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F-35 LIGHTNING II WORLDWIDE FLEET EXCEEDS 50,000 FLYING HOURS
Thursday, February 11, 2016

Source: U.S. Navy

ARLINGTON, Va. - F-35 Lightning II aircraft operating at 12 different locations worldwide surpassed the 50,000 flight hour mark this month . The first flight hour was achieved by an F-35B aircraft, BF-01, June 1, 2008. The 25,000 flight hour milestone occurred in December 2014, six years and six months later. As a sign of program growth and maturity, the second 25,000 flight hours were reached only one year and two months later.

Flight hours are divided into two main categories: Operational flying hours, flown by 155 jets delivered to six different nations, and System Development and Demonstration (SDD) flight test hours, flown by 18 aircraft assigned to the Integrated Test Forces at Edwards AFB, and NAS Pax River. Of the 50,000 hours, operational jets flew approximately 37,950 hours while SDD aircraft flew 12,050 hours. More than one third of the program’s flight hours were flown in 2015 alone. Among the three variants, approximately 26,000 hours were flown by the F-35A, 18,000 hours by the F-35B and 6,000 by the F-35C.

F-35s are flying at eight operating locations: Edwards Air Force Base, California, Eglin AFB, Florida, Hill AFB, Utah, Luke AFB, Arizona, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, MCAS Yuma, Arizona, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, and Nellis AFB, Nevada. Jets are also flown at two F-35 depot locations at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, and the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill AFB, Utah. Flight hours were also recorded at the two F-35 production facilities at Cameri, Italy, and Fort Worth, Texas.

To date, more than 250 F-35 pilots and 2,400 aircraft maintainers from six nations are trained and more than 110 jets are jointly under construction at both production facilities.

Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the F-16 Fighting Falcon and A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 Hornet for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least ten other countries. Following the U.S. Marine Corps' July 2015 combat-ready Initial Operational Capability (IOC) declaration, the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy intend to attain service IOC this summer and in 2018, respectively.

Source:  U.S. Naval Air Systems Command
Associated URL: http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.NAVAIRNewsStory&id=6184
Source Date: February 11, 2016
Posted: 02/12/2016

 
 
USS CORONADO COMPLETES SURVIVABILITY TEST
Thursday, February 11, 2016

Source: US Navy

SAN DIEGO - USS Coronado (LCS 4) successfully completed the Navy's Total Ship Survivability Trial (TSST) off the coast of California, January 28. During the test event, the crew handled realistic damage simulations, including fire, smoke, electrical failure, flooding, ruptured piping and structural failure. The scenarios benefitted the crew by offering realistic damage control training in preparation for Coronado's maiden deployment later this year. The purpose of the TSST is to evaluate the ship's systems and procedures following a simulated conventional weapon hit. The primary areas that are evaluated include the ship's ability to contain and control damage, restore and continue mission capability, and care for personnel casualties. The test is also designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the survivability features inherent in a ship's design. The TSST, along with the Full Ship Shock Trial scheduled for June 2016, is a component of the Live Fire Test and Evaluation program. Coronado is the second LCS of the Independence variant built by Austal USA and is homeported in San Diego. LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of mission packages including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. The Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation's maritime strategy.

Source:  U.S. Navy
Associated URL: http://www.navsea.navy.mil/Media/News/tabid/11975/Article/654802/uss-coronado-co
Source Date: February 11, 2016
Posted: 02/12/2016

 
 
KC-46 SUCCESSFULLY REFUELS F/A-18
Friday, February 12, 2016

Source: Boeing

EVERETT, Wash. - During an over 4 hour flight, a KC-46 tanker successfully refueled an F/A-18 aircraft flying at 20,000 feet.. The air refueling was the program’s first using the KC-46’s hose and drogue system. The KC-46 will refuel U.S., allied and coalition military aircraft using both its boom and hose and drogue systems. The boom allows the tanker to transfer up to 1,200 gallons of fuel per minute, while the plane’s hose and drogue systems, located on both the plane’s wing and centerline, enables the KC-46 to refuel smaller aircraft such as the F/A-18 with up to 400 gallons of fuel per minute.

The refueling flights are part of the program’s Milestone C demonstration, which will lead to a low-rate initial production decision later this year.

Boeing plans to build 179 KC-46 aircraft for the U.S. Air Force.

Source:  Boeing
Associated URL: http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2016-02-12-Boeing-U-S-Air-Force-Complete-KC-46-Tanke
Source Date: February 12, 2016
Posted: 02/12/2016

 

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