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F-35 cleared for operational test and evaluation as first RAAF jets arrive

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 8, 2018
F-35A test aircraft assigned to the 31st Test Evaluation Squadron from Edwards Air Force Base, fires an AIM-120 AMRAAM at a QF-16 target during a live-fire test over the Gulf of Mexico on June 12 2018. (USAF)

The Joint Strike Fighter Program Office (JPO) has officially cleared the Lockheed Martin F-35 to begin initial operational test & evaluation (IOT&E), the milestone coming as the first two F-35As to be based in Australia arrive in-country.

Clearance for IOT&E comes 16 months after a previously scheduled start of August 2017 and more recently, an amended planned start in mid-September, although the JPO says it has been conducting a number of “pre-IOT&E” events, such as cold weather, weapons demonstrations, suitability deployments, and “lower threat missions”, in recent months.

A successful completion of IOT&E will clear the way for a decision on full-rate production of the aircraft – dubbed ‘Milestone C’ – in late 2019 for commencement in 2021.

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“The F-35 Lightning II program has reached a major program milestone with the start of formal IOT&E to measure the effectiveness, suitability, lethality, survivability and overall mission capability of the F-35 weapons system,” the JPO said in a December 6 statement.

“Formal IOT&E will test the system and identify areas for improvement in the most stressing operationally representative environments, and is expected to be complete late [northern] summer of 2019. DOT&E will analyse the data from the testing and prepare a report for Congress and the Secretary of Defense evaluating the results and the adequacy of the test.”

There are now more than 340 F-35s operating from 15 bases worldwide, Lockheed Martin noted.

PROMOTED CONTENT

VIDEO – Amazing footage of a Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35 from the Youtube channel of Dafyyd Phillips.

“The approval to formally begin IOT&E demonstrates the confidence our customers have in the maturity of the F-35’s design and performance,” the company said.

The US Director of Test & Evaluation (DOT&E) office had flagged the risk of delays to the IOT&E schedule in a report tabled in January 2017, saying the program wouldn’t be ready until late 2018 because it was lagging in unspecified readiness criteria and due to delays in fielding the latest iteration of the Block 3F software, dubbed ‘30R02’.

The commencement of IOT&E comes as the first two Royal Australian Air Force F-35As to be permanently based in Australia arrive in country. The two jets quietly landed at RAAF Base Amberley on Wednesday afternoon, ahead of flying to their new home base of RAAF Base Williamtown on Monday morning where they will be formally welcomed with an official arrival ceremony.

The RAAF’s 3SQN will conduct a two-year verification and validation (V&V) period with the F-35s from early 2019. The V&V will be the major effort in order to achieve an initial operational capability (IOC), and will validate the F-35’s capabilities in an Australian operational and maintenance environment.

RAAF F-35As A35-010 and A35-009, pictured here at Luke AFB, Arizona, arrived at RAAF Base Amberley on Wednesday. (Defence)

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F-35 cleared for operational test and evaluation as first RAAF jets arrive

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 8, 2018
F-35A test aircraft assigned to the 31st Test Evaluation Squadron from Edwards Air Force Base, fires an AIM-120 AMRAAM at a QF-16 target during a live-fire test over the Gulf of Mexico on June 12 2018. (USAF)

The Joint Strike Fighter Program Office (JPO) has officially cleared the Lockheed Martin F-35 to begin initial operational test & evaluation (IOT&E), the milestone coming as the first two F-35As to be based in Australia arrive in-country.

Clearance for IOT&E comes 16 months after a previously scheduled start of August 2017 and more recently, an amended planned start in mid-September, although the JPO says it has been conducting a number of “pre-IOT&E” events, such as cold weather, weapons demonstrations, suitability deployments, and “lower threat missions”, in recent months.

A successful completion of IOT&E will clear the way for a decision on full-rate production of the aircraft – dubbed ‘Milestone C’ – in late 2019 for commencement in 2021.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“The F-35 Lightning II program has reached a major program milestone with the start of formal IOT&E to measure the effectiveness, suitability, lethality, survivability and overall mission capability of the F-35 weapons system,” the JPO said in a December 6 statement.

“Formal IOT&E will test the system and identify areas for improvement in the most stressing operationally representative environments, and is expected to be complete late [northern] summer of 2019. DOT&E will analyse the data from the testing and prepare a report for Congress and the Secretary of Defense evaluating the results and the adequacy of the test.”

There are now more than 340 F-35s operating from 15 bases worldwide, Lockheed Martin noted.

PROMOTED CONTENT

VIDEO – Amazing footage of a Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35 from the Youtube channel of Dafyyd Phillips.

“The approval to formally begin IOT&E demonstrates the confidence our customers have in the maturity of the F-35’s design and performance,” the company said.

The US Director of Test & Evaluation (DOT&E) office had flagged the risk of delays to the IOT&E schedule in a report tabled in January 2017, saying the program wouldn’t be ready until late 2018 because it was lagging in unspecified readiness criteria and due to delays in fielding the latest iteration of the Block 3F software, dubbed ‘30R02’.

The commencement of IOT&E comes as the first two Royal Australian Air Force F-35As to be permanently based in Australia arrive in country. The two jets quietly landed at RAAF Base Amberley on Wednesday afternoon, ahead of flying to their new home base of RAAF Base Williamtown on Monday morning where they will be formally welcomed with an official arrival ceremony.

The RAAF’s 3SQN will conduct a two-year verification and validation (V&V) period with the F-35s from early 2019. The V&V will be the major effort in order to achieve an initial operational capability (IOC), and will validate the F-35’s capabilities in an Australian operational and maintenance environment.

RAAF F-35As A35-010 and A35-009, pictured here at Luke AFB, Arizona, arrived at RAAF Base Amberley on Wednesday. (Defence)

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

F-35 cleared for operational test and evaluation as first RAAF jets arrive

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 8, 2018
F-35A test aircraft assigned to the 31st Test Evaluation Squadron from Edwards Air Force Base, fires an AIM-120 AMRAAM at a QF-16 target during a live-fire test over the Gulf of Mexico on June 12 2018. (USAF)

The Joint Strike Fighter Program Office (JPO) has officially cleared the Lockheed Martin F-35 to begin initial operational test & evaluation (IOT&E), the milestone coming as the first two F-35As to be based in Australia arrive in-country.

Clearance for IOT&E comes 16 months after a previously scheduled start of August 2017 and more recently, an amended planned start in mid-September, although the JPO says it has been conducting a number of “pre-IOT&E” events, such as cold weather, weapons demonstrations, suitability deployments, and “lower threat missions”, in recent months.

A successful completion of IOT&E will clear the way for a decision on full-rate production of the aircraft – dubbed ‘Milestone C’ – in late 2019 for commencement in 2021.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“The F-35 Lightning II program has reached a major program milestone with the start of formal IOT&E to measure the effectiveness, suitability, lethality, survivability and overall mission capability of the F-35 weapons system,” the JPO said in a December 6 statement.

“Formal IOT&E will test the system and identify areas for improvement in the most stressing operationally representative environments, and is expected to be complete late [northern] summer of 2019. DOT&E will analyse the data from the testing and prepare a report for Congress and the Secretary of Defense evaluating the results and the adequacy of the test.”

There are now more than 340 F-35s operating from 15 bases worldwide, Lockheed Martin noted.

PROMOTED CONTENT

VIDEO – Amazing footage of a Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35 from the Youtube channel of Dafyyd Phillips.

“The approval to formally begin IOT&E demonstrates the confidence our customers have in the maturity of the F-35’s design and performance,” the company said.

The US Director of Test & Evaluation (DOT&E) office had flagged the risk of delays to the IOT&E schedule in a report tabled in January 2017, saying the program wouldn’t be ready until late 2018 because it was lagging in unspecified readiness criteria and due to delays in fielding the latest iteration of the Block 3F software, dubbed ‘30R02’.

The commencement of IOT&E comes as the first two Royal Australian Air Force F-35As to be permanently based in Australia arrive in country. The two jets quietly landed at RAAF Base Amberley on Wednesday afternoon, ahead of flying to their new home base of RAAF Base Williamtown on Monday morning where they will be formally welcomed with an official arrival ceremony.

The RAAF’s 3SQN will conduct a two-year verification and validation (V&V) period with the F-35s from early 2019. The V&V will be the major effort in order to achieve an initial operational capability (IOC), and will validate the F-35’s capabilities in an Australian operational and maintenance environment.

RAAF F-35As A35-010 and A35-009, pictured here at Luke AFB, Arizona, arrived at RAAF Base Amberley on Wednesday. (Defence)

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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