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F-35C getting new outer wing portion-A and B getting moving target ability

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posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 08:43 PM
The F-35C is undergoing flight testing with a new outer wing section. The first 32 C models that have been built will need new, strengthened, outer wing sections. It was found in flight testing in 2015 that with the pylons and AIM-9X mounted, the aircraft underwent oscillations when performing maneuvers that cause buffeting. The portion of the wing that was causing the problem is out beyond where the wing folds.

Engineers have already put a fix in place, and are flight testing it now. The AIM-9X is required for the Navy to declare IOC in 2018. The missile is expected to enter service with the fleet in November, a slip of one month due to problems unrelated to the F-35 program.

The other "issue" being resolved is the ability for the aircraft to hit moving targets. The laser designator, as it is now, doesn't lead targets. The JPO is working with the Air Force and Marines to integrate the GBU-49, which automatically corrects for wind and target motion. The Marines prefer the GBU-53B Small Diameter Bomb Increment II, but that isn't scheduled to be integrated until the Block 4.2 in 2022. The GBU-49 may be selected, or it may be bid against the Laser JDAM, or the Dual Mode Plus.

They originally planned to use the CBU-103, which could hit moving targets, but the Pentagon has removed cluster bombs that don't automatically detonate after a set time by 2018.

The head of the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) says the outer wings of 32 carrier-based C-models need to be replaced to carry the Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder, the aircraft’s primary dogfighting weapon.
The U.S. Navy variant experienced an undisclosed amount of oscillation or turbulence during flight trials with the AIM-9X in December 2015, and Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan says aircraft already delivered need to be retrofitted with strengthened wings.

“It was discovered the outer, folding portion of the wing has inadequate structural strength to support the loads induced by pylons with AIM-9X missiles during maneuvers that cause buffet,” Bogdan says in written testimony to Congress on Feb. 16.

posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 09:31 PM
So is the laser designator part of the Block 3F upgrade? Just curious as i was reading an article in flightglobal regarding the upgrade backlog for the F35 which I found in a link you or Anzha posted previously. Maybe the CRADA thread or the Superhornet thread.

Either way this is some seriously complex hardware/software. Respect to the crews working on these planes.

posted on Feb, 20 2017 @ 09:46 PM
a reply to: Kukri

The ability to target moving targets will be part of 3F. The designator currently works, it just doesn't have the ability to lead a moving vehicle at this point. They'll eventually add that, as they add capabilities.

posted on Feb, 21 2017 @ 05:30 AM
Does the Lightening 2 lead? I thought in GW1 we saw Paveways hitting moving targets, I also thought even GPS guided could hit moving targets?

I met be missing something?

posted on Feb, 21 2017 @ 08:12 AM
a reply to: Forensick

It's a software thing. The current software doesn't deal with moving targets. The Block 4.2 will, but until then, they're going to let the weapons do it, instead of the aircraft.

posted on Feb, 21 2017 @ 03:56 PM
Bring back the K14 Acemaker?

posted on Feb, 21 2017 @ 04:04 PM
a reply to: Blackfinger

That's what CCIP is for.

posted on Feb, 22 2017 @ 05:27 AM
Would testing the X56 have given some insight?

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