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  • Scooter
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Jan 2000
    • 11912

    Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post

    I doubt it since it did not come from the USAF but was something inserted by the OSD , allegedly based on a CAPE analysis also not sanctioned by the USAF. This is likely a pure industrial base play on part of the OSD surfacing months after the IB review was submitted. I think the USAF has done a good job of explaining to Congress why it needs more F-35's. At budget time they naturally have to work within a top line number that DOD gives them so must trade but it is quite clear that an ideal number for them is closer to 60 and upwards of 80 at full rate production. The Congress in turn has done its part and added aircraft during the negotiations process to the tune of 23 additional aircraft (above the USAF request) over the last three budgets. So if the USAF wanted more F-35As they would have simply continued to make their case like they have successfully done in the past and you could always go the route of submitting an unfunded priorities list as they have in the past.

    I think the USAF will be reasonably happy if they get 56 F-35A's and 8 F-15EXs and a similar number over the FYDP. I have zero doubt that the USAF will come out of this two year budget deal (Congress will attempt to negotiate a 2 year budget deal before elections next year) with at least 100 F-35As. How much above this they can get, and whether they still get new F-15's on top of that, remains to be seen. I think the USAF will be reasonably happy with new tails..though not ideal (ideally they should be buying 70-80 F-35As a year) the F-15EX is going to be a very capable multi-role replacement for the ANG and if through it they can get closer to 70 new tails a year starting next year, then they'll take it and make it work .
    You hit the nail on the head about the OSD pushing the F-15X. So, sure the USAF will go along with it to get their F-35's. Yet, all this has little to do with the actual politics. Which, is really what this is all about....

    In my opinion they have "no case" for acquiring the F-15X and the USAF hasn't really did a good job in selling it either. While, the politics doesn't favor it from the Republican side. (Rubio, Cruz, etc. against it) While, Democrats have to consider the "Corporate Welfare" view. This is critical with the US Presidential Elections just around the corner....Speaking of the latter many of the Democrats running for US President are left leading candidates. So, if this debate becomes more public? Watch out as they're all trying to make "Brownie Points" to position themselves in the upcoming primary. Remember, to a Liberal "Corporate Welfare" is like alcohol is to a drunk!

    That said, we should have a pretty good idea. If, we start hearing any prominent members of the Democratic Party coming out to support the F-15X. If, not it's dead......

    "IMHO"
    F-35 Lightning II

    Comment

    • bring_it_on
      2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
      • Jun 2004
      • 12426

      I don't think it is the USAF's job to explain the F-15X if it is something that would have been taken up by the OSD as an industrial base play. Certainly, the health of the industrial base is a major Pentagon responsibility, whether that is a republican controled WH or a Democratic controlled and it was no coincidence that one of the first things the current administration began to look into was the state of the industrial base something that was also on the mind of people like Frank Kendall and Bob Work in the previous administration. But I agree, they should have done a better job explaining why we need two primes as suppliers of fast jets (or potential suppliers) to the USAF and why we cannot drop down to one. I would love to hear their reasons as well.

      Not getting into the politics, I think the USAF will make good use out of the F-15Xs and if they indeed get these aircraft and get them in the quantity we are talking about (80) then they better get programs like LREW, ARRW and other hypersonic weapons on the fast track so that these aircraft can slot in and perform some of those roles given they would have to support the penetrating forces from stand off distances. I would have still prioritized a faster F-35A buy over the Guard's modernization but at the end of the day it is a decision that the AF has to accept and will make it work. Luckily, they've budgeted 10+ Billion on hypersonics over the FYDP with $2.5 B this year, which will enable these aircraft to contribute in the higher fight as well.
      Last edited by bring_it_on; 13th March 2019, 06:51.
      Old radar types never die; they just phased array

      Comment

      • Scooter
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Jan 2000
        • 11912

        Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post
        I don't think it is the USAF's job to explain the F-15X if it is something that would have been taken up by the OSD as an industrial base play. Certainly, the health of the industrial base is a major Pentagon responsibility, whether that is a republican controled WH or a Democratic controlled and it was no coincidence that one of the first things the current administration began to look into was the state of the industrial base something that was also on the mind of people like Frank Kendall and Bob Work in the previous administration. But I agree, they should have done a better job explaining why we need two primes as suppliers of fast jets (or potential suppliers) to the USAF and why we cannot drop down to one. I would love to hear their reasons as well.

        Not getting into the politics, I think the USAF will make good use out of the F-15Xs and if they indeed get these aircraft and get them in the quantity we are talking about (80) then they better get programs like LREW, ARRW and other hypersonic weapons on the fast track so that these aircraft can slot in and perform some of those roles given they would have to support the penetrating forces from stand off distances. I would have still prioritized a faster F-35A buy over the Guard's modernization but at the end of the day it is a decision that the AF has to accept and will make it work. Luckily, they've budgeted 10+ Billion on hypersonics over the FYDP with $2.5 B this year, which will enable these aircraft to contribute in the higher fight as well.
        Well, we will have to disagree about the F-15X. As in my opinion it's a complete waste. While, costing more and just cutting into the F-35. Which, is "vastly" more capable....

        Plus, remember it just doesn't effect the USAF. As the less orders effect the price of all of the F-35 models. (i.e. F-35B/C) Plus, all of the other F-35 Customers and Potential Customers!


        We are on the verge of really increasing production of the F-35. While, winning considerable export orders. Then the OSD does this "BS"....Honestly, I can see debate after debate. Why the F-15X is a viable option compared to the F-35A. As the "USAF" thinks so....

        In my opinion this is a colossal mistake and counter productive to the US, her Allies, and the Western Alliance in general.....

        Hell, the sale pitch to many customer looking at 4/4.5 Generation Types. Is they will be obsolete and you must have a 5th Generation Fighter like the F-35. Yet, then the US goes out and buys more 4th Generation Fighters. The F-15 Eagle even dates back to the 1970's!
        Last edited by Scooter; 13th March 2019, 07:13.
        F-35 Lightning II

        Comment

        • St. John
          Rank 4 Registered User
          • Jan 2018
          • 554

          Originally posted by Scooter View Post

          Hell, the sale pitch to many customer looking at 4/4.5 Generation Types. Is they will be obsolete and you must have a 5th Generation Fighter like the F-35. Yet, then the US goes out and buys more 4th Generation Fighters. The F-15 Eagle even dates back to the 1970's!
          Boeing lobbies hard. I'd put the purchase more down to political corruption than good sense.

          Comment

          • Yama
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Feb 2012
            • 609

            Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post
            I don't think it is the USAF's job to explain the F-15X if it is something that would have been taken up by the OSD as an industrial base play. Certainly, the health of the industrial base is a major Pentagon responsibility, whether that is a republican controled WH or a Democratic controlled and it was no coincidence that one of the first things the current administration began to look into was the state of the industrial base something that was also on the mind of people like Frank Kendall and Bob Work in the previous administration. But I agree, they should have done a better job explaining why we need two primes as suppliers of fast jets (or potential suppliers) to the USAF and why we cannot drop down to one. I would love to hear their reasons as well.
            Well, in fairness, it is perfectly obvious why having one manufacturer monopolize fast jet production and development is potentially very bad thing. This was shown with Pratt & Whitney, same thing happened with space launch service providers. Of course Boeing does have T/X now, which is grand scheme of things is likely more important than handful of F-15's.

            Comment

            • bring_it_on
              2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
              • Jun 2004
              • 12426


              Originally posted by Yama View Post

              Well, in fairness, it is perfectly obvious why having one manufacturer monopolize fast jet production and development is potentially very bad thing. This was shown with Pratt & Whitney, same thing happened with space launch service providers. Of course Boeing does have T/X now, which is grand scheme of things is likely more important than handful of F-15's.
              I don't think it is this simple. Having two suppliers, when one is not even producing a product at the level wanted is not the same thing as really having "two suppliers". Boeing has the T-X till well into the 2030's, has the MQ-25 into the late 2020's, and has the F/A-18E/F till the mid 2020s with the F-15 Adv. Eagle likely also something that can sustain production till the early-mid 2020's. So having St. Louis as a viable IB for military systems was not an issue. So Lockheed will not be the sole combat fighter producer in the US till perhaps the second half of the 2020's. Even then, Boeing has probably delivered more fighters in the last 10-15 years than Lockheed Martin (overall domestic+export). Additionally, you have the $10 Billion in identified NGAD/PCA funding over the next 4 years to assure a diverse future fighter design base.

              So while Boeing can produce the F-15X, a capable fighter no doubt, and can act as a second supplier of fighter jets, it in no way can challenge the F-35 market or demand for the USAF as those needs will never overlap. There are mechanisms in the DOD policy to discourage monopoly practices (such as unilaterally obligating and enforcing contract pricing) so that is not an issue.

              I understand the industrial base and agree 100% with the notion that it is the Pentagon's responsibility that the US have a robust and healthy defense industrial base (no one else is going to invest in this and the defense industrial base is already so much smaller now) however how much of that IB is now the supplier base which is very well diversified and how much of it is dependent on a single PRIME that has a booming commercial business and can literally cross subsidize to win competitions?

              That said, they should make the argument. Perhaps the civilian folks would do this during the congressional hearings and budget discussions but they still need to make the case and stop adding reasons to support the F-15X as one can always pile on rationale after the fact but I see no good reason to prioritize the ANG modernization at a time when the USAF would benefit much more from getting closer to 80 F-35s a year - a top 3 service acquisition priority as validated by 2 CSAF's and at least 3 SECAF's over 2 political administrations. If it is the IB concerns that tipped the scales in favor of the F-15X, then they need to make that case in a manner that is persuasive and I'm sure the Congress would demand this during the hearings.

              The sort of behavior seen at AWS this year was very discouraging. You essentially had the SECAF who was about to resign and move on, and a CSAF who was just passed over for the Chairman of the JC, (after being the preferred candidate of the last SECDEF) basically throwing the OSD under the bus and not missing a beat when it came to letting the press know that the idea of the F-15X, or buying any 4.5 gen aircraft for that matter, did not originate from the USAF. Essentially the very top of the USAF let everyone know that they really didn't ask for the F-15EX which puts the OSD in a very tough spot when it comes to the Congress. Essentially, a capability based argument justifying the need for the F-15X is now dead in the water. The only two arguments the OSD can make is going to be IB and readiness..both are reasonable arguments to make but they need to put those together and better explain their decisions.

              Last edited by bring_it_on; 13th March 2019, 15:01.
              Old radar types never die; they just phased array

              Comment

              • TomcatViP
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Nov 2011
                • 5865

                What pop out of this budget (new investment) is the massive sums assigned to Boeing 1970's design. It would certainly draw all the attention of any political reviewer; something akin to giving small woods to a bonefire...
                But with the crisis faced now by their airliner division, Boeing might gain the empathy of the most stringent budget cutter.

                Comment

                • bring_it_on
                  2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                  • Jun 2004
                  • 12426

                  USAF looks for major boosts in missile procurement, hypersonics research

                  The Air Force is seeking to expand its missile inventory and hypersonics research, according to its fiscal year 2020 defense budget request.

                  The service is requesting increased quantities of the Small Diameter Bomb I, SDB II and Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range to supply current operations and replenish stockpiles."

                  Missiles account for 8 percent of the $25.9 billion requested for the service's procurement portfolio. Funding for missile procurement saw more growth, 19 percent, between last years enacted figure and this years requested amount than any other capability.

                  Within the missile portfolio, the service is requesting a base quantity of 7,078 SDB Is -- nearly twice last year's projection of 3,823 -- to be procured through the service's base budget, not the Overseas Contingency Operations account. In FY-19, the service purchased 5,744 SDB Is for both base requirements and OCO.

                  The SDB I is a 250-pound precision-guided munition with a standoff range of more than 40 nautical miles. Four SDB Is can be carried on the F-15E, F-16, F-22 and other aircraft in place of one 2,000-pound munition. It has been used to destroy terrorist targets in operations in Afghanistan.

                  The service stays on track with its projected request of 1,175 SDBs II, 665 more than last year's total purchase. The SDB II is designed to engage maneuvering targets and reduce collateral damage. It can be carried on F-15E and F-22 fighter jets with plans to integrate on the F-35 in 2022.

                  Meanwhile, this year's combined base budget and OCO request of 430 JASSM-ERs is 70 more than last year's projection, reflecting a 19 percent increase. This deviates from the 360-per-year procurement the service has pursued in the past.

                  JASSM-ER is a 2,000-pound precision-guided standoff missile that extends the range of the JASSM from more than 200 nautical miles to more than 500 nautical miles. It can be integrated on the B-1 aircraft.

                  The Air Force also seeks to grow its inventory of Joint Direct Attack Munitions, AGM-114 Hellfires, AIM-9X Sidewinders, and AIM-120D advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles.

                  In addition to munition purchases, the Air Force is requesting $576 million for hypersonics prototyping, 13 percent more than last year's enacted amount of $509 million. The service has referred to hypersonic weapons as game-changing technologies.

                  Hypersonic missiles travel at speeds of Mach 5 or higher and can maneuver during their trajectory, which disrupts attempts to determine their future location. China and Russia are known to be developing their own prototypes, too.

                  Carolyn Gleason, deputy for budget in the office of the assistant secretary of the Air Force for financial management and comptroller, said at a press briefing March 12 that the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon and Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon -- hypersonic weapons under contract with Lockheed Martin -- are scheduled to achieve initial operational capability by 2022.
                  Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                  Comment

                  • Scooter
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Jan 2000
                    • 11912

                    Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post


                    I don't think it is this simple. Having two suppliers, when one is not even producing a product at the level wanted is not the same thing as really having "two suppliers". Boeing has the T-X till well into the 2030's, has the MQ-25 into the late 2020's, and has the F/A-18E/F till the mid 2020s with the F-15 Adv. Eagle likely also something that can sustain production till the early-mid 2020's. So having St. Louis as a viable IB for military systems was not an issue. So Lockheed will not be the sole combat fighter producer in the US till perhaps the second half of the 2020's. Even then, Boeing has probably delivered more fighters in the last 10-15 years than Lockheed Martin (overall domestic+export). Additionally, you have the $10 Billion in identified NGAD/PCA funding over the next 4 years to assure a diverse future fighter design base.

                    So while Boeing can produce the F-15X, a capable fighter no doubt, and can act as a second supplier of fighter jets, it in no way can challenge the F-35 market or demand for the USAF as those needs will never overlap. There are mechanisms in the DOD policy to discourage monopoly practices (such as unilaterally obligating and enforcing contract pricing) so that is not an issue.

                    I understand the industrial base and agree 100% with the notion that it is the Pentagon's responsibility that the US have a robust and healthy defense industrial base (no one else is going to invest in this and the defense industrial base is already so much smaller now) however how much of that IB is now the supplier base which is very well diversified and how much of it is dependent on a single PRIME that has a booming commercial business and can literally cross subsidize to win competitions?

                    That said, they should make the argument. Perhaps the civilian folks would do this during the congressional hearings and budget discussions but they still need to make the case and stop adding reasons to support the F-15X as one can always pile on rationale after the fact but I see no good reason to prioritize the ANG modernization at a time when the USAF would benefit much more from getting closer to 80 F-35s a year - a top 3 service acquisition priority as validated by 2 CSAF's and at least 3 SECAF's over 2 political administrations. If it is the IB concerns that tipped the scales in favor of the F-15X, then they need to make that case in a manner that is persuasive and I'm sure the Congress would demand this during the hearings.

                    The sort of behavior seen at AWS this year was very discouraging. You essentially had the SECAF who was about to resign and move on, and a CSAF who was just passed over for the Chairman of the JC, (after being the preferred candidate of the last SECDEF) basically throwing the OSD under the bus and not missing a beat when it came to letting the press know that the idea of the F-15X, or buying any 4.5 gen aircraft for that matter, did not originate from the USAF. Essentially the very top of the USAF let everyone know that they really didn't ask for the F-15EX which puts the OSD in a very tough spot when it comes to the Congress. Essentially, a capability based argument justifying the need for the F-15X is now dead in the water. The only two arguments the OSD can make is going to be IB and readiness..both are reasonable arguments to make but they need to put those together and better explain their decisions.


                    Honestly, I think Patrick Shanahan (Acting Secretary of Defense) just made a colossal blunder. Because congress was already questioning his ties to the recent selection of Boeing as the winner of the T-X and MQ-25A. Then the OSD basically forces the F-15X on the USAF. Which, has stated up and down they didn't want any additional 4th Generation Fighters!
                    F-35 Lightning II

                    Comment

                    • Scooter
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Jan 2000
                      • 11912

                      Originally posted by TomcatViP View Post
                      What pop out of this budget (new investment) is the massive sums assigned to Boeing 1970's design. It would certainly draw all the attention of any political reviewer; something akin to giving small woods to a bonefire...
                      But with the crisis faced now by their airliner division, Boeing might gain the empathy of the most stringent budget cutter.
                      Honestly, pushing the F-15X will sound like greed to many. Especially, after additional orders for Super Hornets. Plus, winning the T-X and MQ-25A.

                      Personally, I expect this to "snowball" and for the Democrats to start asking serious question. Which, will likely be followed by hearings!
                      F-35 Lightning II

                      Comment

                      • bring_it_on
                        2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                        • Jun 2004
                        • 12426

                        The T-X and MQ-25A were competitively awarded so all competitors had recourse via a protest. Boeing positioned itself very agressively on the T-X leading even "Marillyn Lockheed" to comment that had it bid what Boeing bid, it would have lost money on the deal..

                        This is a different case altogether as it is a sole source award on a program that has been out of production (for USAF) for a long time. Moreover, the 144 target set for the total number of F-15X's to be procured is apparently below the threshold required to mandate a program SAR.

                        The DOD line is that this was a decision taken by Secretary Mattis. Interestingly, Shanahan is going to be testifying under oath tomorrow so I'm sure he'll be asked plenty of questions on this decision and will likely have more data to share on the process of how this went down.
                        Last edited by bring_it_on; 13th March 2019, 23:43.
                        Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                        Comment

                        • SpudmanWP
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Jan 2009
                          • 5171

                          Here is the link to the hearing:

                          Department of Defense Budget Posture
                          Date: Thursday, March 14, 2019 Time: 09:30 AM
                          https://www.armed-services.senate.go...budget-posture



                          There is another one over at the House tomorrow too:

                          Department of the Air Force Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Request (Shanahan not scheduled to be at this one)
                          Thursday, March 14, 2019 (10am Rayburn 2212 Open)
                          https://armedservices.house.gov/hear...8-4B135F0E3A27
                          Last edited by SpudmanWP; 14th March 2019, 00:03.
                          "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

                          Comment

                          • Yama
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Feb 2012
                            • 609

                            Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post
                            I don't think it is this simple. Having two suppliers, when one is not even producing a product at the level wanted is not the same thing as really having "two suppliers". Boeing has the T-X till well into the 2030's, has the MQ-25 into the late 2020's, and has the F/A-18E/F till the mid 2020s with the F-15 Adv. Eagle likely also something that can sustain production till the early-mid 2020's. So having St. Louis as a viable IB for military systems was not an issue. So Lockheed will not be the sole combat fighter producer in the US till perhaps the second half of the 2020's. Even then, Boeing has probably delivered more fighters in the last 10-15 years than Lockheed Martin (overall domestic+export). Additionally, you have the $10 Billion in identified NGAD/PCA funding over the next 4 years to assure a diverse future fighter design base.
                            Well, as I said, T-X is much more important in maintaining Boeing's fast jet production capability in any case as that program will probably keep going for very long. Still, it is not a combat aircraft and other programs you mention have limited legs. Mid-2020's is only 6 years away. I guess they could force Super Hornet to the Marines...naah, I guess they can't.

                            But I sure also have doubts that this is a good idea. 144 fighters which in many respects represents technological level USAF is trying to do away with...and even if the acquisition cost is relatively affordable as promised, what about support? F-15 is still honking big aircraft which is not particularly cheap to maintain when compared to say F-16. F-15X also has little common technologically with existing USAF Strike Eagles, and almost nothing with F-15C. It is basically a whole new type.

                            Comment

                            • Scooter
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Jan 2000
                              • 11912

                              Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post
                              The T-X and MQ-25A were competitively awarded so all competitors had recourse via a protest. Boeing positioned itself very agressively on the T-X leading even "Marillyn Lockheed" to comment that had it bid what Boeing bid, it would have lost money on the deal..

                              This is a different case altogether as it is a sole source award on a program that has been out of production (for USAF) for a long time. Moreover, the 144 target set for the total number of F-15X's to be procured is apparently below the threshold required to mandate a program SAR.

                              The DOD line is that this was a decision taken by Secretary Mattis. Interestingly, Shanahan is going to be testifying under oath tomorrow so I'm sure he'll be asked plenty of questions on this decision and will likely have more data to share on the process of how this went down.
                              While, you could easily make a case that the T-X and MQ-25A was awarded fairly. Shanahan ties to Boeing naturally would peak the interest of political critics. Which, is why most administrations would avoid putting someone like Shanahan in the position in the first place....


                              Then to add insult to injury. The OSD (Shanahan) pushes the F-15X on the USAF. This after decades of stating the US Military didn't want or need such a type. (4th Generation Fighter)

                              Honestly, it would be nave for anybody not to think. That such an action wouldn't set off "alarm bells"!

                              Also, as for Mattis making the decision on the F-15X??? What does that have to do with it??? If, the F-15X was not the right choice. Shanahan would just overrule it.....To add to that the USMC is a "very big" proponent of the F-35. Odd that a former USMC General (Mattis) would do a 180 and reject it in favor more F-15's???
                              Last edited by Scooter; 14th March 2019, 00:17.
                              F-35 Lightning II

                              Comment

                              • TomcatViP
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Nov 2011
                                • 5865

                                Buying modernized airframe for the Guard that will have to fly them for at least one or two decades is perfectly logical today.
                                The Reserve/Guard scheme was to fly [soon to be retired] retired airframe at a low tempo to keep airmen proficient and boost airpower at a lower cost.
                                When an airframe flies front line for 4 decades and more, the sheme is not sustainable anymore. You can't ask the ANG to assume their missions (homeland / deployment) for the next 30y (the time F-35 and maintainers will be available in masse) without reverting their budget to that of the USAF...
                                Buying whatever will fulfill the mission without impairing the acquisition variable is perfectly logical.

                                It's just like keeping an old car in service past the reasonable, eating your budget, availability and mission completion ratio (down time, mental breakdown and all the induced indirect cost (time lost, nerves, girls turning their back to your wreck...).

                                The only logical alternative would be to mass produce upgraded F-16s to quickly retire all F-15. What it means is that if India does not want the Texas line, St Louis might.
                                Last edited by TomcatViP; 14th March 2019, 19:38.

                                Comment

                                • bring_it_on
                                  2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                                  • Jun 2004
                                  • 12426

                                  The "Texas Line" is restarting soon in South Carolina to produce the F-16's currently on order, and others in the pipeline (Taiwan etc). I would have most certainly had a look at the F-15 vs F-16 if indeed the USAF had to restart procurement but the one advantage the Strike Eagle enjoys is the payload and the ability to carry lots of stand off hypersonic weapons in the R&D pipeline with a couple expected to be declared operational by 2022. That said, you can't modernize the entire USAF at the same time so if you have to trade modernization priorities, one would imagine modernizing with the 5th generation type would be more consistent with the NDS. Of course IB may tip the scale but if it was one thing that the USAF could take away from Gen. Mattis's NDS, it was to get back to the high end fight which would mean get your A$$ back to planning to ramp up the F-35 procurement closer to the ideal 80 a year...
                                  Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                                  Comment

                                  • halloweene
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Jan 2012
                                    • 4105

                                    Dunford assessed that F-15X purchase is here to mitigate capabilities shortfall + it will be half as expensive to maintain (and slightly cheaper to buy) + Way longer lifetime. Not illogical. to use a "bomb carrier" aside F-35.

                                    Comment

                                    • bring_it_on
                                      2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                                      • Jun 2004
                                      • 12426

                                      That is a more reasonable argument but they need to make the IB argument better, or at least get to the bottom of it. The F-15E inventory and the huge amount of money being invested in its modernization (AESA Radar, New Processors, HMDs, and EPAWSS) is going to be primarily aimed at the hypersonic missile carrier role, something which the aircraft is very well suited for given its payload capabilities. But yeah, if the USAF gets the F-15X then its logical to use them in such a role and it then also makes sense to accelerate the LREW which will get them stand off capability to launch long range missiles using the stealthy fleet for targeting. That said, these are all explanations for " How we will use the F-15X if you sanction that purchase"...There needs to be an explanation that ties the F-15X purchase to the NDS when the F-35A modernization target (close to 80 aircraft a year) is not yet sustainable at current budget levels.
                                      Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                                      Comment

                                      • bring_it_on
                                        2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                                        • Jun 2004
                                        • 12426

                                        Boeing contracted to integrate LRSO cruise missile with the B-52H bomber

                                        The US Air Force (USAF) Nuclear Weapons Center has awarded Boeing a USD250 million contract to integrate the Long Range Stand-Off (LRSO) cruise missile weapon system with the B-52H large-payload multirole strategic bomber aircraft.

                                        Under the provisions of the contract, Boeing will undertake aircraft and missile carriage equipment development and modification, and full integration and testing of the LRSO for the USAF fleet of B-52H platforms. The programme is expected to be completed by 31 December 2024.

                                        The Air Force Material Command issued a pre-solicitation notification on 10 April 2018, indicating that it intended to award the aircraft original equipment manufacturer (Boeing) up to USD250 million to integrate the LRSO weapon on the USAF's fleet of 76 B-52H bombers between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2023 (with provision for an additional year if needed).

                                        However, while integration work is now set to begin, the LRSO is still a developmental capability and will not be fielded until the 2030 timeframe.

                                        In August 2017 USAF awarded two separate contracts - each with an estimated, but unconfirmed, value of about USD900 million - to Lockheed Martin and Raytheon for work on the LRSO missile. Both contracts run until 2022, following which the air force will select one concept solution to advance its development under an Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development phase contract.

                                        Intended to penetrate and survive integrated air-defence systems and prosecute strategic targets in support of the Air Force's global attack capability and strategic deterrence core function, the LRSO is a developmental, nuclear-capable cruise missile concept that is being proposed as a significantly enhanced replacement for the currently fielded AGM-86 Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM). Both conventional and nuclear variants of the LRSO weapon are required to reach initial operational capability before the retirement of their respective ALCM versions - around 2030.
                                        Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                                        Comment

                                        • bring_it_on
                                          2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                                          • Jun 2004
                                          • 12426

                                          The state of the USAF Classified R&D portfolio over the last 7 budgets...The climb started around FY16 and has continued to grow (>8% YOY in FY20). Interestingly, early FY15 was when the then Secretary of Defense unveiled the third offset strategy...he was fired a few weeks after his speech at the RDF but the R&D growth was protected from budget cuts by Bob Work who was Deputy SecDef through the end of the last administration and into the first year of the current administration. The growth was accelerated in the last few bugets...

                                          Old radar types never die; they just phased array

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