Showing posts with label F35. Show all posts
Showing posts with label F35. Show all posts

Monday 23 October 2023

HMS Prince of Wales’ fully-laden F-35 paves way for future carrier strike ops

Marshalled on the deck of HMS Prince of Wales off the US East Coast, this is an F-35B fully loaded. To the max. Topped out. Maximum effort.



It’s known in naval aviation parlance as ‘beast mode’: every pylon occupied by a weapon, the internal bomb bay bristling. Fully loaded, the F-35B can deliver 22,000lb of destructive and defensive power: air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and conventional and laser-guided bombs.

If you’re struggling to imagine a 22,000lb payload… it’s the equivalent of the heaviest bomb carried by a WW2 Lancaster bomber (the Grand Slam or ‘earthquake’ bomb). And it’s nearly three times more than the UK’s last carrier-borne strike aircraft, the Harrier GR9, over a decade ago. In this instance, the specially-modified F-35B from the US Navy’s Integrated Test Force was loaded with a combination of inert 500lb Paveway IV laser-guided bombs and inert 1,000lb Paveways in the weapons bay.

To date, F-35s have been taking off from the 350ft marker on the deck (roughly in line with the end of the forward island). Depending on a whole host of factors (including weather, wind over the deck, humidity) a fully loaded Lightning might need a full run-up to the ski jump to get airborne… which means starting all the way back at the 850ft marker… not too far from the rear end of the flight deck.

It’s the first time a full run-up has been tested on either carrier. And it’s also the first time bombs (albeit inert, practice models) have been dropped by aircraft launched from HMS Prince of Wales.

Captain of the Flight Deck Warrant Officer 1 John Etherington – who has experience of deck operations on Nimitz-class US carriers – was the sailor giving the ‘go’ to the pilots.

“It was impressive, launching the jet, all bombed up from the back of the flight deck,” he said. “It’s exciting to see us pushing the boundaries of UK naval aviation.” 
At the controls of F-35s in beast mode were US Marine Corps pilots Major Paul Gucwa and Lieutenant Colonel Mike Lippert.

This is the fourth time the latter has worked with the UK’s carrier force – three times helping HMS Queen Elizabeth develop her Lightning capability, now with Prince of Wales.

“It’s a pleasure to see the continued progress in operating capability - there has been undeniable growth and progress,” he said.

“Major Gucwa and I took great pleasure in continuing to expand the warfighting capacity of Britain’s biggest warship. We were a small part of an immense, cross-functional, integrated team which spanned every corner of the ship, the F-35 ITF mission control rooms, and our worldwide F-35 Lightning II partnership – all focused on increasing the interoperability and lethality of our front-line fighter.”






Tuesday 3 October 2023

The first four F-35 jets arrive for Royal Danish Air Force

 

Denmark's F-35 fleet will bolster all-domain deterrence and advance 21st Century Security


The Kingdom of Denmark officially celebrated the in-country arrival of its first four permanently based F-35A Lightning II aircraft at Skrydstrup Air Base, Denmark.

During the ceremony, Lockheed Martin officially handed over the certificate of ownership of Denmark's F-35s to the Danish Ministry of Defense Acquisition and Logistics Organization. More than 450 Danish and allied government, military and industry leaders gathered to commemorate the milestone, and over 8,000 local citizens participated in the Royal Danish Air Force's public open house. During the open house, the public learned more about the F-35's mission for Denmark, and industry suppliers and witnessed the F-35 and F-16 on flying display.  Braving the threatening clouds in South Jutland were also the Minister of Defense and the Crown Prince.

"Arrival of the first F-35 combat aircraft in Denmark is a historic event for the Danish Defence and the Royal Danish Air Force. It is thanks to close and professional cooperation between Lockheed Martin, the F-35 partnership and the Danish Defence, that Danish Defence now cross the threshold into the future of air defence," said Danish Minister of Defence, Troels Lund Poulsen.

Denmark has played a critical role on the F-35 program, joining in 2002 as a partner during the System Development and Demonstration phase, strategically influencing technical elements of the program. The Royal Danish Air Force also contributed a Danish F-16 to the Joint Strike Fighter 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California where it served as a chase plane for the F-35 Development, Test & Evaluation program. Danish industry has also contributed to F-35 production, development and sustainment activities and today, is building parts and components for each of the projected 3,100+ aircraft to be manufactured.



Tuesday 26 September 2023

RAF Typhoons land and take off from a road for first time

Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets have successfully landed on and taken off from a regular road for the first time.





Two of the RAF’s frontline jets tested and proved the capability in Finland as part of Exercise Baana. The Finnish Air Force’s annual training exercise took place on a single-lane road in Tervo, which is usually used for normal road traffic but specially designed as an emergency landing strip to sustain aircraft activity if required.

The RAF is focussing on ways to conduct Agile Combat Employment to outmanoeuvre an adversary – to survive an attack, disperse to remote locations and continue operating with minimal support.

The Officer Commanding of 41 Test and Evaluation Squadron was one of the two pilots to take part. He said:  “This is an opportunity to work with one of our newest NATO partners on an exercise in Agile Combat Employment. The Finnish have worked hard for decades on disparate operations should they be attacked and need to disperse their aircraft.  Once we landed on the strip we stopped to refuel before taking off again, I couldn’t help but look around and think ‘I am sitting in a jet on a road in the middle of a forest in Finland’. That was pretty crazy and definitely a first.”

A small number of RAF personnel were on the ground to refuel and maintain the aircraft to ensure they could continue operating.

A second pilot said:  “This is a great step forward for RAF Typhoon capability. We often talk about capability being the stuff that we fly with such as weapons and sensors.

What is great about this is it a novel way of employing the jet, improving our survivability against modern threats and operating from dispersed locations, and also doing that while working closely with our allies who are absolutely critical to future operations.”  

The RAF used to operate from unusual locations such as roads and fields during the Cold War, in order to make our aircraft harder for the enemy to find, Russian aggression in Eastern Europe has reminded us all of the need to be able to disperse our aircraft and be more unpredictable, so why we are completing exercises such as this.

This is the first time the RAF has taken part in the exercise, which is now part of the Finnish Air Force’s routine flying training. The Norwegian Air Force, also taking part for the first time, tested their F-35A Lightning aircraft, a 5th generation fighter jet also operated by the UK and 15 other allied countries.

The RAF Typhoons were operating out of Rissala Air Base and Tervo Road Base for these trials. It provides the opportunity to expand the combat air knowledge and practices of using Emergency Landing Strips and dispersed operations.

The UK and Finland enjoy a close defence relationship as NATO and Joint Expeditionary Force allies, and often train and deploy together on exercises around the world. Finnish troops also work side-by-side with the British Armed Forces to train Ukrainian recruits in the UK.











Monday 18 September 2023

US Marine Corps seek help finding F-35 Lightning II jet

The AP news agency is reporting that the search is on for the wreckage of a missing F-35 jet after a Marine Corps pilot ejected from the plane over North Charleston on Sunday afternoon.

The search for the missing multi-million dollar aircraft was being focused on two lakes north of North Charleston, according to officials. The search for the F-35 Lightning II jet was focused on Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, north of North Charleston based on its speed and trajectory.

Military officials said that a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division helicopter has helped search for the aircraft after some localised bad weather and were seeking assistance from locals to locate the downed jet. This is the latest in a series of incidents involving F-35 jets that have crashed or suffered serious mechanical issues. 

The pilot was taken to a local hospital and was said to be in 'a stable' condition after he ejected from the aircraft and parachuted safely down around 14:00 local time. 



Monday 21 August 2023

The UK's Royal Air Force practices rapidly relocating fighter jets....

Four Typhoons from XI(F) SquadronRAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire were instructed without prior notice to transfer to MOD Boscombe Down, Wiltshire as part of Exercise Agile Pirate. They were tasked to be ready to operate Quick Reaction Alert – to respond to potential aerial threats in or near UK airspace – without delay, testing the RAF’s ability to rapidly disperse and operate assets vital to UK defence. Later in the exercise they were joined by two F-35B Lightning aircraft, with the fifth-generation fighter jets also taking the opportunity to test their operability at an unfamiliar airbase.




The exercise is part of the RAF’s aim to conduct Agile Combat Employment or ACE. It is an approach to operations that requires RAF personnel and assets to be flexible and agile; operating in austere locations with minimal support, constantly moving and changing location to maintain the initiative, and outpace any action from an adversary whether in the UK or overseas alongside our NATO and Joint Expeditionary Force partners.

Support teams from multiple bases provided operations, engineering, logistics, communications, security, and catering to the Typhoon deployment. They too had no prior notice but were able to depart their home bases 3 hours after activation. An Atlas A400M transport aircraft delivered a bulk of essential equipment to Boscombe Down just hours after activation and a day later the deployment was operational.

The Typhoons were on standby in hardened aircraft shelters and were airborne within minutes following a scramble call from Tactical Air Command and Control, referred to as Tac Air C2. Specialists from 19 Squadron at RAF Boulmer dispersed to radar sites across the UK to give a full visual of the situation, called the Recognised Air Picture, and control the scrambled aircraft to intercept simulated threats. They achieved multiple successful intercepts of target aircraft, and with this, their largest dispersal of Tac Air C2 assets in decades demonstrated the RAF’s ability to rapidly deploy and operate in austere conditions.

MOD Boscombe Down is the home of military aircraft testing and evaluation. It is a former RAF site which has been operated by QinetiQ since 2001. QinetiQ were extremely positive in supporting the exercise – providing airfield and air traffic services, refuelling, and powered working areas. RAF Typhoons previously conducted Quick Reaction Alert from Boscombe Down in 2012 for the Olympics

The RAF deployment otherwise strived to have a minimal footprint and impact to the site. This meant catering provided by the RAF’s Mobile Catering Squadron – 3MCS, communication links from 90 Signals Unit, airfield security provided by RAF Police, and tented accommodation.








Wednesday 12 July 2023

Pratt & Whitney awarded $66 million for F135 Engine Core Upgrade work

Pratt & Whitney, an RTX business, has been awarded a $66 million definitized contract modification for continued F135 Engine Core Upgrade preliminary design efforts, resulting in a total of $180 million secured by the Connecticut congressional delegation for this engine modernization effort. The funding will further support design engineering, program management support, technology maturation, risk reduction, long lead material and hardware purchase, and weapons system integration.

"We're extremely grateful for the ceaseless support we receive from the entire Connecticut delegation," said Jen Latka, Pratt & Whitney's vice president for the F135 program. "We'll use this funding to make quick progress on our Engine Core Upgrade's preliminary design efforts, and that will keep us on track to deliver this important capability starting in 2028."

In March 2023, the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Navy chose to upgrade the F135 versus replace it with an entirely new engine. The decision was announced as part of President Biden's 2024 budget proposal.

"A modernized F-35 needs a modernized engine to support it. The additional $66 million for the F135 Engine Core Upgrade we've secured will help us maintain a skilled workforce in Connecticut and around the country to deliver this much-needed capability," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee. "Upgrading the F135 is the right decision to support our national defence priorities and defence industrial base, and I'll continue to ensure this program gets the support and funding it needs."

Monday 3 July 2023

Israel to get 25 more F-35 jets paid for by the U.S.

The Israeli government has approved the purchase of an additional 25 Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets in a deal which is said to be worth around $3 billion. 

These jets will form a third F-35 squadron and will take the number of F-35s in Israel's air force to 75. The Ministry of Defence said this deal will be financed through the defence aid package Israel receives from the United States.

Lockheed Martin and engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney have agreed to involve Israeli defence companies in the production of aircraft components according to the Israeli officials. A move that will no doubt be closely monitored by the UK's Royal Air Force which could have impacts on the future security of the jets. 

Wednesday 5 April 2023

BAE Systems to manufacture advanced block 4 F-35 electronic warfare systems to defeat evolving threats

BAE Systems has received $491 million in contracts from Lockheed Martin to produce state-of-the-art Block 4 electronic warfare (EW) systems for future Lot 17 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, adding to the 1,200 F-35 EW systems it has delivered to date. The powerful Block 4 systems will accelerate the delivery of advanced EW capabilities to warfighters by combining adaptable hardware and incremental software updates.

“The Block 4 EW system will offer greater situational awareness, enhanced survivability and increased capabilities to counter modern threats, and is upgradable to address evolving threats,” said Lisa Aucoin, vice president of F-35 Solutions at BAE Systems. “Our adaptable EW system will help warfighters execute missions today and into the future, and will reduce engineering and sustainment costs for the U.S. Department of Defense and its allies.”

The Block 4 EW systems will include significantly upgraded hardware and software that improves sensing and signal-processing capabilities. New, high-performance sensors will boost the system’s ability to detect difficult-to-observe threats and more threats simultaneously.

“Our modern facilities allow us to manufacture complex, intricate electronics at scale to deliver an affordable EW capability,” said Chris Rossi, director of F-35 production at BAE Systems. “The flexibility of our active production line will allow us to seamlessly transition to the Block 4 design without skipping a beat.”

Tuesday 4 April 2023

£161 million contract for F-35 jet maintenance supports 140 UK jobs

The UK’s fleet of F-35 Lightning stealth jets will be maintained and supported in a new £161 million contract, keeping them ready for global combat operations.

 

Based at RAF Marham, home of the UK Lightning Force, the investment sustains around 140 UK jobs – 130 directly at the Norfolk base, with around 10 more through the supply chain – delivering on the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy creating better-paid jobs and opportunities right across the UK.

A successor to a previous agreement due to conclude this year, the contract was signed by the US Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin as F-35 prime contractor, with BAE Systems to carry out the work as a sub-contractor.

Support contract awarded to Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems

Securing 140 UK jobs with majority at RAF Marham in Norfolk

Contract will see BAE Systems deliver technical support and training for UK’s fleet of F-35 fighter jets for next four and a half years


Providing support to the F-35 fleet until 2027, the arrangement offers the UK more freedom to operate the aircraft, increases the number of flying hours available and delivers important mission planning, training, and maintenance capabilities.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Alex Chalk KC, said:  "Our F-35 Lightning stealth jets are a formidable fighting force, putting us at the cutting-edge of air-borne military capability.

Supporting more than 100 jobs in the East of England, this investment will ensure our jets remain equipped for combat operations around the world."

Negotiated by Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), the Lightning Air System National Capability Enterprise (LANCE) contract will provide technical support and training services for the UK’s F-35 fleet.

The F-35 Lightning is a multi-role, stealth aircraft containing cutting-edge technologies which is flown by both the Royal Navy and the RAF. Although based at RAF Marham in Norfolk, it also operates from the UK’s two new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers and other land bases.




Thursday 12 January 2023

Magellan Aerospace celebrates Royal Canadian Air Forces order 88 F-35 fighter jets


Magellan Aerospace Corporation applauds the Government of Canada's announcement that it has reached a final agreement to acquire 88 F-35 fighter jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force. By selecting the F-35, Canada is continuing a relationship that was established between the original partnering nations for the development of the F-35.

The announcement secures significant benefits to the Canadian aerospace industry. To date, Canadian companies have been awarded high value contracts as part of the F-35 global supply chain amounting to $2.7 billion USD as a result of Canada’s partnership in the F-35 program. The Canadian economy is anticipated to benefit by more than $16.9 billion CAD over the life of the program. The actions taken by the government on the F-35 program will continue to deliver economic and technical advantages to Canada for decades to come.

As an international partner on the program, Canada’s aerospace industry has had many first-of-a-kind opportunities to work directly on F-35 production and provided companies the leverage to adopt some of the most advanced technologies in the world. The formal F-35 selection secures Canadian industry’s investment in the program and is expected to facilitate access to future sustainment opportunities.

Magellan sends congratulations to the Lockheed Martin team. Magellan has provided complex structural assemblies and other components for the global F-35 program since the initial system design and development phase.

Magellan is excited to continue its participation on the F-35 program that includes eight international partners — the U.S., United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Norway, Denmark, and Canada. Nine Foreign Military Sales customers are also procuring and operating the F-35 ­— Israel, Japan, South Korea, Poland, Belgium, Singapore, Finland, Switzerland, and Germany.







Monday 28 November 2022

617 Squadron jets and personnel aboard HMS Elizabeth visit Oslo



Royal Air Force F-35B Lightning jets and personnel from RAF Marham that are currently embarked on HMS Queen Elizabeth have visited the Norwegian capital of Oslo, as part of Operation Achillean.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is leading the UK’s Carrier Strike Group which has arrived in Oslo. Whilst alongside, the ship will host several defence engagement activities in Norway, which is an important strategic ally both bilaterally and within NATO for the UK.

Operation Achillean is a proof of concept deployment to demonstrate NATO's 5th generation maritime strike capability, comprising of F-35 jets supported by Merlin, and Wildcat helicopters.  All elements of Operation Achillean complement NATO and Joint Expeditionary Force activity, as the UK underscores its commitment to safeguarding European security.

In addition to the personnel from 617 Squadron, other RAF personnel have been embarked. Flight Lieutenant Pollard is currently serving as the Carrier Strike Group Air Battle Manager, "This was my first time in a truly tri-service environment, so it has been a period of new experiences and learning.

As an Air Battle Manager, it is my responsibility to coordinate activity in the airspace around the Task Group, including flying Royal Marines ashore, naval gunfire from our frigates and destroyers, and F-35B sorties from HMS Queen Elizabeth. To do all this safely and effectively takes a lot of teamwork, and the Royal Navy personnel on board have certainly made me feel a part of that very close-knit team.

For me, the first time I looked out from the aft island and saw the Task Group assembled around HMS Queen Elizabeth, with F-35s taking off from the deck and Merlins patrolling ahead of us, that was the moment I realised I was part of something special."

The HMS Queen Elizabeth, Carrier Strike Group, is being commanded by Commodore Angus Essenhigh OBE Royal Navy and his staff who are embarked aboard the aircraft carrier.

The deployment builds on vital UK Defence activity in the High North, deepening co-operation between, British and Norwegian air assets especially centred on RAF and Norwegian P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft and F-35 fighters.











Wednesday 23 November 2022

Magellan Aerospace Signs Multi-Year F-35 Lightning II Contract

Magellan Aerospace Corporation announced this week, the award of a multi-year contract from Lockheed Martin Corporation (“LMCO”) for complex machined titanium components for all three variants of the F-35 aircraft. This multi-million dollar contract will be carried out at Magellan Aerospace’s facility in Kitchener, Ontario over the period of 2023 to 2027. The contract is for shipsets of machined wing tie bars for the aircraft’s leading edge flap.

Magellan’s Kitchener facility has industry-leading expertise in titanium machining operations and world-class machining capability, with an emphasis on high-speed machining of hard metals such as titanium, Inconel and stainless steel.

This latest contract is a continuation of a long-established relationship with LMCO on the global F-35 fighter aircraft program. Magellan’s Kitchener facility was the first international partner on the F-35 program to deliver parts to the program in late 2003. Prior to these deliveries, Kitchener had made a significant investment in both equipment and technology that proved to be pivotal in securing its role on the program.

Tuesday 12 July 2022

RAF Voyager demonstrates large aircraft refuelling capability.....

Photo RAF / Crown copyright

A Royal Air Force Voyager has demonstrated an often forgotten capability, by carrying out an air-to-air refuelling training sortie with a C-130J Hercules.


The objective of the sortie was to provide training in the complex operational processes needed to refuel an aircraft in the air. The ability to do that is a key component of Royal Air Force flying operations. The Voyager is along with being a key element of strategic air transport for the RAF, it is also a duel role as the sole aerial refuelling aircraft meaning it is a true force-multiplier.

"Voyager is usually known for refuelling fast jet aircraft, acting as a force multiplier through extending their endurance on task three-fold.  However, in the context of C-130J operations, Voyager is more likely to be used to extend range, allowing the C-130J even greater reach without the need to land and refuel.  Training C-130J crews to safely receive fuel from Voyager remains as important now as ever."

Wing Commander Udall
Officer Commanding 101 Squadron


Photo RAF / Crown copyright


The concept of a force-multiplier means that as an aircraft the Voyager has the capability to increase the combat potential of other aircraft by being able to refuel them when required.  This in turn allows RAF combat jets, such as the Typhoon and F-35B, the ability to increase their time-on-task or range to conduct operations.

Air to Air Refuelling, also however allows larger RAF aircraft, such as the Atlas A400M and Hercules C130J, the ability to support humanitarian missions and airdrops in austere or difficult locations.  A recent example being when an RAF Hercules deployed to the Falkland Islands to conduct Exercise Austral Endurance.  This exercise saw the Hercules conduct a number of sorties dropping supplies onto the Sky-Blu Field Station in the Antarctic.

Without the Voyager, the Hercules would not have been able to reach Palmer Land, home of Sky-Blu and drop these vital supplies. Other examples were the enabling of C-130J humanitarian airdrops onto Mount Sinjar in 2014, and long-range parachute insertions into Eastern Europe that have been carried out over the last few years.

Photo RAF / Crown copyright

RAF Voyagers also train to conduct Air to Air Refuelling with other partner nation’s fast jets, USN EA-18 Growler, French and Qatari Rafales together with Canadian CF-18’s, being examples of refuelling sorties carried out this year.  Most recently RAF Voyagers have been conducting AAR sorties with USMC F/A-18 Hornets as part of the NATO Air response in Eastern Europe to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Voyager, therefore, remains a vital component of the air-mobility fleet which gives the RAF the ability to enhance the delivery of air power worldwide.

Monday 11 July 2022

RAF fighter aircraft sent to Finland and Sweden for joint training



The UK's Royal Air Force has deployed Typhoon FGR4 and F-35B Lightning jets to Finland, and Typhoon FGR4 jets to Sweden, for integrated fighter aircraft training as part of an increased presence in the region.

The deployments, which took place over the last month at the request of the host nations, allowed the partner air forces to develop their joint tactics and strengthen their ability to operate alongside each other.

Two F-35Bs and four Typhoons conducted high-end warfighting training with Finnish F-18 Hornets and Swedish Gripen aircraft, underlining the UK’s commitment to strengthening our collective defence capabilities.

The deployments are a practical demonstration of the mutual security assurance declarations that the UK signed with these nations in May, as they progress their respective applications to join NATO. All three nations already work together through the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force, which is a coalition of 10 member nations who cooperate to maintain the security of Northern Europe.

Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, said:  "Finland and Sweden are important defence partners and we welcome their applications to join NATO, which will make the alliance stronger as we face a renewed threat in Europe.

These deployments highlight our determination to enhance that partnership and ensure our forces can work together seamlessly."

The F-35 deployment to Finland came after two US F-35A visited for an air show in June. The F-35B’s arrival was of particular interest to the Finns as they recently announced that they will purchase F-35 aircraft. The UK Lightning Force will continue to develop their partnership with the Finnish Air Force as they integrate their new aircraft.

Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist said: "The Joint Expeditionary Force contributes to regional security and stability. Joint exercises, like the one here in Såtenäs, strengthen our ability to operate together in response to a crisis in our neighbourhood. This is particularly important in today’s challenging security environment."

The fighter jets were supported by teams of specialists from RAF Marham and RAF Lossiemouth. A Voyager aircraft from RAF Brize Norton also provided air-to-air refuelling to extend the duration of the combat sorties and an A400M Atlas deployed the support team to Sweden.

Working with similarly advanced air forces such as the Finnish and Swedish also provides an opportunity to learn from each other and identify areas of mutual benefit. The deployed teams spent time further integrating their systems, so that they can share information quickly on the exercise and in the future.

Monday 14 March 2022

Germany look to buy up to 35 F-35 fighter jets

Photo Lockheed Martin

News agency Reuters has reported that Germany is all set to buy up to 35 Lockheed Martin F35 fighter jets to replace its ageing Tornado aircraft, according to two government sources.

A German defence source told Reuters in early February that Germany was leaning toward purchasing the F35, which will be a blow for Boeing, who believed its F18 was favoured by former German defence minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to replace the Tornado.

The decision could also upset France. Paris has watched Germany's deliberations over the F-18 or more advanced F-35, concerned a deal could undermine the development of a joint Franco-German fighter jet that is supposed to be ready in the 2040s.  Chancellor Olaf Scholz two weeks ago backed the ongoing joint programme with Paris.  At the time, Scholz also announced that the Eurofighter jet, built by Franco-German Airbus, would be developed further to be capable of electronic warfare, a role the Tornado also fulfils.

Additional reporting by Andreas Rinke & Sabine Siebold.







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Tuesday 8 February 2022

Leaked security camera footage shows US F35 crash.


A grainy and wobbly leaked video of security cameras appears to show a US fighter jet crashing onto the deck of USS Carl Vinson - an aircraft carrier before being engulfed in flames and sliding into the sea, reports Forces.net

Now unofficial reports indicate that US Navy personnel are now desperately heading to the scene to salvage the F-35C Lightning II  which contains highly classified technology before Chinese submarines can get there and steal the wreckage. 

The incident has resulted in seven sailors being injured, with three requiring evacuation to a medical facility in Manila, Philippines, where they are in a stable condition, according to Pacific Fleet.






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Wednesday 30 June 2021

Switzerland picks F-35 Lightning II for its future air defence requirements

The Swiss Federal Council announced that it had chosen the Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II to fulfil its future air defence requirements.

F-35 is the most advanced, capable and affordable aircraft available for the Swiss Air Force's future fighter fleet

"We are honoured to be selected by Switzerland and look forward to partnering with the Swiss government, public, air force and industry to deliver and sustain the F-35 aircraft," said Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin's vice president and general manager of the F-35 Program. "With the selection, Switzerland will become the 15th nation to join the F-35 program of record, joining several European nations in further strengthening global airpower and security."

The Swiss Air Force will receive F-35A aircraft, a sustainment solution tailored to Swiss autonomy requirements, and a comprehensive training program.

The F-35 selection will deliver economic and technical advantages to the nation for decades to come. Swiss industry will have the opportunity to participate in research and development, production and sustainment opportunities that will extend their capabilities into the future. As a new participant in the F-35 program, Switzerland will benefit from Lockheed Martin's dedication to autonomy and sovereignty in integrating indigenous solutions.

To date, the F-35 operates from 21 bases worldwide, with nine nations operating F-35s on their home soil. There are more than 655 F-35s in service today, with more than 1,380 pilots and 10,670 maintainers trained on the aircraft. 

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BAE Systems Ramps F-35 Electronic Warfare System Production



BAE Systems, Inc. is providing Lockheed Martin with additional electronic warfare (EW) systems, retrofit kits, and spares for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. The contract builds on BAE Systems’ on-time delivery of more than 800 state-of-the-art AN/ASQ-239 electronic warfare/countermeasure systems to date, providing F-35 jets with critical situational awareness and survivability capabilities.

“We’ve delivered cutting-edge electronic warfare systems for every F-35 fighter,” said Deb Norton, vice president of F-35 Solutions at BAE Systems. “Our team is focused on manufacturing excellence and execution, providing agile, adaptable systems to outpace the current and future threat.”

This Lot 16 award comes as BAE Systems delivers Lot 14 systems and executes material orders for Lot 15. The company is currently producing 18 shipsets a month as it ramps production to more than 20 shipsets a month in 2022 to match F-35 aircraft Low Rate Initial Production.

The AN/ASQ-239 EW system provides advanced offensive and defensive capabilities that enable the F-35 to engage complex and highly capable threats. The innovative system is designed for performance, manufacturability, sustainability, and future upgradability.

Friday 28 May 2021

RAF Lightnings from HMS Queen Elizabeth deployed on Exercise Atlantic Trident

RAF F-35B fighters from the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth have been flying in a major international air exercise for the first time since the Carrier Strike Group sailed from the UK on its seven-month-long deployment.

The eight aircraft from 617 (Dambusters) Squadron flew with and against crews from France and the U.S. in simulated combat off the South West French coast.  The International Exercise called 'Atlantic Trident' is aimed at increasing understanding and the ability to fly and operate together.

Supporting the exercise was the RAF’s 101 Squadron flying Voyager tankers refuelling not only UK F-35Bs but those flown by the U.S. Marines, Rafale Jets from France and RAF Typhoons operating from RAF Coningsby.

Friday 21 May 2021

RAF join French and US Air Forces in Exercise Atlantic Trident

RAF Typhoons pilots of XI (F) Squadron have been exercising over France as part of a tri-nation Exercise called Atlantic Trident.

The Typhoons have joined US Air Force F-35As and French Rafale fighters in the exercise across two weeks to develop skills in working together, exploiting the strengths of the aircraft and developing the ability to operate as one team.

In week two this knowledge-building will grow further when RAF F-35B Lightnings will join the Exercise from the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The Exercise is taking place over south west and central France with the Typhoons joining daily events in the sky by flying from their home base at RAF Coningsby supported by RAF Voyager Tankers from RAF Brize Norton.

Flight Lieutenant Smyth, XI (F) Squadron pilot said:  “By flying together on Exercise Atlantic Trident, the U.S.A, France and UK will be able to deliver increased effect, as we will be able to better understand each other and come together to achieve optimum interoperability.

Training together is really important because it helps us to understand the similarities of our respective air arm, the strengths of each of our fighter aircraft, and how we can work together to improve, both technologically and operationally in terms of the effect we are trying to achieve."



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