F-35 program updates

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XanderCrews

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Unread post05 Feb 2021, 16:09

pron wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:They aren't really universities; they are DOD research labs (university affiliated research centers)
or FFRDCs that do model/simulation Verification, Validation, & Accreditation.

Ok, thx for a good answer. Media are just after clicks, and the stories becomes more or less crap.


YUP

I swear for a second there, every Naval Aviator I ran into was from GA Tech...
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Unread post25 Feb 2021, 16:39

pron wrote:Anyone with more information about this?
The Pentagon has tapped the software expertise of three top U.S. universities to assess what still must be done to fix balky software on Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35, the costliest U.S. weapons system.

An independent technical assessment is being executed by software subject matter experts from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute, and the Georgia Tech Research Institute, according to F-35 program spokeswoman Laura Seal.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... iversities

University follow-up. 8)
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ts-quickly
Key Senator Urges Pentagon to Finish F-35’s Combat Tests Quickly
By Anthony CapaccioFebruary 24, 2021
    Reed anxious for final results from jet’s simulation exercise
    Armed Services chairman concerned about F-35 sustainment costs
The head of the Senate panel that authorizes military programs said he’s impatient for the Pentagon to finish rigorous combat simulation testing of the F-35 and provide an assessment of the stealthy fighter jet’s effectiveness.
“We’ve been building it” for years “and it’s still in operational testing and evaluation, and once that’s finished -- and we hope it’s finished promptly -- then we can make a much more thorough assessment of the system,” Senator Jack Reed, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said in an interview this week.
“We hope that the answer is delivered soon about the effectiveness of the F-35 and the justification for its billing as the ‘premier’ fighter aircraft of the world,” the Rhode Island lawmaker added.

Reed will have to wait a while longer.
The Pentagon’s program office is waiting for the results of an assessment by university software experts as to when the final -- and often delayed -- rigorous combat simulation phase will even begin. The testing was supposed to have occurred in December, the latest date for an exercise once planned for 2017.
The next-generation F-35 from Lockheed Martin Corp. is the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons system, costing $398 billion to develop and build the fleet. Fully assembled, it’s a flying computer, with more than 8 million lines of computer code. Along with a range of hardware issues, the jet has been plagued by software problems even as the U.S. and allied nations deploy the fighter.

An independent technical assessment is being executed by experts from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute and the Georgia Tech Research Institute. The Pentagon’s F-35 program office says the assessment is expected by Feb. 28.
The review team is assessing the status of all the elements necessary to start the combat testing in a highly sophisticated simulator to evaluate how the F-35 -- and future aircraft and electronic warfare systems -- would perform against the most advanced Russian and Chinese aircraft and air defenses.
But the F-35 program office said in a statement Tuesday that the independent assessment team’s findings won’t be publicly released. Instead, they will be incorporated by program officials into their revision of the test schedule and other milestones that will be formalized at some point in a decision memo.

$1.2 Trillion
Even after the one-month test occurs, it will take an additional two to three months to transfer and analyze the data and then draft a final report for delivery to Pentagon leaders and Congress. The report is mandated by law before a decision on whether to move into full-rate production -- the most lucrative portion of the contract for Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin -- can be made.
Aside from the test report, Reed indicated he’ll be examining with more rigor the F-35’s long-term sustainment cost, which Pentagon analysts have pegged at $1.2 trillion over decades.
The cost to operate and maintain the fleet “to me, is very significant,” Reed said. Congress has traditionally focused on the price tag of a program but “not as much on sustainment, and I think the F-35 is going to force us to be much more conscious of sustainment -- on how those costs can be lowered, on how we have to look at those systems in terms of their life-cycles, not just how much it costs to build it.”
— With assistance by Roxana Tiron
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Unread post01 Apr 2021, 06:49

SADLY or NOT the article for non-subs stops where it stops - if anyone has the rest of it please contribute. Seems serious?
US Air Force commitment to F-35A programme of record wavering
30 Mar 2021 Pat Host

"The US Air Force’s (USAF’s) commitment to buying 1,763 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs), the programme of record, is wavering over concerns about the aircraft’s high cost, sources tell Janes.

The service announced in late February that it would pursue a tactical air, or fighter, study to develop a better understanding of the advanced aircraft fleet it will need in 10–15 years. When asked if this study would make a recommendation on the F-35A programme of record, General Charles Brown, the service’s chief of staff, said ambiguously on 25 February that he asked for options including continuing to buy 1,763 aircraft as already outlined.

Gen Brown said that the intent is to continue on the number that has been laid out and use the study on how best to get there. He also said the F-35, the Pentagon’s most expensive weapon system, is the cornerstone to the future of the USAF. Service spokesperson Ann Stefanek said on 29 March that the USAF remains fully committed to the F-35 and its fifth-generation capabilities and that the programme of record remains 1,763 F-35As.

However, sources who spoke with Janes..."

Source: https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... d-wavering
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Unread post01 Apr 2021, 06:54

We've seen nothing to support. That the USAF or Government. Is wavering about buying the full number of F-35's. This is nothing more than the usual rumor or speculation...........
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Unread post05 Apr 2021, 18:58

Lockheed names new head of F-35 program
05 Apr 2021 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin on April 5 appointed a new leader for the F-35 program who has experience in overseeing the jet’s sustainment enterprise, amid public criticism over the Joint Strike Fighter’s operations and maintenance costs. Effective April 12, Bridget Lauderdale will assume the role of vice president and general manager of the F-35 program. Lauderdale currently leads the F-16 and F-22 programs as head of Lockheed’s integrated fighter group.

Prior to that job, she worked as Lockheed’s vice president for the firm’s F-35 global sustainment team. She was responsible for managing the F-35 spare parts inventory, driving down the cost of operating the plane and improving aircraft availability.

As head of the F-35 program, Lauderdale will “be responsible for partnering with domestic and international customers to ensure the F-35 program delivers the most affordable fifth generation aircraft in production, advances capability through a stable modernization program; and increases availability while reducing overall operational and sustainment costs,” the company said in news release....

...Lauderdale replaces Greg Ulmer, who was appointed head of Lockheed’s aeronautics business in February....

...Additionally, Doug Wilhelm will permanently become the F-35 program’s deputy general manager, after having taken the role on an acting basis earlier this year...."

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/04 ... 5-program/
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Unread post23 Apr 2021, 23:07

Lockheed Martin's Greg Ulmer Provides F-35 Update to HASC [one heck of a long post so best go to URL for it all]
22 Apr 2021 LM PR

"Greg Ulmer, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics participated in a House Armed Services Committee (HASC) joint Readiness & Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee hearing on April 22 related to the F-35 program. The hearing consisted of two panels of witnesses – the first panel featured Ulmer, Matthew Bromberg, President, Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, and Diana Maurer, Director of Military Structure and Operations Issues at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The second panel featured Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, F-35 Program Executive Officer, Brig. Gen. David Abba, U.S. Air Force F-35 Integration Office Director, and Maurer.

Greg Ulmer's opening statement before the HASC joint Readiness & Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee hearing:

1. INTRODUCTION

2. DRIVING AFFORDABILITY THROUGHOUT THE PROGRAM LIFECYCLE

3. DELIVERING ADVANCED CAPABILTY TO OUTPACE ADVANCING THREATS

4. INCREASING AVAILABILITY ACROSS A GROWING FLEET

5. INVESTING IN THE AMERICAN WORKFORCE

6. SUSTAINED PERFORMANCE DURING THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC

7. ROLE IN GLOBAL DETERRENCE AND DIPLOMACY

8. CONCLUSION

Source: https://www.f35.com/f35/news-and-featur ... -hasc.html
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Unread post14 May 2021, 20:34

Strengthening Global Airpower: The 200th International F-35
13 May 2021 LM PR

"...In operation with nine nations,.... With more than 200 F-35s now delivered to international operators....

The program has eight international partner countries. The U.S., United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Norway, Denmark and Canada are partner countries and leading aerospace and defense companies from each nation have had a hand in the development of the aircraft.

Six Foreign Military Sales customers are also procuring the F-35 – Israel, Japan, South Korea, Belgium, Poland and Singapore...."

Photo: https://www.f35.com/content/dam/lockhee ... R_16x9.jpg (1.1Mb)

Source: https://www.f35.com/f35/news-and-featur ... l-f35.html
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Unread post30 May 2021, 12:17

Just wanted to highlight that 48A, 17B & 20C for lot 16 (FY22) will bring the USAF/USMC/USN F-35 funded totals to 508A, 176B and 135C.

That will mean that if program totals are maintained at 48A, 16B and 20C annually, it would take until years 2049 (USAF) and 2032 (USMC/USN) to complete the original program totals of 1763A, 353B, 353C respectively. USMC/USN is per currently planned but USAF timelines looks like slipping due to the drop in annual buys from 60 to 48. USMC buys has not catered for the changes in force design 2030 yet. Budget docs have removed all projected buys going forward presumably in view of the possible upcoming program changes.
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Unread post30 May 2021, 16:45

weasel1962 wrote:Just wanted to highlight that 48A, 17B & 20C for lot 16 (FY22) will bring the USAF/USMC/USN F-35 funded totals to 508A, 176B and 135C.

That will mean that if program totals are maintained at 48A, 16B and 20C annually, it would take until years 2049 (USAF) and 2032 (USMC/USN) to complete the original program totals of 1763A, 353B, 353C respectively. USMC/USN is per currently planned but USAF timelines looks like slipping due to the drop in annual buys from 60 to 48. USMC buys has not catered for the changes in force design 2030 yet. Budget docs have removed all projected buys going forward presumably in view of the possible upcoming program changes.

Once FRP occurs, I think you'll see the 48/year increase to 60+/year. The USAF prefers to have the fleet be Block 4 or later, rather than having to bring 3F jets up to that standard.
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Unread post30 May 2021, 21:44

The USN states IIRC that it prefers BLOCK 4 also. Grfx At: https://www.airforcemag.com/air-force-f ... etire-buy/
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Unread post31 May 2021, 01:35

Noted that the navy F35C budget has started to split between USMC(5C) & USN (15C), which means USMC is getting 22 jets (17B & 5C), whilst USN is getting 15.
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Unread post31 May 2021, 02:54

spazsinbad wrote:The USN states IIRC that it prefers BLOCK 4 also well. Grfx At: https://www.airforcemag.com/air-force-f ... etire-buy/



Clearly, shows that ordering the F-15EX is impacting the number of F-35A's that the USAF can afford! Which, was the worry from the start.....


Anybody care to do the math.....USAF is buying 48 F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing models and 12 F-15EX Eagle II fighters in FY22, at $4.5 billion and $1.3 billion respectively.

:?


Now the question is what will the US Congress do???
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Unread post31 May 2021, 02:55

weasel1962 wrote:Noted that the navy F35C budget has started to split between USMC(5C) & USN (15C), which means USMC is getting 22 jets (17B & 5C), whilst USN is getting 15.



Totally inadequate for the needs of the USN....
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Unread post31 May 2021, 04:42

Air Force Hopes To Retire 201 Planes; Space Force Ask Up $2.2B

The service plans to buy 48 F-35As and 12 F-15EXs for $4.5 billion and $1.3 billion, but the F-35 buy is almost certain to increase once it hits Capitol Hill. The Air Force also wants to buy 14 KC-46s for $2.4 billion.

By Colin Clark
on May 28, 2021 at 5:54 PM

WASHINGTON: The Biden Administration, sweeping aside objections from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, is asking for $1.3 billion more than Congress approved last year for two key nuclear weapons, the Minuteman III replacement known as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, and the Long Range Stand Off cruise missile.

While close watchers of defense budgets know the Democratic Party has long harbored a deep divide on nuclear weapons, there’s been much gnashing of teeth by proponents of the triad modernization, fearful that a President Biden might mean trouble for the nuclear enterprise’s need to modernize.

The RDT&E 2022 request for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent is $2.6 billion, while the LRSO request is $609 million. Those are up from $1.4 billion appropriated last year for GBSD and $385 million for LRSO. In addition, the crucial new Nuclear Command and Control (NC3) system rises from $388 million appropriated last year to a request of $436 million.

We’ll probably hear from some Democrats during the Senate and House committee hearings about this spending, but the odds seem pretty long that they will find enough support to quash something the Biden White House appears to support so strongly.

The Space Force request, which is made by the Department of the Air Force, is $17.4 billion, up from the $15.2 billion it received from Congress in 2021.

As usually happens with space systems, the RDT&E budget far exceeds the procurement budget. In this case the 2022 request is $11.3 billion up from $10.5 billion appropriated for 2021. The $2.8 billion procurement request includes $1.4 billion for two GPS III Follow-on satellites that have new spot beam anti-jam capabilities, and $341 million for five National Security Space Launch vehicles.

The most shocking news to those who don’t follow the Air Force closely is something our colleague John Tirpak first reported: the retirement of more than 200 so-called legacy aircraft (old ones that can still fly) to help sink money into new generations of advanced weapons, such as Next Generation Air Dominance. The 2022 budget request is $1.52 billion for NGAD, up from $902 million appropriated in 2021. The money saved from retiring those older aircraft, an estimated $1.3 billion, will be hard to come by. Congress hates “losing” existing aircraft at bases in their districts, especially in any numbers.

Interestingly, the Navy classified its NGAD budget in the 2022 request.

Here’s the official rationale: “This budget starts us on the path necessary to organize, train, and equip the Air and Space Forces to deter and, if necessary, defeat the challenges we anticipate in 2030 and beyond,” Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth said in a statement. “It not only funds the capabilities required today, but also where the Department of the Air Force needs to make trade-offs to invest in the capabilities required for future competition.”

Plus, one of the aircraft, the A-10, comes about as close as any plane to having a fan club on Capitol Hill. The tank killer and close air support plane has won reprieves from the boneyard before, most notably in a campaign led by former Sen. Kelly Ayotte and the late John McCain. The service plans to cut 42 Warthogs, bringing the fleet to around 239 planes.

The opposition, predictably, has already begun, led by Arizona senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema who issued a statement with House colleagues before the budget was formally released this morning, my colleague Valerie Insinna reported. The A-10 is based — surprise! — at Arizona’s Davis Monthan Air Force Base.

The other aircraft that may soon earn a desert retirement include 48 F-15C/Ds, 47 F-16 C/Ds, 20 RQ-4 Block 30s, 18 KC-135s, 14 KC-10s, 13 C-130Hs, and four E-8 aircraft.

Overall, the service is asking for $156.3 billion in 2022, a $2.3 billion increase over 2021 appropriations. The operations and maintenance request is $63.2 billion. While that appears to be an increase for operations from the $60.8 billion appropriated in 2021, but the demise of the separate OCO bill means that it’s not much of an increase.

For our readers, the procurement request is down $3.2 billion from $26 billion appropriated last year to $22.8 billion requested for 2022. Following the general theme of the DoD budget, the RDT&E request is up to $28.8 billion from $26.6 billion.

The service plans to buy 48 F-35As and 12 F-15EXs for $4.5 billion and $1.3 billion, but the F-35 buy is almost certain to increase once it hits Capitol Hill. The Air Force also wants to buy two more KC-46s than planned in last year’s budget. That would mean 14 planes for $2.4 billion.

If there is one theme for this Air Force budget year it is that Congress holds the hammer. The delicate balance between buying fewer new planes, retiring old, less capable planes and investing in systems that will jump a generation to put us ahead of China can be shattered by the most parochial interests.

https://breakingdefense.com/2021/05/air ... k-up-2-2b/
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Unread post31 May 2021, 20:24

weasel1962 wrote:Just wanted to highlight that 48A, 17B & 20C for lot 16 (FY22) will bring the USAF/USMC/USN F-35 funded totals to 508A, 176B and 135C.

That will mean that if program totals are maintained at 48A, 16B and 20C annually, it would take until years 2049 (USAF) and 2032 (USMC/USN) to complete the original program totals of 1763A, 353B, 353C respectively. USMC/USN is per currently planned but USAF timelines looks like slipping due to the drop in annual buys from 60 to 48. USMC buys has not catered for the changes in force design 2030 yet. Budget docs have removed all projected buys going forward presumably in view of the possible upcoming program changes.


It's not a drop...at least not necessarily in the way that it seems like a drop. I believe the budgeted "wish list" for FY2021 was also 48 F-35A, with congress bumping it up to 60. It's been discussed in a few places that one of the contributing factors to the parts supply chain stress on the F-35 that's been well documented was that they were taking 25% more aircraft than forecast each year.
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