Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog
4 juillet 2014 5 04 /07 /juillet /2014 06:35
Australians to study effects of electromagnetic compatibility and interference on F-35


July 3, 2014 by David Pugliese


A full-scale model of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter will be used by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) to study the effects of electromagnetic compatibility and interference on the aircraft, the Australian Ministry of Defence said in a news release.


More from the release:


Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston said the Australian-built model, known as Iron Bird, would be tested under simulated electromagnetic conditions during the acquisition and through-life sustainment of the JSF.


“The United States Joint Strike Fighter Program Office asked the DSTO to undertake this research, based on its world class expertise in investigating electromagnetic environmental effects,” Senator Johnston said.


During a visit to the DSTO laboratory in Adelaide, Senator Johnston said the testing by the DSTO will ensure the JSF is protected against electromagnetic environmental effects such as those caused by lightning and broadcast transmissions which can impair the performance and safety of aircraft.


The JSF is a fifth-generation aircraft with highly complex electronics, sophisticated software and a structural airframe made of composite materials to ensure stealth. These features expose the aircraft to electromagnetic interference from both naturally occurring phenomena and man-made sources, including telecommunication transmissions, radar and lightning strikes.


“The impact of these interferences needs to be well understood and appropriately managed,” Senator Johnston said.


“The data captured during DSTO testing will help in providing potential reductions in the cost of owning the JSF fleet and enhancing the aircraft’s capability.”


The DSTO test methods provide a rapid, cost-effective means of assessing and monitoring the JSF’s ability to withstand electromagnetic exposure and minimise any impact on its systems and performance.


Senator Johnston said DSTO’s research would support the verification for compliance and airworthiness certification for the JSF aircraft.


The Australian Government recently committed to buying an additional 58 JSF aircraft, bringing the fleet total to 72. Australia’s first two F-35As are due to be delivered to a United States-based training facility during 2014aEUR’15 when Royal Australian Air Force pilot and maintainer training will begin on the aircraft.


Senator Johnston said because Australia had entered the program at the development phase, Australian companies have gained $357.6 million in production orders with only about 2-3 per cent of the production F-35A aircraft manufactured.


About 30 Australian companies are directly involved in doing business with JSF primes, with many more Australian companies as sub-contractors.

Partager cet article
9 décembre 2013 1 09 /12 /décembre /2013 17:20
Photo Lockheed Martin

Photo Lockheed Martin


09.12.2013 Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com


Le commandant de l’aviation royale canadienne, le lieutenant-général Yvan Blondin, a déclaré jeudi 5 décembre que le gouvernement canadien allait devoir prendre une décision sur l’achat ou non de chasseurs F-35 Joint Strike Fighter d’ici 2015. « Les F-18 sont encore bons jusqu’en 2025, mais disons que j’ai besoin d’une décision d’ici deux ans. Il y a un moment, le gouvernement va devoir trancher et décider s’il achète des F-35 ou non et s’il débarque du programme ou non », a-t-il déclaré au Journal de l’Aviation en marge de sa visite en Corse sur la BA 126 à l’occasion de l’exercice interalliés Serpentex.


Le CEMAA canadien a également révélé que l’analyse menée sur cinq potentiels chasseurs était toujours en cours et que les conclusions devraient être remises au gouvernement « dans les prochaines semaines, avant les fêtes ». Quant à la décision finale du gouvernement, le lieutenant-général ne s’est pas avancé, se contenant de rappeler que « c’est le gouvernement qui prend les décisions, c’est lui qui dira si on continue avec le F-35, si on achète un nouvel avion basé sur notre analyse ou si on décide de les mettre en compétition ».


Le gouvernement canadien fait face depuis plus d’un an à d’intenses discussions sur le choix d’équiper l’armée de l’air du F-35 Joint Strike Fighter de Lockheed Martin. Partenaire du programme, le Canada a pourtant demandé en mars 2013 à Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Eurofighter, Dassault Aviation et Saab de lui envoyer des informations sur les capacités opérationnelles des chasseurs produits par ces avionneurs. Les options restent ouvertes et le Canada n’a donc pris encore aucune décision officielle et comme le rappelle le lieutenant-général Yvan Blondin, « le Canada n’a pas signé de contrat d’achat, on a pour l’instant uniquement signifié notre intention d’acheter 65 avions il y a quelques années ».


D’un point de vue industriel, la question est sans doute un véritable casse-tête pour le gouvernement canadien, car, étant partenaire, le pays a donc obtenu contrats de développement qui font travailler l’industrie locale, ainsi que le rappelle le commandant de l’armée de l’air : « C’est un programme assez compliqué, mais parce qu’on en fait partie, on a accès aux contrats de développement, ce qui impacte donc sur notre industrie aéronautique. Si le Canada décide de ne pas acheter de F-35, les contrats tombent pour l’industrie canadienne et c’est ça que le gouvernement doit prendre en considération. »


La question est donc encore loin d’être réglée et devrait encore occasionner de nombreuses discussions au sein même du gouvernement avant d’être tranchée de manière définitive.

Partager cet article
18 septembre 2013 3 18 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
Netherlands cuts F-35 fleet plan to 37 fighters

Sept. 17, 2013 by Craig Hoyle – FG


London - The Netherlands’ government has confirmed the selection of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to replace the nation’s aged F-16s, but its purchase is likely to be for fewer than half of the number of aircraft previously anticipated.


Included as part of a budget announcement made on 17 September, the decision will lead to the introduction of the nation’s first frontline examples at Volkel air base from 2019.


“The replacement will be carried out entirely within the previously reserved investment budget of €4.5 billion [$6 billion] and the current operating budget for the F-16, which amounts to €270 million per year,” the government says. “Based on the current insights, the available financial room is sufficient for the purchase of 37 aircraft.


“The defence organisation will from now on base its plans on that number, and will inform its partners in the F-35 programme accordingly.”


Previous plans had called for the Royal Netherlands Air Force to eventually receive up to 85 Joint Strike Fighters, but this total has for some time exceeded the size of its now-dwindling F-16 inventory. In its announcement, the government says a further seven of the current type will be withdrawn in 2014, cutting the fleet size to 61 aircraft, with three squadrons. The type will leave Dutch use in the mid-2020s.


Citing the need for “careful consideration and astute choices” during a time of budget pressure, the government notes: “Opting for a modest number of the best aircraft attests to a sense of reality.” The F-35 was selected on “operational, financial and economic grounds”, and “is also the most future-proof option”, it adds.


Noting that the unit price for its conventional take-off and landing F-35As is not yet known, it comments: “Should any unexpected major changes occur in terms of product, time or money, the project will be reviewed within the given financial parameters, if those changes exceed the margins of the project budget.”


However, the statement notes: “If, within the given financial parameters, room is created in the coming years to purchase more aircraft, the defence organisation will do so. This may be the case if the [10%] contingency reserve is not used in full and if the price per unit of the F-35 turns out to be lower than is currently expected.”


The air force should be able to manage effectively with its more capable F-35s, says the government, which is also eyeing potential savings to be made through “international co-operation in areas such as training, sustainment and deployment”. A proposed bilateral quick reaction alert agreement already being discussed with Belgium would also reduce the impact of maintaining such an air policing capability in both nations, it adds.


Pointing to a more than 30-year relationship established with the air force via the F-16, Lockheed says the F-35 will provide “the very best aircraft capabilities possible for the Netherlands’ national security”.


The positive decision should also clear the way for two test aircraft already delivered to support initial operational test and evaluation activities to be returned to flight status. The pair were grounded earlier this year, pending the outcome of the formal selection decision.


Other potential candidates for the Dutch F-16 replacement had included offers of the Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen.

Partager cet article
14 juin 2013 5 14 /06 /juin /2013 11:20
Pentagon procurement chief “cautiously optimistic” about F-35 production ramp-up

Jun. 13, 2013 by Dave Majumdar


Washington DC -- The Pentagon's top acquisitions official says that he is cautiously optimistic that the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has made enough progress in its development to ramp up its production rates starting in fiscal year 2015.


"At this point I can say that I'm cautiously optimistic that we will be able to raise production as planned," says Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. "The development programme is executing close to plan, a couple of areas are slipping a little bit in schedule, but the slips are not dramatic."


As such, Kendall says unless some sort of serious new problem emerges, the Pentagon will be able to order a ramp-up in production of the tri-service stealth fighter later this "fall". The decision would be reflected in the President's 2015 budget proposal, he says, and will follow the existing five-year spending plan.


That means the Pentagon will buy 42 planes in fiscal year 2015, 62 in 2016, 76 in 2017 and 100 in 2018. Production is currently running at 29 aircraft per year plus a few more for international customers.


Kendall says the while sequestration cuts are a problem, the Pentagon will do everything it can to increase the F-35's production rates. "The F-35 is our highest priority conventional warfare weapons system," he says. "Because of that, we'll do everything we can to protect it."


Meanwhile is also good news on the sustainment costs, which are projected to come down "significantly", Kendall says. The Pentagon is working hard to reduce those lifecycle costs-which could involve adding competition to sustaining the jet. "I think we will make a substantial dent in the current projections," he says.


Kendall adds that the F-35's cost per flying hour should decline significantly after a review he expects to conduct in the fall. The current cost figures are based on older estimates by the Pentagon's Cost Assessments and Program Evaluation office, he says, but those need to be updated. "I can tell you that the number is coming down," Kendall says.


Kendall cautions, however, that the F-35 programme still has a long way to go. The jet is only 40% of its way through its flight-test programme, and there are still many aerodynamic and structural tests that have still to be completed. Additionally, software needs to be developed and weapons integration needs to be tested. There are also fixes to problems that were discovered earlier that need to be verified.


As always, software development could still be an issue. For example a critical design review for the next software block has slipped by 45 days. But there has been "nothing dramatic" that might derail the programme.


"It's too early to declare victory," Kendall says, but the programme is on a much more sound footing than it was two years ago. "There is plenty of risk left in the programme."

Partager cet article
6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
Lawmakers Reject Withholding F-35 Funds

June 5, 2013 by Brendan McGarry - defensetech.org


A Republican-led defense panel in Congress easily rejected a proposal to withhold most funding for the F-35 fighter jet next year.


The House Armed Services Committee on June 5 voted 51–10 against the amendment sponsored by Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., while debating its version of the 2014 defense authorization bill. The legislation sets policy goals and spending targets for fiscal 2014, which begins Oct. 1.


Calling it a “good government issue,” Duckworth proposed freezing procurement funding for the Joint Strike Fighter program until Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel certified that the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin Corp., fixed problems with the aircraft’s software and several pieces of hardware, including the helmet-mounted display, fuel dump system and arresting hook.


“I want contractors to be held accountable and I want to fix the technical problems before we give them another $6 billion of taxpayer money,” she said during the hearing. “There’s nothing wrong with flying before we buy. In fact, most of us test drive cars before we [buy].”


The Defense Department next year plans to spend $8.4 billion to buy 29 F-35 Lightning II aircraft, including 19 for the Air Force, six for the Marine Corps and four for the Navy. The funding includes $6.4 billion in procurement, $1.9 billion in research and development and $187 million in spares.


Duckworth said she has “serious concerns” that buying production models of the planes while they’re still being tested — a practice known in acquisition parlance as concurrency — has led to developmental problems and a 68-percent surge in the projected cost of the program.


The Joint Strike Fighter is the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program, with an estimated cost of $391 billion to develop and build 2,457 aircraft.


Duckworth cited comments made last year by Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, in which he criticized his own department’s decision to begin production of the single-engine jet years before its first test flight as “acquisition malpractice.”


Many of the aircraft’s most vaunted technologies “remain untested and unready,” Duckworth said. Flight testing of the software package designed for initial aircraft operations, known as Block 2B, was only 5 percent complete as of last month, she said.


Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, chairman of the panel’s Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee, said the amendment would effectively halt funding for the F-35 program, triggering delays and additional cost increases.


“We believe that we address the issues with the F-35 in the mark,” he said.


Turner was referring to language his subcommittee drafted in the legislation that would order the Pentagon to establish an independent team of subject matter experts to review software development for the program and submit a report to lawmakers by March 3, 2014.


Turner also cited as evidence of progress in the program a March report from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of congress, subtitled, “Outlook Is Improved, but Long-Term Affordability Is a Major Concern.”


The Pentagon last week announced that the Marine Corps will begin operational flights of the F-35 fighter jet in 2015, followed by the Air Force in 2016 and the Navy in 2019.

Partager cet article
27 mai 2013 1 27 /05 /mai /2013 07:20
Amid Big F-35 Deal, P&W Sees Challengesc

May. 26, 2013 - By AARON MEHTA – Defense News


WASHINGTON — Pratt & Whitney has signed a $1 billion contract for the fifth batch of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter engines and expects to sign a sixth contract shortly, according to the company’s head of military engines.


The low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract with the US military includes 35 jet engines — 32 for installation and three spares — as well as sustainment, support and spare parts. The engines will power 22 of the F-35As for the US Air Force, three of the jump-jet F-35Bs for the Marine Corps and seven F-35C carrier variants for the Navy. Through the first four LRIPs, Pratt has delivered 98 engines to the F-35 program.


“We were able to close the LRIP-5 contract for about a 6 percent price reduction relative to LRIP-4, so we continue to get good cost reductions,” Bennett Croswell, president of Pratt’s military engines division, told Defense News last week.


As part of the contract, Pratt has taken on 100 percent risk on cost overruns, a move Croswell described as proof “we have confidence in our ability to hit the cost targets.” He also said that taking on risk may facilitate the signing of LRIP-6, which he hoped would be done “soon.”


During the interview, Croswell highlighted Pratt’s “War on Costs,” a 2009 plan to bring the price of the high-tech F-135 engine down to that of the older F-119 design, despite significant upgrades to thrust and weight.


Since the delivery of the first production representative engine, costs on the F-135 have dropped by 40 percent, Croswell said. Those cost savings are also seen in the contract for LRIP-5, which saw a 6 percent drop in cost from LRIP-4.


Despite two well-publicized engine problems this year, Croswell said he believes the relationship between Pratt and the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) is strong.


“I think we have a great relationship with [Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the head of the JPO], and as long as we continue to deliver, I suspect we will continue to have that relationship.”


In January, the Marine Corps’ F-35B variant was grounded following an engine problem during a test flight. The source of that problem was later identified as an improperly crimped line in the fueldraulic system. Nine days after the jump-jet variants were cleared to resume flights, the entire JSF fleet was grounded when a crack was discovered in one of the blades in the Pratt-designed engine. The following week, Bogdan heavily criticized both Pratt and Lockheed for “trying to squeeze every nickel” out of the program.


“I think the JPO customer is satisfied with how we handled the situation. Gen. Bogdan makes great points. He thinks that contractors should accept more risk on the program. I agree with him,” Croswell said, pointing to Pratt’s internal investment of $60 million of its own money as an example of how the company has taken on some of that risk.


Engine Sales


Despite the movement on F-135 sales, Croswell said the company knows there are challenges on the horizon.


A series of decisions to push F-35 purchases to the right has halved expected F-135 sales since 2009. Combined with the end of production on the F-119 and slowed sales on the F-117 and F-100 engines, the company is facing a production gap Croswell referred to as a “bathtub.”


He expects a total of 75 engine sales in 2015. While that number should increase in later years as F-35 sales grow, it leaves the company in a tricky situation of planning for the future while in a low period.


To help bridge that gap, Croswell said Pratt is looking for ways to use existing engine designs for new platforms.


“A lot of the newer platforms that are being considered for the future, they’re not going to buy a thousand of them,” he said. “So across the board, we need to find ways to deliver good propulsion capability without large development costs. So we are looking at any off-the-shelf engine we have. We’ll look at our whole suite of engine capability and see what meets the future requirements.”


As an example, he pointed to the Navy’s X-47B unmanned aircraft, which runs on an F-100 jet engine, an older model designed for the Air Force’s F-15 and F-16 fighters.

Partager cet article
26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:35
Australia unveils its F-35 JSF 'Iron Bird'


CANBERRA, Australia, April 26 (UPI)


Australia will use a full-scale F-35A Joint Strike Fighter model to study the effects of electromagnetic compatibility and interference on the aircraft.


Minister for Defense Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon unveiled the JSF model at the laboratories of the Defense Science and Technology Organization, which will conduct the studies, a statement from the Australian Ministry of Defense said.


The Australian-built model -- called Iron Bird -- will be tested under simulated electromagnetic conditions during the acquisition and through-life sustainment of Lockheed Martin's JSF.


"This study is a significant part of ensuring the protection of the JSF against electromagnetic environmental effects such as lightning and static discharge, which can impair the performance and safety of aircraft," Snowdon said during a visit to DSTO laboratories in Adelaide.


Australia's first two F-35As are to be delivered to a training facility in the United States during 2014-15 when Australia starts training JSF pilots and maintenance personnel.


The fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II will replace Australia's McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighters and its retired General Dynamics F-111 bombers.


Snowdon said the JSF has sophisticated software and a structural airframe made of composite materials, a combination that exposes the aircraft to electromagnetic interference from natural phenomena and man-made sources, including telecommunication transmissions and radar.


"The impact of these interferences needs to be well understood and appropriately managed," Snowdon said.


"DSTO has developed world-class expertise in the investigation of electromagnetic radiation impact on aircraft and is engaged directly with the United States JSF Joint Project Office to undertake this study using the Iron Bird model.


"The data captured will help in providing potential reductions in the cost of owning the JSF fleet and enhancing the aircraft's capability."


Snowdon said DSTO's research will support verification for compliance and airworthiness certification for the JSF, as well as keep maintenance costs down.


The latest estimate of around $90 million per plane has raised concerns among politicians in Canberra about whether Australia can afford to buy the intended 100 F-35 aircraft.


U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, principal executive of the Pentagon's JSF Program Office, addressed the issue of F-35 cost overruns when he met with Australian defense officials at the Avalon air show in Melbourne in February.


Bogdan said his survey of the JSF program had uncovered "ugly" problems with the program but that his office had sought to have Lockheed Martin share the costs of fixing faults and covering delays, The Australian newspaper reported in February.


In the United States, there has been concern over estimates of the jet's weight amid continuing questions about delivery dates and final cost.


Outgoing Executive Vice President and JSF General Manager Tom Burbage was quoted in the U.S. news media as saying the manufacturer miscalculated on the aircraft's weight during its early development.


After spending 12 years fronting the Lockheed Martin F-35 program Burbage retired this month on an optimistic note but far from clear about the aircraft's ultimate cost and delivery schedule.


Burbage was named head of the F-35 program less than three weeks after the company beat Boeing to develop the aircraft. Then valued at $220 billion, the contract aims to build thousands of F-35 for the U.S. military and hundreds more for international partners, Flight International said on its website.

Partager cet article


  • : RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact


Articles Récents