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2017 F-35 news and discussion thread

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    Originally posted by SpudmanWP
    omg... I just realized that the $1.6 billion that DA added up on top of the Lot 9 costs for upgrades & retrofits... DON'T MENTION LOT 9 AT ALL... ANYWHERE.. They all belong to a totally different contract number "N00019-14-G-0020".
    nobody cares where it belongs.. the money has to be paid, that's what matters.. this is exactly how the F-35 become so affordable.. by paying true billions under hidden separate contracts which can't be attributed to a particular lot..

    Comment


      MSphere the money is not for that set of aircraft. Aircraft do not take one year to build, so not all money awarded under an existing CV in a given Fiscal year is attributable to a particular production lot, or units ordered for that year. If I'm buying $200 million worth of (hypothetical case) long lead items for LRIP-13 using the open CV, that cost will be attributed to those aircraft when it comes down to figuring out their unit cost. That is what is done when cost of units procured for a particular year are given for that year in the SAR. As I had mentioned, if your aim is to look at the absolute total spent on the program in terms of acquisition, you will look at the PAUC which is also a reported figure.

      PAUC looks at a very wide range of contracted work and is forward looking. As can be easily plucked from the last SAR, The PAUC for the program (not filtering for A, B and C variants but taking all together) is $150 Million in $TY or less than half that of the F-22A.

      Here are the cost categories that are used in calculating PAUC -

      The estimated cost of development research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E); procurement; and system-specific military construction necessary to acquire the defense system. RDT&E costs are accumulated from the point in time when the DoD acquisition program is designated by title as a program element (PE) or major project within a PE. Military construction costs include only those projects that directly support and uniquely identify with the system.

      This is the total cost to develop, build, and fund program specific/unique military construction changes over the entire program duration. PAUC is essentially this cost divided by the number of aircraft that are part of the POR.

      by paying true billions under hidden separate contracts which can't be attributed to a particular lot..
      Of course they can be attributed to a particular lot if they support recurring or non-recurring cost for that lot, or can be attributed to one of the other acquisition categories such as RDT&E, or MILCON. This is what is done by the folks that prepare documents like the SAR which is a mandated by the US congress for all weapon programs beyond a certain size.

      Below are the two comprehensive program cost tables for both he Air Vehicle, and the Engine. These depict the total program spend over its acquisition life, including Research, procurement and MILCON. This shows all those costs accrued starting in 2000, and ending 2038 or so. Totals to about $380 Billion in $TY.

      https://s12.postimg.org/f7p80b6ml/F35_AV.png

      https://s12.postimg.org/xlzr4aix9/F135.png
      Last edited by bring_it_on; 2nd June 2017, 11:18.
      Old radar types never die; they just phased array

      Comment


        nobody cares where it belongs.
        Considering that Giovanni de Briganti was claiming that these costs were part of Lot 9 and then using that over-inflated Lot 9 cost to claim that the JPO was lying about the price coming down, I think anyone who actually wants to know the truth will care where the numbers actually go.

        paying true billions under hidden separate contracts which can't be attributed to a particular lot..
        If you open up a budget doc it will tell you specifically what year is paying for what items. Add to that there are available graphs to show you what lots are costing for "concurrently" items.

        Last edited by SpudmanWP; 1st June 2017, 22:47.
        "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

        Comment


          nobody cares where it belongs.. the money has to be paid, that's what matters.. this is exactly how the F-35 become so affordable.. by paying true billions under hidden separate contracts which can't be attributed to a particular lot..
          This is common practice, not just to F-35 program, but to many other defense procurement programs. Its just a matter of presentation..
          Thanks

          Comment


            This is common practice, not just to F-35 program, but to many other defense procurement programs. Its just a matter of presentation..
            "Hidden separate contracts" are a common practice? Really?

            There is more data/articles/interviews available on the F-35 and its progress in reducing costs available than probably just about every non-US fighter combined... and yet certain fanboys absolutely insist there has to be some nutty conspiracy underway that hasn't been detected by the auditors and bean counters of a dozen different nations.

            Comment


              Originally posted by hopsalot
              "Hidden separate contracts" are a common practice? Really?
              Hidden in the sense of not being attributed to any particular lot, so that the lot price looks cheap. Most folks do not go any further than this, so the true cost is effectively "hidden".

              Originally posted by hopsalot
              There is more data/articles/interviews available on the F-35 and its progress in reducing costs available than probably just about every non-US fighter combined... and yet certain fanboys absolutely insist there has to be some nutty conspiracy underway that hasn't been detected by the auditors and bean counters of a dozen different nations
              There is a lot of data about Russian aircraft, as well.. I have seen complete BOMs for Russian Su-30SM orders, incl. foreign content, you won't find that on the F-35.. the problem is you can't read cyrillics, but that is a problem of your own, not mine..

              Comment


                This is common practice, not just to F-35 program, but to many other defense procurement programs. Its just a matter of presentation..
                It is an open CV for the Government to contract with the various suppliers for the program. The program does not execute contracts one year at a time, nor do development, acquisition or MILCON happen in one year. Each year they are spending money to develop the aircraft, to procure aircraft, and to provide funding for long lead, and continuing production for future lots. A particular lot of aircraft takes multiple years of funding before it is finally delivered.When you essentially lay out the raw award data for a given year or open or closed CV, you basically see payments made to the suppliers within that vehicle, or within time parameters. Those cannot be added up in isolation, and attributed to one set of aircraft since they cover the program activity and not just lot specific activity. When you go out and try to develop data on Recurring, Non-Recurring, and Fly-Away cost for a particular set of aircraft who's acquisition is concluded in a given FY you isolate the awards specific to those and categories those costs based on DEFINED metrics for these various reported figures. Each metric has a set definition that can be dug up by using google.

                Hidden in the sense of not being attributed to any particular lot, so that the lot price looks cheap. Most folks do not go any further than this, so the true cost is effectively "hidden".
                Categorization is done by those that are required to develop SAR tables which is a prerequisite to every budget development effort and is something mandated by Congress. As has been explained, if there are line item clarifications for any particular contract within the raw CV details, it is something that can be clarified via both directly seeking the information form the DOD, Comptroller or similarly empowered financial body within the DOD, or through legal channels by filing a FOIA request. Folks do this all the time. DefenseOne sought details on Recurring Cost breakup of F-35 by variant and by lot (DOD/JPO practice has been to usually list the data on the F-35A until a few years ago when they started breaking it up by variant) and obtained it (they published it on their website). Similarly, FLIGHT International had requested full details on LRIP-9 and 10 Unit Recurring Fly-Away cost to compare with released data as well.

                There are set definitions on what is included in each defined acquisition category. You cant randomly add up all program spend and attribute it to the unit cost of an aircraft. As has been mentioned, if the objective is to seek the total program spend i.e. the absolute total of amount of money spent on the program, on developing the aircraft, on buying all the aircraft, and on construction activity in support of the aircraft or its support systems then you look at the PAUC which exists as a defined reporting metric for this very reason. You don't look through the recurring flyway cost for PAUC data, that is reported for the program separately. And NO, there are no HIDDEN data that are excluded from this, PAUC is a comprehensive metric for unit cost reporting but the other categories only include the relevant cost based on what they are reporting. Each one of those categories has a DEFINED set of costs that are included in them.

                There is no Halloween definition, or Msphere definition, or bring_it_on or even F-35 specific definition on unit cost. The DOD, and the program report each category as they are required to and it is the job of the DOD to supply updated tables based on which they develop the tables for a given budget year. These reporting categories are pretty standard across programs and as mentioned serve a role. This reporting structure is built into law - 10 USC 2432. It is important to track recurring and non-reccuring cost seperately, and it is important to measure APUC, and PAUC estimates and how they change in order to hold the program accountable and to re-baseline it if it has breached those metrics. This is the LAW in the US, and the F-35 itself has had a NM breach upon which it was elevated to the OSD, approved for re-baselining by the Congress and was re-baselined post 2010.

                Refers to Title 10, U.S.C. 2433, Unit Cost Reports (UCRs). This amendment to Title 10 was introduced by Senator Sam Nunn and Congressman Dave McCurdy in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 1982. Requires that Acquisition Category I (ACAT I) program managers (PMs) maintain current estimates of Program Acquisition Unit Cost (PAUC) and Average Procurement Unit Cost (APUC). If the PAUC or APUC increases by 25 percent or more over the current Acquisition Program Baseline (APB) objective, or 50 percent or more over the original APB objective, the program must be terminated unless the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) certifies to Congress that the program is essential to national security.
                Fly-Away both Recurring, and non Recurring, and a breakdown of the RDT&E activities all provide additional data that help build APUC and PAUC numerators. These are also standard and can be used to track the program. However, taking a google search of a CV, and simply tallying up the cost of a particular vehicles total spend and then taking a set amount of aircraft the cost of which is only a subset of that vehicle size is not representative of any reasonable unit-cost definitions. If I spend money in Lot-9 to buy long lead items for lot-12, no reasonable person would advocate that this cost be attributed to the unit cost of lot-9 set of aircraft. Same applies to the money I spend to build IB capacity to supply XX additional aircraft 3 years from lot-9 delivery completion..that cost has nothing to do with the cost to produce or deliver lot-9 aircraft. And no that cost is not hidden, it is within the CV and is a part of PAUC, and as per the reporting requirements would be split and reported in an appropriate category and lot it is responsible for.
                Last edited by bring_it_on; 2nd June 2017, 12:19.
                Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                Comment


                  The ever sneaky Concurrency cost that is the sole fault of US Senate, politics and what not..
                  It has nothing to do with F-35 program and its inherent production Lot's. No sir, its two different issues.. nothing to see, moving on!
                  Last edited by haavarla; 2nd June 2017, 12:17.
                  Thanks

                  Comment


                    What two different issues? The issue being discussed here is whether there is cost in the CV that should be attributed to Lot-9 production jets as their unit cost. Costs not attributable to those aircraft do not, and are reported separately in an appropriate category. If they are Concurrency costs, those go into concurrency costs if they are for previously delivered aircraft, if they are MILCON costs they are reported as MILCON, and if they are long lead costs for a future lot, or IB investment for a ramp up, those go into their own appropriate category. Concurrency cost is also something that is discussed and reported by both the program and those on the outside such as the GAO. It is a tracked metric and has been reported on a regular basis throughout the production life of the program.

                    As explained multiple times now, PAUC will include all of that and the current PAUC estimate of $150 Million (All variants) in $TY accounts for those costs. This obviously includes US Military Construction, and the entire programs Research, Development Test and Evaluation activities.
                    Last edited by bring_it_on; 2nd June 2017, 12:40.
                    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                    Comment


                      Yep.. and these are the only figures which really do matter.. ~$150 mil a pop domestic delivery price.. twice as much as an F/A-18E/F..

                      Comment


                        The ever sneaky Concurrency cost that is the sole fault of US Senate, politics and what not..
                        It has nothing to do with F-35 program and its inherent production Lot's. No sir, its two different issues.. nothing to see, moving on!
                        And what are the concurrency costs of the F-35's being produced now? What are they for lots 10, 11?

                        Flippant comments are a poor substitute for knowing what you are talking about.

                        Comment


                          Yep.. and these are the only figures which really do matter.. ~$150 mil a pop domestic delivery price.. twice as much as an F/A-18E/F..
                          What is the PAUC equivalent for the two other western aircraft currently being produced? ( I posted them in the Typhoon and Rafale thread- for the Rafale that is 231 million in 2013 (USD). Odd that Defense Aerospace doesn't want to delve into that further.
                          http://www.senat.fr/rap/a13-158-8/a13-158-814.html

                          Might want to check your numbers for the F-18 E/F, they are no longer 75 million flyaway. Also, why would you compare flyaway of an F-18 E/F with the PAUC of the F-35? That, and the flyaway for the SH doesn't include GFE like the engines (Edit- engines are included in the 79 million FY 2017 flyaway cost in the Navy budget).
                          Last edited by FBW; 2nd June 2017, 13:32.

                          Comment


                            MSphere, Wrong on the PAUC for the Super Hornet since you erroneously cite its fly-away cost and not its PAUC but use the F-35's PAUC for comparison. Even if you had cited the correct F-18E/F costs, It would still not have been an appropriate comparison for many reasons - For starters the F35's higher PAUC is influenced by developing a clean sheet multi service program while the Super Hornet is based on the Hornet and was a much simpler, and cheaper development project. For the purpose of comparing, both programs have largely concluded their primary R&D phase, and by next year both will be in follow on development (FOD for F-35 and Block III for Super Hornet). Secondly the higher PAUC on the JSF covers the development and acquisition cost of unique STOVL capability which has no equivalent on the Super Hornet program. There is no requirement to report PAUC of F-35 by variant, and nor does the data attempt at dividing RDT&E cost into three variants in the unclassified reporting dommain (keep in mind that financial data exists in the unclassified setting as well, as do classified reporting requirements). Then there are costs attributable to buying larger quantities such as military construction which scale up with the number of aircraft and operating bases and services. The Super Hornet is a USN only program (DOD) and utilizes largely an existing Hornet supplier base and infrastructure.

                            Finally, F-18 PAUC covers R&D, and Acquisition (plus MILCON) expenditures of the past, while the F-35’s PAUC calculates one into the future so these aren’t apples to apples. Since the RDT&E cost for SDD F-35 is 99% paid for, what is more relevant from a procurement perspective between these aircraft is the unit acquisition cost for an F-18E/F Block II or Block III, vs that of an F-35A, or F-35C. That is the cost someone will pay if they had to decide whether to buy one or the other. R&D cost portion of PAUC is not paid at the time of aircraft order but ahead i.e. the RDT&E cost of the JSF program would be paid in its first 10-15 years and not as a unit cost throughout the life of the acquisition program.

                            One can look into the current budget for the USAF, and DON, to see what each service is paying for their F-35A, B or C, and for each F-18E/F. All those figures would be for aircraft delivered around the same time and will represent a more accurate analysis of alternatives from an acquisition perspective.

                            Sticking just to PAUC, the F-18E/F has the PAUC at $83 Million in FY2000 $. As a comparison, in base year FY12$ dollars for the F-35 program is $126.5 Million. These figures aren't directly comparable since you would have to inflation adjust 2000 data to reflect 2012 costs. The proper way to do that would be to follow DOD inflation index but a quick and dirty way is to use a basic US inflation calculator. You can do that using the calculator available HERE but keep in mind that it will still not reflect a fair comparison for many reasons, some cited above. Finally, from a program perspective the comparison is flawed in the sense that had the F-18E/F, met the JSF program requirements Boeing would have offered it, and similarly, its competitors would have offered something comparable and not something that is more advanced. You are developing, and buying higher capability.

                            Same would be the case if you attempted at a PAUC comparison between an F-15 and F-35 (even if it were possible since the current reporting guidelines showed up after the F-15 program) since you would be using F-15 R&D figures, which make up one of the three components of the PAUC numerator from the 1970s, and comparing them to F-35 RDTE done in the 2000-2017 time-frame. That comparison, much like the one between F-18E/F's and F-35's PAUC comparison is not the appropriate way to decide whether to buy one aircraft or the other. From a procurement perspective, what a buyer or someone working on a particular budget is interested in is how much he/she has to budget for X number of F-35s, vs X number of F-18E/Fs. Only a fraction of the cost that goes into PAUC is relevant towards that. Hence you have APUC, Flyaway and other reporting metrics.

                            Using financial data in decision making is important, but which data to look at is equally important both from a policy and budget perspective. APUC and PAUC are denominator sensitive i.e. they can rise in the 2018 estimate simply on account of the program deciding to buy 100 fewer aircraft in the 2030-2035 time-frame. In parallel, the program could decide to buy the aircraft faster and as a result lower the annual acquisition spend per unit on account of economies of scale while the out year reduction actually increases APUC and PAUC. It is therefore extremely important to look at an appropriate cost metric relevant for a particular decision authority. There are numerous instances of a reducing fly-away unit cost happening in parallell with an increasing APUC or PAUC. The classic modern example is that of the F-22, where the unit fly-away cost continued to decrease with annual production rate increase yoy, right till the last contract negotiation while the PAUC kept on increasing because the DOD kept slashing its total buy.
                            Last edited by bring_it_on; 2nd June 2017, 14:16.
                            Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                            Comment


                              @Msphere
                              ROTFL.. From an F-35 fanboy that's almost insulting
                              Oh please,
                              F-35 pilots stories are real interviews that either video recorded or published by many popular magazines. There are evidences that the interview at least exist.
                              By contrast many Rafale pilots stories when they always start with one member being like "a pilot told me", "come from this famous guys on forum". There is no evidence that they even existed in the first place.

                              Comment


                                @Msphere
                                There is a lot of data about Russian aircraft, as well.. I have seen complete BOMs for Russian Su-30SM orders, incl. foreign content, you won't find that on the F-35.. the problem is you can't read cyrillics, but that is a problem of your own, not mine
                                Yes, Russia is synonymous with "budget transparency" especially in their defense industry.

                                They rank among the elites in openness and transparency: Just below Sierra Leone and just above Kyrgyzstan.

                                Comment


                                  And what are the concurrency costs of the F-35's being produced now? What are they for lots 10, 11?

                                  Flippant comments are a poor substitute for knowing what you are talking about.And what are the concurrency costs of the F-35's being produced now? What are they for lots 10, 11?
                                  Concurrency cost is a complex set of expenses from the F-35 program.

                                  As the test points build up, LM and the different air branch discover flaws that needs fixes. LM then issue new production order down to their sub suppliers for any Airframe or Engine parts than need these fixes... what ever surpluss of original parts, they are useless and fits in under concurrency cost. Then LM assemble the F-35 with the new fixed parts and what ever test point already done.. is revised and further testing is required to validate that the new fix, is indeed working. More test point equal more cost, hense more concurrency cost.

                                  And since the F-35 program is taking its sweet time, some of the originale tech and requirements get absolete as new tech and capability enter the arena. Thus this refit of new sensors, CPU, more software coding happen, more testing, time and cost to the F-35 concurrency cost, which also have a impact on the Lot being produced.
                                  Also, since the concurrency is hindering a much higher production output from what was envisioned from the start of this program, the production rate from all sub suppliers cannot exeed a certain number of units, well at least until all the test points of F-35 program have been completed. So that also have an impact on production cost, hense concurrency cost.

                                  So if you think, i thought the Concurrency is only linked to refitting the existing fleet of F-35 already flying, then you are very much mistaken.
                                  Thanks

                                  Comment


                                    Concurrency cost is a complex set of expenses from the F-35 program.
                                    Concurrency costs are reported, and have been over most of the program production life including both actual costs, and future cost estimates.

                                    LM then issue new production order down to their sub suppliers for any Airframe or Engine parts than need these fixes... what ever surpluss of original parts, they are useless and fits in under concurrency cost. Then LM assemble the F-35 with the new fixed parts and what ever test point already done.. is revised and further testing is required to validate that the new fix, is indeed working. More test point equal more cost, hense more concurrency cost.
                                    Not sure you are aware but concurrency as a financial matter is currently, and has been since LRIP-5 a matter of cost-sharing between the DOD and its suppliers.

                                    And since the F-35 program is taking its sweet time, some of the originale tech and requirements get obsolete as new tech and capability enter the arena.
                                    Obsolescence issues and change orders are part and parcel of each and every program no matter how long or how short its development phase is and they almost always involve injecting new components as and when needed either because they are no longer relevant from a technology perspective or because there is a shrinking supplier base. The JSF as a program was designed to periodically inject capability right during the SDD phase, particularly into its avionics architecture as the program advanced from basic block 1 to final SDD block configuration. This was both as a capability increase, and to address any obsolescence issues in addition to getting new suppliers on board. This is typical of any program in the DOD and not something unique to this one.

                                    Also, since the concurrency is hindering a much higher production output from what was envisioned from the start of this program, the production rate from all sub suppliers cannot exeed a certain number of units, well at least until all the test points of F-35 program have been completed. So that also have an impact on production cost, hense concurrency cost.
                                    What has hindered production ramp has been the desire of the two services paying for the US jets to protect other programs while the BCA is in place. The original production schedule was pre-BCA. BCA has effed up a lot of plans and all three buying the aircraft have had to re-baseline their annual spend with their budget which now has limits that did not exist pre BCA. So yeah, the air-force can buy 20 more F-35As in 2019 but they will have to chop something up in order to get to that since BCA mechanisms prevent a topline increase beyond what Obama has managed. Even Trump with his rhetoric has not managed anything more than 4% for FY18 and is unlikely to get significantly beyond that in 19 and 20 either since it is dependent on a 60-vote senate threshold. He likely won't get his full 4%, most likely 2-3% increase which is pretty much the equilibrium given the Congressional makeup. On its part the USAF has said they will prioritize 3 programs (F-35A, B-21, KC-46) and protect them to an extent but even they have been quite open that this protection would not be unconditional..at some point, in the absence of a topline increase they would have to, and have adjusted their acquisition strategy to better align with their budget outlook.

                                    Another reason for the slower ramp up is the delay on account of technical hurdles that the program has overcome, which was recognized at its re-baseline when an additional funding stream was committed to it along with more allowance in schedule. Full Rate Production is now dependent on an appropriate milestone and so is a bulk purchase. Those that are not limited by that and other US regulations are entering into bulk purchases earlier, such as the international customers that make up approximately 50% of the F-35's being produced in the next 4-5 years. The Current LRIP 11-14 deal gets them rolling on more than 500 aircraft - way more than the total acquisition numbers of many current and previous programs so they're getting there.

                                    They have been moving rapidly on ramp up and placing orders. Not counting LRIP 10 (90 aircraft), and LRIP 11 (90+ aircraft), the LRIP 12-14 contracting that was just commenced covers 457 aircraft. Added together that is nearly a backlog of 700 aircraft on the books (counting orders and pre-orders) or roughly the current size of the entire Super Hornet program and many times the size of the F-22 or Rafale progams of record. This despite the Budget caps that, compromise budgets that make it tough to negotiate DOD sought topline increases.

                                    https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/d...bers-released/
                                    Last edited by bring_it_on; 2nd June 2017, 15:04.
                                    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                                    Comment


                                      i just said that F-35 wand not the most persistent plane, particularly during high speed combats over the sea. Like it or not, pilot testimony, not nyour fanboyism. Source is in latest raids aviation. 3pancho" testimony. Very funny how you get touchy. Btw, mrmalaya, at least nthe french build ,a,plane. They are not just subcontractors as uk.
                                      Did anyone notice there were positive feedback on F-35 and i nsaid it?

                                      In the meanwhile, real cost of LRIP9 is skyrocketing... https://www.fpds.gov/common/jsp/easySearchView.jsp
                                      The UK also have a plane and are Tier 1 partners on another and it's a tactic that will effectively result in far more exports. And I don't think your link works. And can persistence with 3 2000L tanks really be compared to that clean?

                                      Comment


                                        ROTFL.. From an F-35 fanboy that's almost insulting
                                        He's right though. Pilot's stories depend on which pilots you ask. Between that and unofficial blogs, you can build up a truly exceptional image of an otherwise ordinary aircraft.

                                        Comment


                                          Speaking of build and buy rates, Inside Defense just recently published the USAF FY18 unfunded priorities list aka their wishlist. This is essentially something they supply to Congress from which Congress can choose to fund some of the requests through OCO during the negotiations process and the subsequent change in law required to go past the budget caps (as has been happening over the last few years). These are things the services would have liked to buy but couldn't include in the Presidents budget because it would have exceeded the topline they were given. This further drives home the point that it is budget that is holding back a more aggresive buy rate. The three services would like to buy these aircrft faster but pending a proportional top line increase they can't hence virtually every year the send an unfunded list to Congress that almost always asks for more F-35s.

                                          Air Force's $10.7B wish list would ramp F-35 procurement to 60 in FY-18

                                          The Air Force's $10.7 billion unfunded priorities list for fiscal year 2018 would pay for 14 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft -- enough to bring the Air Force to its desired 60-jet-per-year procurement rate sooner than expected.

                                          The list, which Inside Defense obtained June 2, also includes $6.7 billion for readiness and modernization, $772 million for space programs, $360 million for nuclear deterrence operations, $563 million for cyber, $1.8 billion for infrastructure and $504 million for various airmen-focused initiatives.

                                          In a May 31 cover letter attached to the 20-page list and signed by Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, the service states that while the FY-18 budget request helps address "the erosion of our advantages over potential adversaries," the service has additional requirements. Goldfein notes that the gaps highlighted in the UPL are owed, in part, to Congress' refusal to approve the service's FY-17 request for additional funds.

                                          "We appreciate your full support of our FY-18 [president's budget], however, there are remaining requirements necessary to continue readiness recovery, fill critical gaps, and build the force required to fight and win in an increasingly challenged global security environment," the document states.

                                          The $1.7 billion for additional F-35 procurement comes after the FY-18 budget request sought just 46 F-35s next fiscal year and pushed the much-anticipated annual procurement ramp to 60 jets out past 2022. Air Force officials have said reaching that ramp rate as soon as possible is its top acquisition priority and, in its UPL, states that the need for more fifth-generation jets is driven by "slowed modernization" of fourth-generation aircraft. More importantly it signals the strategy and the USAF's acquisition intentions in an un-capped budget where they could fund to higher topline.

                                          "The Bipartisan Budget Act has forced us to make sacrifices as we balance readiness and modernization," the document states. "With increased funding, we would invest in these capabilities now to ensure they do not compete for funding with critical nuclear and space requirements in the out-years."

                                          The service also requests $600 million to buy three additional KC-46 tankers above the 15 request it sought in the FY-18 budget, accelerating the program's buy schedule.

                                          The legacy EC-130H Compass Call would see a $30 million increase if the request is funded. The service also seeks $88 million to boost an effort to recapitalize the aging fleet -- $10 million for the air vehicle, another $10 million to fund additional spares, $20.2 million for the aircraft's radar system, $24.6 million for mission support equipment and $5.5 million for a cognitive electronic warfare effort -- as well as $176 million to buy one more new aircraft above what was programmed.

                                          The UPL also includes $177 million for risk-reduction efforts associated with the service's pursuit of a new Penetrating Counterair capability -- $30 million for development activities and $147 million for ongoing risk-reduction efforts.

                                          For space programs, the service requests $95.5 million to boost its work on a new Enterprise Space Battle Management Command and Control System and $112.6 million to meet Space Based Infrared System requirements, among other efforts.

                                          Among nuclear deterrence programs included in the UPL, the service includes $163 million for the Distributed Common Ground System modernization.

                                          The Air Force is also calling for close to $140 million for investments in "game-changing technology," which would fund directed-energy and hypersonics prototyping as well as other efforts.
                                          I don't think they'll get 14 additional F-35As but it is possible that they'll manage to get 4-8 extra ones over and above what they've included in PB18.

                                          Following suite, the Marines have 6 additional F-35Bs in their unfunded FY18 list as well -

                                          Marines send Congress $3.1B wish list; seek six additional F-35s


                                          The Marine Corps has sent Congress a $3.1 billion unfunded priorities list that includes six additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, according to documents obtained by Inside Defense.

                                          The service's aviation portfolio accounts for the bulk of the request at $2.3 billion, including $616 million for four additional F-35B Joint Strike Fighters, $260 million for two additional F-35Cs,
                                          And, not to be left behind. The Navy too has requested additional F-35Cs as part of its unfunded list -

                                          Navy requests additional $5.46B in unfunded priorities for FY-18


                                          If funded, the UPL would accelerate readiness recovery for Navy aviation by requesting an additional 10 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet jets, four F-35Cs, four CMV-22B Ospreys and six P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.
                                          My guess is that the AF gets 6-8 F-35As, the Marines get 4 additional F-35Bs, and the Navy and Marines get no additional F-35Cs.
                                          Last edited by bring_it_on; 2nd June 2017, 17:40.
                                          Old radar types never die; they just phased array

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