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F-35 Program - General Discussion

This is a discussion on F-35 Program - General Discussion within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by OPSSG Hot on the heels of the news that the US Marines have set the IOC of ...


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Old May 30th, 2013   #46
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Originally Posted by OPSSG View Post
Hot on the heels of the news that the US Marines have set the IOC of their first F-35B squadron in the latter half of 2015, there was a rumor that USAF will set their F-35A IOC earlier too.



I am less interested in the USAF moving the goal posts to hit an earlier IOC date (with version 3i) and more interested in when version 3F of the software, along with LRIP Lot-9, will be ready (with full weapons). For more details see the chart in SpudmanWP's post above.
True, though it is a significant vote of confidence in the capability when multiple users have declared they will use Block 3i as their IOC capability...
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Old May 31st, 2013   #47
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True, though it is a significant vote of confidence in the capability when multiple users have declared they will use Block 3i as their IOC capability...
During Parliamentary hearings on 16 May 2013 (see PDF transcript of proceedings) of Australia’s Joint Committee On Foreign Affairs, Defence And Trade:
(i) Vice Admiral Peter Jones, Chief, Capability Development Group, Department of Defence; and

(ii) Air Vice Marshal Kym Osley, Program Manager, New Air Combat Capability, Defence Materiel Organisation, Department of Defence,
discusses some aspects of the F-35′s air-to-air performance and are quoted below from the following pages:-

Pages 6-7:

Vice Adm. Jones: Maritime strike capability is a high-capability priority for Australia, and also is a very high US Department of Defense priority for block 4A, planned for release to service in the 2020-21 timeframe. Defence assess a medium risk that the implementation of the Joint Stand-Off Weapon, or JSOW C-1 maritime strike weapon, could be delayed to beyond the planned F-35A final operating capability date of 2023. This risk will be reassessed once the final block 4A content and priorities are confirmed in around September 2013 and advised as a part of the AIR 6000 phase 2A/2B second-pass consideration to government.

A high risk remains in the area of generating a suitable mission data load for the F-35A at IOC. The mission data load contains threat parameters, weapons information and other mission data. Ways of mitigating this risk are being investigated, including the sourcing of an initial mission data load from the United States.

From a schedule perspective, software remains a key risk; however, the risk appears to be reducing. The block 2B release is expected to be delivered to the fleet in mid-2015, and block 3I in 2016, representing about a four year schedule buffer to the planned Australian IOC of 2020.

The independent DMO SCRAM review assessed about 11 months of schedule risk in the block 3F software. This assessment appears valid with about three months slip now forecast by the US JSF Program Office. The block 3F fleet release is planned for the third quarter of 2017, but could be as late as mid-2018 if the risk is realised. Defence will have better idea of fleet release date for block 3F after the block 3 critical design review in mid-2013.

<snip>

Pages 7-8:

SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIR: Thanks so much for that update on the JSF. I found it quite interest-ing, since we last were briefed at Avalon. I was interested in the cost. There appears to be a significant reduction in terms of what was projected. Did that have any bearing in terms of Japan coming on board with a JSF and anything to do with the decision by the US government to start winding back on defence? Can you elaborate on whether that had any bearing on the prices that you have indicated at today's hearing?

Air Vice Marshal Olsey: The costs that were just covered that indicate the way the price is trending down are from, as you heard, the Selected Acquisition Report 2011. The inputs to that include things such as the latest expected orders that have come in from the partner nations and any adjustments that are made — including any adjustments made because of the Japanese announcement. So the SAR 11 figures did include the adjustments for the FMS customers that were known at the time that the SAR estimate came out. The next SAR estimate that comes out in a short time, in the next few months, will take into account any developments in the 12 months since that last estimate came out. So, if any further FMS customers or any adjustments to partner numbers occur, they will be reflected in the latest annual estimate. Those annual estimates are valid as at this point in time.

SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIR: No, I was interested in whether the Japanese inclusion in the program had a bearing on it overall.

Air Vice Marshal Osley: The short answer is any FMS customer including the Japanese does reduce the price for the other partners. That is a downward trend on the cost. Of course there are upward trends on the cost— that is, should the expected ramp down in labour time on certain parts not be achieved then that would be an upward trend on the dollar figures.

<snip>

Pages 9-10:

Air Vice Marshal Osley: As you are well aware there is a dual path on the helmet. We currently have the VSI Gen II helmet. The VSI Gen III helmet, which will have an improved low-light night vision capability will be coming in about 2015 and that will then take over. We will know longer have the VSI Gen II. We will go to an all VSI Gen III helmet. You are well aware that the other path is a BAE helmet that has a night vision goggle arrangement attached to it as an interim helmet and as an alternate helmet to the VSI helmet. At the moment both paths are being progressed but of course the flight testing was all about the VSI Gen II helmet. I think you are across the issues but I will briefly cover them. Alignment is a key one. You hop into the aircraft and on occasion the helmet display may not be aligned with the earth. That requires you to get out of the aircraft and have it realigned on the ground. They are working on a proposal to have that, whereby you in fact fine-tune that prior to getting in the aeroplane; the pilot can do it as part of his normal checkout procedures. At the moment you have to return the helmet and basically go back and have it adjusted in the workshop. They are making it so that it is pilot-adjustable.

The next one is green glow, and that is a factor of the design of the helmet, using LCDs. It implies that there is a whole lot of extraneous light that is coming in at night around the display. Even though it is noted by a few of the test pilots it is not considered an operationally significant issue for them and they can overcome that one.

The third one is jitter. There were in excess of 35 flight tests; I believe there were 38 by the time I had been to Edwards, and there were more being planned. The initial results were that they were seeing positive improvements from the modifications that had been made. So, they had adjustments to the software to counteract the jitter, and in the pre-jitter software the pilot considered that it was acceptable but that it would require some workarounds and some compensation operationally. The post-modification ones for the anti-jitter in the software were showing significant improvement. That is all I could get out of them at the time, from the commander there.

The fourth issue is DAS latency—that is, the display has a lag in it. That lag has proven in the test flights to not be significant, so it is no major concern. It is expected to meet USAF operational requirements. They have tested it and measured it and the USAF is now considering that data, but it is looking good.

The final one is the night vision camera. The Generation II helmet is not compliant in its night vision capability, and that is an issue not so much for the USAF — it can achieve their operational requirements — but for the US Marine Corps, in particular for fine motor skills of landing on the deck of an LHD and the fine motor skills involved in air refuelling off KC-130s at night doing the probe refuelling. It is a problem both with the amount of resolution you have and with the location of the camera, as you are aware. That will be fixed in the Generation III helmet by using a better system, and they are working on that. And in the interim of course the US Marine Corps are assessing whether it is operationally acceptable to go to IOC in 2015 with it, noting that they also have the alternate helmet as the backup at this time.

So, that is a readout of where we are up to at this point in time. It is an ongoing issue, and we do expect more clarity on it later in the year. But the indication from a Royal Australian Air Force point of view is that the only issue that is basically a red at the moment is the night vision camera, and from our perspective we can achieve our IOC missions with the system as it is. It is not necessarily a red for us, from an operational perspective. I will finish by saying that the helmet mounted display will not meet the specification that was planned. That is a given; it cannot meet the specification. It is a very tight specification and the Generation II will not do that. But it is looking like being operationally acceptable.

Senator FAWCETT: Perhaps you could talk to me about the weapons road map for the Joint Strike Fighter and your current thinking around short-range and medium-range air-to-air, and also your plans for the collaboration with Norway in the Joint Strike Missile.

Air Vice Marshal Osley: The road map is that we will go to initial operating capability with a minimum of the Block 3I capabilities, and those weapons, from an air-to-air point of view, are limited to the AMRAAM.

Senator FAWCETT: So, no short-range?

Air Vice Marshal Osley: That is with Block 3F, and we are expecting that that will be implemented either for IOC or soon after IOC, but the minimum requirement for IOC is the AMRAAM as part of the Block 3I. The AIM-9X software will be in the load but it will not be certified and tested until Block 3F.

Just to make it clear: at this point in time we are of course progressing on the assumption that we are aiming to get block 3F in there, with block 3I as our fallback. The weapons road map for block 3F is to have the air-to-air mode — obviously, the gun, the AIM-9X and the advanced AMRAAMs. Then, after that, we are looking at other projects. We have projects in the DCP to look at the next range of air-to-air weapons to take over in the longer term.

<snip>
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Old May 31st, 2013   #48
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Pages 12-14:

Air Vice Marshal Osley: The way that the requirements for the F35 were set up is to talk about mission performance. Mission performance specification is the high level. There is no doubt at this time about the F35 meeting that mission performance — that is, the ability to counter certain threats that might be encountered at IOC and into the future. That level of the specification remains as valid; we are not questioning that; it is actually achieving that. Below that you have your key performance parameters. The aeroplane at this point in time is achieving those, as far as the F35A is concerned. The figures that you are talking about, the specifications down the bottom with the sustained turn and the transonic acceleration, are derived values in order to meet the overall mission performance specification. We have always been focused on the ability of the aeroplane to meet the overall mission performance specification — the ability to do its air-to-air mission and to do its air-to-ground mission. If you take a particular parameter, such as the transonic acceleration, the difference between—in fact, the F35 can reach mach 1.16 in 55 seconds, so it is 0.04 mach short of that target, and in a slight descent it will exceed the limit. The point to make is that we do not necessarily get too focused on those individual derived parameters. We are focused on the overall ability of the platform, trading off everything—all the different capabilities—it has there: the situational awareness, the performance of the radar, the performance of the electronic warfare capability, the performance of stealth, the balance of range mission payload and the weapons. The situational awareness is really the key—taking that and seeing how it performs against the overall mission specification. For instance, the trade-off that might have been made — the delay in the transonic acceleration — might have been due to giving it increased stealth as they were going through the design of the aeroplane. So you really need to see not the individual parameters but the overall specification. At the highest level, as I said, it is all about mission performance. That is what we do focus on.

<snip>

Air Marshal Brown: I will answer that question and try to deal with it in a couple of parts. I think you are kind of mixing situational awareness and rearward visibility.

Dr JENSEN: No, no.

Air Marshal Brown: Let me go through what 'situational awareness' is because it is actually the key advantage of fifth-generation fighters. It has been the key advantage in combat for quite a deal of time, even as far back as World War II. Air crew with the most situational awareness will normally win the day. But rarely since World War II has close-in combat been the actual determining factor because situational awareness is really that combination of things — of understanding what has happened, what is happening and the ability to say what will happen into the future. This is where fifth-generation aeroplanes have an unprecedented advantage over fourthgeneration types. The rearward visibility — when you look at those pilots — it depends on which aeroplane you fly.

Dr JENSEN: F16s and 18s?

Air Marshal Brown: Yes. The A10. I think most of them were A10 drivers.

Dr JENSEN: No, three were F16. One was 18.

Air Marshal Brown: I think if you have a look around on an F16 sometimes that is not wonderful either. But getting back to the situational awareness, the ability to actually have that data fusion that the aeroplane has makes an incredible difference to how you perform in combat. I saw it first hand on a Red Flag mission in an F15D against a series of fifth-generation F22s. We were actually in the red air. In five engagements we never knew who had hit us and we never even saw the other aeroplane at any one particular time. That is a current fourth generation aeroplane.

The data fusion in the stealth makes such a difference to your overall situational awareness it is quite incredible. After that particular mission I went back and had a look at the tapes on the F22, and the difference in the situational awareness in our two cockpits was just so fundamentally different. That is the key to fifth generation. That is where I have trouble with the APA analysis. They tend to go down particular paths in the aeroplane, whether it is turn rate performance or acceleration. These are all important factors, but it is a combination of what you have actually got in the jet and the situational awareness that is resident in the cockpit of a fifth-generation aeroplane that makes the fundamental difference.

Dr JENSEN: With the F22s there are four KPIs that relate to aerodynamic performance: range, supercruise, manoeuvrability and transonic acceleration. With the JSF there is only one, and it relates to range. Clearly with the F22 they regard those performance parameters as critical in performing its air-to-air role, whereas the parameters around the JSF are clearly designed around the strike role. Indeed, even the carriage of just two AMRAAM missiles — I know there is talk of it being four and perhaps six —

Air Marshal Brown: It actually carries four at the moment

Dr JENSEN: The point is that the requirement was only for two, which indicates in effect a self-defence capability rather than an air combat capability, whereas the F22 has got eight in its internal configuration.

Air Marshal Brown: Let me get back to my example again. In all those cases, neither turning performance nor speed were the factors that caused us to die in those five simulated engagements. In any practice engagement I have had in the last 20 years where I have turned with another aeroplane in a bigger picture environment — rather than the static one by ones, two by twos or four by fours — every time I have tried to do that I have ended up being shot by somebody else who actually is not in the fight. As soon as you enter a turning fight, your situational awareness actually shrinks down because the only thing you can be operating with is the aeroplane you are turning with. The person who has the advantage is the person who can stand off, watch the engagement and just pick you off at the time. So you got to be really careful about how you use those KPIs.

Dr JENSEN: Sure, but in some of these engagements, where you have and can maintain a high energy state, even in terms of BVR you have the advantage. I mean, if you have got your JSF at a relatively low level, 40,000 feet, and your enemy up at about 55,000 feet, they can supercruise but you cannot, they can set the terms of the engagement. The problem is that, in terms of the stealth issue, we now no longer have a situation where we are the only game in town and they are not going to have it. You have got the J20, the J31 and the T50 PAK-FA — clearly stealth is becoming ubiquitous — so what about them?

Air Marshal Brown: They are going down that road, but let me tell you I do not think they have the level of stealth that is available in US fifth-generation aeroplanes — and it is by a significant factor that they are still not there. So I still think there are significant advantages with an F35. You have got to remember that PAK-FA, J20 and J31 are possibly where we were in excess of 10 to 12 years ago in their development time frames at the moment — so all those aeroplanes have still got a long way to go. I am not sure they will have the degree of sensor fusion that is available with the JSF. To me that is key: it is not only stealth; it is the combination of the EOS and the radar to be able to build a comprehensive picture. In that engagement I talked about at Nellis, in Red Flag, the ability to be in a cockpit with a God's-eye view of what is going on in the world was such an advantage over a fourth - generation fighter — and arguably one of the best fourth-generation fighters in existence, the F15. But even with a DRFM jamming pipe, we still had no chance in those particular engagements. And at no time did any of the performance characteristics that you are talking about have any relevance to those five engagements.
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Old May 31st, 2013   #49
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Yep and with the mix of LO and non-LO shooters that are going to be in force packages for years to come, the infinitesimal difference between the performance specs are so irrelevant fools like Jensen are just shown up as the idiots they truly are.

At Red Flag, the current practice in A2A operations seems to be for non-LO fighters to take care of long range BVR shots and the LO aircraft in support, to provide sensor support and "clean up" of any "leakers" that the BVR shots don't manage to take care of.

This "long range shot" capability was most recently described by RAF Typhoon pilots who boast of their ability to take long range AMRAAM shots at Mach 1.6 and at 45,000 feet. (Source: Flt Lt Mark Long - RAF - Air Forces Monthly Magazine - June 2013, p30).

Now the RAF are rightly proud of such a capability. However it is worth noting that such a capability is also a requirement for the F-35 and the altitude / performance has been proven and the capability to launch AMRAAM's at that speed from the internal bays have already been confirmed. Demonstrated capability to do so at that altitude remains unproven, however it seems unlikely it will fail to meet this requirement.

So given the boast by the operators (rightly so) of the air to air capability of the Typhoon in BVR combat given these figures, it demonstrates the mindset and relevance of those, who think that such a capability on the F-35 "isn't good enough" for an "air to air" fighter...

In addition, given the current RAF capability is based on the AIM-120B missile (I believe), the capability of the F-35 in future years, with the AIM-120C7 and AIM-120D missiles as well as the Meteor, should see a truly impressive air to air combat capability.
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Old May 31st, 2013   #50
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Pages 12-14:

Dr JENSEN: With the F22s there are four KPIs that relate to aerodynamic performance: range, supercruise, manoeuvrability and transonic acceleration. With the JSF there is only one, and it relates to range. Clearly with the F22 they regard those performance parameters as critical in performing its air-to-air role, whereas the parameters around the JSF are clearly designed around the strike role. Indeed, even the carriage of just two AMRAAM missiles—I know there is talk of it being four and perhaps six —

Air Marshal Brown: It actually carries four at the moment
I just love how Jensen loves being disingenuous AND wrong on his facts. The F-22 cannot carry 8 AMRAAM's internally, it can only carry 6 and on strike missions when it's bays are full of JDAM or SDB it only carries 2 and just like the F22, the F-35 doesn't carry a mere 2 AMRAAM's on air to air missions, but let's overlook that fact no matter how many times we're corrected by actual experts on this point, for the sake of a cheap shot against the F-35 shall we?

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Dr JENSEN: Sure, but in some of these engagements, where you have and can maintain a high energy state, even in terms of BVR you have the advantage. I mean, if you have got your JSF at a relatively low level, 40,000 feet, and your enemy up at about 55,000 feet, they can supercruise but you cannot, they can set the terms of the engagement. The problem is that, in terms of the stealth issue, we now no longer have a situation where we are the only game in town and they are not going to have it. You have got the J20, the J31 and the T50 PAK-FA — clearly stealth is becoming ubiquitous — so what about them?
Let's ignore that F-35 is currently cleared to 50,000 feet and will in all likelihood in future be cleared to 55,000 feet.

Let's also ignore that no-one in their right mind is routinely operating at their absolute ceiling ALL the time and nor is anyone operating at supersonic speed for their ENTIRE mission (unless you're flying an SR-71) and we too can be an APA sycophant like the alleged "representative of the people" Dr Jensen...

What a tosser.

Last edited by OPSSG; June 3rd, 2013 at 12:06 AM. Reason: Fixed quote to remove colour text
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Old May 31st, 2013   #51
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IOC dates for the US have been released, blue dates represent the dates published by the USN and the red dates are from a Flight Global article.
  • USMC IOC from December 2015/ June - Dec 2015
  • USAF IOC from December 2016/August - Dec 2016
  • USN IOC from February 2019/Late 2018 - early 2019

Pentagon reveals dates for F-35 initial operational capability

Services Deliver F-35 Initial Operational Capability Timelines to Congress

In regards to software requirements, the article says that the fact that both the USAF and USMC have moved forward their deadlines suggests that their requirements have been relaxed, although it's still universally accepted that they want Block 3F for the "enhanced lethality and survivability inherent in Blocks 3F and beyond".

Block 3F isn't due to be ready until the second half of 2017
  • USAF will declare IOC when between 10 - 24 aircraft plus personnel can conduct "basic close air support, interdiction, and limited suppression and destruction of enemy air defence operations in a contested environment" - IOC based on Block 2B or Block 3i according to FG, where Block 3i is the same configuration as 2B but on updated hardware
  • USMC will declare IOC when 10 - 16 aircraft + personnel are ready to "conduct a broad spectrum of mission types" - IOC based on Block 2B software according to FG.
  • USN will declare IOC when first operational squadron of 10 aircraft + personnel are ready to conduct a variety of missions - IOC based on full Block 3F software
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Old May 31st, 2013   #52
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Here is the actual document presented to congress.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Portals/...port_FINAL.pdf

Each program IOC has two dates, an "Objective" date (the earlier of the two) and a "Threshold" date (the later of the two.

Here is the complete section on the USAF (the USMC and USN have similar sections)

Quote:
United States Air Force F-35A IOC Date and Capabilities:

Air Force F-35A IOC shall be declared when Airmen are trained, manned and equipped to conduct basic CAS, Interdiction, and limited SEAD/DEAD operations in a contested environment. The F-35A shall have the ability to conduct operational missions utilizing system development and demonstration (SDD) program of record weapons and mission systems. The warfighter shall be supported with verified tactics detailing core mission fundamentals. The first Air Force F-35A operational squadron shall have 12-24 primary aircraft and shall be capable of deploying and performing its assigned mission(s). In-place logistics elements shall include personnel, support equipment, spares, munitions, verified technical manuals, and training programs. In-place operational elements shall include pilots, operations support personnel, verified technical manuals, mission qualification training programs, and training devices.

Air Force IOC is capability-based and will be declared when the above conditions are met. If the F-35 Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) Version 7 executes according to plan, Air Force F-35A IOC criteria could be met between August 2016 (Objective) and December 2016 (Threshold). Should capability delivery experience additional changes, this estimate will be revised appropriately.

The criteria stated above will provide sufficient initial combat capability for the threat postulated in 2016. However, in order to meet the full spectrum of Joint warfighter requirements in future years, the Air Force will require the enhanced lethality and survivability inherent in Blocks 3F and beyond.
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Old May 31st, 2013   #53
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I see, so it looks as though FG was reporting these dates whereas the USN took a different approach and published the latter dates as "IOC by 20XX"

The USAF/USMC sections are quite similar, "we expect the aircraft + support to be able to do XYZ, but Block 3F is the desirable update". Apart from the USN, they're not coming out to play until they get Block 3F.

Cheers for the document!
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Old May 31st, 2013   #54
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I'm assuming that Navy has brand new legacy jets in the pipeline and have a more challenging job integrating the 5Gen aircraft into the CAW so they're not under as much pressure to go IOC early.
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Old June 1st, 2013   #55
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Dr JENSEN: Air Vice Marshal Osley, in a previous hearing you responded to APA's criticism of the F35's aerodynamic performance and you said that it is inconsistent with years of detailed analysis undertaken by Defence, the JSF program office, Lockheed Martin and eight other partner nations. Given that the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation has indicated that the JSF program office, the JPO, has asked JROC to reduce the sustained turn and the acceleration performance essentially to exactly the numbers that APA was predicting years ago, what does that say about the detailed analysis by Defence, the JSF program office, Lockheed Martin and the eight partner nations?.
The ignorance in this is baffling, It was known since the first modeling and apa had their guess in 2009 after one of the models being made public at the time F-35 Air Combat Skills Analyzed

This guy is doing some interesting sustained turn comparisons
http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com.au/

I downloaded the f-16/50 sup manual and did a simplistic 28,000lb at 15,000ft and Mach 0.8 and came to about 4g sustained turn. With a rough 6,000lb comparison fuel fraction for 50% of the f-35 to come home page 209
https://publicintelligence.net/helle...light-manuals/
Someone who knows what they are doing could come up with something a lot better and allow all the stuff to be in the calc, like the missiles, targeting pods, CFT etc
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Old June 8th, 2013   #56
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In more good news for the JSF program, the F-35A completed the first in-flight missile launch of an AIM-120 over the Point Mugu Sea Test Range, 5 June 2013 (see link). This testing paves the way for targeted launches in support of the Block 2B fleet release capability later in 2013.

The F-35A has seen significant development in training and operations recently including the beginning of pilot training at Eglin Air Force Base, the delivery of the first operational test aircraft to Edwards and Nellis Air Force Bases, the first operational aerial refueling and the completion of high angle of attack testing.

Further, as noted in the 2nd Report to Congress on Concurrency (and posted by Breaking Defense), the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin are monitoring concurrency costs closely. In the sixth Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP Lot-6) contract the Pentagon pushed Lockheed to bear the pain equally with the Department of Defense on all changes “discovered prior to beginning of production” of that lot. This encourages Lockheed to work on concurrency changes into production as quickly as possible to avoid cost sharing that will continue through the rest of the program. According to Tony Capaccio of Bloomberg, the Pentagon projects that costs to retrofit the F-35 jets, have dropped by at least US$500 million. The estimate on upgrades for the first five contracts of 90 aircraft has dropped to about $1.2 billion from $1.7 billion, the Pentagon said in a new report to Congress on “concurrency.” Likewise, Colin Clark reports that concurrency costs plunge US$500 million, in the May 2013 report. The breakdown of the 36 planes included in LRIP Lot-6:
United States
(i) 18 F-35A CTOL for the U.S. Air Force
(ii) 6 F-35B STOVL for the U.S. Marine Corps
(iii) 7 F-35C CV for the U.S. Navy

International
(iv) 3 F-35A CTOL for Italy
(v) 2 F-35A CTOL for Australia
There is also chart in page 6 of the May 2013 report that shows the projected production numbers (and concurrency costs), which are as follows:
(1) 2014 LRIP Lot-6 = 31 (number does not tally with the above 36)
(2) 2015 LRIP Lot-7 = 29 (a reduction from earlier plans for 35 - see post #2)
(3) 2016 LRIP Lot-8 = 29 (a reduction from earlier plans for 48 - see post #2)
(4) 2017 LRIP Lot-9 = 44
(5) 2018 LRIP Lot-10 = 66
The chart in page 6 of the May 2013 report states that the estimates for total estimated concurrency change costs (in FY2012 dollars):
(a-i) dropped from US$450 million (with the Sep 12 estimate of LRIP Lot-5),
to:
(a-ii) a low of US$320 million (with the May 13 estimate of LRIP Lot-5) with a known issue cost of US$150 million (shown as a dark blue bar in the chart);
and
(b-i) dropped from US$350 million (with the Sep 12 estimate of LRIP Lot-6),
to:
(b-ii) a low of US$230 million (with the May 13 estimate of LRIP Lot-6).
If the trend in the chart in page 6 continues, total estimated concurrency change costs may fall as low as US$50 million in LRIP Lot-10 (with the May 13 estimate).

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Originally Posted by colay View Post
...Navy has brand new legacy jets in the pipeline...
Agreed. In September 2010, Boeing received a contract is valued at US$5.297 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing is to deliver 66 Super Hornets and 58 Growlers to the Navy from 2012 through 2015; thereby keeping the production line open till 2015.

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Originally Posted by colay View Post
...have a more challenging job integrating the 5Gen aircraft into the CAW so they're not under as much pressure to go IOC early.
Agreed about less pressure for the US Navy to go for an early IOC compared to the US Marines (December 2015 Threshold IOC date) and US Air Force (December 2016 Threshold IOC date); both of whom went on a procurement holiday to save conserve aviation program funds to acquire their respective variant of the F-35.

Further, the initial squadrons of F-35B for the US Marine Corps will operate from land bases; and deploy to Iwakuni first; and at a later stage to Kadena - which will enhance to ability these air bases to operate, even when they have been subject to waves of missile and air attacks. This is also the same reason, the F-35B is being considered by Singapore; as Singapore currently has 3 fixed wing air bases (to be reduced to two in the near future, to accommodate the growth of the civil aviation sector) and a few highways that can be converted into runways. Thanks to the 2011 F-35B shipboard trials, the US Navy is moving to a newer non-skid deck surface, Thermion, which is supported by a mechanical bond of ceramic and aluminum that makes the surface more resistant to extreme heat and better endures the wear and tear of flight operations. The newer non-skid deck surface using Thermion covers landing spot nine on the flight-deck (a small area used for vertical landings on LHAs), and eventually good for all surface ships that require them. Over time, the US Navy will have to modify their existing LHDs to accommodate F-35B operations; with the new America Class LHAs being designed from ground up to operate the F-35B. We should note that the US Marine Corps has developed the Osprey to conduct in-flight refueling in support of STOVL operations, which means runway denial attempts by an adversary is less of a problem for operators of the F-35B.

The F-35C has a longer range and different exterior dimensions (when compared to the F-35A/Bs) plus wings that fold for storage; giving it different flight characteristics. The simple fact is that there are unique naval aviation challenges to meet for the operations on big deck carriers, which means the C needs time for development and in the plans, it is scheduled for development last (February 2019 Threshold IOC date). While the US Navy does take advantage of common software development and helmet development costs, the economies of scale enjoyed by joining the JSF program is limited, given the differences in the A, B and C models.
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Old June 8th, 2013   #57
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. We should note that the US Marine Corps has developed the Osprey to conduct in-flight refueling in support of STOVL operations, which means runway denial attempts by an adversary is less of a problem for operators of the F-35B.

.
I had heard about trials using Osprey in the COD role and speculation for a possible future use of the aircraft in AAR and AEW but was not aware that they have actually developed the idea would be good for all users such as the UK, Italy Spain Aust and of course the USMC and USN.
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Old June 8th, 2013   #58
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The breakdown of the 36 planes included in LRIP Lot-6:

United States
(i) 18 F-35A CTOL for the U.S. Air Force
(ii) 6 F-35B STOVL for the U.S. Marine Corps
(iii) 7 F-35C CV for the U.S. Navy

International
(iv) 3 F-35A CTOL for Italy
(v) 2 F-35A CTOL for Australia

There is also chart in page 6 of the May 2013 report that shows the projected production numbers (and concurrency costs), which are as follows:

(1) 2014 LRIP Lot-6 = 31 (number does not tally with the above 36)
(2) 2015 LRIP Lot-7 = 29 (a reduction from earlier plans for 35 - see post #2)
(3) 2016 LRIP Lot-8 = 29 (a reduction from earlier plans for 48 - see post #2)
(4) 2017 LRIP Lot-9 = 44
(5) 2018 LRIP Lot-10 = 66.
perhaps I can add to your post
SAR etc gives the USA number with a small paragraph for International orders
Lot 6 is total 36 planes, made up of 31 for USA and 5 for International

Lot 8 total will be made up of 29 for USA and 19 for International 29+19 = 48
"The planned breakout for LRIP 8 is as follows: 19 F-35As for the Air Force , six F-35Bs for the Marines , four F-35Cs for the Navy , four F-35Bs for the U.K., two F-35As for Norway, four F-35As for Italy , five F-35As for Israel and four F-35As for Japan."
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Old June 8th, 2013   #59
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In the same idea, LRIP 7 is contracted for 29 US aircraft + 6 International aircraft.
  • 19 F35A - USAF
  • 6 F35B - USMC
  • 4 F35C - USN
  • 3 F35A - Italy
  • 2 F35A - Norway
  • 1 F35B - UK

OPSSG, would I be right in thinking that what you've put down as LRIP-10 is effectively FRP-1? I know we had a discussion about something like this a while ago where LRIP-9 had been created (After originally being LRIP-8 then FRP-1).
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Old June 8th, 2013   #60
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As I understand it, they finish SDD in 2017, final OT&E is 2018 with FRP-1 in 2019. So LRIP 10 will be the last at this stage
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