Saturday, August 30, 2014

Labor Day Weekend bombshell--USG delivery acceptance of F-35 engines stopped since May

Pratt and Whitney, the maker of the engine for the F-35 that was involved in a June fire mishap, has important quality control and supply chain problems according to a government audit, reports Bloomberg News. Part of the supply chain issues are over findings of suspect titanium sourcing.

The problems, some of them identified in government audit, revolve around poor project management. The work and material for the F-35 aircraft as well as the engine are hugely outsourced.

The U.S. Government has halted accepting delivery of engines until the titanium sourcing issue can be resolved. Adding on to that, deliveries will also not be accepted until the true cause of the engine fire that destroyed an F-35 can be actioned to the satisfaction of the U.S. Government.

"Delivery of engines was halted in May after an in-house inspection and testing process 'raised questions about the origin' of the titanium"

Statements from Pratt and Whitney and the F-35 program office claim these problems are fixable and are being worked.

One of my unnamed sources, an independent engineer with years of experience in defense analysis, stated that China is the biggest supplier of titanium but what is being produced is "low grade crap". The best stocks of titanium comes from Russia and the Ukraine. Most of the Russian titanium is made out of Ukrainian raw materials. The source also states that the U.S. should simply buy all of its titanium from Ukraine, concluding: why they buy from Russia and China is not clear.

A former U.S. DOD defense analyst Pierre Sprey stated in an email:

Can you believe the incorporation of fraudulent titanium into the F-35 engine has been completely covered up since May? P&W hasn't delivered a single engine since May and neither the JSF program nor OSD said boo--obviously waiting for all four Congressional defense committees to rubber stamp the F-35's FY 15 budget before trying to slip this bombshell past the media and the public on Labor Day weekend.

A history of F-35 engine problems can be read here.


---

-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013 
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Bill Sweetman, Aviation Week and the F-35
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today
-The F-35B design is leaking fuel
-F-35 deliveries
-ADF's wacky F-35 assumptions
-Gauging performance, the 2008 F-35, Davis dream brief
-Aboriginal brought out as a prop
-Super Kendall's F-35 problem
-LM sales force in pre-Internet era
-History of F-35 engine problems

Friday, August 29, 2014

Dare to Compare --- M2A3 Bradley versus IFVL!

Presentation.




.

Here lies a mishap

They are happy not to say what the root-cause is yet they are going ahead with an engine design change.

Anyone find that odd? This is what happens when over 100 mistake-jets are built with no milestone-C in place.


Korean War - One-way trip



Aug. 28, 1952
Grumman F6F-5K Hellcat drones are launched from the aircraft carrier USS Boxer (CV-21). The unmanned fighters are 'guided' by Douglas AD-2D Skyraider drone control planes, but the attacks against a railway bridge produce limited results.

via Naval Aviation History Magazine

Dare to Compare --- M1126 Stryker ICV versus MTVL!

Presentation.


.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

USAF's Operation: BIG STUPID

This goes to show you a huge amount of organisational bloat in the USAF.

All this:



(click image to make larger)


For a handful of E-8s.


On 1 October 2011, the "blended" wing construct of the 116th Air Control Wing (116 ACW), combining Air National Guard and Regular Air Force personnel in a single unit was discontinued. On this date, the 461st Air Control Wing (461 ACW) was established at Robins AFB as the Air Force's sole active duty E-8 JSTARS wing while the 116 ACW reverted to a traditional Air National Guard wing within the Georgia Air National Guard. Both units share the same E-8 aircraft and will often fly with mixed crews, but now function as separate units.

LOL. I remember THE day in 2002, that the blended Wing started and was marketed as the way to go. USAF loves reorganisations. Over and over. Rinse and repeat. It gives PowerPoint warriors a chance to get promotion bullets into their records.

At an incredible, high, cost.

The Guard organisation is big-stupid too. What the hell use is an E-8 to any Guard activity? Answer: none.

Unreal

A400 refuels F-18

Source:


The Airbus A400M new generation airlifter has performed successfully air-to-air refuelling tests with a F/A-18 Hornet fighter. The tanker test campaign was developed in five flights in which the A400M performed 33 dry contacts and dispensed 18.6 tonnes of fuel to an F/A-18 Hornet in 35 wet contacts.

With a basic fuel capacity of 50.8 tonnes which can be increased by the use of extra cargo hold tanks, the A400M is the most capable tactical tanker in the market. The standard A400M aircraft has full provisions for Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) operations already installed as standard and only requires the rapid installation of the optional air-to-air refuelling kit to become a tanker. Designed from the outset to be a dual-role transport and tanker aircraft, the A400M provides air forces with a cost-effective way to acquire an air-to-air refuelling capability in addition to a versatile logistic and tactical airlifter.

Not the right team

An off-topic sidebar to DM Johnston's sign. Another episode of what is wrong with this photo? (Note, not picking on the guy, just his outrageously poorly stated arguments (Lockheed Martin talking points) for the F-35 program).



We need a Defence Minister that actually knows something as opposed to slavishly believing bullshit.

Why not joint Team Australia DM and not the foreign interest team?



-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013 
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Bill Sweetman, Aviation Week and the F-35
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today
-The F-35B design is leaking fuel
-F-35 deliveries
-ADF's wacky F-35 assumptions
-Gauging performance, the 2008 F-35, Davis dream brief
-Aboriginal brought out as a prop
-Super Kendall's F-35 problem
-LM sales force in pre-Internet era

Jack

The sad part is that this guy was a de facto "JSF lobbyist" when he was IN government some years ago.

In any normal world he would be in jail.

Than as now, he doesn't know jack-shit about the F-35 program.

--

-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013 
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Bill Sweetman, Aviation Week and the F-35
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today
-The F-35B design is leaking fuel
-F-35 deliveries
-ADF's wacky F-35 assumptions
-Gauging performance, the 2008 F-35, Davis dream brief
-Aboriginal brought out as a prop
-Super Kendall's F-35 problem
-LM sales force in pre-Internet era


Angels with dirty faces



Minus the papist bleating, this is a pretty fair assessment.


The Department of Defense is all but defenseless against a gouging shakedown artist like Lockheed Martin, with its massive jet-propelled lobbying and PR machine ever ready to defend the plane against pre-emptive strikes to cancel or cut back production. Overcharging and underperforming are all but automatic in the clubby world of military contracts.

As Lockheed Martin consistently gets away with screw-ups and flouting what should be a basic ethic of commerce -- keeping your contractual word -- it excels in another field. The Project on Government Oversight, a Washington nonprofit whose work includes eyeing corporate chiseling, reported that between 1995 and 2009, the company had "50 instances of civil, criminal or administrative misconduct" and paid $606 million in fines and penalties.


---


-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013 
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Bill Sweetman, Aviation Week and the F-35
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today
-The F-35B design is leaking fuel
-F-35 deliveries
-ADF's wacky F-35 assumptions
-Gauging performance, the 2008 F-35, Davis dream brief
-Aboriginal brought out as a prop
-Super Kendall's F-35 problem
-LM sales force in pre-Internet era

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Compare

Compare this:





(click image to make larger --- Photo montage showing the different phases of an acrobatic maneuver performed by a Sukhoi Su-35 piloted by Sergey Bogdan at the Paris Air Show 2013.)






...to this.


.

Belgium F-16 replacement update

At some point in time, Belgium will replace there F-16s.

The RFI was sent to these five parties:

The Joint Program Office (JPO) in charge of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II program; the Navy Integrated Program Office (NIPO) for the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet; the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) of the French Ministry of Defence for the Dassault Rafale; the Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency (FXM) for the Saab JAS-39 Gripen and the UK Ministry of Defence for the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Planning stands that these talks will take the entire latter part of 2014 and a large part of 2015 with the Belgian DoD planning to make the internal assessment of all proposals in 2016 and request for a formal LOI that would make a government decision possible in 2018. This way the new aircraft would find its way to the Belgian Air Force starting in 2023.

It will be interesting to see what kind of a competition this will be. I suggest a full-blown fly-off in addition to the desk-study. If it is a true competition, the F-35 is in trouble. It does not have the capability. It does not have the affordability. These limitations can't be fixed by upgrades.

Also interesting is the fact that when you are a JSF Partner Nation (Belgium is not), you are cowed/bullied to do everything to avoid an honest competition. Both by foreign interests, and your own countrymen.



Let us hope that the requirement is not rigged so as to describe an F-35 along with the use of the dishonest term: "fifth-generation fighter".



H/T- www.f-16.net


---

-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013 
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Bill Sweetman, Aviation Week and the F-35
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today
-The F-35B design is leaking fuel
-F-35 deliveries
-ADF's wacky F-35 assumptions
-Gauging performance, the 2008 F-35, Davis dream brief
-Aboriginal brought out as a prop
-Super Kendall's F-35 problem
-LM sales force in pre-Internet era