If current sustainment costs remain unchanged “into the future, as our fleet grows from the 280 aircraft [today] to the 800-plus that we’ll have by the end of 2021, we will be unaffordable, in that the services’ budgets will not be able to sustain that,”
Lot 2 through 4 aircraft are available about 40-50 percent of the time, he said, while later jets from Lots 9 and 10 are turning in availability rates of 70-75 percent. The overall fleet average is about 51 percent. It makes sense that the earlier jets performing more poorly because they were built from an immature design and now have “seven to eight years of wear and tear,” he said. With the benefit of operational experience and revised design, later jets are better-functioning and more easily sustained, he said, and spare parts production is more robust.
Локхиду делают предложения. Пока - такие, от которых можно отказаться. Но только пока:
Negotiations on Lot 11 started about 18 months ago, and although Winter previously said he hoped for a signed deal by the end of 2017, it has taken a while for the new Pentagon leadership to get fully up to speed on the program, he noted.
Lockheed Martin “could be more cooperative” on the negotiations, he said. “They could be more collaborative … they choose not to. It’s a negotiating tactic.” It’s far too early to think about imposing a “unilateral” deal, as happened on Lot 10, Winter said. That was and is “a last resort,” he added.
Asked if President Trump should “get involved” in the F-35 negotiations, Winter said the civilian Pentagon leadership is kept fully updated on progress, and “how they choose to use that information is at their discretion.”
F-35 Finally Can Use All Its Weapons In Combat
Mar 5, 2018Lara Seligman| Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II, assigned to the 4th Fighter Squadron from
Hill Air Force Base, Utah, flies over the base and the surrounding area on Feb 14, 2018. USAF
The newest U.S. Air Force F-35s, both stateside at Hill AFB, Utah, and overseas in the Pacific, finally can employ the stealth fighter’s full suite of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons in combat.
The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) has delivered the flight clearances, simulators, threat information, and logistics system required for the Air Force’s F-35As equipped with the latest software load to employ all of its weapons throughout the full flight envelope, according to the JPO, Lockheed Martin and Air Force officials.
This milestone gives the Block 3F-configured F-35As assigned to the 34th Fighter Squadron stationed at Hill and those forward-deployed to Kadena Air Base, Japan—on North Korea’s doorstep—some lethal capabilities. The aircraft now can fire Raytheon’s short-range AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, the GAU-22 25mm gun, and Boeing’s precision-guided Small Diameter Bomb, all while flying up to 9Gs at 1.6 Mach.
The F-35A touched down in Kadena for its first operational deployment to the Pacific in November, a highly anticipated milestone that underlines the U.S. military’s commitment to allies in the region amid tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
The “Rude Rams” F-35As join the “Green Knights” F-35Bs of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121, which is permanently stationed at Iwakuni, Japan, significantly increasing the number of stealth F-35s in the region.
The 12 F-35As from Hill will be deployed to Kadena until May, a six-month rotation, as part of U.S. Pacific Command’s theater security package.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Marine Corps short takeoff, vertical-landing F-35B and U.S. Navy F-35C carrier variant configured with the 3F software will be able to deploy with their full operational capability in May and June, respectively, F-35 Program Executive Officer (PEO) Vice Adm. Mat Winter said during a Feb. 28 media roundtable. For the F-35Cs, this means the aircraft will be able to deploy Raytheon’s AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) in combat and fly to 1.3 Mach.
There is one caveat—the final 3F simulator capability has been broken into two releases, Lockheed’s Executive Vice President for Aeronautics Orlando Carvalho said in a March 5 interview. The first release has been delivered for the 3F F-35As, he said.
Even though the F-35’s long development phase finally is drawing to a close, the JPO and Lockheed will continue working to modernize the aircraft with an updated threat library, logistics system and simulators, Winter said.
“We have warfighting capability today that is effective against the current threats and the ability to fight the fight for our U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force,” Winter said. “Is that good enough? It is absolutely effective and good enough for today, but as we look from our intelligence reports and the threat growth in 2025 [we must] ensure that we stay ahead of that growing threat so that the F-35 air system will remain technologically advanced on the battlefield well into the [century].”
https://www.defensenews.com/air/201...of-f-35-defects-lockheed-program-head-states/ Stealth features responsible for half of F-35 defects, Lockheed program head states
Локхид жалуется, что ему не хватает ресурсов (человеческих, но не только), чтобы выдерживать темп производства F-35. Большинство из имеющих место неполадок случались из-за отступлений от технологических требований, причем преимущественно там, где эти требования связаны с малозаметностью (типа, работяги забывали наносить спецпокрытие отверстиях под крепеж в панелях обшивки). Халтура ради выполнения плана по валу.
А вообще, небезынтересное сравнение стоимости эксплуатации сабжа с F-16, ну, или попытка такого сравнения на с. 96:
Т.е. более высокая стоимость эксплуатации F-35 - это проблема запчастей и материалов (само собой), а по потребным человеко-часам он, судя по меньшей стоимости "manpower", имеет преимущество. (Хотя, возможно, "manpower" относится только к летчикам, и тут расходы меньше благодаря наличию симуляторов и всякого компьютеризированного "mission planning" - ХЗ...)