UPDATE: Pentagon buys 32 more F35s

UPDATE: Pentagon buys 32 more F35s

The Pentagon announced Thursday the U.S. has reached an agreement with Lockheed Martin on production lot five of the Joint Strike Fighter program meaning the U.S. officially bought 32 more F-35s.

Pentagon and Lockheed Martin negotiators have negotiated the contract for the past year leading to frustration on both sides. However, Defense Under Secretary Frank Kendall said Wednesday a contract was imminent.

“It was a tough negotiation and we are pleased that we’ve reached an agreement. It ends the year on a positive note and sets the program to move forward,” said George Little, the top Pentagon spokesman.


The break down for the fifth production lot will see the Air Force receive 22 fighters, the Navy will receive aircraft carrier versions and the Marine Corps will receive three short takeoff-vertical landing models.

Future Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson indicated a contract for the sixth production lot, which includes another 32 aircraft, is not far off. She said Thursday she expects the framework of the deal to be done by the end of the month.

Pentagon and Lockheed leaders rushed to complete these contracts in order to protect them from sequestration cuts should the Congress fail to reach a deficit reduction deal. The sequestration law stipulates that the cuts can’t touch previously obligated funds.

Settling on this contract means the F-35s funds for the fifth, and possibly sixth, production lots will be insulated from the $500 billion in defense cuts stipulated in the Budget Control Act.

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The Pentagon announced Thursday the U.S. has reached an agreement with Mattel on production full sized mockups of the Joint Strike Fighter program.

So if they get batch 5 & 6 through by the end of the year, the US will be stuck with a little more than 100 Junk Strike Fighters before the program is cancelled, even less than the F-22 at 187. We know the costs will be pretty scary once we see the bill, and in 2015 if you think the current Administration ( with it’s Cut Defense First before we Cut Anything Else Attitude ) will allow any more to be bought you are only fooling your self. After the New York Times article yesterday ( Administrations point man ) and all the Major think tanks coming back with their Recommendations to either Cancel or Cut way back on the numbers for very good reasons, like Costs, Short Legs, Limited Weapons Load in Stealth mode. The JSF was designed in the 90’s to fight in a European type battle fields ( Short quick hops ). The distances in the Pacific are just to great. Without a lot of Tankers ( very big & easy Targets ) it is out of it’s league.

. http://​defense​.aol​.com/​2​0​1​2​/​1​1​/​2​8​/​i​t​s​-​t​o​o​-​l​a​t​e​-to
. http://​www​.csbaonline​.org/​p​u​b​l​i​c​a​t​i​o​n​s​/​2​0​1​2​/​1​1​/st
.http://​economictimes​.indiatimes​.com/​n​e​w​s​/​n​e​w​s​-​b​y​-​i​n​d​u​s​t​r​y​/​e​t​-​c​e​t​e​r​a​/​b​u​d​g​e​t​-​c​u​t​s​-​t​h​e​-​n​e​w​-​e​n​e​m​y​-​f​o​r​-​u​s​-​c​o​s​t​l​i​e​s​t​-​j​e​t​-​f​-​3​5​/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​s​h​o​w​/​1​7​4​1​2​8​9​1​.​cms.
. http://​news​.nationalpost​.com/​2​0​1​2​/​1​1​/​2​3​/​h​a​r​p​e​r​-go
. http://​www​.flightglobal​.com/​b​l​o​g​s​/​t​h​e​-​d​e​w​l​i​n​e​/​201

Notice how nothing was said about the price tag.

The way that these deals have worked to date — and it is doubtful that this latest deal is any different — is that LockMart are going to deliver jets to the government which simply do not meet spec in many areas.

And then the government will later undertake to generously pay LockMart to rectify those deficiencies.

Would you buy a car under such terms?

Imagine this. You go to the Bloatmobile dealership, and the sales manager tells you about the shiny brand new Bloatmobile F-35 car on the showroom floor,

“Well, it is supposed to get 25mpg, but it really only gets 18mpg. The windshield wipers don’t work. It occasionally catches fire. The tires blow out at high speeds. The door handles fall off. And ten percent of the time when you go to start it, it’s dead and has to be towed in.”

You’re properly outraged by these admissions, and you tell him, “I’m not buying this! It’s a lemon. It’s completely unfit for purpose. Other cars don’t have nearly these many problems.”

Imagine that the manager then says, “No, no, no, don’t worry. The engineers at the factory are going to come up with fixes for all of these nagging problems. I promise. You can take delivery now and we’ll call you to come in for repairs once they are available.”

“Under warranty?” you ask.

The manager laughs. “Oh, of course not. You pay the market rate for the repairs, whatever that rate is, and I can’t tell you what it is now. I can only tell you a hard number when the fixes become available. And I can’t tell you how long it will be before they are available.”

Would you go ahead and buy the car?

Because that’s basically how the government is buying jets from LockMart right now.

Ya I’ll bet they are very close to last years prices once you add the cost of the Engine, We are getting Such a Great Deal ( Sarcasm )

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

With the F-22 at around $140 Million

“Pentagon and Lockheed leaders rushed to complete these contracts in order to protect them from sequestration cuts should the Congress fail to reach a deficit reduction deal. The sequestration law stipulates that the cuts can’t touch previously obligated funds.” — Its called fraud. And, real proof of RICO statute efforts.

Gripen NG Demonstrator on Canada for 2 weeks. Hmmmm?

Part 1
Now imagine how advanced fighter aircraft are bought.
You are the Customer and you go see the aircraft builders. They show you the latest versions of what they’ve been building for decades. You tell them what’s needed, but all say it’s never been done. You’re not surprised: need drives tech nowadays. You tell them: “I can’t buy what you’ve got. All of it will be soon obsolete– I’m buying for the future!”.
You add: “We’ve been here before. To get what’s needed, I’ll have to pay someone to invent it. I’ll pay some of you to think up new ideas– maybe build a demonstrator to see if this is even doable first.”

Part 2
You continue. “Once I select a design, we’ll work it until I’m confident we can get ‘close enough’ and then start building. There’s no way to be perfect at first. We know until we get hardware on the ramp we’re not going to know what tweaks will be needed — I’ll set aside budget for bringing the early birds up to final spec. As long as it is doable and need exists, we’ll build something never built before.” If you were the Customer, would you build the fighter?
You don’t need to ‘imagine’: That’s how the government buys fighters… since at least WW2.

That’s the way we’ve done it, but that doesn’t mean we’ve been doing it the best way. By the time a go-to-war squadron comes online, the program will have run 20 years from design to IOC, cost almost double the initial estimate for procurement, and best case scenario will cost 56% more to maintain than the fighters it will replace. The DoD is permitted to make changes to the design whenever it wants driving up costs and time and now expects the plane to do the work of 4 aircraft. Despite engineering setbacks, I think the plane will eventually do pretty close to what’s advertised, but at what price? We’ve already trimmed the buy by 400 planes. We cut the F-22 buy from 750 to 187 planes and spent 3 times what was supposed to buy us 750 planes. So far the F-35 has pretty well mirrored the F-22’s history in these regards.

Did they even deliver the first batch? I thought there were having problems producing these.

“We know until we get hardware on the ramp we’re not going to know what tweaks will be needed — I’ll set aside budget for bringing the early birds up to final spec”

Except that in reality, as opposed to fantasy, what LockMart have been delivering as “early birds” are so astronomically far from final spec that the set-asides to bring them into conformance have long since been completely overrun.

And what’s needed are not minor “tweaks”. They’re major reworks. Nontrivial things like having to beef up the biggest bulkhead in the airframe because it was cracking.

That is why, in a fact that should be emblazoned on a huge banner over the steps of the Capitol Building, the F-35 unit cost in constant dollars DOUBLED over the last decade.

That’s not my set of numbers, by the way. Those numbers come straight from the guy who was previously the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisitions.

They deliver unfinished F35. Did you ever saw that, anytime in history, in any country ?
No, it’s the first time ever an army is buying an unfinished weapon (at high price) and hoping the company will succeed years later to make them work…
Isn’t it great ?

Is the F-22 doing well, BTW ?

Maybe USAF should buy some Russian Sukhoi… or some French Rafale… at least they are flying.

And with the F-22 being far superior to all 3 F-35 variants, and indeed to all fighters currently in service or being designed around the world.

Either the ‘administrator’ finds factual counter-arguments to the F-35 doom patrol unacceptable, or his filtering system is too tight.

3.8 billions and lockheed will pay for 50% of retrofit costs.

http://​www​.nytimes​.com/​2​0​1​2​/​1​2​/​0​1​/​b​u​s​i​n​e​s​s​/​u​s​-to–

And an obsolete Joint Operational Requirement Document.

And a defective design.

The doom patrol are those trying to defraud the taxpayer with marketing-speak like “fifth-generation-fighter”. But hey, keep cheer-leading for reducing America’s combat capability by wasting funds on a non-air power solution.

Which is at best the “roll-away” price. That doesn’t include all LRIP-5 contracts. Long-lead, motors, and other vague contracts bring the total for LRIP-5 to $6B. This also doesn’t count money that will have to be spent to go back and fix all the mistake-jets. And of course a projected cost-per-flying hour of over $35,000 makes so much sense for a jet that is too weak to take on emerging threats and too expensive to own and operate against threats that can be taken care of with existing non-Joint Strike Failure designs.

The Pentagon is trying to cancel the Senate’s new F/A-18E/F Super Hornet orders. Looks like someone is trying to kill the competition…

Plus the cost per Flight hour on the Gripen NG is $5,000.00 compared to $35,000.00 per hour on the Junk Strike Fighter. And Canada like a lot of countries are Just as worried about the Long Term costs as the Sticker Price.

Citation please.

“3.8 billions and lockheed will pay for 50% of retrofit costs.”

32 jets, $3.8B. So that means we’re looking at $118,750,000 per jet.

Except the motor is GFE. Government furnished equipment. Not included in the price. So per jet the Pentagon then has to pay another $41M to Pratt for an F135.

About a hundred and sixty million per flyable jet.

And that’s for a plane that still does not meet spec and will require rework. Let’s make the very conservative assumption that rework costs will come to 20% of the base price of the bare frame. Then LockMart covers half of that.

So that comes to, rounding up to the nearest large number, a grand total of $172M per plane.

Let’s remind ourselves that this thing was sold to the Congress and to the public as being cheap enough to replace the F-16 and F/A-18 on a one for one basis.

Not at that price, it’s not. That’s F-22 price tag territory. For a substantially less capable and less survivable airplane than the actual F-22.

According to the canadian press, public works of canada is in charge of the buying process and as such they contacted boeing, eurofighter and others. That’s exactly what should have been done from the beginning and within the national department itself but to all it seems that they preferred to rely on lockmart expert for doing their own homework.

While for now they are doing the required steps of a decision process, it also create a completely different risk of choosing something ill-suited, though dnd is still there to give his opinion.

One more positive change is the new chief of defence general Lawson, a former pilot. Finally a position that really make sense to my ear: they cannot say that their next fighter **must** be stealth, it has to offer some stealth capability and say that even 4th generation fighter offer some stealth capability.

With good communication the process can work.

You forgot again that operating cost are not calculated the same way between these platform. They are mention that a typhoon cost 4,000$/hour to operate; I am sure those RR modular engine are damn good but it will cost much, much more than this to operate. Operating the gripen will also cost more. A study of operating cost has to be made, and it must include the problematic of getting parts from overseas (or to negociate the manufacturing differently) which could add cost and delay.

CF-18: ~22,000$/hours
F/A18: <CF-18 for the same usage.
F-16: ~16,000$/hours
Expect the grippen to cost between 10,000$ and 20,000$ per hours, I bet it will be something within 20% more or less than an f-16.

I would prefer to see the f-35 replaced by the X47 instead. I don’t know the expected operating cost of the x-47C, but I wouldn’t be surprised that it can carry internally more of less as much payload as an f-35 (except for heavy bomb), and cost less money.

And it have much, much more range.

Mac, I had a post deleted a couple days ago that had some weapons statistics comparing vehicles on the GCV article. It’s impossible to tell what will get deleted one day to the next.

I would like to have a small number of X-47s, but the Navy should definitely fill the rest of their carrier decks with Super Hornets.

It seems that they are constantly working on the website, but I have no idea what they are doing exactly. Better to let them know the issue so they can rise it in priority. There is a little button named ‘feedback’ on the bottom of the page, technical problem can be sent there.
http://​www​.military​.com/​C​o​n​t​e​n​t​/​H​e​l​p​/​H​e​l​p​E​m​a​i​l​For

Currently the plane can carry around 4,500 lbs internaly. The F-35C can carry 20,000 lbs all together. Even the largest varient envisioned (172 ft wing span) so far can only carry 10,000. And they will cost atleast 30,000,000. The more stealth, performance and such you add the price goes up till its just a under performing, limited unmanned design.

There is also the predator C with 6,500 lbs total 3,000 internal 3,500 external. Its price is 12–20 mil.

It’s great that the f-35 can handle 20,000 lbs of payload but with only 4 internal bay, the benefits are more limited; and we already know that it cannot handle a wide range of missile. In condition where you can afford to fly your f-35 with external pylon, send the SH. You are saving resources.

By supposing that the bay doubled along with the payload, the x-47c could still handle 2,000 lbs bombs, or filled with SDB. I wouldn’t be surprised that the x-47 is more stealthy than the f-35, which could make it more suited for high risk mission, those where a f-35 would be more adapted than a super hornet.

But I was meaning to use both f/a-18 and x-47; in such circumstances the f-35 got little benefits and its higher operating cost harder to justify.

Right. It would be a mistake to put on a large scale production the x-47 since it’s too early but it look promising. With some modularity it could be quite polyvalent, from surveillance to active EW warfare.

Even at 35M$, you can buy both a f/a-18 and a X-47, do more and save money compared to a f-35. Lets try it small.

Yesterday the Navy modified a recent contract to purchase an additional 15 F/A-18E Super Hornets from Boeing for $688 million. This was shortly after the Pentagon said they didn’t want another new F/A-18E/F contract. Guess nothing’s stopping us from modifying old ones.

Here’s a link: http://​www​.defense​.gov/​C​o​n​t​r​a​c​t​s​/​C​o​n​t​r​a​c​t​.​a​s​p​x​?Co

Actually, it’s MORE expensive than an F-22, which costs only 150 mn per copy while being several times more capable.

Waste of money. The Super Bug is kinematically and aerodynamically inferior even to 3rd generation Russian and Chinese fighters, let alone to their newest fighters or to the F-35 and the F-22.

The X-47C can carry only 5,000 pounds of ordnance. The F-35 can carry 16,000 pounds internally.

Oh yea have a dozen or so on every carrier. Hell i’ve wanted them to build something like a modern reboot of the A-6 for years.

F-18E/F needs to be replaced. Its to short legged. Call it strike fighter syndrome. We need a dedicated Fighter and a dedicated attack aircraft. Both with longer range than what we have now.

You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. First of all, the F-35C is actually worse than Super Hornet in terms of aerodynamic performance and kinematic performance. The Super Hornet overall stacks up pretty evenly against Russian and Chinese jets to the point where a pilot who is trained right and greater skilled can defeat anything the Russians or Chinese can put in the sky today or tomorrow.

Secondly, you should read this brief analysis: http://​www​.scribd​.com/​d​o​c​/​8​8​9​4​6​6​6​0​/​W​h​y​-​t​h​e​-​U​S​N​-an

So a lot of articles are saying that the Defense Bill going around now puts in another order for Super Hornets.. is this an MYP 4 contract? The 15 just bought is an add-on to MYP III.

Minus the advanced networking capabilities of the F-35, ground attack capabilities and wide variety of munitions the F-35 can carry, improved stealth materials and maintenance procedures, a carrier and STOVL variant, etc.

How is coming to an agreement before this foolish government policy takes effect fraud? If we had a competent government sequestration wouldn’t even be occurring. If you want fraud, look at Capital Hill, not Lockheed and Pentagon contract negotiators.

And you base this on what exactly?

That is downright false once you start carrying any sort of munitions on that F/A-18. The Super Hornet will likely retain superior high-AOA controlability and low-speed manueverability, but everywhere else the F-35C should have the edge.

I agree with you about the Super Hornet’s combat capabilities when you look at existing Chinese and Russian designs. But not the next generation aircraft we have seen them developing.

You do understand that the cost per jet in LRIP-5 and LRIP-6 has gone up because the number of aircraft in LRIP orders has been cut, correct? Long-lead items and such for those aircraft had already been ordered.

Outside of software, LRIP-5 do meet specification. 64 earlier (pre LRIP-5) aircraft will eventually require modification to reach their full (8,000+ flight hour) lives due to a flaw with the forward root rib. The money for this has already been set aside. Although you could reasonably argue LM should pay the full price of that.

The doom patrol are rather those like yourself who think they’re being clever when they invent other meanings for the JSF acronym. As much as you speak of the F-35 as the doom of American air-power, I have yet to see your alternatives. Doing nothing is an even more effective way to reduce America’s combat capabilities.

I would need to see the exact words that are on the bill in order to determine if it’s a contract, but just judging from the Pentagon’s reaction to it and the lengths that the F-35 supporters are willing to go to knock it out of the bill I can tell you that I would be willing to bet my next 2 paychecks that it is a new MYP IV contract for at least 40 new Super Hornets with the maximum limit under the contract to be modified to some number over 100 new Super Hornets. That is counting that it might be anything like MYP III. I would be willing to bet my next 3 paychecks that it could contain funding for some or all of the Super Hornet upgrades that Boeing is offering, which is why F-35 supporters feel so threatened by it.

These upgrades would make the Super Hornet have advanced systems that are comparable to those on the F-35: http://​www​.boeing​.com/​F​e​a​t​u​r​e​s​/​2​0​1​2​/​0​7​/​b​d​s​_​f​1​8​_en

I’m glad, because simply put alot of people aren’t smart enough to compare LRIP prices while considering the context those prices come. LRIP prices are what made F22 seem overpriced, while the full rate production price was much lower. It was unfair to that program and its unfair to this one.

I understand that lower production rates than planned will increase unit costs…Duh! I do not understand why the “affordable” alternative jet that was supposed to recapitalize the Western world’s air forces is costing more than an F-22 did, and the F-22 production rate was less than the F-35 is now. Enlighten me. The F-35 is a smaller, slower, less maneuverable bomb truck…features that were supposed to get the costs down. Now we are stuck with a mediocre performing jet that has a premium price tag built in. I understand that the F-35, as disappointing as it is, is all we are going to get, but I think the geniuses who conceived of and promoted this program should be pilloried. Generous resources were supplied to make the F-35 a model weapons procurement, yet there is no doubt that it is a case study in what not to repeat.
Oh, and FYI WC, there are many more test failure cracked parts in every variant than you mention. Would you consider modifying your opinion when they are all revealed? I thought not. “We’re neck deep in the Big Muddy and the big fool says to push on”.

try fitting 16,000 pounds of ordnance into those internal bays, genius. The F-35 cant even fit anti-radiation missiles internally, and doctrinally speaking SEAD looks like an ideal mission, except that to execute it you have to turn this bird into the world’s most expensive F-16.

All of which are currently, VAPORWARE! Until we see a fully Ops capable F-35 for each variant you cannot honestly compare the 2 planes.

Hey genius, the F-35 can carry some 15K-16K pounds of ordnance INTERNALLY; and once enemy air defenses have been eliminated, it can carry additional ordnance externally. The F-16 can carry only 1/3 of the ordnance that the F-35 can carry internally. No, the F-35 is not “the world’s most expensive F-16″ — it’s much better.

Note with reference to the F-35 internal bays:

– Those bays are inefficiently organized and they cube out early. The problem isn’t mass, it’s volume. It doesn’t matter how much gross weight of internal weapons the jet could hypothetically lug into the air, if the selected weapons won’t all fit in the bays at the same time. Analogy: my car can notionally carry the weight of two dozen mountain bikes, but I can stuff only four in the interior at any given time. Cubed out.

– The bays don’t permit simultaneous firing of A2A missiles from each bay. The cradles are inwardly canted relative to the long axis of the plane. The flight paths would intersect immediately in front of the jet. Having the bay doors open increases signature vulnerability, something that needs to be minimized, and yet this prohibition means more open-door time in combat.

– As reported in AvLeak, the F-35 bays have extreme problems with aeroacoustic vibration and especially with thermal loading. The thermal problem is especially bad. The F-35 bays get so hot for so long that it exceeds the temperature tolerance spec for several intended weapons in the loadout. Having the smartest smart missile around is no help if its digital brain gets cooked after a ride in the belly of the jet. Ask any server farm manager how quickly computers die off or go nuts when they’re allowed to seriously overheat.

And it can carry it almost 3x further than the F35 without refueling.

From the outside looking in it looks like there is a new MYP IV contract for F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in the defense bill that the Senate is passing. Either it’s a contract for a lot more Super Hornets or it’s funding for the Super Hornet upgrades Boeing is offering or a combination of both. Can’t wait to see what has the F-35 supporters in the Pentagon so riled up.

Obama wants $1.6 trillion in higher taxes over a decade and has offered $600 billion dollars in spending cuts. The Senate representatives said that wasn’t enough and, here’s the important part, they also wouldn’t mention publicly what programs they would cut. I’m wondering if the F-35 program or certain variants of the F-35 are on their list since it would make the cuts amount to about $1 trillion on top of Obama’s offer.

Right now it seriously looks like the F/A-18E/F and the F-35C are going to be fought over between the White House and the Senate and only one of these fighters is going to come out of it on the defense budget.

Back in the 60’s 70’s and 80’s there was always another option for a domestic fighter. Now all the eggs have been put in one basket and if this doesn’t go the full 9 yards we’ll be stuck using legacy aircraft until another long and drawn out design/competition is finished…

once again, how do you fit that much ordnance internally? It’s not a question of the weight that the aircraft can carry, it’s volume, a quantity you clearly don’t understand. If you say it’s possible to fit that amount of weight in the aircraft, why not propose a combat loadout of weapons that actually fit in the bays to prove your point? The best I can count is two amraams and two 2,000 pounders. That’s not even close to half of what you claim, and it’s the most efficient (read: heaviest) loadout of weapons that you can actually work into the bays by volume. How about you disprove my argument rather than hitting all caps?

And btw, when you turn it into a bomb truck (and sacrifice stealth) it is the world’s most expensive F-16. It’s good for SEAD (if we develop a purpose build anti-radiation missile that the F-35 can carry internally), but beyond that it’s just not cost effective compared to other aircraft. Ultimately, when we parse combat capabilities this project shows us why amalgamating capabilities on to one platform just ends up holding the plane back.

The Lockheed Martin website for the F-35 states: 18,000 pounds total loadout, with 3,000 of that being 2 missiles and 2 bombs internal. It can hold 4 missiles internally if you lose the bombs, and there is a plan to upgrade the internal load to 6 missiles by 2019.

thank you

You are wrong. By a factor of almost 4.

I’m finally sick enough of this anti-F-35 hysteria that I’ve got to set the record straight. The F-35 is not only a good program: it is uniquely essential to our defense for the next 20+ years. Here’s why:

1) If you aren’t Gen5 stealth, you’re dead. The real enemy to strike fighters for the next 2 decades will not be other aircraft; it will be triple digit SAMs. If you attempt a strike regimen in a medium-intensity war with Gen4 aircraft, especially F/A-18s (which started out as the YF-17 forty years ago), you will incur Viet Nam war loss levels. That war won’t be permitted to last very long.

2) Without an F-35C, you doom your entire fleet of LH(A)s and LH(D)s to Grenada level interdictions, unless you send a CBG with them. Not enough of those to go around so you’ve got a lot more nearly useless ships.

3) What’s most important about the F-35 is not what it does; it’s who it does it with. For the first time in history, the US has been able to engage the rest of the relevant free world in a coordinated purchase of US-centric strike aircraft. This not only means that they can meaningfully support us in conflicts but also that we have frozen similar programs out of the market and assured the primacy of US warfighting strategy.

Of course, the F-35 has problems. But they aren’t fatal and are often overstated:

- Too expensive. Of course it is. Just try to control the costs but otherwise deal with it. This is a country that spends $1Trillion on welfare every year. We can afford something we need.

- Doesn’t meet specs. No kidding. But do you think the problem is entirely the F-35 or were maybe the specs on a new generation fighter a little optimistic? As has been pointed out, the F-111 had the same problems, but they were resolved and the plane served long and well.

Program killers for the F-35 would be weight, an engine that does not provide adequate thrust/reliability/fuel burn levels, or stealth characteristics that are inadequate/require too much maintenance. All of these seem to be adequate, plus there is some stretch in the engine.

- Insufficient range. This is a tactical strike fighter. Won’t be anything longer. Of course it doesn’t give the Navy a long-range strike fighter but unless you build something in the size/weight range of the A-5 Vigilante, you’ll never have unrefueled long range strike from a CVN.

- Inadequate air-to-air capability. The F-35 isn’t a dogfighter and shouldn’t be. It will be part of a B-2, F-22 and UCAS package. As such, it will work well.

- Insufficient ordinance capability. Stealth dictates capacity, until the air defense is down.

- Concurrency is enormously wasteful. Yep. What do you do about it now?

And what if we do cancel the F-35? There are no clearly superior alternative approaches available (An A-23? The AF-22 project is a lot more doable but it can’t easily be navalized). While the F-35 isn’t perfect, what assures you that the next project won’t be another A-12? Then we are 25 years behind where we would be with the F-35.

In short, stop the complaining, start the problem solving. [Sorry about length of reply, but its a big topic] .

I was joking. If I had to choose an aircraft to equip the air force of my country, I would choose the F-35.

I assume you meant –B for the –35’s. I wonder if –C’s could be made to fly from an LH(*); perhaps with ski-jump ramp and lightened loads? The paradox is that an LH(*) can embark enough –35’s to be useful or carry the helicopters to support their Marines…but not both.

Whatdo you mean? could you please elaborate and tell me the truth because i would like to know. cheers for the info.

I am so happy to see someone else is thinking EXACTLY as I do.. In fact I posted a few places when the F22 issue came up for pilots passing out and heard Lockheed was getting 35 million to fix the problem!! I asked WHY are we paying for a problem and the fix to a NEW aircraft THEY built that has a flaw?? That would not happen on any other product but for some reason we tax payers have to PAY to have something that should have worked right in the beginning, fixed by the company that made it.

Let’s start the budget cuts

1. cut the new airplane
2. cut the limos, cooks, et al for the generals
3. cut the senate/congress pay
4. put welfare recipients to work — at least we get something for our money

If you ever watch the Military Channel on cable television, the excerpt on the F-35 put it right; There is NO PLAN B. The DoD has to make the F-35 program work and this isn’t a new concept. It has been around since then SecDef McNamara forced the F-4 Phantom on the Air Force to give all three services the same
fighter to save money on logistics. No one airframe does everything well, but they think the F-35 will do it well enough to replace the legacy airframes. The bean counters are driving the show, as usual.

laughably wrong.

As a 38 years of Dod Service, I see a pattern. EVERY new aircraft gets the same response. It’s not good enough, it’s too expensive, if cannot support our war efforts… This inicludes the F-14, F-16, F-18A/B/C/D/E/F, F-22, F-117, B-1, B-1B, B-2… Funny how most of these programs have gone on to prove themshelves. Maybe, just maybe there are folks working on the next aircraft design that will take some of what we’ve learned on this aircraft and apply corrections or enhancements.

Is there a better example of taxpayer money being wasted than the F-35’s procurement process?
http://​www​.foreignpolicy​.com/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​s​/​2​0​1​2​/​0​4​/​26/

If used in tandem with UCAV’s it should work out. The F-35 has had its share of probs, but they can be fixed. I wouldn’t stop building Super Hornets either. We will need them some day very soon. Bombs away..

We should just Buy the F-35s from the Chinese , they stold all the blueprints for the F-35 from us. They would be a lot cheaper and you could probably go to Walmart and buy them or spare parts if we needed to. The crazy thing is , is that the Chinese Government said that it was not good enough for the PLA and had no plan to purchase them.
Something must be done about the Chinese stealing are military and private sector intellectual property . The U.S. Government should investigate and in cases where it is fond that the Chinese did in fact steal U.S. intellectual property , they should be made to pay punitive damages.
I recommend everyone write your Congress rep. , and demand action on this Chinese theft problem !

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