Home » Air » Air Force » Congress orders F-35 Software Plan

Congress orders F-35 Software Plan

by Kris Osborn on May 24, 2013

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Congress ordered the Pentagon to establish an independent team consisting of subject matter experts to review the development of software for the Joint Strike Fighter program.

The House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee asked the Pentagon to submit a report by March 3, 2014 as part of the committee’s markup of the 2014 defense budget. The F-35 software program has served as one of the largest challenges for program engineers to keep on schedule.

“The committee continues to support the F-35 development and procurement program, and believes a software development review by the Department will ensure that the F-35 program remains on schedule to provide a fifth generation capability in support of our national security strategy,” the Congressional language states.

The JSF program developmental strategy is, in part, grounded upon a series of incremental software “drops” — each one adding new capability to the platform. In total, there are more than 10 billion individual lines of code for the system, broken down into increments and “blocks,” F-35 program office officials explained.

“Software development remains a focus area of the joint program office. We have a solid baseline and we need to be able to execute on that,” said Joe DellaVedova, F-35 program office spokesman.

Software drop 2B is undergoing flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md; software Block 2B builds upon the enhanced simulated weapons, data link capabilities and early fused sensor integration of the Block 2A software drop, DellaVedova added.

“With Block 2B you can provide basic close air support and fire an AMRAAM {Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile}, JDAM [Joint Direct Attack Munition] or GBU 12 [laser-guided aerial bomb]. This allows the plane to become a very capable weapons system,” he said.

Overall, DellaVedova said the F-35 program office has been making substantial progress. Software drop 3I, which is a technical refresh of Block 2B, is slated to by ready by 2016.

“This is complicated and labor intensive work but this has leadership focus from industry and government to deliver on the promise of the F-35. With its stealth and its enhanced situational awareness, the F-35 will provide a backbone for our forces for generations to come. Our progress continues at a slow and steady pace and we are focused on completing things within the schedule and budget we’ve been given.”

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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

tee May 24, 2013 at 6:43 pm

This should be fun, just think Microsoft Vista and how well that worked out for everyone. As a coder for over 20+ years, they are trying to make new code work with very old hardware ( weapons ) in some cases that were designed in the 80's & 90's. It may work with the new latest state of the art weapons built with more modern code & circuit boards, but the older 8/16 bit code & boards will be fun.

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Menzie May 24, 2013 at 7:07 pm

I understand the point you are trying to make but maybe you used the wrong example of Vista. I have had it since day one of release and have it on all my laptops and my desktop. I have had nothing but good come from it. So maybe try another example.

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oblatt1 May 25, 2013 at 3:16 am

LOL you obviously have very low expectations. Vista is widely acknowledged to be a dog, even by Microsoft

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blight_ May 28, 2013 at 11:57 am

As a 3.11, 95, 98, 98 SE, ME (shudder!), XP, Vista, 7 and 8 user…ME and Vista were the worst. If you survived ME and went straight to Vista, you might think Vista was awesome.

Windows 3.11 still has a place in my heart.

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greg May 24, 2013 at 7:16 pm

I don't think they are having weapons integration issues at all as of right now. The main issue I see is with the sensor fusion which is all new hardware.

The more graphics and video the more buggy, which is evident by every advancement is OS released to date. For example Mountain Lion is much more buggy then Snow Leopard…Because they are throwing things in.

I don' t think the old weapons would be a problem first off…One of the weapons they mentioned will probably be one of the oldest used the GBU-12,how old is that again? Secondly that is the purpose of plugins.

Honestly it seems like the F-35 is farther along then most of the naysayers would like to admit at this point.

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oblatt1 May 28, 2013 at 11:51 am

>I don't think they are having weapons integration issues at all as of right now.

Because they dropped 75% of the weapons from the immediate requirements. The navy version cannot even launch a anti-ship missile.

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blight_ May 28, 2013 at 11:59 am

I'm not even sure if any the versions right now can fight, short of strafing their targets?

I wonder if an F-22 can be used to do air-to-air targeting for the F-35s, who can be the equivalent of the resupply camels that carried arrows to Carrhae for the Parthian horse archers.

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Brownie May 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Yup. We need to expose the most secret of technologies to the Red Chinese once again. Let's put some more fingers into the espionage pie. Smart.

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blight_ May 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm

If it makes you feel better, the F-35 is mostly new code hardware. What I think is funny is that it's talking to hardware much older than it, and perhaps originally designed to talk to software written in Ada.

Of course, all the older missiles have been shot off, so most of the "old" weapons are on newer blocks that have steadily improved in electronics.

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Restore Palestine May 29, 2013 at 12:32 am

Vista was a big flop. Slow, buggy, incompatible with many peripherals … It's an eye-candy and not much else, just like the F-22 and F-35.

Old hardware tend to be slow when running latest programs mainly because of processor speeds and smaller RAM. As long as the native compiler is current with recent enhancements and new functionality, problems in the program are often logical errors of the programmer, not technical problems of the hardware.

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CharleyA May 24, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Yada yada yada

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oblatt1 May 25, 2013 at 3:21 am

You have to remember that Lockheed deliberately chose one of the most bug prone languages to develop the 10 billion lines of code in. They then hired as many cheap inexperienced developers as they could find. Even a conservative estimate will be that there are 50 million bugs in the code.

While this means the mean time between failure of major systems in the F-35 is 15 minutes it also ensures decades of revenue for Lockheed. Its a tradeoff – the future of Lockheed for the future of American air-power.

We can be confident that the F-35 will never work as advertised, because it simply was never designed to.

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blight_ May 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm

What, C++ and C?

What's the point of coding in Ada if you can't find enough Ada talent? It'd be like writing computer science books in Latin, then expecting everyone to jump the hurdle of learning Latin just to learn how to program. Good luck finding enough bodies to fill those workstations.

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Dfens May 25, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Yeah, if C was such a problem, they wouldn't use it everywhere in the commercial software industry. Mostly the thing that puts the cost of military software through the roof is meeting the requirements of the completely useless FAA software standard, DO-178. The only reason that standard exists is to keep real software companies from competing with bloated suck holes like Boeing and Lockheed. It is amazing to me how they can charge the US taxpayer out the ass for that crap with absolutely no evidence that meeting the standard makes software 1trillionth safer or more reliable. Of course you can trust the government, after all their contractors told them meeting DO-178 would make software better, right after they wrote that standard. No conflict of interest there. The stupidity is mind boggling!

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William_C1 May 26, 2013 at 1:21 am

So you blame the existence of this software standard on keeping "bloated suck holes like Boeing and Lockheed" in business rather than the usual government bureaucracy and idiocy that results in enough red tape and worthless policies to sink a cruiser?

Not every example of government incompetence can be lain at the feet of (insert hated private contractor here).

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oblatt1 May 26, 2013 at 2:38 am

Winllian C always looking for excuses to explain away gross incompetence

oblatt1 May 26, 2013 at 2:42 am

The million monkeys fallacy – you don't end up with Shakespeare you just end up a mess.

F-35 speaks for itself – the only quad redundant avionics system to crash on the final test bed.

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Dfens May 27, 2013 at 12:39 am

Good observation, Oblatt1, that's exactly what it is. That's why they did away with the weapon designer. Everyone knows when no one is responsible for the final product, when no one's reputation is on the line, the final product is inevitably crap. It can be crap if someone's reputation is on the line, but when no one is in charge, it's guaranteed to be crap.

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blight_ May 27, 2013 at 8:19 am

"That's why they did away with the weapon designer. "

As an industry insider…does a Project Manager not do the same thing? Or perhaps the difference is more about /autonomy/ than /administrative/ power?

Restore Palestine May 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Good C++ programmers should have no difficulty transitioning to ADA in a matter of weeks if not less, because ADA was patterned after C++ in many constructs and grammar, with added restrictions in data typing, user-specified concurrent processing codes, and descriptive keywords to improve readability and ease of maintenance. In the mid 1990s sophomores at Univ. of Texas at Austin were routinely given parallel programming assignments in ADA – two weeks to learn the language on their own, then two weeks to code, test, debug, and turn in the assignment. Students usually had already programmed extensively in Pascal, C, C++ and some other shell scripts. That's why instructors gave students only two weeks.

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Rakhi March 25, 2014 at 6:38 am

Hi Peter,The operating level srouce re Super Hornet instructors inferred some of them are just leaving the Service; but back to the F-35.The son of a RAAF colleague has been a Flight Test Engineer on the JSF program for about 3.5 years (as a Squadron Leader) but is not being replaced in his role as from June 2013, whatever that means.The F-15SE or the F/A-18F will not suit all nations that want to replace their F-16s and in any case it seems improbable that Boeing could up production sufficiently to offset the looming timeframe capabilities deficits. The F-16 assembly line is still extant but the possibilities in that direction are seemingly being ignored by US politicians. It all demonstrates the frightening power of LM within the military-industrial complex.The JSF project seems likely to become the biggest political embarrassment of all time for the US.

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Josh May 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Yes, because I'm sure while sitting at a table deciding on who to hire, Lockheed Martin was like, "We have to find the most inexperienced software developers there are." You are probably too arrogant to accept this, but any engineer or developer working for Lockheed Martin is 10x more intelligent than you are.

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Dfens May 27, 2013 at 12:44 am

I wouldn't be so sure of that. Lockheed has figured out that they bill the same for an entry level engineer as they do for someone more experienced, thus they've gone through several years of purges. Their new engineers are a tribute to the quota system of hiring. But, hell, keep paying them more to fail. It's working out great for all of us, isn't it?

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blight_ May 28, 2013 at 11:02 am

"Lockheed has figured out that they bill the same for an entry level engineer as they do for someone more experienced"

You're kidding, right? As a scientist looking at job openings right now, I see tons of people hiring entry-level, or the pros right at the top with the most experience, and very few openings for mid-level people. I imagine the aerospace industry is hiring similarly.

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Dfens May 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Lockheed bills the same for engineers across the board. The economics are pretty simple. They have lots of job openings, but they're focused on entry level people. They are laying off a lot of people at the same time they are hiring. It's not hard to figure out why.

blight_ May 26, 2013 at 9:35 am

"You have to remember that Lockheed deliberately chose one of the most bug prone languages to develop the 10 billion lines of code in"

It's not like Ada is any better. If you coded ten billion lines of Fortran, you'd probably have bugs too.

HTML, maybe? Hah.

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greg May 28, 2013 at 9:40 am

I touched ADA at Rutgers. There are so many librarys built into C/C++ that you almost never have to re-invent the wheel for mundane tasks.

The same can't be said for ADA. It is what it is. ADA was dead when I graduated with my Comp Sci degree in 03.

I don't really think you know what you are talking about at all. Have you ever coded anything? Hello World anything?

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oblatt1 May 28, 2013 at 11:59 am

ah a babe in the woods LOL

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brownie May 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Folks can rant and rave, just like they did against the M1, Bradley, and F-22. This acquisition is a done deal. Move on.

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Big-Dean May 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm

so failure is acceptable in your world?

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morris May 25, 2013 at 6:15 pm

the us elected Obama didn't we

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Big-Dean May 27, 2013 at 2:15 am

we showed our stupidity twice there eh?

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USS ENTERPRISE May 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Four times: Bush and Obama.

BajaWarrior May 26, 2013 at 1:16 am

It's not acceptable, just inevitable. Why can't we learn from past "joint" projects? It seems like we have to continuously make the same mistakes

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oblatt1 May 26, 2013 at 2:44 am

The contracts will tell you over and over again that there is no alternative to failure. Because the reality is that they are very comfortable with failure.
This has gone on for so long that most contractors don't even know what success looks like anymore.

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blight_ May 26, 2013 at 9:31 am

Define "joint". There are a number of early fighters that were Navy/MC and did pretty well. More recently, the Phantom was the tri-service aircraft, in contrast to the failed TFX that spawned the F-111 and the F-14. The latest Navy/MC is the F/A-18.

The Harrier is MC-only, though conceivably could have been flown from Navy CV's if they wanted to.

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BlackOwl18E May 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Nothing is unbreakable. The death spiral is still a possibility for the F-35.

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greg May 28, 2013 at 9:42 am

You are dreaming. Damn you are hoping for our most advanced plane to fail that is pathetic.

FA/XX is going to be a reality regardless be a patriot here, because the technologies championed by this bird will most certainly be much more reliable in the fa/xx.

DUH

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blight_ May 28, 2013 at 10:53 am

Then we should refuse to have our avionics development programs held hostage to the F-35.

If the secret sauce is the "technologies championed by this bird", then why is the F-35 tagging along for the ride?

What usually happens is that development drags out due to unforseen drama, and it dooms program acquisition. It happened to the A-12 dorito, the Seawolf submarine, the Big E (class of six, sure…), B-2, F-22.

In the '90s, I remember being not so happy at the F-22's delays. We are at the point where getting the demonstrator out the door with rudimentary capability is quite straightforward, but all the promised technology that is still a blueprint has to be built from scratch. The projections to getting those up and running are often vague and erroneous.

I suppose the issue is that we are trending towards the difficult projects because we like the idea, rather than focusing on what can be delivered. The F-117 was a basic stealth aircraft. Internal carry of off-the-shelf munitions to avoid engineering stealthy mounting hardware and new low RCS bombs or conformal pods. No afterburners and no dogfighting, because those add problems that could not be solved cheaply.

I suppose there's a degree of hubris in our procurement today, that we can build a Tower of Babel, because I built this little demonstrator out of Jenga pieces.

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oblatt1 May 28, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Yea got to love the F-35 is the goose that will lay the Golden Egg line. So far its still just a goose shiitting all over everything. When will we see the egg ?

USS ENTERPRISE May 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm

And make us broke an its way down.

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Taylor May 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Oblatt1 must be Tokyo Rose reincarnated.

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XYZ May 25, 2013 at 6:57 pm

On the bright side: Picture = saved. F-35s flying in formation is pretty sexy lookin', and that's coming from a guy who loves to make jokes at Lockheed's expense.

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Pointitout May 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Yeah, but Lockheed makes billions at your expense.

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XYZ May 26, 2013 at 2:14 pm

You assume I pay my taxes! Har har. Boeing 4 Lyfe

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Daniel Tebar May 26, 2013 at 4:15 am

Does anyone have info on the methodologies used for the development of these advanced avionics systems? Is UML in the mix? Is it OOA/D?

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SMSgt Mac May 27, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Heh. You ask an intelligent question beyond the ken of the Anti-JSF crowd. If any of these doomsayers were able to answer they wouldn't be doomsayers. UML? Yes. Rational and Rhapsody are the biggies. In the early days, requirements definition was in Rational Rose and Rhapsody was for code building, because that was where the strengths of each were. Over the years, with version updates and software business acquisition events moving all of it under IBM (I think), it may all be Rhapsody now. (But don't tell the locals, they still envision legions of gnomes hand-coding. Grab a beer and watch the Engineering Illiterati do their tribal dance.)

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oblatt1 May 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm

On the other hand some of us talked to Cody and Ivar back in the day and don't think much of where Rational went. A failed technology for a failed design sounds about right for the F-35

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Daniel Tebar May 28, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Thanks for the succinct answer Mac. In my 20-plus year career, only the best companies take the time to do actual design. Also, according to what I have read, it looks like the French, and Germans do software the right way. Do you share this perception?

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Restore Palestine May 30, 2013 at 5:15 pm

SMSgt Mac

Can you please answer the intelligent question beyond the ken of the Anti-JSF crowd?

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Brian May 26, 2013 at 6:48 am

Bugs aside, the biggest problem is still one of false expectation. Helmet Mounted Sights can work *very* well when kept simple & in the real-time domain where initial target / missile cueing information is simply overlaid – but that's not how the JSF works. It works by creating a "virtual reality middleman" inside the helmet which "represents" the outside world, and the pilot interacts with the middleman, the supposed "advantage" of which is to allow the pilot to "see through the canopy" (unnecessary if the jet had decent visibility in the first place), etc, but the disadvantage is that it's no longer in real-time – it's massively "laggy" and plagued with stuttering / micro-stuttering, sensor lag & input delays.

"The JSF doesn't need to dogfight or see out of the canopy because it's so clever and will rely completely on EO-DAS + HMS" is already looking very shaky given the "not so clever" continuous targeting issues, latency and jitter experienced with both the EO-DAS and HMS. Sometimes IRST contacts have "dropped off" for no reason, other times it's taken far longer for it to recognize an incoming large IR target as a threat. The onboard computer is not powerful enough and is already plagued with over-heating issues (sometimes locking up completely). It cannot be replaced without major cost and yet more delays.

And the AESA radar + super-computer + A2G targeting pod electronics all squeezed into the nose-cone is like sticking a 20kw heater in there making it highly unstealthy to anyone with a decent FLIR / IRST…

What the F35 pilot sees can be over 1 second behind real-time (huge in any dogfight). This is what the "latency" issues are all about and they are nowhere near as easy to fix as simply upping the GHz on the CPU. It would have been FAR easier to give the jet decent all-round visibility and build a simpler but more reliable HMS that doesn't try and "stitch" a panoramic thermal display spanning multiple cameras, but rather simply overlay directional cues & estimated range of incoming aircraft / SAM's.

Weapons and data-link software issues will probably be fixed, but I absolutely would not like to be on the team that has to "fix" the unfixable latency on the HMS which is an inevitable side-effect of its core-design. Processing vs latency – ask any real-time audio recording studio engineer…

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blight_ May 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

The problem is that LM is reinventing the wheel. The Israelis have HMD, as did the Soviets. We are puttering about with "new" HMD…and we should do so as a separate technology demonstrator program.

Almost every doodad on the -35 is going to be researched and developed de novo, then bundled into the F-35 program. Pursuing parallel development of every program, and putting subcontractors in charge of their devices ensures maximum autonomy and perhaps better funding and cost controls, perhaps at the cost of inter-operability and an extended integration stage.

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BlackOwl18E May 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm

When making a weapon system you don't want to give the defense contractor too much autonomy. They should be supervised to a certain degree to ensure that they aren't making a faulty system so they can scam you into paying more than you should. Congress is finally starting to try to get a hold on the F-35 program as we have seen what happens when they have free reign to do as they please.

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citanon May 27, 2013 at 6:07 pm

I don't understand why would it take a second to stick together 6 images when a modern GPU can render and display 4K scenes at >60fps with 10s of ms of delay?

Image processing and graphics display is a perfectly parallelizable problem. Unless the noise artifacts processing is so onerous that they have to use dozens and dozens of passes, or the software is badly architectured, it seems that they should absolutely be able throw more silicon at it to get lower latencies.

Once they get the software optimized, the DAS will probably work like a dream.

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blight_ May 27, 2013 at 6:42 pm

I question if a milspec GPU is even available. It's probable they are using a CPU to do a GPU's work, which makes me remember the '80s-90s and "Software Graphics".

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oblatt1 May 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm

One you have seen some of the military comms protocols you would no longer wonder.

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blight_ May 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-JSF-Analysis.html

"The F-22A is [...] the first design to fall foul of processing chip evolution outrunning the system's development cycle, and the sheer complexity of the software creating major delays to production in its own right. The recently redesigned CIP 2000 configuration uses up to 66 COTS based Motorola/IBM PowerPC RISC (ie Apple Mac compatible) and Intel i960MX processor chips and is aimed at cost reduction and supportability, with a follow on upgrade planned to further increase computing power. Since the 'G4' variant, PowerPC chips typically include an embedded 'Altivec' short vector processor which is exceptionally well suited to signal processing tasks, as found in radar, comms and EW processing.

The JSF is built around an evolution of the F-22A model, but much more complex in implementation due to the additional, and extensive, electro-optical suite and digital 'soft' cockpit. Its liquid cooled Integrated Core Processors (ICP) are intended to be a cheaper equivalent to the F-22A CIP, relying to a greater extent on COTS packaging technology. Like the F-22A, the JSF is expected to use FC-AE replacing the originally planned IEEE SCI/RT (a commercial flop) in the JAST Pave Pace model, supplemented by IEEE 1394b Firewire bussing (also used in Apple computers) in the Vehicle Management System (VMS). For SDD, the Mercury RACE++ Powerstream processor will be used for signal processing and I/O processing functions – this is a 9U VME format packaged multiprocessor, built around PowerPC RISC processors – essentially a bigger and faster cousin to the 6U VME packaged PowerPC processors now being used in F-15E, F/A-18E/F and F-111C Block C-4.

The core avionic system, centred in the ICP and its software, will present some significant development risks. While VME packaged PowerPC hardware is now widely used, it has not been used on the massive scale of the JSF to date. The large number of interconnects, density of hardware, and the demanding thermal cycling and vibration environment has the potential to produce reliability problems, especially of the intermittent variety, in the ICP subsystem. This may not become statistically obvious until a good number of systems are operationally deployed – cyclic wearout problems in printed circuit boards and connectors often resemble the behaviour of airframe fatigue damage and will not manifest until some number of cycles is accrued. The F-22A's Milspec hardened SEM-E packaged system was reported to have had a number of hardware reliability problems, initially misdiagnosed as software faults – the more complex and softer COTS derived ICP has the potential to do the same on a very much larger scale."

Trying to figure out the hardware for HMD at the moment, but it doesn't look good.

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citanon May 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm

It seems to me they can afford to have IBM or AMD design an SOC for them. Something like a hardened Xbox One or PS4 chip would do just fine.

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blight_ May 28, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Agreed, but it's a matter of finding a contractor to ruggedize it, especially at low order counts. I get the feeling that even an Nvidia Tegra3 would beat the pants off of older-generation PowerPC parts when it comes to graphics rendering.

That said, the words "IBM or AMD design" mean the entire program goes into a holding pattern while you wait for new architecture to arrive. Sad, but true. This whole VR thing is a serious mismatch of dream to capability.

Bear in mind that the present day ruggedized hardware was probably ruggedized when it was relatively up to date. Design is frozen, then R&D to ruggedize it commences. By the time you're done, your architecture is old and pricey, but can operate in interesting conditions.

That said, this is a good time to touch base with Intel about ruggedizing chips and the like. There's OTS Panasonic toughbooks, so someone has put in the work to consider how Intel hardware can be made to last in conditions not normally encountered by a retail desktop or laptop. But it may not be appropriate to aerospace.

Juramentado May 27, 2013 at 4:25 am
Juramentado May 27, 2013 at 4:25 am
citanon May 27, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Are you sure it's 10 BILLION lines of code, not 10 MILLION? Because I've never heard of any company putting together even 1 BILLION lines of code.

Windows, for example, has about 50 MILLION lines of code…..

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William_C1 May 27, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Yeah that should be million as opposed to billion. If the F-35 had 10 billion lines of code I would expect it to be smarter than all of Washington DC.

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blight_ May 27, 2013 at 7:07 pm

It would also be the buggiest program ever.

Does it also count subcontractor code or just LM's?

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Restore Palestine May 29, 2013 at 1:01 am

A well-written program of 10 lines is smarter than all of Washington DC.

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USS ENTERPRISE May 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm

100 dollars per line of code. Works out.

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Dfens May 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Lockheed and Boeing both bill 8 engineering hour per line of code. Since their labor rates are about $300/hour, well, you can figure out the rest.

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blight_ May 30, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Wonder how many man-hours per line of code?

300 * man*hour / code = dollars/code

"Hey, let's get five people working on this data structure…no, make it ten and bill the difference.

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Dfens June 2, 2013 at 12:53 am

8 hours per line is just the quote for the software design group. All of the process, test, configuration management, and other organizations factor their cut off of the lines of code estimate similarly. That's $2,400 per line of code, just to have the code written. The amount of waste is mind boggling.

Restore Palestine May 29, 2013 at 1:03 am

Still 200 dollars cheaper than what lawyers cost (per line of written legal document)

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Tom May 30, 2013 at 12:46 pm

We had Microsoft products for a long time, and was always rebooting (Bill Gates)
We retired and bought MAC products (they work). maybe the engineers building the most expensive jets in the world need to take notice.

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blight_ May 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Dare I ask whose hardware were you using? Dell? Self-built? Hewlett-Packard? Consumer market? Enterprise-grade?

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unblocked June 6, 2013 at 4:12 pm
Dfens May 27, 2013 at 12:36 am

The contractors wrote the standard. The contractors lobbied to have the standard put on all aircraft embedded software. Does it benefit the government too? Sure, it makes the bureaucracy marginally bigger. Mostly, though, it benefits the bottom line of the contractors. For them it is a twofer. It drives up the cost of developing the software, and it actually helps the contractor build in problems. I can't count how many times I've seen crap software built and qualified, and all I could do is marvel at how f'ed up it is. And, of course, when you tell them to fix it, "oh no, we can't do that, this software is fully qualified, it can't be changed." What a f'ing joke!

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blight_ May 28, 2013 at 11:00 am

The Program transcends companies. Every Program employs rival companies to build vital parts. LM is building parts for Northrop's UCAV; Boeing is building parts for the JSF and perhaps did so for F-22.

How would Kelly have dealt with modern aircraft procurement? The ADP did bespoke production in-house, and interfaced with main plant as necessary. But crossing company lines is bureaucracy, and I imagine his system would rely on being able to talk to the right guys in other companies, with similar levels of authority to his own such that a cross company organization could function.

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USS ENTERPRISE May 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm

I personally share the same thing about the F/A-XX program. I kinda hope that Northrop Grumman, or Boeing, gets the contract; as I would imagine that Lockheed will STILL be busy trying to sort out the F-35 when the F/A-XX comes into play.

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blight_ May 30, 2013 at 1:57 pm

What kind of aircraft does the Navy need? Anyone know for sure how the navy intends to use the F-35, asides from cliche Stealthy Door-Kicker and perhaps Stealthy-Jammer? There's got to be more to this…

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Dfens May 29, 2013 at 8:40 am

I think Kelly Johnson would have used his clout to put an end to the current method of procurement. I think any engineer with sufficiently high visibility in the public arena and with some insight into what's been happening with the procurement rules over the decades would have this fiasco stopped in short order. I believe the defense corporations themselves feared this very scenario, and that's why the engineer is nothing but a lowly cog in the machine now. There are still a few high profile engineers, but they are few and far between and rise up in new technology areas before they can be squashed down by the multi-national corporations.

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Dfens May 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm

It lays a golden egg every day, for Lockheed.

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blight_ May 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I find it strange, especially when an HR audit would tell you that the engineers aren't equal in rank or pay grade.

Then again, modern procurement operates on the honor system.

"Dear government, we will have 20 engineers all billing at 300/hour"

Then on the flipside, 10 engineers will make N, 5 will make 2N, 3 will make 3N, 2 will make 4N, and 4N=300 dollars an hour.

Whereas in NIH-funded research there's a little more vagary regarding consumables, but you can't bill a grad student at the same wages as a senior technician or research associate.

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Restore Palestine May 30, 2013 at 5:16 pm

What you are talking about is ADA 83, a non-object-oriented early version. It's fair to say that ADA 83 influenced C++ in some respect.

The one used at Univ. of Texas at Austin Dept of Computer Science was ADA 95, an object-oriented version with enhanced support for concurrent processing in real time applications, where speed is vital. This version had many similarities with C++ in grammar and constructs.

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Restore Palestine May 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Dijkstra?

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office guy June 8, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Seems that both greg and restore palestine know ADA far better than you do. If you actually had used ADA you would not be posting nonsense here.

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TinkersDam June 17, 2013 at 3:38 pm

You might be giving him more credit than is due.

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blight_ June 17, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Quite possible.

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