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Hooray! After a full decade of work, the Gen 3 helmet is (nearly) here.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/f-35-programme-receives-first-rockwell-collins-gen-3-415699/

Took us 7 years to figure out how to land a man on the moon, so for a decade plus of work on this rig, I've got really high expectations.

Hope the F-35 pilots will be impressed. This guy seems a bit skeptical about some of the usefulness of the current version.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=617_1437111611&comments=1

His comments were posted a while back but I figured some would be interested in the entire video.

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Hooray! After a full decade of work, the Gen 3 helmet is (nearly) here.

Took us 7 years to figure out how to land a man on the moon, so for a decade plus of work on this rig, I've got really high expectations.

Hope the F-35 pilots will be impressed. This guy seems a bit skeptical about some of the usefulness of the current version.

His comments were posted a while back but I figured some would be interested in the entire video.

This guy reminds me of a pilot we had in VMFA-531, "Flocker". After a sortie I went out to the line to debrief and asked him how the radar was. He said, "I never use that thing, I just turn the polarizing filter all the way down and fly the plane". Okay... He's also the one that during a discussion on the rules of engagement during Eagle Claw (they were only supposed to fire on something if it fired first), "If I see a bomb bay door twitch, I'm shooting".

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This guy reminds me of a pilot we had in VMFA-531, "Flocker". After a sortie I went out to the line to debrief and asked him how the radar was. He said, "I never use that thing, I just turn the polarizing filter all the way down and fly the plane". Okay... He's also the one that during a discussion on the rules of engagement during Eagle Claw (they were only supposed to fire on something if it fired first), "If I see a bomb bay door twitch, I'm shooting".

Please please don't get me started on things like this.

"No, I've got my knee board"

"If I wasn't supposed to do it the aircraft would have told me"

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The news that is and isnt:

The review that wasn't:

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/air-space/2015/08/25/pentagon-denies-f-35-numbers-review/32354831/

F-35C on Ike in October:

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/naval/naval-aviation/2015/08/20/us-navy-plans--sea-testing-f-35c-october/32048197/

My favorite piece of news:

The F-35 is slated to undergo comparison operational test flights against the A-10 Warthog to gauge close-air-support capability in late 2017 or early 2018, according to Curt Cook, an air warfare specialist in the Pentagon's operational test and evaluation office.

Speaking at an Aug. 20 industry event in Arlington, VA, Cook said DOT&E is about halfway through its test design and will be ready to score the F-35 in close air support (CAS) by the scheduled test date, but has been receiving some pushback from the services.

Currently, the Air Force uses the A-10 and F-16 for most of its operational ground support needs. However, the A-10, which has been in use since the 1970s, has been on the chopping block for years.

Speaking alongside Cook, former Deputy Chief of Staff (G-1) for the Army Lt. Gen. Franklin Hagenbeck, a self-proclaimed advocate for A-10 and F-16 CAS, said he was open-minded, but skeptical about the F-35's CAS capabilities.

Concerns about the F-35's CAS capabilities revolve around how expensive the plane is, its maneuverability, its sighting accuracy without a heads-up display and the number of rounds the plane can hold.

According to Cook, the comparison tests will pair the F-35 against an easy and medium threat and then most likely only test the F-35 against a more advanced threat.

The F-35 test will also look at proportional measures of effectiveness, such as the number of hits on a designated target vs. the number of attempts. Another proportional test would measure how long it takes for the ground to communicate to the fighter the need for support, the time the fighter can assimilate that request and then get the go-ahead to attack.

"That interval of time is very important to the forces on the ground, so it can happen really fast or it can take a really long time," Cook said. "The longer it takes, most likely, the worse things are going to get on the ground. . . . Mostly we are driving the test design to be time-based in measures because the sense of urgency is what's keen to the ground."

Cook said comparison testing is better than functionality testing for CAS because "you figure out quickly what the new capabilities are and how well they preform in comparison to your existing capability." The comparison also exposes the gaps that are being left open by the new system.

Most of the pushback on the comparison test is mainly because of what Cook said was human nature: It's more work and more complex to do a comparison test than to simply test functionality. -- Scott Maucione

Related News | Aircraft |

Inside the Air Force - 08/21/2015 , Vol. 26, No. 33

LOL:

ASHINGTON — The US Air Force is pushing back on reports the Pentagon's top weapons tester is planning to pit the F-35 joint strike fighter against the legacy A-10 Warthog for comparative testing, arguing such an exercise would be irrelevant in light of the new jet's capability.

"I think that would be a silly exercise," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said Monday during a press conference at the Pentagon when asked about the reports, adding that he is unaware of plans for any comparative testing between the two aircraft.

The F-35 will be able to perform high-threat close-air support in contested environments the A-10 could never survive, Welsh told reporters, although he noted the aircraft won't be fully operational until 2021 and beyond.

The fighter jet is designed "with the entire battlespace in mind" — it is equipped with advanced stealth, integrated avionics and an integrated sensor package, which will provide the pilot enhanced situational awareness, said F-35 Joint Program Office spokesman Joe DellaVedova.

The plane has proven its ability to conduct close-air support missions at night and during the day, according to DellaVedova. During exercises, the aircraft was able to receive targets from terminal air controllers on the ground, and then attack and prosecute targets in a timely manner, he said.

Still, Welsh noted the Air Force never intended to use the multi-role fighter jet as a direct replacement for the A-10, which is a single-mission platform dedicated to close-in attack.

"The idea that the F-35 is going to walk in this door next year when it [reaches initial operational capability] and take over for the A-10 is just silly," Welsh said. "It has never been our intent and we've never said that, so that's not a plan."

Welsh said he would like to see an A-10 replacement, often referred to as A-X, that can perform the low-threat CAS mission even better than the legacy Warthog. Service officials have recently indicated a notional A-X might be in the works.

The Air Force has been trying to retire the aging A-10 for several years to save money — as much as $4.2 billion over the next five years. However, defenders of the program, including several prominent members of Congress, accuse the Air Force of abandoning troops on the ground by retiring the plane without a dedicated CAS replacement.

Given the tight budget environment, retiring the A-10 is a crucial step in the Air Force's plans to modernize its fleet, Secretary Deborah Lee James said during the press conference.

"If we had billions and billions and billions of additional dollars over the President's Budget level — and I'll remind you we are struggling to get the President's Budget level approved — but if we had billions more we would love to maintain the A-10," James said. "But in a budget-constrained environment, this is one of the tough choices that we had to make for the sake of moving forward and modernizing."

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/air-space/support/2015/08/24/welsh-f-35-vs--10-testing--silly-exercise/32292147/

Edited by TaiidanTomcat
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Dr Gilmore, the current Director, DOT&E, is a huge proponent for comparison testing. There are advantages to comparison, as long as you are making a valid comparison of capabilities. For example, when the F-15E Radar Modernization Program (RMP) came online to bring AESA capabilities to the Strike Eagle via the APG-82, many of the test results in an operationally environment could be directly compared to those of an F-15E _NOT_ flying with RMP.

Specifically, did the RMP significantly shorten the kill chain and improve the accuracy of the F-15E to fix-fix-track-target-engage-assess targets in a realistic environment. In theory, an AESA radar should significantly help an F-15E be able to accomplish all these things. However, if you fly comparison testing, and employ the two aircraft in the exact same environment, you can see exactly how much better (or not) the performance is on the candidate enhancements. So the theory is, direct comparison testing can tell you how much better, and if the enhancement is truly worth it.

The alternative is simply to evaluate performance of the system under test in operationally realistic environments and evaluate how well it can do the mission. If it can get the job done, then the candidate enhancements are probably worth it. If it can't meet the standards and metrics described in the operational capabilities descriptions, then...well, back to the drawing board.

There's a very slight difference between the two testing methods, and it's really a matter of perspective as to which is better. However, the key to comparison testing is, you need to be making a RELEVANT comparison. For example, when I was in my assignment as a Test Director, I was briefed on a test involving a platform that was a candidate to receive Link-16 as an upgrade. The comparison testing flew both the Link-16 equipped and non-equipped versions of the platform in a dense target environment. The conclusion? "The addition of Link-16 did not improve the speed at which the platform was able to find and engage targets in a densely populated threat environment." Well, no sh!t sherlock. If there's a crapload of targets, I probably don't need Link-16 to find and kill them quickly, and I'm probably out of ordnance before I have to rely on offboard cueing to find targets.

I've also seen comparison testing proposed where a direct comparison is attempted between a platform that HAS a certain capability vs. one that doesn't. For example, "compare the ability of the F-52 to find and attack ground targets using it's air-to-ground radar modes vs. the ability of F-52 without air-to-ground radar to find and attack ground targets." Ummmm....pretty sure we don't need to spend valuable test dollars on that one, chief.

Comparison testing can be really stupid, and I suspect that is the services' complaints in this case. CLEARLY an F-35 was not designed to do the same thing an A-10 does, and CLEARLY it has capabilities to do missions an A-10 will not be able to perform. We're comparing apples to rocks here.

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This is a flat @$$ lie:

Still, Welsh noted the Air Force never intended to use the multi-role fighter jet as a direct replacement for the A-10, which is a single-mission platform dedicated to close-in attack.

All through the last decade, up until about Welsh made that comment, the program propaganda has made it clear on every damn chart they could that the A-10 was being directly replaced by the JSF. Buy one jet, throw away A-10s, AV-8Bs, CAS dedicated F-16s (OK all F-16s). Swiss Army Plane can do it all.

To Waco's point, the AF never intended the JSF to do the A-10 mission in exactly the same way (hence why comparison testing might not make sense). It's like comparing Rousey to Mayweather; Floyd will punch your face in, Ronda will tear your arm out of its socket. Either way you are going down in a world of hurt.

There is also the larger point about how certain platforms or systems are being replaced by others to do the exact same job. Remember the last time a Tomcat did a defensive counter air flight? Probably not, because despite all the Top Gun nonsense the second the Aegis Cruiser System came online, DCA stopped being a carrier born fighter's primary mission. Why do you think the Navy has been moving more and more towards attack aircraft and less towards pure dog fighters? The last gasp "Bombcat" was an attempt to give that airframe relevance in a world that had left it behind.

By the same token, we have all these armchair quarterbacks wondering how horribly the F-35 would do against MiG-21s over Hanoi. As technology has advanced, TTP's have also advanced and how we used to kill bad guys is changing all the damn time. So let Gilmore and his merry band come up with more ways as to why the F-35 can't to do exactly what an A-10 or F-16 can do in exactly the same way while the services figure out ways for the F-35 to do things nothing else can do.

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When you look up "Self Licking Ice Cream Cone" in a thesaurus it's synonymous with "DOT&E" among others.

The key part is, what happens when they prove the A-10 can gun something the F-35 can't? The point is there's no $$ to keep a one-trick pony in the inventory, even if the F-35 was cancelled (which is won't be).

The real question is, why do we have both the A-10 and the AH-64? Take A-10's out of theater and you hear Holy Hell from the Army guys; Take away AH-64's and OH-58's and everyone goes "meh" (and I was at RC-E last year when that was happening...)

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When you look up "Self Licking Ice Cream Cone" in a thesaurus it's synonymous with "DOT&E" among others.

The key part is, what happens when they prove the A-10 can gun something the F-35 can't? The point is there's no $$ to keep a one-trick pony in the inventory, even if the F-35 was cancelled (which is won't be).

The real question is, why do we have both the A-10 and the AH-64? Take A-10's out of theater and you hear Holy Hell from the Army guys; Take away AH-64's and OH-58's and everyone goes "meh" (and I was at RC-E last year when that was happening...)

As if Ah-64s and oh-58s helped the army. Only the mighty A-10 is capable of such.

I'm just hoping we can parlay this into bringing a tomcat back to compete againt the super hornet, also A-6s. That's about as pointless

Tweets vs Texan II?

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Oh the horror...not another dogfight scandal/cover up... :lol:! But on the bright side we DO have pictures of this event... :P

Edited by Don
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Oh the horror...not another dogfight scandal/cover up... :lol:/>! But on the bright side we DO have pictures of this event... :P/>

It also bears noting that the guy flying the winning aircraft had nothing but a basic leather / fur-lined helmet and cheap glass goggles. If he wants to see what's underneath him, all he has to do is wipe the castor oil off his goggles, stick his head over the side of the cockpit and look down.

Hmmm....

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It also bears noting that the guy flying the winning aircraft had nothing but a basic leather / fur-lined helmet and cheap glass goggles. If he wants to see what's underneath him, all he has to do is wipe the castor oil off his goggles, stick his head over the side of the cockpit and look down.

Hmmm....

Or roll the aircraft ...

-Gregg

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