USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 31 Oct 2017, 18:34
by SpudmanWP
The US Air Force estimates it would cost more than $1.7 billion over 11 years to upgrade 34 Lockheed Martin F-22s from a training configuration to a fully modernised, operational status, according to a USAF report sent to Congress.

The August report, recently obtained by FlightGlobal, outlines the estimated cost and schedule to bring 31 Block 20 Raptors supporting pilot training and another three Block 20 aircraft supporting flight test to the combat-coded Block 30/35 configuration.


$1.7 billion for 34 F-22s is $50 mil each.

More at the jump

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... on-442672/

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2017, 00:53
by neurotech
The USAF also plans to introduce a helmet-mounted cueing system for weapons and a "billion dollar" sensor upgrade for the Block 30/35 fleet, the report says.

Also, they are upgrading more than the 34 jets .

There are ~100 jets in the Block 30/35 sub-fleet. HMCS hopefully.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2017, 01:09
by popcorn
Makes sense. Just do it.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2017, 03:37
by SpudmanWP
neurotech wrote:Also, they are upgrading more than the 34 jets .

I am sure they are, just not as part of this $1.7 billion.

The tactical updates cost almost $8 million more per aircraft, bringing the price per aircraft to $50.5 million.


$1.7 billion / 34 F-22s = $50 mil.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2017, 03:53
by popcorn
Includes a helmet-mounted cueing system, Finally.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2017, 05:05
by wrightwing
I'm curious to the sensor upgrade (i.e. IRST, DAS-lite, cheek arrays?)

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2017, 06:25
by SpudmanWP
my guess is radar & ESM updates

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2017, 06:34
by popcorn
11 years to modernize 34 jets. Hopefully the AF will be able to get more money up front and shorten the time frame.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2017, 06:36
by Corsair1963
SpudmanWP wrote:
The US Air Force estimates it would cost more than $1.7 billion over 11 years to upgrade 34 Lockheed Martin F-22s from a training configuration to a fully modernised, operational status, according to a USAF report sent to Congress.

The August report, recently obtained by FlightGlobal, outlines the estimated cost and schedule to bring 31 Block 20 Raptors supporting pilot training and another three Block 20 aircraft supporting flight test to the combat-coded Block 30/35 configuration.


$1.7 billion for 34 F-22s is $50 mil each.

More at the jump

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... on-442672/



If, these 34 early F-22's are dedicated to Training and Testing. Wouldn't it make far more sense to just buy 20+ new F-35A's instead??? (just saying)

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2017, 07:16
by wrightwing
SpudmanWP wrote:my guess is radar & ESM updates

I assume that radar and ESM will be upgraded anyhow. What piqued my curiosity was the phrase "new sensor," rather than new radar or new ESM. IR sensors would address the passive shortcomings vs other reduced signature targets. I know they'd mentioned upgrades to the AN/AAR-56, in the past. Adding open architecture, improved radar/ESM, HMD, IR sensors, and increased datalink compatibility, would go a long way to maintaining superiority.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2017, 15:55
by mixelflick
[/quote]


If, these 34 early F-22's are dedicated to Training and Testing. Wouldn't it make far more sense to just buy 20+ new F-35A's instead??? (just saying)[/quote]

I don't think so. The F-22/F-15 combo is the stated air superiority team. Nothing can duplicate a Raptor other than another Raptor. Plus those F-35's should be dedicated to their strengths: Air to ground with secondary self-protect capability. Maybe further down the line when more F-35's are in play and fewer F-15's are available..

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 03 Nov 2017, 00:09
by charlielima223
wrightwing wrote:I assume that radar and ESM will be upgraded anyhow. What piqued my curiosity was the phrase "new sensor," rather than new radar or new ESM. IR sensors would address the passive shortcomings vs other reduced signature targets. I know they'd mentioned upgrades to the AN/AAR-56, in the past. Adding open architecture, improved radar/ESM, HMD, IR sensors, and increased datalink compatibility, would go a long way to maintaining superiority.


You think they're going to make the AN/AAR-56 more "DAS like"? Seems to me the hardware is there just not the software.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 03 Nov 2017, 03:50
by neptune
Corsair1963 wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:
..If, these 34 early F-22's are dedicated to Training and Testing. Wouldn't it make far more sense to just buy 20+ new F-35A's instead??? (just saying)


....getting 30+ F-22As for the cost of 18ish F-35s seems to be a "Great!" investment; for "commonality" and a 15% increase in the fleet capacity.

....now that the "Lite" has somewhat proven?? the training simulator, the opportunity to upgrade the "early birds/ trainers" seems an obvious given.

....who knows??, maybe even a little "secret sauce" might be added???

....could/ would this be a trend for the "Lite"??
:wink:

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2017, 04:13
by mas
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-bu ... eady-23771

The United States Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a new “indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract” worth roughly $7 billion to sustain the F-22 Raptor through December 31, 2027.

“This contract provides for comprehensive F-22 air vehicle sustainment,” reads a Defense Department contract award.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2017, 04:40
by neptune
mas wrote:http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/lockheed-martin-awarded-7-billion-contract-get-f-22-ready-23771

The United States Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a new “indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract” worth roughly $7 billion to sustain the F-22 Raptor through December 31, 2027.

“This contract provides for comprehensive F-22 air vehicle sustainment,” reads a Defense Department contract award.


Release No: CR-246-17
Dec. 21, 2017

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a total estimated value of $7,000,000,000 for F-22 sustainment. This contract provides for comprehensive F-22 air vehicle sustainment.

Work will be performed at;

- five operational bases Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada; Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; and at

- six support locations Edwards Air Force Base, California; Palmdale, California; Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma; Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas; and Warner Robins Air Force Base, Georgia,

- as well as at other potential stateside and overseas locations, combat deployment and enroute support bases, potential locations through depot partnering agreements, and system program office locations.

The contract has a five-year base ordering period with work expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2027 (10yrs.). This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $1,906,535 are being obligated at the time of award.

Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8205-18-D-0001).
:)

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2017, 07:45
by citanon
Given 186 operational planes, that's $37 million per plane. :shock:

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2017, 08:57
by neptune
citanon wrote:Given 186 operational planes, that's $37 million per plane. :shock:


"with work expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2027" or 10 years!, thus $3.7 million per plane per year.
:|

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2017, 16:26
by tailgate
Being an Eagle Driver in late 92 with the 1st fighter wing, there was an invitation to attend a forum on requirements and specifications of the next generational platform. Basically it was a meet and greet to see what we would like to "see" in that platform. It involved aviators from across the services.
I know the 35 was developed using the HMDS system. It was a topic of many a conversation. It's a reach, but I always wondered what enhancement that would have brought to the Raptor.
I have no idea what it would be like to integrate something like that into an existing airframe, but one could hope.........

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2017, 00:22
by popcorn
The Raptor has been described as a 5gen jet with a 4gen cockpit.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2017, 01:52
by neptune
popcorn wrote:The Raptor has been described as a 5gen jet with a 4gen cockpit.


....maybe.....4+++??
:)

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2017, 02:31
by tailgate
Yea, I think the airframe was way ahead of the avionics at some point, but I won't sell it short. The Raptor still has avionics/capabilities that made it a generational leap over 4/4.5 gen fighters.

I know that HCMS was a big deal, but I never saw it as a negative when I was flying the jet. My intention was to never let you get close enough to use it and even then staying "invisible" was the name of the game. I think the HMDS would have been beneficial in allowing you to "unlock" from certain tasks associated with the HUD.

It was and is my opinion that the Raptor could have been fielded a little later than it was and then maybe more system maturity would have made its way in there. But the brass was worried about the 27/29/31/35 threat I think more than they should have been.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2017, 03:57
by wrightwing
If they do nothing else (which they won't) they need to add MADL/Link 16 transmit. That alone, would be a major upgrade.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2017, 14:59
by madrat
/sarcasm mode
How much to add a second seat in the non-standard F-22A. If they were already being used for training, make them two-seats.
/sarcasm off

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 28 Dec 2017, 17:12
by quicksilver
tailgate wrote:Yea, I think the airframe was way ahead of the avionics at some point, but I won't sell it short. The Raptor still has avionics/capabilities that made it a generational leap over 4/4.5 gen fighters.

I know that HCMS was a big deal, but I never saw it as a negative when I was flying the jet. My intention was to never let you get close enough to use it and even then staying "invisible" was the name of the game. I think the HMDS would have been beneficial in allowing you to "unlock" from certain tasks associated with the HUD.

It was and is my opinion that the Raptor could have been fielded a little later than it was and then maybe more system maturity would have made its way in there. But the brass was worried about the 27/29/31/35 threat I think more than they should have been.


Because this is 2017 and we are walking around with electronic devices that allow us to communicate with the other side of the planet for a few movements of our fingers, we forget the pathway that got us here. Raptor mission systems and the power to run them were pretty cosmic things when they were in development and early fielding; they remain really bleeping good today (proabably better than anything not named F-35), just not what the state of the art might be.

"Fielding F-22 later" would have killed it; it barely survived as it was.

I also think there is a collective amnesia about how the pace of technological change affects our expectations in aircraft acquisition. Very simply, the pace of technological change is dramatically outpacing the speed at which the USG acquisition can field weapons systems. The (il) logical extension of waiting for the latest widget is that they never field anything because there's always a 'new shiney object' that someone wants to dangle in front of your eyes about the same time the last 'new shiney object' is being fielded.

There has to be a technical baseline, but there has to be a better/faster way of delivering capability to the operational forces; the systems commands, DoD and Congressional interests are all wrestling with that right now.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2017, 00:35
by neptune
neptune wrote:
citanon wrote:Given 186 operational planes, that's $37 million per plane. :shock:


"with work expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2027" or 10 years!, thus $3.7 million per plane per year.
:|


....once again, open mouth and insert leg! :oops:

The $50mil/ a/c is for the 34 trainers brought up to Block 30/35 to increase the number of front line F-22s by those same additional 34 a/c.

Yes!, this is a good proposal!...@ 11 yrs or (3/ yr, serially)?

...Is this sequenced into the existing F-22 fleet scheduled upgrade activities/ facilities?

...Since LM is proposing this, might they "upgrade" (3) LM F-22s with the LM F-35 avionics systems and the LM F-35 electric, hydraulic acutator systems?
:wink:

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2017, 02:02
by arian
neptune wrote:
neptune wrote:
citanon wrote:Given 186 operational planes, that's $37 million per plane. :shock:


"with work expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2027" or 10 years!, thus $3.7 million per plane per year.
:|


....once again, open mouth and insert leg! :oops:

The $37mil/ a/c is for the 34 trainers brought up to Block 30/35 to increase the number of front line F-22s by those same additional 34 a/c.

Yes!, this is a good proposal!...@ 11 yrs or (3/ yr, serially)?

...Is this sequenced into the existing F-22 fleet scheduled upgrade activities/ facilities?

...Since LM is proposing this, might they "upgrade" (3) LM F-22s with the LM F-35 avionics systems and the LM F-35 electric, hydraulic acutator systems?
:wink:


I'd suggest someone find that actual report this article is claiming to be citing, rather than relying on a journalist's interpretation of the report. I'd bet the "10 year" thing is for the entire F-22 upgrade cycle which includes all the planes, and this 34 plane one is just part of that. And if these 34 planes are to be upgraded at the same time as all the other F-22s, then yes the upgrade cycle for them will also be 10 years just like the entire fleet.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2017, 02:16
by popcorn
quicksilver wrote:...There has to be a technical baseline, but there has to be a better/faster way of delivering capability to the operational forces; the systems commands, DoD and Congressional interests are all wrestling with that right now.


I think we're seeing some of that thinking reflected in the B-21 acquisition and an effort to stay away from the bleeding edge where possible.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2017, 10:07
by neptune
arian wrote:
I'd suggest someone find that actual report this article is claiming to be citing, rather than relying on a journalist's interpretation of the report. I'd bet the "10 year" thing is for the entire F-22 upgrade cycle which includes all the planes, and this 34 plane one is just part of that. And if these 34 planes are to be upgraded at the same time as all the other F-22s, then yes the upgrade cycle for them will also be 10 years just like the entire fleet.



....no luck!, I can only find "FG" references over a dozen articles/ comments!, any luck elsewhere?
:)

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2017, 13:25
by mixelflick
So we're upgrading 34 "trainers" to be combat capable, a big increase (% wise) of the F-22 fleet.

It seems so simple... why wasn't it thought of before? Or is/was it a $ issue??

With respect to its sensors/systems, I keep harpening back to a conference where a pilot was speaking about the F-35 (he also flew F-22's). He said (paraphrasing), "the least impressive thing about the Raptor is its speed/stealth/raw performance"...

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2017, 15:38
by geforcerfx
There was nothing else for the past pilots to train on that had the same sensor capability and cockpit design. I'm assuming with the F-35 and the t-x coming online in the next few years F-22 pilots will train on F-35's T-Xs and simulators.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2017, 15:58
by quicksilver
geforcerfx wrote:There was nothing else for the past pilots to train on that had the same sensor capability and cockpit design.


Huh??

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2017, 17:32
by botsing
quicksilver wrote:
geforcerfx wrote:There was nothing else for the past pilots to train on that had the same sensor capability and cockpit design.


Huh??

If there is only one operational F-22 then this would be true. :mrgreen:

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2017, 15:27
by mixelflick
I spoke at length with an F-22 pilot this summer, with respect to his bird (was a Tyndall F-22). I asked if it was an training bird. He said yes it's been used for that but.... all F-22's are combat capable.

So do the training birds just not have the latest updates? Meaning they can still fight, but aren't wired for the 9x etc yet??

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2017, 19:05
by arian
mixelflick wrote:I spoke at length with an F-22 pilot this summer, with respect to his bird (was a Tyndall F-22). I asked if it was an training bird. He said yes it's been used for that but.... all F-22's are combat capable.

So do the training birds just not have the latest updates? Meaning they can still fight, but aren't wired for the 9x etc yet??


Yes they are talking about bringing them "up to" the upgrade level of the rest of the fleet.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2017, 21:01
by tailgate
Yes, all Raptors are "combat" coded, but front line aircraft will get the latest greatest software and gadgets.

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 31 Dec 2017, 22:03
by neptune
tailgate wrote:Yes, all Raptors are "combat" coded, but front line aircraft will get the latest greatest software and gadgets.


....just a few numbers;

- 2016 - 36 Block 20 training and 149 Block 30/35 combat aircraft

- 2018 - 3.2B upgrade will include a new stores management system to show the correct symbols for the AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120D AMRAAM with improved control

- Future - next-generation sensors, which involves designing new hardware and antennas. Subsequent upgrades are also focusing on an open avionics platform to enable faster future upgrades.
:)

...earlier in this thread, LM offers 36 Blk20 to Blk30/35 upgrade @ $50mil ea., with 1/ <4mth. for 11ish yrs.
:roll:

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 01 Jan 2018, 03:57
by tailgate
neptune wrote:
tailgate wrote:Yes, all Raptors are "combat" coded, but front line aircraft will get the latest greatest software and gadgets.


....just a few numbers;

- 2016 - 36 Block 20 training and 149 Block 30/35 combat aircraft

- 2018 - 3.2B upgrade will include a new stores management system to show the correct symbols for the AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120D AMRAAM with improved control

- Future - next-generation sensors, which involves designing new hardware and antennas. Subsequent upgrades are also focusing on an open avionics platform to enable faster future upgrades.
:)

...earlier in this thread, LM offers 36 Blk20 to Blk30/35 upgrade @ $50mil ea., with 1/ <4mth. for 11ish yrs.




:roll:



You are correct, just stating that all jets are "combat" capable regardless of Block........

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 01 Jan 2018, 18:33
by mixelflick
tailgate wrote:Yes, all Raptors are "combat" coded, but front line aircraft will get the latest greatest software and gadgets.


Thanks much. I guess when you have so few of them... Which reminds me.. The Soviets used to have a rule about anything flying (even experimental or prototype birds) ... had to be able to defend the motherland if attacked. Even if I meant ramming an enemy aircraft. Any idea if the Russians still mandate that today?

In any case, I'm stoked about these upgrades and more $ going into bringing the whole fleet up to snuff. We don't have many, but from what I gather it doesn't take many for our enemies to second guess themselves..

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 01 Jan 2018, 19:51
by tailgate
mixelflick wrote:
tailgate wrote:Yes, all Raptors are "combat" coded, but front line aircraft will get the latest greatest software and gadgets.


Thanks much. I guess when you have so few of them... Which reminds me.. The Soviets used to have a rule about anything flying (even experimental or prototype birds) ... had to be able to defend the motherland if attacked. Even if I meant ramming an enemy aircraft. Any idea if the Russians still mandate that today?

In any case, I'm stoked about these upgrades and more $ going into bringing the whole fleet up to snuff. We don't have many, but from what I gather it doesn't take many for our enemies to second guess themselves..



Personally I never heard that. When I did my tour thru Bitburg AB the rumor was that some eastern block front line units were so bare and under resourced they had no weapons to hang on the jets....... :D

Re: USAF estimates F-22 updates could cost $1.7 billion

Unread postPosted: 01 Jan 2018, 23:27
by arian
neptune wrote:...earlier in this thread, LM offers 36 Blk20 to Blk30/35 upgrade @ $50mil ea., with 1/ <4mth. for 11ish yrs.
:roll:


I'm going to take a wild guess here and say that this is only the journalistic interpretation of the facts. What it probably is, is an 11 year program to upgrade the entire fleet with all these new gadgets (which includes major radar upgrades etc), and these 36 are simply part of this package, and would be upgraded to that same level. So since the entire upgrade may take 11 years, then it would nominally take so for them as well.

11 years implying the full fleet will be done in 11 years. 11 years isn't the time when they start actually putting stuff on the planes, but includes the time to develop and test the technology etc., which may be several years in itself.