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 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.
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News Source: www.telegraph.co.uk
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Plans about relocating two F-16 squadrons from Luke Air Force Base concerns U.S. Sen. John McCain because it would waste taxpayer money, hamper Air Force pilot training and reduce operations at the Glendale base.
In a letter Tuesday, McCain asked Air Force Secretary Michael Donley to rethink plans to move the squadrons and about 1,000 service members to New Mexico’s Holloman Air Force Base by 2014.
Among McCain’s concerns:
- The Air Force would have to spend about $47 million to prepare Holloman for the jet fighters.
- F-16 pilots at Holloman would compete for training time with missile, helicopter and unmanned drone training missions.
- Luke could experience a gap in operations if F-16 squadrons are relocated and the F-35 Lightning II training mission, likely slated for Luke, is delayed or reduced by budget cuts.
McCain suggested the Air Force could save money and maintain quality training by cancelling the plan. He said Luke has enough space for both the F-16 squadrons and the F-35 mission and that Air Force pilots get first priority when training at the Barry M. Goldwater Range in southern Arizona.
“We have an obligation to be stewards of the taxpayers’ money and seek savings wherever they can be realized. This planned transfer appears to run counter to this obligation,” McCain wrote.
Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Air Force officials would respond to McCain as soon as they reviewed the letter and assessed the senator’s concerns.
McCain has criticized the F-16 transfer before but wrote the letter after Arizona residents expressed worries about the plan at each of his town hall meetings this summer, according to spokesman Brian Rogers.
Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs said McCain’s letter raised “valid questions” about costs, training and timing.
“Luke has been the Air Force’s preeminent fighter training facility for decades,” she said. “I share the mutual interests of the Air Force and Senator McCain in seeing it remain that way far into the future.”
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The Joint Strike Fighter Program Office deputy director expressed confidence in the progress of the JSF program at an Air Force Association breakfast program last week. The upgrades and acquisitions, particularly the completion of the new Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., training facility, helps to advance the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II program, said Maj. Gen. C.D. Moore.
“The F-35 is at the nexus of concurrency where we are building production aircraft, conducting developmental tests, and starting to build a cadre of future Joint Strike Fighter maintainers and pilots,” Moore said.
Moore described plans for Pilot Training Center-1, a future facility where the services and their international partners will be able to train and interact. The location of the center has not been determined.
The general reported that F-35 flight science testing is making good progress at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The program is building mission avionics confidence with Block 1 software. Also, AF-6 and AF-7 conventional takeoff and landing aircraft are completing maturity flights to strengthen and verify the training syllabus that will be used at Eglin AFB.
Building momentum and maintaining affordability will ensure the JSF program’s longevity into 2035 and beyond, he said.
The Joint Strike Fighter Program Office is the Department of Defense’s agency responsible for developing and acquiring the F-35A/B/C, the next generation strike aircraft weapon systems for the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and many allied nations.
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The first Lockheed Martin production model F-35 Lightning II to be assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing arrived at EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE last Thursday at 1:18 p.m. CDT. The F-35 aircraft, known as AF-9, will be used for activities in concert with training F-35 pilots and maintainers who begin coursework at the base’s new F-35 Integrated Training Center this fall.
The AF-9 is a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) version of the 5th generation stealth fighter. Overall, the jet is the third production-model F-35 delivered to the U.S. Air Force, with the first two assigned to Edwards AFB, Calif. It is the first aircraft delivered from Low Rate Initial Production lot two and the seventh F-35 delivered in program history to the Air Force. Over the lifetime of the program, a total of 59 F-35s will compose the fighter fleet at Eglin AFB.
“The exceptional capabilities of this 5th generation fighter are now in the very capable hands of the men and women of the 33rd Fighter Wing who are ushering in a new era of F-35 training. We look forward to delivering our full complement of F-35s to the Emerald Coast in the months and years ahead,” said Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager.
The F-35A CTOL variant – designed to meet U.S. Air Force requirements – is also the primary export version of the Lightning II. The air forces of Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway and Israel will employ the F-35A. To date, the F-35 program has accomplished more than 925 flights since late 2006.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.
Source: Lockheed Martin
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NGRAIN(R), a leading provider of interactive 3D equipment simulation solutions that maximize the effectiveness of training programs and maintenance support systems, announced on April 26 that Lockheed Martin has chosen to integrate NGRAIN’s Virtual Damage Repair and Tracking™ software into the Integrated Maintenance Information System (IMIS) software suite for the F-22 aircraft.
The software, already in use on the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Program as part of the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), provides maintenance technicians on the flight line with an advanced, mobile, and interactive maintenance and repair tracking solution.
“Applying NGRAIN solutions to the F-22 program is a natural progression of our relationship and will enhance the overall maintenance programs of both the F-35 and F-22,” said Jeff A. Babione, vice president of the F-22 Program, Lockheed Martin. “Extending this unique application to both programs will result in United States Air Force maintainers being able to easily transition between aircraft.”
The IMIS software suite designed by Lockheed Martin supports the exterior maintenance, supply and training operations for its aircraft. NGRAIN will configure its software to provide aircraft maintainers of the F-22 with a detailed exterior representation of the aircraft which will be deployed on a ruggedized Microsoft Windows -based device. Maintainers will be able to accurately map damage of the aircraft exterior on the digital representation provided by NGRAIN. The automatic transfer of data and its subsequent integration with the F-22 IMIS software platform is designed to improve the accuracy in data capture and overall workflow.
“This contract is a testament to the innovative technology and strong relationship NGRAIN has developed with Lockheed Martin,” said Paul Lindahl, CEO, NGRAIN. “At the same time it is also recognition of the benefits that can be realized from being a member of the F-35 program. As our relationship continues with Lockheed Martin, the United States Air Force, and with NATO countries around the world, we look forward to setting a new standard for aircraft maintenance using interactive 3D technology.”
Employees at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company assembly plant at Marietta, Georgia.
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The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps strike fighter picture will become clearer under an updated inter-service agreement set to be signed March 14, according to a senior defense official.
The Tactical Air memorandum of understanding ratifies the Navy Department’s plan to buy 680 F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighters (JSF), and details the exact mix of variants and who will fly them. Of the total, 260 will be Navy F-35C carrier-based aircraft, 80 will be Marine F-35Cs, and 340 will be Marine F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (STOVL) planes.
The agreement also reaffirms that Marine F-35Bs and F-35Cs will continue to rotate in and out of deploying carrier air wings, sharing commitments with Navy F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets and F-35Cs.
The agreement formalizes an earlier decision not to deploy F-35Bs from carriers, but rather to have all Marine squadrons deploying on carriers flying the same C version as their Navy compatriots. The STOVLs will operate from land bases and amphibious ships.
The first Navy F-35C carrier squadron is set to stand up in December 2015, with the first Marine F-35C squadron following a year later.
By the mid-2020s, according to Navy planners, each carrier air wing will include two Super Hornet squadrons and two Lightning II squadrons. Every fourth F-35C squadron will be a Marine unit.
The Navy continues to plan for a fleet of 10 carrier air wings, with 44 strike fighters per wing, organized into 10- and 12-plane squadrons. The Navy will field 35 strike fighter squadrons composed of Super Hornets or F-35Cs, and the Marines will field five F-35C squadrons.