Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

F-35 price tag holding steady..........

Collapse
X
Collapse
Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • bring_it_on
    2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
    • Jun 2004
    • 12480

    2nd F-35 set to fly this month

    Sometime in the next few weeks, a test pilot will push the throttle forward, and the second F-35 Lightning II test aircraft will make its maiden flight, a major milestone for the $298 billion fighter-jet development program.

    "We're working toward a late May [flight] date," said Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice president over F-35 development and production.

    "There's nothing we've identified that would be a barrier to that. At the same time, I've given the team a mid-June target to give them time to recover from any last-minute issues that arise."

    Key point

    The second aircraft is a significant step forward for the joint strike fighter program. It is the first airplane built after a major redesign launched in mid-2003 to reduce weight. It's also the first F-35B model, a short-takeoff-vertical-landing (STOVL) version like those to be built for the Marines and the armed forces of some foreign countries, notably Britain's Royal Navy.

    A British pilot, Graham Tomlinson, who works for BAE Systems, will fly the B-model. The aircraft has undergone engine and flight-control testing on the ground in recent weeks. All test flights will involve conventional takeoffs and landings. STOVL testing won't occur until an improved engine is installed, probably early in 2009.

    Flight-test progress

    The first test airplane, which first flew in December 2006, has completed 40 test flights, totaling more than 48 hours. The plane has been undergoing mandatory inspections, maintenance and software upgrades since the last flight April 2. It is expected to resume flying in the middle of this month.

    Crowley said there have been no significant technical issues or problems found in the 21 flights since testing resumed in December after a seven-month grounding due to a serious problem with flight controls.

    Progress picks up

    By the end of 2009, Lockheed plans to have built and be testing all 19 aircraft, 13 (including the first) for flight tests and six for ground testing.

    Four planes are in various stages of major assembly, and work is under way at Lockheed and other firms on components and assemblies for the rest. Crowley said major structural components for all the remaining aircraft should be delivered within the next 60 to 90 days.
    http://www.star-telegram.com/business/story/621512.html


    Lockheed looks to partners to give F-35 sales a big lift


    Lockheed Martin officials are working out a plan to get key allies to place firm, early orders for hundreds of F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighters.

    Much work remains to be done, but Lockheed hopes to submit a detailed proposal outlining cost, order and delivery schedules to government and military officials by early next year.

    The plans calls for a consortium of the eight countries that have invested in development of the F-35 to commit to buy 368 fighter jets, with production beginning as soon as 2012-2013.

    U.S. taxpayers and military services would be major beneficiaries of the consortium proposal. The sooner foreign countries place orders for F-35s and production begins to increase, the faster the cost of the aircraft should come down.

    "The importance is stability," said Dan Crowley, the Lockheed executive vice president who oversees F-35 development and production in Fort Worth. "Stability of production, stability of cost."

    Lockheed and the Pentagon have been working since mid-2007 to encourage the eight partner countries to place early orders.

    Without foreign orders, the U.S. military would have to bear the brunt of the high early costs of buying tools, training workers and working out the kinks in the production lines.

    Pentagon budget documents show that the Air Force anticipates ordering 42 F-35s in 2013 at an average price of about $91 million, the lowest cost of the three versions. Navy and Marine Corps planes would cost much more. Early foreign orders could bring those costs down significantly.

    At the same time, Lockheed hopes the plan will help persuade the Pentagon to step up its planned F-35 purchases as the armed services seek to replace older, costly-to-maintain fighter jets now being heavily used in Iraq and Afghanistan and for other missions.

    Tom Burbage, Lockheed's executive vice president who oversees the political and marketing aspects of the F-35, briefed officials of the partner countries at a conference last month. He will present the concept to senior government and military officials this month.

    If they approve, Burbage said Lockheed and the other contractors will begin extensive discussions with suppliers to try and project cost and production schedules so that firm pricing commitments could be made to the partner countries.

    "Nobody has bought into it yet," said Burbage, adding that Lockheed would have to invest a great deal of time and effort to pull together accurate cost data.

    Unlike the U.S., which funds weapons-system purchases on a year-to-year basis, most of the F-35 partner countries will make multiyear buying decisions and appropriate the money upfront. Much like Boeing does with commercial airline buyers, Lockheed and the U.S. will have to commit to selling F-35s at firm, fixed prices for the life of a contract.

    Burbage said that under such an arrangement, Lockheed and the other prime contractors, BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman, will take on some financial risk, as will the U.S. and foreign governments.

    Great Britain and the Netherlands are expected to buy three test airplanes between them, along with 16 for the U.S. government in the 2009 fiscal year.

    So far, the U.S. and Lockheed have been able to keep the partner countries on the F-35 team despite the best efforts of European fighter-jet manufacturers.

    "They've kept all eight partner nations in, they've kept them funding it, which is a major accomplishment," said Richard Aboulafia, aerospace-industry analyst with the Teal Group.

    Burbage just returned from a 10-day trip to Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands to meet with government and military leaders. Norway and Denmark have not yet committed to buy the F-35 and are holding competitions, mainly with Sweden's Saab Gripen fighter.

    Burbage submitted Lockheed's formal bid to Norwegian officials Monday. In his remarks, Burbage told Norwegian officials that the F-35 represents a "quantum leap" in combat capabilities at 20 percent lower operational cost than the F-16s and other aircraft they are now flying.

    "We made a strong proposal," Burbage said. "We're competitive on price, and we're a much more capable airplane."

    Norway is expected to decide which fighter to purchase by year's end, but Burbage said a formal decision to order planes is probably several years away.

    Other countries are also considering how soon to commit to F-35 orders. Italy, Burbage said, might decide to buy its own test airplane in 2009. Australian government officials have hedged at times about their commitment and have announced plans to order 24 Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets.

    But Burbage said all indications are that Australia will reaffirm its intent to purchase F-35s at some point.

    Israel, meanwhile, has adopted military budget plans that call for buying 25 F-35s around 2012.

    As Lockheed and the U.S. seek to firm up foreign support for the F-35, one selling point has been that partner countries, which won F-35 work by upgrading their technology and manufacturing capabilities, are beginning to win additional work from the commercial aircraft industry.

    "All of the benefits [from other countries' investments] have gone into their local, high-tech industries," Burbage said, something political leaders are beginning to notice.

    Planned U.S. F-35 spending

    Fiscal 2008

    Procurement

    12 planes $2.65 billion

    Research, development and testing

    $3.5 billion

    Fiscal 2009

    Procurement

    16 planes

    Research, development and testing

    $3.9 billion
    http://www.star-telegram.com/business/story/621516.html
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

    Comment

    • Schorsch
      Severely Transonic
      • Aug 2005
      • 3843

      Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post
      You can have PREDICTED NUMBERS for FULL CONFIG aircraft at this stage made by computer modeling , however REAL no.s will come when the FIRST FULLY REPRESENTATIVE version (the one that just started assembly IIRC) is weighed . That is usually what happens in most weapons programs that i have come across .
      I am not accusing LM of delivering overly optimistic figures ... OK, actually I do. But I would also assume some weight gain due to USAF gold plating (while there isn't really any additional gold you can put on the JSF).
      Anyways, the current F-35A is as representative of the main serial version as was the first F-16A Block 0 for the average F-16.
      Publicly, we say one thing... Actually, we do another.

      Comment

      • bring_it_on
        2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
        • Jun 2004
        • 12480

        I am not accusing LM of delivering overly optimistic figures ... OK, actually I do.
        LMA is not the only authority with the proper information and the legal authority to judge,comment upon the weight or any other concern on the JSF program.

        Anyways, the current F-35A is as representative of the main serial version as was the first F-16A Block 0 for the average F-16.
        That is a FACT that is publically well known , Neither LMA nor the USAF nor anyone else is suggesting otherwise .

        Like I said NG just started work on FIRST REPRESENTATIVE version of the F-35 , and so did Bae in UK , when that is fully assembled they will weigh it however the modeling that they have done is always under scruitiny and their claims are always bound to be vetted by authorities concerned wether they be branches of the DOD connected with the program or arms of the Congress such as GAO . This is pretty standard .

        However modeling is something that is used in every DOD program , when they model something during testing they constantly compare their results to the model and refine the model accordingly and also validate it . Same thing as commercial Boeing or airbus modeling and DIGITAL TESTING that takes place before actual testing .

        I doubt that the REAL figures that come after the aircraft is put to the scale would be SIGNIFICANTLY different from the NO.s being predicted right now but we will soon know .
        Old radar types never die; they just phased array

        Comment

        • Schorsch
          Severely Transonic
          • Aug 2005
          • 3843

          Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post
          However modeling is something that is used in every DOD program , when they model something during testing they constantly compare their results to the model and refine the model accordingly and also validate it . Same thing as commercial Boeing or airbus modeling and DIGITAL TESTING that takes place before actual testing .
          While Airbus and Boeing regularly hit the mark (B787: ~6%, A380: 1.2%, B747-8: 1.3%) with low error. The B787 must be considered a high deviation. Let's see if the F-35 turns out to be equally well predicted.
          Publicly, we say one thing... Actually, we do another.

          Comment

          • bring_it_on
            2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
            • Jun 2004
            • 12480

            The B787 must be considered a high deviation.
            We must not CONFUSE Internal TARGETS with MODEL ESTIMATES , Boeing knew that they would be overweight on the 787 , their models predicted that they would be over-weight , I dont think you imply that boeing have gone 6% over and above what their models were predicting the weight would be ?? If that is the case then i would agree with you however i havent come across the figures which suggest that they were 6% over and above what the models were predicting the weight of the aircraft to be ( the same models which showed to boeing that the aircraft was going to be over weight as compared to the TARGETS they had for the dreamliner) .

            Are they 6% over and above the weight (weight they were targeting for ?) and do you have any recent article ??
            Old radar types never die; they just phased array

            Comment

            • CanberraA84-232
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Apr 2008
              • 266

              Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post
              I personally hope that the RAAF doesnt end up with the F-35A as its sole combat jet (BaE Hawks aside), i am utterly disgusted already by the sacrifices being pushed onto the RAAF to accomodate the F-35, they are massively eroding the capabilities of this air arm for one fighter, at that a fighter completely unsuited to our somewhat unique requirements.
              Proper planning and preparation prevents p*** poor performance

              Comment

              • bring_it_on
                2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                • Jun 2004
                • 12480

                F-35 is a pretty good F-18 replacement for the Aussies , for a true F-111 type aircraft unfortunately their aint much that exists that also provides modern 5th gen features such as stealth and integrated avionics etc . Aussies have a unique requirment perhaps if filling the same requirment is considered such high priority they could invest 6-10 billion US $ in asking LMA to make for them a bigger F-22B (akin to F-15E) with greater range , speed and greater payload .
                Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                Comment

                • bring_it_on
                  2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                  • Jun 2004
                  • 12480

                  Either way RAAF would still have 2 jets in the F-35 and atleast 1 squadron of Block 2.0 Super Hornets
                  Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                  Comment

                  • edi_right_round
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Nov 2005
                    • 266

                    Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post
                    F-35 is a pretty good F-18 replacement for the Aussies , for a true F-111 type aircraft unfortunately their aint much that exists that also provides modern 5th gen features such as stealth and integrated avionics etc . Aussies have a unique requirment perhaps if filling the same requirment is considered such high priority they could invest 6-10 billion US $ in asking LMA to make for them a bigger F-22B (akin to F-15E) with greater range , speed and greater payload .
                    Aussies can always buy a squadron of Backfires or better say Fullbacks from Rossija:diablo:

                    i have a question.Is UK going to buy just F/35b or they'll buy also F/35c?thnx

                    Comment

                    • swerve
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Jun 2005
                      • 13610

                      Originally posted by edi_right_round View Post
                      i have a question.Is UK going to buy just F/35b or they'll buy also F/35c?thnx
                      Just F-35B
                      Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                      Justinian

                      Comment

                      • MisterQ
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jan 2008
                        • 475

                        Originally posted by Schorsch View Post
                        So, you think you have seen a "vid" and know you know that Lockheed Martin has build a totally crappy aircraft? Sorry, I think you are overrating your judgment a bit.
                        I mentioned the vid only to prove the size of the engine, as everyone seems to think that sticking 2 50 inch stages on the front of the f135 would lead to an engine that looks as front heavy as a pegasus does, while in reality it wouldn't, I think LM has come up with a crappy plane in the F-35B because they're not really improving on what they are replacing enough to justify the insane cost, it is bigger, heavier and more complex than a harrier, while only having a slightly higher total payload capacity and combat radius (and that's going on LMs estimates, no hard figures yet), it has no thrust vectoring, the only benefits it has are its speed, and its much mentioned stealth, and it has the 2 HUGE disadvantages of its massive IR signature and the reduced sortie rate that always comes with stealth planes, oh and lets not forget that it's big brother seems to have both rust problems and has started to fall apart.


                        Just out of interest, do you think LM would've gone the same way if they'd had a clean run at the project and not been hamstrung by the terms of the joint strike fighter competition?

                        Comment

                        • mobryan
                          Court Jester
                          • Mar 2006
                          • 235

                          Originally posted by MisterQ View Post
                          I think LM has come up with a crappy plane in the F-35B because they're not really improving on what they are replacing enough to justify the insane cost, it is bigger, heavier and more complex than a harrier, while only having a slightly higher total payload capacity and combat radius (and that's going on LMs estimates, no hard figures yet), it has no thrust vectoring, the only benefits it has are its speed, and its much mentioned stealth, and it has the 2 HUGE disadvantages of its massive IR signature and the reduced sortie rate that always comes with stealth planes,
                          With the exception of the "Emergancy Back" stop, which is of dubious use in combat, I find it hard to believe that there is a maneuver that the Harrier CAN do with TVC, that the B CANNOT do without TVC.


                          Matt

                          Comment

                          • CanberraA84-232
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Apr 2008
                            • 266

                            Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post
                            F-35 is a pretty good F-18 replacement for the Aussies , for a true F-111 type aircraft unfortunately their aint much that exists that also provides modern 5th gen features such as stealth and integrated avionics etc . Aussies have a unique requirment perhaps if filling the same requirment is considered such high priority they could invest 6-10 billion US $ in asking LMA to make for them a bigger F-22B (akin to F-15E) with greater range , speed and greater payload .
                            im sorry but the F-35A just isnt the ideal fighter for this country, though a capable replacement for the ageing F/A-18A/B fleet, there was no proper evaluation process before the selection was made, indeed the officer appointed to oversee the fly-off for the RAAF's next fighter was ordered to close the competition before it had begun and ordered to select the F-35A.

                            The single biggest problem with the F-35A for Australia is one that cannot be changed, it is single engined, when it had long been identified as a requirement that a Hornet rplacement MUST be twin engined, the reason being due to our few operational flying bases and the great distance between them, added to the range at which most ops are conducted, the loss of the engine near guarantees the loss of the aircraft, whereas with a twin engine design this is less likely with a single engine loss, the last single engined fighter operated by the RAAF, the Mirage III, suffered a high loss rate due to engine failure, indeed over 10% of the total number procured (14 out of 108) were lost to engine failure, and at the end price per aircraft the F-35A is looking to have this is something the RAAF can ill afford.

                            As to the eroding of capability it is thus, the RAAF are being forced to pension off the F-111 fleet 10 years ahead of schedule to take on the Super Hornet as an "insurance policy" against the late delivery or indeed total cancellation of the F-35 programme, which with most of the Hornet fleet having exceeded 90% fatigue life consumed and only being barely able to last until the F-35 introduction through reduced flying hours and structural modification, should the F-35 be delayed it could potentially leave the RAAF without an operational air superiority type, a situation that would be an utter embarrassment and yet would be entirely due to the culture of mismanagement that has prevailed throughout defence in the last 10 years.
                            Proper planning and preparation prevents p*** poor performance

                            Comment

                            • bring_it_on
                              2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                              • Jun 2004
                              • 12480

                              The single biggest problem with the F-35A for Australia is one that cannot be changed, it is single engined, when it had long been identified as a requirement that a Hornet rplacement MUST be twin engined, the reason being due to our few operational flying bases and the great distance between them, added to the range at which most ops are conducted, the loss of the engine near guarantees the loss of the aircraft, whereas with a twin engine design this is less likely with a single engine loss, the last single engined fighter operated by the RAAF, the Mirage III, suffered a high loss rate due to engine failure, indeed over 10% of the total number procured (14 out of 108) were lost to engine failure, and at the end price per aircraft the F-35A is looking to have this is something the RAAF can ill afford.
                              USN has had similar concerns however even they are now comfortable , for them it would be imposible to land without the engine and it would mean almost certain loss (cant crash land) , however statistical evidence points that safety record of Single engined fighters when it comes to ENGINE losses ( USAF operation F-16's) was actually at par or better to the F-18 Fleet .
                              Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                              Comment

                              • CanberraA84-232
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Apr 2008
                                • 266

                                Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post
                                USN has had similar concerns however even they are now comfortable , for them it would be imposible to land without the engine and it would mean almost certain loss (cant crash land) , however statistical evidence points that safety record of Single engined fighters when it comes to ENGINE losses ( USAF operation F-16's) was actually at par or better to the F-18 Fleet .
                                I am coming from the RAAF single engined fighter record, not the USAF's.

                                our loss rate for single engine fighters due to ENGINE failures has always been significantly higher than for an operator like the USAF, excluding our military airbases we have incredibly few airports and landing areas that can accomodate a fighter aircraft, thus elevating the risk level of losing an aircraft.

                                The other side of the coin is the now greatly increased reliability of modern fighter engines, but again the engines in question were not designed to permanently be based in conditions of the type that prevail across our main fighter stations in the Northern Territory and top end of Western Australia, also quite a few of the aircrew i have spoken to have reservations on going to a single engined type.
                                Proper planning and preparation prevents p*** poor performance

                                Comment

                                • bring_it_on
                                  2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                                  • Jun 2004
                                  • 12480

                                  I am coming from the RAAF single engined fighter record, not the USAF's.

                                  our loss rate for single engine fighters due to ENGINE failures has always been significantly higher than for an operator like the USAF, excluding our military airbases we have incredibly few airports and landing areas that can accomodate a fighter aircraft, thus elevating the risk level of losing an aircraft.
                                  What expereince do RAAF boys have operating US produced single engined fighters ? Lockheed and USAF relied on statistical data of previous gen fighter engine to look into what the next gen of fighter engines would be like , it is wiser to look @ same force level and a product from similar supplier for comparison .

                                  The other side of the coin is the now greatly increased reliability of modern fighter engines, but again the engines in question were not designed to permanently be based in conditions of the type that prevail across our main fighter stations in the Northern Territory and top end of Western Australia, also quite a few of the aircrew i have spoken to have reservations on going to a single engined type.
                                  What unique Enviromental conditions the RAAF birds are custom to that arent their on carriers or out at expeditionary bases such as Middle eastern deserts ??
                                  Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                                  Comment

                                  • CanberraA84-232
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Apr 2008
                                    • 266

                                    Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post
                                    What expereince do RAAF boys have operating US produced single engined fighters ? Lockheed and USAF relied on statistical data of previous gen fighter engine to look into what the next gen of fighter engines would be like , it is wiser to look @ same force level and a product from similar supplier for comparison .
                                    That smacks a little of US "ours is better than everyone elses" arrogance im sorry.

                                    Although not a single engined type, we have been operating a US aircraft with US engines for nearly 40 years, the F-111.

                                    so id say we have quite an understanding of operating US built & engined aircraft in our environment.

                                    also look back into RAAF history and youll see that we also have taken a US designed fighter and made it into something even higher performing and more capable than its US counterpart.


                                    Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post
                                    What unique Enviromental conditions the RAAF birds are custom to that arent their on carriers or out at expeditionary bases such as Middle eastern deserts ??
                                    ah but are those aircraft intended to operate non stop for 40 years in those conditions? the answer is no.

                                    deployed aircraft are rotated back to theyre home bases, carrier aircraft return to theyre shore bases, our F-35's will be in those conditions permanently without respite for theyre ENTIRE service lives, making that unique in comparison to US operation of fighter types.
                                    Proper planning and preparation prevents p*** poor performance

                                    Comment

                                    • bring_it_on
                                      2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                                      • Jun 2004
                                      • 12480

                                      That smacks a little of US "ours is better than everyone elses" arrogance im sorry.
                                      no it doesnt , your statistical comparison would no be accurate if you try to calculate engine reliability from f-16------->f-35 by substituting mirage instead of f-16
                                      Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                                      Comment

                                      • CanberraA84-232
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Apr 2008
                                        • 266

                                        Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post
                                        no it doesnt , your statistical comparison would no be accurate if you try to calculate engine reliability from f-16------->f-35 by substituting mirage instead of f-16
                                        In talking about the and i emphasize RAAF's single engine fighter ops history, how am i substituting the Mirage for the F-16 when we have never operated the type?

                                        Also the F-16 and F-35 engines are fundamentally different powerplants, so how do you compare the two?
                                        Proper planning and preparation prevents p*** poor performance

                                        Comment

                                        • bring_it_on
                                          2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                                          • Jun 2004
                                          • 12480

                                          Also the F-16 and F-35 engines are fundamentally different powerplants, so how do you compare the two?

                                          Not comparing them two , just comparing statistical data of engine failure of twin engined F-18 and single engine F-16 . We learn from Historic analysis of competing fighter types . USN used this very data to conclude that the single engined F-35 will do just fine in carrier borne enviroment .


                                          As far as UNIQUE RAAF requirment , i agree if they feel their situation is so unique they should either develop their own specific version or buy 2 engined fighters , maybe 4.5 gen like rafale or EF or 5th gen F-22A and buy so in less no because the cost of the raptor is most likely going to be close to double as that of the F-35 (procurment plus lifetime) . If you want 5th gen like qualities like Stealth you have only 3 options , F-22 , F35 or Pakfa. Aussies can choose wether stealth is what they want or not , but if they do want stealth i think the F-35 will be the most cost effective for them even figuring out higher maintaince costs their UNIQUE REQUIRMENTS might put on them .
                                          Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                                          Comment

                                          Unconfigured Ad Widget

                                          Collapse

                                           

                                          Working...
                                          X