Tuesday, October 30, 2012

F-35 program continues to make marked progress

As has been pointed out here numerous times, it appears the F-35 program is moving along nicely.  To reinforce that point, Reuters has a story out with a couple of interesting facts of which you may not have been aware:

Lockheed Martin Corp on Wednesday said it was making "great progress" on the F-35 fighter jet program, with F-35 deliveries exceeding those of F-16 fighters and C-130J transport planes combined for the first time in the third quarter.

Chief Operating Officer Chris Kubasik, who takes over as CEO next month, said there were 94 F-35 jets in various stages of production at Lockheed plants in Fort Worth, Texas and Marietta, Georgia, plus a final assembly plant in Italy run by Alenia, a subsidiary of Finmeccanica Sp.

Deliveries, for the first time exceeded those of the F-16 and C-130J.  94 F-35s are in production.  45 are flying. Cost is coming down.  The Marines are standing up their first operational squadron next month.  The testing remains ahead of schedule and pilot and maintainer training is going well.  Tailhook and helmet fixes underway.  Software moving along well too.  ALIS is 94% complete and being tested at Edwards AFB.

Sounds like a program hitting on all cylinders.


1 comment:

  1. http://www.airforce-magazine.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/2012/November%202012/1112fighter.aspx

    The F-35, while not technically a "supercruising" aircraft, can maintain Mach 1.2 for a dash of 150 miles without using fuel-gulping afterburners.
    "Mach 1.2 is a good speed for you, according to the pilots," O’Bryan said.

    This confirms two things.
    1. LM does not consider just going over M to be supercruising.
    2. It can

    Moreover, the surface material smoothes out over time, slightly reducing the F-35’s original radar signature, according to the Lockheed Martin official. Only serious structural damage will disturb the F-35’s low observability, O’Bryan said, and Lockheed Martin has devised an array of field repairs that can restore full stealthiness in just a few hours.
    The F-35’s radar cross section, or RCS, has a "maintenance margin," O’Bryan explained, meaning it’s "always better than the spec." Minor scratches and even dents won’t affect the F-35’s stealth qualities enough to degrade its combat performance, in the estimation of the company. Field equipment will be able to assess RCS right on the flight line, using far less cumbersome gear than has previously been needed to make such calculations.

    You read that right, the F-35's RCS gets BETTER over time, not worse through normal use.

    Much, much more at the jump.

    btw, the email listed on your profile page is not working.