XT6Wagon
Topic Author
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F35 Program In Trouble?

Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:35 pm

http://www.dailytech.com/Lockheed%20...Remains%20Grounded/article9924.htm

"Costs for the program have ballooned from $30 billion USD in 2002 to $40 billion USD today. And according to the Air Force, a single F-35 will cost $100 million USD when production is comfortably underway in 2013 -- this compares to $50 million USD for a single F-16 or $132 million USD for a single F-22 Raptor."

===================================================================

So the cost per frame is nearly that of the F22 and we are not even to production yet?

Engine, gearbox, and electronics issues are still stopping the program?

What next?


I think its time to toss the F35 in the stupid idea pile and and design a rational fighter that doesn't try to do everything for everyone everywhere in one single useless package.
 
AirRyan
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:05 am

I see Super Hornets in the future for the USMC!
 
Oroka
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:47 am

In all fairness to Lockmart, the initial US DOD purchase was for 2852 airframes of various models, in the time since, that has been decreased by over 400 airframes, that is undoubtly going to increase price. Also, the F-22 and F-35 are highly digital, and the F-35 is highly electric. Setbacks are pretty much unavoidable when working at the bleeding edge of technology.

In the comming years, more countries will have high end Russian fighters, or even Eurofighters. Some current allies are not overly stable and it is not unfathomable for a Iran/Iraq situation to happen again somewhere else. Do you want F-16s vs Typhoons or F-15s vs SU-37s? Face it, a good pilot in a older aircraft is limited in what he can do. These days, with potential opponets having more and more advanced weaponry (they did have 30+ years to work on it), you dont really want something that is 'good enough'. You should not go into war on even ground, you want to have a major advantage. Buying a warmed over F-16 or F-15 is not a major advantage, might as well go get a few Mig-35s and save a few bucks.

If the F-35 is scrapped, there goes your $40 billion, nothing gained from it, and it will be ohhh, another 7-8 years to get to this point in a new program, then 5 years to get into full production, so you should have a new fighter by around 2021.
 
Flighty
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:00 am

I have a standing offer to produce them for only $25 billion. PM me for my cell phone number if anybody is interested.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 2):
Setbacks are pretty much unavoidable when working at the bleeding edge of technology.

Project management is proposing something that can be done, and doing it on time.

If you can't do that, that means you are an incompetent project manager.

If you fail on purpose, that means you are a thief.

The defense contractors are mostly thieves. LM in particular is looking very bad from a management perspective, lately. Not unprofitable, but not entirely safe from criminal charges, either. Don't forget Darleen Druyun. Stealing money from the govt works 99 times out of 100, but on the 100th try, you go to jail. I wonder if LM management's turn is coming up.

We clearly do need new fighters, but without decent project management, the process will be a comedy of overspending and delays. There are ways to design new jets on time and on budget...
 
wvsuperhornet
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:43 am

Every aircraft program experiences delays and cost overruns, its the nature of the beast. When your dealing with such a complex aircraft such as the F-35 and others along its line, there will be delays and overuns. I doubt the F-35 will be cancelled there is entirely too much money at stake. Even the Russians who tend to build on more rugged and lower technology have had their share of problems even with a flankers they lost a few in the development stage. But they went on and built a good fighter. The F-35 will have its problems but it wont be cancelled.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 2):
In the comming years, more countries will have high end Russian fighters, or even Eurofighters. Some current allies are not overly stable and it is not unfathomable for a Iran/Iraq situation to happen again somewhere else. Do you want F-16s vs Typhoons or F-15s vs SU-37s? Face it, a good pilot in a older aircraft is limited in what he can do. These days, with potential opponets having more and more advanced weaponry (they did have 30+ years to work on it), you dont really want something that is 'good enough'. You should not go into war on even ground, you want to have a major advantage. Buying a warmed over F-16 or F-15 is not a major advantage, might as well go get a few Mig-35s and save a few bucks.

Its very doubtfull you will ever see an F-16 facing a Typhoon or SU-37. The US already has the F-22 in production and that would be the aircraft that they would put up against the Typhoons and the SU-37 isnt even an issue "its not in Development". The US will probably never buy any Russian aircraft due to the fact they have the knowledge and the money to develope their own. Not to mention the fact the newer F-15's such as the F-15K and the F-15SG are more than a match for any current Flanker in development and the aircraft alone isnt the only deciding factor, you have training and ground control systems and AWAC's, where as most of the countries purchasing these expensive and high tech Russian fighters just dont have the money to do that. There are alot of factors the F-35 running behind schedule will not effect any of them. The only factor I can see from the F-35 is foreign sales, other countries involved in the program may decide to purchase other fighters instead of waiting such as the MIG-35,SU-30 or SU-35 or its western counter parts such as the Grippen,Typhoon,Rafale and F-18 Superhornet.

[Edited 2007-12-06 23:46:44]
 
art
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:02 pm

Thread title: F35 Program In Trouble?

Cost: yes
Development: yes
Timetable for EIS and functionality inc weapons systems: yes

Just another ambitious program that is failing to pan out as planned.
 
Lumberton
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:00 pm

DID had a story on Dec 3, 2007 about "serious design issues" with the F-35. Here's the link.
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...-by-serious-design-problems-04311/

This report is, frankly, grim.

Lockheed-Martin better get a handle on this program or it is going to have a huge bullseye painted on it, in the U.S. as well as Europe.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
ulfinator
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:22 pm



Quoting Oroka (Reply 2):
In all fairness to Lockmart, the initial US DOD purchase was for 2852 airframes of various models, in the time since, that has been decreased by over 400 airframes, that is undoubtedly going to increase price.

I would have to agree. After working in the US defense contracting sector for some time now I have seen how the government tends to screw with programs on their own. Whether it is changing the number of frames or changing the functionality requirements and timing of delivery, what they don't seem to get it the introduce a lot of cost themselves because of the contract rework process that then has to occur.
 
redflyer
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:01 pm



Quoting XT6Wagon (Thread starter):
I think its time to toss the F35 in the stupid idea pile and and design a rational fighter that doesn't try to do everything for everyone everywhere in one single useless package.

 checkmark  Very well put. Unfortunately, there are too many hands in the cookie jar at this point and the program will probably move through to fruition. On the bright side, I don't think there's ever been a military project of substantial size that's not run into these problems and despite those problems some stellar aircraft have been produced. The problem here is, IMHO, the F-35 is not that great of an aircraft considering its cost (both the budgeted cost as well as the revised).

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 1):
I see Super Hornets in the future for the USMC!

I do, too, but what about the Marines' insistance of also having an attack jet that has VTOL capabilities?
My other home is in the sky inside my Piper Cherokee 180.
 
ebj1248650
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:10 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 8):
I do, too, but what about the Marines' insistance of also having an attack jet that has VTOL capabilities?

What's the possibility of an upgraded Harrier in the future or a brand new (for attack missions only) VTOL attack aircraft?
Wouldn't need to be supersonic; wouldn't need air-to-air capability except as a minor secondar mission. Is this realistic?
Dare to dream; dream big!
 
art
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:12 pm



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 9):
What's the possibility of an upgraded Harrier in the future or a brand new (for attack missions only) VTOL attack aircraft?

I think the people to ask would be the people who used to make the AV8-B.

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 6):
DID had a story on Dec 3, 2007 about "serious design issues" with the F-35.

This report is, frankly, grim.

I can see countries that had reservations about the JSF looking with renewed interest at alternatives. If I were in Eurofighter's shoes, I would go all out to win a customer able to place a large enough order to warrant an extra assembly line - Japan, Turkey, India could all qualify. An extra line might make it easier to deliver within good time to any new customers who need a higher degree of certainty than the F-35 offers with regard to price, weapons capability and in service date.

I appreciate that an expensive supplier ramp up would also be necessary but with the F-35 looking less and less attractive to buy, there might be buyers for another 100-300 Typhoons if they could be made available in good time (Turkey, Greece, Norway, India, Japan come to mind).
 
redflyer
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:14 pm



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 9):
What's the possibility of an upgraded Harrier in the future or a brand new (for attack missions only) VTOL attack aircraft?

I think the production line for the AV-8 was shut down a few years back so it wouldn't be cost effective to fire it up again. A new VTOL attack jet is what the F-35 was supposed to provide the Marines. If that program were to be cancelled, something tells me the AV-8B will become the B-52s and NW DC-9s of the Marine Corps.
My other home is in the sky inside my Piper Cherokee 180.
 
Lumberton
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:24 pm



Quoting Art (Reply 10):
If I were in Eurofighter's shoes, I would go all out to win a customer able to place a large enough order to warrant an extra assembly line - Japan, Turkey, India could all qualify.

Well, yes, but....
Northrop Grumman Authorizes International Suppliers to Begin Work on First Phase of F-35 Low Rate Initial Production

Quote:
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. --- Northrop Grumman Corporation has authorized Terma, Lystrup, Denmark and Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI), Ankara, Turkey to begin fabricating subassemblies for the first two F-35 Lightning II production aircraft.

The awards, which expand the international membership of Northrop Grumman's F-35 supplier team, represent the first F-35 contracts for Terma and TAI under long-term agreements signed with the company in 2005.

The subassemblies to be produced -- composite components and aircraft access doors -- will be used in the F-35 center fuselage, a major section of the aircraft being produced by Northrop Grumman as a principal and founding member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 global industry team.

India perhaps? I doubt if Japan or Turkey would go this route at this point unless the program were terminated or can't meet performance goals.

Much more to come of this, I'm sure.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
MCIGuy
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:09 pm



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 6):
DID had a story on Dec 3, 2007 about "serious design issues" with the F-35. Here's the link.
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...-by-serious-design-problems-04311/

This report is, frankly, grim.



Quote:
Another fact was discovered via a military employee of one of the European air forces, who works within the JSF project team, and is a liaison person for several air forces. He says that flying in 2012 with the JSF may be safe and the JSF can be used as a plane to fly around. But, the several software modules for weapons system integration will not be ready. Ground attack capability is the priority, so early-build F-35s will primarily be "bomb trucks" until the additional software modules can be tested and loaded. Air superiority capabilities will be restricted, and completed only after 2015. This means that full multi-role capability is possible by 2016 at the earliest, if and only if no major problems occur in development and testing of the weapon systems software.

So, will there be JSFs on European airbases without complete air superiority capability in 2016? A sobering thought in the light of the intensifying scrambling from UK and Norway since Russian TU-95 Bears have began entering air space near Norway again in 2006.

I'm no engineer, but I'm not sure I buy this part. What could be the problem? There aren't any new revolutionary weapons systems slated for F-35 (unless they go ahead with the tactical laser, which probably wouldn't be available for export anyway). Even the AIM-9X is operational now. Even the most advanced Slammers and Sidewnders will be tried and true by then. I guess they could be talking about the FCR, but they already have enough experience with sensor fusion with the F-22. The HMD isn't even that new of a concept, so that shouldn't be an issue either. I just can't imagine why it's supposed to be such a "lame duck" in early service.
Airliners.net Moderator Team
 
art
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:10 pm



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 12):
I doubt if Japan or Turkey would go this route at this point unless the program were terminated or can't meet performance goals.

Well, IIRC the Turkish government is interested in acquiring some Typhoons (although the military would prefer to only acquire the F-35). I think that one reason for this interest is the cost uncertainty of the F-35. Would they buy enough Typoons to justify an assembly line if they decided to buy some? I don't know.

TOKYO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Japan is considering buying Eurofighter Typhoons to replace part of its ageing air force fleet, Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba said in an interview on Wednesday.

Tokyo had shown interest in buying the Lockheed-Martin (LMT.N: Quote, Profile , Research) F-22 Raptor, which boasts stealth capabilities far superior to those of any other aircraft available, but the U.S. government is reluctant to allow the technology to be exported, even to a close ally such as Japan.

Japan has also expressed an interest in the Eurofighter, as reported above.
 
Oroka
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:36 pm



Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 4):
and the SU-37 isnt even an issue "its not in Development".

Sorry, I was thinking SU-35.

Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 4):
Its very doubtfull you will ever see an F-16 facing a Typhoon or SU-37.

Maybe not a USAF aircraft, but what is the first reaction to a looming crisis? Send in a carrier group or two, and last time I checked the F/A-18E/F is good, but not really that good, not a big advantage. Great for running bomb loads, but put it up against say a J-10, it will probably be because of pilot skill, not from a big technology advantage. Ideally, the F-22s will wipe up the high threat targets out there leaving the F-35 to do the dirty work. Why did the Iraqi air force stay on the ground? They knew they were dead if they challenged the US and her allies. If a country wants to strike at a US force, they are not going to wait for the USAF to move its best assets into the theatre.

Saudi Arabia are after 24 Typhoons, Thailand is looking at Griphens, F-16s, and various Russian aircraft. Saudi Arabia has opposition to the Royal leadership, Thailand just had coup d'état last year. Country leadership can quickly change... remember Iran? For a good while their F-14s were fully armed (nearly), and were a viable force. It wouldn't take much for a nut freshly in control of a country to send 24 Typhoons at anything American in the region. A carrier group is a formidable weapon system, but being attacked by 24 Typhoons at once, a few shots will get through. I dont think the US wants its own little Falklands.
 
PADSpot
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:38 pm



Quoting Art (Reply 14):
I think that one reason for this interest is the cost uncertainty of the F-35. Would they buy enough Typoons to justify an assembly line if they decided to buy some? I don't know.

I think the military has the more honest motives here. On the side of the Turkish government I assume politcal objectives.
I think they should get Block 60s or F-15"T"s. Less money, less time, less pain.

And I also don't think they will get an assembly line. Turkey belongs to the German EF sales area and I remember the fuss being made last time when they asked for an assembly line for rifle bullets (it was like they had asked for a nuke). It took them eight years to get an export clearance for second hand Leopard 2 tanks. The last thing that they will get is an export clearance is an EF assembly line (well at least not before 2030 or so ...).
 
gsosbee
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:57 pm

 
Lumberton
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:00 pm



Quoting Oroka (Reply 15):
Saudi Arabia are after 24 Typhoons,

Actually, it's 72, and they firmed up the deal this week.

Quoting Art (Reply 14):
Japan has also expressed an interest in the Eurofighter, as reported above.

I was aware of the media report. Japan is said to really want the F-22, but the U.S. (so far) refuses to export it. I'd have to ask, how bad they want it? Bad enough to buy it off the shelf? I can not see the U.S. agreeing to a line there, although I could see us eventually approving the sale to Japan, Australia, and Singapore (as discussed on many other threads). Could they opt for the Typhoon? Sure, but I suspect any decision on this is years away; the dance has just begun.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
AirRyan
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:41 am



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 8):
I do, too, but what about the Marines' insistance of also having an attack jet that has VTOL capabilities?

I'm sort of irritated that the Corps hasn't solved this issue yet with the USN and yet they are still going forth with their plan for the time being. It's all but readily obvious that for the USMC to operated F-35B's from CVN's of which the F-35C's will be optimized for will be a reduction in capabilities for a larger price. While I'm all for the F-35B to replace the Corps' AV-8B+'s that's it - but the Corps needs to replace existing Hornets with Super Hornets and Growlers just like the USN is doing. Let's face it - the JSF was designed and selected around the STOVL F-35B variant and that just baffles me how the USAF and USN agreed to buy into that. Given the cost overruns in the V-22 and H-1 upgrade prograns combined with the need to still purchase the V-22's as well as begin to R&D the CH-53K, the Corps needs to pursue readily available alternatives such as the Super Hornet whenver they can.

If the Super Hornet is good enough for the USN to protect all of their carriers, I'm more than confident that F/A-18F and EA-18G's would serve the Corps admirably just as well and do so for a lot less cost than F-35B's and operating EA-6B's on their own after the USN retires their fleet for 10+ years (and at 4 crew-members, too!) With the F/A-18F's in Block II and even III config's they'd provide for the Corps the most economical CAS aircraft aircraft available as well as the most potent they have ever fielded: the Corps doesn't need an all STOVL (note that they don't even claim VSTOL like what the Harrier claims.)

Quoting Oroka (Reply 15):
I checked the F/A-18E/F is good, but not really that good, not a big advantage.

What makes the Super Hornet the powerful aircraft that it is is it's electronics and weapons - with AESA radar's most aerial engagments will be conducted well over the horizon with AMRAAM's where it's AESA radar's will give it a significant advantage over anything out of Russia or China at the moment. Throw in JHMCS and AIM-9X and the days of 1v1 WVR are just no longer quite the same as the days of the Red Baron or Erich Hartmann are over as we used to know it.
 
Devilfish
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 2:07 am

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 12):

India perhaps?

I think LockMart's JSF incentive for the IAF was contingent on the F-16 winning India's MMRCA competition. And there's this besides.....

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi...yX8AAAEAAA4pXeAAAAAQ&modele=jdc_34

Transfer of High Technology Weaponry by the United States
(Source: Indian Ministry of Defence; issued Dec. 6, 2007)

Quote:
"The Ministry of Defence has received no offer from the United States for transfer of high technology weaponry including its 5th-generation Joint Strike Fighter F-35."

Also, the just agreed Indo-Russian cooperation on the PAK-PA would cast doubt on an IAF acquisition of the F-35 - unless that joint venture runs into big costs, development and milestone problems too.

Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 17):
Airborne again

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...in-flies-f-35-jsf-and-catbird.html

[Edited 2007-12-07 18:30:49]
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
Oroka
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 2:47 am



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 19):
What makes the Super Hornet the powerful aircraft that it is is it's electronics and weapons - with AESA radar's most aerial engagments will be conducted well over the horizon with AMRAAM's where it's AESA radar's will give it a significant advantage over anything out of Russia or China at the moment. Throw in JHMCS and AIM-9X and the days of 1v1 WVR are just no longer quite the same as the days of the Red Baron or Erich Hartmann are over as we used to know it.

Didn't they make a similar mistake with the F-4, assuming everything would be missile engagements and just skipped the guns? The Rhino has guns, but is does not have a clear advantage over Russian and Chinese metal with close in combat. You assume that an opponent will fly in clear and straight, willy nilly in the clear blue. The US will win every time if it comes down to radar, that is why an opponents tactics will avoid being pegged by radar, and it will be in a way you would never expect.

Combat changes, that was learned in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq... the same ol bag of tricks wont work forever. Big ass radar was initially designed with Soviet aircraft in mind, that line of tactics will become obsolete. Handy sure, but not a game winner.
 
AirRyan
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:29 am



Quoting Oroka (Reply 21):
Combat changes, that was learned in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq... the same ol bag of tricks wont work forever. Big ass radar was initially designed with Soviet aircraft in mind, that line of tactics will become obsolete. Handy sure, but not a game winner.

I guess I'm just assuming that we take into account our AWACS and our entire INTEL inventory from satelittes to AEGIS, combined with advents other than just radar like IRST as well; so other than that if I'm a two or four ship F/A-18F group flying MIDS L16 with everyone's eyes and ears on, I'm not seeing as to where we may be at a disadvantge - remember, air show wonder-maneuvers today have little to do with actual combat effectiveness: AMRAAM+ and/or AIM-9X don't discriminate.


http://www.boeing.com/news/feature/p.../assets/pas_2007fa-18_final-r1.pdf
 
redflyer
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:25 am



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 19):
It's all but readily obvious that for the USMC to operated F-35B's from CVN's of which the F-35C's will be optimized for will be a reduction in capabilities for a larger price.

Ah, but don't forget the Corps likes to have its own carriers -- amphibious assault ships -- that the AV-8B and future F-35B can operate from. That way they aren't so dependent on the Navy's capital ships for deployment. Unless you've got S/VTOL capabilities, you can't fly a fixed wing off of an assault ship.

But I'm not arguing your points. I think they need to reconsider their requirements/strategy.
My other home is in the sky inside my Piper Cherokee 180.
 
F27Friendship
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:53 am



Quoting PADSpot (Reply 16):
The last thing that they will get is an export clearance is an EF assembly line (well at least not before 2030 or so ...).

they are building their own F-16's, only natural that they would want to build their own EF's
 
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par13del
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:51 am

As it relates to the USMC and the USN, what exactly does the Navy have besides the F-18? All their eggs are in one basket, the F-35 is not going to be the heavy hitter for the Navy, the F-18 will have to do whatever the Navy requires whether it really can or not, whether its an improvement or not, whether its the best / worst or not, those things presently in the long scheme of things really do not matter, they have to use what they have.
The USMC needs close air support, they could leave interdiction to the Navy and get more helicopter gunships to protect the troops, be a lot cheaper than jets, able to get a lot more aircraft, and able to base them much closer to the troops,
is this an option other than the F-35?
 
PADSpot
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 2:04 pm



Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 24):
they are building their own F-16's, only natural that they would want to build their own EF's

It was very early in my life that mum explained me the difference between "wanting to have" and "get".  Big grin
 
F27Friendship
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 2:14 pm



Quoting PADSpot (Reply 26):
It was very early in my life that mum explained me the difference between "wanting to have" and "get".

I get your point, but I see no possible chance for Turkey buying EF if they don't get the assembly line. As simple as that.
 
AirRyan
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 3:44 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 23):
Ah, but don't forget the Corps likes to have its own carriers -- amphibious assault ships -- that the AV-8B and future F-35B can operate from. That way they aren't so dependent on the Navy's capital ships for deployment. Unless you've got S/VTOL capabilities, you can't fly a fixed wing off of an assault ship.

That's why I only would advocate the F-35B to replace their Harriers - the notion that they are going to build new LHA's minus the well deck so they could fit in a larger hangar deck for more F-35B's is near scandilous - that ship is out there for the grunts and their equipment, not what is essentially an entire second smallar class of aircraft carriers for the Marines F-35B's which by the way are the least capable of the three F-35 variants.

I'm just not sold on the Corps' need for a fast attack aircraft with STOVL/VSTOL capabilites - when I was deployed I saw them conduct CAS with less ordinance than the Army slings on their Apaches of which a couple of times they came back with the CBU's still on their racks because the pilots couldn't get them to pickle; that and I saw an otherwise perfectly good Harrier fly right into the drink along side of the ship because it's pilot came in with too much fuel and couldn't establish a hover.

Personally, I just don't buy the argument that the STOVL penalty is worth the cost - just having a CVN to park an entire air wing of much more capable aircraft than STOVL is an entirely big bonus right there in itself. I don't recall the Marines necessarily being dissapointed in the performance of their F-4, A-4, and A-6's in ground attack roles whilst operating in the Vietnam therater of ops.

I see no reason why USMC F/A-18F's and Growlers couldn't operate from the same forward operating bases like the Marines currently practice for out at CAX at 29 Palms just as well as USN carriers. The argument I hear from the Corps about how the USN doesn't park their carriers to the spots the Corps would always like is less than bogus: that boat is out there for one single sole purpose and if the Marines have boots on the ground, it's not like the USN is going to say "Oh I'm busy chasing dolphins and mermaids" or some sh¡t like that.
 
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par13del
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:32 pm

Well AirRyan let's see, I just completed watching the Pacific war on Discovery Channel last week and they had a whole show on about the Great Marianas Turkey shoot, the other side of the story was of course the 'tin cans' being left alone to protect the troops on the beach. Reality is that the carrier is not out there to serve the Marines, its is there to aid them, the Corps tend to look at their a/c as being there for them first and foremost, and when not needed to aid the rest of the action. Piece I remember on the Gulf War I where the Marines flew CAP missions until the ground war started, then off they went, turning CAP over to the Navy professionals.

My thought is that the Corp may be looking at the Army after WWII when the air force was formed and dread loosing their own air power, which I think this whole issue about the F-18, AV-8B and F-35??? would go away if the Corp were to loose the air arm, after that, we can begin to address the Navy's problem with recruitment and retaining their pilots. Consider that the AV8B is out of production, and the only other V/STOL a/c is the F-35??, which if that went away ????. Marines have already lost some squadrons to the Navy carriers, how much more air power do they want to loose?

Interesting discussion as usual, and I still think that with all the money the Corp has sunk in the Osprey, they would be better off getting rid of all the fast jets and getting more helo's, would be fun seeing someone actually suggest that, save some money they would.
 
wvsuperhornet
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:07 pm



Quoting Oroka (Reply 15):
Maybe not a USAF aircraft, but what is the first reaction to a looming crisis? Send in a carrier group or two, and last time I checked the F/A-18E/F is good, but not really that good, not a big advantage. Great for running bomb loads, but put it up against say a J-10, it will probably be because of pilot skill, not from a big technology advantage. Ideally, the F-22s will wipe up the high threat targets out there leaving the F-35 to do the dirty work. Why did the Iraqi air force stay on the ground? They knew they were dead if they challenged the US and her allies. If a country wants to strike at a US force, they are not going to wait for the USAF to move its best assets into the theatre.

Saudi Arabia are after 24 Typhoons, Thailand is looking at Griphens, F-16s, and various Russian aircraft. Saudi Arabia has opposition to the Royal leadership, Thailand just had coup d'état last year. Country leadership can quickly change... remember Iran? For a good while their F-14s were fully armed (nearly), and were a viable force. It wouldn't take much for a nut freshly in control of a country to send 24 Typhoons at anything American in the region. A carrier group is a formidable weapon system, but being attacked by 24 Typhoons at once, a few shots will get through. I dont think the US wants its own little Falklands.

The J-10 is not that technologically advanced compared to an F-18 E/F the J-10 is maybe at best equal to a block 50 F-16. Not saying it wont be someday but right now its not. The Superhornet is not just a bomb truck, its currently used that way since thats really the only thing they need it for but I would put it up against anything out there today. It may not have the kill ratio that the F-22 will but the Superhornet can hold its own. You right anyone can send 24 typhoons into a war zone but I hope they have more than 24 is your have 24 aircraft only dont count on all 24 being capable of flying at the same time at least half that number will be down for maintenence and pilots resting and so on. Not to mention US aircraft carries can carry up to 90 aircraft if needed along with the destroyers and other ships that help protect the group if someone wanted to send up 24 aircraft 95 percent of those aircraft would probably never return, and when was the last time you ever saw the US send only one aircraft carrier battle group into battle. The biggest thing for a US opponent would be to get their aircraft off the ground before their runways were hit anyway. I see what your saying the F-35 is cutting edge technology but I still dont think the US is in any danger without it. Also the F-35 is not just a bomb truck either it will be a very capable fighter jet.
 
F27Friendship
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:51 pm



Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 30):
The Superhornet is not just a bomb truck, its currently used that way since thats really the only thing they need it for but I would put it up against anything out there today.

on what do you base all this?
 
GDB
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:28 pm

So a brand new type, a lot of new technology, hits problems, even ones that should have been foreseen.
But, imagine if we were writing in the early 70's, a lot of harsh threads about the F-14 I'd bet.

Dump F-35, then the US won't have anything in the manned supersonic combat aircraft range that's all new, apart from the virtually un-exportable F-22.
Sure F-18E/F looks fine now, but you have to think 10, 20 30 years ahead, did that type also have more than a few glitches too?

It's all very well to say that F-35 tries to cover too many bases, but that was the only way the USN was going to get anything beyond F-18, the USMC to stay in the VSTOL game, the USAF to even get near to replacing some of the now starting to age F-16 fleet.
The great enabler for JSF was the DoD had no choice.

The current range of US large procurement items are under financial strain, even in the current budgetary envirorment, which won't last no matter who is in the White House.
So how to cut costs, to put more $ on hardware?
Junk F-35 then the USMC having fast jets looks vulnerable.
Political masters might ask So, with no VSTOL, why do the Marines still need it's own establishment of fast jets, that will mostly operate off carriers filled with the same planes with USN markings?
When the stock answers are given, the reply might be, Hold on a second, we've heard all the stuff about 'littoral warfare' and suchlike, so the Navy has crews well versed in close air support as well as all the rest of it, hell, they've stripped out most of the other airplanes on board to cater for this, I ask again, why the cost of a whole separate service doing the exact same thing, with the same goddamn planes and weapons, as the guys sharing a carrier with them?

Also, the USMC might have spent it's political capitol up on the hill for a long time to come, with V-22, to a lesser extent UH-1Y/AH-1Y and not forgetting that lumbering (physically and developmentally) Advanced Amphibious Fighting Vehicle. Years late, way over cost, miles away from entering service.
 
PADSpot
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:59 pm



Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 31):
on what do you base all this?

on his screenname
 butthead 
 
Oroka
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:32 pm



Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 30):
The J-10 is not that technologically advanced compared to an F-18 E/F the J-10 is maybe at best equal to a block 50 F-16. Not saying it wont be someday but right now its not.

And that is the issue, 'not right now'. The F-35 gets scrapped, it will be upgraded J-10s vs upgraded F/A-18s. China plans on building 4 J-10s for ever F-22 the USAF has.

Point is, tatics change, and in a situation where an attacker pops up when you dont expect it, you want EVERY advantage. A F-15D++XX+++XNG pr F/A-18E will still proably not be that much better than a modern Russian SU-35. I have seen plans for Zero Length Take-off RATO from the 50s/60s... it wouldnt take much to put a fighter in the air from a hidden launch pad.

In the end, expect the unexpected, be prepaired for the worst.
 
checksixx
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:53 am

Doesn't look like the F-35 is going anywhere...it's flying again.
 
F27Friendship
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:44 pm

The only plane the US have at the moment that is superior to the latest Flankers is the F-22.
 
wvsuperhornet
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:38 pm



Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 31):
on what do you base all this?

ask anyone who fly's it.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 34):
And that is the issue, 'not right now'. The F-35 gets scrapped, it will be upgraded J-10s vs upgraded F/A-18s. China plans on building 4 J-10s for ever F-22 the USAF has.

Exactly how many F-35's do you think we will have? China will still have more aircraft than us no matter what we build its just realistic fact. How they will use them, maintain them and train their pilots is another issue. Anyway if the US really needed to it could ramp up production of the most modern F-16 series and Superhornets to match them in an emergency if needed.

Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 36):
The only plane the US have at the moment that is superior to the latest Flankers is the F-22.

It and the Euro-fighter are the only planes anyone has Superior to the flankers, but aircraft are only part of it.
 
F27Friendship
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:04 pm



Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 37):
ask anyone who fly's it.

this is not how we perform discussions on this forum as I understand it. Secondly, I don't know any pilots who fly the superbug. If your going to make such claims, you have to back them up with basic performance parameters at least.
 
XT6Wagon
Topic Author
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:27 pm

It boils down to a simple point. If you want to replace the harrier, replace the harrier. It seems quite amazingly stupid to use a harrier to replace a F16 and F18, yet thats exactly what they are trying to do with the F35. Only in this case you remove massive amounts of commonality and retain many of the negative tradeoffs required for VSTOL capability.


More importantly so what if we keep the existing planes for a while longer instead of getting the cluster-F***. that is the F35. Plenty of times before its been proven that hardware superiority is nice, but nearly meaningless in the face of proper training and tactics. Preventing a 30+ year deficit in hardware by not adopting the highly compromised F35 for the long haul.

More to the point that its possible, just possible if you make a clear point that you lie your way into the contract with overpromises, that you can get fully stepped on... maybe we wouldn't HAVE the expectation that ALL programs arrive years late and over-budget by multiples of the stated amount. How about going to LM and saying.. We don't mind its late, but we were told $XX per frame, and thats what we will pay, adjusted for inflation. If you won't sell it for that, you can go fly a kite, we will just hold a new competition for this market and you can eat your losses. Oh and your not invited since you clearly didn't understand last time.
 
checksixx
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:43 pm



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 39):
It seems quite amazingly stupid to use a harrier to replace a F16 and F18, yet thats exactly what they are trying to do with the F35.

No, actually they are not doing that. Your thinking would only apply to the USMC.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 39):
More importantly so what if we keep the existing planes for a while longer instead of getting the cluster-F***. that is the F35.

You must not know any maintainers. You have to plan ahead. I can't figure out why you refer to the F-35 as a cluster fuc& either...

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 39):
How about going to LM and saying.. We don't mind its late, but we were told $XX per frame, and thats what we will pay, adjusted for inflation.

It doesn't work that way...sorry...you just don't know how all that works. You can't do that.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 39):
If you won't sell it for that, you can go fly a kite, we will just hold a new competition for this market and you can eat your losses. Oh and your not invited since you clearly didn't understand last time.

Again, you clearly do not understand how this stuff works. The design is owned by the Government, not Lockheed Martin. Every year, parts costs WILL rise, and most of that has nothing to do with LM. If the Govt ever did this, you and your buddies would be on the fence crying foul at all the wasted tax dollars because it was quote...overtime and budget.
 
Flighty
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Mon Dec 10, 2007 3:20 am



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 39):
If you won't sell it for that, you can go fly a kite, we will just hold a new competition for this market and you can eat your losses. Oh and your not invited since you clearly didn't understand last time.

Clearly nobody has done that to Lockheed in a very long time. They simply forgot how to build jets, or else, they lied about what they can build. One or the other. If they are incompetent, why don't they say so... better than being a liar.
 
wvsuperhornet
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Fri Dec 14, 2007 9:01 pm



Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 38):
this is not how we perform discussions on this forum as I understand it. Secondly, I don't know any pilots who fly the superbug. If your going to make such claims, you have to back them up with basic performance parameters at least.

I wasn't trying to be smart if you happen to venture to an airshow and talk to the pilots they love it. Also articles I have seen if magazines and other discussion boards where pilots are on have said the same thing. If you have a problem with my posts then take it up with the moderators. Its a multi role aircraft that can also do air to air are there better aircraft out there, probably would a country with 30 SU-30's defeat the us in an air to air war, doubtfull. Relax a little and dont take my posts out on context. Your knocking it and you don't even know anyone who fly's it, so whats the difference??? It doesn't upset me in the least everyone is entitled to their opinion but I also have the right to post a rebuttle I paid for my membership like everyone else on here.
 
Devilfish
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:03 am

Update:

Lockheed-Martin prepares first STOVL F-35B for roll-out.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-f-35b-stovl-jsf-for-roll-out.html

Quote:
"Lockheed Martin will roll out the first short take-off and vertical landing F-35B on 18 December, shortly after having resumed flight testing of the Joint Strike Fighter. The first F-35, aircraft AA-1, returned to flight on 7 December, the same day Lockheed began check-out flights with the CATBird avionics testbed.

The first F-35B, aircraft BF-1, is off the assembly-line rolling dolly and on its own gear as Lockheed closes out the last few skins after completing leak testing, says Dan Crowley, executive vice-president and F-35 programme general-manager. The Pratt & Whitney F135 engine and Rolls-Royce lift system have been installed."
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
cancidas
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:00 am

anybody think that the plans and original timetables were too ambitious to begin with?
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
F27Friendship
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:24 am



Quoting Wvsuperhornet (Reply 42):
I wasn't trying to be smart if you happen to venture to an airshow and talk to the pilots they love it. Also articles I have seen if magazines and other discussion boards where pilots are on have said the same thing. If you have a problem with my posts then take it up with the moderators. Its a multi role aircraft that can also do air to air are there better aircraft out there, probably would a country with 30 SU-30's defeat the us in an air to air war, doubtfull. Relax a little and dont take my posts out on context. Your knocking it and you don't even know anyone who fly's it, so whats the difference??? It doesn't upset me in the least everyone is entitled to their opinion but I also have the right to post a rebuttle I paid for my membership like everyone else on here

ofcourse you are entitled to your opinion, but what you are claiming contests for example the aerodynamics of the machine. It is an attack aircraft in the first place and it's not a bad dogfighter. But an F-16 is already superior in almost they entire flight envelope. There's only one small aera in the lower speed regime where the F-18 wins it. A normal un-upgraded Flanker will have it as a buscuit during tea... no question there, A SU-30 is even a few levels higher on the ladder
 
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USAF336TFS
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 4:34 pm



Quoting Cancidas (Reply 44):
anybody think that the plans and original timetables were too ambitious to begin with?

They probably were, in hindsight, but anyone who thinks the F-35 is going to be cancelled is in for a rude awaking. The program is suffering much the same "mission creep" issues the the VH-71 Presidential helicopter program is facing - Asking a single airframe to be all things to all people. The F-35 however was born with those parameters in mind.
The USAF, US Navy and RAF versions are least risky, therefore IMHO, probably safe from cancellation. The F-35B, STOVL has the greatest risk attached. But should the aircraft perform as advertised, I believe this is the one version that will sell the entire program.
336th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB
 
ebj1248650
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 4:46 pm



Quoting USAF336TFS (Reply 46):
The F-35B, STOVL has the greatest risk attached. But should the aircraft perform as advertised, I believe this is the one version that will sell the entire program.

Italy and Spain would be prime candidates to buy this one, you think?
Dare to dream; dream big!
 
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USAF336TFS
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:24 pm



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 47):
Italy and Spain would be prime candidates to buy this one, you think?

Oh yes. I think all the NATO member countries are potential customers.
336th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB
 
F27Friendship
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RE: F35 Program In Trouble?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:01 pm



Quoting USAF336TFS (Reply 46):
The F-35B, STOVL has the greatest risk attached.

that would also be the RAF model

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 47):
Italy and Spain would be prime candidates to buy this one, you think?

If the're going to replace their carrier based harriers for sure. I imagine Italy will get a bunch of A models as well, to replace tornado strike aircraft.

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