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 12th Jan 2018, 16:40
  #11041 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 264
Originally Posted by Just This Once... View Post
I think the point regarding engines is on the money. The Sukhoi dynamics and airframe teams must weep each time they see their latest efforts rewarded with such a terrible family of engines.

Great aircraft, quirky avionics and engines built like a fuse - welcome to the Su-whatever.
Mind you, those Nenes and Derwents have given them a pretty good run.
Frostchamber is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2018, 07:16
  #11042 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 10,069
So so article, useful only for pointing towards the report which might be worth reading.

More interesting is one of the first comments below. It is of interest because, as those who have read the reports from the USA, it is the ever spiralling long term support costs for the F-35 - into the trillions, which is giving the DoD kittens. I wonder at the author’s background and wonder if Tecumseh has any comment? Comment appended below article text.

Defence chiefs told to sort out F-35 jet costs

Defence chiefs must “urgently resolve” talks with the Treasury over who picks up the bill for a fall in the pound when buying US-made F-35 jets, MPs said. The public accounts committee said other military purchases would be put at risk if the multibillion-pound cost of the 138 stealth aircraft and two new aircraft carriers went over budget.

The comments came in a report on the delivery of carrier strike — the ability to launch fast jets from aircraft carriers at sea. The Ministry of Defence has budgeted to spend more than £14 billion on the programme by 2021. “The defence budget is very strained in the light of commitments made in the last strategic defence and security review,” the report said, in reference to plans set out in 2015 to purchase new warships, nuclear-armed submarines, armoured vehicles and aircraft.

The MoD based its budget for the programme on an assumption that £1 was worth $1.55 but sterling has fallen significantly since the vote for Brexit. The MPs said that the MoD “should urgently resolve ongoing discussions with the Treasury regarding current forward [hedging] contracts. Given the department’s tight financial position, the department should establish with Treasury if relief can be provided, and write to the committee with an update”.

Comment below article

Jag Patel

The ongoing problems associated with procuring the QE class aircraft carriers and its embarked F-35 jets are not only limited to the usual delays and cost overruns – they go beyond, to the contractual support arrangements put in place to acquire, and re-provision additional Support Assets to sustain the equipment in-service, for the full period of its service life. If past record is anything to go by, this aspect of defence procurement will only deliver further spiralling costs – and a headache for the Treasury.

This is because the sustained spinning campaign mounted by the communications people at MoD HQ over the last 25 years or so has succeeded in making everyone believe that, it is acquiring Support Assets for its military equipment upfront, on a whole-life sustainment basis when in fact, it has been quietly buying them separately from the prime equipment, on a piece-meal basis via a steady stream of short-term, renewable Post Design Services contracts let during the in-service phase – thereby, fooling not only its own people at Abbey Wood Bristol and the wider MoD, but also the whole of industry and in so doing, diverting attention away from the Treasury’s exposure to whole-life sustainment costs, which remain unquantified for lack of a firm selling price from the main Contractor.

What’s more, it is increasingly clear that the unrelenting spending cuts are putting such a strain on MoD’s equipment budget that, for some recently commissioned equipment into service, the military User can only afford to buy Support Assets for a very short period of the in-service phase, like one or two years at a time and on others, the User has no choice but to take drastic action like, deactivating equipment for those periods when there is no available funding for the acquisition of Support Assets – periods which are only likely to get longer and longer, thereby inadvertently creating capability gaps.

There have also been instances where the User has refused flatly to accept new equipment into service, because he is unwilling to pay for the prohibitively high cost of sustainment, foisted on him by MoD Abbey Wood.
@JagPatel3
ORAC is online now  
Old 19th Jan 2018, 14:58
  #11043 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: virginia, USA
Age: 52
Posts: 768
^^^ That made my head hurt. Does JagPatel get extra credit for run on sentences and inclusion of extra words?
sandiego89 is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2018, 16:36
  #11044 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: London, New York, Paris, Moscow.
Posts: 3,633
Pretty straight forward sd

" diverting attention away from the Treasury’s exposure to whole-life sustainment costs, which remain unquantified for lack of a firm selling price from the main Contractor.
glad rag is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2018, 17:59
  #11045 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 730
I hope this fiasco is the scandal that finally breaks BAE and the MOD. Taxpayers should demand that defence spending is slashed in the next budget. Special Forces, Marines and Light Infantry are very good but pissing money away on carriers and the F35 while binning assault ships is nuts. And then we have Air Tanker the worst PFI deal signed off ever and not a boom in sight....but feel free to use other people's tankers as long as you pay compensation!
Bigpants is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2018, 19:14
  #11046 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 1,745
Bigpants
I am with you on the carriers, because I do not see how they fit into UK Defence requirement vs Budget . I see the F-35 as an asset that could have been much better in pure land based RAF use. The Voyager/Air Tanker PFI is terrible! Basic airframe is good but...we should still be doing better VFM.
MOD..... Hmmmm

OAP
Onceapilot is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2018, 05:58
  #11047 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Lon UK
Posts: 276
I think in light of all the pissing and moaning the question is, should we invest in defence???

In light of history, seems madness not to.
Brat is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2018, 09:36
  #11048 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,488
Onceapilot, the reason the RAF was saddled with having to use an external supplier for its core requirements was purely political. Way back when future needs were being discussed (around 1996), conventional procurement was the assumption and the only question was which airframe. I did some (unpaid, typical of RAF ways...) assessment for the relevant MoD department looking at A310MRTT, A300, B767-200ER, B767-300ER and 'FLA' (which became A400M about 20 years later). The A330 didn't even exist then, we also compared TriStar and VC10K4 / CIK. The winner was B767-200ER due to slightly lower burn than the -300ER, but with the same internal fuel.

When it came to looking at the transport capability, it soon became obvious that the narrower fuselage cross-section of the B767 would be an issue as it couldn't take a pair of LD3s side-by-side. Paradoxically, the A300/A310 would need additional centre tanks, meaning that unlike the B767 it would have to be supplied in combi format if it was to be a contestant in any final decision. So the eventual choice looked like becoming the A310MRTT, which was what BAe proposed to build at Filton, helping British industry. The figure of 24 new build A310MRTT each with 2 hoses, a probe and 72 t of fuel using 4 ACTs was the eventual prospect.

Then came the elephant in the room of PFI and the FSTA bidding competition...eventually won by AirTanker with new A330MRTTs rather than TTSC's used ex-ba B767s. Although the B767 met the user need spec., TTSC obviously didn't realise that MoD always wanted more than they'd spec'd. Initially I preferred the B767 until I looked into the runway performance at high AUW, particularly with significant ISA dev. Even our friendly Boeing chap admitted "That's where Airbus has got us beat"....

So AirTanker became the winner - at something over £1M per day. Which is a bit like someone needing a new car, who hasn't looked into how to pay for it - so has decided to go to Hertz to rent one. Much less expensive for a while, but after a while it becomes a MUCH more expensive option. Hertz, like AirTanker, aren't philanthropists and as such obviously expect a profit.

The best description of PFI came from the delightful Aussie lady who worked for a while on FSTA - when she went back to Australia she advised her people that PFI was not the way to go! "PFI? Poms are F*****g Idiots!"

In my humble opinion, if we'd re-examined the wing hose option when ZD949 went in for 'simple' glass cockpit modification and opted for the A310MRTT, kissing off PFI, the RAF would have been better served. But you can't put the blame on AirTanker, the PFI bolleaux wasn't of their invention!

An excellent programme on German TV channel N24 shows how the Luftwaffe use their A310MRTTs:


They don't have an expensive AAR simulator either - the training system you see was evolved as the most cost-effective solution, plus it gives them the opportunity to practise AAR mission planning and management with their Mission Computer System for absolute peanuts. You'll see that the MCS has a moving map and a DDRMI for the Air Refuelling Operator, essential requirements realised at an early stage of MCS design (we did the DDRMI and RV computation page in a couple of weeks), as the consortium used AAR SMEs rather than engineers who thought that they knew better....
BEagle is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2018, 09:55
  #11049 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 1,745
Thanks Beags!
I am pretty much with you on that. As you know, I believe the RAF could have got much better VFM. Ridiculous!

OAP
Onceapilot is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2018, 10:17
  #11050 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 730
Thanks Beagle an interesting read.
Bigpants is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2018, 18:54
  #11051 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: South East of Penge
Age: 70
Posts: 1,391
Beags I can raise you 13 years on FLA(FIMA) involvement, being dragged across to Hatfield (IIRC) for meetings as company rep. in 1983 on aspects of its postulated sensor countermeasures fits.The idea apparently was that my lot would stump up privately (and provide trials fits gratis ) for the development of our particular systems for FLA integration. I think that the mere fact that it was me who was sent along, reflected the level of our board's enthusiasm for the general idea.

Last edited by Haraka; 20th Jan 2018 at 19:12.
Haraka is online now  
Old 21st Jan 2018, 00:46
  #11052 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: South Skerry
Posts: 305
Meanwhile, here's a comment from last week:

So this guy says that if F-35 sustainment costs can't be "managed" and "lowered"... "we [the USAF] may end up with a fewer number of an aircraft that we don't really like."

So what uninformed naysayer, pisser and moaner said that? First correct answer gets a cookie...
George K Lee is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2018, 02:09
  #11053 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: the far south
Posts: 353
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-l...KBN1F82SY?il=0

I thought they might go with Dassault - and it is still possible but less likely.

I find the numbers amazing - the have dropped from buying 160 F-16's and still operating a wing of Mirages to 34 airframes! The Dutch have pretty much the same ratio of depletion.

Same rate of decay and it will be toss up whether you can count the number of replacements of the F-35 on one hand or not!
typerated is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2018, 07:06
  #11054 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: London
Posts: 7,085
The F-16C/D had a unit cost of US$18.8 million (1998) -

say 47% inflation to 2017 = $ 27.6 mm dollars per aircraft cp $ 121 mm for an F-35

So in fact they seem to be investing about the same...................
Heathrow Harry is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2018, 21:20
  #11055 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Belgium
Posts: 19
Originally Posted by typerated View Post
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-l...KBN1F82SY?il=0

I thought they might go with Dassault - and it is still possible but less likely.

I find the numbers amazing - the have dropped from buying 160 F-16's and still operating a wing of Mirages to 34 airframes! The Dutch have pretty much the same ratio of depletion.

Same rate of decay and it will be toss up whether you can count the number of replacements of the F-35 on one hand or not!


Hi,


Typerated, I'm not aiming to upset you, but the RAF's depletion is not a lot different.
In describing us as having bought 160 F-16's and still operating a Mirage Wing, you are talking about 1989-1992. The second batch of F-16's replaced the Florennes Mirages in early 1989, leaving only Bierset with Mirages.
Back in 1989, the RAF had the Buccaneer force at Lossiemouth, the Phantom AD force, the Tornado's (about 350 GR and F2/F3 delivered or on order), the Jaguars and the Harriers.
Since one squadron of our Mirages were PR aircraft, I might also mention your Canberra's. I seem to remember they could gather 40 operational Canberra's for a 40th anniversary of the first flight party in 1989.


We were very pleased with our F-16's and SABCA got a good deal. This made the second batch possible.
Maybe 34 won't be our final number this time either.


Best regards, Transall.
Transall is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2018, 02:20
  #11056 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The Alps
Posts: 2,094
Originally Posted by typerated View Post
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-l...KBN1F82SY?il=0

I thought they might go with Dassault - and it is still possible but less likely.

I find the numbers amazing - the have dropped from buying 160 F-16's and still operating a wing of Mirages to 34 airframes! The Dutch have pretty much the same ratio of depletion.

Same rate of decay and it will be toss up whether you can count the number of replacements of the F-35 on one hand or not!
Typhoon is or was also offered

https://world.eurofighter.com/articl...opean-solution

cheers
chopper2004 is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2018, 03:03
  #11057 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The Alps
Posts: 2,094
Italian Navy F-35B flies for first time

https://theaviationist.com/2018/01/1...st-time-today/
chopper2004 is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2018, 18:11
  #11058 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Lon UK
Posts: 276
Originally Posted by Bigpants View Post
I hope this fiasco is the scandal that finally breaks BAE and the MOD. Taxpayers should demand that defence spending is slashed in the next budget. Special Forces, Marines and Light Infantry are very good but pissing money away on carriers and the F35 while binning assault ships is nuts. And then we have Air Tanker the worst PFI deal signed off ever and not a boom in sight....but feel free to use other people's tankers as long as you pay compensation!
You seem to be all for the defence of the country wishing MOD and BAE financial ruin. Your qualifications for your in depth analysis is based upon???
Brat is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2018, 06:24
  #11059 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: the far south
Posts: 353
Hi Transall,

I didn't realise there was a second batch of F-16's to replace the Mirages.
The F-16 was a great buy for Europe I thought - for the first time in the cold war the smaller countries were operating something head and shoulders better than the soviets had. Especially as the UK and Germany didn't get an F-16 or F-18 class aircraft.

I remember a package of over 30 Belgian F-16s hitting Spadeadam in the mid 90s on I think it was 'Brilliant Foil' exercise - one of the Elder Forrest UK air defence exercise replacements. Bet you would struggle to do that now!

You might buy more F-35s but I doubt it! You might get less!

Yes I totally agree about the demise of the RAF - it is just a little easier to see on a single type force though.
typerated is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2018, 14:24
  #11060 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: London/Oxford/New York
Posts: 2,190
Just how could the RAF (not that they spend the money) actually have achieved better VFM at the time?
As there was a cash shortage it HAD to be on HP. There was not the amount of cash available for an up front purchase of 14 Airbus A330 aircraft, their conversion into tanker/transport configuration, simulators, new hangars, ground support equipment, training, maintenance and support. Now with 75% aircrew and over 50% groundcrew and contractor back up providing the rest, the RAF has a real meaningful capability.
What would you have cut at the time if you wanted to buy all that lot up front?
pr00ne is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

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