|Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 8):|
America has boxed herself in by going down the path of no return and betting all on the F-35. That was risky and foolish as we are now seeing more and more.
I don't want to demean the F-35 as a concept......but at what point could it become a non-viable program?
At what point could it be cancelled?
And then what alternative must the USA take?
I understand the concept of it being "too costly to cancel" but at some point this logic must be undone.
Does it require a certain number of cancelled orders?
If the B model is cancelled what does that spell for the other models?
Can the progran survive with just the A model?
Does the USMC have a viable (or any) Plan B if the B model is cancelled?
In what scenario could we see the USAF sticking with the F-35A (this seems the most stable element of the program), the F-35B being ditched and the USN sticking with the SuperHornet, the other partners going Sea Typhoon/Gripen/F-18?
Vaguely relevant quotes:
"On 6 January 2011, Gates said that the 2012 budget would call for a two year pause in F-35B production during which the aircraft may be redesigned, or canceled if unsuccessful. Gates stated, "If we cannot fix this variant during this time frame, and get it back on track in terms of performance, cost and schedule, then I believe it should be canceled."
"On 24 November 2010, Guido Crosetto said that Italy was reconsidering its purchase of the STOVL F-35B, in light of the UK's withdrawal from that variant"
"In December 2010, Defence Minister Hans Hillen said that he had "great difficulty" with a cost increase of 20% over what the Netherlands had budgeted and that he would work with the UK and Norway on the issue"
"The intention to sign a sole-sourced, untendered F-35 contract and the government's refusal to provide detailed costing became one of the major causes of a finding of contempt of Parliament and the subsequent defeat of Stephen Harper's Conservative government through a non-confidence vote on 25 March 2011. This directly lead to the F-35 purchase becoming an issue in the 2011 federal election"
"Denmark's MPs are not expected to vote on a purchase of the F-35 before 2012, and are considering alternatives such as the JAS 39 Gripen, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and Eurofighter."
"In June 2011 the Socialist Left party called for a probe into the rising costs of the jets"
"On 24 March 2011 Turkey announced it is placing its order for 100 jets on hold due to the ongoing source code refusal issue"
"According to the Jerusalem Post, IAF officers said on 31 July 2011 that they did not anticipate that the delivery date for the F-35 would slip beyond 2017. If it did, the IAF will need to consider other options for that time period,"
[Edited 2011-09-22 14:50:42]