F-35 program updates

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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blindpilot

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Unread post02 Nov 2020, 21:35

spazsinbad wrote:LM F-35 Fast Facts 01 Nov 2020 PDF attached below: 1,190+ Pilots & 335,000+ Flight Hours & 585+ Aircraft Delivered


A little milestone note concerning the F-35 death spiral. The F-35 (585+) has now surpassed the Euro Fighter (571ish). Hopefully the Tiffy will make it out of prototype stage :-D

Just saying,
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weasel1962

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Unread post18 Dec 2020, 02:33

Not bad for a covid year.

https://www.flightglobal.com/defence/f- ... 68.article

“Our current target is 121 aircraft for the end of the year,” says vice-president F-35 business development Steve Callaghan.

If achieved, this revised total would be just 13 fewer aircraft than the 134 handed over in 2019, despite the scale of the challenge posed by the global health crisis.

“We took some proactive measures early on to try to mitigate the impacts, and position the programme for the fastest possible recovery,” Callaghan says. “We did that by adjusting work schedules, we sent payments ahead to specific suppliers that we knew would be very adversely impacted by Covid, and we have had to adjust delivery schedules.”

“We are very much focused on a healthy workforce for both Lockheed Martin and all our industry partners and suppliers, while at the same time knowing how critical it is for us to continue to produce and deliver this capability to our customers,” he adds.

Lockheed has so far delivered over 600 F-35s, with the in-service fleet having accumulated more than 345,000 flight hours.

Recent shipments included a trio of F-35Bs for the UK, which brought the nation’s fleet of the type to 21 examples. The short take-off and vertical landing assets arrived at the Royal Air Force’s Marham base in Norfolk on 30 November, following a ferry flight from Fort Worth, Texas, conducted by 617 Sqn pilots.

Also speaking on 17 December, Lockheed Martin UK chief executive Peter Ruddock outlined the economic benefits of the nation’s F-35 acquisition, with a KPMG study pegging this at £40.6 billion ($55.2 billion) gross value added between 2007 and 2038.

UK companies are responsible for producing 15% of every F-35 built by value, according to Lockheed, with major beneficiaries being BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce.

Ruddock believes the operational and industrial benefits of acquiring the F-35 mean that the UK’s long-held programme of record requirement for the type could eventually be increased.

“I’m very confident that the UK in due course will probably buy more than 138,” he says, adding that “the government hasn’t stepped back” from the figure.

Lockheed says UK-operated F-35s have logged more than 8,500 flight hours to date, with 46 pilots and 610 maintainers having completed training.

“The F-35 is a critical element of the UK’s national security and combat air strategy for decades to come,” Callaghan says. “It is the only aircraft that can really meet the threat that is there today, as well as evolving threats.”
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squirrelshoes

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Unread post21 Dec 2020, 02:28

I guess Pierre Sprey's cancel program within 500 aircraft prediction isn't going to pan out.
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hythelday

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Unread post21 Dec 2020, 10:51

blindpilot wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:LM F-35 Fast Facts 01 Nov 2020 PDF attached below: 1,190+ Pilots & 335,000+ Flight Hours & 585+ Aircraft Delivered


A little milestone note concerning the F-35 death spiral. The F-35 (585+) has now surpassed the Euro Fighter (571ish). Hopefully the Tiffy will make it out of prototype stage :-D

Just saying,
BP


FlightGlobal's World Air Forces 2021 lists Eurofighter at 517 active examples.
F-35 isn't listed in top 10 fighter aircraft by numbers because "175 of the in-use examples are dedicated for use as training assets", meaning they probably don't count other types' two-seaters that are listed in "training aircraft" category, which explains why world's second most popular trainer is F-16 at 650 examples :D
I ran the numbers on a rather strange "F-18" category, and yes, they pile together Classics and Supers but only those that are listed as "active" combat aircraft, but they count Growlers separately. Flankers are even harder to track, because they they don't differentiate between Flanker models if a country has several, but apparently count Su-27/30 separately for their Top 10 list (but that does not change overall rankings, because if Su-35s are added then the number still can't reach F-16s)

If one counts Supers and Classics separately then there are 440 Supers (130 "trainers") 444 Classics (206 "trainers") active. I would say that it would be fair to add count those "trainers" as active aircraft and count Classics and Supers separately, then the Top 10 would change to something like this:
#1 Still F-16
#2 Still Su-27/30, (Su-35, Su-33, J-11 and J-16 added then number only goes up), however numbers dropped slightly vs 2019 as Russia decomissions old Su-27s
#3/#4 F-15 would lose the spot to MiG-29 if counted without USAF Strike Eagles, but trainers added for both types. There are 956 all F-15 models (219 Es in USAF according to wiki) plus 110 trainers (for a total of 956-219+110=847 with trainers and 956+110=1066 with all models counted. I counted one less Fulcrum than the FlightGlobal total table and another 61 trainers, so max Fulcrum number could be 817+61=878. However, with very few international orders and sparce interest from Russia for MiG-35 the numbers could drop significantly as old Fulcrums are decomissioned. The 2021 still lists i.e. Syria and Yemen with dozens of Fulcrums although I suspect they are depricated already, and Poland, Slovakia and Bulgaria will soon decomissions another couple dozen Fulcrums soon and add F-16s, so Fulcrum will drop fast on the list.
#5 Would still be the so called "F-18", this time the Classic, with 444 active plus 206 "trainers for a combined 650 examples.
#6 Would be "F-35", with "595+ delivered" according to LM December 2020 fast facts, however there are a number of B and Cs in that number as well as some real trainers with old software and test aircraft (unlike "trainer" combat-coded two-seaters legacy fighters). The numbers are expected to increase significantly if LM continues to produce 100+ fighters a year, eventually F-35 should sit firmly in the #2 position.
#7 would be Super Hornet, with 440 "active" and 130 "trainers" for a total of 570 aircraft. If 164 Growlers were added then Super Hornet would make a jump to #5 with 734 examples and a fair amount of orders (confirmed USN and Germany plus maybe some more exports). Supers will surpass Classics and MiG-29 in a couple of years.
#8 Would be Eurofighter, the first European entry. Will probably climb a little as Classics and MiGs decomission and some more European orders come (Germany plus maybe some other original partners), but other than that - not much must I say.
#9 Still Su-25
#10 Still J-7


https://www.flightglobal.com/download?ac=75345
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wrightwing

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Unread post21 Dec 2020, 21:16

Not that it changes the order, but as of December 1st, we're already over 600 jets and >345,000hrs.
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Unread post29 Dec 2020, 13:54

Lockheed Martin Celebrates a Year of F-35 Successes
28 Dec 2020 LM PR

"The 123rd aircraft is an F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, built at the Cameri, Italy, Final Assembly and Checkout (FACO) facility and delivered to the Italian Air Force. In 2020, 74 F-35s were delivered to the United States military, 31 to international partner nations and 18 to Foreign Military Sales customers.

In response to COVID-19 related supplier delays, in May the initial annual delivery goal was revised from 141 to 117-123 aircraft to strategically avoid surging, which would increase production-related costs and create future delays and disruption....

...Program Maturity and Progress
With more than 600 aircraft operating from 26 bases and ships around the globe, the F-35 plays a critical role in today's global security environment. More than 1,200 pilots and 10,000 maintainers are trained, and the F-35 fleet has surpassed more than 350,000 cumulative flight hours. Nine nations have F-35s operating from a base on their home soil, nine services have declared Initial Operational Capability and six services have employed F-35s in combat operations. The United States Air Force deployed the F-35 for 18 consecutive months from April 2019 until October 2020 in the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility with hundreds of weapons employments in support of U.S. servicemembers and their allies.

The year also included initial fielding of the Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN), the follow-on to the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), with excellent initial results. The system will be fully operational in 2022. Mission capable rates for the aircraft continued to improve in 2020 with rates greater than 70% across the fleet, and even higher for deployed units. The F-35 also proved its value in Joint All-Domain Operations with multiple exercises that highlighted the aircraft’s ability to gather, interpret and share information with various platforms."

Photo: "Lockheed Martin delivered the 123rd F-35 aircraft of the year last week." https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... __main.jpg


Source: https://www.f35.com/news/detail/lockhee ... -successes
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A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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doge

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Unread post14 Jan 2021, 16:06

spazsinbad wrote:
Lockheed Martin Celebrates a Year of F-35 Successes
The year also included initial fielding of the Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN), the follow-on to the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), with excellent initial results. The system will be fully operational in 2022. Mission capable rates for the aircraft continued to improve in 2020 with rates greater than 70% across the fleet, and even higher for deployed units. The F-35 also proved its value in Joint All-Domain Operations with multiple exercises that highlighted the aircraft’s ability to gather, interpret and share information with various platforms."

Wow! :applause: 70% across the fleet!? :shock:
Is the total number of F-35ABC in 2020 about 500 for the whole world, 300 for the US ? (probably)
70% of 300 or 500 aircraft...Quite a number. 8)
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Unread post15 Jan 2021, 05:33

doge wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:
Lockheed Martin Celebrates a Year of F-35 Successes
The year also included initial fielding of the Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN), the follow-on to the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), with excellent initial results. The system will be fully operational in 2022. Mission capable rates for the aircraft continued to improve in 2020 with rates greater than 70% across the fleet, and even higher for deployed units. The F-35 also proved its value in Joint All-Domain Operations with multiple exercises that highlighted the aircraft’s ability to gather, interpret and share information with various platforms."

Wow! :applause: 70% across the fleet!? :shock:
Is the total number of F-35ABC in 2020 about 500 for the whole world, 300 for the US ? (probably)
70% of 300 or 500 aircraft...Quite a number. 8)

There are ~620 F-35s flying world wide. The USAF had 250 F-35s 7 months ago, so it's likely over 300 by now. The fleet average is >70%, and combat coded squadrons have been hitting between 80% to >90%.
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