Gates Calls JSF’s Heinz on Carpet

Gates Calls JSF’s Heinz on Carpet

Rumor alert — we’ve got few details yet but a source with access to Joint Strike Fighter officials says that Marine Maj. Gen. David Heinz, PEO for the program, was recently called onto the carpet by Defense Secretary Gates. The message: stop talking about problems with the Pratt & Whitney engine and how second engine programs have proved themselves in the past. “They have hammered Heinz to say nothing more about this,” our source says.

Gates and President Barack Obama have said repeatedly that the second engine program does not need to be funded and is a waste of money. While the White House has not issued the sort of hard veto threat issued about the F-22 the second engine is clearly becoming a focus for the Pentagon as it scrambles to find ways to save money in the face of ballooning deficits and persistent operational costs (see Afghanistan) and United Technologies lobbyists are working their hearts out on this on to stop GE and Rolls Royce from putting a dent into Pratt’s funding flow.

And Gates was apparently very unhappy that Heinz pointed out that Pratt is having quality problems. And Heinz did not speak out against a second engine. In fact, while Heinz told me he was not making any argument for a second engine program, he also said the historic record on having a second contractor competing on price and technology spoke for itself.


This is what our story said: “I am pushing very hard on Pratt to do better,” Heinz told me when I asked him about cost increases in the engine program. He said he expects Heinz to improve to the point where 80 percent of parts meet his standards. Heinz’s criticism come at a crucial point in the debate over the second engine program, with the Obama administration pressing to kill the F-136 and the Senate having voted last week to do just that.

Heinz would not be drawn on whether he supported a second engine program, which Congress says is necessary to spur competition and lower costs. When I pressed him, Heinz noted that there are historic tests of engine competition, a clear reference to the famed engine wars of the F-16 program.

If Gates really wants to stop the second engine program, his arguments will be severely undercut on the Hill should the program’s top official be stating in the best Marine fashion the simple point that has driven lawmakers from the beginning to fund the program — having a second company competing against the main engine provider will force better performance from the main contractor and lead to lower costs. Oh, by the way, we are hearing early reports that the GE/Rolls engine may deliver significantly greater thrust — up to 40 percent greater thrust than the Pratt engine in the B model.

Join the Conversation

Here is the problem. We are to assume that the MORE risky/LESS mature GE engine is supposed to save us from a LESS riskly/MORE mature P@W engine failure.

I think a WHOLE LOT of people need to educate themselves as to the whole ‘a second engine program’. It DOES speak for itself, but it does NOT say what so many imply that it does.

And come on, it is beyond the realm of technological possibility for an engine the same size as the F135 (remember, the JSF engine(s) are to be ‘plug & play’ interchangable) to produce 40% greater thrust with any kind of reliability &/or service life.

Historically, the F100 had a horrible reliability record until the F110 came along, then it was rapidly fixed. Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but competition seemed to work there. So it is not a question of the capability of the various engines as it is the perception that both contractors have to always be improving there product in order to compete. The F135 has seen a 24% cost growth and is still having reliability issues (not to say that the GE/Rolls F136 engine doesn’t have issues of its own). Maybe a little competition will help that along.

As for the 40% increase, that seems a bit excessive although Aviation Week had indicated that GE officials thought they could get a single digit increase and possibly a double digit increase because the F136 was designed for the current, now larger intake size, on the latest version of the F35 while the F135 was designed for the earlier intake. That seems reasonable. Perhaps someone read 4%-10% as 40%?

In any event, a second engine would appear to be a good investment assuming they can make it work. If you are going to the risk of having a single fighter aircraft, reducing risk of major problems would seem to be a good bet.

If my memory serves me correctly wasn’t the CEO of GE a major Obama supporter??

Once upon a time, the War Department could offer industry a description of what WD wanted to buy and what performance WD expected, then take its pick among the options developed by the different companies who wanted to sell their products to the War Department.

The notion that we need to fully fund every development, including many speculative ones, is actually rather recent.

Funny thing about it. We never lost a war doing things the old way, and we’d be hard pressed to say that we have won one doing things the new way.

Competition in the Defense Industry is not what it appears. Going with a second source makes sense for production volume, not costs reduction. The argument has relevance when there is more than one customer involved. The only customer here is the DOD, so the R&D funding for two engines gets absorbed by the same customer. The main advantage to the second engine is it may have better performance to offer than the first.

Curt and Tom bring up good points. I have one more though. Most of the cost increases are due to poor quality control in the engineering departments of both the aircraft and engine. Lockheed has outsourced sub-assembly parts to smaller companies thoughout the country,yet on a regular basis they forget to inform these companies of design changes. Then they receive these parts and they don’t fit. If you contracted someone to build your home, you wouldn’t pay for a mistake like that by the contractors. So why does the government shell out the big bucks for fixes that should be on the defense contractors?
Also, the DOD has got this idea of aircraft that can do everything. While this might sound good to the average Joe, this also drives up costs and limits performance. Like a swiss-army knife, it has a lot of gadgets, but is harldy practical for any one task. The F-35 is going to be a disaster for us if we face a legitimate air-to-air threat. It’s only kind of stealthy, has limited payload, and does not have the maneuverability or thrust-to-weight ratio to be a legitimate dog fighter against current 4 and 4.5 gen aircraft. Plus, by the time it’s fielded, the Russian and Chinese will have aircraft with F-22 like performance. In the meantime, our current fighter fleet, that should be retiring, especially the F-15’s are falling apart in mid-air when doing ACM training. A sad day for American airpower, and we can’t afford to learn a Vietnam style lesson with our current financial situation.

If you’ve ever been involved with a procurement problem you know how technological development is mostly about dealing with unintended consequences. In this case, the process selects an engine and then the machine sets about making it work on time and under budget (trust me on this one). A second engine does not reduce risk, it simply creates more headaches for engineers and program managers. This second engine reeked of pork from the beginning.

Tony,
While you are correct that there is only one US Customer, there would be potentially dozens of foreign customers, just like with the F-15 and F-16. Each one could potentially choose either the F135 or F136. Good incentive to keep both companies on their toes. I do not know if it will work for the F35 but competition has worked in the past and not just in aircraft engines. Amongst others, the Los Angeles class submarines experienced significant cost reductions as well as process improvements when Newport News started building them in addition to Electric Boat.

Assuming both engines meet the requirements (an admitted big if) and you don’t pay too much for it (an even bigger if), you have the potential for cost reductions and faster product improvement cycles for both manufacturers. If you cancel the F136, where is the incentive for P&W to improve their product, lower their price, improve customer service, or have lavish parties at airshows? Additionally, since the two engines are somewhat different, you have two different potential future growth strategies if required.

The situations are not exactly the same, the F110 was a derivative of the F101 on the B-1 and not a entirely new design, so much of the R&D was already paid for. However, the F-16 was not the only game in town for fighter engines either, so their was a less compelling incentive for maintaining the industrial base.

One thing to remember about the “great engine war” was that they actually did order some F110’s, and that was for an aircraft that was already in production. I would think that unless DoD plans to actually equip a block of F-35 with the F136 engine, then there’s really nothing more than political posturing and hidebound acquisition-bureaucracy conservatism. “We bought two engines and it worked, therefore we must always buy two engines, and it will always work.”

Procurement contracts management or lack thereof leads to costs overruns, poor QA, RAM, configuration management and so forth problems in acquisition of complex weapon systems. Having a sole source contractor puts DOD on the defense . No competition. Having a second source contractor will keep the competitive juice flowing, better pricing, delivery schedule, etc.

Having worked on F-16’s for over 15 years now as a NDT technician, having two different engines for the same aircraft makes sense. Both GE and Pratt have had their share of problems, and I can think of several NDT inspections on both engines to address “urgent” concerns. But I cannot think of any time that both engines have had “concernes” at the same time. Im my opinion that means that when there is a problem with an engine, only half the fleet is affected not the whole fleet.

Curt,

Your flaw is in assuming that it was “competition with the F110” which ‘fixed the F100’. When the F100 1st came out it was an entirely new level of engine (& aircraft) performance (note that GE had as much if not MORE of an issue on the F-14). It is/was only with time & experience in which the issues had been identified & ‘fixes’ formulated. The BIG problem however was disagreement between P&W and the government. P&W wanted to concentrate on developing new (higher thrust) varients of the F100 (developing & applying ‘fixes’ to the newer varients) but the governement did not want new higher thust varients, it wanted ‘fixes’ developed & applied to EXISTING engines. IF P&W and the government could have gotten past their diagreements & worked TOGETHER, the progression of F100 improvement could just as well have been accomplished at significantly LOWER cost than the ‘alternate engine program’.

pfcem,
I agree that the situation is not exactly alike. Of note, the F100 was supposed to be the engine for the F-14 as well as the F15 but Grumman and the Navy stayed with the TF30 after the fiasco the USAF was having with the F100. There were even reports of P&W stopping F100 fatigue tests to replace parts during development (which sort of defeats the purpose of the tests) with the full concurrence of the USAF. The USAF wanted the F15 and F100 really badly as a result of really bad intel on the MiG25 and they really pushed the limit. When the USN belatedly re-engined the F14s, they used the F110 (which I believe was based on the F110s slightly greater thrust providing better catapult launch capability) and I am not sure that it had any greater problems being integrated than a F100 varient would have had.

Having said that, regardless of why P&W was non-responsive with the USAF, it was only after the second engine was sourced that P&W decided to play nice and do what the government wanted, and they made a real effort to kill the F101FDE/F110 as well with most of the same arguements they are using today. When you are the only supplier, you don’t have to be as responsive. When the customer has options, you are more willing to give them what they want. The situation may be better now but I wouldn’t count on it to remain that way forever without competition. P&W and the USAF COULD have worked together but the simple fact is, they didn’t. Electric Boat and the Navy COULD have worked together but they didn’t. History generally shows that the contractor will do what is in their best interest and that is not always what is best for the military.

Of course, the same argument could be made for airframes as well but that is a different subject.

Stop the political BS and put the right powerplant in. %40 more thrust? Sounds good to me. Why all the fuss? Its all about the dollars, and this aircraft needs every edge it can get. If Pratt can’t do it, let someone else do it. F-ing ridiculous…

Other than the F-16, there are no other fighters with competing engines. Interestingly, while the GE F110 is also qualified in the F-15, only one country has ever selected it (not ours) and they later reverted back to the P&W F100. The fighter with the greatest production rate at the moment, the F-18, is sole-sourced to GE (and has had a number of engine problems in the past, which they’ve worked through). No sole-sourced fighter has been grounded for engine problems in the last 30 years. There is no industrial base argument for a second engine, since GE actually has a little more military business than Pratt right now.

The F135 engine is based on the core (the most expensive and riskiest part of the engine to develop) of the F119 in the F-22. While sole-source also, the F119 is the most successful fighter engine development program in history, provide the F-22 with stunning capabilities. The F135 leverages much of the development work and flight experience of the F119, which began in earnest in 1992, but was prototyped in 1988 and demo’d in 1986. The F136 is in early stages of development, is completely unproven, and simply adds risk (to a single-engine aircraft) and cost. And acquisition cost is only about 10% of life cycle cost. Even though the engines are physically interchangeable in the aircraft, maintenance procedures, tooling, spare parts, maintainer training, and issues will all be different, adding greatly to logistical costs and complexity. The F-35 and its three variants are complex enough; doubling the configuartions to six will be a tactical and logistical mess.

Don’t forget, there was a competition already, to power the prototype competition for the JSF, the X-32 and X-35 (both powered by P&W) and then to power the winning design, the F-35. The F136 was not selected at any stage of this lengthy process when competing head-to-head with the F135.

This isn’t about U.S. jobs either. The F136 “Fighter Engine Team” is a Rolls Royce-GE partnership. Producing the F136 would shift jobs from P&W to GE and RR, some of which would be outside the U.S.

Claims of 40% thrust increases for the F136 are ludicrous typos or intentional misdirection. With all the development experience behind it, it’s certainly easier and safer for P&W to grow thrust than for GE-RR to squeeze the unproven F136 (remember: single-engine aircraft, many of which will fly off aircraft carriers). Reliability and proven performance matter. The F135s in flight test are flying flawlessly. Every advanced military program has had and will have unexpected challenges; that’s par for the course. The key is how those problems are solved in development and how the system performs when fielded.

In the end, the alternate engine debate has almost nothing to do with adding capability or reducing cost; it is solely about politics and members of Congress defending their states and districts, which they’re generally paid to do and which they do for many issues. Ultimately reason will carry the day and we’ll move on to focusing on and refining the best all-around propulsion choice for the Joint Strike Fighter, the F135 engine.

If Gates did call on Heinz it is because he has been quoted as saying false facts about PW F135 quality. What kind of program is he running where every other part is scrapped. Doesn’t sound like he has ever done this before. He also neglets to bring up the fact that the overwhelming cost increase on the program belongs to LM, for whom there is no competition. He has been heard telling our International customers to support the Alternate program. Some of his actions can be considered illegal, or at least unethical. Very unlike the usual USMC General …

This article is full of flat out mistakes.

First, to claim a 40% increase in thrust is ridiculous. Even if you could do that, which you couldn’t, you wouldn’t, because the airframe couldn’t handle the stress. Even then you would trade off the excess thrust for other benefits such as durability or cost. It was clearly a typo.

Second, Pratt is not having quality problems. The program had one significant quality issue which was rectified with a month or so. It is having cost issues but these were expected, and as long the program progresses as the F-22 did, costs should be fine.

Third, multiple engines on military aircraft is the *exception*, not the rule. Check out the F-14, F-18, F-117, every bomber, and so on. Look it up.

Fourth, a second engine does not reduce cost — it adds lots of cost. Besides the obvious development costs, there are then two supply chains to support (imagine two sets of spare parts to maintain), two logistics teams, two maintenance boards, etc etc. There are two of everything. It’s ridiculous to pretend that two engines save money. If so, why doesn’t every aircraft do it? With commercial aircraft, there are multiple engines, but that’s because engines are sold by the airframer as a component, and multiple customers demand it (ie, a European airline wants a European engine). Engine makers desperately try to limit the offerings. The reason Pratt doesn’t have an engine of the 787 is simply because they could not make a business case unless they were sole source.

Fifth, the GE engine is the risky choice. Not the Pratt engine. The Pratt engine core is *already* running in the field on the F-22. Whomever claims that the GE/RR engine is less risky needs to do some research.

Sixth, its true that a second engine can improve quality of the first. And if a problem occurs, half the fleet or so can keep flying. But this is a peacetime deal. In wartime, the planes keep flying. But remember the Pratt engine is not having quality problems and is effectively flying now!

Think about it. Would you pay an extra 20% for your car to have a second, riskier, engine available in case the primary, less risky engine failed? Wouldn’t you, you know, demand better warranty coverage or something? C’mon people. This isn’t that hard.

Please please please explain to me that if having two engines reduces costs, why are there not two suppliers for every component? Why not two landing gears, two sets of hydrolics, two control software programs? Heck, why aren’t there two airframes? Why only the engine? The components I mention above are just as important and can ground fleets as well.

The reason, of course, is that a second component does not save money. It costs lots of money, which is why it needs to be cut. This is a boondoggle scam by GE pure and simple.

I’m truly amazed by some of the comments posted here asd well as the CItizens Against Government Waste that are based in innuendos and false information. For instance, “The only customer here is the DOD, so the R&D funding for two engines gets absorbed by the same customer.” FACT: JSF has international partners that are also funding engine development.

“Claims of 40% thrust increases for the F136 are ludicrous typos or intentional misdirection.” FACT: With sufficient temperature margin and airflow, 40% increases can be achieved in the same core. Numerous manufacturers have demonstrated this already. [and curt is correct — The F135 has a smaller core than the F136, which means it has to run hotter to produce the same amount of thrust.]

“Producing the F136 would shift jobs from P&W to GE and RR, some of which would be outside the U.S.” FACT: The F135 is not at full rate production, so they could maintain the same or more number of workers in a oompetitive environment and many of the suppliers used by turbine manufacturers are the same.

In closing, any first year economics student knows that competition works. The F135 vs F136 is not an issue about politics — it’s about having the option to select a propulsion system that fits the war fighter’s operational needs and maintaining the incentives to keep cost down and quality high.

Curt,

Again, you are misrepresenting the facts. It is NOT that P&W was ‘unresponsive’ it was that what P&W wanted to do & what the government wanted them to do where two different things (P&W wanted to ‘fix’ issues with new engines vs the gorvenment wanted to ‘fix’ existing engines). THE problem was that the government did not want higher thrust F100s (the F-15 did not need them & higher thrust F-16s would be seen as a threat to continued F-15 procurement).

There was no F100 for the F14. There was the F401, which was related to the F100 but was NOT an F100. But developement delays with the F401 caused the F-14A to enter service with the interim TF30. The F401 was ultimately cancelled due to rising cost issues (with the F-14).

And the problem with the F136 is that it is the MORE risky/LESS mature (i.e. MORE costy) engine, thus it would ADD cost & risk to the F-35 program not reduce it.

> It is NOT that P&W was ‘unresponsive’ it was that what P&W wanted to do & what the government wanted them to do where two different things

In other words, P&W didn’t want to do what the government wanted them to do.

That is the VERY DEFINITION of unresponsive.

“The F135 has a smaller core than the F136, which means it has to run hotter to produce the same amount of thrust.”

Smaller also equals less weight. Pratt engines can run hotter because their Thermal Barrier Coatings are superior to anyone else’s in the race. Just because the F136 is bigger, doesn’t mean 1) the engine will fit in the existing airframe, and 2) lacking a superior TBC will keep the engine from producing higher thrust.
A 40% increase is a crazy assertion.

While I can only speak to Pratt’s Combustor Group for both the F119 and F135, I’m sure there’s great similarity in dedication across the board for these two engine programs. There’s a large component of military veterans in these engine programs who take their business VERY seriously. I had the pleasure (as another veteran) to work amid the engineers in the Combustor CIPT, and I have NEVER worked with a more dedicated group of professionals in my career. Pratt & Whitney takes its role in providing engines for the F-22 and the F-35 very seriously, and maintains a clear vision of its role in our nation’s defense. ANY hiccup in the process is attacked, analyzed, and the solution ensures a repeat for the given cause is eliminated.

I was in the trenches with these folks, and I’ll stick by my claim with a sound conscience.

Considering the F135 is an advanced engine and will have to be built at a rapid rate, I can certainly understand Heinz concern. The F120 (GE’s counterpart to the P&W F119) was by most accounts a successful engine, so what is the main problem GE is having here?

Perhaps if we had put the money we “saved” by cutting the F136 towards additional F-22A production (which we still need), this wouldn’t be as much of a concern.

Steve,

You might want to check your facts on the F-15s with F110s. Korea had GE engines on the first batch of F-15Ks and it was only after they could license produce the F100 (might be something there besides performance don’t you think) that they reverted to the F100. Since the F100 was already on their F-16s, you might wonder why they wanted to switch in ther first place. Saudi Arabia and Singapore both chose GE F110s for their recent F-15 aircraft purchases. So you could say in the most recent F-15 sales overseas, the buyer chose F110s over the F100. Which again shows the benefit of having two good engines.

In regards to two engines adding other costs, with potentially over 5000 in service, I am not sure it will make a whole lot of difference in any meaningful way in regards to spares, training, or manuals. The numbers of both will be so large as to make capturing significant savings mute. And as you point out, initial aquisition is only the camel getting its nose under the tent. Better to have competition to force the suppliers to keep the cost of the other 90% of life cycle cost down.

Owl,

A “mature” engine does not increase 24% in cost unless it is having unexpected issues, and I am not sure I would use the F-22 as a good model in sound fiscal management and cost containment.

I agree that multiple engines are unusual. In fact the only time it has been employed, outside of the P-51 and commercial derivatives was for the F-15/F-16 family of fighters that happen to be pretty much the entire USAF inventory of high performance fighters. Oh, and the other huge portion of the fighter force aircraft the F-4, which the British re-engined to the RR Spey. The F-35 will be pretty much the entire force of high performance fighters for all branches, so two engines may make sense. Your argument about commercial users is accurate, but is really an argument for both engines. Maybe some of the potential foreign buyers for the F35 would like a plane with some European content engines or they may not like doing business with either P&W or GE, with two engines they have a choice. You may end up selling more airplanes, which is why commercial aircraft makers offer multiple engines.

And finally, a car has an option. If the engine fails or is performing poorly, you can replace the engine with any number of alternative engines or buy a different car. Can’t really do that with the F35.

Buddy,

There are usually at least two, or sometimes more, potential suppliers for virtually every part on an airframe. The potential competition between sub-contrators is one way the companies keep cost down and performance up. The subs know that they can be replaced. Sounds like two is better than one.

irtusk,

could not have said it better myself!

When virtually the entire US inventory of fighters will be of only one type, it would seem to make sense to spend money to reduce potential risk down the road. The second engine program seems to do that. If the technical risks are too great, we should know soon as the engines are just now starting to be tested. If they don’t work, we’ll know real soon.

I know nothing about the technicalities of aircraft engines. I thought that we still had Freedom of Speech. The General, or anyone else in uniform, should be allowed to express their personal opinions.

From I read BG Heinz knows what he is talking about.

This all sounds like Chicago thugs at work! I for one DO NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING THAT b.h. OB AMA HAS TO SAY ON ANYTHING! HE IS A TOTAL FAKE AND THE SOONER WE GET THE TRUTH ABOUT HIS BIRTH OUT, THE SOONER WE CAN GET HIM THE HELL OUT OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT AND ALL THOSE STINKING LIBERALS WHO WANT TO TAKE, “ALL OUR INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS AWAY!“
NO TO b.h. obama and his Chicago, unions lies, “NOW!”

Rizor — stick to the subject you moron or we will send you hunting with your “chicken hawk” buddy Dick!
The reason why the USAF bought the GE F-110 engine was because P&W was jacking up the prices on the F-100 plus spare parts and support equipment so much (a lot of proprietary stuff) that even though a different engine meant extra spares it was worth it to keep Pratt in-line. And by the way, it was also good to have a backup engine to the F-100. That being said, if P&W can fix the problems with the F-135 and the government can negotiate to keep reasonable prices (according to procurement standards) then there should be no reason to get the second engine. However, the threat to go to a secondary engine source should not be discarded for the previously mentioned reasons.

Why don’t we stick to the real issue. The general pointed out that lack of quality was a big problem, yet he is called on the carpet for it. I would think SECDEF would want to shake his hand for a job well done. Unfortunately politics have toenter into every phase of our lives even when a person tries to do what is good for the country

Yes WE DO NEED A SECOND ENGINE! I test both the F100 and F110 engines. All of the operators I work with will tell you that they like the F110 and do not want to work on the F100. I know from experience that when there is an issue with either engine and we need support, GE is always available and tries to be helpful. P&W, on the other hand, are terrible when it comes to help. If you can finally get them to come out, they send out a contractor that doesn’t know squat! Most F-16 pilots that I have talked to would rather have the F110. I also remember years ago when we tested the TF30, it was a total piece of crap! The Navy knew this as well, that’s why they upgraded to the F110-400 for the Super Tomcat. This whole story about the F119 and F135 is pure politics, period.

Quit crying about the costs and budget cuts, we would have plenty of money for both engines and double the amout of Aircraft if we were throwing away 65% of the federal budget on entitlements. I would cut Welfare right away and put all of that money into defense where it belongs. All of you people need to get off your cans and deamnd your congressmen and senators do their jobs which is to protect and defend our country, not take care of a bunch of lazy bums. Then we would not even have this stupid arguement about if we can afford a second engine or not.

The real issue here is that GE is in bed with the current administration, they have a desk next to Obamas in the Oval Office, and I’d put my money on GE to get the go ahead even if it costs the taxpayer more. Any takers?

Competition ALMOST always results in a better product.

I’ve been in engineering disciplines (mostly not aircraft, granted) for quite some time, and a 40% improvement for the same exterior size engine is typical, not unexpected. That’s true even for reciprocating engines. Just look at the newer car engines compared to their counterparts from just five years ago. Even my motorcycle, in which I had the pistons and cams changed, got a power uprate of 33% with no other changes to the engine. That holds true for turbines, too.

My understanding of the comment made by Brig. Gen. David Heinz is that the P&W engine was having quality issues which translates to not meeting Key Performance Parameters. If the engine does not meet the parameters, the government should identify another contractor that can meet the requirements. With new and evolving technolgies this is an opportunity to find a more effective product.

Odd, HQMC thinks Heinz is a MajGen (https://​slsp​.manpower​.usmc​.mil/​G​O​S​A​/​b​i​o​g​r​a​p​h​i​e​s​/​r​p​t​B​i​o​g​r​a​p​h​y​.​a​s​p​?​P​E​R​S​O​N​_​I​D​=​1​6​2​&​a​m​p​;​P​E​R​S​O​N​_​T​Y​P​E​=​G​e​n​e​ral). What about it, Colin Clark?

How about if GE can develop the F136 on their own, the US Military and Navy will agree to buy a certain % of them for their F-35s. Certainly the profits for GE would outweigh the development costs?

The USAF should be looking at three manned aircraft for it’s future in the short term. irst we should have some 620 or so F-22s to replace all our superiority Eagles. Then their F-35 fleet (1400+) which would replace our F-16s. Finally 150 or so FB-23s which would provide a long range strike aircraft and ease the wait until our next strategic bomber enters service. Besideds for that we should certainly keep our A-10s and upgraded F-15Es.

Politics and the militarys needs don’t mix at times the military has alot more insight then the politions ever thought of having to the military needs, etc You have managsd to get this country so far in debt it will never get out, with your worthleess hidden spend, you can’t reform yourselfs much less military spendin, medical care is not worth it..

General Cartwright, VCJCS, stated “Good Enough” is OK for costly space assets. Maybe one engine is “Good Enough” for those who fly and fight. Seems we have thrown away all logic, reasoning, and experiences because of some kind of imposed spending profile. Those who are making the decisions hopefully have children whose lives may be impacted by their decisions. I do not believe the real basis for two sources should be competition, it should be sources to quickly restore and repair what may need to be maintained or replaced.

I feel that money is real tight right now but cutting our defence spending and the develment of new and better equipment for our armed forces is just plain stupid, There are three things that should never be cut and we need to increase that expence and they are defence spending,health care, social security, our older people are relying on there social security checks to get the things that are needed to live, and by stopping any cost of living increas for at least two years is stupid as they don’t have enough right now to buy what they need for living the cose of living increase on the econmey dose not stop for the older people just because the government says that our older people do not need the cost of living increase. and the national defence can not be cut just because the government says that we do not need the new TECH. all thatt is doing is putting the UNITED STATES in harms way and the UNITED STATES can be blowen off the face of the earth because of the government says that we can not afford to make new weapons.
and our health care is set up to help people live longer and stay in good health. ansd the UNITED STATES government needs not meddle in our health care system. All the present adminstration is doing is saying who can live and who they (UNITED STATES) is doing is saying who will die.

The UNITED STATES government needs to get out of the bussiness of doing what the present adminstration trying to run every one’s lives so they need to get a life and quit trying to run A buessiness

Longrifle, You are COMPLETELY right. I made a mistake. It has been corrected. Apologies to all, especially Maj. Gen Heinz.

For those of you who may be unenlighted, it is a well known fact in most conservative circles that GE’s CEO Geoffrey Imelt is now and has been in bed with the current administration for quite a while, having been a major contributor to the big O’s campaign, and a major supporter and donor to the Democratic Party, and oh, by the way, GE also owns NBC. So who do you think will win this go round in the end ?

We should have great concern of our leadership when their influence often leads us on a historical snafu. I worry about a leader whose chosen words lend so easily to a misquote. If Mr. Gates called on Gen Heinz, it was probably because of those chosen words the General used that may be reflecting his biases. The history of the F100 engine speaks for its self. Although with growing pains, and admittedly P&W arrogance during the mid 70’s, we must not forget that if a component improvement program is not adequately funded, then the results are often seen in a reported reliability decrease. We must stop citing the “Great Engine War”, for it reflected a short period in history full with editorial assumptions. We must focus on the future and National defense success. I’m not surprised at Gen Heinz biased perception because the DoN has flown GE engines in most of their fleet almost three decades. I ask the General to be neutral and positive in execution as the JSF PEO. Have we forgotten that the Services chose the F135 engine after a rigorous trial and selection process?

Josh,
Every point you make about the F-35 is … wrong. Your information comes from the legions of unbriefed “experts” whose conclusions are based on uninformed assumptions, who have never received a classified F-35 briefing, and who have essentially zero insight into the F-35’s capabilities. Why not reference the U.S. Air Force’s TAC Brawler simulations, which are indeed based on classified information, and which show the F-35 to have at least six times the air-to-air capability of the very best 4th-gen (and that inlcudes the so-called 4.5, 4.75, 4.9, etc.) fighters worldwide, and eight times the air-to-ground capability. The F-35 has more payload, not less, than the aircraft it is designed to replace, and it will carry the largest variety of weapons of any fighter. It is a VLO (very low observable) fighter — same stealth classification as an F-22. The notion that it is only “kind of stealthy” is totally manufactured. The F-35A is a 9-g fighter, same as the F-15, F-16 and F-22. Thust-to-weight ratio in a comparable combat configuration is very little different from F-16, and it enjoys considerable performance gains from the absence of parasitic drag caused by external weapons carriage.

If you buy an extra engine then buy more landing gear. My reasoning is in the form of a question. Can anyone tell me if there is a problem with landing gear torque when f35 is landing vertical? The harrier has caster wheels of sorts to prevent this problem. Does the f35 compensate for bounce and crab to side. When landing vertical the f35 will experience a crab motion that is un avoidable. No matter how good the pilot some sideways motion may occur. I estimate a high failure rate of gears. The gear struts and drag links will fail rather fast with all that twisting motion during landing or taking off vertical. Just my couple of cents worth and sorry to bring up other potential issues.

These guys will argue about anything, now it’s money. If the second engine is so much better than the first engine, whats the point of having a first engine?

f-22 pilots in alaska told me that maintence issues abounded with the f-22 and it seems that politics are at the forefrom as GE is in Obama’s pocket giving him millions to his coffers. Sounds like politics playing with the military!

J.R. the F-35 doesn’t have the same stealth design characteristics to make it anywhere near as stealthy as the F-22. From the design of the intakes, to the undercarriage, to the exhaust tail, and the fact that in order to have a decent payload it’ll need externally-mounted stores. It’s internal carriage only has room for a combination of four missiles or 500+ lbs bombs.

The Air Force version, the F-35A would be capable of 9g turns, however the Marine Corps and Navy versions (the B and C, respectably) would be much less restricted in g-force capability due to the naval version requiring sturdier structures for violent carrier operations and the Marine version incorporating the lift fan for VTOL capability. However the maximum g rating isn’t the full indicator of how maneuverable a fighter is… after all, the Su-37 is also a 9g fighter but it’s safe to say the F-35 won’t have anywhere near as tight a turning radius, even with it’s purported ability to sustain an AOA of 55-degrees.

The thrust-to-weight ratio is actually comparable to an F-16, if slightly worse without the use of external fuel tanks. But the point of lack of parasitic drag from internal stores is moot since the aircraft would most definitely need external stores to carry an adequate payload for most mission profiles.

That’s not to say that the F-35 doesn’t have it’s virtues. It definitely will be a very cost-effective fighter and it’s avionics package is powerful, with much potential. In this modern age, avionics is just as important (if not more so) as raw turn-and-burn abilities. Finally, the long awaited dream of a single unified fighter across the branches may actually be realized. We’ve come a long way since the days of the F-111 and F-4. My biggest worry is that too many are seeing the F-35 as being more capable than it really is.

“…tell me if there is a problem with landing gear torque when f35 is landing vertical? The harrier has caster wheels of sorts to prevent this problem.”=== I always thought the ‘outrigger’ wheels on the Harrier were necessary due to the narrow track of the mlg wheels. Also thought that due to crosswind restrictions, VTOL’s were into the wind and never heard ‘crabbing’ was an issue. It’s so critical, mfg’s put that little windvane ahead of the windscreen for the pilot to factor wind direction.

*required

NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2014 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.