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Ironduke
06 Nov 04,, 17:57
Lockheed Aircraft Gets Go-Ahead

The Pentagon's decision moves the Joint Strike Fighter one step closer to production. The first flight is expected in '06.

Lockheed Martin Corp., the largest U.S. defense contractor, received approval from the Department of Defense to move forward with development of the Joint Strike Fighter, the Pentagon's most costly weapons program ever.

Michael Wynne, acting under secretary of Defense for acquisition, Thursday approved the program's "path forward" and designs for the variant of the aircraft that will perform short takeoffs and vertical landings, Pentagon spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin said in a statement.

The Pentagon's decision moves the fighter program, which could be worth as much as $244 billion, a step closer to production. The fighters are a family of aircraft intended to have about 80% common parts for use by the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied nations. The Pentagon had spent $9.6 billion on the fighter program as of June 30.

"This is basically a reality check that the program can be delivered as described to Congress," said John Pike, an analyst at Globalsecurity.org, a defense research firm in Alexandria, Va.

The decision is a "big deal," meaning the program is not in trouble and is on course, Pike said. He doesn't own shares of Lockheed and doesn't do consulting work for the company.

Lockheed spokesman John Smith confirmed the Pentagon's decision but didn't elaborate.

Until September, designs for the short-takeoff/vertical landing model of the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, which will be capable of vertical, hovering landings on aircraft carriers and amphibious warfare vessels, had encountered problems related to the aircraft's weight.

Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed made greater progress than expected in resolving the weight issue over the last year, Rear Adm. Steven Enewold, the Joint Strike Fighter program manager, said in September. Designers reduced the weight about 2,700 pounds and increased thrust enough to compensate for the remaining 600 pounds of excess weight.

Thursday's announcement will keep the program on schedule for construction of the first conventional aircraft by late next year, followed by its first flight in the third quarter of 2006, said Kathy Crawford, spokeswoman for the Pentagon's Joint Strike Fighter program office.

"We have now been given clear program direction," Crawford said in a phone interview. "We can put our resources into building the optimized aircraft."

United Technologies Corp.'s Pratt & Whitney unit is developing the engine for the Joint Strike Fighter, which is also known as the F-35.

Other subcontractors on the aircraft include Century City-based Northrop Grumman Corp. and London-based BAE Systems.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2004/041105-jsf-go-ahead.htm

Franco Lolan
07 Nov 04,, 15:52
i understand USMC using vtol versions. however, why would USN use them? doesnt USN need an interceptor to replace the f18?

ajaybhutani
07 Nov 04,, 17:14
i understand USMC using vtol versions. however, why would USN use them? doesnt USN need an interceptor to replace the f18?
i guess F35 should do the job well.Its good nough of an interceptor too. though definitely nowhere near F22 but should be nough

rickusn
07 Nov 04,, 17:30
i understand USMC using vtol versions. however, why would USN use them? doesnt USN need an interceptor to replace the f18?


There are three versions of the JSF:

F-35A conventional land-based T/O & Landing USAF model

F-35B STOVL version for the USMC(ship-board & land use), USAF(CAS land based) and possibly the USN(although unlikely)

F-35C Conventional Shipboard T/O & Landing for the USN

Actually the F-35C is replacing the F/A 18C(N) and will be optomised for Strike missions although it is forseen as a multi-role aircraft.

The F/A-18F replaced the F-14 sort-of. It s not nearly as capable. Although future upgrades would, could, should mitigate or alleviate some if not all of its real and/or perceived shortcomings.

The F/A-18E also replaced F/A-18A/C and to some extent the F-14 . Its also now the USNs primary shipboard tanker as the venerable S-3 ASW/Sea Control/Tanker aircraft have started to retire. Two of ten squadrons have already disbanded w/ a third slated for February 28, 2005.


Why the Admiral? The USMC is not a separate service it is a part of the USN and many of its needs and programs are controlled directly by USN personnel. Corpsmen is a specific example of a need. The JSF being an example of a program.

Franco Lolan
07 Nov 04,, 21:41
f18 is nowhere the capability level of f14 for this specific mission, is the f35 "stealthed"? even if "stealth" capability i doubt it will be as good as f14.

is USN/ USAF developing a long range AA missile? they badly need one after f14/phoenix retirement

rickusn
07 Nov 04,, 22:01
f18 is nowhere the capability level of f14 for this specific mission, is the f35 "stealthed"? even if "stealth" capability i doubt it will be as good as f14.

is USN/ USAF developing a long range AA missile? they badly need one after f14/phoenix retirement


The USN doesnt think so. ROE precluded long-range Phoenix use while it was in service. Also its mission is gone. There no longer are hoardes of Soviet bombers threatening the Fleet. Stealth to me is overrated. I certainly miss the speed and range of the F-14. If the F/A 18E/F get new engines this should help speed wise OTOH it could hurt range. The new AESA radar will be a great addition.

The USN seems to be pleased with the F/A-18E/F. Time will tell I guess. So far its been great as a tanker I understand. LOL

Franco Lolan
08 Nov 04,, 03:18
"Also its mission is gone. There no longer are hoardes of Soviet bombers threatening the Fleet."
I want them to reiterate that position when PRC sunburns launched from su30s are incoming.

Officer of Engineers
08 Nov 04,, 03:28
"Also its mission is gone. There no longer are hoardes of Soviet bombers threatening the Fleet."
I want them to reiterate that position when PRC sunburns launched from su30s are incoming.

There is absolutely no evidence the Chinese had deployed the SUNBURNs.

Franco Lolan
08 Nov 04,, 23:19
r u serious? i have WAY too much HW (APUSH, APCG, APLIT, CHEM II, ALG2 tests 2morrow)
i thought they were sold to PRC. i know for sure on sovremney + i think integration onto su30s is underway as well.
mayb u can post answer, if not ill research 2morrow

PFCBroccoli
08 Nov 04,, 23:37
I would like to point out that lockheed is doing almost none of the work, most of it goes to companies that supported lockheed, and, although I cant name them all, I know at least northrup gruman is one of them.

Officer of Engineers
09 Nov 04,, 00:28
r u serious? i have WAY too much HW (APUSH, APCG, APLIT, CHEM II, ALG2 tests 2morrow)
i thought they were sold to PRC. i know for sure on sovremney + i think integration onto su30s is underway as well.
mayb u can post answer, if not ill research 2morrow

Just because things are sold does not mean deployment. The Chinese currently have suspended shipment from SUKHOI. The Chinese have been known to buy alot of things that never ended up in the front lines. The MiG-23 they've bought from Eygpt comes to mind.

Franco Lolan
09 Nov 04,, 04:21
what do u mean "bought" but have "suspended shipment"? whats the point in buying something but not bringing it to your country so you can use it? why did they suspend sukhoi shipment?

Officer of Engineers
09 Nov 04,, 04:35
what do u mean "bought" but have "suspended shipment"? whats the point in buying something but not bringing it to your country so you can use it? why did they suspend sukhoi shipment?

All we know is that SUKHOI received the request to suspend their contract with the Chinese. Anything else is speculation.

ajaybhutani
09 Nov 04,, 11:30
All we know is that SUKHOI received the request to suspend their contract with the Chinese. Anything else is speculation.
anyone knows why?? and what was teh status of the contract.??

Officer of Engineers
09 Nov 04,, 16:54
China not Abandoning Continuation of Su-27SK Licensed Production

China is not abandoning continuation of Su-27SK licensed production, the Sukhoy OKB general designer, Aleksey Knyshev, declared to an ARMS-TASS special correspondent at the Airshow China-2004 air salon, commenting on reports which had appeared on this subject in a number Russian media.

According to him, the other day he had taken part in a regular working round of discussions with the Chinese side on the topic.

As is known, assembly of the SU-27SK under license is under way at the aircraft plant in Shengyang at a production rate of 15 aircraft per year. In all, the assembly of 200 Su-27SK airplanes is provided for. As of now, KnAAPO has delivered 105 airplane kits according to the first stage of the contract. The contract still had not been signed for the second stage of the program, which provides for the delivery of another 95 airplane kits.

In the opinion of experts, some pause in the continuation of the licensed production of the Su-27SK is explained by two reasons. On the one hand, it is connected with averting the formation of too large a storage stock of spare parts. There are enough of those airplane kits which were delivered in the first stage of the contract considering the rate of production at the plant in Shengyang for another 2 ? years. As of now, 60 Su-27SK aircraft, which were assembled in accordance with the licensing agreement, have been transferred for service in the People’s Liberation Army of China’s air force.

Secondly, it has not been ruled out that the Chinese partners are examining an offer of the Russian side about the delivery of the remaining airplane kits not in the technical form which had been determined by the licensing agreement, but in the upgraded Su-27SKM variant. This airplane exceeds the capabilities of the Su-27SK, which is produced under license in Shengyang, in combat capabilities by 50 percent. In the event of China’s selection of the second variant, the receipt of corresponding decision documents and the conclusion of an inter-governmental agreement are needed which takes definite time.

In any case, according to the opinion of Russian specialists, licensed assembly will be continued. And the variant of selection of the technical aspect of the airplane is the customer’s jurisdiction.

Source: 04.11.04, Voenno-Promyshlennyy Kur’er

intelgurl
11 Nov 04,, 22:28
F-35 Delayed - Updated F-15's/16's may be needed


Yes, the F-35 has been given a "green light" although the JSF program has now been officially delayed.

Langley AFB: According to Lt. Col. Gregory Johnson, Deputy Chief of the JSF system management organization, the costs attached to re-engineering the F-35 Joint Strke Fighter have delayed it's Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the US military by over 1 year, from 2011 to approximately 2013.

Re-engineering of the aircraft was due to the need to drastically reduce weight in all 3 versions, the Conventional Take Off & Landing (CTOL), the Carrier Variant (CV), and the Short Take-Off & Landing version (STOVL).

Earlier this fall, Lockheed Martin managed to trim 2,700 pounds from the STOVL design, and 1,500 pounds from both the CTOL and CV versions, that plus upping the output of the turbofan has achieved the power-to-weight ratio the design team had targetted.

Even though this redesign was successful it has delayed the aircraft's development schedule. Apparently undaunted, acting Pentagon acquisition chief Michael Wynne gave the "full steam ahead" approval on the design changes and weight reduction implementations.

ACC chief Gen. Hal Hornburg has said that if the “program is fundamentally delayed” ...“then we’re going to have to re-look at what the other programmatics would be to keep this same net capability on the books for our AEFs.”

Technology Gap - how to bridge it?

This is an interesting statement and hints at a need to bridge the technology gap between current inventory and that of the near future.

Each time the F-35 program calendar changes, the ACC has to consider pushing up modernization efforts on its older legacy platforms. Gen. Hornburg has said that “We absolutely need this airplane (the F-35)”... “But as it continues to..." hit delays ... "then I have to look at: do I want to spend some of that money to modernize other airplanes like F-15Es or F-16s?”


Gen. Hornburg's comments prompt an interesting guessing game, and that is;

What kind of upgrades can bridge the gap between standard F-16's/F-15's and the introduction of the F-35?

(Disclaimer: I know that the USAF's F-35 is to replace the F-16 and not so much the F-15 - but I include the F-15 in this scenario only because Gen. Hornburg did in his comments)

One interesting thought concerning this question would be the employment of technology demonstrators of these legacy aircraft as templates for an upgraded version. Specifically I am referring to the vectored exhaust experimentals that successfully explored substantially increased manueverability.

Namely the F-16 Vista/MATV (http://www.f16falcon.com/facts/f16_34.html) and the F-15 Active (http://www.globalaircraft.org/planes/f-15_active.pl).

Could it be such aircraft might actually become operational in an effort to bridge the technology gap until the F-35 begins it's operational capability?

It's certainly an interesting thought.

What do you say?


F-16 Vista/MATV
http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archives/1994/articles/images/MATV.jpg


F-15 Active
http://www.globalaircraft.org/photos/planephotos/F-15_active_1.jpg

Bill
12 Nov 04,, 21:30
With the exception of the B model, the JSF is in pretty good shape for this stage of the game.

These problems are common for new aircraft, and will take time to iron out.

OOD should be: Relax, show patience.