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April 26, 2015 / 7 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘F-35’

Latest F-35 Flaw Makes Jet Problematic for Israel

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Not even off the lot, the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet is turning into an even bigger lemon than first anticipated by Israeli politicians who fought the deal forced on the Jewish State with a U.S. military aid package by the White House.

A story published over the weekend on the U.S. Air Force website revealed “the F-35 has a fuel temperature threshold, and may not function properly if the fuel temperature is too high.”

The problem was troubling enough that seven USAF bases are testing new ways to “mitigate any possible aircraft shutdowns due to high fuel temperatures in the future,” according to the report” quoted by Defense Aerospace.com.

So far, one fuel tanker has been painted white – at a cost of $3,900 – at Edwards Air Force Base, California, in an attempt to “ensure the F-35 is able to meet its sortie requirements.”

The same idea was tried at Luke AFB shortly after, according to the report, because at Luke, “temperatures can reach beyond 110 degrees (Farenheit).” It was believed that painting the tanks white would “help prevent fuel stored in the tanks from overheating.”

But some technicians came up with an even better idea: “This is the short-term goal to cool the fuel for the F-35; however, the long-term fix is to have parking shades for the refuelers,” according to Chief Master Sgt. Ralph Resch, the 56th LRS fuels manager for the 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

Bright white paint may cool off the fuel tankers but it will heat up a conflict in the Middle East faster than you can say “hot target in sight!”

Moreover, many areas of the Middle East reach beyond 120 degrees Farenheit during the summer months. Needless to say, a summer war is also much easier to fight than one in the winter, even without such encouragement. Add in the disadvantage of a fighter jet whose fuel broils in the sun, and the average enemy force would be silly not to plan for a summer conflict.

Nevertheless, Israel ordered its first lot of 19 of the F-35s in 2010 for $2.75 billion, to be delivered in December 2016.

Earlier this month, the cabinet voted to approve a reduced order to buy an additional 14 of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jets. Also approved was an option to order another 17 of the warplanes in 2017.

A final deal to purchase a total of 50 of the warplanes for two squadrons was approved by the Israeli government cabinet in October of this year, at a cost well above the original price tag.

A ministerial panel headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak made the initial approval in September 2010 for the purchase of 20 F-35 fighter jets.

That decision was made despite intense opposition from a number of senior defense officials over the high cost of the deal. For a price of nearly $3 billion, Israel would receive the 20 F-35s in 2016, with an option to buy another 75 of the aircraft.

The F-35 already had numerous design compromises at that point that irked Israeli leaders. Many Israeli systems were rejected by the U.S. government, which refused to allow Lockheed Martin to install them on the aircraft.

Because Israel does not have full control over the design and modifications on the F-35, including access to the aircraft’s software codes, its use to the IDF is limited.

By May 2011, Israeli defense officials told the World Tribune the problems with the F-35 were “much worse than we had been told.”

Two months later, the U.S. agreed to allow F-35s purchased by Israel to be rewired in order to accommodate the installation of Israeli electronic warfare system and eventual additions of other sensors and other systems.

Israel Finalizes Trimmed F-35 Order From US

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Israel’s cabinet voted Sunday to approve a reduced order to purchase 14 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jets.

The government has been discussing the issue of how many of the warplanes to buy since January.

Also approved was an option to order another 17 of the F-35s in 2017.

The original deal approved by U.S. and Israeli defense chiefs in October 2014 included the purchase of 50 of the warplanes for two squadrons, with two of the jets to be used in experiments by the IAF.

Since then, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel tendered his resignation to President Barack Obama, although he agreed to remain at his post until a replacement is found and confirmed by the Senate.

And although Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon remains in his position, Israel’s entire government coalition is likely to change due to what appears to be a collection of irreconcilable differences leading the country to early elections.

Israel already had ordered 19 F-35s in 2010 for $2.75 billion, which are due to arrive in December 2016.

This week’s decision brings the total number of planes purchased to 33 instead of the original 50 agreed upon, all of which were to be acquired with U.S. military aid.

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz was particularly opposed to the purchase, questioning the need for the plane due to manufacturing setbacks in the past. The high cost of the fighter jet was another factor raised by Steinitz and several others, who expressed belief there were better ways to spend their military dollars.

In the United States, the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps all grounded their F-35 squadrons on July 3 after a fire in the rear of a plane forced a pilot to abandon takeoff at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

However, South Korea purchased 40 of the aircraft for its F-X fighter acquisition program in September, to be delivered starting in 2018. The contract, worth $7.1 billion, marked the country’s biggest weapons deal.

Will Israel Reduce F-35 Order From US?

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Israel’s ministerial committee is revisiting a preliminary deal to buy 25 to 31 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin Corp.

The committee allegedly wants to halve the tentative order by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, according to Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz.

A majority of committee members were opposed to the deal as it currently stands, Steinitz told Reuters on Monday. The ministers suggested a purchase of 10 to 15 planes instead, with a final decision to come in the near future.

Among the reasons cited for the decision was the issue of cuts in the defense budget, as well as questions over whether the F-35’s range, payload and maneuverability really met Israel’s needs.

An original contract signed in 2010 to purchase 19 of the warplanes for $275 billion left open the option to buy 75 of the jets, or three squadrons.

However, there is a growing sense among some Israelis that it is time for the Jewish State to begin producing its own weapons and ammunition — including its own warplanes.

This summer’s block by the White House on delivery of Hellfire missiles during the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge — in fact, its holdup of any military hardware whatsoever — did not sit well with the Israeli public, and served as a wakeup call even to those on the moderate left end of the political spectrum.

“We are not the Defense Ministry’s rubber stamp,” Steinitz told Reuters. Nevertheless, a source in the defense establishment told the news agency the ministerial committee is likely to compromise on the deal, possibly purchasing 13 of the F-35s this year, and another 18 in 2017.

The F35s that were purchased in 2010 are scheduled for delivery between 2016 and 2018.

Israel Signs Weapons Deals With United States and Canada

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Israel and the United States announced the continuation of a sale of 19 new F-35 multipurpose fighter planes to Israel, as well as approval for a second squadron.

Israel Aerospace Industries will be assembling the wings of this new fighter, which will also include Israeli-made components. The assembly line for the F-35 parts manufactured in Israel is expected to be inaugurated next week.

Other deals, such as the continued joint development the David’s Sling and Arrow missile intercept systems, were also reached. These deals were discussed and agreed to by Secretary of Defense Moshe Yaalon and his American counterpart Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, when they met in Washington last week.

Elbit Systems also announced a deal to supply the Canadian Armed Forces with mobile satellite communication systems. The systems being sold are exclusive, as they have the ability to connect to the US Defense Department satellite network.

Despite recent comments made by unnamed American officials regarding Prime Minister Netanyahu, the deals point to a working relationship, and continued alliance, between the Unites States and the State of Israel.

Lockheed CEO Visits Israeli F-35 Supplier

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson toured the Israel Aerospace Industries plant at Ben Gurion Airport Thursday, when executives told her that the first pair of wings for the DF-35 stealth fighter will be produced by September.

IAI is scheduled to manufacture more than 800 pairs of wings in the next several years as the F-35 comes closer to becoming a reality, despite a long string of budget and technical problems.

Israel has committee to purchasing a squadron of F-35s for approximately $3 billion.

Hewson called the contract between Israel and Lockheed Martin “another important milestone in the cooperation between our industry and Israeli defense industries.”

IAI will employ 100 people on the production line, some of whom have already been trained by Lockheed Martin. Machines for the new production are so heavy that IAI had to build a reinforced concrete floor , Globes reported.

Hewson was in Be’er Sheva on Wednesday to open Lockheed Martin’s new office in Israel and show support for the IDF’s “Move to the South” campaign.

“We are investing here and building our local team to ensure we have the resources required to support our valued customers and trusted partners in Israel,” Hewson said.

“By locating our new office in the capital of the Negev, we are well positioned to work closely with our Israeli partners and stand ready to accelerate project execution, reduce program risk and share our technical expertise by training and developing in-country talent.

“With the opening of this office and the strategic investments being made by the IDF it is clear that Be’er Sheva is on its way to becoming the Silicon Valley of Israel.”

Texas Congressman Says Obama Must Apologize to Israel on Iran

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

President Barack Obama should apologize to Israel for putting “Israel in a position of having to defend both of us” from Iran, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News.

Israel strongly opposed the Obama administration’s recent relaxation of sanctions against Tehran, which continues to develop its nuclear program without international supervision.

Gohmert said the United States should send Israel the new F-35 steal fighter jets as soon as possible and “give them our best bunker-busters because I think Bibi [Benjamin] Netanyahu has the will and the credibility to be a threat.”

“If the United States were a credible threat to attack Iran, we would not have to attack them. But Iran knows we’re not a credible threat to attack them,” said Gohmert. “If Ronald Reagan were president, Iran would’ve stopped a long time ago. Just like Iran released our prisoners the day he took office, they knew Carter was not a credible threat but they knew Reagan was. They know Obama is not a credible threat.”

 

Elbit-Rockwell Helmet with Night Vision Camera Sways Pentagon

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

The Pentagon is suspending work on a second helmet for the F-35 jet in favor of exclusive use of the helmet developed by Israel’s Elbit Systems along with Rockwell-Collins.

American defense officials said it ditched the second helmet after Elbit-Rockwell made improvements in the helmet, including a better night vision camera, saving the Pentagon millions of dollars million needed to finish the other helmet that was developed by Britain’s BAE Systems.

“To date, more than 100 F-35 pilots have flown more than 6,000 flights and 10,000 hours with the helmet, and their feedback has been very positive,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed executive vice president and F-35 general manager. The new helmet will be introduced to the F-35 fleet in 2016.

The F-35 program office said the new “Gen 3″ version of the helmet developed by the Rockwell-Elbit joint venture since then would cost 12 percent less than previously estimated. The Gen 3 helmet will include an improved night vision camera, new liquid-crystal displays, and automated alignment and software improvements.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/elbit-rockwell-helmet-with-night-vision-camera-sways-pentagon/2013/10/13/

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