F-35 Joint Strike Fighter News, Videos and pics Thread


A $22 Billion upgrade in the works for the F-35 program including not previously announced features.

It makes me wonder how are the Europeans going to achieve any substantive progress with its FCAS project when it is only funded with a few Billion dollars. In terms of development scope, the FCAS is significantly wider than the Block 4 upgrade where $22 Billion is planned. 5th gen programs are expensive.

Nothing about the
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program is ever small or easy. A transition to operational status, even after an extended and over-budget developmental phase, finds most military aircraft programs returning to relative anonymity. For
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’s single-engine fighter, the public spotlight has shifted to a newly launched $22 billion upgrade program, ballooning sustainment costs and a geopolitical conundrum embroiling Turkey—the F-35’s third-largest customer.

In a string of press conferences over a two-week period in mid-June, Lockheed and U.S.
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officials laid out a path to fulfill an ambitious set of promises on Block 4 upgrades and a dramatic reduction in cost per flight hour. But the F-35 program’s rift with Turkey only deepened as officials in Ankara insist on accepting deliveries of an advanced Russian air defense system in July.

The long-delayed modernization of the F-35 is now in full swing, says Greg Ulmer, Lockheed’s vice president and general manager for the F-35 program. The Defense Department awarded Lockheed a $1.8 billion contract on June 7 to launch software development to support a newly expanding set of upgrades planned over the next decade under the Block 4 modernization program.

The contract opens a still-evolving upgrade that is enabled by the Technical Refresh 3 (TR-3) program. TR-3 plans to introduce an integrated core processor into the F-35 by 2023 that is four times more powerful and supports the Air Force’s “open systems” architecture for new applications. The full $22 billion investment in Block 4 modernization already includes more than 50 previously approved upgrades, including the insertion of a maritime strike capability, updates to the wing-leading-edge-mounted Bands 4/5 receivers for the electronic warfare system and additional weapons, including the ability to carry upgraded B61-12 guided nuclear bombs.

But those improvements might be only the beginning. For the first time, Ulmer elaborated on options for an even broader set of upgrades that are possible for the F-35 over the next decade. Hints of such developments have been growing over the past year. The
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Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER), for example, is not listed in the F-35’s current weapons road map, but the latest budget documents show that a future Air Force derivative called the Stand-in Attack Weapon will be integrated into the stealth fighter’s weapons by 2024.

According to Ulmer, the TR-3-equipped F-35 fleet is being prepared for additional weapons and other capabilities, including an ability to carry hypersonic missiles underwing. In addition to weapons, the F-35 could be adapted to become a flying hub within the emerging concept for multi-domain operations and manned/unmanned teaming. The TR-3 upgrades, which include a new panoramic display for the F-35’s powerful sensors, also could enable the aircraft to perform a new role as a forward-deployed missile defense platform, striking down missiles during a boost or ascent phase. There are also “quite a few classified programs on the books,” Ulmer said, without elaborating.
Source : AWST article dated June 27, 2019


Tyrant King
Rumor, Navy to launch Own F35C Demo team for 2020.
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They really should, but there won't be a 9G "Dojo Drift", 7.5 will do it, but in many ways the C model is the prettiest of all the F-35's, I love lots of wing area!
I secretly want to see the USMC do a demo team of F35B. Start off with a vertical right into the maneuvers with little roll.
Just remember it’s only a rumor.
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. And the 2020 season it’s that far away.

Air Force Brat

Super Moderator
Just remember it’s only a rumor.
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. And the 2020 season it’s that far away.
Roger that, and that's def strange to cut a team in the middle of the demo season, pretty weird honestly, but I love the idea of an F-35C demo, flying around and rolling inverted on take-off with that "hooky thang" hanging out! LOL not every body has a "hooky thang", something purty special ain't it???
Rolls To Demonstrate Military Fan System

Jul 1, 2019
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Aero-engine manufacturer
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will develop an advanced military technology demonstrator, leveraging the company’s experience with the
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lift fan.

Tender documents published on June 24 call for the engine company to work on an Advanced Military Aerospace Fan Systems (AMFS) Technology and Capability Concept Demonstrator with the backing of the UK’s Future Combat Air Systems Technology Initiative (FCAS TI) and with the Team Tempest industry teaming arrangement, of which the engine manufacturer is a member. FCAS TI is being led by the
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’s Rapid Capability Office.

The 4 1/2-year AMFS program calls for the sole-sourcing of Rolls-Royce because it is the only company in the UK with the “overall system design capability necessary to produce an entire rotor system technology concept demonstrator in the UK.” Also, as the UK design organization and authority for the vertical lift systems on the F-35B, “it has the exclusive rights and significant background intellectual property relating to these.”

Documents state that the program “will seek to complement, complete and extend extant research and development carried out by Rolls-Royce under previous programs and will focus on the development, experimentation, analysis and enhancement of aircraft vertical lift and propulsion systems; their design and manufacturing technologies, air vehicle integration and potential to increase aircraft performance and capability, while reducing through-life costs.”

No details on funding for the program have been revealed.

The work is unlikely to be linked to the UK’s Tempest future combat aircraft studies, but may be related to Pratt & Whitney’s ongoing work to increase the thrust of the
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engine that powers the F-35 family. The AMFS work could be associated with enabling the lift fan system to benefit from that additional power, or it could be a push by the UK to make proposals for technology improvements to the aircraft’s lift fan system more generally, given the UK’s ownership of the lift fan’s IP. But Britain’s Combat Air Strategy, published last July, suggested that the £2 billion ($2.5 billion) FCAS TI program would make investments that could benefit both the
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and the F-35.

“By investing in the continuous development of these capabilities, we can ensure the future force remains world-class … We will continue to take the best of these capabilities and spiral-develop them into any future system we may develop,” the strategy says.