Tag Archives: Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

F-22 will provide targeting for submarine based Tomahawk cruise missiles

In an interview General Hawk Carlisle gave to Breaking Defense, the PACAF commander provided several interesting examples of how Pacific Defense is reshaping around capabilities becoming available across the different services.

One of them, sees 5th generation aircraft to provide forward target identification for strike missiles launched from a surface warship or submerged submarine.

Indeed, Carlisle “described the ability of advanced aircraft, in this case the F-22, to provide forward targeting through its sensors for submarine based T-LAMS (cruise missiles) as both a more effective use of the current force and a building block for the emergence of the F-35 fleet in the Pacific.”

Leveraging cross-domain sinergy, Air Force and joint assets can provide greater capability within a “distributed strike package” that would see the multi-role stealthy Raptors as “electronic warfare enabled sensor-rich aircraft” that will have to fulfill several different tasks. Including, targeting and information gathering.

The current focus is on exploiting advanced war tech to get a better picture of the target (and hit it surgically) as well as moving assets in place as quickly as possible: the U.S. Air Force has already developed a new Rapid Raptor deployment concept to deploy a package of four F-22s (hardly trackable because of the small footprint) within 24 hours of deploying orders with the aim to have them where needed while preventing adversaries from knowing from which airbases they will be launched.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


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[Photo] First F-35 sporting “LF” tail code for Luke Air Force Base

Not only is it the 100th F-35, but it’s also the first aircraft bound to Luke Air Force Base, near Phoenix Arizona, the airbase chosen by the U.S. Air Force for the international F-35 pilot training.

The aircraft will arrive at Luke early in 2014, and it will be the first of 144 F-35s that will operate within 56th Fighter Wing’s six squadrons for U.S. and allied JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) training.

Image credit: LM


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[Video] Small plane lands on deck of a cargo ship. A future for low cost naval aviation?

Some small navies around the world (or largest ones with budget problems) may consider this set up: a small, STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) plane and a flat deck merchant ship for future low cost naval aviation?

Just kidding.

Still, the video, recorded with several cameras including some inside the plane and others on a Cessna 172 camera ship, is interesting as it shows the extreme STOL Foxbat A22 landing on a modest 3,500-ton multipurpose vessel 93 meters in length.

The small aircraft was flying just above stall speed, the ship was sailing at 9 knots into the wind and, even if the air speed was enough to keep the Foxbat flying, the speeed relative to the ship was almost zero.

Using a procedure that vaguely reminds that of real STOVL planes (like the F-35B and, above all, the AV-8B Harrier) approaching an amphibious assault ship, the A22 nears the deck in front of bridge 60 metres x 15 meters and then almost falls vertically to touchdown.

H/T to Michael Guthenberg for the heads-up


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F-35 makes a step towards operational status with first guided weapon drop test

Even if the bomb used in the test did not contain any explosive, the F-35 test team made a new step towards operational status by conducting the program’s first guided weapon test on Edwards Air Force Base Precision Impact Range Area in California, on Oct. 29.

The Electro-Optical Targeting System, or EOTS, enabled the pilot to identify, track, designate and deliver the GBU-12 on target.

The F-35B, the STOVL (short takeoff and vertical landing variant) of the Joint Strike Fighter, released the weapon from its internal weapons bay from 25,000ft. The bomb fell for 35s before hitting the designated target (a tank).

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RAF pilot performs first UK takeoff of F-35B Lightning at sea

Beginning in 2018, according to the current schedule, the F-35B, the STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) version of the Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter, will operate from Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers.

Whereas pilots and ground crews are working alongside their U.S. Marine Corps counterparts at Eglin Air Force Base, in Florida, a UK pilot, Sqn Ldr Jim Schofield, performed the first UK takeoff of an F-35B at sea on USS Wasp.

As part of the testing campaign aimed at expanding the plane’s flight envelope, the F-35B conducted vertical night landings on USS Wasp off the Florida coast.

Noteworthy, the pilot explains how easy to fly is the STOVL JSF, compared to the legendary Harrier Jump Jet.


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