Death spiral?

Anything goes, as long as it is about the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
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XanderCrews

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Unread post24 Jan 2016, 00:16

Did the F-22 "death spiral" by the classical definition of curtialment, cost escalation, and continued curtailing until "death"??

From what I understand costs had leveled and the program was stopped by the Sec Def. Short of preferred numbers, and although the costs were relatively high they were constant -- it was simply stopped rather than the cost going higher, leading to further reduction.

Am I off ?
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sferrin

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Unread post24 Jan 2016, 04:23

Flyaway cost had come down quite a bit and was almost reasonable. Gates killed it because nobody else was going to have a stealth fighter for 20 years and it was just an expensive Cold War relic ya know. I thought it was hilarious that China did the first flight of their J-20 while Gates was in country. Arrogant idiot.
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cosmicdwarf

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Unread post24 Jan 2016, 04:36

It was killed off to spend money in other areas largely. Spending prioritization change. Whether that is wrong or not depends on what you think the military should spend money on.

Though I tend to be more in the USAF should have more F-22s. But that day has past.
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Unread post24 Jan 2016, 05:12

sferrin wrote:Flyaway cost had come down quite a bit and was almost reasonable. Gates killed it because nobody else was going to have a stealth fighter for 20 years and it was just an expensive Cold War relic ya know. I thought it was hilarious that China did the first flight of their J-20 while Gates was in country. Arrogant idiot.


At the end of F-22 production, after all economies of scale had been realized, each copy of F-22 STILL cost more than $200 million in current dollars (closer to $250M IIRC). It was killed because it was utterly unaffordable. Same as the B-2 and the Seawolf submarine. All were from a narrow absurd era when cost was an afterthought because the services assumed the late Cold War gravy train was going to continue. All 3 are awesome pieces of kit. None had reasonable costs.
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Unread post24 Jan 2016, 05:31

Then there is the little item that Diminishing Manufacturing Sources essentially would have demanded new RDT&E beyond what was required for build beyond the current number. The F-22 is effectively running 3 spirals reflected in combat coded jets and increments possible to each lot, thus another development and "increment path" would have to be set up for further new-builds. The current setup demands 11-12 billions of dollars for developing these spirals.Extra RDT&E and an extra sprial is what is killed further builds, and made the project cost prohibitive and build terminated, not the cost of building "the next F-22".

This is a problem that has been adressed in the JSF project.
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Unread post24 Jan 2016, 07:40

str wrote:
sferrin wrote:Flyaway cost had come down quite a bit and was almost reasonable. Gates killed it because nobody else was going to have a stealth fighter for 20 years and it was just an expensive Cold War relic ya know. I thought it was hilarious that China did the first flight of their J-20 while Gates was in country. Arrogant idiot.


At the end of F-22 production, after all economies of scale had been realized, each copy of F-22 STILL cost more than $200 million in current dollars (closer to $250M IIRC). It was killed because it was utterly unaffordable. Same as the B-2 and the Seawolf submarine. All were from a narrow absurd era when cost was an afterthought because the services assumed the late Cold War gravy train was going to continue. All 3 are awesome pieces of kit. None had reasonable costs.


At the end of production, Unit cost was ~$140M.
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sferrin

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Unread post24 Jan 2016, 14:59

str wrote:
sferrin wrote:Flyaway cost had come down quite a bit and was almost reasonable. Gates killed it because nobody else was going to have a stealth fighter for 20 years and it was just an expensive Cold War relic ya know. I thought it was hilarious that China did the first flight of their J-20 while Gates was in country. Arrogant idiot.


At the end of F-22 production, after all economies of scale had been realized, each copy of F-22 STILL cost more than $200 million in current dollars (closer to $250M IIRC). It was killed because it was utterly unaffordable. Same as the B-2 and the Seawolf submarine. All were from a narrow absurd era when cost was an afterthought because the services assumed the late Cold War gravy train was going to continue. All 3 are awesome pieces of kit. None had reasonable costs.



B-2 and Seawolf were killed because "the Cold War is over and we don't need to buy weapons anymore. Tra, la, la, la, la." Same with Midgetman and SRAM2. The Virginias were bought on the notion that, since The Cold War was over, we could cheap out on submarines. Because, you know, the FSU was going to melt all their submarines down and turn them into plowshares. :doh:
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Unread post24 Jan 2016, 15:10

The F22 "may very well be the most expensive, corroding, hanger queen ever in the history of modern aviation" - John McCain. Its not entirely accurate but it does give a flavor of why the F22 was terminated early. Too many issues with maintenance that required too many fixes. The F35 has had a smoother ride by comparison.
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sferrin

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Unread post24 Jan 2016, 15:12

bumtish wrote:he F-22 is effectively running 3 spirals reflected in combat coded jets and increments possible to each lot, thus another development and "increment path" would have to be set up for further new-builds. The current setup demands 11-12 billions of dollars for developing these spirals.


How is that any different than the F-16 Block 30/32,40/42,50/52,60, big spines, etc. etc.? Or the F-15 C/D, E? Or the F-14A. B. D?

bumtish wrote:Extra RDT&E and an extra sprial is what is killed further builds, and made the project cost prohibitive and build terminated, not the cost of building "the next F-22".


Costs were coming down and, as the program was coming down the learning curve, they would have continued to. Gordon England had a hate-on for the F-22 and passed that onto his boss. Period. Hell, the USAF was willing to give up five HUNDRED F-35s for one hundred more F-22s and they got told no. Two generals were fired for daring to say, "187 isn't enough".
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sferrin

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Unread post24 Jan 2016, 15:14

weasel1962 wrote:The F22 "may very well be the most expensive, corroding, hanger queen ever in the history of modern aviation" - John McCain. Its not entirely accurate but it does give a flavor of why the F22 was terminated early. Too many issues with maintenance that required too many fixes. The F35 has had a smoother ride by comparison.


John McCaine has been senile for some time. And Peirre Sprey had all kinds of things to say about both it and the F-35. Doesn't mean they're both not madder than Hatters.
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Unread post24 Jan 2016, 23:26

sferrin wrote: The Virginias were bought on the notion that, since The Cold War was over, we could cheap out on submarines. Because, you know, the FSU was going to melt all their submarines down and turn them into plowshares. :doh:

I don't think that was quite true. The Virginias were bought on the notion that, with the USSR totally collapsed and their military research going nowhere, the US could take it's time and build a cost effective replacement for old subs. It also focused on making them more multi-role.
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Unread post24 Jan 2016, 23:32

cosmicdwarf wrote:It was killed off to spend money in other areas largely. Spending prioritization change. Whether that is wrong or not depends on what you think the military should spend money on.

Though I tend to be more in the USAF should have more F-22s. But that day has past.

It tend to be in the "the US should spend a larger fraction of it's federal budget on the military" myself.
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Unread post24 Jan 2016, 23:57

I know one of the problems they had go forward was the architecture of the chips they were using was so outdated that nobody else had been using them for 6-7 years by 2008. The cost to build the fabs(which had apparently been scrapped by then) to keep building the same chip was gonna add a lot of cost for the last 100 aircraft or so.
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Unread post25 Jan 2016, 04:03

wrightwing wrote:
str wrote:
sferrin wrote:Flyaway cost had come down quite a bit and was almost reasonable. Gates killed it because nobody else was going to have a stealth fighter for 20 years and it was just an expensive Cold War relic ya know. I thought it was hilarious that China did the first flight of their J-20 while Gates was in country. Arrogant idiot.


At the end of F-22 production, after all economies of scale had been realized, each copy of F-22 STILL cost more than $200 million in current dollars (closer to $250M IIRC). It was killed because it was utterly unaffordable. Same as the B-2 and the Seawolf submarine. All were from a narrow absurd era when cost was an afterthought because the services assumed the late Cold War gravy train was going to continue. All 3 are awesome pieces of kit. None had reasonable costs.


At the end of production, Unit cost was ~$140M.


For just the airplane (in then dollars), it was closer to $150M. Support costs were an additional $30M. Adjust $180M for inflation and it's above $200M, though it appears my initial recollection of ~$250M was probably an overestimate.

That doesn't include the cost of retrofits installed since then.

geforcerfx wrote:I know one of the problems they had go forward was the architecture of the chips they were using was so outdated that nobody else had been using them for 6-7 years by 2008. The cost to build the fabs(which had apparently been scrapped by then) to keep building the same chip was gonna add a lot of cost for the last 100 aircraft or so.


F-22 also uses software written in a very rare language called Ada, which is pretty much only used in military aerospace programs. Which means finding competent programmers is both expensive and time consuming, and the skills don't transfer to other industries.

F-35 is, largely, written in some C variant, which is what they teach in most CS courses. Much easier to find and retain talent.

count_to_10 wrote:
sferrin wrote: The Virginias were bought on the notion that, since The Cold War was over, we could cheap out on submarines. Because, you know, the FSU was going to melt all their submarines down and turn them into plowshares. :doh:

I don't think that was quite true. The Virginias were bought on the notion that, with the USSR totally collapsed and their military research going nowhere, the US could take it's time and build a cost effective replacement for old subs. It also focused on making them more multi-role.


Indeed. Seawolf might be faster and dive deeper, but system wise the Virginias are superior. They, like the F-35, benefitted greatly from the extra 15 years of computing advancements and are far easier to upgrade than the older models.
sferrin wrote:Costs were coming down and, as the program was coming down the learning curve, they would have continued to. Gordon England had a hate-on for the F-22 and passed that onto his boss. Period. Hell, the USAF was willing to give up five HUNDRED F-35s for one hundred more F-22s and they got told no. Two generals were fired for daring to say, "187 isn't enough".


Costs went down, but F-22 was never going to be affordable. F-22 put performance ahead of cost as a design decision. That doesn't work without a Cold War buildup to fund it.

And, as an aside, anyone willing to give up 500 F-35 for 100 F-22 deserves a sacking.
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Unread post25 Jan 2016, 06:34

my :2c: ...

Was the demise of the F-22 a classic death spiral. In my opinion not really. There were a lot of factors that lead to the Raptor's early production termination. Though cost was ONE OF THEM... it was NOT the entire reason. To me political is the main reason. To be more precise ignorance within politics.
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