Super Hornet lives - maybe

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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maus92

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Unread post25 Sep 2013, 00:43

Although the Navy did not request additional Super Hornets in their FY14 President's Budget request, the Congress added funds for advanced procurement of an additional 24 E/Fs for FY14, and "suggests" that the Navy add funding for procurement of 24 in FY15 (the Navy is buying Growlers in FY14.)

(The Senate struck 2 from the advanced procurement request, for 22 F/A-18E/Fs.)

"ITEMS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

F/A-18E/F advance procurement

The budget request contained no funds for advance procurement of F/A-18E/F aircraft. The F/A-18E/F is a naval strike fighter aircraft designed for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

The committee notes that the Department of the Navy's strike fighter shortfall forecast has decreased from last year's predicted 56 aircraft in fiscal year 2025 to a prediction of 18 aircraft in fiscal year 2023 for fiscal year 2014. However, the committee understands that these revised shortfall numbers are based on a decreased projected rate of F/A-18 utilization, successful high flight hour inspections on the fleet of F/A-18A through F/A-18D aircraft that would extend their useful flight hours to 9,000, and a service life extension program for 150 F/A-18A through D aircraft that would extend the useful flight hours of those aircraft to 10,000. The committee further notes that the Department of the Navy considers its plan to maintain the required strike fighter inventory with some risk, and the committee believes that a fiscal year 2015 procurement of additional F/A-18E/F aircraft, which have a useful life of 9,000 hours, would reduce the Department of the Navy's risk in maintaining the required inventory of strike fighter aircraft.

Therefore, the committee recommends an increase of $75.0 million for advance procurement of F/A-18E/F aircraft and encourages the Department of the Navy to budget for 24 additional F/A-18E/F aircraft in fiscal year 2015."

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/? ... OC_208228&
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geogen

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Unread post26 Sep 2013, 07:32

Thanks for that updated info on Naval Tacair recap planning, Maus92...

This updated revision would sound fairly prudent and strategic in hedging risk.

Who knows...maybe even USMC will be advised by policymakers to hedge risks starting in FY15, FY16?

An F-18F ASH-lite with CFT and a centerline Litening SE pod would be a considerably cheaper Hornet-replacement alternative than F-35B, let alone have greater endurance and loiter performance when operating in CAS role. Moreover, it's buddy-tanking ability wouldn't hurt either.
The Super-Viper has not yet begun to concede.
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lookieloo

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Unread post26 Sep 2013, 08:31

maus92 wrote:Although the Navy did not request additional Super Hornets in their FY14 President's Budget request, the Congress added funds for advanced procurement of an additional 24 E/Fs for FY14, and "suggests" that the Navy add funding for procurement of 24 in FY15 (the Navy is buying Growlers in FY14.)

(The Senate struck 2 from the advanced procurement request, for 22 F/A-18E/Fs.)

"ITEMS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

F/A-18E/F advance procurement

The budget request contained no funds for advance procurement of F/A-18E/F aircraft. The F/A-18E/F is a naval strike fighter aircraft designed for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

The committee notes that the Department of the Navy's strike fighter shortfall forecast has decreased from last year's predicted 56 aircraft in fiscal year 2025 to a prediction of 18 aircraft in fiscal year 2023 for fiscal year 2014. However, the committee understands that these revised shortfall numbers are based on a decreased projected rate of F/A-18 utilization, successful high flight hour inspections on the fleet of F/A-18A through F/A-18D aircraft that would extend their useful flight hours to 9,000, and a service life extension program for 150 F/A-18A through D aircraft that would extend the useful flight hours of those aircraft to 10,000. The committee further notes that the Department of the Navy considers its plan to maintain the required strike fighter inventory with some risk, and the committee believes that a fiscal year 2015 procurement of additional F/A-18E/F aircraft, which have a useful life of 9,000 hours, would reduce the Department of the Navy's risk in maintaining the required inventory of strike fighter aircraft.

Therefore, the committee recommends an increase of $75.0 million for advance procurement of F/A-18E/F aircraft and encourages the Department of the Navy to budget for 24 additional F/A-18E/F aircraft in fiscal year 2015."

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/? ... OC_208228&
Sounds like more than a "maybe." Carrier jets age fast, and since the Shornet has no slated replacement yet...
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maus92

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Unread post26 Sep 2013, 18:49

lookieloo wrote:
maus92 wrote:Although the Navy did not request additional Super Hornets in their FY14 President's Budget request, the Congress added funds for advanced procurement of an additional 24 E/Fs for FY14, and "suggests" that the Navy add funding for procurement of 24 in FY15 (the Navy is buying Growlers in FY14.)

(The Senate struck 2 from the advanced procurement request, for 22 F/A-18E/Fs.)

"ITEMS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

F/A-18E/F advance procurement

The budget request contained no funds for advance procurement of F/A-18E/F aircraft. The F/A-18E/F is a naval strike fighter aircraft designed for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

The committee notes that the Department of the Navy's strike fighter shortfall forecast has decreased from last year's predicted 56 aircraft in fiscal year 2025 to a prediction of 18 aircraft in fiscal year 2023 for fiscal year 2014. However, the committee understands that these revised shortfall numbers are based on a decreased projected rate of F/A-18 utilization, successful high flight hour inspections on the fleet of F/A-18A through F/A-18D aircraft that would extend their useful flight hours to 9,000, and a service life extension program for 150 F/A-18A through D aircraft that would extend the useful flight hours of those aircraft to 10,000. The committee further notes that the Department of the Navy considers its plan to maintain the required strike fighter inventory with some risk, and the committee believes that a fiscal year 2015 procurement of additional F/A-18E/F aircraft, which have a useful life of 9,000 hours, would reduce the Department of the Navy's risk in maintaining the required inventory of strike fighter aircraft.

Therefore, the committee recommends an increase of $75.0 million for advance procurement of F/A-18E/F aircraft and encourages the Department of the Navy to budget for 24 additional F/A-18E/F aircraft in fiscal year 2015."

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/? ... OC_208228&
Sounds like more than a "maybe." Carrier jets age fast, and since the Shornet has no slated replacement yet...


The advanced procurement will make it in FY14, the question is what version will be produced in FY15. Probably -Fs, but some portion could be changed to -Gs.

Several things at work here. Super Hornets are fine aircraft, and will compromise the bulk of Naval Aviation for decades to come; there is a concern about future tactical aircraft expertise being concentrated in one company; there are still risks inherent with F-35B/C development; SLEPing A-D is stupid - ok, less than optimal; and Boeing has friends in high places.
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flighthawk128

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Unread post27 Sep 2013, 02:21

Not to mention the UCLASS program that will be becoming a reality in the next decade or so, with General Atomic, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing competing in that too. Wondering if the Navy has enough money. And is it just me, or does LM's UCLASS design look like somebody took a B-2, scaled it, and married it to Boeing's X47B?
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Unread post27 Sep 2013, 02:28

flighthawk128 wrote:Not to mention the UCLASS program that will be becoming a reality in the next decade or so, with General Atomic, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing competing in that too. Wondering if the Navy has enough money. And is it just me, or does LM's UCLASS design look like somebody took a B-2, scaled it, and married it to Boeing's X47B?
Christ... :roll:
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lookieloo

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Unread post27 Sep 2013, 02:50

maus92 wrote:
lookieloo wrote:
maus92 wrote:Therefore, the committee recommends an increase of $75.0 million for advance procurement of F/A-18E/F aircraft and encourages the Department of the Navy to budget for 24 additional F/A-18E/F aircraft in fiscal year 2015."

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/? ... OC_208228&
Sounds like more than a "maybe." Carrier jets age fast, and since the Shornet has no slated replacement yet...
The advanced procurement will make it in FY14, the question is what version will be produced in FY15. Probably -Fs, but some portion could be changed to -Gs.

Several things at work here. Super Hornets are fine aircraft, and will compromise the bulk of Naval Aviation for decades to come; there is a concern about future tactical aircraft expertise being concentrated in one company; there are still risks inherent with F-35B/C development; SLEPing A-D is stupid - ok, less than optimal; and Boeing has friends in high places.
It's gonna be over a decade before Boeing needs to worry about the Shornet having serious competition for space on our carrier decks; so I don't really see where the F-35C figures in here or what the hell F-35B has to do with anything. Perhaps the USN is taking a more common-sense approach by replacing the oldest hornets with new Shornets now, then replacing the remaining hornets and a few older Shornets with F-35Cs later (say that 3-times fast).
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discofishing

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Unread post28 Sep 2013, 18:14

Does anyone have some good references as to the disposition of the NAVY/USMC Legacy Hornet fleet? I understand airframe center barrel replacements have happened, but I am curious as to what else has been done. Is there a considerable difference in wear-and-tear in the F-18A/B fleet as opposed to the F-18C/D fleet?
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maus92

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Unread post05 Oct 2013, 17:14

discofishing wrote:Does anyone have some good references as to the disposition of the NAVY/USMC Legacy Hornet fleet? I understand airframe center barrel replacements have happened, but I am curious as to what else has been done. Is there a considerable difference in wear-and-tear in the F-18A/B fleet as opposed to the F-18C/D fleet?


Can't give you the stats between the models A/B vs. C/D, but I believe the current policy is rework only select later model Hornets. Each of the 2 depots (North Island and Jacksonville) that do the CBR+ procedure can rework about 15 aircraft per year, although sequestration has affected the output somewhat. About 150 have been done so far, with about 300 still requiring the work - not all will be done. The CBR+ program ends in 2017, and costs about 3m per jet. The first aircraft that went through the process has been retired, having used up its additional life. The first Super Hornet is going through the process now, but no formal CBR program exists for the Supers yet. This particular -E SH was damaged in a mid-air, and is receiving a CB from a -F that was stricken. While structurally similar, there are differences internally wrt wiring and plumbing, and between one production lot vs. another.

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