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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 8th Jul 2015, 13:18
  #6641 (permalink)  
 
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Indeed!!! It's not even out of the gate yet and you folks are demanding it be perfect. And "perfect" as defined by the very few ill-informed who (among other things) insist it have stellar air superiority dog fight performance when it was never designed to be an air superiority dog fighter.
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Old 8th Jul 2015, 13:22
  #6642 (permalink)  
 
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Ken, you are indeed Alistair Campbell and I claim my $10!!
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Old 8th Jul 2015, 14:45
  #6643 (permalink)  
 
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Ken, ken... will it EVER come out of the gate....

In horse racing terms this is a non-runner................
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Old 8th Jul 2015, 15:30
  #6644 (permalink)  
 
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A late arrival at the Ball

Ken,
AS we know the F35 is not out of the gate yet however in 2009 a LM Press Release said : -

"While we acknowledge schedule and cost pressures in the development phase of the program and are working directly with the Office of the Secretary of Defense to resolve them, program trends are very positive overall, and have us on path to meet each of the servicesí F-35 Initial Operational Capability Requirements beginning in 2012.

"We are on track to field the F-35ís tremendous capabilities to our war fighters and recapitalize our nationís aging fighter fleet. The program enjoys solid funding support from the Office of Secretary of Defense and Congress. The presidentís budget recommendations reflect DoDís commitment to international partnerships and common defense solutions."

Some Experts Warn Of 'Death Spiral' for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (excerpt)

The above suggests to me that in six years the IOC has slipped 3 years, after having had basically unlimited amounts of funding, a slightly different set of rules of the game from that for the Euro Canards.

It may not be out of the gate yet but it should haver been out of the gate and should be in front line service with Block 3F software, let us forget that it should be cheap to run and cheap to purchase.

One would have hoped that having had an extra three years at least to polish the product up for its IOC that it would be gaining plaudits from all comers, sadly it would seem that this is not the case.
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Old 8th Jul 2015, 15:59
  #6645 (permalink)  
 
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One would have hoped that having had an extra three years at least to polish the product up for its IOC that it would be gaining plaudits from all comers, sadly it would seem that this is not the case.
Indeed, there is much to be sad about the F-35 program. No one can deny that. As for "gaining plaudits", there's lot and lots of that as well and there are a few here who insist on ignoring and/or denying those many plaudits (Or more ominously, make personal attacks on those who provide those plaudits.) And no, its gained no plaudits for being a stellar close-in dog fighter. But the point remains, it was never intended to be. And that's what this discussion is all about. You can (rightly) dredge up all the past and present programmatic difficulties, but that does not alter the fact one iota that the F-35 is not nor ever was intended to be an air superiority fighter, contrary to the claims being made by some in this thread.
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Old 8th Jul 2015, 16:36
  #6646 (permalink)  
 
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I'm interested in your last sentence there, KenV. Before the JORD was written in 2000 (maybe four years before, if memory serves), one of the design goals was, "F-35 to be the premier strike aircraft through 2040 and to be second only to the F-22 Raptor in air supremacy". "Someone" even did some trials to evaluate the possibility. I guess the last bit disappeared at some point, but none-the-less it was an intention early on, it just isn't now.
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Old 8th Jul 2015, 17:01
  #6647 (permalink)  
 
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It's a case of who you believe, CM.

Who's right?

The people who say that the JSF is worth the money and time, because it outclasses its competition (Typhoon and Rafale) and its adversaries (Su-35) in all respects?

Or....

The people who tell you that it's unfair to expect the F-35 to outmaneuver an F-16D Block 40?

Who has more credibility?

The people who dismiss capability comparisons with competitors, because it's barely (well, really, not at all) "out of the gate"?

Or...

The people who say Block 3F is the war-winner as its stands and that Block 4 will just be gilding the lily?

Who should we trust?

The folks who explain the delays and overruns by saying what a huge challenge it was to meet three service requirements?

Or...

Those who deny that there were any major compromises in the design at all, and that the F-35 would not have looked any different if the B had never existed?

ANSWER - Beats the hell out of me because they're all the same people.

Last edited by LowObservable; 8th Jul 2015 at 17:28.
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Old 8th Jul 2015, 20:04
  #6648 (permalink)  
 
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Not only is the F-35 not out of the gate, it's still in the stable. And eating everyone else's oats.
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Old 8th Jul 2015, 21:33
  #6649 (permalink)  
 
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KenV
Bizzare? "We?" That's your opinion and one held by no one other than the very few "we". Certainly the program was ambitious. In the extreme. But the ambitious nature of the program was dictated by the customer, the US gov't. It was not LM's idea. The gov't demanded a single airframe for all the services despite past attempts at a one size fits all approach having failed. But the US gov't was convinced that new technology would make it possible this time around and demanded it. And a lot of smart folks from a lot of different countries agreed. Or at least agreed enough to buy into the program. Were they right?
Of course they were not right ! - any 9 year old spotter could have told them that LOL
It was not LM's idea
Agreed and to quote myself from post 6605
historically many bad concept aircraft designs have been caused by 'requirements/specifications' etc....
But LM are at fault for believing their own marketing bull$hit - the F35 has always been a really bad concept.

.
....and from a technical/maintenance point of view it will be a bit of a nightmare!
Hmmmmm. That's raw speculation without the smallest bit of data to back it up. Indeed the data that is available appears to contradict it. USMC is making great progress towards IOC. And by the time RAF/RN get their F-35s, the "technical/maintenance" aspects will be largely sorted out. That's just one advantage of a joint program like this. Solving problems for one customer benefits a bunch of other customers.
I do not need data to back up anything Ken - I have been an aircraft engineer for 40+ years and I know a Turkey when I see one ; )
The technical/maintenance aspects will get worse with age because of the complexity of the airframe systems and structural issues !
All the clever technical folk will have ensured that the Turkey is nice to fly,but from an engineering point of view the F35B looks like $hit - as a taxpayer I am not impressed !!
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Old 8th Jul 2015, 21:47
  #6650 (permalink)  
 
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The other point is that "the government" doesn't "demand" anything and automatically get it. The requirement is the outcome of a long process in which the customer says "we want this - can you do it?" and the contractor says either "Yes, and it will cost $$$ and take x years" or "No". So blame-the-customer is disingenuous.
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Old 8th Jul 2015, 22:15
  #6651 (permalink)  
 
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Original quote by KenV: Bizzare? "We?" That's your opinion and one held by no one other than the very few "we". Certainly the program was ambitious. In the extreme. But the ambitious nature of the program was dictated by the customer, the US gov't. It was not LM's idea. The gov't demanded a single airframe for all the services despite past attempts at a one size fits all approach having failed. But the US gov't was convinced that new technology would make it possible this time around and demanded it. And a lot of smart folks from a lot of different countries agreed.
We used to call this customer dumping, the customer is alway at fault or wrong. But, nobody forced the tiny little company, Lockheed-Martin, to take this big contract, did they? Today's F-35 problems date back to how Lockheed ran or really may not have run the program. Did L-M really have the knowledge and experience to run a Concurrent Engineering program? If the company didn't the out come tends to be worse than a traditional develop, manufacture and correct deficiencies older programs, program time extends and costs soar.
The implementation of Concurrent Engineering addresses three main areas: people, process, and technology. It involves major organizational changes because it requires the integration of people, business methods, and technology and is dependent on cross-functional working and teamwork rather than the traditional hierarchical organization. Concurrent engineering takes a different organization and a different structure to be successful. In the Concurrent Engineering approach to development, input is obtained from as many functional areas as possible before the specifications are finalized. This results in the product development team clearly understanding what the product requires in terms of mission performance, environmental conditions during operation, budget, and scheduling. Did L-M do this? Concurrent Engineering brings together multidisciplinary teams, in which product developers from different functions work together and in parallel from the start of a project with the intention of getting things right as quickly as possible, and as early as possible. Did this take place at L-M?
If L-M ran the Concurrent Engineering program correctly, we would not still be only halfway through the development program and have over 100 development aircraft instead of a population of production aircraft. The program would not be 3-4 years or more behind schedule. I am sure you don't agree, but listen to Lt. General Bogdan in an interview two years ago with the Australian press (not much has changed):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFM9myJ4KQc
The elephant in the tent is yet to be known, the operations and sustainment costs for the F-35. AT this point in time, nobody knows for certain what the capabilities of the F-35s are, there are no production aircraft yet just various stages of development aircraft. There is no experience in actual combat conditions. Again you can read a more recent question and answer session with Bogden:
Q&A: Lieutenant General Christopher C. Bogdan

Last edited by Turbine D; 8th Jul 2015 at 22:32. Reason: word corrections
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 00:00
  #6652 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KenV
Indeed!!! It's not even out of the gate yet and you folks are demanding it be perfect. And "perfect" as defined by the very few ill-informed who (among other things) insist it have stellar air superiority dog fight performance when it was never designed to be an air superiority dog fighter.
The issue isn't whether the F35 is a good dogfighter, or not.
The issue is why the people in position used that position to talk rubbish to other people who aren't and who look upon them to honestly and rationally report the state of the program and its issues.
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 02:10
  #6653 (permalink)  
 
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Grrr

CM, you are right, the HOTAS isn't a disgrace as SSSETOWTF states, the poor guy struggled, it was all fingers and thumbs, you should have seen the attempts at the undercarriage handle (down position below 500ft helps on A&L)..............
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 03:26
  #6654 (permalink)  
 
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LO,

I'll try to sharpen up with my choice of words and restrict myself to using the ones you like. Didn't realise I was getting my English homework marked against LO's Rules of Usage of the English Language.

I'm sure the folks at Boulton Paul worked hard. I made the point about the hard work and dedication of LM employees that I saw because many folks on here, including you, like to portray LM as the Evil Empire that is only interested in spinning lies, deceiving Joe Public and conning everyone. An alternative viewpoint is that the pedigree of U-2, SR-71, F-16, F-117, F-22 (amongst others) suggests LM aren't exactly in the business of building kippers and spinning lies to cover up their failings. They're confident in their sales pitch because they're very good at building cutting edge airplanes and can prove it to the people that count.

They don't have to impress you (or anyone else on this forum) - unless you own a bucket load of their stock, pay their bills or fly their airplanes? If they didn't give you a nice pen to take home after your factory tour and you're all bitter about it, I'm very sorry for you. I didn't get one either. But they do impress the people that matter, using data that stands up to extremely close scrutiny from experts in their field. Some of those experts may well be wrong, but in many cases they stake their reputation and career on the calls they make so they put a bit of thought into them. If I had to invest a few £bn into a program and potentially put my pink body on the line in a combat zone, I'm afraid I put my trust in those folks rather than the relatively uninformed musings of Kopp, Sweetman and many a PPruNer who have no skin in the game.

I've seen LM's press releases, and I've had a pretty good look under their kimono; I've seen Eurofighter's and had a long look under their bath robe too. In my opinion, the stuff LM push out about capability is a country mile closer to the truth than the Eurofighter stuff that you appear to have swallowed hook, line and sinker. If you disagree, no hard feelings, we'll just have to agree to.

Not quite sure what the repeated relevance of Concorde is to any of this. Derek Wood's 'Project Cancelled' is a thoroughly depressing read about what can happen to your aerospace industry if you walk away from airplanes late in their development cycle. How about TSR-2, CF-105 Arrow, MRA-4 - are you happy the plug was pulled on those when it was, amongst others? Was there no value in Concorde over and above whether or not BA could make a profit flying it after the FAA brought in regulations that limited its commercial success? Did the UK not get any prestige, no technology base growth, no Anglo-French political partnership, nothing else out of it? Is your argument that Concorde wasn't as financially successful as the 747 so we should pull the plug on F-35 because you don't like it? Then what do we do, buy some Harriers to put on our QE carriers? Even if the F-35 were as bad as you seem to want to believe, have you ever looked at the staggering value of the program to UK industry?

There are a lot of folks on here who have picked up on the leaked report, taken it completely out of the context in which it was written, made enormous leaps to conclusions and then leapt on the Outrage Bus. Ding ding. Here we go. Yet again. I think this is the bit where I say 'it gets to you after a while'.

Respectfully,
Single Seat, Single Engine, The Only Way To Fly
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 03:28
  #6655 (permalink)  
 
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GTPerformer. You lost me. What on earth are you talking about?
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 07:38
  #6656 (permalink)  
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Certainly sufficiently so that USAF and USN are now collaborating on a common (or at least mostly common) 6th gen fighter to replace both Super Hornet and Raptor.
Excuse me? The lesson learnt is that the common airframe concept was a disaster (nothing learnt from the F-111 then) and that for the next generation they should develop common modules, such as engine, sensors etc, which can be incorporated into task specific airframes (just as the F-14 was designed around modules intended for the F-111, reinventing the wheel again).

In fact, the total opposite of that which you claim.....

Where Commonality Can Work in a Sixth-Gen Fighter
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 08:23
  #6657 (permalink)  
 
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Ah yes - the wonderful F-111B for the USN! What an expensive folly that was.

Conflicting RAF / RN requirements also helped to kill the P1154. No loss though - I don't think that aircraft would ever have proved successful.

As for the F-35B.........
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 11:05
  #6658 (permalink)  
 
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SS

I don't think it's grammar-pedantry to point out what words mean.

As for LM: I have had the great good fortune to talk face-to-face with the people who made the U-2, SR-71, F-117 and F-16 happen. None of them still works for Lockheed Martin, which no longer resembles (IMHO) the Lockheed or General Dynamics of the past.

I'm sure that there are talented and diligent people there, but I don't think that there's anyone who would (for example) point-blank refuse to brief a swing-wing F-X (F-15 competitor) to Wright-Pat, on the grounds that it made no sense whatsoever.

You question my attitude to LM (and may I add that since I lost my favorite Rotring my pens are from Costco) but you seem to have exactly the same attitude to Dassault and Eurofighter. I've provided chapter, verse and citations for LM claims that I see as over-the-top...

Concorde comparison: I think that there may be a parallel between the Pentagon's pursuit of an all-stealth force, 1985-2015, and the SST history. It was expensive, it resulted in compromised aircraft (small and range-limited) and in the end it wasn't right for the operational requirements that emerged (quieter airplanes and sybaritic B-class cabins). I'll admit that is a big, squishy idea and that many people will disagree.

The best things that came out of Concorde were some basic technology (mostly avionics), a trained workforce and (I am only half joking) an Airbus program that was founded on looking at how things were done on Concorde and doing exactly the opposite.

TSR2, MRA4 - The plug should have been pulled earlier in both cases, but neither could or should have continued. MRA4 (as has been detailed here) was unsound. TSR2 was at best on the same trajectory as F-111 (the RAF Historical Society review is excellent). The difference was that the US could afford to build 250+ deficient F-111As and F-111Ds, and still build Es and Fs.
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 11:28
  #6659 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC
The lesson learnt is that the common airframe concept was a disaster
I'm not so sure that a common airframe is that bad of an idea as long as the emphasis remains on common, the F35 is certainly not the way to go with very substantial differences in weight, wingarea, fuel-load and propulsion systems leading to 3 competing ideas for 1 common airframe.

The RAFALE however seems to have done it as it was intended to be, basically the same frame with very similar performances and weights, tons of commonality and a truely allround fighter/attack platform, discipline seems to be the keyword here.
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Old 9th Jul 2015, 13:41
  #6660 (permalink)  
 
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I think that there may be a parallel between the Pentagon's pursuit of an all-stealth force, 1985-2015, and the SST history.

"The pentagon's pursuit of an all stealth force?" Where do you guys come up with this stuff? "All stealth" MIGHT be true for USAF, but even they said they intend to keep the non-stealth F-15 flying for another two or three decades. And USN has yet to get a single stealth aircraft and even after they do, they'll have many more non-stealth aircraft than stealth aircraft for the foreseeable future.
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