Sponsor Message:
Military Aviation & Space Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
F35 - "World's Worst New Warplane"?  
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4903 posts, RR: 16
Posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 12954 times:

I ran across this interesting and well-written article about why the F35 is such an alleged disaster. Simply put, the idea of designing a fighter that could address contradictory requirements (USN, USMC) resulted in a plane that did nothing well. Given the high level of expertise on this site, I wonder what fellow a.nutters think:

https://medium.com/war-is-boring/5c95d45f86a5

Enjoy.

p.s. You may have to copy and paste the link.

138 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 11819 times:

The article is largely a diatribe, but I've pulled out what I think is the meat of the argument, which has some merit.

Quote:

Engineering compromises forced on the F-35 by this unprecedented need for versatility have taken their toll on the new jet%u2019s performance. Largely because of the wide vertical-takeoff fan the Marines demanded, the JSF is wide, heavy and has high drag, and is neither as quick as an F-16 nor as toughly constructed as an A-10.

Well, yes, but the idea is we could not afford to replace both A-10 and F-16 with new designs, thus the compromises.

Quote:

Bomb bays would normally go along an airplane%u2019s centerline, but the F-35's center is reserved for the 50-inch-diameter lift fan.

Good point.

Putting these together we get:

Quote:

And to fit both the F-35B%u2019s lift fan and the bomb bays present in all three models, the %u201Ccross-sectional area%u201D of the fuselage has to be %u201Cquite a bit bigger than the airplanes we%u2019re replacing,%u201D conceded Lockheed exec Tom Burbage, who retired this year as head of the company%u2019s F-35 efforts.

The extra width violates an important aerospace design principle called the %u201Carea rule,%u201D which encourages narrow, cylindrical fuselages for best aerodynamic results. The absence of area rule on the F-35%u200A%u2014%u200Aagain, a knock-on effect of the Marines%u2019 demand for a lift fan%u200A%u2014%u200Aincreases drag and consequently decreases acceleration, fuel efficiency and flying range. Thus critics%u2019 assertion that supersonic speed can%u2019t be combined with STOVL and stealth, the latter of which are already incompatible with each other.

Not sure if this amateur rant about area rule stands up in the real world or not.

Quote:

But the hits kept coming, chipping away at the F-35's ability to fight. The addition of the lift fan forces the new plane to have just one rearward engine instead of two carried by many other fighters. (Two engines is safer.) The bulky lift fan, fitted into the fuselage just behind the pilot, blocks the rear view from the cockpit%u200A%u2014%u200Aa shortcoming that one F-35 test pilot said would get the new plane %u201Cgunned every time.%u201D That is, shot down in any aerial dogfight by enemy fighters you can%u2019t see behind you.

Good points as well.

It'd be interesting to generate an estimate of how much better the F-35 could be without the need to provide the STOVL features. Of course I believe such a program would not have been funded at all, a point he neglects to make.

His praise for the Chinese clone of the F-35 is strange. He seems to be awarding it merits it has yet to earn.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 2, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 11782 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 1):
Well, yes, but the idea is we could not afford to replace both A-10 and F-16 with new designs, thus the compromises.

Quite so, without the first Gulf War the A-10's would have been long retired, the USAF brass then thought it somehow 'unsexy'.
Which brings me to the point of this odd article, this obsession with matching the performance of legacy designs when that was never even a design goal.
It's like slagging off the F-15 because it's performance did not match the YF-12.

What is needed for the job, the post Cold War job that is?
It was true in the late 1990's and even more so now, that the only way the US was likely to be able to replace all those F-16's, F-18's, AV-8B's was to do a joint design, sometimes painful to develop as it is.

The idea that China has an aircraft with the capabilities of the F-35 in the short to medium term is like claiming that the ARJ21 is on a par with current and new Western RJ's.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 11770 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 1):
Quote:

Bomb bays would normally go along an airplane%u2019s centerline, but the F-35's center is reserved for the 50-inch-diameter lift fan.

Good point.

This is only applicable to the F-35B, the other variants have greater internal weapon stores and fuel capacity than the F-35B (with the A maximizing weapons capacity and the C going for maximum fuel.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 1):
Quote:

But the hits kept coming, chipping away at the F-35's ability to fight. The addition of the lift fan forces the new plane to have just one rearward engine instead of two carried by many other fighters. (Two engines is safer.) The bulky lift fan, fitted into the fuselage just behind the pilot, blocks the rear view from the cockpit%u200A%u2014%u200Aa shortcoming that one F-35 test pilot said would get the new plane %u201Cgunned every time.%u201D That is, shot down in any aerial dogfight by enemy fighters you can%u2019t see behind you.

Good points as well.

I don't know how good these points actually are.

The F-16 has only one engine... and how unsafe has it been? Fighter jets have ejection systems which alleviates much of the "danger" to the pilot.

And the rear vision element is covered by the new helmet technology, which while being a major headache right now, will become the standard for any future manned modern fighter jet. Twisting around to try and see your enemy will be slower than always being able to see them right in front of your eyeballs.

Tugg

[Edited 2013-08-15 11:35:56]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7846 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 11758 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 1):
Of course I believe such a program would not have been funded at all, a point he neglects to make.

Another program would have, the airforce and navy needed new platforms.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 1):
His praise for the Chinese clone of the F-35 is strange. He seems to be awarding it merits it has yet to earn.

He doesn't really praise it, he rather points out what could have been built without the need for the lift fan.

Quoting GDB (Reply 2):

The idea that China has an aircraft with the capabilities of the F-35 in the short to medium term is like claiming that the ARJ21 is on a par with current and new Western RJ's.

Nobody knows how good (or bad) the two new Chinese fighters are, just as we really don't know if the F-35 is any good either, people just assume it is because it's built in the US.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 5, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 11712 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 2):
What is needed for the job, the post Cold War job that is?

One interesting point was that the instant you shoot the first missile or bullet then the enemy knows where you are and stealth is then worthless, meaning he feels that stealth is over-hyped.

Quoting tugger (Reply 3):
This is only applicable to the F-35B, the other variants have greater internal weapon stores and fuel capacity than the F-35B (with the A maximizing weapons capacity and the C going for maximum fuel.

Thanks for the clarification!

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 4):
Another program would have, the airforce and navy needed new platforms.

As did USMC. How were you going to afford unique airframes for all three?

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 4):
He doesn't really praise it, he rather points out what could have been built without the need for the lift fan.

Not to much precision. Just because it looks different in some ways he presumes are better, he can't justify the leap to suggest it is better, IMHO.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 4):
Nobody knows how good (or bad) the two new Chinese fighters are, just as we really don't know if the F-35 is any good either, people just assume it is because it's built in the US.

He's presuming it is worse because it was built in the US to provide solutions for all three services and is loaded with every development lab's favorite widget, but nobody here really knows how good or bad LM did at meeting all the mission requirements. There's a non-zero chance that LM was able to dive in to the manure and pull out a pony.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinespink From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 319 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11552 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 5):
One interesting point was that the instant you shoot the first missile or bullet then the enemy knows where you are and stealth is then worthless, meaning he feels that stealth is over-hyped.

Which is one of the worst arguments I've heard in a long time. The reality is all that they know is where you were. And even that isn't always true.


User currently offlinecjg225 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 892 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 11516 times:

Quoting comorin (Thread starter):
Simply put, the idea of designing a fighter that could address contradictory requirements (USN, USMC) resulted in a plane that did nothing well.

Is this really a revelation to anyone?



Restoring Penn State's transportation heritage...
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11439 times:

Quoting cjg225 (Reply 7):
Quoting comorin (Thread starter):
Simply put, the idea of designing a fighter that could address contradictory requirements (USN, USMC) resulted in a plane that did nothing well.

Is this really a revelation to anyone?

Actually, it is currently flat untrue. The questions remain to be answered. And "well" is certainly a level to which a jack-of-all-trades can attain.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 571 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 11363 times:

Quoting comorin (Thread starter):
Simply put, the idea of designing a fighter that could address contradictory requirements (USN, USMC) resulted in a plane that did nothing well

Says a blogger. Same ol' arguments and it sounds a lot like complaining without giving any alternatives. All this whining from the same circle is starting to get old and, thankfully, doesn't affect the development of the program.


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7846 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 11333 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 5):
As did USMC. How were you going to afford unique airframes for all three?

Do the Marines really need a stovl aircraft? It's more a case of the Air Force and Navy sharing the same plaform (F4 anyone) and the Marines riding on the coat tails of the Navy, like the do with the F18.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 11, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11089 times:

Quoting cjg225 (Reply 7):
Is this really a revelation to anyone?

Did I hear someone calling me?  
Quoting tugger (Reply 8):
The questions remain to be answered. And "well" is certainly a level to which a jack-of-all-trades can attain.

I think that's a more balanced point of view to take.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 10):
Do the Marines really need a stovl aircraft?

The Marines are convinced they do and, significantly, their die-hard backers in Congress are supporting them on this.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 10):
It's more a case of the Air Force and Navy sharing the same plaform (F4 anyone) and the Marines riding on the coat tails of the Navy, like the do with the F18.

It's not about the F-18s the Marines operate off of big-deck carriers, it's about the Harriers they operate off of LHAs.

Congress has given the Marines their own LHA carriers, has supported the Osprey throughout all its turmoil and has supported the 'B' model of the F-35 as well, so the USMC has an entirely new generation of kit in place or on the way.

There might be a day where the USMC is not funded so well, but that day has not yet arrived. Given the kind of warfare we find ourselves in, the USMC can and does make a good argument that the brown water navy is at least as important as the blue water navy.

The main premise of the article is that the VTOL variant of the F-35 has forced the A and B models to be wider/draggier/heavier than they need to be, and has also meant that it can't have a second engine and can't have good rearward vision. I'm sure there's some truth to this, but I'm also not sure that it matters much if at all. I'm also sure that the program needed to satisfy the Marines to get funded, so without the B model there would have been no F-35. The British partners also were in favor of the B model.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinemoose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2406 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 11053 times:

Quoting comorin (Thread starter):
Simply put, the idea of designing a fighter that could address contradictory requirements (USN, USMC) resulted in a plane that did nothing well.

I know some F-4 Phantom pilots who might disagree with that.



KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3872 posts, RR: 27
Reply 13, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 10994 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting moose135 (Reply 12):
I know some F-4 Phantom pilots who might disagree with that.

There is always a discrepancy between what a person dedicated to one tool feels is optimum and what the actual performance is when weighed against a broader spectrum is... I'm not saying the pilots aren't accurate in their beliefs, just saying do they have equal time and similar usage of the alternatives to give them an accurate basis for rating ?


like the old saying "If you only have a hammer, all problems look like a nail. "


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 14, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10887 times:

Quoting moose135 (Reply 12):
Quoting comorin (Thread starter):
Simply put, the idea of designing a fighter that could address contradictory requirements (USN, USMC) resulted in a plane that did nothing well.

I know some F-4 Phantom pilots who might disagree with that.

Not really a correct comparison given that F-4 was built to USN specs and not to USN/USAF/USMC/RN/RAF/etc committee-driven specs.

It's still impressive that it worked well for all the services who flew it.

I suppose some of the original USN requirements like having to land on a carrier and fit on the elevator tended to keep the weight down and maneuverability up. Also USN was fond of twin engines for reliability so it had a lot of thrust.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 10821 times:

I would note that the original requested specs for the F-35A and F-35B asked for 2 x 1,000lb bombs internally plus 2 AIM-120's. Very early in development, all three variants had a specced internal weapons carriage of 2 x 2,000lb bombs plus 2 AIM-120's. When weight issues cropped up for the F-35B later on, the F-35B's internal carriage was reduced back to the original 2 x 1,000lb bomb + 2 x AIM-120 requirements to save weight. The F-35A's internal carriage remained the same. The USAF is in fact getting a aircraft that exceeds their originally requested specifications on this point, the USMC is getting an aircraft that meets their original specs.

Quoting tugger (Reply 3):
The F-16 has only one engine... and how unsafe has it been? Fighter jets have ejection systems which alleviates much of the "danger" to the pilot.

Indeed. Look at the safety and reliability record of the F-16.

I think the main issue is that with previous fighters, there has always been some revolutionary development in the ability to go much higher, faster, and be more maneuverable that pushes the design envelope. Looking at the generations of fighter aircraft, each generation had a major kinematic advantage over the previous generation.

Starting with the 5th generation of fighters, there is an increasing de-emphasis on kinematic superiority, with an increasing focus on situational awareness and stealth. We have kind of, short of a revolutionary development, reached a point where we cannot extract more kinematic superiority out of designs because of human endurance. With that, along with review of past air combat, started placing more emphasis on improving the pilot's situational awareness, adding low observability characteristics, in a package that is kinematically on par with the previous generation of fighters.

The major advancement is in situational awareness. Lack of situational awareness kills, and we have seen in exercises and in real combat where a kinematically inferior foe will kill a foe with superior kinematics if they had better situational awareness from the start. Being able to gather information about the environment around you, and then presenting that information to the pilot in a manner that is easy to interpret and understand so that it can be acted upon is itself a decisive advantage in combat.

We went from situational awareness provided by the Mark 1 eyeball only to adding radars, ESM, datalinks, and EO/IR sensors all separately to the point where we can fuse all of the information being provided by all of the sensors to create a unified picture that's presented to the pilot instead of the pilot having to look at all of his sensors and create the unified picture in his mind. Thus, the pilot can be more of a tactician with essentially a god's eye view of the battlefield around him and react more quickly to events around him. That is the key advantage that 5th generation fighters will bring, not any sort of major advancement in kinematics.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3872 posts, RR: 27
Reply 16, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 10758 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Let's not start that whole pro/con blah blah debate that has closed many threads...

The writer has an opinion.. so be it. it's one person.. some of it may be valid... some not... but time will tell when it finally reaches combat.. 5-7 years from now.


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4783 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10698 times:

You can have all the situational awareness in the world but it won't do you any good if the fighter you are up against can out maneuver, out accelerate and out gun you.


Many of the last generation fighters can do that against the 'Jack of all trades' F35, let alone today's.


The F35 is so compromised by it's VSTOL requirement it has basically been designed to be a victim.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10659 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 17):
You can have all the situational awareness in the world but it won't do you any good if the fighter you are up against can out maneuver, out accelerate and out gun you.

I've heard of British Jaguar attack aircraft being able to bounce F-15's in Red Flag. And I've heard the same of Tornado ADV's doing the same in Red Flag when they received JTIDS. Neither the Tornado nor the Jaguar are exactly what one would call supreme dog fighters.The key is better situational awareness.

Air combat is largely the art and science of ‘situation awareness’. This can be defined as knowing what the enemy is doing and denying the enemy similar infromation. 75% of air combat is decided because the target did not see what shot them down. Targets must be detected, the information passed to fighters and interpreted by the fighter pilots, the intercept made and weapons fired.

A lack of situational awareness gets you killed in air combat. The one US air to air loss of Gulf War I for example was a direct result of poor situational awareness, as an Iraq MiG-25 blazed in undetected and got in behind an USN F/A-18 piloted by Scott Speicher and shoot him down, killing him.

There has been tremendous investment by air forces in enhancing situational awareness capabilities of their forces over kinematics. For example, Sweden in the late 1980's added a datalink capability to their Viggen fighters from GCI. With this, the ground based air defence system can provide target detection. The Viggen's can share information with other Viggen's such as which target each aircraft is attacking, fuel and weapons state and so on. In 1995 the ability to transmit simple text messages was added. The JAS 39 Gripen has increased capability with information shared between fighters, S100B Argus AEW, GCI radars, naval warships and SAM positions. 4-6 fighters would be spread over a distance of 120-150 km and share the same view.

The US and NATO implemented a very similar setup with JTIDS (Joint Tactical Information Display System) datalink and fighter displays. This was initially fitted to AWACS, some USAF F-15C, USN F-14D and RAF Tornado ADV's, and then rolled out extensively post 9/11. JTIDS when it came out was a top of the line datalink system; it could on a 5x5 inch display any target that was detected by any friendly unit within a range of 555 km of the fighter equipped with JTIDS.

With this system, the British were able to enhance the combat effectiveness of their Tornado ADV's, and with the cooperation of RAF E-3's, they developed tactics that leveraged their superior situational awareness. RAF Tornado ADV's fitted with JTIDS controlled by RAF AWACS fitted with ESM have defeated USAF F-15s in exercises using JTIDS as I mentioned earlier. The AWACS would use its radar and ESM to detect targets, pass the information over JTIDS. The Tornado F.3 would stay passive (leave radars off) and get into AMRAAM launch parameters without activating radars. The end result was that the USAF F-15s had little or no warning and were literally sucker punched during such exercises.

Another US/NATO datalink for the F-16 that was used was called IDM (Improved Data Modem), which can share information between 4 aircraft. This system is cheaper and is more widely available. MIDS (Multiple Information Distribution System), a lower cost version of JTIDS will allow up to 8 aircraft to share information, with increased capability in the future. A typical MIDS installation will be 8 fighters linked to an AWACS with each aircraft having a designated transmit slot.

Essentially, if one has superior situational awareness over an opponent, it is like playing a real-time strategy game with the fog of war removed for that one side. You would be able to see, react and respond to the enemy much faster than what they can, even if your units were qualitatively inferior.


User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4903 posts, RR: 16
Reply 19, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 10617 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 18):

Extremely well written and informative posts. Much appreciate your (and others') expert thoughts on the subject! Thanks also for the explanation of what a 5th Gen fighter is all about, and the network aspects of future combat scenarios.

Does this mean that the era of the dogfight is over? Is the new mode that of Beyond Visual Range aircraft launching hypersonic A2A missiles? Or are you saying that improved Situational Awareness makes up for the perceived deficiencies of the F-35?

Thanks for the great posts, everyone!


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 20, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 10548 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
Starting with the 5th generation of fighters, there is an increasing de-emphasis on kinematic superiority, with an increasing focus on situational awareness and stealth. We have kind of, short of a revolutionary development, reached a point where we cannot extract more kinematic superiority out of designs because of human endurance. With that, along with review of past air combat, started placing more emphasis on improving the pilot's situational awareness, adding low observability characteristics, in a package that is kinematically on par with the previous generation of fighters.

Contrasting your statement to the article, the author of the article is saying that if there was no need for VTOL we would have developed an aircraft for all the other roles that was narrower/sleeker/lighter with better visibility, more optimized weapons bays and perhaps additional thrust from a second engine. It also seems evident that such an a/c would have been developed faster so would be more affordable. It seems he/she thinks there is a case to be made for the need to be kinematically superior as he points out that China's prototype appears to have a lot of those superior properties. He/she also disses stealth and does not address the awareness and information sharing aspects of the issue.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
We went from situational awareness provided by the Mark 1 eyeball only to adding radars, ESM, datalinks, and EO/IR sensors all separately to the point where we can fuse all of the information being provided by all of the sensors to create a unified picture that's presented to the pilot instead of the pilot having to look at all of his sensors and create the unified picture in his mind. Thus, the pilot can be more of a tactician with essentially a god's eye view of the battlefield around him and react more quickly to events around him. That is the key advantage that 5th generation fighters will bring, not any sort of major advancement in kinematics.

After all the money we've spent on all of the above, I hope you are right. I hope the key ideas haven't been stolen already, and I hope that if such info is stolen then nothing of significance can be gleaned from it.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 10479 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 20):
Contrasting your statement to the article, the author of the article is saying that if there was no need for VTOL we would have developed an aircraft for all the other roles that was narrower/sleeker/lighter with better visibility, more optimized weapons bays and perhaps additional thrust from a second engine.

I would disagree. The design of F-35 was driven more by USAF and USN requirements, over USMC requirements for STOVL. You need a deep fuselage to carry all of the fuel and weapons because of the stealth requirements. You need to minimize the size of the cockpit to cut back of radar reflection. On top of that, in light of the experience with the F-16, there was no way the USAF would accept a twin engined fighter, and the USN, observing the ongoing developments, agreed with the USAF.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 20):
It also seems evident that such an a/c would have been developed faster so would be more affordable.

Disagree. Early in the F-35's development, the plan was that the F-35's sensors would not be as complete as it is today; in other words, on par with say the current basic F-16 and F/A-18, and heavily reliant on external support. As development progressed, it became clear that it would make more sense for F-35 to be a provider of information, not just be a recipient. As such, more sensors, and more datalink capabilities were added to F-35 early in development, along with improving sensor fusion present within the cockpit.

Improving the OODA loop for the pilots will be an ongoing goal in development of future fighters. An pilot that can process this cycle quickly, observing and reacting to unfolding events more rapidly than an opponent, can thereby "get inside" the opponent's decision cycle and gain the advantage. And if you can obscure your intentions and make them unpredictable to your opponent while you simultaneously clarify his intentions, you get inside your opponent, and can short-circuit his decision making process, therefore making the enemy make a mistake, that you can capitalize on because the enemy is reacting to events that have occurred, and not being proactive about the situation because they lack the information to make decisions.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 20):
After all the money we've spent on all of the above, I hope you are right. I hope the key ideas haven't been stolen already, and I hope that if such info is stolen then nothing of significance can be gleaned from it.

It will be a long while before anyone can realistically replicate the level of sensor fusion and situational awareness improvements that are coming down the pipeline. The Russians are still stuck in the late 1980's in terms of their avionics, and the Chinese are only marginally ahead of the Russians in terms of technology, but years behind in terms of tactics and understanding what goes on.

Quoting comorin (Reply 19):
Does this mean that the era of the dogfight is over? Is the new mode that of Beyond Visual Range aircraft launching hypersonic A2A missiles? Or are you saying that improved Situational Awareness makes up for the perceived deficiencies of the F-35?

Improved situational awareness will improve the fighter pilot's ability to make decisions in combat because he has more information in a timely manner that's easier to analyse and interpret, be it BVR or dogfighting. If I know in a dogfight, where my wingmen are and where the enemy is in relation to me and my allies all times, I can make a better decision compared to the opponent that lacks this knowledge. I can then have more confidence in employing my weapons, as I can then take a shot with great confidence that the person I'm shooting at isn't a friendly, and that there is no one sneaking up on me to shoot back at me.

RAAF Air Marshal Geoffrey Brown has this to say about situational awareness in combat:
http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/...0-4c72-a379-e4fd10cc710a%2F0002%22

Quote:
Air Marshal Brown : Let me go through what 'situational awareness' is because it is actually the key advantage of fifth-generation fighters. It has been the key advantage in combat for quite a deal of time, even as far back as World War II. Air crew with the most situational awareness will normally win the day. But rarely since World War II has close-in combat been the actual determining factor because situational awareness is really that combination of things—of understanding what has happened, what is happening and the ability to say what will happen into the future. This is where fifth-generation aeroplanes have an unprecedented advantage over fourth-generation types. The rearward visibility—when you look at those pilots—it depends on which aeroplane you fly.

Dr JENSEN: F16s and 18s?

Air Marshal Brown : Yes. The A10. I think most of them were A10 drivers.

Dr JENSEN: No, three were F16. One was 18.

Air Marshal Brown : I think if you have a look around on an F16 sometimes that is not wonderful either. But getting back to the situational awareness, the ability to actually have that data fusion that the aeroplane has makes an incredible difference to how you perform in combat. I saw it first hand on a Red Flag mission in an F15D against a series of fifth-generation F22s. We were actually in the red air. In five engagements we never knew who had hit us and we never even saw the other aeroplane at any one particular time. That is in a current fourth-generation aeroplane.

The data fusion and the stealth makes such a difference to your overall situational awareness it is quite incredible. After that particular mission I went back and had a look at the tapes on the F22, and the difference in the situational awareness in our two cockpits was just so fundamentally different. That is the key to fifth-generation. That is where I have trouble with the APA analysis. They tend to go down particular paths in the aeroplane, whether it is turn rate performance or acceleration. These are all important factors, but it is a combination of what you have actually got in the jet and the situational awareness that is resident in the cockpit of a fifth-generation aeroplane that makes the fundamental difference.
Quote:
Air Marshal Brown : Let me get back to my example again. In all those cases, neither turning performance nor speed were the factors that caused us to die in those five simulated engagements. In any practice engagement I have had in the last 20 years where I have turned with another aeroplane in a bigger picture environment—rather than the static one by ones, two by twos or four by fours—every time I have tried to do that I have ended up being shot by somebody else who actually is not in the fight. As soon as you enter a turning fight, your situational awareness actually shrinks down because the only thing you can be operating with is the aeroplane you are turning with. The person who has the advantage is the person who can stand off, watch the engagement and just pick you off at the time.


[Edited 2013-08-17 13:00:00]

User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 22, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 10193 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 21):
The design of F-35 was driven more by USAF and USN requirements, over USMC requirements for STOVL. You need a deep fuselage to carry all of the fuel and weapons because of the stealth requirements.

So you do not think the fuse would be even more narrow if it didn't have to be structured to accommodate the lift fan?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 21):
As development progressed, it became clear that it would make more sense for F-35 to be a provider of information, not just be a recipient. As such, more sensors, and more datalink capabilities were added to F-35 early in development, along with improving sensor fusion present within the cockpit.

Interesting. It triggers many questions in my mind:

- Not sure why this would/could not have been known ahead of time. It would have led to a more realistic budget and schedule estimation for the program.

- If the main advantage is to be a host of an array of sensors in a moderately kinematic airframe, wouldn't one come up with a quite different design? One could conjure re-use of an existing airframe to host such sensors, and one could alternatively conjure an airframe with a lot more AA weapons bays and a lot more endurance so that the expensive sensors could be airborne longer and shoot down more things.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 21):
Improving the OODA loop for the pilots will be an ongoing goal in development of future fighters.

Yet by the above criteria it'd seem one wouldn't need a 'future fighter' to do that, nor will the nations be that supportive of funding one.

On the other hand, both military officers and defense contractors see their careers advance when they can claim fathership of a new airframe, and politicians get lots of campaign contributions and jobs to hand out when that happens. Even with this in its favor, I don't think we'll see a 'future fighter' for quite a long time.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 21):
The Russians are still stuck in the late 1980's in terms of their avionics, and the Chinese are only marginally ahead of the Russians in terms of technology, but years behind in terms of tactics and understanding what goes on.

Could very well be, but we said similar things about the Russians and atomic weapons till we found out they had spies in the Manhattan Program feeding them all the info they needed to catch up in a hurry.

China also is functioning in a much more closed society so it's a lot harder to figure out exactly where they are in military technology.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 23, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 10145 times:

My understanding was that back in the mid 1990's when JSF was being defined, the major contention between US services was the Navy's desire for a twin engined type, over the USAF's favouring of one powerplant.

User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 10079 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 17):
Many of the last generation fighters can do that against the 'Jack of all trades' F35, let alone today's.

Quite a definitive statement. And you know this exactly.... how?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 18):
Air combat is largely the art and science of "situation awareness". This can be defined as knowing what the enemy is doing and denying the enemy similar infromation. 75% of air combat is decided because the target did not see what shot them down.

  
Dogfighting is an important but last ditch element of combat nowadays. It is much more important to be able to first take out as many of your opponent as possible and and not need to directly engage them. Of course we all know how planning to that ideal turned out in the past, so some close air combat must be expected, designed, and trained for.

Quoting comorin (Reply 19):
Does this mean that the era of the dogfight is over? Is the new mode that of Beyond Visual Range aircraft launching hypersonic A2A missiles? Or are you saying that improved Situational Awareness makes up for the perceived deficiencies of the F-35?

See my above post, and regarding missiles etc., I believe UAV platforms and missiles will become closer and will expand the "stand off" ability of manned aircraft.

And I would more state that "situational awareness" is a key designed element of the F-35 which if it does not have will mean it is deficient.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 20):
Contrasting your statement to the article, the author of the article is saying that if there was no need for VTOL we would have developed an aircraft for all the other roles that was narrower/sleeker/lighter with better visibility, more optimized weapons bays and perhaps additional thrust from a second engine. It also seems evident that such an a/c would have been developed faster so would be more affordable. It seems he/she thinks there is a case to be made for the need to be kinematically superior as he points out that China's prototype appears to have a lot of those superior properties. He/she also disses stealth and does not address the awareness and information sharing aspects of the issue.

Kind of a lot of hypothetical, assumptions, unproven/unknown, and unsubstantiated elements in there, don't you think? It can only be used for discussion without placing any actual validity in it.


Quoting Revelation (Reply 22):
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 21):
The design of F-35 was driven more by USAF and USN requirements, over USMC requirements for STOVL. You need a deep fuselage to carry all of the fuel and weapons because of the stealth requirements.

So you do not think the fuse would be even more narrow if it didn't have to be structured to accommodate the lift fan?

One of THE primary considerations for the F-35 design was internal storage for fuel and weapons as stealth was of primary importance. That meant a wider (or longer) fuselage in order to incorporate this. While a fighter with fully loaded hard points under its wings and fuselage may look really cool, it looks even better on radar.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4783 posts, RR: 19
Reply 25, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 10093 times:

It has a very wide, draggy fuselage because of the need to fit the Lift Fan.


Without this requirement the body would be much narrower, it would not need a massively powerful engine that still isn't enough to overcome the drag and gives it very poor acceleration and top speed.


Not to mention it's marginal G limits.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 18):



A lack of situational awareness gets you killed in air combat. The one US air to air loss of Gulf War I for example was a direct result of poor situational awareness, as an Iraq MiG-25 blazed in undetected and got in behind an USN F/A-18 piloted by Scott Speicher and shoot him down, killing him.

Interesting and this is where you defeat your own argument, the F18 has a far more advanced cockpit giving a pilot far better SA, it does however have a far lower top speed and less acceleration than a Foxbat.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 10081 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 25):
Interesting and this is where you defeat your own argument, the F18 has a far more advanced cockpit giving a pilot far better SA, it does however have a far lower top speed and less acceleration than a Foxbat.

Not exactly, Scott was spending his time looking out for SAM's as part of a SEAD package, and was not looking out for enemy fighters. If you read any of the accounts of the shootdown from his wingmen, Scott's aircraft was literally sucker punched as Scott never even knew that there was a enemy MiG in the area. He was caught off guard.

On top of that, AWACS was unable to warn the F/A-18's because AWACS was overwhelmed with radio calls (as usual during Gulf War I), and his squadron mates, although seeing a unidentified aircraft operating in the area and had locked up the aircraft, could not fire because of ROE and let the MiG go, and also could not warn Scott because again, the radio's were all tied up by comms chatter.

If it was the same situation today, Scott would have had the advantage of having JTIDS, IDM and MIDS in his aircraft, and thus would have known that there was a enemy aircraft in the area by looking down at his MIDS screen and seeing every aircraft that either his or his wingmen and AWACS could see, and thus take measures to protect himself. His squadron mates would have likewise, upon seeing the MiG, and probably being able to confirm independently through their MIDS that the aircraft that they had locked up was indeed hostile, would have shot down the MiG before it even threatened Scott's aircraft. AWACS would also not have been tied up by radio calls and thus would have also had the ability to verbally make a call to the F/A-18's to draw their attention to a enemy aircraft in their vicinity.


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4783 posts, RR: 19
Reply 27, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 10161 times:

It just doesn't matter PB unless, as in the ideal world you present that everything stays BVR.


If it gets into a close in dogfight the F35 doesn't stand a chance.



RIP Scott Speicher.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 10155 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 27):
It just doesn't matter PB unless, as in the ideal world you present that everything stays BVR.

Not exactly, having better situational awareness means that you know where the enemy is to start the fight, and know where the enemy will be throughout the fight. You can then fight smarter, not harder. In the case of Scott Speicher, the other Hornet's in his group saw the MiG at night visually by the afterburners. They just could not get a positive ID on the MiG as being a confirmed hostile to shoot it down (the MiG was identified as a bogey, meaning unidentified aircraft, not a bandit, which means confirmed hostile).

Quoting Max Q (Reply 27):
If it gets into a close in dogfight the F35 doesn't stand a chance.

9 times out of 10, the F-35 pilot through his superior situational awareness would know about the enemy before a close in fight could emerge. Remember, 75% of air combat is decided because the target did not see what shot them down. If you don't see your enemy or don't know where your enemy is, they will get you. Know where the enemy is and his intentions, and you can kill him before he kills you. Remember what Air Marshal Brown said above:

Quote:
Air Marshal Brown : Let me get back to my example again. In all those cases, neither turning performance nor speed were the factors that caused us to die in those five simulated engagements. In any practice engagement I have had in the last 20 years where I have turned with another aeroplane in a bigger picture environment—rather than the static one by ones, two by twos or four by fours—every time I have tried to do that I have ended up being shot by somebody else who actually is not in the fight. As soon as you enter a turning fight, your situational awareness actually shrinks down because the only thing you can be operating with is the aeroplane you are turning with. The person who has the advantage is the person who can stand off, watch the engagement and just pick you off at the time.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 29, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 10071 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 24):
Kind of a lot of hypothetical, assumptions, unproven/unknown, and unsubstantiated elements in there, don't you think? It can only be used for discussion without placing any actual validity in it.

Yes indeed. All I was doing was distilling the long and tedious article into the few points I felt it was trying to make. Indeed it seems the article is heavy on opinion.

Indeed the F-35 is a jack of all trades. The key point is that it would not exist if it did not address all these trades. The services and the politicians all bought into that concept early on, and dropping out a key constituent (USMC, RN, etc) could easily have stopped the entire program.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinehh65man From Australia, joined Feb 2013, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 9753 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Eric Hartmans situational awareness allowed him and his wingman to to survive in a massively hostile out gunned environment....while flying an aircraft (arguably) inferior to most of his opponents.....

User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4783 posts, RR: 19
Reply 31, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 9699 times:

Problem is not every Pilot is Eric Hartman..


The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 32, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 9687 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 31):
Problem is not every Pilot is Eric Hartman..

However, good training and selection that is present with most Western and NATO aligned air forces means our pilots are qualitatively superior to most fighter pilots in the world. The NATO standard is 180 hours per annum, and most air forces fly more because 180 hours per year isn't enough for full pilot proficiency. The USAF flies considerably more; 200 - 280 hours per year, on the low end.

The USAF is very good in washing out pilots that don't make the cut. If you don't have the skills, knowledge or ability to be a top notch fighter pilot, you generally last no more than one assignment.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 33, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9622 times:

Quoting comorin (Thread starter):
resulted in a plane that did nothing well.

There is no question that the F-35 is very low bang for the buck. It's not zero bang, but a small bang for the money. Anything is good at the right price. If the F-35 were far cheaper, it would be a much better proposition, regardless of all the shortcomings.

Instead, besides radar stealth, it is vastly inferior and vastly more expensive, while carrying less munitions per mission - all at the same time. This means the F-35 requires more assets to be deployed (in terms of $ value) to deliver each 1lb of munitions, compared to any other aircraft or delivery method. Even a B-2 is far cheaper by this metric.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 34, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 9560 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 33):
This means the F-35 requires more assets to be deployed (in terms of $ value) to deliver each 1lb of munitions, compared to any other aircraft or delivery method. Even a B-2 is far cheaper by this metric.

That's similar to saying the B747 is a better people carrier than a Gulfstream: true but not particularly relevant.

However it does cause me to repeat the question above: if the superiority of F-35 comes from its sensor arrays, then (a) why not retrofit the sensors to a less expensive airframe, or (b) why not retrofit its sensors to a much larger airframe that can stay aloft longer and carry many more weapons?

I suppose the best answer is that it's time to replace lots of F-16s/F-18s/Harriers so that's what we're going to do. It's just a bloody shame the F-35 is so bloody expensive that we'll probably not be able to replace that many of them, but LM always has its guaranteed markup to fall back on, so it's all good...



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 35, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 9521 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 34):

I suppose the best answer is that it's time to replace lots of F-16s/F-18s/Harriers so that's what we're going to do. It's just a bloody shame the F-35 is so bloody expensive that we'll probably not be able to replace that many of them, but LM always has its guaranteed markup to fall back on, so it's all good...

I don't think you realise how much a fighter jet really costs these days. The Rafale and Eurofighter are both around the US$100 mil mark, the South Koreans paid US$100 mil for each F-15K in 2006. Even if the F-35 misses its full rate production cost target by 25%, which is frankly quite unlikely given the known efficiencies, in 2020 it will still be cheaper than all the above options. The shame is it will have taken too long to get there.


Quoting comorin (Thread starter):
I ran across this interesting and well-written article about why the F35 is such an alleged disaster.

I didn't find it well written at all. It is littered with incorrect facts, was incoherent in its argument and almost a third of the references are to his own articles.


User currently offlineDevilfish From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4952 posts, RR: 1
Reply 36, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 9499 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 35):
It is littered with incorrect facts

Now...this had me wondering!   



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlinefrigatebird From Netherlands, joined Jun 2008, 1715 posts, RR: 1
Reply 37, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 9467 times:

I don't usually post here as I am not really familiar with military aviation. Here in the Netherlands the F35 is very controversial. The majority of the people don't want it, because high and ever rising cost. I'm not against the F35, but I wonder if it is such a good idea to buy it, certainly if it is as vulneable as some people say. The Saab Gripen is often mentioned here as a cheaper alternative, but I wonder if it would be an idea to buy new F16s (with the latest electronics and systems). I would like to ask the experts on this forum why the Netherlands shouldn't consider these cheaper options?

As said, I'm not at all expert so I would appriciate some constructive comments about pros and cons of the cheaper alternatives vs the F35.



146,318/19/20/21,AB6,332,343,345,388,722,732/3/4/5/G/8,9,742,74E,744,752,762,763,772,77E,773,77W,AT4/7,ATP,CRK,E90,F50/7
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3872 posts, RR: 27
Reply 38, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9437 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Ozair (Reply 35):
I didn't find it well written at all. It is littered with incorrect facts, was incoherent in its argument and almost a third of the references are to his own articles.

I find it hard to read an opposing opinion without making the same analogies.. doesn't mean they're wrong or illiterate.. just means I have a problem setting my preconceived opinion aside to hear something from another perspective. And the "righter" I insist my views are, the less accurate they are in reality. These F-35 threads have demonstrated that frequently.


The question I keep wondering about is with all this data being displayed to the pilot is there a danger of information overload. Similar to but not on the same scale as texting while driving. Could there be a point where regardless of the sophistication of the systems, it needs to be dumbed down for humans?


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 39, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9426 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 35):
I don't think you realise how much a fighter jet really costs these days. The Rafale and Eurofighter are both around the US$100 mil mark, the South Koreans paid US$100 mil for each F-15K in 2006.

I don't think you realize you are ignoring sunk costs and comparing relatively small lots compared to the large lots the USA and partners are considering. Even so, I'm reading:

Quote:

Adding up known engine costs, retrofit estimates and the target-unit projections, an F-35A in LRIP 6 would cost the U.S. government roughly $118.5 million and in LRIP 7, $114.5 million.

Ref: http://www.aviationweek.com/Article....l/AW_08_05_2013_p30-602514.xml&p=2

The table in the article shows:

Variant and Lot Size Target Airframe Cost Estimated Retrofit Cost* Estimated Engine Cost Total Estimated Aircraft Cost
F-35A LRIP 5 (32) $105 $10 $14 $124
LRIP 6 (36) 100.8 7.4 14 118.5
LRIP 7 (35) 96.8 7.4 14 114.5
F-35B LRIP 5 113 10 38 156
LRIP 6 108.5 7.4 38 150.2
LRIP 7 104.2 7.4 38 145.9
F-35C LRIP 5 125 10 14 144
LRIP 6 120 7.4 14 137.7
LRIP 7 115.2 7.4 14 132.9

So the -B and -C are even more expensive.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 40, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9411 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 34):
That's similar to saying the B747 is a better people carrier than a Gulfstream: true but not particularly relevant.

Yes, it is. And it is also saying as if an A320 were 3 times cheaper than a similar sized B737. Or if the B737 could only carry 1/2 or less the payload of an A320 while also being 2 times more expensive.

Even if the F-35 does everything promised from here on out, it would still be an extremely inefficient way to deliver 1lb of bombs - money wise. If you want to unilaterally disarm, hope for as many F-35s as possible, because like a sponge, it'll soak up government defense resources and introduce the inefficiencies described above.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 41, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9390 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 9):
Quoting comorin (Thread starter):
Simply put, the idea of designing a fighter that could address contradictory requirements (USN, USMC) resulted in a plane that did nothing well

Says a blogger. Same ol' arguments and it sounds a lot like complaining without giving any alternatives. All this whining from the same circle is starting to get old and, thankfully, doesn't affect the development of the program.

Flip the coin: same ol' arguments and it sounds a lot like slavish admiration for the shiny new toy and that concurrence was merely a means to an end to make the program so large and expensive that it likely can't be cancelled. All this praise from the same circle is starting to get old, and, unfortunately, glosses over the serious flaws in the aircraft.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinecargotanker From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 164 posts, RR: 1
Reply 42, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9391 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 33):
Instead, besides radar stealth, it is vastly inferior and vastly more expensive, while carrying less munitions per mission - all at the same time. This means the F-35 requires more assets to be deployed (in terms of $ value) to deliver each 1lb of munitions, compared to any other aircraft or delivery method. Even a B-2 is far cheaper by this metric.

Cost per bomb delivery? You're just making up metrics now. No air force uses that as a metric and they shouldn't because it would result in acquiring 747Fs outfitted with bomb bay doors since that would be the most efficient carrier of bombs ever.

The 'inferiority' you cite only refers to dogfighting capability and you also ignore that the F-35 can carry gobs of munitions EXTERNALLY just like EVERY OTHER FIGHTER. (emphasis added because this is a really, really simple point that some people just can't wrap their heads around)

How valuable is a Rafale or a Eurofighter when they can't access areas a stealthy F-35 can?

How efficient is a Rafale or Eurfighter if it needs a large OCA and SEAD escort package for a strike?

So, an air force can have a fewer number of F-35s and drop more bombs on a larger number of targets. Makes the F-35 seem like a bargain to all of those non-stealthy fighters that require lots of escorts to get to a target. Also makes your "assets to be deployed" statement false. Fewer F-35s are required to be deployed to accomplish the same job as Rafales or Eurofighters.

Have you considered that an F-35 coupled with AIM-9x will make the dogfight obsolete? It will be able to sense and shoot at an enemy acft right behind it, or below, or above, or to the side. No need to point the nose at anything.

I agree that the F-35 is too expensive and suffers from design compromises due to the incorporation of 3 versions. But stealth and sensor technology are the game changers with this aircraft and what make it better than any other multi-role fighter out there, regardless of how fat or expensive it is.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 43, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 9323 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 40):
Even if the F-35 does everything promised from here on out, it would still be an extremely inefficient way to deliver 1lb of bombs - money wise

Right, but that's not the only thing we're asking the F-35 to do.

It'd be more on topic for this thread to discuss if we're asking the F-35 to do too much.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 42):
But stealth and sensor technology are the game changers with this aircraft and what make it better than any other multi-role fighter out there, regardless of how fat or expensive it is.

Time will tell... We better hope so, or we better hope LM doesn't destroy the F-16 tooling...



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 571 posts, RR: 1
Reply 44, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 9336 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 41):
Flip the coin: same ol' arguments and it sounds a lot like slavish admiration for the shiny new toy and that concurrence was merely a means to an end to make the program so large and expensive that it likely can't be cancelled. All this praise from the same circle is starting to get old, and, unfortunately, glosses over the serious flaws in the aircraft.

Still no alternatives from the anti-f35 crowd, just more complaining about costs and performance numbers. There is no new fighter on the horizon. When all the other lines are closed, the F35 will be the only choice, whether you like it or not.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 45, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 9307 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 44):
Still no alternatives from the anti-f35 crowd, just more complaining about costs and performance numbers. There is no new fighter on the horizon. When all the other lines are closed, the F35 will be the only choice, whether you like it or not.

That argument is about as weak/strong as the previous one. Apparently touched a nerve.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4783 posts, RR: 19
Reply 46, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 9292 times:

I have an alternative. This Aircraft is completely compromise because of it's need to cover the VSTOL mission.


So make that the ONLY VARIANT.


It makes a reasonable Harrier replacement, although far too gold plated for the same job and not as rugged, but, it could work.


Replace the remaining planned production with developed versions of the F16 /F18.


Where Stealth is really required, manufacture enough F22's to cover the mission.


All the tooling is still preserved.



The better solution from day one would have been to forget the VSTOL mission, you could have had a stealthy airframe with far better performance, a true F16 / F18 replacement. Then simply keep updating the superb Harrier.


But the cat;s out of the bag now and this is what has to be dealt with.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlinewindy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2755 posts, RR: 8
Reply 47, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 9265 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 44):
horizon. When all the other lines are closed, the F35 will be the only choice, whether you like it or not.




Which is sad that our troops will be stuck with this jack of all trades for the forseeable future. What a waste of our cash and time.



OMG-Obama Must Go
User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 48, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 9192 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 39):
I don't think you realize you are ignoring sunk costs and comparing relatively small lots compared to the large lots the USA and partners are considering.

Sunk costs have nothing to do with it. The cost of the airframes listed are the cost of the airframe, it does not include paying any previous development charges. If that was the case, the Eurofighter and Rafale would be more expensive. All three aircraft are at the end of their production learning curves so have gained every bit of efficiency available outside of numbers.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 39):

So the -B and -C are even more expensive.

Of course they are more expensive. Just as the Rafale M is more expensive than the C and any Eurofighter that could land on a carrier would be more expensive than the standard land based variant. Last I saw, none of the Rafale, Eurofighter and F-15 can land vertically either so you get what you pay for.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 39):
Ref: http://www.aviationweek.com/Article....l/AW_08_05_2013_p30-602514.xml&p=2

The table in the article shows:

Variant and Lot Size Target Airframe Cost Estimated Retrofit Cost* Estimated Engine Cost Total Estimated Aircraft Cost
F-35A LRIP 5 (32) $105 $10 $14 $124
LRIP 6 (36) 100.8 7.4 14 118.5
LRIP 7 (35) 96.8 7.4 14 114.5
F-35B LRIP 5 113 10 38 156
LRIP 6 108.5 7.4 38 150.2
LRIP 7 104.2 7.4 38 145.9
F-35C LRIP 5 125 10 14 144
LRIP 6 120 7.4 14 137.7
LRIP 7 115.2 7.4 14 132.9

And you missed the most important part of the article you quoted,

LRIPs 6 and 7 will be the first contract for which Lockheed Martin assumes all responsibility for exceeding the target cost of the airframes, Rein says.

So all the risk is now on LM. The US and partners pay the negotiated price, anything above that LM has to eat.

A more interesting discussion would be to identify what price LRIP 6 and above would be if the original production schedule had been adhered to?
LRIP 6 was supposed to be 80 now 36
LRIP 7 was supposed to be 77 now 35
LRIP 8 was supposed to be 90 now 45

We have already seen production efficiencies for those lots and the cost for the modifications for each airframe, as you listed above, is US$7.4 mil. Given LM and the US government pay half each that is a grand total of US$3.7 mil that US taxpayers will have to pay. I am sure doubling the production rate of the airframes would have resulted in greater savings than a US$3.7 mil modification charge per airframe.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 49, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 9205 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 44):
When all the other lines are closed, the F35 will be the only choice, whether you like it or not.

Lets see:

1. Rafale is planned to stay in production to at least 2030....
3. T-50 will start production around the same time as F-35
3. Gripen NG may stay in production a very long time if they get a few more orders, which is very possible IMHO.
4. Then there is the so called Gen 6 fighter already being bandied about
5. UCLASS and other UCAVS will make fighters less important and certainly ground attach aircraft.

Consider, most of the ground attacks in recent years have been done by the lowly propeller driven Predator, which was not even designed in the beginning as a combat plane. X-47B has shown this is a very viable method of operating and attacking an enemy. Far cheaper too.

No alternatives? Plenty actually.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 50, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 9191 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 44):
Still no alternatives from the anti-f35 crowd

You have to admit "inevitability" is a pretty weak argument. It didn't work so well for F-22, and F-35 is only one bad budget cycle away from being F-22.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 47):
This Aircraft is completely compromise because of it's need to cover the VSTOL mission.

Actually that was the main point of debate of this thread, and IMHO not proven.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 50):
Sunk costs have nothing to do with it. The cost of the airframes listed are the cost of the airframe, it does not include paying any previous development charges. If that was the case, the Eurofighter and Rafale would be more expensive.

Right, but F-35 would be HUGELY more expensive due to its HUGE sunk cost, and F-16 et al be hugely less expensive since ther sunk costs have been paid off long ago.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 50):
All three aircraft are at the end of their production learning curves

That's debatable.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 50):
And you missed the most important part of the article you quoted,

LRIPs 6 and 7 will be the first contract for which Lockheed Martin assumes all responsibility for exceeding the target cost of the airframes, Rein says.

So all the risk is now on LM. The US and partners pay the negotiated price, anything above that LM has to eat.

Right, but the US and partners still are paying the sunk costs that are NOT being included in the fly-away costs.

There is NO way one can make the F-35 look cheap if one includes the sunk costs, even when compared to competitors, because the sunk costs are HUGE.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 51, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9112 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 52):
There is NO way one can make the F-35 look cheap if one includes the sunk costs, even when compared to competitors, because the sunk costs are HUGE.

Sunk costs are just that, sunk.

If you want to play that game though we can look at each aircraft and quote actual facts and figures!

Let's look at Rafale - Figures taken from Rafale Wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dassault_Rafale (it should be within 10% of real values)
Total program cost in 2008 was Euro$39.6 billion (we will say approx US$45 billion to give a favourable exchange rate) covering development, production and perhaps some infrastructure upgrades with a 2013 total production of airframes of 115. Unit costs from 2008 are listed as between US$80-90 mil depending upon variant.

So a little math, which uses the favourable figure of US$80 mil and 115 aircraft, arrives at approx US$9.2 billion for the aircraft purchased to date. (using US$90 mil only adds an extra 1 billion so not really relevant). Add another 5 billion for infrastructure and you get a total of approximately US$14 billion. So a best case scenario is that the development of Rafale has cost the French about US$30 billion. That will be for a production run of approximately 140 aircraft by 2019 instead of the 180 originally planned. Even if we add the Indian intent to order an additional 126 we still get a grand total of 266 aircraft.

Total development cost per aircraft (for 266) then is US$132 mil each! That does not include acquisition cost of the aircraft.

Let's look at Typhoon - figures taken from http://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/1011755.pdf
Figures are harder to come by but going on UK figures alone for their purchased aircraft. Total development funding from UK in 2011 was 6.7 billion pounds (we will say US$8.5 billion to be favourable). This is the UK's contribution to the program, not the total cost of development which is probably closer to US$25 billion if we consider all partner nations contributions. Production cost figures are 13.5 billion pounds or US$17 billion for 160 aircraft.

So for 160 aircraft the UK paid approximately US$53 million per aircraft in development cost.

I won't bother with F-15 as the acquisition cost is well known and development was so long ago it is irrelevant.

Let's look at F-35 - figures taken from http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655295.pdf
Total US development and acquisition cost is projected at US$391 billion for 2443 aircraft. Development cost is approximately US$55 billion that covers CTOL, VSTOL and CV variants.

So for 2443 aircraft the US will pay approximately US$20 million per aircraft in development costs. Even if we half the procurement of F-35 to 1223 we still arrive at a per aircraft development cost of US$45 million or less than either option above.

There are obvious currency and inflationary issues with the calculations which probably favour the Rafale and Typhoon but even if the figures above are out by 10-15% it still puts to rest the falsehood that the F-35 has huge sunk costs over comparative airframes.


If the above isn’t enough, we can also look at how inflation has affected F-35 development. The 2001 program development cost was projected to be US$34.4 billion. In 2012 dollars that becomes US$45.4 billion. So development costs have increased approximately 21% above initial projections to US$55 billion. Some of this rise can be directly attributed to JSF Program Office requirements changes and to US congressional changes to the production schedule that has reduced production and extended test and evaluation. The rest is the cost of developing advanced military programs over long periods of time and without doubt some LM fat.

[Edited 2013-08-20 23:16:04]

User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 52, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 8943 times:

The chancy part of your analysis is:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 51):
266 aircraft.
Quoting Ozair (Reply 51):
160 aircraft

Versus:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 51):
2443 aircraft

No one can say if that number will be reached, but it is the number that makes the F-35 look more affordable.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8774 posts, RR: 3
Reply 53, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 8909 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 33):
If the F-35 were far cheaper, it would be a much better proposition, regardless of all the shortcomings.

I wish they made a deal with Saab or something. The central problem for F-35 was its budget was too high. That's a critical problem. A war-losing problem in the end. This was about a bunch of guys who wanted to get rich without delivering an aircraft. And a procurement structure designed to support them.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 54, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week ago) and read 8875 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 38):
I find it hard to read an opposing opinion without making the same analogies.. doesn't mean they're wrong or illiterate.. just means I have a problem setting my preconceived opinion aside to hear something from another perspective. And the "righter" I insist my views are, the less accurate they are in reality. These F-35 threads have demonstrated that frequently.

The problem is that, time and time again, one needs to pay attention to who is being quoted, in what context, and what particular bias does the subject have.

I've noticed the article in question quoted people like Winslow Wheeler, and Pierre Sprey as their major sources. My feelings on those two are well known to anyone here. Basically, when you only quote people like Winslow Wheeler, and Pierre Sprey, you've effectively screwed any credibility you might have had. Wheeler is a budget guy. He knows about as much concerning fighter aircraft and design as does Axe. And if you remember correctly, Wheeler said that we'd not see reductions in the price of the F-35 in future orders. He was wrong. If he can't even get it right in the area of his supposed expertise, why in the world would one even bother listening to him when he spouts off about things he knows little to nothing about?

The author then compounds the crediblity problem by introducing Pierre Sprey which he obviously wants you to believe is credible as well:

Quote:
“The Harrier was based on a complete lie,” said Pierre Sprey, an experienced fighter engineer whose design credits include the nimble F-16 and the tank-killing A-10. “The Marines simply concocted it because they wanted their own unique airplane and wanted to convert amphibious ships into their own private carriers.”

Pierre Sprey has never "designed" any fighter aircraft. Ever. He was a PA&E (Office of Program Analysis & Evaluation) guy. He has zero credibility whatsoever to those who actually know his background. By Pierre Sprey's own account, Sprey was a dilettante with an engineering degree but no military experience. After graduation from Yale, Sprey became a research analyst at the Grumman Aircraft Corporation for space and commercial transportation projects. He came to OSD/SA in 1966, where he declared himself an expert on military fighter aircraft, despite his lack of experience. Sprey admitted being a gadfly, a nuisance, and an automatic opponent of any program he was not a part of.

Or, essentially, ignore whatever the man says. He has no experience or experience to back his statements. And, as in the case of the M1 tank, of which he was also a critic, his criticisms were essentially unfounded:

Quote:
None of this establishes that the M1 is a good, bad, or mediocre tank. It does establish, however, that one should be very careful in accepting what the Reformers say.

Their "misstatements" could easily be avoided. For example, they could have learned that the tank will fire without electronics. They simply hadn't tried very hard to find out. For example, the firing of the gun is explained in the crew's manual, as, for that matter, is the dark and mysterious problem of adjusting the seat. There are detailed drawings. The manual is in the public domain. Before leaving Washington, I had asked Rasor's office for their copy. They didn't have one and had never read it.

Before long, one notices a pattern in the pronuncia-mentos of the evangelical Reformers. They mix a robust disregard for truth with a well-developed taste for parody. Observe that the Reformers do not accuse the military merely of bureaucratic ineptitude, poor judgment, and inattention in the expenditure of other people's money—the normal foibles of federal agencies. Instead, soldiers are accused of absurdity, of serious unfamiliarity with their profession, of behavior explainable only by clinically substandard intelligence, and of something bordering on lunacy. This is not analysis but a sort of literary cartooning.
Quote:
Powerful Hostility Toward Technology

A strand running throughout Reformist thinking is their powerful hostility toward advanced technology. At first, they couch their distaste in terms of reason, pointing to real failures of excessively ambitious projects, the real tendency of industry to promote new technology because they make money at it, the real problems of reliability that have plagued many advanced weapons. Then one notices that they rigorously ignore the benefits of technology, that what they advocate often appears to be the military of World War II: unelectronic, radarless, computerless stamped steel. (If generals prepare for the last war, Reformers prepare for the war before last. To say this is unfair, but not very unfair.) One ends by noticing in them a backward-looking romanticism, a longing for the days when men wore iron and their horses didn't come with 500-page manuals. The media often seems to accept this stuff without question (or used to accept it; the Reformers seem to be losing credibility), perhaps because reporters believe the Reformers to be engaged in public-service work.

They aren't, exactly. Rasor, for example, is a paid advocate—i.e., a flack—as much as any PR man at McDonnell Douglas. Cousins's book royalties depend on sales, and measured discussions of the design of armor don't sell books—splashy allegations do. Gary Hart's Reformist fulminations (in America Can Win: The Case for Military Reform, a book by Hart with William S. Lind, published in 1986 by Adler & Adler) were going to be used, one supposes, to position him as a defense-minded Presidential candidate before he self-destructed. Further, the attractions of attention are not without weight in Washington, and many Reformers would never again go
on television if they ceased to deal in sensational charges. The evangelicals are not without agendas of their own.

Another characteristic of Reformist writing is heavy reliance on the fact that much of their nonsense is obvious only to specialists. For example (I could provide pages of this), Cousins speaks of the Hellcat missile (it doesn't exist), worries that electronic jamming might make a descending ICBM fly back to destroy its country of origin (this would require the repeal of the laws of physics), talks of the superiority of aiming a tank gun with the naked eye (flatly impossible), and admires the virtues of the Belgian Leopold tank (apparently he had heard of King Leopold and figured a Belgian tank must be a Leopold, as indeed it might be, if the Belgians built a tank. Really, it was a Belgian-owned German tank known as Leopard).
Quoting cargotanker (Reply 42):
But stealth and sensor technology are the game changers with this aircraft and what make it better than any other multi-role fighter out there, regardless of how fat or expensive it is.

I think the biggest issue that is people compare F-35 to other 4th gen fighters, and see it as a pure replacement for F-16, F/A-18, and AV-8B. It is that, but also much more-its advanced sensors, when networked together, will eventually substitute for the Navy and Air Force fleets of very expensive (and very in-demand) surveillance and reconnaissance and command and control aircraft. When used in combination with munitions-carrying drones, small formations of F-35s will be able to conduct large-scale strikes that remain the purview of large, manned bombers. In effect, F-35, with its reconnaissance and strike capabilities and ability to act as a “node” in a larger “network” of joint systems make it much more than a stealthy tactical aircraft.

Quoting kanban (Reply 38):
The question I keep wondering about is with all this data being displayed to the pilot is there a danger of information overload. Similar to but not on the same scale as texting while driving. Could there be a point where regardless of the sophistication of the systems, it needs to be dumbed down for humans?

The problem is, with previous aircraft, you had to look at each different system to gather information and then put it together in your head as to what's going on. In that type of scenario, yes, one can be overwhelmed with information because the information is not being presented in a unified manner. It is for example, not immediately obvious that say, a radar detected by your ESM and ECM system is the same target as the aircraft you spotted on your radar. It may be the same target, it may be two different targets. You don't know.

With F-35, the onboard avionics put together the information for you to create one common picture. All of the information from datalinks, radar, ESM, EO/IR, etc are all pulled together and is used to generate one picture of the surrounding battlefield. So, not only do you have more information, it's information that is easily acted upon.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3872 posts, RR: 27
Reply 55, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week ago) and read 8845 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 54):
The problem is,

This part of your post is informative and brief.. thanks

The rest is mere justification why no other opinions should be allowed.. that's not why there are discussion forums.. We are not a group think society. If you disagree with a writer, so what .. it's only his view and it subtracts nothing from your view. However, was it Shakespeare who noted in a play "Me thinks the lady dost protest too much".. i.e. a symptom of insecurity in one's position. Sometimes being "right" with voluminous posts actually turns off the people you're trying to reach.

You have proved to be extremely thin skinned, and there are those that get kicks out of pricking it.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 56, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 8837 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 52):
The chancy part of your analysis is:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 51):
266 aircraft.
Quoting Ozair (Reply 51):
160 aircraft

Versus:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 51):
2443 aircraft

No one can say if that number will be reached, but it is the number that makes the F-35 look more affordable.

I agree, the number is high but so is the market potential. The US has aircraft that must be replaced, as do about 10-15 other Air Forces. Given the price and capability of the F-35 compared to its competitors, why would you replace your air fleet with anything else?

Have a read of the following link, http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/docs/980323-cr.htm which is senate testimony arguing against Super Hornet development.

People made the same argument about the Super Hornet replacing the classic Hornets as with the F-35, thinking existing airframes could be upgraded and remain competitive. The Super Hornet is now an established and mature airframe that is considered value for money, is significantly more capable than the classic Hornet fleet and ironically the favored aircraft by most F-35 detractors to replace to F-35.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 57, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 8842 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 55):
The rest is mere justification why no other opinions should be allowed.. that's not why there are discussion forums.. We are not a group think society. If you disagree with a writer, so what .. it's only his view and it subtracts nothing from your view. However, was it Shakespeare who noted in a play "Me thinks the lady dost protest too much".. i.e. a symptom of insecurity in one's position. Sometimes being "right" with voluminous posts actually turns off the people you're trying to reach.

My point is that you do need to be careful about who you listen to. Pierre Sprey and Winslow Wheeler are not credible because they have zero expertise, knowledge and experience in the topics they talk about. As such, anything they talk about should be taken with a very large grain of salt, and some serious fact checking.

Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics has the expertise, knowledge and experience (he holds a Master's degree in aeronautical engineering from California Institute of Technology, and is the Pentagon's top buyer) to make a qualified judgement on the state of the F-35. Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan, Defense Department’s program manager for the F-35 is also very well qualified to make a judgement on F-35. Both are very upbeat about the program.

On a related note, F-35 lifetime expected costs have DECREASED by 22% per the Pentagon's latest numbers:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...22-pentagon-manager-estimates.html

Quote:
A fleet of Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-35 fighters will cost $857 billion over 55 years to operate and support, 22 percent less than previously estimated, according to the head of the Pentagon office developing the plane.

The new estimate reflects the aircraft’s performance in 5,000 test flights over 7,000 hours, Air Force Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan, the Defense Department’s program manager for the F-35, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in written answers last month that haven’t been made public until now.

“The previous cost estimate did not factor in this new knowledge,” Bogdan said.

Operating costs include expenses from spare parts to repairs and fuel. Officially, the Pentagon’s estimate remains $1.1 trillion, a two-year-old projection developed by the Pentagon’s independent cost-assessment office.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3872 posts, RR: 27
Reply 58, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8803 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 57):
My point is that you do need to be careful about who you listen to.

give it a rest... you've lost the argument by talking it to death.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 59, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8797 times:

Per Reply 57, I agree: you do need to be careful to whom you listen to. Which is why many on this thread disagree with your claims.

Quoting kanban (Reply 55):
The rest is mere justification why no other opinions should be allowed.. that's not why there are discussion forums.. We are not a group think society. If you disagree with a writer, so what .. it's only his view and it subtracts nothing from your view. However, was it Shakespeare who noted in a play "Me thinks the lady dost protest too much".. i.e. a symptom of insecurity in one's position. Sometimes being "right" with voluminous posts actually turns off the people you're trying to reach.

You have proved to be extremely thin skinned, and there are those that get kicks out of pricking it.

I agree with Kanban. In fact, I might suggest (and suggest only), that someone making large post after large post might indicate a desire to drown other points of view in verbiage. Everyone on this thread (or this site, for that matter) is entitled to their point of view. But making continual large posts does not perforce make the poster any wiser. In fact, perhaps it might indicate otherwise.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 60, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8783 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 55):
If you disagree with a writer, so what .. it's only his view and it subtracts nothing from your view.

So all people should get equal credibility when commenting on an issue? I don't agree and I will show you why.

Would you like to make a claim as to who will win the upcoming Australian election, with a breakdown of specific seats to be won by each major party?

I am sure after a bit of internet research you can make an assessment but it would be based on limited facts, knowledge and experience of the Australian political system. Should I give your assessment equal weight to mine, given I am Australian and have lived, voted and been educated on the Australian political system, or the political commentator who has followed politics for 30 years, knows the Canberra political scene intimately and has predicted within a percentage point the previous three election results?

Quoting kanban (Reply 55):
The rest is mere justification why no other opinions should be allowed.. that's not why there are discussion forums..

No one is saying don't listen to Winslow Wheeler or Carlo Kopp etc but common sense dictates that you give each of the individuals commenting on the issue a level of credibility associated with their experience. What I find amazing is that on this and other forums, individuals like Wheeler and Kopp are given equal credibility with military operators, who have far more experience and familiarity with the planning and conduct of military operations as well as the capabilities of the respective platforms, both friend and foe.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3872 posts, RR: 27
Reply 61, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8751 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Ozair (Reply 60):
So all people should get equal credibility when commenting on an issue?

No, all people are entitled to their perspective, even if wrong in the readers frame of reference. Guessing who's going to win an election is an opinion based on whatever from statistics, to historic parallels, to how one's bunions ache or was an albino camel seen in Alice Springs. Only the final result is fact. With the F-35, we have expectations and fears, but are years away from full analysis and quantitative data.

note the originator only comments he found it interesting and wanted comments on the article not trashing the writer's creditability. The writer brings up points made before and responded to with 'when all systems are installed and working... it will beat Luke Skywalker's fighter..

Military assessments are always suspect.. they are usually from people who have a vested interest in following the chain of command's perspective, and few if any have equal experience with competing planes to have any more than second hand knowledge.. Would any general keep his stars if he stated it was a disaster publicly?

us civilians are under no constraints to tow the line..


User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 571 posts, RR: 1
Reply 62, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8739 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 46):
developed versions of the F16 /F18.

Replace already flying F35s with hypothetical aircraft. Great plan, but decades too late.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 46):
manufacture enough F22's to cover the mission.

Line is shut down and there are enough F22s tooling around for the mission it has. The US isn't exactly under threat of invasion from droves of Chinese fighters, and won't be any time soon.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 49):
1. Rafale is planned to stay in production to at least 2030....

Rafale is yesterdays news, no one is buying it.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 49):
3. T-50 will start production around the same time as F-35

We are talking about western fighters here. Only an idiot nation in the western world would buy a modern Russian fighter. Besides, its more politics than it is capability. Even if the T-50 was better then the Raptor, countries like Canada would still not buy it.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 49):
3. Gripen NG

Paper fighter, hasn't even flown yet. Your arguments are weak.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 49):
No alternatives? Plenty actually.

Depends on your knowledge and agenda. I'm sure most anti-f35 fanboys would love to see droves of F16 for all the US branches for the next 4-5 decades. Thankfully, it doesn't work that way.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 63, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8731 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 60):
So all people should get equal credibility when commenting on an issue?

Per Kanban's comments, everyone is entitled to comment on any issue on this site. You can agree or not. If not, but you believe the commentator has some creds, you can engage. If you believe the commentator has no creds, ignore him/her. From my experience, most of us can spot those with some knowledge as opposed to the poseurs. If what has been posted is factually wrong, and you have solid evidence to back up your assertion, fine, proceed. But to deride and denigrate posters simply because they disagree with you is, at best, puerile. Actually it's a form of bullying.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 64, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8721 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 61):
note the originator only comments he found it interesting and wanted comments on the article

And no one is criticizing comorin in any way. He actually credited the forum with having people who could intelligently comment on the issue.

Quoting comorin (Thread starter):
Given the high level of expertise on this site, I wonder what fellow a.nutters think:
Quoting kanban (Reply 61):
With the F-35, we have expectations and fears

You don’t think that 12 years of development history are a bit more than expectations and fears?

Quoting kanban (Reply 61):
but are years away from full analysis and quantitative data.

So in place of full analysis we can therefore be subjected to articles written by bloggers and uninformed individuals.

To prove my point let's look at the first four references in the article.

1. http://defensetech.org/2013/04/18/gao-f-35-program-has-stabilized/ It is a media report of the recent GAO testimony to the House Armed Service’s Tactial Air and Land Subcommittee. So a senior Government official from what some on this forum consider to be an incredibly reputable source.

2. http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/06...entagon-leaders-laud-lockheed.html where the news article references Frank Kendall and LTGEN Bogdan. Kendall has been critical of the program previously but is now giving positive commentary. Bodgan has been critical and still remains reserved in a lot of his comments but he is now generally optimistic.
Both individuals probably have greater access than 99.999% of the US population/government/military to the details on the jet.

3. https://medium.com/war-is-boring/98aaaa1eed4a The writer references his own article where he compares the F-35 to how it has been used in Hollywood movies with most of the non movie related references in that article also pointing to previous articles he has authored.

4. http://www.counterpunch.org/2009/11/10/the-self-dismembering-f-35/ is a 2009 article written by Winslow Wheeler, an outspoken critic of pretty much most defence acquisition programs and an individual that has no access to any information about the aircraft or the program other than what has been published in the public domain.

So what do we get from above. He ignores the information from reputable organisations that have internal knowledge and access to the F-35 development program, and are legally liable for what they write or say, and instead provides more weight and bases his argument around his own article and the writings of someone who has never flown a fighter jet, has no military experience and has no access to internal program information.

Quoting kanban (Reply 61):
Military assessments are always suspect.. they are usually from people who have a vested interest in following the chain of command's perspective, and few if any have equal experience with competing planes to have any more than second hand knowledge.. Would any general keep his stars if he stated it was a disaster publicly?

Fortunately I have met many US service men and women, a number of them star ranked, who demonstrate honestly and integrity in their duties on a daily basis. I therefore fail to see how painting the entire US military establishment, or even just star ranked officers, as suspect, dishonest, lacking integrity or simply afraid to speak the truth helps prove your argument.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3872 posts, RR: 27
Reply 65, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8698 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Ozair (Reply 64):
You don’t think that 12 years of development history are a bit more than expectations and fears?

personally I think that after 12 years of development and another 7 before a complete package is available leaves us with both expectations on actual performance and fears that capabilities may have been over sold. Personally I care less about the F-35 as a weapon and more about the taxpayer fleecing by the manufacturer.

I also have read comments by pilots and staff with glowing reviews in comparison to aircraft they have never flown.. Even the most ardent supporter here denigrates competition based of gossip and innuendo about foreign technology capabilities. I'm concerned about a false sense of security in a product that is still in development and requiring 97 planes today in the test fleet and another 50 or so to come before the design is complete.

As far as the brass, they have to go pleading to Congress for budget.. do you think they would ever say "I don't know" or "It hasn't been designed to work yet".. ? Would they ever go say the newest technology is still too green to trust in national security.

Lastly your rehash of unacceptable journalists reflects attempting to overcome doubt and poor press with verbosity..

There have been several military leaders who shot all who disagreed.. I don't propose that, however they all lost in the end because they didn't listen to the bad news.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 66, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 8679 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 63):
Per Kanban's comments, everyone is entitled to comment on any issue on this site.

You're missing the point. It is not about what people say on this site. It is about the article and what level of credibility we should give it.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 63):
But to deride and denigrate posters simply because they disagree with you is, at best, puerile. Actually it's a form of bullying.

Again, you have soundly missed the point. Nothing I have said references specific posters on this site but is related to the article that the thread is based on.

Quoting kanban (Reply 65):
Personally I care less about the F-35 as a weapon and more about the taxpayer fleecing by the manufacturer.

Okay, so let us reconvene in 15 years and see whether the taxpayer actually gained value for money.
Quoting kanban (Reply 65):
As far as the brass, they have to go pleading to Congress for budget.. do you think they would ever say "I don't know" or "It hasn't been designed to work yet".. ? Would they ever go say the newest technology is still too green to trust in national security.

I want them to say what they think is the right answer irrespective of whether it is controversial or not. Given how many closed hearings occur they probably do, you just don't get to hear it. Many of these individuals have led men in combat and without doubt none of them want to see another American serviceman die anywhere in the world.

Quoting kanban (Reply 65):
Lastly your rehash of unacceptable journalists reflects attempting to overcome doubt and poor press with verbosity..

So me providing commentary on the article is attempting to overcome doubt and poor press? Perhaps it is actually about examining the article in question to determine whether the information provided is valid or not.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 67, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8641 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 62):
Rafale is yesterdays news, no one is buying it.

We are talking about available alternatives right? Which Rafale is. And nobody is buying it, which is why it will remain in production till 2030? Can you reconcile those two facts? Didn't India buy over 100 copies?

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 62):

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 49):
3. Gripen NG

Paper fighter, hasn't even flown yet. Your arguments are weak.

Neither has a full production or fully capable F-35 flown yet and won't for years. For instance, the F-35s flying today are placarded from descending any faster than 4,000 feet per minute! An airliner can do better than that! Fully capable Gripen NGs will beat fully combat capable F-35s into service (2018 Vs. 2019, est.). You also omitted the UCAVS and the coming UCLASS, which will also be EIS before 2019. Not only are there alternatives, they are in full swing and available before fully combat capable F-35 planes will become available. And they're all cheaper, some substantially so.

[Edited 2013-08-22 00:42:36]

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 68, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 8594 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 67):
Neither has a full production or fully capable F-35 flown yet and won't for years.

Same can be said about F/A-18 E/F, which was introduced with a very rudimentary weapons and sensors configuration, mostly borrowed from the Hornet. It was very late in production when advanced systems such as AESA radar's, more powerful avionics, and the ALE-55 towed decoy got fitted.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 67):
You also omitted the UCAVS and the coming UCLASS, which will also be EIS before 2019.

Of which the USAF is struggling to recruit and retain pilots to fly said UAV's:
http://www.defensenews.com/article/2...ce-Lacks-Volunteers-Operate-Drones

And I am not surprised at all. If you are a pilot, raise your hand if you want a job where you are a) not going to fly ever again and b) go into a career field that's so overworked that you can't do your promotion courses, etc, so your career is on halt while in the job. Yeah, I thought so, very few people will volunteer.

And don't forget, UCAV's are highly reliant on datalinks to control, and those datalinks can be easily jammed and disrupted. Not to mention the very limited bandwidth of the current US constellation of communications satellites. UCAV's have their use in a environment where long endurance, beyond what's reasonable for a pilot to operate is required, along with reducing risks to people. Other times, you will want a man in the loop to make the tactical decisions.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 67):
And they're all cheaper, some substantially so.

Of which is to be proven, and some figures are stating otherwise.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 67):

We are talking about available alternatives right? Which Rafale is. And nobody is buying it, which is why it will remain in production till 2030?

Of which they are making so few every year, it's tiny. Dassault was only making 11 Rafale's a year at best. Current production rates have dropped below that. It's only with the potential India order that the production line will go back to 11 per year.

In comparison, Ft. Worth, TX will put out around 200 F-35's a year at peak production. 200 verses 11. One has a massive economy of scale over the other. Even at our current phase of LRIP, we are building more F-35's a year than Rafale's.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 69, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 8570 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 66):
Again, you have soundly missed the point. Nothing I have said references specific posters on this site but is related to the article that the thread is based on.

And I agree: nothing YOU have posted references anyone specific. It's not you I'm referring to.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 68):
Of which they are making so few every year, it's tiny. Dassault was only making 11 Rafale's a year at best. Current production rates have dropped below that. It's only with the potential India order that the production line will go back to 11 per year.

India currently has 126 Rafales on order, and has an option for another 63. I will go out on a limb and say they will take up that option. Dassault will built 10-12 frames themselves, the rest will be assembled in India, with increasing levels of India-sourced components, as part of technology transfer.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1610 posts, RR: 9
Reply 70, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 8572 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 54):
With F-35, the onboard avionics put together the information for you to create one common picture. All of the information from datalinks, radar, ESM, EO/IR, etc are all pulled together and is used to generate one picture of the surrounding battlefield. So, not only do you have more information, it's information that is easily acted upon.

That is not unique to the F-35. This kind of situational awareness is provided to any sensor fusion capable aircraft.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 71, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 8571 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 67):
Didn't India buy over 100 copies?

The plan is for 126 but there has been no order as yet even though the negotiations have been going on for more than a year and a half. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/i...hter-deal/articleshow/21377754.cms Things go slow in India but that is still a long time.

That leaves only 22 aircraft remaining to meet the French total of 140. Even if India orders, the French production line will shut down as HAL in India will be assembling the last 108 aircraft themselves.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 67):
Fully capable Gripen NGs will beat fully combat capable F-35s into service (2018 Vs. 2019, est.).

Pretty sure Gripen E is waiting on the Swiss to actually order, until that occurs the aircraft won't be built and the Swiss are not expected to order before mid 2014. The Swedes are not expecting to get the Gripen E until 2023. http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.as...2557f5-66ed-4a41-97cc-6b1195564464

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 67):
You also omitted the UCAVS and the coming UCLASS, which will also be EIS before 2019.

These aircraft are not replacing fighter aircraft in any nation's air force nor do they have any ability to defend themselves. It is hardly a valid substitute.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8774 posts, RR: 3
Reply 72, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8501 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 71):
Pretty sure Gripen E is waiting on the Swiss to actually order, until that occurs the aircraft won't be built and the Swiss are not expected to order before mid 2014. The Swedes are not expecting to get the Gripen E until 2023.

It's still useful to contrast how cheaply it will be built (Saab has a long track record) compared to the F-35. The difference will be hundreds of billions AFAIK.

It's by that standard that people criticize the F-35. It's not worth spending so much money to be a tiny bit better than a cheaper platform.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3872 posts, RR: 27
Reply 73, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 8477 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 68):
And I am not surprised at all. If you are a pilot, raise your hand if you want a job where you are a) not going to fly ever again and b) go into a career field that's so overworked that you can't do your promotion courses, etc, so your career is on halt while in the job. Yeah, I thought so, very few people will volunteer.

There was a time when pilots said if the cockpit wasn't open and they got to wear silk scarves they wouldn't consider themselves pilots... then after a few frost bitten noses, they wanted enclosed canopies.

I think the romance of the "Top Gun" pilot will soon be a fading memory also. But old romances die hard.


User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 571 posts, RR: 1
Reply 74, posted (1 year 4 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 8439 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 72):
It's still useful to contrast how cheaply it will be built (Saab has a long track record) compared to the F-35.

It's cheaply built because its a cheap aircraft, with capabilities far below that of the F-35. They are not even in the same league.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 72):
It's not worth spending so much money to be a tiny bit better than a cheaper platform.

Tiny? If the margin was really tiny then why isn't the NG getting more orders? Peoples love for this hypothetical, paper aircraft that hasn't flown yet is starting to get pathetic.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 75, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 8344 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 72):
It's still useful to contrast how cheaply it will be built (Saab has a long track record) compared to the F-35. The difference will be hundreds of billions AFAIK.

Let us be as clear about the numbers as we can. Your statement is a bit ambiguous so we have to break it down into two separate areas, development and acquisition.

Development - I agree that Gripen has been cheaper to develop but not "hundreds of billions". F-35 development is now expected to be US$55 billion.

Comparatively, the only figure I could find online for Gripen is Euro$1.8 billion so maybe US$2.5 billion. This seems very very low and I find it hard to believe so they have probably excluded some costs. As an example, one Gripen crashed during T&E and another at an airshow before any production aircraft had been manufactured. So we could easily double the costs to come up with a more appropriate figure of US$5 billion.

Hence Gripen is still much cheaper to develop than F-35, but also much cheaper to develop than Rafale, Eurofighter, PAK-FA and probably comparable to the KAI T-50.

As far as acquisition is concerned, Gripen appears to be cheapest but also has the least capability of all the above jets bar the T-50. It also hasn't won any competitions when it competed with the above aircraft. From a cost perspective, Gripen is listed between US$40-60 mil on Wiki in 2009, so maybe a 10% price increase in 5 years would make it US$45-65 depending upon how many you purchase.

F-35A on the other hand is US$115 mil for LRIP 7 and expected to be US$75-85 mil for full production in 2019. So once full rate production starts for F-35, prices will be close enough that it will come down to specific national requirements.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 72):
It's not worth spending so much money to be a tiny bit better than a cheaper platform.

That is the subjective part. If you need airspace security only, then Gripen is probably the platform of choice on acquisition and operating cost. If you need to penetrate a modern IADS, fly off a carrier, or land vertically then F-35 will be without doubt the most capable platform to do it.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3872 posts, RR: 27
Reply 76, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 8328 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Ozair (Reply 75):
If you need

always a debate between "need" and "want".. Paranoia drives too much in arms procurement as well as if it's new technology, it's automatically superior.

Nobody will "win" this argument.. the truth is still years away.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 77, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 8310 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 76):
always a debate between "need" and "want"..

Sure, but the way it usually works is governments state the need, for example in Australia’s case the release of a White Paper. Militaries then write that need into doctrine and do the raise, train and sustain required to support the doctrine.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 78, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 8296 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 68):
Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 67):
Neither has a full production or fully capable F-35 flown yet and won't for years.

Same can be said about F/A-18 E/F

News to me. F-18s are flying as full combat capable aircraft right now. Your false statements don't surprise me. That's why I quickly skim over all your posts.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 75):
F-35A on the other hand is US$115 mil for LRIP 7 and expected to be US$75-85 mil for full production in 2019.

Expectations are eternal and the F-35 has missed all cost expectations to date, for more than 10 years running. I doubt that'll suddenly change.

Secondly, you excluded the cost of the engine and the long lead items ordered and paid well in advance of the LRIP-7 order. Including those, the cost is well over $170 million for LRIP-7. This is clearly seen by the statements that costs for LRIP-7 will be about 8% cheaper than LRIP-5, which was almost $200 million each.

My hat will be off to them if they can get the price down to anywhere near $100 million, including long term lead items and engines. Even then, that would be twice the price of Grippen NGs. And probably cost twice as much to operate - if they can do it, which I doubt.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 71):
Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 67):
You also omitted the UCAVS and the coming UCLASS, which will also be EIS before 2019.

These aircraft are not replacing fighter aircraft in any nation's air force nor do they have any ability to defend themselves. It is hardly a valid substitute.

Which aircraft do you think are making room for UCLASS on US Navy carriers? UCAVS are also displacing attack missions from manned planes in other branches and in other countries and making their names as attack aircraft, which the F-35 primarily is. How many have been lost to enemy fire and fighters? This trend going to grow is not stoppable - like it or not. It's too effective.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 71):
That leaves only 22 aircraft remaining to meet the French total of 140. Even if India orders, the French production line will shut down as HAL in India will be assembling the last 108 aircraft themselves.

You claimed there were no available alternatives, which is clearly not true. If someone wants to order Rafale or UCAVS, they can get them. The F-35 line could shut down too under any number of circumstances..

[Edited 2013-08-22 21:29:26]

User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 79, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 8289 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 73):
I think the romance of the "Top Gun" pilot will soon be a fading memory also. But old romances die hard.

Couldn't agree more. Change is painful to many. However, change is inevitable.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 80, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 8280 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 78):
Secondly, you excluded the cost of the engine and the long lead items ordered and paid well in advance of the LRIP-7 order. Including those, the cost is well over $170 million for LRIP-7.

The figures I provided came straight from reply 39 in this thread from Revelation, who in turn took them from the following link. http://www.aviationweek.com/Article....l/AW_08_05_2013_p30-602514.xml&p=2 If you have a problem with those then talk to Aviation week and provide a source for what they should be.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 78):
Which aircraft do you think are making room for UCLASS on US Navy carriers?

None, the carriers already travel with a lighter load than in Cold War times and as you know, UCLASS is primarily focused on ISR with a secondary strike role for use in a lightly contested environment. http://news.usni.org/2013/06/26/navy...s-minimum-ranges-and-maximum-costs



Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 78):
UCAVS are also displacing attack missions from manned planes in other branches and in other countries and making their names as attack aircraft

Please provide examples of branches/countries where UCAVS have replaced manned fighter/attack aircraft?

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 78):
How many have been lost to enemy fire and fighters?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7358761.stm
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/dec/04/iran-shoots-down-us-drone
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomac...anon-opposite-haifa-coast-1.517611
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...down-by-al-Shabaab-in-Somalia.html

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 78):
You claimed there were no available alternatives

I claimed nothing of the sort, I merely answered the question you asked regarding the status of the Rafale selection by India.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 71):
Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 67):
Didn't India buy over 100 copies?

The plan is for 126 but there has been no order as yet even though the negotiations have been going on for more than a year and a half. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/i...hter-deal/articleshow/21377754.cms Things go slow in India but that is still a long time.

That leaves only 22 aircraft remaining to meet the French total of 140. Even if India orders, the French production line will shut down as HAL in India will be assembling the last 108 aircraft themselves.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3872 posts, RR: 27
Reply 81, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 8273 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Ozair (Reply 77):
Sure, but the way it usually works is governments state the need, for example in Australia’s case the release of a White Paper. Militaries then write that need into doctrine and do the raise, train and sustain required to support the doctrine.

I'll disagree.. county legislative or executive branches say your mission is "blah, blah" the military comes back and says the best way to do that is'------'. Seldom do they come back and say 'what we have is adequate'. Or 'there is no threat in that arena.' It's part of the game where if you don't overrun your budget, you'll get lead next budget. and what general is going to turn down new technology even if unproven...remember when the US Navy bought a block of hydrofoil missile boats? manufacturers have lost contracts because the theory wasn't do-able. The question with this plane is two fold, does thee need for all the tech really exist and can the tech be brought to production in a robust product. Tech is no good if maintenance keeps it on the ground for 2 hrs for every 1 hr of use. Not saying that is an issue with the plane, it's an issue with putting too many eggs in a theoretical basket.

Anyway.. the military wants this stuff more than it needs it.. shoot they have to dream up usage scenarios to justify it.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 82, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 8230 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 44):
There is no new fighter on the horizon. When all the other lines are closed, the F35 will be the only choice, whether you like it or not.
Quoting Ozair (Reply 80):
I claimed nothing of the sort, I merely answered the question you asked regarding the status of the Rafale selection by India.

Got you guys mixed up. Sorry about that.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 80):
If you have a problem with those then talk to Aviation week and provide a source for what they should be.

Why do so many want to deny reality, I'll never know. And you do want an engine with that, don't you?

Given the information provided in each Lot 5 contract announcement, it is possible to compute, with a degree of accuracy, the cost of each version of the F-35. If the average cost is $203.4 million per aircraft, it in fact varies substantially according to the version:

-- F-35A: $172 million per aircraft;
-- F-35B: $291.7 million per aircraft;
-- F-35C: $235.8 million per aircraft.

read all the details of the contracts here, with links to those procurement contracts, including the engines and the long lead items, which Aviation Week is leaving out:

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...%3E%28updated%29%3C%C2%A7i%3E.html

Clear enough? Can we now stop the phantasy that the F-35 is anywhere near $100 million? With engine and all the procurement contracts necessary? If you think these figures are wrong, including the public links, please state why and YOU provide links to that effect. Thank you.

[Edited 2013-08-23 01:45:07]

User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1610 posts, RR: 9
Reply 83, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 8220 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 82):
Clear enough? Can we now stop the phantasy that the F-35 is anywhere near $100 million? With engine and all the procurement contracts necessary?

Indeed, some people just can stand the truth. In average the procurement for 150 F-35 in 2013 was ~225 Million. Source GAO Analysis based on DOD Data.

http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/653857.pdf

Btw some intersting Keypoints of the GAO 2013 Report:

Quote:

-Total U.S. investment is nearing $400 billion to develop and procure 2,457 aircraft through 2037.

-The new baseline projects the need for a total of $316 billion in development and
procurement funding from 2013 through 2037, or an average of $12.6
billion annually over that period.

-The current sustainment cost projection by
CAPE for all U.S. aircraft, based on an estimated 30-year service life,
exceeds $1 trillion. Using current program assumptions of aircraft
inventory and flight hours, CAPE recently estimated annual operating and
support costs of $18.2 billion for all F-35 variants compared to $11.1
billion spent on legacy aircraft in 2010.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 84, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8175 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 82):
Why do so many want to deny reality, I'll never know. And you do want an engine with that, don't you?

Given the information provided in each Lot 5 contract announcement, it is possible to compute, with a degree of accuracy, the cost of each version of the F-35. If the average cost is $203.4 million per aircraft, it in fact varies substantially according to the version:

-- F-35A: $172 million per aircraft;
-- F-35B: $291.7 million per aircraft;
-- F-35C: $235.8 million per aircraft.

read all the details of the contracts here, with links to those procurement contracts, including the engines and the long lead items, which Aviation Week is leaving out:

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...%3E%28updated%29%3C%C2%A7i%3E.html

Clear enough? Can we now stop the phantasy that the F-35 is anywhere near $100 million? With engine and all the procurement contracts necessary? If you think these figures are wrong, including the public links, please state why and YOU provide links to that effect. Thank you.

You repeated this in another thread:
FG: LM Cuts Price For Next Batch Of F-35 (by oykie Jul 30 2013 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)
And people pointed out saying those numbers included non-reoccurring and development costs:

Quoting tugger (Reply 26):
Is that inclusive or exclusive of ongoing development costs?

Actually I don't need you to answer that as I found the source for your numbers.
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...%3E%28updated%29%3C%C2%A7i%3E.html

And it does includes NRE and other development costs. Sure you can say this is all part of the cost but I think you know better on how manufacturing works. Like commercial jet products, the sunk and developmental costs are the not "final cost" of an aircraft production lot (look at how much that first F-35 then cost o the first 787), they are considered investment, long term and must spread over the entire production or counted separately.

Tugg
Quoting tugger (Reply 31):
Did you read your source?

Quote:
One contract, worth $485,000,000, is for LRIP 5 “non-recurring requirements,”

Additionally the source article implies that "cost plus incentive fee" means only that costs will go higher, yet the incentive fees only come into play if cost or time frame (which is money) decreases. They reference a PW contract which PW has agreed to assume cost overruns. It has incentive fee clauses though for if they beat and meet incentive clauses but is otherwise capped at the contract value. It makes me think they do not understand what they are writing.

Tugg
Quoting autothrust (Reply 83):

Indeed, some people just can stand the truth. In average the procurement for 150 F-35 in 2013 was ~225 Million. Source GAO Analysis based on DOD Data.

http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/653857.pdf

The SAR for 2012 reports different numbers:
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/dae...es/F-35Dec11FinalSAR-3-29-2012.pdf
I direct you page 61 and 64, regarding the APUC of the F-35 airframe and engines.

And in regards to sustainment cost projections, we have a new number:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...22-pentagon-manager-estimates.html
$857 billion over 55 years, or $15.58 billion per year. The reason for the cost decrease? Actual numbers from testing are being used, not estimates and assumptions. And this number will go down with further testing and development.


User currently offlineagill From Sweden, joined Feb 2004, 1012 posts, RR: 0
Reply 85, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8155 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 71):

Pretty sure Gripen E is waiting on the Swiss to actually order, until that occurs the aircraft won't be built and the Swiss are not expected to order before mid 2014. The Swedes are not expecting to get the Gripen E until 2023. http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.as...64464

No they are expected to be delivered starting 2018, to the Swedish Air Force.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/17/saab-idUSL6N0AM3BG20130117


User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2578 posts, RR: 14
Reply 86, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8157 times:

I watch in amazement.

This thread either lives in fame or goes down in flames.


My purely non-technical, non-enlightened opinion is that this project should have been stopped long ago, like the V-22. There are fighters that give great value for the taxpayers money, but the F-35 and the V-22 all serve as corporate welfare to Lockheed Martin and Bell/Boeing.

In Germany, we just had the massive cost-overruns with the Euro Hawk project. Germany wanted to buy Global Hawks, and testing and certifying them was for the Germans a constant hassle, as the US steadily updated its Global Hawks and rushed them to Afghanistan, using a preliminary certification - thus leaving no machines for the Germans to test. And then, EADS developed the intelligence/electronics suite for that Euro Hawk, spent 90% of the allotted budget already, and testing of that suite is nowhere in sight.

Huge cost overruns, and now the project has been cancelled.


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 87, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8156 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 82):

Got you guys mixed up. Sorry about that.

No worries.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 82):
And you do want an engine with that, don't you?

The figures provided by aviation week include the engine price and half the modification price the US government is required to pay.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 39):
Variant and Lot Size Target Airframe Cost Estimated Retrofit Cost* Estimated Engine Cost Total Estimated Aircraft Cost
F-35A LRIP 5 (32) $105 $10 $14 $124

The problem is it appears Defence-aerospace is counting costs awarded during LOT V that are clearly related to development of the jet. So in essence the costs are being counted twice, once in the US$55 billion development fee and then again for the acquisition of the aircraft, the remaining US$336 odd billion. Development costs have to be awarded and assigned during LOT purchases for accounting reasons so it is understandable why the author comes to that conclusion.

So, if you want to count those costs as acquisition you can, just reduce the cost of the development program by the required amount. Either way, the total remains at the projected US$391 billion.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 83):
Btw some intersting Keypoints of the GAO 2013 Report:

Quote:

-Total U.S. investment is nearing $400 billion to develop and procure 2,457 aircraft through 2037.

-The new baseline projects the need for a total of $316 billion in development and
procurement funding from 2013 through 2037, or an average of $12.6
billion annually over that period.

-The current sustainment cost projection by
CAPE for all U.S. aircraft, based on an estimated 30-year service life,
exceeds $1 trillion. Using current program assumptions of aircraft
inventory and flight hours, CAPE recently estimated annual operating and
support costs of $18.2 billion for all F-35 variants compared to $11.1
billion spent on legacy aircraft in 2010.

Not only has the CAPE estimate being reduced, as linked by PointBlank in reply 57, but the following proves how invalid the CAPE estimates are, http://breakingdefense.com/2013/08/2...t-costs-17-percent-lower-than-osd/

Among the questionable assumptions Schmidle highlighted is this whopper: the Office of Secretary Defense estimate developed by the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office (CAPE) predicted that the F-35B would be flown at full throttle in STOVL mode — which uses enormous amounts of fuel and utilizes the highly sophisticated lift fan system at much greater rates than the Marines project — about 80 percent of its time in the air.

Anyone who has watched the Harrier or the F-35B knows that Marines pilots rely sparingly on STOVL mode. It’s only used for a limited set of tactical moves and, usually, for taking off or landing the aircraft. The great majority of the plane’s flight time — could it be as much as 80 percent? — would be spent flying without using the lift fan and STOVL.

The current CAPE estimate assumes $41,000 an hour for the F-35B. a senior defense official said they will eventually bring the costs down to $30,000 per hour, with an interim figure of about $37,000.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 88, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 8154 times:

Quoting agill (Reply 85):
No they are expected to be delivered starting 2018, to the Swedish Air Force.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...30117

Thanks for that, I hadn't seen that report. Interesting though that the purchase is still somewhat linked to the potential Swiss order.

Quoting kanban (Reply 81):

I'll disagree.. county legislative or executive branches say your mission is "blah, blah" the military comes back and says the best way to do that is'------'.

You are a couple of steps ahead of where the process actually starts. The government states need and then the military and policy makers of government work together to define capability requirements and cost estimates. Post that doctrine is established by the military. It is then that the government says, your mission is blah.

Quoting kanban (Reply 81):
Tech is no good if maintenance keeps it on the ground for 2 hrs for every 1 hr of use.

If that was the number everyone would be ecstatic, the F-14 was somewhere near 1 to 30 while the F/A-18 is closer to 5-10 to 1. Over half of the key performance metrics for the aircraft are related to maintenance and sustainment so the focus has been there from the start and given the reports of ALIS should significantly reduce costs and increase serviceability.


User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4903 posts, RR: 16
Reply 89, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 8134 times:

Just wanted to stop by and thank everyone for the great comments and debate. I know very little about the subject, and sure have learned a lot from your posts.

As to Ozair's post on the Rafales:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 71):
Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 67):
Didn't India buy over 100 copies?

The plan is for 126 but there has been no order as yet even though the negotiations have been going on for more than a year and a half.

India has been suffering a bit of a hangover the last few weeks with the Rupee plummeting and the Finance Minister trying to calm the FX markets yesterday. Apart from fundamentals such as a large current account deficit, there has been a flight of currency as the dollar strengthens and the Fed tightens up. A few controls have just been issued to prevent further erosion. I wonder if the Rafale deal will be delayed until the economy is back on track again.

Back to the F-35....


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 90, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 8101 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 84):
You repeated this in another thread:
FG: LM Cuts Price For Next Batch Of F-35 (by oykie Jul 30 2013 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)
And people pointed out saying those numbers included non-reoccurring and development costs:

The truth bears repeating. And no, it does not include development costs. Yes, people have made that claim, but it is false. Just becuae people say something does not mean it is true.

The fact you are repeating and supporting those post lead me to believe you are saying teh same thing and that the Long Lead Items and Engine contract for LRIP-5, actually include development costs - so your in the same fallacy boar - OK, nice to know. This is another fallacy of yours. along with the X-47B stories you made up. And easily provable for anyone who wants to look up what those contracts entail, its puvlic information. All anyone has to do is look. But that's too much to ask I guess. Shortcut: They do not include development costs.

You can look up every single contract yourself. And the APUC you linked to is a projection over 2,443 F-35s far into the future. It is not an actual APUC cost for any particular LRIP tranche, rather over 2,443 frames. Here is the copied figure from you page:

Average Procurement Unit Cost (APUC)
Cost 224333.7 224332.9
Quantity 2443 2443
Unit Cost 91.827 91.827 0.00

And these include fantasy assumptions over decades and doesn't even include engines. The APUC is different from URF costs, (Unit recurring flyaway), which does include engine. But total URF costs is not listed. I wonder why? Dishonesty and incompetence permeates the entire F-35 program and from many supporters.

[Edited 2013-08-23 09:52:35]

User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3872 posts, RR: 27
Reply 91, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 8088 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Ozair (Reply 88):


You are a couple of steps ahead of where the process actually starts. The government states need and then the military and policy makers of government work together to define capability requirements

I think we are trying to say similar things in local variations of the English language.. Simply, the government says protect our coasts, the military says to do that I need the following .... It seldom and should never start with the government saying (although the US congress does occasionally) here are 20 super widgets, find a use for them.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 88):


If that was the number everyone would be ecstatic, the F-14 was somewhere near 1 to 30 while the F/A-18 is closer to 5-10 to 1.


did you reverse the numbers on the F-14?.. anyway it was a rhetorical statement. Buying a platform that spends more time in maintenance the in the field isn't very bright. Especially if actually needed. I recall a gas turbine tank that needed serious engine maintenance after every 60 miles... (top speed was 60MPH) so it would have to be trucked to any battle site. We might as well go back to the dark ages were battles included a lunch break, were never fought after sunset, and truces were arranged to collect spent arrows. (sarcasm... so some don't try to refute)


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 92, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 8088 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 83):
Indeed, some people just can stand the truth. In average the procurement for 150 F-35 in 2013 was ~225 Million. Source GAO Analysis based on DOD Data.

http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/653857.pdf

Btw some intersting Keypoints of the GAO 2013 Report:

Thanks for this. I'll take this any day over an article which just repeats press releases. Ir concurs with adding each LRIP5 procurement contract up individually that is publicly available. All the supporters saying the costs is anywhere near under $150 million are just ignoring the most thorough analysis that is mandated by law. If they deliberately fudge the numbers, people can go to jail. Press releases and projections and assumptions are not held to the same legal standard.


User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 571 posts, RR: 1
Reply 93, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 8071 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 84):
The reason for the cost decrease? Actual numbers from testing are being used, not estimates and assumptions. And this number will go down with further testing and development.

This puts the cost for an F35A @ $85million in 2018. Costs are decreasing and performance of the aircraft is slowly being discovered, yet JSF critics are still spewing their false information and rhetoric.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 94, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days ago) and read 8004 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 91):

did you reverse the numbers on the F-14?..

Thanks for the catch, it should definitely should have been reversed.

Quoting kanban (Reply 91):
Simply, the government says protect our coasts, the military says to do that I need the following

Agree although in the Australian context the government and military usually consult each other and reach consensus on the second part.

Quoting kanban (Reply 91):
It seldom and should never start with the government saying (although the US congress does occasionally) here are 20 super widgets, find a use for them.

As a rule I agree but again, within the Australian context, the ADF has benefited greatly from Government mandating purchases. Both the C-17 and the Super Hornet acquisitions over the last ten years were Government mandated purchases, pretty much took the ADF by surprise, and were significant increases to overall Australian capability.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5797 posts, RR: 10
Reply 95, posted (1 year 4 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 7992 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 90):
The truth bears repeating. And no, it does not include development costs. Yes, people have made that claim, but it is false. Just becuae people say something does not mean it is true.

Then if the truth bears repeating then I will do so as well: The numbers you quoted did include development costs. And I found the source you used (but you did not provide) and provided the link for your and everyone's review.
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...%3E%28updated%29%3C%C2%A7i%3E.html

Quote:
One contract, worth $485,000,000, is for LRIP 5 “non-recurring requirements,” which adds $16.6 million to the price of each of 30 LRIP 5 aircraft.

While you may debate what non-recurring requirements mean, they are not "recurring production costs". They may be specific for that stage of development and they may very well be used during current and future production. But they are not "production" costs.

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=1f5999e054cc31a92a5a030409d846e2&tab=core&_cview=1

Quote:
contract will provide for twenty-seven (27) Conventional Take-off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft, seventeen (17) Short Take-off Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft, eight (8) Carrier Variant (CV) aircraft (or other such quantities as may be authorized and appropriated by Congress); as well as associated sustainment support including spares, support equipment, non-recurring autonomic logistics sustainment activities, training, autonomic logistics information system (ALIS) hardware, depot activation, performance based logistics (PBL) operations, and maintenance for all CTOL, STOVL, and CV aircraft; ancillary mission equipment (AME), production non-recurring (PNR) activities to support the JSF production ramp rate including tooling, test equipment, production aids, production equipment, support labor and technical assistance; technical and financial data; and proposal preparation for LRIP Lot VII full funding and LRIP Lot VIII long lead. In addition, there will be ordering line items to allow for additional supplies and services, including but not limited to diminishing manufacturing sources (DMS) procurements, retrofit efforts required to update accepted aircraft to newer configurations, engineering change proposals (ECPs), and government furnished equipment (GFE) maintenance.

The cost that you provided also included the F-135 long lead engine materials order which happens to include tooling and materials and engine development and repair needed for future engine production (hence "long lead"). Yes in includes actual material and parts to be used for actual production of the Lot 5 aircraft but it is (was) not only for that.

Quote:
contract will provide for twenty-seven (27) Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL) propulsion systems, seventeen (17) Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant propulsion systems, eight (8) Carrier Variant (CV) propulsion systems (or such other quantities as may be authorized and appropriated by Congress); as well as CTOL, CV and STOVL associated sustainment support including spare engines, initial spare modules and parts, support equipment, non-recurring autonomic logistics sustainment activities, support of air system contractor manufacturing operations, depot activation, performance based logistics (PBL) operations and maintenance; production non-recurring (PNR) activities to support the JSF production ramp rate to include tooling, test equipment, production aids, production equipment, support labor and technical assistance; technical and financial data; and proposal preparation for LRIP Lot VII full funding and LRIP Lot VIII long lead planning. In addition, there will be ordering line items to allow for additional supplies and services, including but not limited to dimishing manufacturing sources (DMS) procurements, retrofit efforts required to update propulsion systems to newer configurations, Engineering Change Proposals (ECPs), and government furnished equipment (GFE) maintenance.

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=acc86459ef4eba3068397a749da29730

Tugg

[Edited 2013-08-23 15:09:50]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3872 posts, RR: 27
Reply 96, posted (1 year 4 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 7909 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Ozair (Reply 94):
Agree although in the Australian context the government and military usually consult each other and reach consensus on the second part.

You people are too polite.. our congress is a bunch of dingo droppings.. consensus is just a step before socialism, communism, tootti frutti-ism..

Quoting Ozair (Reply 94):
As a rule I agree but again,

Maybe I should move down there where there is civilization and logic.. Your legislators at least have common sense.


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4783 posts, RR: 19
Reply 97, posted (1 year 4 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 7873 times:

Whatever it costs it's not worth it.


The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1610 posts, RR: 9
Reply 98, posted (1 year 4 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 7851 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 84):
The SAR for 2012 reports different numbers:

Well GAO Report clearly see a rise in cost for 2013, even when the SAR differs from that in 2012.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 93):
This puts the cost for an F35A @ $85million in 2018.

I don't believe that for a second, the GAO report sees many high risk and doubts for the program. I recommend you to read the whole report.

[Edited 2013-08-24 00:17:47]


“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 99, posted (1 year 4 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7829 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 98):
Well GAO Report clearly see a rise in cost for 2013, even when the SAR differs from that in 2012.

The Selected Acquisition Reports reflect actual contract numbers, not estimates.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 98):
I don't believe that for a second, the GAO report sees many high risk and doubts for the program. I recommend you to read the whole report.

GAO reports report what happened in the past, and does not really attempt to predict future behaviour, beyond basic concern about the future. No GAO report is ever positive, even for a program that is supposed to be going 'well'.

And if we took GAO reports that seriously, I can pull out GAO reports from the past on previous fighter programs:
Here's one from the 1981 on the F/A-18 Hornet, where the GAO expressed considerable concern over the F/A-18:
http://archive.gao.gov/f0102/114371.pdf

Another one from 1996 on the F/A-18 E/F's, where the GAO said that the Super Hornet offered marginal performance improvements for a high price:
http://www.gao.gov/assets/160/155498.pdf

Another from 1977 on the F-16, also negative on the F-16 programme:
http://www.gao.gov/assets/120/116765.pdf


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 100, posted (1 year 4 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7592 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 95):
While you may debate what non-recurring requirements mean, they are not "recurring production costs".

Your analysis against this one:

GAO-13-500T, April 17, 2013

Which states that the average acquisition price, for the entire program, is projected at OVER

$160 million each

And that is only from DOD projection data, which we know is rosy to the core and has been for over a decade.

Look it up, it's on page 12 of the report. Provide a link as to why you think this is not accurate besides you own personal opinions.

Quoting tugger (Reply 95):
While you may debate what non-recurring requirements mean

Since it's debatable and unknown, you have to make a lot of assumption, which you then proceed to do exactly that. No wonder your conclusion are way off from what the GAO has concluded. And they have subpoena power and a legal mandate. I doubt you do.

If $161 million is the average projected price for each F-35 over the entire 2,000+ planes - per DOD itself, then you are living in fantasy land if you think LRIP-5,6 or 7 are less than this.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 101, posted (1 year 4 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7587 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 99):
GAO reports report what happened in the past, and does not really attempt to predict future behaviour, beyond basic concern about the future. No GAO report is ever positive, even for a program that is supposed to be going 'well'.

Many GAO reports are positive. You may not have not read enough of them or only F-35 related ones.


From GAO-13-500T, April 17, 2013 (Look it up, ya'll know how to use the internets):

The program continues to incur financial risk from its plan to procure 289 aircraft for $57.8 billion before completing development flight testing.


Do the math. That's $200 million for procurement on average per F-35, without the rework needed for the first 289. On some fighters, 289 is the entire production run.



[Edited 2013-08-25 12:04:34]

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 102, posted (1 year 4 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7628 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 101):

Do the math. That's $200 million for procurement on average per F-35, without the rework needed for the first 289. On some fighters, 289 is the entire production run.

Which includes development and non-reoccurring costs. One can spin the numbers to make them look anyway they want them to, and you don't understand costing sufficiently to know what goes into each 'price'. Each cost means something to someone (especially to the organization that created the cost), but each cost has its own basket of items that went into the cost.

It's like you comparing the cost of a croissant to a regular loaf of bread. Both are 'bread', but they have different ingredients that went into them, and they are totally different from each other, thus should not be compared against each other.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 101):
Many GAO reports are positive. You may not have not read enough of them or only F-35 related ones.

Gee, I pulled out GAO reports on 3 of the 4 major fighter jet programs within the last 30 years. 3 of them were negative. All talk about financial and technical risks. All turned out fine.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 103, posted (1 year 4 months 3 days ago) and read 7598 times:

The development budget for the F-35 is $55.3 Billion.

The projected average acquisition costs, without development, is $137 million for each F-35. On that I stand corrected.

See that on page 12?

And it continues to do the simple math for you. The average projected acquisition costs per DOD projections, is $137 million per plane over the 2,457 unit production run.

$137 million for each F-35 for a production run through 2037 over 2,457 planes. Those are the US DOD numbers. How can LRIP-5, 6, 7 be less than the long term average costs? This is nowhere near $100 million per F-35, even if they were already costing the average price, which they aren't - they're still higher than the long term average. I have a bridge for sale, interested?

From GAO-13-500T, April 17, 2013 (Look it up, ya'll know how to use the internets):


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3872 posts, RR: 27
Reply 104, posted (1 year 4 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 7560 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 102):
Gee, I pulled out GAO reports on 3 of the 4 major fighter jet programs within the last 30 years. 3 of them were negative. All talk about financial and technical risks. All turned out fine.

there is a tendency in this thread and others on the same subject to justify a position based on past programs poor or cost performance.. That's just rationalization.. and has nothing to do with the discussion.

It is also noted that in one breath, the current program short comings are justified as all programs were bad to then turn around and site the same programs as an epitome of greatness and cost efficiency when trying to negate the current programs budget issues.

Let's put it this way.. the GAO, LM, Air Force/Pentagon have divvied up the accounting pie so that only a shyster lawyer/accountant can figure out what the actuals are. These are the guys you want when investing your earnings in a Cayman Island pyramid scheme.

we can quote all we want and there will always be 6 different versions all of which are correct when one is privy to the fine print.. which we aren't.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 105, posted (1 year 4 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7510 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 103):
And it continues to do the simple math for you. The average projected acquisition costs per DOD projections, is $137 million per plane over the 2,457 unit production run.

Including development and non-reoccurring costs.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 103):
How can LRIP-5, 6, 7 be less than the long term average costs? This is nowhere near $100 million per F-35, even if they were already costing the average price, which they aren't - they're still higher than the long term average.

Easy. Each production lot is increasingly larger. For example, LRIP Lot 9 is expected to have 64 aircraft, plus 10 FMS sales for a total of 74 aircraft. By 2018, a F-35 on average would cost less than $100 million in then year dollars per US DoD projections, and that would include aircraft, mission systems, engine, and concurrency:
http://www.airliners.net/uf/95260/php7VDweV.png
http://www.westdef.com/presentations...2013presentations/Keith_Knotts.pdf

Generally, when production rates go up, costs come down. This has been true for every program out there.

Quoting kanban (Reply 104):
there is a tendency in this thread and others on the same subject to justify a position based on past programs poor or cost performance.. That's just rationalization.. and has nothing to do with the discussion.

I'm pointing out that every time you innovate or do something new, there is always a element of risk, be it technical or financial (or both). Sometimes projects flop and that's to be expected, even in the private sector world. That's why the big, highly innovative and successful companies understand that failure is occasionally an option. How many products have flopped for companies such as General Electric, AMD, Intel, Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc? The list is a mile long, but all of these companies thrive because they push the technical envelope, and they expect that sometimes, failure happens because of the risks involved.

If you make it so that failure is heavily punished, innovation disappears. You will see the same old ideas and concepts rehashed over and over again.

Quoting kanban (Reply 104):
Let's put it this way.. the GAO, LM, Air Force/Pentagon have divvied up the accounting pie so that only a shyster lawyer/accountant can figure out what the actuals are. These are the guys you want when investing your earnings in a Cayman Island pyramid scheme.

The costs all mean something to the different end users of the numbers. Even myself as a procurement specialist understands basic business accounting and have a good understanding of this. A lay person looking at a corporate financial statement would be utterly clueless in what the document means, but I would have a good understanding of what each line in a financial statement would mean.

Also there could be different reporting requirements involved as well; for example, with regulatory filings, I am aware from my accounting friends that there are number of differences when reporting financial statements between the US and Canada and even in the EU.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3872 posts, RR: 27
Reply 106, posted (1 year 4 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 7497 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 105):
The costs all mean something to the different end users

You can see in this thread how different users interpret differently.. it's a no win situation.. yet some keep trying to win..

Further, from experience I know that when one budgetary bucket is full, both manufacturers and customers shift stuff around.. Then when you have congress involved there's more shifting.. so even if one can read the the journals, there's always ancillary stuff in other journals that should be combined in a true world and isn't..

The converse is also true that when the end of a budget period is close and there are unspent funds, they seldom are unspent at the end of the period.. most likely there is a slight overrun.. surpluses mean the next budget will be smaller so above all don't have any. That's real world, not textbook accounting.

In this case, we can quote all the proposed budget numbers, but the reality will be the actual costs at the end of the order.


User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2578 posts, RR: 14
Reply 107, posted (1 year 4 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7425 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 106):
You can see in this thread how different users interpret differently.. it's a no win situation.. yet some keep trying to win..

 

A question to those who know more than I do: Why was the F-22 production line terminated, while the F-35 is still made?



David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 108, posted (1 year 4 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 7413 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 107):
Why was the F-22 production line terminated, while the F-35 is still made?

Primarily cost and capability.

Cost to acquire and then to maintain is significantly higher (close to double) than the aircraft it was slated to replace. The F-35 specifically was designed for affordable stealth so will be significantly cheaper to maintain than an F-22 and other previous generation stealth aircraft.

Capability because the aircraft is limited to only a couple of different types of missions. It turns tight and flies fast but is restricted to 1,000lb air to ground weapons in the internal bays (the USAF has not bothered to integrate other weapons onto the external pylons), it has a shorter range on internal fuel than the F-35, by close to a third. Finally the F-35 systems are significantly more advanced and were built with upgrade ability in mind while F-22 is locked down.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 109, posted (1 year 4 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7399 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 107):
A question to those who know more than I do: Why was the F-22 production line terminated, while the F-35 is still made?

Many components (especially in the avionics) were obsolete and no longer manufactured well before the F-22 production was terminated, indeed, many systems were obsolete even prior to production starting.

The most critical issue is that the F-22's avionics make extensive use of the Intel i960MX processor; a processor that went out of production in the late 1990's. The USAF only managed to purchase enough i960MX chips before the factory closed to complete the 187 F-22's built and some extras for spares, and they were the last i960MX chips off the line. The USAF was literally hording and buying as many i960MX chips as they could get their hands on to complete the 187 F-22's built. And there was no way Intel would have continued production because the F-22 program was last major user of the i960MX chip, and Intel would have needed major convincing (i.e. lots of cash) to keep the fab open and running essentially at a very slow rate.

In order to continue production, they would have needed to fund a new avionics package to fit into new aircraft. That was tens of billions there and no guarantee of success. So, in order to continue production, the F-22 would have required extensive redesign of the avionics core if they wanted to build more fighters. That's not a small problem; it's actually a show stopper right there. There was some thought to integrate the F-35's cores, but, well then it too would be waiting for the program to complete its development, and then try to integrate that on F-22... which would have been grossly expensive and fraught with technical risk, that probably would have made the cancelled A-12 look like a walk in the park. Literally, F-22 died by what we call in the procurement business, DMSMS (Diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages).

F-35's avionics core is a totally different animal compared to the F-22's avionics; it's powered by commercially available PowerPC processors and are completely modular in design. F-35's software runs via a middleware, so that if certain components within the F-35's hardware becomes obsolete, one can replace the component with a more modern replacement without having to go back in and redesign the hardware and reprogram the software.

[Edited 2013-08-26 03:43:49]

[Edited 2013-08-26 03:53:24]

User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 110, posted (1 year 4 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 7265 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 105):
Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 103):
And it continues to do the simple math for you. The average projected acquisition costs per DOD projections, is $137 million per plane over the 2,457 unit production run.

Including development and non-reoccurring costs.

Wrong. Total F-35 cost projection is $400 Billion over 2,457 units. $55 Billion of that $400 Billion is for development, testing and research.

Including development, the costs are projected at $161 million per plane over 2,457 units. Divide $400 Billion by 2,457. Simple. The GAO report has the exact same number listed on Page 12 of the above referenced report.

The GAO specifically breaks out that the acquisition is projected by the DOD at $335 Billion for 2,457 planes (page 12). That's $137 million average acquisition costs - over a 30 year production run, based on DOD projections - without the $55 Billion development costs. and what a surprise, the GAO report calculates the same number, namely $137 million average acquisition cost per F-35 based on US DOD assumptions and information.

$137 average without development costs
$161 average with development costs

30 year projection over 2,457 units

The price will never approach $100 million, not even with the 30 year average production and all rosy assumptions in place. LRIP planes will be even more.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 111, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7215 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 110):

Wrong. Total F-35 cost projection is $400 Billion over 2,457 units. $55 Billion of that $400 Billion is for development, testing and research.

Incorrect. Per the F-35 2012 SAR report on page 22, procurement is only $215 billion dollars for the airframe, for a total of $265 billion under BY2012, which includes development, MILCON, support, and non-reoccurring costs. For the engines, its $40.5 billion dollars per page 23.
http://breakingdefense.com/wp-conten...2013/05/F-35-December-2012-SAR.pdf

Per page 21 of the F-35 2012 SAR report, total estimated procurement for the F-35 is $256 billion, which includes the engine. Note that the procurement costs in the SAR report includes support costs. Therefore, 256 billion divided by 2457 is around $104 million dollars, including support costs. Take support costs out of the calculation to calculate flyaway costs, per the SAR report, it would be around $89 million dollars per F-35.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3872 posts, RR: 27
Reply 112, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7177 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Dang.. you guys are arguing over projections.. numbers created to sell a program and lull congress into granting more money.. LM has a history (as do most military contractors) of ignoring those numbers when the actual costs come in.. if they get too high the shuffle interpretations.. in the end integrity of those guesstimate numbers is a sham. Cost projections for 2014 and beyond are based on current inflation profiles which are just another best guess..

the bickering becomes tiresome.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 113, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7147 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 112):
the bickering becomes tiresome.

Indeed, back to the real point of the thread so we can bicker on what we were asked to. Seems David Axe really doesn't like the F-35B as he has followed his previous entry with another. https://medium.com/war-is-boring/8d09a6b858ae

It references a retired Navy pilot's words on why the F-35B is not the right airplane although it seems to move into about what is wrong with USMC doctrine and future conflict expectations, perhaps the Navy guy didn't enjoy his time on exchange with the marines? He also has a lot of assumptions on what kind of conditions the USMC will face and what will be available at the time of conflict.

Even worse than the first article this article's only references are to his previous blog entries and while it is again littered with incorrect statements that are purported as fact I couldn't go past this great comment from the last paragraph,

And frankly, there is nothing it can do better than its siblings, the F-35A and C.

He does understand it is STOVL right?


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 114, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7128 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 111):
Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 110):

Wrong. Total F-35 cost projection is $400 Billion over 2,457 units. $55 Billion of that $400 Billion is for development, testing and research.

Incorrect.

You are saying the GAO is wrong in their April 2013 report. OK got it. Here is a quote:

Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives

Total U.S. investment is nearing $400 billion to develop and procure 2,457 aircraft through 2037.


Program acquisition: $ 167 million each
Average procurement $131 million each

Page 12

You can spin all you want.


User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2578 posts, RR: 14
Reply 115, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 7068 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 108):
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 109):

Let me thank you for giving these insights!

Somehow, in my perception the F-22 has already achieved some notoriety as a "forgotten" aircraft. You don't hear much about it...


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 116, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7052 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 115):
Somehow, in my perception the F-22 has already achieved some notoriety as a "forgotten" aircraft.

Now the USAF has cut down the airshow demonstrations it may very well fly under the radar....

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 115):
You don't hear much about it...

You can probably thank the F-35 for that. The F-35 being the biggest ever defence program and also having had some serious development issues and delays means the F-22, and the troubles it has had since entering service, don't get as much press. Maybe if something happens in Syria and the F-22 is used it will get some good press.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 117, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6994 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 111):
Per page 21 of the F-35 2012 SAR report, total estimated procurement for the F-35 is $256 billion, which includes the engine. Note that the procurement costs in the SAR report includes support costs. Therefore, 256 billion divided by 2457 is around $104 million dollars, including support costs. Take support costs out of the calculation to calculate flyaway costs, per the SAR report, it would be around $89 million dollars per F-35.
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 111):
Per page 21 of the F-35 2012 SAR report, total estimated procurement for the F-35 is $256 billion, which includes the engine.

Let the recent GAO report, from this year (2013), clarify all this for you and set you straight:

Development
$55.2 Billion

Procurement
$335.7 Billion

Military construction (Milcon)
$4.8 Billion

Total program acquisition
$395.7 Billion

Program acquisition: $ 167 million each
Average procurement $131 million each

Over 2,457 units and 30 years, based on US DOD cost assumptions.

All on page 12 of the April 17, 2013 United States Government Accountability Office GAO-13-500T report. Clear now?

This is sworn testimony before the US Congress, not a press release. And I have not heard a word from Lockheed or the US DOD, nor anyone else, saying these GAO figures in this latest report were wrong.

[Edited 2013-08-27 07:10:21]

User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 118, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6977 times:

Matter of fact, in the 44 page written report, GAO-13-309 from March 2013, there is a letter from the US DOD, saying they agree with the GAO report and its conclusions. It's in appendix III and signed by the Assistant Secretary of Defense, dated March 11, 2013. Look it up.

The April 2013 report was sworn testimony before the US Congress based on the March 2013 GAO-13-309 report.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 119, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6963 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 109):
The most critical issue is that the F-22's avionics make extensive use of the Intel i960MX processor; a processor that went out of production in the late 1990's. The USAF only managed to purchase enough i960MX chips before the factory closed to complete the 187 F-22's built and some extras for spares, and they were the last i960MX chips off the line. The USAF was literally hording and buying as many i960MX chips as they could get their hands on to complete the 187 F-22's built. And there was no way Intel would have continued production because the F-22 program was last major user of the i960MX chip, and Intel would have needed major convincing (i.e. lots of cash) to keep the fab open and running essentially at a very slow rate.

In order to continue production, they would have needed to fund a new avionics package to fit into new aircraft. That was tens of billions there and no guarantee of success.

Sigh, only in the DoD sphere would moving from one CPU to another cost tens of billions of dollars and not have a guarantee of success, especially moving from an obsolete processor to a modern one.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 109):
F-35's avionics core is a totally different animal compared to the F-22's avionics; it's powered by commercially available PowerPC processors and are completely modular in design.

And in 20 years, PowerPC could very well be just as obsolete as i960 is today.

Quoting kanban (Reply 112):
you guys are arguing over projections.. numbers created to sell a program and lull congress into granting more money..

  

In particular, the presumption that reductions in cost due to increased volume and learning curve will end up as reductions in price are tenuous.

I'm willing to bet LM's accountants and various DoD committees will find ways to make sure the reduced costs will end up as more widgets for the plane and more profits for LM.

Quote:
total estimated procurement for the F-35 is $256 billion
Quote:
Total program acquisition $395.7 Billion

Hey, what's $140B between friends?

Quote:
$89 million dollars per F-35
Quote:
Average procurement $131 million each

Yeah! One guy is quoting the ones wanting the airplane (DoD) whereas the other is quoting the ones who are paying for the airplane (GAO).

Historical precedent suggests the ones paying for it are closer to the truth.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 120, posted (1 year 4 months 23 hours ago) and read 6861 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 119):
Sigh, only in the DoD sphere would moving from one CPU to another cost tens of billions of dollars and not have a guarantee of success, especially moving from an obsolete processor to a modern one.

The main issue is that the i960MX chip is a 5V processor and no one makes or uses a 5V processor since the early 1990's. That means, in order to accommodate for a new processor, the entire avionics core and power circuitry needs to be redesigned for a new processor, along with extensive reprogramming. Testing and validation itself will cost a very pretty penny, beyond testing to mil-spec.

Also, the F-22 lacks FPGA's (Field Programmable Gate Arrays). That means that the individual i960MX processors are specially coded for their specific functions.

The USAF was so frustrated with how follow-on development was proceeding that it wanted to basically keep the current architecture running core functions, and then graft a second one over top to provide other functions like sensor fusion, weapons control, ect back in 2008 and was looking for a contractor that could propose such a solution. The combination of the use of ADA and its overall design makes it very hard to upgrade and develop for. Essentially, its a very bad case of vendor lock in. I believe its been $8 billion up to this point, and several more to get it to the 3.2 increment that will add a couple of key capabilities.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 119):
And in 20 years, PowerPC could very well be just as obsolete as i960 is today.

PowerPC is used heavily in many industrial applications, and is also made by multiple vendors (IBM, Motorola, Cisco, Toshiba, Sony, LSI, Xilinx, Samsung, BAE, etc). If you bought a new car within the past 5 years, I bet you it has a PowerPC processor somewhere in the car. The rovers and spacecraft we send into outer space make use of PowerPC processors. It's a current generation processor that is being continuously upgraded and developed.

F-35 also makes extensive use of FPGA's, meaning easy reconfiguration and reprogramming, on top of the fact that the flight software runs very similarly to a VirtualPC emulator as it is installed on top of a middleware. One can replace the processors and it will not affect the flight software of the F-35, beyond increased processing power.

In addition, PowerPC based solutions are way easier to upgrade than other embedded processors. The i960MX was positively ancient when F-22 went into production, and thus was already obsolete.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 121, posted (1 year 4 months 22 hours ago) and read 6851 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 120):
The main issue is that the i960MX chip is a 5V processor and no one makes or uses a 5V processor since the early 1990's. That means, in order to accommodate for a new processor, the entire avionics core and power circuitry needs to be redesigned for a new processor,

No, you just need a 5v domain and a lower voltage domain and suitable interfaces. Given the lower voltage domain will be using lots less energy it should be very manageable.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 120):
Also, the F-22 lacks FPGA's (Field Programmable Gate Arrays). That means that the individual i960MX processors are specially coded for their specific functions.

Which should mean they are easier to substitute and to test.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 120):
The combination of the use of ADA and its overall design makes it very hard to upgrade and develop for.

ADA would be a small part of the problem. On the other hand if the overall design is poor, it adds a lot of challenge, but not $10B of a challenge, at least not in my mind. Design approaches to software longevity were well known in the 90s, so if they screwed that up, it's the DoD's fault.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 120):
It's a current generation processor that is being continuously upgraded and developed.

Today, yes, but twenty years from now?

In my mind, IBM won't be making chips in 10 years, and it's been the one driving the architecture the longest and the hardest. Most of the embedded community is feeling that ARM will be eating their lunch in the near future, and who knows what will be the design of choice in 10/15/20 years from now.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 122, posted (1 year 4 months 21 hours ago) and read 6829 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 121):
ADA would be a small part of the problem. On the other hand if the overall design is poor, it adds a lot of challenge, but not $10B of a challenge, at least not in my mind. Design approaches to software longevity were well known in the 90s, so if they screwed that up, it's the DoD's fault.

Ada is essentially a dead programming language for aircraft, as not too many programs make extensive use of Ada in their avionics (the F-22 is the biggest example of Ada usage). The only other major program that used Ada as a key programming language was the A-12, and Ada was a major contributor to the problems that the A-12 had in development. Prior to that, JOVIAL was the key programming language for military aircraft development, and that is now seen as being a 'legacy' language, and for the most part, is being replaced by C.

The concept was that the DoD planned to fund a replacement architecture for the F-22, possibly based on the F-35, but that died quietly sometime after 2004. So longevity wasn't a major concern at the time because they were planning to replace the avionics, but that never got funded.

Once production got capped to just under 190 units, they lost momentum on the upgrade... which may have been exacerbated by the problems with the F-35's development as well as the financial crisis. The bigger problem I wonder about is how the other issues (corrosion, o2, etc) will affect the USAF's view of the long term viability of the F-22 fleet. The three options are:
1. Funding a massive avionics replacement program for the entire fleet;
2. Continue paying significant sums on new iterations that have relatively minor increases in capability (e.g. the Increment 3.2 upgrade for about $8 billion dollars)
3. Early retirement of F-22.

I know the last one is unthinkable now, but I wonder how the AF might feel in 2020 when its getting fully functional and easily upgradeable F-35's and faces another costly upgrade to the F-22's dated architecture. It may be very compelling to the USAF and the Pentagon to send F-22 off to a early retirement and focus on the F-35 as the primary fighter for the USAF.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 123, posted (1 year 4 months 21 hours ago) and read 6811 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 122):
Ada is essentially a dead programming language for aircraft, as not too many programs make extensive use of Ada in their avionics (the F-22 is the biggest example of Ada usage). The only other major program that used Ada as a key programming language was the A-12, and Ada was a major contributor to the problems that the A-12 had in development. Prior to that, JOVIAL was the key programming language for military aircraft development, and that is now seen as being a 'legacy' language, and for the most part, is being replaced by C.

There are pockets of ADA out there. I know one guy who did FADEC software that ended up on some PW engines that was written in ADA. However that's not that important. If this much money was available to throw at it, I'm sure one could find a way to target an ADA compiler to a different CPU.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 122):
I know the last one is unthinkable now, but I wonder how the AF might feel in 2020 when its getting fully functional and easily upgradeable F-35's and faces another costly upgrade to the F-22's dated architecture. It may be very compelling to the USAF and the Pentagon to send F-22 off to a early retirement and focus on the F-35 as the primary fighter for the USAF.

Or do what they do with the B-1, which is to let it wither on the vine...

Quoting Ozair (Reply 113):
Indeed, back to the real point of the thread so we can bicker on what we were asked to.
Indeed!

Quoting Ozair (Reply 113):
Seems David Axe really doesn't like the F-35B as he has followed his previous entry with another. https://medium.com/war-is-boring/8d09a6b858ae

It references a retired Navy pilot's words on why the F-35B is not the right airplane although it seems to move into about what is wrong with USMC doctrine and future conflict expectations, perhaps the Navy guy didn't enjoy his time on exchange with the marines? He also has a lot of assumptions on what kind of conditions the USMC will face and what will be available at the time of conflict.

Let's stay away (as you are doing here) from attacking the author, let's discuss what he wrote.

The most interesting part of this thread so far has been discussing whether or not the STOVL requirements forced unfortunate compromises on the non-STOVL versions, not the bickering about who wrote what part of what article, or which party assigned what costs to what phase of the program.

For this new article, I have to say I agree with the author. It's hard to envision a Guadalcanal-like scenario where the USMC finds itself on an island out of reach of air support. Even if it does, it's hard to see how they'd be able to keep a Harrier or a F-35B able to do its job without having a massive influx of avgas, ordinance and parts. It's hard to not see why the money would not be spent better on some of the other assets such as traditional USAF/USN aviation and/or USMC/USA attack helicopters.

Suppose we had to take Guadalcanal (yes, the actual island) today with our current forces. Let's suppose it is defended by a similar number of enemy troops and sailors as then, and that these assets have modern weapons at their hand. Would Harriers even get used? Wouldn't it go kind of like the last two Iraq battles: we find a friendly nation close by with adequate ports and airstrips, and provide air support via those facilities?

I think the author would/should win this kind of argument.

However, it's not all that relevant. One ex-Naval Aviator can rant and rave all he wants, but as long as the Congress has its USMC Fan Club going in full force, USMC will continue to get more than its share of the toys.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 124, posted (1 year 4 months 20 hours ago) and read 6807 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 123):
For this new article, I have to say I agree with the author. It's hard to envision a Guadalcanal-like scenario where the USMC finds itself on an island out of reach of air support. Even if it does, it's hard to see how they'd be able to keep a Harrier or a F-35B able to do its job without having a massive influx of avgas, ordinance and parts. It's hard to not see why the money would not be spent better on some of the other assets such as traditional USAF/USN aviation and/or USMC/USA attack helicopters.

The USMC initially deployed AV-8B Harriers from a 10,000-foot runway at Sheik Isa Airbase in Bahrain, during ODS. This resulted in a 45-minute transit to Kuwait with in-flight refueling, yielding a 30-minute time on station. The aircraft then moved to King Abdul Aziz Airstrip, a 4,000-foot asphalt runway 90 miles from Kuwait. With the addition of a flight line made of AM-2 matting, this forward operating base (FOB) housed 60 AV-8Bs for eight months. From there, the transit to Kuwait was reduced to 20 minutes, yielding the same 30-minute time on station without aerial refueling. This reduced the burden on tanker aircraft, increased sortie generation rates and allowed these aircraft to be more responsive to ground forces.

Also, the USMC's air support was born out of being abandoned by the USN mid-fight during the one of the amphibious ops in WWII. They didn't want to ask the USN because the USN has its own priorities, whether operational or budgetary, and therefore cannot be entirely depended upon.

In addition, the USMC have a long standing requirement for their CAS: 30 minutes or less or it's too late. Therefore, they want to be able to operate their airfields, floating or otherwise, relatively close to the fight. The USN won't risk operating their CVNs nearly as close to hostile shores as the USMC is willing to operate their amphibs.

Finally, I just love "you haven't done this since WWII" argument. As long as we are playing that game, I'm waiting to hear about the last time some carriers duked it out in the ocean.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 125, posted (1 year 4 months 18 hours ago) and read 6787 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 123):
Let's stay away (as you are doing here) from attacking the author, let's discuss what he wrote.

Again, as I indicated above I don't see how we can honestly discuss the contents of the article without understanding the bias that the author has brought to it.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 123):
It's hard to envision a Guadalcanal-like scenario where the USMC finds itself on an island out of reach of air support.

I disagree. from the wiki article on Guadalcanal, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guadalcanal_Campaign

The eight-hour round trip flight from Rabaul to Guadalcanal, about 1,120 miles (1,800 km) total, seriously hampered Japanese efforts to establish air superiority over Henderson Field.

The closest useful base for the Japanese then was a round trip of approx 1,000 nm and Rabaul is probably lacking infrastructure for the type of operations and support required for a new Guadalcanal scenario.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 123):
Suppose we had to take Guadalcanal (yes, the actual island) today with our current forces.

Your airbase options are probably Port Moresby in PNG, 800 nm away, Townsville in Aus 1000 nm away and maybe Noumea 775 nm away. You couldn't use Vanuatu which simply doesn't have the infrastructure and of all the above options Townsville is probably your best bet given there is an established RAAF base there.

Given the range of most USAF/USN fighter aircraft, with a useful loadout, is around the 300-500nm mark that means they would be completely reliant on tanker support while, except for Townsville, operating from what is essentially an austere location. They would also be required to tank close to Guadalcanal to provide the fighters with any type of persistence over the region. Without direct carrier support the ability to establish any type of air presence over the island will be limited at best. Modern weapons means modern air defences and so you can't send long range bombers aircraft without some sort of suppression or escort.

In Guadalcanal 1942, the marines were able to maintain some resupply by both air and sea. They could not through rely on US carrier protection as the carriers were constantly redeployed to deter Japanese carriers attempting to interdict the landings and base.

The question then is would 8-12 F-35Bs or Harriers be enough of a game changer for the Marines that it would be worth the effort to send them there. Given the lack of available airfields around I think the answer is yes. It would allow direct targeting of adversary supply and command locations in the rear areas, would use the same fuel as the rotary wing assets, be able to deploy larger and more accurate weapons further than rotary wing assets and be able to provide local air defence if required. The requirement to resupply would be similar to other platforms the marines would be using.

I like the idea of this type of alternate thread. Perhaps we should get a few going discussing how modern aviation assets would handle previous conflicts?


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 126, posted (1 year 4 months 17 hours ago) and read 6772 times:

I should also note that if the proposed cutbacks in the USN carrier force comes into effect, the USMC's force of amphibs and their air wings becomes all that much more important as part of the US's power projection capabilities. That means increasing dependence on the LHA's and LHD's to perform more sea control duties as a small aircraft carrier.

User currently offlinesovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2648 posts, RR: 17
Reply 127, posted (1 year 4 months 6 hours ago) and read 6703 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

From the very beginning I have believed the F-35B was not needed as well as the USMC as a whole branch. All they do can be done by the other three branches USN, USAF and USAR. Just my $0.02

User currently offlinespink From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 319 posts, RR: 1
Reply 128, posted (1 year 4 months 6 hours ago) and read 6696 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 119):
And in 20 years, PowerPC could very well be just as obsolete as i960 is today.

If they are smart, either LM or USAF has full rights and assets to the designs allowing them to get them built at pretty much any fab in the world. I certainly know if I was in the acquisitions department, that would be an upfront requirement in any contract.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 120):
The main issue is that the i960MX chip is a 5V processor and no one makes or uses a 5V processor since the early 1990's. That means, in order to accommodate for a new processor, the entire avionics core and power circuitry needs to be redesigned for a new processor, along with extensive reprogramming. Testing and validation itself will cost a very pretty penny, beyond testing to mil-spec.

There are literally 100's of thousands of electronics engineers that can solve the voltage problem in less than an hour. The issue with the i960MX is they chose a design that was on the way out when they wrote the contract, did not write in a future supply agreement, did not order additional parts when Intel announced the end of manufacturing (which Intel explicitly suggested and advised, the cost to the USAF for enough i960MX for 2000 planes for decades would of been chicken scratch), and didn't buy/license the design as part of the contract. The failure WRT to the i960MX and the F22 is completely on the USAF, 110%. And realistically given the military budgets and costs, the excuse that we don't have any spare processors is completely ridiculous. You can buy 1K lots for any of the processors used on military aircraft for a couple hours worth of flight time. Its not like sealed unplugged processors have a shelf life.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 120):
Also, the F-22 lacks FPGA's (Field Programmable Gate Arrays). That means that the individual i960MX processors are specially coded for their specific functions.

The i960MX is a CPU. They aren't specifically coded for specific functions. Anyone of them can run the code that any other one can run.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 120):
The USAF was so frustrated with how follow-on development was proceeding that it wanted to basically keep the current architecture running core functions, and then graft a second one over top to provide other functions like sensor fusion, weapons control, ect back in 2008 and was looking for a contractor that could propose such a solution. The combination of the use of ADA and its overall design makes it very hard to upgrade and develop for. Essentially, its a very bad case of vendor lock in. I believe its been $8 billion up to this point, and several more to get it to the 3.2 increment that will add a couple of key capabilities.

ADA isn't an issue. In fact, it is exactly the type of programming language you want to be using with mission critical systems which is why it has had very good success on mission critical design and has a pretty decently supported open tool chain. There is basically no vendor lockin from ADA. It is a completely open programming language with an international standards body behind it and broad open source support.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 120):
PowerPC is used heavily in many industrial applications, and is also made by multiple vendors (IBM, Motorola, Cisco, Toshiba, Sony, LSI, Xilinx, Samsung, BAE, etc). If you bought a new car within the past 5 years, I bet you it has a PowerPC processor somewhere in the car. The rovers and spacecraft we send into outer space make use of PowerPC processors. It's a current generation processor that is being continuously upgraded and developed.

PPC is mostly and has been for well over a decade, an also ran. And modern space craft actually rely on a rad hardened government owned/licensed/built x86 based processor. The only thing that other processors are used for is systems that can fail without effecting the mission. And besides, it doesn't matter how supported PPC is unless the government has licensed rights and RTL/schematics for the specific design that they used.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 120):
F-35 also makes extensive use of FPGA's, meaning easy reconfiguration and reprogramming, on top of the fact that the flight software runs very similarly to a VirtualPC emulator as it is installed on top of a middleware. One can replace the processors and it will not affect the flight software of the F-35, beyond increased processing power.

FPGAs have less reconfiguration and reprogramming possibilities than CPUs. And putting an emulator onto a different processor is significantly more involved than you think it is.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 122):
Ada is essentially a dead programming language for aircraft, as not too many programs make extensive use of Ada in their avionics (the F-22 is the biggest example of Ada usage). The only other major program that used Ada as a key programming language was the A-12, and Ada was a major contributor to the problems that the A-12 had in development. Prior to that, JOVIAL was the key programming language for military aircraft development, and that is now seen as being a 'legacy' language, and for the most part, is being replaced by C.

Anyone using C as the primary language for anything mission critical is asking for failure. C/C++/Cetc aren't reliable safe languages for mission critical systems.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 129, posted (1 year 4 months 4 hours ago) and read 6658 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 124):
The USMC initially deployed AV-8B Harriers from a 10,000-foot runway at Sheik Isa Airbase in Bahrain, during ODS. This resulted in a 45-minute transit to Kuwait with in-flight refueling, yielding a 30-minute time on station. The aircraft then moved to King Abdul Aziz Airstrip, a 4,000-foot asphalt runway 90 miles from Kuwait. With the addition of a flight line made of AM-2 matting, this forward operating base (FOB) housed 60 AV-8Bs for eight months. From there, the transit to Kuwait was reduced to 20 minutes, yielding the same 30-minute time on station without aerial refueling. This reduced the burden on tanker aircraft, increased sortie generation rates and allowed these aircraft to be more responsive to ground forces.

I'm not sure you need a lift fan to operate off a 4,000 ft runway.

I'm not sure the right answer wouldn't be to just extend the runway.

I'm not sure this improvement in sortie rate and responsiveness is worth the cost that the Harrier and F-35B bring, and in particular the impact the F-35B has had on the rest of the program.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 124):
In addition, the USMC have a long standing requirement for their CAS: 30 minutes or less or it's too late.

Seems like attack helicopters should be filling that requirement.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 125):
Again, as I indicated above I don't see how we can honestly discuss the contents of the article without understanding the bias that the author has brought to it.

The comments on the author's biases didn't change anything for me. It didn't increase or decrease my trust in the article. Generals can dissemble just as well as obscure authors. The ideas were there to be discussed regardlees of the biases of the writers.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 125):
The question then is would 8-12 F-35Bs or Harriers be enough of a game changer for the Marines that it would be worth the effort to send them there. Given the lack of available airfields around I think the answer is yes. It would allow direct targeting of adversary supply and command locations in the rear areas, would use the same fuel as the rotary wing assets, be able to deploy larger and more accurate weapons further than rotary wing assets and be able to provide local air defence if required. The requirement to resupply would be similar to other platforms the marines would be using.

I don't think the metric is "worth the effort to send them there", the metric is more along the lines of "worth the cost to develop VTOL jets" not to mention the lives lost in training accidents.

I think rotary wing aircraft end up being more efficient with regard to fuel, no?

The main issue is the survivability of the helicopters, but they are easier to disperse, and if they have problems surviving, then chances are that VSTOLs will at least suffer some losses too.

Quoting spink (Reply 128):
If they are smart, either LM or USAF has full rights and assets to the designs allowing them to get them built at pretty much any fab in the world. I certainly know if I was in the acquisitions department, that would be an upfront requirement in any contract.
Quoting spink (Reply 128):
The failure WRT to the i960MX and the F22 is completely on the USAF, 110%.

It seems that way to me.

The issue of maintaining out of production equipment was well known before the F-22 was conceived. That includes both hardware and software obsolescence.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 130, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 6583 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 129):
I'm not sure you need a lift fan to operate off a 4,000 ft runway.

I'm not sure the right answer wouldn't be to just extend the runway.

I'm not sure this improvement in sortie rate and responsiveness is worth the cost that the Harrier and F-35B bring, and in particular the impact the F-35B has had on the rest of the program.

The runway was barely considered to be a runway as it was heavily degraded. The air strip was actually a 8,000 ft runway, but only 4,000 of it was actually usable, and even then, barely so. I’ve read a quote by a Harrier pilot that if it was peacetime, they probably never would have used it.

The main advantage is that they could be on scene earlier, remain on station longer, require less external support (especially tankers!), and thus the improvement in sortie generation means that more can be done with less aircraft.

The answer also lays in the KPP of the F-35B. Look at the Sortie Generation rate KPPs of the three variants: The F-35B, as it is planned to be operated, will be capable of generating 4 sorties/day in a surge which is 33% more ‘surge’ sorties per the specification than either the A or C model as they are planned to be used. In a sustained operating environment the B model will be providing 50% more sorties per aircraft per day than the CTOL (F-35A) or CV (F-35C). The Marines, by operating ‘forward’ get a lot more 'Bang' out of their F-35 'Buck' than if they operated an A or C model from the big deck carriers or a main operating base farther from the fight.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 129):
Seems like attack helicopters should be filling that requirement.

The problem is that you loose the option of larger weapons, or simply, more weapons in a short period of time.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 131, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6558 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 129):
I don't think the metric is "worth the effort to send them there", the metric is more along the lines of "worth the cost to develop VTOL jets" not to mention the lives lost in training accidents.

Well in the context of the question you asked regarding a Guadalcanal scenario,

Quoting Revelation (Reply 123):
Would Harriers even get used?

I think my conclusion was pretty clear for your Guadalcanal scenario that if you require air cover or air based strike assets then you either need a carrier 24/7 or you need to bring your own aviation. If you need to bring your own, then the Harrier and F-35B are your only options.

Looking again at 1942, the Marines required air cover which was not and could not be provided by either the USAAF or the USN. In this scenario, if air cover or CAS is required, Marine air would be the best and probably least costly solution to achieve it.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 129):
I think rotary wing aircraft end up being more efficient with regard to fuel, no?

Efficiency is just about the lowest ranked metric any decent military looks at. Your platforms ability to complete the mission is the most important metric. If you determine the mission to be accomplished, you then develop the logistics chain to support that requirement. Look at the M1, they built the tank around the mission and then built the logistics trail to support it, same with the carriers etc.

And your statement is very ambiguous. More efficient in fuel use while hovering, probably. More efficient in fuel use moving 10 guys 50 nm, definitely. More efficient in fuel flying at 500 kts to go 400 nm, definitely not.


Quoting Revelation (Reply 129):
The main issue is the survivability of the helicopters, but they are easier to disperse, and if they have problems surviving, then chances are that VSTOLs will at least suffer some losses too.

The dispersal is a furphy; the helicopters are just as reliant on resupply and maintenance as an F-35B is and would need to be relocated to refuel/rearm just as much. If surviving is a metric you want to consider then the F-35B is better suited than any rotary wing aircraft to surviving above a modern battlefield.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 129):
worth the cost to develop VTOL jets

Sorry to say but the horse has bolted. The F-35B will finish development and will be fielded. The issue then is cost and any way you look at it the F-35 program will deliver three very capable aircraft for what would probably be the cost of two, so you get the B or the C for free.

The irony is that the F-35B will probably be, by ratio, the best export product of the program. Total F-35B for US forces are projected at 340 aircraft. I can see the program selling an additional minimum 200-300 F-35B over the next 15-25 years. At US$110 mil a copy that is US$22-33 billion of which US industry will probably capture 60-80%.

On the flip side the F-35C, projected at 340 aircraft, may not have an additional buyer after the USN/USMC. In that case, surely the business case for the F-35C is the worst of the three! Why not just cancel the C variant and buy more Super Hornets? After all, the USN doesn't need a VLO strike platform with long range anyway.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 129):
the lives lost in training accidents

Agree the Harrier had a terrible record but I think we can say the automated nature of the F-35B landing system will significantly reduce that hazard.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12970 posts, RR: 25
Reply 132, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6542 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 131):
I think my conclusion was pretty clear for your Guadalcanal scenario that if you require air cover or air based strike assets then you either need a carrier 24/7 or you need to bring your own aviation. If you need to bring your own, then the Harrier and F-35B are your only options.

Thanks for restoring the context. It is interesting to see the impact of what ends up being some long range flying, both back in the 40s and today. Even with modern a/c and tankers available, distance still impacts so many thing.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 131):
Efficiency is just about the lowest ranked metric any decent military looks at. Your platforms ability to complete the mission is the most important metric. If you determine the mission to be accomplished, you then develop the logistics chain to support that requirement. Look at the M1, they built the tank around the mission and then built the logistics trail to support it, same with the carriers etc.

Yes, that's true, but it's easier to ignore when you have a good harbor and/or a railhead nearby.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 131):
Sorry to say but the horse has bolted. The F-35B will finish development and will be fielded.

Hard to argue that. It'll be interesting to see what happens as budgets get rolled out going forward.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 131):
The irony is that the F-35B will probably be, by ratio, the best export product of the program. Total F-35B for US forces are projected at 340 aircraft. I can see the program selling an additional minimum 200-300 F-35B over the next 15-25 years. At US$110 mil a copy that is US$22-33 billion of which US industry will probably capture 60-80%.

On the flip side the F-35C, projected at 340 aircraft, may not have an additional buyer after the USN/USMC. In that case, surely the business case for the F-35C is the worst of the three! Why not just cancel the C variant and buy more Super Hornets? After all, the USN doesn't need a VLO strike platform with long range anyway.

Interesting analysis, especially since I'm a big fan of irony!



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4783 posts, RR: 19
Reply 133, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6489 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 130):

The runway was barely considered to be a runway as it was heavily degraded. The air strip was actually a 8,000 ft runway, but only 4,000 of it was actually usable, and even then, barely so. I’ve read a quote by a Harrier pilot that if it was peacetime, they probably never would have used it.

While that was easily handled by the Harrier how will the F35 cope with it's super hot exhaust, countless moving parts FOD concerns and last but not least what about maintenance of the Stealth finish ?


How will that hold up after having countless rocks, and dirt thrown up at it ?


The Harrier was and is a true 'All Terrain Vehicle' while the F35 seems far too delicate and complex in comparison.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 134, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6475 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 133):

While that was easily handled by the Harrier how will the F35 cope with it's super hot exhaust, countless moving parts FOD concerns and last but not least what about maintenance of the Stealth finish ?

1. The exhaust is not a major concern regarding the CONOPS of F-35.
2. Moving parts: they've done flight tests to simulate various failures onboard the F-35B, including door failures. None have affected flight handing characteristics, and if necessary, they can ferry the aircraft for repairs elsewhere.
3. FOD concerns: No more of a concern than the Harrier.
4. Stealth finish: the stealth finish is integrated into the skin of F-35, not a separate treatment. Also, tests have been done to the F-35 to simulate every day wear and tear to check stealth signature:
http://www.sldinfo.com/the-f-35-low-...-for-21st-century-combat-aviation/

Quote:
SLD: How would you describe the stealth LO capability of the F-35 compared to legacy systems?

Bill Grant: Performance-wise, it is a very aggressive capability. From a design standpoint, it is a radical change from legacy systems. In legacy stealth, the stealth in effect is a parasitic application of a multiple stack-up of material systems done in final finish after the actual airframe is built and completed. In the case of the F-35, we’ve incorporated much of the LO system directly into the air frame itself. The materials have been manufactured right into the structure, so they have the durability and lifetime qualities. It makes them much more impervious to damage. It is a much simpler system with fewer materials to contend with.

SLD: In terms of the way you’re describing it, stealth goes from being a surface appliqué to becoming an integral part of the actual product being manufactured, is this correct?

Bill Grant: Exactly.
Quoting Max Q (Reply 133):
How will that hold up after having countless rocks, and dirt thrown up at it ?
Quote:
SLD: In entering the facility, I noticed you have a “door mat” of stealth that’s been there for some time. Can you comment on this “door mat?”

Bill Grant: Oh, the slab of stealth? That’s our welcome mat. Yes, we actually have one of the test panels that we use for assessing the stealth of the various materials. It represents a stack-up that’s consistent with the upper surface or the outer surface of the jet. It has the exact same structure and the primer and the topcoat system that you’ll find on the operational jets. And that gets walked upon every time somebody comes in or out of our lab area out there, the repair development center.
Occasionally, we take it up to test to see if there’s any electrical or mechanical degradation to the system and with around 25,000 steps across that system we have not seen any degradation whatsoever. So we have a great deal of confidence, however anecdotal that may be, that we have a very robust system.
Quoting Max Q (Reply 133):
The Harrier was and is a true 'All Terrain Vehicle' while the F35 seems far too delicate and complex in comparison.

The Harrier is actually the more dangerous aircraft to its pilots; landing the Harrier conventionally is very tricky. The NATOPS describes some of the handling quirks of the Harrier, but basically, the Harrier doesn't have very effective brakes for conventional landing (Only the MLG has brakes, and it only supports 55% of the weight of the jet. The brake system was never designed to be the primary means of slowing down above ~60kts), and you can't flare the Harrier like you would a conventional jet because of the tandem landing gear.

Coupled with a high approach speed (155 knots+), a low flat approach profile, a engine that isn't very responsive to throttle inputs at the RPM's that landing is supposed to take place, poor braking, a very high chance of you overheating the brakes, and the fact that the Harrier wants to keep flying even when you touch down, you got yourself a handful. Even with using the nozzle to slow the aircraft down, it's still a tricky aircraft to land. If you don't use your nozzles to help you slow down, it will be very tricky to get the aircraft stopped in 8k feet. If you land just a little long and a little fast it gets really, really hazardous.

The F-35 is a more forgiving and easier aircraft to fly in comparison; the computers do most of the work for the pilot keeping the aircraft stable. This means that Marines will spend less time and fuel to practice landing, and instead spend more time working on combat tactics and training and less on the "challenging basics" of landing.


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4783 posts, RR: 19
Reply 135, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 6352 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 134):

The Harrier is actually the more dangerous aircraft to its pilots; landing the Harrier conventionally is very tricky. The NATOPS describes some of the handling quirks of the Harrier, but basically, the Harrier doesn't have very effective brakes for conventional landing (Only the MLG has brakes, and it only supports 55% of the weight of the jet. The brake system was never designed to be the primary means of slowing down above ~60kts), and you can't flare the Harrier like you would a conventional jet because of the tandem landing gear.

Coupled with a high approach speed (155 knots+), a low flat approach profile, a engine that isn't very responsive to throttle inputs at the RPM's that landing is supposed to take place, poor braking, a very high chance of you overheating the brakes, and the fact that the Harrier wants to keep flying even when you touch down, you got yourself a handful. Even with using the nozzle to slow the aircraft down, it's still a tricky aircraft to land. If you don't use your nozzles to help you slow down, it will be very tricky to get the aircraft stopped in 8k feet. If you land just a little long and a little fast it gets really, really hazardous.

The F-35 is a more forgiving and easier aircraft to fly in comparison; the computers do most of the work for the pilot keeping the aircraft stable. This means that Marines will spend less time and fuel to practice landing, and instead spend more time working on combat tactics and training and less on the "challenging basics" of landing.

Well, the Harrier can just land vertically and avoid any of those issues !


Furthermore, unlike the F35 it can use reverse thrust by pointing the nozzles forward, tricky to stop in less than 8k feet ?


Nonsense.


The later model Harriers are far easier to handle than the early ones.


Oh, yeah, almost forgot, they don't cost $300 million each...



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 136, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 6336 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 135):

Well, the Harrier can just land vertically and avoid any of those issues !

Landing the Harrier vertically also is very demanding; refer to the NATOPS on that:
http://publicintelligence.net/u-s-na...s-av-8b-harrier-ii-flight-manuals/

On top of that, you need your water reserves in order to perform a vertical landing. Not to mention you have a much lower maximum landing weight when landing vertically. Also, you have the possibility of a pop-stall of your engine, which can send you crashing into the ground.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 135):

Furthermore, unlike the F35 it can use reverse thrust by pointing the nozzles forward, tricky to stop in less than 8k feet ?

However, you have zero braking action until you hit 60 knots on the ground, with or without nozzle brakes. And you still run the risk of overheating the brakes.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 135):

The later model Harriers are far easier to handle than the early ones.

Refer to the NATOPS I linked above. It's for the current AV-8B.


User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 571 posts, RR: 1
Reply 137, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 6336 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 135):
Quoting Max Q (Reply 133):

The Marines should hire you on as their consultant.


With your extensive experience you obviously know how to fight wars with jets off boats.


Better than they can.


God bless.


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4783 posts, RR: 19
Reply 138, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 6257 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 137):

The Marines should hire you on as their consultant.


With your extensive experience you obviously know how to fight wars with jets off boats.


Better than they can.


God bless.

Sign me up !



Don't get 'blessed' very often, awesome.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic F35 - "World's Worst New Warplane"?
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Military aviation related posts only!
  • Not military related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Portugal AF C-295MPA With New Pods. posted Wed Jul 17 2013 10:59:03 by bustin
Meet The 'New' M-346 Lavi posted Tue Jul 2 2013 09:55:16 by Devilfish
Canada's Prime Minister Gets A New Paint Job ..... posted Fri Jun 7 2013 09:42:37 by c3000flyboy
World Record Flight, 2 Engine Recip. 1946 posted Sun May 19 2013 08:02:02 by Geezer
World’s Only Flying Mosquito Flew May 7! posted Tue May 7 2013 14:02:47 by Aeronautician
Who Refuels In Northern New England? posted Wed Apr 24 2013 19:25:56 by ECflyer
New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving posted Wed Mar 13 2013 12:20:06 by ThePointblank
Iran Govt 707 Gets New Look posted Mon Mar 11 2013 04:03:58 by 777way
New Look For Canada's AF1 (CC-150) posted Sun Feb 24 2013 12:26:24 by krisyyz
F35 Might Explode Mid-air posted Mon Feb 18 2013 23:01:33 by XT6Wagon

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format