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If The F35 Gets The Axe What Are The Options?  
User currently offlineEagleboy From Niue, joined Dec 2009, 1836 posts, RR: 2
Posted (3 years 4 hours ago) and read 15674 times:
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A simple thread title says it all. I thought of this when reading the thread on the F-22 being back in the air. We see the multiple problems with the F-35 development/production process. We see the scaling back of orders causing the unit price to increase. This post from that F-22 thread prompted me to start this thread:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 8):
America has boxed herself in by going down the path of no return and betting all on the F-35. That was risky and foolish as we are now seeing more and more.

I don't want to demean the F-35 as a concept......but at what point could it become a non-viable program?
At what point could it be cancelled?
And then what alternative must the USA take?
I understand the concept of it being "too costly to cancel" but at some point this logic must be undone.

Does it require a certain number of cancelled orders?
If the B model is cancelled what does that spell for the other models?
Can the progran survive with just the A model?
Does the USMC have a viable (or any) Plan B if the B model is cancelled?
In what scenario could we see the USAF sticking with the F-35A (this seems the most stable element of the program), the F-35B being ditched and the USN sticking with the SuperHornet, the other partners going Sea Typhoon/Gripen/F-18?

Vaguely relevant quotes:
"On 6 January 2011, Gates said that the 2012 budget would call for a two year pause in F-35B production during which the aircraft may be redesigned, or canceled if unsuccessful. Gates stated, "If we cannot fix this variant during this time frame, and get it back on track in terms of performance, cost and schedule, then I believe it should be canceled."

"On 24 November 2010, Guido Crosetto said that Italy was reconsidering its purchase of the STOVL F-35B, in light of the UK's withdrawal from that variant"

"In December 2010, Defence Minister Hans Hillen said that he had "great difficulty" with a cost increase of 20% over what the Netherlands had budgeted and that he would work with the UK and Norway on the issue"

"The intention to sign a sole-sourced, untendered F-35 contract and the government's refusal to provide detailed costing became one of the major causes of a finding of contempt of Parliament and the subsequent defeat of Stephen Harper's Conservative government through a non-confidence vote on 25 March 2011. This directly lead to the F-35 purchase becoming an issue in the 2011 federal election"

"Denmark's MPs are not expected to vote on a purchase of the F-35 before 2012, and are considering alternatives such as the JAS 39 Gripen, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and Eurofighter."

"In June 2011 the Socialist Left party called for a probe into the rising costs of the jets"

"On 24 March 2011 Turkey announced it is placing its order for 100 jets on hold due to the ongoing source code refusal issue"

"According to the Jerusalem Post, IAF officers said on 31 July 2011 that they did not anticipate that the delivery date for the F-35 would slip beyond 2017. If it did, the IAF will need to consider other options for that time period,"

[Edited 2011-09-22 14:50:42]

177 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinecmb56 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 231 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 hours ago) and read 15644 times:

I find it interesting that in nearly all the speculative articles about alternatives to the F-35 so few of them mention the F-15SE. Of the major fighter aircraft in production it is the only one that seems to have had any serious effort made to add stealth to it. And to boot it is probably still the best fighter aircraft in production.

User currently offlineFoxTwo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 hours ago) and read 15633 times:

Someone with a lot of knowledge on the topic , please update us regarding the F15SE ...... is it coming? Will it be replacing all the current eagles? Will this be a multirole airplane? What ever happened to the F/A-18 re-design?

If the F-35 is axed - you will see present day fighters hanging around that much longer. There is nothing in the works to replace it. This machine has been the be all to end all for the past many years. How will the US justify the R&D towards a new fighter?


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8841 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (2 years 12 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 15438 times:

Quoting FoxTwo (Reply 2):
If the F-35 is axed - you will see present day fighters hanging around that much longer. There is nothing in the works to replace it. This machine has been the be all to end all for the past many years. How will the US justify the R&D towards a new fighter?

If the F-35 is a failure, and never even enters into service, that will be a bomb going off in the Pentagon. The complex and costly military procurement system that has been in place since the 70s was supposed to ensure that while the cost might be high and the timeframe immensely long, the end result is the one that is needed. We can't afford to spend 20 years developing something and not get anything out of it.

The Pentagon should go back to the old way of doing it. They publish a requirement (eg an air superiority fighter able to match anything now flying or in prototype), and tell Boeing, Lockheed and anyone else that we want to see flying prototypes in 3 years, and go on from there.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31003 posts, RR: 86
Reply 4, posted (2 years 12 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 15336 times:
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If the program tanks I expect significant F/A-18 Super Hornet orders to hold things over until the UCAVs can be brought into service.

User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 12 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 15184 times:

F/A-18E with CFTs, F-16Es, and maybe some F-15SEs. Problem is that these systems fully outfitted are not that much cheaper than the F-35.

User currently offlinepolymerplane From United States of America, joined May 2006, 991 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (2 years 12 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 15137 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3):
The Pentagon should go back to the old way of doing it. They publish a requirement (eg an air superiority fighter able to match anything now flying or in prototype), and tell Boeing, Lockheed and anyone else that we want to see flying prototypes in 3 years, and go on from there.

this isn't the problem with the F-35. Boeing and LM already had prototypes flying successfully during the competition. The problems are the changes implemented by AF and LM after the prototypes.



One day there will be 100% polymer plane
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3560 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (2 years 12 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 15075 times:
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Quoting polymerplane (Reply 6):
The problems are the changes implemented by AF and LM after the prototypes

Don't forget congressional idiots adding stuff at donor's request (better known as earmarks)


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8841 posts, RR: 24
Reply 8, posted (2 years 12 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 14929 times:

Quoting polymerplane (Reply 6):

this isn't the problem with the F-35. Boeing and LM already had prototypes flying successfully during the competition. The problems are the changes implemented by AF and LM after the prototypes.

Correct. There seems to be an assumption that each plane under development might be the ONLY plane for the next 20 years, so every time a new requirement shows up they throw it in.

How about assuming that each plane will only be in production 5-10 years? That it would be the front-line choice for 5 years, before it gets relegated to National Guard and reserve formations and it is replaced on the front line by a successor? Every plane doesn't have to be a 20 year leap in technology. You can use more off-the-shelf parts, depend more on evolutionary improvements rather than revolutionary experimentation. That will make them cheaper and faster to develop.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 14744 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 5):
F/A-18E with CFTs, F-16Es, and maybe some F-15SEs. Problem is that these systems fully outfitted are not that much cheaper than the F-35.

Actually, more expensive than any worst case cost overrun scenario F-35.


User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3178 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 14681 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 4):
If the program tanks I expect significant F/A-18 Super Hornet orders to hold things over until the UCAVs can be brought into service.

For the US Airforce too?


User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7229 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (2 years 12 months 5 hours ago) and read 14252 times:

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 10):
For the US Airforce too?

Introducing a new type to the Air Force would not be economic when there is no reason why additional F-16's and F-15's can be procured, if they push the F-15SE is also an option, but if the need is for the lowest cost then C model Eagle production coudl be re-started, I never checked how production of the C and E's were done, same line or seperate.


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 31
Reply 12, posted (2 years 12 months 1 hour ago) and read 14199 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3):
We can't afford to spend 20 years developing something and not get anything out of it.

The problem in my opinion is the timeframe. No way that mission requirements stay static for 20 years.

The system has developed into a completely inflexible system which designs an aircraft to solve the needs of 10 years ago.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3560 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (2 years 12 months 1 hour ago) and read 14189 times:
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Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 12):
The system has developed into a completely inflexible system which designs an aircraft to solve the needs of 10 years ago.

Leads us to design or only enter conflicts that fit the equipment. Heaven help us if we need horses and sabers again.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 12 months 1 hour ago) and read 14182 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 11):
Introducing a new type to the Air Force would not be economic when there is no reason why additional F-16's and F-15's can be procured, if they push the F-15SE is also an option, but if the need is for the lowest cost then C model Eagle production coudl be re-started, I never checked how production of the C and E's were done, same line or seperate.

McDD discontinued production of single seat F-15's... the only ones being produced are the dual seat Strike Eagle variants.

And F-15SE costs a lot more than F-35; Boeing quotes a price $100 million dollars a bare bones copy for a F-15SE (no engines, no government furnished equipment, no weapons or stores), and that is for an aircraft that is still technically a paper airplane.


User currently offlineEagleboy From Niue, joined Dec 2009, 1836 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 14114 times:
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Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 14):
And F-15SE costs a lot more than F-35; Boeing quotes a price $100 million dollars a bare bones copy for a F-15SE (no engines, no government furnished equipment, no weapons or stores), and that is for an aircraft that is still technically a paper airplane.

Agreed, how much will the F-15SE actually cost in the end? Afterall unit cost is dependant on the number of orders,as we have seen with the F-35.
I have read (Combat Aircraft Sep 2011) that the unit cost of the F-35 has crept up to $120M? (F-22 is $150M)


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 13951 times:

I am not convinced that there is enough will power to axe the F-35, although I do think that as a political issue, th F-35B is getting its last rites. w.r.t. to BAe's announcement re Typhoon production slowdown, this after the amount of a/c the RAF were to receive was also cut:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...to-typhoon-production-rate-362594/

I think a cut in the buy for the F-35 is inevitable. No way the USAF/USN will get about 2,400 of them. I'd say not 2,000, not even 1,500. Which of course amortises the R&D over a much shorter production run, hence the program cost fo each a/c, whether Amercian or foreign, gets a lot higher.

IMHO this will ripple across other US military programs as well.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinewvsuperhornet From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 517 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 13941 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 14):
And F-15SE costs a lot more than F-35; Boeing quotes a price $100 million dollars a bare bones copy for a F-15SE (no engines, no government furnished equipment, no weapons or stores), and that is for an aircraft that is still technically a paper airplane.

There is a F-15 silent eagle prototype that has flown that and singapores and the F-15K's for korea are on a very simular format so there would be no problems there.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 5):
F/A-18E with CFTs, F-16Es, and maybe some F-15SEs. Problem is that these systems fully outfitted are not that much cheaper than the F-35.

The F-18 superhornet and the F-16 block 60 or 62 are significantly cheaper than the F-35's The F-15 SE is cheaper but not signifanctly cheaper. Since the airforce is unlikely to order a navy plane my guess is an upgraded F-15C could be produced for alot cheaper and quicker than the silent eagle which would be enough to hold us over for a while anyway.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 13836 times:

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 17):
There is a F-15 silent eagle prototype that has flown that and singapores and the F-15K's for korea are on a very simular format so there would be no problems there.

It was not a prototype, it was a demonstrator. A new F-15SE will be radically different than any F-15 in existence.

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 17):
The F-18 superhornet and the F-16 block 60 or 62 are significantly cheaper than the F-35's The F-15 SE is cheaper but not signifanctly cheaper. Since the airforce is unlikely to order a navy plane my guess is an upgraded F-15C could be produced for alot cheaper and quicker than the silent eagle which would be enough to hold us over for a while anyway.

No it isn't. The GAO calculated the F/A-18E/F's price as being $106.1 million. The quoted fly away price that is often bandied about does not include government furnished equipment, weapons (such as the gun), stores, etc.


User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7229 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 13732 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 18):
It was not a prototype, it was a demonstrator. A new F-15SE will be radically different than any F-15 in existence.

If they are talking about lowest cost option it would have to be based primarilly on the demonstrator, if it is radically different then that project is not onboard with the cost saving being looked at.
How much difference is there between the two seat frame and the single seat that would make restarting production of the F-15C so much more expensive than a F-35?


User currently offlinewvsuperhornet From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 517 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 13704 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 19):
If they are talking about lowest cost option it would have to be based primarilly on the demonstrator, if it is radically different then that project is not onboard with the cost saving being looked at.
How much difference is there between the two seat frame and the single seat that would make restarting production of the F-15C so much more expensive than a F-35?

The F-15C in a single seat aicraft the on 2 seat version are the F-15D and the F-15E and maybe japans and korea's F-15's.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 18):
No it isn't. The GAO calculated the F/A-18E/F's price as being $106.1 million. The quoted fly away price that is often bandied about does not include government furnished equipment, weapons (such as the gun), stores, etc.

The airframe cost of an F-35 airframe is around 140 miliion at last count and rising I still would put 106.1 million armed as substantially cheaper.


User currently offlinewvsuperhornet From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 517 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 13701 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 18):
It was not a prototype, it was a demonstrator. A new F-15SE will be radically different than any F-15 in existence.

Other than some low observability and stealth added and upgraded electronics and radar how is it much different?


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks ago) and read 13604 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 19):
If they are talking about lowest cost option it would have to be based primarilly on the demonstrator, if it is radically different then that project is not onboard with the cost saving being looked at.
How much difference is there between the two seat frame and the single seat that would make restarting production of the F-15C so much more expensive than a F-35?

Major differences. The supply chain to produce the single seat F-15's are long gone. We would have to start from scratch setting up the supply chain.

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 20):
The F-15C in a single seat aicraft the on 2 seat version are the F-15D and the F-15E and maybe japans and korea's F-15's.

The last single seat F-15 was delivered in the late 1980's. Since then, it is only the F-15E and its variants that are still in production.

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 20):
The airframe cost of an F-35 airframe is around 140 miliion at last count and rising I still would put 106.1 million armed as substantially cheaper.

For a LRIP aircraft, yes. For a full-rate production aircraft, no. LRIP aircraft are traditionally more expensive due to the general inefficiencies of low rate production.

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 21):
Other than some low observability and stealth added and upgraded electronics and radar how is it much different?

A complete redesign of the fly-by-wire system is proposed for the F-15SE. Plus, there will be major structural changes to lighten the F-15SE to regain range, as a lot of fuel is being lost in the new CFT's. Not to mention the entire electronic warfare system has to be redesigned.


User currently offlinewvsuperhornet From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 517 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 13000 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 22):
A complete redesign of the fly-by-wire system is proposed for the F-15SE. Plus, there will be major structural changes to lighten the F-15SE to regain range, as a lot of fuel is being lost in the new CFT's. Not to mention the entire electronic warfare system has to be redesigned.

I was under the impression that is the version that singapore had ordered so it should have already been done. If i am wrng and thats a possibility I thought those issues were already worked on the singapore version is suppose to be the most advanced F-15 flying.

The last single seat F-15 was delivered in the late 1980's. Since then, it is only the F-15E and its variants that are still in production.

I was aware of that he specifically refered to the F-15C which is a single seat version.

[Edited 2011-10-06 21:08:02]

User currently offlineDevilfish From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4840 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 12884 times:

My post in the other thread notwithstanding, it seems Boeing is keeping faith with their old stock- in-trade Eagle...

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...ediction-for-f-15-shutdown-363003/

Quote:
"Boeing has backed off from previous forecasts that the 40-year-old F-15 production line would shut down next year in the absence of new orders, adding that there are a 'number of pending' orders for the type.

'It is premature and inappropriate for us to even speculate on when the production line might close,' Boeing said in a statement responding to questions from Flightglobal.

On 21 October last year, the Obama administration notified the US Congress of a possible sale of 72 F-15Es to Riyadh, but the deal with Saudi Arabia has now been pending for almost a year.

The proposed deal included significant capability upgrades for the nation's existing F-15SAs.

[.....]

The company is scheduled to deliver the last of 21 F-15Ks to South Korea in March 2012 (one pictured below), and Singapore's order for 24 F-15SGs is scheduled to be completed next year.

For now, the US airframer does not appear to be panicking about the possibility of a break in production.

In addition to the pending Saudi Arabian deal, the F-15SE Silent Eagle variant is competing for a follow-on contract in South Korea for 40 to 60 aircraft.

The competition includes the Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Sukhoi's PAK-FA.

However, Seoul is not planning to award a contract until at least October 2012."



It's tough to call a favorite here. The Eurofighter, with low RCS, relatively advanced systems and very good performance could be the dark horse, but it's also a tad pricey and lacks an established Korean presence. Both US OEM's have provided fighters to the ROKAF. LockMart has the most advanced stealth offering that SK desires, though fraught with birth pangs and wild costs. Boeing has commonality, a bit of stealth and most recent work experience and requisite network going for them.

Assuming (however unlikely) the thread's premise come to pass, there would only be these two...plus their Russian and Chinese counterparts to select from. With prospects for the F-15 Silent Eagle improving markedly as the USAF struggle to fill the gap that would be left by the JSF, and the Raptor being out of production.

So, it may just be delaying the inevitable, or there might be some substance yet in Boeing's reluctance to shutdown its F-15 production line.



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
25 Post contains links ThePointblank : A podcast interview with Lockheed Martin's Tom Burbage on why he thinks F-35 is better than any other teen series fighter and their derivatives: http:
26 connies4ever : Reported in AIR International October issue (Vol 81 No 4, pg 13) "Australia Questions JSF Purchase". Fair use quote: "The Australian Government has ra
27 Post contains links tommytoyz : UAVs, missiles (cruise and otherwise) and long range stand off weapons are the way to go. Much cheaper, effective and faster. I recently saw a 1 hour
28 ThePointblank : However, UAV's and cruise missiles will never be able to intercept aircraft and achieve air superiority. Plus, such platforms are payload limited; th
29 connies4ever : I'd be cautious about making a statement along those lines. UCAV technology is advancing pretty rapidly, and the F-35 may well represent the last ite
30 KC135TopBoom : I would expect orders for Gen 4.5 fighters, no Gen 4 fighters for the biggest Air Forces. Also, the USAF may reopen the F-22 line and begin producing
31 Post contains images Oroka : H? Seems Boeing has not been keeping me up to date on the Hornet program again I dont see the F-22 line getting reopened. Cancel a program for a $100
32 Post contains images TheSonntag : I heard Germany is intending to phase out some F-4s in 2 years, maybe thats an option
33 tommytoyz : Appreciate your informative post. However, a few things came to mind; 1. Missiles have no need to intercept other aircraft or achieve air superiority
34 ThePointblank : UCAV technology has yet to advance to the level where a UCAV can independently intercept and make a independent decision as to how to intercept, and
35 tommytoyz : Um why? A missile heading to its target needs not engage in a dog fight. It can be made stealthy and is far cheaper then a manned aircraft and a;ll i
36 connies4ever : You're talking about what exists now. I'm talking about the 'NexGen' for UCAVs -- 15-20 years out. AI is advancing rapidly, and i think when you see
37 tommytoyz : I did some thinking on this, as it is usualy put forward as an argument for all this expensive new Stealth and Radar technology: How is all this and
38 TheCol : Most of the major players now have the ability to infiltrate, disable, and destroy individual satellites, and satellite based tactical and surveillan
39 connies4ever : The Taliban were hacking into early UAV up-links that were using COTS technology -- not so now. I feel pretty confident in saying Global Hawk has pre
40 tommytoyz : We have all this right now. The F-35 does not add to this. We have this capability right now and we can improve the datalink coverage in the future f
41 tommytoyz : Thinking about the tactical capability and missions: Even manned aircraft follow a battle and flight plan. They have to if fleets are involved. A UAV
42 connies4ever : I think you'd find that a UCAV pulling a 20G turn would most likely disintegrate. Not many structures designed to fly (practically) are that strong.
43 ThePointblank : Ok, how big will your missile be? What will be the launch platform? A 5000+ lb warhead is a VERY big warhead to be carrying, by any standard. I used
44 connies4ever : Real AI is a lot closer than you might think, particularly with the fusion of fuzzy logic and heuristic (and self-modifying) programming. As for supe
45 TheCol : Yes, with the F-22, which is more expensive. Even though I agree that the F-35 needs to be shelved, that doesn't mean we should put all our eggs in o
46 tommytoyz : Yes, good point. This would bring us to the battle planning, that if we do ever go against China, to target the satellite killing capability in the f
47 ThePointblank : They are short range datalinks. If you are bouncing data from a UAV flying over in say, Afghanistan to an operator in Texas, that datalink can be eas
48 Flighty : From the beginning, this was conceived as a wealth and jobs program, not a weapons program. The incentives are to stretch failure out as long as poss
49 tommytoyz : Are the datalinks jammable or not? How short is short? If they are jammable, the information available is no better than for any other fighter. If th
50 ThePointblank : Anything is jammable, but there is a big difference in how easy it is to jam a datalink to another aircraft 5-10 miles away compared to across the wo
51 tommytoyz : Is the development of this new radar included in the budget for the F-35? If not, could it not be installed in any airframe that can carry it, includ
52 Powerslide : All of your concerns have been covered already in great detail on this forum. Do a little research.
53 kanban : I think the problem here is Canada doesn't have F-22's, B-2's, UAV's or anything neat, so they must trumpet the F-35 so it doesn't get killed before t
54 tommytoyz : I don't think the USA DoD should make any F-35 cancellation decision based on what the needs of other nations are.[Edited 2011-11-11 11:13:19]
55 kanban : I concur.
56 ThePointblank : Included. Development is already complete and they are thinking about adding new capabilities to the radar in later blocks of the F-35, including Inv
57 tommytoyz : An expensive way of delivering just 2 bombs. Even the Mosquito - a wooden piston engined aircraft in WWII - carries 4,000 lbs - but farther, 1,450 mi
58 ThePointblank : Tommy, It's the same load as the EXISTING F/A-18 and F-16, and F-35 can carry it internally, stealthily, and go to Mach 1.6. A similarly equipped F/A
59 tommytoyz : Thanks for your very informative post. Many things to consider....
60 Post contains links connies4ever : This is kind of interesting: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...-f-35-jet-purchase/article2236889/ The entire F-35 program looks like it is being
61 Powerslide : Cancel? No. Cut? Yes. Until congress decides that the USAF can live with 30 year old F-16s and 40 year old F-15s and fly them until the wings fall off
62 kanban : You misunderstand congress.. intelligence is not a common commodity..Yes cancel is a real possibility especially if they can not reach an agreement b
63 connies4ever : But what else are they going to say, really / Go against the program and be seen as "not a team player" ? No way to Chairman of JCS in that case, and
64 Powerslide : Is there another option? You'll need to develop something new anyways which will cost more money in the long run. I don't see the US flying 4.5 gen f
65 kanban : there is a major difference when comparing commercial aircraft to a military a/c.. the two come from totally different organizations.. and if you'd c
66 Post contains links connies4ever : But really, how long before the PAK FA or the J-20 actually have an IOC ? 10 years ? 4.5G a/c will do nicely in the interim, there is time. And where
67 ThePointblank : Boeing hasn't done anything 'new' for the past 2 decades in terms of military design. Most of their military designs are rehashes of existing product
68 connies4ever : Which maybe points to the US poking its' nose into things that really don't concern it -- they're too active, militarily. But that's really beyond th
69 tommytoyz : The DoD can have all the weapons it wants, when it wants. So long as it can to pay for them....otherwise, no money, no honey. How wise is the acquisi
70 Post contains links and images Autothrust : Nothing new, see F-22/Eurofighter/Rafale. How Eurofighter Pretorian works..
71 Post contains links ThePointblank : F-35 has 360 degree coverage with EW and EO-DAS not only can detect and track an inbound missile, it can much more. There is a nice little promo vide
72 Post contains links Autothrust : Same with the Typhoon. 360° coverage through sensorfusion and highly integrated DASS. A Spanish Typhoon(IPA4 with AIM-120) has shot down a Mirage-Dr
73 ThePointblank : Not the same level of integration; Typhoon cannot track the launcher and the missile in all directions. A Typhoon pilot being shot at with a SAM woul
74 tommytoyz : Which AA missile has this capability to be re-aimed by the aircraft? By the time the F-35 can be deployed, the Typhoon will have been further develop
75 Post contains links Autothrust : Wrong, the DASS automaticly can track launcher and missile in all directions up to a range of 100km with a precision better then 1°. The DASS can ev
76 Autothrust : The Meteor does have the capability to be re-aimed through a two way datalink only to the Typhoon.(and Gripen but not Rafale) It will be even possibl
77 tommytoyz : The Meteor does not have this capability, because it is not operational yet. Maybe in the future..... As to any AA missile fired by the F-35, which o
78 Post contains links and images Devilfish : Actually, the USAF is at the forefront of the move..... http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...y-extend-f-15-service-life-365200/ Quote: "Boeing has
79 ThePointblank : The F-35's DAS can track the actual missile itself, not just the radar emission of the missile. Remember that the AN/AAQ-37 is a network of 6 high de
80 Max Q : It was always a non starter trying to fit three different fighters into one airframe. Predictably, each version is severely compromised. at least it i
81 Autothrust : The PIRATE is also capable to track missiles, but just in the frontal sector. A full spherical/all aspect track of missiles is in evaluation for the
82 ThePointblank : While F-35's AN/AAQ-37 is already operational and is integrated into the sensor suite. F-35 is the first jet fighter that has sensor fusion that comb
83 ebj1248650 : The F-35 isn't going to be axed. Every effort is being made to fix the problems and there's already been way too much money spent to just close down t
84 Autothrust : Its much more then just that. A "small summary": Nowhere as maneuverable as the RAFALE,F-22, Typhoon. Also acceleration is not comparable. I agree th
85 Post contains images spudh : I'm pretty sure the AIM-54 Phoenix missile had that capability 40 years ago. IIRC, It could take mid course guidance from an AWAC (not just the F-14
86 tommytoyz : The F-35 keeps slipping while the Typhoon has been flying for years and has an operational DAS, the F-35 system does not. So when you talk about the
87 Post contains images Autothrust : Not to forget combat engagements over Lybia. Couldn't agree more.
88 Post contains links ThePointblank : F-35's AN/AAQ-37 has been tested on Northrop Grumman's BAC One-Eleven testbed. It is operational. The system even has ballistic missile tracking capa
89 tommytoyz : It is not operational, as it is not mounted on any operational aircraft. This keeps the program alive by introducing slow rolling upgrades like this
90 ThePointblank : It's already mounted in the current LRIP aircraft. The current LRIP aircraft are for the most part, representative of production aircraft. The majori
91 Powerslide : If the Typhoon, Rafale or whatever else Europe is trying to pawn off as a fighter these days (Gripen) is such an amazing aircraft, why haven't there
92 tommytoyz : Current fighters are cheaper. This tidy "only 3 variants" and jack-of-all-trades concept is not cheaper, it's actually more expensive. The wide varie
93 Post contains links ThePointblank : Current fighters are more expensive to maintain and operate. The many variants and subvariants of the F-16 in service makes it more difficult and exp
94 ThePointblank : I will also add that the current UAVs are, speaking frankly, junk performance-wise. Their performance is inferior to that of nearly all WWII-era fight
95 Post contains links tommytoyz : Not according to estimates by the US Navy. The F-35C is estimated to cost 63% more to operate than even the Harrier, 33% more on maintenance alone. T
96 Post contains links tommytoyz : Not so. Even currently operational UAVS have better performance than that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_RQ-4_Global_Hawk And sometim
97 Post contains images Powerslide : So only the future YOU say is correct. It will be decades before a sane Military Commander sends in a fleet of UAV's to intercept a hostile air threa
98 Post contains links ThePointblank : Yeah, the $1 trillion dollars includes infrastructure, fuel, spare parts, training and upgrades, and the kitchen sink plus expected inflation for get
99 kanban : While this initially was an interesting thread about 'what if....' , it's become tiresome with one defender claiming attributes that may or may not ac
100 Post contains images connies4ever : Thanks for injecting a note of sanity into this thread. It has become a pointless "Yes it is / No it isn't"shouting match. I'd suggest the mods lock
101 HaveBlue : Speaking of tired, how many times has this axiom worn on? Every time someone swears that the age of the dogfight is over they are proved wrong, and s
102 kanban : Thanks .. note that other than an unfortunate typo, I own up to the statements as my point of view .. and I really didn't intend to start a discussio
103 tommytoyz : I don't think this thread has gotten to the shouting match stage yet, where posts are void of any substance with ad hominem attacks. Thepointblank, ha
104 Powerslide : Did you just suggest that the United States purchase fighters built by Europeans that are more expensive and less capable than the US-built and engin
105 KiwiRob : I think the Chinese and Russians will disagree with you on that statement.
106 Powerslide : I'm talking about western fighters, not cheap knock-offs or 'souped-up' legacy fighters in the case of the T-50.
107 tommytoyz : I agree that it would be politically impossible. Don't forget I suggested an updated F-15/18 as an cheaper option in addition to developing UAVs. The
108 Powerslide : I suggest everyone calm the hell down. The F35 is not getting axed and it will be everything it's designed to do. Remember all the gripes about the F
109 ThePointblank : You do realize how expensive the lower end alternatives are, don't you? A F/A-18E/F according to the GAO is $106.1 million dollars in 2010 fiscal yea
110 Oroka : They will do exactly what they are doing now, cut unit purchases to cover additional development costs. The F-35 is coming down in price pretty stead
111 tommytoyz : Pointblank: The cost is now at $384 Million per frame and an APUC of $133 million per frame, according to the GAO, as of April 2011, at curent procure
112 tommytoyz : OK, this is reasonable and explains your position. No problem with that.
113 ThePointblank : 1. No, the contractual ceiling price for Lot 4 is listed earlier. The LRIP 4 contract — the first fixed-price, incentive-fee deal for Joint Strike
114 tommytoyz : You are arguing against the GAO - United States Government Accountability Office. I quote from their March 2010 report to Congress: "The program offi
115 Powerslide : That ship has sailed a long time ago. BTW, that GAO report you are quoting is from April, a lot has changed since then. The anti-jsf crowd is quickly
116 Post contains links ThePointblank : You are arguing against the LRIP Lot 4 contract, dated October 2011: http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...ense&id=news/asd/2011/10/03/01.xml Yo
117 tommytoyz : Read carefully. They are only talking about efforts to reduce costs of the LRIP 4 units, not the entire F-35 program costs. But even for these, nothin
118 ThePointblank : Read more carefully. The contract for LRIP Lot 4 is a fixed-price, incentive-fee contract. If the costs are anywhere between 0-20% increase, Lockheed
119 tommytoyz : Let me ask you something ThePointblank: Do you think the F-35 program will see cuts in any way from the U.S. DoD? Or not? At least answer this simple
120 ThePointblank : No. There will be reallocation between variants, and maybe delays in buying, but the total numbers will not be cut significantly (over 100 units). Th
121 connies4ever : If the Pentagon budget cut is in fact in the range of $200B, as is being punted around right now in the media, and further cuts in the future as part
122 ThePointblank : Not likely. The Harrier force is entering the twilight of USMC service; there is very little airframe life left in the USMC Harrier force and a life
123 Autothrust : A F-22 stated the f-35 In "large measure"says all. And precisely it does mean what? Maybe you want compare to the Typhoon once you have real data: Ma
124 Post contains links connies4ever : Part of the USAF/Boeing/LockMart study work on the F-15/F-16 fleets. http://www.f-15e.info/joomla/en/stri...xtend-usaf-f-15-fleet-service-life http:/
125 Powerslide : My 70 year old grandmother has expressed interest in the Typhoon. Expressed interest are not orders. Costs are going down as more JSFs roll off the l
126 Eagleboy : Personally I doubt the F-35 overall program will be cut, with the US needing so many replacement aircraft over the next 10-20 years I see no other po
127 faro : Through no fault of the F-35, US public debt has over the last 3 years ballooned to over USD 12 trillion; based on historical precedent, lawmakers un
128 sovietjet : You are losing a lot of credibility with a post like that. None of us here have any idea of the detailed capabilities, current or planned, of the J-2
129 tommytoyz : Even if the latest promised "savings" are realized, it's not enough to bring costs back anywhere near to where it was supposed to be. And it's just a
130 ThePointblank : The pilot was comparing the F-22 to the F-35. The flight performance for the F-35 is extremely good, revealing excellent manuverability, which is com
131 Post contains links tommytoyz : From http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/f-15-life.htm "The Air Force plans for the F-15E to be an integral part of the Nation’s
132 tommytoyz : One question I have is why we are buying the F-35 in large quantities - 329 to be exact - before the development phase is even finished. A few frames
133 Post contains links and images connies4ever : http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...%20F-35%20Program?&channel=defense Apparently some in Congress are starting to think along those lines... Y
134 Post contains links tommytoyz : http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/video...3f5f8706ab8cd993cec7ea0941cf&rf=bm This is how the future without the F-35 might look like. The F-15 life e
135 Post contains links ThePointblank : Doesn't fix the issue that you have F-15's with placard restrictions not to exceed Mach 1.5 and refrain from high g maneuvering due to major cracking
136 Post contains links tommytoyz : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Atomics_Avenger 20 hour endurance, a range of at least 8,000 nautical miles, 3,000 lbs of bombs or missiles carri
137 Post contains images Powerslide : F-35 compliment, maybe. No way that thing will do everything a manned JSF can do. For one, it's slower than an old man in a wheel chair, how is it go
138 tommytoyz : Heck, an F-5 can intercept an airliner, don't need an expensive F-35 for that. There are many things UAVs in development will be able to do that the
139 Spacepope : Capital idea old chap!!! F-5s armed with Genie rockets for homeland security! The plan is flawless!
140 Powerslide : So can a Phantom. So here is my F35 alternative. We should take F4s out of retirement and upgrade them with modern avionics. It's cheaper, most cost
141 Post contains links ThePointblank : An interview with Tom Burbage on F-35: http://www.defensenews.com/story.php...&c=FEA&s=INT#.TtLrmllAUXc.facebook The key question: And there,
142 rwessel : There basically aren't any F-4s left, they've all been used as drones (QF-4s). Plenty of F-16As and Bs in the desert though, which would serve much o
143 tommytoyz : I accept Thepointblank's belief there won't be any cuts. But is disagree with him, and he only offer more support to disagree. His commentary and inte
144 connies4ever : As a senior exec with LockMart, he would be expected to say things to that effect. You would expect him to tell the world that costs are going up ?
145 spudh : I think to be fair you are both being choosy on how you are interpreting this. As production efficienies come into play the unit build cost cost goes
146 faro : Aaah, the Genie!! You want bang for your buck? Scrap all those silly fighter development programs out there and stick GPS'ed, extended-range Genies u
147 MoltenRock : The thing is, while nearly 70% of Americans supported invading Iraq, there was still a small contingent of us warning how dangerous and expensive that
148 Powerslide : I'm saying it would be a disgrace if they fly refurbished ex-mothballed F-15s, F-16s etc when a new, better, more capable replacement is available. T
149 connies4ever : But what many, both in the 'real world', if I may use that term, and in the political world, are saying is that we simply can't afford the F-35, at l
150 Powerslide : Who is we? The US has it's own problems to deal with. In Canada's case, we CAN afford the F35, it's not like we are buying more than we need, in fact
151 Post contains links MoltenRock : If the USA ordered 500 or 1,000 Eurofighters the price per copy would plummet. You're trying to compare a program that has around 400 total aircraft
152 kanban : Canada may well be able to afford them, however the US can not.. so if the US reduces it's projected quantity, the manufacturer can produce all the p
153 connies4ever : We in the sense of: USA, Canada, UK, Oz, Norway, Netherlands, ... I'll try to be explicit for you in the future. Can we afford it ? Let's see, curren
154 Post contains links ThePointblank : Meanwhile, F-35B is looking like its exiting probation, after hitting 98% of its targets: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...28News+%2F+US+%2F+Pol
155 MoltenRock : The problem with believing this is actually true, is that the Defense Dept has a long history if changing the rules and definitions of what "success"
156 ThePointblank : Availability of the current CF-18 fleet is declining; the current availability will be as good as it gets for the fleet. By 2017, CF-18's will begin
157 bennett123 : IMO, the error made by the DOD and there supporters is simple. They start from the basis of we want x number of F35's, but do'nt know the cost. We exp
158 tommytoyz : $ 15 Million USD per frame
159 ThePointblank : The USMC is adamant that their Hornets cannot fly beyond 9000-10,000 hours even after structural upgrades. The 10,000 flight hour limit is accomplish
160 kanban : Maybe it's time to rethink why some missions exist at all... there is this thing about keeping skill levels up.. but if you wear out the fleet keepin
161 ThePointblank : You obviously don't understand why there is a need for constant training and practicing. One of the biggest determiners in aerial combat is the indiv
162 Post contains links Arniepie : After reading some alarming stories in dutch media, I searched for an English link. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2...tates-f-35-production.html?
163 kanban : Can not recall of any actual aerial combat other then war games that has occurred in the last couple decades... I think we sat offshore and blitzed t
164 Powerslide : There may be hope for you yet.
165 Post contains links YTZ : I am a CF member who works in procurement and as much as I do think the F35 is good value for money, I wouldn't bet on it, until it's on the flight l
166 ThePointblank : Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Kosovo, etc. For Desert Shield and Desert Storm,1,386 fighter jets and fighter bombers were deployed from the coalition
167 spudh : The Israelis would disagree strongly with that point. Pilot proficieny kept them ahead of their rivals when aircraft were equal. They now have superi
168 kanban : Thanks for jogging my memory... looks like crow eating time..
169 Post contains links RaginMav : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Speicher It is believed that the USN lost an F/A-18 to a Mig 25 during Desert Storm, although the facts are somewha
170 ThePointblank : C'mon guys. Have any of you ever flown or maintained military jets? As the Admiral says in the article, this is not unusual stuff. What is unusual is
171 kanban : Only if funded... production rates are tied less to manufacturability than to contracted delivery.. especially military a/c. F-15 and F-18 could be b
172 ThePointblank : The problem is that the F-15 and F/A-18 line are not meant for a rapid ramp up in production numbers. Only the F-35 has a high capacity manufacturing
173 MoltenRock : And how much per annum do you think the US and Canada should budget to get ________ (x qty) F35s? If 2,500 of das ist wunderbar F35s are necessary, o
174 ThePointblank : Wrong. Production price is determined by the rate of production. The higher the production rate, the faster the price drops. Right now, the pricing f
175 kanban : Aaah youth knows all the answers ... and from what life experience do you draw these opinions?... If, and it is likely, congress reduces the projecte
176 Post contains links Arniepie : I have no idea how much validity this has but it comes from a source in one of the most important JSF nations, Australia; http://www.businessspectator
177 Post contains links Arniepie : As a follow up to the previuos post; http://blogs.star-telegram.com/sky_t...-vice-adm-david-venlets-inter.html Summary of internal DoD report as descr
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