F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Fonck83

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Oups :
https://news.sky.com/story/uk-has-m...ilots-to-fly-them-ben-wallace-admits-12735825
UK has more F-35 fast jets than pilots to fly them, Ben Wallace admits
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says "our pilot pipeline is not in a place I would want it to be".
Deborah Haynes

The UK has more state-of-the-art F-35 fast jets than pilots because of problems with flying training, the defence secretary has revealed.
The Ministry of Defence only has just over 20 of the next-generation £100m warplanes but cannot even man all of them, Ben Wallace confirmed.
https://www.outbrain.com/what-is/default/en
"It's a shambles," a former Royal Air Force officer said.
Speaking to a committee of Peers, the defence secretary described the situation as "quite a challenge", claiming that the deficit in pilots was also because the F-35 Lightning aircraft is new.
However, the Ministry of Defence formally announced its intention to buy the jets - a programme led by the United States and the US defence giant Lockheed Martin - back in 2006, and the first British pilot flew one in 2010.


The defence secretary conceded that the military's flying training - beset by delays, with pilots waiting up to eight years to qualify instead of the target time of between two-to-three years - was a key factor.
"Our pilot pipeline is not in a place I would want it to be," Mr Wallace said.

He had instructed Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, the head of the Royal Air Force, to sort out flying training as his only priority more than three years ago. Yet - as revealed by Sky News over the summer - it is still in crisis.
The F-35 is one of the UK's most expensive and coveted equipment programmes, with the jets seen as bringing a new level of capability to the armed forces because of their sophisticated radars, sensors and other pieces of covert equipment.


Analysis: RAF's three simultaneous crises put Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston under pressure
Britain originally intended to buy 138 of the F-35 jets over time.
However, at present it has only bought 27 of the aircraft.
One of them is out of use after crashing into the sea off one of the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers last year, three more are in the US, leaving just 23 in the UK to be used by Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm pilots.
 

blackjack

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https://www.an.no/kampfly-matte-nodlande-i-bodo/s/5-4-1690156
01.12.22 15:17

An F35 fighter jet had to make an emergency landing at Bodø airport on Thursday, reported VG newspaper.
Distress signals were sent out just before 2 p.m., the newspaper reported.
Two other planes that were going to land in Bodø had to circle around Meløy, a tipster tells VG.
Communications Manager in the Air Force, Eivind Byre, confirmed the incident to the newspaper. He says that the fighter plane was on its way from Ørland Air Station to Evenes when the situation arose.
"The fighter plane received an error message on the system and made a controlled emergency landing in Bodø just before 2 p.m.," he told the newspaper, adding that the F-35 landed without drama.
The error message is currently being investigated, according to Byre.



The only way to save embarrassment at this rate is just to say they were tested in UAV mode or some shit. I guess these mishaps both happened on the same day?
 

BON PLAN

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Fonck83

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I think there was a big misunderstanding. For many of the F-35's customers, the idea of lasting in an intense war was not even considered. Just look at the depth of the ammunition stockpile ordered. In this context, the F-35, despite all its known shortcomings, was largely sufficient.

The problem is that now the "sustainable war" has become a widely plausible hypothesis. What's more, these wars must be fought with equipment that can be given, projected and resilient, and therefore durable and repairable. Moreover, the Russians and the Ukrainians have used a lot of air assets that the current gen4+ can largely engage without the help of the F-35. In this new context, the F-35 is no longer suitable. Resilience is not really its thing, especially if it is asked to work a lot. So we will have the return or the confirmation of mixed air forces.

It seems that "sustainable war" is starting to take hold among military advisors (but not yet among decision makers). The link between maintenance and engagement capability is still only formulated in budgetary terms, but it is clear that the fear (even if it is putaclic) of having aircraft unable to fight effectively is present:
RAAF’s F-35 is flawed, not meeting Australia’s defense needs
By Boyko Nikolov On Dec 6, 2022


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CANBERRA ($1=1.49 Australian Dollars) — Australia is about to build a fourth squadron of US Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighters. Thus, the Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] is expected to have a total of 96 fighters.


Australia is not only a buyer but an industrial partner of Lockheed Martin in the F-35 program. Australia’s history with the F-35 began twenty years ago – in 2002. As a Tier 3 partner in the F-35 program, Canberra has committed to spending more than $16 billion to acquire at least 76 fighters. To date, 54 fighters have already been delivered by Lockheed Martin to the RAAF. 2023 is the deadline set by the Australian government to bring all 54 fighters into operational readiness.
However, in Australia, with the euphoria of acquiring the first fighters long gone and their history with the RAAF, operational problems are already emerging.
The government program to build a fourth squadron [96 F-35s in total] by the government in the country was the first to fall under the experts’ radar. Australia’s most respected military expert and the country’s defense analyst since the 1970s, Mr. Brian Toohey disagrees with the government’s intentions. Toohey argued that Australia should demand a refund of the amount given to date for the F-35 purchase.
There are several reasons. First of all – the cost of maintenance. It turns out that each Australian F-35 spent 23% less time in the air than planned. In the next three years, this trend will continue. This means more downtime on the ground than anticipated and increased maintenance and storage costs. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Australia must spend $11 billion to maintain its Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fleet until 2053.

This immediately begs the question: if the reason for the fewer flight hours is maintenance issues, how many more billions will the Australian taxpayer have to pay to ensure the aircraft are operational until 2053?

They describe the F-35 in Australia as a complete disaster. One example is that the first two fighter jets purchased in 2013 for $280 million are so old that they cannot be upgraded, according to Lockheed Martin’s current configuration.
Mr. Anthony Galloway, an Australian defense journalist painted an even bleaker picture. According to him, the Australian F-35 does not burden Australia’s needs at all. An example is China. An Australian F-35 cannot reach the South China Sea unless it refuels in flight. I.e. with an operational combat radius of 1,000 km, to reach a maximum of 1,500 km you need to refuel. This means placing tankers in the air, which are easy targets if a conflict with China arises.
Galloway even goes further in his analysis, claiming that the aircraft’s actual range is 500 km during combat, as it would need to throttle, accelerate or decelerate. When forcing and accelerating during combat, much more fuel is spent, which automatically reduces the operational range in km.
Other local military experts say that the advertised “supersonic” option does not correspond to reality, since at such a speed [Mach 1.6] the plane can only travel for 90 seconds. After these 90 seconds, the F-35 pilot must slow down. And all this if there is no military conflict.

There are more problems. For example, Australian analysts write, the Australian F-35 uses Block 3F software. It is a digital electronic system designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The maintenance and updating of this operating system are much more extensive and expensive than its competing systems around the world. This opinion is not just the comment of an Australian analyst, but also the comment of a senior American officer.

Last year, Lt. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote, the USAF’s deputy chief of staff, expressed serious concerns about the Block 3F software, saying, “the block that is coming off the line right now is not a block that I feel good about going up against China and Russia. “ It becomes even more frightening after it became clear that even US fighter jets did not use Block 3F software during the 2018 and 2019 war games.
nce and engagement capability is still only formulated in budgetary terms, but it is clear that the fear (even if it is putaclic) of having aircraft unable to fight effectively is present.

 

BON PLAN

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Fonck83

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HERE'S AN INTERESTING DATE: The first EEPs will be delivered from 2029 (against 2030 for AETPs). Everything that will be delivered before then will have to undergo a major upgrade to take advantage of the extra power required for the block4 .... Until then, the F-35 customers will be fighting a lot of war in simulators :chirolp_iei:

With 150 F-35s delivered per year, two thirds of the F-35s will already have been delivered. To think that this subject of upgrade delays had already been discussed when the Belgian F-35 was sold...

Incidentally, the choice of the update has been delayed by one year (FY24 instead of FY23 previously announced)... While it is an absolute emergency ...

Last interesting figure of the EEP is 30% of the basic f-135 which is modified.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)


Raytheon Targets F135 Engine Core Upgrade for 24 F-35 Squadrons by 2030

A formation of Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-35A Lighting II's conduct a flyover during the Misawa Air Fest at Misawa Air Base, Japan on Sept. 11 (U.S. Air Force Photo)
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By Frank Wolfe |
1 hour ago |
12/13/2022
highlights

Raytheon Technologies [RTX] said that it is able to outfit 24 F-35 squadrons with an Engine Core Upgrade (ECU) for the company’s Pratt & Whitney F135 engine by 2030–seven squadrons in 2029 and 17 in 2030–compared to just two F-35 squadrons that could receive a new engine under the Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP) in 2030.
The ECU and Raytheon’s proposed Emergency Power and Cooling System (EPACS), which is to achieve Technology Readiness Level 6 next year, are to provide a seven percent increase in performance range and thrust for the Lockheed Martin [LMT] F-35 fighter, more than twice the cooling of the F135 to accomodate new weapons in F-35 Block 4, and a more than $40 billion savings in life cycle costs.
DoD’s upcoming fiscal 2024 budget may lay out the future engine path for the F-35–whether that be the Pratt & Whitney proposed F135 ECU or a new power plant, such as General Electric‘s [GE] proposed XA100 Tri-Variant Adaptive (TVA) engine (Defense Daily, Oct. 11).
Raytheon suggested that DoD could not accelerate AETP development and fielding.
“As to why we can’t do XA faster, it has to do with the fact that the ECU is a core upgrade, meaning 70 percent of the material likely will stay common,” Jen Latka, Pratt & Whitney’s vice president for F135 programs, told reporters in a virtual briefing/question and answer session on Dec. 13. “There’s no touching the [engine] fan. We’re not touching the back end of the engine. It [ECU] is limited in scope to the core. We are limiting the technologies that we bring in to what is absolutely necessary.”
“The supply base that we currently have is the supply base that will manufacture ECU,” she said. “They’re already up and established, and there won’t be massive changes…On the other hand, when you look at how historically how long it takes to ramp a brand-new center line engine, let alone one that has never flown before so we’ll have a tremendous amount of learning and we’ll need a very robust flight test program, given it’s only engine on this aircraft, that’s gonna take a lot of time. The test program will take a lot of time, and then standing up the supply chain and the supply base and ramping them to full rate is going to take years.”
Regarding the F135 and the Pratt & Whitney F119 engine for the U.S. Air Force F-22 fighter by Lockheed Martin, “we didn’t get to [a build] rate [of] 150 every year overnight,” Latka said. “It took many years. It [AETP] is a completely new engine with completely new parts to manufacture.”
Raytheon also said that AETP is “significantly heavier” than the 3,750 pound dry weight F135, but declined to disclose how much heavier and referred that question to the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO). Defense Daily will add any response from the F-35 JPO.
The ECU was formerly known as the Engine Enhancement Program but the F-35 JPO changed the name recently.
Pratt & Whitney recently received a more than $115 million contract for ECU work through May next year (Defense Daily, Dec. 5).
Technology Refresh 3 (TR3)–spurred by the L3Harris [LHX] integrated core processor–is the computer backbone for Block 4, which is to have 88 unique features and to integrate 16 new weapons on the F-35. The F-35 program has said that the fighter will need a new or significantly upgraded engine with improved electrical power and cooling capacity to accommodate the 53 new capabilities slated for F-35 Block 4.
In October, 48 representatives urged DoD to invest in next generation, adaptive propulsion for fighters in a letter co-sponsored by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio).
In all, 13 of 16 Ohio representatives signed the letter.
General Electric’s GE Aviation subsidiary has its headquarters in Evendale, Ohio outside of Cincinnati.
GE has said that it began working with the F-35 JPO in the fall of last year on evaluating whether GE could alter the proposed XA100 for the U.S. Air Force’s AETP to fit on the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B.
Since 2016, the Air Force has funded the AETP.
The F-35 program has said that while the XA100 TVA is based on the F-35A’s F135 engine, the TVA would require an independent development program.
 

vampyrbladez

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Is that a write off?
This was being tested by Lockheed Martin before delivery to Italy. Given the fact it is mostly alright due to the circuits being shutdown after bailing out, killing power to the engines and the airframe was safe.

Most likely it will head to LM's facility down the road and get patched up for testing and delivery again.
 

Super Flanker

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Russian Su-27 following an F-35.:)


Luneberg lenses seem present.
Yes the F-35 is carrying radar reflectors/luneberg lenses as pointed out by me in this screenshot.

IMG_20221219_070552.jpg


Anyways it's obvious that you would want to carry a luneberg lenses with you in such situations, especially on a stealth fighter cause you don't want your adversary to discern the real RCS, hence you use luneberg lenses to increase the actual RCS several times more and as a result are able to hide the true RCS.

Here is a representative pic of an F-35 with radar reflectors.

F-35-Lunenburg-lenses.jpg
 
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