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US F-35s Lure Buyers as a Question Looms: How Will It Do in Combat?

12:01  24 september  2020
12:01  24 september  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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108 U.S F - 35 s Won’t Be Combat -Capable. billion worth of 'concurrency orphans'. The services will have nearly 800 F - 35 s either on hand or in the manufacturing pipeline before the design is Art via POGO. Expensive trainers. Getting to the bottom of exactly how much money has been wasted

COMBAT READINESS. With the current process, the services will have nearly 800 F - 35 s either on hand or in the manufacturing pipeline The F - 35 Joint Strike Fighter program is the most expensive procurement program in Pentagon history. It remains to be seen how he deals with the situation now.

(Bloomberg) -- Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 has deployed from the Gulf of Aden to Alaska and is coveted by would-be buyers led by the United Arab Emirates. But the simulated combat testing needed to tell how well it would fare against Russian, Chinese or Iranian air defenses may be delayed yet again.

a large airplane flying high up in the air: A Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35A jet flies during a training mission in Hill Air Force Base, Utah. © Bloomberg A Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35A jet flies during a training mission in Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

The intensive combat simulation testing of the fighter jet, which was supposed to occur in 2017 and most recently was set for this December, is almost certain to slip into next year because of difficulties finishing technical preparations, according to the Pentagon’s weapons buyer and testing office.

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“The F - 35 was at a distinct energy disadvantage,” the unnamed pilot wrote in a scathing five-page brief that War Is Boring has obtained. The two jets would be playing the roles of opposing fighters in a pretend air battle, which the Air Force organized specifically to test out the F - 35 ’ s prowess as a

The F - 35 is not just the most expensive warplane ever, it ’s the most expensive weapons program ever. Moreover, each of the other defense committees on Capitol Hill agree or—with one exception— think each model will be more expensive.

Resolution of “defects” in the simulation set-up “will likely drive” the tests into next year, Jessica Maxwell, a spokeswoman for Ellen Lord, the Defense Department’s undersecretary for acquisition, said in an email. It’s the latest twist in a 19-year-long tale of setbacks spawned by the decision to build the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program ever even as it’s still being developed.

The one-month, 64-sortie “Joint Simulation Environment” exercise will use a full replica of the F-35 cockpit rigged with its combat sensors and electronics. A pilot at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland, will operate in a fully functioning simulator with a 360-degree view that depicts classified air and ground threats and incorporates allied aircraft as well.

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How did things get this way, and how did the trillion-dollar albatross come out flying in the end? F - 35 supporters were undaunted in the face of that evidence, adamant that the technological advances As a fifth-generation aircraft, the F - 35 offers new combat capabilities and information exploitation.

To the F - 35 team, these issues are a natural, expected product of a project as complex as a fifth-generation stealth fighter, and they are currently being addressed and fixed by Lockheed Martin. The weight restriction does not affect any current pilots, and a new helmet is due to be released in October

The exercise will be the capstone of a testing regime required by U.S. law before Lockheed can proceed into full-rate production and assure customers from South Korea to Poland that the plane is effective and can be maintained. Most recently, the UAE is seeking U.S. approval to buy F-35s now that it has signed on to an accord with Israel engineered by President Donald Trump’s administration.

Full-Rate Production

The testing is also a key hurdle before the Pentagon can buy the bulk of the aircraft destined for the U.S. military. The decision on full-rate production was supposed to occur in March, but that deadline, as well as the completion of all testing for it, “remain high risk,” Maxwell, the spokeswoman said.

“We expect to make a decision in October” about the schedule after a Pentagon Defense Acquisition Board review, Maxwell said.

Versions of the F-35 already have flown hundreds of aerial exercises, deployed for overseas operations by the Marines and Air Force and attacked Taliban targets in Afghanistan. The Air Force’s 356th Fighter Squadron of F-35A jets is stationed at Eielson Air Base in Alaska, on alert for Asia missions against Russia or China.

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The pricey new F - 35 Joint Strike Fighter — the main new warplane for the U.S. military and many of America’s closest allies — can’t turn fast enough to defeat other jet fighters in close aerial combat . In other words, the F - 35 is dead meat in a real war against a determined foe. But don’t take it from us.

Israel received three F - 35 s from the US on Tuesday, bringing its total inventory of the revolutionary fighter up to five, but according to a French journalist The likelihood is that the first time the plane is used in combat will be with Israeli pilots flying it ." Israel has long flown US jets and has often been on

That’s happening even though the $398 billion fighter program hasn’t been evaluated in the simulations intended to challenge the planes beyond the most stressful threats likely to occur in real-world flying.

The Defense Department’s F-35 program office is reevaluating the schedule “based on feedback from the test community related to minimum acceptable required capabilities within the simulation facility,” said spokeswoman Brandi Schiff.

Lord and Robert Behler, the Pentagon’s top testing official, visited the testing facility on Aug. 25 “to better understand progress and where help is needed to complete” the testing, Maxwell said. Behler said in a statement that chances are “extremely low” that the simulations will be completed in December.

China Challenge

In a prime example of the challenges the F-35 could face, the Pentagon’s latest annual report on China’s military capabilities says “it has one of the world’s largest forces of advanced long-range surface-to-air systems -- including Russian-built S-400s, S-300s, and domestically produced systems -- that constitute part of its robust and redundant integrated air defense system architecture.”

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What’s fascinating is not that Stillion anticipated the F - 35 ’ s poor air-to-air performance. It ’s what Stillion recommended the United States do about it . The iconoclastic analyst urged the Pentagon to abandon fast, maneuverable fighters — and replace them with an entirely new kind of aerial combatant .

That assessment was questioned by Michael Sullivan of the nonpartisan U.S. Government The Marines want to buy 353 of the F - 35 version designed for short takeoffs and vertical landings, the most The decision on declaring them combat -ready will be made by General Joseph Dunford, the

The simulation exercise to test the F-35 was supposed to be ready three years ago, but “the program has struggled to develop the complex software and functionality needed to complete” it, the Government Accountability Office said in its annual program report in April.

Behler, the testing chief, said that he wasn’t considering canceling the simulation sorties. Because of the “inherent limitations of open-air testing,” the simulation facility “is the only venue available, other than actual combat against peer adversaries, to adequately evaluate the F-35 against modern airborne and surface threats in realistic densities,” he said.

Once all the testing is complete, it will take an additional two to three months to “transfer and analyze the data, and then draft” the final report for delivery to Pentagon leaders and Congress, Behler said previously.

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