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F-35B/C - Naval Air Discussions (USN & USMC)

This is a discussion on F-35B/C - Naval Air Discussions (USN & USMC) within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; I find your latest question, very funny. Originally Posted by Ananda Thanks OPSSG, however do you mind elaborate on your ...


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Old April 8th, 2013   #16
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I find your latest question, very funny.

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Originally Posted by Ananda View Post
Thanks OPSSG, however do you mind elaborate on your statement why canceling B will not made saving in the costs of A and C ?
With regards to US JSF funding for A, B & C:

Who pays for A?
Ans: USAF

Who pays for B?
Ans: USMC

Who pays for C?
Ans: USN (and USMC is part of USN)

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Originally Posted by Ananda View Post
Is this because by canceling B...
Product cost is volume sensitive. Turkey's move of 1 aircraft fro LRIP Lot-7 to LRIP Lot-9 increased the production cost of each of the 35 lot-7 aircraft by around US$1 million. The JSF needs to ramp up volume after LRIP Lot-9 onwards to drive down cost.

If you cancel B. USMC funding for their tac air will go to another non-JSF program, to develop a new aircraft type. Total JSF volume goes down by at least 340 F-35Bs. How is this a cost savings for the US Government? The US will pay much, much, much more for each and every F-35A and F-35C. Thereafter the USMC will take another 10-20 years to develop a new replacement for their tac air (which will cost more $ than sticking to the JSF). For example, when the USMC decided to cancel the troubled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle in 2010 and replace it with a new armored transport it takes until 2023 or 13 years to field the replacement.

If you cancel C, the USN funding will go to another non-JSF program, to develop a new aircraft type. Total JSF volume goes down by 260 + 80 = 340 F-35Cs. How is this a cost savings for the US Government? The US will pay much, much more for each F-35A and F-35B. Thereafter the USN will take another 20-25 years to develop a new replacement for their tac air (which will cost more $ than sticking to the JSF). BTW, the first production model F-35C variant has flown on 15 Feb 2013.

In both scenarios, we have not counted to cost of life-extension of existing platforms to be replaced by JSF aircraft for another 10-25 years.

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Originally Posted by Ananda View Post
there are no guarantee that the number of B cancelled will be allocated toward A and C
According to the Audit Report No.6 2012–13, released by Australian National Audit Office on "Management of Australia’s Air Combat Capability — F-35A Joint Strike Fighter Acquisition", it said:
"21. Under the JSF Program the US, with its industry partners (in particular Lockheed Martin), is developing the F‐35 Lightning II aircraft to replace legacy fighters and strike aircraft in its own Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps air combat fleets. The cost to the US of F‐35 development and production is currently estimated at US$395.7 billion, which makes the JSF Program the most costly and ambitious US Department of Defense acquisition program by a wide margin...

34. From the Australian perspective, concurrency risks in the JSF Program are not as significant because the US, as the principal developer of the F‐35, is bearing the bulk of the costs and risks involved. By the time Australia acquires its first F‐35 aircraft, the concurrency issues currently being experienced are expected to have been largely dealt with. Rather, Australia has benefited from the concurrency strategy of enabling F‐35 production processes and facilities to be tested and refined ahead of the F‐35 Full‐Rate Production decision...

41. As at June 2012, the JSF Program Office estimated the Unit Recurring Flyaway (URF) cost of a CTOL F‐35A aircraft for Fiscal Year 2012 to be
US$131.4 million. That cost includes the baseline aircraft configuration, including airframe, engine and avionics. The URF cost is estimated to reduce to US$127.3 million in 2013, and to US$83.4 million in 2019. These expected price reductions take into account economies of scale resulting from increasing production volumes, as well as the effects of inflation. The estimates indicate that, after 2019, inflation will increase the URF cost of each F‐35A by about US$2 million per year...

44. Overall, the achievement of the JSF Program’s objectives... has progressed more slowly and at greater cost than first estimated. Nonetheless... initiatives to improve performance are starting to show results, in terms of software development milestones being more closely adhered to, and planned flight test targets being reported as met or exceeded in 2011–12..."
A cancellation of any type will increase lot production costs and divert money away. How is that a cost savings? Logical?!? You have been hanging out at other forums for too long. [/big smile]
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Old April 8th, 2013   #17
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Originally Posted by OPSSG View Post
If you cancel B. USMC funding for their tac air will go to another non-JSF program, to develop a new aircraft type. Total JSF volume goes down by at least 340 F-35Bs. How is this a cost savings for the US Government? The US will pay much, much, much more for each and every F-35A and F-35C. Thereafter the USMC will take another 10-20 years to develop a new replacement for their tac air (which will cost more $ than sticking to the JSF).

If you cancel C, the USN funding will go to another non-JSF program, to develop a new aircraft type. Total JSF volume goes down by 260 + 80 = 340 F-35Cs. How is this a cost savings for the US Government? The US will pay much, much more for each F-35A and F-35B. Thereafter the USN will take another 20-25 years to develop a new replacement for their tac air (which will cost more $ than sticking to the JSF).
Yep, more or less what I'm thinking. No Guarantee the cancellation of one type will means the numbered canceled will go to other type, i,e no guarantee the lost Investment costs can be recouped with more order of other Types as replacement.

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Originally Posted by OPSSG View Post
A cancellation of any type will increase lot production costs and divert money away. How is that a cost savings? Logical?!? You have been hanging out at other forums for too long. [/big smile]
Well sometimes it's a good exercise of differentiating fantasy and reality

Last edited by OPSSG; April 8th, 2013 at 06:19 AM. Reason: Fixed quote format
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Old April 8th, 2013   #18
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That's currently how it's laid out, but i'm not going to really go into Tiffy here.

I don't believe the LHA concept does very well in the US, IIRC after the first 2 (LHA 6 & LHA 7) America's being produced - which were designed with aviation facilities in mind - the rest will be given a well dock which will probably have a significant impact on those aviation facilities, so the 'small carrier' capacity won't be as potent after the first 2 ships anyway. Just had a check on Wiki and it's apparently to do with the USMC not being a fan of the LPH concept which would be the America's primary method of moving troops.

The current numbers being thrown around is 20 F35B's when in a 'mini aircraft carrier' mode, so it'll be less than that after the first 2.


Need to weigh it up, if the USN doesn't get the F35C presumably they could go back to the F/A -18E/F (which the C's aren't replacing). If the USMC loses the F35B then they know they lose fixed wing aviation, not to mention a rather ticked off Italy and UK now with huuuuuuge LPH's.

Personally I believe the USN willl drop a couple of carriers, i'd love someone to point me in the direction of info saying it won't happen. But it's just important to remember that every USMC LHD/LHA operating as a mini carrier loses a big chunk of it's amphibious capability.
The not-so-favorable LPH experience has to take into consideration it was a relatively small vessel operating a limited number of less capable aircraft. It would depend on the circumstances, I suppose. You lose the floodable well deck with the LHA but in the Libyan scenario, it wasn't needed whereas the LHA's ability to field greater numbers of more capable aircraft and sustain a high tempo of flight operations for prolonged periods would have been very desirable and useful. Having a LHA simply gives the ARG/ESG commander greater aviation flexibility IMO and reducing dependence on the CVN fleet which will likely come under greater stress in the coming years. One LHA on each coast is a nice arrangement.
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Old April 8th, 2013   #19
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That's the rub, in Lybia the extra aviation capacity would've been ideal, but on the flipside the well dock might be the thing you need in another scenario so it's all compromise.

Completely agreed with the flexibility, add into that 6 F35B's per ship as the 'standard' complement (+ rotary assets) which is flexible and personally I don't think you could go wrong. The extra emphasis of pockets of B's in the fleet will become more and more pronounced.

The Marines are onto a great capability with the B's and they know it, I wouldn't be surprised if they want to put a greater emphasis on B's on LHAs/LHDs considering the sort of strain the CVN's will be under, like you say, but not neccesarily to the extreme as treating them like mini carriers with 20 F35Bs.
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Old April 9th, 2013   #20
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I was thinking that perhaps they could float a dirty great fuel tank into the well ?
I know, I know there are a 100 issues to overcome..but it made some sense to me
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Old April 10th, 2013   #21
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Good news from Lockheed Martin, they claim to have fixed the tailhook design on the F35C.

http://www.dodbuzz.com/2013/04/10/lo...o-navys-f-35c/

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Lockheed Martin has come up with a new design for the tailhook on the F35 Joint Strike Fighters that should allow the Navy variant, the F-35C, to land on carriers and speed the long-delayed process of getting the aircraft out to the fleet, Lockheed and Navy officials said Wednesday.

Navy officials also said that they’ll have to do refits of the big-deck L-class of helicopter assault ships to accommodate the extreme heat and noise generated by the Marine Corps’ vertical-landing version of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35B.

The tailhook and ship overhauls were disclosed at a generally upbeat forum involving Navy, Marine and industry representatives on the status of the F35 program, the most expensive weapons program ever undertaken by the Defense Department.

“There’s a little bit of pressure coming down on our heads” on the F35s, said Vice Adm. David Dunaway, head of the Naval Air Systems Command. “We’re now in the meat of this program where we’re either going to succeed or fail. The Joint Strike Fighter has to fit in — it has to fit into the carrier air wing, and it has to fit into the MAGTF (Marine Air Ground Task Force),” Dunaway said.

“I can promise you that problems will occur” in the process of acquiring 260 F-35C Navy versions of the JSF, and 353 F-35B Marine versions, Dunaway said.

One of the problems was the initial design of the tailhook, which was a challenge for Lockheed Martin in that it had to be concealed within the airplane to enhance its stealth capability.

In testing, the tailhooks were failing to catch the arresting wires that are stretched across a carrier’s flight deck to bring the aircraft to a halt.

“Our original design was not performing as expected,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin’s executive vice president for the F35 Lightning II program. Martin said the “toe” of the tailhook, the part that grabs the wire, had been re-designed along with the “hold down damper” gear that forces the tailhook down on the deck.

“It’s now in line with what the legacy aircraft uses,” Martin said of the new F-35 tailhook. She said the new assembly will be tested this summer at the Navy’s Lakehurst, N.J., facility and carrier tests were expected later this year.

Dunaway said he believed Lockheed Martin had found the right tailhook fix before he beck pedaled and said: “I will be a trust but verify person.” Rear Adm. Randollph Mahr, the deputy Program Executive Officer for the F-35, said “I have high confidence that that tailhook will be catching wires at Lakehurst.”

In other testing, the Navy found that its L-class ships would have to be adapted to the F-35, and “ship change notices are going out now to the L-class ships,” said Rear Adm. Mark Darrah, commander of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. “We have to adapt the ships to the new environment” that comes with the F-35s, he said.

The Navy was adding thermite coating to the flight decks to guard against the heat blast from the vertical-lift engines of the F-35Bs, Darrah said. Additional baffling will be added to the substructure to lower the decibel level below decks, he said.

The $400 billion-plus F-35 program has been hit by a string of technical setbacks and is now running about 70 percent over initial cost estimates and is years behind schedule.

The U.S. still plans to buy 2,443 of the single-seat F-35s – a conventional landing and takeoff F-35A model the Air Force; a short takeoff and vertical landing F-35B version for the Marines, and a carrier-based F-35C version for the Navy.

Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, and Turkey have agreed to partner in the F-35 program, but several of the partner nations have been backing away from the deal as problems have mounted in production and testing.
Good to hear, what with the F35B down to get another round of sea trials this year (i think), it'd be good to see some footage the C getting some naval action rather than land based launches.
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Old April 10th, 2013   #22
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..The Navy was adding thermite coating to the flight decks to guard against the heat blast from the vertical-lift engines of the F-35Bs, Darrah said. Additional baffling will be added to the substructure to lower the decibel level below decks, he said...

Probably should read "Thermion".. thermite definitely not a good idea.
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Old April 16th, 2013   #23
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Some good creative thinking in converting the third MLP into a floating staging base with beefed up aviation capabilities in support of littoral operations. An AFSB variant will add to the basic MLP cost of around $430M but it would be lots cheaper than current aviation ships in the Gator fleet.

Admiral Buzby on the Evolving Capabilities of a USN-USMC MSC Enabled Fleet | SLDInfo

Admiral Buzby: With the MLP-Afloat Forward Staging Base (MLP-AFSB) or AFSB variant of the ship, you are seeing the versatility built into the ship. The main capability of the ship is its versatility. The AFSB will be the latest incarnation of what one can fit into that 800 feet of empty space that fills a need, fills a requirement without having to go out and purpose build at great expense, and at great length of design, a capability to serve the war fighter.

With the AFSB, you will see a fairly robust aviation capability; a fairly robust boat capability to support a whole host of different missions. I think it’s a very strong, and very positive step forward in this ship’s future.

You could very easily, given the dimensions that we are currently envisioning in the design of AFSB, hanger space, deck space, we’re designing it on the big side for CH-53s and that kind of asset.

But you could conceivably have an ACE aboard that ship, supporting a reinforced MEU or something like that because you could probably carry Cobras on it, UAVs, and could envisage putting some joint strike fighters on there in small numbers if you really needed to, or MV 22s. One could be very creative in mixing the aviation assets on that ship.

(Note to Mods - pls. feel free to transfer to US Navy thread if more appropriate. Tnx)
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Old May 21st, 2013   #24
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Just a short video from LM of BF-01 ,F-35B doing a Vertical take off and Vertical landing.Pretty impressive stuff.

First F-35B Vertical Takeoff Test - YouTube
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Old May 30th, 2013   #25
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(Note to Mods - pls. feel free to transfer to US Navy thread if more appropriate. Tnx)
Not to worry, it looks fine here (especially if the news is developed into a force structure discussion for the F-35B and sea basing).

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F-35B IOC To Come ‘Latter Half of 2015,’ Marine Commandant Gen. Amos Says

29 May 2013 -- Just two days before the Pentagon is required by Congress to report when the different versions of F-35 will hit Initial Operating Capability, that mark when the services begin to deliver planes that are sort of ready for war missions and serious training, Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos told me that the Marines IOC date will be the “latter half of 2015.” The definition of IOC will be delivery of 10 planes with 10 crews. Full squadrons will comprise 15 planes, he said during an appearance at the Brookings Institution... The Air Force and Navy must also present their IOC dates to Congress by Friday. The Air Force date is expected by many to be late in 2017...

<snip>

...Fun moment of the event: Brookings’ top defense expert Mike O’Hanlon asked Amos if the Air Force should buy F-35Bs, given how vulnerable runways are becoming. Amos, squirming a bit in his seat, smiled and said: “You know I’m not going to answer that.” And he didn’t...

<snip>
I am not impressed with the IOC announcement (it really reflects program politics), as the first US Marine F-35B squadron is not at its normal strength at IOC.
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Old June 1st, 2013   #26
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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).
As per SpudmanWP's post in the other F-35 program thread, quoted below is (i) the Marine F-35B IOC dates, followed by (ii) the USN F-35C IOC dates, with the crucial software version and threshold dates highlighted in blue. It is clear that the critical risk to be managed for USAF (threshold date of December 2016) and USN is unforeseen delays in software developments; and for the three services to set threshold IOC dates, it means that they are confident that the worse parts of the SDD program is behind them (see link to the report to Congress).

(i) United States Marine Corps F-35B IOC Date and Capabilities:

Marine Corps F-35B IOC shall be declared when the first operational squadron is trained, manned, and equipped to conduct CAS, Offensive and Defensive Counter Air, Air Interdiction, Assault Support Escort, and Armed Reconnaissance in concert with Marine Air Ground Task Force resources and capabilities. The F-35B shall have the ability to conduct operational missions utilizing SDD program of record weapons and mission systems. The aircraft will be in a Block 2B configuration with the requisite SDD performance envelope and weapon clearances. The first Marine Corps F-35B operational squadron shall have 10-16 primary aircraft and shall be capable of deploying and performing its assigned mission(s). Support and sustainment elements shall include spares, support equipment, tools, technical publications, training programs and devices, and Autonomic Logistic Information System V2.

Marine Corps IOC is capability based and will be declared when the above conditions are met. If the F-35 IMS Version 7 executes according to plan, Marine Corps F-35B IOC criteria could be met between July 2015 (Objective) and December 2015 (Threshold)...

(ii) United States Navy F-35C IOC Date and Capabilities:

Navy F-35C IOC shall be declared when the first operational squadron is manned, trained, and equipped to conduct assigned missions. The F-35C shall have the ability to conduct operational missions utilizing SDD program of record weapons and mission systems. The aircraft will be in a Block 3F configuration with the requisite SDD performance envelope and weapon clearances. The first Navy F-35C operational squadron shall have 10 primary aircraft and shall be capable of performing its assigned mission(s). Support and sustainment elements shall include spares, support equipment, tools, technical publications, training programs and devices, Autonomic Logistic Information System V2, and completion of ship qualifications and certifications to meet Commander, Naval Air System Command (NAVAIRSYSCOM) requirements to deploy aboard aircraft carriers.

Navy IOC is capability based and will be declared when the above conditions are met. If the F-35 IMS Version 7 executes according to plan, Navy F-35C IOC criteria could be met between August 2018 (Objective) and February 2019 (Threshold)...
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Old June 2nd, 2013   #27
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Not to worry, it looks fine here (especially if the news is developed into a force structure discussion for the F-35B and sea basing).



I am not impressed with the IOC announcement (it really reflects program politics), as the first US Marine F-35B squadron is not at its normal strength at IOC.
I don't think it's all that much of an issue. A squadron rarely has it's "paper" strength of assets available for deployment.

USMC IOC is announced as intending to be based on a deployable capability of 10 aircraft. A USMC squadron's paper-strength may well be 12 aircraft, but can a single squadron necessarily deploy all those aircraft by itself on a regular basis? Normally some airframes will be in various levels of maintenance / servicing etc and therefore be unavailable for operations.

I suspect whichever USMC Squadron is chosen to deploy the IOC capability WILL have it's full complement of aircraft on paper, (USMC will have more than enough F-35B's in 2015 to fully equip a single squadron afterall) with 10 aircraft prepared for operations as required, with the necessary deployable support.

RAAF squadrons are nominally 18 aircraft and we have 3 operational Hornet Squadrons, yet it took aircraft and assets from multiple squadrons to deploy an operational detachment of 14 aircraft to Op. Falconer in 2003...

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Old June 2nd, 2013   #28
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I don't think it's all that much of an issue. A squadron rarely has it's "paper" strength of assets available for deployment.
Agreed.

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USMC IOC is announced as intending to be based on a deployable capability of 10 aircraft. A USMC squadron's paper-strength may well be 12 aircraft, but can a single squadron necessarily deploy all those aircraft by itself on a regular basis? Normally some airframes will be in various levels of maintenance / servicing etc and therefore be unavailable for operations.
Now the the details of what is required for IOC has been released (rather than a by-the-way comment in a prior news report), I have no further concerns with the 2015 IOC date for the F-35B with the US Marines.

The Singapore Minister of Defence will need to announce a decision, later this year or early next year; and the release of the details for IOC will demonstrate US Marine Corps confidence and help with providing context in the Singapore news cycle, when the announcement for procurement occurs. IIRC, the South Koreans may be done with their selection process by July 2013 (with bidding process due in June 2013); and may beat any Singapore announcement on the subject.

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I suspect which USMC Squadron is chosen to deploy the IOC capability WILL have it's full complement of aircraft on paper, (USMC will have more than enough F-35B's in 2015 to fully equip a single squadron afterall) with 10 aircraft prepared for operations as required, with the necessary deployable support.

RAAF squadrons are nominally 18 aircraft and we have 3 operational Hornet Squadrons, yet it took aircraft and assets from multiple squadrons to deploy an operational detachment of 14 aircraft to Op. Falconer in 2003...
Agreed and appreciate the context provided, with the Op. Falconer example.
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Old August 1st, 2013   #29
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I have been trying to find the miniuim distance needed for a catapult launch for the F35C, just wondering if NAe Sao Paulo and MN Charles De Gaulle with their 52 and 75 metre cats could in use the aircraft or would they only be able to take off light loaded, if that's the case what options are there for the NAe Sao Paulo which currently use the A4
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Old August 2nd, 2013   #30
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I have been trying to find the miniuim distance needed for a catapult launch for the F35C, just wondering if NAe Sao Paulo and MN Charles De Gaulle with their 52 and 75 metre cats could in use the aircraft or would they only be able to take off light loaded, if that's the case what options are there for the NAe Sao Paulo which currently use the A4
Accounts of the CdG participation in the Libyan conflict indicate that it was unable to launch Rafales at max bombloads. IIRC this was attributed to the modest max speed of the carrier. Maybe the catapult capacity may have been a factor as well. A fully loaded F-35C weighs much heavier, about the same as a Tomcat.
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