Restarting F-22 production

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

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Unread post24 Apr 2016, 19:53

durahawk wrote:
quicksilver wrote: Restart at zero for manufacturing learning curve


Actually, the F-22 is probably one of the best preserved lines in history:
A total of more than 30,000 jigs, fixtures and other "tooling" used to build the plane are being logged into a database and tucked into containers, some custom built, for long-term storage at Sierra Army Depot, Herlong, California.

The Sierra depot's high desert climate, low humidity and mild temperatures, are optimal for systems that might be needed to build components to support the fleet, or perhaps one day resume production.

Lockheed is under Air Force contract also to preserve the shop-floor know-how used to manufacture the fighter. It is accomplishing this through a video library of "smart books," DVDs designed to capture such things as how to hold a tool for best results.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-fighter-usa-lockheed-idUSTRE7BC09T20111213

This is of course is just Lockheed though, and there probably are thousands of suppliers who made parts for the F-22 and F119 engine. Many of these suppliers may continue to produce spares or a shared part with the F-35/F135, but there is likely an equivalent number who have shut down entirely. The primary goal of the Air Force in preserving the Lockheed tooling was to increase sustainment capability and decrease cost. I don't see the F-22 ever returning production unless World War III breaks out and we are in desperate need for fighters. I think at this point, the money that would be spent on an additional batch of Raptors would be better spent on either buying more F-35's or R&D on a sixth gen.


WWIII would be over before they could even order the new challenge coins. Even if the tooling and documentation were stored perfectly, the people who knew how to use it all are moved onto other programs. It would be easier than starting from a blank slate (probably) but it wouldn't be a slam dunk by any means. Then there's capacity. With the F-35, 787, 777X, B-21, and others coming on line shortly available capacity is going to get scarce.
"There I was. . ."
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KamenRiderBlade

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Unread post24 Apr 2016, 20:17

With the amount of things needed to be done to bring the F-22 up to speed.

It'd almost be easier to make a 6th gen platform that was based off of 5th gen technology with room to grow and leave it at that.
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neurotech

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Unread post24 Apr 2016, 21:02

XanderCrews wrote:In the great USAF vs Robert Gates fight, Gates is looking rather foolish as time goes on.

I would disagree. The F-35 avionics was not mature enough to leverage the JSF program to benefit the F-22 significantly, and the budget wasn't there to keep the F-22 production line open while they figure it out.

Contrary to popular belief, I don't believe Sec. Gates was anti-F-22, but more concerned about the costs of the program with an already constrained budget. Due to some stupid choices with regard to F-22 avionics made well before he was SECDEF, the avionics became ancient and difficult to cheaply upgrade. Knowing that the F-22 didn't have the A/G capability for current operations anytime soon, he had to cut the program.

My understanding was that when Sec. Gates asked about extending F-22 production, the DMS (Diminishing Manufacturing Sources) costs were excessively high, and re-tooling the F-22 production line for efficiency (based on F-35 innovations) was too expensive. If the various contractors involved has been able to reduce costs things might have been different.
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durahawk

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Unread post24 Apr 2016, 22:11

neurotech wrote: Due to some stupid choices with regard to F-22 avionics made well before he was SECDEF, the avionics became ancient and difficult to cheaply upgrade.


ADA boy!

Weapons systems live and die by the requirements that constrain their designs. The recent push towards industry standards and commercial off the shelf (COTS) items was a long time in coming.
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quicksilver

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Unread post24 Apr 2016, 23:19

sferrin wrote:
quicksilver wrote:How soon we forget...

F22 was a nightmare of a program. I wont take everyone through the links -- you can google them yourself, but for example -- anyone remember the minor international dateline problem?


Judas. That was like a ten minute software fix. :roll: By that measure EVERY program is a "nightmare of a program". Newsflash: Almost every program has issues, and the more groundbreaking it is the more it has. Because, you know, it's harder.


LOL.

Read what I said -- that was but one example. Try for yourself; Google "F-22 problems".

But dont believe me -- Im just another internet voice. Read what responsible analysts like Todd Harrison at CSBA think about the matter.

http://www.defenseone.com/technology/20 ... ke/127729/

Mark my words -- if the USAF doesnt cease trying to save face with F-22 mythology, they're going to dither around and truncate/death spiral another program and put themsleves in an unrecoverable place for recap. F-15s and F-16s arent good enough any more if the other guys can actually shoot back, and they cant get to the numbers they need for recap buying $200M F-22s.
Last edited by quicksilver on 24 Apr 2016, 23:38, edited 1 time in total.
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quicksilver

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Unread post24 Apr 2016, 23:31

"Actually, the F-22 is probably one of the best preserved lines in history" -- dh

Recommend you do some research on 'production learning curve'. In this case, it's what happens after you start again -- after all the tooling is in place, you've hired the skilled labor you need, you've got a fully functional supply chain, and you're producing stuff again. Also applies at smaller scale with each of the subs.
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quicksilver

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Unread post24 Apr 2016, 23:33

neurotech wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:In the great USAF vs Robert Gates fight, Gates is looking rather foolish as time goes on.

I would disagree. The F-35 avionics was not mature enough to leverage the JSF program to benefit the F-22 significantly, and the budget wasn't there to keep the F-22 production line open while they figure it out.

Contrary to popular belief, I don't believe Sec. Gates was anti-F-22, but more concerned about the costs of the program with an already constrained budget. Due to some stupid choices with regard to F-22 avionics made well before he was SECDEF, the avionics became ancient and difficult to cheaply upgrade. Knowing that the F-22 didn't have the A/G capability for current operations anytime soon, he had to cut the program.

My understanding was that when Sec. Gates asked about extending F-22 production, the DMS (Diminishing Manufacturing Sources) costs were excessively high, and re-tooling the F-22 production line for efficiency (based on F-35 innovations) was too expensive. If the various contractors involved has been able to reduce costs things might have been different.


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durahawk

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Unread post25 Apr 2016, 00:03

quicksilver wrote:"Actually, the F-22 is probably one of the best preserved lines in history" -- dh

Recommend you do some research on 'production learning curve'. In this case, it's what happens after you start again -- after all the tooling is in place, you've hired the skilled labor you need, you've got a fully functional supply chain, and you're producing stuff again. Also applies at smaller scale with each of the subs.


No need. I live it daily at my current gig, which I why I think those calling for the F-22 to be put back into production are completely unrealistic, especially with the impending FRP ramp with JSF. My point was that in the case of the F-22, the Air Force did go out of there way to capture the "tribal knowledge", something that the aerospace industry as a whole can do better at.
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popcorn

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Unread post25 Apr 2016, 00:20

All the stuff in storage should be more useful for a future Raptor SLEP...
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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mrigdon

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Unread post25 Apr 2016, 01:50

We'll see what the Air Force says when they report to the Committee, but it may be a lot harder to get everything up and running again than what outsiders think.

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/raptor-resurrected-what-will-it-take-restart-f-22-fighter-15862

Haven't seen this posted here and the source is obviously off the record, but if this is true, maybe the Air Force and Lockheed didn't do everything possible to preserve the tooling and knowledge.

In one example, Air Force maintainers needed to build a particular component from scratch to replace a severely damaged part for an F-22. The crews went into the Conex boxes where the tooling and instructions to build the part were allegedly stored, but to their considerable surprise and aggravation, the container was empty. The same pattern repeated itself several times—and as of the last time the source checked–the issue has not been completely resolved. The bottom line is that even if the Air Force wanted to, it may not be physically possible to restart the line—at least not without a huge additional investment in time and money.
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durahawk

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Unread post25 Apr 2016, 13:34

mrigdon wrote:
In one example, Air Force maintainers needed to build a particular component from scratch to replace a severely damaged part for an F-22. The crews went into the Conex boxes where the tooling and instructions to build the part were allegedly stored, but to their considerable surprise and aggravation, the container was empty. The same pattern repeated itself several times—and as of the last time the source checked–the issue has not been completely resolved. The bottom line is that even if the Air Force wanted to, it may not be physically possible to restart the line—at least not without a huge additional investment in time and money.


IF this is true, it would seem like this would be a major breach of contract if indeed Lockheed's fault. The fact we haven't heard squat about this inclines me to believe DoD thinks it lost the tooling internally after receipt.. something that happens way more often than it should.
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Unread post25 Apr 2016, 20:24

Personally I would like to just get to the point where the raptors have a decent helmet, full link 16 and a 5th to 5th datalink. Treat them like the silver bullet squad that they are and get them properly upgraded.

I'm assuming that by the early 2020's this will all be accomplished.
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KamenRiderBlade

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Unread post25 Apr 2016, 22:00

durahawk wrote:IF this is true, it would seem like this would be a major breach of contract if indeed Lockheed's fault. The fact we haven't heard squat about this inclines me to believe DoD thinks it lost the tooling internally after receipt.. something that happens way more often than it should.

Why would losing tooling happen way more often?

How hard is it to keep a secure warehouse locked down?
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cosmicdwarf

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Unread post26 Apr 2016, 13:10

les_paul59 wrote:Does anyone think Trump might politicize restarting f-22 production like Romney did in 2012?

He's always saying "we are going to buy the military equipment that the generals want"
Although I'm not sure the USAF actually wants more raptors like they might have 5 years ago.

The Generals don't want the F-22 at this point, they want the 6th gen fighter.
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Unread post26 Apr 2016, 13:48

les_paul59 wrote:Personally I would like to just get to the point where the raptors have a decent helmet, full link 16 and a 5th to 5th datalink. Treat them like the silver bullet squad that they are and get them properly upgraded.

I'm assuming that by the early 2020's this will all be accomplished.


^^^THIS^^^
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