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Thread: What is up with the F-35? Part II

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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    That run is always awesome, no matter how many times I've seen it...

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    Just some F-35 formation porn

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    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    Some good news: the USAF "rescinds F-35A weight restrictions"; low-weight pilots can now fly it, after modifications to the injection seats (check the typo! :D )

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    F35As deployed to Europe achieved higher readiness rates than the F-16.

    http://breakingdefense.com/2017/05/f...tes-in-europe/

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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    F35As deployed to Europe achieved higher readiness rates than the F-16.

    http://breakingdefense.com/2017/05/f...tes-in-europe/
    It's almost like the maintainer's stories of how stupidly easy the F-35 is to troubleshoot & fix were true!

    But how can that be? The naysayers have assured us that there is nothing at all positive about this plane.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    Like the V-22 post I made, in the same class I was in several folks were from the F-35 offices (USAF/USN/USMC).

    All stated the big issues were occurring in the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction phase and the Engineering and Materiel Development phase of the program....something which those phases are expressly designed to do. The squadron service announcements are really part of the EMD phase.

    The picture below depicts the Acquisition Life Cycle as used by DOD. We have reached the post Milestone C phase of the program and are in the early days of the Production & Deployment phase at the Low Rate Initial Production phase (LRIP). This is when a weapon system hits the fleet and is used operationally in low numbers...less than 10% of the force by law. Also is the Initial Operational Test & Evaluation. Once the final tests are done the weapon system will receive the Full Rate Production Decision and proceed to cranking out systems. As the fleet grows you start to get efficiencies of scale and familiarity with the system you start to see improved performance.

    So TopHatter you are right...and we will continue to see these stories come out.

    Is the plane perfect? Nope.

    Is it pushing the envelope on technology? In many areas.

    Will it improve? You bet.

    I can remember the same brouhaha over the M1, the Bradley, the AH-64 & UH-60. They all seemed to have turned out okay.


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    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
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    Looks like Germany may be a future client...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlvfr View Post
    Looks like Germany may be a future client...
    Nah, not really.

    Germany placed a RFI on in particular the F-35's "information management" and "sensor capabilities" since it is currently in the definition phase for NextGenWS within FCAS, i.e. the Tornado successor (FCAS is the entire air combat concept incl. e.g. Eurofighter; NextGenWS is a possible realization of the "airborne effects network" platform within FCAS intended for a strike, strategic and SEAD/DEAD role).

    NextGenWS - from how its proposed out so far - is supposed to be a fifth-/sixth-generation command fighter in the 2030s, operating as a deep penetration stealth platform leading a swarm of optionally manned UCAVs and other off-platform assets. The RFI on the F-35 would likely be used as a supporting information package - portraying capabilities of the current fifth-generation stealth aircraft - as part of the design case for NextGenWS.

    I would expect that a similar RFI will be made on Rafale as the only platform with an active stealth system having been tested against modern OPFOR assets (read: NATO's only S-300 system) in the near future, if it hasn't already - France and Dassault tend to be a bit more professional (i.e. tight-lipped) about that kind of thing.

    There's a very remote possibility that an analysis of B61-12 integration may also play a role (for a potential ASSTA 5 or NextGenWS integration), but that wouldn't be handled in this kind of setting.

    P.S. Somewhat notably the Chief of the German Airforce LtGen Müllner recently visited Nevatim AFB of the Israeli Air Force - where its F-35 wing is stationed - for an exchange on "future air combat systems" and the need and advantage of fifth-generation aircraft. That was one of only two topics in that visit (the other was medium-range air defense systems). In other words they asked the users first before even asking for LM's sales spiel, and also using that to ask quite specific questions on particular items of interest. Speaks volumes about whether we'd buy from LM and what the actual purpose is.
    Last edited by kato; 19 May 17, at 18:14.

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    Who will Germany partner with for the sixth gen program? Seems they would really make things work with the French this time around.

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    France probably. And at least for the airframe it'd likely be with France in the lead then...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    France probably. And at least for the airframe it'd likely be with France in the lead then...
    Germany and France do not have a good record on major joint military programs, saddly...

    Tbh, I see France rebuilding the Rafale into a new version embodying stealth, a new engine and electronics. I'd be willing to bet France & Dassault have the next 20 years for the Rafale mapped...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlvfr View Post
    Germany and France do not have a good record on major joint military programs, saddly...

    Tbh, I see France rebuilding the Rafale into a new version embodying stealth, a new engine and electronics. I'd be willing to bet France & Dassault have the next 20 years for the Rafale mapped...
    In the current market environment Germany and France probably need each other. Would also play into the political story of tighter European integration.

    On the other hand a direct jump into 6th gen in the 2030s seems very ambitious given the deep water of the fifth gen story and the increasing interconnectedness of the 5th gen force.

    They might need to buy and operate some F35As just to understand the new way of fighting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    In the current market environment Germany and France probably need each other. Would also play into the political story of tighter European integration.
    True. Specially with the UK seekingly trying to cut ties with the EU, which leaves out a major partner.

    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    On the other hand a direct jump into 6th gen in the 2030s seems very ambitious given the deep water of the fifth gen story and the increasing interconnectedness of the 5th gen force.
    The cost!!

    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    They might need to buy and operate some F35As just to understand the new way of fighting.
    Bit expensive... but they come come up with some arrangement with a neighbour flying them, to let a few german pilots fly there.

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