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The F-35 thread, Mk II

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The F-35 thread, Mk II

Old 19th May 2024, 13:39
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The latest from GAO cited by ORAC is an important report. Not so much for what the fankiddies on X are saying, but because of the massive uncertainties ahead. Beyond what is in the basic TR3 package, which may be delivered for training in Aug/Sept and may be combat-ready 4Q25, the schedule for filling out what was the 80-item Block 4 package seems to be in complete disarray.

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Old 21st May 2024, 21:19
  #842 (permalink)  
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https://hushkit.net/2024/05/20/trill...bill-sweetman/

Trillion Dollar Trainwreck: How The F-35 Hollowed Out The U.S. Air Force interview with author Bill Sweetman
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Old 21st May 2024, 21:59
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Who would have thought it? That Bill Sweetman had a negative view on the F-35.
I hope he has a French version of the book. He has some fans there.

Meanwhile, in the real world.
Air | UK Defence Journal

Plans for Britain’s F-35 fleet

May 21, 2024
A letter from the Minister of State for Defence Procurement sets out the status of the UK's F-35 fleet.

UK to ensure F-35 unaffected by review of Israel cooperation

May 21, 2024
“The F-35 programme has not only given world-leading capability to our Air Force and Navy, but provided jobs and technological advancement in the UK defence industry. Could the Minister give an assurance that any review of our relationship with Israel will not jeopardise that programme?” Jones asked.

Docherty reassured that the F-35 project remains a point of pride and will not be compromised.

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Old 22nd May 2024, 11:46
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That's good to know. And to get you caught up, since you seem to have last visited France, if at all, in 1950, the extent of English fluency in France is now quite large, better, for example, than in Australia.

You should read the book. If you are familiar with my earlier writings you have scarcely the least idea what's in it.
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Old 22nd May 2024, 12:26
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Any chance of a Kindle edition in the near future? (and in English not American?) Amazon UK at 27.91

From reading and excerpt, I think the (implicit?) point about GCAP, FCAS etc. being a reaction to apparent JSF programme failings, US software protectionism and perhaps in the UK's case the myth of the domestic workshare value of being the only level one partner appears to ring true.

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Old 22nd May 2024, 12:28
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The contrarian (LO) returns. What, is that your book?

I remember 20+ years ago how the JSF was the 800 pound gorilla in the DoD acquisition budget and programming process. My mistake (I think) is that when I left active duty I didn't find a job with one of the many companies supporting that effort in the over 100 congressional districts where its bits and pieces are made.

This is Congressional brilliance at its finest, I'd observe in those days, thanks to the Goldwater Nichols mandate
"You have to make a one size fits all aircraft because we think that's best."
"OK. Civilian control of the military, we'll make it work." (That was the response of the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps).
Here we are 20+ years later and anyone surprised by what's happened with the program hasn't been paying attention.
"She's not all that pretty, but she's my date and we are going to the dance.
or
"He drools a bit, but he's my date and we are going to the prom"

The Pentagon Paradox similarly covered some of the frustrations with the F-18 program. Oddly enough the Super Hornet turned out OK.
It just took a while to get there.

The Navy seemed to me to learn nothing from this, and ended up with a ship program, LCS, that has been a dismal failure.
At least the F-35 is currently operational.
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Old 22nd May 2024, 13:30
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Originally Posted by SLXOwft
Any chance of a Kindle edition in the near future? (and in English not American?) Amazon UK at 27.91

From reading and excerpt, I think the (implicit?) point about GCAP, FCAS etc. being a reaction to apparent JSF programme failings, US software protectionism and perhaps in the UK's case the myth of the domestic workshare value of being the only level one partner appears to ring true.
I can say that I was at one point a very lonely voice in saying that the phrase "right of modification' used repeatedly in Japan's F-X RFI should be taken seriously. "What are they going to do, work with the Brits?"

Industrially, it's been mostly downhill since the whacking of the GE/RR F136 alternate engine (which by the way might have helped with the thermal issues). Oddly, both that decision and the slow-rolling of Spear 3 and Meteor benefit the main U.S. F-35 partners (LM, NG, RTX), who also supply all the U.S weapons.
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Old 22nd May 2024, 13:42
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20 years ago, nobody (myself included) could have imagined F-35 taking as long as it has.

We would not be having this discussion, nor would I be able to write this book, if F-35 had even delivered to the schedule that was set by Dave Venlet's team in 2013, after the defenestrations of 2010. At that time, Block 3F was expected to be fully compliant with spec and to be delivered to the USAF at 80/year from the late 2010s. But then Block 4 started to be about fixes rather than upgrades...
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Old 22nd May 2024, 14:10
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Originally Posted by LowObservable
That's good to know. And to get you caught up, since you seem to have last visited France, if at all, in 1950, the extent of English fluency in France is now quite large, better, for example, than in Australia.

You should read the book. If you are familiar with my earlier writings you have scarcely the least idea what's in it.
I'll wait a month or so. It won't be long, before it's in the $2 bin.
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Old 22nd May 2024, 17:12
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Originally Posted by golder
I'll wait a month or so. It won't be long, before it's in the $2 bin.
No danger of that. I was way ahead of you and the ePub pirates.
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Old 22nd May 2024, 18:35
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It's next to impossible to judge the effectiveness of a new weapons system until it's been in the crucible of actual pier-on-pier combat (maybe we should send a few to Ukraine for testing?).
I'm reminded very much of all the criticism the M-1 Abrams tank and Bradley fight vehicle received - until the first Gulf War where we saw what they could really do. Suddenly they were the greatest weapons ever.

I hope (as a taxpayer) that the F-35 receives similar praise once it's used in anger. The problem is if it does turn out to be a turkey, we've got way too much time and money invested to write it off and start over - we'll just have to make do...
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Old 22nd May 2024, 21:36
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Originally Posted by LowObservable
No danger of that. I was way ahead of you and the ePub pirates.
You continue to speak in the first person. Have you dropped the charade? Can we call you Bill Sweetman now?
You have put food on the table for years, with the F-35 on AvWeek. Everyone has to eat. Current politics shows that there is a market for questionable stuff.
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Old 22nd May 2024, 22:10
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Originally Posted by golder
You continue to speak in the first person. Have you dropped the charade? Can we call you Bill Sweetman now?
You have put food on the table for years, with the F-35 on AvWeek. Everyone has to eat. Current politics shows that there is a market for questionable stuff.
You may call me Sir, if you wish. Or My Lord, or Sensei.
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Old 22nd May 2024, 22:51
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Originally Posted by tdracer
It's next to impossible to judge the effectiveness of a new weapons system until it's been in the crucible of actual pier-on-pier combat (maybe we should send a few to Ukraine for testing?).
I'm reminded very much of all the criticism the M-1 Abrams tank and Bradley fight vehicle received - until the first Gulf War where we saw what they could really do. Suddenly they were the greatest weapons ever.

I hope (as a taxpayer) that the F-35 receives similar praise once it's used in anger. The problem is if it does turn out to be a turkey, we've got way too much time and money invested to write it off and start over - we'll just have to make do...
Current aircraft are undeliverable, the future upgrade program is being "re-imagined", it has non-trivial thermal management problems and nobody has a ghost of a scintilla of an earthly clue how long it will take to fix them. Seriously, what more does it take to define a turkey? A friggin pop-out timer that tells the pilot to squawk 7700 and land immediately? Hit the start button and the monkeyfighter blows up?

I am so bleeping sick of the "hurr durr the GAO said this about the Abrams and the Bradley and my Mom" rigmafrigmarole too. Yes, the GAO had criticisms. Some were issues that got fixed. Some had to do with inadequate testing and that got fixed. Others were dead-on, as in how many new tank designs since bell-bottom pants were cool and ABBA won Eurovision have had turbine engines? If your answer is an indelicate expression ending in "-all" you may take a cookie from my desk.

There is a vast problem for the USAF and anyone pushing denial as a solution needs to get in the sea.
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Old 23rd May 2024, 02:02
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Originally Posted by LowObservable
You may call me Sir, if you wish. Or My Lord, or Sensei.
I've heard quite a number of names for you, other than Bill Sweetman. Funnily enough, none of those you mentioned. Are among the ones that I have heard.

There are going to be lots of article about euro and eurasian next gen. To keep euro fanboys entertained for years. Is it as good as the then F-35? How far behind is it to the USN and USAF next gen? Will Europe stay half a gen behind? With the bulk of Europe buying F-35 in numbers. What sales volume is available? Will it be even dearer than US next gen? As the current eurocanards are to the F-35

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Old 23rd May 2024, 02:26
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Originally Posted by golder
I've heard quite a number of names for you, other than Bill Sweetman. Funnily enough, none of those you mentioned. Are among the ones that I have heard.

There are going to be lots of article about euro and eurasian next gen. To keep euro fanboys entertained for years. Is it as good as the then F-35? How far behind is it to the USN and USAF next gen? Will Europe stay half a gen behind? With the bulk of Europe buying F-35 in numbers. What sales volume is available? Will it be even dearer than US next gen? As the current eurocanards are to the F-35
Since you know so much, maybe you should write a book or something. But you might want to get an agent because you don't seem to have got very far handling your own stuff.
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Old 23rd May 2024, 02:26
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I recall being frustrated to no end vis a vis the freaking tail hook teething problems for the F-35C. I mean, that's a core competency of USN aviation: catapult and trap carriers. The F-35 screwed the pooch on that out of the gate. Not an OK 3-wire by any stretch of the imagination.
The freaking tail hook. Assessment: Program problem.
Yes, the hook eventually got solved.
(And the KC-46 tanker mess is a Program Problem)
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Old 23rd May 2024, 03:14
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50
I recall being frustrated to no end vis a vis the freaking tail hook teething problems for the F-35C. I mean, that's a core competency of USN aviation: catapult and trap carriers. The F-35 screwed the pooch on that out of the gate. Not an OK 3-wire by any stretch of the imagination. The freaking tail hook. Assessment: Program problem. Yes, the hook eventually got solved.
(And the KC-46 tanker mess is a Program Problem)
Tru Dat BUT as a very ADMIRABLE Admiral USN telled DUS at da time, it was discovered the USN geeks misplaced a decimal point when passing on their hook/wire info to F-35C hook designas. There are articles about this but a video of him saying it will suffice perhaps. DUNWAY comments on this point at about 3 minutes 18 seconds while the chairman of TAILHOOK 2013 says his daughter will design next tail hook to lots of LAFFs. The X-47B initially had similar HOOK issues but hey youse guys know it is easy to do it. RIGHT? & doan furget de X-47B early hook issues from da simila faulty data issue also at viddy end.

F-35C HOOK Fix Explanation VADM Dunaway NavAir Tailhook13


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Old 23rd May 2024, 05:19
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It's just a shame that Avwk has cleaned up their website and deleted most of Sweetman's FUD stuff. Or I would post a link to where this was another nail in canceling the F-35. Every issue was doom and despair, with cancelation the only solution.

He said Gripen was 6th gen. Will anything new out of Europe be 7th gen, according to Sweetman?
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Old 23rd May 2024, 11:32
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Originally Posted by golder
There are going to be lots of article about euro and eurasian next gen. To keep euro fanboys entertained for years. Is it as good as the then F-35? How far behind is it to the USN and USAF next gen? Will Europe stay half a gen behind? With the bulk of Europe buying F-35 in numbers. What sales volume is available? Will it be even dearer than US next gen? As the current eurocanards are to the F-35
1) How about avoiding labelling others as fanboys? Especially when seem to be an LM-Koolaid drinking F-35 fanboy yourself.

Yes the F-35 is unmatched today. If you want to go and put a pair of (small) PGMs through someone's roof and return to base, all without being detected, then the F-35's what you want and need. If you want unmatched battlespace SA, the F-35 will help give you that, today. If you want to iterate and upload sovereign mission data with any kind of agility, then you're ******, just as you are if you want to integrate own weapons in a meaningful timescale. Or achieve reasonable sustainment costs. Or availability.

But its designed for the current epoch, and will struggle in the next one. All the evidence would suggest that its best days may already be far behind it.

2) Is it as good as the then F-35? Yes. The whole point of NGAD/GCAP/SCAF is that they need to be better than the 2035 vintage F-35
3) How far behind is it to the USN and USAF next gen? Probably behind in some areas, ahead in others.
4) Will Europe stay half a gen behind? Why would it? Europe's already ahead in AESA radar, BVRAAMs, and some other areas.
5) With the bulk of Europe buying F-35 in numbers. What sales volume is available? The new programmes will produce the aircraft that will first augment and then replace F-35. With TR-3 stuck and Block 4 'reimagined' we might expect a lessening of enthusiasm for the F-35 in years to come.
6) Will it be even dearer than US next gen? At the moment, the SCAF and the GCAP programmes look more likely to achieve economies of scale than does NGAD, so the honest answer would be that no-one knows.
7) As the current eurocanards are to the F-35? Except that the Eurocanards are not more expensive, except (perhaps) in terms of quoted sticker price.
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