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seruriermarshal
11-09-2009, 08:07 AM
Teamwork Leads to Record-Setting Engine Test at Arnold


(Source: US Air Force Material Command; issued Nov. 6, 2009)



ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. --- The J-2 Test Team here completed all of the customer's mission objectives and set a new record for the longest continuous engine test period (52.5 hours) while testing the F135-PW-100 engine.

The results of this test were critical to the qualification of the engine for the Air Force's new F-35 Lightning II fighter.

That team comprised of Arnold Engineering Development Center engineers - Air Force and contractors alike - craftsmen, data analysis engineers and investment experts recently conducted both an altitude performance and qualification test on an F135 engine.

According to Aerospace Testing Alliance's (ATA) Jeremy Morris, J-2 F135 lead project engineer, the entire J-2 test team, which included the 717th Test Squadron, Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Joint Programs Office (JPO), ATA and Pratt & Whitney (P&W), more than approximately 50 hours of required mission objectives remained as the engine entered the final week of testing.

"There were concerns that some of the objectives would be postponed or dropped due to test window constraints presented by the scheduled TEDAC facility outage," Morris said. "The entire test team did a fantastic job of identifying the highest priority objectives, coordinating support, developing a plan, which maximized test efficiency and executing that plan with an amazing level of precision.

John Kelly, the Air Force manager for the project, said this test was important when looking at the acquisition road map of the whole JSF program.

"This test was not just on a specific engine, per se, or just the F135 program, but this qualification test affects the whole JSF program," Kelly said.

This particular test was in support of the Air Force and Navy version of the F135 Conventional Take-Off and Landing variant and Carrier Variant (CTOL/CV) Initial Service Release (ISR) Qualification for the JSF program.


http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/109686/usaf-claims-test-record-for-f135-engine.html

signatory
11-13-2009, 06:15 AM
13. nov 2009 KL. 09.14
Industry demands more from Lockheed

The Danish confederation of industries DI has demanded guarantees of counter purchases if Denmark is to buy Lockheed’s F-35.

Di – which is the Danish confederation of industries – has written to the defence and industry ministers, demanding contractual guarantees of counter purchases if Denmark is to buy its next generation of fighter aircraft from Lockheed Martin.

Denmark is currently in the final stages of deciding who will win its DKK 20 – 30 billion order for fighters to replace its ageing F-16s; Lockheed Martin, Boeing or Saab – with Lockheed Martin currently favourite.

In its letter to the Defence Minister Søren Gade and Economy and Trade Minister Lene Espersen, DI is demanding that Lockheed Martin contractually agrees to ensure Danish industrial participation at a level that at least corresponds to the total purchase price.

Counter purchases
Under Danish law, agreements on arms purchases of this size must include counter purchases. Lockheed Martin and the U.S. administration, however, entered into a special agreement with Denmark which allowed the country to take part in the development of the F-35. But Danish industry, which had expected more jobs from the agreement, says the deal has not lived up to expectations.

”Developments have not lived up to our expectations. Norway has already chosen the F-35 and wants the agreement with Lockheed Martin changed so that counter purchases for the full purchase sum are guaranteed. We feel Denmark should do the same,” says Arms Industry Chairman Jan Falck Schmidt of Falck Schmidt Defence Systems.

Lockheed says no
Lockheed Martin’s CEO, however, rejects the demands saying that cooperation with Denmark will succeed if the Danes buy the F-35.

“If you look at the overall lifetime of the program, we have identified order potential for Denmark of some DKK 25 billion,” Latham says.

Asked why Lockheed Martin is unable to provide a written guarantee, Latham says he is not permitted to do so.

”The agreement between the United States and, among others, Denmark in connection with the F-35 project, does not permit direct counter purchase agreements. But we have done business with Denmark for 30 years and have always lived up to our obligations,” Latham says.



http://politiken.dk/newsinenglish/article833968.ece

Loke2
11-13-2009, 06:31 AM
http://politiken.dk/newsinenglish/article833968.ece
AFAIK Norway never succeeded in getting any guarantees -- that was used as an argument to decide early -- early decision means that Norway can get in early and grab some opportunities.

While the pesky Danes want to change the rules of the game...

Why don't they make a decision instead? Why is it so hard for the Danes?

fragmall
11-13-2009, 08:15 AM
I hope this isn't a repost, this was in on the Australian website.



Budget fear puts off buy-up of F-35 jets



Patrick Walters, National security editor
From: The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/)
November 12, 2009 12:00AM


THE RAAF's plan to acquire up to 100 F-35 joint strike fighters faces a further delay until next year as budget pressures continue to bear down on the Rudd government.



In a long-awaited decision, cabinet's national security committee was due to sign off on the $16 billion purchase before Christmas.


But defence budget pressures and Defence Department concerns about Australia becoming the lead foreign customer for the initial production models of the F-35 fighter are expected to force a postponement until the new year of a government green light for the acquisition.


The expected delay in the NSC's consideration of the joint strike fighter purchase comes as an annual review undertaken by Pentagon analysts found the F-35 program could cost an additional $16bn and face a two-year slippage unless remedial action was taken.


The F-35 joint strike fighter is a "fifth-generation fighter" earmarked to replace the RAAF's F-111 bombers and the FA 18 fighters from later next decade in what will be Australia's largest defence buy.




Already, the planned acquisition has slipped by at least two years, with the air force not due to get its first operational squadron until 2018-19 at the earliest.


The initial squadron could be trimmed to as few as 14 aircraft as Defence planners struggle to find further savings in the $27bn defence budget.


The current plan is for four operational squadrons each consisting of 24 aircraft.


Further delays in the acquisition will mean the RAAF will extend the planned in-service life of its new FA 18 super hornet fighters well into the 2020s.


The RAAF is still planning to buy two F-35s for test and evaluation purposes about 2014 but this timetable could also slip depending on the government's willingness to commit to the joint strike fighter program next year.


So far, only Britain and The Netherlands have agreed to buy test and evaluation aircraft, but none of the US's key JSF partners has signed up to production aircraft.


In an interview with US defence weekly, DefenseNews, the Pentagon's undersecretary of defence for acquisition, Ashton Carter, said earlier this week the findings of a "joint estimate team" showed some costs increases and schedule slips "which we should do everything we can to avoid."


"Those are forecasts which say what will happen if we don't change what we are doing.


"And we should change what we are doing so that those predictions don't come fully to pass," he said.


Mr Carter said he would convene a major meeting on the F-35 program on November 21-22 with one option likely to involve shortening the planned flight test program for the aircraft.


Defence Materiel Minister Greg Combet remains convinced the F-35 is the best choice for the RAAF's next-generation fighter.


On a visit to Washington last month, Mr Combet came away impressed with the Pentagon's commitment to the multi-billion-dollar F-35 program.


"Tens of billions have already been committed to the program, and the US is determined that it will succeed," Mr Combet said.



http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/budget-fear-puts-off-buy-up-of-f-35-jets/story-e6frgczf-1225796727927

Rapier55
11-13-2009, 10:51 AM
^^^The global financial crisis has put many countries in a budgetary bind. This has inadvertently given them a negotiating tool with LM in delaying of even cancelling an order of aircraft or at minimum renegotiating industrial offsets. Not surprisingly this includes Israel.

In other news...

F-35 Work Spreads Globally
2nd-Source Team Drawn From Partner Countries


By andrew chuter
Published: 9 November 2009


LONDON - The final parts of a network of aerostructures manufacturers spread across three continents to provide parts for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter began to click into place Nov. 4. Lockheed Martin and its partners signed a memorandum of understanding with three Australian companies to join the mammoth international effort to build the combat aircraft.

With that deal more or less squared away, attention in the F-35 aerostructures buildup will likely switch to Britain, where BAE Systems, a partner in the multibillion-dollar program with U.S. contractors Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, says it is discussing work packages with GKN Aerospace.
Australian companies Marand Precision Engineering, Quickstep and BAE Australia became the latest to join the lineup of aerostructure makers to secure a place on what is likely to be the biggest collaborative defense program in history.
They hope to complete long-term agreements on the F-35 program with Lockheed and its partners by the end of next year's first quarter.
Assuming the deals are completed, Melbourne-based Marand will undertake F-35 vertical tail work and assemble the tails as a second source to BAE in Britain. Quickstep will manufacture composites for vertical tail skins and doors and panels, supporting Northrop Grumman. BAE Australia also will supply machined parts.
The F-35's three prime partners have signed up a string of aerostructure supply companies across each of the participating countries. At its height, starting in the second half of the next decade, the program is expected to see one plane a day roll off the assembly lines.
The Australian companies will join an international list of aerostructures suppliers that includes Alenia of Italy, TAI of Turkey, Magellan and Avcorp Industries of Canada, Terma of Denmark, Norway's Kongsberg Defence Systems and Fokker of the Netherlands.
Britain's GKN Aerospace also is expected to officially become a major supplier. While BAE admits it is in discussion with GKN, it declined to say whether a deal has been struck or what parts GKN would produce.

How Work Is Shared

Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group, Fairfax, Va., said the appointment of international aerostructures suppliers on this scale is unusual for military programs, although civil aerospace producers have been doing it for years.
"It's not that different from what Airbus and Boeing have been doing to build airliners for a long time now," he said. "What is new, though, and what has driven this process in the defense field is the level of buy-in to the F-35 program from the outset by interested customers."
As a prime partner in the program, BAE will supply aft fuselage and tail structures; Northrop Grumman the center fuselage; and Lockheed Martin the wings, forward fuselage and final assembly.
The F-35 partners have outsourced much of the composite and metal structures work overseas to meet the industrial participation demands of the eight international customers expected to buy the single-engine warplane, and to help sustain airframe production rates that probably have not been witnessed since the days of the F-5 fighter jet. The international customers are the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Australia and Turkey.
Second, and sometimes third, sourcing has created new composite structures industries in locations such as Norway. And across the globe, significant amounts have been spent on new factories and machinery.
Bob Bolz, Lockheed's vice president of F-35 global industrial integration, said there has been no need for second-source suppliers for major components in the United States.
"We have, though, multiple suppliers in the U.S. of detailed composite and machined metallic parts, as we also have these internationally," he said. "We have found viable competitive second sources for components internationally in accordance with our best-value industrial participation criteria."
Aside from Lockheed and Northrop, the other aero-structures suppliers to the F-35 program in the United States include ATK, Dunn, Progressive and Thayer.
Estimates of how many F-35s will be built vary from the 4,500 or more forecast by Lockheed to 2,500 estimated by such analysts as Johan Boeder in a report for the Dutch parliament in September. The F-35 is in low-rate initial production and should hit 200 planes per year by 2016 or 2017.
Whichever order number is closer to the truth, the F-35 holds out the prospect of mouth-watering business for industrial participants running for the next 20 years and beyond.
Bolz estimated that almost 40 percent of the wings and 20 percent of the horizontal and vertical tails of the aircraft will come from overseas suppliers.
Quickstep, a small Perth-based company, estimates the proposed value of the deal at more than 700 million Australian dollars ($631 million) over the length of the contract. "The potential manufacturing contract under the long-term agreement is planned to last between 20 and 30 years and could generate annual turnover of 50 million [Australian dollars] by 2015," the company said in a Nov. 4 statement.
For some, though, the potential is much bigger. Turkish Aerospace Industries signed an agreement in 2007 as the second-source supplier of center fuselages to Northrop. The deal has a potential value of more than $3 billion, covering 417 center fuselages under an initial contract.
The impact of this influx of new players in the global aerostructures market is unclear. Aboulafia said the industry is littered with companies and nations that have faltered in bids to make a lasting impact. ■

E-mail: achuter@defensenews.com.

Source (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4366291&c=FEA&s=BUS)

Rapier55
11-13-2009, 11:07 AM
Some of this news is a few days old.


Norway Industry Eyes $3.5B in Work From F-35 Deal


By Gerard O'Dwyer
Published: 11 Nov 2009 17:12

Helsinki - Norway anticipates $3.56 billion in contract spinoffs from the F-35 Lightning II combat fighter procurement program against a backdrop of deepening talks between the country's defense industries and the aircraft's supplier, Lockheed Martin.

The government's expectation of a multibillion dollar bonanza for Norwegian industries emerged after 50 of the country's defense and technology system groups met with Lockheed Martin representatives during the U.S. company's Global Business Opportunity Days in Oslo on Nov. 9 and 10.

Related Topics

The conference included one-to-one meetings with Norwegian company chiefs to discuss the prospect of generating long-term strategic industrial partnerships centered around the aircraft program as well as the underlying potential for Norwegian manufacturers to deliver components to unrelated projects being run by Lockheed Martin.
"We will consider business opportunities offered by the F-35 program itself, as well as what Lockheed Martin may offer in the margins of, or in addition to, this program," said Trond Giske, Norway's economics minister.
The government plans to use its Industrial Participation Plan (IPP) to identify viable opportunities for Norwegian suppliers. Several primary areas have already been flagged for U.S.-Norwegian industrial alliances, including advanced composite structures, the Joint Strike Missile, APEX ammunition and systems for product lifecycle support.

The fundamental goal is to ensure that the added value of industrial participation matches the total contract value of the combat aircraft program, said Giske.

"Norwegian industry is gearing up to meet the challenges of competing on the basis of best value. This is not offset through the back door. Norwegian industry is ready for mutually beneficial cooperation with Lockheed Martin and its subcontractors on the basis of being the best in terms of price and quality," said Giske.

Under the IPP agreement reached with Lockheed Martin, the U.S. company will shortlist Norwegian companies for specific component and system supply projects. The fighter procurement plan ties the deal to Norwegian companies securing a "sufficient number" of industry contracts.
"We are not just looking to buy a few bags of screws and nuts. We are looking at highly technological components. This will enable even the smallest companies to stand out if they have the product we need," said Scott Harris, Lockheed Martin's Europe director.

Source (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4372270&c=AIR&s=TOP)

Rapier55
11-13-2009, 11:10 AM
NG selects KUKA for F-35 fuselage support


STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich., Nov. 10 (UPI) -- KUKA System North America has received a contract from Northrop Grumman to support the production of the F-35 Lightning II (http://www.upi.com/topic/Lightning_II/) fighter aircraft.
KUKA announced its Michigan-based operations have been selected by U.S. company Northrop Grumman to provide the F-35 production program with the installation of an integrated assembly line.
The assemble line installed by KUKA is part of an effort to support a production rate of one F-35 center fuselage per day. Officials say the contract is worth more than $100 million.
According to a news release KUKA's contract covers the "supply, installation and commissioning of all assembly tooling and equipment to manufacture the F-35 center fuselage."
Source (http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2009/11/10/NG-selects-KUKA-for-F-35-fuselage-support/UPI-95061257874686/)

Order for F-35 fighter assembly line is KUKA Systems North America's largest aerospace contract


By: PR Newswire (http://prnewswire.sys-con.com/)
Nov. 9, 2009 03:32 PM
STERLING HEIGHTS, MI/AUGSBURG, Germany, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ - A contract from Northrop Grumman Corp worth over $100 million for installation of an integrated assembly line for the F-35 Lightning II jet fighter program is the largest ever received by the aerospace division of Sterling Heights/MI-based KUKA System North America.It's also believed to be the first time a major aerospace manufacturer has contracted with a vendor to supply and install a complete assembly line and underscores how major aerospace companies are embracing large-scale automation.
The line, designed by the four-year-old aerospace division of KUKA Systems North America in Clinton Township, MI, in close collaboration with Northrup Grumman's engineering staff, will be installed between 2010 and 2014, and enable Northrop Grumman to achieve a production rate of one center fuselage per day for the F-35 program. The US Department of Defense is committed to acquiring more than 2,400 F-35s in three variants: the F-35A for conventional land-based operations, F-35B with short takeoff and vertical landing capability and F-35C for carrier-based operations. Several countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Italy and the Netherlands, are contributing development funds towards the estimated $40-billion cost of the project. Lockheed Martin Corp is prime contractor and Northrop Grumman a major partner.
KUKA Systems' contract covers the supply, installation and commissioning of all assembly tooling and equipment to manufacture the F-35 center fuselage. That's over 500 tools required for 78 tool positions occupying 200,000 sq ft of floor space. KUKA Systems is supplying some of its own KUKA Aerospace automation tools and solutions as well as KUKA robots, the most widely used in the aerospace industry. The company also will be sourcing equipment from some of Northrop Grumman's regular suppliers on the US West Coast and regular KUKA Systems vendors, particularly in Michigan.
When completed, the center fuselage assembly line will represent the culmination of many person years of development by KUKA Systems and Northrup Grumman, working collaboratively, to design and install an aircraft manufacturing line as a fully optimized system rather than as a conglomeration of independent tooling stations. "The contribution of Northrup Grumman's extremely talented, dedicated team, working with our own great group, has been instrumental in making this concept and design a reality," says Robert Reno, Director Aerospace, KUKA Systems North America.
The contract leverages KUKA Systems' considerable expertise as a leading automation supplier and systems integrator for the automotive industry. "No major aerospace company has ever really contracted a supplier like us to design and build an entire integrated assembly line," says Reno. Typically large aerospace manufacturers are their own integrators, bidding specific parts of the assembly line from different suppliers and then integrating them. "In this case, Northrop Grumman wanted the most efficient process design layout to produce one center fuselage per day and sought out our expertise in automation," says Reno.
"This really is a significant step for the industry, but for KUKA Systems, it's just one of many integrated automation solutions we're developing for improving the productivity and efficiency of aircraft manufacturing."
Source (http://au.sys-con.com/node/1178752)

Rapier55
11-13-2009, 11:14 AM
Defense industries irked over snub of local technology by IDF's F-35 order

By Anshel Pfeffer
Wed., November 11, 2009
In offices throughout the Defense Ministry, the army's general staff, and in air force bases, one can see a gray model of the Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighter. It reflects an understanding that for the defense establishment in Israel, it is clear they want a huge procurement deal for the stealth jet as Israel's next generation front line combat aircraft.

On the other hand, in Israel's defense industries, they talk of a "secret pact" governing the deal, and complain that Israel is about to commit nearly all the U.S. military assistance funds for the coming decade into a deal for the fighter. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/images/0dotgif
They are even more bitter at being kept out of the deal, which in the past had given them generous returns as a result of locally produced technology that was incorporated into the fighters.

"In the past, when Israel bought a new fighter, there was a round of consultations between the air force, the defense industries and the defense ministry, in which a decision was made on which Israeli systems we would be interested to include in the aircraft, and then, during negotiations with the Americans, they sought agreement on the majority of these systems," an industry official said.

"This time, the defense establishment skipped over this stage and is willing to accept the American dictate that this aircraft is a closed package [technologically] and it is very difficult to make changes to it that are specific to each client," the official said. "The air force urgently wants this aircraft and it looks like they are going to give in, which is going to result in the Israeli industry almost not participating in the largest procurement program in IDF history."

A different source in the defense industry said that "all the heads of the various companies have spoken with the defense minister, the director of the Defense Ministry and the IDF chief of staff, but no one will speak publicly about the matter because it is clear that the air force wants the aircraft and who is willing to challenge his biggest client?"

A Lockheed delegation visited Israel last week and held a series of meetings with the top brass of the defense establishment. Last July, the Defense Ministry presented Lockheed with an official request for the purchase of 25 planes, intended to be the first stage of a broader deal to acquire 75 aircraft.

Initially, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, ministry director Pinchas Buchris, and Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi planned to take a much tougher stance on the incorporation of Israeli military industries in the package, possibly even delaying procurement by several years. However, the current inclination at the top of the defense establishment is to compromise, and hope for early delivery and a reduction in price. The feeling is that the signing of a deal on the first batch of aircraft is closer than ever.

A low price is of course a relative term in this case. Deliveries of aircraft for operational squadrons will not begin for two more years, and current estimates hold that each machine will carry an $80 million price tag. But if some of the Israeli demands are accepted, the price may climb beyond $100 million. Moreover, a committee assigned to evaluate the costs and time table of the project presented a report to U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, warning that the project could exceed costs by $15 billion and that deliveries could be delayed by at least two years.

The air force has already ruled in favor of the aircraft, even though it is uncertain that the Americans will include specialized electronic warfare suites. Israel Air Force chief Ido Nechushtan has already said in public that "the deterrent effect that comes with Israel having the most advanced aircraft is very important. This is the effect that was created when we received the Mirage [in the 1960s] and the F-15 [in the 1970s]."

In the air force they insist that at a time when the Turkish air force and other Muslim countries intend to procure the F-35, "it is inconceivable that Israel will stay behind."

They also warn that there is no alternative since the Pentagon decided to scrap production of the F-22 and is not willing to allow its sale abroad. But former senior officers in the air force claim there are alternatives in more advanced versions of the F-16 and F-15, which would incorporate Israeli systems and, in parallel with new generations of unmanned aerial vehicles, would meet Israel's needs.

Senior defense officials insist that the incorporation of Israeli military technology in the F-35 remains a "central parameter" in the decision, but is not the only one.

Supporters of the F-35 say that there are Israeli systems in the aircraft that will funnel some $500 million in revenues to local industries.
Source (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1127037.html)

Rapier55
11-14-2009, 09:22 PM
Another F-35 flies - finally

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/395/6a00d8341c2cc953ef0120adotjpg
November 14, 2009
At 1:34 p.m. Saturday Lockheed Martin test pilot Doc Nelson pulled back on the throttle and the fourth F-35 flight test aircraft leaped from the runway on its maiden flight.
It was the first flight for test aircraft AF-1, the first re-designed A-model conventional takeoff aircraft like those destined for the U.S. Air Force and most allied nations that are expected to buy F-35s.
The flight was originally scheduled for one hour, but with no trouble signs and plenty of gas on board Nelson went ahead and checked off several more test points before landing at about 3:10 p.m.
Lockheed's F-35 program managers, Dan Crowley and Tom Burbage, co-executive vice president/general managers overseeing the program, observed the flight from the company's control tower and shook hands with the staff when Nelson landed the aircraft softly as the two F-16 chase planes flew overhead.
Crowley said the flight went very smooth with only a couple of minor caution indicators. AF-1 is only the fourth test plane to fly in three years as Lockheed has struggled to get planes built and into the test program. Officials said they hope to fly the plane at least a couple of more times next week and several times before it is flown to Edwards Air Force Base.
Meanwhile, STOVL flight test plane BF-1 spent another day in Marietta, Ga. waiting for improved weather to continue its ferry flight to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station flight test center to begin vertical flight testing.

Source (http://startelegram.typepad.com/sky_talk/2009/11/another-f35-flies-finally.html)

signatory
11-16-2009, 04:19 AM
STOVL F-35 Finally Arrives at Pax

Posted by Graham Warwick at 11/15/2009 8:39 PM CST

The first STOVL F-35B arrived at the US Navy's Patuxent River test center in Maryland on Sunday Nov. 15 after a two-stage ferry flight via Lockheed Martin's Marietta, Georgia, plant.

Source (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a9d83a3c6-b22e-465d-b4a5-271b12d5de7a&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest)




---


F-35 is far behind schedule and over budget, reports show

Posted Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009

By BOB COX

rcox@star-telegram.com

Work on the F-35 joint strike fighter program is far behind schedule and over budget despite the completion Saturday of a milestone test flight.

Reports prepared by the Defense Contract Management Agency for Defense Department officials show that Lockheed and other contractors are months late on deliveries of test airplanes and components for future production aircraft.

The program is even farther behind on testing, and the reports say Lockheed could exhaust its development budget within a year.

Problems cited in the documents, obtained by the Star-Telegram under the Freedom of Information Act, support a recent Pentagon assessment that F-35 development will require two more years and billions of additional dollars.

The Pentagon’s top weapons buyer has called a meeting for this weekend to address the reports’ conclusions and prepare recommendations for Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The senior Lockheed executive running the F-35 program, Dan Crowley, said in an interview that the reports are largely accurate. But the worst of the delays have been surmounted and good progress is now being made, he said.

"We’re not drawing farther from the schedule. We’re going to meet the schedule beginning in 2011," said Crowley, executive vice president and F-35 general manager for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. in Fort Worth.

The flight Saturday was only the fourth by a test airplane since the contract to develop the next-generation combat aircraft was awarded to Lockheed in late 2001.

The monthly reports prepared for Pentagon F-35 program managers show that Lockheed and its subcontractors badly trail the most recent revised schedule, adopted in May 2008. Key points include:

Production of test aircraft is running about six months behind.

Only seven of 13 test planes have been completed. All 13 were to have been completed and delivered for testing by early October. Only four have been flown.

Lockheed has had significant difficulty assembling the wing and major components.

Suppliers are late delivering finished parts and components not only because of manufacturing problems but also because of repeated design and engineering changes.

Lockheed is exceeding cost targets and at current spending rates would exhaust its budget in fiscal 2011, which begins Oct. 1.

Those conclusions were drawn from the management agency reports and correlated with information provided by Lockheed, the Government Accountability Office and other sources.

F-35 flight testing is far behind schedule. The program is due to complete 441 test flights by year’s end; 128 have been flown.

The test aircraft that flew for the first time Saturday, the first conventional-takeoff F-35A-model (AF-1), a predecessor to those that will be built for the Air Force, was due to fly in June. The two B-model short-takeoff-vertical-landing aircraft that have flown so far (BF-1 and BF-2) have made only 37 combined test flights in nearly 18 months.

Crowley said production and flight testing has been repeatedly delayed because of late parts deliveries, as key parts were redesigned and then the suppliers, spread across the U.S. and in other countries, worked to incorporate changes.

The time needed to complete aircraft and move them out of the factory and into ground tests and, eventually, flight tests, is decreasing rapidly, Crowley said. Lockheed’s production costs are also declining, he said, and the company need not exhaust the funds already budgeted.

No one should be shocked by the continuing delays and cost increases, said Hans Weber, a prominent aerospace engineering executive and consultant. "The airplane is so ambitious, it was bound to have problems."

The real problem, Weber said, is an old one. Neither defense contractors nor military or civilian leaders in government will admit how difficult a program will be and, when problems do arise, how challenging and costly they will be to fix. "It’s really hard," Weber said, "for anyone to be really honest."

Not all of the cost increases are Lockheed’s fault.

Pratt & Whitney, which is developing the main engine, has had cost overruns. Pentagon officials have repeatedly sought to cancel development of a second engine by General Electric/Rolls-Royce to save at least $2 billion, only to be rebuffed by Congress.

F-35 is the Pentagon’s largest, most-expensive weapons development program, with a total cost estimated to exceed $300 billion for upward of 2,400 planes. The development schedule and budget have been revised three times. The May 2008 revision and cost increase were paid for by cutting two test airplanes and hundreds of test flights.

A year ago, as the 2010 defense budget was being prepared, a special Pentagon cost analysis concluded that the F-35 schedule and budget were still overly optimistic. The team reviewed the program again recently and came to a similar conclusion.

Gates has expressed strong support for the F-35. He canceled Lockheed’s F-22, over the protests of many in Congress, saying the F-35 will be the U.S. military’s primary combat aircraft. In his August visit to Lockheed in Fort Worth, Gates expressed confidence that development problems could be managed.

Ashton Carter, Defense undersecretary for weapons acquisition, has called a meeting for this weekend to address the cost issues, which complicate preparing the 2011 defense budget.

Defense procurement veterans said they fear that the Pentagon will be tempted to cut the flight-testing plan yet again to save money.

"You need to do the testing the engineers originally said needed to be done," Weber said. By cutting tests now, "you kick the can down the road," and someone else has to deal with problems that will inevitably arise later.

Work is under way on the first 30 production planes. Any design changes made as a result of flight testing would have to be incorporated in the other planes after they are built, which would drive up costs.

http://www.star-telegram.com/business/story/1764028.html

Maj C
11-16-2009, 05:25 PM
I have my concerns about the contracted logistics and associated IT systems Lockheed is building into the aircraft but hey, it still looks cool which is why I heard it beat out the Boeing submission...

Rapier55
11-16-2009, 05:39 PM
Nellis officials plan for F-35's opportunities, challenges

by Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

11/16/2009 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- With the new F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft's arrival just four years away, officials at the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center here are looking forward to joint training opportunities while recognizing the challenges of providing realistic training on such a technologically advanced aircraft.

Maj. Gen. Stanley Kresge, the warfare center's commander, said there's a lot of excitement about the next-generation fighter jet slated to begin arriving here in 2014.

Much of the construction under way here will provide new hangars, maintenance facilities and other infrastructure the new aircraft will require. Meanwhile, General Kresge's staff is focused on establishing a new weapons school for F-35 pilots -- an effort he said lends itself to interservice collaboration as the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps prepare for their first joint aircraft program since the Vietnam War.

Unlike the Vietnam-era F-4 Phantom II fighter-bomber, initially developed for the Navy, then adopted by the Marine Corps and Air Force, the F-35 was conceived from the drawing board as a single platform with three different variants to meet the needs of three services.

The Air Force will receive the F-35's "A" variant, which will provide conventional takeoff and landing capabilities. The Marine Corps is slated to receive the "B" variant, which has a vertical-lift capability. The Navy will receive the "C" variant, designed for carrier launches.

Plans are on track to equip the first F-35 training squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., by 2011, and for the Marine Corps to reach initial operational capability by 2012.

General Kresge said he looks forward to working with his Navy counterparts as the Air Force stands up the first F-35 weapons school program at Nellis. Weapons schools provide graduate-level instructor courses, including the most advanced tactics, techniques and procedures for pilots and aircrews.

"If we are going to build a weapons school first, let's partner on it and then make it easier for them to build their weapons school," he said.

Even with three aircraft variants, the airplanes are going to be more alike than different, he said. "So since we are fundamentally going to be flying the same aircraft, I think we can all benefit from a closer collaboration," he said.

For the Air Force program, General Kresge expects to tap F-35 test pilots, along with other weapons school graduates who fly other aircraft. "We'll put them in a room, lock the door for six months, and they'll come up with the syllabus, courseware and academics," General Kresge said.

They'll share their efforts as the Navy Fighter Weapons School, known as "Top Gun," prepares to start up its own F-35 program, he said, while soliciting different approaches to incorporate into the Air Force program.

"It would make no sense for the Navy to discover a new way of doing business, and then a year later, we stumble onto it ourselves," General Kresge said.

The general stressed the importance of F-35 leader training to the future Air Force, noting that today's young fighter pilots will be tomorrow's F-35 squadron commanders.

"Set your watch," he said. "Fifteen years from now, we are going to want that F-35 squadron commander to be prepared to lead a squadron in war, and to bring along the squadron full of young lieutenants and captains to be the next squadron commander."

As General Kresge wrestles with the training and leadership challenges associated with the F-35, the staff here is working to ensure that when the F-35 arrives, crews will have the most realistic training environment possible at the sweeping Nevada Test and Training Range.

That's particularly challenging, explained Col. John P. Montgomery, the 98th Range Wing commander, because the F-35's systems are so advanced that they can tell simulated targets from the real thing.

"The F-35 is so smart that if it is not a real target, it won't let you hit it, because it knows what a real target is," he said. Colonel Montgomery oversees the nearly 3 million acres of ranges and 12,000 square miles of airspace that make up the Nevada Test and Training Range. A big part of the job is making the battle space as close as possible to what aircrews will experience in combat, including realistic targets.

So long before the F-35 arrives here, Montgomery and his staff are trying to figure out ways to build the next-generation targets the next-generation aircraft will need.

"We are planning ahead for it now, to give it the right kind of target sets that look visually, optically, [through] infrared and radar like the real thing," he said. "It's got to have the same acoustics, and smell like it, too."

Meanwhile, he's trying to figure out what kind of aircraft will be capable of standing in for the opposing force during advanced-level training exercises, and how to replicate multiple threats simultaneously.

"The F-35 is a very capable system, and we only have so many aircraft to throw against it," Colonel Montgomery said, noting the need to create virtual threats that the F-35 will recognize.

"It is not the same kind of problem that we used to solve," he said. "It was an easier problem before stealth [technology], and the fact that these [F-35s] are just amazingly capable. All of a sudden, the targets have to look a lot like the real thing, and the threats have to be a lot more capable, and there have to be a lot of them."

Colonel Montgomery said he's committed to working through those challenges before the F-35s start arriving at Nellis. "It's a tough problem," he said. "But the Air Force knows about it, the Department of Defense knows about it. Lots of people are working on it to solve that problem."

Ultimately, the goal is to provide F-35 crews the same level of training their counterparts receive at the Nevada Test and Training Range. "In the end, the guy gets real feedback, real time about how we has done against the threat he's going at, in a high-pressure environment," Colonel Montgomery said. "And he gets to live -- and to come back and do it all over again tomorrow."

Source (http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123177948)

Ratamacue
11-16-2009, 05:53 PM
I have my concerns about the contracted logistics and associated IT systems Lockheed is building into the aircraft but hey, it still looks cool which is why I heard it beat out the Boeing submission...The X-32 wasn't just an ugly mother****er, but it also suffered from significant performance shortcomings versus the X-35 (particularly in the STOVL model). Moreover, the final F-32 airframe was going to be redesigned with a conventional tail instead of a delta wing, which was considered high-risk compared the F-35, the airframe of which is almost identical to the original X-35.

For those interested, photos of the X-32 prototype:
http://www.jsf.mil/gallery/gal_photo_cdp_boe_ctolcv.htm
http://www.jsf.mil/gallery/gal_photo_cdp_boe_stovl.htm

Concept art of the redesigned F-32 airframe:
http://www.jsf.mil/gallery/gal_photo_cdp_boe_misc.htm

I have to admit, the front-end appearance of the redesign reminds me *****y of the F-8 and A-7, but it's still ugly.

2495
11-16-2009, 06:12 PM
"The F-35 is so smart that if it is not a real target, it won't let you hit it, because it knows what a real target is,"

That made me chuckle. Seems like the US is going to have to invest in some Flankers and Fulcrums.

freethinker
11-16-2009, 09:14 PM
The F-35 is so smart that if it is not a real target, it won't let you hit it, because it knows what a real target is



'It' should do whatever we tell it to. Its a piece of software in a machine. I dont care what the target looks like. If the pilot tells it to drop a bomb it should. What? for 300 billion they couldnt program a training mode or something?

Maybe the enemy should make their planes look like commercial airliners ;)

oldsoak
11-17-2009, 03:18 AM
I'm way too cynical about "magic bullets", "magic beans" or product "X".
Everyone lauded the F117 until one got slotted over Serbia and then all the damn reasons why it could to get shot down floated to the surface. I have no doubt that the F35 is miles better, but I cant help feeling we'll get a re-run with the F35. Be interesting to hear the reasons/excuses then.

Ratamacue
11-17-2009, 06:50 AM
I'm way too cynical about "magic bullets", "magic beans" or product "X".
Everyone lauded the F117 until one got slotted over Serbia and then all the damn reasons why it could to get shot down floated to the surface. I have no doubt that the F35 is miles better, but I cant help feeling we'll get a re-run with the F35. Be interesting to hear the reasons/excuses then.No one calls it invincible. Just vastly more survivable than aircraft with larger radar cross-sections. The F-117's performance is still extremely impressive considering how well they performed both over Iraq and the Balkans, and that was the very first generation of stealth technology, primitive compared to what has been developed now.

oldsoak
11-17-2009, 07:52 AM
True, but I cannot beleive that the US is not developing the means to counter its own stealth, and that will also include Russia, PRC etc. It will be like the early jets.

2495
11-17-2009, 08:03 AM
No one calls it invincible. Just vastly more survivable than aircraft with larger radar cross-sections. The F-117's performance is still extremely impressive considering how well they performed both over Iraq and the Balkans, and that was the very first generation of stealth technology, primitive compared to what has been developed now.

Not only weree they the first generational operational stealth, they were also hand painted and maintained. Each one was unique, and all seams and surfaces had to be puttied in. If the F-117 was made exactly the same shape and with todays materials and sensors, it would make an F-22 look like a barn door on a radar screen in comparison.


True, but I cannot beleive that the US is not developing the means to counter its own stealth, and that will also include Russia, PRC etc. It will be like the early jets.

Indeed. However, countering the new stealth systems is going to take one hell of a leap technology wise or an act of espionage so great it makes the Atom bomb thieves look like school boys. More importantly are the new generations of materials being utilised in tests now for use in the next 10 years or so. Finding those in the sky is going to take an act of God or such bad luck Jonah would pity them.

freethinker
11-17-2009, 12:28 PM
Everyone lauded the F117 until one got slotted over Serbia and then all the damn reasons why it could to get shot down floated to the surface.

Thats quite an interesting story in itself. Goes to show that human ingenuity and perseverance can achive the 'impossible'. Quite an impressive shot considering it was done with an old modified S-125.

Then agian im sure it could have been avoided had the pilot been more careful. I guess you get to feel invincible after flying a plane that has never been shot down before.

Rapier55
11-17-2009, 12:33 PM
Quickstep Holdings in $50m JSF deal


News: 17-November-09 by Edited announcement


Quickstep Holdings has entered into its second major agreement for this month, signing an indicative contract worth up to $50 million to supply parts for the new Joint Strike Fighter.

The North Coogee-based company said it had entered into a memorandum of understanding with Melbourne-based Marand Precision Engineering to supply composite vertical tail skins for the JSF.

Marand has signed a MoU with BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin Corporation, the global aerospace group coordinating the JSF program.

The Marand MoU is the second major MoU signed by Quickstep this month. On November 4, Quickstep announced it had signed an MoU with Lockheed and fellow global aerospace company Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation which is intended to secure around $700 million worth of contracts to manufacture doors and panels for the JSF.

The JSF is an advanced composite 5th generation fighter, which represents a quantum leap in technology and capability. The Australian Federal Government is planning to acquire up to 100 of the aircraft.

The Marand MoU would involve Quickstep manufacturing VT skins utilising advanced composites, which are both light and strong. These skins would be supplied to the non-US partners in the JSF program, including Australia, the UK and Canada. This is currently expected to account for over 700 pairs of Vertical Tails.

The earlier MoU signed between Quickstep, Lockheed and Northrop paves the way for the parties to work together to finalise the LTA for 19,325 composite doors and access panels.

These parts will all be exported to the United States for incorporation into the JSF globally. Quickstep hopes to finalise both Long Term Agreements with by the end of March 2010.

Quickstep Managing Director Philippe Odouard said the Marand MoU was another potentially valuable opportunity for Quickstep.

"The opportunity to manufacture doors and panels for Lockheed would be a company transforming deal in itself," Mr Odouard said. "It would also give Quickstep the scale and know-how to best provide these VT skins to Marand, BAE Systems and Lockheed," Mr Odouard said.

"Creating a critical mass of advanced composite manufacturing know-how and capability greatly strengthens our chances of establishing a world class competitive industry here in Australia."

Marand's CEO Rohan Stocker said "we welcome the opportunity to work with Quickstep on the JSF program. Both companies are driven by innovation, technology and vision for an industry in Australia"

As announced on 4 November 2009, the potential JSF contract with Lockheed would create about 156 highend jobs, including technicians, engineers, machine operators and quality assurance experts and may create a further 620 support industry jobs.

Mr Odouard said Quickstep was in discussions with other parties concerning further possible JSF-related contracts.
Source (http://www.wabusinessnews.com.au/en-story/1/76745/Quickstep-Holdings-in-50m-JSF-deal)

Rapier55
11-18-2009, 09:42 AM
Rolls-Royce signs US$171 million F-35 STOVL Liftsystem contract


Source: BI-ME , Author: BI-ME staff
Posted: Wed November 18, 2009 9:46 am
INTERNATIONAL. Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has signed a US$171 million contract with Pratt & Whitney to supply the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem for a further 9 Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant F-35B Lightning II aircraft as part of the third lot of Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP).
This order is the second production contract for Rolls-Royce as part of its involvement in the JSF programme. The previous contract, for LRIP 2 and signed in December 2008, was for US$131 million.
The Rolls-Royce LiftSystem comprises a LiftFan, Roll Posts and 3 Bearing Swivel Module. Rolls-Royce will provide these through the propulsion system prime contractor Pratt & Whitney, with module deliveries having already commenced in July 2009 under the Long Lead provision within the contract.
The scope of the contract also includes spare hardware, production investment and sustainment planning.
Simon Henley, Director for New Product Introduction at Rolls-Royce Defence Aerospace, said: “This new contract, together with the imminent first flight of the F-35 in STOVL mode, shows the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem programme is now generating real momentum and that Rolls-Royce technology is helping to bring a step change in air combat technology.
“As the LiftSystem programme continues to gain momentum on both sides of the Atlantic we are looking forward to supporting the flight trials with the LiftSystem engaged in the F-35B at the Naval Air Station at Patuxent River”.
Orders for the LiftSystem are expected to total over 600, with leading customers including the US Marine Corps, The UK Armed Forces and the Italian Navy. The F-35B variant is expected to remain in service well after 2050.
Rolls-Royce engineers in Bristol, UK and Indianapolis, US, are involved in design and assembly of the LiftSystem, with component manufacture also taking place at the Hucknall and Bristol sites in the UK.
This production contract follows on from the US$1.1 billion contract signed with Pratt & Whitney in 2001 to develop the F135 STOVL Propulsion System.
Source (http://www.bi-me.com/main.php?id=42138&t=1&c=33&cg=4&mset=)

California Joe
11-18-2009, 09:57 PM
Don't know if anyone posted this pic already, my wife sent it to me, she works on the program...this is the one that flew from Georgia to Pax River...

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff212/rghayes40/BF-1atPAXcopy-1dotjpg

2495
11-18-2009, 10:05 PM
Don't know if anyone posted this pic already, my wife sent it to me, she works on the program...this is the one that flew from Georgia to Pax River...

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff212/rghayes40/BF-1atPAXcopydotjpg

:hug:

Thats mighty kind of you to share CJ.

Rapier55
11-21-2009, 08:21 PM
U.S. May Add Money to Program for F-35 Jet


By CHRISTOPHER DREW (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/christopher_drew/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: November 20, 2009
The Pentagon is considering adding more than $200 million to the Joint Strike Fighter program and providing more planes for flight tests to try to reduce the possibility of large cost overruns over the next several years, military and industry officials said on Friday.

Top Pentagon acquisition officials plan to discuss options this weekend at a meeting with executives from Lockheed Martin (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/lockheed_martin_corporation/index.html?inline=nyt-org), the prime contractor on the $300 billion program, the military’s largest.
The meeting was prompted by an internal Pentagon report suggesting that work on the new stealth fighter, known as the F-35, had fallen so far behind schedule that it could cost up to $16.6 billion more than expected over the next five years.
Lockheed Martin has disputed that assessment, and Pentagon officials have described it as a worst case that they are determined to prevent.
The biggest cost increases would come if Lockheed Martin failed to complete the flight test program by 2013. So besides adding the money in the fiscal 2011 budget, which is now being prepared, the officials said they might buy another test plane and let Lockheed use some of the earliest operational models to help finish the testing.
The Pentagon plans to buy more than 2,400 F-35s over the next 25 years, and the Air Force (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/a/us_air_force/index.html?inline=nyt-org), the Navy (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/us_navy/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and the Marine Corps will have their own versions of the single-engine fighter. Eight allied nations are also investing in the project and could buy hundreds of planes.
President Obama (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/o/barack_obama/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and the defense secretary, Robert M. Gates (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/robert_m_gates/index.html?inline=nyt-per), praised the F-35 as the new mainstay fighter when they persuaded Congress to halt production of the more sophisticated F-22 (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/m/military_aircraft/f22_airplane/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) last summer. And Mr. Gates recently said he thought “most of the high-risk elements associated with this development program are largely behind us.”
But Pentagon and Congressional auditors have criticized the program in recent years for problems with suppliers, delays in producing the first planes and a flight test program that remains only 2 percent complete.
The latest concerns came from a special Pentagon assessment team, which includes experts on airplane production who work for an office that estimates the cost of all major Pentagon programs.
The team projected that the jet program would have a $230 million shortfall in fiscal 2011. It also warned that continuing delays in the testing could escalate into much bigger overruns by forcing Lockheed Martin to retain a larger engineering staff and fix problems on planes it had already built.
Company officials said that if the Pentagon bought another test plane, it would be the Navy version meant to fly from aircraft carriers, and it would be ready for the latter stages of the flight testing.
Daniel J. Crowley, one of Lockheed Martin’s co-managers for the project, said in an interview on Friday that the company had been building planes faster in recent months. He said he believed that the company’s extensive use of computerized simulations to test various systems could also save time and help it get back on schedule by 2011.
Thomas P. Christie, a former top Pentagon testing official, said contractors had made similar assertions about the benefits of computer simulations in building earlier planes, only to find that unexpected problems cropped up in the flight tests.
He said he thought the assessment team would turn out to be correct in its estimates of the potential cost overruns.
But Geoff Morrell, Mr. Gates’s press secretary, said the Pentagon was also concerned about adding too much to the program’s budget, because that could take the pressure off Lockheed Martin to manage the program better.
Source (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/21/business/21plane.html)

seruriermarshal
11-23-2009, 09:24 AM
First Joint Strike Fighter Test Aircraft Cheaper


(Source: Netherlands Ministry of Defense, issued November 19, 2009)



The first F-35 (JSF) test aircraft [for the Netherlands] is 13.5 million euros cheaper than anticipated, because the current value of the dollar is lower than the budgeted rate, State Secretary Jack De Vries reported today in a letter to the House.

Over the entire production period considered, to 2034, the average unit price of the F-35 is expected to be 49.5 million U.S. dollars. These are F-35As, the version that the Dutch Air Force plans to order. Besides the F-35A, Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35B, the Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) version, and the F-35C, designed for aircraft carriers. These versions are more expensive. Each partner will pay the same price for same device type.

Learning curve

The first JSF test aircraft of the so-called "low-rate initial production" batches are more expensive than the later devices. This is due to the so-called 'learning curve', which ensures that the accumulated knowledge and experience with the aircraft make them less expensive to produce.

Adjusted Price

For long-term stability in equipment projects, like those of the F-35, Defence estimated acquisition costs using a "dollar plan" rate of 0.83 euros to the US dollar. However, the dollar value used in the completed contract is 0.71 euros.

Based on the “dollar plan,” the price of the first test aircraft was estimated at 113.2 million euros, but the adjusted price, using the current exchange rate, is 99.7 million euros.

-ends -

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/110077/first-dutch-jsf-cheaper-than-budgeted.html

signatory
11-23-2009, 11:51 PM
JSF STOVL Woes Strike Pax River

JSF STOVL Woes Strike Pax River
By Colin Clark Monday, November 23rd, 2009 2:40 pm
Posted in Air, Naval, Policy

UPDATED: Ash Carter Says LockMar Should Share Costs To Bring Program Back on Track. LockMar Says Plane Back To Flight Dec. 7.

A troublesome fuel shutoff valve. The engine inlet rake needs replacement.

Those are among the latest reported problems with the Joint Strike Fighter program, specifically with the STOVL version that just arrived at Patuxent River.

Here are the details of what we heard from Pax River. There was a fuel problem Tuesday at Patuxent. They found a problem with a fuel shutoff valve. They decided the aircraft cannot fly with this and need to change the valve. That requires engine removal.

The engine inlet rake is also “problematic,” our source said, and they needed to fix it for STOVL flight testing. They plan to fix the inlet rake while removing the engine to replace the fuel shutoff valve. This may take 10 to 12 days.

A congressional aide, told of the issues, checked on them: “All true apparently , except the “inlet rake” was a pre-planned remove/replace as it has a finite “service life”, when they had to R/R the engine. Since the rake was going to stop them before they could finish all 14 flights to VL, they decided to do it concurrent with the engine R/R–at least, that is the story.”

The upshot is that “this is pretty typical of flight test. Nothing about this is a ‘tester screw up,’ supposedly,” the aide said in an email.

However, a close observer of the program begged to differ, saying these problems are emblematic of the program’s much slower pace through testing than planned. “[Ash] Carter [head of Pentagon acquisition] is pretending he can accelerate these test flights; the airplanes cannot hack it at this point.”

Lockheed Martin spokesman Chris Geisel said the F-35 BF-1 is “undergoing required maintenance.… During normal ground operations the crew observed a partial malfunction of a component in the fuel system that manages distribution of onboard fuel. Additionally the aircraft will undergo the removal and replacement of the transparency removal system (TRS) detonation cord which is bonded to the canopy. This is a required process driven by the Nov. 25 expiration date of the canopy’s detonation-cord material (the detonation cord helps remove the canopy from the pilot’s path during an ejection). Maintenance for both is a 10-to-12 day operation. Additionally, maintainers will take advantage of the down-time to perform other maintenance on the jet. Return to flight is planned for the week of Dec. 7.”

Meanwhile, Carter told reporters today that F-35 builder Lockheed Martin should help bear the costs of schedule slips.

“We don’t want to be in a situation where the government bears the cost of schedule slips in a program all by itself,” he said. “It’s reasonable that risk in a program be shared — be shared equitably.”

Carter said he was considering adding aircraft to the F-35 testing program to compress its schedule. Another option he was weighing was adding more personnel to speed up completion of the aircraft’s mission software, he said. The New York Times reported Saturday that the Pentagon is considering adding $200 million to the program. Carter met Sunday with Robert Stevens, Lockheed’s chief executive, and other executives to discuss the program’s woes and how best to address them.

http://www.dodbuzz.com/2009/11/23/jsf-stovl-woes-strike-pax-river/

seruriermarshal
11-24-2009, 08:12 AM
BAE Systems Welcomes F35 to Paxtuxent River as Vertical Flight Moves a Step Closer


(Source: BAE Systems; issued November 23, 2009)



A BAE Systems led test team has welcomed the short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35 Lightning II (also known as the Joint Strike Fighter) to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, for flight testing.

The first F-35B aircraft, designated BF-1, arrived at Patuxent River on 15 November. The Integrated Test Force team at the station will now begin a carefully planned programme of flights that will see the aircraft begin steeper and slower descents before achieving the first true vertical landing by the F-35.

Mick Ord, BAE Systems F-35 Managing Director said: “BAE Systems brings key capabilities to the F-35 programme. These include a unique heritage in short takeoff/vertical landing aircraft gained through the design and development of the Harrier aircraft in the 1960s and early 1970s, which makes us ideally placed to lead these trials. Derivatives of the original Harrier are now flown by the U.K., India, Spain, Italy and the US Marine Corps. The Joint Strike Fighter continues to build on the short takeoff/vertical landing experience, and it’s great to be able to apply our expertise on this tremendous aircraft.”

The move to Patuxent River follows a series of successful hover pit trials conducted at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth plant, which demonstrated the STOVL capability of the aircraft. During these trials, BF-1 was anchored on top of a BAE Systems-designed metal grid about 15 feet off the floor of the pit enabling the aircraft to simulate free-air flight.

These tests measured the output of the aircraft’s STOVL propulsion system and demonstrated that the F-35B exceeded the vertical thrust required to carry out its missions. The tests conducted also validated the performance of aircraft software, controls, thermal management, STOVL-system hardware and many other systems.

A key enabler to the move to Patuxent River has been the completion of aerial refueling tests that have cleared the F-35B for extended-range flights. These flights, conducted by the second STOVL variant aircraft, BF-2, demonstrated the aircraft’s ability to refuel in flight using the probe-and-drogue approach favoured by the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.

Whilst at Patuxent River the F-35B will also replicate operations aboard “ski jump” aircraft carriers, such as those operated by the Royal Navy using a specially designed ramp.

In March 2009, the U.K. Ministry of Defence announced its intention to order three instrumented STOVL F-35 Lightning II test aircraft and associated support equipment for Operational Test and Evaluation purposes.


BAE Systems is the premier global defence, security and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. With approximately 105,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £18.5 billion (US $34.4 billion) in 2008.

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/110118/bae-details-f_35b-testing-at-pax-river.html

seruriermarshal
11-24-2009, 08:19 AM
Big-ticket fighter project's big weekBRENDAN NICHOLSON DEFENCE CORRESPONDENT
November 23, 2009
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THE national security committee of cabinet will consider this week whether to go ahead with Australia's biggest defence contract - spending at least $16 billion on 100 Joint Strike Fighters - or to delay the purchase because of the economic crisis.

Even if the Government does sign the contract early next year, the first squadron of 24 aircraft will not be operational until about 2017.

The Defence Minister, John Faulkner, the Minister for Defence Materiel, Greg Combet, the Industry Minister, Kim Carr, and senior defence and industry officials received extensive briefings last week from Lockheed Martin Corporation, which is building the multi-role jet, on the progress of the project.

In its defence white paper, the Government said it was likely to buy 100 of the aircraft, designated the F-35 Lightning II after Lockheed's famous twin-tailed fighter of World War II. The stealthy, multi-role jet will replace the RAAF's ageing F-111 bombers and its F/A-18 fighter-bombers.

The committee will consider whether to commit to all or some of the 100 aircraft for the RAAF and could opt to buy only a small number initially, with a promise to buy the rest later.

The Lightning II may eventually be fitted with lasers able to shoot down attacking missiles. The head of Lockheed Martin's Lightning program and former test pilot, Tom Burbage, said in Canberra the company was looking at special applications including an anti-missile laser system.

''They are lethal countermeasures in that with a laser you could actually destroy something that's coming at the aircraft,'' Mr Burbage said.

The cabinet committee is expected to make its final decision within a fortnight on whether to buy the aircraft, how many will be bought in the first batch, and when they will be delivered to the RAAF.

Lockheed expects to build 3000 Lightnings for US forces and allies between now and 2026 but the assembly line could keep producing for much longer if allies wanted them.

Mr Burbage said the aircraft had completed its early stealth testing and its level of invisibility to radar was well within expectations. A two-seater version might also be built.

While development of an unmanned Lightning was possible, it was likely the Lightning could take with it on operations unmanned fighter jets that the Lightning's pilot would control and send into dangerous situations. ''I fully expect to see F-35s flying with unmanned aircraft on their wing,'' Mr Burbage said.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/bigticket-fighter-projects-big-week-20091122-isvu.html

2495
11-24-2009, 08:21 AM
http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/6364/landf35bdotjpg

signatory
11-25-2009, 01:08 AM
Australia approves purchase of joint strike fighters
Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:53am EST

CANBERRA, Nov 25 (*******) - Australia's government has approved the purchase of its first order of 14 Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, Defence Minister John Faulkner said on Wednesday.

The A$3.2 billion ($2.9 billion) cost includes infrastructure and support for training and testing, and the planes will be ready for operations in Australia by 2018.

Australia will make a decision in 2012 on whether to buy the next batch of Joint Strike Fighters, Faulkner said.

"The Joint Strike Fighter acquisition will allow Australia to maintain its regional air combat superiority," Australian Air Force Chief Air Marshal Mark Binskin said in a statement.

Australia is considering buying between 72 and 100 Joint Strike Fighters to replace its fleet of F/A-18F Super Hornet fighters.

Australia is one of eight countries to join the United States to bankroll the F-35, which is in the early stages of production. Other partners are Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Denmark and Norway.

The approval comes after a senior Pentagon official on Monday warned some countries were delaying planned purchases of the jet, in a move that would increase initial prices for what is the costliest U.S. arms purchase.

U.S. officials have also confirmed they will keep secret the sensitive software codes to be used in the radar-evading fighter, limiting the ability of investor countries to maintain and upgrade the fighters without U.S. involvement.



http://www.*******.com/article/companyNews/idUSSYD33933020091125

adamtom
11-28-2009, 12:36 PM
:hug:http://media.nu.nl/m/m1cz3jraaxyfdotjpg

Rapier55
11-30-2009, 03:16 PM
Lockheed Martin Delivers First Production F-35 Electro-Optical Targeting System


ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT (http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/prnews?Page=Quote&Ticker=LMT)) has marked successful entry into low rate initial production on the F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS). The first production units have been delivered to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth, TX, for integration onto the aircraft.
Embedded into the F-35's fuselage with an innovative faceted sapphire window, the low-drag, stealthy EOTS is the world's first and only sensor combining forward-looking infrared and infrared search and track functionality. The F-35 EOTS will provide Lightning II pilots with significant air-to-air and air-to-ground situational awareness in a single compact and completely passive sensor.
"Our team looks forward to meeting its commitment to provide a superior targeting system to F-35 pilots around the world as we gear up to produce more than 3,000 units," said Rich Hinkle, program director of F-35 Lightning II EOTS at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "This delivery marks a pivotal achievement for the EOTS as we transition from a system design and development program to a production program."
The F-35 EOTS production is ramping up to produce up to 200 units a year. "The outlook for the F-35 program is very strong," Hinkle said. "Our success in supporting the program is vital to the F-35's mission to provide dominant airpower across the full air-to-air, air-to-ground mission spectrum."
The latest generation infrared sensor technology, the F-35 EOTS builds upon the success of Lockheed Martin's Sniper(®) Advanced Targeting Pod to provide high-resolution imagery, automatic target tracking, infrared-search-and-track, laser designation and range finding, as well as laser spot tracking--all at greatly increased standoff ranges. Modular components allow the F-35 EOTS to be maintained on the flight line for true two-level maintenance.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.
http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/5519/mfcf35lightningii1dotjpg
Source (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lockheed-martin-delivers-first-production-f-35-electro-optical-targeting-system-78142157.html)

oldsoak
12-01-2009, 04:57 AM
IRST with FLIR has been around for yonks though - Pirate in Typhoon, and OLS27/30 on Sukhois.

Rapier55
12-01-2009, 03:20 PM
F-35 Lightning II Electro-optical Targeting System


The Electro-optical Targeting System (EOTS) is an affordable, high-performance, lightweight, multi-functional system for precision air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting. The low-drag, stealthy EOTS is integrated into the Lightning II's fuselage with a durable sapphire window and is linked to the aircraft's integrated central computer through a high-speed fiber-optic interface. The EOTS uses a staring mid-wave 3rd-generation forward-looking infrared that provides superior target detection and identification at greatly increased standoff ranges. EOTS also provides high-resolution imagery, automatic tracking, infrared search and track, laser designation and rangefinding and laser spot tracking. As the world’s first and only system that shares a Sniper® Advanced Targeting Pod and IRST systems legacy, it provides high reliability and efficient two-level maintenance.
LM (http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/F-35LightningIIEOTS/index.html)

http://www.youtube.com/v/igoV7W7la_0&hl
http://www.youtube.com/v/jex0-uf144s&hl
http://www.youtube.com/v/Mf0KuzvLTec&hl
http://www.youtube.com/v/YbV9479GoB4&hl
http://www.youtube.com/v/lqRohwACkBA&hl
http://www.youtube.com/v/1r-dlzbLAdg&hl
http://www.youtube.com/v/0kyz-4QvZuM&hl
http://www.youtube.com/v/XZJ9jWr091c&hl
http://www.youtube.com/v/CPc8UlkqYr8&hl

Rapier55
12-01-2009, 07:33 PM
Australia's Quickstep to supply fighter jet components

By Kate Tilley | PLASTICS NEWS CORRESPONDENT
Posted December 1, 2009
PERTH, AUSTRALIA (Dec. 1, 2:50 p.m. ET) -- Advanced composites manufacturer Quickstep Holdings Ltd. has signed agreements with U.S. aerospace firms that may lead to contracts for supplying components for the F35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) now under development.
Perth-based Quickstep Managing Director Philippe Odouard said a memorandum of understanding with Lockheed Martin Corp., headquartered in Bethesda, Md., and Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. had potential to be converted by March 2010 into a long-term deal to supply more than 19,000 composite components, including exterior skins, access panels, fuel-tank covers and weapons-bay doors.
The deal would be worth almost US$650 million over the 20-year life of the JSF development program.
The F-35 Lightning II JSF aircraft is being developed for global markets at Lockheed’s Fort Worth, Texas, facilities in partnership with Northrop Grumman and London-based defense and aerospace firm BAE Systems plc.
The aircraft cost almost US$100 million each and deliveries are scheduled to start next year and run until 2030.
The fighter program is being funded mainly by the U.S. and United Kingdom governments, in partnership with Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Turkey, Norway and Denmark.
Odouard said the Australian government has been waiting for a commitment from the plane’s developers to use Australian manufacturers before formally committing to buy 100 of the fighters for its defense force.
“The potential value of the long-term agreement to Quickstep and Australia cannot be overstated,” Odouard said. He said a successful deal will lead to other potential defense and aerospace contracts.
“Creating a critical mass of advanced composite manufacturing know-how and capability greatly strengthens our chances of establishing a world-class competitive industry here in Australia,” he said.
Odouard said Quickstep has significant capabilities and expertise in the production of aerospace-grade composite components using conventional autoclave-based manufacturing and out-of-autoclave production technologies, including its proprietary Quickstep Process used for rapidly curing composite materials.
The Quickstep Process replaces an autoclave with a glycol-type fluid held in bladders that close like a clam shell around the part, providing better bonding, more efficient and faster heating and rapid cooling, all of which mean reduced processing times.
Odouard said the process is particularly useful for curing thick pieces of composite laminate, variable thickness parts, or unusual shapes and could lead to development of new high-strength composite structural parts, such as wing spars, which so far have been difficult to produce in autoclaves.
Source (http://www.plasticsnews.com/headlines2.html?id=17236)

Clockwinder
12-01-2009, 07:45 PM
Australia's Quickstep to supply fighter jet components


Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie - Oi Oi Oi

Great news

Rapier55
12-04-2009, 03:11 PM
Lockheed willing to build an additional F-35 test plane



By TONY CAPACCIO and GOPAL RATNAM
Bloomberg News

Lockheed Martin said it would be willing to spend some of its remaining fees for the F-35 development program on building an additional test plane to prevent delays in flight testing.
The company has several hundred million dollars in unearned fees it could receive before the development phase is scheduled to end in October 2014 and is willing to use some on another plane, Chief Financial Officer Bruce Tanner said Thursday in an interview.
The Pentagon and Lockheed are discussing ways to prevent additional cost increases and delays as long as 2  1/2 years in completing the current test phase. Ashton Carter, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, said last week he wants Lockheed to share the financial burden of keeping the program on track.
"That’s our objective as well," Tanner said. "One of the things being considered, thrown on the table, for the award fee to go, perhaps taking a portion of that and carving it out to pay for additional test assets."
The additional plane would speed up flight testing and make "perfect sense," Tanner said.
Doing so would keep the test phase on track "and give all of us greater confidence to perform according to the schedule," Tanner said.
Any profit Lockheed forgoes by giving up its fees during development would be recouped by keeping the airplane on schedule and selling more than 2,400 of the fighters to the U.S. military, Tanner said.
Lockheed and the Air Force are also reviewing changes into the contract that would require the company to sign a fixed-price agreement sometime during the early production phase, Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford, the Air Force’s top uniformed acquisition official, said in an interview Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Lockheed spokesman John Kent said the company hoped to resume flight tests with two airplanes next week as it tries to get the lagging test program moving.
The first F-35B short-takeoff-vertical-landing aircraft (BF-1), is expected to fly next week. The plane arrived at the base on Nov. 15 but has since undergone repairs and maintenance.
The second STOVL test plane (BF-2) may also fly next week in Fort Worth. The airplane, which first flew in February, has made only a handful of test flights. Star-Telegram staff writer Bob Cox contributed to this report.
Source (http://www.star-telegram.com/business/story/1809253.html)

Rapier55
12-04-2009, 03:16 PM
Lockheed says F-35 fighter excels in test flights



* 'Brand-new phenomenon,' Lockheed says
* Partner countries said sticking to purchase plans
* Company agrees to changes to keep program on track
* Lockheed shares up 1 cent at $78.20
WASHINGTON, Dec 3 (*******) - Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N (http://www.militaryphotos.net/finance/stocks/overview?symbol=LMT.N)) said Thursday that its multinational F-35 fighter aircraft, the Pentagon's costliest acquisition program, was performing surpassingly well in early test flight.
"We have never seen, ever, success in terms of avionics stability and maturity this early in a program," said Ralph Heath, executive vice president of the company's aeronautics business unit.
Lockheed, the Pentagon's No. 1 supplier by sales, projects it will sell up to 4,500 F-35s worldwide to replace its F-16s and 12 other warplanes for 11 nations initially. The United States plans to spend about $300 billion over the next 25 years to buy 2,443 F-35s.
Heath said about three-quarters of the jets returning from test flights were ready to go again, a standard he said normally applied to production models, not test planes.
"So it really is a brand-new phenomenon," he told a webcast Credit Suisse aerospace and defense industry conference in New York.
The test flight program is far behind schedule. The development program overall is facing a potential $16 billion shortfall through 2015, according to independent studies commissioned by the Pentagon.
Lockheed Martin agrees with initiatives, floated publicly last week by the Pentagon's chief arms buyer, aimed at getting the program back on track, said Bruce Tanner, the company's chief financial officer.
Tanner said the company had discussed with Ashton Carter, the arms buyer, plowing some of Lockheed's future award fees into putting more aircraft into the test program and speeding development of the mission software.
"We support Dr. Carter with that objective," Tanner told the conference. He did not make clear how much this might cost in terms of foregone profits. Neither the company nor the Pentagon's F-35 program office responded immediately to questions about this.
Carter told reporters on Nov. 23 that he wanted Lockheed to share the cost of preventing F-35 cost overruns and schedule slips.
Lockheed has a "cost-plus" development contract, meaning the government typically picks up the bill for any cost overruns.
Eight countries have helped the United States finance three variants of the F-35: Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway. Together, the core group has been projected to buy about 730 aircraft
A "couple" of these countries are delaying planned purchases of the jet, a move that will boost its initial prices, Jon Schreiber, a senior official in the Pentagon program office, told ******* on Nov. 23.
Heath, at the industry conference in New York, said Lockheed's view was that the partner countries "remain very solidly supportive of the program."
Competitors include Boeing Co's (BA.N) F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Eurofighter Typhoon, made by a consortium of British, German, Italian and Spanish companies.
Lockheed's chief F-35 subcontractors are Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) and BAE Systems Plc (BAES.L).
Shares of Lockheed were up 1 cent at $78.20 in afternoon New York Stock Exchange trading. (Reporting by Jim Wolf; editing by Lisa Von Ahn) ((jim.wolf@thomson*******.com; +1-202-898-8402; ******* Messaging: jim.wolf.*******.com@*******.net))
Source (http://www.*******.com/article/idUSN0310240720091204?type=marketsNews)

SoftLion
12-04-2009, 03:48 PM
I'm way too cynical about "magic bullets", "magic beans" or product "X".
Everyone lauded the F117 until one got slotted over Serbia and then all the damn reasons why it could to get shot down floated to the surface. I have no doubt that the F35 is miles better, but I cant help feeling we'll get a re-run with the F35. Be interesting to hear the reasons/excuses then.

So are you saying the F117/F35/F22 were/are bad ideas?

Loke2
12-10-2009, 03:52 AM
http://www.dodbuzz.com/2009/12/09/qdr-likely-kills-two-carriers-efv/




On top of that, the Joint Strike Fighter pro­gram is likely to lose a so-far uncer­tain num­ber of planes and the Air Force looks to lose two air wings.
...
On the Joint Strike Fighter, one con­gres­sional aide said a cut to the F-35’s over­all num­bers would not be sur­pris­ing given the program’s ris­ing costs and the tight­ened bud­get sit­u­a­tion the coun­try faces for 2011.
...
The strat­egy that we are mov­ing towards is one that is acknowl­edg­ing of the fact that we are not in that type of con­flict, that the more likely con­flicts are going to be the ones that we—similar to the ones that we are in Iraq and Afghanistan, but that we do need to have a capa­bil­ity against a major peer com­peti­tor and that we believe that the siz­ing con­struct, one, demands that we have fifth gen­er­a­tion fight­ers across all three ser­vices rather than just one and that the num­ber of those fight­ers prob­a­bly does not need to be suf­fi­cient to take on two simul­ta­ne­ous peer com­peti­tors, that we don’t see that as the likely. We see that as the extreme,” Cartwright told sen­a­tors then.

oldsoak
12-10-2009, 06:31 AM
So are you saying the F117/F35/F22 were/are bad ideas?

Nope. I said

"I'm way too cynical about "magic bullets", "magic beans" or product "X". "

I have never come accross any technical leap that stayed the sole property of any one country for any length of time. The pace of technology outmatches its hardware implementation and its delivery to the front lines. I would not be surprised if by the time we see F35's in significant numbers on the flight line, the game will have moved on and they will have no greater survivability than current fighters.

Yoram777
12-13-2009, 08:06 AM
Pictures from Nov 27, 2009 AF-01 Maiden Flight.

Optimized conventional F-35A(designated AF-01) is an improved and updated derive from the test program of AA-1, the first F-35.
The AF-01 joins three weight-optimized F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variants currently undergoing testing.

http://www.jsf.mil/images/gallery/sdd/f35_test/a/sdd_f35testa_089dotjpg

http://www.jsf.mil/images/gallery/sdd/f35_test/a/sdd_f35testa_081dotjpg

http://www.jsf.mil/images/gallery/sdd/f35_test/a/sdd_f35testa_076dotjpg

http://www.jsf.mil/images/gallery/sdd/f35_test/a/sdd_f35testa_090dotjpg

http://www.jsf.mil/images/gallery/sdd/f35_test/a/sdd_f35testa_087dotjpg

And a cool new BF-01 pic:
http://www.jsf.mil/images/gallery/sdd/f35_test/b/sdd_f35testb_059dotjpg

Rapier55
12-15-2009, 12:13 PM
No cuts but adjustments for costly F-35


WASHINGTON (*******) - Lockheed Martin Corp's (LMT.N (http://www.militaryphotos.net/finance/stocks/overview?symbol=LMT.N)) multinational F-35 fighter, the world's costliest arms acquisition program, is facing a shake-up but no overall cut in planned U.S. purchases, the U.S. Air Force's top official said.
Estimates from independent teams working for the Pentagon have forecast F-35 program costs could swell by $16.6 billon through 2015.
"I think there will be adjustments in dollars. There will be adjustments in schedule," Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told the annual ******* Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington.
"And there will be pushing and pulling of fighters across different years" through 2014, the scheduled end of the development phase, as a result of recent program reviews, Donley said.
"But there's been no proposal to reduce the total buy in the department (of defense) that I'm aware of," he said.
The Air Force is sticking for now to its plan to buy 1,763 of the radar-evading fighters over the next two decades, Donley said, adding there was no particular "magic number" for the Air Force.
The F-35 is being built in three different versions for the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. Eight international partners have co-financed the jet, designed to switch quickly between air-to-ground and air-to-air missions while still flying.
Robert Stevens, Lockheed Martin's chief executive, told the ******* summit he expects "appropriate" profits from developing the F-35, even as the company prepares to use more of its potential profit to prevent cost overruns or schedule slips.
"We expect that we will earn an appropriate level of profit on the contract," Stevens said.
The former Marine who has headed Lockheed since 2004 declined to discuss how much potential profit or revenue the company might give up in the short term. Stevens also shrugged off a question about delays in the F-35 flight testing program.
"We never planned to have more than a couple of percent of that flight test program accomplished by this phase." So far, a total of 130 flight tests have taken place out of roughly 5,000 scheduled by 2014, he said.
"We are absolutely in alignment with the government in thinking that some of that award-fee pool ought to appropriately be converted into costs," Stevens said.
IN DEVELOPMENT UNTIL 2014
Lockheed is the Pentagon's No. 1 weapons supplier by sales and Wall Street analysts are watching the F-35 program closely.
In mid-October, Lockheed forecast a per-share profit for 2010 that is below what it expects to post in 2009. It has said expanding profit margins could be tough in coming years because the F-35 development's phase is lower-margin work than it expects from full production.
During the F-35's development phase through 2014 or so, Lockheed's only profits come from fees it may be awarded from the Pentagon under a cost-plus deal which pays a supplier's expenses and guarantees a fixed profit margin.
Plowing in more of the potential award fees may cover such things as an additional test aircraft and quicker software development of the radar-evading fighter, "when those resources are adding to the probability of success," Stevens said.
The Pentagon's chief arms buyer, Ashton Carter, told reporters on November 23 that he wanted Lockheed to share the cost of preventing F-35 development cost overruns and schedule slips.
The eight countries that have helped the United States finance the F-35 are Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway.
The aircraft is in the early stages of production.
Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp (UTX.N (http://www.militaryphotos.net/finance/stocks/overview?symbol=UTX.N)) unit, supplies the engine now powering the F-35. It could generate $2 billion a year in revenues for Pratt even if a proposed alternate engine built by a team of General Electric Co (GE.N (http://www.militaryphotos.net/finance/stocks/overview?symbol=GE.N)) and Rolls Royce Group Plc (RR.L (http://www.militaryphotos.net/finance/stocks/overview?symbol=RR.L)) survives Pentagon cost-cutting measures, David Hess, Pratt's president told the ******* summit.
The United States currently plans to buy a total of 2,443 F-35 aircraft, the Pentagon's costliest acquisition at a projected $300 billion over the next two decades.
(For summit blog: blogs.*******.com/summits/ (http://blogs.*******.com/summits/))
(Reporting by Jim Wolf, additional reporting by Deepa Seetharaman and Karen Jacobs (http://blogs.*******.com/search/journalist.php?edition=us&n=karen.jacobs&); Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
Source (http://www.*******.com/article/idUSTRE5BD3W220091215)

Scooter2
12-15-2009, 01:58 PM
Just reaffirms the rumors of QDR cuts in the F-35 Program. Were not true........what a surprise!:roll: Which, is also likely the case about the USN cutting two Aircraft Carriers and the EFV.

Rapier55
12-16-2009, 12:04 PM
Another delay for F-35 vertical landing test?

By
Stephen Trimble (http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline) on December 16, 2009 3:38 PM
The timing of the first vertical landing for the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter seems to defy schedules even more than its lift fan defies gravity.

Gen James Conway, commandant of the US Marine Corps and the F-35B's biggest customer, let slip yesterday that the jump-jet's critical first vertical landing event could happen as late as June, which -- depending on which schedule you start with -- is more than a year late.

Conway's possible confession came yesterday during an hour-long question and answer session at the Pentagon. On the video below, Conway makes a comment at the 1:22 mark that seems to contradict Lockheed Martin, whose spokesman told me on Monday that the vertical landing event could occur as soon as January.
http://www.youtube.com/v/i4eRb_M0eDs&hl
"I still fully expect to get an invitation in the spring of next year to go watch the first vertical flight at [Patuxent] River, and if that happens -- again, the contractors and the program manager tell me -- we will be generally on the schedule that they think we need to follow," Conway says.

I asked the Marine Corps press desk to clarify the meaning of the Commandant's statement. The USMC spokesman told me that Conway understands the vertical landing event could occur at any time between now and the end of May.

Conway strongly emphasizes that he accepts Lockheed's word that the F-35B will be ready to enter service on schedule, which means before September 30, 2012.

Source (http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2009/12/video-another-delay-for-f-35-v.html)

Scooter2
12-16-2009, 03:49 PM
Well, let's hope the delay isn't that long. Maybe they can continue with other parts of the flight testing in the mean time. Also, I doubt that either the F-35A or F-35C should be effected by this ill regardless......

Clockwinder
12-16-2009, 04:01 PM
Given the weight and software issues they've had, a year isn't bad!!! I'm sure the initial dates were set by the Sales teams anyway to make the potential customers feel better. Like every business, the Sales and Marketing folks have no clue and rarely believe or consult with the Techies - and then when a realistic target is set, or the original one slips (like here) it's all those damn Geeks fault.

Rapier55
12-17-2009, 11:56 AM
Volvo Aero Norway to supply F-35 and F-16 turbine shafts


December 16, 2009 (by Bjørnar Bolsøy) - After a long period of negotiation, Volvo Aero Norge (VAN) recently signed a 10-year contract for continued production and deliveries of jet engine shafts to Pratt & Whitney.

The contract also covers supply of the shaft for the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine for the production phase of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.

The value of the contract is at least 51 MUSD. The total value depends on how many shafts are finally delivered. The number will be decided by the general level of air traffic and the market situation, but for the F135 shaft alone it may total between 800 and 1400, with opportunities for many more in the event of a later extension of the existing agreement. VAN is the principal supplier of the shaft for one of the engine variants with which the JSF can be equipped, and both the choice of engine and number of aircraft will therefore affect the total number VAN is to supply. The engine program is expected to last until about 2040.

Pratt & Whitney is one of the company’s major customers. Over many years of cooperation, VAN's quality products have acquired a good reputation in the market, and the company has additionally made a name for itself as a reliable and competitive supplier.

"We are very pleased with this agreement, which confirms our position as a shaft supplier and long-term partner for Pratt & Whitney," says Odd Tore Kurverud, CEO of Volvo Aero Norge.

VAN's deliveries to Pratt & Whitney comprise several variants of shafts, for both aero-engines and gas turbines for industrial use. Deliveries of shafts for the F-16 engine are also included in the agreement. VAN has already supplied shafts for the whole development program for the new F135 engine to be installed on the JSF.

For VAN, this long-term contract means that work in the shaft workshop is safeguarded for the future, and with further involvement in the JSF in mind it also provides a firm foundation for increased activity.

By Bjørnar Bolsøy, F-16.net (http://www.f-16.net/news_article3936.html)

Rapier55
12-18-2009, 01:17 PM
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter leverages COTS for avionics systems


http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/2408/cap330444dotjpg
By John McHale
Designers of the avionics systems for the F-35 Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) (http://avi.pennnet.com/display_article/346552/143/ARTCL/none/INDNW/1/Norway-recommends-Lockheed-Martin-F-35/) aircraft are using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) avionics (http://avi.pennnet.com/display_article/370678/143/NEWS/none/none/1/High-fidelity,-COTS-technology-drive-flight-simulation/) wherever and whenever possible throughout the advanced fighter's cockpit.

"Performance, affordability and maintainability of the platform over time are big part of why COTS (http://avi.pennnet.com/display_article/370678/143/NEWS/none/none/1/High-fidelity,-COTS-technology-drive-flight-simulation/) is so important," says Eric Branyan, vice president and deputy program manager for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program at Lockheed Martin.

COTS technology (http://avi.pennnet.com/display_article/370678/143/NEWS/none/none/1/High-fidelity,-COTS-technology-drive-flight-simulation/) contributes to major parts of the F-35 avionics (http://avi.pennnet.com/display_article/342340/143/NEWS/none/none/1/Avionics-enter-the-fifth-generation/) and electronic warfare capabilities, such as the electro-optic sensors, synthetic aperture radar maps, radio frequency systems (RF), etc., Branyan says. The aircraft also takes advantage of common data links such as SINCGARS and Link 16 to pass high bandwidth between the F-35 and other aircraft and ground stations, providing a common operating picture.

F-35 designers have found success with COTS technology mostly because they have been able to successfully manage the obsolescence headaches that accompany COTS, Branyan says. "We've been careful to develop the architecture so that if one part goes obsolete, we don't have to redesign the entire system to replace it," Branyan says.

There are different ways to approach obsolescence management such as life time buys of components that suppliers decide to obsolete, Branyan says.

He notes that the F-35 program does make lifetime buys when it is economical, but says the real key for the F-35 program is a Lockheed Martin-designed middleware that enables COTS hardware and software to be upgraded without having to "rectify or rewrite 8 million lines of code."
"We built the middleware to protect us so we can make changes without overhauling the software code," Branyan says.

The middleware enables key COTS components such as the Freescale PowerPC processors to be refreshed without any major changes to the avionics system, he continues. In the past certifying a refresh of multifunction displays would take three to four years, now with the isolated middleware the most recent refresh was completed in only six months, he adds.

On top of the middleware the F-35 avionics uses the Integrity DO-178B real-time operating system (RTOS) from Green Hills Software in Santa Barbara, Calif. The fact that the Green Hills RTOS is already certified to FAA regulations is huge advantage to Lockheed Martin, he adds.
Lockheed Martin also requires all software code to be written in the C++ programming language, which is the most common code in use today and enables faster code development, Branyan says.

COTS is also a big part of the cockpit display, Branyan says. "We use an active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) from L-3 Display Systems in Alpharetta, Ga.," he adds. The pilot's helmet-mounted display (HMD) is provided by Vision systems International (VSI) in San Jose, Calif. VSI is a joint venture between Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Elbit Systems of America.

"The VSI system provides the F-35 warfighter with unmatched situational awareness throughout the operational profile of the jet," says Drew Brugal, VSI president in a VSI public release. "By keeping eyes out while viewing all critical information and video on the helmet visor, the pilot has a significant advantage in both air-to-air and air-to-ground mission execution."

The L-3 display uses COTS processors and standard glass, Branyan says. Tweaks were made to militarize it for the F-35 with antiglare and night vision capability, but otherwise it is very similar to what one might see on commercial television, he adds.
Three years ago Lockheed was looking at multifunction displays that were based on projection technology, which was considered leading edge at the time, Branyan says. Now the technology is plasma and liquid crystal display (LCD) solutions. Having a COTS architecture makes it easier to adapt to these shifts in technology development, he adds.

Other common standards in use on the aircraft include the MIL-STD 1553 database for weapons systems and 1394 for high rate systems, Branyan says.

The communication navigation, and identification friend or foe suite (IFF) system relies on field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) from Xilinx in San Jose, Calif., Branyan says. The COTS devices enable Lockheed Martin to add new waveforms to embedded software radio systems in the F-35, he adds.

The FPGAs also provide vice processing capability in real-time, Branyan notes.

All the avionics systems -- hardware and software -- have been continually tested in the air in the F-35 CATBIRD test system, Branyan says. The CATBIRD also enables refreshes of key electronics during the development of the program, so that when the F-35 is deployed it will have state-of-the-art systems, Branyan says.
These systems, largely made up of COTS standards and components, enable the fifth-generation fighter jet to have stealth capability and conduct air and ground attacks simultaneously, Branyan says.

What separates the F-35 from other fighter aircraft is its ability to fuse sensors, communications from all elements of the battlespace – land, air, and sea, so the pilot can just respond to threats without having to play around with sensor modes, etc., Branyan says.

The F-35 also has anti-jamming capability and can block enemy emitters as well, Branyan says. This is a key game changer for how the F-35 can engage attack targets long before the target is aware of the F-35, he adds.

The aircraft will be manufactured in three variants – a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) for the U.S. Air Force, a carrier variant (CV) for the U.S. Navy, and a short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) for the U.S. Marine Corps and the United Kingdom Royal air force and navy, Branyan says. The single-engine F-35 Lightning II will be manufactured in three variants:

MilitaryAerospaceElectronics (http://mae.pennnet.com/display_article/371962/32/NEWS/none/none/1/F-35-Joint-Strike-Fighter-leverages-COTS-for-avionics-systems/)

Steak-Sauce
12-29-2009, 04:06 PM
Second F-35B arrives at USN's Patuxent River base
By Stephen Trimble


The US Navy now has two F-35Bs at Patuxent River, Maryland, to complete a series of tests leading to the first transition from horizontal flight to a vertical landing.

The flight test aircraft designated BF-2 landed at the USN's flight test centre at 14:26 today. US Marine Corps Maj Joseph T. "O.D." Bachmann flew the aircraft nonstop from Fort Worth, Texas, completing one aerial refuelling during the 3h19min flight.

BF-1 arrived at Patuxent River on 15 November, but remained parked until 23 December to complete a series of repairs.

The two aircraft are expected to complete up to 12 flight tests before reaching the vertical landing event, an early milestone in the programme's flight test schedule.

The vertical landing has slipped from its originally scheduled date last June. Lockheed Martin has said the event could still occur as soon as January. But the event could slide until the end of May, according to USMC officials.

Source: Flightglobal (http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/12/29/336665/second-f-35b-arrives-at-usns-patuxent-river-base.html)

Steak-Sauce
01-01-2010, 08:04 AM
Comment: Time to quit fighting and love the F136


Despite a library full of news articles to the contrary, President Barack Obama never threatened to veto a defence spending bill that included funding added by Congress to continue development of the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 alternate engine. It is a myth.

What Obama actually said was carefully nuanced. He threatened a veto only if the extra F136 funds significantly disrupted the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme.

This was no little quibble. At the time of Obama's threat in June, the House of Representatives had proposed a bill that inserted funding for the F136, seemingly at the expense of the F-35 it's meant to power, with two of the 30 fighters deleted from the procurement plan for fiscal year 2010.

Brig Gen David Heinz, who is no friend of the strategy to sole-source the F-35 engine to Pratt & Whitney, had also warned that funding the F136 in this manner would cost him more than 50 airframes over the next five years. Fewer aircraft built means higher unit costs per aircraft and a longer learning curve. Hence, Heinz's warning and Obama's threat.

So Congressional appropriators evidently reached a compromise last week that restored funds both for the F136 and the two airframes deleted previously. In this sense, Obama's veto threat worked.

But this should not be the lesson learned. This is no way to run a procurement programme, with veto threats guiding decisions that are at odds with Department of Defense policy. It is time for the DoD to accept the inevitable. After failing to kill the F136 despite years of trying, it should embrace the two-engine strategy.

It may never produce the promised economic benefits. It might come close to breaking even. But the F136's existence will keep both engine makers on their toes, plus give the international partners the kind of choice that all buyers of aircraft covet.

Source: Flightglobal (http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/12/31/336586/comment-time-to-quit-fighting-and-love-the-f136.html)

Rapier55
01-07-2010, 11:32 AM
Gates orders delay in buying Lockheed's F-35 fighter jets


By TONY CAPACCIO
 Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert Gates has directed Pentagon planners to delay purchases of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet to provide additional funding for development and testing.
Gates’ directive would cut planned purchases by 10 jets in fiscal 2011 and a total of 122 planes through 2015, according to a budget document. The cuts amount to 25 percent of the 483 planes originally scheduled in those years.
More than $2.8 billion that was previously budgeted to begin equipping the military with F-35s would instead be used to continue development of the next-generation combat jet.
Lockheed spokesman Chris Geisel, who said the decision might not be final, said the Pentagon plan would merely shift purchases of the aircraft to later years.
Work on the F-35 program is centered at Lockheed’s west Fort Worth assembly plant, where about 7,000 people work on design, development and production of test and early-production aircraft. Lockheed officials have said they expected to begin adding significant numbers of people in 2011-12 to meet orders expected from the U.S. and foreign governments.
The delay is a setback for both Gates and Lockheed. Gates said last year that he wanted to accelerate F-35 purchases to complete the military’s most expensive weapon program sooner and possibly save money.
For Lockheed, accelerated purchases would be more profitable because a program’s production phase brings in more revenue and higher profits than research and development.
In addition, Pentagon officials have said they expect Lockheed to absorb a share of cost overruns during what will likely be an extended development phase. The company now absorbs no overrun costs.
As the Star-Telegram reported in November, internal Pentagon reports confirmed that Lockheed continued to lag far behind schedule on development and testing and was likely to exceed the development budget by 2011.
Along with delaying F-35 purchases, Gates is calling for spending a total of $2.4 billion in 2011-12 to buy 26 F/A-18E/F planes that are capable of jamming enemy radar. Those aircraft are produced by Boeing Co.
Navy officials warned that if the F-35 program slipped, they would press for more F-18s to mitigate a "fighter gap" caused by their aging, carrier-based jets.
Gates’ order is in an unreleased document he signed Dec. 23 that is the basis for the new defense budget, set to be released Feb. 1. The document was widely distributed within the Pentagon, including to the military chiefs, inspector general, the intelligence agencies and regional combat commanders.
Gates cut the planned purchase of F-35s by 10 planes in 2011, to 42; by 17 in 2012, to 45; by 52 in 2013, to 77; by 20 in 2014, to 90; and 23 in 2015, to 107, according to the document made available to Bloomberg News. Gates’ decision appears to have been influenced by several independent assessments commissioned by the Pentagon, said Thomas Christie, who was in charge of the Defense Department’s weapons testing from 2001-05. "I have to compliment" Gates, Christie said, "for stepping up to the plate as opposed to once again letting the program go on as previously planned, with its clearly unexecutable cost and schedule profile."
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman declined to comment on what he said was pre-decision budget material.
The budget document gives no indication that the Pentagon has any intention of reducing the 2,456 F-35s it plans to purchase for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps through 2034. The planes bought through 2015 would be used for training, testing and to fill the first operational squadrons.
The F-35 is intended to replace the F-16, A-10, AV-8 Harrier jets and early model F-18s.
Twice in the past year, internal Pentagon cost evaluation teams have predicted that Lockheed could not complete development on time and would require billions more dollars. Another internal Pentagon study questioned Lockheed’s ability to accelerate production at the planned rates.
One recent study predicted a 2  1/2 -year delay in development beyond the current target of October 2014 and an added cost of $16.5 billion. Gates’ decision follows recommendations that additional development funds be included in 2011 and beyond.
Geisel, the Lockheed spokesman, said the most recent Pentagon review, which has not been made public, is significantly closer to that of the company in both cost and schedule delays.
Geisel said Lockheed is also making considerable progress on reducing production costs for early lots of planes, which could allow the Pentagon to buy more planes than under current budget projections.
Gates’ budget decision was made in parallel with a review by the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, Ashton Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition.
Carter is assessing whether the program’s development phase should be lengthened beyond October 2014 because of long delays in delivering 10 of 13 test aircraft needed to fly the 5,000 sorties required by the test plan. Staff writer Bob Cox contributed to this report.
Source (http://www.star-telegram.com/business/story/1874455-p2.html)

Rapier55
01-07-2010, 11:35 AM
Terahertz fiber optic test system for F-35 jet fighter stealth surfaces to be developed by Picometrix


Posted by John Keller (http://www.google.com/profiles/112296657013440302133)
ANN ARBOR, Mich., 7 Jan. 2010. Military photonics experts at Picometrix LLC in Ann Arbor, Mich., are developing a fiber optic test system for the U.S. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter under terms of a $3 million Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) phase-2 Air Force contract, announced today.
Picometrix experts will develop a prototype terahertz quality fiber optic handheld scanner based on the Picometrix fiber-coupled T-Ray 4000 photonics instrument to ensure proper fit of the radar-evading coated exterior surfaces of the F-35 Lightning II jet fighter. Picometrix is a subsidiary of Advanced Photonix Inc.
The contract continues feasibility research that Picometrix finished in 2009. If successful, the phase-2 dedicated T-Ray 4000 prototype system would lead to deployment of several production electro-optical systems in phase-3, company officials say.
The U.S. Navy, Air Force, Marines, and U.S. allies say they plan to buy more than 3,000 F-35 aircraft from 2013 through 2035. The F-35 will have a combination of advanced stealth with supersonic speed and high agility, sensor fusion, network-enabled capabilities, and advanced sustainment.
The handheld scanner that Picometrix develops under this contract will be a plug-in accessory to the system, making it an option for the company's T-Ray 4000 instrument. The scanner could be used for any aircraft, and could be adapted for other applications such as measuring coating thickness, subsurface inspection, surface topography measurements, measurement of coating tapers, and coating cure states.
A handheld scanner could also be applicable for homeland security applications such as airport personnel scanning for explosives and suicide bombers, Picometrix officials say. For more information contact Picometrix online at www.picometrix.com (http://www.picometrix.com/).
Source (http://mae.pennnet.com/display_article/372275/32/NEWS/none/none/1/Terahertz-fiber-optic-test-system-for-F-35-jet-fighter-stealth-surfaces-to-be-developed-by-Picometrix/)

Scooter2
01-07-2010, 12:45 PM
Gates orders delay in buying Lockheed's F-35 fighter jets

Source (http://www.star-telegram.com/business/story/1874455-p2.html)



Just politics...........

seruriermarshal
01-07-2010, 09:29 PM
Lockheed Martin F-35B Begins In-Flight STOVL Operations
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md., January 7th, 2010 -- The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35B Lightning II short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) stealth fighter engaged its STOVL propulsion system in flight for the first time today. The successful test is the first in a series of planned STOVL-mode flights that will include short takeoffs, hovers and vertical landings.

"The joint F-35 industry and government team has already shown during extended ground tests that the STOVL propulsion system performs well, and thousands of hours of component testing has validated its durability. Now we are seeing early proof that the system operates in flight as our team predicted," said Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager.

The aircraft is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney F135 engine driving a Rolls-Royce LiftFan®. The system, which includes a Rolls-Royce 3-bearing swivel duct that vectors engine thrust and under-wing roll ducts that provide lateral stability, produces more than 41,000 pounds of vertical thrust. The F135 is the most powerful engine ever flown in a fighter aircraft.

F-35 Lead STOVL Pilot Graham Tomlinson of BAE Systems took off at 1:53 p.m. EST, climbed to 5,000 feet and engaged the shaft-driven LiftFan propulsion system at 210 knots (288 mph), then slowed to 180 knots (207 mph) with the system engaged before accelerating to 210 knots and converting back to conventional-flight mode. The STOVL propulsion system was engaged for a total of 14 minutes during the flight. Tomlinson landed at 2:41 p.m. EST.

STOVL-mode flights will continue, with the aircraft flying progressively slower, hovering, and ultimately landing vertically. Most STOVL-mode testing will be conducted at NAS Patuxent River.

The F-35B will replace U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B STOVL fighters, F/A-18 strike fighters and EA-6B electronic attack aircraft. The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, as well as the Italian Air Force and Navy, also will employ the F-35B. With its short takeoff and vertical landing capabilities, the F-35B will enable allied forces to conduct operations from small ships and unprepared fields, enabling expeditionary operations around the globe.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 is a 5th generation fighter, uniquely characterized by advanced stealth with supersonic speed and high agility, sensor fusion, network-enabled capabilities and advanced sustainment. The three F-35 variants are derived from a common design, are being developed together and will use the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide, bringing economies of commonality and scale. The United States and eight international partners are planning to buy more than 3,000 F-35 aircraft.

Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.


http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/press_releases/2010/100107ae_f35b_stovl-in-flight.html

AIRASSAULT7
01-07-2010, 09:38 PM
didnt chinese hackers hacked into f35 schematics

Clockwinder
01-07-2010, 09:48 PM
Just politics...........
^tell that to the 1,200 people who just lost their jobs!!

SpecOpsGrandChild
01-12-2010, 08:45 AM
http://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/force-24632-air-lemieux.html

Stonewall71
01-20-2010, 08:32 AM
Pentagon Refusing Israeli F-35 Demands


(Source: Jerusalem Post Online; published Jan. 20, 2010)



The Defense Ministry has told the Pentagon that it will purchase the stealth-enabled Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) if it is allowed to replace 50 percent of the systems with Israeli-made technology, defense officials said Tuesday.

According to the officials, the investment in purchasing the JSF - also known as the F-35 - would only be cost-effective if some of the money went back to Israeli defense industries. One example was the contract Israel Aerospace Industries won to produce wing boxes for F16s made by Lockheed Martin, also the primary contractor for the F-35.

The F-35 will be one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world and, according to the IAF, would significantly boost Israel's deterrence in the Middle East. The planes are expected to cost around $130 million each.

According to the official, Israel will not likely give up the demand to install its own electronic-warfare and radar systems on the plane. The Pentagon, the official said, had already approved some of Israel's demands, but was continuing to deny it access to the plane's internal computers which would prevent the installation of all of the systems the air force had requested.

"We need to retain a qualitative edge over the F-35s that will be sold," the official explained.

Another problem has been the US's refusal to allow Israel to independently maintain the aircraft. Under the current proposal, if a customer encounters a mechanical malfunction, the plane will have to be sent to a maintenance center, likely to be set up in Italy.

"This is not something we can live with," the official said. "Can you imagine that during a war we will send one of our aircraft to Italy to be fixed?"

In a letter of request that the Defense Ministry submitted to the Pentagon in July, Israel asked to purchase 25 stealth fighter jets, but officials said Tuesday that the target date for an official order, if the negotiations are completed, would likely be in the next six months.

-ends-


http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/111511/pentagon-refusing-israeli-f_35-demands.html

SlowMan
01-20-2010, 11:22 AM
Pentagon Refusing Israeli F-35 Demands

The bigger news has been US Navy's intention to bail out on F-35C and seek an alternate fighter aircraft, possibly Super Hornet Block 3.

I think restructuring of F-35 program is inevitable, where F-35C is canceled and LM gets to focus on A and B only.

SpudmanWP
01-20-2010, 01:50 PM
The whole Navy PDF was BS. It also does not mean it's the "US Navy's intention to bail out on F-35C". Whoever put together that chart added things like cost of development to make the F-35 worse than it actually is. Not only that, but how on earth do you come up with a $30k per flight hour when the F-22, a more complicated and expensive fighter, is only $20k?

105456

Some of the things added:
1. Unit-Level Manpower: The F-35 will use less manpower (more automation), so where is the increase?
2. Unit Operations: Are they saying that the operations of the Unit itself will be greater with the F-35 as opposed to the F-18? Does this mean that there are missions that the F-35 will do that the F-18 cannot?
3. Maint and Sustainment Support: Self explanatory but not broken down.
4. System Improvements: The only way that system improvements will cost more for the F-35 than the F-18 is if the F-35 will get improvements that the F-18 will not, especially when the Economy of Scale calculations are included. This is a BIG PLUS in the F-35's column, not a minus.

As to a realignment, every fighter program has always had changes throughout it's life. There is no way that the F-35's 35 year program will stay unchanged. But, it's still better than the F-18 (better range, avionics, top speed while combat loaded, upgradeability, etc).

The biggest problem with the PDF was the Navy's complete lack of details.

---edit----
I just realized that the F-18 being refereed to is the A-D model, not the E/F. That is the pure definition of disingenuousness to suggest that the F-35 will be expensive and NOT put up the numbers of the fighter that you want instead.

xav
01-20-2010, 03:08 PM
Lockheed says F-35 fighter excels in test flights


Source (http://www.*******.com/article/idUSN0310240720091204?type=marketsNews)

Which to trust?

90% of Last Year’s F-35 Test Flights Were Not Completed As Planned (excerpt)

(Source: Bloomberg News; published Jan. 19, 2010)
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/111515/jsf-only-flew-10%25-of-planned-test-flights-in-fy09.html

Rapier55
01-20-2010, 04:55 PM
Which to trust?

90% of Last Year’s F-35 Test Flights Were Not Completed As Planned (excerpt)

(Source: Bloomberg News; published Jan. 19, 2010)
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/111515/jsf-only-flew-10%25-of-planned-test-flights-in-fy09.html
I'm not seeing how "trust" is an issue. One article deals with performance in completed test flights and the other article the lack of completing all planned test flights. One article has to do with certain systems excelling within the aircraft during the completed tests the other article has to do with late deliveries of the SDD flight test aircraft. Trust?

hay_txa
01-20-2010, 06:14 PM
is it true that f-35 can carry only 4 missiles (2 on each weapon station) ?

SlowMan
01-20-2010, 10:15 PM
is it true that f-35 can carry only 4 missiles (2 on each weapon station) ?
True. 2 AMRAAMs + 2 Sidewinders

SpudmanWP
01-20-2010, 10:26 PM
is it true that f-35 can carry only 4 missiles (2 on each weapon station) ?

At IOC, the F-35 will be able to carry 4 AMRAAMs internally (ie full stealth). If full stealth is not needed, then the F-35 can carry 12 AMRAAMs and 2 Aim-9X missiles in a internal/external combination.

At the 2016-2017 timeframe, LM has a Block 5 plan that includes an increase to 6 internal AMRAAMs. At some point in the future the Aim-9X and/or the Aim-132 (ASRAAM) may get an internal mount.

hay_txa
01-20-2010, 11:14 PM
thank you for your answers guys.

frenchy
01-22-2010, 04:57 AM
Pentagon Refusing Israeli F-35 Demands


This story doesn't want to end. I'm sure israelis will be forced to accept soon or later.

Rapier55
01-27-2010, 08:26 PM
First U.K. Service Pilot Flies the Lockheed Martin F-35


PATUXENT RIVER, Md., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A Royal Air Force officer on Tuesday became the first active-duty service pilot from the United Kingdom to take to the skies in a Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT (http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/prnews?Page=Quote&Ticker=LMT)) F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
RAF Squadron Leader Steve Long piloted BF-2, the second short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B, over Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., logging the aircraft's 18th mission. Long departed at 9:55 a.m. EST and flew the aircraft to 20,000 feet, before landing 1.3 hours later. Both the RAF and the Royal Navy plan to operate the F-35B.
"Flying the F-35 was exactly like the simulators that I've been flying for over 18 months now, which gives you a lot of confidence in all the modeling and simulation work that has been done in all the other areas of the flight envelope," Long said, adding that it was a "privilege" to fly the F-35. "What this aircraft really gives the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy is a quantum leap in airborne capability because of the sensor suite it carries. An F-35 pilot will have an unprecedented level of situational awareness about what's going on in the airspace around him or her, and also on the battlefield or ocean below. Not only that, but the F-35 will plug into coalition battlefield networks and be able to pass that picture on to all other players in the network."
With the capability to operate from a variety of ships or austere runways, the F-35B can deploy closer to shore or near front lines, shrinking distance and time to the target, increasing sortie rates and greatly reducing the need for support assets. The Lightning II's sensor suite is the most powerful and comprehensive of any fighter in history, and will combine with an unprecedented networking capability to give unparalleled situational awareness.
U.K. Joint Combat Aircraft Project Team Leader, Air Commodore Graham Farnell, has stated that the U.K. has been closely involved in JSF since its inception. "It is therefore an honour to witness an RAF pilot flying BF-2 during this important phase of the F-35B flight test, and further demonstrates the closeness and mutual trust between our respective nations and their armed forces," Farnell said. "Squadron Leader Long has been preparing for this opportunity since his arrival in the U.S. well over a year ago, and this occasion is a testament not only to the work undertaken in the Integrated Test Force, to which the U.K. provides considerable expertise, but also to the wider JSF community in both government and industry.
"We look forward to the JSF flight test program meeting its targets in 2010, with today being one of many such occasions in the next year of JSF. The U.K. is now preparing pilots and maintainers for initial training at Eglin so that we can begin operating our aircraft in 2011 alongside our colleagues from the United States Marine Corps," he said.
Squadron Leader Long is the third active-duty service member to fly the F-35. (The jet also has been flown by U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps pilots.) Long has more than 2,200 hours of flight time and currently flies the F-18A-D with the U.S. Marines. He joined the RAF in 1995, and his operational experience has included more than 100 sorties over Kosovo and Bosnia, Sierra Leone and Iraq, including three months of embarked time aboard H.M.S. Illustrious, and seven months on the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard.
The U.K. has invested $2 billion in the F-35's development – the largest contribution among the program's eight partner nations. The Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) program announced in December that the United Kingdom received financial approval to purchase its third F-35B operational test aircraft, reinforcing the U.K.'s continued commitment to the JSF program's upcoming Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) phase.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, advanced sustainment, and lower operational and support costs. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.
Source (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/first-uk-service-pilot-flies-the-lockheed-martin-f-35-82798737.html)

frenchy
01-28-2010, 04:37 AM
I want understand something, to maintain the planes, countries are forced to send them to US ? So in this case it would be like leasing an air fleet and why the prices would be so high ?

Rapier55
01-28-2010, 12:14 PM
I want understand something, to maintain the planes, countries are forced to send them to US ? So in this case it would be like leasing an air fleet and why the prices would be so high ?No and no. Updating the sensitive computer systems would be done at a reprogramming facility at Eglin AFB in Florida. This is only for major rewrites as the JSF program is setting up concurrent software to let operators maintain the majority of the F-35 systems. To consolidate European depot maintenance LM is setting up a center in Italy.

frenchy
01-28-2010, 01:14 PM
No and no. Updating the sensitive computer systems would be done at a reprogramming facility at Eglin AFB in Florida. This is only for major rewrites as the JSF program is setting up concurrent software to let operators maintain the majority of the F-35 systems. To consolidate European depot maintenance LM is setting up a center in Italy.

Thank you.

signatory
01-28-2010, 02:24 PM
Lockheed CFO: F-35 delays have small profit impact

NEW YORK (Marke****ch) -- Delays in the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program will have little impact on company profit as extra costs are reimbursed by the government, said Chief Financial Officer Bruce Tanner, during a Thursday interview. The program is about six months behind schedule from targets set five years earlier, due to unforseen software updates after initial fight testing. "We are working to recover the schedule and are encouraged," Tanner said. Earlier this month it was reported the Pentagon was considering a cut of 10 planes from its planned F-35 purchases for 2011, and a total reduction of 122 through 2015 becasue of the delays.


http://www.marke****ch.com/story/lockheed-cfo-f-35-delays-have-small-profit-impact-2010-01-28?reflink=MW_news_stmp

signatory
01-29-2010, 11:01 PM
Lockheed Strengthening Fuselage in Navy’s F-35 Model

By Tony Capaccio

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Lockheed Martin Corp. is fixing a structural weakness in the Navy version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that limits the jet’s ability to launch from aircraft carriers, according to a company spokesman.

Engineers in July discovered a “strength shortfall” in an aluminum structure in the aircraft’s center fuselage that helps absorb stresses during a catapult takeoff, Lockheed spokesman John Kent said today in an e-mailed statement.

“U.S. Navy and program office engineers were apprised immediately and have been directly involved in approving design updates,” Kent said. “A modification is already approved and ready to incorporate early this year prior to any catapult testing planned for 2011.”

The modification doesn’t affect the aircraft’s progress toward first flight and is expected to have “little or no impact” on the plane’s shipboard testing, he said.

“There was never a problem with landing -- only catapult launch,” Kent said.

Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed plans to build the fighters in three variants for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The current estimated cost is $298 billion.

The carrier version is the last of the three variants to go into operation and is scheduled to be used on carriers operating with Boeing F/A-18E/F fighters by 2015. The first development model is scheduled for its maiden flight by August 30, Kent said.

Ashton Carter, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, and Michael Gilmore, director of operational test and evaluation, declined to comment through Pentagon spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin.

Pentagon Report

The issue wasn’t disclosed in Gilmore’s annual’s report released last week. That report said F-35 testing so far raised concerns that engine blasts from the carrier model and Marine Corps short-takeoff and vertical-landing versions could cause deck damage and injure personnel.

The F-35 is the Pentagon’s largest weapons program. The fiscal 2011 defense budget set for release Feb. 1 requests 42 fighters, up from 30 this year. As many as 20 jets are Navy and Marine Corp versions.

Kent said all design changes to strengthen the center fuselage will be incorporated before parts are made for the first production F-35Cs in the fourth initial production contract now under negotiation for 30 aircraft.

This is only a development-phase issue “and a minor one at that,” Kent said. “This is part of our normal airframe development process, and is not a concern for the Navy.”

Cheryl Limrick, a spokesman for F-35 military program manager Marine Corp. Major General David Heinz, didn’t return an e-mail seeking comment today.

The Navy plans to buy as many as 680 carrier and short-take- off versions of 2,456 planned jets.

Deck Damage

The Pentagon’s Gilmore said in his report that the engine and power-systems’ exhaust on the Navy and Marine versions is powerful enough to pose a threat to carrier personnel. The blasts also may damage shields used to deflect heat on the deck, including on the CVN-21 carrier, the Navy’s most expensive warship.

“Early analyses of findings indicate that integration of the F-35 into the CVN-21 will result in damage to the carrier deck environment and will adversely affect hangar deck operations,” Gilmore wrote.

The Navy model’s exhaust area is larger than the Boeing planes’, making the jet-blast deflectors used during launch “vulnerable to warping and failure,” he wrote.

Exhaust from the Marine Corp version’s integrated power system deflect downward and may be “a hazard to flight deck refueling, munitions, personnel and equipment” located on catwalks, the report said.

Lockheed spokesman Chris Giesel said tests conducted with the JSF Program Office and the Navy “are showing positive results regarding compatibility of the F-35’s exhaust with carrier decks and tarmac surfaces. The study will conclude in spring 2010.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a6gq84TiIFcA&pos=9

Rapier55
02-01-2010, 04:37 PM
Gates Shakes Up Leadership and Funding for F-35



By CHRISTOPHER DREW (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/christopher_drew/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and THOM SHANKER (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/thom_shanker/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: February 1, 2010
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/robert_m_gates/index.html?inline=nyt-per) said on Monday that he was replacing the general in charge of the Pentagon’s largest weapons program — the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter — and withholding $614 million in award fees from the contractor, Lockheed Martin.
The surprise announcement came after Mr. Gates had touted the plans for the new plane last year in persuading Congress to kill the more expensive F-22 fighter jet (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/m/military_aircraft/f22_airplane/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) program. But a special Pentagon review team had since projected billions of dollars in cost overruns on the F-35, and Mr. Gates said on Monday that the company needed to absorb some of the extra costs.
Mr. Gates disclosed the reshuffling on the F-35 program as he released the Pentagon’s proposed $708.3 billion spending package for fiscal 2011. Coming after a year in which the Obama administration killed the F-22 and other expensive weapons programs, the Pentagon’s new spending plans represent a $14.8 billion increase over the current totals.
The proposed increases reflect the rising cost of the Afghanistan war and a push by military leaders to keep their basic budget growing faster than inflation. Some of the extra money is meant to pay for helicopters, unmanned planes and special operations forces needed in Afghanistan and a mix of other possible wars, as contemplated in a new war-fighting strategy that the Pentagon also released on Monday.
But the increases also come at a time when President Obama (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/o/barack_obama/index.html?inline=nyt-per) has frozen spending on many domestic programs, so some Democrats in Congress could find the planned increases hard to take politically. And while Mr. Gates said that Lockheed Martin had agreed to absorb part of the cost overruns on the Joint Strike Fighter, industry consultants said other military companies were delighted that, once again, a widely expected downturn in military spending had not materialized.
All told, the administration said on Monday that it wants to increase the Pentagon’s regular spending by 3.4 percent, to $548.9 billion in fiscal 2011 from $530.8 billion this year. It also asked Congress to approve $159.3 billion for next year to cover the cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The White House said it was also seeking an additional $33 billion now to pay the 30,000 extra troops being sent to Afghanistan. That would bring the total war spending for this year to $162.6 billion.
Mr. Gates said the program manager on the F-35, Air Force Maj. Gen. David Heinz, would be replaced by a higher-ranking general whose name would be announced soon.
The Pentagon plans to buy more than 2,400 F-35s over the next 25 years, and the Air Force (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/a/us_air_force/index.html?inline=nyt-org), the Navy (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/us_navy/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and the Marine Corps will each have their own versions of the single-engine fighter. Eight allied nations are also investing in the project and could buy hundreds of planes.
President Obama (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/o/barack_obama/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and Mr. Gates praised the F-35 as the new mainstay fighter when they persuaded Congress to halt production of the more sophisticated F-22 (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/m/military_aircraft/f22_airplane/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) last summer. And Mr. Gates recently said he thought “most of the high-risk elements associated with this development program are largely behind us.”
But Pentagon and Congressional auditors have criticized the program in recent years for problems with suppliers, delays in producing the first planes and a flight test program that remains only 2 percent complete.
The latest concerns came from a special Pentagon assessment team, which includes experts on airplane production who work for an office that estimates the cost of all major Pentagon programs.
The team projected that delays on the jet program could end up adding $16 billion to the costs if nothing was changed. Mr. Gates on Monday that he was making the changes to try to keep that from happening.
Daniel J. Crowley, one of Lockheed Martin’s co-managers for the project, has said in interviews that the company had improved its performance in recent months and was building some of the initial planes more quickly.
Company officials have also said they would add another test plane to catch up on some of the flight testing.
Mr. Crowley said he believed that the company’s extensive use of computerized simulations to test various systems could also save time and help it get back on schedule by 2011.NYTimes (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/02/us/politics/02pentagon.html)

Rapier55
02-01-2010, 04:44 PM
Italy Threatens To Halt JSF Plant Work


By tom kington
Published: 1 February 2010

ROME - Frustrated by what it considers paltry workshare on the Joint Strike Fighter program, Italy is threatening to halt preparations for its JSF final assembly line until it gets a bigger slice of work on the program.

The protest will halt planning for construction at Cameri air base in northern Italy where Finmeccanica unit Alenia Aeronautica is working with Lockheed Martin to build a Final Assembly and Check Out line (FACO).
Scheduled to start rolling off Italian JSFs in 2014, the FACO will also be used to maintain Italian and Dutch JSFs. Italy also has ambitions to turn it into a regional logistics hub.
"The government intends to order the suspension of the work preparing the JSF assembly line at Cameri until it obtains from Lockheed Martin an adequate and tangible response to our requests for the greater involvement of Italian industry in the program," said Italian Defense Undersecretary Guido Crosetto.
Crosetto aired his concerns about workshare in November when he visited the United States to talk with Lockheed Martin officials and Ashton Carter, U.S defense undersecretary for acquisition.
Italy has signed to contribute $904 million to the production sustainment and follow-on development (PSFD) phase of the JSF, having already committed $1 billion at the development stage. It now expects to pay $16.6 billion on the acquisition and initial logistic support for up to 131 aircraft.
Finmeccanica unit Alenia Aeronautica is Italy's largest contributor to the JSF as a second source for wing work, while smaller contracts have been given to a host of smaller firms.
"To date, the value of the contracts awarded, as well as the opportunities that will realistically turn into work for Italian firms on the JSF amount to about 55 percent of the value of the Italian investment in the program," said Crosetto. "We have asked Lockheed Martin that the objective be raised to 75 percent or more.
"At the same time we have asked the U.S. Department of Defense to step in to remove or mitigate the internal restrictions that today hinder the reaching of this objective," he said, "an objective we believe is legitimate considering Italy is the third-largest investor in the program after the U.S. and the U.K. Italy is not a customer but a partner on this program and we would like to be treated as such."
Lockheed officials in Washington did not respond to requests for comment.
An Alenia spokesman declined to comment on Crosetto's call for more workshare.

JSF Program Reponse

The Pentagon's JSF program manager, U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Heinz, said Jan. 27 that Italy has "provided no such indications to me" that it will cut its participation in the program. Moreover, Heinz said, he would not respond to such a ploy.
"I truly believe, like the other nations [participating in JSF], this is all about trying to get the best deal possible," Heinz said. "I am not going to respond to [that] because we are years away from some of the decisions where we would say, 'Where are we going to put a new engine facility for maintenance or where are we going to stand up some of the warehouses in Europe?' My answer to that is: When I've got airplanes in Europe flying JSF, that would be the appropriate time to consider these issues."
Heinz said some countries were adopting an "if they build it, we will come" approach.
"I don't accept that as a premise for how we advance the program on a best-value basis," he said.
The JSF program was meant to move away from the traditional concepts of workshare for purchasers of the platform.
But Italy's center-right government began to express reluctance to abide completely by the principles of best value last year. When the government majority on a parliamentary defense commission voted to approve construction of the FACO and the purchase of JSF aircraft last March, it inserted a clause requiring "the signing of industrial and government accords that allow - notwithstanding the application of best value principles - an industrial return for Italy proportional to its financial participation in the program."
The commission also required an annual report on whether this condition was being met.
Italy has pushed harder than Lockheed or the Pentagon to put a FACO on Italian soil, so it's unclear whether its plan to stop work there will sway workshare decisions. Construction is expected to cost $775 million.
A March report to parliament said the FACO could "position Italy as the regional fulcrum for JSF support, significantly consolidate Italy's position in NATO," and create up to 600 jobs.
Crosetto said he had requested greater roles for Italian firms on electronic warfare and radar work on the JSF, as well as on communication, navigation and identification systems, and logistical and mission support systems.
"We have received an initial response from Lockheed Martin, that could represent a first step toward satisfying Italy's expectations if the prime contractor now follows up the letter rapidly with tangible and verifiable measures, accompanied by concrete results," he said.
The defense undersecretary received backing from at least one Italian analyst.
"Italian participation in the JSF is strategic and that is why Crosetto is right," said Michele Nones, head of the security and defense department at the Istituto Affari Internazionali, a Rome think tank partly funded by the Italian foreign ministry. "Choosing the JSF meant choosing what activties we pursue in Italy for the next 20 years. We made the choice despite some criticism in Europe ... This is also about the quality of the role Italy plays, not just work hours." ■

John Reed contributed to this report from Washington.

DefenseNews (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4478916)

Steak-Sauce
02-02-2010, 01:26 PM
Lockheed may deliver more F-35s than DoD buys
By Stephen Trimble


Although the US Department of Defense has announced slashing four F-35 jets and firing the government's programme manager, Lockheed Martin says it could deliver more aircraft in 2013 than the military pays for to keep unit costs from spiralling upwards.

The DoD may allow Lockheed the "opportunity" to deliver more F-35s than specifically on contract, Lockheed vice-president for business development George Standridge told Flightglobal at the Singapore airshow.

Under this scenario, Lockheed would continue to build aircraft based on prices set in the 2007 selected acquisition report. Meanwhile, the DoD has decided to fund the programme based on higher cost projections set by the second annual review by the Joint Estimating Team. For the same price, Lockheed may be able to deliver more than 43 F-35s.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates acknowledged that possibility when he announced the budget cuts in a briefing at the Pentagon on 1 February. Gates described the fiscal year 2011 budget request as seeking a "buy of 43 aircraft and possibly more, depending on contractor performance".

Gates also announced that F-35 programme executive officer Brig Gen David Heinz will be replaced by a three-star general. Before his dismissal, Heinz had actually been selected for promotion to major general, so Gates's move elevates the position's standing from two-star rank to three-star rank.

Asked if Lockheed also anticipates a change of leadership, Standridge did not give a direct reply. But he acknowledges that Lockheed accepts that the DoD will hold the company accountable for its performance. For his part, Gates announced that he will withhold $614 million in performance fees from Lockheed. "The taxpayers should not have to bear the entire burden of getting the [F-35] programme back on track," he says.

The procurement cuts increase the pressure on Lockheed to keep reducing unit costs for the F-35, especially as foreign partners are expected to start buying production aircratf within the next two years.

Meanwhile, Lockheed also confirms that Singapore has started receiving classified briefings on the F-35. Singapore and Israel are both Security Cooperation Participants on the Joint Strike Fighter programme.

Source: Flightglobal (http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/02/02/337897/singapore-2010-lockheed-may-deliver-more-f-35s-than-dod-buys.html)

signatory
02-03-2010, 02:13 AM
STOVL Jet is Fifth Lockheed Martin F-35 to Enter Flight Testing

FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) F-35B Lightning II short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) stealth fighter today became the fifth F-35 to begin flight operations.

The jet, known as BF-3, departed the runway near Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth plant at 4:02 p.m. CST for its first flight. During the one-hour sortie, F-35 Chief Test Pilot Jon Beesley tested the aircraft's handling qualities, engine functionality, landing gear operation and basic subsystem performance.

BF-3 joins two other F-35Bs and one F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft currently undergoing active flight test. The first CTOL F-35, AA-1, is now preparing for live-fire testing. The F-35 program continues to accelerate the time from flight line arrival to first flight.

BF-3 was built and instrumented to conduct flight sciences test work and will be used primarily to evaluate vehicle systems and expand the aircraft's aerodynamic and structural-loads envelope. It will deploy later this year to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., where it will carry and release most of the weapons the F-35B will employ in combat.

BF-3 and all other Lightning II aircraft will be supported by the F-35 Autonomic Logistics Information System and monitored by the F-35 Autonomic Logistics Global Sustainment Operations Center in Fort Worth. F-35 sustainment is based upon the principles of Performance-Based Logistics, involving extensive partnering agreements between government and industry. The F-35 team has developed an advanced sustainment system capability with designed-in sustainability that will reduce overall life-cycle costs and ensure mission readiness.

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, advanced sustainment, and lower operational and support costs. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.



http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/stovl-jet-is-fifth-lockheed-martin-f-35-to-enter-flight-testing-83393682.html

Yoram777
02-03-2010, 08:15 AM
BF-3 joins two other F-35Bs and one F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft currently undergoing active flight test. The first CTOL F-35, AA-1, is now preparing for live-fire testing. The F-35 program continues to accelerate the time from flight line arrival to first flight.

Can't wait to see that!.. p-)

Rapier55
02-03-2010, 12:20 PM
Pratt & Whitney Delivers First Production F135 Engine


SINGAPORE, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SINGAPORE AIR SHOW -- Pratt & Whitney has delivered the first F135 production engine for the F-35 Lightning II, a major milestone and clear demonstration of the maturity of the F135 engine. The engine has accrued more than 13,000 hours in test during the development program. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX (http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/prnews?Page=Quote&Ticker=UTX)) company.
"The F135 engine program accomplishments and this initial production delivery milestone demonstrate we are continuing our legacy of fielding the most advanced military jet engine technology to the benefit of the warfighter," said Warren Boley, Vice President of F135 engine programs. "The F135 engine has reached a level of maturity after 13,000 hours of successful testing, building on heritage of the proven F119 engine powering the F-22."
"We are immensely proud of our final product as well as our partnership with the U.S. government, Lockheed Martin and Rolls-Royce," Boley said. "We are committed to delivering the safest, most powerful, affordable and reliable propulsion system for the F-35."
Pratt & Whitney has designed, developed and tested the F135 to deliver the most advanced fifth generation fighter engine for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, as well as eight international partner countries. The F135 is derived from proven technology of the only operational fifth generation fighter engine, the Pratt & Whitney F119 that powers the F-22. It has been further enhanced with technologies developed in several Air Force and Navy technology programs.
The F135 propulsion system has proven it can meet diverse aircraft requirements, and the ground and flight test experience demonstrates the maturity and the associated reliability of the F135 engine for armed forces around the world.
Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and building industries.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning future business opportunities. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in funding related to the F-35 aircraft and F135 engines, changes in government procurement priorities and practices or in the number of aircraft to be built; challenges in the design, development, production and support of technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in United Technologies Corp.'s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
Source (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pratt--whitney-delivers-first-production-f135-engine-83316177.html)

SpudmanWP
02-03-2010, 04:00 PM
I just saw this (then I uploaded it to Youtube) and just about fell out of my seat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vBLQoaaJuQ

MBDA has confirmed a few things:

1. ASRAAM will be part of SDD both external and internal (on the door)

2. MBDA has done ground testing with the internal launch trapeze/rail.

3. Confirms, now here is the part where I almost lost it, that the study in 2008 showed that 4 (YES 4) Meteors can fit in each bay. That INCLUDES the F-35B! Further development in this area is being funded as we speak.

Scooter2
02-03-2010, 04:19 PM
I just saw this (then I uploaded it to Youtube) and just about fell out of my seat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vBLQoaaJuQ

MBDA has confirmed a few things:

1. ASRAAM will be part of SDD both external and internal (on the door)

2. MBDA has done ground testing with the internal launch trapeze/rail.

3. Confirms, now here is the part where I almost lost it, that the study in 2008 showed that 4 (YES 4) Meteors can fit in each bay. That INCLUDES the F-35B! Further development in this area is being funded as we speak.


He did say you could get 4-Meteors in the bay. Yet, he didn't say each bay??? So, he may have meant 4-Meteors total????

SpudmanWP
02-03-2010, 04:27 PM
He said "The bay". There are two bays and you can put two in each right now, no further research needed.

The only reason that they would be spending more money is to expand this 2-per-bay config.

2495
02-03-2010, 04:36 PM
He said "The bay". There are two bays and you can put two in each right now, no further research needed.

The only reason that they would be spending more money is to expand this 2-per-bay config.

"Which shows you can actually get 4 Meteors in the bay on both the STOVL and CTOL version"

Thats pretty clear cut. 4 meteors in each bay. Thats ***.

Scooter2
02-03-2010, 10:48 PM
"Which shows you can actually get 4 Meteors in the bay on both the STOVL and CTOL version"

Thats pretty clear cut. 4 meteors in each bay. Thats ***.


Well, I hope you and Mr. Spudman are right??? Yet, four Meteors sound like a tight fit when just three AMRAAM's seemed like a stretch not so long ago.

Clockwinder
02-03-2010, 11:27 PM
http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?173653-Gates-Tries-to-Get-F-35-Program-Back-on-Course (http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/../showthread.php?173653-Gates-Tries-to-Get-F-35-Program-Back-on-Course)

Steak-Sauce
02-05-2010, 03:58 AM
Lockheed Martin sees F-35A replacing USAF air superiority F-15C/Ds
By Stephen Trimble


Lockheed Martin has countered a potential cut in US Air Force orders for its F-35A by claiming the in-development fighter could fill an air superiority role as well as the ground-attack mission for which it is officially designed.

The USAF officially lists the F-35's conventional take-off and landing variant as a ground-attack fighter complementing the air superiority mission, replacing only the Lockheed F-16 and the Fairchild A-10.

But Lockheed has added the Boeing F-15C/D air superiority fighter and F-15E Strike Eagles to its own speculative and unofficial list of aircraft the F-35A can replace. That allows it to claim the USAF's requirement to buy 1,763 F-35As over the next 20 years remains intact despite recent policy changes.

Lockheed provided the analysis to Flight International in response to questions about the potential impact of the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), which proposes to slash the USAF's theatre strike wing-equivalents to 10 to 11 wings.

The reduction potentially devastates the USAF's demand for 1,763 F-35As. If the USAF maintains a 72-aircraft wing structure, only 720 to 792 combat-coded fighters are needed to perform the F-35's primary mission. That role is currently performed by a mix of F-16s, A-10s and F-15Es. Lockheed's analysis assumes the mission would be performed exclusively by F-35s within 25 years.

"All the A-10s and F-15Es would reach their life during the USAF buy of F-35s [through 2035] with no other tactical strike platform to replace their full capability other than F-35s," Lockheed's analysis says.

Lockheed also makes a second major assumption. The analysis assumes the QDR plan to operate six air superiority wing-equivalents will include two wings of Lockheed F-22s and four wings of F-35As. Lockheed acknowledges the F-22 fleet is limited to 1-2/3 wings. The four wings of F-35As would replace the F-15C/Ds, according to Lockheed.

If the F-35A gains the new mission, the USAF requirement would rise to 14-15 wings, totalling between 1,008 and 1,080 combat-coded jets. Lockheed also estimates a need for another 593 to 636 jets required for training, test, depot and attrition reserve. The final number for the F-35A requirement ranges between 1,601 and 1,715 fighters, a total that Lockheed concludes is "in the noise" compared to the programme estimate of 1,763.

Steve O'Bryan, Lockheed vice-president for business development, supported Lockheed's analysis, saying a single F-35 provides the capability of six F-15s in air-to-air simulations. Although the F-35's projected top speed of Mach 1.6 falls short of the F-15's M2.5 maximum, O'Bryan says, the F-35's higher level of stealth offsets the F-15's speed advantage in calculations of overall survivability.

The F-35's prowess in the air superiority role has been debated, with one controversial Rand analysis in 2008 concluding the jet "can't turn, can't climb and can't run" fast enough to survive dogfights.

According to industry sources, an unnamed senior USAF officer said last year: "JSF is not an air dominance platform and we understand that."

Source: Flightglobal (http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/02/04/338045/lockheed-martin-sees-f-35a-replacing-usaf-air-superiority.html)

Rapier55
02-12-2010, 12:26 PM
II-VI Incorporated Signs $40 Million Multi-Year Supply Agreement for Sapphire Windows on the Joint Strike Fighter / F-35 Lightning II




PITTSBURGH, Feb 11, 2010 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- II-VI Incorporated /quotes/comstock/15*!iivi/quotes/nls/iivi (IIVI (http://www.militaryphotos.net/investing/stock/IIVI) 27.01, +0.08, +0.30%) today announced an agreement between its subsidiary Exotic Electro-Optics and Lockheed Martin /quotes/comstock/13*!lmt/quotes/nls/lmt (LMT (http://www.militaryphotos.net/investing/stock/LMT) 75.88, -0.47, -0.62%) Missiles and Fire Control for the purchase of sapphire windows for the Joint Strike Fighter / F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter's Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS). According to the agreement, 100% of the sapphire windows funded under Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) 3, 4 and 5, will be procured from Exotic Electro-Optics. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. Purchase orders from this agreement will be reflected as bookings based on the II-VI bookings policy of reporting customer orders received that are expected to be converted into revenues during the next 12 months.
Francis J. Kramer, President and Chief Executive Officer of II-VI Incorporated, said "This agreement reflects our commitments to large format sapphire windows for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) applications, and to the JSF Program. It is the result of significant manufacturing technology development achieved through many years of hard work and collaboration with the Lockheed Martin team. The Joint Strike Fighter program is reaching a critical phase and production requirements will begin to increase rapidly. This agreement underscores our ability and desire to support the increased demand." Source (http://www.marke****ch.com/story/ii-vi-incorporated-signs-40-million-multi-year-supply-agreement-for-sapphire-windows-on-the-joint-strike-fighter-f-35-lightning-ii-2010-02-11?reflink=MW_news_stmp)

Rapier55
02-12-2010, 12:28 PM
Teamcenter software from Lockheed Martin helps keep hundreds of F-35 aircraft suppliers on the same page


FORT WORTH, Texas, 11 Feb. 2010. Leaders of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (http://mae.pennnet.com/display_article/372731/32/ARTCL/none/EXECW/1/First-United-Kingdom-active-duty-pilot-flies-F-35-Joint-Strike-Fighter/) program are partnering with U.S. and international aerospace leaders, including Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. These three primary partners are supported by up to 600 suppliers. In all, the parties involved in the production of the F-35 reside in more than 30 countries, spanning 17 time zones.
Coordinating their efforts, fostering collaboration across the extended enterprise of companies with dissimilar development environments, and managing all of the several formats of design data involved in this project are critical challenges for the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. in Fort Worth, Texas, prime contractor for the F-35.
To meet the challenges, Lockheed Martin has adopted Teamcenter software provides industry-specific product lifecycle management (http://mae.pennnet.com/display_article/370293/32/ARTCL/none/EXCON/1/Product-lifecycle-management-is-adopting-software-tools/) capabilities. Teamcenter is built on an open product lifecycle management foundation that connects people and processes to create and share product knowledge.
The F-35 program is expected to produce as many as 3,000 plus aircraft, which will have life spans as long as 30 years. All design and manufacturing data for each aircraft configuration must be managed as well as the data required to support the planes during their lifetimes. This means that every design change needs to be validated against all possible configurations. There is an additional challenge here as well:A key program goal is achieving cycle time reductions in both design and manufacturing.
The first phase of F-35 collaboration linked 5,000 users at facilities with security safeguards to ensure compliance with USA International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). To date, more than 6,500 users across the extensive supplier network have also been brought online, totaling more than 130 sites worldwide.
With a storage area network (SAN) containing more than five terabytes of product information, Teamcenter supports workflow and design processes. Participants store data locally for improved response time -- 70,000 data items are replicated across 15,000 locations daily with Teamcenter.
In addition to managing F-35 program information, Teamcenter also manages several processes related to the aircraft's development. For example, Teamcenter's workflow capabilities control development and release processes, as well as product options and variants.
Lockheed Martin anticipates manufacturing time to be reduced by up to 66 percent, with a huge reduction in tooling. Spare parts needed are expected to be less than what they are for other fleets.
Military&AerospaceElectronics (http://mae.pennnet.com/display_article/372939/32/ARTCL/none/EXECW/1/Teamcenter-software-from-Lockheed-Martin-helps-keep-hundreds-of-F-35-aircraft-suppliers-on-the-same-page/)

Rapier55
02-12-2010, 12:30 PM
Turkey says F-35 project share exceeds $7 bln


The Turkish defense minister said on Wednesday that Turkey's share in F-35 joint strike fighter project exceeded 7 billion USD.
The Turkish defense minister said on Wednesday that Turkey's share in F-35 joint strike fighter project exceeded 7 billion USD.

Turkey's National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said Turkish industry had over 7 billion USD share in joint strike fighter F-35 project.

"If the fact that we will pay 10-11 billion USD to the project is taken into account, we have already achieved 50 percent of our goal," Gonul said during aviation and engine manufacturing facility groundbreaking ceremony in the central province of Eskisehir.

Gonul said the facility will manufacture engines of F-35 fighter under an agreement signed with Pratt & Whitney during the International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) 2009 Fair.

Around 200 full time staff will be employed during mass production of F-35 engines in the facility.
Source (http://www.worldbulletin.net/news_detail.php?id=53949)

Rapier55
02-12-2010, 12:33 PM
Faulkner welcomes US JSF risk reduction

The Australian Government has welcomed the decisive action taken by the US Government to reduce risk in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program, according to Defence Minister Senator John Faulkner.
"The President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2011, released on 1 February 2010 (US time) reflects the US Government's strong ongoing commitment to the JSF Program as the backbone of the future tactical aircraft inventory for the US Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps and partner countries, including Australia," Faulkner said.
"The budget, which has yet to go through the Congressional legislative process, reflects a restructuring of the JSF Program to stabilise its schedule and cost.
"The US Department of Defense has adjusted JSF procurement quantities based on new data on costs, likely orders from international partners, and realigned development and test schedules.
"Nearly $US11 billion has been allocated for the JSF in Fiscal Year 2011, along with a strategy to stabilise its cost and schedule.
"In Fiscal Year 2011, the President's Budget proposes the acquisition of 43 aircraft - and possibly more depending on contractor performance.
"In restructuring the JSF Program to deal with cost and schedule issues over the last two years, US Secretary of Defense Gates has withheld a considerable amount of performance fees from JSF prime contractor Lockheed Martin.
"Additionally, Secretary Gates has directed a change in the leadership of the US Joint Strike Fighter Program Office and, given the importance of this program to the future of military aviation, has elevated the level of the JSF Program manager to that of a three-star officer.
"The Australian Government's staged acquisition approach to the JSF, commencing with the acquisition of 14 aircraft, has strongly mitigated risk in relation to this vital program.
"As part of the Government's JSF acquisition strategy, significant cost and schedule buffers were built into Australia's project in anticipation of the steps announced in the US today.
"As is to be expected with such a large and complex project, the JSF will continue to face risks.
"Australia will continue to work closely with the US and other international partners to closely manage these risks and ensure the success of the JSF Program," Faulkner said.
ADM (http://www.australiandefence.com.au/index.cfm?objectid=A6BCB6E8-1767-11DF-9580005056B05D57)

Rapier55
02-17-2010, 11:53 PM
Third Lockheed Martin F-35B Lands At NAS Patuxent River


NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md., February 17th, 2010 -- Piloted by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35 Test Pilot Jeff Knowles, the third F-35B Lightning II (http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/f35/) short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) stealth fighter landed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., today.
"Today, the third of our five STOVL test jets joined the F-35 fleet at the Test Center as our flight test program initiates the expansion of the F-35's flight-sciences envelope," said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager of F-35 Program Integration. "Our focus remains on fielding the F-35's tremendous capabilities to our warfighters, recapitalizing our nation’s aging fighter fleet, and meeting our commitments to the F-35 partner nations."
The jet, known as BF-3, took off near Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth plant at 9:51 a.m. CST and arrived at NAS Patuxent River three hours and 10 minutes later. BF-3 joins two other F-35Bs at the Navy test site, and will be used mainly to evaluate vehicle systems and expand the aircraft’s aerodynamic and structural-loads envelope. The airplane will also focus on weapons testing, and will carry and release most of the weapons the F-35B will use in combat. Two more F-35Bs will join the test operation in the near future. The latter airplanes will be the primary test assets for the F-35’s integrated mission systems.
In addition to flight testing, the F-35 Program is using the Autonomic Logistic Information System (ALIS) for maintenance actions, spares tracking and technical data support.ALIS is part of the F-35’s innovative sustainment architecture monitored by the F-35 Autonomic Logistics Global Sustainment (ALGS) Operations Center in Fort Worth. The early deploymentof the F-35 net-enabled logistics system to be used by all nine partner countries helps ensure the F-35's smooth transition to operational status, and is a key enabler for lower life cycle costs.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, advanced sustainment, and lower operational and support costs. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.
LM (http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/press_releases/2010/100217ae_f35bf-3_pax.html)

Scooter2
02-18-2010, 12:12 AM
Third Lockheed Martin F-35B Lands At NAS Patuxent River

LM (http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/press_releases/2010/100217ae_f35bf-3_pax.html)


Expect to see the flight test program to accelerate dramatically over the next 12-18 months. So, it won't be longer before we see F-35's around almost every corner.

kalerab
02-18-2010, 06:04 AM
Pentagon confirms 1-year delay for JSF


Pentagon officials on Feb. 16 confirmed Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn’s announcement one day prior that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program will be delayed by about one year.

The Pentagon’s No. 2 official said this week that the jet’s development schedule would slip between 12 months and 13 months despite an aggressive restructuring of the program that was announced earlier this month.

“The development was originally projected to last an additional 30 months; we think with the additional test aircraft it will be closer to a delay of about 12 or 13 months, but I can’t give you the cost numbers,” The Australian newspaper quoted Lynn as saying during a speech at a shipyard in South Australia. He did not say if this would affect the delivery timeline for the JSF.

The delay is a result of the integration of additional test aircraft that were mandated under the restructuring, which also extended system development and design until 2015, according to a Pentagon official.

“That is a true statement, the driver on this is the test aircraft,” the official said Feb. 16. “The driver on this whole thing, about a year, is due to the additional test aircraft.”

Like Lynn, the official would not comment on how this will affect the delivery schedule for the plane. The Marine Corps is set to get its first F-35s in 2012, with the Air Force and Navy scheduled to receive their jets in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

On Feb. 1, Steve O’Bryan, Lockheed’s vice president for F-35 business development, told reporters that while the jet’s flight tests are roughly six months behind schedule, the company will deliver the plane in time to meet the Marine Corps’ initial operating capability date of 2012.

“I think you’ll see that we’re going to deliver all the SDD jets by the end of this year and get them in flight test,” O’Bryan said.

Under the Pentagon’s restructuring that was announced Feb. 1, Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered an additional test jet and $2.8 billion be put into the extended F-35 SDD, withheld more than $600 million in performance fees from Lockheed, cut planes from F-35 acquisition coffers and fired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Heinz, the Pentagon’s F-35 program manager.

The Defense Department is requesting $10.7 billion in its 2011 budget to continue development on the F-35 and purchase 43 of the planes.

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2010/02/military_f35_delay_021610w/

fragmall
02-18-2010, 10:08 AM
Top-gun fighter in a spin



Cameron Stewart, Associate editor
From: The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/)
February 19, 2010 12:00AM


Cost blow-outs, delays and doubts over the Joint Strike Fighter's capabilities are causing concern in the defence community here and in the US



http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/top-gun-fighter-in-a-spin/story-e6frg8yo-1225831942248

Rapier55
02-19-2010, 03:45 PM
AF chief: F-35 could breach Nunn-McCurdy limits



By John Reed - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Feb 18, 2010 21:47:48 EST

ORLANDO, Fla. — The F-35 Lightning II fighter jet program might breach the Nunn-McCurdy limits on unit cost growth, said Air Force Gen. Norton Schwartz, the service’s chief of staff.
“I would say it is a possibility and maybe even [be] likely,” Schwartz told reporters at the Air Force Association’s air warfare symposium.
Schwartz did not say what changes might be in store for the program if it does breach the limits set in the Nunn-McCurdy statute.
A spokesman for JSF program leader Lockheed Martin said the company had not been informed of any breach and was working to keep costs down.
On Feb. 1, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced a dramatic reorganization of the JSF program that included extending the jet’s test schedule until 2015, shifting billions into F-35 testing, cutting procurement funds for the plane, withholding more than $600 million from JSF-maker Lockheed Martin and firing the Pentagon's F-35 program manager, Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Heinz.
Earlier this week, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn announced that the program would be one year behind schedule, despite the reorganization.
“The development was originally projected to last an additional 30 months; we think with the additional test aircraft, it will be closer to a delay of about 12 or 13 months, but I can’t give you the cost numbers,” The Australian newspaper quoted Lynn as saying during a Feb. 15 speech at a shipyard in South Australia.
Neither Schwartz nor Lynn said what this means for the F-35’s delivery schedule.
Just yesterday, Barbara Westgate, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for strategic plans, told reporters that the service would receive the jets “when we need them” despite the restructuring.
Right now, the Marine Corps is set to get its first operational F-35s in 2012; the Air Force will get them in 2013, and the Navy in 2014.

NavyTimes (http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/02/military_021810_jsf_breach_web/)

Rapier55
02-19-2010, 03:49 PM
USAF May Shift F-35 In-service Date


By JOHN REED
Published: 19 Feb 2010 14:36

ORLANDO, Fla. - Just weeks after the Pentagon announced a restructuring of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the U.S. Air Force is now re-evaluating when the plane will be considered ready for service, Air Combat Command chief Gen. William Fraser said Feb. 19.

"We're taking a look at and we're re-evaluating our [initial operating capability] date and what our definition of that is," Fraser told reporters at an Air Force Association-sponsored conference here.

The general said that the restructuring, which was announced Feb. 1 by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, will extend the plane's system design and development (SDD) phase until 2015. That's two years after the air service had planned to begin operating the aircraft.

"Whenever there are adjustments in any program, you've got to go back and take a look at if all the requirements are going to be met by timeframe X or Y," said Fraser.
The general said the service is also looking at how that extension will affect the number of aircraft, trained aircrew and spare parts the service has available by 2013.

"The IOC focus is on combat capability, not on a date," he said.

Earlier this week, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said the SDD phase of the program would be one year behind schedule. And yesterday, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told reporters that the F-35 program is likely to breach Nunn-McCurdy limits on per-unit cost growth, which would likely require a formal notice to Congress.
DefenseNews (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4506723&c=AME&s=AIR)

Rapier55
02-19-2010, 03:52 PM
Lockheed Martin F-35 Poised to be Backbone of USAF Fighter Fleet


ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Air Force officially becomes the first F-35 Lightning II customer later this year, when the first of the stealth fighters is delivered to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The delivery will initiate a massive recapitalization of the Air Force's multi-role fighter fleet, and will usher in profound increases in capability, a Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT (http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/prnews?Page=Quote&Ticker=LMT)) executive said Friday.
"The first two production F-35s are in final assembly at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth plant, and the training wing at Eglin is primed to receive them and get their pilots in the seats," said Steve O'Bryan, Lockheed Martin vice president of F-35 Business Development and Customer Engagement. "The Air Force is by far the biggest F-35 customer, and the fact that the largest and most powerful air force in the world is staking its future on the capabilities of this aircraft speaks volumes." The Air Force plans to operate 1,763 F-35As, which along with the F-22, ultimately will replace all of the Air Force's current fighter fleet.
"The F-35 will be flown by the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as our closest allies. This means that the USAF and the rest of the world's great air forces will be flying the F-35 together in the future," O'Bryan said. "The F-35 provides 'best value' in a package that not only deters hostilities but enhances interoperability."
Speaking Friday at the Air Force Association's Air Warfare Symposiumat the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel, O'Bryan pointed to the pillars of the F-35 program – affordability, survivability, lethality and supportability – and highlighted the F-35's value proposition. "As a 5th generation fighter, the F-35 is redefining the term 'multirole fighter' combining unprecedented situational awareness, net-enabled systems, sensor fusion, advanced sustainment, stealth and fighter performance in an affordable and supportable package."
With more than 150 test flights completed, all systems operating in F-35 aircraft, other surrogate test aircraft and laboratories, and 35 aircraft in assembly, the program is demonstrating steady progress toward meeting its commitments to the U.S. Air Force. Last November, AF-1, the first optimized conventional takeoff and landing variant (CTOL) aircraft, celebrated its initial flight, piloted by Lockheed Martin test pilot David "Doc" Nelson.
Of particular interest to the Air Force, the CTOL variant establishes new levels of operational availability. With simplicity and ease of maintenance designed in, the aircraft has unprecedented reliability and maintainability requirements, along with a reduced deployment footprint. The F-35A will provide unequaled multimission capability with a fraction of the support required by legacy fighters.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, and lower operational and support costs. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.
Source (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lockheed-martin-f-35-poised-to-be-backbone-of-usaf-fighter-fleet-84784967.html)

Scooter2
02-21-2010, 11:47 PM
Just politics...........the F-35 Program is going full steam ahead. Really, you will see more and more F-35's flying this year. Expect the negative talk to melt away over the next year to year and a half.

signatory
02-22-2010, 02:28 AM
........


4-year plan calls for fewer JSFs, more mobility

By Bruce Rolfsen - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Feb 21, 2010 9:12:41 EST

The Air Force has its marching orders.

Every four years, Congress requires the Defense Department to map out where the services will head in the coming four years.

For the Air Force, the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review gives the OK to ideas that have support but no money to make them happen — more trainers for foreign militaries and new light-attack and light-airlift planes.

But the QDR, released Feb. 1, also lacks details and ignores some missions entirely. For generals and politicians, there’s plenty of room to make their cases about the best road forward.
What’s there

More trainers: Thousands of airmen – no number is specified — will be assigned to deploy and work with foreign air forces.

A close partnership: Greater integration of Air Force and Navy missions is called for in a program labeled the “joint air-sea battle concept.” Besides cooperation at the tactical level, the QDR envisions a joint approach to deciding which aircraft and missiles can best perform long-range strike.

Shrinking fighters: The QDR lays out a fleet of 1,224 “primary aircraft” for the Air Force. The total is 539 fewer planes than the 1,763 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters that the Air Force wants to buy in the next 20 years. Air Force officials refused to discuss the difference until after they brief lawmakers on their portion of the QDR, starting the week of Feb. 7.

Greater mobility: A force of 1,056 tankers and airlifters is the QDR goal. The Air Force would still get only the 223 C-17s it already has on order but would pick up an unspecified number of small C-27 cargo planes. Defense Secretary Robert Gates hasn’t been shy about stopping production of the C-17. He dropped it from the 2010 defense budget; Congress put it back in.

More ISR: Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance — three missions that the Air Force has repeatedly said it is expanding. The QDR puts weight behind the words: 380 remote-controlled and manned surveillance planes and 65 round-the-clock patrols by 2015. The Air Force now has about 190 remote-controlled reconnaissance planes and flies 39 patrols.

Better surveillance: Today’s remote-controlled planes lack the stealth and speed to avoid advanced missile defenses. The QDR calls for surveillance aircraft able to fly in heavily defended airspace.

New gunships: The number of AC-130 gunships grows by eight, to 33. Starting in 2012, the service and U.S. Special Operations Command will convert 16 C-130Js into AC-130s, allowing the Air Force to retire eight AC-130Hs.
What’s missing

Specifics: The QDR is long on big ideas but short on details. For example, no mention is made of when a long-range bomber should be operational or how many airmen should be in uniform.

CSAR’s future: When Gates killed the Air Force’s new combat search-and-rescue helicopter program in 2009, he promised a departmentwide review of the CSAR mission. The word “rescuer” doesn’t appear in the QDR.

Operational tempo: The QDR promises to reduce operational tempo so that troops gone for a year have at least two years at home before deploying. But the review offers no deadlines or instructions for how the services should reach that goal.

The “4.5 generation fighter”: Air National Guard advocates pushed the Pentagon to consider buying upgraded versions of the F-16 and F-15E instead of only the F-35. There’s no mention of pursuing the latest versions of the nonstealthy fighters.

Electronic warfare fighters: The Air Force isn’t getting its own tactical electronic warfare protection. It will continue to depend on its own planes equipped with jamming pods or on Marine Corps and Navy jets.

The Air Force’s cyberspace role: While the study trumpets plans for a joint cyber command, there are no specifics on how each service fits into the master plan.



link (http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2010/02/airforce_qdr_022110w/)

Steak-Sauce
02-22-2010, 05:59 AM
JSF: International Procurement Plans
Posted by Robert Wall at 2/22/2010 4:01 AM CST


In answers to parliament largely spelling out the Dutch preference for retaining the GE/Rolls-Royce F136 alternative engine program, the Dutch defense ministry has also disclosed production plans for the core participating countries through 2034 (expected FMS customers, such as Israel and Singapore, are absent).

The table is largely based on estimates and if the past few weeks have demonstrated one thing, it is that even if this were a concrete plan, reality would look very different.

However, the update provides an insight into what some of the countries are thinking. Particularly curious is the UK production profile:

http://www.abload.de/thumb/0fc7739c-a62c-4e32-ac7q6p5dotjpg (http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=0fc7739c-a62c-4e32-ac7q6p5dotjpg)

Source: Aviation Week Blog (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a690b140b-f361-40b6-b88e-f06d44f63bcb&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest)

Steak-Sauce
02-23-2010, 05:19 AM
Stunning Reversal -- Schwartz Expects a Cost Breach on JSF
Posted by Amy Butler at 2/22/2010 1:59 PM CST


In a stunning reversal Feb. 19, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told reporters that a Joint Strike Fighter cost overrun is "possible, maybe even likely."

This is only a few short weeks after he expressed more optimism that a breach of the Nunn McCurdy statute was not likely. Apparently, like Defense Secretary Robert Gates said during his Feb. 1 budget briefing, Schwartz says he now knows more about the program.

Lockheed Martin officials continue to say the cost of the aircraft is coming in under the predicted costs of the most recent selected acquisition report (SAR -- a cost report that informs Congress of major shifts to pricing of Pentagon programs).

The next SAR goes to Congress in March, and it is looking more and more likely that a "critical" breach will occur. This means that either the APUC (average per unit cost -- the total procurement cost divided by the procurement quantity) or the PAUC (program acquisition unit cost -- the cost of procurement, development and construction divided by the total procurement quantity) exceeds the original baseline price by 50%.

The PAUC is the troublesome piece for the F-35. The cost predications Lockheed cites refer only to the flyaway price, which does not include the rising cost of development. According to a December 2009 CRS report, development cost about $47.1 billion. The Fiscal 201 budget request boosts that by about $2.8 billion.

So ... assuming the Nunn McCurdy is breached, what is next? Typically, the secretary of defense must certify that:

*the program is critical to national security
*no alternatives exist to provide equal capability at a reduced cost
*PAUC and APUC are reasonable, and
*program management is adequate to control PAUC and APUC.

The first two should be relatively easy for DoD,especially given the momentum behind the program.

What is tough are the final two elements: are the prices reasonable and under control? It will be interesting to see how DoD defines reasonable (compared to what?) and how they are able to prove that management is sound enough to control future costs.

Gates has fired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Heinz ... and his replacement, a three-star admiral, is coming. But, Lockheed has not changed its management structure - Tom Burbage and Dan Crowley. During his press briefing Friday, Schwartz said that "Dan Crowley doesn't work for the SecDef," but that "he's short $600 million," referring to Gates's withhold of $614 worth of award fee from the company for its poor adherence to the test schedule and production of flight test assets. Schwartz did not, however, call for a change in leadership at Lockheed. "What occurred with the F-35 program was only a start," though, he said.

What could happen after a Nunn McCurdy declaration, however, would be to catch the interest of a lawmaker who could order a full review of the program. Remember what happened with the USAF plan to lease tankers to Boeing in 2001-2002 and what that sparked. One inquisitive lawmaker could put a major strain on the program.

It will be interesting to see whether Congress delves further into its oversight role in the massive program.

Source: Aviation Week Blog (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3abeeb2766-2716-4993-a106-92de8bb38bd9&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest)

Rapier55
02-25-2010, 08:32 PM
F-35 Lightning II Short Landing Highlights
Video highlights from F-35 Lightning II short landing on February 17, 2010.
http://www.youtube.com/v/vo1xoNoi3uM&hl

Stonewall71
02-26-2010, 08:21 AM
Pentagon Reports Document Continuing Lockheed-Martin Failures (excerpt) http://www.defense-aerospace.com/images/spacerdotgif http://www.defense-aerospace.com/images/spacerdotgif http://www.defense-aerospace.com/images/spacerdotgif
(Source: Center for Defense Information; issued Feb. 24, 2010)

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/images/spacerdotgif http://www.defense-aerospace.com/images/spacerdotgif http://www.defense-aerospace.com/images/spacerdotgif
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/base/util/112708_1Fdotjpg (http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/112708/dcma-reports-document-lockheed%E2%80%99s-continuing-failures-on-jsf.html#)
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is facing even more delays and problems than have been made public, according to reports by the Defense Contract Management Agency. (Lockheed Marttin photo)
Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the CDI Straus Military Reform Project has obtained almost two years of monthly reports from the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) on Lockheed Martin’s production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The documents do not paint a pretty picture, explains Straus Military Reform Project Director Winslow Wheeler.

The Defense Contract Management Agency’s (DCMA) most recent reports cover the months July through November 2009. The full reports are available below.

Their major points, as summarized by Winslow Wheeler, are as follows:

-- The F-35 assembly line at Forth Worth, Texas is being cannibalized for parts to support flight testing. This may be the first time an assembly line has been cannibalized for parts. See the summary of the August report below.

-- The continuing and sometimes deteriorating nature of the delays at Lockheed-Martin’s (L-M) Fort Worth plant refutes the L-M contention that things are getting better, and that the F-35 program learned from the past and with new design techniques is avoiding the kinds of problems experienced by “legacy” aircraft programs.

-- The cause, nature and implications of the “stand-down” mentioned in the November report could well be important, but are unreported by the press and are a matter looking for explanation. (end of excerpt)


Click here (http://www.cdi.org/program/document.cfm?DocumentID=4588&from_page=../index.cfm) for the full article (with links to DCMA reports) on the CDI website.

-ends-

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/112708/dcma-reports-document-lockheed%E2%80%99s-continuing-failures-on-jsf.html#

Loke2
02-26-2010, 06:12 PM
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a38d9dc26-e763-4439-b2f2-8c294637603e&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

IOC delayed to 2015...

This is worrying.

Steak-Sauce
02-28-2010, 08:28 AM
Study: No Cost Difference for F-35 Alternate Engine
By JOHN REED

Published: 26 Feb 2010 16:44


Adding a second engine to the F-35 Lightning II program would cost the same as hewing to the single-source plan, according to a new Pentagon study. Defense Department officials say that supports their decision to reject proposals to buy General Electric and Rolls-Royce's F136 engine, but some House Armed Services Committee members disagree.

"The estimated costs of a competitive engine acquisition strategy are projected to be approximately equivalent to a sole-source scenario, or at the break-even point," reads a copy of a Pentagon memo explaining the JSF "Alternate Engine Cost/Benefit Analysis" that was sent to lawmakers on Feb. 25.

The memo acknowledges that continued development work on the F136 has reduced the amount of money it would take to bring the second engine online.

Yet the "fundamental conclusion remains the same: The potential lifecycle cost savings from" two competing F-35 engine programs "do not provide a compelling business case," wrote Christine Fox, who directs Defense Department cost assessment and program evaluation.

But Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., is "unconvinced that terminating the alternate engine program makes sense," the House Armed Services Committee chairman said in a Feb. 25 statement.

Skelton said the study fails to consider what would happen if a serious problem emerges with the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, "given the fact that the F-35 will account for 95 percent of our nation's fighter fleet. ... We cannot use near-sighted vision when long-term security is at stake."

Pentagon officials remain adamant that the plane does not need a second engine and have not requested funds for the production of the F136 in years, a move some lawmakers continue to fight.

Just last week, top U.S. Air Force officials said that although the cost of the second engine has come down, buying an additional engine is not worth the time or money.

"It's a close-enough call that we cannot see the benefits of considerable remaining investment in the second engine," such as a new logistics tail and remaining development work, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said during a Feb. 23 House Armed Services Committee hearing.

Donley called the second engine "another rock on top of the F-35 program" that the Pentagon would have to worry about.

This month has seen the F-35 program restructured, its Pentagon program manager fired, its development declared roughly one year behind schedule and the program likely to breach the Nunn-McCurdy limits on per-unit cost growth.

Air Force and Navy officials are considering delaying the initial operating capability dates for their versions of the F-35.

Source: Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4517151&c=AME&s=AIR)

2495
03-01-2010, 09:43 AM
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other Pentagon officials have made it clear in recent weeks that they are unhappy about the F-35 joint strike fighter program.

The reasons are likewise clearly evident in the contents of internal government documents reviewed by the Star-Telegram. Monthly reports prepared by the Defense Contract Management Agency show that as recently as mid-November, development of the F-35 was in serious disarray. Lockheed Martin and other contractors were producing key components and completing airplanes more slowly, not faster, documents show.
The reports are heavily redacted to prevent disclosure of detailed financial information, but indications of major problems leap off the pages. They include: Nine flight test aircraft, all of which were to have flown by the end of 2009, were behind schedule by 41/2 to 81/2 months when the report was written, in November. Only one of those planes has flown since then.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/02/28/2003601/documents-detail-serious-problems.html

Download and have a read of this. Makes for eye watering read in places.

http://www.dcma.mil/dcmahq/FOIA/files/reading_room/MAR-September_2009.pdf

SlowMan
03-02-2010, 10:19 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/02/AR2010030203930.html
http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0310/030210cdpm2.htm

It is now official. USAF F-35's IOC has been delayed by two years to 2015 and the budget exceeded the congressional limit. The DoD is now legally required to send alternate proposals to F-35 to the Congress within 60 days.

2495
03-02-2010, 10:25 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/02/AR2010030203930.html
http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0310/030210cdpm2.htm

It is now official. USAF F-35's IOC has been delayed by two years to 2015 and the budget exceeded the congressional limit. The DoD is now legally required to send alternate proposals to F-35 to the Congress within 60 days.

Lockheed Martin need the unholy sh1t kicked out of them for this - its an absolute disgrace and I bet Kelly Johnson is spinning in his grave. I cannot believe they had the utter stupidity to shut the F-22 line, cut the fleet back to 183 because a plane that hadn't even finish a few test flights yet was supposed to be the uber craft.

....... this is bad, bad news.

SlowMan
03-02-2010, 10:33 PM
The best solution is to buy more F-22s and Super Hornets.

Export of 200 F-22s to willing foreign buyers would lower the cost of additional F-22s for USAF, while additional Super Hornets can be had for $45 million each.

2495
03-02-2010, 10:36 PM
The best solution is to buy more F-22s and Super Hornets.

Export of 200 F-22s to willing foreign buyers would lower the cost of additional F-22s for USAF, while additional Super Hornets can be had for $45 million each.

Problem is, the F-22 line once it is dead - it can not be re-opened unless they started from absolute scratch, built extra space and started an entire new line costing hundreds of millions. Congress screwed the pooch on that one.

SlowMan
03-02-2010, 10:38 PM
Problem is, the F-22 line is dead
No it is not. It is still running and it will continue to run if the congress orders more next year.

NineLine
03-02-2010, 10:41 PM
Problem is, the F-22 line is dead - it can not be re-opened unless they started from absolute scratch, built extra space and started an entire new line costing hundreds of millions. Congress screwed the pooch on that one.


You have no clue what you are talking about...

The date for the Marines will be IOC in 2012. I'll probably be at the opening ceremony for VMFAT-501. The AF is not facing the fighter gap like the Naval services are so it is not as huge of a deal as it would be for the Navy/USMC.

jackc
03-02-2010, 11:32 PM
slowman put up this link as proof as an official 2 year delay to 2015
as i'm use to slowman misrepresenting content, i read the link
low and behold, it doesnt support his claim

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/02/AR2010030203930.html
Donley told reporters Tuesday that he thought "we are going to have a slip" on the F-35 program and that the planes would probably not be ready for the Air Force until 2015. The jets were expected to be available in 2013
In a statement, Lockheed Martin said that it remains "fully-committed to the F-35 program" and that it was working toward stabilizing "cost and affordability -- and to fielding the aircraft on time."

Gates said in February that he believed there were "no insurmountable problems, technological or otherwise, with the F-35. . . . We are in a position to move forward with this program in a realistic way." (has given another 13 months of development if needed)

SlowMan
03-02-2010, 11:40 PM
slowman put up this link as proof as an official 2 year delay to 2015
as i'm use to slowman misrepresenting content, i read the link
low and behold, it doesnt support his claim

Do you have a reading comprehension problem?

jackc
03-03-2010, 01:46 AM
no, but obviously you do.
as per your link, thought and probably a 2 yr delay doesnt match your 'official 2 yr delay'
it also doesnt match gates (13 mth delay)
and LM saying they will catch up using the extra test planes

lightfire
03-03-2010, 01:50 AM
You have no clue what you are talking about...

The date for the Marines will be IOC in 2012. I'll probably be at the opening ceremony for VMFAT-501. The AF is not facing the fighter gap like the Naval services are so it is not as huge of a deal as it would be for the Navy/USMC.

eeer, what about aging F-15 fleet, essp the C models?

Steak-Sauce
03-03-2010, 04:00 AM
The date for the Marines will be IOC in 2012. I'll probably be at the opening ceremony for VMFAT-501. The AF is not facing the fighter gap like the Naval services are so it is not as huge of a deal as it would be for the Navy/USMC.

From Loke2's link above:


The Marine Corps is willing to go with the less capable Block II software in 2012.

while all others want to go with Block III, and an update from the author and Aviation Week journalist Amy Butler:


An update to the entry above ... Navy officials just said they are awaiting the final program test schedule to assess the impact on their IOC of 2014. So, we could see some more slippage there ... that would leave the Marine Corps out ahead in 2012 all by itself.

Steak-Sauce
03-03-2010, 04:02 AM
Carter To Brief F-35 Partners on Program Changes
By JOHN T. BENNETT

Published: 2 Mar 2010 17:29


U.S. defense acquisition chief Ashton Carter will huddle March 4 with other military procurement chiefs about Pentagon plans to restructure the multination F-35 fighter program, a Pentagon official says.

http://www.abload.de/img/011910_f35_315axjydotjpg

A JOINT STRIKE Fighter test aircraft banks over the flightline at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (SENIOR AIRMAN JULIANNE SHOWALTER / U.S. AIR FORCE)


The high-level session will take place at prime contractor Lockheed Martin's F-35 production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, the official said.

During the "CEOs conference," as two sources called it, Carter will brief "his counterparts" from the eight nations that are Washington's official partners on the fifth-generation fighter effort, according to the Pentagon official.

Lockheed Martin spokesman Christian Geisel said the international meeting has been on the books since last April. Such sessions are held annually, he said.

Carter is set to explain to the other defense procurement chiefs in detail how the Pentagon has restructured the F-35 program, the official said. Also expected to be a part of the agenda is how DoD intends to revamp the program's annual budget, as well as details about Washington's adjusted yearly buy rate.

The United Kingdom is considered a "level one" partner on the effort, while Italy and the Netherlands are "level two partners," according to a Lockheed Martin fact sheet.

Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Turkey are listed on the fact sheet as "level three" partners," and Israel and Singapore are "foreign military sales participants."

Senior Pentagon brass late last year began a comprehensive relook at the program after an internal DoD study group estimated additional F-35 cost growth and schedule slips were coming.

That soup-to-nuts review, led by Carter, spanned several months and culminated with changes to the program's budget, buy rate and overall schedule.

The F-35 is slated to constitute the bulk of the U.S. military's future fighter arsenal. The U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines are each set to buy various models of the Lockheed-made warplane.

Attendees will "include Department of Defense, and U.S. industrial leaders and the senior leadership of international partner-country governments, militaries, and industries to receive the latest update of F-35 program status and to address any JSF program-related issues," Geisel said. "The attendee list, which will include officials from the U.S. services, "has been consistent from year to year," he added.

"Lockheed Martin and the JSF Program Office will present several joint program-update briefings on a variety of topics," Geisel said.

Source: Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4521679&c=MID&s=AIR)

Steak-Sauce
03-03-2010, 04:12 AM
Donley: JSF Cost Breach Expected

Mar 2, 2010

By Amy Butler and David A. Fulghum



U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley says a major cost overrun in the tri-service, nine-nation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is probable, and under the Nunn-McCurdy statute it would trigger an extensive, mandatory review of alternatives.

But the outcome of this review appears to already be determined. “This is a fifth-generation fighter/attack capability,” Donley told reporters during a March 2 Defense Writers Group breakfast in Washington. “There are no alternatives to that in our system. Yes, you can build the 4.5 generation, enhanced capability F-15 kind of capability. But, really there are no good alternatives to F-35 at this point. This is a program to which we are deeply committed.”

Nunn-McCurdy, named after its congressional sponsors, dictates a report to Congress when major cost or schedule breaches occur. If a program is cited, the Defense Dept. must certify to lawmakers that it is still worth pursuing. Watchdogs claimed recertifications became fait accompli over the last decade, but tougher acquisition reforms enacted last year have made the process more vigorous. To do so now, the defense secretary must certify the program is critical for national security, no alternatives of equal capability at less cost exist, updated cost estimates are sound and management is adequate to control future costs.

Donley says he is not sure when a cost breach will be declared, but the Pentagon is already taking the actions to shore up the program that it would taken if the overage had already been declared. “We’ve been taking all the mitigating and corrective actions we would take as if there were a Nunn-McCurdy breach,” he says. “But, exactly what the parameters of that might look like and when they will be reported, I’m not quite sure yet. We are still working through all these details.”

Pentagon acquisition czar Ashton Carter agrees with this position in a Feb. 24 acquisition decision memorandum (ADM) on JSF obtained by Aviation Week. The revised JSF program in the Fiscal 2011 budget is based on the Joint Estimating Team II report (prepared last fall and updated from the JET I of a year earlier). Based on the JET II, the Pentagon extends development by 13 months (a full-rate production decision is now set for November 2015), reduces production by 122 aircraft and adds an additional low-rate initial production lot, LRIP 9, to the program. It also adds a single carrier variant to the development program and pulls three LRIP aircraft into developmental testing to add to the 19 flight test assets already in the program.

Donley declined to say whether the airframe, managed by Lockheed Martin, or the engine, handled by Pratt & Whitney contributed to the preponderance of the cost increase. Both have experienced cost growth. Carter’s ADM notes that the F135 engine experienced “substantial cost growth,” based on a review by an F135 Joint Assessment Team.

Donley says that there is a “program management clutch,” during which officials are making the “transition from all the independent estimate data back into resetting and restructuring the program.”

The JET II analysis is a 50% confidence estimate; it has an equal chance of overestimating and underestimating the program.

Donley notes that ground-based testing on items such as materiel, fabrication and load testing have produced positive results, although not enough flight testing has taken place to have an impression moving forward on the flight side. “These are not unusual issues for where this program is in making the transition from development into production. This is typical from every flying machine that you can think of,” he says. “As difficult a challenge as this is, it is worse and it is more expensive to stop production lines and then to restart them.”

Donley attributes much of the delay to airframe availability, which is under the purview of Lockheed Martin. The Air Force last week announced a slip of initial operational capability (IOC) for its conventional-takeoff-and-landing F-35 from 2013 to late calendar year 2015, and Navy officials are assessing the impact to their planned IOC in 2014.

The Pentagon is in the midst of negotiating LRIP 4 with Lockheed Martin, and Donley appears hopeful that the contractor can produce the aircraft below prices cited by independent estimates. This could allow the Defense Dept. to buy more aircraft per year than planned; the Fiscal 2011 spending plan sliced 122 aircraft from the next five years to allow for $2.8 billion be added into the development program. Donley declined to say how many aircraft could be bought above the planned numbers using this “buy-to-budget” strategy.

Carter’s ADM says that the Pentagon is making preparations to buy long-lead items for 48 aircraft in Fiscal 2011; the official request is for 43 aircraft. This indicates a hope that five extra aircraft can be purchased in Fiscal 2011. It is unclear whether the Pentagon would have to waive a “buy-to-budget” rule that limits the number of aircraft procured with such a strategy to no more than 10% of the approved purchase number.

“The independent cost estimates for Lot 4 and out exceeded the negotiated price that we had already arrived at for Lot 3, so we think we probably shouldn’t be paying more for Lot 4 than we are for Lot 3,” Donley says. “We should be working up the learning curve and down the cost curve. We think there is a little bit of a difference out there with the might cost, should cost and can cost. We’d like to get more jets in that space.”

Source: Aviation Week (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/awx/2010/03/02/awx_03_02_2010_p0-208548.xml&headline=Donley:%20JSF%20Cost%20Breach%20Expected&channel=defense)

NineLine
03-03-2010, 09:35 AM
eeer, what about aging F-15 fleet, essp the C models?

It's not as bad as the media and people make it out to be...

Scooter2
03-04-2010, 12:45 AM
No it is not. It is still running and it will continue to run if the congress orders more next year.


The F-22 production line is open. Yet, more F-22 is out of the question. The F-35 will proceed and will be purchased by the three American Services in large numbers.

Scooter2
03-04-2010, 12:56 AM
Lockheed Martin need the unholy sh1t kicked out of them for this - its an absolute disgrace and I bet Kelly Johnson is spinning in his grave. I cannot believe they had the utter stupidity to shut the F-22 line, cut the fleet back to 183 because a plane that hadn't even finish a few test flights yet was supposed to be the uber craft.

....... this is bad, bad news.


Let's see the suppliers are way behind on parts for the F-35. So, the flight test schedule is move back. WOW.......the end of the world is coming!


Seriously, the F-35 has no major designs flaws nor any major technical hurdle's that it's not been able to over come.

Sorry, the F-35 will go on and will be a very successful program.

Scooter2
03-04-2010, 01:02 AM
The best solution is to buy more F-22s and Super Hornets.

Export of 200 F-22s to willing foreign buyers would lower the cost of additional F-22s for USAF, while additional Super Hornets can be had for $45 million each.


As I said the F-22 is dead and its not coming back. As for the Super Hornet its hardly an ideal long term solution. That said the USN will likely purchase a a couple dozen more. Yet, even then it has more to do with jobs and keeping the production line open. Because "Boeing" has hope of winning contests in India and Brazil. (India likely, Brazil not so likely!)

hay_txa
03-04-2010, 01:46 AM
can someone tell me if usaf version of f-35 is going to be vtol too ? if yes, why ? if no, is it going to be the same price ?

same goes for other air forces interested.

tjj
03-04-2010, 02:58 AM
can someone tell me if usaf version of f-35 is going to be vtol too ? if yes, why ? if no, is it going to be the same price ?

same goes for other air forces interested.

The USAF is getting the F-35A conventional version not the F-35B STOVL. I would think the F-35A model would be cheaper due to the lack of the lift fan system and more projected to be built.

Scooter2
03-04-2010, 03:03 AM
can someone tell me if usaf version of f-35 is going to be vtol too ? if yes, why ? if no, is it going to be the same price ?

same goes for other air forces interested.


tjj is right the current plan is to purchase only F-35A's. Yet, the USAF has expressed some interest in the STOVL F-35B. Which, could operate closer to the troops in a similar role to the A-10A.


In the short-term only F-35A's............in the future "possibly" F-35B's.

Kongjun33
03-04-2010, 04:56 AM
Another year like this for the JSF program, and trust me this would be the end of the story... Some partners get really nervous on it!

Steak-Sauce
03-04-2010, 07:50 AM
Yet, the USAF has expressed some interest in the STOVL F-35B. Which, could operate closer to the troops in a similar role to the A-10A.
In the short-term only F-35A's............in the future "possibly" F-35B's.

Why should the USAF operate F-35A and than switch to F-35B? That doesn't make any sense, especially regarding "closer to the troops". The A-10 has no STOVL capability as far as I know and works fine as a CAS aircraft, and I think the F-35A would do just the same.

xav
03-04-2010, 07:52 AM
The A-10 has no STOVL capability as far as I know and works fine as a CAS aircraft, and I think the F-35A would do just the same.

Minus the 30 mm GAU-8 :D but granted F35B wouldn't get one either

xav
03-04-2010, 10:49 AM
Analyst considers a world without the F-35
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2010/03/analyst-considers-a-world-with.html

DoD: We'll Buy Fewer F-35s if Costs Keep Rising
http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4523984&c=AME&s=AIR

U.S. Marines May Get Some Non-STOVL F-35s
http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4523769&c=AME&s=AIR

Steak-Sauce
03-04-2010, 11:32 AM
Incredible good links Xav, thanks a lot for posting.


Analyst considers a world without the F-35
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2010/03/analyst-considers-a-world-with.html

Especially James Hasik's entry How to Kill the Joint Strike Fighter (http://www.jameshasik.com/) is worth reading.

Rapier55
03-04-2010, 01:05 PM
The F-35 Fighter Program Is Doing Fine. Really.



Author: Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D.

Date: Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tags: F-35
A journalist friend of mine left a message on my voicemail this week requesting comments on the "continuing implosion" of the F-35 joint strike fighter program. The drumbeat of negative stories about the program has become so persistent that many people who aren't paying close attention think the effort is deeply troubled -- so much so that it might come unraveled. That would certainly be bad news, because three of the five U.S. military services are counting on F-35 variants to replace aging Cold War aircraft, and they have few alternatives if the program fails.
The reality, though, is that F-35 is progressing better than any other major aircraft development program around the world, either military or civil. If you doubt that, then take a look at the Airbus A380 jumbojet or its A400M military transport. If either of those programs ever come to fruition as profitable undertakings, I will dip this blog posting in melted brie and eat it. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is in better shape -- it will eventually be a big moneymaker -- but it isn't progressing anywhere near as steadily as the F-35. No joke: F-35 is the most successful major aircraft development program in the world today.
So why does it seem like the program is in trouble? Well, mainly because it is moving through its flight tests too slowly, and therefore will require more time than planned to reach some developmental milestones. But what gets lost in the news coverage is that these delays are not resulting from design or performance problems -- unlike the controversial alternate engine GE wants to build for the plane, which had to be redesigned after repeated test failures. Using its primary Pratt & Whitney engine, F-35 is proving to be more reliable than any other developmental fighter in modern times, as a letter in the Wall Street Journal Wednesday from program executive Tom Burbage noted. The simple truth is that F-35 is performing remarkably well in both ground and flight tests -- which is why the Marine Corps and Navy told Congress last week that they still expect their versions of the plane to become operational in 2012 and 2014.

It appears that the F-35 program has gotten ensnarled in the kind of episodic media coverage where every little problem gets breathlessly reported, but nobody ever manages to describe the overall state of the program. The problems, such as they are, arise mainly from a disagreement between the Bush and Obama administrations about how much up-front testing is required, combined with some excessively pessimistic forecasts about how much the program will cost to execute over the next few years. The forecasts, prepared under the sponsorship of the Pentagon's Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation shop, aren't actually based on how the program is progressing -- they are based mainly on how previous programs have unfolded. So when you hear that F-35 costs are rising, or that the program will breach Nunn-McCurdy thresholds on cost growth, don't just take such assertions at face value. They're probably wrong.

It's still early in the testing program, so for all I know some problem will crop up later that needs to be addressed. But thus far, it hasn't. F-35 still looks like the future of tactical aviation, a fighter so stealthy, agile, versatile and effective that buying anything else would put countries at a severe operational disadvantage in the future. The program isn't imploding and the defense department isn't having doubts about whether it should still be funded. Developing world-class fighters is one area where America is still number one, and F-35 is proving that fact every day.




Lexington Institute (http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org/the-f-35-fighter-program-is-doing-fine-really?a=1&c=1171)
p-):)

Snapdad
03-04-2010, 01:38 PM
Another year like this for the JSF program, and trust me this would be the end of the story... Some partners get really nervous on it!
No way. There is simply no alternative to this program and so it must and will succeed. It doesn't sound like there are any serious technical hurdles that would threaten that anyway, just the normal cost inflation that while bad does not really threaten the existence of this vital program.

Snapdad
03-04-2010, 01:51 PM
Why should the USAF operate F-35A and than switch to F-35B? That doesn't make any sense, especially regarding "closer to the troops". The A-10 has no STOVL capability as far as I know and works fine as a CAS aircraft, and I think the F-35A would do just the same.

They could eventually operate both versions, not "switch to". The rationale would be similar to the reason the Marines think STOVL is a good idea, it keeps support close to the front lines even if airfields are not available, as they sometime are not. It is an intriguing idea to have the Air Force form an expeditionary-type air wing but this would of course be secondary to getting the all important CTOL version in production. It is just a possible additional capability for down the road.

Steak-Sauce
03-04-2010, 02:13 PM
Just a few remarks to Loren B. Thompson's article:

First, no one really doubts that the F-35 will be a success. From what I've read about the whole JSF program is that it gets more costly as expected. That could be a problem for buyer nations such as Australia, which might have to reduce their order when a single F-35 costs as much as two 4.5 generation fighters, such as Boeing's Super Hornet or the Eurofighter.

Second,


The reality, though, is that F-35 is progressing better than any other major aircraft development program around the world, either military or civil. If you doubt that, then take a look at the Airbus A380 jumbojet or its A400M military transport. If either of those programs ever come to fruition as profitable undertakings, I will dip this blog posting in melted brie and eat it. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is in better shape -- it will eventually be a big moneymaker -- but it isn't progressing anywhere near as steadily as the F-35. No joke: F-35 is the most successful major aircraft development program in the world today.

I fail to see a connection between F-35, A380 and A400M. All three are entirely different aircrafts. Airbus' double-deck jumbo isn't nearly as "important" as the F-35, since the latter is expected to be the future standard fighter in three of five branches of the United States military. Why do people compare the biggest and most modern civilian airliner with a 5th generation stealth fighter? Of course the A380 will be a profitable undertaking, otherwise we wouldn't see the production line running and civilian airlines ordering the A380, or continue to fly it on their most important routes. If the author wants to make the A380 look bad, he may take a look at Boeing's 747-8. From the ca. 100 orders so far, only a third has been placed for the passenger variant. Boeing is more or less developing a very expensive frighter, imo. As for the A400M, why shouldn't it turn out to be a successful transport? Because the engine manufacturer screwed up and the program is three years late? That doesn't mean it won't be the workhorse of some of Europe's air forces and honestly - did anyone seriously thought that EADS would really cancel the A400M? Concerning the 787, the program runs at least two years behind schedule and isn't anywhere near the A380 in terms of seating capacity, but more comparable to the A330-200/300 and of course A350.

Third,


The simple truth is that F-35 is performing remarkably well in both ground and flight tests -- which is why the Marine Corps and Navy told Congress last week that they still expect their versions of the plane to become operational in 2012 and 2014.

As mentioned by me in another thread (I think), the USMC will get the Block II F-35, while the Air Force wants the Block III aircrafts. I always thought the F-35 will perform well in the tests (and didn't expect anything else), yet the author seems to forget that the USAF moved the IOC date from 2012 to 2014.

Fourth,


Developing world-class fighters is one area where America is still number one, and F-35 is proving that fact every day.

With respect to the author and the United States, but you're not the only ones producing world class fighters. I have to admit parts of the article are well written, but some passages sound more like a rant against Europe's aircraft industry - at least to me.

Steak-Sauce
03-04-2010, 02:19 PM
The rationale would be similar to the reason the Marines think STOVL is a good idea, it keeps support close to the front lines even if airfields are not available, as they sometime are not.

MattG, I highly doubt the Marines will operate an highly advanced and sophisticated aircraft like the F-35B from small dirt*****-like places near the frontline. New versions of the OV-10 Bronco or A-1 Skyraider would be better choices for such task.

Chimera
03-04-2010, 02:23 PM
Don't know if it's been posted before:


How to Kill the Joint Strike Fighter

There are now very few options for Gates or Congress. Anything done will result in greater costs in the long run. They have made their bed and now they are stuck with having to sleep with doo-doo between the sheets. — US congressional staff member quoted in Colin Clark, “Hill Reacts to F-​​35 IOC Shift,” DoD Buzz, 22 February 2010.

Back in February, we all got to watch Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri, who represents the area around the factory that makes the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, rather lecture US Defense Secretary Bob Gates about the difference between his favorite plane and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Akin was particularly miffed that the secretary wouldn’t commit to another multiyear contract for Super Hornets, which would lower the cost per aircraft (according to Gates) by roughly six percent. As the congressman’s press release put it, “the Super Hornet [has] an active production line, and is dramatically cheaper than the JSF, which may not deliver anywhere close to on time.”

Indeed, as Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz acknowledged on 18 February, the JSF program is breaching its Nunn-McCurdy spending limit. Moreover, it’s now not just hugely over budget, but another thirteen months behind schedule. As Defense News reported, the plane's system design and development will now run through at least 2015, two years after the US Air Force had planned to begin operating its F-35As.

Having doubled down on his bet, but without all the information he should have gotten, Gates is understandably torqued. The secretary does have a reputation for results through righteous indignation: just witness the MRAP phenomenon. Thus did Bill Sweetman of Aviation Week cite Voltaire’s Candide in describing the defense secretary’s firing the JSF’s program manager, Major General of Marines David Heinz: dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres. It is true, as Stephen Trimble of Flight Global pointed out, that Lockheed Martin’s program manager is still in place. But while “Dan Crowley doesn’t work for the secretary of defense,” as General Schwartz told him, “he’s short $600 million. That ain’t trivial.”

Let’s take this a stage further. Would it be possible not just to shoot a general or a program manager, but rather, the whole program? The challenges appear overwhelmingly huge. In the United States, the leadership of the USAF and the USMC see no clear alternative to simply continuing to pour whatever money they must into the program. (The Navy is an exception, and I’ll get to that below.) But the US has a further problem: the airplane is not just joint, it’s international. Like the International Space Station, the JSF is still stumbling along in part because it’s too international to deorbit.

Those partner countries that have signed up for the program do have alternatives, and that points to the list of parties with a commercial or political interest in termination. Even Lockheed Martin, though, should think long and hard about how its competitors might work this issue. Boeing could stand the most to gain, and has a particular interest in killing the F-35C, the tailhook version which competes for the Navy’s funding with the F/A-18E/F—an airplane for which the Navy has shown increased affection of late. Close behind though would stand Saab, Dassault, and EADS (as the one shareholder in Eurofighter GmbH with little interest in the JSF program). These three European companies have an interest in killing the F-35A, the conventional land-based version, as Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Canada, Turkey, and Australia would all open up as marketing targets (Belgium and even Portugal might eventually make that list as well). Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, and Alenia are perhaps of split opinions, in that all are major subcontractors to Lockheed Martin for the F-35, but that each has interests in the X-47B or Eurofighter programs, which would stand to gain from the F-35’s loss. In short, most of the combat aircraft industry would arguably like to kill this thing, and the rest is at best dispassionate.

So, whether as an ambition or a red-teaming exercise, just how would one go about trying to kill the JSF? There is a host of arguments to make to every government involved today, and there are two fronts on which to press:

1. Fracture international expectation
2. Skip that generation of weapons

These points cover what the JSF isn’t today, and won’t be in the future, so they’re worth considering in sequence.


FRACTURING INTERNATIONAL EXPECTATION

The first move, that is, may be best made overseas. If more than one participating state could be pulled off its commitment to JSF purchases, particularly before the JSF enters full-rate production, then the United States government’s commitment to see the program through for its partners could abate. The most tempting targets could be those countries with commitments both to recapitalize military equipment and for collective security activities overseas: money for troop carriers that certainly will be used is probably more emergent than that for fighter aircraft that probably won’t. And almost any alternative the the JSF—Eurofighter, Gripen, Rafale, Super Hornet, even Lockheed’s own F-16 Block 60—offers budgetary certainty that the JSF program cannot deliver.

This gets to the first argument against the program, and in almost any country in the program (the possible exception is Australia). Today’s budgetary madness has to stop. It is almost amusing when Ashton Carter, the Pentagon’s procurement chief, says that military spending will keep on rising for the foreseeable future. It is slightly more reassuring when Pentagon comptroller Robert Hale admits that Pentagon budgets will drop, but less so when he claims that spending for the F-35 will be effectively ring-fenced. More realistically, any bipartisan commission for balancing the federal budget, as announced just last month, will not be able to avoid recommending military spending cuts, and the JSF is simply the unavoidably biggest part of the investment accounts. Thus, the response to any Nunn-McCurdy breach shouldn’t be another reach for the rubber stamp. [1]

In light of the aforementioned misfortunes with the program, some bet-hedging in the US is already under way. As Andrea Shalal-Esa of ******* wrote back in January, the draft Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2011 requests another 12 EA-18Gs and 22 F/A-18E/Fs for not quite $3 billion. That would bring total orders of -18s, both Growlers and Super Hornets, to 304 aircraft, at an average cost of about $86 million each.

This gets to the second argument against the program, and one which Boeing has been cautiously advancing so far. The JSF is just not militarily vital. Several years ago, I asked the head of strategy at a European aircraft manufacturer why his company had no obvious plans for a fighter beyond the current model. “All our customers,” he said, “have enough fighters for chasing Cessnas for the next fifty years.” The next generation of unmanned strike aircraft is alluring, but the air sovereignty mission is just not so compelling today. For frankly, there’s just no threat anywhere that calls for such a huge fleet of land-based fighter aircraft.

Consider the United States, just to start. The Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps together have not just the most powerful air fleet in the world, but also the largest in number of jet-powered combat aircraft. The next largest armadas is probably Russia’s, with almost 2200 aircraft. Even if Russia were a plausible opponent, the rest of NATO has its air force outnumbered even without the US on board. And given Russia’s long-term finances and demographics, that number will be shrinking. China’s air fleet is of comparable size—read, smaller than America’s—but it’s also remarkably unimpressive. China’s most numerous jet fighter is a copy of the MiG-21. Then again, one doesn’t fight the Chinese without necessarily having either the Japanese or the Taiwanese—and their significant air forces—on board. After that, the ranks thin out fast. Sidestepping India (another implausible opponent), the next largest air force is North Korea’s: more than 600 aircraft on paper, but not so many that are flyable or fueled. Besides, South Korea has over 500 aircraft, and of far better quality in men and materiel. Iran? Not half that many flyable machines.

Worst of all, the F-35 definitely fails to address the biggest deficiency in combat aviation today: electronic warfare. There’s no plan yet for an EF-35, and the idea of mating jamming pods to a stealthy airframe could be a little strange. Besides, as Shalal-Esa of ******* noted, the FY11 budget has more EF-18G Growlers because “military commanders considered them an urgent need.” The JSF? Not so much.

It’s notable that this anxiousness over flight line numbers doesn’t quite get called a gap. Not so with naval fighters, for naval aviation is far more important than land-based aviation. Go back, for the moment, to the point about China. If one does fight the Chinese, comparatively short-ranged land-based fighters like the F-35A won’t be of much help. Where would they fly from? Taiwan is over 1400 nautical miles from Guam. Worse, as a group of researchers at RAND noted in 2001,

the current USAF base at Kadena [on Okinawa] is nearly 500 nautical miles away from the Strait. As a result, F-15 or F-16 fighters operating from that base would probably need to maintain combat air patrol (CAP) orbits near Taiwan, since they could not launch and transit in response to warnings of a Chinese air attack headed for Taiwan. This is in contrast to, say, a carrier stationed 50 nautical miles off Taiwan’s east coast, whose aircraft would need to fly only about 175 nm to get to the centerline and could therefore be more responsive to incoming raids.

Kadena may also suffer from limitations in its ability to support high-tempo operations by a large force of combat aircraft. The base currently hosts two squadrons totaling 48 F-15C fighters, a special operations group, an air refueling squadron, a reconnaissance squadron, an AWACS squadron, and a search-and-rescue squadron. In addition, it is an important transit point for airlift activity in the Western Pacific. Kadena is, in other words, a busy place even day to day, and it is not clear how many more aircraft could be operated out of the base under combat conditions. [2]

Change the phase to “two squadrons totaling 48 F-22 fighters,” and the result isn’t much different vis-à-vis the F-35A. That airfield is also an easy target for a SCUD-type missile, as the nearest Chinese territory is only 450 nautical miles away. So, until the American government develops the intestinal fortitude needed to actually offer the Taiwanese a USAF fighter wing on its home soil, there’s no point in talking about the utility of the F-35A against China.

Of course, the F-35C—the tailhook shipboard version—could be very helpful, but that aircraft is said to have significant structural problems at this late stage in the game. Still, as the Royal Navy and the US Marines know, there is more than one way to send fighter aircraft to sea. It may be useful for Lockheed’s opponents to concede the value of the F-35B as a short takeoff, vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft. If crassly, it’s the one variant that directly offends neither the American (Boeing) nor European (Saab, Dassault, EADS) branches of any anti-Lockheed coalition. Indeed, as an Anglo-Italian-American airplane, it provides plenty of work to BAE Systems and Alenia. Encouraging the DoD and the MoD to pour their money into that corner could lessen enthusiasm for the F-35A, which is the least essential airplane for the Americans, and the only one that anyone outside those three countries wants.

What everyone wants, though, is not just aircraft, but that which the JSF program explicitly denies. The F-35 offers no operational sovereignty to overseas customers. All three European alternatives the JSF—Eurofighter, Rafale, and Gripen—come with access to software codes that the US government steadfastly refuses to provide. Without those, the F-35 is not locally upgradeable.Worse, the JSF program expects everyone’s aircraft to fly to Texas for servicing, which means that it’s not locally maintainable either.


SKIPPING THAT GENERATION OF WEAPONS

The whole situation is just plain crazy for customers, and particularly in the long run. Lockheed’s unflinching acceptance of the government’s withholding of funds is quite telling here. The JSF, after all, was supposed to put everyone but Lockheed and Sukhoi out of the fighter aircraft business. Six hundred million dollars is a small price to pay for that. This gets to the possibility, as presidential candidate George W. Bush spoke in September 1999, of skipping the generation of weapons of which the F-35 is a part. That time may seem a world away now, but as noted above, what hasn’t increased is potential enemies fighter aircraft fleets. If there are near-peer challengers out there, they lie over a decade away. There’s some safety, for now at least, in another ten year rule.

In this context, the case against the JSF rests not just with its high costs, faltering schedule, and centralized control, but with what would be possible if a fraction of the money freed up. If the F-35A won’t be greatly helpful against the Chinese, then the Pentagon ought to get working on what would be. As they have gotten squeezed out of manned combat jet purchases around the world, Northrop and Boeing have turned towards pushing the envelope in the unmanned field. From here, striving for breakthrough performance with modest technical risk, but grounded in the existing asset base, assails the investment of so much money in Lockheed’s plane. Could an F-18F be equipped to control a wingman X-47B? Boeing and Northrop may find common ground to pursue such a demonstration. The Navy Department would have its own reasons for supporting such a project, as it would point to a future beyond the Super Hornet, but cost-effectively bridged by it.

Northrop Grumman may not be the only partner in this enterprise. Specifically, we should ask whether Boeing ought to cooperate in this matter with Saab. Boeing, for the immediate future, doesn’t have a stake in anything but the -18 program. The Gripen and the Super Hornet could be reasonable cousins in respect of marketing, in that they are both pitched as affordable aircraft, well down the learning curve of production, that have proven upgradeable over time. Further, both companies have big problems with the F-35. Saab is competing against a single-engine machine whose program has been holding forth vast promises of (yet mostly unrealized) offset business for years. Boeing is competing for the future of its whole combat aircraft franchise. Perhaps critically, Saab and Boeing are arguably, on the international market, the least rivalrous of all the possible pairs. It’s a single engine versus multi-engine thing.

For companies like Boeing, there is a political angle here as well. Todd Akin may merely be doing his Missourian duty in boosting Boeing, but it’s important to note that he’s also a Republican. Now that Barack Obama has permanently sundered the Democratic party’s illusions of being more fiscally responsible than the GOP, it’s worth wondering how Republican candidates might approach the question of military spending in not just 2010, but 2012. They can repeat the usual mantras, or they can actually argue for across the board cuts in all federal spending, including that for entitlements and the armed forces. Like the Tories today in the UK, preparing for the general election late this year, they can browbeat the government of the day on its management of military more than its commitment to it. They can argue for spending less money, but spending it smarter. And that’s a case that any politician can make with a straight face.


NOTES

1. See Jim Cooper and Russell Rumbaugh, “Real Acquisition Reform,” Joint Forces Quarterly, 4th quarter 2009.

2. Zalmay Khalilzad et al., The United States and Asia: Toward a New U.S. Strategy and Force Posture, RAND, 2001, pp. 70–71.


http://www.jameshasik.com/weblog/2010/03/how-to-kill-the-joint-strike-fighter-1.html

Snapdad
03-04-2010, 03:06 PM
MattG, I highly doubt the Marines will operate an highly advanced and sophisticated aircraft like the F-35B from small dirt*****-like places near the frontline. New versions of the OV-10 Bronco or A-1 Skyraider would be better choices for such task.

You mean like they currently employ the Harrier? They do it now so it stands to reason they will keep operating that way. I believe they put down some sort of metal planks on the dirt to reduce foreign object ingestion. They also operate from amphibious ships and traditional airfields. Marines are all about expeditionary warfare.

By the same token the aircraft you mention are excellent COIN platforms even if no longer operational. The Iraqi Air Force has a similar approach with low tech low speed but very effective COIN aircraft and there is a lot to say for that approach. Unfortunately high-speed sexy fighter planes seem to be the only ones that get the funding these days. At least we still have the AC-130 and a few remaining A-10 Warthogs are being refurbished.

Rapier55
03-04-2010, 04:24 PM
I fail to see a connection between F-35, A380 and A400M. All three are entirely different aircrafts. Airbus' double-deck jumbo isn't nearly as "important" as the F-35, since the latter is expected to be the future standard fighter in three of five branches of the United States military. Why do people compare the biggest and most modern civilian airliner with a 5th generation stealth fighter? Of course the A380 will be a profitable undertaking, otherwise we wouldn't see the production line running and civilian airlines ordering the A380, or continue to fly it on their most important routes. .

I think you missed his point because you feel chafed he used European programs that are late and overbudget. The key words were "modern aircraft development program." I would hope you could see the parallels, from conception and design to gear-up first flight, when it comes to cost as a function of time in developing any modern aircraft, regardless of its end-use or customer. This goes for most any major acquisition. In addition, I would add that LM has been very overt in emulating EADS/Airbus' way of building airfact with the F-35. The automation, software, simulations and global network of suppliers/partners is part of their "new way" of building aircarft.

If the author wants to make the A380 look bad, he may take a look at Boeing's 747-8. From the ca. 100 orders so far, only a third has been placed for the passenger variant. Boeing is more or less developing a very expensive frighter, imo. As for the A400M, why shouldn't it turn out to be a successful transport? Because the engine manufacturer screwed up and the program is three years late? That doesn't mean it won't be the workhorse of some of Europe's air forces and honestly - did anyone seriously thought that EADS would really cancel the A400M? Concerning the 787, the program runs at least two years behind schedule and isn't anywhere near the A380 in terms of seating capacity, but more comparable to the A330-200/300 and of course A350.
You're comparing apples and oranges. The 747-8 is only an extension of a 30 year old design intended to offer a cheap alternative to the A380. It is not a completly new design from the ground up, like the A380. The point being driven by Thompson is modern aircraft development. You're linking orders placed and commerical success with developmental issues in building new aircraft, completly two different phases.

dracon49
03-04-2010, 04:29 PM
It's right that the program will be delayed for years?

Karaahmetoglu
03-04-2010, 07:37 PM
Lets say the F-22 was cleared for export and lets say all the countries buying the F-35 now instead bought the F-22, what would that bring the price down to?

NineLine
03-04-2010, 09:08 PM
MattG, I highly doubt the Marines will operate an highly advanced and sophisticated aircraft like the F-35B from small dirt*****-like places near the frontline. New versions of the OV-10 Bronco or A-1 Skyraider would be better choices for such task.

A) We operated like that in Iraq and Afghanistan.

B) Those airframes are outdated for the mission required of an all weather STOVL aircraft. COIN aircraft yeah ok, but not dedicated all weather CAS.

Gain some experience in the field and you'll understand capabilities that are required when you put Marines ashore.

void
03-04-2010, 10:37 PM
A) We operated like that in Iraq and Afghanistan.

B) Those airframes are outdated for the mission required of an all weather STOVL aircraft. COIN aircraft yeah ok, but not dedicated all weather CAS.

Gain some experience in the field and you'll understand capabilities that are required when you put Marines ashore.

Will the F-35 be able to perform CAS well? As I understand it it will be unarmoured and lack the kind of survivability features of the A-10, as well being too fast.

Elbs
03-04-2010, 10:40 PM
Hornets and Harriers seem to be doing pretty well when fitted with LGBs and LITENING pods... and they're pretty fast as well.

void
03-04-2010, 10:51 PM
Hornets and Harriers seem to be doing pretty well when fitted with LGBs and LITENING pods... and they're pretty fast as well.

Is that classified as CAS thought? I guess my impression of CAS is more along the lines of the kind of tasks fulfilled by the A-10 and the Su-25. I would have thought the SH and Harriers operate a bit too high to be "close" air support.

I can't think of a name
03-05-2010, 01:46 AM
Is that classified as CAS thought? I guess my impression of CAS is more along the lines of the kind of tasks fulfilled by the A-10 and the Su-25. I would have thought the SH and Harriers operate a bit too high to be "close" air support.

Google EOTS

void
03-05-2010, 02:03 AM
Google EOTS

Would you classify an F-15E or a B-1B with an EOTS targetting pod as a CAS aircraft? I know this is just semantics but still...

hay_txa
03-05-2010, 03:03 AM
pay 100 mil for f-35 and use it as cas ? one bullet would **** up its whole stealth thingy. who's crazy (or maybe stupid) enough to use stealth aircraft for cas ?

Rapier55
03-05-2010, 12:55 PM
^^^ Wow, haha.
Back to News...

Sypris Wins Orders for Joint Strike Fighter Program
Assemblies Used in Avionics Suite Designed by Northrop Grumman



TAMPA, Fla., Mar 04, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Sypris Electronics LLC, a subsidiary of Sypris Solutions, Inc., announced today that it has been awarded follow-on orders from Northrop Grumman Information Systems to provide electronic assemblies for the communications, navigation and identification (CNI) avionics system on Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program. These additional orders bring the program total to approximately $10 million since the Company's initial award in 2005.
Sypris Electronics is providing assemblies for the CNI Avionics Interface Controller (two per aircraft) and CNI Processor (five per aircraft), each of which serve as critical communications modules in the avionics suite. The Northrop Grumman avionics system is built on software-defined radio technology that provides F-35 pilots with the consolidated capabilities of more than 40 avionics subsystems.
The F-35 is a supersonic, multirole, 5th generation stealth fighter. Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide, will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for nine nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.
"Sypris Electronics is proud to be a key supplier to and partner of Northrop Grumman on the CNI next-generation avionics system supporting the multi-billion dollar, multi-national Joint Strike Fighter program," John Walsh, President of Sypris Electronics. "Our proven expertise in designing, developing and manufacturing secure communications and situational awareness technologies for the Department of Defense and Prime communities continues to play an important role in our Nation's security."
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
Sypris Electronics is a world-class, integrated systems solutions provider. Our ruggedized electronic products, advanced engineering services and complete electronic manufacturing capabilities are aligned to provide our customers the best people, practices and technologies to continually exceed expectations. We consistently promote an agile, innovative culture by strategically partnering with leading-edge technology companies, agencies and universities. With over 40 years of experience, Sypris Electronics is proud to develop, manufacture and integrate leading technologies into mission critical electronics systems that secure America's interest. Visit www.sypriselectronics.com (http://www.sypriselectronics.com) for additional company information.
Source (http://www.marke****ch.com/story/sypris-wins-orders-for-joint-strike-fighter-program-2010-03-04?reflink=MW_news_stmp)

Rapier55
03-05-2010, 12:56 PM
GKN Aerospace To Provide JSF Parts for BAE



By andrew chuter
Published: 4 Mar 2010 08:33

GKN Aerospace has sealed a deal with BAE Systems to supply up to $200 million of composite and metallic structures for the multination Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.

The contract is the first major package of JSF work to come into GKN's United Kingdom factories and the first non-Airbus work to be carried out at the company's Filton, England, plant following acquisition of the operation from the airliner manufacturer last year.
Composite fuselage parts will be supplied to BAE from GKN's facility on the Isle of Wight, England, while titanium metal structures machining work is being spilt between facilities in Filton and the company's St Louis plant in the United States.
The agreement with BAE will push the British-based aerostructures and components company work on the Joint Strike Fighter to around $2.5 million per aircraft.
Other work already being undertaken by GKN includes supply of the canopy transparency, titanium and composite structures for the airframe and engine and an electro-thermal ice protection system for the powerplant. To date, the work has been predominantly undertaken at company facilities in the U.S.
Frank Bamford, the senior vice president of business development and strategy at GKN Aerospace, said he was optimistic there will be further opportunities to secure work packages on the fighter program as the aircraft moves towards series production.
The agreement with BAE covers fuselage work on all three versions of the F-35 Lightning II fighter.
BAE is a partner in the JSF program alongside prime contractor Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. The British company is lead manufacturer responsible for the aft fuselage, vertical and horizontal tails and wing tips.
The GKN deal is the latest in a string of agreements signed by the JSF partner companies to source composite and metallic structures and parts from across the globe. Companies in Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Turkey, the U.S. and the U.K. have been signed up to provide parts for the multibillion dollar fighter program.

DefenseNews (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4524687&c=EUR&s=TOP)

NineLine
03-05-2010, 03:22 PM
pay 100 mil for f-35 and use it as cas ? one bullet would **** up its whole stealth thingy. who's crazy (or maybe stupid) enough to use stealth aircraft for cas ?

There is a reduced cost realized from producing one aircraft for all three services. Stealth happens to be the wave of the future. Yes, we're using stealth for a CAS aircraft. Read up on the six functions of Marine Air and it will probably make more sense to you. Types of munition do not constitute CAS. Having TIC with a request over the net to put lead/warheads on foreheads is what makes close air support. Not vice versa. Harriers rountinely operate near the deck to put munitions on target. British Harriers during the cold war were extremely good at low levels.

2495
03-05-2010, 03:28 PM
GKN Aerospace To Provide JSF Parts for BAE


DefenseNews (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4524687&c=EUR&s=TOP)

GKN Aerospace have a massive work effort in the X-47B as well - providing the outer wing and centre fuselage, as well as composite skins (this is GKN USA arm) The company has masses of experience to draw on and is a good partnership for BAe.

I approves. :)

Scooter2
03-07-2010, 02:22 PM
Another year like this for the JSF program, and trust me this would be the end of the story... Some partners get really nervous on it!



Not even close! Many Military Aircraft programs have suffered far worse........with the V-22 Osprey coming to mind. (several aircraft crashing and many people lost) Let's not forget that even such programs like the SU-35 and F-22 have lost aircraft during there development. While, the F-35 has lost nothing.


In short the F-35 is not even close to being canceled.

Chimera
03-07-2010, 02:41 PM
Not even close! Many Military Aircraft programs have suffered far worse........with the V-22 Osprey coming to mind. (several aircraft crashing and many people lost) Let's not forget that even such programs like the SU-35 and F-22 have lost aircraft during there development. While, the F-35 has lost nothing.

You don't get it.

It's an international program. Some countries will soon not be able to afford F35s unless reducing the number of aircrafts ordered and thus having micro fleets. I am sure the US will sort it out on their own but it is not the case for all partner nations. Whether it crashes during devlpmt or not, It's not the point here.

Rapier55
03-07-2010, 03:51 PM
Sypris provides components for Joint Strike Fighter


TAMPA, Fla. 6 March 2010. Sypris Electronics, LLC, will provide electronic assemblies for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program (http://mae.pennnet.com/display_article/372899/32/ARTCL/none/none/1/F-35-Joint-Strike-Fighter-leverages-COTS-for-avionics-systems-/).
Sypris Electronics is providing assemblies for the communications, navigation, and identification (CNI) Avionics Interface Controller (two per aircraft) and CNI Processor (five per aircraft), each of which serve as communications modules (http://mae.pennnet.com/display_article/372933/32/ARTCL/none/INDNW/1/CompactPCI-and-PMC-serial-communications-interface-modules-introduced-by-X-ES/) in the avionics suite. The Northrop Grumman avionics system (http://avi.pennnet.com/display_article/350151/143/ARTCL/none/INDNW/1/First-Marine-Corps-UH-1Y-Helicopter-with-Northrop-Grumman-integrated-cockpit-deploys/) is built on software-defined radio (http://mae.pennnet.com/display_article/369336/32/ARTCL/none/EXCON/1/Software-defined-radio-communications:-a-spectrum-of-possibilities-for-military-communications-on-the-road-to-cognitive-radio/) technology that provides F-35 pilots with the consolidated capabilities of more than 40 avionics subsystems.

The F-35 is a supersonic, multirole, 5th generation stealth fighter. Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide, will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for nine nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.

mae.com (http://mae.pennnet.com/display_article/373199/32/ARTCL/none/EXECW/1/Sypris-provides-components-for-Joint-Strike-Fighter/)

Scooter2
03-07-2010, 07:48 PM
You don't get it.

It's an international program. Some countries will soon not be able to afford F35s unless reducing the number of aircrafts ordered and thus having micro fleets. I am sure the US will sort it out on their own but it is not the case for all partner nations. Whether it crashes during devlpmt or not, It's not the point here.

No, the point is the F-35 is the only game in town and it will be produced in great number. Even if the US was the only country to purchase it. Which, will not be the case even if the price tag is high. Clearly, the US isn't going to cancel the program with the minor issue before it. Especially, when the US will have the market cornered.

Nonetheless don't believe all the hype in the press. I think the F-22 is going for ~130 Million a pop and the US is only building 187 of them. Even then several countries would gladly pay the price if it was only available on the export market.

Personally, I could see the F-35 still selling well if its price tag was $100 Million Per Copy.

void
03-07-2010, 07:58 PM
No, the point is the F-35 is the only game in town and it will be produced in great number. Even if the US was the only country to purchase it. Which, will not be the case even if the price tag is high. Clearly, the US isn't going to cancel the program with the minor issue before it. Especially, when the US will have the market cornered.

Nonetheless don't believe all the hype in the press. I think the F-22 is going for ~130 Million a pop and the US is only building 187 of them. Even then several countries would gladly pay the price if it was only available on the export market.

Personally, I could see the F-35 still selling well if its price tag was $100 Million Per Copy.

Why is it the only game in town? Whats fundamentally stopping European countries at least going for more Eurofighters rather than the F-35A? Oh, and I think you have to be fairly optimistic to think that the F-35 final price tag is going to come in under $100m per unit.
The F-35 is the only game in town for VTOL and STOVL, but that is a relative niche market, For the CTOL variant, there is PLENTY of competition from other vendors.

Scooter2
03-07-2010, 08:09 PM
Why is it the only game in town? Whats fundamentally stopping European countries at least going for more Eurofighters rather than the F-35A? Oh, and I think you have to be fairly optimistic to think that the F-35 final price tag is going to come in under $100m per unit.
The F-35 is the only game in town for VTOL and STOVL, but that is a relative niche market, For the CTOL variant, there is PLENTY of competition from other vendors.

The only game in town is the F-35, PAK-FA, and possibly the J-XX. Personally, I don't see many countries purchasing Russian or Chinese Fighters. So, the F-35 will have the market to itself for some time to come.......

void
03-07-2010, 08:19 PM
The only game in town is the F-35, PAK-FA, and possibly the J-XX. Personally, I don't see many countries purchasing Russian or Chinese Fighters. So, the F-35 will have the market to itself for some time to come.......

You can assert it all you want, but there is no fundamental reason that that is true. What sets the F-35 apart from the EF or the Rafale that is an absolute necessity for all of the customer nations? It offers a reduced RCS at the cost of dynamic performance, a tradeoff which is not necessarily optimal for everybody. Some countries may find it useful, but others may not. I can guarantee to you that if the F-35 program has further set backs, delays, and cost increases, many customer nations will be at least considering other options.

Scooter2
03-07-2010, 08:29 PM
You can assert it all you want, but there is no fundamental reason that that is true. What sets the F-35 apart from the EF or the Rafale that is an absolute necessity for all of the customer nations? It offers a reduced RCS at the cost of dynamic performance, a tradeoff which is not necessarily optimal for everybody. Some countries may find it useful, but others may not. I can guarantee to you that if the F-35 program has further set backs, delays, and cost increases, many customer nations will be at least considering other options.


Quote:

March 4, 2010

Pentagon sees no erosion on F-35 total buy


(*******) - The Pentagon's chief arms buyer on Thursday said he was not seeing signs that the U.S. military services or international partners would cut their planned purchases of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets, but acknowledged that was a risk for such a big program.


Defense Undersecretary Ashton Carter said a restructuring plan would put the $300 billion radar-evading new fighter on a more realistic footing for the future, and underscored the Pentagon's continued commitment to the program.

But he said officials would continue to work closely with Lockheed and its industry partners, offering incentives for improved performance against specific milestones.

"We now have a realistic program plan going forward for the Joint Strike Fighter -- not a blindly optimistic one, but not a fatalistic one either," Carter told reporters during a meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, with industry chief executives and top officials from the eight countries developing the new plane.

The chief Pentagon arms buyer said the restructuring plan would stretch the development phase by 13 months -- not the 30 months initially recommended by an independent review panel. The plan also added new aircraft to accelerate testing and called for appointment of a three-star military officer to oversee the program, he said.

But he emphasized that the program remained the core of the Pentagon's future fighter fleet, and said no fundamental technological or manufacturing problems had surfaced.

He also said he did not expect cuts in the overall number of 2,443 jets to be bought by the U.S. military services or international partners, but said the risk of a "death spiral" in which lower orders push the cost of each airplane higher, ultimately trimming affordability, was clearly driving Pentagon efforts to fix the program now.

"I have not been hearing that here at this meeting," Carter said. "Most of the partners have a real need for the Joint Strike Fighter as we do, and delay is not in their interest. They'd like to see the program stay as close to schedule as possible. They obviously want affordable aircraft as well."
"It's an all for one and one for all kind of thing."

Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale on Wednesday said any further cost growth in the F-35 program would result in cuts to the number of fighters the Pentagon is able to buy.
"I think we are to the point in our budgetary situation where, if there is unanticipated cost growth, we will have to accommodate it by reducing the buy," Hale was quoted as saying by Defense Daily, a trade publication.

In Washington, lawmakers on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday underscored mounting concerns about the program, and scheduled a separate hearing next week to dig deeper into projected cost overruns and schedule delays.

The committee's chairman, Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, said the hearing was needed, given recent revelations of troubles with the system design and demonstration phase, the Pentagon's decision to fire the F-35 program manager, news of delayed fielding of the fighters, and expected cost overruns.
"There's a lot of questions that need to be answered," Senator John McCain, the top Republican on the committee, said, noting that just a month ago Defense Secretary Robert Gates had told lawmakers he did not expect the delays in when the service would start using the new fighters in combat.
McCain, who requested next week's hearing, said he remained concerned about the ability of the F-35 test program to detect and anticipate problems, how effectively software risk will be managed going forward, and the reliability of flight testing and production schedules.

Lockheed Chief Executive Robert Stevens said the restructuring plan was very clear, and the industry team was committed to improving its performance on the program.

He said the contract offered Lockheed the opportunity to win back some of $614 million in withheld award fees, and to add back in some of the 122 production aircraft trimmed from the Pentagon's five-year budget plan if it performed well.

"If that performance is better than the baseline plan, then we'll be able to offer the jets less expensively and more jets will be procured and in that way will be a countervailing pressure against that ... 'death spiral' that we are all quite familiar with," he said.

Lockheed built the F-22 fighter, where unit costs soared as the government trimmed its planned purchases from 750 to 187.

Levin said a date for the committee's F-35 hearing should be finalized later this week.
Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told senators the program would likely breach congressional cost thresholds, but said officials were already taking all the actions required under the mandatory "live or die" review that would trigger.

Donley told reporters this week no "showstoppers" had emerged during the review that could lead to cancellation, and the Pentagon had no alternatives to the fighter.

void
03-07-2010, 08:32 PM
Quote:

March 4, 2010

Pentagon sees no erosion on F-35 total buy


What else do you expect the Pentagon/Lockheed to say? "Oh no, we have managed this project very poorly, we are afraid customer nations will start to pull out since costs and delays are escalating"?
This is called PR and the job of PR is to paint a rosy picture for marketing purposes.

Scooter2
03-07-2010, 08:32 PM
You can assert it all you want, but there is no fundamental reason that that is true. What sets the F-35 apart from the EF or the Rafale that is an absolute necessity for all of the customer nations? It offers a reduced RCS at the cost of dynamic performance, a tradeoff which is not necessarily optimal for everybody. Some countries may find it useful, but others may not. I can guarantee to you that if the F-35 program has further set backs, delays, and cost increases, many customer nations will be at least considering other options.



Sorry, do don't see any of the European Countries dropping out of the F-35 Program and instead ordering more Typhoons, Rafales, or Gripens. Enough said.....


Respectfully,

Scooter2
03-07-2010, 08:34 PM
What else do you expect the Pentagon/Lockheed to say? "Oh no, we have managed this project very poorly, we are afraid customer nations will start to pull out since costs and delays are escalating"?
This is called PR and the job of PR is to paint a rosy picture for marketing purposes.

Well, are you going to tell me that European Projects like the Typhoon and A400 didn't have major delays and cost over runs......PLEASE.

void
03-07-2010, 08:36 PM
Sorry, do don't see any of the European Countries dropping out of the F-35 Program and instead ordering more Typhoons, Rafales, or Gripens. Enough said.....


Respectfully,

Ok, if you were the defense minister of a customer country, at which point would YOU think "this project is a failure/too expensive, time to look at alternatives"? If the unit price is $200m a pop, and you dont even get access to the avionics software so you cant do local modifications/maintenance, would you consider pulling out? If not $200m then when? The point is, there IS such a point for every country, and every delay/price increase brings that point closer. Now, it is feasible that the point will not be reached for any of the countries and everybody will be happy, but that will only be apparent when the orders are actually fulfilled.

void
03-07-2010, 08:40 PM
Well, are you going to tell me that European Projects like the Typhoon and A400 didn't have major delays and cost over runs......PLEASE.

Irrelevant. Past problems with other projects do not make present problems any less of a problem, and would not make the F-35 any more attractive if its price increases beyond the threshold of tolerance.

Scooter2
03-07-2010, 08:42 PM
Ok, if you were the defense minister of a customer country, at which point would YOU think "this project is a failure/too expensive, time to look at alternatives"? If the unit price is $200m a pop, and you dont even get access to the avionics software so you cant do local modifications/maintenance, would you consider pulling out? If not $200m then when? The point is, there IS such a point for every country, and every delay/price increase brings that point closer. Now, it is feasible that the point will not be reached for any of the countries and everybody will be happy, but that will only be apparent when the orders are actually fulfilled.


Sorry, the price tag is not going to be anywhere close of $200 Million. The Raptor is larger and only built in very relatively small numbers. With less than 200 examples being constructed. The F-35 on the otherhand will sell easily 10 times that number. (and likely more)

signatory
03-07-2010, 08:48 PM
Israel to postpone F-35 stealth jet deal

By YAAKOV KATZ
08/03/2010 02:20

Major delays jet's production leads some IAF officers to urge army to reconsider.

Major delays in the production of the fifth-generation stealth F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will likely lead to the postponement of Israel’s procurement plans, which initially set the signing of a contract by the end of March.

One top IDF officer told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that the Defense Ministry was unlikely to sign a letter of agreement (LOA) with the Pentagon before the end of 2010.

“Everything now appears to be pushed off by at least a year,” the senior officer said.

On Sunday night, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi flew to Washington for talks with top Pentagon officials. Ashkenazi plans to speak with his American counterpart, Adm. Michael Mullen, and other Pentagon officials about the delays in the production of the JSF and how it will affect the IDF.

Last week, US Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said that the service’s plan to use the F-35 will probably be delayed by two years and cost significantly more than the $130 million initially expected.

Donley said that the F-35 would not be ready for the US Air Force until 2015, the date that Israel had initially wanted to begin receiving the stealth jet. The jet had been scheduled to become initially operational in 2013 before the Pentagon uncovered serious problems with the contract. Last month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that at least one senior manager would be fired and $614 million in performance bonuses would be withheld from lead contractor Lockheed Martin Corporation.

“If the Americans are only getting the plane in 2015, then it is difficult to imagine that we will receive it the same time,” the officer said, adding that the Air Force was currently in talks with the Pentagon about locking down a delivery date.

News of the delays in the F-35 program came as Israel and the US moved closer to finalizing details of the deal, long held up by disagreements over the integration of Israeli indigenous technology into the aircraft. The IAF plans to phase out old-model F-16s after it receives the F-35.

Israel had planned to order a first squadron of 25 jets within the coming months and to procure another 50 by the end of the decade. Due to the delays, some IAF officers are calling for a review of the procurement plans and to consider the possible purchase of additional F-15Is made by Boeing Company. Israel already has a squadron of F-15Is that are capable of carrying massive amounts of weaponry and flying long distances, including to Iran.

“There is some thought in this direction,” a top IAF source said recently. “Based on the development requirements, the F-35 is supposed to be a more advanced plane primarily since it is stealth, but delays in the production have led to new thinking within the IAF."

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=170428

Scooter2
03-07-2010, 08:55 PM
Irrelevant. Past problems with other projects do not make present problems any less of a problem, and would not make the F-35 any more attractive if its price increases beyond the threshold of tolerance.

Hardly, irrelevant at all! The point is other programs have had far greater problems and are now very successful. As will the F-35........I guess according to your logic. Europe should have canceled both the Typhoon and A400 at the first hint of trouble.

Really, any such advance military program is pushing the level of new technology. So, cost over runs and delays are in fact inevitable. You can't develope state of the art equipment by taking the easy road. Otherwise what you would get is something "far less" capable.

void
03-07-2010, 09:12 PM
Hardly, irrelevant at all! The point is other programs have had far greater problems and are now very successful. As will the F-35........I guess according to your logic. Europe should have canceled both the Typhoon and A400 at the first hint of trouble.

Really, any such advance military program is pushing the level of new technology. So, cost over runs and delays are in fact inevitable. You can't develope state of the art equipment by taking the easy road. Otherwise what you would get is something "far less" capable.

Thinking like that and cost-plus contracts are why way too many projects end up so utterly overprices and delayed, because it is now considered "normal" and "business as usual".
The EF and A400 were indigenous projects done partly for domestic (European) prestige and industry jobs. This is less of a consideration in the case of the F-35 for many countries since it isnt about prestige or local jobs, but is purely a customer. This makes it far easier to cancel the purchase. The UK/Germany/France were hardly going to cancel the EF or A400 after investing millions/billions into it over many years and many local jobs. Not so much of a problem in the case of the F-35 for most customer nations (except the main ones who participate in the project considerably, such as the UK).

Scooter2
03-07-2010, 09:19 PM
Israel to postpone F-35 stealth jet deal

By YAAKOV KATZ
08/03/2010 02:20

Major delays jet's production leads some IAF officers to urge army to reconsider.

Major delays in the production of the fifth-generation stealth F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will likely lead to the postponement of Israel’s procurement plans, which initially set the signing of a contract by the end of March.

One top IDF officer told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that the Defense Ministry was unlikely to sign a letter of agreement (LOA) with the Pentagon before the end of 2010.

“Everything now appears to be pushed off by at least a year,” the senior officer said.

On Sunday night, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi flew to Washington for talks with top Pentagon officials. Ashkenazi plans to speak with his American counterpart, Adm. Michael Mullen, and other Pentagon officials about the delays in the production of the JSF and how it will affect the IDF.

Last week, US Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said that the service’s plan to use the F-35 will probably be delayed by two years and cost significantly more than the $130 million initially expected.

Donley said that the F-35 would not be ready for the US Air Force until 2015, the date that Israel had initially wanted to begin receiving the stealth jet. The jet had been scheduled to become initially operational in 2013 before the Pentagon uncovered serious problems with the contract. Last month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that at least one senior manager would be fired and $614 million in performance bonuses would be withheld from lead contractor Lockheed Martin Corporation.

“If the Americans are only getting the plane in 2015, then it is difficult to imagine that we will receive it the same time,” the officer said, adding that the Air Force was currently in talks with the Pentagon about locking down a delivery date.

News of the delays in the F-35 program came as Israel and the US moved closer to finalizing details of the deal, long held up by disagreements over the integration of Israeli indigenous technology into the aircraft. The IAF plans to phase out old-model F-16s after it receives the F-35.

Israel had planned to order a first squadron of 25 jets within the coming months and to procure another 50 by the end of the decade. Due to the delays, some IAF officers are calling for a review of the procurement plans and to consider the possible purchase of additional F-15Is made by Boeing Company. Israel already has a squadron of F-15Is that are capable of carrying massive amounts of weaponry and flying long distances, including to Iran.

“There is some thought in this direction,” a top IAF source said recently. “Based on the development requirements, the F-35 is supposed to be a more advanced plane primarily since it is stealth, but delays in the production have led to new thinking within the IAF."

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=170428


Israel will purchase the F-35 no doubt. They are just trying to get a better deal and want the US to allow them to incorporate Israeli Components. All talk as they have no viable option. Unless they want more F-15's or F-16's. Which, they don't.....

Scooter2
03-07-2010, 09:23 PM
Thinking like that and cost-plus contracts are why way too many projects end up so utterly overprices and delayed, because it is now considered "normal" and "business as usual".
The EF and A400 were indigenous projects done partly for domestic (European) prestige and industry jobs. This is less of a consideration in the case of the F-35 for many countries since it isnt about prestige or local jobs, but is purely a customer. This makes it far easier to cancel the purchase. The UK/Germany/France were hardly going to cancel the EF or A400 after investing millions/billions into it over many years and many local jobs. Not so much of a problem in the case of the F-35 for most customer nations (except the main ones who participate in the project considerably, such as the UK).


The US has just as much at stake with the F-35 as Europe does with the Typhoon and A400. Maybe more as it will be the future fighter for decades to come. Its cancelation would be giving away the fighter market to its competitors for the forseeable future. Not going to happen.........

void
03-07-2010, 09:28 PM
The US has just as much at stake with the F-35 as Europe does with the Typhoon and A400. Maybe more as it will be the future fighter for decades to come. Its cancelation would be giving away the fighter market to its competitors for the forseeable future. Not going to happen.........

I never said anything about the US. I am 100% confident that the US will finish the F-35 project, if for no other reason than it being a matter of national pride. However, my point was that I wouldnt be surprised if some of the customer nations (Australia, Italy, Denmark, etc) re-evaluated their desire for the F-35. Also, it doesnt really speak much for the awesomeness of the F-35 if many of the countries who buy it will do so because there are no alternatives.

Scooter2
03-07-2010, 09:30 PM
I never said anything about the US. I am 100% confident that the US will finish the F-35 project, if for no other reason than it being a matter of national pride. However, my point was that I wouldnt be surprised if some of the customer nations (Australia, Italy, Denmark, etc) re-evaluated their desire for the F-35. Also, it doesnt really speak much for the awesomeness of the F-35 if many of the countries who buy it will do so because there are no alternatives.

Its not that they don't have alternatives. Its more to the point the alternatives are less capable........

void
03-07-2010, 09:40 PM
Its not that they don't have alternatives. Its more to the point the alternatives are less capable........

"less capable" needs a context, less capable at what? The fact the the F-35 is more capable in certain roles than say an EF (for example) is yet to be proven. A non-supercruising F-35 with thrust-to-weight barely above 1.0 at normal loading and a wing loading of around 450kg/m2 vs a supercruising EF with 1.2 thrust to weight and a wing loading of 300kg/m2 in A2A is far from a foregone conclusion in the F-35s favour.

If you want to drop bombs on legacy SAMs without being too worried about being shot down, yes the F-35 is probably superior.

Scooter2
03-07-2010, 10:54 PM
[QUOTE=void;4806642]"less capable" needs a context, less capable at what? The fact the the F-35 is more capable in certain roles than say an EF (for example) is yet to be proven. A non-supercruising F-35 with thrust-to-weight barely above 1.0 at normal loading and a wing loading of around 450kg/m2 vs a supercruising EF with 1.2 thrust to weight and a wing loading of 300kg/m2 in A2A is far from a foregone conclusion in the F-35s favour.

Sorry, you performance claims are far from factual. Plus, the fact that with the exception of Germany. All the Euro Fighter Members are not ordering anymore Typhoons and instead will purchase new F-35's. Which, speaks volumes........Also, let's not forget that the UK and Italy would have canceled later purchases of the Typhoon. If, they weren't financially obligated to do so.

void
03-07-2010, 10:58 PM
[QUOTE=void;4806642]"less capable" needs a context, less capable at what? The fact the the F-35 is more capable in certain roles than say an EF (for example) is yet to be proven. A non-supercruising F-35 with thrust-to-weight barely above 1.0 at normal loading and a wing loading of around 450kg/m2 vs a supercruising EF with 1.2 thrust to weight and a wing loading of 300kg/m2 in A2A is far from a foregone conclusion in the F-35s favour.

Sorry, you performance claims are far from factual. Plus, the fact that with the exception of Germany. All the Euro Fighter Members are not ordering anymore Typhoons and instead will purchase new F-35's. Which, speaks volumes........Also, let's not forget that the UK and Italy would have canceled later purchases of the Typhoon. If, they weren't financially obligated to do so.

Which part of my technical claims are far from factual? The kinematic performance of the F-35 and EF are widely available from a large number of sources.

Scooter2
03-07-2010, 11:34 PM
[QUOTE=Scooter2;4806743]

Which part of my technical claims are far from factual? The kinematic performance of the F-35 and EF are widely available from a large number of sources.


Sorry, you can't just take general numbers like ~ weight, thrust, and wing area. Then just jump to the conclusion that the Typhoon is superior to the F-35.


BTW As long as you bring up Thrust, Weight, and Wing Load. In your quote un quote comparison. Are you taking into account the added weight and drag associated with carrying external stores on the Typhoon??? Even then it doesn't even touch on RCS nor the Lightnings vastly Superior Avionics and Situational Awareness.


The simple fact is if the Typhoon was more capable than the Lightning. Few countries would be lining up to purchase the F-35 and Typhoon Production wouldn't be nearing its end.

Karaahmetoglu
03-07-2010, 11:40 PM
Eurofigther production is not nearing the end Eurofighter Tranche 3 is however, as soon Tranche 4 with AESA and a few other improvements are on the way.

Scooter2
03-07-2010, 11:54 PM
Eurofigther production is not nearing the end Eurofighter Tranche 3 is however, as soon Tranche 4 with AESA and a few other improvements are on the way.

The Eurofighter Partners are not purchasing anymore than the already agreed to numbers. Plus, it has not won anymore orders. So, unless it wins another export order soon. The end of the line is just a few more years off.

SpudmanWP
03-08-2010, 01:38 AM
If the unit price is $200m a pop, The F-35A Unit Recurring Flyaway Price was $121 mil in the FY2011 budget docs (http://www.saffm.hq.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100128-072.pdf) (page 48), and will only get cheaper. The F-22's last buy was $147mil and will only get more expensive (inflation) (page 63 same doc).

void
03-08-2010, 04:50 AM
The F-35A Unit Recurring Flyaway Price was $121 mil in the FY2011 budget docs (http://www.saffm.hq.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100128-072.pdf) (page 48), and will only get cheaper. The F-22's last buy was $147mil and will only get more expensive (inflation) (page 63 same doc).

The $200m was a hypothetical figure (hopefully also unrealistically high) whose purpose was to highlight the fact that there IS a point at which the customer nations will start to get cold feet. Whether its $200m (in which case the purchase will go through most likely) or $110m is not for me to say.

Also, since the F-35 program is not finished its R&D stage, I dont see how you can say "it will only get cheaper".

SlowMan
03-08-2010, 10:21 AM
Stealth A2G platform is not as necessary as a stealth A2A platform simply because there are cruise missiles and 100 km+ glide bombs available. A2G UAVs will enter service within 15 years.

A2A UAV won't be in sight for another 30 years thanks to AI problem, so A2A planes will continue to be manned.

SpudmanWP
03-08-2010, 12:03 PM
Also, since the F-35 program is not finished its R&D stage, I dont see how you can say "it will only get cheaper".

The REC Flyaway has been getting cheaper every year. Here is a graph that shows the progression since the first LRIP cycle.

http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt271/SpudmanWP/a7537c92dotjpg

junglejim
03-08-2010, 12:08 PM
The REC Flyaway has been getting cheaper every year. Here is a graph that shows the progression since the first LRIP cycle.

http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt271/SpudmanWP/a7537c92dotjpg


But the amount of planes built is not the same as the projections right? I might be wrong but so far only 5 planes were made? That would make those graphs pretty much useless.

Rapier55
03-08-2010, 08:29 PM
CTOL/CV Variant F135 Engine Receives Initial Service Release


EAST HARTFORD, Conn., Mar. 5, 2010 – Pratt & Whitney has achieved initial service release (ISR) for the conventional take off and landing/carrier variant (CTOL/CV) F135 engine, marking another major milestone as the engine is cleared for operational use in the Lockheed Martin F-35 (http://www.militaryphotos.net/page/48/F-35-Lightning-II.html) stealth fighter. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.
“Achieving initial service release means the F135 CTOL/CV engine, with more than 13,000 test hours, has met all necessary requirements and proven the safety, reliability and performance of this product for operational use in the field,” said Warren Boley, Vice President of F135 Engine Programs. “I am so proud of the F135 CTOL/CV team and our partners at Hamilton Sundstrand, Lockheed Martin and the Joint Program Office for this great program accomplishment. We look forward to seeing the F135-powered Lightning II in operational flight.”
Pratt & Whitney has delivered 17 flight test engines, as well as the first production F135 engine, and expects to deliver the final short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) flight test engine early this year.
“The F135 CTOL/CV propulsion system has been certified for Low Rate Initial Production and flight operations," said Rob Burnes, F-35 Joint Program Office, Propulsion Director. "I congratulate the entire F135 team on achieving this milestone.”
Pratt & Whitney has designed, developed and tested the F135 to deliver the most advanced fifth generation fighter engine for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, as well as for eight international partner countries. The F135 is derived from proven technology of the only operational fifth generation fighter engine, the Pratt & Whitney F119 that powers the F-22 with more than 275,000 operational flight hours. It has been further enhanced with technologies developed in several Air Force and Navy technology programs.
The F135 propulsion system has proven it can meet diverse aircraft requirements, and the ground and flight test experience demonstrates the capability of the F135 engine for armed forces around the world.Source (http://www.air-attack.com/news/article/4042/CTOLCV-Variant-F135-Engine-Receives-Initial-Service-Release.html)

Rapier55
03-10-2010, 11:04 AM
Northrop Grumman Expands Composites Manufacturing Training for Major Turkish F-35 Supplier

Hands-on training helps Turkish Aerospace Industries prepare for its role as a second source supplier for jet's center fuselage



http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/512/7951ndotjpg

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/4797/7950fdotjpgEL SEGUNDO, Calif., March 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) is adding momentum to Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc.'s (TAI) readiness to build complete center fuselages for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft by teaching its engineers how to build the complex composite structures used in the jet.

From Jan. 18 to Feb. 12, the company conducted rigorous classroom and hands-on training at its Advanced Composites Center in El Segundo for more than a dozen engineers and manufacturing specialists from TAI. The training was the third in a planned series of classes designed to teach TAI employees, ultimately, how to build a complete F-35 center fuselage.
"To date, TAI has made great progress in learning the tools and techniques of composites manufacturing," said Mark Tucker, vice president and F-35 program manager for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "The recent training helped solidify their understanding of how to successfully produce and handle the actual composite inlet ducts used in the F-35."
TAI is a second source supplier of F-35 center fuselages to Northrop Grumman, a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team. The Turkish company is slated to produce 400 center fuselages for the program beginning in the low rate initial production phases.
Guided by Northrop Grumman F-35 subject matter experts, the training engaged the TAI employees actively in the production of forward and aft inlet ducts for the jet. It included learning how to use the complex fiber placement mandrels that define the shape of the ducts; operating the machines that perform the actual fiber placement process; preparing the ducts for curing; performing post cure processing; and machining and conducting a final inspection of the completed parts.
According to Tucker, one of the parts that the TAI team helped produce – a forward inlet duct – will be integrated into one of the first major structural assemblies to be produced at TAI's new F-35 assembly facilities in Ankara, Turkey later this year.
For Turker Dolek, a senior member of the TAI group, the benefits of the training extended far beyond simply refining and maturing their F-35 composite manufacturing skills.
"What we are also learning from Northrop Grumman is how to handle and manage manufacturing problems," explains Dolek. "We're very impressed that the company is encouraging all of its suppliers to bring their best effort to the program. All of the Northrop Grumman employees on the program are doing their best. We're very honored to be part of this project."
The TAI training is part of Northrop Grumman's on-going commitment to help expand international participation in the F-35 program, build a reliable global supply chain, and help Lockheed Martin transition the program successfully from its current system development and demonstration phase into the LRIP and full-rate production phases.
Northrop Grumman is responsible for designing and producing the center fuselage for all three variants of the F-35. The company also designed and produces the aircraft's radar and other key avionics including electro-optical and communications subsystems; develops mission systems and mission-planning software; leads the team's development of pilot and maintenance training system courseware; and manages the team's use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
Source (http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/pages/news_releases.html?d=186138)

2495
03-10-2010, 11:19 AM
^^ Thats some seriously impressive co-operation going on. This is one of the aspects I really do like about the F-35: Partner nations from all over the globe really striving to make their own slice of the project a resounding success instead of being given every thing on a plate.

Good on'em.

SpudmanWP
03-11-2010, 12:38 AM
But the amount of planes built is not the same as the projections right? I might be wrong but so far only 5 planes were made? That would make those graphs pretty much useless.

My point was to show that even in very early LRIP, the cost has been going down. It is absurd to think that all of a sudden the cost will flatten when the production starts to ramp up.

btw, The above chart covers the first 101 (all three variants) F-35s

Jµµso
03-11-2010, 10:39 AM
F-35B Lightning II 40 knt Approach and Landing

Test pilot Graham Tomlinson guides the supersonic F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter in a 40-knot (46 mph) flight above Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., then descends for a 75-knot (86 mph) slow landing. The flight on Wednesday, March 3, was one of the last missions before the aircraft's first vertical landing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpFlN-OvD04

Rapier55
03-11-2010, 10:55 AM
Pratt F-35 engine cost overrun up by $600 mln


WASHINGTON, March 10 (*******) - The cost overrun on the main engine for the Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N (http://www.militaryphotos.net/finance/stocks/overview?symbol=LMT.N)) F-35 fighter jet has grown by $600 million over the past year, despite tough cost-cutting measures by engine maker Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N (http://www.militaryphotos.net/finance/stocks/overview?symbol=UTX.N)), a Navy document shows.
The total cost to complete the Pratt F135 engine is now estimated to be $7.28 billion -- $2.5 billion more than the $4.8 billion initially projected for the engine, according to the document, which was first reported by Aviation Week magazine on its website on Wednesday.
That is an increase of $600 million from the $1.9 billion cost overrun that was reported last year by the House Armed Services Committee.
Pratt spokeswoman Erin **** said she was not familiar with the new number, and emphasized that the company's aggressive cost-cutting measures were taking effect.
Pratt also offered the Pentagon a double-digit percentage reduction in engine cost in its latest contract proposal.
Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter had expressed concerns about cost growth on the Pratt engine last year, but endorsed Pratt's efforts to cut costs in a memo to F-35 international partners dated February 24, a copy of which was obtained by *******.
Carter said a special independent "Joint Assessment Team" he appointed concluded that projected cost growth on the engine could be reduced significantly by investing in affordability measures and through a renewed commitment by Pratt.
"We believe the contractor can realistically achieve its stated cost reduction goals but will continue to monitor its progress," Carter wrote in the memo.
Congressional aides said they are awaiting additional data on the cost of the engine when the Pentagon sends lawmakers an annual report on acquisition costs on April 1.
But several aides said the latest briefing they received on the F-35 program revealed continued cost growth on the main engine, a development they described as "problematic."
Carter is implementing a major restructuring of the overall F-35 program, including adding $2.8 billion more to the development phase of the program and slowing down the expected ramp up in production.
He is due to testify at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the F-35 program on Thursday that was requested by Senator John McCain.
McCain's dogged investigation of wasteful Pentagon programs has led to major acquisition reforms in recent years.
News of the continued cost growth comes just as the Pentagon is redoubling its efforts to cancel an alternate engine for the F-35 fighter that was initiated by Congress as a hedge against problems with a single engine.
Lawmakers defied a presidential veto to fund the second engine built by General Electric Co (GE.N (http://www.militaryphotos.net/finance/stocks/overview?symbol=GE.N)) and Rolls Royce last year and say they're ready to fight the Pentagon and White House to maintain the program again this year.
A recent Pentagon analysis said it would cost $2.9 billion over six years to complete work on the GE-Rolls engine, but GE and Rolls-Royce say they need just $900 million to complete the development program and $400 million more for tooling.
The Pentagon analysis also concluded that the longer term "life cycle" costs of having two engines were comparable to having only one, although it did not foresee any savings. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Gary Hill (http://blogs.*******.com/search/journalist.php?edition=us&n=gary.hill&))
Source (http://www.*******.com/article/idUSN1016096420100311?type=marketsNews)

2495
03-11-2010, 10:59 AM
F-35B Lightning II 40 knt Approach and Landing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpFlN-OvD04


p-)Thats awesome. Glad some one was on hand to capture such fine footage. As for the $600 million over run for the engine... No wonder Lockheeds been getting a bit chewed over about costs and slippage. :-(

Loke2
03-11-2010, 11:28 AM
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-11/lockheed-f-35-at-substantial-risk-of-missing-goals-gao-says.html



March 11 (Bloomberg) -- Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet fighter, its largest program, faces “substantial risk” of not delivering “the expected number of aircraft and required capabilities on time,” congressional auditors said today.

The program “continues to struggle with increased costs and slowed progress,” problems that “were foreseeable,” Michael Sullivan, the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s top F-35 analyst, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Sullivan, in prepared remarks, recommended the Pentagon consider reducing its annual planned purchases of the plane unless the program shows “progress in testing and manufacturing.”
Sullivan’s assessment is a warning to the world’s largest defense company. The Air Force wants to buy 43 fighters in fiscal 2011, 13 more than Congress approved this year. The armed services panel has authority to cut the request, and GAO recommendations often form the basis of congressional cuts.
The F-35 is the military’s most expensive weapons program. The projected cost for the planned purchase of 2,457 U.S. aircraft now appears to have increased to $323 billion from $298 billion two years ago, and that’s up 40 percent from the $231 billion when Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed won it in 2001, Sullivan said.
The Pentagon is taking “positive steps that if effectively implemented” should improve the program and provide “more realistic cost and schedule estimates,” he said. Still, “further cost growth and schedule extensions are likely.”

Next-Generation Fighter
The F-35 is the military’s next-generation fighter. It is designed for missions including bombing and air-to-air combat, and it will be used by the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. It will replace aircraft including F-16s and A-10s, as well as Harrier aircraft flown by the Marines and the U.K.
Committee Chairman Carl Levin of Michigan said he convened today’s hearing because “we’ve been waiting for answers about costs -- where they have gone up and in what specific areas.”
“We’re concerned about both cost and delays and whether or not we are going to keep costs under control and what’s going to happen to the calendar: How is that going to slip, not just our for our own capabilities but what does that do to the allied participation?” Levin said in an interview before the hearing began.
The program has eight partner nations contributing their own funds for development, including the U.K., Italy, Canada, Australia, Denmark and The Netherlands.

Partner Nations
Sullivan told the committee that program costs overall have increased $46 billion since 2007, and the development schedule has been extended 30 months.
That extension includes a new 13-month delay directed last month by the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, Ashton Carter. In addition, Carter added four test aircraft, shifted $2.8 billion in production funds for continued research and delayed the purchase of 122 jets to beyond 2015.
Carter, in remarks prepared for the committee today, said the Air Force and Navy now project they won’t have the first combat-ready planes until 2016, three years later than the Air Force planned and two years later than the Navy’s objective. The Marine Corps’ target date remains 2012, he said.

Air Force ‘Disappointed’
Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz said yesterday they “are disappointed” by Lockheed’s “failure to deliver flight test aircraft this year.”
The company has been experiencing “assembly inefficiencies that must be corrected to support higher production rates,” they told the House defense appropriations subcommittee.
Sullivan said that “by December, only four of 13 test aircraft had been delivered and total labor hours had increased more than 50 percent above earlier estimates.”
Lockheed Martin spokesman Chris Geisel said the company expects to be back on schedule next year and is making steady improvement in manufacturing.
“Production trends show radically marked improvement across the board,” including the latest three aircraft to enter the assembly line that are proceeding on schedule, he said in an e-mailed statement.
Lockheed fell $1.22 to $81.36 at 10:12 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares climbed 28 percent in the past 12 months.

xav
03-11-2010, 01:28 PM
Good thing that video got posted...

I was wondering about they mention in this article (air***** would melt etc...)

About That Austere-Base Thing...
Posted by Bill Sweetman at 3/11/2010 6:45 AM CST
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a27103ee8-d867-4e32-a619-92297fa29cf3&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

But a Navy report issued in January says that the F-35B, in fact, won't be able to use such forward bases. Indeed, unless it ditches its short take-off, vertical landing capability and touches down like a conventional fighter, it won't be able to use land bases at all without some major construction efforts.

The newly released document, hosted on a government building-design resource site, outlines what base-construction engineers need to do to ensure that the F-35B's exhaust does not turn the surface it lands on into an area-denial weapon. And it's not trivial. Vertical-landing "pads will be exposed to 1700 deg. F and high velocity (Mach 1) exhaust," the report says. The exhaust will melt asphalt and "is likely to spall the surface of standard airfield concrete pavements on the first VL." (The report leaves to the imagination what jagged chunks of spalled concrete will do in a supersonic blast field.)

SlowMan
03-11-2010, 05:19 PM
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/03/f35-fighters-now-double-the-cost-.html


F-35 Fighters Now Double the Cost

The Pentagon says Lockheed Martin originally projected, back in 2001, that each aircraft would cost $50.2 million. DOD officials told Congress today that it now believes each plane could cost almost double that, between $80 and $95 million dollars each in 2002 dollars. That’s a 60 to 90 percent increase. Adjust those numbers for inflation and the actual cost for each plane rises to between $95 and $113 millionF-35 Unit Cost Projection

2001 : $50.2 million
2010 : $95 ~ 113 million
2016 : ????(Actual USAF/USN service introductory date)

fragmall
03-11-2010, 06:55 PM
Good thing that video got posted...

I was wondering about they mention in this article (air***** would melt etc...)

About That Austere-Base Thing...
Posted by Bill Sweetman at 3/11/2010 6:45 AM CST
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a27103ee8-d867-4e32-a619-92297fa29cf3&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

But a Navy report issued in January says that the F-35B, in fact, won't be able to use such forward bases. Indeed, unless it ditches its short take-off, vertical landing capability and touches down like a conventional fighter, it won't be able to use land bases at all without some major construction efforts.

The newly released document, hosted on a government building-design resource site, outlines what base-construction engineers need to do to ensure that the F-35B's exhaust does not turn the surface it lands on into an area-denial weapon. And it's not trivial. Vertical-landing "pads will be exposed to 1700 deg. F and high velocity (Mach 1) exhaust," the report says. The exhaust will melt asphalt and "is likely to spall the surface of standard airfield concrete pavements on the first VL." (The report leaves to the imagination what jagged chunks of spalled concrete will do in a supersonic blast field.)

I suppose they will have to come up with a portable take off and landing pad, made of the same materials as a carrier deck.

Chucky
03-12-2010, 02:46 AM
F-35 (http://www.defencetalk.com/tag/F-35/)B STOVL-mode Flight

http://www.defencetalk.com/pictures/data/3246/thumbs/F-35B-Vertical-Landing-STOVLdotjpg (http://www.defencetalk.com/pictures/showphoto.php/photo/37597)
Hi-Res image of the approach/landing.

SlowMan
03-12-2010, 10:15 AM
http://ericpalmer.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/gao2010.pdf

Total planned F-35 order number for US forces : 2,457(Down from previous 2,866)
Average program cost : $131 million
Average procurement cost : $112 million
Full-rate Production Decision : April 2016

Stonewall71
03-12-2010, 10:17 AM
Joint Strike Fighter Faces Critical Period


(Source: U.S Department of Defense; issued March 11, 2010)



WASHINGTON --- Contracting for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, touted as the future backbone of U.S. air superiority, must be brought in line with budget realities to make the aircraft affordable again, a defense official said today.

Key manufacturing and testing milestones are expected for the fighter between now and 2011, Ashton B. Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“The next two years will be critical ones for the Joint Strike Fighter,” Carter said, “with the delivery of test aircraft, … completion and analysis of hundreds of test flights, and commencement of flight training.”

Pentagon and defense industry officials made efforts last week to explain adjustments made in the wake of a Defense Department study last year that found the development phase of the revolutionary aircraft had slipped by 30 months. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates took measures to reduce the lag time to 13 months, officials said.

Early last month, Gates announced the restructuring of the program -- the most expensive acquisition in U.S. military history -- with the objective of restoring the development program schedule.

Carter, in a phone interview last week, said he was able to report to program partners, including the prime contractor Lockheed Martin, that Gates’ modifications provided the program a realistic plan instead of one that was “blindly optimistic” or “fatalistic.”

The stealthy, supersonic F-35 will replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and eight international partners.

The Defense Department report showed the program was taking longer and costing more than either the government’s development office or the contractor had predicted, said Carter, who emphasized that the review turned up no major technological or manufacturing problems.

“This schedule and cost trend was unacceptable for the taxpayers of the U.S. and for the other eight nations,” he said in the interview last week. “The schedule slip was estimated at 30 months in the development program. The cost of the airplanes had grown since 2002, and for a variety of reasons, the JSF program would breach the Nunn-McCurdy threshold.”

The Nunn-McCurdy law requires that Congress be notified of a cost growth of more than 15 percent in a program. It also calls for cancellation of programs for which total cost grew by more than 25 percent over the original estimate.

“We didn’t wait for the Nunn-McCurdy paperwork to play out,” Carter said. “We began to review and restructure the JSF program as though it were already in Nunn-McCurdy breach, and the results of that review and restructuring were subsequently described by Gates.”

Carter reiterated to lawmakers today that reports last showed the program failed to meet expectations, and described management measures put in place to increase oversight of the program.

“Studies conducted over the past year indicate that the JSF program fell short of expectations and must be restored to affordability and a stable schedule,” he told senators.

Gates elevated the position of the JSF program executive to three-star rank, which Carter said reflected a need for experienced and vigorous management. The executive primarily will focus on three phases of the contract life: the developmental test program, the ramp-up to full production and Nunn-McCurdy cost concerns.

“I pledge that we will keep this committee fully and promptly informed of this program’s progress. We will also keep our international partners fully and promptly informed,” Carter said. “The program will benefit from the fresh eyes and experienced managerial hand of a three-star program executive officer.”

-ends-

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/113103/joint-strike-fighter-faces-critical-2-years.html

jokuvaan
03-12-2010, 03:18 PM
http://www.cphpost.dk/news/national/88-national/48487-joint-strike-fighter-price-now-double.html


Søren Gade, who recently stepped down from his post as Defence Minister, had called for a decision on which aircraft would replace the F-16s by this summer.

Now MPs are not expected to decide the matter until 2012. But the JSF is facing stiff opposition from many politicians who believed it was too expensive even prior to the most recent price hike.

happyslapper
03-13-2010, 01:02 PM
Manufacturing Work Starts on First UK F35 Lightning II Aircraft

11 Mar 2010 | Ref. 055/2010

http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/5281/baecimgquentindavieslatdotjpg
Quentin Davies MP, signing first component part of UK F-35 frame

Samlesbury, United Kingdom: Manufacturing work has started on the first F-35 Lightning II aircraft that will be delivered to the UK Ministry of Defence. Quentin Davies, UK Minister of Defence Equipment and Support, marked the occasion by signing the F-35 frame before it was loaded into the assembly jig at the BAE Systems site in Samlesbury, Lancashire.

The frame will come out of the jig in Quarter 3 2010 as an assembled aft fuselage, part of the first UK F-35 Lightning II ever to be built. The UK Ministry of Defence has committed to the purchase of three aircraft to allow testing and training to take place before operational service.

Mr Davies visited BAE Systems’ Samlesbury site on 24th February 2010 for an update on various programmes within BAE Systems and to witness the investment taking place on the site.

He said: “Over the previous ten years, the main driver of economic growth in this country has been financial services. Over the next ten years I believe it is going to be manufacturing that is key to the future success of the British economy.”

BAE Systems is teamed with prime contractor Lockheed Martin and with Northrop Grumman to deliver the F-35 Lightning II, the world’s largest defence programme. The aft fuselage and empennage (vertical and horizontal tails) for each F-35 are designed, engineered and manufactured by BAE Systems at Samlesbury using the latest digital design and precision manufacturing technologies, while the Company’s Structural & Dynamic Test facility at Brough, Yorkshire, will take the lead on Static and Fatigue testing for the F-35 programme.

The programme calls on BAE Systems global capabilities, with BAE Systems, Inc., in the US contributing key capabilities including electronic warfare, advanced low observable apertures, advanced countermeasure systems, vehicle management computer and active inceptor systems.

Mick Ord, BAE Systems F-35 Managing Director, said: “The F-35 programme is essential to the sustainment of the UK aerospace manufacturing industry, so it’s great to have such support from the UK government. We are working hard with the UK MOD to ensure we provide the tremendous aircraft they require.”
The F-35 Lightning II is a fifth-generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, advanced sustainment, and lower operational and support costs.

California Joe
03-13-2010, 01:49 PM
I suppose they will have to come up with a portable take off and landing pad, made of the same materials as a carrier deck.


Good thing that video got posted...

I was wondering about they mention in this article (air***** would melt etc...)

About That Austere-Base Thing...
Posted by Bill Sweetman at 3/11/2010 6:45 AM CST
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a27103ee8-d867-4e32-a619-92297fa29cf3&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

But a Navy report issued in January says that the F-35B, in fact, won't be able to use such forward bases. Indeed, unless it ditches its short take-off, vertical landing capability and touches down like a conventional fighter, it won't be able to use land bases at all without some major construction efforts.

The newly released document, hosted on a government building-design resource site, outlines what base-construction engineers need to do to ensure that the F-35B's exhaust does not turn the surface it lands on into an area-denial weapon. And it's not trivial. Vertical-landing "pads will be exposed to 1700 deg. F and high velocity (Mach 1) exhaust," the report says. The exhaust will melt asphalt and "is likely to spall the surface of standard airfield concrete pavements on the first VL." (The report leaves to the imagination what jagged chunks of spalled concrete will do in a supersonic blast field.)

It also melts carrier decks, they've now commissioned a new study to figure out how to change the composition of the decks as well as runways instead of addressing that glaring design flaw in the Marine variant. When they wrote the contracts that little detail wasn't included...You'd think that someone might have thought of the fact that a fighter is useless if it can't land or takeoff without destroying it's own runways...As of now the Navy doesn't want them anywhere near their carrier decks.

fragmall
03-13-2010, 06:37 PM
It also melts carrier decks, they've now commissioned a new study to figure out how to change the composition of the decks as well as runways instead of addressing that glaring design flaw in the Marine variant. When they wrote the contracts that little detail wasn't included...You'd think that someone might have thought of the fact that a fighter is useless if it can't land or takeoff without destroying it's own runways...As of now the Navy doesn't want them anywhere near their carrier decks.


Oh dear it definitely looks as though someone didn't do their homework beforehand.

Sounds a bit like the quote from Robocop, by the OCP executive, **** Jones:

"I had a guaranteed military sale with ED209!
Renovation program!
Spare parts for 25 years!
Who cares if it worked or not!"

:lol:

Rapier55
03-14-2010, 03:40 PM
Official Announces Plans to Curb Fighter Program’s Cost


By Jordan Reimer
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2010 – The Defense Department will require a shift to a fixed-price contract in its negotiations with Lockheed Martin for the initial production phase of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter, a defense official said here today in a briefing at the Pentagon.

The department also will conduct an internal analysis of what the full production cost should be to better negotiate with the contractor, said Ashton B. Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics.

Taken together, Carter said, these measures will reduce costs of a program that has met with significant production delays and cost overruns since its inception in October 2001.

“It did not seem reasonable that the taxpayer should bear the entire cost of this failure of the program to meet expectations,” Carter said.

The joint strike fighter-- the most expensive acquisition in U.S. military history -- will replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and eight international partners. The F-35 is the “the heart of the future of our tactical combat aviation,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in a visit to a Lockheed factory in August. “The importance of this aircraft cannot be overstated.”

The U.S. military ordered a total of 2,443 jets, with an additional 730 purchased by the eight other countries. Initially projected to cost around $50 million per aircraft, the current estimate is about $80 million to $95 million each, in inflation-adjusted dollars.

These two new initiatives come on top of Gates’ announcement last month that he was withholding $614 million in performance fees from the contractor due to the program’s setbacks.

With today’s announcements, the department is moving away from a cost-plus arrangement, which reimburses companies for their expenses in addition to providing an extra payment to guarantee them a profit. Instead, in switching to a fixed-price structure, the department and the contractor will set the price beforehand, and the final payment will not depend on the total amount of time or resources expended to complete the project.

“[The secretary] directed that in order to ensure discipline in the transition from development to production,” Carter said.

The director of defense procurement and acquisition policy will conduct the “should-cost” analysis for the final production rollout of the F-35 aircraft. Carter stressed that it’s important for the department to have its own estimate of what the program’s cost should be to better determine a negotiated price, rather than relying solely on the contractor’s figures.

“We will be looking at the cost structure of [the joint strike fighter] in all its aspects – assembly, parts supplies, staffing, overheads and indirect costs, cash flows, contract structures, fees, and lifecycle costs,” Carter said in a prepared statement before the Senate Armed Services committee yesterday.

Taking immediate steps to save costs is particularly necessary, not only to benefit the taxpayer, but also because the program is in jeopardy of crossing the Nunn-McCurdy threshold, a law that requires that Congress be notified of a cost growth of more than 15 percent in a program. Nunn-McCurdy also calls for cancellation of programs for which total cost grew by more than 25 percent over the original estimate.

Rather than wait for the program to cross the Nunn-McCurdy line, the defense officials began to review and restructure it as though it was already in Nunn-McCurdy breach, Carter explained.

Carter said he understands that these new initiatives will not be easy for Lockheed and its subcontractors to accommodate, but he underscored that these decisions are crucial to moving the program forward in a way that is acceptable to the military and the American public.

“The emphasis must be on restoring a key aspect of this airplane when the JSF program was first launched: affordability,” he told Congress.
Defense.Gov (http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=58317)

Breakfast in Vegas
03-14-2010, 03:45 PM
It also melts carrier decks, they've now commissioned a new study to figure out how to change the composition of the decks as well as runways instead of addressing that glaring design flaw in the Marine variant. When they wrote the contracts that little detail wasn't included...You'd think that someone might have thought of the fact that a fighter is useless if it can't land or takeoff without destroying it's own runways...As of now the Navy doesn't want them anywhere near their carrier decks.I've also asked myself if the VTOL feature is THAT necessary. I know it was a Marine requirement, but why? Only for FOB use? Perhaps the associated problems outweigh the benefits?

In any case, seems to be a difficult problem to fix. Nothing they can do on the plane, so it will require new carrier decks and special runways in order to be used.

All in all, very disappointing from a design and cost standpoint. It's a technical marvel for sure, but seems a bit removed from practical use. Hope somebody smarter than me figures out a solution.

Yoram777
03-14-2010, 05:03 PM
BF-03 looking good p-)
(vid is almost a month old btw)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuXk9RGPpNM

acg1189
03-14-2010, 06:56 PM
I've also asked myself if the VTOL feature is THAT necessary. I know it was a Marine requirement, but why? Only for FOB use? Perhaps the associated problems outweigh the benefits?

In any case, seems to be a difficult problem to fix. Nothing they can do on the plane, so it will require new carrier decks and special runways in order to be used.

All in all, very disappointing from a design and cost standpoint. It's a technical marvel for sure, but seems a bit removed from practical use. Hope somebody smarter than me figures out a solution.

unless you've found another way to land a jet on a helicopter carrier without any catapult or arresting system....

http://chile.usembassy.gov/uploads/1i/rI/1irIksf-p2Pe7jy3_i1ZFA/USSMarkinIsland400dotjpg

I'd like to actually see the data on that however. I've heard different things from different sources from hysterical outcries how they're completely un-usable on carriers or any runway to it not being significantly worse than the Harriers. I'd wager its somewhere in the middle about where the Osprey is (which has a similar but not radically significant problem)

carolvs
03-14-2010, 10:02 PM
Oh dear it definitely looks as though someone didn't do their homework beforehand.


Indeed, a USMC aircraft that can't deploy from Naval platforms. :cantbeli:

Loke2
03-15-2010, 07:35 AM
http://www.dr.dk/Nyheder/Penge/2010/03/15/112521.htm

google translated:


The defense dumper struggle aircraft Joint Strike Fighter
15. March 2010 11.25 Money
The defense gives up battle aircraft Joint Strike Fighter, JSF. When Denmark for seven-eight years must have new fighter, it will not be big favorite Joint Strike Fighter if the defense to decide.

According to DR news sources will defense in his recommendation to the government, instead pointing to Boeing's F18 as the safest choice.

JSF is a whole new generation of fighter aircraft, and the only one in the competition that can boast of so-called stealth characteristics, which means that it is almost impossible to spot with radar. In advance, the U.S. Air Force and Navy decided to order the aircraft in large numbers - a total output well over 3000 pieces deemed probable.

Delayed
But development of the new Superfly has dragged on far more than the U.S. Congress, the Pentagon and the U.S. Auditor General has cared for. Testing of the many and highly complex electronic systems in the JSF is delayed so that the military has accepted that production will start before any tests can be conducted.

Meanwhile, the announced price of the JSF over the past ten years has grown from a quarter of a billion Danish kroner pr. pieces, well over half a billion.

It is, according to DR news sources why the Danish defense intends to identify another candidate: Boeing F18 Super Hornet.

F18 is a proven aircraft that operate from U.S. aircraft carriers and managed to be in the 2nd Iraq war. By pointing to this fighter, deselect the defense while the third candidate, the Swedish Saab Gripen.

Setting clear
The defense would not comment today, but according to DR news sources, the so-called professional military option after several years of preparatory work in the Defense called Kampflykontor been clear for some months.

The recommendation is awaiting only an auditor examination, called a kvalititetssikring of debate.

When the option is delivered to the defense, much can be done about. Politically, there are many other considerations to take than the purely military professional.

Employment in the Joint Strike Fighter
Firstly, it is limited in how long the F18 will remain in production, and Denmark's next fighter aircraft could be kept operational for perhaps more than 30 years.

Second, Denmark is in the development of the prestigious JSF, and considerations of the Allies - the United States - weighs heavily on the political level.

Thirdly, the expected production of thousands of Joint Strike Fighters over several years draw a sizeable number of home billions in sales to contractors in the Danish arms industry.

Liberal defense spokesman Karsten Nonbo certify to the Radio News that there are considerations other than purely military, when the final choice should be taken.

- It's when a heavy weight (what is kept believes, ed.), It's primarily the professional on the plane to use for the military will use it, but there are also many other parameters which come into play.

- I am glad to read justifiably, says Karsten Nonbo.

Note that this does not mean that Denmark has decided not to buy F-35; what's reported is that the Danish Airforces prefers the SH to the F-35.... Interesting and surprising.

signatory
03-15-2010, 10:07 AM
Loke2

Danish airforce dumps F-35, recommends SH
http://www.dr.dk/Nyheder/Penge/2010/03/15/112521.htm



Most of the article seems to be speculative. The first half has to do with the recent news of delays and costs. Then in the middle they write:

"The defense would not comment today, but according to DR news sources, the so-called professional military option after several years of preparatory work in the Defense called Kampflykontor been clear for some months."

So if there has been a finished military report (And afaik this is more or less true and they have been stalling its release over political reasons) and it has been lying around for months... then the first half of the article about the new JSF delay/costs is irrelevant to the report they refer to as a source.

SH hasn't been evalutated for many years either, they came into the race late 2008 if I remember correctly...

So if the rumour is true that they point to the SH as their number one choice, it has little to do with news over the last few months.

Mat_fr
03-15-2010, 01:49 PM
http://www.dr.dk/Nyheder/Penge/2010/03/15/112521.htm

google translated:


Note that this does not mean that Denmark has decided not to buy F-35; what's reported is that the Danish Airforces prefers the SH to the F-35.... Interesting and surprising.

Denmark, if you drop F35, buy Eurofighter, Rafale ou Gripen ! buy european for christ sake !! :fork:

Breakfast in Vegas
03-15-2010, 04:20 PM
unless you've found another way to land a jet on a helicopter carrier without any catapult or arresting system....

I'd like to actually see the data on that however. I've heard different things from different sources from hysterical outcries how they're completely un-usable on carriers or any runway to it not being significantly worse than the Harriers. I'd wager its somewhere in the middle about where the Osprey is (which has a similar but not radically significant problem)Copy that. Heard also the same about the Osprey.

Nonetheless, it is a problem that has to be worked out. I assume they will find a way and hopefully the cost and effort will be worth it.

Loke2
03-16-2010, 03:40 AM
Most of the article seems to be speculative. The first half has to do with the recent news of delays and costs. Then in the middle they write:

"The defense would not comment today, but according to DR news sources, the so-called professional military option after several years of preparatory work in the Defense called Kampflykontor been clear for some months."

So if there has been a finished military report (And afaik this is more or less true and they have been stalling its release over political reasons) and it has been lying around for months... then the first half of the article about the new JSF delay/costs is irrelevant to the report they refer to as a source.

SH hasn't been evalutated for many years either, they came into the race late 2008 if I remember correctly...

So if the rumour is true that they point to the SH as their number one choice, it has little to do with news over the last few months.
Yes, perhaps you are right -- on the other hand, it may not need to be related to "news over the last few months" in order to be related to delays and cost increase of the F-35. Point is, the "recent news" are not actually that recent... From defencetalk:

Quote:

IOC in 2016 has been known for years?

Schedule delay, yes, has been known for years. It is blindingly obvious with the year in year out failure to meet their own flight testing schedule. If the testing hasn't been done, how can IOC be declared?

It was formally announced recently that USAF IOC would be pushed back. Blind freddy could infer that these delays would effect the initial operating capability date however.

Quote:
Nunn-Mcurdy has been known for years?
For more than a year, yes.

Quote:
The 13-month delay (which some "insiders" claim is optimistic, 30 months have been mentioned) has been known for years?
Again, with flight tests enormously delayed, jets unable to be built because of re-designs and parts shortages, what was the inevitable result going to be?

Little J
03-16-2010, 06:38 AM
Danish airforce dumps F-35, recommends SH

Saw that and thought it meant Sea Harrier... :oops:

signatory
03-16-2010, 06:59 AM
Yes, perhaps you are right -- on the other hand, it may not need to be related to "news over the last few months" in order to be related to delays and cost increase of the F-35. Point is, the "recent news" are not actually that recent... From defencetalk:

Quote:

IOC in 2016 has been known for years?

Schedule delay, yes, has been known for years. It is blindingly obvious with the year in year out failure to meet their own flight testing schedule. If the testing hasn't been done, how can IOC be declared?

It was formally announced recently that USAF IOC would be pushed back. Blind freddy could infer that these delays would effect the initial operating capability date however.

Quote:
Nunn-Mcurdy has been known for years?
For more than a year, yes.

Quote:
The 13-month delay (which some "insiders" claim is optimistic, 30 months have been mentioned) has been known for years?
Again, with flight tests enormously delayed, jets unable to be built because of re-designs and parts shortages, what was the inevitable result going to be?

OK I dont know what I am looking at here... a discussion between two unnamed people?

The point I was trying to make was that as we know Denmark is looking at getting jets aroound 2020 (plus minus 2 years) the IOC delays on some US branches or 13-30 months of added development is not directly affecting them. The other part is costs, it was not firmly known until a few days ago that he jet was projected to cost that much more. Even in the US FY2011 budget release from a few weeks ago the pricing is far lower.

Personally I think the Danish military still prefers the JSF but (if the news is true) can't recommend that aircraft just yet for their operational capability if the old induction schedule stays intact, something apparently more unlikely for each day as there's still a lot of juice left in those F-16s.

Scooter2
03-17-2010, 12:17 AM
So, which country is going to purchase an obsolete type for a 13 month delay??? Sorry, any such argument has little merit......

Loke2
03-17-2010, 12:58 PM
http://www.janes.com/news/defence/jdi/jdi100317_1_n.shtml


The US military's top acquisition official is planning to switch to a fixed-price contract for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter programme in place of the current 'cost-plus' arrangement, amid growing concerns about ballooning costs.
Ashton Carter, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, said on 12 March that the Pentagon plans to switch to the fixed-price scheme in order to get a handle on F-35 costs, which have escalated under the current cost-plus arrangement with prime contractor Lockheed Martin.
The cost-plus system reimburses companies for their expenses in addition to providing additional money to guarantee them a profit.
Under the fixed-price structure, Lockheed Martin would propose costs for the F-35 based on specific government requirements for the aircraft, which would be laid out ahead of time. The company would then receive the fixed-price amount, regardless of the unanticipated time and resources spent completing the project.
I think this would be a good thing, I suspect that this "cost-plus" system is actually one of the reasons why things have been sliding so much. Perhaps LM and subcontractors have not had strong enough incentive to keep costs down, why should they when people are throwing money at them after each delay?

If they switch to fixed price the price estimate certainly will go up again -- but this time we will get a realistic price estimate. If not LM will find itself in deep manure.

2495
03-17-2010, 03:12 PM
F-35 has gone hover!


This just in from NAS Patuxent River - the first STOVL F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, aircraft BF-1, completed its first hover today (March 17).

With the lift system engaged, the aircraft slowed from 150 kt to zero airspeed and hovered at 150ft for 2 minutes, moving up and down and left and right to check hover control. BF-1 then continued to to a short landing.

A successful hover clears the way for the F-35's first vertical landing.


http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a3d82d757-8ad1-40ee-8d12-f815c1ae1535&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

2 minutes hover at 150 feet? thats good news, and about damn time too!

Constantin
03-17-2010, 04:46 PM
Denmark, if you drop F35, buy Eurofighter, Rafale ou Gripen ! buy european for christ sake !! :fork:
No-no-no-no-no! Buy orthodox christian plane - PAK-FA! ^) Russian weapon always reliability, simply and effective. And cheaper then american or european!

signatory
03-17-2010, 05:19 PM
Danish Fighter Review Still On: Ministry

Mar 17, 2010

By Robert Wall wall@aviationweek.com
WASHINGTON

The Danish defense ministry says no decision has been made yet on its fighter competition, amid reports that F-35 Joint Strike Fighter problems may have knocked that U.S. offering out of the running.

“We are still working on finalizing the military recommendation,” a Danish defense ministry official says. The report is due to go to the minister of defense this year.

The Danish source selection process pits the F-35 against the Saab Gripen and Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The process has encountered numerous delays, in part because there has been no schedule urgency.

According to a report on Danish radio, the F/A-18E/F has emerged as the front runner in the competition. Boeing has heavily courted the country, and has had the aircraft make stops in Denmark on its way to its fighter evaluation in India. The report claims the F-35 price increase in recent years is pushing Denmark away from the Lockheed Martin offering.

The eventual selection will factor broader issues, however, including industrial cooperation for Danish industry, so the military recommendation is merely one data point as the ministry makes its equipment choice.

AW (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/awx/2010/03/17/awx_03_17_2010_p0-212790.xml&headline=Danish%20Fighter%20Review%20Still%20On:%20Ministry)

tjj
03-17-2010, 05:51 PM
F-35 has gone hover!



http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a3d82d757-8ad1-40ee-8d12-f815c1ae1535&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

2 minutes hover at 150 feet? thats good news, and about damn time too!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7BUuCeLPSg
1234567890

M!KE
03-17-2010, 07:15 PM
Photo Here

http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/6271/bf1firsthover.thdotjpg (http://img39.imageshack.us/i/bf1firsthoverdotjpg/)

Mike

Karaahmetoglu
03-17-2010, 10:37 PM
saw that and thought it meant sea harrier... :oops:

x2

123456

Loke2
03-18-2010, 02:56 AM
Latest news from Norway:

http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/artikkel.php?artid=587619


After speaking with his American colleague Robert Gates repeatedly, and after the Defense Department's combat aircraft experts have checked, the minister is safe:
- Today is not suggesting that our aircraft will be more expensive than planned, or that we do not get F-35 aircraft from 2016, says Faremo.
...
In other words, she refutes media reports of a 50 percent increase in price and big delays.
....
Neither the Norwegian defense minister has heard that Denmark will withdraw from the F-35 program in favor of Boeing's F-18, as some media have claimed.
- I have invited my new Danish colleague Gitte Lillelund Bech in Oslo in the near future to discuss the combat aircraft, and many more. The Danes must have time to make their choice of fighter aircraft in the peace and quiet, but so far nothing suggests that they will withdraw from the program, "said Grete Faremo.
So F-35 fanboys, relax and breathe slowly -- no detractors yet -- and even better, no price increase for the partners(!?) only for the US p-)

Dompedidomp
03-18-2010, 08:03 AM
-- and even better, no price increase for the partners(!?) only for the US p-)

No price increase for Norway, because Lockheed did give a realistic price last year. Norway expect to pay NOK 42 Bn for 56 aircrafts, including weapons. That is about 130 million USD each.

ting
03-18-2010, 08:24 AM
No price increase for Norway, because Lockheed did give a realistic price last year. Norway expect to pay NOK 42 Bn for 56 aircrafts, including weapons. That is about 130 million USD each.

Thats including training, ground support equipment, training of the ground crews, spares, simulators etc, ad naseum. I think the purchasing price was 18 billion. Which I think is about 60 million USD each.;-)

Breerman
03-18-2010, 08:29 AM
No price increase for Norway, because Lockheed did give a realistic price last year. Norway expect to pay NOK 42 Bn for 56 aircrafts, including weapons. That is about 130 million USD each.
In perspective Saab's bid to Norway for the requested 48 aircrafts were for a guaranteed total cost of 50 million USD each. The Norwegian government claimed the F-35 total cost would be cheaper than that.. Complete joke. Today everyone is paying over 200 million in total cost and it might end well over 250 if USAF/USN/USMC cuts their huge orders.

tea drinker
03-18-2010, 08:54 AM
In perspective Saab's bid to Norway for the requested 48 aircrafts were for a guaranteed total cost of 50 million USD each. The Norwegian government claimed the F-35 total cost would be cheaper than that.. Complete joke. Today everyone is paying over 200 million in total cost and it might end well over 250 if USAF/USN/USMC cuts their huge orders.
I agree with you but surely as good as the Gripen NG is, it is incomparable in Stealth terms to F-35? If that is important to Norway then it's a big problem for NG.
If stealth is not so important they are wasting money.... but those Northern Arabs have plenty of cash!

Breerman
03-18-2010, 09:07 AM
This was about numbers. Let's not start that sort of discussion in the F-35 news thread.

ting
03-18-2010, 09:08 AM
In perspective Saab's bid to Norway for the requested 48 aircrafts were for a guaranteed total cost of 50 million USD each. The Norwegian government claimed the F-35 total cost would be cheaper than that.. Complete joke. Today everyone is paying over 200 million in total cost and it might end well over 250 if USAF/USN/USMC cuts their huge orders.

That guarantee was for marketing. I'm pretty sure the writing in fine print would make that clearer. The calculations put the JSF's cost marginally lower, while Gripen NG's risk was deemed much higher. And in the end the JSF was deemed more capable. We might know in 20 years weather their calculations were accurate. AFAIK nothing has happened in the JSF program to change the calculations so far.

jokuvaan
03-18-2010, 09:09 AM
the purchasing priceAs far as I know, Norway has not signed any purchase papers for F-35 and LM has been unable to promise any certain price, waiting continues, as there is no hurry.

ting
03-18-2010, 09:11 AM
As far as I know, Norway has not signed any purchase papers for F-35 and LM has been unable to promise any certain price, waiting continues.
True, it's all projections at this point.

Breerman
03-18-2010, 09:22 AM
That guarantee was for marketing. I'm pretty sure the writing in fine print would make that clearer. The calculations put the JSF's cost marginally lower, while Gripen NG's risk was deemed much higher. And in the end the JSF was deemed more capable. We might know in 20 years weather their calculations were accurate. AFAIK nothing has happened in the JSF program to change the calculations so far.
You're claiming the guarantee was a lie? It was backed up by the Swedish government (because they knew those were the normal operating costs).

We didn't need to wait then and we certainly don't need to wait now. Pretty much everything the Norwegian government claimed was ridiculous. Like how half of the Gripens would crash in 30 years and God knows everything. They made up 80% of the numbers in the financial evaluation. That deal is a closed chapter but the political aftermaths will be there for a long time.

xav
03-18-2010, 09:55 AM
More on the hover


JSF Nails STOVL and Hovers

UPDATED: HIll Aide Says LockMar Has “long way to go to demonstrate max load bring back vertical landing.“

In a move that couldn’t be much better timed, the F-35B successfully executed a short take off and a landing, as well as a hover.

Lockheed Martin made sure every reporter knew the good news and fed pictures and videos to the media.

A congressional aide was wiling to pay the company on the back, sort of. “Good on them, but they, like you say, should have done this three years ago, and they have a long way to go to demonstrate max load bring back vertical landing. Now, all they can do is maybe fly a nice airshow for the Taliban,” the aide said..

Here’s the release. It pretty much tells the story:

The first Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35B Lightning II short takeoff, vertical landing (STOVL) stealth fighter demonstrated the capability to hover today during a test flight at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The flight was a significant test mission leading up to the aircraft’s first vertical landing. It confirmed predictions of the jet’s vertical thrust, stability and control in hovering flight. Today’s flight began with a conventional takeoff before F-35 lead STOVL Pilot Graham Tomlinson initiated conversion to STOVL mode at 200 knots airspeed. He then slowed the aircraft to 60 knots and flew a decelerating approach to a zero airspeed hover at 150 feet above the runway. This marked the first free air hover in the F-35B Lightning II aircraft. Upon reaching zero airspeed, the pilot executed test points to confirm the controllability of the aircraft in the hover. After completing all hover test points, the pilot executed a STOVL landing at 70 knots airspeed. Later in the day, BF-1 performed the first F-35 short takeoff. Matching performance predictions, the F-35B accelerated down the runway in STOVL mode and lifted off at 100 knots using less than 1000 feet of runway. Today’s successful tests are the latest steps in demonstrating the F-35B’s ability to conduct operations from small ships and unprepared fields, enabling expeditionary operations around the globe.

We won’t be spoil sports and point out just how many months late this is, as that would be churlish.
http://www.dodbuzz.com/2010/03/17/jsf-nails-stovl-and-hovers/

+

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nptpR11liZM&feature=player_embedded

Dompedidomp
03-18-2010, 10:32 AM
Like how half of the Gripens would crash in 30 years and God knows everything. They made up 80% of the numbers in the financial evaluation.

And your source for this is ? Stop posting bs.

Rapier55
03-18-2010, 10:42 AM
SYPRIS WINS ORDERS FOR JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER PROGRAM


ASSEMBLIES USED IN AVIONICS SUITE DESIGNED BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN




TAMPA, FL. (March 4, 2010) – Sypris Electronics LLC, a subsidiary of Sypris Solutions, Inc., announced today that it has been awarded follow-on orders from Northrop Grumman Information Systems to provide electronic assemblies for the communications, navigation and identification (CNI) avionics system on Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program. These additional orders bring the program total to approximately $10 million since the Company’s initial award in 2005.

Sypris Electronics is providing assemblies for the CNI Avionics Interface Controller (two per aircraft) and CNI Processor (five per aircraft), each of which serve as critical communications modules in the avionics suite. The Northrop Grumman avionics system is built on software-defined radio technology that provides F-35 pilots with the consolidated capabilities of more than 40 avionics subsystems.

The F-35 is a supersonic, multirole, 5th generation stealth fighter. Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide, will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for nine nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.

"Sypris Electronics is proud to be a key supplier to and partner of Northrop Grumman on the CNI next-generation avionics system supporting the multi-billion dollar, multi-national Joint Strike Fighter program," John Walsh, President of Sypris Electronics. "Our proven expertise in designing, developing and manufacturing secure communications and situational awareness technologies for the Department of Defense and Prime communities continues to play an important role in our Nation’s security."

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

Sypris Electronics is a world-class, integrated systems solutions provider. Our ruggedized electronic products, advanced engineering services and complete electronic manufacturing capabilities are aligned to provide our customers the best people, practices and technologies to continually exceed expectations. We consistently promote an agile, innovative culture by strategically partnering with leading-edge technology companies, agencies and universities. With over 40 years of experience, Sypris Electronics is proud to develop, manufacture and integrate leading technologies into mission critical electronics systems that secure America’s interest.

Visit www.sypriselectronics.com (http://www.sypriselectronics.com) for additional company information.
Source (http://www.sypris.com/FileManager/Library/Sypris%20Receives%20Follow%20On%20Orders%20for%20JSF.pdf)

ting
03-18-2010, 10:47 AM
You're claiming the guarantee was a lie? It was backed up by the Swedish government (because they knew those were the normal operating costs).

We didn't need to wait then and we certainly don't need to wait now. Pretty much everything the Norwegian government claimed was ridiculous. Like how half of the Gripens would crash in 30 years and God knows everything. They made up 80% of the numbers in the financial evaluation. That deal is a closed chapter but the political aftermaths will be there for a long time.

Guarantee was marketing. You cannot guarantee something like this, to many small details.

Half of Gripens crashing is not what was in the calculations. The media made that up.

Rapier55
03-18-2010, 10:47 AM
Quickstep to supply fighter parts (Aus)



AAP
Perth-based advanced materials company Quickstep has signed a manufacturing licence agreement with US aerospace company Northrop Grumman to supply parts for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
That follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman in November 2009 to finalise a long term agreement to manufacture of up to A$700 million worth of JSF parts.
Quickstep chief executive Philippe Odouard welcomed the latest step.
"The signing of this Manufacturing License Agreement will establish an essential transfer of data between Quickstep and Northrop Grumman to enable Quickstep to complete the final preparations for the planned signing of the Long Term Agreement for F-35 manufacturing in the second quarter of 2010," he said in a statement.
"This is a key step for Quickstep along the road to aerospace manufacturing."
The licence agreement gives Northrop Grumman export approval from the US Department of State to begin transferring technical information to Quickstep.
Under the terms of the MOU, Quickstep would supply 21 different F-35 components which would be exported to the US for incorporation into F-35 aircraft.
The program is planned to last between 20 and 30 years and to generate annual turnover of up to $50 million by 2015.
Quickstep says it has been employing new key staff members and acquiring the necessary equipment to be able to start production as planned in 2012.
Australia is set to buy up to 100 JSF aircraft, which could cost up to $15 billion.
Under the initial JSF development agreement, Australian firms were invited to bid for JSF work with a number securing valuable contracts.Source (http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-business/quickstep-to-supply-fighter-parts-20100318-qho6.html)

Loke2
03-18-2010, 10:50 AM
Thats including training, ground support equipment, training of the ground crews, spares, simulators etc, ad naseum. I think the purchasing price was 18 billion. Which I think is about 60 million USD each.;-)
Yes.

It was 18 billion NOK for 48 planes -- that translates into 56.5 million USD per plane with the exchange rate used by Norwegian MoD at that time. However those figures are from 2008, you have to compensate for inflation. Doing that you end up at around 60 million USD today. Which, I believe, is significantly lower than the figures recently reported by the US media.

I am sure it will increase, however if the Norwegian MoD is right it will stay far below the average US numbers.

Rapier55
03-18-2010, 10:52 AM
DRC Awarded $3.6 Million Contract With the Department of Defense's Joint Strike Fighter Program Office

Company to Identify Cost Reduction Opportunities for F-135 Engine

ANDOVER, Mass., March 17, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dynamics Research Corporation (Nasdaq:DRCO), a leading provider of innovative management consulting, engineering, and technology solutions to federal and state governments, today announced that it was awarded a contract, valued at $3.6 million, with the Department of Defense's Joint Strike Fighter Program Office to identify for the F-135 engine high priority cost reduction areas of focus, analyze and identify specific cost reduction opportunities, and estimate the cost savings of proposed recommendations. The scope of the analysis includes the entire F-135 supply chain. The task order, which has a base period of performance of six months, was awarded under the Logistics, Maintenance and Supply Support contract vehicle.
"This new task order will give DRC the opportunity to demonstrate our robust technical expertise in supporting the Department of Defense in optimizing operations, maximizing efficiency, and streamlining costs," said Jim Regan, DRC's chairman and chief executive officer. "The contract expands on our existing work with all three of the JSF Tier 2.0 Product Teams, which puts us in a unique position to address agency-wide challenges and pioneer long-term improvements."
About Dynamics Research Corporation
Dynamics Research Corporation (DRC) provides measurable performance improvements for government customers through the delivery of innovative management consulting, engineering and technology solutions. DRC offers the capabilities of a large company and the responsiveness of a small company, backed by a history of excellence and customer satisfaction. Founded in 1955, DRC is a publicly held corporation (Nasdaq:DRCO) and maintains more than 25 offices nationwide with major offices in Andover, Massachusetts and the Washington, D.C. region. For more information please visit our website at www.drc.com (http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/ctr?d=186767&l=4&a=www.drc.com&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.drc.com%2F).
Safe harbor statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Some statements contained or implied in this news release may be considered forward-looking statements, which by their nature are uncertain. Consequently, actual results could materially differ. For more detailed information concerning how risks and uncertainties could affect the company's financial results, please refer to DRC's most recent filings with the SEC. The company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information.Source (http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/globenewswire/186767.htm)

Rapier55
03-18-2010, 10:55 AM
NavAir Admiral Tapped To Run JSF Program


Staff report
Published: 16 Mar 2010 17:06

A three-star U.S. Navy admiral has been nominated to take over the troubled Joint Strike Fighter program, the Pentagon announced March 16.

Vice Adm. David Venlet, who runs Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Md., was nominated to lead the joint program office that is developing the F-35 Lightning II, the most expensive procurement program in Pentagon history.
Related Topics

Defense Secretary Robert Gates fired the previous program manager, Marine Maj. Gen. David Heinz, in February.

Venlet, a former F-14 Tomcat pilot, has engineering degrees from the Naval Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School. He is also former test pilot at the Naval Air Test Center in Maryland.
The F-35 program and its lead contractor, Lockheed Martin, have been criticized in recent months for cost overruns and schedule delays.
The Pentagon plans to purchase more than 2,400 F-35s for use in the Air Force, Navy and Marine CorpsDefense News (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4542135&c=AME&s=AIR%20)

Loke2
03-18-2010, 11:03 AM
Half of Gripens crashing is not what was in the calculations. The media made that up.
What was it? I recall it was a very high number -- I think they used the numbers for the Norwegian F-16s as a basis to estimate the number of lost planes.

The funny thing is that after the MLU (2001?) there has not been a single lost plane... in nine years.

The question really is: did they use the same rates for the F-35 as they did for the Gripen?

I still think the financial calculations for Gripen were "strange", it seemed very pessimistic to me. Also I noticed that the Swedish FMV reacted quite strongly to those financial calculations -- whereas it seems to me that they accepted the technical evaluation.

In any case, it's history now. I hope Gripen NG will win a contract soon, it looks to be a great plane, and I hope LM will manage to control costs for F-35...

Breerman
03-18-2010, 11:14 AM
And your source for this is ? Stop posting bs.

Why don't you stop posting nonsense. Source is the Norwegian government report. Only 20% of the numbers in the financial evaluation were provided by Saab. This was mentioned in the official response by the CEO of Saab and the Swedish Defence Minister. The discrepancy is on such a ridiculous level that there's really no room for any type of discussion.


Guarantee was marketing. You cannot guarantee something like this, to many small details.
No. What's so hard to understand? We sell you this, which will include this, to a fixed price. It's a common practice and just as common is that the government backs up state-to-state defence deals. It's hardly a risk either since the costs are based on the actual operating costs.



Half of Gripens crashing is not what was in the calculations. The media made that up.
No, failiure rate was there but it's just one of many similar claims.

Look Norwegians. Your government can choose whatever plane they like and they made their choice. F-35 will be a very modern plane etc. Political concerns is a legitimate reason when it comes to defence procurement, but then it should be done with open cards.

ting
03-18-2010, 11:15 AM
What was it? I recall it was a very high number -- I think they used the numbers for the Norwegian F-16s as a basis to estimate the number of lost planes.

The funny thing is that after the MLU (2001?) there has not been a single lost plane... in nine years.

The question really is: did they use the same rates for the F-35 as they did for the Gripen?

I still think the financial calculations for Gripen were "strange", it seemed very pessimistic to me. Also I noticed that the Swedish FMV reacted quite strongly to those financial calculations -- whereas it seems to me that they accepted the technical evaluation.

In any case, it's history now. I hope Gripen NG will win a contract soon, it looks to be a great plane, and I hope LM will manage to control costs for F-35...

I don't remember the details, but I remember that the half of the planes crashing was a purposeful misunderstanding of the data by the media.

Yep I agree with that. The calculations seemed very negative in regards to evaluating the risks of the Gripen. It could be that the Saab bid looked very good at first glance, but that there were some complicating factors. Also the fact that Norway relies on the US for the training of fighter pilots might mean the JSF was much cheaper for Norway, but not for other countries who plan to buy it.

I hope they get a contract soon too, since it's a great plane, and I think it is cost effective.

ting
03-18-2010, 11:17 AM
Why don't you stop posting nonsense. Source is the Norwegian government report. Only 20% of the numbers in the financial evaluation were provided by Saab. This was mentioned in the official response by the CEO of Saab and the Swedish Defence Minister. The discrepancy is on such a ridiculous level that there's really no room for any type of discussion.


No. What's so hard to understand? We sell you this, which will include this, to a fixed price. It's a common practice and just as common is that the government backs up state-to-state defence deals. It's hardly a risk either since the costs are based on the actual operating costs.


No, failiure rate was there but it's just one thing of many ridiculous claims.

I don't have time to delve deeper into this now. Perhaps next week.

Dompedidomp
03-18-2010, 01:19 PM
Why don't you stop posting nonsense. Source is the Norwegian government report.


What Norwegian government report ? Please show me.

http://www.regjeringen.no/pages/2139522/PDFS/STP200820090036000DDDPDFS.pdf

http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/fd/tema/anskaffelser_til_forsvaret/kampfly-til-forsvaret.html?id=474117

2495
03-18-2010, 01:26 PM
More on the hover


http://www.dodbuzz.com/2010/03/17/jsf-nails-stovl-and-hovers/

+

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nptpR11liZM&feature=player_embedded


Awesome - now it needs to land. Vertically.

Blurghh
03-18-2010, 01:54 PM
Awesome - now it needs to land. Vertically.

;-)

STOVL F-35B Makes First Vertical Landing (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3acc6f2187-278f-4c7c-843e-411c38d386cd&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest)


Aircraft BF-1, the first STOVL F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, has just made its first vertical landing, at NAS Patuxent River, Md.

happyslapper
03-18-2010, 02:03 PM
;-)

STOVL F-35B Makes First Vertical Landing (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3acc6f2187-278f-4c7c-843e-411c38d386cd&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest)

Good-God, what the hell is this... a GOOD week for the JSF programme? Quick, someone remind me which way is up...!