Marine Corps, News f-35 joint strike fighter, f-35 jsf, F-35 Lightning II, F-35 Lightning II JSF, F-35 model plane, F-35B, F-35B JSF, F-35B STOVL, Marine Corps F-35B, Pratt & Whitney
The F-35 Lighting II is not the only aircraft facing problems. The F-35B used by the Marine Corps are grounded after a fuel line detached and caused a propulsion system leak that led to an aborted take-off.
The F-35B is the most complicated design in the Pentagon’s F-35 program. It is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings. The test flights of the fifth generation jet plane conducted by the Marine Corps were immediately suspended after the incident.
The Pentagon’s investigation revealed a quality discrepancy resulting in a crimped line in the plane’s fueldraulic system was at fault. The propulsion system was made by Pratt & Whitney unit of the United Technologies Corp. (UTX).
Initially, the faulty fuel lines were planned to be sent to Europe, but in order to save time and money, it will be scanned in the U.S. The components will undergo a CT scan in order to detect the flaws.
Replacement fuel lines are already available and Marine Corps test flying are likely to resume soon.
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News Source: www.bloomberg.com, article.chicagotribune.com
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The production of F-35 Lightning II has encountered another setback. The fuel tank of the JSF was found to be problematic, casting another gloom to the most controversial and expensive defense program of Pentagon.
To make up for the late arrival of the F-35s, the US Air Force is spending nearly $6 billion to upgrade and refurbish its F-15 jet planes. Almost half of the money allocated for the F-15s will be spent on new electronics. The remaining budget will be spent on older F-15s. Introduced 30 years ago, the F-15 was originally designed to fly for just 8,000 hours. The Air Force is looking forward to adding another 10 thousand hours with internal and external improvements to the F-15.
The US Air Force is also looking forward to upgrade its fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcon Aggressors. The improvement involves equipping the jet planes with an electronic system that will improve the accuracy of replicating enemy fighters.
“To date, generally, it is considered that the aggressors under-replicate the current threat,” says Major Gary Barker, the ACC training operations division’s F-16 functional area and realistic training manager. “It’s very difficult for the aggressors to provide the threat picture that we think we would see in near-peer combat.”
The Air Force sees the System Capabilities Upgrade-8 (SCU-8) configuration as the solution. With the SCU-8, older Blocks 30 and 32 F-16s will have a helmet-mounted cueing system and a new center display unit, which Barker describes as having functionality similar to an Apple iPad
“With that, you can simulate missile WEZs [weapons employment zones] and provide more accurate cueing real-time that can aid in kill removal and weapons assessment airborne,” Barker says.
As of now, the current F-15s and F-16s are well-suited to deal with fourth-generation enemy fighters. But with the emergence of new warplanes such as the Chinese Chengdu J-20 and Shenyang J-31 or Russian Sukhoi PAK-FA, the Air Force has to take measures to keep up while waiting for the fifth-generation F-35 jet fighters.
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News Source: www.flightglobal.com, www.strategypage.com
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The production of F-35 has been derailed once again. In an ironic turn, engineers discovered that the fuel tank of the jet known as the Lightning II can explode of struck by lightning. This is the latest setback for the Pentagon’s controversial and most expensive defense program
A report from Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation Office disclosed that a fault in the Joint Strike Fighter’s engine can lead to a catastrophic explosion when struck by lightning. The report also states that all test flights are prohibited within 25 miles of thunderstorm until the device in the fuel tank responsible for maintaining correct oxygen levels is redesigned. Another design fault in the fuel tank was revealed in the report. The fault prevents the F-35 to rapidly descend to low altitude. According to the report, both failings are unacceptable for combat and training.
A Lockheed Martin spokesman explained: “The F-35 program has yet to formally test for lightning protection. We still have four years of Developmental Test ahead of us, before we actually begin formal Operational Testing. There is a plan in place for lightning testing to be completed in the future test plan, and for the jet to be appropriately equipped to fly in all weather. The plan is to conduct lightning test towards the end of the flight test program. Because the testing has not been completed to date, we therefore have a lightning restriction of 25 miles at present for flight operations – this is obviously the safe, and sensible way to do business and supported by all involved in the program.”
The F-35 Lightning II is one of the most sophisticated stealth aircraft ever built. It is designed to be able to flt into enemy’s territory, attack its target, and return to safety without being detected. It is also deemed to be the most expensive defense program as the total cost of buying, operating, and maintaining the aircraft over 30 years is estimated to be around $1 trillion.
The F-35 was hoped to be one of the finest aircraft of the military’s fleet. Start your own fleet of military aircraft models with Warplanes. Warplanes has wide range of model airplane depicting modern and World War II aircraft.
News Source: www.telegraph.co.uk
Aviation News Australia, Canada, F-35, f-35 joint strike fighter, f-35 jsf, F-35 model plane, F/A-18, F/A-18F Super Hornet, jet fighters
Canada and Australia are looking at other jet planes for their military just in case the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program face new setbacks. Australia is thinking about buying 24 units of Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets, Defense Minister Stephen Smith said on Thursday, a day after Canada Defense Minister Peter McKay announced that they are considering other fighter jets apart from F-35.
McKay said that the Canadian government needs to ensure the balance between the military and taxpayer expenses.
The F-35 program is the costliest procurement program in US Defense history. It had been hampered due to numerous budget cuts that resulted delays and overruns. These announcements show that development partners are going frustrated with the $396 billion programme. Australia was expected to buy 100 units of F-35, but buying new F/A-18 can lesses their F-35 order.
Other countries had earlier expressed similar sentiments. Japan has cancelled their order of F-35 jet fighters while the Netherlands and Italy have trimmed down their orders.
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US Marine Corps pilots will start flight training for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. This progress with the development of F-35 emphasize the service’ confidence with the JSF program.
Lockheed Martin had delivered 10 units of the F-35B model at the air base. The model can take off from shorter runways and has the capability to land like helicopters. Preliminary orientation flights had been conducted by test pilots in May, but the flights had been limited in scope and speed. For instance, vertical landings had not been tested. Most pilot training are confined in classrooms and simulators. The military needs to extensively train the pilots and maintainers to fly and repair the aircraft before it can enter service operations. The leaders of the Marine Corps are anxious to get the F-35 into service as it needs to replace the aging Harrier jump jets and the F/A18 fighters. The F-35 program had been restructured three times and had suffered delays in production and training.
The progress in the F-35 training will allow pilots to finally take the aircraft to the skies and be a step closer for the $396 billion program to be useful for the military.
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News source: www.courant.com
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Lockheed Martin celebrates the delivery of the 4500th unit of the F-16 jet model. It is such a huge milestone for Lockheed Martin and Fort Worth, where the jet planes are made.
The F-16 is considered the best combat airplane of the jet age. It is the foremost warplane of the United States Air Force and 25 other nations. The 4500th plane is bound for Morocco. Almost half of all the F-16 that was built was ordered by foreign nations.
“It’s the best air-to-air fighter. Then it proved to be the most adaptable plane for ground attack missions as well,” said Pierre Sprey, a former civilian weapons analyst in the Pentagon.
Apart from its capabilities, the F-16 stands out for being a low-cost and problem-free program. Unlike other jet programs like F-35 jet fighter, the F-16 was designed and built quickly, passed performance test readily and did not suffer from technical delays or cost overruns. It is a simple and inexpensive plane that was very capable of doing its job.
The F-16 is also very significant to the economy of the community around Fort Worth. The plant employs thousands of employees who had built their career and raised their families thanks to F-16. Small business have thrived by supplying components and services to Lockheed and General Dynamics.
The success of the F-16 program is a source of great pride from the men who first conceptualized it and to every hand that worked on an F-16 jet plane.
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News source: www.star-telegram.com
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon estimates that it will still cost about $1 trillion to operate a fleet of 2,443 F-35 fighter jets over the next 50 years, but is continuing to analyze how to drive that staggering sum down, a top U.S. Marine Corps official told Reuters.
Lieutenant General Terry Robling, deputy Marine Corps commandant for aviation, said top defense officials agreed last week to continue low-rate production of the new radar-evading warplane built by Lockheed Martin Corp, while keeping a close eye on the cost of maintaining and operating the new jets.
“Everybody was on board with … the program,” Robling told Reuters aboard a military aircraft on Saturday after a ceremony involving three F-35B jets at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. “We understand the costs are high. We understand that we need to do something, we need to make decisions down the road.”
Robling said the cost estimate would likely decline in coming years as more jets were built and flown, reducing the reliance on comparison data from other aircraft programs.
Unless the estimates do come down substantially, the Pentagon may have to decide to buy fewer airplanes, reduce the number of anticipated flight hours, or skip adding certain capabilities to the plane, Robling said, although he noted that decision point could still be five to 10 years off.
The estimated cost just to develop and buy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is around $382 billion, but that number could increase somewhat when the Pentagon reports the cost of its major acquisition programs to Congress next month.
Defense officials say the cost of the program will increase somewhat since the Pentagon is postponing orders for 179 planes for five years to allow more testing and limit the number of costly retrofits to already produced planes.
The delays and budget pressures at home are prompting eight international partners who are helping fund the F-35 development — Britain, Italy, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Turkey, Canada and the Netherlands — to rethink their orders as well.
-more at wtvr.com
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The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was billed to be one of the most high-tech military aircraft. However, it also comes with a hefty price tag, which is something that the budget of the military can hardly afford.
The highly advanced fifth-generational aircraft had been conceived since 1990′s during the post-cold war. The F-35 JFS was envisioned to have evading radar system while having the ability to fly at supersonic speed. It is supposed to serve three branches of the U.S. military namely the Air Force, the Navy and the Marine Corps. Each service also wants its own customized model of the aircraft.
The aircraft was supposed to be built in rush, but production snags and flight-test problems that resulted to years of cost overruns lands the F-35 project to the chopping block of the Pentagon. This issue is vital for South Carolina where the three bases – Lower Richland, Sumter and Beaufort - that was assigned to receive the fighter jets are located. The F-35 will replace the aging aircraft on the bases like the F/A-18 and F-16. When the F-35 arrives in these bases, it will have the most modern aircraft in the service which will guarantee its continued operation and it can generate jobs for the locals. But if the project would not push through, the bases might close down and lead to unemployment.
Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the F-35 JSF program would not be terminated outright. However, his deputy is less optimistic about the future of the fighter jets.
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To avoid creating a hollow force, the Defense Department is not going to protect force structure at the expense of needed training and gear, top Pentagon officials said Thursday.
“The military will be smaller and leaner, but it will be agile, flexible, ready and technologically advanced; it will be cutting edge,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon as he unveiled more details ahead of the fiscal 2013 budget proposal.
Panetta addressed the media along with Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs chairman. Together, they unveiled some of the details from the Pentagon’s new five-year spending plan. The full 2013 budget release is planned for Feb. 13, when President Obama sends his budget request to Congress.
DoD’s plans revealed no sacrificial lambs: all three variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are safe; the Navy will maintain 11 aircraft carriers; and the Army’s major vehicle programs are intact.
Instead, to reduce projected spending by $487 billion over the next 10 years, the Pentagon is eliminating what it describes as “poorly performing programs,” while slowing down the production of others. Panetta also said DoD has identified an additional $60 billion in efficiencies.
The first tranche of the spending cuts — $259 billion — will come over the next five years.
These targets conform to the initial spending caps outlined in the Budget Control Act Congress passed by Congress in August.
However, they do not take into account the possibility of sequestration, which would initiate an additional $500 billion cut beginning in January 2013 if Congress does not find an alternative way to reduce the country’s deficit.
Panetta said he hopes that when members of Congress sees what it takes to make this first round of cuts, they will be convinced they need to act in order to avoid sequestration.
Vice Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld, who appeared with Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter after Panetta and Dempsey spoke, said DoD had arrived at its budget in a “very healthy way,” crafting strategy before making spending choices.
“Sequestration would reverse that,” he said.
DoD leaders also emphasized that the spending plan should be viewed as a complete package and that changes in one area could adversely affect others.
There is little room for modification to this plan while maintaining the quality of the force and providing troops with the capabilities they need, Panetta said.
In a message most likely for lawmakers, Carter said, “It is a carefully balanced package and therefore can’t be changed or modified piece by piece.”
The five-year plan reflects the new strategic guidance, released Jan. 5, by shifting focus toward the Asia-Pacific region, while maintaining influence in the Middle East.
In 2013, the Pentagon is requesting $525 billion for its base budget, with an additional $88.4 billion for overseas contingency operations. It projects the Defense Department will need $567 billion for its base budget in 2017.
The 2013 base budget represents the first budget to decline in nominal terms since 1998, down from 2012’s $531 billion.
The topline number is directly shaped by the Budget Control Act’s cap on security spending, which is set at $686 billion for 2013. That has to cover funding for the Defense Department as well as the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Veterans Affairs Department.
Panetta reminded reporters that it was a bipartisan Congress that mandated these defense cuts.
The budget document describes the investment choices as “hard but manageable” and places the budget in a historical context, saying that after every major conflict, the U.S. has experienced “significant budget drawdowns.”
The description of reductions, however, had little impact on stock prices, as Wall Street met the news calmly. Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics all saw their stock prices decline by less than 1 percent, while Lockheed Martin and Raytheon saw increases of less than 1 percent. Market analysts had predicted that stock pricing had already assumed significant defense cuts.
FORCE SIZE REDUCTIONS
With the end of war in Iraq and the beginning of a troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, there will be further reductions to the ground forces.
Panetta announced the Army will be reduced from 547,000 active-duty soldiers to 490,000, while the Marine Corps will be cut to 182,000.
“I’m confident 490,000 is the right number for 2017,” Dempsey said, reminding reporters that this was the number for active duty soldiers and does not include the National Guard and Reserve.
However, “it might not be the right number for 2020,” he added.
The Army also plans to remove at least eight brigade combat teams from its existing force structure.
“Even with these reductions, the Army and Marine Corps will be larger than they were in 2001,” according to the document titled “Defense Budget Priorities and Choices,” which outlines the investment decisions discussed by Panetta and Dempsey.
These reductions in force size do require a corresponding reduction in the military’s facilities resources.
Therefore, the president will request that Congress authorize use of the Base Realignment and Closure process with a goal of identifying savings “that can be reinvested in higher priorities as soon as possible.”
“The best approach to reducing that infrastructure politically on Capitol Hill is to work it through the BRAC process,” Panetta said.
The Pentagon did not tie any savings to potential base closures, because those require congressional authorization.
“If we tied savings to it before Congress authorized it, and they didn’t authorize it, it would undermine our whole budget,” Panetta said.
As for overseas basing, the Pentagon says the Army and Marine Corps will sustain force structure in the Pacific, while “maintaining persistent presence” in the Middle East.
MILITARY SERVICE PLANS
The Pentagon has budgeted to forward station littoral combat ships in Singapore and patrol craft in Bahrain.
It has also provided funding for a new “afloat forward staging base that can be dedicated to support missions in areas where ground-based access is not available, such as counter-mine operations.”
The Army will reduce its current footprint in Europe by two heavy brigades, while establishing and maintaining a new rotational presence in Europe.
With the Defense Department shifting its focus to the Asia-Pacific region, the Air Force will maintain the current strategic bomber fleet and will also fund a new bomber program, according to the document.
By doing so, the Pentagon has decided to protect all three legs of the nuclear triad. However, the Navy will have to delay its Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine replacement by two years.
Carter described the submarine’s original schedule as “aggressive, bordering on optimistic.”
The Navy and Marines will also retain their air-power assets, with the sea services retaining all 11 aircraft carriers, 10 carrier air wings, and all of the amphibious assault ships.
All three F-35 Joint Strike Fighter variants are safe, but the Pentagon has decided to slow down procurement to allow for more testing.
Panetta said the Air Force would also continue with its plans to purchase next generation KC-46 tanker aircraft.
DoD will also invest in new air-to-air missiles, new radars for tactical aircraft and ships, more electronic warfare and communications capabilities.
The Navy will build a new “prompt strike option” from submarines and will add cruise missile capacity to its Virginia-class boats.
The Air Force will lose six tactical fighter squadrons and a training squadron, while the Navy loses seven Ticonderoga-class cruisers, one of which has missile defense capability, but which needs a lot of repairs, the budget document says.
One big-deck amphibious ship and a submarine will be delayed. Two smaller amphibious dock landing ships will be decommissioned and their replacements delayed.
The Navy also loses eight joint high speed vessels and two littoral combat ships.
The Air Force is losing the Block 30 version of the Global Hawk, but other variants, namely the Navy’s RQ-4N and Air Force’s Block 40, are safe.
Carter explained that the Block 30 version was supposed to replace Lockheed Martin’s U-2 spy plane but it priced itself out of the niche for taking pictures in the air, Carter said.
“That’s a disappointment for us, but that’s the fate of things that become too expensive in a resource-constrained environment,” he added.
Air mobility takes a hit with 27 C-5A Galaxy airlifters being retired along with 65 older C-130s. The entire C-27 fleet of 38 cargo aircraft is also being scrapped by the Air Force.
However, there will also be investment in advance unmanned aircraft, and the Air Force will gain the capability to operate 65 Predator/Reaper patrols and surge to 85 when needed. Today, the Air Force can fly 61 orbits continuously.
For the Army, the Pentagon has curtailed the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, a floating missile defense sensor.
The Joint-Air-to-Ground-Missile’s funding has been reduced, with money kept in the budget to find a lower cost alternative.
The Army will cancel its effort to recapitalize its Humvee fleet and will instead focus resources on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.
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On January 11, 2012, excitement surrounds the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida as the Marine Corps welcomes the newest member to its fleet. The F-35B is a variation of the Joint Strike Figther. It is a tactical fixed-wing aircraft that will replace the aging jets of the Marine Corps. The Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 which is the F-35 training squadron of 2d Marine Aircraft Wing based at Eglin AFB is the first squadron to receive the F-35B. The aircraft will be used for pilot and technician training.
According to Maj. Gen. Jon M. Davis, commanding general of 2d MAW, “The Marine Corps has to be ready to fight across the spectrum of war; a force that is most ready when the nation is least ready. The F-35B gives us the capability to do just that.”
The F-35B has a short take-off and vertical landing capabilities. It will reduce maintenance cost while helping the marine ensure its tactical dominance needed to dissuade potential adversaries and protect the nation’s interest. The aircraft will replace the Marine Corps’ F/A-18 Hornet, AV-8B Harrier and EA-6B Prowler.
Commanding Officer of VMFAT-501, Lt. Col. James B. Wellons added praise to the F-35B, “The STOVL capability of the F-35B will enable us to deploy with the Marine Air-Ground Task Force and ensure these fifth-generation capabilities are available when needed. Our mission is to conduct F-35B operations in coordination with our joint and coalition partners at Eglin Air Force Base in order to attain our annual pilot training requirement.”
The F-35B completed 250 vertical landings this year. It includes 72 vertical landings and shoirt takeoffs on the USS Wasp in October.