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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 2nd Mar 2018, 08:42
  #11141 (permalink)  
 
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When you think that the programme originated with Northrop studies for an F5 replacement ( the P530 Cobra) in the mid '60's........
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 09:01
  #11142 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
And that finally just about kills off the F-35C as anything but a token force.....
Have you considered that the fact that the F-35 is being developed/discovered as a major force multiplier of 4th Gen assets, that it makes perfect sense to utilise established production lines, pilots, service facilities, that have years of experience with these present aircraft that require no re-tooling re-training but will be vastly more effective by virtue of the F-35’s existence?
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 10:10
  #11143 (permalink)  
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Except it wasn’t, was it? It was being procured to replace them - and the funds to continue buying them, in increasing numbers, comes from the same budget; the funds to upgrade thise already purchased comes from the same budget, the personnel to maintain and fly them from the same pool - and the space they occupy on a carrier the same space.

2 into 1 won’t go.
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 10:39
  #11144 (permalink)  
 
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If the F35C is not taken up seriously by the USN/USMC the question must be asked what are they going to do with the rather long in the tooth legacy F18s?

Replacing the legacy F18s with new build Super Hornets instead of F35Cs would be a solution, not that it would be popular with the USMC.
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 10:47
  #11145 (permalink)  
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Replacing the legacy F18s with new build Super Hornets
But that is exactly what they have been doing for the last few years - and continue to do. That’s above and beyond the upgrade programme above.

http://www.stltoday.com/business/loc...8aeec8a0a.html

....”Dan Gillian was upbeat during a tour of Boeing’s north St. Louis County factory this month.

Maybe it was good news in the budget deal hammered out by Congress that cheered the vice president of Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet attack fighter and electronic warfare Growler. Signed by President Donald Trump that morning, it removed caps on military spending put in place earlier this decade by Congress under the Obama administration. And word on the street was that Trump would request another 24 Super Hornets in his fiscal 2019 budget request, an ask made far likelier to get funded given the higher military spending authorized both this fiscal year and the next in the budget deal.

Last week, the president did indeed request another two dozen fighters for next year, on top of the 24 congressional budget writers have already included in this year’s budget. Beyond 2019, the U.S. Navy says it wants to buy 86 into 2023.“......
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 11:51
  #11146 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
But that is exactly what they have been doing for the last few years - and continue to do. That’s above and beyond the upgrade programme above.
As I understood it the USN had planned to replace its legacy Hornets with F35Cs in the first instance as the legacy airframes were getting rather long in the tooth, so replacing the USN legacy fleet is not much of an issue.

As I understood it the USMC had decided not to replace its legacy Hornet fleet with Super Hornets but go directly to F35Cs. It could be argued that having an all F35 (B&C) fleet would give the USMC some savings.

Whilst replacing legacy Hornets with new build Super Hornets would materially increase the availability of airframes for the fleet, it would mean a major change in strategy for the USMC, not something that I have seen discussed?

The subsidiary question is I suppose how many legacy Hornet squadrons are there in the fleet, thus how many new build Super Hornets would be required to make the whole afloat and training fleets Super Hornet, somewhere in the hundreds I would have thought?
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 12:38
  #11147 (permalink)  
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The subsidiary question is I suppose how many legacy Hornet squadrons are there in the fleet
3 active and 1 reserve squadrons. That’s 48 aircraft - the number being purchased next year. Every one after that are attrition/fatigue life spares.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...raft_squadrons

“.....The F-35C is a fifth-generation strike fighter that was originally planned to replace the F/A-18C Hornet, but expiring F/A-18C service life and delays in F-35C procurement forced the Navy to increase its buy of F/A-18E and F Super Hornets to replace F/A-18C Hornets while awaiting the arrival of the F-35C. As of 2018, all but three active component F/A-18C Hornet squadrons and the single reserve component Hornet squadron had transitioned to the F/A-18E or F Super Hornet. The first deployable squadron to transition to the F-35C is a Super Hornet squadron. Ultimately the three active component Hornet squadrons will transition to either the Super Hornet or F-35C......”

I suppose they could use the few F-35Cs they’ve bought as replacements for their aggressor Sqns....

The question is what happens to the planned USMC F-35C squadrons (not B). The USN buy their aircraft, will they press on with a stand-alone force where the USMC will be the sole customer, or switch some of those to new Super Hornets as well?

The 2 EW squadrons would seem logical to switch to F-18G, three of the 10 fighter squadrons have already equipped with the F-35B, so the rest I assume will do likewise. That leaves the 4 AWX squadrons which would seem too small a viable force and could also simply change from the Hornet to Super Hornet. The planned buy of 86 by 2023 would seem adequate/designed to cover that contingency.....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...raft_squadrons

Last edited by ORAC; 2nd Mar 2018 at 13:29.
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 13:26
  #11148 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks for the clarification.

So the USN will have sent all their Legacy Hornets to the bone yard, if all goes to plan by next year.

There then just remains the question of what to equip the USMC legacy squadrons with...
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 14:07
  #11149 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
I suppose they could use the few F-35Cs they’ve bought as replacements for their aggressor Sqns....

The question is what happens to the planned USMC F-35C squadrons (not B). The USN buy their aircraft, will they press on with a stand-alone force where the USMC will be the sole customer, or switch some of those to new Super Hornets as well?

That's a bit of an extension to make, based on the veracity of wiki.


Binning the only system available to a CVW that can do day 1 strike is a far from logical decision given the near universal agreement that we're now back in peer on peer threats.


Retiring classic bugs is a logical step from both airframe and range perspectives. That's a long way from canning F35C no matter how many people would love to see anything from F35 canned.
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 14:28
  #11150 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin View Post


Binning the only system available to a CVW that can do day 1 strike
But it CAN'T can it.

Not now and not in the future, without #billions of dollars of new processor design and manufacture, software writing, weapon clearances and TESTING.

You know the stuff that was binned to get the program "back on track"...

How about plastering some ISIS across the desert then?

Nope.

Even Trump looked {ok a bit more} bemused than normal saying it was a beautiful thing as he counted the #zeros on the invoice.

F35=burning holes in the sky.

Well 50% of them are.
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 15:20
  #11151 (permalink)  
 
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That's another rather large extrapolation of DOT&E conclusions, primarily relevant to the pre lot 10 aircraft IIRC.


As opposed to the F35C that have not yet been bought.
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 15:24
  #11152 (permalink)  
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And first day strike against who? Not China, or anyone else equipped with a decent ASW missile keeping the carrier more than 250nm offshore, at least not until the MQ-25 reaches the fleet in operational numbers, which is many years away. And if they intend to use stand-off Mx, then the current generations can’t be fitted in the weapons bay so have to be hung under the wing, so you might as well use the existing F-18s.

But back to the point that the Super Hornet purchases to date, and planned, have already replaced all the USN aircraft planned to be replaced by the F-35C, and the now funded life/capability upgrades will keep them in the fleet until around 2030-2035, when the FA-XX is planned to start entering service.

As I said above, the money’s been spent, the manpower assigned and the decks full. Hell, you can’t even lend them to the RN for the UK carriers.....

And as you say, the F35C that have not yet been bought...
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 15:56
  #11153 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin View Post
That's another rather large extrapolation of DOT&E conclusions, primarily relevant to the pre lot 10 aircraft IIRC.


As opposed to the F35C that have not yet been bought.
So would you agree then that your turn of phrase

"the only system available"

was in fact not accurate?
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 17:13
  #11154 (permalink)  
 
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I'm struggling to understand why anti-submarine warfare missiles would keep a carrier 250nm offshore.

Likewise, the F35C is the only CVW system available now and in the near to medium term that will be able to do day 1 strike.

Which is probably why the latest USN FY19 budget (dated Feb 2018) notes that Full rate production for F35C is due in Apr 19 and that the programme of record remains at 369 cabs, with IOC in Aug 18. Strangely the max rate (24 pa) is reached in the same year that the FA18E begins to ramp down.

The FA18 SLEP budget line is described as : OSIP 20-14 increases due to ramp up of the F/A-18E/F service life modifications from three aircraft in FY18 to seven aircraft in FY19. This OSIP fund modifications required to extend the F/A-18E/F service life and maintain sufficient aircraft inventory to meet fleet operational requirements through FY2043.

In the same budget, they're asking for 5.4Bn to complete the balance of F35C.

Strangely, the DoN doesn't seem to think it's an either/or scenario.
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 18:40
  #11155 (permalink)  
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Typo, read that as ASuW..... and modern hypersonic missiles, let alone ballistic, make approaching the coast too risky for any CBG.
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 19:03
  #11156 (permalink)  
 
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Theoretically, so do submarines, mines and in other environments double digit SAM, AAA, 4th gen DCA fighters, ATGW, UAV-cued MLRS etc, etc.


Point being, radii lines on a map do not always reflect tactics or realities. DF21 is a serious potential threat, but not omnipotent, nor even proven.
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Old 2nd Mar 2018, 19:59
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"An additional production line will be established in San Antonio, Texas in 2019."

Anyone want to take a bet as to when it becomes the only production line?

NaB - "the programme of record remains at 369 cabs"

Indeed it does, because of what happens if the PoR number gets reduced too much.

Last edited by George K Lee; 2nd Mar 2018 at 20:10.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 02:00
  #11158 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Except it wasn’t, was it? It was being procured to replace them - and the funds to continue buying them, in increasing numbers, comes from the same budget; the funds to upgrade thise already purchased comes from the same budget, the personnel to maintain and fly them from the same pool - and the space they occupy on a carrier the same space.

2 into 1 won’t go.
You may find that the F-35c was to replace the legacy Hornet in the fleet. Even the legacy Hornet had a life extension and upgrade program, why wouldn't the Super Hornet? You may find you get sore fingers, if you wring your hands too much.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 12:11
  #11159 (permalink)  
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You may find that the F-35c was to replace the legacy Hornet in the fleet.
All of which have now been, or are being, replaced by Super Hornets - which have now been funded for SLEF programs taking their life into the 2030s - when the FA-XX is planned to enter fleet surface as the Super Hornet replacement.....
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Old 4th Mar 2018, 02:27
  #11160 (permalink)  
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ORAC, the US Marines apparently never went to the E/F.
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