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25 janvier 2016 1 25 /01 /janvier /2016 17:20
Le F-35 AF-1, du 461st Flight Test Squadron, a tiré le 12 janvier son premier missile AIM-9X. © US Air Force Chad Bellay

Le F-35 AF-1, du 461st Flight Test Squadron, a tiré le 12 janvier son premier missile AIM-9X. © US Air Force Chad Bellay

 

25/01/2016 par Antony Angrand – Air & Cosmos

 

Un F-35 du 461st Flight Test Squadron a tiré un missile AIM-9X pour la première fois au-dessus de la zone d'essais du Pacifique le 12 janvier. L'appareil, AF-1, était piloté par David Nelson, chef pilote d'essais du Lockheed Martin F-35 à la base aérienne d'Edwards AFB. Le missile a été tiré à une altitude de 6 000 pieds (1 828 m).

Suite de l’article

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21 janvier 2016 4 21 /01 /janvier /2016 17:50
La Norvège pourrait être amenée à commander dix F-35 de moins que prévu. photo Lockheed Martin

La Norvège pourrait être amenée à commander dix F-35 de moins que prévu. photo Lockheed Martin

 

20/01/2016 par Antony Angrand – Air & Cosmos

 

La Norvège va devoir très certainement revoir le nombre de F-35 commandés. Avec un prix du baril de pétrole toujours au plus bas et une monnaie nationale qui rend les JSF encore plus coûteux une fois leur prix converti en dollars américains, la ministre de la défense Ine Eriksen Søreide travaille actuellement sur un plan à long terme afin d'enrayer le sous-financement chronique des forces armées norvégiennes. Ce plan pourrait être révélé ce printemps.

Si le nombre de F-35 commandés n'est pas revu à la baisse, la Norvège se verra très certainement obligée de procéder à des coupes claires dans le budget de la défense ou de faire appel de manière beaucoup plus importante à l'Otan.

Suite de l’article

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12 novembre 2015 4 12 /11 /novembre /2015 17:20
F-35A with Canadian markings

F-35A with Canadian markings

 

November 8, 2015 David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen

 

Defence Watch has been running a back and forth debate on the F-35 between defence analyst Richard Shimooka and Alan Williams, the former ADM Materiel at DND, who signed the original MOU committing Canada to the research and development aspect of the F-35. On Sept. 24 Richard Shimooka had an opinion piece in the National Post arguing that the F-35 is still the best bet for Canada.

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6 novembre 2015 5 06 /11 /novembre /2015 17:20
F-35: Italians First Mission Highlights Partnerships

An Italian F-35 Lightning II pilot is met by a 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit Airman Nov. 5, 2015, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., after the pilot flew the first Italian F-35 training mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ridge Shan)

 

Nov 06, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: US Air Force 56th Fighter Wing; issued Nov 05, 2015)

 

LUKE AFB, Arizona --- Two Italian pilots completed their initial training flight in the F-35 Lightning II Nov. 5 at Luke Air Force Base marking the first F-35 flights under control of an Italian pilot.

Today marks another significant step forward for the F-35 program as today's missions showcased the full partnership aspect of F-35 operations here. One Italian flew his mission in an Australian F-35 with an Air Force Reserve ground instructor on the headset. In addition, the maintenance team was comprised of Lockheed Martin contractors and an Australian maintenance liaison officer.

Two U.S. instructor pilots from the 61st Fighter Squadron flew alongside the Italians, guiding them through their first flight.

"This has been a big day for the 61st, for Luke AFB, and for the F-35 program," said Lt Col Michael Gette, 61st Fighter Squadron commander. "Every aspect of today's operation was a multinational effort. It was a great example of how all the partner nations are cooperating to make this program a reality and shows how Luke AFB is becoming the international training hub for the F-35."

The international partnerships were on further display as two U.S. student pilots took their first flight as well, one guided by a U.S. instructor pilot and the other by an Australian.

"It is great from an Australian partner perspective to be contributing to the outcome of training F-35 aircrew," said Squadron Leader Nathan Draper, Australian Participant Maintenance Liaison Officer. "To see a USAF IP alongside an Aussie jet with an Italian partner getting his first flight is seeing the vision for the program come to fruition. It is a great day for the F-35 and a big milestone for our team."

The pilots began the academic training phase on Sept. 21, which involved approximately 90 days of classroom and simulator instruction under the supervision of the 56th Training Squadron prior to them stepping to the jet.

"New pilots will be trained in an environment where they learn how to work seamlessly with other nations both from a practical standpoint and a tactical basis," an Italian pilot said. "Future students coming through the course will be able to fly on many different tails, so it is a perfect integration."

When the Italian pilots return home they will be equipped to help develop the training programs of their own air forces and will help pioneer the next generation of global F-35 pilots.

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5 novembre 2015 4 05 /11 /novembre /2015 17:30
Marine Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft at the Guardian Center training facility on March 11, 2015 - photo USMC

Marine Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft at the Guardian Center training facility on March 11, 2015 - photo USMC

 

03.11.2015 Israël Valley (Source I24News)

 

Une nouvelle escadrille d’avions de chasse F-15, des ravitailleurs en vol ultra-sophistiqués, des hélicoptères, des appareils de transport hybrides avion/hélicoptères V-22, des armes de précision et une aide financière pour le programme de missiles Arrow 3, voilà une partie de la liste des demandes présentées par Israël aux responsables américains dans le cadre du programme d’aide sécuritaire qui devrait dépasser le montant annuel habituel de 3,1 milliards de dollars…

 

Cette liste a été finalisée lors d’une réunion en fin de semaine dernière à Washington entre le ministre israélien de la Défense Moshe (Boguy) Ya’alon et le secrétaire américain à la Défense Ashton Carter. Cette aide exceptionnelle a pour but de maintenir la “suprématie qualitative” d’Israël pour les prochaines années.

 

Elle a été présentée au président Obama avant la prochaine visite de Benyamin Netanyahou, la semaine prochaine, à la Maison Blanche.

 

Ashton Carter a indiqué qu’Israël sera le seul et unique pays du Moyen-Orient qui recevra l’avion du futur F-35, mais les responsables israéliens ont demandé en outre la livraison d’une escadrille de F-15 qui sont généralement considérés comme le “cheval de labeur” de l’armée de l’air de l’Etat hébreu.

 

Les appareils hybrides V-22 Osprey demandés par Israël peuvent voler comme des avions et décoller et atterrir comme des hélicoptères. Israël envisage de les utiliser pour les incursions de forces spéciales et des évacuations d’urgence à partir de terrains d’opération sensibles. L’Iran est dans le rayon de portée du V-22 Osprey.

 

Par contre, la livraison de bombes spéciales anti-bunker semble ne plus être d’actualité, malgré la suggestion conjointe de l’ambassadeur spécial pour le Moyen-Orient Dennis Ross et du général David Petraeus.

 

Ashton Carter a souligné que, durant sa réunion avec Ya’alon, ils ont tous deux “recherché des voies supplémentaires pour resserrer les liens, en particulier dans les domaines de la cybertechnologie et des armes sophistiquées de nouvelle génération”.

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4 novembre 2015 3 04 /11 /novembre /2015 17:20
photo Lockheed Martin

photo Lockheed Martin

 

Nov 3, 2015 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin

 

The F-35A Lightning II completed the first three airborne gunfire bursts from its internal Gun Airborne Unit (GAU)-22/A 25mm Gatling gun system during a California test flight, Oct. 30 . This milestone was the first in a series of test flights to functionally evaluate the in-flight operation of the F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) variant's internal 25mm gun throughout its employment envelope, a major event towards certifying the gun for use in the F-35A, and a key component for reaching U.S. Air Force Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 2016.

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2 novembre 2015 1 02 /11 /novembre /2015 08:20
Jeff Babione Named F-35 Program Leader

 

Oct 29, 2015 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation

 

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) announced today that Jeff Babione has been named the executive vice president and general manager of the F-35 Program, effective January 1, 2016. Babione succeeds Lorraine Martin who has been appointed to the newly created position of deputy executive vice president, Mission Systems and Training (MST).

As head of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 team, Babione will lead development, production, and sustainment efforts across the three F-35 variants for 13 military services in nine partner countries and a growing list of foreign military sales customers. Under his leadership, the F-35 team will focus on completing the System Development and Demonstration Program, ramping up production and supporting the Initial Operational Capability of the U.S. Air Force in 2016 and the U.S. Navy in 2018.

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1 novembre 2015 7 01 /11 /novembre /2015 12:30
Israel’s all-inclusive F-35I deal doesn’t grant full tech access

 

29 October, 2015 By James Drew – FG

 

Washington DC - Despite the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme’s “unique relationship with Israel,” the country has not been granted unfettered access to every component on the 33 aircraft it intends to purchase.

Tel Aviv is demanding much from the joint programme office (JPO), including a local maintenance, repair and overhaul facility and pilot and maintainer training with full-motion simulators, even though those types of capabilities are being centralised at planned regional F-35 centres in America, Asia and Europe. The Israeli Air Force has relative freedom to upgrade, modernise and weaponise its Boeing F-15s and Lockheed Martin F16s, and will have extended access to F-35 hardware, but there are still some aspects of the aircraft that will remain off limit, according to the US programme director. “It is a true statement that some portions of the F-35 are not releasable to any partners or customers on the F-35, not uniquely Israel,” says F-35 JPO head Lt Gen Christopher Bogdan. “Only the US services and US industry can do certain things on the airplane. That’s not unique." "[With Israel], is if there’s anything unique to put on the airplane, if we can let you do it we will, and if not we’ll work it, in your country or in the US. Israel should be able to do anything it wants to the airplane, sometimes with our help and sometimes not.”

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31 octobre 2015 6 31 /10 /octobre /2015 12:30
Turkey hopes to fly SOM-J in late 2016, targeting F-35 Block 4.2

 

26 October, 2015 By James Drew – FG

 

Washington DC  - Turkish missile maker Roketsan is hoping to fly its SOM-J cruise missile for the first time “possibly late next year” ahead of planned integration with the F-16 Block 40 by 2018 and the Lockheed Martin F-35 sometime later.

 

SOM-J is essentially a scaled-down version of Roketsan’s SOM (stand off missile), and sized for internal carriage on the F-35. SOM is already integrated with Turkey’s F-16 Block 40 and F-4E fighter jets, whereas the semi-armour-piercing SOM-J will become the nation’s cruise missile of choice once Ankara introduces the low-observable F-35 into its combat force. One company official, who spoke to Flightglobal at a recent US Army conference in Washington but declined to be named, says most of the SOM subsystems including the multi-mode seeker have already been tested and qualified and the new development effort its mostly about adapting the missile for internal carriage on the F-35, such as changing the outer mould line. He says the first flight could happen as soon as late 2016, and Turkey has requested integration with the F-35 as part of the planned Block 4.2 modernisation package. “We rely on our experience and our qualification results we already have with the existing system,” he says. “This is based on the existing design.”

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30 octobre 2015 5 30 /10 /octobre /2015 17:20
How much has Canada spent on the F-35 so far?

 

October 30, 2015 David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen

 

All eyes will be on the new Liberal government to see how they withdraw from the F-35 program.

 

How much has Canada spent on the F-35?

 

Canada has been a participant in the Joint Strike Fighter Program since 1997 and has spent US $309.3 million to date to participate in the program, Jessica Kingsbury, a spokeswoman for Public Works and Government Services tells Defence Watch.

 

The figure is broken down as follows:

- Concept demonstration phase (1997 to 2001)—Canada has contributed approximately US$10.6 million;

- System development and demonstration phase (SDD) (2001 to 2018)—Canada has contributed approximately US$94.4 million to date;

- Production, sustainment, and follow-on development phase (2006 to 2051)—Canada has contributed approximately US$204.3 million to date.

- Public Works could not provide current information on Canadian firms involved in the F-35. But a 2014 government update noted a little more than 30 Canadian firms have active contracts. They have secured contracts worth $637 million US.

 

The F-35 became a major political headache several years ago for the Conservatives. Although the Liberal government originally signed on to a research and development program for the plane, the Conservatives significantly expanded commitment and later agreed to the purchase 65 of the planes.

 

The purchase was later put on temporarily on hold by the Conservatives after concerns were raised about the cost of the F-35 and how the procurement process was handled.

 

During the election campaign Justin Trudeau promised to withdraw Canada from the F-35 program if the Liberals formed the government.

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28 octobre 2015 3 28 /10 /octobre /2015 13:20
photo 355th Fighter Wing

photo 355th Fighter Wing

 

October 23, 2015

 

Officials downplay planned fly-off between warplanes

 

Several weeks ago, the Project on Government Oversight announced its cautious optimism upon learning the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation planned to conduct a close air support fly-off between the proven A-10 and the yet-to-be proved F-35.

The cautious aspect of that optimism has been proven to be warranted. Under questioning by Rep. Martha McSally, an Arizona Republican and former A-10 pilot, F-35 program executive officer Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan dismissed the idea of a comparative test as irrelevant. The exchange occurred during a House Armed Services subcommittee hearing on updates to the Joint Strike Fighter program.

Bogdan’s remarks echo earlier comments by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, who described the proposed test as a “silly exercise.”

Michael Gilmore, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, said in late August, “The comparison tests on the close-air support mission will reveal how well the F-35 performs and whether there are gaps, or improvements in capability, compared to the A-10.”

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28 octobre 2015 3 28 /10 /octobre /2015 12:35
Park demande que la durée de développement de l’avion de chasse sud-coréen soit respectée

 

SEOUL, 27 oct. (Yonhap)

 

La présidente Park Geun-hye a demandé ce mardi à l’Administration du programme d’acquisition de défense (DAPA) de s’assurer que le chasseur sud-coréen soit développé dans les délais prévus, a fait savoir la DAPA.

 

Le président de la DAPA Chang Myoung-jin a indiqué que la présidente a fait cette recommandation après qu’il lui a présenté le projet de développement des avions de chasse, doté d’un budget de 18.000 milliards de wons (15,9 milliards de dollars). Ces avions devraient être fabriqués d’ici 2025.

 

Les Etats-Unis ont récemment refusé le transfert de quatre technologies sur les 25 que le constructeur Lockheed Martin avait initialement proposées à la Corée du Sud. Ce transfert de technologie était une condition de l’achat par Séoul de 40 avions de chasse F-35 Lightning II.

 

Le conseiller à la sécurité nationale Kim Kwan-jin a affirmé la semaine dernière que la Corée du Sud est capable de développer les quatre technologies manquantes, à savoir un radar à balayage électronique actif, un système infrarouge de détection et de poursuite, un pod de ciblage optique et un brouilleur de fréquences radio.

 

La DAPA et le fabriquant de matériel de défense local LIG Nex 1 comptent mettre au point le radar à balayage électronique actif d’ici 2021. Une source de la DAPA a fait savoir que l’organisation cherchera l’assistance d’Israël, de la Grande-Bretagne et de la Suède lors du développement du radar.

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28 octobre 2015 3 28 /10 /octobre /2015 12:20
photo Lockheed Martin

photo Lockheed Martin

 

27/10/2015 par George de Bonadona - Air & Cosmos

 

Le programme F-35 pourrait être malmené au Canada, allié pourtant indéfectible des Etats-Unis. Justin Trudeau, qui a été élu Premier ministre le 19 octobre, a fait la promesse que son pays se retirerait du programme F-35. Bien que le jeune fils de Pierre Elliott Trudeau n’ait pas encore pris ses fonctions, Washington a déjà manœuvré pour empêcher le Canada de quitter le couteux programme.  Car si Ottawa abandonne le programme de recherche et développement et l’achat des 65 appareils, Washington espère compenser cette perte par l’augmentation du prix d’achat unitaire de 1 million de dollars pour les autres pays acquéreurs. C’est ce qu’a déclaré le chef du programme F-35 au Pentagone, le Lieutenant Général Chris Bogdan de l’U.S. Air Force.

Suite de l’article

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26 octobre 2015 1 26 /10 /octobre /2015 08:20
F-35 Lightning II CVN DT-II Wrap Up


23 oct. 2015 by US Navy

 

Two F-35C Lightning II aircraft from the F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force (ITF) flexed their sea legs aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) during the second F-35C developmental test (DT-II) phase October 2-10, 2015. (U.S. Navy video courtesy of Lockheed Martin | Matt Short, Dane Wiedmann, Andrew McMurtrie, and Andy Wolfe.)

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16 octobre 2015 5 16 /10 /octobre /2015 11:35
KF-X : le Pentagone est réticent au transfert de technologies clés

 

2015-10-16 world.kbs.co.kr

 

Le Pentagone a de nouveau refusé le transfert des quatre technologies clés nécessaires au programme sud-coréen d’avion de combat KF-X. Le secrétaire américain à la Défense Ashton Carter a en effet réaffirmé cette position à l’issue de son tête-à-tête avec son homologue sud-coréen, Han Min-koo. Cet entretien a eu lieu ce matin en marge de la visite de la présidente Park Geun-hye aux Etats-Unis.

 

Selon le ministère sud-coréen de la Défense, Han a pourtant proposé en échange de ne pas livrer ces technologies, dont le radar à antenne active (AESA), à un pays tiers.

 

Hormis ce dossier épineux, les deux hommes ont convenu de mettre en place une consultation intergouvernementale visant à promouvoir la coopération en matière d’industrie et technologies de défense. Celle-ci devrait comprendre les responsables des ministères des Affaires étrangères et ceux de la Défense, ainsi que d’autres organes concernés des deux pays.

 

Pour rappel : la Corée du Sud avait décidé en septembre 2014 d’acheter 40 chasseurs F-35 du constructeur américain Lockheed Martin. Celui-ci a alors promis de lui transférer ses technologies dans 25 secteurs de production. Mais l’administration Obama avait officiellement refusé d’en transmettre quatre en avril dernier.

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16 octobre 2015 5 16 /10 /octobre /2015 07:35
Le J-31 chinois en lice pour l’exportation ?


14.10.2015 par Info-Aviation
 

Le groupe chinois AVIC a officiellement dévoilé les spécifications de son avion de combat furtif J-31. Cette annonce ouvre implicitement la voie aux contrats d’exportation bien que les travaux de conception ne soient pas encore terminés (source : China Daily).

 

L’avion est développé par Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (filiale d’AVIC) depuis 2010 pour la supériorité aérienne et l’attaque au sol en réponse au F-35 américain. Il a effectué son premier vol le 31 octobre 2012.

Le J-31 sera capable d’effectuer des vols à une altitude de 16.000 mètres, atteindre une vitesse de 2.200 km/h et emporter jusqu’à 8 tonnes de munitions. Son rayon d’action s’étend à 1.200 km, et la durée de vie s’établit à 30 ans.

À titre de comparaison, la version modernisée du MiG-29 vole jusqu’à 2.500 km/h et transporte 4,5 tonnes d’armes, tandis que son rayon d’action est de 1.000 kilomètres. Le F-16 américain peut transporter jusqu’à 7,7 tonnes de charge utile, sa vitesse maximale atteint 2.300 km/h et son rayon d’action s’établit à 600 kilomètres. Mais il s’agit d’avions commercialisés depuis les années 80.

Début 2015, l’hebdomadaire allemand Der Spiegel citant des données fournies par Edward Snowden a rapporté que la Chine aurait volé des informations concernant la construction du chasseur américain de cinquième génération F-35 pour les utiliser dans la conception de son avion J-31.

Le F-35 peut emporter 6,8 tonnes d’armements, vole à 18.500 mètres d’altitude à une vitesse de 1.930 km/h (Mach 1,6+).

 

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15 octobre 2015 4 15 /10 /octobre /2015 16:50
Carrier Strike - Royal Navy


15 oct. 2015 by Royal Navy

 

Rear Admiral Graham Mackay talks about the capability of the new aircraft carriers.

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9 octobre 2015 5 09 /10 /octobre /2015 16:50
Norwegian Government Proposes Significant Defence Budget Boost

 

Oct 9, 2015  defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Norway Ministry of Defence; issued Oct 8, 2015)


The Norwegian Government proposes a 9.8% real terms defence budget increase for 2016, including a near doubling of funding for the F-35, a significant strengthening of the Intelligence Service and increased High North patrols.

The Norwegian Intelligence Service, the P-3C Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft and forward deployed submarine patrols all receive additional funding in the Norwegian Government’s 2016 budget proposal that was presented on the 7th of October.

The majority of the increase comes from a near doubling of the funding related to the Norwegian acquisition of the F-35, which ensures that the Norwegian procurement of the F-35 will proceed as planned.

The overall priorities in the Government’s budget proposal are in line with the recommendations presented by the Chief of Defence on the 1st of October 2015 in his Strategic Military Review, and helps increase the defence budget’s share of Norway’s GNP to a projected 1.54 %.

“The Norwegian Government takes the new security situation very seriously, and in 2016 we intend to follow up on our stated intention of strengthening the Norwegian Armed Forces in areas which allow its operational capabilities to grow in both the short and the long term. A considerable strengthening of the Norwegian Armed Forces is required in order to ensure that we develop capabilities for the future that are both relevant and modern, and which improve our ability to deter the use of force against both Norway and the wider NATO-alliance.

“Both our F-35-procurement and the new base at Ørland are key components to this effort, and of great importance to this Government, and therefore constitute a significant portion of the proposed increases,” says Norwegian Minister of Defence, Ms. Ine Eriksen Søreide.

Increased Funding for the Procurement of New Combat Aircraft with Associated Infrastructure

To support Norway’s continued acquisition of the F-35 along with its associated infrastructure the Government proposes a 2016 budget allocation of NOK 8.6 billion. While this proposal includes NOK 1.1 billion re-allocated from the 2015 budget due to planned payments that have been postponed, this nevertheless constitutes a near doubling of the 2015-level.

Also covered by the funding increase are additional funds for the construction of the new F-35-base at Ørland Main Air Station, where several projects are already underway to prepare for the arrival of the first F-35 in Norway in 2017.

The Norwegian Parliament has already authorized the procurement of 22 of the 52 aircraft Norway plans to procure, which includes deliveries up to and including 2019. In the 2016 budget, the Government requests authorization to begin procurement of an additional six aircraft for delivery in 2020.

On Tuesday the 6th of October the Norwegian acquisition of the F-35 reached another milestone as the second F-35 for Norway, AM-2, completed a successful test flight from Lockheed Martin’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas. This was the first flight for a Norwegian F-35, and comes only two weeks after the formal roll-out ceremony for the first Norwegian F-35.

A Strengthened and Modernized Intelligence Service

The Norwegian Government is proposing a considerable and necessary investment in the Norwegian Intelligence Service, above and beyond the levels indicated in the current Long Term Plan for the Norwegian Armed Forces. By modernizing both the technologies and capabilities of the Intelligence Service, it will become better prepared to address current and future challenges in line with the rapid technological advancement and developments in both Norway’s immediate region and in other areas around the globe.

In its 2016 budget proposal, the Government consequently proposes a funding increase for the Intelligence Service of NOK 370 million, of which NOK 250 million are fresh funds added to the defence budget.

Improved Navy Maintenance and Increased High North Patrols

The Government proposes several measures intended to strengthen the operational readiness of the Norwegian Navy, and to increase the patrol activity of its submarines and the Air Force’s P-3C Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft in the High North.

By adding NOK 320 million to the Navy maintenance budget, the Government aims to reduce the current maintenance backlog on its vessels, thereby improving its ability to maintain the level of activity described by the current Long Term Plan. This additional funding also creates additional opportunities for the maritime industries on the Norwegian West Coast, and is part the Government’s effort to boost Norwegian employment levels.

Beyond maintenance, the budget proposal also includes funding dedicated to strengthening Norwegian High North Patrols, with an additional NOK 62 million to allow an Ula-class submarine to be forward-deployed to Ramsund Naval Station, where two crews will rotate to enable a total of about 250 sailing days annually in the High North.

The proposal also includes NOK 35 million in additional funds for the P-3C Maritime Patrol Aircraft, enabling both longer and more frequent patrols in the High North, strengthening Norway’s ability to ensure adequate surveillance and enforce Norwegian sovereignty in the region.

Funding for Continued International Engagements

The budget proposal includes additional funding to extend Norway’s participation in two important international missions, including NOK 82 million to support the deployment of one C-130J along with staff officers to support the UN-operation MINUSMA in Mali for an additional ten months, and NOK 7 million to support Norway’s participation in operation Triton in the Mediterranean Sea.

Continued Overall Modernization

Even as funding for the F-35 ramps up, Norway continues the overall modernization of its Armed Forces, funding more than 20 projects in various stages of completion through the proposed defence budget for 2016. These include the ongoing modernisation of the Army’s CV90-fleet, and a new logistics vessel for the Navy. The budget proposal also presents a new project for Parliamentary approval which by 2020 will provide 320 light vehicles along with associated support equipment for the Norwegian Home Guard, at an estimated cost of NOK 527 million.


Key figures:
2016 Defence Budget Proposal: NOK 49.066 bn (+ NOK 4.29 bn from 2015 in real terms), of which:
-- Procurement: NOK 12.380 bn
-- Infrastructure: NOK 3.206 bn

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9 octobre 2015 5 09 /10 /octobre /2015 07:20
Alcoa Wins Titanium Contract with Lockheed Martin for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

 

Oct 7, 2015 ASDNews Source : Alcoa

 

Lightweight metals leader Alcoa today announced a contract to supply titanium for Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE: LMT) F-35 Lightning II aircraft program, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Under the contract, Alcoa becomes the titanium supplier for airframe structures for all three variants of the F-35 over nine years, from 2016 to 2024. At current projected build rates, the contract has an estimated value of approximately $1.1 billion.

 

Alcoa will supply titanium plate and billet from several operations gained through the RTI International Metals acquisition.

 

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8 octobre 2015 4 08 /10 /octobre /2015 07:35
photo Northrop Grumman

photo Northrop Grumman

 

06 October, 2015 by James Drew – FG

 

Washington DC  - Northrop Grumman has built the first F-35 centre fuselage destined for Japan’s domestic joint strike fighter assembly plant, operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

 

The company says the centre fuselage is the core of AX-5, Japan’s fifth example, and will become the first to enter Japan's Nagoya final assembly and checkout plant instead of prime contractor Lockheed Martin’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas. “It is the 207th centre fuselage that the company has produced at its Palmdale site, and the 30th such unit delivered this year,” the company said in a 4 October statement. “[MHI] will perform final assembly and checkout of the Japanese F-35As. The process includes mating the centre fuselage to the forward fuselage/cockpit and wings produced by Lockheed Martin, and the aft fuselage produced by BAE Systems.”

 

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8 octobre 2015 4 08 /10 /octobre /2015 07:20
photo Lockheed Martin

photo Lockheed Martin

 

05 October, 2015 BY: James Drew – FG

 

Washington DC - Lockheed Martin’s F-35 has not yet seen combat, but already the defence manufacturer is exploring “concepts” for installing and employing a high-power fibre laser weapon on the new-generation combat jet for shooting down missiles and other airborne threats.

 

The company believes it finally has the right technology to produce modular and scalable fibre laser weapons for trucks, ships and aircraft, and a high-power, 60kW example will enter production for the US Army later this month. The F-35 has been in development since 2001 and only recently was declared fit for combat with the US Marine Corps. However, Lockheed’s Rob Afzal says company engineers are already thinking about how a laser weapon system could fit onto the supersonic stealth fighter and its usefulness in combat. “Absolutely, we’re looking at concepts for the integration of a laser weapon onto the F-35,” the Lockheed senior fellow for laser and sensor systems said at a media briefing 5 October. “We’re also looking at the utility and doing models and calculations so you would understand the utility of a leaser weapon system in the F-35.”

 

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8 octobre 2015 4 08 /10 /octobre /2015 06:20
U.S. Air Force Major Kevin Hall goes through his pre-flight checks before flying an F-35A at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Hall is an F-35 test pilot. Photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua D. King/USAF

U.S. Air Force Major Kevin Hall goes through his pre-flight checks before flying an F-35A at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Hall is an F-35 test pilot. Photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua D. King/USAF

 

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (UPI)

 

U.S. lawmakers and defense officials are concerned as more tests on the F-35 joint-strike fighter reveal more complications than they thought.

Defense News reports the concerns stem from the testing of the new Martin-Baker US16E ejection seat system, which testers discovered may put pilots at risk of fatal injury. During the tests, ejections performed during low-speed flights showed test dummies snapping their necks.

Test results revealed that when lighter pilots are operating the F-35, the Martin-Baker seats rotate too much. The U.S. military now prohibits pilots weighting under 136 pounds from operating the F-35.

In response to the potentially grim test results, some lawmakers are calling for increased oversight of the joint-strike fighter program. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said the Pentagon is erroneously rushing the program.

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5 octobre 2015 1 05 /10 /octobre /2015 17:50
Un F-16 en vol avec un F-35. (Archives Lockheed Martin)

Un F-16 en vol avec un F-35. (Archives Lockheed Martin)


30.09.2015 par T. Mignon - RTBF.be
 

En juillet dernier, le commandant des Marines américains, le général Joseph Dunford, l'assurait : le nouvel avion F-35 "Joint Strike Fighter" est prêt au combat. Cet appareil à atterrissage et décollage vertical est la version B de l'avion pointé comme l'un des candidats potentiels au remplacement des F-16 vieillissants de l'armée belge

Lors de son développement et depuis son premier vol d'essai, ce F-35 avait été sans cesse dénigré, jusqu'à être affectueusement surnommé "l'avion qui a mangé le Pentagone". Autrement dit, le plus cher de l'histoire. Avec les années de retard, son prix d'achat initialement prévu a même doublé, atteignant 400 millions de dollars (environ 357 millions d'euros). Pièce, bien entendu.

Mais, contrairement à ce que Joseph Dunford clamait haut et fort en juillet, les ennuis ne sont pas terminés. Une note du directeur des tests et évaluations opérationnels des nouveaux systèmes d'armement du Pentagone, J. Michael Gilmore, indique que les conditions des essais simulaient à peine les combats en conditions réelles. "L'avion ne transportait par exemple pas de missiles ou de bombes durant les évaluations et a atterri sur une plateforme libérée de tous les autres avions", écrit ainsi l'hebdomadaire américain Newsweek.

 

Une déclaration pour s'assurer des fonds publics ?

Par conséquent, le test "n'a pas – et ne peut pas démontrer" que l'avion du constructeur Lockheed Martin "est efficace d'un point de vue opérationnel, ou que son utilisation est adaptée dans n'importe quel type d'opération de combat limité, ou qu'il est prêt pour des déploiements opérationnel en situation réelle", conclut Gilmore.

Il apparait, écrit Newsweek, que le feu vert donné par Dunford dans un premier temps était uniquement destiné à apporter un soutien public de poids au développement de cet avion critiqué de toutes parts, et ainsi assurer un flux de fonds continu de la part du Congrès américain.

Initié en 2001, le projet F-35 était destiné à créer trois versions de l'avion de combat le plus polyvalent et le plus meurtrier de tous les temps. Ambitieux. Peut-être trop ambitieux.

 

Un duel embarrassant entre F-35 et F-16

Les problèmes techniques se sont multipliés au cours de son développement. "Un rapport mentionnait des défauts de conception dans son réservoir de carburant et dans ses systèmes hydrauliques, ce qui augmentent la vulnérabilité de l'avion vis-à-vis de la foudre et du feu de l'ennemi, en particulier à basse altitude."

Un autre rapport a minimisé sa vitesse, sa capacité d'accélération et sa capacité de virage. Les pilotes d'essai ont par ailleurs critiqué la mauvaise visibilité offerte par le cockpit, un paramètre qui selon eux pourrait causer leur perte en combat. Ils citent également des logiciels et radar défectueux, ainsi que les sièges éjectables qui ne fonctionnent tout simplement pas.

En 2014, un incendie moteur a conduit à clouer au sol l'ensemble de la flotte de F-35, tandis que "deux rapports gouvernementaux statuaient que les moteurs de Pratt & Whitney n'étaient pas fiables". Enfin, le casque du pilote, sculpté sur mesure pour 400 000 dollars (357 000 euros), est muni d'un système sophistiqué qui permet d'offrir une vue à 360 degrés au pilote, mais le système de reconnaissance a des difficultés à distinguer les alliés des ennemis.

Et, comme si cela ne suffisait pas, en juillet dernier, un duel a opposé le F-35 en développement au vieux F-16 lors d'un test. Un duel qui a vu l'ancien modèle l'emporter...

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4 octobre 2015 7 04 /10 /octobre /2015 11:20
F-35C Lightning II Testing Aboard USS Eisenhower (CVN 69)

 

3 oct. 2015 by US Navy

 

An F-35C Lighting II makes an arrested landing aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) October 2, 2015, operating off the east coast of the US. The F-35 Lightning II Program is conducting its second developmental test (DT-II) at sea. While aboard Eisenhower from October 2-15, the Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) will test F-35C carrier suitability and integration in the at-sea environment. The test team will achieve this objective through a series of test events designed to gradually expand the aircraft operating envelope at sea. Shipboard testing delivers the opportunity to conduct routine F-35C operations while embarked on an aircraft carrier. The F-35C will perform a variety of operational maneuvers during DT-II — including catapult takeoffs and arrested landings — while simulating maintenance operations and conducting general maintenance and fit tests for the aircraft and support equipment.

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4 octobre 2015 7 04 /10 /octobre /2015 11:20
F-35C Conducts First External Weapons Release with Not One, but Four 500-pound Bombs

CF-2 releases one of four 500-pound GBU-12 laser guided inert bombs from its wings’ pylons on Sept. 23, 2015, over the Atlantic Test Range. The test marked the first time an F-35 Lightning II conducted an external weapons separation release.

 

October 02, 2015 f35.com

 

For the fist time an F-35 released an external weapon from its wings, not once, but four times during an external weapons separation test on 23 September 2015.

 

The aircraft, CF-2, released four 500-pound GBU-12 laser guided inert bombs from its wings’ pylons during consecutive test runs over the Atlantic Test Range. The F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force conducted the flight and noted all four weapon separations were successful and confirmed the accuracy of the predicted release trajectory. The ability to do quadruple separation tests during a single flight demonstrates the program’s ability to efficiently test, and advances the F-35’s future capability to release multiple weapons on a single pass.

 

 

 

During the sortie, flight test engineers monitored and reviewed telemetry data from each GBU-12 separation event to confirm it was safe to proceed to the next release point. The team also saved costs by clearing the range once rather than four times to accomplish each separation.

 

Traditional flight test programs often rely upon a series of individual separation flights to accommodate engineering analysis to determine if it is safe to proceed to the next test point. The F-35 weapons certification process combined extensive wind tunnel testing and computer analysis to predict the trajectory of the weapons released from the aircraft. Additionally, the F-35 features an on-board instrumentation capability that delivers real-time data analysis to engineers in the control room. Each weapon separation matched simulation models with a high degree of fidelity, which expedites the clearances of future weapons and employment envelopes.

 

This year, the F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force, has flown 500 flights and achieved 3,400 test points. The team’s five F-35B and four F-35C aircraft have supported a wide array of mission systems and flight tests.

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