Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning and F-22 'Raptor' : News & Discussion

Quality and availability of Rafales is so bad that pilots are only expected to fly 147 hours in 2023, against 162 in 2022. This is below NATO standards, which require that a combat pilot fly a minimum of 180 flight hours annually….
#Chammal (is French for Inherent Resolve)| Deployment of a C135 tanker from the @Armee_de_lair, in support of the Rafales of the BAP in the Levant (an airbase in Jordania) and the planes of @CJTFOIR.
It allows the fight against Daech to continue and shows France's involvement in the fight against terrorism
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Sure than an english people, with a failed economy post Brexit, has a lot of advice to explain....
They say a 4% hit to GDP. It is significant, in the short term. Though I think it's fair to say that covid had more impact on nations than anything else.
Sure than an english people, with a failed economy post Brexit, has a lot of advice to explain....
That's just the thing, our debt and deficit are still lower than France's. Everyone is suffering right now due to circumstances, but I see no major instability in the £ relative to the Euro.


They say a 4% hit to GDP. It is significant, in the short term. Though I think it's fair to say that covid had more impact on nations than anything else.
You can never prove these studies right or wrong though, since we only see one outcome.
German manufacturers denounce their exclusion from the maintenance of the Luftwaffe's future F-35A (opex360(fr), nov.13)

Acquiring combat aircraft for several billion euros is always a major investment. But it is only part of the cost of maintaining and upgrading these aircraft over the thirty or forty years [or more] that they will be in service. This can represent up to 70% of the total costs.

Now, while Berlin has the firm intention of buying 35 F-35A fighter-bombers from Lockheed-Martin, after having confirmed an order for five P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and 60 CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters [both produced by Boeing], German aeronautics manufacturers fear that the MCO windfall for these American-made aircraft will pass them by.

This is, in any case, the warning issued this week by the BDLI, the Association of the German Aerospace Industry [Bundesverband der Deutschen Luft- und Raumfahrtindustrie e.V.], which has not spared any criticism of the German Ministry of Defence's management of arms programmes. It even distributed a brochure [.pdf] to underline the "considerable" risks for national sovereignty and autonomy of action that would be involved in acquiring American aircraft without any industrial and technological counterpart.

For the purchase of the P-8A Poseidon and CH-47F Chinook, Boeing has formed partnerships with several German companies, including Airbus and Lufthansa Technik, as well as with subsidiaries of American service providers established in Germany, such as Honeywell Aerospace.

The agreements signed aim in particular to "explore potential areas of collaboration in training, maintenance and systems integration". But, according to the BDLI, no contractual requirements have been imposed on Boeing by the German Ministry of Defence to involve German industry in supporting the CH-47F and P-8A Poseidon.

"As long as there are no contractual requirements, Boeing will not feel the need to involve German industry in the support of the helicopters," said Wolfgang Schoder, director of Aibus Helicopters Deutschland and member of the BDLI board.

This also applies to the F-35A that Berlin wants to acquire to replace the PANAVIA Tornado and allow the Luftwaffe to maintain its participation in NATO's nuclear deterrent. According to the BDLI, the German government has not demanded any industrial counterpart in terms of MCO.

"On their shopping trip to the US, [German] officials did not think about the details and the consequences for industry. Other countries, when they place orders with foreign companies, demand industrial returns and impose conditions to be able to use the aircraft according to their own needs," a German official noted in the pages of the weekly Witschafts Woche. Here, he continued, "we just want to send a suitcase of money to the US".

Martin Kroell, vice-president of the BDLI and also CEO of Autoflug GmbH, said the same thing. "The money we spend in the US does not come back", whereas "domestic industry participation pays off and creates jobs", he told the daily Die Welt.

In addition, Kroell also pointed to the risk of a loss of skills. "It is not only a question of maintenance and support, but also of strategic industrial policy," he said. Gerdo Walle, head of the Diehl Group, said that "the way the government buys weapons from the US runs the risk of losing important key technologies" and thus "German autonomy in armaments".

"As far as German sovereignty is concerned, we have to make sure that we don't put ourselves completely in the hands of the Americans for the next 30 or 50 years," Martin Kroell rebutted. This could have, he argued, "consequences just as bad as dependence on Russia for energy and raw materials and on China for semiconductors".

However, the German Ministry of Defence believes that the involvement of the national industry would only complicate the procurement process in the United States... And, consequently, delay it and increase its costs. This is admitted by the BDLI, but only for the purchase of the aircraft... Because the issue at stake is the maintenance of the latter, and therefore their availability.

"The use of an innovative, competitive and efficient armaments industry in Germany, with highly qualified employees, is the guarantee of a high operational availability" of the aircraft, the BDLI argues. /Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Pentagon won’t lift F-35A lightning restrictions after hardware and software fix

Air Force Times reported earlier this year that the program office could clear the fighter to begin flying within 25 miles of lightning after testing a fix for the OBIGGS system this summer. However, after assessing the hardware and software upgrades, the JPO has recommended flight restrictions remain in place, according to Chief Petty Officer Matthew Olay, an F-35 JPO spokesman.

“Due to additional findings earlier this year, this upgrade will provide an improvement, but is insufficient to lift the lightning restriction,” Olay told Breaking Defense. “Lightning restrictions will be lifted when all safety concerns are resolved or acceptably mitigated.”
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(opex360 (fr), nov.23)
Despite update, Pentagon maintains F-35A flight restrictions in stormy weather

On 28 August 2020, F-35 fighter-bombers from the Dutch Air Force [Koninklijke Luchtmacht, Klu] were to join the NATO exercise 'Allied Sky', which aimed to demonstrate allied solidarity by escorting six US B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers over Alliance territory.
However, as the weather forecast predicted a stormy depression for the Benelux countries, the F-35As remained in Leeuwarden... due to flight restrictions forbidding them to approach within 40 km of a storm. Indeed, due to a problem detected in their OBIGGS [On Board Inerting Gas Generation System], these aircraft were potentially vulnerable to lightning.
The OBIGGS problem had been detected a few weeks earlier during maintenance on F-35A aircraft at Hill Air Force Base in Utah.
For aircraft, lightning is not necessarily the most dangerous phenomenon, provided they have an OBIGGS, which eliminates the risk of fire or explosion should they be struck in their tanks.
The principle of such a device is to replace the oxygen in a tank with an inert gas to make the fuel vapours non-flammable.
However, during the operations at Hill, it became apparent that some of the tubes used to circulate the inert gas in the tanks were showing premature wear. This led to flight restrictions again being imposed by the F-35 Joint Program Office [i.e. the F-35 program office at the Pentagon]...
Indeed, this was not the first time the F-35 had experienced a problem with its OBIGGS system. In the early 2010s, it was found that it did not send enough nitrogen into the tanks to make it completely inert. So its manufacturer, Lockheed-Martin, developed a fix, which lifted the flight restrictions in stormy weather.
However, in June 2021, Lockheed-Martin assured the F-35 that the problem was "field related" and the F-35 programme office set about finding a solution. In November of that year, the programme office indicated that it was considering a "hardware change", replacing "a section of tubes and fittings" in the device with a more robust design. At least enough to withstand the vibrations that occur during flight. And in August 2022, a software update, which is supposed to warn the pilot of possible OBBIGS degradation, began to be installed on the F-35A.
Presumably, the other two versions of Lockheed-Martin's fighter-bomber, the F-35B [short take-off and vertical landing] and the F-35C [airborne variant], would also be affected, as they were scheduled to undergo the same modifications last February.
According to Air Force Times, despite the flight restrictions, some F-35s were still struck by lightning. The mishap happened to an aircraft from the 6th Weapons Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base [Nevada] in August 2021. It was classified as a 'Class B' incident, meaning that it caused between $600,000 and $2.5 million in damage. A few days earlier, two US Marine Corps [USMC] F-35Bs suffered the same fate, with damage estimated at $570,000.
In total, according to Laura Seal, a spokeswoman for the F-35 programme office quoted by Air Force Times, the US Air Force and USMC had reported, as of 25 January 2022, that their F-35s had been struck by lightning 15 times, with each incident costing between $25,000 and $570,000 in repairs.
So, even though none of these incidents resulted in the loss of a pilot, the Pentagon is not taking any chances... despite the upgrade applied to the F-35A's OBBIGS system... which is, in the end, probably not enough.
"The upgrade will improve but is not sufficient to remove the lightning restrictions," a spokesman for the F-35 programme office told Breaking Defense, after "additional findings earlier this year". These restrictions will be lifted when all safety issues are resolved or mitigated to an acceptable level," he said. He did not wish to say more, "for operational security reasons". /deepl​

Labor's anti-corruption body fails to nip early enough - The Australian

The Australian
Australian defence officials had been warned the JSF/F-35 would struggle to reach a combat radius of 490 nautical miles – well below the 590.
Quoting the Australian? Forget the facts. Did they get the picture of the F-35a right this time. I'm pretty sure after all these years. The RAAF know how far the F-35 can fly on a full tank of gas. I also know the SAR demonstrated range, being around 669nm air to ground. However if you look on the RAAF site, it has old estimated numbers.
590 was the threshold number, I know you know this and are just trolling.

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When LM say the cost in under 80 $millions, Germany may pay its own nearly 285 € million each !

With some weaponery (only 105 AMRAAM C8) , just 2 engines in spare.... Germany – F-35 Aircraft and Munitions | Defense Security Cooperation Agency

And zero offset :ROFLMAO:

A real nice friend price ! ;)

When LM say the cost in under 80 $millions, Germany may pay its own nearly 285 € million each !

With some weaponery (only 105 AMRAAM C8) , just 2 engines in spare.... Germany – F-35 Aircraft and Munitions | Defense Security Cooperation Agency

And zero offset :ROFLMAO:

A real nice friend price ! ;)
Switzerland pay less than 5.5 billions instead of 10 for 36 units.

May be the US high inflation rate effect.

Or the Swiss birds will come without any equipment.
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(opex360 (fr), dec.02)

The acquisition of 35 F-35A fighter-bombers could cost Germany 10 billion euros​

At a security conference in Berlin on 30 November, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was determined to complete the purchase of 35 F-35A fighter-bombers from the American manufacturer Lockheed-Martin as quickly as possible. If possible by the end of this year... because in the current context, marked by the war in Ukraine, the Bundeswehr must have the means to participate in NATO's nuclear plans.

"As long as states like Russia have nuclear weapons, NATO naturally needs a credible deterrent potential" in order not to be "vulnerable to blackmail", Scholz said. "This is why the federal government has decided to buy the F-35," he said, using the €100 billion special fund to remedy the shortcomings of the German armed forces.

As a reminder, the Büchel air base [in western Germany] houses B-61 tactical nuclear bombs made available to NATO by the United States according to the so-called double key principle. In other words, if German fighter-bombers [currently Panavia Tornados, editor's note] are called upon to use such weapons, the control of the latter [and therefore their weapon code] is exclusively American. The only aircraft that is suitable at the moment is the F-35...

In July, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency [DSCA], the agency in charge of US military equipment exports under the Foreign Military Sales [FMS] procedure, estimated the bill for the 35 F-35As destined for Germany at $8.4 billion in a notice submitted to Congress. This compares with the $5.3 billion that Switzerland has agreed to pay for 36 F-35A aircraft...

However, according to the weekly Der Spiegel, which relies on documents from the German Ministry of Finance, the cost of purchasing these 35 F-35A could be around 10 billion euros, according to "conservative projections". For the same price, Finland will have 64 of the American aircraft.

It is not specified whether the aircraft to be used by the Luftwaffe will be upgraded to Block 4, the standard that is supposed to give the F-35 all the capabilities specified in its specifications. However, its development has been delayed and has generated significant additional costs. There is also the question of the F-135 engine, which will have to be replaced or, failing that, improved.

In addition, the infrastructure of the Büchel air base will have to be adapted to accommodate the F-35A from 2026. And according to Der Spiegel, this is an "ambitious" project...

What's more, there is no question at this stage of industrial compensation, particularly in terms of maintaining the F-35 in operational condition [MCO]... This is what the German Aerospace Industry Association [Bundesverband der Deutschen Luft- und Raumfahrtindustrie e.V. - BDLI] denounced last month, pointing out the risk of a loss of skills and autonomy.

"As far as German sovereignty is concerned, we have to make sure that we don't put ourselves completely in the hands of the Americans for the next 30 or 50 years," [<– :ROFLMAO:] argued Martin Kroell, vice-president of the BDLI, in the German press. /deepl
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Trolls fail again...$80m for the F-35, over $100m for the Rafale, When you add the indian stuff it's twice the price of a F-35, both as flyaway.
Then the other costs. Going by other contracts it has a lot of weapons in it.
For the then year delivery cost. Germany will pay the same as every other FMS customer per item.

016 NDA Rafale deal breakdown:
-Unit cost (36 F3+* RafalesX$105m*) $3.8b
Weapons (including SCALP ALCM and METEOR BVRAAM) $1.2b
-Base costs (creating world class base level maintenance operations and state of the art climate controlled hardened air shelters) $2b
-IAF specific enhancements ** ( including improved hot an high performance, integration of Israeli systems and weapons) $2b
Total: approx. $9b (or €7.9b or Rs59,630 crore as we know the deal was valued at in 2016).
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