With or without the engine? Engine estimates are around $14/15m extra.
Click on the article. Every price that is negotiated with Lockheed martin is without the engine. By LAW, since WW1 the two most expensive components of any weapons program have to be negotiated and developed through independent competition. Recently this has been expanded to include other expensive components beyond a certain cost percentage of the overall system cost. For the F-35 however, there were two competitions and two costs are negotiated with two different OEM's (lockheed and Pratt &W). It was revealed earlier this year (I posted this in the turkey thread, when it happened) that Pratt and Whitney managed a 4.5% cost reduction on the 8th engine lot, beating even their own "war on cost" initiative benchmarks. Furthermore, any concurrency changes to the engine would be covered 100% by Pratt& Whitney, such as those that arise from the legal battle and the poor quality titanium that other firms may have supplied it and that may require replacement, as well as the blades solution that pratt has to implement. It was also reveled that despite of concurrency changes being required, the F-135 managed a 98% mission availability rate even during developmental testing.
Ultimately, much like the F-16 the concurrency cost model has been validated. The object was then as it is now, to use the overall project goals (thousands of aircraft) and get the aircrafts rolling out of the production line as fast as possible, so as the direct and indirect costs are spread and the learning curve is overcome so that a vast majority of the thousands of aircrafts are produced at an economical rate. Same thing is happening with the F-35. With concurrency costs hovering around 1% of the overall fly away cost of the production run, they have reduced the cost tp produce by 3-4% every year for the past few years despite the fact that contrary to the F-16 process they are only ramping up production every other year instead of every year. The concurrency on the F-16 was so large that they had produced well in excess of 1000 F-16's by the time the stable and desired block was developed (aka block 15). Yet the model allowed for them to produce the most affordable multi-role fighter in the west at the time, bring costs down upfront and ensure a production run of thousands of units over the lifetime thereby avoiding the death spiral.
Its no wonder that the fortunes of the Eurocanards have all but sunk in Europe and East Asia. Only two confirmed sales in 15 years i.e. Austria & Thailand. (Hungary & Czech R. operate theirs on lease.)
Only the Gripen looks good, since SAAB has now another party interested in its success and marketing it in South America. Typhoon may win an order for more from Saud Arabia, but given how slow they have been to upgrade the thing it doesn't look good. Rafale has India, and perhaps may pick up a ME customer but that would be it. Even the PAKFA should be more successful then the euro-canards in the long run. Trouble for the Twin-Engine Giants?
“There’s room for one very successful program, two very modest programs or three desperately flailing programs,” he said.
Complicating the issue is the presence of the F-35, which looms large for many countries that might decide to wait for the fifth-generation fighter to become more affordable.
Denmark, which hopes to select a fighter by mid-2015, and Canada, whose decision to purchase the F-35 has been frozen due to a political scandal, are examples of countries considering one or more of the twin-engine fighters as well as the F-35, and recent market trends signal that the plane that offers the highest capability will win, Aboulafia said.
“There is a bigger market, but it is part of the market that’s addressable by F-35,” he said. “Look at South Korea. The market has decided that the F-35 wins the countries it is entered in, which means you have to look at the last of the contests where F-35 does not play a role.”
With Brazil off the table, the trio of jets will focus mainly on four nations — Malaysia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), none of which is expected to make truly massive purchases.
Even if one platform was to win all four of the major remaining competitions, the lifespan of these jets is likely running out, as domestic orders have mostly dried up. But as Saab can testify, it takes only one significant order to change the fortunes of a fighter program.
Based on current sales, Super Hornet production will end in 2016. Typhoon production is secure until the end of 2017. Rafale’s domestic orders end in 2016, with exports needed to keep the line open to 2019.
“When your home market implodes or terminates, it’s tough to sustain the exports,” Aboulafia said. “The more you look at the history of fighter programs, the more you realize what freak cases the F-15s and F-16s were. You had several decades of production sustained by exports only. That’s extremely unusual.”
A must listen (35 minutes):For the inaugural edition of Sea Control’s “East Atlantic” series, Alexander Clarke brings on Steve George, former engineer with the F-35 program and Royal Navy veteran to discuss the challenges and misconceptions of the F-35 program.
Audio: http://cimsec.org/wp-content/uploads/20 ... c-F-35.mp3