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Posted: 10/11/2005 4:51:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2005 5:22:50 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]
Analysts Predict QDR Will Bring JSF Cuts
By MICHAEL FABEY



A Pentagon tactical aircraft study being done for the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) likely will recommend fleetwide reductions that will lead to a cut in domestic F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) purchases, said Lexington Institute analyst Loren Thompson.

The QDR team in the Office of Net Assessment “is likely to recommend a 30 percent cut in tactical air forces,” Thompson said.

That would likely mean the Air Force would return to its earlier plans to buy about 400 F/A-22s Raptors and 1,000 F-35s. “In the case of the Navy, that cut could result in elimination of the carrier-based variant of the F-35,” he said.

The JSF program office did not comment by press time.

In June, the Pentagon’s quarterly Selected Acquisition Report (SAR) noted its plan to buy 2,458 JSFs to replace Air Force F-16s, the A through D models of the Navy F/A-18, and Marine AV-8Bs. But JSF program officials in September acknowledged that the Air Force ultimately will buy fewer than its planned 1,760.

The Teal Group, which tracks the military aviation industry, also says JSF cuts are coming. It believes the Air Force purchase will drop to about 1,200.

John Kent, the JSF spokesman for prime contractor Lockheed Martin, said, “If there was a single-service, U.S.-only program, talk of reductions by the OSD [Office of Secretary of Defense] might be more damaging.”

Should the program be cut, however, it would be the second time since it was launched in 2001.

The Navy buy, now slated to be about 480, used to be 548. The cut helped boost the per-plane cost between $5 million and $10 million.

A congressional analyst said that could devastate a program that has made affordability a key pillar. As numbers drop, unit prices would rise.

Christopher Bolkcom, aviation analyst for the Congressional Research Service (CRS), said major domestic cuts could boost the cost per fighter past the $100 million cited in the current SAR, a number that includes research, development and construction costs.

Teal’s Richard Aboulafia said the JSF fly-away price tag needs to be about $45 million to be competitive. Initially, the export plane was planned to cost $30 million to $40 million in fiscal 1994 dollars.

Domestically, per plane fly-away costs for each service was estimated at about $35 million for the Marines, $31 million to $38 million for the Navy and $28 million to $31 million for the Air Force.

After a rebaselining of the program announced in 2004, the 2005 per-plane fly-away costs rose to about $55 million to $60 million for the Marines and Navy, and $45 million for the Air Force.

Lockheed executives said there will be enough orders to make the plane affordable for domestic and foreign buyers.

“We have always believed the numbers would be floating,” Kent said. “But they would always remain big.”

Despite cuts, Aboulafia added, the JSF program would survive.

“With 1,000 for the Air Force, and as long as the Marines keep their 400 or 500 planes, that should make for a manageable program,” he said, “providing the exports come through.”

Despite gloomy forecasts, Bolkcom said, the JSF likely will get the volume it needs to be a viable domestic and export program.

As a stealthy multimission aircraft that serves different services — not to mention different world militaries — the JSF would seem to fit the bill for what the Pentagon says it’s been wanting, he said.

“This is multinational,” Kent said. “There are a whole lot more customers.” •
(from www.defensenews.com)
article linkage

Link Posted: 10/12/2005 9:22:26 AM EDT
next day bumpitude
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 9:29:27 AM EDT
I'm still waiting to see the plans to overhaul the airlift fleet.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 9:32:07 AM EDT
You'd think the USMC version would be the first to get the axe. It has to be one of the more expensive parts of the development costs. I'm sure it's still around because of foreign sales.

If the damned Brits would make their carriers into real carriers by putting catapults on them, we could save a butt-ton in development costs.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 9:35:14 AM EDT
We've already spent the money on development.  Plus the Air Force was considering trading some of it CTOLs for V/STOLs.  Although I'm sure that's on the block too.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 9:35:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2005 9:39:28 AM EDT by AeroE]
We are anxiously awaiting the QDR to see how our business is going to develop in the next couple of years.  The war is causing CRAD money to dry up and large boatloads are being diverted from existing programs.  The report should be out by the end of the first week in October, maybe a week later.

By the way, we still have a group looking at another AV-8B variant, probably with afterburning nozzles.

Now, if we can control 787 costs ...
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 9:36:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 9:39:10 AM EDT
Good to hear they're finally choosing the 'Heavy' over the 'Lite' option...

Now, if only the Army would come to it's senses & do the same thing with their beloved 'light armor' (Stryker/FCS) vs continued improvements on, or an in-class replacement to the M1....
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 9:43:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
So I hear…

The British DoD is reconsidering it's decision to purchase the STVOL version of the F-35 as that version is below spec and behind schedule and the most likely option to be cut out of the program.

If all else fails we can always resort to plan B and buy the F/A-18E Super Hornet we rated as the No2 choice.

Downselect is in the new year. Be a major PITA if the F-35 bites the dust just as I'm moving into it here in the UK. The same thing happened to me with the Boeing X-32!!!!!

ANdy



No...go for the Rafale!!  
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 9:44:12 AM EDT
no no no...god damnit....as I understand it, if AF gets their precious JSF....we get their A-10s. They BETTER get their damn JSF.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 9:50:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JSteensen:
no no no...god damnit....as I understand it, if AF gets their precious JSF....we get their A-10s. They BETTER get their damn JSF.




I thought the Army was prohibited form flying fixed-wing aircraft - ???

CMOS
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 9:57:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
So I hear…

The British DoD is reconsidering it's decision to purchase the STVOL version of the F-35 as that version is below spec and behind schedule and the most likely option to be cut out of the program.

If all else fails we can always resort to plan B and buy the F/A-18E Super Hornet we rated as the No2 choice.

Downselect is in the new year. Be a major PITA if the F-35 bites the dust just as I'm moving into it here in the UK. The same thing happened to me with the Boeing X-32!!!!!

ANdy



Andy, if you could go ahead and post your resume in .pdf format, that would be great.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 9:58:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CMOS:

Originally Posted By JSteensen:
no no no...god damnit....as I understand it, if AF gets their precious JSF....we get their A-10s. They BETTER get their damn JSF.




I thought the Army was prohibited form flying fixed-wing aircraft - ???

CMOS




The army has tons of fixed wing aircraft. They just arent fighters or bombers.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 10:04:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2005 10:05:57 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 10:07:07 AM EDT
GOOD...  Now get us a new PRV!
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 10:33:28 AM EDT
Idiots.  Always planning to fight the last war.

I'm sure a 30% reduction in tactical air is making China smile.

Link Posted: 10/12/2005 11:02:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TRW:
Idiots.  Always planning to fight the last war.

I'm sure a 30% reduction in tactical air is making China smile.




The idea is that JSF cuts will get the number of F-22's up from 179 to 400. F/A-22 will also have a pretty robust ground pounding ability by the time their done with it. Thus the JSF losses shouldn't hurt as much while getting a dominant Anti-air ability.( 'cept for that damn IRST).
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 11:36:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CMOS:

Originally Posted By JSteensen:
no no no...god damnit....as I understand it, if AF gets their precious JSF....we get their A-10s. They BETTER get their damn JSF.




I thought the Army was prohibited form flying fixed-wing aircraft - ???

CMOS



Curtis LeMay is long gone....
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 11:44:30 AM EDT
Cutting the navy version is a mistake.  Cut the USAF order way back but not totally and keep the Navy F-35s the navy needs a stealth arm in the abscence of future projects.  Will the navy have UCAVs' soon?
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 11:54:43 AM EDT
It is possible that the Air Force might be able to make up the difference in later F-35 orders, not to mention that in the near future UCAVs will be a huge force multiplier. The thing that worries me is the lack of new bomber programs, or air lift. We also need to get the military space program out of GAO hell and back into orbit.

Anyone hear anything recently on FB-22 or the rumored FB-23? How about the B-1R proposal, or Northrup Grummans standing offer of an additional 40 B-2s for $450million a copy?
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 12:02:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Armed_Scientist:
It is possible that the Air Force might be able to make up the difference in later F-35 orders, not to mention that in the near future UCAVs will be a huge force multiplier. The thing that worries me is the lack of new bomber programs, or air lift. We also need to get the military space program out of GAO hell and back into orbit.

Anyone hear anything recently on FB-22 or the rumored FB-23? How about the B-1R proposal, or Northrup Grummans standing offer of an additional 40 B-2s for $450million a copy?



We need air superiority fighters the F-15 is no longer superior to the Migs and Sukhois, and with the F-22 it is a #s game

Lot cheaper than 1Billion+ are they more capable?
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 12:05:43 PM EDT
The cost for R&D is divided by the number of jets ordered.  When the Air Force cut back to 21 Spirits the cost per unit went way up.  Now that the R&D has been paid for the cost per unit goes down.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 12:08:03 PM EDT
Current inventory of 50 Raptors and far less capable inventory



Vs.

Today, the PLA Air Force consists of 330,000 personnel, operating some 3,500 aircraft, over 1,000 surface-to-air missile systems, and several thousand anti-aircraft artillery. As a result of China’s ongoing force reduction and military modernisation, the size of the PLA Air Force has been decreasing since the mid-1980s, with most of its obsolete aircraft based on the 1950s-era Soviet designs being retired from service.

While the service continues shrinking in quantitative terms, the same is not necessarily so qualitatively. The modernisation of the PLA Air Force has introduced some momentous advances in terms of both service hardware and capability. During the past decade the PLA Air Force has purchased over 120 Russian-made Sokhoi Su-27 and Su-30 fighter aircraft, and is accepting indigenously produced third-generation aircraft such as the J-10, J-11 and JH-7. At the same time, elderly aircraft such as J-7, J-8 and Q-5 are being upgraded with better advanced avionics and weapon suites to enhance their performance. The next generation stealthy fighter aircraft is also currently under development.

Additional to the progress in combat aircraft, the PLA Air Force is quickly developing its capabilities in new areas such as the aerial refuelling tanker aircraft, airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft, airborne electronic warfare/countermeasures (EW/ECM) aircraft, long-range transport aircraft, advanced training aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The PLA Air Force is also obtaining the latest weapon systems including the Russian-made S-300 (SA-10/-12) surface-to-air missiles, R-77 (AA-12 Adder) medium-range air-to-air missiles, and accurate-guided ground strike weapons.

Although the PLA Air Force is still generally regarded as obsolete compared to Western air forces, it has already made some impressive progress in the past decade. As the PLA is transforming itself from an obsolete giant to a smaller, but more capable and modernised force ready to fight a local war under high-tech conditions, the PLA Air Force is expected to play a more important role in the future of warfare.


Link Posted: 10/12/2005 1:34:00 PM EDT
tag

and N-G has a standing offer to build more b-2's??  wow, never heard that before. Love to see some details.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 3:24:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2005 3:32:44 PM EDT by LonePathfinder]
One of the biggest dings in the "light option" for the F-35 is that its like the F-16 and F/A-18 and doesn't have the reach of the F/A-22.  Remember the F-16 was originally a day only with in visual range fighter and dumb bomb truck.  It was cheap thats why we got so many.  It was only later in life that it got all its teeth.   In the early part of OEF long range was key since we didn't have bases close by yet.  Range also mean loiter time.  Since its billed as a A-10 replacement this should also be another reason to question its short legs.  That said it still is cheaper (price is relative at this scale) than a F/A-22 and sometimes you don't need Air Dominance just Stealthy Bomb Delivery.


The B-2 order has been rumored for years now, I don't know if its much more than a pipe dream of an internet stealth pilot.

F/A-22 for Fighter Interceptor Wings
FB-22 or FB-23 for Fighter Bomber Wings
F-35 for multirole Fighter Wings
B-1 and B-2 for Strategic Bombardment

F-16's, A-10's and F-35's for AFRES And ANG

A-10 for CAS/RESCAP
F-16 for non stealth missions and use by AFRES and ANG for their component of AEFs
C-17 For Airlift
C-130 replacement
C-135/E-3/E-8/All support a/c replacement with one modular airframe

CV-22 for Pavelow/Pavehawk replacement and possibly AC-130 replacment

Nice to haves:
C-5 replacement
True A-10 replacement
UCAVs

Soon there will be a need for a T-38 replacement, or have they already chosen a Hawk derivative?  Been out o' the loop for a while.

Why are the marines stuck on the STOVL version?  I thought combat ops in GW1 and OIF and others proved that yea you can operate harriers close tot he front, but you still need a big ass log train for all your ordinance and that can only move at the speed of a truck convoy.  It was just as effective to have fighters on call orbiting the troops that operate from a base a bit further back but with proper facilities and plenty of ordinance lying around.  The only reason I can see is their Gator Flattops.  Why can they chuck an angled deck on them and keep 4-8 of the Navy version on them, or even and F/A-18?  Nothing to elaborate just something that can support a detachment of fast jets.  One or two cats and an angled deck.  You don't have enough fighters to worry about continuous air ops.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 3:43:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LonePathfinder:
CV-22 for Pavelow/Pavehawk replacement and possibly AC-130 replacment



No way will the Osprey be able to fulfill the CSAR roll in it's current form.  I'm not saying the down the road some sort of tilt wing platform won't be used but as it is right now it won't work.  the CV-22 will be awesome at it's intended purpose of getting teams from point A to point B in a hurry but as soon as the Air Force gets its hands on it... it will turn into an abortion like the Pavehawk is now.  Give us Jolly guys the MH-47 and let the pocket protector guys develop tilt-wing technology a little better before you try hoisting a fast roping from it.  

~Dg84
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 3:47:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NukeThemTillTheyGlow:
tag

and N-G has a standing offer to build more b-2's??  wow, never heard that before. Love to see some details.



There has been talk of a stripped down B-2C(conventional) bomber since around 2001. IIRC it was proposed to cost 2 to 4 billion large to reopen the Palmdale plant. It's never gone beyond the talk stage however. It would have been cool to get at least 29 more so every state could have have one named.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 4:01:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By NukeThemTillTheyGlow:
tag

and N-G has a standing offer to build more b-2's??  wow, never heard that before. Love to see some details.



There has been talk of a stripped down B-2C(conventional) bomber since around 2001. IIRC it was proposed to cost 2 to 4 billion large to reopen the Palmdale plant. It's never gone beyond the talk stage however. It would have been cool to get at least 29 more so every state could have have one named.



The B-2c proposal wasn't a 'striped down' aircraft, in fact it incorporated all the intelegence gathering systems and upgraded 'netcentric' com uplinks  that we are upgrading the current B-2 fleet with, the C was merely to denote it would be modified so that it could not carry nuclear weapons to comply with the now dead START III treaty limiting delivery systems. This is the same reason why B-1Bs were modified to carry conventional munitions only.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 4:15:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 5:40:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2005 5:41:15 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]

Originally Posted By Armed_Scientist:

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By NukeThemTillTheyGlow:
tag

and N-G has a standing offer to build more b-2's??  wow, never heard that before. Love to see some details.



There has been talk of a stripped down B-2C(conventional) bomber since around 2001. IIRC it was proposed to cost 2 to 4 billion large to reopen the Palmdale plant. It's never gone beyond the talk stage however. It would have been cool to get at least 29 more so every state could have have one named.



The B-2c proposal wasn't a 'striped down' aircraft, in fact it incorporated all the intelegence gathering systems and upgraded 'netcentric' com uplinks  that we are upgrading the current B-2 fleet with, the C was merely to denote it would be modified so that it could not carry nuclear weapons to comply with the now dead START III treaty limiting delivery systems. This is the same reason why B-1Bs were modified to carry conventional munitions only.



When I used the term stripped down I meant conventional / non- nuke, my bad if I implied otherwise.
Regardless I think a B-2C is only a pipe dream at this stage and budget wise.
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