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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 5th Nov 2017, 09:02
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About those 250 delivered jets. They may currently be flyable, but is corrosion now inevitable - and if s9 what effect will it have on airframe life?

Pentagon reports another production glitch in Lockheed Martin’s F-35

The Pentagon’s F-35 program office is weighing how to fix a newly discovered glitch that halted deliveries of the Lockheed Martin fighter jet for 30 days in west Fort Worth.

The problem was linked to a primer that is supposed to be applied as a protective layer on aluminum fasteners to prevent corrosion. The Defense Department temporarily stopped deliveries of the next-generation jet for a month, ending Oct. 20, to assess the issue.

“After a thorough government and industry investigation, it was discovered that Lockheed Martin had not applied the required primer in fastener holes on F-35 substructures during the aircraft production process,” Pentagon spokesman Joe DellaVedova said in an email. “This is a production quality escape issue and, though it needs be corrected to prevent potential future corrosion, it does not pose a safety of flight risk to the F-35 fleet or affect current operations.”

Discovery of the flaw came after the Pentagon has taken delivery of about 250 F-35s with plans to accelerate production including a block purchase by U.S. allies of as many as 211 jets. The Fort Worth plant, which employs about 14,000 workers, is expected to add about 1,800 workers over the next couple of years. This summer, the company held a series of job fairs in Fort Worth, where more than 2,000 candidates received job offers.

The fastener glitch has been flagged to Pentagon officials preparing Ellen Lord, the undersecretary for acquisition, for a meeting scheduled Nov. 6 with top Lockheed officials, including Chief Executive Officer Marillyn Hewson, according to an official who asked not to be identified.......
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Old 5th Nov 2017, 13:33
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Not the sort of thing you like to see after >250 units down the same assembly line.
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Old 5th Nov 2017, 14:13
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wot no pizza ovens?
Probably meant firing up the engine periodically outside the maintenance hanger to make fresh pizzas...
Trump could let the UAE buy F-35 jets
Being the astute dealmaker that he is, maybe he could sell them all the ones we paid for that will never be combat ready.

The F-35 program never got started correctly, concurrent engineering and production where a great deal of the technical intricacies weren't understood. Understanding years later still being developed. As a result, the program will not end well. But Spaz, keep sending us videos of F-35s taking off and landing like it is demonstrative of the most successful aircraft ever designed and produced, delivered on time and under estimated costs... Mission accomplished?

Last edited by Turbine D; 5th Nov 2017 at 14:20. Reason: Added wording
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Old 5th Nov 2017, 19:38
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Not the sort of thing you like to see after >250 units down the same assembly line
But not at all surprising considering that this program has not yet completed the development phase and has not even started the initial OT&E phase.

'Concurrency' fights back ...

Last edited by TLB; 5th Nov 2017 at 20:32.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 10:03
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Germany declared preference for F-35 to replace Tornado

The German Air Force has a shortlist of existing platforms to replace its Panavia Tornados from 2025 to 2030, but the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is the service’s “preferred choice", a senior service official said on 8 November. Speaking under the Chatham House Rule, the official said that the F-35 already fulfils most of the requirements that the Luftwaffe requires to replace its Tornados in the 2025 to 2030 timeframe, and that it offers a number of other benefits besides.

“The Tornado replacement needs to be fifth-generation aircraft that can be detected as late as possible, if at all. It must be able to identify targets from a long way off and to target them as soon as possible. The German Ministry of Defence [MoD] is looking at several aircraft today, including the F-35 – it is commercially available already, has been ordered by many nations and is being introduced into service today, and has most of the capabilities required.”

Germany had previously engaged Airbus Defence and Space (DS) in defining the requirements for a future Tornado replacement under its Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme. However, the timelines involved of an anticipated retirement of the Tornado in about 2030 has caused the Luftwaffe to look instead at an already developed platform.

As the official explained, “The timeframe suggests we need to start introducing successor in about 2025 to cover the Tornado retirement in 2030 – we need a five-year transition phase. That is only seven years away, and so it is very unlikely that industry could develop and introduce an entirely new aircraft type that fulfils the functionalities that we require. History show that the Eurofighter took 25 years before the first aircraft was introduced.”
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 10:11
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Mainly a recap of the F-111 procurement debacle and the similarity to the F-35 program. But a long article and packed with political and other details of that program that I didn’t know, and well worth reading in full. It rings the alarm bell with the intent to follow the same path with the Future Vertical Lift program to replace both 4 different helicopter types and the C-130.

Turning Point: The F-35 May Not Deliver | The National Interest

Last edited by ORAC; 8th Nov 2017 at 10:24.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 10:59
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As the official explained, “The timeframe suggests we need to start introducing successor in about 2025 to cover the Tornado retirement in 2030 – we need a five-year transition phase."
Well that's a bid of an odd concept, surely they should be retiring the Tornado and then having a capability gap for a few years until introducing the F-35 into service?
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 13:58
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Like they can afford to....lots of mouths to feed and a minimum of 200,000 per year to add to the queue for the foreseeable future they are going to suddenly run out of dosh...

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Old 9th Nov 2017, 11:58
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The Germans don't really have a choice. The dual-key nuclear arrangement is still a big factor, although they don't like to talk about it, so if they want to buy anything other than F-35 they have to ask Washington for permission and then pay for integration, which is nontrivial.
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Old 9th Nov 2017, 12:51
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Originally Posted by George K Lee View Post
The Germans don't really have a choice. The dual-key nuclear arrangement is still a big factor, although they don't like to talk about it, so if they want to buy anything other than F-35 they have to ask Washington for permission and then pay for integration, which is nontrivial.
Really? I'm amazed at that.

Ref. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germ...ss_destruction

Before German reunification in 1990, both West and East Germany ratified the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany. Germany reaffirmed its renunciation of the manufacture, possession, and control of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. In addition to banning a foreign military presence in the former East Germany, the treaty also banned nuclear weapons or nuclear weapon carriers to be stationed in the area, making it a permanent Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. The German military was allowed to possess conventional weapons systems with nonconventional capabilities, provided that they were outfitted for a purely conventional role.

The United States provides about 60 tactical B61 nuclear bombs for use by Germany under a NATO nuclear weapons sharing agreement. The bombs are stored at Büchel and Ramstein Air Bases, and in time of war would be delivered by Luftwaffe Panavia Tornado warplanes. As well as being a breach of the Protocols to the (revised) Treaty of Brussels (terminated in 2010), many countries believe this violates Articles I and II of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), where Germany has committed:

"... not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly ... or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices ...".
The U.S. insists its forces control the weapons and that no transfer of the nuclear bombs or control over them is intended "unless and until a decision were made to go to war, at which the [NPT] treaty would no longer be controlling", so there is no breach of the NPT. However German pilots and other staff practice handling and delivering the U.S. nuclear bombs.[9] Even if the NATO argument is considered legally correct, such peacetime operations could arguably contravene both the objective and the spirit of the NPT.

Like other countries of its size and wealth, Germany has the skills and resources to create its own nuclear weapons quite quickly if desired. The Zippe-type centrifuge was, indeed, invented by captured Germans working in the Soviet Union in the 1950s, and URENCO operates a centrifuge uranium enrichment plant in Germany. There are also several power reactors in Germany that could be used to produce bomb-grade plutonium if desired. Such a development is, of course, highly unlikely in the present benign security environment. In 2007, former German defence secretary Rupert Scholz stated that Germany should strive to become a nuclear power.[10] In September 2007 the French president Nicolas Sarkozy offered Germany to participate in the control over the French nuclear arsenal.[11]

Chancellor Merkel and foreign minister Steinmeier declined the offer however, stating that Germany "had no interest in possessing nuclear weapons".[12] Due to concerns over Vladimir Putin's actions, Merkel reversed her position, stating to the German press, "As long as there are nuclear weapons in the world, we need to have these capabilities, as NATO says." [13]

Last edited by glad rag; 9th Nov 2017 at 13:00. Reason: Ha a Merkel u turn indeed..
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Old 9th Nov 2017, 22:19
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Well I do agree if the Germans really do want an aircraft that can be detected "as late as possible", and first deliveries around 2025, the F-35 is the only answer. No way another program could be started now to deliver in that time frame.
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 01:15
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GR - As far as I am aware, the B61 bombs covered by nuclear sharing remain in place, to be delivered, in extremis, by host-nation aircraft including Tornados.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_sharing

For Germany to exit the program at this point would be politically difficult.
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 07:19
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Originally Posted by sandiego89 View Post
Well I do agree if the Germans really do want an aircraft that can be detected "as late as possible", and first deliveries around 2025, the F-35 is the only answer. No way another program could be started now to deliver in that time frame.
I see what you did there.

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Old 10th Nov 2017, 07:48
  #10854 (permalink)  
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Nothing new here. First you decide politically what you want to buy. Then you write the requirements and parameters to justify your purchase.

Same as a defence review. First you define your budget, then you define the threat to fit inside it.....
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 16:03
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Much the same as calculating the likely cost of an infrastructure project (think HS2), and then setting the assumptions about what savings will result in the future from the project, until the benefits outweigh the costs, at least on paper.

A process called "Cost/Benefit Analysis" that I learned and applied to "feasibility studies" for grossly elaborate and costly airport projects around the world, when it was well understood that the third-world client wanted the CBA to prove that the new airport, named after the President, should go ahead, financed, natch, by friendly powers extending their area of influence. My favourite variable was "Cost of business travellers' time" which could easily be increased as needed. It amused me hugely when I read that this particular variable has been increased by 1000% since the first estimate, so as to justify the waste of money that is HS2.
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Old 22nd Nov 2017, 05:58
  #10856 (permalink)  
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Never though5 we were going to buy all of them anyway...

SNAFU!: British Committee Members told price of F-35 impossible to predict and numbers may be cut...
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Old 22nd Nov 2017, 08:52
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According to the "Times" a senior office told MP's "it would not be unreasonable to think that the F-35 procurement would not follow the T45 trajectory if costs continued to escalate"

Sir Humphrey Appleby would be proud of the man!!!

They cut the t45's from 12 to 6..............

An MoD spokesman said "we have ordered 48"
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Old 22nd Nov 2017, 10:39
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The comment was actually made by the committee chairman, Julian Lewis MP.

An interest8ng point is the last line of the Telegraph report, which does not name the source, which states that: “If a decision to scale back purchases was made, the MOD would consider keeping older jets the F-35 is due to replace”.

Which would presumably be another lease of life for the Tornado? And, of course, a total loss of any surge capability to man both carriers in an emergency.
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Old 22nd Nov 2017, 13:23
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ORAC,

And to that point, as they can ONLY be referring to Tornado, it is out of service in 2018/9, BAE have announced that they are laying off the support staff at Marham and Leeming, and they will not know about price or the next order tranche until AFTER Tornado OOS date, how on earth could this be delivered?
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Old 22nd Nov 2017, 13:46
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The comment was actually made by the committee chairman, Julian Lewis MP.

An interest8ng point is the last line of the Telegraph report, which does not name the source, which states that: “If a decision to scale back purchases was made, the MOD would consider keeping older jets the F-35 is due to replace”.

Which would presumably be another lease of life for the Tornado? And, of course, a total loss of any surge capability to man both carriers in an emergency.

Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
ORAC,

And to that point, as they can ONLY be referring to Tornado, it is out of service in 2018/9, BAE have announced that they are laying off the support staff at Marham and Leeming, and they will not know about price or the next order tranche until AFTER Tornado OOS date, how on earth could this be delivered?
Over the life of the F-35 programme, he could instead be (and probably is) referring to Typhoons if you read "older jets" as meaning individual aircraft that were to be retired and which could be retained, rather than an entire type.
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