para o nelson38899, o vtol dos f35 sera só nas versões desenvolvidas para os marines e para os ingleses.
Italy plans to acquire a total of 131 F-35s. Of these, 109 will be F-35As for the Italian Air Force. The F-35A CTOL (Conventional Take Off and Landing) aircraft will replace AMXs and Panavia Tornados. The remaining 22 are to be F-35Bs for the Italian Navy for operation on the aircraft carrier Cavour.
por acaso não sabia que os itas ja estavam dentro do loop para substituir os harriers, num futuro não muito longicuo, os restantes utilizadores de harrier possivelmente tampem se juntarão a compra (pois não existem alternativas)
CitarÉ o meu inimigo de estimação neste forum. Citação de: "Typhonman"Com esta afirmação conseguiu que perdesse o respeito que tinha por si, apesar das nossas opiniões divergentes. Continuando...
É o meu inimigo de estimação neste forum.
Com esta afirmação conseguiu que perdesse o respeito que tinha por si, apesar das nossas opiniões divergentes. Continuando...
Caro amigo ao dizer isto, ve-se que não percebe nada do que está a dizer.
quem tem problemas de se expressar é você
Quem o ouvisse falar ficava com a sensação que foi "one shot one kill"...
Aonde disse que o F-35 era perfeito? Nem merece mais comentários..Adiante..
E sairam ? Não passou de pressão... Mais nada.
Foi dispensado pois os subalternos dele permitiram o transporte de 6 misseis de cruzeiro com ogivas nucleares sobre os estados unidos.
Sim tenho alguma admiração. Já ouviu algum ex-CEMFA da FAP pronunciar-se acerca de Grippen ou Typhoon? Em relação ao JSF já foi feito em público num discurso oficial, até vem numa revista "Mais Alto".
O jamming não é so "empastelar" o radar de defesa aérea ou um radar aéreo, pode ser usado para confundir esse mesmo radar, como você diz, mais emissões para identificar.
Eu estou de forma séria a falar consigo, você é que já partiu para uma de "inimigo", se quizer continuar assim tudo bem, tem todo o caminho livre para expor as suas ideias fantásticas e arrebatadoras
Por acaso essa discussão tem sido intensa nos meios militares e na imprensa especializada...
estamos aqui todos para aprender.
O Top Gun já foi à vinte anos, desde ai a tecnologia evoluiu muitissimo... Hoje em dia um piloto de um "Tiffie" não vai ouvir um "piiiii", mas uma voz feminina ("Nagging Nora") a avisar que o avião recebeu um "Lock", mas o mais importante é que no monitor à sua frente vai aparecer um cone com a direcção precisa do "lock", o DASS consegue uma precisão inferior a um grau a uma distância de 100 km´s, se existirem dois ou três Typhoon´s na área o ponto de emissão vai ser automaticamente localizado com precisão métrica através de triangulação. Portanto seja um F-8 Crusader ou um F-22, a utilização do radar tem de ser feita com conta, peso e medida, sob pena de ser localizado (e sim, eu tenho consciência do que é a signa "LPI" significa). Se a ideia do "puser atrás" é WVR, o ECR CAPTOR consegue fazer Locks a coisas com um RCS verdadeiramente minúsculo. Apenas mais um comentário, existe uma ENORME tendência para comparar os actuais Eurocanards que estão ao serviço nos esquadrões AGORA com um aparelho que só vai atingir o IOC na Inglaterra e Itália DENTRO DE UMA DÉCADA, e em que a grande maioria das capacidades "exóticas" que costumam ser apregoadas pelo seu fabricante só vão estar disponiveis pós 2020, esse aparelho é o F-35A. Agora comparem os sistemas propostos pela Industria para esses aviões Europeus de 2018 com o que é planeado pela "JSF Team" e se calhar a suposta "superioridade" dos aviônicos do Lightning II não só não existe, como em certos casos a inferioridade chega a ser clara (suite de networking do Gripen NG pós 2016, Radar AESA do Tiffie com uma antena maior em relação ao AN/APG-81 e móvel num arco de 120º, etc). A suposta vantagem que o F-35 gozaria em "Situational Awareness" não é, de forma alguma, um dado adquirido. O F-35A tem um RCS muito menor que os Eurocanards e uma muito maior "Fuel Fraction" o que lhe dá um alcance francamente superior, também tem capacidades dinâmicas inferiores (especialmente se comparado com o Tiffie), agora estamos a vários anos de podermos saber qual dos aparelhos terá uma mais completa/avançada suite de aviônicos e qual efectivamente terá uma maior capacidade de sobrevivência num meio aéreo contestado. Sim, porque a vantagem em termos de RCS do "Lightning II" pode ter ido para o "caixote do lixo" dentro de uma década. Apenas como exemplo, a empresa lider do esforço Britânico (que vale umas centenas de milhões de libras/ano) que trabalha em detecção "LO" e que o faz numa série de programas (SAMPSON, Radares Bi estáticos, CAAM, MBDA Meteor, Typhoon, etc) é nem mais nem menos o unico parceiro "Tier 1" da "JSF Team", a BAE, que é ao mesmo tempo a empresa lider do Consórcio EUROFIGHTER GMBH... Em 2017/2018 os primeiros pilotos de F-35B da RN não vão achar facil lidar com os seus colegas da RAF a voarem em Typhoon´s Block 25, e vice versa.
E a Marinha Espanhol.
E nós compramos de tudo e não pertencemos a nada. :lol:
Citação de: "Cabeça de Martelo"E a Marinha Espanhol.Eu não tenho conhecimento que a Espanha esteja envolvida na produção do F-35 (se estiver gostava que mo mostrassem), mas que o mais lógico para substituir os Harriers é sem dúvida o F-35.Os espanhois podem não sentir necessidade de entrar no programa do F-35, podem simplesmente comprar alguns.Por exemplo a Austria comprou Eurofighters e não pertence ao consórcio.Os mais interessados no F-35B (versão STOVL) são os US Marines e os Britânicos, quer para a Marinha Real quer para a RAF (estes também querem a versão STOVL).
Within a year, Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter team expects to make firm offers to its eight partner nations: the U.K., Italy, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Turkey. In exchange for a commitment by all eight to aircraft numbers and delivery dates, they will get a firm price, several years before that would normally be possible under U.S. procurement rules.Commonality has diminished during the development of JSF. The F-35C has a takeoff weight of 70,000 lb.—almost as heavy as an F-14D—and a 668-sq.-ft. wing.Credit: LOCKHEED MARTIN CONCEPT The move is necessary because competitors are offering fixed prices, and because some partners need many of their aircraft from early production batches, which normally carry a high price.Those commitments will be backed up by sanctions. “Partners who do not buy according to the program of record will cover the costs incurred by other partners,” says the Program Office director, Maj. Gen. Charles Davis.Davis says the final price is the subject of intense discussions within the team, but numbers in the $58-63-million realm—flyaway prices in current dollars—have been mentioned. Given that total acquisition unit costs in export sales tend to be about twice the flyaway cost, this places the JSF unit cost close to that of Typhoon.The partners should be clear about what they are getting for the money. At the inception of the JSF program, in 1995, then-project director George Muellner described the aircraft as “70% air-to-ground, 30% air-to-air.”The F-35 is not optimized for air-to-air combat. JSF is neither fast nor agile enough to choose whether to shoot or scoot against an adversary like the Su-30. It either carries a maximum of four AIM-120 missiles—the capability is little publicized, although Davis confirms that it will be part of the systems development and demonstration program—or operates with compromised stealth. (A reduced-signature pylon for the outboard wing stations, designed to carry AIM-9X or Asraam missiles, is being developed.) Success in air combat depends on stealth, but although the F-35 should detect targets at long range before being detected, it will have to close to shorter distances to achieve an acceptable kill probability with the AIM-120C7, particularly against an agile target using jamming and decoys. The U.S. acknowledged this by developing the AIM-120D, designed to be compatible with new active electronically scanned array radars, but it will not be available for export in the foreseeable future.Moreover, there is no longer any serious doubt that not all F-35s will be equal in stealth. Asked earlier this year to confirm that all would have the same signatures, George Standridge, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for business development, responded: “That is a matter for the U.S. government. I cannot and will not answer that question.”The partner countries so far show signs of being able to live with the aircraft’s performance and the stealth capabilities they have been offered. The main exceptions are the U.K. and Italy, which will use the Typhoon as their primary air-to-air fighter.Another major advantage of the JSF is the potential for spreading through-life upgrade and support costs over a large fleet of aircraft. This depends, however, on keeping numbers at their planned level, including 730 aircraft for partner nations, which means overcoming three obstacles.The first is direct competition. Norway and Denmark are evaluating the JSF against other aircraft, mainly Saab’s Gripen Next Generation (NG). In May, the Netherlands government, under pressure from its Labor coalition partner, agreed to carry out a final assessment of other aircraft, including Gripen NG, Typhoon and Rafale, before making a commitment. Canada also intends to conduct a competition.The second is budget concerns in the U.K. and Italy, where JSF procurement will be weighed against the final batch of Typhoon fighters unless money can be found for both types.Third, U.S. numbers are shaky. Senior Air Force officers have stated that the service can afford only 48 JSFs per year rather than the 80 that the current program envisions, unless it gets more topline funding in the defense budget. The Navy and Marine Corps told the Government Accountability Office that they expect to buy 35 JSFs per year, versus 50 in the current plan. Davis says the JSF office “is waiting for the POM (program objective memorandum) process to see those numbers get adjusted.”Technical risk is another factor. Later this year, the project office is expected to confirm a slip of 9-12 months in the completion of operational testing, with a consequent increase in development costs.Davis minimizes its impact, saying it reflects the fact that early low-rate initial production (LRIP) batches have been reduced in size (12 aircraft on contract in 2008, for instance, versus 18 envisioned earlier), and observing that it is “at the discretion of the combatant commander” when to declare initial operational capability. Davis makes much of the flight of the first F-35B, on June 11, within the schedule planned in August 2006. “People said the program couldn’t make it, but this shows that we’re capable of performing to schedule.”More important, though, is the Stovl (short takeoff and vertical landing) testing of the F-35B, which is, by Davis’s count, three months behind schedule. In the first quarter of 2009, the F-35B will start a series of 20 sorties at Fort Worth, Tex., in which the jet progressively slows down, leading to a slow landing. BF-1 will then be ferried to the Navy’s flight-test center at Patuxent River, Md., for tests leading to a vertical landing. The timescale for that is not certain, but a vertical landing doesn’t look likely until well into the second quarter.The U.K. has voiced concerns about vertical landings. Added to F-35B testing under a U.K. initiative is a new flight mode, shipboard rolling vertical landing (SRVL), in which the aircraft approaches the ship with about 60 kt. airspeed and 25 kt. wind-over-deck—the maximum design speed of the Royal Navy’s new carriers (see story, p. 51)—for a 35-kt. relative deck speed. Davis characterizes SRVL as a means to improve hot-day performance. The U.K. National Audit Office, in a November 2007 report, linked the move to SRVL to “weight challenges and propulsion integration issues.”SRVL trials were carried out in May 2007, using the fly-by-wire Harrier operated by Qinetiq on the French carrier Charles de Gaulle. Challenges include the fact that the aircraft has to stop using wheelbrakes alone—37,000 lb. of aircraft at 35 kt. represents a lot of energy—on a deck that will likely be wet. A classic “bolter” will not be possible because power has to be reduced on touchdown to put the airplane’s weight on its wheels.Vertical landing tests depend on the successful resolution of problems with the low-pressure turbine of the F135 engine, whose unusually large blades are designed to deliver power to the lift fan. A number of changes have been implemented, and tests continue to pin down the exact combination of circumstances where failures occur.Two milestones are coming up: further analysis should lead to a limited clearance of the existing engine for inflight vectoring in October; and a modified, fully cleared engine should be ready to fly by late 2008.The other main challenge in the JSF program will be ramping-up LRIP. Davis told an Aviation Week conference in early 2008 that he was “worried about getting the manufacturing lines down the learning curves.” Some problems stem from the weight-reduction redesign in 2004-05—the wing, for example, is harder than expected to assemble. These issues have to be sorted out by 2010: in 2011, production starts a steep acceleration, from 47 aircraft ordered in 2011 to 205 in 2014.If the JSF program succeeds in locking up its international partners, the project could be within reach of its goal of an F-16-like, mid-four-digit production run and a near-monopoly of the fighter business outside Russia and China. The only other Western program with a long-term future will be whichever team wins India’s 126-aircraft order. But if JSF falls short of its goals—as almost every major military aircraft program has in the past 25 years—it will throw the re-equipment plans of a dozen air arms into disarray.
F-35 Offers Multirole Surpriseshttp://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... 0SurprisesJun 20, 2008 David A. Fulghum The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) will “redefine the concept of multirole strike” aircraft, Lockheed Martin officials say, but they offer few details to flesh out that claim.Still, while the future concept of operations, electronic attack (EA) capability and derivative options remain undefined, at least publicly, some capabilities can be picked out of their purposely vague descriptions.Starting from the notion that new hardware is the least likely addition to the aircraft and that it has an open architecture for avionics, look for the big multirole capability additions to involve electronic attack.Because of the ability to penetrate while using low-probability-of-intercept radar and passive sensors, the JSF will not operate in proximity to current, so-called fourth-generation aircraft. It will instead roam well-defended enemy airspace while feeding precision targeting data to nonstealthy aircraft with standoff-range weapons.Tailored for EAThe F-35 aircraft is being designed to deliver electronic attack (jamming, spoofing and pulses of energy) with the same ease that it can deliver explosive weapons. Moreover, Lockheed officials say the F-35 – first of all a combat aircraft – will have full 360-degree awareness of what is going on around it.That presents an interesting dilemma for EA versus kinetic weaponry. The new AIM-9X air-to-air missile can perform high off-boresight shots without turning the aircraft’s nose toward the target. However, delivering electronic effects require specialized antennae pointed toward the target. As far as is known, JSF has only its advanced active, electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar antenna in the nose to pump out its electronic firepower. It would then have the weakness of any AESA array in that it is flat with a field of view of less than 180 degrees, perhaps an effective field of regard for effective attack of 60-90 degrees.Some radar specialists and Air Force planners already say they anticipate flying the F-35s in line, with the first aircraft being passive and the second emitting and passing target information to the first so that it can remain undetected. Therefore, it appears that without an add-on antenna, the JSF’s EA capability will be limited to the forward quarter.However, within that field the electronic effects generator can be routed through the AESA radar, which allows the F-35 to invade, blind or fool enemy sensors and radars at ranges of up to hundreds of miles.SensorsLockheed officials do admit that the F-35’s sensor capabilities include advanced electronic surveillance allowing development of an instantaneous electronic order of battle – what’s emitting and from where.Along with EA, the JSF will take on the mission of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. So instead of depending on a few specialized high-demand aircraft like Rivet Joint (for signals intelligence), Cobra Ball (measurement and signature intelligence) or Compass Call (EA) that can’t venture into enemy airspace, a fleet of F-35s will be able to conduct those missions deep into enemy territory to take advantage of physics (by being nearer the targets) while deepening the areas of surveillance.They won’t say if information warfare is part of the package. Info warfare is generally the bailiwick of Commando Solo and Compass Call (including network penetration and attack), but with software upgrades radar specialists expect the capability to appear soon.
F-35 factory: One aircraft per day by 2016FORT WORTH, Texas — Inside a manufacturing facility so large that workers routinely bike and ride golf carts down paths named after fighter jets, preparations are underway to begin mass production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.Lockheed Martin Corp. plans to assemble the stealth plane here on a moving assembly line using digital processes and automation techniques that are new to the defense aerospace sector, says Steve O’Bryan of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 business development team.Though car manufacturers have built millions of vehicles on automated assembly lines, the concept of moving lines has not been applied to military aircraft since World War II.Modern warplanes typically have been built in small quantities over the course of many years. The Navy’s F/A-18, which has been in production for more than 20 years, is being built at a rate of 42 aircraft per year. But the F-35 Lightning II is expected to be built at an unprecedented rate — as many as 230 fighters per year.Lockheed has embraced the moving assembly line concept as the linchpin to produce the next-generation fighter in large enough quantities to satisfy U.S. and international sales.The U.S. military is buying about 2,500 aircraft. Allied nations are purchasing an additional 500 or so. Lockheed Martin officials are expecting foreign military sales to hike the total number to more than 4,000 Joint Strike Fighters.“You’re really looking at F-16-like numbers,” says O’Bryan.Once the line ramps up to full-rate production — possibly as early as 2016 — the company estimates it will assemble about 21 fighters per month, or roughly one aircraft per working day.The moving assembly line is the only way to reach that rate of production, O’Bryan says. The F-35 measures 51 feet in length. “If the plane doesn’t move 51 feet a day … you’re not going to produce one a day.”There are three variants of the F-35: A conventional take-off and landing aircraft for the Air Force, a short take-off and vertical landing version for the Marine Corps and a carrier-based variant for the Navy.Lockheed has completed the critical design reviews and last month the first flight of its short take-off and vertical landing variant for the Marine Corps took place.The initial operating capability for that version is expected in 2012, followed by the conventional takeoff and landing version in 2015, and the carrier version a year after that.Last December, the first F-35 variant, AA-1, was air-refueled. It will fly from Fort Worth to Edwards Air Force Base in California for preliminary testing.Along with Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and BAE Systems are involved in the manufacturing of the F-35. The $299 billion procurement program is the Defense Department’s largest.Four years ago, the company had to redesign the structure for all three variants because the short take-off and vertical landing aircraft was overweight. The mission systems are 98 percent common across the three variants, says O’Bryan. “We’ve seen more commonality between the vehicle systems than what we predicted,” and that will only help in production, he says.A good portion of the mile-long factory, which once built bombers, is still dedicated to manufacturing the F-16 Fighting Falcon. But by 2016, nearly the entire building will be producing the F-35.“Things here are picking up quite a bit,” says O’Bryan. There are 19 prototype aircraft in production, and the first low-rate initial production aircraft also are in various stages of construction at the plant.Lockheed has about 600 workers on the floor doing assembly work. That number will grow to more than 700 by the end of the year. The workforce will reach 3,500 at the peak of full-rate production, when three shifts will build the plane around the clock.The company expects to produce more than 130 aircraft during the low-rate phase. In preparation for the expected uptick in production during the next few years, the company has invested more than $500 million in improvements to the factory floor. “Everything is always under construction here, and we continue to expand,” says O’Bryan.The same equipment and production lines that have been assembling the stealth aircraft during its development phase will be used in the full-rate production. Typically, a separate line is built for production aircraft, but Lockheed Martin wanted to put both test and production fighters on the same line to increase efficiency and keep costs down.Another unusual but cost-saving measure was to implement workstations that would accommodate all three variants of the aircraft interchangeably, says Gus Villanueva, deputy director of F-35 global production.Unlike in previous fighter programs that required dedicated stations for each model, reconfigurable tools will allow the stations to handle any variant of the F-35. “That’s one of the big cost-savings to the program, because you don’t have to invest in all the tooling to support many different variants,” says Villanueva.That concept will allow all aircraft components to come together on a single final assembly line in the center of the facility.Bright yellow platforms will surround each plane as it moves along at a continuous pace, guided by a dolly. Big blue towers along the wall will swivel arms out above each aircraft to provide cooling, electrical and hydraulic power so that engineers can test systems as the rest of the fighter is being assembled.For full rate production, officials expect to have at least 12 moving platform stations up and running. All three variants of the F-35 will be built on that moving assembly line, in any order.That means a conventional take-off and landing jet for the Air Force might be followed in line by a partner nation’s conventional F-35, which could be followed by the carrier variant for the Navy, followed by the Marine Corps short take-off and vertical landing aircraft.Not only is Lockheed Martin adopting the moving assembly line concept from car manufacturers but it is also using electronic 3-D models of the aircraft in almost every aspect of the production — from the tools and the machining to the components themselves. Engineers refer to this data as the “digital thread,” which allows the data to be shared by all subcontractors and suppliers. Doing so has improved the delivery time of different commodities by as much as 40 percent in some cases, says Villanueva.“We’re working on a lot of different manufacturing technologies that are going to help us expedite the assembly process,” he adds.In the past, workers would build the airplane and the external skins before “stuffing” it with the internal mission systems. “On JSF, we’re stuffing it before we enclose the structure,” says Villanueva. That reduces the risk of damaging attachments or substructures, such as doors or panels, if the interior systems require some sort of adjustment.This new way of constructing aircraft also means that more automation can be incorporated into the production line. Lockheed is responsible for building the forward fuselage as well as the wings — the largest and most complex component of the fighter. Using auto-drive vehicles, workers are constructing the wings, which are held upright and surrounded by stands that move up and down. “We’ve never built a wing vertically,” says O’Bryan.The ability to use auto drilling for the forward fuselage and wing structure keeps workers from having to spend several days manually drilling holes. Wings often have hundreds of holes; each JSF wing requires drilling more than 3,000.“Now you get to do that in one pass,” says Villanueva.Another innovation suggested by one of the company’s engineers automates the process of installing fasteners. A laser device is used by workers to match the correct fastener to the corresponding hole without first having to transfer that information manually from their design instructions“It’s a big improvement,” says Villanueva, whose first job in aerospace was as a mechanic on a factory floor. “We didn’t have anything like that. We had a six-inch scale and a number-two pencil. We had to lay everything out. I remember using different colored markers for different types of fasteners.”Villanueva later worked on Lockheed’s F-117 Nighthawk program for 24 years. Earlier this year, the final four F-117 stealth aircraft retired from service. Their retirement also marks the end of the company’s legacy of analog manufacturing processes, which have shifted to digital.Workers today sign in at computer workstations that assign them daily tasks. Tools required for each job — the drill bits, the cutters — are already packaged in kits that workers simply pull from nearby vending machines.“Because they have to swipe their badge and tie back to the system they’re using, we can do a better job in managing the inventory we need to support the build of that airplane,” says Villanueva. That means the company can track all the tools and replenish supplies with greater efficiency. Not having copious amounts of supplies stored in the factory translates into cost savings, officials point out.To keep the line running steadily, Lockheed has been working to convince partner nations to increase their advance orders for the aircraft. That would reduce the price of the fighters for all potential buyers.The United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway all have pledged funds to help develop the aircraft. Singapore is said to be considering joining the program. Israel has proposed a five-year defense plan that includes purchasing 25 JSF in 2012.“Nobody wants to buy the aircraft that are close to the beginning [off the production run] because they’re expensive,” says O’Bryan, drawing a timeline chart that extends from present day to well into the 2020s.“That’s our great challenge — to stop people from going to the right” and waiting to buy the aircraft until after the company has hit full-rate production. He adds that the company is developing a flat-rate price that would cover all the aircraft.The price tag of the F-35 remains a point of contention. The credibility of various cost estimates has been questioned by various government audits. Lockheed Martin says that the unit cost of the F-35A conventional fighter is less than $50 million, in 2002 dollars, when the contract was initially awarded. By the same accounting, the F-35B and F-35C are about $60 million per copy.In an audit last year, however, the Government Accountability Office estimated that the F-35 could cost as much as $97.6 million apiece, in 2008 dollars. Norway recently asked the U.S. government to provide information on a potential buy of 48 F-35s for delivery in 2016. Lockheed estimated that, in 2008 dollars, each aircraft would cost $56.5 million, with an additional $2.2 million for auxiliary mission equipment, such as pylons, rails and the helmet-mounted display systems.If the partner nations place early orders, those price tags could be reduced, depending on the timing and the numbers of aircraft, Lockheed officials say.In preparation for a production ramp-up, Lockheed plant managers are working with suppliers to set up what could be a highly complex supply chain, with different parts and components arriving from various places around the world. Northrop Grumman is building the center fuselage at its plant in Palmdale, Calif. while BAE Systems is building the aft fuselage in Samlesbury, England. Those fuselages will arrive here at the factory with most of the systems installed.Officials say that’s one of the challenges — ensuring all the pieces are arriving where and when they’re supposed to be to support aircraft production.“I think we’ve pretty much figured what we’ve got to do here, how to tie all those countries into that manufacturing process,” says Villanueva.If the production line is maxed out in Fort Worth, the company has plans to build a final assembly and checkout facility in Italy to help keep up with orders. Workers there will produce the fighters at a lower rate, but they will use the same tools found in the U.S. plant.One controversial issue that has not yet been resolved is the engine of the F-35. The Defense Department selected the F-135 engine manufactured by Pratt and Whitney. The F-136 engine made by General Electric and Rolls Royce was chosen as the back-up engine. But Pentagon officials later decided to kill the GE engine to cut costs. Several members of Congress disagreed, and are pushing to keep the second engine.Lockheed officials say they are neutral on the issue but stress that they don’t want any decision on the engines to add expenses or delay schedules in the F-35 program. “We can’t absorb that kind of cost,” says O’Bryan.While Lockheed presses forward with preparations for full-rate production of the F-35, the program still faces political hurdles, including accusations by Pentagon auditors that the company is not properly managing the project. A November 2007 report by the Defense Contract Management Agency — which was first obtained by the Project on Government Oversight — found that Lockheed Martin’s military aircraft division was not compliant with contractually-required industry guidelines for tracking and managing costs called the “Earned Value Management System.” EVMS helps contractors and the government spot potential cost problems before they balloon out of control.DCMA looked at how Lockheed was managing the F-35, F-22 Raptor and F-16 programs. The agency said Lockheed was non-compliant in 19 of 32 industry guidelines.For example, the company used its “management reserve to alter internal and subcontract performance levels and overruns,” said DCMA. Management reserves are meant to be used to address unexpected issues, not to alter subcontractor cost overruns. The report said that the improper use of the management reserve ultimately led to a reduction in test planes and test flights in the JSF program.The decline of Pentagon and contractor emphasis on EVMS was “an unintended consequence of 1990s acquisition reform,” James I. Finley, deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition and technology, told POGO.At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month, Pentagon acquisition chief John Young said the DCMA report prompted an extensive review of Lockheed’s fighter-aircraft programs. He said the company agreed to a 12-step plan to address the issues that were raised by DCMA. “We will withhold $10 million for every milestone that Lockheed misses,” Young told the committee.In response to questions from senators about the JSF, Young said the Pentagon faces some tough decisions. If the Defense Department chooses to slow down the program to conduct additional tests of the existing prototype aircraft, it could add time and costs. If possible, the Pentagon wants to transition to low-rate production and begin full production as currently scheduled, with the knowledge that there are always risks involved, Young said.
Northrop Grumman Completes Center Fuselage for First U.S. Navy F-35 AircraftThe company celebrated the production milestone with a brief ceremony at the Palmdale facility where it assembles center fuselages for F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin. More than 200 Northrop Grumman employees shared the historic occasion with executives from the U.S. Department of Defense's F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office, and F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin."Today's event represents not only the completion of a major aircraft assembly for the F-35 program, but also the delivery on a promise by Northrop Grumman," said Mark Tucker, vice president and F-35 program manager for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "We've shown that we can design and produce a common center fuselage that will meet the operational and logistic support requirements of all three variants of the F-35. And that we're ready to transition to the production phase of the program."The CF-1 center fuselage will be the seventh of ten center fuselages that Northrop Grumman plans to deliver to Lockheed Martin this year, he added."Meeting this delivery commitment on time helps ensure that the F-35C Lightning II will begin flight test on-schedule in 2009. This important step is vital to our commitment to fielding the F-35C for the U.S. Navy as planned in 2015," said Maj. Gen Charles R. Davis, the Defense Department's F-35 Lightning II Program Executive Officer. "The F-35 carrier variant will give the Navy a powerful, multi-role strike fighter that can begin to assume the duties of the F/A-18 Hornet A/B/C/D aircraft that have been successfully protecting and extending the reach of the U.S. fleet since 1983."The CF-1 center fuselage is one of 19 center fuselages that Northrop Grumman is producing for the system development and demonstration (SDD) phase of the F-35 program. To date, the company has completed center fuselages for 12 aircraft, including AA-1, a conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variant and the first F-35 aircraft to fly, and BF-1, the first F-35B short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) variant to fly.The remaining seven SDD center fuselages are currently in the assembly flow in Palmdale. Northrop Grumman is also currently producing center fuselages for the first two phases of the F-35 low rate initial production program.The F-35 Lightning II is a stealthy, supersonic multi-role fighter designed to replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft. It is being produced in three variants -- CTOL, STOVL, and a carrier variant (CV) -- to meet the diverse performance needs of the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Navy and allied defense forces worldwide. The three variants use a high degree of commonality to meet strict affordability requirements.Northrop Grumman uses disciplined design, manufacturing and assembly processes to ensure the performance and reliability of the F-35 center fuselage. The structure's all-composite inlet and aft ducts are produced in El Segundo, Calif. then mated in Palmdale with the upper and lower subassemblies of the center fuselages, which include the fuel tanks.The aircraft's outer skins, also made from composites, are then applied and drilled using automated, high precision drilling machines. Final systems installation and testing of hydraulics, actuator doors, the power thermal management system and wire harnesses complete the center fuselage assembly process.As a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 global industry team, Northrop Grumman plays a critical role in the development and production of the weapons system. The company's contributions include: producing and integrating a major section of aircraft's structure; producing key radar and electro-optical subsystems; producing key avionics and communications subsystems; developing mission systems and mission-planning software; developing pilot and maintenance training systems; and developing logistic support hardware and software. The F-35 team also includes BAE Systems.Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide. http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/page ... l?d=148879
FORT WORTH, Texas, August 18th, 2008 -- With one F-35 Lightning II aircraft in structural testing, two in flight test, six in final assembly and another 14 in various stages of production, Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] added to the program’s momentum on Saturday by finishing assembly of the fourth F-35 aircraft, a short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B.“The completion of our fourth F-35 – and the growing line of aircraft now forming behind it – shows an emerging rhythm in our production line,” said Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager. “In just a few days we will have all three Lightning II variants in final assembly when we take delivery of the first F-35C carrier variant center fuselage. From the very first F-35, assembly quality has been unprecedented, and each successive aircraft is measurably better than the one that preceded it.”The new aircraft was moved immediately to the flight line, where it will undergo an extensive battery of ground tests before its first flight in early 2009.The first F-35B made its inaugural flight on June 11 and has completed nine missions. The first F-35A, a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, has flown 45 times.The U.S. Marine Corps is expected to operate about 340 F-35Bs. The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and the Italian Air Force and Navy also will operate the STOVL variant, which will be the world’s first STOVL aircraft to combine stealth with supersonic speed.The F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation stealth fighter. Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide, will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.Workers at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, prepare the fourth F-35 Lightning II for rollout from the factory on Aug. 16. The F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant has entered a period of systems checks before its first flight in early 2009.http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/p...5rollout4.html