ALIS, ALIS, who the F*ck is ALIS?
Mark my words, it'll take Lockheed 24 years even if they were living next door to ALIS....
F-35 software development will be finished by the end of this year, Lockheed Martin has said – which contradicts the view of various American government audit agencies. "We are well positioned to complete air vehicle full 3F and mission systems software development by the end of 2017," said exec veep Jeff Babione, in a …
" Block 4 is said to be already in development, in spite of the delays to Block 3F. New software "drops" will be rolled out about every two years, with Block 4 scheduled for the beginning of the 2020s."
Aaah the gift that keeps on giving, a subscription model with never ending software updates with no need to spend cash on engineers, while still milking the F35 project for decades to come.
"We are well positioned to complete air vehicle full 3F and mission systems software development by the end of 2017"
That doesn't mean a lot really. And it definitely doesn't mean "yes, the software will be ready by the end of this year".
Anyone up for starting a pool on which excuse they'll use?
Thinking about the aircraft that are currently in (or used to be until recently) in the RAF fleet...if/when the F35 does arrive, what does it bring to the party that we couldn't have achieved by maintaining Harrier, Tornado, et al (maybe even the EE Lightning) and spending an equivalent amount of money on updates to avionics and weaponry.
I know that at some point you need to renew aircraft (otherwise they'd still be buzzing around in Sopwith Camels) but given that F35 is such a basket case the question "why bother?" does come to one's mind.
"Simple answer. US marketing wonks talked to the MoD MBAs who thought it would be jolly good to spend more UK taxpayers money so they could have triples all round."
I sincerely hope they did better than triples all round or indeed, even a villa on the coast.
Given the scale of damage the F35 will do to HMG's bank account this is worth a hollowed out volcanic island, Blofeld must be spinning in his grave with jealousy.
"given that F35 is such a basket case the question "why bother?" does come to one's mind."
Exactly, why not build the carriers with cats'n'traps and go with proven F/18's ? And if the RAF really needs stealth jets, why purchase F35C's that are slower and have less payload than the A's.
OK I'll bite.
The F35 is currently the main new aircraft coming out of the US. Although thats a bit of a misnomer as huge amounts of the work (mainly production, but some design) are taking place all across the world in all of the countries which are purchasing it. That's part of the reason for the high costs. You need to give land A x amount of work, and whether what they produce is good or not, you have to take it. It often means you take it, throw it out and build it somewhere more reliable, which means you've just doubled the cost of that part, but the purchasing land A are happy.
You cant just buy new F/A-18's because there not in production anymore. Lockheed are building the F35, they're not going to undercut their new aircraft. So all you can get are second hand ones which mean reduced life compared to the new aircraft. In addition the F-35 will be a better aircraft than the older ones, if for no other reason then the advancements in Aerospace Engineering taking effect. Better materials, electronics, etc. all have a huge effect. Rebuilding the Harriers would not be the equivalent of the new F-35's because of these developments. Also trying to simply upgrade old designs with new parts/materials etc. is a huge cost. you may as well just design a new aircraft, the cost will be almost identical.
So why not, just start designing new UK built jets. Cost. It's that simple. Developing a new fighter Jet is a huge cost. With the F-35, the costs are split. It might not be as good as developing it yourself, but the cost is a LOT less (where talking billions of Dollars difference!). Look at the costs of the F-22. It is the best fighter out there by a mile, but the cost makes the F-35 look like you're buying a toy plane in comparison. Thats why despite it being the best, the majority of the US fleets will still be made up of the much cheaper and less capable F-35.
The F-35 wont be a bad aircraft, it will be at about the same level as the russian equivalent jets, about the same as the Eurofighter, a bit more capable then the (much cheaper) gryphon and should be ahead of the Indian and chinese native jets for at least a generation or two. But the cost might make it look like worse value for Money then a lot of the other options out there. But since when has value for money been important to the Military?
And precisely why is it now so pricey to design,develop and build modern aircraft.
Will the f35 ever deliver even 50% of its supposed abilities ?
Will it ever be allowed into real "hot" combat zones where other could accessed failed examples ?
For the same price you could redesign and build updated aircraft of several types San have better capabilities,we don't need 12 planes that can do everything badly,we need lots of cheap planes that can do one thing properly.
A new version EE LIGHTNING,with,older type engines that are cheap to build,that w3 can build by the hundred is fa4 better idea.
F35 is so good that the tanks are keeping their A 10 warthogs,what are we going to use to break up massive tank columns rooming west,don't care how good a plane is,it cannot be in two places at once,so while the f35 s are being chopped out of the air by massive numbers of just good enough Russian planes,what is doing the tank busting ?
Harold bloody Wilson sold us out to the tanks in the 1960's,others have just continued his traitorous behaviour to line tgeirbown pockets..
> that we couldn't have achieved by maintaining
Supersonic speed, increased situational awareness, manoeuvrability, payload.
Not being shit.
Admittedly there's a fair way to go on that last one, but given how shit Tornado was, they're probably there even if they couldn't get it off the ground.
Perhaps the real question is; What does it offer over F18s?
Don't you just love it when the next version of a software is "already in development" while the current version is still not finished ? How's that for agile development ?
Okay, I have no idea how these kind of projects are managed, and I am quite sure that a lot of competent people are working on this, but it still doesn't feel right when I read those words.
In the normal world, you finish a project and get a report on performance and stability before you draw up a new version to that project - because you simply cannot say you're improving things when you don't know what to improve.
But hey, I'm 15 years from retirement so what do I know ?
Typically the Apache gets a software update every 18-24 months*, so it's more of a rolling update programme that adds capability. I suspect different sub-systems are improved in different updates, e.g. defensive aid suite one update, targeting system the next, rather than everything each time. Kind of like windows update, but for a known hardware setup.
Incidentally the Apache is a good example of why a bespoke UK solution isn't a great idea, due to the extra programming and testing required due to the Westland versions different engines it cost the MoD ~£1.8M every few years. It costs the Dutch about £1.80 for the blank CDs.
*it's one of the two as they've had a while to get good at it.
The same is true for all large/complex software. You don't think developers only start working on new features to add to Linux when Linus opens up the new version to merges? Or that Microsoft's developers didn't start development work on the Creator's Update until last year's update was released?
Of course the next version is already being developed.
Adding Feature P is not reliant on Feature H already being present.
It is very common for large software projects to be simultaneously working on (parts of) the next two or three "important" releases.
Even when it's just one person, there is continual planning for the next version - "I can't fix that now, note it for later" - and partial implementations (eg the most useful 20% of the feature) to be expanded on in a later version.
I think the only exception is games, where there's no intention that there will ever be a next version.
Ignoring the future is stupid.
Final task description, maybe.
"Meanwhile, the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation told a US Congress committee earlier this year that the aircraft won't be ready before 2019, mentioning 158 "Category 1" software flaws that could cause death, severe injury or illness unless fixed."
158 Cat 1. IE It fails people and planes start falling out the sky (assuming none of them are in the software controlling takeoff of course).
It's true what they say C/C++ lets you make errors faster (even with a 158 page style guide).
158 "Category 1" software flaws that could cause death, severe injury or illness unless fixed.
That's overstating the severity of the problems, at least 75% of them can be solved by simply turning the F35 off and on again.
Military boondoggles have been around for ages, it just seems that they're getting bolder and bolder.
(commence turn for final approach to landing)
Greetings, I see you're trying to land, there's an update for the landing code, I'll apply that now. Please wait while your aircraft rebo...*see icon*
And if they are really needed they'll won't get off the ground again after the first sortie. Because the opposition has hacked ALIS*, diverting just a few small, but essential, spare parts.
* Which probably could be replaced with 4 dozen or so of seasoned NCOs, working with microfiches and telephones, and they'd do a better and more efficient job.
The coding standard is in fact only 140 pages long
It also turns out that quite a lot of the Flight Control System, ECM and EW and weapons system stuff is being written by Blighty's very own BAe.
I'm sure British readers hearts will be swelling with national pride at that thought.
I'll leave the C/C++ devs in the house to decide if they'd be comfortable with these sorts of rules, although I would expect that modern IDE's can be configured to enforce most of the simpler ones directly.
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