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$1.5 TRILLION F-35 program considered a "failure"

POSTED BY: SIGNYM
UPDATED: Saturday, February 27, 2021 03:41
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Thursday, February 25, 2021 5:24 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

The U.S. Air Force Just Admitted The F-35 Stealth Fighter Has Failed

The U.S. Air Force’s top officer wants the service to develop an affordable, lightweight fighter to replace hundreds of Cold War-vintage F-16s and complement a small fleet of sophisticated—but costly and unreliable—stealth fighters.

The result would be a high-low mix of expensive “fifth-generation” F-22s and F-35s and inexpensive “fifth-generation-minus” jets, explained Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown Jr.

If that plan sounds familiar, it’s because the Air Force a generation ago launched development of an affordable, lightweight fighter to replace hundreds of Cold War-vintage F-16s and complement a small future fleet of sophisticated—but costly and unreliable—stealth fighters.

But over 20 years of R&D, that lightweight replacement fighter got heavier and more expensive as the Air Force and lead contractor Lockheed Martin LMT packed it with more and more new technology.

Yes, we’re talking about the F-35. The 25-ton stealth warplane has become the very problem it was supposed to solve. And now America needs a new fighter to solve that F-35 problem, officials said.

With a sticker price of around $100 million per plane, including the engine, the F-35 is expensive. While stealthy and brimming with high-tech sensors, it’s also maintenance-intensive, buggy and unreliable. “The F-35 is not a low-cost, lightweight fighter,” said Dan Ward, a former Air Force program manager and the author of popular business books including The Simplicity Cycle.

The F-35 is a Ferrari, Brown told reporters last Wednesday. “You don’t drive your Ferrari to work every day, you only drive it on Sundays. This is our ‘high end’ [fighter], we want to make sure we don’t use it all for the low-end fight.”

“I want to moderate how much we’re using those aircraft,” Brown said.

Hence the need for a new low-end fighter to pick up the slack in day-to-day operations. Today, the Air Force’s roughly 1,000 F-16s meet that need. But the flying branch hasn’t bought a new F-16 from Lockheed since 2001. The F-16s are old.

In his last interview before leaving his post in January, Will Roper, the Air Force’s top acquisition official, floated the idea of new F-16 orders. But Brown shot down the idea, saying he doesn’t want more of the classic planes.

The 17-ton, non-stealthy F-16 is too difficult to upgrade with the latest software, Brown explained. Instead of ordering fresh F-16s, he said, the Air Force should initiate a “clean-sheet design” for a new low-end fighter.

Brown’s comments are a tacit admission that the F-35 has failed. As conceived in the 1990s, the program was supposed to produce thousands of fighters to displace almost all of the existing tactical warplanes in the inventories of the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

The Air Force alone wanted nearly 1,800 F-35s to replace aging F-16s and A-10s and constitute the low end of a low-high fighter mix, with 180 twin-engine F-22s making up the high end.

But the Air Force and Lockheed baked failure into the F-35’s very concept. “They tried to make the F-35 do too much,” said Dan Grazier, an analyst with the Project on Government Oversight in Washington, D.C.

There’s a small-wing version for land-based operations, a big-wing version for the Navy’s catapult-equipped aircraft carriers and, for the small-deck assault ships the Marines ride in, a vertical-landing model with a downward-blasting lift engine.

The complexity added cost. Rising costs imposed delays. Delays gave developers more time to add yet more complexity to the design. Those additions added more cost. Those costs resulted in more delays. So on and so forth.

Fifteen years after the F-35’s first flight, the Air Force has just 250 of the jets. Now the service is signaling possible cuts to the program. It’s not for no reason that Brown has begun characterizing the F-35 as a boutique, high-end fighter in the class of the F-22. The Air Force ended F-22 production after completing just 195 copies.

“The F-35 is approaching a crossroads,” Grazier said.

Pentagon leaders have hinted that, as part of the U.S. military’s shift in focus toward peer threats—that is, Russia and China—the Navy and Air Force might get bigger shares of the U.S. military’s roughly $700-billion annual budget. All at the Army’s expense.

“If we’re going to pull the trigger on a new fighter, now’s probably the time,” Grazier said. The Air Force could end F-35 production after just a few hundred examples and redirect tens of billions of dollars to a new fighter program.

MORE AT https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2021/02/23/the-us-air-force-just
-admitted-the-f-35-stealth-fighter-has-failed


I recall listening to a retired military aircraft designer talk about the limitations of aircraft design.

You can have a heavily armored low-speed plane that can loiter over an area for a long time, providing close ground support. Or a fast fighter-bomber that can pursue other aircraft and fire from a height, but can't loiter. You can have a jet that can take off a very short (i.e. aircraft carrier) runway. But you can't have all of those in one aircraft AND make it stealthy AND have a 85% overlap of parts for the different versions. That's like asking for a fat-thin tall-short fast-slow person.


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Thursday, February 25, 2021 5:30 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

“We could have used this cash to cancel student loans for every person in America,” lamented the liberal watchdog Public Citizen, pointing to the F-35 program’s estimated $1.7 trillion lifetime cost.

For that kind of money, “we could have completely replaced America's water infrastructure,” said environmentalist advocate Erin Brockovich.

“That's enough to house all homeless people in the United States 28 times over,”tweeted Robert Reich, Labor secretary in the Clinton administration.

> In the F-35's case, it's like the sunk cost fallacy was (literally) weaponized into the boondoggle that keeps on giving. https://t.co/JUXf9d9F6g

> — Bret Weinstein (@BretWeinstein) February 24, 2021
Democrat activist Charlotte Clymer used the F-35 issue to argue that President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus “relief package” would be money better spent.

Others, like Daily Beast reporter Spencer Ackerman, joked that the plane isn’t really a failure since “It very successfully transfers hundreds of billions of dollars of your money to defense contractors.”




-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

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Thursday, February 25, 2021 7:30 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


How the Joint Strike Fighter Got to Be Such a Mess

We could have seen this coming, and not just because of the technical complexity involved in making a warplane for so many constituents. Long before the delays and overruns that riddles the F-35 program, history was littered with illustrations of multi-mission aircraft that never quite measured up. Take Germany's WWII Junkers Ju-88, or the 1970s Panavia Tornado, or even the original F/A-18.

F-35 supporters were undaunted in the face of that evidence, adamant that the technological advances needed to make a do-it-all aircraft for several branches of the military had finally arrived. Back in 2000, I interviewed Lt. General Michael A. Hough of the U.S. Marine Corps, director/deputy director of the Joint Strike Fighter Program from 1997 to 2001. During the interview, Hough thumped the table with his fist, declaring the JSF would not suffer the problems of past multipurpose aircraft, which were prone to run over budget and see their progress stall.

Who gets the blame for a 20-year misadventure?

The mess got so bad that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates removed JSF program manager Maj. Gen. David Heinz (USMC) in 2010 and delayed development even more. Private analysts have called the F-35 a "money pit," and argued that the purpose of Lockheed's extensive national and global supplier base—which includes 1,300 suppliers in 45 states and nine foreign countries—was not so much to realize logistics efficiency and security, but to make sure the Joint Strike Fighter was too big to fail. They succeeded.

More at https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a21957/wtf-35/

The story of the F-35, and what went wrong to put the Joint Strike Fighter so far over budget and behind schedule.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Thursday, February 25, 2021 7:52 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


The Hidden Troubles of the F-35 | Defense News
https://www.defensenews.com/smr/hidden-troubles-f35/

Many separate news stories about the WTF-35:

One example -- the Navy's and Marine Corps' versions of the F-35 will have restrictions on how long they can fly at supersonic speeds because of a risk of damage to the tail section.

Another example -- documents provided to Defense News reveal issues facing the F-35 fighter jet as it nears a milestone. Find out what they are, if they'll be fixed and why they're just now coming to light.

Still another example -- The Pentagon is battling the clock to fix serious, unreported F-35 problems. Defense News exclusively obtained documents detailing the F-35 jet's most serious deficiencies.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Thursday, February 25, 2021 9:34 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Quote:

“We could have used this cash to cancel student loans for every person in America,” lamented the liberal watchdog Public Citizen, pointing to the F-35 program’s estimated $1.7 trillion lifetime cost.

For that kind of money, “we could have completely replaced America's water infrastructure,” said environmentalist advocate Erin Brockovich.

“That's enough to house all homeless people in the United States 28 times over,”tweeted Robert Reich, Labor secretary in the Clinton administration.

> In the F-35's case, it's like the sunk cost fallacy was (literally) weaponized into the boondoggle that keeps on giving. https://t.co/JUXf9d9F6g

> — Bret Weinstein (@BretWeinstein) February 24, 2021
Democrat activist Charlotte Clymer used the F-35 issue to argue that President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus “relief package” would be money better spent.


I was wondering what the 'opportunity costs' of the F35 were.
Quote:

Quote:

Others, like Daily Beast reporter Spencer Ackerman, joked that the plane isn’t really a failure since “It very successfully transfers hundreds of billions of dollars of your money to defense contractors.”

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake
THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

Hundreds of billions is an understatement. At over 1trillion$, it's over a thousand billion.

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Friday, February 26, 2021 3:06 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


A Failure!

Well, Duh!!

The enduring Legacy of Slick Willie.


Who could have guessed the disaster of Military that ensued from electing that 'tard?

Oh, right - everybody who could think.

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Saturday, February 27, 2021 3:41 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
A Failure!

Well, Duh!!

The enduring Legacy of Slick Willie.

Who could have guessed the disaster of Military that ensued from electing that 'tard?

Oh, right - everybody who could think.

Are you sure you know what you are talking about? See this article from Feb. 25, 2021:

1) The Air Force remains committed to the F-35, and it is the “cornerstone” of USAF’s force planning, but the new tactical aviation study will decide if USAF should surge its production of the jet, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said Feb. 25.

In a press conference at AFA’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium, Brown disputed recent media reports that have pronounced the F-35 a failure.

“The F-35 is the cornerstone of our … fighter capability,” and of USAF’s plans for the future, Brown asserted.
The TacAir study he unveiled last week will simply look at what systems will be needed to complement it, he said. The age of most of the fighter force—averaging 29 years—compels USAF to “look ahead … 10, 15 years in the future” at the right mix of aircraft for the missions expected in that timeframe, Brown said. The study will develop “where we think we need to go, and how we get from where we are today to … the future.

He also acknowledged that, at the current purchase rate of 48 to 60 airplanes a year, it will be the mid-2040s before the Air Force’s planned buy of 1,763 F-35s from Lockheed Martin is complete.

“I’m not sure that’s fully appreciated,” Brown said of the long production run. If the service sticks to 1,763, the Air Force may “need to accelerate” the ramp rate, conditional on the funding that Congress will allow.

“I can’t commit” to a surge in production yet, Brown said. “To get there faster, we’re going to have to have a spike” in production, but it will also depend on whether “our … defense industry partners” can produce at the rates USAF needs, he said. “I can’t decide this myself.”

More at https://www.airforcemag.com/tacair-study-will-determine-if-f-35-produc
tion-surge-needed
/

Another article contradicting JewelStaiteFan:

2) F-35 Still the ‘Cornerstone’ Fighter, Top Air Force General Says
After calling for a new fighter, Gen. Brown clarified the F-35 is alive and well while a new study reevaluates fighters and drones for 2036.

The U.S. Air Force’s top general said the service is committed to the F-35 stealth fighter following comments and headlines in the past week that suggested the demise of the aircraft may be near.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown said on Thursday the U.S. could end up buying fewer than the 1,700-plus jets it envisioned when the project began more than two decades ago, but rejected recent high-profile reporting portraying the aircraft as a failure.

More at https://www.defenseone.com/business/2021/02/f-35-still-cornerstone-fig
hter-top-air-force-general-says/172318
/

If there was failure, it would be caused by recent inept design decisions of 21st Century engineers at Lockheed Martin, not a President who left office in the 20th Century. Here is an obvious example of inept engineering of fuel level gauges that exploded a 747, killing everyone aboard: https://www.ntsb.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/NTSB_Cites_Explosion_in
_Center_Wing_Tank_As_Probable_Cause_of_TWA_Flight_800_Crash.aspx


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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