Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 1st Nov 2013, 14:20
  #3541 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Texas
Age: 60
Posts: 5,470
The question has always been: canceled by whom? The US won't be cancelling, but that doesn't mean other players won't eventually fold their hands. It seems to me that such was the concern when this thread began.

Maybe I misunderstood.
Lonewolf_50 is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2013, 18:13
  #3542 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Far West Wessex
Posts: 2,545
The program will end eventually, as all programs do. The question is when.

At this point, entry into service with the USAF is all but inevitable. The service has painted itself into a corner and needs to replace old aircraft, and the F-35A will probably be a serviceable bomber.

I would bet much less money on the F-35C, even given that it passes carrier quals. If it dies, the Marines may end up with a handful of F-35Bs - having already admitted that the aircraft will be used for STOVL missions only ten per cent of the time.

In both cases (B&C), the Adv Super Hornet is the classic example of an 80 per cent solution at a fraction of the cost.

For the B&C, the driving factor right now is probably not program performance but the economy and pressures on defense budgets. The years between now and 2020 are likely to be very tough - and the budgets that, according to Kendall &c, "protect" the JSF start with an FY15 plan that does not reflect the Budget Control Act's sequester provisions.

Meanwhile, the export customers have to look at the number of aircraft they can afford to buy and operate.

Those are just the programmatic issues. Next come the "operational" questions. Is the JSF over-reliant on one attribute? Have potential adversaries (given a quarter-century to work on it) compensated technically for that advantage?

And we did not even get to the strategic issues, to wit, is betting the ranch on short-range fighters what we want to do?

Finally: Its [sic] far better to stick with a plan and go all the way to its conclusion.

Not really. If the plan's flawed or circumstances change (both have happened in this case) inflexibility can lead to catastrophe. Any fund manager will tell you that there is a time to suck up the losses and unload before they get worse.
LowObservable is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2013, 18:25
  #3543 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: london,uk
Posts: 565
Originally Posted by LowObservable
- having already admitted that the aircraft will be used for STOVL missions only ten per cent of the time.
That 10 percent is when they are actually fighting a war. The rest of the time they can go cheap.

Last edited by peter we; 1st Nov 2013 at 18:40. Reason: Add name to quote
peter we is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2013, 18:31
  #3544 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia OZ
Age: 71
Posts: 1,938
This is certainly a funnyforum in some respects. What the heck....

Yeah when the F-35B flat deck users need STOVL - they really need so Fruck the 10% malarkey - but youse knew that - right? LO's mother must have been scared by a marine when he was in the womb I reckon. What's the deal with bashing the USMC - constantly?

Australia's F-35 Buy Unaffected by US Sequestration 31 Oct 2013 NIGEL PITTAWAY
“Aircraft Begins 'Mate' Process With Lockheed CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — Australia’s F-35A program is on track despite recent delays to flight tests caused by budget sequestration in the United States, according to the country’s head of New Air Combat Capability (NACC). However, Air Vice Marshal Kym Osley said the NACC Project Office estimates there may be up to seven months of risk remaining in the development of the war-fighting capability software, known as Block 3F (Final). While this isn’t likely to affect Australian operational capability, which is not due until the end of 2020, it could affect US Marine Corps and Air Force plans....

...The Australian government reaffirmed its commitment to acquiring 72 F-35A fighters to replace its older F/A-18A/B Hornet fleet in May and has a potential requirement for 28 more, depending on future decisions involving its Super Hornets. The initial program of record for 72 aircraft is valued at AUS $3.2 billion (US $3.08 billion), based on 2009 figures. Fourteen F-35As are approved. But so far only two have been ordered, with the second aircraft set to roll out in Fort Worth on Aug. 1. The first two will be used to train Australian F-35 pilots at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., before being delivered to Australia in 2018....

...Osley noted that testing of the F-35A variant is 40 percent to 45 percent complete and he saw no “showstoppers.”...

...Bogdan has briefed international partners that the advanced training software, Block 2B, is on track to support US Marine Corps IOC in July 2015, but the Marines have a fallback plan of late 2015 if required.

The next software version is Block 3I (Initial), which has the same capabilities as Block 2B (the initial war fighter) but can be used outside the continental US by other nations, and Osley said it is on track for the end of 2015. With Australian confidence high for on-time delivery of its F-35As, Osley said he is now focusing on ensuring local infrastructure and training will be in place to stand up the first operational squadron, representing IOC, in late 2020.”
Australia's F-35 Buy Unaffected by US Sequestration | Defense News | defensenews.com

Last edited by SpazSinbad; 1st Nov 2013 at 18:32.
SpazSinbad is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2013, 18:31
  #3545 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Tarn et Garonne, Southwest France
Posts: 5,283
Peter we, and many others, I couldn't easily work out whom you were quoting there, so your post didn't make much sense. Any chance you could identify your quotes. You know, like:

Originally Posted by pter we (or any other name)
That 10 percent is when they are actually fighting a war. The rest of the time they can go cheap.
Courtney Mil is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2013, 18:36
  #3546 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Tarn et Garonne, Southwest France
Posts: 5,283
Originally Posted by Spaz
but youse knew that - right?
...has become your standard report meaning, "I'm right, you're wrong, although I really know that the point is open to debate (that you're not going to get)"
Courtney Mil is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2013, 18:44
  #3547 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia OZ
Age: 71
Posts: 1,938
'CM' you are a funny chap also. You are allowed to interpret my comments any way you please and I'll do the reverse. What a strange interpretation of my humour. Lighten up.
SpazSinbad is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2013, 18:47
  #3548 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: london,uk
Posts: 565
Originally Posted by Courtney Mil
Peter we, and many others, I couldn't easily work out whom you were quoting there, so your post didn't make much sense. Any chance you could identify your quotes. You know, like:
Unlike every forum out there there is no quote on this site. I've figured it out now.
The syntax is QUOTE=Courtney Mil within [] brackets

Originally Posted by Courtney Mil
...has become your standard report meaning, "I'm right, you're wrong, although I really know that the point is open to debate (that you're not going to get)"
Because he, like a few others have given up and gone elsewhere rather than getting into a 'discussion' that isn't.

Last edited by peter we; 1st Nov 2013 at 18:47.
peter we is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2013, 18:56
  #3549 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Tarn et Garonne, Southwest France
Posts: 5,283
I thought this was a discussion forum. I like the diversity of opinion. Without it there isn't much to discuss.
Courtney Mil is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2013, 19:01
  #3550 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: london,uk
Posts: 565
Expressing an opinion on your own assumptions isn't a discussion, its borderline trolling.
peter we is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2013, 19:31
  #3551 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Tarn et Garonne, Southwest France
Posts: 5,283
It would seem it is, if you don't agree with the stated opinion. But, to be fair, although there is a very broad spectrum of views here, I don't think there are too many posters here that anyone could reasonably call a troll. One less now.
Courtney Mil is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2013, 19:50
  #3552 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 932
Getting back to the point....

Originally Posted by LowObservable
I would bet much less money on the F-35C, even given that it passes carrier quals. If it dies, the Marines may end up with a handful of F-35Bs - having already admitted that the aircraft will be used for STOVL missions only ten per cent of the time.

In both cases (B&C), the Adv Super Hornet is the classic example of an 80 per cent solution at a fraction of the cost.

For the B&C, the driving factor right now is probably not program performance but the economy and pressures on defense budgets. The years between now and 2020 are likely to be very tough - and the budgets that, according to Kendall &c, "protect" the JSF start with an FY15 plan that does not reflect the Budget Control Act's sequester provisions.
LO, thanks for this.

I agree on the USAF would be left with an awful lot of tired F-15C/Ds & 16s by 2030, along with a (comparatively) tiny number of F-22s and (probably quite tired) F-15Es. This isn't big or clever, so they'll go out of their way make JSF work as a sort of stealthy F-16CG/CJ (or whatever the current nomenclature is); this will come at a price of >$120m a copy, meaning that most of the allies will have either tiny offtake or will buy something else.

On Dave-B, I just can't see what it does in CONOPS terms for the USMC that makes it make sense. And sorry for being a stuck record on this, but the US will have to make budget cuts, and Dave-B is an easy saving to make - and that's before you end up with it being the most expensive variant which has the lowest payload / range capability. (Let's hope it does get binned so that the UK buys a proper carrier jet.... )

Dave-C? Your point about Avd Super Hornet being 80% of the solution is surely right. Do you think that they'd really go for it and leave the USAF with the stealth capability, esp. if X-47C etc doesn't come off?

So I keep returning to a compromise - Dave-AC if you will; in essence, save a pile of cash by making Dave-C the main production variant, and modifying it (a la F-110A/F-4C) with a UAARSI for the USAF. I know it has lower g loading and has poorer transonic acceleration, but if the USAF is looking for a bomb truck, then a modified Dave-C would be fine. Less clever for the air-to-air aircombat mission, but that's hardly the point.

Thoughts?

S41
Squirrel 41 is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2013, 22:32
  #3553 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Sussex
Age: 62
Posts: 371
S41, Totally agree with you, the Dave C has longer legs, just what is needed in the Pacific, if the F35 works as advertised, the USAF would have a good bomb truck and a platform for the stealth carriage of a number of A2A weapons. Having one version must make everything easier to develop thus cheaper.
PhilipG is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2013, 22:52
  #3554 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: london,uk
Posts: 565
Originally Posted by LowObservable
In both cases (B&C), the Adv Super Hornet is the classic example of an 80 per cent solution at a fraction of the cost.
The Super Hornet is around $85m, the F-35a around $125m in LIRP. Once production numbers start being built in 2017 the F-35 will probably cost the same as a SH. Possibly less, as its only one engine.

Some fraction - for a 80% 'solution'. What is a 80% solution, BTW, 20% dead?

Last edited by peter we; 1st Nov 2013 at 22:54.
peter we is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2013, 23:12
  #3555 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Tarn et Garonne, Southwest France
Posts: 5,283
F-35A may cost 125M a shot, but it won't replace SH, of course.

Serious question, where do we think the prices will end up? It would be great to think that the cost really will continue to drop, but will LM really do it, especially if they are now having to absorb any increases? How many previous projects ever went down in price?
Courtney Mil is offline  
Old 1st Nov 2013, 23:45
  #3556 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 932
Originally Posted by Courtney Mil
How many previous projects ever went down in price?
Quite. I'd be (very pleasantly) surprised if the UK saw any Dave-Bs at under £100m a copy in 2013 money.

S41
Squirrel 41 is offline  
Old 2nd Nov 2013, 00:05
  #3557 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: london,uk
Posts: 565
It would be great to think that the cost really will continue to drop, but will LM really do it, especially if they are now having to absorb any increases? How many previous projects ever went down in price?
The project costs may increase as its basically R&D, but the manufacturing cost is determined by volume. And the number built will have a major effect on cost per unit.

The F-35 is not in production yet, so yes, cost will come down significantly when three or four times as many are build on the same line.

The low cost of the F-16 and other American aircraft (B737?) is not low due to brilliant design, its entirely down to mass production.
peter we is offline  
Old 2nd Nov 2013, 01:47
  #3558 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Far West Wessex
Posts: 2,545
P we..

"That 10 per cent is for when they are actually fighting a war"

You do realize that you are not on a fan forum? Do you think that the idea is that the Marines will wait until hostilities approach to train for shipboard and austere-base ops?

Spaz - Try to think this through. Sure you need STOVL to op from a ship without cats and traps. But if 300-some jets are doing this one-tenth of the time, that tells me that all this pain has gone into putting 30 extra jets on the front line. Good strategy?
LowObservable is offline  
Old 2nd Nov 2013, 04:00
  #3559 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia OZ
Age: 71
Posts: 1,938
I have been reading that the USN CNO has been canvassing the idea of reducing CVN numbers. I'm no fortune teller however if this happens and no USN / USMC LHAs are affected by the draw down then these flat decks become that more useful in the light of fewer CVNs. Shirley?

And I have thought it through. What exactly is your point about 10%. Please explain. STOVL is useful when it is required. If someone is attempting to quantify the future use of the STOVL bits then good on them - exactly what is that criteria. Do you know? If you do then as they say in the classics.... "Please explain".
SpazSinbad is offline  
Old 2nd Nov 2013, 10:46
  #3560 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Tarn et Garonne, Southwest France
Posts: 5,283
I can't fault your maths, LO, but it's more like a lot of the 300 doing STOVL 10% of the time rather than 10% doing it all the time. You know what I mean.
Courtney Mil is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.