFA-101 in 2014 and likely has a low number of hours on the clock. NAWDC has always tended to receive early production aircraft for the staff to fly, with the Navy preferring to send newer aircraft to the operational fleet.

Similarly, the U.S. Air Force is looking to station early production aggressor F-35As at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, to provide high-end threat replication to students at its Weapons School, as well as other training events, such as Red Flag....

Photo: "Thanks to our friend Steve Lewis from Photorecon.net for the photo." https://www.thedrive.com/content/2020/07/IMG_4096-1.jpg & https://the-drive-3.imgix.net/https%3A% ... 248b9866a4


Source: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... ghtning-ii
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Unread post01 Aug 2020, 20:36

mixelflick wrote:Wow, how I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall while these tactics were developed.

I wonder how "different" they are from ASH tactics, and furthermore how they differ from the F-35A/B?



I dont think the fast pack can get here soon enough.
My only curiosity is if the 6 internal missiles can be a 2 Aim-9x and 4 Amraam load versus a straight 6 Amraam load. If Im not mistaken both Have HOBS but the sidewinders are alot more agile. I remember the Aim-9X having a lock after launch feature that would be perfect internally.
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Unread post02 Aug 2020, 01:03

“I dont think the fast pack can get here soon enough. My only curiosity is if the 6 internal missiles can be a 2 Aim-9x and 4 Amraam load versus a straight 6 Amraam load. If Im not mistaken both Have HOBS but the sidewinders are alot more agile. I remember the Aim-9X having a lock after launch feature that would be perfect internally.“

AIM-9 is rail-launched. Unclear if internal AIM-9 carriage/employment was part of the technical requirement(s) for sidekick.
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Unread post02 Aug 2020, 13:55

I would be surprised, in fact I'd be flabbergasted if SideKick has any requirements or capabilities related to a fully extendable trapeze to be able to launch AIM-9X.
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Unread post03 Aug 2020, 02:40

If JATM is multi-mode as AFLCMC has hinted would you bother qualifying AIM-9X?
It's not like AIM-9X in the sidekick slot permits a higher load-out of AAMs.
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Unread post03 Aug 2020, 12:45

6 AMRAAM's should do until Perigrine/AIM-260 get here. Personally, I don't think external 9x carriage blows up RCS like many think. And with a LOAL capability/near BVR, it's well worth carrying IMO. Two ways to acquire/down the enemy, two different systems the enemy has to counter.
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Unread post03 Aug 2020, 16:56

mixelflick wrote:6 AMRAAM's should do until Perigrine/AIM-260 get here. Personally, I don't think external 9x carriage blows up RCS like many think. And with a LOAL capability/near BVR, it's well worth carrying IMO. Two ways to acquire/down the enemy, two different systems the enemy has to counter.


JATM is supposed to get here around the same time as Sidekick.
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Unread post04 Aug 2020, 22:27

jessmo112 wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Wow, how I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall while these tactics were developed.

I wonder how "different" they are from ASH tactics, and furthermore how they differ from the F-35A/B?



I dont think the fast pack can get here soon enough.
My only curiosity is if the 6 internal missiles can be a 2 Aim-9x and 4 Amraam load versus a straight 6 Amraam load. If Im not mistaken both Have HOBS but the sidewinders are alot more agile. I remember the Aim-9X having a lock after launch feature that would be perfect internally.

6 AIM-120/260. There is no plan to ever put AIM-9X internally.
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Unread post08 Aug 2020, 05:29

wrightwing wrote:
jessmo112 wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Wow, how I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall while these tactics were developed.

I wonder how "different" they are from ASH tactics, and furthermore how they differ from the F-35A/B?



I dont think the fast pack can get here soon enough.
My only curiosity is if the 6 internal missiles can be a 2 Aim-9x and 4 Amraam load versus a straight 6 Amraam load. If Im not mistaken both Have HOBS but the sidewinders are alot more agile. I remember the Aim-9X having a lock after launch feature that would be perfect internally.

6 AIM-120/260. There is no plan to ever put AIM-9X internally.


I could envision a deployable rail sitting on the weps bay door where the omnipresent AIM-120 is normally carried. When the weps bay door opens, the rail would unfold / unfurl longitudinally down into the slipstream and the 'winder would be rail launched. (Maybe this is a longitudinal trapeze?) But the engineering design / development / analysis / testing would be costly. And the weight of the deployment mechanism would certainly not be zero. Probably why there is no requirement for such an animal on the Lightning...
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post02 Dec 2020, 18:41

8)
https://www.f35.com/resources/gm-detail ... -7-16-2020
After Four Decades, the F-35 Triggers TOPGUN Syllabus Revamp
Week of 7/16/2020
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote to you about the first two F-35C pilots to graduate from the U.S. Navy’s TOPGUN. The arrival of Lightning II students marks the first significant platform evolution for TOPGUN in nearly 40 years. The last time TOPGUN revamped their course was with the arrival of the “Legacy” Hornet course in the mid-1980s.
The arrival of the F-35 signifies a major step forward for TOPGUN. For the last two years, TOPGUN staff have worked to develop a new curriculum for the F-35. The U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School had this to say about their new F-35 curriculum, “While all F-35C tactics instructors have completed the TOPGUN course previously, this is the first time TOPGUN has graduated students who are currently flying the Lightning II, utilizing a syllabus that has been developed from the ground up.”
This curriculum change represents just another way the F-35 continues to provide next-generation capabilities to our customers. Over the next few years, TOPGUN will continue to refine the course and I look forward to many more F-35 TOPGUN graduates.
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Unread post02 Dec 2020, 18:44

How effective is the F-35C's Air-to-Air? 8)
https://news.usni.org/2020/09/14/navy-h ... n-training
Navy Harnessing New Technology to Restructure Aviation Training
By: Mallory Shelbourne September 14, 2020
The Navy is incorporating new technologies into its aviation training curriculum, from hand-held devices to full simulators, to better train airmen to fly and fight their aircraft.
Speaking at a panel over the weekend at the Tailhook Association’s online symposium, service officials touted the use of live, virtual and constructive (LVC) training and said the Navy is working to embed the methods into its pilot training program.
“We are undergoing modernization across the board, and one of the key pillars of that is to leverage the new technology that is out there in the market,” Rear Adm. Robert Westendorff, the chief of naval air training (CNATRA), told the panel.
Until recently, the training syllabus for naval aviators had not gone through significant changes in the last few decades, Westendorff noted. But now, as part of its Project Avenger initiative, the service is working to include new technologies, ranging from virtual reality goggles paired with mobile devices to “high-fidelity trainers” meant to simulate how an aircraft flies, into its training efforts.
“We’re leveraging virtual goggles where we can immerse ourselves in 360-degree videos,” Westendorff said.
“Those videos can be watched whether you’re in your hangar space, in the classroom, or you’re at your home residence sitting on your couch. So 24/7 access to those videos. They work with the [virtual reality] goggles, that’s what they’re optimized for. But you can also watch those [videos] with your tablet device or iPhone device, and as you move the tablet around, you can still see 360 degrees as the tablet senses the motion.”
In addition to videos that naval aviators can view at any time, the service is also integrating “virtual or mixed reality training devices” into its curriculum.
“You can use those training devices with two flat screens that they’re installed with, or you put on the VR goggles. And it has a rudimentary stick and throttle,” Westendorff said. “And these virtual trainers – you can get those reps and sets to cement a skillset in your mind.”
The chief of naval air training said pilots will also be able to use “high-fidelity trainers” and the Virtual Mission Training System, which can pipe live targets into the radar on the T-45 Goshawk trainer that naval flight students fly, as part of the increased reliance on LVC training.

CNATRA leads the early stages of naval aviation training, overseeing the training of new pilots and naval flight officers learning to fly for the first time in training aircraft. Tactical training comes later, when officers transition into squadrons that go through training led by the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) at Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada.
Rear Adm. Rich Brophy, the commander of NAWDC, said he has also adjusted the new syllabus for Air Wing Fallon to include new technology and simulations. The syllabus is now five weeks instead of four and includes 31 simulation events.
“Before anybody flies on the range, they will go in and do a simulator event. In fact, not just one, they’ll actually do two simulator events, where they do it once, they get remediation, they go back out and do it again in the simulator and then they get onto the range,” Brophy said.
The team at Fallon has revised its training strategy to hone in on air-to-air combat in preparation for facing off against a near-peer threat, instead of the ground-focused operations the Navy has been conducting for the last two decades in the Middle East, USNI News previously reported.
Earlier this year, Brophy told USNI news that while 60 to 70 percent of the previous syllabus concentrated on dropping ordnance on ground targets, the new strategy for training is 70 percent air-to-air combat.
During the Tailhook panel, Brophy said the Integrated Training Facility the Navy is building at Fallon will include 70 simulators by the conclusion of next year.

“In fact, the first ones are going in right now. F-35s just went in on Monday. And I got to look at them on Tuesday as we put them together and get all the right classification levels going,” Brophy said.
“We’ll be able to put an entire air wing through it, as well as, it will have five simulators that are for the DDGs,” he said of the 70 simulators. “Along with that, we also are using inject to live, just like [Westendorff] is using down there in CNATRA, we’re starting to use that here in our ranges. So [that’s] a long way of saying live, virtual, constructive – it’s here to stay and we’re integrating it completely into our syllabus.”

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