AFA Transcripts


Brigadier General Charles R. Davis
Deputy Program Executive Officer
F-35 Lightning II Program Office
Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition 2006
Washington, D.C.
Sept. 26, 2006

"F-35 and What It Does"

[Click here for printer-friendly version]

General Davis: Good morning, everybody. Every time I do one of these forums I find out very quickly that thereís a wide range of knowledge of just what is going on with the F-35 and the program. There are a lot of myths out there and thereís a lot of good data that we try to pack into some of these sessions and I enjoy the exchanges at the end. So weíll try to go through this relatively rapidly and save as much time for discussion as we can.

Next chart, please.

The program as you can see from this chart brings a whole new aspect to the warfighting capability for at least nine different countries. The eight partner countries that are there, Iíll show you the breakdown in terms of some of their buys, but also the United States services, the three services that are involved in there. So if you think about what a warfighting coalition that basically flies the same airplane, that can talk to each other at an unprecedented rate with an unprecedented capability, if you think about that coalition that will start up in the fjords of Norway, work its way across Central Europe, down to the Mediterranean and Italy, certainly up to the North Atlantic and the UK, stretch across the carriers in the Atlantic Ocean, all the bases that are going to be in the United States, start working its way on carriers across the Pacific, head down into the South Pacific, all the way down to Australia. If you think about a coalition that covers that much of the globe, that can operate fairly seamlessly between each other at whatever process the combatant commander chooses to use those airplanes, thatís a very, if you will, powerful tool for all the nations involved and presents a new dimension in warfighting capability that weíre only beginning to think about what that brings to our partners and our allies.

This is something that Secretary Wynne is very fond of talking about when you talk about the fact that we will not just fly a four-ship of carrier type CV airplanes or a four-ship of Air Force CTAL airplanes. There will be wingmen that will be stretching across the world in any situation where theyíre needed, kind of seamlessly operating in any scenario you can think of, so it brings a huge aspect to warfighting capabilities.

Weíre finding out as certainly as we go through the discussions with our partner countries that the F-35 is a tool of the Department of Defense by any stretch of the imagination, but itís certainly becoming a tool in terms of the Department of State.

The discussions weíre having with these countries, with partners, amongst the US services about budgets and interoperability and employment and technology sharing and everything has really pushed the comfort zone of the Department of Defense about how it brings allies into acquisition programs. So this is a very unique aspect of JSF and Iím going to talk about the capabilities of the airplane here in just a little bit, but youíve got to keep this in mind. This is a very important aspect of the program that goes well beyond anything weíve ever done in the Department of Defense.

Next chart, please.

The mix of the program is very broad. This chart, if you will, in one chart tries to sum up everything that weíre doing.

If you start at the center of the chart there at the top, first of all weíre building three variants of airplanes. Three variants to meet the specific mission needs of how that airplane basically, if you will, is going to be employed and how you get it off the ground and get it back down. In other words weíre going to have the CTAL airplane working from bases; youíre going to have the STOVAL airplane thatís got to operate from the amphib ships so it has the lift system that allows it to do it, also to bring back weapons and bring back fuel to be able to operate in all kinds of conditions on that amphib ship. The CV, the carrier variant, basically has structural differences just to be able to handle catapults, both coming and going off that.

Once you get the airplanes up and away, their capabilities are very similar because theyíre all operating on the same software. So you have three structural variants to basically handle how you operate the traffic pattern, then the rest of it short of some weapons differences on STOVAL which is only because the [lift band] has a little smaller weapons by, but short of those weapons differences on STOVAL, basically seamless airplanes in terms of the software thatís being built and how those airplanes operate, how those airplanes operate with each other.

In other words, a CV, a STOVAL, a CTAL, could all very easily work within the same elements or four-ships or three-ships, depending on how you choose to employ them. Weíll talk about that.

Obviously we have the lift system, we have two interchangeable engines, the Pratt & Whitney F-135, the General Electric Rolls Royce F-136. We call that section the turbo machinery, if you will, that interops very seamlessly, certainly on the STOVAL airplane that has a [lift band] in the front of the airplane and a three-bearing swivel nozzle we call in the back that directs the aft flow for the takeoff.

So basically you have the two engines. You also have the three services. You have the eight international partners. We have two security cooperation participants that kind of came into the program just after the partnership did with Singapore and Israel. You have a Lockheed, if you will, led partner team that has the prominent team mates of Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems there. Obviously General Electric Rolls Royce and Pratt & Whitney are very well integrated in that team.

So in addition to bringing the airplane, weíre also bringing an integrated training system thatís going to be working across a lot of flight test centers. Iíll talk to you a little bit about the autonomic logistics system which is basically the logistics support system of the airplane. All of this airplane is going to be not only built, but itís also going to be supplied and supported by an international supplier base that stretches across the entire globe. Thatís where you see the global sustainment, if you will, the orange barbed wire running across the earth.

Then the links of this airplane, thereís been a lot of discussion in the news about how some of these new airplanes, certainly us, the F-22, will be able to pick up quite a bit of information as we fly across the battlefield in an ISR, non-traditional ISR sense, if you will. Iíll talk about those sensors. But if you look at what an airplane like the F-35, certainly the F-22 as well, brings to the international arena in terms of surveillance and reconnaissance and intelligence, just by what itís able to pick up with its sensors, thatís another great leap in warfighting capability that goes beyond most of the platforms that are out there including some of the ones you think about every day such as AWACS and JSTARS and everything else.

Anyway, one slide if you have to picture what JSF is, thatís what JSF is. Itís, if you will, a very broad operation certainly across the world and thatís why this program gets to be quite a challenge at some point.

Next chart, please.

You see how our partner countries fall out there. The requirements on the United States, certainly in the Air Force have stayed fairly the same in terms of 1763 airplanes. The Department of Navy, 680 jets. Thatís going to be a mix thatís still kind of being worked out, yet to be determined, going to CV airplanes and the STOVAL airplanes. The notional numbers that we believe our partner countries are going to be looking at, you see Canada, working through Netherlands. Italy is the only other country thatís going to buy a mix of airplanes other than the United States. Theyíre looking at some mix of both STOVAL and CTAL airplanes. Everybody else except for the UK is going to be guying the CTAL airplane. The United Kingdom which is basically our other Level 1 partner there is going to be buying all STOVAL airplanes. So that kind of gives you the mix of how the fleetís going to shape up across the world.

Iíll show you as we go through here kind of what itís going to replace in the fleets of these countries as we get to it.

Next chart, please.

This is what I was trying to show in the beginning. These are basically the structural differences in the airplanes that allow them to fly the missions just a little bit differently. Primarily, as I said, itís how you get in and out of the traffic pattern. The difference is on the conventional takeoff and landing airplane, the Air Force CTAL, the refueling system is different, obviously, to account for the boom refueling process we use. Itís the only airplane also that has an internal 25mm Gatling gun. The other two variants can carry a gun but itís on a missionized pod on the center line store.

Beyond that as you look over to the right, the CVís got some bigger wings and bigger tails basically to allow it to get back on the carrier at a slower speed while it brings its weapons back. The STOVAL airplane, the lift band right behind the cockpit, the prominent feature there. Thatís why I mentioned the weapons bay is just a little bit smaller on that airplane than it is on the other two. The other two airplanes can basically carry 2,000 pound class weapons in their weapons bay. The STOVAL is pretty much limited to about a 1,000 pound weapons class type of item in their center line weapons bay. Obviously things like small diameter bomb and everything will fit in all the airplanes.

Of course the two Navy airplanes, Navy and Marines use the probe and drobe, the basket refueling. Thatís the real difference in how the systems operate on the airplane.

So there are minor systems differences, if you will, minor we kind of characterize it simply because of the different fueling systems and how the lift band arranges and everything like there. But again, software very similar across all the airplanes.

Next chart, please.

So across the world if you look at how weíre going to replace what we believe is going to be the legacy fleet thatís out there today you kind of see how this flows down. Obviously F-16s are flown across a lot of the partner countries within Denmark, Norway, Italy, Turkey has those. Australia and Canada both have the older F-18s that weíre going to be replacing. Australia is also the only country flying F-111s. Probably out of all of our partner countries the Australians have the biggest need to get the airplane out there as quickly as possible because you can imagine those F-111s are kind of hanging on by the skin of their teeth, although the Australians have done a magnificent job of keeping those airplanes flying. Theyíre looking to see that theyíre going to have to do something to replace some of their really older jets by the 2012 timeframe.

Weíre going into Italy, replacing some Tornados, Harriers, and the AMX jets. Obviously if you come down the left side of the chart the Air Force is looking to replace some A-10s and

F-16s. The Navy, the older F-18s. The Marine Corps, the older F-18s as well as their Harriers. Then the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force are replacing both of their Harrier versions on there. Again, thatís how that coalition builds up across the world.

As you look at where the airplane may go beyond the partnership, obviously if you think about weíve sold roughly 4,000-plus F-16s across the world. If you figure that at some point those older F-16s and other older airplanes that are out there, we do look at the possibility the JSF market will expand, certainly beyond the partnership. Obviously thatís the goal of where weíd like to take the program down the road. But thatís a little further out in the future.

In other words, that opens up the opportunity to put the F-35 in a lot of countries up to some really big numbers. The US airplanes take us about to 2400. You add another 500 to 600 of the partnership airplanes, itís close to 3,000. Then it just depends on where we sell, where the airplane is able to fit into the needs of the other countries that fly airplanes like F-16s.

Next chart, please.

This kind of gives you an idea of a little bit of the configuration differences. Iíll kind of show you how they match up to some of the legacy airplanes right here. The big point we need to emphasize on all of the discussions we have here, look at what the internal fuel is on all the airplanes. 18,000 on CTAL. Even STOVAL has 14,000; 20,000-plus on CV. That is a significant amount of range, more so than any legacy jet out there, and that is in a very, if you will, low observable, stealth configuration. To be able to carry that much gas, and youíll kind of get an idea of what the range is. But most of the airplanes are well over 550, up past 650 nautical miles of range based on being able to carry weapons and that amount of fuel in a stealth, low observable configuration which is a new aspect that most of the services, short of the Air Force right now, thatís going to be picking up this airplane will have that theyíve never had before.

So if you think about the Department of the Navy, the Marines, and certainly all of our partner countries, never had a stealth platform, never had a day one stealth platform out there, this kind of gives you an idea of what the F-35 is going to do for them.

Next chart, please.

This gives you an idea of size comparison. The F-35 is not a small airplane. Itís a fairly big, if you will, airframe simply because of the fact that the internal weapons bay as well as the internal fuel. So if you look at a clean F-16 over there on the left with 7,000 pounds of internal gas, the CTAL airplanes bring in 18,000. We donít have the fuel on the F-22, but itís roughly the same amount of gas, or more gas, but when you consider two engines, if you look at how the F-22/F-35 will employ in certain scenarios range gets to be quite comparable in some cases based on how the airplanes operate.

Next chart, please.

This is how we compare against, if you will, the older F-18Cs as well as the Harriers. Notice well above the internal gas on an F-18, certainly double the gas almost on the Harriers. Again, a bigger airplane than the F-18, certainly a bigger airplane than the Harrier.

Next chart, please.

This gives you an idea of what the EF looks like compared to that. Even on the EF the CV airplane, about 6,000 pounds more gas, certainly almost twice the amount of gas in the older F-18Cs.

If you load up the F-18s here obviously with center line and wing tanks, you can start approaching the gas that the CV will carry internally, but then youíve got to understand what that does to your range, having to carry the tanks out there, as well as what it does to your signature in front of all the threat radars youíre going to be coming up against. Definitely a plus in how you operate off a carrier.

Itís going to be a new mindset for the Navy, certainly. Weíre working through that right now and obviously not having flow and stealth platform itís been a good interchange weíve been having between the Air Force and the Navy and certainly our partner countries about what stealth brings to their capabilities. Certainly off a carrier, certainly off an amphib ship.

Next chart, please.

We have to have a schedule. Let me tell you where the schedule is right now and weíll talk a little bit about some of the major milestones coming up. We completed the critical design reviews for the CTAL and STOVAL airplane. Weíre going to have the critical design review for the carrier variant probably early spring next year, so that red dot --

[Portion missing on Tape Change].

-- the airplane back up here towards the end of October or the middle of October as we get it ready for taxi tests, looking to fly that airplane sometime between the end of November and the first part of December. That will be where it says CTAL first flight right there. Then the CTAL optimized, which is more of a production version of that airplane will fly in 2008.

STOVAL, you notice there, will fly towards the end of calendar year 2007, about the middle of fiscal year 2008. Then weíre into 2008 for the CV first flight.

Then we start working our way through development and operational tests, and then we start working our way through the production numbers. Iím sure most of you have seen, thereís been a lot of news, a lot of press on what will be the future of F-35 production, when do we start our first LRIP lot, when do we go into production? The current numbers that we believe that are coming out of the Appropriations Bill right now will buy two Air Force CTALs in 2007, and we have long lead for six CTALs and six STOVALs in the í08 long lead out of the í07 appropriation.

So itís kind of a mix. We started out with a couple of committees that took everything we had and a couple of committees that gave us either four and four or four and eight. So our second year is looking pretty good; first year we hoped would turn out a little bit better, but itís a good start for the program because as you look at where weíre building the SDD (system design and development) jets as well as the production jet, that kind of ramps us up in 10 one year to 11 to 12. So the production line is starting to grow a little bit there.

Then if you look, weíll work [L-rip] lots on through basically the last [L-rip] lots delivering in 2014, and then weíre looking at obviously the discussions about economic ordering quantities, a multi-year program, and everything from there.

As it stands now on the record the IOC date for the Marine Corps is 2012. í13 for the Air Force and the Navy. The UK is actually out there in 2014. Thatís all going to pin strictly on how many airplanes we can by over the FYDP years, working our way through this to get to the IOC number. The services can obviously declare IOC whenever they would like to, but that just gives you an idea of what the dates are on the program of record.

Next chart.

This is the first airplane that we have, some of the airplanes, the one flying up there is one of the CDA demonstrator phase. The big picture in the middle is AA-1, the F-35 thatís in the hangars right now. It will be flying later this year. We also have several other first flights that I mentioned. The one I didnít talk about is our cooperative avionics test bed, the Cat Bird, as we call it. Basically the Cat Bird is designed to test our mission systems components, both the hardware and the software. Itís a 737. If you look at how that airplane is geometrically arrayed between the radar and the nose of the airplane, and youíll see those little winglets just in front of the engines, itís exactly, if you will, parametrically correct of how an F-35 would match it if laid over the top of that airplane. So you have the exact distance between radars and sensors, both the sensors above and below the airplane, the tail and the wings and everything, so that youíve got the same wiring harnesses, the same thing to be able to fully check out the mission systems in at least a representative configuration to give us a little bit of risk reduction capability as we work through the software development of the program. Then we work through STOVAL, the next Air Force airplane, and the CV airplane.

Next chart, please.

Again, a big picture of AA-1. You notice this is when it was painted up for its inauguration ceremony, as we called it. Partner flags on the front and then our current version of the squadron patch on the vertical tail.

Next chart.

Just more pictures of the airplane in the hangar. The big picture in the center was when we cranked it up for its after-burner engine runs. Mr. John Beasley who is going to be the first lucky guy to be able to take the airplane into the air was in there cranking engines. You see the after-burner running down the bottom right-hand picture there. Iíll talk a little bit more about these sensor pictures youíre seeing as we go.

Next chart, please.

Major accomplishments. Just kind of tracking where weíve been on the program. AA-1 first flight kind of gives you an idea. It took us 11 days to get from the time we first cranked up the integrated power package, if you will, the IPP, basically the APU on the airplane, if you will the APU on steroids. Itís the APU, itís the generator, itís the engine starter, itís basically the cooling system for the airplane all integrated into a power package. We took 11 days to get from starting that up the first time we put power on the airplane to we were running in after-burner. So we have legacy airplanes out there that basically took almost ten different software releases to get through those two milestones.

We have a lot of things going on in JSF that we feel like occasionally weíre not quite making the milestone dates that we originally planned on. At one point we said this airplane was going to fly in August. As we worked through what we learned we said probably the end of November is a much more realistic date. So we fly a little bit later than we planned, but what weíre finding is the success we have when we get to that milestone is much better than we planned so we hope to be able to accelerate that development process obviously throughout that. Weíre certainly having to do a lot less rework and a lot less, if you will, scrap and rework on most of the things weíre working on now than weíve ever seen on some legacy platforms up there.

So you see 12 engine runs. Weíre running in full afterburner on the Air Forceís birthday, which was kind of a neat event. We didnít plan it that way, it just kind of worked out, but itís a good way to do it.

We have eight other airplanes in production flow. Five STOVALs, there CTAL airplanes and then you noticed the center fuselages, theyíre built by Northrop out at Palmdale. The four fuselages are in work at Lockheed, Fort Worth. Wing sections are in a couple of different locations. The aft fuselage is being built by BA Systems over in the UK. All those come together for mate at Fort Worth.

Engines, a mix there both of ground test and flight test. We have three Pratt & Whitney flight test engines delivered. You have four more in work there.

Subsystems are a success on this airplane simply because of the fact on any legacy platform weíve had out there to include the F-22, the avionics systems are well beyond where they were at this point in F-22ís development. Again, weíre using a lot of

F-22 technology in the airplane so it shouldnít be a surprise that weíve been able to kind of leapfrog the development process. But the fact that we have four radars working, hooked up to their computers in the lab. We have all the sensors on the airplane which Iím going to show you here, connected and running together on a mission systems lab down at Fort Worth. That tells you that weíve been able to do a lot of risk reduction up front. Thereís a lot of discussion about concurrency on the F-35 program. One of the ways weíre mitigating that is simply because of the fact that we have the avionics up, running in an integrated fashion in the lab before we ever fly the airplane. Thatís something most programs have not been able to do very successfully in the past, so weíre working through that.

Then you see basically F-135, weíve got a lot of hours on a lot of engines. The F-136, which is intentionally planned to follow, if you will, behind the F-135, just how the programís structured, is working on its first two engines. Itís just beginning its system design and development work right now.

Next chart, please.

Youíve heard a lot of weight discussion about STOVAL if you follow the program at all. Let me just show you what weíve been able to figure out as we went through AA-1. If you look at when it comes down to what the airplane weighs, what it was predicted versus actual, it tends to show that we believe we have a system now that will track the weight of the airplane and that we can control it as we need to throughout the development process. You may remember that was a very tough period in JSFís history. We stopped the program for almost 18 months, added significant dollars to get the STOVAL weight issue right simply because of breakdown in a few processes there. But if you look at how weíre going now when we finally got the AA-1 airplane through the design system and got the airplane actually weighed, it came out .35 percent less than the computer predictions after we got all the bill-to packages and everything within the system.

You see what we have here, you see where itís going. That gives us good confidence that when we think we see weight evolving on an airplane weíll know exactly what that weight is and where we can go deal with it.

Next chart, please.

These are just a lot of facts that weíve collected over time. We get a lot of questions to tell us, if you will, to go into the maturity of the overall air system as we talk about getting ready to go into production. Weíve used this in a variety of different forums for discussion. But if you look just basically it talks about where we are with 61 percent of all the drawings for all the airplanes complete. We talk about the engine test hours, the hours weíve had on radar systems, EW systems. We talk about the maturity of the labs over there in the bottom right hand corner, working our way through the software lines of code.

Obviously one of the next big concerns that we always track very closely on the F-35 program is how all of our software is doing. Weíre going to have about 19 million lines of code across the entire air system when we finally get done. Now thatís the ground system, the training system, the networks that go with it. About six million lines itself on the jet. If you think of the Raptor, the Raptor was about two million lines of code. Different processing system. Raptor used a lot of very centralized processing, if you will, architectures within its airplane. Again, a lesson weíve tried to learn from that is maybe not run everything through one central computer. Maybe take some of the software and do a lot of processing at the various sensor locations.

The good news about that is itís a much simpler system. The bad news is it takes a little bit more software to do that. So again, weíll see how that works for us as we go through the development of the program.

A lot of time in the wind tunnel, and a lot of time firing guns, too.

Next chart, please.

Iím going to spend the next few charts just talking about this is the real question about whatís the F-35, what are its capabilities, what can it really do? These are the critical key performance parameters that we track. The numbers, Iíll kind of run through some of them. Weíve put them on a slide. They have to change the releasability numbers, it gets kind of strange, but anyway Iíll go through that.

But if you figure that the CTAL airplane basically about a 600 mile, 590 mile radius on that airplane; 600 for CV. It works our way down through there. All of the performance parameters in terms of combat radius are exceeding what the requirements are right now.

The CV recovery, thatís the speed the airplane comes across the deck, right on the number there. When a number turns yellow like this it means itís within a certainty band of how we measure it so weíre meeting the KPP. When itís yellow it means weíre just watching that.

The key, if you will, drivers for the program that have really the most stressing KPPs are the STOVAL performance parameters there. The flat deck takeoff distance, if you will, which weíll be doing on the Marine amphib ships; the ski jump takeoff distance which will be done on the UK carrier ships, has basically a deck with a ramp on the end of it. The BLBB is the vertical load bring back capability, the requirement to bring back two 1,000 pound JDAMs, two AMRAMs and enough gas to divert as needed.

So weíre meeting the key performance parameters on there.

Interoperability is the one thatís giving us a challenge, not because of our development issue, but interoperability means we have to connect to a whole lot of platforms across the world. Standards, if you follow any of the discussions about Link-16 and TTNT and JTTRS and everything else, youíll understand that standards that you use to measure interoperability by are evolving every day. JSF in the development is able to be able to build to the most current standards the most, if you will, what we consider will be up to date, what will be in the field at the time we employ the airplane.

You have to understand, a lot of the platforms weíre supposed to connect to are not building to those standards. So weíve got a dilemma that we work through in this about will we have the standards that say AWACS or JSTARS or SATCOM will have when we field this airplane? In a lot of cases the answer is no so a lot of discussion between us and the Joint Staff about how we evolve to what, if you will, what interoperability standard will actually be on the airplane by the time we field it.

RF signature is doing well. Mission reliability on all the airplanes are doing well. Thatís above 90 percent for everything.

Sortie generation rate. The reason you see differences in the sortie generation rate particularly on the STOVAL airplane, it all has to do with how many hours youíre going to fly the airplane per sortie. It goes from 2.5 on the Air Force side to about an hour and a half on the Marine side. So that kind of figures into your denominator of how many sorties you fly a day. Obviously if you fly 2.5 sorties a day and then you have to turn the airplane, it creates less sorties available than if you fly an hour and a half per sortie.

Logistics load, footprint volume, everything on weight is doing well.

Next chart, please.

One thing that occasionally gets lost in the discussion is the fact obviously that the F-35 and the F-22, they are the only fifth generation airplanes that exist today. Obviously we have a lot of the weapon capabilities and more that exist in some of the fourth generation airplanes. Certainly the F-18s, the F-16s that are out there. But when you add in the stealth capability, and itís not just the stealth capability. Stealth is not what gets you to a fifth generation airplane. Youíve got to have the balance of performance and payload that you would think that a fourth generation airplane would have, but also youíve got to have that interoperability, the fusion of the sensors, the fusion of the information coming into the airplane, being able to collect a lot of information, do something with it in your own cockpit, but then also give it to somebody else that can do something with it.

If you donít have all of those characteristics combined, youíre not a fifth generation airplane, even though you may have some stealth capability. Thatís one thing that often gets kind of down-played in the discussion about what these airplanes can do.

You see where weíre going in terms of partnership with the F-22, certainly on the Air Force side.

Next chart, please.

Although stealth is very important. You notice the threat rings over there, how theyíre, if you will shrunken as you take a fifth generation stealth airplane through there. If you look back to what happened to the F-117, back in the Bosnia situation when that airplane was shot down. Stealth is one thing, but being able to know whatís around you and what itís doing and what, if you will, the partnership, the team mates youíre out there flying with are also doing to those threat rings and sharing that data is just about as equally important in most cases as what the stealth signature on your airframe is. Thatís where Iím talking about the interoperability, the fusion of everything that we bring to the fight in terms of what the pilot has in the cockpit on the F-35. Itís very important.

Next chart, please.

If you take one snapshot, and Iím going to go through some quick pictures on everything that these sensors kind of do for the airplane, but if you start out with the fact that we add cooperative ops, off-board connectivity to a wide variety of airplanes, a wide variety of platforms, a wide variety of satellites, that brings the capability that I talked about.

Obviously we have the sensor, we have a variety of weapons. I mentioned zeo-electrical optical targeting. Iíll talk about the electrical optical targeting system thatís on the airplane.

Three-hundred and sixty degree full, if you will, full situation awareness around the airplane with our distributed aperture system down in the bottom left-hand corner. Lots of capability to be able to not only detect and track the threats that are out there, but be able to record that information and pass that on to whoever may need that.

You take all of those blocks over there and you fuse it into a picture in the cockpit.

One of the challenges, obviously, of any airplane like this is to be able to fuse that picture and put it in a format that the pilot can actually use and react to. You can put a lot of data in the cockpit that will just totally overwhelm whoever is in there. But being able to down-select that data to a set of, if you will, rules or to a set of well-defined actions a pilot should take is a real challenge when you talk about fusing data coming in from sensors.

Next chart, please.

The one thing we also do not necessarily talk too much about on the F-35 is the fact that it is a day one platform in the most stressing scenarios. There is a difference in how we would attack a day one target set out there as opposed to how the F-22 would do it. Obviously we use a little bit different formation. We may even use more airplanes to go out and attack those very high value, very high threat targets. But we do have an ord requirement to be able to do those missions and right now we have no real, if you will, challenge meeting those missions. Thatís where we get into how the stealth employs, how the electronic attack capabilities and different things on the airplane work.

Anyway, we also have the capability to go across a very wide array of target missions, not to mention air interdiction. Certainly seed and deed is what we talk about on the day one capability but then some of the more conventional missions -- counter-air, strategic attack, close air support, and defensive counter-air. All of these are mission requirements. All of these are how we measure the performance of the airplane on any given day when we take it through the analysis of the software weíre building.

Next chart, please.

Whatís also unique about this airplane is it provides not only that coalition I talked about but provides a very broad range of flexibility to the combatant commanders out there. If you think about the fact that you can launch a day one platform off either a Marine amphib ship, a UK amphib ship, certainly a Navy carrier, a main base within Europe, the United States or in Asia, thereís a lot of capability that brings, a lot of flexibility it brings to the combatant commander out there that he does not have right now, so thatís going to be a big benefit of what JSF will bring to the arena once we start to field it.

Next chart, please.

Our ability to be able to look out there and track through all of our sensors a wide variety of targets, not only a physical target on the ground, but certainly electronic emanations from certain threats and everything is very broad. Basically we see that we have requirements and we track this again, track our performance against it every day as to how well weíre doing against the classes of targets we have to be able to detect and identify, whether theyíre moving, whether theyíre relocatable, or whether theyíre just basically some type of emitter, both air to air and air to ground threats.

So if you take all of this data and fuse it into the cockpit, thatís the challenge I mentioned to you a little bit earlier about giving the pilot a coherent targeting picture as well as a coherent, if you will, surveillance and reconnaissance picture that can get relayed to other platforms.

Next chart, please.

The APG-81, our AESA radar. A lot of resolution capability. Again, a lot of technology here sharing, both taking what F-22 did and also weíre going to improve on that. Weíre going to give some of that back to F-22 as it upgrades its radar in the future. But when you have an AESA out there that can do some of the things that this system can, youíve got a lot of capability.

Thereís a picture of the Pentagon in there. Obviously this is some of the developmental components of our AESA, not the final one, obviously. But target classification, to give you an idea, is that a truck, is it a tank? And certainly when you start talking about how we do the resolution on the synthetic aperture radar map, to be able to geo-locate and self-target things out there, thatís going to be obviously the big advantage of this airplane being able to take it into a scenario with almost no support, although you donít desire to operate that way normally. But with no support, be able to take the target, take a picture, take a location, be able to self-target your weapons, and then send that data back to other platforms that may want to also either come in and look at a battle damage assessment or be able to come in and attack similar threats in similar areas.

Next chart, please.

The detail -- Weíve been flying radars a Bach-111 test bed, flies out of Northrop Grumman up in Baltimore, flying that in a variety of locations. The detail weíre getting on the radar right now is really very very good. As you noticed, weíve got pictures of runway cracks, we can track the targets that show up in the photo on the left, to correlate that to whatís actually showing up on the radar image on the right. Then more detail of what the radar can show in terms of even more patterns on the grass.

In some cases youíre getting a little bit more detail on some aspects of the picture than you would on the sheer photograph of the situation which is going to be useful in certain tactical situations.

Next chart, please.

Also, as we make this synthetic aperture map it also has the capability to track moving targets then, if you will, precisely superimpose them on the location on your SAR map so as you can self-target a lot of your own weapons against moving targets, thatís another capability thatís not necessarily prevalent in some of the legacy platforms that are out there today.

Next chart, please.

The radar. Obviously you have mixed capability within the radar. You have a variety of capabilities to divide your search volume not only between tracks, certainly between search, and there are other functions that the radar can do. As you imagine an AESA thatís out there, AESAs provide a lot of capability not only to receive data from the ground, certainly to serve as a datalink in some situations, certainly be able to provide you an air to ground as well as an air to air picture at the same time.

The way youíre able to divide the search, divide the search track, divide the functions of the AESA radar provides you a lot of limitless possibilities. Again, itís just an issue of how you structure your software to do that.

Next chart, please.

The EOTS basically gives you the equivalent and beyond of some of the pods that are out there in the field today. The AT-FLIR obviously, the Sniper Pod, things like that that are in existence on the legacy platforms is now carried on this platform but itís also carried, again back to this day one stealth configuration. The chin thatís mounted on the airplane, thatís specifically designed to be able to obviously be low cross-section but provide basically all the capabilities and more of some of the pods that are out there today.

Obviously one of the benefits of this pod compared to a lot of legacy platforms that are out there is the long range passive, if you will, search and track via the earth system it has out there.

So in addition to being able to target and designate laser weapons you have the capability to do air to air passive tracking in certain situations as required. You kind of get a picture of it. Some ships in harbor over there on the bottom left, so the capabilities are very good with this.

Next chart.

This kind of gives you an idea, I included an extra picture so you could see how the faceted window fits up under the chin of the airplane. Thatís basically in the upper left hand corner the underside of the airplane turned over so you get an idea of some of the classic LO process of faceting a window to be able to reduce your cross-section area there. Again, a lot of capability. The fact that youíre going to carry this pod in the stealth configuration.

The distributed after-system basically starts out as our missile warning system, but there are sensors at critical locations all over the airplane. So in addition to being able to track missiles and correlate that to warnings in the cockpit, the DAS sensors also provide fairly good, if you will, optical images of the situation around you. So what the DAS is going to serve to do on the airplane in addition to tracking missiles is going to be fed into the pilotís helmet display and heís going to have basically, certainly at night, heís going to have a 360 degree display of whatís going on around him when heís not able to see out of the airplane. In some ways this is going to be basically your substitute for night vision goggles.

For the STOVAL guys where this is going to come in handy is the images are going to come into the helmet at night when theyíre landing on the deck. As you look down between your legs and off to the wings, youíre now seeing whatís beyond you in the airplane so itís going to take some getting used to from the fact that you feel like youíre sitting in the cockpit looking straight through the bottom of the airplane, but thatís going to be the capability DAS will bring to the guys trying to come back aboard ship at night.

Next chart.

Then although we have radar warning receivers, our electronic support measures capability go well beyond that. Not only from the fact that we can pick up the signals out there through the mixture of sensors on the airplane, but be able to also provide very precise geolocation of where the threats are coming from and then fuse that into the picture with everything else the airplane is bringing to the cockpit.

Next chart, please.

If you look at the SAR radar, the ESM measures, the DAS, the moving targets, everything else.

Next chart, please.

The challenge we have is then fusing that into a tactical situation display the pilot can use and react to without being totally overwhelmed.

One of the challenges youíve heard a lot about the F-35 is our helmet non-display. There is no HUD in the airplane so everything is going to be fed into the visors thatís going to be fitted to the helmet that the pilotís going to be flying with. And amazingly enough, we see the challenge as not getting the display onto the helmet. What weíre working through right now when we talk about issues with the helmet-mounted display is trying to match the fact that Iíve got a helmet that weighs a pound more than any helmet weíre flying. Not much, but a pound. But then you connect that to the fact that we have to be able to put that helmet on individuals that range in weight from 103 pounds up to 245 pounds. Then you have to be able to meld that with a situation where theyíre in a STOVAL airplane in hover with a potential lift band failure and be able to get out of the airplane a lot faster than certainly a CTAL airplane or a CV airplane. So we have a very, if you will, tough challenge of melding all those to be able to get a fully certified escape system from zero up through 600 knots. This hasnít been done before. I canít guarantee you weíre going to get to all corners of the envelope, but you can see why we have a challenge with the helmet.

So the least of our challenges right now is getting that fuse display into the helmet, just a display. The rest of itís being able to work as a safe escape system for the rest of the airplane. So thatís probably one of the bigger challenges we have right now in the F-35 program.

Next chart, please.

This gives you an idea of the weapons. You notice the ones with the pink designation across the bottom, fully certified in SDD. These are the ones weíre going to certify on the airplanes by the time it gets to IOC for all the services.

The other weapons that donít have the pink label on them, are all threshold weapons, we call it, and it will be the next set of weapons we continue to certify as we go to what we call Block 4, Block 5, and all the follow-on development. But we had to limit something otherwise the system design and development program can stretch forever if you try to certify all these weapons across both the internal and eternal locations on the airplane.

Next chart, please.

This kind of gives you an idea. Obviously we have the internal carriage capability for day one stealth operations, but when the situation warrants or the threats are no longer of the same level you can fully load up the airplane across wing stations. What weíre showing here is the CTAL, CV above the top with the 2000 pound weapons bay. The STOVAL is a little bit different. It has a 1000 pound weapons bay. Also one of its wing stores has a little bit less external carriage capability in terms of weight simply because of differences in wing between STOVAL and CTAL CVA.

Next chart, please.

This gives you an idea across the external stations, what the CTAL, the Air Force airplane, can carry out there, all the way from A9X on the wingtips up through 5000 pound stores on stations 9 and 3, and then working your way through a center line pod that can carry a gun or something else, and certainly the missiles internal to the bay right there. Obviously it can be loaded up fairly significantly, depending on what your situation is, with a very broad array of weapons.

Next chart.

STOVAL, the only differences here you see on STOVAL is that 2000 pound weapons will not be carried in its internal weapons bay. Thatís the difference between the two systems.

Next chart, please.

The colors here are kind of what Iíd like you to focus on. If you look at the bottom three rows of the chart, thatís AV-8B, F-18, F-16 with the HARM targeting system. You see basically what lack of survivability, certainly lack of stealth brings you to some of the more high demand missions such as tactical or strategic seed and deed. The one shortfall we start seeing at JSF right now, really itís going to be limited by its weapons. You notice STOVAL right now, under strategic seed/deed, red in the weapons block simply because it does not have either a long range or a penetrator type weapon right now. A thousand pound JDAM will just not do the more stressing missions that CV and CTAL can do with the 2000 pound weapons. However, if you put a small diameter bomb on that airplane, STOVAL becomes a much different airplane. STOVAL will not be getting the small diameter bomb until after system design and development. The Navy is buying small diameter bombs phase two, increment two, whereas the Air Force is going to be putting small diameter bomb phase one on their CTAL airplanes right now. So you see CTAL across the top, those weapons areas are green simply because of the weapons that are there.

Some other areas right now. The one thing weíre looking to fill gaps in this is how, if you will, how we prosecute anti-ship warfare either on CTAL or CV airplanes or STOVAL airplanes depending on whatís going on. Again, anti-ship capability depends heavily on what your weapon is. The reason it changes color down there is once we start bringing JSAU-C on the airplanes there, or you may be following development work on some of the laser guided or the hybrid JDAMS that are out there provides a lot of capability to do against like a moving surface ship target.

Next chart, please.

This is kind of where I was talking about the fact that the airplaneís got to break the paradigm of one-to-one exchanges of Link-16 to one location and being able to link into systems that provide, if you will, netcentric connectivity across the networked battlefield. Once we get past some of the issues of software, sensor fusion working in the helmet, the netcentric capability of the airplane and how we connect to a lot of different standards across a lot of different airplanes is probably our biggest challenge right now. You can imagine that these are evolving every day in terms of what standard weíre going to build to.

One of the challenges we have right now is weíre supposed to have beyond line of sight capability in terms of the airplane in both voice and data. The SATCOM constellation thatís out there is going to be falling out of orbit before the airplanes go IOC, so you noticed our interoperability KPP was red, simply because of the fact if we build to that now, we can connect to the SATCOM constellation in test, and as soon as the airplane goes to IOC itís not going to have any capability.

So weíre probably looking to skip the current constellation and be able to provide the capability of a follow-on constellation, they euphemistically call them [UAS] I think, be able to connect to that to provide long range, and long range in terms of future capability both beyond line of sight in com and data. Thatís just one of the challenges we have as the netcentric environment continues to evolve.

Next chart, please.

This just gives you a little bit more idea. In addition to some of the platforms you see here which are primarily listed as, in a lot of cases, US systems, there are also partner systems we have connection to because those partner systems play heavily in some of the COCOM scenarios today so we have an issue there of being able to not only connect to what you see here as some of the traditional platforms that are out there, AEGIS, E2, JSTARS, but also some of the partner systems that exist as well.

Variable message format is one of our challenges. Thatís one of the interoperability things I mentioned. If you build to the most current standard thatís out there right now, you build to the most current thing thatís been published as how VMF will eventually transition, the only platform weíd be able to talk to you about via VMF is the Apache helicopter. We know weíd probably like to talk to a couple more platforms than that, so we have the kind of unenviable challenge of not only building VMF to one standard to meet the future, weíre probably going to have to adjust it and provide some legacy capability in there. Certainly the platforms weíre going to need to connect to in the 2012, í13, í14 timeframe.

Next chart.

Kind of a copyright infringement from Northrop Grumman. They have a big poster that we saw at the [Farnbar] Air Show that said basically you can hide anywhere but here. So if you take a look at the interoperability capability we have as well as the sensors, we had to change it so we didnít infringe on their advertising companyís copyright.

But basically the connectivity of the airplane as well as the sensors provide a lot of capability. And itís going to continue to evolve.

If you think about what weíre just shooting for to be able to get on the airplane within the system design and development phase, and then you think back to the F-16 that flew back in the 1970s and where itís evolved over its blocks all the way to the current Block 60 airplane. Youíve got to think about where this airplane will be 20 or 25 years from now and how the capabilityís going to be resonant in that timeframe in the future. Itís going to be pretty phenomenal, I think.

Next chart, please.

The key part of the airplane that we keep coming back to in addition to the sheer capability, capabilities get lost in a lot of the discussion, they get lost in a lot of budget discussions, a lot of the things that focus on JSF is what does it cost, how affordable itís going to be, how is it going to be once I put it out there in the field? Does it help me reduce the cost of flying? Does it help me reduce the cost of manpower? So out of all those capabilities that I just showed you in terms of being able to make the jet, the air vehicle itself work in a combat environment we have about the same level of capability just to make the logistics system on the airplane, if you will, provide ease of operation, reduce manpower and reduce cost.

So the autonomic logistic system kind of refers to the legacy autonomic nervous system of the body. It just kind of happens. We have a supportable aircraft but it also has the capability to monitor its own health in a flying situation, provide prognostic capability. So youíre able to provide data back to the maintenance guys on the ground, data back to the maintenance guys on the ship that says when this airplane comes back you probably need to replace this line replaceable unit because itís going to fail within the next hour or next two hours. There will be all kinds of data like that that will come back into the autonomic logistic system network thatís on the ground.

So you make the airplane supportable, you make it be able to try to predict the failures versus when they actually occur.

You have a training system that brings all this together. Weíre in the process of building a training system right now to track to the software development of the various capabilities on the airplane and not adding on the training system on the end after the airplane has been fielded. So it will be used to not only get the pilots up to speed quicker, it will certainly be used to get the maintenance personnel up to speed quicker on the airplane.

Then if you come down the logistics information system. This is going to be the network that will, if you will, if you think back to that very first slide that had the globe out there with the yellow lightening bars that were covering everything, the integrated logistics system will be a global system, it will connect all the suppliers across the world as well as all the operating locations to be able to move parts around, be able to get parts in the right location at the right time, be able to provide support to the guys in the field that are using the airplane when they need any help. Which goes back to the support system over there in the bottom left.

We already have at Fort Worth, we started working as we started flying A-1, basically what is the 24x7 help desk for the airplane. Itís the Autonomic Logistics Operations Center in plant at Fort Worth thatís already being exercised about how it energizes, connects to suppliers and starts working its parts across the system.

Next chart, please.

This kind of gives you an idea of how all this fits together. The global sustainment, the global approach is part of how weíre going to operate the airplane. One of the ways you save money on the airframe system like that that works across the world is you share the supply base, you share parts across all the partnership countries. So in essence you have to buy less parts. Thatís one of the ways you reduce costs on this.

Next chart, please.

One thing thatís unique, obviously, is that we do have five logistics key performance parameters for the system. Those are meeting their requirements.

Next chart, please.

And basically what I want to come to is the right side of this. The airplane is going to be operating under a performance based logistics system. Weíre already putting these metrics into place as we buy the first airplanes, whether it turns out to be two which is what weíre getting, we started working the performance based metrics for five airplanes. But itís basically going to be depending on how many hours you fly the airplane, on what situation, how many spares you need, then you start signing the contractors up to be able to support that level of, if you will, activity on the airplanes at the various sites.

As we add airplanes, as we add sites weíll get more data in terms of how you shape, if you will, what those performance based agreements are going to be between the users of the airplane and the contract.

Next chart, please.

All of this comes together very uniquely to be able to reduce support costs.

Iím going to skip this one and move on to the next one, if you will.

This is some lessons learned we have. When I was a squadron commander on the F-117s it was horrible to watch the guys go out in the hangar and work on asbestos bricks, on the exhaust system of the airplane with, if you will, jury-rigged vacuums and masks to keep the dust particles down, and trying to be able to take these engines out of the airplane. The airplane had no design for maintenance whatsoever within the F-117 system as it existed, as it was built.

When you get to the F-22, there were some assumptions made in terms of when parts would need to be replaced. To improve its stealth signature you had some very large panels that were very difficult to remove and replace based on the type of coatings and fixtures and finishes that were on that. So the F-22 was getting closer, had some issues, didnít get it quite right, although itís improving right now.

We tried to take the F-35 and learn the lessons of both. So the panels, much easier to replace, theyíre much simpler to replace. Obviously if you screw up the reliability of all the components weíll still have an issue to deal with, but that airplane is going to be easier to maintain than any of the legacy platforms out there from the stealth aspect, simply because weíre able to take the lessons learned. And if you get an idea notionally how weíre working into there, they give you kind of maintenance man hours per flying hour.

Next chart.

If you put all this together, common airframe, cousin parts, common propulsion system, common avionics system, joint training and support across that, weíve got to meet the goal of whatís in the starburst down in the right hand corner -- reduce total ownership costs. Not to mention the fact that you have an airplane thatís as capable as anything out there today or will be out there for decades to come.

Next chart, please.

Thatís the summary. Okay.

Any questions I can answer?

Question: [Inaudible]?

General Davis: Youíd have to tell me what your requirements are and how youíre going to use it. Any of these airplanes -- Weíve been flying unmanned F-4s for how long? We flew unmanned F-100s. You can make anything unmanned if you choose to. Thereís no doubt about that. The question is how you're going to employ the airframe and what are you going to do with it?

Obviously some of these missions can be done by an unmanned airplane. Any airplane. Unmanned F-22, unmanned F-18, you could do a lot of that. There are other missions where you would not fly in that situation. Even though weíre going to do everything we can to make it simple for the guy in the cockpit, the brainís going to have to be involved at some point in some of these missions. Thereís too much flexibility involved.

Question: [Inaudible]?

General Davis: I agree [inaudible] unmanned in any airplane, but any platform we have out there flying today can fly as an unmanned airplane. It would be limited in the set of missions it could do, I think. Thatís my opinion. This is obviously not the views of necessarily the establishment on that. So it would depend on the mission. But youíve got to accept the fact that the airplanes weíve got out there right now, any of them can go unmanned. Any of them can do a subset of these missions. But there are certain missions where itís going to take some intervention by something other than the black line that the airplane is flying to get to a target. I know the article that Lockheed surprised us with about the unmanned variant that came of the [Concord] guys. I know what those guys are like out there. I spent some time with them.

Anything else I can answer?

Okay, the only thing I want to leave you with, and I appreciate your time on that. Certainly from the Air Force side you need to be taking away the picture, if you would, that as we start melding the F-22 and the F-35 into operations in the future this is going to be a great partnership in terms of capability of those two systems. Obviously theyíre going to be in different parts of the battlefield probably at different times in different ways, but when you look at what we start bringing in across the world, itís a big deal. And the performance weíve seen to dated on the system gives us good encouragement. Weíre going to have problems. Weíre going to have problems just like everybody else did. The good news is I think what weíre seeing is weíre going to have these problems on the system and correct them five to six years sooner than everybody else did so itís less of an issue at the end of the program. So thatís something that gives us a lot of comfort that weíre going to be able to work the things weíre seeing on F-35.

Thank you very much for your time. I hope you enjoyed it.

[Applause].

# # # #


Return to AFA Air & Space Conference Page