F-35 to cost $1.45 trillion over next 50 years

F-35 to cost $1.45 trillion over next 50 years

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s long term operating costs are once again at the forefront of the debate about how much the stealthy swiss army knife will cost. Just yesterday, Frank Kendall, acting undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics (AT&L) told lawmakers that while acquisition costs are coming under control the real issue is going to be the price tag associated with keeping the jets flying over the decades.

“We’re doign everything we can to drive down the cost of the Joint Strike Fighter,“said Kendall during his March 29 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to be confirmed as full-time undersecretary of defense for AT&L.

“I do think that the strike fighter is getting under control, we’re attacking the producting costs by putting stong incentives on the contractor to control cost and to get the changes that have to be made cut in quickly. Now we’re focusing on the sustainment costs which are larger actually than the production costs, we’ve made some progress there this year in some areas but we’ve slipped in some areas as well. That’s where we think the greatest potential [for savings] is. [Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter] testified a year ago about getting large fractions of that cost down and I think we can approach that. So I’ve set a goal for us to accomplish that.”

Now Reuters is reporting that the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office estimates that it will cost $1.45 trillion over the next 50-plus years to buy and operate the JSF fleet. Wow.

Apparently, much of this is due to the cost of inflation over the coming decades:

While inflation accounts for more than one-third of the projected F-35 operating costs, military officials and industry executives were quick to point out that it is nearly impossible to predict inflation over the next half-century.

They also argue that no other weapons program’s costs have been calculated over such a long period, and that even shorter-term cost projections for other aircraft do not include the cost of modernization programs and upgrades.

The new cost estimate reflects the Pentagon’s proposal to postpone orders for 179 planes for five years, a move that U.S. official say will save $15.1 billion through 2017, and should avert costly retrofits if further problems arise during testing of the new fighter, which is only about 20 percent complete.

The Pentagon’s newest numbers say that the jets will cost $112.5 million, plus $22 million for the engine, apiece to buy in 2012 dollars (that figure includes the cost of R&D work), according to Reuters. That’s $135 million per plane, plus an additional $26 million for the engines when adjusted for inflation.

Here’s Reuters breakdown of that massive number along with several competing estimates about the F-35’s cost — notice how the Pentagon’s official cost psychics (CAPE), the GAO and the F-35 program office all have different predictions for the F-35 price tag:

The new estimate, based on calculations made by the Cost Assessment Program Evaluation (CAPE) office, includes operating and maintenance costs of $1.11 trillion, including inflation, and development and procurement costs of $332 billion.

The Government Accountability Office last week projected it would cost $397 billion to develop and buy the planes, up from its earlier forecast of $382 billion.

The Pentagon office that runs the F-35 program office has a lower estimate for lifetime costs, although it is still around $1 trillion, according to two sources familiar with the estimates. Both industry and government have put a huge emphasis on reducing operating costs and keeping the plane affordable.

Remember a couple of years ago when a leaked slide from NAVAIR claimed that the F-35 — a plane originally sold on the premise that it will offer 5th-generation fighter performance with a low price tag — would be far more expensive to operate than the Navy and Marine Corps current crop of fighters?

That document claimed the Navy and Marines’F-35C carrier variant and F-35B short Take-off and vertical landing variant JSFs would cost $30,700 per hour to fly versus the $18,900 an hour that the AV-8B Harrier and F/A-18 Hornet cost to fly. Naturally, Lockheed disputed these claims.


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Go read the DOT&E Annual report ( http://​www​.dote​.osd​.mil/​p​u​b​/​r​e​p​o​r​t​s​/​F​Y​2​0​11/ ), the GAO SAR ( http://​www​.gao​.gov/​a​s​s​e​t​s​/​5​9​0​/​5​8​9​6​9​5​.​pdf ) and the DoD SAR ( http://insidedefense.com//index.php?option=com_iw… ). This this is going to continue to get worse. Read the list of problems for an aircraft that has been in SDD for over 10 years. Warnings about additional discoveries to come. Problems without resolutions. Design which has not stabilized. Performance reductions. The list goes on and on. Then read about SDB II. It’s biggest risk is that it won’t work in the F-35 weapon bay environment which is worse than predicted. The house of cards is falling and the death spiral is in full swing. I wonder if the death spiral spins the opposite way in Australia???

I think the problem on why the price is increasing is because the parts are from different parts of the world. How about making all parts from USA and order a fix number to manufacture. That could lower the price.

Do they have lifecycle costs for the F-16 or F-18 programs? It might be apples to oranges, but it would give people something to compare to. How much has the F-16 program cost (adjusted for inflation) from initial design, testing, procurement, upgrades, and O&M up to this point?

Posting this again, because someone thought it would be cool to give me a thumbs up for saying it was the last time I was going to post it on another thread. Time for an encore.

F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block II Cost: $53 Million
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet International Cost: $60 Million est.
F-16E/F Fighting Falcon Block 60 Cost: $80 Million
F-15SE Silent Eagle Cost: $100 Million
F-22A Raptor Cost: $150 Million

F-35A Cost: $172 Million
F-35B Cost: $291.7 Million
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 that’s just as good as the F-35’s.
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 battle picture roughly equal to the F-35.

The C-model and the B-model of the F-35 should definitely be cancelled. I used to think the A-model still had a chance, but now I’m beginning to have doubts about it and I’m thinking we should just cancel the whole thing all together.

As a replacement for the B we could invest in a larger, upgraded Harrier with a more powerful engine, glass cockpit, IRST, stealth shaping, RAM coating in crucial areas, heavy armament, and some added armor so it can handle CAS missions. It should be cheaper to make and still do everything that the F-35B was meant to do. The Super Hornet only took 3 years from the moment someone suggested it in 1992 to make a prototype, which ran through testing quickly and easily in 1995. A redesigned Harrier I’m sure could come close to that.

It’s not that simple. Parts made overseas would actually cost more if built in the US since you’d be paying American wages. Also, much of the F-35 program’s cost growth is due to how many things are still unknown or untested. For example, they don’t know for sure yet how much the tailhook for the –C will cost because they’re still designing it and it has yet to land on a carrier. There are hundreds of flight hours of testing that will find parts wearing out too quick, or tweaks that need to be made to certain components which will also require maintenance procedures to be reevaluated. That’s normal in testing. They haven’t discovered those things yet, and when they do, it increases the pricetag.

So which F-35 can we put into production and which one should we keep in the research and development.

” stealthy swiss army knife” more like, the allegedly stealthy swiss army knife.

F-35A Cost: $172 Million?
F-35B Cost: $291.7 Million?
F-35C Cost: $ 235.8 Million?

Baseless speculation!

The article said: “The Pentagon’s newest numbers say that the jets will cost $112.5 million, plus $22 million for the engine, apiece in 2012 dollars. That figure includes the cost of R&D work, according to Reuters. That’s $135 million per plane, plus an additional $26 million when adjusted for inflation.”

»> $135 million per plane «< That is still quite achievable, considering a souped up Typhoon is easily $120 million. Even the Russian T-50 will not be below $120 million.

Air Force and Navy budget documents from last month give different figures from the ones in the article.

“That’s $135 million per plane, plus an additional $26 million when adjusted for inflation.” or $161 Million in Real Dollars

Not so baseless. For as much as Black Owl keeps cutting and pasting that post, the F-35 numbers he has are pretty close to these documents. I have no idea where the article’s numbers come from.

$1.45 trillion (factoring in inflation) to build, operate, and maintain 2,443 fighters for 50 years? How about we just avoid a few trillion dollar bailouts over the next 50 years to pay for that.

Is there a single defense deal that you’re not okay with?

Here’s the source for the above info: http://​www​.defense​-aerospace​.com/​c​g​i​-​b​i​n​/​c​l​i​e​n​t/m

To be honest I’m not quite sure I would trust the Pentagon’s numbers over this guy’s. He used official government defense contracts to do the math for the F-35 and he cites his sources as well. They’re pretty legitimate.


I found numbers very close to yours on this budget document. I have one for the –B and –C models, but DoDBuzz won’t let me post the link.

Proof this program will stumble and fall because of DoD corruption and bad politics. Overall Upgrade all F-15C to F-15SE and buy 2–3 more squadrons of F-22s and keep the A-10 in service sell the F-16s off to Philippines and South Korea. This program has become a embarrassment to the nation.

F-4 Phantom II costs: http://​en​.wikipedia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​M​c​D​o​n​n​e​l​l​_​D​o​u​g​l​a​s_F–

An F-15 costs three times more to operate than an F-4. An F-22 operational costs are five times higher than an F-15 and sixteen times higher than that of a F-16, so go figure how much the F-35 costs to operate considering that it’s on par for cost with the F-22 at this point. An F-22 costs about $50,000 an hour to fly (!).

(Source: The Age of Airpower)

Can we see legacy aircraft numbers over 50 years please?

See P124 of the GAO SAR :“According to the postdesign review and program
officials, the top risk for the SDB II program is
integration of the weapon with the JSF. The SDB II,
which is carried in the JSF’s internal weapons bay,
was designed to operate in the environment
specified in JSF design documents. However, the
weapons bay environment has not been validated through testing. If the JSF cannot meet its design
specifications, then the SDB II program may not
meet its requirements for weapon effectiveness or
availability on that aircraft; it might also have to consider design changes. This issue will not be
resolved prior to the SDB II’s planned August 2013 production decision and could affect the program’s
full-rate production in 2018. SDB II integration on
the JSF is planned to begin in fiscal year 2015 and
operational testing is planned for 2017.”

If my math is right (according to those Wiki numbers), then the entire run of the F-4 cost about $180 billion to purchase (in current dollars). You’d then have to add in how many flight hours the F-4 fleet had x cost/flight hour + maintenance dollars spent/flight hour.

Don’t forget that they had purchased over twice as many planes and many more variants over the years, the F-35 hasn’t even (relitively) gotten off the ground yet and it’s [F-35] development costs alone would’ve nearly purchased the same amount (~2,400) of F-4’s, everything adjusted for inflation.

The F-35 will go down in the history books as possibly the most mismanaged program of all time, where it ended up costing more (some estimates nearly double!) than the more advanced aircraft it was supposed to be cheaper than.

I don’t like the F-35, but to be fair, comparing it to the F-4 is quite a stretch when you consider the systems and materials that go into the F-35. If the F-35 was as simple to make as the F-4 then you’d have a valid complaint.

Now you can see why Congress is so Upset with Pentagon, they give Congress one number, but buried in other Government reports there are all together different numbers ( Much Higher ) on the cost of this Monstrosity.

I wonder about 50 year costs for twin engine fighters over 50 years. Can we have legacy hornet numbers? Do carriers count as basing?
How do you make 4000 flight hours stretch to 50 years? This entire exercise is dumb!

The original intended service life of the F-18 (A thu D) was 6000 hours. They either have or are planning to SLEP them to 10,000 hours.

But for the time the F-4 was cutting edge technology, just like the F-35 is today. I’m sure in 50 years that you will look back and say that the F-35 was quite simple to whatever technology (probably drones) they will have then.

And it is fair to compare development costs when adjusted for inflation.

Wow, paying these airplane companies more to screw us is going so well, let’s never stop doing business this way.

Funny about this 50 year meme. When the program started. That $1T for the life of the program was 30 years.

But really, how many conflicts do we average every 10 years? Did we keep 2k + F4s on the front line for 50 years? Will the legacy hornet be around for another 20 years? any way you spin it these numbers fell from a persons buttocks. Now people are going around saying the F-35 is a trillion dollar plane. this is dishonest.

PS. I asked about conflicts because we tend to ues our fighters alot.

Maybe only f-35b cause harriers cant pass the air to air test anymore

Another perspective view:

F-35A = $83.4 million
F-35B = $108.1 million
F-35C = $93.3 million

Cost Per Flying Hour
F-35A = $35,200
F-35B = $38,400
F-35C = $36,300

“This is the cost to buy a plane, not to operate it. It also usually doesn’t include all development costs.”

>Now people are going around saying the F-35 is a trillion dollar plane. this is dishonest.

The only dishonest part of this is that the estimate doesn’t include all the upgrade reworking that will be necessary in the future. And it just can’t be calculated. Someone drawing on a graphic the best and the worst maintenance cost for the f-35, and the trowing a dart elsewhere in that range is more likely to have a more reliable number.

And my bet is that it won’t be flying for 50years as the main plane. The only viable f-35 would be a f-35++ but its development cost have not been calculated yet…

Ok, now I can’t resist to make the parallel. Does anybody remember of that processor named “Itanium” that was supposed to replace every computer around, from our x86 pc, to the mainframe? Then it got the lovely name of “ITanic” in regard of all the faith, money, manpower and vendor pressure trying hard to make it happening. That was the future as peer intel in that time.

Actually this chip was quite powerful –when properly programmed– but it had an insane power dissipation, along with code incompatibility and very high price; some people did used it, but it’s nothing compared to the original expectation…

Unfortunately any direct parallel between Itanic’s caracteristic and the f-35 are not very consistent (i.e. saying TDP will be like the f-35’s maintenance cost) and I keep this fun when the plane will be out. Patience est de mise.

That F-35 is going to be an EPIC fail!!!

Sell off ALL of USAF’s F-16?? They are the mainstay of the force structure through at least 2025 now by default, due to miscalculated planning and flawed recap strategy. What would you replace the older F-16 with as part of the high-low mix?

It is YOU who needs to read the very documents you mention. It is nowhere near as bad as you & others are trying SO despirately to make it out to be.

GREAT example of how utterly patheric the arguments against the program are. Something having not yet been validated through testing (& isn’t supposed to have yet) is NOT mean there is a problem.

No, the price is increasing becasue the Govenment keeps changing the way it calculates the cost. ACTUAL costs have not increase much. AND pretty much most/all actual cost increases are the direct (or indirect) result of either the 2004 weight reduction redesign &/or reduced number of aircraft being procured in each production lot.

You can post your lies as many times as you want, it will not change reality.

$ million
F-35A Rec Fly = 122.952 [19]
F-35A Net P-1 = 175.822 [19]
F-35B Rec Fly = 146.892 [6]
F-35B Net P-1 = 190.322 [6]
F-35C Rec Fly = 156.206 [7]
F-35C Net P-1 = 214.728 [7]
F/A-18E/F Rec Fly = 057.728 [28]
F/A-18E/F Net P-1 = 084.608 [28]

$ 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]

All three are ALREADY in production & the majority of the R&D costs have already been spent.

It is the US Government screwing up not the ‘airplane companies’. The reality is the ‘airplane companies’ make MORE money when programs are on time &/or on budget than they could ever hope to from delays &/or cost overruns.

The British, Japanese, Australian, Canadian, and Dutch legislatures disagree with you, least America’s. This program has caused an uproar everywhere it’s been debated.

It is, in fact, just about as bad as it gets.

Hardly a week goes by without William Crook asking if the banks are too big to fail and can get a bailout why cant the F-35 get in on the same scam. A lot of this has to do with the reflexive criminal mindset of contractors — who’s outrage at an injustice is always frustration on not being able to get in on the scam too.

But there is a big difference. The Banks were bailed out to prevent further damage to the US economy. The F-35 huts the American economy every day and it will only stop once the turkey is canceled.

Only the naive and stupid think that the other 96% of testing is suddenly going to be clear sailing after the repeated disasters so far.

What’s really funny is that even Lockheed disagrees with pfcem

Contractor troll can’t work out if the costs haven’t increased or Lockheed isn’t to blame for the increases. Get back to us when your excuses are at least coherent.

And the hilarious bit is that the F-4 outperforms the F-35. Its a better air-frame.

I don’t like the problems encountered thus far, but most of the doom and gloom about anything being “unfixable” is nonsense. Overall, yes I think we should continue forward with the F-35, the lack of any flying alternatives that aren’t rehashed 4th generation designs doesn’t give us many options anyway. Hoping Congress funds two or three successor programs (and hoping that that they would total out to be cheaper) seems very unlikely. This 50 year cost calculation is a new process anyway and I have my doubts over the whole concept. Good luck trying to count up and estimate what any fighter currently in service has cost and will cost us by the time they’ve been around 50 years.

I don’t like the Navy’s current ship-building plans which seem to lack direction. GCV seems to be the Army’s attempt to combine an MRAP and everything rather than a proper successor to the Bradley IFV. Certain areas like Army Air Defense are continually neglected.

Bear in mind that Lockheed has never — I repeat never in ten years — met a single F-35 cost target.

So these contractors numbers are worthless.

tldr: There is no alternative to failure — William Crook

When IRAN gets done f@#$!ing up the middle east jet fuel will cost a $1,000 a barrel and the operating cost for the F-35 will be an extra 10 trillion dollars . Then we can call it the 11 trillion dollar Jet !

You type it tl;dr, not tldr. For somebody who claims to hate failure, you sure excel at it itfunk/PRC cheerleader oblatski.

Do some math here. Lockheed will make more money if it gets to produce 3000+ F-35s, gets contracts for upgrades and new capabilities across several decades, and possibly develop new variants. Plus there is the matter of reputation.

Even overlooking reputation and prospects for future contracts, there is simply no way they’d make more money by intentionally sinking the program.

When IRAN gets done f@#$*ing up the middle east, crude oil will cost a $1,000 a barrel and the operating cost for the F-35 will be an extra 10 trillion dollars . Then we can call it the 11 trillion dollar Jet ! _ *CORRECTION ( proof reading is a good thing, Sorry )

Lockheed is trying to give the impression that the F-35 disaster is inevitable. But in reality only a hundred or so jets will be built, largely to save face. They will be scrapped as soon as possible and everyone will try to forget the whole debacle.

Already the opting out process has started. And realistically Lockheed knows it’s got a turkey of a design. But the longer it can string along the process the more money it can collect. We’ve seen how failed projects die many times before the only difference with the F-35 is the scale of the failure.

What’s laughable is you say this without realizing the first F-35 was only rolled out in 2006.

Time for the weekly “stealth is dead™” claim?

This is another contractor lie. Fact is that just doing development and delivering a few high priced broken aircraft is has much lower costs and much better margins competent design and mass production.

Much has been made in the industry of the spiraling costs development model, where contractors ensure revenue by simply developing forever. When a project fails they just start all over again on the next turkey. Many companies see it as the only way they will survive given the poor quality of their workforce their decades long inability to improve productivity and shrinking budgets.

They didn’t adopt it out of the goodness of their hearts. LOL

They airforce like the navy is looking at a hi-lo mix where 30 year legacy aircraft like the F-15, F-16 and F-18
will provide the high performance side to the low performance F-35.

Typical missions where the F-35 has to be escorted by multiple F-18F are pretty funny.

>The only dishonest part of this is that the estimate doesn’t include all the upgrade reworking that will be necessary in the future

Lockheed’s underestimate is 18 billion a year for the next 30 years. You can multiply that by 3 to 5 because Lockheed estimates are never even close.

That article says that those aren’t the actual cost of the F-35 series that they are showing. It says that those are affordability target that they gave Lockheed Martin to meet. Those are the costs of what they are TRYING to get it down to. The numbers I used are the current numbers they are at.

>ALREADY in production

Yes production and it’s never even fired a single weapon in test.

No facts as per usual. But go ahead and amuse me by claiming the F-4’s higher top speed (which is also faster than the F-16, F/A-18, Rafale, Gripen, etc.) proves it’s superior. Because we all know nothing but an aircraft’s maximum speed matters.

Yep, the F-35 program is so terrible to the 120,000+ people involved with the project some way in the private sector. What a terrible thing for the economy to have people working like that. And how could anybody forget how cancelling the F-35 will magically make everything better? Just ignore the lack of any new aircraft to replace aging and outclassed aircraft, negative effects on the aerospace industry, loss of foreign sales, and so on. But I’m sure all of this would help whatever left-wing cause you’re rooting for. America doesn’t need a big nasty military after all, right?

Some facts to back up such nonsense would be a nice change of pace. Or a simple understanding of the terms you use. For somebody who evidently doesn’t have a job you sure like to bash the American workforce. Are you jealous or just showing your true colors?

Maybe I just forgot how one day the F-16A/B introduced in the late ‘70s magically transformed into the F-16C/D Block 50/52 of today without any work or money being involved.

Your sort of thinking went out of fashion with the demise of the soviet union

LOL I know you know very little of aerodynamics your main interest seems to be maximizing waste in defense projects to exploit the American taxpayer and undercut the American fighting man.

I guess top speed is all you could find on wikipedia eh ?

Those are the facts, why are you even commenting on something you by your own admission know nothing about ?

>Do some math here.

Where is the math ? — all I see is hand waving and false assumptions.

$1.45T over the next 50 years is only $29B per year… and $1.45T only a third of what our Government spends in a year. When you put it that way, some 3000 aircraft don’t sound that bad.

Exactly… What people lose perspective on is that to operate F-18’s, A-10s, G/A-18 etc…as an alternative doesn’t mean a 1 to 1 alternative to the F-35. Its a shift towards a greater distribution of previously specialized capabilities. By flying F-35’s the Air Forces belief is that it will be able to accomplish more with fewer specialized aircraft.

So when someone says we should replace the F-35 with X…they really have to consider that we’d replace it with X, Y, and Z… logging many more maintenance hours and equipment, fuel cost, and require a greater number of pilots.

If people want to make an argument they should make the philosophical one.… should we consolidate capabilities into a single plane, to allow a much greater distribution of capabilities. Or should we allow for specialization that doesn’t guarantee you have the ability in any degree where you need it but when its there it excels and out performs.

That sort of thinking involving a desire to actually manufacture things in this country? Yeah, I suppose you don’t want us building anything.

False assumptions? Do inform me how purposely wrecking a program will generate more money than building 3,000+ aircraft, the resulting work to upgrade them throughout their several decade long life-spans, and benefits to company reputation + prospects for future sales and contracts? Usually the guy making the absurd claims has to defend them.

Oh I remember it well, with all the “Promises ” of what it will be able to do. Just like MS “Vista” and how great that was going to be, except that Vista wouldn’t work with “Legacy Hardware” to well. And If anyone thinks the F-35’s 24 Million lines of code are just going to work right out the box with all the “Legacy” munitions we have stock piled that were built using 8/16 bit hardware. I have this Bridge that I’ll sell you cheap!

So we should keep it as Cooperate Welfare? If the Product worked as advertised that would be different. But It doesn’t even come close. Even MS gave up on Vista because it was to buggy and couldn’t be fixed, and created a whole new product that actually works. We have a product that works made by the same company, it’s the F-22.

So the real question to ask is (using Big Owl numbers)

Does a single F-35C bring more fight to the war than 4.7 Super Hornets do?

Or put another way, does the F-35C do 4.7 times more damage then a Super Hornet would?

Last question, what would the commander on scene rather have: 1 F35C or 4.7 Super Hornets at his disposal?

If you believe writing code for the F-35 is just like MS Vista then may be you should consider selling ice to the Eskimos.

I was trying to put it in simple terms that non coders would understand, without going into the complexity of what needs to be done.

William, I wouldn’t say LM is intentionally trying to sink the Program… that would be an overstatement, agreed. I think the issue however, and general frustration, is that LM knows pretty well that even with an unsustainable, unrealistic and pure fantasy Fighter acquisition Program (eg 3,000+ total production which will never happen), that the manufacturer will be guaranteed significant revenues during a prolonged R&D of such massive scale, regardless of the final outcome.

And therein is one of the inherent flaws of the Defense acquisition process… ie dreamy, complex, unsustainable acquisition Programs cooked up by a Govt, Mil and Industrial Complex with the manufacturer right in the center of the action, promoting the venture even if to maximize only on the R&D portion of the Program.

Meanwhile, the Nation’s defense is threatened, deterrence becomes an illusion and the force structure becomes so hollow that by the time the political forces are able to overcome the associated Mil industrial complex interests, it’s too little too late and we’re faced with a national security threat so big it will take 20 years and significantly more treasure to HOPEFULLY recover from the situation, via a more prudent and cost-effective recapitalization strategy!

I think that’s basically what Dfens was sarcastically protesting about in his comment to keep staying the course on these types of acquisition processes!

In fairness, the above math was a bit skewed, but the point is still taken.

In the short-term and mid-term at least, the F-35C will likely still come in between $200m-$220m in PUC unit costs, while the PUC unit cost for a baseline F-18E block II+ (with latest computer) will likely remain under $90m per copy.

So even if it’s a 2.2 to 1 ratio comparison (Super to F-35C), it’s still a valid issue to contemplate and take into assessments, especially when the Navy needs to recapitalize older legacy units NOW and not wait for 10 years, and especially when the Super Hornet — as average as it is — is a proven platform and on an incremental systems upgrade track… while the F-35C is still a highly risky and uncertain platform *crossing fingers with national defense and recapitalization*.

That is what absolutely needs to be debated in the bigger strategic picture of things today. Hopefully it will be taken up in serious national security debate at the highest Congressional levels very soon.

Which isn’t available in STOVL or CV variants, can’t carry 2000 lb class munitions internally, doesn’t have the same level of A2G capabilities, and is more material intensive to manufacture. Windows Vista was the basis for Windows 7 BTW, it isn’t entirely new.

@ pfcem — You can post your lies as many times as you want, it will not change reality.

F-35A Cost: $172 Million

F-35B Cost: $291.7 Million

F-35C Cost: $235.8 Million

Again the F-35 will cost $1.45 trillion to fly and maintain over next 50-years.

Evidently it was the only thing you could find as that is the only area where the F-4’s performance is superior.

You do understand that cost depends on timetables, design changes being implemented, rate of production, the supply chain, and a whole host of other factors right? It isn’t just one figure that appears from nowhere. The reason LRIP batch 5 cost was higher is because the order size was cut from 42 to 30 aircraft and numerous design changes were implemented. From a materials standpoint it didn’t suddenly become more complex.

And after 10 years the F-35 cant do any of these things either LOL

Do tell me how a first flight in 2006 = 10 years, you’re lack of math skills is showing again.

Are you aware how long it took the Eurofighter to develop its full set of capabilities. Wait… it still doesn’t have everything advertised.

F-4E is superior to the F-35A in several locations:

–Weapons Payload weight
–Has two engines (redundancy)

The crew portion is particularly important the F-35 is foremost a strike aircraft (JSF, duh) and having one crewman limits the weapons able to be deployed.

Take the Delilah missile for example, it wouldn’t be able to be effectively deployed on the F-35 since it needs a weapons officer to guide it towards a chosen target or choose when to strike.

In the end it’s truly irrelevant debating which exact attributes factor into the F-35 being unaffordable. The fact that it is unfortunately unsustainable and unaffordable as a platform and thus will not be procured anywhere close to originally pre-conceived 3,000+ total production (or high annual FRP rates) is what matters.

Typical cover your ass contractor behavior — made up strawman arguments.

A single F18 brings more to the fight than a F-35. When you have a poor basic design like the F-35 you cant fix it by throwing electronics at it.

Yep, the F-35 program is so terrible to the 120,000+ people involved with the project some way in the private sector. What a terrible thing for the economy to have people working like that.

That it’s exactly that sort of thinking that yield the 2008 world crisis. There is no excuse for mismanaged risk and projects, leaving this black hole devouring any money it can. All-you-can-eat is a cool concept when it’s a restaurant but when it’s about money, it’s a catastrophe.

Sorry, I forgot to put the quote symbol for the first paragraph.

>Yep, the F-35 program is so terrible to the 120,000+ people involved with the project some way in the private sector. What a terrible thing for the economy to have people working like that.

(Then my opinion)

It’s true that the f-35 software have nothing to see with windows. When I say ‘The f-35: Build on NT technology’ it was pure mockery; at first because one might say that the f-35 is build on NeTworking technology because of all those data links, and then because there is apparently a lot of problems with the software. But I think that many of them came from the facts that aerodynamics problems are said to be software patched, the required adaptation have to work in any conditions, and always work; not something to expect from windows. :-)

But while talking of windows, I think that there is a parallel to make between microsoft claim of novelty into its windows (while in reality it’s more about problem correction –see below) and lockheed claim of the superiority of the f-35 and in general about the benefits of a fifth generation plane IMHO.

For example, windows 7 was finally designed around x86_64, the windows xp 64 bits was in reality nothing more than a rescued windows for Itanium. BTW, this problem was microsoft’s problem, linux did not experience this problem when x86_64 was out. That’s why I believe that those parallel are very tricky.

That what I am thinking too. Because for them few percents of 400+Billions is better than 0% as another contractors would have won the contracts and take all the money.

I really enjoy an intelligent exchange of facts and well thought out/informed opinions on defense issues, as I’ve tried to keep current over the last 20 years, but in the case of the F-35, I have never read such heated and controversial commentary than on the F-35. The vast majority of proponents for the F-35 have been defense/aerospace lobbyists on the defense blogs and web sites I regularly read.

I’ve never felt so comfortable just coming out and accusing defense contractors of being a bunch of diabolical thieves as Lockheed Martin and it’s sub-contractors. I used to accept the fact that there was going to be a certain amount of fraud, but at the end of the day America was getting the best defense money could buy, generally speaking. That is not the case any more. I think more thought was put into making the F35 a cash cow in every aspect for LM et al. than in making a fighter that everyone was proud of in supporting and defending what America stands for in this world and for humanity. They know that they have a monopoly on the worlds only “5th generation” fighter and even when Russia and China field the PAK FA & J-20, LM will still have the only “5th generation” fighter available to counter Russia & China. (except India)

I have long dismissed any left-wing talk about the “genocidal military industrial complex that needs to invade countries so it can build an oil pipeline, rape it’s resources, and enslave it’s workers, blah blah,” but the F-35 is an example that I think Dwight Eisenhower would have used as a case in point on his concerns about the defense industry.

The F35 has now, itself, become a threat to my country because of the vast amount of money it will take to obtain, maintain, and operate, which will rob other parts of the military of much needed capability because funding going to the F35 in this time of austerity.

I think a combination of 4++ generation aircraft with standoff weapons ‘AND’ UCAV’s would do just fine until a cost-effective solution to the F35 was achieved. It would also send a message to defense contractors that they can’t get away with anything they want by simply relying on lobbyists and insincere patriotism to secure more money.

I think the vast majority of people that read these blogs love America, as do I, but I’m PISSED OFF that my country is being taken advantage of by people who’s job is supposed to give our country and people of the free world the arsenal of democracy needed to keep the peace and further the spread freedom & democracy to the still oppressed and impoverished.

>Are you aware how long it took the Eurofighter to develop its full set of capabilities. Wait… it still doesn’t have everything advertised.

The eurofighter have known cost overrun, the difference being that they then opted for an incremental approach, a clever risk management strategy. The f-35 on its part, dangerously lack of this kind of risk management, more money is send in the black hole and “it have to work”.

Can you be more precise when you say that the eurofighter doesn’t have everything advertised? Is it on their website? Are you talking of the tranche 3B? It’s for 2015 and it’s an increment, when is the f-35 due?

…or trapped a wire.

And what exactly from a design perspective makes it unaffordable? All I’ve seen is people like Guest here talking about price negotiations without an understanding of how it works. They think it’s some sort of static number. There’s nothing credible to any sort of claims that the “F-35″ is somehow “too costly” to manufacture, yet for unstated reason other recent fighters are not.

And despite Washington’s habit of burning through hundreds of billions per year on countless pet projects that produce no results you’re going to tell me we can’t afford $1.45 trillion over five decades to modernize the bulk of our fighter fleet? No alternative with the same capabilities is going to cost dramatically less. But evidently some people think obsolescence is preferable.

Lets go back 20 years. The USAF wants the ATF (F-22) to replace the F-15 and the MRF to replace the F-16 fleet. MRF is put on hold due to budget issues, but the USAF joins the USMC in the CALF program which seeks to develop a STOVL and CTOL fighter using a common airframe and components.

The USN is currently focused on the A-X (later A/F-X) to provide a successor to the failed A-12 Avenger II. The Super Hornet wins out over the F-14D and future variants of the Tomcat and is expected to be an interim design pending A/F-X.

Then the DoD has the idea to merge all of these efforts into JAST which would later become JSF. In the end Lockheed’s X-35 demonstrator proves superior to the X-32.

So if you don’t think the DoD and Washington bureaucrats got the services into a difficult position, you think Lockheed is screwing up on purpose? Based on what exactly?

Existing 4.5th generation designs won’t cut it, and UCAVs aren’t some magic cure-all. These aren’t solutions, this is panicking over a large 50 year price tag, despite the all of the trillions we’ve wasted in the past 10 years on endeavors that haven’t produced any actual results. The only real alternatives lie in clean-sheet designs. These will take longer than the F-35 and totaled probably won’t be any cheaper.

Weren’t we talking about aerodynamic performance metrics?

But regarding your points, yes the F-4 is a bigger aircraft and can haul a larger payload. So can the F-15E.

Two engines does provide a degree of redundancy, but there are disadvantages. The reliability of the F135 far exceeds a J79 turbojet too. The two J79s don’t match the thrust of the F135 either.

F-16Cs, F/A-18Cs, F/A-18Es have proven capable of doing the strike mission despite only having a single pilot. You’re also looking at a massive leap in avionics and systems to reduce the pilot workload, especially over the ‘60s era F-4 Phantom.

Now I’ll agree that a two man crew is preferable for some missions, but it isn’t required for all. Ideally we’d still have longer range strike aircraft like the F-15E, something like the FB-22 or FB-23 would be a very nice addition to the USAF’s inventory.

You think Admiral Venlet and company haven’t been trying to manage risk? Look at how much patience the Europeans showed with the EF-2000, meanwhile people are shouting about the sky falling anytime the F-35 encounters a problem.

>I’m PISSED OFF that my country is being taken advantage of by people who’s job is supposed to give our country and people of the free world the arsenal of democracy needed to keep the peace and further the spread freedom & democracy to the still oppressed and impoverished.

Look the contractors don’t care just look at William Crook who’s whole mindset is how can he and his contractor friends screw Americans over more. And if a veteran complains well he’s just a Chinese spy.

The message is always the same from these people — “America is failing, there is no alternative to failure, steal what you can while you can”.

>No alternative with the same capabilities is going to cost dramatically less.

Typical contractor lie — there are already better alternatives that cost less. The F-22 for a start. Then every other 4.5th generation aircraft.

It’s odd. One moment you insult those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying that they shouldn’t be allowed to come home, and the next moment you pretend to care about defending the “American people” from the big bad contractor boogeyman. You only claim to be a patriot when it fits your agenda.

People like you live off the backs of the working class and don’t even have the dignity to recognize that fact. Do you feel the F-35 threatens your welfare check? Or is it your disdain for the entire military leaking through?

On every F-22 topic you were screaming to kill the thing. Now that it is out of production you say we should go for it? And you accuse me of lying?

The F-22 doesn’t have the potential to cost much less than the stated $140 million flyaway cost. The F-35 however has the potential to cost much less than current LRIP batches.

You’d need a new variant of the F-22 to achieve similar air-to-ground capabilities and incorporate all of the new avionic systems the F-35 features. There’s no chance for a STOVL or CV variant, and it can’t carry 2,000 lb class munitions internally.

The 4.5th generation designs you refer to are not as capable as either the F-22 or F-35 and are interim solutions at best. Again, the only realistic long-term alternative would be a new clean-sheet design. If the DoD cancelled the F-35 and started two or three successor aircraft programs, you would be the first to blame some mythical contractor conspiracy and not the decision makers.

>You think Admiral Venlet and company haven’t been trying to manage risk?

And many of them will need to be added to the unfinished list of things that have failed on the f-35. I am not blaming the engineer that their modeling have failed but the people responsible over it; all this smell like a “it can’t fail” and it did.

And as you said, they have tried to manage the risk but the question is whether their strategy are appropriate in regard to the project size.

Here is some that came in my mind.
–Shared components among the three models;
–It have to be mass produced;
–Astronomical problem size: it have to be furtive, light, reliable, plus the two previous points;
–The only project to replace most of the fleet: if it fail then you are screwed.
–The consequences of any post-production failure or obscure problems (i.e. f-22 OBOG) have a major impact over the nation security, since alternatives doesn’t exist.

Even the Russian doesn’t like to have a single project running like the T-50 and while it doesn’t have to deal with most of the f-35 problematic enumerated above and they seems to be learning from that mistake since they want to build an alternative to the T-50.

>…meanwhile people are shouting about the sky falling anytime the F-35 encounters a problem.

Perhaps it’s because the new problem encountered have to be added on an already too long list of problems and its budget have already exploded? And add on top of this how their previous fighter jet, the f-22, have worked. Sky high maintenance cost and low production count, but compared to the f-35, the f-22 is a success. And unlike the f-22, the consequence of any production delay will have major consequence to national security of many country.

Apparently a navalized version of the eurofighter would cost 10billion to develop. Even if the cost raise I won’t feel alarmed about this. But if the cost raise significantly a la f-35, and after that so many things found to be screwed up a la f-35, and if country are waiting this plane like the f-35 then yes I will start to talk about a falling sky.

You have to stretch it to 50 years so you can make the number bigger. Give it time, some imbecil will be saying “the F-35 is going to cost TWO trillion dollars if used for 75 years” and other imbecils will lap that shit up.

You’re trying to talk sense to the wrong crowd. That’s why you’ve got a –6 there while the completely clueless “Black Owl” has a +11 by making assumptions that should embarrass a fanboy. I wonder if anybody in 1957 was whining about how much F-106s would cost if used to 2012 :-) LOL.

If nobody has said it yet, let me be the first; you’re an idiot. Do you think they planned the costs of taking the F-4 mods all the way to the Turkish F-4 Terminator back when they were first selling the F-4 to the US Navy in the late 50s?

>Do you think they planned the costs of taking the F-4 mods all the way to the Turkish F-4 Terminator back when they were first selling the F-4 to the US Navy in the late 50s?

I think to have just said the opposite. Beyond calling name, what is your point; can you quote me please?

f-35 is the Edsel for DOD

At that point we send out contracts for fighters that run on BS, it is made locally (Washington DC specifically), and we will have the corner on another market, kinda like the atom bomb so long ago!

What a joke, let me know when you don a uniform scumbag.

“inherent flaws of the Defense acquisition process” is the problem. Having been on both the government and contractor side of things I can say that the process makes it hard for both sides to come up with optimal solutions. It needs reforming but it will be a very difficult job and one full of political pitfalls and snares. Every politician will try to claim credit while simultaneously trying to gain an advantage for himself and his consituents (and campaign donors) with the changes.

You are a total nut case and completely out of touch with reality of you really think every contractor has a “reflexive criminal mindset”.

Atg least I no0w know not to believe anything you say — thanks for the clarity.

I’d concur with your assessment that 4.5+ gen design(s) should be an interim solution and not a long-term solution. Not the most optimal situation to be in today, no doubt, and one which would clearly be better planned if doing over the recapitalization strategy from the early 2000s… but nevertheless probably the most prudent interim solution given the current factors at play.

How? And doesn’t it really depend on the mission? Like it or not (and I don’t like it), it seems to me that for the type of conflict we predict we’ll be in ten years from now, a platform like the F-35 will be the most useful (stealth, anti-access, blah, blah, blah). In that instance, you would have greater capability to succeed in THAT mission with an F-35 rather than a Super Hornet, which will more than likely get blown out of the sky. Am I oversetimating stealth or underestimating the Hornet’s 4.5 Gen capabilities?

4.5+ gen won’t cut it as a long-term solution no doubt. They are proposed as an interim solution however, whereby upgraded existing legacy fleet will still remain the mainstay per default until at least 2025–2030 anyways. So the interim solution combined with a modified clean-sheet approach, eg perhaps a common USN/USAF platform being jointly-developed, would be a viable strategy.

Make an equal cost analysis of the past military aircraft produced and compare those figures with the current projection of any aircraft produced recently of as of now? How many retrofit programs have our B-252’s gone through, and what has all of that cot the US? How many retrofits has our C-130’s gone through and the total costs to date? Sounds lie someone is hell bet to make it dooms day for aircraft manufacturing hence forth????
We either stay ahead of the Technical Curve, or we fall behind, and buy someone’s dream or invention? (foreign?)

Are you seriously suggesting that the 2004 redesign and the reduced production rate have nothing to do with failure to meet performance specs?

There are no ACTUAL costs until the plane ACTUALLY meets its specs. Until then, it’s all “90% finished, and has been for 3 years running”, just like a software project.

Coming from the guy who has never served or worked a day in his life? A guy who said American troops shouldn’t be allowed home because they are criminals? Go back to beating your wife and drinking in front of the TV.

If the F-35 cost us this much, how much then is the lifetime cost of the B-52


My point is who in the blazes figures out costs projection into the next 50 years on any one MAJOR purchased weapon for war.????

I know. Lockheed delivered a good rebuttal to these numbers over at DefenseTech​.com http://​defensetech​.org/​2​0​1​2​/​0​3​/​3​0​/​l​o​c​k​h​e​e​d​s​-​r​e​spo… One third of that 1.45 trillion is due to inflation. Also, alot of that number is pure guesswork, as we STILL don’t know how many F-35s will be produces in total. I like how all of the armchair generals here KNOW that the Rafales and Typhoon and Gripen and the T-50 are better than the F-35. I really want to see the classified briefings that Dassault and Sukhoi and EADS are giving them. Fact is, If the F-35 is canceled, our airmen will be fly 30 year old jets against the latest Chinese and Russian hardware.

Great points, and the USA really does have a 4.5 generation aircraft outside of the Silent Eagle, which costs 100 million dollars. Black Owl just LOVES posting those “stats” about the Super Hornet that ONLY exists in a powerpoint at Boeing. He seems to think that the airforce will fly the Super Hornet.

I know, one day, the Block 50/52s started rolling off the assembly line, with No money or R&D involved.Same with the Block 60. That 1.65 billion “development cost” was used to gold plate the toilets over at Lockheed’s HQ.

whoah now. This is DoDbuzz, and when it comes to the F-35, mental retardation is almost a prerequisite for commenting.

well, seeing as you and I seem to be the only sane ones here, I too believe that the F-35 is badly needed and that the rest of the world won’t just stand still when it comers to developing and fielding fighter.

good christ, the level of stupid that Itfunk spews out is sickening.

So pretty much, the DOD is going to force this goat onto our military regardless of costs? Guess it is because the TAX PAYER’s wallets still have a dollar bill or two in them. From the outset, this entire program was screwed up and NO-ONE anywhere or supposedly in charge, stepped back and said “uh, wait a minute, WHY is this airplane costing so much and WHY don’t we have several models ACTUALLY FLYING BEFORE we buy it?
Kinda reminds me of the (20) Twenty year COSTLY program in building the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Heck, they made a movie about that, so when does the movie come out about the F-35 debacle?

only problem with your theory is that you assume we wouldn’t do anything with the re-programmed funds that would be freed up if F-35 were terminated.

we’ve been reforming it for decades and it hasn’t resulted in better results for the taxpayer. all the well intentioned reform in the world is defeated by corrupt, rotten leadership. Doubling down on known failures like F-35 perpetuates the systematic problems.


The B-52 was somewhere around $100 Million for a 20 year lifetime cost, the F-35 earlier projects (before the latest increases) were around $350 Million for 30 years.

Go figure.

We are expecting the Canada auditor general’s report to be released today, news are rumoring that a special secretariat will be created to provide more openness, and the cost to be reviewed by the Treasury. Lets hope that they are going to be impartial; even Allan Williams, one of the person behind canada’s involvement into the f-35, is talking against the canadian f-35 procurement.On the same video, there is Peter MacKay speech in 2010 to keep thing in perspectives… http://​www​.cbc​.ca/​n​e​w​s​/​p​o​l​i​t​i​c​s​/​s​t​o​r​y​/​2​0​1​2​/​0​3​/​26/
(first video; Mackay’s speech start at 2:40, Allan Williams start just after)

“Canada will re-examine the F-35 jet fighter program following the release of an auditor general’s report today that slams the Defence Department regarding its compliance with procurement policies.

CBC News has learned that Auditor General Michael Ferguson will focus his criticism on the air force and on procurement officials inside the Defence Department.

His report is expected to say that officials inside the Defence Department misled government ministers and did not provide accurate information about everything from the cost of the Lockheed Martin fighters to the delivery date.

The government is expected to strip the Defence Department of its responsibility for the program and set up a special secretariat of deputy ministers inside the Public Works Department to manage the program.

The Treasury Board will review all Defence Department documents in order to ensure accuracy and more oversight, as well as to better inform both the government and the public about the F-35 program.”

It’s official now, the f-35 funding is frozen and an independent review will be done. I hope that this is going to be enough.

The report (link taken from the article): http://​www​.oag​-bvg​.gc​.ca/​i​n​t​e​r​n​e​t​/​E​n​g​l​i​s​h​/​p​a​r​l​_oa
“OTTAWA — The Conservative government reacted quickly Tuesday to a scathing auditor general’s report on the F-35, promising a complete and public review of the stealth fighter program and opening the door to potential competitors.

“Funding will remain frozen and Canada will not purchase new aircraft until further due diligence, oversight, and transparency is applied to the process of replacing the Canadian Forces’ aging CF-18 fleet,” Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose said in a statement.

Auditor General Michael Ferguson’s report, tabled in the House of Commons on Tuesday, alleges Defence Department officials twisted government rules, misled ministers and Parliament, and whitewashed cost overruns and delays in a determined effort to ensure Canada purchased the F-35 stealth fighter.

The biting assessment puts the military’s own cost estimates for Canada’s involvement at $25 billion — instead of the publicly stated $16 billion — and questions assertions that Canadian industry stands to benefit from $12 billion in contracts.
“National Defence did not exercise the diligence that would be expected in managing a $25-billion commitment,” Ferguson said. “It is important that a purchase of this size be managed rigorously and transparently.”

In its response, the government said it is taking the project out of the Defence Department’s hands and giving it to Public Works, with a committee of senior bureaucrats from different departments providing oversight.

It will also commission an independent review of the F-35 project while ensuring full compliance with government purchasing rules before approving any purchase, and provide regular updates on costs and schedules.
“Officials from National Defence who participated in the senior decision-making committees of the (Joint Strike Fighter) program were regularly informed of these problems,” the report says. “Yet in briefing materials from 2006 through 2010 that we have reviewed, neither the minister nor decision makers in National Defence and central agencies were kept informed of these problems and the associated risks of relying on the F-35 to replace the CF-18.”

The report also notes “significant concerns about the completeness of cost information provided to parliamentarians.”

Cool! nice scoop!

Great, another WASTE of tax payer dollars. For what the ‘single’ cost is for the F-35 the s.o.b. should be invisable.….. I hate the government micromanaging things but in this case it’s justified — we don’t need this albatross at that cost..MSgt

its to expensive canada will back out some european countries i think japan as backed out

Goldman Sachs is bullish on the F35.


Where is 1.45 trillion going to come from ?

Why do we need these planes??????

50 Years??? Who on Earth flies 50 year old fighters? Third world countries maybe. We could sell them off when they are about 20 years old, recover some of the cost and avoid the expense of the next 30 years. B-52s are still being used but they are bombers and their maintenance has to cost a fortune. Anybody who has an old or antique car know how costs spiral up with age. The way things are going we may be a 3rd world country in 20 years so we might just be stuck with the F-35s.

It would depend on which 30% was missing off the last Super Hornet.

More seriously, is this commander facing a threat a year from now, or 15 years from now?

i’m really unhappy about the parts being made in other countries!
even if it cost more i would accept a future aircraft that will be more advanced than any aircraft in the world that is made entirely in the US. unfortunatly this is not the most that superb aircraft built by the US. the waste of money to foriegn nations is ludicrous and dangerous as they WILL turn on us for more money and play some form of politics. build the best, even if it is expensive, in the world but in the US.
from what i hear this aircraft is not the best but the most expensive and is not built in the US.

Parts from our aircraft (both military and civilian) have come from foreign countries for decades. You might want to reconsider how much more you’re willing to pay for said aircraft to be made entirely in the US.

I guess they should have gone with GE afterall..neener neener

just can it!

There’s one big thing here that nobody seems to be taking into account, that is one of the biggest reasons that the cost is so high is BECAUSE OUR DOLLAR IS JUST ABOUT WORTHLESS! We keep on printing money like it’s going out of style, I guarantee you that no matter what weapons system we decide to go with, it’s going to cost a fortune. I am not saying that the F-35 isn’t too costly either, but first of all we need to get our monetory situation under control. Also this cost being over 50 years doesn’t surprise me, yet I would still prefer to spend a good portion of this on F-22s not F-35s.

The Chinese and 0bama’s stash.

Good grief, go away.

We don’t get any fuel from Iran, nor do any of the countries that are part of the consortium that will fly the jet. Try to be on the side of people that put forth facts, and not BS.

The Law of Large Numbers, Training & Tactics in war will 99% of the time determine who prevails.

The Allies prevailed in WW 2, not because we always had the best & most modern weapons, but because of the three factors mentioned above.

I’m a chopper guy & if I had my ruthers while engaged in combat of having 10 Osprey or any combination of 50 other choppers like the 46, 53, HUEY, I’d take the 50 choppers. None are as fast as a 22, but chances are, I’ll have more of the 50 air craft up, flying & completing missions than with 10 Osprey.

Pushing the envelope of technology is a great thing, but when it comes to war, the most advanced & costly weapons do not prevail as they are too few in number to be effective. Just read about German tank development during WW 2. The same rules of war apply today as they did back then.

Of course the price will sky rocket, it always do. By now DoD should have done something about that, like mabe find some contractors to build these birds.

We have to be careful that we are not chasing a red herring when discussing life cycle cost estimates. As has been noted, the cost estimate is subject to extensive uncertainty due to inflation, changing requirements, changing variables, and unknown factors. Arguing over point estimates will quickly make us bitter and divided, when in reality the point estimates are within the error ranges of one another. LM, the F-35 PM, and its advocates are succeeding in dragging the debate down into the muck. We should be judging F-35 and making decisions about what to do with it based on its performance to date, and in consideration of the overall costs & risks to our national security. F-35 has underperformed to date. We need to decrease our “all or nothing” commitment to the program, and develop a range of viable alternatives, including production & upgrade of legacy fighters, and a new competetive prototyping / operational / live fire evaluation program to develop a viable emerging alternative.

obama can piss away 1.5 trillion in a lot less time then 50 years. Seems that he has spent 4.5 or 5 T in 3 years

I agree. The air force recently celebrated the 50 birthday of the last production line of the B-52. Please correct me if I’m mistaken, seems that the AF got this one right. I was a radar tech on the F/A-18 from 1986 to 1990. The F/A-18 was top notch then and with upgrades the F/A-18 Super Hornet is still kicking ass. So why with the new trillion dollar program plagued with so many cost overruns.….Oh that’s right we’re dealing with the Department of Redundancy Department!

My numbers are the correct number DIRECTLY from the US budget. You numbers are made up BS.

The F-35 will cost more/less than $1.45 trillion (that number is made up BS based on legacy aircraft cost trends) depending on inflation — it is over 55 years in THEN YEAR DOLLARS.

In addition, Black Owl being the disingenuous ingoranus that he can’t even bother to compare/give apples-to-apples numbers. For the F/A-18E/F he posts the RECURRING FLYAWAY, for the F-35 he posts TOTAL NET PROCUREMENT (which includes such additional costs as spares AND advanced procurement) & for the other he posts TOTAL FLYAWAY (which includes significantly more than the RECURRING FLYAWAY posted for the F/A-18E/F but significantly less than the TOTAL NET PROCUREMENT posted for the F-35). He has been corrected MANY MANY MANY times yet still does it.

Not at all unusual.

And it is not like we have never fired any of the weapons intended for the F-35 before. Also note that static drop test HAVE been conducted & in fact the gus HAS been fired from a F-35 (on the ground of coarse).

On the contrary. But being the disingenuous ingoranus you are referring to just ONE set of tests…

Note that a new hook design for the F-35C having already been ordered (based more on the hook on the F-35A which works perfectly fine) & is to be delivered some time this spring.

If they had done that they would not even be as far along in flight testing as they are today.

The F-35 isn’t failing, nor is it a scam. And PLEASE show us where William Crook has EVER asked for the F-35 to receive a bailout.

Aside from the F-35 not being big enough to hurt the US economy (it is <2.5% of the DOD discretionary — which is itself <4% of the US GDP), most of the money invested in the F-35 is going INTO the US economy, not being taken out of it.

Big Owl numbers are UTTER BS!!!

He is posting the RECURRING FLYAWAY cost of the F/A/18E/F (& not even the correct one at that) vs the TOTAL NET PROCUREMENT cost of the F-35. Comparing either RECURRING FLYAWAY or NET P-1 (TOTAL NET PROCUREMENT minus advanced procuremnet for the next lot) you can only buy ~2.5 F/A-18E/F today for the cost of a single F-35B or F-35C. Another problem is that while the cost of the F/A/18E/F has remains pretty stable for a decade, the cost of the F-35 is going DOWN (it has already been cut almost in half & is in line with projections to be cut about in half AGAIN during full rate production).

You have no clue what you are talking about. Most everything you posted is the OPPOSITE of reality.

Canada is NOT backing out. The above mentioned Canada auditor general’s report does not recomend backing out (or doing anything other than CONTINUE to evaluate/revise costs), no partner, nor Israel or Japan (2 non-partner export orders) have backed out.

From <2.5% of the US DOD discretionary budget each year over 55 years.

Because the planes they are replacing are old, quickly becoming obsolete (even IF we could keep them flying much longer or bought new models of them) & need to be replaced.

It is not LM, the F-35 PM, OR its advocates who are dragging the debate down into the muck.

The F-35 (the plane itself) has been OVERPERFORMING (all KPPs are green). The flight test program is AHEAD of the current schedule (itself significantly accelerated vs the BS that CAFE projected) & ACTUAL COSTS are still closer to program 2008 projections than the BS CAFE projections.

There has actually only been one significant ACTUAL cost increase/delay in the program & that was from the 2004 weight issue. All other significant cost increases/delays have been manufactured by the US Government by either changing the way it meansures the cost/schedule or by slowing the testing & production ramp up.

The schedule in your head is not the one that matters. The taxpayer & the warfighter & the nation do not benefit from the accomplishment of “test points”. We want operational capability, which is still “TBD” according to the new Dec 2011 SAR. So again, we have an UNBOUNDED program with UNLIMITED potential costs. ALL of these issues would be non-issues if DoD, the program office, and LM, would simply be able to perform the established baselines. The ONLY fair measuring stick for cost / schedule baseline performance is governed by the DoD 5000 series acquisition regs, which ALL ACAT programs must comply with by law, and which F-35 is failing against. Sorry, we are not forced to accept your measures of program success. Google F-35 SAR and check out the Dec 2011 link. How much are you personally benefitting from F-35 and what do you stand to lose (your job?) if the program is canceled? Do you care that the cost overruns and schedule delays have created additional problems and unfulfilled funding requirements for DoD???

Check my link again: http://​www​.defense​-aerospace​.com/​c​g​i​-​b​i​n​/​c​l​i​e​n​t/m

I’ve been using the unit cost for the F-35, same with the F/A-18E/F.

And I verified your numbers using this FYs actual budget submission. Unlike pfcem’s claims, we actually linked our evidence.

But whoever buying that petroleum would need to buy the petroleum from another sources. Even more simple, one of the most basic economic rules apply, the offer and the supply. Since petroleum is in limited quantities the supply will get lower for a demand that will be at least as important so the price can only get higher, and any war resulting is guaranteed to consume more fuel.

pfcem thank you for confirming you have no answers to real, valid questions. you’re pretty good and repeating talking points though.

can someone post the cost by specs on what makes the F35 so damn good? Cnda just cncelled their order, and for good reason, we cant even afford satellites to monitor the arctic.…does anyone know what the sat capability is on the f35 and its altimiter range/?

I agree with most of what you wrote. However the banks were not bailed out to prevent further damage to the U.S. economy. That was the propaganda. That was the used car sales pitch but it was never true. The bank bailout was a gift to the bankers who (along with politicians) created the bank fiasco in the first place. The bill did not require a single bank to work out a mortgage loan deal with a single home owner in the U.S. It was cash for trash. The U.S. gov’t should have, at the very least, had a deliberate and transparent process for debating the bank bailout bill which, by the way, is exactly what the Constitution describes. Uncle Sam should have demanded dollar for dollar equity from the banks: we give you $1 worth of bailout and you give Uncle Sam $1 worth of common stock. You (the bank) can buy back your common stock from Uncle Sam later.

There was never any intention to help Main Street. Several in Congress made this argument at the time but Congress didn’t bother to study the issue, allowed itself to be manipulated and scared into supporting the bank bailout. It was the 2nd biggest crime of the century.

I agree with most of what you wrote. However this has never been what the U.S. is about: “… give our country and people of the free world the arsenal of democracy needed to keep the peace and further the spread freedom & democracy to the still oppressed and impoverished. ”


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