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F-35A road to IOC

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posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 08:11 PM
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The 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill AFB, in Utah, has been working towards IOC with the F-35A. They're the first combat coded squadron of F-35s. On the 25th of February they dropped their first weapons over the Utah Test and Training Range. It's both the first time the squadron has dropped ordnance, and the first time a combat coded aircraft dropped ordnance. Squadron Commander Lt. Col. George Watkins dropped a GBU-12, as the first release.

In the coming weeks the squadron will begin flying four ship formations, along with more weapons releases. In the next month or two, they will perform a simulated deployment where they move to another part of the ramp, and simulate deploying to check procedures and processes, leading up to a deployment, most likely to Mountain Home AFB this summer. Once that is completed the unit will go through an Operational Readiness Inspection, as well as a review of activities leading up to that point. Once that is completed, the Air Force will declare IOC between August and December.


Airmen from the 388th and 419th fighter wings dropped laser-guided bombs at the Utah Test and Training Range the week of Feb. 25, marking the first time an F-35 Lightning II combat unit has deployed weapons from the F-35A.

Lt. Col. George Watkins, the 34th Fighter Squadron commander, said dropping weapons from the F-35 allows pilots to more fully engage the aircraft and confirm that everything works as planned.

“This is significant because we’re building the confidence of our pilots by actually dropping something off the airplane instead of simulating weapon employment,” Watkins said.

Air Force F-35s have dropped weapons in test environments, but this is the first time it’s been done on jets designed to deploy once the Air Force declares initial operational capability, which it plans to do between August and December. IOC will be announced when the Air Force deems the F-35 combat capable.

www.pddnet.com...




posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 08:16 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58



but this is the first time it’s been done on jets designed to deploy once the Air Force declares initial operational capability


Forgive my ignorance, but can you elaborate on what "initial operational capability" means in this case?



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 08:18 PM
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a reply to: introvert

The ability to deploy into a combat situation, and employ a basic weapons loadout. They wouldn't be able to use the more advanced features of the aircraft or weapons, but they could be used for combat at that point.



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 08:23 PM
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Straight-up: Is this aircraft worth it? Are we ever gonna see the 'bang for the buck'?

Just want to know if you'd give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down ... and giving consideration to operational lifespan is fair.



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 08:27 PM
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a reply to: Snarl

Yes. I started out not liking it, and wanting to see it killed, but the more I've learned about it, and the more it's gone on the more I've grown to like it. It has some capabilities that are amazing, and will be able to do things nothing else out there can.



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 08:33 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Thanks.

Still new to these sorts of topics.



posted on Mar, 1 2016 @ 12:33 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

A Norwegian pilot just came out to refute the WiB Lockheed test pilot statement about the F-35.

www.flightglobal.com...



posted on Mar, 1 2016 @ 12:54 AM
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they probably fly all-weather now, huh!!

that general in charge is doing good....God love him....( he's inherited a real mess nightmare come true....something that would happen to me.....



posted on Mar, 1 2016 @ 12:55 AM
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Thought they already moved some mud at Red Flag?Or was it ooohhh what does this pretty button do?



posted on Mar, 1 2016 @ 02:16 AM
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a reply to: anzha

It won't stop people who want to hate the F-35 from taking the side of an anonymous pilot over named pilots.



posted on Mar, 1 2016 @ 05:04 AM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

Test aircraft have released all types of ordnance. But they're not combat coded.



posted on Mar, 1 2016 @ 01:02 PM
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a reply to: anzha

More detailed at The Aviationist.

theaviationist.com...

Very interesting read.



posted on Mar, 1 2016 @ 04:26 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

And said with no commentary. My.

warisboring.com...



posted on Mar, 1 2016 @ 04:28 PM
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a reply to: anzha

And admit there's something good about the F-35? Are you nuts? I like the last little shot at him.
edit on 3/1/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2016 @ 01:40 AM
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Getting weapons on lock before the other and shooting him down before the other can go offensive is the selling point..



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