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F-35 Deployment with Lockheed Martin

 . . . .August 8, 2014

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Israeli procurement (Continued from Wikipedia)

Over the course of Israelis history the Israeli air force has been the Avant-Gard for defense of the country and is expected to continue this heavy load for the foreseeable future.

According to many writings the IAF needs to introduce newer aircraft into her fleet to offset the aging vehicles she currently deploys, thus the efforts put forth to procure the F-35 with many variants, which have been ongoing for some time and only as of late have bore fruit.

As expected there are difficulties engaging all parties, some of whom see Israel as an aggressor, (to which this writer says you are mis-informed and need to educate yourself about the extraordinary efforts put forth by the men and women of Israel to this day in defense of their country.) in the latest rounds with the PLO, Hamas and their variants. Given the situation in Israel we all would do exactly the same for our home nations, but this is for another writing.

  • Israel has legitimate need for the F-35 as shown in the Jerusalem Post article cited here.
  • As reported by Lockheed martin in their press releases here by President and CEO Marillyn Hewson, they note:

    "The consolidation of IDF Technical Units to new bases in the Negev Desert region is an important transformation of Israel’s information technology capability. We understand the challenges of this move. Which is why we are investing in the facilities and people that will ensure we are prepared to support for these critical projects. By locating our new office in the capital of the Negev we are well positioned to work closely with our Israeli partners and stand ready to: accelerate project execution, reduce program risk and share our technical expertise by training and developing in-country talent."

This quote shows the commitment made by the supplier, willing to go the extra mile to make sure Israel has what she need when she needs it. Now the IDF and her supplier chain of back-office construction efforts need to step-up and ensure proper installations are readied for these critical moves. Without this, delays, cost overruns and situational awareness will be lost.

The writer has been and continues to support Israel both spiritually and physically in the field.

A short history of the F-35 to date:

  • 2007-8 F-35 talks underway
  • 2009 deal signed for 19 units with FMS monies of a possible 75
  • 2010 designs completed, purchase of further 20 units per potus agreement
  • 2011-12 assembly of planes begin in Turkey
  • 2014 infrastructure begins, Lockeed Martin begin operations in south Israel
  • 2015 IAI assembles first set of wings for the F-35, delivery to be 2015-2025
  • 2016 first units competes & tested, training underway
  • 2017-18 First planes to arrive at new AFB supported by new infrastructure
  • November 4, 2014: Israel recently agreed to purchase a second batch of 25 F-35s, following a meeting between Ya’alon and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Washington. Israel had already agreed to procure 19 F-35s for $2.75 billion, and the Israeli Air Force is making preparations to receive the fighters in 2017 and 2018
  • Total of 64 units.

Sadly the outlook is not good for the F-35.

F-35 May Never Be Ready for Combat

Testing Report Contradicts Air Force Leadership’s Rosy Pronouncements

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is the most expensive procurement program in Pentagon history. It’s been plagued by schedule delays, gross cost overruns, and a slew of underwhelming performance reviews. Last month the Air Force declared its variant “ready for combat,” and most press reports lauded this as a signal that the program had turned a corner. But a memo issued from the Pentagon’s top testing official, based largely upon the Air Force’s own test data, showed that the Air Force’s declaration was wildly premature.

Dr. Michael Gilmore’s latest memorandum is damning. The F-35 program has derailed to the point where it “is actually not on a path toward success, but instead on a path toward failing to deliver the full Block 3F capabilities for which the Department is paying almost $400 billion.” The 16-page memo, first reported by Tony Capaccio at Bloomberg and then by others, details just how troubled this program is: years behind schedule and failing to deliver even the most basic capabilities taxpayers, and the men and women who will entrust their lives to it, have been told to expect.

The Pentagon’s top testing office warns that the F-35 is in no way ready for combat since it is “not effective and not suitable across the required mission areas and against currently fielded threats.” (Emphasis added) As it stands now, the F-35 would need to run away from combat and have other planes come to its rescue, since it “will need support to locate and avoid modern threats, acquire targets, and engage formations of enemy fighter aircraft due to outstanding performance deficiencies and limited weapons carriage available (i.e., two bombs and two air-to-air missiles).” In several instances, the memo rated the F-35A less capable than the aircraft we already have.

The memo from the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation makes very clear that the constant stream of positive pronouncements made by the Joint Program Office and Air Force generals have been false. Statements that General Hawk Carlisle, the Air Force’s Air Combat Commander, recently made to the press and that Joint Program Office chief Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan has made in testimony on Capitol Hill are directly contradicted by the facts reported in the memorandum. “The F-35A will be the most dominant aircraft in our inventory because it can go where our legacy aircraft cannot and provide the capabilities our commanders need on the modern battlefield,” General Carlisle said during the IOC announcement. According to Dr. Gilmore, however, this is not the case and there is evidence that the Air Force knew this already. Before declaring its variant ready for combat the Air Force conducted and presumably read its own evaluation. The DOT&E memo clearly states that the findings contained within are “fully consistent” with the official report of the Air Force’s own internal IOC Readiness Assessment Team report.

See the rest of the article here --->




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