Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

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optimist

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Unread post23 Dec 2020, 09:41

doge wrote:Australian Ambition. :shock: wow
https://www.defensenews.com/industry/te ... c-missile/
Australia, US partner on air-launched hypersonic missile
By: Nigel Pittaway 2020/11/30
MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia and the United States are partnering to develop and test an air-launched hypersonic cruise missile under the bilateral Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment program, or SCIFiRE, the two countries announced Monday.

Australia was actually the lead partner before, because of their advanced state. They also helped with extending conventional missile range, with what was learnt off of parabolic re-entry. I don't know the situation with this agreement.
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Unread post24 Dec 2020, 15:07

Australian Drones. :shock: WoW
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUR9Cj-aZVA

https://boeing.mediaroom.com/news-relea ... 130788-117
Boeing Uncrewed Loyal Wingman Conducts First High-Speed Taxi Test
Flight testing to commence in early 2021
AUSTRALIA, Dec. 21, 2020 – Boeing [NYSE:BA] Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have completed the first high-speed taxi test of the Loyal Wingman in preparation for first flight.
Boeing test personnel monitored the aircraft’s performance and instrumentation from a ground control station to verify the functionality while the vehicle reached accelerated speeds. The uncrewed aircraft has been undergoing low-, medium-, and high-speed taxi testing at a remote test location in Australia.
“Our test program is progressing well, and we are happy with the ground test data we have collected to date,” said Paul Ryder, Boeing Flight Test manager. “We are working with the Air Warfare Centre to complete final test verifications to prepare for flight testing in the new year.”
Boeing and the Royal Australian Air Force will resume final taxi tests and preparations for flight in early 2021 when the range reopens.
RAAF Head of Air Force Capability Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts said seeing the aircraft in person during the December trials had been extraordinary.
“There is something very special about testing an aircraft that takes technology to the next level. It is iconic in its own way,” said Roberts. “Experiencing the enthusiasm of the Boeing and Air Force team reminded me of my early career testing aircraft.”
“This is what innovation is all about – working together to achieve many firsts,” she said.
More than 35 Australian suppliers on the Australian industry team have contributed to the aircraft development, including investment partner BAE Systems Australia, which has been embedded with the Boeing test team on-site.
“In the past year alone, we have made amazing strides on this aircraft, taking it from a fuselage to a finished aircraft that has undergone rigorous testing,” said Dr. Shane Arnott, program director of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System. “Our focus now is on conducting a safe and secure flight-test regimen for the Loyal Wingman program.”
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Unread post24 Dec 2020, 15:47

FRESH LIGHTNINGS at Fort Worth [2 page PDF of article photos attached]
Jan 2021 AIR International

"Located in north Texas, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base (or NAS Fort Worth JRB) is a vast military complex that includes Carswell Field, a prime location for spotting Lockheed Martin's newest F-35 fighters. Photography by Matt Ellis..."

Photo: “First flight on November 12 [2020] is Royal Australian Air Force F-35A A35-032 (MSN AU-32), bound for the 2nd Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) at RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales, Australia. The unit lost its F/A-18A/B Hornets in December 2019 and has been re-equipping with F-35As since early in 2020. Although not visible in this photo, the fighter (callsign 'Strike 61') carries the FMS serial no 18-5403 on the nose-wheel door.... The 'Strike' callsign denotes a predelivery customer test flight, while 'Lightning' is reserved for Lockheed Martin Test flights.”


Source: AIR International Magazine January 2021
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Unread post28 Dec 2020, 00:38

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Unread post28 Dec 2020, 10:47

[RAAF] F-35A Joint Strike Fighter Pilots answer your common questions
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLmrL_ByGAo

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Unread post28 Dec 2020, 11:55

RAAF F-35A capability achieves IOC
28 Dec 2020 Andrew McLaughlin

"...The IOC milestone recognises the service’s ability to conduct type-conversion courses for pilots and maintainers in Australia, that Australia can produce its own mission data files (MDF), and that a sufficiently deep level of spares and sovereign industry support has been established. The RAAF now has more than 40 qualified F-35A pilots and 220 maintainers trained on the F-35A.

The aircraft has been subjected to a detailed verification and validation (V&V) process over the past two years, a process that has proven the F-35A can operate with other ADF capabilities such as the E-7A Wedgetail and KC-30A MRTT, can be deployed to forward bases such as Townsville or Tindal, and can integrate with the ADF’s command and control system....

...77SQN will commence its conversion to the F-35A in early 2021, and 75SQN will follow in 2022. Ferry flights of RAAF F-35As will continue through 2021 and 2022 with at least 15 aircraft due to be delivered to the RAAF in each of those years, and the type is expected to achieve a Final Operational Capability (FOC) in 2022/23. Australia currently has 72 F-35As on order under Project AIR 6000 Phase 2A/2B, and will consider an order for up 30 more aircraft for service entry from 2030 under Project AIR 6000 Phase 7...."

Source: https://adbr.com.au/raaf-f-35a-capability-achieves-ioc/
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Unread post25 Jan 2021, 04:13

RAAF F-35A and most of the existing and future RAAF combat and support fleet and even unmanned combat systems to get hypersonic missiles.

“ … Defence last month announced it would begin testing hypersonic missiles that can travel at least five times the speed of sound under a new agreement with the United States to develop prototypes of the next-generation weapons.

Under the plan, the hypersonic missiles would be carried by the RAAF’s existing arsenal of aircraft including the Growlers, Super Hornets, Joint Strike Fighters and Poseidon surveillance planes. The missiles could also be attached to unmanned aircraft such as the new Loyal Wingman drones. …”

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal ... 56wgb.html


The announcement also committed to ESSM BkII, SM-2 BKIIIC, SM-6 BK1, NSM, and an unnamed 1,500 km range land-attack capability for the Royal Australian Navy (almost certainly Tomahawks) and a new torpedo (hoping this is VLS-ASROC), with newer weapons going on subs as well.

No word on JSM yet but the announcement foreshadows an increase in domestic weapon production.
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Unread post25 Jan 2021, 08:29

These strike me as all the right weapons for the coming maritime contest. Here's hoping SM6 turns out to be the Block 1B, which ought to have a decent kinematic bump over its already impressive 1A iteration. Can't escape the conclusion that we are going to need more than the currently planned 32 VLS cells on the Hunter class, especially if we are expecting our MFUs to carry a useful number of TLAMs. A VL JASSM-XR would be nice here, since you wouldn't need as many of them to pen a given IADS. Perhaps VL-LRASM will find its way onto the shopping list in the interim.

PS. Whoever can figure out a reliable way to perform RAS of Mk41 VLS cells could make themselves a lot of money.
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Unread post04 Feb 2021, 15:01

Kill ratio 30:1 or 30:0 !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? :shock: This magazine says the F-35 has a kill ratio of 30:0. :doh:
I saw that number ratio for the first time. I've never heard of it ! :doh: For Real !? :doh: Too Shocking...!
30:0...zero loss!? :roll: Wow! That's incredible. I don't believe it that easily ! :bang: (paranoia)
https://asiapacificdefencereporter.com/ ... ighRes.pdf
APDA Asia Pacific Defence Reporter
AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE IN A GLOBAL CONTEXTFEB 2021 VOL.47 NO.1
KYM BERGMANN // CANBERRA
RAAF DECLARES F-35 INITIAL OPERATIONAL CAPABILITY
While most Australians were relaxing during the Christmas break, on December 28 Defence Minister Linda Reynolds made an announcement of considerable significance: the RAAF have concluded that their F-35A aircraft are combat ready. More formally known as achieving Initial Operational Capability, this is a statement that they can be deployed on active operations. This does not mean that they are at 100% of their capability – that is expected to come in 2023 – but that they are good enough in their current state to be sent in harm’s way.
Different air forces – and indeed different service chiefs – can have divergent views on what represents IOC. The first service to make such a declaration about their F-35s was the U.S. Marine Corps operating the B variant way back in July 2015. This was not because of the technical maturity of the aircraft but rather because of the somewhat aggressive, risk-taking nature of the Marines, aided by the deployable logistic support package available for shipboard deployments. By comparison, the USAF declared IOC in August 2016 and then the USN in February of 2019.
Asked for an update on the program, Defence said that 33 F-35A aircraft built by Lockheed Martin have been accepted by Australia so far, with 30 of them now at RAAF Base Williamtown, and three remaining in the US awaiting ferry to Australia in 2021. Eight aircraft are set to be delivered between January and June 2021, and an additional 15 Australian aircraft are programmed for delivery in the 2021/22 financial year. What they contribute to the ADF is considerable, with a spokesperson saying:“The F-35A brings into force a stealthy multi-role aircraft capable of conducting air-to-air and air-to-surface missions.“The F-35A Lightning II incorporates comprehensive stealth technology, electronic protection, electronic attack and advanced countermeasures to survive in demanding threat environments. It has fused, multispectral sensors and advanced networking capabilities for an unprecedented level of situational awareness and when combined with advanced weapons, will deliver increased lethality against heavily defended targets.“The F-35A is able to operate with aircraft such as the F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet, F/A-18F Super Hornet, E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, and the EA-18G Growler Airborne Electronic Attack aircraft. Interoperability includes, but is not limited to, the use of the Link-16 networks to share information.”Defence says that following withdrawal from the F-35 Pilot Training Centre at Luke Air Force Base in the US in 2020, all F-35A conversion training is now conducted in Australia. Defence has already trained nine Australian F-35A pilots at the RAAF Base Williamtown Integrated Training Centre (ITC) last year. Training has also been delivered to over 350 maintenance and support personnel in the ITC to date.Looking ahead for the rest of this year, the F-35A force has a busy training schedule that consists of workforce transition from F/A-18A/B ‘Classic’ Hornet, as well as exercises and activities designed specifically to support force generation and capability outcomes and milestones.

The F-35A is planned to participate in a number of exercises in Australia and abroad, including deployments to RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory, and to Alaska for Exercise Red Flag.Asked for a comment about the achievement of IOC, the Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Australia, Joe North, said:“As the original equipment manufacturer, we are proud to be the lead sustainment partner of choice for the Royal Australian Air Force’s growing fleet of fifth-generation F-35As.“Lockheed Martin Australia’s presence in Williamtown has continued to grow as we have invested in the establishment of a sovereign defence capability to sustain the RAAF’s F-35 fleet.“Along with our local industry partners, nearly 200 Lockheed Martin Australia employees are now dedicated to sustaining Australia’s F-35 fleet, delivering the capability edge necessary to defend Australia’s national interests both at home and abroad.“To ensure Australia has the local expertise and experience necessary to sustain the F-35 fleet over the full life of the program LMA continues to invest in engineering training initiatives and partnerships with Newcastle vocational and tertiary providers.”An enduring feature of the entire F-35 program is that it is still sometimes described as “troubled” or “controversial”. It isn’t.
That was about a decade ago when there were significant problems with cost and schedule over runs and there was speculation that it could be cancelled – or at least the number of jets could be slashed. If the latter had occurred it could have had the same effect as termination as it might lead to a cost spiral of death, with fewer aircraft driving up the unit price, leading to orders being cancelled because of price increases, leading to an even higher amount for each aircraft – and so on.This was avoided by pausing the acquisition in 2011 and pushing the reset button, leading to greater efforts to achieve commonality between the A, B and C variants and to more aggressively test the aircraft and fix faults concurrently with finalising the design. The year before, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates not only sacked the officer in charge, Major General David Heinz, but also withheld $614 million from Lockheed Martin – twin shocks that ended any sense of complacency about the status of the program.While not entirely smooth sailing since, most key milestones have been achieved. Lockheed Martin is building them at a rate of two aircraft approximately every three days, with more than 600 delivered so far out of a total of 3,000 that are likely to be ordered before the production line closes in the 2040s. The user base keeps expanding, with the UAE signing up for 50 F-35s in the last hours – literally – of the Trump Presidency. Several existing customers are highly likely to increase their fleets, including Australia with the RAAF potentially buying another 36 as replacements for the Super Hornet and Growler fleets.In our region, Japan, South Korea and Singapore are all F-35 customers, with the latter almost certain to increase their order of 12 short take off and vertical landing B variants. Taiwan is also interested in buying them, but the US is holding off from concern about upsetting China – for now.

Due to their stealth characteristics combined with their sensors and networking capabilities, they are proving to be game changers not only in exercises – where they have enormous kill/loss ratios of 30:1 or even 30:0 against previous generation aircraft – but also in combat. They have been used by the Israeli Air Force on numerous missions, but exact details have not been publicly disclosed. Suffice to say that whenever there are reports of Hezbollah missile storage facilities in Syria being attacked and destroyed by unseen adversaries, there is a reasonable chance that F-35s have been involved.While China and Russia also have their 5th generation combat aircraft programs underway, for at least the next decade the F-35 will enjoy a huge numerical advantage. The Su-57 is in production with 12 built out of an initial Russian Air Force requirement of 76. The even more mysterious Chinese J-20 was first seen a decade ago and it is believed that around 50 have been constructed. However, given the size of the country’s economy and its huge industrial base it is possible that production could be ramped up rapidly.The fact that Australian companies have won $2.7 billion worth of work on the F-35 program so far should be seen as a bonus.
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Unread post04 Feb 2021, 17:13

5 page PDF from APDR FEB 2021 VOL.47 NO.1 above about RAAF F-35A IOC attached from whence front page foto comes.
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Unread post04 Feb 2021, 18:47

Fueled by APA tears...
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Unread post05 Feb 2021, 15:50

doge wrote:Kill ratio 30:1 or 30:0 !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? :shock: This magazine says the F-35 has a kill ratio of 30:0. :doh:
I saw that number ratio for the first time. I've never heard of it ! :doh: For Real !? :doh: Too Shocking...!
30:0...zero loss!? :roll: Wow! That's incredible. I don't believe it that easily ! :bang: (paranoia)

I'm not sure what's so hard to believe. At Red Flag several years ago, they were already achieving >27:1 kill ratios, and that's when they first got 3F jets. They've had time to refine tactics, and see even more system maturity since then.
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Unread post07 Feb 2021, 21:59

All the threes 33 F-35As now in OzLand: https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australi ... r-BB1dtdO0
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Unread post11 Mar 2021, 17:47

AFAIK little has been said until now about the role of EW aircraft MC-55A Peregrine for Oz ADF-connect F-35A to it.

MORE about the base upgrade in 2 page PDF from Australian Defence Magazine 11 Mar 2021 ISSUE 625 attached below.
Australia requests EoIs for forward operating base on Cocos Islands for MC-55A Peregrine EW aircraft
11 Mar 2021 Julian Kerr

"Australia’s Department of Defence (DoD) has requested expressions of interest (EoIs) for the construction of a new airborne electronic warfare (EW)/intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) forward operating base on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands to host MC-55A Peregrine EW aircraft....

...The islands are Australian territory some 2,750 km northwest of Perth and approximately halfway between the Australian mainland and Sri Lanka.

Canberra announced in March 2019 that it would acquire four MC-55As for AUD2.46 billion (USD1.91 billion) under Project Air 555, describing the Peregrine as a new airborne EW capability that would provide a critical link between Australian Defence Force (ADF) platforms. These include the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, the E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft, EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft, naval surface combatants, amphibious ships, and ground assets."

Photo: "A baseline G550 business jet. Four of these jets are being converted into special mission MC-55A Peregrine aircraft for the RAAF. Alongside their main operating base at RAAF Edinburgh, Canberra is also aiming to deploy these aircraft from three forward operating bases in Townsville, Darwin, and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. (Janes/Patrick Allen)" https://www.janes.com/images/default-so ... -11019.jpg


Source: https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... w-aircraft
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Unread post13 Mar 2021, 15:35

Does RAAF fly UAV and F-35 together ? :shock: wow
https://www.globaldata.com/boeings-loya ... lobaldata/
Boeing’s Loyal Wingman induction to support Australian aerospace defense development, says GlobalData
04 Mar 2021 Posted in Aerospace, Defense & Security
Boeing Defense Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have announced the first flight of the Loyal Wingman Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Maturing the technology and its eventual induction into service will help Australia’s defense industry build the skills to develop the future systems in its aerospace domain, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The first flight of Boeing’s Loyal Wingman UAV paves the way for other milestones to be achieved before the system is accepted into service for the RAAF. The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) had also announced the delivery of three more F-35s to RAAF Base Williamtown bringing the total deliveries to 33 of 72 aircraft
Mathew George, Ph.D. Aerospace, Defense and Security Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The loyal wingman is expected to play a crucial role in the RAAF by not only expanding on the capabilities of the F-35 but also helping to protect the aircraft. With three more aircraft being delivered, the first after initial operational capability was achieved, , there’s still significant work required to be done before these systems and their inter-play reach maturity.”

The Government of Australia has also opted to support this development with an agreement to co-develop three more Loyal Wingman UAVs with a further US$115m. This is inline with GlobalData’s estimates of a growing Loyal Wingman program in Australia.
George adds: “Considering the expensiveness of each F-35 and how this UAV is supposed to help the F-35 crews with their jobs, keep them safe, and even take a hit to protect the pilots if the need arises, one can expect a whole lot more of these ingenious UAVs to be flying missions along with the F-35s. And with an expected strength of 72 F-35s, it is sure that Australia requires more than just 6 UAVs. This suggests a manufacturing process, the associated supply chains and the eventual support to ensure that these UAVs and their F-35s are in top condition.”

Ultimately, there will be a need to upgrade payloads for these UAVs, make them lighter, stronger, more lethal, or even completely new UAV, and that’s going to mean Research and Development (R&D) and other jobs, training and investment.
George concludes: “However, the Australian government hasn’t shied away from these goals so far and given the broad changes and support these programs have, it looks like the Loyal Wingman just might be the industry’s wingman to develop the defense industry further in Australia.”
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