JSF Program Moves Toward LRIP Boost

JSF Program Moves Toward LRIP Boost

The Joint Strike Fighter program took another step forward July 1 with a successful weapons test following last month’s announcement that the U.S. would bump up production of the much maligned fifth generation fighter to 44 aircraft in 2015.

A F-35A Joint Strike Fighter flying just under the speed of sound dropped a 2,000-pound GBU-31 guided bomb from an altitude of 10,000 feet on July 1 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The test was flown to prove if  the weapon would separate from the aircraft flying in a tactical environment, said John Haire, a spokesman at Edwards.

The recent test was among the latest in a series of current assessments of the F-35 designed to inform the developmental process and move the platform forward toward full-rate production, said Joseph DellaVedova, a JSF program spokesman.

The Pentagon plans to ramp up Low-Rate-Initial-Production of the JSF for the FY 2015 budget year, JSF program officials said. The move would bump up production numbers planned for LRIP 9 in 2015 to 44 planes for the U.S.

“LRIP is when you iron out your supply chain and manufacturing issues,” said DellaVedova.

The jump to 44 LRIP planes would constitute a sizeable jump from preceding LRIP lots such as LRIP 6, 7 and 8, which call for 31, 29 and 29 aircraft respectively, DellaVedova explained.

Speaking to reporters following a JSF CEO summitt meeting last month, Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s top buyer mentioned the acceleration plan.

“At this point, I can say that I am cautiously optimistic that we will be able to raise production as planned. So at this point in time, unless there’s a significant surprise, I think we will be able to raise production and have an increased rate in the FY15 budget, which we’ll be preparing and submitting after the first of the year,” said Kendall, the assistant secretary of defense, Acquisition Technology and Logistics.

A formal decision on the ramp up is expected later this fall following a Defense Acquisition Board meeting, Dellavedova explained. The U.S. plans to acquire as many as 2,443 JSF planes.

There is ongoing JSF weapons testing at Edwards AFB and Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Md. The JSF program is currently ramping up for what’s called Developmental Test 2 of its Short-Take-Off-and-Vertical-Landing, or STOVL, the Marine Corps variant of the JSF.

The test, slated for the middle of August, will push the envelope of take-off and landing capability for the F-35B STOVL on aboard the U.S. Navy’s amphibious assault ship, the USS Wasp.

“At sea, the F-35B can operate from both aircraft carriers and amphibious shipping,” Gen. John Paxton Jr., Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, said in written remarks to lawmakers last month.

Tags: , ,

Join the Conversation

Oh Great, so now we are going to buy more “Mistake Jets” that will cost millions more per aircraft to fix , once they ‚and if they ever can get it to work as Advertised. Considering the Helmet doesn’t work, still hasn’t landed on a carrier yet with the new tail hook, Software is YEARS behind schedule. The standards have been lowered so the Aircraft can meet the minimum requirements just to name a few minor Problems.

Why the big celebration over the successful drop of a GBU-31 JDAM?? A munition that is nothing more than a Mk 84 2000 pound dumb bomb with a GPS targeting package strapped on it. Only input from the aircraft is a GPS coordinate via a keypad or touch screen. Then the release of the bomb clamps to drop the munition. No laser, radar, radio, optical or even a precision dive bomb run. Heck countries that still use the decade old A-4 Skyhawk can and to drop this thing. Yet the “Experts” in Washington think this is so great that a used car salesman gets them to buy more.

So, we’re accelerating LRIP buys? What are we to do with the few hundred planes we’re getting here in total since they won’t ever be useful in combat? Use them as more modern trainers?

They’re captives for future upgrades, though I suppose they could be used as trainers, static models, drones…

Fortunately Lockheed doesn’t build planes like Boeing.

Ramp up production when there are no effective working mission systems or robust testing of TR-2 hardware with Block 3 software. Not a good idea.

As for the Amphibs: I look forward to a demonstration of an on-board swap of the $27M each F-35B motor.

The last comment by the General makes no sense. Again because of the lack of proof of a go-to-war jet.

Rate the above article as mostly: spin.

The F-35 mafia PR machine is at it again

This site is loosing credibility with articles like these. Every time Lockheed spends some advertising money, you see a JSF fluff article on here.

The funniest thing is that the next LRIP aircraft wont even be able to fly. They have junked major parts of the hardware and the new software isn’t ready yet..

As the JSF descends further into farce they are desperate to make as many as possible before it’s shut down.

Sad to see that Sec of Defense Hagel now also has joined the F-35 Dunning-Krueger crowd and is not firing his pro-F-35 USAF generals

So it was acquisition malpractice to start buying “production” jets before testing them, what is different now. Even the A model is only half tested and the B & C models have even less. No OPEVAL, no working weapons, no go to war OFP… It is hard to believe that we continue to run this as a blank check program in an era of dramatic budget reductions.

I agree so we buy more planes who every several month get grounded by faults in the plane. All the billions wasted for this and we could have bought more F-22s and upgrades for F-15s with the same money and have much to spare.

You said it not much of a mile stone since a A-4 or F-105 can drop the same bomb w/o difficulty. Its the Generals who get money from Lockheed who want this to pass for more prestige and money for themselves.

Any new jet will cost millions unless you want more 4th gen. Any new jet or any other platform will have problems that will need to be worked out. Especialy one so complicated. The under performance is very minor. Not according to me but someone who knows more about this than me and probably you.

It’s way behind schedule and over budget. Could mismanagement be to blame. Probably, but what do you propose. Start from scratch.

With due respect, the F-35’s performance parameters have dropped g-loading (for instance) to F-4 levels! One could say it doesn’t matter because the F-35 is a BVR fighter, but that is what they said about the F-4.
What I would propose is to cancel the F-35. Hagel is talking about halting military promotions and PCS moves, as well as a massive reduction in force. We cannot afford this boondoggle fighter.
The Russians and the Indians are talking about making only 200 PAK-FAs between them, and the Chinese are years away from fielding a stealth fighter (and then, probably in limited numbers). Meanwhile, the Russians and Chinese are investing in Generation 4+++ fighters like the SU-30 and SU-35 in large numbers. It would seem their strategy is to use their limited numbers of stealth fighters against A2AD assets, while the Sukhois will do the rest of the heavy lifting. They save billions, while we go broke.
If we cancelled the F-35, we could make more F-22s, say a total of around 400 (including those already built). Then, we could replace F-16s with Block 60 F-16s, and F-15s with Silent Eagles. This would more than cover potential peer threats, save billions, and seriously accelerate Air Force modernization.
Instead, Lockheed Martin will get theirs because of the 84 senators in their pocket (representing the states the F-35 is built in and sources parts from, a shrewd strategy on the part of L-M), and the revolving door of generals retiring from the Air Force. I get the impression that if, due to budget cuts, all we could afford was the F-35 (which seems to be one of few non-negotiables), then the U.S. military would be nothing more than a hollow force built around some very expensive static displays attended by some smart-dressed airmen, sailors and Marines (who are not getting promoted).

I smell a Troll, I work on the JSF, innovation is discovered, not scheduled. The software will be done, working with this software is challenging, but the abilities of these new flight control surfaces, will ultimately make the F-35C a remote control aircraft…no wonder Obama likes it.

I went in the military nearly 40 years ago and the A4 Skyhawk was ancient then…they were up A4M’s. Maybe your suffering from what we call around here OMS (Old Man Syndrome).…No problem we all get it now and then.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard such nonsense on a board before… the big deal here isn’t the munition dropped as it’s been dropped by all sorts of planes before… its the fact that we can now get into enemy territory undetected ( remember it’s stealth ) and drop about ANY munition and get out again. Posters here appear ignorant of the fact that the technology that went into this plane and the F-22 had to be invented first. That costs money, and lots of it… So perhaps you should consider that before bumping your gums complaining about things. Or how about this, if you know so much please feel free to do better at a cheaper cost.…. yeah, I thought so…

From what I’ve seen most of the people on this forum do not like the F-35, and I also noted these people also know nothing about the aircraft, but what they have read in badly written articles and forums…this is just a symtom of the overall decline of American civilization…I’ve watched our country slip further into the Abyss year after year…it’s those damn hippies they started it all! Muahhahaha!

While we’ve only seen about 180 production aircraft through FY 2014, that’s about 7 percent, most of which go to training squadrons. Don’t expect this aircraft to be combat ready anytime soon. But the 6 years after the first LRIP is troubling, since it should be ready for IOC by now.

With not a lot of threat out there, we should slow production down, not accelerate it. Doesn’t make sense to accelerate now to capture production line efficiencies if we just have to take them off the flightline to fix them later. There’s really no rush based on a lack of threat. Which really gives us time to go to a fly-before-you-buy decision model.

we are toast or soon will be, you are right on. The race to the bottom continues.

Stealth is also critical in the air to air fight, which is beyond visual range against peer level adversaries, since the missiles can fly faster than mach 3, can turn in excess of 30g, and exceeded an 80% probability of kill a couple of decades ago. The brave fools who enter into a knife fight in a phone booth cannot break off fight and gain enough distance before the other guy sends a missile up his six, and both remain vulnerable to any other lurking outside of the phone booth firing a missile at an easy target locked up inside the phone booth.

AIM-9X Sidewinder Block III will incorporate features to work with LockMart’s infrared search and track (IRST) system, for beyond visual range capability in a radio frequency denied battle space. The US is playing catch-up in I/R.

Comparison of modern aircraft to the F-4, is not a good argument, as more than a half-century has elapsed since that aircraft was designed, and the missiles have vastly improved. Times have changed, and the technology used in the fight has changed with it.

Modern air to air missiles can fly faster than mach 3, can turn in excess of 30g, and exceeded an 80% probability of kill a couple of decades ago. That changes everything. The modern fight against a well armed peer level adversary will happen beyond visual range, regardless whether the spectrum used in that is radio frequency or infrared.

Typical contractor — has nothing but contempt for the America that pays him.

It remains to be seen, if and how reliably, an F-35C might catch a cross deck pendant with arresting hook while the deck pitches and rolls in adverse higher sea state conditions. Reliable arrested recovery is a fundamental requirement for a CATOBAR fighter/attack aircraft. If arrested recovery is reliable only in fair weather, Navy won’t buy many regardless any other considerations.

F-35C arresting hook location and installation geometry (subject matter well described in MIL-A-18717) is a risky radical deviation from successful modern designs, with F-35C arresting hook located much closer to the main gear, and using a shorter hook with much less trail angle. And F-35C has been failing in testing that does not yet include the reality of adverse conditions which can be expected if deployed in the fleet.

Improving hook bounce damping, and tweaking the hook opening may help, but what seems more likely to be needed are increased trail angle and increased separation distance between main gear and arresting hook.

Changing that to reposition the attachment point further rearward in the aircraft structure would require a major redesign of the aircraft structure. And changing to use a longer hook for increased trail angle would compromise stealth unless the rear of the aircraft is redesigned to mask the longer hook.

Those are not problems to be fixed with mod kits or software tweaks, rather are expensive major redesigns, non-trivial.

And I’ll say it again… If arrested recovery is reliable only in fair weather, Navy won’t buy many regardless any other considerations.

The REAL generals are gone — i.e. Curtis LeMay was a REAL general. Now we have generals that are looking at their careers beyond the military one. They will sell out the troops in a heartbeat for the corporate money!.

Not necessarily. It remains the case that:

1. There is still no reliable way (that the enemy cannot deceive) to identify a non-cooperative target beyond visual range. Firing BVR involves assuming a considerable risk that you’ll hit one of your own planes. Depending on the circumstances it is still often necessary to identify the target visually. But once you’re within visual range, you now have a dogfight.

2. A modern missile’s radar power is still limited to the power available on the missile. The targeted aircraft’s jammers have far more power available to them, which gives them a considerable advantage.

3. A fighter pilot who can see an incoming missile can still our-maneuvre it quite easily, just as happened in the arab-israeli wars and the vietnam war. A good fighter still has a tighter instantaneous turning circle than the missiles you describe. The turning circle is NOT a function of G, it’s a function of the RATE OF CHANGE of G. That, in turn, is essentially a function of wing loading (how many square feet of wing are available to turn how many pounds of weight), divided by the square of indicated airspeed. On a fighter, wing loading/square of indicated airspeed is far better than on a missile.

4. There is still no reliable non-destructive way of testing missiles. If you fire 10 of them, a certain percentage of them will work. But you don’t know which ones will malfunction, so closure to WVR remains entirely possible.

For all of these reasons, the WVR dogfight remains entirely possible. You do need to be ready. You’re laughably unready if you’re counting on the F-35. Even a staunch F-35 salesman would have to concede that point.

Weaponhead, you forgot the ten commandments,

–Thall shall have no other aircraft before the F-35
–Thall shall not speak ill of Lockhead
–Thall shall have not other defense contractors before Lockhead
–Thall shall always say nice things about the F-35 no matter the truth
–Thall shall feed the F-35 whenever it cries for more money
–Thall shall sacrifice all other programs on the F-35 alter
–Thall shall see no fault with the F-35
–Thall shall find fault and harass and slander all who are critical of the F-35

This is corruption at its best. Lockheed and subcontractors get to take everything while delivering nothing that they promised.

Boeing has decided to shift itself away from the defense market because it is apparent that getting a weapon system to be successful has now proven to be purely a matter of politics rather than actually making a good weapon system.

By the way has anyone read that article in the June 2013 issue of the Proceedings titled “Averting the Navy’s Tactical Aircraft Crisis?”

Work harder…

Good move to increase production and steady progress in all testing. But.…increasing from 3 per month to ten per month, are the logistics and facilities capable, at this time? The difficulty in building this a/c is a generation more difficult than the F–16/ 18, is FW capable of cranking out the required capacity, in the long run?

No in air to air combat the JSF is a joke.

Its the first fighter that needs a permissive air environment to survive. The first navy fighter that they are planning to escort with previous generation fighters.

The simple fact is that against 4th generation fighters in any BVR scenario the JSF is dead. The only ones where it survives is when air dominance has already been achieved.

It is not a “stealth” aircraft. It is a “low-observable” aircraft. That is, it is only “low-observable” under specific flying conditions, against specific air defense systems. Oh, and there are no (overt) “stealth” bombs. Opening up the belly of the aircraft or (worse) hanging a bomb off of the wing, makes a “low-observable” aircraft very observable. DEAD or SEAD would most likely be done by others before this expensive aircraft was close to the target.

No, there are thousands of contractors that do not have contempt for the USA for every joker like this. Just because the upper echelon managers of a company are greedy doesn’t mean every employee is greedy. So where do you work?

1973 saw the last sortie flown in the Vietnam War, 40 years ago. The 1968 Arab Israeli War was 5 years before that. Comparing today’s BVRAAM to 40–45 year old technology is very much like comparing an F-4 Phantom-II that first flew in 1958 to a Sopwith Camel that first flew 42 years earlier in 1916.

40+ years ago the missiles trailed a fat exhaust plume that could be seen, something that the best of the modern missiles no longer do.

40+ years ago missiles may have flown slow enough that sometimes a pilot had a chance of seeing it and maneuvering to avoid it, also no longer the case.

Its a mistake to base planning and procurements on any notion of refighting Grand-Daddy’s Wars. Time has only one direction, forward, and it waits for nobody.

FW has that mile-long, government-owned aircraft plant on which to built the F-35 (using that whole production line is part of previous SECDEF Gates’ comment about excessive contractor overhead) . Plus, based on all the compter driven supply chain imrpovements, the F-35 is more like a Lego simple-assembly aircraft, rather than a make-it-at-the-factory-from-a-lot-of-parts aicraft. That was the LM promise. So a ramp up shouldn’t be big deal. The real question is complete critical testing, then build. But as I said above, there’s really no rush because really there’s no threat that current aircraft can’t handle.

Dont forget TARGETS

What a waste of taxpayers money.

Thing is older planes can do the job fine. We got a good fighter in the F-22 we dont need this billion dollar boondoggle. This plane is inferior to the F-22 and F-15 in so many ways. Dump it.

My sense is the Taxpayer comments above and assessment are spot on. This is a far cry from when the Navy Bought the F-14. The way to get your own F-14 in the Mid 70s was to buy an acre of land around Miramar and wait a little while. One was almost certain to drop on it before too long. Believe that is why some of this delay in production makes good sense. When they find something they figure out why and fix it before it cost them a whole jet.

Toady’s BVRAAM technology still has all of the problems I mentioned. If any of those problems causes the BVR missile to miss (or not be fired), a dogfight is likely to result. Granted today’s missiles are harder to see, but today’s avionics make them easier to detect. That’s not a huge difference overall; dogfights can still be expected.

The F-35 is no better at dogfighting than the F-4 was; it was designed on the assumption that (1) the era of the dogfight was over and (2) there would be other jets (like the F-22) to take on enemy fighters. This has resulted in a huge gap in the armor of any air force that chooses to rely on the F-35.

And even that assumes that the aircraft works as designed and can be delivered at an affordable cost in a workable timeframe. None of these have been validated by the current testing program.

Principles of war, like surprise, economy of effort, mass and simplicity, are timeless. They have existed for millennia. I don’t think the technologists who conceptualised the F-35 reviewed them very carefully.

Software can be upgraded in aircraft as often as a new release is rolled out. No sense in waiting for the software to be perfect before we buy the aircraft, or we will wait forever. In the mean time we will be getting capability, that can and will be upgraded as time goes on. The Navy isn’t pushing this plane anyways, so not having landed on the carrier is not really an issue. The Helmet Mounted Display does work, and has flown on almost every missions (maybe with an exception of the alternate display sorties). While it is not yet perfected, the HMD is still planned to be the primary helmet system. Waiting to buy these aircraft will likely only increase the costs over time. Changes that will induce concurrancy has leveled off, and is not likely to be a major problem with future buys.

How is it that they won’t be used in combat? The will receive all the software updates that every other F-35 will get, and will eventually be as capable as any other F-35 that comes off the line. Certainly they will be used to train pilots to fly them, and they will also be used fight, as the plane continues to test and prove its weapons and sensors.

One day over the rainbow.…

who belongs in jail? That guy Snowden or the people in the military/industrial complex wasting the taxpayers money?

How many schedule slips? How many overruns? How many changes of PM? How many promises not kept? How many exaggerations of capabilities? How many software difficulties? Just keep adding to this list if you please and you’ll arrive at one of two conclusions. Either our acquisition system is busted or this particular acquisition is A bomb, not THE bomb. Maybe both are busted. You choose.

Quit with the “you guys don’t know aircraft or understand procurement” crap. Lift the fog and like Dan Ackroyd the ambulance driver said, “want to see something really scary?”

I can’t wait for it. When will this project end up and we (Turkey) use them? Anyway İf you wanna have a look at some great F-35 photos :


You’re correct, nowadays Lockheed can’t build “real” planes like Boeing.

Sorry for the wrong one. Here is the proper one: http://​savas​-ucaklari1​.blogspot​.com/​2​0​1​0​/​0​7​/​f​-35–

This whole JSF program is like a giant black hole that just sucks in the taxpayers money into it, the more money it sucks in the bigger it gets needing even more money to sustain the program, this program has been one boondoggle from the start pull the plug. Also I can’t believe the US Navy agreed to purchase this aircraft in the first place to operate off our carriers, it is a single engine aircraft , if you lose your only engine over the sea you are going for a swiml

I like it when individuals come together and share thoughts.

Great website, stick with it!


NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2015 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.