Monday, January 16, 2012

F-35 QLR...

Courtesy of my buddy Joe!....He also provided this link if you have difficulty reading the attachment here...
DOD F-35 Concurrency Quick Look Review, 29-Nov-2011

AMH air cushioned catamaran.

Have you ever heard of the Sea Coaster?

How about a prototype for an air cushioned catamaran that could serve as a ship to shore connector, deliver heavier loads at less power output, is beachable, and is able to deliver its cargo/passengers there with less discomfort than a standard LCAC or LCVP?

Oh and did I mention that its able to do all that in heavier sea states than the LCAC can while traveling at higher speed?

Well this project conducted in conjunction with ONR proved all of the above and then some.  The only question is...why go through all the trouble of proving this DARPA hard research (to include building a prototype) and then abandon the research?

I have no idea...but the missing link in the sea base (if it actually gets built...something I seriously doubt in a shrinking Navy and limited budgets) has been found. 

We just weren't bold enough to chase it.  Read more about it here and here.

F-35C future in doubt?


This one caught me by surprise although I did do a "wouldn't it be ironic post" on the very subject.

From British Forces News.
The Royal Navy’s new Joint Strike Fighter may be unable to land on an aircraft carrier because of a design flaw according to a Pentagon report leaked to a national newspaper.
Documents obtained by The Sunday Times reveal the report – called the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Concurrency Quick Look Review – has identified a serious flaw in the aircraft’s design.
It reveals eight simulated landings of the new variant all-purpose jet, known as the F-35C, failed because the “arrestor” hook, used to stop the plane during landing, is too close to the undercarriage at just seven feet away, compared with 18ft on existing US Navy aircraft.
The report concludes that a “significant redesign” of the aircraft is needed and that the future of the aircraft is at risk.
It also suggests the new fighter may be unable to fire British Asram air-to-air missiles and is untested in several other areas. It says if a redesign proves too costly and complicated the entire F-35C programme may have to be scrapped.
The Ministry of Defence has declined to comment on the leaked report but said
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond “discussed a number of issues including the Joint Strike Fighter” with his counterpart Leon Panetta in his recent visit to Washington.
A spokesman said: "We are taking delivery of our first Joint Strike Fighters for test and evaluation purposes this year and are committed to purchasing the carrier variant of the JSF. Our plans remain on track to have a new carrier strike capability from around 2020.”
I don't know this website.

Don't know if its credible.

Don't know if its valid.

But if this is in anyway true then this is at the very least a matter of concern.  The APA boys have been playing this one up and the documentation they've provided seems spot on.  If the tail hook issue requires a redesign then the A and B are ok but the C is in serious jeopardy.  Add to it the fact that only the USN, USMC and RN are buying it (and the USMC very reluctantly and the RN seems torn with many---including famed Falklands Battle fighter pilot Sharkey Ward recommending the B for the Navy---and the USN seemingly not very enthused) and you have the makings of an easy exit ramp for the program...a Pentagon sacrificial lamb and the rest of the program proceeding on its merry way.

Now how do I drum up support in the UK for a switch back to the B model???