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NATO's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: Scamjet of the Century

 
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:08 am    Post subject: NATO's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: Scamjet of the Century Reply with quote

The F-35, the Scam of the Century
VOLTAIRE NETWORK | 16 AUGUST 2014
http://www.voltairenet.org/article185088.html

The F-35 is the largest weapons program in history. This multi-role aircraft is built by Lockheed Martin with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems as major partners.

It should equip the armies of Australia, Canada, Denmark, the United States, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Turkey for the next 40 years and replace the F-16, F-18 and F-22.

However, its production started while essential aeronautical software has not yet been invented. The defense industries of buyer states were left out in favor of the USA, without knowing whether this system will be delivered or not.

Since the launch of the project, its cost has varied ceaselessly, leading to the cancellation of various orders. Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a reassuring study, however based on figures already two years old. Simultaneously, the Department of Defense assured it would be cheaper to buy but more expensive to maintain.

According to an independent Canadian study by Professor Michael Byers for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Rideau Institute, the truth is much darker: in truth, no one can know the exact cost of an aircraft that has not been precisely designed. However, the 65 aircraft ordered by Canada would likely cost a staggering $ 1.5 billion USD per aircraft over 40 years (in 2007, the United States assured that the aircraft would not cost more than the F-18 and estimated its cost at about 377 million dollars each).

The following bar graph illustrates the increase in the cost estimates for Canada’s fleet of 65 over the past years.




scienceplease 2 wrote:
From a book about the physics of Harrier flight... a summary with a sting in the tail...

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/428560

Quote:
Sadly the Harrier [is to be] replaced by Lockheed's F35. The F35 promises higher speed and stealth, but put that into context against the fact that most of the Harriers combat profile, apart from the Fleet Air Arm interceptor use, has been as a low altitude attack bomber where speed is most certainly not important. How can you possibly even see, let alone aim a weapon at a tank whilst flying at 1,000mph at 200ft or less? How many pilots and aircraft have ever actually flown at 1,000mph at below 200ft? The whole point of flying below 200ft is to avoid radar, which has been at least a 30 year practice, so I fail to understand why stealth is at all important, unless air defence radars have massively improved their ability by strip out low level clutter over the last 20 years?

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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDSR 2015: UK commits to full F-35B procurement of 138 jets, fast tracks initial deliveries

Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
23 November 2015
http://www.janes.com/article/56173/sdsr-2015-uk-commits-to-full-f-35b- procurement-fast-tracks-initial-deliveries

The UK has committed itself to buying its full lot of 138 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, at the same time as fast tracking initial deliveries to equip the new Queen Elizabeth carriers. Source: Lockheed Martin
The UK government has committed itself to the full programme-of-record of 138 Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft, as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) released on 23 November.

Under the announcement the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy (RN) are to get all of the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35Bs that they requested to equip the two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers at sea and to replace the Panavia Tornado GR4 on land.

Under its previously held plans, the UK had committed itself to just 48 F-35s, of which only eight would be ready for use on the carriers by 2023 (the date that the full operating capability for both the ships and the aircraft were set to be declared). In pre-empting the government's announcement for the first 42 jets to be procured at an accelerated rate (24 will be deployed on the carriers with 18 to be used for training), Chancellor George Osborne said that the 24 F-35s deployed aboard Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales would afford the UK the second most powerful carrier strike capability after the United States.

"We are going to step up the aircraft carrier punch of the United Kingdom. We are going to make sure that when these aircraft carriers are available, they are going to have planes that can fly from them in force," he told the Sunday Times .

However, while all 138 F-35Bs have been committed to, financing announced in the SDSR itself covers only the first 42 aircraft to be in service by 2023.

The UK currently has two operational test and evaluation [BK-1 and BK-2] and one training aircraft [BK-3] delivered and flying out of Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in Florida, with a third test aircraft [BK-4] signed for and due to be delivered in early 2016.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've included all the fascinating comments up to Jan 28th January this year - - before the avalanche of spam

Pentagon’s big budget F-35 fighter ‘can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run’
By David Axe July 14, 2014
Tags: AIR FORCE | F-35 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER | F135 ENGINE | LOCKHEED MARTIN | NAVY | PENTAGON | PRATT & WHITNEY
A F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is seen at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River
http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/07/14/pentagons-big-budget- f-35-fighter-cant-turn-cant-climb-cant-run/

Americans should be worried.

The U.S. military has grounded all its new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters following an incident on June 23, when one of the high-tech warplanes caught fire on the runway of a Florida air base. The no-fly order — which affects at least 50 F-35s at training and test bases in Florida, Arizona, California and Maryland — began on the evening of July 3 and continued through July 11.

All those F-35s sitting idle could be a preview of a future in which potentially thousands of the Pentagon’s warplanes can’t reliably fly.

Handout photo of three F-35 Joint Strike Fighters flying over Edwards Air Force BaseTo be fair, the Pentagon routinely grounds warplanes on a temporary basis following accidents and malfunctions to buy investigators time to identify problems and to give engineers time to fix them.

But there’s real reason to worry. The June incident might reflect serious design flaws that could render the F-35 unsuitable for combat.

For starters, the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 — which can avoid sensor detection thanks to its special shape and coating — simply doesn’t work very well. The Pentagon has had to temporarily ground F-35s no fewer than 13 times since 2007, mostly due to problems with the plane’s Pratt & Whitney-made F135 engine, in particular, with the engines’ turbine blades. The stand-downs lasted at most a few weeks.

“The repeated problems with the same part of the engine may be indications of a serious design and structural problem with the F135 engine,” said Johan Boeder, a Dutch aerospace expert and editor of the online publication JSF News.

Pratt & Whitney has already totally redesigned the F135 in an attempt to end its history of frequent failures. But there’s only so much engineers can do. In a controversial move during the early stages of the F-35’s development, the Pentagon decided to fit the plane with one engine instead of two. Sticking with one motor can help keep down the price of a new plane. But in the F-35’s case, the decision proved self-defeating.

Handout photo of workers on the moving line and forward fuselage assembly areas for the F-35 JSF at Lockheed Martin Corp's factory located in Fort Worth, TexasThat’s because the F-35 is complex — the result of the Air Force, Marines and Navy all adding features to the basic design. In airplane design, such complexity equals weight. The F-35 is extraordinarily heavy for a single-engine plane, weighing as much as 35 tons with a full load of fuel.

By comparison, the older F-15 fighter weighs 40 tons. But it has two engines. To remain reasonably fast and maneuverable, the F-35’s sole F135 engine must generate no less than 20 tons of thrust — making it history’s most powerful fighter motor.

All that thrust results in extreme levels of stress on engine components. It’s no surprise, then, that the F-35 frequently suffers engine malfunctions. Even with that 20 tons of thrust, the new radar-dodging plane is still sluggish. The F-35 “is a dog … overweight and underpowered,” according to Winslow Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Project on Government Oversight in Washington.

In 2008, two analysts at the RAND Corporation, a California think-tank that works closely with the military, programmed a computer simulation to test out the F-35’s fighting ability in a hypothetical air war with China. The results were startling.

“The F-35 is double-inferior,” John Stillion and Harold Scott Perdue concluded in their written summary of the war game, later leaked to the press. The new plane “can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run,” they warned.

Handout photo of workers on the moving line and forward fuselage assembly areas for the F-35 JSF at Lockheed Martin Corp's factory located in Fort Worth, TexasYet the F-35 is on track to become by far the military’s most numerous warplane. It was designed to replace almost all current fighters in the Air Force and Marine Corps and complement the Navy’s existing F/A-18 jets. The Pentagon plans to acquire roughly 2,400 of the radar-evading F-35s in coming decades, at a cost of more than $400 billion.

Like it or not, the stealthy F-35 is the future of U.S. air power. There are few alternatives. Lockheed Martin’s engineers have done millions of man-hours of work on the design since development began in the 1990s. Starting work on a new plane now would force the Defense Department to wait a decade or more, during which other countries might pull ahead in jet design. Russia, China and Japan are all working on new stealth fighter models.

The Pentagon sounds guardedly optimistic about the current F-35 grounding. “Additional inspections of F-35 engines have been ordered,” Rear Admiral John Kirby, a military spokeman said, “and return to flight will be determined based on inspection results and analysis of engineering data.”

Minor fixes might get America’s future warplane flying again soon — for a while. But fundamental design flaws could vex the F-35 for decades to come, forcing the Pentagon to suspend flying far too often for the majority of its fighter fleet, potentially jeopardizing U.S. national security.



PHOTO (TOP): F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is seen at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland, January 20, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

PHOTO (INSERT 1): Three F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (rear to front) AF-2, AF-3 and AF-4, can be seen flying over Edwards Air Force Base, December 10, 2011. REUTERS/Lockheed Martin/Darin Russell/Handout

PHOTO (INSERT 2): Workers can be seen on the moving line and forward fuselage assembly areas for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Lockheed Martin Corp’s factory located in Fort Worth, Texas, October 13, 2011. REUTERS/Lockheed Martin/Randy A. Crites/Handout

PHOTO (INSERT 3): Workers can be seen on the moving line and forward fuselage assembly areas for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Lockheed Martin Corp’s factory located in Fort Worth, Texas, October 13, 2011. REUTERS/Lockheed Martin/Randy A. Crites/Handout









169 COMMENTS

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Jul 14, 2014
2:26 pm UTC
My god, the US government is totally incompetent now. Corporate America has reduced it to jabbering politicians and lobbyist that are all there only to make money. Thank god China has no world conquest thoughts like the Soviets did.
Posted by tmc | Report as abusive
Jul 14, 2014
3:33 pm UTC
The article is pretty much correct in what they say, but there are three very important omissions:
1) Lockheed has the talent to develop a great warplane, but not two good warplanes. Lockheed tried to both the missionless F-22 and the mission overloaded F-35. First team talent was split between the two with the F-22 getting more than its share as Lockheed emphasized saving the F-22 contract when the F-35 was in its most critical design phases.
2) ‘The new plane “can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run,”…’
That is not all that relevant anymore. Old fashioned dogfights are for the 20th century and the movies. What matters now are sensors, missiles, communications, and intelligence. The winner has launched his missile before the loser has detected the winner.
3) If you want to turn, climb, and run, then you want an unmanned combat aircraft. The F-22 may end up as being about as effective as the Polish horse cavalry was against German armor in WWII.
Posted by QuietThinker | Report as abusive
Jul 14, 2014
4:30 pm UTC
@QuietThinker,
Actually, dogfights are not obsolete by any means.
It’s true that the F-35, being stealthy, will be able to detect and shoot at enemy fighters first. (provided that the enemy fighters are non-stealth)
But long range missiles are not as accurate as you think.
In the history of air warfare, the vast majority of missile kills were made from close-range (within visual-range).
Since air-to-air missiles carry only a limited amount of fuel, they are not very effective against faraway targets. Especially if the targets are modern fighters with modern avionics and electronic countermeasures which can detect missile launches and take evasive measures against the missiles.
By some estimates, the hit rate of long-range radar guided air-to-air missiles against such modern adversaries will be under 10%.
Also, if the enemy aircraft happen to be stealth fighters themselves, they will not show up on the F-35’s radar.
Even if the F-35 manages to launch missiles at them, the missiles’ hit probability will be even lower.
So, there’s a big possibility that the F-35 will fail to shoot down its adversaries from long range.
It will then have no choice but to engage them in dogfights. But the F-35 will be at a big disadvantage here, because it is so slow and unmaneuverable.
But the (in-)effectiveness of BVR long-range missiles isn’t the only thing you must consider.
In fact, in order to launch any missiles from beyond visual range, the rules of engagement must first allow you to do so.
If the rules of engagement require you to make visual contact and confirm the enemy’s identity, then you have no choice but to get close to them. What will the F-35 do in such a scenario?
The F-35 may have advanced sensors and space-age avionics, but these systems are incredibly complex and nowhere near combat capability. And even if they work perfectly as advertised, there will be times when they can’t positively ID targets and have to get close to get visual confirmation.
However, the F-35 just can’t afford to get close to enemy fighters. If it gets into a dogfight, it will be dead.
The fact is that the F-35 is completely unsuited for air combat.
It’s only good as a stealth bomber.
(But even this capability is in question, as newer Russian and Chinese radars will be able to detect the F-35..)
Posted by Joe765 | Report as abusive
Jul 14, 2014
4:51 pm UTC
This is the problem when you design a warplane to do everything: It ends up not being able to do anything well. The F-35 was supposed to replace the F-16, a light multi-role fighter that was designed with maneuverability and cheapness of operation in mind. But the F-35 sought systems and mission parameters rather than performance as a target.
It’s what Eisenhower warned us of: Beware the Military-Industrial Complex. As the article states: “Like it or not, the stealthy F-35 is the future of U.S. air power.” Which is exactly what the defense contractors want. If this were the 1950s, it would have been cancelled and scrapped in favor of something better. But now the taxpayers are on the hook for an airplane that the military can’t cancel, because the contractors and their political donations have allowed the politicians to pull the wool over the eyes of the voters. If the F-35 were cancelled, we’d hear calls of politicians “making American weaker.” And, oh yeah, “Jobs!” But instead, we’re stuck with a dog of an airplane that will never meet the original design requirements or be as good or as inexpensive as it was once sold to us.
The F-35 is literally a flying bridge to nowhere.
Posted by Aerothusiast | Report as abusive
Jul 14, 2014
6:45 pm UTC
I can’t help but remember the “day of the dog fight is over” theory that gave the United States the F-4 Phantom II with only missiles and no gun. After getting wacked pretty badly by the Migs in Vietnam, we added a gun to that overweight multimission aircraft. The result was the requirement for the F-15 and F-16.
Posted by AZWarrior | Report as abusive
Jul 14, 2014
6:51 pm UTC
That makes pretty good sense there @dd606. I didn’t think about the antiquity of dog fights and the advancement of drones. But I still think government is incompetent. Just maybe not the high ranking military.
Posted by tmc | Report as abusive
Jul 14, 2014
7:47 pm UTC
I’m sure this aircraft is a hangar queen. However, the Military Industrial Complex and their Lobbyists are doing just fine…along with their Inside the Beltway buddies.
Posted by rikfre | Report as abusive
Jul 14, 2014
10:52 pm UTC
What a crock.
When is the last time an American fighter aircraft has really mattered to our, “national security”? National Ego, yes, security, nah.
Posted by Bookfan | Report as abusive
Jul 14, 2014
1:23 am UTC
This is just one more reason for the development of drone fighters. The limit of the plane often surpasses the human factor. Think of the weight savings, the space, and reduction of complexity if now human had to be carried.
Posted by bucklj | Report as abusive
Jul 14, 2014
2:09 am UTC
I hope our Prime Minister reads this. We need an aircraft for the Canadian Air Force that works.
Posted by canadianeh65 | Report as abusive
Jul 14, 2014
2:50 am UTC
UTC: You are very unhealthy in mind.
Posted by comitas7 | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
6:07 am UTC
Oh brilliant! The UK has been saddled with a heap of junk…that’s as fast as the flames consuming the engines, flies like a brick, outmaneuvers like a t**d…….may as well keep the Sopwith Camels..at least they flew!
Posted by umkomazi | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
7:36 am UTC
This program died from the specification. to want good at everything. Without the suicidal decision to make a single-engined aircraft Go buy Rafale…
Posted by TOTOCACA | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
8:58 am UTC
Put the cost of this plane in perspective: Give me the 1.5 Trillion dollars this plane will cost and I will give every US high school graduate a four year college education. All high school graduates,FOREVER.
Posted by Bernie777 | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
9:55 am UTC
@Bernie777 I don’t think having a well educated population benefits the current crop of aristocracy.
Posted by RandomName2nd | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
12:59 pm UTC
Just reading comments here makes me realize just how self-absorbed, ignorant and out of touch with reality Americans are.
Posted by Dumbstruck | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
1:16 pm UTC
The F-35 may be a failed program but the kinetic data puts its maneuverability (with a combat load) on par with the Typhoon and better than an F-16.
It’s not a good investment of taxpayer dollars or a very reliable fighter plane but the title of the article is misleading.
Posted by GreatLakes80 | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
2:09 pm UTC
Time and time again people over-design, trying to please every would be customer. I bought a tape measure the other day for $24 with the aim of buying one that wouldn’t immediately fall apart, and the thing has every bell and whistle, but fails at the most basic tasks. Any serious design effort should start with a review of wildly successful designs (regardless of industry):
The original Bialetti Moka from 1933 – simplicity and taste!
The Toyota Hilux “Pickup” with the 22r and later 22re engine – simply indestructible.
The Boeing 747 freighter – the industry standard for decades.
1990 Honda CRX – fast, fun, reliable, and great gas mileage.
Spring loaded camming devices used in rock climbing – the original was called a, “friend,” later versions are “camalots” or aliens”

Posted by CanyonLiveOak | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
4:20 pm UTC
Give that $400 Billion to the UN and join our species in harmonizing with this planet.
Posted by DwightJones | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
4:22 pm UTC
Why is the US eating these costs. During contract negotiations, requirements should be presented to would be companies. They look at the needs and determine how much they can develop the project for. Allow maybe 5% variance and anything over that the winning bidder should eat as a part of fulfilling the contract. I bet the plane would be much better and development completed much sooner.
Posted by gcf1965 | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
5:25 pm UTC
end this boondoggle. drones have already made manned aircraft or they will within a few years. boots on the ground want to save the A1, all the defense contractors want costly hardware.
Posted by googlemcgoogle | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
5:44 pm UTC
The B29 Super fortress had a engine flaw due to a invented ideology to achieve a pound per horsepower. The magnesium block was susceptible to lean fuel mixture fires necessitated by WW2 payload and range missions. Some full bird achieved his tonnage record at the cost of several flight crews.
Posted by morbas | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
5:44 pm UTC
The admittedly few others trying to break the monopoly to be main supplier of US fighter / bomber submitted cheaper designs but admitted you couldn’t design a “truly universal” plane – saying they’d be alot more variation between the planes for the three military arms. When the worlds biggest titantium casting requiring WEEKS of milling each was needed to protect the crew from the engine in the F35, DOD should have gone running away.
Instead, politicians took the usual bribes from their usual defense contractor and everyone’s done well, except the citizens of the US.
Luckily, we still have the plans for the F15 so if a shooting war starts we can start building them again, cause a plane that can’t run away, and this overweight under powered turkey sure can’t, won’t last long.
There should have been 2 design goals for this plane, stealth and a pound of thrust per pound of plane. You can’t see me, you can’t catch me, is the way to fight. Hit and run and let the smart munitions hang around to do the dirty work. You only do a one on one dog fight when everything else has failed.
Posted by DellStator | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
7:35 pm UTC
A political disaster that is only going to get worse. Stop the bleeding. This plane will never accomplish the goals being set. It is only alive because almost every member of congress (Senate and House) have a portion of the plane being built in their districts. It is not capable of what is was asked to do and all the great engineers in the world cannot fix this broken plane. Start on a new plane NOW or the Russians and Chinese will “fly” by us in the next 10 years.
WAKE UP America – this is a political boondoggle of the highest order.
Posted by AZ1811 | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
8:33 pm UTC
Although the Boeing entry did not “look-as-cool” as what we got I bet the Boeing jet would have done a better job at at a better price point.
Posted by perilun | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
9:05 pm UTC
What we should consider is hanging some missiles on our AWACS and extended range C-130s. They’d eat the F-35s alive.
Posted by RobertMorrisIV | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
11:56 pm UTC
One day J-35 comes to be able to turn, climb and will run into Chinese and Russian radar screens.
Posted by Hurtle40 | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
1:23 am UTC
Be aware of poster dd606…. He’s a paid government shill.
This guy doesn’t think that our government should have any oversight. Sort of like Jo Stalin… He didn’t allow any oversight either.
‘Aircraft don’t “dog fight” anymore’… who is this bird kidding. What do you suppose in going on in the skies around the East China Sea, where both Japan and China claim some stupid little islands? Is that just an airshow?
Joe765 is correct: ‘If the rules of engagement require you to make visual contact and confirm the enemy’s identity, then you have no choice but to get close to them.’
The example of the F4 Phantom is perfect, along with the F-111. These pig’s were a disaster, and that’s why we pushed into the F-14, 15, and 16 development.
There is nothing wrong with making a mistake… as long as you admit your mistake and move on. Which is what we should do with the F-35 program.
Posted by edgyinchina | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
2:09 am UTC
The F-35 program was a failure from the start. You cannot design a craft that does EVERYTHING and every mission to excellence, which is what they tried to do to save money. That should have been the warning right there. Instead, they pushed ahead anyway and ended up with a mediocre thing that has a much higher chance of failure in the end. This is what happens when everything is a team decision and accomplishment.
The result of too many fingers in the recipe, as usual. The result was predictable.
Posted by FlushTheToilet1 | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
3:23 am UTC
Australia needs to back out of buying these lemons. We’d save ourselves 24 billion dollars or something of that magnitude.
Posted by Overlander14 | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
4:03 am UTC
It does not matter … GW pushed the F35 deal for his home state of Texas, and there is no way that Texas will give up this trillion dollar plus gravy train.
Posted by SanPa | Report as abusive
Jul 15, 2014
4:49 am UTC
Tomorrow’s dogfights will feature unmanned missiles that can maneuver with much more agility than a manned aircraft. They are much cheaper to make and faster and more deadly in air to air combat.
Could be that the F35 and even the sexy Chinese fighter planes will all soon be obsolete.
Posted by loyalsys | Report as abusive
Jul 16, 2014
5:51 am UTC
Just like the f-86 and the MIG, if i can get you into the best of my flight envelope bang you are dead. Low alt, Hi-alt, fast, slow. if I can get you where I am best I don’t need to turn, climb, or run with all agility. The F-86 and F-16 gave you a gun battle edge in their best flight envelopes, the F-14 and F-15 will take you out in a missile battle with the F-15 being the best in the high speed, maneuver and the F-14 in the long range attack multiple targets roll The F-18 is a pretty good fighter in a given flight envelope but can do the low alt combat support roll along with the A-10 but from a carrier. The basic problem with a tri service design is the difference in where the engine and fuel cells are located. The Air Force wants the engine at the bottom of the fuselage with the fuel cells wrapped around and over the engine. the Navy has to have both at the top of the fuselage to make room for carrier sized landing gear (note the bulge in the Navy F-18 versus the Air Force version). McNamara had to eat crow and the F-14 was born because of that Air Frame and weight problem. A multi-service aircraft will always have a flight and weight variance thus a difference in the flight envelops at different altitudes and air speeds. Don’t worry the F-35 will meet its mission requirement and beat the adversary in his own flight envelop. Remember the MIG-15 and 17 could both take on the F-86 in a low, slow shoot out. Take either high and the F-86 was boss man. Missiles are great but you had better have some way of getting them on target and keep them on target or one is liable to down more than the foe. Study the F-14 and its flight envelope coupled with a
long-range missile capability to target and kill the other guy.
Posted by harry7738 | Report as abusive
Jul 16, 2014
7:18 pm UTC
But the money spent on this COULD have sent 10 million kids all the way through college, if you assume $40K in tuition.
Posted by Overcast451 | Report as abusive
Jul 16, 2014
8:46 pm UTC
I’m laughing so hard, there are tears in my eyes. The F-35 is the BIGGEST feint in the history of warfare. It was never meant to fly well. Our adversaries will spend a combined eight trillion dollars trying to play “catch up.” Our future is secure with the F-65, i.e. the Black Triangle. Hyper maneuverable, MACH 24+, and its radar can count the eyelashes of the enemy pilot while he’s back at base drinking coffee.
Posted by bbuster | Report as abusive
Jul 16, 2014
4:20 am UTC
For all the money they’ve spent, and have yet to spend, they could have an entire air force of F-22’s, and even come up with a Naval variant.But I guess Congress wouldn’t allow that. National Security takes a backseat to pork in their Districts.
Posted by SemperFido9915 | Report as abusive
Jul 17, 2014
12:47 pm UTC
Bow much will the CEO’s bonus be?
Posted by my2sons | Report as abusive
Jul 17, 2014
1:00 pm UTC
We are currently fighting two wars where the enemy has NO air power. How can you “win” a war using a $200 million plane and a pilot with a masters degree to terminate an illiterate Taliban with a rusty AK-47?
Cost management has been practiced in the REAL economy for 30 years. Time for the military industrial complex to do the same. More troops, fewer toys.
Posted by alowl | Report as abusive
Jul 17, 2014
5:51 pm UTC
The ultra left wing radical socialist writer is just ‘piling on’ – the F-35 is really replacing three series of warplanes, with a “learning curve” in doing so.
The F-35 has more problems than just one fighter jet.
F-35A – conventional takeoffs
f-35B – vertical or limited space takeoff
F-35C- carrier takeoffs.
My solution – rename them and hope no one notices.
Posted by cirrus7 | Report as abusive
Jul 17, 2014
10:57 pm UTC
The reason we develop F-35 is to help pilots dodge missiles better through stealth . It already does you no good with having ability to turn , climb, or outrun our enemies.. Pilots will simply fly straight and slowly while firing missiles then return home safely. This is for now. Maybe we will build better steatlh planes later on. I dont know ?
Posted by Gumby | Report as abusive
Jul 19, 2014
6:55 am UTC
All this criticism against the F35 is simply noise to foo our enemies. Yhe final product will be an awesome plane fielding an integrated battlespace due to sensor arrays of F35s. The concept is brilliant.
Posted by WJL | Report as abusive
Jul 19, 2014
3:20 pm UTC
In WW2, our military had many aircraft that could not turn, could not climb, and could not run.
They were called Blimps.
Posted by ckd1358 | Report as abusive
Jul 19, 2014
4:02 pm UTC
@SanPa…you wrote: “It does not matter … GW pushed the F35 deal for his home state of Texas, and there is no way that Texas will give up this trillion dollar plus gravy train.”
The deal for the JSF was signed in 1996; thank you Bill Clinton. GW had a lot of flaws but people who thoughtlessly blame him for everything have even more.
Posted by OldColdWarrior | Report as abusive
Jul 20, 2014
3:46 pm UTC
Plane to plane we’re there any fighters from potential enemies that could outmatch the F-18?
F-22?
Posted by airborneqmc | Report as abusive
Jul 20, 2014
6:20 pm UTC
The plane does look stealthy at all and single engine is not a away to go
Posted by juodskis1 | Report as abusive
Jul 20, 2014
7:29 pm UTC
in this age of specialization we have top brass and their contractor buddies insisting on multirole fighter/bombers?
the F18 for example may have made sense for USnavy carriers,but other countries like canada would have been better served with fleets of cheaper simpler purpose built light fighter/interceptors like the F20 tigershark, which was a third the price,less than half as costly to support and 4 times more reliable than the f18(and according to chuck yeager was probably the deadliest air to air interceptor designed).
the us may need a stealth super plane to fight a superpower in the future,
but other nato partners haven’t the political capital to bomb from so high up or fire missiles so far away that the intended target cannot be visually confirmed by the pilot! we also rarely or never flown u.n. or nato missions where we needed stealth planes- so the F35 really has far less use to us than something that can do simple sovereignty patrols or force down some tin pot’s old soviet helicopters-and at a fraction of the cost.heck all our crafts ever each needed was an automatic cannon,two sidewinders and a guided bomb! in an extreme situation perhaps a small antiship missile or an antiradiation(anti anti aircraft weapon)missile during kosovo or the gulf war.
this F35 fiasco may bring an end to this unholy alliance between industrial and military executives.
Posted by bademoxy | Report as abusive
Jul 28, 2014
2:35 pm UTC
REPLY to QuietThinker’s post on July 14, 2014
3:33 pm UTC:
Fighter planes are NOT obsolete, if they have good sensor capabilities AND are flown by EXPERIENCED combat pilots.
1.) Early in the Vietnam War the U.S. military was convinced that only air-to-air missiles were all that were needed for its fighters, so all 50 cal. machine guns and 20 mm or 30 mm cannons were REMOVED. This proved disastrous for U.S. pilots, as their missiles frequency missed their opponents’ fighters.
Within a few months most U.S. fighters were re-equipped with the 50 cal. machine guns and cannons – and their “kill rates” skyrocketed. A former work colleague was a combat fighter pilot in Vietnam during those early years and said that most of the “kills” he had and/or was told about were due to 50 cal or cannon fire – NOT air-to-air missiles. Of course, today’s missiles have greatly improved reliability and accuracy, but the 50 cal machine guns and cannons remain important weapons – which is why the military still insists on them in all its combat aircraft, including the F-35.
2.) A fighter plane is still NOT easy to shoot down – even with the most advanced missile system. If sensor systems and the pilot react quickly, an incoming missile can be avoided, often by diving toward the missile and radical maneuvering.
3.) My opinion is that surface ships (especially aircraft carriers) are the most OBSOLETE weapons systems today – UNLESS they are based an ENORMOUS DISTANCE from any enemy fighters and/or land-based missiles. Sure, they carry fighter planes into areas the fighters could otherwise not go. But carriers are a huge and very slow target, which means they are rather easy “kills” for sophisticated land-based or air-to-air missiles, especially low-flying cruise missiles. (If I were in the Navy, I would prefer duty on a DESTROYER – a smaller and less valuable target!)
Posted by Jack4952 | Report as abusive
Oct 15, 2014
11:37 am UTC
The battleship of the skies. Drones and other cheaper, more flexible options will quickly make this fighter a loser. Too bad we had to waste $400 billion.
Posted by hedge123 | Report as abusive
Dec 4, 2014
6:21 am UTC
Your tax dollars at work!
Posted by Wilx | Report as abusive
Dec 4, 2014
11:54 am UTC
I’ve always wondered why the US strategy would not be to update existing/proven aircraft (F15,16,1Cool and simply gain superiority via numbers. Stated simply, I would bet that 100 F16’s could overwhelm 50 of the best fighters in the world.
Posted by EtienneB | Report as abusive
Dec 4, 2014
12:18 pm UTC
On its first combat mission, the F-35 managed to destroy an ISIS bunker. It could easily have been done with an F-16, and even comfortably with an A-10. The U.S. will take itself out of action due to economic instability and hand the world over to the Chinese.
Posted by Jim1648 | Report as abusive
Dec 4, 2014
7:46 pm UTC
Is the term ‘Muscle fighter’ appropriate? no wait, some muscle cars can still run after 40 years… so no… mmm
Posted by Denaldo | Report as abusive
Dec 4, 2014
10:14 pm UTC
As Canadians we sometimes follow blindly along. Especially under our current right wing gov’t which is run by a cloaked fascist Stephen Harper. This episode is from Fifth Estate, an investigative TV show on the Canadian national broadcaster CBC.
www.cbc.ca/fifth/episodes/2012-2013/runa way-fighter
Posted by shockeymoe | Report as abusive
Dec 4, 2014
4:03 am UTC
One should remember that the F-35 is a Clinton/Aspin special! Part of Bill’s efforts to prepare us for the Chinese… Did we learn nothing from McNamara’s F-111?
Posted by Robert1953 | Report as abusive
Dec 5, 2014
9:34 am UTC
It’s a classic “Jack of all trades, master of none”. I do hope the F-35 technology will be used to create a more specialized and effective aircraft.
Posted by Chris.Peters | Report as abusive
Dec 5, 2014
2:34 pm UTC
“Old fashioned dogfights are for the 20th century and the movies.”
They sound like those geniuses that designed the F4 Phantom……….
No need for guns, the days of dogfighting is over…..idiots.
They then had to quickly design a add on gun pod. As the F4’s were being
mauled by Migs with guns.
As long as there are two or more planes flying in a combat situation, there will Always be a need for guns…
When aggressors learn you are gunless, they will always “get in close”
so you can not get a missile off….then maul you to death.
We have lost our way in the world. We are condemned to be a third world country.
Posted by JohnStarkMD | Report as abusive
Dec 5, 2014
2:58 pm UTC
The F35 is not a fighter, and will not be engaged in too many dogfights. Information is the new currency of the future. Sending out lower generation fighters a little ahead of the F35 gives all aircraft involved a huge advantage with the amount of data the F35 can collect and distribute. The F35 is a force multiplier through stealth, data collection, and data dissemination. It is not a sequel to Top Gun. Laser powered weapons will be able to take out just about any airplane in the coming decade or two once they take to the skies. Dogfighting is obsolete in a traditional sense, with engagement distances increasing dramatically in the coming decades. I see the F35 as a research platform for developing technologies. Sometimes you have to get things wrong before you get them right, and the shifting landscape of today’s world makes large outlays of cash on projects like this riskier but still necessary.
Posted by fuzz54 | Report as abusive
Dec 5, 2014
9:01 pm UTC
The F35 is typical of American defence projects since the 1960’s – vastly expensive, enormously complex, massively over-budget, riven by political considerations and inter-service politics: and very often cancelled. With continued “successes” like F-35, the USA will bankrupt itself and have no operational air force left. No so long ago it was calculated that with the growth in cost of US aircraft, it would not be long before the entire US defence budget could only pay for one aircraft.
Posted by royalcourtier | Report as abusive
Dec 5, 2014
12:15 am UTC
We are #2, soon to be #3 economically. We are throwing away our military advantage. We are reducing our deployed nuclear arsenal.
We are supporting our enemies and screwing our friends. The majority in DC is corrupt, incompetent or stupid.
Our population revels in ignorance. Our debt is beyond staggering. We can’t build a decent fighter plane. I see geniuses talking about fighter drones… Yea that is great until someone jams them. It is one thing fly an unmanned slow moving drone around a 3rd world country. It is completely different to take an unmanned vehicle into combat against another world power that can take out satellites which control the drones.
So America with world class debit, brain damaged population, self destructing military all managed by egotistical self centered country hating politicians.
I need a drink.
Posted by raving_lunatic | Report as abusive
Dec 6, 2014
5:34 pm UTC
Consider the source… that quote comes from a group in whose interest it is to portray every government program as a complete failure. This isn’t WWII and these planes aren’t going to be doing any dogfighting. F35 is designed to kill planes from hundreds of kilometers away, long before it is even detected.
Posted by No_Conspiracy | Report as abusive
Dec 6, 2014
6:43 pm UTC
Its okay that the U.S. gets a ‘dog’ of a warplane…because, wherever the U.S. goes, war tends to follow, and people die, so American can be number 1. So, seeing the last ‘superpower’ arrogantly wade into any battle it deems in its ‘national interests’ will at least be a contest, where the opponent can fight back.
Single engine, poor turning ability (due to stubby wings) and additional weight carried for fuel – via high drag factor, make for a lousy dog-fighter.
Much like the vaunted F-14 Tomcat, the plane featured in Top Gun, the movie, the F-35 will be a turkey…Gobble Gobble!
Posted by Disqualifyer | Report as abusive
Dec 6, 2014
9:58 pm UTC
Either fix it or abandon it. Not one more dollar should be spent on the F-35 if a decision is made that it simply will not enhance our defensive response. If we build this out of the desire to protect a prior investment, we may lose our ability to defend ourselves.
Posted by eddihaskell | Report as abusive
Dec 6, 2014
10:02 pm UTC
Look on the bright side.They are only 440 million a piece. Built to fight?
Posted by ron17571 | Report as abusive
Dec 6, 2014
10:14 pm UTC
Drones are useless in a war with China once the satellite uplink is gone, because they can hit satellites in orbit (as China was foolish enough to show, evoking an equally stupid response by the US military if I remember correctly). That space junk will float around for centuries with great speed and GPS systems can be damaged by the debris.
Posted by Exwaan | Report as abusive
Dec 6, 2014
10:48 pm UTC
Private industry would have fired these incompetents before the day was out. We do need a leaner government bureaucracy.
Posted by Margaretville | Report as abusive
Dec 6, 2014
10:54 pm UTC
Where is John Boyd when you need him. Hint; without Boyd there would be no F 15/F16.
Posted by JrBoydRIP | Report as abusive
Dec 6, 2014
12:30 am UTC
None of our adversaries in the last 30 (or more) years even had an air wing or navy. Airborne troops are obsolete. Marines are scrambling for a traditional mission (WWII style). Military must have a base with a PX, bowling alley, cinema, gym, pool, before any serious combat can be considered. And we still can’t keep up. What fools run our military?
Posted by molonolie7932Q | Report as abusive
Dec 6, 2014
1:16 am UTC
One again w screwed up! He was the POTUS that approved the final designs. $400,000,000,000.00 wasted!
Posted by susan69 | Report as abusive
Dec 6, 2014
2:35 am UTC
The way to fix this mess is with sound engineering.
No, I am not suggesting magic engineering, but using sound design practices. That means go back to what each service really wants and give each service its own version rather than a “one size fit all, do everything” airplane.
Does the USAF really want VTOL? If not, knock all that weight off of the plane and give them a fixed-engine version of it.
Does the Navy and Marines insist on VTOL? If so, do they need all the air-superiority stuff, or do they just want to drop bombs on things?
“Do everything” systems often cost a lot more than different, specialized systems.
Posted by Flechette | Report as abusive
Dec 6, 2014
2:52 am UTC
@DwightJones: “Give that $400 Billion to the UN and join our species in harmonizing with this planet.”
Thanks, I needed a good laugh! That was a good one!
Posted by Flechette | Report as abusive
Dec 7, 2014
6:02 am UTC
It’s a vertical takeoff and go type aircraft…It can’t suck, it can’t blow, it can’t fly….what’cha going to do Lockheed? It’s been a bad design since day one….ya’ just can’t fix a bad problem…..good luck with your sales after this snafu.
Posted by bigcatdaddy | Report as abusive
Dec 7, 2014
8:01 am UTC
The F-35 is well known to those who maintain and fly it to be less than what was hoped for to replace the F-16 of F-18
In simple terms, it’s dog.
Posted by Dave7617 | Report as abusive
Dec 7, 2014
10:45 am UTC
Yet Obama is encircling a nuke armed Bear….
He’s risking nuclear war by doing so and putting all Americans at risk.
The solution : He should step down immediately.
Posted by Dashark1 | Report as abusive
Dec 7, 2014
3:35 pm UTC
To make the best of a bad, nay, disastrous situation, a never built variant of the F-16 needs to be considered for the F-35.
The proposal was to strip everything not required for an air superiority role off the F-16 (F-35) and re-engineer some frames to be thinner (no bombs > less metal needed to support them), slightly enlarge the flight control surfaces and turn the F-16 (F-35) into a “turner & burner”,
The unit cost (in old $) would be $1 million less than standard F-16s. Perhaps it is not too late yet to build this variant of the F-16.
Otherwise, apply this logic to the F-35AS (air superiority) and start discussions about building the only 6th generation fighter in production (the cost effective Viggen) under license.
The novel (Twilight’s Last Gleaming) about the Chinese defeating the USN, USAF and USA+USMC in a resource war over Tanzania @2027 prominently features the weaknesses of the F-35 “Lardbucket” as it will be known. Other US military weaknesses are the Chinese smuggle almost a thousand supersonic anti-ship missiles into Tanzania in commercial shipping containers and take out a USN carrier task force plus amphibious assault group in a dozen minute attack. Add a Makin Island type capture of Diego Garcia. Without naval or air superiority and no secure land bridge, the supply lines for the three divisions in Kenya are weak and inadequate. (Also, the Chinese bribe Americans to get the satellite control passwords and disrupt them for weeks)
Going forward with current plans for the F-35 is a major part of the recipe for a future, disastrous military defeat.
Posted by AlanDrake | Report as abusive
Dec 7, 2014
4:52 am UTC
Money corrupts. Absolute money corrupts absolutely. While American children can’t get into college unless they agree to 25 years of oppressive debt, these titans of war mongering waste billions that could be used to support our future generations in their effort to make peace with the world while all nations re-align their economic policies and wrap their arms around the Earth in a sustainable embrace. The Defense Department needs to be dismantled and rebuilt for a new era of cooperation and conciliation.
Posted by Newsrocket | Report as abusive
Dec 8, 2014
6:29 am UTC
Why are we spending hundreds of billions on developing manned aircraft? With that type of money we could have invested in a higher number of remotely operated aircraft that do not have the physiological restraints that a human pilot introduces. For every human piloted aircraft there could be ten smaller, much more manuverable, much longer flight time drones that could overwhelm human piloted enemy fighters. They could have all sorts of high tech pre-programming that would not require a constant link to a controller base. An EMP would disable a fly-by-wire human piloted plane anyway. And they could be built in greater numbers for the cost of single human piloted fighter. Again, overwhelm any enemy fighters. The potential is almost endless. This F35 is already destined to be obsolete before it it actually deployed. Heavy, limited g-pulling and range (human factor). Total waste of money and resourced.
Posted by BrettRodgers | Report as abusive
Dec 18, 2014
1:05 am UTC
[…] procurement industry. The armed services are trying to boost their worst aircraft, the totally worthless F-35, by trashing their best, the simple, effective, proven A-10 […]
Posted by The War Nerd: More proof the US defense industry has nothing to do with defending America | Automated Cash Software | Report as abusive
Dec 19, 2014
10:24 am UTC
It’s a massive waste of money, but really I wonder whether any manned fighters have much of a role anymore. Close air support planes (eg the A10) still have their uses although they could eventually be replaced by heavy drones. Manned air superiority fighters seem to exist just to give pilots something to fly.
Posted by Simon_Newman | Report as abusive
Jan 20, 2015
9:45 pm UTC
Sounds like the best thing for us to do is to make sure the Chinese steal this design and attempt to make it work while we abandon it and start on something better.
Posted by BullTrout | Report as abusive
Jan 29, 2015
8:11 pm UTC
“our jet fighters don’t need outdated guns anymore, it’s all about missiles”.
have we not heard this before? like during the release of the F4 phantom when in vietnam they immediately learned the value of having something that would work without fail in battle every time?
perhaps with the enhanced reliability of new engines,maybe we don’t need twin engines anymore -and a larger single engine certainly chops the per craft price by at least 30 percent(providing it’s not “hopped up” beyond reason).
this mad rush towards stealth and fire beyond visual is insanely impractical. since when do we allow our pilots to shoot missiles at planes they cannot confirm as combatants? when has NATO been in a conflict where radar invisibility made any overall difference to an outcome?
i say by producing say two different simpler, smaller, lighter and decent handling planes, splitting the design parameters into two roles
such as for example A10 THUNDERBOLTS for bombing/ground attack and F20 TIGERSHARKS for intercepter fighter, we could for less than the costs of aquiring,operating, maintaining and training one multirole fighter/bomber twin jet such as the F18 hornet.
this solution would for less cost give our troops 2 pilots overhead, one hitting enemy armour while the other patrols higher up to take on enemy aircraft. there’s no way one multirole”jack-of-all-trades- master-of -none”pilot can approach the real world practical effectiveness of two purpose built dedicated role airframes piloted by aviators of equal skill
Posted by beanandhamster | Report as abusive

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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

£15bn of our money spent on junk.

The F-35 is a state-of-the-art ground-attack stealth fighter-bomber.
Until you sling bombs under the wings.
Then, it loses its stealth capability.
Oooooops!

The Pratt & Whitney engines are a disaster
http://uk.businessinsider.com/f-35-engine-problems-2015-4
The F-35 has developed hairline cracks in the internal wing spars meaning wings could 'snap off' during tight turns.
http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/air-space/strike/2015/11/16/c rack-discovered-f-35c-wing-spar-test-plane/75893376/
As discussed above its a pig to fly, unmanoeuvrable.
It consistently loses in dogfights against the 1970s designed F-16.
Over a trillion dollars has been spent developing the F-35 so nobody dares to say it's the dead duck that it is.
Perfect example of how powerful the private arms industry has become in subverting NATO governments into buying their overpriced techno-junk.
And Osborne has just ordered 148 of them at $150m a piece
That's $22bn - around £15bn

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whitehall_Bin_Men wrote:
£15bn of our money spent on junk.

The F-35 is a state-of-the-art ground-attack stealth fighter-bomber.
Until you sling bombs under the wings.
Then, it loses its stealth capability.
Oooooops!

The Pratt & Whitney engines are a disaster
http://uk.businessinsider.com/f-35-engine-problems-2015-4
The F-35 has developed hairline cracks in the internal wing spars meaning wings could 'snap off' during tight turns.
As discussed above its a pig to fly, unmanoeuvrable.
It consistently loses in dogfights against the 1970s designed F-16.
Over a trillion dollars has been spent developing the F-35 so nobody dares to say it's the dead duck that it is.
Perfect example of how powerful the private arms industry has become in subverting NATO governments into buying their overpriced techno-junk.
And Osborne has just ordered 148 of them at $150m a piece
That's $22bn - around £15bn


It would be cheaper just to rebuild Harriers. I wonder if you could just print out the airframe with a 3D printer (I know they can print out engine parts with this technology) and put an old Pegasus engine in it and emulate the flight control systems on an iPad. Bob's you uncle!
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pentagon say reason most expensive fighter jet ever the F35 lost a dogfight with an F16 from 40 years ago was because it did not have a special coat of stealth paint
The F-35 stealth jet has already cost the military more than $350billion
But in a mock battle it was outperformed by an F-16 designed in the 1970s
Its producers say it was not equipped with the technology of front line jets
By COREY CHARLTON and IMOGEN CALDERWOOD FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 15:34, 3 July 2015 | UPDATED: 16:10, 3 July 2015
The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin have leapt to the defence of the expensive F-35 stealth jet after it was embarrassingly outperformed by a 40-year-old F-16 jet in a dogfight.
A mock air battle was held over the Pacific Ocean between the cutting-edge F-35 - meant to be the most sophisticated jet ever - and an F-16, which was designed in the 1970s.
But according to the test pilot, the F-35 is still too slow to hit an enemy plane or dodge gunfire. So far, it has cost the US military more than $350billion.
Now its producers have hit back - saying the aircraft used in the test was not equipped to the same standard of its front-line aircraft - and did not have its 'stealth coating'...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3148585/Pentagon-say-reason-ex pensive-fighter-jet-F35-lost-dogfight-F16-40-years-ago-did-not-special -coat-stealth-paint.html

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Japanese) Cabinet OKs record defense budget amid China concern:
http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/cabinet-oks-record-de fense-budget-amid-china-concern?

At least Japan's only buying six of the F35's (perhaps a much more expensive follow-up of the F104 'Starfighter', or 'Widowmaker', as the Germans termed it - but their 'High Command' kept ordering them - something to do with Lockheed's penchant for massive bribery, perhaps?

And our War Criminal government have ordered 140-odd, while our hospitals and NHS hover on the brink of breakdown, and 'Austerity' rules in Public Services? Go play your bestial necrophiliac games with the piggies, Cameron; however abnormally perverted, at least it was better than unleashing illegal lethal attacks on Sovereign States, whilst pretending to attack the mercenary thugs you really support.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“So many nations now are in the programme, and the numbers of aircraft overall are so significant… that they’re going to have to solve these problems – or it’s going to be an absolute catastrophe for the future of Western aerospace power.”


What is the F-35B and Why is the UK Buying It?

http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2015/08/what-is-the-f-35b-and-why-is-the-uk-b uying-it/

By Rich Wordsworth on 19 Aug 2015 at 12:30PM

Over the past few years, the F-35 Lightning II – the fifth-generation, Lockheed Martin wunder-plane set to eventually take over from almost every fighter jet in the US and UK militaries – has received a public relations kicking. It’s expensive – the total cost for the programme so far is an incredible, not-even-hyperbolic trillion dollars. It’s had some embarrassing technical stumbles – engine fires, a non-functioning cannon and a half-million dollar helmet that fits comfortably in the cockpit or on a pilot’s head (but reportedly not both). And while it’s designed as a multirole, do-everything plane that will see the West through the next three decades of air combat, critics have been queuing up at the online pulpit to explain why it’s not as capable in each mission role as the plane it’s supposed to be retiring. Though they’re usually not that polite about it.

But despite the media bellyaching, the UK is committed to purchasing an as-yet unknown number of F-35s, primarily to fly off its two new aircraft carriers. Committed to the tune of about £5 billion (so far), which covers the first 14 UK F-35s and their maintenance up to 2020 (but not the larger bulk purchase expected in 2017, which would bring the UK’s F-35 fleet up to the stated 2020 target of 48 planes). The final total, however, is likely to be much higher.

That’s a lot of zeroes to spend on something that critics claim doesn’t work. So why are we doing it? How do the criticisms hold up? And what does the F-35 mean for the UK in particular?


What Sort of Plane Do We Need?

The uncertainty about the sorts of missions the RAF and the Navy will have to fly in the future is what makes a multirole aircraft so appealing. Compared to the US, Britain is in no position to buy a fleet of specialised aircraft – between 1990 and 2014, we reduced our number of operational fast jets by more than two thirds, with smaller numbers of Typhoons andTornados stretching to take up the slack. Of the two, the Tornados are the pressing concern – they were introduced in 1979, and the ones we still have flying are due for retirement in 2019. If we want to keep getting involved in overseas air campaigns, we need something to take their place.

The F-35 is the only so-called ‘fifth-generation’ fighter being produced in the West. The choice, then, was either to buy into the F-35, or to look for planes similar in capability to the Typhoon. The promise that makes the F-35 such an appealing purchase (at least on paper), however, is that it can do everything: air support, bombing runs, air-to-air combat –three planes for the price of one.

That’s a contentious claim, so let’s look at these roles in turn.


Supporting Ground Troops

The UK doesn’t have a dedicated plane for close air support. While the US has the purpose-built monster that is the A-10 Thunderbolt, the UK’s manned air support duties have been divvied up largely between the Tornados, Typhoons and the Apache helicopters. The F-35 claims to have one clear advantage over all three in this role.

“The big advantage that the F-35 gives you is its stealth,” says Philip Sabin, professor of strategic studies in the War Studies department of King’s College London, and an expert in air power.

“With both air-to-ground and air-to-air, the idea is that it will not be safe for fourth generation aircraft – or even really heavily armoured things like the A-10 – to operate in the future. They’ve done it in the past, in a fairly permissive environment against Cold War era air defence threats… and of course they’re more efficient in that case, because if no-one’s shooting back effectively, then it’s a wholly asymmetric contest.”

In addition to not being shot down, the three key elements in the close air support mission are ordnance, loiter time (the amount of time a plane can hang around looking for and engaging targets before it has to refuel), and the ability to reliably spot those targets from the air.

The bad news is that the F-35Bs that the UK will purchase – one of the three models that are being produced – is the least capable at the first two of those. The F-35B is the model designed for short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) – if you’ve seen a picture of an F-35 hovering, that’s the B model you were looking at. Without catapults to fling planes off the end of aircraft carriers and catch them when they land (which Britain’s new Queen Elizabeth class carriers don’t have), this is the only way to get planes into the air and to get them back again.

The problem is the extra hardware that goes into the B variant to make STOVL possible. Not only does the engine have to tilt down 90 degrees, but to balance the lift (and provide more of it), the F-35B has to incorporate a giant fan in the front half of the plane that pushes air downwards. The fan doesn’t have a use outside of take-off and landing, which means while the F-35B is flying, it’s lugging around that extra weight to no benefit.

But the fan is also taking up space in the body of the plane which the other two non-STOVL variants (the F-35A and F-35C) can use for other things. As a result, the F-35B has to use a smaller fuel tank, limiting range and loiter, but also has less space for ordnance. The B’s internal weapons bays, tucked into the body to maintain its stealth profile, are limited to two 1000-pound bombs and two air-to-air missiles, while the A and C variants can carry bombs that are twice that size. To cap it all, all that extra gadgetry also makes the B variant the most expensive option of the three.

The good news is that all that isn’t the death knell that some opponents of the F-35 would have you believe. For one thing, modern fighters (including the F-35) aren’t necessarily restricted to burning what they can take up in their tanks.

“The big limitation of the B is in endurance,” Sabin says.

“We’re seeing very clearly in the current operation over Iraq… the difficulty of having to operate at range. Also, if we’re effectively in a reactive environment where air[craft] have to loiter, not just deliver the weapons at the time of its choosing, then the F-35 is going to have problems in that regard.

“[But it’s not] like the old days, where it was just a matter of ‘how far can you get an aircraft,” he clarifies. “Air-to-air refuelling has changed that, and it’s so routine, now.”


Long-Range Bombing

As for the F-35B’s limited payload, that’s only a factor for as long as you prize stealth over firepower. The F-35 is adaptable – if what you want is more bombs, you can hang extra ones from pylons under the wings. Doing so, however, compromises the F-35’s stealth capability – but if the mission is to hit targets that aren’t protected by aircraft or anti-air defences, that’s not necessarily something you have to worry about.

As for ‘only’ carrying two bombs, Sabin argues it’s a concern that’s been overblown.

“[People] talk about, ‘oh, it can only carry a couple of bombs,’ [but] we don’t usually drop more than that,” he says.

“We usually drop less than that, in a sortie. If the limitations are that you don’t want to release the bombs until you’re sure of the target, and you don’t want to put your pilot in any peril at all, then those are the things which are going to constrain you, rather than, ‘oh, we haven’t got ten 2000lb bombs to plaster the enemy with.’”

The two bombs that a stealthy F-35 can carry are also only half the story of a bombing mission. Not only is an F-35 doing so-called ‘deep interdiction’ (hitting things deep inside enemy territory) hard to see, its weapon bays also hold two air-to-air missiles, which means it has some ability to take care of itself as it sneaks about in enemy airspace. Two missiles doesn’t sound like a lot, but this brings us neatly to one of the other great promises of the F-35: that it can identify and destroy other planes before they get close to visual range. If the system works as advertised (and that is definitely still an ‘if’), then defending pilots are looking for a plane that can’t be reliably tracked on radar, that won’t let them get close enough to see it, but can see and engage them just fine.

Fighting Other Planes

That’s the third role that the F-35 is supposed to fill: air-to-air combat, replacing specialised fighters like the F-16. This is the area in which, recently, the F-35 has received the biggest credibility body blow – down to a leaked report from an F-35 pilot who was pitted against an F-16 for a simulated dogfight. The results were, on the surface, pretty bleak: the F-35 pilot’s report was that the fifth-generation fightersimply didn’t have the power or the manoeuvrability to take on a nimble, dedicated fighter like the F-16 at close range and survive.

That’s not the sort of result you want when you’re pitching the F-35 as, among other things, the F-16’s successor. But again, there’s an argument to be made that the test isn’t a good measure of the F-35’s abilities. Yes, the F-35 might perform poorly in a Top Gun-style contest – but the idea is that the F-35 should never allow itself to get into that situation in the first place.

“Results of mock combat can be interpreted in different ways,” says Sabin.

“And the answer there seems to have a lot to do with how far [an expected encounter will be] a dogfight – a traditional turning, manoeuvring dogfight – as opposed to long-ranged engagement with smart missiles, where you don’t even get into the fight at all, [and] the enemy doesn’t know you’re there until it’s too late and they’re being blown out of the sky.

“That’s the area where, arguably, the F-35 excels, because it can get its missiles in the air without the F-35 needing to illuminate the target with its own radar and put the enemy in danger before the enemy can get any kind of lock on the F-35. So in this kind of classical, head-on engagement, there are major advantages to the F-35. Certainly over non-stealthy aircraft, like the [Russian] Sukhois for example.

“Certainly if you set [an F-16 and an F-35] against each other, and they’re turning round to go off on each other’s tails, I’m not surprised the F-16 did pretty well – especially in daylight. But, in other circumstances, in perhaps more realistic circumstances of networked warfare, rather than artificial one-on-one tactical duels, it may well be another thing altogether.”


But Does Stealth Really Work?

Critics of the F-35 like to bring up the F-117 ‘stealth fighter’ shot down over then-Yugoslavia during the 1999 NATO bombing campaign. How could a relatively under-developed force shoot down a stealth aircraft if stealth is as effective as the military and the defence contractors say it is? And if stealth doesn’t work, why are sacrificing so much in pursuit of it?

“Stealth is not a magical shield,” says Sabin.

“[The F-117 case] shows that it’s not invulnerable. What it does, is that it complicates the task of the opposing air defence. It’s all very well saying, ‘in certain circumstances, we could think of ways in which to defeat the stealth.’ The current situation is that opponents find it difficult to use their air defences to effectively fight even fourth generation aircraft. Moving beyond that and being able to target effectively a stealth aircraft [is even more difficult].”

The stealth criticism also assumes that, on a given operation, the F-35s are the only planes Britain will have in the air. But that needn’t be the case. One strategy that Sabin identifies for the F-35 is the same as was used by the US in the 1991 bombing of Baghdad during the first Gulf War, in which the F-117s were sent in ahead of a larger bombing force to soften up the Iraqi air defences. In the case of the RAF and the Navy, the equivalent would be sending in F-35s with their two-bomb payload andelectronic warfare capabilities, destroying and jamming an enemy’s air defences, and then rolling in with heavily-armed Typhoons. It also assumes that, in this hypothetical air campaign, Britain is fighting without the support of its allies – something it hasn’t done since the Falklands.

Then there’s the practical question of whether we would risk pilots on missions without stealth.

“[Whether stealth is worthwhile] depends how you feel when you’re sitting in the plane and your life’s at risk,” says Sabin. “We know how sensitive Western nations are to any loss of their own pilots. Any risk of that may well lead to the operation not being conducted at all. Stealth can give you at least some… not insurance, but reason to think that it’s not as dangerous as it would be if you were going in with just Typhoons.”


This All Sounds Expensive...

It will be – although the UK government won’t say exactly how much the first bulk order of planes will cost, or what it’s expecting the lifetime operating cost to be for each aircraft. You’ll also get a different cost estimate for every person you ask – though Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond (who seems like a good source) did say in 2013 that the first 48 UK F-35s would cost around £100m each. Of course, that could go up or down in the four or five years between now and the first UK delivery date of 2019/20.

So, the programme will be pricey, which has two negative effects on the planes themselves: numbers and value.

“They just cost so much,” says Sabin.

“And that therefore reinforces the problem which the Royal Air Force in particular has, [which is] the lack of combat mass. Once the Tornados go, we are going to have a very small number of combat [jets]. They’re going to be very precious, [and] they’re going to be really hard-pressed if we need to take part in any kind of serious, attritional air campaign. That’s the biggest problem.”

However, the high cost of the F-35 does come with one, tiny silver lining. It means that any creases in the plane’s design – the cannon, the fires, the helmet – really, really have to get ironed as soon as possible. Too much money and time have been spent now to let bugs like these shoot the F-35 project down.

“One great asset that the F-35 has is that it’s almost too big to fail,” Sabin concludes.

“So many nations now are in the programme, and the numbers of aircraft overall are so significant… that they’re going to have to solve these problems – or it’s going to be an absolute catastrophe for the future of Western aerospace power.”

F

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Pentagon’s official F-35 bug list is terrifying
By Joel Hruska on February 3, 2016 at 4:06 pm 133 Comments
http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/222380-the-pentagons-official-f-35- bug-list-is-terrifying

The first contracts to design what became the F-35 were handed out 20 years ago. Lockheed’s X-35 won the contract in October, 2001. Fifteen years later, the aircraft is in terrible condition — a fact driven home by the DoD’s own official report on the state of the F-35 and the bugs that continue to plague it.

The report was released two days ago, but a number of links to the PDF have died; you can access the HTML text via Google cache if the above isn’t working. It discusses all variants of the F-35, but focuses on the F-35B, the short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing version of the aircraft developed for the US Marines, and adopted by the Royal Navy as well as the RAF.

There’s a line of thinking that argues criticizing the F-35 has become “fashionable,” and is based on a desire to drive Web traffic rather than an objective evaluation of the aircraft’s shortcomings. The government’s own report on the F-35B’s readiness refutes such arguments.

The state of the F-35
Before we dive into the report’s findings, we need to cover some of its terminology. The Air Force uses block numbers to denote differences in an aircraft’s capability. Sometimes these block numbers are specific to an entire aircraft (e.g., the F16A/B Block 20). In the F-35’s case, there are also block numbers for many of its subsystems.

The US Marine Corps declared the F-35B Block 2B had reached Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in July, 2015. As the DoD notes, however:

If used in combat, the Block 2B F-35 will need support from command and control elements to avoid threats, assist in target acquisition, and control weapons employment for the limited weapons carriage available (i.e., two bombs, two air-to-air missiles). Block 2B deficiencies in fusion, electronic warfare, and weapons employment result in ambiguous threat displays, limited ability to respond to threats, and a requirement for off-board sources to provide accurate coordinates for precision attack. Since Block 2B F-35 aircraft are limited to two air-to-air missiles, they will require other support if operations are contested by enemy fighter aircraft.

Block 2B’s limitations aren’t going to be solved at any point in the near future. One major problem with the F-35 is that solutions to existing software problems are being punted down the road into future blocks in order to meet development timetables. Block 3i development testing began for a third time in March 2015, after two previous starts in May and September 2014. Again, from the report:

Block 3i began with re-hosting immature Block 2B software and capabilities into avionics components with new processors. Though the program originally intended that Block 3i would not introduce new
capabilities and not inherit technical problems from earlier blocks, this is what occurred. The Air Force insisted on fixes for five of the most severe deficiencies inherited from Block 2B as a prerequisite to use the final Block 3i capability in the Air Force IOC aircraft… However, Block 3i struggled during developmental testing (DT), due to the inherited deficiencies and new avionics stability problems.

Block 3F also began development in March 2015, 11 months behind schedule. It’s far behind where it’s supposed to be; the DoD states that Block 3F developers spent most of 2015 squashing bugs in Block 3i.

Originally, the F-35 was expected to enter Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E) by August 2017. The DoD declares this “unrealistic.” Block 3F development and flight-testing isn’t expected to be completed until January, 2018.

For want of a nail
The F-35’s buggy flight software is scarcely the only problem. The F-35 loads specific profiles for every mission it flies. These profiles are designed to “to drive sensor search parameters and to identify and correlate sensor detections, such as threat and friendly radar signals.”

F35-Availability
The F-35’s availability by deployment location
Currently, the US Reprogramming Lab is plagued by “significant deficiencies that preclude efficient development and adequate testing of effective mission data loads for Block 3F.” Despite being given a $45 million budget in fiscal year 2013, the USRL has not engaged in the necessary upgrades. The estimated time to finish the upgrades is two years. Without them, the DoD estimates the F-35 faces “significant limitations” to its combat capability against existing threats.

Weapon delivery accuracy (WDA) tests have been pushed back to the point that they can no longer be completed by the original mid-2017 Initial Operational Capability target date. Of the 15 tests scheduled for the Block 2B F-35, three were pushed back into Block 3i / 3F testing. Here’s another fun quote:

Eleven of the 12 events required intervention by the developmental test control team to overcome system deficiencies and ensure a successful event (i.e., acquire and identify the target and engage it with a weapon). The program altered the event scenario for three of these events, as well as the twelfth event, specifically to work around F-35 system deficiencies (e.g., changing target spacing or restricting target maneuvers and countermeasures).

The laundry list of problems continues. There’s no Verification Simulation in place for the F-35, despite eight years of work and $250 million in funding. The average availability of the F-35 for operations was 51% in 2015, well below the 60% availability goal. (This metric has, at least, improved in recent years.) The F-35 spent 21% more time down for maintenance and waited 51% longer for parts than anticipated. Between 10-20% of the fleet was grounded at any given time, due to the need to rework the aircraft to install upgrades or for repairs.

The F-35’s logistics and maintenance needs are supposed to be governed by a next-generation system, codenamed ALIS (Autonomic Logistics Information System). The report notes that “many critical deficiencies remain which require maintenance personnel to implement workarounds to address the unresolved problems.”

Ejecting might kill you
Ejection tests on the F-35 are troubling, to say the least. The third-generation helmet display system for the F-35 is heavier than its predecessors, which may be causing issues for the aircraft. Pilots weighing less than 136 lbs are prohibited from flying the F-35, because the ejection seat tests show stresses that’ll snap the neck of regular human beings.

EjectionSeatTesting
Ejection seat testing on the F-35
Pilots between 136 and 165 lbs are cleared to fly the F-35, despite a formal “serious” risk rating. Again, here’s the DoD: “The level of risk was labeled ‘serious’ by the Program Office based on the probability of death being 23 percent, and the probability of neck extension (which will result in some level of injury) being 100 percent. Currently, the Program Office and the Services have decided to accept this level of risk to pilots in this weight range, although the basis for the decision to accept these risks is unknown.”

DefenseOne has a list of additional errors and flaws with the aircraft worth perusing. ALIS doesn’t track new versus used parts correctly. Its integrated system for measuring whether or not the aircraft exceeded design limits during flight doesn’t work. It can’t load mission profiles without direct support from Lockheed-Martin.

The failure of concurrency
The F-35’s problems are at least partially the result of allowing Lockheed Martin to pursue concurrent flight design and active deployment. The idea behind concurrency was that Lockheed Martin could begin building an aircraft while still fine-tuning various aspects of its design. In theory, applied to much simpler vehicles, it might have worked, especially if the F-35 had been a modest evolution of an existing aircraft.

Applied to the F-35, concurrency has been a disaster. Right now, every single F-35 already built will need to be extensively overhauled to meet its minimum performance targets. It’s one thing to overhaul a ship or aircraft to improve its baseline capabilities, and something else entirely when the aircraft as delivered can’t execute its mission.

The report argues strongly against the use of a so-called “block buy” strategy in which up to 270 aircraft would be purchased in bulk to achieve theoretical savings. If F-35 production continues at its current rate, more than 500 aircraft will have been built by the time the design is finalized — and all of them will need to be refitted to one degree or another to “provide full Block 3F combat capability.”

The F-35 isn’t just the most expensive fighter plane ever built, with total program cost estimates over the lifetime of the aircraft now between $320 – $400 billion, depending on how you count. It’s also expected to spend the longest in development.

Just for fun, I pulled data on a number of other high-profile US aircraft over the last forty years. The F-16 and F/A-18 took six and eight years to go from first flight to combat-certified. The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber first flew in 1989 and was fully certified only in 2003, some 14 years later. The F/A-18E (Super Hornet) had a quick bring-up time of just five years, while the F-22 Raptor took a decade between first flight and full certification. Clearly the trend has been towards longer development times; the F/A-18E is an outlier in that regard.

With that said, the F-35 is in a class of its own. First flight took place in 2006. According to the DoD, full WDA testing on the Block 3F software won’t be complete until 2021. By that point, the Block 4 software should be in the field. It’s not clear from this report which milestones must be passed to certify the aircraft as fully operational. But if the WDA tests are part of that process, it’ll be another five years before the F-35 is “done” — a full 50% longer than any aircraft has taken before.

Anybody else thinking unmanned drones are looking really useful — and inexpensive — right about now?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Long list of problems, and fixes, follow jet to Cleveland air show
http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2016/03/long_list_of_problems_ follow_j.html

The F-35 fighter has been plagued with problems during development and early testing, but the Pentagon and contractors say it will fly safely and effectively when fully ready for combat. (U.S. Department of Defense)
Print Email Stephen Koff, cleveland.com Washington Bureau Chief By Stephen Koff, cleveland.com Washington Bureau Chief

on March 08, 2016 at 6:30 AM, updated March 08, 2016 at 10:11 AM
WASHINGTON – Northeast Ohioans will glimpse the future of aerial warfare when a military fighter jet, the F-35 Lightning, flies at the Cleveland National Air Show on Labor Day weekend.

They might also get a glimpse at scandal, although the Pentagon and the plane's developer, Lockheed Martin, say the aircraft's troublesome days are behind it.

Amid the excitement of the end-of-summer Cleveland air show are these facts, controversies and claims about the advanced aircraft – facts and claims directly affecting Ohioans beyond the holiday weekend's public relations display.

Cleveland National Air Show is the first civilian show with both F-22 and F-35 fighter planes.

Why the F-35 is being built

The F-35 is also called the Joint Strike Fighter, because versions are not only being built for the Air Force, Navy and Marines but also for Great Britain and other allies. The most expensive weapons system ever built, about 500 of the aircraft have been completed so far in the program's 14 years of existence, although they have not yet been tested in combat conditions.

The Pentagon ultimately wants 2,457 of the aircraft, because the F-35 is supposed to replace a number of earlier-era fighter models – and because China and Russia are building their air capabilities.

The program is way over budget

The F-35 program cost is now nearly $400 billion. That's $163 billion more than anticipated, a price so high that, as Newsweek put it, industry wags call it "the plane that ate the Pentagon."

There are different ways to view this number. It unquestionably grew. But at the same time, the number of aircraft actually shrank, says a watchdog group called the Project on Government Oversight, or POGO. The Pentagon originally wanted 2,866 of the aircraft, not 2,457. When accounting for the budget on a per-plane basis, the price has nearly doubled.

The Pentagon and the program's prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, say that costs rose partly because they were developing, modifying and building at the same time. They say they now have a better handle on costs, and Lockheed Martin says the price has not changed in several years.

The F-35 has had problems

The F-35's problems have run deep.

The plane "is plagued by design flaws and cost overruns," concluded an in-depth piece in Vanity Fair in 2013. "It flies only in good weather. The computers that run it lack the software they need for combat. No one can say for certain when the plane will work as advertised."

Business Insider listed key problems that the Pentagon identified in 2014: software delays, the fuel tank design, lightning protection, problems carrying out attacks at certain angles, display issues in the computer-rigged pilot's helmet and reliability issues with ejection seat assemblies, among other things.

The Washington Post last October revealed that the Pentagon found serious problems with the plane's pilot-ejection system – despite warnings that Pentagon brass rejected earlier – that put the pilot's head at risk of snapping forward or backward. Lighter-weight pilots were therefore banned from flying the F-35 until the problems could be fixed.

An F-35 caught fire while taxiing down the runway at Elgin Air Force Base in Florida in June 2014, prompting Foreign Policy magazine to call the aircraft "the Pentagon's $399 billion plane to nowhere."

And more problems

Don't just take the media's word for it. Last April, the Government Accountability Office, which works for Congress, said the F-35's engine reliability "is poor and has a long way to go to meet program goals." Also, "Cost and affordability challenges remain."

The Department of Defense Inspector General found in 2013 that the F-35 program lacked quality-assurance systems to prevent hardware and software problems that could affect the plane's performance and reliability.

And in January this year, the Pentagon's director of operational testing and evaluation told Congress of his concerns about the plane's computer, design and testing program. Essentially, wrote J. Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon's top official for testing, "every aircraft bought to date requires modifications prior to use in combat."

The problems are being addressed

Unforeseen problems pop up when you develop something new, especially an aircraft this technologically advanced, say the F-35's many proponents. The Pentagon acknowledges many issues of the past.

"Hey, you know what the good news is?" Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the executive director for the F-35 program, said at an air and space conference in 2014. He mentioned issues with the helmet, the plane's software, its inability to fly in lightning and the fact that if it had to dump fuel, the whole plane would be sopped. Those "are all past problems," he said. "We have solutions for those."

Bogdan did not deny the problems mentioned by the Pentagon's top tester recently. But he issued a statement saying the critical comments did not "fully address program efforts to resolve" the issues. "Our government and industry team has a proven track record of overcoming technical challenges discovered during developmental and operational testing and fleet operations, and delivering on program commitments," Bogdan said.

As for the GAO report on engine reliability, engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, a partner with Lockheed Martin, issued a statement citing substantial improvements. "Contrary to the GAO report," the company told cleveland.com, engine reliability "has improved across the board and will continue to improve as more engines are introduced into service."

This is a jobs program, too

It's a well-known and much-practiced strategy: If you want support, spread out the work. Or, as Lockheed Martin says on a website featuring a map of the United States, "See how the F-35 contributes to your state's economy."

In Ohio, there are 44 suppliers, providing 2,623 direct and indirect jobs, Lockheed Martin says. With full production, the job numbers nationwide – currently 133,000 -- could double, the company says. Work on the F-35 is being performed in 44 states and Puerto Rico.

Eaton Corp., whose North American operations are headquartered in Cleveland, is an F-35 subcontractor. Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin is another subcontractor, and described the plane to cleveland.com as a technological marvel with capabilities far beyond those of those of other nations' aircraft.

Ohio-based politicians appear convinced. They not only want those jobs for Ohioans; they also want some of the planes to stick around in Ohio for a lot longer than an air show.

Just last month, Ohio U.S. Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, along with Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Bob Latta, wrote to Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James to make their case: Please base an F-35 mission in the Swanton, near Toledo – home of the Ohio Air National Guard's 180th Fighter Wing. The base is within 600 miles of 60 percent of the people living in the United States, making it ideal for homeland security and national missions, they said.

Compared with other basing alternatives, Northwest Ohio is "a superb, cost-effective choice," the lawmakers said.

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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BBC don't seem to have noticed ANY of the F-35's MANY problems
funny that!


RAF's F-35 fighter 'star of the show' at Air Tattoo
7 July 2016 Last updated at 06:50 BST BBC
The RAF and Royal Navy's new F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter will be the star of the show at the Royal International Air Tattoo at the weekend.
The event at RAF Fairford on the Gloucestershire/Wiltshire border will give engineers in Bristol's aerospace industry the chance to see the new aeroplane, which they have helped to build, in action.
The aircraft, which cost more than £70m to make, can take off and land vertically.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-36730371

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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marvellous

PENTAGON: F-35 WON’T HAVE A CHANCE IN REAL COMBAT
By Veterans Today
http://www.stopthef35.com/pentagon-f-35-wont-have-a-chance-in-real-com bat/

Fatal flaws within the cockpit of the US military’s most expensive fighter jet ever are causing further problems with the Pentagon’s dubious F-35 program.

Just weeks after a fleet of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters was grounded for reasons unrelated, a new report from the Pentagon warns that any pilot that boards the pricey aircraft places himself in danger without even going into combat.

In a leaked memo from the Defense Department’s director of the Operational Test and Evaluation Directorate to the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon official prefaces a report on the F-35 by cautioning that even training missions cannot be safely performed on board the aircraft at this time.

“The training management system lags in development compared to the rest of the Integrated Training Center and does not yet have all planned functionality,” the report reads in part.

In other sections of the lengthy DoD analysis, Operational Test and Evaluation Directorate Director J. Michael Gilmore outlines a number of flaws that jeopardize the safety of any pilot that enters the aircraft.

“The out-of-cockpit visibility in the F-35A is less than other Air Force fighter aircraft,” one excerpt reads.

Elsewhere, Gilmore includes quotes from pilots commenting after test missions onboard the aircraft: “The head rest is too large and will impede aft [rear] visibility and survivability during surface and air engagements,” said one. “Aft visibility will get the pilot gunned [down] every time” in dogfights, remarked another.

“Aft visibility could turn out to be a significant problem for all F-35 pilots in the future,” the Pentagon admits.

In one chart included in the report, the Pentagon says there are eight crucial flaws with the aircraft that have raises serious red flags within the Department of Defense. The plane’s lack of maturity, reduced pilot situational awareness during an emergency and the risk of the aircraft’s fuel barriers catching fire are also cited, as is the likelihood of a pilot in distress becoming unable to escape his aircraft during an emergency — or perhaps drowning in event of an evacuation over water.

The Pilot Vehicle Interface, or PVI, is also listed as not up to snuff. Documented deficiencies regarding the F-35 pilot’s helmet-mounted display and other aspects of the PVI are named, and the result could mean grave consequences.

“There is no confidence that the pilot can perform critical tasks safely,” the report reads.

The latest news regarding the F-35s comes less than one month after a separate incident forced the Department of Defense to ground their entire arsenal of the fighter jets. In February, jet makers Lockheed Martin issued a statement acknowledging that a routine inspection on a test plane at Edwards Air Force Base in California turned up cracked turbine blade.

“Safety is always our first consideration, and the joint inspection team is focused on ensuring the integrity of the engines across the entire fleet so the F-35s can safely return to flight as soon as possible,” the manufacture told the media. In response, Joint Program Office spokeswoman Kyra Hawn confirmed that all F-35 flight operations were suspended as a precautionary measure “until the investigation is complete and the cause of the blade crack is fully understood.” Just weeks later, though, a new report is already causing fresh problems for the F-35 program.

Each F-35 fighter jet is valued at $238 million and, according to recent estimates, the entire operation will cost the country $1 trillion in order to keep the jets up and running through 2050.

SOURCE: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/03/11/243047/

F35 JSF STEALTH FAILS AGAIN
June 21, 2016



The American company given a contract to provide the biggest weapons purchased in
Australia’s history has launched a public relations offensive. the controversial
F35 jet fighters have been played by big costs and big delays.

COULD NETWORK FAILURE GROUND THE F-35


By Lara Seligman
May 16, 2016

The F-35 joint program office and a top government watchdog are butting heads about a key question for the joint strike fighter: whether or not the fifth-generation plane can fly if disconnected from a key logistics system.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 BASHING
March 21, 2016

In the budget proposal for fiscal 2017, the Air Force finally relented, and said it would keep the plane on board until 2022, though there are plans to retire large numbers of the aircraft in 2018 and 2019.

Welsh said he is in a difficult position, and being forced to argue for retiring the A-10 despite not wanting to do it. Yet the lack of funding and stress on airmen is forcing his hand, and the Air Force must shift resources over to newer fifth-generation planes, he told the committee.

McCain also criticized the budget proposal for the Air Force, saying that it places “an unnecessary and dangerous burden on the backs of our airmen.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

FLYOFF THE A-10 VERSUS THE F-35
May 16, 2016

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., is renewing her fight to keep the A-10 out of the boneyard. She wants to make retirement of the legacy attack plane contingent on a “flyoff” with the fifth-generation F-35.

McSally, a retired Air Force colonel with hundreds of hours flying the A-10 in Iraq and Afghanistan, spearheaded language in the House’s version of the fiscal 2017 defense policy bill that would tie the service’s A-10 retirement plan to a side-by-side comparisontest with the F-35.

“The official part of our proposal is to actually do a test, not just sit around drinking coffee saying: ‘This is what we think,’ ” McSally, R-Ariz., said in a recent interview.

“This is an important part of the official evaluation so that we can have a data-based, assessment-based discussion as to what to do next.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

ONE IN THREE F-35 FLIGHTS REQUIRES SYSTEM REBOOT
By Lara Seligman
May 9, 2016

F-35 critics often point to the Pentagon’s decision to start building the fifth-generation fighter before design and testing is complete as the root of the program’s problems. Even now, as the Air Force prepares to declare its F-35A jets operational this year, so-called “concurrency” remains an obstacle.

These ongoing challenges were on full display at Edwards last week during a development test flight of an Air Force F-35A, when the jet’s team was on the ground troubleshooting for nearly two hours before the aircraft finally launched.

The problem, which revolves around a glitch in the next increment of F-35 software, is a recurring one that causes the plane’s systems to shut down and have to be rebooted – sometimes even mid-flight.

Officials say development test pilots here have trouble booting up their jets about once out of every three flights, but downplayed the problem, pointing out that the goal of test flights is indeed to test, find problems, and work to fix them.

[FULL ARTICLE]

PENTAGON DELAYS F-35 TESTING DUE TO SOFTWARE GLITCH


May 25, 2016

Despite the ongoing risks that the Lockheed Martin fighter jets will crash to the earth, the Pentagon plans to spend an additional $16 billion on another batch of F-35s.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon finally acknowledged that the beleaguered F-35 fighter jet will not be ready for its final test phase until 2018 at the earliest, the latest in a series of setbacks for the expensive next-generation aircraft.

The last major test period before full-rate production, the initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) examines whether an aircraft possesses the requisite combat specifics, and ensures that a jet can fly operational missions as intended.

Due to software problems in the F-35, Pentagon officials have postponed the test date for six months past the August 2017 target date, out of an abundance of concern that the jet will not be ready. This is the second major delay in flight-readiness testing, placing the fighter jet an entire year behind schedule.

[FULL ARTICLE]

FLYING PUBLIC RELATIONS BLITZ? PENTAGON FINDS ONLY GOOD USE FOR F-35


March 26, 2016

With its reputation effectively flown through the mud, the F-35 will seek public approval by performing alongside WWII fighters in an air show tour.

With a price tag of over $1 trillion, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been riddled with problems that include everything from cybersecurity issues to basic flight capabilities.

“[The F-35] has already been in development for more than twenty years,” reads a report conducted by the non-profit Project on Government Oversight. “The plane is still years away from being capable of providing any real contribution to the [US] national defense if, in fact, it ever will be.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

ALL THE WAYS THE F-35 IS SCREWED UP, ACCORDING TO THE PENTAGON’S TOP WEAPONS TESTER


By Dan Lamothe
February 4, 2016

The Pentagon’s top weapons tester has condemned aspects of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program in a new report, raising questions about the $1.5-trillion effort’s ability to meet its already slipped production schedule, synthesize information on the battlefield and keep aircraft available to fly.

The 82-page report was distributed to Congress last month, and released publicly this week. It was completed by Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation. He reports directly to Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter, and carries out independent assessments for both Carter and members of Congress.

The report raises serious questions about whether the Pentagon should initiate a three-year “block buy” of up to 450 fighter jets beginning in 2018, something that was floated last year in the Defense Department as a way to save money. Doing so would drive down the cost of each single-seat, single engine aircraft and increase fielding of the jet to both the U.S. military and international partners like Australia and Britain, defense officials said.

[FULL ARTICLE]

WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE TO FLY THE F-35


By Ian Greenhalgh
April 19, 2016

You’ve heard what the critics have to say, now let’s see what the pilots think

You must have heard about the F-35 debacle by now, a sad tale of huge cost overruns and an aircraft that has been called ‘the worst thing the USA ever procured’ by some commentators.

Aside from the obvious corruption involved in the F-35’s troubled development (is anything involving John McCain ever anything other than corrupt) and the resultant incredible sums of money spent on the project, there is the very real danger that the USA mind find itself armed with an aircraft that simply doesn’t work.

Whether it’s the gun that won’t fire or the ejector seat that is lethal to pilots that aren’t overweight, the tales of woe are endless. Even before the aircraft had entered service the jokes were well known:

How many F-35s does it take to change a lightbulb?

Three: One to change the criteria of changing a lightbulb, the second to undergo maintenance, and the third to tell the press the lightbulb has been changed.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 CRITICAL SOFTWARE NOT ALL THAT CRITICAL


By Dan Grazier
April 20, 2016

Last summer, F-35 program officer Lt. Gen. Bogdan said the F-35’s logistics systemwas “the brains and blood of operating this weapons system.” Despite many fixes, the aircraft’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) is so flawed that government auditors believe the computer system may not be deployable. These problems may alsodelay the Air Force’s declaration of Initial Operational Capability. And now, in a surprising twist, General Bogdan is saying ALIS is not really critical after all, insisting the F-35 can fly without it for 30 days.

F-35 supporters enjoy telling people how the plane is a “flying computer,” as if that alone makes it worth the hundreds of billions of dollars spent so far. Lockheed Martin goes one step farther, calling it a “supercomputer” in its own promotional materials.

[FULL ARTICLE]

GLITCH COULD GROUND F-35


By Tyler Dumont
April 25,2016

The F-35 is called the most ambitious and expensive weapon system in the Department of Defense’s history, costing hundreds of billions.

Eighteen of the planes are set to land in Vermont in just three years.

At the core of the F-35 is a software system known as ALIS, essentially, the aircraft’s brain and just as important as the engine and airframe.

“Quite simply, if you don’t have a functioning ALIS, you really don’t have an F-35, the way it’s designed,” said Cary Russell, the director of defense capabilities and management with the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

The Autonomic Logistics Information Systems monitors almost everything, from engine diagnostics to navigation and target data coming from servers that are not on board.

Now, a report from a federal watchdog group says there’s a chance the connection to those external servers could fail, with no backup.

[FULL ARTICLE]

MCCAIN: F-35 IS BOTH A SCANDAL AND A TRAGEDY
By Ryan Browne
April 27, 2016

Sen. John McCain slammed the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s troubled history Tuesday, saying it “has been both a scandal and a tragedy with respect to cost, schedule and performance.”

The development of the Joint Strike Fighter, a fifth-generation stealth jet, has been beset by spiraling costs and schedule delays. The program’s price tag is nearly $400 billion for 2,457 planes — almost twice the initial estimate.
[FULL ARTICLE]
GAO REPORT CITES CONTINUED NEED FOR F-35 OVERSIGHT
Apr 26, 2016

Development of New Capabilities Requires Continued Oversight
WHAT GAO FOUND
Although the estimated F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) program acquisition costs have decreased since 2014, the program continues to face significant affordability challenges. The Department of Defense (DOD) plans to begin increasing production and expects to spend more than $14 billion annually for nearly a decade on procurement of F-35 aircraft. Currently, the program has around 20 percent of development testing remaining, including complex mission systems software testing, which will be challenging. At the same time, the contractors that build the F-35 airframes and engines continue to report improved manufacturing efficiency and supply chain performance.

DOD plans to manage F-35 modernization as part of the existing program baseline and is exploring the use of a single contract to procure multiple lots of future aircraft. Both courses of action have oversight implications. DOD has begun planning and funding significant new development work to add to the F-35’s capabilities. Known as Block 4, the funding needed for this effort is projected to be nearly $3 billion over the next 6 years (see figure below), which would qualify it as a major defense acquisition program in its own right.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 FAILS TESTING
By Clay Dillow
April 28, 2016



Software glitches continue to dog the nation’s newest fighter jet.

Five of six Air Force F-35 fighter jets were unable to take off during a recent exercise due to software bugs that continue to hamstring the world’s most sophisticated—and most expensive—warplane.

During a mock deployment at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, just one of the $100 million Lockheed Martin LMT 0.63% F-35s was able to boot its software successfully and get itself airborne during an exercise designed to test the readiness of the F-35, FlightGlobal reports. Nonetheless, the Air Force plans to declare its F-35s combat-ready later this year.

[FULL ARTICLE]

MILITARY ADMITS BILLION-DOLLAR WAR TOY F-35 IS F**KED
By David Axe
March 17, 2016

Officials are finally admitting the F-35 fighter has turned into a nightmare—but it’s too late to stop the $400 billion program now.
Way back in the early 2000s, the U.S. military had a dream. To develop a new “universal” jet fighter that could do, well, pretty much everything that the military asks its different fighters to do.

But the dream of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter turned into a nightmare. The program is six years behind schedule and tens of billions of dollars over budget. And now, 16 years after the JSF prototypes took off for their first flights, top officials are finally owning up to the trauma the $400 billion fighter program has inflicted on America’s finances and war readiness.

In a remarkable period, beginning in February and lasting several weeks, senior officers and high-ranking bureaucrats finally publicly copped to the warplane program’s fundamental failures.

[FULL ARTICLE]

U.S. MILITARY OFFICIALS CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES IF TROUBLED F-35 PROGRAM CAN’T MOVE FORWARD
March 23, 2016



U.S. military officials reportedly are considering alternatives that include restarting the F-22 advanced tactical fighter line or developing advanced versions of the F-15 or F/A-18 combat aircraft if the F-35 joint strike fighter program fails. The National Interest reports.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 ENGINES HAVE RECURRING FLAWS
By Anthony Capaccio
March 31, 2016

United Technologies Corp.’s performance building engines for the F-35 fighter has been beset by “recurring manufacturing quality issues,” according to the Defense Department’s annual report on its costliest weapons program.

The contractor’s Pratt & Whitney military aircraft unit met the goal for delivering engines last year, but quality deficiencies in “turbine blades and electronic control systems resulted in maintenance activity to remove suspect hardware from the operational fleet,” according to the latest Selected Acquisition Report sent to Congress and obtained by Bloomberg News.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 IS STILL A SHOCKING DISASTER
By Charles P. Pierce
March 30, 2016

It’s been a while since we checked in with the F-35 Flying Swiss Army Knife, the airplane that ate the federal budget. Let’s see if they’ve gotten all the bugs out of the system yet.

Nope.

“While Pratt & Whitney has implemented a number of design changes that have resulted in significant reliability improvements, the F-35A and F-35B engines are still at about 55 percent and 63 percent, respectively, of where the program expected them to be at this point,” said the report by the Government Accountability Office. The F-35A is the Air Force version of the plane, and the F-35B is the Marine Corps version, which is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings. There is also an F-35C Navy version designed for carrier operations.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 RADAR SOFTWARE FAILS IN THE AIR
By Richard Chirgwin
March 8, 2016

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has run into yet another software bug, according to a report in IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly.

The glitch is in the software that operates the fighter’s radar. During flight, Jane’s reckons, the radar software becomes unstable.

The report quotes US Air Force Major General Jeffrey Harrigian as saying “What would happen is [pilots would] get a signal that says either a radar degrade or a radar fail – something that would force us to restart the radar”.

He said the problem was discovered in 2015, and that Lockheed-Martin is now running a fix through its test labs, with a patch due this month.

The USAF believes the glitch won’t get in the way of it reaching “initial operational capability” for the F-35 between August and December this year.

The F-35’s software has been raised again in Australia courtesy of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Background Briefing program over the weekend.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 REMAINS PLAGUED BY DEFICIENCIES
By Jim W. Dean
Feb. 5, 2016

[ Jim Dean’s Note: Yes, I know this is an old story, but with an important new twist, in that the continued deficiencies of the F-35 are detailed by the Pentagon’s own testing expert. This is no anti-war, America haters bashing the program. For the program to be stopped from more billions being wasted on this disaster, it will take a coalition of inside and outside people to do it.

And work needs to get started, scrapping what we have, and frankly trying to copy what the Russian have, if they can do it — a modular build where upgrades, especially hardware, can be added later without a ground-up rebuild, which the defense contractors prefer, as it is hugely more expensive… Jim W. Dean ]

_____________

– First published … February 05, 2016 –

The US Defense Department has warned that the highly advanced F-35 fighter jet remains plagued by dangerous problems that will further complicate the most expensive weapons project in history.

The report, which was prepared by Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation, raises serious questions about whether the US military should risk committing itself to buying billions of dollars of the F-35s before they have demonstrated they are fit for combat.

The fifth-generation stealth warplanes, which are being built in three different versions by Lockheed Martin Corp, will form the backbone of the us military’s future fighter fleet.

In the latest blow to the program, engineers uncovered numerous technical problems during extensive testing of the newest versions of the F-35, the Pentagon report found, adding to a list of issues including software bugs, technical glitches and cost overruns.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 STILL FAILING TO IMPRESS
By Dan Grazier & Mandy Smithberger
March 7, 2016

The Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) recently released a scathing assessment of the F-35 program as part of his annual report. Buried inside 48 pages of highly technical language is a gripping story of mismanagement, delayed tests, serious safety issues, a software nightmare, and maintenance problems crippling half the fleet at any given time.

The report makes clear just how far the F-35 program still has to go in the development process. Some of the technical challenges facing the program will take yea
rs to correct, and as a result, the F-35’s operationally demonstrated suitability for combat will not be known until 2022 at the earliest. While rumors that the program office would ask for a block buy of nearly 500 aircraft in the FY 2017 budget proposal did not pan out, officials have indicated they may make such a request next year. The DOT&E report clearly shows any such block commitments before 2022 are premature.

[FULL ARTICLE]

AUSTRALIAN INVESTIGATIVE REPORT ON JSF F35
by Jonathan Green
Mar. 6, 2016

Is the Joint Strike Fighter the right plane for Australia?

The JSF is not terribly fast and it’s not terribly agile, and the high tech helmet could take the pilots head off if there is a mishap. Sarah Dingle investigates the over budget and over due Joint Strike Fighter

[FULL ARTICLE]

DANISH PILOTS TALK ABOUT THE F-35
By Solomon
Feb. 25, 2016

Listen to what the pilots say about the F-35? How about this retired LTCol from the Danish Air Force!

via Australian Senate Submission on the F-35 (Link and item 35).

“We also simulated Joint Strike Fighter against Russian fighter aircraft where we flew two against two.
In the forenoon I and the Danish test pilot was flying Joint Strike Fighters against two Russian fighters. Inthe afternoon we swapped, so we flew Russian fighter aircraft against the Joint Strike Fighter.
In the afternoon the first thing the test pilot and I noticed was that the Russian fighters was not loaded with the best air-to-air missiles as the Russians have in real life. We therefore asked about getting some better. It was denied us. We two pilots complained but it was not changed.
My test pilot and I decided in our simulated Russian combat aircraft to fly “line abreast”, but with 25 nautical miles distance. Then at least one of us could with radar look into the side of the Joint Strike Fighter and thus view it at long distance. The one who “saw” the Joint Strike Fighter could then link the radar image to the other. Then missiles could be fired at long distance at the Joint Strike Fighter.
It was also denied us, although we protested this incomprehensible disposition.
It was now quite clear to us that with the directives and emotional limitations simulations would in no waygive a true and fair view of anything. On the other hand, it would show that the Joint Strike Fighter was a good air defense fighter, which in no way can be inferred from the simulations. We spoke loudly and clearly that this way was manipulating with the Joint Strike Fighter air defence capability.

[FULL ARTICLE]

THE COMANCHE AND THE ALBATROSS
By Col Michael W. Pietrucha, USAF
May-June 2014

The Air Force intended eventually to replace much of the post-Vietnam fighter fleet with the F-35A. This stealthy aircraft possesses advanced technology and was intended to be no more expensive than the aircraft it was designed to supplant. The Air Force sought to buy 1,763 F-35As—the number required to replace every F-16, A-10, and F-117 then in service. Rather than an affordable, capable fighter aircraft operational in large numbers by 2015, the F-35 continues to arrive late and cost more than anticipated. Program delays, unmet performance requirements, and spiraling costs have recently run full tilt into an austere budgetary environment. Budgetary realities should serve as an impetus to reexamine the Air Force’s participation in the F-35 program and the future of the fighter force.

[FULL ARTICLE]

PENTAGON POSTPONES RETIREMENT OF A-10S
By John Sowell

Feb. 26, 2016

The Islamic State unwittingly forced the U.S. Air Force to continue flying one of ISIS’ fiercest enemies: the A-10 Thunderbolt II.

The Air Force was all set to retire the jet, known affectionately among its crews as the Warthog. Then it was pressed into service last year against the Islamic State in the Mideast, where it drew rave reviews.

“I saw some of the A-10s that are flying bombing missions against ISIL (the Pentagon’s term for Islamic State) when I was at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey last December,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter told members of a House appropriations subcommittee during testimony Thursday on the Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

The A-10, Carter told the committee, will continue flying until at least 2022.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 STILL A TRAIN WRECK
BY ALLAN BOURDIUS
Feb. 5, 2016

Now that votes are finally being cast, most Hot Air content is going to be revolving around the ongoing campaign, but it’s important we don’t lose sight of issue details that could wind up affecting the race, especially in areas where traditional Republican stances could leave one or more candidates very, very vulnerable.

National defense is a perennial Republican running point. More troops, more ships, more planes, more dollars is pretty much the mantra of every candidate. The worrisome story of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) – a.k.a. the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II – has been addressed here before by Jazz Shaw (July 1, 2015 and August 15, 2015), and since then, has gotten worse, not better. The F-35 is the most expensive defense acquisition project ever with projected costs exceeding $1.3 trillion.

[FULL ARTICLE]

FDA NOMINEE CALIFF GAVE QUESTIONABLE ANSWERS TO SENATE
By POGO
February 4, 2016

As President Obama’s nominee for FDA Commissioner, former Duke University researcher Robert Califf has faced questions about the independence of clinical trials he conducted for drug companies.

At a confirmation hearing in November and in a written response to later questions from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Califf offered comforting answers. He said that plans for clinical trials are subject to FDA review.

But those answers omitted some history that might be less reassuring: a clinical trial Califf had co-chaired was conducted in defiance of FDA guidance.

[FULL ARTICLE]

DESPITE DECADES OF STEALTH, STICKING POINTS BEDEVIL F-35 JET
By CLYDE HABERMAN
JAN. 24, 2016



One of the earliest stealth weapons on record was a stone used by the young Israelite David to kill the Philistine giant Goliath. In the biblical account, David shunned the conventional armaments of his time: sword, helmet, armor. Instead, he went forth with a slingshot and a few stones, kept undetected in a pouch. As any schoolchild knows, one well-aimed fling was all it took to put Goliath down for good. The big guy never saw it coming.

It is not clear to what extent David tested his weapon before doing battle, but he presumably had experimented. The first Book of Samuel tells how he had earlier struck and killed a lion and a bear that menaced the sheep he tended.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 TOTAL DISASTER
By Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry
January 27, 2016

The F-35 is an absolute disaster, and it needs to go. The scandals around it are legion.

The supersonic stealth plane called the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was supposed to be the greatest and best military plane the world has ever seen. While the United States’ stealthy F-22 is an “air superiority” plane, ensuring the country’s dominance over the skies, which is why exporting it is illegal, the F-35 was supposed to be able to do everything, and be the standard fighter-bomber of the U.S. and most countries with which the U.S. has friendly relations. It was supposed to be stealthy, to be able take off and land vertically, and to know everything about everything thanks to its amazing software and sensors. It can’t do any of those things so far.

The program has cost $1.3 trillion so far. By comparison, the Apollo Program, which actually sent people to the moon, cost about $170 billion in 2005 dollars. The F-35 is literally the most expensive military project in history. By 2014, the program was $163 billion over budget, and seven years behind schedule.

[FULL ARTICLE]

GROUND HOG DAY: DE-BUGGING THE F-35
By BP
February 8, 2016

It seems the F-35 fighter; aka the most expensive weapons system ever, hasn’t been in the news too often lately. And most of the news out that is out there is awful, according to reports in early February. If or when the jet fighters do fly on a regular basis, at some point in the future some will be used by the Vermont Air National Guard and based at the Burlington airport. This is over objections from residents in nearby towns over possible noise levels during take-off and landings — so, here’s a heads up for Vermonters.

If you care to read more details, that can be done here. But these three descriptive headlines provide a more than adequate, quick summary: The Version That the Marines Are Using Is Very Buggy; ALIS [Autonomic Logistics Information System] Is Still Terrible, Perhaps Even Getting Worse; and my favorite, Lockouts, Confusion, etc.

[FULL ARTICLE]

DOT&E CONCERNS ABOUT THE F-35
by Bryan Myers & Sheila MacVicar
February 2, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The bad news for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter – the most expensive weapons program in history, with an estimated price tag of $1.4 trillion – continues to pile up.

In a stark new assessment, a Pentagon report documents significant and on-going problems with the F-35 program. America Tonight has obtained a copy of that report in advance of its release.

The findings [PDF], which were made by Dr. J. Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), include:

[FULL ARTICLE]

DECADES OF STEALTH STICKING POINTS BEDEVIL F-35
Despite Decades of Stealth Sticking Points Bedevil F 35 JetBy CLYDE HABERMAN
JAN. 24, 2016

One of the earliest stealth weapons on record was a stone used by the young Israelite David to kill the Philistine giant Goliath. In the biblical account, David shunned the conventional armaments of his time: sword, helmet, armor. Instead, he went forth with a slingshot and a few stones, kept undetected in a pouch. As any schoolchild knows, one well-aimed fling was all it took to put Goliath down for good. The big guy never saw it coming.

It is not clear to what extent David tested his weapon before doing battle, but he presumably had experimented. The first Book of Samuel tells how he had earlier struck and killed a lion and a bear that menaced the sheep he tended.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-22 AND F-35 CAN’T SHARE DATA
By Phillip Swarts
December 14, 2015

If the Air Force wants to be effective in future conflicts, it must rethink the way it handles electronic warfare, a retired general said Dec. 1.

“Currently there’s no data link between the F-22 and F-35 that would allow them to share targeting data,” said retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula. “Instead, these two fifth-gen aircraft — built by the same company, I might add — operate separate networks riding on proprietary links.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

US CONSIDERS PURCHASING MORE F-15S OR F-16S
By Bill Sweetman
November 19, 2015

LONDON — The U.S. Air Force may solicit bids for 72 new Boeing F-15s, Lockheed Martin F-16s or even Boeing F/A-18E/Fs as budget issues put planned production rates for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter out of reach, according to senior service and industry officials at the Defense IQ International Fighter Conference …

[FULL ARTICLE]

A-10 RETIREMENT COULD BE DELAYED
By Phillip Swarts
November 23, 2015

The Air Force could delay retirement of the A-10 Thunderbolt II by a few years to meet demand for close-air support missions, Gen. Hawk Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, said Nov. 10.

“I think we would probably move the retirement slightly to the right,” he said at a Defense Writers Group breakfast. “Eventually we will have to get there. We have to retire airplanes. But I think moving it to the right and starting it a bit later and keeping the airplane a bit longer is something to consider, based on things as they are today and what we see in the future.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

NAVY TO CONTINUE BUYING F-18 BECAUSE F-35 IS DELAYED
BY: JAMES DREW
NOVEMBER 5, 2015

US Navy officials have reaffirmed plans to procure an additional 24 to 36 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets through fiscal year 2018 while also boosting F/A-18C life-extension rates, primarily due to delays in fielding the carrier-based Lockheed Martin F-35C.

Boeing has been trying desperately to shore up Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler production in St Louis, Missouri, but the company’s difficulty in securing international sales has raised doubts.

[FULL ARTICLE]

TRUMP WANTS TO FIRE F-35
By Tyler Rogoway
October 30, 2015

Presidential candidate Donald Trump is finally offering some specifics when it comes to defense policy, and on conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt’s program today he floated the possibility of cancelling the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program if he gets elected.

According to the Air Force Times, Trump said: “When they say that this cannot perform as well as the planes we already have, what are [we] doing, and spending so much more money?” He continued, “I do hear that it’s not very good… I’m hearing that our existing planes are better. And one of the pilots came out of the plane, one of the test pilots, and said this isn’t as good as what we already have.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

TRUMP WANTS TO FIRE THE F-35
By Phillip Swarts
October 30, 2015

Donald Trump wants to tell the F-35 that it’s fired.

The businessman and Republican presidential candidate questioned the wisdom of purchasing the joint strike fighter during an appearance on a conservative radio talk show Oct. 22.

“When they say that this cannot perform as well as the planes we already have, what are [we] doing, and spending so much more money?” Trump said during an appearance on the Hugh Hewitt radio show.

[FULL ARTICLE]
http://www.stopthef35.com/pentagon-f-35-wont-have-a-chance-in-real-com bat/

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the F35 is useless

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITbGBmaqQkk

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trump Again Hints at F-35, F-18 Competition
By: Aaron Mehta, January 11, 2017 (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Staci Miller/US Air Force)
http://www.defensenews.com/articles/trump-again-hints-at-f-35-f-18-com petition

WASHINGTON – President-elect Donald Trump used the opening remarks of his first press conference of the year to reiterate a desire to drive costs down on the F-35 joint strike fighter, a move which could involve competing it against the F/A-18 Super Hornet.

The stock price of Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-35, immediately fell upon Trump’s comments, going from $255.78 right before the speech to $252.20 at publication. Interestingly, the stock for Super Hornet manufacturer Boeing also dipped slightly on Trump’s comments.

“I'm very much involved with the generals and admirals on the airplane, the F-35, you’ve been reading about it. And it is way, way behind schedule and many billions of dollars over budget. I don't like that,” Trump said, before saying the admirals and generals had been “fantastic.”

“I've really gotten to know them well. And were going to do some big things on the F-35 program and perhaps the F-18 program. And we’re going to get those costs way down, and we’re gonna get the plane even better, and we’re going to have to competition. And it's going to be a beautiful thing.”


Defense News
Trump Tells Twitter He Wants A Super Hornet With F-35 Capabilities

Defense News
Boeing, Lockheed CEOs Meet with Trump Over F-35, Air Force One
While defense procurement issues usually aren’t at the top of the priority list for an incoming president, Trump has focused in on a pair of acquisition programs in the months since his election day victory.

On Dec. 6, the president-elect tweeted that Boeing’s Air Force One replacement program should be cancelled. Six days later, he tweeted that the F-35 program is “out of control.”

Boeing and Lockheed’s CEOs met with Trump on Dec. 21 in what was seen as a clear-the-air style meeting, but less than 24 hours after, the president-elect sent shockwaves through the defense community when he sent yet another tweet which appeared to call for Boeing to develop a competitor for the F-35 – something industry analysts, as well as outgoing Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, quickly agreed was simply not possible at the technical level.

Wednesday’s comments seem to indicate Trump is still interested in competition between Boeing and Lockheed for the fifth-generation fighter.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was designed as an air-superiority fighter
They then tried to turn into a bomber
What an expensive heap of junk


F-35 ‘scarcely’ fit to fly: Pentagon’s chief tester

PressTV Mon Apr 3, 2017 10:20AM
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/04/03/516553/US-F35Pentagon-Gilmore

The F-35 stealth jet has been dogged by issues and is “scarcely fit to fly,” says the Pentagon’s newly retired chief weapons tester.

Michael Gilmore, who was the Director of Test and Evaluation for the US military until recently, laid out in his parting report a long list of problems plaguing the $400 billion program in all departments from combat-readiness to the wing design, The Register reported Monday.

“The Services have designated 276 deficiencies in combat performance as ‘critical to correct’ in Block 3F, but less than half of the critical deficiencies were addressed with attempted corrections in 3FR6”, the report stated.

Gilmore warned that critical design flaws in the wings made it a hassle to fly the aircraft in speeds close to that of sound.

“All F-35 variants display objectionable or unacceptable flying qualities at transonic speeds, where aerodynamic forces on the aircraft are rapidly changing. Particularly, under elevated 'g' conditions, when wing loading causes the effects to be more pronounced, pilots have reported the flying qualities as 'unacceptable',” he stated.


F-35 variants
According to Gilmore, the aircraft’s stealthiness is undermined by a poorly designed Electro-Optical Targeting System. The system’s low resolution and range forces the pilot to blow his cover by making a close overflight before return to the safety zone, where they can launch their attack.

The F-35 has three variants: the A-model with conventional takeoff and landing which is the export version; the F-35B variant, which can handle short takeoffs and vertical landings for the Marine Corps and the British navy; and the F-35C, designed exclusively for the US Navy.

Another key flaw in Gilmore’s eye was the cap that conceals the F-35A’s gun and pulls the aircraft off-target upon opening due to a software glitch.

Read More:

Trump drops bomb on F-35 fighter jet
Pentagon, Lockheed to sign major F-35 deal
'F-35 less capable than Russian fighters'
Add to this the aircraft’s limited storage for only a few hundred gun rounds, whereas older and less advanced fighter jets like the A-10 Warthog can carry more than 1,000 shells.

Gilmore went on to point out fatigue problems in the tail; excessively high air flow temperatures around the engine in the A and C variants; and the overheating of the horizontal tail at Mach 1.5 speed.

A technical problem forced the Air Force to ground its fleet of F-35s in September, only two months after declaring the aircraft combat-ready.

The US Defense Department expects to purchase 2,443 of the stealth warplanes over the next few decades.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

US sends F-35 stealth fighters to UK to reassure Europe against Russian aggression
'It’s important that we train together to integrate into a seamless team capable of defending the sovereignty of allied nations,' commander of US Air Forces in Europe says

Samuel Osborne @SamuelOsborne
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/us-f-35-stealth-fighter -jets-deploy-nato-uk-russia-threat-a7687031.html

The US Air Force has sent several of its newest stealth fighters to the UK as part of an initiative to reassure Europe in the face of Russian aggression.

A handful of F-35A jets from Hill Air Force Base in Utah landed at RAF Lakenheath over the weekend for what the Pentagon said would be several weeks of training with other US and Nato military aircraft.

The deployment would allow the US Air Force to "further demonstrate the operational capabilities" of the stealthy fighter jet, the Pentagon said.

“As we and our joint F-35 partners bring this aircraft into our inventories, it’s important that we train together to integrate into a seamless team capable of defending the sovereignty of allied nations," said General Tod D Wolters, commander of US Air Forces in Europe.

The jets were deployed in support of the European Reassurance Initiative, launched under President Barack Obama in 2014 to show support for US allies after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine.

The F-35, which is the Pentagon's costliest arms program, has been dogged by problems.

The Pentagon's chief arms buyer once described as "acquisition malpractice" the decision to produce jets before completing development.

During last year's election campaign, Donald Trump criticised Lockheed Martin for the F-35's cost overruns.

Days after taking office in January, President Trump announced his administration had been able to cut some $600m (£478m) from the latest US deal to buy around 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

The United States is expected to spend some $391bn (£312bn) over 15 years to buy about 2,443 of the F-35 aircraft.

F-35s are in use by the US Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, and by six other countries: Australia, Britain, Norway, Italy, the Netherlands and Israel. Japan took delivery of its first jet in December.

Lockheed said last month that Spain, Belgium and Switzerland were in talks with the company about buying F-35s.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

US sends F-35 stealth fighters to UK to reassure Europe against Russian aggression
'It’s important that we train together to integrate into a seamless team capable of defending the sovereignty of allied nations,' commander of US Air Forces in Europe says

Samuel Osborne @SamuelOsborne93 12 hours ago9 comments
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/us-f-35-stealth-fighter -jets-deploy-nato-uk-russia-threat-a7687031.html

The US Air Force has sent several of its newest stealth fighters to the UK as part of an initiative to reassure Europe in the face of Russian aggression.

A handful of F-35A jets from Hill Air Force Base in Utah landed at RAF Lakenheath over the weekend for what the Pentagon said would be several weeks of training with other US and Nato military aircraft.

The deployment would allow the US Air Force to "further demonstrate the operational capabilities" of the stealthy fighter jet, the Pentagon said.

“As we and our joint F-35 partners bring this aircraft into our inventories, it’s important that we train together to integrate into a seamless team capable of defending the sovereignty of allied nations," said General Tod D Wolters, commander of US Air Forces in Europe.

The jets were deployed in support of the European Reassurance Initiative, launched under President Barack Obama in 2014 to show support for US allies after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine.

The F-35, which is the Pentagon's costliest arms program, has been dogged by problems.

The Pentagon's chief arms buyer once described as "acquisition malpractice" the decision to produce jets before completing development.

During last year's election campaign, Donald Trump criticised Lockheed Martin for the F-35's cost overruns.

Days after taking office in January, President Trump announced his administration had been able to cut some $600m (£478m) from the latest US deal to buy around 90 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

The United States is expected to spend some $391bn (£312bn) over 15 years to buy about 2,443 of the F-35 aircraft.

F-35s are in use by the US Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, and by six other countries: Australia, Britain, Norway, Italy, the Netherlands and Israel. Japan took delivery of its first jet in December.


Lockheed said last month that Spain, Belgium and Switzerland were in talks with the company about buying F-35s.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

‘Appallingly bad’ F-35 fighter jets to cost taxpayers even more as pound falls
Published time: 17 Aug, 2017 13:09
https://www.rt.com/uk/399901-f35-fighter-jet-cost/

The price tag attached to Britain’s next generation F-35 fighter jets is expected to rise dramatically. The controversial aircraft is in urgent need of an upgrade at a time when the British pound continues to fall in value.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) will pay around £80 million ($103 million) more for its F-35s, which have faced widespread criticism due to a number of technical mishaps, undermining their performance in almost every key area.

A F-35 fighter jet © George FreyMPs demand truth on hidden costs of £150bn F-35 warplane deal
The UK is purchasing 138 F-35s for use by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

Weapons experts have blasted the MoD’s £150 billion order, however, as the aircraft is plagued by an “unbelievably abnormal number of issues.”

Paul Sprey, a leading aviation analyst, blasted the costly planes, telling the Times their “maneuverability is appallingly bad.”

“It has terrific problems trying to fly fast at low altitude.

“It overheats, and when you detect the overheating, you have to open the bomb bay doors to cool the missiles that are inside,” Sprey said.

Another troubling area is the plane’s operational software, which remains vulnerable to cyber-attacks and may not be compatible with the Royal Navy ships, which the F-35s are supposed to support in combat.

This is a significant cause for concern, since Britain’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is supposed to field 36 F-35s, may be unable to receive transmissions from higher-tier planes.

Read more
© Joely SantiagoF-35s back in the air, despite lingering mystery of oxygen system failures
These technical faults compelled the US Department of Defense (DoD) to spend nearly $4 billion to modernize the fighter jets.

As the UK remains a tier-one partner in the F-35 program, it is expected to shoulder a significant portion of these costs.

At the same time, Lockheed Martin, the US-based arms giant, which produces the F-35s, made almost $89 million in profit at the expense of British taxpayers in just three months by repairing the poorly manufactures jets.

Lockheed Chief Financial Officer Bruce Tanner boasted to the Times that his company’s profits are likely to increase.

“You’re seeing tremendous growth potential in both production and sustainment for the F-35 program,” Tanner said.

The total acquisition cost of the F-35 project is almost $400 billion, but the “operating and sustainment costs,” which include repairs, boost the overall expense to more than $1 trillion.

1.2K2

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