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Big picture of operating costs

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2019, 23:52
by Gums

Posted a link on another forum, but thot it could be here as well for the more casual visitors to Stubbie land.

I personally saw the costs of the "supporting actors" on my combat tours. The in-country CAS mission was fairly straightforward. Train, maintain and fly what you trained for.

The Dragonfly was dirt cheap to procure and then maintain, even though our logistics tail was flaky because we were a unique plane for two years or so.

The SLUF i Iflew 72 - 73 for my second tour also had some logistics problems for the same reason, but not for long. The SLUF units had the advantage of wartime deployment kits and three complete wings of jets, crews and wrenchbenders.

The thing I noticed at Korat was the immense cast of players for just one strike mission to Hanoi. Figure 16 to 24 bomb trucks. Then 2 dozen MIGCAP/sweep Double Uglies. Then two Soey Pig EB-66 folks. Then 6 or 8 Wild Weasel SEAD folks, some with F-4 help for the hunter-killer role. Finally, we have over a dozen KC-135 tankers orbiing all over the place.

Just the plaaning and coordination was a bear. I saw it at Red Flag in the early 80's, and as a mission commander for one day's effort I could call upon my experience from December 1972 and a few exercises we had at Hill getting ready to declare the Viper "operational".

The Stubbie will require little "help". No SEAD or tankers or ECM folks for most missions within 500 n.m. Minimal MIGCAP or sweep. So just planning and coordinating is an order of magnitude easier and cheaper. So this guy has thot thru the process, and I would not be surprised thathe had some actual operational experience as a yute. ... ec0a362c73

Gums sends...

Re: Big picture of operating costs

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2019, 00:29
by element1loop
Thanks gums, excellent reference for the casual unbeliever. :wink:

Re: Big picture of operating costs

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2019, 01:08
by popcorn
All those components and moving parts that must mesh together at the right time. When things go wrong then the result is something like Package Q.

Re: Big picture of operating costs

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2019, 04:55
by Gums
Salute Popcorn!

You have pointed out something that many folks do not appreciate, understand or even think about.

The immense amount of coordination and the timing aspects of our Alpha Strikes was amazing to me. It's the same for Red Flag when you have over 100, maybe 200 players striving to complete a mission.

Given the ToT for the main strike bomb release, all the players had to back up their own takeoff times, refueling routes and times and so forth. The boats have more problems than we land lubbers had at Korat, although we had quite a few players with different times to target or orbit. To wit, for one of our days during the 12 Days of Christmas blitz missions.

- 16 or 24 or 32 A-7D for the strike
- 2 EB-66 for standoff jamming
- 6 or 8 F-105G Weasels for SEAD
- one EC-121 "AWACS' (Disco)
- 8 to 12 F-4E MIGCAP/sweep
- 1 HC-130 "King" for CSAR up near NE Laos
- 4 A-7D Sandies orbiting near King for quick CSAR response: the Jollies came outta NKP and were also up there.

So imagine the various cruise speeds and such for all those players so they could be in position at the right time and place. Our taxiway and runway plan was more exacting than our bomb runs, heh heh!!!

Good memories of those times....

Gums sends....


Re: Big picture of operating costs

Unread postPosted: 26 Feb 2019, 17:59
by spazsinbad
Avalon 2019: Lockheed Martin aims for reduction in cost of F-35 flying hours, lower sustainment costs
26 Feb 2019 Julian Kerr

"Lockheed Martin hopes to reduce the cost per flying hour of the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter from USD35,000 to USD25,000 by 2025, according to Greg Ulmer, vice-president and general manager of the company’s F-35 programme.

Speaking at the Avalon Airshow near Melbourne on 26 February, Ulmer said a further Lockheed Martin objective was reducing F-35A annual costs “per tail” to about USD4.1 million by the late 2030s.

Over the past three years the sustainment costs of an F-35A have been reduced by about 15%, and significant further savings are anticipated. “Think about big data analytics. All the components have electronic files associated with them; we understand their reliability.”"

Source: ... ment-costs

Re: Big picture of operating costs

Unread postPosted: 26 Feb 2019, 20:39
by charlielima223
In summary, doing more with less.