Segundo notícia publicada pelo site Flightglobal em 1º de dezembro, Israel deverá adquirir um segundo lote de 14 caças furtivos F-35 Lightning II da Lockheed Martin, após o Gabinete do país aprovar a compra em 30 de novembro. Um dos aviões do novo lote será dedicado a testes, que ajudarão no desenvolvimento e integração de sistemas dedicados de Israel para a aeronave, e a decisão também inclui uma opção para encomenda de outros 17 aviões, no caso da opção ser aprovada mais tarde.O segundo contrato de Israel foi aprovado, em princípio, durante visita recente do ministro da Defesa Moshe Ya’alon aos EUA, onde se encontrou em Washington com sua então contraparte americana Chuck Hagel. Notícias anteriores cogitavam que este lote seria de 25 aeronaves.A Força Aérea Israelense já garantiu aprovação para um lote inicial de 19 caças F-35A de pouso e decolagem convencionais, num negócio de 2,75 bilhões de dólares. Esses jatos foram encomendados como parte do oitavo lote de produção inicial em baixa cadência do programa do caça, e os dois primeiros exemplares têm entrega planejada a Israel no início de 2017, seguindo-se dos demais ao longo de 2018. Já se prepara a Base Aérea de Nevatim, no sul do país, para recebê-los.
A video highlight of major 2014 milestones for the F-35 Lightning II program including 23,000 total flight hours, 106 aircraft in assembly, and 9 F-35 bases operating.
The F-35 is the most expensive weapon the Pentagon has ever built. Current estimates put the total cost of the jet’s maintenance and operation at more than $1 trillion.This number is for all the jets over their entire lifespan, but it’s also just for operations and maintenance. But this amount doesn’t take into account the acquisition cost — the cash taxpayers have spent so far to design and build the damn things.The acquisition cost is just shy of $400 billion, and the military will need more cash to finish the job, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office — Congress’ independent watchdog and reporting agency.The 40-page report, released on April 14, is a well-researched, succinct and thorough evaluation of the problems and costs associated with the F-35 to date. The GAO has followed the F-35 for years, cataloging all its issues and shortcomings.As a result, the report reads like a letter from a spouse to a partner who chronically overspends and starts projects it can’t finish. The watchdog even warned that if the military doesn’t get on top of its spending, it may run out of money.[continua]
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter– Overall F-35 program costs decreased $7.5 billion from $398.6 billion to $391.1 billion. The details are provided below by subprogram:F-35 Aircraft – Subprogram costs decreased $5.8 billion (-1.8%) from $329.9 billion to $324.1 billion, due primarily to the incorporation of the latest prime contractor and subcontractor labor rates for all variants of the F-35 (-$4.4 billion) and revised escalation indices (-$3.4 billion). There were also reductions in initial spares requirements due to maturation of the technical baseline, definition of customer requirements, and further definition of Service bed down/ fielding plans (-$1.1 billion). These decreases were partially offset by increases for revised airframe estimates based on actual costs from early low rate initial production lots (+$4.4 billion).F-35 Engine – Subprogram costs decreased $1.6 billion (-2.3%) from $68.6 billion to $67.0 billion, due primarily to revised escalation indices (-$0.7 billion), reductions in initial spares requirements due to maturation of the technical baseline (-$0.6 billion), and revised estimates based on actual costs from early low rate initial production lots (-$0.5 billion). These decreases were offset by increases resulting from changes to the procurement profile (+$0.2 billion). http://www.defense.gov/Releases/Release ... seID=17181
A mock air battle between an F-16 jet and the military’s new and oft-troubled F-35 stealth jet showed that the F-35 is too sluggish to hit an enemy plane or dodge gunfire, according to a report.The F-35 has cost the US military more than a trillion dollars since work on it began, making it the most expensive weapon in history.The mock air battle, staged in January over the Pacific Ocean, was to test the F-35’s prowess as a close-range dogfighter at 10,000 to 30,000 feet. The F-35 pilot was to fly his jet hard, turning and maneuvering to “shoot down” the older F-16 jet, whose pilot would be doing his best to evade being hit, and trying to attack the F-35.The test pilot’s five-page brief said that despite the F-16 being weighed down by two drop tanks, and with the F-35 jet carrying no weapons, the F-35 “remained at a distinct energy disadvantage for every engagement.”Read morePentagon’s F-35 stealth fighter jet has a 'brain' problemThe F-35 was designed to far exceed the fourth generation F-16 jets, first built in the 1970s, with the ability to carry its fuel and weapons internally. Yet aerodynamic problems, such as “insufficient pitch rate” for the jet’s nose while climbing, were reported during the mock battle.The F-35 test pilot also discovered he couldn’t comfortably move his head inside the jet’s cramped cockpit.“The helmet was too large for the space inside the canopy to adequately see behind the aircraft,” said the report.That allowed the F-16 to sneak up on him.The F-35 pilot tried to target the F-16 with the stealth jet’s 25-millimeter cannon, which the smaller F-16 easily dodged. The pilot said the F-35 performed so dismally that it had no place fighting other aircraft within visual range.In one maneuver, the F-35 was able to perform decently at rudder reversal at slow speeds, but this used a lot of the aircraft’s energy, leaving the aircraft vulnerable to attack.The brief release to the War is Boring website was unclassified but still marked “for official use only.” It documented a mock battle taking place on January 14, 2015 over a sea test range in the Pacific Ocean near Edwards Air Force Base, California. ...