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Author: Subject: F-35 FINAL Development and into Production
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[*] posted on 17-4-2018 at 06:15 PM


Pentagon Could Kill F-35 JPO, But Not Until 2035

Apr 13, 2018

Lara Seligman | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report


F-35: USAF

The Pentagon is laying the groundwork to dissolve the F-35 Joint Program Office, which has been the single hub for management of the global Joint Strike Fighter program since its inception.

But the transition to separate, service-run program offices won’t be complete until 2030-2035, according to a comprehensive Department of Defense study obtained by Aerospace DAILY.

At the direction of Congress, the Department of Defense examined several alternatives to the existing F-35 management structure, the gargantuan operation called the JPO that currently spans three U.S. services and 12 nations. The full report, recently delivered to the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, lays out the strengths and weaknesses of each alternative, and makes the case for a phased approach to transitioning management of the F-35 program to a service-run structure.

“The F-35 Joint Program Office supports this initiative to ensure the Defense Department, U.S. Services, and our international partners have the most effective management structure to deliver warfighting capability,” according to the JPO. “We are implementing improvements to increase transparency, and we'll continue to assess and evaluate the most efficient ways to support and manage this vital national defense program.”

Based on the study’s recommendations, the Pentagon will gradually dissolve the JPO over a period of nearly two decades, while moving to establish two separate U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy-run program offices that report to their respective program executive officers (PEO)/service acquisition executives (SAE). The department hopes the deliberate, phased approach laid out in the report enables the services to take on a greater role in program oversight while minimizing cost and risk.

The study applauds the existing JPO structure for driving commonality, interoperability, shared costs and economies of scale. But the size and complexity of the JPO organization limits management effectiveness and makes it difficult for the U.S. services to have adequate insight and voice, it found.

“The JPO organizational structure is not optimized for any single customer or variant, but is instead focused on the common enterprise-level solution,” the report says. “This focus at the enterprise level comes at the expense of focusing on individual customer needs that often do not align perfectly (or at all) with the organization’s current enterprise-level focus.”

Now is the right time to begin the transition to a service-run structure, the report argues. The recent overhaul of the Pentagon’s acquisition oversight structure actually presents a unique opportunity to restructure management of the F-35 program. While many of the department’s major defense acquisition programs are being pushed down to the service level, the F-35 is the ideal candidate at this point in its life cycle to be a primary focus for the new undersecretary of defense (OUSD) for acquisition and sustainment (A&S), Ellen Lord, and whoever comes after her.

“The new OUSD (A&S) has an opportunity to introduce a flatter oversight structure that provides greater strategic direction, continuity and leadership for the program, while at the same time equally integrating the perspectives of the SAEs from both Military Departments,” the study says.

On the acquisition front, the current structure of reporting through the SAE of just one of the services impedes both departments from participating in strategy development and decision making, the report found. As the fleet expands, including both the Air Force and Navy SAEs in the chain of acquisition authority will be critical, it concludes.

To move to a service-centered structure, the study recommends implementing a “measured” restructure of the JPO in the near term. This will include establishing “leads” for each of the three variants—the Air Force F-35A, Marine Corps F-35B and Navy F-35C—inside the JPO who report to the program executive officer, as well as “service deputies” co-located with the JPO who report back to their respective departments. The Pentagon also should establish service-led fleet management offices (FMO), located at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and Naval Air Systems Command, that report to their respective departments.

At the same time, the Air Force and Navy will evaluate disbanding their respective F-35 Integration Offices (IO), currently located in the Pentagon to support initial fielding of each variant. The services initially envisioned that the need for the IOs would diminish soon after reaching initial operating capability—the F-35B and F-35A already have completed this milestone, and the F-35C is set to do so in 2019.

The Pentagon also will conduct an audit of billet structure across the JPO. This could result in eliminating many legacy JPO positions: the audit should seek to “assess and align the skill mix of personnel across all JPO billets to meet the evolving needs of modernization, production and sustainment,” the report says.

These near-term measures set the stage for a lower-risk transition to the next step: merging the variant leads and FMOs to form two fully functioning, service-run program management offices (PMO) that report to a joint PEO.

The timing of the transition is not yet set, but should be based on the maturity and stability of the F-35 follow-on development effort, C2D2; achieving full-rate production, planned for April 2019; and improving sustainment, the report urges.

In the final stage, the department will disband the joint PEO and establish two service PEOs that will oversee the U.S. and international fleets over the remaining life of the program. The study team believes the transition could be completed as early as fiscal 2030-35, but the timing should be based on getting to peak F-35 production and the primary focus shifting to sustainment.

The transition will come with a price tag, though not a very large one given the cost of the overall F-35 program. The cost estimate is $552-596 million per year from fiscal 2020 to planned F-35 retirement in 2071, or $63-107 million above the cost to maintain the existing JPO structure.

The department determined that this cost was acceptable.

“The Study Team assessed that the increase in manpower, and associated PMA cost, for each of the alternatives to be a minor discriminator compared with the other assessment areas,” the report said.
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[*] posted on 19-4-2018 at 05:32 PM


DOD reveals F-35 multiyear procurement strategy to start in 2021

18 April, 2018 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Garrett Reim Los Angeles

The Department of Defense has quietly revealed a long-term plan for signing a series of cost-saving, multi-year procurement contracts to buy a total of nearly 2,000 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II starting in Fiscal 2021.

As the F-35 moves towards full-rate production in three years, the US Air Force and Navy plan to transition from purchasing the aircraft in one-year blocks to multiyear procurement contracts, according to a Selected Acquisition Report released in in late March.

The USAF plans to start the first round of multiyear procurement deals with a three-year contract in 2021, followed by successive five-year procurements beginning in fiscal 2024 until the end of the programme.

The USN plans to continue one-year procurements through fiscal year 2023, followed by successive five-year procurements from fiscal year 2024 until the end of the programme.

Multiyear procurement contracts are a special mechanism that Congress permits the DOD to use for a limited number of programmes at full-rate production to reduce costs by several percent. In total, the DOD plans to purchase 2,456 F-35s: 1,763 F-35As for the USAF; 353 F-35Bs and 67 F-35Cs for the Marine Corps; and 273 F-35Cs for the USN.



Multiyear procurement would guarantee Lockheed Martin large volumes of production work for years to come. For example, the US Air Force plans to purchase 60 F-35As each year starting in 2024. The Joint Program Office’s first planned five-year procurement contract in 2024 would thus guarantee Lockheed Martin 300 orders for the aircraft.

The value of multiyear procurement is not lost on Lockheed Martin.

“Multiyear procurements are a key tool to reducing F-35 acquisition costs, improving industrial base stability and enhancing efficiencies,” said Lockheed Martin. “We are working closely with the Department of Defense on the acquisition approach for an F-35 multiyear procurement beginning in 2021, and we have submitted savings information to our customers to help support their analysis and decisions.”

The Joint Program Office wrote in the SAR that it is pursuing other cost-saving initiatives, including a shared database of parts costs with Lockheed Martin to be used to negotiate “fair and reasonable” pricing for the US and partner nations, as well as looking for production line efficiencies that could save money.

Lockheed Martin delivered 66 F-35 Lightning II aircraft in 2017.

In 2018, the goal is to deliver a total of 91 aircraft to the US and partner nations; with 85 aircraft to be delivered from the Fort Worth, Texas production line, two aircraft from the Italian production line and four aircraft from the Japanese production line. Lockheed had delivered 265 planes to US and international customers at the end of 2017.

The price of the F-35 has fallen in recent years as production has ramped up and efficiency has improved, but the Joint Program Office is pushing for the price to fall further. The flyaway cost of the USAF’s F-35A fell to $94.6 million in Lot 10 of low-rate initial production, which was signed last year.

Lockheed has committed to reduce the F-35A’s price further to about $85 million by Lot 13. However, Lockheed chief financial officer Bruce Tanner said in 2017 that his company’s ability to hit the $85 million target could be in jeopardy if the DOD didn’t find additional production efficiencies and implement multiyear buys.
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[*] posted on 25-4-2018 at 08:29 PM


Lockheed, Pentagon Still Haggling Over F-35 Suspension

Apr 24, 2018

Michael Bruno | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report


Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon have not yet figured out to get past an issue that spurred a suspension of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter deliveries, but the prime contractor’s chief executive said April 24 she is confident they will soon.

“We are still progressing along with the Joint Program Office on that,” Lockheed Chairman, President and CEO Marillyn Hewson said. “It’s just a temporary suspension that they have on accepting some aircraft until we reach agreement on a contractual issue. So we’re working through that contractual issue with them.”

Recently, the JPO temporarily suspended accepting F-35s until the government and OEM could resolve a dispute over who will cover the costs of fixing a known production error—corrosion where the carbon-fiber exterior panels were fastened to the airframe—found on many of the aircraft last year. According to testimony at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing April 18, there were at least five F-35s “on hold,” comprising three for the Pentagon, one for Australia and one for Norway.

Still, Hewson assured financial analysts during a teleconference over first-quarter results that the issue should work out throughout the year. “It’s not affecting production at all, because we continue to produce the F-35. That continues,” she added. “We are confident we’re going to meet our deliveries this year of over 90 aircraft for 2018.”

The dispute has raised questions even if it is not materially significant. “We doubt the outcome of this issue will be financially material to Lockheed Martin but we do not know why the two sides have entrenched on who is responsible,” Capital Alpha Partners analyst Byron Callan said after the teleconference.

The F-35 issue was not the only bugaboo raised, however, as Lockheed’s stock price proceeded to lose almost 6% in regular trading. While management has increased its full-year forecast for revenue from $50-51.5 billion to $50.35-51.85 billion and earnings-per-share from $15.20-15.50 to $15.80-16.10, they left their operating cash generation guidance for 2018 unchanged at around $3 billion, after making a planned $2 billion of pension contributions.

“There could be some modest disappointment that the cash guidance has not been raised, but it is early in the year and cash is trickier to predict,” Vertical Research Partners analyst Rob Stallard said.

Separately, Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan spoke at media breakfast on April 24 in Washington and indicated a flatter forecast for Pentagon investment accounts, including research, development and procurement. Lockheed is the largest prime provider by annual sales.

Still, Lockheed continues to press for sales outside the U.S. and Hewson volunteered optimism about Saudi Arabia during the teleconference. Lockheed has said there could be as much as $28 billion worth of potential sales to the kingdom, and last month Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, toured Lockheed’s location in Sunnyvale, California.

“We remain in discussions on several opportunities with the kingdom,” Hewson said. “We look forward to continuing our more than 50-year partnership with the kingdom to help them provide for the security of their citizens and support to His Royal Highness’s Saudi Vision 2030, his blueprint for transformation of their country.”
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[*] posted on 26-4-2018 at 09:04 PM


F-35 deployment to Japan hit with sustainment problems

25 April, 2018 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Garrett Reim Los Angeles

Since the US Marine Corps’ deployment of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in January 2017 the aircraft has been hit with an assortment of sustainment problems.

Many problems plaguing the first overseas deployment of the F-35 are logistical in nature and are related to the aircraft’s distance from maintenance and parts manufacturing facilities in the USA, according to a 25 April report titled “DOD Needs to Share F-35 Operational Lessons Across the Military Services” by the Government Accountability Office.

There are 16 F-35Bs in the VMFA-121 deployed at Iwakuni.
Issues with the F-35B supply chain include lengthy travel times for parts, inaccurate estimated delivery dates, delays at customs and difficulty shipping Autonomic Logistics Information System equipment, known as ALIS.

For instance, the Marine Corps learned that it needs to take “into consideration weather concerns when shipping ALIS equipment,” GAO said. “While the aircraft were transferred to Japan through Alaska, ALIS was moved through Hawaii because of concerns about how the freezing temperature would affect the logistics system.”

Other issues with sustaining the F-35 in Japan include long repair times, shortages and poor reliability of certain aircraft parts.

As the A, B, and C variants of the F-35 Lightning II are stationed around the world, the GAO suggested in its report that the office of the F-35 program executive officer, Vice Admiral Mat Winter, create a formal communication mechanism for the Marine Corps to share its operational best practices and lessons learned with the US Navy and Air Force.
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[*] posted on 27-4-2018 at 08:14 PM


I’m shocked. A brand new platform has parts availability issues...



In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 2-5-2018 at 09:56 PM


Lockheed Martin negotiating final LRIP buy for F-35

Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

01 May 2018


A pair of US Air Force F-35As made the trip from Luke Air Force Base to Berlin for the ILA Airshow in late April. Lockheed Martin is currently negotiating the LRIP 11 production lot with the US government. Source: IHS Markit/Gareth Jennings

Lockheed Martin is currently negotiating the final low-rate initial production (LRIP) lot for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), ahead of the first planned multiyear block buy.

Speaking to reporters in late April, the company’s vice-president for F-35 business development and strategy integration, Jack Crisler, said that with the LRIP 11 procurement for 141 aircraft now being negotiated, talks will start for the first three-year block buy that should help bring the aircraft’s unit price down. While the final LRIP 11 deal has yet to be agreed, the DoD has already awarded some USD8.8 billion in holding contracts and other related awards for the production lot.

“We are now delivering the [91] Lot 10 aircraft, and negotiating Lot 11,” Crisler said. “After Lot 11 the plan is for a three-year block buy to be negotiated with the Department of Defense [DoD] and the programme’s industry suppliers to reduce the recurring costs in the programme.”

This block buy will cover between 440 and 460 aircraft across production lots 12 to 14. With a 2007 Lot 1 unit cost of the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35A in excess of USD250 million, the 2020 cost of an LRIP 14 F-35A is projected to be USD80 million.

As noted by Crisler, the end of LRIP production will coincide with the conclusion of the system, design, and development (SDD) phase of the programme. The Block 3F full combat software was rolled out in December 2017, ahead of the completion of SDD flight trials in April. Initial operational test and evaluation will begin in the third quarter of 2018.

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[*] posted on 8-5-2018 at 09:19 AM


F-35 deliveries resume as Pentagon and Lockheed clear up financial disagreement

By: Valerie Insinna   1 hour ago


F-35As assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing sit on the flightline July 18, 2017, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The 33 FW and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 from Yuma, Ariz., participated in the first combat exercise with Air Force F-35As and Marine Corps F-35Bs operating simultaneously during Red Flag 17-3. (Staff Sgt. Peter Thompson/U.S. Air Force)

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is now accepting deliveries of the F-35 joint strike fighter again, after resolving a disagreement with Lockheed Martin over who should pay to fix a couple hundred A-models, the company announced Monday.

However, it’s still unknown who will ultimately be left with the repair bill.

Spokesmen from Lockheed and the F-35 Joint Program Office declined to comment on whether the company or government will be held financially responsible for the production escape.
On April 11, the Defense Department confirmed that it had stopped accepting some F-35 deliveries on March 28. The problem, sources said then, is that the department and Lockheed had agreed upon a plan to repair about 200 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing models that were impacted by a quality lapse — but not who should be pay for it.

The initial quality control issue, which had caused a stoppage in F-35 deliveries from Sept. 21 to Oct. 20, involved corrosion found in fastener holes of F-35As being repaired at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. A Lockheed investigation found then that the company had not applied the corrosion-preventing primer to fastener holes.

Ultimately, Defense Department officials felt that the Pentagon shouldn’t be held wholly responsible for paying to retrofit planes due to Lockheed’s mistake, leading it to partially freeze deliveries while negotiating with the company.

In a statement, F-35 JPO spokesman Joe DellaVedova confirmed that the program office had begun accepting deliveries on May 1.
Since then, Lockheed has delivered a number of F-35s to the Defense Department, with an additional 12 jets having completed production and awaiting processing before delivery, a source with knowledge of the discussions told Defense News.

Lockheed spokesman Mike Friedman declined to comment on whether Lockheed would bear responsibility for covering repair costs.

“While we don’t discuss specific cost figures and contracting terms, we have a comprehensive plan in place to effectively and efficiently address the F-35 hole primer issue,” he said.

The JPO statement did not address who will fund the repairs except to say that the plan ensures the services will receive “an affordable and quality weapons system from industry.”

“The F-35 Joint Program Office, along with the U.S. services, international allies and Lockheed Martin, have implemented a comprehensive corrective action plan to make the necessary repairs to all aircraft while minimizing impact to operations,” the JPO statement reads.

“The majority of aircraft will be complete within 24 months with the remaining aircraft completed as their availabilities/modification timing allows.”

A Lockheed statement said that deliveries had resumed following an agreement between the F-35 Joint Program Office and the company to “effectively and efficiently” address the issue.

“All F-35 production continued during the delivery pause, and Lockheed Martin remains on track to meet its delivery target of 91 aircraft for 2018,” the company said.

After the production pause came to light last month, Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, said that the department intends to tighten the reins on production quality.

“The department, in an effort to move forward with the program, has perhaps not been as thoughtful as we want to be from this point forward in terms of what we consider acceptable performance,” she said.

“I think this corrosion issue is one example where we have expectations for workmanship, and at this point we’re not seeing those workmanship levels being achieved.”
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[*] posted on 9-5-2018 at 09:12 AM


Pentagon resumes receipt of F-35s

Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

08 May 2018


Lockheed Martin says that a contractual dispute with the Pentagon that stopped F-35 deliveries in April has been resolved, although the company has not said how. Source: Lockheed Martin

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is again accepting deliveries of F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) combat aircraft following the resolution of a contractual dispute with Lockheed Martin.

In a statement posted on its official F-35 Twitter account on 7 May, Lockheed Martin said that the dispute that had caused the DoD (and at least two unidentified international customers) to refuse acceptance of any new aircraft in April had been resolved, and that the company remains on track to achieve its goal of delivering 91 aircraft in 2018.

“The Pentagon has resumed accepting F-35 aircraft following an agreement between the F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin to effectively and efficiently address the F-35 hole primer issue,” the company said.

The hole primer issue in question relates to who should pay the cost of repairs to an earlier corrosion problem that caused the suspension of deliveries in 2017. While a fix was found for all new aircraft rolling off the production line, some 200 aircraft that had already been built now need to be repaired, and it was the issue of who should pay for this that had caused this latest dispute.

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[*] posted on 9-5-2018 at 09:25 AM


Lockheed resumes F-35 deliveries from Lot 10

08 May, 2018 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Stephen Trimble Washington DC

Lockheed Martin re-affirmed its delivery target for F-35 fighters in 2018 despite a nearly two-month hiatus caused by a contractual dispute.

The US joint programme office has resumed accepting deliveries of new F-35s, the company confirms.

Both sides agreed to “effectively and efficiently address the F-35 hole primer issue” that caused the dispute, the company says, but does not elaborate.

Last September, the JPO halted deliveries after discovering that some F-35s were delivered with a defective primer, causing pre-mature corrosion. Lockheed corrected the problem with a supplier, but a contractual dispute lingered over how long it would take to replace affected components in operational F-35s and who would pay for it.

The issue has added a complication to Lockheed’s goal of a production ramp-up on track. Last year, the company met its target of delivering 66 F-35s. In 2018, Lockheed’s target is still to deliver 91 jets that were ordered with the Lot 10 contract.

The JPO signed the Lot 10 contract last year, but that came about 12 months late. Both sides are still negotiating the terms for the 11th lot of low-rate production, another contractual milestone running a year late.

“We are focused on reducing cost, increasing efficiencies and ensuring we deliver the highest quality weapons system to our men and women in uniform,” Lockheed says.
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[*] posted on 11-5-2018 at 06:36 PM


Harris Corp.'s Open-Ended F-35 Avionics Design Options

May 11, 2018

Bill Carey | Aviation Week & Space Technology

Harris Corp.’s stated ambition to increase its content on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is supported at the company’s laboratory level, where engineers are applying open systems standards in avionics design to keep down cost and ease integration of current and future technology.

The top-15 supplier to the F-35 program makes a compelling case at a propitious time: The Pentagon is reviewing the supply chain with an eye toward reducing cost, and Lockheed Martin is recompeting key technologies such as the fighter’s electro-optical distributed aperture system, which was awarded to Raytheon in March, replacing incumbent supplier Northrop Grumman.

- Harris advances avionics under F-35 C2D2 phase
- Company marks delivery this year of millionth component

Harris already supplies $2.2 million in components per shipset on the F-35, “and we see that growing,” Chairman, CEO and President Bill Brown told analysts recently. Earlier this year, the company surpassed delivery of more than 1 million components for the F-35 fleet since 2001, the start of the fighter’s system development and demonstration (SDD) phase that ended in April.

The bulk of the 1,712 parts Harris supplies for each F-35 are common module components—such as wedge locks, ejectors and connectors—that 21 other suppliers need to slide their mission system modules into the slotted, polyalphaolefin fluid-cooled avionics racks Harris provides on the fighter. The manufacturer is the design authority for seven radar, communications, electronic warfare and other mission-system racks as well as for the rack interfaces. “Any item that touches an avionics chassis [enclosure], there is a module kit for that,” said Ed Zoiss, Harris Electronic Systems president, during a millionth-delivery ceremony at the company’s facility in Malabar, Florida, in late April.


The F-35 panoramic head-down display is currently supplied by L3. Credit: Lockheed Martin

Harris also provides other important components on the fifth-generation fighter, including the Multifunction Advanced Data Link and its antenna array, which allows F-35 pilots to communicate securely while operating in high-threat environments, and pneumatic bomb-release racks made in Amityville, New York. The company says it has reduced the cost of overall shipset deliveries to Lockheed Martin by 64% and maintained a 99.95% on-time delivery rate, resulting in $800 million in cost savings over the course of the SDD phase.

Bryant Henson, avionics business unit general manager, says Harris has been using open systems standards in avionics design for 15 years. It participates in collaborative efforts such as the Future Airborne Capability Environment, an industry-government consortium formed in 2010 to define an open avionics environment for military aircraft. The company sees the open systems approach as the way forward for growing its avionics business.

“Using open systems architecture and open systems standards, we are able to simplify the integration of the current technology and provide a framework for integration of upgraded technology without having to rearchitect the entire system,” says Henson. “That is the beauty of our designs and what we bring to the table.”


This Harris graphic shows its current and future avionics for the F-35. Credit: Harris Corp.

Lockheed Martin awarded Harris two new F-35 contracts, announced in June 2017, to supply the Aircraft Memory System (AMS) and Panoramic Cockpit Display Electronic Unit (PCD-EU) through a technology refresh 3 (TR3) update. TR3 is part of the continuous capability development and delivery, or C2D2, phase of the F-35 program, formerly called the Block 4 follow-on modernization.

Harris replaces L3 Aviation Products in supplying the EU, or display processor piece, which connects by video cable to the 20 X 8-in. panoramic head-down display that Elbit Systems of America will provide after replacing L3 as the incumbent glass supplier. Harris replaces GE Aviation in providing the AMS solid-state mass storage device. The TR3 components will be cut into production in 2021 for F-35 production lot 15.

Harris is developing the PCD-EU for a tenfold improvement in processing performance, at higher update rates, while fitting within the same size, weight and power requirements as the current PCD-EU. The company is incorporating open standards into the unit design, including using the VPX standard for printed circuit board form factor; the PCI Express standard high-speed serial expansion bus to connect peripheral devices such as graphics cards, and the Ethernet networking protocol. OpenGL is the software application programming protocol that communicates with the processor to render graphics on the display.

At its development lab in Palm Bay, Florida, Harris is using commercial Intel processors to initially integrate software and hardware, displaying video graphics on a regular computer monitor, in order to test interfaces and functionality as it develops the final electronics unit. This approach is designed to test both VPX standard 3U and 6U rack configurations, standard commercial-based measures representing dimensions of the slotted racks, or enclosures, in which circuit cards are installed.

In late April, Harris shipped three PCD-EU software development stations consisting of modified personal computers to Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth so that software engineers can begin writing the display processor software Harris will host in the final PCD-EU design. A development station acts as a kind of simulator, allowing software engineers to run applications and view the results on a display.


A Harris electronic warfare avionics rack with mission modules inserted. Credit: Bill Carey/AW&ST

The AMS consists of two units per aircraft, which store data such as the aircraft’s flight profile and map database. Harris says the AMS will provide an order-of-magnitude improvement in the processor throughput as well as in the amount of data it stores compared to the current system. The high-bandwidth interface remains the same for “read-write” memory, the ability to both access and modify data the device stores, taking advantage of the vast amount of sensor data the F-35 generates.

Harris says it is applying lessons learned from its development of the Enhanced Solid-State Recording Device flying on the U.S. Army’s Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter in the AMS system design.

“In today’s environment, you have a lot of systems that are at the mercy of the supply chain or the system provider,” observes Henson. “When you modernize those platforms, sometimes that limits competition or even the ability to upgrade those systems.”

An open systems approach to avionics design makes upgrades more affordable, he adds. “That is why we are investing so heavily in open systems architecture and pulling that into our designs and our products,” he says. “We believe [doing] that will continue to open up market share and opportunities where we bring a value proposition to our customers.”
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[*] posted on 23-5-2018 at 09:08 AM


BAE Systems to manage EW maintenance for F-35 JSF

Geoff Fein, Washington, DC - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

22 May 2018

Lockheed Martin awarded the first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) performance-based logistics (PBL) contract to BAE Systems to provide the advanced fighter aircraft with electronic warfare (EW) systems.

Under the five-year contract, BAE Systems will support the entire global fleet of F-35s to ensure parts availability of line replaceable unit (LRU) modules.

“Our PBL provides the material availability of all the parts regardless of who the customer is,” Betsy Warren, director of F-35 sustainment at BAE Systems, told Jane’s .

The more-than-USD100 million contract award issued in August 2017, and recently approved for public release by the F-35 JSF Joint Program Office, requires BAE Systems to meet two metrics: one for the average on-hand inventory and the second for customer wait time if a part is not readily available.

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[*] posted on 24-5-2018 at 04:58 PM


Three New F-35 Aircraft to Norway

(Source: Norwegian Ministry of Defence; issued May 23, 2018)


Three Lockheed F-35s landed in Norway on Tuesday, bringing the in-country fleet to six aircraft, with seven more stationed in the United States for training. Plans are that six F-35s will be delivered each year until 2024. (Norway MoD photo)

On May 22, three new F-35 aircraft landed at Ørland Air Base in Norway. Six aircraft are now on Norwegian soil. – Our new F-35s are a major investment and the most important acquisition to strengthen the defence capabilities of our Armed Forces, said Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen.

According to the plan, Norway will receive six new F-35s every year until 2024.

“Delivered on time, the three new aircraft represent a new milestone in our acquisition program. We are now another step closer to reaching Full Operation Capability with the F-35 in 2025. Until then, we have a lot of infrastructure to build on the two air bases Ørland and Evenes; New equipment and systems need to be fitted, and dedicated personnel are being educated and trained on the new combat aircraft system to be able to ensure Norway’s safety and sovereignty in the future. The F-35 will significantly strengthen our Armed Forces’ joint defence capability,” said the Defence Minister.

According to the plan, Norway will receive six new F-35s every year until 2024. Today’s arrival follows the delivery of the three first aircraft in November 2017. Since then, the Norwegian Air Force has been carrying out operational testing and evaluation of the F-35 in Norwegian conditions, aiming for Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 2019.

“With the F-35, we are introducing a completely new concept, requiring our entire Armed Forces to adapt and innovate. I am confident of the efforts our dedicated personnel are putting in to reach Initial Operational Capability in 2019, and that we will reach this important milestone by the end of 2019,” said the Defence Minister.

A major capability

Based on the Storting’s (Norwegian Parliament) ambitions, Norway plans to acquire up to 52 F-35 combat aircraft for national defence purposes. The number is verified by analyses carried out by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment and the Ministry of Defence, and confirmed by the latest threat assessments and the Armed Forces’ Long-term Plan.

“We will conclude our acquisition and reach Full Operational Capability by 2025. The F-35 can identify, locate, strike heavily defended targets, and it offers high survivability faced with modern threats. The aircraft is difficult to detect on radar and can operate in high-threat areas where today’s F-16 cannot. The F-35 has sensors with great reach and high resolution, which offers good situational awareness for both our own and allied forces. An advanced weapons system, the F-35 offers a major capability that will strengthen our ability to react quickly to threats over great distances,” said Major General Morten Klever, Director for the F-35 acquisition program at the Ministry of Defence.

An advanced weapons system, the F-35 offers a major capability that will strengthen our ability to react quickly to threats over great distances, said Major General Morten Klever, Director for the F-35 acquisition program at the Ministry of Defence.

Major investment in national security

The F-35 acquisition is within the cost framework approved by the Storting.

“We conduct thorough cost analyses annually, and work continuously to ensure that we keep costs down. This is a major investment in terms of money, but it is an even greater investment in Norwegian security,” said the Defence Minister.

Training and education on track

In addition to the six aircraft now at Oerland Air Base, the Norwegian Air Force has seven F-35s stationed at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, USA. These are being used for training and education.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 25-5-2018 at 12:09 PM


Israel just showed that the F-35 can fight. So what’s next?

By: Valerie Insinna   18 hours ago


During a ceremony at Nevatim Air Base, Israel, on Dec. 12, 2016, the Israeli air force received its first F-35s. The Israel Defense Force confirmed on May 22, 2018, that the jets have already been used in combat . (Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley/U.S. Air Force)

LONGYEARBYEN, Norway — Israel’s first-ever use of the F-35 during airstrikes over the Middle East may help the jet fight off persistent criticisms that it’s a boondoggle that can’t hack it in combat.

But don’t expect immediate changes to manufacturer Lockheed Martin’s bottom line or for other F-35 users to rush the plane into warzones, experts told Defense News.

Israel Air Force head Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin announced on Tuesday during an IAF conference that the aircraft had already participated in two airstrikes over the Middle East, making Israel the first country to operate an F-35 in combat.

“The Adir planes are already operational and flying in operational missions. We are the first in the world to use the F-35 in operational activity,” he said, according to a tweet by the Israel Defense Forces’ official Twitter account. Adir is the IAF’s designation for its F-35s and means “Mighty One.”

Norkin also showed a photo of the aircraft flying over Beirut, Lebanon, reported the news outlet Haaretz.

Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with the Teal Group, called the IAF’s use of the F-35 in combat “the best endorsement the F-35 can get” and said it would be particularly useful going forward in Syria.

“The Syria conflict calls for careful targeting and maximum survivability, the F-35’s two strongest attributes. It has its limits, but in this contingency it should excel,” he said. “It certainly provides other users and potential customers with a high level of confidence that the aircraft and its systems work in real world conditions.”

Israel has a long history of sending its aircraft into combat soon after it becomes operational. Legendary IAF pilot Moshe Marom-Melnik became the first person to shoot down an enemy aircraft with the F-15 in 1979, FlightGlobal reported. Meanwhile, it took until Operation Desert Storm in 1991 for the U.S. Air Force to do the same.

When Israel has a new platform, it uses it as rapidly as possible so pilots can increase their skills, said Abraham Assael, a retired IAF brigadier general and CEO of the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies.

“It’s a great platform with a lot of capabilities. So we try to get the maximum of it. And I feel they are doing the upmost to do it well and professionally, because it’s a process to learn the machine and induct it within the air force. It’s not an easy task,” he said.

Aboulafia said the F-35’s real-world experience could have an impact for Lockheed Martin in markets like Canada, Japan or the United Kingdom, which are publicly or reportedly considering alternatives to the F-35.

However, Assael said he didn’t know whether the milestone would have much of an affect on F-35 sales to Israel. The country is still deciding whether to expand its F-35 order beyond the 50 jets under contract or to buy more F-15s.

“There is a discussion nowadays within the air force and within the IDF [on] where is the best investment,” he said. “And I don’t know. I really don’t know.”

What the event means for U.S. use of the jet in the Middle East is also hard to say. One Marine Corps’ F-35B squadron, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 arrives at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, has found a permanent home at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan. The Air Force has temporarily deployed its F-35As to England and Japan.

However, service leaders have not detailed immediate plans to send the F-35 to the Middle East. Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, a former head of Air Combat Command, said in 2017 that he believed such an event could take place in the “not too distant future,” but current Air Force leadership have not raised the issue publicly.

Just because the IAF have now proven that the joint strike fighter can be used successfully in the region doesn’t mean the U.S. military will be rushing to deploy the F-35 to Central Command, said David Deptula, a former Air Force lieutenant general and currently the dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

“Each of the countries that possess operational F-35s will use them to further their individual national security needs — those most likely will be different and will not necessarily affect one another,” he told Defense News. “That said, the first combat use of the F-35 confirms its operational utility and insights will be gained as a result.”
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[*] posted on 25-5-2018 at 12:21 PM


But I thought all you needed was a 70 year old VHF radar and this thing was toast?



In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 25-5-2018 at 01:05 PM


Easy..............


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[*] posted on 25-5-2018 at 01:07 PM


The F-35’s Combat Debut

May 25, 2018

Arie Egozi and Tony Osborne | Aviation Week & Space Technology

After 179 months and more than $400 billion in acquisition costs, the F-35 finally made its combat debut—and almost nobody knew.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF), the first international customer to receive the Lockheed Martin-built aircraft, was quietly the first to use it in combat operations, finally revealing so on May 22.

“We are flying the F-35 all over the Middle East. It has become part of our operational capabilities,” says IAF Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin. “We are the first to attack using the F-35 in the Middle East and have already attacked twice on different fronts.”

The Israeli F-35 flew in Lebanese airspace, past Beirut, on its way to attack Iranian targets in Syria, according to air force images. It has also conducted operations in another unidentified area. And according to news reports, the Israeli F-35 took part in the attacks on Syria following the downing of an Israeli F-16 by a Syrian surface-to-air SA-5 missile.

- Israel was the first to employ the fifth-generation fighter in a war zone
- The IAF is adding Rafael missiles and a Litening targeting pod to the F-35I

The air force declined to specify the stealthy fighter’s capabilities, except to characterize them generally as a “game changer.” The F-35 proved to be a “super intelligence collector,” flying in stealthy mode with the capability to disperse data to forces in the air and on the ground, says an air force officer.

Details of the strikes emerged as Norkin addressed a convention of senior officers from international air forces, held as part of the Israeli Air Force’s 70th anniversary commemorations.

While he did not confirm the F-35’s role in the missions, it likely supported destruction of Syrian air defense systems following the firing of rockets into Israel by an Iranian Uragan rocket artillery system. Norkin said the Syrians fired more than 100 surface-to-air missiles, including the SA-5 Gammon and SA-17 Buk medium-range surface-to-air types, as well as the SA-22 Greyhound missiles fired by the Pantsir close-in weapon system.

Norkin says the air force also destroyed a Hamas tunnel 20 m (66 ft.) below the ground in the same raids. Media reports have suggested F-35 operational use since the beginning of 2018, but none were confirmed by the service. The air force announced it had achieved an initial operational capability with the F-35 last December.

While the first operational missions are a significant milestone for the wider F-35 program, it is unclear whether its capabilities made a significant difference in the raids. The Israeli Air Force has managed to strike Syria several times this year, hitting a mix of Syrian and Iranian targets deep inside Syrian territory with virtual impunity, apart from the aforementioned loss of an F-16 in February. Part of this capability is due to Israel’s extensive electronic warfare (EW) and spoofing capability. It came to the fore more than a decade ago when Tel Aviv secretly attacked a reactor being built with support from North Korea.

Details were kept secret for 11 years until March, when the air force published a blog about the raid.

Such a disclosure by Israel is unusual, but could well represent a clear message to Iran, which has been increasing its presence in Syria—as well as to Israeli politicians as encouragement to purchase more of the aircraft. It comes on the heels of the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem and a souring of relations in the Middle East.

The Israeli Air Force’s “Golden Eagle” squadron is currently operating nine F-35s since the first Adir arrived in late 2016.

The F-35s are undergoing an array of flight tests before being integrated into operational activity, including the IAF Flight Test Squadron performing a series of aerial refueling tests from Tel-Nof AFB.

Israel sees the F-35 as a major part of its “Long Arm” capability needed to handle potential threats.

The Israeli Air Force, now using the F-35I in combat, flies past Beirut.

Beyond testing, the service has done more than any other F-35 customer to equip it with homegrown systems. For Israel that includes additions to the fighter’s organic EW system and other systems, which are being adapted to be carried in the F-35 weapons bay. An updated list has been submitted to the U.S. Defense Department.

For example, Rafael is working on adapting a 5th-Generation Plus air-to-air missile to the aircraft, advanced versions of Rafael’s Python 5 and Derby air-to-air missiles. The company’s Litening 5 targeting pod is also in the adaptation process. The main changes are related to the capability to carry the systems in the F-35 weapons bay.

The tests were performed even before the special F-35 test aircraft that is part of the signed deal arrives in Israel. The delivery of the test aircraft is expected in late 2018 or early 2019.

The U.S. has used its stealthy F-22 Raptor in combat a number of times, flying it for the first time in combat in September 2014 during the first U.S.-led airstrikes on Islamic State militants in Syria. And although the U.S. F-35A and B variants have been declared operational and deployed overseas, they have yet to see combat.
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[*] posted on 2-6-2018 at 12:12 PM


Pratt & Whitney receives $2 billion to supply F-35 engines

01 June, 2018 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Garrett Reim Los Angeles

The Department of Defense awarded Pratt & Whitney a $2 billion contract to supply F135 turbofan engines for the Lot 11 order of F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

The 11th low rate initial production contract will cover 135 engines, as well as programme management, engineering support, production support, spare modules and spare parts, P&W said on 31 May 2018.

The company said it has delivered 375 F135 engines to date and deliveries of Lot 11 engines will start this year.

The $2 billion contract for F135 turbofan engines comes in addition to two long lead components, parts and materials contracts that P&W was awarded in August and November 2016.

Those contracts totaled $185 million.

Including the long lead contracts, the average cost per engine for Lot 11 comes to roughly $16.2 million per unit. Engine unit prices vary as the conventional takeoff and landing Lockheed Martin F-35A engine is priced lower than the engine system for the vertical takeoff and landing variant F-35B, however.

Pratt & Whitney was awarded $1.95 billion to supply 99 F135 engines for Lot 10. The average cost per engine unit for Lot 10 was about $19.7 million. Thus, costs per engine declined more than 17% from Lot 10 to Lot 11.

Nonetheless, the jet engine manufacturer said it will only slightly reduce the unit recurring flyaway (URF) of the Lot 11 F135 engines compared Lot 10. Pratt & Whitney declined to disclose flyaway costs, sharing only cost reductions percentages.

The URF price for the 110 LRIP Lot 11 conventional takeoff and landing and carrier variant propulsion systems will be reduced 0.34% from the previously negotiated LRIP Lot 10 URF, according to the company. The URF price for the 25 LRIP Lot 11 short takeoff and vertical landing propulsion systems will be reduced 3.39% from the previously negotiated LRIP Lot 10 URF.
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[*] posted on 6-6-2018 at 09:00 AM


Deficiencies could delay F-35 full-rate production decision

05 June, 2018 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Garrett Reim Los Angeles

The Department of Defense agreed with a Government Accountability Office report that it should resolve the Lockheed Martin F-35’s critical deficiencies before requesting funds to pay for full-rate production of the aircraft.

Waiting for the resolution of critical deficiencies in the F-35 Lightning II could delay the aircraft’s full-rate production, which the DoD had planned to begin in 2021.

The department had planned to defer resolving some critical deficiencies found in testing until after its full-rate production decision in October 2019, according to a GAO report released on 5 June. However, the report cited concerns that fixing deficiencies after starting full-rate production could eventually create additional costs to the government.

As of January 2018, the F-35 programme had 966 open deficiencies—111 category one deficiencies, which could jeopardise safety, security, or another critical requirement; and 855 category two deficiencies, which could impede or constrain a successful mission, according to the GAO. At least 25 category one deficiencies and 165 category two deficiencies would not be resolved before planned full-rate production.

Category one deficiencies the Joint Programmee Office planned to solve after full-rate production began involved the air vehicle, avionics, weapons, software and propulsion.

The JPO now plans to resolve all of the F-35’s critical deficiencies prior to entering initial operational test and evaluation, which was anticipated for fall 2018, according the GAO.
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[*] posted on 7-6-2018 at 09:04 AM


US GAO recommends Congress restrict F-35 Block 4 funding

Pat Host, Washington, DC - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

06 June 2018


GAO recommended that lawmakers withhold funding for F-35 Block 4 modernisation until the Pentagon provides a sound business case for the effort. Source: Lockheed Martin

Key Points

- GAO recommends Congress restrict funding for F-35 Block 4 modernisation
- The office said the Pentagon has not provided a sound business case for this part of the programme

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends lawmakers restrict funding for Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Block 4 modernisation until the Pentagon provides a sound business case for the effort.

The Pentagon plans to spend billions of dollars to modernise the F-35 with new capabilities. GAO, in its annual F-35 report released on 5 June, said the Pentagon is requesting USD278 million to begin that process before establishing a sound business case: a baseline cost and schedule estimate.

GAO made two recommendations. One is to direct the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) office to resolve all critical deficiencies before making a full-rate production (FRP) decision, which is due in 2019. The other recommendation is to direct the JPO to identify which steps are needed to ensure the F-35 meets reliability and maintainability requirements before each variant reaches maturity, and update the reliability and maintainability improvement programme with these steps.

The F-35 programme will defer action on some deficiencies found during the developmental testing until after entering FRP, which could add to additional programme costs. The Pentagon categorises deficiencies in two categories: Category 1 deficiencies are those that could jeopardise safety, security, or another critical requirement; and Category 2 deficiencies are those that could impede or constrain successful mission accomplishment.

GAO said that the JPO in early 2017 determined that not all open deficiencies found in developmental testing could be resolved within the cost and schedule of the developmental contract. Accordingly, the programme office and military services reviewed all open deficiencies and determined that about 30% of them needed to be resolved before completing development.

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[*] posted on 7-6-2018 at 07:09 PM


They COULD go for the GAO’s plan or they COULD pork-barrel the crap out of their electorates with these contracts.

It will be interesting to see which way these Congressman go...




In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 8-6-2018 at 12:36 PM


My money's on pork-barreling, I'd back political self interest every time.



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[*] posted on 9-6-2018 at 12:17 AM


Quote: Originally posted by unicorn  
My money's on pork-barreling, I'd back political self interest every time.


Me too...

GAO’s stance is admirable, but not very realistic...




In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 14-6-2018 at 09:37 AM


PICTURE: F-35 hits new high, as Lockheed delivers 300th example

13 June, 2018 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Craig Hoyle London

Lockheed Martin has delivered its 300th production example of the F-35 Lightning II, with the conventional take-off and landing, A-model fighter to enter service at the US Air Force's Hill AFB in Utah.


Lockheed Martin

The milestone figure comprises 197 F-35As, 75 short take-off and vertical landing F-35Bs and 28 carrier-variant F-35Cs, manufactured for the US armed services and international customers, Lockheed says. "More than 620 pilots and 5,600 maintainers have been trained, and the F-35 fleet has surpassed more than 140,000 cumulative flight hours," it adds.

Noting that the type’s unit price has decreased by more than 60% since the US Department of Defense's first low-rate initial production contract, the company's F-35 programme general manager, Greg Ulmer says: "We are focused on reducing costs, increasing efficiencies, and ensuring the highest level of quality as we ramp to full-rate production and sustainment of the operational fleet."

In addition to the USAF, US Marine Corps and US Navy, Flight Fleets Analyzer records Australia, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea and the UK as having so far received F-35s.
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[*] posted on 14-6-2018 at 09:39 AM


P&W proposes electric power boost from F-35 engine

13 June, 2018 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Stephen Trimble New York

Pratt & Whitney has added power and thermal management upgrades to a list of options available now for the propulsion system for the Lockheed Martin F-35.

If funded by the F-35’s customers, P&W’s Growth Option 2.0 package of upgrades for the F135 engine would support new avionics and systems capabilities planned for the F-35, says P&W Military Engines President Matthew Bromberg.

The unspecified power and thermal management options would add to the thrust and fuel efficiency upgrades that P&W unveiled last year for the F135.

The Growth Option 1.0 package promised to increase thrust by 6-10%, and reduce fuel burn by 5-6%, but so far the joint programme office (JPO) hasn’t funded them, Bromberg says.

Instead, the F-35 JPO has informed P&W that the F-35 requires additional upgrades beyond thrust and fuel efficiency, such as greater electrical power generation to support planned avionics and systems upgrades. As the electric power increases, the F-35’s propulsion system also must be able to absorb a larger volume of heat from the electrical system.

The proposed power and thermal upgrades would be available by 2023, along with the thrust and fuel efficiency improvements, Bromberg says.

Some changes require related upgrades from P&W suppliers. The thrust upgrade for the short takeoff and vertical landing version of the F135, for example, must be matched by a similar improvement from the Lift Fan system. Rolls-Royce, the Lift Fan supplier, has committed to support the upgrade.

Under Growth Option 2.0, however, P&W expects all of the improvements to be limited to the F135. Another key component of the F-35’s power and thermal management system — Honeywell’s integrated power package (IPP) — would not be affected.

How the Growth Option 2.0 fits into the F-35's upgrade plans remains unclear. Late last year, the JPO converted the modernisation plan for the F-35 to a different schedule. Instead of fielding large upgrade packages every two years increments known as Block 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2, the JPO now plans to roll-out smaller capability improvements on six-month intervals under a plan called the Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2) programme. So far, the JPO has laid out plans for software and sensor improvements in the short-term, but has divulged no commitments to insert engine upgrades.

P&W and GE Aviation are separately working on developing competing versions of a next-generation fighter engine. The Adaptive Engine Transition Programme (AETP) is expected to lead to a competition between the P&W XA101 engine demonstrator and GE's XA102. That engine could be used as a drop-in replacement for the F135 by the mid-2020s, with an adaptive bypass airflow feature that could extend the range of the F-35 as much as 25%. Bromberg declined to provide an update on the status of development and testing of the XA101.
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[*] posted on 14-6-2018 at 06:42 PM


Raytheon to develop new F-35 Distributed Aperture System

14 June, 2018 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Garrett Reim Los Angeles

Lockheed Martin awarded Raytheon a contract to develop the F-35 Lightning II’s next generation Distribute Aperture System (DAS).

The (DAS) was previously manufactured by Northrop Grumman, which decided not to bid on the next generation system, saying it wasn’t an attractive business deal. Lockheed did not disclose the terms or the amount of the contract in its announcement on 13 June.

The F-35’s DAS uses six infrared cameras mounted around the aircraft to project augmented reality images into a Helmet Mounted Display made by Vision Systems International, a joint venture between Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems.

By projecting the DAS video stream onto the HMD, the F-35 pilot can see through the aircraft structure to view the surrounding environment. The system also automatically identifies and tracks threats, such as incoming missiles, in the headset display.

The Raytheon-built DAS will be integrated into the F-35 starting with Lot 15 aircraft, expected to be delivered in 2023. The next generation DAS system is estimated to generate more than $3 billion in life cycle cost savings, according to Lockheed.

The company also said the new system is also expected to be more reliable and perform better than the first generation system.
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