Posts Tagged ‘F-35’
The high cost of flying Lockheed Martin’s F-35 determines that at least 50% of the training on the stealth fighter be done in simulators, and Elbit Systems Ltd. has just won the tender to operate the F-35 new training center, to be built in the Nevatim airbase in the Nege desert, Globes reported Sunday. Construction of the new center will be completed in the coming year, in time for the arrival of the 33 F-35 Adir aircraft purchased by Israel.
Lockheed Martin said in a statement that over the past three decades, Elbit “has acquired a great deal of experience in trainers and simulators, and is a world leader in high-tech display. Its advanced systems are in operational use by leading armies around the world.”
A group of Israeli pilots are undergoing special training for the F-35 at a US Air Force base in Arizona. According to the Israeli Defense Ministry, F-35 related cooperation between Lockheed Martin and Israeli defense companies has reached $993 million. Elbit produces advanced pilot helmets for F-35 pilots; Israel Aerospace Industries produce the aircraft’s wings.
The F-35 Helmet Mounted Display (HMD), a joint venture between Elbit Systems and Rockwell Collins, provides critical flight information to the pilot throughout the entire mission.JNi.Media
Two pre-eminent weapon systems, the F-35 Lightning II and Aegis Weapon System, worked together for the first time during a live fire exercise. The joint Lockheed Martin, US Navy and US Marine Corps exercise was the first live fire missile event that successfully demonstrated the integration of the F-35 to support Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA).
The Aegis Combat System is an integrated naval weapons system developed by the Missile and Surface Radar Division of RCA, and now produced by Lockheed Martin. It uses powerful computer and radar technology to track and guide weapons to destroy enemy targets.
The F-35 Lightning II (“Adir”) represents the largest purchase in Israel’s history, and IAF Chief Brig. Gen. Tal Kelman sees the first 50 jets Israel will be receiving over the next few years as only a beginning. “We want to reach 75 jets,” Kelman told the IAF blog. “The Israeli F-35 is the first fifth generation fighter to arrive in the Middle East, and it will allow us to open a significant gap in our abilities when facing all of the elements in the area.”
During the Sept. 12 test, an unmodified US Marine Corps F-35B from the Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1, acted as an elevated sensor and detected an over-the-horizon threat. The F-35B sent data through the aircraft’s Multi-Function Advanced Data Link (MADL) to a ground station connected to the Aegis Weapon System on the USS Desert Ship (LLS-1), a land-based ship. The target was subsequently engaged and intercepted by a Standard Missile 6.
“One of the key defining attributes of a 5th Generation fighter is the force multiplier effect it brings to joint operations through its foremost sensor fusion and external communications capabilities,” said Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “Those attributes were successfully proven at White Sands Missile Range in a very realistic demonstration of distributed lethality leveraging a US Marine Corps F-35B and the US Navy’s Aegis Weapon System. This only scratches the surface of the potential warfighting capabilities F-35 aircraft will ultimately enable across our military forces.”
This capability, when fully realized, will significantly increase the warfighters’ situational awareness using Aegis and the F-35 together to better understand the maritime operational environment. Using any variant of the F-35 as a broad area sensor, the aircraft can significantly increase the Aegis capability to detect, track and engage.
“NIFC-CA is a game changer for the US Navy that extends the engagement range we can detect, analyze and intercept targets,” said Dale Bennett, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems. “The F-35 and Aegis Weapon System demonstration brings us another step closer to realizing the true potential and power of the worldwide network of these complex systems to protect and support warfighters, the home front and US allies.”
The F-35 Lightning II combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, advanced mission systems, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and cutting-edge sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace various aircraft for the US Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, and 11 allied nations, including Israel.JNi.Media
Dr. J. Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense on operational and live fire tests and evaluations of weapon systems, has written to Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein, and the Pentagon’s acquisitions chief Frank Kendall that he is unhappy with the progress of the most expensive fighter plane ever produced on planet Earth, the Lockheed Martin F-35 — whose delivery to the Israel Air Force is scheduled to start in September.
Gilmore’s Aug. 9 memo, published Wednesday by Bloomberg News, suggests “the program is actually not on a path toward success but instead on a path toward failing to deliver” the F-35’s much touted, 21st century near-sci-fi capabilities, “for which the Department is paying almost $400 billion by the scheduled end” of the plane’s development in 2018.
Gilmore cautioned that “achieving full combat capability with the Joint Strike Fighter is at substantial risk.” He says that despite promises to the contrary by the manufacturer, “most of the limitations” that plagued the F-35’s software, data fusion, electronic warfare and, the most crucial aspect of a fighter aircraft — weapons employment, appear to persist.
Gilmore warned that Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program “is running out of time and money to complete the planned flight testing and implement the required fixes and modifications,” observing that “flight testing is making progress but has fallen far behind the planned rate.” He pointed out that the F-35’s most sophisticated software capabilities “are just being added,” and that the system is, to put it mildly, full of bugs, which “continue to be discovered at a substantial rate.”
The US Air Force and the US Dept. of Defense both released statements saying Gilmore’s concerns were nothing new, and the F-35’s issues are being dealt with.David Israel
In preparation for the December 2016 arrival of Israel’s first F-35, the Ministry of Defense last week completed its semi-annual data summary to reveal that since first signing with the plane’s manufacturers led by Lockheed Martin in 2010, the Defense Ministry’s Procurement Department has purchased locally $993 million in reciprocal procurement transactions so far. Since December 2015, new deals amounting to $220 million have been signed, marking a 28% jump in reciprocal procurement.
Since the start of 2016, the following Israeli defense industries have increased their contracts with Lockheed Martin on the project:
Israel’s Elbit Systems and the American Rockwell Collins increased contracts for the manufacturing of the Generation III helmet-mounted display system by approximately $190 million.
Israel Aerospace Initiatives (IAI) expanded its production of the wings by roughly $26 million.
Other Israeli industries involved in the manufacturing of the aircraft subsystems and operating software and training include: SimiGon, the developer of the aircraft simulation program; Tadiran (Elbit Systems), the supplier of radio amplifiers; Cyclone, producing parts of the body of the plane; Cabiran will produce boxes for the aircraft’s systems; and Gilboa, specializing in precise machinery.
Deputy Defense Ministry Director General and Head of Procurement, Brig. Gen. (res) Shmuel Tzuckersaid in a statement: “We are proud of the achievements of the defense industry from the first half of 2016, which has injected hundreds of millions of shekels into the Israeli defense industries and, in particular, to enterprises in Carmiel, in Kibbutz Cabri and other towns along the ‘confrontation line’ in the north. We turned to the following reciprocal transactions and will work to cross the billion dollar threshold in the near future.”
The F-35 fighter aircraft, also known as the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter), or in Israel as the Adir, is a fifth generation stealth fighter. The F-35A Adir will be a significant addition to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East, with the advanced capability to defeat emerging threats, such as advanced missiles. The F-35 combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.JNi.Media
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and IAF Chief of Staff Brig.-Gen. Tal Kelman joined top U.S. government and Lockheed Martin officials on Wednesday in celebrating the rollout of the “Adir” — Israel’s first F-35A Lightning II Stealth fighter jet.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro and Israeli Minister without portfolio Tzachi Hanegbi also joined the celebration, as did 400 other guests from government, military and the industrial sectors. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and U.S. Congressman Craig Goldman were present as well.
“Israel is proud to be the first country in the area to receive and operate [the Stealth fighter],” Liberman said. “The F-35 is the best aircraft in the world and the choice of all our military leadership at its highest level. It is clear and obvious to us and to the entire region that the new F-35, the Adir, will create real deterrence and enhance our capabilities for a long time.”
The aircraft has an advanced capability to defeat emerging threats, including advanced missiles and heavily-defended air space, combining advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment support.
“The F-35 technology represents the crown jewel of air-power superiority and will therefore be a great contribution to the IDF’s air force,” Liberman said, stressing that diplomatic tensions between Israel and the U.S. have not affected security cooperation between the two nations.
“It’s not a secret that we have from time to time some disagreements, some disputes, with the U.S. on the political level regarding some solutions with our neighbors,” he noted. “But when it comes to Israel’s security, we really enjoy full understanding, fruitful cooperation and strong commitment to our security concerns and needs.”
Lockheed Martin chair, president and CEO Marillyn Hewson agreed. “We’re honored to partner with Israel and help strengthen the deep and lasting partnership between our two nations,” she said. “The F-35 will help Israel remain a beacon of strength and stability in the region and support a safe and secure homeland for generations to come.”
Israel’s first delegation of pilots will arrive next month in the United States to begin simulator and ground-based training on the new stealth fighter. A total of 12 pilots are set for training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and by the middle of next year will have completed a 100-day U.S. Air Force training program that prepares them for actual flight training on the aircraft in Israel.
By 2018, another 10 to 15 pilots are to be selected for another round of training, according to a report last week by Defense News. Meanwhile, Israel has sent dozens of people to Eglin Air Force Base to attend maintenance training courses that can last between two to four months.
The IAF is working with Lockheed Martin and F-35 program officials to complete the construction of the Israeli logistics center at Nevatim Air Base in in the Negev. The center will use Lockheed Martin’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), a worldwide sustainment network that provides maintenance support for the aircraft for the duration of its projected 55-year lifespan.
The point of the independent logistics center in southern Israel has to do with the unique conditions under which Israelis are forced to live: The constant threat of rocket fire and other terror attacks makes it necessary for Israel to be able to maintain and repair its F-35 fleet immediately, on site, if and when the aircraft is being used during a conflict.Hana Levi Julian