Defense

March 15, 2013

F-35B arrives at Edwards for missions systems testing

Tags:
Laura Mowry
Staff writer

BF-17 arrival at Edwards Air Force Base March 5. The F-35B is the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35 Lightning II and is operated by the Marine Corps. It’s the first mission systems B-variant to arrive at Edwards.

The F-35 Integrated Test Force expanded their aircraft inventory Mar. 5 with the arrival of BF-17, which is the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the F-35 Lightning II and is operated by the Marine Corps.

The aircraft arrived from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and will remain at Edwards to conduct mission system testing throughout the System Development and Demonstration phase. Testing at Edwards will play a critical role in reaching the 2014 initial operational capability for the Marines.

“Edwards is home for mission systems testing on the F-35. BF-17 adds a different element to our missions fleet. The STOVL variant has some unique features and requires different maintenance and support equipment. You also fly the aircraft differently. We’re excited to have the aircraft here, where it will stay until the end of the testing when we give it back to the Marine Corps,” said Brian O’Melia, BF-17 lead flight test engineer.

While the F-35B undergoes mission systems testing, the F-35 ITF does not anticipate utilizing the aircraft’s STOVL capability during normal flight operations. However, a landing pad was built between the runway and Taxiway B in case the aircraft experiences an in-flight emergency.

During the aircraft’s time at Edwards, Air Force pilots will also have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the F-35B and expand their knowledge base of the fifth-generation fighter.

“This is a great opportunity to get Air Force pilots trained on the B-model differences. It’s great to have multiple variants of the F-35 here because the test pilots get broad experience that will help them throughout their careers with new unfamiliar aircraft. We want them to have as much experience as possible,” said Col. Roderick L. Cregier, Edwards F-35 program manager.

After the long-awaited arrival of BF-17, the F-35 ITF is fully prepared to begin testing with modifications to the aircraft are currently underway.

“We have been preparing for a long time and the arrival of BF-17 will allow us to increase testing for the JSF Program Office. The aircraft was scheduled to arrive in January so we’re excited to now integrate this aircraft into our test fleet. We have started modifications to make it the first F-35B model to fly with Block 2B software, so the team is already taking great advantage of the aircraft,” said Lt. Col. George Schwartz, Edwards Government ITF director.

With the successful arrival of BF-17, the F-35 ITF looks forward to testing an additional variant of F-35 and eventually welcoming a third with the Navy’s C-model, carrier variant.

“For us, it’s also significant to have two F-35 variants here and we look forward to eventually having the C-model here as well. Our team is fully integrated with members from the Air Force, Navy, and USMC, along with eight partner countries and this level of joint testing is unprecedented,” said Schwartz.

“We will eventually be conducting mission systems testing on all three F-35 variants. Members of the ITF are making an enormous contribution to the warfighting capabilities for the U.S. services and eight allies that ultimately provide the combat capability for 2,500 aircraft. This is a great place to be.”




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


 
 

 

Headlines October 22, 2014

News: Northrop challenges 3DELRR contract award - Northrop Grumman has formally issued a protest against the US Air Force’s decision to award its next-generation ground based radar to competitor Raytheon.   Business: Defense firms prefer GOP, but spread campaign cash between political parties - For every campaign contribution from a major arms manufacturer to a Republican candidate...
 
 

News Briefs October 22, 2014

Military converges on scene of Kansas jet crash Military personnel are investigating at the site in southeast Kansas where an Oklahoma Air National Guard fighter jet crashed after a midair collision with another one during a training exercise. The F-16 crashed Oct. 20 in a pasture about three miles northeast of Moline, an Elk County...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Upgrades ‘new normal’ for armor in uncertain budget environment

Courtesy photograph The current Paladin is severely under-powered and overweight so its speed of cross-country mobility is pretty restricted. The Paladin Integrated Management program is designed to address a number of these we...
 

 

ISR: A critical capability for 21st century warfare

The progressive adaptations and breakthroughs made in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance arena have changed the way wars are fought, and the way commanders think about the battlespace. “Whether we have airmen exploiting full motion video data or serving downrange in the (Central Command) area of responsibility, these individuals make up an enterprise of 30,000...
 
 

Lockheed Martin teams with Roketsan of Turkey on new standoff missile for F-35

Roketsan and Lockheed Martin signed a teaming agreement Oct. 22 for collaboration on the SOM-J, a new generation air-to-surface Standoff Cruise Missile for the F-35 Lightning II. The SOM system is an autonomous, long-range, low-observable, all-weather, precision air-to-surface cruise missile. The SOM-J variant is tailored for internal carriage on the F-35 aircraft. The companies will...
 
 

Army Operating Concept expands definition of combined arms

The Army Operating Concept, published Oct. 7, expands the idea of joint combined-arms operations to include intergovernmental and special operations capabilities, said Gen. Herbert R. McMaster Jr. The new concept includes prevention and shaping operations at the strategic level across domains that include maritime, air, space and cyberspace, he said. It’s a “shift in emphasis,”...
 




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>