Singha wrote:most of the smaller customers have F-16 and no immediate threats. they will wait for a few years , give up current reserved production slots and then come in once the unit costs are amortized across 100s of airframes and teething troubles sorted out.
Besides the US services, there are 8 MOU partner nations in the JSF program that contributed to its development and have a seat at the JPO. Out of these partners the following have begun receiving their aircraft, and are training pilots at Luke Air Force Base or elsewhere RIGHT NOW -
-Italy (Outside of Luke, they also have their first aircraft with their front line unit in Italy at the moment)
This leaves Turkey, that has its first aircraft go into production, Denmark (they will acquire all of their aircraft by 2024 when the last F-16 is retired and contrary to the false narrative being pushed around their parliament approved the purchase 139-40 ) that competed and then purchase the F-35 and Canada that is in the process of drafting a competition.
Most of the partners began ordering their aircraft a few years ago and will complete their acquisition over a relatively short window of time. This is dictated by both the fleet-replacement need and the cost of alternative strategies. Remember, they have industrial partnership which does not kick in until and unless they buy the aircraft. The SDD phase of the program concludes in 2017 or 2018 so majority of their deliveries will be post that.
Danish lawmakers have cleared the way for Denmark’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) to buy 27 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIs, following a parliamentary vote of 139-40 in favor of the government’s recommendation of the Joint Strike Fighters over the Eurofighter Typhoon and BoeingF/A-18 Super Hornet as a replacement for its aging F-16s. ~ Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Jun 09, 2016, p. 3
Out of the 3 FMS customers 2 have received their first aircraft, and have pilots training either in their home country (Israel) or at Luke (Japan) and South Korea will be up next in the short term and will also begin training at Luke before flying back home. Now to quantity
Partners have been ordering aircraft pretty much throughout the early production blocks but for the sake of this I'll focus on just three most recent production blocks - LRIP - 8, LRIP -9 and LRIP-10
LRIP-8 and 9 are FIRM, signed contracts while LRIP-10 has had most of its contract signed (Engine contract for LRIP-10 is FIRM) with the handshake expected in a few months. LRIP-8 aircraft are being delivered, LRIP-9 aircraft are in production and LRIP-10 aircraft in pre production (long lead).
Below is the Partner Nation/FMS aircraft orders
in each of those blocks. I've put the total production lot size in brackets (the difference obviously being what the US services are buying)LRIP -8 - 14 aircraft ( 43 Aircraft)
LRIP -9 - 23 Aircraft ( 57 Aircraft)
LRIP - 10 - 35 Aircraft (90/92 Aircraft)
As one can see, 38%
of the entire production in LRIP 8 , 9 and 10 goes out to non US development partners, or FMS customers. This trend will continue as the LRIP stage of the aircraft concludes and even during early full-rate-production phase of the program. Folks forget that with LRIP-10 negotiations winding down, close to 350 F-35's would have been delivered, be in production or pre-production. That is more than the total Rafale order book iirc and fast approaching Super Hornet or Typhoon territory. F-35 deliveries have already surpassed TOTAL F-22A production.
Only FMS customers need to disclose a FIRM contractually bound order sizes to the program (with a usual work-around being to include options). Norway, Turkey, Netherlands or Canada for that matter do not need to share with the program the total number of aircraft they expect to purchase of the lifetime of production.
Each, including the US has given the program a rough estimate of what their need is likely to be but this is something they look at every 5 or so years and is usually threat dependent. No one has been asked to provide a FIRM floor to their demand, and this is true of the US services as well. They all provide estimates to support the POR.
As with most defense investments, economic conditions and geopolitical threats require that most armed services study their force structure needs, and end strength periodically. As this happens it will be reflected in how each partner nation shapes up their eventual F-35 purchase.
The partners simply inform the JPO of short term orders and when they would like to work them in to the aircraft production plan. The JPO offers slots and then negotiates a price for the same with Lockheed and Pratt and Whitney. FMS customers usually negotiate directly with the US government and offer more fixed terms that are made cleared up front as in X number of aircraft with a stated delivery schedule.
Once those terms are hashed out the US government communicates them to the JPO that then negotiates a price with the OEM's on behalf of FMS customers as well. FMS customers pay a small surcharge to support the FMS process which the partner nations do not.
In the next few months, we'll begin hearing about International Customer driven block buy of their aircraft where instead of purchasing their LOT orders for a given production year, they pool their resources over multiple lots and place one large block order. This allows the JPO to negotiate with more leverage and get closer to the cost target of $85 Million URF earlier than FRP.
The US may not join initial block buys (but Trump could surely sanction this in the interest of cost savings which he has identified as a goal on this program) but regardless of this, international customers that could make up to 50% of the LRIP-11 orders would. Here is Norway's plan of ordering a few years worth of orders upfront -Norway requests 12 F-35As in proposed block buy
Singha wrote:give up current reserved production slots and then come in once the unit costs are amortized across 100s of airframes and teething troubles sorted out.
I haven't looked into this recently but they don't have to commit long term production slots. I think the JPO cycle is 3 years so by 2018 for example they have to firm up 2021 delivery slots or 2021-2023 if they are looking into block buys. The entire production was soft-capped by Frank Kendall so regardless all procurement plans including those of the US were moved to the right as the program was re-baselined.
On the net, any slots freed up by partner nations have been taken up by FMS customers, 3 of which have come in even during Low Rate production phase. The assembly line at Fort Worth is designed for 1 a day FACO and there is excess capacity at the Italian line as well (probably Japan too) so they have some flexibility in the long run at increasing production as long as they have a heads up and are allowed to give their suppliers enough time to invest in it.
Another satisfied customer looking to jump out of the F-35 project?
Singapore is putting on hold plans to procure up to 12 Lockheed-Martin supersonic fifth-generation F-35B stealth multirole fighter jets for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), according to the Pentagon’s F-35 program office, Bloomberg News reports.http://thediplomat.com/2016/08/enough-a ... h-fighter/
, You may not know this, but Singapore was never a "customer" for the aircraft. They were always an interested party (having signed a Security Cooperation Agreement that gives them access to information and does not make them a development contributing partner) and are still interested in pursuing their purchase (most likely the F-35B) after their legacy fleet modernization plans are completed.
When they do decide the buy the F-35, they will do so not like a partner-nation that has signed an MOU and is therefore just required to request production slots through the JPO, but as an FMS customer much like Israel, Japan, or South Korea.
Most that follow the program know this and now you do too. Singapore Eyes F-35 for 2030 Time Frame
Their plans have always been to complete F-15SG purchase (where they had a lot of options baked into the contract and have kept exact number of those exercised under wraps), upgrade their existing fourth generation aircraft and then acquire 5th generation complementary capability.
They are executing this as we speak in the conclusion of their SG order, contracts for F-16 modernization with Lockheed, and opening up long term discussions with Lockheed and JPO on the F-35. Unlike many other partner and FMS customers that have fleet replace dictate modernization time-lines, Singapore want's 5th generation capability by 2030 as their defense-minister describes (highlighted in the article posted above).
They have relatively young F-16's, and practically brand new F-15 SG's. Their path towards keeping their F-16 fleet modernized, while addressing capability gaps through the acquisition of F-35B around the end of next decade is perfectly understandable. The aircraft provides unique capability not provided by either of the two existing aircraft. Once it's time to replace the F-16's they'll most likely look at acquiring some F-35As as well, but that is likely be well into the 2030s.
I'll chalk this up as well to your lack of knowledge and not yet another deliberate attempt at stating false information much like the previous examples.
As for the original program partners - there has only been ONE that has yet to order or commit to ordering any aircraft. That being CANADA where the PM wants to compete it's procurement phase. The rest have all either received aircraft or are soon going to begin receiving theirs.
Now if only we could discuss factual information or opinion based on well grounded understanding of the program and the technology instead of what, in many cases, clearly amounts to trolling. Since now, a mod has joined the discourse, let's let him decide whether you're last rant was based on anything factual and whether it did anything to counter claims that you have clearly been stating something that is easy to disprove by using even the most basic-Google skills.