F-35 Flies For The First Time With Technology Refresh 3 Upgrades

F-35 TR3


F-35 TR3
An F-35A, in flight above the Mojave Desert in California, January 6, 2023. A developmental check workforce from the 461st Flight Take a look at Squadron carried out the primary flight of an F-35 within the Know-how Refresh 3 (TR-3) configuration at Edwards Air Power Base, California. (Courtesy picture – F-35 JPO)

The plane handed the Useful Take a look at Flight forward of an intensive flight check marketing campaign, paving the way in which for the Block 4 improve.

On Jan. 6, 2023, the 461st Flight Test Squadron carried out the primary flight of an F-35 within the Know-how Refresh 3 (TR-3) configuration at Edwards Air Power Base, California. The primary plane chosen to obtain the TR-3 upgrades is the primary production-model F-35 delivered to the Air Power, higher often known as AF-7, which can be specifically instrumented for developmental flight testing.

Maj. Ryan “BOLO” Luersen, a U.S. Air Power experimental check pilot, executed a functional check flight (FCF) profile to confirm plane airworthiness and system stability after the upgrades. The 50-minute flight, which took the jet to 35,000 toes at speeds simply shy of the velocity of sound above the Mojave Desert, marked the beginning of an intensive flight check marketing campaign. The Air Power says that developmental and operational check flights will proceed via 2023 to make sure security and show warfighting capabilities.

“It is a important achievement for the F-35 program,” stated Air Power Lt. Gen. Mike Schmidt, program government officer, F-35 Joint Program Workplace. “TR-3 is the F-35’s vital pc processing electronics improve that can proceed to offer all our pilots with the aptitude they have to be profitable towards any adversary. There’s nonetheless a whole lot of work to do and I’m assured that our trade companions and authorities workforce will get the job achieved.”

Right here is how the Air Power described the Know-how Refresh 3 within the press release:

TR-3 offers the computational horsepower to assist modernized Block 4 capabilities for the F-35 together with: new sensor suites, extra long-range precision weapons, improved digital warfare options, extra highly effective information fusion, and elevated cross-platform interoperability. These capabilities present the warfighter a combat-edge to establish, observe, interact, and survive towards superior air, floor, and cyber threats. TR-3 considerably updates core processing energy and reminiscence capability, which is able to permit the F-35 to run superior software program filled with state-of-the-art warfighting capabilities.

“The F-35 Built-in Take a look at Power at Edwards AFB is proud to have executed yet one more first-flight throughout the F-35 program,” stated Air Power Lt. Col. Christopher Campbell, commander of the 461st Flight Take a look at Squadron and director of the F-35 Built-in Take a look at Power. “Know-how Refresh 3 modernizes the computational core of the F-35 air car. Subsequently, new TR-3 {hardware} and software program have an effect on almost each plane characteristic. Right this moment’s occasion was simply the beginning of a complete flight check marketing campaign that can each confirm and enhance the security, stability, and efficiency of the entire F-35 weapon system on this new configuration.”

An F-35A takes off from Edwards Air Power Base, California, on January 6, 2023. A developmental check workforce from the 461st Flight Take a look at Squadron carried out the primary flight of an F-35 within the Know-how Refresh 3 (TR-3) configuration on the base. (Courtesy picture – F-35 JPO)

As we already reported, Tech Refresh 3 is taken into account important with the intention to ship the Block 4 improve and the longer term ones, being described because the IT spine for all future enhancements. TR-3 will probably be put in in all new manufacturing plane and retrofitted on all of the F-35s already in service again to Lot 10. The retrofit, which requires 14 days of downtime, will probably be carried out throughout scheduled upkeep. This manner the F-35 will migrate to the open-system architecture and exploit all its benefits, like including new or improved capabilities on operational plane in a short time and at a diminished price.

The TR-3 program has overcome technical complexity challenges with {hardware} and software program, and is now on-track to ship functionality to the U.S. and its allies beginning in 2023. The federal government and trade workforce proceed to search out progressive methods to make sure supply of vital capabilities to defeat future threats. Classes discovered within the execution of the TR-3 program will probably be utilized throughout the whole Block 4 modernization program, says the press launch.

Over 75 main upgrades anticipated to be included within the upcoming Block 4 F-35. Among the many upgrades there are enhancements of the Electronic Warfare capabilities, radar and electro-optical programs, weapons, cockpit and navigation programs. A few of these upgrades will probably be delivered in increments till the ultimate configuration, for which an engine improve is likely to be required with the intention to present extra energy to all of the programs.

Among the many unclassified upgrades there are a next generation Distributed Aperture System, a brand new Built-in Core Processor, cooling programs enhancements, new Digital Warfare processor and antennas. Unclassified slides from Lockheed Martin additionally present Auto Ground Collision Avoidance System integration, a brand new Open System Structure, Multi-Area Operations and Missile Protection capabilities, Manned-Unmanned Teaming and prolonged vary with the usage of exterior gas tanks.

A lately confirmed improve that can include Block 4 is the new APG-85 AESA radar, which is able to change the present APG-81. Nearly all of the main points concerning the Block 4 upgrades, nevertheless, are categorised. Typically thought of the F-35’s most formidable improve, the Block 4 is supposed to assist hold the Lightning II’s preventing edge over potential adversaries via 2070.

Stefano D’Urso is a contract journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based mostly in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he is additionally finding out to attain a Grasp Diploma in Aerospace Engineering. Digital Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT methods utilized to the world of navy operations and present conflicts are amongst his areas of experience.


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