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My JSF Is Stealthier Than Yours, Or Is It?

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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 06:09 AM
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My JSF Is Stealthier Than Yours, Or Is It?



My JSF Is Stealthier Than Yours, Or Is It?
Aviation Week's DTI | Bill Sweetman | November 16, 2007


Lockheed Martin has been handed another $134 million contract to develop a "partner version" of the JSF "that meets U.S. National Disclosure Policy, but remains common to the U.S. Air System, where possible." That's on top of $603 million awarded for the same basic job four years ago.

That's pretty close to the billion dollars that USAF Lt.Gen. Jeffrey Kohler, head of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, said would be needed to create a sanitized F-22 for Japan.

The Delta SDD program mentioned in the contract documents is an interesting beast. Look at papers from the Netherlands from 2004 -- when opposition politicians asked after the 2003 contract whether it meant that the Netherlands were getting a less-stealthy JSF. They stress that the Delta SDD covers things like nationally required features (for instance, Norway wants a braking parachute) and nationally specific weapons -- if someone wants IRIS-T, for example.

But that clashes with the bald statement in the Pentagon contracts that the $737 million program is about security and protecting US technology, by delivering air vehicles that are different from US air vehicles -- "as common as possible". Also, features such as nationally required weapons wouldn't be covered in SDD, which has a defined set of weapons to be cleared for the Block 3 configuration -- the endpoint of SDD.

Does this mean that there are two or more versions of the JSF, with differing uses of sensitive technology -- meaning, in most people's eyes, stealth? It's certainly possible, because key LO features -- such as the edges of the wing and chine and surface coatings -- are built in secure facilities and added after major assembly -- as can be seen in an unpainted F-22.

The decision on whether to release stealth technology is also not up to the JSF program office, but to a high-level group called the LO/Counter-LO Executive Commitee (LO/CLO-Excom).


Rest of article at: http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,156400,00.html



uhc comment: Lockheed Martin's scrambling because the 2009 F-22 orders have dried up --> http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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