Dismiss Notice
Welcome to IDF- Indian Defence Forum , register for free to join this friendly community of defence enthusiastic from around the world. Make your opinion heard and appreciated.

The Flying White Elephant

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

  1. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    15,346
    Likes Received:
    2,380
    Country Flag:
    United States
    Its not likely that the USA is going to field an aircraft that is not going to be far superior to everything else out there. Its really hard for people from 3rd world countries to envision what future warfare is going to require.
     
  2. Guynextdoor

    Guynextdoor Lt. Colonel SENIOR MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Messages:
    4,652
    Likes Received:
    1,609
    Queen Elizabeth Carriers, they're exclusively carrying STOVL configuration of F 35.
     
  3. randomradio

    randomradio Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Messages:
    10,716
    Likes Received:
    5,701
    The new British carriers.
     
  4. randomradio

    randomradio Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Messages:
    10,716
    Likes Received:
    5,701
    There is a problem on this forum. Neither side really has a balanced view on the F-35. BMD says it's the bee's knees. Picdel says it's as useless as tits on a bull.

    The fact is the F-35 is wrongly advertized as an air superiority aircraft. And it's very, very late, so it will lose relevance only that much faster. Kinda like our Tejas Mk1. That's about it.
     
  5. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    8,109
    Likes Received:
    5,902
    Country Flag:
    France
    But there is Lockheed Martin and the JPO who say that the plane is extraordinary and even managed to take off while the DT & E makes an impressive list of very serious anomalies every year.

    So we have the absurd situation where L.M. tells us thanks to the data fusion the F-35 performed very well in the last red flag and Gilmore who tells us that the data fusion still does not work.

    As we also have the testimony of Danish pilots who tells us how the exercises with the F-35 are biased I believe rather Gilmore than L.M.
     
  6. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    8,109
    Likes Received:
    5,902
    Country Flag:
    France
    The decision is made? It will not be fielded?
     
  7. randomradio

    randomradio Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Messages:
    10,716
    Likes Received:
    5,701
    That's why real buyers test. :D

    Those who buy without testing or are forced to buy are not buying for the capabilities anyway.
     
  8. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    15,346
    Likes Received:
    2,380
    Country Flag:
    United States
    Don't worry about it, its going to be great.
     
  9. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    8,109
    Likes Received:
    5,902
    Country Flag:
    France
    You are not demanding
     
  10. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    8,109
    Likes Received:
    5,902
    Country Flag:
    France
    Not true you had to decrease specification to get key parameter achievable. And some deficiency are by design and will require frame redesigns to fix:
    • Explain to us just how the F-35 will fix its thermal overheating in weapon bays (without having to impose flight restrictions to compensate)?
    • Explain to us just how the F-35 will fix the vibrations in the weapons bay (that can damage munitions) when approaching the speed of sound?
    • Explain to us just how the F-35 will improve its pathetic 2-3x operating cost (when compared to the F-18SH).
    • Explain to us just how the F-35 will fix its inability to use Afterburner for prolonged times without damaging the stealth coating on its tail?
    And F-35A useless tailhook, failed De-Icing, wonky sensor fusion display, failed gun, so on so on...This jet is a loser that is benefiting from the best PR campaign ever seen!
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  11. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    15,346
    Likes Received:
    2,380
    Country Flag:
    United States
    Not a problem, am not an engineer, but if its really a problem and most of the so called problems that come up are not really problems or are things that were fixed some time ago.
     
  12. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    8,109
    Likes Received:
    5,902
    Country Flag:
    France
    On which planet do you live? I am an engineer who has run aeronautical programs and I can tell you that these are real problems that have persisted for a long time, that L.M. is unable to correct and that will burst you in the face.
     
  13. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    8,109
    Likes Received:
    5,902
    Country Flag:
    France
    Price Tag Is the Only Thing Stealthy about the F-35

    Much has been said since the election about further F-35 purchases and affordability. President Trump questioned the program’s value in a series of tweets before the inauguration, but hopes that the program would be dramatically altered were dashed when he declared he had convinced Lockheed Martin to shave $600 million from the price of the latest batch of F-35s. Lockheed Martin and their partners within the JPO had already stated the price would be lower, largely due to improved efficiencies in manufacturing. On the surface, this seems like a great development for the American taxpayers, but any money “saved” now will end up costing far more in the future because we are buying a bunch of untested prototypes that will require extensive and expensive retrofits later. And this problem will only be compounded if Lockheed Martin and the Joint Program Office get their way and Congress approves a three year “block buy” of 400 F-35s before the program completes the testing and evaluation process.

    The prices quoted in the press are usually based on the cost of an Air Force conventional take-off variant, the F-35A—the least expensive of the three variants. In addition, that cost figure is only an estimate of future costs, one that assumes everything will proceed perfectly for the F-35 from here on out—which is unlikely as the program enters its most technologically challenging test phase. As this latest DOT&E report shows, the program has a long way to go before the F-35 will be ready for combat.

    The Joint Program Office recently claimed that the price for an F-35A went below $100 million each in the FY 2016 contract. Yet in its FY 2016 legislation, Congress appropriated $119.6 million per F-35A.

    Even this amount doesn’t tell the whole story: it only covers the procurement cost, not what it will cost to bring F-35As up to the latest approved configuration, nor the additional Military Construction costs to house and operate F-35As. And of course, the $119.6 million price tag does not include any of the research and development costs to develop and test the F-35A. The 2016 production-only cost for the Marine Corps’ F-35B and the Navy’s F-35C is $166.4 million and $185.2 million per plane, respectively.

    First, they don’t include how much it will cost to fix design flaws discovered in recent, current, and future testing—a not insubstantial amount of money. Nor do they include the costs of planned modernization efforts, such as for Block 4 of the aircraft, which will be incorporated into all F-35As in the future. The Government Accountability Office estimates the program will spend at least $3 billion on the modernization effort in the next six years. For example, modifications to fix just some of the problems identified up to now cost $426.7 million, according to the GAO. Each of these aircraft were already modified and they will require more in the future. The Air Force has already acknowledged it must retrofit all 108 of the F-35As delivered to it and in the operational fleet. These costs will continue to grow as known problems are fixed and new ones are discovered, and they are an integral part of the cost per airplane.

    As the program moves out of the easy part of the testing—the development or laboratory testing—and into the critical combat (operational) testing period in the next few years, even more problems will be uncovered. A good example occurred in late 2016 when engineers discovered debris inside the fuel tank of an F-35. Upon closer inspection, they found that the insulation wrapped around coolant lines had disintegrated because a subcontractor failed to use the proper sealant. And, when the GAO estimated it would cost $426.7 million to fix some of the known problems in the F-35As already in depot, the coolant line insulation problem had not been discovered. Fixes to this and other problems will all have to be devised, tested, and implemented throughout the fleet of aircraft already produced and purchased.

    Second, the incomplete unit cost estimates used by the JPO, Lockheed Martin, and the Pentagon in general—their so called “flyaway” unit costs—do not include the purchase of support equipment (tools, computers for ALIS, simulators for training, initial spare parts, and more) needed to enable the F-35A fleet to operate. Quite literally, the DoD’s “flyaway” cost does not buy a system capable of flight operations.

    The Pentagon has already committed to purchasing 346 F-35s since the program entered into what DoD euphemistically calls “Low Rate Initial Production.” The 798 jets the services would have at the end of the block buy of about 450 from 2018 to 2021 would be nearly 33 percent of the total procurement…all before the program completes initial operational testing and has discovered what works as intended and what doesn’t. It is important to note that the real problem-discovery process will only begin when operational testing starts in 2019, as scheduled, or more likely in 2020 or 2021 when operational representative aircraft are actually ready to be tested. The 108 aircraft the Air Force has begun to modify are only the tip of the iceberg, and that number does not include the hundreds of Marine Corps and Navy aircraft to be similarly modified.

    An essential part of the question about F-35 costs is whether it makes sense to buy a large block of aircraft and worry about the costs to fix their yet-to-be-discovered problems later. It is certainly a good way to add to the cost but hide it in the interim.

    The proposed “block buy” poses numerous additional questions. Perhaps the most relevant question of all asked by Dr. Gilmore is:

    Would the Block Buy be consistent with the “fly before you buy” approach to acquisition advocated by the Administration, as well as with the rationale for the operational testing requirements specified in title 10, U.S. Code, or would it be considered a “full rate” decision before IOT&E is completed and reported to Congress, not consistent with the law?

    Federal law allows multiple-year contracts to purchase government property so long as certain criteria have been met. Congress typically authorizes most weapons buying programs on a year-by-year basis to ensure proper oversight of the program and to maintain incentives for the contractor to satisfactorily perform. According to Title 10 U.S.C., Section 2306b, for a program to be eligible for multiyear procurement, the contract must promote national security, should result in substantial savings, have little chance of being reduced, and have a stable design. The F-35 seems to be failing at least two of the first three criteria and is most certainly failing the fourth.

    An essential part of the question about F-35 costs is whether it makes sense to buy a large block of aircraft and worry about the costs to fix their yet-to-be-discovered problems later. It is certainly a good way to add to the cost but hide it in the interim.

    And there still remains the cost of actually operating the F-35 fleet. DoD has estimated that all training and operational operations over the 50-year life of the program (assuming a 30-year life for each aircraft) will be $1 trillion, making the cost to buy and operate the F-35 at least $1.4 trillion.

    The cost just to operate the F-35 is so high because the aircraft is so complex compared to other aircraft. Based on the Air Force’s own numbers, in FY 2016 each F-35 flew an average of 163 hours at $44,026 per flying hour. For comparison purposes, in the same year, each F-16 in the fleet flew an average of 258 hours at $20,398 per flying hour. A-10s flew 358 hours on average at $17,227 per hour. While these hours have never been independently audited, and it is it is impossible to know if they are complete, the available data indicates that the F-35 is more than twice as expensive to fly as the aircraft it is to replace.

    One of the more significant ways the Pentagon is hiding the true costs of the F-35 is that it has put off until Block 4 the development and delivery of many key capabilities that should have been delivered in Block 3. Currently planned, but not included in the official cost estimate of the F-35—or even as a complete separate acquisition program—is a four-part Block 4 upgrade costing at least $3 billion, according to the Government Accountability Office. In addition, DOT&E reports that there are “17 documented failures to meet specification requirements for which the program acknowledges and intends to seek contract specification changes in order to close out SDD [System Development and Demonstration].” That means there are 17 key combat capabilities the F-35 program can’t yet deliver and that the program office is attempting to give Lockheed Martin a pass on delivery until the later in the advanced development process.

    Although no one has publicly stated which 17 combat capabilities won’t be included now, they were all functions the F-35 was supposed to have, and for which the American people are paying full price. So we will be paying more money in the future to upgrade F-35s purchased now so they can perform the functions we already paid for.

    The $119.6 million unit cost for the F-35A in 2016 is a gross underestimate, and the additional costs will not be fully known for years. Those who pretend the cost in 2016 is somewhere below $100 million each are simply deceiving the public.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.pogo.org/straus/issues/weapons/2017/f35-continues-to-stumble.html
     
  14. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    8,109
    Likes Received:
    5,902
    Country Flag:
    France
    Combat Effectiveness at Risk

    In every first-rate air force, turning out superior fighter pilots requires them to fly at least 30 hours a month to hone and improve their combat skills. Here lies the single largest cause of the F-35’s lack of combat effectiveness: because of the plane’s unprecedented complexity and the corresponding reliability and maintenance burdens, pilots simply cannot fly them often enough to get enough real flying hours to develop the combat skills they need.

    Pilot skills atrophy if the pilots can’t get enough flight hours. Even with superior technology, less skilled pilots could be outmatched in the sky by highly trained pilots flying less sophisticated aircraft. Inadequate flight time also creates a dangerous safety situation that threatens pilots’ lives in training. The Marine Corps suffered 9 serious aircraft crashes in the past year, with 14 people killed. The Corps’ top aviator recently said the spike in crashes is mainly due to pilots not having enough flying hours.

    This trend will worsen with the F-35. Given its inherent complexity and the associated cost, it is highly unlikely the F-35 will ever be able to fly often enough to turn out winning pilots.

    [​IMG]

    Can the F-35 Be Where It’s Needed, When It’s Needed?


    Even if, and this is a big IF, the F-35 could perform in combat the way Lockheed Martin says it can (to say nothing of how a competent replacement for the F-16, A-10, and F-18 should perform), the program is still next to worthless if the jets can’t be where they need to be when they are needed.

    Several factors contribute to the difficulty in deploying an F-35 squadron in a timely fashion. One is the F-35’s mission planning system, a part of the ALIS network. After the details of a combat mission (such as targets, predicted enemy radar locations, the routes to be flown, and weapon load) are worked out, the data needs to be programed into the aircraft. This information is loaded onto cartridges which are then plugged into the jet. F-35 pilots program these cartridges on the Offboard Mission Support (OMS) system.

    The problem, DOT&E found, was that pilots consistently rated the system used to support mission planning “cumbersome, unusable, and inadequate for operational use.” They report that the time it takes to build the mission plan files is so long that it disrupts the planning cycle for missions with more than just one aircraft. This means that when several F-35s receive a mission, they can’t go through all the pre-flight processes fast enough to launch on time if anything but a huge amount of planning time is allotted.

    The Air Force conducted a major test of the F-35 program when it conducted a deployment demonstration from Edwards Air Force Base in California to Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho in February and March 2016. This was the service’s first attempt to use an updated version of the ALIS (the ground-based computer system that is supposed to diagnose mechanical problems, order and track replacement parts, and guide maintenance crews through repairs).

    Whenever a squadron deploys, it must establish an ALIS hub wherever the F-35 is deployed. Crews set up an ALIS Standard Operating Unit (SOU), which consists of several cases of computer equipment. Technicians will use these to set up a small mainframe which must then be plugged into the world-wide ALIS network. It took several days for the crews to get ALIS working on the local base network. After extensive troubleshooting, IT personnel figured out they had to change several settings on Internet Explorer so ALIS users could log into the system. This included lowering security settings, which DOT&E noted with commendable understatement was “an action that may not be compatible with required cybersecurity and network protection standards.”

    The ALIS data must go wherever a squadron goes. Crews must transfer the data from the squadron’s main ALIS computers at the home station to the deployed ALIS SOU before the aircraft are permitted to fly missions. This process took three days during the Mountain Home deployment. This was faster than in earlier demonstrations, but Lockheed Martin provided eight extra ALIS administrators for the exercise. It is unclear if the contractor or the Air Force will include this level of support in future deployments. When the squadron redeployed back to Edwards at the end of the exercise, it took administrators four days to transfer all the data back to the main ALIS computer. Delays of this kind will limit the F-35’s ability to rapidly deploy in times of crisis. Even if the jets can be positioned in enough time to respond to a crisis, problems like lengthy uploading times could keep them on the ground when they are needed in the sky. An aircraft immobilized on the ground is a target, not an asset.

    Another time-consuming process involves adding new aircraft to each ALIS standard operating unit. Every time an F-35 is moved from one base to another where ALIS is already up, it must be inducted into that system. It takes 24 hours. Thus, when an F-35 deploys to a new base, an entire day is lost as the data is processed. And only one plane at a time can upload. If an entire squadron, typically 12 aircraft, needed to be inducted, the entire process would take nearly two weeks, forcing a commander to slowly roll out his F-35 aircraft into combat.

    There have also been delays with the program’s critical mission software. As mentioned before, the F-35 requires expansive mission data loads (MDLs) for the aircraft’s sensors and mission systems to function properly. MDLs, in part, include information about enemy and friendly radar systems. They send the search parameters for the jet’s sensors to allow them to properly identify threats. These need to be updated to include the latest information. They are also specific for each major geographic region.

    The MDLs are all programmed at the U.S. Reprogramming Lab at Florida’s Eglin AFB and then sent out to all the relevant squadrons. The lab is one of the most crucial components in the entire F-35 program. According to DOT&E, the lab must be capable of “rapidly creating, testing and optimizing MDLs, and verifying their functionality under stressing conditions representative of real-world scenarios, to ensure the proper functioning of F-35 mission systems and the aircraft’s operational effectiveness in both combat and the IOT&E of the F-35 with Block 3F.”

    Officials identified critical deficiencies with management of this lab in 2012. Taxpayers spent $45 million between 2013 and 2016 to address these concerns. Despite the warnings and the extra funds, development of the lab continues to be plagued with mismanagement that prevents “efficient creating, testing, and optimization of the MDLs for operational aircraft” in the current basic combat configurations. The lab needs to be upgraded to support each software version being used on the F-35. The lab is currently configured to support the block 2B and 3i software versions. The first full combat capable software version for the F-35 will be Block 3F. The lab requires significant changes to support this version, which will be necessary for combat testing and, more importantly, full combat readiness.

    The lab is so far behind that some of the necessary equipment hasn’t even been purchased yet. For example, this facility is also dependent on thespecialized radio frequency generators mentioned earlier to re-create the kind of signals a potential adversary might use against the F-35. The lab will use these to test the MDLs before they are sent out to be loaded on the fleet aircraft to ensure the jet’s sensors will identify them properly.

    In the rush to a pretend initial operational capability, the Air Force and the Marines have actually created an aircraft completely unready to face the enemy.

    [​IMG]


    http://www.pogo.org/straus/issues/weapons/2017/f35-continues-to-stumble.html
     
  15. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    15,346
    Likes Received:
    2,380
    Country Flag:
    United States
    Sites like Pogo are never going to say any thing good about the F35. There audience is the antimilitary groups in the USA. Any system as the F35 is going to take some time to work out all the problems, if ever, it does not mean the F35 is not far superior and a generation ahead of every other plane out there. Expecially 40 year old designed 4th generation Rafales.

    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page