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

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    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    What is up with the F-35? Part II

    More smooth sailing for JSF program. This program appears to be a career killer. Though in this case, the issue is reportedly not directly with the program. It would appear that there is a lot bad mojo connected to the program.

    F-35 training wing commander fired - Air Force News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Air Force Times
    Last edited by surfgun; 31 Mar 11, at 21:39.

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    Senior Contributor HKDan's Avatar
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    Lest we get the impression that its all bad news out of the JSF program and go flinging ourselves from tall buildings...here is an article from Loren Thompson(Yes, I know she is a fan) stating that flight testing is well ahead of schedule for 2011.

    defence.professionals | defpro.com

    15:18 GMT, March 28, 2011 Flight tests of the tri-service F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are running well ahead of the plan for 2011, with 181 flights completed as of March 25 against a plan of 133. In addition, the productivity of each flight test is increasing, with an average of 7.7 unique test points achieved per flight. The combination of additional test flights above plan and greater-than-expected productivity per flight has enabled the overall test program to complete 1,310 test points -- far above the number of 899 planned for this stage in the testing cycle. All three variants of the F-35 are being tested, with the average aircraft performing six flights per month.

    The test program might have been dealt a serious setback on March 9 when a conventional takeoff variant was forced to make an emergency landing due to a dual generator failure. Generators provide the electricity that starts the fighter's engine and powers flight controls. However, the cause of the failure was quickly traced to faulty maintenance procedures which have now been corrected, and the test fleet has returned to service. These kinds of anomalies are commonplace in tests of new aircraft.

    Lockheed Martin officials are confident they can resolve problems identified in testing with several parts of the short-takeoff/vertical-landing (STOVL) version of the F-35 being developed for the Marine Corps. Among the fixes required are a strengthening of the doors above the mid-fuselage lift-fan, reinforcement of a bulkhead, and resolution of excessive heat deposition at one point near the engine exhaust. Defense secretary Robert Gates recently put the Marine variant on a two-year probationary period to make the necessary fixes, while stating the Air Force and Navy variants were progressing well.

    The conventional-takeoff Air Force version will be the most heavily produced F-35, comprising over 70 percent of the domestic production run and almost all of the export sales. The Air Force plans to buy 1,763 conventional-takeoff F-35s, while the Navy and Marine Corps collectively will buy 680 of their two variants. Overseas allies are expected to buy thousands of the planes over the next three decades as they replace aging Cold War fighters and seek a low-cost solution to their requirement for a versatile and survivable tactical aircraft.

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    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    I hope it turns out to be the next F-16. But I'd still like to see more F-22's.
    "If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
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    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    Well the UK will buy the F-35C version. I don't believe that Canada or Australia has picked their versions yet. The Aussies and the Canadians currently use carrier capable Hornets/Super Hornets.

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    Senior Contributor JA Boomer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    Well the UK will buy the F-35C version. I don't believe that Canada or Australia has picked their versions yet. The Aussies and the Canadians currently use carrier capable Hornets/Super Hornets.
    Canada will be buying the F-35A. The one sticking point is putting the house and drougue refueling system in the A model for us, but Lockheed has said it won't be a problem, and I think the plan is even to retain the boom capable system as well. I'm not sure if the C model and its increased range was ever really seriously considered.

    With regard to our CF-18's being 'carrier capable', technically I guess they are (as our all F/A-18's since the F-18L never made it off paper) but operationally it would never be considered.

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    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JA Boomer View Post
    Canada will be buying the F-35A. The one sticking point is putting the house and drougue refueling system in the A model for us, but Lockheed has said it won't be a problem, and I think the plan is even to retain the boom capable system as well. I'm not sure if the C model and its increased range was ever really seriously considered.

    With regard to our CF-18's being 'carrier capable', technically I guess they are (as our all F/A-18's since the F-18L never made it off paper) but operationally it would never be considered.
    It would be kind of nice to send a few CF-18's for a cruise on UK's HMS Queen Elizabeth (when they manage to get her into commission). They are bit short on fighters these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    Well the UK will buy the F-35C version. I don't believe that Canada or Australia has picked their versions yet. The Aussies and the Canadians currently use carrier capable Hornets/Super Hornets.
    Back to the books, google it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JA Boomer View Post
    With regard to our CF-18's being 'carrier capable', technically I guess they are (as our all F/A-18's since the F-18L never made it off paper) but operationally it would never be considered.
    Structurally the CF-18's are the same as the USMC Hornets, but they have ILS in place of ACLS, so they aren't equipped for carrier ops.
    Last edited by highsea; 02 Apr 11, at 21:47.
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    Patron Phoenix10's Avatar
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    Speaking of carrier ops, the F-35C has hooked up to a catapult for the first time:

    NAVAIR News Release
    No One Kicks A$! Without Tanker Gas

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    The Australian government is considering buying 18 more Super Hornets to cover a fighter gap likely because of the delays to the F-35 program. It may also have to further refurbish some of its legacy Hornets because they are running out of flight hours.

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    Senior Contributor chakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldmike View Post
    The Australian government is considering buying 18 more Super Hornets to cover a fighter gap likely because of the delays to the F-35 program. It may also have to further refurbish some of its legacy Hornets because they are running out of flight hours.
    Brilliant, I like the Shornet. Im all for buying JSF's when they are available but i think an even split of Shornets and JSF may be a better option than a force of 100 aircraft of the same type.
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    Mike, you're not stuck in a time warp are you? They still have 9 more Super Hornets on order, and the Hugbugs in process...
    "We will go through our federal budget – page by page, line by line – eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way." -President Barack Obama 11/25/2008

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    Nope, this was reported in The Australian a day before I posted it.

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    It's under consideration.

    It's related to the limited HugBug's & airframe life.
    Ego Numquam

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    The upside is they've invested in the maintenance and support infrastructure, so adding on is easy.

    They do like the Super Hornets, and they've been delivered ahead of schedule.

    Sounds pretty speculative though.
    "We will go through our federal budget – page by page, line by line – eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way." -President Barack Obama 11/25/2008

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