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Thread: F-35 v F/A-18 Shornet-play ground style

  1. #46
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Are they planning to lease the SHornets from Boeing? Sell them to the USN/RAAF at a significant discount after ~5 years?

    I'm not sure how Canada is thinking they'll buy 18 "interim" SHornets without being stuck with them for the next 30 years.

    I figure the plan is to acquire some SHornets now then hold the competition in a few years. When the SHornet loses, they can trot out the argument that a mixed fleet of aircraft is too expensive to maintain, and since they already own 18 SHornets they'll have to fill out the fleet with more to maintain commonality despite its lesser utility.

  2. #47
    Senior Contributor JA Boomer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    Are they planning to lease the SHornets from Boeing? Sell them to the USN/RAAF at a significant discount after ~5 years?

    I'm not sure how Canada is thinking they'll buy 18 "interim" SHornets without being stuck with them for the next 30 years.

    I figure the plan is to acquire some SHornets now then hold the competition in a few years. When the SHornet loses, they can trot out the argument that a mixed fleet of aircraft is too expensive to maintain, and since they already own 18 SHornets they'll have to fill out the fleet with more to maintain commonality despite its lesser utility.
    One of the suggestions that has already been floated is a USN buy-back program for the interim Super Hornets. If you read the government memo - "to supplement the CF-18s until the permanent replacement arrives" - it's clear to me that the Super Hornets would be retired when the new fighter was brought online (assuming the Super Hornet wasn't selected).

    The important thing to note is that the government is EXPLORING this possibility, so they may very well find that it is not feasible for a variety of reasons but I also have no doubt Boeing will bend over backwards to make sure it happens. I wonder if it does happen, if that will effect the results of the fighter competition, reducing the cost of introducing the Super Hornet, and if that is the case, is that fair?

    The memo also says "within its current mandate, an open and transparent competition" so I'm inferring the competition will begin within the next 3 years.

  3. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by JA Boomer View Post
    The memo also says "within its current mandate, an open and transparent competition" so I'm inferring the competition will begin within the next 3 years.
    That'd be great, especially if all the planes fielded in the competition had the company CEO flying it and the major shareholder in the back seat and made them dogfight with live ammo, then we'd get a batch of aircraft that actually flew and fought superbly and were not just flying pork barrels!

  4. #49
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    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/a...-f-35-ix0yyb41

    Trump Says He Asked Boeing to Price a Competitor to Lockheed's F-35
    by Anthony Capaccio and Alex Wayne
    December 22, 2016, 2:57 PM PST December 22, 2016, 9:04 PM PST
    Trump said he wants Boeing to price out F-35 competitor
    President-elect’s comments are ‘late to the game’: analyst

    “Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!” Trump said Thursday in a post on Twitter.

    That probably isn’t possible.


    Lockheed’s $379 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is intended to be the mainstay of the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, replacing several older planes including early models of Boeing’s F-18. Advanced development of the F-35 started in 2001, and Lockheed is planning to build more than 3,000 of the aircraft for the U.S. and allied forces, a project that will create tens of thousands of jobs at factories across the country and overseas.

    In his trademark, 140-characters-or-less style, Trump did more than pit two iconic U.S. companies against each other: he sidelined decades of policy and practice in how the government spends billions of dollars annually on military hardware.

    ‘Bizarre’ Comments

    Moreover, by plunging himself personally into the complex arena of government contracting, Trump appeared to short-circuit a process that requires rigorous decision-making about what the Pentagon needs, an effort to create a level playing field, reviews by experts in defense policy and military hardware and congressional oversight.

    Trump’s comments were “bizarre,” Richard Aboulafia, a military aircraft analyst with the Teal Group, said in an e-mail. “The Navy remains the only U.S. customer for the Super Hornet, while the Marines are completely dependent on F-35Bs and the Air Force is sticking with the F-35A,” he said. “Thus, Trump’s tweet is both late to the game and completely irrelevant.”

    The exact impact of Trump’s tweet wasn’t immediately clear. The Defense Department has scaled back purchases of the F/A-18E/F model, which lacks stealth and other high-tech capabilities of the F-35, and would require extensive design changes to be comparable to the newer plane. The Pentagon had requested just two F-18 Super Hornets for the fiscal year that began in October, though Congress has indicated in spending bills that it would like to buy at least 12 more.

    Trump also didn’t provide enough information to assess what role he’d want a new Boeing bid to play controlling what he claims are out-of-control costs. If carried out into a actual acquisition program that survived court challenges and opposition from the Texas congressional delegation, where much of the jet is assembled, the move would accomplish for Boeing what it could not achieve in a head-to-head competition -- win a piece of the Joint Strike Fighter program it lost to Lockheed Martin back in the 2001 selection.

    Military Justification

    Trump’s tweet notwithstanding, there were clear military reasons for the Pentagon to go with the F-35.

    The Air Force, which plans to buy 1,763 of the F-35A model jets, would not fly Boeing’s minimally stealthy “fourth-generation” Super Hornet, which is designed for aircraft carrier operations.

    The Marines decided against buying the Super Hornet “and instead waited for the F-35B in part because the F/A-18E/F” is a conventional takeoff aircraft and the Corps “prefers aircraft capable of vertical operations,” said the Congressional Research Service in a July report.

    Loren Thompson, a defense analyst with the Lexington Institute who has followed the program since Lockheed Martin beat Boeing in the winner-take-all contract, said, “Mr. Trump needs to understand all the costs of substituting one plane for the other.”

    Super Hornets “require escort aircraft to compensate for their lack of stealth and” capability to gather, fuse and distribute data from weapons sensors, he said. Even the Navy’s initial doubts about the aircraft-carrier version of the F-35 “disappeared after a series of very successful sea trials for the new fighter,” he added.

    The Navy’s current plan is to rely on the F-35 during the opening days of a conflict “because it is invisible to enemy radar, and then shift over to use of Super Hornets,” Thompson said.

    Moreover, “Boeing offered a stealthier version of the F/A-18 in 2013 that did not gain traction with the Navy or other customers,” Byron Callan, a defense analyst with Capital Alpha Partners, LLC said in a note to clients. “The F/A-18 could not be used on Navy amphibious ships whereas the F-35B can.” Since the Air Force does not operate F/A-18s “there would be costs to integrate that type into its inventory,” he wrote


    Lockheed shares fell 2 percent after Trump’s tweet in after hours trading, while Boeing rose 0.5 percent.

    $81 Billion

    In an e-mailed statement, Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher said, "We have committed to working with the president elect and his administration to provide the best capability, deliverability and affordability across all Boeing products and services to meet our national security needs."

    Trump’s repeated frustrations with the F-35’s costs have been echoed by others. The F-35 program has had $81 billion in obligations for the last 10 fiscal years. Yet it has also had repeated challenges, with defense officials saying recently it would need as much as $500 million extra to finish its development phase.

    Wing Weaknesses

    From inadequate wing strength in some models to delays in live-fire testing of the jet’s gun system for attacking ground targets and enemy jets in dogfights, the F-35’s travails have provoked outrage on Capitol Hill. But with few, if any, alternatives to the jet’s technological prowess, the program continues. Lockheed last month received a $1.28 billion Pentagon down payment to continue production of the jet while negotiations continue on a contract valued as much as $7.19 billion for 90 aircraft, the biggest order yet.

    In a sign of how spread out the F-35 program is, that latest down payment will fund work on the F-35 in Fort Worth, Texas; El Segundo, California; Orlando, Florida; Nashua, New Hampshire, Baltimore; Nagoya, Japan and Warton in the U.K., according to the Pentagon.

    While the development and sale of the F-35 is an international effort, some U.S. allies have backed out of the program, at least for now. Canada recently announced it would seek to buy F-18s to upgrade its fighter fleet, six years after former Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the country would buy 65 F-35s and begin deploying them by 2019. Now, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government wants to wait before it commits to the latest-generation fighters, using current inventory and the F-18s well into the 2020s.

    Mar-a-Lago

    In the U.S., the fiscal 2017 defense authorization would allow an additional $9.9 billion for the F-35 this fiscal year. The total includes $3.3 billion in funding for the Navy and Marine Corps versions and modifications, and $4.8 billion for the Air Force F-35 variant and modifications.

    Trump summoned the chief executives of both companies to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Wednesday, as well a group of top Pentagon officials, to discuss the costs of the F-35 program and also Boeing’s proposed replacement for Air Force One, the presidential aircraft. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said he told Trump the new Air Force One would be built for less than $4 billion, less than what Trump said the plane would cost.

    Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson said in a statement after the meeting that she had assured Trump the company would continue efforts to reduce the F-35’s costs. She didn’t announce any new promises. When asked about the president-elect’s latest missive, Lockheed spokesman William Phelps said the company had no comment.
    Last edited by citanon; 23 Dec 16, at 12:44.

  5. #50
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    a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!

    /head desk

    and this... guy... is going to lead the most powerfull nation on the planet...

  6. #51
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlvfr View Post
    a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!

    /head desk

    and this... guy... is going to lead the most powerfull nation on the planet...
    A typo maybe?
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  7. #52
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlvfr View Post
    a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!
    I guess he doesn't remember that Boeing already did that...

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  8. #53
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    I guess he doesn't remember that Boeing already did that...

    Name:  tXf0qwg.jpg
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    You made me from ahahaha to ho ho ho to ROFLing in 2 miliseconds.

    Anyway, Boeing says: "Although not selected for full-scale development of the JSF, Boeing viewed its involvement in the competition as a strategic investment. The program yielded many advances in stealth technology and design and manufacturing methods. These achievements have been applied to other Boeing programs including the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the X-45A Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, or UCAV."
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  9. #54
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    Anyway, Boeing says: "Although not selected for full-scale development of the JSF, Boeing viewed its involvement in the competition as a strategic investment. The program yielded many advances in stealth technology and design and manufacturing methods. These achievements have been applied to other Boeing programs including the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the X-45A Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, or UCAV."
    If I recall correctly, Boeing's CEO laid out a plan to transition out of the fighter business and focus on militarized versions of their jetliner production lines last spring.

    I personally hope they don't since Lockheed needs a competitor for the F/A-XX and Next Gen TACAIR programs.

  10. #55
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    Here's what I figured the Donald is up to.

    He goes to Boeing to tell them to lower the cost of AF one, but offers them a cherry: prospect of putting the money they save to the F-18 and helping them sell planes.

    They probably can't save enough money to buy ASH. What he can really give them is money to complete the upgrade development project so they can sell the upgrades down the line, but Trump has no qualms bending the truth so now he goes on Twitter and says price me an advanced hornet.

    This pressures Lockheed to reduce costs but also helps Boeing sell planes.


    At the end of the day, Boeing lowers the price of the Air Force one but gets something back, the same number if F35s are bought at maybe a little lower price, and Trump's thinks he wins by extracting more capabilities for the Hornets without spending much more money. Just as importantly to Trump he looks like he's stirring up the establishment and draining the swamp

  11. #56
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    I'm hoping it's a case of Trump trying to scare Lockheed a bit resulting in some concessions for LRIP 10.

    What I'm afraid of is that Trump's buys into the rampant speculation and bad press regarding the F-35 more than what his military advisors have to say about it.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    I'm hoping it's a case of Trump trying to scare Lockheed a bit resulting in some concessions for LRIP 10.

    What I'm afraid of is that Trump's buys into the rampant speculation and bad press regarding the F-35 more than what his military advisors have to say about it.
    I suspect Trump is just trying to do a multi-way deal as above.

  13. #58
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    Or Trump is his usuall arrogant clueless self, spoting dumbness...

  14. #59
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    More likely, Der Donald will claim six months from now that he never made such a tweet and brag about how his salesmanship means the F-35 is the bestselling stealth fighter in the world.

  15. #60
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    A damning analysis of Trudeau's decision to buy the SH.

    https://warontherocks.com/2017/02/su...rican-defense/

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