"Wo steht die F-35? (Block 3F) nach DOT&E Jan 2017" - Views: 970 · Hits: 970 - Type: Unlisted

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Wo steht die F-35? (Block 3F) nach DOT&E Report Jan 2017

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Erstmal vorab, Piloten, die Ihren Job behalten wollen kann man nicht trauen. Die Frage ist auch ob diese Piloten, die sich sehr positiv zur F-35 äußern, analog zu USAF Piloten ein PR Handbuch bekommen haben. Manche sind halt keine guten Schauspieler und klingen wie Gebrauchtwagenverkäufer.
Die Testpiloten berichten auch andere Erfahrungen ;-)
Davon finden sich weiter unten so einige. 

Und das die F-35 schon wird, ist eine PR Illusion.
Darin ist Lockheed erstklassig.
Übungen kann man sich entsprechend zurechtschneidern und wenn man mal etwas genauer hinsieht, war zumindest Luftkampftechnisch die Kombination aus F-22 und F-15C/D doppelt so effektiv wie die aus F-22 und F-35 - ups.
Die F-15C/D ist nicht gerade Hightech. 

Man muss auch klar sagen das die Digitalisierung des Krieges auch in die F-15, die F-18 und Saabs Gripen eingezogen sind. 
Die neusten Versionen dieser Kampfflugzeuge haben alle leistungsstarke Avionik und ein großes Multifunktionsdisplay. 
Selbst in Textrons Scorpionjet, einer leichten COIN Plattform, soll diese Technik einziehen. Auch in Grob's G 520NG ist das Cockpit voll mit schönen bunten Displays. 
Das sagt allerdings nicht viel über die restliche Avionik aus und auch die Datenlinks kommen bei der Datenmenge nicht mehr mit. 

Und nur Vorteile hat das auch nicht, die Software ist instabil und ob sie sicher ist, weiß man auch nicht:

"The cybersecurity testing in 2016 showed that the program
has addressed some of the vulnerabilities identified during
earlier testing periods; however, much more testing is needed
to assess the cybersecurity structure of the air vehicle and
supporting logistics infrastructure system (i.e., ALOU, CPE,
Squadron Kit) and to determine whether, and to what extent,
vulnerabilities may have led to compromises of F-35 data."

Die neue AWACS Version hat da auch so ihre Schwierigkeiten. 

Und eine Ähnlichkeit zum A400M hätten wir da auch noch:

"Pilots consistently rated the Offboard Mission Support
(OMS) mission planning system as cumbersome, unusable,
and inadequate for operational use. As a result, the time
required for operational planners to build a mission plan
is excessive and cannot support current planning cycle
requirements for multiple aircraft combat missions.
Additionally, the post-mission download times are too long
to support operational debriefing requirements."


Es wird immernoch heile Welt gespielt, obwohl der Berg an Problemen immer weiter wächst. Dumm nur das den Kumpanen bei Lockheed, im JPO (Joint Strike Fighter Program Office) und im Pentagon noch jemand über die Schulter schaut. 

"The Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E) is the principal staff assistant and senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense on operational test and evaluation (OT&E) in the Department of Defense (DoD)."

Die schreiben immer die netten Berichte, die man in gekürzter Form auf deren Webseite (http://www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/FY2016/) einsehen kann und die, denke ich zumindest, auch bei Airbus gelesen werden.  

(Im Moment wird diese Behörde kommissarisch geleitet, da Trump den Behördenchef, mit vielen anderen von Obama eingesetzten Personen, entlassen hat und natürlich keinen Ersatz hatte.)

Zur Übersicht mal die Berichtsstärke einiger Programme:
Der CH-53K kommt auf nichtmal 3 Seiten, 
Abrams M1A2 System Enhancement Program 2 Seiten, keine Kritik. 
Boeing P-8A Poseidon 3 Seiten,
DDG 1000 Zumwalt Class Destroyer 3 Seiten,
Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) 4 Seiten.
CVN 78 Gerald R. Ford Class auch nur 6 Seiten,
Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) schon 20 Seiten,
Und die F-35? Die kommt auf 61 Seiten, von 48 im letzen Jahr.

Der Bericht wäre noch länger, wenn a) alle noch ungelösten Probleme erneut aufgeführt würden und b) Lockheed eine Ahnung hätte wie man all die Probleme lösen könnte:

"Significant, well-documented deficiencies; for hundreds
of these, the program has no plan to adequately fix and
verify with flight test within SDD (system design and development phase);"

Manche wird man dummerweise nie lösen können, dafür hätte man die Entwicklung erst abschließen und dann nochmal in eine neue Prototypenphase gehen müssen. 
Aber das sind bestimmt nur Kleinigkeiten!

"The Services have designated 276 deficiencies in combat
performance as “critical to correct” in Block 3F, but less
than half of the critical deficiencies were addressed with
attempted corrections in 3FR6. "

Vielleicht auch nicht aber wenigstens fliegt sie schon!

"Flight sciences testing continues to be a source of significant
discovery, another indication that the program is not nearing
completion of development and readiness for IOT&E (Initial Operational Test & Evaluation)."

"Block 3F envelope testing required an inflight structural
temperature assessment, which yielded higher than
predicted air flow temperatures in the engine nacelle bay
in high-speed portions of the flight envelope under high
dynamic pressures. This resulted in higher than expected
nacelle structural temperatures on both the F-35A and
F-35C aircraft. Thermal stress analyses of the affected
parts are necessary before the program can provide the full 
Block 3F flight envelope for fleet release. The outcome
may result in restricting fielded operational aircraft to
600 knots airspeed below 5,000 feet altitude or a structural
change; this will be determined when the Services review
the analyses and issue the military flight release, which
certifies the operational flight envelope. "

"All F-35 variants display objectionable or unacceptable
flying qualities at transonic speeds, where aerodynamic
forces on the aircraft are rapidly changing. Particularly,
under elevated “g” conditions, when wing loading causes
the effects to be more pronounced, pilots have reported
the flying qualities as “unacceptable.”"

"Excessive and premature wear on the hook point of the
arresting gear on the F-35A, occuring as soon as after only
one use, has caused the program to consider developing a
more robust redesign."

...

Einzelfall, da geht man einmal drüber und dann passt das schon!

"Fatigue and migration of the attachment bushing in the
joint between the vertical tail and the aircraft structure are
occurring much earlier than planned in both the F-35A
and F-35B, even with a newly designed joint developed to
address shortfalls in the original design. " 

Hm, auch im zweiten Anlauf versaut. 

"The program has yet to complete the additional testing and
analysis needed to determine the risk of pilots being harmed
by the Transparency Removal System (which shatters the
canopy first, allowing the seat and pilot to leave the aircraft)
during off-nominal ejections in other than ideal, stable
conditions (such as after battle damage or during out-ofcontrol
situations)."

Dafür soll der Schleudersitz kleineren Piloten nicht mehr das Genick brechen! Das doch positiv?

Mal davon ab das AIM-9X und AIM-120D nun keine brandneuen Hightech Flugkörper mehr sind, funktioniert auch da nicht alles nach Plan:

"Several WDAs have revealed deficiencies and limitations
to weapons employment (e.g., AIM-9X seeker status
tone problems and out-of-date launch zones for AIM-120
missiles)."
Hat bei der F-22 auch ein paar Jahre gedauert.

Das kann Lockheed aber noch überbieten:
"Limitations to the carriage and employment envelope of
the AIM-120 missile above 550 knots may be required
due to excessive vibrations on the missiles and bombs in
the weapons bay. Analyses of flight test data and ground
vibration test data are ongoing (this applies to all variants)."

"- Ongoing radar and fusion deficiencies affecting air-to-air
target track stability and accuracy, which could cause
reduced missile lethality
- Multiple hung stores, which typically result in an inflight
emergency, occurred with the AIM-9X due to mission
systems software and weapon integration deficiencies
- Problems with integrating the British AIM-132 ASRAAM
missile and Paveway IV bomb; changes to address these
problems could have unintentionally affected the U.S.
AIM-9X and laser-guided bomb capabilities, which may
require regression testing of these U.S. weapons"

"Pilots experienced multiple inflight failures of the Fuselage
Remote Interface Unit (FRIU), an electronic component that
provides the interface between the aircraft avionics and all
weapon stations, which often disrupted the ground attack
profile. The failures resulted in degraded weapons at critical
phases of the target attack profile and required the pilots
to abort the attack, reset the FRIU to regain control and
communications with the weapon, and then recommit to a
follow-on target attack. Such target attack interruptions are
unacceptable for combat operations"


Aber die Boardkanone geht doch? 
"F-35A: Testing revealed that the small doors that open when the gun is fired
induce a yaw (i.e., sideslip), resulting in gun aiming errors that
exceed accuracy specifications."

"Further delays in completing gun testing for all three
variants and recently discovered gunsight deficiencies"

"Vibrations induced by the gun during firing are excessive
and caused the 270 volts DC battery to fail. The program
began qualification testing of a redesigned battery in 2015,
but cracks in the casing discovered after the first series
of testing required additional redesigning of the battery.
Requalification of a newly designed battery has not yet
occurred as of the writing of this report."

Bei der F-35B sieht es noch übler aus. 
Zu den Problemen der A Variante, hat sie, genau wie die C, noch zusätzlich ihr eigenes Päkchen zu tragen. 
Die bisher angepeilte Freigabe sind magere 7G und Mach 1.6

"Horizontal tail overheating was experienced on BF-3
during loads testing while accelerating to 1.5M for a loads
test point. The left horizontal inboard fairing surface
reached temperatures that exceeded the design limit by
a significant amount. Post-flight inspections revealed
de‑bonding on the trailing edge of the horizontal tail
surface and heat damage was noted on the horizontal
tail rear spar"

"An F-35B assigned to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort,
South Carolina, experienced a fire within the weapons
bay during a training mission in late October 2016. 
incident, although still under investigation, resulted in a
Class A mishap (involves loss of life or damage of more
than $2 Million)."

Dem Piloten geht es besser als seinem Flieger.
Bisher gibt es auch keine Möglichkeit für Löschtrupps von außen die Waffenbuchten zu öffnen oder Wasser einzuleiten.
"However, the closed bay adapter, which intends
to use water pressure to drive a saw to cut into the aircraft
and lock a hose in place to douse a loaded weapons bay
during a flight deck fire, was not yet ready for deployment."

Gerade für die B und C Versionen ist das ein Problem. Die Navy hat keine guten Erfahrungen mit Bränden auf Flugzeugträgern.

Die B ist auch die erste, die zu schwer wird:
"The program completed the final weight assessment
of the F-35B air vehicle for contract specification
compliance in May 2015 with the weighing of BF-44, a
Lot 7 production aircraft. Actual empty aircraft weight
was 32,442 pounds, only 135 pounds below the planned
not-to-exceed weight of 32,577 pounds and 307 pounds
(less than 1 percent) below the objective VLBB
not‑to‑exceed weight of 32,749 pounds
[...]
Estimates for FoM weight growth include an additional
250 pounds, which will exceed the vertical landing
structural limit not-to-exceed weight of 33,029 pounds
for the Lot 2 through Lot 4 aircraft. This additional
weight may prevent these aircraft from being upgraded
to the Block 4 configuration."

Saubere Arbeit! Ich gehe auch mal davon aus, das selbst Mängelfreie Block 3F Flieger zu schwer wären.

Wer will mal lachen? (also so wahnsinnig, vom Glauben abfallend)

Die USA haben die ersten 2 Docklandungsschiffe der America Klasse OHNE Dock als F-35B Flugzeugträger gekauft. 
Und dann sind da noch die andern Trottel, mit ihren 2 Queen Elizabeth Klasse Trägern OHNE Katapulte, die auch alles auf ein unfertiges Kampfflugzeug gesetzt haben.

Die C schießt aber den Vogel ab.

"Flight testing of structural loads with the AIM-9X
air-to-air missile, which will be carried on external
pylons outboard of the wing fold in the F-35C, shows
exceedances above the wing structural design limit
during flight in regions of aircraft buffet (increased
angle-of-attack) and during landings. To address these
deficiencies, the program is developing a more robust
outer wing design, which is scheduled for flight testing in
early CY17."

"Weapons environment testing showed that the
aircraft experienced transient rolling conditions while
asymmetrically opening and closing the weapon bay
doors (WBD). The flight control laws were designed
to compensate for the doors opening and closing
asymmetrically. The program corrected the on-board
aerodynamic models in two vehicle systems software
updates (versions R31.1 and R35.1) to reduce the roll
transients. These corrections resolved the transients for
the subsonic and transonic flight regimes, but not for
supersonic regimes."

"As reported in previous DOT&E Annual Reports, the
F-35C experiences buffet and transonic roll off (TRO),
an uncommanded roll, at transonic Mach numbers and
elevated angles of attack. It is caused by the impact of
airflow separating from the leading edge of the wing that
“buffets” aft areas of the wing and aircraft during basic
fighter maneuvering. The TRO and buffet occur in areas
of the maneuvering envelope that cannot be sustained
for long periods of time, as energy depletes quickly and
airspeed transitions out of the flight region where these
conditions manifest. However fleeting, these areas of the
envelope are used for critical maneuvers. Operational
testing of the F-35C during IOT&E will assess the effect
of TRO and buffet on overall mission effectiveness."

"Due to the stiffness of the landing gear struts,
particularly the nose gear, taxiing in the F-35C results
in excessive jarring of the aircraft and often requires
pilots to stop taxiing if they need to make changes using
the touchscreens on the cockpit displays or to write
information on their kneeboard. Currently, the program
has no plans to correct the deficiency of excessive jarring
during F-35C taxi operations"

"Excessive vertical oscillations during catapult launches
make the F-35C operationally unsuitable for carrier
operations [...]
the deficiencies were considered
acceptable for continuing developmental testing. Fleet
pilots reported that the oscillations were so severe that
they could not read flight critical data, an unacceptable
and unsafe situation during a critical phase of flight. Most
of the pilots locked their harness during the catapult shot
which made emergency switches hard to reach, again
creating, in their opinion, an unacceptable and unsafe
situation"

"The developmental test team conducted night operations
with modifications to the Helmet Display Unit for the
Gen III HMDS that permitted lower illumination settings,
intended to reduce the amount of “green glow” in the
helmet display that makes seeing the lights on the carrier
difficult during night operations. The test pilots reported
that the refined brightness control somewhat improved the
night carrier approaches; however, “green glow” was still
a significant problem and is the subject of two Category 1
deficiency reports."

Die Marineversion kann nicht sicher von einem Träger aus operieren, das ist ja unglücklich. 

"Overheating of the Electro-Hydraulic Actuator System
(EHAS) occurs under normal maneuvering in the F-35C.
The EHAS actuators move the flight surfaces and are
cooled by airflow across the control surfaces. Pilots are
alerted in the cockpit of an overheat condition and must
then minimize maneuvering and attempt to cool the
EHAS by climbing, if practical, to an altitude with lower
temperatures to enhance cooling. Recovery and landing
must be completed as soon as possible, terminating the
mission."

Da fehlen einem irgendwie die Worte.

Der aktuelle Stand der Einsatzfähigkeit kurz und knapp: 

"Significant, well-documented deficiencies resulting in
overall ineffective operational performance of Block 3F,
hundreds of which will not be adequately addressed with
fixes and corrections verified with flight testing within
SDD (System Design and Development) "

Das sagt einiges über IOC bei Marines und AirForce aus, denn die bekamen nichtmal das volle Block 3F "Potenzial".

Bei der Überlebensfähigkeit rächt sich auch wieder das die Treibstoffleitungen durch den ganzen Flieger gehen, um die Systeme zu kühlen und die Sperrventile vor fast 10 Jahren aus dem Design gestrichen wurden.
Man hat groß rumerzählt das das alles für die Produktion wieder im Design sein wird, nun sind 200+ Einheiten gebaut und von den Sperrventilen ist noch nichts zu sehen. 
Selbstdichtende Tanks oder Brandunterdrückung gibt es nicht, dadurch wird folgendes Problem noch größer:

"The MANPADS tests demonstrated the potential for
damage to the fueldraulics system – the engine fuel-based
hydraulics system – which can result in a sustained
fire leading to further damage to the aircraft and a pilot
ejection over enemy territory. The data will be used
to support an assessment in 2017 that will determine
the contribution of this issue to the overall aircraft
vulnerability.
- While extended fires occurred in the MANPADS tests,
there has been no effort expended to determine what
catastrophic damage might result and the timeframe for
that to occur."

So ein Feuer ist heiß genug um auslaufenden Treibstoff zu entzünden, die F-35 kann sich sehr schnell in einen Feuerball verwandeln. 

Der Klarstand ist auch so eine Sache und ist dadurch geschönt, das eh keine F-35 wirklich alle Funktionen hat, die eben ausfallen könnten.

"Monthly availability had been averaging in the mid-30s to
low-40s percent for the 2-year period ending September 2014.
Monthly availability then increased rapidly and significantly
from October to December, peaking at 56 percent in December
2014. However, since then it has remained flat, centering
around the low-50s percent with no strong improving trend
over time."

Eigentlich sollte die Selbstdiagnose helfen, tut sie aber nicht wirklich:
"Diagnostic capability should detect true faults within the
air vehicle and accurately isolate those faults to a line
replaceable component. However, to date, F-35 diagnostic
capabilities continue to demonstrate poor accuracy, low 
detection rates, and also have high false alarm rates.
Although coverage of the fault detection has grown with
the fielding of each Block of F-35 capability, all metrics of
performance remain below threshold requirements."

Das wird sehr genau über viele Seiten bis ins Detail analysiert.
"HIGH-DRIVER COMPONENTS AFFECTING LOW AVAILABILITY AND RELIABILITY
Common to All Variants:
• Avionics Processors
• Low Observable Maintenance
• Shock Struts
• Cold Air Duct
• IPP Vent Fan Controller
• Main Landing Gear Tires
• Nutplates
• On-Board Oxygen Generating System
----
F-35A:
• Horizontal Tail Actuation
• Vertical Tail Bulb Seal
• Electronic Warfare Receiver
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F-35B:
• Fuel System Components and Mods
• Flexible Linear Shaped Charge
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F-35C:
• Main Landing Gear Retract Actuator
• Nose Landing Gear Steering Motor 

Zeitbedarf in der Wartung vom Planwert  MCMTCF / MTTR:
F-35A: 265% / 252%
F-35B: 293% / 243%
F-35C: 253% / 196%


Mag auch an den vielen Mängeln liegen...

"In the review in the fall of 2016, the stakeholders reviewed
the approximately 1,200 open deficiencies, including
the original 176 priority DRs, plus 231 new DRs since
Feb 2016, minus 55 that had been corrected, to create an
updated DR list"

55 gelöst, 231 dazu gekommen. Es könnte noch dauern die knapp 1200 Probleme abzuarbeiten, vorallem wenn weiterhin 4 mal mehr dazu kommen als abgearbeitet werden können und das Testprogramm weiter so langsam läuft. 

Die Block 4 Flieger sollen quasi fertig sein, wers glaubt. Block 4 soll auch dann die richtige Avionik und das moderne EOTS (Electro Optical Targeting System) haben.

Das aktuelle EOTS: 

"The EOTS was not able to provide the pilot with sufficient
resolution at tactical employment ranges to enable a positive
ID on the intended target. However, the EOTS generally
was able to track targets, both moving and stationary, but
only after the target identification was confirmed by an
external source or multiple sources. However, there are still
significant tracking limitations, as evidenced by a new, open
Category 1-High deficiency titled “EOTS TFLIR Tracker
Unable to Point or Area Track.” "

"Many pilots assess and report that the Electro-Optical
Targeting System (EOTS) on the F-35 is inferior to those
currently on legacy systems, in terms of providing the
pilot with an ability to discern target features and identify
targets at tactically useful ranges, along with maintaining
target identification and laser designation throughout the
attack. Environmental effects, such as high humidity,
often forced pilots to fly closer to the target than desired
in order to discern target features and then engage for
weapon employment, much closer than needed with
legacy systems, potentially alerting the enemy, exposing
the F-35 to threats around the target area or requiring
delays to regain adequate spacing to set up an attack."



Aber dafür wird ja jetzt schon an der Aufrüstung gearbeitet. 

"The program continued making plans for Follow-on
Modernization (FoM) for all variants, also referred to as
Block 4, which is on DOT&E oversight. 
[...]
The program’s plans for FoM are not executable for
a number of reasons including, but not limited to the
following:
- Too much technical content for the production-scheduledriven
developmental timeline
- Overlapping increments without enough time for
corrections to deficiencies from OT to be included in the
next increment
- High risk due to excessive technical debt and deficiencies
from the balance of SDD and IOT&E being carried
forward into FoM because the program does not have a
plan or funding to resolve key deficiencies from SDD prior
to attempting to add the planned Block 4.1 capabilities
- Inadequate test infrastructure (aircraft, laboratories,
personnel) to meet the testing demands of the capabilities
planned and the multiple configurations (i.e., TR2, TR3,
and Foreign Military Sales)
- Insufficient resources for conducting realistic operational
testing of each increment"

2000 war die Vergleichserprobung zwischen Boeing X-32 und Lockheed-Martin X-35.
Seit 2001 hat Lockheed den Vertrag und sehr viel Geld in der Zwischenzeit erhalten. 
2017, nichts funktioniert außer Lockheeds PR Abteilung.