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US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

This is a discussion on US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos within the World Armed Forces forums, part of the World Strategic Defence Area category; The article wasn't really a big revelation for sure, but gives some further understanding I think. And I won't fully ...

  1. #106
    Scratch is offline Senior Member
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    Re: US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

    The article wasn't really a big revelation for sure, but gives some further understanding I think. And I won't fully deny that the decision also had a political scope.
    In the long run, Japan will have to replace a good part of it's fighter aircraft. The tech transfer was probably consindered good enough to help Japan with it's own 5th gen project and sustain related industry. Since they didn't get the F-22, they might try to replace some F-15Js with their own ATD-X, while making up # with more F-35 in the future.

    The following article of "the diplomat" has an interesting interview with "Jane's aviation desk editor", bringing some more perspective on this.

    http://the-diplomat.com/flashpoints-...-questioned-2/

    Japan’s F-35 Choice Questioned
    By The Diplomat - December 22, 2011

    The Diplomat speaks with Gareth Jennings, IHS Jane's Aviation desk editor and managing editor of Jane's Missiles & Rockets, to discuss Japan’s choice of the F-35 fighter in its recent F-X competition. ...
    [interview at the link]

  2. #107
    Joshluot-34-85 is offline New Member
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    Re: US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

    When do y'all think that the Chengdu J-20 will be in service with the PLAAF?

  3. #108
    Air Force Brat is offline Senior Member
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    Cool Re: US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Head View Post
    Yes I did. Here is the pic of those three Air Force F-35As in formation over Edwards.
    Thanks for postin that boss man, they really are cute little sistahs, maybe if we whine enough they will take one to Oshkosh next summer. Loved the F-22 show with Mad Max, maybe he can do the demo flights for the Lightning II. Does the headmaster think she could do a tailslide, I'm not sure without the vectored thrust. Pak Fa was a doll at maks 2011, I was impressed to say the least, one must give the Russian brothers the showmanship award, they put it all out there!
    Last edited by bd popeye; 12-25-2011 at 02:31 PM. Reason: add quotes

  4. #109
    Air Force Brat is offline Senior Member
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    Re: US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshluot-34-85 View Post
    When do y'all think that the Chengdu J-20 will be in service with the PLAAF?
    Well Josh, kyanges and plawolf both suggest that the J-20 is more of a testbed, than tech demonstrator, I would concur with the additional observation that they are flying it a lot. That really doesn't normally happen with test aircraft, they tend to fly them a little, and work on fixing whats broke or needs "tweaked" a lot. Since they are flying it a lot, there seems a couple of likely possibilities, 1 She's almost perfect, "not likely", 2 She's a photo op, kind of like a supermodel, to say hey, we're in this game to play too. My perception is that they are sticking to a fairly benign flight envelope, and if we weren't supposed to be watching her, we wouldn't be seeing her" The appearance of Pak-Fa as a demonstration aircraft at Mak 2011, looking very, very, slick I might add, in spite of her take off abort on day two, shows a much more mature aircraft in the developement process. Thats possible, because in spite of the new design, she retains the primary design of the su-27, tweaked stretched, but very slick. The J-20 on the other hand is a totally new platform, bearing some design cues, but really looking more like a test bed type aircraft. The real issue that keeps Pak-Fa and the J-20 from moving forward rapidly continues to be the powerplant, but believe me when I say that lots of developement time and money are being spent on that right now. Although we have seen pictures, the implication was that we were years away from any possibility of a serious fifth gen player from either of these two teams. That we have several airworthy examples of each is something of a surprise to the "experts", and their assertions to the contrary. As we are finding out with the F-35, the developement hurdles are costly and complex, things happen much more sedately here in the west, we test, test, test and then fly, as the old saying goes, "theres more than one way to skin a cat". (figure of speech for you peta folks) The J-20 and Pak-Fa are fast tracked, thats evident in that just as we are pushing ahead with the F-35, fly now, fix later, the other players have come up to speed quickly, as the stakes are high and these birds are, the A team, (sorry guys). You guys and gals from the other team, feel free to fill in the gaps, I find it all quite fascinating if more than a little dicey?
    Last edited by Air Force Brat; 12-24-2011 at 06:31 PM. Reason: spelling
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  5. #110
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    Re: US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

    Joshluot-34-85, We have a J-20 thread. Please relate any future J-20 questions there.

    J-20... The New Generation Fighter III


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  6. #111
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    Re: US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

    F-35 Will 'Revolutionize' Combat Power In The Pacific
    The F-35 will revolutionize air combat operations, especially in the Pacific. Fifth generation aircraft like the F-35 are at the heart of a potential new air combat system enterprise. The F-22s may have been the harbinger, but it lacks the essential air combat systems present on the F-35. Deployed as a force, the JSF enables distributed air operations that are crucial to the survival of our pilots in the period ahead. Distributed operations are the cultural shift that fifth generation aircraft, along with investments in new weapons, remotely piloted aircraft and the crafting of simultaneous rather than sequential operations, bring to the fight.
    The Japanese understand the opportunities to leverage the F-35 combat system enterprise and that is why they chose the aircraft.

    Upcoming Aegis tests will support a launch and engage-on-remote concept linking the Aegis ship to remote sensor data, increasing the coverage area and responsiveness. Once this capability is fully developed, the SM-3 missile used on board Aegis -- no longer constrained by the range the system's radar to detect an incoming missile -- can be launched sooner and therefore fly farther to defeat the threat. Imagine this capability linked to an F-35, which can see more than 800 miles throughout a 360-degree approach. Needless to say, U.S. allies are excited about the linkage prospects and the joint evolution of these two highly upgradeable weapon systems.
    Combining Aegis with F-35 also means joining their sensors for wide-area coverage. Because of the new generation of weapons onboard the F-35 and the ability to field a broad "wolfpack" of air and sea capabilities, the Joint Strike Fighter can perform as the directing point for combat action. The F-35 can leverage a sea-based missile through Aegis and its new SM-3 missiles to expand its area of strike. Together, the F-35 and Aegis significantly expand the defense of land and sea bases.
    The commonality across the combat systems of the F-35's three variants also provides a notable advantage to the Japanese. Aegis is a JSF pilot's wingman, whether he or she is flying an F-35A, B, or C. Eighty percent of the F-35s in the Pacific are likely to be A models, many belonging to U.S allies. Therefore, building an F-35 and Aegis global enterprise provides coverage and capability across the Pacific, which is essential for the defense of Japan.
    There is a high probability that the strategic quadrangle of South Korea, Singapore, Australia and Japan will all field the F-35 and Aegis missile system. This not only allows significant commonality among the allies, but provides a solid foundation for U.S. forces to work with regional allies and reduce the risks to American forward deployed forces.

    US and allied forces will have the perfect aircraft in the F-35 to play both offensive and defense when hypersonic Cruise Missiles become a combat reality. The C4ISR-D "Z-axis" in the cockpit can lead the way in developing a Pacific "honeycomb" ISR Grid to handle the hyper-sonic Cruise Missile threat and also go on the offensive since Chinese President Hu Jintao has just put the PLAN on combat alert. Everything will take time to develop and if PRC goes to war at Sea today they will lose. However, time is precious for US and Allies to get the technology for a 21st Century Air/Sea Battle right.
    If the F-35 did not exist with it's revolutionary "Z-axis" 360 umbrella -it would have to be invented. Northern Edge validated that the US has developed a flying combat system that is world class and unique-a Fighter/Attack aircraft with EW/"tron" warfare capability with both AA and AG kinetic weapons in the bay.
    F-35 Will 'Revolutionize' Combat Power In The Pacific

  7. #112
    paintgun is offline Junior Member
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    Re: US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

    well fancy

    but where are the F-35s, by the time they need the system, and the F-35 is not ready, they will have UAVs do the job
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  8. #113
    Air Force Brat is offline Senior Member
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    Re: US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

    That's kind of my point, I'm tryin to feel the love for the JSF, but the F-22 was Shanghaid to make way for the JSF, the "we're all in this together bird". We can all sing kombiah, while we pray that we can get it up to speed. What we should have done, and what some old heads would have done, was keep building those F-22s that we will need to maintain a highly capable posture, that has kept those who have been tempted and will be tempted to thump us in the chest, to think, maybe thats not a good idea. The same folks who argue that JSF will get cheaper, pushed aside a more mature, more capable airframe, with right now capability, that would have gotten cheaper as well. Our civilian masters have put us in a box, with no wiggle room on time, and the JSF needs time, shes just not up to the job. The JSF was designed to be the F-22s little sister, thats all she's ever likely to be. The shame is, she's likely to get beat up by the neighborhood bullies, because her big sister won't be there to take care of her, and give her the time grow into her role, in the meantime our allies are saying, where's our airplanes. These things aren't complicated, we have learned this lesson before, at Pearl Harbor, in Europe, in Korea, in Vietnam. The cold war was stressfull, expensive, and instructive, mutual strength keeps us safe, all of us, not only our friends, but the other guys as well. People who know, have a responsibility to lead, at any cost, because our children are depending on us to keep them safe. We need the JSF, the likelyhood is that it will continue to get more expensive as we keep pushing it to do more and more, and incorporate all the neighbors favorite do-dads, and she has a bunch of do-dads! Maybe instead of the arms race, we could characterise it as the peace race, the race to stay safe, in a dangerous world. Whats that worth to you?

  9. #114
    LesAdieux is offline Member
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    Re: US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

    america is in an awkward situation: the F-22 production has been terminated, (its a bit dated anyway); the F-35 is not good enough, at least not as good as america has always expected for its main striker that suppose to dominate any potential enemy; to develop a new fighter is financially beyond its means
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  10. #115
    Air Force Brat is offline Senior Member
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    Re: US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

    Quote Originally Posted by LesAdieux View Post
    america is in an awkward situation: the F-22 production has been terminated, (its a bit dated anyway); the F-35 is not good enough, at least not as good as america has always expected for its main striker that suppose to dominate any potential enemy; to develop a new fighter is financially beyond its means
    Yes we are, but theres nothing new about that. It certainly has, perhaps our Russian friends will let us partner with them on Pak-Fa. The F-35 "will" be good enough, shes a toddler, walking and talking, and she "will" meet our expectations. No one who understands the mission of JSF, expected her to have to be the number 1 air superiority fighter, that is the role of the F-22, and thankfully we still have 185 of those magnificent aircraft. Well we're just not to smart that way, we keep trying to help pay the price to promote freedom in the world, and as a free man, I'm going to do my best, to keep doing my share so that you and I can keep speaking our mind. Like I said we're not very smart are we?

  11. #116
    Jeff Head's Avatar
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    Re: US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

    Quote Originally Posted by Air Force Brat View Post
    Yes we are, but theres nothing new about that. The F-35 "will" be good enough, shes a toddler, walking and talking, and she "will" meet our expectations. No one who understands the mission of JSF, expected her to have to be the number 1 air superiority fighter, that is the role of the F-22, and thankfully we still have 185 of those magnificent aircraft...as a free man, I'm going to do my best, to keep doing my share so that you and I can keep speaking our mind.
    The people who complained the most about the F-22 and its costs were the ones who kept slashing the numbers, trying to act surprised that the cost on a per aircraft basis that was designed for around 1000 build would go up when reduced to 700, 400 and now 185. That marvelous technology was not cheap and was planned to be amortized out over the 1000+ aircrat.

    185 is not a number that is sustainable in the event of any major warfare requiring their services.

    IMHO, if we got a big enough change in 2012, we can and should restart production and build at least 500 more of them. Then the anticipated complimentary posture of the F-22 and the JSF could be realized the way it was intended.
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  12. #117
    Air Force Brat is offline Senior Member
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    Re: US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

    That sir, is why you, are the Headmaster of the Olde School, it is after all another affirmation of the olde engineers adage, "that form follows function". I do get frustrated by our buddies the "talkers", who seem to think that the F-35 will magically morph into the F-57, when you task it with air superiority and ground attack. Then they tell you, you're just not good at math. I am very impressed with the efforts of the other players, and always a flanker fan, I must confess to being impressed but not suprised at the A efforts of the other teams. Its always best when parity is matched by mutual respect, one reason I really enjoy this venue. bd popeye if you have no objection, I would like for Jeff to post a picture for me on "gollevainen's quiz of the week", as he seems to have a vast reserve of "good stuff". Jeff your 500 more F-22s is just what the Dr. ordered, and I do hope we have that "sea change" in November. the Brat
    Last edited by Air Force Brat; 12-27-2011 at 12:09 PM. Reason: spelling

  13. #118
    Scratch is offline Senior Member
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    Re: US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

    Well, I was gonna say, now that it's closed people will also come up with the argument of the expenses of reopening the line. But then again, I believe the production line is really just being mouthballed. Something not seen too often when production of a jet ceases.
    So maybe someone left a small opportunity there for the future.
    Maybe some more of the Raptor stuff will make it's way into the Eagle force to keep it up to speed for the air dominance role. But besides the APG-63 (V)3 sadly it won't be that much I guess.

    Towards the primary topic: There's an article on the subject by the washington post hinting towards exspected extra costs in the future when all the planes being already ordered & built might need expensive upgrades, to incooperate what ongoing testing is still to reveal.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...P_story_1.html

    F-35 production a troubling example of Pentagon spending
    By Walter Pincus,

    There are 56 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters being assembled at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Fort Worth. But because only 20 percent of the testing for the most advanced fighter-bomber in U.S. history is completed, each will probably have to get million-dollar-or-more fixes later.

    The F-35 is already the most costly U.S. weapons program underway at about $385 billion. But that figure may go higher with overrun of the per-plane contract price for the 56 craft being assembled — along with the future multimillion-dollar fixes likely to be required for them — and the 15 F-35s completed but not yet delivered to the military services.

    The plane is being built with the most sophisticated stealth technology, but initial flight tests have turned up hot spots and cracks associated with metal and composites used on most new aircraft. The development of the software controlling the F-35’s major warfighting functions, the most complex ever planned for an airplane, has been delayed so that the last block will not be introduced to the aircraft until at least June 2015.

    Earlier this month, Vice Adm. David J. Venlet, executive officer for the F-35 program, said in an interview with the online service AOL that he recommended slowing down current production lines to reduce the replacement costs that will be necessary in aircraft produced before testing is completed.

    Production had already been slowed twice. Then-Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates pushed back the building of 122 aircraft in February 2010 as problems became apparent, and again in January as he lowered near-term production for another 124 planes, boosting future production needs.

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took the Senate floor on Dec. 15 and described the F-35 fighter program as “a mess.”

    What upset the senator was not just that the cost of each plane had risen nearly 100 percent from its original estimate of $69 million to $133 million today, or the fact that testing was only 20 percent complete while more than 90 planes had already been bought, or the fact that software — key to 80 percent of the stealth plane’s warfighting capability — wouldn’t be ready for another four years.

    It was, he said, that the Pentagon had “sold this program as a fifth-generation strike fighter that would — more so than any other major defense procurement program — be cost-effectively developed, procured, operated and supported.” ...
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  14. #119
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    Re: US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

    The second part of the Pincus article follows here:
    Making this initially a cost-plus contract was “a recipe for disaster,” according to McCain, who noted that development costs alone have topped $56 billion.

    At a time when government discretionary budgets — including defense — face sharp reductions over the coming decade, the F-35 story is a troubling example of Pentagon spending.
    By January, when the new Defense Department budget will go up to Capitol Hill, it is expected that the current cost estimate per F-35 will again increase, while production will be slowed to limit future fixes.

    At the beginning of the program, there were to be 3,000 F-35s built, since it would replace the fighter-bombers in each of the three services and also be sold to foreign allies.

    For the Air Force, the conventional takeoff and landing F-35A would replace the F-16 and the A-10 and add to the stealth F-22A. The Navy’s version, the F-35C, was to be carrier-suitable and complement the F-18E/F Super Hornet. The Marines wanted the F-35B, a short takeoff and vertical landing version, to replace the F/A-18C/D and AV-8B Harrier aircraft.

    In March 2004, when development problems caused the Defense Department to extend time and increase projected costs, the Navy and Marine Corps cut their number of the planes by 400, reducing the total U.S. purchase to 2,457.

    The Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction commission in December called for eliminating the Marine Corps vertical-lift version, which has had serious development issues, and canceling 600 planes planned for the Air Force and Navy, using instead new F-18s or F-16s. The panel’s reasoning: The Pentagon “does not need an entire fleet with the stealthy capabilities” provided by the F-35.
    In his new book, “The Wounded Giant,” Brookings Institution senior fellow Michael O’Hanlon calls for cutting the overall purchase to 1,250, canceling the more costly Navy version, reducing the Marine Corps F-35Bs by 10 percent or more, and limiting the Air Force to 800 F-35As. The difference would be made up by buying more F-16s and recognizing the role of unmanned aircraft.

    There is a cautionary tale to be found in what happened to the F-22. When concept development of that stealth fighter began in 1986, the Soviet Union was the enemy and the Air Force needed 750 of the planes for the air-to-air superiority mission. By 1991, when the first development contract was signed, the Soviet Union had collapsed . By 2006, the Air Force cut its needs to 381 F-22s and added air-to-ground attack and intelligence-gathering capabilities.

    In 2009, faced with several crashes and other problems, plus the oncoming F-35, Gates limited the purchase to 187 F-22s. Reasons given for ending the F-22 program were cost overruns and budget restraints.

    Ironically, the last F-22 came off the Lockheed assembly line just two weeks ago and is to be delivered to the Air Force next year. Considered a more capable air-to-air combat fighter than the F-35, F-22s have been sent to the Pacific, where their intelligence-gathering is considered useful. Air Force testimony on Capitol Hill in May put the cost of the last F-22s at $153.2 million per aircraft and noted that upgrades were still being made to the plane’s software.

    Changes in the 20 years between 1986 and 2006 caused a reduction of almost half the original F-22s sought. We should expect no less to happen between now and 2021. Prepare for that by limiting the F-35 purchases and looking into new technologies to plan what the future mix of manned and unmanned aircraft could be to meet the threats of 2031.

  15. #120
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    Re: US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Progress, Photos & Videos

    Quote Originally Posted by Air Force Brat View Post
    Yes we are, but theres nothing new about that. It certainly has, perhaps our Russian friends will let us partner with them on Pak-Fa. The F-35 "will" be good enough, shes a toddler, walking and talking, and she "will" meet our expectations. No one who understands the mission of JSF, expected her to have to be the number 1 air superiority fighter, that is the role of the F-22, and thankfully we still have 185 of those magnificent aircraft. Well we're just not to smart that way, we keep trying to help pay the price to promote freedom in the world, and as a free man, I'm going to do my best, to keep doing my share so that you and I can keep speaking our mind. Like I said we're not very smart are we?
    Prior to the last few F-22s were made the Lockheed Martin made recording documents and videos in every single pieces in the assembly line and interview each worker and engineer at the station as to how the plane was put together. So in case the US needs more F-22 for whatever reason they can rely on these recordings as to how to construct it again without a relearning curve of sort.
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