“We are close to resolving these challenges and 2004 will be the year we instill real confidence with all stakeholders in our F-35 family of designs.”
—LM F-35 Year in Review (Tom Burbage)–
2004 would reveal the weight growth mess (SWAT), which would produce redesign needs, delay and cost added to the program.
Sux to be the owner of this program.
You don’t know what you are building because you only have 4 percent of flight testing done yet you want the U.S. taxpayer on the hook for $50B in low rate initial production (LRIP) mistake-jets.
Supply-chain; yeah that is one of the problems. Yes there are “forces of evil” working on this program but that takes on a different meaning depending who you are talking to.
There will be no great production learning-curve to build the fake low costs claim on because hundreds of orders are missing early in the program. This means any partner nation won’t have a low price because there is nothing to back up the PowerPoint slides. Pretty hard to buy at a peak-production learning curve advantage when there is no peak production in the years claimed. Also, you can not have a proper learning curve if the design is not stable. Guess what? The design is not stable.
And what about all those small businesses that were counting on the gravy train building widgets on a certain schedule? We have mentioned this before, but over to the LM sales guy Burbage.
The challenges are particularly acute for some suppliers that provide parts for the Stovl variant, which is “going through a pause right now,” Burbage says, referring to the Defense Department’s imposed probationary slowdown on F-35B procurement. These companies have gone from supplying “17 to 18 units last year to two or three now, so you can imagine their challenges,”
Well that, and the missing STOVL orders from the UK. (as well as the USMC). And it isn’t just STOVL. That is a lot less widgets for the people that make those common parts for all variants.
Tell it to Quickstep Mr. Burbage.
F-35 Crushes Goals For Early 2011 Test Flights
Or consider this graphic. What is colored represents the amount of test flights completed today against the proposed schedule circa 2007.
Like it or not, the U.S. Navy is headed toward an obsolete carrier air wing that won’t be able to face modern threats. This is important since we are buying overly expensive aircraft carriers. And yeah, getting rid of the S-3 was a dumb idea considering that it could perform a variety of ISR and SIGINT/COMINT missions out at range. Also vs dirt insurgents and pirates with a a modern E/O pod, it could provide enhanced capability.
Some though, think that–even after all of the amazing funding mistakes–things are looking up for the carrier air wing. I don’t see how with shrinking budgets.
What the article doesn’t say is that the Navy had to keep big carriers for the sake of keeping big carriers. In the 1990’s the Navy’s plan for the future was to put something on deck that could be painted up to look like a carrier aircraft.
We might fix this problem but I doubt it. The carrier will never be able to go into high threat areas and face down an enemy. Against stiff air defenses, the Tomahawk won’t always get through.
But hey, victory for the bean counter.
The Canadian DND defines the term “grasping at straws” with their wish to burden the taxpayer with the Just So Flawed F-35; an aircraft that has a mountain of problems to work through; has around 4 percent of its flight testing done; and is program managed by a dysfunctional leadership that is on a kamikaze death ride off the known map of reality.
If true wild spin marketing was used from the aerospace industry, the Libyan campaign–and the weak air defense–justifies the Block II Super Hornet for Canada.
ELP graphic 2011
The graphic above shows the U.S. Navy F-35C version without the stock on-board gun, but you get the idea.
Personally, I think Canada should start over with a blank piece of paper. So far the only thing proven thus far is that the Canadian DND leadership have serious mental health issues when trying to justify this Ponzi scheme. I am giving them that out; rather than to propose that they have intent to defraud the taxpayer.
Lexington Lockheed Martin Institute, every day is April Fool’s Day when performing bombast about the F-35. Here is their latest effort of cheerleading for the F-35; even to the point of claiming the jet will work against high end SAMs. That is a job for the F-22 and the F-35 was designed with that fact in mind. If anything, the F-35 program is taking money away from other war-winning systems that can take on first team threats like the F-22 and a new long range bomber along with aircraft like the UCAS-N which has the potential to be highly successful as a land based strike aircraft.
I don’t know how LI justifies “fifth-generation fighter” and electronic warfare statements of the F-35 among other wild claims.
Meanwhile, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) has been consistently accurate about program risks.
When will people realize that not much of what the Lexington institute states about the F-35 is true?
The Lexington Institute’s Lockheed Martin’s Mr. Thompson Baghdad Bob is at it again.
The conventional-takeoff Air Force version will be the most heavily produced F-35, comprising over 70 percent of the domestic production run and almost all of the export sales. The Air Force plans to buy 1,763 conventional-takeoff F-35s, while the Navy and Marine Corps collectively will buy 680 of their two variants. Overseas allies are expected to buy thousands of the planes over the next three decades as they replace aging Cold War fighters and seek a low-cost solution to their requirement for a versatile and survivable tactical aircraft.
Charlie Sheen will clean up his act. The Lions are “on-track” to win the Super Bowl next year. Afghanistan is winnable. The U.S. will see fiscal health by the next election.