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No more F-22s for you!

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:55 pm

Great work on the radios, guys!
For the first time, America’s top-of-the-line F-22 fighters and Britain’s own cutting-edge Typhoon jets have come together for intensive, long-term training in high-tech warfare. If only the planes could talk to each other on equal terms.

The F-22 and the twin-engine, delta-wing Typhoon — Europe’s latest warplane — are stuck with partially incompatible secure communications systems. For all their sophisticated engines, radars and weapons, the American and British pilots are reduced to one-way communication, from the Brits to the Yanks. That is, unless they want to talk via old-fashioned radio, which can be intercepted and triangulated and could betray the planes’ locations. That would undermine the whole purpose of the F-22′s radar-evading stealth design, and could pose a major problem if the Raptor and the Typhoon ever have to go to war together.
...
But the mostly incompatible communications systems complicate closer cooperation. The F-22 was designed during the Cold War to be a solitary hunter, able to silently swap radar-based targeting data only with other F-22s using a special, hard-to-intercept radio datalink. Accordingly, the Raptor does not have the full Link 16 datalink installed on the Typhoons and many other Western fighters, support planes, warships and ground-based air defenses. Link 16 is what allows different air, sea and ground forces from the U.S. and its allies to securely swap information back and forth during wartime.

To be clear, the F-22 can receive Link 16 data — and has done so with the Typhoons. “That information in addition to other systems was used for coordinating tactical actions during the training,” Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis, an Air Force spokesman, tells Danger Room. But the F-22s did not transmit targeting data back to the Typhoons, Sholtis says. In short, an F-22 pilot can see what a Typhoon pilot sees on his radar, but not vice versa.

For true two-way comms, Raptor and Typhoon pilots have to fire up their old-school voice radios and broadcast an easily-intercepted message, thereby jeopardizing the Raptor’s stealth advantage. In other words, routine communication between F-22 and Typhoon pilots hobbles the American jets, downgrading them from fast, high-flying and hard-to-detect to just fast and high-flying. According to some accounts, the communications shortfall kept the F-22 out of the multinational Libya air war two years ago.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:07 pm

Maybe they can use Navy test pilots. Give them some signal flags and you're good to go.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Eightball » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:26 pm

GreenGoo wrote:Maybe they can use Navy test pilots. Give them some signal flags and you're good to go.
Signal flags? Pshhaw. Real pilots communicate by hand.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:27 pm

The pic link is busted.

F-35 fleet grounded
The Pentagon on Friday suspended the flights of all F-35 fighter planes after a routine inspection revealed a crack on a turbine blade in the jet engine of an F-35 test aircraft in California.

It was the second grounding of the warplane in two months.

The F-35 program office said it was too early to know if this was a fleet-wide issue, but it was suspending all flights until an investigation was completed.
...
[D]uring a routine inspection at Edwards Air Force Base in California on February 19 inspectors found a crack on a low pressure turbine blade that is part of the F-35's F135 engine. The blade was on F-35 A-model, or Air Force variant, which takes off and lands from conventional runways.
...
The grounding comes on the heels of a nearly month-long grounding of the Marine Corps variant of the new warplane after a manufacturing defect caused a fuel line to detach just before a training flight in Florida.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:25 pm

Hey, F-22 pilots, you know those chronic coughing fits you get? It's because your plane is so cool, it's collapsing your lungs:
The Air Force has some bad news for the pilots of its F-22 Raptor stealth fighters: Your planes are going to make you feel crappy and there’s not much anyone can do about it. And the message to the maintainers of the radar-evading jet is even more depressing. Any illness they feel from working around the Raptor is apparently all in their heads, according to the Air Force.
...
But the Air Force says the alterations won’t do anything to fix the so-called “Raptor cough,” a chronic condition afflicting almost all F-22 pilots.

The coughing — which, to be clear, is a totally separate issue from hypoxia — is due to a condition known as “acceleration atelectasis,” Maj. Gen. Charles Lyon, who headed the Air Force’s Raptor investigation, wrote in response to questions submitted following a September testimony before a House subcommittee. “Acceleration atelectasis results from pilots breathing high concentrations of oxygen (above 60 percent) while wearing anti-G trousers, and exposure to G-forces,” Lyon explained.
...
The coughing, Lyon continued, results from the closure of the lungs’ alveoli as oxygen-rich air is absorbed, leaving insufficient gas such as nitrogen behind to keep the alveoli open. “The normal physiologic response to re-open the alveoli is to cough,” Lyon wrote adding that an F–22 feeds its pilot higher concentrations of oxygen compared to other jets. Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis told ABC News that the Raptor’s extreme performance — flying higher and faster than most planes — could also exacerbate the cough.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:23 pm

F-35s back in the air:
Engine-maker Pratt and Whitney said it is confident it has isolated the source of the crack in the F135 engine and can fix it. But the stealthy F-35′s propulsion problems are anything but fixed. Finicky motors are an inevitable side effect of the plane’s design.

Pratt and Whitney put the best possible spin on the turbine blade’s potentially catastrophic flaw, which if undetected could have caused a crash. “Prolonged exposure to high levels of heat and other operational stressors on this specific engine were determined to be the cause of the crack,” the company announced late Thursday. “No additional cracks or signs of similar engine stress were found during inspections of the remaining F135 inventory. No engine redesign is required as a result of this event.”
...
But the redesign has an adverse effect on the plane’s aerodynamics, making the F135 work harder than is normal for a fighter engine. Generating more than 40,000 pounds of thrust, the F135 is the most powerful fighter motor ever. Even though the Pentagon has downgraded the F-35′s acceleration specs to ease the strain on the engine, the F135 runs extra hot — a problem that has concerned Lockheed and Pratt and Whitney engineers for at least seven years and likely contributed to turbine problems in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:29 pm

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:43 pm

Turns out the F-35 has the same visibility problem that the old P-51 Mustangs did before they upgraded the canopy on the D variant.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the military’s expensive main warplane of the future, has a huge blind spot directly behind it. Pilots say that could get them shot down in close-quarters combat, where the flier with the better visibility has the killing advantage.

“Aft visibility could turn out to be a significant problem for all F-35 pilots in the future,” the Pentagon acknowledged in a report (.pdf) obtained by the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington, D.C. watchdog group.

That admission should not come as a surprise to observers of the Joint Strike Fighter program. Critics of the delayed, over-budget F-35 — which is built in three versions for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps — have been trying for years to draw attention to the plane’s blind spot, only to be dismissed by the government and Lockheed Martin, the Joint Strike Fighter’s primary builder.
...
The limitations of the F-35′s canopy are “partially a result of designing a common pilot escape system [a.k.a. ejection seat] for all three variants to the requirements of the short-take-off and vertical landing environment.” In other words, the Joint Strike Fighter’s windshield is constrained by the need to fit a standard ejection seat and the downward-facing engine of the Marine Corps variant, which allows that model to take off and land vertically and is located directly behind the cockpit.

The pilots, who formerly flew A-10s and F-16s, didn’t seem interested in excuses. Their comments, quoted in the report, are scathingly direct.
...
Most damningly: “Aft visibility will get the pilot gunned every time” during a dogfight.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by $iljanus » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:58 am

Isgrimnur wrote:Turns out the F-35 has the same visibility problem that the old P-51 Mustangs did before they upgraded the canopy on the D variant.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the military’s expensive main warplane of the future, has a huge blind spot directly behind it. Pilots say that could get them shot down in close-quarters combat, where the flier with the better visibility has the killing advantage.

“Aft visibility could turn out to be a significant problem for all F-35 pilots in the future,” the Pentagon acknowledged in a report (.pdf) obtained by the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington, D.C. watchdog group.

That admission should not come as a surprise to observers of the Joint Strike Fighter program. Critics of the delayed, over-budget F-35 — which is built in three versions for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps — have been trying for years to draw attention to the plane’s blind spot, only to be dismissed by the government and Lockheed Martin, the Joint Strike Fighter’s primary builder.
...
The limitations of the F-35′s canopy are “partially a result of designing a common pilot escape system [a.k.a. ejection seat] for all three variants to the requirements of the short-take-off and vertical landing environment.” In other words, the Joint Strike Fighter’s windshield is constrained by the need to fit a standard ejection seat and the downward-facing engine of the Marine Corps variant, which allows that model to take off and land vertically and is located directly behind the cockpit.

The pilots, who formerly flew A-10s and F-16s, didn’t seem interested in excuses. Their comments, quoted in the report, are scathingly direct.
...
Most damningly: “Aft visibility will get the pilot gunned every time” during a dogfight.
I was almost ill when I read about this. Supposedly there are cameras though that will give the pilot a 360 view which will compensate for the obstructed rear view. Of course if the camera breaks...

And if you want to get angrier here's an article which highlights the funding and development of this fighter. An excerpt from this article from the Washington Post
A turbulent takeoff

The F-35 program, which commenced 12 years ago, was intended to be a model of how to build a modern fighter. The same airframe would be used to produce planes for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, with only modest modifications to address service-specific needs, hence the name Joint Strike Fighter. The commonality, proponents argued, would allow the three services to mount more coordinated wartime missions, and, perhaps more important, it would drive down development, assembly and maintenance costs.

That was essential because the Pentagon needs a lot of F-35s. It is supposed to replace thousands of legacy aircraft including the F-16, a workhorse of the Air Force fleet, and every fighter jet owned by the Marine Corps. The F-35 was pitched as the answer because it was supposed to be affordable — in the relative terms of fighter jets — and could be acquired in larger quantities than the F-22 Raptor, the Air Force’s new high-performance fighter.

Pentagon officials accepted Lockheed’s claim that computer simulations would be able to identify design problems, minimizing the need to make changes once the plane actually took to the sky. That, in turn, led to an aggressive plan to build and test the aircraft simultaneously.

Cautioning that all of those assumptions were flawed, Spinney and other defense analysts urged the Pentagon to see the plane in flight before committing to buy it. But senior Defense Department officials in the George W. Bush administration did not heed the warnings.

Within months, the program began veering off course.

The Air Force, Marines and Navy all sought additional modifications to meet their needs, reducing commonality among the three models. A bigger problem was the fundamental concept of building one plane, with stealth technology, that could fly as far and fast as the Air Force wanted while also being able to land on the Navy’s carriers and take off vertically from Marine amphibious assault ships.

Instead of meeting the original plan of being about 70 percent similar, the three versions now are 70 percent distinct, which has increased costs by tens of billions and led to years-long delays. “We have three airplane programs running in parallel,” Bogdan said. “They are very, very different airplanes.”

Even with three variants, the plane’s design has forced serious compromises. To remain stealthy, bombs and missiles must be placed inside a weapons bay, which limits the volume of munitions that can be carried. The use of a single engine, required for the Marine version, restricts speed.

With an even more complex engineering challenge than initially envisioned, Lockheed and the Pentagon took a hands-off approach to managing the program, according to several people involved in the process.

An electrical engineer who worked as a manager at Lockheed’s F-35 program headquarters in Fort Worth beginning in 2001 said the development effort was beset with “tremendous organizational inadequacies” and “schedule and cost expectations that never were achievable.” In his unit, he said, there were no firm development timetables and no budgets. “It was all on autopilot,” he said. “It was doomed from the beginning.”

In 2005, the engineer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of concerns he will risk job opportunities in the close-knit aviation industry, participated in a two-week-long assessment of the program.“There were reds and yellows across the board,” he recalled. But when he briefed his superiors, “nobody was interested,” he said. And when he gave a copy of the assessment to those at the Pentagon office responsible for the plane, he said, “they didn’t want to hear it.”

A senior Defense Department official acknowledged the office “didn’t have the capacity or the understanding to manage such a complicated program” at the time. Lockheed executives also make little excuse for those years. “It was a very different program from what we are executing today,” said Steve O’Bryan, Lockheed’s vice president of F-35 business development.

With wars raging in Iraq and Afghanistan, and military budgets growing year over year, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld paid little attention to the program. His successor, Robert M. Gates, took the same approach during his first few years on the job. In 2007, the Defense Department permitted Lockheed to begin producing the fighter — before the first flight tests had even begun. Frank Kendall, who is now the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, has called that decision “acquisition malpractice.”

Early tests uncovered flaws unnoticed by the computer simulations. Key engineering tasks, including the vertical takeoff and landing system, were taking much longer to complete. All the while, costs were rising at supersonic speeds.

In 2009, Gates grasped the dysfunction. The following year, he withheld $614 million in fees from Lockheed, fired the two-star Marine general in charge of the program and brought in a Navy vice admiral, David Venlet, to clean house. In 2011, Gates placed the Marine plane on probation, warning that it would be killed if problems with its propulsion system were not fixed quickly.

Bogdan, who served as Venlet’s deputy until December, when he took charge of the development effort, was astounded by what he found when he delved into the program.

“It was an unimaginable mess,” he said.
tl;dr

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:41 am

Military procurement. Enriching everyone but the taxpayer since the dawn of time.


The visibility thing though, when are F35s supposed to get into CQ dogfights? They're radar evading stealth fighters. If they're in a close quarter dissimilar air combat situation, something's fubar.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Fretmute » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:12 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:The visibility thing though, when are F35s supposed to get into CQ dogfights? They're radar evading stealth fighters. If they're in a close quarter dissimilar air combat situation, something's fubar.
Especially when the latest AMRAAMs have a range of over 180 km.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Zaxxon » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:17 pm

Sorry, just came across this while catching up on the thread. Winnar.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:20 pm

And when has the political leadership ever allowed the pilots to engage in BVR kills?

It's one thing to do it in war games, quite another when the aircraft might be a charter flight carrying orphans.

As for the visibility issue, history is a good teacher. Missiles were supposed to be the solution to dogfights in Viet Nam when the F-4 showed up without a gun. Pilots died because the MiGs had one and had been trained how to dogfight inside the missile envelope.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Freezer-TPF- » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:51 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:Missiles were supposed to be the solution to dogfights in Viet Nam when the F-4 showed up without a gun. Pilots died because the MiGs had one and had been trained how to dogfight inside the missile envelope.
The Navy really should think about starting up an elite school to re-teach those lost dogfighting skills.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:01 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:And when has the political leadership ever allowed the pilots to engage in BVR kills?
Many times. We also have no problem lobbing cruise missiles BVR and droning civilians remotely. Why would there be an issue with AIMs BVR?

Isgrimnur wrote:It's one thing to do it in war games, quite another when the aircraft might be a charter flight carrying orphans.
....
As for the visibility issue, history is a good teacher. Missiles were supposed to be the solution to dogfights in Viet Nam when the F-4 showed up without a gun. Pilots died because the MiGs had one and had been trained how to dogfight inside the missile envelope.
This isn't the Viet Nam era. We have E-3s and AWACS. We have total air superiority in all theaters in which we are engaged.*

Presumably the selection of multiple air superiority fighters today, compared to reliance solely on the F4 for the role then, is part of the history lesson.



*In other theaters (China, Russia) we won't be fighting conventionally anyway.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Boudreaux » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:25 am

$iljanus wrote:In 2007, the Defense Department permitted Lockheed to begin producing the fighter — before the first flight tests had even begun. Frank Kendall, who is now the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, has called that decision “acquisition malpractice.”
This part is particularly disappointing, given that DoD/Lockheed did the exact same thing with the F-22. LRIP production was requested and approved at the same time the development test program was behind schedule and racking up additional costs.

What inevitably happens is the later stages of the test program find problems - problems that have to be fixed in all the jets that have already been built. It's far more expensive to fix design problems in a jet that's already sitting in a hangar than in a jet that's still just drawings.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by El Guapo » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:34 am

LawBeefaroni wrote:This isn't the Viet Nam era. We have E-3s and AWACS. We have total air superiority in all theaters in which we are engaged.*

Presumably the selection of multiple air superiority fighters today, compared to reliance solely on the F4 for the role then, is part of the history lesson.



*In other theaters (China, Russia) we won't be fighting conventionally anyway.
It seems foolhardy to assume this. It seems plausible that we could wind up in a conventional war with China over Taiwan. Yeah, both sides have nukes, but both sides could (would likely) refrain from using nukes in the conventional war due to the knowledge that the other side would nuke them back.

A China - USA war would be an enormous risk for both sides, to be sure, but it's plausible enough that it seems crazy to not be prepared for it.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:44 am

El Guapo wrote:
It seems foolhardy to assume this. It seems plausible that we could wind up in a conventional war with China over Taiwan. Yeah, both sides have nukes, but both sides could (would likely) refrain from using nukes in the conventional war due to the knowledge that the other side would nuke them back.

A China - USA war would be an enormous risk for both sides, to be sure, but it's plausible enough that it seems crazy to not be prepared for it.
I don't mean non-conventional as in nukes, I mean non-conventional as in skunkworks stuff we don't even know about, AA drones, satellite warfare, etc. We won't be dogfighting mano a mano. Or GAU a GSh.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:41 am

Remember those turbine cracks in the F-35? Turns out more stuff is cracking:
The entire F-35 fleet was grounded last February after a crack was discovered in a turbine blade of an F-35A. While the order was subsequently lifted, more cracks have been discovered in other areas and variants of the Lockheed Martin Corp.-made plane, according to the latest annual report by J. Michael Gilmore, director of Operational Test and Evaluation.

Durability testing of the F-35A, the Air Force’s version of the plane designed to take off and land on conventional runways, and the F-35B, the Marine Corps’ model that can take off like a plane and land like a helicopter, revealed “significant findings” of cracking in engine mounts, fuselage stiffeners, and bulkhead and wing flanges, according to the document. A bulkhead actually severed at one point, it states.
...
The F-35C, the Navy’s version of the plane designed to take off and land on aircraft carriers, has also had cracks in the floor of the avionics bay and power distribution center and, like the F-35B, in the so-called jack point stiffener, according to the document.

The hardware problems, along with ongoing delays in software development, among other issues, led Gilmore to conclude that the fifth-generation fighter jet’s “overall suitability performance continues to be immature, and relies heavily on contractor support and workarounds unacceptable for combat operations.”
...
The Marine Corps had expected to begin operational flights of the aircraft in 2015, followed by the Air Force in 2016 and the Navy in 2019.

The Corps’ schedule depends on using a more limited version of the software, known as Block 2B, designed for use with such precision-guided weapons as the AIM-120C Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, GBU-32/31 Joint Direct Attack Munition and GBU-12 Paveway II bomb.

The first operational flights, however, will probably be delayed because the aircraft’s software won’t be ready in time due to ongoing glitches, according to the report.

“Initial results with the new increment of Block 2B software indicate deficiencies still exist in fusion, radar, electronic warfare, navigation, EOTS [Electro-Optical Targeting System], Distributed Aperture System (DAS), Helmet-Mounted Display System (HMDS), and datalink,” it states. “These deficiencies block the ability of the test team to complete baseline Block 2B test points, including weapons integration.”
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Markstrink » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:28 pm

Having a now (ex) friend who we found out was doing cocaine on the job while making some sort of piece for the f-35 I am somehow not surprised.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Kraken » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:37 pm

Markstrink wrote:Having a now (ex) friend who we found out was doing cocaine on the job while making some sort of piece for the f-35 I am somehow not surprised.
Crack?

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Markstrink » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:58 pm

No he was doing a good amount of cocaine. When we found out he was banned from our house. He then decided he was going to try and wreck our lives. Didn't work.

He was machining some sort of panel for access to the f35. He showed us picture of the parts as they come in. Each piece has a serial number and comes in a sealed briefcase.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Pyperkub » Fri May 23, 2014 2:43 pm

The Onion chimes in - Congress Reluctant To Cut Funding For Tank That Just Spins Around And Self-Destructs
“Cutting production of the Dervish merely because it is able to do nothing more than leave circular treadmarks and a smoking crater where it once stood would not only be irresponsible, it would leave the nation unequipped for the armed conflicts of tomorrow and put every citizen of this country at risk.”

“Frankly, it’s indicative of the diminished role in international leadership the White House sees for America that they are even willing to consider sacrificing such a critical piece of defense technology,”
The last paragraph is somewhat relevant too :)
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Rip » Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:31 pm

Don't look now but the F-35 grounded again and remains one expensive pile of crap.
The Pentagon's most expensive weapons program ever, the F-35 warplane, is grounded again.
Developed at a cost of nearly $400 billion so far and beset for years by cost overruns and delays, the so-called Joint Strike Fighter was put down temporarily this week following a runway fire at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. No one was hurt.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said the cause of the June 23 incident remains under investigation, and the timing of when they might take off again is unclear.
http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/03/us/f-35-f ... ?hpt=hp_t4

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Alefroth » Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:09 pm

Kraken wrote:
Markstrink wrote:Having a now (ex) friend who we found out was doing cocaine on the job while making some sort of piece for the f-35 I am somehow not surprised.
Crack?
:lol:

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Holman » Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:31 pm

I suppose the solution is to go back to the drawing board and continue with upgraded F-18's and F-16's in the meantime? What's a trillion dollars between friends?

Here's the oft-cited Vanity Fair article by Adam Ciralsky on the F-35's problems.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:04 am

If you ain't rubbing, you ain't racing.
The Pentagon's top weapons buyer said the F-35 engine fire in June that caused military leaders to ground the Joint Strike Fighter fleet was caused by "excessive rubbing" of engine fan blades, according to multiple reports.

Defense Undersecretary Frank Kendall told reporters on Sunday ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow that program officials do not believe the problem is systemic. However, he did not have a timeline when the grounding could be lifted.
...
The F-35 is powered by the F135 engine built by Pratt & Whitney. The "excessive rubbing" doesn't appear to be a major design flaw, according to a Reuters report on Sunday citing comments made by Kendall.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:17 am

Report on the fire:
Speaking during a defense conference Wednesday at the National Press Club, Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said three weeks before an F-35A made by Lockheed Martin Corp. caught fire during takeoff June 23 at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, it was flown in a manner designed to test the performance of its g-force, roll and yaw characteristics within designed limits known as the flight envelope.

While the maneuver only last two seconds or so, it caused excessive rubbing between the titanium blade in the fan section of the F135 engine made by United Technologies Corp.‘s Pratt & Whitney unit and the surrounding material, Bogdan said. The metal reached temperatures of as high as 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit — compared to the normal level of about 1,000 degrees — and resulted in micro-cracking, he said.

A few weeks later, during the fateful takeoff, the blade came apart and actually pierced the left aft fuel tank, engulfing the rear of the plane in flames, Bogdan said. “It was the fuel tank that caught fire,” he said.
...
Bogdan said Pratt & Whitney officials have vowed to cover the cost of the engine fix, which will probably include redesigning that part of the propulsion system to create more space in the so-called trench area. He declined to specify how much it will cost until the program office completes a root-cause analysis, expected later this month.

A prototype part may be tested as early as mid-October, Bogdan said. Meanwhile, the program office is developing a new engine break-in procedure as a short-term fix to better analyze how it performs under increasing loads, he said. Even so, if the planes don’t resume regular flight testing later this month, the program could be delayed by a month or more, he said.

Separately, Bogdan said, Pratt & Whitney has halted further deliveries of the F135 engine amid plans to sue a supplier for providing “suspect” titanium. The Pentagon’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations are looking into the matter, he said.
The suspension affected 10 engines that probably would have been delivered by now and four more that are not yet under contract, according to an article by Tony Capaccio of Bloomberg News.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Grifman » Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:55 pm

Maybe we'll get lucky and won't have a war until the next generation of combat aircraft.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:54 am

Into combat
U.S. Air Force F-22 stealth fighter jets were part of the opening wave of American-led airstrikes in Syria against the Islamic State, according to a news report.
...
Last year, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh sketched out a dramatic tale of a lone F-22 Raptor chasing off Iranian fighter jets over the Arabian Gulf. The confrontation was the first publicized engagement involving the Air Force’s most modern fighter and military forces of Iran.
...
Welsh was referring to an incident in March 2013 in which an Iranian F-4 flew within 16 miles of an MQ-1 Predator drone flying off the coast of Iran before a previously undisclosed aircraft escorted the Predator to safety. That aircraft was an F-22, the Air Force’s fifth generation fighter.

But the plane’s mission in Syria on Monday is a far more significant illustration of its intended use in a combat role and, indeed, mark the first airstrikes in which it has participated.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:56 pm

F-35C delays? Buy more Super Hornets.
The Navy is considering extending production of its F/A-18 Super Hornet beyond 2017 because of delays in production of the Navy’s carrier-launched F-35C and increased demands on the Hornet fleet, service leaders said.
...
In order to reduce operational risk, Navy aviation leaders have said the service needs two to three additional squadrons of Super Hornets as older F/A-18As, Bs, Cs and Ds reach the end of their useful service life.

“We have looked at the F-18 inventory as part of our overall inventory management. The CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) has testified that looking at our inventory from now into the mid-2020s and 2030s — we need about two to three squadrons of Super Hornets to really reduce risk going forward as we procure F-35Cs,” Rear Adm. Michael Manazir, airector of air warfare, told Military​.com in an interview.

A carrier air wing consists of about 44 strike aircraft made up of two 10-aircraft squadrons and two 12-plane squadrons complemented by several electronic jamming aircraft. Therefore, the Navy’s stated need for additional squadrons would require the addition of more than 20 new aircraft.
...
When the F/A-18A and F/A-18C reach 8,000 flight hours, they are sent into the depot for service life extension upgrades with the hope of getting the airframes to 10,000 hours. However, many of the older aircraft are in need of substantial repairs and, at the moment, as many as 54 percent of the Navy’s fleet of older Hornets are not in service.

The depots cannot keep up with the demand to repair airplanes due to the deployment of F-18s, industry and Navy officials have explained.
...
The Navy had been planning for the Super Hornets to serve well into the 2030s, but now service leaders say that timeline will need to extend into the 2040s. Manazir explained that the Navy plans to begin buying 20 F-35Cs a year by 2020.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Smoove_B » Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:49 pm

F-35 cannot beat F-16 during engagement:
The F-35 performed so dismally in a dogfight, that the test pilot remarked that the it had pretty much no place fighting other aircraft within visual range.

And it’s even worse than a mere maneuverability issue. At one point, the pilot’s helmet was so big he couldn’t even turn his head inside the cockpit.

That’s according to a scathing report obtained by our friends over at War Is Boring that details the results of visual range air-to-air engagement tests between an F-35A and an F-16C. The F-35, which the US Air Force, Navy, and Marines are expected to rely upon, in addition to the air arms of militaries across the world for at least the next few decades, was supposed to be better than its F-16 predecessor in all respects.The F-35 performed so dismally in a dogfight, that the test pilot remarked that the it had pretty much no place fighting other aircraft within visual range.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:48 am

It's always been known to be an inferior air superiority fighter in visual range. See all the links under this quote:
The JSF program is almost unique historically in the extent to which its intended survivability and lethality are mismatched against the operational environment in which the aircraft is intended to be used. These publications detail the scope, scale and nature of the program's failures in these areas.

But like I mentioned earlier in the thread, they aren't supposed to engage in visual range. If that happens, the mission is busted.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Kraken » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:26 pm

Wondering idly about fighter designations. The "F-" part is obvious, but how do they come up with the numbers? Was there ever an F-21 or F-34, say in development stages? The wiki sounds arbitrary and haphazard.

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by em2nought » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:51 pm

Kraken wrote:Wondering idly about fighter designations. The "F-" part is obvious, but how do they come up with the numbers? Was there ever an F-21 or F-34, say in development stages? The wiki sounds arbitrary and haphazard.
I think they go with a number representing how many billion they plan to go over budget. :wink:
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Rip » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:44 am

They should have called them the F-69.

:ninja:

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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:49 am

Kraken wrote:Wondering idly about fighter designations. The "F-" part is obvious, but how do they come up with the numbers? Was there ever an F-21 or F-34, say in development stages? The wiki sounds arbitrary and haphazard.
There is some method, but it changes. And a lot of planes never make it to production. The numbers still increment.

There is an F-21, but no F-34.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:58 am

F-35 Wiki
The JSF development contract was signed on 16 November 1996, and the contract for System Development and Demonstration (SDD) was awarded on 26 October 2001 to Lockheed Martin, whose X-35 beat the Boeing X-32. Although both aircraft met or exceeded requirements, the X-35 design was considered to have less risk and more growth potential. The designation of the new fighter as "F-35" is out-of-sequence with standard DoD aircraft numbering, by which it should have been "F-24". It came as a surprise even to the company, which had been referring to the aircraft in-house by this expected designation.
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:06 am

Per the book (P. 398):
Secretary of the Air Force James Roche announced in 2003 that the JSF would become F-35 because the technology demonstration aircraft was designated X-35. But that research aircraft was not a prototype JSF; rather, its experimental designation is akin to that of the XV-15 tilt-rotor aircraft, which was the technology demonstrator for the V-22 Osprey series. According to the Department of Defense aircraft designation procedure, the next U.S. fighter aircraft should have been designated F-24 (The F-23 was the McDonnell Douglas competitive design to the Lockheed F-22 Raptor high-performance fighter.)
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Re: No more F-22s for you!

Post by El Guapo » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:15 am

Clearly the fighter is 11 better than they expected the next fighter to be.

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