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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 22nd Aug 2016, 15:24
  #9641 (permalink)  
 
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MSOCS,
(as has always been quoted, i.e. Not inc engine)
You rather quickly discovered one of my cynical, baseless claims of JPO "creative accounting" practices. I know you aren't interested in the bigger picture, but you should be as it will determine how many will actually be bought, by whom and when:

The unit cost of the F-35A is $109.88 million (recurring cost) in FY 2016. The airframe costs $64.47 million, the F135-PW-100 engine costs $13.06 million, the avionics cost $16.74 million, while other costs make up the remaining $15.61 million.

The unit cost of the F-35B is $121.33 million (recurring cost) in FY 2016. The airframe costs $71.81 million, the F135-PW-600 engine (coupled to the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem) costs $30.82 million, the avionics cost $16.33 million, while other costs make up the remaining $2.37 million.

The unit cost of the F-35C is $117.83 million (recurring cost) in FY 2016. The airframe costs $86.09 million, the F135-PW-400 engine costs $13.06 million, the avionics cost $16.36 million, while other costs make up the remaining $2.32 million.

The total procurement cost of the F-35 program (incl. engines) is estimated at $319.12 billion + $55.13 billion in research and development (RDT&E) funds + military construction (MILCON) costs in support of the program in the amount of $4.79 billion. This adds up to a total estimated program cost of $379.04 billion (numbers are aggregated annual funds spent over the life of the program without price/inflation adjustments).The F-35 airframe will cost $318.39 billion ($270.43 billion procurement + $43.17 billion RDT&E + $4.79 billion MILCON), while the F135 engine will cost another $60.65 billion ($48.69 billion procurement + $11.96 billion RDT&E).

Now if Lockheed Martin can drag another 15,000 hours of labor out of each airframe constructed, the costs could drop to the figures you quote by 2020 which, BTW, includes the cost reduced P&W engine.

To give you a comparison to fixate upon:

In FY 2016, the unit cost of an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is $67.2 million (flyaway cost) or $70.0 million incl. non-recurring and support costs. The cost of the airframe is $46.21 million, the two F414-GE-400 engines cost $10.72 million ($5.36 million each), and the avionics costs $8.71 million.

The F-22 is no longer in production. In 2007, the unit cost of the F-22A was $136.2 million ($148.7 million flyaway cost or $179.7 million incl. support costs). The airframe's cost was $87.74 million, the F119-PW-100 engine cost $10.03 million each, and the avionics cost $28.36 million.

Personally, I am glad the pilots seem to like the F-35. They damn well better and the F-35s had better do everything promised by the JPO and Lockheed Martin without the creation of a bottomless $$$ pit.
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Old 23rd Aug 2016, 03:16
  #9642 (permalink)  
 
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F-35C Development Test III 16 Aug ‎2016 LM Flickr
“Four F-35Cs from VFA-101 depart USS George Washington (CVN-73). Lockheed Martin photo by Todd R. McQueen.” https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8353/...367bb8_o_d.jpg (3.3Mb)


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Old 23rd Aug 2016, 09:02
  #9643 (permalink)  
 
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Great picture SpazSinbad, thanks for the post.

Turbine, I'm glad you're glad (genuinely). A tit for tat debate on cost is futile. Many costs are already sunk and much is yet to be confirmed. Nobody has really debated the relative support cost for maintaining LO after delivery, and the relative savings. Here's a clue: it's a great deal more for F-22. Sustaining that LO level is what will potentially set F-35 apart from all other so-called LO platforms (T-50; J-20).
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Old 23rd Aug 2016, 12:44
  #9644 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Turbine D View Post
MSOCS,

...........

The unit cost of the F-35A is $109.88 million (recurring cost) in FY 2016. The airframe costs $64.47 million, the F135-PW-100 engine costs $13.06 million, the avionics cost $16.74 million, while other costs make up the remaining $15.61 million.

The unit cost of the F-35B is $121.33 million (recurring cost) in FY 2016. The airframe costs $71.81 million, the F135-PW-600 engine (coupled to the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem) costs $30.82 million, the avionics cost $16.33 million, while other costs make up the remaining $2.37 million.

The unit cost of the F-35C is $117.83 million (recurring cost) in FY 2016. The airframe costs $86.09 million, the F135-PW-400 engine costs $13.06 million, the avionics cost $16.36 million, while other costs make up the remaining $2.32 million........

Turbine, any idea on the significant differences between airframe and "other" costs between the A, B, C? I can't fathom that the C airframe costs $22M more than the A. Yes I know different wing and tail hook, etc, but that seems like a lot. And why is the "other" cost for the A so much higher? A shell game? Govt' furnished equipment differences?


Spaz- yes, thank for posting that photo. I had the pleasure of seeing 4 F-35C's depart Oceana NAS around noon on Saturday and scream out over my sons soccer game- likely headed out to the WASHINGTON. They departed in about 10 second intervals. First time I had seen a C in person, neat. Sound was similar to the Super Hornets that we see all the time. The wing is noticeably larger that the B's I have seen.
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Old 23rd Aug 2016, 15:01
  #9645 (permalink)  
 
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sandiego,

For the A, the "other" costs include mainly support items necessary for various base locations, crew training etc., "must haves". The cost goes up in 2017 and then fluctuates in out years based on aircraft quantity produced for the USAF. Most of the F-35s built so far are A models, over 120 of which 20 are dedicated for tests. Few C models have been built and LM isn't that far down the learning curve at this point. I suspect the C airframe cost will decrease (It should) given build experience and quantity.
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Old 23rd Aug 2016, 21:49
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F-35C Carrier Variant Joint Strike Fighter Flight-Deck Operations 15 minutes DT-III


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Old 24th Aug 2016, 03:48
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Another DOT&E report out: JPO on it.

Some additional problem areas have been identified. Gun pod door disrupts airflow on F-35A, introducing aiming errors, gun pods on B & C behind in testing;

AIM-9X pylons on the Charlie are creating unanticipated stress on wing structure, may have to redesign;

3F software shuts down only after 9 hours (an improvement, but not acceptable;

3F jets boot up process always requires a reset or power cycle;

More from AvWeek:

"[DOT&E spokesman Maj.] Cabiness detailed a long list of the limitations of aircraft flying in the 3i configuration. The jets can carry only two bombs and two missiles, and currently have no gun capability or standoff weapons as the 25mm cannon and external weapons won’t be introduced until 3F. Further, the F-35As have no target marking capability for close-air support and other missions, require voice communications to verify certain messages, and have poor geolocation capability, relying on off-board sources to locate threats and acquire targets.

Finally, the 3i jets have limited night vision capability, as the $400,000 Generation III helmet is still experiencing issues with light leakage and “green glow” that obscures pilots’ vision during very dark night flights.

DOT&E also pointed to deficiencies in 3i’s sensor fusion, electronic warfare, datalinks and pilot vehicle interfaces “that will impact mission effectiveness and suitability in combat.”"

"Given all the challenges the JPO has left to surmount, funding for the F-35 development effort will likely run out before the end of the program, Cabiness says.

“In light of the remaining challenges [and] the demonstrated rate of progress to date, DOT&E assesses that the program will likely need additional funding to complete SDD,” Cabiness says."

Weapons Tester Cites Further F-35 Challenges | Defense content from Aviation Week
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Old 24th Aug 2016, 04:37
  #9648 (permalink)  
 
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More Facts Less Fiction... a refreshing change..
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Old 24th Aug 2016, 05:17
  #9649 (permalink)  
 
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Yup, less spam more oversight.
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Old 24th Aug 2016, 13:21
  #9650 (permalink)  
 
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More coverage on the latest DoT&E report / memo:

"A week after the Air Force declared its version of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet ready for limited combat operations, the Pentagon’s top tester warned that the U.S. military’s costliest weapons program is still riddled with deficiencies.

“In fact the program is actually not on a path toward success but instead on a path toward failing to deliver” the aircraft’s full capabilities, “for which the Department is paying almost $400 billion by the scheduled end” of its development in 2018, Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department’s director of operational testing, said in an Aug. 9 memo obtained by Bloomberg News.

“Achieving full combat capability with the Joint Strike Fighter is at substantial risk” of not occurring before development is supposed to end and realistic combat testing begins, he said of the F-35...."

"The program “is running out of time and money to complete the planned flight testing and implement the required fixes and modifications” needed to finish the phase successfully, he said. “Flight testing is making progress but has fallen far behind the planned rate.”

The most complex software capabilities “are just being added” and new problems requiring fixes and verification testing “continue to be discovered at a substantial rate,” Gilmore wrote..."

Lockheed?s F-35 Still Falls Short, Pentagon?s Chief Tester Says - Bloomberg
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Old 24th Aug 2016, 13:25
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Maus92, can you provide a link to the DOT&E report which you quote from, please? I can't find it on their website.

-RP
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Old 24th Aug 2016, 13:49
  #9652 (permalink)  
 
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There isn't one (a link to the memo.) From the reporting, it appears that a memo was written by the director of DOT&E to the services, but has not been made public. The AvWeek story quotes information provided in part by a DOT&E spokesperson; the Bloomberg report implies that they have seen the memo. It probably just a matter of time before the actual document is leaked (that's how it's gone down in the past.)
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Old 24th Aug 2016, 14:56
  #9653 (permalink)  
 
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OK, thanks. Looks like it will make for uncomfortable reading for LM and the JPO, then again, they should be used to uncomfortable reading by now...

-RP
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Old 24th Aug 2016, 16:35
  #9654 (permalink)  
 
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Meanwhile Bogdan says nothing new and the JPO works on deficiencies whilst asymmetrical loads are tested in DT-III.
"...“There were absolutely no surprises in the recent memo from the OSD Director of Operational Test and Evaluation,” Bogdan says. “Specific to the memo, the JPO has been and is currently acting on all the recommendations.”..."

https://scontent-mxp1-1.xx.fbcdn.net...18209607_o.jpg


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Old 24th Aug 2016, 17:35
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Stray thoughts ref the video in #9651:-
  • The pilot's head/neck take quite a vertical and axial jolt as take-off is initiated. Future spinal/nerve problems?
  • I wonder how the stealth surface-finishes and coatings cope with the marine environment? Facility to repair on-site during long deployments?
  • Do they use dry-power on take-off? No visible reheat unlike (for example) the glory days of the F4K.

I know, I know - I am showing my ignorance but what the heck, if you don't ask...

Last edited by Lyneham Lad; 5th Jan 2017 at 15:54.
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Old 24th Aug 2016, 22:22
  #9656 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Maus92 View Post
“Achieving full combat capability with the Joint Strike Fighter is at substantial risk” of not occurring before development is supposed to end and realistic combat testing begins, he said of the F-35...."
Lockheed?s F-35 Still Falls Short, Pentagon?s Chief Tester Says - Bloomberg
Maus92, you want to talk about F-14 engines and development continuing well into that program having gone IOC? See also AWG-9 software versions A, B, C .... Every program has these problems. With the F-35, it galls me because everything about the darned thing is so expensive, and there is so much in that software domain, but program-wise there is nothing new under the sun.


@Lyneham Lad: your bullet point 2. Yeah, ain't that the question?
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Old 25th Aug 2016, 09:19
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Stray thoughts ref the video in #9653:-
The pilot's head/neck take quite a vertical and axial jolt as take-off is initiated. Future spinal/nerve problems?
I noticed that especially at 3:51 where something on the pilot's helmet appears to unexpectedly pop up.
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Old 25th Aug 2016, 13:03
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Cheap solution to ejection seat problem

Didn't anyone think about sewing a few bars of lead into the ejector seat of underweight pilots ?????

As far as I know these jets are usually flown by the same pilot (that's why they paint the pilot's name under the canopy, so he can find his bird in the parking lot, with all of them being painted the same and not having any distinctive equipment, as in 'mine the one with the white racing stripes and the big spoiler). So, adding a few lead bricks to the seat shouldn't be a problem.

Or else, give them to the pilot to put them in his pockets: they have these cool cargo pants with all those pockets....

I am running off to the patent office to register my idea.
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Old 25th Aug 2016, 18:33
  #9659 (permalink)  
 
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LL and others,

Perhaps I can help here...

1. The jolt on launch is noticeable and is probably associated with the forces applied by the catapult shuttle on the nose tow bar, which compresses the nose leg as it starts the stroke. I've spoken to a number of 'old and bold' naval aviators, and there is a variety of opinions on how 'hard' the start of a cat stroke is. What I do know is that the US Navair teams are very experienced in this sort of stuff, and I am certain that they will have fully evaluated the forces applied to F-35C pilots' heads and necks during launch. So, my take: looks severe, but very probably OK. What IS interesting (at least to me) is that F-35C launches look as if they are 'both hands free', with pilots' right and left hands holding the handles on the cockpit arch during launch.

2. Maintenance of stealth coatings on board got a LOT of attention in the early days of the JSF programme. There was a recognition that the techniques used on B-2 and F-22 weren't going to 'cut the mustard', and a number of new technologies were developed for F-35. Now, most of this was kept 'US eyes only', but again, given the attention that Navair were giving to this subject, I'd expect that some form of workable solution has been developed. Again, rather a qualitative assessment, but the F-35's approach to physical signature reduction appeared to be less 'extreme' than some of the solutions applied to B-2 and F-22.

3. A/B on launch: the F-35C launches shown so far appear to be at relatively low weights, which is understandable. Also, the A/B on the F-35 does not deliver the huge increases in thrust that happened with aircraft like the F-4 - I believe that the difference between dry and full A/B is about 4,500 pounds. So, I'd expect fewer A/B launches with F-35C.

Hope this helps, best regards as ever to all those working hard to deliver the new aircraft to the front line,

Engines
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Old 25th Aug 2016, 18:42
  #9660 (permalink)  
 
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F-35 Lightning II Program Status and Fast Facts May 9, 2016
F-35C F135-PW-100; 40,000 lbs Max.; 25,000 lbs Mil.
Maximum Power (Max) = with afterburner; Military Power (Mil) = without afterburner;
https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa81...cts_2q2016.pdf (75Kb)
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