2019 F-35 News and Discussion

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1. Turkey and Russia have friendly relationships already and reach deals on Syria with Iran, excluding US. They don't need the S-400 for that. If US doesn't trust Turkey they should not sell any secrets to them, with or without the missiles.

and they already show concern by that time
the S-400 deal is the last straw that breaks the camel's back

To bring ABM issue in relation with this topic is totally unfortunate IMO. First, no such concern has been voiced by US. Second, the strategic nature of the ABM systems is obviously (is there really any doubt about this?) of critical nature for the national security of Russia, unlike the S-400 for US. On the one hand, the system is not capable for intercepting strategic weapons. On the other, they are not surrounding US ICBM launching sites as it does happen with European and Asian emplacements of US missile shield. Not to talk about the Mk-41 launchers being compatible with nuclear-tipped CMs (or even land-attack versions of SM-3) threatening Russia's main cities and violating INF.
Anyway, better not to extend further off-topic I think.

The point here is that, Russian always said their ballistic missiles can easily penetrate US missile defense or their missiles can't be intercepted or their defense can easily intercept anything US throwing at them....etc, yet they still express the strong dislike when US put the air defense in Europe or when US sell air defense to Japan. If i used the same logic as you, i would think that Russian have nothing to fear and if they fear, they are hiding some flaw of their systems. But in reality, in both case, it is mainly a matter of big country wanting to limit the influence of their rival.

For Russia this is like somebody pressing a gun against your head and asking you to believe it is unloaded. Would you take the risk? They neither....

For US in the Turket-F-35 deal, it is also a matter of national security, when they sell one of the most modern pieces of equipment in their inventory to an allies that might/might not sell the classified information to their rival, it is normal that US don't want to sell the F-35 to Turkey. This is like when one of your friends who now started to do drug, asking for your credit card details, would you give them? probably not.

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Singapore commits to “small” F-35 procurement

“Our F-16s will have to retire soon after 2030,” said defence minister Ng Eng Hen in a tweet. “Happy to report that [Defence Science and Technology Agency] and [the air force] have completed their technical evaluation for the replacement, and have decided that the F-35 would be the most suitable replacement fighter.”
[...]
“The technical evaluation also concluded that the RSAF should first purchase a small number of F-35 JSFs for a full evaluation of their capabilities and suitability before deciding on a full fleet,” said the ministry’s statement.

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

Also*:

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

Source:
FlightGlobal.com

*of a special interest to me (and dedicated to the Swiss eval (see our much too long former discussions in the dedicated thread))

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They just decided to order some LHD

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'Lethal' F-35A heading to Red Flag 19-1

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- --
Pilots and maintainers from the 388th Fighter Wing are bringing the F-35A and ‘increased lethality’ as they take a lead role in Red Flag 19-1 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada,

From Jan. 26 - Feb. 15, approximately 200 Airmen from Hill AFB, including reservists from the 419th Fighter Wing, will participate in what is known as the Air Force’s premier combat training exercise.

The 388th FW debuted the F-35A Lightning II at Red Flag in 2017 and came away with a 20:1 kill ratio. The jet is even more capable now, pilots say.

"We have an upgraded software suite that has improved our sensor fusion. We've got an expanded flying envelope with more maneuverability. We have the ability to employ more weapons, including the 25-mm cannon,” said Lt. Col. Yosef Morris, 4th Fighter Squadron commander. "When you couple those things with the two years we've had to improve our tactics, we're bringing a much more lethal F-35A to this Red Flag and ultimately to the battlefield."


More at the JUMP

https://www.acc.af.mil/News/Article-...red-flag-19-1/

SpudmanWP

'Lethal' F-35A heading to Red Flag 19-1

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- --
Pilots and maintainers from the 388th Fighter Wing are bringing the F-35A and ‘increased lethality’ as they take a lead role in Red Flag 19-1 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada,

From Jan. 26 - Feb. 15, approximately 200 Airmen from Hill AFB, including reservists from the 419th Fighter Wing, will participate in what is known as the Air Force’s premier combat training exercise.

The 388th FW debuted the F-35A Lightning II at Red Flag in 2017 and came away with a 20:1 kill ratio. The jet is even more capable now, pilots say.

"We have an upgraded software suite that has improved our sensor fusion. We've got an expanded flying envelope with more maneuverability. We have the ability to employ more weapons, including the 25-mm cannon,” said Lt. Col. Yosef Morris, 4th Fighter Squadron commander. "When you couple those things with the two years we've had to improve our tactics, we're bringing a much more lethal F-35A to this Red Flag and ultimately to the battlefield."

Plus, as good as the F-35 is today. It's nothing compared to the post 2030 model. Which, likely will have the new ACE (Advent) Engine and even better Sensor Fusion!

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Not to mention AdvEOTS, AdvEODAS, upgraded ESM, upgraded AESA radar, CUDA, DIRCM, new functions like cooperative EW, etc.

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I cannot wait until CUDA comes out for the F-35, the F-35 is sorely lacking in air-air missiles the CUDA would solve that problem.

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First of all, we do not know if F-35 will have an ADVENT engine (SCAF will btw). Adv EOTS is just a step to keep up with advanced sniper. Present EOTS is slightly outdated and there is of laser pointing isn't there?

CUDA is officially launched? (genuine question)

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First of all, we do not know if F-35 will have an ADVENT engine (SCAF will btw)

Actually, yes we do. The question is timeline (10 years give or take). And it's not ADVENT, its AETP. Between then and now, there are several growth plans for the current F135 under consideration. Should the USAF adopt these options, there could be F-35s within 2 years with 10% greater thrust and 5% better fuel burn, 4 years if they adopt growth option 2.0 with added thrust and better thermal management.

Development was split last year between the 45,000lb thrust class AETP for future F-35 engine, and funding and design for future air superiority platform engine.

CUDA is officially launched?

USAF is funding a demonstration program for CUDA. While that is not a definite sign that CUDA is "launched", the USAF is showing interest the project has moved beyond a L-M self-funded project.

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CUDA is officially launched? (genuine question)

As a whole, the SACM program is ongoing and the DoD recently announced money for CUDA test firings.
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The U.S. Air Force has funded a flight test demonstration program for Lockheed Martin’s Cuda air-to-air missile, pushing the concept forward more than five years after it first appeared, the company says.

The flight tests, funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), will evaluate how the Cuda compares to the range and terminal phase maneuverability of the Raytheon AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-To-Air Missile (Amraam), says Frank St. John, executive vice-president of Lockheed’s Missiles and Fire Control business area.

http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/usaf-funds-lockheed-s-half-raam-missile-flights

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First of all, we do not know if F-35 will have an ADVENT engine (SCAF will btw).

SCAF is an European paper project that probably won't get out of the drawing board, how can you know it will get ADVENT?


Adv EOTS is just a step to keep up with advanced sniper. Present EOTS is slightly outdated and there is of laser pointing isn't there?

Present EOTS has functions that advanced sniper doesn't have such as automatic track while scan for A2A
Advanced EOTS add functions that advanced sniper doesn't have also such as SWIR


CUDA is officially launched? (genuine question)

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I remain a bit skeptical about CUDA/SACM but I can understand funding further development of it. There is no word on a true AMRAAM successor (or even AMRAAM upgrades) however which concerns me.

WOW! :D

Lockheed: F-35A Cost To Drop Below $80 Million Per Fighter In 2023

Lockheed Martin is committed to producing the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter for $80 million each by next year and further reducing the overall program costs as part of the next production contract negotiations with the Department of Defense, the company said on Tuesday

In 2022, Lockheed Martin officials expect to negotiate the next multiyear F-35 contract with the Joint Program Office. The goal is to use the steady cash flow from a multiyear contract to drive down further the production costs once the contract kicks in.

As part of a pitch for multiyear contract, Lockheed Martin officials say such a deal will lower the F-35A price to less than $80 million per fighter, Marillyn Hewson, chief executive of Lockheed Martin, told analysts during a conference call today discussing the company’s 2018 year-end results and expectations for 2019.

“That’s our target, to continue to drive the unit cost down,” Hewson said. “And we won’t stop there, we will always be looking at ways that we can take the cost down in the program as it continues to mature and grows.”

Currently, the F-35A, the standard take-off and landing variant primarily used by the U.S. Air Force and foreign partners, has a price tag of $89.2 million. The F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant used by the Marine Corps and some foreign partners currently cost $115.5 million each, and the F-35C carrier variant used by the Navy cost $107.7 million per fighter, according to Lockheed Martin.

https://news.usni.org/2019/01/29/40708?fbclid=IwAR0nOs96bFipVA7LDytnb6ZyRJoStWy_-dJhyjYxbDwpTYFKCDYY648GWFk

FBW

Actually, yes we do. The question is timeline (10 years give or take). And it's not ADVENT, its AETP. Between then and now, there are several growth plans for the current F135 under consideration. Should the USAF adopt these options, there could be F-35s within 2 years with 10% greater thrust and 5% better fuel burn, 4 years if they adopt growth option 2.0 with added thrust and better thermal management.

Those plans are well under way too......

QUOTE: There are upgrades in the pipeline for the F135 engine and although no service has issued a requirement for an upgraded engine, Pratt and Whitney is cooperating with the US Navy on a two-block improvement plan for the F135 engine.

The goals of Block 1 are a 7-10% increase in thrust and a 5-7% lower fuel burn. The plans include better cooling technology for turbine blades; this would increase the longevity of the engine and substantially reduce maintenance costs.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/brit...FWRusGDiRrKeHc

Note: The upgrades listed above are for the Block I version of the current P&W F135. This shouldn't be confused with the "ACE". Which, will be used in future versions of the F-35 and one or both 6th Generation Fighters being developed for the USAF and USN. (i.e. PCA and NGAD)

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First of all, we do not know if F-35 will have an ADVENT engine (SCAF will btw). Adv EOTS is just a step to keep up with advanced sniper. Present EOTS is slightly outdated and there is of laser pointing isn't there?

CUDA is officially launched? (genuine question)

The Adaptive Cycle Engine/6th generation propulsion technology spending to produce the next generation of propulsion technologies in the US is transparent and has progressively increased with two OEM's fully funded right down to possibly TRL-6 by the 2021-2022 time-frame. This after more than a decade of S&T and R&D work and billions of dollars invested in the ADVENT, AEDP and now AETP efforts not to mention smaller but very critical investments elsewhere. This is set to culminate in the next couple of years with ground testing of the first three engines each from GE and P&W with options to even possibly put them in the air.

This is hard investment in actual programs that have progressively chipped away at all the technology, investment, risk, and cost roadblocks to fielding a next-gen engine for advanced 5th generation and 6th generation fighter aircraft. The effort would have met all EMD entry criteria in a couple of years. Basically, it is at a very very advanced stage thanks to more than a decade of investment in getting to where they are, and the stepping stone that developing and fielding hundreds of F-119 and F-135 got them.

The SCAF is just a bunch of agreements to develop something between Germany and France and does not compete with the F-35 in any way unless a buyer is willing to wait a couple of decades.

EOTS-Upgrades is an evolutionary step to provide better capability to the F-35 user community. Most importantly, it is an LRU and not a podded solution meaning that they get enhanced targeting capability without having to mount a heavier, more capable system on a pod which increases both RCS and drag.

The CUDA is one solution to multiple Air-Air weapons the USAF is currently studying for 5th generation and 6th generation aircraft. It (SACM) would be a welcome capability add to the Aim-120D and Meteor which the F-35 will have in the short term. Internally, Lockheed has already conducted the first test of the CUDA (ground launched) and with internal funding now being supplemented with USAF funding the pace will likely pick up. Raytheon, the incumbent, is already funded by the USAF on the SACM and LREW programs.

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EOTS-Upgrades is an evolutionary step to provide better capability to the F-35 user community. Most importantly, it is an LRU and not a podded solution meaning that they get enhanced targeting capability without having to mount a heavier, more capable system on a pod which increases both RCS and drag.

The advantage of a pod is you can easily change it, set it (or not) for a mission. The F-35 isnt really FOC and its sniper XR based EOTS is already obsolete, whatever arguments on ecan use to try to say the opposite.That is the disadvantage of inner mounted stuff (agree it has advantages for stealth etc.)

Finally you have apparently no idea of SCAF advances, neither of SNECMA work on engines. Definition phase is done, Demonstrator is contracted and scheduled for 2025. For the sake of your knowledgeKAveri is a variable cycle engine and it is indian...

Btw, i see a small company has been contracted to put infrasonic detectors in program Rafale. Anyidea what they could be used for?

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[USER="1416"]Scooter[/USER]

Note: The upgrades listed above are for the Block I version of the current P&W F135. This shouldn't be confused with the "ACE". Which, will be used in future versions of the F-35 and one or both 6th Generation Fighters being developed for the USAF and USN. (i.e. PCA and NGAD)

The program is AETP, both PW and GE were downselected from ADVENT/ then AETD demonstration programs to develop the adaptive cycle engine.

ACE is the name of the GE adaptive cycle engine (from ADVENT program I believe, B-I-O can probably fill in more information on that). Those were F135 sized engines (one or both used the F135 core), but it was stated they were too wide for the F-35 engine bay.

As I stated previously, the AETP program was divided last year. The 45,000lb thrust class replacement engine for the F-35, and a separate engine program for whatever platform(s) come out of PCA (distinction is a bit fuzzy right now).

B-I-O can probably fill in the blanks better than I can on the rest.

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Btw, i see a small company has been contracted to put infrasonic detectors in program Rafale. Anyidea what they could be used for?

Welcome to the world of DEW (on a similar mode than laser pointer prevention). bUt could be also some sort of passive com.