Development Cost - Comparison w/ other fighter jet programs

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m

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Unread post24 Mar 2013, 15:14

geogen wrote:Order new build F-16C/D with new computer, new display (in development), equip with latest MAWS (providing ground fire location capability), AESA w/SAR and Litening SE pod (1k FLIR). Add CFT and a couple EFT enabling up to an extra 1 hr on station vs F-35. Arm with next-gen precision guided CAS munitions under development.

Buy 3 said new F-16s (fully equipped and armed) for every 2 F-35 in FY15. Sustain nearly twice more flyable hours per operational budget allocated. Call it a day.


Still Russians, Chinese as well as India are building (and will fly) 5th generation jets.
What is gonna happen with the market in the near future as well do you think?
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KamenRiderBlade

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Unread post24 Mar 2013, 16:03

geogen wrote:
firstimpulse wrote:
kamenriderblade wrote:That being said, not all enemies will fight in the same manner.
Yes Stealth is a huge aspect to offense, but for a force like North Korea who doesn't have Stealth technology, they have something called MASSIVE numbers, they can zerg rush the enemies on land, air, and sea and cause massive damage to South Korea before NATO / US can come in to back them up.


If you actually look at the numbers of servicable aircraft in the Chinese/Russian/DPRK aresenals, and the tactics they practice, this "MASSIVE" wave of aircraft as an opponent in the near term is not realistic. In twenty years perhaps, but even if half of China's airforce and the entirety of the North Korean's MiGs boldly flew south of the DMZ, the current forces US/SK forces in place would still have missiles left over after shooting two at each enemy airplane. And in twenty years we'll have perfected Cuda, and things will get even worse for the swarms.

Even if a hundred guys armed with pitchforks and knifes rush a machine gun nest, the machine gun is still going to win. Technology at work.


Can you please provide a link to that site giving details into said tactics and actual numbers of serviceable manned and 'unmanned' jets available today and by say, 2017? Sounds like an interesting website. Thanks!


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ac ... y_aircraft

Assuming a worse case scenario that:
- all the numbers are true
- assume that the higher end of those numbers are true if there is a range
- assuming there is a pilot for every aircraft (very plausible given the population in China, the pilots don't have to be well trained, just competent enough to fly and shoot, land)
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XanderCrews

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Unread post24 Mar 2013, 16:09

geogen wrote:
Order new build F-16C/D with new computer, new display (in development), equip with latest MAWS (providing ground fire location capability), AESA w/SAR and Litening SE pod (1k FLIR). Add CFT and a couple EFT enabling up to an extra 1 hr on station vs F-35. Arm with next-gen precision guided CAS munitions under development.

Buy 3 said new F-16s (fully equipped and armed) for every 2 F-35 in FY15. Sustain nearly twice more flyable hours per operational budget allocated. Call it a day.


My dad used to tell a joke that if a man needs a 30 foots ladder, and he goes to a store that sells a 30 foot ladder for 30 dollars, but it also sells a 10 foot ladder, and a 15 foot ladder and 5 foot stool along with duck tape for $29 "Some a$$hole will always try to save a buck"

Just to review your thought process on this, the goal is to take a brand new F-16 and make it as much like the F-35 as possible, in order to not buy something that is an actual F-35? the purpose of the exercise seems to be avoiding the 30 foot ladder. IF you are going to go to the trouble of buying a new jet, why not buy the one you need? instead of the one you will piece together with tape at the cost of your own safety that can't do the job as well and takes more time to construct?

the other half of this:

Buy 3 said new F-16s (fully equipped and armed) for every 2 F-35 in FY15. Sustain nearly twice more flyable hours per operational budget allocated. Call it a day.


Not only are the numbers complete horse sh*t, but assuming they were true, why is the goal to buy 3 aircraft when 2 will not only do, but do better? How much does it cost to have enough maintenance crews, logistics personnel, family housing, bases and hangers, fuel, pilots, ordnance bunkers, overhaul facilities, supply depots etc to keep that number of aircraft in proper operation? Or is the plan to just let 33 percent of the force rot, rather than spend more money on the support costs to sustain them? do we buy them and instantly moth ball them? Do we create whole squadrons that go into cadre status or do we buy 12 jets for every squadron, and expect only 8 to ever be operational? Making babies is the fun part, supporting them... not so much.

How does this work? with Canada for example people love to say "we can buy twice the number of X for the cost of the F-35!!" Well thats great on paper, but Canada will buy only 65 F-35s, they only operate around 80 aircraft as it is now, do they have the logistics and manpower to operate 130 of aircraft X?" The quick answer is "no" would they like to spend the money to do so over the next 42 years? the quicker answer is "no" is it practical or smart in any sense to buy 130 aircraft and only have enough people to actually use around 90 of them on a good day? No.

You are taking (false) dollars amounts in a very narrow view while ignoring real world issues that surround aircraft. This how governments get into such trouble. "one hand doesn't talk to the other" as they say so while you "save" in one area expenses in another skyrocket and become unsustainable. At its core every man and woman in the USAF exists for the aircraft. The USAF doesn't employ millions of people because the jets like people, they need those bodies to make the planes fly, whether you are a pilot, crew chief, administrator, nurse, or even day care personnel paid by the government to watch over the kiddies. None of that is free.

The military is also a "redundant organization" for example there is not one Lt. Col that is in charge of an sqn. There is a Lt. Col. an XO (Major) and then wing and section leaders, along with maintenance officers and finally the pilots. the USAF has the highest ratio of officers to enlisted, at 1 for every 4 enlisted. So when creating a air wing for example its not a matter of getting a Major General and then a few colonels for the groups, and 9 Lt Colonels for the squadrons, its hundreds of officers if not over a thousand. Each command has a requirement that must be filled by a certain rank. The more to command, the more commands get created, then there are commands for commands. Its exponential growth. I heard that the Navy has more admirals than ships, it does not surprise me in the slightest.
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Unread post25 Mar 2013, 17:38

Wow it looks like this got off topic really easy.

I guess i will restate the question with more detail.

The F-35 is projected to cost ~$1.5 trillion which amounts to cost to develop, build, fly and maintain all the U.S. F-35s on order for 55 years. But I was wondering how much does the (F-16, harrier, F/A-18, and the A-10) under the same parameters being put on the F-35.

Is the F-35 more or less expensive then a/c its replacing and by what margin?

F-35:
To buy and develop = ~$397 Billion
Total cost over 55 years = ~$1.5 trillion

(F-16, harrier, F/A-18, and the A-10):
To buy and develop = ?
Total cost over 55 years = ?

Feel free to correct me if i got anything wrong or if I am missing something.
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Unread post26 Mar 2013, 02:15

g3143 wrote:Wow it looks like this got off topic really easy.

I guess i will restate the question with more detail.

The F-35 is projected to cost ~$1.5 trillion which amounts to cost to develop, build, fly and maintain all the U.S. F-35s on order for 55 years. But I was wondering how much does the (F-16, harrier, F/A-18, and the A-10) under the same parameters being put on the F-35.

Is the F-35 more or less expensive then a/c its replacing and by what margin?

F-35:
To buy and develop = ~$397 Billion
Total cost over 55 years = ~$1.5 trillion

(F-16, harrier, F/A-18, and the A-10):
To buy and develop = ?
Total cost over 55 years = ?

Feel free to correct me if i got anything wrong or if I am missing something.
Honestly, no one here actually has the resources to answer that definitively. It'd take a congressional commission just to try; and even then, the results (whichever side they favor) would be as suspect as the $1.5 trillion number because there are simply too many variables to take into account. Then there's the human factor; someone has to decide what does and doesn't count, most likely skewing the results one way or another based on political utility.
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Unread post29 Mar 2013, 01:22

XanderCrews wrote:How much does it cost to have enough maintenance crews, logistics personnel...


Indeed, careful analyses such as yours, f/e/g/s, show why there likely is a very strong economic case favoring the F-35 in virtually every country to which the F-35 might possibly become available. My compliments on your excellent insights offered here.

But while it is rare indeed to find careful analyses such as yours here on f-16.net, no doubt the planners who do this professionally carefully quantify every operating cost related to each alternative procurement option. The link below demonstrates how flawed assumptions can easily mislead the public to making highly flawed conclusions:

http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org/pentagon-caused-most-of-the-increases-in-f-35-costs-so-it-can-fix-them?a=1&c=1171


Spudman’s seminal post, linked below, shows clearly enough the implications of a missions approach on total force structure:

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&p=246165&highlight=#246165


From this, we can see easily enough the implications for operating costs.

We should keep in mind that most analyses of this kind likely restrict themselves to the costs and benefits of peacetime operations only. Costs and benefits of actual wartime operations, however likely or not, are also worth considering.

Thus far, of course, we have considered only quantifiable factors in our analysis while ignoring important, and possibly decisive, subjective factors. Among others, these may include benefits arising from deterrence and the so-called “human” costs of actual conflict. What is the deterrent value of each alternative? What are the likely human costs of each alternative? The link below is to one of the best non-technical discussions I have seen on f-16.net. XanderCrews raises the point about human costs starting on page 2 of this thread. I highly recommend this entire thread to everyone. Here is the link:

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-20622-postdays-0-postorder-asc.html
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