Five year schedules and unfunded requirements

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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blindpilot

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Unread post17 Feb 2017, 05:36

After today`s briefings to The House Armed Services Committee,

https://armedservices.house.gov/legisla ... f-35-joint

[ed: link fixed]

Read the pdf reports.

Basically
The USAF says "I love the F35A but averaging 48 or so per year until Block 4, fits nicely with our targeted upgrade picture. That`s where we`re aimed right now. Any more than that would confuse my retrofit plans."

The US Navy says,"I love the F35C but we still have to look at wingtips and nose gear, and my Carriers need to move the heads around and play with antennae and get Sat band width for ALIS, and the ships won`t be ready until .... then anyway ... so a couple C`s a year ... is working right on that schedule ... I`m cool, just give me a few more SH`s if you can, to fill in for the ones that are broken down."

THE USMC SAYS - "You don`t have enough money to buy more F-35B`s faster than it would get me to cry `uncle!` Shoot! I`ll take the Navy C`s they`re pissing out now, and I`ll issue neck braces and duct tape for the pilots, hang the 9X`s on an inner pylon, .. figure out how to find the heads in their old places, and train the guys not to break their island toys on the carriers, and carry my own safe for the classified stuff, kept in a flag cabin! Just buy me MORE! Faster!"

[ Actual quote :"We do not have the number of aircraft that we need to fulfill our operational commitments – to be your “force is readiness” as mandated by Congress. Our readiness recovery lies in recapitalization of our assets. We must continue to transition out of our legacy aircraft and into this new aircraft as fast as we can afford to buy them." [Emphasis HIS] ]

So for Trump and Congress looking at unfunded requirement add-ons .....

Look`s like - Make them F-35B`s. Heck double down.. the Brits say they may need a USMC squadron for the Lizzy...

BP
Last edited by blindpilot on 17 Feb 2017, 06:03, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread post17 Feb 2017, 05:43

:shock: :mrgreen: 'BP' are you angling for an Aviation Reporter GIG? :devil: GIGO - Sir YES Sir! 8) You'll fit right in. :doh: :roll: :drool:
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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steve2267

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Unread post17 Feb 2017, 05:57

Pres Trump could always cancel the MHS (Modular Handgun System), send the Army general to Cabelas with a credit card to buy Glock 19s (Trump could even tweet about the GREAT discount he commanded), and use the savings to buy those adorable Jarheads four more Killer Bees.
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blindpilot

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Unread post17 Feb 2017, 06:08

steve2267 wrote:Pres Trump could ... buy those adorable Jarheads four more Killer Bees.


Hey! Two of those adorable Jarheads are my grandsons! Works for me!

:D :D
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blindpilot

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Unread post17 Feb 2017, 06:21

Seriously one of the things Davis did say in the video was basically this.

I have three "sets"(F-18/AV8/EA-6) of support/maintainers working long shifts on dead horses! As fast as I can get those horses off the field, it will allow me to send brigades of freed up riflemen to modify the Admiral`s carriers for him. They will love the slowed down pace of only having to work 12 hour days 7 days a week.

MHO
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Unread post17 Feb 2017, 06:25

Yep it seems to me (a long way a way) that the USMC work hard at getting the most out of everything they have & more.
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 post17 Feb 2017, 17:26

We had a basement dwellers thread. Is it time for a bandwagon press thread for positive press stories?

Not wanting to litter the forum with threads for each and every press story, this thread seems most apropos for the parade of top military brass testifying before the HASC on 2/16/17. Here is another short article by Alex Lockie at BusinessInsider:

Top US generals on the F-35: We have a 'war winner on our hands'
by Alex Lockie 2/17/2017

The top aviators from the US Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, and the head of the F-35 Joint Program office all testified before Congress on Thursday and came to a clear consensus — the US has "a war winner" on its hands with the F-35.

...

The Marine Corps and Navy (???)has said their biggest problem with the F-35 is not having enough. Marine Corps Lt. General Jon Davis said the Marines need F-35s to replace their aging fleets of F-18s and Harrier jump jets, which average 22 years.

But the F-35 isn't just another fighter jet — it's a flying all-spectrum sensor node that can fight without being seen and elevate the performance of entire squadrons by sharing data on the battle space.

...

“The aircraft's stealth characteristics, long-range combat identification and ability to penetrate threat envelopes while fusing multiple information sources into a coherent picture will transform the joint coalition view of the battlefield,” said Navy Rear Adm. DeWolfe “Chip” Miller III.

"I'm becoming increasingly convinced that we have a game-changer, a war winner on our hands," Davis said of the F-35. "We can't get into those airplanes fast enough."

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/f-35-war ... dan-2017-2


Lockie's reporting seems a bit at odds with BP's take on the hearings. How can the Navy claim "its biggest problem is not having enough" F-35s when it is unwilling to increase purchases of the -C in the next few years?

Congress should absolutely buy more F-35C's the next few years. Let the Marines fly them and then hand them down to the Navy. :devil: Then the Marines can get their own, new F-35C's later on...
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Unread post17 Feb 2017, 18:24

Air Force official cautions against increasing F-35 buy rate
By: Valerie Insinna, February 17, 2017

WASHINGTON — A sharp hike in the number of F-35As purchased in the near term could increase the overall price of the program, a US Air Force official warned Congress on Thursday.

Buying more F-35As over the next few years — while the program is still undergoing its development phase — could lead to higher than predicted retrofit costs in the early 2020sohno! the horror!, when the Block 4 follow-on modernization program starts, said Maj. Gen. Jerry Harris, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for strategic plans, programs and requirements.

“If we were to procure at higher than planned rates” over the next five years, “the Air Force would have to retrofit aircraft already delivered to the fleet with Block 4 hardware and software modifications,” he said in written testimony delivered Thursday to the House Armed Services Committee.

Once Block 4 delivers” beginning in 2021, “we should examine the option of accelerating the F-35A program above the current procurement rate to meet the 5th generation requirements necessary to balance the Air Force ability to fulfill national security objectives.”

The Air Force’s current budget plans call for buying an average of 48 F-35As per year from fiscal years 2018 to 2022, Harris notes. The fiscal 2017 request, which projects estimated procurement until 2021, shows the service buying 60 jets in 2021.

That plan could drastically alter under the Trump administration, which has called for an expansion of the service’s fighter force but also at times sharply criticized the joint strike fighter itself.

Top Air Force brass — including Air Force chief of staff Gen. David Goldfein and former Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James — have been circumspect with regards to a higher F-35 buy rate, stating that the need for additional combat air power will have to be weighed against the service’s other requirements. However, other influential leaders, including outgoing Air Combat Command head Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, have said the service should ramp up to 60 planes a year as quickly as possible.

Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the Pentagon’s F-35 program executive officer, did not comment specifically on whether a faster procurement could increase program costs.

Rather, Bogdan said Harris’ reluctance to increase the buy rate likely revolves around a planned upgrade of the aircraft’s main computer processors during Block 4 modernization, which the program refers to as Tech Refresh 3, or TR3. That new equipment will enable greater software and weapons integration capability, but increasing F-35A procurement now could complicate the transition from TR2 to TR3.

“By the time we get TR3 in the field, we'll have hundreds of airplanes that are in the TR2 configuration,” Bogdan said. “That means that those airplanes, until they get to TR 3, might not be able to add some of those future capabilities that are needed.”

The Joint Program Office and services are working together on a retrofit plan that will spell out which Air Force and Marine Corps planes should be upgraded to TR3 first to enable operations and training, Bogdan said.

One idea involves putting together a TR3 hardware kit that would allow maintainers to swap computing gear in the field rather than having to send those assets to the depot, something Marine Corps aviation chief Lt. Gen. Jon Davis said he would like to avoid.

"How do we best do that?” he said. “What can we do at the local level to make those modifications so I don't have to mail it off someplace?”

The full suite of Block 4 modifications are still yet to be determined, but will include additional weapons and upgraded electronic warfare systems, radars and communications. The program office envisions starting upgrades in 2021 and adding new capabilities every two years.

In his testimony, Harris voiced concern that Congress had already started cutting funding for Block 4. Lawmakers had carved out about 60 percent of requested funds in fiscal 2016 and are on track to extract a similar amount in 2017, he wrote.

"I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that we fully fund Block 4," he stated. "We are at a crucial stage where we must begin the developmental work to ensure we have these capabilities available to meet a 2025 need."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/articles/air ... ion-starts


I'm not quite sure what to make of this. I thought the deal was 3F... we have to get 3F. Now it is Block 4... we really need Block 4! By the time we get to 2022 they'll be saying... wait wait... what we really need is Block 6! I need the computing power in TR5 so that we can determine, in real time, the precise targeting location on for instance, a dam, to maximize the structural impact and to wreak maximum economic impact on our adversary while minimizing collateral damage through a real-time, multi-disciplinary combat FEA-CFD application hosted on the upgraded hardware.

The F-35 was designed to be upgradable, and to be upgraded, but now, if I'm hearing things correctly, the military is saying, NO, WE WANT TO WAIT for the newer, improved model, otherwise we'll have to upgrade all the units we had already purchased.

The Marines seem to be the only ones with their heads correctly attached. GIVE IT TO ME NOW! I'll figure out how to upgrade later!
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Unread post17 Feb 2017, 20:34

See my comments on the Interview- ACC thread
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=52827

There are elements to planning that have to be coordinated. It is not as simple as bring in some more aircraft. For the Navy they need to upgrade the ships. etc. etc.

The Marines are unique in that every plus one helps their dire conditions.

MHO
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Unread post17 Feb 2017, 20:57

blindpilot wrote:There are elements to planning that have to be coordinated. It is not as simple as bring in some more aircraft.

MHO
BP


I will be amazed if somehow Congress is able to discipline itself enough to follow said plan.

blindpilot wrote:For the Navy they need to upgrade the ships. etc. etc.


Trump could call up his Boeing buddy and order a bunch of T-18H Tanker Hornets. Then buy more F-35B's... and tell the Navy they can have F-35C's when they get their ships fixed. In the meantime, drop the JBDs and fly Killer Bee's off your flattops... and tank them with the Thornets... :devil:
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Unread post20 Feb 2017, 01:11

This seems related:
http://www.defensenews.com/articles/air ... ion-starts

Buying more F-35As over the next few years — while the program is still undergoing its development phase — could lead to higher than predicted retrofit costs in the early 2020s, when the Block 4 follow-on modernization program starts, said Maj. Gen. Jerry Harris, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for strategic plans, programs and requirements.

“If we were to procure at higher than planned rates” over the next five years, “the Air Force would have to retrofit aircraft already delivered to the fleet with Block 4 hardware and software modifications,” he said in written testimony delivered Thursday to the House Armed Services Committee.

“Once Block 4 delivers” beginning in 2021, “we should examine the option of accelerating the F-35A program above the current procurement rate to meet the 5th generation requirements necessary to balance the Air Force ability to fulfill national security objectives.”



Kind of "we would like to have more and faster, but you should probably hold off just a bit so that you aren't turning around and buying new hardware for the new jets right after they roll off the assembly line" thing.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

Uncertainty: Learn it, love it, live it.
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Unread post20 Feb 2017, 01:32

steve2267 wrote:Pres Trump could always cancel the MHS (Modular Handgun System), send the Army general to Cabelas with a credit card to buy Glock 19s (Trump could even tweet about the GREAT discount he commanded), and use the savings to buy those adorable Jarheads four more Killer Bees.


Meh... P320 feels and shoots nicer. :wink:
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Unread post20 Feb 2017, 02:05

Buying more F-35As over the next few years — while the program is still undergoing its development phase — could lead to higher than predicted retrofit costs in the early 2020s, when the Block 4 follow-on modernization program starts, said Maj. Gen. Jerry Harris, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for strategic plans, programs and requirements.

“If we were to procure at higher than planned rates” over the next five years, “the Air Force would have to retrofit aircraft already delivered to the fleet with Block 4 hardware and software modifications,” he said in written testimony delivered Thursday to the House Armed Services Committee.

“Once Block 4 delivers” beginning in 2021, “we should examine the option of accelerating the F-35A program above the current procurement rate to meet the 5th generation requirements necessary to balance the Air Force ability to fulfill national security objectives.”

LOL. His replacement will call for waiting for Blk5.
Seriously, the problem is as Norm Augustine noted: 'All change costs'. Slowing down costs, speeding up costs. To do either so that it makes sense, there has to be a COA analysis for each path and then picking the one that gives you what you need while costing the least exorbient cost. Its not simple, and it's way over the heads of most journalistas
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Unread post20 Feb 2017, 02:34

They also have to fill those 700(?) vacant pilot slots.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post20 Feb 2017, 03:00

smsgtmac wrote:
... Its not simple, and it's way over the heads of most journalistas


One of the problems planning against various Critical Path Methods, is that rarely is a planned "critical path" actually real and set in stone. My CPM systems always set up dynamic path flexibility at the outset. The easiest way to force costs and schedule to behave is to reroute and break the perceived logjams early. On the other hand, changes are never free nor without unintended consequence downstream. When your logistics guru trades Scotch for toilet paper, someone somewhere will be sitting on the throne in a compromising situation. (The old song, "Stranded" for those who remember it) But hey if you have a bottle of Scotch, who really cares?

The F-35/fifth gen is sort of like that. "Who said we have to have the gun first?" "Are we even going to ever load 9X`s or a gun pod?" etc. etc.

I mean ... Did you see last week`s Red Flag? This fifth gen game does some serious stuff!

Who cares when you have a bottle of Scotch?!!! ... or "Be a man! Use your hand!" which is all sort of the USMC`s attitude. You gotta love it!

FWIW,
BP

[for youngsters who don`t know "Stranded" a parady of an old TV show "Branded" it goes like this
Stranded, Stranded on the toilet seat.
What do you do when you`re stranded,
And you don`t have a sheet.
For the rest of your life you must prove you`re a man!
Use your hand!];
-- Who cares when you have a bottle of Scotch?
Last edited by blindpilot on 20 Feb 2017, 03:09, edited 1 time in total.
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