Daily Archives: March 30, 2017

A new problem F-35 can’t bomb moving targets

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter can’t hit moving targets such as cars

Posted on 29 Mar 2017 by Aiden Burgess

The Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighter has been revealed to have a significant flaw. It can’t hit moving targets such as cars.

Despite being regarded as one of the most technologically advanced warplanes in the world, reports suggest that the Lockheed Martin F-35 has one significant shortcoming – it cannot strike moving ground targets using the targeting and weapons system delivered in its final combat Lightning II configuration.

This shortcoming means that the F-35 is limited to striking fixed or slow-moving objects such as surface-to-air missiles or major infrastructure targets and buildings.

The US Air Force plans to buy a total of 1,763 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing jets in coming years worth $400bn, while the UK has ordered 138 planes and Australia has committed to purchase 100 F-35 aircraft.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been described as the ‘most expensive weapon in history’ at a cost of more than $1tr.

But it looks like that even with this significant budget assigned to its development, the aircraft’s aforementioned shortcoming is a glaring and a potential combat weakness.

New missile is the proposed answer

The Manufacturer contacted Lockheed Martin for a response regarding this claim. In response, a Lockheed Martin spokesperson said: “We have a solution. The Joint Program Office is looking to add the Enhanced Paveway II (GBU-49) to the list of ordnance the F-35 can employ in 3F.

“They want to achieve this in 2017. It looks promising because the GBU-49 is similar in shape and size to the GBU-12 which is already certified.”

The Enhanced Paveway II (GBU-49) is a laser guided bomb which the US Air Force hopes to integrate into the F-35’s arsenal in time for full combat capability.

Built by US defence contractor Raytheon, it features Enhanced dual-mode GPS and is new version of the laser-only GBU-12.

This lead-laser capability is built into the weapons front end, so it doesn’t need to rely on the electro-optical targeting systems (EOTS) employed by many previous combat aircraft.

Director of the US Air Force’s F-35 integration office, Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, said adding the new weapon was a key solution to addressing the F-35’s current shortcoming.

“The ability to hit a moving target is a key capability that we need in current close-air support fight, and the GU-49 is a great solution for the F-35 and, frankly, for all of our legacy platforms to hit these moving targets,” he said.

Last in a long list of issues for the F-35

The F-35 project has been plagued with a long list of issues and delays and was even subject to claims by Edward Snowden that the Chinese Government had stolen the design plans for the aircraft.

In September last year, just over a month after they were declared “combat ready”, the US Air Force grounded 10 of the aircraft due to “the discovery of peeling and crumbling insulation in avionics cooling lines inside the fuel tanks,” the Air Force said in a statement.

A recent Pentagon report suggests the F-35 won’t be ready to begin full combat testing until 2019, due to having hundreds of faults.

The Pentagon’s latest brutal assessment of this high-priced aircraft was part of an annual report from the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation Michael Gilmore. The dossier includes a five-page evaluation of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

In the Report, Gilmore wrote: ‘The Services have designated 276 deficiencies in combat performance as “critical to correct”… but less than half of the critical deficiencies were addressed with attempted corrections…”

Continuing, Gilmore wrote: ‘Deficiencies continue to be discovered at a rate of about 20 per month, and many more will undoubtedly be discovered before and during IOT&E.’

Original post themanufacturer.com

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The Manufacturer contacted Lockheed Martin for a response regarding this claim. In response, a Lockheed Martin spokesperson said: “We have a solution. The Joint Program Office is looking to add the Enhanced Paveway II (GBU-49) to the list of ordnance the F-35 can employ in 3F.

“They want to achieve this in 2017. It looks promising because the GBU-49 is similar in shape and size to the GBU-12 which is already certified.”

A recent Pentagon report suggests the F-35 won’t be ready to begin full combat testing until 2019, due to having hundreds of faults.

Well look at it another way, with a list so long in problems the stolen material by the Chinese is considered useless……

Related post:

Heritage Foundation Calls for Cuts to Air Force’s F-35 Acquisitions

Are the F-15 Eagle’s days numbered?

Flying heap of crap watch: a local update on the F-35

To be honest, this F-35 fighter jet High-AOA testing video has nothing to be impressed of – theaviationist.com

US Secretary of Defense orders review of F-35 fighter program

F-35 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) test delayed until at least 2018

F-35 latest report card finds 276 deficiencies in combat performance – Office of Operational Testing and Evaluation

Air Force Will Oppose Trump If He Tries To Kick Out F-35 In Favor Of F-18

F-35 Lightning: Details

images1208694-f35a

 

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Reports indicate Indonesia has signed a letter of intent to buy Airbus A400M

France says Indonesia signs tentative deal to buy A400M

Wed Mar 29, 2017 | 10:09am EDT

Indonesia has signed a letter of intent to buy Airbus A400M military aircraft, the office of French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday.

The provisional agreement was signed during a visit by Hollande to Indonesia and covers an unspecified number of aircraft, according to a list of deals issued by his office.

If completed, it would provide the troubled European military programme with a second export customer after Malaysia.

A previous deal to export A400M airplanes to South Africa was cancelled in 2009. Chile was also at one time seen as an export partner for the aircraft, which has run into billions of euros of cost overruns and years of development delays. (Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer, Tim Hepher; editing by Alexander Smith)

Original post reuters.com

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I’d rather go for Japanese C2 or Russian Ilyushin IL-76MD-90A and save the difference to put it into advance jet fighters than into transport planes……Earlier reports suggest the package is $2 billion for 5 A400M costing $400 million each…….However, the decision may be political…….or Indonesia gets TOT……..

Related post:

Indonesian have yet to confirm A400M Acquisition

Indonesia to spend $2 billion to buy 5 A400M

UK signs contract for upgrades, maintenance, and repair services on A400m

Airbus Looks To the US in Search of A400M Buyers

OPINION: Can Airbus bear weight of A400M Atlas?

Looming capability gap in Germany’s military transport fleet may result in the MoD to urge A400M partner nations to procure & jointly operate C-130 Hercules

GERMANY SEEKS COMPENSATION OVER AIRBUS A400M – Airheadsfly.com

German Air Force may look to acquire additional transport aircraft

Airbus to swap out parts & components of its troubled A400M aircraft after cracks were found

Airbus Reports A400M Engine Gearbox Problems Will Cause Delays

New issues surrounding the propeller gear boxes on the Airbus A400M will not affect delivery

Airbus A400M military transport plane hits more trouble

German Air Force may look to acquire additional transport aircraft

A400M Military Transport: Details

Trump pursue $5 billion sale of F-16 to Bahrain

Trump administration pursues sale of F-16’s to Bahrain: source

Wed Mar 29, 2017 | 6:55pm EDT

By Patricia Zengerle | WASHINGTON

President Donald Trump’s administration has informed Congress of its plan to pursue the $5 billion sale to Bahrain of 19 Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft and related equipment, which was held up last year by concerns about human rights, a congressional source said on Wednesday.

The State Department originally notified Congress of the sale last September during President Barack Obama’s administration. It was pulled back because of concerns that Bahrain had not made promised improvements to its human rights record.

The Trump administration has separated the human rights issues from the transfer, the source said.

Members of Congress were not immediately available to comment on whether they would object to the sale over human rights concerns this time.

The $4.867 billion sale includes the aircraft, 23 engines, radars and other avionics, air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance and related equipment.

The latest notice sent to Congress provides for 40 days of additional congressional review, then a formal notice to Congress as required by the Arms Export Control Act, after which the licenses for the sale would be approved.

Lockheed Martin declined comment.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Additional reporting by Mike Stone; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Original post reuters.com

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From earlier reports it indicates $4 billion for 19 new F-16s Block 70 valued at $2.8 billion and include upgrades costing as much as $1 billion to Bahrain’s existing F-16 fleet…….So either it’s a typo error or the price just went up……..

Related post:

Lockheed Martin in talks with Bahrain over the sale of F-16V fighter jets

Lockheed Martin in talks with Arabian Gulf countries to sell F-16 as well as upgrades to existing fleets

Trump likely to approve F-16V fighter jet sales to Bahrain that were blocked by the Obama administration

Bahrain’s Lockheed F-16 purchase said to come with US strings

Why the U.S. Is About to Sell Billions in Boeing Fighter Jets to Qatar

8-Billion dollar US fighter jet deal with Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar before Obama’s departure

F-16C/D: Details

F-16V Fighter– Upgrade: Details

f-16v-cockpit

Heritage Foundation Calls for Cuts to Air Force’s F-35 Acquisitions

Heritage Foundation Defense Budget Proposal Calls for Cuts to Air Force’s F-35 Acquisitions

Conservative group recommends $632 billion NDAA

BY:

March 29, 2017 4:00 pm

The conservative Heritage Foundation is proposing an $86 billion increase in defense spending, recommending that lawmakers partially offset the cost through a sharp cut to the Air Force’s planned purchase of more than 1,700 F-35A fighter jets.

In a policy proposal released Wednesday, the D.C.-based think tank called on Congress to “substantially” increase military spending in fiscal year 2018 to $632 billion, a five percent expansion to President Donald Trump’s budget request submitted earlier this month.

This increase would be counteracted in part by a 30 percent reduction in the Air Force’s F-35 purchase plan—from 1,763 F-35 fighter jets to 1,260 jets—under the National Defense Authorization Act, according to Heritage.

John Venable, a senior research fellow for defense policy at the Heritage Foundation who helped craft the proposal, told reporters during a private breakfast Tuesday morning that the decrease in the Air Force’s purchase plan for F-35As would free up money for different acquisition programs within the service.

Heritage is pressing Congress to fund the expedited acquisition of F-35As over the next four years, but the report noted that even with accelerated production, the Air Force would still not complete its purchase of the 1,040 combat-ready F-35As recommended by the think tank for the active duty force until the early 2030s. That projection does not include the additional 60 combat-ready fighter jets Heritage recommended the service maintain in its National Guard and Reserve fleets with another 100 to be used in active duty training and operational test and evaluation requirements.

Venable, a former Air Force pilot, said the slow acquisition rate of F-35s will force the service to continue to use a mix of fourth and fifth generation aircraft for the “foreseeable future,” meaning the branch will need a sharp increase in federal funding to continue operating its dual-capable F-16s and F-15s.

“Even if we ramp [production] up to 100 aircraft a year, it’s going to take 12 years to bring all of those fighters onboard that we’ve got planned for the F-35A, so throughout that time, if we were able to do that, we would need to have F16s, F-15Es, and F-15Cs,” he said.

Air Force officials told lawmakers last week they were considering plans to retire the F-15Cs as early as the mid-2020s to cut costs, proposing to replace the aircraft with modernized F-16s. Venable advised against the retirement of any of the service’s platforms for at least the next seven years given existing deficits in the service’s capacity.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein testified last month that less than 50 percent of the service meets readiness requirements for full-spectrum combat operations. Goldfein warned that if Congress again fails to pass a budget that fully funds the military, the Air Force would be unable to hire the number of maintainers, air traffic controllers, and pilots needed to engage successfully in current missions and rebuild readiness.

The Heritage Foundation said that while Trump’s budget proposal challenges caps on defense spending implemented by the Budget Control Act under former President Barack Obama, it is ultimately “insufficient” to begin to rebuilding the military.

Beyond budget increases to sustain the Air Force’s F-35A acquisition program along with its F-16 and F-15 platforms, Heritage has recommended a 4 percent increase to the service’s operation and maintenance funding in 2018, with a total increase of 20 percent over the next five years. Defense experts said this is necessary for the service to recover from its 4,000-aircraft maintainer deficit and a training shortfall that has left pilots with fewer flight hours due to depressed federal funding.

Heritage is also calling on the Air Force to increase its manpower by 33,000 airmen, cultivating the force to 326,000 airmen in 2018 with incremental increases that will ultimately grow the branch to 350,000 airmen by 2025.

Lawmakers have until April 28 to pass a new budget before the current spending package expires, with the NDAA likely to hit the floor for a vote in late summer or early fall.

Original post freebeacon.com

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This increase would be counteracted in part by a 30 percent reduction in the Air Force’s F-35 purchase plan—from 1,763 F-35 fighter jets to 1,260 jets—under the National Defense Authorization Act, according to Heritage.

Air Force officials told lawmakers last week they were considering plans to retire the F-15Cs as early as the mid-2020s to cut costs, proposing to replace the aircraft with modernized F-16s. Venable advised against the retirement of any of the service’s platforms for at least the next seven years given existing deficits in the service’s capacity.

Related post:

Are the F-15 Eagle’s days numbered?

Flying heap of crap watch: a local update on the F-35

To be honest, this F-35 fighter jet High-AOA testing video has nothing to be impressed of – theaviationist.com

US Secretary of Defense orders review of F-35 fighter program

F-35 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) test delayed until at least 2018

F-35 latest report card finds 276 deficiencies in combat performance – Office of Operational Testing and Evaluation

Air Force Will Oppose Trump If He Tries To Kick Out F-35 In Favor Of F-18

F-35 Lightning: Details

f-35aa