F-35 program updates

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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spazsinbad

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Unread post03 Jan 2022, 20:44

Similar statistics will be in Jan 2022 facts of fastness I'll guess but it is not available at moment - have facts - will post.

ALSO 2021 F-35 HiLites from next URL 5 page PDF below: https://www.f35.com/f35/news-and-featur ... ments.html
F-35 Expands Global Presence in 2021
03 Jan 2022 LM PR

"...In 2021, two new countries – Switzerland and Finland – selected the F-35 for their new fighter jet programs. Additionally, Denmark received its first F-35 and the Royal Netherlands Air Force became the ninth nation to declare their F-35 fleet ready for Initial Operational Capability....

...The F-35’s operational performance remains strong. Some of the F-35A deployments and exercises demonstrated over 80% mission capable rates. As one of the most reliable aircraft in the U.S. fighter fleet, 93% of F-35 parts are performing better than predicted....

...With more than 750 aircraft operating from 34 bases and ships around the globe, the F-35 plays a critical role in the integrated deterrence of the U.S. and our allies. More than 1,585 pilots and 11,545 maintainers are trained, and the F-35 fleet has flown nearly 470,000 cumulative flight hours. Nine nations have F-35s operating from a base on their home soil, 12 services have declared Initial Operational Capability and six services have employed F-35s in combat."

Source: https://www.f35.com/f35/news-and-featur ... -2021.html
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Unread post08 Jan 2022, 17:45

Germany's back in the F-35 game potentially.

Realistically we won't see a decision till 2024.
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Unread post08 Jan 2022, 19:17

Is that an 'F-35 program update'? Cite any references? How can the F-35 program be updated?
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Unread post08 Jan 2022, 19:21

There would appear to be no stories by any major news outlets, nor press releases, concerning Germany and the F-35.
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 post08 Jan 2022, 19:28

Politics dictate F-35 not going to happen for Germany (or France). My sneaky feeling is the use of the F-35 procurement to get funding for the new 6G fighter program. Appears to have worked.
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Unread post09 Jan 2022, 00:57

Yeah but these 'germy eFfin' posts are not 'F-35 Program Updates'.
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Unread post10 Jan 2022, 03:29

weasel1962 wrote:Politics dictate F-35 not going to happen for Germany (or France). My sneaky feeling is the use of the F-35 procurement to get funding for the new 6G fighter program. Appears to have worked.



I wouldn't count out Germany or Spain at this point! Especially, the latter........ :wink:
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Unread post18 Jan 2022, 13:11

FY23 budget will be delayed to March so we will have to wait a short while longer for lot 17 numbers
https://defensecommunities.org/2022/01/ ... t-release/

Waiting to see if there are any F-35 major program changes which have been touted esp for navy priorities. Navy numbers was supposed to jump to 46 (45-48 annually til FY 2030) according to FY 19 SAR. Its been in the 34-38 F-35B+C for the last 6 years. No major jump in defense budget is expected so the default is expected to be 30s than the original planned jump. In view of the alternating C sqn introduction between USMC & USN, it might be this year where we see a drop in B numbers for more Cs again (similar to FY 21 when only 10Bs were bought against 26 Cs). 176 Bs have been funded to FY 22 compared to 135 Cs.

F-35A per SAR would retain at 48 until FY 25 so no changes expected for USAF F-35A buys.
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Unread post17 Feb 2022, 22:25

An attempt to introduce drones into the F-35 production process. 8) Wow.
https://industrytoday.com/drone-mounted ... -for-f-35/
Drone Mounted Inspection Breaks Barriers for F-35
September 27, 2021
Moving to aerial digital inspection will enable Lockheed Martin to accurately and safely improve the manufacturing metrology of the F-35.
The F-35 Lightning II is an all-weather stealth combat aircraft that is intended to perform warfare strike missions and electronic surveillance capabilities at speeds up to 1.6 Mach. Composites comprise 35% of the airframe weight, with the majority being bismaleimide, as well as some carbon nanotube-reinforced epoxy – which has a tensile strength of approximately 100 times greater than steel. Any deviations in external dimensions can interfere with stealth capabilities, and at supersonic speeds, prove catastrophic to both plane and pilot.
Therefore, it is critical that the “as built” metrology is confirmed as “near perfect” to the design. Currently, inspection is done by hand at Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas. Gantries are assembled above the craft and workers use handheld scanners extended at arm’s length. This manual process introduces variables and also puts workers at risk as they attempt to straddle the smooth contoured surfaces of the aircraft.
In an attempt to generate faster results, while increasing accuracy and safety for all involved – factory worker, customer and user – the transition to digital inspection is required.
“There needs to be a bold first adopter of aerial digital inspection in the industry, and Lockheed Martin hopes to fulfill that role with this use case,” says Chris Colaw, Lockheed Fellow, Quality & Mission Success. “This is important in the quality space because it helps us peel away the reliance on so much human involvement.”

Measuring Lightning
Many devices currently allow for digital measurement of assemblies on a small level. However, the problem is how to scale up existing commercial equipment to inspect large, completely constructed projects, such as a large-body aircraft, ships and even submarines, while still holding to tight tolerances.
“For 100 years in aviation we have been using humans for quality assurance, but roughly 75% of my costs come from inspection, and 66% of that requires humans to perform, which involves some degree of subjectivity,” notes Colaw. “But in our digital future we need to embrace things in a different way.”
Lockheed Martin sought to find an automated metrology solution to confirm and document measurements to the tightest tolerances in a faster, more accurate, and more repeatable process.
“We were doing our own research on what a digital future would look like, but we opted to work with CAD / CAM since they presented an opportunity to partner with a scanner company and the University of Texas on drone control,” says Colaw. “That saved us from having to do all the work on our own. The collaboration was a natural fit.”
In the spring of 2021, CAD / CAM Services won a Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) award to solve surface metrology issues for the F-35 fighter jet. Its job was to assemble a team of industry-leading suppliers that would deliver to Lockheed Martin a drone-mounted scanner that can accurately (± 0.025mm) measure large assemblies, and transmit that data to a system that ultimately creates CAD files for first article inspection or maintenance purposes.
The company, based in Texas, has provided 3D modeling and CAD conversion services worldwide since 1988. Its customers include Boeing, Litton-Ingalls Shipbuilding, the U.S. Navy and Air Force.
“We are taking various commercial, off-the-shelf components, slightly modifying them, and tying it all together to create a new system to solve a problem that is needed by industry,” says Scott Shuppert, CEO of CAD / CAM Services.

Integrating the elements
The synergistic result started with the drone and the camera inspection software, which had to actively search for issues such as: dents, cracks, deformations, corrosion, and alignment issues, and then reconcile the measured results to the design model.
“Our team decided we needed to have both a drone and a robot to inspect on the assembly line,” continues Shuppert. “The drones will fly above and around the craft, while the wheel-mounted robot will work underneath the plane. For the drones, we went with Airgility because they had most of what we were looking for.”
Based in College Park, MD, Airgility, Inc. specializes in integrating AI and autonomy into their unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Their drones met the requirements for maneuverability (continuously adjustable tilt motors), control accuracy (ability to hold a flight path to ± 6mm), compliance (NDAA and TAA) and carrying capacity.
The guidance and control (G&C) system utilizes a multi-loop architecture that computes the error between a desired reference position and the current drone position, and then synthesizes the desired 3-axis movements of the rotors at an 80 Hz sampling rate. This allows the drone to operate without the benefit of global positioning satellites.

“Since GPS signals can’t penetrate a heavily built aircraft hangar, the drone has to rely on the internal G&C system,” says Pramod Raheja, CEO and co-founder of Airgility. “This system regulates the angular orientation of the drone via an independent thrust vectoring system so it can follow a 3-D reference trajectory based on the physical dimensions of the aircraft.”
Raheja explained how situational awareness is achieved by an algorithm that incorporates data from numerous, redundant, sensors. This allows the craft to fly in narrow spaces, like over and under a gantry or aircraft wing. Also included in the intelligence is a self-contained on-onboard AI failsafe mechanism, so if the software crashes for any reason the drone will simply back away, avoid any obstacles, and land itself.
Collision avoidance is extremely important, since in addition to the aircraft itself, the Lockheed Martin factory floor presents numerous physical obstacles including scaffolding, pilot ladders, auxiliary power units, tails, canopies, and people.
“Before we let a drone fly next to an $80 million jet, we wanted to test it within a lab environment,” notes Lockheed Martin’s Colaw.

This is where Animesh Chakravarthy, Ph.D., Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Flight Control at the University of Texas at Arlington, was brought in. Chakravarthy’s research in collision avoidance has been recognized by his receiving a prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
“The goal is to have the drone performing multiple precise orbits around the aircraft, at just the right speed, while at the same time ensuring that the scanner is properly oriented towards the aircraft,” explains Chakravarthy. “The trick is not getting so close as to cause a collision, but not so far away as to distort the readings.”
Chakravarthy’s advanced students will develop the mechanical robot that carries the scanner under the plane along the plant floor. It will be equipped with its own G&C system—conceptually similar to that of the drone—that will autonomously track the reference trajectory while ensuring collision avoidance.
“Sometimes drone technology gets a lot of attention because it is neat and intriguing, but there has to be a business value behind it,” observes Colaw. “Using drones and this type of scanning technology really opens the door to better understand our product and to cost-effectively substantiate the quality of our products in a way that we can’t currently do because we are limited by human bandwidth.”

Expanding the capability of drone-integrated metrology
The current STTR award includes options for even further advancements. Of great importance to Lockheed Martin is identifying any delamination within the composite skin of the F-35. Since separation of the layers and voids cannot always be seen or measured from the surface, a non-destructive testing method is necessary.
This is where highly sensitive IR cameras can be used to inspect beneath the composite surface of the craft to effectively visualize and identify any anomalies.
“The IR flash lamps act as an excitation source to transfer heat through the material,” says Desmond Lamont, Global Business Development Manager for Teledyne FLIR. “Since voids and gaps don’t transfer heat as efficiently as a solid does, the heat will build and the camera identifies these hot spots and points out the adjacent fault areas.”

Cutting the cord
While there were a number of challenges the team encountered, the issue of removing the wiring tether from the scanner was considered one of the most significant. A wireless approach is much safer and more capable of dodging personnel and physical infrastructure on the factory floor.
The Airgility team will solve this problem by utilizing AI drones that only transmit crucial data, thus greatly reducing bandwidth.
“Since the intelligent drone knows what anomalies to look for, it only sends that info and ignores the expected results,” points out Raheja. “Therefore, you don’t need to transmit a lot of data continuously.”
The ultimate result of this collaboration is a reliable, highly accurate (plus or minus 0.025mm) inspection platform for large body craft that removes human error and safety risk from the manufacturing environment.
“With the F-35 there certainly is a use case to employ this technology where it has a successful chance of entry,” concludes Colaw. “The idea is to scale it across the other Lockheed Martin business units, and then become a major proponent for using this technology in other applicable industries.
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Unread post17 Feb 2022, 22:27

Tear down the wall? 8)
https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org ... ith-allies
JUST IN: Info-Sec Restrictions Hampering F-35 Partnerships
12/13/2021 By Meredith Roaten
Information security restrictions are hampering collaboration between allied and partner nations that fly the F-35 joint strike fighter, the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa said Dec. 13.
The jet is currently in use or has been ordered by more than a dozen countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Poland, the Netherlands, Israel, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Last week, Finland announced its intention to buy the aircraft, which is touted for its stealthy features and information-sharing capabilities.
U.S. Air Force Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian said working with allies is key to getting the most value out of the Lockheed Martin-built platform.
Being able to practice operations and share data between systems will “build the muscle memory we need in theater to be able to respond quickly” during crises, he said at a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event.
"That is the underpinning of success that an F-35 brings because we speak the common language, and we've worked our way through many of the issues," he added.

Participating countries have made progress through talks on maintenance, training and tactics. However, information security restrictions are still in the way, he noted.
"We have to figure out how we break through some of the barriers so that we can truly get everything out of the airplane and not be inhibited," he said.
U.S. forces and their partners should develop ways to protect sensitive information while optimizing F-35 collaboration, Harrigian said. "We've got to keep collectively as an enterprise leaning into that together."
Officials should “smartly” push for innovation related to information-sharing that gets around security obstacles, he suggested.
"If we're going to do this and we got to go fight together, then we got to be lockstep with each other — understanding what the threat is, what our airplanes are telling each other,” he said.


Other Security Articles. 8)
https://www.fcw.com/defense/2022/02/f-3 ... ts/361848/
F-35 program seeks cyber reinforcements
FEBRUARY 10, 2022 By Lauren C. Williams, Senior Editor
To improve the joint strike fighters' defenses against cyber attacks, the program office responsible for it wants an open system design solution.
The Defense Department is looking for new ways to gird the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter against cyber attacks and improve the systems' ability to detect and respond to threats.
According to a recent contracting notice, the program office responsible for the aircraft is looking to create a multi-phased process that would enhance the security of F-35's – and supporting ground systems – through newly developed or integrated technologies, such as real-time, automated in-flight detection, response and recovery.
"Defending against advanced cyber threats is critical for all modern military systems. Adversary methods and techniques continue to evolve thus the ability to adapt and minimize impacts is crucial," the notice states.
The F-35's joint program office wants to use "new advances in cyber protection capabilities into the F-35 architecture" using "open system design and cyber resiliency principles" so that hardware, software, and firmware can be integrated from different sources and seamlessly updated.
The solution, according to the notice, could include alerts before, during, or after a flight, as well as "isolating or preventing various attack attempts" without compromising flight safety.
The F-35 has long suffered from software and cybersecurity problems from the code to IT logistics infrastructure. A 2021 Government Accountability Office report advised DOD to update the fighter jet's modernization schedule to accommodate software needs and automatically collect data on software development quality and performance. The notice for cyber solutions also comes as the Defense Department issues guidance on how to best navigate open source software and systems, while adhering to strict cybersecurity standards.
Future versions of the ongoing F-35 challenge could include a live test demonstration or pilot of the technology on "actual aviation platforms," according to the notice.
Submissions are being accepted through March 3.

https://insidedefense.com/insider/f-35- ... enge%C2%A0
F-35 JPO initiates cybersecurity challenge
By Briana Reilly / February 16, 2022
The F-35 Joint Program Office is seeking out new cyber protection technologies as it kicks off a multistage challenge to integrate advanced capabilities onto the fighter aircraft and supporting ground systems, a recent government notice indicates.
The listing, published last week, calls for proposals from industry, academia and government that would “expand on traditional cybersecurity approaches to meet the unique needs of the air system, such as automated inflight detection and response, to increase its cyber resilience and survivability.”
An ideal outcome, the notice adds, would involve a mix of hardware, software and firmware from different sources atop an open system design that would facilitate “seamless updates and technology insertions to respond to emerging cybersecurity threats.”
Size, weight and power requirements will be a “critical consideration” for any submissions, per the listing. Submissions will be evaluated based on the broader feasibility of system integration, their applicability to the operating environment and alignment to cyber resiliency strategies.
When submitting proposals, respondents are asked to describe their technologies, assess their solution's maturity level, identify needed resources for continued development, and address whether they have the resources to showcase an existing prototype, among other things, according to a copy of the Quad Chart template included with the notice.
Responses are due March 3. Beyond that, the challenge’s next phases could feature “additional technical narrative” solutions to bolster a previous submission, a prototyping or demonstration event and a piloting of the proposal on an airframe.
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Unread post17 Feb 2022, 22:28

Lot 15-17. 8)
https://www.airforcemag.com/new-f-35-lo ... ion-costs/
New F-35 Lot 15-17 Deal Hung Up on Inflation, COVID-19 Mitigation Costs
Jan. 26, 2022 | By John A. Tirpak
Inflation estimates and COVID-19 mitigation costs are prolonging talks between Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office over prices for jets in Lots 15-17, company CEO James D. Taiclet told reporters Jan. 25. He also said the government is moving toward a five-year Performance-Based Logistics contract for the fighter, versus the three-year contract previously discussed.
The Lot 15-17 contract was expected to be inked between October and November 2021, JPO Director Lt. Gen. Eric T. Fick told reporters at the time, but sources have said the agreement may not be reached until March, or later.
Acting Chief Financial Officer John Mollard told reporters negotiations continue but “it’s proven more difficult than we expected to reach agreement on a cost baseline that incorporates the impacts that we see associated with our customer ordering fewer aircraft in Lots 15-17 than were ordered in the prior buys of 12-14.” He said the parties are also “struggling to come to mutual agreement on the impacts of global challenges that Lockheed Martin and our supply chain partners are experiencing, such as inflation and COVID-19.”

“We’ll continue to use a data-driven process for as long as it takes to reach agreement, based on what it’s actually going to cost to build these aircraft,” Mollard said. Both parties are working diligently “in good faith” to reach a deal, he added.
The company is “sticking to our economics,” Taiclet added, and “trying to make sure that our shareholders get an appropriate agreement … negotiated by our team.”
Lockheed aeronautics chief Gregory M. Ulmer said last year that prices for F-35s, which fell below $80 million per jet for the conventional takeoff model in Lots 12-14, would likely be higher in Lot 15-17 because the services are ordering fewer aircraft, and because the Block 4 model of the airplane has new capabilities that cost more.

Taiclet said Lockheed has made “great progress over the past year” in getting the F-35’s sustainment costs down. He said Lockheed, the Joint Program Office, the services and Pratt & Whitney “all realize we have a shared goal to reduce the cost per flight hour and improve the readiness rate of the jet and we’re all working together to do that.” He cited “some success” with “long lead-time spare part orders…through the system” that will put more parts “in the right place at the right time to reduce cost and improve the readiness rate.”
Lockheed has answered a request for proposal on a Performance-Based Logistic contract for the F-35 that focuses, “again, … on the supply chain side” and “less so the labor side.” This will involve better integration of planning for production and sustainment parts—earlier versions of the jet need different parts than those in the new-build aircraft. Taiclet said, “We did move it up with the program office to a five-year PBL” instead of the three-year plan that had been discussed previously.

“The bulk of the value will be in the parts flow, distribution, production, integration, etc.,” he said, adding, the company hopes to get the PBL negotiated “in the coming months or quarters.” Overall, “I think we’re really well on the road to having a much more coherent and integrated industry/customer/program office approach to sustainment.”
Mollard said there are now 753 F-35s in the field, and this will see a “compounded annual growth rate” of 15 percent. Flight hours on the F-35 are growing at 16 percent, he added.
The new plateau production rate of 156 F-35s a year is a consensus decision of Lockheed, its partners, and the JPO, Taiclet said.
“The last thing you want,” Mollard asserted, “is a sawtooth pattern, where you’re ramping up and ramping down.”

The company and the JPO “set a rate that we’re fairly comfortable will result in a production build tempo for the forseeable future,” Taiclet said.
“You have to invest in the capital phase for the peak” of that up-and-down cycle, he said, which is wasteful when there’s “overcapacity where the sawtooth trends down” and then new investment is needed “to bring it back up.”
Because the needs of the Air Force and Navy are “steady and reliable, 156 [aircraft] a year was the right investment level for Lockheed Martin and our supply base over time,” Taiclet said. It may trend up if international sales campaigns succeed in bringing in an expected 900 orders.

As far as a new engine for the F-35, the Block 4 version of which will require more power to meet requirements, Taiclet said he’s visited GE aviation and Pratt & Whitney and has seen their “impressive’ work on an adaptive-cycle engine that could fit the Lightning. Lockheed remains agnostic about which engine would be better, or if the Pentagon should simply go with an upgraded version of the F135 engine, which powers the fighter now.
“It’s up to the JPO, services, and the DOD” how to proceed with future F-35 power, he said. The situation is “evolving,” he said, toward a “wider-use case.”
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Unread post17 Feb 2022, 22:30

Aviation Week style F-35 History. 8) (By using the Wayback Machine I was able to read loooooongeeeeeeeer articles on this paywall subscription. :devil: ) Are there any items you are concerned about?
https://aviationweek.com/awin/program/f-35
https://web.archive.org/web/20211215010 ... gram/f-35#
Lockheed Martin F-35 (JSF)
The F-35 Lightning II / Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is a U.S. fifth-generation, single engine, multirole fighter developed in partnership with eight nations and produced by Lockheed Martin. It is designed in three variants and is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan engine. Each variant features a different derivative of the F135 engine. As of December 2021, more than 730 F-35s have been delivered to the U.S., international JSF partners and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Production is expected to continue into the 2040s.

Features
Low Observable Technology
All variants of the F-35 use a variety of techniques to reduce their radar cross section (RCS). Some of these techniques were used on previous low observable aircraft while others have been improved or are completely new. As with the F-22, the F-35 uses planform alignment to orient flight surfaces, fuselage facets and gaps to concentrate radar reflections into a minimum number of angles. The canopy is metalized to reduce scattering from the cockpit. Doors and access panels have sawtooth edges. Internal weapons bays allow the aircraft to carry air-to-air weapons and a small number of ground-attack weapons while keeping the ordnance shielded from radar.
The engine exhaust is also designed with low-observability to radar in mind. The nozzle consists of vanes with rear-facing facets that abut into a circular, sawtooth pattern. The outer surfaces of the vanes appear to be covered with RAM. In addition, towards the front of the nozzle, the vanes are covered by skin panels with sawtooth patterns that also adjoin with each other in a sawtooth fashion. These panels are likely radar-absorbent structures whose purpose is to reduce scattering in the gap between the vanes and fuselage around the nozzle.
Low observable technologies significantly matured between the development of the F-22 and the subsequent F-35 as shown by the F-35’s use of Diverterless Supersonic Inlets (DSIs) and improved Radar-Absorbent Material (RAM) coatings. Lockheed Martin began internal research and development on low observable Mach 2 inlets in the early 1990s which informed the X-35’s development. In the Spring of 1997, Lockheed Martin had two competing X-35 design proposals. One featured Caret inlets (used in the F-22 and F/A-18E/F) and the other used DSIs. Lockheed had demonstrated the feasibility of DSIs through flight testing of a modified F-16 in December 1997. Inlet designs of modern fighter aircraft must provide flow compression and boundary layer control such that the engine is fed high pressure, low distortion airflow across multiple flight regimes. The F-22’s 2-D Caret inlets use a boundary layer diverter and bleed system feeding into serpentine ducts to regulate airflow at the cost of manufacturing complexity and weight. Lockheed Martin studies showed incorporating DSIs would lower weight, be easier to manufacture and lower the X-35’s RCS. The F-35’s DSIs have a 3-D bump and forward swept cowl which feed into a bifurcated, serpentine duct – eliminating the need for a boundary layer diverter and bleed system.
The F-35’s RAM represents a significant improvement in signature reduction and maintenance needs when compared to the F-22 and B-2. Gaps between parts on the skin of the aircraft generate radar returns, the F-22 and B-2 solve this problem by applying a thick topcoat of RAM on top of the gaps. Lockheed Martin reduced the number of parts on the F-35’s skin and used improved manufacturing technologies (such as precision laser alignment of parts during assembly) to eliminate gaps. Lockheed Martin claims that parts fit so precisely “that 99% of maintenance requires no restoration of low-observable surfaces”. This new approach reduces the amount of RAM required, greatly lessens the airframe's need for line maintenance (by as much as two orders of magnitude compared to the F-22) and also makes the F-35's low observability features more resilient by mitigating the risk of skin abrasions. The F-35 still receives a RAM topcoat that is applied in thicker layers at high scattering areas, such as the engine inlets. The coating also reduces skin friction and drag, thereby saving fuel and likely reducing the aircraft's IR signature. Beneath the RAM-embedded material is a conductive layer that further reduces RCS by modifying the radio waves before they bounce back out through the RAM.

Block Upgrades
The Block 4 is the first substantial series of upgrades after Block 3F – the IOC warfighting configuration. The Block 4 program is projected to cost $14 billion to develop through FY2027 and will be rolled out incrementally in production Lots 15 (FY2023), Lot 16 (FY2024) and 17 (FY2025) in four distinct configurations: Block 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4. Of these, Block 4.2 and Block 4.4 are hardware modifications and 4.1 and 4.3 are software only. Hardware modifications of in-service aircraft will follow one year after production of that configuration e.g. Lot 15 new build FY2023 and modification of existing aircraft in FY2024. The USAF will modify 148 Lot 5-10 to the Lot 15 configuration and 335 Lot 11-16 aircraft to the Lot 17 configuration. Accompanying Block 4, smaller upgrades will be fielded in six-month cycles under the Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2) process. The FY22 budget describes the following Lot associated Block 4 configurations:
FY2021 (Lot 13) - Magazine Retainer Plate - Chaff and Flare Magazine Retainer Plate - provides the capability for programmable expendables, programmable magazine load-outs, programmable emergency jettison and quicker inventory
FY2024 (Lot 15) - Technical Refresh 3 (TR3), Next Generation Distributed Aperture System (Next Gen DAS), Cooling Mod, and Advanced Communication, Navigation, Identification Processor

TR3 - integrates new integrated core processor, panoramic cockpit display, and aircraft memory system to meet Block 4 processing, memory, and throughput requirements
Next Gen DAS - replaces current DAS due to sensor reliability while increasing performance to provide larger pixel focal plane array and higher operating temperatures
Cooling Mod - increases cooling capacity to support electronic warfare growth and addition of Full Motion Video (FMV)
FY2025 (Lot 16) - Full Motion Video, Embedded GPS and Inertial Navigation System (EGI), Modernized Electronic Warfare Controller (M-EWC), and Modernized Electronic Warfare Processor (M-EWP)

Full Motion Video - adds the capability to receive encrypted and unencrypted full motion video and still imagery from Operational Facilities and Remote Video Terminals
EGI - hardware enabler for M-Code/Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast/Required Navigation Performance/area navigation capabilities - EWC/EWP - increases 8-core processors (SDD) to 32-core, providing more than 3 times the processing performance for running advance algorithms and supporting the transition from 12 Receivers (SDD) to 20 Receivers
FY2025 (Lot 17) - Advanced Multi Channel Transceiver Receiver (AMCTR), Band 2/3/4/5 Electronic Warfare (EW) Hardware (HW) and EW Group 2

AMCTR - provides MIDS Modernization Increment 1 (MMI) Concurrent Multi-Netting (CMN) and Concurrent Contention Receive (CCR) capabilities
Band 2/3/4/5 EW HW - provides Band 2&5 RWR functionality by adding Band 2 Nose Landing Gear Door (NLGD) Aperture, Band 3/4 NLGD Aperture, Band 2/3/4 Array Electronic Module (AEM), Band 3/4/5 AEM, Band 5 Apertures, and Band 5 AEM
EW Group 2 - adds technology to address the Advancing Threats, to detect and counter the LPI Emitter while providing Band 5 RWR functionality; includes Wideband Receiver, Wideband Notch Filter, Band 2/5 Switch Matrix Module, Aircraft Interface Module (ACIF), M-Quad Upconverter (M-QUC), M-Quad Tuner (M-QTM), M-Digital Channelized Receiver (DCR), M-DCR and Techniques Receiver (DCRTG), M-Analogto-Digital Converter (ADC), M-Radio Frequency Converter, High Voltage Power Supply (HVPS)
As the TR3 equipped Block 4.2 configuration arrives in the fleet, the F-35’s power to sense targets and threats passively should rise enormously. The upgrade also paves the way for a critical update of BAE’s electronic warfare system especially the jamming techniques generators (DTIP) embedded in Racks 2A and 2B of the ASQ-239. DTIP itself is a combination of two acronyms that each represent different components: the Digital Channelized Receiver/Techniques Generator (DCRTG) and the Tuner Insertion Program (TIP). The combination results in a more powerful, centralized electronic warfare processor, yet smaller. As a result, the DTIP facilitate future Block 4 upgrades such as new wing leading edge-mounted receivers in Bands 2, 3 and 4, as well as active new Band 5 receivers from broad spectrum coverage from very low to extremely high radio frequencies. Aided by the more powerful processors introduced by TR3, the F-35 may be able to develop jamming techniques as it encounters new signals not previously stored in the aircraft’s mission data files. Such a capacity for so-called cognitive electronic warfare is becoming critical as adversaries shift to software defined radios and frequency-hopping radar arrays.

If the current schedule is maintained, the TR3 and Block 4.2 upgrades arriving in Lot 15 aircraft will include more than improved computing power. Lockheed is modifying the internal weapons bay to enable the “sidekick” upgrade (425 Bulkhead modification), which increases the Raytheon AIM-120 missile load-out by 50% to six missiles. As the Lockheed AIM-260 becomes available, the same load-out will become possible with a missile measuring the same length as the AIM-120 but with significantly more range.
The same modification also accommodates the dimensions of the Air Force’s new Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW), a new anti-radiation missile which is currently under competition. The service originally planned to add a new warhead to the Navy’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range. An Israeli-funded program to add wing-mounted fuel tanks to the F-35’s load-out options also should become available, which increases the range by 25% if the mission does not require minimizing the aircraft’s profile on radar.

Technological Refresh
The Technological Refresh (TR) effort seeks to keep the F-35’s avionics updated every few years to take advantage of increases in computing power as well as to mitigate diminishing manufacturing sources – seeking to avoid a repeat of the F-22 program. Lockheed Martin plans to recompete F-35 components across suppliers to generate costs savings. TR 0.5 occurred in the early years of the program which was followed by TR1 as part of Block 2B. TR1 improved the F-35’s Integrated Core Processors (ICPs). TR2 is included as part of the Block 3i upgrade, the improved ICPs are manufactured by Lockheed Martin Rotary Wing and Mission Systems division.
In December 2018, the U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $712 million contract for TR3. The modification will replace 22 electronic components and increases Harris’ workshare amongst F-35 subcomponent suppliers. In June 2017, Lockheed Martin announced Harris will supply the Aircraft Memory System (AMS) and Cockpit Display Electronic Unit (PCD-EU) which will replace GE and L3 components. The most important addition to TR3 is Harris’ new ICP. Lockheed Martin announced Harris’ new ICP will reduce costs by 75% (lifecycle costs will be reduced by $3 billion), improves computing power by 25 times and enhances software stability. In March 2018, Vice Admiral Winter announced the JPO’s objective is to insert TR3 as part of Lot 15 which will be ordered in FY2021 and delivered two years later in Block 4.2.

Signature reduced than F-22 and B-2. :doh: (Wow.) Is the RCS 0.00XXXXX ? :devil:
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doge

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Unread post17 Feb 2022, 22:31

Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Michael Gilday speaks. 8)
https://seapowermagazine.org/cno-emphas ... xas-visit/
CNO Emphasizes Joint All-Domain Operations in Texas Visit
Posted on February 10, 2022 by Seapower Staff
FORT WORTH, Texas — Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday traveled to Fort Worth, Texas, and visited Lockheed Martin on Feb. 10, with Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), the CNO’s Public Affairs Office said in a release.
Gilday and Granger toured facilities and received updates about F-35C Lightning II advancements and capabilities, joint all-domain operations, anti-surface warfare and weapon technology.
“The work that we’re doing here in Fort Worth in partnership with Lockheed Martin is delivering cutting edge capabilities for the Navy now and into the future,” said Gilday. “These advanced capabilities will ensure the U.S. Navy will maintain our warfighting advantage against increasingly competitive adversaries and ensure tomorrow’s Sailors will have what they need to win the fight.”
The F-35C is an aircraft that redefines the multirole fighter. It is a fifth-generation aircraft that integrates advanced stealth technology that provides unprecedented situational awareness to the pilot, as well as lethality and survivability. Major advances in network enabled mission systems, reliability and interoperability make this platform powerful and effective.
“Today’s visit from Admiral Gilday highlights the role played by Texas, and North Texas in particular, at the forefront of our nation’s strong national defense,” Granger said. Our visit gave us greater insight on the incredible capabilities of the F-35 and the advancements being made to ensure we have the best fighter fleet in the world. I will always remain the F-35 program’s staunchest advocate.”
The aircraft, satellites, ships and ground vehicles Navy forces operate have the ability to collect information from air, sea, space, land and cyber, but processing and analyzing that amount of data can be a difficult task, Gilday added.
Gilday explained the industrial base plays a key role in maintaining the current fleet as well as developing and building platforms and capabilities for the future fight. “We will seek opportunities to accelerate the development and fielding of needed capabilities ahead of our rivals,” he said.
Playing a large role in joint all-domain operations, the F-35C fighter brings increased situational awareness, information sharing and connectivity to the naval force, as well as our allies and partners.
This visit marked CNO’s second trip to Fort Worth.
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Unread post18 Feb 2022, 05:03

AvWEAK article partly posted by 'doge' above has been made into 21 page PDF now attached below below below (I'll stop).
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Lockheed Martin F-35 (JSF) Dec 2021 Aviation Week Network pp21.pdf
(1.13 MiB) Downloaded 240 times
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos
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Unread post16 Mar 2022, 20:19

Strange news at this time when Russia have gone to war.

Pentagon Cuts Its Request for Lockheed’s F-35s by 35%
Pentagon will demand 61 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin in next year's budget, 33 fewer than originally planned, reports Bloomberg News, which has sources close to the matter.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... u-s-budget
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