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Thread: 2017 F-35 news and discussion thread

  1. #2011
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    FY2018 defense authorization bill Report - SASC version

    The committee recommends an increase of $4.6 billion
    to Procurement for the Air Force for items identified in the Air
    Force’s Unfunded Requirements List. Some increases include 14 F–
    35As, 2 KC–46s, and additional missiles. Greater details of each increase
    can be found in the tables in Division D.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  2. #2012
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    So what or where is the decrease?
    Thanks

  3. #2013
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    Not a decrease but an increase i.e The USAF has requested 46 F-35As as part of the Presidents FY18 Budget, and supplied congress with an Unfunded Priorities List that included 14 additional aircraft (for a total of 60). The current version of the SASC bill would grant them all 14 while the HASC bill grants them 10 additional aircraft (56 vs 60). With respect to the overall budget that is TBD but some of the UPL items will go into OCO as part of a negotiated increase in the overall budge topline. That is how it has been happening ever since the BCA was passed. Once the two versions are fully developed they'll negotiate over the language and then over the entire budget since anything above BCA caps requires 60 votes in the US Senate (even the current Trump budget is over the caps) so ultimately this number is likely to come down. At this stage, I guess the USAF will likely get 50-55 aircraft in FY18 once everything is said and done.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 12th July 2017 at 14:45.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  4. #2014
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    So what or where is the decrease?
    In USAF annual buy rate, which was reduced to 60 from 80. It was pretty much a necessary preclude for cutting of total procurement - would have been pointless to acquire smaller amount of aircraft at huge production rate.

  5. #2015
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    They haven't reduced the program of record, in fact the total procurement number was recently reaffirmed. The buy is stretched by 6 years to make up for the lower number to be aquired per year.

  6. #2016
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    reduced to 60 from 80
    The original buy rate was 110 and production would have ended in 2030 (even including the delayed IOC).
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  7. #2017
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    Blame the budget caps but regardless the USAF has still done as good a job as it possibly could to preserve the F-35A. On its end, the Congress has been adding F-35s to the PB for the last few years and that is not likely to stop through the end of the BCA term. So yeah, even though at the time of the last SAR the USAF expected to reach the 60 buy rate only in 21 they are likely to get there a couple of years earlier than planned. Planning beyond the FYDP is at the moment iffy since you don't know what happens after 2021 so there is room to change the acquisition program significantly between now and then. What is assured however is that the USAF is going to be ordering at or close to 60 (50-60 range possibly starting FY18) aircraft a year from now into the foreseeable future. How high they go beyond that remains to be seen.

    Even the FYDP has lots of unknowns since there is politics involved. The OMB and the WH were quite clear when they released the FY18 Budget materials that the FYDP data submitted is a placeholder since they hadn't had a lot of time since taking over to develop a comprehensive future years budget strategy. The OMB last week issued a directive to all agencies to draft FY19 requests at 5% greater levels to FY18 which could signal the administrations position of a faster increase in defense spending than the placeholder FYDP would suggest. As long as the BCA is in place you need 60 votes in the senate and that means tough negotiations and possibly multi-year budget deals. Regardless, in the short term i.e. LRIP-11, 12, 13 and 14 the F-35 numbers are pretty secure with a strong possibility that Congress will add more aircraft to each lot taking the USAF to b/w 50 and 60 aircraft through end of Lot 14, instead of the currently planned peak of 48 in Lots 13 and 14. At SASC there is support for going above 60 and McCain even put that in a policy paper recently. Not sure that is feasible without letting go of certain capabilities and hurting other programs. Realistically 60 per year is the mark the USAF can probably hit through budget increases if there is political support and that is the very number that they'll double down on, whether that is through public comments or through UPLs.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 12th July 2017 at 17:50.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  8. #2018
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    They haven't reduced the program of record, in fact the total procurement number was recently reaffirmed. The buy is stretched by 6 years to make up for the lower number to be aquired per year.
    Purely symbolic, one cannot make meaningful procurement decisions for period which is over 2 decades away.
    Total buy will be reduced, it is obvious: there is no way USAF can afford to replace legacy aircraft on 1-on-1 basis.

  9. #2019
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    They do not plan to replace 1 for 1

    This is an older chart but you get the point.

    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  10. #2020
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    Purely symbolic, one cannot make meaningful procurement decisions for period which is over 2 decades away.
    Total buy will be reduced, it is obvious: there is no way USAF can afford to replace legacy aircraft on 1-on-1 basis.
    You don't fund to historic levels, you provide a force based on the need and budget of the times. This is reflected in the USAF force at the moment and will be reflected in its future force structure. How many active and reserve squadron the USAF has say in 2040 will be a mix of how many it needs and how many it can afford in that time-frame. What the USAF's end strength and fighter squadron strength was in 1990, 2000, or 2010 won't have an impact on that.

    You are correct that this is a dynamic process and you periodically visit your requirements to see whether your acquisition program of record reflects the best available needs assessment at the time. As of quite recently, the USAF seems to think the current program of record production # accurately represents their perceived future need. This can go up, go down or remain unchanged based on a number of factors in the future. For now what is more important is the annual buy rate that determines the money they pay to buy the aircraft in a given year.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  11. #2021
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    Tailwind Caused September F-35 Engine Fire
    http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/...gine-Fire.aspx

    There is a problem here. Limiting ignition of engine to 20 kts of tail wind may be problematic for aircrafts stored on front part of a carrier.

  12. #2022
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    When is a carrier going to be conducting launch operations in a tailwind, the answer is never.

    This issue is not unique to the f135 engine btw.

  13. #2023
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    We are talking about engine start. Not take off. I'm just wondering what is the angle limitation for ignition of engines (about airplanes stored on the front part of the deck) not trying to launch an argument. The issue is not unique to F-35, but airspeed is low and the problem is with APU intake. Nvm, we'll see.

  14. #2024
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    The Windy coast condition at Ørlandt Airbase here could be a challange. But nothing they wont overcome. Just tow the jet towards the wind prior to startup.
    But on a general level, this makes the F-35 more fragile in terms of operations. Can they "fix" this without any costly redesign of F135?
    Thanks

  15. #2025
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    AFAIK the F-135 in itself isn't faulty. It is the position of the APU intake.

  16. #2026
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    I think the issues was with a direct tail-on tailwind. Changing the angle just 5-10 degrees should help as will proper training.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  17. #2027
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    Quote Originally Posted by haavarla
    The Windy coast condition at Ørlandt Airbase here could be a challange. But nothing they wont overcome. Just tow the jet towards the wind prior to startup.
    But on a general level, this makes the F-35 more fragile in terms of operations. Can they "fix" this without any costly redesign of F135?
    Facepalm...

    "Fragile in terms of operations," really? As you said, you just turn the jet. This isn't a new problem or a new solution:

    F-4 Phantom
    Start engines with nose into or at right angle to wind as exhaust temperatures may be aggravated by tail wind.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=oe...ilwind&f=false

    Gulfstream G650
    Max Tailwind for Engine Start: 20 kts
    https://quizlet.com/17264273/gulfstr...s-flash-cards/

    Cessna Citation Mustang
    Engine start, maximum tailwind 10 knots
    https://www.flashcardmachine.com/ce5...itsmemory.html

  18. #2028
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    One would think the F-35, designed for future requirements would not have the same requirements as a Cessna upon start-up.. i mean one is build for war and its cost $100 a pop!
    This should by all accounts be a carefree issue in the first place, and definitely not be a risk at crisping the jet.

    Lets give a good example, there isn't enough shelters for F-35 at Ørlandet Airbase.. InFact there is no shelter at this point!
    And you clearly have not been up here during winter times. It gets worse the further North(other Airbases).

    You can show your faceplam right back where the sun don't shine.
    Last edited by haavarla; 13th July 2017 at 18:37.
    Thanks

  19. #2029
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    You don't need a shelter and the issue was know.

    The problem was that the specific issue parameters and workarounds were not disseminated correctly.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  20. #2030
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    Umm.. you make it sounds like:

    -There is no issue at all. This was the ground crews fault!

    Have you any idea how stupid this sounds?

    There is an ISSUE alright.
    Thanks

  21. #2031
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    I have NEVER said that there is not an issue.

    What I and the accident report have said is that the issue and it's workaround was known but not properly taught & followed.

    3. SUBSTANTIALLY CONTRIBUTING FACTORS
    a. Procedural Guidance/Publications
    Neither publications nor guidance and training were adequate for the circumstances surrounding
    this incident. IPP and engine start issues with a tailwind were known prior to the incident.
    However, the publications were written and communicated in such a way that the F-35A pilot
    community had only vague awareness of the issue. This vague awareness led to inadequate training
    for engine starts with a tailwind.
    Training also resulted in complacency and an over-reliance on
    aircraft automation. Thus, the MP was not trained adequately and was not as ready for the abnormal
    engine start and resulting fire as he could have been. Preponderance of evidence shows if there
    had been an expectation of engine startup problems with a tailwind, the MP may have relied less
    on aircraft automation, and may have identified an abnormal engine start earlier.
    http://www.airforcemag.com/AircraftA...UNTAINHOME.pdf
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  22. #2032
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    Quote Originally Posted by haavarla
    One would think the F-35, designed for future requirements would not have the same requirements as a Cessna upon start-up.. i mean one is build for war and is cost $100 a pop!
    This should by all accounts be a carefree issue in the first place, and definitely not be a risk at crisping the jet.

    Let give a good example, there isn't enough shelters for F-35 at Ørlandet Airbase.. InFact there is no shelter at this point!
    And you clearly have not been up here during winter times. It gets worse the further North(other Airbases).

    You can show your faceplam right back where the sun don't shine.
    All aircraft have a wide variety of procedures and environmental limitations that must be observed for them to operate properly.

    This is actually a fairly common one with a blindingly obvious solution, and it doesn't require shelters. You just turn the plane.

  23. #2033
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    I think the proper way to prevent hot starts is to make sure you do not park your aircraft in a tailwind, and if there is a tailwind (direction of winds can change) you take appropriate actions to not exceed the specified limits and make adjustments before starting up. I wonder what the procedures are for the F-16 under similar conditions. Anyone?
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 13th July 2017 at 19:03.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  24. #2034
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    Quote Originally Posted by =haavarla
    Umm.. you make it sounds like:

    -There is no issue at all. This was the ground crews fault!

    Have you any idea how stupid this sounds?

    There is an ISSUE alright.
    Over the first 100,000 flight hours of its life the operational fleet has logged just three class A mishaps (or two, just counting the F-35A), a safety record better than any of its peers today.

    And that was before awareness of the current issue as a potential safety hazard. Yes it is an issue, and a minor one at that.

    As far as Norway is concerned, as when the NoAF relocates to Ørlandet as its primary air base, aircraft shelters will be constructed. Even the F-16s (aside from the odd rotating contingent) wouldn't have been permanently stationed out in the open. In the meantime, half a dozen burly grunts would need less than a minute to physically push the aircraft off-axis to the wind.
    Last edited by Vnomad; 13th July 2017 at 19:19.

  25. #2035
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    I always wondered why fighters do not have an in-hub electric motor for the front wheel so that they can more themselves around using either battery power or the IPP.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  26. #2036
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    They do not plan to replace 1 for 1

    This is an older chart but you get the point.
    Umm...it's a chart which shows F-35 replacing legacy aircraft 1-for-1, or thereabouts.
    Which is something they can't possibly afford - and which has been already stated out loud, just not in official setting yet. Because when the cut is announced, F-35 unit price will jump up again, negating all the goodwill about costs the program has been trying to build in recent years.

  27. #2037
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    @YAMA, the unit cost of the F-35 i.e. how much the USAF, USN or USMC spend to buy the aircraft they buy depends upon the build rate for the most part. If they are buying at 80-100+ aircraft a year then that will determine the unit cost since under MYP the government will be negotiating 500-600 aircraft at a time. Now whether US purchase ends in 2035, or 2042 won't make any impact on the budget allocated for the aircraft that have already been purchased.

    Over the program life, you are trading production rate for total cost. If you buy fewer you will pay less overall. If you buy at a slower rate then the long term program acquisition cost will be adjusted to reflect the buy rate. But since we are already at a fairly high buy rate the immediate goal of getting to $80 Million URF by FRP won't change much if the USAF chooses to buy fewer aircraft a year in the mid 2020s or what the ultimate POR ends up being.

    As things stand the USAF is currently putting up 45-48 aircraft a year through 2021-2022 and are publicly saying they would like to be at 60 a year. They are specifying the 60 a year number in their UPL and the Congress seems to be willing to inch closer to 60 earlier than planned.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 13th July 2017 at 21:06.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  28. #2038
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    Look closer..

    The slope actually starts in the early 2000's with much more than 1600 where you see F-15,16, and 117 numbers coming down as F-35 starts up.

    Cutting the annual buy is more harmful to the program than just cutting the same number off the end of the program.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  29. #2039
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    It all depends which time-frame you look at but ultimately the end strength and force structure are functions of the future outlook rather than the past. The USAF had 130+ fighter squadrons during the Gulf War...It has 50-55 at the moment. Where it needs to be, and can get in the 2030 will depend upon the national security and budgetary situation. This will be what determines how much and what capability the USAF acquires over the next 15+ years. As to how many F-35As the USAF wants the answer is 1700 or there about. They looked at this number very recently and have not changed that. Will they buy 1700? This remains to be seen since requirements are periodically re-evaluated factoring in a host of things including budgets and threats.

    http://www.defensenews.com/story/def...fall/81530748/
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 13th July 2017 at 23:25.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  30. #2040
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    Hi All,
    I watched this video off youtube last night does it make sense that the price of the F-35 would rise per unit if they reduced the order number ?

    Surely the cost would come down if the costs where already set ? Yet even if as alleged in the video the cost rose the USMarines still added an
    extra 13 aircraft ??? Or is the video completely wrong ?

    Here's another:-Could it simply be that they are still buying this simply because of the money already pumped into it from start of it flight testing and
    continued testing programme to service entry ?

    I'll throw this into the mix as an unlikely stupid question:- Could the Austrians possibly have ordered used 1st gen F-35's at a vastly reduced cost
    when Typhoon is phased out ?

    Forward to 02:00 for actual info..


    Geoff.
    Last edited by 1batfastard; 14th July 2017 at 08:32.

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