Commander Naval Air Forces wants more F/A-18s

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post28 Oct 2019, 02:35

AN interesting TIDBIT of info from this FORD (or is it EDSEL now? :roll: ) story.
JUST IN: Navy Secretary Defends Ford Carrier Following Criticism from Lawmaker
23 Oct 2019 Mandy Mayfield

"...It will... take 18 months for the air wing to become certified, after which it can be deployed, he [Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer] said...."

Source: https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org ... m-lawmaker
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sferrin

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Unread post28 Oct 2019, 17:43

spazsinbad wrote:AN interesting TIDBIT of info from this FORD (or is it EDSEL now? :roll: ) story.


I have an idea. Let's cancel the Ford class and start from scratch. Surely that will result in a trouble free class, in service earlier, cheaper, and with more capability. :roll:
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usnvo

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Unread post29 Oct 2019, 03:34

spazsinbad wrote:AN interesting TIDBIT of info from this FORD (or is it EDSEL now? :roll: ) story.
JUST IN: Navy Secretary Defends Ford Carrier Following Criticism from Lawmaker
23 Oct 2019 Mandy Mayfield

"...It will... take 18 months for the air wing to become certified, after which it can be deployed, he [Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer] said...."

Source: https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org ... m-lawmaker


18 months is typical for pre-deployment workups for a CSG. The comment is somewhat confusing because SECNAV says airwing, but he is really talking about CSG pre-deployment work ups. Between PSA and when the FORD is in a position to start work ups, there are a myriad of inspections, certifications, and testing that is still required. Only after those wickets are jumped over can they start CSG work ups.
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Unread post12 Mar 2020, 08:13

Navy Assumes ‘Balanced’ Risk of Strike Fighter Inventory with Super Hornet Curtailment
11 Mar 2020 Richard R. Burgess

"WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy is working to manage its strike fighter inventory by focusing on restoring grounded fighters while curtailing future procurement of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet after 2021, Navy officials said. The Navy is requesting 24 Super Hornets in the fiscal 2021 budget but has cancelled plans to procure 36 more beyond 2021....

...Commenting on the large amount of corrosion found on the first two Super Hornets inducted into the SLM program, James F. Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, said the Navy has added to the program “so that we deliver a fully mission-capable airplane out of SLM,” including phase maintenance checks, “so when we hand it back to the wing and the squadron, it’s ready to go. Previous service-life extension programs have just done things to the airplane but not taken advantage of the fact we had the airplane all pulled apart.”...

...He said it takes 18 months to get a Super Hornet through SLM, but his goal is to reduce that to 12 months. He predicted that by 2029 the Navy would reach its full fighter inventory.

The U.S. Marine Corps, having inherited many of the Navy’s divested F/A-18C Hornets, has 275 Hornets on hand to meet an inventory requirement of 143, said Lt. Gen. Steven R. Rudder, deputy commandant for aviation. “We have enough Hornets, we have enough [AV-8B] Harriers,” Rudder said. “The challenge for us is the transition [to the F-35] … to maintain a 20 F-35 buy a year — at least — so we can stand up at least two squadrons a year as we go forward.”"

Source: https://seapowermagazine.org/navy-assum ... rtailment/
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Unread post12 Mar 2020, 08:45

Now we need to get the F-35C buy up to at least 30 each year....
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Unread post13 Mar 2020, 16:07

Corsair1963 wrote:Now we need to get the F-35C buy up to at least 30 each year....



I agree, and am hoping that stopping the additional SH buys beyond 2021 is designed to do just that.

The Marines deserve new birds too, more like 30 or more for 3 squadrons/year. The Navy? They need to get the F-35C to the fleet ASAP instead of dragging their feet, which to someone looking at things from the outside is exactly what's happening. More SH's of any flavor (Block III or whatever they're pushing now) aren't going to cut it against China.

At least 2 squadrons of F-35C's (per carrier) will be needed, along with plenty of tanking assets. The only way you get there is to build more F-35C's. Yes, money is tight but that too should be in the F-35's favor, especially as time goes on.

And for God's sake, please let F/A-XX actually come to pass. Part of the reason we're in this mess is that the Navy decided to forego a true air superioriorty machine years ago, making due with "strike fighters". That works in low intesity conflicts and non-contested airspace, not so much when Chinese J-10's, 11's, 15's, 16's and SU-35's (nevermind J-20's) have something to say about it!
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Unread post16 Mar 2020, 03:54

mixelflick wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Now we need to get the F-35C buy up to at least 30 each year....



I agree, and am hoping that stopping the additional SH buys beyond 2021 is designed to do just that.

The Marines deserve new birds too, more like 30 or more for 3 squadrons/year. The Navy? They need to get the F-35C to the fleet ASAP instead of dragging their feet, which to someone looking at things from the outside is exactly what's happening. More SH's of any flavor (Block III or whatever they're pushing now) aren't going to cut it against China.

At least 2 squadrons of F-35C's (per carrier) will be needed, along with plenty of tanking assets. The only way you get there is to build more F-35C's. Yes, money is tight but that too should be in the F-35's favor, especially as time goes on.

And for God's sake, please let F/A-XX actually come to pass. Part of the reason we're in this mess is that the Navy decided to forego a true air superioriorty machine years ago, making due with "strike fighters". That works in low intesity conflicts and non-contested airspace, not so much when Chinese J-10's, 11's, 15's, 16's and SU-35's (nevermind J-20's) have something to say about it!


You need ~ 30 F-35C's per year to field two Fighter Squadrons for each CVW's. Similar number per year is also needed for the USMC. (F-35B's and/or C's)

As for Strike Fighters in general the F-35C is more than capable against anything China has including the J-20 and forthcoming J-31. Now in the future that may change post 2040. Yet, not in the short term.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post17 May 2020, 08:36

Inevitably CLEMENCE will be asked about his time as an F-35C TEST PILOT aboard CVNs but for now he spruiks Shornet III.

Boeing F/A-18 Block II and Block III Super Hornet Differences https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHEiOE2TsUg


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F-35C Test Pilot Comment 1st Night Catapult Afterburner Use https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XffGeiN96Ow


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F-35C LM Test Pilot Shake Rattle Roll DT-1 TailHOOK 2015 Brief https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psHLxerf7t8


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F-35C Delta Flight Path IDLC Tailhook 2015 Clemence Brief https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGVsrNW7bgU

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Unread post19 May 2020, 01:05

spazsinbad wrote:Inevitably CLEMENCE will be asked about his time as an F-35C TEST PILOT aboard CVNs but for now he spruiks Shornet III.

Boeing F/A-18 Block II and Block III Super Hornet Differences https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHEiOE2TsUg


_____________________________________________

F-35C Test Pilot Comment 1st Night Catapult Afterburner Use https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XffGeiN96Ow


____________________________________________

F-35C LM Test Pilot Shake Rattle Roll DT-1 TailHOOK 2015 Brief https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psHLxerf7t8


____________________________________________

F-35C Delta Flight Path IDLC Tailhook 2015 Clemence Brief https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGVsrNW7bgU



HEMO has been a great addition to the team. His last post at Lockheed was as a T-50 experimental pilot in Greenville. Nothing like having an F-35C pilot leading the Block III procurement (And potential T-7 naval airframe) for the Navy! :D
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Unread post19 May 2020, 02:12

Corsair1963 wrote:
mixelflick wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Now we need to get the F-35C buy up to at least 30 each year....



I agree, and am hoping that stopping the additional SH buys beyond 2021 is designed to do just that.

The Marines deserve new birds too, more like 30 or more for 3 squadrons/year. The Navy? They need to get the F-35C to the fleet ASAP instead of dragging their feet, which to someone looking at things from the outside is exactly what's happening. More SH's of any flavor (Block III or whatever they're pushing now) aren't going to cut it against China.

At least 2 squadrons of F-35C's (per carrier) will be needed, along with plenty of tanking assets. The only way you get there is to build more F-35C's. Yes, money is tight but that too should be in the F-35's favor, especially as time goes on.

And for God's sake, please let F/A-XX actually come to pass. Part of the reason we're in this mess is that the Navy decided to forego a true air superioriorty machine years ago, making due with "strike fighters". That works in low intesity conflicts and non-contested airspace, not so much when Chinese J-10's, 11's, 15's, 16's and SU-35's (nevermind J-20's) have something to say about it!


You need ~ 30 F-35C's per year to field two Fighter Squadrons for each CVW's. Similar number per year is also needed for the USMC. (F-35B's and/or C's)

As for Strike Fighters in general the F-35C is more than capable against anything China has including the J-20 and forthcoming J-31. Now in the future that may change post 2040. Yet, not in the short term.


None of the 3 services buying the F-35 can get to what they need based on a given budget request so it is really up to Congress to add aircraft. Post BCA this would be an interesting dynamic to look at but if there are budget pressures that delay new starts than that means short term aircraft procurement can be extended to compensate.

The Navy as part of its FYDP gets to around 25-26 aircraft in FY23 and about 28 aircraft a year (F-35C's) by FY25. This would mean that they conclude the F-35C buy (USN and USMC) by the early 2030's. If Congress increases that rate the buy-termination can be accelerated and, provided the Navy keeps its NGF efforts at pace, it allows the transition earlier into the next gen aircraft.

Having said that, It's hard to gauge the seriousness within the Navy for a NGF given that the funding amounts are classified but I think FY22 requests and the budget negotiations for FY21 (whether Congress adds adv. funding for additional "beyond FY21" Super Hornets) will also give some early indication.
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Unread post19 May 2020, 02:25

bring_it_on wrote:
None of the 3 services buying the F-35 can get to what they need based on a given budget request so it is really up to Congress to add aircraft. Post BCA this would be an interesting dynamic to look at but if there are budget pressures that delay new starts than that means short term aircraft procurement can be extended to compensate.

The Navy as part of its FYDP gets to around 25-26 aircraft in FY23 and about 28 aircraft a year (F-35C's) by FY25. This would mean that they conclude the F-35C buy (USN and USMC) by the early 2030's. If Congress increases that rate the buy-termination can be accelerated and, provided the Navy keeps its NGF efforts at pace, it allows the transition earlier into the next gen aircraft.

Having said that, It's hard to gauge the seriousness within the Navy for a NGF given that the funding amounts are classified but I think FY22 requests and the budget negotiations for FY21 (whether Congress adds adv. funding for additional "beyond FY21" Super Hornets) will also give some early indication.


I don't see the NGF arriving before 2040. So, odds favor the USN just continuing to buy F-35C's post 2030. Yet, shouldn't surprise anyone as it happens all the time. Case in point the current F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
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Unread post19 May 2020, 02:43

For the NGF to be available only by 2040, it would essentially mean that the Navy largely scraps its current plans for it which could possibly mean more Block III SH orders beyond FY21. More F-35C's in the 2030's is probably a guarantee even if the NGF stays on schedule (assuming it has a early to mid 2030's schedule still). It won't be cheap at a time when the F-35C would be at its cheapest. More F-35C's and a proper X-47 based NGF is probably a better and possibly cheaper strategy for the Navy if they ever decide to appropriately fund unmanned aviation. But I see them instead pursuing a twin engine Super Hornet and Growler replacement first, at least initially before that plan runs into some serious budgetary headwinds on account of other high cost/high priority Navy programs.
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Unread post19 May 2020, 03:07

bring_it_on wrote:For the NGF to be available only by 2040, it would essentially mean that the Navy largely scraps its current plans for it which could possibly mean more Block III SH orders beyond FY21. More F-35C's in the 2030's is probably a guarantee even if the NGF stays on schedule (assuming it has a early to mid 2030's schedule still). It won't be cheap at a time when the F-35C would be at its cheapest. More F-35C's and a proper X-47 based NGF is probably a better and possibly cheaper strategy for the Navy if they ever decide to appropriately fund unmanned aviation. But I see them instead pursuing a twin engine Super Hornet and Growler replacement first, at least initially before that plan runs into some serious budgetary headwinds on account of other high cost/high priority Navy programs.



Honestly, regardless of the talk. I think we have to see the F-35 mature much more. Before we have any real idea what a future 6th Generation Fighter may look like. In addition the US has a very commanding lead. So, what is the rush???
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Unread post19 May 2020, 13:28

The fate of the NGF will be linked to that of the carriers. If they reduce the number of carriers as being studied in the Pentagon now you won't see them spend the dollars for a new aircraft but if they keep the carriers it will go forward. If they choose to reduce and then eliminate the carriers (an unlikely scenario) then the F/A-18E/F's and F-35C serve in upgraded forms until the last carrier is withdrawn. If you read the accounts of the early days of WWII in the Southwest Pacific as found in some of the recent books like: "Kangaroo Squadron", "Kens Men", "Target Rabaul" you will get an idea of the issues of aerial warfare to protect Australia and retake the islands. During that time carriers were used mostly as a raiding force and land based air utilized forward basing to refuel and conduct air strikes. Seems a lot similar to the concept of operations being discussed now.
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Unread post19 May 2020, 15:27

wolfpak wrote: If they reduce the number of carriers as being studied in the Pentagon now you won't see them spend the dollars for a new aircraft but if they keep the carriers it will go forward.


The carrier study commissioned by the previous acting SecNav has now been terminated. Could future Navy leadership revive it? Sure..that's pretty much a guarantee as this happens every few years and almost always ends up doing nothing.

https://breakingdefense.com/2020/05/nav ... sd-effort/

As for waiting for NGF for 6th generation technologies to develop - I don't think the Navy is looking for a true 6th generation fighter like what the USAF is most probably going to invest in. Navy budgets would probably get them to a 5+ generation, twin engined aircraft with significantly longer legs than the F-18 E/F or F-35C and with enough room to add sensors and payloads to take over from the Super Hornet and Growler platforms eventually.

Maybe the navy takes a little more risk on propulsion but I don't see them fully investing in the technologies that are likely to be a part of what the USAF puts into its NGF. Between surface combatants and the Columbia class submarine they have a lot on their plate already. Once bulk of the Block - 4 F-35 funding is out of the way they would be ramping up their procurement of that platform. In fact, with a little bit of Congressional help they'd easily get to 30 F-35C's a year by the mid-decade and as long term carrier plans do not change, I could see them expanding their buy to beyond 400 aircraft from the current 369 (F-35C). But annual buys are dictated by total F-35C and F-35B production capacity which is around 60 units per year including those destined for partners and FMS customers. Anything above that 60 could potentially require non-recurring expenditure which I suspect the navy will just try to avoid and just extend their program by a couple of years.

The problem is that we don't know what the Navy has in mind with NGF. They've classified all RDT&E funding for it so we don't even know what they plan on spending across the FYDP though estimates of $4.5 Billion have been offered basing it solely on SH funding reduction. But the fact that they finally came out and said that they plan on fully committing to its development and freeing up resources for it by not getting into another F-18 Block III SH MYP is an encouraging sign. They didn't even include additional SH's in their unfunded priorities list.
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