Pentagon ‘can't afford sustainment costs‘ on F-35, Lord says

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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quicksilver

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Unread post09 Mar 2018, 04:15

“Isn't CPFH, after all, a reliable and effective measure of operating efficiency?”

No it isn’t. It is not consistent, and therefore not reliable. It is not consistent because there are too many ways to vary the aggregate outcome by manipulating what is included or not included in the calculation, as well as how the aircraft is flown. Additionally, some cpfh aggregations include indirect costs which may vary widely due to factors almost completely removed from the business of owning and operating fighter aircraft.
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USMilFan

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Unread post09 Mar 2018, 20:41

quicksilver wrote:No it isn’t....

I agree with you completely, quick. You've explained CHFH's deficiencies better than I ever could have. Thank you for furthering my comprehension, as you always do whenever you post. Looking forward to hearing more from you in future.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post10 Mar 2018, 09:24

As the D-Brief says there is a paywall so only this available.
Lockheed pitches F-35 multiyear buy
09 Mar 2018 Ben Watson

“Buy now, save later!” says Lockheed Martin to the Pentagon about its F-35s. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Lockheed Martin Corp. has a plan to cut the daunting cost of its F-35 combat jet. But for that to happen, U.S. taxpayers would first have to pay more upfront to trim the price tag of the world’s most expensive military program.”
The pitch involves the Pentagon “buy[ing] hundreds of the jets in a single, multiyear contract in the early 2020s to harvest economies of scale from increased production.”

For what it’s worth, “Lockheed and its partners have already cut the average price of the F-35A model used by the U.S. Air Force to around $95 million, from $122 million five years ago. They aim to reduce the price to roughly $80 million by the end of the decade. But Pentagon leaders want bigger cuts as annual production climbs toward 150 jets in the early 2020s, from 66 last year.”

This is all just a preview, the Journal writes. “The plan, due to be unveiled later this month, comes as senior Pentagon officials grow frustrated with efforts over the past three years to cut the cost of buying and flying as many as 2,400 of the radar-evading jets.” More here (paywall alert)."

Source: http://www.defenseone.com/news/2018/03/ ... 18/146541/
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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quicksilver

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Unread post10 Mar 2018, 16:49

USG has already funded EOQ for Block Buy to the tune of $661M, and the Congress even acknowledged the benefits of same in its language last year (dont remember which committee but I think Senate authorizers). But, go ahead (mr former NPR guy now editing for D1) and write a piece that suggests the prime contractor is doing something nefarious/underhanded in this...

And now, MYPs being proposed are a win/win for everyone, since it saves money. Ask Boeing, now on their fourth, fifth or whatever number on SH.

:roll:
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marauder2048

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Unread post11 Mar 2018, 21:29

quicksilver wrote:And now, MYPs being proposed are a win/win for everyone, since it saves money. Ask Boeing, now on their fourth, fifth or whatever number on SH.

:roll:


Including the Block III which hardly meets the statutory requirements.

F-16A/C/B/D were done under MYPs as was the final buy of F-22s.

So overall, MYPs have a good record only slightly dented by the Navy's unprecedentedly stupid (and futile)
attempt to back out of the UH-60 MYP.
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Unread post12 Mar 2018, 22:20

RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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dandy5

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Unread post17 Mar 2018, 22:37

How did the Pentagon allow this?
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post17 Mar 2018, 23:15

Every complex system will run into issues as it progresses in development, production, and sustainment.

The true measure of a program is how it reacts to the challenges that arise and if those challenges will be a long-term problem. So far, nothing substantial has appeared to be a problem with the F-35.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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doge

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Unread post30 Mar 2018, 02:18

The goal seems to be aiming for F-16.
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/03 ... f-an-f-16/
US Air Force aims to lower F-35 sustainment costs to that of an F-16
By: Valerie Insinna   7 hours ago
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force’s top general wants to see the cost of operating and sustaining an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter fall to the same levels as current fourth-generation fighters like the F-16, he told reporters Thursday.

“Our initial target is to get them down to the equivalent or very close to what we’re currently spending to sustain fourth-generation fighters,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein said during a roundtable.

There could be dire consequences for the F-35 program should operations and sustainment, or O&S, costs not go down as far as desired. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that the Air Force could trim its planned purchase of F-35As by a third unless O&S costs decrease by 38 percent over the next 10 years.

On Thursday, Goldfein downplayed speculation that the program could be cut, telling reporters that he continues to be committed to the Air Force’s entire 1,763-unit buy.

“We’re going to be buying these aircraft for a number of years, so it’s way too early to be talking about any curtailment of any procurement or any buy,” he said, adding that any decision to decrease the program of record “is really well out into the future.”

The U.S. Government Accountability Office projected in 2017 that total sustainment costs over the life of the F-35 program could amount to more than $1 trillion during a 60-year life cycle.

Support costs have been increasing as the number of planes and flight hours grow, but the internal Defense Department analysis paper obtained by Bloomberg pointed out that the Pentagon has only “limited visibility” into how the F-35’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, spends that money as a contractor.

O&S costs are “absolutely” a major concern, Goldfein acknowledged, and part of the department’s strategy is to pressure Lockheed to lower personnel- and contractor-support costs.

However, “it’s just not true that’s there’s any intent on our part to go one aircraft below the program of record, because that’s what we require today to actually accomplish the [national defense] strategy as its currently written,” he said.

The Air Force is the single-largest customer of the F-35, and any decrease in its planned procurement could have a ripple effect that drives up the unit price or O&S costs for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, as well as international partners that plan to purchase the Joint Strike Fighter.

However, some of those international customers are also growing concerned about the price of sustaining the aircraft.

During a March 27 roundtable, Stephen Lovegrove, permanent secretary of the U.K. Ministry of Defence, told reporters that the government is pleased with the jet’s performance and is committed to a planned purchase of 138 F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing aircraft.

But he added that decreasing O&S costs is of “intense interest” to the Britain.

“This is a new platform, and I am constantly being asked by parliamentarians in the U.K. as to what the total cost is going to be, and they are sometimes, understandably, a bit frustrated when I have to turn around and say at the moment: ‘Nobody is entirely sure,’ ” Lovegrove acknowledged.

“But we must maintain an absolutely laser-like focus on keeping those costs down because historically this is the one area where we’ve been OK at buying stuff, but we’ve not been necessarily good at sustaining and operating it as cost effectively as we possibly can. We need to work very, very hard on that, and we are doing so.”

Goldfein is hopeful the Defense Department can drive down the O&S bill with the help of two key players: Ellen Lord, the former Textron CEO who is now the Pentagon’s undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, and Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan, a former Boeing executive.

Both officials are “folks who have been out in industry for most of their careers who know how this business works at a level on the industry side and are now helping us wire brush down the cost of not only procurement but also sustainment,” he said. “It gives me a level of optimism in this program that we’re going to be able to get to a pretty good target.”
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spazsinbad

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Unread post30 Mar 2018, 02:54

:devil: This lassie has a TRILLION at 50 years but hey who's counting? I'm long past that. :doh:
"...The F-35's total cost has been projected at more than $1 trillion over a 50-year service lifetime...." [quoting: https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... -year.html ]
https://www.military.com/dodbuzz/2018/0 ... dfein.html
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doge

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Unread post30 Mar 2018, 15:00

About cutting 590.
There seems to be No plan to cut it, so...I feel a little relieved. :)
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/poli ... neral-says
Air Force has no plans to cut F-35 purchases despite upkeep concerns, general says
by Travis J. Tritten | March 29, 2018 10:59 AM

https://breakingdefense.com/2018/03/not ... -goldfein/
Not Cutting F-35 Buy, But Depot Structure May Change: CSAF Goldfein
By COLIN CLARK on March 29, 2018 at 3:55 PM
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steve2267

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Unread post31 Mar 2018, 15:13

The F-35 is still relatively young in its service life. I've seen some aerospace reporters ballyhoo their work, "Read my analsysis..." As if they have a clue what a true analysis is or entails. If they did, they might compare F-35 operational and sustainment costs against some normalized metric vs time and compare it to other programs of record. F-16, F-15, F-117, F-22 come to mind. Then a better sense of how expensive the F-35 is and might be expected to be in the future could be gauged. At that point one could judge much more accurately if the F-35 program is in trouble vis-a-vis a sustainment / operational cost perspective.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, add dollop of F-117 & gob of F-22, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well, then bake. Whaddya get? An F-35.
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blindpilot

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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 07:03

Hmmm ... Forbes had an interesting editorial piece with more news than a new story ... seems people don't understand sustainment costs.

Here's a shot at the $1Trillion number that shows up for click bait ...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthomp ... fd68542466

Forbes Apr 5, 2018 @ 11:56 AM
Why Trillion-Dollar Estimates To Keep the F-35 Fighter Flying Are Really Misleading
Loren Thompson , Contributor
"... What I'd like to address today is the frequently-cited "fact" that it will cost over a trillion dollars to keep the F-35 flying during its service life. I most recently saw this number repeated in a Bloomberg News story, [my reference added - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... costs-down] which stated, "It may cost as much as $1.1 trillion to keep the F-35s flying and maintained through 2070, according to the current estimate from the Pentagon's independent cost unit."

There actually is an official estimate of that amount for lifetime operations and support costs of the F-35, but it is outdated and very misleading. Let's look at a few reasons why it shouldn't be taken seriously.... "


FWIW,
BP
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popcorn

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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 07:43

Someone should estimate the cost of upgrading multiple fleets of legacy jets and sustaining them over the next 50 years. :twisted:
Last edited by popcorn on 06 Apr 2018, 07:57, edited 1 time in total.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 07:55

They did... it was $4 trillion
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