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August 29, 2016 / 25 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘F-35’

Israeli Local Reciprocal Procurement for F-35 Newcomer Close to $1 Billion

Monday, August 15th, 2016

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

Lockheed Martin Rolls Out First F-35A Adir Stealth Israeli Air Force

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Video of the Day

Israeli, US Leaders Celebrate New ‘Adir’ F-35 Stealth Fighter Jet

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

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

Liberman Embarks on First visit to DC as Defense Minister Amid Military Aid Dispute

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) is coming to Washington DC on his inaugural visit as Defense Minister against the background of a dispute between the White House and Congress over increasing US support for Israel’s missile defense research and development. He’ll be meeting with US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who maintained a personal friendship with Liberman’s ousted predecessor, Moshe Ya’alon (Likud). Liberman and Carter are expected to discuss the White House proposal for a long-term US military aid, which would be larger than the current package, but conditioned on Israeli agreement not to solicit additional military aid from Congress.

Last Tuesday the Administration opposed a call by Congress to increase funding for Israel’s missile defense program by $455 million, to $600 million, well above the 2017 fiscal year White House budget request.

Israel is looking to expand the US annual military aid package from the current $3.2 billion to upwards of $4.5 billion, a portion of which would go to purchases from Israeli companies. The White House is looking at a more modest increase over 10 years, and for the entire amount to be spent in the US.

According to a senior defense ministry source speaking to Ma’ariv, the military aid package is not the central purpose of the visit, rather the trip is mainly planned for introductory meetings with key players in the defense department and in Congress. “We don’t expect dramatic breakthroughs in the coming week,” the source said.

Liberman will also meet with the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Committees.

On Wednesday, Liberman will attend the Lockheed Martin roll out ceremony for the F-35 fighter planes purchased by the Israeli air force — the first of which is expected to arrive in Israel in December. The defense minister will also tour an Elbit Systems plant and meet in New York with the defense ministry purchasing delegation.

According to Walla, there is a dispute between the professional echelon in the defense ministry and Prime Minister Netanyahu over the American proposal, with the DM staff recommending signing the aid package now, and Netanyahu preferring to wait out this administration and dealing with the next president, Clinton or Trump, either one of whom would be more pro-Israel.

Liberman is much more liked by the current administration than Netanyahu, because back when Secretary of State John Kerry was still pushing for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement based on the 1967 borders, Liberman, then Israel’s foreign minister, supported the US effort, saying this was the best deal Israel could expect.

In that vein, Liberman is expected to use the opportunity of his US visit to allay fears regarding his hawkish reputation on defense, by making a major dovish statement about the two-state-solution.

JNi.Media

Report: F-35 Engine Production Plagued With Recurring Quality Problems

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

The F-35 fighter jets ordered by Israel have been beset by one problem after another, repeatedly delaying delivery of the aircraft. But one of the most serious issues is the recurring manufacturing problems in its engine production.

The engines are to be installed in the fighters, built by Lockheed Martin Corp. United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney military aircraft unit delivered the engines on time as promised last year. But flaws in the “turbine blades and electronic control systems resulted in maintenance activity to remove suspect hardware from the operational fleet,” according to the Pentagon’s Selected Acquisition Report sent to Congress, Bloomberg News reported.

Pratt & Whitney “has taken action to improve quality surveillance within their manufacturing processes,” according to the report, which was prepared with the F-35 program office.

Manufacturing quality assurance experts at the Defense Department also worked to ensure improvements were in place as the firm moves head with production of the single-engine aircraft.

One of the quality issues described in an email with Bloomberg as minor by Joe DellaVedova, a spokesperson for the Pentagon’s F-35 office, was a June 2014 second-stage engine fire that grounded 97 of the fighter jets from test flights. The engine part that led to the fire had to be redesigned and the issue prevented the F-35 from making a debut at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK.

According to the contract management agency, there were five incidents involving F-35 engine quality deficiencies at Pratt & Whitney. They involved a low-pressure turbine blade, a high-pressure turbine blade and a “roll-post actuator.”

The historical average is eight such incidents a year in a four year period, according to the agency.

Rolls Royce Holdings Plc, subcontractor to Pratt & Whitney, was cited by the agency in July “for failure to notify the government of known non-conformance on drive shafts” from a supplier.

The response by Rolls Royce spokesperson George McLaren was an email that pointed out, “no F-35 production or flight interruptions occurred.”

Perhaps everything’s okay as long as nothing appears broken and no one is hurt or killed during the test flight phase.

But it’s scary to think that an aircraft still having this many problems is the “stealth fighter” Israel is depending on to lead the fight against Iran, should there be a question of taking a military stance against Tehran.

IAF teams have reportedly been working with Lockheed Martin in Texas in order to tweak the aircraft’s design into place before the first F-35s are due to arrive in Israel towards the end of this year. But there is now a real question about the delivery date, given the ongoing difficulties identified with the engine production, and with another issue as well: the flow of software data between the jet and base.

A revelation made by Defense Aerospace last November (2015) exposed what could a nasty side note on the part of the American military in terms of the jet’s design when in use by a client nation.

The publication wrote the U.S. made a unilateral decision to base all F-35 software laboratories on U.S. territory, where U.S. personnel will manage operation and support of all the F-35 fleets, foreign and domestic.

But that’s incredibly dangerous.

The F-35 must maintain permanent data exchanges with the software labs and logistic support computers to operate effectively.

Such a move, unprecedented and dangerous, introduces a massive risk that the jets may be disabled or even downed in extreme cases, any time the two-way flow of information is disrupted for any reason.

This vulnerability is not necessarily one attributable to negative intent, but rather loss of Internet on the part of the U.S. operators for any reason – accidental corruption of a router or cable, malicious Russian submarine cutting an undersea Internet cable, etc. – and one that could result in the death of valuable personnel and loss of a $100 million aircraft.

Hana Levi Julian

Report: Israel’s New F-35s Designed to Let US Disable them over Internet Link

Friday, November 13th, 2015

(JNi.media) A revelation made by Defense Aerospace last week exposes what could emerge as a sinister plot on the part of the US and F-35 maker Lockheed Martin to disable at will the new aircraft while it is in use by a client state.

Back in September, JNi.media quoted Steve Over, Lockheed Martin director for F-35 International Business Development, who said that even though Israel will have “plenty of capability to do light maintenance in-country” for the aircraft, all the heavy maintenance of the airframes and engines will be done at Joint Program Office-managed, company-established facilities “just like we do with all our other partners.”

At the time, we attributed the Americans’ anxiety to the fact that Israeli technicians love messing around with their American machines until their makers can barely recognize them. We wrote: Perhaps betraying their reservations about what usually happens to the American weapons after the Israelis lay their hands on them, Lockheed executives said Israel would be able to add specific capabilities or upgraded functions—which the Israelis love doing—as long as it did not affect the overall design or the aircraft software. As Over put it: “The Israelis have an ability to do some unique things. But anything wholesale that would impact the design or capabilities driving all the airplanes for all the countries would have to be done by consensual agreement.”

According to Defense Aerospace, the US has made a unilateral decision to locate all F-35 software laboratories on US shores, where US personnel will manage the operation and support of all the F-35 fleets, foreign and domestic. This unprecedented move introduces a huge risk that the F-35—which must maintain permanent data exchanges with the software labs and logistic support computers to operate effectively—may be disabled or even downed in extreme cases, any time the two-way flow of information is disrupted.

Mind you, this vulnerability does not refer to a malicious interruption on the part of the US operators, only the loss of Internet service for any reason, such as accidentally corrupted router tables to a malicious Russian submarine cutting the undersea Internet cables which they have been aggressively operating near as of late. But, this same “problem” could become an enormous leverage for the US, should it decide to severely hamper the operation of entire foreign F-35 fleets.

For an aircraft that costs around $100 million per unit, this is some design glitch.

It will mean that all the F-35s in the world will have to update their mission data files and their Autonomic Logistic Information System (ALIS) profiles before and after every sortie—and not while in the air—to guarantee that the systems on-board are programmed with the latest available operational data and that ALIS is kept permanently informed of each aircraft’s technical status and maintenance requirements. At the moment, that process is also excruciatingly slow.

Here’s a fun fact: according to Defense Aerospace, the ALIS has been known to prevent aircraft from taking off because of an incomplete data file.

The F35’s shortcomings are well known, involving hardware malfunctions and software glitches cost its development program three years and $200 billion over budget, according to CNN. Then, while the world was watching, there was that bedeviled mock dog-fight last January, when the spiffy, new F-35 kept losing to the plane it is supposed to replace, the good old F-16, because the F-35 just couldn’t turn quickly enough to engage the F-16.

US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said back then that the dogfight provided “valuable data,” which could mean a lot of scary things. Then she promised the new F-35 will be a completely different plane when it’s fully operational and will guarantee the US’ continued air supremacy over its rivals.

But when she said that no one would have guessed she was talking about booby trapping the F-35 sold to US allies.

JNi.Media

Lockheed Worried about IDF Unauthorized ‘Modifications’ in F-35

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

Israel is in the process of preparing the infrastructure and capabilities needed to start operating its first F-35 Adir (Heb = Great) stealth strike fighters by the end of 2017, Defense News reported. The first pair of Adirs will arrive by December 2016, and fly out of the IAF Nevatim Air Base in the Negev.

According to the IDF blog, the new squadron of 19 F-35 jets will be incorporated into the Israeli Air Force beginning in 2019. The newly engineered fighters are a step up from the F-16I, especially with the addition of new state-of-the-art stealth technology and avionics. Each F-35 unit costs around $110 million, according to the Israeli defense ministry.

Steve Over, Lockheed Martin director for F-35 International Business Development, said that even though Israel will have “plenty of capability to do light maintenance in-country,” heavy maintenance of the Adir airframes and engines will be done at Joint Program Office-managed, company-established facilities “just like we do with all our other partners.”

“When you tear an airplane down, you expose its magic,” Over said bluntly. “So that type of work must be performed in designated places.”

Perhaps betraying their reservations about what usually happens the American weapons after the Israelis lay their hands on them, Lockheed executives said Israel would be able to add specific capabilities or upgraded functions—which the Israelis love doing—as long as it did not affect the overall design or the aircraft software. As Over put it:

The Israelis have an ability to do some unique things. But anything wholesale that would impact the design or capabilities driving all the airplanes for all the countries would have to be done by consensual agreement.

The IAF is preparing to send its first group of pilots to train in Arizona next year, at the Luke Air Force Base. At the same time, the IAF will be sending dozens of maintenance professionals to train at US Air Force logistics bases at Eglin, Florida, according to Defense News.

Washington has approved 75 F-35s for export to Israel, of which the IDF has contracted for 33, hoping to be able to absorb another 17 planes by 2020, according to Defense News.

According to the IDF blog, The stealth technology allows the aircraft to fly practically unnoticed by any enemy. For many years, these systems were too expensive to be deployed on small aircraft; therefore they could only be used on larger and more expensive bombers such as the B-2 or the F-117. The newly developed F-35 allows the incorporation of these features at a low maintenance price.

The F-35 is also manufactured with improved electronic systems onboard. Sensors including various radars, infrared systems, and active electronic warfare systems are all mounted on the aircraft during production. They serve as an integral part of the plane and not as “add-ons” which is common in other aircraft.

With these improvements, the IAF pilots will receive a more precise and complete picture of the battlefield in real-time. It will allow them to better position themselves and give them the advantage to come out on top of every mission they must face.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/lockheed-worried-about-idf-unauthorized-modifications-in-f-35/2015/09/06/

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