F-35 is a good deal judging by cost-per-effect: think tank

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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quicksilver

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Unread post17 Jul 2020, 20:20

“So it's funny that even with the Air Force itself it's hard to make comparisons let alone across
DOD or internationally.”

Some expected, at the time, that this particular RAND study would come up with a standard. But, what they discovered was that it wasn’t that easy to get everyone on the same page — for many valid reasons. IIRC the USAF essentially uses a different CPFH methodology for every TMS (type/model/series; there is a usaf equivalent term but I’ve forgotten it).

JSF CPFH alone is characterized in five different methodologies. They are posted around here somewhere.
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USMilFan

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Unread post17 Jul 2020, 20:49

Xander, perhaps it will be easier to get started if I begin with a question. Your answer may include an explanation of your answer if you wish, but you may forego explanation if you wish. Your answer should provide some indication of where we are, and where to go from there. Here is my question: suppose you fall into discussion with a friend comparing two aircrafts’ merits and demerits. One aircraft, Aircraft A, is manufactured by Dassault, and the other, Aircraft B, is made by Lockheed-Martin. A source that both you and your friend trust reports that Aircraft A’s CPFH is $25,000, while Aircraft B’s is $30,000. Which aircraft is more efficient to operate?
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beepa

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Unread post17 Jul 2020, 21:21

USMilFan wrote:Xander, perhaps it will be easier to get started if I begin with a question. Your answer may include an explanation of your answer if you wish, but you may forego explanation if you wish. Your answer should provide some indication of where we are, and where to go from there. Here is my question: suppose you fall into discussion with a friend comparing two aircrafts’ merits and demerits. One aircraft, Aircraft A, is manufactured by Dassault, and the other, Aircraft B, is made by Lockheed-Martin. A source that both you and your friend trust reports that Aircraft A’s CPFH is $25,000, while Aircraft B’s is $30,000. Which aircraft is more efficient to operate?


Ok, this question was not directed at me but hey let's give it a shot. On paper of course aircraft A appears to be more efficient to operate. Aircraft A becomes vastly more efficient to operate when it does not return from it's first sortie. While your stuck with the recurring cost of Aircraft B which clocks up many hours covering for the loss of aircraft A. :|
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outlaw162

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Unread post18 Jul 2020, 00:10

one bean, two beans, three beans..... :D
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steve2267

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Unread post18 Jul 2020, 14:14

Wow. That's a pretty lame question.

Bait much?
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post18 Jul 2020, 19:23

USMilFan wrote:Xander, perhaps it will be easier to get started if I begin with a question. Your answer may include an explanation of your answer if you wish, but you may forego explanation if you wish. Your answer should provide some indication of where we are, and where to go from there. Here is my question: suppose you fall into discussion with a friend comparing two aircrafts’ merits and demerits. One aircraft, Aircraft A, is manufactured by Dassault, and the other, Aircraft B, is made by Lockheed-Martin. A source that both you and your friend trust reports that Aircraft A’s CPFH is $25,000, while Aircraft B’s is $30,000. Which aircraft is more efficient to operate?



you just said ask you more and I was curious to hear more. Not really interested in waxing philosophical...

In all honesty, give me a big simple answer and talk to me like I'm 15, because that's about the level of understanding when dealing with people who think CPFH is the ultimate metric of everything.

Namely Gripen fans.
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Gums

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Unread post18 Jul 2020, 20:43

Salute!

Outstanding point BEEP-breath. Super.

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USMilFan

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Unread post19 Jul 2020, 05:09

Xander:

Ah yes, Gripen fans…still busy quoting Sweetman’s propaganda and the like to you, I suppose.

I’m happy to see you’re curious to hear more from me, but my offer was to answer questions, preferably highly specific ones. I had no intention of offering comprehensive essays on CPFH. The short question-and-answer dialectic popular on the internet should suffice to satisfy most curiosities. If we happen to stumble upon some nugget of a point that deserves greater elaboration, I’ll do my best to accommodate. I apologize if I led you to think my offer meant otherwise.
beepa wrote:Ok, this question was not directed at me but hey let's give it a shot. On paper of course aircraft A appears to be more efficient to operate. Aircraft A becomes vastly more efficient to operate when it does not return from it's first sortie. While your stuck with the recurring cost of Aircraft B which clocks up many hours covering for the loss of aircraft A. :|

Congrats to you beepa, that’s roughly the kind of response I was hoping to see. After all, the answer can’t be determined with such limited information, can it? Your solution was to add information sufficient to make some determination of efficiency. Extremely well done.

The point of this question was to show how completely devoid of meaningful information the CPFH metric actually contains. CPFH’s most common defect, as pointed out by quicksilver, is that there is no standard or universal definition of cost used to calculate CPFH. Which costs qualify for inclusion, and which do not? CPFH quoters never tell us. Clearly, no meaningful comparisons of CPFH can be made in such circumstances, and should immediately derail almost every single discussion of CPFH out there. Sweetman's Gripen claim of $1.95 CPFH or whatever it was offers a shining example.
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Unread post19 Jul 2020, 21:57

Salute!

From the old fart and three "attack" planes of experience.......

1) You get what you pay for, with rare exceptions. I feel the Viper was a surprise for its effectiveness in mud-moving and the original LWF requirement/spec, although the Dragonfly carried a helluva CAS load in-country for 5 years. The A-7D/E performed pretty much as designed and met the spec, if not exceeded it.
The 'vaark and Double Ugly were not nearly as effective in CAS or even interdiciton due to accuracy. And it took Topgun and USAF FW school to increase the A2A effectiveness of the Double Ugly.

2 If you buy cheap and also use the maintenance per flying hour as a metric, it does you no good if the plane is shot down or "gets you home" full of holes. Either way it ain't gonna be able to fly again in 2 hours, maybe days, no matter the costs. Oh yeah! You gonna patch up that pilot who is KIA or POW or injured ?

In the Storm, Chuck Horner restricted the Hawg after the first few days. [edited out : "to exploit its low, slow attributes", and added/clarified ] The planes were coming home, but many couldn't fly for a coupla days, if at all, due to battle damage. The Fulda Gap scenario did not materialize and the Hawg killed its tanks using the Maverick, not the big gun. Further, we saw no set piece CAS scenarios.

3) Basing procurement upon simple metrics just doesn't hack it these days.
I thot the "fly before you buy" approach was effective for the Hawg if it was only to be used as a jet-powered A-1 or Dragonfly on steriods. Along the way in the late 60's it became the fearsome tank killer at the Fulda Gap. Yet the first time in harsh combat against a foe that was not nearly as well equipped or trained illustrated its deficiency in the "low, slow" arena. Good thing it was built to take hits, as it did. My preference, and what I was reprimanded for, was advocating something that would not get the hits in the first place.
The Northrop vs GD flyoff was also effective, and the Viper prototype had the most versatility. The original spec changed and it was able to meet it.

Great thread!

Gums sends...
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wolfpak

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Unread post21 Jul 2020, 15:46

I had thought the F-111F had a credible performance in Desert Storm?
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Unread post21 Jul 2020, 19:25

Salute!

Correct, Wolf.

The 'vaark killed more tanks than the Hawg. They were called Plinkers, as they used their pod and lgb's and struck from on high.

The Hawg also got the huge majority of it tanks with the Mav, not the highly touted gun.

The 'vaark also did well in LB2 hitting outlying bases and stuff away from Hanoi, although we had one CSAR for Jackal 33. Good story for the bar, that one.

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outlaw162

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Unread post21 Jul 2020, 20:51

Momentarily off topic gap filler but more interesting than counting beans or think tank pie in the sky:

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... tnam-66296

(Lot of A-7 action....and bad wx. :D )
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Gums

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Unread post21 Jul 2020, 23:30

Salute!

Dat's da one, Outlaw!!

- We actually got down close to him more than he thot on the "off" days. WX and coord with other players was a problem, and the daytime "gorilla" strikes to Hanoi went on despite his idea we only dropped in good weather. If things got tense, we regrouped. And his rescue would likely have been the closest to Hanoi in the whole war.

The Sandy and Jollies actually lurched each day to be close if someone was shot down southwest of Hanoi. We knew where this guy was, and from his calls sounded like the Vee had moved to search somewhere else. And do not forget that the sky was raining B-52 crews and others during the blitz. Many POW's compared to the '65 - '68 timeframe when almost all my friends were captured or lost.

- The "re-supply" mission "container" was a hollow nape can or travel pod we had packed with foam to cushion the impact. Our pilot actually got down to approach speed and pickled. Imagine doing that a few dozen miles from Bullseye. Jackal 33B also didn't mention the copy of Playboy we had included, heh heh.
We gave him a vector that would have resulted in capture or clear sailing to a better pickup spot if he made it thru. The rain of chutes from Buffs and a few Double Uglies gave the Vee plenty of easy POW captures besides Jackal.

- The Jolly was hit by a lot more than 12.7mm stuff. He crash landed at a Lima site in nothern Laos and we strafed and bombed the Jolly wreckage.
A Jolly troop of that time lives downhill from my mountain cabin and can prolly give his view of the exercise. He also has good stuff about the Kansas 01 SAR I assisted by leading the smoking Jolly outta Dodge to NKP.
The beef from the old SAR folks was we couldn't turn and bring fire to bear on the Vee as quickly as the A-1 ( the Warthog argument). We were very accurate, just not as quick - ask Hector Acosta of Kansas 01B fame.
================
Oh well, I was blessed (?) to be there for several historic periods and did my thing - '68 Tet, first end of the war 72-73, and real end of the war in 1975.

Gums sends...
Gums
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"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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Unread post25 Jul 2020, 20:48

Gums wrote:Basing procurement upon simple metrics just doesn't hack it these days.

Indeed, but let’s go even further. Basing procurement on even the most sophisticated metrics ever devised by humankind doesn’t hack it these days, either. At least not in the case of the F-35. Most of the F-35’s value lies in intangible considerations that extend far beyond the ability of economists and financial analysts to reliably quantify. While intangible factors are, by definition, not quantifiable in any practical sense, they are no less real than tangible factors. It is even very likely that these intangibles are decisive factors in any fair valuation of the F-35.
Gums wrote:You gonna patch up that pilot who is KIA or POW or injured ?

Gums has already identified at least one intangible above. Can you think of other intangibles adding value to the F-35?
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Unread post26 Jul 2020, 01:40

Salute!

Another intangible is being ubiquitous.

The U.S. has had two widely deployed planes since WW2 - the Double Ugly and the Viper.

That means you can land/divert damn near anyplace and the ground crews there can get you flying and maybe even re-arm you!! It also means spare parts and such if you're broke.

Gums sends...
Gums
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"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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