ThePointblank
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New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:20 pm

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-309?source=ra
Overall, according to the GAO, substantial progress has been achieved, with 7 objectives met out of 10, and 1 close. The 3 failed objectives are as follows:
- the delivery of 40 aircraft (only 30 were delivered)
- the completion of an audit from the Defense Contracting Management Agency (DCMA)
- the completion of Block 3 Critical Design Review (CDR) 1

However, GAO notes that the program completed the CDR in January, just two months after it was supposed to have been finished. Also of note, regarding the delivery of 40 aircraft, Lockheed Martin had a strike which affected deliveries.

Also regarding production, the GAO notes that F-35 manufacturing and supply processes are improving. The key metrics for this is as follows:
- Reduction in labor hours; the first Air Force production jet was delivered in May 2011 and required about 149,000 labor hours at the prime’s plant to build, while an Air Force jet delivered in December 2012 only required about 94,000 labor hours.There was a 37 percent reduction in direct labor during 2012.
- Labor efficiency: Labor efficiency on the first production aircraft was 6 percent and improved to 13 percent for the 31st production aircraft. While still low, Defense Contract Management Agency officials stated that the rate should continue to improve with increased production due to work force learning and factory line enhancements.
- Span times: The decrease in span times—the number of calendar days to manufacture aircraft in total and in specific work staging areas. The aircraft contractor is altering assembly line processes to streamline factory flow. As a result, for example, span time in the final assembly area declined by about one-third in 2012 compared to 2011.
- Increase in factory throughput: The increase in factory throughput as the contractor delivered 30 production aircraft in 2012 compared to 9 in 2011. During our plant visit in 2012, we observed an increased level of activity on the manufacturing floor as compared to 2011. The contractor had more tooling in place, had altered and streamlined processes, and had factory expansion plans underway.
- Decrease in out-of-sequence work: The decrease in traveled work (work done out of sequence or incomplete items moving to the next work station), parts shortages on the line, and product defects. For example, traveled work declined 90 percent and the defect rate declined almost 80 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. Other quality indicators such as scrap rates and non-conformances also improved from prior years and are trending in a positive direction. These have all been major contributors to past cost increases and schedule delays.


Costs, as mentioned frequently, are of concern and will be a concern in the future. However, labour hours to manufacturer F-35's have decreased, which will help reduce costs, and the DOD and contractor officials also expressed confidence that contracts for the 6th and 7th annual buys will reflect the efficiencies gain during production.
 
AWACSooner
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:53 pm

Still massively over budget and under-performing. How much more will the DoD take before they throw in the towel? How many more military personnel will be cut to pay for this lemon?
 
ANZUS340
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:56 pm

I suppose when you hit the bottom of the elevator shaft the only way to go is up.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:20 am

From the same report:

Once acquired, the current forecasts of life cycle sustainment costs for the F-35 fleet are considered unaffordable by defense officials. Efforts are under way to try and lower annual operating and support costs.

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

The rebaselined program will require an average of $12.6 billion annually through 2037, an unprecedented demand on the defense procurement budget. Maintaining this level of sustained funding will be difficult in a period of declining or flat defense budgets and competition with other “big ticket items” such as the KC-46 tanker and a new bomber program.

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

Some international partners are also expressing concern about F-35 prices and schedule delays. Besides the consequences for international cooperation and fighter force commonality, there are at least two other important financial impacts. First, U.S. future budgets assume the financial quantity benefits of partners purchasing at least 697 aircraft. Second, the current procurement profile for the F-35 projects a rapid buildup in partner buys—195 aircraft through 2017 that comprise about half the total production during the 5-year period 2013 through 2017. If fewer aircraft are procured in total or in smaller annual quantities, unit costs paid by the U.S. and partners will likely rise.

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

F-35 operating and support costs (O&S) are currently projected to be 60 percent higher than those of the existing aircraft it will replace. Using current program assumptions of aircraft inventory and flight hours, CAPE recently estimated annual O&S costs of $18.2 billion for all F-35 variants compared to $11.1 billion spent in 2010 to operate and sustain the legacy aircraft. DOD officials have declared that O&S costs of this magnitude are unaffordable and are actively engaged in evaluating opportunities to reduce F-35 life-cycle sustainment costs, such as basing and infrastructure reductions, competitive sourcing, and reliability improvements.

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

DOD provided comments on a draft of this report, which are reprinted in appendix III. DOD concurred with the report’s findings and conclusions.


[Edited 2013-03-13 19:21:13]
 
Max Q
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:00 am

This lemon must rank as one of the biggest, if not the biggest waste of taxpayers money ever.


Seriously, is there a worse example ?
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ThePointblank
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:10 pm

On the issue of long term sustainment costs:

http://www.asdnews.com/news-48155/F-...n_on_Track,_Program_Chief_Says.htm

Quote:
Production costs are only part of the puzzle, however. About 70 to 80 percent of any program’s costs are in the long-term operation and sustainment phase, the general said. What’s unique about the F-35 is that the Defense Department has never had to estimate the costs of a 50-year aircraft life cycle, he said. Adding to the complications of producing such a cost estimate is that the department hasn’t had an aircraft program this large since World War II, Bogdan said.

“So, lots of airplanes over a very long period of time, with inflation added in, you can understand how the (Office of the Secretary of Defense) guys come up with a number like $1.1 trillion,” he said. “That's an astronomical number; it's based on a lot of assumptions. I'm not saying that that's a bad number; I'm just saying we need to take that number with a grain of salt.”

What he does know, he said, is that action must be taken soon to reduce the F-35’s long-term sustainment costs. Without it, the general said, a time will come when the services decide that the aircraft is no longer affordable.

“So we have to start doing things today,” Bogdan said. He said there is already interest from industry in a competitive bidding process to produce, deliver and operate support equipment and pilot and maintenance training centers, administer the logistics and information technology systems and manage the global supply chain.

“The other thing is we've got to work on the reliability and the maintainability of the airplane,” he said, a process he described as “Whack-a-Mole.”

“You'll take care of those first 10 or 20 cost drivers in reliability and maintainability, and then the next 20 will show up,” he explained. “You keep doing that until you get to a point where the reliability and maintainability of the airplane is up where you expected it to be, and in the long term, you can reduce the costs on the airplane.”[/quote]


[quote=Max Q,reply=4]This lemon must rank as one of the biggest, if not the biggest waste of taxpayers money ever.


Seriously, is there a worse example ?

F-14? How many prototypes crashed, and how many subsequent production aircraft crashed or had various serious incidents due to various design flaws with the F-14? Hint: We crashed 141 F-14's in USN service. We had 632 in service with the USN. Clearly, the F-14 needed further development work...

How about F-16? Engine issues early in development and in service. Not to mention the FLCS power supply failures... in the end, the F-16's technical issues got sorted out.

[Edited 2013-03-14 06:10:50]
 
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:17 pm

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 3):
Maintaining this level of sustained funding will be difficult in a period of declining or flat defense budgets and competition with other “big ticket items” such as the KC-46 tanker and a new bomber program.

Everything else will be sacrificed for the fighter programs.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 5):
What he does know, he said, is that action must be taken soon to reduce the F-35’s long-term sustainment costs. Without it, the general said, a time will come when the services decide that the aircraft is no longer affordable.

It already is unaffordable.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 5):
“So we have to start doing things today,”

Why not yesterday, or the over the last oh seven years or so?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 5):
He said there is already interest from industry in a competitive bidding process to produce, deliver and operate support equipment and pilot and maintenance training centers, administer the logistics and information technology systems and manage the global supply chain.

Really? Industry wants to bid on government contracts? Guess why...

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 5):
“The other thing is we've got to work on the reliability and the maintainability of the airplane,”

Why? All that will do is cut LM's future profits, some of which go to support retired generals.
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:09 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Thread starter):

You know, I don't have strong opinions about the F-35. But your zealous posting in defence of the thing ('problems with the prototype are good news!') hardly will win anyone over I think.

Peter
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Powerslide
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:27 pm

Quoting awacsooner (Reply 1):
Quoting ANZUS340 (Reply 2):
Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 3):
Quoting Max Q (Reply 4):
http://whythef35.blogspot.com.au/201...eware-of-critics-without-clue.html

Quote:
Unfortunately when talking about the F-35, the discussion has become very polarized. And just as unfortunately, those who are critics of the program tend to do a lot of talking about a subject they seem to know little about or are prone to misrepresent it or both. It would be nice, for once, to see a critic take on the real F-35 and talk about it's capabilities and it's purpose instead of, as usual, tearing into a straw F-35 they invent out of their ignorance.


EDIT: Didn't mean to put Tommy in that quote. I would edit the post but the coding is a rats nest of non sense.

[Edited 2013-03-14 12:46:00]
 
Powerslide
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:28 pm

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 7):
But your zealous posting in defence of the thing ('problems with the prototype are good news!') hardly will win anyone over I think.

Same goes for those who start threads whenever a F35 bounces on landing.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:28 pm

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 7):
You know, I don't have strong opinions about the F-35. But your zealous posting in defence of the thing ('problems with the prototype are good news!') hardly will win anyone over I think.

Peter

I'm pointing out that problems in develop is natural and expected. There hasn't been a fighter program that ever existed that DIDN'T have any problems technically and with the budget since we first took to the air. I am pointing out that criticism of F-35 should be tempered with the proper context of past programs. We've had aircraft enter service before that required significant rework before, or had major design flaws, or blown the planned budget or all three, and yet they are considered to be 'successful' aircraft by everyone.

Is criticism warranted for F-35? I will state that there is lots to criticize about the management of the project, and how Lockheed, the DoD, Pentagon, have handled the project. Frankly, all three are guilty of various aspects of incompetence regarding F-35. But you need to understand where the criticism is coming from, and the context.
 
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:55 pm

Quoting awacsooner (Reply 1):
How much more will the DoD take before they throw in the towel?

They can't. You can't go around cutting programs in attempts to punish contractors and it would be exceptionally dumb here, for several reasons:
1. Lockheed and the rest of the industry team got a ridiculous order. Design a plane to replace a bunch of other planes, give it the latest avionics, make it stealthy, and do it cheaply. Good luck with that. I've always said that had Boeing won, they'd have the exact same problems for the exact same reasons. Don't let politicians and bureaucrats design planes.
2. Cancelling doesn't solve anything. The F-16s don't get younger if the F-35 gets cancelled. You still have the exact same problem and less time to solve it.
3. You don't really punish the contractors anyway. Instead, you go right back to them for a different solution, as in the A-12 and Super Hornet. Dick got pissed and and threw his toys out of the crib and McDonnell Douglas ended up starting a different program and the Navy got a less capable plane.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 4):
Seriously, is there a worse example ?

EAS by a mile.
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kanban
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:27 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 10):

I'm pointing out that problems in develop is natural and expected.

where I disagree with this is lumping the aircraft and program in the same bucket.. yes the plane has engineering problems that a good test program will isolate and resolve. However the Program is a disaster and the attitude that we should condone the gross contract mismanagement, cost overruns, and poor engineering because that's the history of LM and it's predecessors is absurd. When we tolerate and condone crap we get crap.. There is absolutely no reason to accept sub standard management because 'it's traditional' and quote examples.

I would have much more tolerance to some of the Rah Rah posts on the plane if they agreed that management incompetence should not be compensated or justified.
 
Ozair
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:45 pm

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 7):
You know, I don't have strong opinions about the F-35. But your zealous posting in defence of the thing ('problems with the prototype are good news!') hardly will win anyone over I think.

Peter

Great idea Peter, lets try and silence the guy who posts clear and accurate information supported by facts and sourcing.

Instead we can listen to the one liner brigade who contributions really enhance the debate, or the "I think I know better than the combined militaries of the world" posters who, having watched every episode of The Unit and own Behind Enemy Lines and Top Gun on Blu-ray, think they actually have an idea of how a military fights a conflict. Don't forgot the "LM is evil" crowd because LM are somehow different to every other defence contractor on the planet.

If we must put up with the above, at least let there be one guy who actually posts reasonable and sensible information....
 
Max Q
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:07 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 5):

F-14? How many prototypes crashed, and how many subsequent production aircraft crashed or had various serious incidents due to various design flaws with the F-14? Hint: We crashed 141 F-14's in USN service. We had 632 in service with the USN. Clearly, the F-14 needed further development work...

How about F-16? Engine issues early in development and in service. Not to mention the FLCS power supply failures... in the end, the F-16's technical issues got sorted out.

THE F14 and THE F16 turned out to be brilliant, unbeatable fighters in their specific roles.


THE Tomcat would still be around if it weren't for budget cuts, the -D version was superb, and of course THE F16 IS still going strong and will for many years.



THE F35 will always be a lemon.
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:23 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 5):
We crashed 141 F-14's in USN service. We had 632 in service with the USN. Clearly, the F-14 needed further development work...

They were in service for a long time and deployed mostly at sea (not many other fighter aircraft in the world had such a hard life). Carrier landings take a huge toll on an airframe not to mention being dangerous. Granted it did have quite a high occurence of incidents over its life.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 14):

THE F14 and THE F16 turned out to be brilliant, unbeatable fighters in their specific roles.


THE Tomcat would still be around if it weren't for budget cuts, the -D version was superb

   yes if the funding had been available they were due to get new frames and a massive overhaul which would have reduced their hanger queen title massively and increased their capabilities further. The new engines alone would have provided much less maintenance, much reduced fuel burn, far greater power and been more reliable.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:09 pm

Latest news:
Canada mulls the aquisition of the Rafale acc. to Dassault:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...le-warplane-as-jsf-costs-soar.html

Quote:


Dassault Aviation SA (AM), maker of the Rafale combat jet, said Canada has commenced talks about an order for the plane as it reviews options amid mounting costs for the Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Discussions began in January, and Dassault considers the chances of Canada making a purchase sufficiently good that it’s willing to spend the money to undertake a sales campaign, the French company’s Chief Executive Officer Eric Trappier said.

Canada’s minister of public works and government services, Rona Ambrose, said Dec. 12 that the country had “hit the reset button” on a deal for 65 JSFs after consultant KPMG said the estimated $25 billion bill could jump to $46 billion.

My bold


Jan
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tommytoyz
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:01 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
Latest news:
Canada mulls the aquisition of the Rafale acc. to Dassault:

Just a hint of things to come for the F-35 program, IMHO. My speculation is the US DOD will buy maybe 500 total of the planes - at the most - and likely fewer. I would be surprised if total production gets to 1,000, IMHO.

Forget about the purchase price of the F-35, if not even the US DOD can afford to operate them, as the DOD agrees is true, why buy them? Why would anyone?

And we will soon hear from supporters that major operating and sustainment savings for the F-35 can be had. I ask that when these arguments are put forward, that hard specific changes and hard numbers are put forward too, so everyone can see, specifically, what is being proposed. Anyone can just generalize.

I for one, don't think that not much can be done to save F-35 operating and sustainment costs, except fly it a lot less. Other than that, nothing much will help in any significant way.

Pilot training for instance. To transition and qualify on the F-35 takes a pilot 6 flights. How are those 6 flights going to be made cheaper? The land and the infrastructure it operates from is already owned by the Federal Government - how much cheaper than free can it get (for the base)?

There may be some savings to be had somewhere, but not enough to make a difference, IMHO. When we are talking about 60% in higher operating costs than what you are replacing, the only solution is either 1) procure fewer F-35s or 2) increase the operating budget by 60%. While #2 is possible, I don't think it's probable with any of the customers, the US DOD included, and the GOA concurs in the latest report.

Matter of fact budgets are going down, not up.
 
Powerslide
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:10 pm

Quote:
Discussions began in January, and Dassault considers the chances of Canada making a purchase sufficiently good that it’s willing to spend the money to undertake a sales campaign, the French company’s Chief Executive Officer Eric Trappier said.

We are also discussing it with the makers for the Gripen, Super Hornet and Eurofighter. Trappier is getting ahead of himself. No one wants his expensive POS.

Quote:
that the country had “hit the reset button” on a deal for 65 JSFs after consultant KPMG said the estimated $25 billion bill could jump to $46 billion.

Different cost estimates were used, as already pointed out several times. Price for operating a fleet per year has always been the same.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 17):
Forget about the purchase price of the F-35, if not even the US DOD can afford to operate them, as the DOD agrees is true, why buy them? Why would anyone?

Because somewhere in a crap hole country, a mud hut needs to be vaporized from 35,000ft. The F35 is the best tool for that job going forward into the future.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:44 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 14):
THE F14 and THE F16 turned out to be brilliant, unbeatable fighters in their specific roles.

The F-14 from the get go was a compromised fighter for the intended role of fleet defence interceptor and fighter. It was also a maintenance hog, and its systems never worked right. When the aircraft's systems worked, it was a good aircraft. However, it was a very unforgiving aircraft to fly if something went wrong.

The F-16 had major show-stoppers from the beginning, and it took years until all of the bugs were worked out and it became a true multirole fighter.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 14):
THE Tomcat would still be around if it weren't for budget cuts, the -D version was superb, and of course THE F16 IS still going strong and will for many years.

Get over Top Gun.

F-14 costs were considered outrageous at the time of introduction, and it proved to be dramatically expensive aircraft to own and operate over time. It was the high end of the Navy's hi-lo mix (what came to be a pejorative term). High procurement costs, high maintenance man-hours, and high accident rates. Unless an aircraft has a really useful capability that can be used day to day to justify the high costs, it won't last long in service.

The F-14 was costly to maintain compared to other aircraft in USN service, and with the post-Cold War era, the role that it had was gone. The USN needed a multi-role, high tech fighter that could do multiple missions well and they got that in the Super Hornet. They will soon get a stealth fighter capable of ground attack and air superiority in a few years with the F-35C.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 14):
THE F35 will always be a lemon.

What makes you think that the F-35 won't be a good fighter in the future? Provide details on why, and justifications.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 15):
They were in service for a long time and deployed mostly at sea (not many other fighter aircraft in the world had such a hard life). Carrier landings take a huge toll on an airframe not to mention being dangerous. Granted it did have quite a high occurence of incidents over its life.

The F-4 Phantom (even with its service in Vietnam) and the F/A-18 didn't have a remotely similar accident rate as the F-14.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 15):

yes if the funding had been available they were due to get new frames and a massive overhaul which would have reduced their hanger queen title massively and increased their capabilities further. The new engines alone would have provided much less maintenance, much reduced fuel burn, far greater power and been more reliable.

However, the avionics, and the hydraulic were other sources of maintenance headaches. The Hornet was a much easier aircraft to work on because maintainability was a key design feature compared to the F-14. You could replace both of the Hornet's engines one by one easily within the same time you could replace one of the F-14's engines.

Canceling the F-14D was justifiable because the F-14's primary mission, that of a fleet defence fighter, no longer existed. The F-14's primary role became obsolete at the end of the Cold War, and the aircraft became a solution in search of a problem. A number of aircraft ended their service lives in a similar situation.
 
Max Q
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:04 pm

The F14 was undefeated in combat.


Enough said.
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BMI727
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:17 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
The F-14 from the get go was a compromised fighter for the intended role of fleet defence interceptor and fighter.

Pointing out shortcomings of the F-14 really doesn't help make your case when you remember why it was built in the first place, namely because the F-111 was never going to be able to do the job despite being conceived in much the same vein as the JSF. The F-35 has already eclipsed it in that respect, so I guess you can count that as a win.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 20):
The F14 was undefeated in combat.

That doesn't really mean a whole lot, and for what it's worth, nobody's gotten an F-35 yet and probably won't for some time.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
ThePointblank
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:29 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 20):
The F14 was undefeated in combat.


Enough said.

The F-14 was never really put on the front lines in USN service in a real shooting war, beyond the two Gulf of Sidra incidents where F-14's, heavily backed up by AEW shot down Libyan fighters, two of which were not fighters at all, and the other two older MiG-23's.

During Operation Desert Storm, F-14's never really engaged in air superiority missions over Iraq until very late in the war, where the bulk of the Iraqi Air Force had fled. And I do believe one F-14 was shot down during ODS by a SAM.

A lack of tasking of the F-14 during ODS can be attributed to a number of factors, some of which was USAF-based (lack of procedures regarding handling of USN aircraft in particular), some of which on technical grounds; the F-14 lacked IFF systems, among other technical issues.

For what was a fleet defence fighter to serve the majority of its life as a bomber isn't a very sterling service record.

The Iranians lost a couple of F-14's during the Iran-Iraq War in a number of engagement, but they appear to have shepherded their F-14's and protected them very carefully with escorting aircraft.
 
connies4ever
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:55 pm

Quoting powerslide (Reply 18):
We are also discussing it with the makers for the Gripen, Super Hornet and Eurofighter. Trappier is getting ahead of himself. No one wants his expensive POS.

Minor nit: Ind ia, ordered 126 with 63 options that it looks like taking up. Discussions with Brazil still open. Personally, I wouldn't think Rafale would have a real chance for the Canadian mission, as its' primary role is A2G, not A2A.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
The F-14 from the get go was a compromised fighter for the intended role of fleet defence interceptor and fighter. It was also a maintenance hog, and its systems never worked right. When the aircraft's systems worked, it was a good aircraft. However, it was a very unforgiving aircraft to fly if something went wrong.


Largely agree. It was a big, complicated a/c, with systems that were more discrete components rather than micro-electronics. The original TF30 engines were, in particular, a real headache both for the aircrew and the mx crew.
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Max Q
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:26 am

I'd like to see an F35 against an F14 in a close in dogfight.


I think the Tomcat would easily prevail !
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BMI727
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:43 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 24):
I'd like to see an F35 against an F14 in a close in dogfight.

First that would never happen. The Tomcat would get shot down five times before they could even hope to close enough for an actual dogfight. If by some ridiculous twist of fate that could only happen in Hollywood an F-14 got close to an F-35, the F-35 would soundly defeat it at close range as well.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 24):
I think the Tomcat would easily prevail !

You'd be wrong. Technology marches on.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Oroka
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:00 am

The biggest problem is those who go into a frenzy of excitement every time there is even the smallest hick-up with the F-35, and that includes politicians (rolling lifetime operational costs and development into flyaway costs). Something goes right... not a peep. Most recent example, turbine blade crack found in inspection. OMG F-35 IS A POS THAT SHOULD BE SCRAPPED AND DEFECATED ON! Oh... not design flaw, engine was ran at 4x operational design limits, held up well, crack happened years later... not another post in thread about it.

The F-35 is probably the most ambitious aviation program ever undertaken, 3 very different jets rolled into a single common design. Imagine how much 3 separate programs to replace the legacy teen fighters would cost! While I think the F-35B is not needed and a huge drain on the program, it will still be leaps and bounds ahead of what it is replacing.

Yes, 4.5 gen fighters will do the job right now, but what happens in 20 years when the world is populated with SU-50s, J-20s, and J-31s? How far are you going to get with 187 F-22s? You can rant about how nothing will ever happen, how every current potential adversary is armed with cold war junk and probably would just bury its airforce in the sand anyways... then one day the 48th president pisses off China or Russia, suddenly Iran has 100 SU-50s or J-31 with every nice new missile that can be hung off it. It is not the known potential adversaries that the F-22 and F-35 are made for, it is the capable ones that could pop up later.

No doubt there have been quite a few serious management issues, on Lockheed and the US Governments part, and some serious technical difficulties, but that is not the F-35s fault, blame the people making the program more difficult than it should be rather than calling the F-35 a POS, which it is not. It will go on to fill the fleets of many air forces, it will do a good job, and this political squabbling will be looked back on in amusement.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:31 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 26):
Yes, 4.5 gen fighters will do the job right now, but what happens in 20 years when the world is populated with SU-50s, J-20s, and J-31s?

That is a good and legitimate question. I think one very likely possibility will be that the F-35 will be way outclassed by those frames and we will be scrambling for something better. The F-35 just will never be a good air to air fighter, certainly not against other stealthy aircraft that can produce much higher kinetic energy. so much so, that even Mach 4 missiles would have a hard time getting them, as is the case with the F-22.
 
Oroka
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:56 am

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 27):
I think one very likely possibility will be that the F-35 will be way outclassed by those frames and we will be scrambling for something better. The F-35 just will never be a good air to air fighter, certainly not against other stealthy aircraft that can produce much higher kinetic energy.

The F-35 never was intended to be, and never will become a pure bred air dominance fighter. Making it have to stand shoulder to shoulder with the F-22 and prove itself worthy is akin to entering a clydesdale in the Kentucky derby. Its not a fair match even for a pure bred draught horse of the highest quality.

Even at that, the Russians have already stated the SU-50 will never be quite as refined as the F-22, but will be a inexpensive alternative. I see the SU-50 as more of a F-35 competitor, the F-22 is still a step up. While maybe out maneuvered by the SU-50, the F-35 will still most likely have the low observability and radar advantage in a clean config. The F-35 can match a legacy F/A-18 and F-16 in a close in fight, that is pretty damn respectable for the low side of a high/low mix. But still, this is a fight that the F-22 would handle.

The J-31 is most likely inspired by a few JSF files Lockheed lost in Chinese network hacks. Really, delete the hump needed by the forward placement of the engine in the F-35B... you have a J-31. Looks like it will be a F-35C class jet, but the quality is still not there with the Chinese gear. They can copy and paste designs all they want, the avionics and engines are just not there to make it a serious competitor, or even technically a 5th gen fighter.

The J-20... stealthy(ish) long range attack bomber. Maybe a FB-22 class... perhaps something the Chinese were working on before getting the Lockheed files. Those canards are a bit of a joke for stealth, and that thing will never be overly agile. Looks cool though, but so does Irans Qaher-313.

Say what you will about the Chinese... they now are the second place authorities on stealth with 2 flying designs, leap frogging the Russians.



All that said, each of these foreign jets (other than the Qaher-313), could best a 4.5 gen fighter, at least in stealth. In a numbers game, 187 F-22s +2500 4.5+ gen fighters would find a numerically even fight with these other stealth designs challenging to say the least. You can count tactics being developed to slowly pick off the F-22s one by one... they are superior, but not magical.

Still, the program is a mess, but the final product will be worth it. Dont forget, the technologies that were developed for the F-35 are being used to improve the F-22, and you can bet there will be other applications. Canceling the F-35 would be sheer folly. The money that was spend to develop it wont be refunded... new build F-16C(E?), F/A-18Es, and even F-15SEs will cost about the same as the flyaway cost of the F-35. At the very least with the F-35, there will be something extraordinary to show for it.
 
BMI727
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:04 am

Quoting Oroka (Reply 28):
Still, the program is a mess, but the final product will be worth it.

At this point the JSF has passed peak shittiness, so cancelling it would ultimately be counterproductive.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 28):
At the very least with the F-35, there will be something extraordinary to show for it.

Hopefully the lessons on how not to design a plane will last longer than a few decades this time around.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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kanban
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:11 am

Quoting Oroka (Reply 28):
At the very least with the F-35, there will be something extraordinary to show for it.

Yup... the bill. and 360+ going straight to the desert if and when they can figure out how to build complete serviceable units.
 
Powerslide
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:08 am

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 27):
The F-35 just will never be a good air to air fighter, certainly not against other stealthy aircraft that can produce much higher kinetic energy.

I don't think you understand how modern wars are fought. The days of dogfighting are coming to an end. One who can target the enemy first, shoots and wins. The F35 is designed for that exact aspect, those fancy Russian and Chinese air tumblers can't manoeuvre around missiles.

The F-35 seems to be losing horrifically at one thing specifically, and that is the popularity contest on the internet and in the media. Unfortunately for them, those two have no significant impact on how the military or government conducts business.

Quoting kanban (Reply 30):
Yup... the bill.

Seems like it's mostly an internal, US problem. Countries who are buying off the shelf production units are getting one hell of a bargain for the capability and price.
 
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:16 am

I disagree, discounting the possibility of

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 31):
The days of dogfighting are coming to an end.

And so it has been said, time after time history has proven this wrong, just look at the US experience in Vietnam where they were so confident a gun would no longer be needed it was initially left off the early F4's with disastrous results.


There will always be dogfights, expected or unexpected, they will happen and it won't matter what role the F35 is best at or how many excuses are made for it when it is being totally dominated by other nations less compromised, but real fighters.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
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kanban
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:38 am

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 31):
Seems like it's mostly an internal, US problem. Countries who are buying off the shelf production units are getting one hell of a bargain for the capability and price.

Yes it is a US problem.. however if we cut the numbers, it will become everybody's. Plus as I read the notes only late foreign buys or late deliveries stand a chance of capability at a reasonable cost.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:06 am

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 31):
The days of dogfighting are coming to an end.

Disagree. There will always be close in fights from time to time. What happens during a merge is going to change however. We've seen the first iterations of off-bore sight weaponry such as AA-11 Archer, AIM-9X, ASRAAM, etc all cued by helmet mounted sights. What will be different with F-35 is that the same weapons will not only be cued, but guided to target by the aircraft, instead of primarily relying on the weapon's sensors to do the job.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 32):

There will always be dogfights, expected or unexpected, they will happen and it won't matter what role the F35 is best at or how many excuses are made for it when it is being totally dominated by other nations less compromised, but real fighters.


This is where I disagree. F-35 is designed to meet the current fighters in performance and maneuverability. What will be unique is the sensors and avionics, which will give F-35 pilots an edge in a close in fight, by rapidly acquiring hostile aircraft and targeting them with weapons, while being able to track friendlies in real time to avoid friendly fire. Better situational awareness will improve a F-35's ability to win in a close up engagement. Because a pilot is more aware of their surroundings and what's going on, they can make better decisions as to what they want to do, and how they want to do it.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 32):
And so it has been said, time after time history has proven this wrong, just look at the US experience in Vietnam where they were so confident a gun would no longer be needed it was initially left off the early F4's with disastrous results.

The problem with Vietnam is multi-faceted, and cannot be summed up as just being a issue regarding a lack of gun. The primary problem with Vietnam is that what really caused the bulk of the initial poor showing was poor training and tactics, coupled with unrealistic expectations by the pilots of the performance of their weapons. To that end, there were top-down improvements in training for pilots, which started to include ACM, and improved realism in training. Once pilots were better trained in how to employ their aircraft in a fight, and were trained to use their missiles more effectively, kill rates improved significantly, while losses decreased. Not only that, a lot of work was done on the ground, improving practices regarding missile handling, storage, and maintenance, which helped improved the reliability of the weapons in theatre.

This is most demonstrated by the Navy's kill ratio which showed a major improvement with the resumption of the air war in Vietnam once Top Gun grads entered the fray whereas their AF brethren continued to do poorly by comparison, even though their AF brethren eventually had the benefit of a gun. The Navy's kill ratio increased to 12:1 once their pilots started receiving Top Gun training, up from 2.5:1.

I also think people need to move past Vietnam a bit. Technology marches on and weapons (and sensors) get better and better. If one simply looked at previous failures then one would have given up on strategic bombing in any fashion after WWII given the amount of effort needed to accomplish useful things because it took a lot of aircraft, suffering fairly heavy losses to even remotely have a chance of successfully and accurately destroying a target. Yet we today, we can pretty much hit any target we can see with great reliability as weapons were refined. Extrapolating too much from a conflict that primarily used first generation air to air missiles is very dangerous. That is compounded by the very circumscribed rules of engagement in that particular conflict as well.

Quoting kanban (Reply 30):
Yup... the bill. and 360+ going straight to the desert if and when they can figure out how to build complete serviceable units.

Better than 1000+ F-16's going to the desert because they are obsolete well before they even hit their airframe design life. Too bad the USAF never bothered to put their F-16A's through the MLU program, although to do that would have cost a pretty penny.
 
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kanban
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:00 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 34):
Better than 1000+ F-16's going to the desert

I fail to see this continued reference to botched programs as a justification for continuing with botched programs.. Of course being Canadian the costs don't fall on your shoulders..however if you had those costs added to your already heavy taxes, you might agree with us..

The point is not what the plane will become, but why continue substandard production while figuring out what is needed or waiting for delayed systems contractors to get up to speed.

I repeat my problem is with the manufacturer not with the plane's potential 10-15 years from now. ..
 
BMI727
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:06 pm

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 31):
The days of dogfighting are coming to an end. One who can target the enemy first, shoots and wins.

Like we haven't heard that before. After the "F-14 could beat an F-35" comment, that's the second silliest thing written here. Seriously, how many people are there who are absolutely hell bent on repeating every mistake made in the development of combat aircraft?

Technology is great and the ability to find and kill targets at ever greater ranges is a wonderful thing to have, but anyone who seriously thinks that we can design a plane so advanced as to have the ability to abdicate actual fighting at close range is fooling themselves.

Luckily, the F-35 was not designed that way and the F-22 certainly wasn't. All the sensors and electronics are great, but they are there to help you fight not keep you from fighting. Hopefully there will always be a strong faction of "Fighter Mafia" people around to keep beancounters in check.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 34):
The problem with Vietnam is multi-faceted, and cannot be summed up as just being a issue regarding a lack of gun. The primary problem with Vietnam is that what really caused the bulk of the initial poor showing was poor training and tactics, coupled with unrealistic expectations by the pilots of the performance of their weapons.

There was also the overly restrictive ROE.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
ThePointblank
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:48 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 35):
I fail to see this continued reference to botched programs as a justification for continuing with botched programs.. Of course being Canadian the costs don't fall on your shoulders..however if you had those costs added to your already heavy taxes, you might agree with us..

The point is not what the plane will become, but why continue substandard production while figuring out what is needed or waiting for delayed systems contractors to get up to speed.

I repeat my problem is with the manufacturer not with the plane's potential 10-15 years from now. ..

I am pointing out that you should never expect the first versions of a combat aircraft to work the way it is intended to from the get go.

The F-16 was upgraded through service as new versions, MSIP's, CCIP's, OCU's, Blocks, et al came off the production line. Ditto the F/A-18 Super Hornet; the first Super Hornet off the line wasn't a combat capable jet; the Super Hornet saw a number of development spirals which added capabilities, and fixed problems to make it a combat capable fighter. All of these upgrades added new capabilities, extended service life, or fixed issues that cropped up from use. We always accepted the less capable initial versions of the aircraft to help ease introduction into service by getting pilots and maintainers familiar with the new equipment, and work out any bugs that develop in service. This is perfectly normal during development and introduction of a new combat jet. To only accept aircraft when they are at their full capabilities would dramatically extend development time; to do things your way would mean, for example, that the Super Hornet would not be accepted for service in 1999, but probably closer to 2007.
 
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kanban
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:10 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 37):
We always accepted the less capable initial versions of the aircraft to help ease introduction into service by getting pilots and maintainers familiar with the new equipment, and work out any bugs that develop in service.

This is not a standard that we should propagate.. it's like saying (crudely) it's OK to get cold coffee from Starbucks because they are opening a new store, Or it's OK for the brakes to fail on you new car because it's one of the first produced and is only a test prototype... It's a mind set of waste being justified week after week..

Given the time that this plane has been in design, preplanning, production, accepting justifications of 'well that's the nature of the beast' is ludicrous and reflects a mindset that incompetence is to be tolerated and encouraged in the building of national security armaments.

I don't care if the trend went back to the Sopwith Camel.. It's the wrong message to tell the manufacturer that waste of this magnitude is OK by historical precedence.
 
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:42 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 38):
This is not a standard that we should propagate.. it's like saying (crudely) it's OK to get cold coffee from Starbucks because they are opening a new store, Or it's OK for the brakes to fail on you new car because it's one of the first produced and is only a test prototype... It's a mind set of waste being justified week after week..

It is a development process that is accepted by the DOD and by software developers. It's a way to get new equipment out to its users quickly. After a new product or product upgrade is developed that will fulfill the desired requirements of the user, the product is tested with users in the field. The user provides performance feedback on the product to the in-field engineer. Revisions are made quickly to retest in the field. This method has allowed research and development teams to not only make revisions on existing products quickly and efficiently, but also capture feedback for future upgrades and innovations to meet user needs.

Spiral development is a method that's used by the DOD to combat ever increasing development cycle lengths, driven by the ever increasing complexity of weapon systems. Long developments have typically been justified as required to fulfill the military’s demand for cutting-edge hardware. Moreover, long development cycles do not necessarily provide better results. A technology that appears to have a high utility at initiation may only prove to be marginally useful once the technology is fully matured and deployed. Additionally, at a time when the threat is rapidly changing, long development cycles may produce weapons that are effective for a problem that no longer exists.

In a military context, spiral development is understood as a cyclical development strategy, wherein a basic capability is fielded, and incremental capability improvements are periodically made in subsequent blocks. By shortening development timetables and ensuring the use of mature technologies that is thoroughly tested in the field by the end user, spiral development reduces the risk of program delay or failure.

One of spiral development’s primary attributes is that it can help to ensure the rapid deployment of weapon systems that is better adapted to the user's environment. Specifically, when systems are developed incrementally, and when technology is mature enough to be integrated, risk is minimized. As a result, delays in development are reduced - keeping cost growth in check as well. Spiral development is also advantageous because of its ability to allow for evolving requirements. Because spirals are flexible and can be changed as the program progresses, spiral development permits constant refinement over-time, allowing the user and developer to hone in on requirements as they change.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:41 am

Thus far, the program has made little progress on block 3.0 software. The program intends initial block 3.0 to enter flight test in 2013, which will be conducted concurrently with the final 15 months of block 2B flight tests. Delivery of final block 3.0 capability is intended to begin nearly 3 years of developmental flight tests in 2014. This is rated as one of the program’s highest risks because of its complexity.

If this is a high risk area of the program, I can only assume further delays and cost over runs, judging from how the program has stumbled over lower risk areas.

The supporters need to be clear that the F-35 is a plane under development with years to go and with the outcome uncertain. It is still partly a paper plane. Maybe everything will go perfectly and without a hitch or delay from no on. It's possible. But I'd be surprised if that happened.

The report further says:

In particular, the development and testing of software-intensive mission systems are lagging, with the most challenging work ahead. Mission systems are critical enablers of F-35’s combat effectiveness employing next generation sensors with fused information from on-board and off-board systems (i.e. electronic warfare, communication navigation identification, electro-optical target system, electro-optical distributed aperture system, radar, and data links). About 12 percent of mission systems capabilities are validated at this time, up from 4 percent about 1 year ago. Progress on mission systems was limited by contractor delays in software delivery, limited capability in the software when delivered, and the need to fix problems and retest multiple software versions. Further development and integration of the most complex elements—sensor fusion and helmet mounted display—lie ahead.

[Edited 2013-03-18 17:46:40]
 
Oroka
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:31 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 29):
Hopefully the lessons on how not to design a plane will last longer than a few decades this time around.

Not so much how to design a plane as how to manage a large aviation project, but in Lockheeds defence, Boeing is struggling with the 787, and Airbus had the CAD software version debacle with the A-380. All the big guys have had to learn the lesson the hard way. Then there was the VH-71, while being a Lockheed project, was a victim of requirement creep by the DoD. Then comes the RAH-66... unrealistic requirements and some really bad calls turned it into a money pit.

The government asks for too much, the manufacturers bite off too much at once with bleeding edge technology.

Quoting kanban (Reply 38):
This is not a standard that we should propagate.. it's like saying (crudely) it's OK to get cold coffee from Starbucks because they are opening a new store, Or it's OK for the brakes to fail on you new car because it's one of the first produced and is only a test prototype... It's a mind set of waste being justified week after week..

Its more like expecting that kid at McDonalds to spend 3 years training before his first shift so there is zero risk of making a mistake. Or maybe expecting Harley Davidson to build a bmw level car and nailing it on the first try at the price of a chopper. The F-35 is leaps and bounds ahead of last generation fighters... the software alone is mind blowing in scope.

While allowing bad practices to continue is stupid, demanding perfection on the first go for less money is expecting too much. The whole attitude in the aviation community (customer and manufacturer) is toxic. The DoD asked for too much in one platform, the manufactures were silly in accepting the requirements. Who is to blame? The politicians or the business men?
 
Powerslide
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:53 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 36):
Technology is great and the ability to find and kill targets at ever greater ranges is a wonderful thing to have, but anyone who seriously thinks that we can design a plane so advanced as to have the ability to abdicate actual fighting at close range is fooling themselves.

I'm not saying that we should stop training for dogfights, I'm saying the likely hood of one happening in a modern battlefield is slim. If in 2020 a 5th gen aircraft detects an enemy and ends up in a visual merge, that pilot has lost it horribly somewhere. The future isn't in highly manoeuvrable airshow tumblers but in highly sophisticated flying computers.
 
BMI727
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:11 am

Quoting Oroka (Reply 41):
The government asks for too much,

That's exactly what the JSF was. The politicians and bureaucrats thought it would be really cool to have one cheap airframe offer all the services and our allies stealth capability and replace a bunch of different existing types in various missions. If you want a plane that does everything it's going to take time to build and have a high price tag, which is exactly what we're discovering now.

When managing an engineering project they say that if every discipline is unhappy you're doing a good job. Well the politicians tried to design something to make everyone happy and you can see where it went.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 42):
I'm saying the likely hood of one happening in a modern battlefield is slim.

Of course America isn't the only country interested in stealth and electronics. If you can't see him and he can't see you on radar, there's only two ways for it to end: dogfight or nothing.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 42):
The future isn't in highly manoeuvrable airshow tumblers but in highly sophisticated flying computers.

I hope nobody ever puts you in a position of responsibility with an attitude like that. Budgets are too tight to keep learning the same lessons about combat aircraft repeatedly. At the end of the day fighter has to fight. The sensors, communications and electronics are there to accommodate that, not replace it.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Max Q
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:20 am

I still say the Tomcat could beat the Lemon in a dogfight.


Guns only, missiles in visual range.


No problem !
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
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kanban
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:56 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 39):
One of spiral development’s primary attributes is that it can help to ensure the rapid deployment of weapon systems that is better adapted to the user's environment.

Spiral development is a public relations gimmick to make poor management look intentionally brilliant when trying to baffle Congress. It is an insipid excuse for lack of management skills in both the customer and supplier. There is zero cost benefit. And it perpetuates the myth that weapons systems engineering and production are both unique and above criticism. And assumes the public is too dumb to notice.

That said, what the heck is the hurry.. I see things here that 2020 we might, with fingers crossed, have a full up unit come off the production line, arm up and go try to find a purpose.. and that's only 24 years after development started and 19 after award.. and everything produced before that will be scrapped as too expense to upgrade/complete. So there's no urgency.. We've gone into several cockups without these planes and didn't do too badly. Plus the way the pro crowd poo poos the "enemy" equipment further challenges the urgency.

Yes I agree Congress is probably the worst aircraft designer. However, the errors that keep surfacing come in two flavors.... engineering incompetence, and trying to program in science fiction attributes. The heavy reliance on theoretical computing whiz bangs may prove unattainable in less than 30 years in other than sporadic applications.

So we've been covered satisfactorily for the last 20 years or so, nothing on the horizon is a challenge, so why not stop producing flying shells of zero offensive/defensive capability, and spend the time and money getting all the issues resolved, strop out the unattainable attributes, then go to production.

The replacement (sort of an un manned f-22 on steroids) is under design development already.
 
Powerslide
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:57 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 44):
I still say the Tomcat could beat the Lemon in a dogfight.


Guns only, missiles in visual range.


No problem !

I still say your posts are borderline trolling.


Not all of them just some.


Really !
 
tommytoyz
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:14 am

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 42):
If in 2020 a 5th gen aircraft detects an enemy and ends up in a visual merge, that pilot has lost it horribly somewhere. The future isn't in highly manoeuvrable airshow tumblers but in highly sophisticated flying computers.

Don't mean to argue, but you would have to assume that:

1. A2A missiles could never be defeated once fired and have a 100% kill rate (It's less than 50% in real combat)
2. The A2A missiles would always have enough energy to reach the enemy target (think F-22)
3. The enemy aircraft would always be discovered when they have a lower kinetic energy
4. Counter measures would be useless
5. One or all planes would always have missiles remaining, be in position (range) and always carry them on all missions
6. The radars, helmets computers, IRST, etc,,,would never malfunction on any planes
7. The F-35 type planes will always have their radars on
8. The enemy won't detect and track the radar stealthy planes first with their passive IRST.
9. The enemy A2A missiles would have a kill rate of zero after they're fired

Etc...........

A fighter that can't fight well without BVR missiles and can't run away, is highly compromised - no matter how radar stealthy.
 
Oroka
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:11 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 44):
Guns only, missiles in visual range.

Okay, but the F-35 gets the AIM-9X and HMDS.

Quoting kanban (Reply 45):
The replacement (sort of an un manned f-22 on steroids) is under design development already.

Yes, but the current design cycle for a fighter is 20 years. UCAVs are still little more than a flying concept. They are coming along nicely, but still decades from being a mature viable platform.
 
SCAT15F
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RE: New GAO Report On F-35: Outlook Improving

Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:18 am

Since we're going down this road, lets have some fun with it and give the F-14 F135 engines (which btw would fit in the F-14's engine bays) and then you've got an aircraft with a combat weight of 50,000 lbs in A-to-A config (no tanks) and 86,000 lbs of thrust (90,000 with the 5% thrust bump) Or hell, just use the 50,000lb + demonstrated thrust rating for 100,000 lbs and a full 2 to 1 ratio...

the sucker would out accelerate even the F-22 by a LARGE margin.

either way, It would be cool as hell at an airshow, and you could set some time to height records with it (and that's about all it would be good for because it would burn through that 16,300 lb internal fuel capacity in no time)

 

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