F35 - Money well spent.

It seems that the RAAF's strategy for purchase (all up front) differs markedly from the RAF's throughlife approach.

'Australia has committed to purchasing 72 of the F-35A aircraft for three squadrons at RAAF Base Williamstown, RAAF Base Tindal and the training squadron, also at RAAF Base Williamstown. “The first F-35A aircraft was accepted into Australian service in 2018 and the first squadron, Number 3 Squadron, will be operational in 2021,” the ADF says on its website. “All 72 aircraft are expected to be fully operational by 2023.” '

Aussie fighter jets plagued with flaws
 
The B is supposedly the least capable of the F-35 variants in a number of respects so there may be slightly less J6 required.

However, a more significant factor is probably that there will be more F-35Cs embarked on a Ford Class CVN than there will be in an America LHA. That dictates a greater number of highly specialised facilities and all the cabling to support them, all of which themselves also need modification.

That’s a LOT of work involving a LOT of integration; far more so than that associated with modifying JBDs I suspect.

In terms of nomenclature, I’d say that ‘N6’ applies only to those internal systems which interact purely within a naval environment. By it’s very nature, if an IT system is designed to interact with - and enable - an aircraft’s systems in the Air domain (where it will also interact with other air platforms and those from other environments), it is by definition Joint.

Indeed, many of the systems on the QECs will be common to those at RAF Marham and deployed operating locations. Therefore, it’s J6 and not N6 or A6 in my view; geography is irrelevant.

Regards,
MM
At the risk of being pedantic, surely a US Navy aircraft communicating with a US Navy aircraft is N6, just like one warship talking to another? I am not being difficult, I just wondered. I have worked in a J6 cell which was exclusively RN/RNR manned.

With respect to the F-35, I thought the point was that it has considerable C4STAR capabilities in its own right, which means communications to get that data information back to the ship/base, and information systems to process and disseminate it?
 
At the risk of being pedantic, surely a US Navy aircraft communicating with a US Navy aircraft is N6, just like one warship talking to another?...
By that logic, you'd rename the system J6 when the US Navy aircraft on CAP is replaced by a USAF or coalition aircraft.

To my mind, the '6' environment is inherently Joint and that same USN aircraft is almost certainly also cooperating with assets from other components such as AWACS, SIGINT and Space. Indeed, I would also consider a JTIDS/MADL network involving a USAF E-3G, RJ, F-22s, F-35As, B-2s and F-15Es to be J6 rather than A6.

...With respect to the F-35, I thought the point was that it has considerable C4STAR capabilities in its own right, which means communications to get that data information back to the ship/base, and information systems to process and disseminate it?
Yes, employing a variety of data links which are operated Jointly.

Regards,
MM
 
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Sky News were reporting that some F35 circuit boards are made by a Chinese owned company in the UK. Initially it sounded like they are being made in China which they aren't. "There is no suggestion that Exception PCB or its Chinese parent, Shenzhen Fastprint, have done anything wrong."

F-35 jets: Chinese-owned company making parts for top-secret UK-US fighters

Defense news reporting problems. Sounds like a few bugs needing ironed out, software fixes etc.
The Pentagon is battling the clock to fix serious, unreported F-35 problems

Of course this could all be nonsense or based on misleading info.
 
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Defense news reporting problems. Sounds like a few bugs needing ironed out, software fixes etc.
The Pentagon is battling the clock to fix serious, unreported F-35 problems
Unreported to whom, the media? I'm sorry I didn't realize they were part of the project!

How about, "Classified flight test data not shared with the public shows that the development of a cutting edge Aircraft encounters the type of situation it is being tested for".

How on earth do these people think you develop anything that hasnt been done before, you push it until it breaks in a controlled environment then fix the broken bits!

What utter drivel.
 
Sky News were reporting that some F35 circuit boards are made by a Chinese owned company in the UK. Initially it sounded like they are being made in China which they aren't. "There is no suggestion that Exception PCB or its Chinese parent, Shenzhen Fastprint, have done anything wrong."

F-35 jets: Chinese-owned company making parts for top-secret UK-US fighters



Of course this could all be nonsense or based on misleading info.
Yup.

Exception PCB, a printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturer in Gloucestershire, south west England, produces circuit boards that "control many of the F-35's core capabilities"


There's nothing unusual about the boards and it's hardware only.
 
Yup.

Exception PCB, a printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturer in Gloucestershire, south west England, produces circuit boards that "control many of the F-35's core capabilities"

There's nothing unusual about the boards and it's hardware only.
They are bare boards, the company is only owned by a Chinese parent, and it could be anything they control. Other PCBs for F-35 are produced by other UK companies, including one up the road from me.

If any single company produced all the PCBs, and populated them...
 
Unreported to whom, the media? I'm sorry I didn't realize they were part of the project!

How about, "Classified flight test data not shared with the public shows that the development of a cutting edge Aircraft encounters the type of situation it is being tested for".

How on earth do these people think you develop anything that hasnt been done before, you push it until it breaks in a controlled environment then fix the broken bits!

What utter drivel.
From my original post: "Of course this could all be nonsense or based on misleading info."
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
It seems that the RAAF's strategy for purchase (all up front) differs markedly from the RAF's throughlife approach.

'Australia has committed to purchasing 72 of the F-35A aircraft for three squadrons at RAAF Base Williamstown, RAAF Base Tindal and the training squadron, also at RAAF Base Williamstown. “The first F-35A aircraft was accepted into Australian service in 2018 and the first squadron, Number 3 Squadron, will be operational in 2021,” the ADF says on its website. “All 72 aircraft are expected to be fully operational by 2023.” '

Aussie fighter jets plagued with flaws
Would put that down to the single type fleet, Mummy Airforce has had more types of late in her inventory which allows for phased withdrawel and introduction, though not very one for one approach, we also have a large (relatively spleaking) buffer zone of contemporay fast air to bridge the change over so the impetus to spool up is not as urgent.
 
Would put that down to the single type fleet, Mummy Airforce has had more types of late in her inventory which allows for phased withdrawel and introduction, though not very one for one approach, we also have a large (relatively spleaking) buffer zone of contemporay fast air to bridge the change over so the impetus to spool up is not as urgent.
The Australians have some newer model F-18s that they plan to continue to operate, so they won't be down to a single type. This wasn't their preference, but it was the least unpalatable of the choices before them to deal with the problem of the F-35 being so late and with no solution to its problems on the horizon at the time. They had planned on operating a single type for cost reasons, but that option was taken away from them by events.

The 2018 to 2023 schedule for the F-35 gives them a 5 year phase-in. That timing is driven by the need to either replace their older F-18s or to spend more money on upgrading them again.

The degree to which the F-35 was late put the Australians in a difficult position and forced them into choices they didn't want to make.

The UK's schedule is driven by factors which are different from those Australia is facing.
 
Would put that down to the single type fleet, Mummy Airforce has had more types of late in her inventory which allows for phased withdrawel and introduction, though not very one for one approach, we also have a large (relatively spleaking) buffer zone of contemporay fast air to bridge the change over so the impetus to spool up is not as urgent.
The RAF have gone from a Combat Air Force of Typhoon, GR4 (and Reaper) to one of Typhoon, F-35 (and Reaper), while being deployed on ops in several places.

The RAAF are in the process of moving from FA-18A/B ‘Classics’, FA-18F and EA-18 to FA-18F, EA-18 and F-35A. Both the Super Hornets and Growlers will remain in service alongside the F-35As for the foreseeable future.

So I don’t see a major difference. Rather, the RAAF are merely experiencing similar issues with a new, immature type as they build experience on it as other customers.

Regards,
MM
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
By that logic, you'd rename the system J6 when the US Navy aircraft on CAP is replaced by a USAF or coalition aircraft.

To my mind, the '6' environment is inherently Joint and that same USN aircraft is almost certainly also cooperating with assets from other components such as AWACS, SIGINT and Space. Indeed, I would also consider a JTIDS/MADL network involving a USAF E-3G, RJ, F-22s, F-35As, B-2s and F-15Es to be J6 rather than A6.



Yes, employing a variety of data links which are operated Jointly.

Regards,
MM
Yes and no. Yes the single services can and do operate Link networks to greater/lesser extents (our Army definitely to the lesser). What we lack is Joint oversight/control akin to a JICCO (USN definition) in a MoC/CAOC(may happen but not really certain) or employed on a CVF. The latter will come I suspect due to F35 and CN.

With regard to F35 weapons cueing, that's interesting because Link has inherent errors which CEC as a different technology removed and increased accuracy for cueing which the ships command system would need for a track/firing solution. I suspect the USN have been designing this for a while.
 
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Yes and no. Yes the single services can and do operate Link networks to greater/lesser extents (our Army definitely to the lesser). What we lack is Joint oversight/control akin to a JICCO (USN definition) in a MoC/CAOC(may happen but not really certain) or employed on a CVF. The latter will come I suspect due to F35 and CN...
The Joint Data Link Management Organisation (JDLMO) has existed in various forms for about 25 years. It’s personnel (primarily RN and RAF; I think there’s only a single Army guy) manage a wide variety of data link mechanics and operations such as OPTASK Link production and advice, time-slot reallocation, and network design via the CAOC/CSPOC and CRCs in the UK. When deployed, they’re integrated into the CAOC JICCO organisation.

...With regard to F35 weapons cueing, that's interesting because Link has inherent errors which CEC as a different technology removed and increased accuracy for cueing which the ships command system would need for a track/firing solution. I suspect the USN have been designing this for a while.
Agreed, although we’re moving from track exchange to data exchange which requires a whole new level of technology as I’m sure you’re aware. I’d also place money on practical F-35-ship cueing (particularly regarding BMD) being NOFORN for the foreseeable future.

Regards,
MM
 
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I know - but the thickos and those with an agenda do not or seek to misinform. Saying a new ship has limited bandwidth is like saying a new house has.

I think one of the problems with F-35 and other projects is that the technical issues are not understood by many commentators, who then have the ability to influence public and political opinion. Just think of the STOVL/CTOL/STOVL debacle and the problems bone headed politicians caused.

Look at the fuss over PCBs. How many media types actually know what a PCB actually is?
 
...I think one of the problems with F-35 and other projects is that the technical issues are not understood...
In fairness, a great many in Defence don’t either; there’s WAY too much focus on shiny new aeroplanes and ships without considering the supporting DLoDs.

Regards,
MM
 

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