Commander Naval Air Forces wants more F/A-18s

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wolfpak

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Unread post19 May 2020, 17:48

Here's the study the article on the DOD study:

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/ ... -carriers/
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ricnunes

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Unread post19 May 2020, 17:55

Corsair1963 wrote:I don't see the NGF arriving before 2040.


Ditto and fully agree!
I also don't think that the NGF (or whatever it is called) will arrive before 2040 and I would place a serious bet that it will arrive well after that (2040).
Looking at other (similar) projects, I would say that the only chance for the NGF to arrive circa 2040 would be if the contract for the prototype would be awarded today and right away!
Again when looking at other modern/advanced fighter projects it seems that they take roughly 20 years (if not more) since awarding the prototype contract until the aircraft's production version first flight. And note that those 20 years don't count IOC (initial "introduction into service") and it counts only from the prototype contract award until the very first flight of the production variant/model.


Corsair1963 wrote:So, odds favor the USN just continuing to buy F-35C's post 2030. Yet, shouldn't surprise anyone as it happens all the time. Case in point the current F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.


Also agree with you. I believe that the US Navy will eventually come along with the F-35C by ordering more units (than currently planned).
A mix of the US Navy 'tradicional' (I would say 'backwards') mentality when it comes to Stealth aircraft together with industrial and economical interests in keeping the Boeing fighter line open seem IMO to be the sole reasons why the US Navy isn't still looking for more F-35Cs and is still looking at the Super Hornet (namely Block III).
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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bring_it_on

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Unread post19 May 2020, 18:22

wolfpak wrote:Here's the study the article on the DOD study:

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/ ... -carriers/


That is from April. The Navy has since (check the link I posted in my previous post) ditched the study.
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bring_it_on

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Unread post19 May 2020, 18:25

The DON plans to buy 369 F-35C's over the program life. That will likely grow by at least 20% or about 3-5 years of procurement given a whole host of factors (including NFG/NGAD delays). The Navy's current budget profile ramps up F-35C production just as the major block 4 investments begin to arrive. Other factors that determine their buy-rate are going to be upgrades/conversions to the carriers (two will be able to operate the aircraft by next year IIRC) and the other soft-cap of about 60 orders/year for the F-35B/C combined which includes non US orders. Once some of the export orders for the F-35B are fulfilled the Navy ramps up its F-35C buy.
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quicksilver

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Unread post19 May 2020, 18:44

bring_it_on wrote:The DON plans to buy 369 F-35C's over the program life. That will likely grow by at least 20% or about 3-5 years of procurement given a whole host of factors (including NFG/NGAD delays). The Navy's current budget profile ramps up F-35C production just as the major block 4 investments begin to arrive. Other factors that determine their buy-rate are going to be upgrades/conversions to the carriers (two will be able to operate the aircraft by next year IIRC) and the other soft-cap of about 60 orders/year for the F-35B/C combined which includes non US orders. Once some of the export orders for the F-35B are fulfilled the Navy ramps up its F-35C buy.


How exactly are B and C production capacitIes linked?
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bring_it_on

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Unread post19 May 2020, 19:09

^The info is from the FY21 budget documents. Also note, at FRP the Navy's F-35C buy (DON) is roughly the same or better than what they requested for the SH over the last 3-5 years. So anywhere between 2 dozen to 3 dozen F-35C's can be expected to join the fleet per year starting 2026/2027 or so.
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Last edited by bring_it_on on 19 May 2020, 19:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post19 May 2020, 19:15

is that.... under $80M for FY2021?
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quicksilver

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Unread post19 May 2020, 21:49

bring_it_on wrote:^The info is from the FY21 budget documents. Also note, at FRP the Navy's F-35C buy (DON) is roughly the same or better than what they requested for the SH over the last 3-5 years. So anywhere between 2 dozen to 3 dozen F-35C's can be expected to join the fleet per year starting 2026/2027 or so.


I’d be interested in understanding what specific components drive that; I am more inclined to view that as a negotiated ‘allocation’ of capacity based first on A model capacity and funded PNR.
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Unread post19 May 2020, 21:53

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:is that.... under $80M for FY2021?


Just over $78 w engine...

I’m wondering how they got there w much smaller economies of scale.
Last edited by quicksilver on 19 May 2020, 22:49, edited 1 time in total.
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bring_it_on

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Unread post19 May 2020, 22:19

quicksilver wrote:
bring_it_on wrote:^The info is from the FY21 budget documents. Also note, at FRP the Navy's F-35C buy (DON) is roughly the same or better than what they requested for the SH over the last 3-5 years. So anywhere between 2 dozen to 3 dozen F-35C's can be expected to join the fleet per year starting 2026/2027 or so.


I’d be interested in understanding what specific components drive that; I am more inclined to view that as a negotiated ‘allocation’ of capacity based first on A model capacity and funded PNR.


I agree. This is why i mentioned a 'soft cap' though increasing that will likely have a non-recurring cost component. Though from a long term sustained acquisition perspective the Navy will eventually get to about 30 F-35C's a year by FY25 based on its current funding profile. That's a 40% increase in annual buy from FY20 to FY25. That is probably where it needs to be in terms of recapitalization. If given the choice of a larger annual buy vs extending the program out by a few years, I think the Navy would prefer the latter as this allows them some wiggle room if FA-XX/NGF gets delayed for whatever reasons.
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wolfpak

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Unread post19 May 2020, 22:57

FWIW when building more than one variant on a common assembly line production ratios (allocating capacity) between variants (styles in the auto industry) are based on line balance and tooling. Line balance being the allocation of manpower on the line between variants such that it maximizes efficiency of the workforce. I'm sure the three F-35 variants require differing amounts of manhours to build. What you don't want is for employees to stand idle while the low manhour aircraft pass their workstation or for them to fall behind because of too great of a workload when the high manhour one passes thru. As for tooling you only buy so many tools, ie: mill and drill system, jigs and assembly fixtures. These are bought in the ratio of the expected production totals. For example if it is determined that the orders for the variants are: A-60, B-20, C-20 per year than you would only purchase the amount of tooling needed to support those numbers. A quick and easy way to double production would be to add a shift. A more expensive way would be to add an additional assembly line. If you add a line you could line balance to a different ratio or have it build only one of the variants. The big cost here is in the additional tooling.
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bring_it_on

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Unread post19 May 2020, 23:52

That's a good breakdown of how they plan these things. I think barring a significant change in the total need I don't really see the navy buying more than 30 F-35C's per year through this decade. They may get slightly more than that after congressional additions but I think that 28-32 is likely to be the sweet spot in terms of what the Navy requests in the FY25 to FY30 timeframe.

Does anyone have a handy chart of when carrier mods are slated to occur and when all the Nimitz class carriers and Ford class carriers are capable of deploying the F-35? If they accelerate the buy they'd probably have to accelerate that schedule as well .
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Corsair1963

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Unread post20 May 2020, 00:47

bring_it_on wrote:That's a good breakdown of how they plan these things. I think barring a significant change in the total need I don't really see the navy buying more than 30 F-35C's per year through this decade. They may get slightly more than that after congressional additions but I think that 28-32 is likely to be the sweet spot in terms of what the Navy requests in the FY25 to FY30 timeframe.

Does anyone have a handy chart of when carrier mods are slated to occur and when all the Nimitz class carriers and Ford class carriers are capable of deploying the F-35? If they accelerate the buy they'd probably have to accelerate that schedule as well .


I would expect to see considerable movement of aircraft and upgrades in the coming years. As it is very fluid at the moment...


As a matter of fact they recently moved VFA-97 (Warhawks) from CVW-9 to CVW-8. So, it can deploy with the New USS Gerald R Ford come 2022.

8)
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Unread post20 May 2020, 03:05

I wasn't aware of the CVN-78 being able to deploy the F-35C by 2022 or its first deployment whenever that occurs. Is there any information to that end (in the public domain)? Most of the information that I've seen points to it receiving upgrades after some of the other carriers in the class and not in time for the first deployment. How long are these upgrades expected to take and will it delay its first deployment?
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Unread post20 May 2020, 03:38

There is a lot of pressure from Congress for CVNs to be upgraded to FULLY OPERATE F-35Cs otherwise they can all host the F-35C, even without the UPgrades to JBDs (for long, sequential F-35C launches), secure briefing spaces, comms etc.

The upgrade to FORD has been slated for an earlier time by Congress. However all these plans are and have been subject to various changes for various reasons and throw in the COVID-19 with long deployments for some CVNs and we all guess.
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