F-35 Test Delays Continue, [although] Combat Debut

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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hornetfinn

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Unread post19 Mar 2021, 11:31

Since Dilbert was brought to this, I have eerie feeling that the whole thing went like this:

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steve2267

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Unread post19 Mar 2021, 14:25

quicksilver wrote:“The program office continues to work on a revised acquisition program” schedule and “will deliver it when complete,” spokeswoman Laura Seal said in a statement. “We expect this to be in the coming months. Our focus is on building an executable plan that addresses previous schedule overruns.”

This is government communications talent at its finest — saying less with more.


I miss Gen Bogdan.
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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ricnunes

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Unread post19 Mar 2021, 15:52

steve2267 wrote:I miss Gen Bogdan.


Indeed.
And that's IMO the biggest problem with the so called 'Western World' - You have competent people being replaced by completely incompetent people which are appointed to top positions because of political or even personal connections (instead of competence).
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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quicksilver

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Unread post19 Mar 2021, 16:25

My sense is that given the smaller number of aircraft types in the inventory, there are fewer programs to sustain the capital working funds necessary to sustain much of the acquisition and test bureaucracies. The consequence is they ‘get healthy’ or sustain themselves on the backs of programs like F-35; it’s where the money is, and they are loathe to reduce infrastructure because that would spur Congressional ire.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post19 Mar 2021, 18:02

quicksilver wrote:My sense is that given the smaller number of aircraft types in the inventory, there are fewer programs to sustain the capital working funds necessary to sustain much of the acquisition and test bureaucracies. The consequence is they ‘get healthy’ or sustain themselves on the backs of programs like F-35; it’s where the money is, and they are loathe to reduce infrastructure because that would spur Congressional ire.


Yup and that was the key problem. theres a lot to be unhappy about, but maybe one of my favorites was when Gilmore insisted the F-35 and A-10 have a "fly off" well that's what he demanded and that's what he got. Despite the fact that we already had A-10 pilots qualified on the F-35 and this could have been resolved by simply asking them. But we had to have a silly contest. Results? Classified of course. Well that settles that! an egregious misuse of taxpayer money. POGO claims the tests were rigged (was there ever going to be any other outcome other than both sides saying it was political games set up to favor one side?) so the F-35 won... so I guess we know? Thanks POGO? Gilmore wanted a dog and pony show and he got it. Hard to believe the DOT&E exists to create efficiency, and stop needless waste and other shenanigans with the goal of saving money. The world needs middle men. Everyone knows that. "hire up the middleman" as the saying goes, nothing about cutting him out, thats for certain. every ship should have a few captains. if they disagree, form an "independent" committee

this is also why, I am very very skeptical of NGAD and other "super fast" programs the USAF is talking about, and more terrifying, the USAF still hasn't figured out where the real "problem child" is. If NGAD is fast it will be made to slow, by the bureaucracy. I promise. And once they've initiated that attrition warfare on you, its really hard to break out of.

"lost ground we can recover, lost time, never" as the short french bee guy said.

One of the big oopsies with F-35 wasn't its list of requirements but the fact that "seemingly" no one realized that the test community would be riding this single pony until they killed it, lest they have to walk. Its the only game in town. So its the only game that's not allowed to end.

I'll give you all a brief thought on government work, one of the things that happens is "justifying the budget" you can't be a nuclear safety inspector and NOT find anything. Or else there's no need for nuclear safety inspectors. So if there is no need for your job, then you have to create a need for your job. Youre going to have "safety violations" whether they exist or not. I once had a federal inspector write us up for a "dirty engine bay" in the aircraft. Boy he earned that paycheck that day! I've seen this many times in many places, its 95 percent of the time government, though I've run into a few civilians that have it too. absolutely "shocking" that as the civilian world gets more and more lean, automated, online, and efficient the US government only grows... isn't that the oddest thing?

If theres no F-35 to test, theres no tests, so there's no test community. Whoa! better have a flyoff against the A-10! for uhhh reasons. Theyre classfied! I can't tell you! But we need it! Luckily DOT&E which I remind you thought up a "fly off" exists so we don't run into problems like we are having the the JSE right no--

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could you imagine the kinds of unforeseen testing problems we would have without the stellar work of the DOT&E? I mean we could have huge delays with things like the JSE not being compatible... imagine the delays! well its that old chest nut, so busy trying to invent work you forget to do your actual work.

last note when I say "test community" I'm not talking about the guys who work to get this stuff done from the medical staff who check on the pilots when oxygen problems crop up to the test pilot doing the wild stuff in the air and all the other people who do important work. The good guys tend to be great. Its the leaches, parasites, and general scum, that are generally the test bureaucrats and various other "make work" positions that i just loath. Its bad enough that they don't contribute, but whats worse is the ACTIVELY IMPEDE progress. They will make it their job to stop you from doing yours.

We can cut warplanes, but we can't cut the DOT&E. That should really tell you something.
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alloycowboy

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Unread post19 Mar 2021, 19:33

The main reason for secret projects in the US military isn't to keep it a secret from its enemies, but to keep the projects getting wrapped up in red tape by the bureaucracy.

If it took twenties years to get operational fighters for the F-35 program, how much longer would it take an enemy if they had to steal the plans and try to revesre engineer all the technology then write the software? 30-50 years?
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herciv

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Unread post19 Mar 2021, 19:43

On the forum where i am very often we have always fought that f-35 won't be ready before 2031. How wa have calculate that. Using the number of code line.
What do we take into account to declare something ready is when the 8 million code line will be bug free whateever the method (agile or not).
We don't tell 8 million code line are good or bad but that help to manage how the develoment team have to be managed.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post19 Mar 2021, 22:25

alloycowboy wrote:The main reason for secret projects in the US military isn't to keep it a secret from its enemies, but to keep the projects getting wrapped up in red tape by the bureaucracy.



B-21 and now NGAD prove your point well
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doge

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Unread post20 Mar 2021, 09:36

It has been resolved. 8)
https://www.defensedaily.com/slow-softw ... air-force/
Slow Software Loading Process Delayed F-35 Updates
By Frank Wolfe |03/18/2021
A slow software loading process for the Lockheed Martin [LMT] F-35 delayed aircraft updates, but the latest software drop to be fielded this summer for the Combat Air Forces (CAF) has resolved that problem, a U.S. Air Force official said on March 18.
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ricnunes

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Unread post20 Mar 2021, 16:54

herciv wrote:On the forum where i am very often we have always fought that f-35 won't be ready before 2031. How wa have calculate that. Using the number of code line.
What do we take into account to declare something ready is when the 8 million code line will be bug free whateever the method (agile or not).
We don't tell 8 million code line are good or bad but that help to manage how the develoment team have to be managed.


There's no such thing as a 8 million (or more or less) line code/software without any bugs! With such very complex software suites there will always be bugs present.
What the programmers and testers must ensure is that there's no 'critical bugs' present (those that will crash the software and in an aircraft that may put the aircraft itself in danger) but 'non-critical bugs' will always be present and as new features are added to the software (via updates) new bugs will inevitably arise.

Getting back to the F-35, its software doesn't have any 'critical bugs' but there should be of course some 'non-critical' bugs present like they are in any other aircraft with a similar (or even less) complex software like for example the Rafale.
The F-35 is and has been more than ready - The F-35B has been ready since 2015, the F-35A since 2016 and the F-35C since 2019 and since then the F-35A and F-35B (US, Israeli and British) have seen actual and real combat!
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post20 Mar 2021, 23:44

herciv wrote:On the forum where i am very often we have always fought that f-35 won't be ready before 2031. How wa have calculate that. Using the number of code line.
What do we take into account to declare something ready is when the 8 million code line will be bug free whateever the method (agile or not).
We don't tell 8 million code line are good or bad but that help to manage how the develoment team have to be managed.


We still update the software on F-16, One day its gonna be ready.
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doge

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Unread post24 Mar 2021, 22:05

It is written about JSE. 8)
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/03 ... dog-finds/
F-35 program moves too slowly in deploying software, says government watchdog
By: Valerie Insinna March 23, 2021
WASHINGTON — The F-35 program aims to use agile software development practices to ensure the Joint Strike Fighter can quickly receive fresh code to meet emerging threats, but production of new software is still lagging behind schedule, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a March 18 report.
In 2018, the F-35 Joint Program Office announced a plan to begin releasing small increments of software code every six months — a model it called Continuous Capability Development and Delivery.
Under C2D2, each software drop should be comprised of four increments of code. This is meant to allow F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin to develop software during the first phase, and then test it for defects, fix them and test again before pushing the software it to operational jets.
However, the recent software releases have been comprised of more than four increments to allow the company to tackle bugs that were repeatedly discovered during the coding process, the GAO found.
“For example, software delivered in June 2020 included 10 increments — six more than originally planned,” the GAO stated in its report. “Lockheed Martin representatives said that two of these increments were added to increase functionality and mature capabilities to avoid delays in the next software drop. However, according to contractor representatives, four of the added increments were to address software defects.”
Another software drop, which was originally scheduled for October 2020, included eight increments in total, with four modules added to address bugs, Lockheed representatives told the GAO. That release has been delayed until April 2021.

There are several reasons why software releases are falling behind schedule. For one, Lockheed does not always develop code for all required capabilities during the first increment, as originally planned. The company said this is because of “late contract awards preventing them from conducting new work, supply chain issues, and recent workforce capacity issues stemming from COVID-19 restrictions,” the report stated.
Lockheed also had trouble identifying software deficiencies before new code was released to operational F-35s, with one analysis by a third party finding that 23 percent of all defects (656 bugs total) were discovered after delivery from December 2017 to September 2020.
The program risks further disruption to its schedule as the F-35 moves through the Block 4 modernization effort, which began in 2018 to add new hardware and software to the aircraft. According to a review by the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, future software drops planned for 2023 through 2025 “are more complex” than current releases, while the overall schedule is “high risk,” the report stated.
“Program officials stated that the program is currently reviewing the feasibility of its schedule and DOT&E officials told us that the program office is considering establishing longer time frames for each software drop, such as extending them to 1 year. Simply adding time to the development cycle, however, may not fully address the program’s challenges,” the GAO said, using an acronym for the office of the director of operational test and evaluation.
“Without a software development schedule that reflects how much work can be accomplished in each increment based on historical performance, the program office will continue to experience Block 4 development delays, and capabilities will continue to be postponed into later software drops,” the watchdog added.
In the end, those delays could lead to cost increases and capabilities becoming outdated before they ever reach the flight line.

The GAO ultimately recommended that the F-35 program office implement tools to automate the collection of data related to the software development process, making it easier for the program to identify whether Lockheed is meeting performance targets.
Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, who leads the government’s F-35 Joint Program Office, said that the Pentagon concurs with the GAO’s recommendations and is working to improve the aircraft’s software factory.
“The ability to stay ahead of our adversaries in the high-end fight is inextricably linked to our ability to deliver high-quality software to the F-35 air system at speed. Today, software quality is missing the mark which is driving increased cost and delays,” he said in a statement.
Lockheed has also taken steps to review F-35 software development, launching an independent review team in fall 2020 to lead a programwide assessment of the aircraft’s software capabilities. “This team, comprised of representatives from the JPO, Lockheed Martin, U.S. Government and industry, has made significant progress in identifying and addressing opportunities that provide quality products on time and on budget for the F-35 customer,” the company stated.
The GAO’s report echoed earlier concerns by the Pentagon’s independent weapons tester, who in 2020 questioned whether the program office would be able to put out new software releases on schedule.
“The current Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2) process has not been able to keep pace with adding new increments of capability as planned,” Robert Behler, the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation, wrote then. “Software changes, intended to introduce new capabilities or fix deficiencies, often introduced stability problems and adversely affected other functionality.”

Simulation difficulties
As the F-35 grapples with software development challenges, it is also facing continued difficulties integrating the F-35 with the Joint Simulation Environment, or JSE — a key simulation technology that allows F-35 pilots to face off against complex and highly advanced threats that would be impossible to replicate in live training events.
The F-35 must complete 64 scenarios in the JSE in order to wrap up operational testing and move forward to a full-rate production decision. While the Pentagon had hoped to finish JSE development and run those tests by August 2020, “testing officials identified technical problems with the simulator,” according to the GAO.
In a response to questions from Defense News about those issues, JPO spokeswoman Laura Seal said the challenges include “the integration of high-fidelity models from multiple external organizations to create a comprehensive, realistic threat environment. … Complex interactions between the F-35 and this synthetic battlespace are also challenging, warranting significant development, test, and verification activities.”

As a result, the Pentagon has pushed off a full-rate production decision — originally scheduled for December 2019 and then delayed to early 2021 — to a still yet-to-be determined date.
The program office does not plan to provide a new date for full-rate production until it finishes a revised acquisition program baseline, which will lay out a modified schedule for the program, which the Pentagon’s lead acquisition official must then approve, Seal said.
The program office is also sponsoring an independent assessment of the JSE technical baseline, which will inform the F-35′s overall schedule and provide a target date for the completion of operational testing, Seal said.
“DOT&E officials stated they are not considering deferring any additional testing or granting a waiver to any test requirements needed for their final report,” the GAO stated.
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doge

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Unread post24 Mar 2021, 22:08

Software related articles. 8)
https://www.aviationtoday.com/2021/03/2 ... h-21-2021/
Slow Software Loading Process Delayed F-35 Updates
By Frank Wolfe |03/18/2021
A slow software loading process for the Lockheed Martin F-35 delayed aircraft updates, but the latest software drop to be fielded this summer for the Combat Air Forces (CAF) has resolved that problem, a U.S. Air Force official said on March 18.

Under Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2), F-35s are expected to receive software updates every six months. C2D2 is divided into four six week quarters during which the U.S. Air Force 53rd Wing tests F-35 software tape updates. The 53rd Wing is the service’s primary operational test wing, which has about 50 units at 20 sites.

“We moved to C2D2 in Tape 3 for the F-35 back in the middle of 2019,” Air Force Lt. Col. Mike “Pako” Benitez, director of staff for the 53rd Wing, told a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Aerospace Nation forum on March 18 . “It proved the concept. Everyone decided this was what we needed to be doing. However, when we got into Tape 4, we ended up running into some process breakdowns. It really came down to a mentality.”

What!? :shock: Please be securely. :doh:
https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/ ... 4-progress
Software Bugs Rattle U.S. Air Force F-35 Block 4 Progress
March 24, 2021
A software bug that effectively would have disabled the Northrop Grumman APG-81 radar on every U.S.-operated Lockheed Martin F-35A came uncomfortably close to being released to the Air Force fleet early last year. “We went all the way to the end of test until we realized the radar does not work,”...
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hornetfinn

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Unread post25 Mar 2021, 09:44

doge wrote:What!? :shock: Please be securely. :doh:
https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/ ... 4-progress
Software Bugs Rattle U.S. Air Force F-35 Block 4 Progress
March 24, 2021
A software bug that effectively would have disabled the Northrop Grumman APG-81 radar on every U.S.-operated Lockheed Martin F-35A came uncomfortably close to being released to the Air Force fleet early last year. “We went all the way to the end of test until we realized the radar does not work,”...


LOL, sounds like other sensors and sensor fusion work too well... :shock:
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quicksilver

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Unread post25 Mar 2021, 11:01

Cue some dramatic music, some ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’...call the medical staff, alert the President.

And the test world calls this stuff news?? “We almost effed up...but we didn’t.” That’s part of your bleeping job you dips__t — ‘find’ problems and, if necessary, correct them before you sign off on a release and send it to the fleet. Ffs one might think flight test discovery never happens.
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