Author Topic: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)  (Read 1626889 times)

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Offline YZT580

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4350 on: December 24, 2018, 09:33:04 »
The americans experimented with that concept using a trapeze on the B47 (I think).  The intent was to allow long range bombers to carry their own air defence fighters and they weren't nearly as controllable as the Harrier.

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4351 on: December 24, 2018, 11:15:58 »
Actually was with B-36--project FICON:

Quote

http://www.air-and-space.com/ficon.htm

There was also the XF-85 Goblin developed specifically to be carried as self-escort:

Quote



https://www.warhistoryonline.com/military-vehicle-news/xf-85-goblin.html

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4352 on: January 05, 2019, 00:26:03 »
During SDD the USAF saw the F-35 fire 2 AMRAMs at 2 drones at once could be a game changer.


https://www.foxnews.com/tech/f-35-air-to-air-missiles-can-now-hit-2-drones-at-once-changing-air-combat

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4353 on: January 05, 2019, 00:28:11 »
During SDD the USAF saw the F-35 fire 2 AMRAMs at 2 drones at once could be a game changer.


https://www.foxnews.com/tech/f-35-air-to-air-missiles-can-now-hit-2-drones-at-once-changing-air-combat

Did the game really change?!

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4354 on: January 05, 2019, 01:48:46 »
You're the pilot so give us an opinion. ;D

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4355 on: January 18, 2019, 13:52:40 »
Singapore buying in slowly (Bs too?), fourth customer in Asia:
Quote
Singapore commits to “small” F-35 procurement

Singapore has confirmed that it will replace its Lockheed Martin F-16s with the F-35, but will assess a “small number” before deciding on its long-term fleet.

The country’s defence ministry announced the decision to acquire to acquire the F-35 in a brief statement on its website.

“Our F-16s will have to retire soon after 2030,” said defence minister Ng Eng Hen in a tweet. “Happy to report that [Defence Science and Technology Agency] and [the air force] have completed their technical evaluation for the replacement, and have decided that the F-35 would be the most suitable replacement fighter.”

This will see Singapore become the first F-35 operator in Southeast Asia, and the fourth in the Asia-Pacific after Australia, Japan, and South Korea. It will also become the first Southeast Asian air force equipped with a stealth aircraft.

“The technical evaluation also concluded that the RSAF should first purchase a small number of F-35 JSFs for a full evaluation of their capabilities and suitability before deciding on a full fleet,” said the ministry’s statement.

“In the next phase, [the ministry] will discuss details with relevant parties in the US before confirming its decision to acquire the F-35 JSFs for Singapore's defence capabilities.”

Neither the ministry nor Ng’s tweets stated how many F-35’s Singapore will obtain or in which variants. The tweet was accompanied by two images, apparently shot at different times, of Ng assessing the aircraft.

In the first, he is having a discussion with an officer in front of a US Air Force F-35A with the registration 11-5039. The second image shows him peering into the cockpit of an F-35B, the short take-off and vertical landing version of the jet, with the outline of the door for the jet’s vertical lift fan visible behind the cockpit.

Singapore has made no secret of its interest in the F-35, with senior officials expressing positive views about the programme in recent years. It is believed to have special interest in the F-35B given the highly urbanised nation’s scarcity of land, which makes basing challenging [emphasis added].

For several years, Lockheed has displayed a mock-up of the F-35 at the Singapore air show in RSAF markings. Singapore is a security co-operation participant in the programme, giving it access to programme data and allowing it to request special studies.

In an interview with Flight Daily News earlier this year, air force chief major-general Mervyn Tan stated that Singapore’s lack of strategic depth means that it needs to prioritise airpower.

“After careful studies, we have concluded that the most cost-effective approach will be to upgrade the F-16s to extend its lifespan, while evaluating the F-35 as a potential candidate to strengthen our fighter force and maintain our combat edge into the future,” he said.

“[The Ministry of Defence] is still evaluating the F-35 JSF. Decisions to acquire new and advanced capabilities are important and will be made after careful and thorough evaluation. We have to ensure that our investment not only meets our defence requirements, but is also cost-effective.”

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that Singapore has 60 in service F-16 Block 52 C/D fighters, the average age of which is 17.8 years. These jets are in the process of being upgraded with active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars, new avionics, and upgraded cockpits. Singapore also operates 40 F-15SGs with an average age of 6.9 years.
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/singapore-commits-to-small-f-35-procurement-455116/

Meanwhile Japan gets smart, saves money:

Quote
Japan to cease in-country assembly of F-35 jets

Japan has confirmed it will not use in-country final assembly facilities for its next lot of Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets.

A spokesperson from the U.S. ally’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency, or ATLA, told Defense News it will instead acquire aircraft imported from overseas for its upcoming fiscal 2019 contract.

The ATLA spokesperson referred Defense News to Japan’s Defense Ministry when asked why Japan will stop local assembly and checkout for its F-35s. The ministry has yet to respond to inquiries.

However, the recent defense guidelines and five-year defense plan released by the Japan government in late December said the country wants to “acquire high-performance equipment at the most affordable prices possible” and “review or discontinue projects of low cost-effectiveness.”..

Japan has taken the local final assembly and checkout, or FACO, route since 2013 for the final assembly of F-35As it previously ordered. According to the ATLA spokesperson, the FACO facility, which is operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, will continue to carry out production work until FY22 to fulfill the F-35As contracted by Japan between FY15 and FY18.

Japan has struggled to sustain its local industrial base, with recently released defense guidelines acknowledging it needs to overcome “challenges such as high costs due to low volume, high-mix production and lack of international competitiveness.”

According to Japanese budget documents, the country agreed to purchase 24 of the F-35As, with each aircraft costing an average $144.2 million, although the cost per aircraft has been on a downward trend, with the FY18 batch costing $119.7 million each. (Both figures are based on current exchange rates and do not take into account currency conversion fluctuations.)

In addition to the 42 F-35As, Japan has also indicated it intends to procure a further 105 F-35s, which will include 42 of the F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variant. The defense plan has called for the acquisition of 45 F-35s over the next five years, of which 18 will be F-35Bs [emphasis added].
https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2019/01/17/japan-to-cease-in-country-assembly-of-f-35-jets/

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4356 on: January 20, 2019, 14:51:53 »
The year ahead:

Quote
OPINION: Can F-35 hit programme targets in 2019?

As years go, 2018 was about as good as it gets when casting a historical eye at the various trials and tribulations which have affected - and at times afflicted - the Lockheed Martin F-35 over the past decade or so.

First Israel, then the US Marine Corps used the fifth-generation type in anger for the first time, striking ground targets in the Middle East. Then, as the year drew to a close, Italy and the UK each declared reaching initial operational capability with the fighter. A protracted, 11-year system development and demonstration phase was at last wrapped up, and successful landing trials were also conducted aboard the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Potential order boosts were hinted at by existing recipients Japan and the Netherlands, and Belgium also opted to advance discussions to buy the A-model jet as a successor for its long-serving Lockheed F-16s. All good news for a programme which will stand or fall on the volume and longevity of its production run.

There were of course setbacks, including a brief suspension of deliveries to the US Air Force amid a dispute over corrosion repair costs, a first-ever crash, involving a USMC F-35B, and the heating up of a simmering spat with Turkey over Ankara's parallel procurement of the Lightning II and Russian-made surface-to-air missile systems. Still to be resolved, this issue could impact Washington's plans to deliver an eventual 100 new aircraft to its NATO ally.

Meanwhile, a record 91 deliveries were also made, from Fort Worth in Texas and national final assembly and check-out lines in Italy and Japan: an impressive rise from the 66 examples transferred in 2018 and 46 the year before. Unit prices also continued to fall, as promised.

The challenge now facing Lockheed is to repeat this achievement as output jumps by a further 40%, to at least 130 aircraft during 2019 [emphasis added].

After eight years of production deliveries, the coming 12 months will provide the sternest test yet for Lockheed, its manufacturing partners BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman, and countless other companies throughout its sprawling supply chain for the Lightning II. Success should keep the programme on a path to delivering an $80 million F-35A from 2020 [emphasis added], but any fresh turbulence could deter additional prospective buyers, and offer encouragement to rival producers such as Boeing, Dassault, Eurofighter and Saab.

Outside the three US services, which our data shows have a combined 264 F-35s in active use, nine other nations have now taken delivery of the type, boosting the global inventory beyond 350. While the Lightning II has at times polarised opinion and perhaps still has more than its fair share of detractors, it is rapidly growing in not only capability, but also operational relevance to the countries which have invested so heavily in it.

Lockheed's ability to keep the programme on target has never been more important.
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/opinion-can-f-35-hit-programme-targets-in-2019-455120/

More, quite a bit on foreign customers:

Quote
ANALYSIS: F-35 production ready to soar in 2019
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/analysis-f-35-production-ready-to-soar-in-2019-455123/

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Online Chris Pook

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4357 on: January 20, 2019, 15:01:51 »
Singapore buying in slowly (Bs too?), fourth customer in Asia:
Meanwhile Japan gets smart, saves money:

Mark
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Japan can more easily acquire the F35s by selling cars, generators and TVs.
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4358 on: January 31, 2019, 16:19:12 »
Is split buy with Super Hornet for nuke role still a possibility (USN SH-s have no nuclear capability)? What about risk to FCAS next-gen fighter program with France/Airbus if don't go all Typhoon?

Quote
Germany officially knocks F-35 out of competition to replace Tornado

Germany’s Ministry of Defence has officially ruled out the F-35 joint strike fighter as a choice to replace its aging Tornado fleet, Defense News has learned.

An official from the ministry confirmed that the F-35 is not a finalist in the competition, which seeks a replacement for the 90-jet fleet. The news was first reported by German site AugenGeradeaus.

The move is not altogether surprising. Berlin for some time has officially favored an upgraded version of the fourth-generation Eurofighter Typhoon, built by a consortium of Airbus, Leonardo and BAE Systems., as the Tornado replacement. The main argument is to keep European companies involved in building combat aircraft and, perhaps even more importantly, staying clear of disturbing Franco-German momentum in armaments cooperation.

However, the decision leaves open the question of certification for nuclear weapons. The Typhoon is not certified to carry the American-made nuclear bombs that Germany, as part of its strategic posture, is supposed to be able to carry on its jets.

Competing against the Typhoon is Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.



Before the German MoD confirmed that the F-35 was officially out of the running, Reuters on Thursday reported that the ministry was considering splitting the buy between the Typhoon and either the F-35 or Super Hornet.

Ordering both the Typhoon and an American aircraft would make it easier to continue carrying out the NATO nuclear mission, while also lending support to the European industrial base. However, it could complicate logistics, adding more expense and forcing the German air force to maintain two supply chains.

It is worth noting that despite complaints about the cost of keeping the ageing Tornados flying, keeping around a certain number of them always has been considered a painful, but not impossible, proposition among some defense experts. That is especially the case for the nuclear mission.

“There does not have to be a nuclear Tornado replacement,” Karl-Heinz Kamp, president of the Federal Academy for Security Policy, a government think tank, told Defense News last August. He noted that any German government is acutely averse to the publicity surrounding Berlin’s would-be atomic bombers.

“That’s why they will keep flying the Tornados, despite the price tag and despite having asked about a Eurofighter nuclear certification in Washington,” Kamp predicted at the time.

This story will be updated.
https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2019/01/31/germany-officially-knocks-f-35-out-of-competition-to-replace-tornado/

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Offline CBH99

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4359 on: January 31, 2019, 16:59:12 »
I know I asked this once before, a while back in a different thread...but just to confirm...

What makes an aircraft capable of fulfilling the nuclear mission, or not being able to fulfill that mission, is simply a matter of software - am I correct?


Because most jets fly high enough & fast enough that escaping the immediate effects of a nuclear blast are pretty much uniform, regardless of the airframe.  It's the software that dictates whether the nuclear weapon can be armed/released?
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4360 on: January 31, 2019, 17:15:52 »
Is split buy with Super Hornet for nuke role still a possibility (USN SH-s have no nuclear capability)? What about risk to FCAS next-gen fighter program with France/Airbus if don't go all Typhoon?

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Just a random thought/wild speculation on my part.  Presumably the new Franco-German fighter will be certified by the French to drop their own nuclear bombs.  In light of the USA's cooler relations with some of it's allies, would it be totally outside the realm of possibility for the Germans to strike an agreement with the French to use their nuclear bombs in case of conflict with Russia instead of American bombs? 

That would get rid of the US certification requirement, lessen the reliance on a seemingly waivering and distant US for deterrence and strengthen the Franco-German defence alliance.  Big question is how much trust do the French and Germans REALLY have in each other?  Enough for the French to share their nuclear weapons and enough for the Germans to trust the French to defend them?

I don't really see this happening, but an interesting thought in these changing times.

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4361 on: January 31, 2019, 18:40:07 »
I know I asked this once before, a while back in a different thread...but just to confirm...

What makes an aircraft capable of fulfilling the nuclear mission, or not being able to fulfill that mission, is simply a matter of software - am I correct?


Because most jets fly high enough & fast enough that escaping the immediate effects of a nuclear blast are pretty much uniform, regardless of the airframe.  It's the software that dictates whether the nuclear weapon can be armed/released?

this sort of stuff  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPTnmZ_HPAs

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4362 on: January 31, 2019, 19:20:50 »
GR66:

Quote
would it be totally outside the realm of possibility for the Germans to strike an agreement with the French to use their nuclear bombs in case of conflict with Russia instead of American bombs?

The idea of French/German nuke cooperation has been discussed quite a bit recently--from 2017:

Quote
Double Down on Developing Europe
France and Germany must fix Europe, beginning with five key areas...

First, gradually combining the armies of Germany and France until they are fully integrated. This is how France and Germany must counter stagnating efforts to deepen cooperation among armed forces throughout Europe. Yes, it would mean a joint supreme command and foreign deployments, but there would also be savings on weapons systems and shared responsibility for French nuclear weapons [emphasis added]...
https://www.handelsblatt.com/today/opinion/eu-evolution-double-down-on-developing-europe/23572756.html

More:
https://www.google.com/search?num=100&client=firefox-b&biw=1067&bih=505&ei=VZBTXInoJuHZxgPS9KjwCA&q=germany+france+%22nuclear+weapons%22&oq=germany+france+%22nuclear+weapons%22&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i22i30.25351.28612..29229...0.0..0.130.232.0j2......0....1..gws-wiz.......0i71j0i30j0i8i30.qNb1dV1Kvpo

But FCAS is some two decades away I would think, so...

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Offline CBH99

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4363 on: January 31, 2019, 19:25:46 »
While certainly possible, I don't know how prudent it would be for the Germans to plan ahead expecting to be integrated with the French nuclear arsenal?

Realistically, the only countries that will potentially use nuclear weapons on another country are the USA, Russia, and China.  I trulyu don't see France nuking anybody anytime soon.


As for using French nuclear weapons against Russia?  Russia isn't invading Europe anytime soon.  Europe pays most of Russia's bills via it's purchase of Russian natural gas & cross-border exchanges of grocery labels.  Without Europe buying oil & gas from Russia, Russia's economy loses one of the very few key pillars it still has.

 
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4364 on: January 31, 2019, 20:01:45 »
While certainly possible, I don't know how prudent it would be for the Germans to plan ahead expecting to be integrated with the French nuclear arsenal?

Realistically, the only countries that will potentially use nuclear weapons on another country are the USA, Russia, and China and Pakistan, India, Isreal, North Korea, and potentially/eventually Iran and Saudi Arabia.  I trulyu don't see France nuking anybody anytime soon.


As for using French nuclear weapons against Russia?  Russia isn't invading Europe anytime soon.  Europe pays most of Russia's bills via it's purchase of Russian natural gas & cross-border exchanges of grocery labels.  Without Europe buying oil & gas from Russia, Russia's economy loses one of the very few key pillars it still has.

FTFY

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4365 on: January 31, 2019, 20:56:14 »
Personal belief of a nasty, cynical Brit:

French nuclear weapons were intended to be detonated over Germany just before the Russians crossed the Rhine into Strasbourg.

No way France is going to detonate nukes over Moscow to defend Warsaw.
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4366 on: January 31, 2019, 21:19:29 »
May 1939, "Mourir pour Dantzig?":



More:

Quote

https://www.herodote.net/4_mai_1939-evenement-19390504.php

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4367 on: January 31, 2019, 21:27:00 »
Personal belief of a nasty, cynical Brit:

French nuclear weapons were intended to be detonated over Germany just before the Russians crossed the Rhine into Strasbourg.

No way France is going to detonate nukes over Moscow to defend Warsaw.

Agreed, but would they detonate nukes over Western Poland to defend Berlin?

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4368 on: February 01, 2019, 11:55:28 »
Quote
Put to the Test: The Advanced F-15 is ready for the fight

Advanced F-15 completes flight tests in Palmdale, California.


A combined U.S. Air Force and Boeing flight test team just wrapped up nearly five years of rigorous testing on the Advanced F-15.  They tested the aircraft’s systems and flight controls in Palmdale, Calif. More than 15,000 test points were covered to assure safety, quality and performance.

“Take my word, it’s not your father’s F-15,” said Matt Giese, Boeing Test & Evaluation chief F-15 test pilot. “This jet has capabilities like we’ve never seen before.”

Capabilities like a fly-by-wire control system for greater maneuverability and angles of attack; arguably the world’s fastest fighter mission computer able to process 87-billion instructions per second; and expanded weapons carriage that can bring up to 12 missiles and assorted munitions on a single aircraft into the fight.

"Integrating advanced technologies has made this unbeaten platform contemporary and future ready,” said Prat Kumar, vice president and program manager, Boeing F-15 programs. “The Advanced F-15 remains ahead of threats now and into the future making the Eagle an enduring attack air platform.”

http://www.boeing.com/features/2019/01/advanced-f15-test-01-19.page

https://www.facebook.com/Boeing/videos/vb.115537125141500/239076200338046

https://twitter.com/BoeingDefense/status/1091345490040492033

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaK_uSeCJgg
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4369 on: February 01, 2019, 21:08:19 »
Teething, teething:

Quote
DOT&E delivers another scathing report on F-35 progress
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/dote-delivers-another-scathing-report-on-f-35-progr-455483/?

DOT&E highlights weaknesses in US Navy EW system testing
https://www.janes.com/article/86117/dot-e-highlights-weaknesses-in-us-navy-ew-system-testing

Bad data in F-35 logistics system [ALIS] resulting in lost missions
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/02/01/bad-data-in-f-35-logistics-system-resulting-in-lost-missions/

Nice that if the RCAF eventually gets will be quite a few years down the road. Very convenient in terms of the report--and also a lot cheaper. However in the meantime as pilots and other seem to be flying the coop...

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4370 on: February 01, 2019, 22:24:17 »
This Aircraft recommended by Supersonic Max :

Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2380 on: December 22, 2018, 20:47:29 »
Quote
The F-15E (or one of its upgraded versions) has always been my #1 choice.  Long legs, lots of weapons, good EA/EP.  Good for both NORAD and NATO.




« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 08:50:54 by Baden Guy »

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4371 on: February 01, 2019, 23:06:58 »
Baden Guy:

Quote
We were there the first day in Kosovo and would have been in Libya and Iraq if we had been positioned closer sooner

Not exactly peer, near peer, adversaries. Even for Canada at the relevant time.

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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4372 on: February 02, 2019, 09:51:59 »
Article from the Arizona Republic

https://arizonarepublic-az.newsmemory.com/?token=809e2e2be0db26dc8e751cf46c9e3f03&cnum=3952677&fod=1111111-0&selDate=20190202&licenseType=paid_subscriber&

Luke feels effects of national pilot shortage - 1 Feb 19

Luke Air Force Base is feeling the effects of a national personnel shortage that has left the Air Force without enough pilots, maintenance crew and support staff to fully power U.S. military needs.

“Right now, we don’t have enough of certain types of pilots to actually account for all the jobs that we need to do in the Air Force,” said Maj. William Andreotta, operations director for Luke’s 56th Training Squadron. “Those can be anything from here in the front line of actually flying the aircraft all the way to staff jobs that require pilot knowledge as a background to be able to do the job.”

The Air Force is trying to make training more efficient, and programs around the state are playing their part by building passion in high schoolers, teaching them the intricacies needed to become a pilot, mechanic or air-traffic controller.

As of September, the Air Force had unfilled positions for 1,500 pilots. At Luke, a training base, the shortage of instructors to train fighter pilots to fly F-16 and F-35 fighter jets is particularly acute. Pilots have tough work lives, and those undergoing training often leave to pursue a better balance between work and family life, leaders said. Luke spokesman Jensen Stidham said that as of September, there were 58 instructor pilots, leaving 26 open positions for F-16 pilots. For F-35s, only 85 out of 101 instructor-pilot positions were filled.

A backlog of aircraft mechanics also has led to a decrease in available aircraft, which leads into a continuing loop: the number of pilots that can train depends on the number of aircraft available.

Andreotta said the Air Force is trying to solve the problem partly by making training more efficient. “Where we can decrease the course length but not decrease the quality of the product that we’re sending out there, so that’s how we produce more (pilots),' he said. Air Force officials say their goal is to have most positions manned at 95 percent by 2024. But that will be tougher for fighter pilots: the 95 percent goal is set for 2029.

Another way to build the fighter pilot force is to educate high schoolers. In Tucson, high school students are learning what it takes to build a kit airplane through Southern Arizona Teen Aviation, a non-profit organization. They're building a two-seat Van’s Aircraft RV12 and will fly it, according to the group’s website. The students are involved in building all parts of the single-engine airplane, the website says. The experience gives the students skills to pursue careers ranging from pilot to aircraft mechanic. “We’re trying to give the kids an opportunity to get their hands on an airplane, see what an airplane’s like, fly on an airplane, work with an airplane, build an airplane,” co-founder Alan Muhs said.

At Phoenix’s South Mountain High School, senior Jaja Obasi enrolled in his school’s aerospace program. According to the school’s website, students enrolled in the program learn aviation fields like aircraft maintenance and air-traffic control and can work towards earning their private-pilot certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. Obasi said he loves aviation and that he wants to become a pilot. “Then just getting up in the air, that feeling that you get in your stomach,” he said.

Besides the instructor shortage, Luke is also not up to full strength on mechanics, which affects training availability.
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4373 on: February 06, 2019, 10:51:51 »
More often you see a flight of two. A formation of four is fairly normal. Daily, Mon to Fri. Last week, driving down Bell Rd (the main drag), a F-35 was flying low and slow IFR (I Follow Roads) West to East above the road. I was driving so could not get a photo. We had a sonic boom from a distance last month. Shook the windows where we live, West of Surprise.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2019/02/05/glendale-arizona-luke-air-force-base-f-35-program-grows-noise-grows/2778033002/

Here's why the skies around Luke Air Force Base are getting noisier
- 5 Feb 19

As skies around Luke Air Force Base get busier and noisier, the base wants West Valley (Phoenix) residents who live nearby to know that this is the new norm. The base's F-35 program is growing, as planned. With more planes and more pilots to train, there's more training flights each day, and the time between flights — and noise from an overhead plane — is shrinking.

The base hit a milestone in January. For the first time, there were more than 1,000 F-35 flights from the base in one month, said Becky Heyse, a base spokeswoman.

Also last month, the base saw a dramatic increase in noise complaints from those living around the base, Heyse said. She declined to provide the number of complaints in January. In all of 2018, there were about 80, according to numbers provided by Luke near the end of the year. The number of complaints coming in so far this month seem more normal, Heyse said.

But the number of flights, and the noise, will continue to grow as the program grows. Luke officials are asking residents for their continued support, Heyse said. "The program has been as successful as it has been because we have this community support," she said.(That's True. When the USAF was analyzing where to place the F-35 program, the community overwhelmingly  supported Luke AFB. A few dissented, and where told you know where your residence was when you purchased it. )

Five years into F-35 program

Luke is located north of Camelback Road and west of Litchfield Road in west Glendale (City in NW Phoenix). It was a mainstay for F-16s during that jet's heyday.

Becky Heyse, Luke Air Force Base spokeswoman, on the base's F-35 program: “The program has been as successful as it has been because we have this community support.”

The base is now phasing out its F-16 program as its F-35 program grows. In the last few months, it reached another milestone: The number of F-35s surpassed the number of F-16s on base. After receiving its first F-35 in 2014, the base is now up to 85 F-35s. The plan is to build out the inventory to a total of 144 F-35s. The base has 77 F-16s after dropping from a peak of more than 200.

Luke trains pilots from around the world, and, in total, trains 70 percent of the world's F-35 pilots. The pilots are trained on planes from all of the F-35 partner countries, which are the U.S., (Norwegians since Nov 15) Australia, Norway, Italy, Turkey and the Netherlands. The base is also training pilots from the Republic of Korea. On Friday, it received its first Dutch F-35, Heyse said. The base graduates about 105 F-35 pilots per year, and about 98 F-35 maintainers per year, according to November data provided by Luke. Luke, along with the rest of the U.S. Air Force, faces a shortage in pilots and pilot instructors.

Noise doesn't bother some


Surprise (City in NW Phoenix) Councilman Chris Judd, who has lived near the base for about 15 years, said he hasn't noticed an increase in flights lately. He said noise from the flights is "just part of living" in his district. F-35s are louder than the F-16s that long-time residents may have been used to.

Luke officials aren't sure why complaints jumped last month, but they have their guesses, Heyse said. It was colder, and planes sound louder when it's cold. The base shut down one of two runways for construction in January, which may have changed what certain residents heard. And there weren't as many flights taking place in December during the holidays, so in January residents may have been more inclined to notice when flights picked back up again. Judd said his neighbors don't complain to him about the noise. In fact, he said, complaining about it is "almost socially unacceptable."

It's common in the communities around Luke to refer to it as the sound of freedom. (That's True)

« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 15:10:12 by Rifleman62 »
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Re: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
« Reply #4374 on: February 15, 2019, 16:06:06 »
Closing in on that big block buy at very reasonable price for F-35A:

Quote
DoD to begin negotiations to buy 485 Lockheed Martin F-35s
The F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office intends to solicit and negotiate multiple contracts to buy 485 stealth fighters from Lockheed Martin.

The negotiations are for aircraft to be built as part of production Lots 15, 16 and 17, the Department of Defense office said in a notice posted online 13 February announcing its intent to begin bargaining. The contracts would provide for long lead time materials, parts, components, initial spares, and labour, as well as production and testing equipment.

The anticipated award date is in the third quarter of calendar year 2021, the Pentagon says. The notice did not disclose costs and the Joint Programme Office said it wouldn’t speculate about prices during negotiations, though it expects the price of the F-35A to fall.

We are committed to having a less than $80 million F-35A by 2020 [emphasis added],” says the office.

Lot 15 would include 116 F-35As, 29 F-35Bs, and 24 F-35Cs; a total of 169 aircraft.

Lot 16 would include 101 F-35As, 32 F-35Bs, 24 F-35Cs; a total of 157 aircraft.

Lot 17 would include 98 F-35As, 37 F-35Bs, and 24 F-35Cs; a total of 159 aircraft.

The notice did not break down individual customers. However, the Joint Program Office gave a broad summary of the possible order. The US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps would together acquire 295 aircraft; development partners would acquire 143 aircraft; and foreign military sales would account for the remaining 47 aircraft. No new F-35 customers are included in the potential order [emphasis added].

Development partners and foreign military sales would be a mix of F-35A and F-35B variants, though the Joint Program Office declines to elaborate further on the US services' order.

The Joint Program Office says its intent is to make Lots 15, 16 and 17 part of a multiyear contract, pending Congressional approval. A multiyear contract is a special agreement with the permission of the US Congress that would provide for a cancellation payment to be made to Lockheed Martin if appropriations are not made as promised [emphasis added]. In return for a stronger guarantee of business, Lockheed Martin can then go forward to negotiate bulk discounts for materials and parts, passing back some savings to the Defense Department.

Lockheed Martin said it has delivered more than 360 aircraft as of 1 February. Most recently, on 30 January, the company celebrated the rollout of the first operational F-35A for the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

As production ramps and additional improvements are implemented, Lockheed Martin says its goal is to reduce the cost of an F-35A to $80 million by 2020. Deliveries for Lot 11 began in 2019, with the cost of the F-35A set at $89.2 million per example [emphasis added].
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/dod-to-begin-negotiations-to-buy-485-lockheed-martin-455793/

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