F-35 Lifetime Cost Estimates DROP 22%

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popcorn

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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 03:44

Let's see.. 2,456 jets costing $396B projected to incur $857B in O&S expense over 55 years.. a ratio of 1 : 2.164. Paging Sen McCain...LOL


http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference ... index.html

Feb. 23, 2013

Pentagon says it has grounded all new F-35 fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin after an inspection found a crack in a turbine blade in the engine of one of the planes; decision comes as the Pentagon estimates that it could spend as much as $396 billion to buy 2,456 jets by the late 2030s, but program is plagued by cost overruns and delays and could easily become a target for budget cuts
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 04:05

put into perspective, that's not bad at ALL
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 05:13

geogen wrote:
lookieloo wrote:Trying to predict costs over a 50-year period is idiotic whether the numbers or good or bad. One can simply make up any figures depending on agendas in a given place at a given time.


Exactly. Thanks for that valid input.

Also, the article specifically notes the 55-year cost for "a fleet" will be $857B.

Well, what is the exact numeric size of 'this fleet' being estimated cost-wise??

Perhaps also, how many annual flight hours are being calculated into this 'latest' revised cost estimate?

I mean c'mon, let's please be out in the open and honest in a little more detail about these fairly significant claims so one can put an actual finger on them?


If you're seriously asking these questions at this point, perhaps you should just exit the boards. You know exactly how many aircraft they intend to buy, and I'm pretty sure you can figure out what is the lifetime hours of an F-35 is. You come on here and pretend to know how to better run a fighter recapitalization progam/fleet management, surely figuring out these basic facts shouldn't trouble you.

Otherwise you're just being obsequious about you own position, trying to claim we don't know how many they will actually buy while trying to dismiss the fact the cost estimates are declining.
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 05:18

lookieloo wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:Among the questionable assumptions Schmidle highlighted is this whopper: the Office of Secretary Defense estimate developed by the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office (CAPE) predicted that the F-35B would be flown at full throttle in STOVL mode — which uses enormous amounts of fuel and utilizes the highly sophisticated lift fan system at much greater rates than the Marines project — about 80 percent of its time in the air.
OMFG!!! You've gotta be $hitting me! :lmao: I mean... I knew CAPE's figure was vague speculation at best, but what the hell? Did they hire Boeing to do their work, or are they really just that stupid?


Had the exact same thought, I mean wow.
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 05:26

rotosequence wrote:
shingen wrote:I thought we had it on good authority from Typhoon and Rafale fanboys that the F-35 would be more expensive than those superior aircraft.

Perhaps they were wrong.


It's entirely possible that Lockheed Martin or The Pentagon (or both) are lying through their teeth in an effort to protect a program that they see to be at real risk from the FY2014 cuts to military spending ($40 billion).

It's possible that they're truly getting the F-35's costs under control, but historical precedent suggests other, less positive possibilities.


Unlikely.

This has been one of the big problems with the F-35 program; so much of what it's doing is unprecedented for a jet fighter. The F-35 is significantly different from the maintenance approach that the F-16 or F/A-18E uses. Rather it uses one that a civil airliner would; with extensive contractor support at the depot level, and a prognostic parts behavior system. CAPE utilized parametric data for a lot of their assumptions, using data for the F-16D and AV-8 to guess how much it would cost to run the F-35. However the F-35 is a completely different beast when it comes to O&M and back in 2011 LM and I think the PEO had complained that the figures were not accurate due to the fundamental difference.

What's the factors behind this decline in costs? Basically its the replacement of the assumptions made by CAPE with cold hard data. The two operational squadrons at Eglin and Yuma have been putting these aircraft through their paces and based on that information number crunchers at the program office and DoD are refining their figures. And from what's been stated, the Marines are really pushing these aircraft to their limits.

This isn't a new news thing actually. CAPE had suggested the F-35 was 30% above legacy aircraft. Earlier this year Bogdan suggested that it was only 10% more than the F-16. Now he's saying its 8%.
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 06:20

spazsinbad wrote:The new estimate reflects actual data about the airplane's performance and revised assumptions about how it will be used in combat...."



Any idea on what these revisions were? I'm just speculatiung here, but they could be sugesting that it won't be used for many Air superiority missions anymore, atleast not as much as was originally intended.

And if it will be, it would be strictly BVR hit and run tactics. Very little high G maneuvers, thus prolonging the life of the airframe.

WVR may be tasked for more capable F-22s, Typhoons, Rafales and Super Hornets.

I hope I'm wrong,
because if thats the case, we could be caught in Vietnam all over again

The idea that the Aim9X Block 3 needs to have more BVR capability because "of the specific needs of the F-35" (notice that the Super Hornet seems to not need this capability)

and now this. Well, seems a bit interesting.

still, I'm most probably wrong and simply paranoid
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 07:40

lookieloo wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:Among the questionable assumptions Schmidle highlighted is this whopper: the Office of Secretary Defense estimate developed by the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office (CAPE) predicted that the F-35B would be flown at full throttle in STOVL mode — which uses enormous amounts of fuel and utilizes the highly sophisticated lift fan system at much greater rates than the Marines project — about 80 percent of its time in the air.
OMFG!!! You've gotta be $hitting me! :lmao: I mean... I knew CAPE's figure was vague speculation at best, but what the hell? Did they hire Boeing to do their work, or are they really just that stupid?


I'm thinking the CAPE analyst should really stop, watching Bruce Willis vs. F-35B on Youtube. :lol:
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 08:03

popcorn wrote:
lookieloo wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:Among the questionable assumptions Schmidle highlighted is this whopper: the Office of Secretary Defense estimate developed by the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office (CAPE) predicted that the F-35B would be flown at full throttle in STOVL mode — which uses enormous amounts of fuel and utilizes the highly sophisticated lift fan system at much greater rates than the Marines project — about 80 percent of its time in the air.
OMFG!!! You've gotta be $hitting me! :lmao: I mean... I knew CAPE's figure was vague speculation at best, but what the hell? Did they hire Boeing to do their work, or are they really just that stupid?
I'm thinking the CAPE analyst should really stop, watching Bruce Willis vs. F-35B on Youtube. :lol:
Or Hulk vs F-35B... I wouldn't be surprised if they later try to factor-in maintenance-costs for 2X internal cannon... or angry, green monsters rampaging across flight-decks. Sweetman could do a piece on "HULK-SMASH vulnerabilities."
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 08:54

lookieloo wrote:Or Hulk vs F-35B... I wouldn't be surprised if they later try to factor-in maintenance-costs for 2X internal cannon... or angry, green monsters rampaging across flight-decks. Sweetman could do a piece on "HULK-SMASH vulnerabilities."


Only if they revert the design changes to the lift fan door and place a second 25mm cannon on the port side. ;)
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 09:13

zero-one wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:The new estimate reflects actual data about the airplane's performance and revised assumptions about how it will be used in combat...."



Any idea on what these revisions were? I'm just speculatiung here, but they could be sugesting that it won't be used for many Air superiority missions anymore, atleast not as much as was originally intended.

And if it will be, it would be strictly BVR hit and run tactics. Very little high G maneuvers, thus prolonging the life of the airframe.

WVR may be tasked for more capable F-22s, Typhoons, Rafales and Super Hornets.

I hope I'm wrong,
because if thats the case, we could be caught in Vietnam all over again

The idea that the Aim9X Block 3 needs to have more BVR capability because "of the specific needs of the F-35" (notice that the Super Hornet seems to not need this capability)

and now this. Well, seems a bit interesting.

still, I'm most probably wrong and simply paranoid


My hunch is that the idea in AIM-9 Block 3 is to maximize the stealth and SA advantage of F-35 in all combat and to be able to launch all the missiles before enemy is able to detect the F-35. Why get close where both sides have equal opportunities, when you can have the upper hand with longer range missiles? Besides, Block 3 is supposed to retain all the close-in capabilities of earlier AIM-9X variants. Longer range would also result in larger no-escape-zone meaning higher chance of actually hitting the enemy aircraft in all ranges of combat.

Super Hornet is probably not seen that important as the IOC for Block 3 is slated to be 2022, if no delays happen, with FOC probably few years after that. Current plans are to retire Super Hornets somewhere in 2030-2035 time frame, although this might be extended somewhat. Also F-35C might be seen as the main weapon system for USN when Block 3 will be in service, and has the priority. It also has much more capability to use the longer range of Block 3 missile with DAS and EOTS sensors without using the radar. Of course there is nothing stopping using Block 3 missiles in Super Hornets once integration to weapon system is done, but it won't benefit as much unless IRST system is installed.
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 09:38

popcorn wrote:Let's see.. 2,456 jets costing $396B projected to incur $857B in O&S expense over 55 years.. a ratio of 1 : 2.164. Paging Sen McCain...LOL


http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference ... index.html

Feb. 23, 2013

Pentagon says it has grounded all new F-35 fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin after an inspection found a crack in a turbine blade in the engine of one of the planes; decision comes as the Pentagon estimates that it could spend as much as $396 billion to buy 2,456 jets by the late 2030s, but program is plagued by cost overruns and delays and could easily become a target for budget cuts


The $396B estimate is probably a bit shy.

That is, something will likely need to give on this $396B estimate which apparently includes Program development costs (through Block V? VI?) + Procurement of 2,440+ units.

e.g., it's probably implying around what, $66B for total Program development(?); which would imply an avg of around $135m per Total Procurement Unit Cost for all variants? Yet, the current avg Procurement Unit Cost today is around, what, $195m +/-?? So yeah, I'm just skeptical of back-end average PUC/Weapon System Costs in, say the $120m ballpark (all variants) as would be necessary to balance out the overall Program average of this $135m est., e.g..

And this 'discounted' $37,000 per flight hour estimate for the F-35B? I just hope one can comprehend where some of the head scratching is coming from over such discrepancies of expected 2,400+ units procured, w/ high hourly operating costs, yet now substantially reduced, affordable total estimated operating cost over the 55 year period...

So please forgive the questions being raised (not trying to be the wise guy or smart); only that something will seemingly need to give here. Either equally reduced flying hours (and perhaps less aggressive flying) to achieve such 'discounts,' and/or substantially reduced Program procurement from the 2,440 figure?
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 10:01

F-35 CAPE B.S. Cost Estimates Proven to be.... B.S. 21 Aug 2013 SMSgt Mac
H/T Spudman at F-16.net and Colin Clark at AOL Breaking Defense
"Not that I told you so...But I told you so....

...Heh. Now we get to see how long it takes for the CAPE estimates to actually go down, now that their 'problematic' nature has been found out.. My bet is it will be done gracefully over time, IF they can get away with slow-rolling this discovery.

Production costs going down. Support costs going down...."

http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com.au/ ... en-to.html
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 10:08

So, you just had this epiphany about cost estimates?

There is nothing sacrosanct about the first estimate, or the second, or the third, etc. You seem to have swallowed the first as gospel.

This is not rocket science. All of these estimates are based on certain assumptions about a wide range of factors. As the Marine Corps discovered when they scrutinized the GR&A, some were entirely unrealistic and were thus driving similarly unrealistic estimates.

As has been discussed at length around here, the USB acknowledges 5 different cpfh methodologies, the most conservative of which can exceed the lowest estimate by ~100%. Any of those estimates can be used in a longer term O and S methodology and can result in widely different outcomes.

The more they learn about how the aircraft performs and how it operates and how it can be maintained, the more fidelity they can bring to some of the estimates.
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 10:35

I would be curious to know how much of a reduction in O&S costs arise from the increasing use of computer simulation for training. If they do achieve a 50-50 split of actual flying vs. simulator time, that should account for a big saving.
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 10:53

It seems to me that all the estimates related to almost everything in F-35 program have been conservative to have room for error and avoid backlash of not meeting the estimates in real life. Things like having artificial restrictions (degraded engine and restricted fuel flow) in calculating engine performance that are lifted when program matures. Even that engine power restriction would result in significantly higher cost than happens in real life as it would increase fuel usage and affect flight performance which would result higher usage of afterburner.

Other thing is that IIRC the lifetime cost estimates have been calculated using target year (TY) cost with 2 percent inflation (each year flight hour costs 2 percent more than in previous year). But it means that last flight hours will have a cost figure about 3 times more than the first flight hours. This might be true but the real cost will still be exactly the same in both first and last flight hour. Most people don't seem to understand this and only think in current year (2013) monetary value as that's what they are used to. But problem is that this gives almost two times too high cost figure in today's dollar value.
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