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International Aerospace Discussion

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Viv S
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Viv S » 16 Dec 2016 16:51

Neshant wrote:Spending a fraction of the funds spent developing the JSF on upgrading the F-16 and F-18 in their fleet would have been a much better investment compared to the the over 1+ trillion dollars spent on the JSF.

:sigh:

1. The R&D cost of the F-35 is $60 bn. Comparable to the F-22 after inflation. No one has 'spent' $1 trillion on it.

2. Unit acquisition cost is about $150 mil (incl. all variants). Flyaway cost for the F-35A is currently $95 mil which will fall to <$85 mil by 2019.

3. Its been thoroughly dominating the F-16s & F-18s in training exercises.


Right now we're seeing no problems with that airplane. What we're seeing is high readiness rates and incredible capability. We just ran a WTI drill, a normal scenario we would have with our legacy aircraft out there. I was the CO of that weapons school. Generally about half the aircraft that go across into the high end threat... Prowlers, Hornets, Harriers and generally about half of the 30 airplanes don't make it through. The F-35 [got a] 24-0 kill ratio and killed all the targets. It was like Jurassic Park.. watching a velociraptor. It kills everything. It does really well so we can't get that aircraft fast enough into the fleet.

- Lt. Gen. Jon M. Davis, Deputy Commandant for Aviation, U.S. Marine Corps


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The F-35 is so stealthy, it produced training challenges, pilot says

During a recent exercise at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, F-35 squadrons wanted to practice evading surface-to-air threats. There was just one problem: No one on the ground could track the plane. “If they never saw us, they couldn’t target us,” said Lt. Col. George Watkins, the commander of the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

The F-35s resorted to flipping on their transponders, used for FAA identification, so that simulated anti-air weapons could track the planes, Watkins said. “We basically told them where we were at and said, ‘Hey, try to shoot at us,’ ” he said, adding that without the transponders on, “most likely we would not have suffered a single loss from any SAM threats while we were training at Mountain Home.”
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“When we go to train, it’s really an unfair fight for the guys who are simulating the adversaries,” Watkins continued. “We’ve been amazed by what we can do when we go up against fourth-gen adversaries in our training environment, in the air and on the ground.”

Watkins said he can take four F-35s and “be everywhere and nowhere at the same time because we can cover so much ground with our sensors, so much ground and so much airspace. And the F-15s or F-16s, or whoever is simulating an adversary or red air threat, they have no idea where we’re at and they can’t see us and they can’t target us.”

“That’s a pretty awesome feeling when you’re going out to train for combat,” Watkins concluded, "to know that your pilots are in an unfair fight.”


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F-35 Unscathed by Hostile Fire in Green Flag

Not a single F-35 was “shot down” during the joint-force Green Flag exercises testing the jet and its pilots’ prowess operating it in a contested air-support role in the Western U.S. this month, according to U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Cameron Dadgar, head of the exercise and leader of the 549th Combat Training Sqdn. at Nellis AFB, Nevada.

This is notable because A-10s and F-16s were defeated in the same conditions, operating in an environment with hostile aircraft and surface-to-air missiles, he said.


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Lockheed F-35 jets ace exercises as U.S. readies for combat use

"When we actually have the airplane out there ... and people realize how much of a leap in technology it is, then and only then will people start to realize that all the time and energy put into it is really worth it," Bogdan said in an interview.

He said the jets' performance in exercises like Red Flag showed that onboard radar sensors and electronic warfare equipment would give them a huge edge in future wars. While one-third to one-half of other aircraft would routinely be "killed" during tough exercises, no F-35s had been downed, he said.


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F-35B Tactics Evolving As Pilots’ Understanding Of Technology Matures

Last summer, as a last step before recommending an IOC declaration, Davis tasked the first F-35B squadron with completing an operational readiness inspection – a test event borrowed from the Brits, he said. As part of the test, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 performed an armed reconnaissance mission that can sometimes take AV-8B Harrier and F-18 Hornet pilots all day to complete. “These guys went out there and they found all the targets very quickly and killed all the targets,” he said, noting the early proficiency of the squadron. “Most importantly, … we put a radar [surface-to-air missile] out in the objective area. In the old days we’d have to go take care of the radar SAM, get somebody in to go take care of that because you don’t do armed reconnaissance, which is patrolling for targets out there, unless you’ve got a permissive threat environment and you beat that threat. These guys went out with the SAM in the area and did that and they killed the SAM.” Fast forward a year, he said, and the squadron has gone from proficient to innovative. Davis brought Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller to meet the pilots and learn about the planes and tactics. During the visit, the squadron was assigned two drills.

The first was done with fewer planes than Davis thought was needed, but otherwise went according to plan. He said the pilots were given a scenario that was “very high-end, off the ship, go into the jaws of death, double-digit SAMs, fighter threat, and go after a very strategic target on the ground. I watched them do it as a foursome, which normally I would say it would be 13 or 14 airplanes normally, what I would do as [commanding officer] of the weapons school, which I was. … They killed the fighters, they killed the SAMs, they killed the target, they came home. “What was most interesting to be was not what they did but how they did it. It was very much the maturation of the pilots and how they’re flying this airplane, how they’re using information, communicating with each other, sharing information,” he continued. “It was more like watching a pack of dogs go after something. And it was force-on-force, it wasn’t scripted,” so their success – particularly with so few aircraft – was far from guaranteed.

The second drill, though, did not go as planned – in the best possible way, Davis said. The planes were to fly a close-air support mission through clouds at 1,000 feet, with the planes in the 3F configuration that allows for pylons to externally carry 18,000 pounds of bombs. “I’m out there, the commandant of the Marine Corps is out there, I want to impress the commandant,” Davis said. “This first scenario was awesome, and then right before the second scenario I said, are we ready to go? And this young major comes up … he goes, ‘we’re not going to do exactly what you want us to do.’ I’m like [eyes grow wide]. “Because we didn’t think the tasking was challenging enough. So we’ve got two that are slick and two that are loaded up as bomb trucks. We can do the job sir, don’t worry.’” So two planes forfeited their external carry capacity in exchange for stealth, and “it was a work of art,” Davis said. The planes hit all their targets in five and a half minutes, with the four planes passing images through the clouds and successfully taking out the missile threat early on. “I just watched, I’m like, that’s not how my brain works, but that is the way their brains are working,” he said. “Gen.(Charles) Krulak, who I used to work for, said ‘you don’t man the equipment, you equip the man,’ so we’re equipping these young Marines, this generation that doesn’t know any bounds for latitude for technology, and they’re leveraging this technology and doing great things.”

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 16 Dec 2016 17:12

The Trillion Dollar price calculations is the most pointless set of exercise that bean counters have embarked upon on this program and others (The JSF is the first program to employ this analysis). Not only does it project sustainment cost of a fleet of 2000+ aircraft through a total of 50+ years including estimating inflation in manpower and energy costs.. but it does so without making any attempt to understand the strategic threat and how it is likely to evolve. The sustainment cost of your air-force is a function of threat..The reason you maintain a dozen foreign air-bases (as an example), spread your resources there, maintain a number of pilots, transport, refueling capability is threat dependent. Can CAPE or anyone else predict the strategic environment in 2050? Because without doing so there is absolutely no way of predicting what the utilization or deployment patterns are going to be for US F-35's without which your sustainment cost number is entirely useless.

Could you have estimated the sustainment cost of a fleet of 1000 F-16 block 50's (that had not been designed then) in the 2015-2025 time period at the time the Light Weight Fighter program was being conceptualized? It would have been absurd then as is this stupid analysis if you can even call it that.

The funniest part is that the critics that most often cite the trillion dollar figure also claim that the US services will never get the 2400 odd aircraft they have a need for at the moment (something that may well be true). Yet they never fail to bring up the projected 5 decade+ sustainment cost for a fleet of 2400 aircraft :)

In other news, seems the Italians beat the Israelis by a whisker

Italy has become the first country to operate the F-35 outside of the U.S.

On Dec. 12, whilst several Israeli and international media outlets focused on the delivery of the first F-35I “Adir” to Nevatim airbase (delayed by some 6 hours because of fog) highlighting how Israel had just become “the first country after the US” to get the new plane, far from the spotlight, the 13° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 32° Stormo (Wing) of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force, ItAF) received its first two F-35A Lightning II, becoming the very first country to take delivery of the 5th generation stealth jet outside of the U.S.

Noteworthy, the delivery flight was carried out by two Italian military pilots (the Israeli planes were flown by Lockheed Martin pilots) who flew their two JSFs (Joint Strike Fighters) to Amendola, where the aircraft landed in the early afternoon on Monday.

Indeed, whereas the arrival of the first Israeli or Dutch F-35s got a significant media coverage (with constant updates, live streaming on social media, etc.), the Italian Air Force has kept a very “low profile” about its achievements with the F-35 so far.

However, Italy has made some significant work on the Lightning II: on Dec. 3, 2015, the ItAF welcomed the first F-35 at the Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility at Cameri, in northwestern Italy. That aircraft was also the first assembled and delivered outside the U.S.

Then, on Feb. 5, 2016 the first Italian Air Force F-35, successfully completed the type’s very first transatlantic crossing landing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. To prepare for the 7-hour transoceanic flight the Italian Air Force conducted tanker trials in the U.S. (in July 2015) with its KC-767A, that became the first tanker not operated by the U.S. Air Force to undergo refueling certification trials with an F-35.

Three Italian F-35s are currently deployed at Luke’s multinational F-35 pilot training centre.

And, as explained mentioned, on Dec. 12, the first two aircraft (reportedly AL-5 and AL-6) arrived at their operational base in southeastern Italy.The F-35 is for sure the most famous (and controversial) defense program in Italy.

For the moment, Rome’s plan is to procure 90 F-35 to replace the ItAF’s ageing AMX and Tornado and the Italian Navy’s AV-8B+ Harrier jump jets.

Neshant
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Neshant » 17 Dec 2016 12:27

The JSF is a boon doggle of epic proportions. An absolute fortune has been squandered on a plane that offers only marginal benefits at best and a number of disadvantages. With the advent of sophisticated DSP in aircraft radar development, the concept of stealth & detection itself is undergoing a goal post shift. What was stealthy two and a half decades ago when the JSF was conceived is less so today. With composite rebuild of wings/fuselage and hell even radar-absorbant paints applied, the signature of existing aircraft can be substantially cut down at a fraction of the money expended on the JSF. Even a small portion of that money would have been much better spent on developing next generation technologies for unmanned combat aerial vehicles.

Alas, Lockheed Martin knew the US govt would regard the program as too-big-to-fail and continue to pour money into this boon doggle. And so the boon doggling continued and the price escalated uncontrollably.

Lockheed Martin played the US taxpayer for a fool... and is winning.

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WTF-35: How the Joint Strike Fighter Got to Be Such a Mess

http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a21957/wtf-35/
Last edited by Neshant on 17 Dec 2016 13:08, edited 2 times in total.

Viv S
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Viv S » 17 Dec 2016 13:07

Neshant wrote:The JSF is a boon doggle of epic proportions. An absolute fortune has been squandered on a plane that offers only marginal benefits at best and a number of disadvantages. With the advent of sophisticated DSP in aircraft radar development, the concept of stealthiness itself is undergoing a goal post shift. What was stealthy two decades ago, is less so today and a 1 trillion price tag on that is suspect.

They've 'squandered' a total of $60 bn on R&D b/w 2001 and 2019. That's about 10% of the annual US defence budget. And the F-35 is already beating the Eurocanards on acquisition costs.

The $1 trillion is a catchy tagline for generalist writers (such as those employed by 'Popular Mechanics') who're unaware of what 'life-cycle cost' implies.

DSP improvements in the LWR have gone some way in improving clutter rejection but they remain incapable of replacing conventional FCRs. The shift, if there's such a thing, with respect to the 'concept of stealthiness' is one involving a wide scale consensus among operators on its utility, particularly Russia & China who've doubled down on their LO programs and will produce them exclusively post-2020.

Lockheed Martin played the US taxpayer for a fool... and is winning.

As supposedly have UAC & CAC wrt to their taxpayers.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Neshant » 17 Dec 2016 13:14

The life cycle cost is what ultimately matters. Its not the buying of a color printer that is expensive but the recurring cost of the cartridges that printer companies make money on. The more often you have to replace it, the more expensive its life cycle cost is.

What's worse is the USAF is now stuck with these boon doggled planes and has to wait a long while before significant funds can be spent on developing true next generation unmanned combat aerial vehicles - which in theory is also but a fraction of the money spent on the JSF.

I guarantee you if the clock could be turned back, nobody would have jumped on board the JSF if they knew then what they know now.

Viv S
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Viv S » 17 Dec 2016 15:46

Neshant wrote:The life cycle cost is what ultimately matters. Its not the buying of a color printer that is expensive but the recurring cost of the cartridges that printer companies make money on. The more often you have to replace it, the more expensive its life cycle cost is.

The life-cycle cost is measured up 2070. For 2,443 fighter jets. So, the $1 trillion is a catchy tagline that sounds like a lot when seen without context.

The cost per flight hour for the F-35A is about 28% higher than the F-16C/D (2013 SAR report).

Image

It'll time to get there (these are FRP figures) but that's the long term cost differential.

What's worse is the USAF is now stuck with these boon doggled planes and has to wait a long while before significant funds can be spent on developing true next generation unmanned combat aerial vehicles - which in theory is also but a fraction of the money spent on the JSF.

The folks flying it are delighted with the platform that they're 'stuck with'. Those they're flying against, less so.

The next generation of fighter will come no earlier than 2040. Starting as a SH replacement. Long way off. The F-35's not an issue.

I guarantee you if the clock could be turned back, nobody would have jumped on board the JSF if they knew then what they know now.

Similar things were said about the F-16 in 1982. There's no doubt the program was mismanaged in the early years, but like the M1 Abrams & C-17, which at one point were also 'should-have-been-cancelled-boondoggles', its over the hump. In another 3-4 years, the critics will move onto bemoaning the next military 'scandal'.

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 17 Dec 2016 18:37

Neshant wrote:The life cycle cost is what ultimately matters. Its not the buying of a color printer that is expensive but the recurring cost of the cartridges that printer companies make money on. The more often you have to replace it, the more expensive its life cycle cost is.

What's worse is the USAF is now stuck with these boon doggled planes and has to wait a long while before significant funds can be spent on developing true next generation unmanned combat aerial vehicles - which in theory is also but a fraction of the money spent on the JSF.

I guarantee you if the clock could be turned back, nobody would have jumped on board the JSF if they knew then what they know now.


Neshant, these arguments and counter arguments have been made in the F-35 thread here. I am afraid you need to separate facts from just poor reporting. $1 Trillion dollars in sustainment costs makes a great punchline and gets you lots of clicks on war is boring, popular mechanics etc, but it's tough to go through tens of pages of official documents (from where these publications pull their data from) and actually see what is the basis of the claim. In fact, journalists like that count on folks not doing that. There is no Life-Cycle-Analysis (as you put it) for a hypothetical case of needing F-16's through 2070. You can't even realistically do one because you will exhaust options when it comes to "how to keep the F-16 or F/A-18 relevant in that time-frame". The real question to ask is, How much should the US, with a defense budget at > $500 Billion per year, pay to sustain 2/3 of it total strike fighter fleet (> 2400 aircraft spread over 3 services) over 38 years of development, modernization and procurement plus military construction, and 60+ years of sustainment. The numbers for the JSF here are $390-398 Billion for the first portion the 'stupid' estimate of $1 Trillion for the latter.

Look at LRIP-9 and LRIP-10 contracts for the F-35. Given that they are on the higher side because they involve more expensive STOVL variants but compare the cost per by simply dividing the contract with the numbers to what Egypt, Qatar, or even India are paying for the Rafale, Saudi Arabia, or Kuwait for the Typhoon or Brazil for the Gripen-NG. Keep in mind that the F-35 is on a curve where it's already in LRIP shed 58% of its cost and is on the path to get to $85 Million by 2019 (acquisition year). Why is it too expensive for the USAF with many times the budget of these nation's? In fact, the USAF will commit a much smaller budget to acquiring fighters than others like France that would have spent tens of Billions of Europs to develop and acquire a fleet of < 200 fighters.

Viv has provided you with actual CFRP difference between an F-16C as it exists now in the USAF, and an F-35A. Similar numbers can be gotten for the Harrier and the F-18C. What these numbers tell you is that the F-35 is 28% more expensive to operate than an F-16C which would not be unrealistic since its larger, heavier, has a more powerful engine, carries more fuel, has low-observability l etc etc. An F-15C is more expensive, and a USAF Rafale would be more expensive than a USAF F-16 as well.

What these data don't however tell you is that it is significantly more capable which also has O&S savings. Take for example the penetrating strike mission as an example. How many F-16's will you need to commit to such a mission against a decent air-defense network? How many will be providing top cover, what about the tanking resources etc etc etc. What if CENTCOM wants higher SEAD coverage in 2030, how any F-16's will the USAF have to commit to meet that COCOM demand vs the F-35?

You are not dealing with a Light weight fighter kitted out for medium or even heavy fighter type missions in case of the F-16. The F-35 is a medium class fighter with LO and internal weapons. Think of it is as a Block 50 on steroids with Low-Observability and everything that entails (Internal weapons, internal sensors, LPI/LPD comms etc). Life Cycle Cost is important to understand sustainment and affordability. It is not in determining mission needs. If it were all the western forces would be operating the Gripen-C and we would not have heavy fighters like the F-15, Su-30, F-22 even exist. Sustainment cost is important as long as you can meet mission needs. Boyd's light weight fighter CANNOT meet USAF mission needs, and in fact couldn't even in 2000 hence you have seen the F-16C and why you are seeing the F-35. The F-35 is destined to be the smallest fighter in the USAF so naturally it's mission need dictating requirements which has an impact on O&S cost but mission needs naturally come first. It's pointless to have a Gripen-C when what you need is somewhere in between an F-16C and an F-15E. You'll save a ton of money but you will provide next to nothing in terms of value to your national security needs.

Moreover the sustainment cost exercise has so many assumptions that it is nowhere representative of what the DOD is likely to pay. They could pay more, or they could pay less but trying to nail down the growth in USAF manpower cost, healthcare, cost of fuel, how the USAF is going to be deployed globally, the tanker support requirements etc etc is extremely difficult even 10 years out, let alone 50 years out. Can any nation out there predict its geopolitical and national security environment in 2060 with such certainty that it can use the deployment pattern to capture O&S cost in those timeframes? Look at CFRP since this is what exists NOW and now some random number that takes into account so many variables that it itself is liable to double digit billion swings over single digit years (this has actually happened).

This is one of the most transparent defense programs in the world with a ton of data and official materials published on it, particularly in the cost realm. It's best to look directly at these materials and formulate one's own opinion on its cost, how its contracted (not sure you know that since LRIP-5 Lockheed has signed a FIXED PRICE CONTRACT for the aircrafts it has delivered) and how it is projected to be sustained.

I guarantee you if the clock could be turned back, nobody would have jumped on board the JSF if they knew then what they know now.


In hindsight there is always something you can change one very program. Would the Europeans have split into three seperate programs for a really small market? Would the F16 started off as a light weight fighter if its designers had access to future knowledge? Would the F-22 been an Air to Air platform passing on the opportunity to make it a strike fighter had the USAF known of the cold war ending?

In fact, if you read into some of the comments the F-16 designer (not Sprey but the actually design lead) has made over his life on the aircraft you'll find that he said that he'd design it a lot differently if he knew how it was going to be used particularly block 25 and beyond.

The life cycle cost is what ultimately matters. Its not the buying of a color printer that is expensive but the recurring cost of the cartridges that printer companies make money on. The more often you have to replace it, the more expensive its life cycle cost is.


The printer argument is a bad one because unlike a printer, the USAF's O&S metrics (that CAPE uses to develop its projections) captures manpower costs, costs of operation which vary since having 100% of your fleet in California has a different cost structure than spreading it out globally, and inflation over 60+ years. The real cost in terms of growth comes from the cost of fuel, and manpower. If you use the search feature here you can dig up details on each on of the cost categories in Viv's image and I have tried to provide as much information on what these costs capture. O&S cost and its growth is not simply due to the need to buy more "cartridges' in fact parts make up a small fraction of that..Its the cost to operate in terms of fuel and deployment, plus the manpower cost (salaries, healthcare , benefits) etc that get you that humongous number.

What is remarkable about the data that Viv has shared is the maintenance portion. Manpower costs are expected to be lower since the F-35 automates a lot of the processes the F-16 so it was expected to be lower even though we are dealing with a larger aircraft with more onboard systems. It's the maintenance portion that is the most fascinating. Its $5000 more for a significantly heavier aircraft that has to account for all aspect low-observability. This is a result of considerable knowledge gained from F-117, B-2 and F-22A sustainment where this particular category was very high. Keeping this number 'manageable' was a design goal as the F-35's Low-Observability had to be significantly lower to maintain than the previous generation of stealth aircraft. FiberMat and other design aspects were developed in part to address this very issue.
Last edited by brar_w on 17 Dec 2016 21:50, edited 2 times in total.

NRao
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 17 Dec 2016 19:28

An aside,

The life cycle cost is what ultimately matters. Its not the buying of a color printer that is expensive but the recurring cost of the cartridges that printer companies make money on. The more often you have to replace it, the more expensive its life cycle cost is.


Buy a new printer and donate the old one to take a tax break.


To add to what Vic posted, there is a utility value too, that many a times does not get into the equation. If you print often enough, then even the cost of a cartridge can be cheap to you. A printer with fax and scanning capabilities could be invaluable, so the cost of a cartridge does not even enter the picture.

On hind sight, the only thing I think they would revisit is the management of the F-35. Could have been far better. The plane itself? Sure. But for other reasons than most think about.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 17 Dec 2016 19:33

On hind sight, the only thing I think they would revisit is the management of the F-35. Could have been far better. The plane itself? Sure. But for other reasons than most think about.


This was the first JPO model so they had literally nothing to compare it to. The services had not previously worked under this model and you never had a big table with 3 US services and many international partners voting on every decision. One lesson to be learnt is that it's better to let a service manage the program and other services feed it their requirement. That's the model the FVL program seems to have taken from the JPO model of the F-35. Pre-Bogdan phase saw massive errors when it came to problem solving and handoff between the skunk works team that designed the concept and the LM/GD team that took over in the EMD phase was not the best. Post 2011 period has actually been quite well managed with huge reduction in cost over its design life and most milestones largely met..The cost argument is VALID in the RDT&E phase but folks tend to skim over the assumptions and requirements and go straight to the symptoms. Was it realistic to begin with? NO, but it is not fashionable or sexy to claim that. One of the first policy changes within he Pentagon post JSF was that each and every ACAT-1 program was MANDATED to require at least ONE independent cost estimate done for each and every phase of its development. This was not set in place during the JSF so you had massive room for some fairly ambitious and unrealistic assumptions to be made by the program-office in order to sell a program to the Congress.

On the B-21 for example the USAF went to CAPE and to another Independent cost Estimate team to look at the numbers, requirements and cost/technology risks. Once the two teams came out with their cost estimates (which were within 2 % of each other) the USAF assumed and budgeted for the higher number. Only then did they award the contract and sell the program over the FYDP. The JSF has actually forced them to look the requirements process very carefully at the acquisition university and elsewhere. Ashton Carter's replacement at the AT&L specifically looked at this under the Better Buying Power 1-3x initiatives with the first few iterations looking into the requirements process.
Last edited by brar_w on 17 Dec 2016 19:50, edited 3 times in total.

Austin
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 17 Dec 2016 19:46

Nose 90 degrees down and dive

Image

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 17 Dec 2016 20:35

Neshant wrote:The life cycle cost is what ultimately matters.


Cost of Ownership and LCC are important data to understand and analyze as a system. But what are you comparing it too matters even more. You cannot take the O&S cost of 2400 F-35's and compare it to 2400 F-16s, or a mix of F-16's, F/A-18's and Harriers. It does not work that way because you are looking everything through the lens of mission effectiveness. You want to do what the F-35 does with an F-16 you need way more F-16's and you need to invest in EF-111's or EA-15's/EA-18G's at much higher levels. Since manpower is your main cost driver you will drive up cost RAPIDLY going that route to gain the same mission effectiveness. while LO does not negate EA it reduces requirements since by definition a LO fighter with self-protection suites will require significantly less support over a given mission.

Same with tanker support. A larger LO fighter can fly optimal mission profiles that a smaller non LO fighter cannot. If you truly want to analyze the cost of ownership over a mission and national security need you have to compare it to the alternative over the same mission need and objective not something totally arbitrary and inadequate. Building a model of what works in terms of this force structure in 2030 is hard enough, 2060 is nearly impossible especially when competitors are fielding S300's, S400's, Su-35's, PAKFA's, J-20's and UCAV's. If someone wants to write an essay on how to tackle a VLO J-20 or PAKFA with an F-16, have at it. Don't be surprised if no one takes such an exercise very seriously.

Here are two graphics to look into. One is the total cost of a system and another the USAF size 'then' and 'now' in active duty and the qualitative need for it to drive more capability from a smaller force.

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What's driving the shift is largely an issue with force structure. Increasing the number of airmen is extremely costly over their life cycle (salary and benefits) and this is true for most western air-forces.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 17 Dec 2016 21:31


Neshant
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Neshant » 18 Dec 2016 08:30

You guys sound like lobbyists for Lockheed Martin trying to sell a bridge.

Minus the stealth, this plane is actually a step backwards! There is no way the USAF would have committed to the JSF given what they know today about the amount they sunk into this project vs what they're actually getting. Bang for the buck on this project is poor. The only thing that has profited mightily has been Lockheed Martin stock.

The 2016 US budget is suppose to include provisions for starting R&D work on a 6th generation fighter. But the JSF cost over-run has burnt a nice hole right on through the wallet.

The tragedy is that there is now far less money to fund what should have been a priority which is a 6th generation unmanned combat aircraft with sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithms way beyond Google's Deepmind or Watson.

That's really where all the R&D money spent on the JSF boon doggle should have been going.
Let us pray India does not make the same foolish mistake as the USAF made with the JSF having been taken for a ride.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Viv S » 18 Dec 2016 12:33

Neshant wrote:You guys sound like lobbyists for Lockheed Martin trying to sell a bridge.

Just familiar with the facts (not just the superficial '$1 tn' taglines) and not easily taken in by tabloid journalism.

There is no way the USAF would have committed to the JSF given what they know today about the amount they sunk into this project vs what they're actually getting. Bang for the buck on this project is poor. The only thing that has profited mightily has been Lockheed Martin stock. Minus the stealth, this plane is actually a step backwards!

The USAF pilots say different. As do the air forces of every operator in the market for a new aircraft.

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The 2016 US budget is suppose to include provisions for starting R&D work on a 6th generation fighter. But the JSF cost over-run has burnt a nice hole right on through the wallet.

The 2016 US budget was supposed to include no such thing. The 6th gen project is still at a conceptual stage and they're still undecided about future requirements and may in fact pass over the option of a clean sheet design.

That's really where all the R&D money spent on the JSF boon doggle should have been going.
Let us pray India does not make the same foolish mistake as the USAF made with the JSF having been taken for a ride.

I can only suggest you take a closer look at the acquisition cost of the F-35 compared to the Rafale, SH & F-16, instead of buying into popular myths.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 18 Dec 2016 18:54

You guys sound like lobbyists for Lockheed Martin trying to sell a bridge.


Can we stick to just facts especially CORRECT ones where one has enough background knowledge on the topic to NOT claim that $1 Trillion had been spent on the program as you did just a couple of days ago? How hard it is to actually dig up what has been spent on the program, what is to be spend on it in the RDT&E, MILCON, and Procurement phase of the program and what you get in return?

It's unfortunate that when someone actually points out facts to you or makes a fact based claim debunking much of what has been erroneously attributed to or reported on the program you're first reaction is to blame them and call them out as acting as Lockheed lobbyists.

Minus the stealth, this plane is actually a step backwards!


Backwards in what sense and backwards to what? F-22? F-16? F-15? F-4.. P-51? Is the avionics and mission systems architecture a step backwards? Is the High alpha performance backwards to the F-16? F/A-18? F-15? Can the F-16 go supersonic on a strike sortie with 2x 2000 lb bombs EO/IR and navigation pods, and enough gas or a 600+nm combat radius? Is the 1500 T/R module AESA radar on the F-35, smaller than the 800-1000 T/R module radar on the F-16? What about the 1000-1200 T/R module radar on the F/A-18E/F??

Can a USAF F-16 block 50, self escort against the emerging threat? Does it have room to grow its mission systems to resemble, even remotely, the capability that the F-35 brings to the table? The list goes on and on but you can easily find these differences if you were willing to research on these issues.

The 2016 US budget is suppose to include provisions for starting R&D work on a 6th generation fighter.


No it does not. The FY16 budget included (they are currently in FY17) money for a "study", and there are general provisions to support future fighter jet research that are as much applicable to the F-35, F-22 as they are to the F-X (such as the AETD and AETP programs). The USN does include $25 Million in its FY17 budget to conduct a formal Analysis of Alternatives for their NGAD effort but those are congressionally mandated things and given there is a 10-15 years design and development lead time they need to this before the turn of the decade in order to replace the 600+ Super Hornet's and Growlers that would be approaching end of their extended lives beginning early to mid 2030's.

The USAF and to a lesser extent the USN (that has other priorities particularly building and maintaining a very large number of ships) have always developed the next generation fighter while testing and/or fielding the current one. It was true when the next generation strike fighters was being developed as the F-22 was being tested, and it was true when the next generation advanced tactical fighter was being developed when the F-15E and F-16C programs were in the test phase. Similarly the F-X and NGAD programs are in their infancy just as the F-35 SDD phase is getting completed and 2 of the 3 services declaring IOC. A lot of these things are technology dependent i.e. you have to get the TRL and MRL just right before you start a new program. They are working at these problems through AFRL, DARPA, and ONR led independent or joint efforts.

Try to understand fleet replacement logistics and needs. The F/A-18C with the USN and USMC are in their extended life period which doubled their airframe life from 6000 to 12000 hours. Furthermore, the stress through deployments on these aircraft is significantly more than had been predicted when these SLEP's had been designed due to constant deployments over the last decade+.Harriers are in even worst shape. As a result they are suffering huge issues with reliability, parts availability (due to both demand and supply) and general lack of mission availability. They need to be replaced quickly. Ideally the Marines will want an accelerated F-35B procurement but they have maxed out given their commitment to also buy 80 F-35C's to operate from the CVN and also given that the US Navy pays for their aircraft.

Where the USMC stands vis-a-vis its F/A-18C issue, the USAF will stand with its F-16's in the early to mid 2020's which is exactly why it expects to get delivered 50+ new strike fighters (all JSF's) a year starting 2021. This is going purely on the logistics of aging aircraft and how to maintain your capability despite of that. It speaks nothing of the capability mismatch that will happen if you have nothing new coming in while your competitors ramp up Su-35, J-20, PAK-FA, Mig-35 production induct massive amounts of new Integrated Air Defenses and other A2AD enablers. Upgraded F-15's and F-16's are important because they keep these aircraft relevant as the F-35 production ramps up and in the case for the F-15 to cover the squadrons that aren't getting either new F-22's and for now F-35's. They won't provide the USAF a qualitative edge it seeks given that in EACH AND EVERY possible conflict it will be fighting much further away from home compared to its potential adversaries that will be fighting either from home or much closer to it.

The USAF too will begin research but that will be focused on the next generation replacement for the F-15C's, F-15E's and to develop a new class of aircraft under the Penetrating Counter Air capability initiative just like they followed up with the B21 under the penetrating strike initiative, and with the RQ-180 under the penetrating ISR initiative ( and a rumored Boeing led classified program to develop a Penetrating Airborne Electronic Attack capability). Those are seperate projects just as the F-35/JSF was ongoing when the F-22 was in testing or when the YF22 was flying when the F_16C was going through its round of testing and pre-production.

There is no way the USAF would have committed to the JSF given what they know today about the amount they sunk into this project vs what they're actually getting.


Again, let's stick to facts and as they stand. There is a USAF 5th generation pilot panel you can go to our you can dig up what other officers's and pilots think about the aircraft and what capability it brings to the table. In addition the Heritage study that Viv has posted surveys active duty pilots across the CAF.

The tragedy is that there is now far less money to fund what should have been a priority which is a 6th generation unmanned combat aircraft with sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithms way beyond Google's Deepmind or Watson.


You do realize that there is plenty of money in the RDTE accounts to fund that right? The SDD portion of the JSF which is drawing RDT&E funding draws down and is completely eliminated starting the FY19 budget (as a reference they will present the FY18 budget to congress by March of 2017) It's not the F-35 that is holding a 6th generation aircraft back, its the technology and requirements. It is unlikely to be UNMANNED given what is coming out of both the USN and USAF S&T communities.

Secondly, the process is at a minimum a 10-15 year process and the technology efforts required to even begin it aren't there yet. There is actually quite a bit of information out there on where the technology maturity cycle si going. You need all your technologies to be at TRL-6 or above to start an EMD phase unless the OSD grants a waiver (which it won't for such a larger program). You aren;t going to get there until the early to mid 2020's on a 6th generation fighter because they are in the middle of these efforts for a whole lot of these systems.

Google AETD, and AETP and even ADVENT. See how much funding has been allocated to them in R&D budgets that ran parallel to the JSF development.

That's really where all the R&D money spent on the JSF boon doggle should have been going.


In the meantime without any guarantees that the 6th generation aircraft would show up on time, on schedule, and on budget the USAF just wait for a couple of decades with rapidly aging F-16's, F-15's, A-10's, the USN and USMC with F/A-18C's while the competitors armed up with S-300's, S-400's, S300/400 clones, Su-35's, PAK-FA's, J-20's, Flanker-clones and unmanned aircraft. Great strategy!

By that logic, why go for 6th generation when you could have 7th generation up in the air by 2060? Would be so much better than those sluggish lo-tech 6th gens and you could simply get F-4's from the boneyard to fill int he capability gaps over the next 40 or so years provided 7th generation space fighter isn't delayed. The point being that you can ALWAYS trade recapitalization and force-structure for next-generation systems. In fact this was one of the arguments the left used in their support (along with some on the right) of the F-22 production shut down, since the JSF was on the horizon and in development. It's actually cheaper to claim that and then turn around and cancel modernization because buying stuff is always more expensive than developing stuff, particularly when the development portion can be chopped at a later date.

If you want to get "serious" about 6th generation projects, what the technology is likely to bring, and where the tech development cycle stands we can surely get into that as there is a ton of information out there, a lot posted by me here. We can discuss what technology challenges, hurdles and questions still need to be answered. A lot of this has to do with "time" and letting the S&T community catch up. Some time ago I posted the ATF pre-development projects that fed into the ATF programs and were responsible for developing all the technology that went into it. These were small programs but critical because they developed the core technology base that went into the aircraft. Some were directly tied to Next generation fighter development, others had DOD wide implications. You can use the search feature to dig those programs up and search for them to see what they accomplished. You could also buy the book written on the ATF by its program-manager as he goes into each in detail. This is the stage where the 6th generation aircraft development is in at the moment. Popular Mechanics, War is Boring et al aren't going to provide you with an in-depth analysis of what is being done because their audience doesn't care for it..You have to do your own research through following both the key players and 'listening' to what they are saying and reading up on the programs that are feeding in to this research. Some of them are literally coming up every few months so it's easy to loose track.

See THIS, and THIS (Go down to Air force's Boeing Award towards the middle of the page), then see THIS, THIS and THIS. later look into THIS and THIS.

^^ Point being that investments are happening and definitely not at a rate that is funding limited. It is time limited as they are pursuing cutting edge stuff that is being taken from TRL-4 (or lower) through TRL-6 and beyond and similar efforts are underway on the MRL front. This isn't easy and not all technology will transition just as it didn't for the ATF or the JSF programs. What you are looking to do in a Pre-Development phase of a Next Gen. system is to make sure all the technology you need to execute that is mature enough to a point where you can present to the OSD and Congress the program in its totality as being something that manages the risk with the mission need.

You want to design, develop and validate technologies so that an overwhelming majority of your time once the program starts is spent at integration rather than developing the technology itself. The DOD, NASA and other US organizations measure this in what is known as Technology Readiness Level assessments and its corresponding Manufacturing readiness level assessment. If you don't have critical technologies appropriately mature by program start you have a pretty good chance of that program being sent back. This is what they are doing at the moment and many prototypes, and capability demonstrations will occur between 2019 and the early to mid 2020's to validate many of the technologies that will be strong candidates for a 6th generation fighter. These are problems that don't go away by dumping huge sums of money on them..they take time and constant funding stream which is exactly what is being provided to these teams.

We can have a serious discussion on what "follows" the F-35 and F-22, but keep in mind that neither the USAF or the USN are sure of what that even looks like - and this is perfectly fine since this is what you do in a pre-AOA stage i.e. have all the options on the table while the formal AOA narrows the options down to a few that you then create an EMD program around. As far as your claim on R&D funding on one project hurting R&D funding on another -Why not point to just a SINGLE 6th generation technology program that got delayed, or did not get funded on account of the JSF or otherwise throughout the last few years of F-35 development?. You can accuse Obama and his Pentagon for a lot of mismanagement around readiness and trading it away (particularly with ground forces) but what you can't take away is the fact that recognizing budget pressures on account of the BCA the trio of Carter, Work, and Kendall have kept most of the future S&T and R&D programs well funded to give the maximum options to future administrations and governments. IN fact even those programs have been kept funded that don't have a clear path to material solution under the third-offset.

We can get into that but please shed the fallacy that there would have been unmanned 6th generation fighters buzzing around had it not been for the JSF program. One can understand how one might think that to be the case if one believed erroneously that a Trillion dollars have been spent on the program, but now that you are better informed, it should not be the case.
Last edited by brar_w on 19 Dec 2016 08:38, edited 15 times in total.

Rakesh
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Rakesh » 18 Dec 2016 21:25

^^ dude, you are like a living encyclopedia on American weaponry. Sau Saal Jiyo :)

Taiwan To Locally Upgrade MICA Missiles in ITS Mirage 2000 Jets
http://www.defenseworld.net/news/17883/Taiwan_To_Locally_Upgrade_MICA_Missiles_in_ITS_Mirage_2000_Jets#.WFav97YrKCc

However, upgrading the aircraft locally is not on anvil despite the Mirage 2000 plane having completed half its lifespan and France quoting an ‘exorbitant’ price to upgrade the plane.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 18 Dec 2016 23:20

Thanks Rakesh sir. The problem with many is that they perceived the JSF to represent the F-22 and F-15C at the higher end while the F-16/A-10/Harrier at the lower end. It's not that. It's not an F-22, F-23, or even X-44, FB-22/23. Its a modern replacement for the F-16, F/A-18 and Harrier that right sizes the capability for the mission need as opposed to relying on the findings of a 1970s era LWF concept and then beefing it up to actually meet what the COCOM's on the ground demand.

It extends and advances the work that was done on the ATF program by focusing its investments on stealth, LO shaping, materials and coatings and integrated avionics, fused mission systems and multi-spectral targeting while looking at the other parameters through the lens of creating realistic requirements that match performance with cost. So out went high mach supercruise that came in with the ATF because it was a cost driver..out went the high altitude, high speed envelope of the F-22, because it forces material decisions that drive cost. It does away with Mach 2 top speed requirement but unlike the F-16 and F/A-18 it requires that an F-35A meet its top speed of Mach 1.6 with full internal fuel and full internal payload of 2x2000 lb bombs and 2 AMRAAM's..The internal fuel is not trivial..it carries more than 18,000 pounds internally, enough to outrange an F-16 with CFT's and a centerline tank.

On the right sizing front consider that the F-35B, the shortest ranged variant of the JSF, while being a harrier replacement and a STOVL aircraft, can actually carry more fuel, fly farther with a larger payload than the USMC's F/A-18C. The two fighters the USMC used previously had some shortcomings. The F/A-18C's cannot land on an L-Class ship or from short strips..the Harrier cannot carry a lot of payload and can't go supersonic. The F-35B does both..not only is it a supersonic capable STOVL aircraft but it can fly farther than the F-18C while also having the ability to carry a larger payload. This is nothing to ignored when factoring in that the Marines with the L-Class ships are an integral part of the US-Navy's and through them the Joint force's distributed lethality concept and something to keep in mind when you have a Marine as secretary of defense, and marine as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in the US not to forget that there is another cabinet member that is also a marine.
Last edited by brar_w on 19 Dec 2016 01:42, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby TSJones » 19 Dec 2016 00:07

18000 lb internal fuel storage is just huge......I used to top off A-4Ms with 10000 lbs and that was with internal and two drop tanks! i don't think the forum posters realize what that means. seriously.

that means that the f-35 can stay sub sonic down in the weeds forever, where the Marines love it.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Cosmo_R » 19 Dec 2016 00:17

^^^Yes it is amazing. Considering that a SU30MKI holds what 21K Lbs in internal fuel?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 19 Dec 2016 01:20

The Beach does not have that much fuel. The three variants carry -

F-35 A - 18480 lb
F-35 B- 14000 lb
F-35 C- 20000 lb

For comparison the F/A-18C that the Marine's operate from land carries about 10,000 lb of fuel. The F-35B can carry 2x1000 lb bombs along with 2 AMRAAM's (it's internal payload) farther than the F/A-18 can go on internal fuel plus just two sidewinders (virtually clean).

On the A (which most nations and USAF are going to buy), it get's you enough range on internal fuel, carrying 2 X 2000lb bombs plus 2x AMRAAM's as a Block 50/52 F-16 does with 2 x 600 Gallon Tanks + CFT's. With that much external fuel, a targeting pod and weapons an F-16's handling resembles that of the Textron Scorpion than the F-16A that Boyd called for. Meanwhile, with full internal load and gas the F-35A can reach Mach 1.6.

Remove the Center EFT and add CFT to the image below and you'll have an idea of what the F-16 block 50 needs to be kitted out to in order to match or exceed an F-35A's combat radius given the mission profile difference between the two along with the latter's better range/payload requirement. This is all before the IDF develops EFT's for the F-35A which its industry partners are doing at the moment.

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Recent IDF images of the F-35 I Adir flying alongside the F-16I SUFA capture the difference nicely (Keep in mind that the F-16Is are carrying the smaller tanks in this image, not the ones pictured above that it needs to acheive parity or superiority over the F-35A) -

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Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 20 Dec 2016 02:02

3-Post article(s) on the Space Fence, S-Band GaN SSS, the single largest GaN project in the Military sphere for the forceable future written by the team that is building it.

Space Fence Radar Leverages Power of GaN

(A) SPACE FENCE RADAR

Space Fence is a ground-based system of S-Band radars designed to greatly enhance the U.S. Air Force Space Surveillance Network. Space Fence provides unprecedented sensitivity, coverage and tracking accuracy and contributes to key space mission threads, with the ability to detect, track and catalog small objects in low Earth orbit (LEO), medium Earth orbit (MEO) and geosynchronous orbit (GEO). Space Fences capabilities of detecting, tracking and cataloging hundreds of thousands of satellites and debris in orbit around the earth will revolutionize space situational awareness.3

Space Fence includes up to two minimally manned radar sites (see Figure 2). The first radar site is under construction on Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean near the equator and is expected to become operational in late 2018. The second site, currently an unfunded contract option, is located in Western Australia. The sensor sites provide assured coverage for objects in LEO and are integrated through an operations center located in Huntsville, Ala.

The initial Kwajalein radar will provide a persistent surveillance "fence" comprised of thousands of radar beams covering LEO altitudes. As the Earth rotates, this fence sweeps the space around the Earth, providing assured coverage to detect satellites and orbital debris. To form high quality orbital estimates, objects that cross the fence are tracked over long arcs with dedicated beams. Space Fence can also be tasked to search for higher altitude objects in MEO and GEO. The optional second site will complement the first sites LEO coverage and also provide tasking capability to MEO and GEO.3

As shown in Figure 3a, each radar site features a design with closely spaced but separate transmit and receive phased array antennas, prime power and liquid cooling. The transmit array building houses a 36,000 element transmit phased array antenna beneath an air supported low loss Kevlar environmental radome. The receive building supports an 86,000 element array, also under a low loss Kevlar radome. Both arrays are provided power and cooling through the common services building. Radar data processing and control of the apertures is performed off-array in commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) processing equipment located within the operations building. Both transmit and receive arrays are automatically calibrated with horns that are mounted on calibration towers and can transmit or receive test signals. The extremely large phased arrays are optimized for high availability and low lifetime support costs and use GaN HPAs for transmit amplification, providing unprecedented sensitivity to detect small objects. On receive, digital beam forming (DBF) at the element level pennits thousands of simultaneous beams instantaneously in any direction. This enables the system to provide persistent LEO surveillance coverage while simultaneously track- ing hundreds of objects, performing cued search tasks in other surveillance regimes (including MEO and GEO) and supporting user-defined flexible surveillance volumes. Transmit and receive arrays are oriented to face straight up and are designed integrally with the building (see the transmit array cutaway in Figure 3b). A scalable facility structure supports liquid cooled cold plates, which house the radar electronics. Radiator tiles are mounted on the top of the cold plates while "radar-on-a-board" digital transmit and receive line replaceable units (LRU) are mounted on the sides (see Figure 3c). Each transmit LRU incorporates digital waveform generation, up-conversion to S-Band and high power GaN amplification for eight transmit radiating elements. Mounting the LRUs on the sides of the cold plates provides the GaN HPAs with a direct and efficient thermal path. To provide high system availability, the LRUs are serviceable from beneath the array and can be re- moved and replaced in less than VA minutes while the array is operating.

GaN high power amplification was one of the critical enabling technologies for the Space Fence solution. Relative to other technologies, the high output power of GaN reduces the number of transmit elements to achieve the required sensitivity for the target size, which reduces overall acquisition cost. GaN's high efficiency also reduces power consumption and heat dissipated, which reduces operational costs for the sensor site. In order to effectively support the LEO orbital regime (and tasking up to GEO) and get sufficient energy back for detection, transmit pulse lengths need to be long. Previous technologies, such as GaAs or Si BJT didn't support these pulse lengths at the required output power.

The long pulse capability of GaN in the transmit array also enables extremely efficient timeline utilization of the radar when combined with element level DBF in the receive array. Space Fence has a receiver connected to each array element within the receive array to digitize the returned signals. Unlike subarrayed antennas, which combine multiple elements in microwave electronics prior to digitizing to reduce the number of receivers, the beams in an element level DBF system can be simultaneously placed anywhere in the field-of-regard (FoR) of the array. Subarrayed approaches limit the digitally formed beams to constrained volumes and require changing analog phase shifters to move the volume from one radar event to the next (see Figure 4a). Space Fence is able to use its flexibility along with frequency multiplexed functions within the receiver band to form thousands of beams simultaneously (see Figure 4b). This allows many functions that would have been performed sequentially to be performed simultaneously, reducing the Space Fence array sizes along with the associated acquisition cost and operating costs. Use of GaN HPAs are needed to support the resulting concatenated "machine gun" like transmit sequence, which is longer and transmit higher duty factor than supported by other technologies (see Figure 4c).

At the start of concept development for Space Fence in 2007, Lockheed Martin leveraged an existing Independent Research and Development (IRAD) project that was maturing GaN for use in radar applications. Over the course of the Space Fence development, GaN was optimized to the Space Fence application for additional efficiency and reduced operational costs. Lockheed Martin also embraced an open foundry concept and worked with two suppliers to develop GaN for Space Fence. Space Fence transmit LRUs have been successfully tested with GaN modules from both of these companies. Use of multiple suppliers reduced program risk and provided competition to reduce acquisition costs.

With the large Space Fence arrays and number of GaN devices, high reliability is necessary to keep maintenance costs down. To ensure mature technology, Lockheed Martin tested the Space Fence GaN amplifiers at the module, at the transmit LRU and at the array. After years of extensive testing (more than 5,000 hours of Ufe testing, including accelerated Ufe testing), the technology has proven to be extremely robust, showing a high reUability confidence level which supports the rigorous operational availability of the mission.

Since 2011, Lockheed Martin has had an operational end-to-end system prototype employing all its critical technologies, including GaN and element level DBF, in scaled-down arrays (see Figure 5). Prototype system data was used by the U.S. Air Force in a technology readiness assessment in 2015, resulting in a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 and Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 7. In January 2016, an Integration Test Bed (ITB) using final production hardware was commissioned in Moorestown, N. J. The ITB supports hardware/software integration, maintenance training and verification testing; it will provide remote support to the integration of Sensor Site 1 on Kwajalein Atoll.


Image
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 20 Dec 2016 02:03

Space Fence Radar Leverages Power of GaN

(B) OPEN FOUNDRY MODEL

The development of GaN with ever increasing government funding has been occurring since the 1970s.4 Since the early 2000s, both the Department of Defense and commercial foundries have considerably increased this funding. One example is the DARPA Wide Bandgap program which funded various semiconductor foundries to mature the technology, investing approximately $150 million. This program followed the successful initiatives of the 1980s and 1990s to fund GaAs, such as DARPAs MIMIC and MAFET programs. Among the key parameters and facets of the technology development were the physics of the devices, to understand and unleash the potential of the superior physical properties of the semiconductors, and the development of accurate models.

The completion of the DARPA Wide Bandgap program in 2011 led to an additional program funded through the Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III program office. The mission of the DPA Title III program is to "create assured, affordable and commercially viable production capabilities and capacities for items essential for national defense." The main focus of the GaN Tide III program was to improve the manufacturability of GaN, essentially to increase the MRL to level 8. The program was structured as three phases: 1) baseline manufacturing readiness, 2) improvement and refinement of processes and 3) final manufacturing readiness assessment.

Wolfspeed was able to substantially increase their yield over the three phases, while simultaneously reducing cycle time and wafer processing costs (see Figure 6).5 Over the three phases, yield increased 76 percent for S-Band devices, cycle time reduced 23 percent and wafer costs decreased 49 percent. Reliability of 1 x 107 hours was demonstrated at a channel temperature of approximately 275°C. Through manufacturing process refinement and building significant robust wafer lots, Wolfspeed reached MRL 8 in 2014, i.e., demonstrated pilot line capability and ready to be- gin low rate initial production (LRIP). One of the other major commercial foundries, Qorvo (formerly TriQuint) was the only funded foundry that achieved MRL 9 in 2014, i.e., demonstrated LRIP and capability in place to begin full rate production (FRP).

GaN has been inserted into several Lockheed Martin and other DoD contractor systems and has achieved TRLs through level 9. Space Fence has achieved TRL 7. Since the completion of both the DARPA Wide Bandgap and DPA Title III programs, GaN has been following a Si CMOS trajectory, in terms of applications and utilization in commercial markets.6 GaN has found its way into base stations, medical equipment and even residential/ commercial lighting available at local hardware stores (see Figure 7).

Lockheed Martin employs an open foundry model (LM OpenGaN), which leverages the commercial market for the best technology at the most competitive cost. The cost of owning and running a foundry year after year can be significant. Given the growth projections for semiconductors, in general, it makes more sense to allow high commercial volumes to mature the technology process and drive costs down.7 A study conducted by Strategy Analytics6 (see Table 1), identified Qorvo and Wolfspeed as GaN leaders, with no other domestic suppliers close to providing equivalent volume. In the semiconductor industry, volume production lends itself to higher maturity, stable processes and lower costs.

Lockheed Martin adopted an open foundry model to address the Department of Defense s official memorandum on Better Buying Power 3.0 and the "3rd Offset," with the goal of increasing the capability and rapid technology development required by the warfighter.8 It is not economical to have any particular foundry develop various semiconductor processes, not just III/IV (i.e., GaAs, GaN, InP) but also SiGe and CMOS.

GaN has had significant investment over the past 10 years and is proven to be field ready, rehable and cost competitive with existing technologies (e.g., GaAs). The system benefits enable enhanced capabilities for backfit military systems and are required for the performance of future systems. The Space Fence program would not have been possible without GaN nor as successful without the affordability enabled by the LM Open GaN foundry model.


(C) THE FUTURE

The next generation of GaN development is focused around increasing capability by pushing into higher oper- ating frequencies, improving thermal performance and enabling chip-scale integration of GaN with other IC technologies. Developments of 150 nm and 90 nm process nodes will extend ft to 60 and 100 GHz, respectively.

While DBF systems such as Space Fence represent a significant capability upgrade, the challenges from the increased IC design complexity in the areas of size, weight and power (SWAP), bandwidth and latency performance must be overcome. To address this, programs such as DARPAs Diverse Accessible Heterogeneous Integration (DAHI) program are focused on developing chip-scale integration of GaN with high density Si CMOS, as well as other technologies such as InP and MEMS. These resulting capabilities will enable the wider proliferation of the high performance mixed-signal integration solutions required to develop the capabilities to further advance state-of-the-art sensor systems.

While GaN is capable of generating extremely high RF power densities, thermal management remains a significant challenge, especially at higher frequencies where thermal density is most extreme. On the DARPA IceCool program, Lockheed Martin has made tremendous gains in unlocking the ultimate potential of millimeter wave GaN by developing a micro-fluidically cooled HPA with a 3X reduction in thermal resistance compared to conventional thermal management solutions. This IceCool solution enables an 8.3 dB increase in output power for the same device, while simultaneously reducing operating temperature by increasing poweradded efficiency between 2.5x and 3.5x.9 Overall, these advancements will further extend the true potential of GaN and its ability to realize tremendous capability upgrades for a wide variety of systems.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 20 Dec 2016 05:32

36,000 GaN-based High Power Amplifiers Ready for Space Fence Installation

The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin marked a milestone as manufacturing is complete on more than 15,000 Line Replaceable Units that contain 36,000 powerful GaN-based High Power Amplifiers (HPAs) for Space Fence, an S-Band ground-based radar system that will provide the Air Force with uncued surveillance, detection, tracking and accurate measurement of space objects, primarily in low-Earth orbit.

The Air Force and Lockheed Martin marked this major step in the project during a ceremony at the corporation’s Clearwater, Florida, location on Oct. 13. Now, 115 crates of these LRUs are packed and in storage ready to be shipped more than 7,000 miles from Clearwater to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

GaN high power amplifiers are integral in meeting the efficiency and reliability requirements for Space Fence. In fall 2015, after more than 5,000 hours — nearly seven months — of accelerated life testing, Lockheed Martin demonstrated greater than 99 percent confidence that the Space Fence HPAs will meet the long-term reliability goals for the Space Fence program.

Lockheed Martin is partnering with Wolfspeed, a leading provider of semiconductor products, to provide the GaN HPAs for Space Fence. Five-hundred twenty Lockheed Martin employees worked on these Space Fence components in Clearwater, Florida, Marion, Massachusetts, Moorestown, New Jersey, and Owego, New York.

“This manufacturing landmark represents more than a decade of shared investment in GaN technology,” said Bruce Schafhauser, director, Space Fence, Lockheed Martin. “Our GaN partners have years of experience fielding this material for commercial and military uses. GaN provides significant advantages for active phased array radar systems like Space Fence and the Long Range Discrimination Radar, which we are working with the Missile Defense Agency to build in Alaska.”

The open foundry model provides the ultimate in flexibility allowing Lockheed Martin to utilize technology from across the marketplace. Leveraging commercial foundries ultimately saves money for customers through competition and having commercial technologies absorb much of the foundry and development costs.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 20 Dec 2016 11:20

Video : IRIAF Iranian_Air_Force F-14AM Tomcat pilot & RIO test new ECM system of their airplane over Anarak EW range, Isfahan, center of Iran

https://twitter.com/BabakTaghvaee/statu ... 5422361600

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Viv S » 20 Dec 2016 19:29

LRIP 9 figures out. Flyaway cost for the F-35A - $102 million.

Unilateral negotiations still in play for F-35 contract

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... nt-432564/
19 December, 2016

Despite the lingering threat of legal action from Lockheed Martin following a unilaterally negotiated contract for low rate initial production (LRIP) Lot 9 for the F-35, the US Defense Department could still deploy the controversial measure to decide the contract price for Lot 10.

In late November, the DOD awarded Lockheed a $1.2 billion contract as part of an undefinitised contract modification to lot 10. The award covered advanced procurement for 90 aircraft, including foreign military sales customers, and the contract’s ceiling hits $7.1 billion.

But that UCA also allows the Pentagon to unilaterally negotiate LRIP 10, F-35 programme executive officer Lt Gen Chris Bogdan told reporters on 19 December.

“So what just happened? LRIP 10 went on an undefinitised contract, so it is a fact that that contract could now be available for unilateral determination,” he says. “Do I want that to happen? Absolutely not. Do I think that will happen? I do not believe so. We want to negotiate in good faith and come to a bilateral agreement with Lockheed Martin.”

After 14 months of intense negotiations, the Pentagon moved forward on its own with the LRIP 9 contract. Under the $6.1 billion award, Lockheed will deliver 57 F-35 airframes. Including engines, the mandated pricing per aircraft amounted to $102.1 million for each F-35A, $131.6 for each F-35B and $132.2 million for each F-35C.

Bogdan notes that while the Pentagon mandated the aircraft’s price, Lockheed and the government worked together on all other terms of the contract including schedules and configurations.

Lockheed is still weighing whether it should reject the LRIP 9 contract’s terms through an appeal with the Armed Services Board of Contracts Appeals. The company has 90 days from the point of the contract award to decide, a source tells FlightGlobal.

The Joint Programme Office will meet with Lockheed to begin initial negotiations on LRIP 10 by mid January, Bogdan says. The two parties had to wait to clear Lot 9 and put a UCA in place on LRIP 10 before moving ahead, he says.

During a speech in Washington earlier that day, US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James also hinted at the possibility of a unilateral contract for LRIP 10.

While negotiations for LRIP 9 were unusual, the secretary did not count out Bogdan’s office using the same strategy in the future. In the face of criticism from president elect Donald Trump, who has called for more draconian negotiations on major acquisition programmes including the F-35, reporters asked James whether the defense industry might see more unilateral contracts.

“I think the unilateral action came as a result of a very, very prolonged period of negotiation and it was a feeling where there just wasn’t going to be any more progress made,” she says. “That’s a fairly unusual thing, it’s not done all that much so I wouldn’t say it might more or less in the future.”

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 20 Dec 2016 19:45

UCA will be an even bigger issue in LRIP-10 on account of the increase in lot size to 90+ aircraft. UCA's essentially resulted in this case from a lack of consensus between the two negotiating entities when it came to the expected cost of production (pre Lockheed profit and fees) which then led them to different numbers in terms of what the margin will be etc etc. LRIP-10 to LRIP-11 will negate some of that since a lot more on the cost of production would be known as LRIP 9 and 10 activities would have bumped up the new suppliers to a point where they can negotiate acceptable risk.

From Lockheed's point of view, they begin and end their negotiations with their own suppliers long before the government contract is completed so they can't go to a part supplier as large as a Northrop Grumman, or even smaller ones and ask them to shave any cost. Once there is broader agreement on what the costs which will come as certainty on the cost comes in with production rate increase the UCA should go away. Lockheed will still probably not get their profit margin on the program up to F-16 levels till well into the 2020's but that is par for the course with new programs.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 20 Dec 2016 20:58

Russia’s aerospace group wipes out 62,000 terrorist targets since Syria campaign's start

More:
http://tass.com/defense/920809
MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. Since the beginning of the operation in Syria in September 2015 Russia’s aerospace group has flown 30,000 sorties to have wiped out 62,000 terrorist targets in Syria, the deputy chief of Russia’s General Staff, first deputy chief of the Aerospace Force Pavel Kurachenko said.

"As at December 20, 2016 the Aerospace Force has carried out more than 30,000 sorties to have eliminated more than 62,000 military targets," Kurachenko told a conference of the extra-departmental council of experts for aerospace issues.

Russia launched an operation to furnish air support for the Syrian army in its war on terrorists on September 30, 2015 at the request of President Bashar Assad.

On March 14, 2016 Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the pullout of the bulk of the Russian military contingent from Syria, as the Defense Ministry’s main tasks had been accomplished.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 21 Dec 2016 11:20

Only in Cuba are decommissioned MiG-23BNs dumped next to a road so villagers can take off metal plating to improve their homes. :lol:

Image


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 21 Dec 2016 19:53

Boeing/SAAB T-X First flight..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Neshant » 23 Dec 2016 12:45

Viv S wrote:The USAF pilots say different. As do the air forces of every operator in the market for a new aircraft.


When one considers that for the life cycle cost of a single JSF, an airforce could literally have three late generation F-16s for the same price.

The entire attempt at convincing everyone that the JSF was worth the investment falls apart just on that account alone.
For surely if one F-16 is almost as good as one JSF, then 2 or 3 F-16s would be well ahead of a JSF.

China's strategy of waiting to see how well/poorly its adversary's (US) major military projects turn out before launching their own projects is a wise one. One think you can bet is China will avoid poorly managed and insanely expensive boon doggles like the JSF.

The lesson here is that its not worth attempting to build a one-size-fits-all aircraft with meager development of new technologies. More importantly, bad project management can be very costly especially when blank checks are handed over to vested interests wanting to take the taxpayer for a ride.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 23 Dec 2016 12:53

DT certainly is putting the heat on LM

Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 9h9 hours ago

Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 Dec 2016 17:47

If Trump drastically cuts down the number of F-35s and orders more SHs as an interim solution,it will have a drastic effect upon US allies who've already placed orders.What is most important is the support that the aircraft will get over 2-3 decades.


There are exactly 2 F-35C's the USN ordered in LRIP-9 which was 50+ aircraft production block, down from 4 they had originally planned. USN doesn't ramp up its buying rate till much later this decade, and into early next decade. Part of the reason is that the F-35C does little to solve their F-18E/F M&O problem, and part of it is because they are also paying for the USMC's F-35B's and F-35C's and there is only so much money left to support NAVAIR once you factor in they huge 355 ship Navy they aspire to get towards.

Now the question that you have to answer is - What does a comparable F-18E/F look like? How do you make it all aspect stealth, how do you make it go supersonic with the type of payload the F-35 goes supersonic with, and how do you add the brains of the F-35 to it. Once you figure that out, you then have to figure out how to land it on an L-Class ship vertically. If you do all this, you have a winner !!

The USAF is not going to start operating the F-18E/F..they don't own the type, and it offers little advantage to them over and above what they operate now. Threat of new built F-16's will probably be more persuasive but I guess it's also a LMA product so that may not work as well...

drastic effect upon US allies who've already placed orders.What is most important is the support that the aircraft will get over 2-3 decades.


Why would it effect that? Currently, with LRIP-10 initial contracts having been completed the order book stands at > 350 aircraft and as this is happening the international customers are negotiating Lot 11, 12 and 13, and the JPO expects to negotiate lots 13 and 14 as a block buy. If Trump is smart he'll try to join the International partners to get onboard the block buy program and instruct his DOD team to make it happen (It requires changes to certain regulations if that).

I know I've posted before but here is the LRIP10 agreement the Pentagon did with Lockheed and partners (the engines for LRIP10 were contracted for in July-August of this year). After the ramp rate has reached to 90 aircraft a lot, Trump isn't going to ask them to go lower after vowing to reduce cost. It will run contrary to how aircraft programs and business works in general i.e. the higher the rate, generally the more the cost savings.. -

DoD awards Lot 10 production contract for F-35

Lockheed Martin has been awarded USD7.2 billion for Lot 10 production of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

The contract, awarded by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 23 November, covers 90 aircraft (without engines) and other programmatic costs.




F-35 Joint Program Office Awards Pratt & Whitney LRIP 10 Contract for F135 Engines

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company, a $1.5 billion low rate initial production (LRIP) contract for the tenth lot of F135 propulsion systems to power all three variants of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Combined with previous long lead and sustainment awards for this lot, the LRIP 10 contract now totals $1.95 billion. This tenth LRIP contract will cover 99 total engines, as well as program management, engineering support, production non-recurring efforts, spare modules and spare parts.



So we're essentially agreed up till 90/year (block year and not calendar year) production starting 2018. The US Navy needs more Super Hornet's and this demand is genuine. They can't afford to man their depots to the level and it does not appear that the cycle of deployments and the utilization rates are going to come down as they had expected post Iraq drawdown. I've said it in the recent past, but there is most likely a legitimate demand for at least 30-60 F-18E/F's along with at least 40 new EA-18G's. If they decide to take over and conduct the DEAD mission there is probably a justification for another 2-3 dozen passive-growlers. This is not because of the F-35C, delay in the program or what not.

The F-35C even at its best production rate is going to be more expensive than the Super Hornet..the capability more than compensates for the higher cost but if the problem is that of rapidly aging Rhino's and the need to maintain enough to not run into availability problems next decade than the solution is to buy more F-18E/F's.

That and the fact that the USN needs to cover the USMC's EA mission (since it retired its Prowlers) means that it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect anywhere from 60-100 F-18E/F/G's being ordered in the short-medium term. Obama would have done it had there been money to do so, and the Congress planned on adding 12 Super Hornet's (along with additional F-35's) to the 17 budget but held them back once Trump got elected, most likely knowing that he'll push an interim request once he assumes office.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 Dec 2016 17:49

Austin wrote:DT certainly is putting the heat on LM

Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 9h9 hours ago

Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!


And this is a good thing but spare a thought for Frank Kendall and Bogdan that forced Lockheed to accept a price it was not willing to do so during negotiations for LRIP-9, and threatened to do the same for LRIP-10 which increases production rate from 53 odd to 90. This type of contracting has only been used a handful of times and probably never for something this large.

F-35: DoD Forces Lockheed To Accept Its Price For LRIP 9

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 Dec 2016 17:56

When one considers that for the life cycle cost of a single JSF, an airforce could literally have three late generation F-16s for the same price.


Where the heck are you getting these data from? As things stand the CPFH difference of equivalent aircraft is <30% for the USAF. This from an independent authority sanctioned by Congress and the OSD to determine such things. This is also purely a 'bean counting exercise' since neither they (CAPE), nor you know what the heck a survivable, mission capable F-16 even looks like in 2030, let alone determine how much it costs to operate. The exact chart showing the different categories was presented here by Viv, and you can have another look at it. They use current (2014) F-16 block 50/52 along with targeting equipment that comes standard on the F-35 (some things the F-35 has still are not available on the F-16 for the purpose of this cost comparison).

Please present facts and then back them up.

If you meant that LCC cost could buy you 3 F-16's then you are probably right. A good rule of thumb for most defense (and even non defense) aircraft is that 2/3 of the cost (LCC) is spent in O&S and 1/3 in procurement. So a 50 million F-16 for example will cost you $150 Million over its LCC (50 to acquire, 100 to maintain). An $85 Million F-35A, should cost you upwards of $250 Million over its 30-40 year life once you factor in the costs associated with operating it. The problem is also that there is no $50 Million F-16. The cheapest 4th generation + the US has at the moment is the Super Hornet that at its peak production ran @ around $60-65 Million which is actually really good for the capability but not much far from what the FRP unit cost is expected for the F-35 once you adjust both for inflation. You have to be quite foolish to buy a $ 70 Million Block III F-18E/F if you could buy an $85 Million F-35A in 2020. That's quite a bit of capability for the extra $15 million.

But what you said was that the USAF could own and operate 3 F-16's for every F-35. This is again FALSE just like your earlier claim of a $ trillion having been spent on the program. Life Cycle Cost is spent during the Life Cycle and cannot be magically converted upfront to acquire more aircraft. Also, unless you are buying aircraft, only to put them in long term storage if you start to spend O&S money to buy aircraft (as the 3 to 1 false claim would do) you don't have anything left to operate them.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Viv S » 23 Dec 2016 19:13

Neshant wrote:When one considers that for the life cycle cost of a single JSF, an airforce could literally have three late generation F-16s for the same price.

That consideration is based on absurd assumptions. The F-35's CPFH post-FOC is 16% higher than the F-16's as per the latest (2016) SAR.

The entire attempt at convincing everyone that the JSF was worth the investment falls apart just on that account alone.
For surely if one F-16 is almost as good as one JSF, then 2 or 3 F-16s would be well ahead of a JSF.

That statement is about as true as the one about the MiG-21 being almost as good as the F-16.

China's strategy of waiting to see how well/poorly its adversary's (US) major military projects turn out before launching their own projects is a wise one. One think you can bet is China will avoid poorly managed and insanely expensive boon doggles like the JSF.

The lesson here is that its not worth attempting to build a one-size-fits-all aircraft with meager development of new technologies. More importantly, bad project management can be very costly especially when blank checks are handed over to vested interests wanting to take the taxpayer for a ride.

I suggest you do the basic research and get the basic facts right before arriving at any conclusion. And using the tabloid press & generalist blogs as the source of primary information doesn't help matters.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 23 Dec 2016 19:26

WSJ.

President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday continued his pressure on the defense sector by suggesting he could use a Boeing Co. plane as a substitute for the Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 combat jet.

“Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F/A-18 Super Hornet!” he said in a tweet, referring to a Boeing plane that has long been used by the Navy and some overseas allies.

The Pentagon plans to acquire more than 2,400 of the F-35 jets to replace much of its combat fleet in what is by far its costliest program, and Mr. Trump has singled it out for criticism after a legacy of delays and design problems.

It is unusual for a president or a president-elect to publicly negotiate government procurement spending on weapons programs. Mr. Trump’s approach of negotiating via Twitter has shaken defense contractors and the complex defense bidding and procurement process. He has said he sees it as his job to try to save taxpayers money, but defense experts have said he is tackling a process that can’t be orchestrated in 140-character social media posts.

Daniel Gordon, who worked on government procurement issues for the Government Accountability Office for 17 years before becoming President Barack Obama ’s administrator for federal procurement policy, said Mr. Trump cannot award government contracts without going through the formal competition and bidding process.

“The government would be violating the law to award a contract to Boeing without a competition [bidding process] unless they go through exceptions to the normal legal requirements for competition,” Mr. Gordon said, adding that this process would likely not qualify for any of the exceptions.

Pentagon officials have long said the two planes served very different roles, with the F-35 providing more radar-evading features and serving as an airborne command post. Variants of the F/A-18 are used as attack jets and to provide electronic countermeasures to protect U.S. forces.

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Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the military head of the F-35 program, said this week that the capabilities of the F-35 couldn’t be diluted.

Lockheed shares fell 2% in after-hours trade, with Boeing up around 0.7%. The F-35 accounts for more than 20% of Lockheed’s annual sales. Mr. Trump met the chief executives of both companies on Wednesday.

The two jets have faced off to win contracts for overseas governments, with the F-35 prevailing in most of them.

However, Canada last month said it would order the Boeing jets after the government dropped plans launched by the previous administration to buy the F-35. The Lockheed plane will still be considered in a future contest to acquire more jets.

Boeing has long pressed the Navy to buy more F/A-18s.

“We have committed to working with the president-elect and his administration to provide the best capability, deliverability and affordability across all Boeing products and services to meet our national security needs,” the company said in a statement.

Boeing declined to comment on whether Mr. Trump had raised his request about the F/A-18 at his Wednesday meeting with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

Lockheed Martin declined to comment and Pentagon officials didn’t immediately respond to a request

The F-35 entered service with the Marine Corp. in 2015 and with the Air Force earlier this year.

The Pentagon said the average cost of the model used by the Air Force has fallen to $102 million, though some budget watchdogs said this excludes some expenses such as fixing past design problems. Defense analysts estimate the F/A-18 costs $70 million to $80 million.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 Dec 2016 19:41

Here we go - F-18 MAGA (Much Advanced Ground Attack), $10 Billion RDT&E paid upfront, deliveries by 2025 with EPE+ enjuns. Add another $5 Billion and Boeing will throw in lasers ;)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 24 Dec 2016 07:19


Neshant
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Neshant » 25 Dec 2016 07:49

Viv S wrote:I suggest you do the basic research and get the basic facts right before arriving at any conclusion. And using the tabloid press & generalist blogs as the source of primary information doesn't help matters.


You have not presented any facts to counter what I've said.

The JSF program is a text book case of how not to develop the next generation fighter. It offers little in the way of new technology over existing late generation F-16 fighters at a hugely inflated program cost.

The fact that Trump made it a point to highlight the JSF massive cost overrun and the Lockheed Martin chief boondoggler claims to see the light is almost comical. At this point everyone realizes the taxpayer HAS been taken for a ride but can do nothing about it.

As of 2015 :

In recent years, one of the most well-known project failures across the news is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter developed by Lockheed Martin. Two of the three triple constraints have especially been massive failures throughout the project, as the Time has been behind schedule and the Cost has been well above original projections. This effort will be the most expensive acquisition in military history. The project is currently 7 years behind schedule and an estimated 167 Billion dollars over budget. In addition, many risks and vulnerabilities to the fighter jet have come about during the engineering and development.

Cost issues have also plagued the program, with an increase of 68% from its original cost per plane. Current estimates have the price tag at 1.5 TRILLION dollars over the life of the program, and a jet will now cost the taxpayers an astounding 178 million average per jet.


Where do you get only 16% higher cost per flight hour vs the F-16 and does the cost factor include the massive boondoggling cost of the overall program?


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