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Tugger
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F-35/JSF Second Engine Option Funding Pulled

Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:10 pm

Remarkably the funding for the RR/GE F-136 engine option for the F35 was removed for now from the next budget. Of course the question now is what is next and how much more will RR and GE push to try to save it? It isn't dead yet.

In general I support the idea of a second source for the engine, and I wonder what will possibly control the cost creep that will occur with the one remaining engine built by PW. But looking at the costs involved it just doesn't appear feasible to keep at this time. The direct savings is estimated to be about $3billion over the next few years.

Lately it was really just a political issue.

Quote:
Many taxpayer watchdog groups also weighed in against the engine program, slated to cost $3 billion over the next few years and $450 million this year alone.

The 233-198 tally was a loss for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, whose state reaps about 1,000 jobs from the engine program, built by the General Electric Co. and Rolls-Royce.

Tugg
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FlyingSicilian
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RE: F-35/JSF Second Engine Option Funding Pulled

Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:33 pm

Good get rid of it. I hope it stays dead.
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Blackbird1331
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RE: F-35/JSF Second Engine Option Funding Pulled

Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:10 am

What is the cost per engine, and, how many were to be ordered?
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Tugger
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RE: F-35/JSF Second Engine Option Funding Pulled

Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:28 am

Quoting FlyingSicilian (Reply 1):
What is the cost per engine, and, how many were to be ordered?

Well the full build-out for the F-35 program is/was to be over 3000 planes over twenty or so years. I don't know how many engines a jet goes throuh in its life but with replacement, spares, and maintenance, the market is pretty big.

I am not finding a cost "per engine" for the F136, projected or otherwise, but the F135's price tag is supposed to be to $10 million per engine by the 250th unit. The current engineering costs are huge and would make each engines current "per" cost equally huge.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
Blackbird1331
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RE: F-35/JSF Second Engine Option Funding Pulled

Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:41 am

Thanks. I forgot to ask, will they continue the program with an existing engine?
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ThePointblank
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RE: F-35/JSF Second Engine Option Funding Pulled

Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:13 am

Problem is now two fold:
1. GE might exit the jet fighter engine market. Other than the F404 and F414, GE now doesn't have any new jet fighter engine for any future fighter being designed. GE might decide to cut its losses and exit from the sector.

2. Some JSF partners (namely the Dutch amongst the more prominent ones) might decide to pull out because they had workshare agreements with GE as part of their industrial contribution for F-35. We could see a number of nations pull out of buying F-35's because of the decision to can the second engine.
 
Arniepie
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RE: F-35/JSF Second Engine Option Funding Pulled

Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:54 am

Quoting Blackbird1331 (Reply 2):
What is the cost per engine, and, how many were to be ordered?

Why are people asking what one engine option more or less will cost anyway?
It's not like they seem to be intersted in cost of the whole thing anyway.
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...t-confirms-jsf-cost-explosion.html

Quoting direct from the article:
JSF Likely Far More Expensive Than Aircraft They're Replacing


(Source: Project On Government Oversight; issued Feb. 15, 2011)
...............
His findings suggest that the JSF fighters will be far more expensive—even more than previously believed—than the aircraft they are set to replace, which include the F/A-18, F-15, F-16, A-10, AV-8B and other planes. The budget request, unveiled yesterday, is “the first to fully reflect the major changes in the F-35 program that started early last year,” Sweetman wrote.

Sweetman found the following average per-unit costs, or APUCs:

--F-35A: $110 million ($7.7 billion for 70 aircraft)
--F-35B: $150 million ($2.71 billion, for 18 aircraft)
--F-35C: $139.5 million ($2.79 billion for 20 aircraft)
..................


There is also reason to doubt the learning curve argument, argues Winslow Wheeler, a defense expert at the Center for Defense Information. Last year, Wheeler wrote that projections that the learning curve will bring per-unit F-35 costs down should be viewed with suspicion:

“The last 50 years of actual DOD aircraft cost history, especially of “stealth” aircraft, do not treat the Carter-Fox estimates, and the prevailing conventional wisdom, very politely, however. The absence of any such progressive “learning curve” in unit cost has been thoroughly demonstrated by the analysis of Chuck Spinney, using actual procurement data.
...................


Keep in mind that the development and production phases of the F-35 program could cost a total of $382 billion, according to one Pentagon estimate. But compare that with life cycle costs. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated in 2008 that, including life cycle costs, the F-35 program will cost more than $950 billion. The lion’s share of life cycle costs is the cost of both operating and maintaining the aircraft. If the operations and maintenance costs are substantially higher than the GAO estimated, the program easily may have moved well beyond the $1 trillion mark.
...................

A source familiar with the issue said that the Air Force believes a study performed by the Navy one year ago looks increasingly accurate, based on preliminary data the service has compiled. Buzz readers will remember that the Navy study found the F-35 would cost between 30 percent and 40 percent more per plane than does the current F/A-18 fleet. Sinceone of the primary goals of the F-35 program, with its web of international partners, was to lower maintenance costs by achieving economies of scale through large program buys by a significant number of countries this would call into question one of the fundamental goals of the program.

The JSF, protecting your skies while bankruting your country.

I hope the Dutch and other European memberstates decide against this folly and go for a more sensible option, it doesn't even have to be a European one, Silent Eagle or the latest Super Hornets would also do just fine.
[edit post]
 
FlyDeltaJets87
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RE: F-35/JSF Second Engine Option Funding Pulled

Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:01 am

Sucks for me because I'm on this program at Wright-Patterson AFB (albeit, for all of four months and most of that I've been gone for other training anyway), although I haven't heard anything from the office because I've been down in Alabama the past several weeks for a training program. Before I left, the latest word around the office was that if the engine was cut, most of ys would most likely be transferred over to the F135 engine. Most of the people in my office are civilian though, so what will happen to them and what could happen to me are two different things. I may be reassigned off the program completely, perhaps even out of propulsion. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens to me specifically when I get back.   

Quoting tugger (Thread starter):
In general I support the idea of a second source for the engine, and I wonder what will possibly control the cost creep that will occur with the one remaining engine built by PW.

Not just creep, but also quality. From the short time I've been on the program, I've been told there are two primary reasons for the JSF having two engine sources.
1) The original engine for the F-16 was the P&W F100 engine. Due to high costs and other problems with the F100, the USAF contracted GE to develop an engine, and the GE F110 is above and beyond the F100 in both performance and cost.
2) The other reason is if the JSF fleet was ever forced to be grounded for an engine-related issue, only half the fleet would have to be grounded at any given time, leaving the other half of the fleet still operational.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 5):
2. Some JSF partners (namely the Dutch amongst the more prominent ones) might decide to pull out because they had workshare agreements with GE as part of their industrial contribution for F-35.

I wonder how this will impact the British as well. Part of the F136 engine is built at RR-Bristol in the UK.

Quoting tugger (Thread starter):
The 233-198 tally was a loss for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, whose state reaps about 1,000 jobs from the engine program, built by the General Electric Co. and Rolls-Royce.

Not just his state, but his district. GE-Evendale is in Boehner's district in Ohio.
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Faro
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RE: F-35/JSF Second Engine Option Funding Pulled

Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:55 am

R&D and production costs of USD 382 billion? Total life-cycle costs approximating USD 1 trillion? Expect more cuts to come. These numbers are way out of control for a country running a USD 12 trillion deficit. And expect more UAV encroachment on the domain of the JSF too...

Faro
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wingman
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RE: F-35/JSF Second Engine Option Funding Pulled

Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:16 pm

I like Arnie Pie's point. By the time this thing gets in the air its main function will be to provide air cover over the Treasury Dept. as the Chinese storm the capital to get their money back..

It really does seem crazy not to can this entire project and just start cranking out F22's. For foreign partners maybe take out some parts and bits to lower the cost.
 
AirRyan
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RE: F-35/JSF Second Engine Option Funding Pulled

Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:56 pm

This deal is bogus for two reasons: Pratt & Splatt has dropped the ball on two modern fighter jet engine programs, the TF-30 that due to budget cuts, was forced into the F-14 for much of it's life span, resulting in the loss of more lives through the end of the millennium than the Navy aircrew lost in all of Vietnam, and the F-16. Sure, P&W can make some good engines, but they don't always do so.

The Joint Suck Fighter continues it's unimpressive incubation.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: F-35/JSF Second Engine Option Funding Pulled

Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:44 pm

Quoting wingman (Reply 9):
It really does seem crazy not to can this entire project and just start cranking out F22's. For foreign partners maybe take out some parts and bits to lower the cost.

Problem is that foreign partners want workshare, technology transfer in some cases, or maybe even a parallel assembly line. The USAF will have kittens before they allow anyone to have these on the F-22.
 
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kanban
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RE: F-35/JSF Second Engine Option Funding Pulled

Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:07 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 11):
Problem is that foreign partners want workshare, technology transfer in some cases, or maybe even a parallel assembly line. The USAF will have kittens before they allow anyone to have these on the F-22.


True, however some military offsets are met with commercial hardware and technologies... However I doubt the F-22 will make it back into production... The Boeing autoclaves have been acquired by the commercial side for 787/797 production. no autoclaves, no wings. (yes they could buy more and set up a new factory)
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: F-35/JSF Second Engine Option Funding Pulled

Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:56 pm

Quoting tugger (Thread starter):
Lately it was really just a political issue.


Quote:
Many taxpayer watchdog groups also weighed in against the engine program, slated to cost $3 billion over the next few years and $450 million this year alone.

The 233-198 tally was a loss for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, whose state reaps about 1,000 jobs from the engine program, built by the General Electric Co. and Rolls-Royce.
Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Reply 7):
Not just his state, but his district. GE-Evendale is in Boehner's district in Ohio.

Well, Speaker Boehner did not vote on the issue, but did let it come to the floor for a vote by the full House. It looks like he is trying to keep his word about cutting the budget, even if it means losses for his district.

Quoting Blackbird1331 (Reply 4):
will they continue the program with an existing engine?

Yes, the P&W F-135.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: F-35/JSF Second Engine Option Funding Pulled

Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:08 am

What could hurt the US more in the long run is that future US fighter designs will have to rely on PW engines as there is a very high chance that GE would wind down their jet fighter engine interests.

And that $3 billion in costs for the F136 is debatable; the GAO has put that number into question and says it actually could be lower; how much lower is of course, debatable as GE says they only need 1.8 billion dollars to finish development of the F136.

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