F-35 Lifetime Cost Estimates DROP 22%

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geogen

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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 11:24

Just consider however, that some customers might have a more strict budget requirement for actual procurement and hourly flight costs and might need estimates which are more reliable and acceptable to within tighter and fixed budget constraints. Customer X,Y,Z might just not have all the liberties with allowing for certain cost estimate creep and methodologies ending up being widely off? So in this case, perhaps more reliable 'affordable' operational/procurement cost estimates 'i.e. known cost' is a critical factor. $37,000/hr for the F-35B alone, even if reliable, is going to be a huge cost increase for probably all operators.
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 11:47

Cost increase compared to what? If you need STOVL capability, there are absolutely no alternatives available anywhere. If you don't need that capability, just buy F-35A or even C that have significantly lower flight hour costs. F-35A seems to be very close to F-16C in flight hour costs according to this new information.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 15:48

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


I wouldn't read that much into it. If its true about how they estimated the F-35B cost, I have no clue what else they overestimated. They probably think the tires and breaks are changed after every flight :lol:
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 16:11

geogen wrote:Just consider however, that some customers might have a more strict budget requirement for actual procurement and hourly flight costs and might need estimates which are more reliable and acceptable to within tighter and fixed budget constraints.


In which case they should completely ignore CAPE, which so far was an estimate based on horrible understanding of how the aircraft was actually operated, and is slowly being disproven by actual flight number. %22 percent sounds pretty close until you think about being wrong by hundreds of billions.

Customer X,Y,Z might just not have all the liberties with allowing for certain cost estimate creep and methodologies ending up being widely off? So in this case, perhaps more reliable 'affordable' operational/procurement cost estimates 'i.e. known cost' is a critical factor. $37,000/hr for the F-35B alone, even if reliable, is going to be a huge cost increase for probably all operators.


LOL WUT? I'm shotgunning coffee trying to wake up, but you are going to have to translate that for me. Because the previous estimate was 41K the "interim" (?) is 37K and the final is looking to be 30K. either way I bet the countries that were banking on 41K are happy with 37K as it is actually less than previously estimated. in Geogen land, this is bad for some reason. Now I'm not expert, but I bet that the countries that were already willing to pay 41K are probably able to afford 37K. I don't know how that is a "huge increase" for all operators

Haters gonna hate:

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... -salt.html

Turns out its all a Marine Corps conspiracy now, and STOVL is a "secondary capability" LOL You mean its not primarily used to float around at 30 knots everywhere it goes? this is like the USN conspiracy to put a tail hook on everything and only use it on landing (and even then onlt carriers!) instead of hanging it out there 80 percent of the time. And don't get me started on the need to be able to launch them from the ship :lol:
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 17:33

popcorn wrote: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.


It would have a very small effect. CFPF is a constant; a plane will require the same amount maintenence, fuel, parts regardless of what mission it flies. Flying training missions means you just go through those hours more quickly. That ages the aircraft prematurely, so that means you get to the higher cost hours earlier... but you're generally not going to fly it past its projected hours of life.

What this means is that with more simulators you are paying less to maintain a capability (because you're flying less hours) but that the cost of flying that capability does not change (basically... might go either way, but thats an extended discussion).
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 20:52

'verylongnamewithoutend' :D thanks for the Briganti link. I'm dumbstruck....

"...The Marine Corps has also radically changed its F-35 operations to claim lower costs. Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle, deputy Marine Corps commandant for aviation, told Reuters that the Marines would fly their F-35Bs “in STOVL mode just 10 percent of the time, far less often than the 80 percent rate factored into the initial estimates.”

This is a stunning statement, and one that contradicts all the arguments that the Marine Corps has used to justify the F-35B STOVL variant. It also shows the lengths the Corps has to go to show it can afford to buy and operate the F-35.

Marines Plan to Reduce STOVL, MRO Manning
If STOVL is needed only 10% of the time, then it is, at best, a secondary capability, and is no longer enough to justify the F-35B variant’s exorbitant cost, both in terms of acquisition ($153 million, without engine, in LRIP Lot 5) and of operations ($41,000 per flight hour).

Furthermore, if STOVL operations are limited to 10% of flight activities, it is hard to see how Marine pilots will ever gain enough experience to fly STOVL missions from small, unprepared landing zones on the beachhead – the main, if not only, reason the Marine Corps says the F-35B is indispensable...."

Please note how we have segued from 'STOVL MODE' to 'STOVL operations' (for STOVL missions) somehow. Plus the LRIP 5 cost is used. What an asshat. I do not want to be critiqued by 'theforumpersonwithaverylongname' but it is sufficient otherwise for Briganti. :D
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ADDITION: I wonder where the "if 10% STOVL operations" quote comes from. What does it mean. To me STOVL ops is when the F-35B is in STOVL MODE, landing or taking off. Remember it is possible to land and take off in conventional mode in the F-35B - like a bleedin' F-35A :twisted: - which will be a lot of the disembarked time. Naval aircraft do come ashore for various reasons. It is sensible to rotate them so that all naval aircraft get approximately equal time at sea - because there be airframe/engine pounding there.
Last edited by spazsinbad on 22 Aug 2013, 21:03, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 21:01

spazsinbad wrote:Please note how we have segued from 'STOVL MODE' to 'STOVL operations' (for STOVL missions) somehow. Plus the LRIP 5 cost is used. What an asshat. I do not want to be critiqued by 'theforumpersonwithaverylongname' but it is sufficient otherwise for Briganti. :D


beyond the operation of the aircraft its just bad journalism to attribute quotes to those that never said them, then call them a liar when they do actually say something that doesn't jive with what you attributed to them previously. would make for some interesting political campaign stories though. :lol:

Someone find where the Marine Corps ever said that the F-35B would be using the lift fan 80 percent of its flight.
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 21:06

OK 'XanderCrews' it is clear the 80% quote but the 10%? I'll go look around. Anyway it does perhaps seem a reasonable guess but it is like asking 'how long is a piece of string'? The 'environmental impact statement' EIS gives training mission details but perhaps not percentages of flight time. And then there is operational. Probably the only people who can guess at this time would be the USMC.

On the first page of this thread this is what Colin Clark wrote:
"...Marine Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle, deputy commandant for aviation, told me in an interview here.

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...."
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 21:36

10% quote is from the USMC....

Pentagon cuts F-35 operating estimate below $1 trillion: source 22 Aug 2013
By Andrea Shalal-Esa REUTERS (Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Edwina Gibbs)
"...REDUCING COSTS
The cost per flying hour of the F-35B model, which can land like a helicopter, is likely be 16.6 percent lower than the earlier Pentagon projections, Lieutenant General Robert Schmidle, deputy Marine Corps commandant for aviation, told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

The Marines plan to start using the F-35B for military operations from mid-2015.

A second senior defense official said the current estimate by the Pentagon's Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office put the cost per flying hour of the F-35B model at over $41,000, but the actual cost would likely be closer to $37,000.

A detailed analysis by the Marine Corps showed this would cut the plane's annual operating costs by nearly $600 million, or $12.3 billion over the next five decades, the official said.

Schmidle said the Marines would fly the planes in short takeoff, vertical landing, or STOVL mode just 10 percent of the time, far less often than the 80 percent rate factored into the initial estimates. The manning levels assumed in the initial estimates were also higher than in practice, he said.

"The Marine Corps has very aggressively stepped out in trying to find ways to decrease the operating and support costs, specifically with regard to the cost per flight hour," Schmidle said. "I wanted to challenge every assumption."

He said he was confident additional savings could be achieved in coming years through efforts by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp to lower the cost of operating the airplane's engine, in line with trends seen on other military aircraft programs.

He said the Marines also expected to trim maintenance costs by doing up to 90 percent of the work in house, rather than farming it out to contractors. Similar efforts had resulted in big savings on the V-22, the Marines' tilt-rotor aircraft, he said.

Schmidle said the Marine Corps' analysis forecast $520 million a year in lower maintenance and operating savings once the three other planes it now uses were replaced by the F-35, a process that is currently slated to be completed by 2030.

He said the impact of mandatory Pentagon budget cuts on the F-35 program remained unclear, but said the savings expected by replacing the existing AV8B Harriers, EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare jets and F/A-18 fighters with F-35s could make the case for accelerating that process."

http://news.yahoo.com/pentagon-cuts-f-3 ... 22974.html
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Unread post23 Aug 2013, 06:09

Silly me,
first time I read it I thought that F35B is going to fly 10% of the time in STOVL mode? 10%?

Figured it meant that 10% of the time airborn, the fan will be engaged.

After reading it again (ok, and again) and including the 80% figure from earlier estimates I realised or that 10% of the missions will be STO with a VL.

Go figure, Marines spends 80% of their airborn time hovering over the beaches. Only makes sense if the're invading copacabana.....

my coffe break
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Unread post23 Aug 2013, 06:49

This have been linked to earlier here (me think)

http://breakingdefense.com/2013/08/21/m ... -than-osd/
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.


.... but it actually says that 80% of the flight will be in full trottle STVOL mode.....

...ok, so you don't fly a Fighter like a cessna 152, but the only way I can make this figure works is that it is an estimation that the overall fuelflow over a mission is aproximately equal to fuelflow at full trottle military.
Fuelflow is less than when in full AB, but more than in cruise....
I know some of you here are old pilots, does this seems like a reasonable estimation of the mission fuel?

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Unread post23 Aug 2013, 06:50

Certainly is confusing but we do not have the statistics to even begin to work out 'how much time an F-35B is likely to be in STOVL MODE (which includes STO and VL time) during service life of the aircraft - on average). We could glean an idea from USMC Harrier usage but we do not know that - or at least I don't. If we knew that statistic we could then reduce that STOVL MODE time even further because as mentioned earlier the F-35B will land ashore most often on long runways in conventional flight mode (and takeoff in conventional mode). Recall that it is not going to be necessary to practice Vertical Landings; and to remain current so strictly, as was required in the Harrier by the USMC - because STOVL MODE, including VL, is much easier in the F-35B. This fact has been drummed into us from the beginning. IMHO even 10% of total flight time in STOVL MODE in the F-35B is overkill.

If in any STOVL Mode flight an F-35B is in STO Mode for five minutes or less with a VL probably taking up any slack to suggest 10 minutes total in any flight in STOVL mode. Then how long is the average STOVL flight? How long is a piece of string.

And I'm not forgetting that a lot of the ordinary takeoffs will not be in A/B because of noise reduction and also it is likely the AUW will not require A/B unless at really heavy AUW or on short runways. We have been told at internal stores weight but otherwise clean the aircraft accelerates well without A/B in ordinary flight conditions (not ACM or climbing or whatever use requires A/B). I'll guess the USMC are figuring all these details out now and will give the 'powers that be' these statistics as required. But as always early days. I'll repeat: Jet Pilots like to conserve fuel as best they can and expend the fuel judiciously in A/B or full power as required. A carrier pilot will always like to get back to the carrier at Maximum Arrest Landing Weight and they practice that skill ashore also - however they may always land at less than that max. weight - I speak of an ideal. There are no prizes for running out of fuel in a miljet. It does happen but probably not a lot in this day and age as far as I can tell - some USN Hornet pilots have got close when ashore on cross country divert flights.
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Unread post23 Aug 2013, 07:06

10% STOVL-mode run-time on a one hour mission is 6 minutes split between takeoff and landing... not all that difficult to imagine. Of course, let's just assume that refers to the percentage of flights; that would still mean CAPE is simply making idiotic guesses because the F-35 can operate conventionally when the feature is not needed, whereas the Harrier must use it every time.
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Unread post23 Aug 2013, 10:27

lookieloo wrote:F-35 can operate conventionally when the feature is not needed, whereas the Harrier must use it every time.
Why?
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Unread post23 Aug 2013, 11:11

Why? A recent reference to this article may provide a satisfactory answer. But you will have to read it. Or follow up on the thread where this article is mentioned first. Search the forum for 'Ewing' will find that thread. Short enough answer to 'Why?' ?

Lockheed: Many F-35B landings won’t be vertical 07 Jun 2011 Philip Ewing
"...Well, the Harrier doesn’t land conventionally: Every time it comes back, even to a ground base, it needs to do a vertical landing or a rolling vertical landing, O’Bryan said, burning fuel and working its jet nozzles more or less the same way...."

http://www.dodbuzz.com/2011/06/07/lockh ... -vertical/
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Original citation here: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... ewing.html (read this thread)

With follow on page graphics here by way of illustration:
http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... g&start=15

Rather than rely on what is reposted here it will be best to read the thread above.

Note NOZZLES (sometimes fixed/variable) used in the NATOPS graphics:

Image

Image
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