Tag Archives: F-35B Lightning II

Operational Trials

Six U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II jet aircraft arrived on the evening of May 18, 2015 aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) off the coast of the United States’ Eastern Seaboard to mark the beginning of the first shipboard phase of the F-35B Operational Test (OT-1).

A sailor aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) signals to the pilot of an F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to land as it arrives for the first phase of operational testing, May 18, 2015. The short take-off, vertical landing capabilities of the F-35B are crucial to the mission of the Marine Corps and necessary for operation aboard a Navy amphibious ship (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)
A sailor aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) signals to the pilot of an F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to land as it arrives for the first phase of operational testing, May 18, 2015. The short take-off, vertical landing capabilities of the F-35B are crucial to the mission of the Marine Corps and necessary for operation aboard a Navy amphibious ship (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)

The at-sea period will continue aboard USS Wasp (LHD-1) for the next two weeks, with fleet representative aircraft and maintenance personnel from Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadrons 13 and 31.

OT-1 will assess the integration of the F-35B while operating across a wide array of flight and deck operations. Specific OT-1 objectives include:

  • demonstrating and assessing day and night flight operations in varying aircraft configurations;
  • digital interoperability of aircraft and ship systems;
  • F-35B landing signal officer’s launch and recovery software;
  • day and night weapons loading;
  • all aspects of maintenance, logistics, and sustainment support of the F-35B while deployed at sea.

Additionally, the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team is working closely with Naval Sea Systems Command to assess specific modifications made to USS Wasp (LHD-1) to support future deployments.

«The F-35 Lightning II is the most versatile, agile and technologically-advanced aircraft in the skies today, enabling our Marine Corps to be the nation’s force in readiness, regardless of the threat, and regardless of the location of the battle», said Lieutenant General Jon Davis, the Deputy Commandant for Marine Corps Aviation. «As we modernize our fixed-wing aviation assets for the future, the continued development and fielding of the short take-off and vertical landing, the F-35B remains the centerpiece of this effort».

Data collected and lessons learned during OT-1 will lay the groundwork for F-35B deployments aboard U.S. Navy amphibious carriers following the Marine Corps’ F-35B Initial Operating Capability (IOC) declaration planned for this coming July.

Marines and sailors aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) secure and refuel an F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter after its arrival for the first session of operational testing, May 18, 2015. Data and information gathered from OT-1 will lay the groundwork for F-35B deployments aboard Navy amphibious ships and the announcement of the Marine Corps' initial operating capacity of the F-35B in July (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)
Marines and sailors aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) secure and refuel an F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter after its arrival for the first session of operational testing, May 18, 2015. Data and information gathered from OT-1 will lay the groundwork for F-35B deployments aboard Navy amphibious ships and the announcement of the Marine Corps’ initial operating capacity of the F-35B in July (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)

 

F-35B SPECIFICATIONS

Length:                                                       51.2 feet/15.6 m

Height:                                                       14.3 feet/4.36 m

Wingspan:                                                35 feet/10.7 m

Wing area:                                                460 feet2/42.7 m2

Horizontal tail span:                           21.8 feet/6.65 m

Weight empty:                                       32,300 lbs/14,651 kg

Internal fuel capacity:                        13,500 lb/6,125 kg

Weapons payload:                               15,000 lbs/6,800 kg

Maximum weight:                                60,000 lbs class/27,215 kg

Standard internal weapons load:

Two AIM-120C Air-to-Air Missiles

Two 2,000-pound/907-kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs

Four F-35B Lighting II Joing Strike Fighters (JSF) sit secured to the deck after their arrival aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1), May 18, 2015. As the future of Marine Corps aviation, the F-35B will eventually replace all aircraft from three legacy Marine Corps platforms; the AV-8B Harrier, the F/A-18 Hornet, and the EA-6B Prowler (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)
Four F-35B Lighting II Joing Strike Fighters (JSF) sit secured to the deck after their arrival aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1), May 18, 2015. As the future of Marine Corps aviation, the F-35B will eventually replace all aircraft from three legacy Marine Corps platforms; the AV-8B Harrier, the F/A-18 Hornet, and the EA-6B Prowler (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)

Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings):    F135-PW-600

Maximum Power (with afterburner):         41,000 lbs/182,4 kN/ 18,597 kgf

Military Power (without afterburner):      27,000 lbs/120,1 kN/ 12,247 kgf

Short Take Off Thrust:                              40,740 lbs/181,2 kN/18,479 kgf

Hover Thrust:                                                 40,650 lbs/180,8 kN/18,438 kgf

Main Engine:                                                   18,680 lbs/83,1 kN/8,473 kgf

Lift Fan:                                                              18,680 lbs/83,1 kN/8,473 kgf

Roll Post:                                                           3,290 lbs/14,6 kN/1,492 kgf

Length:                                                               369 in/9.37 m

Main Engine Inlet Diameter:                 43 in/1.09 m

Main Engine Maximum Diameter:     46 in/1.17 m

Lift Fan Inlet Diameter:                            51 in/1,30 m

Lift Fan Maximum Diameter:               53 in/1,34 m

Conventional Bypass Ratio:                  0.57

Powered Lift Bypass Ratio:                   0.51

Conventional Overall Pressure Ratio:         28

Powered Lift Overall Pressure Ratio:          29

An F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter idles on the flight deck of the USS Wasp (LHD-1) in preparation for take-off, May 18, 2015 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)
An F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter idles on the flight deck of the USS Wasp (LHD-1) in preparation for take-off, May 18, 2015 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)

Speed (full internal weapons load):               Mach 1.6 (~1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)

Combat radius (internal fuel):                          >450 NM/833 km

Range (internal fuel):                                             >900 NM/1,667 km

Max g-rating:                                                              7.0

 

Planned Quantities

U.S. Marine Corps:                                        340;

U.K. Royal Air Force/Royal Navy:        138;

Italy:                                                                          30;

In total:                                                                  508

Two F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters complete vertical landings aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) during the opening day of the first session of operational testing, May 18, 2015 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)
Two F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters complete vertical landings aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) during the opening day of the first session of operational testing, May 18, 2015 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)

Vertical Take-Off

A UK test team including personnel from BAE Systems, has successfully completed initial aircraft handling trials for ASRAAM (Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile) and Paveway IV weapons on the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II aircraft at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland, United States.

A US Marine Corps F-35B is shown here carrying two Asraam air-to-air missiles and four Paveway IV laser-guided bombs during initial weapon trials in the US
A US Marine Corps F-35B is shown here carrying two Asraam air-to-air missiles and four Paveway IV laser-guided bombs during initial weapon trials in the US

The trial or «dummy» weapons rounds, which are identical in fit and form to the operational weapons, were tested on the Short Take-off Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B for the first time during a series of flights from the U.S. Navy’s test facility at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. The initial tests are an important step in integrating weapons onto the F-35B, allowing test pilots to understand how they affect the way the aircraft performs and handles.

The UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) already uses ASRAAM and Paveway IV on its existing combat air fleet. The successful tests are a step towards full interoperability between the current and future fast jets that will be used by the RAF and the UK’s Royal Navy from 2018.

Two F-35B STOVL aircraft, flown by Billie Flynn, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 test pilot and Squadron Leader Andy Edgell from the RAF, completed nine flights with MBDA’s ASRAAM missiles and Raytheon’s Paveway IV laser guided bombs. The flights involved different configurations of both weapons types on the aircraft.

A United Kingdom Royal Air Force test pilot takes off from the USS Wasp on Aug. 13, 2013. The flight marked the first time a U.K. military pilot flew an F-35B short takeoff mission at sea
A United Kingdom Royal Air Force test pilot takes off from the USS Wasp on Aug. 13, 2013. The flight marked the first time a U.K. military pilot flew an F-35B short takeoff mission at sea

The successful tests will be followed by the next stage of weapons testing due to take place in early 2015. These tests will involve weapon separation and then guided releases of both ASRAAM and Paveway IV from the aircraft.

BAE Systems’ lead test pilot for F-35, Pete Wilson, said: «The team at Patuxent River has got over two thousand hours of flying under their belts for the F-35B variant and the handling and performance of the aircraft has shone through throughout. These latest trials were no exception and help us to move confidently into the next phase of weapons testing».

J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed Martin’s Vice President for F-35 Test & Verification from the Joint Strike Fighter programme added: «These trials show the truly international nature of the F-35 enterprise – being led out of a U.S. Navy facility, involving a joint U.K. Ministry of Defence and industry team, working alongside the U.S. Department of Defence and Lockheed Martin. And the test results for one partner will benefit all, further demonstrating the versatility and capability of the F-35 as a multi-role platform».

An F-35B test aircraft flies in short takeoff/vertical landing mode in November 2013
An F-35B test aircraft flies in short takeoff/vertical landing mode in November 2013

Modern security challenges require a wide distribution of forces and the ability to operate successfully in a broad range of scenarios. Protecting freedom and ensuring security in today’s battlespace calls for an unprecedented aircraft.

For the first time in aviation history, the most lethal fighter characteristics – supersonic speed, radar-evading stealth, extreme agility and Short Take-off Vertical Landing – have been combined in a single platform; the F-35B.

With the F-35B Lightning II in their fleet, expeditionary forces, like the U.S. Marine Corps, have a decisive advantage over their adversaries. The F-35B’s versatility, as demonstrated onboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1), will revolutionize expeditionary combat power in all threat environments by allowing operations from major bases, damaged airstrips, remote locations and a wide range of air-capable ships. The F-35B gives warfighters the ability to accomplish their mission, wherever and whenever duty calls.

F-35B test aircraft BF-1 lands aboard the USS Wasp for the first time on Aug. 12, 2013. The landing marked the beginning of Developmental Test Phase Two for the F-35’s short takeoff/vertical landing variant
F-35B test aircraft BF-1 lands aboard the USS Wasp for the first time on Aug. 12, 2013. The landing marked the beginning of Developmental Test Phase Two for the F-35’s short takeoff/vertical landing variant

 

F-35B SPECIFICATIONS

Length:                                                            51.2 ft/15.6 m

Height:                                                            14.3 ft/4.36 m

Wingspan:                                                     35 ft/10.7 m

Wing area:                                                     460 ft2/42.7 m2

Horizontal tail span:                                21.8 ft/6.65 m

Weight empty:                                            32,300 lb/14,651 kg

Internal fuel capacity:                             13,500 lb/6,125 kg

Weapons payload:                                    15,000 lb/6,800 kg

Maximum weight:                                     60,000 lb class/27,215 kg

Standard internal weapons load:     Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles

Two 2,000-pound (907 kg) GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs

F135-PW-600 engine for F-35B Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL)
F135-PW-600 engine for F-35B Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL)

Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings):                F135-PW-600

Maximum Power (with afterburner):                     41,000 lbs/182,4 kN/ 18,597 kgf

Military Power (without afterburner):                  27,000 lbs/120,1 kN/ 12,247 kgf

Short Take Off Thrust:                             40,740 lbs/181,2 kN/18,479 kgf

Hover Thrust:                                                40,650 lbs/180,8 kN/18,438 kgf

Main Engine:                                                  18,680 lbs/83,1 kN/8,473 kgf

Lift Fan:                                                             18,680 lbs/83,1 kN/8,473 kgf

Roll Post:                                                           3,290 lbs/14,6 kN/1,492 kgf

Length:                                                               369 in/9.37 m

Main Engine Inlet Diameter:                 43 in/1.09 m

Main Engine Maximum Diameter:     46 in/1.17 m

Lift Fan Inlet Diameter:                            51 in/1,30 m

Lift Fan Maximum Diameter:                53 in/1,34 m

Conventional Bypass Ratio:                   0.57

Powered Lift Bypass Ratio:                    0.51

Conventional Overall Pressure Ratio:         28

Powered Lift Overall Pressure Ratio:           29

An F-35B test jet takes off from the USS Wasp on Aug. 21, 2013. The takeoff was part of Developmental Test Phase Two for the F-35 short takeoff/vertical landing variant
An F-35B test jet takes off from the USS Wasp on Aug. 21, 2013. The takeoff was part of Developmental Test Phase Two for the F-35 short takeoff/vertical landing variant

Speed (full internal weapons load):                Mach 1.6 (~1,200 mph/ 1931 km/h)

Combat radius (internal fuel):                           >450 NM/833 km

Range (internal fuel):                                              >900 NM/1667 km

Max g-rating:                                                               7.0

 

Planned Quantities

U.S. Marine Corps:                                                   340;

U.K. Royal Air Force/Royal Navy:                   138;

Italy:                                                                                     30;

In total:                                                                            508