More cost overruns, delays and uncertainty for F-35

More cost overruns, delays and uncertainty for F-35

Cost overruns for the first batches of F-35 Lightning IIs total more than $1 billion, Congress’ watchdog agency said Tuesday, in the latest report to detail the woes of the world’s largest defense program.

The overall cost estimate for the whole program is now close to $400 billion, according to the Government Accountability Office, and although investigators were careful to note the progress DoD and Lockheed Martin have made in the past year, the overall picture remained very bleak.

GAO unveiled the findings when one of its top acquisitions experts, Michael Sullivan, appeared Tuesday before a panel of the House Armed Services Committee. But the panel met so briefly — to account for floor votes and an off-site event, said subcommittee chairman Rep. Roscoe Bartlett — and members asked so few questions, that you had to read Sullivan’s report to get the full extent of GAO’s continued pessimism about the program.

Here is a sample:

Developmental flight testing gained momentum and is about one-fifth complete with the most challenging tasks still ahead. The program can expect more changes to aircraft design and manufacturing processes. Performance of the short takeoff and vertical landing variant improved this year and its “probation” period to fix deficiencies was ended early, even though several fixes are temporary and untested. Management and development of the more than 24 million lines of software code continue to be of concern and late software releases have delayed testing and training. Development of the critical mission systems that give the JSF its core combat capabilities remains behind schedule and risky. To date, only 4 percent of the mission system requirements for full capability has been verified. Testing of a fully integrated JSF aircraft is now expected in 2015 at the earliest. Deficiencies with the helmet mounted display, integral to mission systems functionality and concepts of operation, are most problematic. DOD is funding a less-capable alternate helmet as a back-up. The autonomic logistics information system, a key ground system for improving aircraft availability and lowering support costs, is not yet fully developed.

Cost overruns on the first four annual procurement contracts total more than $1 billion and aircraft deliveries are on average more than one year late. Officials said the government’s share of the cost growth is $672 million; this adds about $11 million on average to the price of each of the 63 aircraft under those contracts. In addition to the overruns, the government also incurred an estimated $373 million in retrofit costs on produced aircraft to correct deficiencies discovered in testing. The manufacturing process is still absorbing a higher than expected number of engineering changes resulting from flight testing, which makes it difficult to achieve efficient production rates. Until engineering changes are reduced, there are risks of additional cost overruns and retrofit costs. The program now estimates that the number of changes will persist at elevated levels through 2019. Even with the substantial reductions in near-term procurement quantities, DOD is still investing billions of dollars on hundreds of aircraft while flight testing has years to go.

It goes on and on like that. Boiled down to talking points, Sullivan said he had five main worries about the program: Its infamous software; the ongoing engineering changes necessitated by discoveries in flight testing; the sustained cost of the program, which will average about $13 billion per year from now until 2035 (!); the mission system “validation,” including the F-35’s off-board Autonomic Logistics Information System; and the complexity of the global supplier base.

On software, Sullivan said the F-35’s 24 million lines of code are “as complicated as anything on earth,” and it’ll take all of them working as intended before the F-35 can perform as advertised. On cost, GAO’s report reinforces the worry that defense analysts have been voicing for years — the large sustained yearly costs for the F-35 not only will continue more or less in perpetuity, but in the case of the Air Force, they’ll come due even as the service must also buy full-rate production KC-46A tankers and new bombers.

F-35 program boss Vice Adm. David Venlet told lawmakers he still does not have an estimate for when the F-35 will reach its initial operational capability, although the committee members could not be bothered to ask why. GAO’s report gives an explanation: The program is not performing reliably enough for them to try to guess: “Until greater clarity is provided on the program’s path forward, the military services are likely to wait to commit to new initial operational capability dates,” GAO said.

If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that a lot of the expensive discoveries about the F-35 have been made, and now DoD just has to stick it out and get through this difficult period. GAO praised the F-35B’s debut at sea and the progress in testing, but even there, it was a mixed bag: “Two other test objectives were not met: the carrier variant did not demonstrate shipboard suitability because of problems with the tail hook, which requires redesign, and software was not released to flight test on time,” GAO said.

And one of the central “achievements” of the program over the last year — the lifting of the B’s “probation” — may not have meant anything at all. Not only because “probation” was a non-thing, as you’ve read here, but because the “fixes” engineers proposed are themselves temporary, GAO found:

While several technical issues have been addressed and some potential solutions engineered, assessing whether the deficiencies are resolved is ongoing and, in some cases, will not be known for years. According to the program office, two of the five specific problems cited are considered to be fixed while the other three have temporary fixes in place. The Director, Operational Test and Evaluation reported that significant work remains to verify and incorporate modifications to correct known STOVL deficiencies and prepare the system for operational use. Until the proposed technical solutions have been fully tested and demonstrated, it cannot be determined if the technical problems have been resolved.

So it’s another barrage of bad news for the Joint Strike Fighter, although the few House lawmakers who showed up for Tuesday’s brief hearing appeared mostly bored about it. Of the little discussion there was, no one broached cancellation. In fact, their outward lack of interest in the F-35 could be a sign of resignation — an ultimate acceptance that a program this big, this important, can endure almost anything.

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Or they have come to the conclusion it’s time to cancel this money pit, and we will be hearing about that very soon.

This is the last time I’m going to post this:

1 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block II Cost: $53 Million
1 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet International Road Map Cost: $60 Million est.

1 F-35B Cost: $291.7 Million
1 F-35C Cost: $ 235.8 Million

For every 1 F-35C we could make 4.7 Super Hornets. For every 1 F-35B we could make 6 Super Hornets. The Super Hornet with the International Roap Map upgrades has six improvements that make it just as good as the F-35: http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​H​b​m​v​F​A​B​N​RDA

1. Conformal fuel tanks. Give it an unrefueled range roughly equal to the F-35.
2. Internal IRST.
3. Glass ****pit display.
4. EPE upgraded engines that increase thrust by 20%.
5. Stealthy weapons pod for internal carriage. Give it a frontal RCS roughly equal in stealth to the F-35.
6. Spherical scanning IR sensors that provide missile warning and picture roughly equal to the F-35.

Seriously, I think we are our own worst enemy right now in buying the F-35. The A-model might still have a chance, but the B and the C are terrible and should be cancelled.

well, this being the 10th time I have seen this, a imaginary missile pod will only degrade the already average aerodynamics of the Super Hornet. Also, what will the Italian Navy and Royal navy do without the B and C versions? Oh sorry, we decided to cancel those, have fun redesigning your aircraft carriers. Sorry, but the IRM Hornet doesn’t exist outside of powerpoints and mockups.

Just like the F-35 and all those ultra cool capabilities that it has right? Only 4% of the mission requirements have been verified to date. The Super Bug is flying right now.

As for the other Navy’s there are other choices the Rafael or Sea Gripen NG. The Sea Gripen NG is being designed in the UK as a joint venture as we speak.

yes, but the Royal navy is thinking about putting Ski jump back on the QE class.

also, the Sea Gripen doesn’t exist.On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 6:21 PM, David McSpadden <> wrote: yes, but the Royal navy is thinking about putting Ski jump back on the QE class.

It will in 2015, Saab has been on time and on budget for the Gripen NG unlike the JSF

actually, Sweden can’t even afford the Gripens they have and are retiring about 50 early.

Yeah, yeah… Yada, yada… Why are you guys even arguing based on what you don’t even know about the unknowns? Or should we say… pure speculations?

The title should say it all… “estimate” and “uncertainty”. Even the writer is having a hard time deciding whether it should be news.

We see these reports about once a week, yet the F-22 that is now cheaper and is actually in the air flying, has been canned. Gotta love it.

With the requisite upgrades?

for $60B we deserve a little bit less uncertainty and better professional engineering and results than this. this is very newsworththy. i understand why f-35 and its supporters would like us to follow their lead and bury our heads in the sand, but TOUGH

So rather than continuing forward on a highly advanced replacement for aging and diminishing fleets in the face of other countries developing advanced fighter/attack aircraft you would recommend what?
It’s a money pit only if nothing is produced, otherwise, it is an investment (maybe a poor investment, but at least an investment with a return).

They are retiring the older ClD models and buying 60–80 new Gripen NG’s

it is so plain obvious: cancel the F-35 ASAP.Produce 500 additional upgraded F-22s with IRST over 15 years and supplement the rest of the USAF with F-15 SEs and new F-16s and the Navy with BLIII SHs and have LMT and Boeing pool resources to build a new stealthy interceptor a la J-20 for the USN.
The F-35 has to go and the F-22 has to come back, that’s all there is to it.

Four hundred BILLION total cost ? FOUR HUNDRED BILLION!!?? How is that even possible? At 150 million per copy, you could have over 2500 F22’s for that money. The F35 is pure insanity if these numbers are anywhere close to correct.

Also, countries like Canada and the European nations who are “depending” on the F35 should be allowed to buy the F22 as well, and scrap the F35 idea PDQ. As for the nations looking to use the Naval versions, buy something else, so solly GI.

Message from the GAO to the HASC re: the F-35: “We told you so.”

OMG! Do you mean capitalism really works? When you pay a government contractor more to drag a program out and jack up the costs, they actually do that? Wow, who would have guessed? But, hey, let’s never change the way we buy weapons. It is working so damn well. Sure we could buy better, but we just can’t pay more. Isn’t that great?

cancel the f35, follow the advice of Winslow Wheeler and company. Continuing on this route is insane. The costs will continue to increase, getting 24 million lines of code to work perfectly every time, will never happen. I would bet that some software in those 24 million lines of code will always be corrupted and fail. it would be hackers dream. the ioc dates will probably continue to slip. These aircraft were flying in the competitve fly off, close to ten years ago. Are you kidding me, an aircraft that could be in development for thirty years, before having any real combat capability what a joke.

This is the case for the DoD to tell Reps and Senators to but out and just make a one version plane and dump the B model. the whole debacle can put millions in foreign sales in jeopardy. The A and C can go forward we can save millions and years in development if we can the B and have the Corps use C models.

There doesn’t seem to be anything “new” in this report. Just a summary of what was already known.

24 million lines of code, that’s a big number, but does anybody really think it would somehow be much less if you tried to jam all of these systems into another airframe?

Regarding the lack of interest, these lawmakers did get us into this position where the F-35 is the only realistic way forward unless Boeing, Northrop, or whoever rolled out functioning prototypes for two or three new 5th generation fighters tomorrow. The best they can do is keep a close eye on Lockheed but not the point where the red tape and bureaucrats actually slow things down.

Hello Super Raptor

I have to agree with your opinion. Indeed cancel the failed F-35 which must be scrapped altogether, restart the F-22 production line and remove the ludicrous export ban to allow the closet allies to purchase the aircraft.

I was thinking of another alternative, which I had in my mind for a while. I recommend Boeing Co. to develop a new proposed single seat F-15, based on the latest advancements in two-seat F-15E as an export variant for new and existing customers to purchase the fighter for predictable costs. With the APG-82 AESA, F110-GE-132 engines with 2-D or 3-D thrust vectoring nozzles and supercruising mode (without using afterburners and saving fuel) which needs to be considered, DEWS, NG (Next Generation) 3-D touch screen cockpit, digital fly-by-wire flight control system, IRST sensor pod etc. Boeing could suggest the export designation of the Eagle for e.g. the F-15F or any idea’s they can suggest. I reckon both new build Eagles and Raptors will certainly provide a potent combination of flexibility and capability to suit “long range” requirements.


@ the bear

Also follow the advice from the Air Power Australia, retired fighter pilots, enginners and designers to cancel the lemon (JSF).

And that’s just upfront cost, the lifetime support cost is 3x-4x that number!

To put these numbers into perspective, the entire Apollo program costed around $120 Billion adjusted for inflation and was completed in less time than this JSF lemon.

In fairness the F-35 is just about in the same position the F-22 was when they started talking about canning it. The problem is that people look at the cost overruns on low rate production cost of the aircraft as if it reflects its final cost, just as they did with the F-22.

Gee ANOTHER cost over-run and delay on the F-35 Program. It is amazing the money spent on this aircraft and how the Air Force has had to take money from other platforms to pay for it. The money taken from other platforms have caused them to suffer setbacks in upgrading, modernization or upgrading their engines. We have aircraft in combat that needs upgrading but their money is taken to goto an aircraft that is not fighting a war.
I would like to thank Lockheed for this problem and wonder how big of a bonus their managers have gotten?

Reopen the F-22 line and export!

Regarding the accompanying picture: Can you believe the base drag area on this jet with the nozzle closed? What a fat a$$. Humongous!

To be fair, it is transitioning into vertical mode, so the base area appears to be worse than it typically is, but when the F-35 is compaired to similar aircraft, your statement is correct. It is a fat little bastard and the drag is very high.

Just to put the 24M lines of code into perspective, consider the following:

- A million (1M) LOC (assuming 50 lines per page, 300 pages per inch, single sided) is a stack of paper almost 6 feet tall (double sided is about 2′ 9″)
– It is about 18000 sheets of paper
– It weighs 180 lbs
– This is the equivalent of 14 copies of “War and Peace”, 25 copies of “Ulysses” or 63 copies of “Catcher in the Rye“
– To support 1M LOC, there are approximately 40K pages of external documentation
– The schedule supporting the code grows faster than the code itself and costs between $20M-$40M
– Assuming “industrial” defect rates (quality of the code) has between 5–10 defects per 1K LOC, that means 1M LOC has a predicted defects ranging from 5000–10000.

So, feel free to multiple this by 24! Sometimes automating everything is NOT in your best interest.

The song remains the same… More Time, More Money, More Time, More Money

The Navy needs to punch out and let this thing go its course ala F-111B.

The F-3$ program is a National disgrace and probably the biggest military threat that we face as it drains our defense budget of every last penny.

Cancel this program. Build more Superhornets and Growlers for the Navy and export sales and restart the F-22 line. 4+ Superhornets for every F-35? Quantity has a quality all its own, as the Chinese are showing us.

Yes, but still…whew…It needs a placard…

Pure idiocy, funds should be invested in top rate standoff weapons and F-16Vs. The defense industry is broken badly disorganized and unfocused. Manned aircraft should be viewed as the weapon transports they are and there is absolutely no reason for manned aircraft to make attempts at penetrating modern air defense networks. Even with stealth the Airforce understood in the Cold War days the only way they would get to Moscow with aircraft was by using SRAMs to blaze a trail.

It was the US Air Force that signed you up to a contract that pays Lockheed $1.10 for every $1.00 they spend on developing that airplane. It is a type of contract that all the defense contractors lobbied for, but on the other hand the USAF could at any time choose to go back to their former methods of contracting, and they don’t. Congress could make the “cost plus award fee” contract illegal for government procurement anytime they wanted, but they don’t. It is a self perpetuating system that looks out for everyone’s interests by yours.

We borrow money from Communist Red China to perpetuate this farce. Money that will be taken from our children at the point of our own government’s guns until every penny is paid back.

From (Reuters) “No more money” for F-35 cost overruns: Pentagon

Future cost overruns on the stealthy new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter built by Lockheed Martin Corp will reduce how many planes the U.S. military will ultimately buy, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told a Senate committee on Tuesday.

kill it

Boy the F-35 Fan boys can’t take the truth to well. ” There will be ” NO MORE MONEY ” for this monstrosity.

They may sign up for a $1.10 for ever $1.00 but Lockheed has gone Way Way overboard with this aircraft

agreed. It’s done. stick a fork in it.

I’ll second the comment that continuing to pour copious amounts of $ into this black hole creates a dangerous drain on our national treasure, and adds to the national debt which should be considered the most dangerous threat the nation currently faces.

Kill it without any plan forward or proper alternatives on the table? That’s sure going to end well.

DOD To ‘Dial’ Back F-35 Production Unless Lockheed Demonstrates Progress:

DefenseAlert, March 21, 2012 — The Pentagon wants a contractual framework for the next two rounds of F-35 purchases from Lockheed Martin that increase government leverage, limiting the sixth production run to 26 jets — 20 percent below the 31 authorized and appropriated in fiscal year 2012 — until the prime contractor demonstrates progress on specific criteria
http://​insidedefense​.com ( subscriber content )

What is really SAD, is that every Defense Program in the past 40 years has been grosely overbudget and years late. While big defense company defraud the services. At our present rate, we are headed for second place.

The F-35 is essentially too complicated and the attempts of the design to share common components simply doesn’t work because the STOVL B-type and Carrier C-type require too many structural changes; although it may have been easier to simply build the C-type first and build an Air Force A-type afterwards while the B-type would essentially be a totally different animal. Finally, maybe the US Government should allow all foreign countries who want the F-35 to buy now and wait until all the bugs are worked out as well as the price is supposed to be cheaper later when the aircraft is in full production.


I stole this from Weaponhead in a previous post, but I just learned the Navy is seeking to add and extra year to the Super Hornet Multi-year buys. Guess that shows how much faith they have in the JSF:

The problem is Lockheed Martin, Always…Out source it to China. They could give a shit as long as they make money on the deal, Like all the contrats given them.

Just imagine if we could take that much money and pay down the horrendous debt we have. Dwight was right! “Beware of the Military Industrial Complex” . Let’s start saving money by first leaving Afghanistan. What a waste after over 10 years. I have had enough of this #$%@!& !!

Cancel this program now. The F022 is killing pilots due to loss of oxygen and this piece of garbage can not get off the ground and it is the same company. Time to give another contractor a shot at coming up with something that will work.

The F022 is canned because the oxygen keeps cutting off and killing the pilots and they can’t figure it out. Funny they are made by the same company I believe.

$ million

F-35A Rec Fly = 118.144 [19]
F-35A Net P-1 = 164.437 [19]

F-35B Rec Fly = 156.799 [6]
F-35B Net P-1 = 234.123 [6]

F-35C Rec Fly = 142.637 [4]
F-35C Net P-1 = 251.908 [4]

F/A-18E/F Rec Fly = 54.362 [26]
F/A-18E/F Net P-1 = 78.274 [26]

Not to mention how much it will/would cost to develope & procure your wet dream improvements which STILL will/would not make a SuperDuperHornet as good as an F-35.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to get the frontal RCS of a Super Hornet within an order of magnitude of the F-35.

There is an old saying, “The truth will set you free”, but in today’s world it can also kill you.

Actually the F-35A is ALREADY (LRIP4) LESS expensive to procure than the F-22.

You have no clue what you are talking about. Defense contractors make MORE money from programs that are on time &/or on budget than they could ever hope to dragging out programs.

No, not another cost overrun OR delay. Just the GAO doing what it is suppost to do & warn Congress how bad it COULD BE but isn’t.

Dream on. You will be lucky to see a pre-production ‘Gripen NG’ airframe (not a modified Gripen C demonstrator) fly by 2015 much less a Sea Gripen which has no customer yet. They have yet to actually START any real development work on the ‘Gripen NG’.

No, Wheeler & company are insane. They want us to remake the F-5!!! It was an inadequite front-line fighter when it came out (it was an inexpensive 2nd-line fighter for export customers who could not afford front-line fighters). Thank God saner thought prevailed & we got the F-15 & F-16 in the 70’s & 80’s instead of the trash Wheeler & company wanted.

What retired fighter pilots, enginners and designers?

LM HAS BEEN DEMONSTRATING PROGRESS!!! Congress keeps restructuring the program. Get Congress & the DOD out of the way & let LM get it done.

No, the problem is the US Government.

It wouldn’t do a thing to the debt but it WOULD leave us with a 2nd rate 1980’s fighter force.

Really now? Copying my name? Do tell me how $400 billion to modernize our fighter fleet will pay off the trillions we owe?

What would having both new F-22s and this modernized F-15 idea accomplish? They’d be filling the same roles, but the F-15 would lack the stealth benefits.

What about the thousands of F-16s the F-35 was supposed to replace in USAF service? Don’t suggest another F-16 variant as a solution for the next 30 years, because it isn’t.

No seriously, I would love to see some alternatives that aren’t rehashed variants of aircraft designed in the ‘70s and ‘80s. It might make the chants of “kill it” seem slightly less idiotic if that’s possible.

The US Navy has been down this road before with the F-111B, another land based airframe that would
be “navalized” and put in to service. It was cancelled and the US Navy devloped the F-14. The F-18E/F isn’t the answer the US Navy wants for their future needs and now they won’t get the money to develop another high end airframe like the F-14 (the US Air Force at least has 183 F-22’s). Sounds like the US Navy will have to push forward with UCAV’s for future combat requirements. The F-18E/F will be around for another 10 years , then what? Doesn’t sound like F-35C will be around either?
The US Navy should dump the F-35 program and get on with a new F-18E/F replacement that has less complexity and more reliability than the F-35 has shown to date.

This is crazy! $400 billion and the entire DoD budget is $683 billion. No wonder government empoyees, civs and military are getting axed!

I gave u a thumb up because you said “last time”

just look for the “UNION LABEL” the tag is on that plane.….

RCS information is a closely guarded secret, but I seriously doubt there is any change that can be made to the Super Hornet that would get it within the same ballpark as the F-35 in terms of RCS.

There is no ‘something else’ available to replace the F-35B that the USMC and Italians are buying.

How many lines of code does an F-15, F-16, or F-18 with an AESA have among its various systems? The 24 million lines of code number is meaningless without some context.

When have the Chinese showed us that? 60 years ago in the Korean War? The fact that they subscribe to that theory now does not prove it works.

I’d like to think I’m a pretty smart person, but it’s impossible to decipher what’s going on with programs like this. Obviously the two big issues discussed over and over again are 1) Unit Cost; and 2) Lifecycle Cost.

On the Unit Cost, my understanding is they include all the development costs, which are substantial and only getting bigger. But the reality is much of that money is already spent and gone, so the $200 million/copy price tag (or whatever it is now) including tens of millions that has already been spent long ago in development. Of course, that amount that has already been spent is fixed, so then every time the buy is cut by 10%, Unit Cost goes up since that fixed amount needs to be recovered over less units. At this point I’d be curious to see what the cost is from here on it, in other words if we ignore the sunk costs. If the program was cancelled today that money is still spent, so it becomes meaningless in analyzing the alternative of going forward with the F-35 or cancelling it in favor of something else.

As for the lifecycle costs, I have a difficult time believing there is a meaningful difference in lifecycle costs for a modern single seat, single engine fighter in the long-term. If a country were to buy 100 F-35 or 100 F-16E, would there be a significant difference in cost over a 20 year period flying them 200 hours/year? I know there are claims of advances in maintainability and such, but it doesn’t seem to me that would have a meaningful impact on most of the costs of maintaining an aircraft over its lifetime. The one main difference is the maintenance necessary for the stealth features of an aircraft, so maybe the F-35 should be 10% more expensive on that basis, though my understanding is that the stealth features of the F-35 were to require less maintenance than previous stealth aircraft.

Hey Abicus — you have no idea what you are looking at! Against my best instincts I am going to educate you on the F-35B. If you look closely you will see the Variable Vane Box Nozzle doors are open, the roll post nozzle doors are open, and if a top view was in the pic the engine aux doors are open and the upper lift fan door would be opening. This jet is in conversion from wing-borne flight to jet-borne config! In a few more seconds the jet will complete the conversion and the pilot will be doing a vertical landing using the “four post” VL thrust output. Yes…I work on these jets.

My Conclusion:

The USA looks like to be no longer able to build a modern fighter because of is completely broken political system the real problem of nearly all US Programs. How else is possible what the Russian and the Chinese Communists can build and develop a 5 Generation fighter and this on the cost of major problem fix on the F35? I not joke the Russian has spent just about 8 billion since 2001 for the developing of the PAK FA and the PAK FA will first delivered 2013 and put in service around 2015/16. The estimated (2012) per unit cost will be US$48 to 57 million (lover them a F18 or F16) and the developing has taken only 14–15 Years!

The PAK FA is not so complex like the F35 and not comparable to the F22 but far superior to each over US Fighter including the F18 E/F Block 3 or the F16V or the F15SE. Therefore, one must ask what is wrong with the US-Military and Political system and the simple response is what the entire System is completely broken. Without this idiotic and unrealistic test requirements and annual budget maneuver combined with totally unrealistic requirements from the also totally broken DOD Acquisition office the F35 program will be today possible ten times cheaper.

But hear some examples why I think what the entire acquisition system of the USA is totally broken and a national shame so for example.

The USA has built during the World War 2 more them 1000 Warships peer Year and for the acquisition of this Ships the DOD has employed just around 1000 people! During the Reagan Years the USA has built around seventeen a year (Nuclear Carriers, Aegis cruiser, SSN, SSBN and Frigates) and for their purchase there around 4000 employers responsible and now the Navy builds only 9 Ships peer years and 3–4 (LCS) of them cannot really called warships and needs for their purchase now around 25000 people that are just insane!

As consequences of this late-Roman/byzantine decadence the USA spends more them the entire world for defense but is not enable to maintain a modest lead against his dangerous competitors Russia and red China.

No they won’t…this is a huge program, worldwide production. Thats right foreign partners are stakeholders with work share, F-35 parts and pieces are coming from Norway, Turkey, Australia, Netherlands, the UK, Japan etc, etc, etc. They do not want to see their investments dry up so they are communicating this thru their network in Washington and Lockheed. So please stick to the facts, my guess is you have none like most posts here you all feed off each other and put out junk rumors.


Yeah, because when you make $1.10 for every $1.00 you spend, it always works out better if it takes less time and costs less money. Loser!

I’ll tell you why the lawmakers were bored with the briefing, because it is irrelevant self serving BS. They’ve read that QLR and know that over the next year there are so many issues to be addressed that $400 billion number is going to be blown away by years end, so there really isn’t any point to listening to a briefing about a number that’s going to change in 8 months.

Then I guess this won’t be the last time.

I’ll have to dig around for specifics but the F-22 has about 20M SLOC (Source Lines of Code). Windows XP was around 40M SLOC. The B-2 was around 2.8M SLOC. Aegis was around 2.8M SLOC. Just for “grins and giggles” the Shuttle had .4M SLOC, the 787 is around 6.5M SLOC and the S-Class Mercedes has about 20M SLOC.

It won’t be cancelled.…ever.…

And the f-35 is not that solution either.

But orders will be. Even usaf say that there is no more money available for any price increase. Order will only decrease.
Title: No more money to cover F-35 delays, says USAF
“The US Air Force’s top civilian leaders say that orders for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be cut if costs continue to rise.

“We have told the contractor and the programme office that there is no more money,” USAF secretary Michael Donley told the US Senate Armed Services Committee on 20 March. “To the extent that if there continues to be cost growth or challenges it’s going to be paid for by tails.“
The DoD will decide how many jets will ultimately be bought based on how well Lockheed does on cost reductions, Van Buren added.

>I would bet that some software in those 24 million lines of code will always be corrupted and fail.

At the expense of being devil’s advocate, it depend of the programming language used, although sometimes I wonder if it’s written in Java! A well managed program written with an appropriate programming language like Ada, with competent programmer who don’t have the consign to “just make it work” already save a lot of problems, and so many are remaining. I think that only implementing algorithms that must work in real-time, be validated (to specifically avoid any data corruption, overflow, etc) to aeronautical and military standards, and have the appropriate counter-measures for cyber attack. That’s a lot of logic to develop, and that task is definitely extremely long and complex.

But at the end I agree getting 24 million of lines of code working properly is extremely difficult. That’s bigger than the linux kernel! And since it’s real-time, any latency problem mean that the code have failed.

I will always keep in mind this indian satellite who crashed because a constant have not been entered correctly; or the patriot anti-missile system who failed to launch because of an inappropriate numerical representation. And all this, without any segmentation faults. ;-)

And even worse, it have to work in real-time!

I just realized that ‘tee’ posted the same article below.

The space shuttle had only .4M SLOC though it have been optimized to death due to memory constraint.

Canada is actually looking for 65 f-35, but the opposition is very, very strong and sustained. DND finally have changed their speech a little bit, from ‘we are going to buy it’ to ‘we have no obligations to buy that plane, we have not signed any contract yet, <put some BS here>’. No jokes, their word were so strong that the auditors have already made a report (sadly not published) even before the contract is singed!

So I guess that the tactics is to make us believe that a real decisional process have been finally implemented, then buy 65 f-35 (or even less) for 9B$ regardless of the maintenance and operating cost, then realize that they need more (oops), and buy 40 mores; following the canadian traditions, we will need more f-35 to replace those who crashed (oops again), “only” 110 out of 200 cf-104 crashed; and then due to the astronomical operating cost we will need to replace them earlier (dammit).
“A draft copy of the scathing review, circulating in Ottawa for weeks, suggests the air force didn’t do its pricing homework and government officials failed to follow procurement rules, those who’ve read it say.
“It’s bad, [but] how can the Auditor-General be auditing a purchase that hasn’t taken place?” said one senior official, who asked not to be identified.
The Conservative government’s plan has been to buy 65 of the radar-evading jets.

The sources said the Harper government was warned last year not to be so absolute in its public support, especially in the aftermath of Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page’s criticism of the air force’s cost estimates.

Politicians were apparently counselled to say they’ll “have a look at it” and a formal contract signing was still “three years away from now.”

But the advice was ignored, coming on the eve of an election where the Liberals attempted to make the F-35 purchase one of their campaign planks.

Instead, the Conservatives dug in and insisted their July 2010 commitment to the Lockheed-Martin fighter as a replacement for the CF-18s was final.”

No doubt, those f-35 will complement so well those lemon submarine (theme song, The Beatles: yellow submarine remix), the difference being that they will be brand new, and proudly made in USA.

DND should be replaced by both the CPC, the conservator, and the DND; they are all in the same boat, and all spreading BS.


There is no need for using capitals letters all along the message.

In my opinion, our soldier need to be properly equipped, thing as simple as getting a uniform adapted to the climatic conditions already cost a lot of money, and apparently it’s not always done. But for having the best equipment available, this is totally irrealistic. What I understand by the best equipment available is the best of the best. Matter of facts, even the US army doesn’t always have the best equipment available. Improvment come from everywhere, and they simply cannot be implemented one after the other. How many prototypes had, are and will be tested demonstrating improvement over existential equipment, and yet won’t be implemented into the army? At some point the maths have to be made. So regardless how huge the DoD budget is, they just cannot afford the best of the best, and IMNSHO their objective is to end up with the best compromise.

Back to the f-35 and Canada, it’s just a nonsense to be willing to buy the f-35 because it’s the best equipment available. It’s not! Actually, nobody really know, because nobody dared to make the proper analysis to determine what we need, before being able to choose the most appropriate piece of equipment.

Saying that only the f-35 can be considered because it’s the only 5th generation out there is totally idiotic. Its feature have to be analyzed, to determine what make it better that other planes for us, and to determine whether theses features will be still relevant in 5, 10 and 15 years and more importantly, how long it will take before the others alternatives could implement theses desired features, if not at all. A feature like sensor fusion have just no reason to not be implementable on a 4.5th generation, it’s mostly a matter of upgrading electronics and software more than anything else. For instance, the eurofighter tranche 3B will have a HMD too, that expected for 2015 along with the AESA radar.

And I want to be clear. While I definitely love the eurofighter, if I were to be in charge of that decision, every planes would pass the same rigorous analysis, each would have the same chance, before other undesirable factors like politics would get on the way for the final decision. That’s clearly something missing right now in the DND. They are buying an emotion, not the best equipment for their troops.

While I probably seems picky for defining the term ‘best equipment’, that’s exactly where the problem reside, because ‘best equipment’ is totally meaningless without knowing the need it is mean to address. The best piece of equipment being the best at everything simply doesn’t exist.

>Or should we say… pure speculations?

I prefer the term reasoning with incomplete information, or perhaps a stochastic exercises, depending how you feel. For the sake of LM the lack of classified information make our debate less granular; unfortunately for LM, there is enough public information out there to see how bad it is going. :-)

Yes, those were the days. H/W was expensive and programmers had to optimize everything. One of the guys I work with was on the development team. Now there are some stories.…;-> Today, we just add or upgrade the hardware (more disk, memory, etc.). I doubt they even teach code optimization and algorithm analysis in college today. Man I’m getting old!!!

First of all it is NOT anywhere near $400 Billion (unless you are using THEN YEAR dollars) & second it is total cost over 3 DECADES. Even during full rate production, the yearly cost of the F-35 (ALL THREE MODELS) will be <0.5% of the yearly Federal Budget & <2.5% of the yearly DOD discretionary budget.

You have no clue what you are talking about.

I AGREE with your assesmnts you seem to have a lot of knowledge good to talk to you

I must say that what you said makes a lot of sense, but my question to you is: what makes you think the PAK-FA is not comparable to the F-22? It’s not finished testing yet so it’s performance is difficult to judge, but from the looks of it the PAK-FA has an IRST, which is better for fighting stealth aircraft, and the Raptor does not. The PAK-FA can hold 8 R-77s internally vs 6 AMRAAMs for the F-22 so it is better armed. It has 3D TVC so it will be more maneuverable than the F-22. The F-22 has better all aspect stealth and the Russian admitted that they sacrificed some stealth in the design to achieve better maneuverability against the F-22. The PAK-FA also hasn’t been bought in any production form, but the Russians said they were aiming for a price of $100 million per unit, which is better than the F-35 and F-22, but not better than the Super Hornet Block III or the Falcon Block 60.

We’re still waiting on the radar for the PAK-FA, but if it is an AESA radar (which is likely considering Iran might have obtained similar radar tech from the RQ-170 that they said they would share with Russia) it easily has the potential to be just as good as the APG-77 AESA on the F-22.

Theunit cost debate is foolish given the program is operating without an approved baseline, the LRIP jets are not representative of FRP jets, and DoD & the F-35 PM have left us in the dark by not publishing a Selected Acquisition Report since Dec 2010. There is no end in sight to Development. Add all the extra billions of dollars spent on Development, and all the extra costs & cost risks due to delay into those unit costs, and you must realize that since there are no bounds to Development, there are no bounds to the unit cost. Producing without completing Development is beyond foolishness.

Hi, simply why the F22 is from the design stealthier them the PAK FA and the Russian has simple also not comparable experience in stealth materials (RAM) and stealthy electronic (for example LPI Mode). I know what on the Paper the PAK FA looks better them the F22 but this is typical for nearly all Russian made weapons they are looks all far better them there western enemy’s but they are sometimes inferior because of wake electronic or inferior material technique, so for example a Mig29 engine holds just 3000 hours in compare with a F16 engine how holds about 6000–8000 hours. To believe all was the Russian said is unprofessional and naive but this is also to apply to some US Assertions about their weapons. My opinion is what the PAK FA is not from the real combat performance comparable to the F22 but on the other hand the PAK FA he is comparable from is mission (Air Superiority) and some performance data (Speed, weapons payload, since of the radar) but not on the critical point stealth and I also not really believe that the Russian will be without experience and with their much smaller budget enable to give the PAK FA comparable electronic skills to the F22 and F35. And what means the units fly away cost of the Pak FA so the Russian estimate what they still about by 47.5 –57 million Dollars without developing and maintain.

But the fact is what the PAK FA still far superior to all other western fighters like the F18E/F, F16V, F15SE, EF2000 and Rafale and this by a significant lover price per unit and the main point is what the Russian has created this fighter with a invest from just 8 Billion Dollar over 10 Years during the USA has invest and plan to invest about 160 Billion alone for the developing of the F35. So people speak often about Russian corruption and Russian mismanagement but the USA waste every year more money for their bureaucratic Overhead them Russian spend for their entire military peer year. So just a US feasibility study cost sometimes more them the entire developed of a new missile or tank in Russia and this is also not a joke it is serious.

And now all people call for the end of the F35 program in favor of the acquisition of obsolete and 30 years old designs like the F16 and the F15 but this is not the solution the only solution is to put an end to the bureaucratic Overhead and the entire political culture. The solution is far less excesses tests and lover or better said more flexible Demands on the Hardware so I contend what the largest part the cost explosion of the F35 is owe to the unrealistic requirements on performance and also on the unrealistic cost estimate of the Clinton years (50 Million Dollar per unit, totally unrealistic).

And yet they will all be available before the F-35 is

That’s understandable. I disagree with you, but you do raise some good points. I think the PAK-FA will at the very least be equal to the F-22 when it reaches production, mainly because the Flanker series proved us wrong in the past. The Flanker is better than the F-15 and despite the problems Russia has had in the past since the fall of the Soviet Union one thing they haven’t lost is their advanced fighter industry. They need to keep paying their aerospace experts obscene amounts of money to keep them loyal but they also learned from the mistakes of the MiG-29 and the older model Su-27, which is why their new Flanker engines developed for the Su-35S last 4,000 hours, which is now at least within the same ball park of our fighter’s engines even if it’s lower. By the way I heard a rumor that the actual service life of the Pratt & Whitney F119 for the F-22 is classified because it’s so short due to the complex design. I think stealth is definitely important, but it isn’t everything. The F-22 still has some parts of it that reflect the back huge radar waves if a radar catches it at the right angle. The PAK-FA has a more balanced approach and I think the Russian aren’t stupid when it comes to designing and aircraft since they never have been in the past.

When the Iranian Revolution occurred in 1979 the new Iranians that took power gave the Russians our F-14s, which had the only look down-shoot down capability at the time. The Russians soon came out with the MiG-25, MiG-31, and Su-27, all of which had look down-shoot down capability. One thing we’ve learned from history in regard to Russia is that they are better than the Chinese at reverse engineering. The Chinese will reverse engineer a system and copy it piece by piece. The Russians will reverse engineer it, understand it, then make one of their own designs. Again, I disagree with you here. I think the Russians will be able to copy the AESA radar off of the RQ-170 and make a radar system comparable radar to the APG-77 on the F-22. However, I enjoyed reading your thoughts. Very interesting.

call me crazy but I would of taken the F-16 Supha 35– 40% larger fuselage and wings. and had a radical redo. When I was done it would have magneto gravitic technology, and the ability to get energy from solar and cosmic rays. last but not least the F35 avionics and stealth directed energy phased polaron canon in the hundreds of mega joule range

There’s a good chance the RQ-170 doesn’t have a nice AESA radar on it, just electro-optical sensors, cameras, that sort of thing.

There is a chance that the RQ-170 didn’t have AESA, but considering that it is a deep penetration stealth UAV that has a size rivaling the X-45 it highly likely that it was equipped with AESA radar. It’s rumored to contain a similar radar to the AN/APG-81 radar found on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter along with advanced SIGINT sensors and cameras:

“When the Iranian Revolution occurred in 1979 the new Iranians that took power gave the Russians our F-14s, which had the only look down-shoot down capability at the time. The Russians soon came out with the MiG-25, MiG-31, and Su-27, all of which had look down-shoot down capability.”

But this not necessarily means what the Russian has necessarily copied the US look down-shoot down radar on this time the Russian/USSR has already their own programs for such a capability it is possible what the F14 has helped the Iran but it is not really probably what the Russian there reliant on the F14 to get this skills and it is also not so clear them a technological transfer anyhow happen because what the USSR has also hated the Iranian Islamist and help Iraq with weapons and training against the Iran in the Iran-Iraq War.

But on the other hand the Russian are gifted copier and they have very capable engineers how can work successfully under most adverse condition under what western engineers will never be able to work but the Russian boil also with water. I know Russian technique from near and I can tell you what the Russian created mostly (except weapons) significantly worse products in compare with western countries. And also I don’t believe what the Russian are more dangerous and better tem the Chinese so the PAK FA looks more like an improved Su35 with some design bonds from the YF-23 but the PAK FA don’t locks like a real stealth fighter and them you take a closer look to the design so for example on the positioning of the IRIST system or on the engines. The Chinese J20 are the more advance 5 generation design and they have also far more funding them the Russians how there for example reliant to Indian financial help and the Chinese have also the world’s best espionage program and they hacked secret data them not all data about the F35 design . Because of this to claim what the Russians are better is in the face of this facts a subjectively but not an objectively opinion.

“The Russians will reverse engineer it, understand it, and then make one of their own designs. Again, I disagree with you here. I think the Russians will be able to copy the AESA radar off of the RQ-170 and make a radar system comparable radar to the APG-77 on the F-22. “

So I don’t say what the Russian will not be enable with safety to build a Radar like the APG77 I just say what based on the experience of the last 20 Years the Russian will probably not be able to build a same capable radar system. So for example the Russian don’t have in the moment an Air based operational ASEA radar and the only known Russian fighter Radar the Zhuk-A still behind the parameter of PESA Radars.

And thy not talk just about the operational range of a radar system the talk also about is resolution and the computing power and also about is visibility or better said about how easy it will be to detect the radar them he is switched. At last a stealth fighter with switched radar is no longer stealthy them he has not technique to camouflage is emitted signals. It is a very complex subject matter and I have never heard good thinks about Russian avionic so or example all importers of Russian fighter ask for Israeli or other western avionic for their Russian made fighter.

But the important point is what the PAK FA must not be more or same capable like the F22 it is enough them he still superior to the largest part of its potential western enemy’s like the F15SE, F18E/F, F16V, F2000 and same capable or superior in Air to Air combat to the F35 them the PAK FA can hit this targets the USA will and all there ally’s will get big problems. And I think what the PAK FA will hit this target and become a game changer against the Western Country’s in favor of all bad guys how can obtain even a small number of them.

Okay, we both need to start using spell check because I had to read your post twice to fully understand it, then I looked back and saw I did the same thing.

Again, I disagree with you and I still think the Russians are smarter, more flexible, more unpredictable, and more formidable at the moment than the Chinese. Unlike the Chinese, they just don’t have money right now. There’s no real way to gauge the spying capability super powers right now, but from the few intel guys I have have talked to we’re still way ahead of the Chinese. Anyway, you at least made some good points as to why you think what you think.

The F-35 is a big load of Pentagon waste of crap.We could buy F/A 18s or for the Air Farce F-16 50/52 with conformal fuel tanks. Also add a few dozen F15SE and we be back in the game, Oh did I tell everyone that this a game between Lockheed Martin and Lockheed martin.

Wait check your target accquestion and its all Lockheed Martin. If we bougth all F/A 18 super hornets for the navy and the air force we would not have this problem

First sorry my bad English.

Your claim what the “Russians are smarter, more flexible, more unpredictable, and more formidable at the moment than the Chinese.” can be true but on middle to long term this will radically change in favor of the Chinese. The Chinese communist are at last the anyway the real treatment to the free world the Russian are a problem but they have no longer the potential to be the main adversary of the Western World.

But let’s stay by the PAK FA and J20 as I have seen the PAK FA first I was not really impersonated from the design and his parameters. I can only renewed what I say the PAK FA looks like a highly improved Su35 how will them she goes in service far superior to every other non-stealth jet like the F16, F18, F15 and she will also be better In Air to Air combat in compare to the F35 but the F22 will be stealthier and combined with his improvements in the global strike configuration better them the PAK FA this is what I predict.

But what has really surprised me was not the PAK FA it was the J20 how looks much better under stealth face points them the PAK FA and the J20 came much faster than expected and she looks to have the potential to be the much stealthier and as consequence the better enemy 5 generation fighter. But at last something depends on the Avionic of a jet (Radar, IRST, Commination, the electronic Signature and sensor fusion) and this is exactly how the Russian are weak. Russia doesn’t have a powerful Computer or electronic industry and also the weakest point of all their weapons are the electronic. So I told you what some international costumers how buys Russian weapons especially Russian fighter equipped there new Russian jets with western or even own avionic software (for example India).

The Chinese are different because why there has direct access to nearly the entire IT-industry because what many western firms build their products completely or partial in china. And the Chinese has also the money to invest in there industrial base and to get the technology the Russians don’t have such resources. And to clarify how much potential china has in compare with Russia you must just look how was red china’s military looking 1999 and how it looks today and you will came to the conclusion what the Chinese are far superior to the Russians.

So for example the Chinese there 1999 unable to copy Soviet made weapons like the Su27 or the S300 they don’t have the abilities to produce modern Air to Air and Air to ground Missiles or ballistic Missiles to make it short the Chinese Army was 1999 a copy of the Army of Iraq how was destroyed 1991 during desert storm. Today only 10 Years after china builds foreign weapons and develops weapons how are superior or equal to the best what the Russian have. They not just copies Russian weapons they build their own designs for example the HQ19, the DF21 ASBM or the J20. So the Chinese has become in only 10 years the second strongest economy on earth and also the second strongest military power and it is not really hard to imagine how red china will be in 10 or 20 years.

So my conclusion:

The Russian Weapon designer and producer are clear smarter, better, inventive and far more effective them there American Colleagues there success with their small budget testifies this and I believe also what they are better them there Chinese colleagues but the Chinese have at last the better cards because of there massive resources combined with a also much better efficiency in comapre with the USA.

F-35 is here to stay, and it will be a mainstay of the USAF/USN fleets for decades to come… deal with it

LM is playing LM? Who is going to win I wonder? No, wait don’t tell me. It’s going to be LM.

The New DOT&E report is in, the new DOT&E report is in:

Lots of “discovery” for a 10 year old SDD.

The struggles of the F-35 summed up by the GAO and other political/civilian problems with the program do not reflect in any way the ways the pilot that have flown these airplanes, and used their systems. We must always remember, the most important think for our troops, is to give them the best equipment available to us no matter what. China is developing very similar aircraft. Why? Because the recognize the advantages of these systems against other military aircraft. Air dominance is an absolute must in warfare, and we are in dire straights at this time if we enter a near-pear war. Our losses would be great, and the F-16 and f-15 are still simply upgraded 1970’s equipment, which are older than most of the pilots that fly them. The Navy and it’s Hornet squadrons are not in the class of dogfighting abilities of our adversaries. The US has continually made the mistakes of forgetting the past, and believing the dogfight to be a thing of the past. Not so. Yes you want as much BVR capability as possible, but an airplane must be able to maneuver in ACM as a last resort. This brings me to my most important point. Just as F-22 Raptor costs had been amortized to relative affordability (and is the most capable air superiority fighter ever built) and was cheaper than the F-35, the program was axed. Interestingly enough, Obama’s $400 billion in defense cuts equals the cost of the F-35 production. Obama is guilty of treason, has left us in the most vulnerable position since a certain day in December of 1941. He who forgets history is doomed to repeat it. I have friends working for Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BAE, Boeing, and almost every major defense contractor. All believe the biggest mistake this country has made concerning a major war is stopping F-22 production. The USAF should have received its’ requested 381 Raptors (although the original number was for more than 700. they new they would never get them) and none of the air arms will ever receive a full complement of F-35s. The numbers will fall and fall until we have a simple, silver bullet force. Sadly, this is inadequate, especially dealing with advanced Russian and Chinese, as well as their customers (including terrorist nations, and Iran the king of terrorist nations) surface to air missile systems, combined with new fighter forces. We need a one for one replacement of our fighters. Our troops (including my children who serve) deserve the best equipment this nation can have regardless of costs. We should reopen the F-22 Raptor production and deliver the USAF“s 381 Raptors, cost be damned. Cut the welfare of people sitting on their butts not working ( not those who can’t work, but won’t) , make huge cuts in foreign aid. Leave the UN, and take our money with us. Drill for oil and natural gas in America, which gives us 10s of thousands of jobs as well as taxable income. Reduce the size of government (Obama has hired an average of 101 new federal employees a day since his election! Why? To enforce the hundreds of thousands of new regulations he has put in place. This country is going in the wrong direction in EVERYTHING we do with a traitor in the White House. He should be impeached and tried for treason, and my friends at specialoperationsspeaks​.com have an explanation and a petition to do just that. Our nation is in danger from many enemies, and we have abandoned Israel, one of our greatest, and most powerful allies. So what does Obama do? Tries to overrule the 2nd Amendment and disarm Americans, being fully aware that terrorists are uniting with Central and South American drug cartels and coming into the US. Take my weapons? Not a chance.

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