Defense

February 15, 2013

Nellis prepares for F-35 arrival

The F-35 Lightning II is scheduled to begin arriving at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 28. The F-35 will be used for developmental test support, force development evaluation and supporting operational test aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

The 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., is preparing for the arrival of four F-35 Lighting IIs Feb. 28.

Arrival of the F-35s at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., will mark the first time in the aircraft’s history operational tests will be performed on the aircraft.

“It’s the largest [Department of Defense] acquisition project in history,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Wilson, 53rd Wing chief of joint strike fighter integration. “The Air Force’s piece of that is the F-35 A model. It’s the conventional takeoff and landing model often referred to as the CTOL model. That is what we’ll be getting here at Nellis very shortly.”

Once on station, the F-35s will initially be used for operational test purposes. Their primary use will be for developmental test support, force development evaluation and supporting operational test aircraft at Edwards AFB, Calif., in support of the initial operational test and evaluation program.

“I think everyone is ready to get the jets here and to get them flying in an operational test mode,” Wilson said. “Nowhere else in the DOD F-35 program, the Marine Corps, the Navy, or the Air Force, is anyone doing any kind of operational test yet. It’s all on the developmental test side, which is, ‘hey how does this stuff actually work’ instead of ‘How are we going to actually use this?’ This is the first chance for us to use that.”

Nellis is initially scheduled to receive four F-35A models.

“They’ll be joined by a couple more in a couple of years and eventually there will be 12 operational test F-35s here and 24 F-35s for the [U.S. Air Force] Weapons School,” Wilson said.

A majority of the F-35As developmental test objectives will be accomplished at Edwards AFB.

“The major part of what Nellis’ F-35 operational test jets are going to do is what’s called force development evaluation.”

Force development evaluation is the continuous process of evaluating how a standard issued F-35 will be utilized to best execute the mission.

“That’s the biggest piece of force development evaluation is the tactics development part,” Wilson said.

The 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron will design the tactics the F-35 is going to use in air-to-air and air-to surface combat. The squadron will also determine how to integrate the F-35 with other aircraft in the Air Force inventory.

Nellis does operational testing over Nevada Test and Training Range.

The NTTR provides a flexible, realistic and multidimensional battle-space to conduct testing, training and tactics development in the support of U.S. national interests. The pilots aren’t limited to how fast they can fly, how low they can fly, and they face a lot of simulated threats on the NTTR providing them with a realistic training environment, Wilson said.

“That is what the operational test world needs to come as close as possible to the perfect environment as far as developing those tactics,” Wilson said.

“The environment and the people involved are sure to make the F-35s time at Nellis a successful one”, Wilson said.

The F-35 is the newest fifth generation fighter aircraft in the DOD.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photograph

AEDC and AFRL collaborate to make advances in hypersonic technology

Air Force photograph by Mike Smith As part of the U.S.-German cooperative program known as Hypersonic International Flight Experimentation, an integrated aerodynamic and aerothermal test and analysis of a hypersonic cruise vehi...
 
 

Minuteman III rocket motor aging surveillance test completed at AEDC

Arnold Engineering Development Complex personnel completed testing of a Minuteman III Stage II motor in the Complex’s J-6 Large Rocket Test Facility for aging surveillance of the 48-year-old defense program. “The Stage II motor is part of the Minuteman III Aging and Surveillance test program to obtain motor performance data that is used to identify...
 
 
navair-triton

MQ-4C Tritons to arrive at Pax River this fall

  MQ-4C Triton test air vehicles at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Palmdale, Calif., will fly cross-country to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., this fall. The MQ-4C completed a test flight Aug. 19 with updated ...
 

 
global-hawk2

Air Combat Command loans Global Hawk to GVCTF

Air Force photograph by Jennifer Romo The 412th Test Wing’s Global Vigilance Combined Test Force received a Global Hawk Block 40 Aug. 6, on loan from Air Combat Command. Tail number 2035, from Grand Forks AFB, N.D., is jo...
 
 
C130b

C-130 Hercules still going strong at 60

Air Force photograph The C-130H Hercules dons the new eight-blade NP-2000 propellers. The 418th Flight Test Squadron replaced the C-130H Hercules’ four-bladed propellers with the eight-bladed propellers in 2008 in support...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Brandon Hubbard

Romania air base replaces Transit Center Manas

Army photograph by Sgt. Brandon Hubbard Oregon Army National Guard, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team Soldiers from load onto a C-17 Globemaster III Aug. 13, 2013, bound for Afghanistan from Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romani...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>