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The Flying White Elephant

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by Picdelamirand-oil, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    India Could Become Next Hub for F-16 Jets in a Blow to Pakistan
    Nc Bipindra
    Iain Marlow iainmarlow
    August 22, 2016 — 6:00 PM EDT
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    The proposal would give India partial control along with the U.S. over which countries are able to purchase F-16 fighter jets and spare parts, according to people familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. That may allow India to choke off key supplies to Pakistan, which has relied on F-16s as its main aerial defense for decades, if the U.S. allows it do so.



    “Some components may be produced only in India," Abhay Paranjape, director of business development at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said in an interview about the company’s F-16 proposal.

    Asked whether Pakistan would still be able to source F-16 jets or parts elsewhere under the arrangement, Paranjape said questions about foreign military sales policies should be referred to the U.S. government. Roger Cabiness, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense, in turn referred questions on the sale of F-16 spare parts to Lockheed.

    The strategic element is a key selling point as Lockheed pushes to win an order that may exceed 100 fighter jets, part of Modi’s plan to spend $150 billion on the armed forces and create jobs under his “Make-in-India" policy. A deal would breathe new life into the F-16, an older model than the stealth F-35 warplane, and further boost U.S.-India defense ties at the expense of Pakistan.

    India Focus
    “What we are doing is putting India as the center of the supply base," Randall Howard, Lockheed Martin’s aeronautics business development director, said on Aug. 4 in New Delhi. “Today, there is no potential Pakistan sale."


    India and Pakistan have been enemies ever since partition when Britain exited the region in 1947. The nuclear-armed neighbors have fought three wars over disputed territory, and have few economic ties.

    U.S. relations with Pakistan have worsened in recent years. Congress in May refused to give subsidies for Pakistan to buy new F-16s, prompting it to consider buying used ones from Jordan instead. The U.S. this month withheld another $300 million in military aid to Pakistan over its failure to take action against terrorists carrying out attacks on American troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

    Pakistan Looking Elsewhere
    Nafees Zakaria, a spokesman for Pakistan’s foreign ministry, declined to answer questions about Lockheed Martin’s F-16 proposal, as did Nungsanglemba Ao, a spokesman for India’s defense ministry.

    The company’s overtures to India will prompt Pakistan to look more to China and Russia for military hardware, according to Najam Rafique, director at Islamabad’s Institute of Strategic Studies.

    “Pakistan is diversifying its options," he said.

    Competition for the India jet order is fierce. Lockheed Martin’s rivals such as Boeing Co. and Saab AB are all offering to shift some production to India as part of their bids to replenish India’s aging fleet. About a third of the nation’s 650 planes are more than 40 years old and set to retire in the next decade.

    Stalled Negotiations
    Modi last year scaled back an earlier deal with Dassault Aviation SA, opting to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets off the shelf instead of building 126 in India after negotiations hit repeated delays. That effort has since stalled over price, providing an opportunity to other jet-makers to step in. It’s unclear when a decision will be made.

    Lockheed’s proposal attempts to turn its greatest weakness -- the fact that Pakistan also flies F-16s -- into a main reason for India to acquire the jet.

    “Since India would house the only existing production line, it would be able to deny Pakistan any further platforms or also have influence on Pakistan Air Force logistics," said Pushan Das, who follows military modernization at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.

    Lockheed Martin, which is winding down F-16 production in the U.S., has successfully sold the jet for decades. The proposed facility in India would provide much-needed highly skilled jobs as Modi heads into several important state-level elections in 2017.

    Manufacturing ‘Ecosystem’
    “We are not looking at just assembling India’s F-16 here," Lockheed Martin’s Paranjape said. “We are looking at establishing a complete manufacturing base ecosystem."

    Of course, it is still unclear which firm will win India’s lucrative fighter jet contract.

    Some analysts dismiss the F-16 as a dated “fourth generation" platform opposed by the Indian Air Force because it won’t have major upgrades in the future. Others like Georgetown University associate professor C. Christine Fair have suggested New Delhi is unlikely to get a more advanced fighter jet made in India because of difficulties with transferring state-of-the-art technology.

    While many obstacles remain, an agreement with Lockheed Martin would cement closer ties between the nations if the U.S. government doesn’t prevent the transfer of advanced radar or avionics technologies, according to Anit Mukherjee, an assistant professor at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

    “If this deal was to happen -- and that’s a big if -- then it will be a big plus for U.S.-India relations and a significant indicator of the transformation in the defense relationship," he said. “If this deal goes through, and the U.S. is honest about tech transfer, then it has the potential to really build up India’s military-industrial base."
     
  2. Ezco

    Ezco Captain FULL MEMBER

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    With or without Indians agreement, there are plenty way of acquiring F16 spares even if they are not directly coming from India.
    Only a Turkey would trust a justification like that.

    :facepalm:
     
  3. BON PLAN

    BON PLAN Captain FULL MEMBER

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  4. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Lockheed Martin threatens to sue the Pentagon over the F-35 contract!

    Thanks to William for the link!

    via Wall Street Journal.
    By Doug Cameron
    The Pentagon on Wednesday awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a $6.1 billion deal for the next batch of F-35 fighter jets, triggering an unusual rebuke from the defense contractor over the terms and timing. The deal for the ninth batch of the stealthy fighters covers 57 jets for the U.S. and some foreign air forces, with talks continuing on another contract involving more than 100 planes.
    Lockheed has been in negotiations with the Pentagon for 18 months about a combined deal for 160 jets covering two years of production, and the two sides had hoped to reach agreement in early 2016.
    But negotiations over price and other issues dragged on longer than
    expected as the Pentagon tries to cut the cost of the F-35A model used by the U.S. Air Force to around $80 million by the end of the decade, and The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the order would be split. Lockheed said in a statement Wednesday that the new deal was imposed on it, and a spokesman said the company is considering a court appeal so that talks could be reopened.
    "We are disappointed with the decision by the Government to issue a unilateral contract action on the F-35 [latest] contract," the company said.
    Negotiating F-35 deals in bigger batches was intended to cut the Pentagon's price and help Lockheed and its partners negotiate better deals with their suppliers. The F-35 accounts for 23% of Lockheed's revenue and is an important contributor to sales and earnings at other companies including Northrop Grumman Corp. and BAE Systems PLC, as well as dozens of smaller contractors.Wow! This is awesome! I wonder how LM stock will do when this news gets out! If you bought the stock after the last Investors Call you better sell it quick. The assumptions made for future earnings are about to take a haircut!

    http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.fr/2016/11/lockheed-martin-threatens-to-sue.html
     
  5. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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  6. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    "The "F" is for Freemium (it's all in the click-wrap)

    Welcome!
    Your new F-35 is free to fly, but on your first flight you must agree to share personal information about you and your use of the plane with
    Lockheed Martin and its contractors*.

    Basic "free-to-fly" usage includes limited fuel and flight range, and does not include weapons. You can purchase fuel, ammo, and upgrades
    (such as improved weapons and air-to-air refueling) in our online store.

    The Iran Strike battle map is included free when you confirm your email address. To obtain other maps, or to fly your F-35 in Campaign Mode, you must purchase upgrades from our online store.

    Lockheed Martin Online and USA Battle reserve the right to restrict your use of the F-35, and to terminate your membership at any time.

    * In the event of corporate acquisition or shifting alliances, your information might be transferred to other parties."
     
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  7. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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  8. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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  9. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Madly, Truly, Deeply
    —John A. Tirpak11/8/2016
    [​IMG]
    AFA Caption
    An F-35B Lightning II with Marine Operational Test & Evaluation Squadron 1 fires an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile during US Marine F-35B operational tests, held Aug. 9, 2016 through Sept. 1, 2016. US Marine Corps photo.



    BodyText
    Though it looks like one, the F-35 is “not a fighter,” but is “infinitely, exponentially” better than one, and is certainly far more than a mere replacement for the AV-8B Harrier in Marine Corps usage, F-35B pilot Lt. Col. David Berke said Monday. Speaking at an AFA Mitchell Institute event on Capitol Hill about the capabilities of fifth generation air combat, Berke said the Marine Corps is having to shift its thinking about the capability that the F-35B brings to naval aviation. The jet’s voracious information-collecting capability “opens up opportunities” for the Marine Corps to have a significant effect on combat taking place “much further inland” than was possible with the range-limited and payload-restricted AV-8B. The F-35B, he said, offers the ability to gather information with almost no pilot involvement—and feed it to central command authorities—in a way unthinkable with any previous Marine Corps fighter, furthering joint force capability and interoperability. The Harrier flew and so does the F-35, and “that’s where the continuity ends,” he asserted, saying the F-35B, by about 2030, will have totally reshaped both the Marine Corps way of pursuing amphibious warfare and its role in joint air combat.
     
  10. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    DOT&E Memo: F-35 Still Challenged
    Nov 16, 2016by Lara Seligman in Ares

    The Pentagon's top weapons tester has never been shy about hammering Lockheed Martin's F-35. In an Oct. 14 memo to the Defense Secretary, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation J. Michael Gilmore once again slammed the program for continued schedule delays, insufficient testing progress, and ongoing challenges with major systems. He "very strongly" recommended DOD restructure the program.



    [​IMG]


    The full 8-page document surfaces as Gilmore turns up the heat on the F-35 program. In the memo, Gilmore repeated his claim that the F-35 “clearly” will not be able to finish its development phase - called System Development and Demonstration (SDD) – and begin operational testing as planned in August 2017. The full flight envelope, weapons clearances and verified mission data file for the aircraft’s final warfighting software load, Block 3F, will not be available before May 2018, DOT&E states in the memo.

    In fact, Gilmore believes IOT&E likely won’t start until late 2018 or early 2019, unless DOD decides to start the test phase without “significant aspects” of full 3F capability, a DOT&E spokesman recently told Aviation Week.

    The program office is more optimistic. Top officials have acknowledged the F-35 will not be ready for its final test phase until 2018 at the earliest, but Joint Program Office (JPO) chief Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan anticipates IOT&E will begin early that year.

    The JPO estimates the program will need an additional $530 million to complete the $57 billion SDD program, primarily to pay for new requirements and unforeseen delays, according to spokesman Joe DellaVedova.

    “Most of this needed funding will come from other F-35 JPO funding sources to minimize the impact on the U.S. Services and DoD overall budget requirements,” DellaVedova says. “No additional funding will be required from the International Partners.”

    Unless the F-35 program’s current plans are revised and additional resources provided, DOT&E says it is “unlikely” that the low-rate initial production (LRIP) lot 10 F-35s delivered in fiscal 2018 will have full combat capability, according to the DOT&E spokesman. This projection is significant for the Air Force, particularly, as Secretary Deborah Lee James recently certified to the congressional defense committees in compliance with the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act that the F-35As delivered in FY18 would indeed have their full warfighting capability.

    But for now, the Air Force is not worried.

    “The Air Force considered multiple factors and inputs from various entities before certification,” says Air Force spokesman Capt. Michael Hertzog. “With some additional risk today, we believe Block 3F with full hardware, software, and weapons capabilities planned will be available to support LRIP 10 aircraft.”

    http://aviationweek.com/blog/dote-m...m=email&elq2=f057859bf1f54e81898e81023f65d7e2

    Here is the full memo:
    http://aviationweek.com/site-files/aviationweek.com/files/uploads/2016/11/16/F35memo.pdf
     
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  11. randomradio

    randomradio Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    @Picdelamirand-oil @vstol jockey @BON PLAN @halloweene @CNL-PN-AA

    https://www.quora.com/What-went-wrong-with-the-F-35

    I am writing as anonymous because I was a Lockheed Martin employee and executive for over 30-years and I was also intimately involved with the F-22 and the F-35 program. My anonymity is because I’ve witnessed other former Lockheed employees who have criticized the company and the program experience certain “issues”. I don’t need to suddenly have my pension stop, or get audited for multiple years by the IRS. I am writing a book on the financial and criminal misconduct of the Military-Industrial- Congressional complex and I am doing so under a pen name. This is a short sample of some of the information in that book.

    First, the Joint Strike Fighter(F-35) requirements came from 11 different countries and 3 US military services. It was advertised as a clean sheet of paper design for a true fifth gen fighter. The old adage about using a committee to design a horse and you wind up with a camel is true. Only this time it’s a turd, not a camel. The pilots who fly it call it the Turd. It is more than a turd - it is an accident waiting to happen and one day it will take the life of a brave American pilot just like the F-22 has. For example, I was there the day they had to use a chain saw to cut open the canopy of the first test jet to get the pilot out because it wouldn’t open. He was sitting there in the Ft Worth 100+ degree sun literally baking alive. They towed the jet into a hangar but he was still cooking. He had to be lifted out through the hole and rushed to the medical center to be re hydrated using IV. Never saw that on the evening news, did you? The AC system on the jet quit working during the test flight because of a faulty part from one of the way too many subcontractors who sold crappy parts to Lockheed so, with cockpit temps soaring above 100 degrees, he aborted the test flight and RTB’d only to find that the canopy wouldn’t open. Not an easy day. Why did Lockheed buy crappy parts you ask? Another old adage applies here: Follow the money. Congressional pressure/influence coupled with poor processes and procedures and a cost cutting mentality because of a Firm, Fixed Price contract well over $200B for an unproven aircraft using high risk immature technologies. Gee, what could possibly go wrong?

    Let’s follow the money: You see; the program is one of the largest political pork programs in the history of the US. That’s why it will never be cancelled. It has lined the pockets of Republicans and Democrats, ensured their re-elections and made $MM’s for their contractor cronies and is probably the best example of bipartisan politics in recent history. Boondoggle is a kind term. This has to be considered criminal. People are afraid that if Donald Trump becomes president, he’ll start investigating things like this because he’s not an insider and he will make them pay – a novel concept.

    The 11 countries were there just for show and as potential buyers for the trumped up business cases. We (the US government and Lockheed) gave them the illusion of importance. The early meetings I was involved in never ever took the clean sheet of paper approach - NFW. Everyone was overwhelmed by the steaming pile of requirements and so basically just ignored them and used the 3 US military services. We were at the Paris Airshow one year and I remember one exec saying something like “those assholes (foreign countries) will buy anything we make and if they don’t like it, then they can go buy some piece of shit MIG or Dassault”. The US Air Force and Lockheed already had the design. Remember that Boeing was in the competition with their version - called Miss Piggy by some and Monica by others because of the gaping air intake and big nose (yes, it was around that time when Ole Bill and Monica got caught exchanging DNA samples in the Oval Orifice). The program was being run by the USAF, who has dictated fighter design for years. The 11 countries and Navy and USMC? Well, the USAF was just being nice and inclusive but at the end of the day, GEN Jumper and the fly boys went with what they knew, and that was the F-22 heritage. Lockheed execs did a masterful job of convincing them that they could re-use much of the F-22 design. Look at a picture of a Raptor and a Turd flying together. Tell the difference? Subtle details but most obviously the Raptor has 2 engines and the Turd has one.

    Background: In 2006, congress and the DOD, in a rare moment of intelligent clarity and bipartisanship concern for the tax payer, cancelled the F-22,whose costs were spiraling out of control. The Raptor also had known problems and issues; most notably the pilot oxygen system, which has never been totally fixed and cost at least one pilot his life. I was in the company of some Raptor pilots about a year ago and they still have the infamous “Raptor cough”, a dry hacking sound. Ask yourself why the Raptor has never been used in combat. The real answer is that it takes so much time, effort and money to keep the jets flying and so it can’t sustain the sortie rates required for major combat ops.Back then Lockheed and the USAF were deeply invested in the F-22; financially and emotionally. We knew that it was on the chopping block, so the USAF and Lockheed did a full court press. Lockheed wanted to sell more jets and the USAF wanted to buy more jets. It was a classic example of the self-licking ice cream cone. We jointly performed huge multi million dollar warfare modeling and simulation studies using worst case scenarios of what would happen if a peer competitor country that may start with the letter C were to launch a major all-out attack against the US. We needed to build the case for more F-22’s and so we started with the answer and backed into the analysis results to say “See, we need 200 more jets or we’re all gonna f#*king die!” Congress and the DOD amazingly saw through the ruse and so it got cancelled. That may have been that last intelligent thing congress and the DOD ever did before the liberal crazies took over and now spend more time worrying about legislating transgender bathrooms, having women in Special Forces and registering our guns instead of enforcing the laws that are already in place.

    So Lockheed had a huge amount of sunk costs in jigs, tooling and components for the F-22. Reusing the F-22 design would leverage those sunk costs, saving millions in startup and production costs – or so went the line of reasoning. Good idea, bad assumption, very poorly executed. Remember: Firm, fixed price.Which translates to: save money every which way you can and be the low bidder.Use less people and short cut processes was where it hit the fan. Who needs to pay a group of engineers to create a test plans? We don’t need no stinking test plans! Processes and documentation take a hit and quality goes down the toilet. A huge rift developed between Lockheed and the USAF/government and continues to this day. Budgets and schedules ran amok. People were fired or quit when they complained. Technical debt piled up on the I&T side of the V model. Agile processes were introduced on top of an already abbreviated the V model. The leaner we tried to run, the slower we got. Confusion and paranoia settled in at Ft Worth. Then corporate wide layoffs started due to Sequestration. Key technical people were laid off and replaced with new hires. The top execs were so out of touch with what was happening in the trenches it was pathetic. Mismanagement at all levels. They brought in some new execs during a major house cleaning back in 2012 but it still hasn’t helped much. Too little, too late. The F-35 is still a Turd and always will be. It has not nor ever will perform as claimed. Most likely it will suffer even more from maintenance issues than the F-22. And I fear that someday soon, that piss poor excuse for a fighter jet will cost the life of another brave American pilot. During this time, that peer competitor country that starts with C(hina) and Russia have developed their 5th gen fighters and some analysts say they perform better than the F-35 ever will in many aspects. I sort of chuckle when I see the Chinese fighter obviously patterned after the F-22 but with forward canards. Asian countries love to pattern their stuff after the West but with their own twists. Ok, China, go ahead and steal our technology - the jokes on you this time. Canards? So cold war.

    But that’s just one program and there is more and it keeps getting worse but wait for the book. It’ll really piss you off.
     
  12. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Madly, Truly, Deeply
    —John A. Tirpak11/8/2016
    [​IMG]
    AFA Caption
    An F-35B Lightning II with Marine Operational Test & Evaluation Squadron 1 fires an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile during US Marine F-35B operational tests, held Aug. 9, 2016 through Sept. 1, 2016. US Marine Corps photo.



    BodyText
    Though it looks like one, the F-35 is “not a fighter,” but is “infinitely, exponentially” better than one, and is certainly far more than a mere replacement for the AV-8B Harrier in Marine Corps usage, F-35B pilot Lt. Col. David Berke said Monday. Speaking at an AFA Mitchell Institute event on Capitol Hill about the capabilities of fifth generation air combat, Berke said the Marine Corps is having to shift its thinking about the capability that the F-35B brings to naval aviation. The jet’s voracious information-collecting capability “opens up opportunities” for the Marine Corps to have a significant effect on combat taking place “much further inland” than was possible with the range-limited and payload-restricted AV-8B. The F-35B, he said, offers the ability to gather information with almost no pilot involvement—and feed it to central command authorities—in a way unthinkable with any previous Marine Corps fighter, furthering joint force capability and interoperability. The Harrier flew and so does the F-35, and “that’s where the continuity ends,” he asserted, saying the F-35B, by about 2030, will have totally reshaped both the Marine Corps way of pursuing amphibious warfare and its role in joint air combat.
     
  13. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    One has to wonder why a piss ant little country like France could believe they could build a world class fighter.
     
  14. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    It strongly iritated you that we do better than you
     
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  15. halloweene

    halloweene Major MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Exactly why the US gov asked a report for to Rand Corp. In the seventies.... Conclusion : model not applicable to USA. Us think too much with $, not enough with neurons.

    BTW, the small country has as many Fields medals as the US... are we smarter???
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
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