Combat Aircraft UK - 2019 August
Download Combat Aircraft UK - 2019 August
| 100 pages | Country: United Kingdom | Language: English | PDF True | 15 Mb |
OVER 400 F-35 Lightning IIs have been delivered to the US military to date. The US Air Force has 283, the US Marine Corps 87 and the US Navy is flying 30. Lockheed Martin is on track to deliver 131 jets to US and international customers this year. Yet, remarkably, all of these fighters will require significant upgrade work almost as soon as they reach their operators.
The nature of the F-35 program and its concurrent development approach mean that improvements are being made constantly as the aircraft matures and as experience drives change. These aircraft are literally out of date almost as soon as they leave the factory.
A lot of the upgrades will be softwarerelated, however, hardware too will need to be changed. This will render some of the early F-35s beyond economic upgrade — too much will need to be replaced and buying new will likely be a cheaper alternative!
The F-35 approach addresses the need to constantly improve and enhance a fighter with frequent pulses of new technology —it is supposed
to do away with traditional, clunky, mid-life upgrades that are rolled out maybe 15 years into service. It makes combat aircraft more relevant, fit for the current fight.
Tech Refresh 3 (TR3) is the next big capability milestone for the F-35, coming in the 2023 timeframe. It will be centered upon a new Harrissupplied core processor to facilitate improvements in radar performance, a new panoramic cockpit display and open-system architecture.
Lockheed Martin will argue that customers will be able to opt in or out of such an upgrade, but failure to do so will render their aircraft obsolete in no time at all. So, if you join the F-35 program, you need to stay on the capability treadmill or find a clever way to support your shiny new fighters outside the core program, which could be tricky at best, likely impossible.
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