Singapura ingressa no programa JSFSingapura assinou uma carta de aceitação para unir-se ao programa do F-35 JSF. Por agora, Singapura é o único país asiático em participar no programa. Levará a cabo estudos de integração de requesitos para poder ter exemplares em 2012.
USAF to buy 'hundreds' of STOVL JSFs By Marc Selinger 09/14/2004 11:19:25 AM The U.S. Air Force plans to buy "hundreds" of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) configuration, a key general said Sept. 13, adding further clarity to the service's plans for the JSF variant. The specific figure remains under review, said Gen. John Jumper, Air Force chief of staff. "I can't give you an exact number, but it's going to be more than a handful," Jumper said at a press briefing at the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference in Washington. Current budget plans call for the Air Force to buy all 1,763 of its JSFs in the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) configuration, but Jumper and Air Force Secretary James Roche announced in February that the service would like to buy the STOVL variant as well to provide close air support, particularly for Army ground troops (DAILY, Feb. 13, Feb. 17). The Air Force has said since then that the number of STOVL JSFs it buys could result in a corresponding reduction in the number of CTOL F-35s it acquires. Roche said in May that the Air Force's revised acquisition strategy for the Lockheed Martin JSF could be finalized by the end of the year (DAILY, May 17). Also during the press briefing, Jumper and Roche said they are becoming increasingly convinced of the need to acquire an interim long-range strike system to serve as a bridge between the current bomber force and a next-generation platform, which may not enter service for more than two decades. The Air Force asked industry for ideas on interim capabilities earlier this year and is evaluating the responses to that request for information (RFI). A bomber version of the Lockheed Martin F/A-22 Raptor has been mentioned as one option the Air Force might pursue (DAILY, May 20, May 24).
F-35 Lightning II - Strong Global Partnership, Ready to Begin Production and Sustainment(Source: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company; issued July 18, 2006)FARNBOROUGH, England --- With a new name, its first flight on the near horizon, six aircraft in various stages of subassembly and plans being laid for operation and support, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the only 5th generation fighter available on the international market, is moving quickly into production with an eye toward long-term sustainment. Joining many of his F-35 team members in the Media Hall at the Farnborough International Air Show, F-35 Program Executive Officer Rear Adm. Steven Enewold and Deputy Program Executive Officer Brig. Gen. Charles Davis remarked on the program's progress. "After 56 months of development, we are encouraged by the tangible progress in the flight qualification of our designs," said Enewold. "Most notable is the first flyable test aircraft, but we are also demonstrating performance on the major avionics systems in laboratories and flying test beds. There are still many challenges, but I am encouraged by the team's achievements." According to Davis, soon-to-be Enewold's successor as leader of the program, "I've worked in flight test and acquisition for 16 plus years and have never seen a program this advanced in its development at this stage ... B-2, F-22, etc. None were this far at this point in time. Sure we've got challenges -- and we'll have challenges we've not thought of yet -- but we're seeing them much earlier and fixing them faster than any legacy program I've known," said Davis. Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager, agreed and said the aircraft possesses significant technical maturity compared to past fighter programs at this stage of their development. "We believe the F-35 is ready for low rate-production because the program systems are maturing well beyond those of legacy programs. The program's devotion to affordability, risk-reduction and its ability to exploit new advances in digital design tools and manufacturing technology are combining to promote design stability, more reliable cost forecasts and adherence to schedules," said Crowley. Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager of F-35 Program Integration, added that the U.S. and F-35 partner nations are already planning for the F-35's long-range sustainment, one of the program's biggest components. "This is an affordability-based program, both in terms of aircraft price and the cost of maintaining it," Burbage said. "We are sharply focused on sustainment as a means to an end -- and that end in this case is an F-35 that is affordable to operate and support. All of our partner countries will be deeply involved in that endeavor down to the local level," he added. In a ceremony on July 7 at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, the F-35 made its public debut and received its name -- Lightning II -- which echoes two great fighter aircraft of the past: the World War II-era Lockheed P-38 Lightning and the supersonic, Mach 2, Lightning fighter developed by English Electric in the middle 1950s. The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation, supersonic stealth fighter designed to replace a wide range of existing aircraft, including AV-8B Harriers, A-10s, F-16s, F/A-18 Hornets and United Kingdom Harrier GR.7s and Sea Harriers. The F-35 will be the most powerful single-engine fighter ever made. 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. The inaugural flight of the first F-35, a preproduction conventional takeoff and landing variant, is planned for later this year. Fifteen F-35s will undergo flight test, seven will be used for static testing and another will validate the aircraft's radar signature. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2005 sales of $37.2 billion.
Lockheed Says F-35 Could Fly PilotlessLockheed Martin Corp. has proposed an unmanned version of its Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35, which would make it the first full-scale fighter to operate without a pilot and signal the Bethesda weapons maker's push into the growing market for drone aircraft.The idea has been in the works for two years, Lockheed Vice President Frank Mauro said at a briefing yesterday. He provided few details but said the plane could be built as an interchangeable hybrid -- manned by a pilot for some missions and operated remotely for others.The Joint Strike Fighter, funded with help from several other countries, is meant to replace the F-16 as the workhorse fighter of the United States and its close allies. Less powerful than the F-22 Raptor that Lockheed developed to give the United States an advantage in air combat, the Joint Strike Fighter is still designed to travel at supersonic speed and carry up to 15,000 pounds of bombs and missiles.Test flights of the F-35 are expected to begin later this year. The idea of a remote-control version of the plane has not been pitched to the Air Force, though it has been through the company's conceptual design phase, Lockheed officials said.Air Force officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.Yesterday's briefing marked a strategic turn for Lockheed, which for years has stayed publicly on the sidelines as the Pentagon increased its spending on unmanned systems.Such competitors as Northrop Grumman Corp. and Boeing Co. are entrenched in the market, with products such as Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk surveillance drone, which is deployed overseas.Lockheed ceded the market in the late 1990s while it focused on winning the contract to build what many predict will be the Air Force's last manned fighter jet, the F-35. Lockheed then feared that the unmanned market could diminish demand for its more expensive fighter jets, analysts said."When you think about unmanned combat systems, I think about Boeing," said John E. Pike, executive director of GlobalSecurity.org.But in the past three to four years, Lockheed's aeronautics division has spent 30 to 40 percent of its internal research-and-development budget on unmanned systems, company officials said. That includes $21 million the company has spent on the Polecat, a prototype drone that Lockheed plans to test at 60,000 feet or above this year. At a briefing yesterday, the firm trumpeted a stable of unmanned systems that can run on the ground, hauling equipment and supplies for troops, and underwater, searching for submarines and mines. Some of the systems are still being developed and some are deployed in Iraq.Much of the work is being done at Lockheed's research-and-development lab in California, known as the Skunk Works, where the U-2 spy plane was developed in secret in the 1950s.Some of the company's investment "is playing catch-up for all those big dollars that the government has invested" in unmanned technology, and some is "leapfrogging" existing systems, Mauro said.The Pentagon, looking to save money, has accelerated spending on unmanned systems since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. This year, it allocated $2 billion for unmanned aircraft and millions more in the supplemental budget, compared with $363 million in 2001. The figure is projected to reach more than $3 billion by the end of the decade.What has resulted is a hodgepodge of unmanned vehicles, such as small, bomb-seeking robots that can be carried in a backpack, and airplanes that provide surveillance for days at a time. The systems have become bigger and more expensive in recent years, such as the Predator, built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., and the Global Hawk, which has a 134-foot wingspan, comparable to the Boeing 737."Lockheed is playing catch-up and acknowledging that unmanned vehicles is a trend that is not going to go away," said Loren B. Thompson Jr., a defense industry analyst and Lockheed consultant. "It's going to be hard to penetrate a market where competitors are already established.""We're looking at picking it up when we get enough customer interest, and that's the way they want to go," Mauro said. "Right now we're focused on getting the manned version of the F-35 flying."While some analysts called the idea improbable, it could be an acknowledgment that the Pentagon's initial plan to buy about 2,000 F-35s is now considered likely to change -- in part because of improved drone technology. The decision to propose an unmanned F-35 may anticipate the day when all military aircraft are pilotless, analysts said.The F-35 program has run into problems, including a rising price that is expected to reach $276 billion, up from the original estimate of $201 billion."I think they would be crazy not be looking at this," Pike said. "It's a foregone conclusion that at some point in the F-35 production program that [the Air Force is] going to decide we're going to replace the rest with unmanned systems." It would be smart "if Lockheed can come in and say, 'We have a solution for this.' "