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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 01, 2019 1:03 pm

Ozair wrote:
Nothing to do with a volunteer army,


My assertion about an all volunteer army is that there is not sufficient pilots and crew to both maintain the existing force structure requirement while having enough extra pilots and crew to train for the new F-35's. Lack of personnel can not be addressed through money, except if they pay the pilots and crew more. But then that would cost a lot more money than just buying the frames wouldn't it?

bt
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 01, 2019 1:07 pm

Ozair wrote:
What examples would you like to review from other nations?


What was the gestation period for the Typhoon? I'm not saying that other countries are not pursuing 5th/6th generation design. I'm just saying that until they actually field the new frames, we can not say that they will have better success in maintaining schedule than the F-35's.

By the way, did everyone see the MQ-25 drone being shipped to the flight test center? Seems to me Boeing is proving that their new manufacturing process is able to reduce manufacturing time, which will prove valuable to getting the F-15X to the Air Force sooner.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Spar
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 01, 2019 6:28 pm

bikerthai wrote:
The article stated that that the Air Force is not reducing their F-35 buys.

Correct, it is the DOD which is reducing the F-35 buys: the same people who are making the F-15EX buy. The planes that are being cut back could be "A" models as easily as "B" or "C" models.
 
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par13del
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 01, 2019 7:59 pm

So is this the same silliness that killed the F-22?
If they had continued to buy F-22's instead of diverting funds to other programs, would the cost of the F-22 have come down sufficiently to have allowed them to continue to purchase more?
Why is early retirement of the end of life F-22 fleet not included in discussions of trying to retire types early to be able to afford more F-35's?
Do we not read that some electronic infrastructure on the F-22 cannot be upgraded, how long before the more capable F-35 has greater numbers?
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 01, 2019 10:05 pm

mmo wrote:
2. OZAIR talks about transition time. Show me where you come up with your figure for a Guard or Reserve pilot. The quote you used was for active duty from an F-15 to another aircraft. There was an interview with the COS AF and in it, he specifically quoted the shortened transition time since the aircraft is essentially the same thing. It is a differences only program.

Mmo, did you read the article I quoted? It made it clear how long it takes the USAF to transition a squadron from the F-15 to a new aircraft, such as the F-35. It is clear the timeframe to transition to the F-15EX for an ANG unit is going to be between 9-12 months.

Remember that those aircrew could prospectively transition to the F-35 in 90 days, but that doesn’t transition the entire squadron, just the aircrew. The figures I provided are for the entire squadron, aircrew, maintainers, spares, ground equipment etc. Looking at the aircrew only is pointless as they can only fly what the maintainers can provide.

mmo wrote:
Everyone is talking about pilots out of Luke. Let me tell you, once their training is over there, they are only mission capable. To become mission ready it is more training at their home base. That applies for transition training, new pilots. You name it. For a Guard guy to go from a C/D to an E/X they will be mission qualified in a couple of rides back at their base.

An interesting suggestion except reporting indicates it isn’t clear that is true. Yes an experienced pilot is going to come out of conversion with more general knowledge but they don’t go B cat straight from that conversion, they still need to qual up to that standard in their home unit.

At the recent Red Flag we had the following experience,
Novice F-35 pilots were able to step in and save more experienced friendly fourth-generation fighter pilots while racking up kills.
"My wingman was a brand new F-35A pilot, seven or eight flights out of training," Wood said, recounting his experiences. "He gets on the radio and tells an experienced 3,000-hour pilot in a very capable fourth-generation aircraft. 'Hey bud, you need to turn around. You're about to die. There's a threat off your nose.'"
That young pilot took out the enemy aircraft and then went on to pick up three more "kills" during the mission, which lasted for an hour. "I've never seen anything like it before," Wood added.

https://taskandpurpose.com/air-force-f3 ... g-exercise

The benefit the F-35 provides is its ability to allow the pilot to fight the war instead of flying the aircraft. The above experience shows even a new fresh D cat pilot can make a significant difference when flying an F-35.

mmo wrote:
The E/X is NOT the same aircraft as a C with a wing mod. One of the problems which keeps getting cited is until the first C/D is opened up, no one knows just how expensive it will be. The E/X is a 40-year airframe with much more potential than the rewinged C/D. Plus you still have the same old radar, not the AESA set.

Agree that a SLEP C/D model is not as capable as an EX but it doesn’t need to be. The mission of those C/D aircraft is air superiority and to do that the C/D is more than sufficient. The EX brings a higher availability which would be great but they won’t use all the extra stuff the EX brings in the A2G role and if you introduce that you change the training burden and conversion time from that short months to years as the squadrons work up to those missions types and are trained to handle the new weapons.

FYI, almost the whole C/D fleet are now Golden Eagles with an AESA radar. The radar in the EX is not in any substantive way better than that already fitted to almost all the C/D jets.

mmo wrote:
The USAF has made it clear there will be no LOT 5 large purchase until the lot 4 problems are taken care of.

You keep mixing up Lots and Blocks. Lots are production runs, the USAF just ordered Lot 12. Blocks are versions of the aircraft, LM is manufacturing and the USAF is flying F-35s in Block 3F and has started Block 4 upgrade work. Yes the USAF wants more Block 4 aircraft as it introduces several great capabilities but the aircraft has been designed specifically to handle those upgrades so other than money to upgrade the existing 3F fleet there is no issue. The USAF is not hanging out for Block 5 upgrade, that is not scheduled to start until at least 2025 and likely a little later and is still undefined in most aspects of what it will comprise.

At the moment the plan is 48 aircraft a year until 2023 before the rate moves to 60 but Congress has already indicated it will fund an additional twelve F-35A for the USAF this year and the rate could easily go to 70+ for the USAF if they can take them.

mmo wrote:
LM keeps stating the price will be lower than the F-15E/X and I just don't see it happening. If Turkey is removed from the F-35 program the cost will never come down. The USAF itself reduced the next buy amount. That was to pay for other programs which it has committed to. The frames will be made up in future years.

Turkey’s impact on the program is minimal. We have already seen articles indicating it would likely be a 3-6 month delay if Turkish companies were removed fro the program. The entire Turkish order is just 100 jets and we have already seen Japan, not a program partner, step in and take that number over the next ten years.

mmo wrote:
One issue I haven't seen discussed is the push to return to the Century Series philosophy. If that happens you will be lucky to see 50% of the F-35 program ordered.

Can you enlighten us on what you are suggesting here? I see no indications the US is returning to that type of fleet given the stated desire is a 80/20 5th to 4th gen mix and the F-35 is the bulk of that 80%.


bikerthai wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Nothing to do with a volunteer army,


My assertion about an all volunteer army is that there is not sufficient pilots and crew to both maintain the existing force structure requirement while having enough extra pilots and crew to train for the new F-35's. Lack of personnel can not be addressed through money, except if they pay the pilots and crew more. But then that would cost a lot more money than just buying the frames wouldn't it?

bt

I don’t see why this has anything to do with the F-15X/F-35? The pilots come from anywhere and as the USAF has made clear the F-15C/D fleet is aging off and so the pilots have to transition to someone. Yes the USAF has a pilot shortage but lack of money is actually a big part of that.

The below article is an excellent review of the current situation and what the USAF is doing to fix it.

“To achieve the increased production, multiple issues will need to be addressed, to include: increase fighter pilot staffing, increased funding for weapons system sustainment and additional aircraft for both training and absorption in operational squadrons,” the study states. “Due to current imbalances in the production pipeline, delays throughout the training phase from commissioning through absorption at operational units are further restricting the Air Force’s ability to meet fighter pilot requirements.”
It’s also important to remember that the Air Force spends a lot of money to train these pilots. Even if it could expand the pipeline, it would cost a lot of money.

https://federalnewsnetwork.com/dod-pers ... -shortage/


bikerthai wrote:
Ozair wrote:
What examples would you like to review from other nations?


What was the gestation period for the Typhoon? I'm not saying that other countries are not pursuing 5th/6th generation design. I'm just saying that until they actually field the new frames, we can not say that they will have better success in maintaining schedule than the F-35's.

I’m confused how this is related to the F-15X/F-35 discussion. The issue today isn’t the gestation period for the F-35, the production rate is sufficient now to deliver essentially as many as the USAF could take, although as indicated previously the delay to the program probably impacted it being the obvious replacement.

bikerthai wrote:
By the way, did everyone see the MQ-25 drone being shipped to the flight test center? Seems to me Boeing is proving that their new manufacturing process is able to reduce manufacturing time, which will prove valuable to getting the F-15X to the Air Force sooner.

Again not sure this has anything to do with the F-15X, which as far as we are aware has nothing to do with the Boeing Black Diamond program. Boeing had already built this prototype and was one of the reasons Boeing was able to win the contest.
The drone moved on Sunday night, is a test aircraft built by Boeing on its own dime. Within the company, it’s known as T-1 or “Tail 1.”

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2 ... ad/156623/
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 01, 2019 10:22 pm

par13del wrote:
So is this the same silliness that killed the F-22?

No, the cost to operate the F-22 killed it. It was simply unsustainable to operate those costs long term with the fleet size the USAF wanted.

par13del wrote:
If they had continued to buy F-22's instead of diverting funds to other programs, would the cost of the F-22 have come down sufficiently to have allowed them to continue to purchase more?

Acquisition size was coming down but the per flight hour cost wasn’t and hasn’t.

par13del wrote:
Why is early retirement of the end of life F-22 fleet not included in discussions of trying to retire types early to be able to afford more F-35's?

I’d suggest it’s been discussed internally but hasn’t made the headlines yet. In a recent interview Goldfein mentioned four aircraft that will fly into the 2030s and the F-22 wasn’t mentioned but perhaps just a slip of the tongue and not a forward looking suggestion. Given the F-35 can do most of the F-22’s role for a lot less per hour that has to factor in at some point.

par13del wrote:
Do we not read that some electronic infrastructure on the F-22 cannot be upgraded, how long before the more capable F-35 has greater numbers?

I believe that number will cross this year, with the USAF having more F-35s in service than F-22s.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 02, 2019 12:09 am

Spar wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
The article stated that that the Air Force is not reducing their F-35 buys.

Correct, it is the DOD which is reducing the F-35 buys: the same people who are making the F-15EX buy. The planes that are being cut back could be "A" models as easily as "B" or "C" models.

Your point was it's crazy to buy more 15 while cutting back on 35s. That would be true if it were the AF 35s that were cut back. But it is not. And the DOD is not giving the Air Force more frames because ...? They have propose various reasons and many here won't buy their reasoning. I can accept that. I can not accept contradicting points that have been clearly stated by officials. You don't have to believe them, just don't poo poo their argument.

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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 02, 2019 12:12 am

Ozair wrote:
I don’t see why this has anything to do with the F-15X/F-35?


It may show that the Boeing may have a good chance of hitting cost and budget if they do get the contract. More pressure on LM to get the cost of the 35 down.

bt
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Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 02, 2019 12:37 am

bikerthai wrote:
It may show that the Boeing may have a good chance of hitting cost and budget if they do get the contract. More pressure on LM to get the cost of the 35 down.

T-X would be a better indicator than the MQ-25, which will only see four aircraft initially and the first flight of an actual production aircraft won’t occur until at least 2021. It is also a USN program compared to T-X which is USAF focused.

LM certainly knows they need to keep reducing the price, there are enough media articles on it! Remember that the JPO will mandate a price on them, as they have done previously, if negotiations don’t go in the direction the JPO want. It is also clearly in LM’s best interest to deliver as many aircraft as they can and increase the production rate as much as they can as those two metrics by nature drive the cost lower.
 
Spar
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 02, 2019 1:02 am

@bikerthai

As I pointed out above, the planes that are being cut back could be "A" models just as easily as "B" or "C" models.

If you think the AF (or the Navy or the Marines) doesn't want these planes you're just plain wrong. The services have been ordered (suggested?) to not want these planes right now.

While the Air Force transitions from having just a few, to having a thousand or more F-35s, there will be times when a squadron is short a few planes and times when a squadron or two has a few excess planes until there are enough planes available to fill out another squadron. However, I am sure there will never be a time between now and 2070 or so when the Air Force (or the Navy or the Marines) thinks they have too many F-35s.

The manufacturing line is geared up to produce these planes but the DOD has ordered a cutback. This action has all the signs of being malfeasance for the purpose of boosting one company at the expense of another. This is about as transparent as a government case of breach of trust can get. That is unless someone can come up with some as yet unexplained reason why the DOD thinks the military actually needs a two seater air defense F-15.

But please go ahead and continue to throw out knee jerk justifications for the unjustifiable. You do make a good sounding board, and that's all to the good.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 02, 2019 3:24 am

OZAIR, I did read the article and found it poorly written and not accurate. Basically, when a pilot leaves Luke he is p qualed and not mission ready. The mission-ready training takes place in their home unit. The footprint and money were not even mentioned in the article. The Guard would most likely send full-timers and bums to PDX and the part-timers would get trained in house. The article failed to mention that.

My apology for not knowing the AESA conversion was almost done. However, you didn't address my statement about the problems with opening the fuselage up and knowing what the problems are and getting the actual cost to provide a real fix and add life into the aircraft. The C/D will not be FBW when completed while the E/X is. Big advantage there. So, there are things you get in the E/X you don't get by rehabing the C/D.

You don't comment on the USAF's reduction of airframes. Sec of AF is adding the E/X not the USAF, but the USAF is one who reduced the numbers. Reason; To try to get the current plan up to snuff and try to resolve problems. There are major problems with the entire F-35 program. Parts shortages for one but a bigger one lurking in the background is the Depot issue. AWST or the Air Force Magazine had a piece yesterday regarding a recent evaluation of all three Depots (HILL, Tinker and Robins) The results are not pretty.

Finally, my reference to the Century series fighter programs so prevalent in the late 50s and early 60s. The USAF Acquisition Chief has raised the issue, especially in light of 6th generation fighters. There were some real duds in the Century series, but there were some great aircraft too. (Duds; F-101, F102, F104 Good; F-106, F-4 Borderline F-105 F-111) The time from design to the introduction was 4-5 years. Look at it now. That interview was in a recent ASWST. His opinion is we need to cut the F-35 numbers and embark on a 6th generation Century approach to getting the cost down and production time down.
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Spar
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 02, 2019 5:20 am

mmo

The "problems with opening the fuselage up" are imaginary, they're all in your head.

I don't like to cater to your imagination but you really need to keep in mind that the cost of putting completely new wings on the current C models is pegged at forty million each and that is very likely to be a gross overestimate, but even if forty mil it is and something else on the inside of the fuselage needs fixing or replacing, there is as much as a sixty million dollar cost difference per plane between the EX and the rewinged C model. So in the unlikely event of something else needing fixing, there's plenty of room.

Again: the EX does nothing that the C doesn't already do. There is no actual increase in capability or operational benefit that comes along with the F-15EX for sixty million apiece.

You harp on the F-35's spare parts issues, which are not really an F-35 issue, but just the result of the choice to keep costs down, yet you ignore the fact that the EX has little to no parts commonality to anything else. If the same people who set up the spares program for the F-35, set up a similar program for the EX, why wouldn't the same problems appear there? I will add that you prefer to throw out the smoothly functioning F-15C spare parts program which seems odd for someone who is focused closely on another plane's spares program.

You raise an issue about "mission capable vs mission ready" while ignoring the fact that OZAR has pointed out that pilot training isn't the holdup in transitioning a unit from F-15 to F-35; it takes nine months to get all the support structure in place for a squadron while it only takes 90 days to bring a pilot to "mission capable" status. The NG units pilots all come with many years (or decades) of experience. Why would mission capable not be mission ready for these pilots? You also appear to be ignoring the fact that the NG units have no ground attack role, so your pilot training objections are not as dire as you are presenting anyway. This whole "pilot training" issue appears to be a strawman.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 02, 2019 11:46 am

Spar wrote:
But please go ahead and continue to throw out knee jerk justifications for the unjustifiable. You do make a good sounding board, and that's all to the good.


True, fighter planes are not my bailywick, so I can only parrot what others may say. Still if these justifications are knee jerk, then let's hope Congress will see through all the smoke and do the right thing. And if some of us here do not trust Congress, then our discussion here is moot anyway, no more use than burning the minutes. :zzz:

bt
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Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 02, 2019 12:00 pm

mmo wrote:
OZAIR, I did read the article and found it poorly written and not accurate. Basically, when a pilot leaves Luke he is p qualed and not mission ready. The mission-ready training takes place in their home unit. The footprint and money were not even mentioned in the article. The Guard would most likely send full-timers and bums to PDX and the part-timers would get trained in house. The article failed to mention that.



I am very familiar with fast jet training. The pilot comes out of the training module as a D cat, essentially enough proficiency to be a wingman. They can fly and fight both A2A and A2G with the training they have received and most will have dropped ordnance multiple times. I agree that post that over a period of time those pilots conduct workups and build upon the basic weapon set taught at the training unit to that present at their operational squadron, as well as potentially additional mission types. In the end they move from D, to C and then B and perhaps a few at A. What we know though is there is clearly enough training that after completing training at Luke a new pilot to the squadron flew on a large force exercise, essentially the largest in the world, and succeeded. That says a lot about how proficient and capable pilots are coming out of Luke on the F-35.

That the article doesn’t mention the specifics of how that will be handled really doesn’t matter. We have a close enough estimate of how long it is going to take to draw a valid conclusion.

mmo wrote:
My apology for not knowing the AESA conversion was almost done. However, you didn't address my statement about the problems with opening the fuselage up and knowing what the problems are and getting the actual cost to provide a real fix and add life into the aircraft. The C/D will not be FBW when completed while the E/X is. Big advantage there. So, there are things you get in the E/X you don't get by rehabing the C/D.


I have stated numerous times on this thread that upgrading the C/D fleet comes with significant risk! While they have several identified upgrade programs if you look back a couple of pages I made it quite clear, with source references to the specific contract awards, that the USAF doesn’t have a good handle on how the airframe is aging and have been expending funds to determine this.

The question is whether the whole up front cost of a new F-15EX, that comes with improved availability and reducing operating cost, is worth it against just upgraded the C/D fleet and then updating all the units to F-35 in the late 2020s early 30s? That is the path I would go were I making this decision.

mmo wrote:
You don't comment on the USAF's reduction of airframes. Sec of AF is adding the E/X not the USAF, but the USAF is one who reduced the numbers. Reason; To try to get the current plan up to snuff and try to resolve problems.


The USAF reduced the airframe number by 6 for a three year period, so a 10% reduction. I don’t find that to be a significant adjustment in the grand scheme of things, especially in the context that Congress continues to buy the unfunded prioritized list and adds more than those lost 18 jets for the last three years just this year alone and will likely continue to do so.

Instead of being some type of plan to reduce airframes numbers due to perceived issues it is actually reasonably smart budgeting given they recognize that the Congress will fund additional airframes and can therefore allocate that funding to other acquisition programs.

mmo wrote:
There are major problems with the entire F-35 program. Parts shortages for one but a bigger one lurking in the background is the Depot issue. AWST or the Air Force Magazine had a piece yesterday regarding a recent evaluation of all three Depots (HILL, Tinker and Robins) The results are not pretty.



Please paste the link or better yet post it in the F-35 news thread given that is the purpose of the thread.

Your comments aside, there really aren’t major issues with the program. There are issues identified by GAO to do with how the JPO has been running the spares and depot program but that is not an F-35 issue alone. The whole USAF fleet has suffered considerably from a lack of funding at the depot level and with spares. The USN SH fleet has similar issues and has also been improved simply with the allocation of more funding.

mmo wrote:
Finally, my reference to the Century series fighter programs so prevalent in the late 50s and early 60s. The USAF Acquisition Chief has raised the issue, especially in light of 6th generation fighters. There were some real duds in the Century series, but there were some great aircraft too. (Duds; F-101, F102, F104 Good; F-106, F-4 Borderline F-105 F-111) The time from design to the introduction was 4-5 years. Look at it now. That interview was in a recent ASWST. His opinion is we need to cut the F-35 numbers and embark on a 6th generation Century approach to getting the cost down and production time down.


Perhaps the new digital design process will allow that to happen but I doubt it. The modules today, whether they be avionics or engines, are not plug and play, nor is the stealth features of the designs. To meet VLO design requirements you need time and specific individual components crafted to the specific airframe. I get that they want to rapid prototype these systems but I think he is oversimplifying it.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 02, 2019 1:13 pm

Speaking of Congress,

Is the congressional hearing complete? Is the next gate the approval or redlining of the budget proposal? We have not much politicking since the hearing in early April, so is it a matter of wait and see, or is there more back and forth lobbying to be had.

bt
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mmo
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 02, 2019 1:18 pm

Obviously, you are not talking about the USAF. It is not like it is in the RAAF (I assume). You are pilot qualified in all systems. You can't fly as a wingman until you are mission ready. The trip from mission capable to mission-ready could be as long as 6 months depending on aircraft availability and weather.

You wanted some proof on what I wrote.

http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pa ... cture.aspx

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... %20Roundup

http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... gress.aspx
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texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 02, 2019 1:38 pm

"@LockheedMartin 's F-35A model for Air Force estimated to cost $210m to purchase, sustain and operate over 10yrs vs $163m for proposed Boeing F-15EX in FY20 budget, Pentagon's head of independent cost assessment n program evaluation tells a HASC panel this morning"

https://twitter.com/ACapaccio/status/11 ... 4893366272
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 02, 2019 6:18 pm

At $4.7 millions saving a year per airplane (no chump change), times 18 frames, within that 10 years you can save enough to buy 4 more F-35's. :crazy: Or is my math wrong?

bt
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Spar
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 02, 2019 10:34 pm

texl1649 wrote:
"@LockheedMartin 's F-35A model for Air Force estimated to cost $210m to purchase, sustain and operate over 10yrs vs $163m for proposed Boeing F-15EX in FY20 budget, Pentagon's head of independent cost assessment n program evaluation tells a HASC panel this morning"

https://twitter.com/ACapaccio/status/11 ... 4893366272

I don't know what Anthony Capaccio's loyalties are or where got this information, but when it comes to aviation matters, I treat anything that comes out of Shannahan's DOD as likely to be a Boeing press release. It should be worthy to note that Robert Daigle, the director of the Department of Defense’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office has turned in his resignation just this week after only eighteen months on the job and there are a number of other vacancies which are ongoing at the DOD. The DOD is in disarray.

On top of this incomprehensible F-15EX proposal and the F-35 cutbacks (beside the reduction this year, the AF has recently announced a reduction for it's annual acquisition, from 60 planes a year to 48 planes a year over the next five years), there has been a series of derogatory statements coming from Shannahan and others about the F-35. This is despite the fact that the F-35 has been meeting or exceeding expectations for it's performance goals and the pilots seem to love it.

Boeing's X-32 lost the competition against Lockheed's F-35, IMO they should learn to live with it.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 02, 2019 10:59 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Speaking of Congress,

Is the congressional hearing complete? Is the next gate the approval or redlining of the budget proposal? We have not much politicking since the hearing in early April, so is it a matter of wait and see, or is there more back and forth lobbying to be had.

bt

The last budget wasn’t passed until September so I expect it will still be 3 months, including the summer break, before we see some final concrete decisions.

mmo wrote:
Obviously, you are not talking about the USAF. It is not like it is in the RAAF (I assume). You are pilot qualified in all systems. You can't fly as a wingman until you are mission ready. The trip from mission capable to mission-ready could be as long as 6 months depending on aircraft availability and weather.

Yes my experience is with the RAAF but the western fighter community uses essentially the same system while perhaps different terminology. Why would a Hill F-35 squadron fly a new F-35 pilot at Red Flag with just 7 rides at his home squadron post training. Clearly that isn’t 6 months duration when he flies in the most significant air exercise for Western Air Forces… The pilots come out of Luke mission ready. If the intent of the training was only to make them pilot ready they could do that in a third of the time.

EDIT: Sorry I now understand what you are referencing. We are talking about similar things but the terminology is somewhat mixed up. The pilot comes out of Luke and has to get his mission qualification training. Often that is type specific to the aircraft they are flying to ensure they have transitioned for instance from one Blk of F-16 to another and learning the specific TTPs that the squadron operates under.

Some info here,
Graduates from the B-course are certified to fly air-to-air missions, to drop laser-guided munitions, and to operate the aircraft at night with NVGs. “While they are not completely ready for combat,” added Rosario, “they are ready for that transition, which is done in mission qualification training at their operational units. In three months, they can be in an operational theater dropping munitions in combat.”

https://www.codeonemagazine.com/article.html?item_id=89

A lot more at the link above about the standard 9 month course for F-16s which is comparable for F-35 training.

mmo wrote:

That isn’t really proof though is it. It is a collection of links two of which are from the same Shanahan media briefing that have big hands references to what is going on. The first is to the GAO report that I already referenced.

If you took the time to consider what has happened then you would be able to draw some more logical conclusions. As a simple example, the additional funding for the F-35 to improve MC rates is only just arriving, it has taken 4-6 months to get that funding up since Mattis made his 80% MC declaration in October 2018. Compared to that, the USN started their depot work a year earlier and that is why the SH rates have come up quicker.

I have also provided the table and link to the Armed Services committee hearing that clearly shows the intent behind the MC rates including timeframe. In that context, your complaints are essentially a short term goal that will be likely overcome in a year and a half. Bringing the F-15EX into the fleet in 3.5 years from now doesn’t do much for MC rates today and, funding being available, MC rates won’t be a problem 3.5 years from now.

Edited...
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri May 03, 2019 10:32 am

Ozair,

This is the current with the production of the F-35.

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/05/par ... i=72328880

And as far as cost per flying hour, have a read here.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/05 ... rd%20Brief
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri May 03, 2019 11:23 am

Spar wrote:
The DOD is in disarray.


Unfortunately this statement applies to the whole administration with people coming and going like a revolving door. You can put this at the foot of Shanahan as much as you wish, but he did clear Ethics. And if you do not trust the ethics report, then you'll have to put this at the foot of the President. He has gotten rid of enough people, so if he does not like what Shanahan is doing, then this so called F-15X debacle would not have last this long.

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Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri May 03, 2019 12:53 pm

mmo wrote:
Ozair,

This is the current with the production of the F-35.

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/05/par ... i=72328880

And as far as cost per flying hour, have a read here.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/05 ... rd%20Brief

I agree completely that the per hour cost is too high but that is a direct reflection of the spares issue and a fleet that still has too many variants. Once the fleet beds down and the spares lift, which will likely happen within the next year and a half, the per hour cost will reduce.

The other issue is that while the per hour cost is high, the aircraft is still and will remain more survivable in the battlespace than the F-15EX and not a single analyst is arguing different. While you may save a few bucks operating the EX over the 35 if the EX can't execute the missions required the money saved from the acquisition is pointless.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri May 03, 2019 1:17 pm

1) I would suggest you re-read the articles again. The cost will reduce somewhat but nowhere near what you are preaching. In addition, come the early to mid-20s the aircraft will have their first depot visits that will begin to drive the cost up and reduce airframe availability.

2) I agree with your point about battle space, but you assuming both aircraft will be in the same area. I say they won't. There might be coordination but the EX will not be put in the same threat environment.
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri May 03, 2019 1:21 pm

mmo wrote:
1) I would suggest you re-read the articles again. The cost will reduce somewhat but nowhere near what you are preaching. In addition, come the early to mid-20s the aircraft will have their first depot visits that will begin to drive the cost up and reduce airframe availability.

2) I agree with your point about battle space, but you assuming both aircraft will be in the same area. I say they won't. There might be coordination but the EX will not be put in the same threat environment.


A little more interesting reading for you. USAF is saying $34,000 is the lowest in 2025.

https://aviationweek.com/defense/pentag ... achievable
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sun May 05, 2019 10:31 pm

mmo wrote:
mmo wrote:
1) I would suggest you re-read the articles again. The cost will reduce somewhat but nowhere near what you are preaching. In addition, come the early to mid-20s the aircraft will have their first depot visits that will begin to drive the cost up and reduce airframe availability.

2) I agree with your point about battle space, but you assuming both aircraft will be in the same area. I say they won't. There might be coordination but the EX will not be put in the same threat environment.


A little more interesting reading for you. USAF is saying $34,000 is the lowest in 2025.

https://aviationweek.com/defense/pentag ... achievable


mmo, with respect to your first post, I’m not preaching anything, just trying to explain that things can change quickly. For example, three to four years ago no one expected LM to get the acquisition cost down to US$80 million per copy but LM will almost certainly do that at the next production contract award even with some significant production inefficiencies. It will be interesting to see how low the CTOL price will go once those inefficiencies are out and the line increases production to above 160 airframes a year.

I expect the per hour cost to be similar, that this will drop significantly to near that US$25k figure once the depot and spares mess is cleared out. The other side of this is the work being done by the USAF on ALIS, which isn’t performing as it should. That should also significantly reduce the per hour cost as that system is improved over the next 18 months.

Setting the weekly flying and maintenance schedule for an F-35 squadron is a weeklong process. It takes hours for multiple people to download data from the jets and comb through it, paste information into different spreadsheets, and continuously update each system.
With a new app called Kronos, on track to be delivered in early March, the U.S. Air Force is hoping it can trim the amount of time for that process to 15 minutes.
Kronos was developed by the Air Force’s Kessel Run software development team as part of a new effort called Mad Hatter, which was established late last year to solve pilot and maintainer gripes with the F-35 fighter jet.
If all goes well, it could lead to a much bigger overhaul of the F-35’s troubled logistics backbone, known as the Autonomic Logistics Information System, or ALIS, said Will Roper, the Air Force’s top acquisition official.
“There are many things about ALIS that are very frustrating and time consuming,” Roper told Defense News on Feb. 12 in an exclusive interview. “The goal [of Mad Hatter] is not simply to fix ALIS within the constraints that define it. It is to make the operator — the maintainer — more efficient, to make their user experience more pleasant.”

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/02 ... headaches/

The difference then between the F-15EX and the F-35 is the F-35 has significant excess in the system that will be pruned off over the next three to five years. The F-15EX doesn’t have that, it has nowhere lower to go for obvious reasons.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon May 06, 2019 1:03 am

Spar wrote:
Correct, it is the DOD which is reducing the F-35 buys: the same people who are making the F-15EX buy. The planes that are being cut back could be "A" models as easily as "B" or "C" models.


They're only reducing the number purchased for that year. There is no reduction in the overall purchase.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon May 06, 2019 1:06 am

Ozair wrote:
No, the cost to operate the F-22 killed it. It was simply unsustainable to operate those costs long term with the fleet size the USAF wanted.


Incorrect. Misinformation killed the F-22 prematurely. This is a widely known fact and one that many have looked back on as a horrible decision.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon May 06, 2019 3:59 am

checksixx wrote:
Spar wrote:
Correct, it is the DOD which is reducing the F-35 buys: the same people who are making the F-15EX buy. The planes that are being cut back could be "A" models as easily as "B" or "C" models.


They're only reducing the number purchased for that year. There is no reduction in the overall purchase.

There has also been a reduction for it's annual acquisition, from the planned 60 planes a year to 48 planes a year over the next five years. Don't worry, next year Shanahan will find a new way to cut back Lockheed's F-35 and give more business to Boeing.

checksixx wrote:
Misinformation killed the F-22 prematurely. This is a widely known fact and one that many have looked back on as a horrible decision.

We are lucky that the F-22 production was cut short. Without bringing that program to a close we wouldn't have the F-35 program as we do now; the F-35 is a far more capable and far more sustainable plane.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon May 06, 2019 4:32 am

To add flame to the fire of the F-15EX, apparently in testimony the USAF stated a SLEP of the F-15C/D fleet, which included longeron replacement + fuselage SLEP + wing replacement, is actually going to cost about US$10 million per airframe and not the closer to US$40 million suggested previously.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... du-vfIWl2A

If that is the case it really puts a nail in the coffin of the F-15EX proposal. It makes the economic prospects for the proposal significantly worse as the cost difference to acquire is upwards of US$70 million. That is a lot of additional flight hours at the higher C/D per hour cost compared to the EX.

It doesn’t mitigate the availability issue, I would still expect the EX to have better availability than a SLEP'ed C/D, and it also doesn’t address the unknown unknown issues of an upgraded C/D but that is probably something the USAF ANG squadrons could live with.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon May 06, 2019 5:08 am

Also, general Holmes says that "we need more planes and we are reaching a crisis point", yet Shanahan's DOD is cutting back F-35 production.

Things keep getting curiouser and curiouser.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon May 06, 2019 1:21 pm

Ozair wrote:
If that is the case it really puts a nail in the coffin of the F-15EX proposal.


Is that a finishing nail or a galvanized steel framing nail? The cost of retrofit may be cheaper, but how does that change the cost of operation? Are you still getting a 20,000hr frame? At least you can keep it running enough until the F-35 takes over. So one would hope . . .

F-15X or upgrading the C/D still means one thing. You are not buying more F-35 in the short term. If the Air Force if could they would have already instead as Spar would suggest they are cutting their purchase.

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Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon May 06, 2019 9:43 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Is that a finishing nail or a galvanized steel framing nail? The cost of retrofit may be cheaper, but how does that change the cost of operation? Are you still getting a 20,000hr frame? At least you can keep it running enough until the F-35 takes over. So one would hope . . .

As I already indicated in my post above it doesn’t change the cost of operation. The C/D is probably still going to be around that 42k per hour mark.

As per the very first page of this thread we figured the USAF had a value match at about 15 years between the lowest operating cost of the EX plus acquisition compared to the higher operating cost plus SLEP of the C/D. Adding an additional US$30 million to that equation makes the delta between the jets approximately US$19 billion. That means the pay back, from a lower operating cost for the F-15EX, is now 25 years and not 17…

Yes as already indicated you probably get a higher availability with the EX but you also save a lot of capital by just upgrading the C/D fleet compared to buying and operating the EX and you don’t lose the availability from converting the ANG units over.

The flight hours is also a bad argument. The F-15EX is never going to fly 20000 hours in USAF service, even at a historically exceptionally high number of 500 flight hours per year that is 40 years of service. At a more realistic 300 flight hours per year it is 66 years of flight. The current fleet has served over 30 years and is nowhere near 20000 hours per airframe.

If the SLEP gives you a conservative additional 5000 hours from each aircraft at 300 flight hours per year the USAF gets an additional 17 years from the aircraft. That is more than enough to fly the aircraft until 2040 and by that time it can be replaced with the F-35 or PCA or national defence drones etc.

bikerthai wrote:
F-15X or upgrading the C/D still means one thing. You are not buying more F-35 in the short term. If the Air Force if could they would have already instead as Spar would suggest they are cutting their purchase.

That is never what this has been about though especially given the F-35 was never designated as a replacement for the C/D fleet. The decision shouldn’t be EX or F-35, the decision should be what is best for the USAF going forward. If the SLEP cost is really that low then the argument is close to over. The debate about more F-35s only happens if the USAF/DoD decide to acquire new aircraft. The only thing in favour of acquiring the EX is the industrial argument and that is pretty weak given the continued SH orders, and expectation of Blk III refits, and the T-X.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue May 07, 2019 1:40 pm

Ozair wrote:
That is never what this has been about though especially given the F-35 was never designated as a replacement for the C/D fleet.


To this we both agree. But some want to argue so . . . thus the obfuscation.

There is one benefit with the F-15X vs the C/D is the additional capacity in weapon loads. Not sure of those additions could be retrofitted. But that would not be the point, just extra frosting on the cake.

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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue May 07, 2019 1:48 pm

Ozair wrote:
The only thing in favour of acquiring the EX is the industrial argument and that is pretty weak given the continued SH orders, and expectation of Blk III refits, and the T-X.


The industrial base do not mean just the manufacturing capability. It is also the IT and technical knowhow required to analyze and design a fighter plane. Without an active program, the subject mater expert in fighter design will be disperses and would be difficult to retain. Heck, as a CATIA driver, if I get away from detailed design for a year or two, I will be difficult to get that proficiency back, with the ever changing technology and all . . . Sustainment on a legacy program helps but does not give the same exposure as a cutting edge design. I'm afraid with the loss of the F-32, Boeing is already beyond the point of no return in losing fighter design capability. They will be second fiddle to Lockheed in the design and can only compete in the manufacturing and industrial mass (cost)

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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 08, 2019 2:30 am

Spar wrote:
There has also been a reduction for it's annual acquisition, from the planned 60 planes a year to 48 planes a year over the next five years. Don't worry, next year Shanahan will find a new way to cut back Lockheed's F-35 and give more business to Boeing.

We are lucky that the F-22 production was cut short. Without bringing that program to a close we wouldn't have the F-35 program as we do now; the F-35 is a far more capable and far more sustainable plane.


Your reply is literally what I posted while correcting you.

As far as cutting F-22 production short...the Air Force and even many of the folks that helped cut it short, disagree with you. :roll:
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 08, 2019 4:05 am

checksixx wrote:
Your reply is literally what I posted while correcting you..

You're original quote was:
checksixx wrote:
They're only reducing the number purchased for that year. There is no reduction in the overall purchase.
The fact is that Shanahan cannot reduce the "overall purchase" because the production is scheduled to continue until 2035 and the production purchases will be in lots consisting of less than five years each. All Shanahan can do is reduce the size of purchases during his tenure, and that is what he is doing.

checksixx wrote:
As far as cutting F-22 production short...the Air Force and even many of the folks that helped cut it short, disagree with you. :roll:
Do you actually think the every air force person sees things exactly the same as every other air force person? :roll:
I would guess that opinion varies widely amongst air force personnel.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 09, 2019 2:54 pm

Spar wrote:
Do you actually think the every air force person sees things exactly the same as every other air force person? :roll:
I would guess that opinion varies widely amongst air force personnel.


You're right...I should have said those with even the slightest connection to the operations would disagree with you. You're one that thinks his opinion equals fact...sooner or later, you'll figure it out.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 09, 2019 6:19 pm

I am assuming that foreign sales are outside of the DOD budget, if the UK orders another 10 doesn't that add to the annual production. It seems like our allies are probably adding 20+ to each years annual production.

If the F-15EX is ordered by the US, reducing the US orders in a given year by say 10 planes, wouldn't this be taken up by foreign sales leading to more total aircraft produced in a year.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 15, 2019 12:57 am

The set of recommendations from the Heritage Foundation in their latest document is clearly pertinent to this discussion.

The F-35A Fighter Is the Most Dominant and Lethal Multi-Role Weapons System in the World: Now Is the Time to Ramp Up Production

The U.S. Air Force’s first F-35A fighter wing is now fully operational.
The road to this point has been filled with insights on the aircraft, simulator, maintenance and logistical support, and operations that will apply to any service or nation flying the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). This assessment is based on interviews with 30 F-35A combat pilots as well as senior operations and maintenance leaders at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. It follows a similar assessment from 2016 of 31 other highly experienced former fourth-generation fighter pilots, who were then flying the F-35A at two other Air Force locations. The collective perspectives confirm that, while the JSF is still several years away from realizing its full potential, even now, the F-35A is the most dominant and lethal multi-role aircraft in the world.

...

https://www.heritage.org/sites/default/ ... BG3406.pdf


The recommendations from the report are the following,

The U.S. Congress should fund and authorize the Air Force to purchase 72 F-35As in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2020, and 360 over the Five-Year Defense Plan (FYDP).

The Department of Defense should approve full-rate production of the F-35A, and move to field the F-35A as rapidly as possible. The DOD should forego the acquisition of fourth-generation F-15EX fighters, and acquire 72 F-35As in 2020, while also funding the associated spare parts accounts.



Conclusion

The Joint Strike Fighter program has endured its share of growing pains, but the F-35A is now fully operational, and those flying the jet have complete confidence in its ability to operate in and around the most intense threat environments in the world. While it will take several more years before the jet, its simulators, maintenance, and logistical support fully realize their potential, the technical issues that limited the early operational employment of the JSF have been overcome, and there is no doubt in the minds of those flying the F-35A at Hill AFB that, even now, this is the most dominant and lethal multi-role weapons system in the world. It is time to field this game-changing weapons system as rapidly as possible.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 15, 2019 1:02 pm

Ozair wrote:
The set of recommendations from the Heritage Foundation in their latest document is clearly pertinent to this discussion.


Somehow I feel that there is something is amidst. We are still getting lobbying effort to squash the F-15EX buy (looks like they are calling it the EX not and not just the X) but from the other side, Boeing is beginning early manufacturing activities for a 2020 delivery.

And they are buying the two seat version even though for most operations the back seat will be empty. This suggest that they have plans for the back seat operator in the future for systems that we are not aware of. This would provide credence to all those who say that there is more to this than just replacing the C. It's just that the Pentagon is not saying . . .

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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 15, 2019 3:09 pm

Seems as though both sides could possibly win. The HASC, has funded 12 F-35 in the new budget and they have also provided initial funding for the F-15EX. Still has to go to the Senate, but it will be a jobs issue and will most likely get support.

http://airforcemag.com/Features/Pages/2 ... -15EX.aspx
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed May 15, 2019 9:53 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Ozair wrote:
The set of recommendations from the Heritage Foundation in their latest document is clearly pertinent to this discussion.


Somehow I feel that there is something is amidst. We are still getting lobbying effort to squash the F-15EX buy (looks like they are calling it the EX not and not just the X) but from the other side, Boeing is beginning early manufacturing activities for a 2020 delivery.

BT we have known the EX moniker for a while now and we also know that the plan is for Boeing to take two slots from the Qatar deliveries to build test aircraft for the USAF. Production deliveries are not scheduled to commence for 3.5 years.

bikerthai wrote:
[And they are buying the two seat version even though for most operations the back seat will be empty. This suggest that they have plans for the back seat operator in the future for systems that we are not aware of. This would provide credence to all those who say that there is more to this than just replacing the C. It's just that the Pentagon is not saying . . .

We have also known about the two seat preference for a long time. It is a risk reduction exercise on two accounts.

First the aircraft becomes more flexible because the second seat allows easier conversion to type. It also provides more flexibility to transfer these to replace E fleet should they want to.

Second, the two seat is only one million more. In context of cost that small cost increase provides that flexibility defined above. The other side to this is the risk reduction of Boeing trying to build a single seat jet. While I am sure they can when was the last time they did, perhaps the middle 90s…? There are enough parts to change between a single and two seat aircraft that it makes sense to continue with the two seats.

mmo wrote:
Seems as though both sides could possibly win. The HASC, has funded 12 F-35 in the new budget and they have also provided initial funding for the F-15EX. Still has to go to the Senate, but it will be a jobs issue and will most likely get support.

http://airforcemag.com/Features/Pages/2 ... -15EX.aspx

I expect we will see some additional F-35 added by the Senate as well.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 16, 2019 5:34 pm

So is the F-35 the replacement for the F-16 and the F-15?
If they expend so much resources ramping up production and purchasing so many F-35's, if it is not the F-15 replacement what is, when will it be designed and funded, after the production line for the F-35 closes down?
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu May 16, 2019 9:51 pm

par13del wrote:
So is the F-35 the replacement for the F-16 and the F-15?

The F-35 was never slated as a replacement for the F-15/D/E fleet in USAF service. It was always intended to replace F-16 and A-10 in USAF service and AV-8B and legacy Hornet for USMC/USN.

Image


par13del wrote:
If they expend so much resources ramping up production and purchasing so many F-35's, if it is not the F-15 replacement what is, when will it be designed and funded, after the production line for the F-35 closes down?

The F-22 was the designated F-15C/D replacement but obviously not funded to the numbers required. The current vision was that PCA will replace the C/D fleet in the early 2030s but how PCA is impacted now that a significant portion of the aircraft it was slated to replace may have already been retired is questionable. Perhaps the F-15EX acquisition plan also relieves stress on the PCA development schedule and allows the USAF to develop that jet slower and to a more consistent and fiscally affordable budget allotment?

The F-35 is slated for production until the early 2040s and will take a significant time, at 60 a year, to replace the current 900+ F-16s in the US fleet as well as the A-10 (280 in service but only 180 new wings funded) in the middle 30s.

The delays to the F-35 program is a more significant driver to it not replacing the F-15C/D fleet than anything else. Had the aircraft been in FRP today it would almost certainly have been cheap enough and prolific enough that there would be no question on what the replace the F-15C/D fleet with.
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue May 21, 2019 1:47 am

Pretty clear that if budget is an issue the F-15EX loses to the F-35 but until that point it looks like it is full steam ahead on acquiring the EX.

Air Force Wants Both F-35 and F-15EX. But if Forced to Choose, It's No Contest: SecAF

As Congress reviews the Defense Department's budget request for the upcoming fiscal year, the prospect of adding a new, fourth-generation fighter should be weighed against the necessity of growing the Air Force's inventory with more capable aircraft to replace the aging current fleet, according to the service's top civilian.

The only factor that would stifle the new F-15EX fleet would be another bad budget situation, said outgoing Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.

"If the budget gets crunched in the out years, you can't start trading off and saying we're going to keep open an F-15 line for single-digit numbers of airplanes," Wilson said during an interview May 14. "This has to be a long-term commitment to get the Air Force [inventory] healthy."

If the budget does force the service to pick an aircraft, that decision is obvious, Wilson said. "We're not going to trade off fifth-generation for fourth-generation."

The goal is to keep a well-rounded mix of mix of fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft through the 2030s. That includes the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22 Raptor, A-10 Thunderbolt II and the F-15 Eagle/Strike Eagle, she said.

...

https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... secaf.html
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue May 21, 2019 1:48 pm

Ozair wrote:
Pretty clear that if budget is an issue the F-15EX loses to the F-35 but until that point it looks like it is full steam ahead on acquiring the EX.


Looks that way:

From Defense Daily:

The [House Appropriations] committee is approving the Air Force’s request for new Boeing [BA]-made F-15s because it views the program as the fastest and most cost-effective way to recapitalize the service’s aging F-15C/D fleet, which are stationed in Air National Guard units around the country. “The Committee further finds that considerations of parts commonality, low conversion cost, and operator familiarity make the F-15EX procurement a sensible if regrettably necessary investment,” the report said."

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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue May 21, 2019 3:05 pm

Is there a thumbnail reason why if USMC procurement is temporarily falling USAF procurement can’t expand for the F-35?
 
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue May 21, 2019 5:44 pm

It would probably require an Accounting RFP to adjust the line cost for the different versions of the jet, cost millions to have vendors review and subsequently adjust their schedules to produce parts for the different version on a different timeline, bearing in mind that figures on production of the various versions are made in stone and are not adjustable on a whim and fancy. By the time all of that is done, the USMC / Navy would probably be ready to resume normal production, so other than the cost to the accountants and lawyer, it probably a moot point.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue May 21, 2019 6:46 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Is there a thumbnail reason why if USMC procurement is temporarily falling USAF procurement can’t expand for the F-35?


It looks like Congress is doing just that.

From the same article:
The plus-up reflects 12 additional Lockheed Martin [LMT]-built F-35A Joint Strike Fighters, which provides the Air Force with 60 F-35s in FY ’20 for $5.1 billion and moves the service closer to its goal of buying 72 new fighters per year (Defense Daily, May 14).

Not sure if this is already accounted for in the Air Force planning. Ozair would know more about that.

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