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F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

MilEME09

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CBH99 said:
China has already hacked & stolen a lot of data on the F-35 and it's capabilities, and has no doubt developed plans to counter some of the advantages the F-35 would have.  Advantages that would be far more useful if the Chinese didn't know about them until they were experiencing being on the receiving end.


Why does Lockheed/US continue to publish developmental technologies online (even if they are 'hardened' and 'secret') - and in this case, does this not present a valuable opportunity to a country like China to learn even more??

If I was in charge of planning, I would assume a near peer adversary could jam those networked features, or worse feed false information to it.

We are too reliant on tech, and it will bite us in the text war, high tech forces are needed yes but we need also some low tech back up that we don't need to worry about.
 

tomahawk6

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Will the F23 be the follow on to its flyoff rival the F22 ? Rather than trying to build more F22's the YF-23 might be the better alternative.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=f22+vs+f23&docid=607997765561485645&mid=696190B247BCEA12AD88696190B247BCEA12AD88&view=detail&FORM=VIRE
 

CBH99

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The YF-23, if it had been developed further, was probably a better choice to begin with. 

Albeit, the F-22 is an absolute predator - and with some upgrades, could remain an apex predator of the skies for quite some time to come.

I think the focus will be on developing the F-35 to constant push the envelope, and refresh the F-15 C/D fleet with the new F-15X.


By the time the next generation of '6th gen' aircraft has matured enough to be ready for development & production, I doubt it will be manned.  I'm guessing it will be optionally manned, similar to the new B-21.  :2c:
 

MarkOttawa

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RAAF IOC:

Key US Ally Declares Its F-35s Ready for Combat​


A key U.S. ally in the Pacific says its premiere stealth fighter is ready for combat.

The Royal Australian Air Force on Monday declared that its F-35A Joint Strike Fighter has achieved initial operational capability, or IOC, making it the seventh country flying the jet to achieve that milestone.

"This IOC ushers in a new era of Australian air power that gives the RAAF transformational and game-changing capabilities," Joe North, Lockheed Martin Australia chief executive, said in a company release.

Australia currently has 33 F-35As; RAAF crews have surpassed “more than 8,780 flight hours to date, with more than 45 pilots and 600 maintainers supporting the Fleet,” the release said.

More than 600 aircraft are operating from nearly 30 locations across the globe, which include military bases and ships, Lockheed Martin officials said.

Australia joins the U.S. Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy; Israeli Air Force; Royal Norwegian Air Force; Japan Self-Defense Air Force; Italian Air Force; and Royal Air Force in declaring combat-ready status for the fifth-generation jet.

Lockheed delivered 123 Lightning II aircraft worldwide in 2020: 74 to the U.S., 31 to international partners, and 18 to Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers [emphasis added].

The company was unable to meet or surpass its previous record-breaking delivery of 134 jets -- which it achieved last year -- due to supplier challenges that arose with the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockheed in May revised its 141-jet delivery benchmark to a range of between 117 to 123, declaring this a more achievable goal.

"Achieving this milestone amid a global pandemic is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team and their commitment to our customers' missions," Bill Brotherton, acting vice president and general manager of the F-35 program, said in a separate release Monday.

The program was founded by nine partner nations: the U.S., the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Australia, Norway, Denmark and Canada -- though Canada has not committed to buying the aircraft. FMS customers include Israel, Japan, South Korea and Belgium [emphasis added].

Majority of allied partner nations operate the conventional takeoff F-35A, the same variant flown by the U.S. Air Force.

However, the Defense Department officially booted Turkey from the program in July 2019 because of its purchase of Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air-missile systems. Despite Turkey's formal removal from the F-35 program, the Pentagon has provided a gradual acquisition off-ramp for the country.

DoD officials originally cited hopes of finding U.S. suppliers this year to make the parts now made by Turkey, but it’s likely a full break with Turkey will not occur until 2022, according to Bloomberg News.

Following Turkey’s removal, a group of Republican senators that August urged the Pentagon to expand the U.S.-led F-35 program with additional foreign sales to create a stronger coalition of allies. Weeks later, the U.S. opened the door to Poland as a potential F-35 FMS customer.

Poland was approved to receive 32 Lockheed Martin-made F-35A aircraft with support and associated equipment, for an estimated cost of $6.5 billion in September 2019.

Earlier this year, the U.S. government greenlit the sale of 12 F-35B short-takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) jets and related equipment to Singapore for approximately $2.75 billion -- potentially expanding the fifth-generation program in the Pacific [emphasis added].

Singapore would join the United Kingdom and the U.S. Marine Corps in flying the F-35B. Italy, which has a single B-variant operated by its Navy, has committed to buying more; Japan has also committed to buying STOVL jets.

In November, the Trump administration notified lawmakers it plans to sell 50 stealth F-35 fighters to the United Arab Emirates as part of a massive $23.4 billion arms package that also includes drones and other weapons [emphasis added].

The move has been met with bipartisan opposition, with lawmakers fearing the sale could instigate an arms race between key countries in the Middle East, particularly Israel, which already flies the F-35 and was the first nation to use the jet in combat.

Senators blocked two resolutions to prohibit the sale earlier this month, according to Bloomberg.

The U.S. also submitted the F-35 as a bidding option for Switzerland’s New Fighter Aircraft (NFA) competition in November.

F-35A is also in hunt for new Finnish fighter--a detailed post by Corporal Frisk, also includes details of what Finland has asked for to go with Super Hornet/Growler should they be chosen:

HX goes DSCA​


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MarkOttawa

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!!! We'll see how Biden admin reacts: Search

U.S. Air Force officials are talking about ordering new Lockheed Martin F-16s two decades after signing the last production contract.

A review of the tactical aircraft portfolio now underway is set to deliver another Air Force acquisition shake-up in the fiscal 2023 budget request, with F-16s, Boeing F-15EXs, a new breed of so-called attritable aircraft and a next-generation fighter competing for a pool of production funding once monopolized by Lockheed’s F-35A.

The review comes as the Air Force grapples with maintaining an aging fleet of fighters and looming capacity shortfalls in the absence of a steep ramp-up in the delivery of replacement aircraft over the next decade. The F-16 remains in production in Greenville, South Carolina, where Lockheed transplanted the assembly line in 2019 to support continued international demand for the 50-year-old design.

“As you look at the new F-16 production line in South Carolina, that system has some wonderful upgraded capabilities that are worth thinking about as part of our capacity solution,” said Will Roper, former assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, who spoke to Aviation Week a day before he resigned his political appointment on Jan. 20.

Roper, whose three-year tenure was marked by a series of provocative changes in the Air Force’s acquisition plans and methods, also said the tactical fleet portfolio is considering a new kind of aircraft to perform the role of mock adversaries. The Skyborg program, which Roper launched in 2018, seeks to field an autonomous control system on a new family of unmanned aircraft system (UAS) designs that are intended to serve multiple missions, yet are still cheap enough to accept heavy losses. Those autonomous and attritable qualities could make such aircraft a candidate to play the adversary role in training, Roper says.

“I think, at a minimum, attritables ought to take on the adversary air mission as the first objective,” Roper said. “We pay a lot of money to have people and planes to train against that do not go into conflict with us. We can offload the adversary air mission to an artificially intelligent system that can learn and get better as it’s doing its mission.”

Adversary air missions also could groom AI-enabled UAS with the experience needed to be trusted for certain combat roles, including missions once envisioned for the Air Force’s canceled Light Air Support program.

“I think there are low-end missions that can be done against violent extremists that should be explored, but [replacing] adversary air [with attritable UAS] would save us money up front,” Roper said.

Adding consideration of new F-16s and attritable UAS to the Air Force’s ongoing review is part of a broad reimagining of the tactical aircraft fleet that began in 2018 with an internal fighter road map prepared by the Air Force Warfighting Integration Capability. The two-year-old document, which was first reported by Aviation Week in December 2020, called for capping F-35 orders at about 1,050 instead of the program of record of 1,763.

Over the previous two decades, Air Force leaders consistently called for transitioning their roughly 2,100-strong stable of fighters to an all-stealth fleet of Lockheed F-22s and F-35s
[emphasis added]. But the nonbinding road map revived internal consideration of nonstealthy jets in the Air Force’s future fleet.

The reasons for the shift in resources has evolved in public statements over time. When Air Force officials requested funding in 2019 to order the first eight of up to 144 new F-15EXs, they justified the unexpected move as a response to an urgent need. Recent inspections had determined that an aging fleet of F-15Cs require new wings to remain airworthy, and the existing training pipeline and infrastructure made F-15EXs a more expedient option than the F-35A.

But the tactical aircraft fleet review could establish a permanent combat role for nonstealthy fighters for decades to come. The F-15EX not only represents a convenient option for an urgent F-15C replacement, but its centerline weapon station with a 7,500-lb. load capacity also may fill a gap in the Air Force’s force structure for a tactical aircraft that can carry a rocket-boosted hypersonic glide vehicle.

“The F-15EX is worth thinking about,” Roper said. “It is not going to penetrate, but it can carry a lot of weapons, including hypersonic, which makes its role potentially different [than the F-35] on a contested battlefield.
[emphasis added]”

The review opens the possibility that the Air Force could order four different fighters—the F-35A, F-15EX, F-16 Block 70/72 and a next-generation fighter—while continuing to operate the Lockheed F-22 and the A-10. The Air Force also would be splitting orders between two Lockheed designs.

“We are proud to partner with the U.S. Air Force across our portfolio, including the F-16 and other fighter platforms,” says Danya Trent, Lockheed vice president for the F-16 program. As new roles are being considered for nonstealthy jets, a long-standing frustration with the costs of operating the military’s stealth fighter fleet is being exposed at the highest levels of the Pentagon. Asked by a reporter on Jan. 14 for his thoughts about the F-35, then-Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller referred to his department’s largest weapon system program as a “piece of shit.”

Roper also put Lockheed on notice about the Air Force’s frustration with the F-35A’s sustainment costs. Lockheed has committed to reducing the average hourly cost to operate the F-35A to $25,000 by 2025, a roughly 25% reduction compared to 2018 levels. But as his resignation approached, Roper was not satisfied with the pace of the reduction [emphasis added], as the Air Force seeks to add new F-35s to the fleet at an annual rate of 48-60 jets a year.

“I think it’s a long way from being an affordable fighter that we can buy in bulk,” Roper told reporters on Jan. 14. “That’s why other tactical aviation options are appealing to have in the mix so that the Air Force has options. There’s competition. There’s pressure on industry to improve.”

Another option the Air Force is adding to the tactical aircraft fleet in the next decade is a next-generation fighter. The details of the Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program remain classified, but Roper confirmed in September that a flight demonstrator associated with the program had secretly been flying. A next-generation fighter engine is scheduled to complete development in fiscal 2025, potentially making a next-generation fighter ready to enter production by fiscal 2026.

That possibility could give the Air Force leverage on the high end of the tactical aircraft fleet mix, even as the F-35 receives a series of Block 4 upgrades through fiscal 2025
[emphasis added].

“I expect you’ll see other trades in terms of numbers of F-35s, up or down, and capability mixes with Block 4 versus things one might do with F-15EX or NGAD,” Roper told Aviation Week. “All of that is being reviewed now.”

Some airpower analysts are alarmed by the possibility of further F-35 spending cuts. The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, an Air Force Association think tank, is sharply critical of decisions made under Roper’s tenure to prioritize R&D programs, such as the Advanced Battle Management System, over ramping up fighter production during a three-year defense spending surge by the Trump administration.

“A good acquisition guy needs to read the broader political tea leaves,” says Douglas Birkey, executive director of the Mitchell Institute. “They were not in an R&D time. The Reagan buildup only worked because the services bought iron. The Air Force [during the Trump administration] ceded that opportunity. While the F-35s coming off the line might not have been perfect Block 4s, it would have been better to maximize the buy and then upgrade them.”

Roper, however, was unapologetic about the Air Force’s decisions during his tenure to request funding for no more than 48 F-35As annually, with another 12 added in each of the last three years by Congress.

“I would rather support an Air Force that has fewer of the world’s most capable systems than to have more that are increasingly challenged at the combat edge,” Roper said. “And as I look at the state of the Tac Air portfolio for the Air Force, it has to be changed in order to be relevant and sustainable long-term.”'
https://aviationweek.com/defense-sp...alks-new-f-16-orders-latest-acquisition-shake

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MarkOttawa

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USAF F-117s for Red Air until F-35 can do the role:

F-117s Cleared To Refuel From All KC-135s As "Retired" Stealth Jets Expand Operations​

The F-117 has been cleared to refuel from the entire KC-135 force again 13 years since its "retirement" and 38 years since its first flight.​


...
This serves as additional evidence that the F-117's post-retirement operations are becoming more widespread and far less reclusive in nature. The F-117s, some of which have remained flying for the vast majority of the type's official retirement, at least to a limited degree, have drastically expanded their operational footprint in recent years and are now actively acting in the operational test and development support role and as stealthy dissimilar aggressors. Once bound to their original home at the remote Tonopah Test Range Airport (TTR), the F-117s have ventured increasingly further from it to higher-profile locations, especially in recent months. Now they are even forward deploying to operational airbases in order to support things like carrier strike group work-ups. The F-117s have also even been calling on Nellis Air Force Base in broad daylight as their use as stealth aggressors have broadened, with the type even playing a major role in recent Red Flag international air combat exercises.

After the type's formal retirement, the super-shy pocket force of F-117s was relegated to tanking from a small fleet of test tankers based out of Edwards Air Force Base and KC-10 tankers from Travis Air Force Base that support clandestine flight testing regularly, going by the callsign Sierra 99. In more recent years, KC-135s that go by the callsign Sierra 98 have also taken up this mission, which usually occurs over or near the expansive and desolate Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR).

Making it so any KC-135 can refuel the F-117s will allow them to more easily be integrated into large force employment (LFE) exercises and major training cycles. It also means they will be able to more easily travel much farther from home. As such, it is possible we could see an east coast detachment of F-117s in the not so distant future in order to support an exercise or training evolution with their stealthy characteristics.

Acting in a stealthy aggressor role, they will help bridge the gap until the services stand up low-observable aggressor forces, whether that be with 5th generation F-35s, which will be arriving to take up this role at Nellis in the near future, or stealthy unmanned aircraft.

Regardless, it is absolutely amazing that after 13 years of officially being in mothballs, the Nighthawk force, which amounts to around 45 jets in total, most of which remain partially disassembled in storage at Tonopah, is now significantly expanding its operations. With Red Flag underway right now at Nellis, we may see the F-117s pop up once again towards the end of the big exercise. And this time they can suckle from a standard KC-135R, like the rest of the aggressor force.

message-editor%2F1611966230160-4450th_tactical_group_f-117_a-7d_refueling.jpg


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Four stories, things a bit confusing:

1)

The Air Force May Soon Be Shopping for a New Fighter Jet​


The U.S. Air Force isn't ruling out bringing a new fighter jet into its inventory as it looks to replace older, fourth-generation F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, according to the service's top general.

As the service tries to determine the right mix of aircraft for its future inventory, it's considering the idea of a new fighter that falls somewhere between fourth- and fifth-generation airframes -- one that could easily be upgraded throughout its life, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles "CQ" Brown said last week.


"Let's not just buy off the shelf; let's actually take a look at something else out there that we can build," Brown said during a Defense Writers Group virtual chat with reporters. He added that the service would want something that can be economically sustainable, produced quickly and has an open-architecture software system that can be rapidly modified to keep up with missions...

2)

F-35 In Crosshairs As Joint Staff Assess TacAir Buys For Biden Budget

At the moment, there are no plans to reduce the Air Force's plans to buy 1,763 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, says acting Air Force acquisition head Darlene Costello. But...​


The Air Force, Navy and Marines tactical aircraft fleets are all being reconsidered as part of a Joint Staff review of fighter needs for 2023 and beyond, Air Force officials tell Breaking D — raising fundamental questions about the Pentagon’s purchases of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Air Force’s own fighter mix study will feed into that joint effort, the officials said.

UPDATE BEGINS. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown confirmed this afternoon that the service is working closely with the Joint Staff to study long-term fighter needs. “I think it’s good that we’re working together looking at this,” he told reporter, and that the review includes “not just, you know, the Air Force fighter capabilities” but those of the other services as well. UPDATE ENDS.

In turn, the Joint Staff review will inform the Biden administration’s 2022 budget calculus, led by the director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE), outside experts say. The peril for the F-35 is clear as it is identified as one of the critical questions laid out in an internal DoD memo penned by Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks obtained by Breaking D...

3)

USAF Will Not Sacrifice F-35 To Buy NGAD, Brown Says​


The U.S. Air Force will not sacrifice its F-35 buy to pay for Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD), but other fighter programs may take a hit instead, according to the service’s chief of staff.

The service will “take a look at other parts of the fighter force” to help fund NGAD, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown told reporters Feb. 25 during a briefing at the Air Force Association’s virtual Air Warfare Symposium. The assessment is part of the Air Force’s tactical fighter aircraft study.

Brown is looking to lower the median age of the Air Force’s fighter force, and the easiest way to do that is by purchasing new aircraft and retiring old jets. The study will also assess what capabilities are needed today and what the service would need in the future.

4)

F-35 Still the ‘Cornerstone’ Fighter, Top Air Force General Says​

After calling for a new fighter, Gen. Brown clarified the F-35 is alive and well while a new study reevaluates fighters and drones for 2036.​


The U.S. Air Force’s top general said the service is committed to the F-35 stealth fighter following comments and headlines in the past week that suggested the demise of the aircraft may be near.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown said on Thursday the U.S. could end up buying fewer than the 1,700-plus jets it envisioned when the project began more than two decades ago, but rejected recent high-profile reporting portraying the aircraft as a failure.

Pentagon officials are currently reviewing the mix of manned combat jets and drones needed to win a war 15 years from now, Brown said. That study is looking at not only the number and types of manned aircraft, but also drones that the Air Force wants to team with fighter jets in the coming years.

“What I've asked the team to do is … provide me options on how to take a look at this because I want to make sure we have the right capability,” Brown said during an online press conference during a virtual conference hosted by the Air Force Association.

Among the options, Brown said, is continuing to buy 1,763 jets. But that number came out of a May 1997 Pentagon strategy review and has not changed since [emphasis added].

Brown sparked some alarm when he first discussed the tactical aircraft review with reporters last week, In that meeting, the general raised the possibility of buying a newly-designed fighter jet to replace old F-16 fighters — a job the F-35 is supposed to be filling.

"I want to be able to build something new and different that's not the F-16, that has some of those capabilities, but gets there faster and features a digital approach," Brown said at the time.

Some viewed Brown’s comments as confirmation that the service is abandoning the F-35, a plane that has taken nearly two decades to build and, although already seeing combat and being delivered to allies overseas, still faces developmental hurdles before the Pentagon considers it is fully combat ready. “The U.S. Air Force Just Admitted the F-35 Stealth Fighter Has Failed,” read a Forbes headline on Tuesday. NBC News anchor Brian Williams said “the Pentagon may scrap the F-35 program” in a nearly three-minute report on MSNBC this week.

Brown, when asked Thursday [Feb. 25] if the F-35 program is a failure, said that is “nowhere near” the case.
“The F-35 is a cornerstone of our [tactical aircraft] capability and for our fighter capability,” he said.

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MarkOttawa

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F-35A is also in hunt for new Finnish fighter--a detailed post by Corporal Frisk, also includes details of what Finland has asked for to go with Super Hornet/Growler should they be chosen:
Now a further lengthy post from Corporal Frisk on F-35A bid for Finland, based on detailed talk with LockMart man in charge of the bid (erstwhile US Defence Attaché in Helsinki, ah that military-industrial complex):

Stealth, Dispersed Operations, and a big Jammer​


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MarkOttawa

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Lot of turbulence appearing again vs F-35:

1) GAO:

…the military services collectively face tens of billions of dollars in sustainment costs that they project will be unaffordable. For example, the Air Force needs to reduce estimated annual per-plane costs by $3.7 million (47%) by 2036, or costs in that year alone will be $4.4 billion more than it can afford…

2) US Naval Institute News:

https://news.usni.org/2021/04/22/hasc-congress-let-dod-buy-too-many-f-35-fighters-but-not-enough-f-35-spares-sustainment

The House Armed Services Committee has little appetite for buying any F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes beyond the official Biden administration request – in contrast to the past seven years, when Congress has added a whopping 97 planes beyond the president’s budget request – as a result of low readiness rates and ongoing maintenance and supply challenges.

In fact, one lawmaker said the current readiness hole the joint aviation program finds itself in is partly due to Congress’ willingness to buy new planes rather than invest in spare parts and an adequate maintenance and sustainment strategy in recent years. Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.), the chairman of the HASC readiness subcommittee that jointly hosted a hearing today on the F-35 program with the HASC tactical air and land forces subcommittee, hardly contained his anger as he spoke to JSF industry and military leaders…

3) Breaking Defense on the same hearing:


“If this program continues to fail … we may need to invest in other more affordable programs, and backfill an operational shortfall of potentially over 800 tactical fighters,” said Rep. Donald Norcross, chair of the HASC tactical air and land forces subcommittee.
By Theresa Hitchens

Congress’ biggest defense body today warned that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter no longer gets a free pass and made clear that they are frustrated, worried and in many cases just plain mad.

“I’m gonna take a deep breath and try to contain my anger,” thundered Rep. John Garamendi, chair of the House Armed Services readiness subcommittee. “I don’t really I don’t know where to start, because every single piece of this is problematic. Every single piece.”

Garamendi pointedly recited the program’s failures over its 25 years of development and limited production — the jet has yet to reach full operational capability.

Rep. Donald Norcross, who chairs the HASC’s tactical air and land forces subcommittee, made the threat to the program crystal clear in his opening remarks.

“If this program continues to fail … we may need to invest in other more affordable programs, and backfill an operational shortfall of potentially over 800 tactical fighters,” he said.

House Republicans by and large expressed continued support for the F-35 program, but also by and large agreed with Democratic concerns about the continued failures [emphasis added]…

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dapaterson

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Under-resourcing sustainment is not unique to the F35. Politicians love announceables that involve big toys to stand in front of and smile about local jobs; standing in front of a box of spare parts lacks the allure and cachet (even though it's arguably more important).

That the incremental cost of the F35 is greater than expected is a surprise to no one who has tracked military equipment operating costs over time.
 

FJAG

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Under-resourcing sustainment is not unique to the F35. Politicians love announceables that involve big toys to stand in front of and smile about local jobs; standing in front of a box of spare parts lacks the allure and cachet (even though it's arguably more important and frequently, more expensive).

That the incremental cost of the F35 is greater than expected is a surprise to no one who has tracked military equipment operating costs over time.
FTFY

:giggle:
 

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Under-resourcing sustainment is not unique to the F35. Politicians love announceables that involve big toys to stand in front of and smile about local jobs; standing in front of a box of spare parts lacks the allure and cachet (even though it's arguably more important).

That the incremental cost of the F35 is greater than expected is a surprise to no one who has tracked military equipment operating costs over time.

I get why the politicians that ordered more aircraft than the Air Force asked for are trying to dump the blame on the aircraft and Lockheed. But it still irks.

We have a new fleet introduced on a new philosophy (continuous improvement vs prototyping and batching) which inherently means that new planes will not look like old planes and that decisions will constantly have to be made as to whether or not to delete old planes, or upgrade them, and when it is necessary to stop improving. There are no fixed lines here. Potentially every individual aircraft could have a slightly different code variant - just like this damm computer I am typing on. Accountant's, Project Manager's and Mechanic's nightmare.

Keeping those aircraft in the air is going to be expensive - unless somebody suddenly says "Good Enuff!" and draws a line under development. At least temporarily.

Meanwhile the politicians buy more aircraft that are "under development" which require more mechanics, more upgrading, more new parts - just to reach the level of capability of the latest aircraft off the line.

Some people flying these things seem more than happy with the existing 70% solution.
Meanwhile the Accountants and Project Managers strive to earn their bonuses by delivering 110%.
And politicians like rollout ceremonies.
 

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I get why the politicians that ordered more aircraft than the Air Force asked for are trying to dump the blame on the aircraft and Lockheed. But it still irks.

We have a new fleet introduced on a new philosophy (continuous improvement vs prototyping and batching) which inherently means that new planes will not look like old planes and that decisions will constantly have to be made as to whether or not to delete old planes, or upgrade them, and when it is necessary to stop improving. There are no fixed lines here. Potentially every individual aircraft could have a slightly different code variant - just like this damm computer I am typing on. Accountant's, Project Manager's and Mechanic's nightmare.

Keeping those aircraft in the air is going to be expensive - unless somebody suddenly says "Good Enuff!" and draws a line under development. At least temporarily.

Meanwhile the politicians buy more aircraft that are "under development" which require more mechanics, more upgrading, more new parts - just to reach the level of capability of the latest aircraft off the line.

Some people flying these things seem more than happy with the existing 70% solution.
Meanwhile the Accountants and Project Managers strive to earn their bonuses by delivering 110%.
And politicians like rollout ceremonies.
The thing is that the software development on the F35 will never stop. There is no “final version”.
 

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The thing is that the software development on the F35 will never stop. There is no “final version”.

Neither is there a final hardware solution.

Fix the hardware (as Find-Fix) and then focus on modifying the software. But then you run up against hardware imposed limits which requires that to be modified. Which requires the software to be modified... Dear Henry, Dear Henry.

And Microsoft and Intel make a fortune.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Neither is there a final hardware solution.

Fix the hardware (as Find-Fix) and then focus on modifying the software. But then you run up against hardware imposed limits which requires that to be modified. Which requires the software to be modified... Dear Henry, Dear Henry.

And Microsoft and Intel make a fortune.
Well, in this case- LockMart.
 

Kirkhill

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Well, in this case- LockMart.
If they want to get this project under control they are going to have to go back to marks, batches, flights or blocks and accept some degree of variance between squadrons until they get the entire production run delivered. Then they can go back to bringing the entire fleet up to a common standard and then work on continuous improvement.
 

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The thing is that the software development on the F35 will never stop. There is no “final version”.
Just like our Hornet software development has never stopped. We are still fielding one to two software versions every year and one major revision every 1.5 to two years.
 

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Just like our Hornet software development has never stopped. We are still fielding one to two software versions every year and one major revision every 1.5 to two years.
Yup.

As I young OCdt on OJT at (then) WSSU in Cold Lake, I contributed 200 lines of FORTRAN to the X89 s/w load — essentially fink-code to ID guys doing unauthorized low flying in Germany 😂. That was well before Canada had its own OFP load...I believe C93 was our first own load.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Yup.

As I young OCdt on OJT at (then) WSSU in Cold Lake, I contributed 200 lines of FORTRAN to the X89 s/w load — essentially fink-code to ID guys doing unauthorized low flying in Germany 😂. That was well before Canada had its own OFP load...I believe C93 was our first own load.
And the Cyclone gets a new software load every 18 months (ish).
 
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