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Personally I think it's stupid, if the F-35 works as advertised. But I guess Boeing needs a little pick-me-up after all the recent fuckups. Wasn't it just reported that KC-46 is making a loss for them?

And now they are talking about ordering more F-16's...oh well.

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Just now, Yama said:

Personally I think it's stupid, if the F-35 works as advertised. But I guess Boeing needs a little pick-me-up after all the recent fuckups. Wasn't it just reported that KC-46 is making a loss for them?

And now they are talking about ordering more F-16's...oh well.

Serves them right for killing the airbus tanker. I hope they choke on it.

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Yeah that sure looks smart move now, doesn't it :lol: They got Dreamliner over by undercutting its price a lot and it nearly bankrupted the division, one would think that would have taught them something but noo... I wonder how the Red Hawk is going to end up.

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2 hours ago, Yama said:

Personally I think it's stupid, if the F-35 works as advertised. But I guess Boeing needs a little pick-me-up after all the recent fuckups. Wasn't it just reported that KC-46 is making a loss for them?

And now they are talking about ordering more F-16's...oh well.

The USAF I think was concerned with the production rate of the F-35 more than it being a failure. The F-15Cs are timing out and F-35 isn't a great one to one replacement even if production was on schedule. But the F-15 is also in a different size/weight/range class than the F-35, and I think the USAF has future ideas about using it as a heavy hypersonic weapon carrier, long range air to air arsenal plane/interceptor, and drone controller aircraft (F-35 has no back seat). The long range, heavy load, and modern back seat display would be very flexible for all of these missions. Development was basically already paid for by foreign governments and the use of the F-15 body maximizes existing infrastructure making it an easy to adopt system. It is a good compliment to F-35, IMO.

The F-16 buy I can't possibly justify. It brings nothing to the table compared to F-35 and I would have thought there would be huge cost savings in retiring an entire aircraft type once the in service F-16s time out.

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even minus production  training and time are another big issues with the early F-15 c/d's running out of airframe hours faster than new pilots maintainers and ground facilities can be trained and provided to replace them with F-35's if that was the plan.

that and the idea of some new air launched 'large' missiles (hypersonic's and stuff as mentioned) are going to need a platform to carry them for now.

 

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5 minutes ago, Dawes said:

I believe Boeing is into the KC-46 for $5 billion out of their own pocket (so far) for fixing the issues.

Considering they wanted too much that contract, initially won by a version of the A330MRTT, probably they are reaping what they sown.

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52 minutes ago, sunday said:

Considering they wanted too much that contract, initially won by a version of the A330MRTT, probably they are reaping what they sown.

True. The USAF should be flying the Airbus KC-45 by now since it was their original selection. 

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7 hours ago, Yama said:

Personally I think it's stupid, if the F-35 works as advertised . . .

One of the big problems with the F-35 isn't whether it works, it's what does it cost to to make it work.  In a huge, unanticipated, no one could have seen it coming shock, it turns out that gold plated, over-engineered, bleeding edge airplanes turn out to be expensive to operate . . . 

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“That’s the reason why Next-Generation Air Dominance is so important to the Air Force,” he said. “It doesn’t just represent a next-generation fighter with bells and whistles that we will need in warfighting. It doesn’t just represent a completely different acquisition paradigm. It also represents a chance to design an airplane that is more sustainable than the F-35 if, in fact, the F-35 cannot get its cost-per-flying-hour down.”

- outgoing Air Force acquisition czar Will Roper

 

How much this is real, how much it's a ploy to put pressure on Lock-Mart, and how much it is the inevitable downgrading of the F-35 to start funding on the new toy (NGAD) is a good question, but F-35 sustainment costs have been the elephant in the room for years.

Hat tip to Solomon over at SNAFU for finding the article, which opens with the words "The F-35 fighter jet’s exorbitant life-cycle costs means the Air Force cannot afford to buy as many aircraft as it needs to fight and win a war today . . . "

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On average F-15C/D are 35 years old and have flown +8,500 hours. On top of that USAF did not get as many F-22 as expected. 

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Presumably, F-15EX sustainment costs will be lower then those of the F-35. Especially since some of the existing F-15 infrastructure can be used (to some extent, anyway).

Yes, transition from C/D to EX takes 12 months when compared to 18 months in F-35. It can use up to 70% of spares and support equipment of previous Eagle versions.

Fly-away price is about the same at ~80 million, but flight per hour cost is less 27,000 vs 35,000 $.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As I understand it, part of the issue was the ability of the Air Force to actually absorb new F-35s into the fleet.  There is a significant transition time where an entire unit is non deployable due to the time it takes for Pilots to learn how to fly the aircraft, maintainers to learn how to maintain it, Etc.

The time and effort required to transition an F-15C unit to an F-15X unit is minimal compared to the time and effort required to transition that same F-15C unit to an F-35 unit.  I'm sure there is an issue with spare parts and tool commonality as well.

 

 

 

-K

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