AirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5 Posted (8 years 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5227 times:
Per AvWeek June 18, 2007 issue they report that Boeing has offered the USN a deal on Super Hornets at an all-time-low-low-low flyaway price of $49.99m per new build copy, guaranteed for a third multi-year buy of 170 aircraft. However the bad thing though is that the USN stated committment is only for 92 more aircraft. The article states however that an unidentified Pentagon official says that the deal is going to be pretty hard for the USN to turn down. Apparently, the USN has told Congress that has a shortfall of about 50 fighters due in part to an accelerated burn rate of fighter hours compbined with decreased projections of the design life of existing aircraft.
So my point is perhaps the USMC may be swayed to pick up the difference in aircraft that the USN might not want or be able to use? In my opinion because the USMC has (over)spent so much on the V-22 program combined with their financial committment to the H-1 upgrades and CH-53K, they just don't have the money to replace their F/A-18D's with any comparable JSF let alone their EA-6B's with a EAQ version of the JSF.
In that regard, would it not make sense to replace all of their F/A-18D's with F/A-18F's - they could then put them back on the ship and use them as they should have otherwise always been able to (short range has kept F/A-18D's off USN carriers) and they they could also replace their EA-6B's with EA-18G's because there is no fiscally responsbile way for the USMC to spend even more moeney on an EAW version of the JSF which may very well be delayed even further.
70 to 80 F/A-18F's with perhaps some being able to be converted to EA-18G's would be about all the Corps would need, and of course they could utilize all of the cost synergies with the USN so the program would be about as inexpensive as the Corps could ever hope to come across as far as acquiring new aircraft. Sell the existing F/A-18D's to some other country like Kuwait or Malyasia while they still have some value to them.
A block II F/A-18F would be the greatest Marine fighter jet since the F-4J/S and arguably perhaps the greatest in terms of most lethal, capable, and universal that they have ever had - I don't know why the Corps would not be all over this?!
The Corps cannot get out of the FAC(A) role and the JSF with dual tandem seats would just not work with the STOVL F-35B, and if the Marines are gong to get out of the EAW business than why not jsut give their remaining aircraft to the Navy today and be done with it?
EBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5157 times:
I don't see the Marines throwing in the towel with regard to the JSF. They want what it can do. Now if you're talking of picking up some Super Hornets as interim airplanes, that makes some sense. Take pressure off the F/A-18C/D fleet, so far as flying hours is concerned. The question that comes to mind though is whether the Marines are willing to spend money on an interim aircraft, even at a great price, if it costs them JSF funding later. Odds are they won't make that sacrifice. Just my opinion though.
Halls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5152 times:
Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 1): I don't see the Marines throwing in the towel with regard to the JSF. They want what it can do. Now if you're talking of picking up some Super Hornets as interim airplanes, that makes some sense.
While you are correct that the Corps still wants the JSF, they apparently don't want more Hornets.
Quote: Navy: Super Hornet rep for problems untrue
Corps may be responsible for bad rap
By Christopher P. Cavas - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Jun 17, 2007 9:09:10 EDT
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md. Ñ Inside Naval Air Systems Command headquarters at this southern Maryland base, Navy program officials for the F/A-18 Super Hornet strike fighter program have heard the stories circulating in the Pentagon.
Their aircraft, the stories go, canÕt carry certain weapons, canÕt fly high enough, canÕt go fast enough. Design problems such as wing flutter plague the plane and Ñ perhaps worst of all Ñ parts that will wear out fast enough to severely shorten the planeÕs life-span are not being replaced.
ThereÕs just one problem with the stories, say the Navy officials: None of them is true.
ÒWeÕre really scratching our heads, thinking, ÔWhatÕs going on?Õ Ó Super Hornet program manager Navy Capt. Don Gaddis said.
So whoÕs spreading these stories about the Super Hornet?
The answer, which surprised some program officials: the Marine Corps Ñ which isnÕt even part of the Super Hornet program.
The Corps plans to replace its aging Hornets and AV-8B Harrier jump jets with the F-35B short-takeoff-or-vertical-landing version of the Joint Strike Fighter.
So why do the Marines even care about the Super Hornet?
ÒThe Marines seem to be trying to discredit the Super Hornet as a way of heading off efforts to cut their purchase of the STOVL JSF,Ó said Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute think tank in Washington.
ÒIf JSF is delayed,Ó said naval analyst Norman Polmar, Òthe Marines will be forced to buy Super Hornet, which will leave them with nothing to operate off amphibious ships.Ó
The STOVL JSF for the Marines isnÕt set to enter service until 2012 at the earliest. The Corps, unlike the Navy, is strongly committed to the new strike fighter and is eagerly anticipating an all-STOVL aviation strike force.
AirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5127 times:
I know that is what they have said before but quite frankly, I question their judgement. I lost my blind faith in their procurement judgement when they opted to expoentially overpay for the V-22 program, as well as pump further money into the UH-1Y when they already had an even more capable aircraft in the MH-60S that the USN was acquirign and the Marines could have obtained for little to no extra cost than the price of the aircraft since the USN was paying for all the supplemental costs.
Setbacks to the JSF program are all but inevitable but regradless, I am advocating for a supplemental Super Hornet fleet to replace the USMC F/A-18D's and EA-6B's that the JSF will just not be able to replace. The fact of the matter is that currently there is no valid STOVL aircraft capability to even replace as the AV-8B is an invalid hangar queen where Apache helo's can deliver more ordinance. Current "amphibs" cannot carry all of the USMC fleet of F/A-18's and Harriers, so where do they expect to get by without operating on USN full sized carriers and than if you are going to operate off full sized USN carriers, then why do you need to suffer the penalites of STOVL aircraft when the F-35C's would be more capable?
Even then, there is no dual tandem seat STOVL F-35B to replace the F/A-18D's FAC(A) role (because they won't fit) let alone an EAW JSF version so a relatively small Super Hornet buy to replace just the current USMC F/A-18D and EA-6B aircraft would not be expensive at considering the Navy has 500 or so of them and all the supplemental maintenance pipelines have already been established.
The Corps wasted a lot of money on the V-22 program and they just don't have any left considering they need to replace every single aviation asset they have to fund an EAW verison of the JSF when the USN is buying the EA-18G for that role - the Corps needs to remember that their budget comes from the USN and it's unwise to spend like they are the USAF.
STT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 17165 posts, RR: 50
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5109 times:
In the long view replacing the Corp's F-18A/C/D's and AV-8Bs with a single platform makes the most sense, the F-35B can operate off carriers, Amphibious Assault Ships and from fixed airfields or from make shift airfields (parking lots as per Gulf War I).
In the near term however acquiring F-18E/F's addresses present and near future issues that are arising from the high tempo of operations, I would acquire Super Hornets only as a short term measure to bridge the Corp's Squadrons until the F-35Bs arrive. Once the F-35B's are operating the F-18E/F's could replace the older Hornets fielded by Marine Corps Reserve Squadrons.
AirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5087 times:
Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 5): Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's closer to like 108 or so?
My bad, I worded that poorly - I was reffering to the fact that the USN has 500+ Super Hornet airframes so the Corps would be able to tap into that pipeline and other associated cost synergies even less expensively than they will with the jSF considering that the USN will not be buying any STOVL F-35B's; I think the Corps needs to save money by buying USN equipment whenever they can and the MH-60S and Super Hornets are good examples of where I think the Corps can save a lot of money and just buy what the USN is buying...