Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The F-35 JSF Super Maneuverability

Singapore officials view F-35 jets in U.S. ahead of possible purchase
U.S. F-35 fighter jet

Senior defense officials from Singapore got to see U.S. Marine Corps F-35 fighter jets in action on Tuesday at the Luke Air Force Base in Arizona as the Asian country mulls buying the Lockheed Martin Corp planes, a base spokeswoman said.

The aircraft flew to Luke Air Force Base, a pilot-training center near Phoenix, from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, which is about 175 miles (280 km) away. Yuma is home to the first operational squadron of F-35 fighter jets, said First Lieutenant Candice Dillitte, a spokeswoman for the Arizona base. The Singapore officials visited the base as part of Forging Sabre, a Singapore armed forces exercise taking place at Luke and at a nearby training range, according to a news release.

Singapore is considering purchasing F-35s in the future, but has not yet committed to an order or the timetable for when it may come. The U.S. government has already approved a letter of agreement for Singapore's possible F-35 orders, which had been expected months ago.

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Singapore's Chief of Defence Lt Gen Ng Chee Meng has confirmed purchase of F-35B fighter plane: US General

The Diplomat, 18 Oct 2013
In a wide-ranging interview with the Defense Writers Group in late July, General Herbert J. "Hawk" Carlisle was asked about Singapore’s interest in the Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program and if an initial sale had been made. He had this to say: “I talked to their CDF (Singapore’s Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Ng) Chee Meng.

I was just in Singapore. Singapore’s decided to buy the B model, the VSTOL variant to begin with. But I don’t know where they’re at in putting it into their budget. I know that’s a decision that’s been made and that’s why they’re part of the program, but I don’t know where they’re at in putting that in the budget”

Notoriously secretive about its military matters, defense officials in Singapore have neither confirmed nor denied the reports about its interest in the F-35B. However, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen had previously gone on record a number of times to say that Singapore is evaluating the F-35 for the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) next fighter, but that no decision has been made. General Carlisle’s remarks are the first indication of the direction Singapore’s Ministry of Defence will be taking with regards to an initial purchase. Full story

Pentagon Report: F-35 Program Struggles With Quality Management
Pentagon to review progress of F-35 fighter program next week - Reuters
Testing Finds Minor Cracks in Marine F-35 Bulkheads - Bloomberg

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The question is, should we buy the F-35?

At a recent parliamentary sitting, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said, “For the longer term, the Republic of Singapore Air Force has identified the F-35 as a suitable aircraft to further modernise our fighter fleet. The F-35 will be the vanguard of next-generation fighter aircraft in operation. We are now in the final stages of evaluating the F-35.”

AOL Defense reported that Singapore will be ordering twelve F-35Bs soon (‘S’pore soon to order 12 F-35Bs costing total S$3.5B‘).

According to Wikipedia [Link], the unit price of an F-35B, which is the short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant, is about US$240 million. Twelve F-35Bs will therefore cost Singapore US$2.8 billion or S$3.5 billion.


Is the F-35 worth it?

Minister Ng Eng Hen in Parliament: "The F-35 will be the vanguard of next-generation fighter aircraft in operation"

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the Pentagon’s newest warplane and its most expensive weapons system ever — nearly $400 billion to buy 2,400 aircraft. To put that in perspective, that’s about twice as much as it cost to put a man on the moon — this at a time when the White House and Congress are fighting over ways to reduce the federal deficit and cuts in defense spending are forcing the Pentagon to shrink the size of the military.

The Air Force, Navy and Marines are all counting on the F-35 to replace the war planes they’re flying today. If it performs as advertised, the F-35 will enable U.S. pilots to control the skies in any future conflict against the likes of China or Russia.

But the F-35 has not performed as advertised. It’s seven years behind schedule and $163 billion over budget, or as the man in charge of the F-35 told us, “basically the program ran itself off the rails.”

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US has important role in Singapore's air defence capabilities progress: Ng Eng Hen

Singapore's air defence capabilities have progressed significantly in the last two decades, and the US government and US Air Force (USAF) have played an important role in this by providing training opportunities and sharing of practices.

Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said this at the 20th anniversary parade of the Peace Carvin detachment at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona on Thursday.

He said the continuing engagement with the USAF has allowed the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) combat capabilities to grow from strength to strength, by developing new concepts and advanced tactics.


SAF looking into S$3b deal to upgrade F-16s

The Government is in discussions with the United States over a proposed US$2.43 billion (S$3.09 billion) deal to upgrade its ageing F-16 fighter jets, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on Wednesday.

The agency is required by US law to put up a notice of any potential arm sales to foreign countries.

In a news release posted on its website, the DSCA said it had informed the US Congress on Monday of the planned sale that would involve new radar, navigation systems, missiles and other advanced equipment.

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Done Deal

The script accompanying the Reuters video ran like this:

"Lockheed Martin released video of the F-35 joint striker fighter jet successfully performing a weapons test with a guided bomb. The video shows the aircraft releasing Guided Bomb Unit-32, or GBU-32, from its internal weapons bay at 25,000 feet above a military range in California's Mojave Desert on December 6. The GBU-2 hit its intended target of eight stacked cargo containers."

Maybe the wrong video was used, because after the smoke had cleared, the eight 40-footers are still intact. Then again, the pilot could have been aiming at something else. It happens.

Reuters: F-35 fighter jet passes bomb accuracy test

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The flawed concepts and designs of the F35

Anyone who wants a clear understanding on why the F35 is a conceptually flawed and very expensive piece of junk can listen to the opinions of experts

The F35 is supposed to do everything, close air support for the infantry, carries a lot of payloads  /bombs, a good interceptor fighter, and a stealth aircraft. It is like trying to put a Bentley, a Ferrari, a Landrover and maybe a motorcycle into one machine. The result is obvious, and that is what the F35 is all about, rojak.

Basically it is all about the same concept that someone was pushing a few decades ago, multi tasking and ended with everyone becoming jack of all trades and master of none. The assumption behind this concept is that everyone is a super talent so can be taught to be an expert in many tasks and roles. In reality multi super talent is a rarity.

Not only that, you would expect to have pilots that can perform like a super robocop in the cockpit to operate the aircraft to its maximum capability it was designed for. You need a machine to fly that machine.

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Pentagon considers cancelling F-35 program, leaked documents suggest

Leaked documents from a Pentagon budget review suggest that the agency is tired of its costly F-35 fighter jets, and has thoughts about cancelling the $391.2 billion program that has already expanded into 10 foreign countries.

Pentagon officials held a briefing on Wednesday in which they mapped out ways to manage the $500 billion in automated budget cuts required over the next decade. A slideshow laid out a number of suggestions and exposed the Pentagon’s frustration with its F-35 jets, which are designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp. based out of Bethesda, Md.  The agency also suggested scrapping plans for a new stealthy, long-range bomber, attendees of the briefing told Reuters

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke to reporters on Wednesday and indicated that the Pentagon might have to decide between a "much smaller force" and a decade-long "holiday" from modernizing weapons systems and technology.

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Pentagon downplays prospects of cancelling F-35, bomber

The U.S. military on Thursday downplayed concerns it could cancel the F-35 fighter and a new stealth bomber, after leaked documents from a budget review suggested the programs might be eliminated as one way to deal with deep budget cuts.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday that finding $500 billion (330 billion pounds) in budget cuts required by law over the next decade, on top of $487 billion in cuts already being implemented, required tough trade-offs between the size of the military and high-end weapons programs.

Pentagon briefing slides shown to various groups mapped out those tradeoffs in stark terms, indicating that a decision to maintain a larger military could result in the cancellation of the $392 billion Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 program and a new stealthy, long-range bomber, according to several people who saw the slides.

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F-35 fighter jet struggles to take off

After a decade of administrative problems, cost overruns and technical glitches, the F-35 is still not ready for action - June 12, 2013

Far beyond the electronic security gates and razor-wire topped fences, Col. Rod Cregier surveys a team of technicians busily readying a lithe F-35 fighter jet for its next test flight.

As the F-35 program director at the base, Cregier and his team play a crucial role in a nationwide military effort to get the high-tech jet ready for battle.

After a decade of administrative problems, cost overruns and technical glitches, the F-35 is still not ready for action. The program has consistently come under political attack even though the military considers it crucial to the nation's defense needs.

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Singapore Poised To Announce Purchase Of 12 F-35Bs

Singapore is expected to announce sometime in the next 10 days that it plans to buy its first squadron –12 planes — of some 75 of Lockheed Martin’s F-35Bs, further bolstering what had been the flagging fortunes of the world’s most expensive conventional weapon system.

The fact that American allies in the Pacific are the ones committing to the controversial and over-budget aircraft is telling. If you want to understand the calculus driving these choices, first look at China, which to countries such as Singapore, Japan, Australia, and South Korea is the primary long-term threat.

The Singaporeans are extremely shy about declaring their intentions in public, eager to offer few chances for China and Malaysia to react, but two sources familiar with the program confirmed the likely announcement. Given Singapore’s tiny size, its choice of which of the three F-35 versions to buy is not surprising. A plane that can take off almost vertically and can land vertically is able to operate from a much smaller footprint than, say the F-35A (the Air Force version) or F-16 Block 60s. And, given Singapore’s geography, the F-35B makes great sense for its ability to operate closely with the US Marines — as well as with F-35Cs operating from our aircraft carriers.

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Pentagon sees Singapore's decision about buying F-35s by summer

Singapore has shown "tremendous interest" in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter developed by Lockheed Martin Corp and will likely decide by this summer whether to buy the new warplane, the Pentagon's F-35 program chief said on Wednesday.

Air Force Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan told a subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee that he expected Singapore to decide by this summer whether to join the multinational fighter plane program.

He said he was also cautiously optimistic that South Korea could decide to buy the radar-evading F-35 in its 60-fighter competition, with a decision expected there in June.

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Reports Have Singapore Leaning Toward F-35B Variant

Singapore is poised to place an order for Lockheed Martin F-35s, with various reports suggesting that the most likely version is the F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (stovl) variant being developed for the U.S. Marine Corps.

The country’s defense minister, Ng Eng Hen, has told Singapore’s parliament that the ministry of defense has almost completed its evaluation of the F-35 as a replacement for Singapore’s aging Northrop F-5s. He also says the country’s Lockheed Martin F-16s will eventually need replacing and the aircraft are already midway through their life.

According to the Aviation Week Intelligence Network database, Singapore has 38 Northrop F-5s/Ts and 60 F-16C/Ds. It also bought 24 Boeing F-15SGs a few years ago.

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Singapore expected to order F-35 fighter jets soon - sources

Singapore, a major business and shipping hub with the best-equipped military in Southeast Asia, is expected to submit a "letter of request" soon for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, said two U.S. government officials who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The city-state could start the process as soon as this week to buy the planes built by Lockheed Martin Corp, one of the officials said. Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, makes the engine for the F-35.

Singapore's defence minister, Ng Eng Hen, said on Tuesday the air force "has identified the F-35 as a suitable aircraft to further modernise our fighter fleet".

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Singapore in 'final stages' of evaluating F-35

Singapore is in the final stages of evaluating the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as a possible replacement for its F-15 and F-16 planes, the defence minister said in remarks published Tuesday.

Ng Eng Hen told parliament on Monday that the wealthy city-state was also looking to replace its submarine fleet as part of plans to further improve its military, already the best equipped in Southeast Asia.

"Though the F-35 is still in development, we are nonetheless interested in the platform for our future needs," Ng said during a debate on the national budget.

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Singapore close to F-35 order — reports

Singapore is said to be close to ordering a dozen or more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, a move that would bolster the JSF program as it faces continued uncertainty and the possibility of US cuts.

AOL Defense reported that the tiny island nation would order the first 12 of 75 F-35Bs sometime in the next 10 days. The website did not cite any sources for the report, but speculation has been growing in recent weeks that Singapore was leaning toward the F-35 to update its already formidable air force.

Singapore’s defence minister, Ng Eng Hen, told the country’s parliament earlier this month that the F-35 had been identified as “a suitable aircraft to further modernise our fighter fleet.”

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Singapore expected to order F-35 fighter jets soon source

F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (rear to front) AF-2, AF-3 and AF-4, can be seen flying over Edwards Air Force Base in this December 10, 2011 handout photo provided by Lockheed Martin. Singapore is in the "final stages of evaluating" the F-35 to upgrade its air force, a process U.S. sources say should turn quickly into orders for several dozen of the stealthy warplanes that have been beset by cost overruns and delivery delays. REUTERS/Lockheed Martin/Darin Russell/Handout/Files

Singapore's F-35 order is expected to include the Marine Corps' B-model, which can take off from shorter runways and lands like a helicopter, said a source familiar with that variation of the plane.

Due to the city-state's small size and limited air space, its air force trains its fighter pilots in the United States and its helicopter pilots in Australia. Singapore was the world's fifth-largest importer of conventional weapons in 2008-2012, at four percent of the global total, trailing India, China, Pakistan and South Korea, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says

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Guessing game continues over Singapore's plans for F-35 fighter

Feet wet over the Singapore Strait, the Republic of Singapore Navy S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter had a VVIP passenger aboard for his final helo flight before changing name cards. Outgoing Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Chief of Air Force (CAF), Major-General Ng Chee Meng, made his last flight aboard the Seahawk in his capacity as CAF.

The flight was symbolic of the progress the RSAF had made in expanding its operational envelope from land to sea, now that Seahawks acquired under CAF's watch as part of Project Peace Triton are ready for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.

As the general prepared to step up to the role of Chief of Defence Force of the Singapore Armed Forces, one final flight awaited him in his capacity as CAF. This time, in a fixed wing fighter.

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Sngapore looks to ties that bind

The order could be for 12 F-35Bs (estimated cost: US$2.8bil (RM8.6bil)), which can take off and land vertically, a useful feature given Singapore’s limited air space.

However, it is not known if there are further plans to buy more in future. Reuters quoted industry and US sources as saying Singapore may buy up to 75 F-35Bs eventually.

Singapore was the world’s fifth-largest importer of conventional weapons in 2008-12, at 4% of the global total, the Stockholm Inter­national Peace Research Institute says. It trailed behind India, China, Pakistan and South Korea.

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F-35 JSF For Singapore Air Force

The Singapore Ministry of Defence and the United States Department of Defense signed a Letter of Intent this morning to mark Singapore’s intention to participate in the System Design and Development Phase of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme. The arrangement provides an early opportunity to assess the JSF’s ability to meet the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s operational requirements. Singapore will have insights into the JSF’s development progress and be able to conduct studies for integration of Singapore’s requirements into the JSF. As an SCP, Singapore can also request early purchase of the JSF for delivery from 2015 onwards and will probably replaces the F-16 by 2020.

The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme originated from two separate programmes – the United States Air Force/Navy Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST), and the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) Common Affordable Lightweight Fighter (CALF) projects of early 1990s. The projects merged in 1994 and the programme was renamed Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) in 1995. In Oct 2001, Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract to build the JSF, also designated as the F-35.

The JSF is a supersonic multi-role stealth fighter designed to carry new generation of advanced weapons. It has a fully integrated weapon system that allows the JSF pilots to locate, identify and precisely strike mobile targets in any kind of environment. It is also designed to ensure enhanced combat survivability through radio frequency/infrared signature reduction and on-board countermeasures.

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F-35 JSF, Singapore expressed interest

An article published in TODAY newspaper which describe Singapore’s interest in possibly buying up to 100 of this 5th generation fighter aircraft. One of the world’s most advance multi-role fighter aircraft which can operate in any environment in attacking moving targets. Here’s the scoop.

Said Air Force Major-General Charles Davis, the Pentagon’s programme chief: “The Israelis have said they’d take up to 100 aircraft. The Singaporeans have said basically the same thing.” Embassy spokesmen for the two countries had no immediate comment. The world’s most advanced fighter jet, the supersonic F-35 is designed to attack moving targets in any environment.

It uses stealth technology to prevent detection by radar or infrared sensors. Development of the super-fighter was co-financed by Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway. Singapore, as a security cooperation participant of the multinational programme, has access to proprietary information, including flight simulations. Israel is currently the only nation involved at this level, one rung down from the nine JSF programme partners.

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Singapore requests AMRAAM missiles

WASHINGTON, April 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. military has notified Congress of a possible $210 million package deal to Singapore for 100 AIM-120C7 AMRAAM missiles.

Included in the Foreign Military Sale would be would be associate equipment, parts, training and logistical support, including an AMRAAM programmable advanced system interface simulator and 10 AMRAAM Spare Guidance Sections.

Other equipment in the deal would be AN/AVS-9(V) night vision goggles and common munitions built-in-test reprogramming equipment as well as missile containers, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools and test equipment, and U.S. government and contractor logistics and support.

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Singapore Orders AIM 9X-2 Sidewinder Missiles

The Government of the Republic of Singapore has requested a possible sale of 20 AIM 9X-2 SIDEWINDER Block II All Up Round Missiles, 8 CATM-9X-2 Captive Air Training Missiles, 5 CATM-9X-2 Block II Missile Guidance units, 2 AIM-9X-2 Block II Tactical Guidance units, containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated cost is $36 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by increasing the ability of the Republic of Singapore to contribute to regional security. Its contributions to counter-piracy and counterterrorism efforts continue to stabilize a critical chokepoint where much of the world’s goods and services transit en route to and from the Asia Pacific region. The proposed sale will improve the security of a strategic partner which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia Pacific region. Specifically, this proposed sale will improve the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) air to air capability and ability to defend its nation and cooperate with allied air forces

The Republic of Singapore requires these missiles to meet current and future threats of enemy aircraft. The proposed sale will enhance RSAF’s ability to operate with coalition forces in bilateral and multilateral exercises and potential air defense operations. Singapore will use these capabilities as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense. Singapore will have no difficulty absorbing the AIM-9X-2 into its armed forces.

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China unveils new stealth fighter at air show
China's newest stealth fighter jet debuted at an air show here Tuesday, as the country put its military technologies on display

The J-31, which bears resemblances to the latest American F-35 stealth fighter, was showcased on the opening day of the biennial China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, or Airshow China. Although still under development, China apparently has its sights set on beginning mass production within five years.

Air forces, defense contractors and aircraft manufacturers from various nations displayed their planes and other equipment at the show. Roughly 700 companies from 41 countries participated this year.

China has been increasingly exerting its influence in the East China Sea and South China Sea. The J-31 is expected to operate from aircraft carriers. Once the fighters are deployed aboard carriers, they will enable the requirements of most military operations to be met, reported a local newspaper.

related: China concerns fuel Japan's drive for homegrown fighter jets

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