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.


 
 

 

Headlines July 31, 2015

News: Carter: Military leaders could arm more troops at home – Following the recent fatal shooting of four Marines and a sailor in Tennessee, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is ordering the military services to consider new policies that would enhance security for troops at home, including potentially arming more personnel.   Business: DOD weighs supplier base,...
 
 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

U.S. delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt The United States Embassy in Cairo says the U.S. is delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt as part of an ongoing military support package. It says in a July 30 statement that the aircraft, of the current Block 52 production variant, will be flown in from...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin successfully tests design changes for Orion spacecraft’s fairing separation system

Lockheed Martin photograph A protective panel for Orion’s service module is jettisoned during testing at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California facility. This test series evaluated design changes to the spacecraft’s fair...
 

 

Australian company to provide parts for initial production of Triton UAS

Northrop Grumman has awarded the first Australian supplier contract for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system initial production lot to Ferra Engineering. Brisbane-based Ferra Engineering will manufacture mechanical sub-assemblies for the first four Triton air vehicles including structural components. “At Northrop Grumman it’s very important to not only develop...
 
 
Boeing photograph

CH-46 ‘Phrog’ makes its last hop

Boeing photograph The CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter commonly known as the “Phrog,” is set to retire and to be flown one last time by Reserve Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 774 on Aug. 1. The CH-46 Sea Knight is a med...
 
 

Insitu awarded LRIP Lot IV RQ-21A Blackjack Systems contract

Under the terms of its latest contract, Insitu will build six RQ-21A Blackjack systems for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The $78-million Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Lot IV Low Rate Initial Production contract is the latest event in the program’s progression toward the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation phase.   “This award will...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>