The F-35 numbers game

The F-35 numbers game

There’s been a lot of talk about the costs of the F-35 Lightning II, but the plane’s main manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, wants you to take it all with a grain of salt. Company officials from CEO Robert Stevens on down all pushed back Tuesday against the dire predictions about what DoD will need to pay to fly and maintain its jets over their lives, arguing that the data involved were flawed and some of the information needed to make good models hasn’t even been collected yet.

You can’t compare the F-35 to the jets that came before it, Lockheed officials say, but if you do, and you use unrealistic assumptions about how often it’ll fly, how many maintainers it’ll need, how much its fuel will cost, etc., of course you can come up with a big number. (In fact the number everyone keeps using is $1 trillion.) So what is Lockheed’s alternative estimate? Well… it doesn’t have one yet.

Steve O’Bryan, Lockheed’s vice president for F-35 business development, said the early jets need to fly a lot more before company and Pentagon officials have enough information in order to make good, long-term projections for how much they’ll cost to operate. In fact, it might not be until 2015 or 2016, after all three variants have flown for about 200,000 hours, that Lockheed officials will have enough data of their own to build good, long-term projections, O’Bryan said.

So why, reporters asked, has Lockheed let top DoD officials and congressional lawmakers say categorically that the F-35 will be unaffordable when the company believes there’s no way to predict yet what the exact costs will be?

“We really need to prove ourselves out,” O’Bryan said. “We can’t just say, ‘no that’s wrong.’ What we really need to do is show actual data … I can’t fight estimates that go out to 2068. That’s very difficult to do. All I can point to is the data I have, the analysis we’ve done … What we have to do is perform and demonstrate a reliable and affordable airplane. Until we do that, I don’t think it’s helpeful to just say it’s wrong. If I were somebody else I’d say, ‘go prove it,’ and that’s what we’re trying to do here.”

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1. We don’t have enough testing on how it will perform to project O&S costs but at the same time we need to buy more untested “production” jets during SDD.

2. Stevens says those numbers are wrong (but I don’t have the right ones) but O’Bryan says we shouldn’t just say ‘that’s wrong’.

3. I think when Stevens says “You can’t compare the F-35 to the jets that came before it”, he really means you have to quadruple the costs and double the time for any figure that they say but that’s just my guess.

Predictions are only credible if F-35 cheerleaders make them. Even if they get completely humiliated in a Senate hearing.

Keep building those mistake jets.

Are you suggesting that we bring back the F-14 and F-15? Well, the 15 is still flying, but it’s ancient. The navy and Air Force are about out of planes, and the F-22 and 35 are it — there’s nothing else. The navy seems to love big carriers, and the US definitely loves using them to project power, but that power is not the carrier, it’s the actual planes and their bombs that projects. Therefore, no matter what you claim about the 35, it’s here, now, and must be further developed or we lose the ability to control the space overhead, including over Nebraska.

In other words, these guys effectively just admitted that all of that happy talk they used to sell us this airplane was lies and damned lies. They had no idea how long it would take to develop or what it would cost, but now it’s “forget about all that… trust us and our (half-baked) analysis.”

“You can’t compare the F-35 to the jets that came before it…” — Who are they trying to fool? The whole point of the JSF was to replace most of our TACair platforms at-or-below what the old airframes cost with a stealthy strike aircraft, basically one-for-one. That’s not a comparison? And now all they have to say about that is “we don’t know, and neither do you, so get off our backs!” — I don’t think so. Put up or shut up.

Curtail the F-35 program, restart production of an upgraded F-22 (about 30/yr x 15 years). Integrate new stealthy UCAVs as quickly as possible and complement the rest of the tacair fleet with new F-18 SHs, F-16s and F-15SE. It seems pretty straight forward. There are alternatives to the F-35. And no, the F-35 will not control the space over Nebraska against the J-20 or Pak T-50.

Hey wait. Let me see if I understand this correctly…

The people designing and building an airplane do not even know what it may or may not be capable of doing at a given cost? Is that about right? Are you kidding me? Have the engineering standards of America fallen so far since we put boots on the moon with an Atari computer and slide rules?

I’m going to start collecting some sticks and stones so I can defend myself before Lockeed starts designing or improving those too…

Upgrades for F-22 are over budget.

Of course they know what Lockheed doesn’t want to reveal is that 1 trillion is an underestimate.

…“it’s here, now, and must be further developed or we lose the ability to control the space overhead,”

The F-35 won’t stand up to emerging anti-access threats so your statement unfortunately lacks substance. Especially with the under-developed state of the program.

After the F-86, U-2, SR-70s and F-117.…I don’t mind giving Lockheed a trilion dollars. This money comes right back into our communities and we get top notch air power in exchange. I can think of a lot worse ways to spend a trillion dollars. Huge Kelly Johnson fan, and still believe his spirit lives in that company. Starting to think all of you haters are just jealous foreign trolls. Offset your silly arguments with the payroll and corporate taxes paid by Lockheed, it’s employess and all of the suppliers and their employees and STFU.

If F-35 is already having trouble, chances for resumption of F-22 are even more dim.

“The A-12 I did terminate. It was not an easy decision to make because it’s an important requirement that we’re trying to fulfill. But no one could tell me how much the program was going to cost, even just through the full scale development phase, or when it would be available. And data that had been presented at one point a few months ago turned out to be invalid and inaccurate.”

Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, 1991.

I was unaware that it tok Kelly Johnson more than 10 years to make and have flying the SR71… He did not go over budget and did so without computers and blew away almost every single requirement that he was asked to produce. Something that the current Lockheed is apperently unable to even ballpark or guess at any particular parameter of the F35. Not to mention that one of the variants may not even surpass the minimum combat radius required by the purchaser, the US Air Force.

Kelly Johnson was a stright shooter who did what others said could not be done. But he always knew what he was shooting for, and usually surpassed all expectations. This is definately not Mr Johnsons company anymore.

Let’s examine another troubled program of the time…the C-17. Secretary Cheney had made the decision to halt production at 120 due to its high price and difficulties. Aren’t we glad we didn’t stop at 120?

Same for the Predator. The testing community said it was a failure.…

Legitimate or otherwise naysaying about early problems is seldom an indicator of a program’s final value.

Yeah. That carrier capable and stovl capable C-17 worked out pretty well.

Kind of like SR71 carrier and STOVL versions would have. The right tools for the right job.

The capability is important, which is what Cheney said, but that didn’t override the cost issues. this whole issue over the F35 isn’t about the need for the capability or the value of having it, it’s about whether that capability can actually be delivered, and if that capability is something that is fiscally realistic. Some people here think you can just spend whatever on programs and that is not the case. This very well may show that the capability desired simply is not attainable through a manned multi-purpose platform.

Actually, I’m quite aware that we cannot afford 2457 F-22s or their O&S costs. They would positively suck at air-to-ground at 60,000′. The JTAC’s ROVER would not receive their radar imagery very well. That school bus that drove next to the target as the F-22 lobbed its SDM 1 at a GPS coordinate from a slant range of 30+ NM would make news at 11. Fortunately, it would only inadvertantly target two such school buses at a time despite carrying 8 SDM 1s.

Meanwhile, STemplar’s Ctrl Alt Del F-35 would have used its laser and eight SDM 2 or two 2,000 lb bombs to strike eight moving targets from an altitude where EO/IR could positively ID the targets and potential collateral damage.

I’m all about UCLASS and UAS. F-35 could control and team with them better than F-22.

Don’t point to the SR-71 as a good example of anything. It didn’t meet its performance goals. And, in fact, it was cancelled and the aircraft it was intended to replace (U-2) is still flying.

…“the F-22 lobbed its SDM 1 at a GPS coordinate from a slant range of 30+ NM would make news at 11″…

Guess again. The F-22 is designed to take on IADS targets (low band radar, SAM facilities. HAS and so on) so that aircraft like the F-35 can do their job. The F-22 is not currently setup to be an interdiction-CAS aircraft. It is meant to take out fixed targets in high threat areas.

Newsflash: IADS targets can move, hide, and park next to schools and hospitals not necessarily identified using radar imagery. Agree completely that “the F-22 is not currently setup to be an interdiction-CAS aircraft.” That’s why we need F-35. Next gen bomber, UCLASS, and B-2 can take out many more fixed targets in high threat areas.

Which all sound good except for the F-35, which has shown has shown no capability to do ANYTHING for over a decade.

We need to change the JSF name to “Joint Vaporware Fighter” or JVF to clarify that its now easily the most expensive and longest running fighter program in history, which to date has not built a single battle ready aircraft!

the sr 71 didnt meet its intended goals? it flew from the 60’s well into the mid 90’s thats a pretty good run for a jet built for surveillanc , and its intended goal was to fly really f’ing fast and shoot pictures of the enemy, which it did pretty well, since its also never been shot down. the only reason they probably stopped using it was because of uav’s,

The reason the SR-71 was retired is because there was a replacement put in service. We just don’t know about it yet. Think “Beast of Kanadahar”.

1. The only way to get the data necessary for accurate O&S costs is to buy & operate aircraft. Unfortunately we can not wait for the flight test program to complete all 7800 flights.

2. Nice how you left parts of what was said out…

3. You can ‘think’ what ever you like, it won’t change reality that there ARE a significant amount of cost SAVINGS (vs legacy aircraft) designed/built into the F-35. Of course the naysayers don’t even want to give them a change to prove it…

No, but predictions made using obviously bogus information should not be considered credible, yet the naysayers are all-to happy to do so to further their agenda.

Appearantly you haven’t read/heard many Senate hearings (or even the one in question beyond the pathetic excuse for reporting of it)…

You can call LRIP aircraft “mistake jets” as many times as you like, it does not make it so.

So you want to spend MORE money & MORE time on a less capable force…

Note that we DO need more F-22s but not INSTEAD of F-35s.

What “emerging anti-access threats” won’t the F-35 stand up to? How is anything technically & economically realistic (sorry no X-Wings or Romulan Warbirds) going to fair any better?

Hoew is the program under-developed?

The reality is that the F-35s major troubles are behind it but the naysayers are trying DESPERATELY to create new ones.

Quite the opposite. It was (& still is) the ‘unhapppy talk’ used against the program were & are lies.

In case you hadn’t noticed, aside from delays from SWAT (both from SWAT itself & production delays from later supplier issues related to it) the program is in fact moving along quite nicely (in BOTH time & cost), “in line’ (albeit years behind) with prior schedules.

No the point of the JSF was NEVER to replace most of our TACair platforms at-or-below what the old airframes cost NORE one-for-one. It was to do so “affordably”. And ACTUAL COST have been & continue to more closer to “affordable” and farther from “unaffordable”.

So it is OK for the naysayers to just make up BS numbers but when the ACTUAL data does not exist we are suppose to just accept the BS?

You do not understand correctly.

The people designing & building THE airplane have a quite good idea what it will be capable of (although it, like so many others is likely to ultimately prove to be capable of MORE), & reasonable projections of at what cost. The people NOT designing & building THE airplane have NO idea (except what the people designing & building THE airplane have released) it may or may not be capable of doing at a given cost but are happy to make it up to further their agenda BUT since the ACTUAL DATA does not (& can not yet) exist the people designing & building THE airplane can not ‘prove’ what the capability & cost are.

No, it is not even an estimate but a outright lie (using BOGUS data not at all based on the actual program) intended to scare people & make the program look worse (cost more) tha it actually is.

Kelly Johnson did not have a bunch of morons who have no clue how to design & build an aircraft telling him how HE had to do it OR how much it had to be done for.

Sorry but the F-35 is PROVING LMs much better than ballpark or guess at MANY particular parameters every day. The problem is that it will take 7800 test flights AND some years of ACTUAL operational use to prove them all.

The F-35A will exceed the minimum combat radius required — try doing more than just reading headlines.

Your point being?

The naysayers don’t want anybody to know about past programs with “troubled pasts”…

Quite the opposite, it has shown the capability to do quite a lot & IS SHOWING more & more every day. But with so much expected of it, it is going to take some time yet for it to show ‘all’ (WE will likely never know ALL it can do) that is required of it.

Thank the LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone with some gray matter. JSF is worthless and now it will be shelved where it belongs. On Lockheed Martin’s Door in Texas. What a WASTE of Funds. 17 Years of Effort for a Platform that cannot perform. The DOD should have shit canned this piece of shit the same time they shit canned the F-22. Stealth is DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone in the Free world knows this FACT. $160,000,000.00 million dollars times 2600 equals over $500 Billion not including the additional Logistics, Engineering and sustainment will cost well over $3.4 Trillion over 18 Years of service to Keep George W’s Bush’s dumbass State employed for no benefit to the United States Military is unimaginable to comprehend. Take this piece of shit and mount it next to the A-12 at Lockheed Marin’s front gate. Fuck Lockheed Martin, Texas and Wall Street.

You are so Full of Shit Mr. Little. The F/A-18E/F and EA-18G are still in production and have greater capability and connectivity than a Block IV JSF. Give me a Break. Lockheed is continues to build the Lawn Dart that I use to fly including the Block 50, 51 and 60. Get a Grip. We do not need JSF!!! WE need a bigger stick and additional connectivity. WE have enough Stand-0ff weapons to choke a horse. We do not need a JSF when STEATH IS DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They can take JSF, B-2, and F-22 and push an “I-Beam” from the augmenter to the Cockpit and we would not lose one solitary piece of Warfighting Capability.

**** Texas? You really know how to behave like a total idiot around here.

FYI: It takes a SDB over 284 Seconds to drop from 30,000 Feet. Do you think it will hit a moving target? Besides who is going to throw a $160,000,000.00 Millon dollar platform at a $30,000.00 Tank.

You do not need a B-2, JSF or F-22 to take out a IADS next to a school. What CONOPS are you using????

He’ll get banned, again, he’s only had to change his name half a dozen times from having persona’s nuked by admin. Best to put him on the list with Oblat and pfcem and simply don’t respond to them.

No problem. Buy enough ‘early production’ aircraft necessary to achieve 200k test flying hours by 2016. After the evaluation and assessments, then make the decision to either can it or ramp up into FRP (at reduced rates compared to currently advertised FRP rates of course given DoD’s austere budget environment in the near-future). OK, we get it. Many could disagree with the that plan, but let’s be pragmatic about it.

Just make damn sure though, that the USAF is buying actual operational stopgap fighters starting w/ long-lead orders in FY12’s budget, as the the current ‘stay the course’ plan is not what was originally estimated by strategic planners and by default cannot achieve defense requirements.

I.e., to not simultaneously procure upgraded operational stopgap airframes along side the required number of expensive early production lot aircraft needed to achieve 200k flight hours by 2016 (units which could alternatively be leased, btw), would suggest absolute strategic planning incompetance (and even a borderline conflict of interest worthy of a Senate investigation). imho.

So… Is that for or against a company building a plane overcost and late? No, maybe I don’t really want to know.

Also, since I actually read the article in question, and from your response it’s obvious you did not. The combat radius problem is being fixed by altering the method of how it’s calculated rather than an engineering approach to solve the problem. Not something to make me enthusiastic about Lockheed at the moment.

Wasn’t the F-86 made by North American?

Research the open source differences between small diameter bomb 1 and 2.

And this is based on the extensive classified F-35 information that APA has access to?? I have none as well, but don’t make bogus claims comparing it and Russian aircraft based on pure guesses or nor do I cite comparisons to clubbed baby seals.

But past performances of modern Russian/Soviet aircraft against U.S. jets is telling. Hundreds of enemy fighters downed in air-to-air to only one or two U.S. built ones. Given the performance of Russian jets against Georgia, their poor engine reliability, China’s lack of combat experience and pilot training, and its inability to produce original high-tech they don’t copy…you really think the F-35 is at a disadvantage against a questionably stealthy J-20?

pfcem & JSF advocates — Only naysayers like YOU are looking for an argument saying that is the right aircraft. JSF WRONG AIRCRAFT

The Entire DOD Senior Leadership should be FIRED NOW!!!! Lockheed Martin should be prohibited from ever being enabled to BID on platform acquisition. They have deceived the American People, DOD, Military and themselves. This must STOP. No Company or Senior Leadership should be allowed to overrate or utilize funds for an impractical over rated paper platform that can do everything on paper but is outdated and has lost its edge. Stealth is dead. All these individuals attached to this program need to be FIRED!!!!. They have knowingly, exploited the United States and this must STOP!!!!

I don’t think you know what “affordable” means, much less “fact.”

Affordability isn’t only about the costs of the individual airframes or the O&S costs– and even the rosiest estimates now have the F-35s at the high end of the original CBO projections, which proved much more accurate than DoD’s. We also have a huge fleet of aging fighters to recapitalize. Well that was originally intended to begin this year. The five-plus year delay in the JSF means we are off the map of known reality in terms of maintaining those systems, they are older than anything we’ve dealt with before. Back edge of the bathtub curve, here we come. Now USAF is talking about SLEPing the legacy fleet to arrive at “…a manageable fighter aircraft shortfall of approximately 2–5% of total aircraft inventory.” –This per the Aircraft Procurement Plan (FY) 2012 — 2041. A “manageable shortfall” hmm? Let’s hope so. And where is the money for the additional sustainment costs and upgrades going to come from?

Your “affordable” airplane is sinking our TACair capability.

Sometimes it’s entertaining… As utterly idiotic as his ramblings are I can only imagine what this guy is actually like in real life.

Wonder if Lockheed hired some accountants from ENRON when they went under. Sounds like the kind of accounting information that ERON was posting before they went under

The $1T Life Cycle Cost Estimate is a red herring, and not that big of a deal. Since it is so far out in the future, we all need to acknowledge it as within the realm of possibility. The much more urgent problems are: the program is bogged down in Development, hasn’t even gotten to the hard part of testing (Operational & Live Fire), development $$ is dwindling, DoD shouldn’t have authorized production until Development was more mature, and how many more years and billions of dollars is going to be required to straighten out the mess, for jets that will be late, over-budget, and flawed, requiring even more billions & time to fix (repeating the F-22 experience). The much much more urgent problem is why we have leaders who force us down the road to perdition time and time again, and the likelihood that Industry profits, Congressional district jobs, and Pentagon careers, are more important than deliverying quality product to the warfighter at tolerable (non-nausea inducing) cost to the Taxpayer.

The intended goal of the SR-71 — what today we would call the primary KPP — was signature. The point was *not* to go fast; the point was to be *undetected*, because detectable overflights are a strategic provocation. It was already possible to avoid shootdowns by proper planning of U2 overflights and sufficient countermeasures on the aircraft.

Indeed, I’d like to see someone take the first few years of F-14 development and “project a lifecycle cost” using the same methodology, then compare it to the actual amount spent on the F-14.

Keep in mind that the F-14 crashed on its first full-capability test flight. Several others crashed (killing test pilots!) during the development cycle. If the people predicting a trillion-dollar lifecycle cost for the F-35 had got ahold of that, they’d certainly say that the F-14 was a useless deathtrap that should be immediately cancelled to save taxpayer dollars (they’d probably also say that the Phoenix missile was useless against the Tu-22 Blinder, which according to Russian documents can fly at Warp Two.)

pfcem would you please clarify for everyone what is your skin in the game? Do you work for Lockheed Martin?

You’re mixed up. SR-71s didn’t do overflight over anybody we worried about ‘strategically provoking’, they were set up for oblique collection. The A-12 (Oxcart) was the CIA’s U-2 overflight replacement. You’re right about the signature– they never got it down to what they promised– but that was never the sole KPP. Making the aircraft untouchable by air defenses with a combination of speed, altitude, and signature reduction was the goal. It worked, for the very brief amount of time the A-12 was operational anyway. There was more to the cancellation than “signature.” The SR-71 is an Air Force program, had a good service record, and was retired due to cost and the advent of UAVs.

As far as this discussion is concerned, the SR-71 and the A-12 might as well be the same thing (in that they are a high-speed aircraft with very limited LO features intended for aerial reconnaissance.)

And the purpose of the program that led to SR-71/A-12 was indeed low-signature performance. There was no need for high speed to avoid shootdowns; altitude and proper flightplan could handle that. U-2 flights continued after the Powers shootdown. The intent was to conduct overflight photo missions without provocation, and that needs you to be undetected, not merely survivable.

Quite the opposite. But unlike you, I understand the PURPOSE of the latest Senate hearing nor do I ingore the GOOD information that was presented in it.

Quite the opposite.

I know full well what BOTH “affordable” & fact” mean.

The ACTUAL COSTS have been & continue to trend closer to JPO 2007/2008 projections. Even CAFE now says AUPC has remained steady since 2008 (& brought its projections more in line with the JPO than its previous BS numbers used to call for a Nunn-McCurdy).

The flight test program is now 20% ahead of schedule on test flights AND 33% ahead of schedule on test points.

So not only is the F-35 NOT going to cost as much as the naysayers want everyone to believe it is now showing CLEAR signs that the flight test program won’t take as along (or cost as much) either.

The USAF took delivery of its 1st SERVICE (not SDD) F-35A this month…

The F-35 is a giant leap in our TACair capability.

It means today’s environment virtually guarantees almost ANY weapons program is going to be overcost & late. Kelly Johnson could not have done what he did if he had to do it in today’s environment.

I did MORE than just read the article about the “radius porblem”. The ACTUAL PROBLEM is that the ESTIMATED range/combat radius went down in the latest recalculations based on new assumptions. They are NOT altering the method of how it’s calculated (that is just poor reporting). The reality is (based on the latest recalculations) that after you factor in the SDD 5% fuel capacity buffer margin, the F-35 still EXCEEDS its KPP by 33nm.

No we do not need to acknowledge, nor should we even accept the premis, that it is within the realm of possibility. It isn’t even a ‘good faith effort’ at a reasonable estimation.

The program is not bogged down, it is in fact TAKING OFF (pun intended). LM has kept the production schedlue for the past 9 months (sorry naysayers no delays from a production standpoint), the flight test program is ahead of schedule (sorry naysayers but it looks as though it will be completed in less time & less money) and ACTUAL COSTS have been & continue to go down — even CAFE now says AUPC has remained steady since 2008 (sorry naysayers no $100++ million AUPC).

This is just laughable. Perhaps pfcem should send the VP of Lockheed an email letting him know about the estimates the poor man claims he doesn’t have.

Then we have the silly claim that estimates are somehow provable (whatever that means) and that the data doesn’t exist to prove it. So somehow those excellent estimates Lockheed has aren’t based on any data. Well we call that a guess.

So Lockheeds guess is somehow more optimistic than historical data. Well surprise surprise.

Stealth is dead? Tell that to the Chinese and the Russians, both of whom are building their own stealth aircraft, and maybe even the Koreans and Japanese too. But then again, didn’t they tell us that bombers were dead in the ’50’s and ’60’s with the advent of the ‘mighty’ SA-2 SAM? And didn’t they tell us the tank was dead after the Yom Kippur War with the use of the AT-3 anti-tank missile? Either way, as dead as stealth may be, wouldn’t non-stealth aircraft be just as — or far more — dead? Tell us, if you had to fly into contested airspace on a strike or air-to-air mission, which would you rather be flying — an F-22 or F-35 with ‘dead’ stealth technology or an F-15C or Lawn Dart?

Well, I guess I’ll just reply in the same way I replied above:

Stealth is dead? Tell that to the Chinese and the Russians, both of whom are building their own stealth aircraft, and maybe even the Koreans and Japanese too. But then again, didn’t they tell us that bombers were dead in the ’50’s and ’60’s with the advent of the ‘mighty’ SA-2 SAM? And didn’t they tell us the tank was dead after the Yom Kippur War with the use of the AT-3 anti-tank missile? Either way, as dead as stealth may be, wouldn’t non-stealth aircraft be just as — or far more — dead? Tell us, if you had to fly into contested airspace on a strike or air-to-air mission, which would you rather be flying — an F-22 or F-35 with ‘dead’ stealth technology or an F-15C or Lawn Dart?

pfcem & JSF advocates — NO NO NO you be quite, the opposite. Why should the customers deserve to be parters with Lockheed Martin to join up on the most pathetic and extremely pittiful rubbish JSF program? Nobody is going to support your very pittiful comments claiming that is a correct plane. You’re selling this BABY SEAL (JSF) to ALL Air Forces, Navy and the Marine Corp that is replacing all the entire aircraft and is going to degrade the air power much worse. The pilots will fly worse, they’ll get less training, which is the most important part to train all combat pilots, they’ll be far less pilots is becasue the whole forces have to shrink. This will show YOU and the JSF advocates, that ALL the air forces can’t do anything and making ALL entire western air power and the RAAF INEFFECTIVE AND USELESS. Thanks to Tom Burbage and your colleges from Lockheed Martin, which they are the BIGGEST liers to believe that the JSF is protending to be affordable, stealthy and true 5th Generation fighter.

pfcem & JSF advocates — SINGLE ENGINE is THE MOST TERRIBLE, VERY DANGEROUS AND TOO VULNERABLE FOR ANY COMBAT FIGHTER you’re making ALL fighter pilots going to feel VERY HORRIFIED when it fails and flying like a glider and dropping like a STONE and it will happen at anytime on my watch. Australia, at the time had 116 Mirage IIIO and IIID aircraft, 41 aircraft have being written off from an engine failure.

is your job based on this program or something? DoD, F-35 PM and LM have had $50B and a decade to come up with ‘good faith estimates’. this is what their job is — what they are supposed to do. so you’re wrong. $1T is within the realm of possibility — because the future is widely uncertain. oil could skyrocket causing all the precious fuel required to O&M F-35 to push past $1T. or oil could crash, meaning we could operate it for less than $1T. and that’s just one variable. You don’t know what youare talking about. You are confident in the AUPC — you shouldn’t be — because we have many more years of development to go. To have confidence in a point value estimate, whether it be an AUPC of <$100M or an LCCE of $1T, exposes your ignorance.

Well pfcem, Mr Biased Cheerleader who repeats the same nonsense about F-35 as a mantra? Please let us know your bias in this situation.

According to AvWeek that trillion dollar figure is about the same as the F-15 program — which delivered about a third the number of jets. Wrap your brain around that for a minute.

X2 re the $1Trillion red herring. From AvWeek:

“even though the cost to sustain the program into the future is an eye-popping $1 trillion, adjusted for inflation over its lifespan. That is less than the cost to sustain the F-22, ***about the same as the F-15***, and more than either the F-16 or the F-18.”

The F-15 program only delivered about a third the number of jets used to arrive at the trillion dollar figure for the F-35. The apparent fact that the F-35 program would cost more than the F/A-18 program means less than nothing. The F-35 is replacing the F-16, F/A-18, and AV-8B so the more relevant number would be the combined costs of those three programs. The F-16 didn’t deliver a STOVL or CV varient or a stealth aircraft of any sort so a direct comparison to it is pretty much irrelevant. The F/A-18 didn’t deliver a STOVL version, nor is it stealthy, nor did the program produce as many units as the F-35 in the $trillion figure so a direct comparison to it would be pointless as well.

For those who missed it in the previous post, the $1 Trillion figure for the F-35 program IS ABOUT THE SAME AS THE F-15 PROGRAM. The F-15 program only delivered about a third the number of jets that the F-35 program is planned for (and used to arrive at the trillion dollar figure).

You can’t have it both ways: You don’t want the other side talking about iffy cost projections, then yours are out the window too.

re: “The flight test program is now 20% ahead of schedule on test flights AND 33% ahead of schedule on test points.”

- Hey, wonderful! They finally lowered the bar enough that they can clear it. Too bad the rejiggered schedule is meaningless, they’re too late. How many more years do our pilots get to keep flying old, obsolescent airframes now? Five? Nine?

Capability don’t count til it can go to war.

correct. “flights” don’t win wars. how good is f-35 at finding and killing targets? none of this has been tested. how good is f-35 in a complex threat environment with everything emitting? how good is the human factors? does the f-35 overload the pilot with so much information that the pilot’s performance suffers? is the software stable in all the infinite permutations of dynamic situations in the jets performance envelope. enough of this silly talk about flights: taking off & landing. when will the f-35 take off & land on a carrier? when will the f-35c take off & land in harsh ground environments (everywhere marines fight) — sand? snow? spare us your bragging about f-35. $50B sunk and a decade should buy quality engineering — not more uncertainty & risk. the PM can’t even handle cost & schedule. test completion is TBD and the program has breached and needs constant rebaselining. and cost & schedule aren’t even ‘the hard stuff’.

So instead of running scared from that supposedly bogus Trillion-with-a-T, you’re going to embrace it. Why? Because a successful fighter from the past cost that much. Now it’s become like jewelry you can hang on your pig of an airplane.

Well, sorry. F-35s are not F-15s. And how is that cost broken out, anyway? F-15 A-B-C-D-Es all together? Just the Air Superiority models? Probably not just the Strike Eagles… Anyhoots. The F-15 was always a high-cost program. That was the reason Boyd, Sprey, and Riccioni set out to give us the Light Weight Fighter, from which we got both the F-16 and the F/A-18. After about 4.500 Vipers and1,500 Hornets built world-wide, I’d say they did alright. We and our allies had and have many more fighters in the inventory because someone paid attention to cost.

HOORAH!! Finally an Ally!! Long live the thinking of John Boyd!!!

It does seem like there’s a drought out there, huh?

I like the way that the F-16 is everyone’s example of a perfect aircraft (Sprey zealots) right up until it isn’t (Pratt vs. GE).

So the F-15 delivered 1/3 the (projected) aircraft for the same (projected) cost?


You are definitely correct. I have never heard such a bunch of winey, misinformded girly-men in my life.

you read Boyd books? Science, Strategy, and War by Osinga, Boyd: The Fighte Pilot by Coram are both awesome, highly recommend. I’m getting Mind of War by Grant Hammond soon.

You are out of your mind. The F-15 Eagle “A” Model started in 1972 and is still in production with order of magnitude more capabiity than the Block III JSF. Especially since JSF had no Internal Gun for Air-Air capability, cannot destroy a bridge without hanging a pylon… Useless piece of shit. The F-15 SE is the most effect and cost effect way to move forward. The 1 T you reference after 45 years of service and never loosing a Air-Air Battle maybe a track record that will never be beat. JSF is worthless, hell it has no connectivity.… Useless.

Sferrin. Keep reading Aviation Week there is a shitload of propaganda from Lockheed (I need and additional 300 Million for doing business) Martin. Why don’t you bring up your homepage and do some homework on the S-400 aka SA-21. You will be surprised.

We need to stop purchasing Aircraft that cannot communicate with other platforms in a Battlespace, does not have an internal Air-Air Weapon and cannot destroy a bridge without hanging pylons on a “Stealth” aircraft such as JSF, F-22 per-upgrade, B-2 and this additional NGB waste of funds yet again. Ships we do not need. That could be a great start for the Audit Agency along with the Department of Justice to name a few. How about purchasing weapons that have completed the JADO and Joint Interoperability and Capability test prior to purchase. WOW… what a Novel Idea. I believe that is both in the DOD Instruction and Directive outlined in DOD 5000 Series. Yet these leaders continue to bypass their own laws and regulations. This reminds me of Goldman Sachs and the Oil speculation. It is against the law to speculate or manipulate the system. However, like the oil companies. Lockheed Martin keeps coming back to the cow explaining how they need additional milk.

I believe their lies and propaganda has finally caught up to them. Senior leadership needs to be fired for allowing these huge wastes of funding to happen and continue even though they have known these weapons head problems for over the past 25 years. Lockheed Martin needs to be excluded from ever contracting for another platform or weapon.

Indeed 1 Trillion Dollars is nothing for Lockheed Martin… LOL… Hope the Justic department goes after those fools.

I like the Gentleman’s thought above. JSF will take over all TACair rolls… LOL>.. Yep, I can see a General or someone ordering a JSF strike against a tank column. JSF Cost $160,000,000.00 Each. Tank $240,000.00 dollars. Not a very welcome exchange rate. Especially if the JSF makes it back with holes that have to be repaired in the field with a K-Bar and no space suits. This is like an Aircraft Carrier shooting at a Wave Runner and the wave runner sinks the carrier. The cost comparison is actually fairly accurate. Why not an A-10A with a AGM-65 Maverick Missile from a mile plus. Missile $25,000.00, Tank $240,000.00

Excuse me I meant colleagues not colleges, my spelling mistake.

pfcem & JSF advocates — When this aircraft entersthe RAAF service in 2018 or later. In my own eyes the JSF is the most vulnerable and very dangerous aircraft. Is because of its very pittiful limited agility, limited supersonic speeds at Mach 1.6, no long range endurance and very pittiful missile payload which is unsuited for bomber operations which is a totally waste of taxpayers money that, has NO practical use against any modern new generation fighter, coming to arc interest to our north. The JSF is the most complicated program and must be terminated.

pfcem & JSF advocates — I certainly don’t have the confidence of transitioning to the JSF, if I was the best fighter pilot, Or any best fighter pilot that is well trained. No matter what, if she or he is deploying to war anywhere there going to fight with an inferior aeroplane that cannot compete with the Sukhoi Flanker series fighters that is deployed to Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, India and other countries will order and operate the Flanker, upcoming Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA and Chengdu J-20 Black Eagle, also SAM systems proliferating in the region, with a lot of difficulties in performance, weight and cooling capacity PLUS software and system integration problems. Its the most damning and extremely nasty mistake for the JSF to be the backbone for all air forces, navy and marine corp of the fighter/strike force for the 21st Century.

Pure and total nonsense! The F-35 will NEVER deliver that many aircraft at the present rate of development and with its ever increasing price tag. The F-15 on the other hand has multiple variants in service and is battle tested. The F-15SE offers numerous advantages including higher top speed, longer range, and a much greater payload. And I might add it WORKS!

Back at the“reality ranch” we have 30 something F-35’s with faulty nonfunctional helmet displays, only 80% of the millions of lines of software completed, and NO warfighting capability — operating at Block 0.5 or Block 1.

What we can be sure of from the F-35 which hasn’t been able to stick to a SDD in ten years is more of the same poor progress, and more cost overruns and price increases.


pfcem & JSF advocates — If I find out, that the Baby Seal (JSF) gets shot down by the Russians/Chinese or any foe out their, or if something goes wrong with the single engine or any of its systems etc, you have to ground the entire fleet. This will affect the aircrews every mission. Who to blame? Lockheed Martin, US Government and the customers that have committed to this pathetic JSF program.


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