tommytoyz
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F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:53 pm

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

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi...rod=133433&shop=dae&modele=feature
And that's not the end of the price escalation as these planes need millions of dollars in rework to an extent not even known yet.

Each subsequent LRIP tranche has been more expensive than the previous one. To say prices are coming down, is simply false. I am not anti F-35 for the sake of it. But at these prices and a serial mismanagement in terms of broken promises and budgets - spanning years - it's time to think about if this is wise. The armed forces can easily wind up with so few of these, like in the case of the F-22, that it becomes questionable as a system, IMHO.

Regarding the F-22, I did not know that 60 of them do not have the more advanced radar, which was done to save money. So we have about 120 fully capable F-22s of which many are down for maintenance as they have a very low readiness rate - meaning only very few can be deployed in a sustainable fashion. If the F-35 suffers a similar fate, we'd be making a terrible mistake and wasting gobs of money.

I think the risk is too high with the F-35, akin to gambling in Las Vegas, hoping that whatever extra money will be needed will miraculously appear. It didn't for the F-22 and won't for the F-35, IMHO.
 
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kanban
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:46 am

This is the part that will bite us where it hurts (from the above article)

"1. It does not include the cost of the modifications, retrofits and upgrades that will be necessary to bring all LRIP aircraft to their nominal configuration, once flight testing and development are completed. The estimated cost of these modifications, known as concurrency costs, varies between $5 million (Lockheed Martin) and $10 million per aircraft (US Senate panel).

The JSF program office has not released its own estimate, but Venlet in December said the bill for fixing concurrency ills was so high it "sucks the wind out of your lungs." "

It may be a great plane someday (hopefully by mid century) as our Canadian posters so often tell us, however it remains a budgetary drain that will probably get plugged at a much smaller number than initially proposed.
 
Powerslide
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:29 am

I guess you didn't bother to read the entire article to notice this bit.

Quote:
While these are the projected unit costs for the LRIP 5 aircraft, there is no implication that production aircraft would cost anywhere near these amounts.

However, costs will not begin to decrease until the F-35 enters full-scale production, and this is unlikely to happen for some years yet, especially since the Pentagon has now decided to further reduce LRIP production until flight tests demonstrate that the aircraft is meeting its performance and reliability goals.

Another pointless article to feed the anti-jsf hysteria.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:38 am

The article is only pointless if you are completely disinterested in the costs. For those people yes, this article is pointless. But for those interested in the F-35 costs, the article is exactly on point.

It also refutes the false assertions that the costs are going down. Each tranche has been more expensive than the previous one, that is a fact. Which flies in the face of the program business model. Costs should have started to come down long ago, but they keep escalating.

IMHO, here's a taste of how this is going to turn out, F-22 all over again:
In 2008, LRIP-6 was supposed to be an order for 118 F-35s, including 82 aircraft for the US services and 36 aircraft for the international partners. Foreign orders have not solidified yet, but the US order for 82 aircraft is out of the question. Anticipating a Senate move to free F-35 production, the DoD asked the Congress for only 32 F-35s in FY2012, a 50-aircraft cut from the 2008 production profile.

The Senate's appropriations subcommittee now wants to extend the 32-aircraft production plateau into LRIP-7.


http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/th...f-35-production-freeze-or-new.html

We'll be lucky to get 300-400 capable F-35s put into full service at extremely high costs, IMHO. Maybe even less if the price becomes too high for the politicians and the program is terminated early because of that. The cuts have already begun.
 
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kanban
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:14 am

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 2):
I guess you didn't bother to read the entire article to notice this bit.


We read that bit.. the point is with escalating costs for these low production units, there may not be sufficient funds to very allow full production for the entire proposed fleet. And going balls out building planes that require major modifications, retrofits and upgrades will not produce cheaper a/c. We don't live in a world where "damn the expense.. full speed ahead" makes any sense.
 
TheCol
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:28 am

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 2):

I'm finding it harder and harder to believe that at this point. I think it's high time we need to start looking at other options. As much as I'd like to see the F-35 in the RCAF, these 3 facts still remain:

- 65 F-35's for 20+ years won't cut it for the RCAF, more frames will be required.
- The rest of the pre-Afghanistan equipment in the CAF needs to be replaced
- We don't have enough money to cover both

[Edited 2012-03-12 22:28:58]
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:28 am

Tommy,

Um it should be blatantly obvious: when you cut units produced, the costs will go UP. You have to pay for the fixed costs (building, tooling, labour, etc), which you have to pay, be it if you produce one or a hundred. That's why cutting production numbers is sometimes a false economy and often leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy:

Costs are high -> therefore cut units to cut costs -> per unit costs skyrocket -> costs are still high, cancel program

I will note that there will be no way that the US government will ever cancel the F-35 program. All three of the service leaders (the USAF, USMC and USN), including the the Defense Department and Congress all support F-35 and are more than willing to cut other programs to make sure that they get their allotment of F-35's. All current international partners also continue to support buying F-35's.

Four types of costs are associated with the JSF acquisition of the F-35: (1) recurring flyaway cost; (2) procurement cost; (3) acquisition cost; and (4) total ownership cost. While each is an important element in the project, they continue to confuse those who are concerned about the cost of an aircraft purchase.

The basic unit of analysis is the recurring ­flyaway costs which include program ­management, hardware, airframe, vehicle and mission systems, propulsion and engineering change orders. Procurement costs are frequently expressed per aircraft as average procurement unit costs (APUC). The acquisition costs of the JSF include procurement costs, plus research, development, test and evaluation and cost of facility construction. Finally, total ownership costs include all the preceding costs, plus operations and support, improvements and modifications. While each number associated with each cost is 'correct', each number uses totally different sets of assumptions.

Production lines are most expensive as they begin production, then decrease and taper off quite dramatically once the assembly line has fully established. This is true for every manufactured product out there, be it a jet fighter to a watch.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:38 am

Quoting TheCol (Reply 5):

I'm finding it harder and harder to believe that at this point. I think it's high time we need to start looking at other options. As much as I'd like to see the F-35 in the RCAF, the 3 still remain:

- 65 F-35's for 20+ years won't cut it for the RCAF, more frames will be required.
- The rest of the pre-Afghanistan equipment in the CAF needs to be replaced
- We don't have enough money to cover both

What options? We have to replace the CF-18's.

In a comprehensive article in Frontline Defence magazine (Issue 3, 2011) entitled "Strategy and the F-35", Lieutenant-General (ret) Ken Pennie noted that if a decision were made to conduct a purely Canadian competition, the competing ­aircraft would likely be:

Lockheed Martin F-35 (US);
Boeing F/A-18E/F (US);
Saab Gripen (Sweden);
Desault Mirage (France);
Desault RAFALE (France);
BAE Eurofighter.

LGen Pennie suggested this list would quickly be pared to three aircraft: the F-35, the F/A-18E/F and the Eurofighter, and then quickly reduced to the F-35. Insiders suggest the Eurofighter is the least capable and most expensive and that the remaining aircraft do not meet Canada’s mandatory minimum requirements, leaving the F-35 as the only possible choice.

To purchase a lesser aircraft that doesn’t have the same stealth qualities, armament and capabilities as the F-35, would jeopardize future mission success for our Air Force, and reduce the potential for pilot survivability. A Super Hornet or a Eurofighter might be good enough for today’s strategic demands but we would be effectively using yesterday’s technology to meet challenges in the coming decades – about which we can’t even hypothesize.

This is serious business and requires the best equipment available. The world of the 21st century has already proven to be unkind and unstable, and we cannot predict the threats and dangers that are in our future. But whatever happens, we have learned from hard experience that it will be a “come as you are” party.

Political decision makers should be mindful that those who oppose this purchase will never have to fly this aircraft into harm’s way. They will not have to defend their claims when Canada faces domestic or international adversity. They will not be held accountable if the Canadian Forces fail to meet mission objectives because we ­purchased an inferior aircraft with inadequate capabilities to achieve the mission aims and provide pilot survivability.

In aerial combat, you must be the best, or you die. You win, or you die. You reach your target and deploy your weapons, or you die trying. There is no second place.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:05 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 6):
Um it should be blatantly obvious: when you cut units produced, the costs will go UP.

Everything you point out, is known manufacturing ramp up cost. What you fail to appreciate is the fact that program costs go down overall, if you cut the number of units enough - even if unit prices are very high.

For instance, if the F-35 program were cancelled tomorrow, the overall program cost would be less than continuing it - even if every subsequent F-35 cost $1.

Getting stuck on unit costs is missing the overall picture. More important is total program cost - or how much is available to spend. And please be clear - military personnel do not decide where to spend the money - Congress does. Military personnel do not have the freedom or authority to shift money around amongst programs, as in a slush fund. Doing that would land them in jail.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:51 am

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 8):
Everything you point out, is known manufacturing ramp up cost. What you fail to appreciate is the fact that program costs go down overall, if you cut the number of units enough - even if unit prices are very high.

For instance, if the F-35 program were cancelled tomorrow, the overall program cost would be less than continuing it - even if every subsequent F-35 cost $1.

Getting stuck on unit costs is missing the overall picture. More important is total program cost - or how much is available to spend. And please be clear - military personnel do not decide where to spend the money - Congress does. Military personnel do not have the freedom or authority to shift money around amongst programs, as in a slush fund. Doing that would land them in jail.

However, if you cut units, it has a domino effect on everything else, not only just unit costs. It also negatively affects maintenance and training costs, the costs of upgrades and future development.

I will remind you that Congress acts upon the recommendations of the DoD; for example, Congress terminated the Comanche program upon the recommendation of the US Army, and as per the US Army's request, diverted the funds from the Comanche program to fund other Army Aviation modernization efforts. Practically every service is willing to sacrifice or has scarified something for F-35's. They know that there will be no other 5th generation alternatives available.
 
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:13 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 6):
All three of the service leaders (the USAF, USMC and USN), including the the Defense Department and Congress all support F-35 and are more than willing to cut other programs to make sure that they get their allotment of F-35's.

Just where are those cuts going to come from? The KC-46As? The Ford class CVNs? The Virgina class SSNs? The future bomber?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 7):
In aerial combat, you must be the best, or you die. You win, or you die. You reach your target and deploy your weapons, or you die trying. There is no second place.

The Japanese clearly had the superior aircraft in the A6M Zero, yet the AVG with the P-40B managed to beat them, and that was with superior pilot skills and tactics. There are many other examples in fighter history that support that.

A $200M single engine airplane already starts out with a known weakness in survivability, the single engine. The question remains how much stealth does the RCAF need over the far northern regions of Canada? All you will be stopping there are bombers, not fighters. You can still do that with cheaper, but very effective F-15s, F-16s, and F/A-18E/Fs. If you need stealth, you only need frontal stealth qualities, so the F-15SE, which costs half of what a F-35 costs will do the job very well. In 2009, Germany ordered 31 Typhoon, Tranch 3A aircraft for an average price of E90M.
 
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kanban
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:38 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 6):
I will note that there will be no way that the US government will ever cancel the F-35 program.


Reminds me of Nixon being 1000% behind Agnew just before dumping him.

What you seem to miss is the "as produced today" plane still needs major redesign mod, rework and systems completions.. The more we produce before a final acceptable unit appears the more the costs will go up. The creep in costs of the low rate frames is perhaps hiding the redesign and rework costs. These will continue to be amortized across any future production costs.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):
how much stealth does the RCAF need over the far northern regions of Canada?


   Good point.

I would hope congress is smart enough to put a production hold on this program until they get it straightened out and all, repeat, all the final production costs are known.
 
TheCol
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:52 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 7):

At what cost? This isn't any different than what happened with the CF-105. It's the right bird, but the wrong time to spend money on it. The Chinese are in the same boat, and the Russians have a much tighter R&D budget than the JSF partners. The reality is that 4.5 gen aircraft will be the primary force for at least another decade.
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:17 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 9):
It also negatively affects maintenance and training costs, the costs of upgrades and future development.


That is only true on a per unit basis, but not on an overall expenditure basis. On total costs basis, cutting the number of units has has a positive effect on those items, not negative. The fewer F-35s there are, the less those items you mentioned will cost the DoD for the entire F-35 fleet taken together. You are stuck looking a narrow - per unit - metric, only. On a program this size, the total program cost is the ultimate figure, not just the per unit calculation.

As an analogy, if I rush down to my car dealer, I am sure I can get a lower per unit price on acquisition and maintenance if I buy a fleet of cars instead of one. But I can't afford to buy nor operate a fleet of cars.

[Edited 2012-03-13 12:25:46]
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:22 pm

Quote:
F-35 jets purchase not guaranteed: Fantino
http://www.montrealgazette.com/busin...ranteed+Fantino/6294963/story.html

Quote:
Responding to NDP questions during an appearance before the Commons' defence committee, Fantino said the government remains supportive of the F-35, but the government had not made "the determinate decision" on whether it will purchase the F-35, and that it had not "discounted backing out."
What the...?
 
Powerslide
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:42 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):
so the F-15SE, which costs half of what a F-35 costs

Source?
 
ThePointblank
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:50 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):

Just where are those cuts going to come from? The KC-46As? The Ford class CVNs? The Virgina class SSNs? The future bomber?

Whatever each service feels that they can sacrifice.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):

The Japanese clearly had the superior aircraft in the A6M Zero, yet the AVG with the P-40B managed to beat them, and that was with superior pilot skills and tactics. There are many other examples in fighter history that support that.

Not true; in certain flight regimes the A6M Zero was the better aircraft, but in other flight regimes, the P-40 was better. The P-40 only gained a reputation of being a mediocre aircraft well after the war.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):
A $200M single engine airplane already starts out with a known weakness in survivability, the single engine. The question remains how much stealth does the RCAF need over the far northern regions of Canada? All you will be stopping there are bombers, not fighters. You can still do that with cheaper, but very effective F-15s, F-16s, and F/A-18E/Fs. If you need stealth, you only need frontal stealth qualities, so the F-15SE, which costs half of what a F-35 costs will do the job very well. In 2009, Germany ordered 31 Typhoon, Tranch 3A aircraft for an average price of E90M.

The end of the Cold War sowed expectations for a peaceful world with a greater level of international development and cooperation. Since then, Canada has experienced several geostrategic shocks where Canadian air power was deployed:
- Persian Gulf War (1991): CF-18 aircraft provided air cover for multinational maritime operations over the Persian Gulf
- Kosovo (1999): CF-18 aircraft participated in UN-sanctioned NATO operations to protect ethnic-Albanian Kosovars
- Libya (2011): CF-18 aircraft deployed to support allied operations.

Without exception, each of these operations came as a surprise to Canadians, requiring fighter aircraft to deploy quickly. Future operations can be expected to happen in a similar manner – with little or no notice. But as military technology develops and becomes less expensive, older and less sophisticated aircraft will be flying into increasingly perilous situations.

Many of the arguments against the F-35 are seriously misinformed. The need to replace Canada’s CF-18 aircraft cannot be argued. We also need to upgrade air combat capabilities to meet emerging threats and challenges that cannot be foreseen at this point.

Idealists choose to disregard new and emerging security concerns emanating from sovereignty challenges, terrorism, illegal migration and climate change, as well as the global threats facing Canada in years to come. The reality is, however, that we cannot rely on our allies for domestic security and we must be prepared to participate in collective defence to honour our international commitments and treaty obligations. We must participate in pacification efforts whenever and wherever the Canadian Government decides to deploy our forces.

Quoting TheCol (Reply 12):
At what cost? This isn't any different than what happened with the CF-105. It's the right bird, but the wrong time to spend money on it. The Chinese are in the same boat, and the Russians have a much tighter R&D budget than the JSF partners. The reality is that 4.5 gen aircraft will be the primary force for at least another decade.

All key military acquisitions must be viewed with Canada’s usage history in mind. It cannot be argued that Canada squeezes all possible productivity out of its aircraft (and other military hardware) before it is retired. Examples include the DC-3 Dakota, purchased in 1943 and flown until 1988, and the Sea King maritime helicopter which will celebrate its 50th year of service in August 2013. Our current CF-18's, purchased in the 1980s, will be approaching 40 years old when ultimately decommissioned and replaced. In the navy front, the Protecteur class AOR's are going to be pushing 50 years of service by the time a new replacement is expected to be in the water. I can point to many other pieces of military equipment where we have squeezed practically all possible productivity out it to the point where it is completely obsolete.

Any 4th or 4.5th gen fighter would long be obsolete at a more rapid rate than a 5th generation fighter. You have to think really long term as the CF will probably will never buy another jet fighter type within the next few decades.

Quoting kanban (Reply 4):

We read that bit.. the point is with escalating costs for these low production units, there may not be sufficient funds to very allow full production for the entire proposed fleet. And going balls out building planes that require major modifications, retrofits and upgrades will not produce cheaper a/c. We don't live in a world where "damn the expense.. full speed ahead" makes any sense.

Well, the price increases should not be a shocker. That's what happens when you cut the build from 42 to 30 after the long-lead items are already started, and keep making cuts well after long-lead items are ordered.

And pay attention to what type of cost they are using: URF, APUC or PAUC? All are "unit" costs but each aggregates a different list of items in each.

[Edited 2012-03-13 16:55:15]
 
tommytoyz
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:10 am

[quote=ThePointblank,reply=16]Any 4th or 4.5th gen fighter would long be obsolete at a more rapid rate than a 5th generation fighter[./quote]

Before you buy anything, you need to make the case that it is in fact needed. Why could the Canadians not get along just fine with the cheaper F3 Rafale C for instance, with the new AESA radar, M88-4E engines and the other upgrades? To note for Canada are the two engines and the much longer combat radius of the Rafale over the F-35.

The Rafale is more capable in almost every way over the F-35 except stealth - carries much more and flies almost twice as far and has 2 engines.

Or an F-15SE with the AN/APG-81 radar and other avionics upgrades? It would trump the F-35 in every way except stealth as well.

If you take away the stealth aspect - the remainder of what the the F-35 offers is way bellow par. It carries a far smaller load a much shorter distance yet will cost far more.

Assumed with the F-35 is that L band and VHF radars will never be able to detect the stealth aircraft - another gamble and deliberate omission. It is known that stealth aircraft can be more easily detected with VHF and L-band radars, which are being developed in conjunction with AESA radars. This stealth capability offered by the F-35 and F-22 may only be temporary and then everyone is stuck with an expensive and inferior plane.

From Wiki:
An American F-117 Nighthawk fell to a Serbian Air Defense crew who were operating their radars on unusually long wavelengths to launch a Isayev S-125 'Neva-M' missile at it which brought it down.

[Edited 2012-03-13 18:27:19]
 
BE77
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:41 am

I love the promise of the F 35.
The delays, wildly escalating costs, current mission readiness stats, and did I mention costs really make me wonder if it is really a gen 5 machine yet, or if it is concept development project still.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 16):

At the price in time and $, it looks more and more like we'll see some F18 E/F with the maple leaf roundel in the near future. Think of the AC 777 fleet, which was never really intended to get so big, but once the 787 delays started hitting, something had to fill in. In this case, I'll go with a fleet of gen 4.5 'now', and once the bugs get ironed out, some F35s can be added.
With only a very few exceptions (most of which we are generally allied with) there aren't too many places where a 4.5 isn't more than enough. Hopefully there will be a true 5.0 available when we need it!
And, depending on the Gov't of the day, we also have the recent example of the C17, where after years of neglect in the transport fleet someone finally decided to go get some (finally!).

Anyway, there might not be much choice in the matter: the existing F18 s are getting up there, the F35 isn't ready for prime time, so if we need something for conflict X in the next few years, it might be time to send out the request for proposals now. When the F35 is ready, If it does what it is supposed to do (questionable at this time), and if it is offered at anywhere near a price that can be justified for the increase in performance and safety for the person sitting in it, then it will be any easy decision (well, easy depending on the politics of the day).

As for the politics, even the current Gov't is backing off...which at a basic level disappoints me, but, at the new costs and uncertainties with the capabilities, makes me think the program might be in worse shape than we know (which would really be ugly).
Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
 
ThePointblank
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:01 am

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 17):
Before you buy anything, you need to make the case that it is in fact needed. Why could the Canadians not get along just fine with the cheaper F3 Rafale C for instance, with the new AESA radar, M88-4E engines and the other upgrades? To note for Canada are the two engines and the much longer combat radius of the Rafale over the F-35.

Maintenance and support costs would be astronomical. We would also have to completely dispose of all of our current inventory of munitions in favor of their French counterparts.

Canada does not care about twin engined fighters; the story that the F/A-18 was chosen over the F-16 back in the 1970's because the F/A-18 had twin engines is revisionist history that ignores the situation at hand; Canada wanted a multi-role fighter that could use medium-range radar guided missiles at a reasonable price. The F/A-18 at the time had that while with the F-16, the capability to be armed with radar-guided missiles only entered service well after the first CF-18's were introduced. The fact that it had twin engines was just a bonus, and did not factor into the decision making process; the requirement for radar-guided missile capability and IRB's played a bigger role (McDD offered to manufacturer KC-10 and MD-11 wings, MD-80 wings, empennage and cabin floors, and F/A-18 side panels and pylons in Canada for selecting the F/A-18).

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 17):
The Rafale is more capable in almost every way over the F-35 except stealth - carries much more and flies almost twice as far and has 2 engines.

Rafale flies farther only with 5 drop tanks, in an otherwise totally clean configuration, and will not be able to hit supersonic speeds. F-35 will fly almost just as far, and be able to hit supersonic speeds in all configurations.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 17):

Or an F-15SE with the AN/APG-81 radar and other avionics upgrades? It would trump the F-35 in every way except stealth as well.

Don't even go there; we've discussed the F-15SE at length, and the analysis is that the aircraft is seriously compromised in many key areas.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 17):
Assumed with the F-35 is that L band and VHF radars will never be able to detect the stealth aircraft - another gamble and deliberate omission. It is known that stealth aircraft can be more easily detected with VHF and L-band radars, which are being developed in conjunction with AESA radars. This stealth capability offered by the F-35 and F-22 may only be temporary and then everyone is stuck with an expensive and inferior plane.

It is very difficult to aim a weapon with VHF and L-band radars; they lack the resolution that is necessary for aiming of weapons. In short, a VHF or an L-band radar won't be able to tell the difference between a F-35 or a Boeing 747. All it sees is a target.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 17):
An American F-117 Nighthawk fell to a Serbian Air Defense crew who were operating their radars on unusually long wavelengths to launch a Isayev S-125 'Neva-M' missile at it which brought it down.

Predominate factor was that NATO planners were completely complacent and did something that broke one of the first rules of warfare: become predictable. NATO combat aircraft flew in predictable routes to and from their targets. Contributing to this was a total lack of ECM and Wild Weasel support; the battery commander knew from spies and observers that NATO didn't have any ECM or Wild Weasel aircraft airborne at the time and thus could operate his radar more freely.

Plus, the SA-3 had a secondary IR and TV guidance mode, which was employed here.

Stealth doesn't mean you are totally invisible; it means that the ability of your opponent to detect you is significantly degraded. Eventually, a persistent and close enough enemy will be able to see and shoot at you, but the good thing is that if the ability of your opponent to detect you is degraded, you can move around the enemy or shoot at him first before they can respond.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:33 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
It is very difficult to aim a weapon with VHF and L-band radars; they lack the resolution that is necessary for aiming of weapons. In short, a VHF or an L-band radar won't be able to tell the difference between a F-35 or a Boeing 747. All it sees is a target.

Today perhaps - tomorrow? These radars are being developed you know. Are you certain they'll never get to the point were they can be used against the F-35 and other stealth aircraft? The are other radars, the over the horizon ones, that bounce their signals off the atmosphere and detect stealth aircraft from above. The Australians claim to be able to do this to a limited degree.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
Don't even go there; we've discussed the F-15SE at length, and the analysis is that the aircraft is seriously compromised in many key areas.

Your analysis? Don't go there because you don't want to? The F-15SE with all the avionics upgrades would just kill the F-35 on every metric except stealth. If operated with AWACS, as most do, they can be pretty stealthy operating with their radars off. As an attack aircraft, you would get a lot more capability for the money. Wild Weasels anti radar planes and jamming can take care of AA missiles on initial attacks.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
the good thing is that if the ability of your opponent to detect you is degraded, you can move around the enemy or shoot at him first before they can respond.

That is true today. But in 2020 and beyond? Look at the radar and sensor developments going on. Eventually even Stealth will not be all that hot anymore and then we'll be stuck with an expensive dog.

The Rafale and F-15SE both mop the floor against the F-35 on every metric but stealth. But we need to use 2020 AA radar technology to asses the effectiveness of stealth at that time in the future, as the F-35 will not see operation till then. Future technology against future technology.
 
connies4ever
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:35 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 16):
The end of the Cold War sowed expectations for a peaceful world with a greater level of international development and cooperation. Since then, Canada has experienced several geostrategic shocks where Canadian air power was deployed:
- Persian Gulf War (1991): CF-18 aircraft provided air cover for multinational maritime operations over the Persian Gulf
- Kosovo (1999): CF-18 aircraft participated in UN-sanctioned NATO operations to protect ethnic-Albanian Kosovars
- Libya (2011): CF-18 aircraft deployed to support allied operations.

Without exception, each of these operations came as a surprise to Canadians, requiring fighter aircraft to deploy quickly. Future operations can be expected to happen in a similar manner – with little or no notice. But as military technology develops and becomes less expensive, older and less sophisticated aircraft will be flying into increasingly perilous situations.

Many of the arguments against the F-35 are seriously misinformed. The need to replace Canada’s CF-18 aircraft cannot be argued. We also need to upgrade air combat capabilities to meet emerging threats and challenges that cannot be foreseen at this point.

Idealists choose to disregard new and emerging security concerns emanating from sovereignty challenges, terrorism, illegal migration and climate change, as well as the global threats facing Canada in years to come. The reality is, however, that we cannot rely on our allies for domestic security and we must be prepared to participate in collective defence to honour our international commitments and treaty obligations. We must participate in pacification efforts whenever and wherever the Canadian Government decides to deploy our forces.

Believe this is a serious misread of history. All the conflicts mentioned above were coalition efforts -- and that is what Canada may participate in in the future. In such a coalition, the Yanks will provide top cover and probably SEAD. Stealth is simply not necessary for our air force.

There's no doubt the CF-18s are running out of life, so yes they need to be replaced. The CF-18E/F/G would do what is required well enough. Our security is a shared responsibility with our allies, both through NORAD and NATO, and has been for a long time. Canada simply cannot afford to mount a defense establishment on its' own that is capable of defending the country, so a coalition it must be far into the future.

See? I didn't even mention LRIP costs once.  
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:56 am

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 20):
Today perhaps - tomorrow? These radars are being developed you know. Are you certain they'll never get to the point were they can be used against the F-35 and other stealth aircraft? The are other radars, the over the horizon ones, that bounce their signals off the atmosphere and detect stealth aircraft from above. The Australians claim to be able to do this to a limited degree.

It is a technical issue. The long wave lengths simply do not have the resolution to accuracy aim weapons with; in order to achieve good target discrimination capabilities, you need the X band and upper S band radars, which practically every SAM, AAA, and fighter jet carries.

You seem to be under the impression that VHF and L-band radars is some "wunder" weapon that has only recently been thought of. As for "doing better" how well have the VHF radar systems that HAVE been employed against VLO aircraft done?

Thousands of successful strikes, one single VLO aircraft that was subsonic, had no level of fighter agility at all and no radar warning receiver system was confirmed to have been brought down.

Gee, I can't imagine why force planners and operators think the demise of "stealth" you and others harp on about so often, is just a tad premature.

In reality these systems are no more useful than trip-wires. They may alert a defender to someone being present, but they won't provide targeting information on ANY aircraft. At best they can give a defender an idea of where to start searching, but the sky is big and tactical fighters are small and fast.

Ironically enough these systems are likely to be very useful for one thing: all these will do is let you know when you're about to die. They are fixed in place when operational, they have to constantly radiate large amounts of very long wavelength energy.

A quick read of the Russian literature shows that even the very latest digital Russian Vostok VHF radars are intended as "trip wires" only. They give (according to their own specs) accuracy readings within hundreds of metres at ranges of about 40k's (their own guess) in jamming environments, which they most certainly will be in. Such radars are extremely vulnerable to jamming, SEAD weapons and spoofing, all of which, not surprisingly are within the F-35's "bag of tricks".

All the problems with tracking, targetting and engaging VLO aircraft still remain. The only thing they give you "maybe" is detection.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 20):
Your analysis? Don't go there because you don't want to? The F-15SE with all the avionics upgrades would just kill the F-35 on every metric except stealth. If operated with AWACS, as most do, they can be pretty stealthy operating with their radars off. As an attack aircraft, you would get a lot more capability for the money. Wild Weasels anti radar planes and jamming can take care of AA missiles on initial attacks.

Except that F-35 accelerates faster, can carry more munitions, and has the ability to see all around the aircraft, the proposed F-15SE is an competitive aircraft. Except that it isn't, and recent sales have indicated this; note that the a number of nations that have access to F-35's against the F-15SE are choosing or have expressed interest in F-35 over the F-15SE. These nations include Israel and Singapore.

The larger RCS of the F-15SE would offset any sensor advantages, as a VLO target would have the first look advantage, and be able to maneuver into an advantageous position. The Silent Eagle would have advantages against 4/4.5gen aircraft, would be on the defensive vs a 5th gen aircraft. I believe Adolf Galland said this in regards to the necessity of the first look advantage in aerial combat:

Quote:
The first rule of all air combat is to see the opponent first. Like the hunter who stalks his prey and maneuvers himself unnoticed into the most favorable position for the kill, the fighter in the opening of a dogfight must detect
the opponent as early as possible in order to attain a superior position for the attack.

Also, Robert L. Shaw, in the book,"Fighter Combat Tatics and Maneuvering", emphasizes the importance of having the first look advantage over your opponent as being able to spot your opponent before they see you is an incredibly significant advantage.

Someone obviously has been reading way too much APA papers to realize that the F-15SE is vaporware and now we're already 'properly upgrading and equipping' it with more vaporware to make it competitive against unclassified F-35 capabilities in 2012.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 21):
There's no doubt the CF-18s are running out of life, so yes they need to be replaced. The CF-18E/F/G would do what is required well enough. Our security is a shared responsibility with our allies, both through NORAD and NATO, and has been for a long time. Canada simply cannot afford to mount a defense establishment on its' own that is capable of defending the country, so a coalition it must be far into the future.

However, note that I did say Canada has a tendency to keep aircraft around for very lengthy service lives to the point of utter and complete obsolesce. The USN is going to retire the F/A-18E/F roughly 20 years from now. After that any Canadian fleet of the Super Hornet will now become an orphan fleet, where we will have to support and develop upgrades for, at a considerable cost. At least with the CF-18 IMP, we could leverage USN and USMC development and experience for Hornet upgrades.
 
tommytoyz
Topic Author
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:22 am

ThePointblank:

Everything you said about radar, is about today's technology - everything. But I am not talking about today's technology as the F-35 won't enter service till at least 2020. You need to look at what will be available in 2020 and beyond to make a comparison, because that is what it will be up against. You frequently make this apples to oranges comparison and I frequently have pointed this out to you.

The F-15SE and the F-35 will never go up against one another, so I wonder why you make such a hypothetical example. The F-35 will be used as a bomb truck/attack aircraft. So that is the role in which to compare the F-15SE/Rafale VS. the F-35. Since the F-15SE or Rafale would almost surely operate with AWACS and Harm equipped aircraft, radar AA the air defenses will be suppressed or destroyed by HARM and enemy fighters seen by AWACS and attacked by Rafale/F-15SE with their radars shut off. The AWACS can guide the missiles fired by the F-15SE/Rafale, until the missiles acquire the target. If you argue the enemy will have large numbers of GEN 5 stealth fighter that will evade AWACS - which country is this?

As to the F-35 VS, F-15SE/Rafale capabilities outside stealth - The F-35 does not accelerate faster, it does not carry more payload or munitions and it has significantly shorter range carrying the same payload.

Why don't you admit to anything inferior about the F-35 against anything? You are blinded by your love for the thing. It's a fact the F-35 is slower, carries less payload and munitions, accelerates slower, has a slower top speed, has less range and will likely cost much more - VS. the F-15SE or Rafale. And the Rafale is no paper plane.


And if the F-35 carries more than 4,000lbs of munitions, it is not stealthy either - so what's the point? The F-15 can carry up to 24,000lbs of munitions into theater. The F-35 only 4,000lbs in stealth or 18,000lbs non stealth - and not as far. You can accept reality or stick you head in the sand.

[Edited 2012-03-14 20:25:25]

[Edited 2012-03-14 20:25:58]

[Edited 2012-03-14 20:47:02]
 
Powerslide
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:31 am

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 23):
It's a fact the F-35 is slower, carries less payload and munitions, accelerates slower, has a slower top speed, has less range and will likely cost much more - VS. the F-15SE or Rafale.

I have heard this before yet you still fail to provide any actual sources for your "facts".
 
tommytoyz
Topic Author
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:40 am

So let's do the math:

To equal one F-15 carrying 24,000lbs of munitions, you would need 6 F-35s in full stealth to make a difference. And the only difference would be stealth.

1F-15 VS 6 F-35s

The Rafale can carry 20,900lbs today and with the new M88-4E engines up to 23,000lbs.

That's about the same as the F-15.

The lack of stealth can be compensated by escorting the bomb truck with 1 Anti Radar aircraft and 1 more loaded with 10 air to air Meteors or AIMs in the pack of 3 planes. Scale up as needed.

Or

6 F-35s to carry bombs and 2 more to carry 4 AA missiles each in full stealth - for a total of 8 AA missiles (VS 10 for the Rafale/F-15 flight of 3 planes). You don't have anti radar missiles, but you do have stealth. 8 F-35s VS 3 F-15/Rafales - that's the math, even assuming radars don't improve VS. the F-35 by 2020. And if more than 8 enemy planes show up, your 100% toast, because you'll run out of missiles. At least with the Rafale/F-15 you run out of missiles after 10.

So you'll need at least $1.2 billion worth of F-35 aircraft for the mission VS. $300 million worth using Rafales or F-15s. Even if you reduce the payload of the F-15/Rafale bomb trucks by half to only 12,000 lbs each by making it a flight of 4, that's still only $400 million worth to deliver the same amount of bombs.

This also means more pilots needed more aerial tankering, etc... the costs are astronomical - just for stealth.

[Edited 2012-03-14 21:58:43]
 
ThePointblank
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:05 am

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 23):

Everything you said about radar, is about today's technology - everything. But I am not talking about today's technology as the F-35 won't enter service till at least 2020. You need to look at what will be available in 2020 and beyond to make a comparison, because that is what it will be up against. You frequently make this apples to oranges comparison and I frequently have pointed this out to you.

Tommy,

You don't get it. It is technically impossible for a VHF or L-band radars won't have the resolution necessary to guide weapons, and that hasn't changed ever since WWII. Everyone has stopped using VHF or L-band radars for anything other than volume search functions. You keep talking about future radars, ignoring the fact that the laws of physics makes it impossible to ask VHF and L-band radars to do what you are asking. Whilst they too can theoretically detect a low RCS aircraft, they have significant difficulty providing quality information on range, bearing or doppler. All things which are rather useful to know, even if it is simply so you can vector an aircraft there. I'm not a radar specialist or a physicist, but I know well enough from the literature that what you are proposing is impossible.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 23):
The F-15SE and the F-35 will never go up against one another, so I wonder why you make such a hypothetical example. The F-35 will be used as a bomb truck/attack aircraft. So that is the role in which to compare the F-15SE/Rafale VS. the F-35. Since the F-15SE or Rafale would almost surely operate with AWACS and Harm equipped aircraft, radar AA the air defenses will be suppressed or destroyed by HARM and enemy fighters seen by AWACS and attacked by Rafale/F-15SE with their radars shut off. The AWACS can guide the missiles fired by the F-15SE/Rafale, until the missiles acquire the target. If you argue the enemy will have large numbers of GEN 5 stealth fighter that will evade AWACS - which country is this?

You brought up the F-15SE as a substitute, so any comparison is valid.

I will note that a number of other nations are developing their own 5th generation fighter (I'm sure you are well aware of China's and Russia's programs on that front).

And AWACS guiding missiles? I'm sorry, but that's technically impossible, for the reasons described earlier regarding radar capabilities. You need upper S-band or X band radars for weapons system guidance.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:04 am

Looks like the Canadians are getting serious cold feet over this procurement.

Quote:
Canada's associate defense minister on Tuesday said one of the most ardent supporters of the F35 program could back out of a multi-billion purchase of the fighter jets.

"We have not as yet discounted the possibility of backing out of the program," Minister Julian Fantino, responsible for military procurement, was quoted as telling the House of Commons defense committee.

which should be fairly easy since

Quote:
but noted that no contract has been signed.
 
tommytoyz
Topic Author
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:21 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 26):
And AWACS guiding missiles? I'm sorry, but that's technically impossible, for the reasons described earlier regarding radar capabilities

Really? A little 101:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIM-120_AMRAAM
"The missile uses this information to fly on an interception course to the target using its built in inertial navigation system (INS). This information is generally obtained using the launching aircraft's radar, although it could come from an infrared search and tracking system (IRST), from a data link from another fighter aircraft, or from an AWACS aircraft."

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 26):
It is technically impossible for a VHF or L-band radars won't have the resolution necessary to guide weapons

You are an expert in this field, yes? Please describe your credentials so we can all judge your comments according to your credentials, thanks.

In the meantime, can you refute the following with your knowledge in signal engineering?

http://tech.mit.edu/V121/N63/Stealth.63f.html

John Hansman, a professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, explains, “Some stealth aircraft, like the F-117, are specifically designed to have a low radar cross section to monostatic, or conventional, radars. They are not stealthy to some bi-static configurations.”

Conventional monostatic radar places the transmitter and receiver in the same location, making it simple to locate a plane when spotted. Bi-static, or multi-static radar, would position the receiver at a different position from the transmitter. This makes it more difficult to compute the location of the aircraft. (Multiple Grippens have multiple receivers in multiple locations with data link -Edited).

However, since stealth aircraft do reflect some radar, but away from the transmitter, bi-static radar could conceivably receive the reflection and detect the stealth aircraft.

..........

The television analogy is particularly apt, since Lockheed has been working on a project that operates on the same principles as Roke Manor’s anti-stealth system. In this project, called Silent Sentry, FM radio stations and VHF television broadcasts are used to provide the dense network of radio waves that interacts with stealth aircraft. While there are fewer FM and VHF transmission towers than cell phone towers, each individual station transmits much more powerfully.The smaller number of stations would also reduce the computational requirements of the system.

..............

“A lot of stealth technology deals with redirecting radar waves,” said Greg Duckworth, a Principal Scientist at BBN working on underwater acoustics in an area very much analogous to radar.” It’s very effective against monostatic radars. However, if you have bistatic radars, in particular a very large number of sources, so that you excite the target from a wide range of angles, and you have a multiplicity of receivers in many locations, you essentially will get around the stealth target’s redirection capabilities.

................

These data further reduce the effectiveness of stealth technology. While stealth has always returned a small signal, even to monostatic radars, that signal is so small that it is usually filtered out either by the radar scope or by the operator. However, with velocity and shape information, as well as software specifically designed to detect the inconsistencies that give away a stealth airplane, it becomes considerably easier to separate planes from birds in the sky.

................

“No offensive advantage lasts,” he said. “Often there is a relatively cheap defense counter to match new offensive technology. We may find ourselves moving further away from manned delivery platforms and focusing more on cruise missiles, tactical ballistic missiles, and short range missiles with incredible accuracy.”
 
connies4ever
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:34 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 22):
However, note that I did say Canada has a tendency to keep aircraft around for very lengthy service lives to the point of utter and complete obsolesce. The USN is going to retire the F/A-18E/F roughly 20 years from now. After that any Canadian fleet of the Super Hornet will now become an orphan fleet, where we will have to support and develop upgrades for, at a considerable cost. At least with the CF-18 IMP, we could leverage USN and USMC development and experience for Hornet upgrades.

The Aussies ? They'll be flying their Rhinos into the '30sor even later.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
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spudh
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:50 am

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 25):
So let's do the math:

To equal one F-15 carrying 24,000lbs of munitions, you would need 6 F-35s in full stealth to make a difference. And the only difference would be stealth.

1F-15 VS 6 F-35s

The Rafale can carry 20,900lbs today and with the new M88-4E engines up to 23,000lbs.

That's about the same as the F-15.

Tommy, both you and Pointbalnk need to do a little less Top Trump fact quoting and add bit more realism. Yes the F-15 can get off the ground with 24,000 lbs of ordnance (at least the E anyway) but from what length runway, with how much fuel and how far can it go with that and at what speed. And how many strike targets have that 10,000ft runway conveniently located nearby. At leats the F-15E has a large amount of fuel capacity on board but look at the Rafale, I don't know about its future upgrades but whatever way you look at it, its internal fuel capacity is 10,000lbs so its not going far with 23,000lbs of ordnance hanging off it and if you want to go far it certainly will only be able to carry a small fraction of that 23,000lbs as a lot of its main hard points will be taken up with tanks.

The largest load outs in OIF and OEF were in the order of 4,000lbs ordnance. Most would have been less. The only airframes that could carry even that load a meaningful distance were: F-111, F-15, F-14 and Tornado - 3 of which are dedicated strike platforms and one which had that inherent capabilty from being designed to carry 6,000lbs of missile a long way. The 3 swing wing figthers have blistering low level performance, true supersonic capability with very high subsonic speed availble while loaded and the F-15 is no slouch here either. While the quoted low level speed of the Rafale is not far behind these, there's no way a delta winged figher could sustain that speed at low level and wont approach the speed of the others when loaded.

One thing we know about the F-35, regardless of its problems is that it can carry 4,000lbs internally with 18,000lbs of internal fuel. It can probably supercruise in that configuration (at least for a part of the mission once fuel load has lightened) and will do it in full stealth mode. In that clean configuration it will go a looong way, outranging anything short of a B1-B. That combination of speed and stealth and range will mean that it wont need the tanker, ECM and escort support vital to 4th gen platforms. With the retirement of F-14 and A-6 the USN has to put tanker equipped F-18's up with every strike package. So to reach a target 500nm away will require a gaggle of F-18E/F/G's in various configurations to hit a target that a single F-14/A-6 with an EA-6B could hit 15 years ago. But we all know the F-18 is much more affordable than those old platforms don't we. The USN found the reality of that situation out pretty quick in OEF where they were repeatedly hitting long range targets when they had to depend heavily on the fleet air defence figher F-14 instead of their strike platform F/A-18 and oh so much more affordable and flexible F-18E/F. (mind you there is an argument that they knew the F-14's time was up so it made sense to use up as much airframe hours on them as possible instead of the F-18's which were going to have to last another 30years)

I'm not an F-35 fanboy like some of the others, and I would share your grave concerns about its affordability, particularly in terms of numbers procured but when 'you do the math' on it, the F-35 will put the ability to reach out and strike back in the hands of forces in a way not seen siince the F-111 was conceived. And the ecomomics of that real life operation must factor in at some stage too. To say that any other 4th gen fighter or combination of fighters can match that strike capabilty based on quoted max loads is purile nonsense.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:33 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 16):

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):
The Japanese clearly had the superior aircraft in the A6M Zero, yet the AVG with the P-40B managed to beat them, and that was with superior pilot skills and tactics. There are many other examples in fighter history that support that.
Not true; in certain flight regimes the A6M Zero was the better aircraft, but in other flight regimes, the P-40 was better. The P-40 only gained a reputation of being a mediocre aircraft well after the war.

The Zero outclassed the Warhawk in speed, manuverability, rate of climb, and armorment (until the M-2 .50 calibers were added). The P-40 had an advantage in rate of desent, which is what the AVG used. They would attack from above, one pass through the Japanese fighter formation, then keep on going.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 15):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):so the F-15SE, which costs half of what a F-35 costs
Source?

Unit cost

F-15SE: US$100 million (planned average cost, 2009) including spares and support

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-15SE_Silent_Eagle

The F-15SE will have the same frontial stealth aspect as the F-35A/C, and a smaller frontal RCS than the F-35B.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 16):
Many of the arguments against the F-35 are seriously misinformed. The need to replace Canada%u2019s CF-18 aircraft cannot be argued. We also need to upgrade air combat capabilities to meet emerging threats and challenges that cannot be foreseen at this point.

Really? No one is arguing against the RCAF replacing their current CF-18s, and yes, you do need to upgrade the combat capability of the RCAF, as a whole, not just its fighter wings.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 22):
The larger RCS of the F-15SE would offset any sensor advantages, as a VLO target would have the first look advantage, and be able to maneuver into an advantageous position. The Silent Eagle would have advantages against 4/4.5gen aircraft, would be on the defensive vs a 5th gen aircraft.

The vast majority of the fighter aircraft in the world right now are Gen 4.5 or older. These will remain in service through mid-century in great numbers. The only deployed Gen 5 fighter is the F-22, and I don't think that is much of a threat to Canada. Even by the end of this decade, there will only be a handful of operational Gen 5 types, or still in developement. These include the F-35, T-50, J-20, LMFS, FGFA, ATD-X, KF-X, and TFX. Even through the 2020s and 2030s there probibly won't be that many Gen 5 fighters, and some nations may even start developement of Gen 6 machines. Buying the F-15SE/Typhoon/Rafal/F/A-18E/F right now will protect Canada will into the 2040s and beyond.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 26):
You don't get it. It is technically impossible for a VHF or L-band radars won't have the resolution necessary to guide weapons, and that hasn't changed ever since WWII.
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 26):
AWACS guiding missiles? I'm sorry, but that's technically impossible, for the reasons described earlier regarding radar capabilities.

Where did you get all of that as none of it is true.

Here is the current capability of the CF-18;
Data from CF-18 Specifications[52]
General characteristics
Crew: 1 or 2
Length: 56 ft 0 in (17.07 m)
Wingspan: 40 ft 0 in with Sidewinders (12.31 m)
Height: 15 ft 4 in (4.66 m)
Wing area: 400 ft2 (37.16 m2)
Airfoil: NACA 65A005 mod root, 65A003.5 mod tip
Empty weight: 23049 lb (10455 kg)
Loaded weight: 37150 lb (16850 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 51550 lb (23400 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × General Electric F404-GE-400 turbofans, 16000 lbf (71.2 kN) each
Performance
Maximum speed: Mach 1.8 (1127 mph, 1814 km/h) at 36100 ft (11000 m)
Combat radius: 330 mi (290 nmi, 537 km) on hi-lo-lo-hi mission
Ferry range: 2070 mi (1800 nmi, 3330 km) (range without ordnance)
Service ceiling: 50000 ft (15000 m)
Rate of climb: 50000 ft/min (254 m/s)
Thrust/weight: 0.89
Armament
Nine Weapon/ Store Stations (5 pylons: 1 Under Fuselage and 4 Wing Stations) (2 LAU 116 located on sides of fuselage: deploys AIM 7 Sparrow and AMRAAM Missiles)(2 LAU 7 located on the wing tips: Deploys AIM 9 Sidewinder Missile), carrying up to 13700 lb (6215 kg) of missiles, rockets, bombs, fuel tanks, and pods
1 × 20 mm M61A1 Vulcan internal gatling gun with 578 rounds, with a firing rate of 4000 or 6000 shots per minute
Missiles:
Air-to-air: AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-7 Sparrow
Air-to-ground: AGM-65 Maverick, CRV7 rockets
Bombs: Paveway, Mk 82, Mk 83, Mk 84, GBU-10, -12, -16 and -24 laser guided bombs.
Avionics
Raytheon AN/APG-73 radar
BAE Systems AN/APX-111 IFF
Rockwell Collins AN/ARC-210 RT-1556/ARC VHF/UHF Radio
General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems AN/AYK-14 XN-8 mission computer
Smiths Aerospace AN/AYQ-9 Stores Management System

The planned capabilities of the F-35A;
General characteristics
Crew: 1
Length: 51.4 ft (15.67 m)
Wingspan: 35 ft[N 5] (10.7 m)
Height: 14.2 ft[N 6] (4.33 m)
Wing area: 460 ft²[162] (42.7 m²)
Empty weight: 29,300 lb (13,300 kg)
Loaded weight: 49,540 lb[123][N 7][335] (22,470 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 70,000 lb[N 8] (31,800 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney F135 afterburning turbofan Dry thrust: 28,000 lbf[336][N 9] (125 kN)
Thrust with afterburner: 43,000 lbf[336][337] (191 kN)
Internal fuel capacity: 18,480 lb (8,382 kg)[N 10]
Performance
Maximum speed: Mach 1.6+[157] (1,200 mph, 1,930 km/h) Tested to Mach 1.61.[338]
Range: 1,200 nmi (2,220 km) on internal fuel
Combat radius: 584 nmi[339] () on internal fuel[340]
Service ceiling: 60,000 ft[341] (Tested to 43,000 ft)[342] (18,288 m)
Rate of climb: classified (not publicly available)
Wing loading: 91.4 lb/ft² (446 kg/m²)
Thrust/weight: **With full fuel: 0.87 With 50% fuel: 1.07
g-Limits: 9 g[N 11]
Armament
Guns: 1 × General Dynamics GAU-22/A Equalizer 25 mm (0.984 in) 4-barreled gatling cannon, internally mounted with 180 rounds[N 12][157]
Hardpoints: 6 × external pylons on wings with a capacity of 15,000 lb (6,800 kg)[157][162] and 2 internal bays with 2 pylons each[162] for a total weapons payload of 18,000 lb (8,100 kg)[124] and provisions to carry combinations of: Missiles: ** Air-to-air missiles: AIM-120 AMRAAM
AIM-9X Sidewinder
IRIS-T
MBDA Meteor (Pending further funding)[343]
JDRADM (after 2020)[344]
Air-to-surface missiles: AGM-154 JSOW
AGM-158 JASSM[163]
Brimstone missile
Joint Air-to-Ground Missile
SOM
Anti-ship missiles: JSM
Bombs: ***Mark 84, Mark 83 and Mark 82 GP bombs Mk.20 Rockeye II cluster bomb
Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser capable
Paveway-series laser-guided bombs
Small Diameter Bomb (SDB)
JDAM-series
B61 nuclear bomb[345]
Avionics
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems AN/APG-81 AESA radar
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS) missile warning system
BAE Systems AN/ASQ-239 (Barracuda) electronic warfare system
Harris Corporation Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) communication system

The planned capability of the F-15SE;
General characteristics
Crew: 2
Length: 63.8 ft (19.43 m)
Wingspan: 42.8 ft (13.05 m)
Height: 18.5 ft (5.63 m)
Wing area: 608 ft² (56.5 m²)
Airfoil: NACA 64A006.6 root, NACA 64A203 tip
Empty weight: 31,700 lb (14,300 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 81,000 lb (36,700 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney F100-229 afterburning turbofans, 29,000 lbf (129 kN) each
Performance
Maximum speed: Mach 2.5+ (1,650+ mph, 2,650+ km/h)
Combat radius: 800+ nm (720 nmi for stealth A/A mission)[34] (920 miles (1,480 kilometres))
Ferry range: 2,400 mi (2,100 nmi (3,900 km)) with conformal fuel tank and three external fuel tanks
Service ceiling: 60,000 ft (18,200 m)
Rate of climb: 50,000+ ft/min (254+ m/s)
Armament
1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61 Vulcan 6-barreled gatling cannon with 510 rounds of ammunition
Four internal hardpoints in conformal weapons bays for low-observable capability, or
External load the same as Strike Eagle's with standard CFTs, including targeting pods and additional external fuel tanks.[35]
Avionics
APG-82 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar
BAE Systems Digital Electronic warfare system (DEWS)
Digital “Fly-by-Wire” Flight Control System (DFCS)
Lockheed Martin Sniper advanced electro-optical targeting system and Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system
Link-16 fighter data link

All data taken from the respective Wiki pages.
 
sweair
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:11 pm

As a Swede I would promote Gripen, it will be cheap, not very hard to maintain and with one engine its cheaper per hour. It has less range, less weapons and a smaller radar. If price is the most important aspect, go for it  
 
connies4ever
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:07 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 31):
The vast majority of the fighter aircraft in the world right now are Gen 4.5 or older. These will remain in service through mid-century in great numbers. The only deployed Gen 5 fighter is the F-22, and I don't think that is much of a threat to Canada. Even by the end of this decade, there will only be a handful of operational Gen 5 types, or still in developement. These include the F-35, T-50, J-20, LMFS, FGFA, ATD-X, KF-X, and TFX. Even through the 2020s and 2030s there probibly won't be that many Gen 5 fighters, and some nations may even start developement of Gen 6 machines. Buying the F-15SE/Typhoon/Rafal/F/A-18E/F right now will protect Canada will into the 2040s and beyond.

Actually, the rising price of the F-35 can be considered a beautiful thing: if it continues it will help make war unaffordable. One thing that is clear to me is that, although I have NEVER been a Reagan fan, he made it clear to the USSR that America would spend whatever it took to bleed the USSR dry.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Powerslide
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:30 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 31):
Unit cost

F-15SE: US$100 million (planned average cost, 2009) including spares and support

This is before development costs that the first buyer will have to fund. No one is stupid enough to buy what Boeing is selling in their F18I or F15SE when Lockheed has a true 5th gen F35 just around the corner. If the F15SE was really that good, the Koreans would have bought/funded its development.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:25 pm

Quoting spudh (Reply 30):
Tommy, both you and Pointbalnk need to do a little less Top Trump fact quoting and add bit more realism

That's why I mentioned adding another bomb truck to share the load for a flight of 4 instead of 3. Then the bomb trucks would only carry 12,000lbs of munitions each with the rest being fuel and two more with 1 carrying anti radar and 1 pure A2A missiles. Please read my entire post.

The flexibility offered by the F-15SE and Rafale far exceeds that of the F-35. If you wanted to, they could strike much farther than the F-35 ever could under any circumstances without tankers. I was just giving one example.

The F-35 can not go beyond a 600nm radius on internal fuel, period - if even that. That is it's range. Going supercruise would cut the range significantly and is of little use against missiles or enemy aircraft, which are much faster anyway.

Looking at the armament/rnage capabilities of the Rafale and F-15SEa little closer, they easily carry some A2A missiles along with the bomb loads, so 2 bomb trucks carrying 12,000 lbs of bombs each and 1 anti radar is enough for the sortie. Total of 3 is good.

Vs. 6 F-35s needed to carry 24,000lbs of bombs the same distance.

[Edited 2012-03-15 14:10:24]
 
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spudh
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:32 pm

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 35):
And I made a big mistake in favor of the F-35. It really can only carry 2,000lbs of bombs internally, not 4,000, but also a few AA missiles. Escort F-35 would not be needed. So to revise, a mission to carry 24,000 lbs of bombs a distance of say 500 miles with 4 Rafale's or 4 F-15SEs, you wold need 12 F-35s - it's a joke - that's no way to deliver bombs. A fleet of 12 would cost $1.8 billion VS. $400 million + pilot training and operating expenses and logistics.

That's a ridiculous statement!

I'm going to let others straighten you out as they have done before on what the F-35 can or cannot carry internally save to quote what it says in wikipedia: A and C model 2x2000lb internal, B model 2x1000lb internal

You're then comparing external carriage of weapons to internal carriage based on one type having an ECM escort and the other not. If you want to do that let the F-35 carry external fuel and weapons and send the same ECM and escort aircraft with it if you believe that is a safe level of protection. Its a nonsensical argument

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 35):
That's why I mentioned adding another bomb truck to share the load for a flight of 4 instead of 3. Then the bomb trucks would only carry 12,000lbs of munitions each with the rest being fuel and two more with 1 carrying anti radar and 1 pure A2A missiles. Please read my entire post.

You're using the Rafale and F15 in the one statement as if they are equal when they are clearly not even in the same ball park for range/payload capability. An F-15E has internal capacity for 22,900lbs fuel including the FAST packs. The F-15SE will have less as some of the internal fuel is traded for weapon bays. The Rafale has 10,000lbs internal fuel. There is no way they are comparable for range/payload. 4 F-15E's might be able to get 24,000 lbs ordnance 500 miles between them but not the Rafale. To get 500miles it will need external tanks, in all likelhood this will take up 3 of its main hard points leaving 2 for ordnance. I think it would be lucky to get 4,000lbs out that far on a combat mission, based on what I've read about real combat, I don't believe it could. Even at 4,000lbs you're still looking at probably a minimum of 8 aircraft to get 24,000lbs out 500 miles when you include ECM, more if you have to escort them.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 35):
The flexibility offered by the F-15SE and Rafale far exceeds that of the F-35. If you wanted to, they could strike much farther than the F-35 ever could under any circumstances without tankers. I was just giving one example.

Again you're using the two aircraft in the same argument when they are incomparable aircraft. On top of that to say that a Rafale (10,000lb internal fuel) can out range an F-35 (18,000lb internal fuel) in any circumstance whatsoever is just plain ludicrous.

Maybe if you crated it up inside a C-5 it might have a chance.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:29 pm

Quoting spudh (Reply 36):
That's a ridiculous statement!

I got the versions confused. Mu bad, sorry. It is true of the F-35B version can only carry 2,000lbs of bombs internally. The A and C versions can carry 4,000lbs - I edited my post.

Quoting spudh (Reply 36):
let the F-35 carry external fuel and weapons and send the same ECM and escort aircraft with it if you believe that is a safe level of protection

Then what would be the point of the F-35? It would not be stealthy that way - to operate the F-35 unstealthy makes the stealth features useless. There would be no point what so ever in acquiring the F-35 if you are going to do that. The F-15SE or Rafale are far superior to the F-35 in load/range capability, even against unstealthy F-35s. They just do not have the same range/payload - even unstealthy and operated stealthy - forget it. 4,000lbs of bombs is the limit for the F-35.

Quoting spudh (Reply 36):
4 F-15E's might be able to get 24,000 lbs ordnance 500 miles between them but not the Rafale.

You're right, because 4 Rafale's could deliver even more lbs of bombs than that over that distance, especially with the newer M88-4E engines. You should look up the range/payload of the Rafale rather than going off the seat of your pants. The Rafale is very close to the F-15.

Quoting spudh (Reply 36):
Again you're using the two aircraft in the same argument when they are incomparable aircraft. On top of that to say that a Rafale (10,000lb internal fuel) can out range an F-35 (18,000lb internal fuel) in any circumstance whatsoever is just plain ludicrous.

You are assuming only internal fuel used for F-15/Rafale - why? I never assumed that. Of course they both carry external drop tanks, Rafale more so tha the F-15SE - so what? But not the F-35 if it is to operate stealthy. So internal fuel only applies to the F-35. If you are going to operate the F-35 with drop tanks in a mission, then acquiring that plane makes no sense at all. And Rafale can be fitted with 2 go fast/conforming fuel tanks as well as the F-15.

The raw number are: With 12,000lbs of bombs, the Rafale can carry 20,000 of fuel internal and external - on the old engine. The new engine allows 3,000lbs more payload, more fuel than the stealthy F-35 carrying just 4,000lbs of bombs. The comparison is not quite fair, because it only allows the F-35 to operate without drop tanks or external weapons - but then that's the entire F-35 pitch and battle plan. If you're going to operate the F-35 like a gen 4.5 plane, then just buy the gen 4.5 plane.

[Edited 2012-03-15 15:33:19]

[Edited 2012-03-15 15:34:49]
 
tommytoyz
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:12 pm

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2009-01.html

The root of these survivability problems in the Joint Strike Fighter design is that it provides robust stealth and robust jamming capabilities only in the sector under the aircraft’s nose. Its stealth capability from other angles, and in most bands, is poor or very poor, and without a proper internal jamming suite capable of covering all four quadrants around the aircraft, it is severely restricted in its choices of defensive tactics.

Why the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office and manufacturer opted to disregard the well proven stealth shaping techniques used in the F-117A, B-2A, A-12A, YF-23A and F-22A remains an open question.

The Russian and Chinese technological strategy for dealing with penetrating all aspect stealth aircraft has been to develop a new generation of VHF band radars, including multistatic forward scattering radars. These will reduce opportunities for undetected penetration, especially by fighter sized aircraft, as the VHF radars defeat shaping measures and materials designed for S-band and X-band threats.

The US Air Force technological strategy for dealing with this counter-strategy is the use of the F-22A Raptor, armed with the GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb, for lethal suppression of such radars. A pair of F-22As, armed with sixteen SDBs in total, can overwhelm the point defence SAM systems defending critical search radars.

The inferior “single aspect stealth” capability of the Joint Strike Fighter denies it the option of penetrating a modern IADS SAM belt. The depth of the IADS simply makes it geometrically impossible to find a path between search radars where the combination of distance and relative aspect would allow it to penetrate unseen. This is exacerbated by the increasing availability of modern digital VHF, UHF and L-band search radars, especially radars with 3D capability and the accuracy to guide long range area defence SAMs.

The most generous description of the stealth design used in the Joint Strike Fighter is that it is 25% VLO, in the nose sector, 25% LO in the tail sector, and 50% “reduced observable” in the beam sectors, with a strong threat operating frequency and angular aspect dependency in stealth performance. It is clearly not a stealth design in the same sense as the F-117A Nighthawk, B-2A Spirit, YF-23A and F-22A Raptor, and to label it a “VLO design” is at best a “quarter-truth”, quite indifferent to the physical realities of the design and the threat systems it will need to defeat in future conflicts.


[Edited 2012-03-15 16:46:06]
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:22 am

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 34):
No one is stupid enough to buy what Boeing is selling in their F18I or F15SE when Lockheed has a true 5th gen F35 just around the corner.

              

Countries identify the tactical need for an airplane, then look at what they can afford. With all the garbage you need to hang off your F-35, it is no longer stealthy. Nor does it have the range.

The F-35 has a combat range of 584 nm, compared to the F-15SE combat range of 800 nm. The difference is one tanker that is not needed. The F-35 has a max speed of 1.6M, if it gets in trouble, the F-15SE can get out of town at 2.5M.

Neither aircraft will fly this type of mission with a max combat load, typically it is loaded at about 75%-80% so the airplane can be it its best "fighting weight" in the combat area. That is best manuvering weight and best acceleration weight.

The F-35 may be sexier than the F-15SE, Rafal, Typhoon, etc. but these others can get the job done. I get to see the F-35 flying everyday, it is built just about 2 miles from my home in Fort Worth. It is less empressive looking than the F/A-18C/Ds and F-16C/Ds stationed across the runway from the LM plant (USAF Plant #4) at Fort Worth NAS/JRB (formerly Carswell AFB). Believe me the F-35 has a very loud and unique sound to it. You know when it is coming.

Canada is what is called a "level 3" partner in the F-35 program. That means they are among the countries who have contributed the least amount towards the F-35 developement costs. They also have little say over the final configueration, ECM, ECCM, avionics, and navigation suites. Canada has an order that could be up to 65 F-35As, which are tentitively called CF-35As, although they will be little different from the USAF F-35A. To date, Canada has contributed some $490M USD to the program. However, the Canadian MOD would not publicly say just what the F-35 is costing, and as I understand it, lead to a lot of political turmoil.

Today's estimates of $200M (average) for each one may, or may not ever come down. It is still thought by the US DOD eventually F-35s will cost in the $110M to $130M price range. That is still up to 30% more expensive than other more suitable aircraft, for LESS capability.
 
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spudh
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:21 am

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 37):
You're right, because 4 Rafale's could deliver even more lbs of bombs than that over that distance, especially with the newer M88-4E engines. You should look up the range/payload of the Rafale rather than going off the seat of your pants. The Rafale is very close to the F-15.

You're missing the point, with the Rafale its either/or on max fuel/max payload, the sales bumf charts might indicate that it is capable of combining them but the hard point plumbing and rating will say otherwise. Manufacturers have been creative with the truth in this regard since the first competetive tender. I wonder do you still believe that the F-15 is a Mach 2.5 fighter?

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 37):
You are assuming only internal fuel used for F-15/Rafale - why? I never assumed that. Of course they both carry external drop tanks, Rafale more so tha the F-15SE - so what?

The 'so what' is that the Rafale cannot carry its max weapon load while carrying tanks, this is where internal fuel capacity is vital to range/payload trade off. Unless its up against a very docile enemy the Rafale will have to drop its tanks to engage in combat, there are all sorts of G limitations on tanks. It now has 10,000lbs of fuel max to fight its way in and out of its target area and make its way home, otherwise it will have to bug out. Not a lot of burner time in that. Obviously CFT's will help this situation a lot but the Rafales are not near as big as the F-15 (4,000lb total I believe)

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 37):
The raw number are: With 12,000lbs of bombs, the Rafale can carry 20,000 of fuel internal and external - on the old engine. The new engine allows 3,000lbs more payload, more fuel than the stealthy F-35 carrying just 4,000lbs of bombs.

This is where my 'seat of the pants' analysis is at odds with your sales bumf. Where exactly are you going to hang 12,000lbs of weaponry off the Rafale while carrying max fuel. As far as I can see, with the 3 long range tanks required for max fuel the Rafale has 2 meaningful hard points left for AtoG weaponry. Unless the Fench have cleared a few 6,000lb bombs for the Rafale I'll take a bit of convincing on this one. I'm standing by my 'seat of the pants' assessment in that I can't see the Rafale combining much more than 4,000lbs weapons with max fuel. And we haven't really gone into the effects of drag on range and speed.

By my reckoning even giving the Rafale 20,000lbs of fuel including CFT's, its still only going to bring 4,000lbs to the party and that in a very draggy suit so its going to need all of that 2,000lbs extra fuel and more it has over a clean F-35 to get there.

And with regard to going non stealth with the F-35, you've got the argument backwards. The Rafale has no alternative but to go in as it is, it has no stealth option. Its weapons will always be out there annoucing its coming. Its hard points will always be there adding drag. Regardless of how good/poor the stealth on the F-35 turns out to be (or maybe more importantly, how maintainable its stealth level is) its a quality that the alternaitive fighters simply don't have. Sticking external weapons and fuel on it for the purpose of this argument is valid because it is an option with the F-35. You obviously (and maybe rightly so) don't believe that that quality is worth double the price of altenative fighters. But I don't think you'll find too many strike fighter pilots who'll agree with you on that one.
 
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spudh
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:29 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):
The F-35 has a max speed of 1.6M, if it gets in trouble, the F-15SE can get out of town at 2.5M.

It might be able to reach that speed but if it does it will have to land straight away as 1, it'll have no fuel left and 2, the engines need to be changed. And I very much doubt that an F-15SE will reach that speed at all with FAST packs on and definitley not with any weapons pylons.
 
Powerslide
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:57 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):
Countries identify the tactical need for an airplane, then look at what they can afford.

True. Except not one country has identified either the Silent Eagle nor the SH international as a viable replacement. I'll bet you a Toonie that not one will see any real production run. No one is buying what Boeing is trying to pitch.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:59 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 31):
The Zero outclassed the Warhawk in speed, manuverability, rate of climb, and armorment (until the M-2 .50 calibers were added). The P-40 had an advantage in rate of desent, which is what the AVG used. They would attack from above, one pass through the Japanese fighter formation, then keep on going.

No, the general consensus was that the P-40 was faster at lower altitudes, was better in a dive, was more maneuverable at higher speeds, coupled with a better roll rate coupled with a more durable aircraft. If the pilot had sufficient altitude, the P-40 could out turn a Zero. The Zero was more maneuverable at a slower speed. The aircraft were very evenly matched otherwise.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 28):
You are an expert in this field, yes? Please describe your credentials so we can all judge your comments according to your credentials, thanks.

In the meantime, can you refute the following with your knowledge in signal engineering?

http://tech.mit.edu/V121/N63/Stealth.63f.html

John Hansman, a professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, explains, “Some stealth aircraft, like the F-117, are specifically designed to have a low radar cross section to monostatic, or conventional, radars. They are not stealthy to some bi-static configurations.”

Conventional monostatic radar places the transmitter and receiver in the same location, making it simple to locate a plane when spotted. Bi-static, or multi-static radar, would position the receiver at a different position from the transmitter. This makes it more difficult to compute the location of the aircraft. (Multiple Grippens have multiple receivers in multiple locations with data link -Edited).

However, since stealth aircraft do reflect some radar, but away from the transmitter, bi-static radar could conceivably receive the reflection and detect the stealth aircraft.

I deffer to the work of Christian Wolff, who is a radar engineer. I also defer to the work of Nicholas J. Willis, and Hugh D. Griffith, whom published a book called "Advances in bistatic radar" All three radar engineers have noted the technical issues that you keep dismissing.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 29):
The Aussies ? They'll be flying their Rhinos into the '30sor even later.

Not likely. The Aussies consider their Rhinos to be interim aircraft, and they only have 24. They will probably look to divest by 2030 at the latest.

Quoting spudh (Reply 36):
You're using the Rafale and F15 in the one statement as if they are equal when they are clearly not even in the same ball park for range/payload capability. An F-15E has internal capacity for 22,900lbs fuel including the FAST packs. The F-15SE will have less as some of the internal fuel is traded for weapon bays. The Rafale has 10,000lbs internal fuel. There is no way they are comparable for range/payload. 4 F-15E's might be able to get 24,000 lbs ordnance 500 miles between them but not the Rafale. To get 500miles it will need external tanks, in all likelhood this will take up 3 of its main hard points leaving 2 for ordnance. I think it would be lucky to get 4,000lbs out that far on a combat mission, based on what I've read about real combat, I don't believe it could. Even at 4,000lbs you're still looking at probably a minimum of 8 aircraft to get 24,000lbs out 500 miles when you include ECM, more if you have to escort them.

Don't forget you need to carry targeting and datalink pods as well... that will take away 1 pylon at least. F-35 doesn't need one; they have one already integrated into the aircraft. The only other modern aircraft with an integrated targeting pod in production is the F-16 Block 60.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):
The F-35 has a combat range of 584 nm, compared to the F-15SE combat range of 800 nm. The difference is one tanker that is not needed. The F-35 has a max speed of 1.6M, if it gets in trouble, the F-15SE can get out of town at 2.5M.

The F-35's range is based on internal fuel only. Once you start hanging external fuel tanks, the range increases.

Also, you based your range for the F-15SE upon the F-15E's range. The CFT's with internal weapons bays that were developed carry a fraction of the fuel the regular CFT's for the F-15's normally carry. And you still need to hang a targeting and a navigation pod off two pylons...

Also, I will also point out that the F-15 is only a transonic aircraft when configured in an air to air configuration, and if you were to load it up with bombs, it is a subsonic fighter. F-35 will be able to reach Mach 1.6 with a pretty sizable internal weapons load alone, and sustain it. In fact, I will further point out that the F-15 rarely if ever exceeds Mach 1.5 in service, and only under certain conditions. The amount of time spent by the worldwide F-15 fleet since the F-15's introduction spent at speeds in excess of Mach 1.5 can be measured in a few hours, not even long enough to watch the Lord of the Rings.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):
Canada is what is called a "level 3" partner in the F-35 program. That means they are among the countries who have contributed the least amount towards the F-35 developement costs. They also have little say over the final configueration, ECM, ECCM, avionics, and navigation suites. Canada has an order that could be up to 65 F-35As, which are tentitively called CF-35As, although they will be little different from the USAF F-35A. To date, Canada has contributed some $490M USD to the program. However, the Canadian MOD would not publicly say just what the F-35 is costing, and as I understand it, lead to a lot of political turmoil.

A level 3 partner that has somehow managed get a 300% ROI on the F-35 program currently, and that can increase.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):
Today's estimates of $200M (average) for each one may, or may not ever come down. It is still thought by the US DOD eventually F-35s will cost in the $110M to $130M price range. That is still up to 30% more expensive than other more suitable aircraft, for LESS capability.

Actually, if the run the numbers, the competitor's aren't better off, if you calculate based upon a APUC context:

According to recent newspaper reports, Dassault put forward a counter offer to supply Switzerland with 18 Rafale jets for 2.7 billion Swiss francs instead of an original demand of 4 billion francs for 22 jets.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...defence-jets-idUSL5E8DE6DK20120214

A. 22 Gripens: Swiss francs 3.1 billion = $ 3.4 billion
Per Gripen: $154.5 million

A. 22 Rafales: Swiss Francs 4 billion = $4.33 billion
Per Rafale (22): $196.8 million

B. Second probable offer by Dassault (without A2G equipment)
18 Rafales: Swiss francs 2.7 billion = $ 2923.21
Per Rafale: $162.9 million

And none of these prices include things that the F-35 comes with, such as targeting and navigation pods... etc. I would argue based upon this that F-35 still represents a major bargain.
 
Powerslide
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RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:14 am

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 38):

Is that your main source of info? APA?      
 
connies4ever
Posts: 3393
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:54 pm

RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:19 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 43):
Quoting connies4ever (Reply 29):
The Aussies ? They'll be flying their Rhinos into the '30sor even later.

Not likely. The Aussies consider their Rhinos to be interim aircraft, and they only have 24. They will probably look to divest by 2030 at the latest.

The Aussies, actually, according to my late friend Baroque, are considering more Rhinos, as their confidence in the F-35 wanes. Including some 'G's.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Arniepie
Posts: 1429
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:00 pm

RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:23 am

22 Gripens @ 3.4 billion $ for a 30-year life-cycle cost (incl purchase) = 154.5million$/plane

vs

22 Rafales @ 4.33 billion $ for a 30-year life-cycle cost (incl purchase) = 196.8million$/plane

vs

and these are the most conservative costs by the Canadian MoD and the Pentagon for 20 year lifecycle costs.

9 billion purchase price (very unlikely to stay this low) + 14~19 billion additional life cycle costs

pipedream numbers from Canada MoD =
65 F35 @ 16 billion $ for a 20 year life cycle cost (incl purchase) = 307.70 million$/plane
More realistic numbers partially from the Pentagon
65 F35 @ 23-28 billion $ for a 20 year life cycle cost (incl purchase) = 353.85 - 430.77 million$/plane

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03.../f35-julian-fantino_n_1342043.html

Quoting from the link:
The cost for 20 years' of in-service support remains a matter of debate, with the air force insisting it will only run in the neighbourhood of an additional $7 billion — a figure the Parliamentary Budget Officer disputes.

Even Pentagon estimates suggest the maintenance bill could run between US$14 billion and US$19 billion.



PS Norway has budgetted for 51 planes a sum of +40 billion $ for purchase and a 30 year lifecycle cost amounting
to the astonnishing total of no less than almost 800 million$/plane........................ and the overseeing commitee
has stated that there still could be some substantial price increase in the following years.

All this without taking into account that all the extra noise will lead to even more expenses in heavily populated Europe and the jet drinks about 50% more fuel than its predecessor , the F16.

[Edited 2012-03-15 19:39:06]
[edit post]
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 2499
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:31 am

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 46):
22 Gripens @ 3.4 billion $ for a 30-year life-cycle cost (incl purchase) = 154.5million$/plane

vs

22 Rafales @ 4.33 billion $ for a 30-year life-cycle cost (incl purchase) = 196.8million$/plane

vs

and these are the most conservative costs by the Canadian MoD and the Pentagon for 20 year lifecycle costs.

9 billion purchase price (very unlikely to stay this low) 14~19 billion additional life cycle costs

pipedream numbers from Canada MoD =
65 F35 @ 16 billion $ for a 20 year life cycle cost (incl purchase) = 307.70 million$/plane
More realistic numbers partially from the Pentagon
65 F35 @ 23-28 billion $ for a 20 year life cycle cost (incl purchase) = 353.85 - 430.77 million$/plane

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03.../f35-julian-fantino_n_1342043.html

Quoting from the link:
The cost for 20 years' of in-service support remains a matter of debate, with the air force insisting it will only run in the neighbourhood of an additional $7 billion %u2014 a figure the Parliamentary Budget Officer disputes.

Even Pentagon estimates suggest the maintenance bill could run between US$14 billion and US$19 billion.


Sigh...

Compare apples to apples. I used APUC costs for all calculations. You are comparing total ownership costs to APUC. There is a BIG difference between total ownership costs and APUC in terms of the basket of potential costs.

The basic unit of analysis is the recurring flyaway costs which include program management, hardware, airframe, vehicle and mission systems, propulsion and engineering change orders. Procurement costs are frequently expressed per aircraft as average procurement unit costs (APUC). The acquisition costs of the JSF include procurement costs, plus research, development, test and evaluation and cost of facility construction. Finally, total ownership costs include all the preceding costs, plus operations and support, improvements and modifications.

[Edited 2012-03-15 19:34:02]
 
Powerslide
Posts: 577
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:24 am

RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:33 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 47):
Compare apples to apples. I used APUC costs for all calculations. You are comparing total ownership costs to APUC.

With the F35, the highest cost estimate is generally the most accurate one.  
 
tommytoyz
Topic Author
Posts: 1195
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:08 am

RE: F-35 Lrip Costs Per Aircraft - Over $200 Million

Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:38 am

Quoting spudh (Reply 40):
The 'so what' is that the Rafale cannot carry its max weapon load while carrying tanks

12,000lbs in weapons load in my example is not anywhere near max weapons load for the Rafale. I never used a max fuel that combo.

Quoting spudh (Reply 40):
Where exactly are you going to hang 12,000lbs of weaponry off the Rafale while carrying max fuel.

Not in my example, I never said that - you assume I said that. With 12,000lbs weapons Rafale can not carry max fuel and I never said it could. Neither can the F-15. But it can carry 20,000lbs of total fuel and 12,000lbs bombs, for a max take off weight of 54,000lbs.

Quoting spudh (Reply 40):
I can't see the Rafale combining much more than 4,000lbs weapons with max fuel

I never said Rafale nor F-15 can carry max fuel and 12,000lbs of bombs. My example mission is to deliver 12,000lbs of bombs over 500 miles and come back empty - that it can do. The F-35 is the one limited to 4,000 lbs of bombs, no matter the fuel load.

Quoting spudh (Reply 40):
But I don't think you'll find too many strike fighter pilots who'll agree with you on that one.

Perhaps your are right. But you will be exposing twice as many pilots and planes to do the same mission as using gen 4.5 planes. This makes it 4 times as expensive and with less flexibility. The other issue is the inability of the F-35 to carry big things internally like cruise missiles - which the gen 4.5 planes can - several of them at once, such as the storm shadow or the long range Exocet and Harpoon anti ship missiles - which the F-35 can not carry at all, not even externally.

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