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F35 Program Filled With Problems In All Areas  
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3409 posts, RR: 4
Posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 8280 times:

Report out:

http://www.pogo.org/resources/nation...cy-quick-look-review-20111129.html

All I can say is wow.

Sounds like all varients are riddled with problems, but the carrier version is possibly facing some serious modifications to achieve an acceptable tail hook positioning.

Also the magic helmet the F35 relies on to do nearly everything appears to be only magic in its ability to suck money from tax payers.

62 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8270 times:

The QLR suggests they continue development and even continue purchasing LRIP Lots, after all of the supposed disasters. The biggest problem with this program is all the media openness that it is being developed under. The C17 was a disaster during testing, with the wings basically falling off, now look at it. Where are all those people that called for it's cancellation now? In their holes were they belong. All these F35 issues are typical of modern aircraft development.

User currently offlineArniepie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8230 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 1):
The C17 was a disaster during testing, with the wings basically falling off, now look at it. Where are all those people that called for it's cancellation now? In their holes were they belong. All these F35 issues are typical of modern aircraft development.

The C-17 might be a fine aircraft now, but at what cost, a similar thing can probably be said of the A400M.

About the F-35, somehow ironic that you claim that all these issues are normal for new fighters during their
development fase.
That is a somewhat simplistic representation of the trueth and contradicts what happened with previous important
fighter aircraft programs.
Let's take the F-15 for instance, sure it too had its issues, 2 that come to mind are the 25mm cannon that lead to
nothing and the Aim 84 missile that prooved too much of a hassle.
With all the normal issues comming with building a whole new revolutionary (at 70's standards) plane with all new
avionics and engines ,they choose the wise pad and decided too use many proven systems for the F-15 to not
complicate matters too much.
Also from the getgo they wisely decided to go against the commonality trend, than already widely in fashion, and build
the plane solely for the USAF and with only one initial task best described as "not a pound for air-to-ground".
The F-14 stayed with the NAVY and was optimized for carrier use, something that would've compromised the EAGLE
too much.

Enter the F-35 Lightning II.
As things are standing now it looks like nothing more than a pipedream.
Overpromised , underperformed and ridiculously expensive to both buy and operate.
Their whole philosophy seems to go against what is generally accepted as common sense, it promised to be one size fits all that can do every task better than any of its opponents fitted with all the latest gizmos for a more than competitive price.
Basically it failed on almost all accounts.
Many of its systems are undoubtedly leading edge (engine, radar, surface stealth materials, ...) but combined as a system it just is too much of a compromise with a cost that is unacceptable.
LM have managed to work against all tested and tried methods of how to build a new platform and that has
understandably made many people very critical.

As for your remark;


Quoting Powerslide (Reply 1):
The biggest problem with this program is all the media openness that it is being developed under.

Better consider yourself lucky that the media voice their concerns so openly that's what they're their for, not all of
their points may be equally well founded but I shiver to think what would happen if they said nothing, LM and the
DoD's would think they got a real carte blanche leadng to an even more catastrophic budget nightmare.

Also I'll be the first to admit that, as a layman, I'm probably too skeptical about new government projects (like this
also is one), and their is a good chance that we'll have too admit that things turn out better than we now can see.
Let's hope for the sake of our armed forces that they get something decent.
But I don't think that blind support for projects like these is the way to go, their are way too many people that
lack critical thought whenever it comes to weaponsystems and their usefulness and associated price.
Somehow believing that they are good, no matter their cost, is not a healhty way assuring the longterm
effectiveness of a country and subsequently its armed forces.

So until proven otherwise, by clearly more positive trends/messages/signs comming from this program, I remain skeptical towards how this plane will turn out to be compared with its competitors/similar platforms, and how much
it will ultimately cost and what our military have to give up just to use this miracle weapon.



[edit post]
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8225 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 1):
The QLR suggests they continue development and even continue purchasing LRIP Lots, after all of the supposed disasters. The biggest problem with this program is all the media openness that it is being developed under. The C17 was a disaster during testing, with the wings basically falling off, now look at it. Where are all those people that called for it's cancellation now? In their holes were they belong. All these F35 issues are typical of modern aircraft development.

How many years since FF ? How many prototypes, SDD, and LRIP a/c produced to date ? And now this report from the DoD itself that recommends cutting back the LRIP rate. I would say, as an ISO-certified auditor (in addition to the main thing I do), that this is a program that is not in control at this point. If it ever was. Oversold, overhyped. Now, I would wager, every single a/c currently flying will have a unique set of snags that will all have to be fixed individually at great cost. And the production processes will need to be changed - not a small thing.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8189 times:

Every US TACAIR asset flying today has had structural issues -- ALL of them. Ever notice those plates bolted on the LEX of F/A-18's? They reduce the adverse effect that LEX-generated vortices have on the verticals. How long ago were those installed? Ever notice the plates of metal bolted on the bases of the verticals on F/A-18s? Whaddaya think those are for? Ask older F/A-18 maintainers about center barrel replacements. Ask about life-limited E/Fs. Are these jets dead? No, they just have to go to a depot or drive-in mod for replacement or modification of some structural stuff.

Ever notice the square/rectangular pieces of tape in the intakes of AV-8B? Keeps the rivets in that section of the intake from from popping out and being ingested by the engine. How come that's an issue? Because the stiffeners put in the fuselage to stop cracks after the jet was in service caused a load transfer into the intake just in front of the engine -- causes rivets to pop out and feed the engine. Taping the area prevents the rivets from popping out and and being ingested by the engine.

Ask experienced F-16 maintainers about the structural load transfers (and resulting unexpected cracks) they've chased around the Viper for a couple decades. What ever happened to those F-16Ns that Top Gun flew?

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 3):

How many years since FF ? How many prototypes, SDD, and LRIP a/c produced to date ? And now this report from the DoD itself that recommends cutting back the LRIP rate. I would say, as an ISO-certified auditor (in addition to the main thing I do), that this is a program that is not in control at this point. If it ever was. Oversold, overhyped. Now, I would wager, every single a/c currently flying will have a unique set of snags that will all have to be fixed individually at great cost. And the production processes will need to be changed - not a small thing.

However, the report recommends continuing with the program. suggests they continue development and even continue purchasing LRIP Lots. I guess they don't see it the same way as you.

Maybe you don't realize the point of the QLR. This report does not examine the 2016 capabilities fielded by the JSF. Rather its an examination of whether concurrency buys should continue right now. For most of these issues, fixes are already ordered on later planes, or development continues to find a solution.

If you want to make broad inferences about what might occur five years from now on one of the most complex aerospace projects in the world, you're within your right to do so. However its somewhat foolish given that the reports' authors suggest they should continue development and limited LRIP buys.


User currently offlinewvsuperhornet From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 517 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8178 times:

You would have thought they would have learned after the F-111 adventure in trying to make in a 3 branch service plane do all.

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8162 times:

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 5):
You would have thought they would have learned after the F-111 adventure in trying to make in a 3 branch service plane do all.

They did ok with the F-4 Phantom II.


User currently offlineebj1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8064 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 1):
The biggest problem with this program is all the media openness that it is being developed under. The C17 was a disaster during testing, with the wings basically falling off, now look at it. Where are all those people that called for it's cancellation now? In their holes were they belong. All these F35 issues are typical of modern aircraft development.

My thoughts exactly. You're right, these things are typical. What makes the situation really bad is that news about airplane faults travels faster than the speed of light and too often what's said is taken out of context or exagerated. As with any program that pushes the technological limits, there's going to be issues and resolving those costs money. That's the way the game plays. And as has been said before, when the problems are resolved and the airplane is performing the way it's supposed to, all this noise about issues and such will be forgotten.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineArniepie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8058 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 6):
Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 5):
You would have thought they would have learned after the F-111 adventure in trying to make in a 3 branch service plane do all.

They did ok with the F-4 Phantom II.

Bad example, contradicting the JSF's case.
It was originally build as a fighter/interceptor for the US NAVY.
Only later adapted for different tasks, with different services.
Another succesful fighter that got extra tasks and capabilities after its succesful beginning as a single mission
aircraft (fighter/interceptor).
When they got the basics right, they where again able to expand on it = same as later with F15/16&18.

The JSF , from the beginning, tries to be all things to all men, with a lot of immature technology.
That sounds a lot like a crossbreed between the former F111 and A5vigilante, one was too much of a compromise
to be good enough for all envisioned tasks for the different branches, the other had too much new technology making
it useless because it was too unreliable.

[Edited 2011-12-15 04:12:09]


[edit post]
User currently offlineflagon From France, joined May 2007, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 7912 times:

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 8):
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 6):
Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 5):
You would have thought they would have learned after the F-111 adventure in trying to make in a 3 branch service plane do all.

They did ok with the F-4 Phantom II.

Bad example, contradicting the JSF's case.
It was originally build as a fighter/interceptor for the US NAVY.
Only later adapted for different tasks, with different services.

mmhh, I am not too sure about that, I wouldn't say designing an aircraft to meet a wide range of requriements from both Navy and Air Force is necessarily a lost battle. This has been done successfully for the Rafale with a high degree of commonality between the navy and the air force versions, whilst covering the whole spectrum of possible missions. On the contrary adapting an specialised aircraft for other mission types can sometimes be quite painfull.

But to be fair I think they might have been over ambitious with the F-35 as the B version makes it such a different aircarft (and the C version not quite similar to the A version) that LM is basically managing three programmes at the same time, ie there is poor degree of commonality. This is a complex programme that's all, not surprising they have to fix a lot of issues. From what can be read the crack issues they have to deal with now don't seem to be major problems, the way I understand it is that will require local design changes that they will have to implement in the next batches of aircarft, whilst repairing the planes already built at a later stage, potentially limiting these planes in terms of manoeuvre and number of flight hours in the meantime, with appropriate crack monitoring program?

So it looks like this will be sorted, and if they manage to keep the cost increase of the programme to a "reasonnable level", if I may say so, then IMO at the end of this difficult times the F35 will be a tremendous achievement.



Stephane
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 7882 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 4):
Ask older F/A-18 maintainers about center barrel replacements.

Apples to oranges, you're comparing a well-used a/c in need of a centre-barrel replacement to a new a/c showing structural issues.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 4):
However, the report recommends continuing with the program. suggests they continue development and even continue purchasing LRIP Lots. I guess they don't see it the same way as you.

They can see it any way they choose and I agree they did not recommend stopping LRIP, they recommended slowing down. Which will push costs up somewhat. Stopping would have put costs up hugely since some of the workforce would be laid off - and who knows how many would come back ? That risk is too big from the p.o.v. of the program manager and DoD.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 4):
Maybe you don't realize the point of the QLR. This report does not examine the 2016 capabilities fielded by the JSF. Rather its an examination of whether concurrency buys should continue right now. For most of these issues, fixes are already ordered on later planes, or development continues to find a solution.

Indeed fixes are ordered for later planes. What about the sunk investment in the ones flying or limping right now ? Will they get fixed ? These are, theoretically at least, production a/c. My understanding of production is that "this is the finished model" ready for use.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 4):
If you want to make broad inferences about what might occur five years from now on one of the most complex aerospace projects in the world, you're within your right to do so. However its somewhat foolish given that the reports' authors suggest they should continue development and limited LRIP buys.

But isn't the notion that all these problems will be fixed and F-35 will be the wunderkind of all combat a/c a "broad inference" in itself ?

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 5):
You would have thought they would have learned after the F-111 adventure in trying to make in a 3 branch service plane do all.

Indeed. TFX/F-111 was a fiasco, proving that the one size fits all solution usually but not always, does not work.

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 8):
They did ok with the F-4 Phantom II.

Bad example, contradicting the JSF's case.
It was originally build as a fighter/interceptor for the US NAVY.
Only later adapted for different tasks, with different services.
Another succesful fighter that got extra tasks and capabilities after its succesful beginning as a single mission
aircraft (fighter/interceptor).
When they got the basics right, they where again able to expand on it = same as later with F15/16&18.

The JSF , from the beginning, tries to be all things to all men, with a lot of immature technology.
That sounds a lot like a crossbreed between the former F111 and A5vigilante, one was too much of a compromise
to be good enough for all envisioned tasks for the different branches, the other had too much new technology making
it useless because it was too unreliable.

   Excellent point, another apples to oranges comparison. F-4 was never conceived as a polyvalent (there's a historical term which all can look up) a/c. When the (then) RCAF looked at it, it was supposed to be a flat out interceptor. When there really WAS a Soviet threat, unlike now.

Quoting flagon (Reply 9):
mmhh, I am not too sure about that, I wouldn't say designing an aircraft to meet a wide range of requriements from both Navy and Air Force is necessarily a lost battle. This has been done successfully for the Rafale with a high degree of commonality between the navy and the air force versions, whilst covering the whole spectrum of possible missions. On the contrary adapting an specialised aircraft for other mission types can sometimes be quite painfull.

But really, what we're looking at is not an aircraft per se but a weapon system, and the 'goodness of fit' on a given a/c for a role often depends on the weapons carried into battle

Quoting flagon (Reply 9):
But to be fair I think they might have been over ambitious with the F-35 as the B version makes it such a different aircarft (and the C version not quite similar to the A version) that LM is basically managing three programmes at the same time, ie there is poor degree of commonality.

Exactly.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineArniepie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 7792 times:

Quoting flagon (Reply 9):
Quoting Arniepie (Reply 8):
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 6):
Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 5):
You would have thought they would have learned after the F-111 adventure in trying to make in a 3 branch service plane do all.

They did ok with the F-4 Phantom II.

Bad example, contradicting the JSF's case.
It was originally build as a fighter/interceptor for the US NAVY.
Only later adapted for different tasks, with different services.

mmhh, I am not too sure about that, I wouldn't say designing an aircraft to meet a wide range of requriements from both Navy and Air Force is necessarily a lost battle. This has been done successfully for the Rafale with a high degree of commonality between the navy and the air force versions, whilst covering the whole spectrum of possible missions.
On the contrary adapting an specialised aircraft for other mission types can sometimes be quite painfull.

Interesting you mention the Rafale, another project that turned out too expensive for what it eventually brought to the
table.
I think it is a very fair guess if I would say that they (Dassault) also would've done themselves a lot of favors if they
stayed with the engine used by the early prototype, a GE F404 derivative which was at least equally good compared
with the M88.
It would've made it much cheaper and a lot easier for Dassault to focus more on the rest, the frame, avionics and sensorsuite, undoubtedly saving them a lot of headaches and severely shortening the design and test time needed.
The M version also would've benefitted from all this.
They already knew that further, more powerful, versions of the 404 family where in the pipeline and if need be they
could also use the EJ200 without having to invest in their designcosts.
Now the engine is more a burden when it comes to selling the Rafale, it just doesn't deliver compared with similar engines.
-M88 ; 3.6m x 0.90m @ 900kg delivering 16900lbf thrust in AB
-EJ200; 4.0m x 0.97m @ 989kg delivering 20000lbf thrust in AB (27000lbf possible upgrade)
-F404 ; 3.9m x 0.89m @ 1036kg delivering 17700lbf thrust in AB
-F414 ; 3.9m x 0.89m @ 1110kg delivering 22000lbf thrust in AB also power upgrades to be expected



[edit post]
User currently offlineflagon From France, joined May 2007, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7758 times:

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 11):
Interesting you mention the Rafale, another project that turned out too expensive for what it eventually brought to the
table.

The total programme cost of the Rafale over its life is estimated today is 43.6billions euros for 286 rafales.
This is a total unit programme cost of 152millions euros.

As a comparison:
the total UK contribution to the Typhoon programme cost over the life of the programme has been estimated by the NOA to 37billions GDB for 160 typhoons.
This is a total unit programme cost of 231millions GDP (for the RAF Typhoons). Of these 160 Typhoons 53 T1 will be withdrawn in 2018 as they will be obsolete and too expensive to bring the T3 standard, which will leave the RAF with a mere 107 Typhoons.....by extrapolation you could say that in the mid-term (from 2018 in six years...) the programme unit cost of the RAF Typhoons is 37billions / 107 = 346millions GDP. For information that of the F22 is generally quoted as being around 350million dollars....

The Rafale fullfils all French air force and Navy requirements.
The Typhoon does not cover all UK requirement which forces UK to invest in F35 programme on top of that (2.5 billions dollars invested in development already, plus the cost of procuring the aircraft which realistically will be over 10 billions).

The Rafale will be the only type of fighter in service in french forces.
The UK will have to maintain 2 types of fighters.
The USA three types of fighters.

In the light of this I find the Rafale solution rather economical.....

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 11):
Now the engine is more a burden when it comes to selling the Rafale, it just doesn't deliver compared with similar engines.

One of the reasons Rafale pulled out from Eurofighter was they wanted a plane which empty weight does not exceed 9.5T, so on that basis the M88 was design from day one to deliver 7.5T, which by the way provides the aircraft with a thrust to weight ratio comparable to that of the Typhoon (which is a heavier aircraft) at sea level / empty weight. If the specifications back then were to design a 8T engine the M88 would deliver 8T today. The concept of the design back then was to be pragmatic and to do the job required, not necessarily to show muscles...

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 11):
a GE F404 derivative which was at least equally good compared
with the M88.

The performance data you give in your post says otherwise as the GE (though a very good engine) is not particularly light and would have lead to an aircraft overweight of 200kg, no way that would have been acceptable....

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 11):
Dassault to focus more on the rest, the frame, avionics and sensorsuite

It is not for Dassault to focus on avionics and sensorsuite, that are besides, generally more than satisfactory and combat proven, nor it is for Dassault to focus on the engines.

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 11):
they
could also use the EJ200

If you read the data you posted on this engine you realise that it is significantly bigger (normal, it was designed for the Typhoon) than the M88. That makes me doubt it could actually be integrated into a Rafale airframe, which is already very space limited (like all combat aircraft) and which Dassault wanted as small as possible (Rafale A prototype already was deemed too long and too heavy, the C, B and M versions have reduced in size/weight for that reason).



Stephane
User currently offlineArniepie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7737 times:

I'm fairly sure that a EJ200 and F404/414 would fit in the Rafale frame without too much adjustment.
The higher poweroutput and lower SFC (-10% compared with the F414 and EJ200) would have made
a slight weight increase not really an issue ,I believe.
And it would have made it more attractive for foreign potential customers.

As for the avionics, you might be right, they are more of the shelf items.
The fact remains that the Rafale is generally deemed an expesive alternative for its closest competitors like
the EF Typhoon and the Super Hornet.
Historically the strength of Dassault was more in their ability to deliver a high performance lightweight and
cheap to operate fighter that was technically equivalent to other western fighters, no?

As an aside, I know for a fact that there is a studygroup in the Belgian air component that are studying
a replacement for the F-16's after 2020, the Rafale, NG Gripen and EF are all very much in the running
now that the JSF is deemed a real fiscal uncertain adventure.
Originally a joint venture with the dutch and their F-35 was considered the most natural course of action.
However with the swiss buying the NG Gripen and current economic longterm difficulties the F-35 is loosing
ground rapidly, even becoming very unlikely.
In the summer, at the request of an MP (member of NVA) minister of defence P De Crem got a direct quote from LM
of 115million euro's (@09/11 exchange rate) per plane excl. engines as a naked price, an initial budget of 6.21billion € would be needed to buy a new fleet, not counting spares, engines ,training ,etc...., therefor a hearing has been called to seriously look for alternatives, which seem ever more likely.

Parliamentary questions have started in oktober.
The current F16 have a lifespan of 8000hrs, 2023 or maximum 2025 are considered as the ultimate usefulness
of the F-16 fleet.
I know for a fact that a Swiss type of setup can very well be in the future of our air Force.
A small(20-28) fleet of high performance fighters (RAFALE, EF, F-35,SH) combined with something almost equally
advanced but much cheaper to operate like the NG gripen which can be used for training and active duties flying more
hours per frame than the more expensive fighters.
The extra cost of holding more spares and some extra training facilities (Sim etc..) don't add up against the savings
made by using a substantially cheaper planes.
One thing working against the F-35 is the lack of a 2-seater, for training purposes a 2 seater is deemed
much more effective and economical.



[edit post]
User currently offlinewvsuperhornet From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 517 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 7700 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 6):
They did ok with the F-4 Phantom II.

Not really ask anyone who flew it (I had an uncle that flew 1 in vietnam) the aircraft other than range (talking about the F-4) and the amount of ordinance it could carry was not really a master of anything other than being out manuevred by migs.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 7676 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 10):

Apples to oranges, you're comparing a well-used a/c in need of a centre-barrel replacement to a new a/c showing structural issues.

The point was that they knew the centre-barrel was going to be an issue down the line from the beginning. The situation here is that they are moving to fix a potential future structural issue before it even becomes an issue. Why? Because it is easier and cheaper now to implement the fix on a handful of test aircraft and then roll it out for mass production, than to fix it later when you already have thousands of aircraft already made.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 10):
They can see it any way they choose and I agree they did not recommend stopping LRIP, they recommended slowing down. Which will push costs up somewhat. Stopping would have put costs up hugely since some of the workforce would be laid off - and who knows how many would come back ? That risk is too big from the p.o.v. of the program manager and DoD.

It won't affect the end result; we are looking at thousands of F-35's being made, not just for the US armed forces, but for foreign customers as well.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 10):
ndeed fixes are ordered for later planes. What about the sunk investment in the ones flying or limping right now ? Will they get fixed ? These are, theoretically at least, production a/c. My understanding of production is that "this is the finished model" ready for use.

The ones already produced will probably soldier on as test vehicles or in training squadrons under less demanding situations. But in any case, they will be retrofitted with the fixes down the line as they come due for overhaul.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 10):
But isn't the notion that all these problems will be fixed and F-35 will be the wunderkind of all combat a/c a "broad inference" in itself ?

No, because that is usually the end result; they will resolve the problems and the aircraft will do well in service. If you thought F-35's problems were bad, the F/A-18 when it initially entered service would really frighten you. They were still fixing major flaws years after IOC.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 10):
Indeed. TFX/F-111 was a fiasco, proving that the one size fits all solution usually but not always, does not work.

The problem with the F-111 program was that they tried to shoehorn a USAF tactical strike bomber into the role of a USN fleet interceptor, when both roles were diametrically opposed from each other, and the USN and USAF heavily disagreed with each other on practically every point. Not the case here; the USAF, USMC, and USN agree on many key performance points.

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 13):
One thing working against the F-35 is the lack of a 2-seater, for training purposes a 2 seater is deemed
much more effective and economical.

Or they can invest in decent simulators and high performance trainers... The F-22 doesn't have a dual seat version, and neither does the A-10. Both seem to work out fine.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3559 posts, RR: 26
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 7646 times:
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Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
The ones already produced will probably soldier on as test vehicles or in training squadrons under less demanding situations.


The summary of your comments in several threads is:
We should accept and keep producing substandard crap, because that is the way we have always done it... We should keep producing substandard planes and assign them to non-demanding roles just to keep the production line moving. Maybe by line 1000 we will have a plane that meets the mission minimums without melting when they kick in afterburners for more than 2.5 minutes or can land vertically more than 6 times. Not sure how many training flights you can get with those constraints.
We should cut the manufacturer slack because this pile of manure has the best PR presentations and woo woo stuff that may not even work but sure sounds good. (the "enemy" is quaking in their boots when they hear about this woo-woo stuff). And you're going to defend the North Pole with it even though the communications system won't work north of the Arctic Circle.


User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7612 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 16):
And you're going to defend the North Pole with it even though the communications system won't work north of the Arctic Circle.

And you have no idea what you are talking about, again. By the time the F35 enters service with Canada, or shortly after, we will have the SECURE coms we need. Thanks for playing though. The F-35 program is in complexity class that is unique and the program has some serious engineering issues. I'm not doing a pollyanna thing here, but I have a reasonable degree of faith in LM's engineering staff being able to resolve the issues. Most people who are anti-JSF see every issue on the F-35 presented as a program ending flaw. There is no other single aircraft available that comes close to its capabilities and buying aircraft that are approaching obsolescence just because they are available now is a fools game.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3559 posts, RR: 26
Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7595 times:
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Quoting Powerslide (Reply 17):
And you have no idea what you are talking about, again. By the time the F35 enters service with Canada, or shortly after, we will have the SECURE coms we need.

Funny you say I don't know what I'm talking about and then validate that the com system isn't there.. but might be shortly after delivery...


User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7584 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 18):
Funny you say I don't know what I'm talking about and then validate that the com system isn't there.. but might be shortly after delivery...

Get over yourself. The CF35 SATCOM capability will be installed on our jets long before the first one flies anywhere near the Arctic circle.


User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3409 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 7571 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 6):
They did ok with the F-4 Phantom II.

The F-4 was successful in part because it represented a large change in aircraft design. No longer chasing every last .01 mach they could eek out, but a far more broad performance regime. Big, tough, and flexible are allways good attributes. Oh and cheap.

I think its funny that someone is defending a plane that doesn't even have the TAIL HOOK correctly located. Its only been what 75 years or so since we figured that out? Its not rocket science. Perhaps someone should have even thought to model what happens when the plane's MLG runs over the cable. Since that kinda happens in actual use.

Or that they are not ready on ANY of the roles this aircraft must perform. I kinda liked thier little swipe at its CAS ability in saying they doubt it can ever perform comparable to current inventory.

Its how many billions over budget?
They are reducing the planes taken by 10% while paying the same for the next few years....

When do we start investigating who needs to go to jail for this massive and continous fraud? The F35 sold to the selection committee is nothing like what we see today. Apparently what we see today is not like what we ordered in any way. Since I believe we wanted F35 that could conduction AtA, AtG, CAS, and many other roles.


User currently offlineflagon From France, joined May 2007, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7549 times:

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 13):
The fact remains that the Rafale is generally deemed an expesive alternative for its closest competitors like
the EF Typhoon and the Super Hornet.

I am confused by your comment here, as whilst the Rafale is for sure more expensive than a Super Hornett, it is generally recognised as being substantially cheaper than the Typhoon. I would be interested to know on which data you base your statement.

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 13):
Historically the strength of Dassault was more in their ability to deliver a high performance lightweight and
cheap to operate fighter that was technically equivalent to other western fighters, no?

I don't think so, I think Dassault so far has always had to reputation to deliver light and good products, but at a price significantly above that of american products. Its success in exporting Mirage 3 and Mirage F1 during the cold war was mainly down to the fact that Dassault's products were a good alternative for countries who deliberately did not want to align to the american nor to the soviet block.

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 13):
And it would have made it more attractive for foreign potential customers.

I agree, but the main goal of Rafale was to meet the french forces whilst being an economical alternative, it wasn't designed for the export market like was the F5. Although to be fair it would be silly to say that the french were not hoping to export the plane. Right in the middle of the cold war the market demand back then suggested many export prospects, obviously the end of cold war completely changed this situation and made more and more countries reluctant in spending money in expensive twin engines fighters.



Stephane
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7431 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
The point was that they knew the centre-barrel was going to be an issue down the line from the beginning. The situation here is that they are moving to fix a potential future structural issue before it even becomes an issue. Why? Because it is easier and cheaper now to implement the fix on a handful of test aircraft and then roll it out for mass production, than to fix it later when you already have thousands of aircraft already made.

My understanding (apparently not up to par with yours) regarding the CF centre-barrel problem was that this really only came to light after repeated Arctic sovereingty patrols using the large centreline fuel tank - which I believe McDonnell Douglas did not design the a/c to do.

But your point about "it's easier and cheaper now to implement the fix...":

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...ency-reaches-turning-point-366056/

Two fair use quotes:
"The QLR study warned that all 521 production F-35s delivered during the flight test phase could be affected. Lockheed, however, has argued that the F-35 airframe and hardware configuration will be frozen after the fifth lot of low-rate initial production. If the company is right, only 88 F-35s would need the full package of concurrency changes."

521 production a/c delivered during flight test phase ... if they all have serious defects, doesn't this make a mockery out of concurrency as a concept - and, by implicaiton, those who support it ?

Regarding costs to fix the concurrency problems:
"Vice Admiral David Venlet, the head of the F-35 programme, has not released the actual cost figures, but in one December interview he described the concurrency bill as so high it "sucks the wind out of your lungs". "

Well, the head of the program speaking honestly. At least someone is, finally.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1548 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 7306 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 22):
he described the concurrency bill as so high it "sucks the wind out of your lungs"

I think that this is really the main problem with the F-35. Above beyond program shortcomings and engineering snafus, those problems that surface at flight test phase are proving heinously expensive to address. I doubt the resolution of similar issues with prior legacy fighter programs "sucked the wind" out of management's lungs.

IMHO, cost will ultimately cause procurement figures to be savaged à la F-22 with commitments being significantly reduced by most nations involved.

Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 24, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7281 times:

Quoting faro (Reply 23):
IMHO, cost will ultimately cause procurement figures to be savaged à la F-22 with commitments being significantly reduced by most nations involved.

Agreed, and the looming major defense spending cuts. IIRC something like 2,400 units are planned for the USAF/USN/USMC. If it gets to 1,500 I'[d be surprised. Mind you, with all the problems, I might not live long enough to see IOC.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 25, posted (2 years 9 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 7129 times:

http://www.pogo.org/resources/nation...y-evaluation-training-flights.html

The abort rate for the CTOL version alone is currently 3 x times higher than permissible to start flight training. And right now, only test pilots are allowed to fly the F-35. So what is the DoD doing with all those F-35s it is getting? They're parked and wasting away with nobody to fly them.

Meanwhile those parked F-35 will need some already known safety issues fixed, before they can be used. And Congress is still asking about these unanticipated and unbudgeted additional expenses. We should stop rewarding failure and not accept this throat ramming from LM and their lobbyists. Best case scenario is they had good will but failed to deliver on time and budget, worst case, they have lied.

In any case, the result is a program needing large amounts of additional money thrown at it and the calendar slipping ever more - both with no real end in sight. Come on folks, the tail hook design failed every test so far!

The money spent in the past is gone forever, so no need crying over that. What matters is the future. An looking at the amount of money still needed to get this up and running, the ever increasing projected operating costs....it's best for our future to pull the plug on the F-35 program. There is no danger to any nation that will increase as a result from cancelling the F-35.

Show me a task a combination of B-2s and F-22s can't do better, right now.


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29799 posts, RR: 58
Reply 26, posted (2 years 9 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 7028 times:

Tommytoyz...I can't cut and paste on my iPod but Forget the b2/f22 I can think of many tasks the A10 can kick the F35's butt at


OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlinespudh From Ireland, joined Jul 2009, 301 posts, RR: 1
Reply 27, posted (2 years 9 months 6 days ago) and read 7023 times:

Quoting L-188 (Reply 26):
Tommytoyz...I can't cut and paste on my iPod but Forget the b2/f22 I can think of many tasks the A10 can kick the F35's butt at

Thats the problem, those are 3 specialist airframes dedicated to their role and probably have not a single nut in common bar the nut at the controls.

I'm still undecided on the F-35 as a whole. Whether anyone likes it or not the program is gone waay too far to stop now.
Fighter design history tells us that any fighter designed with commonality across a broad spectrum of roles as a fundamental design rationale is doomed to failure but maybe technology has advanced far enough this time to dim the edges. Maybe the F-35 will be good enough in a way the Mosquito or even Phantom was.

Precision guided munitions have certainly lessened the requirement for survivability in the way it was for the A-10 and the F-35 is likely to be better than the F-18/F-16 in the remaining strike roles. ALCM's have reduced the requirement for deep penetration like an F-111/ Tornado and again the F-35 will probably be better than these at interdiction role.

Its weakest role appears to be air combat but it will probably be good enough to beat all but a dedictated 5th gen air superiority fighter in this role too. If he US can only afford 130+ F-22's then what chance has the rest of the world of putting up a fighter screen beyond the 4/4.5gen airframes that the F-35 has near enough equal performance but better sensor suite. No.1 rule in air combat = first look first kill.

So that brings it back to cost. Any talk of cancellation must look at the trade off between the consequences. You have
1, the tough it out and see it to completion
2, cancel and replace with new program
3,the cancel do nothing

For examples of Option 1 look at just about every fighter flying today but particularly the F-14, F-15 and F-22. The F-14 virtually killed Grumman as it was a fixed price contract and by the time they'd sorted the problems inflation had driven the cost so high that they couldn't finance the production without a loan from the Iranians and the aircraft flew for the rest of its life castrated by 'the worst airframe - engine mismatch in fighter history'. The engine accounted for over 20% of attrition losses despite billions subsequently poured in to trying to fix a bad engine. The alternate engine development was cancelled for about 1/4 the cost spent 'fixing' the TF-30. The F-15 had an inauspicious start to its career with several fleet groundings to resolve structural and engine issues. The F-22 is a classic case of cost growth limiting procurement, as was the case with the F-14 and F-15 too. As far as I can make out, if structural problems are the biggest issue with the F-35 they are the easiest to resolve. The cost will be in performance but every successful program has accepted this to get it across the line (The F-18, a fine upstanding program, had a big reduction in range accepted to get it across the line).


Two major cancellations spring to mind, both helicopters, the AH-56 and the VH-71. The AH-56 was effectively replaced by two more troubled programs, the A-10 and the AH-64 with very little transfer of technology so virtually all the development money was lost. If you were to cancel and replace the F-35, what will the replacement program performace characteristics look like? As far as I can make out, if structural problesm

The VH-71 is well documented here but with the airframes sold to Canada amounts to a complete right off of all the billion+ spent (although I'm firmly of the opinion that a lot of that money went to black programs). How many partner countries in the F-35 program can afford to walk away with nothing?

So for those of us that knock the F-35 (or at least the B model in my case), I don't believe you can legitimately knock a program unless you have a valid alternate to suggest.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3559 posts, RR: 26
Reply 28, posted (2 years 9 months 6 days ago) and read 7011 times:
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Quoting spudh (Reply 27):
You have
1, the tough it out and see it to completion
2, cancel and replace with new program
3,the cancel do nothing


There is a 4th option.. suspend the line until the bugs are resolved and tested using the test a/c already produced. That would lead to significantly less rework. It could also lead to a decision that one or more variants will never work to the military's satisfaction.


User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 29, posted (2 years 9 months 6 days ago) and read 7005 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 28):
It could also lead to a decision that one or more variants will never work to the military's satisfaction.

It was the US Congress that forced the services down this path. How many of them will now stand up and take responsibility for these problems? None. It's everyone's fault but theirs.


User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1548 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 6979 times:

Quoting spudh (Reply 27):

I'm still undecided on the F-35 as a whole. Whether anyone likes it or not the program is gone waay too far to stop now.

Agreed, for better or worse it far too much momentum to it. IMO the cost issue will settle itself F-22-style. Limited resources and increasing costs naturally beget procurement slashes.

Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently onlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7612 posts, RR: 3
Reply 31, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6865 times:

Problem is that if you drastically cut back production, unit costs rise further, resulting in smaller savings.

The other issue, is that less planes mean a bigger impact, (pun not intended) every time you lose one.

Furthermore, no plane can be in two places at the same time.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 32, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6827 times:

Quoting faro (Reply 30):
Agreed, for better or worse it far too much momentum to it. IMO the cost issue will settle itself F-22-style. Limited resources and increasing costs naturally beget procurement slashes.

That is exactly what is going to happen. IMHO. The concurrent production with testing will have been one big waste of money. The argument that the faster one produces is cheaper the unit price, is only true if no rework is needed and ignores the fact that production ramp up does not need to begin so soon.

If testing were ot necessary, it wouldn't be done. Entire programs have been cancelled due to testing results. The F-35 should be no different. It could very well be that testing will reveal one or all models as not viable. It's happened before.

Alternatives have been mentioned aplenty, UAVs taking the place of F-35s and retiring conventional fighters, Gen 4.5 fighters as needed, etc....perhaps restart A-10 production or keep the existing ones flying longer. So many alternatives.....

[Edited 2011-12-19 16:17:53]

User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2353 posts, RR: 2
Reply 33, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6832 times:
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Quoting spudh (Reply 27):
Two major cancellations spring to mind, both helicopters, the AH-56 and the VH-71. The AH-56 was effectively replaced by two more troubled programs, the A-10 and the AH-64 with very little transfer of technology so virtually all the development money was lost. If you were to cancel and replace the F-35, what will the replacement program performace characteristics look like? As far as I can make out, if structural problesm

I'd certainly add the RAH-66 Comanche to the list of cancelations without replacement. Probably the A-12 Avenger II as well.

Quoting kanban (Reply 28):
There is a 4th option.. suspend the line until the bugs are resolved and tested using the test a/c already produced. That would lead to significantly less rework. It could also lead to a decision that one or more variants will never work to the military's satisfaction.

The problem is that if you do that, what do you do with the production lines and workforce? If you're not paying the people building it, they're going to go do something else. Besides reworking a few dozen airframes isn't going to be the major cost driver on a program like this. Although with the typical level of intelligence with which these programs are run, the cost of reworks is likely to be a excessive factor in changes to be incorporated before "real" production begins because it involves spending money now.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 29):
It was the US Congress that forced the services down this path. How many of them will now stand up and take responsibility for these problems? None. It's everyone's fault but theirs.

The military is fully complicit in this screw up. Heck, they had actual prototypes built and flown, and they reported back that this was going to work just fine.


User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 34, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6786 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 32):
Alternatives have been mentioned aplenty, UAVs taking the place of F-35s and retiring conventional fighters, Gen 4.5 fighters as needed, etc....perhaps restart A-10 production or keep the existing ones flying longer. So many alternatives.....

Alternatives that would only happen in the la-la-land of the US Military. Restart A-10 production? Why not restart P-51 production, hell the Mustang could intercept an airliner just as well as a Raptor can, right? I propose the government read internet forums and go with what is suggested by posts for their next national defense policies.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 35, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6745 times:

[quote=Powerslide,reply=34]Alternatives that would only happen in the la-la-land of the US Military. Restart A-10 production? Why not restart P-51 production, hell the Mustang could intercept an airliner just as well as a Raptor can, right? I propose the government read internet forums and go with what is suggested by posts for their next national defense policies.

So are you suggesting there are zero alternatives? What enemy do we have that is making the F-35 essential whenever the F-35 does become operational? Let's here your rational. please.


User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1548 posts, RR: 0
Reply 36, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6718 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 33):
Quoting spudh (Reply 27):
Two major cancellations spring to mind, both helicopters, the AH-56 and the VH-71. The AH-56 was effectively replaced by two more troubled programs, the A-10 and the AH-64 with very little transfer of technology so virtually all the development money was lost. If you were to cancel and replace the F-35, what will the replacement program performace characteristics look like? As far as I can make out, if structural problesm

I'd certainly add the RAH-66 Comanche to the list of cancelations without replacement. Probably the A-12 Avenger II as well.

In the same perspective, huge complexity and cost increases are no longer inevitable. For example nations like Switzerland are willingly pursuing the relatively less sophisticated (with respect to its competition) option of the Gripen to replace the F/A-18.

IMHO with the F-22 and F-23, cost and complexity may have reached a plateau because in a post-cold war environment, perceptions of military threats can to a certain extent be relativised. Without the Soviet threat, it's easier to look at your military requirements coolly and rationally...

Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlineflagon From France, joined May 2007, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 37, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6668 times:

Quoting faro (Reply 36):
Switzerland are willingly pursuing the relatively less sophisticated (with respect to its competition) option of the Gripen to replace the F/A-18

I thought that was to replace the F5? Did I miss something?



Stephane
User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1548 posts, RR: 0
Reply 38, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6644 times:

Quoting flagon (Reply 37):
Quoting faro (Reply 36):
Switzerland are willingly pursuing the relatively less sophisticated (with respect to its competition) option of the Gripen to replace the F/A-18

I thought that was to replace the F5? Did I miss something?

Yes you're right; don't know why the other contenders (Typhoon, Rafale) gave me the impression that they were seeking Hornet replacements.

I wonder whether the Swiss would follow with a Gripen top-up order when it comes to replacing the F/A-18 or revert to more complex fighter types; I would put my money on the Gripen...

Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlineArniepie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 39, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6634 times:

Quoting faro (Reply 38):
I wonder whether the Swiss would follow with a Gripen top-up order when it comes to replacing the F/A-18 or revert to more complex fighter types; I would put my money on the Gripen...

I wouldn't put it past the Swiss to keep operating 2 types next to eachother, they've been doing so succesfully
for the last 40 or 50 years, from the MirageIII + F5, to F18 + F5 and now F18+JAS39.
Economically probably not an unsound policy, you need powerful frontline fighters for some tasks but they are
inevitably going to be overkill for many other tasks granting cheaper to operate fighters instead..



[edit post]
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3409 posts, RR: 4
Reply 40, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6105 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 35):
Why not restart P-51 production

It would be better than the F35 for CAS.


User currently offlineArniepie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 41, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6067 times:

It's got the Israelis seriously worried it seems;
http://www.worldnewstribune.com/2011...-much-worse-than-we-had-been-told/

Quoting from the link:
Israeli official: Problems with F-35 ‘much worse than we had been told’

Special to WorldTribune.com

Monday, May 30, 2011

TEL AVIV — Less than a year after it signed an agreement for procurement of the F-35, Israel fears that it would be left without an advanced U.S. fighter-jet.

Officials said the Israel Air Force and Defense Ministry have been scrambling to determine the future of the Joint Strike Fighter amid threats from Congress. They said a high-level Israeli defense delegation would travel to Washington to examine the JSF project and a delivery schedule.

“We knew there were problems with the airplane, but things are much worse than we had been told,” an official said.

In August 2010, the Israeli Defense Ministry signed a Letter of Order and Acceptance for the procurement of 20 F-35s from Lockheed Martin. At the time, officials said the deal, reported at $2.7 billion, stipulated initial delivery by 2016, Middle East Newsline reported. But technical delays could block the development of an operational JSF. Officials cited a series of problems, including avionics, engine and integration.
.....
They said the air force has urged the Defense Ministry to begin negotiations to lease surplus F-15 fighter-jets from the United States.
.....

Surprised to see also engine problems according to the Israelis.
& Maybe some extra F15's to bridge the gap.



[edit post]
User currently offlinercair1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1323 posts, RR: 52
Reply 42, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 5962 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CUSTOMER SERVICE & SUPPORT

Quoting spudh (Reply 27):
Whether anyone likes it or not the program is gone waay too far to stop now.

This is the same mentality that said "GM was too big to fail." or "[you fill in the blank] is too big to fail". Ultimately, government rescues tend to just prolong and deepen the failure. This is like me, as an incident commander on a fire not being to abandon a tactic that is failing just because we worked too hard on it.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 29):
It was the US Congress that forced the services down this path. How many of them will now stand up and take responsibility for these problems? None.

Of course not - your money and mine is just play money to them.

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 31):
Problem is that if you drastically cut back production, unit costs rise further, resulting in smaller savings.

Hah - I love it. That is like the sales flyer that says you will save 10% by buying something now that you were not planning on buying. No - it ain't saving money - it is spending it.

Quoting rwessel (Reply 33):
The problem is that if you do that, what do you do with the production lines and workforce? If you're not paying the people building it, they're going to go do something else

Uh - ??? what does this have to do with the viability of the program and it's ability to meet goals.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 1):
The biggest problem with this program is all the media openness that it is being developed under.

Sorry- fundamental disagreement. The people paying the bill (and mortgaging their kids, no grand kids) have every right to know if a program is bogus. The fact that they 'got away' with it in the past is no excuse. If it were Boeing, or AB, that was this far off the mark - people in the Civ forum would be lambasting and calling for firing of everybody from the line worker up. The only difference here is it is your money, not the companies - which should make it worse.

I'm guessing - not much of a guess since I've been there - that most of the real "engineers" on these projects are 100% clear on how unlikely success is/was from day 1. It is the middle and political management that will not be honest.



rcair1
User currently offlineArniepie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 43, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5924 times:

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 42):
Quoting Powerslide (Reply 1):
The biggest problem with this program is all the media openness that it is being developed under.

Sorry- fundamental disagreement. The people paying the bill (and mortgaging their kids, no grand kids) have every right to know if a program is bogus.

100% agreement on this side of the pond,

Chances are our politicians are also going to go for the JSF just because the Dutch did so too.
Realizing that foresight and vision are not qualities associated with the current poltical branche over here makes
me think that eventually we also will get this JSF debacle for our forces and knowing the compromises made and challenges to be tackled with this equipment I fear we're being stuck with another Lockheed contraption for the next
few decades, a bit of F104 deja vu whereby politics and under the table practises seem to be the major drive for this
new fighter iso real value.

The only thing that makes that negative feeling go away a bit is the realization that now the USAF is in the same boat
as the rest of the F-35 customers forcing LM to stay focused in the longrun, they don't have an alternative like they had
when the F104 failed miserably in service and they subsequently opted for other and better platforms leaving the rest
with a seriously flawed fighter for many years after.



[edit post]
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 44, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5842 times:

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 41):
It's got the Israelis seriously worried it seems;
http://www.worldnewstribune.com/2011...-much-worse-than-we-had-been-told/

.....

Surprised to see also engine problems according to the Israelis.
& Maybe some extra F15's to bridge the gap.

Read the article and other like it more closely. Israelis are trying to figure out the most cost effective way to address a short term fighter shortfall to mitigate the current and any future delays in F-35 deliveries. The Israeli's don't really know what they're doing yet in terms of various procurement programs. They're not going to cancel the F-35 but they might purchase fewer initially or stretch that out and in any case they can't afford replacing all their F-15's and F-16's with F-35's anytime soon so they need some other plans as well.

Besides, if Japan can get F-35's in 2016, the Israeli's probably can as well.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 42):

This is the same mentality that said "GM was too big to fail." or "[you fill in the blank] is too big to fail". Ultimately, government rescues tend to just prolong and deepen the failure. This is like me, as an incident commander on a fire not being to abandon a tactic that is failing just because we worked too hard on it.

Ok, then what is the alternative? Practically every other 4.5 gen fighter (be it advanced versions of the F-16, F-15, or the F/A-18E/F) costs almost as much as a LRIP F-35, after you factor in GFE's, and other necessary equipment.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 42):
Of course not - your money and mine is just play money to them.

The issue is more complex than that.

How many of our current fighters have or had structural 'short falls' built into them, or develop after flying the living daylights out of them (hint: practically all of them)? Not to mention the rapidly aging airframes. The older aircraft get, they get the more extensive (and expensive) the repairs become.

When was the last time you saw a trucking firm use semi tractors that are 20-30 years old? What about police cars? The longer you use them the steeper the cost/life ratio gets. One must realize that at a certain point you're not 'saving' money keeping them around, but costing more. It's a matter of where the costs go; they either come out of procurement, or maintenance. Procurement is a easy and visible fund to go after. Maintenance and upkeep are more hidden costs, and in reality, is the biggest cost driver in the life cycle of equipment.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 42):
Hah - I love it. That is like the sales flyer that says you will save 10% by buying something now that you were not planning on buying. No - it ain't saving money - it is spending it.

Prime example where cutting production numbers did not result in major cost savings is the B-2, followed by the F-22.

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 42):
Sorry- fundamental disagreement. The people paying the bill (and mortgaging their kids, no grand kids) have every right to know if a program is bogus. The fact that they 'got away' with it in the past is no excuse. If it were Boeing, or AB, that was this far off the mark - people in the Civ forum would be lambasting and calling for firing of everybody from the line worker up. The only difference here is it is your money, not the companies - which should make it worse.

Disagree. Every Western fighter (and probably every Eastern bloc fighter) had encountered significant troubles during development and testing. If we were in the late 1970's, early 1980's we would all be talking about the F/A-18 because the F/A-18 experienced a very troubled development and introduction, and many of you would be calling for the F/A-18 to be cancelled. Go earlier and we would be talking about the F-16, and even earlier, the F-15. Developmental issues are not new in the world of fighter aircraft development.


User currently offlinegeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 45, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5821 times:

Whew ! What a can of worms this is ! After reading all 43 replies, I'm so mixed up I think I'll have to go play free cell for a while so I can "re-group" !

After about 10 replies, I was about to take sides; after 10 more, I thought everyone was right / wrong. after finishing........I don't know what to think. Some good points on both sides !

Along the way, I did read some things that I have long known to be true, mainly about the F-14 Tom Cat; it seems almost everyone on the forum "loves" the Tom Cat, variable geometry wings and all. But I have known a few people who had to keep the things flying; they tend to be considerably less "enthusiastic" !

I clearly remember when the not-so-great Robert MacNamara decided that the "TFX" ( wasn't it called in the beginning ?) was going to do ALL things, for ALL services ! Gonna be a great "fighter plane"........Lol ! I finally saw one at Dayton; the thing had the biggest, heaviest, most complicated main landing gear I ever saw on a "fighter plane".........looked more like it was designed for a B-52 ! Old "Mac" was one of the original "whiz kids" when he was in college; he kinda "whizzed" right along while he was at Ford too; ( which is probably where he should have stayed ! ) As a SecDef he really didn't "whiz"..........more like he "sucked" !

A lot of very bright people have opined about this seemingly un-solvable problem being discussed; I'm not an engineer, I'm not a pilot, so I'm obliged to seek enlightenment from people who really "know about" these things. I tend to do a lot of reading, and I try to read what the smartest people write; here's the real problem, in a nut shell, if I can just explain what I'm trying to say: forget about the F-35 for a few minutes. I am just finishing a very long, very complex book right now which explains a lot, relative to why the U.S. has always had so many problems trying to develop and put into service complex weapons systems. The book is mainly about the aftermath of WW2, which then developed into "our" next big threat, the great Soviet war machine; the problem was really compounded because Stalin was crazy, our politicians didn't see any fires, so they wanted to "sell all the fire trucks"..........and even General Curtis LeMay, who got more out of a bomber fleet during WW2 than anyone else ever had, went completely "bonkers" when he started getting the first atom bombs for his bombers; he wanted.........no, he INSISTED on a new strategic bomber, which could carry at least 50,000 lbs, at supersonic speed, and at like 75,000 ft ! LeMay was a brilliant leader........during WW2; but things change very fast when it comes to weapons, and LeMay very quickly became very "out of date" ! This book is actually mostly about how the ICBM came into being, and very quickly made LeMay's SAC a dinosaur, but for all of it's promise, before we could get the ICBM developed, we had to get a certain type of leader to run the show; we already had the perfect man for the job, Bernard Schriever, but boy did he ever have to tread through a mine field on his way to finally getting the job done !

LeMay's out-of-date thinking did bring us one thing............the great B-70 Valkyrie; two were finally built, one still exists; it's fun to look at; the problem being, it took most of the entire budget of the Air Force to build, and it had no chance of being able to do it's job, even before it was built; I remember very clearly what was happening in the 40's and 50's; the collective attitude was......"the Russians can't stop a bomber, flying supersonic, at 75,000 ft" They don't have any fighter plane that can go that high; No, they really didn't; but all of a sudden they did have something that could "go that high"........just ask the late Francis Gary Powers ! His U-2 was at almost 70,000 ft, when their new SAM blasted him out of the air ! So the B-70 was totally obsolete before it was even built.

In the end, as we all now know, we finally did develop the ICBM, then the uranium bomb of WW2 became obsolete as the hydrogen bomb replaced it, and so on. All the while, all the politicians are arguing with each other, the Generals are trying to cut each others throats, but but Bernie Schriever finally did get his job completed. And we are still having the same ( or even worse ) problems today; we have a very good military, some great senior military leadership, some fantastic weapons..................but now we're broke, and we have no C in C ;

So where does this all lead the F-35 program ? I really have no idea; and I'll probably never find out; ( as I just had "birthday" # 79 last week.............)

I can tell you this much though.................the F-35 program, screwed up as it is, is far from our biggest problem.

Charley



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
User currently offlineDevilfish From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4839 posts, RR: 1
Reply 46, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5814 times:

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 43):
I fear we're being stuck with another Lockheed contraption for the next few decades, a bit of F104 deja vu whereby politics and under the table practises seem to be the major drive for this new fighter iso real value.

Even granting that these early F-16s are licensed produced by SABCA from General Dynamics and not LM, could it be said that Belgium was sold lemons instead of the real McCoy?.....

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Quoting Arniepie (Reply 41):
& Maybe some extra F15's to bridge the gap.
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 44):
Israelis are trying to figure out the most cost effective way to address a short term fighter shortfall to mitigate the current and any future delays in F-35 deliveries.

F-15s used in Iraq could be the gap fillers, according to the Jerusalem Post.....

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=250922

Quote:
"Due to the ongoing upheaval in the Middle East and potential delays to existing procurement plans, the IDF is looking at the possibility of purchasing fighter jets and other platforms used by the United States military in Iraq.

The advantage in purchasing military equipment used by the US in Iraq, a senior IDF officer explained, was in the price, which would likely be dramatically lower than buying the same equipment new.

According to the officer, one possibility under consideration is asking the Americans to purchase fighter jets – possibly F- 15s – that were used in Iraq."



Quoting geezer (Reply 45):

Amen!



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3559 posts, RR: 26
Reply 47, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5811 times:
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Quoting rcair1 (Reply 42):

Hah - I love it



Nice comments... I was just reading the F-117 thread thinking how much money we paid for those birds and now they are mothballed, Look at all the other mothballed fighters/bombers/cargo planes etc. They come with built in obsolescence that is so pervasive that we're parking them in the desert before the production run is finished. And if they really are so bad why are we building more?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 44):
Prime example where cutting production numbers did not result in major cost savings is the B-2, followed by the F-22.


The point in cutting production is not spending money.. yes the cost per plane goes up when one amortizes development, start-up and termination costs.. however that just doesn't justify building crap... so let's nip this one now. Yes the single plane cost will be absurd just like the B-70, however the pruning shears need to be sharpened.

and although I'm loosely associated with the Democrats, I am not in favor of building crap just to keep people employed. (responding to rwessel)... yes they will either be building something else or go to another company that is.

Now to the issue of there's nothing to compete with generation 5 or 6 fighters... why are they being built? to match our fighters.. maybe it's time to stop this escalation.. (I know fighting words on a military forum). The point is for every advance we make, someone will try to go one better.. however if we lock the next 15 years into building vast numbers of one answer, only to have them obsolete in 6 years.. what have we gained? Especially if we're locked into obsolescence.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 48, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5801 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 47):
The point in cutting production is not spending money.. yes the cost per plane goes up when one amortizes development, start-up and termination costs.. however that just doesn't justify building crap... so let's nip this one now. Yes the single plane cost will be absurd just like the B-70, however the pruning shears need to be sharpened.

and although I'm loosely associated with the Democrats, I am not in favor of building crap just to keep people employed. (responding to rwessel)... yes they will either be building something else or go to another company that is.

The issue is that the more F-35's are built, the cheaper they become in terms of per unit costs and long term maintenance costs per aircraft. It is in the interests of the US to have more F-35's built to drive down costs. Sales to foreign nations can help, such as the Japanese decision to go with F-35. It is very likely other nations will follow suit and buy F-35's. This allows Lockheed Martin to spread the development costs across more units, which drives down the price for the US military.

I will point out that Japan's decision to buy F-35 (they are the first full FMS customer that is not part of the JSF program) is a major vote of confidence in F-35. Japan is a technically respected customer who are not known for buying inferior hardware. On the basis of capabilities, they felt that F-35 was superior to every other aircraft type available to them, despite the development issues.

Quoting kanban (Reply 47):

Now to the issue of there's nothing to compete with generation 5 or 6 fighters... why are they being built? to match our fighters.. maybe it's time to stop this escalation.. (I know fighting words on a military forum). The point is for every advance we make, someone will try to go one better.. however if we lock the next 15 years into building vast numbers of one answer, only to have them obsolete in 6 years.. what have we gained? Especially if we're locked into obsolescence.

The problem is that right now, our current fighters no longer have a qualitative edge against Eastern bloc fighters. The current F-15, F-16, and F/A-18 will not fare well against a well handled and maintained Flanker or Fulcrum variant. The USN has openly admitted that the F/A-18E/F will not ensure parity against the more advanced Flanker or Fulcrum variants.

If we don't try to stay on top of advances, others will. When you let your equipment stagnate, others will take advantage and try to leap frog you.


User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2109 posts, RR: 1
Reply 49, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5810 times:

Quoting geezer (Reply 45):
but all of a sudden they did have something that could "go that high"........just ask the late Francis Gary Powers ! His U-2 was at almost 70,000 ft, when their new SAM blasted him out of the air ! So the B-70 was totally obsolete before it was even built.

On this point I have to take exception... it is one thing to shoot down a subsonic plane at 70,000'.. quite another at that date in time to be able to acquire on radar and solve the solution and fire at a plane going triple sonic at an even higher altitude. I am by no means an expert, but the 'before it gets above me' time is severly limited with a Mach 3 plane, and the ability to then overtake and gain over 10 miles of altitude and get past whatever jamming the XB might have had is a completely different animal then shooting down a U-2 imo.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineArniepie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 50, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5726 times:

Quoting Devilfish (Reply 46):
Quoting Arniepie (Reply 43):
I fear we're being stuck with another Lockheed contraption for the next few decades, a bit of F104 deja vu whereby politics and under the table practises seem to be the major drive for this new fighter iso real value.

Even granting that these early F-16s are licensed produced by SABCA from General Dynamics and not LM, could it be said that Belgium was sold lemons instead of the real McCoy?.....

Don't know why you use the F-16 as an example, I was clearly referring to its predecessor, the F104, beautiful and spectacular it might be but it was a failure in achieving what it was designed for and hideously dangerous to fly.
That's basically why the USAF only usede a small amount for a very short time.
LM was able to bribe their way into our orderbooks leaving us with a subpar plane and at the same time cheating its
opponents of valuable customers (MIRAGEIII, SaaB Draken, Crusades, F11 tiger) all of them better than the F104.

The F16 program you mention is considered to be a smashing successtory by all of the 4 nations (DK, NO, NL, B), that's the philosophy they should've used for the F-35, build a decent fighter with a good frame, excellent engines and good avionics and start from that.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 44):
uoting Arniepie (Reply 41):
It's got the Israelis seriously worried it seems;
http://www.worldnewstribune.com/2011...-much-worse-than-we-had-been-told/

.....

Surprised to see also engine problems according to the Israelis.
& Maybe some extra F15's to bridge the gap.

Read the article and other like it more closely.
.....
They're not going to cancel the F-35
....

I don't think I suggested they would cancel, just pointing out that they seem to be worried too.

[Edited 2011-12-30 06:41:01]


[edit post]
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3559 posts, RR: 26
Reply 51, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5712 times:
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Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 48):
The issue is that the more F-35's are built, the cheaper they become in terms of per unit costs and long term maintenance costs per aircraft.



Since you are so enamored with the plane that there is no room for criticism, let's use a different analogy. Say you wanted a $100,000 sports car and the manufacturer said that if you bought 15 over the next 5 years, the cost would be $80,000 each with the first costing $130,000 and the last only $60,000. Then you look in your wallet and your available credit and you can only buy two say for $$250,000. Your argument is that spending $1.2 M to get an average price of $80,000 is the way to go. Retailers must love it when you walk in the doors.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 48):
If we don't try to stay on top of advances, others will.


Yet the whole cycle would stop if we said we're not playing anymore, and this "who's superior" paranoia were given a respite. The B-70 was an excellent example of a different technology making a very expensive solution moot. My point is still that putting all one's eggs in this basket cripples future development to the point that one is unable to afford to respond to new technologies.

Back to the topic, instead of building the next block, we should be insisting they resolve all the problems first, validate them through test, and then build only 1/3 of the future production. Boeing ended up eating 3 787's because of problems, but on a military contract LM won't.... the taxpayer will... and we only have so many museums that will want one of the 20-30 unusable prototypes even for free.


User currently offlinespudh From Ireland, joined Jul 2009, 301 posts, RR: 1
Reply 52, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5703 times:

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 42):
This is the same mentality that said "GM was too big to fail." or "[you fill in the blank] is too big to fail". Ultimately, government rescues tend to just prolong and deepen the failure. This is like me, as an incident commander on a fire not being to abandon a tactic that is failing just because we worked too hard on it.

If you mean the tactic of commonality I agree 100%, but if you're talking about equipment it's more qualified, if people keep building higher buildings you're going to need rescue equipment with longer reach. If your new super ladder keeps breaking that doesn't necessarily mean you abandon the concept of longer ladders. The money to develop the new super ladder has already been spent. You now need to weigh up if the cost of fixing the faults is less than the cost of developing a totally new and unproven platform. The analogy of too big to fail is too late to apply now, it should have been pedalled at concept stage to kill commonality. That the programme has reached production means its far, far too late to kill it now. The best you can hope for is to kill non-essential money streams such as the B-model, or at least seperate the funding streams so that only countries that really need it end up funding this ill-conceived variants completion.

IMHO this misguided tactic of commonality has actually turned out a pretty capable fighting platform despite itself. The issue should be what would it have turned out if they had 3 seperate aircraft, developed by three seperate companies to meet the seperate requirements sharing common components such as engines and sensor suite. But we're way beyond that so we need to look at what has turned out, which in 2 out of 3 cases is highly capable and probably, if you could afford to be dispassionate about it, worth fixing any fault it throws up at this late stage.

The C model in particular represents a major upgrade in strike capablity over any existing naval platform regardless of any of the penalties commonality has inflicted on it. As far as I can see, this model on its own will ensure the survival of the programme through testing. Structural issues, which always have a solution - its just a question of the type of cost, will not stand in the way of this model reaching the USN and other customers if it proves to have good carrier operation attributes.

Lets not forget the last time a Navy flagship aircraft was in trouble - the F-14. People here are jumping up and down about bulk-head failure during fatigue testing on the F-35 through the selection of the wrong material. The second Tomcat prototype actually crashed with its two pilots having a real close one on its second flight. Reason: fatigue failure of titanium hydraulic hoses due to harmonic stresses. Solution: change hydraulic lines from titanium to stainless steel. There were loads of others and the F-14 was not unique:

The F-15 couldn't meet its speed/altitude requirements (it can do mach 2.5, but not when armed). Solution: change the requirements

They found during flight testing that the F/A-18 couldn't meet (or even get close to) its specified range/payload requirements. Solution: change the requirements.

The much lauded F-18E/F had serious issues in flight testing: They had severe problems with armanent seperation from the wing pylons. Solution: skew the pylons outward. Result: a firmly subsonic fighter when armed. The issue with wing drop at the stall, Solution 'leaky' wing joint, Result: reduced maneuverability. In each case a relaxation of requirements made sure the plane 'met' all requirements and so was procured.

These are just a flavour of some historic ones, a study of each of the above programmes will reveal myriad others, some more serious than others, some with engineering solutions, some with paper solutions.

What's so different about the F-35 is the level of public scrutiny fueled in no small part by peolple like ourselves for whom the internet is nirvana like in its flow of info. Thrown in to that is the mix of nations and governments, some far more open with info than some of the main partners would like.


User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 53, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5702 times:

Quoting spudh (Reply 52):
What's so different about the F-35 is the level of public scrutiny fueled in no small part by peolple like ourselves for whom the internet is nirvana like in its flow of info.

This is the biggest problem with this project. It is the first major Western fighter to face scrutiny from the modern internet. I would have loved to see the same thing with the Eurocanards during their development, but they are just a tad to old for that. The Typhoon in the UK has some 70 operational with flying costs @ ~€70,000/hour and expected to be fully multi role (A/G) in 2018. Imagine the noise when a F35 would be fully multirole, some ten to thirteen years after being operational! 10-13 years. It's a joke really. The JSF gets a ton of bad press and every time the world might as well be ending.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 54, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5609 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 51):
Since you are so enamored with the plane that there is no room for criticism, let's use a different analogy. Say you wanted a $100,000 sports car and the manufacturer said that if you bought 15 over the next 5 years, the cost would be $80,000 each with the first costing $130,000 and the last only $60,000. Then you look in your wallet and your available credit and you can only buy two say for $$250,000. Your argument is that spending $1.2 M to get an average price of $80,000 is the way to go. Retailers must love it when you walk in the doors.

No, you work with other buyers so collectively, we buy 15 cars.

Quoting kanban (Reply 51):
Yet the whole cycle would stop if we said we're not playing anymore, and this "who's superior" paranoia were given a respite. The B-70 was an excellent example of a different technology making a very expensive solution moot. My point is still that putting all one's eggs in this basket cripples future development to the point that one is unable to afford to respond to new technologies.

You need other parties to also play game. If you stop innovating, others will try continue trying to innovate, and they will take advantage of the situation. I don't think the Russians, and the Chinese will ever agree to stop developing new combat aircraft.


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2353 posts, RR: 2
Reply 55, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5087 times:
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Quoting rcair1 (Reply 42):
Quoting rwessel (Reply 33):
The problem is that if you do that, what do you do with the production lines and workforce? If you're not paying the people building it, they're going to go do something else

Uh - ??? what does this have to do with the viability of the program and it's ability to meet goals.

If the program does continue, that kind of line halt will cost you plenty when you have to restart the line. The point is not that that this in and of itself suggests that maintaining LRIP is the best course, but that the savings from a halt are much less than the nominal cost of the LRIP production avoided.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 56, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4889 times:

Pentagon now proposing to cut 120 production models from the next 5 year purchasing plan:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...%20JSFs:%20Reuters&channel=defense

In the article, Admiral Venlet, the overall head of the JSF program, admits the aircraft has "a surprising number of problems". I think the whole concurrency plan lies at the root of many of these "problems". Fly the damn thing, iron out the bugs, then put it into production, if that's what seems best.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 57, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4747 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 56):
Pentagon now proposing to cut 120 production models from the next 5 year purchasing plan:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...%20JSFs:%20Reuters&channel=defense

In the article, Admiral Venlet, the overall head of the JSF program, admits the aircraft has "a surprising number of problems". I think the whole concurrency plan lies at the root of many of these "problems". Fly the damn thing, iron out the bugs, then put it into production, if that's what seems best.

Certainly there is a strong push for budgetary savings right now and this is a convenient target. Really if it was a technical reason then the last LRIP lot would not necessarily be cut too, but 120 suggests it will be too. Pushing full rate production back a year or so decreases the near term stress on the budget and that's something DoD needs right now for many reasons, much of them political.

Cutting concurrency aircraft isn't necessarily a "restructure." To me that means a major change in the development and production schedule and scale; two of those three seems to be remaining the same. These cuts have been occurring over the past four years. We'll have to see, but if they keep the current development schedule, then its not really a major change to the program.

For any reasonable scenario, the F-35's RDT&E budget cannot be cut at all, except if you cut the B variant. Furthermore its not cost effective to do that. So really the main variable you can play around with is Concurrency production pre-2016 and full rate production after that point.

However if the economy continues to improve, its possible that the administration in 2014 will ask for an increase in defense funding. The F-35 could be a major beneficiary, possibility returning it to its current production plan. Its tough to say right now, but it should be interesting.

You need to understand the calculated political effects of the Secdef's actions and statements. The release of a proposed DoD budget strategy is an broad attempt to have the most egregious aspect of the 2011 budget control act's sequestration mechanism be removed; across the board 9.3% cuts. As it stands all programs (budget lines) in the DoD's budget must take a haircut, regardless of their effect. The F-35, being a larger project can afford the hit, but others would not and would collapse. Furthermore its highly inefficient; sure the F-35 can absorb the cut, but it would likely cause more problems in the long run.

So the proposed budget strategy is an attempt to show to Congress that they have a plan to get to the obligated 9.3% savings, but done in a way that lessens the harm to the overall security interests of the United States. This might help get something pass Congress, which is the biggest challenge of such an plan as they have been kicking and screaming for budget cuts somewhere.

So given the renewed focus on Asia for the future, Its a question about strategy and operational concepts. The whole Airsea Battle is really the overall blueprint for where the US sees its threats. While the actual doctrine is undefined now, the underlying bones are already present. The DDX/Zumwalt program, Virginia class, Littoral combat ship, and the F-35 are all key parts of that. And of these the F-35 is considered the most critical program due to Tacair rust out. As such, it is very likely that the USAF, USN, and USMC will receive their full complement or close to their full complement of F-35's, although the time frame for delivery may take longer than originally planned because they will defer orders to ease the pressure on the current budget situation.


User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1548 posts, RR: 0
Reply 58, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4697 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 57):
For any reasonable scenario, the F-35's RDT&E budget cannot be cut at all, except if you cut the B variant. Furthermore its not cost effective to do that. So really the main variable you can play around with is Concurrency production pre-2016 and full rate production after that point.

However if the economy continues to improve, its possible that the administration in 2014 will ask for an increase in defense funding. The F-35 could be a major beneficiary, possibility returning it to its current production plan. Its tough to say right now, but it should be interesting.

Tough indeed, and very interesting as you remark.

In page 11 of the Budget and Economic Outlook 2009-2019 (http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/99xx/doc9957/01-07-Outlook.pdf), the CBO is projecting deficits until at least 2019. The 2019 deficit is projected at around 1.8% of GDP. That means that the cumulative federal budget deficit will continue to rise at least until then, and that is before consideration of i) individual states' budget balances which are in pretty sorry condition and ii) household/business indebtedness which is faring somewhat better but still leveraged at historic highs.

The point is that even if the economy significantly improves -which in itself is a proposition fraught with uncertainty- the budget deficit will may not start to reduce until perhaps 2020/21. Admittedly, the referenced document is dated Jan 2009 but I doubt a more recent update would paint a materially rosier picture.

In this context -and before even considering the threat of inflation arising from the massive monetary easing of the 2008-2010 period- I fail to see how the F-35 can avoid significant *permanent* procurement cutbacks.

Independently of the aircraft's merits/weaknesses and/or program shortcomings, the F-35 has since 2008 flown (rather clumsily) into the perfect fiscal storm...

Faro

[Edited 2012-01-06 01:40:46]


The chalice not my son
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 59, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4645 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 57):
You need to understand the calculated political effects of the Secdef's actions and statements. The release of a proposed DoD budget strategy is an broad attempt to have the most egregious aspect of the 2011 budget control act's sequestration mechanism be removed; across the board 9.3% cuts. As it stands all programs (budget lines) in the DoD's budget must take a haircut, regardless of their effect. The F-35, being a larger project can afford the hit, but others would not and would collapse. Furthermore its highly inefficient; sure the F-35 can absorb the cut, but it would likely cause more problems in the long run.

So the proposed budget strategy is an attempt to show to Congress that they have a plan to get to the obligated 9.3% savings, but done in a way that lessens the harm to the overall security interests of the United States. This might help get something pass Congress, which is the biggest challenge of such an plan as they have been kicking and screaming for budget cuts somewhere.

I find it very interesting that in this thread you are parsing and interpreting the SecDef's statements and appear to more or less agree with him. Imagine: a civilian making strategic decisions vis-a-vis military strategy. But in the thread regarding the Italian situation: Italian Press Attacks F-35 Order (by jollo Jan 2 2012 in Military Aviation & Space Flight) you seem to be taking exactly the opposite p.o.v. "I wouldn't want to live in a country where the civies make the military decisions..."

Where exactly do you want to live ?



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinespudh From Ireland, joined Jul 2009, 301 posts, RR: 1
Reply 60, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4615 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 59):
"I wouldn't want to live in a country where the civies make the military decisions..."

Where exactly do you want to live ?

To be fair Connie, that was Powerslide, not Pointblank.


User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1548 posts, RR: 0
Reply 61, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 4589 times:

Quoting spudh (Reply 60):
Quoting connies4ever (Reply 59):
"I wouldn't want to live in a country where the civies make the military decisions..."

Where exactly do you want to live ?

To be fair Connie, that was Powerslide, not Pointblank.


Oh, I'd be willing to give Powerslide the benefit of the doubt; I am sure that he would agree with the following quotation:

""There are few words which are used more loosely than the word “Civilization.” What does it mean? It means a society based upon the opinion of civilians. It means that violence, the rule of warriors and despotic chiefs, the conditions of camps and warfare, of riot and tyranny, give place to parliaments where laws are made, and independent courts of justice in which over long periods those laws are maintained.""

The speaker is that notorious peacenik, Winston Churchill:

http://newjacksonianblog.blogspot.co...nston-churchill-on-meaning-of.html


Faro

[Edited 2012-01-06 10:23:08]


The chalice not my son
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 62, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4555 times:

Quoting spudh (Reply 60):
To be fair Connie, that was Powerslide, not Pointblank.

Point taken. My mistake.   



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
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