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F-35 news roundup

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They would have flown A-10s, but the cars would have outrun them.

They probably couldn't find anybody who could make the final note of the Star Spangled Banner last ten minutes.

Deke

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For kicks, another David Axe article. This one seems even a little more venomous than some of his others:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/03/17/military-admits-billion-dollar-war-toy-f-35-is-f-ked.html

Remember when he was saying the same things about the F-22?

Another title could have been David Axe admits he f**ked up. The F-35 is the worst airplane since the F-22, which was the previous worst ever Axe was telling us about for a long time. It couldn't dogfight, or fight in Afghanistan and was 600+ million per. What's old is new

At least he is accepting the F-35 in his own special editoralized way... if you thought people were nasty when the F-35 was struggling wait until you see then when it improves

Edited by TaiidanTomcat

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Apparently Axe "forgot" to quote so many others...

“We want to be the best partner to our friends; and the most feared enemy of our foes.”

Technology is important to this effort, and he highlighted that the Osprey being brought into the force was a generator of “disruptive change,” but the kind crucial to real combat innovation.

“But change is difficult; and the critics prevalent.”

He noted that if we held this conference 12 years ago, and the room was filled with Marines we would hear about all the things the Osprey could not do and why we should not go ahead. “If we brought those same Marines into the conference room now, they would have amnesia about what they thought then and press me to get more Ospreys and leverage it even more.”

But it is not just about technology – it is about “equipping Marines, not manning the equipment.”

His point was that you needed to get the new equipment into the hands of the Marines at the earliest possible moment, because the young Marines innovate in ways not anticipated when the senior leadership gets that equipment to them.

The Marines look at risk differently from the cubical commandos.

I recall a conversation I had with a well-known and oft quoted aviation analyst who told me that the Marines should have waited few years before using the F-35B because doing so now was “risky.”

I pointed out that it was inherently risky flying legacy aircraft into ever more challenging conditions than getting new equipment into the hands of Marines who would innovate rapidly in ways that could not be imagined in the chat corridors Inside the Beltway.

Davis provided several examples of innovation, but one was about the F-35.

He argued that there was no doubt that the F-35 is the right plane for the USMC.

Now that it is in the hands of Marines, they are innovating in ways which the leadership really did not anticipate and much more rapidly than might be imagined.

He described an event where the Commandant was going witness a Yuma to Nellis scenario in which F-35s would be used to support Marines in the maneuver space.

He went to the Marines working the exercise and asked: “Was everything ready for the Commandant?”

The answer was: “Sir we are not going to do exactly what you asked for and are not ready to do it that way?”

Davis commented: “The Commandant is just about here, what are you talking about?”

The Marine answered: “Frankly, the scenario you suggested was not tough enough for we wanted to take our F-35s into a more advanced SAM belt to get through and then support the Marines on the ground.”

Davis was a bit taken aback, but the innovation already evident by the squadron pilots was rewarded with a demonstrated success on the Nellis ranges.

The Commandant was impressed, and although a ground combat Marine, he argued “we need to get that plane into the hands of Marines as fast as we can.”

The DCA noted throughout his presentation that the RAAF focus on bottom up innovation with the Plan Jericho processes was what the Marines felt was central to real combat innovation.

And shaping the way ahead was really about leveraging the new platforms, shaping key enablers and then ensures that whatever follow-on platforms are bought that they build upon but push the innovation envelope.

Slide15.jpg

http://www.sldinfo.com/the-deputy-commandant-of-aviation-down-under-plan-jericho-marine-corps-style/

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Thanks for the article TT. It sounds like it was written by a team of PR specialists (of which the USMC probably has the best PR folks in the business). if we are going to be calling for the public stoning of David Axe for his admittedly one-sided articles, does it really help keep things "fair and balanced" when puff pieces like this are posted?

How about some articles that discuss actual problems with the program (unless you feel that there are none) or reasonable articles about progress being made? Or maybe we just limit things to posting pretty pictures of F-35's?

BTW, what is the definition of a "Cubicle Commando"? What credentials does one need to have in place before they can raise concerns about the program without being mocked?

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I find any comparison of the F-35 to the Osprey program particularly odious given the number of Marines the Osprey program managed to kill before getting it close enough.

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One reference in Axe's article that caught my eye was that the commonality between the variants is 20-25%. I expected it to be higher than that, but I don't know how that number is achieved. It was apparently said by Bogdan, and the source for it is: http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pages/2016/March%202016/March%2014%202016/Split-the-Line.aspx

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if you thought people were nasty when the F-35 was struggling wait until you see then when it improves

Would you let me know whenever it happens? :woo:

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Would you let me know whenever it happens?

Right now.

" In summary, the F-35 program is showing steady progress in all areas – including development, flight test, production, maintenance, and stand-up of the global sustainment enterprise. The program is currently on the right track and will continue to deliver on the commitments that have been made to the F-35 Enterprise. As with any big, complex development program, there will be challenges and obstacles. However, we have the ability to overcome any current and future issues, and the superb capabilities of the F-35 are well within reach for all of us."

That was actually last year, this year's SAR is even more enthusiasm especially concerning cost. 80+ percent thru SDD, 50,000 hours etc etc. Still a long way to go but much improved

One reference in Axe's article that caught my eye was that the commonality between the variants is 20-25%. I expected it to be higher than that, but I don't know how that number is achieved. It was apparently said by Bogdan, and the source for it is: http://www.airforcem...t-the-Line.aspx

AIR_F-35_Version_Commonality_lg.jpg

The Navy version is the most oddball, not only in shape but material as well. The saving are in common avionics, common sensors, common engine.

I find any comparison of the F-35 to the Osprey program particularly odious given the number of Marines the Osprey program managed to kill before getting it close enough.

I just think he is falling back on personal experience. Osprey was very traumatic.

Thanks for the article TT. It sounds like it was written by a team of PR specialists (of which the USMC probably has the best PR folks in the business). if we are going to be calling for the public stoning of David Axe for his admittedly one-sided articles, does it really help keep things "fair and balanced" when puff pieces like this are posted?

I think there might be a difference between David Axe, and an actual uniformed pilot who has been at it for a couple decades, first off. secondly David Axe basically specializes in hit pieces we watched him do the same thing with the F-22, we are watching him do the same thing with the F-35, and we will watch him do it with the next program too. This is a counter in the idea that this is the plan this is the goal this is where we are going, long term at least. Axe has dropped the F bomb twice in articles relating to the F-35, I'll try and get a Marine to tell everyone how "f**King great" the F-35 is, to balance things.

How about some articles that discuss actual problems with the program (unless you feel that there are none) or reasonable articles about progress being made?

I have said on multiple occasions that the F-35 has problems, David Axe literally inventing things by commission or omission or by "re-interpreting" them in order to gain mouse clicks complete with catchy cursing titles, does not help. I've lamented several times that we have people literally inventing problems with the F-35 (the fuel could get too hot!!) that you can't get honest and actual criticism, and that doesn't help anyone either, because the people who are supposed to be guarding the little guy and speaking "truth to power" are instead going for the "low hanging fruit" that may or may not be true, but will certainly get attention.

Or maybe we just limit things to posting pretty pictures of F-35's?

I'm cool with whatever.

BTW, what is the definition of a "Cubicle Commando"? What credentials does one need to have in place before they can raise concerns about the program without being mocked?

I believe its more about the Operators who do this for a living and have their skin in the game having their call respected, but I also understand that being a monday morning QB is a time honored tradition as is making fun of POGs. however what I don't like is when a Monday Morning QB calls Tom Brady out on his batting average, and how he would score more Goals if he worked a little harder in the 3rd period.

Like all the Vietnam vets say, If you weren't there...

Edited by TaiidanTomcat

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And adding to the above, I never said Axe should be stoned, I'm sure he is doing that on his own just fine. I simply think he should be taken with mountains of salt, and recognized that he is far from being an unbiased and reputable journalistic source, and thats before you find out he has a book to sell and that most professionals avoid F-bombs in the article title, because you know, it looks childish. Not my quote, but certainly pertinent

'Howlers' such as the Jane's Su-35/T-50 radar story are a symptom of the gradual departure from the scene of veteran reporters who individually had 20 or 30 years of defence reporting experience, and the absence of an new generation able to replace them. The experience level in many editorial offices has shrunk dramatically, and Jane's may have been particularly hard hit.

Three of the aviation and defence journalists of my acquaintance have retired, two have semi-retired, three have moved to better-paying jobs in public-relations, and three have died. Salaries and payment rates (never exactly lavish in the past) are not high enough to attract good people to replace them, so the problem is likely to get worse.

At Le Bourget last year I heard much talk of an associated problem – shrinking advertising budgets at a shrinking number of defence companies. Thirty years ago the UK and French industries were big enough to support national promotional magazines, something that would be unthinkable today. With Aviation Week now a fortnightly title, Armed Forces Journal closed, and at least one other title known to be in difficulties, I fear we may be seeing the gradual collapse of traditional defence publishing.

This is not just happening in aviation and defence journalism. In an article I read recently, a former newspaper journalist described how having lost their experienced reporters, papers had hired "web-savvy newbies with little or no journalism experience" to take their place.

Thats horrific news, that goes well beyond the F-35.

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Australia's first F-35A pilot, Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Andrew Jackson, says it is “easy to fall into the trap of thinking the F-35 is just another aircraft”.

“The shell of the aircraft gets it to the fight, but it’s so much more than an F/A-18 Hornet replacement. We haven’t begun to scratch the surface of the F-35 capability. There’s more information, better information, faster information – it’s a real force multiplier.

“Unlike the F-22, the F-35 is capable of sharing information with other aircraft," he said.

Commander of the US Air Force’s 56th Fighter Wing, Brigadier General Scott Pleus is also excited about flying the aircraft. "As an F-35 pilot myself, this aeroplane has the capabilities we need. While a fourth-generation fighter may be cost-effective, it will also be dead when it comes up against an F-35.”

“I find it interesting that most people who complain about the F-35 have never flown the F-35," he said.

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Was that a shot at the APA, Axe and Sweetman?

Oh no he didint.

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Was that a shot at the APA, Axe and Sweetman?

Oh no he didint.

Speaking of APA:

THE SENATE FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND TRADE REFERENCES COMMITTEE

Joint Strike Fighter PUBLIC HEARING Tuesday 22 March 2016 Committee Room 2S1 Parliament House, Canberra

Time Witness

9.00 am Air Power Australia (Submission 9) Mr Peter Goon, Head of T&E; Mr Chris Mills, Member

9.30 am Teleconference: Mr Alan Williams (Submission 20)

10.00 am The Sir Richard Williams Foundation (Submission 17) AIRMSHL Errol J. McCormack AO (Retd), Chair

AIRMSHL Geoff Brown AO (Retd), Chair

10.30 am Break

10.45 am Australian Strategic Policy Institute (Submission 47) Dr Andrew Davies, Director of Research/Senior Analyst - Defence Capability

11.15 am Dr Keith Joiner (Submission 5)

11.45 am Marand (Submission 23) Mr Rohan Stocker, Chief Executive Officer Quickstep Holdings Limited (Submission 26) Mr Tony Quick, Chairman Mr Carl de Koning, Executive General Manager, Business Development & External Relations

Heat Treatment Australia (Submission 32) Ms Karen Stanton, Director – Strategy & Corporate

12.30 pm Lunch

1.30 pm Northrop Grumman Australia (Submission 41) Mr Ian Irving, Chief Executive BAE Systems Australia (Submission 49) Mr Andrew Gresham, F35 Campaign Manager Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) (Submission 24)

2.30 pm Lockheed Martin (Submission 46) Mr Raydon Gates, Chief Executive Mr Jeff Babione, Executive Vice President and General Manager of F-35 Lightening II Program Mr Gary North, Vice President, Customer Requirements, Aeronautics

3.30 pm Break

3.45 pm Department of Defence (Submission 55) AIRMSHL Leo Davies, Chief of Air Force; AVM Leigh Gordon, Program Manager Joint Strike Fighter; AVM Chris Deeble (Retd), Program Manager Joint Strike Fighter; Dr Todd Mansell, Chief Defence Scientist; Mr Steven Grzeskowiak, Deputy Secretary Estate & Infrastructure; Mr Kim Gillis, Deputy Secretary Capability Acquisition & Sustainment

5.00 pm Close"

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes:

"Canadian industry is missing out on strategic opportunities on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter because of the new Ottawa government’s election promise to hold a competition for its next fighter, says Magellan Aerospace, a major Canadian supplier to the program.

Canada has paid its share of the F-35 system development and demonstration bill and continues to participate in the program with the same status, says Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin F-35 program general manager. But if Ottawa ultimately decides against the F-35, Canadian suppliers will lose the right to bid for future work.

“Canadian companies can only bid because it is part of the consortium. You have to be in to stay in,” says Don Boitson, vice president of North America operations for Magellan. The Ontario-headquartered company produces horizontal tails for the F-35, the lift-fan vane box and transition duct for the vertical-lift F-35B and other components.

Uncertainty about Canada’s fighter procurement plans following the October 2015 election of the Liberal government is already having an impact, says Scott McCrady, Magellan’s F-35 program director. “Across Canadian industry there is opportunity for strategic investment by the F-35 partners that is not happening right now,” he say

For Magellan alone, potential revenues approach C$2 billion ($1.5 billion) over the planned F-35 program. For the Canadian industry, the opportunities exceed C$11 billion, according to a new flyer produced in support of the program by the Canadian JSF Industry Group, which comprises 27 companies including Avcorp, CMC Electronics, Composites Atlantic, Heroux-Devtek and Pratt & Whitney Canada.

McCrady says Magellan has already invested more than C$85 million across its Canada, U.S. and U.K. facilities for F-35 production. This includes a precision milling machine (PMM) in Winnipeg to machine tail structures and skins to achieve the outer mold line tolerance required for stealth. A second PMM is planned to meet rate production requirements.

Magellan is expecting to produce more than 1,000 shipsets of horizontal tails as the second source to BAE Systems. The climate-controlled facility will produce 20-24 tails this year, including the first for a Norwegian F-35 to be assembled in Italy and for a Japanese F-35 to be assembled in Japan. “We are reconfiguring the line for a rate of 60 a year in four-five years,” McCrady says.

Vane box structures and transition ducts are produced in Winnipeg for lift-fan manufacturer Rolls-Royce. But, as was planned, a second source has now been qualified. Contracts are placed lot by lot, with Lockheed expecting to reach a handshake agreement with the F-35 program office on production Lots 9 and 10 by the end of March.

“Our customers say they will honor our contracts. But the reality is we will see things migrate out of Canada if we do not buy the F-35. It will not be an off switch, but a migration of work,” McCrady says. “With such significant industry participation, there is a vested interest in staying in,” Babione says.

source Aveweek

Edited by TaiidanTomcat

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It seems as though Canada might find itself on the outside looking in on so many levels if it doesn't poop or get off the pot pretty soon and decide where its going with its new fighter. I mean other countries already have pilots training on the F-35 and providing their input to their respective Air Forces/services and politicians. Its almost like the can is just getting kicked down the road and in the next federal election in a little over three years from now nothing will have been decided.

Meh...just add more duct tape to the Hornets I guess... ;)

:cheers:

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Canada already had a pretty significant input into the PVI and handling characteristics, at least pre flying it. If/when they get it, it shouldn't be too much a shocker. The silver lining in all this is block 4 is so heavily tied to weapons cert, there isn't as much development to miss out on. And they are still players in the office, even if they are getting cut out of industry deals.

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True. But at some point they (Canada) have to decide the direction they intend to go...commit to the F-35 and don't look back, choose another platform and be done with it, or hold another competition and start the process all over again (hence the poop or get off the pot reference). The Hornets aren't getting any younger and the feet dragging isn't going to get them any closer to new equipment any sooner (and may even remove options from the table if the SH goes OOP).

EDIT: or choose nothing and get out of the fighter business altogether is another option however unlikely.

Edited by Don

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Well surprise surprise, our Liberal government just passed its budget. Zero new money for defence.

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Not true.....that zero started quietly in the previous governments mandate. The manditory stay in the consortium payment has been paid.

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It's ok bro......you are still ok in my books even with your looney right wing ideas........ROFLMAO

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Its all good, SOMEBODY I know HAD to vote for Justine.

But, my point is I do not see a decision any time soon on Canada getting ANYTHING airframe wise for some time.

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Nope I can tell you I didn't vote for him..... I think we might see something. AC bought the C series right after they said they were not interested and they are privately owned.....

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I believe its more about the Operators who do this for a living and have their skin in the game having their call respected, but I also understand that being a monday morning QB is a time honored tradition as is making fun of POGs. however what I don't like is when a Monday Morning QB calls Tom Brady out on his batting average, and how he would score more Goals if he worked a little harder in the 3rd period.

Like all the Vietnam vets say, If you weren't there...

I'm down with giving the "warfighters" a say in this since they obviously have a big stake in the outcome. But I'm also a fan of checks and balances. Or do we just tell the warfighters that they can run the entire show soup to nuts and only have to answer to themselves?

Want to add some more features on the fly? Just tell us what you need General and we'll cut another check.

Ultimately, as with everything associated with the military, civilian control is a necessary evil.

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I'm down with giving the "warfighters" a say in this since they obviously have a big stake in the outcome. But I'm also a fan of checks and balances. Or do we just tell the warfighters that they can run the entire show soup to nuts and only have to answer to themselves?

Right, but since when is David Axe official oversight for the military?

David Axe is basically parsing together other journalist's stories adding his opinion, misqoutes, and free interpretation and calling it "journalism" when its basically an editorial/opinion piece, and more to the point one that is removed from the original source material, without the benefit of research, context, and actual sources. it can be written from his basement essentially, with no need for tedious editors or clarification or counter point or official comment.

It has as much validity as me reading second or third hand stories about the Patriots, and then titling a click bait article "Tom Brady admits he cheated for Rings" complete with my "free interpretation" of the evidence, and posted as an openly biased New York Jets fan at the front page of the NY times, As if I had truly cracked open a scandal, complete with some evidence I don't have the knowledge to accurately interpret.

We understand that the military is composed of human beings, who can make mistakes (We keep trying to beat the humanity out of them, but no luck yet) However, I would like to also point out the critics successful predictions and make comparisons. David Axe on the F-22 alone should give the military the benefit of the doubt, considering he was dead wrong about it. but the journalists can hit and miss, they can throw crap on the wall and eventually some of it will indeed stick, and they can talk about how "right they were" while conveniently forgetting the many more times they were wrong. At the time the USAF and the Evil MIC was screaming that they needed more F-22s, and Axe and Co scoffed, well guess what?

The USAF and MIC was right but that hasn't stopped them from trotting out the same formula that they use on the F-22, and really every defense project until it basically becomes crying wolf, which again is not helpful for an informed citizenry either.

Want to add some more features on the fly? Just tell us what you need General and we'll cut another check.

Its funny because everyone blames the contractor when there are delays, and never ever the military/government for changing the requirements and adding time and expense. (not saying LM and others don't deserve their share of blame, but I am always amazed at how the "customer" escapes blame repeatedly.)

Ultimately, as with everything associated with the military, civilian control is a necessary evil.

I would say its getting worse not better. The pendulum has swung to far, and its not just the F-35. We are seeing failed programs everywhere. The solution will of course be more oversight, which everyone involved is saying makes it worse not better. I talked to a Boeing guy that says they have to stop work on the Super Hornets "every few days" for various inspectors from various agencies to do check ups on them. The price is then passed along to the taxpayer who is getting screwed twice by paying for both the bureaucrats and the stoppages. LM has flat out said they need to hire more people just to make sure their arbitrary paper work is in order.

And this is before we get into throwing a bunch of much weaker people into combat MOS's because you know, we need the warm fuzzies.

Not true.....that zero started quietly in the previous governments mandate.

what about the promised Naval expansion from this one?

Edited by TaiidanTomcat

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Right, but since when is David Axe official oversight for the military?

David Axe is basically parsing together other journalist's stories adding his opinion, misqoutes, and free interpretation and calling it "journalism" when its basically an editorial/opinion piece, and more to the point one that is removed from the original source material, without the benefit of research, context, and actual sources. it can be written from his basement essentially, with no need for tedious editors or clarification or counter point or official comment.

David Axe is an outlier. I was referring to other organizations within DOD that have come in for slagging because they have raised issues with this program. If someone who wears a uniform or works for DOD finds fault with the F-35, does that also make them a cubical commando?

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David Axe is an outlier. I was referring to other organizations within DOD that have come in for slagging because they have raised issues with this program. If someone who wears a uniform or works for DOD finds fault with the F-35, does that also make them a cubical commando?

The answer to that is "it depends doesn't it?"

OTTAWA – The promised re-equipping of the Canadian military has essentially been postponed until after the next election by a federal Liberal budget that shifts billions of dollars in capital spending to 2020 – or later.

The new fiscal plan delays $3.7 billion in planned defence purchases – ships, planes and vehicles – indefinitely, but Finance Minister Bill Morneau insists it’s not a cut to military funding, which the Liberals promised to maintain during the last election.

enjoy the F-35s boys.

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